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My birthday passed with little fanfare, which was just how I liked it. I let everyone have their fun in throwing me a 30th birthday party, but it seemed odd to have a party for a 31st birthday. Instead, Dillan took me out to a nice restaurant and then we went back to my flat to curl up on the couch with a bottle of wine.

“I have something for you,” he said as he reached into his robes and pulled out a box.

I took the box and untied the ribbon. It was a a small jewelry box, like the type a necklace would come in. I opened it and saw a gold necklace with two charms. One was a crescent moon and the other was a very tiny wolf.

“It's not a regular wolf. It's a werewolf,” Dillan said. “Look closely.”

I looked and he was right. The tiny differences that distinguished a wolf from a werewolf were indeed there. I smiled and he took the necklace and hung it around my neck.

“I noticed that you wear that bracelet all the time, so I thought I'd get you a matching necklace,” he said.

“Thank you, Dillan,” I said as I gave him a hug. When we broke apart I fingered my battered charm bracelet. It had seen better days and was now slightly discolored from the time I spilled aconite on it in when I was a Junior Brewer. “My parents got this for me for my fifteenth birthday, right after we moved to England. The wolf is made out of wood from my favorite tree in our old backyard in Australia.”

“That's really cool,” Dillan said. “I knew it had some sort of significant meaning.”

“Thanks for dinner and the necklace,” I said.

“I hope you enjoyed your birthday,” Dillan said and then gave me a quick kiss.

“I did,” I said. “I like doing things like this instead of huge parties. Last year I had a huge party at the Three Broomsticks, given by Victoire. Everyone was there. All the Weasleys, people from work, my parents, my uncle, Matt. The Weasleys don't do small birthdays.”

“So I've noticed,” he said with a laugh. Dillan had gone with me to Sophie's sixth birthday party at the end of September. It was so big I doubted that everyone even saw Sophie.

“Is my birthday over now?” I asked as I set down the box the necklace came in and traced my finger on his leg.

Dillan grinned. “Not yet.” He grabbed my arms and pulled me up, leading me to the bedroom. Yes, this was definitely preferable to a huge party.

***


If nervous described my feelings about last month's potion than they hadn't invented a word to describe my feelings for this month's. The nerves started as soon as I started brewing the potion and never left after that. Everyone, including Mum, Dillan, Kaden, Matt, Victoire, and Rose, told me I needed to calm down, but I didn't think it was possible.

Dillan kept his promise and took the night of the full moon off from work and it was a good thing, too, because I was a complete wreck. I was so jittery about it that I couldn't manage to Apparate to my parents' house, so Dillan had to side-along Apparate Matt while guiding me. He managed it well. Nobody so much as splinched an eyebrow.

“Amy,” he said after Matt lay down on the couch. “You've got to calm down.”

I nodded, but didn't calm down. While my parents and Dillan ate the usual full moon sandwiches I paced around the kitchen.

“Amy!” Matt called from the living room.

My heart sped up, despite my not thinking that was even possible. Matt wouldn't have to go to the basement for another half hour. What was happening? I shared a quick worrying look with my parents before rushing into the living room.

“Matt!” I exclaimed. “What's wrong?”

He looked up from the couch. “Nothing. I just need to talk to you.”

“What's up?” I asked as I sat down on the edge of the couch.

“I don't know,” he said quietly. “I feel weird.”

“Bad weird?”

“No, good weird. I can't explain it. It's almost like I'm calm. You know that weird hypersensitivity jittery nervous feeling I usually get before full moons? I don't have it. I mean, I still feel awfully ill, but just normal ill.”

I swallowed hard. “Matt, I don't want to get your hopes up, but that's what people on Wolfsbane feel before a full moon.”

Matt's eyes grew large. “Seriously?”

I nodded. “Have you ever felt like this on any of the potions I've given you?”

“No,” Matt said quietly. “Amy, do you think this could really be it?”

“It's the closest we've gotten yet,” I said.

“Don't tell Mum and Dad,” Matt said.

“No, of course not,” I said. The last thing I needed was for them to get their hopes up.

Dad popped his head into the room. “Everything okay?”

“Yeah,” Matt said.

“Okay, we'd better go down,” Dad said as he stepped into the room.

Matt nodded and got up. Dad met him halfway across the room and the two headed for the basement door.

“Good luck,” I said so quietly that Dad wouldn't be able to hear it, but Matt's hearing would pick it up.

***


Mum, Dad, and Dillan sat around the table, each clutching a mug of the tea Dillan had brewed. I paced and my thoughts raced. I paused next to the window and stared at the horizon, waiting for the moon to rise. Any second now, it would inch over the line of trees.

There it was. The moon rose. There was no howling and no growling coming from the basement. As the moon continued to rise, the basement remained quiet, as quiet as if there was no werewolf transforming in its depths.

***


Mum gasped. Dad stared into his mug, not letting his expression give away his feelings. Dillan turned to look at me. I returned to the table and tried not to cry. My heart soared and I tried to calm it down. We wouldn't know for sure until the morning and the last thing I needed was to get my hopes up once again.

“He's not howling,” Mum said. There were tears in her eyes.

“We won't know for sure until morning,” I said immediately.

“That's what I said last month and you wouldn't listen to me,” Dad said.

“It's just not a guarantee-”

“He howls every month,” Mum said. “This is it.”

The hours passed and there was still no howling. None of us heard a single sound from the basement the entire night. When the moon set and the sun rose, Dad and I jumped up from our seats and hurried to the basement. Mum followed.

Dad quickly undid all the wards and unlocked the door. He paused before opening it, but when he did, we saw a scene we'd never seen before.

Matt was sitting up against the back wall, fully clothed, and he was grinning. He looked exhausted, but he didn't have a single cut or bruise on him. None of his limbs appeared broken. For the first time in nearly twenty years, my brother escaped from a full moon virtually unscathed.

“Oh my God!” Mum shouted as she burst into tears. She rushed into the room and enveloped Matt in a hug. That confirmed the no broken bones theory.

Dad turned to me with tears in his eyes. He wrapped me in a hug and we cried tears of joy into each other's shoulders.

“You did it, Amy, you did it,” he said. “I always knew you would. I knew it ever since you were fifteen. I never doubted it. God, Amy, you're brilliant.”

“Thanks, Dad,” I said through my own tears. “I did it for him. I did it for Matt.”

“I know you did,” Dad said quietly.

Dad and I broke apart and we joined Mum and Matt in the safe room. We joined their hug and the four of us sat there, crying, for ages. It was the moment we'd been waiting for since that fateful night when Matt was five.

***


Dillan left after congratulating me, seeming to sense that I needed to just be with my family. Over breakfast, I told Mum and Dad everything about the potion and the process I took in creating it and brewing it. Matt, while feeling much better than he usually did after full moons, was still tired and went to bed. After breakfast I sent owls to Kaden, Morris, Albus, Rose, and Victoire. Shortly after noon I went upstairs to talk to Matt.

I knocked on the door before letting myself in. Matt stirred and woke up right away, which meant he hadn't been in a very deep sleep, considering he can sleep through anything.

“Hi,” I said as I sat down on the bed. “How do you feel?”

“Comparatively? Great! If this is what other werewolves feel after being on Wolfsbane then I'm more jealous than I used to be. But I am really exhausted.”

“That's normal,” I said. “I do need to ask you about last night. What do you remember?”

“Not much,” Matt said. “I felt the pull of the moon like usual and then the change came. That hurt like it usually does and I blacked out during it. I don't remember anything after that until I woke up. That's when I knew it worked. I feel achy and tired, but that's it.”

“You didn't howl at all,” I said. “I'm guessing you just slept like Sophie does.”

“Can I take this every month?” Matt asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “It'll be a while before I can market it to other werewolves, but you can take it from now on. You'll still have to get locked in the basement because there's a very slight chance this was a one-time thing. I really doubt it, though.”

“Everything's going to be different now, isn't it,” Matt mused. “I'm going to have to skip work a lot less. I worked yesterday and was fine.”

“Everything is going to be different,” I agreed. “But a good different.”

“Definitely,” Matt said.

“It's weird, though,” I said. “I've spent ten years on this and now I've done it. I mean, I'm far from done with the work because I'll need to run studies on this, but the big part is over. I've done what I've always wanted to do and that's make a potion that works for you.”

Matt nodded. “You're going to be famous now. Between this and the new strain of lycanthropy. Merlin, you'll be like the Harry Potter of lycanthropy.”

I laughed. “The Harry Potter of lycanthropy?”

“Yeah. I'm serious. You've done more for werewolves than anyone else, ever.”

I suppose he did have a point, but I didn't like to think about it that way. I'd done a lot, but there was still so much more to do, so much further to go. Lycanthropy was still there, no matter how many versions of Wolfsbane potion were created. There was a cure out there and someone was going to find it. I doubted it would be me, but someone would. But the new version of the Wolfsbane potion was a start. The world was moving forward and I'd do whatever else it took to get to the end. The cure.

I glanced over at Matt and saw that he'd fallen asleep again. Smiling to myself, I stood up and walked quietly to the door. I creaked the door open and stepped through.

“Hey, Amy?”

I turned back to Matt. His eyes were partially open. “Yeah?”

“Thank you,” he said quietly and then rolled over.

My eyes teared up as I shut the door. I'd done it. I'd really done it.


A/N: It was so bittersweet posting this! I hope you all enjoyed it. There is a short epilogue, but the main part of the story is over. Thank you so much for all the wonderful reviews!

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