A/N: Just a bit of writing exercise to help me get back into Five Lifetimes! The title, Ookami wo Tasukeru, means To Help a Wolf.
Disclaimer: I don't own Bleach or HP.
Inoue Orihime, now 20, was wandering the streets of London.
After graduating from high school, Orihime enrolled at a prestigious university, working hard and aiming for, to nobody's surprise, medical school. She had contemplated becoming a physicist as she had a hunch that her powers, which can reverse the events of space and time, would be fascinating to study from a physics approach, but Orihime was a healer at heart.
Now in her junior year of college, Orihime was studying abroad in London for the year. It had taken her all of two seconds to fall in love with the city. It was so different from Japan, and yet strangely similar. There was a mesh of kind and rude people (Of course, Orihime knew that all of the rude people were truly very kind.), a variety of strange food combinations to try, and a myriad of museums and sights to keep a tourist busy for ages.
Currently, Orihime was lost which, in reality, was her goal. With her motto of: The best way to get to know a city is to get lost in it!,Orihime had deliberately put her map in her bag and wandered until she was lost. She had seen quite a bit of the city, but by this point she was a bit thirsty and needed to rest her feet for a few minutes. Orihime scanned the street she found herself on, Charing Cross Road, for a café or restaurant. Eventually, her eyes lit upon a quaint little pub that seemed to be squished between a book store and a record store. Without noticing the fact that many people seemed to walk right past it without even a glance, Orihime cheerily entered the pub.
The moment she entered, Orihime felt a little out of place. Every patron of tiny pub was wearing long robes and a few sported pointed hats. Orihime smiled brightly. This pub must be hosting some sort of little convention and these people must be cosplayers, she thought.
Still smiling, Orihime stepped up to the bar. She examined the menu on the wall opposite. None of the drinks looked familiar. The British do have interesting beverages, she thought. Butterbeer? I wonder who had the marvelous idea of adding butter to beer? It's ingenious, really. Orihime, unfortunately, wasn't in the mood for beer, of the butter variety or not.
"May I help you, Miss?" the barkeep asked.
Orihime once again eyed the beverages before asking for "A gillywater, please."
The barkeep nodded with a "Coming right up, Miss."
After Orihime obtained her beverage, which surprisingly tasted a bit like rubbery water and came with an onion garnish, she scanned the tables for a seat. She spotted a deserted table in the back and headed for it. However, the table was, in fact, not deserted at all, but the single patron occupying it had hidden himself in the shadows.
Remus Lupin was sulking in a dark corner of The Leaky Cauldron nursing a large glass of butterbeer. Last night had been the full moon. After losing his teaching position at Hogwarts, Remus was no longer in contact with Snape; therefore, his only acquaintance capable of brewing the Wolfsbane Potion was out of reach, and Remus certainly didn't have the means to buy it. Now that his secret was out, no one would hire the poor werewolf. He'd taken to living in a rather rundown muggle shack and often finding his dinner at muggle soup kitchens. The wizards who turned him down for employment were right to do so, in Remus's mind. He knew he was a horrible dark creature who deserved to starve and live in a shack. Remus was incredibly grateful to Tom, the proprietor of the Leaky Cauldron, for providing him with a free meal the days right after his monthly transformations. His friends really were too kind to a beast like him.
Remus gingerly touched his side. Last night's moon had been rough, and a large gash now marred Remus's already scarred skin. He groaned in pain as he moved slightly in his seat. Well, this will take a while to heal, Remus thought grimly.
His attention was pulled away from his pain by the appearance of a beautiful young girl who sat across from him. For a moment he thought she was related to Lily or perhaps another Weasley child due to her long, reddish-orange hair. This idea was quashed, however, when he noticed her distinctly Asian features.
The young woman was reaching into her purse and pulling out what seemed to be a map of muggle London when Remus asked, "May I help you?"
The girl jumped with a startled squeak! before she began to speak very fast in Japanese. Remus knew a little due to his extensive study of kappas, but he by no means could keep up with this girl's tirade of words.
"Er…I'm sorry, miss, but I'm afraid I don't speak Japanese."
The girl paused, before she began, again, talking very fast in English. "Oh! English! Right! I was just saying how sorry I am! I didn't know you were here! I mean I didn't see you! But here you are so I'll just - "
Remus cut her off with a quick barking laugh. He wondered how he could have ever thought this girl was related to calm and collected Lily Evans.
The girl looked startled at his laughter. "It's quite alright, miss. I was just leaving, anyway."
"Oh no, sir!" she said emphatically. "I did not mean to take your table! I'll just find another." The girl reached for her map that was now sitting on the table, but Remus stopped her by placing his large, calloused hand over hers.
"No, miss, I insist. I've done enough brooding in the shadows for one day." The girl watched with wide, gray eyes as Remus made an attempt to stand from the booth, a sharp pain from the wound on his side caused him to hiss audibly.
The girl's eyes became even wider with worry. "Are you hurt, sir?!" Immediately, she was by his side, pushing him back into the booth. Remus attempted to protest, but the girl was stronger than she looked and easily overpowered the weak and exhausted werewolf. She unbuttoned his shabby robe, revealing his shirt beneath. The fabric of his shirt that was over his injury was dark red with blood that had seeped through the bandages. "You are hurt!" she exclaimed. Grabbing her map in one hand and Remus's hand in the other, she said forcefully, "Follow me."
Remus, still being the sickly werewolf that he was, could do nothing more than protest audibly, especially when he saw where the girl was taking him. "But, miss!" he cried. "That's the gi - " His voice was then cut off by the closing of the door that read Women's Lavatory.
Tom chuckled audibly, thinking that the poor werewolf was finally going to get laid.
Inside the restroom, Orihime pushed Remus down onto a toilet seat. "Now," she told him, very matter of fact, "let me see that wound." She quickly pulled his robe off him and peeled off his shirt as well. Remus blushed brightly, realizing that a beautiful girl was disrobing him in a bathroom.
The beautiful girl, on the other hand, did not seem perturbed in the slightest. Is this normal for her? Remus thought incredulously.
Orihime was unperturbed and, in fact, this was normal for her. She had healed what seemed like all of her friends and acquaintances at least once. Slowly, so as not to exacerbate the bleeding, Orihime began to unwind the bandages from around the werewolf's torso.
Examining the bandages, she tsked rather harshly. "You really should use fresh bandages, you know. These seem to have been used before." Remus's blush deepened. Examining the rather deep wound, Orihime tsked again. "You're lucky I came along," she told him, "or this could've gotten infected."
"What are you - "
"Don't be frightened," Orihime said, interrupting the man. "I'm going to use magic to heal you."
Remus was about to tell her that magic didn't do much for injuries such as his, that is, werewolf-related injuries, but his voice caught in his throat when she began her 'magic.'
Orihime held her hands before her, just over the wound. "Souten kisshun," she began. The blue flower pins she sported in her hair glowed brilliantly in the dank pub lavatory. "Watashi wa kyozetsu suru."
At her words, two gemstone petals flew from her hair pins to flit like fairies over Remus's torso. After a closer look, Remus realized that they were fairies, of a sort, two tiny women that examined his wound as critically as Orihime had. An oval of bright orange light stretched from one fairy to the other, encasing the werewolf's wound. Remus then watched his skin stitch back together. Starting in the depths of the cut, his flesh repaired itself, pulling itself back together as though the injury had not occurred in the first place. Amazingly, the repair was not painful. There was an odd tickling sensation, but otherwise he was numb.
Remus ran his hand reverently over the woman's completed work. There was no scar, no pain. The werewolf's torso was the same as it hade been before last night's full moon.
Orihime smiled at the man but frowned when one of her Shun Shun Rikka whispered to her. "Hmm…" Orihime nodded solemnly.
"Sir," Orihime said, breaking him from his trance. "You seem to have a parasite in you. I'm going to remove it."
Remus was aghast. A parasite! Impossible! I may be poor, but I am clean! He could do nothing to stop the two fairies from enclosing his in a cocoon of orange light, however.
Inside the light, Remus felt something twitch in his mind. His ears rang as the wolf within him howled with rage. This procedure was painful. Remus felt as though a some sort of dark, sticky, tar-like coating was being ripped from his muscles, his bones, his organs, even the innards of his mind. Remus could not contain the scream that bubbled and erupted from his throat. He'd endured countless transformations, but this was worse than all of them.
Outside the orange cocoon, Orihime concentrated on the task at hand. Normally using her Shun Shun Rikka was easy, a procedure that could be done in her sleep. But the parasite within the man was so ingrained in his being that it took all of Orihime's strength to remove it.
With one last exertion of energy, the orange light glowed with a brilliance it had never before reached before fizzing away. The two exhausted fairies returned to Orihime's hairclips.
The scream on Remus's lips died with the light. As soon as it had, the door to the lavatory banged open. "What the bloody hell are you two doing in here?" Tom demanded. Quite a few of the patrons were peeking over Tom's shoulders to see what was happening inside.
Orihime bowed deeply. "I'm sorry for disturbing your fine establishment, sir!" Turning to Remus, she said, "I'm exhausted. I'm heading on home now." And after a quick bow to him, she pulled out her map, walked past the crowd that parted for her, and skipped out the door.
Tom turned to Remus. "You okay?"
Remus looked down at the smooth skin of his torso. The pale skin that used to be criss-crossed with scars was now unmarred. "Never better," Remus said.
Tom nodded and grunted something about how Remus should have gone home to get laid, completely disregarding the fact that Orihime had been fully dressed and Remus still had his pants on.
Still in the lavatory, Remus smiled. And with that smile there was nothing else, nothing dark and primal and bloodthirsty stirring in the recesses of Remus's mind. That smile was purely Remus.