Categories > Books > Harry Potter > The Nightmare Before Hogwarts

Chapter 14

by USA_Tiger 0 reviews

n/a

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover,Fantasy,Humor - Characters: Harry,James,Lily,Lupin - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2017-11-26 - 4493 words

1Exciting
The Nightmare Before Hogwarts

By: USA Tiger

Disclaimer: Harry Potter is the property of J. K. Rowling. The Nightmare Before Christmas is the property of Touchstone/Disney and Tim Burton. Corpse Bride is also the property of Tim Burton and Warner Bros. Pictures. Beetlejuice is also property of Tim Burton.

Author note:

This chapter has been betaed Werejaguar of Halloween Town

Edit 5-24-18: This chapter betaed a second time by The Patient One.

Chapter 14

Things did not improve for the Dursleys, in fact, they only steadily got worse. There seemed to be a constant drip in the master bath that drove Vernon up the wall yet nobody could find it. Two different plumber companies, a pair of Italian brothers originally from New York and an odd man with dyed blue hair and a large nose whose company logo was a chicken, had been called out to fix the problem two different times and both times Vernon had argued when the plumbers claimed that there was no leak to be found. (1)

There were also the tapping sounds on the windows and walls, the rattling of doors, of things moving when they turned their backs for just a moment. It was driving Petunia around the bend and she was convinced something was behind it all. Vernon refused to believe it and had even offered reasonable explanations.

The tapping sounds? It was just branches from the tree outside their house tapping on a window or they likely had rodents in the walls that were making the sounds.

The doors rattling? Why that was just a draft!

Items moving? That was just them not paying attention to where they set something to start with or someone else in the house moving said items.

They were very reasonable explanations, and yet…yet Petunia couldn't shake the feeling that there was something else at play. Something…/magical even. Not that she would /ever utter than around Vernon, her husband was determined to put that part of their lives behind them. Magic? Wizards? Why, those are silly things from fairy tales, he would say.

Petunia would dearly love to write off all that was happening, to forget she ever even heard the word 'magic' and what it brought. But it was hard when she heard whispers that almost sounded like the boy, or even like her sister. Never as loud as they had been that first day when she still swore she heard her nephew's voice from the cupboard, but little whispers that were right there in her ear.

She was also starting to see things out of the corner of her eyes. Darting shadows in the doorways, outside in the trees, in corners of the rooms. But whenever Petunia turned to her head to get a better look, there was nothing there. She had no idea if it was just her own imagination, and she didn't bring it up Vernon or with the ladies that came over for afternoon tea every now and then. Petunia had no idea if Vernon saw the shadows too or not, but if he did then he did a very good job at ignoring them.

The only good thing out of all this oddness was that none of it seemed to affect Dudley. At most he would complain about the tapping sounds keeping him up at night. Anything else seemed to fly under the radar, all of his attention either on food or whatever program he watched on the telly. Petunia didn't know what she would do if whatever was going on scared her son. She was grateful for that much, at least; she just wished all the oddness would go away all together!

Out the corner of her eye, Petunia thought she saw a shadow in the shape of a little boy and a whispering giggle in her ear, but when her head turned to look there was nothing there. She couldn't stop the shiver of fright that raced down her spine.

******

Finding one werewolf in a city like London wasn't as easy as one would think. For one, not all werewolves kept together in a pack; like Lupin, there were many werewolves that were content to keep to themselves. But unlike Lupin, they had learned how to form a network to keep up with who was where and places that were safe to transform that didn't cross over into another pack's territory.

Glenn tracked down many of his fellow werewolves to see what they had on Remus Lupin, something he wasn't overly thrilled with if only for the fact he had to return to his human form to do it, which meant wearing pants. Glenn hated wearing pants; his brother Chaney, or Wolfie as he preferred to go by, was the opposite of him and preferred to just wear pants.

Still, having to force himself into pants had been worth it; he did find out some info on the Potters’ missing friend. He kept to himself—as already stated—and worked whatever odd job he could get his paws on, and always worked in the non-magical part of the human world. One she-wolf told Glenn that she heard that Lupin rarely kept a job for more than a month at a time and was always fired around the time of the full moon.

That was…pretty telling. Transforming from human to werewolf could be pretty painful when you fought the transformations themselves. Many werewolves learned to balance their human and non-human sides, letting them live a pretty normal life if they wished to devote themselves to a pack. Others fought against their wild nature, which was what made transforming so painful, and those werewolves had little to no control over themselves, reduced to nothing but the most basic of instincts.

There were several ways one could become a werewolf but Glenn knew Lupin had been bitten by Greyback, and knowing that bastard, Lupin would have never learned how to balance both sides of himself.

Finding Lupin at his current job had been a lot easier, Glenn watched him from a distance, letting the crowd cover his scent. The man was haggard looking, dark circles under his eyes and strands of his hair already turning gray. There were scars that looked self inflicted on his face and arms. There was a look of deep sadness, anger, and loneliness in his eyes. All in all, Lupin looked like shit.

Yet still, the man had an easygoing smile on his face as he served customers their drinks and orders of food at the little café he was currently working at. Every now and then Lupin would pause and look out the window as if he could sense someone was watching him but Glenn was careful to never let Lupin see him. The werewolf of Halloween wondered how to approach the other, Lupin would never believe him if Glenn said he was there with a message from his dead friends. At best, Lupin would write Glenn off as insane.

After a bit of thought, Glenn decided it was better to approach Lupin during the full moon; in his bestial state, he would be more willing to listen to Glenn. Of course, that just left the question of where Lupin when during the full moon. The werewolf network had no idea, but James had provided several places where Lupin would go during the full moon.

Someplace call the Shrieking Shack was one, but since it was near both a small wizarding town and a school, Lupin was likely to avoid it. There was a small house that Lupin owned, gifted to him by the Potters, that he might use as well at an out of the way forest. Glenn decided to try his luck with those places.

So late November, during the 27'th close to a full month since Halloween and the Potter's joining their spooky family in Halloween Town, Glenn emerged in the wood surrounding the rundown shack dubbed 'Moony's Pad'.

The moon hung high in the school, its cool light filling the woods with an eerie glow. A cloud of fog covered the forest floor and frozen patches of grass crunched under Glenn's clawed feet as he moved through the forest. He sniffed the air, catching the fresh scent of werewolf on the air that matched Lupin's. There was a ramshackle little house in the middle of the woods, a lone light shining through one window. Glenn could hear the muffled, mournful howl from somewhere inside. Glenn answered the howl with one of his own then went over to the house.

The door was easily opened, it wasn't even locked meaning Lupin either didn't think anyone would come upon him in the woods or, more likely, he had forgotten in his haste to prepare for the full moon. Glenn heard scrambling sounds from under the floor and with a bit of searching with his nose, found a trap door that lead down into a basement.

What Glenn saw down there had him growling in anger. Lupin had chained himself to the wall, a thick collar around his neck. The other werewolf was emaciated, Glenn could count every rib, and looked to have little to no fur. There were bite and claw marks still sluggishly bleeding, Lupin was attacking his own body.

'Who you!? Trespasser, my territory!' Lupin snapped and growled, pulling at his chain as he tried to attack Glenn.

"Calm down," Glenn said in a menacing growl, showing off many of his teeth in a snarl. Lupin cowered back, he was weak right now and the other werewolf was an Alpha unlike Lupin.

'My territory, why here?' Lupin asked in a more subdued voice.

"I'm not here to steal your territory," Glenn said. "I'm just here to pass on a message, from your friends."

'Pack gone. All gone. No pack to leave message,' Lupin howled in grief. 'Dog is gone. Deer is gone. Rat is gone. Flower is gone. Pack cub is gone. All alone.'

"Not as gone as you think," Glenn said then stepped a little closer to Lupin. Lupin growled in warning then stopped with a confused look on his face. He leaned closer and sniffed at Glenn.

'Pack cub! You have pack cub?' Lupin pulled at his chain again. Glenn gave a fang-filled grin, he was counting on this and had made sure to hold Harry before he left to confront Lupin in his feral transformed state. Harry hadn't looked too thrilled at being held by the scary looking werewolf, but after explaining it would help bring Lupin back he didn't put up a fuss.

"I know where he is," Glenn explained. "I can take you to him."

'Yes yes! Pack cub! Needs protection of pack!' Lupin howled and pulled at the chain keeping him trap. Glenn growled loudly and towered over Lupin, who submitted quickly on instinct then growled in anger.

"I'm going to let you go," Glenn said. "But we're going to run in the woods before we go, get some of that energy ran off before I take you to pack."

'Yes yes! No chain, free!' Lupin bounced in excitement like an excited puppy. Glenn shook his head; Lupin needed to learn how to merge his two halves so he could control himself in his transformed state. He'd have to ask Wolfie to come and help… and maybe his daughter, too. Glenn’s niece Winnie would love to meet the new kid.

With careful claws, Glenn undid the collar and then led the excitable Lupin out into the forest. They ran and howled to the moon, hunted a big fat buck for dinner, then ran some more until all the excitable energy was drained from Lupin. When it was close to time for the moon to set, Lupin staggered and howled in pain as his transformation reversed, leaving a very naked human Lupin on the forest floor, knocked unconscious by the pain of the transformation.

Glenn picked up and swung the unconscious Lupin over his shoulder, making his way with haste to the secret passage back to Halloween Town.

******

"Oh, Merlin," James said, slapping one hand over his eyes. "I could have happily gone through my afterlife without ever seeing Moony's pale arse ever again."

"Just tell me where you want him," Glenn growled with a rough bark of laughter, standing on the doorstep of the Potter home.

"Upstairs, we have a room ready for him," James opened the door wider and let the werewolf in then led the way upstairs to the room he and Lily had prepared for Remus.

"Oh god, he's naked," Lily yelped and turned her face away.

"Feral werewolves don't have a concept of modesty," Glenn rumbled in an amused growl as he dumped Lupin on the bed. "You're friend needs help learning how to control his whole self, he's too dangerous otherwise. I'm planning on getting in touch with my brother, we'll get him into shape."

"Thanks," James said gratefully. Glenn nodded then headed out to go back to his own home.

"Merlin, he looks worse than normal," Lily said quietly, spelling a pair of sleep pants onto Remus so he wasn't naked anymore and then settling him under the covers. James wrapped his arm around Lily's shoulders and hugged her close. He winced as he saw all the new scars and bite marks on his friend, and the exhaustion on his face that made him look much older than he really was.

"Yeah…but we'll get him healthy again," he said softly then let out a little chuckle. "It's gonna be interesting to see how he reacts to everything."

"He's going to freak out," Lily said as they left the room, closing the door behind them.

******

Remus’s return to consciousness was slow. He was warm and comfortable, the ground soft under him like a bed, which didn't make sense. He had transformed down in the basement of his little rundown house, he should have been waking on the cold, hard cellar floor. And he didn't feel the tightness of the collar and chain he wore to keep him from escaping the house.

He was confused and trying to wake up enough to fully make sense of what was going on. He felt something move on top of him, like a blanket, which again didn't make any sense. He forced open his eyes and turned his head, watching as a little black haired child stood to the side of the bed, tucking what looked like an old stuffed teddy bear into the crook of his arm.

"Wha—" Remus started to say, coughing as his mouth and throat was so dry.

"I-I didn't mean to wake you, Mr. Moony," the child said, ducking down a little beside the bed.

"W-Wait," Remus said with a rough voice. "Where…where am I? What…." Remus sat up, groaning at the effort, and then peered closer at the child. Messy black hair, big green eyes…he looked a lot like…and his eyes were like…

"H-H-Harry?"

"Yes, Mr. Moony?" Harry asked, tilting his head.

"H-How…" Remus pressed his fingers to his forehead, he couldn't remember any of the previous night and he was so confused as to why Harry Potter was beside him.

"Mr. Glenn went and gots you," Harry said. "Mummy said you wasn't feeling well so I broughts you a teddy so you could feel better." He gave Remus a beaming smile at this. Remus glanced down at the old looking stuffed bear that had fallen onto the bed beside him and picked it up.

"Well, thank you, Harry," Remus said with a small smile of his own, thinking it was so cute, but that didn't answer any of his questions. "Harry, where am I? What did you mean by 'Mummy'?" Remus hadn't seen the Potters since before they went into hiding under the fidelius charm with that traitor Black as their secret keeper then after that night where he lost almost all his pack…he hadn't seen Harry since he was just a little baby.

He had asked his old Headmaster Albus Dumbledore if he could visit the child, or at least know where Harry was living so he could send presents on his birthday and Christmas, but Dumbledore had refused to give him any information except Harry was protected where he was and that he wasn't to have any contact with the wizarding world before he joined Hogwarts for his own safety.

"We're at home, and Mummy is mummy," Harry said confused by the question.

"Harry, you're breakfast is ready," A woman's voice said from the doorway. Remus's head snapped up and he nearly choked eyes wide as he swore for a moment he was seeing Lily…but no, it wasn't Lily. The hair was a much darker shade of red than Lily's had been, her voice was just as soft but sounded like she spoke with an accent, her skin was a bluish color and it looked like she was stitched together, and she wore a dress made of different materials stitched together.

"Kay, Miss Sally!" Harry said.

Sally smiled; she and Jack had come over to meet this Remus Lupin and to help explain to the werewolf was what going on. She had come up to get Harry for breakfast at Lily's request, and arrived just in time to see Harry sneak into the room and sweetly try to tuck a toy into the bed with the man. It was so good that Harry was still such a sweet and kind boy after what he must have experienced with his aunt and uncle. With her message delivered, Sally turned and went back downstairs to wait with the others.

"Come on, Mr. Moony!" Harry grabbed Remus's hand and tugged at it. Remus still felt sore all over but followed Harry, he wanted to know what was going on. Who was that strange woman? Where was he? Who was Harry living with? Why was he here? And if Harry was in danger somehow, he would grab the pup and run.

Downstairs was the sounds of clinking plates and the soft murmur of talking. When they entered what turned out to be a kitchen, Remus stopped in the doorway with wide amber eyes.

There was the strange stitched up woman, a very tall skeleton wearing a suit, a small floating dog-ish ghost, and…and…

"J-James? L-L-Lily?

"Moony!" James smiled widely when he saw his friend standing gob smacked in the doorway. Harry let go of Remus's hand and ran over to Lily, who smoothed back his hair and kissed his forehead.

"You weren't bothering Remus, now, were you, baby?" she asked.

"No, Mummy," Harry said as he climbed into his chair.

"No no no, you're dead!" Remus denied what he was seeing with a frantic shake of his head.

"Yep, very dead," James agreed all too casually. "Come on, old man, sit down and we'll explain."

"No, you can't be here. This is a trick or a trap," Remus raised his hand then realized he didn't even have his wand and he wasn't the best at wandless magic, he would have to fight his way out after grabbing Harry.

"Remus John Lupin!" Lily yelled, the dishes rattling around them. "Sit down at the bloody table and let us explain!" Remus stared wide eyed at Lily, proverbial tail between his legs, then meekly sat in the chair at the far end of the table.

"Wow, Lily, that was impressive," James said with a look around then smirked at Harry. "Mummy has a set of lungs on her doesn't she, Prongslet. She hasn't yelled like that since Hogwarts." Harry giggled behind his hand. Remus just stared, first at Lily then at James then back to Lily. He's eyes shone with disbelief, curiosity, wariness and even just a tiny bit of hope. Remus ignored the strange woman and the walking skeleton for now.

"Lily…it really is you… But how…?" Remus ran a confused hand through his hair. "Are you… You're dead, you died."

"Yes, and that hasn't changed," Lily set a cup of tea in front of Remus. "Drink that, it has a bit of calming potion in that, just enough to settle your nerves."

"Give us a chance to explain this time?" James asked. Remus took a steadying breath, drank the tea Lily gave him then nodded his head.

"Okay, explain," he said.

"Great!" James grinned and clapped his hands. "First, introductions. Moony, I would like to introduce you to Pumpkin King of Halloween, Jack Skellington, and his lovely wife Sally."

"Hello! James keeps going on and on about you, I love hearing about your pranks," Jack grabbed Remus's hand in a firm grip to shake while giving the werewolf a wide skeleton grin. "Welcome to Halloween Town."

"Umm… thanks?" Remus said with a touch of hesitantly in his voice. "Halloween Town?"

"We're in charge of making sure Halloween is successful every year," Jack explained. "Every major holiday has their own world, but of the other six, I've only been to Christmas Town, and I’ve only met Sandy Claws and the Easter bunny."

"We only found out about the other worlds within the last couple of decades," Sally added helpfully after giving him a warm stitched smile of her own.

"Oh…" Remus took a moment to wrap his mind around that then looked at James and Lily. "So, what are you two doing here? How is Harry here? Is this where Dumbledore sent the cub?" A thunderous look crossed the Potter's faces.

"That meddling old goat put my baby with my sister," Lily hissed. "The one person I never wanted Harry to live with."

"Harry was supposed to go live with Padfoot," James said. "Or with Alice and Frank, or a host of other people." Remus scowled in anger and hunched his shoulders.

"Why would you want Harry to live with that traitor?" Remus asked. "He's the one who betrayed you to Voldemort."

"No, he didn't, Sirius would never do that," Lily said.

"Paddy wasn't the traitor," James explained. Remus processed that with a blank, shocked look. Then his eyes widened.

"You switched secret keepers," he realized. "You switched and didn't tell anyone."

"Yes, to Pettigrew," James agreed. "He's the traitor."

"Why didn't you tell me you switched…. You thought I was the one leaking info to him, didn't you…" Remus sighed softly and crossed his arms over his bare chest.

"We didn't know who it was, and yes, maybe we might have suspected a little it was you," Lily said. "We didn't want to but you seemed to be drawing away from us, keeping to yourself."

"We were going to get that rat to give you the secret, I didn't want to think any of my friends were responsible for the leaks," James gave a frustrated sigh and ran his hands through his messy hair. "Never thought it would be Peter. If we hadn't have trusted him, Harry wouldn't have been under the Dursleys’ thumb."

"Mummy, I'm done eating," Harry said, his appetite was growing thanks to being allowed to eat regularly for the last month and Lily smiled down at Harry.

"Very good, baby, why don't you go draw a nice picture for Mr. Moony while we finish our adult talk," she suggested.

"Okay!" Harry slid off the chair, hugging Lily and giggling as James ruffled his hair on the way out of the kitchen, Zero tailing him. Lily picked up Harry's plate and cup to put in the sink.

"Okay…just what is going on?" Remus asked, pointing at James. "You two are dead, we've already established that, but how are you here and how is the cub here?"

"Well, see, the afterlife isn't like anyone thought it is," James said. "It's like a big giant city, but filled with dead people. I heard some places in the afterlife looks different depending on where you are from. We are un-dead, changing even; evidently, I'm a poltergeist now."

"I think we're more along the lines of some sort of spirits rather than walking corpses," Lily said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you dug up our graves and our bodies were still there."

"So, what about Harry?" Remus asked.

"We can explain that one," Jack said. "This past Halloween, Kerry—otherwise known as 'The Creature Under The Stairs'—went to the human world to scare a few people, a typical thing for Halloween. He found Harry in a cupboard under some stairs and accidently left the way back to our world open after being startled." (2)

"Cupboard…under the stairs…" Remus repeated then jumped up, slamming his hands on the table. "Cupboard under the stairs?! What was he doing there!?"

"We felt the same way, Moony," James said darkly. "My 'dear' sister-in-law and her fat swine of a husband put our son there, that was his bedroom at the Dursleys."

Remus's werewolf half growled in anger deep in Remus, the sound escaping the man.

"How could Dumbledore allow that? He said Harry was safe!" Remus curled his fingers into the wood of the table, the barest sound of his nails digging in covered by his shout.

"Sit down, Remus," Lily said sternly as she refilled his tea cup. "Drink up. I don't know if Dumbledore really knows just what went on in that house. If I found out he did, I'm going to kill him." Remus quickly drained the cup, letting the calming potion resettle him and his wolf half a bit.

"Alright, continue," he said to Jack.

"Well, Harry used the passage and followed Kerry here to Halloween Town. He made friends with my dog Zero then used some magic while in the town during our yearly end of Halloween celebrations. Since he's a male witch—a wizard, as you say—I decided he could stay. Sally was the one who suggested I look for Lily and James; they’re not the first ones to have immigrated here from the Land of the Dead."

"Long story short, he found us and we agreed to live here so we can raise Harry," James finished for them. "Then, of course, we knew we had to bring you and Padfoot here too. You know, once we get him out of Azkaban."

"He may not have been the traitor, but he did end up killing those muggles and Peter," Remus said. "He needs to be in jail for those murders at least."

"Actually, Sirius didn't kill those poor Muggles," Lily said.

"And Wormtail isn't dead," James added.

*****

(1) Just a little fun nod to the Mario Brothers from Nintendo and Gonzo the Great from the Muppets.

(2) The name for the Creatures Under the Stairs comes from reviewer Numbervania who said I could use the name Kerry for Under the Stairs and Twiliam for the Monster Under the Bed so much thanks to them for letting me use those names.
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