For the last six months Remus Lupin had been living among the werewolves who had been cast out of society trying to persuade some to come back, or at least to not follow Lord Voldemort. Needless to say it was not the most comfortable mission he could have been given and his success rate was exceptionally low. He was beginning to feel like he deserved to be there, he couldn't even succeed at a simple mission.
Today like most days Fenrir Greyback was talking to the masses, on the small stage area among the ramshackle tents, about the benefits of helping the Dark Lord. Remus always attended them, so that he could find counter arguments for all the points made, and also to see which members of the community did not attend, as potential people to talk to. Unfortunately he had to work more discretely, so as not to be noticed by Greyback and his friends.
Today Greyback was talking about how badly the ministry treated werewolves, and Remus was having quite a hard time thinking of counter-arguments.
"Remus Lupin," the voice suddenly said. "We know you are down there. Come up here."
For a second he froze, and then he slowly made his way up onto the stage, seeing and feeling all the eyes fixed on him.
"You are a registered werewolf, are you not?" Greyback said with a twisted grin on his face.
Faced with the man who was his childhood nightmare all Remus could do was nod hesitantly.
"And they marked you, didn't they? They branded you!"
"No more than you ever did Fenrir," Remus suddenly found his tongue. Greyback chuckled.
"Oh yes Remus Lupin, I remember that! Anyway, how can you ask these people to register with an organisation who will mark them, and control their lives?"
"How can you mark a child who has no idea what you are doing? How can you sign them up to a life like this, where they have no choice but to become a monster once a month? How can you talk to me about making people do things, when you bite people?"
Greyback lazily waved his hand. "But do they control you?"
"No, despite rumours, there are no yearly check-ups, no tracking through our brands, and complete anonymity as we carry our records with us in our marks."
Suddenly from behind one of his lackies Greyback produced a young boy. "I was going to keep him until the full moon, and bite him, but he can help me make my point. If I did this-" and with that he sliced the boys throat and shoved him towards Remus, who caught him carefully avoiding the blood. The boy was still alive, but in pain from the sounds of it. "-what would you do?"
"Try to get him help as quickly as possible? Beyond that, I don't really know what you mean." Remus said innocently.
Greyback sighed, and mentioned to one of his companions who stepped forwards, holding some sort of metal stick. Remus knew what it was from somewhere, but didn't have time to remember it, before there were two bangs. As one of the projectiles hit the boy in the temple, spraying blood over the man holding him, he remembered that the thing was a gun, and he knew at least five ways to combat a bullet, if only he had been quicker.
"What about now?" Greyback asked, not at all phased by the gasp from their audience.
"Now I would have to go and talk to someone at the ministry, but first of all, I am going to try to save the life of this boy." And with that Remus pulled out his wand, exploded the gun in its holders face, and apparated away.
And so it was that Molly Weasley was nearly given a heart attack by Remus Lupin walking into her kitchen, covered in blood holding a body.
"It's not all mine," Remus quickly said, at Molly's gasp. "I know I shouldn't have come here, I know its headquarters, but I couldn't think of anywhere else."
"Not at all, don't you worry-" Molly was beginning to fuss over him in her usual manner.
"Molly, who's there - oh Merlin, Remus, are you okay?" A startled Nymphadora Tonks had stuck her head into the kitchen from the sitting room.
"I'm okay Tonks, most of it's his," Remus sort of thrust the boy forwards, towards Molly. "Can you try to help him Molly, and Dora, can you get Dumbledore, I need to talk to him, and then go to the ministry. But first I need a shower I think."
In the shower Remus inspected his arm, where the second bullet had hit, and found it wasn't bleeding too badly. It could wait until after he had been to the ministry anyway. He bandaged it tightly with his wand, trying to get used to holding it again, after six months of avoiding using it, in a community where people believe you couldn't be both a werewolf and a wizard.
By the time he was re-entered the living room Dumbledore had arrived, and was talking to Tonks. When the pair looked up, he could see from her eyes that Dumbledore had told her more of the truth than he was really comfortable with; the look of pity was almost painful.
"How is he?" Remus broke the silence.
"He will survive," the headmaster said. "Molly and Poppy are with him now. And you?" Remus shrugged.
"What am I going to say then?" Remus sat down next to Tonks. "I'm not sure that hanging out with Fenrir Greyback will improve anyone's opinion of me."
"I suggest you say you know the child, you are a friend of his parents. The fact you don't yet know his name will not be a problem. You heard that he had been kidnapped by Greyback, and went to rescue him, but it went wrong."
"Good plan. Get the lie out first, then relax and tell the truth."
Tonks looked confused by this statement.
"You have trouble lying?" She asked.
"I'm an excellent liar, an occupational hazard. I was a werewolf for over thirty years before it became public knowledge. Lying through veritaserium however, is trickier, and needs to be planned."
Her brow furrowed even more. "Is that something just you can do, or is it a werewolf thing? Does the ministry know?"
"I don't know if it's just me, I never tried before I was a werewolf, and it's not exactly something I wanted to discuss with other werewolves."
After his visit to the ministry Remus returned to the Burrow, partly because he wanted to check on the boy, and partly because it was the only place he knew that vaguely felt like home right now. Molly assured him the child would be find, and sent him to bed.
'His' room was the one previously occupied by Percy, so although it had been barely touched since in the last few years, at least it was tidy. Not that that mattered too much as he was too tired to be bothered. He'd been given a hard time at the registry, mentioning Greyback at all had caused him to have to explain himself three times, to different ranking ministry workers. At some level Remus was impressed that even the normally lax werewolf registry had reacted to the threat posed by the return of Voldemort. Even if it did make his life harder.
With a sigh he peeled back the bandage on his arm, knowing that he needed to remove the lump of metal under his skin.
"Here let me help" came a voice from the door. "You never mentioned you were shot, but I guessed. I could tell you'd hurt your arm in some way, and given the boy was shot, I put two and two together." Nympadora Tonks babbled as she walked to the bed.
"I'm surprised you know what a gun, and shooting is. Lily and I did lots of research on them once, to make recommendations to the order, and eventually the auror department in case they ever came up against muggle technology. They must have taken our advice on board, although I'm very surprised."
"No, sorry, my dad's a muggle born, so I grew up on TV and movies."
"I'm not surprised, would have been too good to be true. My mother was a muggle, although I've not seen any movies for years."
"Maybe we should go and see one some time. Once this is all sorted out."
"It's a date!"
And those words snapped them out of their reverie.
"I know Remus" she said, as she quickly summoned the bullet out of his arm, making him gasp.
"Do you know why I was surprised earlier, when I thought you might have trouble lying?" she continued. "It's nothing to do with you being a werewolf, or anything like that. It's the fact that you say you don't love me, when I can see in your eyes you want to say something else. But I think you've managed to lie to yourself enough that you've started to believe it."
"I never said I don't love you, just that I can't love you."
And with that she got up and left the room.