This is not the most awkward family dinner (that honor belongs to the time Grandma tried to reconcile with Great Aunt Narcissa), but it certainly ranks pretty high up.
First of all, there is Lily, or Lainey as I have to call her now, sitting at my side and barely controlling her laughter. I do not know why she thinks this is so funny. This is an emotional moment. She is acting like one of those jackasses who starts laughing at a play when the one of the characters is dying. She's ruining everything!
Well, maybe not everything. The only emotion I'm feeling right now is a vague sense of annoyance. Lily must know me too well. The annoyance is the second thing making this evening awkward. See, most people in this situation would think "Wow. I have a chance to have a real conversation with my dead father, to really find out what kind of man he really was." Since I'm not a normal person, I'm just thinking "Shit. I have to talk to someone I know everything about. Better not mention anything he hasn't told you already, otherwise you'll look like a creep". On the bright side, I think I was conceived a month or two ago, so I won't have worry about messing up my existence. I just hope Remus is not one of those guys who goes on and on about their sex life, because I just do not want to think about that.
"So, Remus." I ask. "Do you have any family?" Lily stuffs her entire piece of bread in her mouth to shut herself up.
"I'm married." He said. "Do you?"
"That's classified." I recite back. "I cannot tell you that."
"I have two brothers." Lily says after she swallowed her bread. I gave her a dirty look. "Oh, come on! That won't hurt anyone!"
"Is he one of them?" Remus asks Lily, figuring he could get a straight answer out of her.
"No, but he's like another brother to me. Not that I need anymore!" Lily laughs. "Were you an only child like Timmy?"
"You know what band from this time I really like? The Weird Sisters. I have a few of their LPs" I interject as an attempt to get off the thin ice we had somehow gotten on.
"Oh, lets talk about Timmy's fascinating record collection, shall we?" Lily replies grumpily, obviously wanting to talk about our personal lives more and mess up our futures.
"Did you hear their 94' album? That's my favorite." I ask Remus.
He smiles. "I worked at Hogwarts when that album came out. There was one group of Hufflepuffs in particular who would get in trouble weekly for interrupting their housemates at night by playing the songs too loud. It was a good distraction for the students, though. Everyone was a bit on edge that year."
"Fascinating. What did you teach?"
"Defense Against the Dark Arts."
"Ah. The cursed job. I hope you didn't leave under too horrible of circumstances."
Remus did not say anything at first. I then remember Harry had told me that Remus had left because he transformed without taking his Wolfsbane and nearly killing some people. Maybe I should have worded my comment differently.
"I quit," He says eventually.
"I would too," Lily replies. "if I had to listen to The Weird Sisters all day."
Log Entry One
"Lainey" and I were fortunate to come across Remus Lupin, a member of the Order of the Phoenix. He may prove to be a valuable ally, as he seems intelligent and competent enough to deal with for a prolonged period of time. Unfortunately, these same traits may lead to him asking a few too many questions.
"What are you writing?"
Remus had come up behind me unexpectedly as I was writing. I look over instinctively to make sure Lily is alright. She Is still sleeping on the sleeping bag I gave her next to the fire.
"You scared me," I state slowly, closing my notebook. "I'm taking notes for when I get back. I'm going to have to write one hell of a report about this."
"Oh. Were you at work when you got into this mess?"
I pause and then nod reluctantly. "I'm an Auror. Not corrupt like it is now though."
"An auror? Have you heard of Nymphadora Tonks? She's one now."
"Tonks?" I ask, pretending to search my mind to remember who she was. "She trained under Mad-Eye Moody, didn't she? I've heard of her, but she doesn't work with us anymore."
"Do you know why?" Remus asks me quietly.
"I come from pretty far in the future," I answer, since I'm pretty sure saying "She's dead," would break protocol and make Remus do something really stupid.
"She's my wife. I was just curious."
"Oh. I'm sure she's fine." I look down at my notebook quickly so he won't be able to tell that I'm lying. "I'll keep first watch. You sleep. Goodnight."
I needed two things. I needed to see a healer, to make sure the failed potion would not kill me. I also needed to get home, because Harry would kill me if anything happened to Lily. The first one I figured Remus could help me with.
"I know a healer," Remus says tentitivly. "but he got kicked out of St. Mungo's, so I don't know if you'd want to see him."
"Did he treat undeseriables?" I ask excitedly, relishing the opportunity to meet another freedom fighter in action.
"No. He used experimental treatments on paiecients without thier consent."
I'll take what I can get.
The healer lives in southern England by a small sea town. His house is small and painted in a light cream. His front lawn looked well cared for; there is even a small flower bed with mums, marigolds, and various magical herbs. Around the back I can see a tiny greenhouse and bird bath.
Lily, Remus and I walk up the path lined with small grey stepping stones and short little hedges. Remus knocks on the plane pale blue door and a little window opens near the top. A pair of dark brown eyes stare out the hole back at us.
"I am Remus Lupin. I will tell the ministry what you did to Miss Marta Keel if you don't let me in."
"I am Healer Harley Ray. And I saved Miss Keel's life when I gave her that potion, mind you!" Healer Ray, a tall, early thirties man with wild blond hair bulging hazel eyes, responded angeryly as he let us in to his tidy little living room. The shelves and tables were covered in lacy dollies, porcelain trinkets and delicate decorative china. "The Ministry doesn't give a hippogriff shit about what you say anyway."
Remus ignored him. "This is Tim and Lainey Grey. Tim has taken some kind of long acting poison he needs the antidote for."
Healer Ray approaches me and pries my left eye open wide with two fingres. "How many hours ago?" He asks.
"Twenty?" I guess.
"Twenty!?" Healer Ray jumps back in shock. "How do you feel?"
"Fine. A little disey and light headed. I feel off balance too, but that's pretty normal for me."
Healer Ray grabs my arm and pulls me towards a basement door. "Let's take you into my examination room."
Ray leads me into the dark basement, lit only from the soft glow of a potion fire and a few streaks of light from mildew covered window in the corner . With a quick "Lumos" he lights my path and brings me to a small cot where he instructs me to lie down. I cannot see much more than a few feet in front of me. I hear a swish of a wand and the room lights up in a sickening green light. Healer Ray approaches and waves his wand across me a few times.
"I'm going to have to take a blood sample" Healer Ray says as he makes an incision in my arm and extracts a few large droplets. He levitates the red orb into a caldron and begins waving his wand over it.
"I've invented an antidote for slow acting potions," Healer Ray tells me as he examines my blood further. "I'll try a few versions of it on you."
Healer Ray opens up a cabinet and pulls out a few vials. "Where did you dig up that damn werewolf anyway?"
"I needed some help. Remus was kind enough to give it to me." I reply coldly.
"Yeah, Remus can be pretty helpful when he wants to be."
He hands me about four vials and instructed me to drink them as he waves his wand around my chest and neck. As I down the last one a particular look passes across the healer's face.
"What?" I ask as I sit up, slightly concerned.
"You should be dead by now," He responds. "This poison should have killed a normal man six hours ago."
"Are you saying I'm not normal?" I retort.
"Yes," He states. "Do you know why? It might help me synthesis an antidote."
"I'm a Metamrophmagus," I say after a few long moments of consideration. "Don't tell anyone though, not even Remus," I add quickly. No need to give him any more clues to my real identity than Lily probably has.
"That wouldn't have any effect on this poison. It would account for your dizziness though. You Metamorphmagi have no equilibrium, transforming your weight and height at the snap of a finger." To prove his point, he donks me between the eyes, sending my head back to the pillow.
"I'm never this bad," I respond. He considers for a moment.
"Do you have lycanthropy? Is that were you met Remus? Some werewolf mixer?"
"This poison has moonskin in it. It has some odd effects on werewolves." Healer Ray continues to wave his wand across my blood for a few more moments before turning around in defeat.
"How long do I have then?" I whisper.
"Two days. Two weeks. Two months. There's no way to tell."
I sit in silence. What would happen to Lily if I died? How would she get home? What if I never got home, and everyone who ever had known or loved us never knew what happened? Victorie, Grandma, Harry, Ginny, Al, and even James if he ever wakes up…
No. They will never wonder where we went because Lily at least will get home and tell them. Her family might have already lost one child. No way I'll let that happen again, not as long as I'm still breathing.
"Don't tell Remus and Lainey that I might die soon. I'll tell them soon enough myself."
Healer Ray nodded and handed my another vial. "This is a potion with moonskin and bezor extract. Should slow some of the symptoms, if you're lucky. I usually only use this on the werewolves I treat, but a few drops a day won't kill you. Anymore will though, so be careful."
"Why are you giving me a werewolves' potion?" I ask.
"Because you're body is fighting off this poison like a werewolf would. Out of curiosity, have you ever been scratched by a werewolf, or been bitten by one while it was in human form?"
"My father was one," I blurt out impulsively, covering my mouth quickly as if to shove the words back in my mouth.
"And you're not?" Healer asks, surprised.
"I shouldn't have told you that. Definitely don't tell Remus about that one."
"I don't know…I might have to."
"Don't you have a healer-paicent confidentiality agreement or something?"
"Of course not. Didn't Remus tell you how I lost my license?"
"He said you preformed experiments on people, not blabbed about them!"
"Oh. I forgot I did that too. Look, normally I wouldn't tell anyone about your father, but it's just Remus! And, well, he is a werewolf. He'd understand."
"I still can't have him know. He may figure out some things about me I have no desire for him to find out."
Healer Ray considers for a moment. "I wouldn't ask you to normally, but his wife is pregnant and he's terrified his kid is going to be a werewolf like him. You're living proof that lycanthropy isn't hereditary."
"Wait- he actually thinks that? That's his biggest fear right now?" I almost laughed. I guess back here nobody studied werewolves much. The Unspeakables came out years ago to confirm that lycanthropy has little effect on the genome. Now that I think about it though, I dimly remember being part of one of their studies at the age of three or four. Not many people will admit to having werewolves for parents, so with being in the middle of war and the current opinion on werewolves I guess nobody can get any solid medical information.
"He hasn't exactly told me he's worried about it, but some of his questions seem to point in that direction. If you just let me talk to him, then he can stop freaking out."
"No way. Guild him in the direction, fine, but don't use my name or mention you've treated a werewolf's son lately."
"You're limiting my medical abilities!"
"Consider it my dying wish. I deserve that much, don't I?"
Healer Ray opens his mouth to retort, but then shuts it tightly and shakes his head.
"Fine, Mister Grey. You owe me."