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Everything (expansion) - The Phantom Librarian
Spewing out too many words since November 2003
fernwithy
fernwithy
Everything (expansion)
I've been meaning to go back through some Remus stories and come up with a more coherent grouping of little stories, so I started with an expansion of "Everything," which I did for the rt_challenge last year.



Julia had been chain-smoking since they'd arrived at St. Mungo's, and John Lupin didn't have the energy left to beg her to stop before she killed herself. He didn't care what the cigarette advertisements said; he'd heard her hacking cough and he didn't believe for a second that the smoke was fortifying her health.

But it did calm her.

He would give it that.

It calmed her, and he supposed she needed that.

Her perfectly manicured fingers twitched and a length of ash fell down onto her nightgown. She shrieked and jumped to her feet, brushing it away and stomping on the dropped cigarette as if it was a snake that had jumped up and bitten her.

"Dammit," she hissed. "God damned thing." She stared at the burn hole in her nightgown and burst into tears.

John led her back to the chair and knelt down in front of her, holding her hands until the fit passed. It hadn't hit him yet. He wasn't letting it hit him yet.

A harried Healer had come out an hour ago to tell them that they'd stopped the bleeding from the tear in Remus's forearm. They'd mended the broken bone before Remus even passed out--how he had screamed when the bones moved back together!--and the scratches from the wild drag through the forest undergrowth were gone. John thought his ankle might be sprained as well from trying to stop himself on a tree branch. It must have hurt like fire, because he'd screamed again, but it had slowed Greyback, and if he hadn't done it, he'd be gone now, gone like the others, lost in the underworld, but no one was talking about what a lucky boy he was, or even how very clever he'd been.

His luck had run out long before the chase started. It was over by the time his first screams from the back garden had awakened John and Julia. The skin had broken, the flesh had torn, the curse had fallen.

Still, the Healers fought it, pretending to believe that if they could just clear it before moonset, it would somehow reverse itself, as if it were nothing more than an infection in need of lancing. John felt a wave of real love for them for that.

Julia's crying trailed off and she wiped her face irritably. Her eyes turned to John, then shifted away quickly.

He looked down. "I'm sorry, Julia."

A moment later, her hand landed in his hair, stroking lightly. "No. No, I am. I shouldn't... you didn't do anything that a sane person... it's not you... you were only defending me. You can say anything you want, and it doesn't give him the right to..." She grimaced and managed to avert another wave of tears by sheer force of will. "What bloody right does he think he has?" She reached for her purse, pulled out another cigarette, and lit it, dragging deeply. "What are we going to do, John?"

"Everything we can." She sniffed, and he touched her face. "We got him away from Greyback. We got him back. Greyback won't have him."

"What kind of life will he have?"

Her eyes met his again, and they both looked away this time, neither of them acknowledging the horrible thought that hung between them: Maybe it would have been better if--

John didn't even allow himself to finish the thought, and hated himself for letting it reside in his mind for even a moment. "I don't know," he said.

"What about school?" Julia rubbed her arms, and another bit of ash fell from her cigarette. "They're talking about appointing Albus Dumbledore headmaster at Hogwarts. He's reasonable. He said something once in Transfiguration about werewolves. Something... when someone said they should be put down... he said they shouldn't be..." She leaned forward, crying into her hands. "I argued with him! I said... oh, John, I said it might be for the best! What was I thinking? What if Remus finds out I ever said such a thing?"

"You argue with everyone about everything, at least if, as a Hogwarts student, you were anything like you were as my apprentice. By the time Remus is old enough to hear rumors about you, he'll know you well enough to know you play Devil's Advocate all the time."

Julia nodded miserably, then wiped her eyes and looked up with almost childlike stubbornness, her lower lip pushed obstinately forward. "Dumbledore will listen. I'll talk to Dumbledore as soon as the wounds heal. I'll write to him tonight, even. He'll help."

"That's a good idea."

She glared fiercely into the future, then started to tremble. "But what will he do for a job? And girls... when it's time for that, what will he do, John?"

John's mind spun helplessly. Some rational part of him said it was absurd to think about jobs and wives for his six year old son, but he had stayed up too many nights now, looking at Remus's fragile skin and high brow that turned up into a widow's peak, just as Julia's did, with fine light brown hair framing it like silken drapes. He would sit beside him and imagine the future, wonder at the great things the boy would see in his life, what miracles would come into being, what All of it had disappeared with Greyback's attack. The paths available to werewolves were dark and twisted and full of thorns.

This is your son you're thinking of, not a monster from an old storybook.

The thought seemed to come from outside of himself, though it came in his own voice. It was bracing and chastening. He forced himself out of the terrible lines of thought. "Well," he said, "I think he'll have to marry a very patient girl."

"Right."

"Because he'll forget every anniversary, and he'll have his nose stuck in a book and forget agreeing to take her out."

Julia looked at him, confused. "John..."

"You know it's true. He's exactly like you. And trust me, you require patience."

He saw a smile trying to come to her lips, fighting with her anxiety. "You know what I mean."

"Yes, I do. But he's still Remus, the same as he was yesterday. He'll want his books and that tatty old stuffed rabbit your mum gave him. He'll still spend half the day pretending to Floo out to Greenland and battle dragons."

"And helicopters," Julia added. "Mum took him to see one land, and he promptly decided that it needed fighting." She bit her lip. "John, we shouldn't have let him play those games. He might not have tried fighting with Greyback, he wouldn't have been so badly hurt..."

"If he hadn't fought, Greyback would have dragged him away. I think it was worth the broken ankle and a few cuts." John tried not to think about Remus's small, torn body, bleeding into the night grass, or of the Healers rushing to staunch the flow. They'd succeeded. The gashes were healing. Greyback had almost torn Remus's throat, but "almost" hadn't happened. "The rest of the... damage... would have been done whether he fought or not."

"I know, but..."

"He was brave, and we'll tell him how proud we are, and when he plays at being a hero, he'll know he was one." Julia was still shaky, and John decided to steer her back onto sturdier grounds. "But I'm afraid that when he goes to school, we may have to put away the Ravenclaw things. I'm afraid he may follow my mother's footsteps into"--he faked a shudder--"Gryffindor."

This earned a weak smile, then Julia became fierce again. "I will get him into school. He's been looking forward to it so."

"I'll bet you will."

"But the jobs... and the girls..."

"I don't know about jobs. That's going to be sticky. But he's a good boy. We'll keep him a good boy. Girls will fall all over him. He is my son, after all." John forced himself to preen.

Julia gave him a skeptical look. "I thought you said he was just like me."

"That's only in his unpleasant traits." He tried on a smile. It didn't stay for long. "See, he'll find some nice, quiet bookish girl..."

"Oh, no," Julia said. "He's enough like me that he'll look for some dancing fool who tells mad stories to entertain him..."

"...and she'll argue with everyone about everything..."

"...but she'll think it's appropriate to joke at very inappropriate times..."

"...and she'll go to the mat to fight for him..."

"...but she'll know all about whatever his stuffed rabbit will be then..."

John smiled and kissed her knuckles. "He'll be all right somehow. We'll make him all right."

"And the rest of the world?"

"He'll learn that it can be cruel," John said honestly. "But hopefully, he'll learn that it can be kind as well. Hopefully, there will be someone to teach him that."

Julia nodded and snubbed out her cigarette.

A door opened and a Healer came out, her green robes spattered with Remus's blood. "I'm sorry," she said. "We couldn't do anything about the curse. But he's waking up, if you want to go in. We can talk tomorrow about what you need to do next."

Julia muttered a "thank you" as she nearly flew across the corridor into the Creature-Induced Injuries ward. John stood up slowly, his knees feeling the crouch he'd been in. "Thank you," he said.

"I'm sorry we couldn't..." The Healer shook her head. "There might always be advances..."

"We'll keep an eye out for them," John said, then followed Julia to Remus's bedside.

Remus looked very small in the adult-sized bed, propped up on huge pillows. The huge gash across his chest was still visible, but the Healing spells had done their work. It was fading and would be gone by morning. The torn flesh of his forearm, almost exactly between his elbow and his wrist, was a different matter. That had been the bite, not a slash of claws. It would scar.

John leaned over his son and kissed his forehead, then brushed his hair out of his eyes. "How are you feeling?"

Remus blinked, then his eyes went very wide. "Daddy, I'm sorry! I shouldn't have gone outside!"

"We'll talk about that later," John said. "It doesn't matter tonight."

Julia was holding his uninjured hand in both of hers. "It just matters that you're all right."

"Was that a werewolf?" Remus asked. "I saw a story about--"

"We'll have a long and serious talk about that tomorrow," John said.

Remus wasn't fooled. "It was. Then I'm..." He looked back and forth between John and Julia. "I... but.. I'm..." He started to breathe rapidly, his panicked eyes darting around the ward.

Julia put a soothing hand on his forehead, her nerves fading now that she had something concrete to do. "You're a little boy who's got sick, and Mummy and Daddy will take care of you, just like always."

John sat down on the bed beside him and held him as close as he could without causing any pain. He didn't know whether he meant to comfort Remus or himself by this, but feeling his quick, steady pulse and the warmth of his skin helped everything somehow. "It's all a bit frightening," he said quietly. "But you were very brave tonight, and I know you'll keep being brave. A right proper little hero."

"Heroes fight monsters," Remus said, and turned his face away.

John tried to think of something to say to this that wouldn't be too much for Remus to understand, but Julia caught his eye and shook her head. Instead of talking, they held Remus between them for the rest of the night, neither of them sleeping or speaking until he woke up again at dawn, and they started rebuilding their life by the business of getting together some sort of breakfast. The Healers wanted to observe him for a few days, to make sure there were no lasting side effects from the attack--"Er, no other, except for, I mean..." a trainee had stammered. John and Julia were sent home by a stern old Healer who insisted that they needed to rest. They Apparated directly into their bedroom and fell deeply asleep almost immediately. John dreamed of playing knights with Remus, in his imaginary kingdom in Greenland (why he'd chosen Greenland was a mystery to both of his parents). All was going quite well until one of Remus's imaginary enemies came along and carried him off, and John couldn't find him anywhere, because he didn't know his way around the kingdom. He was still searching when the harsh afternoon sunlight woke him up.

Julia was already up, sitting at her desk in a cloud of smoke. From the bed, John could see two cigarette butts already smashed into her ashtray, and her left hand was poised over it, holding a third. Her quill was in her right hand, twisting nervously.

"I'm writing to Dumbledore," she said when she heard him move.

"You mentioned that you planned to."

She turned. Her face was pale. "Does this sound all right?" She picked up a piece of parchment. John could see that much of it had been scribbled out, re-written, and adjusted in various other ways. "Dear Professor Dumbledore," she read. "It is my understanding that you have recently been appointed headmaster at Hogwarts--" She stopped. "That's just a rumor, though. It hasn't been announced. Should I--?"

John shook his head. "It's reasonably secure knowledge."

"Right." She took a deep breath and started reading again. "I was your student thirteen years ago, and my husband, John Lupin, was your student twenty years ago. Our son was recently the victim of an attack by a werewolf." She looked up nervously, and John nodded for her to go on. She took a deep breath. "As you know, the consequence of this sort of attack is that he has fallen under the same curse. I realize that Hogwarts has not, as a policy, allowed lycanthropic students, but I know that your views on the subject are much more forward-looking. Remus is a bright, imaginative boy who has been looking forward to Hogwarts. I hope that, between us, we can find a way to help him. Sincerely, Julia Lupin." She looked up. "Do you think I should add my maiden name in parentheses, so he'll remember me?"

"It can't hurt," John said. "It's bit distant."

"I don't want him to think we're hysterical. I want him to realize that we can handle this." She took out her wand and pointed it carefully at the scribbled-upon parchment. The ink re-arranged itself into a neat, economical note. She signed her name to it, adding "MacKay" in parentheses, then folded it and sealed it with a spell. She turned to John. "Do you think he'll help?"

"I think so."

Julia nodded and went to the small cage where they kept Cicero, the post owl she'd had since she'd left school. He was getting a bit old, but could certainly still handle a single letter. She bound it to his foot, whispered, "Take this to Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts," and gave him a boost north with a flick of her wand.

Then he was gone.

They spent the next hour cleaning up, trying to look confident and presentable for Remus. Julia made some chocolate biscuits, and John gathered up several of Remus's storybooks and stuffed toys, as well as a set of clean pajamas. The old ones would have to be thrown out. They pulled all of these things together in Remus's bright blue satchel, which featured cartoon figures from The Adventures of Sir Cadogan, then Apparated back to St. Mungo's.

They didn't speak as they made their way up from the Visitors' Apparition point to the bite ward. Julia stopped outside the door. "Do I look all right? No frightening Mummy's-scared-to-death look about me?"

"You look fine. What about me? Am I set for being the stalwart patriarch?"

"You'll do." She smiled nervously and led the way in.

Remus was awake, and one of the Healers had brought him a little bed table and a box of crayons. He had drawn a tree (John guessed it was a pine, as it was a green triangle atop a little brown box) and something that was probably a bird, and he had a yellow crayon posed at the top of the page. He was frowning at it quite studiously until he noticed Julia standing beside his bed.

"Mummy!"

Julia sat down beside him and hugged him, carefully avoiding his bandages and his drawing. "Are you feeling better, now that you've had sleep? Have the Healers been in to change your bandage?"

Remus made a face. "It's very nasty when they do that. But Healer Macmillan gave me crayons!" He held up his drawing.

"What have you drawn?" John asked, settling in on his other side.

"It's a forest," Remus said, then frowned again. "It was going to be night, but if I make a moon, will it make me change?"

"Absolutely not," John said.

"Are you sure?"

"I'm sure of that much."

Remus put the crayon down on the paper, then looked up, his eyes peeking out from behind the curtain of his fringe. "Maybe you shouldn't be here, in case it does."

"It won't," Julia said. "Go ahead. You'll see."

Decisively, Remus drew a bright yellow circle and colored it in. He stared at it. "I don't feel any different," he said. "Do you think I could even look at photographs and drawings? Granny MacKay was showing me pictures from the Muggles who went to space, and I think you can see the moon in some of them..."

"We'll ask the Healers," John said. "But I think it should be all right. What have you been thinking about since we left?"

"Werewolves," Remus said simply. "I don't really want to be one."

"I know."

"That one that bit me was quite scary."

"I know that, too," John said. "But he's not there anymore."

Julia glanced at him across Remus's bed. They hadn't decided what to tell him about Fenrir Grayback yet... if they told him anything at all.

"Do I have to change every month?"

"Yes," Julia said. "They don't know how to stop that."

"Will it hurt?"

John was at a loss to answer that question. He'd never studied lycanthropy in any depth. "I'll find someone to answer questions like that for you before next month," he promised.

Julia held him close and smoothed his hair back. "Daddy brought your Sir Cadogan stories," she said, handing Remus his satchel. "Would you like to hear one?"

"I can read," Remus said, taking the satchel and looking at the cartoon, which went through a simple story of which he apparently never tired.

"Well, then," John said, "why don't you read us a story? Pick your favorite."

Remus went through the small pile of storybooks (John decided to go through the rest at home and "lose" any that involved fighting werewolves), and picked--to no one's surprise--his favorite, which he'd gone three days without re-reading. John settled in for the tale of the princess and the cracked jewel that had to be repaired by a magical frog in order to repair her kingdom. Sir Cadogan, of course, was her befuddled guide, and his sidekick--a poor boy who was a far better knight than Cadogan--found all of the clues and beat a dragon. Remus read this in his halting monotone, getting stronger as he warmed to the story, and by the time he'd finished, the subject of lycanthropy had retreated somewhat.

Three days later, the Healers let them bring Remus home with strict instructions not to scratch at his scabs. Julia returned to work, and John went back to as regular a tutoring schedule as they could handle. Remus was quite himself during the day, but every night, he woke up screaming from nightmares that were stalking him. Julia took care of him if it was early in the night, but John took care of the later dreams--he didn't have an apprentice waiting for him in the morning.

The moon began to wax, and the nightmares got worse. By the time it had grown to half size, it was impossible to hold lessons at all, because he was barely sleeping at night and spent the day in an anxious haze. John had to exercise all of his patience to make sure he actually ate his meals all the way through. Keeping them down was an entirely new battle, and Remus didn't always win it. When he went to St. Mungo's the day before moonrise, neither John nor Julia was able to get him to eat anything at all. The Healers looked askance at them until they had a try themselves, and had no more luck. Remus had, in fact, worked himself into a complete ecstasy of terror.

"It's time to go downstairs," a Healer said, at least an hour before sunset. "Come on, now."

"I don't want to! I don't want to do it!" Remus twisted his arm away from her and hid behind the bed.

John crouched down beside him. "Remus, you need to be someplace safe."

"I'll be good. I won't change. I won't."

Julia came to his other side and held out her hand. "It's not because you weren't good, Remus. You're a very good boy, but you must go downstairs now."

Remus pushed back against the wall, trying to shrink away from both of them and the bed. "I'm scared."

"I know," John said. "But you're also very brave. You can do this. And you'll be all right."

"Perhaps I can help."

John looked up. A well-dressed woman with thin blonde hair was standing at the foot of the bed, a clutch purse in her hand. She passed it to the tall man behind her and came to stand behind Julia. "Are you Remus?" she asked.

Remus didn't answer.

"Who, precisely, are you?" Julia asked.

"Elizabeth Phelan," the woman said. "I'll be transforming downstairs as well. I've been doing it for years, and I'm perfectly fine, as you can see." She smiled and spun around. John would not have classified her as "fine"--she looked weak and sickly--but she seemed, at least, to be in one piece. She nodded to Julia. "I'll make sure he's not alone. A certain old Transfiguration teacher of mine asked if I might come here to keep him company this weekend."

Julia narrowed her eyes, then looked at Remus. "Will you do as Mummy says and be good for Mrs. Phelan, just as you are when Daddy and I leave you with Mrs. Pringle to go out?"

Remus looked carefully at the newcomer, apparently decided she was safe, and rolled over to crawl out. He emerged from under the bed with a roll of dust in his hair, and John brushed it away without thinking about it, then drew Remus close to him. "Mummy and I will be right upstairs. And we love you very, very much."

Remus took another hug from Julia, then let Elizabeth Phelan lead him away. Her husband made a few vague comments, but he only stayed for twenty minutes before he disappeared in the direction of the coffee shop.

"Dumbledore sent her," Julia said. "Do you think that means he'll help? I haven't heard from him."

"If I remember Dumbledore, he's making certain everything is in place before he answers you. But I would say it means he intends to do what he can."

"Well, I--"

The conversation was cut off by a sudden, agonized scream from below.

"Remus."

John was halfway across the room before Julia cut in front of him, blocking his way. "John, you can't," she said. She flattened her back against the door that led down into the bowels of St. Mungo's. John could feel the tension in her muscles as she fought against her own urge to rip it open and run downstairs to him.

Remus screamed again, and John felt an almost irresistable urge to pick his wife up and move her aside. But he couldn't. There was nothing down there but death.

The screaming went on for an eternity, then was broken by an unearthly howl, ululating against the stones and stairs, now in counterpoint to a second one.

John and Julia looked at one another, trying not to imagine what had happened downstairs, what their quiet, creative son had become.

The noises faded to nothing, and after a long time, John felt capable of moving away from the door. He took Julia's hand and led her away, taking a seat on the hard bench across the corridor. She sat down beside him and lit a cigarette.

"How are we going to do this, John? What are we going to do?"

John thought about that awful howl, then turned his mind to Remus's storybooks and drawings and imaginary worlds. "Everything we can," he said. "And everything that counts."
26 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
kizmet_42 From: kizmet_42 Date: April 29th, 2007 02:38 am (UTC) (Link)
Spare E at the end of the last sentence.

You rip out my heart, Fern. How wonderful to see Elizabeth in there, but still...
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 02:42 am (UTC) (Link)
I wonder where that E even came from!

Thanks.
vytresna From: vytresna Date: April 29th, 2007 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
Elizabeth!! :D Awesome that you've worked her into the post-HBP-verse!

The bit where Remus is worried about pictures of the moon is as poignant as it is adorable.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 05:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I've been trying to figure out if I could get her to fit, and I figured... why not? :)
cheddartrek From: cheddartrek Date: April 29th, 2007 03:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Very good fic with several poignant scenes. Julia worrying that she has a mummy-is-scared-to-death look about her, the worry over looking at moons in pictures, and the first agonized scream from below were all written magnificently. I wonder what Remus was thinking and feeling the first time it hit him. Wow.

Kudos
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 05:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I'd guess Remus is at total panic mode. I would be, and I'm not six!

Thanks!
redlily From: redlily Date: April 29th, 2007 03:59 am (UTC) (Link)
"I'll be good. I won't change. I won't."

Oh, that's heartbreaking. Poor Remus!!
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. I was trying to imagine dealing with a little kid who thinks he can bargain with being sick.
kiwi_kimi From: kiwi_kimi Date: April 29th, 2007 04:10 am (UTC) (Link)
Very, very moving. Lovely character studies.

I noticed a couple of little typos:

boy who as been looking forward to Hogwarts
What have you been thinking about since you we left?
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 05:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops! Thanks, I'll grab those.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 29th, 2007 04:52 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh, this was really, really good. I loved it when you first posted it, and it's only gotten better. Like the rest, I was pleased to see that Elizabeth wasn't obsoleted to death. She's a very resilient character! :D

~Maryann
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 05:20 am (UTC) (Link)
Thanks--I'll be expanding a few others as I go. It'll give me something to do until July. :p
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 29th, 2007 06:18 am (UTC) (Link)
I can't wait! It'll give me something to read until July! :p
liebchen127 From: liebchen127 Date: April 29th, 2007 12:53 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yes please, do that!
dudley_doright From: dudley_doright Date: April 29th, 2007 08:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I know you've mentioned somewhere before how Remus tried to bargain with his condition, promising to be a good wolf, but it still slew me completely when I saw it.

John's reaction to the first howl... I don't have children yet, but I'm close to some and just - just brushing the idea with my imagination was too painful to go further. Very very well captured here.

He would sit beside him and imagine the future, wonder at the great things the boy would see in his life, what miracles would come into being, what All of it had disappeared with Greyback's attack.

I think you might've been looking for a third thing here?

fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 02:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heh, yes. That's what comes of wandering away from the computer for a while. I forgot I was working on that paragraph!
mcgonagalls_cat From: mcgonagalls_cat Date: April 29th, 2007 10:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Great storyline.

Canon "thwap" - "Dear Professor Dumbledore," she read. "It is my understanding that you have recently been appointed headmaster at Hogwarts--"
Dumbledore was headmaster when Tom Riddle went to Hogwarts the second time to ask for a position at Hogwarts circa 1955. While it contradicts PoA's info, since it is the most rescent AND the more detailed, it seems the better to follow.

Still, great story!
(When are you going to do PoA from Tonk's POV? I loved the little bit you shared already.)




fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 11:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I got thwapped the other way when I had him already headmaster when Remus started--I assumed it would take a few years to set these things up, but sure enough, I got, "Dumbledore started when Remus did." Since Jo is notoriously bad with numbers, I'll just pick some convenient in between time.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 29th, 2007 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
(Oh, and I'm a coward--I'm going to wait to start anything long until I know how it all comes out. ;p So, probably August 1, unless it turns out that Remus has this big revelation about how it was a bad idea to be with Tonks, who he only met a few months before OotP, and he'd really much rather marry Molly Weasley, who's left Arthur over a fight about money.)
vytresna From: vytresna Date: April 30th, 2007 03:32 am (UTC) (Link)
Urgh, you're right. Personally, I'd say the "ten years" figure in HBP is more arbitrary; it isn't so plot-relevant - as we're told we have the full line-up now, DADA teachers from that time period aren't an issue, and it means it took the Death Eaters at least fifteen years before they got really serious - but yep, it looks as though the two are utterly incompatible.

Unless the Red Hen thing about Voldemort warping the Sorting Hat is correct... hmm. Thorny.

Oh well, this is a story about Remus, let's go with the Shrieking Shack version.
prelud From: prelud Date: April 30th, 2007 01:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Poor, poor little Remus. Such a good boy.

The dialogue between his parents is so wonderfully written.

And the moment of first scream was blood-chilling.
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 30th, 2007 04:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I just got back from visiting some relatives, so little kids are fresh in my mind. I'm seeing lots of specific faces in Remus' place.

Perhaps Remus convinced himself that Elizabeth was the werewolf who'd bitten him? That sounds like something a kid might do, replacing the frightening and incomprehensible with something understandable. I remember reading about a young girl who survived a wartime massacre. Later, when she was adopted, she described her foster-father as the man who saved her life during a battle, even though there was no way it could have been him. The evidence seems to be that the person who intervened to save her would have been one of the attackers taking pity on a little girl. Rather than deal with this complex and frightening image - the person who saved her life also participated in killing people she knew and possibly even her own family - she transferred that role to someone who, to her mind, fit it better.

Oh, and, psychological speculations aside, I liked this.

Ellen
From: (Anonymous) Date: April 30th, 2007 04:12 am (UTC) (Link)
Oops. Didn't mean to double post. I tried to post, went to an error message, posted again, and saw it up twice. Mea culpa.

Ellen
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 30th, 2007 04:24 am (UTC) (Link)
That's okay; I'll just zap the second.
fernwithy From: fernwithy Date: April 30th, 2007 04:25 am (UTC) (Link)
That's an interesting psychological quirk. In Remus's case, he said that he didn't know who bit him as a child, so I guess he couldn't assume it was Elizabeth, but she could still do a mentoring sort of thing.
matril From: matril Date: April 30th, 2007 04:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
Heartbreaking. Poignantly so. I need to give my son a big hug now.
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