Disclaimer: Obviously, J.K. Rowling's epic masterpiece isn't mine.
Author's Note: I haven't written fanfics for a long, long time, so it was a surprise for me when I got this little idea while taking some exams. I remembered that little line from Half-Blood Prince where Lupin tells Harry that "people think he owned a badly behaved rabbit", and thought that it would be quite funny if he DID own one. Sorry for the little quirks here and there, and for some weird bunny-related violence. I LOVE bunnies, by the way.
And Remus Lupin IS one awesome wolfie.
I have a furry little problem.
People at school think that there is something incredibly suspicious about my infamous predicament. Blame it on the fact that James frequently talks in whispers about it (that constantly nags me, come to think of it) and Peter either snorts in laughter or looks sympathetic whenever Sirius throws a joke at the thing. I try not to mind the rumors much, but as the days go by, it doesn't do much for my ego.
It all started on the night of my sixteenth birthday. I'm not really used to receiving gifts, apart from stuff James, Sirius, Peter, and my parents give me, so it was a big surprise when Lily Evans handed me a ribboned box after patrolling the corridors.
"Happy Birthday, Remus. I'd like you to have this."
My brain suddenly died. Surely, she was making a terrible, terrible mistake? But she did say Remus, right? Gifts from girls are odd. I'm quite sure it's usually Sirius who gets parcels like this. And James would probably kill me for receiving a present from her. I looked at the box. It seemed…normal, even pretty, with a loose, hastily tied red bow at the top.
"Oh, thanks. Y-you shouldn't really have-"
"It's fine, look. And uh, I didn't wrap the gift too much because it might suffocate."
It could suffocate? Apparently this thing, whatever it is, could breathe. Now, Lily Evans could be really cheeky at times, but this is beyond her usual level.
"Why don't you open it?" she said, smiling.
I opened the box and inside sat a furry white thing with dark, round eyes. It sat quietly, almost angelic. It was a bunny. A furry little bunny.
"Thank you very much for this…bunny." I said a bit too thickly. Was that a proper reply?
"You told me before that you've never had a pet. My mum wrote to me last week that my rabbit at home had given birth, so I asked her to send one, and there…Oh, don't worry, my sister didn't mind at all. She doesn't like animals a lot." said Lily quickly, turning red. I had sudden visions of a very mad James Potter.
"That's really nice of you. I'll er…take care of my new pet…Thanks, thanks a lot."
It's true, I've never had a pet before, and that is for a very uhm, good reason. It appears that Lily Evans somehow noticed my…"petlessness". I don't know why, but that rather alarmed me.
She murmured something like "have-a-good-night" and went up to the girls' dormitories, leaving me with my new comrade. What would they (Read: Marauders) say? I guess I simply have to go up and tell them everything, because knowing Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, they would find it out anyway.
"What on earth is that?"
"Blimey, a bunny!"
"Isn't it cute? I mean…how could you, Moony?"
So I told them everything. Birthday. Prefects' patrol. Lily Evans. Box. Bunny. Oh bother.
And there was a very stiff silence after that.
Then James, looking livid (at least I think), opened his mouth…
"Nah, Prongs, give it a rest. It's Moony's birthday anyway. You'll have yours in a few weeks, no need to rush. And come on, it's not like he's going out with Evans or something. It's probably just a prefect-y thing.", said Sirius loudly before James could even speak.
"It's not that, see!" said James defensively. "How come she gave you something? The only thing she ever gave me was a scowl!"
"And a slap, when you asked her on a date once," reminded Sirius.
"M-maybe you actually have to talk to her? Er…not shout at her or hex blokes in front of her?" advised Peter, who seemed to be very intrigued.
James looked at Peter acidly. Then he turned to me.
"Well, maybe Peter is right. Girls do not typically enjoy watching guys blow up classmates," I said. James's love life is usually a very touchy subject with the Marauders, and most of the time, we tend to play it low. "But of course, you have a chance if you could be a bit…nicer to others, I think."
James gave out a sigh. "Girls are complicated. Really. They should write a book on them or something…"
"I'm not exactly contradicting you, Prongs, but I'm quite surprised that I find girls to be a piece of cake," said Sirius sneeringly. "And besides, you don't like reading books, mate."
James threw a pillow at him. It does sound strange when James Potter, Quidditch star extraordinaire, is having troubles with girls, of all things. It doesn't sound likely.
"Uhm, Moony?" James asked.
"Can you name the bunny after me?"
There was a roaring howl of laughter after that particular statement that Frank Longbottom, a heavy sleeper who shared the same dormitory with us, woke up and told us that we're out of order.
"Prongs, that was a stunning joke. Very funny one," Sirius commented, after getting lost in mirth. Peter was still giggling excitedly.
"I think Prongs was serious, Sirius Black," I said.
"Now that is a bad pun on a name, Remus Lupin," he snapped.
"Moony's right," James chided, and that shut Sirius and Peter up. "I am serious."
Sirius looked shocked.
"You are worse than Merlin's saggy old pants," said Sirius. "That's about the craziest thing yet, apart from the time you bought a large crate of Honeydukes's chocolate for her. Moony can't call the bunny James that's just-"
"Odd," Peter finished. "Maybe we should call it Hedwig or something else-"
"Hedwig? Where'd you get that fishy name?" asked Sirius.
Peter said stuff about a book, and then he told us to not use that name anymore because it does sound fishy.
This naming business, as well as James's lovesickness was getting out of hand. It was already past midnight and I was already very sleepy.
"But Lily was the one who gave the bunny! It was from her!" said James.
"So it used to be hers! She probably snuggled up to it-"
"All right. I'll call it James," I said, exasperatedly. Peter suppressed a chuckle. "Look, can you help me take care of the bunny? I mean, it would be nice of you-"
"Of course, we would, Moony. All for sweet, furry little James here," said Sirius in a tone of mock concern.
"Why wouldn't we?" James remarked as he took the bunny to his bedside table. It seemed that was starting to get attached to his namesake. "Happy Birthday, Moony." And then he fell asleep.
I was about to do the same when Sirius whispered, "Moony, can you do me a favor?"
"When the moon comes up, can you bite off Prongs's head for me?"
I threw a pillow at him.
The next day, during prefect duties, Lily Evans brought up the topic of her present.
"So, what did you name the bunny?" she asked.
I am very well aware of the consequences of naming the poor bunny James, and that Lily wouldn't be very amused if she knew that.
"Uhm…" Think. Remus John Lupin, you have to be quick at this one. What would be the furry little thing's name?
"…furry. I called it Furry."
That was a very ridiculous move. I am very sure that when the other three gets to hear this, they'd rip off their heads laughing.
"Oh, very creative. Because it's…furry?" said Lily, fighting the urge to laugh herself. "Well, take good care of Furry, then. He could be quite excited."
And we didn't talk much during the rest of the patrol.
Taking good care of a bunny wasn't going to be the thing you expect when you leave it to the Marauders. We take turns on "babysitting" it (as Sirius called it), trying our best to keep James-the-Bunny happy and comfortable. (Which includes nicking vegetable sticks from the kitchens for its food and sitting with it by the fire, something not very different from what he usually does, said Peter.)
Until something happened, more than a week later.
The bunny went mad. Sort of.
Excited- the way Lily describes her gift- is an understatement. I have no idea how to describe its rapid transformation. It went from an angel to a thing who likes nibbling homework and bouncing around like a pogo stick.
"I reckon it's just growing up. It does get a little boring, being stuck here in the tower," said James.
"Easy for you to say, Prongs. It just ate my Potions essay!" said Sirius, annoyed.
"Which you just copied off mine, by the way," I implored.
"But the effort! I wasted ink and parchment copying that rubbish, not to mention using up an hour which I could have spent for better stuff," Sirius retorted.
"Stupid stuff, more like," I snapped. "Anyway, you could do it all over again, without copying."
However, it seemed that it wasn't going to be last time that James-the-Bunny would cause havoc in our lives. The next day, Peter showed me a very soaked parchment that used to be homework and a very wet bunny covered in ink.
"Scourgify!" I said, siphoning off the ink from James-the-Bunny.
"Blimey, good thing it wasn't my homework," said Peter.
"Where did you find it?"
"By the puffy red chair near the chess set."
-which was exactly where I left my homework five minutes ago to go and get a spare quill. Blimey.
Things can't get worse, can they? Well apparently, they can. It's funny how a darling little creature can test your patience. As if discovering that Lily's-angelic-present-isn't-at-all-very-sweet was just the tip of the iceberg. We came to know that it is also very good at something else.
"I HAVE HAD ENOUGH WITH THAT DAMN BUNNY!" Sirius bellowed one evening, scooping out filthy books from his rucksack. "It pooped on my bloody bag in the name of Merlin's beard!"
"We could clean it up if you like," James suggested.
Then, there was this odd stillness.
"Honestly, I think we should rename the bunny," said Sirius suddenly.
"Er, what should we call it?" Peter asked.
"I was thinking…Snivellus."
It was James's turn to shout. "You are not calling it that stupid name!"
"That bunny is just as pathetic and annoying as that bloody git!"
"YOU ARE NOT CALLING ANYTHING GIVEN BY EVANS AFTER THAT SLIMEBALL!"
"OH YEAH? WHY DON'T YOU-"
"I think it is MY bunny."
Both of them stopped talking and looked at me.
It was a long night.
And so, the bunny dilemma continued. The fact that James seemed to care so much about the bunny ceased to be true when he finally got to be a victim of its er…playfulness.
James (almost) always slept with the bunny because he fears that Sirius might strangle it or I might refuse to hand it back to him. He would put it beside him on his bed, near his bedside table where a little model of a golden snitch (autographed by his favorite Quidditch team, the Puddlemere United) was placed.
That was until he woke up with bunny poop on his hands and his golden snitch spent the rest of the night in little pieces on the floor.
"THAT WRETCHED RABBIT IS GOING TO PAY FOR THIS!" James roared, wiping dung off his hands and trying to repair the little snitch.
"I thought I'd never hear those inspiring words from you, Prongs," said Sirius.
"Moony, you better do something about that thing or it's going to end up shredded as fertilizer in Sprout's garden!" warned James, eyeing the bunny with resentment.
"Frankly, I'd prefer grinding it and feeding it to Mrs. Norris," said Sirius. "She looks quite sickly these days."
I have no idea how to tame a badly behaved rabbit. Maybe giving a few spells would do the trick? But really, I don't think disposing of it could be a really nice thing to do, especially as it's my first…er…pet.
"Er, guys, you wouldn't do those, would you? I mean, grinding and shredding the bunny? It's just a joke, right?" asked Peter worriedly.
Sirius rolled his eyes.
From then on, James refused to call the bunny after him anymore. He just refers to it as my "furry little problem". Sirius thought of that as very funny and would often make sly comments about it.
"You know what, Moony? I can't sleep at night because your furry little problem might run wild and attack me."
Meanwhile, the other residents of the boys' dormitory started to feel that there is indeed something wrong. Thomas Jordan, Andrew Spinnet and Frank Longbottom woke up the next morning to see their shoes filled with poop. Professor McGonagall heard about this, and she told James and Sirius to start putting their toes in line unless they want to spend the rest of term scrubbing the bathroom.
"I hope Ol' Minnie realizes that there is a savage bunny terrorizing our House," said James thoughtfully. "She's definitely off her rocker when she called us tale spinners."
"We can always kill the bunny first thing tomorrow, though." said Sirius.
"That wasn't a bad idea at all."
Finally, we decided to set the bunny out on the grounds the following weekend. Peter reckons it just needs a bit of fresh air and running around. Sirius, on the other hand, thinks that it requires more than a hearty punch and a low kick to get it to straighten up.
"Of course he won't do that," I assured Peter. "He's just pissed off because of the detentions."
Everything seemed to be going fine until it started to rain hard. We were all intent to get into the castle quickly to avoid getting soaked that we forgot the bunny out in the grounds.
"I thought it was with you!" said James.
"But I gave it to Wormtail!" Sirius exclaimed.
"Where is it then?" I asked. "Don't tell me-"
"Oh right, right. I-it was with me. I must've dropped it somewhere, though," replied Peter, looking shaken. "It probably w-wandered off when we started playing Exploding Snap."
There was a pregnant pause.
"Oh, why don't we celebrate? After weeks of living with bunny dung and eaten homework, we deserve a break!" said Sirius tactlessly.
"Can't we just try to look for it?" asked Peter weakly.
And so we tried to look for it. We initially searched around the area after the rainfall, but there wasn't a trace of the bunny anywhere. Tired and annoyed, we went up to the tower and consulted the Map. But there was no little bunny on the Map either.
"Face it, the Map never lies. It probably ran into the Forbidden Forest and got stomped on by some centaur or something else," said James.
Peter gave a little shudder. "What a poor thing. It was starting to grow on me."
Now, lamenting the loss of my very first pet is something that I probably should be doing after James-the-Bunny's escape, but I happen to lament over something worse than that. I was feeling very strange and peaky the next day, and when I chanced upon the lunascope Sirius jokingly gave to me as a gift, I felt my stomach give a lurch.
For heaven's sake.
Not that I am caught unawares, but I was so tangled up with other things that this thing slipped off my mind. Whether that's good or bad, I have no idea.
Later at night, Madam Pomfrey escorted me to the Whomping Willow. Here we go again. I feel like a hen being brought to a nest to lay an egg.
Come to think of it, that sounds like a very nonsensical comparison.
I was sitting there on the floor of the Shack for what felt like an hour when I saw something move. It was moving closer, hopping closer. It was small, white, and furry.
It was James-the-Bunny. My furry little problem.
Oh no. This couldn't be happening.
My insides burned in pain. The full moon was out. Everything was blurry. There was a whirl of colors: black, white, red. The smell of rust was in the air.
Then everything went blank.
When I opened my eyes, I found myself in the hospital wing. As always, I cannot remember anything much about last night. It was like drinking too much liquor; I normally get a hangover the next day.
But I knew something out of the ordinary happened.
"Mr. Lupin?" Madam Pomfrey called. "You have visitors."
It was Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs, as usual.
"From what we've gathered, you had a rather rough one last night," said James.
"We're very sorry we failed to show up," said Sirius. "McGonagall got us shut in detention."
"It's fine. Except for one thing, though," I said. "I think I have-"
Scratched my pet till it d-? I can't even bear to think of it. I am a monster.
"Well, it is gone then," said Sirius. "Cheer up, it wasn't your fault."
"He will forever live in our memories," said Peter gloomily.
"Don't mind about it much, mate," whispered James. "You can't feel too bad about something you can't control."
Goodbye, my first pet.
The next morning, Lily talked to me after breakfast. She looked quite apologetic about the entire thing.
"I'm very sorry about what happened to the bunny," she said. "It's so sad that it has to end like that."
"Oh, it's okay. It just got lost in the forest, and met some unfortunate fate in there."
That should've happened instead.
"Well, at least you can have some rest," said Lily thoughtfully. "You don't have your furry little problem anymore."
"You have no idea at all, Lily," I said pensively. "No idea."
She looked confused at my answer.
A review would be nice. Seriously.