Chapter 5: Reflections in Eight Mirrors

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The Awakening Power

by Sib

Chapter 5: Reflections in Eight Mirrors

A/N: This chapter is a bit different. Reviewer ldomingo11 liked the Hermione part in the last chapter, and suggested a chapter of thoughts about Harry after the party from various points of view. I thought her idea sounded interesting, and here is the result. Since this is quite experimental, I would appreciate reviews more than usual, even if it's just to say which parts you liked, and which parts you didn't. :) As a bonus, the girl who has a crush on Harry is revealed at the end. That part was actually an outtake from a future chapter, but it works well here.

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Remus Lupin knew how cruel life could be.

He was sitting alone in Grimmauld Place, ostensibly reading some reports from members of the Order of the Phoenix, but his mind was not really on his duties. He sighed and got up from his chair.

He began walking around the large, ornate office, looking at the fine inlaid wood of the walls - his walls. Or at least, his walls that he jointly owned with Harry. It was so odd after so many years of poverty to be quite wealthy, and he still couldn't quite grasp the concept. Of course, the cost of his wealth had been intolerably high.

The party the previous day had been both wonderful and terrible for him. It had been wonderful to share in Harry's joy. Harry had so few opportunities to know how much people cared about him. It was difficult for Harry to accept after being neglected for so many years.

Lupin knew that he shared a bit of that with Harry. For so many years he had been alone, but since Dumbledore had brought back the Order, he had begun to feel useful again. There was always a steady stream of people to Grimmauld Place, and he was grateful that they seemed to accept that he was a werewolf.

The party had also been terrible for him. Seeing himself with his friends in the Pensieve brought back so many memories of happier, simpler days. They had so many grand plans back then. They would talk for hours about their future and what they wanted to do with their lives, and Sirius and James had even convinced him that he had a future, too.

That was the greatest gift they had given him. A kernel of hope that he could be useful, that being a werewolf didn't doom him to the life of an outcast. After all, if James and Sirius liked him and accepted him, couldn't others do the same? Perhaps somehow he could have a career, and love, and a family, and...

And then once a month all his confidence would be wiped out in a single night.

No one could truly understand what it was like. The horrible pain of his limbs extending, the skin stretching tight. His mind would recede as pure emotion and instinct took over. He became a fully fledged monster.

The worst part of becoming the monster was the freedom. With his mind and morality ripped away, he could do anything he wanted. He held life in his hand - he could give it or take it at his whim. He was powerful. He was connected to nature in the most intimate way - and nature approved of him.

When his mind would begin to return the next morning, he would fight it with all his might. He would scream in frustration that his power was being taken away. And when his mind returned, he would feel the horrible guilt for knowing how good it felt to be powerful.

Knowing he had something to return to, his friends, helped him more than they could ever know. He never told them how good it felt to be the werewolf.

The most optimistic he had ever felt was not long after Hogwarts. His OWL and NEWT scores had been among the highest in the school. He was a respected member of the Order. His friend James was married to a wonderful woman who accepted Remus without reservation. And then it was all taken away in a short span of time. Voldemort took it all away.

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