Luckily, lunch and Care of Magical Creatures passed rather uneventfully. Except, of course, for Remus and James having to restrain Sirius during Care of Magical Creatures because of the favoritism Professor Melton so obviously gave the Slytherins (he was the Slytherin Head of House). Care of Magical Creatures was the only class in which Remus, Sirius, and James had never intentionally given the Professor a reason to give them detention. After class, there was a two hour break until dinner. Sirius and James again ran off to the dormitory to whisper about things unknown to Remus. It’s probably just something to do with all that Animagus business, he thought, trying to reassure himself. If only I could decide when I wanted to transform - what a life it’d be!. Feeling somewhat depressed and more than a little left out, he trudged off to the library to finish his Charms essay that had been assigned over the summer. On the way he thought of all the things that had suddenly been plaguing him in the past few days. His dream... A new year of duty... NEWT classes... his upcoming transformation... James and Sirius... the Ravenclaw girl who had been staring at him in Potions... SMACK! So caught up in his thoughts, Remus hadn’t been looking where he was going. He had run right into - he noticed with a small gasp of shock - none other than Leivieta Ulvia. “So sorry... here... let me-” Remus stammered, as he tried to help her pick up the pile of books she had dropped. “No... Please... It’s ok... Just - Just leave me alone,” Leivieta said, her voice quivering more than a little. Remus looked at her face for the first time, her pale cheeks were tear -stained and it looked as though new tears were threatening to spill from her striking blue eyes. “Oh my, what’s wrong?” Remus asked, not entirely sure why he felt such concern for a girl he had only heard rumors about. “Can I do anything to help?” A new emotion crossed Leivieta’s face - one almost of gratitude - but was replaced in an instant with a scowl. “You just want to mock me too, don’t you?” she spat at him. “You couldn’t give a knut for who I am or how I feel - you just want to come laugh at the little girl who likes to snog other little girls, don’t you?!” Her pale face was now a bright shade of red. “If anyone ever cared to wonder why I’ve done what I’ve done - what drives me to do what I do, love whom I love - It’s not as simple as you all make it!” Tears were now spilling down her cheeks “It’s not that simple! Nothing’s that simple! Nothing could ever be that simple...” And she slid down the wall she had been leaning against, now fully giving in to the sobs that were overcoming her petite form. “I’m sorry, Remus, I’m so sorry... I didn’t mean to -” But she was silenced by the comforting hand he had placed on her back. “It’s ok,” he said to her quietly. He didn’t have the slightest clue as to what had just happened. All he knew is that this sobbing form next to him needed him to be there at that moment, and so that’s where he would be. Of course he knew about Leivieta’s past - there wasn’t a soul at Hogwarts who didn’t - but he was one who had never gone out of his way to insult her. He knew that his friends hadn’t been so kind. Growing up in pureblood families, James and Sirius had never been very open to individualistic ways of thinking and living. Remus knew that their minds could be changed, he was living proof of that, but as a general rule, they weren’t very kind to individuals. In their fourth year, Leivieta had been the subject of a very nasty prank those two had pulled. Everyone knew about it, and many still talked about it to that very day. But Remus had never judged her based upon her decisions. He always tried to look past others’ exteriors, as strange as they may be. He truly wanted to help her, at least as much as she would allow him to. A few minutes passed and the two just sat there, Leivieta hugging her knees and crying softly and Remus gently rubbing her back in a circular motion. When he was little, his sister Rosie would rub his back like that whenever he came to her after having a nightmare. Those nights were some of his most peaceful memories of his childhood. There I go again, he thought to himself bitterly, why can’t I get her out of my head?! He barely noticed that Leivieta had stopped crying and was now trying to wipe the tears from her face. “Thanks,” she croaked, her voice stuffy and quieter than normal. “You really didn’t have to stay here with me, Remus, I... Thanks.” She smiled. Remus was relieved to see her smile; it was so much better than the contorted frown she had worn when she had been crying. “Do you think you want to - to talk about it?” Remus asked tentatively. “I haven’t got anything to do ‘til dinner, do you maybe want to go somewhere and -” “I think I’ll manage,” Leivieta said, with a little bit of the accusatory tone she had used on him earlier returning. “I really don’t need your charity, you know.” “Leivieta-,” she looked slightly shocked that he was using her name, “I’m not trying to accuse you of anything, I never have!” He moved slightly to look her straight in the eye. “I’m not trying to mock you, and I’m not trying to get some crazy story to tell my friends. I want to know your side of the story - your side of all the terrible rumors I’ve heard about you. I want to know who you really are.” Leivieta was utterly shocked by this statement. Nobody had ever wanted to know her. Everyone seemed to know everything they needed to know about her the instant they heard her “story” from their giggling friends. She refused to believe her ears, and yet something inside her urged her to reply, “Okay...” Remus smiled. “Just not right now. I think I’ve had enough emotion for one evening.” With that, she stood up, picked up the rest of her books, and walked briskly towards the West Tower. What on earth just happened?! Remus thought dazedly to himself. He had just offered to help a complete stranger sort out her conflicting emotions. He had just declared what he had always known - he was helplessly intrigued with the Ravenclaw girl with the dirtiest past. * * * The rest of the break and dinner passed in a blur for Remus. Somehow he managed to get his Charms essay (\"Vanishing charms are neither total nor reliable- explain\") done. Luckily for Remus, he had always been able to produce his best schoolwork when his social life was in the most turmoil. A habitual procrastinator to the last possible instant, he was more than relieved to get his summer homework done before midnight struck. By the time he went back to the common room to deposit his completed essay, James and Sirius were done talking about their “secret” and so the trio walked down to dinner together. They laughed and talked just like always; not until that moment did Remus realize how great it was to be back at Hogwarts. He was finally back home. “You coming, Moony?” James said, wearing his usual wide grin. “We’re off to meet the girls in the common room for some old fashioned truth or dare.” Remus, who had again been caught up in his thoughts, quickly jumped out of his seat and joined the other three (Peter was apparently coming with them as well). Truth or Dare he thought to himself. How ironic that we’re playing that of all games... You really need to stop thinking so much, your friends are going to think you’ve gone mad! “So,” Remus said, coming out of his trance to be social, “what classes does everyone have tomorrow?” “I’ve got Charms, Muggle Music, duty,” Sirius said this word with a perfect impression of Professor McGonagall, then rolled his eyes, “and then Herbology. \"What about you, Prongs?” “I’ve got my duty first off tomorrow... I feel bad for the kid, I’ll probably be asleep half the time... Then Muggle Music,\" James exchanged a highly mischievous smile with Sirius. They had been hounded by McGonagall to sign up for more classes, so they had picked Muggle Music - the slacker\'s dream. \"Followed by Charms, and Herbology. How about you, Moony?” “Charms, History of Magic,” he did a flawless impression of Professor Bins’ monotonous drone, “Arithmancy and then Herbology.” James gave a low whistle. “That’s some schedule you’ve got planned for yourself, Moony. I’m sure that’ll be fun come... come that time of the month.” “Prongs, you make it sound like I’m menstruating or something,” Remus said in all seriousness. The other boys all started laughing, especially Peter who had become rather red in the face. “But yeah, I’ve thought of that... Hopefully my B.S. skills are still up to par,” Remus said with a grin. The boys had always come up with the most elegant fake answers, and were known throughout Hogwarts for it. By this time, they had reached the Fat Lady and given her the password (“Kneazle”). They strolled to the back of the common room and found Lily and Stef happily chatting with a few of their fifth year girlfriends. All four girls were extremely attractive and Remus found it rather amusing to watch the other boys’ demeanors change due to their presence. James simply wouldn’t stop ruffling his hair and Sirius seemed to be smoothing his out every ten seconds. Peter had immediately spotted the shyest of the four and was working on starting up a nervous conversation with her. Remus, however, remained his normal self - girls never really got to him. He figured he had many worse things to be worried about; why should he bother getting all worked up about the opposite sex? “So,” he said, after a few minutes of talking with the girls, “I believe we have a game of Truth or Dare to get down to.” A mischievous smile lit up his face and the game began. * * * A few hours (and many dares) later, the game ended due to the girls claiming to need their beauty sleep. In truth, they were afraid that the next dare would involve kissing Peter, as he was flushing scarlet after talking with the rest of his team. Remus checked his watch and noted that he had a little over an hour before midnight, so he decided to take a shower before his chat with James. While in the dormitory to grab his towel and shampoo, he noticed that James and Sirius were at it once again - chatting in hushed tones and searching through the books scattered on Sirius’s bed. Not caring to try to make sense of it and feeling thankful that he’d know exactly what they were up to in less than an hour, Remus got in the shower and focused on more pressing matters. James is right he thought, - my classes this year are going to be a troll to manage... But I need to take them - Dumbledore has to know he can trust me... Don’t know what I’d do if he weren’t around... I’d be forced to live life on the run... Always on the run... If he hadn’t let me into his school - they surely would have caught me by now... He shuddered at the thought of being taken back to the source of all his nightmares. I owe that man my life... Not a single wolf ever lasted more than a decade... Some life I’ve got to live... “Moony! You trying to drown yourself or something?” Sirius’s voice came from behind the door. “Hurry up! I really need to get the Evans germs off of me!” Remus snapped back to reality. He hadn’t noticed that he had been in the shower for half an hour and hadn’t so much as touched the soap. “I’ll be out in a minute!” he called, briskly washing off. “Although I’m pleased that you’re still squeamish about your dare - it means I’ve done my job!” He smiled at the memory of the dare he and James had just forced Sirius to complete. They had asked Lily to retrieve her most feminine outfit as well as all the makeup she owned and, with the entire Common Room watching, they had given Sirius the makeover of a lifetime. Naturally, they had charmed the dress and makeup to remain on their friend until the end of the game, which provided for some serious entertainment. Especially because the garment was skin tight and cut short. Remus towel dried his dark blonde hair as Sirius began to tap out the drum solo from the newest hit from the WWN (“Enervate Me” by The Boggarts) on the door. “I’m coming, I’m coming... sheesh, you’re like a hyper puppy or something!” he said, as he let Sirius in and started back towards the dormitory, falling once more into his thoughts. A minute later, Remus felt the familiar burning sensation behind his navel, and realized that it must already be midnight. He hurried back to his four-poster and retrieved the small mirror from his robes that were laying in a heap at the foot of his bed. As expected, he saw James’s face smiling up at him. “Hey Prongs,” he said, though his voice made no noise. Thanks to James’s father’s extensive spell library, they had been able to not only enchant these mirrors for communication, but make it so that the conversations held on them wouldn’t be able to be heard by anybody. They could only hear the side of the conversation directed at them, which had proved to be incredibly useful in the year that they’d had the mirrors. “I’ve just gotten out of the shower, give me a minute to settle down.” Remus haphazardly threw his pajamas on and got into his bed, pulling the curtains around him. “Alright... So, what did you want to talk about?” he asked, although he already knew the answer. “Well,” James began. “Let’s just start out with your dream, shall we?” Remus was strongly reminded of a muggle psychiatrist, but seeing as James had never taken Muggle Studies, he kept this feeling to himself. “Well... Basically it was about my bite...” James looked slightly confused, “You have those nightmares all the time though, don’t you?” “No,” Remus said. “Well, yes, but none of them are like this. It was like I was six again... and I felt all my emotions and thought all my thoughts... And...” Remus paused, not sure whether he wanted to tell James this part. Remembering that James was there to help he said quietly, “And Rosie was there, James - it’s the first time I’ve thought about her in years... I thought I had made myself forget about her!” “Sorry... But who’s Rosie?” James asked tentatively. Whoever she was, she must have done something terrible to Remus, the way he talked about her. “My sister. She was ten years older than me.” He took a deep breath and prepared to tell his story, “When I was growing up, my father was never around - always on business of some sort. And our mum was a Squib who was nearly always sick. So Rosie basically raised me.” “That doesn’t explain why-” James started. “After my bite, however,” Remus continued, “everything changed. Our worlds were turned upside down. My father lost his job at the Ministry because of my condition. He would disappear for weeks at a time, coming home for each of my transformations and then leaving as soon as I was... secure.” “What does Rosie have to do with this?” James asked gently. “It became Rosie’s job to come fetch me after the moon was over. The things she saw horrified her. The spell my father used to secure me built a force field around me, so I couldn’t escape. However, other creatures could enter and they would always meet their end at my... hands...” He paused for a moment and closed his eyes. “Let’s just say that back then, I was a very messy eater - the results were always terrible, I dream of them all the time. And so,” Remus sighed, “we began to distance. Then... it happened...” Remus swallowed, a pained expression on his face, “We got an owl that our father had been sent to Azkaban for crimes they wouldn’t discuss with us. Suddenly, Rosie and I were on our own. She had to take care of both our sickly mother and me... the family burden... Rosie’s magic was never very strong, she could only perform a few simple spells and she never got a Hogwarts education because of it. The first month after our father left, something went terribly wrong. Rosie tried to perform the same spell as my father had always done - but she wasn’t powerful enough. For two horrifying days and nights, I was free and unrestrained, able to bite and kill whatever I found. When I returned to my human state, I was scared out of my mind - thinking that I had surely killed what was left of my family. By some crazy miracle, Rosie had managed to hide from me - but my mother... wasn’t as lucky. I bit her and she was already so weak...” Remus’s voice had dropped to a murmur, “She didn’t make it.” James looked at his friend, who had closed his eyes again, as if attempting to block the memories. “It’s not your fault Remus,” he said carefully. “You can’t be held responsible for your actions as a wolf - especially when you were so young. If anything, it’s Rosie’s fault.” James knew instantly that he shouldn’t have said that. Remus’s eyes lit up with an anger James had never seen before. “Rosie’s fault?! How can you say that?” Remus’s voice, which had been so quiet just a minute before now rose to the brink of yelling. “She was only seventeen, James - not even a year older than you! And she could hardly take care of me as a boy, which is nothing to a new wolf! I was wild, so much more than you’ve ever witnessed and she was the only one who could restrain me - only she was mostly squib herself... No, James, it was nobody’s fault but mine. I killed my mother.” “Don’t say that! You know full well that you can’t control your wolf self. It’s impossible to put the blame on any one person or thing, Remus. It’s just the way of things, Moony, it can’t be helped. Believe me” Feeling slightly calmer, Remus continued, “Regardless of whose fault it was, Rosie was still scared beyond belief. She was now absolutely alone in the world with nothing to guide her. She was powerless against me when I transformed and that put her in extreme danger. She knew that it would only be a matter of months before I found her and did the same thing to her that I did to our mother. So,” Remus drew in a shaky breath, “she did the only thing she could - she turned me in to the Facility.” “Merlin...” James breathed. He knew that Remus had spent time in the Facility - they had talked about it once last year. But to think that someone from his own family would submit him to that hell was just terrible. He had always figured that his friend had been captured - certainly not turned in by the person who had raised him. Suddenly, James felt a rush of sympathy towards Remus. “So that’s why you’ve tried to forget her...” Remus nodded his head slowly, “I haven’t thought of her for years - I haven’t thought of anything but Hogwarts since we started our first year. I promised myself that I would leave all of that behind and start anew. For the most part - I’ve succeeded. But now,” he sighed, “now I don’t know what’s happening.” James looked at his friend, his face full of sympathy. “I’m really glad you told me about this, Remus, it must have been terrible to keep it all to yourself.” Remus saw him look at his watch, “Unfortunately, it’s now two in the morning and I really don’t want to be on McGonagall’s bad side for my first duty of the year.” Remus cringed; he didn’t realize he’d been talking for that long. “Yeah, I’ve got Coborn first off tomorrow. It’s always good to face him with a good night’s rest. See you in the morning?” “Yep,” James smiled. They both put their mirrors down, breaking off the connection. Just as James was drifting off to sleep, he heard Remus whisper from across the dormitory, “Thanks, Prongs - you‘re a lifesaver.”
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