Hidden under one of the many stairwells of Hogwarts, a third year student huddled, crying. He clutched his arm where a wound had reopened, blood slowly seeping out of it. He knew he should go to the Hospital Wing. But he didn't want to. He always had to be careful when going there. If he went to often, Madame Pomfrey might suspect. He knew eventually he would run out of excuses as to why every month he came with several deep scratches covering his body.
It had been two days since the transformation. Still, the ugly gash and bruises had not faded. How much longer could he keep this up? Sooner or later, everyone would know his secret. That he was a monster. His friends would try and cheer him up, always making jokes about his condition, and for awhile it would make him feel better. Than would come the dread that came every months on the days leading up to the full moon.
Suddenly, the sound of hurried footsteps caused him to forget about his injury. Oh no. He was out of his common room after dark. If anyone found him, he would be in deep trouble. And it would be hard to explain the bloody wound, which thus far he had managed to hide under his school uniforms.
He tried to stop the sound of crying, and pressed himself against the very back of his hiding spot. Now, he could hear the footsteps just in front of him. Peeking around the edge, all he could see was a pair of small feet. Likely a student rushing to get back to his or her common room. The student would have likely gone on ahead, never knowing they were being watched, except that at that very moment the boy let out a loud sniffle. The feet stopped.
Immediately, the boy covered his mouth and nose and backed into the wall. He prayed he would not be found. Then, a red-headed girl curiously peered around the edge, and gasped when she saw the boy hiding.
"Remus?", she asked.
"Lily?", Remus inquired. He quickly tried to pull down his sleeve to hide his wound, but was too late. Lily's eyes widened as she bent down, and gently took his arm.
"What happened?", she asked as she carefully rolled back the cloth to look at his arm. Remus tried to pull away, but the girl had a firm grip.
"I, um, I tripped and fell,", he stuttered.
"You fell?", Lily inquired in disbelief.
"Uh, yes. I tripped, and there was some broken glass on the ground.", Remus continued.
"Why didn't you go to Madame Pomfrey?", Lily asked as she bent closer to examine his wound.
"I didn't want to bother her,", he lied.
"Right,", she said skeptically before pulling out her wand. "Here, maybe this will stop the bleeding,", Lily stated before uttering a complicated spell that caused not only it to stop bleeding, but also the skin to close itself over the wound.
"Brilliant,", muttered Remus. Realizing his face was still wet, he quickly wiped at his face.
For a moment, the two knelt there in silence, before Lily asked, "Remus, is there something you need to tell me?". She looked at him, her green eyes filled with concern.
"No,", he mumbled, refusing to look her in the eye.
She sighed. "We're friends. You know you can tell me anything.".
"You'd hate me,", Remus rushed.
"No, I wouldn't,", she answered simply. Once more the two sat in silence.
"Well then, can I ask you a question?", Lily asked. Remus nodded his head.
She rushed, "Why is it you are always gone during a full moon? Why is it that whenever you come back you always have some new scars? Why are you always so quiet, never acting out even when some of the Slytherins bully you? Why do you always act as if you are keeping some dark secret locked away, something buried underneath?".
Her questions stunned him. Remus admitted that he knew Lily Evans was smart, but he never knew just how perceptive she was. How many others had noticed? He would need to be twice as careful from now on. But he would have to deal with that another day. Now, Lily's eyes seemed to be boring into his soul.
"I think you already know,", Remus said in defeat. Would she hate him? Would she tell?
"I need to hear you say it,", she said kindly.
For a moment it seemed as if all time had stopped. Remus suddenly became very aware of his heart now thundering in his chest, his breath now ragged. In hardly more than a whisper, he mouthed the horrible
truth, "Werewolf.". He looked down in shame, not able to watch her face become masked by fear at being so close to a vicious animal. Yet, when he looked up, he saw no trace of alarm on her face.
"Does Dumbledore know?", Lily asked simply, as if they had only been discussing some of the latest student gossip, not the fact that he was a blood-thirsty beast.
"Yes,", he answered.
"Does anyone else?", she inquired.
"McGonagall. She knows too. Also James Potter, Sirius Black and Peter Pettigrew.", he said.
Then, he suddenly grabbed her right arm and begged, "Please, please don't tell anyone,". Remus hated how desperate he sounded, but the thought of her revealing his secret terrified him. "If anyone else knows they'll-they'll have me expelled. They'll force me to be sent away, maybe even out of England. I'll never be able to have any friends, and everyone will hate me!".
Lily smiled kindly at him, and said, "Remus Lupin, I swear to never breathe a word of this to another soul.". Relief spread through him. He knew he could trust Lily. Although they weren't the best of friends, the two had often studied for exams together, and she had always been nice to him.
"Thank you,", he stated simply.
"Now, after-after it happens, if you have any wounds, you can come to me, and I'll heal them. I can also help hide your disappearance. I'll do whatever I can to help you, Remus.", she pledged.
"Thank you,", he repeated. She rose off the ground, and lent a hand to Remus. He took it and pulled himself up. As the two young Gryffindors walked back to their common room together, Remus couldn't help but think of what a truly wonderful person Lily Evans was.
Over twenty years later, Remus Lupin looked into another pair of deep green eyes. He knew that often the boy had been told he looked-and acted-just like his Father. True, both did share a certain talent for trouble, and a keen sense of adventure. And no one could deny that he was the spitting image of James. But, after just one look into the boy's eyes, Remus knew that the boy shared more than just the color of his eyes with his mother. He could see kindness, generosity, bravery, and loyalty in those eyes. The same
qualities his dear mother had possessed. From that moment, Lupin knew he would do whatever it took to protect Harry Potter. After all, he did owe Lily the favor.