Hey guys. Basically, what with my minor obsession with the Marauders, I was wondering both what Lupin was thinking directly after Lily and James' deaths and at the time of his own death. Voila, a story is born. T for one use of strong language. Enjoy! :)
Disclaimer: If you're sad enough to sue me, get a life.
Nobody knew where he was.
Either that, or they knew he wanted to be left alone. That was probably Dumbledore's reaction, anyway.
But mostly, they probably didn't care. People were still too busy screaming and shouting and dancing, and getting drunk on cheap 'Firewhisky' which would probably turn them all blind by tomorrow. St Mungo's would be full to the brim with the most cheerful patients known to mankind, and even the healers would be happy about it because no matter how many patients, no matter how many casualties, Lord Voldemort was dead.
No, Lupin corrected himself, drunk inside his own head despite not having touched a drop of alcohol. No. Tom Riddle, that son of a- son of some mutated creature or other, was no longer here. But he was probably still hanging around. Waiting to destroy another person's family, waiting to kill someone else's friends. Lupin didn't expect him to finish the job he'd already started. He wasn't so stupid to think Voldemort gave enough of a damn about him to kill him someday.
He was beginning to get hungry. It was about time; he'd been hunched over in this corner, face down on the floor, hands over his head, for over half a day now. Now the real suffering could start, the physical pain which would give him so much more satisfaction than this emotional falsity. And he deserved it.
Damn right he deserved it. He'd been sitting around feeling sorry for himself all his life, never working hard enough to come any higher than second best, and blaming his lycanthropy for all the crap that happened to him. So much so that James had to constantly give him money after school, despite knowing that he would never pay him back, and thinking that it didn't matter. After all, with friends such as Sirius, Peter and Remus, who needed money?
Lupin snarled at the floor. He wished beyond all else that it had been a full moon last night, that he could have been near the Potters' house. Voldemort might have found it a bit more difficult to murder two of the kindest people on the planet with his throat ripped out. And then when Black came around to check on his handiwork, he would have met the same messy end.
He smiled with pure sadistic pleasure. To think, James, that two of your friends would turn out the way they did. To think your only true one was stumpy little Peter Pettigrew.
The Marauders always had been about glory. Names, faces, memories. Nobody would ever forget the four troublemakers who did whatever they wanted and still managed to do well. Prefect, Head Boy, outstanding exam results, aurors, etc, etc, etc. And look where they were now. Two dead, one imprisoned in Azkaban – where he belonged, the filthy, lying, cowardly traitor – and one curled up in a corner trying to starve himself.
"It's not going to change anything, Remus."
As if the words were a trigger, Lupin began to swear at the top of his voice. He screamed the words, relishing every four-letter abomination like the four-letter abomination he was himself. And then the words became more understandable, linking into sentences, no less foul-mouthed but with more meaning, more structure. As his mind began to focus on the syllables, the letters, the language involved, his voice softened and his screams made way to sobs. Tangling his hands in his hair, he let the agonising moans rack through his body, making every inch of him ache.
And all the while he could feel those moon-like eyes on him, watching his pain with no emotion.
"Leave me alone," he hissed between violent spasms. "I-don't-want-you-here."
"Remus, there are many things we do not want. Sometimes we need to put up with these things."
"DON'T YOU THINK I'VE PUT UP WITH ENOUGH IN MY LIFE?" he yelled, finally sitting up to face the infuriatingly calm old man before him, not caring if his face was scratched and stained with mud and tears, his hair filthy and matted, his clothes torn and patched. "DO YOU THINK I WANTED TO BE A WEREWOLF? DO YOU THINK I WANTED TO BE USELESS? DO YOU THINK I WANTED LILY AND JAMES AND PETER TO DIE? DO YOU THINK I WANTED SIRIUS BLACK TO...?" The name was too much for him, so he let out another scream and clawed at his face. "AND I KNOW I DON'T DESERVE MY LIFE, I DON'T DESERVE TO HAVE FRIENDS AND AN EDUCATION, BUT I – DIDN'T – WANT – THIS!"
His throat was burning, as was his face in shame for having shown such little self-control in front of his former headmaster, but he couldn't take it back now. He couldn't take back anything.
"Please, sir, please." His voice cracked, but he had to get the words out. "Tell me their bodies were just missing. Tell me the truth. Peter's not dead. Sirius is wrongly accused. I'll take a time-turner and go back and kill Voldemort myself. Nobody needs to know – Lily and James and Peter and Sirius and me can go somewhere to hide. We can even fake Harry's death if they want to have their son with them. We'll disappear – everyone can think what happened tonight is true, but please, please, let them not be dead."
Was it possible that the slightest bit of sadness had crept into Dumbledore's eyes at this pathetic excuse for a man before him? How kind of him, to show some concern for the lowly people in this world. Lupin turned away angrily, repeating his first words.
"I don't want you here. Go away."
There was a pause, and then a small clink, like someone had put something down. "I brought you some food. Don't do something you'll regret."
Lupin didn't answer. He turned around again at some point. Dumbledore was gone.
He didn't know how long he lay there for. Every day – or thereabouts – someone from the Order came to give him food and try to persuade him out. Minerva McGonagall – "They wouldn't have wanted to see you like this, Remus. The war is over now." Mad Eye – "Lupin, you're being an idiot. You're letting yourself go. It's exactly this sort of behaviour that got us into the mess in the first place." Even Snape – "Your friends can't be hurt where they are now, Lupin. Moping over them will get you nowhere."
He could feel the pull of the moon getting stronger every day. His limbs started to ache, preparing for their upcoming transformation into those of a wolf. He was almost looking forward to it. For one night, he could forget who he was. For one night, filled with pure instinct and primitive nature, he could avoid his entire life and just exist. And he knows that one night a month, twelve nights a year, probably twenty four nights for the rest of his life before he goes completely insane and kills himself, he can make it stop.
That night, Dumbledore sent Hagrid. A smart move, really; no matter what Lupin said or did the half giant refused to leave – "Yeh ain't in yer right mind, Lupin. Yeh can' keep goin' on like this." But even Hagrid wasn't strong enough to overcome the wolf in him, and when the full moon came, Lupin left the building with blood under his claws.
One night of blissful, indulgent hunting. One night of no conscience. One night of impulses Lupin had thought long buried beneath his morals. And when he woke and saw the girl on the floor before him, crying and screaming and clutching her neck, where red blood seeped from beneath her fingers, he almost didn't care.
And then his morals returned and the guilt burned in his chest more acutely than the cruciatus curse. He wanted to turn and run, back to the shack, back to his dark, quiet world of depression. Anything rather than face this sort of shame.
But he bent down, scooping up the little girl and asking her quietly where she lived. And he walked to her house as quickly as possible.
Knocked on the door. Bore the screams of her mother. The abuse hurled at him, the furious glare, the door slammed in his face. Only then did he leave, before she could realise that, if she knew his name, he could be arrested for what he did in a state of frenzied bloodlust.
He returned to the shack, and apologised to Hagrid. He accepted it as only Hagrid could, with a shrug and a "Yeh didn' mean to," and Lupin was reminded of the fondness the half giant held for creatures of all descriptions. He remembered in turn the fondness James and Lily had for Hagrid, and another wave of guilt washed over him as he wondered what they would think of him attacking their old friend.
You don't deserve to be a Marauder, Lupin. You're not worthy of James.
Soon after Hagrid had gone back to Hogwarts, Lupin left the shack. He paused for a moment, bringing up the happiest memory of James, Lily and Peter that he could remember, before raising his wand.
I'm going into hiding. I don't believe all of Voldemort's supporters are gone and underground I might hear more about any uprisings. I'm also not sure if I can face society yet, but I can't stay here. Something happened last night, and some little girl will grow up with the same curse as I have. She lives in one of the houses in the village near the shack. If you can, please, keep her safe.
Her and Harry Potter. See that he lives up to his dad.
I'll be in touch.
Confusion. It was worse than the first war. Children were fighting Death Eaters, their faces creased in concentration as they tried desperately to remember that spell from that lesson they should have been paying more attention to, not knowing it would save their life one day, and all before their opponent could move and-
Lupin winced as yet another unmasked fighter was sent flying backwards into a wall and fell, crumpled, to the floor. These kids shouldn't be there, as his professor instinct was telling him, but the Marauder within him kept reminding him that without them, this battle would already be lost.
They're only four years younger than James and Lily were, he told himself. And that kept him fighting.
Some Death Eater was running past him, chasing a group of terrified students. Lupin sent a curse flying towards him, but he just managed to jerk out of its path. The Death Eater turned; it was Dolohov. With a grin, he turned his own wand onto Lupin and began to duel him.
The battle around him wasn't a blur. Far from it, every explosion and scream made him want to turn around and help whoever was in trouble, stop the injuries that were occurring all around him, but he had to keep his mind focused on the battle. Dolohov was good, better than good – he'd killed Mad Eye, after all. Any stupid move would leave him dead.
"Why if it isn't my young protégé? How are you, Lupin?"
Lupin had to turn his head, despite everything, to look at the man who had ruined his life. Greyback stood in the middle of the battlefield, grinning, his teeth grimy and covered with bits of what appeared to be human skin. A fighter ran at him, but Greyback merely knocked him to the floor with a flick of his enormous hand, where the man lay unmoving.
A hatred run bone deep for so many years filled Lupin. He dodged Dolohov's curse and aimed his wand straight at Greyback's chest. The werewolf laughed with a carelessness that made Lupin's blood boil.
"You might want to look behind you, Lupin."
"Do you take me for an idiot?" he snarled.
That was before he heard the all too familiar voice screaming, "REMUS!"
He whirled frantically, spotting his wife almost instantly and her attacker a second later. His heart skipped a beat. He ran forward-
As green light flared from Bellatrix's wand and collided with Tonks's body. Lupin's eyes widened with horror as the centre of his life fell to the floor, the light already gone from her face.
And he could feel James and Sirius screaming with him as he opened his mouth and shouted,
"NO! YOU WILL PAY FOR THAT, YOU BITCH!"
Bellatrix turned and smirked at him. All the hatred he had ever felt, for Sirius, for Peter, for Greyback, for Voldemort, for every man and woman who had ever treated him like scum, even for himself, burst from its hiding place deep within him as his wand arm raised and the words of the torture curse formed on his tongue. As the same curse hit him in the back.
The pain was worse than he remembered. He could scarcely think straight. The only thought that made sense within his mind was the overpowering urge to kill Lestrange, to seek revenge for the deaths of his wife and his best friend. The fact that he couldn't only made his torture worse.
And then it was gone, and he was lying on the floor beside his wife. Tears formed in his eyes as he reached out and touched her face, turned her head to face his and kissed her forehead.
"I did something wrong, Dora," he whispered. "I hurt a girl. I didn't mean to, I swear. But I caused someone pain like me. I should have told you, but I let you marry a monster. And I'm sorry. And I love you."
And he could almost see her laughing at him, and telling him not to be an idiot, and that anything he did when he was a wolf was not his fault. She loved him, despite everything. She'd risked her reputation to be with him, she'd risked her life to know if he was all right.
He'd thought he didn't deserve to be a Marauder, and maybe he didn't. But James and Sirius had thought so, and they had died trying to save the people they loved. So had Tonks. And if he died fighting for a better world - for Harry and his friends, for Teddy, his son, his own son - then maybe, just maybe, he was worthy of them.
He heard laughter. He glanced up, and was unsurprised to see Dolohov, Greyback and Lestrange standing above him, identical evil grins upon their faces. He tried to get up, but was held down by Greyback's foot on his chest.
"Much as I'd love to stay and gloat," Dolohov smirked, "we have a battle to be getting on with."
He raised his wand. Lupin struggled against the weight pressing down upon him, desperately lashing out at Greyback, who winced and snarled but didn't release the pressure. Dolohov pointed his wand between Lupin's eyes.
The eyes which bore into Bellatrix's, filled with the hatred of not one man, but three.
I am a Marauder.