Chapter 1 : Bitten
| ||Rating: Mature||Chapter Reviews: 6|
Background: Font color:
He woke suddenly, in the middle of the night, though he wasn't sure why. The curtains flapped in the wind through that blew through the open window. It had been warm when he went to bed, but now he was cold. He didn't really want to get out of his warm bed, but he decided he really ought to close the window. He pushed back the covers.
He had a chair, which he pushed in the direction of the window. Slowly, carefully, making as little noise as possible so as not to wake his parents. With both hands he tugged the curtains apart, then dragged himself up onto the chair. Slowly finding his balance, he straightened up and raised one hand to pull the window shut.
The moon was big and full - he liked full moon. It was pretty, and lit everything up like a weak silver sun. Something moved at the bottom of the garden, and he pressed his nose against the glass to see what it was. It looked like a dog, but bigger than any he'd seen. He watched it pad up the path, sniff and raise its muzzle to howl. The noise was unearthly, making him shiver more than the open window.
He put his hand to the handle again, wanting to shut out the noise, but a flash of movement caught his attention. The dog, charging at him. He forgot the glass between them, leaping backwards off the chair and crashing onto the ground. Tears sprang to his eyes as he landed hard, but he was still terrified and crawled as fast as he could towards the door. There was a thump on the window behind him, and a glance over his shoulder showed a narrow crack in the glass. "Mum! Dad!" he sobbed out through his terror. "Daddy! Help!"
Then the window smashed. He scrambled at the door, his fear making it harder to stand. Then screamed. Something tore across his back, ripping his pyjamas. He tried to scream, between ragged breaths, as he was dragged back. Something tore into his side, then his shoulder, and he felt blood soaking his clothes. He couldn't scream any more. Everything went black.
The bedroom door burst open and there was a cry of horror. Flashes of light - red, white, blue. A jet of green, but it missed and struck the wall. The creature fled the way it had come, as the attacker sent one last spell before running to the body in the middle of the room. "Remus! Wake up! Please, Remus!"
On the other side of the glass, healers laboured over the mangled body. So many potions, some applied to the wounds and some injected directly into the boy's bloodstream. He couldn't swallow them, as he hadn't woken. The only hints of life were the blood continuing to flow and the fact that the healers hadn't given up.
Still he bled! Why hadn't the bleeding stopped? This was St Mungo's, and the best healers were there. They could mend a scratch in a second. But these were not ordinary wounds. They did not heal. Even when the scars began to fade, the results would last. Was this the right thing to do? Would it be kinder to let him go, rather than to force him to live this life?
But this was his son. He could not bear to lose Remus. So young! So small, so fragile! Did he have any blood left? That was one of the potions being fed into his arm - a blood-replenishing potion. The bleeding began to slow, but why? Were the healers finally making a difference, or... The body did not move, the boy did not stir, oblivious to the fight taking place to save him.
It seemed like hours. Perhaps it was hours. The movement of the healers began to slow, then they were standing back. Watching. Waiting - for what? Any moment they would draw the sheet up over the blank face, the closed eyes...
A junior healer touched his elbow. He took the proffered cup of tea - he had refused to leave. His wife had been taken to another room to recover from the shock. They had tried to make him go too, but he wouldn't. He would not leave his son, not now. This was his fault. He wouldn't leave Remus alone again.
No-one had yet drawn up the sheet. They were still watching, waiting... Waiting for the boy to finally slip away? No! Remus would not die, could not die. But would it be better if he did? Would death be preferable to the life he would live otherwise? No, not his boy! His little Remus, so bright and funny. Always running, laughing. Looking forward to Hogwarts already. He could never go, now. His dreams, destroyed in one night. No, destroyed by those careless words at the Wizengamot. If only he'd never spoken. If only they'd heeded his words! That was no muggle beggar...
And now his son might never wake. He couldn't shift the image from his mind. The blood, the raw flesh. The scream of pain. Desperate sobs then silence. The limp, unmoving body in the middle of the room. Bloody, dripping teeth...
Some of the healers had left, and those who remained now stirred into motion. They moved to surround the bed, wands out and murmuring charms. Any moment now, they would draw the sheet up over the face and tell him it was over... but they didn't. More potions, bandages replaced, and the faint glow of magic. So it was not over.
The room seemed so calm. He wanted to hammer on the glass, tell them to try harder. Bring him back! Don't let him die! But would life be preferable to death? So young, and already his life destroyed. Oh, Remus! No more talk of Hogwarts. The happy laugh, silenced. Just a tiny, frail body motionless on the hospital bed.
And then the chief healer was opening the door and beckoning him in. She spoke, but the words did not register. Hesitantly, he stepped through the doorway. Remus did not stir. Was he even in there? Had the monster destroyed his mind, leaving only an empty ruined shell? They gave him a seat at the bedside, and he sank down. They murmured comforting words, but he did not hear. Numb, he stared through watery eyes at the empty face.
No flutter of eyelashes. But as he blinked he saw the faint rise and fall of the bare chest. They hadn't dressed him so they could watch the wounds. So he had to look at them. Newly formed scars, pink and raw. The faintest line of silver. Scars that would never fade. The perfect young body, marred forever.
Bruises. Black, purple, green, yellow... a marbling of colours, fading but still visible. He knew why they hadn't been healed - the other wounds were too serious. Tooth marks - the final proof that it was over. Even if he lived... was this fair? To do this to a six-year-old? To make him live an outcast? No, nothing in this world was fair. Why Remus? It was his fault, why wasn't he bitten? But no, his beautiful son lay unresponsive on the bed, in the Creature Induced Injuries ward at St Mungo's.
Tears ran down his face, warm and wet, but he felt nothing but cold. Empty chill. It didn't seem real. Perhaps he would wake up to find that it was all a dream. Or he would wake up and find Remus dead. Better dead than this. But no, be couldn't murder his son. But the monster had already done that. Murdered the sweet, harmless little boy. Destroyed his life, anyway, and wasn't that murder?
The eyes were still closed, the gentle rise and fall of the bare chest hinting at a peaceful sleep. The wounds told otherwise. The healers were back, murmuring spells and dabbing potions onto scar. And still Remus would not wake? But why would he? Why return to the pain, to the cursed life he was doomed to lead. If he ever woke. Better dead than this.
He heard the movement but did not turn. Couldn't take his eyes off that sleeping face. A body pressed against him, and he managed to slip his arm around her shaking shoulders. No words. There were no words. They cried together, over the body of their son. The curtains glowed as the sun struck from behind, but the hospital light was as white and relentless as ever. Like moonlight.
He stood fast, shoving his chair back, and strode in sudden fury to the window. With both hands, be wrenched open the curtains to let the sun stream in. Golden light, warm and comforting. Bathing the boy on the bed in glorious rays. Sun to drive away the moon. Slowly, he stumbled back to his wife. He stood, looking down. How long would this take? Why did death come so slowly? Waiting, always waiting...
A flicker, and he caught at Hope's hand. He heard her sharp intake of breath as the eyelash flickered again. Still the eyes were closed. "Remus, wake up. Wake up, darling. Please, just wake up." How could Hope find the words? His throat had frozen. But she could speak, could coax her son. "Wake up, love. It's morning. Everything will be OK. I love you." Oh, the lies. Everything would be OK. No-one believed it.
But Remus's eyes were open. Blinking weakly in the light, shadowed with pain, but still- open. A small motion of his lips, but no sound. Lyall could read the fear, the pain, the confusion. "It's OK, darling. We're here." A tiny smile, through the pain, as he heard his mother's voice. Lyall sank into the chair, leaning close to catch the whisper.
"Hurts." The breath caught in his throat. He couldn't cry now. Remus needed him. Needed him to be strong. A painful swallow.
"I know. But you'll be alright. You will be alright." It was a statement, a challenge to the world. Remus would be alright. He would not allow otherwise.
Remus slept after that, and the healers managed to persuade Lyall to leave his son's bedside for a few hours' sleep. When he woke, one took him to the cafe for food before allowing him back in the room. Remus was still asleep, but they had drawn the covers up over him hiding the scars. There were hints of the pain, but other than that he looked normal. Well, except that he was in a hospital bed.
Hope stood as he entered. "He hasn't woken," she whispered as she was guided out for her own breakfast and rest. He sat in the chair she had just vacated, taking over the vigil and waiting for his son to wake. Rested now, everything seemed more positive than it had the night before. Remus would live. His life would not be the same, but he and his wife would ensure that it was still good. They could teach him at home, move to a place in the country where no-one would find out.
Yes, a nice little house in the woods somewhere, well away from anyone who might find out. A safe place for Remus to transform every month - it was only one night a month, after all. He could teach Remus - Hogwarts was out of the question, of course - and Remus could just go in for his OWL and NEWT exams.
He found himself subconsciously planning lessons in his head. It took his mind off the sleeping form of his injured son and the reality of the future. He knew a lot about magical creatures, and Remus had always been interested. Although whether he would be now... Anyway, Lyall had good NEWTs. Defence Against the Dark Arts, Charms, Potions, Transfiguration, Herbology, and Care of Magical Creatures. Plus OWLs in History of Magic, Astronomy, Ancient Runes, and Arithmancy. Divination wasn't worth bothering with, and nor was muggle studies.
But Remus was not a normal boy, not any more. All these plans for teaching him, but could he ever get a job? Who would hire a- someone like him? They would think he was a monster. But would he- was he a monster now? He knew the stories, what they said about werewolves. What if they were true?
No! Not his little Remus! The sweet little boy, always willing to help around the house and so happy playing with his muggle friends. They would have to move away, leaving those friends. Having friends was too dangerous for Remus now. He was only six! He would be alone, near enough, for the rest of his life. Was it a life worth living?
"Daddy?" He snapped back into the present, shaking his head to dispel the thoughts.
"What happened to me? Where am I?" That tiny voice, so weak! Lyall answered the easy question first.
"You're in St Mungo's. The hospital. You-" he took a deep breath. It was the first time he'd said it out loud. "You were bitten by a werewolf." The tiny face screwed up as it processed this.
"Bit. Got... bit?" Such confusion! Lyall barely held in the tears. He had to be strong, for Remus.
"By a werewolf. Do you remember anything?" He hoped not. Remus would be better not remembering. Hopefully his young brain would shut it out, not let him remember or not believe it.
"Cold. Curtains flapping. Window open. Cold, so got up to close window. Big dog in garden. Big dog-" He was so weak, not the healthy little boy he had been two days ago. Curse all werewolves! No, his son was a werewolf! They couldn't all be bad... "Closed window. Dog running, jumped. Scary dog. Fell off chair. Scared. Ran away." Halting speech as the memories struck. "Window broke. Couldn't open door. Then... hurt. Hurts."
"That's it?" Unfortunately, Remus seemed to remember most of it. Hopefully the memories would fade. The scars wouldn't. "Not a dog, a wolf. A werewolf." How he hated that word. Werewolf. The monster that destroyed his son's life. But Remus was one, and the six-year-old was not a monster.
"Werewolf?" Remus recognised the word - werewolves were notorious - but he didn't know much more than that they were dangerous.
"A man who turns into a wolf every full moon."
"Cool." The boy, so taken by the idea of such a mythical power. Then it sank in. "But... why did he attack me? Doesn't he like me?" This was really not a conversation Lyall wanted to have with a boy of Remus' age. But he couldn't hide the truth.
"When they transform, they forget about being human. The wolf hates people and wants to kill them." No need to mention that the wolf had positioned itself deliberately to hurt Remus.
The little boy's face creased. "That's nasty. Did it try to kill me?" How could he say it so matter-of-factly?
"How am I alive? Did you kill it, Daddy?"
"No, it ran away." Remus' face cleared.
"Good. It's a person, really. They can't help turning into a wolf and attacking people." They can't help attacking people! Bless the boy, he was so accepting. Greyback, though, was not innocent. He made no effort to protect others from his wolf form. But Remus didn't need to know that yet. He was too young.
"No. They're like normal people, except at full moon."
"So... I got bit by a wolf-man?" Remus' face was alive with curiosity. Lyall struggled to understand. Remus didn't understand how serious it was. He knew it hurt, but he didn't know how long he had hung on the edge of life. He didn't know what the wolf had done to him. He thought the wolf was innocent. "It hurts, but- he couldn't help it. I hope he's OK." Lyall hoped otherwise, but knew Greyback would be fine. He always was.
"I'm sure he's fine." It was true, and he just about managed to hide his disgust. It made Remus happy, anyway.
"So are there lots of wolf-men?" This was the opening. He would have to explain what had really happened to Remus. To leave it would be unfair.
"I don't know. There's a register, and we'll go and look at that soon. As soon as you're better. We have to put you on it, you see." Complete confusion.
"Me? I'm not- I don't turn into a wolf."
"Well, being a werewolf is a kind of disease. People who get bitten become werewolves."
"What- I got bit. I got bit by a wolf-man. So..." He understood. "I'm a wolf-man too?"
"Yes, Remus." How could he be so calm? Lyall had been expecting tears and protests. But no, the boy looked thoughtful, then a little worried.
"I don't want to hurt anyone."
"We'll make sure you don't. So long as you do as you're told. But you have to keep it a secret. We're moving house so no-one gets hurt. To a nice little place in the woods, hopefully." That boy's emotions were so mixed up! He was smiling now, relieved. What did he have to be relieved about? He had just become a werewolf!
But he didn't understand. He had never transformed. And he didn't know how people would treat him if they knew. Turning into a wolf was cool, so long as he didn't hurt anyone. At least he would keep it secret, because he believed it would keep other people from getting hurt. That was why Remus was relieved - he had been reassured that he wouldn't hurt anyone. His parents would look after him.
Hope returned, to see Remus looking healthier and more awake. "Mummy!" His voice was still pitifully weak. "I'm a wolf-man. But I'm not going to hurt anyone. Daddy said so. I got bit!" He said the last bit like it was something to be proud of.
"Bitten, darling," she corrected absently. Then it sank in. "Daddy told you?"
"Yes. He says I got bitten by a wolf-man, so I'm a wolf-man. It wasn't the wolf-man's fault. He couldn't help it." That was a matter of opinion, and Lyall knew what his opinion was. "Are we really moving house?" Lyall realised he hadn't told her this. She looked at him questioningly, and he nodded slightly.
"Yes, darling, we are."
"A nice little place in the woods somewhere," added Lyall, mostly for her benefit. She nodded understanding. Remus lay back on the pillows, tired out again. As he fell asleep, they heard him whisper softly to himself.
"I got bit."
Lyall hadn't realised how hard it would be to go home. Remus was still in St Mungo's, but mainly for observation. Lyall and Hope had to go home to prepare for his return - and to sell the house. Most of the house was untouched, but upstairs he was met by the open door. Behind it, a cold wind blew in gusts around the ruined room. Broken glass, torn bedclothes, and... bloodstains on the floor. He tried to repair the damage with a spell, but it didn't work. Werewolf damage resisted magic. He managed to vanish the blood, but he couldn't rid himself of the image of that blotch on the carpet. Was there still a mark? No, there couldn't be. But his eyes seemed to see one.
Suddenly angry, he vanished the glass and ripped cloth. And the carpet. They could lay a new one later. He left the room, closing and locking the door behind him. They would have to leave - he couldn't stay in this house any more. The rest of the morning was spent packing.
House-hunting was difficult. They needed somewhere remote, and they could not afford much. No neighbours to ask questions. And a safe place for Remus to transform. Eventually they found something, a tiny house on the edge of a village. A muggle village - muggles would be less likely to guess. The house had supposedly belonged to a madman, and there were rumours that it was haunted. Good. Others would stay away.
It was in a poor state, but spells solidified the structure. There were three bedrooms - a small one for Remus, and a medium one for Lyall and Hope. The third... he stripped it bare and fixed bars to the window. The window, bars, door, and walls were all reinforced with magic. He fitted a sturdy lock, a bolt, and ensured that it could not be opened from the inside. He had promised Remus that he would not be able to harm anyone. But creating a room like this, for his son...
The rest of the house they decorated in bright, warm colours. Yellow, gold, orange and red. Sun colours. Sun to drive away the moon. They cleared the fireplace and chimney, collecting wood so that they could have a fire whenever they wanted. The house had no central heating, and they did not want to rely on heating charms.
They had to sell the old house to afford the new one. Hope bought a new carpet and laid it in Remus' old room. Still Lyall seemed to see that bloodstain, on the floorboards and on the new carpet. He knew it wasn't there, but still it haunted him. It was with relief that he finally handed over the keys to the new owner.
Magic could be rather useful when moving house, but it was still more than a month before they could move into the new place. The full moon approached, and they became more concerned. Fortunately St Mungo's had dealt with werewolves before. On the day of the transformation, they took Remus down to the basement, to a room secured for use by werewolves during full moon. It was not an option for every month, they told him, but when there was no alternative the room would be available.
They helped Remus climb down the many flights of stairs and walk along the long, bare corridor. The walls were painted a pale, clinical blue. At the end of the corridor were two heavy doors, and the healer took out a large key to unlock one. It led into a bare, featureless concrete room. Remus clung to his parents, afraid to enter that room. It was not entirely featureless - there were scratches on every surface.
"You have to go in, Remus. So no-one gets hurt. We'll get you in the morning. It's only for one night. Go on, you don't want anyone to be hurt." Lyall coaxed, and the argument worked. Remus did not want to hurt anyone.
"Feel nasty." He murmured as he stepped through the doorway.
"That's normal, dear. It's only for tonight." The healer watched pityingly as the small boy walked alone to the centre of the cell. He was pale, shaking not just with cold. The door swung shut with a clang, cutting them off from the six-year-old werewolf.
They were not allowed to remain in the basement - there was another thick door at the bottom of the stairs as a precaution. St Mungo's did not take risks, and Lyall supposed that should be comforting. But they were stuck in a corner of the cafe, while their son was going through his first transformation alone.
At last they were permitted to descend, to the silent basement. The bolt of the door was drawn back, locking spells released, and slowly the door swung open. At first glance the room was empty. Except for splashes of blood on the floor and walls. Then they saw the huddled shape in the corner. Naked and bloodstained, arms and legs ripped. But human.
The healers were already busy over him by the time the reality had sunk in. "How...?" Whispered Hope. "He was supposed to be safe!"
"This happens when werewolves are stuck alone. In their boredom, they harm themselves. But it is too dangerous to let them out." The horrible truth. This would happen to Remus every month, and the only way to prevent it would be to risk others. And Remus would prefer to hurt himself than anyone else. Although if he had a wolf companion... Could Lyall get Remus to bite him, then they could both transform together?
No, it would hurt Remus too much to know he had bitten someone. And could they ensure that it was not fatal? No, it was too dangerous. Remus needed him as a human. So every month they would have to unlock the door to heal more injuries. Hoping that they would not find a body. But would he be better dead than this?
Remus was carried back up to his room in the hospital. Lyall had a feeling this bed would be used regularly now. This time, the parents were allowed to treat the injuries. Dittany and powdered silver, dabbed gently onto the scars that were already forming. Every so often, a wince, which at least showed that Remus was near consciousness. It proved he was still alive.
"Hurts," came the whisper, as Remus shifted uncomfortably. "Hurts so much."
"I know, darling. We'll make it better." How could Hope find the words? Lyall's throat was choked as he tried not to cry. How had his little boy been reduced to- this?
"Don't want to- don't want- wolf."
"I'm sorry, darling." How could they explain that he would never be free? That he was doomed to be a werewolf all his life? They couldn't. As he grew up, he would realise. Would he hate them? Not his mother, but Lyall knew he deserved it. This was his fault.
Five days later, they were finally allowed to leave the hospital. Remus was weak and looked ill, but he no longer required the care of the healers. Lyall had been given a large bottle of Dittany and a pouch of silver powder, just in case. They used floo powder, Lyall taking Hope through first then coming back for Remus. "Welcome to your new home."
There was some sign of the old curiosity, and a little excitement at this unfamiliar place, but Remus just didn't have the energy. He was happy with his new room, but was too tired to go outside. He- well- wolfed down his dinner, then went straight to bed. He'd barely looked out of the window since they arrived.
This place - well, it was nice, thought Remus. He was glad he hadn't had to go home, to the old house. He never wanted to see it again. That was where the wolf-man bit him and hurt him. And it still hurt, though he hid it from his parents. He would be stuck like this forever. Cursed. They hadn't said it, but he could tell.
He fought the urge to scratch. It only made it worse. And he might suddenly find that he had claws for fingernails, like that night. He could feel the hint of wolf, the sharp senses and the untamed beast. It was so weird - he could smell things he didn't even know had scents. Hot water smelled different to cold water, for example.
And the noises! He had to force himself not to wince when his parents spoke to him. They used normal voices, but his ears were so sensitive now. He didn't want them to feel guilty. Things looked different - blues were brighter, reds less prominent. So this house, painted in fire colours, seemed dull. Which was nice, as it was less painful on the eyes.
That itching again. His fingers crept to his side, but he caught himself just in time. It hurt. Even in the hospital, with potions to reduce the pain, he had been able to feel it. They'd given him a supply, and he didn't tell anyone that it didn't work. They'd only worry. He was brave, he was a big boy. He would hide it.
But now, curled up in his bed in his new room, he could stop pretending. The window was firmly shut - it might be hot, but he would never be able to leave it open again. He was alone, with no-one to see and worry, so he could cry. Tears he'd been holding in for over a month, not having had time alone. The one time he'd been alone, he'd been too scared.
He huddled in a ball, the covers tight around him, letting the tears fall in silence. It hurt so much! And it would never stop hurting. He was so scared of transforming - he could remember everything. No control, his mind taken over by a vicious monster. Helpless, trapped in a strange body. The wolf got bored and lonely, ripping at itself - at him. And it hurt.
But the scariest thing was the desire to kill. The wolf wanted to bite people, to hunt. Remus had no control. If someone were to find him... He would have to stay alone, in this house until he was old enough to move away. He didn't want his parents to be in danger. Couldn't bear to hurt them. He couldn't possibly go to Hogwarts, but as he would have to stay away from people all his life that wouldn't matter. Getting a job would be too dangerous - someone might find out, might come near him when he was a wolf.
His shoulder hurt most. Where the wolf-man bit him. It was ugly, with lumps and shiny silver lines. He couldn't lift his arm properly - he'd tried as soon as he was alone. It would probably never heal. He would be crippled forever. And it hurt!
When he finally drifted off, his sleep was filled with shadowy wolves and full moons. He prowled silent forests hunting for prey, but he had no control over his own body. And then his father was there, and his mother, and he launched himself at them and bit them, and there was blood everywhere, and he wanted to stop but couldn't. He had no control and could only watch as they fell, and blood filled his mouth...
He woke to feel his tongue throbbing where he had bitten it. That was why he could taste blood. He tried to banish the nightmare, but it wasn't a nightmare, it was real. At least it so easily could be. A passenger in his own body, no control. It wasn't his body! But it was. He was a wolf-man!
He just sat, waiting for morning, feeling his swollen and painful tongue. Just another hurt to add to the rest. He would get used to it before long. But it hurt!
Remus was lonely. He had no friends, no-one but his parents. It was too dangerous. What if they found out? It was his birthday, and they'd have a party as usual. But no-one would come, it would just be him and his parents. They'd have a birthday cake, and sweets, and his favourite sausage and chips. They'd play party games, just the three of them, and presents. But it would just be the three of them, as always.
The next full moon was in two days' time, and he was already feeling the effects of the approaching transformation. His scars ached more than usual, and he felt terrible. But he'd done this often enough. He was used to it.
He was eleven today. He could just about remember before all this happened. He'd wanted to be eleven, so he could go to Hogwarts. He couldn't do that now; it was too dangerous. And they wouldn't want him there. His father would teach him, and he could spend the rest of his life in this little house on the edge of the woods, well away from anyone who might get hurt.
The day passed as expected, like every birthday. His parent tried to be happy, excited at his birthday, but he could see that they weren't. He didn't let on, not wanting to upset them. But really, what was there to be excited about? He was eleven, another year older, just one more year into his life of exile. Twelve more sets of scars than last year, twelve transformations he'd endured.
They were just sitting down to dinner when there was a knock on the door. They never had visitors! Flustered, his mother hurried to open it. Remus could hear them talking, and wondered what was taking so long. Clearly, so was his father, for he went to join her.
They returned at last, but not alone. There was a stranger with them. They never had visitors! How had this man been allowed in? He was old, with a long silver beard. And wizard's robes. He must have been careful to avoid muggles. But what was he doing here? He wasn't supposed to be here! What if he found out?
"Remus, this is Professor Dumbledore. He's the headmaster of Hogwarts."
"Happy birthday, Remus." The stranger had a kind smile. But he still shouldn't be here! Why had he come anyway? Remus couldn't go to Hogwarts. Why did this stranger have to come and rub it in?
But his mother filled an extra plate, and the Professor conjured another chair for himself at the table, so for the first time there were four at Remus' birthday dinner. They had the cake, then the adults went into the living room. Remus didn't want to go with the stranger, so he took his presents up to his room and sat looking out of the window. Soon, the man would be gone and they could return to normal.
"Remus?" His mother called up the stairs. Reluctantly, he got up. He hadn't heard the stranger go yet. But maybe he just hadn't noticed. No. He was still there, sitting on the sofa. Remus had no choice but to go and sit with his parents.
"Remus, I'd like to offer you a place at Hogwarts." Professor Dumbledore spoke so calmly, like he had no idea what Remus was. The boy looked at his parents, and was surprised to see their reassuring smiles.
"But- I can't..."
"I am aware of your condition, Remus. We can put in place certain measures to ensure that everyone is safe." Remus stared, wide-eyed. All his hopes, his dreams! But he couldn't. It was too dangerous. He shook his head.
"I can't! What if I- it gets out? Someone could get hurt!"
"I promise you, Remus, you will hurt no-one during your transformations. If there was a risk to the students, I would not be here. I would like to offer you a place at Hogwarts, if you would like to attend." Again, he looked at his parents, and his father gave him a small nod.
"I would like to, sir! But- make sure no-one gets hurt because of me."
"They will be safe, so long as you follow the rules you are given. And I know that you will. Now, I have with me your Hogwarts letter. I will see you on the first of September. Again, Happy Birthday!" Remus was too shellshocked to say anything as Professor Dumbledore got up and left, the faint crack of apparation signalling that he had gone.
"It'll be alright, darling. He wouldn't promise if he wasn't sure." Comforted by his father's words, Remus went to bed happy. He was going to Hogwarts! Like he'd dreamed of so often, like he'd expected to do before the wolf-man- He was going to Hogwarts!
A/N: This one-shot came to me when I was working on True Lion. It was originally going to be all from Remus' POV, but when he was unconscious I realised, well...
Please tell me what you think!
Edit: just sorted a load of typos!
Other Similar Stories
Ebony and Ivory
Brought to Light