Disclaimer: I own nothing. Everything recognizable beongs to JK Rowling
15 year old Remus Lupin sat in the middle of the Gryffindor Common Room, his head in his hands. It was three nights after the full moon; he had just been released from the clutches of Madam Pomfrey, who was not too happy about his departure. He knew he had to come out of the Hospital Wing sometime, no matter how much the little voice in his head told him he should just hide away in the Hospital Wing for the rest of term. He had, thankfully, missed potions; Remus just didn't know if he would be able to stand Snape's glaring, which was sure to come, due to certain circumstances. His head shot up as James burst through the portrait hole, his face set in a mask of indifference, but Remus knew that behind the indifference lay anger and behind the anger, hurt. Remus felt the exact same way.
He didn't want to believe that Sirius had betrayed them and told Snape how to get into the Shack, but there was no other way that he'd know. When Remus faced Sirius, who was clothed in muggle clothes, in the Hospital Wing and was told about the Incident and Sirius' suspension, Remus just couldn't deny what he'd done. He remembered Sirius' hurt face when Remus told him off in a quiet voice, he never liked to shout and didn't even have the strength, even now; but even Sirius knew that Remus was furious with him- that was yesterday. After having a day to think it over, all his anger had washed away with his external pain and injuries, he was left with only hurt; the hurt of betrayal.
Remus watched James stalk up the staircase to the dormitories; he wondered how long it would take for James to feel the hurt Remus himself is feeling; probably in a few weeks.
"Remus?" a soft voice called from behind him, the voice sounded hesitant and lost, as if it didn't know what to do or why it was even speaking.
"Remus, are you ok?" The voice sounded familiar, and he had a really good idea on who it was but he turned just to make sure his assumptions were correct.
He was right. Behind him stood Lily Evans, his fellow Fifth Year Prefect. She was clad in a long sleeve shirt and what looked like running shorts; her fuzzy red slippers were visible too. She had her flaming red hair pulled up in a long pony tail. Her hands were crossed over her body, but not in the disapproving fashion, she almost looked uncomfortable.
Remus could clearly imagine what James' face would be like if he saw Lily now, which numbed the pain and brought a small smile to his face. But thinking of James made Remus think of Sirius which brought his mind to the Incident, which resurfaced the hurt. Lily seemed to take this as encouragement because she relaxed a bit and she out came from behind the couch and made her way to the side. She cocked her head to the side, her pony tail swung with the sudden movement and Remus remembered that she asked him a question. He brought back the smile, although it was a bit forced.
"I'm fine Lily."
She saw right through him.
"Remus, I can tell something is bothering you. May I sit?" She gestured to the vacant seat next to him in front of the dying fire; it had to be around 10:45 at night. He nodded wordlessly.
She took her seat, crossing her legs Indian style on the worn fabric of the couch. Her body was turned to him a bit, but she looked into the embers of the fire before she spoke again, her voice cutting through the tension like a knife.
"Is your mother ok?" Remus' face held a shocked expression, which Lily didn't see, before he remembered what he told everyone before he "wolfed-out", as Sirius so kindly put it one day. Not thinking of Sirius wasn't working.
"As fine as she'll ever be. I'll have to visit her in a few weeks again."
Lily looked up at him, her emerald eyes shone with sympathy which made him angry at himself for lying to her.
"I'm so sorry; it's terrible to have a family member who is sick all the time." Remus got the feeling that she spoke from experience; his self-anger just grew.
"If you don't mind me asking, but do you have a family member who's sick?"
Lily nodded as tears made their appearance in her eyes; Remus hated himself for asking.
"Yes. My mother was recently diagnosed with cancer; it's just hard to know if she'd make a full recovery. My father told me cancer was such a tricky thing, I asked Professor McGonagall if St. Mungo's could do anything to help. But there are some things magic just can't fix." Tears rolled freely down her face and Remus hated himself that much more for lying to her and making her bring up her problems. Although he didn't know what cancer was, he could guess from Lily's reaction that it was something to the equivalent of Dragon Pox in the Wizarding World.
"Yea." He whispered.
She looked at him with a small smile before she wiped away the tears and looked ashamed at Remus.
"I'm sorry. Here I am, dumping my problems on you and I had originally come to talk to you to make you feel better. I think I better just go to bed." Lily got up and rushed away, her cheeks flaming up.
Remus didn't know what compelled him to do it; it might've just been out of loneliness, maybe he felt the need to redeem himself or something but Remus turned quickly as Lily mounted the staircase.
"Lily, hold on!" Her ponytail swung again as she turned around to face Remus completely from the other side of the room, "Can I tell you something?"
"Sure Remus." She said; her voice carrying softly as it had before, when she felt uncomfortable. She sat in the same position as she had before, legs crossed and attentive. Why did he do this? Remus thought. What could've compelled him to do this? He had no idea.
"I-I haven't been totally truthful with you." He said, mentally kicking himself for doing this.
"Okay." She said, her skepticism drawing out the last syllable.
He took a deep breath and rubbed his palms on his trousers, they were terribly sweaty.
"Now, I guess I should first start out with telling you that my mother is not sick, but I don't want you to be mad at me because I didn't know about your mother but I also lied to everyone but what I'm also about to tell you I want you to keep a secret for me. Not that I think you're distrust worthy, if I thought that I wouldn't even be telling you this. See, I'm telling you this because I think you're one of the most trustworthy people I know. Oh. And by the way, I'm so sorry about your mum, I didn't get to say that yet. So- wait I'm rambling aren't i?" He took a deep breath, he always rambled when he was nervous.
Lily just looked at him, her face was impassive. They sat in silence until she broke it uncertainly.
"Ok. So all I got from that was that you trust me and your mum is not sick. Oh, and that you're sorry about my mum, and Thank you. So, if your mum isn't sick, where do you go?"
Remus bit his lip, now or never.
"Lily, I-I don't know how you'll think about me after this but…" he took a deep breath, "I-I'm a werewolf." There. He said it, no taking his words back now. Well… unless he had a time turner, but he didn't.
Lily's face was impassive, he couldn't tell what she was thinking, and she could probably hide her emotions expertly when she wanted to. Just like James, he noted. Remus closed his eyes as he waited for the worst.
Suddenly he felt a weight thrown against him, his head getting slapped repeatedly by smooth and silky. Lily was actually hugging him. He expected the usual backing away and screaming in fright. Not that he goes around telling people what he is, that wouldn't very smart.
It took him a while before he hugged her back.
"I'm so sorry Remus." She whispered as the broke apart. Her face was stained with new tears, but these tears, he noted, were shed for him, not because of him. Nobody, except his parents, had ever cried for him. The Marauders were great friends, but they didn't cry easily, actually, they hardly ever cried.
He didn't know what to say, this was all too strange for him. Lily continued on, mopping up her tears as she spoke.
"You're the last person I would ever think could be a werewolf, from how everyone goes on about them, I just thought they were terrible; but those people haven't met you yet." She gave him a watery smile before she continued, "You're the last person I would wish that fate on too."
She actually accepted him.
"Your opinion on me hasn't changed?"
Her face took on a shocked expression. Her attitude did a, as Peter would say, "180".
"I would never think differently of you Remus. Sure, you turn into an animal once a month! Big deal! You're not even yourself! But the rest of that time you're also Remus, not a werewolf, but Remus. Don't forget that."
As she finished the clock chimed, midnight had come and now that his adrenaline had stopped pumping her was just aware of how tired he was; Lilt must've seen too, she was good at reading people that way but her "powers" shut off when she looked at Prongs, because she stopped up and held out a small hand to him.
"C'mon Remus, you look exhausted. And, truthfully, I am too."
He accepted her hand and pulled himself up, hoping not to overbalance her thin figure. She wobbled a bit but steadied herself before letting go of his hand and walking towards the girl dormitories. At the last second she turned around, her tear stained face held a look of concentration.
"That's why they call you Moony, right? As in the full moon?"
Remus smiled, "Yea, that's where it came from."
The look faded and was replaced by a soft smile.
"Okay. Goodnight Remus." She disappeared around the corner of the spiraling staircase and Remus was, once again, alone. This time was different before though, he felt lighter, like a huge load was taken off of him. He still ached from the pain of betrayal, but he felt better than before. Looking back at this he would say that he made one of the best decisions of his life, telling Lily about his "furry little problem". But there was something else lingering in the back of his mind, something that told him that he had to watch out for Lily. Maybe just seeing her vulnerable like that, crying over her mother, just made him want to protect her; like the sister he never had.
"Goodnight Lily." Remus whispered into the darkness before walking over to his own dormitories' staircase and disappearing just as Lily did.
A/N: Reviews keep me motivated.