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  • 8/3/2019 Hunter%80%A0%A0%92%B2s Moon and Funeral Days


    Hunters Moon and Funeral days.

    Author: lovegrrl

    Email: [email protected]

    Fandom: Harry PotterSummary: Just over a week ago his whole life had been destroyed. Three of his

    closest friends his only friends were dead, and the responsibility lay at the feet of

    the only man he had ever trusted with his heart.

    Status: Complete, Written Pre OoP

    Series/Sequel: Third piece in Full Moon series

    Archive:, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin Yahoo group, Azkabans

    Lair. Anywhere else; just ask.

    Rating: PG, for language and implied slash.

    Pairings: Sirius/Remus, implied only

    Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by JK

    Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury Books,Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books, and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being

    made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.


    Authors note: This instalment, is Remus-centric and includes my first original

    character (who I quite like but is not a Mary Sue... I dont have her spunk).

    As always, all praise or criticism is greatly appreciated. By the way, thanks to all your

    lovely reviews I have decided to continue Long Nights Moon and Restless Minds. I

    just wanted to get this one finished first, so keep your eyes open. This is implied slashonly.

    Dedications: Queen P, get the Kleenex ready (for tears!... I know how your mind


    To my newest friend, and beta reader, Cari. She will slap my wrist and make me look

    up pronouns if I dont get this right...

    Also dedicated to all those who know what it is like to grieve for a lost life.


    Remus stood looking down at the coffins as they were lowered into the ground. His

    whole body was numbed to the bone and he found it impossible to show any kind of

    emotion. Just over a week ago his whole life had been destroyed. Three of his closest

    friends his only friends were dead, and the responsibility lay at the feet of the only

    man he had ever trusted with his heart. A man who now resided in the depths of

    Azkaban prison for the rest of his natural life. He was no doubt loosing his mind just

    as his victims were being lowered into the ground.

    Over his shoulder he could hear howling sobs coming from Hagrid as the giant blew

    his large nose on a ragged scrap of tissue. Professor McGonagall tried to place a

    comforting arm around him, but only reached half way around his shoulders. Her eyeswere stinging with tears she was trying to bite back.

    mailto:[email protected]://[email protected]://
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    Remus lifted his head and looked at the others gathered around the grave in an attempt

    to stave off his emotion for a while longer. It was funny to think that a week before

    many of these would have been celebrating the downfall of Lord Voldemort who had

    terrorized the wizarding world for eleven years. They had toasted The Boy Who

    Lived without really knowing the full details of what had happened. It was only in

    the days following the Dark Lords defeat that a larger picture had arisen from theashes and the wizarding community had gone into mourning yet again for the

    innocent victims left in Voldemorts wake.

    Remus gazed over the large lake in front of him and as always was taken in by its

    beauty. The chilling November sun reflected off the waves and created an ethereal

    feel to all the surroundings.

    Remus knew that soon after they had found out Lily was pregnant James and Lily had

    made a list of arrangements in case something would happen to them. They had

    documented what they wished to happen to their belonging and a few notes for friends

    and family, but most touching to Remus had always been where they wanted theirfuneral to take place.

    It had been quite simply said, in a paragraph no longer then a few lines, that they

    wished their bodies to be put to rest in the place where their love had first began.

    Where they had met, fallen in love and begun their life together. Standing here now,

    Remus was sure they never believed it would be so soon; that the burial would take

    place only months after their sons first birthday.

    Even the giant squid who resided in the lake was unusually quiet today. Remus could

    just make out the edges of the Forbidden Forest on the far side of the lake. He wanted

    with all his heart just to escape to that place now. Strange, he thought, how somethings never change.

    As his eyes travelled over the crowd he recognized many familiar faces. Professors

    who had taught him over the years were now joined by Severus Snape, who was to

    take up the position of Potions Master next year. Remus remembered their final

    Christmas in Hogwarts, when they had come down to breakfast to find Severus sitting

    on his own. How awful, Remus had thought at the time, to be alone at Christmas.

    Well now it was Remus who was alone.

    Severus stood in his black mourning robes looking as always - sinister and rigid. His

    skin was as white as marble and his hair hung from his head in lifeless lines. Remusalmost envied him his detachment from emotion. If only it was that easy for him.

    Remuss eyes continued over the crowd. There were many students present as well;

    none seemed to mind giving up their Saturday to pay tribute to these three who had

    freed their lives from the fear of recent years. Many, Remus realized, wouldnt be able

    to remember a time before the dark lord. Maybe now they had a chance.

    His eyes stopped on a head of long black hair, and a pair of blues eyes so similar to

    the ones he had fallen in love with, that he felt his heart ache. She was in her seventh

    year now, he realized. How hard had the last week been for her? How much pain was

    she going through as well?

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    A sagacious voice interrupted Remuss thoughts and he turned back to see the silver

    haired headmaster finishing his words to the gathered crowd. James and Lilys coffins

    were now in the ground, and since there was no immediate family to do the honours,

    Dumbledore called forward those who wanted to place soil into the ground.

    All eyes turned to Remus. Everyone here knew how close the four boys had been inschool and it seemed to be expected of him to say something.

    Slowly, under the weight of their eyes, he moved forward. He stood on a small rise in

    the ground so as to be heard properly, but he didnt know what to say.

    He stayed for many moments looking out at the faces turned to him. They seemed to

    be willing him to speak. To say something touching and uplifting so they could find

    some solace in these grim events. Remus didnt think there was anything he could

    say; nothing could change what had happened; nothing could bring James, Lily and

    Peter back. Remus almost stalked off before remembering something from the past.

    He lost himself in it for a moment, trying to remember how purposeful James had

    been at the time.

    James once told me, that he had accepted his destiny... where ever it would lead

    him. Remus broke off and looked at the coffins in the ground. He said, There

    comes a time in your life when you realize, that if you stand still, life will pass you

    by.... James and Lilyfoughtfor what they believed in. They followed their destiny tothe bitter end... and in doing so they gave us alla life to live for. Remus stopped

    again, wondering what life he would have. What did he have to live for now? I hope

    that we can all live up to the sacrifice my friends made for us. Remus stopped. He

    was unable to continue so he grabbed a handful of soil from a nearby mound and witha silent goodbye released it onto the bodies of his lifeless friends.

    Tears were streaming down the faces of many people now but Remus couldnt bear to

    take in their emotions. He walked away as a line of people made their way to the

    grave side. In front of him he could just make out the figure of his Transfiguration

    teacher through tear-filled eyes. He dabbed at his face with the corner of his robes; the

    mourning robes Dumbledore had lent him only hours before.

    That was beautiful, Remus, Professor McGonagall said, placing a comforting hand

    on his shoulder. She seemed to be consoling everyone today Remus thought.

    Thanks, Remus mumbled before being accosted by large arms, which wrapped their

    way around his body.

    I cant believe it, bellowed the voice of the Hogwarts grounds keeper, Remus

    stumbled under the weight of the half giant but refused to let him go.

    Lily an James dead an poor little Harry... Hagrid snivelled onto Remuss

    shoulder. I seen him, Remus. That nigh. White an shakin, he was an I comforted

    the murderer. He wanted Harry, but I said no, so he told me ter take his bike an ter

    get Harry ter Dumbledore. I shoulda known.

    Hegave you his motorbike? Remus asked into Hagrids shoulder, feeling his body

    shiver. Hagrid pulled away now as he blew his nose on the ragged handkerchief.

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    Said he won need it anymore... I shoulda known. Then he killed all those Muggles...

    and Peter. Hagrid wailed again.

    Its okay Hagrid, Remus counselled the larger man. No one knew what he was

    capable of... Hes paying for what hes done now.

    Remus! Professor McGonagall exclaimed on hearing this. You surely dont mean

    that. No one deserves to be near those Dementors.

    Yes, I do, Professor! Remus said adamantly, not noticing his voice getting louder

    with each word. He betrayed us all. He wasnt satisfied with sending James and Lily

    to their graves; he had to go after Peter as well!

    Yes, a voice curled from over Remuss shoulder, and he spun around to see the

    pointed features of Severus Snape, Strange, isnt it.

    What?! Remus snapped.

    If Blackwas on such a rampage, Severus accused, It seems strange howyousurvived.

    How dare you! Remus bellowed as he pulled out his wand and bowled towards

    Severus. I DIED THAT DAY!

    Remus stopped within inches of Severus; his wand pointing between the other mans

    eyes. Rage was building up inside of Remus and he didnt know for how long he

    could hold onto it as he stared at the satisfaction on Severuss face.

    Temper, temper, Severus scolded. Not unlike Black... Are you Lupin? Severusdrawled, standing and watching him.

    Remus eyes widened in anger and he pulled his wand back, ready to strike Severus.

    Just then a warm hand rested on top of Remuss wand hand. Remus turned his head

    and met those blue eyes again.

    Dont Remus, a familiar voice implored, not today.

    The anger inside him melted in a second and all he was left with was pain and

    compassion for this other soul.

    Im sorry, he whispered, tears welling once more. But he was met with a shake of a

    head indicating that it was not needed.

    Thats it Lupin, Severus chided, listen to yourlittle friend.

    Remus was about to make a retort before Professor McGonagall cut it.

    Professor Snape, I think we should go and help the other Professors. It is going to be

    a long day. She promptly took Severuss elbow and guided his scornful form towards

    the rest of the crowd. A moment later Dumbledore clapped his hands sharply drawingeveryones attention towards him.

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    If you would all like to retire to the castle, I believe the house elves have prepared us

    some refreshments, Dumbledore said. Remus noticed how the usually twinkle in his

    eyes was missing today. It had been mislaid for a long time, in fact, but the absence

    was more prominent today. Those who had stayed started to make their way to the

    castle and Remus turned to look at his companion.

    Her troubled eyes looked up at him and he wanted to reach out and hold her in his

    arms. To tell her everything would be okay, but he couldnt lie to her.

    Do you want to go for a walk? she asked, and he nodded his head.


    She was so much like Sirius, Remus thought. Her black hair hung down below her

    shoulders and her eyes were full of mischief and mayhem, though not today.

    How have you been? Remus asked as they walked the shoreline of the lake.

    She shrugged her shoulders and kicked a stone underfoot.

    Okay I guess, she answered unsurely. Its been strange... She threw her self down

    on a large rock and started skimming stones across the surface of the water. She had

    the look of the Black family so strongly that most people thought her and Sirius had

    been brother and sister. They were close enough to be and often pretended they were.

    Sirius had even called her his little sister when he had introduced them to her in her

    first year. Even at eleven she didnt take too kindly to the adding of the word little to

    the nickname.

    She had come to Hogwarts when Remus was in his fifth year. And although she didnt

    hang around the four friends like many other tried to, she had always been accepted as

    more then just Siriuss cousin.

    Do you think he did it? she asked not looking up at Remus.

    Yes, Remus replied without hesitation.

    Her head turned sharply to meet his face and Remus sat down beside her on the rock.

    Out of everyone, I thoughtyou would give him the benefit of the doubt, she


    If there was any reason to question his guilt do you think he would be in Azkaban?

    Remus defended. Hes guilty, Selma! He betrayed James and Lily as secret keeper,

    he killed Peter... He let us all down. Hes where he deserves to be.

    Her eyes started to fill with tears now and Remus realized he had never seen her cry

    before. Even when her mother had died the previous summer, she had managed to

    keep her emotions in check, but now, as the tears streamed down her face, Remus

    wished he could change everything to stop her pain.

    Im sorry, Selma, Remus offered.

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    Dont apologise for how you feel Remus, she said swiping at her tears. I just cant

    believe it yet... He was like a brother to me! I thought I knew him!

    So did I, Remus whispered softly.

    From where they were sitting he could see the Whomping Willow clearly. He tried topush the thought out of his mind, but Sirius had put lives in danger before. Whether

    he had simply been foolish, as he had tried to explain to Remus afterwards, a person

    had almost lost his life because of Sirius.

    They didnt tell us what happened at first, Selma said. I dont know if they even

    knew... McGonagall just came into the common room and told us He had been

    defeated. It wasnt until Monday that we heard the full story... People kept getting

    owls from their family. Everyone thinks I was involved in some way. Dad even wants

    to pull me out of school but Im notleaving, she said determinedly.

    Remus turned at looked at the determined face of the seventeen year old beside him.He never remembered being so confident at her age, but then he wasnt a Black.

    So you havent been okay! Remus said, repeating her reply from earlier.

    Lets just say its a good thing Im a Gryffindor! She replied running her hand

    through her black locks. All that courage is going to come in handy.

    Remus wondered at her bravery just as he had once wondered at Siriuss. He already

    had enough of probing glances and questions.

    What are you going to do with The Den? Selma asked about the house Remus and

    Sirius had shared.

    Ive moved out, Remus answered. Im living in my parents old lodge now.

    Sirius would want you to have the house, Remus, Selma said her voice heavy with


    I dont think what Sirius wants is a compelling issue anymore!


    Once back in the castle Remus had found the rest of the gathering in a large room offthe Entrance Hall. He wandered around for a few moments, trying to make polite

    conversation with the old Gryffindors from his year. He noted there were only girls

    from the Gryffindor class of 78. In a short few days their class had been all but


    Most never mentioned Sirius, but those who did were met with furious replies. Remus

    tried to control himself, but he really just wanted to get away. He couldnt be in this

    place with people throwing pitying looks at him.

    Remus put his goblet down on the table and was making his way towards the door

    when a pair of half moon glasses descended upon him.

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    Ah, Remus, a friendly voice intoned. I have been wondering where you

    disappeared to.

    I was talking to Selma Black, sir, Remus explained to his old headmaster.

    Ah yes, Miss Black. One of our more promising students, Professor Dumbledorereplied. I do believe, however, she has the same penchant for mischief as your

    friend. Dumbledore eyes twinkled faintly with their old private laugher.

    Excuse me, Professor Dumbledore, but Sirius Black is notmy friend! Remus said

    defiantly, his voice angry.

    Perhaps, Dumbledore replied slowly, but it is my understanding that you were

    once more than that. He lowered his eyes to Remus. Is that not so, Mr. Lupin?

    Remus broke his gaze with Professor Dumbledore, not wanting to feel the weight of

    this mans knowledge on him.

    I was wondering, Remus asked before turning back. How is Harry? his voice was

    now caring and concerned.

    His safety has been assured, Dumbledore answered, and when the time comes, he

    will attend these classrooms as his parents would have wanted. Dumbledore

    indicated the rooms around his with a brief movement of his hands. Unfortunately,

    Dumbledore said gravely, their first wish for Harrys guardianship could not be


    Hes better off where he is, Remus answered bitterly.

    Maybe, Dumbledore replied. It is no secret, however, that they wanted a second

    godfather for Harry.

    Remus could feel his cheeks redden; surely Dumbledore wouldnt question his

    reasons for denying the opportunity. He loved Harry, that was obvious, but there was

    no way he could take care of a child. Especially not on his own.

    I was not a suitable choice, Remus answered.

    Was that not the decision of his parents?

    Remus could suddenly feel himself boil over with rage and grief. There was no need

    for this conversation, no need to plough up the past and question every decision, every


    They had been betrayed. Betrayed by one of their own. Couldnt Dumbledore see


    With all due respect, Headmaster, I am not a student here any longer, and I do not

    have to be told about the mistakes in my past. I think I can see them quite clearly

    myself. So if you will excuse me, I would like to be going home. Remus could feel

    the tears stinging his eyes, begging to be released, but he didnt want to cry againtoday. Not now, not in front of everyone.

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    He felt a warm hand rest on his shoulder and a young voice reached his ears,

    Remus? Selma asked in a concerned voice.

    Damn this girl, Remus thought; damn her for being there just when he wanted to be

    alone. Damn her composure and her courage. Damn her soft voice and comfortingtouch.

    Im fine, Selma! Remus spat at her, knowing that it was far from the truth. Im

    fine. Tears were welling up through his eyes. Im fine. Spilling down his face.

    Im fine. His body crumbled. Im fine. Falling to the floor. Im fine. Clinging

    to her.



    When Remus opened his eyes again he could see red and gold dancing before his


    At first he thought he was in the Gryffindor common room, but as he opened his eyes

    further he recognized it as the plumage of Fawkes, Dumbledores phoenix.

    He could feel a soft hand stroking his arm as he sat up slowly.

    Remus, how are you feeling? Selma asked.

    My head hurts, Remus said trying to make his tone light. It failed.

    Drink this, she said, pushing a goblet into Remuss hands.

    What is it? he asked.

    Just drinks it for gods sake, Remus, she said exasperated. Itll make you feel


    Remus pushed the goblet to his mouth and tilted it up until he felt the potion quickly

    pass his lips and flow down his throat. He gulped in surprise and gagged as he tasted

    the pepper explode in his mouth. The room came into sharper focus and his head


    Urgh, Remus spat, handing the goblet back to Selma and wiping his mouth on his

    sleeve before remembering the robes were just on loan and trying to clean away the

    stain away. Where did you get that?

    Severus Snape made it up for you, She said, putting the goblet down on the floor.

    You let me drink something that bastardmade? Remus scolded, but was greeted

    with a severe look from Selma.

    As much of a bastardyou may think he is, hes not all bad you know.

    You heard what he said earlier. Remus elaborated.

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    Do you feel better? Selma demanded.

    Well, yes, Remus realized, but that doesnt...

    Then shut up and be thankful he was here, she said curtly, not willing to take any

    more of his nonsense.

    She stood up from her position on the floor in front of him and put the goblet on the

    table. How could she be so composed Remus thought? He was falling apart - but then

    she had only been Siriuss cousin. She hadnt shared a room with him for seven years

    in school. She hadnt lived with him in a home they had made together. She had never

    shared his bed like Remus had.

    Remus had been betrayed so much more deeply then Selma had, but it was she who

    would live with the noticeable stain on her name. A few years will pass and people

    would forget who Remus Lupin was. They would forget that there were four boys in

    the friendship. They would only remember Pettigrew, Potter and Black; the two whohad died and the one who had betrayed them. Everyone would remember SiriusBlack.

    Did Dumbledore bring us up here? Remus asked.

    Not exactly, Selma said with a small smile. Over the years Ive become quite...

    acquainted... with this office. It seems Dumbledore trusted me enough to be able to

    get you here on my own.

    Remus laughed at this, almost commenting that Sirius would be proud, but he bit it

    back just in time.

    I didnt mean to get angry. Its just been building up I guess, Remus apologized.

    Dont worry about it, Selma shrugged. There are two rules to funerals in my

    family. There has to be at least one fight... and you have to get rip roaring drunk.

    With that she pulled a bottle of Ogden's Old Firewhisky from under her robes.

    Where did you get that? Remus asked surprised.

    A smile played on Selmas lips. She placed the bottle onto the table and summoned

    two glasses from the other side of the room.

    I believe the answer to that lies behind the statue of a hump-backed witch on the

    third floor.

    I dont believe it, Remus laughed as she poured the liquid into a glass and handed it

    to him. When Dumbledore said you were promising I had no idea he meant this!

    He tried knocking back the whiskey as Selma poured one for herself, but it was so

    strong that he felt himself almost cough mid-gulp. He managed to swallow the rest of

    the mouthful before feeling tears of shock rising to his eyes.

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    Dumbledore said that? she asked and Remus nodded through stinging eyes.

    Hmm, she mused knocking her own drink back easily, I always knew the old guy

    had a marble or two rolling around.

    Even as she said it Remus knew Selma had a lot of respect for the old wizard. She

    reached her hand out, and before Remus could protest had handed him another glassof Firewhisky.

    A toast, she said raising her glass, to apromisingwitch. She knocked back thesecond glass and started pouring a third.

    Dont you think you should slow down? Remus asked concerned.

    Dont worry, she said, shrugging off his concern. I can always do a Sobering

    Charm on myself... Besides, its the end of an era, right?! Ill have to behave myselffrom now on. Cant have anyone thinking Im on the wrongside... she knocked back

    her glass and filled it again. Just like her cousin theyll say. Blackby name andBlackby nature. She knocked back the fourth glass, resentfully.

    Remus stood and stopped her hand from picking up the bottle again.

    I dont think so! he said but she slapped his hand away and poured more liquid into

    her glass.

    Dont tell me what to do, Remus, she said bitterly. Not when you believe them, not

    when you think he did it! You of all people! You should know what hes capable of...and this... not Sirius! she turned her head down, not Sirius. He knew there were

    tears this time.

    Have you talked to anyone about this? he asked, taking the glass from her hand. She

    was angry but it was anger from grief; anger at loosing her brother.

    Who can I talk to Remus? she pleaded. You are the only one who really knew him

    and you believe him guilty. Everyone believes he is a murderer. She slumped into

    one of the large chairs that dotted the office. Old headmasters looked down at her

    defeated form and shook their heads in sadness; even they felt sympathy for this

    young girl they had come to recognize over the years. I know he used to get angry,

    but that wasnt the real Sirius. He was caring and funny and protective. He wouldnt

    harm anyone, not deliberately.

    Remus knelt in front of her and looked up into her eyes.

    What about Snape? Remus asked quietly. She was one of the few who knew about

    his condition. Who knew what had happened. She looked at him and raised her eyes


    What about Snape?! she countered. One stupid mistake does not make him a


    No, Remus replied in a saddened tone, It would have made me one!

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    She stared at him for the longest time, trying to feel the pain that Remus had gone

    through over the years. She knew that his friends had given him the only release from

    that pain.

    He didnt mean to, she said, pleading the case of a cousin she loved dearly.

    I know.

    He felt awful about what hed done.

    I know. Remus stared up into her troubled eyes, tormented by a grief he knew she

    could never let go of.

    Her face crumbled and her head fell into her hands. Under her robes Remus could see

    the shackled sobs ripping through her shoulders. Her pain would never be eased. She

    would live a lifetime of it and never feel any kind of release.

    Remus moved forward and wrapped his arms around her. He rocked her in his

    embrace, trying to soothe her tears. It would come in time, he thought, the ability to

    hide her emotions better. But right now she needed to cry. She needed to let go of this

    early pain. He was the only one who could possibly understand and he was glad to

    help her through it.

    When Selma moved out of Remuss arms, her eyes were red and troubled but the

    anger had died down to a dwindling glow. She sat back against the chair, her

    movements a little unsure.

    Thanks, she said. She was fiddling with her hands, not able to look up at Remus.

    So much like him, Remus thought, but then nothing like him at all.

    A noise from outside the door indicated that they were about to be joined by a third.

    The door opened and Professor Dumbledore entered the room. His eyes flicked from

    Remus to Selma and back again.

    Remus, he said, I hope you are feeling better.

    Yes, Professor, Remus answered, a little self-conscious by his earlier behaviour,

    though Professor Dumbledore hardly seemed to register the occurrence on his face.

    Splendid, I was hoping you could stay for a moment. There is a matter I wish to

    discuss with you.

    Remus nodded yes and Dumbledore turned his gaze to Selma.

    Her eyes were red and swollen, and as much as she swiped at them to hide the tears, it

    was obvious she had been crying for some time.

    Miss Black, Dumbledore said as he placed a comforting hand on her shoulder,

    Would you like to stay a while longer before returning to your common room? Heasked kindly. A game of chess perhaps? he said indicating his set in the corner.

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    No, Professor, she answered as she stood up, Maybe next time.

    If you ever need to talk, Dumbledore offered, you just get into some trouble. He

    smiled genially at the girl.

    Yes, Professor, she answered before making her way to the door.

    Dumbledore turned to take a seat at his table but quickly turned again.

    Miss Black, he called and Selma turned to greet his gaze, I believe you have

    forgotten something. He moved slightly and Remus saw the half empty bottle of

    Ogden's Old Firewhisky sitting on the table.

    Ah, Selma said in a surprised tone, yes... she summoned the bottle towards her

    with a flick of her wand. Sorry, Professor.

    No harm done, he said. But may I suggest that you stick to Butterbeer in the

    future? If not, Madam Pomfrey will begin to fuss over the number of Pepperup

    Potions she has to administer in a morning.

    Yes, Professor, Selma agreed.

    With a simple nod of the head he indicated it was okay for her to go and the

    headmaster took his place behind his desk.

    As I said, a promising student, he told Remus. Though a bit mischievous.

    Remus smiled acquiescently as Dumbledore settled himself into his chair. It had been

    good to see Selma today, circumstance aside. He cared about the girl, and nowrealized for the first time that he may never have a reason to see her again.

    I was wondering, Dumbledore asked once he was comfortable, when you planned

    on visiting Azkaban?

    He said it as simply as if he was asking Remus to go to a Weird Sisters concert.

    What? Remus exclaimed. What makes you think I want to go there at all?

    It is my understanding that many people visits friends or family at least once after

    they have been sentenced, Dumbledore said grimly. I think it would be better to gosoon, while Sirius still has him mind.

    Remus stared at his old headmaster in shock; surely he did not expect Remus to tag

    along on some sort of day trip.

    Remus, I think it is something you need to do.

    NO! Remus shouted, Im not going there to see him. Id be betraying my friends.

    My realfriends, he added, seeing the look on Dumbledores face.

    Do you not think your allegiance should be to those you could still help, rather thanthe souls who have passed on? Dumbledore questioned heavily.

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    He cant be helped! Remus countered. Look at what he has done for gods sake;

    surely even you can see that!

    I believe he is at least allowed the right of a trial, Dumbledore argued, and if

    Bartemius Crouch will not provide him one legally then perhaps he can tell you what


    You think he wouldnt lie to me? Remus asked scornfully, He has lied to me for

    years, Professor. He used me... got me on his side so I wouldnt question his actions,

    told me he cared so I would believe him. I cant believe anything he ever told me

    now; our whole relationship was a lie from the start. Remus took a moment to

    compose himself, his breathing was laboured and his face flushed. Dont ask me to

    feel compassion for him on the same day I buried my closest friends. I cant feel that

    for him anymore.

    Do you love him? Dumbledore asked.

    No! Remus said forcefully.

    Dumbledore took a saddened breath and looked up at Remus again.

    Did you love him? Dumbledore asked, and this time his voice was slow and careful.

    It forced Remus to think about the question. The first time they had kissed, the first

    time they had made love. Moving into The Den. Even the day Harry was born. Remus

    smiled briefly in spite of himself. He drew his hand up and pinched the bridge of his

    nose, trying to stop the memories.

    Once, he said softly, I did.

    Dumbledore leaned forward in his chair and laced his fingers together.

    Then I think you owe it to him, Remus. You owe him a fair trial. Dumbledore sat

    back in his chair. I shall arrange the visit for as soon as possible. I do hope you at

    least find some sort of relief from it, if nothing else.

    Remus sat looking at the Professor, who had started writing a letter to The

    Department of Magical Law Enforcement. He didnt know how the old wizard had

    done it, but Remus had just agreed to go to the one place he had hoped to never to see

    in his lifetime.

    After a few minutes, Remus stood and excused himself. He made his way down the

    spiral staircase and through the second floor corridor. With each step he was reminded

    of the years he had spent in the hallways of Hogwarts. Rooms where they had classes,

    secret passageways they had found and documented on The Marauders Map,

    cupboards they had hidden in to escape the watchful eyes of the Hogwarts caretaker,

    Argus Filch, or his cat Mrs. Norris.

    Remus felt his legs moving faster and faster underneath him. Paintings were whizzing

    by him as he darted. (No running in the corridors, a monk yelled after him from one

    near Professor McGonagalls office.)

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    By the time Remus reached the large fireplace in the Great Hall he was so worked up

    he nearly dropped the pouch of Floo Powder he had brought with him that morning.

    He threw a handful into the grate and with a roar the fire blazed into an emerald green


    LUPIN LODGE! he shouted as he stepped into the flames and felt himself beingpulled down a large plug hole. He was soon spat out on the floor of his own living


    Remus turned himself over on the oak floor and stared up at the ceiling.

    What had he just agreed to do? He didnt want to see Sirius. He couldnt face the one

    person who had destroyed his whole life in the most personal and painful way.

    Why was Dumbledore making Remus do it? He had all but forced Remuss hand.

    Hours later Remus was still lying on the living room floor when he heard the familiarflutter of wings, which announced the arrival of an owl.

    Remus opened the window to a Hogwarts owl and hesitantly removed the letter

    attached to its leg. The owl took off into the skies without waiting for any treats.

    Remus opened the letter and read the emerald writing on the headed parchment.


    Headmaster: Albus Dumbledore

    (Order of Merlin, first Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards)

    Dear Remus,

    I have arranged with Mr. Crouch, for us to visit Azkaban tomorrow afternoon. If youcould arrive at Hogwarts by 10am, we can then Floo to the nearest transport point

    and continue our journey to the coast.

    I look forward to seeing you, and believe me when I say that I think seeing Sirius

    should help.


    Albus Dumbledore

    Remus put the letter aside, Dumbledore would not allow him a way out of this one, he



    As the boat edged closer to Azkaban Fortress, Remus pulled his cloak closer around

    his shoulders. It was more than the cold sea air that was making him feel this way. It

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    had been just over two weeks since he had seen Sirius, but everything had changed

    since then.

    Their last meeting had been just before the Fidelius Charm was cast. The lot of them

    had gathered at The Den to celebrate Siriuss birthday. Lily and James had done

    their best to coax Remus into coming to the party, but still, Remus hadnt wanted toattend and risk the possibility of an argument with Sirius, or worse. It was only when

    Lily had confronted him with the possibility of not seeing herself, James or Harry

    after the Charm was in place, that he had swallowed his pride and returned to his old


    As the Fortress came more into view Remus could feel his stomach retching. He hated

    this place. He remembered stories of it from childhood, tales of the Dementors and the

    affects they have on their victims. The effects that they would have on Sirius.

    Dumbledore sat at the other end of the boat, his hand trailing in the cool water. He

    was quieter then his usual self today, and Remus was thankful that he did not have tokeep up a polite pretence for the man.

    Before long the boat jolted to a stop at the Azkaban landing platform. Dumbledore

    stood up from his seat and placed a strong hand on Remuss shoulder, guiding him

    onto the platform.

    At the island gates to the prison, Dumbledore handed over their passes which were

    checked numerous times by the Aurors. When they were eventually satisfied that the

    two visitors were who they appeared to be, the large doors were opened and they were

    allowed to enter.

    The gates where at least thirty feet high and looked like burnt charcoal. The

    unwelcoming structure had been attacked and abused many times over the years, but

    it had an old magic at its core and still stood strong against the unwanted attention.

    Remus watched Dumbledore pass under the gates but was unable to move his legs to

    follow. Dumbledore turned and looked at Remus through his half moon glasses.

    Remus, Dumbledore said in a soft, commanding voice, and with those words

    Remus seemed to find some strength to carry on.

    He passed under the three hundred year old gates and was immediately hit with a

    sense of extreme depression. Near the end of a short path Remus could see a group of

    Dementors. They had only recently been forced back to their position at Azkaban and

    did not seem happy to have their freedom taken away from them.

    With each step Remus could feel a heavier weight on his body. His feet felt like they

    had started to trudge through thick mud, and a deep darkness filled his mind.

    He gasped at the emotion being pulled through his body; each step made it worse,

    every inch closer to the Dementors filled him with despair. He now saw two

    Dementors turn and looked at him.

    He could not see their faces, but he could feel their long fingers grasp around his

    mind. Remus tripped on the road and lurched forward.

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    He reached one hand out to stop himself from hitting the ground just as the other

    grasped his wand. He had to form a Patronus to defend himself. In a moment Remus

    felt the warm hands of his headmaster grasping his shoulders.

    Remus, said his concerned voice, are you okay?

    Remus couldnt answer him. He was trying to gather his thoughts. Trying to form a

    happy memory. In the past he had thought of Sirius, but that just brought more pain.

    He had to find something else.


    He thought about Hogwarts, where he had spent his happiest day, but no that had been

    a lie. Remus fell onto one knee. He thought about Harry, the small child who had

    brought so much laughter into their lives, but was now left orphaned. Remuss body

    hit the ground. He could only see Godrics Hollow and the ruins of the house James

    and Lily had died in, the knowledge of what Sirius must have done cutting into hisheart like a knife.

    Remus felt all the warmth leave his body. It wouldnt be long now, Remus realised.

    The Dementors would get another soul.

    Expecto Patronum! a voice said from somewhere above him, and Remus felt a

    swooping of wings over his head. He managed to lift his head far enough to see a

    large silver phoenix diving towards the Dementors and forcing them back.

    Remus felt his head hit the ground again just as he lost consciousness.

    Somewhere in his mind he felt his body lifting up and being carried away. He

    managed to open his eyes long enough to see the large gates of Azkaban over his head

    for the second time, but then his mind went black.

    Black like night.

    Black like death.

    Black like his betrayer.


    In a cell not far away the face of a young man was pressed against the bars in his

    small window.

    He had seen the two men enter under the gates. There was something strangely

    familiar about them, and as he had watched the younger fall to the ground he had felt

    a memory stab his heart.

    He had wanted to run out and fight back the Dementors himself. He needed to defend

    this man from them and what they were doing to the man but he didnt have the


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    A silver phoenix sailed over the fallen mans head in his defence, and then the older

    man had easily picked him up and started to carry him away.

    No dont take him, Sirius had thought, I need to see him; I have to talk to him.

    Sirius watched as they passed under the gates again. Suddenly a name appeared infront of his eyes.


    With that he felt a sudden rush of emotion, a rush of longed for love. He had to call

    the man back; he had to tell Remus everything.

    Sirius opened his mouth to shout the name across the island. Just as he did, the

    Dementors outside his door turned and fixed their gaze on him. He could only hear

    screaming in his head now, he could only feel despair.

    As he lost control of his body yet again, Sirius fell backwards into his small cell and

    gashed his head open on the stone floor.


    Ten years later.


    Remus sat in his favourite armchair beside the fireplace of Lupin Lodge. In his hands

    he turned a page ofA Study of Recent Developments in Wizardry which had been

    published this year. He wasnt really enjoying it, but it was as a good a way to passthe time as any.

    After another chapter he closed the report and made his way into the kitchen. He had

    gotten used to this solitary life he led, and found it easy to survive with little human

    contact. It was hard financially, but at least he didnt have to worry about where he

    would live.

    The house had belonged to his parents. They had bought it soon after Remus had been

    bitten because of the large basement, which could only be reached by a trap door in

    the master bedroom. When he had returned home in 81, they had readily handed the

    house over to him as they didnt use it anymore.

    It had been a buy off, he realized at the time. It wasnt that they didnt care; they just

    didnt know how to deal with a fully grown adult werewolf on their own. They hadnt

    had to do it since he had gone to Hogwarts, and he couldnt blame them for feeling

    wary of the job after ten years.

    So he had settled down to life alone, managing to pick up a job here and there, which

    kept things in order and fed him. The first year had been the hardest, he supposed. The

    pain had been so fresh that everything reminded him of the past. It had taken nearly

    three years before the dreams stopped waking him every night, and a year later he had

    awoken one morning and it was not until lunch that he thought about his friends. Ithad been a painful realization that he had been able to survive without them.

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    Remus poured steaming tea into his cup and returned to the warmth of the living


    He stared into the fire for a few moments, watching the flames dance just for him. On

    top of the fireplace was a letter he had received the week before from his old

    headmaster. Dumbledore always wrote anytime he felt a reminder of the young man,often just after full moon to check he was okay, or when he found some work Remus

    might be interested in. Each letter asked him to visit Azkaban again, to give his friend

    one more chance.

    Remus had scorned the name every time he saw it for years, feeling the old man was

    trying to push him towards forgiveness. He would never speak the name or answer

    any questions Dumbledore would ask about that man when they were together.

    Then one day a letter had arrived, and as Remus read the emerald writing he felt

    something was missing. He had re-read the words, wondering what it was that had

    been forgotten. In a soft moment of realization he understood that it was the six lettersthat had been in every letter since James and Lilys betrayal.


    In that moment and for the first time Remus allowed himself to miss his friend. He

    may not forgive Sirius, he may never forgive him, but he missed their times together.

    He missed the way Sirius could make him smile just by looking at him. He missed the

    little gestures or notes left around their home. His missed the nights when Siriuss

    scent would intoxicate him and draw him close.

    He longed for those nights again. Nights when the years of betrayal and hurt wouldbecome easily forgettable, melting into pools at his feet. He would give up everything

    for one night held in Siriuss calming embrace. One night of safety in his arms, but

    Remus knew he never could, and never would forgive the betrayal.

    Five years later, Remus had received a letter from Dumbledore, which now lay on the

    mantelpiece. It carried news that Remus had never expected to hear.

    Siriuss father was dead.

    Remus had read the note and instantly packed a small bag, and soon apparated to the

    Black residence. He didnt know if hed be wanted, but he felt he should be there. He

    had to be there if Sirius couldnt be.


    As he had walked in the front door, which still recognized him after all these years, he

    had felt unsure about how he would be welcomed. The house was quiet, and it didnt

    feel like the house a Black family funeral would be held in. He walked down the

    hallway and into a kitchen he had known well from his earlier years

    In front of the sink, with her back to him, stood a figure he knew as well as the

    kitchen. Her shoulders had fallen and her head was bowed. He noticed his hair was

    almost as grey as hers was, and she was wearing her old kitchen robes.

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    Emmie? he asked softly.

    The women jumped and turned.

    Oh, you frightened me, she said in response to her name, before properly looking at

    the figure in front of her. Her face was confused for a moment before she spoke.Remus?

    Remus nodded and smiled slightly.

    Oh Remus, she said putting her arms around a boy she cared for so much, though he

    was a man now she corrected. Just as her son was. Dumbledore said hed write to

    you, but I didnt know if youd come.

    Of course Id come, he replied. You were always so good to me.

    Oh, but Orson gave you boys such a hard time, she said referring to her recently

    deceased husband. I thought Id never see you again after... she stopped before she

    could say the words.

    I wanted to come, he had explained, but I wasnt sure if Id be welcome. Remus

    told her honestly.

    Youll always be welcome in my house, Remus Lupin, she said, slapping his arm

    with a playful smack.

    Is there no one else here? he asked as she sat him down at the table.

    Theyre gone down to The Cavern for a few drinks, she said easily, they should beback in about an hour.

    Remus nodded. It might have seemed strange, he thought, for them all to go to the

    pub on the night before a funeral, but the Black family was never one for tradition or


    How are you, Emmie? Remus asked, concern ringing through his voice as he had

    reached his hand out and placed it warmly around Emmies. She smiled at the gesture

    and placed her own hand on top of his.

    It was a shock, she said solemnly. Hes the youngest in generations to die. Hewould have been seventy in August. These last years... I dont think he ever forgave

    himself for what happened.

    It wasnt his fault, Remus said.

    I suppose, Emmie shrugged. But he was always so hard on... she stopped before

    saying Siriuss name. They used to have the most awful rows, and wouldnt talk for

    months... Did you know we never seen him after graduation? Orson would never let

    me contact him... I just wanted to know everything was okay. Maybe if I had forced

    the issue things would have been different. I just dont understand; why would he do

    it Remus? He wasnt a bad child, what made him...

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    It was jet black and seemed to fit naturally onto the yellow parchment. Someone had

    taken time in addressing the letter, as the lines were perfectly parallel and the letters


    Remus turned the letter over and broke the black seal holding the letter shut. Two

    pages of writing came into his hands and he began to read.

    Dear Remus,

    You have no idea how good it feels to be writing your name. It has been so long, and I

    thought we would never meet again but I had always hoped.

    This letter has a duel purpose. Firstly I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart

    for attending Orsons funeral. I know it meant a lot to Aunt Emmie that you still caredenough to attend, and it helped her cope with a difficult day to have Siriuss old

    friend nearby.

    Remus flinched involuntarily at the name.

    The second purpose is a request that has been made of me and one I hope you shall

    be able to help with.

    It is now nearly a decade since The Den has lain abandoned. I have always felt this

    was your place Remus, yours and Siriuss, but since Orsons death the deeds havebeen found in the Black papers. I do not know how they got here, and I would never

    believe Sirius handed them over. Nevertheless, Aunt Emmie has been very upset by

    this information. She hasnt been able to find any sort of solace in the last years, and

    feels it is about time that Siriuss belongings are returned home.

    Since I have returned to England, Aunt Emmie has asked me to carry out this task forher. I would not feel right in undertaking this unless I had your approval and

    assistance in doing so.

    I am the only member of the family who has not completely disowned Sirius, and Iwould be grateful if you could help me in what I assume is a consuming job. You

    would know the things that were important to Sirius, and I wish Aunt Emmie to havethese.

    I have told Star to wait for your reply, as I am unsure whether you have an owl or


    Please Remus, you are the only one I have to turn to. I know it has been many years

    since we have seen each other but you were always very close in my thoughts and Ishall never forget how you comforted me that day in my seventh year, even though

    you must have been in so much pain already.

    I look forward to seeing you, Remus.


    Selma Black.

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    Remus put the letter down. He had never expected that. Not many people knew, but it

    had not been Siriuss betrayal that had driven him out of their home. He had left many

    months before. It had been something he had never talked about after his friends had


    Remus walked to the study and after placing the letter in his desk drawer, picked up apiece of parchment and a quill.

    Dear Selma,

    It is very good to hear from you and I would love to meet up soon.

    However, I can not help you clean out The Den. I have no belongings left there and it

    would be of no use to me to return, I understand this is a difficult undertaking for youbut I would not be able to help you in your task.

    I hope you understand.


    Remus read over the letter. He knew it was short and terse, but he had to discourage

    the girl, and that was never an easy thing. He also realized he hadnt ended the letter

    as she had but he hadnt felt that emotion for a long time.

    Remus walked back into the living room and attached the letter to Stars leg. Once

    attached, the owl raised herself into the air and glided out the window.

    Remus watched the bird disappear into the east and took up his seat again.

    It was only an hour later that he had heard a loud knock on the front door. Remus had

    opened the door and met determined blue eyes, which almost immediately melted on

    sight of him.

    Remus! Selma threw her arms around Remuss neck, and he noticed his letter was

    still grasped tightly in her hand. He retuned the hug just as tightly and they stood in

    the doorway for just a moment longer then was necessary.

    Selma, its so good to see you, Remus said honestly. As he brought her into the

    kitchen he suddenly realized how much older she actually was. She was no longer a

    girl, she wasnt even a young woman; she was just a woman. You look sodifferent! was all he could manage to say.

    Well a decade will do that to a person, Remus. she ran a finger tentatively through

    his greying hair. Wont it?

    Remus dipped his head and her hand fell away. He spent so little time with people

    nowadays that he almost forgot how much he had changed.

    They seemed to avoid the reason for Selmas abrupt visit while Remus made some


    So what else has happened in your life? he asked.

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    Well, she said beaming down at the ring on her finger. I got married.

    Married! Remus exclaimed, I never thought anyone would be able to calm you


    Oh he hasnt, she said with that old mischievous smile. He just puts up with it a bitmore than most.

    I heard something about it, Im sure but I wasnt certain when your letter said Selma

    Black, Remus explained.

    Selma looked up at Remus.

    I didnt change my name, she said defiantly, People expected me to because of

    Sirius, but Im proud of being a Black.

    Remus looked at her. This was no silly schoolgirl notion. She had spent years with the

    effects of Siriuss action and she still believed him innocent. Remus sat down and

    poured her some tea.

    So whos the lucky man? Remus asked putting a little too much emphasis on the

    word lucky.

    Youll meet him, Selma promised, his names Jacques Leroux.

    Remus smiled slightly.

    What? Selma demanded.

    Leroux? he said, raising his eyebrows at the name, his smattering of French

    allowing him the knowledge of its translation.

    I know, she answered, rolling her eyes. We laugh at it as well but... hes a good

    man. She turned pensive. Hes been my guiding star.

    Remus felt his heat break at the last words; she had always said that of Sirius.

    We have a daughter, she said happily, Isabella - Izzy, and another on the way.

    She patted her flat belly.

    Remus eyes widened.

    Youre a mother!

    Hey, I might be likely to take offence at that tone Remus Lupin, she warned. I am

    hormonal, you know.

    Sorry, Remus said but she simply smiled at him.

    What about you? she asked softly. Is there anyone special?

    Remus shook his head and took a sip of his own tea. He didnt want her askingquestions about his love life; he hardly had a life, never mind a love life.

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    Thank you for going to the funeral, she expressed again, I know it must have been

    hard, with the full moon so close.

    Remus looked up at her; had she checked the lunar charts, he wondered? There were

    so few people now who knew, or even cared how Remus adjusted at each full moon

    that her statement surprised him. The transformation had been the night after thefuneral and he had found it hard to control himself at the ceremony even though his

    change was over twenty-four hours away.

    Selma reached her hand out and traced a hairline scar that ran across Remuss hand. It

    disappeared up his sleeve and she let her hand rest on top of it.

    You have many scars? Selma pressed softly.

    Sometimes scars are a good thing, Remus replied sadly. They make sure you dont

    forget the pain.

    You wantthe pain? she questioned.

    Remus looked up at her and saw those same eyes that had looked at him after the

    funeral of his friends. The intervening years had done nothing to dull her spirit. She

    wanted to make him a believer of Sirius, but he never could understand her devotion

    to him.

    Can I ask you something, Remus?

    You can ask, Remus replied in a voice that meant she may not get an answer.

    Did you ever forgive him?

    Remus looked away from her now. He swallowed against the dryness in his throat.

    I could only forgive him if he was innocent, Remus said, pulling his hand away,

    and I dont think thats possible.

    They had talked for hours; talking about Selmas work as an alchemist and her time

    living in France. She had done some amazing research, Remus discovered, and he

    seemed strangely impressed that she had managed to grow up so easily through what

    must have been a hard time for her family.

    She didnt mention The Den until she was almost ready to leave. She had not pleaded

    with him, but had merely made one last request, no strings attached. She had not

    allowed him to answer her but said that he was welcome if he wished.

    Remus had lain in bed that night looking at the ceiling. He already knew what he was

    going to do the moment she had turned up at his door; he supposed she knew that too.

    That was why she had come. Remus turned in his bed and wondered what it was

    about the Blacks that made it so easy for them to read him.



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    long before the place at least smelled a bit cleaner, he thought. He was about to go

    upstairs, but was stopped by a noise coming from the living room.

    Gingerly he poked his head around the corner. He knew what he was going to see and

    he felt almost embarrassed at how easy he had been to convince but she didnt

    comment on his attendance. She just smiled that sweet school girl smile across herwomanly face and they went back to work.

    Somehow it was decided that Remus should take the rooms upstairs as these were the

    more personal of the house, and Selma would work through the shelves and

    cupboards that lined the living room and kitchen.

    Even walking up the stairs was difficult for Remus. The seventh step still creaked and

    he almost forgot to duck his head just as he reached the top and narrowly missed the

    strangely lowered ceiling at that point.

    His hand was still protectively on his head when Remuss eyes fell onto the door tothe master bedroom. He stood and looked at it for what seemed close to forever before

    deciding to start at the end of the hallway. The bathroom wouldnt hold as many

    memories, he supposed.

    Remus did a u-turn around the banisters and walked down the landing to the

    bathroom. The door opened easily and he was greeted instantly by the musty decaying

    smell of the house mixed with soap, citrus and the dampness.

    Bottle caps had been left off, and the remains of creams and emulsions were dried to

    the bottom of many bottles. A half used soap bar sat abandoned in its dish and a

    mouldy towel was flung over the side of the bath. Damp had crept up from the floor,and there were distinct marks of mildew spawning from the corners of the room and

    across the walls.

    Remus crinkled his nose. What exactly to salvage from this room, he did not know.

    He summoned a box from downstairs, and taking a step forward decided that opening

    the windows in here would be a good idea also.

    The room, which was at least twice the size of the one at Lupin Lodge, took up the

    whole front of The Dens upper floor. It was an indulgence, Remus realized now, that

    they had given themselves easily.

    As prolonged as Remus tried to make the exercise of clearing and cleaning the

    bathroom, there was only so much a room could take, and unless he wasnt going to

    use magic he would finish it fairly quickly. He knew that not using magic would be an

    evident indication of how hard he was finding this, and he didnt want to admit that;

    not even to himself.

    The smaller bedroom really didnt hold much. They had furnished it for the

    occasional visitor or for friends who were too tired or drunk to Apparate or Floo home

    themselves. Even so Remus opened the wardrobe and found a couple of moths fly at

    him before escaping through the recently opened window. The bed sheets were

    grubby and chewed so he stripped the bed and placed the covers in the same box hehad put the mouldy towel from the bathroom. He sat on the naked bed and

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    remembered the night before James and Lilys wedding. Sirius had made them

    apparate to a small village he had found just outside Prague. He insisted that it was his

    duty, as best man, to ensure they could have a good time without worrying about

    stories getting back to Lily. As the night had worn on and the others had all gotten

    increasingly intoxicated, Remus had wondered how exactly they would get back to

    England without splinching themselves. In the end they had to Floo from border toborder before finally catching a late Channel broom flight to London.

    They had almost overslept the next morning, waking only an hour before the

    ceremony was scheduled to take place. It had taken James thirty minutes just to get

    into his wedding robes, and a hung-over Sirius still couldnt remember where he had

    left the rings up to five minutes before leaving the house.

    Remus looked around the spare room again. It had been a safety measure as well, he

    conceded. Sirius and he could live together but if people realised that they livedtogether, it would have been a different matter. Remus shook his head at the

    intolerance he had to endure in his life. If not for being a werewolf then for being gay!Some things had changed in the last decade but it was boiling under the surface of the

    wizarding community. There were few who could openly admit that they completely

    understood what Remus had been through and perhaps that was why he liked Selma

    so much. She knew who he was what he was and it didnt change how she treated


    Only when he could no longer postpone the task did Remus walk towards the master

    bedroom and slowly push the door open.

    Even though the rest of the house had been dark, this room danced with the light that

    was pouring through the windows. It had been Siriuss choice to make this the masterbedroom. He loved the morning light, and the room faced south with windows on

    three of its four walls. It meant that the room got the light from outside all day long,

    and from sunrise to sunset they had enjoyed the changing colours and emotions of that

    light as they had lain in bed together.

    As Remus walked through the room he hadnt stepped foot in for over a decade, he

    found himself running a hand over the large four-poster bed. This, he now conceded,

    had been there biggest indulgence. He remembered saying that he didnt care if the

    rest of the house was completely bare once they had their own four poster bed.

    It had been something he had wanted ever since their first kiss, ever since they hadfirst slept side-by-side, arms wrapped around each others bodies. It had not been

    about sex that first time, even though well even though it had. It was about so

    much more then that. It was about the possibility. The need of each body and how the

    other could satisfy. It was about not having to hide behind curtains or sneaking away

    to be together. It was about just being themselves... about being themselves together.

    Their bed had said that so much simpler and easier then anything else could. Their

    house, their room, their bed!

    Remus didnt want to take the time in this room that he had in the others. He stripped

    the bed, making it seem so naked, and allowed a Cleaning Charm to begin its work.

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    He pulled opened the packed top drawer of the dresser and put all the clothes into a

    bag before proceeding to the second drawer.

    Remus was surprised to find it empty and it took him only a few seconds to realize

    that this had been his drawer. In a moment of perplexity Remus crossed the room and

    pulled open the door to the wardrobe. On the left hand side hung a number of cloaksand some Muggle clothes. On the right... nothing. Half of the wardrobe lay empty

    before him. His half!

    Sirius had never taken over Remuss space. He had left it all in preparation of his

    return. Had he been that certain that I would return, Remus asked himself.

    Remus threw the clothes into a bag and closed the wardrobe again. He pulled open

    drawers and threw books into boxes. Pages full of Sirius writings were flung across

    the room. Potion vials, magical items, even a bag of ageing sweets flew through the

    air as Remus pulled the room apart.

    He needed to get this over with quickly. He couldnt handle being in this room and

    being able to smell Sirius again. Oh yes, he told himself, you can smell him! Under

    the staleness and the filth you can smell his musky odour. The way it used to arouse

    you, and you would give into the animal inside of you.

    Stop it! Remus told himself, but it was too late. His mind was already travelling

    backwards, remembering the hours they would spend together, bodies locked into

    each other. He had been unable to feel anything but a pure primal instinct to dominate

    his partner. He remembered the marks they would leave on each others skin as they

    fought towards ecstasy. They way he would lose himself in the moments of complete

    control over Sirius, when he could feel the wolf pulling inside of him.

    Just then Remus heard Selmas voice travel from the bottom of the stairs.

    Im going to make something to eat, Remus, she called, Do you want a sandwich?

    Yeah, Remus shouted back, trying to force his memories away. Ill be down in a


    With a flick of his wand the rest of the clothes flew into bag on the floor. Remus

    quickly checked the rest of the room for any belongings, and without looking at them

    too closely, placed them in bags as well. He didnt want to come back up those stairs

    again, he told himself.

    After a few minutes he levitated the bags down the stairs in front of him and let them

    rest in the hallway.

    The kitchen was directly below the master bedroom and just as big. As he entered he

    was glad of the daylight streaming in, and so he took a seat nearest the open window.

    The light breeze caressed his face and it seemed to ease him emotions again. He

    needed to get back to the Lodge, he knew this at least.

    Hows it going? Selma asked as she placed a sandwich and a cup of tea in front of


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    Finished, he answered taking a sip of the tea.

    Already? Selma asked.

    Well its mostly clothes, so it doesnt take that much sorting. Ive left a Cleaning

    Charm to finish off. Remus tried to sound nonchalant, though he was sure it hadntworked.

    Oh, Selma said sitting down beside him. Well I guess you got the easier task then.

    She took a bit of her sandwich and slowly chewed and swallowed. Its strange being

    here and not having Sirius fooling around. She smiled sadly. I remember your

    house warming party. I was sneaking punch the whole night... Fourteen and I was

    completely soused.

    I bet your mother wasnt very happy when you Flooed home! Remus said, trying to

    join in the conversation. Selma shook her head.

    Not at all! I cant believe I might have to deal with that when Izzy gets older. She

    raised her eyebrows in wonder at the thought. She easily shook her head in

    amazement then looked up at Remus as she remembered something You know

    James and Lilys son should be starting at Hogwarts this year.

    Remus raised his eyes and stared at her. Had it really been that long? The last time

    Remus had seen Harry, he was barely walking, and now he was about to start school.

    I didnt, Remus stumbled on his words. It wont be easy for him... being the HarryPotter.

    No, I guess not, Selma said softly then remembered something. There are a few

    books I think might be yours, she offered. Theres one on Healing Potions and an

    encyclopaedia on wizarding legends. She began to get out of her seat to get them, but

    Remuss voice pushed her back down.

    Theyre not mine, he told her, I... I moved out before - He rethought his words,

    then said, Theres nothing of mine left here.

    Selma looked at him with questioning eyes, but Remus didnt meet her gaze.

    You had moved out before it... happened? asked Selma.

    Remus nodded.

    But... I thought... I dont understand.

    I cant explain it, Selma, I just had to move out. It was for the best.

    Oh, Selma said quietly, Sirius never told me.

    He didnt? Remus asked surprised.

    Selma shook her head.

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    I thought he told you everything, said Remus.

    So did I, whispered Selma, looking down at her tea.

    All of a sudden, she looked like a girl again to Remus. A girl sitting in the Hogwarts

    headmasters office, crying her eyes out because her cousin was gone forever. Remushated himself for making her doubt Siriuss affection towards her. In spite of

    everything else Remus felt, he knew that for her it had to be real.

    After a moment she raised her head again and her face was not tired or sad, but

    seemed to be somewhat rested, even though her eyes betrayed that emotion.

    Can I ask you something? Selma said.

    Remus sighed.

    Im not trying to pry, she added, Its just... I remember Sirius saying that he

    wanted you to live together so he could spend the full moon with you.

    Remus froze.

    What did he mean? He couldnt spend the full moon with you, not when you

    transform, I mean.

    Sirius was never there, Remus interrupted, and it was true. It had been Padfoot who

    spent the full moons with Moony, but he could never tell Selma that. Even now he

    couldnt break the pact the four of them had made so many years ago. It was only

    after months of discussion that they had allowed James to tell Lily, but that had been

    an exception and Remus couldnt exactly ask their permission now.

    Then... Selmas eyes said the rest.

    Sirius would be there before I transformed, Remus explained trying very hard not to

    lie, but also not to give away the real truth, and he would help me afterwards... I

    guess thats what he meant. Dont ask me to analyse his words after so long, Selma.

    Selma fingered her cup like she was pondering his words very seriously.

    So did that help? Did it help you, I mean?

    In some ways, Remus responded, feeling like he was walking a thin line now.

    But the transformations are just as bad as ever. Just as violent? her eyes still down.

    If you want to know what its like to be a werewolf, then just say it, Selma. Remus

    said, exasperated.

    Selmas eyes finally left the cup and challenged Remuss.

    Im not asking out of curiosity, Remus, Im trying to help you! she defended.

    How can you do that? Remus demanded. There is no cure for lycanthropy!

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    No... Selma said but her voice seemed to lead somewhere. But Jacques and I have

    been working on something for the last few years... actually I think Ive been working

    on it ever since I found out you were a werewolf. It might help you. Once we get it


    What are you talking about?

    Were trying to make a potion using monkshood.

    Monkshood! Remus interrupted, you mean wolfsbane.

    Selma nodded.

    Are you trying to kill me, Selma, or have you forgotten how that affects

    werewolves? Remus asked in amazement.

    I know what pure wolfsbane does, Remus, she said, annoyance ringing in her tone,

    I have actually studied Alchemy for quite a while longer then you and to a much

    better effect, I might add.

    This shut Remus up, but Selma seemed to regret the words as soon as they were out of

    her mouth. That old Black magic.

    Look, I shouldnt even be telling you this, but youre the reason I wanted to figure it

    out, she explained. I know how bad it was for you before Sirius was put in Azkaban

    and it cant have gotten better since then. The potion cant cure lycanthropy, but if it

    works itll prevent the extremely dangerous dementia and pain which come with the


    Right, was all Remus could say. But basically itll poison me.

    Not you, just the wolf.

    Remus just looked at Selma.

    Dont you understand what Im saying, Remus? Selma implored. You wouldnt

    have to loose your mind, you wouldnt want to attack humans... or anything for that


    I know! Remus said pinching his bridge. But I cant let myself believe it, you know how many times I wished for that? I cant be cured, but to be able to live

    without the fear of putting others in danger... Even the few time I managed to find

    some kind of happiness... he stopped, Not happiness, just to not be as unhappy it

    was still dangerous for me, dangerous for anyone around me. As much as I dont want

    that... I dont want to die either. Maybe a few years ago I would have taken it gladly,

    but you said yourself its not perfect.

    Oh God, Remus, I never meant for you to be a test subject, Selma said suddenly

    realizing how it must have sounded to him. I just wanted to let you know that there

    may be another option.

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    Who is going to be yourtest subjectthen?... Remus said defensively, We are

    people you know, Selma. As much as some dont want to admit it. As much as they

    just want to mark us out as freaks of nature and kill us all off.

    Why are you attacking me? she half-shouted. Im tryingto help you.

    This outburst made Remus pull back his emotions. Why was he attacking her?

    Perhaps she didnt understand completely what he went through, but she had always

    accepted him, just as Peter, Sirius and James had.

    Im sorry, he said leaning towards her, I guess Im just not use to people being...

    nice about my condition.

    She nodded slowly taking this in. She was trying to accept his apology, he could see

    that, but it was hard to forgive immediately. After a few moments she relaxed her grip

    on her teacup.

    I found some photos, she said retrieving a box from the counter and placing it on

    the table. I though youd like to see them.

    Remus looked down at the box to see James and Peter waving up at him. It had been

    the summer before seventh year, and they had spent two weeks at the Potters before

    returning to school. In the background was the skeleton of a bike, which Sirius was

    determined to get working by the end of the year.

    Im going to try and finish things off inside, Selma said before leaving Remus alone

    in the kitchen.

    Remus picked up a handful of the photos and flicked through them. There were more

    from school, a few graduation photos, the 78 Quidditch World Cup, James and Lilys

    wedding, and a single one of Remus looking somewhat put out at being made pose for

    the photo alone.

    Remus flicked through them trying not to linger on any in case it brought back

    memories. He seemed to achieve this until he came to one he hadnt seen before. He

    recognized the couch as being the one in James and Lilys living room, but he was

    sure he hadnt been present when this one was taken.

    Sirius was spread out on the couch, his head resting on the right arm rest. His eyes

    were closed and he must have been dozing off in the evening light. His arms were

    held protectively around a small figure on his chest. Wearing a light blue baby grow,

    Harry was snuggled safely into Siriuss chest, sleeping soundly as his godfathers

    chest rose and fell softly underneath him. They were both so at peace that it felt like

    an intrusion to be just looking at the photograph. Baby Harry moved silently and,

    turning his head, he placed a thumb in his mouth before slumbering again. He

    couldnt have been much older then one, Remus thought, so small and defenceless,

    yet feeling completely safe in his cocoon.

    Remus shook his head grimly. He wasnt defenceless it had turned out, and neither

    had he been safe in Siriuss arms. Remus had been so sure that Sirius would never

    harm Harry, but he had ended up orphaning his own godson.

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    Remus heard Selma returning from the other room and quickly put the photo under

    the rest of the pile. He turned to greet her face as she walked in.

    Do you know who Moony is? she asked.

    Remus looked at her surprised.

    Its me! he exclaimed, feeling confused. How did she know his old moniker?


    Yeah, he replied, it was a nickname... you know, werewolf, full moon... Moony!

    He was trying to sound like this was the only nickname they had. Mentioning the

    others would only bring more questions. Why?

    She pulled out an envelope from the box that was jammed between her left arm and

    hip and looked at it briefly.

    I guess this is yours then, she said as she handed it to him and walked back to the

    living room.

    Remus looked after her for a moment, but when he heard her continue her work his

    eyes fell on the letter in his hands. He looked at the name scrawled across the

    envelope and knew instantly that it was Siriuss writing. He wasnt sure if he wanted

    to read it or not. He didnt even know what it was, or when it had been written.

    After a minute he turned the letter over and pulled up the flap. The same writing was

    on the pages inside.

    Dear Moony,

    It wont be long until youre home, so I wanted to write this quickly. It seems strange

    to think about the number of letters I have written to you when I should have just toldyou how I felt, but I have never been good with words. Only actions. I always said

    that I would prove my love to you in my actions. I think I must have failed that after

    what you asked me last night.

    So now I have to answer what I couldnt last night and this is how I know to do it

    best. I find it easier to stumble over words them over my quill. Somehow, with these

    eagle feathers between my fingers, I become more expressive. Im become able toexplain my feelings in a way I never can in day to day life.

    You asked me if youd ever hurt me, I said no. You said physically, I said no. You said

    during sex, I said no! You said you knew you were rough and I had to be honest, I

    said no. Then you left for work this morning without saying goodbye. I hate wakingup and you not being there.

    What is it, Moony, what is wrong?

    When you came home yesterday I knew something was wrong. I thought it was me,

    something I had done. What did I do, Moony? What was it that made you so scared? You looked so pale. Ive never seen you like that before, and you wouldnt

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    talk to me! There is nothing we cant face together. I told you I would always be therefor you. I will do anything to make you happy. You have saved me from myself, and

    given me back to myself. My whole life I have wanted someone to love me the way youdo.

    I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love younot only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. For

    passing over all the foolish, weak things that you cant help dimly seeing there and

    for drawing out into the light all the beautiful belongings that no one else lookedquite far enough to find.

    Hurry home my darling Moony, I need you near.

    All my love


    Remus looked at the date on the letter and knew why he had never received it. He

    knew why Sirius had woken up alone. Remus had never come home after that night.

    He had moved out without explanation or excuse. It had been for the best.


    Remus had gone back to the Lodge at the end of the day. Selma wanted to make him

    dinner but Remus told her he was so tired that he wanted to just have a bath and go to


    He sat in front of the fire and once again watched the flames dancing for him. After a

    long time he pulled out an old photograph, which he had slipped inside his robes

    earlier that day. He sat for the rest evening watching the gentle rise and fall of a

    sleeping man.


    Thanks for reading... please review.

    Authors note: The last paragraph of Siriuss letter is from a piece I think is entitled I

    love you by Roy Croft. I discovered it many year ago and thought it was the most

    wonderful description of how someone can fundamentally change the way you feel

    about yourself by just loving you.