Wary of the Wolf
I’d like to thank my wonderful beta reader, sveltskye, whom without this fic would be to put it mildly, a complete and total mess.
Standard disclaimer applies. None of this is mine; it all belongs to Jo.
The Wolfsbane Potion sat smoking on my bedside table, small droplets of water vapor forming on the outside of the chipped goblet and the smell of something like rotten eggs permeating the air. The tendrils of smoke coming from the goblet rose to the ceiling then slowly disappeared, the smoke getting lighter and finally vanishing before it reached the plaster of the ceiling.
Sirius. These days, nearly everything reminds me of Sirius, but it is the Potion that reminds me of him the most. The Potion always, without fail, will bring me back to the happy life I once lived at school.
Sometimes, my mind will travel back to those happy days at Hogwarts and I’ll long for them to return with an intense passion that even frightens myself. The memories of a better time will pull at my mind, haunting me with ghosts of the past.
Before Wormtail had shown up again, I thought I had finally recovered from James’ death. I thought that finally, finally the overwhelming feeling of moroseness had left my mind from constant battering. I believed that after such a long while of mourning that the pain was finally over; that I had come to terms with James’ passing but meeting Peter again, becoming aware of the massive betrayal that he had committed, had reawakened that feeling of grief and had added guilt to the equation.
I am now forced to live with the fact that for a whole year I could have killed Peter and avenged James. For a year, the traitorous rat was right underneath my nose, close enough to touch … but at the same time so far away from my grasp … but no, I must not think that way. I did it for Harry. I had to respect Harry’s wish to spare him.
But I still have the chance to avenge Sirius’ death. That chance is still open.
The smoke from the goblet was now considerably wispier than before as it rose to the ceiling. The smell, like sulfur, still powerfully hung around the room. Drinking it always made me feel horribly sick … but of course, the transformation would be worse. Far worse.
But then a horrifying but dreadfully tempting idea hit me. Perhaps once in nearly three years I wouldn’t drink the potion … perhaps once I’d become the fully-fledged beast again.
The horrid wolf inside of me yipped and growled in approval. It was tempting … terrifyingly tempting. Whenever I became the wolf I had a feeling of power and independence. There were no rules to follow and no need for politeness. It was a window through which I could release my anger, hatred, and sadness out into the night, away from me ... on other living things.
That isn’t right. A werewolf is truly a horrible monster but I am certainly no monster. If I did avenge Sirius’ death ... if I did kill Bellatrix ... then what would that make me? It would make me a monster, something worse than a werewolf. I would have no one to blame but myself if I killed someone, even if it was Bellatrix … though revenge is sweet. If there ever was a person who deserved such harsh revenge it would be Bellatrix. So many horrible things she’s done and so many reasons to hate her ...
No smoke was rising from the goblet now; it stayed confined, swirling below the rim of the goblet. The horrible stench still hung strongly in the room. It would probably be a day before it disappeared entirely.
In a few hours the sun will go down and the horrible reminder of all the pain I’ve suffered will hang in the sky. What would I choose? To drink the potion and keep my mind intact or to be a wild animal who seeks revenge without a care?
I took the goblet in my hands, the wet warmth of it seeping into my skin. The horrible smell was even stronger now that it was only a foot beneath my nose. I thought of dropping the goblet and letting the liquid spill onto the wood floor, allowing myself to become the wolf. I considered the option of killing Bellatrix Lestrange with no conscience to try and stop me, nothing to hold me back. I dwelled on the thought of revenge.
What should I do?
The goblet hung loose in my hands; ready to be dropped or drank. What would my friends want me to do? What would Sirius and James want me to do?
I had made my decision. I brought the goblet quickly to my lips and I drank the potion in as few gulps as possible, fighting not to gag on the putrid substance. I slammed down the goblet on my bedside table in triumph.
The wolf hadn’t won.