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Remus Lupin sat alone in the carriage, his chin propped up on one elbow as he gazed out of the window. He was slender but wiry and strong, his shaggy shoulder length blond hair subtly streaked with silver and light brown. He had ethereal amber eyes, flecked with gold and green, his skin was pale and creamy, and he flushed easily.
Lost in thought, he contemplated life at Hogwarts. It had to be better than home. Remus loved his parents, they did everything they could for him, and loved him unconditionally. But life there was strained. They blamed themselves for his condition. They wanted so badly for him to be happy, that they themselves could not be happy unless he was. Remus couldn’t bear for anyone to be sad. The thing he hated most in the world, perhaps even more than his monthly transformations, was seeing others suffer, so he had to hide his feelings, pretend to be happy, keep up the endless charade.
And then a man called Albus Dumbledore came along one day, and changed everything. He was the headmaster of the best school of witchcraft and wizardry, Hogwarts. He had found a way for Remus to attend the school, despite his lycanthropy. Remus had never been to a school before. He had agreed to go immediately, eagerly. He knew this was his only chance. He had to form a life for himself. He had to get out. He felt desperately guilty for his parents, but he knew that this was the best thing for him, and that was what his parents wanted for him, right? His parents had sent him off with their blessings, asking him only once if he was sure. Well twice. His father had asked again, on the platform.
“You don’t have to Rem,” he said, “no one’s making you.”
“I know dad. I want to go.”
Three boys burst into the room chatting and laughing, rudely interrupted Remus’ thoughts. He turned to look at them, just as they saw him and fell quiet. The one in the stepped forward, hand held out. He had short, very messy black hair, and mischievous brown eyes. Remus had a feeling his hair was like that all the time.
“Sorry 'bout that, we didn’t know there was anyone in here. I’m James Potter!”
Remus hesitated before cautiously taking the offered hand, and shaking it. Before he had time to say anything, someone else had grabbed his hand. He too had black hair, but it hung around his had in loose curls, just brushing his neck. His eyes were a sparkling dark blue in a pale face. “I’m Sirius Black,” he said, “and this…”
The third boy had dusty blond hair. He was shorter than the other two, and chubby. His eyes were a pale, bluish grey. “Peter Pettigrew,” he said softly, a shy smile on his face. Remus smiled back, liking the boys instantly.
“Well? What’s your name, stranger?” the boy called James spoke impatiently, but not unkindly, and with a smile.
Remus blushed; suddenly realising Sirius was still holding his hand. “Sorry. I’m Remus. Remus Lupin. He flushed even more, conscious of what his name meant, but they seemed not to notice anything.
“Pleased to meet you Remus.” Said Sirius, letting go of his hand, a smile lighting up his face. “So, can we join you in here? Or are you awaiting specific company?”
“No. I’m alone.” He replied, quickly changing the subject. “So, have you guys known each other long?”
“Nah, we jus met on the platform. Some stupid blond kid was giving Pete here grief. We didn’t like his face so we helped out.”
Peter smiled gratefully at the memory, and the three boys were soon chatting about all sorts, while outside, the countryside flashed by, an indistinct blur, veiled by the sheets of grey rain.