The Sugar Quill
Author: zzzFF Jenny Weasley  Story: By the Light of the Moon  Chapter: Default
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By the Light of the Moon

Disclaimer: Roses are red, violets are blue
It’s all JKR’s, so please do not sue!

 

By the Light of the Moon

by Jenny Weasley

 

It was a warm April night. Remus Lupin and his three best friends were in the Forbidden Forest, running beneath the full moon. Remus should have been alone in the Shrieking Shack, breaking things and scaring the locals, but Remus did a lot of things he shouldn’t do.

So did his friends. They shouldn’t have become animagi to keep him company when he transformed, but they did. They were surrounding him in the form of a rat, a stag, and a dog.

Remus liked having his friends near him when he transformed. As a werewolf, he was never quite himself. His mind overtaken by the wolf, he was savage and hungry for violence. Somehow, having his friends near him gave him more control over the beast.

None of them knew what they were searching for in the Forest. They simply ran through the trees, looking around them, enjoying the fresh air, the lovely spring night, and each other’s company. Remus ran in the middle, Sirius and James ran along on either side of him, to stop him from running off. Peter ran in front of them.

They kept their eyes forward, watching for dangerous creatures. Suddenly, Peter stopped. Behind him, the others skidded to a halt, trying to avoid stepping on their small friend.

It all happened in a second. A unicorn burst from the trees on one side of them and, without noticing them at all, leaped through the bushes on the other side of the path. Remus was caught off-guard, and the werewolf in him took control. James and Sirius, stunned by what they saw, didn’t block him in time, and he went rushing into the woods after it.

James and Sirius rushed to follow him, but they couldn’t leave Peter behind, so they had to wait while he rushed up onto Sirius’ back. The moment Peter got a firm grip, they both broke into a run, following the path that Remus had taken.

Once they got through the bushes, they followed his trail, Sirius’ nose pressed to the ground to find his tracks, James looking for Remus through the heavy darkness. They heard his howl and sped up, taking in deep gasping breaths, but never stopping. Peter was simply concentrating on holding on as Sirius rushed forward in long, uneven strides.

At the same time, they both burst through a clump of bushes into a clearing. Remus had stopped and was standing, motionless, to one side. It was a perfect circle, completely free of trees. The unicorn had disappeared, but no one was looking for it.

They were all looking to the center of the clearing, all looking at the thing that stood there. It had the body of a cow, but it was silvery-gray in color, and it had huge, flat feet.

And it was dancing.

In the middle of a clearing, in the middle of the Forbidden Forest. There was this funny thing, with two legs up in the air, waving like crazy, and two on the ground, engaged in a complicated dance. This creature was funny, dancing in the middle of a field, but they didn’t laugh. Somehow, when this dancing thing should have been funny, it was the most beautiful thing they had ever seen.

Remus, Sirius, James, and even Peter, became entranced by this dancing thing. Suddenly, the night became wonderful, the forest became wonderful, everything about life seemed to become wonderful. It seemed to be radiating a highly contagious happiness out into the clearing, they had no choice but to catch it.

They had never felt a happiness so complete as that which they felt watching the funny thing dance. The moon shone brightly above the clearing, seeming to act as a spotlight for the magical dance. The dance was complicated, they watched its feet fly sporadically, flattening the earth as they landed.

In those few moments, Remus took control of his mind, and the werewolf left it completely. His mind was human. It never had been, and never would be, as sane during a transformation as it was that night. He was entirely himself, happy and human, in a werewolf body.

Only a few weeks before, they had been introduced to a Patronus charm and they all thought about it now. The silvery wisps of smoke that they created were very like the silvery glow radiating off the dancing thing. The same power that forced the Dementors to retreat, was what made this dancing thing so hard to turn away from.

They never knew how long they watched the dancing thing. They only remembered the feeling of happiness that flooded them for those moments. It was the happiness that James would feel as he held the newly born Harry James Potter in his arms, it was the happiness Remus would feel when he discovered Sirius’ innocence, it was the happiness that Sirius would feel when Harry agreed to stay with him, and it was the happiness that Peter would never feel again.

Then, as though they had planned it, they all turned to leave, the happiness still singing in their hearts. They wanted to watch the dancing thing forever, but they knew that it would eventually stop, and they all felt that their hearts might break if they ever saw the end of something as beautiful as that dance.

They never spoke of it after that night, they never found the words. Remus could have told them that that lovely thing had been a Mooncalf, dancing for the full moon, but he knew that it would be wrong to give an explanation to such a mystical event. Such things were beyond the explanation that any book could offer.

All their lives, they would remember the happiness in that thing’s dance. It would help Remus through some of his worst transformations, it would help Sirius stay sane in Azkaban, and it would help James’ hand remain steady as he raised his wand against Voldemort.

They went through 75 full moons together, each one was filled with adventure and danger. Every moon presented a new challenge, a new game, and a new memory, but none of them would ever be as memorable as the clearing in the middle of the Forbidden Forest, and the funny, beautiful, dancing thing.

 

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