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Chapter 22 : Questions
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“Remember, Luna, the incantation is 'riddikulus,'” Remus said as he crouched next to the boggart's trunk. “And you need to imagine whatever you fear as something funny as you say the spell. Now, you're sure you have no idea what you most fear?”
“No,” Luna said as she held up her wand. “I don't know.”
Remus nodded. After thinking for a week on whether to let Luna tackle the boggart, Remus had decided it would be okay. Luna was quite mature for a second year and something told him she needed to do this.
“Are you ready?” Remus asked.
“Yeah,” Luna said, raising her wand a bit higher.
Remus wrenched the lid of the trunk open and the room plunged into darkness. Luna screamed and Remus himself was thrown off guard. He'd never seen a boggart encompass an entire room before. After taking a few seconds to compose himself he ran in front of Luna and whirled around, trying to force the boggart into focusing on himself rather than Luna.
The light returned and the boggart was now in the form of a full moon, floating near the ceiling. Remus's head swam as he pointed his wand at it.
“Riddikulus!” Remus shouted. The moon turned into a balloon and popped. Remus aimed his wand at it once more and forced it back into the trunk. He slammed the lid shut and sat down on it, catching his breath.
Luna was still frozen in place, her wand still held out in front of her. She looked absolutely terrified, much like Neville Longbottom had looked when he first faced the boggart.
“I've never seen a boggart do that before,” Remus said quietly. “You didn't know you're afraid of the dark?”
Luna lowered her wand and then sat down right where she was, on the floor. “I didn't know I was. I mean, I'm not. I don't sleep with the light on and I'll go for walks at night.”
“Yet, that's the form the boggart took,” Remus mused. “Interesting.”
“It's not normal, is it?” Luna asked.
Remus smiled. “That's the thing about fear. There's nothing normal or abnormal about our deepest fears.”
“But it turned into something I'm not afraid of,” Luna said. “I'm not afraid of the dark. I'm not.”
Remus nodded. “It is puzzling.”
“Can I do it again?” Luna asked, her eyes large.
“Perhaps another day,” Remus said, standing up. “I have some essays I need to mark and I'm afraid I'm feeling a bit ill again.”
By the end of March most of the seventh years realized that their N.E.W.T. examinations were much sooner than they'd realized. June would come much faster than anyone wanted it to, which resulted in many long evenings in the library. For Remus and his friends, including Addy, who had her O.W.L.s to think about, this was just another thing to pile on their lists of stuff to do. James was by far the most busy since he was Quidditch captain in addition to being Head Boy, having to patrol for Dumbledore, and study for his N.E.W.T.s. But Remus was feeling the strain, too, with studying, prefect patrol, and patrolling for Dumbledore.
The weather had taken a drastic turn for the better, which meant that Remus and his friends were now responsible for patrolling the grounds every weekend. Remus didn't mind this since he enjoyed walking the grounds in nice weather, but it did take time away from his studies. He was grateful he didn't have the pressures of his N.E.W.T. marks like James, Sirius, and Alice did, but he still wanted to do well.
As it usually did, the March full moon fell at an inconvenient time, on the last Friday of the month. Remus not only had patrolling for Dumbledore the day after, but he also had prefect patrolling the night before. Luckily he was patrolling with James, but was still bad timing. If he'd been scheduled to patrol with Snape, he probably would've had to find someone else to cover it. Not that any of his prefect friends were running each other over in order to get the opportunity to patrol with Snape.
“If that's the worst thing we see tonight, I'll be happy,” Remus said as he and James walked down the second floor corridor. They'd just caught two fourth years making out behind a suit of armor and sent them off to their common room.
“I really have a hard time not laughing when we catch people snogging,” James said. “I mean, honestly, behind a suit of armor? That's not private. There are so many better places for it.”
“You'd be the one to know,” Remus said, smirking.
“Like you and Addy haven't snuck off to snog,” James retorted.
“We certainly don't do it behind suits of armor,” Remus muttered. “We have a bit more class.”
“I'm glad you met her, mate,” James said as they turned to go up the stairs to the third floor.
Remus was, too. “Is it weird that we haven't talked about actually calling ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend? I'd ask Lily, but I half expect her to yell at me for not bringing it up with Addy yet and I really can't take that right now.”
James laughed. “Lily and I never talked about that. Calling each other boyfriend and girlfriend. It just sort of...happened. Ever since that Hogsmeade visit last spring. But everyone knows we are.”
“So I shouldn't bring it up with her?”
“I wouldn't. Not if things are going well. You wouldn't want to jinx anything.”
No, Remus most certainly did not want to jinx anything. His relationship with Addy was going so well. So well in fact, that Remus was beginning to wonder when it was going to crumble. Surely a werewolf couldn't have a normal relationship that would last?
“I keep waiting for something to go wrong,” Remus said quietly. He'd never voiced this concern to any of his friends before, but in this moment, he wanted James's opinion.
“With you and Addy?”
“Yeah,” Remus said. “We've been together for over three months now. Something has to go wrong, doesn't it?”
“I don't know. Lily and I have been together for nearly a year and nothing big has gone wrong with us.”
Remus sighed. “That's not what I meant. I meant, something to do with my condition. Neither you or Lily have that issue. Don't you think she must suspect something? You, Padfoot, and Wormtail suspected something after two months.”
“Yes, but we lived with you. Think about it. Has Addy ever seen you that ill?”
Remus paused to think. But he couldn't think of one instance where Addy saw him ill. He never saw her around full moons. “I guess not. I mean, she knows I hurt my leg-”
“But she attributes that to what Bulstrode did. Everyone does except the people who know about your condition.”
“She's never asked me why I disappear every month, though. Not once. I go at least three days without seeing her around the full moon and I usually see her everyday. And I've never explained it. Don't you think it's weird that she hasn't asked?”
“I suppose. Lily would ask.”
“Lily did ask,” Remus said. “When we were third years. Remember?”
“She never bought the 'visiting your sick mum' excuse, did she?”
Remus laughed. “No. But she didn't push it when I told her I couldn't explain. To this day she hasn't asked again. But Addy is different. She's my girlfriend. Do I have to tell her? For moral reasons?”
“I don't know, mate,” James said quietly. “There isn't exactly a handbook, is there?”
“A handbook for werewolf relationships? No, not exactly. Still, I don't know what to do.”
“Do you want to tell her?” James asked.
“No,” Remus said immediately. Just the thought of telling Addy about his lycanthropy made his heart race and his palms sweat. The thought of telling anyone, anyone at all, terrified him.
“There's your answer, then,” James said.
“But aren't I deceiving her?”
“You're not marrying her. You're dating her, and you've only been dating her for three months. I'm sure she's got secrets, too.”
Remus nodded. He supposed James was right, but he still felt uneasy about it. His nerves about the issue most likely stemmed from the full moon being so close, but the underlying feeling was always there.
The two boys continued their patrol, not seeing much of anything. By the time they reached the sixth floor all they'd had to do (besides deal with the two hormonal fourth years), was tell two second years to get back to their common rooms.
“It's quiet tonight,” Remus commented as they neared the astronomy tower.
“Yeah, it's a bit strange,” James added. “You don't look so good, mate.”
“To be honest, I feel awful,” Remus said. He'd had a constant headache since he woke up that morning and every muscle and bone in his body ached, as if they were already preparing for his transformation tomorrow night.
James glanced at his watch. “We've only got about a half hour left. If you want to go to bed I can finish up.”
Remus wanted nothing more than to curl up in bed and sleep until the full moon was over, but they weren't supposed to patrol alone. “It's only a half hour. You aren't supposed to patrol alone.”
“I'm Head Boy,” James said. “There's no one to yell at me for patrolling alone, except Lily, and I think she'd understand.”
“But if you find something-”
“You'd be no help,” James finished, grinning. “Seriously, go to bed.”
“After the astronomy tower,” Remus said. “When we pass the common room. You can finish up the last bit on your own.”
James sighed. “Fine.”
Remus and James opened the door to the astronomy tower and headed up the stairs. As cliched as it was to find people snogging on top of the astronomy tower, it really didn't happen that often. Not nearly as often as one would think. It just wasn't a good place for snogging. In the winter it was bitterly cold, and it had no roof so if it was raining it was useless. If it was a week night, there was always the chance of an astronomy class walking in on you. That didn't leave very many good nights.
“There's someone up there,” Remus said, groaning to himself. He had most definitely heard someone shuffling around.
“I didn't hear it,” James said, skipping up the stairs ahead of Remus.
Remus heard the noise again. “It better not be Bulstrode and his lot.”
“Bet you're wishing you left when I told you to,” James shouted.
Remus was. The only thing worse than encountering Bulstrode on a patrol was encountering Bulstrode on a patrol the night before the full moon. Remus continued up the stairs and met James at the top.
James pushed the door open and Remus followed him onto the tower. The moonlight hit him and he winced. Light from a waxing nearly full moon made the usual pre-transformation aches and pains much worse, to the point that he really wasn't supposed to be in direct moonlight before a full moon.
Remus followed James, with his wand drawn. The noise was much louder now, but it was more of a rustling than any sort of speaking. They walked a bit further and saw two figures curled up on the ground, their arms wrapped around each other.
James groaned and Remus stifled his laughter. Apparently tonight was the night for snogging in inappropriate places.
“Oi!” James shouted.
The two figures broke apart. Remus didn't recognize either of them, but they looked to be in fourth or fifth year. The girl had a Ravenclaw scarf half-wrapped around her neck and the boy was wearing a Hufflepuff jumper. Both were turning very deep shades of red.
“Not the best place for making out,” James said. “Cold night like this and your lips might freeze together. Bet that'd be fun to explain to Madam Pomfrey at eleven o'clock on a Friday night.”
They both stood up, frantically adjusting their clothes. Neither seemed able to meet Remus or James's gaze.
“Ten points from Hufflepuff and ten from Ravenclaw,” James said. “You're lucky I didn't give you detention. Now get back to your common rooms.”
The two hurried off at a near run and James and Remus followed, at a much slower pace. Remus felt better once they were back inside and he was out of direct moonlight.
“I've never seen the appeal of the astronomy tower,” James mused as they walked down the stairs.
“Me either,” Remus said. “The Room of Requirement. That's the best place.”
James grinned. “So that's where you and Addy go.”
Remus groaned. “I think I'll go to bed now.”
“After tonight we're only going to have, what, three more?” Sirius mused the following evening.
“Two,” Remus said as he sat up in bed. His head swam and he blinked a few times to stop the room from spinning. “The June full moon is after we graduate.”
“Weird,” Sirius said. “What are you going to do after we graduate?”
Remus hadn't thought about that. His stomach churned as he realized that it was something he should have been thinking about. He'd thought about his living situation and his job, but he hadn't given it a second thought as to where he'd transform.
“You haven't thought about it, have you?” Sirius asked.
“We'll figure it out,” Sirius assured him. “You won't be on your own.”
“But you'll have Auror training. So will James. You'll have missions and stuff on full moons. I'm sure of it. And I can't transform with just Peter. I'm going to have to get locked up by myself again.”
“Don't think about that. We'll work something out.”
The dormitory door opened and James and Peter walked in.
“Remus,” James began. “Lily told me to tell you that Addy's looking for you.”
Remus's heart began to beat fast and he felt lightheaded. He hadn't seen Addy at all today, but why would she be looking for him? “Now?”
“Yeah, now,” James said. “She's outside the common room door.”
“But I have to go to the Shrieking Shack. Now,” Remus said, his hands shaking. “I can't see her now.” Remus swallowed hard. He could already feel his body preparing for the transformation. Every part of him ached.
“Tell her you're ill and you're on your way to the hospital wing,” James said. “Do you have time to go there first?”
Remus glanced at his watch. He had about forty-five minutes until the moon rose. “I suppose. If I'm fast.”
“I'll go with you,” James said, walking over to the door.
“Thanks,” Remus said, standing up. His head swam again. This really was the worst possible time for Addy to want to talk to him. His nerves were already on edge with the full moon so close, and now he felt like he was buzzing with anxiety, like he was ten seconds away from a panic attack.
James led Remus through the crowded common room, which certainly didn't help Remus's nerves. They climbed through the portrait hole and Addy was right where James said she'd be. She smiled when she saw Remus.
“There you are,” she said as she practically leaped on top of him to give him a hug. “I've been looking for you for an hour now.”
Remus stiffened and didn't hug her back. He winced as he realized that was the opposite response she wanted, but he couldn't help it. It was instinct for him not to want human contact when he was this close to transforming.
Addy's face fell as she stepped away. “Remus?”
“I'm sorry, Addy,” Remus muttered, not meeting her gaze. “I'm on my way to the hospital wing, actually. I'm ill.”
Addy frowned. “You don't look so good.”
“I know,” Remus said as he started walking. “That's why I'm going to the hospital wing.” He needed to go now.
“I'll go with you,” Addy said immediately.
“No, that's okay,” Remus said. “James is here.”
“I'll go, too,” Addy insisted.
Remus nodded, deciding it was better not to fight with her over this. Instead, he set off with both James and Addy for the hospital wing. Addy didn't say a word the entire trip, which led Remus to believe that she had merely missed him, and didn't have a specific reason for wanting to see him.
The hospital wing was empty, save for Madam Pomfrey, when they arrived. The nurse took one look at Remus, James, and Addy and immediately understood. She glanced at Remus and then sat him down on the nearest bed. Then she turned to Addy and James.
“Mr. Potter, why don't you escort Miss Mosley back to Ravenclaw,” she said.
“But I want to stay and make sure Remus is okay,” Addy said.
Madam Pomfrey sighed. “I need to make sure he isn't contagious before I can allow visitors. You can come visit tomorrow afternoon. Right now, he needs rest.”
Addy turned to Remus and made to hug him again. Madam Pomfrey blocked her with her arm.
“Adeline,” she said quietly. “Whatever he's got, I don't want you to catch it.”
Addy sighed. “I hope you feel better, Remus. I'll see you tomorrow, I guess.”
“Thanks,” Remus said. “I'll see you then.”
Madam Pomfrey watched as James and Addy left and turned to Remus as soon as the door shut. “Come on. I'll walk you down. You've got twenty-five minutes.”
Remus stood up. “Thanks, Madam Pomfrey.”
“It's not a problem, Remus,” she said as she held the door open for him. “Is she asking questions?”
“No,” Remus said. “Just bad timing, I suppose. She was waiting for me outside the common room.”
Madam Pomfrey pursed her lips, but didn't say anything. Instead, she set off down the corridor, walking so swiftly that Remus had to run in order to catch up with her.
When Remus awoke the next day he was alone in the hospital wing. As usual, he remembered nothing from the night before, but he didn't seem to have any terrible injuries. He just felt achy and exhausted, but that was normal. After blinking a few times to clear his vision he looked at the clock and saw that it was two in the afternoon.
The door to the hospital wing opened and Remus suddenly remembered his encounter with Addy right before his transformation. His heart sped up as he watched the door. Addy walked in, looking slightly apprehensive.
She smiled when she saw Remus, but she walked very slowly over to his bed. Remus swallowed hard. It wouldn't surprise him if she figured out his secret over one night.
“Remus,” she said as she sat down on the edge of his bed. “Feeling any better?”
Actually, he was now feeling even worse because of the possibility that Addy had figured out he was a werewolf. He was glad he hadn't eaten anything yet because his stomach felt awful.
“A bit, I suppose,” Remus muttered.
“Were you ill all of yesterday?” Addy asked quietly. “I didn't see you at all.”
“Yeah,” Remus said. “I woke up ill.”
“Oh,” Addy said. She toyed with the blanket. “Remus, can I ask you something?”
Remus swallowed hard. Here it comes, he thought. “Sure.”
“There's something wrong with you, isn't there?” Addy said, staring at him with her big, blue eyes.
Remus was once again taken aback by her bluntness. Up until now he liked that about her, but now, he didn't have any time to come up with a good answer. “Er...”
“There is,” Addy said, sighing. “You've got some awful disease, don't you?”
And there it was, Remus thought. His good answer. And he wouldn't even be lying, would he? Lycanthropy was an awful disease, just not the exact one Addy was thinking of. “Yes, I do,” he said quietly.
“I knew it,” Addy whispered. “You get ill an awful lot. I never asked because I figured you didn't want people to know.”
“You figured right. And I still can't tell you exactly what it is.”
“That's okay. I just want you to know that you can tell me, if you want, eventually. But I have to ask you one thing. Are you okay? Are you going to die from this?”
Probably, Remus thought. Most werewolves didn't live as long as normal humans, just due to the strain the transformations take on the body. “Not for a very long time. Decades, most likely.”
Addy half-smiled. “Good. This is the real reason why you didn't apply to the Auror Academy, isn't it?”
Remus nodded. “I thought you thought it was because of my leg.”
“You didn't hurt your leg until September,” Addy explained. “You would've had to apply last school year. Plus, when you told me about not applying you said it was complicated.”
Remus blushed. “Oh, right.”
“The Auror Academy is losing out, though,” Addy said. “You'd make a great Auror.”
“Sirius said the same thing.”
“Do James, Sirius, and Peter know what disease you've got?”
“Yes. They're the only ones, though, besides the professors. Are you really okay with me not telling you what it is?”
Addy smiled and leaned in, giving him a quick peck on the lips. “Everyone has secrets, Remus Lupin.”
Remus smiled back, still not quite wrapping his mind around what had just happened. “Even you?”
Addy giggled. “Maybe. Guess you'll just have to wait and find out. I'll let you rest. See you tomorrow? Will you be out by then?”
“Most likely,” Remus said.
“Good,” Addy replied. She gave him one more kiss and then left the hospital wing, turning to smile at him as she opened the door.
Remus still couldn't believe what had just happened after she left. He sighed to himself and rolled over, suddenly realizing just how exhausted he was. For some inexplicable reason Addy didn't seem to care what disease he had or the fact that Remus wouldn't tell her what it was. It was strange, but Remus now liked Addy even more than he had before.
A/N: Thanks for all the reviews! I'm very behind on responses, but I read every single one and I'll respond soon!
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