The Sugar Quill
Author: Pelirroja  Story: Phases and Friendship  Chapter: Default
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How had he gotten here of all places and on this day he wondered

How had he gotten here of all places, and on this day he wondered? July 30, 1996.  It was a day like any other for most, but not for Remus Lupin.  In the days leading up to this rare blue moon Remus had been melancholy at best, and despondent at worst.  Now, as twilight fell, he found himself standing at the edge of the Forbidden Forest consuming the last of the Wolfsbane Potion from the flask he had carried with him.


As he stood awaiting the transformation, his mind traveled back in time some twenty odd years prior to a different phase in his life.  How is it, he wondered, that he found himself so alone again?  It had been over a month since Sirius had fallen beyond the veil and Remus had still not found a sense of peace. What he would not give to go back in time and start over; he longed for them all to be back once more as they were so long ago.   He wanted nothing more than to be lost in the forest as his other self gained control.


As the moon at last took her place high in the night sky, Remus transformed and entered the foreboding legions of trees and brush before him. In the body of the wolf he could move swiftly, safely under the looming canopy.  He bounded over rocks and fallen limbs, instinct pulling him forward.  Remus was no stranger to the forest, but he had never entered the woods in the body of the wolf before. The forest was different from the wolf’s perspective. It was pure, and safe in a primal way. He knew well the spot towards which destiny pulled him, but would anything be there all these years later?  Would it yet remain? His thoughts again turned to the past. 


In their daring as newly accomplished animagi, the Marauders had often entered the woods on nightly exploits.  Padfoot and Prongs were large enough to ward off the creatures within. On one occasion, they had found a clearing where they could look up at the night sky.  It became a sanctuary where they could transform back into their human selves--to retreat and to ponder their futures.  In the uncertain world of the First War, the danger of the Forbidden Forest seemed nothing compared to facing the Dark Lord himself.


Coming back to the present, Remus found the clearing he sought, the moon illuminating his surroundings in an eerie yet magical blue hue.   As he looked up, his eyes wandered to the Dog Star.  Could Sirius possibly be looking down on him? He couldn’t think about that now as he refocused on his task; he could see the hollowed log in the distance.  He raced over to it. The decaying timber fell apart under the weight of his paws revealing a well-worn metal box that had been concealed within.  He grasped the handle in his teeth as he departed.


The moon was waning as Remus found the edge of the woods.  He lay down to regain some strength before retransforming and opening the box.  He would have to be human again before he could finish his task.


As dawn loomed in the sky Remus transformed.  Shakily he pried open the box.  He caught his breath as he peered inside.  Four sealed parchments and a bottle of pilfered firewiskey were still inside.  His mind returned to the pact they had made all those years ago.  The last of the Marauders was to retrieve the box and drink to the memories of his departed friends.  Remus wondered, in the light of supreme betrayal, was he the last of the Marauders?  Was this not his destiny and right?


A voice interrupted his thoughts, “Have you found what you sought?” Remus looked up startled to see the Centaur Bane looming over him.


“I remember well the visits you and your friends paid to the forest.  You were never touched for; you were always respectful of the creatures within it.”  Remus began to interject but Bane continued. “Your pain is quite evident, I too know the longing for friends and what might have been.  Do not yet read the parchments, Remus Lupin.  Your time has not yet come; there is much more that the stars hold that has not yet come to pass.”


Remus stood dumbfounded at the words of the Centaur. He was fazed by the way this grand creature seemed to look right through him.  His usual eloquence failed him. Bane smiled warmly down on him and said,


“Go back to those who share your pain and need you most.  Your solace lies there; I assure you, you are not alone.  If you will let me have the box, I will put it into the hands of Albus Dumbledore for safekeeping.  Go now and return to where you belong.” 


Remus decided to comply not knowing exactly what motivated his actions.  Perhaps it was hope that the last of the Marauders might somehow be redeemed.  That was the thought that remained in his mind as he made his way across the grounds to return to 12 Grimmauld Place.  There was still longing and loss, but now a new phase in his life must commence. “Oh, yes!” He told himself silently, this phase must begin with hope.



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