Remus Lupin sat at one
of the sunnier tables outside Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlour in Diagon
Alley, circling answers to questions from a magazine quiz entitled “Divining
Your Style” and placidly licking his kiwi-coconut ice cream cone. He tapped
his quill against his forehead: Which did he prefer—swishy black cloaks
or Robin-Hood style tunics? It was a tough decision, but it did pass the
time. He was waiting for someone. More specifically, he was waiting for
someone from The Daily Prophet to meet him for an interview for a
feature story called “The Animal Inside: Life as a Werewolf.” The war against
Voldemort was over, and Remus had received the Order of Merlin for risking
his life and saving Harry Potter and his friends, Hermione Granger, Ron
Weasley, Ginny Weasley, and Neville Longbottom, as well as Harry’s godfather,
Sirius Black. As a result, the attitude towards werewolves in magical society
had done an about-face, and Remus now frequently graced the cover of suc
h magazines as Witch Weekly and WQ. Truth be told, all the
media attention was quite exhausting, and Remus occasionally longed for
the days of ostracism and banishment from polite society. But not being
one to dwell on the trials of life, he submitted to the public interest
with a verve that would have aroused the envy of Gilderoy Lockhart (if only
Lockhart could remember how dashing and debonair he was meant to be). Okay,
okay…not really, but it was an interesting thought, all the same. Remus
was humble and shy as he ever was.
He still had not decided between the cloaks
or the tunics when he heard a voice from close by. “Remus Lupin, I presume?
Of course, I would have recognized that stunningly handsome face anywhere.”
He closed the magazine and looked up at the
source of the voice, who was now pulling up a chair at his table. It was
a woman—with immaculately coiffed hair, manicured magenta fingernails,
lurid purple lipstick, and very, very form-fitting electric blue robes.
I thought I liked blue, Remus thought, but he wasn’t certain about
that particular shade—it was rather blinding. He dragged his eyes from
her robes to her face, blinked, and groaned inwardly. Rita Skeeter. Of
all the atrocious reporters The Daily Prophet employed, Rita Skeeter
was without a doubt the most horrific. Though her body is rather, er,
no, it doesn’t do to think of that, Remus thought. He shook himself
and stretched out his hand to shake hers. “Yes, I am him… I mean, he.
And you are Rita Skeeter. I’ve, er, read many of your stories.” And thought
them all complete and utter rubbish… well, anyway. He shook himself again.
She sat down across from him and pulled out
a roll of parchment and the ever-present Quick-Quotes-Quill. “So,” she
said, bestowing upon him what was intended to be a winning smile. “So.
Tell me all about the famous rescue. I’m dying to hear it straight from…the
werewolf’s mouth, as it were.” She held the quill to her mouth and sucked
in a great breath of air.
“I thought you were going to write about
my everyday life and whatnot,” Remus replied, frowning.
“Oh, right. Yes, well then. Tell me,” she
leered at him. “What does a werewolf eat for breakfast?” She looked a
bit like she wanted to have him for breakfast.
“Porridge, most days—though occasionally
I’ll have toast, poached eggs, tomatoes….” Remus nervously drummed his
fingers on the table and leaned over to get a glimpse of what the quill
“No greasy slabs of bacon or legs of lamb
to feed that ferocious appetite of yours?”
“Er, no. I’m a vegetarian, actually.”
“Really?” She looked slightly disappointed,
but the quill seemed to know just how to handle the dilemma: …vegetarian.
After the monthly day of bloodlust and gore, the seemingly quiet and suave
Remus Lupin finds the smell and taste, and even the sight, of animal flesh
“That’s exaggerating a bit, isn’t it?”
Rita swiftly covered the roll of parchment
with her hand. “No, no…just making it more descriptive—more evocative,
“Whatever you say…” He could only begin to
imagine what the quill made of that. Perhaps something like: A facade
of docility and meekness masks his feral nature. “Won’t you be having
any ice cream, Ms. Skeeter?” He had just finished his ice cream cone,
and was hankering for another—perhaps chocolate-banana this time.
“You can call me Rita. And, no—I have to
be careful of my figure, darling.” She propped her elbows on the table,
rested her chin on her hands leaving the parchment uncovered again, and
asked in a whisper meant to encourage the sharing of confidences, “Do
you have a girlfriend, Remus?”
“Perhaps you have several then…?” Remus could
see the quill scribbling feverishly…is the man adored by women everywhere,
and yet he has no one to whom he will give his heart. It is an immense
struggle—balancing the man and the beast, and he selflessly maintains
his lonely circumstances to prevent the suffering that might be inflicted
on any object of his affection.
“What does that mean, exactly?” He asked,
waving his hand over the roll of parchment.
Ignoring his question, she slipped the parchment
into her lap. “Perhaps you are looking for a girlfriend?” Her hand snaked
across the table, and she ran a fingernail softly over his wrist. He snatched
his hand from the table, and shifted uncomfortably in his chair.
“It, er, well…not particularly.”
“But why ever not? A fetching chap like yourself
could certainly have his pick! I know several women who would jump at
the chance to…” Remus felt something rubbing against his ankle. “A chance
to spend some time with you. As a matter of fact….” She leaned across
the table towards him. Remus began to back away, but she kept getting
closer and closer and, “You have some ice cream on your chin.”
“Oh.” He wiped his chin hastily. “Speaking
of ice cream, I need another ice cream cone. I’ll be right back.” He stopped
just inside to recollect himself. It wasn’t like him to lose his head
like that. After a moment, he went back out, chocolate-banana ice cream
cone in hand.
“You’re back. I was afraid you might have
run away,” Rita said demurely.
“Oh, no. No, I wouldn’t have done…”
“Shall we continue then?”
“The interview. Shall we continue?”
“Er, yes. Yes.” The ice cream cone was dripping
down his hand, but he didn’t seem to notice.
“How are you at flying a broomstick?”
“What? I mean… well, fairly good, though
not quite as good as Sirius, I don’t think.”
“What model of broomstick do you possess?”
“I’ve heard that werewolves are remarkably
“I’d wager you’re really strong and muscular.”
One of her hands was sliding across the table again.
“No…no, I’m not all that muscular, actually.
What are you doing?”
“Your ice cream’s dripping all over the place,
dear. Aren’t you going to eat it? Here.” She handed him a tissue. “You
know, a friend told me that werewolves are exceptionally good kissers.
She dated one for a while, and she said he was an absolute ani—“
“Maybe it was just him, he—whatever. I mean,
er, I don’t know if that’s really an actually fact or anything, that,
er, werewolves kiss better. I don’t think there’s actually any empirical
His words were cut off by her lips pressed
“NO! No! Don’t touch me!” Remus sat up in
bed, eyes flashing wildly.
“Remus?” Sirius poked his head in the door.
“What are you on about?”
Remus sighed with relief. “It was a dream.
A very, very bad dream.” An image of words on a page, faint green writing
on a sheet of parchment—vile, despicable, uncouth, subhuman…. flitted
through his mind, and he rubbed his head wearily, lay back down, thinking
vaguely that perhaps he preferred swishy black cloaks.
Disclaimer: It’s JK Rowling’s—all of it.
None of it’s mine. Although I seriously doubt she would inflict such torture
on poor Remus.