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26th November 2007 08:35 - Fic: Clouds Across the Moon (Remus, Harry, Fenrir/Draco) NC-17
Title: Clouds Across the Moon
Author: [info]melusinahp
Characters: Remus, Harry, Fenrir/Draco.
Rating: NC-17
Warnings: non-con, brutality, violence, character death
Themes/kinks chosen: "Draco is bitten by Fenrir as punishment from Voldemort for not killing Dumbledore." I used one of the other prompts as well, but to list it here would be a spoiler.
Word Count: 5,200
Summary: Remus and Harry set off to destroy Fenrir Greyback. What happens changes both of their lives.
Author's notes: I've been wanting to write this prompt forever, and this gave me the perfect opportunity. *is gleeful* Love to my wonderful beta, [info]wednesdayjones.




There was something sickening about the rushing patter their footsteps made through the bed of dry leaves on the forest ground. Fenrir's were solid thuds while his slim, tall captive's were rhythmless crunches as he was dragged along blindly. Fenrir didn't spare the boy a glance, but pulled him by the rope tied to the noose around his throat. The boy's head was covered by a burlap hood, his arms bound behind his back, his fancy robes flapping about his ankles, threatening to tangle between them. He scrambled along behind Fenrir, panic evident in his movements and posture. Fenrir scanned the forest, a blank expression on his craggy face. When he reached the far edge of the clearing, he stopped abruptly, with no warning, forcing the boy following him to stumble and fall to his knees.

* * *


Remus had to tighten his grip on Harry's shoulders to the point where he knew he must be leaving bruises. He could feel Harry's muscles working, tensing, getting ready to spring forward out of the underbrush in which they were hiding. "I know," Remus whispered, "Harry, I know. But we must wait. If we reveal ourselves now, all will be lost."

Harry let his head fall forward, and Remus loosened his grip, moved a hand to the centre of Harry's back, letting it remain there in what he hoped would be a gesture of comfort. He understood that watching the scene play out before them without immediately interfering was torture for Harry. It was torture for Remus, too, but a torture he'd long ago forced himself to bear stoically. He'd witnessed this scene play out more times than he liked to remember. The faces of Fenrir's victims didn't blur together, however. Remus remembered every single one as if they were glued to his memory like photographs in an album – the middle aged blonde witch who'd tried so hard not to react, not to make a sound to give Fenrir or the others any satisfaction, only to fail once the moon rose and she began to transform. Her screams hadn't lasted long. The noose tightened quickly around her throat and she wasn't able to free herself. A weakling, Fenrir called her. A blasted waste of time. He'd torn her to bits, claws shredding her already lifeless flesh, furious that his plan hadn't worked. The woman had been a Ministry worker, something in Magical Transportation. She wouldn't have been a great deal of use to them, anyway; all the useful Ministry workers went to the Death Eaters.

There was the seventh year Hufflepuff boy – Remus remembered his face, if not his name. He'd been a fighter. Had survived the test, managed to tear the noose from his neck without killing himself in the process and Fenrir had been prepared to indoctrinate him into the pack. It wasn't until the boy was caught trying to creep away in the middle of the night that he met his grisly end. The boy's screams lasted much longer than the woman's had.

And then there were the children. They didn't have to undergo hazing as Fenrir considered them precious and wouldn't risk losing them to the noose. Their faces and screams travelled directly into Remus' soul, bringing back memories he'd spent decades trying to erase from his mind, things he only saw in nightmares once he'd become an adult. His own turning, playing out like a horror show right in front of him and he couldn't do a thing, but curse Dumbledore in his mind, and curse him for giving him a job which forced him to relive the very worst of his past experiences. The guilt he felt at his anger towards Dumbledore was almost more intense than the horror, but he was helpless to end the cycle.

It was another boy today, a teen from the look of his slight but lanky frame. The boy shook where he stood, his hands twitching and clenching behind his back. Remus could smell the fear radiating off his body. He knew Fenrir could, too, and his stomach turned at the man's expression.

He didn't want Harry to see this. This was something Harry shouldn't have to see, something no one should have to see.

Fenrir grabbed the top of the sack covering the boy's face and yanked on it. The boy's head seemed to tumble out in a flurry of white blond hair. His appearance was so unkempt, so markedly different than his usual sleek, groomed elegance, that he was almost unrecognisable as Draco Malfoy. Remus heard Harry suck in his breath. Malfoy's hair stuck to his sweaty face, skin pale as parchment beneath the unsightly blotches of red. His lips were fat and raw looking where he’d clearly been chewing on them. His eyes, which blinked rapidly as they adjusted to the dappled autumn evening sunlight, were bright with fear. There was no pride, no self-satisfaction, not a trace of arrogance left in the boy. As appalling and insulting as Remus had found Malfoy as a thirteen-year-old student, he'd never have wished to see him brought down quite so savagely, looking more like a trapped animal than a pureblood Wizarding aristocrat.

"But, why?" Harry's voice was tight with horror. "Why him? He's a Pureblood, a Death Eater. Why does Fenrir have him?"

Remus looked carefully at Harry. "He must have done something wrong. Voldemort must have decided he has no further use for him."

Harry's eyes stayed fixed on Malfoy, his teeth digging into his lower lip. Remus began to worry. He needed Harry cool. It would be better if they could save the Malfoy boy, of course, but that was not their primary objective. The reason they were there… he couldn’t even let himself think about that. It was enough to keep his mind fixed on what they had to do.

Harry flinched, and Remus turned his head to follow his gaze. The Malfoy boy was now sprawled on the ground, his face in the dirt. Fenrir grabbed his hips and forced his hindquarters upwards until his knees supported them; then he kicked the boy's legs apart.

"No." said Harry flatly. "He's not… he's not going to…"

Remus closed his eyes for a second, realising exactly how hard this was going to be. He'd not only have to witness the Malfoy boy's degradation, but endure Harry's shock and horror as he watched it, too. He leaned in close and whispered urgently in Harry's ear, "We must wait! We must not act until Fenrir changes. The spell only works once he's transformed."

Malfoy's expression as Fenrir began tearing through the back of his robes was unforgettable. The confusion and dawning horror, the feeble attempt to keep his disgust and nausea to himself, and finally – as Fenrir finished slicing the fine linen and silk of Malfoy's clothing and bared Malfoy's raised buttocks to the air – the undiluted misery that creased the boy's face, made Remus feel sick and cold. Yet, he knew from Harry's narrowed eyes and trembling lips that what he was feeling was nothing compared to what Harry was feeling, seeing this sort of brutality play out for the first time.

Malfoy was sobbing now, his face broken with tears, his shoulders trembling violently as Fenrir prised his buttocks apart and began probing him with his long, clawed fingers.

"You do not have to watch, Harry. There's no reason why you have to witness this."

Harry's glanced angrily at Remus. "He's got to live it, doesn't he? I don't see why we should be spared just watching."

Harry's grim determination sent a shiver through Remus' chest. Harry's face was pale and clammy, his lips were pressed together so tightly that they were white, and his eyes had a frantic, sickened look about them. He didn't take his eyes off Malfoy, though. As Fenrir took out his cock and actually mounted Malfoy, Harry's hands curled into tight fists, and he gagged. "I can't… I can't just let this happen."

Remus put a hand on Harry's shoulder, partially to calm him and partially to make sure he didn't bolt forwards. Fenrir was being particularly brutal with the Malfoy boy. It made sense; Malfoy was a Pureblood, the son of a Death Eater. Fenrir would have wanted to put special effort into teaching the boy his new place in the world.

Malfoy's eyes were squeezed tightly shut, his entire face clenched, teeth gritted and bared. Fenrir hips snapped forwards and Malfoy gave a wet, gasping scream as he was further impaled and the forward momentum grated his cheek across the ground. Fenrir chuckled and dug his claws into Malfoy's hips, pumping into him now.

Remus felt hot. He squeezed Harry's shoulder, harder then he'd intended to, and stroked his other arm, trying to soothe him. He tried to control his breathing. Light was disappearing from the sky, and the Change was close. His skin was itching in anticipation, his blood beginning to rush, and his heart to beat faster. He'd never gotten over the shame he felt watching Fenrir savage a new victim. It wasn't his fault; it wasn't his choice, yet the shame never prevented his body from reacting. Harry turned to look at Remus, his expression confused and… Remus jerked his hands away from Harry and held them to his chest, turning his face away, cheeks burning.

Fenrir had grabbed a fistful of Malfoy's hair and was yanking his head backwards, his other hand clawing into Malfoy's chest through his shredded robes. The boy's hips and torso twitched forwards with each of Fenrir's thrusts and Malfoy helplessly twisted his neck, moaning in pain. With a flash of his hand, Fenrir sliced his nails through the skin of Malfoy's chest, bringing forth a spray of red. Malfoy's screams became high and raw, animal like.

Remus heard Harry move and, reacting on instinct, slammed him back down onto the ground with one hand whilst casting Muffliato with the other. Harry squirmed, tried to break away, and Remus threw himself bodily upon him, holding Harry down on his back, pressing him into the dirt. "He's going to kill him!" Harry whispered frantically, pushing up at Remus with his arms and twisting his waist, "We can't just sit here and watch! Let me go, Remus! Let me go!"

"He won't kill him! Not now!" Remus' whisper was fierce. He grabbed the side of Harry's head and forced him to look him in the face, his thumb digging into Harry's cheek. "Harry! Think! You need to apply some control over yourself."

Remus' breath was coming fast and heavy. Harry bared his teeth and hit at him with his fists, so Remus grabbed his wrists and forced them to the ground on either side of Harry's head. Their faces were inches apart. "How many more will die if you interfere and spoil the plan?"

Harry stared up at Remus, his eyes round and wary. His body was stiff and tight. "I can feel you," Harry said glancing downwards, his lips trembling between a sneer and a frown.

Remus closed his eyes, released Harry and rolled away. He put his hands to his face. It never changed. One by one they eventually saw him for what he really was and turned against him. It had happened more times than he could remember. He sat up and turned back to look at Harry, who was still lying on his back staring at the canopy of trees above them. "It's the moon," Remus said, his voice quiet. "It's rising; it's in my blood. I… I cannot stop it from happening." He paused and took a long, measured breath. "Surely you can't fear any harm will come to you from me, Harry."

Malfoy's cries had changed in temper. They were now softer, weaker, and slightly strangled. Both Remus and Harry turned to look and see what was happening. Fenrir had an arm across the boy's throat and was choking him whilst continuing to thrust into him from behind. Fenrir's hand and Malfoy's chest were coated with bright red blood, and the werewolf shoved Malfoy's head to the ground once more and began pumping into him brutally, claws buried in his hips, grunting with each plunge. Malfoy mouth opened as he gulped in air, and then Fenrir shouted – a long, loud, rough exclamation – stabbed frantically into Malfoy several more times and then collapsed across his back.

Remus could see that Harry was sweating. His eyes looked wild and his hands were curled into tight fists. "I had no idea," Harry whispered, "No idea at all." Remus lifted his hand to pat his shoulder, but drew it back before it made contact.

After tucking himself back into his robes, Fenrir stood and yanked on the noose around Malfoy's neck. Malfoy had been panting on the ground with his eyes closed, but now he jerked into alertness and struggled to his feet as Fenrir pulled the rope upwards. Swaying, Malfoy stood with his shoulders hunched, legs shaking. His ordeal, Remus knew, was still far from over.

Now, Fenrir tossed the length of rope over an overhanging branch and summoned the end of it into his outstretched hand. He then pulled on the rope until Malfoy was yanked upwards by his neck and forced to support his entire weight on the balls of his feet to avoid being strangled. With another yank, Fenrir had him on his toes. Malfoy's calves were shaking, the small of his back arching as he desperately tried to keep his balance. Laughing, Fenrir gave him a shove on the arse, and Malfoy fell, choking as the noose dug into his throat. Fenrir stood watching, his arms across his chest and a smirk on his face as Malfoy danced on his toe-tips until he found purchase on the ground and was able to breathe again.

"I'll be back once the moon rises," Fenrir said, "to see if you're still alive. If you are – which I doubt – you'll be one of us. If you're hanging dead from the noose – like I'd expect from a lily livered, Pureblood ponce like you – I'll cut you down in the morning and throw your body to the pack for their breakfast." Malfoy stood trembling with his eyes closed during Fenrir's speech. His face and hair were drenched with sweat. Fenrir reached over and pinched him on the cheek before loping away into the woods.

Remus said, "Wait!" before Harry even had a chance to move. Malfoy's face was red; he was keening between clenched teeth. Remus listened until the sounds of Fenrir progress had completely faded away, and then gave Harry the go ahead. Harry burst out of the thicket and immediately cast a spell that sliced through the rope binding Malfoy to the overhead branch. Malfoy fell to the ground like a sack of rocks and then lay still. Following Harry out of the underbrush, Remus ran to his side and they both crept up to Malfoy's crumpled figure.

Malfoy lay on his side, sucking in air with deep frantic gulps, eyes half-open and unfocussed. A long moment seemed to pass before Malfoy grew aware that he was not alone. He turned his head, gaze brushing over Remus to rest on Harry. His voice was thin and cracked. "Potter?" Malfoy's red-rimmed eyes widened in shock and gained some clarity as he recognised Harry's face. Harry stared back at him; Remus could tell how hard he was working to keep his face expressionless, but Harry's eyes were full of pity and distress. Malfoy blinked, grimaced and turned his face away. "Are you here as a rescue party or are you planning to finish what Fenrir started?"

"Neither," responded Harry, his voice hoarse, "we had no idea you'd be here. We came to…"

"We are here to put an end to Fenrir Greyback," Remus interrupted. "But it looks like we arrived just in time for your sake."

"Then can you untie my arms? I can't feel my fingers."

Harry quickly knelt and sliced carefully through the ropes binding both Malfoy's wrists and his neck. Malfoy whimpered and then gingerly pulled his arms to the front of his body. He pushed himself up and tried to sit, but then cried out in pain when his arse touched the ground. Harry visibly flinched; Malfoy observed this and his eyes narrowed and welled up once more before he ground out, "I'm fine! Don't waste your pity on me, Potter." Harry hugged himself and turned his face away.

They didn't have time to waste on this sort of thing. Remus' pulse was beginning to pound in his temples. The Change was close, very close. He strode up to Malfoy, grabbed the collar of his robes and yanked it aside. Sure enough, the boy's shoulder was marked with swollen red puncture wounds. Remus wondered if he realised… but the boy's expression told him everything he needed to know. He gaped at Remus with a wild almost guilt-ridden expression and then glanced upwards, scanning what he could see of the almost lightless sky through the trees. Malfoy tugged his collar out of Remus' grasp and then shakily got to his feet. Closing his eyes, he covered his face with his hands and stood there, trembling for several long moments.

"We should get him out of here," said Harry.

"There isn't time," replied Remus.

Malfoy was staring at Remus. "Help me!" his voice was imperious as if he was making a demand rather than a plea, but his eyes were bright and frantic, showing his fear.

Remus went to him, sickly amused by the desperation melding with disgust in Malfoy's eyes as they followed his progress. The boy's breath came in quick short, gasps. Remus lifted a hand towards his face, pausing patiently as Malfoy flinched, and then stroked him gently down the back of his head.

Malfoy's eyes glistened with fresh tears, and he grabbed Remus' shoulders, all command in his voice now replaced by entreaty, and begged once more, his voice high and raw, "Help me! Please!"

"Shhhh. Relax. Let it happen. Don't fight it." Remus continued stroking Malfoy, softly, rhythmically, looking calmly back into Malfoy's panicked eyes. Malfoy was still breathing quickly, but Remus could see him trying to do as he was told, trying to quiet himself, to quell the panic he was feeling. It had been decades since Remus' first Change. He'd been so young, a child, and the sensations of transforming were now as familiar to him as falling asleep or waking up. They were a part of him. Still, he knew the terror Malfoy must be feeling facing the upcoming betrayal of his body. "It will hurt, but you will survive."

Then, as and the light of the full moon finally broke through the canopy of trees, a violent shiver ran over Malfoy's skin. He stepped back from Remus staring wide eyed at his arms that he held extended in front of him. Remus felt his own flesh ripple and automatically let his muscles relax into it. It hurt much less when you didn't fight.

Panic had seized Malfoy. "I can't!" he cried, "I can't do it! Make it stop, please!" As thick, whitish grey fur began to sprout from his arms, Malfoy screamed, "It's a mistake! I'm a Pureblood. This can't be happening to me!"

The familiar crackling heat flooded Remus' bones and his own skin erupted with tawny fur. There were only seconds remaining. He'd taken Wolfsbane potion, but Malfoy had not. Remus turned his face. Harry seemed rooted to the spot; he was staring fixedly at Malfoy, his face creased with shock. "Harry!" Remus shouted. "You must run!"

As Remus felt his spine bend and his face begin to elongate, Harry jerked himself out of his trance. Without taking his eyes off Malfoy, who was now screaming and thrashing as his flesh and bones rippled and twisted, Harry began backing away. Malfoy's screams had deepened into howls. Remus remained silent; it would soon be over.

As he fell forwards onto his paws, Remus sensed the last of the tremors shake through his body. He looked steadily at Malfoy, the wolf. He was sleek and angular, his light grey fur damp with sweat, shoulders heaving as he panted. As his eyes spotted Harry, they filled with bloodlust, and Remus saw him prepare to pounce. Remus barked and then growled, calling Malfoy's attention to himself, and saw Harry finally sprint away out of the corner of his eye.

Malfoy just glanced at Remus and then bounded after Harry, quickly closing the distance between them. Remus leapt after them, and just managed to snap Malfoy's tail between his teeth. Malfoy yelped, fell, rolled over and then turned to face Remus, growling and snarling. In the meantime, Harry had reached a tree with low hanging branches and was scrambling up out of harm's way.

Keeping one's human mind wasn't always an advantage when faced with another werewolf. The ability to think, plan and reason could become more of a distraction than a boon; it slowed one down, especially when faced with the unhesitant, instinctual responses of an animal. Remus, however, had age and experience over Malfoy. He waited, letting Malfoy prowl towards him, showing him his teeth.

When Fenrir finally returned, however, it took both of them by surprise.

Fenrir seemed to appear out of nowhere – craggy and massive in his wolf aspect. His first act was to grab the back of Malfoy's neck with his teeth and toss him aside like a rag doll. Malfoy skid across the ground with a yelp, and then cowered, his back arched, his tail tucked between his legs. Fenrir's eyes then turned to Remus and narrowed, his wolfish jaws seeming to twist into a grin. Remus stood his ground, snarling, refusing to back down. It was an ecstatic relief to be able to show his true feelings towards Fenrir at last. No mask of submission. No show of respect. Remus let all the disgust and hatred that had built up over the course of his life shine fiercely out of his eyes. Fenrir's grin just widened.

They circled each other. The seconds ticked by. The plan – the sequence of magic Harry and he had been practising for the last three months – clicked over in his memory. If it didn't work, Remus fully intended to fight Fenrir until one of them lay dead in the dirt.

There was a blur of motion somewhere behind Remus. To his horror he realised that the flash of movement was Harry, come down from the tree to help him. Harry had his wand out and was running towards them; Remus kept his eyes on Fenrir, but yelped out a warning he could only hope Harry would understand. Then he leapt at Fenrir.

Claws, fur and snapping jaws. As Remus snapped his teeth at Fenrir's ear he could feel the larger werewolf's teeth sinking into his shoulder. With a heave, Remus tore himself free and lunged at Fenrir's foreleg. Fenrir feinted to the side avoiding the attack, and then Harry was shouting and Fenrir was loping towards him.

Harry's spell missed Fenrir by no more than a centimetre, but it was enough. Fenrir was upon him. There was a flurry of movement in which animal and human limbs were too entwined to tell apart, and then a scream.

Harry backed away, panting, holding his torn and bleeding shoulder in his hand. He staggered, skin white as the moon, and met Remus' eyes, a look of terror and confusion on his face. No! Remus thought, and tried to say with his eyes. Come on, Harry. We've come this far! It was a close run thing. Harry closed his eyes and wobbled on his feet, but then sucked in a mighty breath and opened them again, focussing on Fenrir. Fenrir was grinning; Harry's blood dripped from his jaws, matting the fur around them. He stalked towards Harry, yellow eyes glowing gleefully and gathered his hindquarters to pounce.

Harry pointed his wand. His eyes became sharp and focussed. He bared his teeth, and then shouted the spell, making the word crackle with hatred, "Incarcerous!"

Fenrir leapt, but a split second too late. Thick ropes shot from Harry's wand and bound Fenrir's front and hind legs together with a snap. The wolf fell to the ground with a heavy thud and then writhed manically, growling and snapping his jaws.

Holding a hand to his forehead, Harry approached him, slowly, holding his extended wand tightly in his other hand. Remus saw his lips moving, knew he was practicing the words of the spell. He could do it. Remus knew Harry could do it. His heart was beating so hard he thought it might burst. The possibility, hanging in the air before him, something he'd never dared dream…

Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out a small glass vial filled with shimmering silver liquid. Fenrir seemed to smell it even before he saw it. His snarls became louder and angrier, and his muscles rippled visibly beneath his fur as he struggled against the ropes. Using his wand, Harry sliced a green branch, thick as his arm, from a nearby tree. He approached Fenrir, who snapped and snarled at him, and then smacked Fenrir sharply in the head with the branch. The violence was necessary to put Fenrir off balance, of course, but Remus could see the guiltless satisfaction in Harry's eyes as Fenrir's head snapped back and he yelped in pain. Without waiting even a second, Harry took advantage or Fenrir's momentary confusion to thrust the branch into the wolf's mouth. Fenrir wasn't so far gone; he growled and clamped his jaws down, but the branch prevented him from closing them completely. Harry uncorked the vial and thrust it between Fenrir's glistening teeth.

Then the stick cracked, crumpled to bits, and before Harry could jerk away, his forearm was clenched between Fenrir's jaws. Harry screamed, staring horror struck at his trapped limb, and this time Remus was sure all was lost. Harry's eyes closed, his neck flopped back and it seemed that the only thing holding him upright was his trapped arm. With another horrible scream, Harry wrenched his arm free of the beast, who then snapped, crushing the vial between his teeth and flooding his mouth with the silver liquid.

As the poison coated his tongue and spilled down his throat, Fenrir gave a choking, high-pitched howl that drove directly through Remus' temples like a spike. Forcing his eyes to remain open, Remus felt his blood go first icy cold then scalding hot as Fenrir writhed and thrashed. Harry was dragging himself away with his good arm, shoving against the ground with his legs. He forced himself into a slumped, sitting position and pointed his shaking wand at Fenrir. Fenrir's yellow eyes bulged and then rolled. Harry's chest contracted and he sucked in a mighty breath and then shouted, "Extractum Cruorem Maledictio!"

The spell shot, silver and glowing, from the end of Harry's wand and penetrated Fenrir's chest just above his heart. Fenrir yelped, his muscles went slack and his head fell limply to the ground. Harry sat, panting. He looked towards Remus, his eyes lustrous with shock and hope, and then nodded.

For a second, Remus couldn't move. If this worked, if the legends were true… That train of thought paralysed him, however, so he shut down his mind of all but his immediate purpose and crept slowly towards the werewolf who had turned him when he was no more than a child. He felt more like a beast – like a monster – then he ever remembered feeling before. He made sure that Fenrir could see him. He needed Fenrir to know who was committing the act. He met the great grey wolf's eyes and lowered his own jaws slowly, deliberately until Fenrir's panting breath coated his nose. Then, with one powerful flash of movement, he tore Fenrir's throat out with his teeth.

First Remus' face was drenched with a shower of blood that coated his eyes and blinded him. Then, a rush of wind, cold as ice, knocked him off his feet. Remus blinked frantically. He needed to see. He needed to see what was happening. His vision cleared only enough for him to make out the shape that was Harry falling limply back to the ground, and then all was black.

* * *


The cool, damp cloth was soothing on his face. Remus awoke to find grey eyes peering down at him from a pale, bruised face. The Malfoy boy. His cheek had the overly bright, pink look of recently healed skin and his expression was grim and closed. When Remus met his gaze, however, the boy's lips quirked upwards at the corners.

Above him, Remus could see muted light filtered through canvas. They were in a tent. They must be back with the Order. "Harry," Remus whispered. "Where is Harry?"

"He's all right. He's being looked after. He lost a lot of blood, but now that the curse has ended his wounds will heal without much scarring.

Remus let his head fall back in relief and he closed his eyes. Harry had survived. It took several seconds before Malfoy's words truly sank in. "…the curse has ended…" His eyes flew back open. Remus grabbed Malfoy's wrist, releasing it immediately when he winced in pain, but then used all this strength to push himself into a sitting position so he could look the boy in the eye. "It is ended? The spell was successful?"

Malfoy's mouth flattened to a thin, humourless line. "It is," he said. "And it was."

Remus found that he was unable to speak at all, and Malfoy left him to absorb the information.

Later, Remus went to visit Harry. Harry was sitting up in bed, his arm and shoulder tightly bandaged. His skin was pale and damp looking, but his eyes looked clear and strong. Malfoy sat at the foot of his bed, his arms hugging his knees. He was gazing at Harry with an expression Remus had never seen on his face before – rapt and intent, as if the boys had been deep in conversation before Remus interrupted them.

Once Malfoy had left them alone, Harry turned to Remus. "I need to apologise to you," he said.

Remus cut him off, shaking his head. "Please, don't continue. What life I have left on this earth, I owe to you."

"Remus…" said Harry, and then forced himself up and wrapped his uninjured arm around Remus' back in a hug. "I… I didn't understand. I never knew what you'd really been through before. Remus, I…"

"Shhhh… " Remus gently urged Harry to release him and laid him back down on his bed roll. "Harry, with Fenrir's death you have set me free."

"You were the one who killed him."

"You fed him the potion. You cast the spell."

For a moment they just watched each other in silence.

"You need to rest," Remus finally continued. He reached forwards and squeezed Harry's hand, then turned and left him in peace.

-- The End



Were-Wolf by Julian Hawthorne
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