A/N: I had often wondered what the confrontation would have looked like. This is it.
Disclaimer: I own nothing... especially not Harry Potter
What You Are
I had begged my father on bended knee, and he had finally allowed me my own fishing pole. My five-year-old self had been so pleased that I had nearly taken my eye out with the beautiful red instrument. We had a pretty country house, for we could not afford much, but our property housed a nice lake in the backyard, which I had often watched my father fish in, always wanting to join with him.
I grabbed my new fishing pole and ran outside, screaming for joy. I placed it carefully, lovingly on the ground and began to dig for a nice worm so I could catch a fish. And then I heard a strange noise, like growl of sorts. I spun around and peered into the woods.
"Who is it?" I called in my sweet little voice, but I got no reply.
No human reply, that is.
Out of the woods leapt a wolf, only it was more than a wolf – it was the most terrible wolf that you could imagine. I screamed and turned to pick up my fishing rod so I could run, but the wolf was quicker than I. My frightened scream had caused my parents to come running out in alarm to see what had happened. My mother screamed and called for my father, and he came to my rescue. It was too late for me, however. The wolf jumped on me and sunk its horrible teeth into my leg. A pain like no other came to me, and I began to scream and cry in agony. My father managed to pull me out of the wolf's jaws, stepping on my fishing rod and snapping it clean in two as he did so. He sprinted into the house with me in his arms, and I was screaming bloody murder. He handed me to my mother and closed the door right before the wolf managed to get into the house – just in time. The three of us fell to the floor, my mother sobbing uncontrollably over my bloody mass, my father trying desperately for me to calm so he could apparate me to St. Mungo's. I passed out from blood loss before they could get me there, but they saved. But after that day, I was no longer the cheerful five-year-old with dirt under his fingernails from digging worms. From that day on, I was no longer a child.
From that day on, I was a monster.
I was walking along in a crowded street, with many people I knew passing by. Night fell and before I could retreat, the moon came out, full and shining. I felt the monster within come bursting fourth, and I fell upon my knees, screaming in agony. My skull was shifting, claws protruded from my hands and feet, surely I was going to die. I felt as if my skin was being torn apart from the inside out as I hunched over and fell on my side. I covered my face, screaming.
"No! Please no! Not here, not with all these people!" I screamed, my voice becoming no more than a growl and my head feeling like it was splitting with the pain of transformation.
I woke up, covered in sweat and panting. I clutched at my throat as gasped for air, wanting to rid myself of that terrible dream forever. I new terror came to me, however. Had I really been screaming? Had my friends heard my begging to nobody, my screaming in anguish? All these thoughts happened in a split second, and then a light turned on. It was James.
"Remus? Are you alright?" James yelled and jumped out of bed, closely followed by Sirius and Peter.
I sat up to find that I was on the floor, entangled in my sheets and my sweat and the contents of my supper. Sirius dropped to his knees and forced me into a proper sitting position. The looks on their faces were terribly frightened, but this had happened before.
"Remus, are you alright?" James asked again, but he knew I wasn't alright. "You were screaming like you were being tortured, mate."
"It was like hearing the shrieking shack," Sirius added, "Terrible sound. Your throat must be swollen."
I struggled to calm myself down. Ever since I was old enough to understand what happened to me once a month, my dreams haunted me frightfully. It was always that one dream, where I re-lived my contamination and then found myself transforming near a mass of my friends and peers. With a little help, I was raised to my feet and steadied. It was almost a procedure nowadays, and I was surprised that James, Sirius and Peter never grew suspicious. Peter came scurrying over with a glass of water, which I downed wordlessly. Then James pulled my arm around his shoulder and helped me walk to the bathroom, where he would leave me to shower and pull myself together. I was grateful that they never asked questions, but I still wondered how they had no idea.
Even a worse thought was they might know already. I had been slipping up for months on my cover-ups, and they became steadily worse as I ran out of them. Just the other week I had almost blown my cover. The memory was bad enough.
James had been lounging in an armchair, playing chess with Peter, who had been losing horribly. The pieces would not move for him, and kept on giving advice. James had looked up at me; I had been working on the DADA essay.
"Remus, can't wait for Hogsmeade this weekend, eh? Should be a blast." James had said coolly as his Queen destroyed a Knight.
I had felt myself pale as I looked outside. The moon was just about full at that point. I had needed an excuse badly, so I had used the one at the tip of my tongue.
"My dog died yesterday," I had said guiltily, "I need to go home and bury it this weekend."
Sirius, who had been taking a catnap, looked up at me with a skeptical stare.
"Your dog died?" Sirius had said, "I didn't know you ever had a dog!"
I hadn't ever had a dog, truth be told, but it was too late now.
James on the other hand looked thoughtful.
"It seems that you go home at least once a month," James had said thoughtfully, "It's almost as if there's a pattern of sorts, like…"
I had grabbed hold of my book and squeezed it tightly in my lap as James had looked outside at the moon. James had, however, shaken his head and laughed.
"Naw," James had said, pushing forward his Queen again to end the game, "Couldn't be."
And then, of course, there had been the time where we battled boggarts. Usually, first years didn't do boggarts, but our professor at that time didn't really know his curriculum as well as he should have. So there I was, standing in line to battle my boggart. To be honest, I had been insisting on staying away, but Sirius had pushed me to the front of the line, calling me a 'skairdy cat' and laughing. Before I could run back, however, the boggart had transformed into what I feared the most… the full moon. I had stumbled back and cast the Ridikulus spell, which turned the moon into a pizza. Several people had laughed and asked me why I was afraid of crystal balls. James and Sirius, being the smartest in their year, knew at once that it had been the moon. Ever since then I had wondered if they were catching on, and what would happen if they found out about my worst secret. Surely they would desert me, and I couldn't let that happen.
I showered, gathered myself, and went back into the bedroom. My best friends in the world, who had already taken care of my sheets and made my bed, made sure that I was alright before going back to bed and turning off the lights. I rolled over on my side and gazed out the window and the crescent moon that had begun forming.
The very next day I was on my way to class when I realized that I had forgotten my potions book in the dormitory. Since I was very close to Gryffindor Tower anyway and Slughorn would understand, surely, I sprinted up to the dorm to get my book. I burst into the empty room and began searching all around for my lost item. I dropped to my knees and began digging under James' bed when it happened. The book that had been under James' pillow fell down and struck me in the head. It fell open to the bookmarked page and I was about to close it and put it back when a particular word caught my eye. Lycanthropy. I felt terror seize me then, and I read the page.
"Lycanthropy, or the assumption of the form and characteristics of a wolf held to be possible by witchcraft or magic, has been known to be a terrible experience. Those with lycanthropy can describe the transformation from human being to werewolf as incredibly excruciating.
In order to become a werewolf, you must sustain a bite from another werewolf. These wounds are cursed wounds, and do not heal as regular wounds do. In fact, many people have been known to have died from werewolves, especially young children.
The transformation into a werewolf begins with the full moon, which occurs once each month. When a person transforms into a werewolf, they do not remember who they are. They would kill their best friend if that person was around, as they are only dangerous to other humans. Ergo, werewolves have been shunned from society for the most part, and they almost always keep their condition terrible secret.
There is no cure for lycanthropy, and there probably never will be. However, rumor has been drifting around of a potion that can cause a transformed werewolf to keep his own mind, but that is unlikely to say the least. As far as we know, the transformation will always be as terrible as it has been, and the werewolves of our society will always be shunned by their friends and the public."
At that point, I considered running away for the first time. It wouldn't matter anyway, because I was soon to be deserted, for sure. I grabbed the book and hid it under my own bed and then discovered that my potions book had been in my bag all along. Cursing under my breath, I sped off to potions.
Later that night, I walked into the common room after serving my detention with McGonagall. I had received the detention along with James and Sirius for sneaking about after dark, but I had missed the detention due to my monthly visit from the… wolf fairy. James, Sirius and Peter were all sitting at a nearby table in the otherwise empty common room. But when they saw me, James and Sirius jumped up from their chairs. James and Sirius took me by the arms, lead me a chair and forced me into it. Though I knew very well what was coming and I dreaded it with all of my heart, I tried to look like I didn't understand what was going on.
"Hey guys, what's the big deal?" I asked in a slightly confused voice.
Sirius slammed his hand down on the table with his palm down. James moved behind me and placed his hands on my shoulders. I gulped. Even Peter, who was sitting across the table, whimpered a bit.
"What the hell is wrong with you?" Sirius asked harshly.
"Don't give me that, Remus!" Sirius said sternly, "We know what you are, why didn't you ever tell us?"
I stared back up at Sirius, slightly taken aback. Why hadn't I told them? What kind of a question was that? I was genuinely surprised.
"Because I thought…"I started, but wasn't entirely sure what to say, or at least how to approach the rather sensitive subject.
"Because you thought we would abandon you, Remus?" James said in a softer tone from behind me, "I thought you would have known better than that. Did we ever seem like the type to abandon you for having… a little problem?"
I raised my eyebrows at this.
"Little?" I repeated dully, "You call this a little problem? Of course I was scared! Us werewo – well, people like me don't exactly get invited to parties, do we?"
Sirius grabbed my arm and pulled me out of the chair.
"Well you, my friend," Sirius said, poking me hard in the chest, "Don't need to be invited to any parties. You know why?"
I shook my head slowly, wondering where this conversation was going.
Peter slid a book across the table and James picked it up. He held it up in front of my face and eyebrows shot up as I read the cover.
Animagus: A Ministry-Approved Guide
I took the book and flipped it open, my eyes wide with awe. If my thinking was correct, which it had to be at this particular time, than that meant –
"Remus, you're going to be the party," James said. "We're going to be animagi!"
"But – but you have to be of age! And… and registered!" I spluttered, placing the book back on the table, "It's dangerous!"
Sirius and James both put a hand on my shoulder.
"That, my friend," Said James.
"Is just all part of the fun," Finished Sirius.
To my absolute horror, I felt a lump rising in my throat. I swallowed hard and it went away a bit, at least enough for me to look up at them. The three of them, smiling and proud of themselves. Well, I can't deny that though I had doubts, but a strange feeling that I hadn't felt since Dumbledore accepted me into Hogwarts crawled into my chest. A feeling that suddenly flowed through my body, even though I knew that the plan would be dangerous and the consequences for getting caught were too terrible to dwell upon…
A/N: And there you have it.