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Disclaimer: In the unlikely event that I ever make any money from this, everything that is mine will have to part with anything that is actually part of J.K.R.'s intellectual property rights.  Back in the real world of ...uh fanfiction, you guessed it...its time to read a story.

A/N:  For those who may not have reread chapter one, I have retroactively established that John Lupin has a cloak.  It was that or steal clothes, for Remus, from a corpse. I'm already being mean enough to them.  ;)

The begining of this scene overlaps with chapter 3.    

Thank you again to Becca and Shivy for betareading and to all my wonderful readers and reviewers.  Even those of you who haven't spoken up yet ;)  Padfooty, SBSL, its your fault I just extended this chapter beyond its original ending point ;)  And I believe there were a few others looking for extra angsty emotion.  Let me know if you still want more in the earlier chapters after this ;)  There has been a bit added to chapter one also.

If you are easily offended by difficult subjects or realistic moments that may be a bit gross...you may want to turn back now.

----------------------------------
Between Worlds

A Marauders Era Fanfic

by

mischief managed
aka
Vampiremouse
-------------------------------------

John Lupin had no window to look at the moonset and, because of this, the reverse transformation came as something of a surprise. The young wolf shook his head, over and over again, and whimpered. The puppy refused all food, rolling even the bones away. He trembled, twitched, and shook; turning glassy, frightened eyes on his father, and promptly fell over on his side, panting heavily.


John could not wait a moment longer, this was still his son. The puppy tried to growl, so weak that the shaggy head barely left the ground. The wolf's heart was racing, his fur dry and brittle with fever. John stroked the wolf's trembling limbs, patted the puppy's laboring sides, and took the risk of dripping a bit of water toward the creature's mouth. He spoke to the boy, just platitudes promising it would all be over soon.

 

The wolf's fur was matted with perspiration; it came off in clumps in his father's hands. The puppy moaned and whimpered constantly between desperate pants.

 


The fur was almost gone now, blanketing John Lupin and the ground on which, Remus' sobbing father, knelt. And then the werewolf's entire body was convulsing, shifting, changing. The beast's incessant cries turned more and more human until John Lupin could stand it no more and cried out, hugging, the still trembling, but almost human form.

 

" I love you son, I love you, Remus."

 

The boy's eyes opened for just a moment, and John Lupin might have been deluding himself that his son had actually answered.


The boy was now human, his clothing shredded, his body battered and burned where the silver restraints had touched him. John reached for the dual-purpose Portkey and freed the boy from his bonds. He cleaned and bandaged the worst of Remus' injuries and wrapped the boy in his cloak. The fever was fading and the boy seemed to be healing rapidly as he slept, but with so many injuries he was happy for the paltry supply of healing potions in his robe pocket. He carefully raised the boy's head to dribble a healing potion down Remus' throat. Now John Lupin had one final task, he had to dispose of the bones...perhaps Remus would not remember.

 
With that grisly task completed, the reporter finally closed his eyes.

 

Several hours passed before a nearby groan broke Mr. Lupin's uneasy slumber.

 

"Welcome back, son." John Lupin peered down at Remus, as the boy's eyes slowly opened.

 

"Daddy," Remus answered, astonished at the roughness of his own voice and the odd metallic taste in his mouth.

 

"I've got some water and a healing potion for you," Mr. Lupin stated, helping the boy to sit up against a wall.

 

The sudden movement put whirling black specks in Remus' vision and started a dull throb in his head. He felt nauseous and the metallic taste in his mouth was making it worse. His stomach heaved. Remus managed to turn his head, before retching up several globs of bloody meat onto the cave floor. Mr. Lupin cleaned the boy's face with water, tearing off yet another strip of his work robe, and pushed the disgusting mess aside.

 

"Sawy Daddy," Remus mumbled faintly.

 

"Its okay, son, does your tummy feel better now?"

 

"Pwease move Daddy," the little boy answered, vomiting a second time as John Lupin wisely jumped out of the way.

 

The five-year old boy starred in a combination of disgust and fascination at the perfect human toe, complete with pedicure, his wolf-self had consumed...that was the moment foggy memories became real.

 


Father and son stared at the unmistakable evidence in silence. John Lupin sighed, all his work had been in vain.

 


The little boy's stomach heaved again, this time purely in reaction, as the tears poured down his face.

 

John Lupin tilted the tiny, blood-stained face up to meet his own.

 

"I'm a m-m-monster Daddy," Remus sobbed. "I kiwed people, ate dem, just wike da bad man sayd."

 

"You didn't kill them Remus, the werewolves…" John Lupin stuttered, realizing he could no longer class all werewolves together. "The bad werewolves killed them." He shook the boy in a desperate need to get the message across. "You were starving Remus, and…and you weren't yourself. The wolf needed meat. I had to keep you calm, to stop you from biting yourself. Those people were already dead, beyond suffering, beyond caring. If you have to blame anyone, blame Greyback for putting us here. Blame me for feeding you human meat. It was my responsibility, my fault, not yours." John Lupin was shouting now. He railed against the terrible injustice of their situation. He needed to do...something. Anything to erase this situation, he didn't even have a wand to obliviate the memories.

 


"I wanted to bite you daddy...to hurt you."

 

"But you didn't Remus, you didn't hurt me."

There was a long terrible pause in which neither father nor son could speak.  Finally the little boy wiped his eyes and tugged on his father's ragged sleave.

"Daddy?" the tiny voice,was barely a whisper.

John turned his face, exposing the tears that were briming in his own eyes. 

"Daddy...am I going to Hewl?"


"Of course, you're going to heal, Remus." He laughed weakly, could the boy be more injured then he appeared?   While the child's injuries were indeed extensive, between the healing potion and the double-edged sword of lycanthropy every wound, except those caused by silver, already looked days instead of hours old.  "You're healing already, in fact you'll find you'll heal better now...."  John reached to ruffle the boy's hair, summoning a feeble good cheer. 

"No Daddy..." The desperate, earnest little voice broke in. "Am I?," Remus paused for a moment, enunciating to the best of his ability. 

Remus looked so confused, so vulnerable, and yet so determined.  John could only wait and listen to whatever the boy found so imporant. 

The boy's voice was still that of a child, but through supreme effort Remus' words come out clearly, making him seem both younger and far older then his five years of life. It was eerie, it was heartbreaking in-and-of itself, but the worst part was the question.


"Are we going to...Hell?"

How could he answer such a thing, what could he say?  John didn't know whether to find or lose religion.  Just being a Wizard was damnation in the eyes of some.  He laughed bitterly, picturing the dance of lies involved, in even asking for forgiveness in the non-magical world of his birth.  

And to ask who in the magical world, where he existed barely on sufferage, loving magic, loving his family but the lowest on any totem pole just for being Muggleborn?

There were plattitudes aplenty for this situation.  He could tell Remus everything would be alright but it would be a lie and his son would know it in less then Twenty-Four hours.  What answer, what could he possibily say or do?  

Did this curse alone make Remus truely a dark creature?  He couldn't believe that, he didn't...and he wouldn't.  This was Remus, still Remus his insightful, sweet natured, brilliant little boy.  Could this curse really change the child that much?  Or was it just one more predjudice in a world full of them on both the Muggle and magical side?

Remus was watching, waiting for an answer.

What of their actions tonight?  Unforgiveable? The first step on an inevitable slide?  Or mearly what had to be this once?  Was he to become a keeper for his monster child, watching them both slide into increasing depravity?  He would do anything for his family, but this...this was to much.  He paced furiously, clenched fists at his side.  

John felt the tears dripping down his face and no longer cared.  He dropped down beside Remus and held the boy tightly in his arms, shaking uncontrollably with emotions he could barely name, let alone feel.

"I love you son...Merlin and Holy Father."  John Lupin's voice broke completely, tears streaming unchecked down his face and onto Remus.  Gasping for air through trembling lips, John seemed able to breathe only a single word 

"I...I...I" Over and over again he tried to complete the sentance

Remus pushed back a tiny bit, staring his father intently in the eyes.  "We owr-are de..de..de-then"

"I hope not.  I don't know.   I just...don't KNOW."

There he had said it, admitted his complete lack of answers.  The final cry echoed and echoed into the darkness.

Was he expecting a sign?  He laughed bitterly, if salvation was coming it had not yet arrived.  Maybe he had to close his eyes, wish and pray to be somewhere other then in this horrible cave...and it would all be a dream.

Maybe it was wandless magic, maybe it was the least of his prayers being answered, but there was snow on his feet and Remus in his arms.

---------------To Be Continued----------------------

If anyone was offended...I'm not writing to help people find or lose religion.  

Remember its only a story with a charactor facing these questions.  Although I'm flattered if I managed to effect you that much ;)

This chapter was originally supposed to end with the question from Remus and a a simple "I hope not" from John. Everything after that is pure, raw, and unbeta read.  Thank you to SBSL for pointing out a few typos I have now fixed.  

It also may have just changed the storyline a bit.  The next chapter may take me a little bit as what happens back on Wizard's bluff was the second chapter lost to that disk error..and some of its premise just got altered by this scene.  Spontanious writing, gotta love it...lol 

I have a question for all my readers, after the next few sections I was planning to wrap up Remus at age 5 and jump directly to 1970-1971.  Introducing Grace, James, Lily, Severus, Peter, and the Black brothers...each taking sections of the prelude to arrival at Hogwarts.  Along with a nice little section involving some very specific adults.

While I love this Remus section it wasn't even in the original outline.  Remus just kinda demanded I tell his backstory in full color rather then flashback mode...so I did.  The problem is this story was supposed to start in 1971 and cover a minimum of seven years at Hogwarts....I would like to get back there before I have a head full of grey hair ;)

How do you feel about a massive time jump?

The other option is changing the writing plan from a single novel (and perhaps a few companion stories) to a group of stories in a shared universe.

Thank you again for reading

mischief managed/vampiremouse

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