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Chapter 11 : A Broken Heart
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This was one of those days.
“Shh, guys, Peeves is coming round the corner,” James whispered, and they all ducked inside of an empty classroom right as Peeves zoomed down the corridor, cackling madly.
“Lucky we have our little paper friend now, eh?” Sirius chuckled, snatching the map away from James and examining it. “Looks like Filch is up on the fourth floor, coming down. We’d better do this quick, before he gets here.”
“You think he’s chasing Peeves?” Peter asked.
“Yep. Peeves wouldn’t be that happy if he hadn’t done something to Filch,” James said with a nod.
“And we’re about to make Filch’s life even messier,” Sirius said with an evil snicker, pulling dungbombs out of his robe pockets. “James, you got the Invisibility Cloak?”
“Right here,” James smiled, holding the silvery cloak up.
“Good. All right, here he comes. Get the cloak ready. Alright... NOW!” Sirius shouted just as the map showed Filch rounding the corner, muttering curses under his breath. James threw the cloak over Sirius, and Sirius (or at least Remus suspected he did, as he couldn’t actually see him) ran out of the room and began throwing the dungbombs at Filch’s feet. Remus quickly plugged his nose as the dungbomb smell drifted into the room, and soon the corridor was filled with nasty green smoke.
“Why you little brats! I’ll rip you limb from limb, hang you upside down in the dungeons by your toenails! You’ll be expelled for this, you will!” Filch shouted after the Marauders as they ran away from him, down the corridor, the green smoke masking their identities. Any logical wizard would automatically suspect the troublemakers to be the Marauders, but since there was no evidence, they were safe from punishment.
Once they were safely hidden in a secret staircase that was hidden behind a tapestry three corridors away, they allowed themselves to burst into hysterical laughter.
“This is bloody brilliant! I wish we’d had this map years ago!” Sirius sighed.
“We’ve only been going to school here for three years!” Remus laughed. “I don’t think Hogwarts could have taken it if we were this destructive in our first year!”
“Hogwarts could have taken it. It’s the teachers who would have gone insane,” James disagreed with a wicked smile.
“Can I see the map?” Remus asked Sirius, who handed it over. Remus scanned it for a second and then stood up. “Bethany’s waiting for me at the lake. I’d better go.”
“Oh, yes, we don’t want to keep Bethany waiting, now do we?” Sirius asked with a wink.
“Shut up,” Remus snapped, folding the map shut and muttering, “Mischief Managed.”
“So are you ever going to tell her about your... furry little problem?” James asked.
“You make it sound like I own a badly behaved rabbit,” Remus chuckled.
“Oh, that’s not what we’ve been talking about for the past two years? Well then, bloody hell, somebody catch me up!” Sirius joked. “Is it a badly behaved ferret?”
“Oh, Sirius, sometimes I just don’t think you know when to shut your mouth,” James sighed, shaking his head sadly. “But seriously, mate,” he continued, turning back to Remus. “Are you going to tell her?”
“When the time is right,” Remus said slowly. “I don’t want to scare her away.”
“Well, believe me, it’s better now rather than later. Girls have this weird thing about constantly being honest with each other... unless she asks you if she’s fat. Then you’d better tell her no, or you won’t live to see tomorrow,” Sirius offered.
“Your advice neither helps nor entertains,” Remus said with a smile before leaving his friends to laugh at his expense. Though they joked about it, Remus really wasn’t sure when he should tell Bethany about his ‘furry little problem.’ He decided to put it out of his mind, and that it would come up at the right time.
Remus found Bethany lounging against a beech tree next to the lake, reading a book.
“Hey,” he said as he sat down next to her. She finished the sentence she was reading before she closed the book and looked at him with a smile.
“Hey, how are you?” she asked, leaning over and giving him a quick peck on the lips.
“Great, actually,” he said with a wink. “How about you?”
“Fine... I know that look, Remus,” she scolded jokingly. “What have you been up to?”
“Nothing, nothing,” he sighed. “Just messing around with Filch.”
“Remus, you need to be more careful,” Bethany warned. “I know you and your friends like to cause trouble, but if you get caught in one of your pranks, you might be expelled.”
“I know, but it’s just a bit of fun,” Remus sighed, allowing his back to slide down the trunk of the beach tree so that he was sprawled on the ground with his hands resting behind his head.
“Remus, what is that?” Bethany asked suddenly.
“What?” Remus asked, looking around. He didn’t see anything out of the ordinary.
“On your stomach... Are those scars?” she asked worriedly.
“Oh, err, it’s nothing,” Remus said quickly, attempting to yank his raised shirt back down, but Bethany was yanking the shirt the other way to get a better look.
“They are scars! Remus, what happened to you?” she practically shouted, panic in her voice.
“Shh, Beth, keep your voice down,” Remus muttered, trying to pull away from Bethany’s death grip on his shirt.
“No, Remus, this looks serious! Who did this to you?”
“No one. Really, it’s not a big deal.”
“Remus John Lupin, you tell me where you got these scars right now, or I will go to Professor Dumbledore and—”
“All right, all right!” Remus snapped.
“And I want the truth, this time.” Damn it. Why was Sirius always right?
“I—I really don’t want to tell you...”
“Then I guess you really don’t want to be my boyfriend,” Bethany huffed, beginning to stand.
“Bethany, wait,” Remus said, grabbing her wrist and pulling her back down to the ground. “I’ll tell you...”
“All right, then,” she said contently, settling herself back down. Remus gulped. This was it. This was the one thing Remus had never wanted to do. But now he had to.
“I... I’m not entirely human. Not anymore, at least,” he began, and Bethany’s eyes widened.
“What do you mean...?” Her voice trailed off, waiting for him to continue.
“When I was five, my father got into a fight with a werewolf named Fenrir Greyback. He insulted him, called him a fiendish mutt... or something like that. Anyway, my mum was muggle born, and so she preferred to live in a muggle neighborhood. She felt that it was safer, and she also loved to do normal muggle things like neighborhood barbeques. We had one that night.
“Our house was by a forest, and I had a tree house that I loved to play in. It was sometime near midnight, and everyone was starting to go home. My mother had just called to me to come inside, and...” Remus paused, taking a deep breath to calm himself before continuing. “I was in my tree house when she called. I had just finished climbing down the ladder when, from out of nowhere, Fenrir attacked me. He bit me. It happened so fast, I hardly knew what had happened. My mum was hysterical, though she only thought it was an ordinary wolf that had attacked me.
“She took me straight to St. Mungos, where they diagnosed the bite to be ‘of lycanthrope nature.’ It took me a long time to identify the werewolf that bit me, and for a while I felt bad for him. After my first change, I knew that it was impossible to control yourself, and that’s what I suspected had happened. But no, it had been Fenrir; he’d come to get revenge. I don’t think my dad has ever truly forgiven himself, and so he always encourages me to live a normal life. My mum, though, has a very... different point of view.” He grimaced at the thought of what his mother’s reaction would be if she ever found out that he’d told this to... well, anyone.
Bethany stared at him for a second, eyes wide, before whispering, “You’re a monster.” Remus felt his heart sink. Yes, this had been exactly what he’d suspected. He’d even prepared himself for her reaction. So he was surprised when he actually felt tears in his eyes.
“Bethany, I know—” he began, reaching out to gently touch her arm, but she jerked away.
“No, don’t touch me!” she shouted, and a group of first years walking by jerked their heads around to see what the commotion was about.
“Bethany, please listen to me!” Remus said, trying to grab her wrist.
“Don’t touch me! You’re a monster!” she screamed, jumping up and running into the castle, leaving Remus, sitting by the beach tree, with nothing left but a broken heart.
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