Disclaimer: Most of the characters and places in this story are not my property; they belong to J.K. Rowling, etc. However, I completely take the blame for Boulanger's, Venefics' and the singing telegram.
A Longing Beyond Reason
Pre-Lunar Syndrome is hell. Just ask any werewolf who has been taking the Wolfsbane Potion for more than a year or two. A little-known side effect of the potion causes a certain condition similar to one well-known to many women; and in the case of one Remus Lupin, werewolf, war hero and—much to Snape's dismay—recently re-hired Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher, one of the most powerful symptoms is a certain...yearning.
He sat in the Hogwarts kitchens, his head in his hands. What was he going to do? This was terrible. Absolutely terrible. Almost a tragedy. He had never had such a strong desire before while in human form; he could feel it in his bones, right down to the tiniest part of his gentle soul. This desire would not be denied. He absolutely had to have it. The craving was just too strong.
Remus Lupin wanted a jelly doughnut. Wanted it with all the longing that he could possibly muster—wanted one so terribly that he could almost taste it.
Not, of course, that it does me any good to want it that badly, he thought, ruefully. I mean, wanting it that badly just makes the torture even worse…you'd think it wouldn't, since I can practically taste the thing, but sure enough, it makes it worse. Clamping down on this line of thought, he decided that he should act—now.
So what did he do? It was what any normal, rational werewolf five days from the full moon would do under the circumstances, really. He went down to the Hogwarts kitchens and asked the house elves to make one for him.
Imagine his surprise when the entire House Elf staff at Hogwarts suddenly stopped what they were doing and stared at him, their buggy eyes going even buggier. Imagine Dobby, in all his green-ness, stepping forward out of the throng. Imagine, if you will, his voice becoming even squeakier than usual. "Dobby is sorry, Professor Remus Lupin, sir, but the house elves don't know how to make jelly doughnuts."
If it had been Hermione Granger, she would have given them a recipe for jelly doughnuts and perhaps tried to slip one or two of them an outrageously-knitted toque (provided, of course, she'd even go and ask for something in the first place). Harry Potter would've asked for something else. Ron Weasley would have just tucked in to whatever the house elves could provide him with. Severus Snape, greasy old bat as he was, would probably have gotten himself into a right royal snit about how the house elves could make delicacies from all the nations of the Earth but somehow a simple jelly doughnut was beyond them.
But this was, after all, Lupin. He sank down into a chair that Dobby conveniently snapped into existence behind him and said, "Oh."
Immediately, the kitchens were thrown into an uproar. House elves were branding themselves with hot pokers and slamming frying pans on their heads and thinking up unimaginable ways to punish themselves for their lapse. One of them, completely in the depths of despair, started singing old Britney Spears tunes. It was a pathetic sight. "Stop it!" Lupin shouted, completely ignored by the elvish servants. Finally he took his wand out of his sleeve, muttered "Sonorus!" and shouted, "STOP IT! ALL OF YOU, CEASE AND DESIST AT ONCE!"
There was an instant silence in the kitchen once again. Dobby peered up at Lupin and said, "Professor Severus Snape sir has brewed some very good polyjuice. Dobby really thought that you was Professor Remus Lupin sir. Would Professor Severus Snape sir wish for something else instead?"
"I'M NOT—" Lupin grimaced and performed the Quietus spell. "I'm not Snape," he growled when his voice had returned to a far more normal volume. "I'm on a quest!" He took a handful of floo powder and threw it into the fireplace, saying "Headmaster Dumbledore's office!"
"Very interesting," said the Headmaster when Lupin had explained the situation. "I'm sorry, my lad, but you'll find no jelly doughnuts here. However, if you would care for a sherbet lemon…?"
"Ah, no thank you, Headmaster," Lupin said. He had his suspicions about those sherbet lemons. Rumour had it that there was a silencing spell cast on them that would affect everyone who ate them but Dumbledore himself. It certainly explained why people who indulged rarely protested when he asked them to do him a favour. Their manners were almost always too good to allow them to verbally object.
An hour and two sherbet lemons later, Dumbledore had extracted the promise from Lupin to bring him back some phoenix food from Diagon Alley during his quest for the jelly doughnut.
After flooing to the Leaky Cauldron, Lupin strolled over to Boulanger's, the best bakery in Diagon Alley. Opening the door, he allowed his sensitive nose to drink in the smell of freshly-baked bread. It was a slow day, so old Boulanger himself came out of the kitchens at the ringing of the cowbell above the door.
"I'm sorry, Professor, but there's none to be found here."
Lupin's face fell. "Are you absolutely certain? Nobody in the entire magical world knows how to make a simple jelly doughnut?"
"Not in the respectable parts of Wizarding Britain. I suggest you try someplace else."
Lupin paled. "Very well. Thank you for your trouble, Mr. Boulanger."
After Lupin had left the shop, Boulanger stared at the closed door. "Well, now," he mused. "Never would've figured Professor Lupin to be someone who's afraid of Muggle bakeries."
Lupin, of course, had not thought that Boulanger had meant a Muggle shop and, single-minded as he was at times, didn't even think of it as an option. And so he stood in front of Venefics', the bakery in Knockturn Alley.
"What do you want?" spat the baker as Lupin entered the store.
Lupin decided not to be insulted by the baker's tone. "A jelly doughnut, please," he said calmly.
"Oh, 'e wants a jelly doughnut, does 'e?" the baker growled. "You wants to off someone, then?"
"Er, no. I was just told that you can't find a jelly doughnut in any respectable Wizard's bakery in Britain."
The baker gave a menacing, toothy grin. "Well, you've come to the right place if you doesn't want respectable. I should warn you, though, our jelly doughnuts is...special. The jelly's got arsenic in."
Lupin blanched. "What do you mean, the jelly contains arsenic?!"
"Look at the sign," said the baker, irritably. "There's a reason we've got this name, after all."
Lupin obediently went outside and looked at the sign. "Venefics' Bakery: Pastry to Die For!" His face went blank for a moment as he tried to work it out.
Hold on...Venefics'...sounds like veneficus, which is Latin for 'poisoner', so...
"Clever," he said weakly, and apparated back outside the Hogwarts grounds. He walked up the path to the school, looking forward to getting back to his rooms. He needed a bath, a good cup of tea and a jelly doughnut—and at least he could get the first two at home.
So engrossed was he in the pleasure of his bath that he never heard the door opening or the gasp which soon followed. "Oh, er, Remus, I didn't realize you were in here!"
Sputtering, he awoke from his reverie to see a stunned Minerva McGonagall standing in the doorway to the bathroom. Her eyes were screwed shut, and she was holding out his ratty grey bathrobe.
He blushed, grabbing the robe to cover himself. "Next time, Minerva, I suggest that you knock first!" He paused for a minute. "Hold on—what are you doing in my private rooms, anyway?"
McGonagall blushed. "Er—these are your rooms? They're behind the door where Albus' used to be. I was looking for him." Without any further explanation, she shut the bathroom door and hurried away.
Looking for Dumbledore? Lupin mused. What could she want with him this time of night? He shuddered. Some things are best left unknown, Moony my lad, and you already know more about this one than you ought. Best not to know the rest.
Especially if I want to be able to look at the two of them again without either violently ejecting the contents of my stomach or wondering how on Earth they manage it.
Next morning, Lupin sat at the Head Table gloomily munching his fried bread and wishing it were the coveted jelly doughnut. When the post arrived, an owl dropped a letter into his tea.
"Dear Professor Lupin," it read,
We are sorry to hear that you are not yourself lately. With this in mind, we have written a song for you to cheer you up. We hope you like it.
Some Anonymous Gryffindors.
He stared at the letter in amazement as it folded itself into a mouth slightly reminiscent of a Howler. It proved to have the volume of one, too, as it sang:
Oogly boogly bungly boo
Urgly burgly ruppity roo
Meegly meegly entippy too—
Oogly boogly bungly boo.
Oogly boogly bungly boo
Zippity mippity bippity noo
Peppity veppity reppity koo—
Oogly boogly bungly boo.
Oogly boogly bungly boo Oogly boogly bungly boo
Ekkity zekkity yekkity woo
Wikkety snickety brikety voo—
Oogly boogly bungly boo.
Oogly boogly bungly boo...
Oogly boogly bungly boo
The Singer's voice was one to rival a Howler's, and the tune was contagious. Before they knew it, the entire population of Hogwarts was humming it.
At the Gryffindor table, Ron Weasley put his head into his hands. "That's it. This is the last time I trust Fred and George with a singing telegram!"
It was now several days since the longing had taken hold. Lupin was beginning to get a bit desperate. Damn and blast, it's getting even worse! Not a jelly doughnut to be found in any Wizard's bakery in Britain except for the one that offers pastry to die of. There's got to be some way I can get rid of this craving. And that dratted song is still Oogly Booglying through my head...
And then, Lupin had an idea verging on pure genius. "Canada! Of course! I'll go to Canada! They're famous for their doughnut shops! It's practically part of their culture, right?"
Oh, Albus… he thought with a most un-Lupin-like smirk. I believe you owe me a favour for picking up that phoenix food…
"I'm sorry, Remus, but I cannot possibly send you to Canada at this time. There simply isn't the money."
Lupin was at the end of his rope. To be denied his one chance at happiness was too much of a strain. Deliberately, he removed his wand from its pocket in his sleeve. "Very well, Headmaster, you leave me no choice. Mobilialbus!"
Albus Dumbledore, never fond of flying, indulged in a rare moment of weakness as he silently cursed the student whose carelessness with "mobiliarbus" had led to the discovery of this highly unorthodox spell. Giving a rather splendid demonstration of the Doppler effect as Remus sent him zooming around the high-ceilinged office, Dumbledore shouted, "All right, all right, Remus—I'll send you to Canada. Just put me down!"
Bliss. Absolute bliss. He sat at a Tim Horton's in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, munching a jelly-filled doughnut. His odd appearance attracted more than a few stares, but he had paid for his purchases; Dumbledore had been kind enough to provide Lupin with some Canadian currency, so it hadn't been a case of "Acciojelly doughnut!" and running away like Hell without paying, letting the local Aurors sort out the necessary obliviations. So what if it looked as if he hadn't bothered to change out of his pyjamas and bathrobe that morning?
Maybe I should bring a supply back to Hogwarts with me…
Epilogue: A Discovery
"What do you mean, I could've just gone to any Muggle bakery in Aberdeen?!"
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this random bit of silliness. It was certainly fun to write. )
By the way, about the "Oogly Boogly" song, well...er...I don't know exactly what happened there. All I can offer by way of explanation is that it was 3:00 in the morning and I couldn't sleep, as tired as I was. I scribbled something quickly onto a piece of paper, thinking it made a great deal of sense—and then I woke up the next day and saw "Oogly Boogly" in a binder on my bed. It seemed nonsensical enough for this story, so I used it.
Considering that the last time something like that happened I raved in badly-written Italian ("Rossini è morto in 1791 nella biblioteca", or "Rossini died in 1791 in the library", which is more or less impossible because Gioacchino Rossini, an Italian composer, was born in 1792), I can't wait to see what'll happen next time I'm overtired and moved to write.