The full moon lit up the black sky so brightly that any person looking directly at the orb would be enticed by its beauty and would never look away until it slipped beneath the horizon for another day. And its beauty didn't only attract the attention of people, but also the attention of creatures, especially of those who belonged to the night. But many of them were scarred of what the full moon brought out, werewolves.
There were fewer of these beasts around these days, for many who became a werewolf drugged the beast from ever truly emerging. Just the body appeared but the mind stayed that of a human. And the human mind would hide the body for the night the moon was at its fullest. But some believed that the beast's mind shouldn't be caged. Some believed that the beast shouldn't be caged at all and still wandered their territory during the full moon. They still looked for prey and for those they could infect with the virus and curse.
And as the full moon started to vanish beyond the horizon, a lone werewolf stood tall on his hind legs; his long, bloody snout pointed towards the sky as he howled his goodbyes to his master, to the one who controlled his life. He dropped to all fours as the retransformation began its painful process. His howls turning to cries of pain. His body shaking violently as the coarse hair that covered his body began to shed; as his clawed paws returned to the normal size and shape of human hands; as his shoulders straightened and his head, body and teeth shrunk back to the size of a normal human.
He stopped shaking as he collapsed to the ground, breathing heavily and with effort as he fought to gain control of his mind again. He dug his nails into the soft earth around him as he tried to raise his head from the ground. He licked his lips as he did so and froze. He could taste blood. Fresh blood. And he could smell it in the air, even with his human nose and senses. He looked ahead and as his vision cleared, he saw a small form lying a few feet away from him.
His heart quickened as he slowly crawled towards the form. He could see the blood now and it was soaking through fabric. Through clothes. Torn clothes. Torn by sharp teeth. He shook again before he was able to get a hold of himself once more and reach out for the form. He turned her… her over and reached for her neck in search for a pulse. It was faint but it was there. He breathed a sigh of relief but it caught in his throat. He checked the wound in which the blood poured from. It was a werewolf bite. Death would have been kinder for her but now she had to become a beast once a month.
And it was his entire fault.
A loud crack sounded behind him and he curled up into a ball to hide his modesty and so he could weep in his hands.
"Remus?" a male voice called out. "Remus? Lumos!" They called again before a light from a wand hit his back.
"I… I…" Remus choked, staring at the woman before him. The man behind moved forward.
"We've been searching for you all night. We thought…" his voice trailed off into a gasp and Remus looked up into the face of Kingsley Shaklebolt. A face of terror. Kingsley coughed and handed down a robe to Remus.
"Put that on," Kingsley ordered, his voice now hoarse and grime. Remus slipped into the robe but continued to stare at the woman. Kingsley bent down, checked for a pulse and then checked for the wound. "Bitten," he muttered and looked at Remus, sadness in his eyes. He then grabbed Remus by the elbow and hauled him to his feet. Remus' body protested to this by causing him pain and he cried out.
"We have to get you out off here," Kingsley said once Remus' cries had eased. Remus' eyes went wide on realising what Kingsley meant. He pushed away from Kingsley's hold and stumbled until his knees gave way and he landed on his backside. He cried out again.
"No… I c… can't," Remus stuttered through his pain, shaking his head.
"If the Ministry finds out, they'll set the death penalty on you," Kingsley warned.
"I'm well aware of the laws, Kingsley," Remus retorted.
"Then why stay here and be caught?" Kingsley asked, closing the gap between them.
"I'd rather die then live with the knowledge that I've cursed someone; ruined their life as mine was ruined. Why would I want to witness that?" Remus asked. Kingsley grabbed him by the arms and brought him to his feet again. He struggled, but Kingsley wouldn't let go.
"Don't be a fool, Remus. You've done more good in your life then most. One mistake doesn't cancel all that out," Kingsley said.
"Mistake? Mistake? I've cursed her! I've turned her into a beast!" Remus shouted, his voice straining from the effort. Kingsley shook him.
"Exactly. The beast. It was the beast who did this, not you," Kingsley whispered.
"The beast and I are one of the same. It's inside me. I'm inside it," Remus cried as his knees gave out again and Kingsley had to support him completely. "I will not go unpunished for this."
"Then I'll pull some strings. Order a trial and protest your innocence. After what you did in the war, they can't deny you that right," Kingsley said with a sigh. Remus made to speak but words failed him so he shook his head 'no' instead. "I won't allow you to give up so easily," Kingsley continued but he was silenced as a few more cracks sounded around the area. Others who had been searching for Remus had found him. But they had also found the dreadful situation. There was no way Kingsley could get Remus away from this without judgement and prosecution now.
"I'm sorry, friend," Kingsley said as his eyes lost contact with Remus' and he read him his rights.