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Chapter 3 : You're not a monster.
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Remus Lupin hated waking up in the hospital wing after his transformation. He would never know how he would end up here, but could only vaguely make out through his pain, that he would stumble to the entrance of the Whomping Willow and collapse through the pain and exhaustion of transforming back into a human with a blanket clutched around him. He was eternally grateful that Madam Pomfrey or the Headmaster was around to bring him to the Hospital wing, before any students found him lying on the ground and figuring that he had fallen asleep outside.
He always felt so groggy and tired for days afterwards and it was everything he could do to force himself to go to lessons to keep up a facade so no one ever questioned him, if anyone did then him and his friends would say that Remus had insomnia. This stopped most questions.
Remus breathed in deeply as he tried to get the world to stop spinning for only a moment, the smell of the sanitised hospital wing assaulting his nostrils as he did, a familiar clean smell that Remus welcomed, it was much better than the dirt, dust and even blood that he could smell in the shack.
Opening his eyes blearily he was happy to see that the curtains around his bed had been drawn closed shielding him from view. Glancing around the side that he was facing he could see that on the chair next to his bed was a neat pile of folded clothes and on top of that a small rat that was cleaning it’s whiskers. Remus gave a smile as he recognised his friend instantly, he tried to shift from where he was laying on his front, his face sinking into the incredibly soft pillows that were trying to lull him back into his much wanted slumber, but he wanted to talk to Peter.
“Peter,” Remus whispered, the rat instantly stopped cleaning it’s whiskers and looked at Remus , it jumped off of the pile of clothes and onto the floor, Remus watched as the rat transformed into his best friend Peter, who stayed sat on the floor and looking up at Remus with a smile on his face.
“How are you feeling Moony?” Peter asked him quietly, he wasn’t supposed to be in the hospital wing this early, but he hated being in the dormitory with the tension around Sirius and James. He was also worried about Remus, as none of them were able to be with him last night he was unsure what he would have got up to.
“Like someone’s been trying to stretch me,” Remus said not moving from where he was looking down at Peter, he hoped that he wasn’t drooling over the side of the bed, even though Peter would forgive him for that. “So what’s the damage report?” Remus asked dreading whatever answer he would be given, what had Remus destroyed? Who of his friends did he hurt the most this time?
“Er –“ Peter began and Remus could see the worry etched on his face, could practically smell it radiating off of him. Remus resisted groaning as his mind went to dark places, how badly damaged was Sirius or James, were they in the hospital wing with him? He knew he couldn’t’ have hurt Peter as he appeared perfectly fine to him, he tried to smell the air for any sign of his friends but he could only smell the cleanliness of the hospital wing. Another thing that would last for a few days after and before a transformation when the moon was beginning to become full was a heightened sense of smell, that and a fondness for practically raw meat.
“Oh god, what have I done?” Remus groaned, wincing slightly as it hurt his throat to do so.
“It’s not you Remus don’t worry about that, it’s just that me, James and Sirius couldn’t make it down to you last night as something happened.”
Remus could feel dread fill him at those words, and that feeling escalated into a feeling of sickness as Peter continued with his story about how Sirius had accidently told Snape after Snape had been badgering him about Sirius’s family, about Remus and Sirius had snapped and told him to poke around the Whomping willow, how Snape had read too much into it and gone down there. How James had found out and rushed down to save Snape from being met with Remus as a werewolf, how Peter had gone to Dumbledore who had come down when James had gotten Snape out of harm’s way.
“What’s going to happen now?” Remus asked dreading the answer as he began mentally packing in his head, trying to work out where all his stuff would be in the boy’s messy dormitory, hoping that if he forgot anything that the Headmaster would be able to send it on. How much trouble he would be in when Dumbledore found out that his friends had become animagus’s, how –
“Remus stop thinking like that,” Peter said, causing Remus to stop all of his thoughts, “I can tell that you’re worrying about what Dumbledore has said but he doesn’t know about me, James and Sirius. None of us transformed,” Peter said quietly. “Sirius told me that Dumbledore has sworn Snape to secrecy so he won’t tell anyone unless he wants to be expelled.”
Remus gave a nod as he closed his eyes for a moment, feeling sleep trying to take over him again. He jolted himself awake as he tried to focus on Peter again,
“What’s going to happen now?” Remus asked him drowsily, Peter gave him a small smile.
“Well you’re going to go back to sleep for a while and I’m going to stay here until you wake up again.”
“But Madam Pomfrey will see you and kick you out,” Remus muttered, knowing he was losing his fight against the sleep that was claiming his drooping eyes.
“I’ll transform, I think Madam Pomfrey thinks I’m your pet anyway as I’m here quite often.”
Remus nodded as he heard Peter stand up and felt him sit down on the end of the bed, before the bed lifted again slightly, not being under the weight of two people anymore as Peter had transformed back into a rat. He felt Peter running across his back and up to the top of his head where he laid against the pillow, Remus felt a smile cross his lips as he finally let sleep take over him, Peter was one of the best friends that Remus had ever had, and he was so thankful that Peter was one of the first people he always saw when he woke up after the full moon.
Marlene McKinnon had been waiting for her boyfriend Sirius to make an appearance all day, she had waited for him at the Gryffindor table in the great hall at breakfast time but he hadn’t shown, only a grumpy looking James, who sat on his own and refused to talk to anyone. Marlene didn’t want to go over to him and ask about Sirius, scared that he would snap at her, not that she wouldn’t argue back with him but she knew that no one needed that right now. Lily had told her that Sirius would come down when he was ready and that he was probably just avoiding being around James, Dorcas agreed with her when she wasn’t staring across at the Hufflepuff table at Benjy Fenwick. Dorcas had had a crush on Benjy ever since their fourth year when he had leant her, his Potions notes when she had been ill with the flu. It was quite cute, because Benjy seemed oblivious and Dorcas became so embarrassed whenever he was around.
Marlene gave a sigh as she looked at the entrance again, breakfast was nearly finished and other students were vacating the hall but there was still no sign of Sirius anywhere. James was still glaring down at his breakfast further down the table.
“I think he might still be in the Gryffindor tower,” Lily told Marlene, who gave a sigh before looking down at the drink that had been in her hands, the liquid inside barely touched.
“I’m really worried about him; he’s never acted like this. He’s always so loud and wanting to be noticed. It’s got to be something big if James is still looking like he’s been slapped in the face.” Marlene stated, nodding over at James who was stabbing at the toast on his plate, seeming to get the anger out of his system.
“Why don’t we go back up to the common room and you can go and have a word with him?” Dorcas suggested, looking over at her friend who was looking unhappy.
“Yeah that sounds like a good idea,” Marlene said, standing up from the table, and waiting for her friends to do that same before they made their way back up to the seventh floor.
“Sirius is not happy in the slightest,” Marlene stated when she had gone back into the girl’s dormitory, where Lily and Dorcas were sitting waiting for her. Once they had entered the Gryffindor tower, Marlene had gone up to the boy’s dormitory and knocked so she could talk to Sirius. “he wouldn’t tell me what exactly they big fight was about, but he said that he said something to Snape – sorry Lily, Severus - about the Whomping Willow, and Severus had read too much into his words and had rushed down to the Whomping Willow to try and get into the tunnel that it’s guarding. James had rushed down after Severus to save him before the tree tried to destroy him, like it happens to like to do. The big fight between Sirius and James is because James seems to think Sirius told him on purpose, when he apparently didn’t.”
Lily and Dorcas were listening carefully to her words, letting the information sink into them. “I suppose that’s believable.” Dorcas said looking around at the others, “I suppose James is still angry because maybe Sirius doesn’t see the seriousness that could have happened?”
“Possibly,” Marlene gave a shrug, “He did seem very torn up about it and sorry for what he had done. But I think that it might be so much more than that, Sirius didn’t want to tell me what the fight was about and it was a lot of work to get that piece of information out of him. I think he just appreciated the fact that someone was listening to him instead of yelling like I’m assuming James had been.”
“Maybe James isn’t such a jerk then,” Dorcas said looking to Lily and Marlene, the former looking deep in thought. “If he’s willing to save Severus when we all know he hates him.”
“He probably didn’t want Sirius to get into trouble? Or he actually has a conscience that none of us have seen before?” Lily stated, “I can’t believe that Sev would go poking around the tree though, especially after being told that by Sirius, no offence to Sirius, but they hate each other, why would Sev trust that what he said should be treated as fact?” Lily stated, looking apologetically at Marlene, who gave a small smile.
“I’m so angry at Sev for putting himself in that situation because he just couldn’t leave everything alone,” Lily let out a small groan of annoyance, Marlene and Dorcas exchanged looks, wondering why she was getting angry.
They stopped talking when the door opened and one of their other roommates walked into the room, Dianna Miller was a very nice girl with long brown hair that was almost always braided, the girls gave her a quick greeting when she had entered but they could see the angry look on her face. It took a lot for Dianna to ever get angry; she was the nicest girl they had the fortune to meet.
“What’s wrong Dianna?” Lily asked as she got up from where she was sitting on her own bed and walked over to where Dianna was standing. Marlene and Dorcas each got up as well in concern.
“It’s Mary MacDonald,” she stated, she looked like she was almost close to tears as she spoke. Dianna and Mary MacDonald had been the best of friends all their life; they had met before school as their families were close. Mary was in the year below them and was a very nice girl as well; it wasn’t often that you didn’t hear Mary and Dianna laughing about something in the common room.
“What’s happened? Is she ok?” Dorcas asked in concern as Lily placed an arm around Dianna’s shoulders.
“She... she... she got attacked by Mulciber. He used dark magic on her and she had to go to the hospital wing,” Dianna said before she fell into sobs. Lily felt herself getting angry at what Dianna had said, how dare these people think that they could treat another student in this way, especially with dark magic.
“Dumbledore said that he’s going to punish him, but he won’t get expelled for this. I was told to come back to the Hospital Wing later so I could see her, but I’m just so worried about her,” Dianna continued sobbing; Lily wrapped her arms around Dianna and pulled her into a hug.
“I’m sure she’s fine Dianna, she’s in good hands with Madam Pomfrey and Professor Dumbledore.” Lily cooed at the girl, who pulled away from Lily and wiped her eyes,
“Thank you girls, I’m sure she’ll be fine. It’s just – she’s such a lovely person, how can anyone do that to her?”
“Cowards are who could do that to her, oh you wait until I get my hands on Mulciber.” Marlene growled, “He’s threatened my little brother a few times. He just doesn’t care who he hurts.”
“Marlene please don’t put yourself in danger, he’s not a nice person, and I’m worried about what else he could do.” Dianna told them as she walked away from them and towards the bathroom so she could clean herself up.
All of the girls watched her go sadly before exchanging looks.
“They’re horrible, all of them. How could they do something like this?” Dorcas cried as she took a seat on the end of her bed, the other girls done the same on their own beds.
“Because they like the power,” Lily stated. “I’ve hated them all for ages; all of Sev’s friends are just horrible people.”
“The only one out of the lot of them I don’t see getting into much trouble or ever attacking another student is Travers,” Marlene stated. “He lives near me and he’s family are very wealthy but he’s not a jerk like the rest of them. Sure he could be scary especially after seeing what his friends do, but I’ve never seen him actually take part in all of it.”
“Definitely, he is nothing like Avery either. Avery I can see ending up in Azkaban soon.” Lily muttered angrily. “The horrible thing is, if they’re like this now, what on earth are they going to be like in a few years time? Do you think that they’re going to be joining this dark wizard they seem to be talking more about in the Daily Prophet?”
Marlene and Dorcas each shrugged, “I hope to god that we never ever find out.”
“I am definitely going to be talking to Sev about this when I see him tonight,” Lily fumed, “I really hope that he’s never going to think of going the same way that they all are because I would never forgive him if he attacked one of us like that.”
“Lils he would never do something like that to you,” Dorcas stated softly, Lily shook her head.
“I know he won’t, but his friends I can’t trust at all. Who’s to say that they’re not influencing him to head down the same dark path that they’re all going down? I could never forgive myself if I didn’t try and stop him from doing it.”
Lily was sat on her bed, the argument her and Severus had had a few hours ago still playing through her head. They had argued over what had happened earlier with James and Sirius. Severus immediately put the blame on them, even though Lily knew that he was just as much to blame. Severus was always trying to find out what exactly James, Remus, Peter and Sirius were up to when they disappeared at night times, Lily had never given it much thought, if they wanted to go and break rules and risk getting caught then it was their own fault. She wasn’t going to go around and tell them off, even though she was a prefect, so was Remus and he didn’t stop them so who was she to try to?
She felt her cheeks reddening as she thought about Severus’s other comments on James Potter fancying her. She knew that James had taken a liking to her, her friends Marlene and Dorcas had pointed that out to her, but she didn’t want to go out with him when he was such a jerk and arrogant person all the time, although saving Severus was very heroic on his part, she knew that there was another reason why he had done it.
Lily remembered the lesson that they had had about werewolves in Defence against the dark arts, and how Remus was looking quite ill, he left the lesson at the beginning down to a mysterious nose bleed that saw him missing the entire lesson. At the time she thought nothing of it, but at Severus’s words about Remus always being sick around the full moon, and how he was always coming up with the same theory was making everything fit together in Lily’s head. The amount of times that he would have bruises and cuts that anyone else wouldn’t of noticed if they hadn’t have been watching, appeared on his arms and face shortly after Remus had been away sick, that time that Lily had seen what could only be described as claw marks down the length of Remus’s arm before he saw her looking and covered his arm giving her a weary smile.
It all fit so well with Severus’s theory but she didn’t want to believe it, she didn’t want to believe that something so horrible could happen to someone so wonderful, Remus didn’t deserve to have this on him and he certainly didn’t deserve to have such hatred coming from Severus for something that he couldn’t control. Lily knew that she needed to see Remus, needed to find out if it was right, and to tell him that she thought he was the most wonderful person she knew.
She got out of bed and walked down to the common room, ignoring the looks of her friends as she passed them, they were each getting ready for bed for the start of classes in the morning and were wondering why she wasn’t getting ready either. She didn’t tell them where she was going and hoped that they wouldn’t follow her, as much as she loved them she just needed some time alone.
She had been sat in front of the fireplace alone for almost fifteen minutes before she was joined by someone, she could hear someone coming down the stairs slowly, as though the mere effort was causing them immense pain, they stopped when they saw that someone else was in the otherwise deserted common room.
Lily closed her eyes for a moment as she heard Remus Lupin; she turned around to face him and gave him a tearful smile as she remembered everything that he was going through, lovely, friendly Remus. Who wouldn’t hurt anyone, had so much hardship in his life, stuff that many other adults hadn’t even come close to facing.
“Are you ok? Would you like me to leave?” he asked her in concern, pointing back up the staircase but Lily shook her head.
“No its ok Remus, please come and sit down.”
“Why are you down here so late?” Remus asked her as he limped over to where Lily was sitting and saw down next to her. Lily noticed that his sleeves were rolled up and she could see bruises covering him, from his latest transformation.
“I was just thinking about things, you?” Lily said, looking away from Remus’s arms quickly.
“The tension between Sirius and James is becoming unbearable, and Peter’s asleep already so I can’t really talk to anyone up there without an argument forming, and I didn’t want to wake up Peter. He hasn’t sleep much lately.”
Lily gave a nod as she thought about what she could say to Remus, how she could let him know that she knew and that she was here for him.
“How do you do it Remus?” Lily asked him softly deciding to just come out and say it, Remus tensed at her words as he brought his sleeves further down his arms so they covered his hands as well as his arms, which were covered in bruises and cuts. Lily watched him feeling more tears coming to the surface but she sniffed them back, she felt so sorry for him.
“Do what Lily?” Remus asked her carefully, trying to hide the fear that was beginning to mask him. He knew that Lily and Severus were friends, did she know? Did Severus tell her?
“Hide such a big secret so well?” Lily stated, turning to look him in the eyes. Remus looked at her carefully for a moment before he thought about what to answer her with. He could see that there was sorrow in her green eyes, sorrow for what she thought that Remus was going through, she reached a hand forwards and placed it on Remus’s covered hand, Remus looked down at it and knew in that instant that she knew. She knew and she wasn’t running away, she wasn’t scared of him, of what he becomes every month, the way she was acting towards him made him feel so much better. He never wanted her to be scared of him, never wanted her to think that he was a monster.
“It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do,” Remus stated sadly, looking back down at their hands, too scared to look into her eyes again and see fear beginning to take over like it would inevitably when she realised just what he was. “To hide the fact that you’re something worse than people could ever imagine.”
“Don’t do that Remus,” Lily stated sternly. Remus looked up at her in shock at her words. She reached a hand forwards and lightly traced a faint scar that went down the side of his face. “You’re the best person I know, don’t you ever think any differently. Don’t ever let someone tell you that you’re something that you’re not. You are Remus Lupin; the most amazing, bravest and strongest person I know. Don’t forget how wonderful you are.”
“Lily I – “ Remus began but he didn’t know how to finish the sentence, it meant so much to him that she was here, sprouting words that Remus didn’t believe, he could only be a monster, nothing more, nothing better. This was what he was and when his friends finally realised this they were going to leave him, he didn’t deserve friends.
Lily gave him a watery smile before she reached forwards and pulled him into a hug, wrapping her arms tightly around him. “You’re not a monster Remus Lupin.” She whispered into his ear.
“You don’t know that Lily,” Remus stated, holding onto her tightly, he really needed this and he hoped that she wasn’t going to see sense soon and run away.
“I do, I really do.” Lily said not wanting to let go of him, she wanted to keep him wrapped in her arms forever and protect him from the cruelness that he was facing. “I will help you get through this; I’ll go to the library see if there’s anything that can make this better for you.”
Remus gave a small laugh, “I really appreciate that Lily but I’ve read everything there is in the library about this, my father has tried everything he can to fix this, thrown his money at various wizards who have been unable to help me. I just have to face that this is what I am and all I’ll ever be.”
“You won’t just be this; you’re going to be so much more.”
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