A/N: Sorry I took so long to update, but you know… writers block. Thanks so much to everyone who reviews. As long as people like this, I'll try to keep writing. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I don't own any of this. And apologies to the film Waking Life, for sort of, kinda…. ripping it off…
Moonlight illuminated the fresh sheet of snow. It's rays bathed the empty field in pale blue.
He ran. His legs pushed him onward, towards some final destination. Although to where, he wasn't sure. But then, he couldn't really recall where he'd been either. The world was a haze. And somehow, the snow beneath him wasn't even cold.
As he approached the brink of the shady forest, he saw a dark figure shift. A person was leaned up against a tree, as though waiting for him. He stopped. A deep rumbling growl shook him. He knew the noise came from himself.
He was a werewolf, he realized. Or rather, a passive observer in a wolf's body. He had no control. He wasn't even fully conscious. Helplessly he felt his body pull back, jaws parting. A chilling howl filled the empty land. The silhouette in the forest appeared not to notice.
He lunged. Plowing through the snow, he charged full force at the shadowy figure.
I can't control this! the boy trapped inside thought, desperately.
"Teddy." A voice called.
The wolf didn't notice, but Teddy did. He begged the wolf to stop, but it ignored him. His transformed body picked up speed, snapping its dripping jaws in anticipation.
"Teddy!" The voice sounded so far away… It echoed through the clearing and yet…
The wolf grew closer to the forest. It reared itself, getting ready to lunge fang first at the person he still couldn't quite see.
"TEDDY!" The voice boomed, like a crack of lightning. The earth shook. Something heavy threw him back, and he…
Opened his eyes. James gasped and pulled away from his bed, looking terrified.
"Are you okay, Teddy?" He asked.
Teddy panted, trying to catch his breath. He clutched his chest, and damp t-shirt. A cold sweat covered his skin. He tossed off the comforter, and his godfather's oldest backed off, giving him some space.
"I'm fine…" He said at last, slightly out of breath.
"You were moaning, and…." James trailed off, looking embarrassed.
"And what?" Teddy asked, slowly pushing himself up with the palms of his hands.
"Growling." James whispered, looking down.
Teddy raked his long fingers through his disheveled dirty blonde hair. He looked out the window at the full moon. His head pounded as he tried to shake off the dream reality.
"Did anyone else…" Teddy started, looking around.
"No, just me… Are you sure you're okay?" He asked, desperately trying to avoid Teddy's gaze.
"M'fine…" He murmured, tossing his legs over one side of the bed. He stood up gingerly, and walked to the door. "I'm getting some water…"
"Okay…" James said hesitantly, watching him leave.
Teddy walked down the hall as quietly as his gangly legs could manage. He was an awkward fourteen year old, and his limbs were just a little too long for him to manage. His awkwardness made him more than a little clumsy, so he took extra care not to bump into anything.
He passed the hall mirror, and took a quick glance at his reflection. With a flash, he did a double take. Flying back to the mirror, he leaned in close.
His eyes were yellow, and seemed to glow unnaturally. He tried to morph them back but they wouldn't change. His heart began racing in panic. His golden eyes looked feral and unbalanced. He wanted to scream, instead, he bit down on his hand until it came close to bleeding. He took a deep breath, and closed his eyes. After relaxing for a moment he opened his eyes, and sighed deeply. Relieved to see them back to their familiar blue. His pounding heart slowed, and he wearily continued to the kitchen.
It was late. Nonetheless, his "Uncle" Bill, was sitting in the kitchen. Bill, Fleur, and their daughter Victoire had come to stay with the Potters that Christmas break. Teddy came, as was tradition, but he gave up the guest room to his godfather's friends, and bunked with James.
"Teddy, what are you doing up?" He asked, looking up from the book he was reading.
"I couldn't sleep." Teddy mumbled, taking a glass out of the cabinet.
Bill watched the boy fill his glass with water, and inspected his face. He was very pale, and dark circles were apparent under his almost frightened looking eyes. Bill thought back to Teddy's father.
"Are you feeling alright?"
Teddy watched him for a second before responding. "Yeah, I'm fine. I just had a…. nightmare." he finished, monotone.
"Were you a wolf…. in your nightmare, I mean?" Bill asked, solemnly.
Teddy gasped, his eyes widening in surprise. "How did you…" He started, astounded.
"Why do you think I'm awake?" Bill smiled sadly, gesturing to the pot of coffee on the table, and the stacks of books.
"You get them too?" He asked shyly, looking at his water glass.
"The dreams? Only on full moons. I opt to stay up, so I don't have to have them." The man explained calmly.
"I only started having them recently. Maybe last year or so…" Teddy said in a soft voice. He took a sip of his water to fill the void their silence left.
"Well… Dreamless Sleep potions don't help. Trust me, I've tried." Bill sighed, somewhat despairingly.
"It was horrible." the boy murmured, sitting down across from Bill. He rested his elbows on the low pile of books.
"I know." He replied. Somehow Teddy knew he wasn't lying.
"We're lucky they're only dreams. And that it's only once a month." Bill continued, drinking some coffee. He watched the boys face darken in thought.
Neither spoke for a while.
"You're thinking about your father?" Bill asked. It wasn't really a question.
"Yes." Teddy said plainly, then paused. "Did you know him?" Teddy asked, biting his lip.
"Not very well. But what I did know, I liked. He was a good man." The man said, smiling a little.
Teddy was silent. He stared at the glass in his hands.
"He really helped me after… you know…" Bill made a clawing motion in front of his face, indicating to his scars. Teddy looked away, uncomfortable. Bill continued, undeterred.
"The same werewolf who infected him, was the one who got me."
"I didn't know that…" Teddy said softly, still looking down.
"I didn't become a full werewolf, obviously, but there were still some… changes." Bill refilled his mug as he spoke.
"Like what?" the boy asked, avoiding the man's scarred face.
"I'd get angry sometimes. Little things would set me off, for no real reason. Then I started craving really rare meat, and the closer it got to the full moon the more raw I wanted it… and of course the dreams."
"What did he do to help?"
"Well… he taught me some meditation techniques he'd picked up… I learned to control my anger. You're dad was good at that you know. Controlling himself… I can't remember ever seeing him loose his calm." Bill paused, "Except maybe when your mum was around, than he'd lower his guard."
Teddy looked a little uncomfortable at where the conversation was heading. His eyes darted to the door.
"It was good though, I think." Bill continued. "It's not healthy to keep everything inside all the time." He shrugged. "Maybe that's what love is. Being able to open yourself up completely to another person. An them being able to accept you as you are"
Victoire's pretty face flashed in Teddy's mind, but he wasn't quite sure why. He shook the thought away, and started thinking of excuses to leave the table and go back to bed.
"He tried to help me with the dreams too." Bill said, interrupting his thoughts. Teddy's head snapped up.
"He had them?" He asked, eyes wide. For the first time, he met the man's eyes squarely.
"Not on the full moon, I guess. Then it was real… but the week prior." Bill sipped the coffee again. "That's what he told me anyway."
"How did he try to help?" Teddy asked, excitement coming to his voice.
"He told me about this trick he'd learned." Bill paused, and then leaned forward. "If you can realize that your dreaming, then you can control your dream. See…if you know you're not awake… you can will yourself to be human, or talk to whoever you feel like, or fly… whatever you want. It's called a lucid dream."
"That's it ? You just realize that you're dreaming, and you can do anything?" Teddy asked incredulously.
Bill laughed softly.
"It's not that simple. You see, when you dream, you're brain fully believes that it's awake. Even when your dream is completely absurd, you still think that it's real, so you accept it. I mean… you don't go around questioning reality when you're awake, so why would you think to do it when you're awake in you're dreams?" Bill smiled, and the boy grinned back a little.
"But my dad could do it?" Teddy eagerly asked, gripping the table.
"He said there are certain ways to recognize that you're dreaming."
"Like what?" Teddy pressed.
"Well… Like, you can't read small print, or…. the numbers on a clock." Bill yawned. "You can't really change the light levels either."
"I don't know how any of that would help me with those nightmares… I don't have books, or… or… lights. I'm always out in some forest…"
"You have to practice. In the daytime… when you're awake, you know? " Bill said, rubbing his eyes tiredly.
"How?" Teddy's brow furrowed in confusion.
"Ask yourself whether or not you're actually awake. Get in the habit of questioning reality when you're awake, and then you'll habitually do it in you're sleep."
"Does it work?" Teddy asked, intrigued.
"I've never been able to do it. I stick to coffee instead. It's just for one night, anyway." Bill sighed, running his finger around the rim of the mug. He watched the boy closely.
"Maybe reality's just a dream we can't realize we're in..."
"That's deep Uncle Bill." Teddy said, grinning. They both laughed softly. His head drooped, and he gazed at his hand, letting his sandy blond hair fall in his eyes. Slowly, he looked down at the book he'd been leaning on. He stared at the brown and dusty cover for a moment, while his eyes tried to focused on the words.
He blinked. It was all gibberish. He rubbed his eyes aggressively, but it didn't help. What he'd assumed was just golden lettering on the cover, hadn't even been writing at all. They weren't ever real letters. Just lines arranged in various spontaneous ways. And the letters kept changing shape. He looked around the kitchen wildly.
"I'm dreaming now, aren't I?" He gasped, already knowing the answer.
"Yes." Dream-Bill said, simply.
"So… what do I do?" Teddy looked around the room, it seemed different now that he knew he'd created it.
"I don't know… I've never had a lucid dream, remember?" He said. Teddy felt confused, almost like he'd found a paradox in his mind. He didn't pursue it.
"If this is a dream…you said… I can fly?" He asked tentatively. Bill nodded, and gave him a pleasant smile.
"If this were a dream… then gravity's only pulling you down, because you expect it to."
And then Teddy was in the air. Hovering two feet above the tile floor. He looked down, an innocent smile of delight crossed his face.
"I think I'll fly to the moon tonight." He declared softly, gazing out the now open window.
"Do you want me to come with you?" Bill asked, fingers drumming on the side of his coffee mug. Teddy thought for a while, before shaking his head.
"I'll go alone this time. Thanks, though." He said finally. "I have some… people I want to meet…"
"You're parents won't be real Teddy, remember that." Bill said, gazing up at him. Teddy's smile fell a little, and he sunk a few inches back to the floor.
"I know…" the boy said sadly. "But they might be able to give me some instruction right? I mean… you did."
"Maybe… but then you just subconsciously created our whole conversation. Maybe you knew all that already. Or, maybe you just made it all up. Who knows?" Bill shrugged. "I only exist in your mind after all."
Teddy groaned in frustration, and grabbed at his hair.
"This is all really confusing. I need to go before you make me forget about going."
Dream-Bill grinned a little. "Just don't fall asleep in your dream again."
As an invisible force slowly pulled Teddy across the kitchen and out the window. Bill watched him drift gently through the sky, and waved. Teddy waved back, as he floated closer and closer to the round yellow orb, hanging low in the horizon.
For a boy who'd always felt he had little say in his own life. For a boy who'd always sort of believed that life had dealt him a rather rotten hand. For a boy who always wrote himself off as the victim of various circumstances, the sheer amount of control he had, astounded him. It was euphoric, and overwhelming. He had an infinite amount of choices he could make.
"It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities." Teddy half-heard an old, wise voice say, transmitted to him, fuzzy and distant, as though from an old muggle radio. He'd never heard those words before, but he pondered them, as he flew.
"I guess… I always do control my own actions… even when I'm awake." He mused to himself.
Remus and Nymphadora Lupin waved happily to their son as he approached the moon's surface. A checkered blanket was spread out below them. From close up, the moon looked very much like Teddy's favorite muggle park his grandmother used to take him to when he was little.
He used to envy the other children, whose parents would play catch with them, fly kites with them, or go fishing together. He would sit on the swing, small legs unable to pump him into the air, as the kids around him flew, laughing joyously with their doting parents.
His feet touched the green grass, and the warm sun shone bright in the blue sky.
"Teddy!" His mother said, running to meet him in the one hug he'd so desperately needed all his life. Teddy felt tears well up in his eyes and he blinked them back rapidly. His throat was choked with emotion. Remus touched his hair affectionately.
"It's good to see you again son."
"Sure took you long enough!" Nymphadora laughed gently, letting him go.
"The moon was farther then I thought…" Teddy said, a little stunned. Greedily, he drank in the sight of them. His parents chuckled, and beamed at their son in pride. Teddy smiled, feeling happier then he had in a long time. He ignored the little voice that reminded him his parents were dead. It wasn't real. It was just a dream. But it was a good dream.
And Teddy was long overdue for a good dream.
A/N: Thanks for reading!