Set in the Marauders' second year, Lupin's friends confront him about his lycanthropy in a way he would never have imagined.
that flows from the heart cannot be frozen by adversity, as the water
that flows from the spring cannot congeal in winter."
- James Fenimore Cooper
A storm was brewing. Raindrops lashed against the window and thunder boomed every once in a while. The Marauders had initially planned on taking a little walk outside, but now all they could do was sit around in the Gryffindor common room and chat idly.
Lupin was curled up in a sofa, deeply immersed in a book titled, Defence Against The Dark Arts: All You Need To Know. Sirius, James and Peter were huddled in a corner, removed from the rest of the Gryffindors, talking in low voices. Lupin was not much interested in joining their conversation. They were probably just planning yet another prank to play on the Slytherins or something. Besides, the book was very interesting.
"Hey, Remus!" James called to Lupin just then.
"What?" Lupin asked, looking up from his book.
"Want a game of Truth or Dare?"
"Truth or dare?" Lupin remembered vaguely his Muggle mother telling him about it. It was a game of some sorts. He had never played it before, though. "Why?"
Sirius rolled his eyes. "Because its raining and we've got nothing to do, you dolt!" he gestured Lupin forward impatiently. "Come on over! Do you know how to play it?"
"I think so," with a sigh, Lupin put down his book and walked over to the three. "How'd you guys learn to play it?"
"Peter taught us," James told him. "His dad's a Muggle, remember?"
"Oh, yeah," Lupin sat down, and the four formed a circle. Peter pulled out his wand.
"Ok, I'll spin this, and whoever it points to have to choose between a truth or a dare," he said cheerfully.
"Here we go!" Peter said, and he spun his wand.
A small shower of blue sparks came out from the wand tip, and it landed right in front of Lupin.
Lupin saw the rest exchanged fleeting glances. I wonder what horrors they've got in store, he thought to himself, smiling slightly. "I choose Truth."
"Yes, play it safe, Remus," James said, nodding.
"Yeah, that's me." Lupin glanced at the three. They were once more exchanging glances. "What's wrong?"
Sirius turned to Lupin, then said, "Remus, now you must tell the truth and only the truth." He looked Lupin straight in the eye.
The way Sirius was looking at him made him feel uncomfortable. It reminded Lupin of his deepest, darkest secret. He would tell nobody the truth about it. Never. Yet he had a feeling of foreboding. Sirius's look seemed to be telling him something. This question was not going to be a good one…
"Where do you really go every month, Remus?" James asked abruptly.
"What?" Remus looked up in shock, then turned around to make sure nobody was listening. Everyone seemed preoccupied with his or her own activities. "What are you talking about?"
"You know very well what we're talking about," Sirius said.
"I – and you do know where I go every month!" Lupin said furiously. A small, panicked voice was beginning to shout in his head. "I go home to visit my mum. She's really ill!"
"Oh, yeah, right," James said disbelievingly. Peter stared down at his hands silently.
"Look, what're you guys up to?" Lupin asked crossly. "This is just a game, isn't it?"
"We have our reasons for playing this game, Remus." Sirius said, his voice lowered. "Friendship is a game of trust. Once again: Where do you really go every month?"
"Look," James said. "To tell the truth, we already know the answer. But we want to hear it from you. We're friends, Remus! Don't you trust us enough to tell us?"
They know! Lupin stared at his robes. He knew this would come sooner or later, but he had not expected it now. This was it.
But yet… Lupin looked up at them. He had always imagined, in this scenario, that the rest would be looking at him scornfully, not wanting to be friends with him anymore. But yet, they were looking at him differently. The look in their eyes… after a moment, Lupin was surprised to see the kindness in their eyes.
"I'm…" Lupin spoke softly, so nobody else except the Marauders could hear. "I'm a werewolf. I was bitten when I was five. Every month, Madam Pomfrey brings me to the Shrieking Shack so I can transform."
When he glanced up at the others, he noticed that they were smiling at him. Sirius clapped him on the shoulder.
"That wasn't so hard, was it?" he asked. "We're friends, Remus. I thought you would have trusted us enough to tell us!"
"I was scared," Lupin stared at them, unable to believe that they had accepted his condition so easily. "I thought that you guys won't want to be my friends anymore once you found out!"
"What are you talking about?" James said. "We're friends, silly! We won't reject you just because of this!"
"Does it hurt, Remus?" Peter asked.
Lupin paused for a while, then said slowly, "Yes… it always does. But I'm kind of used to it by now. And," he grinned, "the transformations sure will be easier now, now that I know that my friends don't mind me for who I really am!"
"We promise to make you feel better from now on, Remus," Sirius said seriously. "We'll be there for you always."
Lupin laughed, a warm feeling rising in his chest. Never had he felt so happy.
"Oh, lets can it with the mushy stuff!" James grinned. "Whatever happened to our game?"
"You planned this whole truth or dare thing, didn't you?" Lupin asked.
"Yep, actually we did," Sirius said, smiling. "Isn't it brilliant? Anyway, we can play it properly now, since everything's out!"
Lupin grinned. "Ok, then!" he leaned forward and spun the wand, watching the blue sparks, and feeling happier then he had ever been in his life.
888Done! Tell me what you think. Review!