Who: Remus Lupin & Peter Pettigrew What: Remus visits Peter while he’s being held by the Order When: August 2018 (Three days after Peter escapes the DEs & a day after the full moon) Where: Order holding room Warnings: Swearing. High brow penis jokes. References to torture.
It smelled wrong in here. His senses were still dialed up to eleven from the night before and worse yet being as tired as he was he couldn’t tune things out the way he should. It made him cranky, and not in an adorable way - although certain other people might try to proclaim such. Remus was bundled in a jumper that was just long enough in the sleeves to not be his own. (You wouldn’t even need two guesses to know who it actually belonged to.) It was a comfort, one he certainly needed today.
At least Peter was back, but in what state remained to be seen. He was still being held by the Order until they could be sure he wasn’t a threat to himself or anyone else. Remus was sure there was humor here, but maybe for another time. Instead, he had all too gracefully convinced the current watch that if anyone was going to get a good read of the situation, then it was probably resident werewolf Remus Lupin. True or not, it made for a good lie.
Remus let himself into the room, the wards securing behind him, and tray of finger foods in hand. There was always something to be said about a proper meal. Remus set the tray down, only just then looking over at Peter. “We missed you last night.”
There were many moments within the last few weeks that Peter wondered if death would have been preferable. Maybe all this ‘death for the cause’ shite they spouted was more about not being bloody tortured for weeks rather than nobility. He definitely understood it now but there was just no denying that he was at least alive and now he had a deal that would keep him that way.
When they finally decided to release him - because he was no more fun to torture, he presumed - his return to the Order wasn’t particularly pleasant either. They’d locked him up in case he was Imperiused to go after someone important. It made sense, though being locked up again wasn’t his favourite thing ever. He’d been assured he wasn’t a prisoner, but the four walls with wards and the inability to leave begged to differ.
The worst part of this imprisonment was boredom. They’d run most of the important tests on him when he first arrived and now it was just waiting. So seeing Remus’ face was a welcome sight. Pushing himself up from his leaning position against the wall, he gave a low whistle. “This’ll be the first time I look almost as good as you, Remus,” he snarked. He was still pretty battered up from his three week vacation, though he looked better than he had three days ago. “Did it go alright?”
“I do cast a big shadow with these looks.” Remus turned his head, in a rather spot on recreation of the ever popular duck face Instacharm pictures. Although it wasn’t the war, but rather just life that granted him such character.. “And we all stand to fight another day.” Not that was worth much of anything when things seemed to be getting darker, and darker still.
Remus took a seat, and picked up a dodgy jammer. “How are you doing?”
Peter rolled his eyes easily and was surprised to find how nice it felt to act normal again. Well, as normal as he ever was. He didn’t have much of a response for living to fight another day because he was pretty fucking tired of fighting as it was.
He nodded his thanks for the food and ate some himself before making any attempt at an answer. It was a weighted question for more reasons than any of the Order knew (even if they might suspect). “Oh y’know,” he spoke while chewing, “bit broken here and there. It’s surprising how much the human body can take.” He waved his hand toward Remus. “Kind of understand now how shitty it is for you now, mate. I mean, not really, but sort of.”
Remus chuckled, polishing off the biscuit easily. His own body ripped apart and rebuilt itself twice every month. It never got easier. “I’ll have to make sure you get the badge. Officially join the club.” There was no valor here, no perseverance learned in knowing just how much the human body could take. At least not for Remus.
“It better be a bloody good badge, Moony.” No, he didn’t need another badge. He had enough unwanted badges now as it was.
“Do you want to talk about it?” The words were said in earnest. If Peter was to share, then why not with him?
Peter pulled his knees up toward his chest and draped his arms over them. It wasn’t that he couldn’t talk about it; most of it had just been meaningless torture, after all. “Yes? No? I don’t really know.” He scrubbed his hand through his hair messily. “It wasn’t anything particularly creative. Just a lot of Unforgivables and more pain than I cared for. And I was locked up, y’know, like I am right now,” he added wryly.
Remus swallowed a whine, before giving into his instincts. He pushed himself back up and attempted to maneuver Peter onto the bed. It didn’t seem right to see Peter, to see pack, on the ground, so little. His mind also told him it would be safer on the bed, tangled bodily in a way that uneasy truths might slip out and sooth the mind.
Peter might’ve predicted such a reaction from Remus if he were thinking more clearly. Things were still fairly twisted up in his head, regardless that the torture had finally stopped. He wasn’t going to fight against Remus and really, decent human contact would be preferable to what he’d been dealing with recently - and that included what the Order had been doing with him as well. Maybe it wasn’t overt torture, but being poked and prodded and questioned wasn’t really more fun than the other.
He got up and let Remus position him whatever way he was comfortable with. This had started as a Remus and Sirius sort of thing, but over the years Peter had grown accustomed to it and eventually craved the human contact for what it was.
As they settled, Remus made sure the food was still in reach. It wouldn’t do to nest without food nearby. He was mindful to set them in a way not too jarring or uncomfortable given the assortment of injuries between them. But yes, this was better. It quieted the beast in the back of his head.
“This is kind of like your own personal Shrieking Shack, yeah?” The parallels were there, Remus didn’t have to reach for them. “Sorry, I can’t turn into an animal to make you feel better.”
It was easy to sink into the comfort of Remus. He was maybe a bit bony, but a warmth he was used to. With the accessible food, it really was just like they were huddled in the Shrieking Shack after his most recent transformation. “Something like it,” he agreed. Might be better without a 24/7 guard at his door, but that wasn’t something he could control.
Peter shrugged a shoulder lightly and his voice came out softer now that they were so close. “S’not your fault.” He wasn’t supposed to change in here either. The Order hadn’t forced him not to, but he wasn’t going to bother trying. They’d done a decent job on the wards and he didn’t currently have his wand so he wasn’t in a hurry to go anywhere before getting it back. “Anything interesting happen while I was gone? Prongs have another kid already?”
“Dashing heroics. Asking forgiveness and not permission. The sort of thing you’d expect.” Remus shrugged. Peter was taken. Of course there would be some rallying to get back one of their own. “Even though I can kind of imagine what you went through, I’m sure it doesn’t come close to the truth. Still glad you’re back, in one piece--” Remus just shook his head. When he signed up for this war, Remus was the one with little intention of making it through. Of all his friends his future was less clear, certainly nowhere near as bright. It felt wrong to see Peter like this.
And he could have said more, but instead Remus let that silence linger like an invitation.
Those were definitely actions he could easily attribute to his friends. In fact it was that way long before joining the Order, minus the heroics. Hardly anything they did in school was heroic in any sense of the word. He didn’t have much information on what the Order had done to try and save him, though there were plenty of times that Peter wondered why they would even bother. The Marauders probably kicked up more of a fuss than the rest… and also probably tried to conduct their own rescue mission, now that he thought on it.
“I dunno, mate. You’ve got a dark sense of humour, I’m sure you could get pretty close if you gave it enough thought.” Peter had always appreciated Remus’ dry wit, though he knew that this probably wasn’t the right moment. It was always easier to play off the heavy stuff with a joke, though, and Remus knew that best of anyone. “There may be some bits still out of place, but mostly one piece,” he agreed. Elaboration on that was non-existent.
An imagination was a dangerous thing. Remus was never sure if it was better to know or just guess. Although, no, knowing was always better. “It’s okay, mate.” His voice was very solemn then. “You can tell me if they made you a eunuch. I promise to never tell Padfoot or Prongs.”
Peter actually laughed at that and it was definitely the first laugh he’d had in the past month. It felt almost foreign inside of his mouth. “Fuck you, Lupin,” he responded and shoved at his friend’s shoulder, albeit lightly considering their similar conditions. “I am happy to report that however fucked up they are, they didn’t attempt any funny business with my bollocks.”
“Well, good. Otherwise, there would be decidedly very little buggering.” Remus bumped Peter back, perhaps a little less gently than he meant. But he was glad to get the laugh. Made terrible things feel just a little more human. “But seriously, Pete, as someone who has been through, well a lot, I’m here for you. It can’t have been easy to go through what you did, and come out on the other side.”
Remus seemed hellbent on pursuing this line of conversation and Peter’s slightly more paranoid side was wondering if he’d been sent in here as a friendly face to try and dig more information from him. No, that was stupid. Was it?
“Hey I know you’re worried about me, alright? Makes sense. It certainly wasn’t my choice holiday and yes I feel a little fucked up from it and probably will be for a while, but you are right - I came out the other side, regardless. And if it hadn’t been for you and for James and Sirius pushing me to become an animagus I would either still be there or be dead. So I can promise you that you lot have done plenty for me already.”
He nudged his knee playfully against some part of Remus that he could reach. “You don’t have to watch over me or smell me for something wrong. I’m not Imperiused and I don’t think I was Obliviated, but that isn’t something I can really know for certain.” He took a deep breath and sighed. “You don’t need to worry, Moony. I’ll be fine. Eventually.”
Remus pushed back, a bit harder, really just asserting his dominance that they were going to stay in this nest and rest. And not make silly comments. The ripples of the wolf was louder still even in the daylight. “I’m pretty sure you gave up your right to tell me not worry when the anamagi project began. Marauders never say die, et al..” Wormtail was pack, that was not a bond easily broken.
Peter sighed at that, though he was pleased enough to know his friend wasn’t asking anymore questions. It was nice to just be here with Remus and not have to think. About the Death Eaters, about the Order, about the most precarious mission he’d ever undertake in his life. “I’m not dead. None of us are,” he said firmly, pointedly. “And if I can’t tell you not to worry, at least I can tell you that you kind of smell.” He grinned and then ducked his head down to press against Remus’ chest and hopefully avoid being nudged again.
“For someone who insults your delicate sensibilities, you sure have made yourself comfortable.” Remus flared his nostrils, habit more than intent, to see exactly what he smelled like. Nothing really seemed out of sort. They were all familiar scents, just stronger, mustier perhaps. “Blimey, Peter, they’re letting you shower right?”
Peter was rolling his eyes even though Remus couldn’t see. “You’re the one that started it with your wolfyness,” he reminded plainly. “I never took naps and cuddled with my friends before I met you lot.” The friends he’d not had before them wasn’t being discussed here. When Remus said he stank, Peter poked him in the ribs. “I can’t until some of my cuts close up,” he complained, nearly miserable. “They put some salve or some shite in them.”
“Yeah, well, I’ve never had friends before, so…” Remus shrugged, letting the comment run off him like water. It wasn’t the point, true as it might be. “No showers, and a lifetime of smelling. Can’t keep that from Padfoot and Prongs. But what else can I get for you? Make this … guestage situation a little more hospitable?”
It was interesting how easily that rolled off of Remus’ tongue when Peter would rather not say it at all. He and Peter both lied, but Remus had a necessity to growing up. Peter just… lied. He pulled his head back up to look at Remus’ face when he asked what he could get. “Moony, I need a pack of fags. It’s been a bloody age and I can’t take it anymore. Please, mate. I will never say you smell bad again.”
Remus hummed, considering the request. It was a harmless ask all things considered. “I will take this under advisement. See what I can bring back. But for now, let’s tuck into the food and just be.”
That seemed to be that. Peter snuggled himself a little closer to Remus and helped him eat the rest of the food off the tray. He would be glad when things would be back to normal. As normal as things would be now, anyway.