"He will never be a normal boy," they told his father that morning at St. Mungo's. He was more animal than human, now—a dark creature. They firmly suggested that the kindest thing they could do for him was to put him down.

He remembered how his father had looked at him, then. How his once warm brown eyes darkened and his brow furrowed. And for a sickening moment, Remus could not recognise the man who had held him close and proudly introduced him to his friends from the Ministry only the day before.

Remus felt hot tears well up in his eyes as his father's gaze dragged painfully across his body. A body which yesterday had reflected the smooth, unblemished expression of childhood but that today bore the savage scourge of death—the death of innocence and youth; the death of dreams.

He reached out a trembling hand toward his father, who flinched at the blood that stained his fingers.

Remus shook his head and the old memory sifted back down, settling into that semi-conscious place where all nightmares reside. He took a sip of his tea and stared out of the tiny window of his flat out onto the smudged brown and grey landscape of rooftops. He settled his cup back down on the table. He looked at his hand, hard and calloused, covered in a chaotic map of scars—the unwelcome autograph of twenty years of full moon nights. The sight of them made others wince, but they weren't painful. No, the painful scars were never on the surface for others to see. They lay deep within, out of sight.

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