Hey guys! I know this is only a short chapter! And I am sorry! But I have a wonderful excuse! I have a new job! And in the week and a half since I found out I have had to pack to move interstate (again) and do night shift! So the next update will be a while as I settle and find a house and start work but it will get there! And there won't be toooo many more chapters till we finish!
Thank you to all my wonderful reviewers! I love to see that you guys are still enjoying this so much! :D
Remus surveyed his classroom with a twinkle of pride. They were only weeks out from their birthdays, Hogwarts letters would arrive soon and they were so advanced. There was no doubt that his pupils would be among the brightest at Hogwarts. Their eagerness to learn would never cease to delight him. Heads bent low over their notes as they worked on their Latin homework he had set them. They would have an enormous advantage over so many of the students in their year and he couldn't be prouder.
He glanced at the clock. "Quills down!" His voice was firm. "And bring your papers up to my desk."
He glanced at the clock again and smothered his yawn. It was full moon tonight. The first time that he and Eleanor would transform with the Wolfsbane potion and he was exhausted. His little girl had fallen asleep at her desk and he knew he would have to have Sirius carry her upstairs.
"I think we will finish up early today, I am afraid I am rather tired." He spoke lightly. "I am sure that Mrs Weasley won't mind you finishing lessons early today, Ron and Ginny, and I believe that Sirius was going to start building that tree house?"
Instantly his school room went into chaos as the children sprang up and rushed to hand their work to him. Remus looked amused at the sudden exodus.
"Are you all right, Hermione?" He smiled kindly at the girl who lingered behind the others.
"Yes, are you sick again, Mr Lupin?"
Remus looked surprised. "Just tired, I didn't sleep well."
The little girl frowned thoughtfully but slowly nodded. "Will I see you on Monday?"
Remus eyed her closely. She was far too young to have discovered his secret. Wasn't she?
"Yes, of course you will! Now, you best hurry, Hermione, or they will have taken all the fun jobs!"
She laughed and nodded. Sirius entered the room as she ran out and his eyebrow rose. "Well, what was that about then?"
"I'm not sure. Nothing I hope," Remus rose stiffly and gripped the edge of the desk to steady himself as he swayed. "Will you carry her up for me?"
Sirius nodded and swept the little girl into his arms. "How are you feeling?" He kept pace beside Remus' show shuffling steps.
"Tired," Remus half smiled as he slowly began to drag himself up the stairs. "You will wake me when Severus gets here?"
"Yes. And Minerva and I will be there when you change."
Remus frowned as they entered his bedroom and Sirius eased Eleanor onto the bed. They had argued about this constantly. In the end Sirius and Minerva had won, they would be with them for the first transformation with the Wolfsbane.
"Get some rest, I can put a silencing charm up for you if you want?"
Remus shook his head as he wearily shifted to make himself comfortable. "It's fine. I want to know if you need anything."
Sirius smiled. "Get some sleep, Wolfie." He hesitated at the door and looked back at his friend who had a protective arm draped over his daughter. He half smiled as he turned away and prayed desperately that the wolfsbane worked. Remus had all his hopes pinned to this, if it wasn't successful it would devastate the man who had been a werewolf, who had torn his body to shreds, who had to watch his daughter transform each month with him. It would crush him.
The mood was grave in the house as Remus swallowed the foul potion and turned to coax Eleanor to do the same. Harry looked worried and clung silently to the exhausted werewolf. Minerva and Poppy were both quiet and Severus stood, brooding silently, in the corner. He and Poppy would stay the night and be there to ensure the two werewolves were safe and healed in the morning. Severus stared moodily at them. He had confidence in his potion. But he had never felt this way before. He liked Remus Lupin, they had become friends, and if something went wrong…
Remus looked up and caught the eye of the man who had once been his bitter enemy. He smiled reassuringly as if he knew exactly what Severus was thinking, and the Potions Master was left wondering if Remus was more skilled at Occlumency then he realised. He looked away but not before he had seen the small, amused smile that lifted up the corner of the lips that was not effected by silver.
Remus' eyes fluttered open as he felt gentle hands wrapping him in a warm robe. "Padfoot?" he whispered hoarsely. His entire body ached.
"Yes, it's me."
Remus stared at his friend for a moment before he smiled. "It worked."
Sirius grinned. "It did," he agreed. "How do you feel?"
"Tired and sore," Remus admitted as Sirius helped him struggle to his feet. "But… there is no blood. And Ellie?"
Minerva had gathered the child in her arms and smiled reassuringly. "Only sore from the transformation. That was wonderful, Remus!"
Sirius supported his friend as they slowly made their way up to the werewolf's bedroom. Minerva had hurried ahead to settle her burden in bed.
"I remember everything," Remus whispered. "And she didn't try to hut herself once! She fell asleep!"
Sirius smiled broadly. "It was the most incredible thing I have ever seen!"
"I kept my mind, Sirius! I kept my mind!" Tears burned in the blue eyes as they slowly, painfully made their way up the stairs. "I kept my mind!"
Severus was waiting for them in the hallway outside Remus' bedroom. "Minerva and Poppy are with Ellie, she is fine and there are no new wounds on her."
Remus smiled and reached out a trembling hand to the man. "Thank you, Severus! Thank you!"
Severus' face softened as he looked into the face that was filled with relief and gratitude. "How do you feel?"
"Horrible," the werewolf laughed frankly. "But I am never awake now…" his eyes flittered to the clock. "I am normally unconscious."
Sirius helped Remus sink onto the bed.
"Pain potion," Severus handed the vial over. "I will see if it is possible to add something for the pain."
Remus shook his head. "I doubt there will be, it comes of having my bones re-arranged."
Severus nodded once. "I have things to do," he swept from the room and Sirius snorted.
"Hush," Remus was struggling to stay awake and Sirius looked concerned.
"Sleep, Moony, I will check on Ellie and bring her in to you when she wakes. I will come back in a few hours with something for the pain again."
Remus nodded and allowed Sirius to bundle him into bed. Every muscle in his body screamed at him and all he could think about was sleep but his post moon over-sensitive hearing caught a sound that made him turn towards the door.
"Harry," Remus face softened and he motioned for the boy to enter.
"Gently now," Sirius warned quickly and Harry rolled his eyes.
"I'm not stupid," he scoffed. He stood beside the bed and studied Remus' ashen face closely. "Are you ok?"
Remus cupped Harry's cheek. "I am fine, just tired, which is normal."
Harry nodded. He reached out and hugged Remus tightly. "I will look after Ellie when she wakes up," he promised.
"Good, Lad," Remus sank back against the pillows and smiled as Sirius and Harry crept out of the room. It had worked, the potion had worked and they had kept their minds. There had been no new wounds to scar, no blood loss, only the usual pain of a transformation, the ache and throb of muscles and bones snapping and breaking. He had kept his mind. The danger he posed, that he and Ellie posed, to their family, to the outside world, had halved and Remus fell asleep with a smile on his face. A smile of relief and joy that finally there was a solution to his 'furry little problem'.