“Goodbye, love.” Mary Lupin was clutching onto her son as if she was never going to see him again while her husband, Richard, gently tried to prise her fingers from the suffocating boy.

“He’ll be fine, Mary. He’s a strong boy, he’ll manage fine.” But Mary wasn’t listening to the reasoned words. Instead, now having released her son, she was gushing advice, warnings and sentiments in such a way that would make you wonder how she breathed.

“Be good now, wont you? I don’t want any owls home about any trouble making, you hear?" Mary intoned forcefully, wringing her hands unconsciously." But do make sure you write as soon as you’re sorted. You’re very lucky to get this place, sweetheart, so make the most of it. Stay away from silver, get good marks, be polite and make lots of little friends-” Remus would have been insulted by the patronising words, but he knew his mum just wanted to fill the hole she knew she’d soon be feeling. The two had never been apart for more than twenty four hours, and Remus knew he’d feel the same when he reached the school. “- and make sure you invite them over for Christmas. Be sure to leave the castle on time and just - oh!” She threw her arms around the helpless boy once more. “Have a great time!”

The poor boy looked rather overwhelmed by his mothers outburst, but had a look of grim determination set into his features as he bent to pick up his trunk. He knew why his mother was so anxious; it was the reason he himself had the dull weight of fear residing in his stomach. He shouldn’t even be here. Going to Hogwarts was like a dream come true, an opportunity he never thought he would be given.

Of course the ministry were set against it; he was no more than an animal to them. However, they had grudgingly allowed him to be educated by Dumbledore’s plan. So long as everything went alright. What if something went wrong and his secret was discovered? What if he didn’t get out in time, if he transformed on the grounds rather than the safe house? Or in the school? A school full of potential prey. The knot of fear tightened in his stomach.

Remus realised he’d been out of it for a while when his mother tapped on his shoulder, her face pale and worried.

“Remus? Are you alright, honey?” Forcing a smile onto his he gave his parents one last hug and turned in the direction of the train. Sudden, he knew, but if he stayed a moment longer he wouldn’t want to go; He’d been hoping for this chance for so long.

“Son?” He turned to see that his father had followed him the short way he had walked up the platform. “You know I’m proud of you, don’t you?” Remus felt tears well inside his eyes. This meant a lot; his father was a muggle and had only been introduced into the wizarding world when he married Mary. He still found a lot of things difficult to understand but even he knew the importance of Hogwarts. Remus threw himself into his fathers arms, tears now unwillingly streaming down his face.

“Hey, hey. It’s ok. We’ll still write and we’ll see you at Christmas with a new bunch of annoying brats that will turn our house inside out.” He felt a small giggle escape his lips and his father knelt bent down to scoop him up in a proper hug. “Come on, stop the waterworks and I won’t tell Mum her big strong boy cried. Deal?” Remus sniffled in agreement, feeling much younger than his eleven years at that moment in time. “So let’s get this trunk on board along with the best student Hogwarts will ever see, yeah?” He planted his son back on his feet and took the suitcase heading towards the steam engine.

They found an empty compartment easily, having come a good twenty minutes before it was due to leave.

“Oh the joys of being early!” His father smiled. Remus allowed himself a small smile before remembering this had been one of his grandma’s phrases. Before she left.

Glancing at his Dad he saw that the older man had also dropped his smile, but was indicating to a deserted compartment.

“Goodbye, son, and don’t forget to write, will you, or you know your mother will worry.” Remus managed a smirk at this obvious attempt to distract from the fact that his father would worry too. They both knew it was true.

“Bye, then.” Fighting back the tears again, Remus watched his father walk down the platform towards his mother, who was smiling through tears of her own.

He didn’t feel up to heaving his trunk into the overhead rack so left it on the seat; he was alone anyway. Sinking into the seat by the window, he was surprised by how soft and warm it was and how heavy his eyelids suddenly felt. It took an enormous effort for him to drag them up again after a particularly long blink to see his parents waving at him from the nearly empty platform; the only other couple were a greasy haired man and a sallow, ill looking woman with a look of haughtiness about her he didn’t much like, but he knew better than most not to judge too quickly.

His eyes shut once more and sank into the warm comfortable seat, drifting into a peaceful sleep.


“Excuse me? Excuse me?” Remus awoke to a black haired boy rapping on the door to his compartment, one glance telling him it must nearly be time to leave. The station was a crowded mass of parents and children; most smiling and laughing, some saying tearful goodbyes. Groggily, he turned back to the bespectacled boy.

“Hullo.”


The boy grinned. “Oh, good you’re awake. Sorry to wake you up but everywhere else is full and I don’t want to end up in the corridor!” The boy gave a good natured smile and, far from feeling relaxed, Remus felt the familiar sinking sensation he always felt when the chance to make new friends arose.

He used to leap at the opportunity; maybe this time it would be different. But it never was and all too soon he had retreated into himself, save for a friendly yet unwitting face such as the boy in front of him now.

“Sure.” The single word came out as a whisper. He could hardly deny this boy a seat; he would just keep his distance, it wouldn’t be too hard.

“So, I’m James Potter.” An awkward silence followed which Remus supposed he’d have to fill with his name, if only to be polite.

“Remus Lupin.” He managed a small smile and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. He glance down at his trunk. If he could just get his book-

“Tired? I stayed up most of the night packing. Should have done it ages ago, but of course I didn’t, so I bet mum will have to send loads of stuff I’ve forgotten on in the post. Once my mate turned up to stay at mine with all of his sisters stuff instead of his own! Had to wear the clothes he came in until his parents came round! Not that that would happen to me; I’m an only child, but I’ll still have left loads behind.” He paused and studied Remus for a while, who was only half listening to the monologue and rummaging inside his case for a book.

“Have you got any siblings?”

Here came that stone of dread to rest on his heart once more. Of dread, fear and loss. All his fault.

“I used to have a sister, but..” He trailed off lamely, avoiding James’s eye and wiped a stray tear angrily from his cheek.

All your fault, Remus.Oh, Lord. Now he was crying again. What was wrong with him? Usually he could just shut these feelings out; Merlin knew he’d had enough practice.

“Hey, are you alright? I didn’t mean to upset you! I was only asking.” James Potter was now positioned next to him, a tentative hand resting on his shoulder in a way Remus assumed was meant to be comforting. It just made him feel claustrophobic.

“I’m fine,” he responded quickly and shook James’ hand off him. “I’m fine.” He returned his gaze to the window, not really looking at the crowds of parents waving cheerfully to their children. He was just trying to remain in some solitude. However -

“If you even think of dishonouring the family name in any way, I’ll be writing to Aunt Warburga so quickly you wont even have been sorted.” The threatening voice was easily audible from the corridor outside, and through the crack between the compartment door and the wall a tall blonde girl could be seen, talking, for want of a better word, with a boy who seemed about their age. She was gripping his shoulders and had stooped her face close to his so as not to raise her voice too much and attract unwanted attention.

The black haired boy was nodding and glancing towards the compartment door as if he wanted nothing more than to get away from the older girl, and with the aid of a shove that made him stumble, he got his wish by falling straight through the compartment door.

“Are you ok?” James was on his feet, helping the boy up off the ground with a look of concern. “Is your sister - always like that?”


The boy dusted himself off and gave a shaky laugh. "She’s not my sister. That’s my cousin, Narcissa. And yeah, that’s pretty normal. Sirius Black; Pureblood.” He offered his hand to James, who shook it warily.

“James Potter.” Sirius Black nodded, but seemed puzzled.

“Uh, sorry, didn’t catch your blood status.” He sounded politely puzzled rather than obnoxious and Remus turned fully from the window to face him quizzically.

“I’m pureblood.” James rolled his eyes at Remus as if to say ‘there’s always some’ and he managed a small smile back. Just what he needed; more people, and a pureblood fanatic to boot.

“Oh, hello.” This Sirius Black seemed to have finally noticed his presence.

“Remus Lupin. Oh, uh - Halfblood.” Black recovered from his shocked expression quickly enough to notice the open book by his side.

“Oh. Right. Well, you can go back to your reading now.” Obviously dismissing Remus, Black turned back to James.

“So are you expecting Slytherin? My family would kill me if I wasn’t, but Ravenclaw wouldn’t be too bad.”

“Excuse me? Are we going to include Remus is this conversation?” If he was incredibly honest, he didn’t really want to be included. Better to be disregarded as a halfblood, than a werewolf. But it felt good to have someone stick up for him; a friend. (yay!)Did he want friends? Yes. Could he have friends? No, but it couldn’t do any harm to set this pureblood straight.

“He’s a mudblood,” Sirius hissed. “He wouldn’t keep up. Besides, he’d rather read.” James was sitting very still and Remus noticed his fists were clenched in his lap.

“What did you just say? What did you call him?” He hissed through gritted teeth.

“What? I don’t know what you’re on about -” He actually looked confused; he didn’t know what he had done wrong.

James was shaking slightly now, and it looked like he was using all his self control not to punch Sirius.


“Mudblood is offensive, Black," James grunted. People shouldn’t be categorised by blood, you idiot! If it wasn’t for people like you, Eloise would still -” He cut off abruptly, seeming to realise the two boys were watching him, took a deep breath and visibly relaxed. “Don’t call people Mudblood, it’s wrong.” Remus found he was slightly shaken after the outburst, but he was puzzled, and slightly angered to see Sirius was grinning.

“I thought you were eleven?” James looked perplexed.

“I am,” Sirius rolled his eyes, then started to imitate James, not in a mimicking way, but enough to make him turn a slight pink.

“People shouldn’t be categorised by blood.” Sirius mimicked.“It’s something my parents say, and they’re right. So,” his face turned serious once more. “Are you going to apologise, or find somewhere else to sit?” Remus had to admit, he didn’t like the way Sirius was looking at him; as if summing him up, when he’d rather just read, go unnoticed. He wasn’t worth all this fuss anyway; any friends he did manage to gain would only last as long as his secret, and most likely his education. He made a decision, placing his book in his bag and carefully avoiding James’s eyes.

“It’s ok, I’ll go.” But before he was even halfway out his seat, James was already blocking the door.

“No you won't. Black?”

“I’m sorry. I - uh, well you say you got that from your parents?” he turned to James, looking slightly abashed. “Well, mine always told me about blood impurity and all. If I’m honest, I’ve never really met anyone who isn’t, well, a pureblood.”




Forcefully, James led Remus back to his seat, with a firm glance. “Never? I mean, not at all?” Apparently this was as strange to James as it was to Remus.

“No, but you’re right. I think.” A few seconds of uncomfortable silence followed. “Do you two like Quidditch?” The sudden change of subject didn’t seem to bemuse James as he quickly launched into a rapid monologue about his favourite team, The Cheshire Cats.

Remus smiled as he turned back to his book. Maybe, just maybe, he could stick by James for a while. It really did feel good to have a friend.

 


 A/N Ok, I'm a terrible person, really i ma. i have no excuse for not updating, and I'm really sorry! But if you've got this far then you've read the chapter, and that makes me happy! (even happier if you review!) I will reply to every review  get, but I'm on hliday 'till the sixteenth, going to Croatia! So yeah, as soon as I get back. you've probably heard enough of my ranting for now, so bye! XX

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