Under the Moon
- Story Summary:
- Remus Lupin had met Alysta when he was very young, when his parents took him in search of a cure that didn't exist. He never thought he'd meet the girl with the kind smile who invited him to play again. Much less marry her thirty years later. But the life of two werewolves is never easy, even in the safety of the Necromancien palace. British officials, Dark-Creature hunters, Death Eaters, and smothering relatives all conspire to make married life for the Lupins difficult. Part of the 'With the Purest Intentions' Series.
Chapter 01 - A Diplomatic Incident
- Chapter Summary:
- Remus and Alysta remember how they met while on their honeymoon, while the head of the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures tries to make their lives difficult. Alysta does not take kindly to threats of Azkaban, and threatens a diplomatic incident if things are not resolved to her satisfaction, invoking a treaty with her country to make her case.
Chapter 1 - A Diplomatic Incident
1 November 1997
I remember when I first met her. For as much as Aunt Meri wants to believe she introduced us, we had met before. A long time ago. I couldn't have been older than seven. Barely two years as a werewolf, and my parents had nearly spent everything they had, searching for a cure. They took me to the Pyrenees, to visit a family that was rumoured to be able to raise the dead, as well as many other lesser magics that were forbidden elsewhere.
Andorra was a lovely country, if small, and I remember being excited. I didn't know why my parents had brought me there, but I knew there were other children. Ones whose parents didn't tell them to "Stay away from that boy. You don't want to be bitten by a wolf, do you?"
There was even a pretty little girl, about ten, who smiled at me, and asked me if I wanted to play hide-and-seek. After she asked me to play, the other children treated me with awe, as if I had been touched by royalty. I didn't learn that in their eyes, I had been, not until I was at Hogwarts.
My parents took me back home before the next full moon, and they wouldn't tell me why until after they finally gave up on a cure. The Necromanciens were werewolves, had been for generations. They wouldn't provide my parents with a cure, even if there had been one, because they didn't understand their fear for me.
But I still remember that day fondly. My first meeting with the woman who would later come to England at the request of a man I never liked, only to tell him he needed to learn restraint. But that is the quintessential Alysta. Ever gracious, infinitely polite, and brutally honest when it comes time.
~ ~~ ~
"Are you writing in that journal of yours again?"
Remus set down the quill he'd been writing with, turning in the chair to look at the woman sprawled over the plush bed. He was still afraid he'd wake up, and the last year would be a dream.
"I was remembering when we first met, Alysta." Remus stood up, padding back towards the bed. "Just before you turned eleven."
"When your parents showed up, afraid of what you were, looking for a way to change you back." Alysta rose up to her knees, one hand caressing his jaw. "Of course I remember. I asked my parents if we could keep you. All the other children loved you, and you were the cutest thing I had ever seen in my life. And you were one of us."
Remus chuckled softly, burying his fingers in her hair, and drawing her close for a kiss. "I'm rather glad you didn't keep me then. This never would have happened."
Alysta shrugged, her hand sliding around the back of his neck, her head resting in the hollow between his neck and his shoulder. "We'll never know. And I don't think I care." She nipped at the stubble-roughened skin of his neck. "Come back to bed, love, and show me how much you love me."
~ ~~ ~
3 November 1997
I met him when I was ten. Almost eleven. He was only seven, I think. He had to have been. Birthdays don't lie, even if people lie about their birthday.
His parents were scared. I could smell the stench of their fear from my room, and like all children's rooms in the manor, it was as far from the main house as possible. Our family didn't want to risk their most precious possessions. Though I was more beloved than some of my siblings. My mother, after all, was the wife, not the mistress.
But he smelled of our kind. Of our kind, and of excitement. It drew me out of the classroom, to the annoyance of my tutor. Father wasn't happy later when he found out I'd left my lessons for a boy. Not entirely. He was less angry since it was another of our kind, but he still was not happy.
His parents had let him go down the hill to the village while they talked to my father. He had said the boy needed to play, and the children wouldn't care, even if they knew. They would know, though. They knew our family, after all, and we have been born werewolves for generations.
He was very cute, and yet so serious. He was happy playing, but I could smell the tension in him. He didn't know why they were so uncaring of his condition, but he took advantage of it. The selfishness of youth, which he has lost since.
The other children left me be, wondering who I was going to bestow my attention on. I think they treated him the same way they treated me after mother came to herd me back to the manor. Tutor told her first, since she wasn't busy. She took me to see father after the Lupins left, and he scolded.
But I didn't care. I asked him why the boy had to leave. Why we couldn't keep him with us. He wasn't human. He was one of us. A werewolf. His parents were human, but he was one of us, and he should be among those who were like him.
They explained that they couldn't take him from his parents. He was from Britain, and even though he was one of us, and the British Wizarding community was very unwelcoming of our kind, they could not legally take him from his parents. And our little country could not afford to alienate so comparatively large a country.
It was years before I could find a reason to go to Britain, and by then, I'd almost forgotten about the little boy who'd caught my ten-year-old interest. But the tiny grey woman who was with the man I had been invited to visit wanted to introduce me to someone. She said her nephew and I had something in common, and she worried about him so.
It was impossible not to remember Remus when I stepped into her house. His smell was everywhere, and I could see the recognition in his eyes when we were introduced.
That was the first time I'd heard his name, and he, mine, though. We'd never thought to exchange names when we first met. Werewolves don't always remember to, especially the young. Scent is more reliable than a name to identify an individual. Names, after all, can be easily changed. Scents, they're harder to change.
~ ~~ ~
Closing her journal, Alysta smiled, looking up at Remus. "Yes, love?"
He held up a sealed letter. "It only took them two days." He had a worried expression on his face, and Alysta sighed.
"Your British Ministry needs to learn that their ridiculous laws do not apply to foreign royalty. Though if they are sending their fond wishes for our happiness, I may be mollified."
Remus grimaced. "Not likely. Werewolves are less than human in their eyes." He sat down across from her at the small table, his thumbnail slipping under the seal to open the thick envelope. "And you know as well as I do that under British law, for a werewolf to even think of procreating is forbidden."
"Because they're stupid, bigoted fools." Alysta shrugged. "If they wish to have a problem, we can always move to Andorra permanently. No one has a problem with werewolves there."
"Because their royal family is a family of werewolves." Remus chuckled, leaning across the table to kiss her. "Let's see what the Ministry is trying to do, shall we?"
~ ~~ ~
3 November 1997
Dear Mr. Lupin and Miss Necromancien.
Your application for a wedding contract has been reviewed by the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures, and in the interests of the wizarding community, has been denied, under Article II, paragraph 3 of the Werewolf Safety Act of 1995.
As you are aware, this section states:
No werewolf shall be permitted to contract a marriage with a witch or wizard. Any attempts to do so can be punishable by a life sentence in Azkaban.
No male werewolf shall be permitted to impregnate a witch or Muggle woman for any reason. Any pregnancy caused by a male werewolf shall be immediately terminated. The male werewolf then shall be subject to a life sentence in Azkaban.
No female werewolf shall be permitted to become pregnant. Any female werewolf found to be in violation of this shall have her pregnancy terminated, and be subject to a life sentence in Azkaban.
Should it be discovered that Miss Necromancien has conceived while a resident in Britain, the pregnancy will be subject to termination under Article II, paragraph 3 of the Werewolf Safety Act.
Should you have any questions regarding this matter, please contact Werewolf Support Services at the Ministry of Magic.
Alexander Myron Dedrago
Head of Department
Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
~ ~~ ~
"You arrogant son of a misbegotten worm!"
Remus stood in the doorway of the office, ignoring the stares of the people in the office behind him. Alysta had slammed the letter down on the man's desk, impaled on the point of the knife she'd used to pin it to their kitchen table after reading it the first time.
Inch and a half into the desk... he was lucky his hands weren't in the way.
"Excuse me? Who are you, and what are you doing in my office?" Mr. Dedrago stood up, his expression thunderous. "If you do not leave immediately, I will have Aurors come and escort you both to holding cells, before I see you deported to Azkaban!"
"I would be most amused to see you try, little worm." Alysta glared at him, her lips curled in disgust. "I do not think you will care to have a diplomatic incident on your hands. And I shall make it most terrible for you should you do anything to attempt to harm my husband or myself."
Mr. Dedrago snorted. "Your husband must be a very weak man..."
Remus cleared his throat, pushing down the urge to growl. "Oh, I don't think you want to continue that sentence, Mr. Dedrago. You wouldn't care to meet me in a couple days, say, when the moon is out."
The man paled momentarily, before a superior smirk came to his face. "I see. You realize, of course, that you're subject to imprisonment in Azkaban for illegally contracting a marriage to a witch, Mr. ...?"
"Lupin. And that would be what we're here to discuss." Remus kept a genial smile on his face, nodding to Alysta. "I believe my wife was trying to explain this to you before you so rudely interrupted her."
"It doesn't matter what you attempt to explain. It is illegal for a werewolf to contract a marriage, and it is punishable by a life sentence in Azkaban. I shall start the paperwork immediately."
"I would suggest not, Mr. Dedrago. I am not subject to your laws, and the wedding contract was drawn up according to the laws of my country. In which it confers the royal status I carry to Remus, as well as citizenship in Andorra, and immunity to your laws against our kind, as stated in Article Five, section two of the Treaty of 1874."
"Your marriage contract is not valid in Britain, and will not be recognized as such. Which leaves Mr. Lupin entirely subject to the Werewolf Safety Act of 1995."
"Read the Treaty of 1874. You might find a few things in Article Five that make your foolish posturing useless. Remus is no longer subject to the Werewolf Safety Act. Only the Werewolf Registry Act of 1798, and the International Werewolf Code of Conduct as revised in 1844. Which does not regulate the marriage of werewolves, nor the other items that were included in your letter."
"A matter which the British Ministry is lobbying to reform, Miss...?" He smiled condescendingly, making Remus's hackles rise.
He could smell Alysta's anger, and was actually surprised the man hadn't seen how close to the edge of danger he was skirting. I wonder if Mr. Dedrago was in Gryffindor at Hogwarts? He's certainly showing the same level of observation to non-verbal cues that James and Sirius did for years. To whit, none.
"It is now Mrs. Lupin, regardless of my maiden name, worm. And do not treat me like some small child, or you will find yourself sadly out of employment."
"Are you attempting to threaten me?"
Alysta leaned over the desk, and Remus tensed, ready to pull her back before she decided to do something like rip out Mr. Dedrago's throat.
"I am not attempting to threaten you, Mr. Dedrago. I am promising you that if you do not cease to annoy me with your insistence that my husband is subject to your hateful laws, you will find yourself out of your job, and without recourse to any employment better than a street-sweeper."
~ ~~ ~
The Treaty of 1874
Article V, Section ii
The royal family of the Andorra Wizarding Kingdom, to whit, the Necromancien family, is permitted to wed any citizen of the country of Britain should both parties be in agreement, without regard to the desires and choices of the British Ministry of Magic or its employees or representatives. In so doing, the following shall occur:
The status of royalty of the Andorra Wizarding Kingdom shall be conferred upon the British spouse.
The status of citizen of the Andorra Wizarding Kingdom shall be conferred upon the British spouse.
Should any British citizen contract a marriage with a citizen of the Andorra Wizarding Kingdom, both spouses shall have the choice to become citizens solely of one country or the other.
Should any British werewolf chose to contract a marriage with a citizen of the Andorra Wizarding Kingdom, they shall be permitted to do so under the laws of Andorra. In so doing, the following shall occur:
The status of citizen of the Andorra Wizarding Kingdom shall be conferred upon the British spouse.
The British spouse will no longer be subject to werewolf legislation beyond the Werewolf Registry Act as set in 1798.
The British spouse shall be permitted to reside in the country of his or her birth for a period of no longer than six months of every year, and shall in that time be subject to all laws of Britain save those previously excluded.
Any child conceived by such a marriage is gestated after no later than three months in Andorra and is born in Andorra.
Should any werewolf of Andorra chose to contract a marriage with a British citizen, they shall be permitted to do so under the laws of Andorra, and have all the privileges and restrictions of any other Andorran spouse to a British citizen. They shall not be subject to werewolf legislation beyond the Werewolf Registry Act of 1798 if the following conditions are met:
They reside six months or more out of the year in Andorra.
Any child conceived by such a marriage is gestated after no later than three months in Andorra, and is born in Andorra.
Should werewolves be found in violation of items c or d of paragraph 3, or items a or b of paragraph 4, they shall be subject to any and all applicable British laws.
~ ~~ ~
"I apologize once again for the errors of Mr. Dedrago, Your Grace, and I assure you they will not happen again." The Minister smiled, though Alysta could see the strain in the expression.
"Thank you very much for clearing this up, Minister Ryan." Remus kept a tight grip on Alysta's hand, though it wasn't enough to cut off circulation. She supposed he didn't want her going for her wand again. "I truly hope we don't have to go through this again."
Alysta smothered the urge to snicker, her eyes darting to where the medical personnel were floating Mr. Dedrago out on a stretched. He won't make that mistake again. Ever.
"As do I, Your Grace." Minister Ryan looked over at the stretcher, a grimace crossing her face briefly. "And I assure you, Mr. Dedrago will not trouble you again."
Her voice dropped, and Alysta heard her mutter, "Or anyone else. What was that idiot Fudge thinking, putting a moron like that in charge of a politically sensitive department?"
"I don't know, Minister, but I can see you are doing a fine job in attempting to weed out those who are like him." Alysta smiled as Minister Ryan jumped. "I can only hope you are able to find someone with the right balance of sensitivity and expedience when it comes to those most in need, and most ill-treated in your society."
"I intend to scrutinize candidates carefully, Your Grace. I would not wish for an incident like this to occur again. I can only hope that Mr. Dedrago's foolish actions have not permanently damaged relations between our two countries."
"I shall speak with my father, but I doubt there will be any repercussions from our side of things. Good day, Minister Ryan."
"Good day, Your Graces." Minister Ryan nodded to both of them before Remus tugged Alysta out of the ruined office, and towards the lifts.
It wasn't until they'd arrived home that he spoke to her, and Alysta winced at the disappointed expression on his face. Oh, Remus, please, don't look at me like that!
"Alysta, what were you thinking? You could have been thrown into Azkaban for that curse, foreign royalty or not! It's illegal in almost every country in the world, and for good reason. You could have killed Mr. Dedrago."
"And it would have been no less than he deserved, Remus. He viewed us as less than human, simply because we walk on four legs instead of two once a month. And if I hadn't done something, he would have continued to treat others just as he treated us. I was not going to let him do that."
"There are ways to have stopped him without resorting to Dark Arts. The Minister, for one. Instead, you waited to involve her until after the damage was done."
"And do you really think she would have done anything if I had been a good little wolf, and meekly used the normal avenues of complaint?" Alysta gave Remus an incredulous look. "She's a politician, Remus. She can't afford to alienate a majority of her constituents for one person. Unless that person can make a stink too large to cover up."
"Which you could have done just as easily by invoking your rights as your father's primary representative in Britain. Minister Ryan would not have wanted a diplomatic incident any more than she wanted the scandal that you dumped on her!"
"Merde, Remus! Can't you understand? I couldn't just stand aside and go through the standard avenues! It takes too long to get things done, and by the time that they had, you would have been in Azkaban for Merlin knows how long. Simply because some officious idiot who has never read the treaties his government has signed is overzealous in enforcing that hateful Werewolf Safety Act."
Alysta began to pace, gesturing to emphasize her words. "That piece of arrogance is the reason my father has had his hands full with immigrants in the last year. And it was the reason he sent me to listen to Voldemort's proposal, for all that the man is a fool who overreaches himself. Andorra cannot take in anymore, and be able to keep the sudden increase in wizarding population hidden from the Muggles."
Remus sighed with frustration, running one hand through his hair. "And what is putting a prominent politician like Mr. Dedrago into St. Mungo's for months, if he's lucky, going to do to help?" He gave her an exasperated look. "It's going to make the wizarding public more afraid of werewolves. Feed their fears, and fuel their beliefs that werewolves are nothing more than vicious beasts who need to be controlled, or killed."
Alysta growled, throwing her hands into the air. "What do you expect me to do, Remus?" She asked, lapsing into her native French. "Your British Ministry is trying their best to destroy a culture as vibrant as their own with their laws that marginalize werewolves. And they are not the only one, merely one of the worst!"
"I don't know, Alysta." Remus pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers, mentally counting to ten. They weren't even through their honeymoon, and already life was conspiring to send their respective tempers through the roof. "I didn't expect you to put the Ministry official into St. Mungo's, though."
"Let's not talk about it, Remus. Please. I know you do not like the direct approach that cuts through all their red tape, and you know I cannot abide their laws or their bureaucracy. And perhaps we can talk about it later." She touched a hand to the side of his face, tilting his head to look at her. "After all, we have all the time in the world to talk about such things."
Remus chuckled, both of them ignoring the strained edge of the sound, and pulled her close to kiss her. "All the time we need. And I was going to spoil you, and take you shopping today."
Alysta laughed, her eyes dancing mischievously. "You mean you will follow me wherever I want to go, and carry all of my purchases."
"Maybe. Or maybe I have some places in mind to pamper you."
"Really?" Alysta raised an eyebrow. "Prove it to me, Mr. Moony."
Remus rolled his eyes as he reached for the cloaks they'd discarded as they arrived in the flat. "I'm going to regret telling you about those irresponsible days at Hogwarts, aren't I?"
"Oh, I think it more likely your friend Sirius will regret his lovely Antigone having heard of them. She might expect more adventure out of him than he wants to get into." Alysta nestled into his side, laying her head on his shoulder. "But for now, we have a shopping trip that you have promised me."
~ ~~ ~ ~~ ~
Author's Note: Thank you to my beta-reader Hogwarts Hag!