Remus was the next to come use the prefect's bathroom. The boy looked pale, drawn and extremely tired. He was silent all while waiting for the tub to fill. When he got into the water, he lay his head back onto the edge and closed his eyes.
Eventually he opened them again and came face to face with the rubber ducky. "Oh," he said, "hi. What brings you here tonight?"
It might have been the fact that he was he exhausted, but Remus could have sworn that the duck gave him an apprehensive look. "You needn't worry," he informed it. "The full moon was on Wednesday. Only as a werewolf would I have any ideas of eating you. I'm perfectly safe now."
He yawned widely. "I'm so tired. The transformation takes a lot out of me. You'd think I'd be used to it by now. I've certainly been going through it for enough years. But it seems to be one of those things that doesn't lessen with time. If anything, I find it more painful now than it ever used to be.
"At least I don't have to go through it alone anymore. Oh," he exclaimed, "no, there isn't another wolf here at Hogwarts, or anything like that. There aren't that many wolves out there, at least in England there aren't. And I'm the first wolf to be admitted to Hogwarts, if not ever, at least for many, many years. Most wizards despise werewolves. I can hardly blame them for it, either. We are quite the despicable bunch.
"No, I'm afraid when I said I'm not alone during my transformations I was referring to something else entirely. I have corrupted my friends, am the cause of them becoming illegal Animagi. If I weren't foolish enough to have gotten bitten, they never would have considered breaking the law for me. There would have been no need for them to do so."
He sighed. "Sometimes I think it would have been better if Dumbledore hadn't become Headmaster. No one else would have accepted me at Hogwarts. And if I weren't here, my friends wouldn't have considered breaking the laugh for me."
If the duck had eyebrows, it would have raised them. Somehow, though, even without them, he managed to convey his disbelief to the young werewolf.
"Okay," Remus conceded. "So I'm sure Sirius would have considered breaking the law even without me around. And maybe James, as well. But not Peter. I can honestly say Peter wouldn't have thought of becoming an Animagus without knowing I was a werewolf."
He sighed and hung his head in shame. "I almost escaped on Wednesday," he admitted. "I think the wolf has gotten used to the others and now knows them too well. I brought them too close to the Acromantula settlement in the Forbidden Forest. Then, while they were busy trying to get away from the spiders, I escaped. It took them a few moments to even realize I was gone. Luckily Peter, who was too small for the Acromantula to notice, saw me go and warned the others.
"They got me again, before any damage was done, but it was so close. I was so close. A few more seconds, and who knows what I might have done."
Shaking his head, Remus added, "It's too dangerous. I'm too dangerous. Sirius and the others may not be able to understand, but I do. Werewolves aren't tame, cannot be tamed. They simply cannot seem to comprehend that. No matter what happens, it's all a joke to them. But it's not. It's a matter of life or death. If one of these days I do escape and kill or hurt someone, whose fault do you think it would be? Whom do you think would be plagued with guilt about it? Who would get blamed?
"They may have become Animagi," he continued, "illegal, though it may be, but they would not be blamed for any such incident. Nor should they be. I am the werewolf. It would be my fault. Not theirs, mine."
He sighed again. "I guess I'm just in one of my moods tonight, as James terms them. Moody Moony, that's me," he said, self-deprecatingly. "It'll pass. It always does. Then I'll be laughing and joking about my near miss with the rest of them. I'm a bastard, an irresponsible bastard.
"But I suppose you've had enough of hearing me whine tonight," he said, addressing the rubber duck. "Thanks for letting me wallow in my self-pity. Not many would let me go on like that. My friends certainly don't." He gave out a rough bark of laughter. "They don't think it's healthy."
He got out of the tub and dried himself off. "They might be right, but denying reality isn't healthy, either. And reality is, I'm a monster." Taking his time, he silently put on his robes and left the rubber duck to reflect in peace.
End of Remus' Part
Sunday, June 10, 2001
Shameless plug alert! Shameless plug alert! If you guys are enjoying this story, why not check out some of my other HP fics? They're almost exclusively MWPP. Just click on my name up at the top and look for Mischief in the Making, Moonlight Discoveries, Snuffles' First Adventure, and The Prank. Also, keep your eye out for Flying Lessons, a Baby Harry story that will be coming out as soon as I get it back from my betas.
Once again, thank you to everyone who reviewed. Alisha - The duck hasn't talked yet, and I don't think he will, but I'll keep it in mind for sure. You never know. Cali - Patience, patience. Here's his part already. Now, that wasn't so bad, was it? I won't tell you I've got Peter's and Sirius' part done this time (mostly because it would be a lie *grin*). RavenNat - thanks! Queen Kakia - I'm not going to put Lucius in it because, until I get official word otherwise, I don't believe he was in the same year as the MWPP crowd. Plus I don't think I'd be able to write him all too well