Disclaimer; I don't own the wizarding world of Harry Potter or any of the characters in it. I wish I did. But I don't.
Here's chapter Twelve! Bit of a sad one.
Hope you enjoy it!
It was soon time for those who were going home for Christmas to board the Hogwarts express and leave the school. They all made their way down to Hogsmeade station where the train was waiting ready for them to board.
James, Sirius and Peter were going home for Christmas whilst Remus had to stay at Hogwarts. Unfortunately, the full moon fell two days before Christmas eve. James, Sirius and Peter had said goodbye to Remus and left for the train which they were now getting on.
They pulled their trunks the length of one of the carriages until they found an empty compartment. They deposited them on the luggage racks overhead and flopped into the seats. Sirius took out a pack of exploding snap cards from his pocket and threw them across to James. James caught them and then threw them back to Sirius who returned the shot.
The compartment door opened and Lily walked in. None of the boys noticed as she was very quiet.
'You do realise that that's a pack of cards and not a ball right?' she said causing Sirius to drop the pack of cards. The moment they hit the floor, they started exploding. The three boys immediately picked up their feet and tucked them onto the seats. Lily too, jumped onto the seats to protect her feet from being stung by the cards.
'Ah man Evans!' Sirius whined, 'That was my last pack!'
'Well if that's what you do with them I'm not surprised!' Lily laughed sitting down on the seat properly. 'You don't mind me sitting here with you guys do you?' she asked, suddenly aware that she may have invaded some kind of private sanctum.
'No, no!' James said quickly, smiling at Lily kindly.
'Thanks!' Lily replied gratefully, 'Hestia isn't going home.'
'What about you're other two friends?' Sirius asked, 'Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee?'
'Padfoot!' James said kicking Sirius in the shin.
'OW!' Sirius said rubbing his leg, 'Well it's true!'
'Subtlety isn't your strong point is it?' Lily asked Sirius with a sideways head tilt and curious eyes.
'Well it is true!' Sirius said stubbornly. He looked over to James who was looking at him as if he was a little bit crazy. Sirius sighed and rolled his eyes before deciding to back up what he had said. 'Tweedle-dum. That Prewett girl. Doesn't have the slightest clue that Frank in our year is crazy over her.'
Lily looked gob smacked. 'Really?' she said in surprise, 'Frank?!'
'Not finished!' Sirius said holding his hand up to Lily to stop her from talking. He continued. 'Tweedle-dee. Vance. Bases most of her decisions on divination, the most stupid, pointless and, as McGonagall says, imprecise branch of magic going. Also, she spouts out random bits of nonsense about embracing the cold.'
'Ok. So Emmeline's a little quirky but you can't blame Alice for not knowing about Frank!' Lily said to Sirius, 'I mean, he's not exactly given her any hints!'
'He offered her his scarf when she was cold!' Sirius said getting agitated.
'That doesn't mean anything.' Lily said shaking her head. She didn't notice James closing his eyes and hanging his head, just hoping she wouldn't realise that he had done the same thing as Frank. Luckily, she didn't.
The journey went by quickly. It consisted of James, Sirius and Lily trying to build a playing card tower out of the burnt exploding snap cards. Peter didn't join in, scared of being singed, and just decided to watch. They all talked about their Christmas plans and expressed wishes of what they hoped to receive. James wished for a new broom, Sirius wanted a miniature Quidditch set, Peter wanted a remembrall and Lily wanted some new books. They also talked about small traditions carried out by their families every year. Peters family didn't have any traditions. Lily's family would tie ribbons around candy canes and give them to all of their neighbours. And James' family would just have a family dinner and say one thing they had achieved that year. Sirius had no family traditions as he had run away from his home and was now living with the Potters. He would take part in their traditions.
'Isn't it cramped in your home now you've got another person living there?' she asked James, not knowing how rich his family was and that they lived in a huge mansion built on a hundred and fifty acre lot of land.
'It not as confined as you might think.' Sirius laughed whilst James said, 'We make do with what we've got.'
They all focused on the positive aspects of the Christmas holidays and didn't let their worries interfere with the last few hours they had with their friends before they left for their homes. They couldn't keep their fears at bay forever though, and for some of them, those fears would shortly be a very big part of their realities.
Back at Hogwarts, Remus was trying to enjoy his last few hours before he would be smuggled down to the shrieking shack to undergo the painful transformation of becoming a werewolf. He sat in his empty dormitory reading a book and trying to push the thought out of his head. He just couldn't shake it however and decided to take a walk.
He exited the Gryffindor common room and just wandered freely around the halls. He soon ran into some fifth year Hufflepuff girls who pestered him to find out if Sirius Black was single. Remus shook them off eventually after telling them that he was in a very committed relationship with his reflection. He kept strolling silently around the almost empty school thinking about all the offers his friends had received over the years. Sirius would always jump at the chance to go out with a pretty girl but after a week would go by, he would move on to someone else. Peter had never been asked out. James had been asked out more times than Sirius but always declined and rejected the girls which truly liked him and even those who didn't and were just after his money. He got a lot of those so it made it hard for him to know who liked him for him. Remus suspected that James had never actually been out with a girl. Actually, he knew James hadn't been out with anyone because he had pinned all his hopes that maybe one day, Lily Evans would like him back and finally agree to go out with him. Remus admired his faith and hope, although he did have to wonder if his best friend was wasting his time. But hopefully his patience would pay off one day. As for Remus, he had been asked out by a few girls but, like James, always turned them down. (Sirius was always there to comfort them however!) Remus turned down girls for a different reason than James though. James turned them down because he had hope in another. Remus turned them down because he believed he was a monster. No matter what his friends had told him, he still believed it to be true and wouldn't allow himself to fall for anyone in case he ever hurt them. He believed he was dangerous and would only disappoint people. He thought it was better to reject them then to allow them to love a monster.
Remus carried on drifting through the halls, passing various students who had stayed behind for the Christmas holidays. He smiled and nodded at the few that he knew and even to those who he didn't. He was quite a popular boy and many people liked him. That's what you got for being a marauder.
He looked at his watch and sighed. There was only an hour left before he had to go into the whomping willow tunnel. He headed outside to get their early and sat by the black lake. It was very cold outside and it had begun to snow. This time it was settling and Remus had an inkling that they might have a white Christmas this year. He smiled to himself and picked up a rock which lay near his feet. He skimmed it across the lake and searched for another one. He kept skimming stones until he was tapped on the shoulder by madam Pomfrey, alerting him that it was time to go.
She led him to the whomping willow and immobilised the tree with a wave of her wand. Remus thanked her and entered the tunnel. He turned around to see it close, leaving him in complete darkness. He couldn't light his wand as he didn't have it with him. He could break it if he did. So he made his way down the steep tunnel in the pitch black. Soon the tunnel began to rise and Remus found himself in the dimly lit room of the shrieking shack. He looked around and saw the remnants of some furniture he had broken during the many times he had been left in this shack. He only wished his friends were there with him.
At the beginning of their fifth year, James, Sirius and Peter had become illegal Animagi for Remus. James had mastered the task first after working on it for the whole of fourth year and the summer holidays. He was the best at transfiguration. Sirius completed his transformation shortly after, with James' help. Peter was the one who took the longest but had succeeded just after Christmas in their fifth year. He had to have James constantly tutor him on the specifics of the change for him to finally get it. But after all their hard work, Remus' three friends had finally mastered what he had thought near impossible. James had become a stag, Sirius a dog, and Peter a rat; Prongs, Padfoot and Wormtail.
After they had become Animagi, they had spent nearly all of Remus' transformations with him. Their presence helped him retain some of his human sanity. They helped him curb his wolf instincts. Soon after they had started spending the full moons with him, Remus had started to enjoy the full moons. He came back with fewer injuries and was content in his friends company. In fact, when they were with him, he barely remembered that he was a werewolf at all. When they had been doing it for a while, he had also stopped thinking about the risks he posed to their safety, wellbeing and health, and started to focus on what their next adventure would be. Leaving the shack and roaming the forbidden forest or the empty streets of Hogsmeade or even the hills and the caves that surrounded the village and the woods beyond them. He had a good time.
He couldn't always shake the feeling of guilt; guilt for betraying Dumbledore's trust in him, guilt for letting his friends break the law, and guilt for putting everyone in danger. He did however, manage to suppress that feeling a lot of the time. When his friends weren't there though, his guilt rose to the surface and he took it out on himself.
Remus could feel the time coming nearer and he braced himself. He could feel it happening. His hands became paw-like with long claws extending out from them. His eyes turned mustard yellow, his face became wolfish with a long snout and razor-sharp teeth. His human ears retracted in and wolf ears grew from the top of his head, poised and listening for human blood. His spine lengthened and became hunched, tearing his clothes. His knees buckled and he landed on all fours, his legs doing the same as his arms. As his transformation completed itself, he howled into the night signifying the arrival of the werewolf. Remus had become Moony.
It was late when the train finally pulled into the station at kings cross. The students got off the train and stepped out on to platform nine and three quarters to find their families waiting for them.
Lily was helped with her trunk by James who passed it to her off of the train. They said good bye and wished each other a merry Christmas before they parted ways.
Lily saw her mother and father waiting for her near the entrance to the platform. She made her way over to them and embraced them in a hug.
'Who was that boy?' her father asked suspiciously, looking over to where James was now saying good-bye to Peter.
'Oh, that's just James Potter.' Lily said casually.
'Potter?' her father repeated with a strange look on his face, 'The same Potter who you call an arrogant toe-rag every time you come home?'
'That's the one!' Lily laughed, 'We're sort of all friends now…'
'Oh well that's lovely dear!' her mother said pointedly to her husband before he could say anything more on the subject. 'We've got the car ready outside. Let's go.'
Lily's father took one more look in James direction before picking up Lily's trunk and following his wife and daughter out of the station.
James and Sirius had just finished saying goodbye to Peter when the house elf who served the Potter family appeared with a crack. Her eyes were filled to the brim with tears and she couldn't look James directly in the eyes.
'Linda?' James said quietly, 'what's wrong?' he continued, knowing the answer but hoping it wasn't true.
Sirius put a hand on James shoulder for support as he also knew what Linda was about to say.
'I is so sorry master James. But I has some bad news.' Linda couldn't finish her sentence. She burst into tears on the spot and caused everyone still on the platform to look at the crying house elf.
James gulped and closed his eyes tight. 'When?' he whispered to Linda.
Linda swallowed a few of her sobs long enough to squeak out, 'This morning.'
James nodded silently, no tears escaping his eyes and running down his cheek. 'Guess we've got a Hawaiian luau to plan then.' he tried to joke sadly to Sirius who nodded with a sad smile. He, unlike James, was allowing silent tears to trickle down his cheeks.
'No sense in standing here crying though.' James continued, as he took Linda's hand.
Her big sad eyes looked into James'. His eyes said that he was devastated but he had a small supportive smile looking down on Linda. She nodded and grabbed Sirius' hand as well. The boys grabbed their trunks and Linda disapparated back to James home; the Potter mansion.
Severus was sat at his desk in his dormitory in the green glow of the Slytherin lanterns. He was scribbling in the margins of his potions book, his writing getting smaller and smaller. His pen suddenly slipped as he heard a wolfs howl scream into the night. He knew who the source of the noise was and the thought of it made him mad. It was a secret which he had sworn not to tell but in the end, to stop the one person he cared about from being hurt, had had too…
'You have news for me?' Voldemort said to the masked death eater who sat on his right hand side. He had his snake wrapped around his neck and was stroking her as if she were a pet cat or a dog.
'Yes my lord.' the death eater said, eying the snake cautiously. 'We have placed the assistant to the minister under the imperius curse, my lord. We shall now be fed information from inside the ministry my lord.'
'Excellent work Lestrange!' Voldemort replied with a truly evil look in his eyes. 'You.' he said suddenly pointing at Avery who was sat next to Severus, 'You have a list for me, do you not?'
'Yes my lord!' Avery said with his head bowed. He pulled out a folded piece of parchment from the insides of his robes and placed it on the table in front of himself.
Voldemort waved his wand and the piece of parchment flew into his hands. He unfolded it and read the list. 'And you are certain that these are all the mudbloods currently in residence at Hogwarts?'
'Yes my lord.' Avery mumbled respectively.
'Good.' Voldemort said, 'You may stay.'
'Enough of this!' came a voice from the corner, 'When will I know who I am to call? Which is the boy?'
'Patience Greyback!' Voldemort shouted in a commanding voice. What was about thirty death eaters fell into pure silence and hung their heads. They were all seated around a long rectangular table in a grand room with oak beams and marbled floors. It caused Voldemort's voice to echo and reverberate around the room.
'But which is the werewolf boy I am meant to persuade?' Fenrir Greyback asked walking forwards and out of the shadows. 'Who is he?' Fenrir had an uncomfortably hungry look on his face.
'He will tell us!' Voldemort smiled maliciously, pointing a long bony finger towards Severus who gulped. The moment had come. He thought about what could happen if Voldemort read his mind to retrieve the information. What if he didn't stop there? What if he were to delve deeper into Severus mind. What if he discovered the feelings that Severus was secretly harbouring. He thought about Lily. Surely, saving her life was worth breaking his word to Dumbledore? He decided it was.
'He is a Gryffindor.' Severus started.
'We know that!' a woman hissed from near Voldemort.
'Patience.' Voldemort said, silencing the woman, 'The boy is just trying to be dramatic, I'm sure.'
'Yes my lord.' the woman whispered adoringly before all the attention was once again focused on Severus.
Severus kept his eyes on the table in front of him, not daring to make eye contact with Voldemort. He had read that eye contact was key in performing legilimency.
'My lord.' Severus began again, 'His name is Remus Lupin, most his transformations are taking place in Hogsmeade's shrieking shack. He is a half-blood.'
'I remember him.' Fenrir said evilly, 'I turned him. His father gave me trouble. He will be easy to call! He will respond to my call. He has known no other.' Fenrir grinned showing a collection of horrible yellow teeth.
'Excellent.' Voldemort said.
Severus wished that Remus would stop howling so that he would be able to stop reliving the moment when he broke his word to Dumbledore. With every howl he heard he also remembered the time his life was put in danger by the imbeciles in Gryffindor. Why people always liked that house the best he had no idea. Even Lily, who, when they were children, he had constantly told how horrible the house was, seemed to love being one of them. How, when they were all obnoxious idiots, had they won his Lily?
He took a deep breath and clenched his fist before banging it down on the desk he was sat at. At the force of Severus fist one of the drawers in the desk opened. He looked at his dormitory door to make sure no-one was coming in before he opened the drawer and looked at what he knew was inside.
It was a pile of letters that Lily had sent him over the years. He couldn't bear to part with them. They were his most prized possessions. She was the only one who had ever really cared for him. His father was a drunk and a sleaze-bag who loved to make Severus' life miserable. When he wasn't making Severus' life miserable, he was making Severus mothers life even worse. She always forgave him though. She claimed it was because, if she left, her son and herself would have no-where to turn, but Severus knew it was because she loved him. Even after everything he had done to her and to her son, it didn't matter in her eyes because she loved him. And for that, Severus would never forgive his mother. She had subjected him to a life and a home he hated and she never cared what she had done. This was why he wasn't at home for Christmas.
Severus took out the letters and ran a soft hand over Lily's hand writing. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath savouring the feel of the parchment beneath his hands. It didn't bring Lily back to him, but it did bring her closer. He could see her clearly in his mind. Her long dark red hair which shone when it caught the light. Her soft rosy cheeks and smiling lips. And lastly, Severus could see her bright, emerald green eyes. She was a vision.
He placed the letters back into the drawer of his desk, closed it and magically locked it, ensuring no-one but he could open it. This way, none of the other Slytherin's, and none of the other death eaters, could find them. His greatest fear was putting Lily's life in danger because of his love. But he couldn't stop loving her. It was impossible.
He decided to write her a Christmas letter. He didn't believe it would be a big deal because that's what you did at this time of year. You write letters to everyone you know, old friends that you haven't spoken to in a while, and you wish them a merry Christmas and a happy new year. It was the polite thing to do.
He took out a piece of parchment and a quill and tried to start his letter. He wanted it to give off a certain vibe. One that would show that he accepted that she had moved on and that didn't put across his feelings to her. A neutral letter if you will. He started many times before finally being happy with what he had written.
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a happy new year. Hoping that you receive all you want and achieve what you wish. Giving my greetings to your family at this happy time.
Have a good Christmas
In truth, he hated what he had written. It sounded so corporate. But, it was the best he could do in the current circumstances. He rolled up the parchment and scraped back his chair, heading to the Owlery to post his letter.
James and Sirius had arrived back at Potter mansion with Linda a few hours ago. The place looked familiar but felt very foreign and the happy disposition the mansion used to exude had been replaced by a sad and mournful atmosphere.
They were currently in James' father's grand study, not saying a word to each other, but silently mulling over the death of Mr Potter.
James had no idea what he was feeling. He was sad because his father had just died. He felt as if a small part of him, the traits that he and his father had shared, had died too. It was the only thing that connected him and his father as they weren't that close in reality. On the other hand, he was proud to have had a dad like his and even though they had almost never spent much time with each other after he had started Hogwarts, he was glad he had had the father he did.
James looked around his dad's office which was plastered, wall to wall with achievement awards, certificates and declarations of honour for being one of the top auror's in the business. He smiled to himself and breathed deeply.
He was getting bored of the silence and suddenly stood up announcing, 'I am going to look awful in a grass skirt.'
Sirius smiled up at James. He was glad to see that he was dealing with the situation. He was becoming very uncomfortable. What do you say to someone who has just lost their dad? Especially when that person was your best friend and he and his dad weren't that close anymore and your best friend didn't cry or let his emotions show. He settled for acting as normal as possible.
'With those scrawny legs and knobbly knees who wouldn't?' Sirius said also standing up.
James pushed Sirius in a brotherly fashion before walking out of the office. He closed the door behind Sirius and they began to cross the house to the kitchen. They went through the entrance hall, two dining areas, a ball room and three sitting rooms before finally reaching the kitchen. The mansion was very big and it took almost ten minutes to cross.
'Ooh pie!' Sirius said upon entering the kitchen.
James looked expecting to see Linda baking the pie but got the surprise of his life when he saw his mum standing with a pie in her hands.
'It's coconut!' Mrs Potter said sniffing sadly and placing the pie down on the counter. 'For your luau.'
And from that moment on, James knew that everything would be all right.
The next morning, Lily woke up wondering where she was. It took her a moment to realise she was in her room at home. The walls were wallpapered with a soft green paper which had lilies climbing up them. Her mother had chosen the wallpaper when Lily was a young girl because she thought that it would bring out Lily's eyes. She was right and Lily had grown to love her room.
It was a large room but still the smallest bedroom in the three bedroomed house. She had three tall maple oak bookcases across the back room one of which was completely dedicated to her magic books, the other two were muggle books she had collected over the years; ones which she had bought herself, ones which were given to her and ones which she had inherited like the classics.
She had a window on one of the walls. He bed was pressed against this wall. It was a single bed. She wanted a larger bed because she moved around a lot during her sleep but at the same time, there was something comforting about the confines of a single bed. Still, she moved around a lot. She would start off with her head on the pillow at the top of the bed and end up with it discarded onto the floor. She never slept in one spot and comfortably. She had tried but she could never figure out why she couldn't sleep peacefully. It was like something was missing.
Next to her bed was a small bedside table with a small electric lamp on top of it. Next to her lamp, the only other thing on her bedside table was a picture of her and her sister Petunia when they were younger. In the picture, Petunia was nine and Lily was seven. They were at the beach where they used to take family holidays all the time. Lily loved these holidays as she loved the beach, but Petunia, as she grew older, started to hate the beach so they stopped going. But Lily still held onto the memory.
She had other pictures in her room. They were all in frames, stood on her maple oak chest of drawers. She had pictures of her parents and all her friends; ones from primary school and ones from Hogwarts.
Next to her chest of drawers was her wardrobe. It too was maple oak but it wasn't decorated with memories and photos. Instead, there were notes and charts adorning the wardrobe doors from when Lily was planning what to do in sixth year. There were pro/con lists on each subject which she was thinking of taking. There were lists of jobs and what subjects she would need for each and every one of them. This method is what she always used to make her decisions. She liked to analyse things.
Lily yawned and swung her legs out of bed. She had woken up with her head on her pillow which was an achievement for her. The downside was her pillow was at the foot of her bed. She scrunched her toes and felt the furry rug under her feet. She stood up and yawned before crossing to her chest of drawers and dragging out an old pair of jeans and a top and pulling them on. Then she pulled them off again because she realised she had forgotten to take off her pyjamas. When she was dressed properly she went down stairs to get some breakfast.
'Hello love!' her mother said as she stood over the stove to check on the eggs which were boiling.
'What's wrong?' Lily immediately said. Her mother only made her favourite breakfast when she wanted something or when something was wrong.
'Does something have to be wrong for me to make my daughter-?'
'Just tell her!' her father said turning the page in his newspaper. He was sat at his usual place at the table in the kitchen. He had a plate of uneaten toast in front of him and a half-drunken class of fresh orange juice.
'Don't tell me what to do Richard!' Lily's mother said sternly pointing the blunt knife she was using to butter some toast 'soldiers', (to go with Lily's boiled egg), at her husband.
'Sorry dear.' Richard said sliding down in his chair to avoid his wife's eyes.
'Tell me what?' Lily said becoming impatient.
'Well sweetie,' her mother began, 'Do you remember your sister's boyfriend, Vernon? Well he's spending Christmas with us this year. Isn't that nice?'
'Depends on how you would define nice…' Lily said folding her arms and giving her mother a suspicious look. There had to be more to this then she was letting on.
'Yes well…' her mother began before trying to change the subject, 'Your breakfast is ready sweetie. Here we go, on the table, in your usual spot, just the way you like it-'
'Heather…' Richard said to his wife, still reading his paper.
'I'm getting there Richard! Give me a minute!' Heather said shrilly, 'Anyway,' she continued breathing deeply and smiling at Lily a little creepily, 'Well, it's just, Lily sweetheart, she hasn't…told him-'
'That I'm a witch.' Lily finished for her mother. She sighed and tilted her head in defeat.
'Well…' Heather smiled shakily before her expression dropped, 'Yes. And she would like it if you didn't mention anything to do with magic or do any magic.'
'That was one time!' Lily said with an unbelieving laugh, 'I turned a cup into a rat, one time! I was excited to show my sister, what I was learning!'
'I know dear, but-'
'Does she not remember that five minutes after I did that, I got a letter warning me not to do it again!' Lily continued, interrupting her mother and becoming a little irate. 'How is it that she doesn't remember that?' Lily threw her hands into the air and flopping down into her seat to the left of her father. She picked up her spoon and started tapping the shell of her boiled egg with it to get the top off.
'Just please don't mention magic sweetheart?' her mother asked with a small pleading smile.
Lily didn't answer her mother but instead picked up a toast 'soldier' and dipped it into her boiled egg which she had now got the top off. The yolk was runny and ran over the side of the shell. She ate her boiled egg in silence if a little moodily because she was being told to hide who she was for the sake of her sister, (who hated her), and her boyfriend.
Petunia had been with her boyfriend for three years, since she was sixteen. She was nineteen now and she still hadn't told him about Lily. Lily was sure that she hadn't even told him about her at all and, if she had, she would have made up some stupid story to explain why Lily wasn't at home during the school year.
Lily suddenly thought of something. 'What am I meant to do about the presents from my friends?' she asked her Mum who was now starting the washing up.
'Do you think you could open them upstairs please, sweetie?' Heather asked her daughter whilst scrubbing the pan she had used to cook Lily's egg in.
Lily sighed and got up. She made her way upstairs only to find her way blocked by her older sister.
Petunia was a tall girl who was so unpleasantly thin, you could see all of her bones and the veins in her neck. She looked ill most of the time even though she was a perfectly healthy young girl. She had thin blonde hair and glazed, muggy blue eyes which looked like the life had been sucked right out of them. Her cheeks were sallow and her face had the look of someone who had just been slapped. She wrinkled her nose upon seeing Lily, as if she smelt bad. And when she spoke to Lily, you could hear the clear disdain in her voice.
'Whilst Vernon is here, I don't want you to do any of your freaky business!' Petunia sneered, 'I've told him you go to a school for girls with behavioural problems.'
'You could have just told him the truth!' Lily said looking up at her sister who was standing on the step above her.
'And tell him what?!' Petunia whispered fiercely, bending down and levelling her face with Lily's, 'That you're a freak! I don't think so!'
'You're going to have to tell him sooner or later!' Lily replied not wavering under Petunia's loathsome glare.
'Well I choose later!' Petunia snarled at Lily before pushing past her on the stairs. She turned back to her younger sister to say one last thing, 'And if you dare say anything about your freak school, your freak friends or anything to do with your freakiness!If you do any freaky stuff, you'll be sorry! Very Sorry!' And with that she stormed away leaving Lily on the stairs shaking her head.
Lily walked up the hallway to her bedroom and closed the door, muttering to herself as she went. 'When I turn seventeen, then I'll show her some 'freakiness'. Only a few weeks to go.'
She walked over to her trunk, which she still hadn't unpacked, picked it up and heaved it onto her bed. She undid the clasp on it and threw open the lid to reveal a tangled mess of presents, clothes and books, which had been jumbled during her long journey.
Lily picked out the presents and laid them on her bed near the pillow. She then emptied the rest of her trunk and put her clothes and books in her chest of drawers and bookcases respectively. After she had finished she shoved her now empty trunk under her bed and turned back to the presents which were on her bed. She stood staring at them for a moment before deciding, as she wasn't allowed to open them downstairs on Christmas day with the rest of her presents, she thought she might as well open them now. She had always been impatient with Christmas presents. Too excited to wait to see what was underneath the wrapping paper but she had always managed to hold on till Christmas day. But seen as she couldn't open them with the rest of her presents, why wait?
She grabbed the present from Hestia first. It was neatly wrapped but Lily suspected that Hestia had had it wrapped in the shop where she had bought it from. She did every year because Hestia hated wrapping presents unlike Lily who actually quite enjoyed it. Lily shook the present by her ear. She couldn't identify the sound it was making so, without any further hesitation, she ripped the wrapping paper off and threw it on the floor leaving Hestia's present in her hands. It was a hand carved wooden box. Lily opened it and saw that it was designed to hold potion ingredients. There were small compartments to hold various items. In one of these sections were a set of instructions. Lily picked them up and saw that if you were to tap the right corner of the box, it would expand and reveal more layers of compartments including a bottom layer which held six empty glass vials ready to be filled up with samples of potions. Lily thought this was an excellent gift but it didn't feel like one Hestia would give her. Something was missing. Then she saw some labels on the potion vials; one said love potion, the next said smartness potion, then waking up potion, lucky potion and lastly, a sleeping potion. Lily shook her head. This was Hestia's 'subtle' way of asking Lily to make potions that did all of that for her.
Lily put down Hestia's present with a smile. She then picked up the next present on her small pile and looked at the label. It was a present from Alice and Emmeline. Lily didn't bother to shake the present by her ear. Her impatience got the better of her and she tore the wrapping paper off. They had bought her three boxes of her favourite Honeydukes sweets. They knew Lily had a sweet tooth so they had bought very large boxes of exploding bon-bon's. Lily smiled and immediately opened one of the boxes and threw a bon-bon into her mouth. She bit into it and felt the bon-bon fizz in her mouth before it began to pop or 'explode'. She waited and swallowed before experiencing the delicious after taste.
Putting down Alice and Emmeline's present she picked up the smallest present on her pile and saw that it was from Mary. She smiled and thought that it was very nice of Mary to get her a small something for Christmas. She opened it and saw another box of exploding bon-bon's. She smiled. Her sweet tooth would be satisfied for quite a while now that she had four boxes of her favourite sweets!
There were two presents left on Lily's pillow. They were both badly wrapped in odd shapes leaving no clue as to what was inside them. Lily realised that these must have been the presents that the marauders had bought her. She grabbed the one nearest to her. It was a quite heavy. Intrigue set into Lily's mind and she ripped the wrapping paper away to reveal a book. After thinking how on earth someone could wrap up a square book so that it resembled an unrecognisable shape, she looked at the title of the book. It was a book of new and unique charms. Lily had seen this book on sale in Hogsmeade the time she had snuck out of detention with James. She had pointed it out and James had obviously remembered and he and his friends had pitched in and bought it for her. Lily smiled at her first present from the marauders. She then put it down onto the pile of her opened presents and reached for her last. This too was badly wrapped into an unrecognisable shape but turned out to be a box. The box contained a set of rare potion ingredients set which also included a book of unusual potions using the ingredients.
Lily smiled and felt really happy with the presents she had received. The only thing she wasn't happy about was the fact that she was unable to open her presents downstairs on Christmas morning with her parents watching her. She didn't usually like to wait to open her presents but when she was told that she couldn't, she began to want to wait. She wanted to open her presents on Christmas morning with her family surrounding her, the Christmas tree all decorated and the smell of the slowly roasting turkey coming from the kitchen. The ambiance of Christmas had been taken away from her and she didn't like it. If only her sister would accept her, she wouldn't be feeling this way. It was Christmas after all.
Birds were chirping. It was morning after the third and final night of the full moon. Remus rolled over to discover a broken chair lying on its side next to. It looked as though it had been through the mill; the wood was splintering and there was a giant chunk missing from the leg of the chair. Remus sighed and closed his eyes tightly. If the chair was in that bad of a state after being attacked by him, he hated to think what he looked like. He had always resorted to taking his pent up werewolf anger on himself after getting bored of beating up the furniture. Remus looked down at his torso and opened his eyes slowly. He had a large gash across his stomach which was still bleeding and sure to leave a scar. His arm had bite marks all the way down it which didn't look too deep or serious but his hand was contorted at a strange angle and he could see part of his knuckle peeping out from under his pale white flesh.
These were minor injuries as far as Remus' maladies went. The night before, Remus' knee cap had somehow dropped down to his ankle and his femur was sticking out where his knee cap should have been. These kinds of things were always happening to Remus during this time of the month and he had kind of gotten used to the pain. That was the sad truth about being a werewolf. You got used to pain. And loneliness.
Remus had only ever found one cure for his injuries and loneliness. Well, three cures. His best friends in their Animagus forms. He had found that, when James, Sirius and Peter were with him, he had had fewer serious injuries. He was also in the good company of the three most important people in his life, besides his parents. And the nights and full moons Remus spent with them, were the best of his life. Unfortunately for Remus, his friends had all gone home for Christmas leaving Remus all on his own.
He sighed and stood up carefully. When he was stood up straight he suddenly doubled over, the pain from the gash in his stomach finally catching up with him. Remus took a slow staggering breath before attempting to stand up again. He looked around for something to cover his wound with so that it wouldn't get dirt in it when he climbed up the tunnel that led to the Hogwarts grounds via the whomping willow. Remus saw a moth-eaten, faded red blanket thrown over the headboard of the four-poster bed that was in the shrieking shack. So Remus stumbled over to it and picked it up, tying it tightly around his waist to stop the bleeding, or, at least, delay it.
Breathing patchy breaths, Remus made his way to the sloping tunnel and began to climb. The pain from his stomach had started to cease because Remus had tried to put it out of his mind, but sometimes the pain would come out in waves every time he tripped over a small rock or clump of dirt in the passage.
He made it out of the tunnel to find Madam Pomfrey waiting for him as usual. Remus smiled at her in pain and stepped out from the tunnel. His foot crunched and Remus was sure it wasn't him. He looked down and laughed a little unbelievably. He walked a little further out of the tunnel so that he was now at the edge of the perimeter of the whomping willow. Remus smiled and looked around at the trees, the ground and the lake. They were all covered in a thick, white blanket. Remus smiled to himself. It had happened for the first time since he had been at Hogwarts; a white Christmas.
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The next update will be on 10/12/12