Title: Give Yourself Away
Summary: The first War between the Light and the Dark took a lot of things from people – happiness. Innocence. But some people gave it away, in exchange for something much bigger than themselves.
Pairings: James/Lily, Sirius/Remus implied.
Disclaimer: I do not own, nor will I ever, any of the characters depicted or mentioned below. I do not own "Harry Potter" - I am merely writing this as a hobby. If you're interested in reading more about these characters, I suggest you go to your book store and pick up a copy of "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone" ('Sorcerer's Stone" in some countries) by J.K. Rowling. She created this world that I depict below, and owns it all. I am grateful to her for allowing the privilege of fanfiction, as this is all this is. J.K. Rowling has nothing to do with any of my work, except for creating the world and characters which I write about. If you've any questions, please message me, and I'll gladly get back to you.
Give Yourself Away
Remus Lupin curled his hands into fists as he and his four closest friends ambled down the corridor. He had been awaiting this moment for years. He had been planning it for months. He had been anticipating it for days. But nothing would have prepared him for... everything. All the questions running through his mind, all the uncertainties...
If you've any uncertainties, you should back out, a voice in his head told him. If you're going to do something, you must do it whole-heartedly.
But he would do it whole-heartedly. Remus very much cared about what he was going to do – as a matter of fact, the world depended on it. Not him, solely, of course, but people just like him. If he did not do it... who would?
The fists came uncurled as his closest friend reached out for his sweaty palm, and squeezed his hand reassuringly. Sirius Black was a reputed prankster, and known for doing just about anything for a laugh. Despite the phonics of his name, Sirius rarely did anything of a serious nature, which was why Remus had no doubts about the young man. If Sirius did something, he plunged into it and gave himself fully. Sirius had proven himself fully dedicated to the cause they were now supporting two years ago, when he had left his parents' home, rather than give into their ways. Just thinking about how passionate Sirius was about something made Remus' insides tingle... or perhaps that was just because he was thinking about the words 'passion' and 'Sirius' in the same sentence.
Remus glanced over to the person on the other side of him, and was filled with a warmth he was always filled with whenever he thought of this person. Peter Pettigrew was a fairly attractive friend, and one of the first friends that Remus had. As a matter of fact, Peter had been one of the first boys he had seen on the Platform 9 and ¾, when going to Hogwarts his first year. They had both been, at the time, so small, so shy, and so seemingly out of the place. They owed thanks to their friendly, outgoing, and shall we say boisterous future friends for introducing the two of them. Peter was the one Remus could count on to talk to about anything – when he was nervous about exams, Sirius and James would brush him off, but Peter would listen and try to help, before imputing his own concerns. When Remus had fallen for Sirius, Peter had known – just known – before Remus had told another living soul. Peter was someone that Remus held dear, and thanked God for every chance he got.
Next to Sirius walked James. James Potter sported messy black hair, and glasses that always ended up broken from some incident or another. He was a prankster, like Sirius – perhaps that was what compelled them to start getting along so well as small children. James had made a lot of big decisions in the past few months – proposing to his girlfriend, getting married, buying a house... and yet, this was the biggest decision yet. Possibly the biggest decision he had ever made. Remus knew that James had grown up a lot in the past year, even since his parents passed away from the Dragon Pox. That was one of the things that really helped affirm the foursome's decisions, even though the Dragon Pox had nothing to do with the situation – if they could prevent their parents from getting killed, or their siblings... or, for those like Sirius who now had neither, their friends and their families, or perhaps even the families of strangers they had never met – they would.
Red-haired Lily Potter walked alongside her husband, her face determined. Remus knew that she was likely having more doubts than he was, but at the same time, was the least likely to back out. She was strong, and determined. Very stubborn, actually – no one could 'handle' her. She bossed around the four men like they were small children, or perhaps slaves. What was worse, they obeyed. Remus didn't really know why – it had been that way for quite some time, now. He was not even sure when it started. Lily was in charge – it was a fact.
They stopped in front of the large Gargoyle. Remus tightened his hand around Sirius', grateful that Sirius only increased his grip. They were going to do this. Together. Like they did everything.
"So, who's going up first?" James' voice echoed down the stone walls of Hogwarts. The students were all in classes, or at least, should be. They had wanted to come when there were few around that might go tattling to their Death Eater parents about who visited Dumbledore that day. Night-time was not an option, as few people dared venture out of doors after dark these days.
Peter looked at Remus in desperation. Remus knew that look – it was that 'I-Do-Not-Want-To-Go-First' look. Peter's flaw – a fatal flaw, if you will – was that he was so desperately afraid of everything. He was the type of person to scream when the toaster popped – Remus wished he was kidding, but it was true. After Peter saw that one or two of them went up to the Headmaster and came down in one piece, he would be good to go. But definitely not first.
Sirius was the boldest out of the four men. He would likely walk in, sit down opposite Dumbledore without being invited to, put his feet up on the desk, and chat about meaningless nonsense for a good hour before getting down to business. No, Sirius could not be first. They needed Dumbledore to know how... well, serious they were. Sending Sirius in first would not make a good impression.
And then there was Lily and James. Would they go in together, or separately? Probably together. They did everything together. They were very big on 'as for me and my house...'. If one of them made a decision to drastically alter their life, the other person's life would be affected. Really, there was no reason that they shouldn't go in together. But then, they would not want to go first. As determined and ready-to-go as they were, there was a method to these types of things. You wanted the least overwhelming person to go first. Peter would overwhelm Dumbledore with his fears, Sirius with his boldness, and James and Lily because there were two of them.
That left Remus.
"There is the lycanthropy." He offered up, weakly, knowing the others were thinking the same things he was.
Sirius grinned wolfishly, before giving Remus a kiss on the jaw. "Go get em, Moony." He punched his palm. "Do us proud."
Remus took a deep breath and looked at his friends. This was it – once he stepped into that room, he signed his own death warrant. He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, the Dark wizard, was liable to take over the world. There was nothing stopping him... except a few people who tried to. Remus didn't know who they were or what they were up to exactly, but he knew Dumbledore had the answers. And he wanted to help.
"We can do this." He nodded towards everyone. "Together."
A chorus of "sure will", "love you", and "we're praying for you" was the last thing he heard as he gave the Gargoyle the password Dumbledore had told him to use, and he cruised up the moving staircase.
Dumbledore's office was a place Remus knew well. Very well, in fact. He could not remember one year, one term, he did not get invited to the office at least once. Whether it was for reasons to do with the lycanthropy, grades, prefect business, or pranks going on in the school, he had gotten to know that office fairly well. He liked the smell of it – hickory and sweets.
Dumbledore was fairly relaxed as he greeted Remus, and showed him where to sit (where Remus always sat in his office). "Would you like a sherbet lemon?" Dumbledore held out a tin of yellow sweets.
Remus stared. Was the old man really offering him sweets, at a time like this? He knew why Remus had come – surely he knew it was not a situation that called for sweets, as if Remus was still a child. He had turned seventeen one year, one months, and half a week ago. He was an adult by all measures of the imagination.
"Thank you, but no." Remus turned him down politely. "Headmaster, I realise – we all realise – that we're taking a big risk by asking you this, but it is a risk we're willing to take. We know where you stand on the situation with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, and we would like to team up with you, if you will. We would like to help in any way that we can." They were young, full of energy, and strong. They could do anything Dumbledore liked, whether it was deflecting curses or paperwork. Anything to bring the monster down.
Dumbledore gazed at Remus, heavily. "Sherbet lemon?" He repeated, his tone different than last time.
This time, Remus did not dare turn him down, but quietly and politely accepted.
"His name is 'Voldemort'." Dumbledore leaned back in his chair, looking Remus straight in the eye.
Remus winced at hearing the name. He knew that He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was called 'Lord Voldemort', but no one ever spoke the name. It was evil, a curse. It was like you were asking him to come to your home, by saying the name. He had never heard anyone say it before, except for Sirius – once - in a moment of devilry.
"Yes, sir." Remus nodded. "His ideals are insane, sir. First of all, I have done my research, and there is no completely Pure-Blooded person in the world. Everyone is interrelated at some point – regardless of how you slice it, someone in everyone's ancestor has married a half-blood, Muggle, or Muggleborn. No blood is 'pure'."
Dumbledore was stroking his long white beard. "Continue." He seemed interested, as if he had never heard this before, which Remus knew was just as ludicrous as Voldemort's ideas – Dumbledore was a very educated man.
He clasped his hands together in his lap. "If one were to kill all the Muggles, everyone who was even distantly related to Muggles, or anyone who supported Muggle-rights... there would be no one left. Not one. I have not looked into everyone's individual history, of course, sir, but even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named must have some Muggle relatives – he would have to kill himself to fully complete his mission."
"Precisely, my boy." Dumbledore approved, his blue eyes serious. "Tell me, Remus – what do you think of love?"
Love? What did he think of love? What an odd question. Not only an odd question, but very peculiar timing. "I am afraid I do not understand, sir." Remus was trying to figure out how Dumbledore correlated this with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
"Ah, but that is the mystery of love – no one understands it." Dumbledore said, whimsically, putting a sherbet lemon into his mouth before continuing. "What is the importance of love? Do you value it? Do you know it?"
What did Remus think of love... he had always been teased for being the 'pansy' of the Marauders – and that was before anyone, including himself, knew his sexual preferences. He had grown up devouring every book his parents could afford to buy him, and those that they had themselves, including poetry books. He had entire sonnets memorised by heart. One would think that he would have thought this through before.
"Of course I value love, Headmaster." He was being careful with what words he chose to use. It was a bad time for anyone to do anything slightly different or unapproved of. That said, Remus and Sirius were being extremely careful who they let in on their relationship. But if he could not trust Dumbledore, who could he trust? "I cannot imagine the world without it. My family, and my friends... I do not think life would be worth living if I did not have them."
He shuddered as he imagined the worse situation possible – his mother a Muggle, his father a half-blood who not only married a Muggle, but had a werewolf son. What if they were killed? James was a Pure-blood, but married to a Muggleborn – what if he was killed? Peter, if he ever had to face Voldemort – he would say 'no' to following him, and get killed. And Sirius... Remus could not bear the thought. He would be completely, and utterly alone.
"Headmaster," Remus tried to steer them back on track. "I do think that love is most important, but what does that have to do with the conversation? I'm afraid I don't understand."
Dumbledore's voice was grave. "Everything to do with it, my boy. Everything."
That night, Remus John Lupin, Sirius Orion Black, Peter Earl Pettigrew, James Gordon Potter, and Lily Evans-Potter joined forces with Albus Dumbledore, and became some of the first members of the Order of the Phoenix. They pledged that night, to do what they could to fight against Darkness and the dark Lord Voldemort, even if it meant death. They were young, but were wise enough to see what was important. They gave themselves away, so that others could live.
Severus Snape's heart pounded as he bowed to the Dark Lord's feet, kissing the hem of his robe. He had hoped, and dreamed, of so much, but the fear and anticipation he felt at the moment was nothing like he had thought it would be.
"Are you ready, little one?" The Dark Lord purred seductively, tracing Severus' inner forearm with the tip of his wand. A wand that had seen and done many great and powerful things that Severus could only dream of doing.
"Yes, my Lord." Severus' breath caught as burning pain began to course through his entire body. But he did not move from his kneeling position on the floor, as to not disturb the Dark Lord whilst he was graciously performing complex magic on Severus' body for him.
And like that, whether it quite registered to Severus that night or not, he gave himself away, too.