Remus is hiding something me, from all of us. During the beginning of first year, I almost didn’t notice. I ate up his stories about how his mother was sick with a muggle disease, how he had to visit once a month during her treatment. It was unusual, but I didn’t question it. I mean, if my mother was the one that was really sick, of course I would want to visit her as often as I could. Eventually, though, I started noticing the strange little things. He would seem to get sicker as the time for his mother’s treatment came closer, and some of the teachers would give him strange looks when they thought no one was looking; some with pity, but most with distrust.
A sneaking suspicion crept into my mind: What if he was sick and not his mother? But it made no sense! If it was a wizarding disease, he would have been cured already. I’ve heard that St. Mungo’s can cure every disease, at least the serious ones. Even most Muggle diseases can be cured there. I pushed it off as Remus just being anxious about his mother. Who wouldn’t be? He also has nightmares, bad ones that leave him screaming in the middle of the night. They affect him for hours afterwards, and the really bad ones can make him act strange and jumpy for the rest of the day. What could cause nightmares that are that bad? I mean, everyone has nightmares, but waking up screaming once or twice a week is in no circumstances normal.
And then there are his scars. The school uniform doesn’t show much skin, but Remus went out of his way to avoid showing his skin. Towards the beginning of the year, I thought he was just extremely modest and shy. Some blokes are like that, you know? By Christmas, even Peter was slightly suspicious. A little after Christmas break, we got in a snowball fight, which quickly turned into a wrestling match in the snow. At one point, Remus’ robes got pushed down his shoulder, only for a few seconds. But it was long enough for us to see some of his scars. It was horrible, but it left us wondering. What caused them? They looked fresh, so they weren’t old scars. How much pain has he gone through? How many scars does he have on the rest of his body? He took one look at our faces and ran, surprisingly fast, given how small he is. He lost us fairly quickly in the twists and turns of the castle, leaving us confused and incredibly worried for him.
That evening, he came back to the dormitory and apologized for running out on us. He explained that he got in a Muggle automobile (a type of Muggle carriage that moves very quickly) accident over the summer and the scars were slow to fade. None of us believed him. Who would? If the accident was that bad, his father would have taken him to St. Mungo's, or another wizarding hospital. Besides, what scars take six months to heal?
Peter, Sirius, and I snuck out one night while he was visiting his mother to try to discuss what was going on. It wasn’t very difficult, as Filch and Mrs. Norris were off investigating Peeves’ latest “project”. We went outside to avoid a teacher or prefect stumbling upon us while we talked. The moon was very bright that night, so we ended up going down to the shore of the Black Lake. There was a lot to discuss, but none of us had any ideas. Sirius was the only one with a theory that made any sense at all. Even then, it doesn’t seem plausible. He said that Remus’ parents might be abusive. I mean, logically, it made sense... Remus goes home, and comes back with bruises and scars. I felt like that theory is wrong, though. Remus loves his parents, you can just tell.
A few days later, Sirius actually presented the theory to McGonagall. Her expression was hilarious, despite the seriousness of the situation. She nearly choked on her biscuit, then hastened to tell us that was not the issue. That shut down our only theory, but it also gave us hope. At the very least, Professor McGonagall knows Remus’ secret. If there is anything wrong, Professor McGonagall is the one person who could fix it.
However, this left us back on square one. Peter, being surprisingly direct, walked up to Remus after class and told him, point blank, that we knew that his scars didn’t come from an automobile accident and asked him where they came from. Remus looked horrified at that. He tried to give an excuse about forgetting his quill in class, and having to go back and get it. We didn’t let that happen, of course. After all, we saw him put it back in his bag. Eventually, he mumbled something about the fact that it was an automobile accident, and that he didn’t know what we were talking about. Remus may be harder to read than Hogwarts, A History, but he always has been a horrible liar.
We kept at it for a long time, hoping he’d give into peer pressure, but after a month or so, we pretty much gave up when he still wouldn’t say a thing. If Remus didn’t want to tell you something, you wouldn’t find it out, at least not from him. Sirius still asks him pointed questions now and again, hoping that he’ll accidentally let slip a clue. He never does. When we went home for the summer, something struck me as odd. His mother didn’t look sick. She looked like the epitome of health, bouncing around, fussing, and chatting. So if she isn’t sick, where does Remus go every month? I mulled over the mystery during the summer, but got no answers.
Then, this year, whatever is happening in his life got worse. His sickness near his mother’s “treatment” got worse, and he seemed really stressed out. Then the nightmares got worse, and now he barely sleeps. We begged him to go get a dreamless sleep potion from Madam Pomphrey after a particularly bad night. He refused, saying that if he took the potion every night, he wouldn’t be able to sleep without it. That scares me. Every night? I thought they were once or twice a week. How does someone hide something like that?
Now he rarely eats, talks, or does anything, even school work. For him, that’s basically the apocalypse. He just sits and stares at the wall, off in his own world, no matter what we do. And that world of his, it’s full of demons and monsters. Whatever secrets he has, whatever monsters are in his past, they are eating him alive. It’s terrifying, watching him spiral down and being able to do nothing to stop it. Even McGonagall can’t stop it. I’m afraid he’s going to do something horrible to himself if he keeps going on like this. There’s nothing we can do...
Unless we figure out his secret. If we figure it out, we can help him and get him through whatever it is. No matter what his secret is, it can not change who he is. He’s Remus Lupin: the book-lover, the smart one, the peacemaker, the chocoholic, and most importantly, our friend. One of the best friends any of us can ever have, and one of the greatest people I have ever known.
Everyone has demons, but his are worse than ours. He can’t support the weight of his secret on his own, he needs us to help him! I’m hoping to find a pattern, something to help us help him.
So now I’m left just sitting by the window of our dormitory with my thoughts circling, but going nowhere. Honestly, I’m lucky Remus isn’t here tonight, especially with how lightly he sleeps. He would realize something was up in a second. Funny how that works, isn’t it? He can’t lie at all, but can sniff out if anyone is lying from a mile away. Technically, I wouldn’t be lying, as I don’t think I could sleep even without these problems. The moon is really bright tonight... That seems important. Why? A moon won’t solve any of my problems. When was the last time we had a full moon, anyways? I don’t really notice those kinds of things, I’m not that into Astrology. A full moon... When was the last time I was outside late enough to notice a full moon? Er.... that Quidditch match we had last month! That was a bloody awful match, it went on for hours into the night. Sirius and Peter stayed for the entirety of it, loyal blokes that they are. Remus... Remus left early for one of his mysterious trips. Ooh! And the night over Christmas break that Peter Sirius, and I snuck out! He’s gone every full moon...
Then he has to be-no! He can’t be! Werewolves are evil, they’re monsters, they’re not human, they’re practically the opposite of everything Remus stands for. Dumbledore wouldn’t stand for it, parents wouldn’t stand for it, it’s not safe! And the Remus I know isn’t a monster. But... it makes sense. Nothing else does. Could Remus have lied to us? But Remus can't lie! And he's not evil. If there's one thing I know for certain, Remus isn't evil. But everything I have learned says that werewolves are the most despicable creatures in the known world. This doesn't make sense, doesn't add up! But the symptoms fit. Alright, I need to think rationally about this, and do some research. I mean, people said that all members of Black family are malevolent snobs, and Sirius is living proof that that is false. Every werewolf can't be evil.Standing up, I dug through my trunk, trying to find my invisibility cloak. Y'know, I never thought I would use it for anything other than our brilliant schemes. Once I found it, I stood up and left the dorm room. The Fat Lady was half asleep, so she barely registered me leaving the common room. Normally, it's child's play avoiding the patrols that make sure students are in bed. Normally, it wouldn't even matter if I got caught, after all, the upperclassmen are too used to us sneaking about to care anymore. But tonight, I'm too distracted to avoid the prefects and the ghosts. I don't have time to get caught.
I have work to do.