Chapter 3 : Just When I Thought Life Couldn't Get Weirder
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Just When I Thought Life Couldn't Get Weirder
"The reason I wanted you to come up here was to...to come clean...I suppose," Remus said nervously as he avoided my eyes the best he could.
I didn't say anything but silently stared at him with what I hoped appeared to be curiosity. In my head I prayed that he took this as an incentive to continue for I was afraid to interrupt him.
"You see, Elaina, we're more alike than you think," he said cautiously with his eyes boring into mine.
He looked at me expectantly this time. I responded, "I suppose. Um. We're both seventh year Gryffindors, uh, obviously have magical abilities. And...we both have brown hair, even though they're different shades...." I pushed my eyebrows together. Those were the only things I could think of that we had in common and they were all feeble similarities. What was he thinking of?
Remus looked him he was trying to hold back a roll of his eyes and stifle a snide remark. "There is something more pressing that we share," he said coldly. Then he shook his head at his own tone and took a breath to clear his thoughts.
He brought his eyes to mine again. He held the gaze for a few seconds - long enough to make the blood rush to my face - and then dropped his line of vision to the sheets.
"I'm, uh, I'm like you because I'm also not exactly...whole. Um. That is to say...I'm not - Oh, Merlin, help me - completely human either."
My mind was turning faster than it had in days. Remus Lupin...a Marauder..."not completely human".... No that was ridiculous. A joke. A prank. That's all this was. A stupid new way they had devised to torture me. It all made sense now. He odd attitude toward me. Only one thing nagged me at the back of my mind....
I forced myself to breathe and fought to keep my eyes from going wide. "Wh-what?" I stumbled. "What are you talking about?"
My eyes darted around the room trying to find away out. But he, that damn, clever bastard, had the bed strategically positioned that I would have to crawl across his to get out or run around the bed, where he could just as easily jump up and stop me.
"Is this some kind of sick joke? A prank?" I demanded, my brain working in overdrive and instincts taking over my body.
"What? What are you talking about? That is absolute nonsense! Why would I do that?"
"I knew it! I knew this was a prank! I told Dumbledore but he wouldn't believe me!" I stood up quickly, my eyes flashing. Maybe if I looked menacing and enough like a dementor he would leave me alone and let me walk away. He would simply rid it off as a failed prank.
I stomped around the bed but by the time I got there he was already blocking my way. I suddenly felt very stupid. Of course he wouldn't just let me walk away after he'd come this far. Even if he was the more compassionate of the four.
He caught my hands in his and looked at me fiercely.
"What are you doing?" I hissed. I tried to push it out of my mind that he was the first person besides my mother and Dumbledore to physically, willingly touch me.
Would he really dare touch me if this was a joke?
I tried to pull my hands away but his grip was firm and strong. I was jealous of his power over me and how easily he could hold me where he wanted me to stay.
For the first time in my life, I wanted to be the monster that was half of me. I wanted to scare Remus Lupin so badly that he would be senseless at the sight of me and wouldn't dream of holding me the way he was.
"Let me go," my voice as dangerous as I meant it to be.
"Not until you listen to me. I have to tell you about this. You have the right to know. To understand. To have some someone to confide in. To have friends."
I stopped struggling as his lips pronounced that last word. My arms went limp and my head instantly cleared. And the piece of information that I had pushed to the back of my mind came forward and told me what was there all along.
The emotions coming off of him were completely innocent. A little shocked and worried about my mental state, but whole and pure. He didn't want to hurt me or embarrass me. He didn't want to damage me emotionally or physically.
He led me back to the bed but his hands were still tight as if he expected me to make an amazing getaway.
When we sat down he acted like my out burst hadn't happened, the only difference being my hands were still in his. They felt so warm against my cool skin.
"Unlike you, I was born one hundred percent human. I paid for my parents' mistakes. I too was forced to undergo Dumbledore's interrogation before being allowed to enter the Hogwarts."
"What are you?" I asked, rude as it was.
"What am I? I'm.... Don't, please, don't be afraid once I tell you. I understand if you'll want to get away from me or if you become one to hate me. But, please, don't be afraid of me because of what I am. Because I'm not who you thought I was."
I frowned. Did he really think me as shallow as that? "That would be awfully hypocritical of me, don't you think?"
He gave a weak, humourless smile that didn't reach his eyes. He softened his grip on my hands once he was sure I wouldn't run again.
Feeling suddenly bold, I pulled my hands out gently and placed mine over his. His head was bent and he stared at out hands, once again avoiding my eyes.
I chewed my lip because I could feel the internal battle of emotions that was waging inside of him.
"I'm a werewolf," he muttered. His eyes flickered up to gage my reaction. My eyes simply went wide.
"You're not afraid," he told me.
"No, I'm not. Mildly surprised, I think. But never afraid. I just can't believe that you...a Marauder...are just like me."
"Well. Not exactly. I'm a werewolf. You're half dementor."
"How did it happen? I mean, you said you paid for your parents' mistakes. So it wasn't just coincidence that you got bitten, right?"
"To make a long story short, my father made a werewolf mad. The werewolf decided to get revenge in the way that would be easiest for him and the most painful to my family. I was playing in the woods near our house one night and he bit me. My parents hoped I wouldn't be infected but those are false hopes. Everyone knows there's no turning back when bitten on a full moon. A hard thing for anyone, but even worse for a child not yet even old enough for school. I suffered, though, I fear, not as much as you."
His end comment made me feel awkward. "Where do you go every month for the full moon? I mean, surely you can't just stay in here. You'd be a threat to everyone.... No offense or anything," I said steering the conversation back to him.
"Did you know that there's a tunnel under the Whomping Willow? No, you don't. No one does. It was built just for me. It leads to the Shrieking Shack. Every full moon I go down there."
"The Shrieking Shack?" I repeated, thinking of the place that was the epitome of a Muggle's haunted house.
"Yes, I thought that was established when I said it in the first place. Hm. Well, you're not afraid of it are you? It's just me that makes those noises. It's not really haunted by any restless spirits, you know."
Something about his words irked me. Perhaps it was the way he sent little pointed clues towards me, teasing me almost. "Do you really think so lowly of me? All these questions asking me if I'm afraid...I'm telling you I'm not. I'm not a hypocrite. It's one of the few things that I can pride myself in."
"You have my apologies, Elaina. I wasn't meaning to do so." I opened my mouth to speak but nothing came out. It was a horrible accusation I had just made. Too paranoid and careful, I took everything as a personal attack. While he was probably just looking out for my well being or asking harmless questions, I was practically pointing my wand at his chest with the Killing Curse on my lips. Metaphorically speaking, of course.
I cleared my throat awkwardly and reverted to the previous topic, "It hurts that badly, then?"
Remus grimaced and turned his attention, once again to the comforter. "It's unlike any other pain I've ever encountered," he said bitterly.
Unable to think of anything else, I responded with an overly used, insufficient, banal "I'm sorry."
"Don't be," he said uncomfortably. "It's gotten better since fifth year - once I had friends."
I shook my head in disbelief. "No. No, that's wrong, Remus. That doesn't make any sense. You're popular, a Marauder. You've always had friends. Ever since first year."
"Perhaps," he smiled. "But they couldn't come into the Shack with me until fifth year."
"That's not possible," I dismissed. "For the other boys to be able to enter the Shack with you and not be turned into werewolves themselves or be killed is completely illogical."
"Don't be so nihilistic. Werewolves, as you should know from Defense Against the Dark Arts, have no effect on animals," he smirked in response.
"I don't understand where you're going with this."
"Take a stab in the dark. You guess wrong and the worst thing that'll happen is that I'll laugh at you."
I blindly aimed, "You...made friends with all the little woodland creatures?"
"Yeah. Yeah, that's it, Elaina," he said with a roll of his eyes. Then he looked off as if he was considering something and started laughing. "Yeah. Actually, I suppose that's right in a way. But seriously, all of Marauders - but me of course - are..." he stopped and quickly became somber. "What I'm about to tell you, you can never repeat to anyone. Not even Dumbledore. No one. Ever. Do you promise?"
I hesitated. Not even Dumbledore? What if it was something horrible? What if they were secretly, I dunno, wearing to skins of people they murdered in order to keep the werewolf teeth off their flesh or something? I just couldn't let them get away with that, could I? But, after a fair bit of silence, I agreed to his terms. I could always break them if it ended up being that bad, right?
He smirked. "There are more than just two students in this school who can become beasts."
Oh Merlin. I knew it. They aren't just cruel. They're blood thirsty ax murders that can't control themselves. "W-what do you mean?"
"Ever wonder about our nicknames? Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs," he listed. "I'm obviously Moony because I'm a werewolf. But what do you think about the rest of them?"
Of course. Why didn't I see it before? Their nicknames referred to how they liked to kill people.
James killed with cutlery, his weapon of choice being a fork. Sirius liked to use shoes to bonk his victims over the head. And Peter! He either used a string of rope to strangle people or was an insect enthusiast that used his bugs to do his bidding, I couldn't decide which with him.
I looked at Remus with my eyes wide. "They're murderers."
"What? No. They're animagi."
Oh. Okay, then. I suppose that works too. Animagi. How lovely. Wait. Animagi?
He simply blinked at me.
"They're animagi," he repeated. "You know, people that can change into animals at will."
"I know what they are."
"Then what don't you understand?"
"How. What. Why."
"Well, they did it like every other person that's an animagus. They did it - or at least started to - when they found out what I am. They didn't want me to suffer alone...those are true friends. They probably wouldn't have been able to do it if James and Sirius weren't so bright."
"And what do they change into?" My mind felt like it was about to explode from information overdrive. Remus was a werewolf. James, Sirius, and Peter were animagi.
"James is a stag. Sirius is a big black dog. And Peter is a rat."
"Oh. That's really different from what I was thinking....But how did they get around the list the Ministry keeps of the wizards that are animagi?"
"Easy. They're unregistered," he stated simply. I sputtered at his words, making him give me a condescending look that eerily didn't look out of place on his features. "Do you really think they would be allowed to if they explained why they wanted to become one. To go running around with their best friend who happens to be a werewolf. Yeah, that'd go over well. Especially for three teenage boys."
"Well. I suppose you're right," I responded grudgingly. Then I gasped loudly as I put two and two together. "You told me not to tell Dumbledore...not to tell anyone. No one knows this."
"You're not wrong. However, no one is going to find out about this either, correct?"
I didn't exactly agree with this, but I had given him my word that I would help keep it hush-hush. Besides, it wasn't my secret to tell.
"Yes. I won't tell."
"Good. Now, this brings us right back around to you."
Merlin, here came the part I was dreading. "What about me?" I sighed.
Remus gave a humourless laugh. "'What about you?' You are a very perplexing girl. I doubt that even Sirius can understand you...and you know what a womanizer he is."
"I'm not that hard to understand. My name is Elaina Renee Marshelle. I was born August 10, 1960 in London. I'm a Leo. My mother is Ophelia Chastity Marshelle. My father is a dementor. I think light eyes are better than dark ones. I hate loud noises and secrets. I'm paranoid and over think things. My favourite colour is orange. I love elephants and I cannot stand to eat eggs. See? Not that difficult," I danced around the topic I knew he was aiming for.
"No offense, but most of that has nothing to do with what we're talking about." He didn't even pause to beat around the bush before asking, "How did your mother get pregnant with you?"
"The same way everyone else gets pregnant," I evaded carefully.
"Stop that. I told you my story. I trusted you enough to do so. You should do the same with me. I know it's hard to just say something like this to a near stranger but don't you think it may help you feel a bit better? To get something like that off your chest, I mean."
"I suppose you're right. I bet you planned to go first so that you could use it as leverage against me, but I'll tell you." Remus smiled and didn't make any move to disprove my theory. "First you need to know what I know about my grandparents. They believed in the whole pure-blood superiority concept. So much so that they refused to let my mother even come to Hogwarts in fear that she would pick up some bad habits from all the Muggle-borns and half bloods. So she was taught from the luxury of their estate by the finest tutors around.
"She grew up as a princess. The only people she was allowed to meet were those that had been preapproved by her parents, thus the only people she knew agreed with the twisted beliefs her parents forced upon her. One of the boys that were introduced to her eventually became her boyfriend or 'suitor' as my grandparents called him. He was as equally rich, good looking and diluted as she.
"When she and her suitor were seventeen, he got thrown into Azkaban for a few days because he did something petty...Mom never told me more than that. Anyway, she begged and begged her parents to let her go and visit him in prison, even though she'd never left their property other than to go to another swanky manor. After much persistence, they let her go, thinking that even if something should happen to her, she could defend herself since she came from such a good family and had the best teachers.
"She was young and beautiful as she stepped out of the house that fateful day. But she was also naïve in the ways of the world. Naïve enough to make the trip without anyone accompanying her and armed only with her wand. She visited her beau and he spoke of making her his wife in a few months time. She accepted. And then, as she left, heart and head full of happy dreams of seeing herself as a bride, she caught the attention of a dementor. He drained and raped her, barely leaving her whole enough to get back to the boat and Apparate home.
"When she got home she used a spell to see if she was pregnant and her fears were confirmed. She was pregnant with a dementor's baby."
"Oh my God," Remus said with horror. "That's horrible."
"That's what I said when I found out," I replied, my body and mind now numb. "I got her drunk to find that out, you know. I saved up money and bought a ton of booze and gave it to her one night. She told me everything while she held me in her arms. We cried together."
"Elaina, I'm sorry. I really, truly am."
I sniffed trying to keep back my fresh tears. "I don't want your bromidic words."
"What do you want then?" he asked tenderly.
"Revenge. Acceptance. Maybe a hug." He obliged by wrapping his arms around me and squeezing tightly. It was against the soft cotton of his shirt that I finally let my tears fall.
"What happened next?" he asked me several minutes later when he felt I would be able to talk again.
"She told her parents. She expected them to be caring and reassuring as they had always been to her, but they threw it back in her face. How stupid she was. How naïve she was for going with just a wand - not even a house elf with her. They disowned her and her fiancé decided he didn't want something that a dementor had gotten to and damaged first."
"They just...left her," he concluded.
"Yes. But I suppose in a twisted way it makes sense. Old fashioned parents like hers, well any parents for that matter, don't like it when their daughters get pregnant before they're married. No, make that until nine months after they're married so they know the wedding just wasn't because their little girl was pregnant. And the baby being by a dementor makes in ten times worse...maybe even fifty because of their beliefs...."
"And your mother kept you...not knowing how you'd turn out..." he let the statement hang in the air.
"Well there where three things she could, weren't there? Abort me, put me up for adoption, or keep me. I think that once she got a taste of abandonment for her fiancé and parents, she couldn't think of doing it to her own child, dementor or not. She just prayed that I would be more towards the magic blood than the I'm-going-to-steal-your-emotions-and-suck-your-soul-out-of-your-mouth blood. For that reason also, I think she left behind the blood views given to her by her parents."
"Then she was glad that you look human. I mean, of course she was glad. Who wouldn't be? But, I mean, it had to be some relief for her, yeah?"
"Well sure. I think the only thing that really irks her is...well, you probably noticed it when you grabbed me earlier." Through my teary eyes, I looked at Remus's puzzled face. I liked having the tables turned just then. He was the one groping for an answer and I was the one holding all the cards.
"Um, no. Not really," he admitted, peering at his hands as if he expected to see something there.
"You can't see it." I placed my hand lightly on his forearm so that he could feel my less than warm skin again. "Get it now?"
Remus stared at me and I was suddenly hit with the notion of how attractive he was. More of the hot honour student than the drop dead gorgeous bad boy/male model that Sirius was, but it worked for him in a way that would never suit Sirius. His gold eyes were striking, his cheekbones prominent, his chin was slightly squared, his nose was strong and while his lips were thin he still managed to look amazing. Light brown hair was shaggy and slightly unkempt - a style that seemed popular with him and his friends.
"And what am I supposed to be feeling?" he asked sounding a bit miffed.
"The chill. My icy skin."
"Oh. I just thought I was really warm."
"Well you could be. I can't tell the difference; it's all warm to me. My skin is my one physical trait that marks me as a dementor. I'm cold like them."
"No. Dementors are much colder than you. Their very presence causes things to freeze. You direct contact barely makes me shiver."
"Yeah, well, thanks...I guess."
An awkward silence ensued. I didn't know what to say, I'd only told him the things about my conception because he'd asked about them. I didn't know where to go from there and if he wanted the answers he would have to ask the questions himself.
"Tell me about this whole 'Soulsucker' thing," he said. I pulled my hand away from his arm with a scowl.
"It's a filthy rumour and an unclever nickname," I immediately replied. "And absolute nonsense. I can't suck a soul. I already have a soul. Therefore, I can't take one. Dementors can only take them because they don't have any to begin with. Once they suck a human's soul they get to keep the pleasures and sensations it gives them for a short time. Then it fades and they want another one."
"You seem to know a lot about it," he said with what I picked up to be suspicion.
"Excuse me for knowing about my heritage. It may not being something I like, but it's part of who I am so I would like to know about it."
"What else is dementor-ish about you?"
"I don't suck souls but there is something else I do," my words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Shit, shit, shit, shit. Remus wasn't the kind of guy to just let a comment like that hang.
"What do you mean?" Curiosity came out of every pore in his body. In his words, in his smell.
"I can't tell you. You'd hate me," I said pitifully as I hung my head.
"I wouldn't. That would be, as you said before, awfully hypocritical of me. Besides, I told you my story."
"You're going to milk that for all it's worth, aren't you," I said bitterly as I looked up at him through my dark hair.
"Absolutely," he replied with what he meant to be a reassuring smile.
"I don't take souls like dementors. I take emotions like them," I muttered with self loathing, not to his face, but to his knees. "Dumbledore says it's to feed my 'inner-dementor'. If it gets too hungry...I'll get extremely sick and then I'll die. I'll pretty much start eating myself from the inside out."
"What?" I sighed.
"Whenever something bad or stressful happens to me, though time will do it as well, I get hungrier. It's not the sort of hunger that one can cure with food. It's a hunger that comes from deep inside of me. I have to take happy human emotions to satisfy it. It's usually not that hard to ignore, but if I do too long, it becomes unbearable. Then I have to feed. If I don't...if I let myself not feed or slip up...I could easily die."
Remus paused. He looked appalled but his relief was practically tangible. "How often does this hunger occur?"
"About every few weeks if I'm by myself with nothing stressful around like during summer break. But as I said, stress makes if worse...as do other things. I have to feed a couple times a month during school."
"D-do you feed on the students?" he looked sick at the thought.
I dodged his question with my answer: "Dumbledore sends me to London to feed. If I don't have time to make the trip, sometimes just to Hogsmeade."
"No wonder everyone is always so glum in London," he joked, trying to lighten the mood. I tried to appreciate to attempt at making the situation more comfortable, but I was stuck on his dry humour.
I wasn't the kind of girl to only do things half way, so I continued telling him about my hunger, whether he wanted to hear it or not. "I never feed that much. I watch how much I take from each person. I don't like having to live like this....I should at least leave my victims with some happiness left. I also only try to feed from those that are extremely happy to begin with. That way, while they're not as merry as before, they still have some left in them. I'm not stupid about this, Remus."
"Obviously not. When was the last time you fed?"
I sighed. He just had to bring that up. I remembered those two Hufflepuffs with a pang of guilt. "Today," I murmured.
"But...I didn't see you leave at all," Remus contradicted, looking confused.
"That's because I didn't," I said with my teeth clenched.
"Then...how did you-? Oh. No. You didn't."
I hung my head again. "They were second years by the looks of them. But they were so happy to begin with...and I left them with most of it!" He still didn't look convinced so I decided to make a bargain with him.
"I'm not going to lie to you, doing everything that's happened to me today took a lot out of me. The incident in the corridor, me going to Dumbledore's office, walking into the middle of the Great Hall. I know you can't understand, but such a hunger is too painful to deal with. When I last talked to Dumbledore, I wasn't hungry. But I was after the Great Hall escapade."
He seemed to understand this but something flickered behind his eyes.
"You can't tell Dumbledore. Both of us have shared secrets we rather he didn't know tonight, didn't we? Let's keep it that way. You keep quite about this and I'll keep quite about the animagi thing."
"I thought you hated secrets," Remus said with a shake of his head.
I smiled deviously at him. "But I didn't say that I also love them, now did I?"
"No, I don't believe you did. Anything else I should know?"
"Patronus charms don't work on me. Stupid how people think it would but I can't exactly blame them for trying. And, to add to that note, I can't use a Patronus charm either. However, I don't need one. I could walk through a crowd of a hundred dementors and not be affected in the slightest by them."
"Good to know," he responded.
"And I have sort of a sixth sense."
"You see dead people?" he asked with a raised eyebrow.
"No. I'm just really good with feelings. I can always know your emotions. I won't know what caused that emotion, but I'll always know how you feel. So, you can't pull that 'you don't know how I feel' bull shit. And it wouldn't be wise to try and hide them either. I can still sense them."
"That's actually really cool! Not for you, of course, because everyone is an ass to you....but you know what I mean. Speaking of which, will you jog my memory about how we all found out that you're half dementor?"
"You really don't remember?" I said, biting my lip. I thought we were done with the sob story of my past.
"I just recall that one day in second year you were the quite girl in the back of every class that was kinda weird but alright to talk to if you were close to and then the next day word was out that you were half witch, half dementor."
"That's pretty much just how it happened," I frowned. "A bastard sixth year got sent to Dumbledore for causing trouble and overheard me talking about my father with him. Next thing you know - BAM! - Elaina Marshelle isn't just the shy girl that freaks people out because she can respond to their emotions without them saying anything about how they're feeling to the freak whose father is a monster. But I'd never had any real friends so it wasn't that much of a loss for me. I just got taunted more."
Remus grabbed my chin and forced my face up to look at his. "Well guess what: you've got a friend now."
Unable to think of a proper answer, I spurted out the first thing that popped into my head, "The other Marauders aren't going to like that."
"Yeah? Well they're just going to have to deal with it. If worse comes to worse, I'll just make a point about how you know the major secret we have and that you're a very rash girl that might just expose us."
"I wouldn't do that," I said, mildly offended. "Not unless you tell my secret first, that is...."
"I know you're not like that. But they don't. I think they would believe me. They can be gullible little pricks sometimes."
"That's awful dirty, Remus. I thought they were your friends."
"They are. I would just tell them that to get them around in the beginning. They'll stick around after they find out how you really are."
"Unable to suck their souls, you mean?" I joke lightly.
"I was talking about your personality, actually."
I didn't know what to say to such a comment, I stayed silent. Remus followed in suit until he snorted to himself.
"I just realized something," he mused.
"What?" I repeated.
"I have a 'time of the month'...and I'm a guy," he sighed.
"So? I give a whole new meaning to the term 'fun sucker'," I retorted sourly.
And since there was quite a bit of talk about babies and marriage this chapter. Imma share a fun tidbit about myself with you! My parents were married in March of 1993. I was born in August of 1993. I was ten days late. Do the math. Gross, huh? On that note, please leave me a review! They make me happy and motivate me to get the new chapter up.
Btw. This chapter picture is of Remus. I don't know who the guy is in real life. He's just a model I found.
~The Forgotten Muse
EDIT 9-5-2011-- I fixed those awful spacing issues. Enjoy :)
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