Title: The Silent Victim
Author: thisside/Jai Marie
Challenge: 25. "Lupin strolled away from the bed and over to the werewolf, who had no visitors and was looking rather wistfully at the crowd around Mr. Weasley." from OotP "Christmas on the Closed Ward" -I've been wondering about this conversation between Lupin and the recently bitten man in St. Mungo's. Just a general conversation would be nice. Satisfy my curiosity, someone, PLEASE!"
Summary: The story of the werewolf on the Closed Ward is even more tragic than Lupin could have imagined.
Characters: Remus Lupin, OMC
Word Count: 1,069
Beta: leogryffin *smooch*
A/N This story was the inspiration for a character in the RPG the_leaky :)
Lupin strolled away from the bed and over to the werewolf, who had no visitors and was looking rather wistfully at the crowd around Mr. Weasley.
"Happy Christmas," he said, offering a smile to the fellow.
"Is it?" The man retorted.
Lupin raised an eyebrow at the venom in the man's voice, but it hardly surprised him. It was difficult enough as he grew up to accept that the bite made him forever different from others. He couldn't imagine living half his life without it and then receiving the bite. The man's accent sounded American, which was also a surprise to Lupin.
"I suppose it could be if you let it be," Lupin finally replied diplomatically. "How're you getting along?"
The man shrugged sullenly.
"Right." Lupin debated between leaving him to his misery, since he obviously seemed rather set upon being so, or trying to cheer and distract him a little. "You're rather far from home, aren't you?"
"Depends." The man had yet to give a straight answer to Lupin, and he wondered if something had happened to make him less than forthcoming. He knew the Ministry was hardly sympathetic to werewolves, and he wondered if perhaps someone had given this poor fellow a hard time already.
"Fair enough," Lupin said. "Your accent strikes me as American."
After a long silence, the man nodded. "Yeah, it is."
Lupin waited for him to elaborate, but it appeared three words to a sentence was the man's limit. "My name's Lupin. Remus Lupin." He held out his hand.
The man looked at it for a long time, then finally took it with a weak grip. "Noah Jackson."
Definitely an American-sounding name, Lupin figured. "Do you have family here in London?"
"No." He turned his face away.
"Ah. America then?" Lupin wondered if this was the gist; that the Ministry, being their usual inward-looking selves, had isolated this poor man from his family because he was now a danger to himself and others in their mind. He lowered his voice. "If you need someone contacted--"
"It's fine!" Noah snapped. "I don't need anything. Will you leave me alone?" The amount of pain and vitriol in his voice made Lupin suspicious that the man was dealing with pain beyond that of the bite.
"If that's what you truly want," Lupin said with a sigh. "Although I hardly think it's what you need, now of all times."
Before Noah could respond, two Healers came into the room. "Excuse us, sir," one said to Lupin, as she drew the curtain around Noah's bed. The hairs on the back of Lupin's neck stood on end as he realized that behind the curtain, Noah was growling.
A sudden shriek from the direction of Mr. Weasley's bed got Lupin's attention. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, THAT'S THE GENERAL IDEA?" He turned to see Mrs. Weasley throwing a fit, which while distracting and embarrassing, also made it impossible for him to hear what the Healers were doing behind the curtain. He moved closer to the werewolf's bed and tried to peer between the curtain and the wall, but all he could see were the Healers putting away empty potions vials and pocketing their wands.
When the curtain was withdrawn, Lupin was standing there, hands on his hips. "What did you do to him?" he demanded, attempting the firm yet unthreatening stance he had perfected during his tenure at Hogwarts.
"We have to keep him sedated," the Healer explained with a sad smile. "It's for his own good."
"How so? He didn't seem violent or dangerous to me, and the full moon's past," Lupin said.
"It's not something we're at liberty to discuss, Sir." The Healer quickly turned to catch up with her co-worker, who had already vacated the ward.
Lupin frowned uneasily. Something wasn't right here.
He went back to Noah's bedside and looked down at him, stroking his chin thoughtfully. After a moment, Noah stirred and opened his eyes, squinting as he appeared to be struggling to focus them. "Why're you still here?" he asked groggily.
"I'm concerned for your welfare," Lupin replied.
Noah snorted and waved a hand. "Fuck that," he drawled, squinting for a moment. "I'll be fine when I wake up."
"Are they releasing you in the morning?"
"Huh? Hell if I know." Noah's head lolled to the side. Lupin came around the side of the bed and crouched next to him, looking around to see if the Healers were nearby.
"Who can I contact? By owl, by Floo, anything. Tell me how I can help you!" Noah's disoriented speech had Lupin concerned that he wasn't going to stay conscious for long.
"What's a Floo?" Noah slurred. "Owl what?" He snorted again and weakly waved his hand. "I said I'll be fine. Like Dorothy. Or Alice. Just lemme wake up. Magic wands. She waved a wand, and," he laughed a little, then groaned, draping an arm over his eyes. "Fuck."
Lupin echoed that own sentiment in his mind as it became clear why it was that the Healers were being so secretive, why this man was still in hospital well after the first full moon, why they were keeping him drugged.
Not only was Noah a werewolf; he was a Muggle. Not a Muggle-born wizard. A Muggle. Some werewolf must have gone roaming and bitten the poor fellow, and now he was here, where they were keeping him drugged and thinking he was in some twisted fairy tale dream. It was anyone's guess what the Ministry would do with him, and it was a guess Lupin didn't fancy taking. Letting him go back to his former life, where his condition would attract attention and create trouble, certainly didn't seem like it would be an option.
Lupin patted him on the shoulder, but he didn't respond. Whatever the Healers had given him had already taken effect. And besides, Noah was beyond Lupin's help right now, with all of the other troubles he was dealing with. With war on the horizon, St. Mungo's would likely be one of the safest places for the Muggle to be, despite the effects it might have on his psychological well-being. He turned to leave, vowing to at least spare a thought for the young werewolf, no matter what lie ahead.
"Hang in there, Noah. It's bound to get better sometime."
Either that, or they would all be dead and it wouldn't matter.