I've updated this chapter, because people have rightly pointed out that I didn't need so much detail on his injuries. I wrote that much, because I'd done a (shitty) sketch of them and felt the need to put them in here, as well. Lots of it's gone, now, so hopefully that improves things.

*Another update, because I've received a few complaints about this chapter being unclear: I have to write on the assumption that my readers aren't going to leave as soon as they get confused. This chapter is full of confusing events, the characters are confused, so I'm not going to spell things out.

June 12th 2003

'Moony!' A pair of voices, both male, called into the darkness. While they would deny it later, the owner of each glanced into the sky with concern, worried that the moon may have been playing with their friend's mind.

'Remus!' Another voice, female, yelled after the man. She was just as concerned as her husband about the change in Lupin.

'Papa!' The last voice wasn't concerned; the owner struggled in her unspeaking mother's grip as she tried to chase her father out into the night. She knew this game. Her mother was silent as she stared after her husband, looking after his purposeful run.

James Potter stared into the woodland outside his family's home. His breath hung in the air in the cold spring night, as the precipitation on the grass spread to his socks, and the Auror glanced back over his shoulder as Remus' heavily pregnant wife came through the doorway with her hands on their youngest daughter's shoulders.

Next, James looked at his own wife. Lily looked as concerned as James felt; Remus, despite his condition, was an exceedingly calm man. For him to look so distressed as he had was worrying. For him to run from the house like that, leaving his pregnant wife and young daughter behind, was worthy of downright panic. Lily glanced James' way, and her eyebrows scrunched up as though asking him what was going on.

The decision to turn back to Remus' flight was not James'. Instead, Sirius made that choice for the both of them. The black haired bachelor had stopped next to James but now, nearly ten seconds later, he strode forwards again. James followed, and each had their wands in hand well before the time they'd covered the few-hundred metres between the house and the woods. As much as they might've wanted to rush into the woods, the high-ranking Aurors had learned their lessons of why not to rush into a situation well over the years. Not least by seeing a dozen of their fellow recruits cut down in their first month on the job.

And, so, neither even called out for their friend again. James suspected that Sirius had made the same connection as him- that Remus must have smelled a pack of werewolves. Neither discriminated against those like Moony, but they'd encountered more instances of violence committed by Werewolves than those where the afflicted wizards were attacked. Only by a few, the hatred against their kind was great, but the data was true nonetheless.

'JAMES!' A man's voice, strained, called from deeper in the woodland.

The Potter Patriarch hesitated, but Sirius didn't. All thoughts of stealth went out the window for Padfoot as soon as he heard his friend in what he thought was pain.

'MOONY!' Sirius' wand was alight with a Lumos as he bound forwards; he knew the woods almost as well as James, and had no trouble avoiding the trees and brambles as he ran in Remus' direction with James only seconds behind.

But, still, Sirius reached Remus first. That meant he saw the young man in Remus' arms first, and that his words were the first warning that James received of what he was about to see.

'Holy shit…' Sirius stopped suddenly, and James barely avoided crashing into his friend's back.

'Oh, fuck…' James echoed the sentiment as he saw the figure, colourless skin smeared with blood and a limb missing, in Remus' arms.

'We need to get him to St Mungos,' Remus said, unnecessarily. But it snapped both of the wizards out of their shocked states, and they quickly got to it. Each grabbed one of Remus' shoulders and laid a hand on the nearly dead man, and James felt confident that the others were as glad that they'd learned tandem apparating as him. They spun as a unit, and the world before their eyes changed from the woodland to a clean white hospital ward.

The first response they received was a teenager screaming, and James didn't know whether it was because of their sudden appearance or the sheer volume of blood. James ignored her, as a Healer tore down the hallway, saw them, and got to work without so much as a question for the men carrying what might as well have been a corpse. Remus laid the young man on a summoned stretcher that floated in the air before him, and the middle aged Healer's wand was out and tracing intricate patterns in a moment.

The girl's scream had attracted the attention of three other Healers in nearby corridors, and they joined their fellow in helping the bloody young man with haste that was encouraging. One of them cast a quick charm to obscure the views of those around, and James supposed it was to preserve the young man's modesty; he had been naked, and in a corridor that would quickly become crowded that could be embarrassing somewhere down the line.

James glanced at Moony, and winced. Not at his friend's horrified expression, as though he had seen the devil, but at the fact that his front was stained red.

He didn't know if the injured man could survive, even here. The Potter Patriarch took a deep breath, and slipped on the Auror persona that was needed in this moment.

'Sirius, we need to get to work.'

Sirius nodded, as he raised his wand. A silver, wispy Grim sprang forth and rushed off the deliver the message to the Aurors office that they had a crime. A violent crime, at that.

The two Aurors left their friend there, after a brief retelling of finding the bloody man only a little ways from where they'd reunited, and returned to the Potter home. They needed to find out what had happened, and there was no chance of the young man waking up soon, if he ever did. That meant their best bet was to look at the area in which he had been found. Hopefully, there would be a clue on the scene. If not, he would likely have been dumped there after Apparation; Sirius had already called those to the scene that could track the signature, so the job should still be easy. And James knew well that the more bloody and spectacular the scene was, the easier it was to track down.

But, first, he needed to let Lily and Alex know that they and Remus were fine. Hopefully Moony would think to clean up before he returned home… and to actually return home.

He'd probably stay all night, though; Remus would relate to the struggles of a young Werewolf- Remus wouldn't have reacted this way, unless the young man was afflicted by his curse- and know that the boy would be alone if he didn't stay. It was a matter of principle, and Remus had to do right, especially to those who shared his condition.

By the time James reached the scene, Sirius was in full-swing as he dispatched recruits to the most usual locations for violent crimes, in pairs, without breaking stride.

Even so, James had a feeling that it would be a long night.


James ran a hand over his face as he stared at the twisted reflection of himself as a teenager.

The resemblance was there. James wasn't denying that at all, even if he was shocked by it; the boy looked more like James than any of his actual kids- James was thankful for that. He knew from experience that his face made an ugly girl- What he was finding difficult to understand were the differences.

The boy barely looked human, now that they'd cleaned him of blood. James stared at the face, as he struggled to comprehend the chunks that were not made of flesh. It was most shocking there, because… because. For a face to have lines and hunks of metal welded to it to replace the flesh was… horrible. It looked even more shocking than Mad-Eye, the fourth man in the room.

James counted four injuries, on his face alone, that would have been life-threatening. He knew that much from his time as an Auror, and could see that one had done more than leave scars. Around the boy's left eye, there were veins of something other than the silver that ran across the rest of his face. Blue veins stretched away from the lid, yet Moody was the only one who'd been interested in the cause. He didn't seem bothered by the injuries, but, then, he had to see himself in the mirror every day.

The young female Healer that was still in the room had clearly been afraid of the mangled Auror and had given him the answer the second the question passed by Mad-Eye's lips. She had been staring at Moody's magical eye as she told them about the long metal wound running down the left side of his face, and, in a fearful voice, that the infused magic wasn't something she'd seen before but that it seemed to be a way of repairing the injury and giving the eye magical properties. She said it was probably dangerous and painful, and that she couldn't imagine why someone would do it to a child. Then, Moody had growled something to himself and she had squeaked and backed away and stayed on the opposite side of the boy's bed to the retired Auror since, whenever she had been in the room.

Moody had, without asking permission, lifted the boy's lid. As he looked over Moody's shoulder, James had ignored the feeble protests of the Healer in favour of making sure he got to see before Sirius shouldered him aside.

The result of whatever had been done to the sleeping boy was slightly more subtle than Moody's magical eye. Not that it was actually subtle, just more so than a giant electric-blue orb sat next to a brown human eye. From emerald irises, blue veins branched out into the whites and onto the skin beyond; the best James could think to describe the actual eye was as though it was bloodshot, only with blue instead of red. It was the difference of the boy that was least likely to inspire a double-take, to James.

More striking than the eye, though was the lower half of his face. Virtually all of his left jaw, extending to the earlobe of his corresponding ear, was gone. Replaced by silver that, even now, was reflecting the artificial light of the hospital room. Under that, there was another scar, running horizontally across his throat.

James couldn't imagine what had happened to the kid, or why someone would do this to him. It hardly felt right calling him a child. He'd gone through more than James, Sirius, or virtually anyone he knew. All James could hope was that he had not been through more than Moody or Remus… and he doubted that his hope would come true for the latter. For Remus to have smelled him from so far away meant he'd smelled the blood of a fellow werewolf.

James heard a noise not unlike a startled kitten, and glanced over at the Healer, who had lifted the sheets to check on something.

'What is it, girl?' Mad-Eye growled a question, and the girl quaked in her metaphorical boots.

'I-I need to get Healer Robinson…' she said, as though asking permission from a teacher to go to the bathroom.

'Why? What's wrong with him now?' Moody snarled.

'H-His hand…' She flapped the sheet halfheartedly, as though pointing to where the boy's hand would be, or what remained of it, and hurried out of the room as Moody crossed the room, his wooden leg clunk-clunking as he did.

Moody's regular eye widened, as his other eye spun wildly. James took that to mean surprise, though it was hard to tell with Mad-Eye, and quickly moved to stand next to his mentor. He noticed that Sirius stayed put, still staring at the boy's face with solemnity. James didn't entirely understand why, and would need to talk to him later about it.

'Holy shit…'

'Tha's about right,' Moody agreed with James' sentiment. James waited for another reaction, and looked around for his wife. She was standing not far from Sirius, not having come to check out Moody's find either, and James felt his own worry spike as he saw her. Lily was pale, with eyes watery and a hand over her mouth. 'Bloody incredible,' Moody poked at the silver that was growing from the boy's hand with something akin to wonder, as James moved to his wife's side.

'Lils?' James touched her shoulder softly, but Lily didn't respond to his touch or voice. 'Lils, what's wrong?'

'His eyes, James…' she blinked hard, pointing at the boy's face, and a tear rolled down her cheek as she looked at her husband. 'He has my eyes.'

'He… Lils, he has green eyes. Lots of people have green eyes, it doesn't mean anything.' James assured her.

'He has my eyes. They's exactly like mine.' Lily insisted, eyes on the boy again and radiating shock.


'He has my-'

'She's right, James.' At this, James snapped around to stare at his best mate. Not because he was shocked that Sirius was agreeing with Lily, but because Sirius had called him James. Remus switched between nicknames and given names, James did, too, when the situation was serious, but Sirius never used anything but Prongs or Jimmy. 'They're her eyes, not just green, they're exactly the same. Same shape, same colour, same… nobody else has eyes like that. Not that I've ever seen.' Sirius' voice was serious, and James didn't even feel like making a bad pun out of it.

'So what?' James asked, 'Surely there's got to be someone out there with eyes that are identical to all of us? Lily's eyes are breathtaking, but there are six billion other people with eyes as well.' James felt like shouting, just to stop this… whatever it was. Lily continued to looked mortified, Remus was silent, and Sirius was not being a goofball. The situation was horrible, but it didn't involve any of them. None of them were even hurt… What was going on?

'They're genetics. Magical genes, in fact; it isn't possible for someone else to have that trait, because it is unique to Lily's magical line. And her magical line is brand new.' Sirius shook his head as he spoke, and looked from the boy to lock eyes with James. James saw the cold anger in his eyes, and felt his own widen.

'Look… I don't know what you're all thinking, but there's no way he's related to Lily. Her family's not magical… unless… no, even Petunia wouldn't be so cruel as to do this.' Now James' eyes were on the boy, staring with confusion and horror.

'No! No, my sister wouldn't do this to him!' Lily suddenly, and adamantly, denied.

'See?' James looked pointedly at his friend. Sirius stared back with a cold gaze.

'He looks a lot like you, too, James.'

'So what? You think I fucked Petunia? I'd rather cut off my own cock!' James exclaimed and then realised what he'd said. He looked at Lily, but she didn't seem to care what he'd said, instead staring at Sirius.

'No, that's not what I think.' Sirius shook his head, expression not cracking at James' statement.

'Well. then, what? Unless we had a secret child that neither of us knew about, he's not related to us. No matter how much he looks like either of us, it has to be a coincidence.' He stated with conviction, and waited for Sirius to nod, or agree, or for the black-haired man's expression to change in any way whatsoever.

'Did you?' Sirius asked, watching James without emotion in his eyes. Judging him on something that was clearly important to the Black Patriarch.

James stared back, and tried to understand the question he had been asked. He frowned, and asked, 'Did I... what?'

'Have another child? Did Amaryllis have a twin?' Sirius got to the point, and James recoiled.

'What?! No!' He was reeling all of a sudden, sick to his stomach at the insinuation. 'You think we'd do that? You think I'd do that? Abandon my child? My son?' Lily was stiff next to him, and James didn't need to look at her to know feel her anger.

Sirius stared back at the pair for what felt like hours, as Remus and Moody watched the silent exchange.

'No. I guess not.' Sirius gave an unconvincing smile, as he looked at the boy again. 'I guess I've always wanted a godson… and…' Sirius closed his eyes, and James knew his friend well enough to see conflict below the surface.

'And your family's... your family.' James finished the thought, with a pang of sadness that was more potent than he had felt even for the boy. He knew Sirius better than anyone on Earth, and his best friend's family had disowned him as a teenager. For them to abandon toss a baby out into the cold, for some twisted and imagined reason, was hardly a stretch.

'Yeah… I'm sorry, Prongs. Sorry, Lils; it was rotten of me to suggest you'd be like that.' Sirius plastered a fake grin on his face, not one to break down around even his best friends, and walked for the door. 'I'll grab us all some food to make up for it.' He opened the door and strode through without thinking to take orders, and it would be some time before he returned with bright red knuckles- cuts healed by his own hand, rather than by one of those who worked here.

'Where are the Healers?' Remus spoke, from his quiet vigil.

As if waiting for that que, the young Healer and Healer Robinson hurried into the room, to be met by Mad-Eye Moody and an uncharacteristic number of questions. Or, uncharacteristic outside of an interrogation. James wondered if the old Auror might see himself in the unconscious teen, and felt a horrid pang in his chest at the thought.


Remus Lupin returned to the Hospital, and was ignored by those who worked in St Mungo's. Not because they disliked his kind, as was usually the cause of such behaviour, but because he was becoming a regular here. In the two months since the boy had arrived, since Remus had found him, he had been here at least once per two days. Sometimes Remus stayed only an hour or two, in those cases because Shannon and/or Alex had accompanied, but he often was here well into the night if he went home before morning at all.

Today was going to be one of the shorter visits, most likely. Alex was nearing the nine month mark, and appointments were becoming more and more frequent for the both of them together. Remus knew he was lucky to have a wife that understood why he was doing this; he had not even needed to tell her, and Alexandra had assured him she understood. In the boy, Remus saw himself. Or himself, had he not had others to help shoulder the burden, in his parents and in his friends, alone and without hope as he tried to get by with nothing but scraps and solitude. More of his kind went through that than should have, in the twenty-first century.

When the boy woke, Remus wanted him to know that there were those who cared about him. That he wasn't the only one in the world who had gone through these things, even if his experiences had been entirely more severe than Remus' himself.

As he took his chair in the boy's room, Remus sighed sadly. He hated this. He hated all of it. That he didn't understand how the boy had come to be in the Potter property, James and Sirius had had exactly no luck in their investigation; that he didn't understand the metal that had grown to replace the boy's lost flesh, which even the most knowledgeable Healers were baffled by; that he didn't understand how the boy had been unable to transform at the Full Moon a week ago or on the same night the month before

And even more than that he had hated it when, twenty days ago, he had been told of the night by the Aurors that were in the room. Even unconscious, a Werewolf turned, and that was why he had been ruled as something different to a Werewolf, but the Auror and the Healers who had eventually been compelled to come to the room had seen, plain as day, that the boy was afflicted by something.

Something worse than Lycanthropy, from what they could tell. Because he had not been howling, not really, as the moon had reached its peak.

He had been screaming.

The boy had writhed and pulled against the restraints as he wailed himself hoarse from absolute agony. James had come, when they'd let him know, and had desperately tried to find something that would work on the unconscious boy to stop the suffering. None of the others had been willing to administer it, even if they were all shivering under the sounds the boy made, because they feared lycanthropy.

Nothing had stilled him, Stunners and Numbing Draughts doing absolutely nothing, and the boy had continued to scream.

As though he was constantly in the initial stages of transformation, when his body warred against itself. Remus knew that stage well; it was the stage that he remembered the most vividly, when wishing that he was not the way he was. It was the stage in which he wished he could just die so that the pain would stop.

Remus stared at the boy's sleeping face. His expression was peaceful, somehow...

He noticed that the sheets had been changed, meaning the young female Healer had given him a sponge bath, and winced at the knowledge of what was covered by the sheets. He, Sirius, and James had all been glad, for the boy and for that male empathy, when they were assured that his genitals were untouched by the metal scarring. No man would wish that upon another, and it made him shudder to even think about it.

But that was all the boy had been spared.

His left arm, from an inch above the elbow, was entirely made of the silver. Someone had cut it off. No, not cut it off, the border was far too rough for that. Someone, or something, had torn it off. The Healers had said something about there being the beginnings of a cut before the roughness began, but Remus had not been paying enough attention by that point, given what he had already been told. It hardly seemed significant even in retrospect. Half of his right hand been bloody and missing- the pinky and ring fingers- and Remus' attention had been on watching them regrow.

His torso was littered with the scars, some shallow, some deep, some that made Remus sick to his stomach. He supposed they weren't as bad as his hand or face, though. At least they could be covered by a shirt.

Lily had pulled the sheet back over the boy all too late to cover his modesty. She, like Remus, had been too horrified to do anything but stare at the teenager's injuries.

Overall, the boy looked like he had been through hell. Or been put into a muggle wood-chipper and repaired in the style of the Terminator Franchise.

Remus didn't know whether he agreed with what Lily had done. He knew they needed to do something, and that the boy needed a life beyond the hellish nightmare that he had endured thus far, but he felt that it should be his choice. Whether or not he looked like he was Lily's son, this teenager might not take kindly to being enrolled in school by a woman who had decided she would be a worried hen and fret over him.

Or maybe he would. Maybe the boy would understand that she had done it out of kindness, not to make his life worse. Or, if not, maybe Dumbledore would be able to convince him; Remus had seen the man visiting several times already, with concern outweighing the curiosity that the old wizard had shown at this new method of magical healing. Remus knew it wasn't only concern, a part of the old man wondered what role the boy would play in times to come, but also that Albus cared about all the young Witches and Wizards he met. He came across as grandfatherly, because to him everyone was young and stumbling through life.

Dumbledore was only one among many visitors. James and Lily both had taken to visiting regularly, even if neither was so devoted as Remus, if only because they didn't know what to make of the unconscious boy, and Sirius had initially spent more time in St Mungos than even he. Sirius had realised that it was a bad idea to continue when it dawned on him that he'd not been home in four nights and five days. And, that sleeping in a chair was doing him no good- he was not as young as he used to be.

When Alistor Moody had visited, Remus was uncomfortable. Not because the man was doing anything especially unpleasant, but because Moody made people uncomfortable with his very presence; while the man's human eye was on the boy, the magical orb always felt like it was staring at Remus. Remus had been glad when the number of visits dramatically reduced and then stopped, as though something else was occupying the scarred Auror.

Remus sighed as he stood, and placed a hand on the sleeping Werewolf-who-did-not-change's shoulder. Soon, he believed, his visits would need to drop in number dramatically. He would ask them to get in touch if something happened, but his wife was approaching the due date.

That reminded him. He needed to talk to Sirius and, with James, knock some sense into Padfoot. He might not be a great influence, but the boy would be better off having him in his life rather than just sending an over-the-top sum of money each month to the girl he had knocked up five years ago, a girl who had hidden the child's existence since then. James had coined her a Bitch and, even if he wasn't fond of swear words, Remus had to agree.

Remus left, and it would be the better part of another month before the unconscious young man's eyes would finally open of their own accord. During the time, visitors would come and go and, the night he came to the world of the living, another Full Moon would burn him to his core.