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Phoenix in the Ashes by HPFF United
Chapter 12 : Nothing Changes
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 13

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 He’d been keeping to himself just like his parents had told him to do.

It wasn’t that they didn’t love him –oh, contrary, they loved him so much that it hurt him when he looked back and saw all of the pain he’d caused them over the years –it was that they were afraid people would find out his secret and use it against him.

No one wanted a painful secret to be used to hurt them; no one.

Remus Lupin was three years old when he’d been bitten by a werewolf. Fennir Greyback, to be exact. Greyback had been holding a grudge on Remus’s father for the longest time, and when he, Remus, had been curious enough at three years old to sneak out of the house and wander around in the yard at night, the werewolf had made his move.

He’d meant to kill the toddler.

Sometimes Remus wished that he had been killed. Death was much more preferable than the monthly torture it was turning into a werewolf.

His parents had been told that he wouldn’t be able to attend school –that no one would want a werewolf student attending with their own children, that he was a liability. And then a new headmaster had been selected.

Albus Dumbledore did everything in his power to make sure that the little eleven year old Remus Lupin would be able to attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the fall as safely as possible.

And so Remus entered the school of magic, his head held low, his second-hand everything making him very much a boring looking subject. No one bothered him. No one suspected the boy who went home every month to visit his sick mother.

No one except a small temperamental red-headed girl and his three nutcase dorm-mates.

The boys, Sirius, James, and Peter, had prodded and poked for the longest of times, always questioning him on his visits to his mother, always wondering where he’d gotten the newest addition to his rapidly growing scar collection.

Lily, on the other hand, seemed to know within two months of him staying at the school. She’d been extraordinarily smart as it was, and then she’d gone and figured out what he was.

Remus avoided her. And then he went and began avoiding his dorm-mates too, just in case she told them. It was a horrible first year, he’d subjected himself to absolute loneliness.

And second year rolled around, and he’d figured they’d all forget about all of their petty first year thoughts and suspicions. Of course, they were Lily and James and Sirius and Peter, so forgetting anything that seemed remotely out of the norm was rather unlikely.

The first month into the school year, he was confronted by all four of them.

Remus could still feel his fear –his absolute horror that they knew his secret, the terrible feeling that they were going to use it against him, that they were going to be disgusted and have him ordered out of the school and call him a monster and abandon the little strings of friendship they’d had.

Sirius had spoken first, blunt and tactless as ever.

“So you’re a werewolf, eh?”

There had been a lot of eye rolling at that comment and Remus had watched as James slugged Sirius in the shoulder. He’d felt a sense of fury –why were they drawing this out? Why wouldn’t they just be disgusted with him and leave?

“Yeah,” He’d answered venomously, “Got a problem with it?”

He remembered the confused looks on the boys’ faces. He remembered marveling over the fact that nothing ever seemed to confuse Lily.

“No,” they’d stumbled out.

“Well go on then –call me disgusting, spit on my shoes, tell me I’m a monster. Just get it over with and then leave me be.”

Remus could remember the absolute shock as the tiny red head had taken seven strides across the empty classroom from her stance a little ways away from the boys over to him. She’d looked him right in the eye and moved slowly, so as not to startle him, and threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tightly.

“You’re not a monster, Remus,” She’d breathed into his shoulder. “Don’t you dare ever say that to me again.”

And he’d looked over her head, awkwardly hugging her back, at the boys and knew that somehow they’d heard her.

And somehow they agreed with her.

They wouldn’t ever abandon him.

“We’re friends, mate,” James had said gruffly, his voice an octave deeper in his attempts to impress Lily as well as comfort his friend, “Nothing changes –even if you do have a furry little problem.”

And there was a snort at his side and Lily’s face had twisted to pretend as if she hadn’t found that at all amusing. She’d ruffled his hair patronizingly and left, claiming that she had things to do.

Remus had taken in then forms of his friends –friends who’d promised to never leave him for what he was –and couldn’t help but be a little bit grateful.

They weren’t going anywhere.

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