For Amber's Super Insane Prompt Challenge: Prompt 1, snow.

For Ash's Fanfiction Tournaments — March. Write about someone pre-Hogwarts age.


"It's going to be okay, baby."

No it won't.

"It's going to be all right."

No, it isn't.

"I promise you, baby, I promise you, okay?"

No, not okay. Don't promise things you can't provide.

"I'll make this right. I'll make it okay."

Nothing can make this right.

The tears slide off her cheeks and onto his hair as Remus Lupin thinks all of the things that he cannot say, because she is his mother and he cannot hurt her, even if that means letting her believe in the impossible. Even if that means letting her believe that there is a chance that his life will be the same again.

Remus Lupin is only seven-years-old and yet he understands. There is no chance. None. This one stupid mistake of his has torn his future into shreds — and that small part of him that actually has self worth says that it isn't his fault, he couldn't have known, but he doesn't believe it. If he'd been smarter, more careful, quicker, it wouldn't have happened.

His visions for the future crumble into dust. He'd imagined himself becoming a Healer. He'd thought he'd go to school — Hogwarts, of course, like his father — and then to Healer training. He wanted to help people.

Now? Now all he'll be is a burden.

He can't go to school. He can't be near the other students.

He can't be a Healer. He can't be anything that requires any schooling, anything that requires regular hours, anything that requires attendance.

He can't even venture to the Muggle world, because how does he explain consistent absences without looking lazy?

One by one by one, the doors of his options slam shut, until there are none remaining.

"We'll find the cure, baby."

No, we won't.

"It's out there, I'm sure of it."

No, it isn't.

"If we have to search the whole world over, we will find it."

Not if it isn't there to find.

And he wonders who she's trying to soothe — him, or herself.

He can feel her start to sob.

He puts his hand on her arm. "It's going to be okay, Mum."

And she breaks down.

"It's going to be all right, Mom," he says awkwardly. It's not very convincing.

He doesn't cry. There isn't any point to it. It isn't going to change this.

It's only later that he figures out she doesn't believe it any more than he does. She is pretending as much as he is. She's yelling at his father. They think he's asleep.

He can't sleep. He dreams of full moons and searing pain and stumbling through the snow, feeling it tugging at his feet, weighing him down as the howls get closer and closer. He dreams of change roaring through his veins, tainting him. He doesn't dream; he nightmares.

So instead he stares at the ceiling and listens to her scream.

"How could you be so stupid! How could you make an enemy out of Fenrir Greyback? You have ruined him, Michael! You have ruined his life!"

And Remus wonders what happened to it will be okay, what happened to we'll find the cure.

Deep down, it seems, even his mother is a realist.