Quarter Moon
by Maidenjedi

You wouldn't want to know me, sweetheart.

You touch my arm and ask me to buy you a drink anyway. How can I resist, with your Muggle clothes and your Muggle perfume, designed to entice and ensnare?

You ask me what I do for a living. I laugh. My threadbare clothes don't make you suspicious?

I used to be an Auror. A what, you ask. An Auror. I used to fight off the Dark Lord and his minions.

Dark Lord? The question is on your pretty, vacant face. What do I mean?

I might tell you if you stay. I don't have to think with you in front of me, your blonde hair shining, your red lipstick perfect. Such a pretty Muggle, I say it out loud, and I reach out to touch your face.

You giggle and call me loony. You don't move away, but you call me loony.

You're right. Maybe you're right.

Peeves is still laughing in my ear all these years later. Loony, loopy Lupin.

Loony. Yeah, maybe I am.

The bartender shakes his head when I ask for another. It's late and I should be going anyway. You want to come along, and I don't argue.

A quarter moon shines his Cheshire smile down at us, and I can feel the wolf. Familiar desire courses through me and I tell you not tonight, maybe I'll catch up with you another time.

You wriggle against me, breath hot on my neck, and beg me to take you home. Your breasts are pressed against my side, and I can't take it, you don't know what you're doing. I mutter under my breath, "obliviate", and you stand stunned for a second.

Then you slap me, hard. Who the hell am I, what the fuck do I think I am doing?

And she runs, and I walk away.

I don't know how long it has been. Maybe a month, maybe a year. I've been drunk when I haven't been locked away, the wolf howling in pain that I drowned during the day.

Sirius did it. No one wanted to tell me.

James dead. Lily dead. Peter dead.

Sirius did it.

Dumbledore told me.

I laughed. What kind of reaction was that? I laughed, they were all killed and I was out saving the world. I am laughing now, and I blame it on the moon.

Remus Lupin, werewolf, at your service.

A Muggle bandage on my hand, from punching a mirror in a shoddy hotel room.

My jeans and t-shirt are ragged and stained. I would wear my robes, but I'd be carted off by Muggle authorities.

The quarter moon never bothered me before. When Moony could count on Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, I never feared that I might give in to desire and lust.

The hairs on my neck flutter in the breeze, and deep in my throat I feel the growl. Like a fragile child whose heart has gone bad, I can't afford to get excited. I can't afford anger or lust.

The wolf laughs out loud, knowing he'll win and that the full moon will inevitably come. I'll have to retreat, and Moony will be alone.

Whose fault is that, Sirius?

I should get back to Hogwarts. Pomfrey can make a crude version of the Wolfsbane Potion, and something is better than nothing.

Peeves in my head. Loony, loopy Lupin.

Something isn't always better than nothing.

I don't want to face Dumbledore, with his plans and his ideas and his bloody Order of the Phoenix. I don't want to watch McGonagall's face go from stern to sympathetic. I don't want to hear the ghosts whisper in the halls.

Loony, loopy Lupin. All his friends are dead.

You look like good company. A brunette, standing under a streetlight. No whore's clothes, but the way you look at me when you notice me says you'd let me touch you.

I'm dirty and I'm tired. I don't want to fight the wolf tonight.

You don't want to know me, sweetheart.

You don't care.

I offer to walk you home. No one should be alone at night, you say. I quite agree.

The kiss at your door is timid, then hot, then embarrassed.

That's okay, I say. You blink. Is something wrong?


And I walk away.

Something isn't always better than nothing.


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