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Chapter 2 : Chapter 2
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Special Thanks To: CambAngst who was awesome enough to Beta-Read this for me. Seriously, do yourself a favor and read Harry Potter and the Conspiracy of Blood (M). You're seriously missing out if you haven't read it.
Putting his nose to the ground, Wolf began to breathe in the scents hoping to pick an animal trail to hunt down and eat. His ears, however, began to twitch nervously back and forth as the rustling began to get louder and closer. His head snapped up, his muscles tensing under his coat, when he realized that that he wasn’t alone anymore. As the threat approached, Wolf’s hackles were going up and a growl was building in his throat. Being alone and unfamiliar with his new territory, Wolf knew that he had little advantage at taking on the threat head on and win.
The full moon shone brightly down on the clearing and forest but even then Wolf managed to spot the distant flicker of light approaching him. He started to back away from the intruder, his hind legs leading him under a bush for safety knowing that from there he could stalk his invader without being seen. His nose, on the other hand, went into overdrive mode when a gust of wind blew against his face. Wolf could not only smell the rain and death now but also the sweet and tangy smell of magic, smoke, and fresh wood.
As a two-legged creature stepped into his clearing, Wolf bared his teeth as low growl escaped his throat. He was about to leap at the intruder but when Wolf heard a second and more hectic rustle coming from behind the human he paused and waited to see what else was coming. He hunched lower to the ground and saw as the Invader himself turned towards the noise, frightened of what was approaching at such fast speed.
“Gavin wait for me!” Wolf heard a high pitch voice from the distant.
“Ivan?” the first Invader asked, his heartbeat slowing down as the anxiety was replaced by tension when much smaller two-legged human joined him. They looked so much alike with their fire-like hair and with their similar scent that Wolf knew that they belonged to the same pack. The second Invader was the pup not only because he was much smaller but he kept looking down in shame as the adult, his shoulders stiff, kept yelling at him. “What in the bloody hell are you doing here, Ivan? Does Mum even know you came? You know she doesn’t like it when you’re out in the forest during daylight let alone at night.”
“I thought I could help,” the pup said, his voice had a hint of regret. “Please, let me help, Gavin. I told Grandmama that I would be here with you while Mum was busy with Madame Minerva. I overheard that Elphinstone proposed to her yet again and once again she declined.”
“Again? He’s been at it for almost twenty years! The old man should just give up asking McGonagall to marry him; she’s never going to accept. Anyway, don’t try to distract me, you git. Grandmother was asleep by the time I left, so I doubt that she heard you. And besides, I don’t need help; I can levitate the wood back home on my own. So go on, get going, back home you go.”
The name McGonagall stirred a thought on Wolf’s mind but he quickly dismissed it. Slowly, he began to flank both humans, his large paws making no noise as he moved. He knew that if he were to attack, the big one would be the greatest challenge. After he was done with the adult, however, the pup would be nothing but a mere game and possibly food.
“Alright, then. I’ll just go home now and tell Mum that you let me walk back home in the darkness. All alone.” The pup laughed, “bless you, she’s going to hex you the moment you come close to the cottage.”
The adult made a frustrated noise, “fine. Stay and help me gather the wood for tomorrow. Just stay vigilant; you never know what’s roaming around these forests.”
“Yeah, like a scary vampire or werewolves.” The pup laughed again as he bent over a few paces from Wolf’s hiding place.
“Oi, shut it, you. It’s a bloody full moon, the perfect time for a werewolf to show up, so don’t joke about it.”
Wolf narrowed his eyes on the pup. He licked his muzzle, mouthwatering at the thought of warm food so close to him. He was an easy target, his size definitely worth one night’s meal to appease Wolf’s appetite. He could already taste the warm blood in his mouth and the feeling of the bones cracking under his powerful jaw. “No, stop it. Stand down you bloody animal!” the voice inside his head shouted. Wolf barked at the shouting voice in pure frustration; angry that it managed to sneak up on him for the second time.
“Did you hear that?” The pup stood from his spot, arms wrapped tightly around the wood he had collected, and his eyes resting on the tree where Wolf was hidden.
“Ivan, I want you to walk towards me very slowly. No matter what, don’t make any sudden moves.” The pup made a frightened noise and nodded. Wolf could sense his heartbeat speed up dramatically and his scent beginning to mix with sweat. Knowing that he had been spotted, Wolf lowered his head and slowly came out of his spot, his eyes fixed intently on the small prey. Their eyes locked, a challenge had been issued by Wolf’s standards, so he bared his fangs and snarled as the pup continued to back away from Wolf at a slow pace.
“Ivan, duck!” The pup hunched down quickly but Wolf, in contrast, had been too slow. A large, fiery piece of wood now lay between Wolf and his dinner. Instinctively, Wolf ran and pounced on the one that attacked him first, completely ignoring the pup; taking care of the threat was more important. He landed on the adult’s chest, fangs close to his face and his paws firmly on the shoulders to keep him from standing. Wolf snarled and barked furiously at the two-legged creature but his fangs never tasted any blood or flesh. The attacker was keeping Wolf at bay by grabbing onto the scruff of his neck with so much force that Wolf tried to bite fruitlessly the arms that were holding him just to get away.
From the other side of the clearing, Wolf could hear the pup yelling and throwing rocks but Wolf ignored him as his whole attention was on his current prey. The attacker’s screams were so loud for Wolf’s sensitive hearing and the stench of fear and sweat were so strong that Wolf barely had time to register the attack coming from his side. He landed hard on the dry ground with a yelp as a jagged rock dug past his thick, tawny coat cutting him deeply on his back. Struggling, Wolf got back up on his four paws, ignoring the searing pain, and shook his head trying to make the fuzzy images disappear. However, before his vision adjusted, a familiar scent hit his nose making him growl in anger.
Both Wolf and the black dog stood their ground, facing each other as they sneered and barked, their hackles raised and their tails between their legs. Past the black dog, Wolf could see the adult was struggling to get up and join his pack.
“It’s a wolf, Gavin,” said the young one, his voice quivering with pure fright as he helped his pack member stand. Wolf was annoyed that his prey was attempting to get away.
“No, it’s a bloody werewolf.” Wolf heard the big one say as he pointed his magic stick towards Wolf. He barked at the dog letting him know that since he had given his allegiance to Wolf earlier, he needed to stand aside and not interfere with his hunt.
“How do you know?” the pup asked backing away from the adult, afraid. “Were you bitten?”
“No, I managed to get his mouth away from me. He’s a lot heavier than a normal wolf though, that’s why I know. Now get out of here, Ivan!” Wolf watched as the young one turned and disappeared into the forest, yelling loudly as he ran. Wolf bared his fangs and snapped at the air aggravated that his subordinate was allowing his food to just run away by not stepping aside. For Wolf, this was his last warning to step aside. The dog whined in return as he took several paces back, his black eyes shone with fright as to what his Alpha was going to do if he didn’t move.
Wolf had been concentrating on his subordinate that he had failed to see a jet of green light almost hit him, missing his head by a claw. The black dog narrowed his eyes, his own fur standing at an end as he turned to face the human. The Invader started to panic as the dog, snarling and barking, ran at him at full speed. He was about to send another jet of light from his stick when the black dog pounced and on midair latched on to the limb holding the stick.
The human cried out as the black dog defended Wolf from any other attacks. In the end, Wolf watched as the two-legged creature punched the black dog on the chest, hurling him to the ground, before taking off into the forest. Wolf immediately took off after the Invader but when he ran past his subordinate, who lay on the floor breathing hard and whimpering, he stopped and looked back.
With a snort and a shake of his head, Wolf trotted back to the black dog and sat next to him; a paw resting on his black head letting him know that he was not going to leave him. Wolf’s ears twitched when, for a third time, he picked up a rustling noise approaching them. He stood on all four, the black dog safely behind Wolf, and waited. His nose picked up a different set of scents but this time they were familiar. He bared his teeth when the stag, carrying the rat on his head, came into the clearing. Wolf was about to attack, but when the dog barked as if he were asking Wolf to not do it, he stopped.
Slowly, the stag approached Wolf and his subordinate, who was gradually coming to a sitting position, his tail wagging behind him. Out of respect and gratitude towards the dog for defending him, Wolf didn’t strike the food coming towards him. His stomach, however, was begging him otherwise. Knowing that if he didn’t eat soon, Wolf was going to forget the debt he owed the dog and just attack and eat his stag friend. He began to walk away from the trio to look for food but the dog barked again, Wolf stopped and looked quizzically at the unlikely trio. Wagging his tail, the dog approached Wolf before he pounced on him playfully. It was then Wolf knew that they weren’t going to be leaving him alone anytime soon.
After following different trails with no prey at the end of them, Wolf managed to lead the group to a lake where a group of rabbits were congregated. He lowered his head to the ground, his paws making no sound as he slowly approached the herd from behind. Once Wolf felt he was close enough, he pounced on them sending the majority of rabbits running away, afraid of the predator. He managed, however, to catch one under his paws. It made a loud, screeching noise but Wolf ended its struggle with one swift move.
He fed first on the rabbit, as any Alpha would do, and once he had his filling he motioned the other three to eat what was left over. They, however, didn’t move from their spot, keeping well afar, letting Wolf know that they were not hungry. With a single snort, Wolf went back to his food and fed happily until there was nothing left to chew on.
Feeling tired, Wolf made his way back to his old territory where it wasn’t cold. There, Wolf knew he could sleep without being disturbed by anything else. Once he spotted the place, Wolf took a running leap towards the window he had broken earlier, his claws scratching the hardwood floor the moment he landed, and waited for the other ones to join him. The dog did the same as Wolf as he carried the rat, which seemed to be clinging on the dog’s fur for his dear life, atop of his head. Meanwhile the stag poked his head in first, his large antlers getting caught on the window frame, before he succeeded getting his front legs inside. He jumped several times on his hind legs trying with all his might to get in. Wolf watched curiously as the dog wagged his tail in amusement. The rat was on his own hind legs atop of the dog’s head making a fast, squeaking noise that almost sounded like a human laugh.
Once the stag was in, Wolf made his way towards his warm spot, leaving the others behind. He hopped on the soft bed, walked in circles a few times to make sure that the spot was comfortable and layed down.
Within minutes, he was asleep.
I woke up the next morning in my usual room feeling bruised, tired, and sore. As I lay shivering on top of the blankets, naked after my transformation, I began my attempt to recollect everything that had happened while he had taken over, but only random images of two animals and a rat came to mind. When I took a deep breath as I stretched to pull the covers over me, I noticed that the room smelled different. The typical stench of blood and piss were overpowered by traces of wilderness and a much stronger smell of magic than the usual traces after the transformation. And when I registered the metallic taste of blood in my mouth, was the moment I began to panic.
I turned towards the door expecting to find it closed, but my heart sank when I found it standing wide open. As if I were in a dream, I slowly put my uniform slacks on and approached, unsure of what exactly I wanted to see. There were no traces of the animal forcing his way out. The more I thought about it, it looked like someone had opened it for him. When I stepped out in the hallway, I got a whiff of the same mixture of wilderness and magic that my room had leading to the stairs. Fetching my wand, I slowly followed the scent to the ground level of my raggedy shack.
What I found there was definitely something I never expected.
There, lying on the couches, were James, Peter and Sirius, sleeping peacefully, without minding the fact that they were sharing the roof with a monster.
“What. The. Fuck!” I shouted. I was confused, angry, seething, ashamed...I was a ball of emotions as my friends, startled at my scream, jolted awake. “What-how-this has got to be a bloody dream!”
“Ah I see that you’re back to your old self,” James said as he rubbed the sleep from his eyes. “Glad to see that mate. However, I’m tired after running around with you all night, so if you don’t mind, I’m going back to sleep.”
“Running around...wait a bloody minute.” It was then that it dawned on me. The random images that popped into my head were not dreams the wolf had but the companions he had during the night. “You guys...were the animals? How is that even possible?”
“The term we learned was Animagi.”
“And you set him free?” I could feel my eye twitch with anger. I knew the animosity I was feeling was left over from the werewolf’s own pent up feelings seeping into my own. There were some mornings that I would wake up after the transformation feeling so angry that my hands would shake uncontrollably and no sane thoughts would form in my head save for violent ones. I took a deep breath, trying hard to look past the anger and comprehend what was going on but it was just too much.
“We set you free, Moony,” said James as he fetched for his glasses.
“Moony?” I stared at James wondering if he had taken a spell to the head.
“Yes, I have decided I want to be called Mr. Hooves but Peter and Sirius don't agree with me. Anyway, Sirius here decided that we ought to have code names. He came up with the apparently brilliant idea when he had a small mishap while we were training. He likes to be called Padfoot.” When his name was mentioned, Sirius rolled over to his side and began to snore dramatically louder. “Sirius, I know you can hear me. Even Peter here is awake and he’s the heavy sleeper.”
I had to sit down. My friends, the people I tried so hard to keep from finding my secret out, were here. Talking to me as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. Had I been that obvious? Did the whole school know by now? I couldn’t even imagine the look on Mum’s face if I were to go home, chucked out for being a werewolf. All of the sudden I felt trapped in this shack, in this nightmare where people knew my dark secret and all I could think of doing right now was pace, a trait I had gotten from the werewolf. “How did you guys find out?
“Well, it was Peter here who gave us the idea,” said James. “Well, sort of. One day in our Second Year, Peter here mentioned how you were acting a lot like a girl.”
“Excuse me?” Again, my eye twitched.
James laughed, “well, he said that you were behaving a lot like...well, like a girl, during that time of the month where they...” James looked at me and fell quiet, the laughter, however was still in his eyes. “Anyway, that put me to think; you were actually leaving once a month for something whether you were injured or a family emergency. It was always something. I told Sirius my funny theory just before the holidays but the sod here laughed and said I was mental.”
James looked at Sirius who took it as a cue to continue. “I went home and after one lovely night with Mum and dear old Dad talking about how that bloke Voldemort will get everything sorted out, I found a book in their library. Werewolves: How to Deal With Their Disease by Oryan Blishwick. The book was mostly about many ways to get rid of a werewolf and not about helping them. There was, however, a rather small chapter of how to spot a werewolf and how they behaved during and after the transformation.”
“Sirius sent us a letter that we should get together,” Peter continued as I tried to take in everything they were saying. “So we got together at the Potters for the Holidays. Honestly, though, we felt guilty for being together without you. But we weren’t having much fun as we were reading the book Sirius brought over. We charted all those times we could think of you leaving and your behavior around those days. In the end, we agreed on the theory that you were indeed a werewolf.”
“How come you guys didn’t say anything?” I asked, wondering why they hadn’t gone to their parents to get me out of the school.
James, Sirius and Peter looked at me, their expression, for once, serious. “You’re our mate, Remus,” Sirius said. Getting up from his couch Sirius walked up to me and clasped me on the shoulder. “We didn’t tell you that we knew because we were afraid of how you would react. It was, as Peter said last night, your choice to keep it a secret.We were the ones that went behind your back and went through your business without asking you. In fact, we weren’t sure if it was you up here. I sort of kept thinking that we had imagined it all and that you were, indeed, having family emergencies.
“It was our choice, mind you, to join you on these nights to keep you company,” Sirius continued. My eyes began to water but seeing as I was in manly company, I tried my hardest to not let the tears fall. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that this would ever happen. I always saw them joining the mob, with one hand holding a torch and the other holding their wand, trying to run me out of the school. "We kept reading in the books that all werewolves, just like their natural born wolf relatives, tend to behave differently when they’re in packs. Apparently a werewolf that belongs to one is less likely to attack innocent people and keep to themselves. Meanwhile if a werewolf is never introduced to a pack or doesn’t have the guidance from an alpha, it’ll have a much higher probability to become a rogue and a danger to anyone nearby. So in the end, I started to wonder if you belonged to one but James said that you were most likely the only werewolf in the whole school and that you were likely a loner.”
I never considered myself a loner werewolf but now that Sirius mentioned it, I supposed I was. “So brilliant me,” Sirius went on, “got the idea from my cousin Bella, who is trying and failing mind you, to become an Animagi. So we could be your pack. I ran the idea with Peter and James and we agreed that, since we were friends with the human Remus, we could also be friends with the werewolf Remus as Animagi.”
“And James thought sleeping during a full moon was a bit overrated,” Peter mused, bringing me back to the sitting room in the shack and away from my dark thoughts. “That’s when; during our Third Year we started our training. After many bad incidents and spells gone wrong, Sirius was the first one to pull it off. Then James and I started to panic when he wouldn’t shift back.”
“You started to panic?” Sirius shook his head laughing. “I spent a whole day as a dog hiding with Moaning Myrtle. I thought I was going to be stuck that way forever! Can you imagine Mum’s disbelief? I did come up with the nickname idea while I was stuck in that form, though. Figured that my animagus should have a name of his own." Now that I thought it over, there was a day in our Third Year where Sirius was absent for an entire day and when I had asked for him, James said that he had taken a Quaffle to the head and was in the infirmary.
“Anyway, James was the second one to transform during our Fourth Year and I was last.” Peter’s cheeks reddened as if he were embarrassed about being the last one. I, on the other hand, could not believe that they had done that just to keep me company. I didn’t care who the first one was or last, what mattered was that they did it because they didn’t want me to be alone. I was speechless. “Last night was definitely something, I’ll tell you that!”
“Tell me about it,” Sirius agreed. “Oh and just so you know mate, we don’t eat raw rabbits. I prefer them in stews, you know, cooked.”
I couldn’t help but grin at that, “I’m sorry, I’ll definitely try to tell him that next.” Then an image of a boy came into my head. I felt my smile vanish when I saw, through the wolf’s eyes, a man screaming in fright. “Did something bad happen? Did I attack someone?” When my friends looked at each other, I knew what the answer was going to be and the happiness I had moments ago disappeared.
“We don’t know,” responded Sirius as he settled back on the torn crimson sofa. “I found you on top of him, snarling and trying to bite him. I’m sorry mate, for hitting you, but it was the only way to get you off him.”
“Do you know who it was?”
“That was Gavin Kavanagh; he was a sixth year Hufflepuff when we started. One hell of a catcher, I’ll tell you that,” James answered
“The kid. There was a child with him, am I right? What happened to him?”
“Yeah, about that.” James shifted on his chair, uncomfortably. “I managed to stop Kavanagh’s brother from telling everyone about the whole werewolf bit. Modified his memory to getting attacked by a rabid dog, no offense mate. When Gavin caught up to us, I did the same before sending them merrily on their way home. I just hope that the spell actually worked and that they’re not wandering the woods still.”
“Don’t worry, Remus, you didn’t bite either one of them,” Sirius said as if he could read my mind. “I was the one that bit Gavin for almost hitting you with the killing curse. Quite an after taste, I’ll tell you that, so I won’t be doing that again.”
“You did attack me though, that should count!” James stated as he pointed to his cheek where I could see a pale, silvery scar. “Luckily, Peter was able to snag a small bottle of essence of dittany from old Slughorn before we came. Otherwise, you would’ve ruined my good looks.”
“I don’t know, Hooves, ladies do like battle scars.” Sirius paused as if a thought was forming in his head. “Hooves...Hooves...Yeah, it doesn’t roll well with the tongue. How about the name Prongs?”
"I really dislike you sometimes, Black.” James went on ignoring Sirius, who was going through a list of names to give him, and turned his attention towards me, a small, guilty grin forming on his lips. “I'm sorry about that gash on your shoulder, mate. I meant to just stop you with my head but I honestly forgot about those bloody antlers. I hope it doesn't hurt too much. I’ll try to be gentle with you next time, dearie, I promise." James gave me a cheeky smile and a wink just as I looked at my bare shoulders.
From my collar bone to my shoulder there was what looked to be a three month old scar but it was all due to the rapid healing my werewolf side had. Thankfully, due to lycanthropy, I never got sick. Or whatever injuries that I obtained for whatever reason, they would heal twice as fast than a normal wizard. It didn’t hurt at all but I still had to get it checked out by Madam Pomfrey just to be sure any scratches or deep cuts I got, were not infected. On my first year she had insisted that I should see her the day after the full moon to make sure I was fine. According to her, no student under her school, werewolf or not, was going to die on her watch due to a silly infection.
I would’ve loved to continue to talk but I realized how late it was. I cleared my throat, trying hard to keep my voice from showing my true emotions, and announced that I had to finish getting dressed before meeting one of the professors. The last thing I wanted was McGonagall coming to look for me and find all four of us just having a chat when I was supposed to be well away from any humans.
“Oh and guys,” I said halfway up the staircase. Peter had turned into a rat again and was perched on James’ shoulders. The four of us struggled to keep hidden under the cloak nowadays, so I could see why Peter had done it just to save space. “Thank you...for everything.”
As I walked in the tunnel towards the exit, I found myself in such a good mood that I almost began to skip. The idea of my friends accepting my deep, dark secret was something that made the whole curse a bit more bearable. I no longer had to hide myself behind fake smiles as I struggled to keep the monster caged inside me. We were friends, through thick and thin.
Although I had to talk to them about the whole Moony bit.
I found Professor Flitwick waiting for me just outside of the Whomping Willow. The sun was coming up on the horizon and the morning mist was still thick allowing me to hide from any possible prying eyes. The morning, just like the previous night, was cold and I had left my own cloak behind after all the excitement.
“You look different today, Mr. Lupin,” Flitwick noted. I feigned to know the reason but I told him that I felt better than other times. “Well, let us go. The castle is waking up for breakfast, so we should try and make it to Madam Pomfrey before the students start making their way to the Great Hall.”
I followed Flitwick silently, trying very hard from keep the grin off my face and the bounce out of my stride. I felt a nudge in my brain as I glanced at the Forbidden Forest. He was awake despite spending the entire night running around with other three.
“Pack?” I heard my wolfish side ask. He sounded hopeful, despite being used to spending his nights alone from the very beginning it seemed that his wolf wanted the company. And I understood why: just as I needed my friends to keep me sane, the werewolf needed his pack to keep him company. To no longer be alone.
“Yes,” I nodded silently, a small smile forming on my lips. “They’re our pack.”
Well guys!! Thanks for reading Remus' story! I MIGHT add another chapter but we'll see. It's not my priority at the moment. Please, take your time to review, though!! I'll really appreciate to hear what you have to say. :)
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