AN: Before reading this, go to youtube and find "Unwell" by Matchbox 20. This fanfiction was written for the challenge of the same name on HPFC. It's a song that applies very well to many characters in Harry Potter – but even better to Remus, of all of them. I'm really lucky I got him!
A different side of me
What had possessed Dumbledore to make him a prefect, Remus didn't know. It wasn't even the fact he was part of the group of student that caused the most havoc upon the school on a regular basis that caused problem. Or not quite the fact that he turned into a monster once a month either – though that was closer to the problem. The problem was, his prefect partner was Lily Evans, one of the smartest students in school, who couldn't let a mystery go once she found it – and she was on to him.
History really had a way of repeating itself. The excuses he had given his three best friends in first year didn't work any better with Lily than they did with them. His mother could only get sick so often. Lily Evans' current ambition was to be a Healer, and she was very, very curious as to what exactly was wrong with his mother, and how she could help her healing. Of course, the only thing wrong with his mother was her son's condition, and there was no healing that.
So he had to come up with an excuse to leave her alone for the next patrol, which of course, had to fall on the night of the full moon. And he better think really, really quick.
"Get yourself in detention," had been Sirius's oh-so-unhelpful suggestion. The last thing he needed was to get on the wrong side of some teacher. His condition had him on permanent probation at Hogwarts, he was fully aware of that.
"Just tell her – Lily's a good person, she'll understand," was James's opinion. As far as he was concerned, Lily could do no wrong – besides her weird friendship with Snape, of course, but that had ended several months before. But that was one of the things Remus feared the most – that one of the most accepting and friendly persons in the world (she had been friends with Snape, for Merlin's sake!) would reject him anyway.
"Tell her your father is sick this time," was Peter's idea – which induced some well-deserved eye-rolling from James and Sirius. If he said something like that, Lily was bound to start researching what kinds of disease ran between spouses in Wizarding families.
As the full moon came nearer, and no solution appeared, Remus resolved himself to telling the usual lie, for lack of a better idea. She'd wonder, she'd look, and one day she'd find out, but until then, he'd stick to his (very, very bad) story.
"Lily, I'm sorry, I have to miss tomorrow night's patrol. My mother is sick again, I'm going home for a few days."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Is she not getting better? Is there something I can do?"
"The Healers can't find what it is, but she just feels better when I'm home so..." He sighed in a way he hoped sounded sufficiently sad, and she let it drop.
On the other side of the Gryffindor common room, he could see James shaking his head.
"Just tell her!" he mouthed to him. Remus shook his head discreetly. No way was he telling Lily.
The moon came and passed, and Remus spent a day in the hospital wing, hidden behind the customary curtain that Madam Pomfrey put up for him. When he went to breakfast the day after, Lily kindly asked how his mother was. He mumbled an answer, which he hoped sounded acceptable to the overcurious girl. As she walked away, James rolled his eyes.
"Just tell her. She's a good person, really. She won't hate you."
No. Lily was bound to find out, of course, but she wouldn't find out from him. He wondered for a moment if Snape would have told her – he'd known for six months already, after all. But Lily refused to talk to Snape since the M-Word incident after the OWLs, and he definitively hadn't told her back then. She would have put two and two together and realised it equalled Werewolf.
Luckily, they weren't on patrol for the next full moon, but Lily did look at him suspiciously the morning after.
"Are you alright, Remus?"
"Doing great, Lily, thanks."
He avoided James's gaze – he knew he'd be trying to get him to tell Lily the truth. Sirius and Peter had long ago stopped trying to help. They seemed to secretly agree that Lily would find out some day, and when that happened, they'd see what needed to be done.
The next full moon was during the Christmas holiday. He wasn't quite sure if that was a good thing or not. Good, because Lily wouldn't be there to see him, and it wouldn't excite her curious mind. Not good, because it meant that Prongs, Padfoot and Wormtail wouldn't be there either – and the wolf would miss them, and it would be more painful than usual.
Two days before the moon, he was lying in his bed. His mother was tiptoeing around the house, which greatly irritated him. He'd been through enough full moons to know to fear it, but also to know he'd make it. His mother always acted as if it was the first one. A knock on the door shook him from his thoughts.
"Remus, dear, there's someone here to see you. A girl. She says she's a friend from school."
Remus frowned. Besides the Marauders, he didn't have many friends at school – and certainly not female friends.
He left his room and followed his mother downstairs, and sighed when he saw one Lily Evans standing in the entrance hall.
"Hi, Remus. My father was coming in your town for business, and I thought I'd tag along. I remembered you lived here, and thought it'd be nice to visit," she said with a small smile.
"Oh. Well. It's nice to stop by." Remus wasn't quite sure what to do. He never had visitors. When he saw the Marauders on holiday, they always stayed at the Potters'. No one ever came in his parents' small cottage.
His mother sensed his discomfort.
"I'll just make tea, shall I? Remus, why don't you show your friend into the drawing room, I'll bring the tea and cups as soon as the water is boiled."
Remus gestured towards the drawing room, and Lily stepped in. They sat in complete silence for half a minute. Finally, Lily spoke.
"Listen, Remus, there's a reason I'm here. I was talking with Professor Slughorn a couple of weeks ago, and he mentioned one of his former students, his name is Master Damocles. He's a Potions Master, works in Healing."
She looked at him, as if expecting him to cotton on to something.
Remus was at a complete loss.
Lily bit her lip.
Remus starred at her.
"Master Damocles is currently developing a potion. It's still in experimental stages, but if he works it out, it could change the world."
Lily bit her fingers.
Remus looked out of the window.
Lily sighed again.
"Remus, he's developing a potion to cure Lycanthropy."
Remus stopped breathing. What in the world...
"Remus, I'm not an idiot, I know what you are. I've tried to drop hints for a solid year that you could tell me. I don't care. I think the prejudice against werewolves is just as stupid as the one against Muggle-borns. You're dangerous one night a month, but from everything I can see, you're taking all precautions to avoid biting anyone."
"Lily, I... I... I don't know what to say."
She interrupted him. "I wrote to Master Damocles, told him I was interested in his experiment – purely academically, of course. He sent me a sample of his latest batch. He's not sure if it works yet, but he says it won't hurt anyone who tries it. The worst that can happen is, well... what happens every month anyway."
She took out a small vial from her pocket.
"Take it five hours and three minutes before moonrise. If you feel anything different the next day, let me know."
She got up.
"I need to go now. My father is waiting for me."
Remus was still sitting, stunned, when she opened the door of the house.
"Lily, thank you so much. I don't know how I can repay you."
"Oh, I didn't make the potion, really, it's Master Damocles that did it all."
"I'm not saying thank you for the potion – thought that's amazing too. I'm saying thank you for accepting me. My being a werewolf – it's a different side of me, but usually, as soon as people find out, that's all they see. It's great to know that you don't care."
"Of course I don't – if I did, I'd be just as stupid as the people who think I shouldn't be at Hogwarts because I'm Muggle-born. It's something neither of us can do anything about, something we indeed are – but we're both so much more than that."
"James was right. He kept telling me you would understand."
She raised her eyebrows.
"Did he now? Oh well. I guess he can't be quite as annoying as he looks, otherwise you wouldn't hang out with him all the time."
"There's a different side of him too, you know. You should really give him a chance some day."
Lily winked. "You know Remus, I think I just might one of these days."
As she sauntered off and climbed into her father's car, Remus closed his eyes. It looked like Lily Evans also has more to her than met the eye.