Characters/Pairing(s): past Remus/Sirius and Present Remus/Tonks.
Warnings: Remus has a drinking problem during certain parts.
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Feedback: Always, I’m a comment-whore
Summary: During his time undercover with the werewolves, Remus is forced by Greyback to infect another person ... a child/teenager. He deals with it badly and packs his bags. But when the newly made werewolf is rejected by its family, Remus finds he can't leave it to fend for itself or to be raised by the main pack. When he gets back to reality, though, a certain someone isn't very happy with his decision.
Author's Notes: Set after HBP. Hogwarts is closed. Even though I am aware that Tonks’ hair changes color by her whim, I’m playing on the fact that sometimes her emotions change her hair against her will. ladybiue came up with the name Ulric Theron mentioned because she is brilliant! And of course hugs and cookies to the amazing betas that are silverkit and ladybiue
One Week Before the Full Moon
”Brother Lupin, I have a mission for you.” Fenrir Greyback stalked towards Remus. Remus swallowed hard. The approach of Fenrir always caused bile to rise in Remus’ throat.
“Yes sir, what would you have me do?”
“Brother, how many times must I tell you? I do not like being referred to as sir. Call me father.”
Remus bowed his head, a sign of supplication. “Yes father. What would you have me do, father?”
“I have recently discovered the ancestry of the most successful werewolf hunter in the history of England. His name was Ulric Theron. His name literally means 'wolf hunter.' He lived up to his name indeed. In his time he murdered a record fifty-seven of our ancestors,” Greyback paused; it was his way to offer a moment of silence when speaking of werewolves who had died.
After an appropriate silence, Remus interjected, “I know the story of Ulric Theron, father. I was also under the impression that his line had ended with him.”
“Of course you believed that. I was undertaken by that myth as well. I am sure you also knew that I have been searching for any way to reign down my lasting revenge on his line. I discovered recently that he fathered a child. The mother never told Theron about his son. It has been two centuries since that man murdered our kindred, but we shall finally have our revenge. You are the privileged member of the pack who will carry out the sentence.”
“Father?” Remus knew the order was coming. He would be given a name and a location. He would be expected to go there just before moonrise on the next full moon and turn the person, probably a child.
“Dennis Creevey. He is the youngest son of a muggle family. He and his brother are muggle-born wizards. He would be in school right now if it weren’t closed.” Greyback handed Remus a small piece of parchment with the Creevey’s address on it. He took the slip of paper; he was already forming a plan on how to warn the Creevey’s and still appear loyal to the pack. He was going home the next night in order to take his wolfsbane. He would have complete control of his senses during the coming full moon.
“Oh, and brother Lupin, you are not going home in the morning. I know you want to fuck that little shape-shifting bitch of yours and take your little house pet potions, but you will be a wolf when you meet the boy.”
Remus’ eyes went wide with fear. He knew he had lost. Greyback was going to force him to attack the Creevey boy and then he would be expelled from the pack, leaving him at the mercy of the Ministry. Assuming Remus wouldn’t just kill himself first.
The Evening Before the Full Moon
The Creevey’s lived in a small house on the outskirts of a small village. Remus was tied up in the bushes a few meters outside their lawn. He could see the two boys playing in the backyard, but they couldn’t see him. He was tied roughly and gagged; none of his bindings would survive the transformation. Remus had been chained in the caves where the pack met since he’d received his orders. It had been a week of no food and regular beatings.
Now, ten minutes from sunset, Remus’ face was tear-stained as he prayed, to whoever may be listening, that the two energetic little brown haired boys would go into their home and lock their doors. They had been out in their yard all day, both proudly wearing their Gryffindor scarves in defiance of the fall chill sweeping through the air.
Five minutes to sunset!
“Colin, I’m hungry.”
That’s right, you’re hungry go inside to eat.
“It’s a good night for a picnic, init?”
No, god why?
“Brilliant Dennis! I’ll get us some sandwiches and you go get the picnic blanket out of the shed.”
Three minutes to sunset!
Why did it have to be a Gryffindor? A student from any other house would have the good sense to run inside the house when the howling began. He had no doubt that this small Gryffindor will come out and investigate the howls as soon as they begin.
The sun set. The familiar pains began. The first howling shriek escaped Remus’ lungs. Dennis Creevey spun toward the source of the sound. There was another howl. Dennis inched slowly toward the bushes behind his house. Another howl and Remus was gone. In his place a wolf was growling. There was a bit of rope hanging loosely from his wrist and a bit of cloth stuck in his teeth. Dennis stared into the eyes of the wolf.
Neither boy nor man has any memory of the rest of the night.
The Full Moon
Dennis was holding the picnic blanket. He threw it at the wolf, confusing it for a moment. He turned and ran. He could hear the wolf behind him; he kept running. He could feel the wolf's breath; he kept running. He felt the teeth sink into his shoulder; he fell to the ground crying out at the pain.
Colin was the first to hear the disturbance. He looked out the kitchen window in time to see the wolf sink its teeth into his baby brother. He knew what was happening. His brother was being attack by a werewolf. He guessed it was Greyback; rumors were he liked children. He grabbed his grandmother's good silver out of the china cabinet and ran to the back door.
When Colin got outside, he saw that his brother was still moving, struggling against the wolf. Colin began hurtling the silver at the wolf. His aim was precise and the wolf reacted as if it were fire being thrown at him. The wolf ran off into the night. Colin picked up his brother and dragged him into their house.
Morning After The Full Moon
Dennis woke up in the hospital he was born in. His parents didn’t know what had happened and were too panicked to listen to their older son telling them to take Dennis to St. Mungos. Dennis was sore everywhere. There was a larger pain on his right shoulder; marked by a silver wolf bite shaped scar. Dennis looked around the room; his brother was sitting at the foot of the bed, eyes glistening with tears.
“What happened?” Dennis muttered.
“You were attacked. It was a werewolf. Mum and Da don’t believe me. I tried to get them to take you to St. Mungos, but they just don’t know what is going on.”
“So, I’m going to be a werewolf then?”
“Yeah… Bloody Hell Dennis, I’m so sorry.”
“It’s not your fault, Colin.”
“I’ll get you out of here. We’ll go to St. Mungos. I’ll take care of you.”
“It’s all right, Colin.”
Remus woke up in a small wood just outside a little village. The last thing he remembered was two boys going for a picnic. Anything could have happened. All he knew is that whatever happened, it was bad and it was his fault.
Remus stole some clothes off a line and tried to make his way home. He needed to find out what had happened.
Two Days Past The Full Moon
Colin never left his brother’s side. Their parents tried to make Colin come home, but he refused. There was no one in the room besides two small boys.
“You should go home, Colin,” Dennis said gently.
“Not a bloody chance!”
“Good, I’m glad you’re here.”
“I sent a letter to Professor McGonagall. Hopefully she’ll be able to help Mum and Da understand what’s happened to you.”
“Minerva, I have to talk to you!” Remus stumbled into McGonagall’s office clinging to a bottle of firewhiskey.
“Remus, I’m sorry, I don’t have time right now. I just got a letter from a student saying there has been a werewolf attack,” McGonagall snapped.
“Dennis Creevey?” Remus asked in a dejected tone.
McGonagall froze. She turned toward Remus. “No, tell me it’s not true Remus!”
“I couldn’t do anything about it. They stopped me from getting my wolfsbane. They knew I was taking it. They put me where I needed to be. They tied me up with bonds that I couldn’t break and the wolf could.” Remus was crying.
McGonagall, ever level headed, shot into action. “I have to go and make sure that Dennis gets to St. Mungos. Colin wrote and explained everything. He thinks it was Greyback. We’re going to let them keep thinking that. You are going to go home. Nymphadora has got to be going out of her mind with worry. You better not drink anymore either!”
Three Days After The Full Moon
McGonagall arrived at the Creevey residence early in the morning. She got Dennis into St. Mungos before lunch. Once Dennis was settled, McGonagall took Colin and his parents back to their home. It was time for explanations.
“So, our son, he’s dangerous?” Mrs. Creevey’s voice was shaking.
“He is dangerous for one night a month, that is it! The rest of the month he is the same boy he has always been.”
“But Colin told us that Dennis will fell the pull of the moon days in advance and be sick for days after.” Mr. Creevey tried to sound confident and failed miserably.
“Dennis will probably feel a bit sick for a day or two before the full moon. During the full moon, when a wolf isn’t allowed to run free, it turns its aggression against itself, self mutilation, that is. Dennis will need a great amount of care after each full moon.”
“Um… Professor, is there any way to keep Dennis from hurting himself during the full moon? Isn’t there a potion that helps a bit?” Colin knew the answer to this question already and was just trying to give his parents some hope.
“Yes, Colin, there is. Wolfsbane potion helps the wolf keep the human mind during a transformation. I should inform you though, that it is an extremely complicated potion. I only know a few people who can make it properly. One of whom is Severus Snape. However, the ingredients are rather expensive.”
Mr. Creevey paced around the room. Mrs. Creevey stared at her hands and whimpered. Colin sat in his chair staring out the window, figuring out what jobs he was qualified for that would get him enough money for wolfsbane potion for his little brother.
Tonks arrived at Remus’ flat early in the morning. She found Remus passed out on the sofa still clutching an empty bottle of Old Ogden’s. “Wotcher Remus! You’re alive!” She flung herself at Remus. Remus groaned and sat up. “I was worried sick.”
Remus winced at the volume and pitch of Tonks’ voice. He blinked as he watched her hair change from a grayish brown to a grayish blue. He shook his head trying to remember what emotions those colors meant. The brown was sadness; he’d seen that when he wouldn’t be with her. The gray was a fear and worry color. Blue was relief. So she was scared and worried and sad. Now she was scared and worried and relieved. He shook his head again; it was too early, and he was too hung-over, to attempt to translate Tonks’ emotional color scheme. He shook his head one more time. He realized Tonks had been talking the entire time.
“Are you all right, love? Would you like some tea?” Tonks asked sweetly.
No! “Yes,” I want another bloody bottle of firewhiskey. “Tea would be lovely.”
Tonks entered the kitchen and busied herself with the tea making. She knew something had to be dreadfully wrong for Remus to have gotten this drunk. Remus was known to have an occasional nightcap, but he wasn’t a drinker. The relief that had come over Tonks upon seeing Remus was quickly slipping away. Her hair was losing its blue hue and turning charcoal.
When the tea was made and Remus was a little more awake, Tonks began again. “What happened, love?”
Remus stared into his tea and began to cry as he told Tonks everything.
Four Days after The Full Moon
“Colin, where are you going this early in the morning?” Mrs. Creevey asked, coming out of the kitchen.
“I was going to head into London and check on Dennis, see how he’s getting on. I was going to find out when he can come home.”
“Colin, dear, Dennis isn’t coming home.”
“What! Did something happen? Did he get worse over night? I thought the healers said he was getting better. Mother, TELL ME!” Colin was bordering hysterical.
“Colin, I don’t want you going to see that creature.”
“Creature? Mum, it’s Dennis. Just Dennis. He’s the same as always.”
“No he’s not, Colin, he’s not Dennis anymore. He’s a monster, a blood thirsty monster.”
“No! He’s Dennis! He’s still my baby brother!”
“Colin, you are not to see him! Do you understand me?”
“No, I don’t understand you at all! He’s your son. How can you just forget he exists? He’s your baby.”
“That monster is not my baby. That Greyback monster killed your brother, my baby. In his place there is another terrible monster.”
“You’re wrong, Mum! If you just came with me to the hospital, you’d understand.”
“No, Colin, I am not going to the hospital and neither are you. Now go to your room!”
“Remus, what are you doing?” Tonks grabbed Remus’ wrist, her hair barely had any charcoal in it anymore. Her hair was red, not Weasley ginger, but red. She looked as if her head was on fire.
“I’m having a drink.” Remus said, voice mildly slurring.
“A drink! A drink means one, Remus! You’re no longer on A Bottle!” Remus squinted as Tonks yelled at her. Were there sparks in her hair? Remus wondered. “Stop bloody squinting at my hair! LISTEN TO ME!”
“What do you want me to hear, Tonks?” Remus looked down into his bottle.
“You should go see the boy. You need to talk to him before someone from the pack comes and collects him!”
“Don’t you think that Alastor or Minerva would be better suited to that?”
“The boy was at Hogwarts when Crouch was posing as Alastor. Dennis is petrified of the man. He respects Minerva, but like all Gryffindors, he’s got a healthy fear of Minerva.”
“I can’t face him, Dora. You don’t know what I’ve done. You can never understand. I proved I’m a monster and gave that boy a life of hell. I can’t do it.” Remus took another swig of his bottle.
Tonks sighed. “I’m trying to understand and be supportive, but you won’t let me. Is there any point in me being here?”
Remus looked down at the table. Merlin, I wish the Marauders were here, they’d understand. “Yes, Dora, I want you here. I need you here.” I doubt she’s buying this. I don’t even buy it. I need my pack!
“I’d be more convinced if you were talking to me and not the bloody table. Look me in the eyes and say that and I may not leave.”
Remus met Tonks’ eyes. She looked like she was either about to cry or scream. “I wish Sirius were here,” Remus mumbled. When Remus heard Tonks’ sharp intake of breath, he realized the alcohol in his system just killed his inner monologue. “Merlin Tonks, I didn’t mean it like that.”
“I love you, Remus Lupin! Merlin help me, I love you like I’ve never loved any other living person. Yet, right now, I can’t look at you. Stop drinking. You’re a raging arse when you drink. I’m going home. I will be back. If you’re drunk when I come back, I’m going to kick your arse.”
“Sometimes, you really are like Sirius.” Remus winced at his no longer inner thoughts. He could almost hear Tonks grinding her teeth.
One Week Before the Next Full Moon
Remus was exiting the Leaky Cauldron. On Tonks’ insistence, he’d cut back on alcohol, when he knew she’d be around. She had left that morning on a mission with Kingsley. He finished up the research Minerva had assigned him. He brought it over to Grimmauld place in time for lunch. He had a bite with some of the other Order members. He then proceeded on to the Leaky Cauldron. He arrived at about two in the afternoon. It was half past ten when he stumbled out the door carrying a bottle of Old Ogden’s in a paper bag.
He was stumbling down the street when he heard a loud clatter coming from a nearby alley.
Dennis had no where to go. He hadn’t told Professor McGonagall about the letter from his parents that said he wasn’t allowed to come home. He hadn’t been able to say a word when Professor Moody was in the room. He still kept the letter from Colin that said he’d try and find a way to make their parents understand, and if he couldn’t he’d find a place so that the Creevey brothers could be together. Until then, Dennis was a fourteen year old werewolf who was living on the streets and eating out of the dumpsters in the alleys behind the fancy muggle restaurants.
He wasn’t even sure when the full moon was and he didn’t know how he’d be able to protect himself and others on his first transformation. Professor McGonagall said she’d explained it to his parents. He was sitting in the alley that he was currently calling home. This would be his third night in it. In one hand he had a nearly empty bottle of vodka that he’d stolen. In the other he held a bottle of liquid drain cleaner, also stolen. He wasn’t sure if he was ready for suicide, he was hoping the vodka would help him decide.
Dennis stared at the two bottles and suddenly felt sick. He tried to stand up so that he wouldn’t vomit on the small bed he’d made himself. He fell over a rubbish bin, causing a loud clatter. Dennis vomited and passed out face down in the alley.
Remus turned into the alley. The lighting was bad and his vision was blurred by too much alcohol. He thought he saw a small boy lying on the ground. He hit himself with a hasty sobriety charm. It took him from utterly pissed to foggy.
He looked back into the alley; there was definitely a boy passed out on the ground. Remus jogged over and picked the boy up. He nearly dropped the boy again when he saw the face. Lying, passed out, in his arms was Dennis Creevey. The shock sobered Remus the rest of the way. He snapped into action, apparating to his small flat, leaving his firewhiskey in the street.
Dennis woke up in a bed in a small flat. His head was splitting and he was certain he was going to vomit again.
“Wotcher cutey!” Tonks walked over and sat down near the bed. “My name is Tonks. You feeling all right?”
Dennis opened his mouth, trying to answer. No words came out, but he did feel the nausea increase.
“Of course he doesn’t feel good.” Remus attempted a smile as he sat down on the other side of the bed. “I’m guessing this is your first hangover, Dennis.”
Dennis nodded. He was scared and he felt miserable. He was still incapable of speaking, so he couldn’t ask his captors any questions.
“I’m Remus Lupin. I was a Defense Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts before you got there. I taught your brother.” Dennis didn’t even look up and Remus sighed. “Here, drink this.” Remus handed Dennis a cup of what appeared to be tea. “It’s good! It’s a hangover potion. My friend Sirius made it when we were in school. I was the one who thought to mix it with tea and honey to make it taste better.”
Dennis took a few sips. It worked very quickly. A few more sips, and Dennis found his voice. “Where am I? Why am I here? How do you know who I am?”
Remus took a deep breath, cleared his throat and began. “You’re at my flat. You’re here because I found you passed out in an alley. I know who you are because I am a werewolf too. I am also a member of an organization called the Order of the Phoenix. We heard that Greyback turned someone else. Professor McGonagall told me your parents were planning on taking care of you.”
“Why did you not tell Professor McGonagall that your parents had rejected you?” Tonks asked.
Dennis shrugged and sipped his potion.
“Well, you’re staying here,” Remus stated simply. “We’re going to try talking to your parents again. I’m going to be taking care of you until they accept you and let you come home, or until Hogwarts reopens.”
“Why do you care about me?” Dennis asked, his voice was small and he was staring at his cup.
“Greyback turned me too.” Remus was looking at his hands. “I was turned when I was six. I know what it is like to be alone and scared.”
Five Days Before the Next Full moon
Dennis woke up in a comfortable bed for the second day. He had been scared yesterday. After spending the day with Remus and Tonks, he was comfortable. Remus was warm and friendly and made fabulous tea. Remus allowed him to ask anything he wanted to know about being a werewolf, and he answered truthfully. Remus had even sent a letter to Colin and told him that Dennis was there, and offered Colin an open invitation for tea. He’d contacted Ginny Weasley to be a go-between, a perfect excuse for Colin to need or want to come to London. Remus was like an uncle. Dennis felt like he may have found a home. He was about to leave the small bedroom and inquire after a cup of tea, when he heard voices. Dennis crept to the door and sat watching the argument.
“He’s not a pet, Remus! If you feel lonely, get yourself a puppy,” Moody growled at Remus.
“Piss off, Alastor. I know he’s not a bloody pet. He’s a scared kid. He’s a scared kid who’s going through something that I’ve been through. I’m trying to be helpful.” Remus snapped back.
“And he’s got me. He’s not entirely lonely.” Tonks didn’t sound as confident as she wanted.
“Tell me you’re not keeping him for redemption, Remus!” McGonagall, as always sounded strict and severe.
“Redemption? I’m unredeemable! That’s not why I’m taking care of the boy. He needs someone.” Remus seemed to be losing his steam.
Minerva took a deep breath; she trained her expression into something she hoped was soothing. “Remus, there are other people who can take care of him, people with more experience raising children.”
“He’s fourteen years old,” Remus snapped. “He’s raised! Now he just needs a friend to look after him until he can figure things out for himself.”
“We can be a family for him, Minerva!” Tonks chimed in. She tried not to visibly wince at Remus’ scoff.
“Tonks, we are not a family. You and I haven’t exactly figured out what the hell we are yet. Now we’re parents together? Dennis has parents. He has a brother. He just needs a home at the moment.”
“I’m just saying that maybe the two of you should move into my flat. I’ve got two rooms so you can stop sleeping on your lumpy sofa.”
“Tonks, we’re not going to set up house, ok. I haven’t even figured out if I’m not entirely queer. I’m just going to look after the kid, not adopt him!” Remus grimaced inwardly. What is it about members of the Black family that forced him to entirely lose all of his quiet reserve?
“Let’s have end to this. You two can settle this as soon as Minerva and I decide whether or not we’re letting him stay here,” Moody interupted.
“Remus, I just want to hear for absolute certain that you aren’t keeping him just because you turned him.”
Remus was about to answer when he was interrupted by a gasp and a thud as Dennis fell into view. “No! That’s wrong. I was bitten by Greyback not Remus! You said so. You told me it was Greyback.” Dennis was actually yelling at McGonagall. When he realized this he ran. He ran past the four shocked adults and out the door.
Remus was after him before anyone. He was ready to make a mad dash and chase him through the whole of London. He nearly tripped over the small boy on the stoop. Dennis was curled up and crying. Remus sat down next to the boy; he was contemplating the appropriateness of a hug when Dennis leaned into Remus’ body. Remus wrapped his arms gently around the boy. “I’m sorry, Dennis. I’m sorry I lied to you and let them lie to you. I am not trying to keep you here to forgive me, but I do want you to stay. It’s up to you.”
“Why?” Dennis sniffled. “Why did you do it?”
“I was forced. Greyback wouldn’t let me take the potion that lets me keep my mind when I transform. He tied me and gagged me in the bushes near your house so that I couldn’t get free but the wolf could. I tried so hard to get away and not hurt you, but there was nothing I could do.”
“No, why did you lie?”
“Professor McGonagall said it would be better; she claimed that it was Greyback’s fault and we should lay the blame on the monster that deserved it.”
“I don’t want to go somewhere else. I like it here. I didn’t realize you’d been sleeping on the couch.”
“It’s not as bad as Tonks’ made it sound. I find it quite comfortable.”
“Is it ‘cause Tonks can’t find an excuse to stay over then?” Dennis couldn’t help cracking a small smile.
“So, you heard that part of the conversation too?”
“You should be nicer to Tonks’ about that. She really likes you.”
“Wasn’t this supposed to be about me comforting you?”
“Well you should be nice to her.”
“The fact that I’m at least bi doesn’t bother you?”
“Colin was completely in love with Harry Potter. That crush actually started to fade a bit but he’s got a thing for Ron Weasley now too. He hasn’t officially told me this, but I know ‘cause I see the pictures he takes. Nothing dirty, just lots of certain people and rarely ever any girls.”
“So, it doesn’t bother you then?”
“Nope, but I really think you ought to…”
“Be nicer to Tonks. Yeah, I think I got that bit.”
“We should go back in; Professor McGonagall needs to hear that I’m staying with you.”
“She heard!” McGonagall’s voice came from the entryway. “I think Alastor and I made our decision,” McGonagall stated. “If Dennis wants to stay here, then he shall.”
“So, everyone is making a point of listening to my private conversations?”
“Thanks for sticking up for me, kiddo,” Tonks said. Dennis blushed. “I’ve got to get home. I left the wolfsbane simmering.” Tonks apparated back to her flat. McGonagall and Moody went on their ways as well shortly after. Remus and Dennis headed inside for breakfast.