Chapter 1 : Run, run, run, run (until sunlight comes)
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Esther had told everyone that she didn’t remember anything; that everything that had happened to her on that fateful night was forgotten about, and everyone believed her. She lied. She knew what happened in that forest; she could remember everything. She could remember the feeling of teeth piercing her skin and of her nails splitting as she fought against her attacker and whenever she closed her eyes she could hear the howl of the wolf and the feel of its hot breath against her neck. She was immobilized with fear and she hated it. Esther felt pain whenever she moved her body and screamed out in the night for someone to save her from the “big bad wolf.”
Esther Brown was petrified; and she hated it.
At night, the wolf would visit her, whispering its devious deeds. Sometimes, it even came during the day, when no one else was around, and slid its claws along her healing wounds, opening them back up again. She never told anyone this, of course, she kept the pain to herself and told Madam Criss, the nurse, that she must have opened them in her sleep.
She had begged the wolf to leave her alone, to let her be, but it would just smile that smile she hated and would press its claw a little deeper. Esther knew no one else could see the wolf; it was her demon and her demon alone. She had to face it day by day and one day, she swore, that if she ever caught the wolf off its guard she would run it through.
Long after Esther was released from the hospital wing the wolf still visited her, still whispering things she didn’t want to hear. No one understood; she couldn’t talk to anyone about her attack. Each day was agony; feeling like she wanted to scream at everyone but keeping herself silent. She wasn’t sure how much longer she would last until she snapped.
Don’t look back just run.
Here comes the big bad wolf to catch you.
Run -- Run -- Run
He’s closing in.
Run through all the hopelessness and all the dread
Run through all the happiness and all the smiles.
Don’t look back.
The wolf is right behind you.
He’s closing in
Run Esther, run.
His claws come, his teeth are bared
Snarl -- Run
Growl -- Run
Run little feet run.
He won’t wait; won’t dawdle.
Run past the trees and through the forest.
The enemy; the wolf will catch you.
Run run run run run run run run run run
Run little girl run.
He will catch you.
Run until the sunlight comes.
“Esther! Esther please wake up!” someone shaking her awoke her from her nightmare. Jolting awake, Esther grabbed the shirt of whoever awoke her and held on tight. This was real. She was back in reality now. The wolf couldn’t hurt her anymore. As long as her savior stayed with her she was safe. Safe. “You were screaming something about a wolf.” Her savior mummered, stroking her hair in a soothing manner.
“Was it a nightmare?” Esther nodded, unable to speak. “Want to talk about it?” her saviour asked. She shook her head again. Prying her head from her saviors shirt, Esther saw Remus Lupin smiling down at her. “It was just a dream,” he soothed her.
Esther shook her head. “No it wasn’t. It was real. Do you know how hard it is to try to distinguish the difference between reality and imagination? It doesn’t matter where I go or what I do, the wolf will still find me and I know that he’s not real, but he’s always there; taunting me with those eyes, those red eyes and that howl, Remus, it sends chills down my spine just thinking about it.” It was only now that Esther realized she was crying. “Why did it have to be that the wolf found? Why was I so unlucky?”
“Well, you do support Puddlemere United, maybe you’re being punished for supporting such a terrible Quidditch team.” Esther was shocked. Remus was the first person that hadn’t pampered to her attack; it was almost as though he didn’t want to know about the attack. ‘Strange’ she mused as she wiped away her tears. Looking around, she saw that the Common Room was empty; there wasn’t even one student awake trying to cram last-minute study in.
Esther felt safe around Remus, she didn’t have to keep looking over her shoulder every minute or so; and for that one moment, Esther felt secure. “Remus?” he grunted in reply, “Do you think I’m crazy?”
“Everyone is crazy to some extent Esther,” Remus replied, “but those nightmares; you need to see someone about that, maybe Madam Criss could give you a dreamless sleep draught; or even Professor Slughorn.”
“No!” she exclaimed quickly, starling Remus. “Sorry, but they think that I’m all better now and…”
“And you don’t want people to think differently of you differently.” Remus interjected with bitterness in his voice. Esther looked up at Remus, surprised that he got the right answer.
“People already think I’m crazy, and I don’t anymore whispers about me behind my back. I hate it.” She agreed with him. She was surprised at just how much she had in common with Remus, she had always of him as the Marauder with his head in a book half the time and pranking the rest of the time. It never crossed her mind that Remus Lupin, the Marauder, was just another normal teenage boy suffering with normal teenage issues like self-image.
Esther and Remus allowed a simple silence to line the room; neither of them said anything as they sat next to one another, their hands barely touching. The fire flickered away, crackling and spitting away. “Esther,” Remus broke the silence. She turned to him, her eyes alert. “What were you dreaming about?” the hairs on her arms stood up as her nightmare came flooding back to her. She shook her head in reply. “Why not?”
“Because,” Esther replied, her voice shaking, “because it’s crazy; it really is. It was just a nightmare, nothing more than a nightmare.” Esther tried to sound brave and callous but she knew that she sounded scared.
“You’ll feel better if you say it aloud.” Remus coaxed her, “I know how it feels, having a nightmare plaguing your dreams and sooner or later, you cannot tell the difference between your dreams and reality. Trust me, Esther Brown, you’ll feel better if you get your dream out into the open.” Reaching down, Remus took ahold of Esther hand and entwined his fingers through hers. Esther hid back a smile as he rubbed the top of her hand with his thumb. “Can I tell you a secret Esther?” he asked, clicking his tongue.
“I fancy you.” He said plainly without any fear of rejection. “I really do, you’re strong and beautiful. You are truly amazing Esther Brown,” without saying a word, Esther turned her head and smiled at Remus who was fidgeting in his seat. Leaning forward, Esther kissed him; not hard and needy like she had expected but soft and beautiful. There were no butterflies or fireworks as Esther as read a first kiss would be like; it was just a simple kiss. “Truly, truly amazing,” Remus whispered when they broke apart.
Esther took a deep breath, “Do you really want to know about the wolf Remus?” still holding his hand, Esther got comfortable and allowed the nightmare to play through her mind. “The wolf that attacked me on the full moon last month has been following me since, I see it everywhere; in my dreams, in classes, in the Great Hall. It whispers ‘run until the sunlight comes and when the sunlight comes run a little more,’ and when I was the hospital wing the wolf would come along and open up my wounds again. I scream and scream but no one does anything. And its eyes, its eyes Remus; big and round and red. It’s haunting me and it won’t leave me along until it kills me; but, I’ve been doing some research and the thing is that wolves always hunt in packs and I am certain that there was only one wolf in the forest that night. Also, the scratch marks on my legs are too large to be wolf claws, they are almost large enough to be werewolf claw marks, the thing is though there aren’t any werewolves in the forest are there? But I was attacked on the full moon…” Her voice trailed off as she held back tears, “Remus, I’m scared and confused. I don’t know what attacked me and I don’t know if I can hold on any longer.” Wrapping her hands around Remus’ waist she held him tight. When she was with Remus she felt safe and unafraid.
“It’ll be okay Esther, it’ll be okay,” Remus soothed. Esther felt his body tighten and his breaths became shallow. She knew something was wrong but she fell asleep before she had the time to say anything.
She didn’t dream of the wolf that night.
When she woke up, Remus was gone. Feeling rejuvenated, Esther stretched and smiled. She glanced at her clock: 5am. Looking around, Esther saw a vile of clear liquid on the floor with a note attached to it.
Stole it from Snivellus’ personal supply. Don’t let him catch you with it!
Sweet dreams my beautiful schizophrenic.
She recognized it as a Sleepless Draught. ‘Thoughtful and a good kisser,’ she laughed to herself. Still in her clothes from last night, Esther ran her fingers through her short hair quickly and headed downstairs for an early breakfast. As she stepped out of the common room, Esther stopped dead in her tracks.
“Run until the sunlight vanishes little wolf run; run and run and run to the forest you will go.” The wolf whispered into her ear.
Turning around, Esther faced the wolf. It’s teeth were bared and the its fur was clotted up with dried blood. “No, leave me alone,” she said with a hint of courage in her voice. The wolf barked at her; Esther held back a scream.
“Run and run and run you will. If you do not enter the forest tonight I will kill your new friend.” The wolf stood on its hind legs and dragged a blood-strained claw along Esther’s jawline. “I can’t imagine you would want to see, what was his name again? Remus; yes, I cannot imagine that you would want to be present at Remus’ funeral wearing black and knowing that it was: All your fault.” At that, the wolf turned around and bounded down the stairs, leaving a trail of blood behind it.
Esther’s breathing shallowed and she suddenly felt faint. Falling backwards, she leaned against the wall trying to steady herself. Her hands were shaking and her vision became blurry. This wasn’t happening; it had to be a dream. She willed it to be a dream, but it wasn’t. Taking another deep breath, Esther leveled her breathing.
“Are you okay?” Remus asked when he saw her later this morning.
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine, it’s just been a month since the attack.” Esther said, fear creeping into her voice. Remus rubbed her shoulder and kissed her forehead in reassurance.
“Everything will be okay. I promise Esther, I won’t let anyone hurt you.”
“Thank you,” Esther whispered, hugging Remus. “Also, thank you for the Sleepless Draught, how did you get it?” she asked, remembering where it came from.
Remus smiled, “It’s a Marauder secret.”
It was at that moment, that Professor McGonagall came sweeping down the stairs, her robes in tow, with a worried look on her face. She walked briskly past three first years that were copying homework from one another and headed straight towards Esther and Remus. Esther felt Remus’ hand tighten around hers, she smiled in reassurance. “Mr. Lupin” she said urgently. “Professor Dumbledore would like to see you in his office right away. I’m afraid we have some bad news about your mother.”
“I understand,” Remus replied solemnly. Turning to Esther, he gave her a quick kiss on the cheek. “I’ve got to go, I’m sorry. My mother, well, she’s not well at the moment and I need to be with her,”
“Of course,” Esther said, flustered. “That’s fine, I can come with you if you want.”
“No!” Remus exclaimed, startling the nearby first years. “Sorry, but I need to do this alone. I’ll see you tomorrow around lunchtime, okay?”
“Okay,” Esther kissed Remus firmly on the lips and watched as he followed McGonagall up the stairs to Dumbledore’s office.
“Run until sunlight comes my dear darling.” The wolf whispered into her ear, reminding her of her impending doom.
Esther didn’t want to go. She knew that with every step she took closed to the forest, she walked closer into the jaws of death. She knew that God was with her every step of the way; He was always with her. As she walked deeper and deeper into the forest, Esther began to pray silently. She didn’t pray for herself or for her safety, instead she prayed for everyone that she knew; she prayed for blessing upon their lives. In that moment, it didn’t matter whether they had done good or bad to her, she blessed them. She blessed them, their parents and their futures; she prayed that He would watch over them and that no hurt would come upon them. Most importantly, she prayed for the sunlight to come.
Somewhere far off, a dog barked. Still praying, Esther clicked her lips and began humming a hymn to herself. Above her, the moon hung ominously; watching, waiting. She reached the edge of the Black Lake and waited for the wolf. This was where the wolf had attacked her last time; this is where he would be this time.
She must have fallen asleep, because the next thing Esther knew she was being shaken awake with her name being screamed. “Esther! Esther!” opening her eyes, Esther saw Sirus Black standing over her. “What the hell are you doing here? Here of all places; don’t you know what is out there tonight? Come on, we’ve got to get you out of here.” Placing his arm around her waist, Sirus attempted to lead Esther back towards the castle.
“No!” Esther exclaimed, fighting against Sirus’ grip. “I can’t go, I have to stay.”
“Why?” Esther stopped in her tracks and looked around. Why hadn’t the wolf shown up yet? “Becausethewolfsaidihadto,” Esther said quickly, almost ashamed of her answer.
“What?” Sirus almost spat as he looked over his shoulder.
Esther took a deep breath. “Because the wolf said I had to,”
If she hadn’t of been watching his face so closely she would have missed his flinch when she said the world ‘wolf.’ “Esther,” his voice sounded worried and scared, “what wolf?”
“The… The… The… Wolf that attacked me last month. It’s been following me since the attack. It told me, it told me that it wanted to finish where it left off last month, or….”
“Or what?” Sirus coaxed, looking over his shoulder.
Esther trembled visibly. “Or it was going to kill Remus,”
Sirus took a deep breath. “Esther, there’s something I have to tell you but we have to get the hell out of here,” without waiting for an answer, Sirus grabbed Esther’s wrist and dragged her through the forest. “But, Sirus, the wolf.” Esther protested but it was no use. It was only when they reached the doors of the castle did Sirus stop and turn to Esther, who was crying silently.
“Esther, the wolf isn’t real.” He said plainly. “It’s not,”
“How do you know? This wolf has been torturing me Sirus! Ever since the attack; it opened up my wounds back in the hospital wing and has been following me, telling me how it wanted to kill me. The only time that the wolf hasn’t been around was when Remus was with me.” Her voice trailed off.
“Esther I know this is going to be hard for you but please, just listen to me. The wolf you’re seeing isn’t real, and do you know why? Because… Esther, I’m so sorry to tell you this but the night you got attacked, Remus was there. Esther, there was no wolf -- there never was a wolf. The wolf is just a figment of your imagination as it’s trying to cope with what happened to it. Your scars on your legs aren’t small enough to be wolf claws and you knew that didn’t you? They’re big enough to be a werewolf. Esther, you were attacked by a werewolf. And that werewolf, Esther, the werewolf that attacked you was Remus.”
“No, you’re wrong. That’s not possible. Remus isn’t a werewolf, he would have told me. He would have! Why would Remus hurt me?” Esther exclaimed, protesting against everything Sirus said. Sirus just stood there and allowed Esther to process the information.
“Yes, Esther, yes, he is. He’s been a werewolf for most of his life now. When he turns into a werewolf he looses control of his human instincts. He’s never attacked anyone before -- because he usually takes his wolfsbane but unfortunately he forgot that night. The… The transformation happened sooner than expected and then you were in the forest. James, Peter and I tried to stop him, we really did but we couldn’t. He got ahold of you and if James didn’t stop him when he did he would have killed you. Remus knows that he attacked you and he also knows about your wolf. He was trying to help you Esther,”
“Help me?” she exclaimed. “Help me? So our kisses, our relationship means nothing to him?”
“It means everything to him. He loves you Esther, but he doesn’t want to hurt you. Now please, please, for the love of god, go back into the castle where you’re safe. Remus will talk to you in the morning.”
She was numb: numb of all feeling, both physically and mentally. Remus, the only boy she had trusted turned out to be a werewolf. All the pieces clicked, his mother getting mysteriously sick each full moon and his lack of social skills on the week of the full moon. She felt betrayed and used. Remus never liked her; he never even cared about her. He just wanted to atone his mistakes. The numbness moved to her feet and before she knew it, Esther was sitting on the couch that her and Remus had sat on not only twenty-four priors with the bottle of sleeping vial in her right hand. Shaking, Esther undid the bottle and stared at the colourless liquid.
“He loves you Esther, but he doesn’t want to hurt you.”
“I fancy you.”
“Everyone is crazy to some extent Esther,”
“Run until the sunlight comes my dear little wolf. I’m real and I’m not leaving you.”
The moment that liquid hit her lips, she felt at peace and everything made sense in the world once more. She drank every last drop of the sleepless draught and waited for sleep to become her. She didn’t remember falling asleep, nor did she remember dying (though, in the end, aren’t they two in the same thing?). She remembered the fell of Remus’ lips and the sound of cackling fire. No one could hurt her now, not anymore. She ran just as the wolf told her too, she ran until the sunlight came, and then she ran a little further. But running came at a cost to Esther Brown, and that cost was her humanity. It didn’t matter how hard Esther tried but she just couldn’t run any further; at least she ran a good race, a decent one; a honest race. Esther Brown, in her slumber state, was content.
Fall in love my beautiful wolf.
Author's Note: Okay, i'll admit this isn't my best work but it's the best that I could come up when I hadn't written in a month. The ending may seem a little rushed, I'm sorry about that. Yeah, I'm not entirely happy with this story but I needed to upload it to put my mind to ease. Have fun reading!