Title: Separate and Superior
By: Tirya King
Feedback: Of course!
Summary: Each member of the Order has their own task before it can re-form. This is Remus' task. Set between the 4th and 5th books.
Disclaimer: I do not own Remus or the HP world. I do own the other werewolves mentioned as well as the society presented.
A/N: This is more of an analytical look at a werewolf than anything as well as a look at a side of Remus I feel we don't see enough. The side of him that is a wolf and proud of it. I tried to keep it as non-dry as possible, but still keep it within the school report format that it is meant to be in.
Dedicated to my good friend Nuwie without whom this would never get off the ground and with whom I have spent countless hours ranting about everything and nothing!
Separate and Superior
To Whom It May Concern:
I write to you, Ministers of the Assembly of the Minister of Magic, concerning recent events that have taken place last spring. As you are well aware of, Headmaster Dumbledore of Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, was my employer during the time I spent teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. As I trust his judgment implicitly, I am disturbed by the implications the events of the Tri-Wizard Tournament brings to the surface.
I come to you to ask for something that many of my kind have been asking for years. Freedom. As you may be well aware, I was bitten by a werewolf at a young age, and since then, I have been unable to enjoy the freedoms so enjoyed by the human race.
I do not ask this for my sake, or the sake of my kind, but for your own. With the Dark forces rising, it is very likely that werewolves may be offered the freedoms you have so denied by the Dark Lord and his minions. As for myself, I am solely dedicated to the cause of the Ministry, but there will be others who are not so loyal. To make an enemy of the wolves would be to create a deadly one indeed.
I do not expect this simple plea to sway you toward making new amendments to the laws governing half-human magical creatures. Therefore, I have enclosed an analytical report relating to the werewolf may help you better understand us. I believe there has never before been a report on a werewolf done by a werewolf, so I hope you find it useful. It covers the time between when I was bitten to the time I wrote it which was during my 7th Year attending Hogwarts. Thank you for your consideration and time.
Canus Superior by: Remus John Lupin
There are moments where I can almost believe I am human. When it's as though I never ran out to play that one night so long ago. When it's like I didn't wake up 3 days later in St. Mungo's. The first thing they told me was that once I recovered, I could go on to live a normal life. Don't worry, little one, you're not alone.
It's a lie. It all is. I'm not human. I don't have a normal life. But I'm not alone. Not anymore.
By the age of 40, 65 of werewolves who were bitten as children would be dead. 70 of those commit suicide, ashamed and horrified at what they are. 25 are murdered, lynched, and tortured. No one ever sees the last 5 again. I knew from a very young age, too young for most, that I would probably fit in there somewhere. Even now, long after I have come to terms with what I am, I still hold fears that I will not live long enough to see a cure. There are days where I couldn't care less.
Few know of my true nature. Even less understand it. At times, I don't truly understand it. My disease, my condition, my affliction if you will, is so much a part of me now. If a cure were ever to be found, would I even have the courage to take it? I hate it, I hate it so very much, yet without it, I would be a lost little boy once more. I don't know if I could stand being human again.
I am a wolf now. I accept that. I am more wolf than human now. And every day, every hour, my humanity slips that much more.
Stepping out of that hospital for the first time since the attack, I began to get an idea of what I had gotten myself into. A representative from the Ministry Department of Half Human Magical Creatures came to visit the second day I was awake. He came with a collar.
Registration wasn't so bad. They took blood samples, hair samples, fingerprints, anything that could ever be used to identify me. They had me relive my night, struggle to identify the wolf that bit me. I was seven at the time.
The men were nice to me. They said my collar was something I should only wear during the time when I was sick. They had me try it on. That was one of the most painful moments of my life.
No one had told me that there was silver in the collar. They didn't tell me how on the front, they would attach a tag with my name, a license number, and blood type. I looked in the mirror to see what it was about me that made my mum cry so hard. I was too young to see anything in the mirror except a pale, bandaged boy with a collar on. The pain in the collar had been reduced to a mad fiery itch that left my neck raw.
A second 'collar' was given to me. A chain with dog tags on it that identified me. This set of identification I was to wear all the time. There is less silver in it. Enough to leave a constant reminder that you were anything but normal. But not enough to inhibit you in any way.
We left the hospital with an address with instructions to owl that address at the first opportunity. Some sort of 'support group' my father told me. Where others who were sick like I was came together a few times a year for a week each where we didn't have to be alone with our affliction. I grew to hate that too.
The majority of people that came to this gathering once a year were under the age of 20. Parents took them here so that we might form friendships with others like us. Make us feel less alone in the world. I had never felt so alone in my life as when I was with them. Wolves have a very tight social order and their human-like counterparts are no exception. Every one of us, from the newest pup to the oldest wolf has a place in society. Forcing us all together for one week is asking for trouble. A pack should never be so large.
When I was first introduced into the 'support group', known as 'Wolf's Haven', I was still unsure about my new identity. I did not understand what was expected of me when I arrived. I soon learned through trial and error about the sub-culture of wolves. Every movement, every turn of a phrase meant something whether the wolf was aware of it or not. Instinct ran deep in our veins and you could find yourself attacking a playmate and never consciously knowing why.
When I first arrived, I was immediately placed into the social totem pole. I was shy and I did not want any trouble with the others. That was a mistake. The other pups my age saw this as weakness and cast me as an Omega wolf. They wouldn't go near me, they wouldn't play with me. I ate alone.
One of the Beta females of the pack, a French woman around the age of my mum took pity on me. She found out that it was my first visit to the 'support group' and that I had never even been under a full moon yet. She watched over me and wouldn't let the other pups harass me. Her name was Marie Laspron from a small village called LaCharite and as far as anyone was concerned, she was my pack mother.
My first full moon occurred during my time there, as was the purpose of the whole get-together. The grounds upon which this group lay, was surrounded by underground silver wire strong enough to deter the most enraged wolf. Therefore, we were not forced to hide ourselves in cages or underground lairs during this time. The pack was allowed to roam free.
Anyone can tell you that becoming a wolf during the full moon is painful. The difference between a human's body and a wolf's is too much to not make a painful transition. But only a werewolf can truly tell you of its true nature. You become itchy as fur bursts from your body. Your senses heighten to a level where you want to pass out from the overload of new information. Your bones shift, crack, bend in strange new ways that they were never meant to. Your skin stretches to accommodate the new changes, feeling like it might tear at any moment. I wanted to die, die right there in Marie's arms during the single minute it took to complete the process. But I did not and I ran with the pack that night, wishing for meat and blood from any human that might cross my path. None came.
What people often fail to realize is that when a human becomes a werewolf, it is not just an occurrence that happens once a month. Everything about me changed, my hair grew a bit thicker. My ears pointed at the tips. My teeth developed larger-than-average canines. My body a little leaner with less fat and more muscle. These changes could be hidden easily. The physical changes to my human body were a mere trifle. It was the unseen that set me apart so much. It was the unseen that truly made me a wolf.
As my senses developed gradually over the months since my attack, I became more prone to fainting spells. Most would think it was my illness that made me so weak when there was nothing weak about it. My parents were beside themselves over worry. But how could a little boy-pup explain to his human parents that every whisper was as effective as a scream? A cloudy sky nearly searing my poor small eyes. Food was nauseating in its intense tastes. And the smells… God, that was one of the hardest to get used to. I no longer needed anything but my nose to identify the people I met. Every piece of clothing, every movement of the breeze, everything I came in contact with had its own, overpowering stench. And there was nothing more disgusting to me than the scent of filth.
Born from my new senses came the little quirks I am known for now. I am a neat freak to my friends, taking no less than 2 baths per day and demanding utter cleanliness from them. I can't even count how many times I've been called neurotic. How can one describe how the scent and feel of grime digging into every pore, every seam of my body, makes me want to scrub and scrub until my flesh becomes raw? I speak quietly hoping others show the same courtesy. I hide my eyes behind sunglasses as often as possible. Yet, with all the harm these senses can do if I allow them to overpower me, without them, I would feel naked and helpless. I would not trade them for anything. Not even a cure.
As knowledge of my curse became wider known, I lost any friends I had made when I was human. It seemed my family and I were always on the move. Every year or so, when my secret could not longer be hidden from my neighbors, we would be driven out. I've fled from a burning building more than once before entering school.
The few friends I did have were mostly Muggles, who could not begin to dream what they were playing with. Small things set them off too. I learned early not to look people in the eyes very often. They had something unnatural in them that had a habit of unnerving people. Yet, to those who I would not make eye contact with, I was considered a shady, untrustworthy boy. For what honest boy needs to hide his eyes?
Even when I had friends, and could keep them, there was so much that I was still not allowed to do like a normal boy. I could not share drinks or ice cream cones with my playmates, for my saliva is as dangerous in my human form as in my wolf form. Any cuts I obtained climbing trees could not be laughed at or ignored. My day of fun ended right there and I had to rush home immediately to get cleaned up and bandaged. I may heal faster than a human, but one drop of my blood in the system of another was too big a risk to take. My 'Muggle identity' has me listed as an AIDS patient so that if I ever need medical attention, my caretakers would be safe. I wonder how many other 'Muggles' who claim to have a blood condition are actually hiding a more sinister infliction.
I was 9 when thoughts of my education began to hit my parents hard. My father was pureblood and my mother a mix. Therefore, they had always assumed that I would be attending Hogwarts when I turned 11. But the laws clearly stated that a half-breed could not learn magic. The Ministry felt we were dangerous, possible traitors. I laugh to hear their arguments, for they have so many. The magical world fears me and what I am capable of. They are afraid that if I learn magic then I might turn on them with it. Perhaps if I were not so mistreated by them, I would not feel the occasional urge to prove them right. I am an animal and at times I want to show them so much just how vicious a wolf can be.
Nevertheless, my parents felt that if they appealed to Headmaster Dippet he could find some way to let me in. We did not have high hopes. His niece, a young witch by the name of Dolores Umbridge, had just graduated school and was a rising official in the Department of Half-Human Magical Creatures. She helped enforce the laws that caused this problem in the first place.
I was refused admittance into the school.
I was 10 when Headmaster Dippet died. His successor was a man known by many as a maverick of a wizard. Professor Dumbledore was adored by my parents who had been taught by him. They told me that he even fought for the rights of my kind and other half-humans. They sent another appeal to the school, begging him to teach me magic. They assumed he would send me a private tutor at the very best. Imagine their surprise when he sent his response.
He arrived via floo network to speak personally with them. They told him everything they knew about me, the cause of my infliction, my many friendships, my high intelligence, my good breeding. Everything they thought that would help my case. He chuckled at my poor rambling mother. No, no, no, he said. All he wanted to know was my temperament. Papa went on to say how mild mannered I was. Very clean. Quiet and obedient.
Dumbledore saw that speaking to my parents was useless so he asked to see me in private to determine my true nature. He asked me how I would feel about going to school with children my own age. I asked if there would be pups there as well as children. He asked what I meant. I said that I wanted to know if there would be any other wolves there. Anyone like me. He replied that no, I would be schooling alongside human children. I would be the first and only pup allowed inside a magical education institution.
Back then, I was still a small pup. Humanity had done very little to me if you discounted my parents. I had been hurt many times for simply daring to exist by humans and I had been to Wolf's Haven many times since I was bitten. My pack mother, Marie, had taught me to never trust humans. And as I trusted her, loved her for protecting me and making me her pack pup, I believed her. She always told me to trust my instincts, my wolf instincts, for they would not lie to me. They told me to be wary of any human that showed more than passing interest in me.
I told the Headmaster as much. I told him right off that he and I were different. That I could not trust him even though my parents did. I did not want to be hurt again. He took my words in stride. He told me that I was half human, how could I fear other humans? I replied that no, I was not human. I was a wolf. All wolf.
Then he smiled and clasped my shoulder. I fought the urge to bite his hand for invading my personal territory. Then he told me the words I never thought I'd hear. I would be attending school the fall of my 11th year. The laws clearly stated that half breeds could not learn magic. Hadn't I just said I was full wolf? Looking back, it was a foolish and insensitive thing to say, but at the time, it was an epiphany.
He stayed for dinner that night and we worked out the details. After my mother stopped crying, my father asked about my monthly 'sickness.' How would I ever get away with it without putting the children and staff in danger? Surely the other parents wouldn't dare allow their children to school alongside a werewolf. And what about the Ministry? The law clearly stated… yet the Headmaster had an answer right away.
The staff need be the only ones to know what I was. The government, surely, must be notified that I was attending, and frankly he didn't care what they said. He would tell them I was going, not asking. It was his school and they had no authority there. He would speak with his staff to see what could be done for my transformations, but surely he would have an answer in a few days. He did. Arrangements were made.
The government, of course, threw a fit. But they couldn't do anything with Dumbledore backing me up. I half expected him to drop me in favor of the Ministry's wishes. But he stood by me, defended me to those who would lock me up in a silver cage with a silver muzzle. No one save my parents had ever done that. And even my parents wouldn't defy the Ministry. I began to trust again. I wanted to make him glad of his decision to let me in school. I didn't want to dishonor his efforts.
A month before school started, I was able to go to Wolf's Haven for one last visit. I told Marie about it, who in turn told the rest of the pack about it. I became an instant celebrity, moving up the ranks by myself to among the Alphas. Their very own wizarding werewolf… the only one among us allowed to even hold a wand or own a cauldron.
I had a new incentive now to do well. If I were to get in trouble in any way, not only would I be dishonoring myself and Dumbledore, but also my people who were just beginning to accept me into their culture. What if I was the reason that wolves were never allowed to learn magic in the future? I vowed to keep quiet, remain mild mannered, and learn all I could.
School started all too soon. I had all my new supplies and even a new owl which was a gift from Marie and her mate. To say I was nervous around all these humans would be to understate it greatly. However my parents were beside themselves with nerves and pride. I couldn't wait for the all the excitement to be over. I wished for nothing more than to be in my dorm, hide behind a book, and remain invisible to the world.
On the train there were three boys that came to sit with me, as there were no other seats elsewhere. I tried to be friendly, but I couldn't get past my mistrust of these humans who would hate me and try to hurt me if they knew the truth. I couldn't afford to get close.
The first boy, a shaggy haired mischievous child named James Potter set out immediately to make himself new friends. He came from a good family. Nearly pureblood, he had a few Muggle relations, but his family was well known among the wizarding world. I vaguely recognized the name, but couldn't remember where. Young James was wealthy and talented. He also knew it. He both unnerved me and intrigued me with his candor and impulsive nature. Immediately taking a liking to me, he counted me among his friends before I said very much at all.
The second, with a little more Muggle blood than the first, came to our section. Nervous and shy, Peter Pettigrew was looking for a missing pet, a lizard or a toad or some other creature. Finding it in our car, he decided to stay. He was drawn in by the prankster's magnetic personality. He stayed, he told me, because of my easy acceptance of him and his weaknesses. Oh, if he only knew the truth. The prankster would tease him, but it would all be in fun. I knew the pain of taunts all too well and would not partake in it despite it being friendly banter where no one was hurt.
The third boy, I am ashamed to admit, downright terrified me at first. Sirius Black was born into a noble and pureblooded family that nearly every wizard knew. Handsome, incredibly talented, and from his kind of family… I was afraid the moment he let his surname leave his lips. He knew of his nobility to be sure, but he did not flaunt it at much as the prankster. This surprised me, but I would not let my guard down around him no matter what. His family hunted abominations like me. His kind was not my kind.
Apparently, his kind was the James' kind for they latched onto each other as though old friends within minutes. Sirius must have noticed my unease around him, for he joked that he would not bite. I did not laugh. He caught my gaze in impossible blue eyes, and held it, and was not unnerved. My own mother could not look me in the eyes for longer than a few seconds.
The three of them were determined to become friends, not even knowing if they would even be in the same House. And they made it their first mission to recruit me. They saw something in me. Something that I have yet to discover, that attracted them to me as surely as they attracted each other. And I, in my fear, would fight them every step of the way. When they became too much for me, I was rude to them. I snapped back like a cornered animal, wishing only to be left alone in a sea of humans. They saw through me and my loneliness easily.
It would take them months of patience and commendable persistence to win me over. And once they did, and were able to take my barriers down one by one, I found them to be the best people I ever knew. I had a new pack now where rank didn't matter so much. They protected me and in return, they were placed under my protection. I took this role seriously and still do. Both the human and wolf in me will not allow any harm to come by them while we are a pack.
Those three probably saved my humanity. I had been around the other wolves too long from Wolf's Haven. My parents also coddled me too much when it came to my social circles. I had become so reliant on my instincts, on what I was, that I was beginning to forget just who I was. But James, Peter, and Sirius made me want to try to be human again. They made me see past the demon that I was starting to become.
Fighting your very nature is difficult. Trying to restrain an untamed wolf that had once had free reign is nigh impossible. People use exhaustion as a way of identifying a werewolf. This is an awful method of identifying us. True werewolves, the ones who are really more animal than human are the most powerful and energetic beings on Earth. I had boundless energy when I fully accepted what I was. What tires werewolves so much that they have been known to go gray early, is their trying to restrain themselves.
The moment I shoved my wolf nature to the back, I became sick. My immune system is such that nothing short of the plague will keep me down for long. But the simple act of ignoring one's instincts made me feel like I was constantly wearing that silver collar the Ministry gave me all those years ago. I am nauseous and weak most of the time. Instead of being tired for a day before and after the full moon, I am now confined to bed for at least one day before and two to three after. The energy required to keep this up is what caused my frailness. But despite my new weaknesses, I was happy for the first time in my life. I had my pack. And we became as tight-knit as though we were brothers.
Despite my unspoken promise to keep my head down, my pack had other plans. True to their natures, James and Sirius created a new mission; terrorize the whole bloody school. Peter found the idea to be likable, and slowly, I warmed up to the idea. Thus new roles were set among the pack. James was the action, the talented wand, to the prank. Sirius was the idea. His creative imagination and his clever spells would promise a new and interesting prank every time. But he was impulsive and lacked refinement in his pranks. That's where I come in. I am the brains of the operation in a sense. I refine the prank, hone it until it is perfect and research the ideas to make them a reality. Peter was our 'inside' man. He could create diversions and scout the area like it was an art form. With him around, we know that we are secure from detection.
The only time I would put my foot down and not take part would be when our prank terrorized one person in particular. Or when our harmless fun became too personal for my tastes. As I stated before, I knew taunts all too well and would not bestow it upon another. It is a shame of mine to admit that I am not so brave as to prevent it. I will not harass the Slytherins like James and Sirius do, especially a certain favorite 'victim', and I do not laugh in the sidelines like Peter, but I also do not stop it. Old fears come back and I feel again like the Omega pup I used to be. To show weakness will demote you. What if, no matter how illogical it is, my pack turns on me for standing up for their enemy? What if I am cast out again? I don't think I could live like that. Not when I care for them as I do.
However, being with the pack I had chosen, I found myself fighting for dominance anyway. Though I was the only one to recognize it for what it was, other groups of the school, the Slytherins, cliques of the Houses, would fight for our position in the school like any wolf pack. Only a wolf such as I can appreciate how similar humans and wolves really are. I understood the rules of human society within a day merely by remembering the instinctive rules of the Wolf's Haven pack. I could no longer count on Marie to keep me from scuffles and I could not allow myself to be weak in front of the human pups who bullied me. I had to learn how to fight back against new school tormentors. They didn't know what I was, thank Merlin, but disliked me for my simple association with my pack.
It was almost a relief to me at first, being hated only because I was a good student and because of the pack I ran with. I was not bullied because I was a different species. Those Slytherins hated the human Remus who was a Marauder. Not the whelp pup of a rogue werewolf. That had nothing to do with it! I think that is what made me so difficult to upset to the Slytherins; I honestly and truly did not let it bother me.
Sirius and James certainly gave me odd looks when I looked almost pleased to be called such filthy names. They chalked it up as another strange quirk of their beloved mischief making friend. But all those names were human! They were human insults meant for human victims! Peter only followed my example. Soon he was as patient with his frequent bullies as I was. I was proud that I could help protect my fellow packmate without even having to try.
For two wonderful years I could pretend I was nothing but an ordinary human boy who learned alongside three best friends. Once a month I always had the rude reminder that I was not as I appeared. I always had an excuse to my friends for my frequent absences. My grandmother died. My cousin was being married in Spain. But I knew time was running short. I would run out of family members to kill soon. I was best friends with two of the most clever and bright students of the school. It was only a matter of time before they found out the truth behind their peaceful and gentle packmate.
I dreaded that day. They would turn on me. Sirius would turn out to be the hateful nobleman of his ancestors. Peter would run in fright of the horrifying monster. James would cast me out of the pack to protect his remaining friends. His human friends. And on that fall afternoon of our Third Year, I knew the moment I was found out.
The full moon was in two days and I had solemnly informed James in our dorm of my dear grandfather's demise. A terrible, sudden accident involving a rogue chimera. I would be gone for a few days to see to it. The second after the lie left my lips, my eyes widened. Oh no! I had killed off two sets of grandparents already. And it was the rare child that had three to spare. True to form, James immediately picked it up. I knew he had been suspicious for a while, and this was the final straw so to speak. His hazel eyes hardened and I could see all the pieces clicking into place in his mind. That was it. I was done for.
He called down to Sirius and Peter in the Common Room. I was cornered in my dorm room as they approached me. James only gave his pack of two a curt nod. Oh no, had they been talking about me and my strange disappearances? How long had they suspected? I watched helplessly as understanding filled their eyes and they turned to look at me, truly look at me, as I had always wished they wouldn't.
Sirius being Sirius could never understand the meaning of words like 'subtle,' 'tact,' or 'sensitivity.' They saw how nervous I was rapidly becoming. I could never hide anything from them for long. So he came right out and asked me, holding my gaze in impossible blue eyes that were not afraid. But I was. I was terrified.
"You're a werewolf, aren't you, Remus?"
End Part One
Alright then, I have two more parts planned before we receive the Ministry's response to his plea. And yes, he was told to do this by Dumbledore as Hagrid was asked to go to the giants to keep them from going to Voldemort.