|Synopsis||Holly and Remus finally have a chat.|
|Location||St. Mungo's Hospital|
|Date||25 Jan 1995|
Holly is sitting on a cot in what serves as an 'emergency room' in St. Mungo's Hospital. She's got her robes off, though there's still the white sleeveless top under that to keep her decent. Under the shirt can be seen the outline of bandages around both her middle and her chest, and, on those, the unmistakable signs of blood that's soaked through.
Currently unbandaged and awaiting new dressings are her arms, which have been expertly stitched by a wizard doctor who is also proficient in Muggle medicine. The scars will never completely heal, though these, at least, look clean and well-cared for. Perhaps the damage will be minimised, Holly hopes.
Resting in her hand is a canteen full of ice, which she's been 'drinking' for the past little while. She felt a little nauseous, so the mediwitches on call felt it'd be better to give her that rather than a goblet full of water.
He felt bad after his outburst at the Ministry. He almost always feels bad after getting mad at someone. It's the way Remus has almost always been. Unless the people really really deserved it. Holly didn't. She was scared and confused and unsure about everything, no doubt. He really shouldn't have gotten angry at her, no matter how 'right' he was. He knew she was on her way to St. Mungos, so that's where he went to as well. After being pointed by a few nurses in the right direction, he finally finds the cot she occupies. "Hi." He says, just loud enough for her to hear.
Everything hurts, like she's just run a marathon through barbed wire. She's not particularly in the mood for Company, which is why she asked Michael and Jack to wait for her out in the hospital atrium. Alone time. Plus, if they're not here, she can hopefully slip away undetected and escape a night at the Torchwood Manor.
Looking over her shoulder, one eye spots Remus. At first she doesn't say anything, but there's no hate in her expression. Maybe a little anger, though it's mostly just blank. "What are you doing here?" she asks sullenly.
Lupin doesn't say anything for a few moments. It's hard enough to be here as it is. He's spent almost all his time since the incident locked up in his room at Grimmauld Place. "I…I wanted to see you and talk to you." There's a small sigh. "I wanted to apologize, for everything that has happened. For…this." He indicates the scratches and bandages. "And for lashing out angrily at the Ministry."
"I know it wasn't your fault," Holly says. She turns a little, but that's a mistake. It hurts, though the only indication of that on her face is a pained closing of her eyes, and a short grimace.
There's a lot she wants to talk to Remus about, too. Looking him up and down, she sees no sign of the werewolf that bit her. If only she could be more charitable. Let bygones be bygones! Holly's only human, though - mostly - and she's so angry at him for doing this to her… "I saw it in your eyes," she says. "For just this single moment, you recognised me. I know you did. And I feel like…" She shakes her head. "I know there was nothing you could have done. Logically, I know that. But I can't believe it."
Lupin waits until he's sure that Holly is done talking for now. "I can't say for certain whether I recognized you or not, even for an instant, while I was changed. I wish I could. But I can't remember a thing of that night after I transformed." There's a long sigh emitted from Lupin. "Look, I can understand if you're angry at me. If I were in your place, I would be too! I mean…I'm angry at the man who infected me! Fenrir Greyback!"
Holly knows he's not lying. And she also knows that Lupin wouldn't hurt her if he had any control. "You're right, I'm a hypocrite," she says. "But it's one thing to be someone who welcomes werewolves as common citizens. It's another thing entirely to be a werewolf and expect people to accept me. I was…" After awhile, she looks away from Remus, back toward a blank wall. "I was glad the way things turned out how they did at the Ministry. I didn't go to see Umbridge arrested, though. I went 'cuz I thought maybe the Ministry'd finish the job they started by locking me up with you. Honestly, Remus, I don't know what I'm going to do now."
Lupin shakes his head. "Look, being a werewolf isn't easy. Take from someone whose been one for three decades. There's a reason that most werewolves end up resorting to criminal behaviour! It's because people discriminate against them and they feel they don't have a choice. You can be an advocate all you want, but a person can never truly be an advocate for someone or a group of people unless they know what it's like in their situation. Now, I'm not saying that I wanted you to become a werewolf. And I am truly sorry for this. I've blamed myself for this. And you have every right to blame me. And be angry. But this isn't any reason to shut yourself away and wallow! You need to stand up and shout it loud! 'I AM A WEREWOLF AND I'M PROUD!' Well…" There's a pause. "Maybe not shout it."
"That's just the thing. I've been a human for three decades. Just a plain old human witch. I don't know if I can get used to this. I mean, I built a career, I … Don't know how I'm even going to begin to tell my family." Holly falls silent again. She can't say she'd turn to criminal activity. She'd never ally with Voldemort. Unable to help herself, though, the woman wonders if other werewolves have thought the same thing, only to find themselves cornered into their only available option - serving the Dark Lord.
"I have two weeks," she says, voice starting to quaver. "I'm already scared. I know it hurts, and I know when it's done, I'm going to be… Something different. I've never been transfigured before. And— And now, I could lose control. What if I don't take enough of the potion and I hurt someone? I don't know how I'm going to get through that night on my own."
Lupin moves over in front of Holly and kneels to the point of being at eye level with her. "I hate to say it, but you never really get used to it. I've been one for all these decades, and I'm still not used to being one. It doesn't make it easier, I know, but there it is. And I can help you with informing your family." He pauses for the briefest of moments "I know. This is a scary time for you. I know exactly what you're going through. And I can help. I will be there for you, Holly! I will be there, and you will never have to be alone with this on the full moon. You need not worry about the potion, either. Just be sure to take it on the day of the full moon, as well, and all shall be well. And when the next full moon is upon us, during your first transformation, I shall be there. We shall transform together. That way you needn't worry about hurting anyone else."
So she never stops thinking about this every waking moment? That she's a dangerous beast that could - and probably will - eventually hurt someone? That she'll quite possibly meet a violent death, either by being blasted apart by someone trying to defend themselves on the night of a full moon, or having a heart attack from the stress when she's in her sixties? "Never?" she asks.
Though she nods when Remus offers to help her tell her family, Holly's not sure she'll ever let them know. They'll have to eventually - she's aware of that. At the moment, though, telling them seems far too daunting.
It's amazing that the knowledge that she will have someone with her for certain has taken so much of the weight off her shoulders. She just feels better. Calmer. It doesn't fix everything, but it does a good job of starting to repair the damage between her and Remus. If allowed, she'll take his hand like she did in the Ministry cell. "Thank you."
Lupin sighs and shakes his head. "Never. But it helps to have friends. For me it was Sirius and our group in school. And you've got a wonderful group of friends who will support you here. Me included." He says sincerely. "And hey, I am the expert and not hurting anyone on the full moon." He coughs slightly. "Well, except this incident, which has haunted me since it has happened. But otherwise, I know the ins and outs of taking the precautions."
It'll take more than reassurances by the werewolf who bit her to make Holly believe that life is still worth living. This has helped, though, even if she can only feel the warmth of companionship for a moment. Thoughts of needing to be alone war with the desire to be near people in this extremely difficult time.
Despite how wonderful Remus is being, Holly still can't tell him what she said to him on that night after he changed. She's not quite ready to admit that she does forgive him, because at the moment, she hasn't entirely done so. There is fault to be passed around here - no one is blameless. And Remus had his own part in how this played out, just like Holly did. Just like Sirius did. If there was a pie graph of blame, though, most of it would go to Umbridge, with little tiny slivers for everyone else.
A humorous question pops into her head, and she figures, hell, why not? "So does this make us like siblings?"
Lupin places his other hand over the one she is holding his one with. "Life has it's bumps in the wand. But remember, what life throws at you isn't what matters…it is what you do with what you've been given. This can be just as much a blessing as it can be a curse. Use it to strengthen your resolve towards the rights of werewolves!" He smiles softly. He just thought of that on the spot! Honestly! He blinks a few times at the question. "Siblings?" He actually has to think about what she's asking for a moment. "Well, metaphorically speaking…I suppose you could say that, if you wanted to. It can be an experience that binds just as much as it repels, I suppose."
But after all of this, please don't blame her if she just goes to curl up in a corner for awhile to cry.
"Remus, thank you," she says. She absolutely needed his company tonight, even if it was just for a little while in the hospital. "But I have some healing to do first." Hers isn't just emotional, either. It's physical… Cuts and tears that won't heal for quite awhile yet. "And that means I have to take these bandages off so the mediwitches can treat me." Perhaps a subtle hint. "But I'm not as scared anymore. Thank you so much."
Lupin smiles and nods. "Of course, Holly." He sighs. "I'll be spending the night at Grimmauld Place again, instead of going to the Noble Manor. Today has been quite the day and I'm not sure if I can handle any more distraction." He says with a slight grin. "So if you need me, that is where I shall be." All alone except for Kreacher, he may add! Sirius is going to the Noble Manor. He stands. "Good night, Holly. Try and sleep well."