Meant To Be
The contact itself was understandable. It was what came next that changed everything.
It was the first full moon of seventh year and Moony had been mostly alone for the last few months so he was a little overexcited to have company.
Plus, for the first time, all of the unregistered Animagi of Hogwarts were present for the event, which made for a bit of a squeeze in the small room.
Mandy – or Talon, as she was in falcon form – had taken refuge at the top of the wardrobe, watching over the proceedings with a beady eye, as Arabella – or Bastet – curled up on one of the beat-up chairs, a chestnut-coloured cat, waiting for the others to be done with their animal greeting. Wormtail was sitting on her back, squeaking loudly at them.
Moony was currently wrestling with the large black dog known as Padfoot, neither of them seriously trying to hurt the other, and Prongs stuck a hoof in every now and then to trip one of them up, just to give the other a split-second advantage.
Jade – usually known as Lily – stood at his side, watching them with the cervine equivalent of a smirk. Selena and Shadow sat back, also watching silently, as unimpressed as their human counterparts.
Jade nudged them forwards, in the hope that maybe they could stop the horseplay before it got too rough. Padfoot could be stubborn, after all, and it was only a matter of time before Moony started to get annoyed.
Shadow seized Padfoot by the scruff of the neck and hauled him away, rather like a mother would with a wayward puppy.
Selena stepped between him and Moony, bumping her nose against the werewolf’s snout in consolidation.
Then it happened.
Both canines glowed with a brilliant white light, before they were forcibly thrown apart as though they’d been shocked.
The cramped quarters caused them both to collide heavily with the wall, knocking them both unconscious.
The others froze, unsure of what to do – this had never happened before and they had never even considered it. Before they could make a decision, Selena slowly shifted back to human form and began to stir. Then, to their horror, Moony stirred as well, and got up.
Padfoot and Shadow moved to his side immediately, as Prongs and Jade sprung to stand over Jen, giving her time to re-transform.
But she didn’t.
Jen, for her part, was utterly disorientated. She recognised the Shack, recognised the need to transform back into Selena, but something told her that she didn’t need to.
Jen, you do realise you’re human again, don’t you? Remus’s voice asked her.
“Yeah, I can see that, thanks.” Jen muttered, glancing over towards him. To her surprise, what she saw was Moony sitting perfectly calmly, gazing at her. “Hang on; you can’t talk in this form. How am I hearing you?”
Moony looked down at himself, as though only just realising he was still transformed. With a yelp, he turned tail and vanished up the stairs.
“Don’t.” Jen told Padfoot as he made to follow him. “Let me go. And it’s safe. He’s not going to attack any of us.” She stepped forwards, but Prongs stepped in front of her, giving her a stern look.
Jen sighed. “Fine. I’ll go as Selena, okay?” She transformed back into the large black wolf and Prongs moved out of her way, allowing her to bound up the stairs to the bedroom. Overprotective prats.
Give them a break. This is dangerous, after all.
She should have been surprised when his voice echoed in her head again, not least because he’d just read her mind. But she had learnt Occlumency at her brother’s knee before she even started Hogwarts, and she knew when there was someone else in her head.
Selena stopped in the middle of the supposedly empty room. Keep telling yourself that, hun. We seem to be having a perfectly coherent conversation INSIDE OUR HEADS!
She actually felt his wince. Not so loud please.
Sorry. Where are you, anyway?
Under the bed.
Selena crouched down to peer underneath. You can come out.
I’m still a werewolf, Jen.
You’ve never cared before. Selena pointed out fairly. And I’m turning back.
Now who’s shouting? Selena asked smugly. Look, I know you’re safe. Your scent’s different for one. And you would have attacked me downstairs instead of hiding.
I’m not hiding.
Jen straightened up. “You’re hiding.” She told him aloud. “You’re hiding under the bed, to be more specific, which is the oldest cliché in the book.”
But Jen …
“Remus Lupin, stop whining.” Jen told him sternly. “There is absolutely nothing to worry about.”
She heard a low growl coming from under the bed and shifted back into Selena quickly, feeling the werewolf rise up inside him. You just need to let the werewolf know that you’re in charge. Assert your authority. You’re the alpha male, now act like it!
As fast as the werewolf’s mind rose up, it receded. Jen ... Remus’s voice whispered in her head, sounding stunned. I can control him.
Jen shifted back to human form again. “I’ve been telling you that for the last few minutes. Now would you come out from under the bed?”
Jen sighed. “Yeah, well, I’m sitting down, so just make sure you’re at the other end.”
Tucking her legs up under her, Jen curled up at one end of the bed. “Why are you still hiding? We’ve established that you’re safe.”
I don’t want you to see me like this.
Jen resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Remus, I’ve seen you like this before, remember? Come on, you know I love you. Why do you doubt that all of a sudden?”
I don’t doubt that. I just think you deserve better than all this.
Jen closed her eyes, feeling the self-deprecation in his thoughts. Then she had an idea. Searching through her mind, she found the place his voice was originating from and hesitated, making sure to keep her thoughts private.
What if she bared her very inner thoughts, only to find that he didn’t love her as much as she loved him?
Well, there’s only one way to find out.
Taking a deep breath, she imagined a door leading into his head and opened it. I love you, she whispered, before letting everything she felt for him flow into his mind.
For a few minutes, nothing happened and she silently berated herself. Of course that wasn’t going to work. What were you thinking – door into his mind? He was probably still weak from the transformation earlier and our magic reacted. Although that doesn’t explain how he suddenly got control of the …
Her thoughts were interrupted by a sudden flood of feelings and emotions, none of which belonged to her.
Tears sprung to her eyes as she realised her fears were unfounded – he loved her just as much as she loved him. Something cold and wet touched her hand and she smiled, glancing down to see that Moony had emerged from under the bed.
“Good to know we’re both on the same page.” She murmured.
Moony let out a bark that sounded more like a laugh and jumped up beside her, licking the tears away from her face.
Jen buried her face in his fur until the rest of her tears had vanished, before kissing his head. “I love you.” She whispered. “You do make an exceptionally handsome wolf, you know.”
Why, thank you. Moony looked rather smug and curled up beside her, his tail beating a rhythm against her leg.
“We going out tonight?” Jen asked.
Moony yawned in response. Whatever caused this has left me exhausted.
“You’re not the only one.” Jen stifled her own yawn. “Well, I’d better go and tell the others.”
Moony shifted so he was lying across her legs. Mine.
Jen sniggered at the pout in his voice. “Love, they’ll be panicking right around now.”
So let them come and check on us.
Jen leaned back against the wall, still stroking his fur absently. “You know, I think Sirius has this fear of walking in on us in bed together. But I don’t think this is what he meant.”
Probably not. He sniggered.
The door opened and Moony lifted his head momentarily, only to drop it again when Padfoot trotted in, stopping dead at the sight before him.
Jen smiled sweetly. “Yes, brother dear?”
Padfoot cocked his head and she nodded. “Go ahead. It’s safe.”
He reared onto his hind legs, shifting back into Sirius as he did. “What’s going on?”
Jen shrugged. “Pass. He’s in my head. I’m in his. Moony’s under control.”
Succinctly put. Behind the ears please?
Jen rolled her eyes. “Oh, fine.” She scratched the side of his head.
“What do you mean he’s in your head?” Sirius asked.
How many things could it mean, exactly?
“Be nice.” Jen chided. “Exactly that, Sirius. I can hear his thoughts. He can hear mine.”
Sirius just gaped at them.
I think you broke him.
When Jen walked into the infirmary the next morning, she had to stifle a laugh. She had never seen Madam Pomfrey so confused. “What’s going on? Are you alright, Remus?”
“I’m fine.” Remus assured her with a smile. “But Madam Pomfrey isn’t happy about it.”
“Of course I am, Mr Lupin.” Pomfrey chided. “I just don’t understand it. Your condition has vastly improved over the last few years, but I’m not even picking up magical exhaustion. You must have done something differently.”
“I can’t think of anything.” Remus answered calmly. Wish you could still hear my thoughts, love – I need a good excuse.
Jen blinked in surprise. “Oh! I know what it could be.”
“You do?” Pomfrey asked sharply.
Jen nodded. “I learnt Occlumency growing up and Remus was asking me about it last year, so I taught you some of those meditation methods, remember? You did say the pull wasn’t as strong when you were doing them.”
“It wasn’t.” Remus agreed, somehow masking the confusion he felt. “But I didn’t think it would actually translate to the transformation.”
“Hmm.” Madam Pomfrey waved her wand over him one last time. “Well, whatever it is, Mr Lupin, keep doing it.”
“Madam Pomfrey?” Jen called as she began to walk away. “I was wondering … I read something over the summer about magical bonds … you know, when two people’s magic reacts to one another … do you know how common they are or what they are?”
Madam Pomfrey frowned. “Well … that’s a rather odd question …”
“It’s just that I thought that magical bonds needed a bonder.” Jen covered hastily. “I didn’t think it could happen on its own.”
“The only magical bond that I can think of would be a soul-bond.” Madam Pomfrey told her. “But they’re very rare. I have a book if you’d like to borrow it?”
“Could I?” Jen asked eagerly. “I just found it really interesting …”
“Of course, Miss Black.” Madam Pomfrey summoned the book and handed it to her. “Don’t worry about rushing it back – although I would like it back before you graduate.”
Jen nodded, slipping it into her bag. “I know. Can I take him with me or do I need to plan a prison break?”
Madam Pomfrey chuckled. “You can go, Mr Lupin.”
Jen waited for Remus to change and took his hand as they left the infirmary.
“Why did you ask for that book?” Remus asked.
Jen smiled. Because I can still hear your thoughts.
Well, that’s weird.
Very, Jen agreed. Secret room?
They quickened their pace and soon arrived at the same room in which she’d told him about the Willow incident six months previously.
Remus closed the door behind them as Jen pulled the book out of her bag and started flicking through it.
“Okay, listen to this.” She cleared her throat. “’When a witch or wizard is in physical contact with his/her soul-mate, having undergone a magical surge, or a period of magical exhaustion and both then experience a shock or startling experience, he or she will be bonded with his/her soul-mate, resulting in a telepathic connection and the possibility of shared powers.’”
“But we didn’t undergo a shock.” Remus reminded her.
“I’m not finished.” Jen explained. “‘However, if the relationship has already been accepted by both parties, simple contact following any magically exhausting experience will be enough to finalise the bond, as would consummation of the relationship.’”
“Well, we’ve got the telepathic connection.” Remus commented. “How can you tell it’s a soul-bond and not just a fluke?”
“Erm …” Jen flicked through the book. “Let’s see … well, we used to be able to ask the Ministry, because they used to be considered as legally binding marriages, but apparently, they’ve changed the laws, because purebloods started bonding with Muggle-borns.”
Remus rolled his eyes. “Why doesn’t that surprise me?”
“Because you’ve had experience with purebloods.” Jen answered, though she knew he hadn’t wanted one. “It doesn’t really … Oh, here’s something! Okay, well, if we walk away from it, we get weaker and weaker and it eventually kills us.”
Remus pulled her into his lap. “Anything that doesn’t involve death?”
Jen closed the book. “Well, there is something. Just promise not to hate me for it.”
“Okay.” Remus agreed tentatively. “What is it?”
Jen closed her eyes, and found the door again. This time, however, she firmly closed it and imagined it disappearing.
Instantly, it felt like she’d been doused in cold water and a shooting pain shot through her chest. Instantly, she created the door again and threw it open, feeling his mind merge with hers, and she buried her face in his chest, feeling as out of breath as if she’d run a marathon.
“Jen …” Remus whispered softly. “Don’t ever do that again.”
“Never.” Jen agreed, still shaking, even though the link had only been closed for a few seconds at the most. “Merlin, that was awful …”
“So does that mean it’s actually a soul-bond then?” Remus asked, kissing her forehead.
Jen nodded into his robes, finally catching herself. “You know this means you’re stuck with me, don’t you?”
Remus tilted her face up to kiss her softly. “I never intended on letting you go.”