Characters: Young Remus, Mr. and Mrs. Lupin, Fenrir Grayback
Disclaimer: They're not mine. I'm just here to play with them.
Wordcount: 1,356 thereabouts.
Summary: Fenrir always extracts revenge against those who offend him.
Notes: Unbeta'd. Any mistakes all mine. If you find anything glaring, please let me know.
Bite to Break the Skin
“I saw that man again while Remus and I were walking,” she says, her voice striving for casual as she waves her wand towards the kitchen. A moment later, his dinner plate floats through the door and lands gracefully in front of him.
“Coincidence,” he grunts as he folds his copy of the Nightly Prophet alongside of his plate. He lifts his wand and with a mumbled spell, the only window in the room shuts. Summer bugs attracted to candlelight have always been one of his greatest peeves. Sweat instantly breaks out along her forehead and at the back of her neck.
The scared feeling in the middle of her stomach festers and threatens to bubble up and she fights the urge to hurl an Unforgivable at him. “Imagine that,” she says, slashing her wand at the milk jug on the sideboard and hurling it towards the table a bit harder than meant to. The white liquid spills over the table and stains the cloth. “I’ve never seen the man before the day you nearly run him down in Diagon Alley and now I’ve seen him four times in a fortnight. I wish you had stopped to apologize…”
“Apologize! To his kind?”
“I don’t like the way he looks at us, David.”
He looks at the milk as it runs towards his plate and raises an eyebrow pointedly at her. A wave of annoyance causes even more heat to flush her skin and she says the vanishing charm through clenched teeth. “Sit down,” he says and even though sitting and being still are the last things on her mind at the moment, she obeys. Remus is alone upstairs. A quick glance at the ceiling above does not go unnoticed.
“He’s asleep,” he says as if she didn’t already know. He will never understand the almost instinctive sense of him she has, the ability to come awake at the slightest sound from the other side of the hallway. David will never understand how eternally grateful she is for her son, the void he fills so completely in her life. How could he?
He was not the one who rubbed her burgeoning belly and prayed for the small movements womb hiccups bring on the days the baby lay still inside of her for hours. She will never tell him of the nights she lay awake with the baby alongside in his bassinet, praying the same prayer over and over again.
He’ll never understand the terror she occasionally feels, wondering if one day the Gods will notice their mistake in giving her this small bundle and take him away. He’ll never know because she’ll never tell. She looks away from her husband and stares out at the black beyond the closed window, a shiver of apprehension rolling up her spine.
“You haven’t been experimenting again?”
“What?” She turns away from her reflection in the glass and the monsters running through the trees in her imagination.
“Maybe you’re just imagining how often you’ve seen him, Margie.”
And now she knows he will never forgive her desperation for a child. He’ll never forget the potion book hastily bought in Knockturn Alley. He burned it, and calls Remus ‘son’, but he’ll never forget.
Remus is scared.
He can hear them arguing through the floor. They’re trying to be quiet, but he’s not asleep and every word drifts upwards through the floorboards.
Moonlight spills through the window above his bed and the shadows become malevolent in the dark blue light. He wants to scream for Mummy, but he can’t find his voice.
The man is here. Before the light covered his bedroom floor, the man stood under the window and made growling noises and said something that sounded like ‘soon’.
The man scares Mummy when she sees him during the day, but Mummy doesn’t know he’s been beneath Remus’ bedroom window. Mummy is on the other side of the hall and Mummy can’t hear him when he growls, “come out and play little boy.” Mummy doesn’t know Remus sees him hiding in the woods while he plays in the back yard.
He doesn’t like what the man does when Mummy isn’t looking. The man shows his teeth and he runs his tongue over them and they are longer and sharper than any teeth Remus has seen before. The man makes biting motions with his mouth and Remus always tucks his head away and wants to cry.
The last time the man growled beneath his window, Remus woke up screaming. Mummy came into the room and lay down beside him and made up stories about the stars until he calmed down. She curled her body along the back of his and softly caressed his hair back until he fell asleep.
Remus wishes she could do that every night.
She’s setting the dishes to wash when there is an incredible sound of glass crashing from the front room. Wand in hand she rushes through the door and sees David on the floor in the living room, blood pooling under his head. A smell of rotten meat causes her to gag as she is violently pushed from behind head first into the doorjamb.
Darkness clouds the edge of her vision and overtakes her.
A moment, a second, an hour later she opens her eyes and the world is tilted. There is a loud booming noise coming from somewhere as she brings her hands up and struggles to push up onto her knees. She grasps the top of the dining table and pulls herself up, willing her legs to move. Once her elbows clear the top, her feet follow and as she stands, Remus screams from upstairs. “Oh Merlin,” she moans, her knees threatening to go out from beneath her again.
Furniture lies on its side throughout the house as she pushes herself from the table and attempts to run to the stairs. Something heavy crashes above and a blood curdling howl breaks through the noise in her skull.
David is lying in the same spot as before, three deep slashes bleeding across his forehead. She has no time to check if he is still breathing. Remus needs her.
She feels as if she’s running through a vat of gelatin that breaks into a million pieces as Remus screams again. Adrenaline pumps through her veins and all of the hurts are forgotten.
She will never remember her flight up the stairs. She will never remember her strength as she blasts open the door to her son’s bedroom. She will never remember the curses she hurls at the creature crouching over her small son or the smell of carrion as he turns and growls at her.
She will always remember the scream tearing her soul apart when the creature (WEREWOLF!!!) savagely bites down into the soft belly of her son. No words. No words, only adrenaline and rage and with her own howl she hurtles herself forward and into the wolf. With her hands, and with her mouth and feet, she attacks and manages to catch the creature off guard enough to knock him off her son.
In a motion she feels takes forever; she pulls the still screaming boy by his ankle and takes him into her arms. Blood is dripping from the mouth of the beast as he growls and moves to lunge forward, ready to attack both of them. Her wand is in her hand and without thought; a green stream of light ignites from the tip towards the wolf. She screams the curse as loud as she can, knowing she means it with every fiber of her being. It misses. In the space of time it takes for her to re-aim, the wolf raises its head and looks at her and dear Merlin, she knows this wolf, she KNOWS HIM and then he hurls himself from the open window, glass flying outwards.
Dropping to her knees, she wraps both of her arms around her screaming son and with the last semblance of mind, Apparates to St. Mungo’s.