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The Life of A Young Werewolf by lenette
Chapter 14 : A New Beginning
 
Rating: 15+Chapter Reviews: 2


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When the holidays were over, James brought good news to Sirius. James had talked to his parents about Sirius moving in with them, and they had agreed to it. He could move in as soon as school was over for the year. James had also brought with him a very special Christmas gift he’d received- his father’s invisibility cloak. It had been in the family for many generations and Mr. Potter felt it was time to pass it down to James. James showed them how perfectly it worked, in spite of being extremely old. They also discovered that it would cover James, Sirius and Peter all at one time, as long as they stood carefully. They decided that this cloak would make it much easier for them to sneak out on full moons- it could be left in the “shrieking shack” as the little cottage had become known, and they could pick it up on their way back to school in the mornings.

Once the new term began, time seemed to pick up speed. As the dreary, cold days of winter were replaced by sunshine and warm spring breezes, the four of them often studied outside of the castle. To Remus’ pleasant surprise, Lily would occasionally join them. She didn’t do it often, because she really didn’t like James, Remus was happy to be around her anytime he could. He had developed a very strong crush on her, but he felt sure it was best he kept his feelings to himself. Though he’d never asked a healer about girls, he felt sure that it would be a bad idea for him to get involved with anyone; the chance of infecting them just seemed too great in his mind. So, he enjoyed the fact that she was a close friend and kept the rest to himself. However, these feelings, along with his grief, were giving him plenty of material for the journal that Professor Dumbledore had bought him for Christmas.

Soon it was April, and the five of them seemed to spend every moment studying for upcoming tests. One day as they were huddled in a corner of the common room, a first year student brought a note addressed to Remus from Professor Dumbledore. Remus thanked him, and opened the note. The headmaster had written that he needed to speak to Remus soon about a personal matter. So Remus left his notes with his friends and made his way to Professor Dumbledore’s office. Once inside, he took the seat Professor Dumbledore indicated across the desk from him, and waited.

Professor Dumbledore then told him

“Thank you for coming so quickly, Remus. I have a few things I need to tell you. First, I have tried several times to contact your father, as I promised you I would, to speak with him about you returning home. He has only spoken to me once, and though he listened to what I said, he made it very clear with his words and his body language that he has not changed his mind about what he said. He is, unfortunately, not willing to let you return home. Therefore, I visited with James Potter’s parents about taking you in, and even though Sirius Black has also asked to move in with them, they have agreed to accept you into their household. I did not reveal to them your condition, and I did not give them all the details of your situation. I told them that your mother had died after a long illness, and that your dad, in a fit of anger, had thrown you out. They did not question that explanation, and I don’t think we will have a problem explaining your absences for the two full moons this summer. I will endeavor to come up with plausible excuses for each of them, and I will bring you here to the campus so that we can handle it the same way we usually do.”

“It’s a relief that they agreed to take me and didn’t question your explanation. Thank you, sir, for all you’ve done to help me with this. I have a feeling that I may need to stay with the Potters for longer than just this summer.”

“Why do you feel that way?”

“Because from what you’ve said, and my own feelings, I doubt my dad is likely to change his mind anytime soon. I know I am struggling to heal from the hurt he caused me, and I imagine he is holding on to the anger he feels toward me, and struggling to heal from the grief of losing mom. I’m trying to forgive him, but I’m having a hard time with it.”

“You may be right. It’s never easy to heal from losing a loved one, and it does take a lot of time. If he is holding on to the anger, that will only make it harder for him. As for your feelings, healing is going to be difficult because what he did and said was not an accident…it was deliberate. As I told you that day, forgiving him may be the hardest thing you ever do. When someone we love, someone we trust from birth to love and care for us, harms us deliberately, it goes against what we are taught to believe and expect. This is the kind of situation that takes a long time to repair. Sometimes, the damage can’t be mended. If both parties can’t acknowledge what was said and done and try to talk about it, there’s no way to move past it. Ideally, if he could apologize, and admit that he hurt you…maybe even acknowledge he was wrong to say the things he did, then you might be better able to forgive him, and the two of you might be able to build a new relationship. It might always be rough, because you would be hesitant to trust him, but at least you would be able to talk to each other. However, many people simply can’t, or won’t admit they were wrong, and often, the injured party can’t forgive an injury like that- the wound is just too deep. Only you will know if you can; I didn’t really expect you to do it this quickly though…it may take a long time.”

“I’m glad to hear you say that, because I was afraid I had let you down by not being able to forgive him yet.”

“No, you haven’t let me down. It’s normal to feel the way you do. These things can take a lot of time. But even if you can’t ever forgive him, you won’t be letting me down, because I know you tried. Now, the other thing I needed to talk to you about is your belongings and your supplies for next year. I will store your belongings here over the summer if you’d like, but I want you to go through them and make a list of what you have, and indicate what you’re taking with you, so it will be easier to keep up with everything. Also, before the term ends, I want you to go through your supplies and let me know what you have, including your clothes, so that we can determine what you need for next year.”

“Okay, I will do that…but is it okay if I wait until the weekend to do it, since I know that will take quite a while?”

“That’s fine with me…I just wanted to make sure you knew it needed to be done. Now that we have that settled, I’m sure you need to get back to your studies.”

“Yes sir, I do. I will be here Saturday morning after breakfast.”

“Okay. I will see you then.”

Remus returned to the common room and resumed his studies with his friends. He told them about his new living arrangements, and both James and Sirius were excited that the three of them would be together all summer.

Saturday morning, as promised, he went to the headmaster’s office after breakfast. He spent about three hours completely unpacking the bags that he had left in Professor Dumbledore’s care. He listed every item in the bags on a long roll of parchment, then indicated which items he would be bringing with him to the Potters’ home for the summer. He repacked the bags so that one bag held everything he was taking with him, and the other held everything else. He promised to inventory his school supplies and clothes just before term ended so the count would be accurate.

The remaining weeks of school proved as hectic and nerve-wracking as they always were. Peter was soon in his usual state of panic over his final exams, and constantly wanted someone to drill him on the material to be covered. Sirius, Remus, and James took turns helping him as they studied for the exams.

A couple of days before they left school for the summer, they received their exam grades- all five of them had passed every exam. Even Peter managed to narrowly scrape passing grades on his tests. This year, the Quidditch cup had gone to Ravenclaw, so when the House Cup was awarded to Gryffindor, it was a little consolation to them.

The trip to London was, as usual, full of plans for the summer. James was very excited about having both Sirius and Remus living with him for the summer, and had a long list of things he wanted to do. Peter promised to try to persuade his parents to let visit during the summer, but he was not sure how much luck he would have.

When they arrived at King’s Cross Station, the reality of living somewhere else, of possibly never returning to the house he’d grown to love, sank in for Remus in a more tangible way than it had before. For the first time since he’d begun attending Hogwarts, neither of his parents was there to greet him. He followed James to the luggage compartment where the two of them claimed their trunks and worked together to load them on trolleys. Sirius was going to his parents’ home first to gather a few of his belongings and let them know he was moving out…he would then join James and Remus at the Potters’ home.

They said goodbye to Sirius and Peter, then pushed the trolleys to where James’ parents were waiting. James greeted them affectionately, and let them know about Sirius’ plan to go home for a couple of days to get his stuff before he came to their house. Mr. Potter then shook hands with Remus, and Mrs. Potter hugged him, welcoming him to their home as she did so. The four of them then joined hands and apparated home.

Once they arrived, Mr. Potter told Remus he could choose between using the spare bedroom and sleeping in the den, and Sirius could have whichever room was left. Remus chose the den, giving them the reason of liking books a lot and that the den felt almost like a library; the real reason for his choice, however, was the den afforded him more privacy to tend his wounds after the full moons. Mr. Potter agreed to that arrangement, and told Remus there was a spare bed in the attic he could use, if he and James would help him get it out of storage.

The boys agreed, and after they’d been home for a couple of hours, the three of them climbed into the attic and retrieved the bed. They rearranged the furniture that was in the room, and then Mr. Potter then guided them in setting up the bed. Once that was complete, Remus took the linens Mrs. Potter brought to him and made up his new bed.

Remus discovered he settled into the Potters’ home far easier than he had expected. The Potters treated him much as they did James, and Mrs. Potter reminded him very much of his own mother in many ways.

After only three days, Sirius showed up in the fireplace, backpack slung over his shoulder and holding the handle of his school trunk in the other hand. He stepped out into the den, set down his stuff, and dusted the soot off his clothes.

“Hey guys. Well, it’s over. My parents don’t want me back, and I don’t intend to go back. If I never see that bloody house again, it will be fine with me. After the arguments we had in the last three days, I’m surprised they didn’t pack for me.”

“Obviously everything went pretty much like you expected it to.” said Remus.

“Yeah, it did. It would have been great if they’d changed their opinions, but if anything, it’s gotten worse. They mentioned these rumors about some wizard that shares their views about muggles and muggleborns and is supposed to be planning to change things. I’m glad to be away from them, and pleased to say I got my most important belongings.”

“That’s good. I’m surprised they let you take them.” said James.

“They didn’t exactly let me- I just took them. I did most of my packing at night, and I buried a lot of the stuff I didn’t want them to know I was taking in with my school stuff. They didn’t go through my things when I got ready to leave, so it will probably be awhile before they realize what I took. It’s all my stuff, though mom probably won’t be happy about me taking the money from the bank that was on my dresser…but that’s just too bad. I kinda got the last laugh on them though…I left a couple of muggle posters behind, particularly one of a couple of girls in bikinis, and I put a permanent sticking charm on them.”

“Your mom will be thrilled over that.” said James sarcastically.

“She’ll get over it- or not. I really don’t care. She said she never wants to lay eyes on me again, so it’s not as if she’s gonna come see me to scream at me over that.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right. Now that you’re here, do you want to go ahead and put your stuff in the spare bedroom? We need to let mom and dad know you’re here too.” said James.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea. Can you help me with my trunk?”

James and Remus took the trunk so that Sirius could carry his backpack without dropping it. Then they spent a few minutes visiting with Mr. and Mrs. Potter, and then returned to the den to play chess.

The first few days after Sirius’ arrival were spent staying up late and sleeping late. Mr. and Mrs. Potter were quite relaxed about bedtimes, so the boys were allowed to stay up as late and sleep as late as they wished. James’ parents only asked that they be quiet late at night so that they could sleep and so the neighbors’ were not disturbed.

They had been out of school for a week when they received their report cards. All three of them had passed every class with good marks, mostly O’s and E’s. In the envelope with Remus’ report card was a small, shiny silver badge with the Gryffindor lion and the word “Prefect” on it. There was also a letter congratulating him on being selected for the honor of being a prefect and explaining his duties. He was also informed of a meeting that would be held on the Hogwarts Express to further explain his duties and answer any questions he or the other prefects may have. James and Sirius, along with the Potters, congratulated him on this accomplishment. The boys teased him a little bit, but he knew they were happy for him.

After a few days of simply enjoying being lazy, the three of them started thinking of what they wanted to do with the remainder of their summer. James was itching to get in some quidditch practice, especially since Sirius had his broom. Sirius had asked James to bring it home with him over the Christmas holidays, and it had been kept in James’ bedroom since then. They spent some time almost every day flying, and after a little coaxing, even managed to get Remus on Mr. Potter’s old broom. It wasn’t very fast, but it allowed them to go through a few drills that would have been difficult with only two players.

When it was too hot to play outside or they just weren’t in the mood for quidditch, they spent a lot of time playing chess. They had all improved in the last couple of years, and were very equally matched. It was not unusual for a match to last an hour, if both players were really trying.

James and Sirius also used their lack of a bedtime to work on the animagus charm. Since Sirius had taught Remus the spell to reverse it, both he and James could change at the same time. This allowed them to practice communicating, something they knew they needed to work on. The three of them would gather in the den after dinner, and once they were sure Mr. and Mrs. Potter were asleep, James and Sirius would transform. They soon worked out ways to communicate using gestures and soft sounds. After a couple of weeks of this, they started increasing the time they spent as animals, sometimes staying up most of the night.

Summer was not all fun and games for them. They did have homework, and the teachers had assigned more of it this year than any previous summer. However, the reason behind it was no mystery- the upcoming school year was the year they would take their OWL exams. These exams determined what classes they would be able to take in their final two years at Hogwarts and influenced which careers they could pursue.

So in spite of a little grumbling and procrastinating, by early July they had begun spending an hour or so most days working on their assignments. Working together, for small amounts of time each day made it a little easier for them to get the work done without interfering with their other summer activities.

The full moons that summer fell in early July and early August. Both times, Professor Dumbledore picked Remus up in the morning and gave the Potters’ an excuse for his extended absence. They accepted his explanations without question, for which Remus was very grateful.

About two weeks before summer was over, Peter was able to spend a weekend with them. He had spent much of the summer dropping hints about wanting to visit, and finally they had agreed to let him stay overnight.

He arrived just before noon on Saturday morning, accompanied by his mother. While the adults talked, Peter, James, Sirius and Remus gathered in the corner of the living room and began to catch up.

“Hey guys! Sorry I haven’t been able to visit before now. We’ve been busy…I’ll tell you more about that later.”

“Okay. We were wondering if you’d be able to make it this summer. Sirius got here just a few days after school was out, so we’ve all three been here this whole summer.” said James.

“What have you guys been doing?” asked Peter.

“We’ve practiced quidditch, played a lot of chess, spent some time in the pool, and of course worked on our homework. We’ve got our assignments nearly finished.” said Sirius.

“I went to visit some of my cousins for a couple of weeks, then the others for a couple of weeks after that. Then we went to France for about a month, and we’ve been back home for a couple of weeks. I’ve only managed to get a little of my homework done…will you guys help me with it?” Peter asked.

“Sure. And we should still have time to do some fun stuff too.” said Remus.

Just then, Peter’s mom spoke to him.

“Behave while you’re here. You can stay up as late as you want, but don’t give the Potters any trouble. I’ll be back to pick you up around 5 p.m. tomorrow…that will give you most of the day. Have fun.”

“I will. Thanks for letting me come over here, Mom. And thank you, Mrs. Potter for inviting me to spend the weekend.”

“You’re welcome, dear.” said Mrs. Potter.

“You’re welcome, son. I’ll see you tomorrow.” said his mom.

Mrs. Potter then followed Mrs. Pettigrew to the door and told her goodbye. Once the door shut, the four boys went to the den to talk in private. They sat down around the coffee table on which the chessboard and some of their textbooks had been placed and Peter began to explain further about his summer.

“I didn’t really want to go to visit my cousins. We don’t have much in common anymore, and I tried to convince mom and dad to let me visit you guys while they went to visit them, but they wouldn’t let me. They wanted to see their siblings, and told me they thought that maybe things would be better for me this yThey were wrong; nothing has changed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not terrible- my cousins don’t tease me or do anything to hurt me, but we just don’t have anything in common. I either spend time with them and listen to them talk about their schools- the guys go to Durmstrang and the girls go to Beauxbatons- or I go somewhere alone and kill time that way. Either way, it’s not as much fun as being with you guys. France wasn’t too bad; we’ve been there before, but it’s been a while. We spent time on the beach, went shopping, and went to some other sights- the Eiffel tower, the Louvre, Versailles, and a couple of other places that I don’t know exactly how to pronounce their names. I took pictures, but haven’t developed the film yet…I should have it done before we go back to school. Once we got back, I started hinting about wanting to come here- I’ve probably been bugging them, but sometimes that’s the only way to get them to listen. At least something I did worked.”

“Yeah, apparently it did. Sorry to hear your summer was boring, but at least it’s almost over. Aside from what we told you about earlier, we’ve been working on the animagus charm more. For the last couple of weeks, we’ve spent most of several nights in our animal forms. Remus knows how to turn us back if we have trouble, but now we’ve gotten good enough at it that we hardly ever have a problem. We’ve also started communicating some…we can’t talk, of course, but we’re using gestures and other sounds to communicate.” said Sirius.

“Don’t the Potters hear you when you make noises?” asked Peter

“No, we usually wait until really late at night, and they sleep soundly enough they don’t even notice. They don’t come in here during the night because they know we can take care of pretty much anything we need to now. We always change back into our human forms before daylight, though, so there’s practically no chance of them seeing us. We have even slept a little as animals too, but we sleep more after we change back.” explained James.

“Can you guys show me tonight what you’ve learned? Maybe I can manage to practice a little bit too. I don’t have the chance to practice during the summer, because I don’t have anyone at home that can help me if I can’t change back. So this will be the first time I’ve done it since we left Hogwarts.”

“I’m sure you’ll do okay. We will show you what we’ve learned and help you if we need to. At least with school starting soon, you will be able to practice more.” said Sirius.

“Since it will be a while before we can do any of that, would you guys like to go swimming?” asked James.

“Sure.” the other three responded.

They then changed into their swim trunks and headed outside to the pool. James detoured to the living room to let his parents know they were going to use the pool, then joined his friends a moment later.

Remus was thankful for the fact that the Potters did not feel the need to supervise the four boys too closely. They trusted them not to do anything stupid, and to alert them if an accident happened. This meant that they didn’t come outside to watch them, and Remus had not had to worry about coming up with an excuse for why he had so many scars on his body. When he had first visited James in the summer, they had used the excuse of him being scratched by a cat. But at that time, his scars weren’t quite as numerous as they were now- he was, after all three years younger at the time than he was now, and so they accepted his reason. However, he was sure that a similar reason would not work now, and he didn’t want to have to come up with another reason, and he knew he could not tell them the truth.

He brushed these thoughts aside, and jumped into the pool with his friends. They spent at least two hours playing in the pool- swimming, diving, and of course, having a cannonball contest, which to their surprise, Peter won. He then told them that was one thing he had been able to do at his cousins’ houses…both places had pools and he’d had a chance to make good use of them.

Once they were all tired of swimming and their skin was shriveled like prunes, they got out, dried off, and went back inside. The pool was connected to the den by a walkway, so they went directly back to where their clothes were. James changed quickly and let his parents know they were back inside. A few minutes later, the other boys returned their towels to the bathroom, and Mrs. Potter asked them to choose between a couple of options for dinner. They agreed that hamburgers and fries sounded good to them, and she told them dinner would be ready in about an hour.

They spent the time before dinner and immediately afterward playing chess. After about three matches, they decided to do a little homework before they had the chance to work on their animagus charm. Between the four of them, they proofread Peter’s work, and helped him finish about half of the remainder. When Mr. and Mrs. Potter went to bed, they continued working for about an hour, then Sirius went quietly to the bathroom and listened to see if they were asleep. Both of them were snoring, so he felt sure they were asleep for the night. He told the others this when he returned, and they moved the coffee table and its contents out of the way, then they transformed. Peter wanted to know for sure that Remus wouldn’t have trouble changing him back, so he asked him to show him. Peter changed, and after a couple of minutes, Remus changed him back. Content that he wouldn’t be stuck as a rat, he changed back, and then watched as James and Sirius showed him some of the gestures that they used to communicate. Both of them could point to something with a foot, or in James’ case, with his antlers as well. They could also indicate yes or no to something using their heads. After passing a couple of hours this way, they began showing him some of the sounds they made. Sirius could growl, of course, to show that he was about to attack something, which they had told Remus they would use to indicate that they needed to catch him. They had also told him that a bark (which he didn’t do at night because of the volume) would be used as a way of telling the others where he was. James could produce a couple of different snorting sounds that could be used to indicate trouble, and a different, louder sound that could be used to locate him. Peter, unfortunately, could not make any sounds other than squeaks. He could vary the speed or the volume, but even with his best effort, he wasn’t very loud. He could, however, use his paws to point, and gesture with his head, much like James and Sirius could.

As Remus watched and listened to his friends, his amazement was renewed at the lengths to which they were going just so they could spend time with him and explore Hogwarts’ grounds. He would never have guessed five years ago that anyone would be willing to risk being caught performing magic illegally, hurt, bitten, or even possibly killed if they went somewhere they shouldn’t, just because of him. If he’d ever had any doubt that his friends were real, loyal friends, this project of theirs would have certainly eliminated it.

The three of them spent most of the night as animals, and to everyone’s surprise, including his own, Peter didn’t have any trouble returning to his human form. He’d expressed concern previously that he wasn’t sure he would be able to do so after being in animal form for several hours.

The four boys then snuggled into their sleeping bags and fell asleep quickly. They didn’t get up the next morning until nearly 11 a.m., when Remus was awakened by Mrs. Potter moving around in the kitchen as she prepared coffee. After he got up, he put his sleeping bag away, then got dressed. Though he was trying to be quiet, he made just enough noise that soon James awoke, and their whispered conversation woke Sirius and Peter. Once all four of them were up and dressed, they went into the kitchen where Mrs. Potter was now preparing breakfast.

After they ate, they got out the brooms they could find- luckily there was a spare that had been hidden in the attic, which meant they had enough for all four of them. They then went outside to practice quidditch. Having four players enabled them to try different ideas, which pleased James. They played for couple of hours, then went inside for a snack and decided to play chess for a while.

Soon it was almost 5 p.m., so Peter packed his things back into the backpack he’d carried them in, and they talked as they waited for his mom to arrive. As he left, they told him goodbye, and that they would see him on the train.

The remaining two weeks of summer passed very quickly, and soon they were boarding the Hogwarts Express for their trip to school. As he was now a school prefect, Remus did not have the opportunity to sit with his friends as he usually did. He had a meeting to attend on the train, and then had to patrol the train to keep an eye on any mischief that went on. The one bright spot in this situation for him was that Lily Evans had been chosen as the girl prefect for Gryffindor.

Once the train arrived at Hogsmeade station, the prefects had to help make sure the first year students made it to Hagrid, and that no one or their luggage was left behind on the train. After that was accomplished, the pair of them, along with two of the other prefects got into a carriage for the ride up to the castle.


 


 


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