DISCLAIMER: - You know the drill - It's not mine, it never was and it never ever will be no matter how much I wish otherwise.
A/N: - This is just a little something that I wrote when I was meant to be writing the next chapter to my other story (What Witches Want – and to all who care, I promise to update soon). It was just a series of thoughts that popped up and wouldn't leave me alone so here they are.
15 Things - Remus
1. When he was 6 years old his older brother Sampson said that he was too scared to go into the forest at midnight, he did it to prove him wrong. His brother had just returned from his first year at Hogwarts and all summer he'd been relentlessly teasing Remus about not being bold enough to end up in Gryffindor, Remus just wanted to prove that despite his differences he was still brave enough to end up in the same house as his brother and father. So he wondered into the dark, dense tree's on a moonlit night even though his parents had forbid him from going in there, his brother trailing a little behind him.
The woods behind their house always seemed so adventurous and fun, he never really understood why his parents said that it was so dangerous but as he stood in the forest clearing in his favourite Chudley Cannons pj's, his heart beating wildly in his chest as the giant beast stalked towards him, he finally understood. He wanted to run but he couldn't move his feet, he wanted to scream but he couldn't - his throat constricted when the vicious wolf drew closer, close enough so that its putrid breath heated his face. He saw the yellow eyes of the beast glint in the moonlight and when the its strong jaws latched onto his bony arm he thought there could be no greater pain in the world – he was wrong.
2. He never told anyone, but he dreamt about the attack almost every night, even long after he'd grown out of his childhood. Dreams so realistic, nightmares so gruesome, that he would jolt awake in the middle of the night surrounded by sweat-soaked sheets, his heart racing, mouth open in a silent scream of horror. The dreams were so vivid that when he woke he could almost feel the searing burn of pain shooting through his arm, smell the rancid breath of his tormenter and some nights he swore he could still hear the chilling scream resounding in his ears. But the blood-curdling sound didn't come from him, it spilt from the lips of his brother as the formidable beast turned his attention towards him, leaving a bloodied mass that was Remus to watch on in horror as his brother was mauled to death. That scream not only resounds in his dreams, his brothers final sound haunted his every waking hour.
3. After he was bitten, every day before the full-moon, his father would refuse to look at him or even acknowledge him at all. Whenever he would ask what was wrong his father would simply shake his head, a horrified expression would flit over his face before he turned away, muttering under his breath – 'You'll see'. As dusk would fall his father would lead him out to the shed behind the house and tether him there before leaving him alone without saying a word. As the moon rose high in the sky, Remus would feel the excruciating pain of transformation and he would think that he was being punished for something he did to displease his father, he never realised he was being punished for something his father did to displease someone else.
4. His father always chose to believe that he'd lost both his sons that night, he could never truly handle the reality that his youngest son was a dark creature and he fell heavily into the bottle. Remus was 10 when his father hit his lowest point, his liver failed and he couldn't get out of bed to go to work. His mother was forced to get a job in the village so they could pay the bills and because his father had forbidden him from entering the room, he would sit by the bedroom door just listening to his father snore so that he knew he was still alive. A week into his mini-vigil he heard a thump from inside the room and he rushed in immediately to find his father lying on the ground, tangled in the sheets, gasping for breath. Remus knelt beside his father as he took his last strangled gulps of airs and this is how he always remembers him – a small and broken man who left his family long before his final breath.
5. He didn't cry at his father's funeral, even whilst his mother sobbed hysterically beside him, he refused to shed a single tear. Instead, after the funeral was over and everyone had disappeared to the pub to toast him, after his mother had been forcibly dragged away from her husband's coffin, he lay down on the snow-covered ground between the mound of fresh dirt beneath which his father lay, and the flower covered tombstone of his brother. He stayed there late into the night, he had nothing to fear by darkness anymore, he was the creature that was feared. He just laid there silently between his family, staring blankly up at the star-filled sky just willing himself to join them, still stoically refusing to cry. No – he would not mourn them, they were the lucky to leave this world early and he would not shed tears for that.
6. Only a handful of people knew this, partly because most people assumed him incapable of such a heinous act but mostly because he told few people his precious secret, but once when he was transformed as a werewolf – he attacked someone. It happened just after the death of his father and when he awoke from his frenzied stupor and saw the evidence of his malicious act he was completely immersed with guilt. Memories of the violent night flooded back to him as he followed the bloody path to his victim and when he found her he fell to his knees and was violently ill. For he had discovered that it wasn't just anyone that he'd assailed, it was the woman who had given him life, the woman who had carried him under her heart for 9 months and who'd defended him for years – he'd attacked his own mother.
Thankfully he hadn't bitten her, the neighbour had arrived in time to save her, so she wouldn't turn but the attack wasn't a freak accident either and that was the day that Remus discovered he wasn't the only one who longed to be reunited with his father and brother. She was so desperate to leave this world and be reunited with her husband that she didn't care if she destroyed her son in the process. From that day on, whenever Remus would transform at home, his mother would lock the shed from the outside so he couldn't get out and he would seal the shed from the inside so that she couldn't get in.
7. James, Sirius and Peter weren't his first friends at Hogwarts, in fact he didn't speak to them until half-way through his First-Year. Severus Snape was actually the reason he became friends with the unruly boys, he sent a stinging hex at Remus in the corridor outside potions class, James and Sirius offered to help him retaliate and they'd stayed up together all night in their dormitory, planning and scheming until everything was just right. It was the first time that he felt like he had real friends, even though he was sure they were only helping because they held a contemptuous grudge against the pasty Slytherin and not because they actually liked him. The plan went off without a hitch and the next day after DADA, two giant bottles of shampoo and conditioner chased Snape out of the classroom and sent him sprinting round the corridor before the contents were finally dumped on him. All 3 boys fell against the wall, clutching their sides as sporadic bouts of laughter shot from them at the hilarious scene unfolding before their very eyes. James and Sirius both clapped Remus triumphantly on the back, and without even knowing it he had just successfully passed his initiation and forged life-long friendships, those 3 boys were inseparable.
Coincidentally Lily Evans was Remus first real friend at Hogwarts, they'd met in the library and she'd kindly helped him study. She didn't speak to him for a month after his attack on Severus.
8. Before Hogwarts he was never ashamed of being a werewolf. He didn't like the fact that he was a dark creature and if he had the choice he would've changed it but the wolf had been a part of him for so long that he'd sort of gotten used to it and he refused to be ashamed of part of himself. But that all changed when he started school. Professor Dumbledore had told him that he mustn't disclose his affliction with other students because it might cause outrage in Wizarding society and other students might shun him. Right from the beginning he was told to keep a part of himself secret but he couldn't do it. Lily Evans was the first person he told about his 'furry little problem' and her reaction was the reason why he didn't tell anyone else.
9. His mother died just after he started his Sixth-Year at Hogwarts. Professor Dumbledore had told him that she'd died of the Wizarding Flu but he knew that ultimately she just didn't want to go on; her will to live had died a long time ago, on a cold winter afternoon as she buried the love of her life. Her funeral wasn't as large or imposing as his fathers, it was just Remus and a few of her friends, but it was beautiful all the same – a bittersweet event on an otherwise glorious day. There was a spare plot between Sampson and his mother and when everyone else had left, he laid down on the spare patch of dirt that was reserved for him. He could feel the sting of unshed tears in his eyes as he looked at the lily-white roses that covered his mother's grave but he still refused to cry, she was finally happy now.
It was almost dark when he saw 3 dark figures walking towards him and he felt a small smile tug at the corners of his lips as his three friends sat down silently beside him, still dressed in their Hogwarts robes – they'd snuck out just to be with him. He still thought that his family were the lucky ones to be able to leave behind this cruel world, but as he sat there being silently comforted by the warm presence of his friends, he thought that maybe he was a little lucky too.
10. The 4 Marauders were always close friends, even after they'd left school, but James and Sirius' friendship outshone all others, they'd always been friends apart from everyone else. That's why he honestly wasn't surprised when James asked Sirius to be his best man, their friendship had been firmly cemented since they met on the train in First-Year, how could he not choose him. But he and Lily had always been close, in fact it was Remus who finally convinced her to give his mate a chance, and that's why it hurt when he wasn't chosen to be Harry's godfather.
11. He never got to say good-bye to James and Lily. On October 31st 1981, Remus was meant to go over to the Potters for a Halloween feast that Lily had prepared, she refused to let a certain dark wizard put a damper on a most beloved holiday. He was going through a self-repressing phase at the time and so he floo-called them to let them know that he couldn't make it. He would never forget the disappointed look in Lily's eyes as she told him in a shaky voice that Sirius and Peter had cancelled as well. She heard a noise in the living room and abruptly cut short the conversation, it was the last time he spoke to her and he never got to say good-bye.
He wasn't even allowed to go their funerals, he was detained by Aurors at the Ministry of Magic for questioning about Sirius Black, they thought he might have been an accomplice. When he was returned to his cell that night, he broke down on the cold, hard floors; he didn't care about dignity or pride as he fell to his knees and mourned. 15 years of pent up emotions rattled to the surface and escaped in strangled cries and he fell to the floor as overpowering sobs wracked his body. He cried for everything he'd lost – for James, for Lily, for Peter and for Sirius. That night silent tears streamed continuously down his face even whilst he slept. He dreamt that the world was crumbling beneath him and whilst everyone else was slipping through, the cracks weren't big enough to swallow him whole. He felt miserable and heartbroken in his dreams and the sense of hopelessness didn't fade when he woke. He'd never before felt so alone and all he could think was that he'd never gotten to say good-bye.
12. Of all of the Marauders, he got on with Peter Pettigrew the least. They were friends of course, never doubt that fact, but Peter was always the first one to bail when situations got rough and he was the last one to pledge his allegiance after his Lycanthropy was revealed. Yes Remus always held doubts about his parasitic friend and he was always suspicious of him because he seemed to be drawn to people who exuded power. But when the unthinkable happened, when the unbreakable quartet was destroyed and he was left a solo act, he believed them when they announced that Sirius was the sole-suspect. It didn't matter that Sirius had been a loyal friend for many years because all the facts pointed towards him, the evidence fell into place and everything made sense in some twisted sort of pragmatic way, after all Sirius was a Black and Black's were known for their deviousness.
More than 12 years later, when he discovered Sirius' innocence, he felt the worse pain imaginable, a festering feeling of guilt eating away in his stomach. He felt worse still when Sirius had shrugged and said it didn't matter, the pain of more than a decade in Askaban still etched vividly in his eyes. His friend had stood by him throughout the lies and deceit of his 'little-problem', had vowed to help him through the some of the toughest moments of his life, and yet he'd been so quick to believe the worst of him because of something so futile as his last name.
13. Remus hated feeling guilty, it was an emotion that he despised above all others, but despite his obvious disdain for it, it was a sensation that he was all too familiar with. Every time something bad happened he always felt like he was the one to blame, he couldn't help it, it was a habit that instilled itself when he was just 6 – it was his fault his Brother died, it was his fault his Father drank, it was his fault his Mother was unhappy. When you grow up with that sort of mindset, with guilt embedded into your soul, it's difficult to break it and so when he found out that his mentor had been killed by his former adversary, he felt the familiar plummeting in his stomach and guilt reared its ugly little head again. Now he wasn't delusional, he knew that honestly it wasn't his fault that Snape had killed Dumbledore but he couldn't help but feel that if he hadn't been so horrible to Severus at school, then maybe things wouldn't have turned out so bad.
Despite his retaliatory prank in his First-Year, Remus never really set out to hurt or embarrass Snape again but that didn't absolve him of responsibility - he stood by countless times and watched in silence as James and Sirius tortured the poor boy. He didn't always agree with what his friends were doing but he never once stood up to them or made them stop, he just went along with it because he didn't want to lose his friends. Who knows, maybe if he had defended Severus then things wouldn't have turned out like they did. If Snape didn't hold such a huge vendetta against the Marauders then maybe he wouldn't have told You-Know-Who about the prophecy concerning James and Lily's son. Maybe he wouldn't have become a Death-Eater period. Maybe Harry would have grown up with both his parents instead of a Lightning-bolt scar on his forehead. Maybe Sirius wouldn't have ended up in Askaban for a crime he didn't commit. Maybe Peter wouldn't have been lured away to become a traitor. Maybe Snape wouldn't have had cause to murder the only man Remus had ever really looked up to.
If back in school, Remus had had the guts to choose what was right over what was easy, then maybe life would have turned out the way they'd always dreamed instead of the nightmare that was his reality. But they were all maybe's and he couldn't undo the past, so instead he was left regretting what was with that ill-fated feeling lodged firmly in the pit of his stomach. Yes – Remus hated feeling guilty but this time that feeling never really went away.
14. Nobody ever knew this, because he wouldn't have had the guts to speak the truth at the time, but during his wife's 15 hour labour he spent the entire time by her side desperately praying for a boy. Now it had nothing to do with chauvinism or sexism and he definitely didn't believe that boys where better than girls, the reason was much simpler than that. You see he'd never been extraordinarily good at saying no to Nymphadora – she wanted a relationship and he gave in eventually, she wanted to get married so he arranged the ceremony, she wanted a family and here they were – so what chance did he have of saying no to a little girl who looked just like her, a little girl that called him Daddy?
So when his child was born and the medi-witch announced that it was a boy he gave a silent sigh of relief, a glittering smile gracing his face at his good-fortune for avoiding that obstacle. But when he held his son for the first time, the little miracles tiny little fist wrapping tightly around his finger, he realised that gender didn't matter at all – he could never deny his son anything. And as the little boy gurgled happily in his arms, his hair effortlessly shifting colours, Remus felt a surge of pride rush through him and tears welled in his eyes – he would do anything for this tiny little bundle, he would die to protect his son – and he did.
15. He always wanted to die with integrity and honour, to go out in a blaze of glory protecting those he loved, with a smile on his face. When he met Dolohov on the battlements, he knew that it was over. The other wizard was younger, stronger and Remus was already battle-weary. He accepted the fact that he wouldn't win, that he wouldn't return home to hug his wife or hold his child so he only hoped that he would get all the things he wanted in death and he did, all but the last. He died with honour defending truth and justice, he died fighting for those he cared about, for those who deserved a better life but at the last second he turned and he caught sight of his Dora entering the fray. He saw the devastated look etched on her delicate young features, the silent tears streaming down her face, he longed to catch the one hand that she reached towards him, the other going to cover her screaming mouth. The last sound he heard was the voice of his lover's, her resounding 'NOOOOOO!' echoing above all the other battle cries and as his body crumpled on the ground, the image of his young wife's grief-stricken face burned into his mind, he just couldn't bring himself to smile.
OK , before you say it - I know that there was barely anything about Tonks in there but I was planning on writing another chap dedicated solely to the Tonks/Remus relationship. I just wanted to see how this one was received first and if people like it than I'll write the next one. SO –
HATE IT/LOVE IT – leave a review and let me know... PLEASE!!
HUGZ N KISSES