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“Er, Mum?” 


“Yes, Remus?” 


“Um, where exactly is the train?” 





The three Lupins were at King’s Cross, getting pushed slightly every now and then as muggles hurried through the bustling crowd. Remus was scanning the area carefully, again and again, but could not for the life of him see any Platform 9 and ¾. His parents laughed. 


“It’s not a normal train, Remus.” Said his father lightly. “Muggles would be quite confused to see a big train that said ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardy’ on the side, now wouldn’t they? Here,” he gestured to a blank wall. “Run into it.” Remus gave him a look as though he had just said to jump off a cliff. He laughed. “Just trust me. It is magic, after all.” Still slightly doubtful of his father’s sanity, Remus nonetheless shrugged and, bracing himself, ran at the wall. 


He automatically closed his eyes, all instincts believing that he would hit it. A second later when he didn’t, however, he opened his eyes. 


People milled around frantically, shoving other and pushing their luggage around, but this was different than before. Now many people were wearing robes- they had probably side along apparated- and the hoots of howls came from every direction. A few cats hissed at him as he slowly walked, not going to fast, as he still had to wait for his parents. Their owners eyed him suspiciously. It was rare for normal animals to be around a werewolf without being wary of them, though magical creatures would come to them more easily than others. 


He hugged his tearful mother goodbye. (“Don’t forget to owl, at least once a week… no, once a day, remember, always be sure to…) He hugged his father as well, who was rolling his eyes at his mum. He carefully picked his way through the crowds then, and up to the gleaming scarlet train. 


The compartment at the end of the train was, fortunately, empty. He sat down in the corner, hunched against the glass, and then flipped open his book, Transfiguration for Beginners. Before he could even finish one page, however, he was interrupted by the door sliding open. 


Two boys, both looking to be first-years too, were standing there, looking quite out of breath. One he recognized as Sirius Black, the boy he had met in Diagon Alley. The other boy was slightly taller, with messy black hair and large black glasses. Both were grinning madly. Sirius’ grin seemed to grow-if that was possible- when he saw Remus. 


“Remus!” He cried happily. The werewolf was slightly surprised he had remembered his name. “Mind if we sit here?” 


“Not at all,” Said Remus politely, though to be honest he would have preferred to remain alone. 


The two boys hastily shut the door and plopped down. Sirius smirked. “Remus, James, James Remus.” The boys nodded at each other. Despite his shyness, He could not help but ask a question. “Er, Sirius, why does it look like you two were running?” 


“Well, Remy,” (Remus nearly cringed at the nickname. Remy???) “Me and Jamesy-boy here,” James smacked Sirius on the back of the head, who pretended not to notice. “Saw my lovely cousin and her friend outside, and they looked much too cheerful. So, we used a nice spell to change the clothes around of her and her friend, Lucius. He really doesn’t look good in a skirt, you know…” 


Remus blinked for a moment, shocked that anyone would do such a thing. After a moment, though, he just rolled his eyes and bent his head over a book again.
The other’s in the compartment shrugged, and quickly dived into a conversation that had something to do with Sirius’ aunt, a house-elf, five pounds of feathers, and a tub of pink paint… Remus decided he really didn’t want to know any more than that… 




~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~_~




With relief, Remus realized that the train was slowing down. He quickly followed James and Sirius with the milling students. The older students, he noticed, were going toward carriages pulled by skeletal creatures. The first-years were going toward a giant of a man, who was shepherding them to boats. With a shudder, he realized that the creatures pulling the carriages were thestrals. He had read about these, too. 




‘Thestrals are called ‘dark’ creatures by many, but this is not entirely true. Though it is commonly thought that they bring death, it is, in a way, the other way around. Only those who have seen death first-hand, and remember this death (for example, a young child might forget, or one who is obliviated) may see these creatures-except muggles, of course. But despite the misconception, they are rather tame creatures, and they have excellent navigation skills. They are uncommon, however, as many witches and wizards who see these creatures kill them out of fear. The only known tame colony of thestrals is currently located at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry…’ 


Remus shuddered. One sentence of that always struck him more than the rest. ‘Only those who have seen death first-hand and remember this death may see these creatures…’ 


Only those who have seen death first-hand, and remember this death…
Seen death… 


Remus remembered perfectly…

*FLASHBACK*  


“Aw, come on, Remus! You know nothing will happen… I bet there’s nothing in the lake, anyhow, probably just made to scare us...” 

“I don’t know,” replied Remus doubtfully. “There might be, and we could get in trouble…” 

“Only if someone finds out,” his friend, Jonas, pointed out, rolling his eyes. 

“Pleeeeease?” 

Remus, despite his reluctance, backed down and went along with Jonas. Jonas was his only friend, mainly because his family had known beforehand that Jonas’ family accepted werewolves. Jonas’ uncle was a werewolf, after all. 

Remus could not help himself from grinning as well, however, as they swam through in the lake. It was a hot day, and the water felt good. For a reason he didn’t understand, however, he felt a feeling of dread, a chill, a warning that something would go wrong… 

Probably just his imagination… 

Suddenly, Jonas looked at him with a smirk. “Bet you can’t touch the bottom,” he taunted. The water was probably a bit over twenty feet deep. But they were good swimmers, always had been. 

“I bet I can before you,” Remus bet. They both took deep breaths, and they dove down. 

The two boys kicked their legs hard, pushing their arms through the tangled mess of sea weeds. A dark blur raced past him, then another. Remus felt his heart quicken as sharp claws grasped him. Grindylows! 

Panicked, Remus yanked himself away quickly. The brittle claws fell away. If there was one part of being a werewolf he liked, it was the strength. 

He shot through in the direction Jonas had been. Why, why hadn’t they believed the rumors…? 

A blurred, wriggling mass was above him, and he swam to it quickly. The two grindylows and Jonas were maybe five feet below water. He grabbed a grindylow, yanking it off of his friend. He saw only red… red. 

Red stained the water around, wisps of red, traces of red. His wolfish mind picked up the scent, though he would not breathe in. But he smelt it, he sensed it. It was blood. And there was a lot of it… 

He frantically jerked the grindylow off of his friend, and it swam away. But he knew it was over. Even as swam to the surface, and then to land, and then, half-blind with tears, found his way to Jonas’ house with sobs for his only friend to wake, that there was no hope. Jonas was dead. 



*END FLASHBACK*

He jumped, startled out of his reverie, as the boats finally stopped. He slowly got out of the boats, keeping pace with James and Sirius so as not to fall behind. His mind wandered, however, and he did not gasp and drink in his first sight of Hogwarts. 


Even Remus, however, could not be untouched by the Great Hall. 


Remus, like the other first-years, gaped openly at the huge hall. The older students watched them, looking slightly amused, and he heard a few ponder if they were ever that tiny. A few people were predicting who would be in what house. Up at the staff table, he saw the Headmaster watching him, and smiled. The wizened wizard returned it, eyes twinkling madly. 


Remus watched, entranced, as the old hat on the stool sang. As it sorted the students, however, he could not help but feel wary. What if he couldn’t go to any house? What if the hat decided that a werewolf had no place at Hogwarts? He had heard whispers, already, that the house of Slytherin was known for its dark wizards. Would it become a house for dark creatures, too? 


“Lupin, Remus.” 


Calmly as possible, Remus walked up to the stool. He was used to odd looks with his appearance alone, and his parents had taught him to never be ashamed. He would not shake and look fearful, even if he was. 


He carefully sat the hat on his head. 


::So, what house is for you, eh?:: Remus did not jump as the house talked to him. 


::I believe I’m waiting for you to tell me that,:: Remus pointed out. The hat chuckled. 


::True, true… Now let’s see here… You possess fierce loyalty, a thirst for knowledge, bravery and courage, and a fierce desire to prove yourself… To prove that werewolves are truly people… Now where to put you…:: Remus saw Sirius watching him from the Gryffindor table. ::Somewhere where I can have true friends..:: 

::Very well, then...:: 


“GRYFFINDOR!” 
Relieved-though admittedly surprised, as he had expected Ravenclaw-he hastily put the hat on the stool and walked to the Gryffindor table, next to Sirius. Sirius greeted him enthusiastically. For once, he truly felt he belonged. He looked up at the staff table, and Dumbledore nodded with a wink, his eyes twinkling more than ever. This was, by far, the best day of Remus’ life.

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