The Sugar Quill
Author: Elucreh  Story: Dinner Companion  Chapter: Dinner Companion
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Dinner Companion

“My name is Doran Cheshire, and I am the werewolf who bit Remus Lupin.

“Oh? An odd way to introduce myself? I’ve always considered it a bit of a thing. Other people might say, ‘My favorite color is red,’ or ‘I’m an obliviator,’ but I’ve always thought that one should start out on an honest foot—-or paw, perhaps….

“You don’t find it amusing? But, my dear, haven’t they taught you by now? If you’re living your life in a tragedy, you can either despair….or laugh about it. Now, can you imagine me despairing? It’s never been my forte, the whole ‘Woe is me,’ bit: there are much better clichés available. ‘Bring a smiling face to the glass and you will see a smile,’ for instance….though of course my brothers the vampires can’t use that one….or how about ‘Laugh and the world laughs with you?’ Or even, ‘Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow it is my turn’?....

“Not familiar with that one? I don’t suppose you would be. It’s something I came up with on my own time. Something I keep close when I am turned out of restaurants because my identification labels me a monster….when the people in pubs turn their faces from me…when my own sister had her wedding August the ninth, while I was a frothing beast in a cage….Oh, I assure you, August the tenth was a day she remembered the rest of her life….short as it was….a very good proverb, I think….

“Are you ill, my dear? I have become accustomed to rare meat. It was difficult to tolerate at first, but, as the saying goes, ‘If you must wear it, let the shoe fit.’ Oh? Well, I have found that it is necessary to adapt many things to my current position in life….

“Remus? Are we back to him? Yes….he was….a very small boy….two, or three, perhaps even four….I am bad about these things, I have no children of my own….yes, probably about three. It seemed to fit, you know...I laughed when his mother told me his name. Have I not told you the gods love a jest, and reward the jester? And this was just the sort of thing they would enjoy….

“It was a very warm night—very still—and Luna was very bright over the fields. Lycan is very close to her, you know….The Wolf, of course. I’ve always found the concept of naming one’s alternate personality so endearingly childlike. He was restless that night. He is always….restless. But tonight fate wanted to play a prank, and it took a hand with the hinges in the Snuggery.…

“But surely, my dear, I have told you I live for the humor in life? Very ironic, is it not, to call my little get-away the Snuggery?....

“As I was saying….the hinges had rusted through….in a rush of energy, I burst the door off of them and was off, into the night. It had never before had so much purpose. I knew where I wanted to go, and I could smell him….I had noticed his scent, you know, when I blew delicate raspberries into his stomach….he laughed so delightfully. I knew, then, that he, too, would enjoy the joke….

“Are you sure you are not ill? Try the wine; it is a beautiful color, almost the color of Remus, spilled on the carpet….it was a lovely carpet, I’ve always been sorry I ruined it…grey, with tiny red flowers….

“And afterward there was such calm. The babe wept, of course, but I knew that I had told a divine joke; and I knew that, years later, he would laugh about it as I have….”

And the creature’s chuckles echoed against the walls.

Disclaimers: J. K. Rowling and whoever she sold the rights to own the Harry Potter universe, and more specifically, from this story, Remus J. Lupin.

The inspiration from the story was a statement made by Remus in Hyphen’s fic “A Date in the Life of Remus Lupin”, that his long-standing assumption about being a werewolf named Remus Lupin was that the werewolf who bit him had a very sick sense of humor.

This story is a combination of that and of my attempt to explore the mind of a werewolf shut out by society because of his disease.

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