I have my dinner. I have my large ice water from McDonald's. I'm sitting outside in 90 degree weather by my pool. My imagination is at the ready. Now, I think I'm prepared to write the last chapter of part one. Kind of bittersweet, isn't it?
"Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning."-Winston Churchill
Have you ever had one those naughty little thoughts appear at the back of your mind, one that you know you should never even dream of, yet it still appears? One that no matter how hard you try to suppress it, it still resurfaces and spikes your curiosity every time it does. Your morals tell this naughty little thought to go away and leave me be! But, this terrible, ugly, horribly curious thought will not go away. It nags your conscious in the day, and your subconscious at night. After a while, your mind, a battle-worn cadet, gives in to the naughty little thought, and suddenly, you find yourself asking something you never thought you would.
My naughty little thought appeared on a rainy day exactly one week before the ball. Lily, Lydia, May, and I had been getting together some final arrangements before graduation, and if I were to be honest, extremely bored. The boys had taken to entertain themselves in the mud by playing a mock game of Quidditch, a last hurrah before they would have to quit the sport entirely. Lily sat in the window, gazing down at the field with a forlorn expression, obviously thinking about her and James. May sat on her bed, dozens of pictures spread out before her. She was making an album to commemorate her Hogwarts years as a graduation present to herself, and was looking quite somber as she shifted through dozens of her and Scarlet. Lydia was taking the time to giver her bedside drawer a good cleaning. She was inspired to do this about an hour ago when she happened upon a necklace that her late father had given her on her first day of school ever. She told us she and her family had thought it had been lost until today.
I am too preoccupied with my naughty little thought to pay much attention to the other three girls in the room. I sit on my bed with my knees pulled up to my face, my chin resting on them. My eyes have a glazed look as I gaze off into nothingness, one side of me fighting the thought, and the other egging it on. It feel exactly as if I have a little devil and a little angel on each shoulder, both yelling at me and telling me what to do. The truth is, I have absolutely no idea what to do. This thought is so dangerous, with so many potential consequences that a normal human being would immediately brush it off. But me, being the free spirited and creative person that I am, didn't immediately chuck it up to nothing. I thought about it, letting it marinate in my brain before making any kind of decision.
"What's on your mind, Tonks?" May asks, interrupting the internal battle between smart and reckless.
"I'm sorry, what?"
"You look like you're thinking really hard about something," she points out, grabbing the rest of the room's attention, all eyes on me. I swallow and put on a fake smile.
"It's nothing," I lie, and the whole room relaxes. "I was just thinking about… graduation. And, uh, how excited I am for it."
"Very well then," May responds, turning her attention back to her pictures and flipping over one of her and Scarlet from first year. I sigh, relaxing my legs and letting my head drop against my headboard. That was close.
Reckless finally wins two days later. I'm exhausted by all the thinking I'd been doing, and am very much looking forward to a nap day with Remus. The full moon is only five days away and his symptoms are already kicking in, leaving him exhausted and achy.
"You're sure you want to spend a boring afternoon with me?" he asks as we enter the boy's dorm. He smiles over his shoulder at me before pulling back the blankets and sheets on his bed. I wander over to the other side, smiling slyly.
"I wouldn't have it any other way," I say coyly as I slide in between the soft, wool blanket and the silky sheets. I rest my head on his pillow as he settles himself in, immediately grabbing me and pulling my head onto his bare chest. I breath in his scent and immediately become relaxed. My eyes flutter closed and I'm lulled to sleep by the rising and falling of his chest. We stay like this for what seems like a millisecond before, once again, the thought appears, and my eyes snap open. I sigh, knowing this was my chance to get it out of my system.
"Remus?" I whisper, and his breathing becomes irregular as he wakes up. He clears his throat before answering.
"What it is, love?"
"I'm sorry to wake you-"
"Don't be sorry."
I blush against his warm skin and prop up on one elbow to meet his eyes. His head is sunk into the silk pillow beneath it, and he looks comfortable for once. I grab his hand with my free one and play with his fingers before continuing, averting his eyes.
"I have a question for you."
"A question?" he muses, his amber eyes sparkling. "What kind of question?"
"A question I know I shouldn't be asking…" I say, a hint of guilt in my voice. He pauses before answering.
"Then why are you asking?" he simply replies, and I let a smile break over my face.
"Because I can't suppress it any longer," I explain, and finally glance up to meet his eyes for a fraction of a second before I lower them again. "I don't know if I want to ask it anymore."
"It's okay, love," he says quietly, his voice soft and reassuring. "You can ask me anything."
"But what if you get mad?"
"I can't get mad at you," he smiles, reaching out and lifting my chin to meet his gaze. "Now please, ask me."
I hold his stare for a moment, our eyes locked and unspoken things passing between us. I sigh heavily and readjust myself before starting my speech slowly.
"I had a thought the other day… And I know you probably won't like what I'm about to say, but please, just listen and see it from my point of view."
I take a deep breath.
"Imagine you're me. I'm just about to graduate Hogwarts and move on with my life to become and Auror, and get married to the love of my life. The love of my life that also happens to be a werewolf."
He looks confused at this point.
"Wouldn't you be a little… unsure? You're going to have to live with your new husband for the rest of your lives together, yet you've never seen what goes on every month. It's a completely mysterious subject to you, and you have no idea about anything that goes on behind closed doors."
"Dora," he interjects, eyebrows tightly knit together. "What are you asking?"
I take another, shaky, deep breath. "I want to see you transform."
This simple statement hangs in the air like a foul odor as Remus returns my unsure stare. I sigh, breaking eye contact and going back to playing with his hand, nervous.
"It's okay if you don't want-"
"Dora, calm down," he says, chuckling at my anxiety. "I'm not mad."
"You're not?" I reply, sighing in relief. "I just thought-"
"You're rambling," he says, the cutest smirk plastered across his face.
I break a smile. "I know."
He leans over and kisses my forehead, his lips lingering there before he speaks again. "I see where you're coming from."
"But… I just don't see how that can be safe or-"
"I've thought about it!" I interrupt, the genius of my plan showing. "I can use James's invisibility cloak, and as soon as the transformation starts, I can leave. I'll be safe, Remus. I can use my head. I am going to be an Auror after all."
He considers this for a moment, weighing the options in his head. "I just don't know how anything like that can be safe."
"I'll be safe, Remus," I assure him, squeezing his hand tightly. "I really want this."
He looks into my puppy-dog eyes and sighs in defeat. "Damn you with your irresistible expressions."
I smile triumphantly, snaking my hands around his neck and laying my head on his chest. "Thank you, thank you so much, Remus."
"You know I still don't like this idea," he mutters. I chuckle playfully.
"I know you don't, and I'll respect that," I say, looking up at him through my lashes. "I'll be one hundred perfect careful. As careful as I can be. I promise."
"Alright then," he sighs, laying his head back into his pillow. "Now I'm tired. We can talk the logistics of this over later. Get some rest, Dora."
"I love you," I whisper, kissing his neck softly before finally nuzzling my head into his chest.
"Love you more."
There comes a time in your life when you finally realize that it isn't fair. Absolutely nothing is fair in life, and never will be. There will always be some opposing force behind every disappointment, every setback, and every lost opportunity. Sometimes, it seems as if some higher power is trying to target you individually, and make your life a living hell for whatever reason. Sometimes it seems unfathomable when you look at the number of bad things in a person's life, and it's even more unfathomable when it's your life.
There also comes a time in your life when you become mature enough to realize that all these misfortunes play out to help you in the end. Whether it be to make you stronger, or smarter, or to show you how to be humble, or to understand what it feels like to have absolutely nothing, you can only grow from there. It takes a special kind of maturity to reach this point, and I can tell you from experience that it's a climb. But when you reach the top, the view is amazing. Life seems more manageable, more clear, and you realize that it isn't so bad after all. Even after all the unfairness that was dealt to you, there's always a reason to smile.
For me, this realization didn't happen for many years. I lived a good part of my life moping in my misery, thinking "woe is me" just because of what happened. I hadn't finished my climb yet. I was lost, lonely, and scared on this treacherous journey where there seemed to be no beautiful things, like laughter and happiness. Now, I know that, even with this terrible misfortune, you can still pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and say "It happened for a reason, and I'm glad it did."
The last five days of our Hogwarts career zips by. Between caring for Remus, packing up the dorm for good, and helping the others prepare for the ball by going dress shopping and helping the boys pick out flowers, I was incredibly busy, and when you're busy, time just flies. I don't remember how it happened, but suddenly, we found ourselves on our last day of school. Ever.
That morning was a frantic one, filled with rushing around finding pieces of the girl's outfits, helping with hair and make-up, and helping Remus in any way I could, although there wasn't much I could do. Butterflies filled my stomach and made me uneasy over the plans for that night. We had run it over with James and the others a few nights before, and they seemed to be all for it. Although, they might have just said that because they were so blinded by anger. Apparently, Filch had finally won the seven-year long battle and caught the boys with the Marauder's Map earlier that evening, and they were plotting on how to get it back. Unfortunately, none of their "fool-proof" plans worked out, and I was starting to doubt their support of the plan.
After lunch, as I was helping Lily curl her hair, the severity of the situation finally hit me, and the others had to ask me if I was okay for I had just kind of drifted off with a glazed look, all the horrible possibilities filling my head with dread and my stomach with more butterflies. I told them I was fine and continued to aid in any way I could, although the reality was finally hitting me hard. I had to tell myself that this was definitely something I wanted a million times in my head before I convinced myself not to back out. I had to do this.
Evening arrives even faster than the past week had, and I spend it lounging with Remus on the couch and watching the other students parade around in their lovely dresses and charming tuxes. James's cloak was skillfully tucked under a cushion of the couch so no one would accidentally happen upon it. Remus slept most of the time, his face paler than I had seen it in a while. I think he was nervous about our plan, too.
"There you are!" Sirius calls, strutting over in his best robes, his hair perfectly styled, as always. "How do I look?"
"Wonderful, Sirius," I mutter, chuckling at his self-adoration. "Where's the others? Aren't you always last?"
"Usually," he says, winking at me. "They're right behind me."
"Talking about me?" James says, wrapping his arm around Sirius's shoulder in a brotherly way. "Hope it's not bad."
"It's always bad, Prongs," Sirius chuckles, taking his arm and shoving it off him. "If someone's talking about you, just assume it's bad."
"Shut it, Padfoot. I wouldn't be talking."
They start to playfully bicker as they always do, Peter hanging on the edges with a single rose in his hand, for Peter had gotten himself a date this year. She was a girl from Hufflepuff named Diana, and she was… well different. Peter was different, too, so I guess they were perfect for each other. I was just glad he finally got a date, and didn't have to go stag while all his friends had partners.
Moments later, the three girls arrive, and I can't keep the biggest smile off my face as I wake Remus. Lily comes first, bearing her most spectacular gown yet, followed by Lydia, who was going with a boy from Ravenclaw. May brings up the rear, wearing a huge, frilly pink gown and a necklace that belonged to Scarlet. When Sirius sees her, his face kind of gets sad, and he looks away really quick. I think they all looked fantastic, and I can't help but jump up and greet them with as much enthusiasm as I can muster.
"You all look amazing! Goddesses, princesses, anything like that… Wow. I'm so happy for you guys."
Lily brings it in for a group hug between us girls, then we separate after a few thank you!s. Lily saunters over to James, and he looks as though Christmas had come early. The others in the group all had to meet up with their dates down at the ball, so it was time for the have fun!s and the goodbye!s from me and Remus. We watched them walk away, so happy and excited, before we settled back down on the couch. It was then that the butterflies returned.
Two hours later, Madam Pomfrey comes to receive Remus, as always.
"Last time I'll ever have to do this, huh?" she comments as she helps him up. He nods, looking somber. After he's gained his balance, he takes a moment to grab her forearm and look her directly in the eye before muttering, "Thank you. So much. For everything. You were a life-saver." She looks very flustered and accepts the compliment with bright red cheeks.
I was told to wait until they were out of the portrait hole to dawn the cloak. Thankfully, the common room was cleared out, and I only had to wait a few seconds before I stood up and the threw the silky, watery fabric over my head. By this time, I was more than a bundle of nerves, and my hands were shaking and sweating. I take a moment to glance around the common room subconsciously, and I wish I would've known that was the last time I would ever see it.
I wait a few more seconds for good measure before I slowly creep out the portrait hole and down the corridor. When I make the first bend, I find them halfway down it, and make sure to keep a good distance between us as to not hear my footsteps.
This was the worst walk of my life for several reasons. For one, I hated having to be so quiet. Me, this loud, bubbly, enthusiastic ball of energy trying to be quiet was proving to be very difficult. My nerves also got worse on this walk, just because it took so long and I had so much time to think. My feet were sweaty, and my fingers were incessantly twitching. My heart was in my throat and my breathing was shallow and quick.
When we reach the Entrance Hall, I feel a tiny bit of relief, but I feel even better when we finally reach the Willow. It stands, looming through the darkness, this huge, wild, moving thing, and to a person who's already on edge as much as I am, the sight of it doesn't bring comfort. But the idea does, for it means the worst walk of my life was over, and I was finally about to face my fears.
I watch as Madam Pomfrey sends Remus down and wishes him a final good luck. As they're talking, I sneak over and lower myself into the tunnel behind Remus. I brush up against him to let him know I was there, and wait for their conversation to be over.
"Look at the time, Remus!" she exclaims, glancing nervously to the sky. "You better get going!"
He nods. "Again, thank you for everything."
"You're very welcome," she smiles. "I'll see you tomorrow morning."
With that, she turns and walks away. After she's out of sight, Remus whispers to me, "Follow behind me" before turning and starting down the tunnel. At first, I was really upset because it looked as though this was going to be an extension of the worst walk of my life, yet after a while, I realized I had enough on my mind to keep me from thinking those thoughts. I had to watch for roots, uneven patches of ground, and make sure I still had Remus in my sight, and before I was even mentally ready, we were at the entrance to the Shrieking Shack. Remus turns around whispers to me again.
"Please be safe, you know I have no control in this state. Please, please, love, be careful. I love you so much."
"I love you, too," I whisper back as he slips through the door and into the old house. I creep up and sit in the crack of the door, just so I can peek through. I find him sitting in the middle of the room, his eyes closed, looking as serene as could be. I'm mesmerized by this, for I know I would be a basket case knowing what was about to happen. Again, before I'm mentally ready, the full moon rises. I was really very shocked by the speed of the whole process
It's an experience I can't even begin to describe. I know the image of Remus transforming will forever be engrained in my brain, although I desperately wish it wouldn't. Watching the love of your life writhing and twisting on the floor, while making horrible half-human half-wolf noises of pain is the worst possible thing I can ever begin to describe.
My first mistake is that I shift my foot so the door swings open a little more. I'm too preoccupied on what was happening inside the house that I don't notice. My second is taking a step back to be more balanced, while, unknowingly, my foot now rests on the back of the cloak.
At the end of the transformation, I'm in total awe of the fully-grown werewolf standing in front of me. I stare blankly at the beautifully lethal creature. It canters around, tearing at furniture and at itself. I then make my third and final mistake.
I gasp. I don't mean to do it, but it slips out and I almost gasp again. The wolf's perfect hearing picks up on this, and turns it head in my direction. It looks curious, it's ears twitching as though trying to confirm it had heard something, for there was nothing there. My heart stops. I know I have to get out of there, and now. I start to stand, and that's where it all goes downhill.
The cloak slips, for it was stuck on my foot. I now stand bare and defenseless in front of a fully-grown werewolf. There isn't even enough time to register what was going on before it happens. The wolf lunges, and I make an effort to close the door with my right arm, my left gathering the cloak. Unfortunately, the wolf is too smart to let this stop him, and before I can get the door closed, I feel the sharpest pain I've ever felt in my entire life rip down my right side. I scream, and finally manage to shut the door. I grab the invisibility cloak and run like I've never ran before.
Tears fill my eyes as I sob, my vision impaired by darkness. I awkwardly run doubled over down the tunnel, occasionally tripping over a root. The burning sensation was incredible, and the pain was starting to impact my mental capacity. I saw stars, and knew I would be passing out soon, so that motivated me to run even faster because I knew I would never be safe until I got out of the tunnel.
I feel the cool night air hit my face, and relief washes over me. I know I have to get back to the castle, so I take a moment to think before I start running up the slope. Black dots start to invade my vision along with tears, and I feel light headed. I have the cloak wrapped around me so I don't loose it as I stumble from right to left up the hill, not making any progress. I start to hallucinate, James and Sirius holding the wolf on a leash to my right, their faces twisted into evil grins. I look away, and to my left, I see the wolf now closing in on my family, Aaron looking over at me and screaming that it was my fault. I cry out for the wolf to stop, but it won't… I look away again, and darkness takes my vision away completely.
Finally, with a thud, I fall to the ground. My last thought before I black out is of Remus.
So…. There it is. I don't know what to say. It's over. Well, part one is over! Weird!
How did you guys like it?! Please review! Also, if you've been here since the beginning, leave me a little comment, just to let me know. (:
Also, the name of part two is literally "I Love You More Than Myself Part Two" and this will be renamed to Part One. I have chapter one of part two posted, so go check it out!
I LOVE YOU ALL! Thanks for a great 90 chapters! (:
Ps. I got some horrible news the other day. My dad, who's 61, is starting to loose his memory. It's not Alzheimer's, thank God, but it is impacting him. It's caused by the part of his brain called the frontal lobe shrinking. He's going to be put on medication, and he's also taking disability from work. Have any of you ever dealt with anything like this before? Maybe a loved one had it? If you have, or you know anything about this condition, PLEASE leave me a comment or PM me with any details or tips you might have. I just need some comfort. My dad is SO important to me, and I'm really scared I'm going to loose him. So please, if you know ANYTHING or just want to reach out a helping hand, please contact me. It would mean the world. Thanks. (:
Did you enjoy my story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, Aria MarkijohnWrite a Review