Discovery and Explanations
The step from first year to second year potions was not too great, which was something that Remus was rather grateful for. Not that he was particularly awful at the subject, but it didn't come quite as naturally to him as most of the wand waving classes, and it certainly didn't come as naturally to him as it did to Lily Evans and Severus Snape, or even James and Sirius. Today's potion however was fairly straight forward, a refresher of one they had learnt last year in fact. Deep in thought Remus was gazing down at his hands, as he chopped his roots, and at Peters. At least he was confident using a knife he supposed.
Suddenly the quiet atmosphere of the classroom was shattered as Peter gave a short squeak of pain, and Remus pushed his chair back loudly. Most of the class stared at him, he had gone extremely pale suddenly, and seemed to be staring in horror at Peter's cut finger. Professor Slughorn bustled over and bandaged the small cut with a lazy swish of his wand.
"Sorry Professor," Remus blushed as he realised everyone was staring at him, "I needed to go and get more…" He turned round and fled to the ingredients cupboard without further explanation. His three friends exchanged confused glances, and shrugged. By the time Remus had finished fiddling around in the cupboard and returned to his seat, most of the class had forgotten the strange incident, but his friends he knew would want an explanation.
All too soon the lesson was over, and as the second year Gryffindors and Slytherins left the classroom, Remus was thinking about his evening; library to make a start on his homework, and then dinner. However, as he looked towards his friends, to ask if anyone was going to accompany him, he saw them exchanging glances.
"What sort of werewolf is afraid of blood?" was certainly not the question Remus had expected to come out of Sirius' mouth, and from the other two's glares, it probably wasn't what they had expected either. He froze. It had been something that Remus had been dreading hearing for the last year and a half, and he still had no idea how he should react.
"I don't know what you mean. Now I need to go to the library" and he speed off. He knew that his voice had come out as a squeak, and that his reaction was as good as admitting guilt, but he simply didn't know what else to do. He headed to the library for a while, until he realised that now that his 'friends' knew, the chances of him ever getting to hand that homework in were rather slim, so there was little point doing it. Instead, he headed into the grounds. He walked past the tree where they had all sat last summer, and down to the lake, where he paced for a while. Eventually he headed away, just wanting to walk.
As the Whomping Willow came into sight he scowled at the group of stupid students crowded round it, trying to run to the centre. It was something all the students knew happened, and half the teachers, but no one had been hurt yet to there was nothing that really could be done to stop them. Remus in particular hated it, but for different reasons. If anyone was to get hurt, it would be his fault. His scowl deepened further when he noticed three more people heading towards the tree, three people he was very familiar with. He started walking towards the tree although he had no idea why, he was out here to avoid them, and now he was going over to confront them.
Just as he reached the outside of the group, a silence fell. Looking at the tree, Remus saw a body lying on the ground, unconscious. It was Davey Gudgeon, a Hufflepuff in his year, who worked across from him in Herbology, and he was still in range of the tree.
Without thinking Remus flicked a stone at the tree with his wand, only a short hit to the knot, enough to ensure that the tree was still long enough for someone to get Davey out, but not too long that people wondered why the tree had stopped. When no one else moved to help, Remus realised he was the only one who knew the tree was safe, so he was the one who would have to drag Davey out.
Once he was out of the range of the tree, people seemed to come alive. As Remus touched the bleeding head and face to assess the injuries, someone shouted that they would run to Madame Pomfrey. His three friends approached him cautiously.
"Remus, are you okay?" Peter asked hesitantly. Remus seemed to come awake, as he looked down and realised his hands were covered in blood.
"Peter, you need to go and get Professor Dumbledore" was all Remus would say.
"But someone has already gone for Madame Pomfrey"
"Just go" James had seen the look on Remus' face. He really didn't look well, all the blood had gone from his face again, and if you looked carefully he was shaking slightly.
Dumbledore arrived first, and after quickly surveying the scene, turned to Remus.
"Are you hurt?" he asked the boy.
"No, none of its mine" was the answer, accompanied by raised bloody hands.
"Well then we'd better go", and with that the headmaster turned, gave a nod to the just arriving nurse, and strode off towards the front gates, Remus following quickly behind. The group who remained looked at each other, very confused.
Remus knew that by the time he returned after dinner, people would have decided where he had gone with the Headmaster, so he was very glad that the common room was empty as he slipped through on his way to the dormitory.
"You still shouldn't have sprung it on him like that Sirius" Remus could hear James talking through the door as he approached.
"I'm sorry, I just don't like the fact that he's been lying to us for well over a year" was the muffled reply.
"Unless he hasn't been a werewolf all this time?" At Peter's interjection Remus opened the door and walked in.
"Actually I've been a werewolf since I was four" he admitted as the other three stared at him. "Where do people think I went this afternoon?"
"Other than some strange ones about Dumbledore being your father, the most popular opinion is that you are scared of blood, and Dumbledore took you away to have a fit, or panic attack or something. What actually happened?" Sirius was never subtle.
Remus didn't really reply, although he seemed to be satisfied with that explanation. He move into the bathroom and took off his top, knowing the others would follow him. Once it was off he pointed his wand at his shoulder, the same one with the massive scar where he had been bitten many years ago. His friends were shocked, they had never seen Remus topless, and his scars, but supposed now they knew there was no point in hiding them anymore.
"Revireco" Remus mumbled, pointing at his shoulder. "Reviresco" He amended, and suddenly there was writing on his shoulder.
"Have you heard of the werewolf registry? Well these are my records" Remus began bitterly.
On his shoulder, he could see in the mirror, was three dates, one of them that day's. They were a poisonous green, but that was better, he knew, than the burning red they had been earlier that afternoon.
"The ministry decided that to keep werewolves out of trouble they needed to monitor them, and to do that they can monitor when we come into contact with human blood. You have seven non-moon chances, and no full moon chances, before they imprison you for transformations. Today when I went to the registry with Dumbledore the ink was red, and we had to explain everything to the officer before he would return it to green.
"That one" he pointed viciously at the first date "was when I got bitten. That one", the second one, "was when I was five, and my neighbour fell out of a tree. I tried to help him, and didn't understand why I suddenly felt sick. My father took me that time, although I didn't understand why. After that he explained that blood was bad for me, and if it touched me I would have to go back. Apart from my own, I've come in contact with that enough on the nights of full moons. And this one is new", today's date.
"Badizo" he muttered and the numbers faded. He stopped staring at his arm, and turned to his friends, suddenly nervous of their reaction, unsure whether he should have told them so much.
When they just stayed silent, staring at him, he sighed, walked back into the dormitory, and collapsed onto his bed. Next thing he knew not one but three people had bundled onto his bed, in a sort of hug he supposed. It was awkward, odd, and a little painful, but that was general way with his friends, and he wouldn't want it any different.
His friends had accepted his for what he was, and that was enough to make Remus smile. Even during the next few weeks, as people laughed at his fear of blood, and Slytherins flicked tomato sauce at him, the smile would not budge. He had his friends, no matter what.