I remembered what Remus had said about being animalistic before the full moon, but I never figured I’d actually get so impulsive. I snapped at him and the Marauders and Lily countless times but the most noticeable thing to me was the fact that I could not stop staring at Remus. He had to have noticed that I was constantly checking him out, I chalked it up to the wolf but I told him that I was just amazed about how he still acted normal. In actuality, I was truly noticing his body for the first time. He was much taller than me and the tallest of the Marauders. I had written him off as lanky before, being tall and thin as he was, but Remus was fit. How did I not notice it when we were doing all that work outside on the cabin?
I felt like I had an evil twin pushing me to do whatever I wanted. Granted, things to do were limited in the house, but I was thinking of just walking out, going for a run and not returning. The feeling of entrapment was unbearable, as cozy as this cottage could be, it still felt like a cage.
The worst time I yelled at them was when they came home from a meeting. Peter had greeted me first with a “Bad news, Holly.” Turns out, there was some sort of mission the night of the full moon and Remus and I were on our own. They apologized and I flipped out, I hardly remember what I said just that I had thrown a couch pillow told them they may as well have left me for dead last moon since they were doing that to me this month. I had also gotten into James face and said he should scout the woods before coming back the next morning to find whoever else we’d maim. At that point, Lily had grabbed me and dragged me into my room.
“Who the hell do you think you are, Holly Clark? Speaking to them-us- like that?” She slammed the door and most likely cast a silencing spell upon the room. I sat on my bed crossed legged and with crossed arms.
Lily stayed standing and continued her rant, “Obviously we’re worried about you, Holly. None of us meant for this to happen and you never, ever, blamed us before.” Her hands were on her hips. “This isn’t the only thing we’re worried about either. In case you haven’t picked up on it, there is a war going on, Holly and we’re doing our best to stop some very bad wizards.” She crossed her arms now, leant forward a little. “And this group we’re working with, they had a LOT of questions about why Remus wasn’t joining us on tomorrow’s mission. And thankfully things got pushed under the rug, but that doesn’t mean we purposely scheduled this for Thursday.” Her arms uncrossed, one hand went to her hip and the other pointed in my face. “So you better knock off these hissy fits, Holly, because we’re sick of it.” She started walking towards the door. “And get a hold of yourself, Holly, we’ll ignore it now cause it’s your first time, but you don’t see Remus acting like this, do you?”
She wrenched my door open, walked out and slammed it shut. I was ticked. But more than ticked off, I was mortified. Yeah, I did make a big deal about how they got to leave and I didn’t, how they were doing something and I was just sitting around, and even had snapped at each of them if I caught them looking at me. But I felt like I was entitled to it, something really screwed up is about to happen to me, something I cannot control. It was not my fault and apparently it isn’t theirs either. It isn’t their fault either. But can’t it be someone’s fault?
I didn’t feel like apologizing. I was upset and scared. When I finally made myself stop being mad at the five other people in the cabin, I realized I was terrified. I deliberately turned my back to the window, sleeping uncomfortably on my right side was better than seeing a huge almost fully round moon out the window before sleeping comfortably on my left.
The day leading up to the full moon I did not have to worry about being animalistic, my body hurt way too much to think about that. I woke up that morning with all of my muscles tensed. It hurt to stand up and halfway to the bathroom I became overwhelmingly nauseous and unfortunately woke Remus up with my vomiting.
He brought me in a glass of water and I sat leaning against the wall near the toilet, and Remus sat on the ledge of the bathtub. He told me that stretching does wonders for the tense muscles and not to bother trying to eat anything, cause I probably would not be able to keep it down. I groaned and went in for another round of heaving into the toilet, embarrassed that he was seeing me like this.
“It gets better,” Remus said as he pushed some hair out of my face and tucked it behind my ear, “maybe I shouldn’t say that, how about… you get used to it… so, it gets bearable.”
He conjured up a pillow and handed it to me, “if you don’t think you can make it back to your bed, just crash here, seriously, try to get some sleep.”
I took the pillow and put it behind my neck and back, still leaning against the wall. Remus gave a small smile and walked out. Whether cause he needed to go rest himself or just wasn’t sure what to do with the sick girl he had trapped in his house, I didn’t care because I hated being seen like this. Especially after last night.
I didn’t notice that anytime had gone by, but when Remus shook me awake, saying we had to go outside soon I realized I slept the entire day. I felt slightly better, but every muscle in my body felt tensed like a condensed spring.
We went outside and walked a ways from the cabin, “I’m assuming that we’ll stick near each other during the night, being pack animals and all, so tomorrow I’ll be able to help you home, especially since James, Sirius, and Peter can’t make it tonight.” Remus looked up towards the sky which was getting dark much faster than I would like it to, “well, we don’t have that much time, so I say we strip down here and hide our clothes up in the tree”
“Strip?” I asked, mortified.
“Well, they tend to rip off, and no amount of needlework ever patches them up enough. I promise I won’t look.”
“Can’t I just wait until right before?” I felt like such a child, I was practically stomping my feet as I whined to him. His answer came in such a tone that I didn’t even bother to respond.
“Once you feel it coming, you won’t be able to do much of anything. Trust me.”
I nodded, swallowing deeply, fearful. We turned our backs on each other and undressed. “you may as well sit. I’ve found I like to start out on the ground rather than fall to it.”
I didn’t even care about the dirt, it wouldn’t matter anyways, plus I was too preoccupied wishing my hair was a little longer so that it could at least cover my breasts like the depictions of the Biblical Eve. I gingerly lowered myself to the ground, my body still hurt tremendously. As I sat there in the grass and twigs, grimacing from the anticipation of pain, I felt something warm cover my hand. I looked to the side and saw it was Remus’ hand. He squeezed it with gentle reassurance.
We sat like that for what I wish was ages, but too soon, the moonlight hit the clearing. I gasped as I felt paralyzed, I don’t even think I could describe the pain, it was all I could think of and as it amplified I let go of Remus’ hand and retched to my side then layed down on the earth, as I felt my bones begin to crack I passed out from the intensity of the pain.
A jabbing in my shoulder woke me up the next morning. As I went to roll over to see who was bugging a few things occurred to me: I hurt, a lot, I was naked, I hurt, I was on the dirt, and I hurt. Normally my gut reaction would be to cover myself as much as I could, but the soreness of my limbs prevented that, thankfully I lay on my stomach.
“I promise I’m not looking.”
I craned my neck to see Remus, wrapped in a shabby blanket, standing with his back to me, one hand covering his eyes, the other extending a threadbare wizarding robe backwards towards me. I slowly got to my feet, struggling slightly, having to crawl a little until I got enough leverage to stand then staggered over and wrapped myself in the robe he had been holding. “K, I’m decent.”
We walked towards the cabin very slowly. I poked my thumbs through some holes in the sleeves, “So where did you get these from?”
“There’s some sort of covering every ten yards or so throughout this forest. It’s mostly stuff I’ve destroyed in transformations. I just stash them up in a tree and look for them wherever I wake up.”
I didn’t say much in response, I was exhausted and I ached all over. I don’t think I’ll ever get a sense of direction in these woods, everything was so unfamiliar because I was cooped up in the house all day long. I knew we must have been getting close because Remus reached out and held my elbow to steer me towards the house before I felt the urge to walk away from Lily’s charms. He opened up the door to me and suddenly I could see the cabin. Before I could make it through the threshold, I was grabbed by Lily. “Oh, Merlin! Holly! Are you okay? How are you feeling? I was SO worried!”
Her enveloping hug was painful to say the least but the warmth and friendship of it was so nice that I didn’t complain. I wanted to just lean down into her shoulder and cry because at this very moment it hit me. I had no idea what happened last night. None. At first, I woke up under this dazed impression that I had just had a horrendous sleep filled with nightmares, but upon hearing of Lily’s worry, I realized that I was something to be worried about. It was frightening.
Remus’ sarcastic tone finally managed to get Lily to let go of me, “Geee, Lily, you never act this way towards me, guess you’ll never stop begrudging the fact that I’m a Marauder?”
“Oh, shut your mouth, you! Unless you don’t want any of the bacon and eggs I made.” She dashed back into the kitchen area, flicking her wand about and I could see the plates on the table piling up with food. “Surely, you two must be starved. I had no clue how much to make, especially since I don’t know when James and Sirius will be done their watch.” A quick look of worry flicked across her face and she looked at her watch ever so slightly. “Peter and I got back too late last night to see you before… Oh, Holly, I’m sorry I yelled at you! I meant everything I said of course, but I’m still so sorry!”
While Lily continued her rambling, Remus and I tucked into the breakfast she had prepared. I ate voraciously, I hadn’t even realized how hungry I was until after I got my first taste and then I was just insatiable. With the overwhelming hunger, I forgot about the pains in my body.
I was so busy shoving my mouth full of bacon, I never heard James or Sirius arrive. It wasn’t until I was reaching to put more eggs onto my plate that I realized there was no noise besides my chewing. I looked around to see four eyes wide watching me. I swallowed as I felt my face flushing.
“Want to save some for the rest of us, Hol?” Sirius let out a bark like laugh.
“Oh, come on! I haven’t eaten for over a day now! I’m positively ravenous!” Unflattering spittle of scrambled egg burst from my mouth as I exclaimed this.
James burst into a fit of laughter, hunched over the table.
Peter showed up when I finally stopped eating, or maybe before and I didn’t notice. They began to recount their tale of last night; I was exhausted and could hardly focus on their words, something about nocturnal, curses, and deatheaters. I must have nodded off at the table, because I woke up to James picking me up. I didn’t object as he carried me to my room. After setting me down on the bed, he checked to see that I was okay, closing any cuts and making sure my bones had set back to their human form properly. I mumbled thanks. He unfolded a blanket over me, tucking in the edges- probably like how his parents must have done for him. I was asleep before James left the room.