As you may have noticed - actually, I would be surprised if you hadn't noticed! He seems to appear in every one of my stories! - Remus Lupin is my all time favourite character. So, to help me write Mudblood - which I am a little stumped with at the moment... - I am going to write this one-shot novel following Remus throughout his years at Hogwarts. I hope you will enjoy reading this as much as I will enjoy writing this! :)
Nestled amongst the pine trees in a dip between two hills was a crooked white-bricked house, one that looked as if it had been taken from the pages of a storybook. A winding stone path led to its front door, weaving through the close-cut grass and slicing a way through the bursting flowerbed, full of an assortment of brightly plants that were spilling out onto the lawn.
The door looked as if it had seen better days, for it was leaning slightly to one side, a split zigzagged across one of the panes of well-scrubbed glass and the black paint was starting to peel. In fact, the whole house looked a little worse for wear. The gutters were clinging onto the three remaining brackets, a couple of slates had slid from the roof and were now lying shattered on the ground, one of the wooden pillars holding the front porch up was rotting and the chimney was stained with thick grey soot.
The inside of this old and crumbling cottage also seemed as if it had been stolen from a fairytale. The small family that lived there had no heating, instead a merry-fire that crackled away in the living room, warming the entire house. There was no telephone to been seen, but instead a grubby pot of peculiar grey powder. In the kitchen, a brush covered in soapy water was washing the dirty pots and pans all by itself. A feather-duster was dancing over the many strange ornaments that lined the mantelpiece, and in the corner came an odd, click-clacking noise as a pair of needles began to knit a scarf.
The soft breathing of the sleeping family drifted under the doors and crept down the staircase. A dark-haired man was sound asleep in bed beside a delicate woman with river of golden hair. In the room next door, a small boy lay wrapped in blankets and duvets. His eyes were closed, but he was not asleep.
The little boy was straining to hear a high-pitched noise that was being blown in through the cracks in his bedroom window. It sounded as if it was the whimpering of an animal in pain, yet it was so full of human emotion. The boy, being as curious as he was, wanted desperately to find out what it was that making such an anguished noise. As quietly as he could, careful not to wake his parents, he slipped out of bed and began to make his way down the staircase.
Fortunately, the carpet muffled his footsteps, but it was not thick enough to hide the loud groaning creak of a loose floorboard. The boy cringed as he heard his parents stirring, but it came to nothing, as they promptly fell back to sleep.
Now wary of where he placed his feet, the boy hurried silently along the corridor and quickly slipped into a pair of mud-splattered wellie boots. He pulled on his raincoat and stepped outside into the darkness of the night.
His breath came out in clouds as he followed the pitiful sounds into the forest and icy tendrils wrapped themselves around him. He shivered and pulled his jacket more tightly around him in an attempt to keep out the cold.
As he reached the edge of a clearing, now well into the heart of the forest, a sorrowful wail broke out from amongst the bracken. The blood-curdling howl raised the hairs on the back of the little boy’s neck, and he wanted nothing more than to run back to the safety of his bed, but he just couldn’t leave this thing, whatever it was, to suffer.
Fighting his way through a clump of bramble bushes, he finally emerged into the clearing. The first thing that he saw was a pair of large yellow eyes, staring out at him from the shadows. They were like pools of amber water, and the boy found himself drowning in them. They were the eyes of an experienced beast, something wise that had seen things that he should not have seen, and they were so sad and lonely...
The great grey being shifted from its spot and stepped out of the bracken, so that it was just an arms-length from the boy. Now that it was in the light of the full-moon, he could see clearly what it was. With its dog-like body and scraggily silver fur that stuck out in tufts, its slender grizzled, muzzle and sloping back, there was no mistaking this creature. It was a wolf. Yet, the boy still had his doubts. It was so big, it looked almost afraid and the way it held itself, it looked almost human.
The wolf-creature lifted its head to the moon that was showing clearly through the branches of the trees and gave another aggrieved scream.
The boy felt his heart pounding in his chest as he took a step closer to the beast. As much as he was curious, he was kind and he felt the unstoppable to need to comfort this sad, lonely creature. Somehow, he was certain that it was not going to hurt him. This animal looked different from any wolves he had seen in books or the television.
Just as his fingers brushed the wolf’s, it stopped howling and looked down at him. Its yellow eyes bore into the boys for a long while before it curled its lip to reveal razor sharp teeth, dripping with saliva.
Before the boy could move, the wolf lunged, knocking him over with a single blow. The boy desperately tried to push the creature off him, but it was so much bigger than him, so much stronger. A growl rumbled from deep within the wolf’s throat and completely helpless, all the boy could do was lie there, pinned to the cold ground, fear gripping his chest.
Leaving no time for the small boy beneath its massive paws to take his next breath, the beast swooped down and grasped his arm in his jaws, piercing his skin with his jaws and shaking him savagely. After a moment, the wolf pricked his ears and, hearing something, dropped the boy and disappeared into the undergrowth.
The boy hit a nearby bramble bush. He did not even feel the thorns as they dug into him, shredding his already ruined clothes; all he could feel was the unimaginable ache in his arm where the wolf had bitten him. Pain ran through his veins like poison.
The boy was left alone in the forest, broken and covered in blood, his agonized screams piercing the otherwise silent night.
"Mr and Mrs Lupin?" Healer Roos closed the door behind him as to make sure that the two parents did not catch a glimpse of their son before they heard the news.
The couple snapped their heads up towards the figure in the corner of the room, but the hope quickly left their eyes when they saw the surgeons grim expression.
"No luck?" Mr Lupin asked, his voice quivering.
"I'm afraid not," Healer Roos replied with a slight shake of his head. "We tried everything we could, but the poison had already spread throughout his entire body by the time you brought him here." He paused, watching sympathetically as Mrs Lupin whimpered, tears streaming down her pale and tired face. Mr Lupin gave a heavy sigh, running a hand through his dark and dishevelled hair, before sitting down to comfort his wife. Healer Roos allowed him a few moments to pat Mrs Lupin's back soothingly and then carried on.
"I really am sorry, Mrs Lupin," he continued. "You did exactly what you should have done and we did everything we could think of, but given our lack of knowledge in treating werewolf bites, it didn't work. It's unfair, but sometimes things like this just happen. Give it a couple of years and I assure you, his scars will have faded."
Mrs Lupin pulled away from her husband, and got to her feet to face Healer Roos. With her wild golden hair and her eyes blazing brown fire, she looked scarily fierce. Healer Roos, however, met her gaze calmly.
"I don't care how long it takes for his bloody scars to fade!" she shrieked. "All I care about is that my son is a werewolf!" Mr Lupin stood up and crossed the room, placing a steadying hand of her shoulder.
"Grace-" he began.
"Please calm down, Mrs Lupin," Healer Roos cut across him. "We're the best healers in the entire wizarding world. If we couldn't do anything for him; nobody could."