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Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures


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#1
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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Any such character names, place names and other terms which have first appeared in the Harry Potter books, as well as any parts of the plots of those books, belong to J. K. Rowling and those who have bought the rights. The rest is mine but brings me no profit either.

This extensive story is my extrapolation from the canon of JKR's first five novels. I suppose this can be rated PG-13.




Eija Silvola

Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures



PART ONE: THE VICTIM


Chapter One: Sharing Meals with Harry




It was the hottest day of the summer so far, but Remus was shivering with cold. He was used to the feeling, though. It could mean that his temperature was rising again. Or perhaps it was normal, since he had left the sultry London street so suddenly, boarding the Knight Bus, and fallen down on the cold floor.

Remus had felt rather ill for the last few days. Still, he had assured that he was well enough for the trip. He had asked to be appointed for this task, because he was eager to see Harry and he believed he was the right person to find out what Harry really needed. Little had he known until he had finally returned from those exhausting travels through the foreign werewolf communities and forced the members of the Order to confess that nobody had checked on Harry. They had been so busy with the goblins that they had, in spite of their promise to expect frequent reassurances, chosen to believe that Harry’s silence meant he had nothing to complain about. Until an alarming letter had made Dumbledore himself consult Remus. He had realised that he was too weak to succeed in apparating from such a distance, though.

The bus had started so abruptly before he had managed to look for a seat or to get a hold of anything, that he found himself sitting on the floor, trying to push closed his briefcase, which was falling apart. He chose to stay where he was until the next stop, and only checked in the pockets of his robes that the money he had just barely managed to gather for the bus fare was still there.

The Order should actually have paid at least for the expenses, but he had felt ashamed to mention such a small amount. Molly seldom forgot to ask him for tea, so it was bearable to cut down his expenditure. The odd cleaning jobs he managed to get in spite of the werewolf regulations paid something, if a mere pittance, whereas working for the Order gave him no personal benefit, apart from, possibly, some raise in self-esteem, and anyone of his status had to be grateful for that.

A violent shudder shook Remus again. The bus floor felt icy cold. He pulled the frayed hem of his robes to cover his toes, which were looking out of his shoes, and he peered around to see if anyone was watching.

If the few passengers had noticed his boarding at all, they had promptly turned all their attention back to their drinks. Just the conductor was looking his way, and approaching as well. Remus quickly reached for the coins in his pocket again and handed them up towards the conductor, so as to give him no chance to say anything based on an understandable assumption that he was a beggar.

Instead, the conductor suggested, “With just six sickles more you could have lunch with a cold drink.”

“No, thank you.”

Remus closed his eyes momentarily, trying to ignore how hungry he was, or at least to stop his stomach from rumbling. Opening them again, he was startled to see that the conductor had bent down and stretched his hand in order to help him stand up – and even looked at him without open disdain.

“Let me lead you to a comfortable seat. The ride is not too smooth, you must have noticed. Sorry about that.”

Remus let himself be helped but kept the briefcase under his arm. “Could you help me upstairs?”

“Upstairs? But it’s so hot!”

“No, for me it’s too cold down here. I’m not feeling so well.” Remus was soon happy he had not been too shy to confess that.

The conductor took him to a couch upstairs, where it was all deserted, and soon returned with a blanket and a mug of tea, and he even mentioned tactfully: “The Knight Bus offers this as compensation for the unpleasant start of your journey. I hope you’ll manage to have a rest and get feeling better.”

Remus muttered his thanks and drank the tea quickly, so he could lie down on the couch, curled up under the blanket. He fell asleep while still wondering if the new incredibly polite conductor was actually a cultured man but just another part-human, who had been lucky to get some kind of a job.


The conductor woke Remus up when returning to ask where he wanted to get off. Because Remus had not paid extra, he was the last passenger to reach his destination, but now all the others must have left.

“Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey,” Remus muttered, a bit dazed, but feeling sounder than before the nap.

The bus took a giant jump and after just a moment it pushed aside a garden wall a few blocks from the Dursleys’ house. Remus got off, pressing the briefcase against his chest so as to keep it from opening. The bus disappeared, and the wall jumped back.


Hiding in the shade against the wall, Remus looked towards the Dursleys’ and saw a corpulent man and a no less corpulent teen-age boy beside a shiny car in front of the house. The boy squeezed himself behind the steering wheel, and Remus thought he would wait for them to leave. But the boy just drove to the gate and then backed towards the door and continued to drive back and forth, while Mr Dursley was standing by, beaming of pride for his son and his car.

Remus decided to disturb them only with a loud cracking sound. He gathered his strength and apparated to the back garden.

In a moment there was another crack, as Dudley Dursley, startled by the first crack, smashed his father’s car against the gate. Remus had barely enough time to realise what could have happened on the side of the house he had just left, before something hit him and he fell on the lawn.

Lying on his back, he looked up and saw a lawnmower and behind it a skinny teen-age boy dressed in rags and with a lightning bolt scar between his lopsided glasses and messy black hair.

The terrified look on the boy’s face turned into a wide smile, and he came around the lawnmower and reached for Remus’s both arms so as to help him up. “Professor Lupin, I’m so sorry. And I’m so glad to see you!”

They were now standing very close, and Harry was still holding Remus’s hands. Shifting to a handshake seemed pointless. Remus looked at Harry, and suddenly overwhelmed by a painful feeling of pity he made a move to hug him. Harry seemed to share his emotional state, so easily he reacted and let Remus press him against his chest for a long time.

Then Harry probably started to feel awkward and to look around for an excuse to stop the hugging. “Oh, your suitcase!” he said. “I’m sorry.”

Embarrassed, Remus put his hands in his pockets and did not look up until he got his wand out. He then quickly muttered a spell that made his scattered possessions return into the suitcase and slammed it closed. Why did he have to feel so ashamed if Harry saw his old socks and underwear? Harry certainly was not dressed in the fanciest way himself. Remus caught Harry staring at his face.

“Professor Lupin, you look terribly tired. How was your journey?”

“Thanks, not bad. I took the Knight Bus from London to Privet Drive, but in fact it was quite comfortable. But let’s go and sit down. I think it’s you who looks terrible.”

Remus stepped to the edge of the lawn, where there was a garden sofa and two chairs around a table, and with a sigh he sat down on the sofa. Harry followed him and sat down on the edge of a chair glancing over his shoulder towards the house.

Harry now looked embarrassed. “Well, these are just the clothes I wear for garden work… and other work … and I really should… I must work all the time, so they don’t give me other clothes. And this summer they had this great idea they use Dudley’s old clothes as cleaning rags, I mean I use them as cleaning rags, before I’m allowed to start wearing them.”

Remus saw an attempted grin on Harry’s face and stared at his t-shirt and shorts for a moment but decided not to comment on them. “No, I mean you are the one who looks really tired and like you haven’t eaten properly for the whole summer.”

Harry looked back again and then down at his hands, which were dirty with soil up to the thin wrists.

As he did not answer Remus continued, “So, it was true what you wrote in your letter.”

“To Dumbledore?” Harry still avoided eye contact.

“Yes. He got rather worried when you wrote to him that if he didn’t have you taken away from here, you would just leave on your own – that you’d rather die out there in an attack than let the Dursleys starve you to death. We both thought it wasn’t quite your style to threaten him like that just because of arrogance or being bored.”

“Well, yeah, I’ve been… bored, closed in this house. And though Dumbledore did not talk to me or even look at me for the whole year until… the end, well, now I thought I could tell him honestly, because I really wanted to leave…”

“And honestly, they are not treating you any better than before?”

“No. I wonder… it’s even so much worse now… whatever that spell is that gives me protection as long as I can call this my home, it must have stopped working, too. I’m allowed to scrub the plates when I clean the kitchen after their meals, and there’s a separate shelf with oat flakes and sometimes macaroni for me to live on.”

“Do you know what there is in the fridge?”

“Yes, of course, they have lots of stuff, but I’m not allowed to touch it except when sometimes there’s something left I have to put back in there. They don’t use me for cooking now either.”

“Name something nice there is.”

“Why? Well, chicken salad, and chocolate cake.”

“Accio, chicken salad! Accio, chocolate cake! Accio, two plates and two forks!”

There was such fury in Remus’s voice that Harry bent down, startled, under his wand, which pointed towards the house. And just in time, as a bowl hurtled through the air, across the yard and above his head onto the garden table, followed by a cake and a couple of plates and forks.

“I’m glad you offer me this lunch,” Remus said. He smiled, although he still felt the rage shaking his body. “I have skipped a few myself. Well, help yourself.”

Since Harry hesitated, Remus filled both plates with chicken salad and thrust one to Harry.

“I think you shouldn’t have... when my aunt or uncle notices, and maybe they did, they’ll rush here.” But Harry could not help starting to smile, too. “So better grab at it quickly!”

For a while they both ate in silence. Then they began to cast fleeing looks towards each other. Finally Remus put his empty plate aside and leaned back on the sofa.

“Do you want to help yourself for more? But be careful not to eat too quickly and too much. That does no good, if one has not eaten enough for a long time. What is there to drink? You must be thirsty, too.”

“Strawberry juice.”

Harry did not bother to look away from the food to see Remus summon the jug and two glasses. So, he missed the scene of Mrs Dursley running after them.

Remus paid attention to the look on Mrs Dursley’s face. While she was running as fast as she could on her high-heel slippers, with her arms stretched forward to reach the flying jug, her expression grew more and more irritated, but there was no trace of fear or even amazement. Remus had just time to wonder if Harry’s aunt had only got too much used to magic since Harry started at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At the same time he quickly considered his next move, and for two reasons he made another movement with his wand, checking that Mrs Dursley was sure to notice it behind the jug, on which she had her eyes fixed. When she arrived at the garden table, a third glass whirled over her shoulder and landed on the table next to the others and the jug, and she now stared at the man whom she knew she could blame for what no longer irritated but rather infuriated her.

Remus felt Mrs Dursley examine him from head to toes, literally. He was at once humiliatingly aware that his shabby appearance could turn him into far from the right man to make this woman treat Harry decently. He forced himself to remember that the Dursleys had not shown any respect in front of any other wizard either. He had not made any plans beforehand. But now instantaneously he arrived at a plan, which did not require respect but would rather benefit from the lack of it, and his self-esteem had a boost. He glanced at Harry. To make Harry not worry, or feel ashamed of his protector, Remus could do nothing but wink at him.

He stood up and bowed his head slightly. “Good afternoon, Mrs Dursley. I apologize for coming directly to my student and friend here and not greeting you first, and not introducing myself: Remus Lupin. But please join us for a glass of strawberry juice.”

Mrs Dursley opened her mouth but was possibly too infuriated to choose which word of insult to let out of it. As she did not make a move to sit down, Remus lifted his wand slowly in her field of vision – for her to follow it with her eyes and to see how he made a chair move just a little bit closer to her. He guessed that Harry, having expected a more prominent demonstration of power, was probably disappointed with his performance. But it was not his intention to scare Mrs Dursley, on the contrary.

Without even wincing, she sat down on the chair in a determined fashion, as if she had wanted to defeat and thus deny any magic that could have been sensed in it. A very concrete experience of her own superiority, as under her weight – although it was modest compared to that of her husband’s or son’s – the chair certainly did not continue to move, was exactly what Remus wanted to give her. He had also achieved his other goal: he was now allowed to sit down and be more comfortable again.

Smiling, Remus poured juice into the glasses and placed the first one in front of Mrs Dursley. He was actually surprised how well his behaviour made her control herself. He turned with the second glass towards Harry and saw him sitting on the edge of his chair again, looking utterly uncomfortable, as if wishing he had left long ago. Remus realised that Harry most probably expected the two of them to go away from the Dursleys’ any moment now. To preserve the silence, which he, and clearly he alone, found relaxing, he just showed with gestures that Harry stay and continue eating.

He made another polite gesture towards the chocolate cake, looking up to Mrs Dursley – but immediately after thrust the whole cake in front of Harry and now said, winking at him, “Eat. Remember: chocolate is one of the best cures after all mental or physical pain we have suffered.”

And Remus broke a piece for himself and put it all in his mouth, leaning back and turning to Mrs Dursley again.

Certain words had finally won the battle inside of her furious mind and burst out. “You… you freak… have no right… and you boy, you have no right to eat that cake, you go back to your work now!”

Now Remus found it hard to control himself. But he let only a part of his fury to be expressed by the tone of his voice and by the words he chose. “Mrs Dursley, I have to strongly disagree with you. Any child who has been starving the whole summer has all the right to eat anything he finds in this house, and especially a child who has been trusted in your care and who has called this place his home since he was a baby. You treat him like a slave. Do you sell him as labour to your neighbours as well?”

“We treat him exactly the way we want to. Or you take him away. I don’t mind! Take him and go now!”

“I’m not taking Harry away now. I cannot take him.” Remus looked apologetically at Harry.

Harry looked like he would have preferred obeying Mrs Dursley’s first order and hiding behind the lawnmower, to listening to what Remus was saying.

“But you yourself go now!” Mrs Dursley shouted, standing up. She looked oddly disappointed, even uninterested in the whole discussion.

“I’m not going yet. I came to talk to Harry and I`m sure it won’t harm you too much, if I stay for a while. I promise not to take another bite of your precious cake. Harry, you just eat.”

The words directed to Harry were useless, as Harry looked completely deprived of appetite and more ill than when Remus had first seen him.

“You – go – now. Or I call the police. You know I don’t want them to think that we have anything to do with freaks like you. But I’ll tell them it’s just a criminal, a beggar…” Mrs Dursley cast another despising look on Remus’s clothes, and her tone grew, if possible, even more malicious. “Yes, I’ll tell them you broke into our car and smashed it against the gate. I reckon that was your fault in any case. I’m going to talk to my husband, and if you are still here, when we come back – you’ll be in trouble!”

She turned and walked to the house without looking back and with as long strides as she managed on her heels.

“Let’s go now.” Harry’s voice was weak and urgent.

Remus leant towards him. “I was telling the truth. Harry, I am sorry. I cannot take you now. I’ll go in a moment, but I won’t go far. I trust I’ll see you tonight at Mrs Figg’s. And one day soon, hopefully tomorrow you’ll have an escort to take you to the headquarters. You know Dumbledore would consider it too risky for you to travel with me alone.”

“But they won’t let me go to Mrs Figg’s… Please, can’t we…?”

“Yes, they will let you. They will order you to. I suppose you haven’t been visiting her much this summer?”

“No, not once. I haven’t been…”

“Yes, Mundungus has told us you haven’t been even out on the streets. He’s only seen you on the yard washing the car or cutting the hedge. So the Dursleys don’t know that she could be on our side. Or that you might want to go and work for her. Don’t let them notice you do. Ask them to let you have a rest and not go. So, I will see you there. I was telling the truth. I do want to talk to you, Harry. Now tell me exactly where Mrs Figg’s house is…”




Written by Eija Silvola and first published on the Snitch in September 2003. This installment was edited again in May 2005 with help from live journal user jazzypom. Thank you so much, Jazzy!
Revised in July 2009.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#2
gmhpfan

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the forum will rise again
:P to the hackers

and i get to read the beginings of my favorate fics all over again

great stuff elija

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huge thanks to erwan for the banner is'nt it wounderful
my fics, Harry's Gift, Legacy, Buffallo wings, The Tour, Panto and Remember Pheionix Day

#3
Nanny Tonks

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I think this is the only part I've read. I read a little further than this, but as my computer has decided to go out... *sigh* RIght. I'll keep reading here.

This is fabulous, and I do think Remus is quite the gentleman.

~NT

#4
PaulaMcG

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Thank you so much Gail and Nanny Tonks!
I actually felt the beginning was not so great and I ended up revising the text after your post, Gail. Still, there are no major changes, no changes in the contents. I just wanted to make the style a bit closer to what it will be in later chapters.
My chapters are quite long. Now when I have written perhaps one half of this novel, I have about 120 000 words (220 pages with single line-spacing in Word) and it is divided into only nine chapters. So, chapter one "Sharing Meals with Harry" will still continue in one more update after this next one. You will see two more long scenes, a gentleman talking and eating, and a bit different short scene at the end of this post.






Remus apparated inside a gate which smelled strongly of cats. He immediately saw the front door swing open violently, so that could have been mistaken for the source of the cracking sound, and a cat jumped out of the door as if it had been thrown. The cat stood on the path in front of him only for a moment and then quickly disappeared in the bushes. He waited, squatting by the gate for a few minutes and then, hoping that anybody whose attention might have been attracted by the sound of his apparating had stopped looking, he walked quickly to the door, which had stayed open. He stepped in and on the side, out of sight of anybody who might have been looking at the house.

Then he knocked on the doorframe. “Mrs Figg, excuse me, may I come in?”

She came to the hall immediately, a small old woman. She crossed to the door and stood on the steps for a while looking around and calling strange names, which probably belonged to cats.

After closing the door she turned to Remus with a rather blank look on her face. “Yes?”

“Yes, good afternoon, Mrs Figg. I’m on a duty for the Order…”

“Of course, that I know. Too much trouble with you folks apparating, and in the middle of the afternoon, neighbours returning from work… At least there has not been so many of you this summer. They seem to be able to spare just that cursed Mundungus Fletcher every now and then, and he’s the one who blew it last year, so no use really, just trouble for me… So?”

“My name is Lupin, Remus Lupin.”

Mrs Figg took a few steps back and pulled her cardigan tight around herself. Another cat came to rub herself on her legs and made to do the same to the visitor but suddenly changed her mind and rushed up the stairs. Mrs Figg shuddered, then said slowly, “I have heard about you.”

Remus lifted his hand on his eyes. His mind refused to look for a way to persuade this woman to trust him. All his awareness was suddenly filled with enormous tiredness.

He let out a sigh and said without much conviction in his quiet voice, “Then you have probably heard that Dumbledore trusts me and Mundungus is a friend of mine. Besides, the full moon was a week ago. My condition does not harm anybody except myself. And I did not come here to harm you. But I came to ask for your help. I hoped you would not mind taking a little trouble to help Harry.”

Looking up, Remus saw Mrs Figg turn and walk into a room.

“All right then. Come in!” she said without glancing back.

The room was rather dark, as the curtains were closed, and the air was far from fresh. Mrs Figg walked around small low tables and sat down. Four or five cats sprang up from the carpets and chairs and rushed past Remus and out of the door. He put his briefcase down carefully and sank into the nearest armchair. He felt all this apparating and talking to disapproving women was consuming the rest of his strength. And he had thought he could have shelter for the night in this house.

“So? Tell me… you went to see Harry. I heard the sounds in that direction. How is he?”

Remus described openly all the details of his visit – except the opening of his suitcase.

“Oh my goodness! I should have gone and seen the boy a long time ago! Those worthless hypocrites… those… So do you want me to go and bring him here?”

“Yes,” said Remus, relieved, “but not quite yet. It would be too suspicious, if a neighbour arrived to ask for labour too soon after I mentioned it.”

“Ah, you mean… You are a clever fellow!”

Wanting to make sure Mrs Figg appreciated all of his action, he hurried to explain, even slightly exaggerating how purposed every detail had been, “Yes, you see, I planned carefully how to appear in front of Mrs Dursley. I decided to make her so angry with me and Harry that she would definitely want to get rid of him, at least temporarily, if I didn’t take him away, and to make her eager to defy all my demands. And so as to make her dare do it, I gave her such an impression that I was no serious threat to her, just a weird beggar, whose moving chairs she could easily stop.”

He grinned and Mrs Figg returned a laugh and even clapped her hands together. “You are a great fellow! Not like those pompous wizards…”

Remus now eyed this old woman more carefully, while she was leaning forward with her elbows on her knees. She was wearing several dresses and aprons on top of each other, and it was hard to say if it was muggle or witch fashion and if her appearance was neat and considered or haphazard. Her grey hair was at least carefully arranged in a net. Besides the cardigan she seemed to consider woollen socks in her scarlet slippers necessary on the hottest day of the summer. In case she didn’t fear or even dislike him anymore, she could be a suitable companion for a weary old man like Remus. He estimated that she could have been twice his age, about seventy.

“If you don’t mind the trouble, Mrs Figg, I would suggest you go to the Dursleys’ after a couple of hours and tell them you need some help in cleaning…”

“Yes, cleaning a room where my four eldest cats have stayed and forgotten to use their sandbox. You know, they are getting a bit absentminded, and I can’t really leave that poop and pee there for more than a week, but I hurt my back. So I need a strong young man to move the furniture to clean it all properly!”

“Excellent! The worse the job, the more willing Mrs Dursley will be to sell Harry’s labour to you just to punish him – for eating this afternoon – and to defy me. I wonder if she will ask for a pay, but I don’t think she’ll refuse no matter how little you offer.”

“Don’t worry, I don’t mind even paying for fooling that cruel woman and helping poor Harry. But I could also pretend to prefer her own son and admire how strong he looks and hesitate when she only offers Harry.”

“What a plotter I’ve found in you, Mrs Figg!”

“Just don’t think I really have any messy room in my house, Mr Lupin. My cats are most cultured, just a bit sensitive and shy sometimes in the unexpected presence of a gentleman. In fact, I have quite a comfortable and warm guestroom upstairs, where I would like to invite you to spend the night. Unless you are in a hurry to leave with Harry.”

“Thank you very much, Mrs Figg. I understood, of course, immediately that the messy room was only a clever trick of yours. And, yes… in fact, I would be very grateful for a chance to stay here overnight. I am not planning to take Harry away tonight. I suppose you know that there is a protection for him, which prevails only while he is at the Dursleys’.”

“Yes, Mr Dumbledore told me about that almost fifteen years ago, when he asked me to move into this neighbourhood.”

Mrs Figg sighed and shook her head, and it took a moment before she continued. “I was supposed to watch over him. But it really got serious only last summer when they said that He Who Must Not… I don’t understand, well I’m just a squib but still, I don’t think much of wizards, if in their wars of power they have to be after a child like him. Even the way they protect him, all his life it’s been torture. Even I was told to give him a hard time, when he was a little boy and I was babysitting when his aunt and uncle took their own son out to have fun. He was not supposed to know that there was a whole other world of people who loved him. I wonder why. Now I think I should have had the courage to disobey their orders. I could have always said I just let it slip… The same this summer, I should have gone myself to see how they treat him. And I wonder how it was possible for him to grow to be such a good boy. I haven’t got much chance to know him closely, but as I joined him on the street right after the attack last summer… He had saved his cousin’s life and he went on and helped him home, no matter what a burden that bloke was – and had been for him all his life…”

She paused and lifted a hand over her mouth. “But the Dementors, Mr Lupin! Are you sure it is safe to get Harry out of that house, if you are not taking him to the Order tonight?”

“Don’t worry about Dementors. Harry knows how to fight them, at least as well as I do, and I’m the one who taught him to do it. Yes, I’m proud of him, and not only for his ability to conjure a patronus. You are right, Mrs Figg. It is amazing what a character he has developed, but I’m afraid there are such weaknesses which may harm Harry himself, if not others. That is perhaps the strongest reason why I hope he can meet us here tonight. The Order is busier than last year. They say it’s a war now, and I’m not sure they can arrange an escort for Harry even so quickly as for tomorrow. Until then he must not spend a night away from the Dursleys’. That’s why I have this plot to make them let him come here just for a visit and in a way which will allow him a chance to come tomorrow evening again, but just for a few hours. I’m taking a risk, I know. It’s not the Dementors I fear, but this year… Well, anyway I think we must let him have a break from the Dursleys and talk to us before he is too suddenly taken from this life of deprivation to live among the Order and all the expectations… You must find it hard to understand, it’s not easy for any of us, either, but no matter how much Dumbledore tries to keep Harry away from the war, it’s just a matter of time when he must eventually join it, and it’s up to him alone to end it. In any case they have other ways to still protect him outside the Dursleys’, too, and I trust Dumbledore himself would consider it inhuman to force him to stay here any longer. Well, I’m talking too much, it’s such a pleasure to have a conversation with you, Mrs Figg. In fact, I just needed to say that I have to send a word to Dumbledore. The condition of my health makes it impossible for me to apparate all this distance to him. I wonder if I need to take the Knight Bus later tonight, unless Harry tells us he is able to use his owl to send a letter.”

“But you can use that filthy bird Mundungus Flether brought me.”

“Are you telling me you’ve got an owl?”

“Yes, I was given one soon after the beginning of the summer, when they said they could not spare a guard to stay here all the time and it didn’t seem necessary either, as Harry never went out. The bird disturbs my cats and it is messy, and, well, in fact, I keep it in that guestroom, so the room may not be as clean as I would wish.”

“But that is excellent. I’d like to write the letter immediately. I’ve got some parchment and ink and a quill in my briefcase.”

“So, I suggest you go to the guestroom, write and send the letter and then make yourself comfortable. Have a rest until Harry arrives, as you said you are not quite well, either… But for goodness’ sake, I haven’t offered you anything, here I just talk and talk! It’s almost time for tea…”

“No, thank you, it’s all right. As you heard I was offered a lunch at the Dursleys’”, Remus hurried to answer, grinning. “If you don’t mind we could postpone the tea until Harry is here.”

“All right then, I think it’s time for me to be more flexible with my habits. It wasn’t my habit to invite gentlemen for sleepovers in my guestroom, until the Order ordered it last summer. But you are not the least pleasant guest I’ve had. And I will bring you a hot herb drink – that’s something a squib knows something about. I can see you’ve got fever. Come with me. I’ll show you into your room.”



He was flying up into clouds and out again to ever colder layers of air. He felt his damp clothes freeze on his skin and he leant forward trying not to lose the grip on his broomstick. His hands had grown numb and he wanted to slow down and warm one hand for a while inside of his robes. But he had to catch up with Harry and make him turn back. This was not the way they were supposed to go. They were not supposed to go at all. They had better stay locked up in a stinking room and have a rest until the war was ended.

A green lightning bolt illuminated the clouds under him and he saw Harry rushing forward in front of and a little above him. The boy looked back, the messy black hair blown to cover his face. Just like James in quidditch, always ahead of Remus. But the hair had grown so long he looked more like… Harry tossed his head recklessly and the wind blew the hair off his face. And it was Sirius’s face. Another lightning coloured the face green.

Sirius spread his arms, laughing. “Come on!” he yelled. “You can do better than that” And he bent back his graceful head and his whole body and fell off.

“I can do better, I can still catch him, I just reach out a little further than last time,” Remus said to himself. He let go his both hands and fell.

I’ve lost them all. The thought was like an iron belt circling his mind and squeezing it ever tighter. Remus was lying on the floor, his body aching and trembling, covered with cold sweat. They are gone. The phrase was repeated in his mind again and again, until he slowly became aware of a sound of knocking.

“Can you not hear me, Mr Lupin? Are you sleeping?”

The voice was so cheerful that it suddenly conceived on Remus’s mind an image of a young girl, and almost triumphantly the voice announced, “Harry is here!”

Remus felt like laughing from relief, partial though it was. Harry was there. And Remus laughed at himself. What a child he was, having nightmares while napping in the afternoon, and falling out of bed!





Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in July 2009.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 06 July 2009 - 01:17 PM.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#5
Nanny Tonks

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Oh! Remus fell out of bed! And he's terrified of losing Harry. *tear* I'm okay... I do hope that you aren't foreshadowing anything, because if you are, I'll cry. :rolleyes:

Wonderful Eija, and I'm looking forward to the next installment of chapter one!

~NT

#6
PaulaMcG

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NT, thank you so much again! I'm happy about this opportunity to post my fic for you to read. I actually hope this story will make you cry more than once. But foreshadowing? I don't think you need to worry too much.




When Remus came down the stairs about ten minutes later, he heard the bubbling of the cheerful voice, and another voice, low and quiet, joining in only for brief infrequent comments. He let the sound of the conversation lead him to the kitchen door.

“There you are, Professor Lupin!”

In a dimly lit room with bunches of herbs hanging from the ceiling Mrs Figg, with one more apron added over her dresses, was standing behind a white-clothed table, holding two bowls, as if she could not find space for them among all the dishes already arranged on it. With his back towards the door, a boy was sitting at the table, his head bent low. Mrs Figg’s exclamation made him straighten his back and he was about to stand up, but Remus stepped quickly to him, put a hand on his shoulder and sat down on his right at the end of the table.

“Harry has just told me what a great teacher you used to be. I’ve now learnt it’s not only chairs and jugs you have the power to jinx. And your plot worked exactly the way you had planned. The Dursley boy came to the door and got excited. He said the job was perfect for his cousin. He went to ask his mother and came back immediately, saying she also thought that helping a neighbour and for no pay, of course, would be a good lesson for her lazy nephew, and Harry just needed to change into proper clothes for this kind of work…

Remus glanced at Harry’s t-shirt, which was clearly less ragged than the one he had been wearing earlier. Suppressing a comment, he examined the table instead. “Well done, well done… But this is a feast! You certainly know how to prepare other stuff than herb drinks, too, Mrs Figg! It looks absolutely mouth-watering!”

“That’s what the two of you need. Well, I hope you don’t mind if I say this, Professor Lupin. You don’t look like you have decent meals every day either. Just help yourselves, I go and get the drinks.”

“Thank you, Mrs Figg. I admit you are right. Well, tug in, Harry. Don’t be ashamed, I am not.”

“I’m not. But I wish you didn’t talk about my starving all the time. I don’t really care. At least it has kept me from thinking too much… about anything else.”

“I know. I sometimes feel I can’t think of much, when… But it still keeps coming to you, even when you are not aware, doesn’t it? Haven’t you got nightmares? I have, I just had another one this afternoon.”

Harry turned his head quickly and met Remus’s eyes for the first time during the conversation – but looked away too soon again, and there was no other response. He had still not touched the food.

Mrs Figg returned with bottles of butterbeer. “Mundungus Fletcher gave a lot of these bottles to me, tried to make me drink, he preferred something stronger himself, so I guess this is not too strong for you, he said all the wizards and witches drink it and you are quite a wizard, Harry, aren’t you…”

Mrs Figg continued her talk in a steady voice, but Remus noticed she did not expect any reaction. She kept glancing cautiously from Harry to Remus and back again as if she sensed a tension between the two of them, or rather just around Harry. She filled plates for them both but did not mention the food anymore in her endless talk.

“You’ve had so much trouble, Mrs Figg.” Remus started eating. “And this is the most delicious…”

“So what did you want me here for, Professor Lupin, if you can’t take me to the headquarters?” Harry said abruptly. “I don’t think you need to watch me eat and to feel pity for me, or do you need a detailed description of how I have suffered?”

“But, Harry, I thought you’d like to have a talk with me, too…”

Remus felt suddenly embarrassed, and Harry made it worse by finally turning to stare at him defiantly. Remus could hardly look at his face. It was not pale but tanned, but his cheekbones looked too high and his eyes behind the scratched lenses of his spectacles were too big and burning of desperate fury.

“And I’m not a baby. I can take care of myself. I would leave, I told you I really wanted to, but …” Harry paused and looked away.

“But…” Remus started cautiously. “Did you decide not to leave, and why?”

“Well, I did… I did not… I thought there’s the risk that the Order finds out, and in case somebody still cares and comes after me… I don’t want anybody anymore to…”

Harry was still looking away from Remus and blinking hard. Mrs Figg had stopped talking but opened her mouth every now and then, perhaps tempted to say that the food was getting cold. Remus wished it had been enough to say that.

“You were right not to leave. Somebody would have come after you, of course. No other manoeuvre of the war would have been more important, not to mention other reasons for some of us to… Please, Harry, I haven’t even had the chance to tell you where I have been. I did not mean to bother or insult you by bringing you here. Would you not mind watching me eat for a while and letting me then talk to you? Then you can choose if you yourself want to talk to me or not.”

“Okay… Sorry,” Harry muttered, not turning to him.

Mrs Figg did still not dare to talk. She pushed Harry’s plate closer to him very cautiously, and Remus was afraid of Harry’s reaction to that, but he was relieved when her next move seemed to be the right one. She opened a bottle of butterbeer and placed it beside Harry’s glass. Harry grabbed the bottle and drank straight from it. Remus pretended to smile only at the delicious look of his portion and just glanced sideways to see that Harry now started eating. The bottle had helped Harry show that he was no baby, so he was not ashamed of eating anymore, and he ate like a man, too. Remus winked at Mrs Figg and began to enjoy his meal.


Everything she had prepared was truly delicious, and different from anything Remus had tasted or even seen before. He could find no words to name anything and hardly any to even describe it, but everything seemed to have been refined by a special art of fragrant herbs. “Mrs Figg, I’ll always be a devoted admirer of you cuisine. This meal is a masterpiece of herbal…”

This time Mrs Figg made sure she was the first to interrupt Remus. “May I ask you, Professor Lupin, if all your work for the Order this summer has been top-secret, or could your start your account of it now when I am here, or should I leave the two of you alone, I mean, Harry must not stay very late and I am curious, too, though I don’t think I’ll change my mind, I told you, I can’t make much sense in all this war…”

“Well, not everything is confidential anymore, now that the Ministry has admitted You Know Who is back. And, Mrs Figg, I trust you won’t talk about these matters to any friends of yours…”

“Oh no, Professor Lupin, whom could I talk to? Don’t you know what this neighbourhood is like? When Mr Dumbledore asked me to move to live here… it was hard for me… it took years before I got a neighbour to return my Good afternoon… I’m sure that you can understand how I’ve felt, both of you, when they’ve all looked down on me, even feared me… And now I catch myself not being any better than these people! I’m afraid I’ve been too ashamed to properly apologise…” Mrs Figg wiped her cheek with her small wrinkled hand and hurried to fill Remus’s plate.

“Don’t worry, Mrs Figg, your hospitality has been far more than enough to compensate…”

Remus noticed that Harry had actually been listening, even if he seemed completely devoted to eating and drinking, as he now lifted his head and cast a questioning look at both Remus and Mrs Figg. It had to be a good sign that Harry showed interest even in something that did not concern him directly. Maybe Harry had been wrong after all. Hunger might, in fact, just have made him get more absorbed in his most painful memories and fears.

“Yes,” Remus continued, turning to Harry with an explanation. “For that too human weakness of prejudice: for her cats being a bit shy when they sensed a werewolf in the house.”

“Yes, the cats, I was wondering where they had all gone,” Harry said with polite interest.

“I laid the table for them in the sitting room. That’s why I had to let you stay in the kitchen. I thought we can be comfortable enough in here, and we are fewer than the cats anyway… But now I’m just wasting our time. Let me bring the puddings to the table and leave, and the two of you can continue… Yes, help yourself, you didn’t taste this yet. I don’t know a name for it myself, either, I invented it and since I’ve got nobody to exchange recipes with…”

“No, please don’t go, Mrs Figg. There’s no hurry with the pudding or did you say puddings? You said you are curious, and I promised to tell you something. We talk about a war now, I mean both the Order and the Ministry do. The Order is no longer secret. The Ministry and more or less everybody, including the enemy, know who the members are, but the headquarters are still hidden. And the whole Ministry is openly opposing the enemy, too. But we have actually started waging a war against prejudice as well. The details are confidential, but I can tell you that this summer everybody in the Order has been busy with contacting different minority and foreign communities. Right after you returned here, Harry, I was sent on a world tour among all major werewolf communities to inform them of the rise of the enemy and to convince them that the British nation of witches and wizards wants to advance a friendly relationship with them.”

“And how did it go?”

“Were they friendly to you?”

The questions did not actually encourage Remus to continue. “Yes, of course, they were friendly, but not extremely interested, maybe because… Well, what was worst was the transportation, except in Persia and Arabia. The carpets are really comfortable, especially if you can afford to rent one with a tent and furniture, but in any case you can lie down and have a rest, while the ride is smoother than on the Knight Bus. I wonder what prejudice prevents us from importing them. Personally, I believe the prejudice is being fed just to maintain the market domination of our local manufacturers and the global companies of western ownership… So, I had to use broomsticks or thestrals on most of the long journeys, and the worst was my flight home from Norway across the North Sea almost a week ago. I was unconscious for a couple of days after I arrived at the headquarters, and then Dumbledore came to visit me and told me both about your letter, Harry, and what the Ministry had done. A few days before there had been an explosion in Diagon Alley. A pet shop had been completely destroyed, and Madam Amelia Susan Bones had just been buying dried rats for her cat…”

Mrs Figg let out a short scream.

“Susan Bones! No, her aunt! She is…” Harry’s voice lost all strength.

And Remus was surprised to hear his own toneless voice continue, “She was Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, and a righteous woman, defender of the rights of all creatures… A tragedy… And it confirmed what kind of a war this is. And how Fudge thinks we should fight. Some people had seen a squat figure leaving the shop just before the explosion. A goblin, the Ministry concluded. They raided the goblin neighbourhood on the same evening and found something that could have been used for making bombs. They didn’t hide anything from the press. A journalist found out that the pet shop was going to sue the Gringotts Bank for killing a flock of geese, which were due to lay golden eggs, by storing them in an airless vault. Now there’s just a debate whether the goblins did the attack because of that alone or on an order from - You Know Who. And two days later, on the morning of the day when Dumbledore came to me, Fudge had legalised the immediate use of the unforgivable curses against any inhuman magical creature caught offending the law.”

Remus stopped to draw breath and continued more slowly, “I’m terrified to think what a turn… just what this means to my mission and a lot of other efforts… Moody and Arthur have got other missions, too, but Tonks in particular has spent the whole summer negotiating with the goblins. And now… One of my first thoughts was, of course, that it had all been wasted… You know the werewolves are legally not human.”

He saw Harry and Mrs Figg stare at him, looking quite terrified, and then quickly drop their gaze. He did not know if he felt shame or pride, but certainly his anger for the Minister’s stupidity was intensifying and gave a new strength to his reproachful voice. “There’s even an argument that the new decree concerning the curses has been drafted in such a way that it could be interpreted to include squibs and muggles as well.”

Mrs Figg covered her mouth with a hand. She failed to notice that she had put one elbow on her plate.

“I’m so sorry, Mrs Figg, I did not mean to make you scared,” Remus hurried to say. “Please, do not think too much about what I said. You know Dumbledore is Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot again, and he has started the procedures to have Fudge’s decree declared to be in violation of the Constitution and the International Declaration of the Rights of the Creatures. Besides, every individual case will be tried in Wizengamot anyway, and Dumbledore is sure not to accept the wider interpretation…”

Remus saw that his talk was just making Mrs Figg more and more confused. He felt like taking her hand and patting it consolingly, but he was afraid she would have sensed the threat of an alien creature in his touch.

“There is really no need for you to worry. Everything will stay quite safe and peaceful in your life here, when as soon as Harry and I have left you need not be in any contact with the magical world until the war is over. Then we will come to visit you again, if you welcome us, and we can have a rest and a feast, too, if you are willing to take the trouble.”

Mrs Figg took a deep breath, wiped her cheeks and stood up briskly. “Now I’ll bring you the first puddings, and you can finish them while I prepare another one. We need now something with chocolate in it.”

“There you are quite right. That’s the one thing I know, while cooking is mainly a mystery to me. Chocolate is the best cure for…” Remus helped by lifting up some of the empty bowls and plates, so that Mrs Figg could put down the ones she had fetched.

She replied, “And another one for me is cooking itself. Oh, my cats will grow so fat when I can’t cook for the two of you but just have to sit here and worry!”

Remus thought he could hear her sobbing in the other end of the kitchen, until she started banging pots and cupboard doors. Bending towards Harry, Remus said in a low voice, “It may, of course, be too late for a cursed creature when the case is taken to a hearing at Wizengamot. So, she’d better be scared enough not to get involved in anything…”

This time, being so close to Harry, who was sitting still with his face quite blank, Remus could not resist the temptation but put his hand on Harry’s hand and pressed it firmly. Harry winced but did not pull his hand away.

“Harry, I hope you can understand now why it’s absolutely impossible for me to take you away from here alone. Maybe also somehow why nobody came before. But I don’t fully understand that myself either. Why did you not tell them – Moody or Tonks or even the Weasley family? And how is it possible the Dursleys ever dared to start treating you this way after we had threatened them?”

“Why… yes…” Harry now pulled his hand away and ran it through his hair. He looked like he did not mind talking about himself anymore, if only he could have remembered anything important to say. In an absentminded tone he started, “They did not treat me badly during the first week. I even used the fellytone, as Mr Weasley said I should be allowed to.”

Harry grinned vaguely and the smile lingered for a while as he continued, “I talked to Hermione and said I was feeling fine. I lied, of course, but it was true the Dursleys didn’t bother me. I returned Ron’s owl to him and told him the same, and I sent my owl to Moody with thanks for the help from all of you and saying the threat had affected the Dursleys perfectly… But soon after that they locked Hedwig in the cage and it all started. I could, of course, have sent Ron’s owl to anybody I wanted but… I don’t know, I didn’t feel like… And I soon realised it must have all started because of that owl which Uncle Vernon caught.”

“Did your uncle get to read a message somebody in the Order had sent to you?” Remus asked.

“I think so. It was during my second week ‘at home’. One evening when I came down to the kitchen for tea, I saw uncle Vernon trying to hold an owl, while it kept flapping its wings, and then it flew out of an open window. I wondered whom my letter was from. I didn’t recognise the owl.”

“So, did you get it? What happened?”

“Why… no. That was just when they started being nasty. I was eager to get my letter. So, I remember exactly what happened. Uncle Vernon glanced at it, thrust it to Aunt Petunia, she turned away to read it. When I asked them to give it to me, uncle Vernon just said, ‘No.’ And the next morning Aunt Petunia told me I was not allowed to join them for any meals anymore and… and the rest of it came little by little. And she said immediately that I must not go out of the yard without asking for their permission, and if I did she would consider it a violation of the home rules and it would be my home no more.”

“What?”

“That’s what I asked, and she repeated it, so I remember it exactly: violation of the home rules and it would be my home no more. Perhaps they got to read a letter telling me that the Order would not have time to check on me, at least not unless I complained that I had been treated badly. And maybe that I must remember what Dumbledore said about the protection. How I have it only as long as I can call it my home here.”

“I wonder…” Remus could not help frowning. “But why did you not complain?”

Harry did not answer.

Remus considered whether it would be better to leave him alone than to start pleading. He chose not to emphasise the matter too emotionally. “I’ve understood you keep receiving owls from Ron Weasley at least. Have you sent replies to him?”

“Yes, he’s written often enough, about his O.W.L. results and his parents waiting for Dumbledore’s permission for me to visit them, and always how glad he is my relatives are nice to me this summer. So, it was just easier to reply that yes, it’s boring but not too bad… I just couldn’t bear the thought how he… And it’s really not been too bad. I mean I feel I quite deserve it…”

Remus had to force himself to suppress a protest so as not to interrupt Harry.

“I’ve been stupid to think I’d deserve better… I’ve been so stupid… It must have been because at Hogwarts… they all made me believe I’m worth something. I thought I could solve all the mysteries just like that, and I got to the Triwizard Tournament, so it was my fault… and now… if I hadn’t been so stupid and let the dream come and believed it and thought that I’m a great wizard who can just go and save people…”

Harry was now staring straight at Remus and did not seem to mind the tears filling his eyes. He looked desperate to have his confession heard and maybe to check the last hope for forgiveness. Remus had to turn his eyes away for a moment, as he completed Harry’s sentence in his mind: so Sirius would not have died. He had to avoid any trace of blame in his reaction.

“Harry, you are wrong. You cannot be blamed... You should know that. Dumbledore told me he talked to you about it all. And your aunt and uncle have been wrong when making you believe that you are not worth anything. They have been committing a continuous crime when depriving you physically and mentally. Dumbledore can be blamed for the mistake he did by not telling you why it was so important to stop the visions from coming, but he could be blamed for more than that… Harry, the people at Hogwarts were the first after your parents to treat you as a person with rights and dignity. Maybe the difference from your previous ten years was such that you got an excess of self-esteem for a while – but that was just to benefit the whole magical world. I’ve never heard that you used your fame to harm people or even to benefit yourself. You have found your place in the community by acceptable means and with admirable skill, considering especially that for ten years you had little chance to develop that skill. But no matter what you had done, even if you were to blame for anything, you do not deserve what you’ve got from the Dursleys. You’d better always remember this. Nobody deserves to be treated like that. It has been a crime. Every creature has intrinsic dignity and the right to be treated accordingly, to be respected and cared for, and only on the basis of being what it is. Nobody needs to deserve it by anything else but by being a creature.

Mrs Figg had arrived, she had placed another plate of pudding on the table but remained standing, and she now started clapping her hands.

Slight embarrassment somewhat calmed down Remus’s indignation, which had led him to giving such a speech, and he wondered if he had managed to have any effect on Harry’s state of mind. He was about to look up again to check Harry’s face, when some flapping of wings joined in Mrs Figg’s applauding.

Her owl, the feathers of which actually were filthy and which amusingly reminded Remus of unshaven Mundungus Fletcher in his tattered overcoat, flew directly to him and stretched out its leg. He took the letter, and after a quick glance at it he passed it to Harry’s hand and declared, “Albus Dumbledore admits his participation in this crime, as he did not stop it from continuing long ago. And another home is awaiting you, Harry. You will be there tomorrow.”




This is the end of chapter one Sharing Meals with Harry. Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in July 2009

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#7
Nick_Ottery

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Eija,

what a wonderful opening to your story. I don't think the first time I read it I fully appreciated how well you craft your story. The writing is so assured.

Of course the stand out feature has to be the characterisation of Remus Lupin. You really have put an immense amount of depth into this character. It is fabulous reading about his careful planning, how he anticipates and judges other people and is able to see how best to approach them. I wonder if that is a characteristic he has always possessed, or whether it has developed since he has become a half-breed.

I also really like how you contrast the situation between Lupin and Harry. Both are people who in very different respects lead double lives. Your interpretation of Harry post OotP is very interesting and I really admire the way you use his character to reflect more of Lupins qualities.

The other character you developed was of course Mrs Figgs. You have done another superb job here - she is still as batty as she ever was but that battiness now serves a purpose, in that she can accept Lupin on certain terms. I imagine it was very difficult for her moving into Little Whinging, and you bring this out perfectly. Some of the exchanges between her and Lupin are very funny!

Finally your writing style. I will still stand by the fact that I do find it a little formal, but as I said in a PM a while back, I believe that this compliments Lupin, as he is very much 'a gentleman'. As this fic is written from his perspective, I think the formal style works well.

I am now very much looking forward to the rest of it - particularly how you develop the socio-political themes we see emerging in Lupins thoughts, and his final speech to Harry. The wizarding world does at times seem quite xenophobic (for want of a better word) and it will be fascinating to see this through the eyes of someone who has become 'inhuman' by unhappy accident.

Finally, your action scene was really well written. It really broke up the pacing of the chapter, as well as giving us some stunning visuals and very hard hitting emotions. People forget that Remus has now lost all four of his closest friends, and that dream sequence really brings that to the front.

Nick

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#8
sweetman

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Eija,

I won't reply to all of your updates until you get closer to where you left off. I'm sure that I'll be able to keep up well enough in the chat room though.

I'm so glad that you are reposting. I'm understand that you feel the story is missing a lot without the replies, but rest assured that when you get caught back up we will make up for lost time.

Eric
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#9
PaulaMcG

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Eric,
Thank you so much for your consolation and encouragement. I know how well you know how much this interaction means to me. On the other hand I know that you are busy (and I'm not totally innocent of that) even without reading these early chapters again. Still, I would like to remind you of the fact that you started following this story when I was in chapter five, as far as I remember. So, in case, while glancing at these posts, you happen to remember a favourite scene of yours - and I can help you by saying that they were mainly eating scenes - you are always welcome to post a brief comment. Then again, you know I now know I must not demand anything.

Nick,
I truly appreciate your public expression of appreciation. You could have considered it redundant after starting to give me private feedback on the beginning of this story not so long ago. You must know how much the readers' posts on my thread mean to me. Besides, I'm especially happy about your praise just because it's not totally unconditional. Fortunately we both know that my style will soon become slightly less formal. In any case it's good that I chose such a protagonist who suits my style.

I had learned to somehow dislike my chapter one, and now I was surprised when your review made me aware of how much I had included in this early text, which I first posted without planning to write a whole story of any length, not to mention a (rather long) novel-length story. Remus's ability to judge and influence people, the parallel or contrast between him and Harry, a portrayal of another outcast character, the introduction of the socio-political themes, the tragic losses of the past, the current loneliness and fear of a further loss - it's all there hidden in that endless eating and talking. Thank you for digging it up!

I continue to make minor changes in the text while reposting, as long as I recognize anything that differs too much from the style of the later chapters.

This chapter will be posted in four instalments.





Chapter two: New Host at the Headquarters


It was still such an early hour of the morning that Privet Drive was completely quiet, but darkness was already withdrawing. The very shortest, gentlest nights of the summer were behind, though. While the warmth of days had increased almost unbearably towards the end of July, the nights had grown cooler. On this cloudless dawn again humidity had condensed on the ground. Remus surveyed the neighbourhood, standing on Mrs. Figg’s threshold, and turned to look back as he heard that his hostess had entered the hall.

“I am sorry, Mrs. Figg. I didn’t mean to wake you up, but maybe I should have, in order to thank you for everything.”

“Take care of yourself, Professor Lupin. And welcome back when it’s all over, and even before that, at any time you wish.”

She stepped forward and offered a farewell hand. To avoid giving another speech, Remus lifted her fingers and kissed them lightly. He turned, and after glancing around once more, he walked quickly to the Dursleys’ gate, opened it quietly and made his way around the house to the back garden.



Standing on the dewy grass with his toes getting wet Remus looked up and saw the rays of the sun, though it was still behind the horizon, reflect on black shiny figures, which were approaching with great speed high up in the air. Could they not have thought of something less extravagant? On the other hand, Thestrals could not be seen by muggles or not even by such wizards who had not seen anyone die. In any case, Voldemort would have had no trouble seeing them.

Remus stepped back, as the four beasts landed on the lawn. There was nobody riding them, but suddenly an opening appeared in mid-air behind them, and Remus realised that the animals had been pulling one of the Hogwarts carriages hidden with the Disillusion spell. Out of the opening leapt down a tall dark man, and Remus recognized Kingsley Shacklebolt’s muscular handsome figure.

“Morning, Remus. Want a ride?”

“Yes please, Kingsley. So they couldn’t spare a bigger escort. But I’m glad they sent the best man of all.”

The beautiful teeth and eyes shone in Kingsley’s black face, when he answered, “Don’t flatter me, Remus. Where is Harry?”

“I thought he shouldn’t get up before everything is ready for the departure. I wonder if he’s still not awake…”

Remus took out his wand and pointed it towards Harry’s room. Immediately after he saw a figure approach the window and disappear again.

“I just tickled him a little. Now he is coming. It’ll only take him a minute to go to his aunt and uncle to say: ‘See you!’”

In a moment the back door opened and Harry came out, dragging his trunk, his broom and a birdcage. He was dressed in fancy dark green robes, which suited perfectly his emerald eyes, and those eyes were shining of excitement. Kingsley hurried to clap him on the shoulder and to take his trunk. He thrust it easily into the carriage, so it disappeared out of sight.

“Good morning, Harry. Did you get any sleep?” Not waiting for a reply, Remus took the cage and opened the lock with his wand but placed the cage inside the carriage, too, without letting Hedwig out.

Harry hardly paid attention to him but stared at the Thestrals. Remus wondered if Harry now saw them even more real than before. But there was no time to waste.

“We are leaving immediately. I just have to check one thing. Did you do as Dumbledore advised in the letter?”

“Yeah, on my way down I opened their bedroom door and said: ‘You told us you wouldn’t mind if I go with my teacher. I’m going now. I’ll be back home for another holiday.’ They barely woke up and didn’t say a word.”

“So, let’s go before they do. Get in, quickly! Just remember you have also been advised to empty your mind, at the latest this moment.”

Kingsley hurried to give orders, too. “You sit in the middle, Harry. And keep your broom. I have one for each of us, too, Remus. We’d better have a hold of a broom all the time, just in case…”

“Is this precaution prescribed by Moody?” Remus asked, smiling.

He was happy that they could sit inside the carriage on comfortable seats. Kingsley had already bent forward and whispered the address to the Thestrals. The strangely graceful creatures had bent their necks and ears to take the orders, and they now leapt up in the air and rose soon so high that even if any wizard who had witnessed death had happened to be out in this early hour, looking up to the sky, he could have mistaken them for birds.

“Yes, and some of his ideas would be a bit more trouble to follow, but don’t worry, we are not going to take the route he planned through Iceland. But this is serious. You were right to bring the owl in. It must not be flying behind the carriage to give a hint at who is travelling inside. But maybe you like to let it out of the cage, so it, too, can save itself by flying if something happens. And Remus, you have a constant watch out of the back and right side window, I watch left and forward. I’ve understood Harry is supposed to not even think about the fact that he is on the way.

Remus glanced at Harry, who was leaning back between him and Kingsley. Harry seemed to notice his gaze but quickly turned his eyes straight ahead again and then closed them. He looked very determined and serious. Remus hoped that Harry had told him the truth when saying that he had actually practised Occlumency during the summer. Dumbledore had written that Harry would have to do his best to keep any thought of his departure out of his mind and especially not think of the journey during it. He had better go back to sleep after totally emptying his mind.

Having his lookout of the back window, Remus could continuously steal glances at Harry. He told himself it was important to check if Harry’s face revealed any thought of his own or even of somebody else’s or anything he might sense on his scar. But Remus could not help looking at Harry mainly because he felt a longing to be alone with James’s son. He almost wished that it would take them a long time before they arrived where there would be too many people around Harry.

Kingsley seemed to take the risk of an attack seriously. Besides watching out he was listening intently. The silence, of course, also helped Harry to keep his mind empty. But Remus wondered if Kingsley was just glad about the excuses not to have a conversation with his Order fellow. After stretching her wings by circling in the carriage for a while Hedwig had settled on Remus’s knees, and he caressed her beautiful white feathers.

But the journey did not last much more than one hour. When they arrived in London, it was still early morning and the square in a shabby neighbourhood was deserted. The Thestrals and the carriage stayed behind in a dark corner in order to depart soon after they would have entered the headquarters. Kingsley carrying the trunk and Remus the cage and his own briefcase, and Harry walking between them, holding his broom and with his eyes still almost closed, they proceeded quickly and stopped between numbers eleven and thirteen, Grimmauld Place.

“Now you must think of it, Harry,” Remus said, touching Harry’s shoulder.

Harry opened his eyes and must have seen the front door and steps of number twelve, Grimmauld Place appear, just as Remus did, because he came up with them.

Not until the door had closed behind them did Harry’s blank face relax to suddenly express the ambiguous emotions raised by his being back at Sirius’s home. Immediately after he clutched his forehead with his both hands and would have collapsed on the floor, had Kingsley not caught hold of him. Remus bent over Harry in despair.

Harry lifted his head, still rubbing his scar but with a smile. “He is just in fury. He knows that I am safe and…” Harry’s expression changed to show utter surprise, as he continued, “… that his plan has failed.”

At that moment Molly Weasley rushed at them and took Harry in her hug straight from Kingsley’s arms. Without letting him free from her embrace she started quickly leading him down the stairs to the kitchen. Kingsley followed and so did Remus, more slowly, though, after putting his briefcase against the wall next to the door.

When Remus got down, Molly had seated Harry near the table and was sitting next to him holding his both hands and surveying him with tears of love and concern in her eyes. “Welcome home, Harry, finally,” she said.

Kingsley pulled out a chair on the other side of the table, eased his lithe body onto it in a nonchalant fashion and cut in, “Yes, it’s high time you arrive to welcome us!”

Harry’s face expressed even more astonishment than a moment before in the hall.

Remus placed Hedwig’s cage on the table at the end closest to the stairs and remained standing there. He did not take the effort to hide the reproach. “Did nobody even tell Harry about that? Yes, this house belongs to you now, and so does all the gold Sirius had at Gringotts. He left it all to you in his will. He just obliged you to let the Order of the Phoenix use the place as the headquarters, until Voldemort is defeated.”

Molly was clearly shaken by the sound of the name Voldemort, but if Kingsley was, he hid it quickly in a change of his position, as he turned to say, “I suppose Dumbledore himself simply took care of paying the inheritance tax out of the gold in the vault.”

“Yes, why not, the tax must have been an amount hardly to be mentioned in proportion to the whole value of the gold, though the tax is quite high when immovable property is left for somebody who is not related. Not so high, though, as it would have been, had he left his house or gold to a non-human creature. Yes, Harry, you have inherited another fortune.” Remus complemented the conclusion with a smile, rather uncertain if he had managed not to let any bitterness in his voice.

At that moment he heard hurried footsteps on the stairs and turned to see two redheaded teenagers dart past him. Ron and Ginny Weasley almost pushed their mother aside, and she retreated, muttering something about breakfast. Remus watched Harry being hugged by his friends. He had stood up and looked small on Ron’s side, and confused albeit pleased when receiving a kiss from Ginny, who did not have to stand on tiptoe to reach his cheek.

Remus turned away and started climbing up the stairs.

“Remus, are you not staying for breakfast?” Molly’s voice sounded absentminded in his ears.

“No, thank you. I must get to my place and see what work I have for today.”

“All right then, but you must be back tonight. In his message Dumbledore mentioned that he would come and want a word with you, too.”

Harry must have now noticed that Remus was leaving, as he hurried to say, “Thank you, Professor Lupin.”

Remus mustered only a nod and rushed to the hall.


He grabbed his suitcase and went quickly out to the square, which was still quiet. The inhabitants of this neighbourhood preferred nightlife to getting up early and going to work in the morning. Remus walked to even shabbier alleys, until behind some garbage bins at the bottom of a dead end he conjured with his wand a gate in a brick wall, so as to enter another alley not much different. Just the smell of rotten waste, the local fragrance of the hot days of July, was here even more penetrating.

After a few blocks he stopped outside a gloomy tall and narrow building and searched for the keys in his pocket. In these parts the burglars could be kept out only with combinations of spells and muggle locks. Remus started climbing the almost dark and very steep staircase extremely cautiously, trying to make no sound, but before he had reached the second landing, the door on the first landing opened.

His landlady’s shrill voice echoed in the high space, “Don’t try to escape me, Mr. Lupin!” The sarcastic tone in her addressing of him as mister was full of overt contempt.

He stopped and closed his eyes momentarily, drawing a deep breath. “Good morning, Mrs. Porchead. I thought you might wish not to be disturbed this early in the morning.”

“Don’t shout at me! Come down here!”

Remus put his briefcase down and returned to the first landing. He bowed his head slightly when repeating, “Good morning, Mrs. Porchead.”

At this moment Remus found it difficult to see anything fascinating in the squat elderly lady’s peculiar features, as her large mouth was twisted in a pessimistic grimace while the last trace of greedy hope of something to be gained from her tenant still glinted in her tiny eyes under the bushy eyebrows. He also considered whether he should stick to his decision to call her a lady in his mind. He knew that her manners did not actually justify it, and her silk robe with gold embroideries and a hat decorated with an enormous feather of a peacock could hardly compensate for that.

“So! Your rent is due right now. For the whole of the summer. Those veela whom you put to stay here during your absence – I got nothing from them. They just terrorised everybody with their awful singing. I’m considering what kind of an amount I should claim damages against you.”

“Excuse me, Mrs. Porchead. It can help me take care of payments, if you are so kind to tell me whether there’s been any owl for me.”

Mrs. Porchead apparently enjoyed keeping him in the dark for a while. She turned abruptly and went into her flat without a word. Remus was about to leave, but she did return with a letter, which clearly had been opened – and with her lips pressed together in a slight malicious smile.

He had no need to take a look at the letter before deciding whether to make a further request. “I have to ask you for another favour. Could you please lend me a newspaper?”



The landlady possibly considered what would be the most insulting words for a refusal, but rather to Remus’s surprise she disappeared for another moment and appeared with a crumpled copy of the Daily Prophet.

“You may keep it. It’s yesterday’s but you can find job ads in it. And you’d better find a job and pay at least a part of your debts tonight.” She banged her door closed.

Remus returned to his briefcase and climbed with heavy steps two more flights of stairs up to his door, which opened when he just pushed it.





Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in July 2009.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 03 September 2009 - 04:23 PM.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#10
Nanny Tonks

Nanny Tonks

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What a horrible old lady... Is she any relation to Umbridge? Gah... I don't like her. She was horrible to poor Remus... I absolutely adore your route of transportation... Wow. That was the most original I'd ever heard. I'd have never thought of using the thestrals again! Wow... Really cool.

Excellent, Eija! I can't wait for more!

~NT

#11
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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NT, thank you! I'm happy you liked the mode of transportation, since it has actually bothered me lately that I started this story so conventionally with Harry's get-away. And I don't mind if you don't like Mrs. Porchead at this point. The idea that she might be related to Umbridge is, in fact, interesting. I have edited the other two instalments of this chapter "New Host at the Headquarters", so they will be posted shortly.





He had a quick look around, because he never knew what the landlady had done to the room while he had been away. He was again amused by the thought that the room could, in fact, have been not too bad as an atelier. It was quite spacious and had big windows covering almost the whole of one wall, facing south. In reality the room was simply unbearably hot in the summer, and unbearably cold in the winter, as there was no fireplace. And there was hardly any furniture at all.

If there had ever been any, like a bed, it would have probably disappeared during his latest absence: the landlady would have taken it for the rent. But his shabby bedclothes were intact in the corner. Only the mattress which had belonged to her was gone. He checked that his books were safe in another corner, transfigured into a pile of old magazines so she would not take and sell them. For a table he had placed a broad board on two cardboard boxes in the middle of the room, and she usually let it alone.

He lifted his suitcase, the newspaper and the letter on the board and took out his wand. Now he needed to concentrate in order to succeed in conjuring a chair. He still was not nearly as good as Dumbledore at this spell. But perhaps he could as well specialise in this kind of magic of comfort, as it seemed to have become so important for him these days, when he continuously felt exhausted. He managed to make even an armchair appear, a bit shabby one, though. The problem was the fact that the conjured furniture never lasted for longer than a few hours. So it would be no good using a spell to have a bed for the night, unless he wanted to make sure he would fall in his dream again. Though he knew he would, in any case.

Sitting at his ascetic desk, he read the letter through.


Dear Sir,
We would appreciate it if you stopped approaching us with applications for work assignment. Even in our translations department we can only accept fully human witches and wizards, because the work requires frequent personal contact with editors and clients and above all complete understanding of the human perspective.

Yours sincerely
Burke Splashspear
Managing Director
Gutterberg Publishers



In a surge of bitterness and despair, which was about to explode into downright anger, Remus took the parchment in his hands to tear it in pieces. Then he turned it over and pressed it against the uneven table top with his both hands and smoothed it carefully. He walked to the corner and placed the parchment under a few magazines in the transfigured pile of books.

After returning to his new chair he spread the Daily Prophet on the desk. For a while he eyed the grimacing faces of the goblins in a row of photographs on the front page under a heading ARRESTED TODAY. He glanced at the names under the pictures and wondered if any of them was close to Mrs. Porchead. Not that he would have felt pity or malicious delight if it had been so, but an inheritance might have calmed her down a bit. No, if she was to get anything, she would have got it already. According to their own traditional rules of inheritance, a goblin’s property went – and as soon as he was just absent without taking precautions – to his closest relative, which meant the one who managed to get there first. The Minister had tried to apply the inheritance tax on these frequent changes of ownership and caused an unsolvable conflict.

Remus thought it would be soon enough to hear the latest news about the actions of the ministry on the explosion when visiting the headquarters in the evening. He quickly turned to the last pages of the paper to glance through the ads.

His eye was caught by the word painter, and feeling slightly amused he read the whole ad, which was not much: Painters wanted on construction, number 13, Diagon Alley. He memorized the number, folded the paper and opened his suitcase to take out his other, more patched robes for going to work.

Between the clothes, carefully packed by Mrs. Figg, he found a closed bowl of chocolate mousse and a bundle with fresh rolls of bread. In embarrassed but mainly pleasant surprise he placed the food on the desk. Having changed robes he summoned a spoon from behind the magazines. After eating some of the mousse and putting a couple of rolls in his pockets for lunch he transfigured the rest of the food into a rusty tin jar and a bundle of rags and took them carefully next to the magazines.


His knocking on the landlady’s door on the first landing generated a flood of weird swearwords inside. As soon as the door swung open Remus hurried to say, “Excuse me Mrs. Porchead. In order to go and collect some money for the rent I would need you to allow me to use your fireplace. You can add the floo powder in my debt.”

“What kind of wizard do you think you are! Can’t you apparate! And stop asking for favours with that disgusting politeness. Why don’t you just try to steal a newspaper or sneak in while I’m asleep, so I can strangle you!”
“I am sorry, Mrs. Porchead, but these days I am usually not in a condition of health good enough to apparate, otherwise I would not…”

Mrs. Porchead eyed him suspiciously and spat out, “I guessed that! And you think you can stay here spreading disease and even intrude on my privacy…”

“Please, Mrs. Porchead. This is not contagious, you know it’s only because…”

“Shut up! I don’t want to hear about that. You should be locked up in St. Mungos’s, but I guess the hospital fees are a lot higher than my rent even for beggars! Go to the fireplace and don’t touch anything and leave quickly!”

She stepped aside to let Remus pass without a risk of him touching her and followed him to the fireplace. She took and dropped a small amount of floo powder on his hand. He lit a small fire with his wand, threw the powder in it and stepped in saying, “Diagon Alley.”

He had closed his eyes so as not to get ash in them, but while travelling in the whirl he felt them fill with tears all the same.



He actually enjoyed working that day. The paint spreading from his brush on the doors and the window frames gave him pleasure, and even the intoxicating smell confusing his mind did not really cause him a headache but just strangely helped him distance himself from the reality. He concentrated on refining his work and he felt confident of being quite skillful at it.

The manager of the construction, a heavy-handed and well-nourished wizard, had first been reluctant to talk to Remus. But then he had revealed that they did need one more painter, though only a professional who could do quality work by hand. The manager had explained that the company, which was having a new pet shop built on this lot, had got it as remedy for unpaid geese from the owners of the exploded shop. This company did not want any paint splashing spells, especially not on the window frames, which were to represent the quality service and products the shop was going to offer.

He had hardly believed Remus, who had claimed to have exactly the experience required, but he had been convinced after allowing him to show what he was able to do. He had just said that Remus was a bit slow but that it did not really matter, because he would pay for the finished job regardless of how long it took the painter to do it. By the time the manager checked Remus’s identity certificate he must have already felt that this painter was irreplaceable. He had hired Remus on the condition that he would not go inside the building when there were other workers in there.

Remus had not tried to talk to anyone else. At first he had been curious to see what kind of people ended up in this work. He had noticed that the ceilings were being painted by two such tall men that they could have had giants among their ancestors. Then he had felt disgusted with himself, speculating what kind of blood people could be blamed for having in their veins. And he escaped to the colour, texture and smell of the paint.


When he heard the other workers gathering inside the building and the manager announce a lunch break, he put the paintbrush aside. Only now did he realise how tired he was, and feeling dizzy he sat down on the front steps of the building.

He had started enjoying his second roll of bread, when he heard an astonished voice of a young girl, “Professor Lupin, good morning!”

Hiding the roll in his pocket he looked up to see a familiar bright face framed by a wonderful excess of hair. It was one of Harry’s closest friends, Hermione Granger. Remus was about to stand up, but Hermione immediately sat down on the step placing a tall pile of books between the two of them.

“I need a rest, too. I’m afraid I got carried away in the bookstore and now I can hardly carry all this.”

“May I look? Oh, sorry, Hermione, my hands are a bit dirty, maybe you’d like to show me what you have bought. Has the booklist for your sixth year arrived?”

“Oh no, unfortunately not yet, but these ones I’ll need in any case. And this one is for the interests I have besides school work, although I wonder why they don’t find it necessary for everybody to learn.”

She took up and opened a thick volume titled “The Indigenous Culture of the Elves - a Field Study”.

“You are quite right.” Remus bent his head beside hers, as they both started eyeing the introduction. “I’ve heard you are interested in securing the rights of the house-elves. In your endeavour it is wise to seek knowledge and venture upon an understanding of their own perspective on the basis of the elfish culture.”

“But what are you doing here?”

Could Hermione’s abrupt inquiry mean that she had eventually become aware of the paint stains on his hands and robes?

“Painting, as you can see,” he answered, grinning. “Painting is actually a kind of hobby for me – a passion, in fact. I just don’t have enough time for it.”

Hermione closed the book and looked at him in genuine interest. “Really? Do you paint other things besides..?”

“Besides doors and window frames, yes, but mainly just landscapes.”

“No portraits?”

“No, I don’t. That is a fascinating art, which I just wish I had the chance to explore.”

Remus wondered how easy it was to talk to her, even in a situation like this and even about a topic like this. “I would like to help you carry your books, but I must continue my work in a moment. Where are you going next?”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. It’s just a short distance to walk. I’m staying at the inn here on Diagon Alley for a few nights with my parents. They were eager to have at least a short holiday trip to the magical world after we just returned from a long tour of Lapland. There were some landscapes there you should have seen. But I’ve heard you’ve been travelling this summer, too.”

“Yes, I have, but let’s not talk more about that until maybe later at the headquarters. I don’t think I’m guessing wrong when saying that you have an invitation to visit the headquarters waiting for you at the inn. Ron and Ginny must have sent an owl if not Harry himself. I just brought him home from the Dursleys’ early this morning.”

Hermione’s face grew even brighter if possible. She sprang to her feet and Remus helped her pile the books on her arms.

“So, I hope to see you there tonight, too,” she said and turned to walk away, but suddenly she stopped. “But… Professor Lupin, this must be the lot where the explosion took place!”

“Yes, it is.”

“How could they allow anybody to start building on it already? Could they have finalised the investigations so quickly?”

“I doubt that, too. It seems to have been arranged pretty effectively. I found out that this lot and new pet shop now belong to that company which had provided the geese and not got paid before the tragedy.”

Hermione nodded, frowning, and Remus waved her goodbye. It would be nice and even useful to discuss these matters with her another time. Maybe she even still respected him, now thinking that he had been here for some confidential business in a worker’s disguise. In the evening he would have to convince Dumbledore that he had better allow Hermione to stay at the headquarters.



When climbing wearily up the steep staircase late in the afternoon Remus tried to let on the foreground of his mind the least embarrassing moments of his working day and the encounter with sweet Hermione. He refused to think of the words he had just heard when he had emerged from Mrs. Porchead’s fireplace with still no money at all to pay the rent. The manager had told him he would be paid after finishing the job on the following day or the day after that. Having entered his room he just wanted to sleep and was tempted to immediately throw himself on the bedclothes.

His bedclothes on the floor did not look like he could make them any more untidy even if he went to sleep wearing his dirty robes, but he reminded himself that he had decided not to give up and live in filth. Having straightened and cleaned the bedclothes with his wand, he took his nightgown and a towel from the briefcase and returned to the previous landing to go to the bathroom. He descended the steps as quietly as possible, but after closing the bathroom door he could hear his landlady start swearing again.


He woke up without any new bruises, as with no bed it had not been possible for him to fall down except in his dream. He had just seen Kingsley Shacklebolt fly towards him carrying a Firebolt and heard the proud voice. “I caught the broom at least. Did you not catch anything?”





Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in July 2009.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 23 July 2009 - 05:44 PM.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#12
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

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I assume double-posting is not forbidden in the present circumstances. My long chapters can be naturally divided into shorter instalments, and I prefer doing that to offering huge updates to you, regardless of how often I get comments. This update is a bit longer but the last piece of chapter two will be a bit shorter than usual.




It was already getting dark and Remus thought he was probably late for dinner. He quickly put on his better robes.

After sleeping relatively well he could venture to apparate, as Grimmauld Place was not too far. In a moment he was in the same dark corner of the square where the Thestrals had landed in the morning. There were local muggles walking through the square and hanging around, so he had to wait for a while before approaching the hidden number twelve.


The members of the Order and the children gathered for dinner in Harry’s kitchen had already finished the main course. Remus descended the stairs, excusing himself and checking that Dumbledore had not arrived yet. He decided to walk around the table and greet everybody to show that he had just come to meet them and not mainly because of the food. Hermione was there, and Harry was sitting between her and Ron Weasley at the head of the table.

Remus considered it appropriate to greet the host first. “Hello, Harry. I hope you are feeling at home.”

Harry had changed to more simple black robes, but they were clearly tailored and of expensive fabric, too.

“Yes, thank you, Professor Lupin. Thank you.”

As he repeated it Remus wondered if it was just his own wishes that made him hear more than a polite phrase in it. Why had he not asked Harry to call him by his first name and why did he have to feel shy to say it to him now? Harry’s eyes looked brighter than ever, maybe because somebody had fixed the scratches on his glasses.

Remus turned to Hermione, who surprised him with eager thanks, too.

“Thank you, Professor Lupin, I’m so glad I met you in Diagon Alley and you advised me to go back to the inn. Ron had written to me about Harry’s arrival and Hedwig had found the place where I stay these days. These owls are just incredible.”

“Did you use Harry’s owl, Ron? That was a good thing to do. Hedwig needed some flying around after such a hard time of imprisonment. She is incredible even among magical owls, while they all render us irreplaceable services.”

“Did you go down to Diagon Alley today, Remus? Why didn’t you come to see the latest jokes in our shop?”

Remus had to smile to Fred and George Weasley, who were jinxing plates to pirouette above the table before turning them into butterflies, which fluttered to the dishwashing basin.

“I’m sorry, I was occupied the whole day, but I will certainly come some day to see if you can make me laugh.”

“That’s better,”George said. “When you came in I thought for a moment it was good old Snape. You looked so gloomy.”

“Did I really? I apologize. But now you are already cheering me up. I’m glad to see you all here.”

Remus continued towards the other end of the table to clap Arthur’s and Moody’s shoulders and to stretch out his hand to Nymphadora. “It’s nice to see none of you is so busy tonight as you have been the whole summer and up till this morning.”

Before any of them had time to reply Molly and Ginny Weasley came from the pantry carrying the puddings.

“Remus, where have you been? Take a seat. And Ginny dear, go and bring the starters and the main course for Remus.”

“Oh, please don’t bother because of me.”

Remus walked around and sat down next to Nymphadora. He looked at each of his three closest Order fellows in turn while continuing, “You didn’t have too much correspondence with Harry while I was on my tour, did you? No use mentioning any visits at all. Did even one of you send a letter to him during his second week at the Dursleys’?”

They did not seem to be sure if he really wanted an answer, but as he kept waiting, Nymphadora started, “Well, no, I’m afraid…”

She dropped a spoonful of pudding onto Remus’s steak, which Ginny had just placed in front of him, but Remus did not regard that as a sign of guilt or embarrassment, because that was Nymphadora’s usual manner of acting at the table.

“I remember Harry made it clear during the first week that the muggle dared do nothing to him anymore, after he had got it into his thick skull that we had been threatening him,” Moody said with a grim laugh.

“Yes, Ron had correspondence with Harry all summer, didn’t you?”Arthur said, turning to his youngest son.

Catching Harry’s eyes Remus exchanged a look with him. When he had a chance he should remember to ask Harry to check if Ron remembered sending him a message on the second week and not getting a reply. Remus doubted it. It was unlikely Ron would have used an owl unknown to Harry.

Remus spoke no more but started to eat. It was clear nobody had been told about the conditions at the Dursleys’ except Molly, who had evidently got a word about Harry’s arrival beforehand and who was now fussing over Harry’s plate in a worse manner than she sometimes did over Remus.

Suddenly Hermione raised her voice and Remus realised that the company was talking about Diagon Alley again. “Don’t you, Professor Lupin? Would you like to tell the others what you found out about number thirteen, Diagon Alley?”

Having just put a big piece of steak into his mouth, Remus had to continue chewing, while everybody turned to stare at him. He lifted the napkin on his mouth, swallowed and said, “Well, I actually know little more than what is just too clear for anybody to see, when such a grand building has risen so suddenly on the spot where the explosion took place a week ago. The new pet shop will be ready, even painted tomorrow or the day after. And while in the painting they only accept quality work by hand, there must have been some use of magic and also violation of construction safety rules in order to finalise such a building so quickly. And probably some laws of criminal investigation procedure have been violated as well.”

“But what more would they have needed to investigate?” Moody asked. “It was a goblin’s bomb, and no evidence of connections to You Know Who could have been found on the spot, anyway, though it is obvious that this is just the first blow of his launching into total destruction of our civilization…”

Remus sighed and put his fork and knife down again. “Moody, I appreciate your ability to sense the signs of the worst, and in addition to that I trust you have a keen sense of the more treacherous plots of the evil. In order to do justice to every creature, the ministry should act on only the facts that have already been proved. It is always possible that the case is even more complicated. Or it may be simpler, and as far as I know there has been no proof of the whole goblin community being guilty of anything. I understood I was not the only one in the Order to disagree with Fudge’s actions.”

“But aren’t goblins always ready to other goblins in any mischief? asked Fred.

“Well, negotiating with them has proved at least that they are not that ready to join us in a war against You Know Who,” Nymphadora replied.

“I suppose you could really get to know the goblins only if you lived with them,” said Hermione.

Remus wondered if she had already started reading the field study report on elves.

“So, Remus, you can tell us something about that. Your landlady is a goblin, isn’t she?” said Kingsley, who had just arrived and sat down opposite to Remus without bothering to greet anybody.

“Well, I do not actually live with her, whereas she certainly doesn’t avoid conversation with me.”

“So how is her behaviour with you? Would you conclude the goblins have any moral code or not?” asked Arthur.

“I have mainly formal interaction with Mrs. Porchead. If there is anything to doubt about her moral or manners… well, she has spent a long time among the worst of wizards in my neighbourhood. She is probably not the best example of genuine goblin culture. And
I would not conclude anything on the basis of her conversation with me. You may know I’m not the best of tenants. For my absence this summer I arranged some veela to stay in my flat and… No, just for my absence, George! I may not have so much experience on dating young ladies as you have, but I have learnt to avoid the dangerous ones.”

The company was clearly not satisfied with his cautious words, but he had spoken long enough to make them lose interest in the topic and change to another one. He could concentrate on eating again, while Ron questioned Fred about George’s affairs with the seductive nature spirits.

Remus half wished he could at least make jokes about his landlady’s behaviour if not look for sympathy. But he felt it was out of question to reveal any negative information on her exactly because she was a goblin. His complaints would have just strengthened the prejudices evidently shared by some of the members of the Order, too.



Remus was left alone to wait for Dumbledore.

Molly had asked her children to help her clear the table and then go upstairs with Harry and Hermione. Fred and George had protested, saying that they had finished school and therefore should be allowed to finally join the Order as members. But Arthur had reminded them of the fact that they had left school without finishing it and the matter was still to be discussed with Dumbledore. That seemed to have made Harry suddenly remember having heard from Molly in the morning that Dumbledore had promised to come. But he had not asked for a permission to stay and meet his headmaster. He had agreed to go to bed early, and Hermione was to stay overnight, too.

When passing Remus Harry had hurried to mention, “Ron told me he had been glad to always receive a quick reply from me to all his owls. And Hermione said the same.”

Remus had nodded as thanks for the information and said, “I hope you don’t mind if I talk about you to Dumbledore. I suppose he still has his reasons not to meet you personally.”

Arthur, Moody, Nymphadora and Kingsley were obviously not eager to continue conversation with Remus. They all soon said goodnight, and so did Molly after bringing some fruits and coffee to the table.

But Remus did not have to wait for more than a moment before the serene figure of the respected wizard suddenly materialized in front of him. The long hair and beard seemed to radiate silvery light. Remus turned his eyes on the ceiling from Dumbledore’s smile, which he could not help interpreting as an irritating expression of self-satisfaction.

He exaggerated his astonishment, so as to use it as an excuse for failing to greet Dumbledore warmly and politely. “I’ve thought it’s not possible to apparate into this building. Have you changed the secrecy protection?”

“No, definitely not. I simply could not resist coming downstairs with style.”

Remus caught himself disapproving of Dumbledore’s endless concern about style or rather his easily achieved performances thereof. At the moment he despised all lightheartedness while at the same time he detested himself for acting and feeling gloomy like Snape. A longing to be one of the reckless Marauders surged to his mind, and he pushed it away as painful. He had to just struggle to keep his current style of dry witty jokes at least, though the source of even those seemed to have run too dry.

As if completely aware of Remus’s mood Dumbledore sat down next to him and sighed to express sorrow himself. He lifted his hand to take some grapes from a bowl but stopped himself, and Remus knew it was all a trick and felt he was being made fun of. He wanted to start whatever negotiation was needed, to get to the point and to finish it quickly, so he talked without introduction.

“Voldemort read Harry’s mind at the moment we had arrived. Harry felt such pain on his scar that he almost collapsed and then he said: ‘He is just in fury. He knows that I am safe and… that his plan has failed.’”

To his irritation, another reconciled smile lingered on Dumbledore’s face to accompany the soft voice. “Very well. Harry did very well. I could not be quite sure, even if you told me in your latter message that he had claimed to have practiced. When Voldemort got through, it was too late.”
“I suppose the location of the headquarters cannot be revealed to Voldemort even through Harry’s mind.”

“No, that secret is hidden only in my mind. Do you have a theory concerning that owl of the second week?”

Dumbledore’s voice was so peaceful that it was closing to indifference, and he could not resist the grapes any longer. Remus was wondering why Dumbledore bothered to come and waste their time, if there was nothing urgent to discuss.

“I checked it had not been sent by any of Harry’s young or older friends,” Remus said.

“No, I would say it had not been sent even to him.”

“To Petunia,” Remus said, refusing to make it a question.

“Most probably. We don’t have to bother about the details of Voldemort’s failed plan. But I would guess he told Petunia to mistreat Harry in order to make him run away and lose the protection of blood, which Lily had given him and which I had tied to that home of his. And Harry did very well. Voldemort did not take into consideration the possibility that Harry would not wish to risk anybody getting in danger trying to save him. And the pain he has suffered all his life has given him such patience and endurance…”

Remus now found it more difficult than ever to control his fury. Hearing Mrs. Dursley’s malicious words was nothing compared to witnessing this benevolent voice justifying Harry’s suffering. But Dumbledore was looking at Remus intently over his half-moon-shaped glasses, and to his further infuriation Remus realised that his slightest expression was being interpreted correctly and Dumbledore was just curious to compare his explicit reaction with the deeper emotion behind it. He decided to word only his final conclusion.

“What’s the use telling you how serious a crime I know of experience it has been. You let them deprive Harry of what every creature has the right for. But you regard only yourself as wise enough to know when it’s necessary to subject him to more pain to train him in endurance!

Dumbledore faced Remus’s accusation with tears in his eyes, and Remus now at least slightly doubted the tears were totally fake.

“I did not mean to defend myself. I admit I underestimated the scope of the deprivation Harry would suffer for ten years. Humanly evaluated I made a serious mistake. But whatever we have done, there is a meaning in it. In any case we must look forward. And one fact is that, thanks to my mistake, Harry now possesses some strength which has already proved significant in preparing him to face what he is destined for, or at least in keeping him alive until it is time… I am sorry. Remus, I mean it. I am just trying to speak wise words to cover my bad conscience. I apologized in the letter, and I am willing to do it again and again. Do you think Harry accepts the fact that it is too risky for me to meet him?”

Remus did not feel like showing signs of reconciliation so easily. He thought Dumbledore was quite cunning to pose such a question which he could not resist answering. “Yes, I think so. He didn’t ask to meet you, and he didn’t object when I told him I’d talk to you instead of the two of you getting face to face. Maybe he accepts your reasons. Or maybe he’s so embarrassed that he doesn’t feel like seeing you. He may feel ashamed of eventually begging for your help in that letter. And the deprivation in his life has, while enhancing his endurance, also harmed his self-esteem so much that he may not want to discuss those conditions with anyone but rather tries to forget all about it now that he is rich again.

“You must be right, Remus. I admit I did not think about that. And don’t think I ever even imagine I could understand all the emotions of everyone. If I give such an impression, it is based only on style.”

And Dumbledore winked and smiled so sweetly that Remus did not know what to believe. Was Dumbledore able to interpret less or more than Remus had thought? In any case it was impossible to continue to show explicit anger to him.

“Before leaving Harry talked to his aunt and uncle the way you advised. Did your advice mean you plan to still send him there? If you ever do it, I trust you’ll take care of the threatening yourself and won’t send me on a world tour while Harry is there.”

“That is sensible advice. And before sending him home to the Dursleys’ I suppose I should, instead of considering myself the only wise man, discuss the alternatives with others, including Harry himself.”

“He didn’t even know that all the time he had another home, which is rather well protected, too.”

“You are right again, Remus. We can still protect him here as well as at Hogwarts, until it is time for Voldemort to face his equal.”

“I would like to advise you to consider protecting also those who are closest to Harry. He may now be careful enough not to be fooled to go and save somebody on a basis of a false image in his head only. But what if a friend of his was to really be taken hostage? I don’t think Hermione Granger is safe among muggles, and I hope you let her stay here until it’s time to go to Hogwarts.”

“I agree. She is here tonight, isn’t she? Harry can invite her to stay, and the Order has nothing against it. But there is another friend of Harry’s whom I am afraid I have ignored for too long… Remus, I wish you told me if there is anything you need. It has, after all, been my fault you haven’t had much chance to take care of your personal affairs this summer.”

“Well, I would, in fact, need a rest before another world tour. To be honest, I would not mind being stationed somewhere else than this neighbourhood, at the expenses of the Order if possible. But I’m not actually looking forward to making another tour to the werewolf communities to explain how Fudge’s new degree supports our friendly relations with them. Anyway, aren’t we wasting time on these personal matters, while Fudge has destroyed our strategy and will destroy more than that? I won’t be surprised if his policy leads to a revolt.”

“We need to renew our strategy, not give it up, and for the moment we continue with it the best we can. I promise to discuss that later with you before making decisions, even if I cannot help acting a gentle despot. I am considering if I should strictly order you to live at the headquarters.”

“No, I’m asking you not to do that. I wish I could invite Harry to be my son and come and live with me. But it cannot happen. I must continue my own training, it seems, and I hope to grow in endurance to do my share in what you call the war.”

“Please, Remus. I have always had faith in you.”

Like hell you have, Remus said in his mind, and the spontaneous, crude wording amused him so that he had to smile through all his bitterness – which he had no need to express now. What he needed direly at the moment was simply some money. Dumbledore certainly knew that, and it was out of question for Remus to take it up.

“Perhaps I haven’t always been worthy of it. If you haven’t got anything less personal, I would consider this the end of our conversation. Tomorrow’s going to be another working day.”

“Very well. But I order you to visit the headquarters daily if possible. I am not too proud to admit that I need your help.”

Dumbledore stood up and seemed to wait for a moment to see if Remus would agree to add anything. But Remus still had a style to keep up, too. They both apparated into the hall, walked together in silence to the other side of the square and continued apparating to their separate directions.



Back in his room Remus went straight to the pile of magazines and took out the piece of parchment which he had smoothed out in the morning. In his briefcase he looked for his quill and a bottle of ink. The ink was almost finished, so he filled the bottle with a spell. The jinxed ink would not be permanent, but he would make only a draft in any case.

Overwhelmed by a feverish urgency he started sketching and produced quickly the figure of an owl. Reliving those moments of early morning which he had spend holding Hedwig, he felt an almost painful longing to represent the shades of white in her feathers with oil paint and to add to the image the magic of movement.




Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in July 2009.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 30 August 2009 - 03:32 PM.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#13
PaulaMcG

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Remus felt his head spinning when he stared at the white wall, and he had to sit down on the floor of the empty room. He had just finished the labour of painting the doors, the window frames and other details inside the new pet shop. The walls had been painted by somebody else, but he suddenly saw them unfinished.

That morning he had woken up – too early like always – after watching the young man with the face hidden behind black hair plunge down on a broom and leave behind an empty white canvas.

Hearing footsteps approach, he stood up, taking hold of a wall where the paint was no longer fresh. He pressed his palm against the smooth surface. The sturdy wizard entered the room and surveyed it, looking satisfied. Feeling unrestrained, high on the intoxication of the paint, Remus astonished himself by not hesitating to suddenly talk to the manager.

“Would you mind proposing to the owners a further improvement in their shop? The reputation of a pet shop of exceptional quality would benefit from exceptional interior decoration. Instead of the white walls I would seriously recommend a wall painting representing a landscape, and some creature, perhaps, an owl…”

The manager seemed slow to understand what he was talking about. “A picture of an owl?”

“Yes, I would suggest a painting here opposite to those windows, an impressive northern landscape and on the foreground a snowy owl. I suppose that is such an exquisite creature which they are going to have available at least on an order of a client.”

“I don’t know about such paintings…”

“Can you talk to the owners? I believe you would get a share of the commission.”

“Yes, why not? Do you mean you are that kind of a painter yourself? That explains why you have done your work so slowly – and well. Yes, very well… I’ll talk to them and we may get an extra commission. A snowy owl you said… And how much would you ask for it?”

“Anything they’ll be ready to pay when I’ve finished it. But besides a permission to start I would need them to buy the materials for me.”

“I’d better not mention that yet. I’ll just tell them I have an artist here, and you can yourself convince them about the idea. Come back tomorrow morning. They’ll drop by to check the construction.”

And Remus’s hopeful excitement was complemented with relief, when the manager eventually paid him for the labour of two days.



Before returning home Remus transfigured some of the coins to crumbs of bread, which he put carefully at the bottom of another pocket. He wanted to keep something for himself, because in case he got the commission and the materials paid for Hedwig’s portrait, he would devote himself to that and have no time for looking for and doing any labour.


Mrs. Porchead’s behaviour did not surprise Remus, as he knew she was able to sense the presence of precious metals. As soon as he arrived in her fireplace she rushed to the room and made an instinctive craving gesture with her long fingers, before she seemed to become aware of it and changed to verbal language to demand her money, not managing and probably not even trying to be much more polite. Remus rummaged in one of his pockets, gave her some of the money, and after a few swearwords of hers he gave her some more and showed that the pocket was empty. Then he quickly disapparated from the room, worried that she might still sense the metal even in the transfigured coins, though they were only silver. It would have been impossible to hide gold from her.


That evening Remus got to the headquarters earlier and went upstairs to look for Harry before dinner. He knocked on the door of the room which he remembered Harry had shared with Ron before.

The door opened immediately and Ron almost pushed him aside and started striding up the stairs shouting, “Gred! Forge! What have you done to my broomstick! I just hate you, Come and take those ears off… Oh, Professor Lupin, sorry, but I must…”

“Can you tell me where I can find Harry?”

“Just wait in our room. He went to the bathroom.”


Remus walked into the room, leaving the door open. Hedwig’s figure shone white in the dim light. She was sitting in her cage, but its door was not closed, and as he called her by name, she opened her round amber eyes, stared at him for a moment only and flew straight to him to perch on his shoulder. He turned his face against her feathers.

“Professor Lupin, hello, how are you?”

“Fine, thank you. How are you, Harry? Have you not chosen other rooms for yourself now that they are all yours?”

Immediately after coming in Harry started throwing pieces of clothing from the chairs and the bed into his open trunk. “I have enough in this room to keep it tidy. And I like to stay with Ron. But maybe I should give another room to him.”

Harry nodded towards a portrait on the wall opposite to this bed. Inside the frame Phineas Nigellus yawned and opened his eyes and spoke in a lazy drawling manner, “Well, well, Potter here seems to be popular. Another guest, but this one I have met too many times. What a bore it is to have to stay and watch people growing weary and worn and no wiser or wealthier. Too many times I watched you, Lupin, from the wall of the headmaster’s office as you defended the black sheep of the Black family after his mischief with your father, Potter. And again I had to see you, Lupin, trying to be a professor, and what has become of you… I hope nobody will ever make a portrait of you. Your face is not exactly adorable, though somebody might find those lines of fatigue and grief rather touching…”

“I have to admire the artist who made you so realistic,” Remus said so as to silence him, not bothering to defend himself against the insults of a painting.

“Well, it’s no use cleaning, said Harry. “We’d better go somewhere else, if there’s something you want to talk about with me, Professor Lupin.”

“No, no, don’t let me disturb you. I’m going to my portrait at Hogwarts. It’s hard to feel at home here any longer. Have a nice day.”

When Phineas Nigellus had walked towards the frame of the painting and disappeared, Harry showed a now vacant chair to Remus and sat down on the bed himself. “Yes, Professor Lupin, did you have something… I felt you have something against…”

“No, I’m sorry, Harry. I didn’t mean to say anything like that. In fact, I came to ask you for a favour. Would you let Hedwig come with me for a few days?”

Hedwig picked Remus’s ear tenderly with her beak.

Harry stared at the two of them, as if he had not seen her on Remus’s shoulder before. “I didn’t notice you had already taken her out of the cage.”

“No, I did not take her out. She came to me. We kind of made friends on the way from the Dursleys’,” Remus explained.

“So, do you need to send letters?”

“No, it’s not that… Tell me, did Hermione not talk to you about what I was doing in Diagon Alley?”

“She told me you seemed to work undercover to find out about the explosion. You are not taking Hedwig to the pet shop, are you?”

“I’m not going to sell her as a pet to anybody. And she will be free to fly back to you, if she doesn’t like it with me. If you want to know more, you could ask what Hermione would guess. But otherwise I’d rather keep it a surprise for you. Please, Harry, will you let her come, if she wants to?”

Harry looked perplexed but nodded.

Remus turned his face towards Hedwig and said gently, “So, please come tonight or early in the morning. You know where I live. It’s not so beautiful there, but if everything goes well, you’ll see something else, too.”

Hedwig spread her wings and returned to the cage. Remus stood up.

“Please stay and have dinner with us, Professor Lupin.”

“Thank you, I will, of course. In fact, Dumbledore ordered me to come here daily, and I think he meant precisely for dinner,” Remus said, smiling. Then he sat down again and continued, “Oh yes, I actually came up to look for you in order to tell you about my discussion with Dumbledore concerning Voldemort, the Dursleys and you…”




This is the end of chapter two New Host at the Headquarters. Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in July 2009.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 23 July 2009 - 05:50 PM.

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</span>
<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#14
Jadealinda

Jadealinda

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Wow Eija! You have been busy! I haven't had a chance to reread everything yet and I am going to before I post a commentary (novel). I just wanted you to know I'm impressed with how much you have managed to get back on-line since Friday!

I will say that I'm thrilled to see Mrs. Porchead again. If I had a fishbowl, I'd plunk her - Nanny, you will see why later.

Just to let you know, the fan fiction rules allow for double posts by authors on the their threads, so no worries there! :unsure:

My fan fictions

Born of Evil: The Story of Aurielle Lestrange, His Mother's Blood & My Newest Fiction Forget Voldemort: Let's ROCK!

Note: Thanks to the lovely girl in my avatar, my daughter Cameron, who very kindly posed as my character Aurielle for me.


#15
Nicola

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Wow, Eija you have been re-posting at an amazing rate!!! You already know this is one of my favourite stories on the Snitch, and I'm sorry if I don't keep up with your re-posting, but I will pop in to check up on Remus from time to time - I think he is wonderful, even if he is different to my (now defunct) Remus!

I doubt I'll go into as much detail as I usually do, simply because you have heard it all before...
However, I love the opening scenes with harry - Remus hows he cares in such subtle ways, yet his defiance towards Petunia is truly clever and brave. You seem to have picked up on many similarities between Harry's treatment at the hands of the Dursleys and Remus' at the hands of the wizarding world.

Mrs Figg = sheer genius - I love your portrayal of her!

Mrs Porchead also has such depth of character for an original character - she is wonderful. I especially like how we didn't know she was a goblin immediately when we were introduced to her.

I love Remus' interaction with Hermione, and I love how he is an artist - he always seems to me to be a very creative person.

The only thing that gets my back up is his feelings regarding Dumbledore - I really love Dumbledore as a character, and can't bear that relations between him and Remus would be less than good!!

Just as fantastic second time round Eija!:)

Thanks to Kiss.The.Rain for my wonderful avatar


#16
PaulaMcG

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Jade, thank you so much for posting here. I was afraid that a couple of updates without replies would give the impression that I don't expect any comments. I can's resist the temptation to repost somehow quickly, because, as you know, I have a new instalment (the end of chapter nine) ready to be posted, too, as soon as I am all caught back up. I continue to make formal revision, though. And even if I can't demand people to read everything again, I'll be more than happy about any occasional comments - or novel-length reviews, too.

Nicola, I am happy you have not abandoned fanfiction or even this story. I want to make it clear that I really don't mind hearing any praise or even other type of feedback again. But I understand that I must be reconciled if I see each of my readers perhaps once before new updates start. Or we should all at least practise a more concise style. Your comments were perfect in that respect.

I'm especially glad you liked the way I developed an original character, even though we haven't seen so much of Mrs. Porchead by the end of chapter two yet. You must have realized that we didn't get to know she was a goblin immediately, because in Remus's thoughts she was just Mrs. Porchead and his landlady, not a goblin, especially because he tries to treat all creatures as equals regardless of their breed. I hope the parallel between Harry's and Remus's situation was not too much pointed.

As for the relationship between Remus and Dumbledore, it's wonderful to now have no doubts about your honesty. You don't have to like everything in this story. I guess I wanted to make Remus so dismissive of Dumbledore's style and policies in order to add interesting controversy to the story. In JKR's books the child protagonist needs to have a reliable father figure, but Remus's world can be crueler. Besides, I don't mean to portray Remus as a perfectly peaceful and righteous person, because that would make the story boring. He may judge Dumbledore unfairly - or Dumbledore may not even deserve unconditional admiration. It is up to the reader to interpret the present situation, and we'll see how it will all turn out later.

Chapter three will be posted in five instalments.






Chapter three: Doubts about his Motives


In the middle of that night Remus was woken up by a sound which was not inside his dream. He was not truly alarmed. He did not even open his eyes. There were some risks in living in a neighbourhood like this and with no locks or spells on the door of his room. It would have been useless to try to prevent Mrs. Porchead from coming in, since goblins were able to open anything, even walls with no doors at all. But was there somebody uninvited in the building? Now everything was quiet again. Remus tried to fall asleep, but his restless thoughts drifted to Harry. Were there actually doubts about Harry’s safety in case any friend of his was not safe? Here he had a new reason not to become so close to Harry. He turned on the other side and opened his eyes.

Mrs. Porchead was standing in the middle of his room. She could obviously sense the presence of metal and now reached for the coins in the pocket of his robes, which he had left on the desk. A golden light was emanating from her fingers. Lack of privacy was worse than poverty itself. He considered whether to get up or not.

At that moment he heard a sound of breaking wood from downstairs.

“Burglars,” she muttered, and she disappeared with a dim flash of light, evidently rushing to protect her property.

Remus jumped up, grabbed his wand from the desk and followed. He apparated outside the door of her flat and entered cautiously.

Mrs. Porchead had fixed two ragged youngsters against the wall of her sitting room. Now she pressed her fingers on the wall on either side of them, and the expressions on the two haggard faces turned terrified, as the bodies started sinking inside the wall.

Remus dashed in. “Stop that! I’ll just tie them up.”

He turned his wand against the youngsters and, stepping closer, his left palm towards Mrs. Pochead. She jerked her head and her eyes gleamed in the steely light radiating from her fingers, as she thrust her right hand out at Remus, reaching his left. The moment she touched him he felt burning pain and then blood spurting out of his arm just above his wrist.

“Expelliarmus!” The incantation sounded from the doorway.

As his wand flew away from him, he grabbed and squeezed his wounded arm with his right hand and turned around to see who had entered. Two wizards in black robes and hoods, with their wands lifted, stepped closer.

“An inhuman creature performing illegal magic,” said one of them.

Remus glanced back and saw Mrs. Porchead standing still but with all her fingers again pressed against the wall, while the youngsters were trapped in a tight recess in it.

“By the law I have the right to put this curse on you, and I won’t lift it until you reveal the name of the goblin who had contact with You Know Who. Did you get it clear, creature?” This second wizard stretched his wand forward. “Crucio!”

“No!” Remus cast himself in front of Mrs. Porchead. And the pain cut through his body in disabling convulsions.

Then it was gone. He found himself trembling on the floor. He had twisted his arms over his head, and the blood from the wound was now dripping on his face. He struggled to get up on his knees and squeezed his arm with his right hand again to slow down the bleeding. He looked up and saw two more dark figures approach, one of them even darker than the others.

Just before fainting he recognised Kingsley’s face close to his own and heard his voice, “Exactly what I feared. When I heard some had gone to this address, I knew you would interfere.”



Mrs. Porchead was on her knees next to him, tearing a linen table cloth into strips. She reached to touch his wound with her fingertips, and Remus shuddered, but the fingers now felt soothingly cool.

“That’s all I can do. I haven’t got any healing powers more than for stopping the bleeding. And I’ll still make the veela pay their rent…”

She wrapped a strip of cloth as a bandage around his arm. The wound was still throbbing with pain and an echo of the torture continued to run through his body. Was it the loss of blood or the curse that made him feel too weak to move anything but his eyes?

Kingsley must have carried him up to his room. The handsome black man was standing in the middle of the room, looking around. A fellow auror of his was standing at the door.

“We shall see in Wizengamot, Mrs. Porchead,” Kingsley said.

He approached the corner where Remus was lying on the floor. “And, Remus, I hope you’ll be well enough to meet us at the headquarters tomorrow. If you are not, send us an owl.” He didn’t look at Remus but watched an owl, white like a ghost, fly in through one of the big open windows and settle close to Remus’s wounded arm.

“I won’t come before the evening,” Remus whispered.

He closed his eyes and when he opened them again he was alone with Hedwig.



When he was woken up the next time by a gentle peck on his nose, the lighting in the room told Remus that the sun had already risen some time ago. He was lying in the same position in which he had fallen asleep, and his body felt leaden. There was no pain left except in the wound, which now ached steadily.

He made a slight movement with his right hand to try if he would be able to get up. Then he noticed that he had been covered with a fresh linen sheet and a thick but light quilt. A glass of water and his wand had been placed next to him on the floor so that he could reach them. He took the glass and lifted his head enough to drink a little. The water tasted strange, rather bitter, but it seemed to do good to him. He was now able to sit up. He took his wand and, leaning against the wall, he summoned the tin jar and the spoon, undid the spell on the jar and ate the rest of Mrs. Figg’s chocolate mousse.

Hedwig seemed to be patiently waiting, now perched on his shoulder. Remus caressed her and said, “So you want to come with me, don’t you?”

After Hedwig had blinked affirmatively and rubbed her head against his cheek, Remus took a deep breath and started opening the bandage, and Hedwig helped cautiously with her beak. When the wound was bare, he took his wand and did his best to concentrate all the strength he had on the healing spell and on the thought: I am doing this for Hedwig.

He let his wand hand drop on the blanket and closed his eyes. Was he doing it all for Hedwig? The events of the night came to him in a clear flash and still mixed with feelings of embarrassment. Why had he actually done that? He knew he could push those doubts aside only for a while, but he had to do it now.

He fixed his eyes on the ugly wound, which was about the size of two fingers, not bleeding but fresh and garishly red. He lifted his wand again and concentrated: I want to be doing this for Hedwig.

And with a slight wave of the wand and a whisper of the spell he caused the wound to start closing. He struggled to keep his wand hand steady while a new pain surged into him in waves, which abated gradually and finally left him gasping for breath.

He had to empty the glass of bitter water to be able to stand up. When taking off his nightgown he found it hard to push aside another embarrassing thought of how Kingsley had carried him to lay him down on his bedclothes unconscious. He put on his robes and noticed that the bread crumbs were still in the pocket. Should he thank Mrs. Porchead also for not stealing them? He decided it would be kinder not to mention it.



Remus had to lean against a wall again while talking to one of the owners of the pet shop. Repeated shudders were shaking him and he knew that the ordeals of the night had upset any balance of health he had been gaining after returning to London. He tried to hold his head high and his eyes on the owner’s face to evoke some trust despite his appearance. His enthusiasm was intact, though, and must have helped him convince the owner, who listened intently to his justification and description of the idea of the painting.

The owner was a rather young wizard dressed in an elegant deep violet robe and with black hair tied in a ponytail. His skin looked more like that of a blond, though, and he had clearly applied some make-up to highlight his features. He seemed eager to give an impression of artistic sensitiveness and of a position to make decisions on his own. He could probably afford to take the risk of having to account for the expenses and make it a project of his own, if the other owners turned out to disagree. After some comments, which were formulated to sound sophisticated but to which Remus did not bother to listen, he called for the construction manager and told him to accompany Remus to buy whatever was needed for the painting and add it to the billing.

At that moment Hedwig made her impressive entrance through a window and circled above the three men before perching on his friend’s shoulder again. Remus was happy he had not persuaded her to join him traveling with floo powder, which would have stained her striking white beauty, although it had meant that he had been forced to face Mrs. Porchead alone.



The landlady had evidently been shaken by what had happened at night. She had not even put on her peacock feather hat before opening her door, and the sight of him evoked on her face a slightly different expression of discomfort from the usual. Was it possible that her voice expressed even concern, when she asked why he had got up already and taken off the bandage? Then her eyes widened in amazement and she reached for his arm so abruptly that he involuntarily recoiled.

“Don’t worry. No magic now!” She spread her fingers for him to see. “Do you think I still want to hurt you!

She spat out the last words as if deeply offended and in her usual manner, but Remus was almost sure that there was behind it a trace of regret and even sympathy.

“No, I don’t. I am sorry,” Remus said, stretching out his arm for her to examine it.

“You are sorry!” she muttered reproachfully, and Remus realised that this was the heartiest apology she could muster.

But after a pause she added, “We are like that, with such instincts…”

“Every creature has got instincts to protect his or her own interests. The more powerful and destructive towards others your instincts are, the more admirable your ability to act morally in the end.”

Mrs. Porchead did not reply, but she stroked the shiny scar with her fingers in a strangely soothing manner, which made Remus wonder if she actually let some of her goblin magic through.

“I used healing magic on it myself,” he explained. “But I could not have done it at night when I had no strength. Thank you for taking care of me then.”

She made an unidentifiable grunt and said, “So you are a real wizard, with skills like that…”

“The truly demanding form of healing magic is to apply it on yourself. I’ve been forced to practise it for a long time – as well as hurting myself. It’s almost impossible for anybody in a weak condition. It requires a lot of strength, because the true basis of healing magic is sympathy. Even with less strength it is possible, if you do it ultimately for someone else.

Mrs. Porchead surprised Remus by listening to his lecture and staying quiet, bent over his arm for a while after he finished. Then she grunted, “But where are you going now? I told you not to worry about paying your debts so urgently.” There was a slightly hopeful tone in her voice.

However, she did not reveal much disappointment when he said, “I am, in fact, going to agree on such work for which I shan’t be paid immediately.”

Before stepping into her fireplace Remus still warned Mrs. Porchead, “I know you can control your instincts, and I hope you will be careful with any such magic which could be interpreted as illegal. We must live with that decree on unforgivable curses as a fact for the time being. And I hope that we continue to live.”



The owner and the construction manager finished their conversation on Hedwig’s beauty and the owner turned to Remus with curiosity. “So are you planning to make it a real portrait? That would certainly have a considerable effect on the value of the painting.”

Remus was suddenly awakened from his musings and realised that it was the last moment for him to guarantee his rights. “I’d like us to sign a contract on – let’s say – a minimum of ten Galleons for an ordinary landscape, and a minimum of twenty in case it turns out a real portrait.”

The young owner perhaps considered it below himself to hesitate. He took out two pieces of parchment, which had been shrunk by magic to pocket size as well as a sophisticated automatic quill, and charmed the parchments to regain their normal size. After he had placed them in mid-air, the quill quickly wrote two identical contracts for him and Remus to sign.




Written by Eija Silvola in 2003
Revised in August 2009.

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</span>
<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#17
*Liliana*

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Finally made it here. :( I've only read your first post so far, Eija, but I just had to comment before I continue.

Although I'm not a faithful replier, I do try to respond as often as I can, so please forgive if I don't reply constantly.

I really love your story. Simply but, you create a great flow woven with details and description that holds this brilliant story together so well. I really like how you portray our dear Remus - you express his emotions excellently, and his interactions with other characters are so well written that they jump off the page, if that makes sense.

I can't wait to read the rest!

#18
Jadealinda

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Lack of privacy was worse than poverty itself. He considered whether to get up or not.


I have to absolutely agree with Remus there! Those words are absolutely true.

This particular chapter is one of my favorites in the entire story. From the moment Remus wakes up to his landlady sniffing out his meager funds to the incredible instant she gruffly tells him not to worry about the rent absolutely thrills me. I even love it more this time around - and I've read more than the twice it's been posted - because I know what this is leading to. (Which I won't spoil for the other readers.) Your descriptions through this chapter are incredible and I empathize completely both with Remus and the pain he's feeling and Mrs. Porchead, who just got the most humbling shock of her life when he stepped in front of the Cruciatus Curse for her.

I also enjoyed the interaction of Remus with the young shop owner. Definitely not at his best, Remus' enthusiasm still managed to convince him that the portrait would be something spectacular. That kind of accomplishment is something we all aspire to, to be so convincing in our convictions that the outer trappings don't really matter. That the owner considered it beneath himself to haggle over the price was an exceptionally nice touch. It gave a very minor character a touch of personality that will stick with the reader.

In the earlier posts, I would like to note that you've built not only Mrs. Porchead, but the entire goblin race, into a fascinating race of creatures. The way she unconsciously demands the rent from Remus before realizing she needed to verbalize it, her natural gift for sensing precious metals, her flamboyant and distinctive style of dress all give us an interesting glimpse into the here-to-fore unknown and mysterious goblin brotherhood. Learning about Mrs. Porchead, we can easily understand how they became the impressive guardians of Gringott's, the world's largest and most successful wizarding bank.

There are so many tiny details that I'd forgotten in the beginning. Like Dumbledore's ordering Remus to Grimmauld place at least once a day to check in just so he could be sure the former DADA professor was getting at least one meal a day. That's one of those details we love about Dumbledore - he didn't come right out and say "You need to eat", he gave Remus an excuse to salve his pride, knowing that otherwise, Remus would do without. And Remus' conversation with Hermione and her natural assumption that he was working undercover for the order gives us the feeling these kids have for him. To them, he is someone amazing, invincible and everything he does must have a special purpose. It didn't even occur to her that maybe, just maybe, Remus was simply trying to make a living.

There are so many little details and descriptions to talk about on this story! I loved Remus interaction with Harry at the beginning and his taking over of Petunia's kitchen. The little details about how he got to Harry's house, his indignity at Harry's treatment not only with the Dursleys but the entire order of the Phoenix are absolutely wonderful.

As I've mentioned before, I absolutely love this fiction, even more because I know what some of the little nuances are adding up to. I too am anxious to get to the point you were before - even though I had a chance to read the post no one else has seen yet. *Jade gloats with satisfaction* You're work is absolutely incredible, Eija. Wonderful, wonderful work!

My fan fictions

Born of Evil: The Story of Aurielle Lestrange, His Mother's Blood & My Newest Fiction Forget Voldemort: Let's ROCK!

Note: Thanks to the lovely girl in my avatar, my daughter Cameron, who very kindly posed as my character Aurielle for me.


#19
PaulaMcG

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Lils,
I'm honoured to have you as a reader. I hope I'll find the time to finally read something by you, too. Maybe a shorter fic, at least. I don't count on your continuing to like my ideas and style when they become less conventional. On the other hand, maybe you will bear with me, since it seems you have enjoyed the first post as it is and not only because it's about Remus or because it's about Harry at the Dursleys'. Thank you for mentioning the flow, the emotions and the interaction. I haven't had too much feedback on this very beginning, as it was hardly noticed when I started posting this for the first time. So feel free to comment on anything even if you are not caught up. As my old readers know, feedback means the world to me.

Jade,
thank you so much. You almost make me not miss what I lost in the first reader comments. You've picked so many nuances and given them such interpretations which coincide with what I had pursued - and you express them so beautifully even if less subtly than I had done in the text - that I feel overwhelmed. My faith in the significance of this story comes and goes, but now I believe it will stay for a while. I could discuss details of these early chapters forever with someone like you. But I now restrict myself to wondering if I should have given a name to the young shop owner - and to pointing out that there was some information on the goblin inheritance rules, too.

To everyone else - especially my old readers who can't or don't want to read the beginning again - I recommend the "novel" Jade posted above. Her review is an excellent way to refresh your memory of the first events in this story and to consolidate a positive attitude towards me and my Remus.




That evening Remus entered number twelve, Grimmauld Place feeling slightly nervous about the attention which he was afraid he would get because of the events of the previous night.

The hall was full of people, all both talking excitedly and either carrying or levitating something. It was a rare scene, as the inhabitants and visitors in the house were used to staying completely quiet in the hall in order to prevent Mrs. Black’s portrait from starting to scream about the outrage which the people whom her son had welcomed as well as her son himself had brought upon her noble ancient house. Ever since Sirius’s death Mrs. Black had been sulking and not said or screamed a word even to Kreacher the house-elf. This faithful servant of hers had started taking care that the curtain always protected her privacy, and everybody normally followed the old routine of passing the hall quickly and quietly.

A witch with shiny emerald green curls down to her waist pushed in after Remus and passed without noticing him. He recognized her as Nymphadora as soon as she dropped the box she had been carrying. Its contents, some dozens of Bouncy Bubble Gum Snitches, escaped and scattered in the crowd.

“Oops, sorry… but hey, why am I not the only one making noise here!” She raised her voice towards the end of the sentence and bumped into people, while trying to catch some of the small golden balls, which were now bounding and rebounding from the walls and the ceiling and people. “Never mind, they look better left free!”

She stopped and glanced at herself in the large mirror and seemed to decide her hair was not long enough for her taste or for whatever occasion it was for, as with apparent ease, using her skills of a Metamorphmagus, she made it grow down to her knees. Her face also turned ever younger and prettier.

Then she looked around and shouted to everybody in general, “Why are we all shouting? The house-elf will be mad and curse us, no matter how quiet Sirius’s mum stays.”

“Didn’t you know Kreacher has been hiding somewhere in the attic since Harry got here?” asked Fred. He was levitating something that looked like a millstone covered with sugar icing in all the colours of the rainbow.

“Yes, now there’s no need for even filth and freaks like us to be shy. This house does not belong to the purest blood any longer!” That was George, who was wrestling with a statue representing an extremely energetic Quidditch player.

“Don’t forget Madam Narcissa has not given up…”

“Hey, Fred, that’s not something to discuss on a day like this! Do you have the candles ready on that cake? The birthday boy’s coming down any moment now…”

It was Harry’s birthday, and Remus had completely forgotten about it. He had stayed near the entrance and now he felt that he could as well leave, or maybe rather as if he had not even arrived at all – that he did not belong to the party.

At that moment the only person to notice him caught his eye. Kingsley Shacklebolt walked around the crowd and came to him. “How are you, Remus?”

Kingsley looked at him at least, unlike the previous night, although his facial and verbal expressions were both devoid of any emotion and he hurried to finish what he had got to say. “Don’t leave before we’ve talked. I think Dumbledore’s coming tonight, too. But we’ve got to go through this celebration first.”

Remus moved away from the door, as another group of members of the Order entered. Kingsley followed him and stayed by his side, but did not talk anymore and fixed his eyes, like almost everybody else now, at the top of the staircase at the end of the hall. Remus looked away from Kingsley – and was startled as he faced himself in the same mirror which Nymphadora had used so functionally.

He did not exactly take pleasure in eyeing his own figure, especially not next to Kingsley’s. He cast a glance at the image of his own face, though – which he normally seldom did – and had to agree with Phineas Nigellus. Still, he could not help feeling reconciled with the fact that he looked like himself. Even his hairdo actually appealed to him the way it had become naturally, grown to almost shoulder length and not completely grey yet but with a trace of the original light brown still discernible. But what eventually gave him reassurance that he – despite his personal exhaustion and his overwhelming general concern – still wanted and was able to participate in celebrating Harry, was a look into his own eyes.

In those eyes he first saw only sorrow and distress. But then in the warmth of their amber he suddenly recognised something they shared with another creature’s amber eyes. He knew he still had got something to offer and something to achieve. For whom would it all be, ultimately? No, he did not want to be tormented by those doubts about his motives even yet. To be ready for heartily congratulating Harry, he decided to cherish the memory of the day’s work with Hedwig.


He had kept glancing at the owl’s large round amber eyes every now and then when mixing the paints, which he had brought in with the manager, and when starting to spread on the wall the priming colour for the landscape. The odour of the paint began to help transfer his mind to another reality, and this time Hedwig joined him. He realised that her subconscious memories of the northern lands contained the light on the gentle lines of the mountains in each of the seasons, and he felt an urgency to reach and to capture it all, but he knew he had to wait for the images to come. He outlined preliminarily the figure of the owl herself. Now perched on his shoulder, Hedwig gave him a last trustful look and then hid the amber of her eyes.

She fell asleep. Her weight made his arm heavy to move, but the more effort he put on each stroke of the brush, the more he became aware of a deeper foundation for his expression than his own scattered memories of the landscapes flashing by on his seemingly endless travels. On her own Hedwig had not been able to build attainable dreams on the basis of her memories. But now she was dreaming already. He had felt the dreams evolving. He was still not sure what would happen. Could this painting eventually become a real portrait and more than that?


The crowd began to cheer and Remus felt a surprisingly cheerful amusement at himself, realising that he had been staring dreamily into his own eyes. He turned to look up where Harry had appeared and now started descending the stairs. The boy looked elegant, with the exception of his ever untidy hair, and a lot healthier than in the Dursleys’ garden. He lowered his eyes bashfully, though, and Remus was grateful on his behalf to Ron and Hermione for being there on his either side. The crowd was now singing to him. Remus took a few steps forward together with Kingsley. He was now capable of a genuine smile and even joined in the last phrase of the song.

Fred apparated from behind other people in front of Harry with his millstone cake, and as Harry blew the sixteen candles, they exploded into fireworks, obviously cool ones. People started queuing and jumping the queue to hand out their presents. Some of them only hugged Harry and pointed towards the ceiling. George’s statue had eventually escaped and was now chasing the Bubble Gum Snitches.

Remus stood near-by, smiling, and when the birthday boy suddenly noticed him, he stepped quickly to Harry and embraced him before the person next in the queue. After the hug he left his hands on Harry’s shoulders and said simply, “Happy birthday, Harry! I haven’t got a present for you. To be honest I forgot… I can hardly believe I could forget.”

Harry seemed to have adopted a smile suited for the occasion but also some genuine light-heartedness. In him it did not irritate but rather touched Remus.

Now, however, Harry’s smile turned into an expression of slight confusion, which made Remus add, “And it’s fine you don’t seem to believe it either. If I give you a present, it will be later, and a surprise.”

Remus stepped aside and almost bumped into Hermione, who was charming Harry’s presents to pile themselves up neatly and the most disturbing ones to rise higher towards the ceiling. They greeted each other briefly, as Hermione had to quickly take charge of a Note Pad for Exploding Notes to Remind you of Vitally Important Appointments. Remus was not quite sure if it was a good idea to give Harry something like that. For the most vitally important encounter ahead of him a date had not been set to be written down in a note.

All this attention was clearly due to the growing anticipation for the Boy Who Lived to approach the fulfillment of his destiny. Remus knew that Dumbledore had revealed the contents of the prophecy to hardly anyone. But more premonitions had spread since the Ministry had not hidden or disputed the information on Harry’s encounters with Voldemort so far.

It now suddenly struck Remus what the reason could have been for Dumbledore to reveal the prophecy to him after Sirius’s death. Why did he have to find it so difficult to enter Harry’s life? It was much more difficult than it had seemed three years ago, even if then he had still been hiding what he was and who he had been to Harry’s father, and to the feared fugitive. After entering their lives and leaving them again, Sirius seemed to have become an insurmountable barrier to the progress of their relationship.

No, what was he thinking about! The people in the Order of the Phoenix naturally felt like celebrating the arrival in this house of the Boy Who Lived, which presaged the defeat of the enemy. At the same time they enjoyed putting up a party for him like for a child, and most of them must have done it sincerely, without an intention of deceit.

Meeting Hermione had given to Remus the idea of sitting down on the lowest step of the staircase. People had now started conjuring chairs and small tables for themselves, and the noise was multiplied, when several pieces of furniture appeared at the same spot at the same time and hit each other. Remus felt too tired to even try what kind of a chair he could have managed to conjure.

He had continued painting until it had been made difficult by the dusk, which had also woken up Hedwig. There had been moments of rest during the day. He did not even know how long he had spent just sitting on the floor with the dreaming owl. But it had not occurred to him that he should have broken the spell on the fake bread crumbs he had in his pocket and gone to buy some food. At dusk he had asked Hedwig to fly to Harry and returned home just to change robes.

Hermione was now standing in front of him, holding two plates filled with rainbow coloured cake. He took one thankfully and was even happier when she sat down next to him.

“I was getting worried about you, Professor Lupin. We had dinner a bit earlier today because of this reception, but still I thought you should have joined us. Harry told me you had borrowed Hedwig, and she did not come back until we were upstairs, getting dressed. And then Ron said he had heard Kingsley talk about you to Moody during the dinner.”

While eating cake, which was very sweet but not really filling like anything real, Remus looked at her sincere face. He remembered the expression of fervent concentration on that face more than two years earlier, when he had been teaching her – and when she had succeeded in regaining her ability to reason rationally even in the most hazardous situation, in which everybody else had been overwhelmed by emotion.

Before he could stop himself he relived the moment of embracing the gaunt body of the man whom he had loved more than anyone else and then both hated and mourned for twelve years. And he could hear his own cruel voice, ready to utter the worst one of the unforgivable curses, answering affirmatively to his friend’s question: “Shall we kill him together?”

Remus dropped his plate on the floor and covered his face with his both hands. He was startled when he felt a tender hand on his shoulder. Why did he have to be so vulnerable to emotions these days? He looked up at Hermione attempting to smile apologetically and to see her face only the way it was now. Full of concern, indeed, but also more beautiful than two years ago, a most unique face of a young lady with a profound personality.

“I’m so sorry, Hermione. I’m afraid I wasn’t listening.”

She stood up and gave her hand to him. “I promised to meet Ron downstairs. Please, come with me, Professor Lupin.”

He doubted she was sincere now, but he was ready to let her make things simple and lead him away from the crowd without any complicating arguments. They walked hand in hand around the hall and down the staircase.

Ron Weasley was pacing the kitchen in a nervous manner, and when he looked up, alarmed by the sound of their footsteps, Remus sensed in his expression some kind of curious anticipation and a trace of relief instead of any annoyance at losing a chance of meeting Hermione alone. Remus reckoned that Ron had not caught up with Hermione in maturing. Glancing at her face gave him the feeling that she was not bothered by the fact. She grinned as if she was more than willing to engage herself in solving another mysterious case with her playmate.

She also shook her head slightly and led Remus to the table and sat him down next to herself and said, “That cake was a joke in bad taste. Please, Ron, would you bring us something to drink. And I’m still hungry, too. Can you see what was left over from dinner? I’m exhausted after fighting all those ridiculous presents. And you were supposed to help me. But I saw you start playing with Harry’s new toys instead!”

Remus admired her clever way of giving him a chance to nourish himself. By starting to eat without interfering in the conversation between the two friends he willingly let her achieve her goal. Listening to them also allowed him to further distance himself from his personal grief and tormenting doubts.

The exchange of arguments between Ron and Hermione turned into their usual bickering. Remus was amused by his observation that they already sounded like a married couple. Would there ever be a stage of full-fledged romance in their relationship? Hermione seemed to believe there would and, unlike most girls, be content to enjoy waiting for it. Remus himself saw no flaw in the quality of their interaction. It apparently concealed a deeper level of mutual understanding and affection, of which Ron must have started to become aware, too. It just was not time for them to share that awareness yet.

Ron was currently scratching his long nose and protesting, “This is not bubble gum! It’s one of my freckles! And do you have to put your nose into my nose all the time?”

Remus wished that he, when young himself, had always been able to act so innocently in front of Amelia.




Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

Posted Image
</span>
<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#20
Crystal

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Eija, I do love this story! I remember when I first started reading it that I thought you captured Remus' personallity perfectly! Ah, the memories... I always enjoyed the beginning chapter, with Harry and Remus raiding the Dursley's fridge... And Remus' indignation on Harry's behalf... And the birthday party in which we see a bit of Ron and Hermione's relationship through Remus' eyes... Ok, well, I always enjoyed every part of this story!
I am anxious to get to the part where we left off... because Remus was in quite a precarious situation! But, until then, I'll try to keep up. I'm sorry I haven't been able to spend as much time reading as I used to. I at least want to bump this story back up to the top of the page. :crying:

*bump*

~ Crys

#21
Kyla

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I can say any more than anyone else. However, getting to read this novel a second time lets me see more of the subtle hints and messages in your writting. It is amazing how much of the story is revealed will you are describing the characters and their surroundings.

#22
PaulaMcG

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Crystal, yes, memories:I remember when your sweet emotional reactions and your own righteous indignation on Remus's behalf started comforting both Remus and me. I'm happy to know you have not forgotten us. Your moral support will help us even in that situation where we left off. I hope we'll see you there if not along the way.

Kyla, thank you for showing me that you are still interested in my Remus. You don't have to say more – though I'm sure you would be able to. Having lost the reader comments on the fic thread, I'm especially happy that I saved those messages you sent to me, when you had started reading this story, after finding my short story first.

The short story, which is mentioned in my signature, will probably be posted as soon as I have reached that part of this fic (in chapter six) where that story's central event is mentioned. I have been sidetracked to other threads lately, but I hope I'll manage to revise and update a little more quickly. Still, I continue to repost the chapters in instalments, and there will be two more instalments of chapter three "Doubts about his Motives" left after this next one. You are still welcome to review chapters one and two as well. But thank you even for glancing at this.




Finally Remus leant back with that peculiar feeling which he experienced whenever he had eaten as much as he wanted. Looking across the table he saw the growing impatience in Ron, who had been irritated by Hermione’s constant requests for still something else from the pantry. He was not very good at summoning charms, so his task as the waiter had harmed his concentration on the debate. Hermione looked like she had got the last word and she started to clear the table, nodding slightly to Ron.

Ron opened his mouth, but Remus spoke first, “So you brought me here for an interrogation, too.”

Ron closed his mouth. He looked disappointed, as if he had worked hard on an opening sentence and now realised he could not use it, because no introduction was needed. “I heard Kingsley say something about you and the goblins to Moody, but they would not tell us anything.”

“And you didn’t find it necessary to hide things from me, when we met on Diagon Alley,” added Hermione, looking at Remus hopefully.

“You are still as curious as in your first school years. In your third year it was… Anyway, now I’m afraid it’s not any concern of yours – not the details. I just told you what everybody can see and I said it to everybody here, too.”

Remus put his elbows on the table, crossed his hands in front of his chin and closed his eyes wishing they would leave him alone.

“But it is our concern, said Hermione with insistent urgency in her voice, “if you were attacked and hurt.”

Once again he was startled by her touch. She had reached for his left arm. While he was holding it up on the table, the worn sleeve of his robe had slid down and revealed the scar.

He quickly leant back, folding his arms over his chest. “I guess I should not close my eyes in your presence. You always take me unawares.”

He tried to smile, but he knew that Hermione had understood the significance of the scar, although it did not look like a wound from the previous night.

“Why do you hide it?” she asked. “Is that where you were hurt? So you went somewhere to have it healed.”

“Kingsley said you were bleeding terribly. And Moody was angry with him, because he left you alone. Moody said you might die! And then Kingsley went back to you in the morning and did not find you at home.” Ron said all that in the same breath, and a silence followed.

“Moody always exaggerates things. I was not all alone. My landlady stopped the bleeding, and I healed the wound in the morning. I had an appointment.”

“So was it not her who wounded you?” Hermione asked.

“Please, I think I need to talk about this to Dumbledore.”

At that moment Dumbledore apparated next to Ron. This time Remus was not so much irritated by his stylish entrance, but amused to see him make the curious teenagers jump.

Dumbledore greeted each of them, smiling gently, and then said, “My dear young friends, may I ask you for a favour – for two favours, in fact. Please tell Harry I’m wishing him a happy birthday, glad that he can celebrate it here despite my foolishness, and I’ve sent him something straight into his room. But first of all, can you please ask Kingsley, Nymphadora and Moody to come and join Remus and me here.”

Ron and Hermione stood up, sighing.

Remus winked at them and said, “Nymphadora is the one whose hair suits Harry’s eyes. I’ll talk to you another time. And – thank you.”

Dumbledore took Hermione’s seat next to Remus and eyed him intently. A small smile conveyed his eventual relief, but he shook his head slightly and his voice had a tone of sadness and resignation. “One reason why I hoped you would let me order you to live in this house was I knew that there were risks – and that you would not even try to stay aside and keep yourself safe.”

“And had I been here or stayed aside, the aurors of the ministry might have tortured Mrs. Porchead into insanity! How many others did they handle last night?”

While speaking Remus saw that the three aurors had already arrived and were coming to take seats opposite to them.

Dumbledore hardly nodded to them good evening before asking them in an uncharacteristically strict tone, “Did you know about the attacks beforehand?”

“No,” Moody replied. “The head of the auror office must have kept it from us, because he knows we belong to the Order and you’ve made your opposition to the decree known.”

His scarred face was in an even more sinister frown than usual, and his magical eye seemed to be piercing through Remus’s arm and chest, as Remus was still sitting with his arms folded. Moody was probably trying to figure out how much time they had for the conversation before Remus would fall dead.

Kingsley’s face was rather blank, but he did not manage his typical nonchalance in his position, He was avoiding both Remus’s and Dumbledore’s eyes.

Nymphadora was clearly shaken, as if she had just now heard the news. Her pretty girlish face was shining white framed by the green mane, and she looked at Remus in a perplexed combination of awe and concern, as she started answering, “I got to know about the operation when I arrived at the office this morning. But only late in the afternoon, when I got back from the stealth workshop... that’s when I heard the rumours that a wizard had been injured. And Moody just told me now…” She looked like she was going to burst into tears.

“Nymphadora dear.” Dumbledore had such a twinkle in his eyes that Remus suspected he was using the first name, which she detested, in order to help her regain her usual confidence. “There is no need to worry any more – about Remus, I mean. It was Kingsley who saw how it happened, and Moody may have made it sound worse than it was. So, Kingsley, did you know nothing either?”

“I was on duty until midnight. When I went to the office to return my weapons, patrols were being sent out, and I asked one guy what it was about, as I had not heard about any special operation. He said they were going to get some good practical training on goblins. Before leaving he checked something in a list. I had a look at it and recognised Remus’s landlady’s name. I half forced my partner to join me. Young Lancelot Diggory. He told me the office had been preparing it for several days. Just the members of the Order were not supposed to know. They had hired some homeless guys to commit clumsy burglary into certain houses of goblins in order to provoke them to use magic. A couple of aurors was to enter at the right time to interrogate each goblin on the connections with You-Know-Who. One to witness the justification and the other to use the Cruciatus Curse…”

Kingsley had launched into his report looking directly at Dumbledore and continued steadily, until he suddenly stopped, before the breaking of his voice was clearly discernible.

He took a deep breath and continued to talk quickly looking away from everybody, “We arrived too late. I didn’t do anything. I just saw how Remus charged in the way of the curse, and it hit him, and then it was dropped in a moment. It couldn’t continue to function on somebody whom they had not intended to harm. But he was all covered in blood and he lost consciousness. Then the goblin put her hand on his arm and the bleeding stopped. I told those two aurors to leave. They were just trainees and still they would not take orders from me. But I said this case had turned different now that they had hurt an outsider and it would go to Wizengamot. Then they said that the goblin herself had wounded him. I asked Lancelot to take the names of the burglars, two young guys, whom the goblin had trapped in the wall and now released. Then I didn’t care if they left or not. I asked the goblin to show me his flat and I took him there. Later Lancelot came up and said that they had all gone. After some hours I left him alone with the goblin, as it didn’t seem to me she would hurt him. I was right, wasn’t I?” Only with that question did he turn to Remus and cast a quick look in his eyes.

“No,” Remus said, “she did not hurt me.”

“But she hurt you before you blocked the curse from hitting her! Why did you do that?” Nymphadora exclaimed.

“She touched my arm because I tried to stop her from using her magic on those fake burglars.”

Nymphadora did not ask you that, said Dumbledore, leaning closer to Remus. “She asked you why you sacrificed yourself to save her from the Cruciatus. Can you answer that question?”

“No, I’m afraid I can’t.”

Dumbledore stared at him for a moment and leant slowly against the back of his chair.

Moody’s hoarse voice broke the silence. “I have one more question. How did you have that wound healed?” His both eyes were now fixed on Remus’s arm, which the magical eye must have been examining through the sleeve all the time. “Why don’t you show it to the others, too? Does anyone of you think a goblin can do healing magic like that? Kingsley said the wound was wide and deep.”

Remus felt relieved that the previous question had been dropped and did not refuse to stretch his arm on the table for everybody to examine. Kingsley gasped.

Dumbledore spoke, “I know you were forced to learn healing long ago, and especially healing yourself, Remus. Still, you surprise me. After such a loss of blood and the effect of the Cruciatus I would not have expected you to be capable of managing such an impact on yourself.”

“I had an appointment this morning. I hoped at least that it was ultimately for somebody else’s benefit that I wanted to be fit enough not to miss it.”

“You hoped…” Dumbledore repeated thoughtfully. “Very well then. I think this has been enough interrogation of the victim. I trust you won’t refuse to sign a demand for legal action. We shall have the indictment prosecuted in Wizengamot, against the head of the aurors’ office, of course. You will certainly understand that it will be for the benefit of all the creatures offended by that decree.” He stood up and turned to the three aurors. “We’ll have to discuss the future of your careers in the ministry, but it can wait. Each of you needs to consider it carefully. I’d appreciate Remus’s advice in planning a change in our strategy, but now he must have a rest. Do you now agree to stay here overnight, Remus, at least today?”

“No, thank you. Now especially I doubt anything can threaten me in my neighbourhood more than the ministry’s aurors, and I don’t think they want to commit another crime against a member of the Order.”

“I hope you’re right. So you’ll be here tomorrow, but not before the sunset.” Dumbledore winked and smiled to Remus, as if he had wanted to apologise for having intruded on his privacy by mistake.


Finally Remus leant back with that peculiar feeling which he experienced whenever he had eaten as much as he wanted. Looking across the table he saw the grown impatience in Ron, who had been irritated by Hermione’s constant requests for still something else from the pantry. He was not very good at summoning charms, so his task as the waiter had harmed his concentration on the debate. Hermione looked like she had got the last word and she started to clear the table, nodding slightly to Ron.

Ron opened his mouth, but Remus spoke first, “So you brought me here for an interrogation, too.”

Ron closed his mouth. He looked disappointed, as if he had worked hard on an opening sentence and now realised he could not use it, because no introduction was needed. “I heard Kingsley say something about you and the goblins to Moody, but they would not tell us anything.”

“And you didn’t find it necessary to hide things from me, when we met on Diagon Alley,” added Hermione, looking at Remus hopefully.

“You are still as curious as in your first school years. In your third year it was… Anyway, now I’m afraid it’s not any concern of yours – not the details. I just told you what everybody can see and I said it to everybody here, too.”

Remus put his elbows on the table, crossed his hands in front of his chin and closed his eyes wishing they would leave him alone.

“But it is our concern, said Hermione with insistent urgency in her voice, “if you were attacked and hurt.”

Once again he was startled by her touch. She had reached for his left arm. While he was holding it up on the table, the worn sleeve of his robe had slid down and revealed the scar.

He quickly leant back, folding his arms over his chest. “I guess I should not close my eyes in your presence. You always take me unawares.”

He tried to smile, but he knew that Hermione had understood the significance of the scar, although it did not look like a wound from the previous night.

“Why do you hide it?” she asked. “Is that where you were hurt? So you went somewhere to have it healed.”

“Kingsley said you were bleeding terribly. And Moody was angry with him, because he left you alone. Moody said you might die! And then Kingsley went back to you in the morning and did not find you at home.” Ron said all that in the same breath, and a silence followed.

“Moody always exaggerates things. I was not all alone. My landlady stopped the bleeding, and I healed the wound in the morning. I had an appointment.”

“So was it not her who wounded you?” Hermione asked.

“Please, I think I need to talk about this to Dumbledore.”

At that moment Dumbledore apparated next to Ron. This time Remus was not so much irritated by his stylish entrance, but amused to see him make the curious teenagers jump.

Dumbledore greeted each of them, smiling gently, and then said, “My dear young friends, may I ask you for a favour – for two favours, in fact. Please tell Harry I’m wishing him a happy birthday, glad that he can celebrate it here despite my foolishness, and I’ve sent him something straight into his room. But first of all, can you please ask Kingsley, Nymphadora and Moody to come and join Remus and me here.”

Ron and Hermione stood up, sighing.

Remus winked at them and said, “Nymphadora is the one whose hair suits Harry’s eyes. I’ll talk to you another time. And – thank you.”

Dumbledore took Hermione’s seat next to Remus and eyed him intently. A small smile conveyed his eventual relief, but he shook his head slightly and his voice had a tone of sadness and resignation. “One reason why I hoped you would let me order you to live in this house was I knew that there were risks – and that you would not even try to stay aside and keep yourself safe.”

“And had I been here or stayed aside, the aurors of the ministry might have tortured Mrs. Porchead into insanity! How many others did they handle last night?”

While speaking Remus saw that the three aurors had already arrived and were coming to take seats opposite to them.

Dumbledore hardly nodded to them good evening before asking them in an uncharacteristically strict tone, “Did you know about the attacks beforehand?”

“No,” Moody replied. “The head of the auror office must have kept it from us, because he knows we belong to the Order and you’ve made your opposition to the decree known.”

His scarred face was in an even more sinister frown than usual, and his magical eye seemed to be piercing through Remus’s arm and chest, as Remus was still sitting with his arms folded. Moody was probably trying to figure out how much time they had for the conversation before Remus would fall dead.

Kingsley’s face was rather blank, but he did not manage his typical nonchalance in his position, He was avoiding both Remus’s and Dumbledore’s eyes.

Nymphadora was clearly shaken, as if she had just now heard the news. Her pretty girlish face was shining white framed by the green mane, and she looked at Remus in a perplexed combination of awe and concern, as she started answering, “I got to know about the operation when I arrived at the office this morning. But only late in the afternoon, when I got back from the stealth workshop... that’s when I heard the rumours that a wizard had been injured. And Moody just told me now…” She looked like she was going to burst into tears.

“Nymphadora dear.” Dumbledore had such a twinkle in his eyes that Remus suspected he was using the first name, which she detested, in order to help her regain her usual confidence. “There is no need to worry any more – about Remus, I mean. It was Kingsley who saw how it happened, and Moody may have made it sound worse than it was. So, Kingsley, did you know nothing either?”

“I was on duty until midnight. When I went to the office to return my weapons, patrols were being sent out, and I asked one guy what it was about, as I had not heard about any special operation. He said they were going to get some good practical training on goblins. Before leaving he checked something in a list. I had a look at it and recognised Remus’s landlady’s name. I half forced my partner to join me. Young Lancelot Diggory. He told me the office had been preparing it for several days. Just the members of the Order were not supposed to know. They had hired some homeless guys to commit clumsy burglary into certain houses of goblins in order to provoke them to use magic. A couple of aurors was to enter at the right time to interrogate each goblin on the connections with You-Know-Who. One to witness the justification and the other to use the Cruciatus Curse…”

Kingsley had launched into his report looking directly at Dumbledore and continued steadily, until he suddenly stopped, before the breaking of his voice was clearly discernible.

He took a deep breath and continued to talk quickly looking away from everybody, “We arrived too late. I didn’t do anything. I just saw how Remus charged in the way of the curse, and it hit him, and then it was dropped in a moment. It couldn’t continue to function on somebody whom they had not intended to harm. But he was all covered in blood and he lost consciousness. Then the goblin put her hand on his arm and the bleeding stopped. I told those two aurors to leave. They were just trainees and still they would not take orders from me. But I said this case had turned different now that they had hurt an outsider and it would go to Wizengamot. Then they said that the goblin herself had wounded him. I asked Lancelot to take the names of the burglars, two young guys, whom the goblin had trapped in the wall and now released. Then I didn’t care if they left or not. I asked the goblin to show me his flat and I took him there. Later Lancelot came up and said that they had all gone. After some hours I left him alone with the goblin, as it didn’t seem to me she would hurt him. I was right, wasn’t I?” Only with that question did he turn to Remus and cast a quick look in his eyes.

“No,” Remus said, “she did not hurt me.”

“But she hurt you before you blocked the curse from hitting her! Why did you do that?” Nymphadora exclaimed.

“She touched my arm because I tried to stop her from using her magic on those fake burglars.”

Nymphadora did not ask you that, said Dumbledore, leaning closer to Remus. “She asked you why you sacrificed yourself to save her from the Cruciatus. Can you answer that question?”

“No, I’m afraid I can’t.”

Dumbledore stared at him for a moment and leant slowly against the back of his chair.

Moody’s hoarse voice broke the silence. “I have one more question. How did you have that wound healed?” His both eyes were now fixed on Remus’s arm, which the magical eye must have been examining through the sleeve all the time. “Why don’t you show it to the others, too? Does anyone of you think a goblin can do healing magic like that? Kingsley said the wound was wide and deep.”

Remus felt relieved that the previous question had been dropped and did not refuse to stretch his arm on the table for everybody to examine. Kingsley gasped.

Dumbledore spoke, “I know you were forced to learn healing long ago, and especially healing yourself, Remus. Still, you surprise me. After such a loss of blood and the effect of the Cruciatus I would not have expected you to be capable of managing such an impact on yourself.”

“I had an appointment this morning. I hoped at least that it was ultimately for somebody else’s benefit that I wanted to be fit enough not to miss it.”

“You hoped…” Dumbledore repeated thoughtfully. “Very well then. I think this has been enough interrogation of the victim. I trust you won’t refuse to sign a demand for legal action. We shall have the indictment prosecuted in Wizengamot, against the head of the aurors’ office, of course. You will certainly understand that it will be for the benefit of all the creatures offended by that decree.” He stood up and turned to the three aurors. “We’ll have to discuss the future of your careers in the ministry, but it can wait. Each of you needs to consider it carefully. I’d appreciate Remus’s advice in planning a change in our strategy, but now he must have a rest. Do you now agree to stay here overnight, Remus, at least today?”

“No, thank you. Now especially I doubt anything can threaten me in my neighbourhood more than the ministry’s aurors, and I don’t think they want to commit another crime against a member of the Order.”

“I hope you’re right. So you’ll be here tomorrow, but not before the sunset.” Dumbledore winked and smiled to Remus, as if he had wanted to apologise for having intruded on his privacy by mistake.




Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#23
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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I just finished revising this instalment, too. The changes are merely stylistic matters. The rest of chapter three "Doubts about his Motives" will be posted soon.



Remus was sitting in the warmth of the fire in Gryffindor common room. Lifting his head from his book and parchment, he smiled at Ron and Hermione’s incessant bickering. But he did not interfere. He had to concentrate on his homework, as he had missed a few days’ lessons. Having checked that nobody was looking, he lifted his sleeve and glanced at the scar of the wound which he had inflicted on himself during his absence. Madam Pomfrey had taken care of the ugly bite of his werewolf teeth and, while closing the wound, also given him a lesson on healing with sympathy. He would need to study hard to learn to help himself.

But now his concentration was disturbed by Sirius and James, who dashed in through the portrait hole and immediately started wrestling. He could not take his eyes off the whirl of black robes and messy black hair, which occasionally offered a glimpse of flushed cheeks and grins and sparkling eyes. When they disentangled and stayed lying flat on the floor next to each other, he noticed Peter standing near the entrance. Peter’s confused expression turned into a fit of laughter.

“Hey, Pete, get us something to drink!”Sirius ordered.

“And some chocolate!” James added. “And this time don’t let the frogs come bounding down the stairs.”

Remus felt like saying something but hesitated. Maybe he should criticize them for taunting Peter, but only later, when he was not there to hear the discussion. At that moment he noticed a red head lifted up at the other end of the common room. But Lily did not say anything either. She bent her head again beside two others.

Then Amelia looked up and noticed Remus for the first time. Her face lit up and she gave him a sweet smile of relief and perhaps of something else, too. He sensed the blush on his face and looked down at his books hoping that she saw his smile anyway.

But now somebody rushing past towards the girls collided with his chair. It was Frank and he went straight to Alice, took her hand and pulled her up. She waved to Lily and Amelia, as Frank led her out through the portrait hole.

He had to go. He checked that he had his wand. Without looking back he followed Frank and Alice towards the entrance hall. They had left the main door open and he could see their embracing figures on the lawn in the light of the moon, which had just begun to wane.

As he ran out of the door he heard the explosion.

“Sirius! Amelia!”

Was it Alice screaming? He looked back at the ruins.

“All of them. You lost them all,” Frank said to him.

He wanted to scream. Instead, he heard his own grim voice pronounce clearly, “Yes, I think so.”

He pulled out his wand and watched the two bodies twisting on the ground with agony.



Remus had sat up and thrown the wand back on the floor before he was truly awake.

Covering his face in his trembling hands he voluntarily – for once – went through the nightmare in his mind. He longed to relive the happy memories which had been combined to form its beginning. He wanted to stay there in the warmth of the fire, observing quietly the rough reckless play of his friends, sensing the blush and Amelia’s tender eyes on his face.

But the torment of the suppressed grief caused by the recent tragedy forced him to run away only to turn back and see the destruction more complete than ever. He had to lose everyone. And he had to regret the limitations of what he had been able to do, his faltering from strictly following his principles. The innocent-sounding words he had used to assent to Sirius’s proposition – although the two of them had been stopped – were haunting him, suggesting his responsibility for even what had happened to Frank and Alice. What was his motive to save anyone now from torture, when he was actually participating in what was also an outcome of the same failure in his obligations? If he had told them to stop taunting Peter…

As if after a confession, Remus now opened his mind for each loss. For James and Lily being murdered. For losing Sirius twice, and Peter – yes, losing him twice as well. Losing the contact with Frank’s and Alice’s minds. And finally Amelia. He had not dared think about her death, too. But now he allowed them to come, each of his friends individually. No blaming himself this time, just the memory of each of them, and the sorrow for each loss.

And he allowed himself to cry. Lying down again, curled up under Mrs Porchead’s quilt, he cried for a long time. He cried until the morning, when he fell asleep only for a moment – to wake up with Hedwig’s tender peck, and feeling more reconciled than ever.

He was now ready to devote himself to what there was left for him.

He did not feel completely reassured about the usefulness of the legal action Dumbledore was planning. But maybe that was the way he could make his contribution in what they called the war. He now had little doubt that Dumbledore had not expected a positive outcome for his latest mission. He had probably been sent away just because he was no use in directly harming anybody. Dumbledore must have guessed that Remus would become a victim. He had been offered a chance for safety, but his refusal had served Dumbledore’s purposes.

Remus felt irritated, as if deceived by the all-knowing wizard – mainly because he realised what Dumbledore’s last remark the previous night had meant. Dumbledore knew even about the portrait. And Remus’s problem was that he was himself able to read people too easily. He certainly could not read any thoughts which Dumbledore meant to be hidden, but he had to suffer from knowing that his own secrets had been revealed to Dumbledore. He just had to live with it. In any case Dumbledore did not prevent him from wasting time on an interest like painting. Maybe the all-knowing wizard knew that this was what Remus needed so as to gain strength to be of any use.

Thus, Remus got up in happy anticipation of another working day with Hedwig. But he told her not to come to Diagon Alley until after two hours, since there was something else he wanted to do first.



In front of the corner grocery store Remus took out about a quarter of the bread crumbs from his pocket and broke the transfiguration charm on them. Having done his shopping, he crossed the small shabby square to sit down on a bench in the sun to have a breakfast of bread and cheese, an apple and a bottle of milk. He enjoyed the taste of the simple food and the warmth of a summer morning, realising that he was not feeling cold any longer but healthier than since the full moon.

His bitter joy of being alive and the sight of a mother passing across the square holding his son’s hand suddenly brought to his mind another loss. How could he have forgotten the baby boy who after James and Lily’s death had been given away – and whom he could still have back.

He stuffed into his pockets the rest of what he had bought: some bread, an apple – and two packages of chewing gum. St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries was not very far, and his better condition and his determination allowed him to apparate.



On the fourth floor of the hospital Remus pulled open the glass door with a sign SPELL DAMAGE.

An elderly healer approached along the corridor and started smiling before she had come to him.
“Remus, good morning! Your friends will be so happy. It’s been a long time… You haven’t been well yourself, have you?”

Her plump gentle face was covered with wrinkles, which seemed to deepen as she eyed Remus carefully. She had started her career more than thirty years earlier in the Creature-Induced Injuries at the ward for Serious Bites. With her intact zest and almost childish sympathy she had gained the trust and friendship of a little boy, who had still been shocked after an attack of a beast and unsure of what significance it would have in his life.

“It’s so nice to see you, Miss Emeline. I’ve been away from the country.”

Miss Emeline shook her head slightly and her soft gentle voice expressed as much severity as she could possibly muster. “And your condition was grave when you returned. I heard afterwards that you had been brought to the ward unconscious and kept here only for two days. I was so angry with those healers who had allowed you to leave immediately after you regained consciousness. I sent an owl to find you, but there was no reply.”

“You know I work for Albus Dumbledore in the movement against the enemy, and our headquarters is secret and our missions are often urgent.”

“If you intend to be any use against an enemy, you need to be in as good a condition of health as possible. You must remember you can always come to me…” Her voice trailed off and she took his both hands and pressed his palms against her chest just under her collarbones. She looked into his eyes, then closed hers.

He felt a surge of energy, a feeling of security and zest for life enter him.

After a moment she spoke softly, “I am proud of you having learnt to heal some wounds of your own. But don’t forget you will always need other people. Now don’t let me delay you more.”

She let go one of his hands and holding the other she walked with him down the corridor, unlocked a door and showed with a gesture that he could enter. “Take care of yourself, Remus, and remember to visit us regularly.”

“I will. Thank you so much, Miss Emeline.”

Walking down the aisle between the beds Remus greeted every patient, but none of them replied. Professor Lockhart had evidently recovered from the loss of his memory and left the ward, as there was now nobody to offer an autograph to Remus. He missed the positive atmosphere which Lockhart had created for the last few years by beaming in competition with his photographs. Above all, of course, Remus was happy to know that his young friends had not caused any more lasting damage to their teacher.

At the far end of the ward the flowery curtains had been pulled open, and Remus could see Alice sitting on her bed, rocking a doll in her arms, and Frank lying on his back, staring through the window at the sky. They did not notice Remus, until he stopped at the end of Frank’s bed and called their names.

“Grandpa!” Alice exclaimed. She jumped up and wrapped her arms around Remus’s neck.

The surprise made it easy for Remus to smile, although the eyes in her worn face looked even bigger than he had remembered and her white hair was so wispy that he felt like being very cautious caressing it. For the last few years Alice had called him Dad, but now he seemed to have grown a bit older during their separation.

He took one of Alice’s hands in his and clapped Frank on the shoulder, as he had sat up on his bed. Remus sat down on Alice’s bed next to her and opposite to Frank. Alice slipped her hand into his pocket and her face lit up.

Remus tossed the other package of chewing gum to Frank. He caught it and flashed a quick smile but remained silent and resumed the staring at the sky while chewing the gum.

Alice started playing with the wrapper, winding it around Remus’s finger and muttering occasionally, “Grandpa… Grandpa.”

Remus sighed and smiled at the thought of how he could easily take the role of a weary old man. “Frank and Alice, my dears, do you want me to tell you a story about the time when I was a little boy?”

Frank only closed his eyes, but Alice nodded eagerly, so that her curls would have jumped up and down, had they not been so lifeless.

Leaning close to them and reaching to take Frank’s hand in his, too, Remus started, “When I was a little boy but thought that I was not so little anymore – I had just turned eleven years old – I got a letter telling me that I could go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It was the best school, and there I got the best friends anybody could wish to have…”




Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#24
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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Any comments will still be more than appreciated.




Before closing the door Remus stopped to wave good-bye to them. Frank’s face was now towards the door, too, although he was lying down again.

Turning away, Remus almost bumped into a very familiar stuffed vulture. It immediately reminded him of a certain male character whom he had left out of his tale maybe because he felt at least partly guilty of participating in twice forcing him to appear with that vulture as the crown of his costume. But now the tall hat with a stuffed vulture on top was not decorating his schoolmate or colleague Severus Snape but its rightful owner, a witch, who proudly carried it as well as her usual green dress and a big red handbag. The heat wave must have forced her to leave her fox fur collar at home and – combined with her respectable age and the effort of climbing up the stairs – now made her pant noticeably.

“Mr Lupin, what a pleasure to see you! Neville, say good morning to Mr Lupin! We haven’t seen you since the spring. Do you want to tell Mr Lupin how well you did in your OWL examinations, Neville? You know, Mr Lupin, Neville’s strength has always been in Herbology, but besides Professor Sprout you were his favourite teacher. Wasn’t he, Neville? It was you who helped him start making progress even in Defence Against the Dark Arts. And now after that excellent club with Harry Potter he managed to get there another Outstanding for his OWLs.”

“Congratulations, Neville. I’m very proud of you. I did not need to hear those results to admire the progress you’ve made. Indeed, we haven’t met since we co-operated, practising defence in a real situation.”

Mrs Longbottom’s voice faltered slightly as she broke the brief silence, “Yes, you were there, too: at the battle of the Department of Mysteries. One of those who came to rescue for the children. Excuse my being so late in expressing my gratitude, and condolences. I am proud Neville was there, although it might have been better, if none of them had been. They are too young to put it in practice, but, on the other hand, he is now, in a way, my oldest boy. I’ve always said that he doesn’t have his father’s talent. Maybe in Herbology, and that should be a safer field. But our family is ready for sacrifices. I just hope that Neville can learn to serve the good cause and serve it well before a premature…”

Remus regretted having mentioned the battle in her presence. There was something else he wanted to talk about with her. “Could I have a word with you, Mrs. Longbottom? Neville, I’d like to talk to you, too, but maybe you now want to go to see your parents. I’m afraid only I made them too tired now just before your visit.”

Neville seemed relieved to have a chance to leave the two of them, and he slipped in through the door, which Remus had left unlocked.

His grandmother followed the change of topic. “Oh no, I’ve noticed that your visits never make them tired, on the contrary. You seem to have a way to find something to talk about to them. After you have been here, Alice always speaks more. She sometimes even says a two-word sentence. Frank, of course…”

“I’m afraid Frank is simply bored. What could you ask him about and what could he have to say? Tell me, Mrs Longbottom, is there still nothing new concerning the appeal we wrote with Amelia?”

Remus immediately regretted mentioning the name. It almost brought tears to his eyes, although fortunately Mrs. Longbottom forgot to express her condolences in this case and avoided mentioning the tragedy at all, but went on about her son and daughter-in-law, “No, the valid decision is still to keep them here for research purposes.”

“But that is ridiculous! I would have expected even ten years to be too much demand from people – and especially people who have already given their health and sanity – to sacrifice for the purposes of magical research. There would hardly be need for such a deep study of the long-term effects of the Cruciatus Curse, if it remained forbidden. I can’t believe we’ve failed to achieve anything in this matter. I haven’t been able to do enough… I hope now that the ministry has taken measures to produce more victims of the Cruciatus Curse…”

Mrs. Longbottom looked shaken but managed to express her strong reproach. “I’m sure you agree with me, Mr. Lupin. The Minister of Magic shows too much interest in those curses, even fondness for them. But it’s not only that. Frank and Alice really lost their health and they need constant care.”

“No wonder their health is getting worse when they are forced to stay in bed in that room year after year. With no privacy, no chance to go out or do anything. Even if the torture made them lose something of what talented individuals they used to be, they are no mindless or senseless plants. They can still enjoy life, if they are allowed to have a life! They are no less than children, and children have the right to…”

Remus had been pacing in front of Mrs. Longbottom who had sunk on a chair outside the closed door of the ward. Now he suddenly stopped and sat down beside her saying, “I’m sorry, Mrs Longbottom. I hope you’ll never think I blame you for anything.”

“No, you are right. I’ve been told that Frank and Alice could be moved from here only if we hired healers to examine them regularly. That would be on top of the expenses of having them in a good private institution with opportunities for play and other activities. Even the Parkers can’t possibly afford that for their daughter. Maybe I could somehow manage to take care of them at home, if this research could be stopped. Yes, now that Neville is old enough…”

“I’m really sorry. I didn’t mean to… The ministry should take the responsibility for offering them decent conditions for life.”

Suddenly realising how unlikely it was – especially in this situation – that the ministry would start taking better care of the victims of the Cruciatus Curse, Remus regretted having spoken at all. As he had done it, he had to take some responsibility, too.

“I’m going to have a case against the ministry in Wizengamot. My landlady, who happens to be a goblin, was attacked with the Cruciatus and I interfered. In connection with the trial I could perhaps take up the care of the victims, too. I don’t count on any positive outcome but, who knows, maybe the ministry wants to polish its reputation by taking better care of those who suffered the injury when defying the enemy.”

Mrs Longbottom stared at Remus, perhaps ready to launch into a series of questions, but to his relief the door opened and Neville came out.

“Excuse me. Grandma, are you not going to see Mum and Dad?”

“Yes, of course. It was a pleasure talking to you, Mr Lupin. Have a nice day. Come, Neville!”

“No, I’ve already said good-bye to them. I’ll be waiting for you here.”

Frowning, Mrs. Longbottom went into the ward and closed the door with a snap.

Neville sighed and stood still for a while before glancing at Remus. Then he stood still for another moment and finally sat down next to him. Remus felt reluctant to talk. He had already given too many such statements which he had to regret.

What had made him talk like that to Mrs Longbottom without considering if it was wise or not? Trying to communicate with Frank and Alice had distressed him more than ever, after all.

He had told them stories before. That was the best way he could think of to seek contact with them verbally. After the first shock caused by their condition he had always found it completely natural to talk to them the way he would talk to children: expressing himself sincerely without calculating what they were able to understand. That was the way in which he had talked to the babies, Neville and Harry. He could still remember his initial embarrassment caused by facing a newborn child. And how he had recovered from it by deciding to act in the same way he had just started to learn to communicate with any creatures who did not use verbal language themselves. He believed that to be treated in such a way, to be trusted to have an emergent ability for language, was essentially important for the development of human creatures – and for their well-being even in case the development should turn out to be impossible.

But today he had sensed a new ambition in himself, while telling Frank and Alice about the past they had shared. He had started to hope that they could share it again. Once more he doubted he was acting for their benefit and not his own. Even if he had to be reconciled with Frank and Alice always thinking about his story as the tale of their grandfather’s childhood, it could still give some significance to their empty lives. And he could not allow their lives to stay empty. Even in case no development in their condition was possible, he had to do his best to help them have a chance to enjoy all the varying sensations and experiences which life could still offer.

Remus was startled when Neville finally spoke, muttering, as if to himself, but clearly seeking contact. “I thought it would be no good going back to them. They are so shy with me these days. They think I’m such a big boy. As if Mum were my baby sister. Today she pointed at me again and again and said “school”.”

“Did she really?” Lifting his head, Remus smiled with such sincere joy that Neville’s kind round face expressed complete astonishment. Remus explained, “I’ve just told Frank and Alice a story about the time when we went to Hogwarts. I’m glad they seem to be thinking about it.”

Neville stared at Remus, as if surprised by somebody else’s reference to her parents actually thinking.

“And they’re right, of course. You are a big boy,” Remus said, grinning. “Have you considered your career preferences?”

“Grandma is getting more unbearable now that she thinks I could become an auror. I don’t think I could ever have Outstanding in all those subjects. And I don’t think I really want – or that I’m brave enough…”

“I know you’ve got quite enough of both courage and endurance. But being an auror is not the only and maybe not the best way to serve a good cause.”

Neville frowned and after a brief silence he said quickly, “Grandma read an article about the aurors in the Quibbler this morning and it made her so angry. But you don’t mean it could be true, do you? That the aurors have provoked some goblins to use magic and then cursed them with the Cruciatus?”

Remus looked at him without answering. Neville had suffered from that curse himself in the battle, fortunately only for a moment. And he had been cursed by the same witch who had tortured his parents and who then in a duel… In his mind Remus could hear Neville’s voice asking if Sirius had been Harry’s friend. He knew that, besides confirming the rumours and explaining the details. he should have talked about the battle and asked how Neville was recovering, but it did not seem much easier than in Harry’s case.

Nodding slowly, Remus closed his eyes for a moment, and Neville was evidently sensitive enough not to say more about the subject. Thus, Remus asked, “Is there something else you’d rather become?”

“You know I love Herbology. But I wouldn’t like to work with plants only. I’m afraid you’ll laugh at me but I’d like to try teaching. I don’t mean I’d be a Professor at Hogwarts, but… to teach like Harry taught us in Dumbledore’s Army, just that I’d like to teach Herbology to somebody.”

Remus listened thoughtfully and nodded.

Neville seemed to interpret his expression correctly and feel encouraged to continue, “I’ve been wondering if there could be other schools for… I don’t know – for those who can’t come to Hogwarts.”

“Neville, you are absolutely right. Not everybody can come to Hogwarts. I myself enjoyed teaching – especially the first lesson on boggarts I taught to third-year Gryffindors with an inspiring assistant.” Remus winked at Neville before continuing, “But I’m afraid I can’t have another chance to teach at Hogwarts. Don’t give up your idea. I believe you will be a good teacher, if that is what you want.”

He stood up, smiling, as he wanted to leave now with the hopeful thoughts Neville had awoken in him concerning the future. He felt the strength which Miss Emeline had donated to him, too, and after touching Neville’s shoulder he disapparated.

On purpose he apparated farther along Diagon Alley, so he could enjoy a little walk on the cobblestone past the old familiar shops, which had hardly changed at all over more than twenty-five years. Here he had always come to buy the things he had needed for school. In his adult life – as a student, usually lacking in any paid occupation – he had come to carefully choose something of what needed. And so many times while passing these windows he had made in his mind lists of things which he was not going to buy.

He smiled at the memories, realising that today he did not care if anybody walking past him paid attention to his shabby looks. He had noticed how it did not make any difference in Mrs. Longbottom’s eyes, and he knew that he could have dignity regardless of what appeared on the outside. Maybe even regardless of what was hidden inside, in his cursed body.

His current responsibilities fascinated him, perhaps particularly because these tasks were strangely intertwined. He had not chosen the job in number thirteen, Diagon Alley randomly. It was true he had paid attention to it because it happened to have been painters they had wanted there, even though with no – at least no conscious – aspiration to work there as an artist as well. But he had also recognised the address and had not felt discouraged by the knowledge that it was the place where the suspicious tragedy had taken place.

Thus he had willingly come to paint exactly where Amelia had died. Suddenly he knew that the portrait would be dedicated to her memory. Perhaps he could give himself the mercy of accepting multiple motives.





Now that was the closing line of chapter three Doubts about his Motives.
Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#25
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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Chapter Four: The Magic of Images



The following week was a less difficult period for Remus than anything he had experienced since the loss of Sirius. He still had a little bit of money left for food, and he even managed to remember to eat something every morning and noon besides having dinner at the headquarters. He also gradually stopped blaming himself at least for having wrong motives for taking the responsibility for the tasks he had adopted. Slowly he became more aware of the truth that he could have several reasons for his actions, and that each of them or at least their combination was acceptable enough.

After the attack against Mrs. Porchead, Remus had first been ashamed rather than proud of having protected her. He had been tormented by doubting that he had genuinely wanted to save her from pain. It had seemed more likely to him that he had darted in front of her to stop the Cruciatus Curse from touching her just in order to make her forgive him his debts or to prove to himself and others how much better he was than her, or maybe he had done it to declare his belief in the principle of inviolability of all creatures – in any case not truly for her benefit but his own.

He had no idea of what Mrs. Porchead thought about his motives. Because of his better health he usually disapparated from his room and apparated back, and on the rare occasions when he saw her she hardly talked to him. A few times she came to his room when he had returned in the late afternoon, and she knocked on the door before entering. She kept impatiently asking about his current work contract, but left it at that. On the other hand, she did not make any further reference to letting the veela pay their share. She left his private property untouched – not that there was much she could have had profit from taking – and explicitly told him she did not want her sheet and quilt back after he had been using them.

One afternoon she came immediately after Remus had apparated, as if she had been waiting for him – and still been polite enough to stay outside of the room. She handed him a letter saying that an owl had brought one for her, too. It was an invitation to a hearing in Wizengamot at the end of August, in three weeks. She looked worried, and Remus reassured her that they only needed to tell the truth and that the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot was against the new decree, and that they had witnesses even for the deceit in the burglary. Before the trial he would still have to check that her account of the events would not contradict with his.

Temporarily reconciled to the notion that there were at least some unselfish motives for attempting a portrait, Remus continued his work with Hedwig. He realised that he needed to do his best to stop running his body down and tormenting his mind with feelings of guilt, if he was to have the strength required by this task. He needed physical as well as social and emotional strength to be able to channel Hedwig when the painting started to take shape.

With the big white owl mainly asleep on his shoulder, he gave the colours to the landscape. She dreamed of the burning red and yellow of the autumn, the fragile newborn green of the spring, the light of summer nights when the sun never went down. At first astonished, Remus took out his wand and performed a charm he had not intended. Even the landscape itself was not going to be ordinary. If everything worked according to Hedwig’s idea, she – and anybody who would see the painting – might have a chance for more sensations than he had imagined.

But one scene was particularly hard for him to paint, and he kept waving his wand to hide the sketch for that one. Hedwig seemed to understand and began to bring up that distressing scene only at such times when Remus felt most rested and confident.

He tried his best to give some rest to both his body and mind. The nightmares disturbing his sleep became rare, but he started waking up early in the morning all the same. He would lie awake and stare at the darkness withdrawing behind the windows – and watch Hedwig’s dreams in his mind, until he felt that he had to get up and draw sketches while waiting for her to return from her hunting. He began to collect any pieces of parchment or paper for the purpose, and by using his jinxed ink, which disappeared in a day, he could use them again and again. The impermanence of the drafts gave him courage to start portraying even what he feared most.

After a week had passed he had no money or bread crumbs left. On the second day without breakfast he offered to help the workers carrying furniture and cages into the pet shop. His skills at summoning charms earned him some cash to allow a couple of days more to devote to the painting. But in the same afternoon the young owner with a ponytail and sophisticated manners came to admire his work and tell him that the other owners were in a hurry to have the shop opened for clients. They agreed that the portrait would be finished in two days.

Remus had to be reconciled to the fact that he could not include everything in the painting. Still, on the following day he was determined to finish that particular scene which Hedwig had first brought up against his will. In this flash of a memory a full moon was illuminating the landscape so fiercely that it made the patches of snow on the gentle slopes of the mountains sparkle almost unbearably. He half forced himself to portray again and again in violent postures a figure, which he then hid in the shadows between the slopes.

In the morning after he concentrated on finishing Hedwig’s figure itself. He enjoyed giving the final touch to her spread wings and finally portraying the tenderness and longing in her warm amber eyes. Switching to yet another scene, he eventually finalised the image of her head bent in the way it was now bent against his, with eyes closed.

He stepped back and looked at the picture of a sleeping snowy owl perched on a branch of a stunted tree in front of a peaceful landscape. Holding his breath, he took out his wand.

And he whispered the enticing words of the charm, “Iconis kinoitis zois!”

The image of the owl opened her eyes and gave him a look which he interpreted as expressing shared pride and love.

He felt the familiar peck on his cheek. To his greatest surprise Hedwig herself on his shoulder was no longer asleep. From her he got another look of love and gratitude. Then she turned to watch as the owl in the painting spread her wings and started her flight through the changing scenes and seasons.



It was still not noon when Remus went to buy a set of robes and a pair of shoes as well as some ink and parchment. When following Hedwig’s flight, he had been startled to suddenly notice the young wizard with a ponytail standing next to him, analysing his art. This time he had tried to listen carefully. He had painted enough landscapes before to know that whatever merits there were in his painting, they would really come into existence only in the mind of somebody else who wanted to look at it. This painting, of course, had such value which nobody would recognise merely on the basis of art expertise, but Remus was keen to know if it was good enough for an outsider to admire.

The promised twenty Galleons, which the art-loving owner had been satisfied enough to pay to him immediately, seemed an incredible amount to Remus. He could not remember when he had been that rich.

A burst of charmed laughter filled the joke shop when he opened the door to enter. George hurried to shake his hand, while the laughter was followed by a sound of an explosion from the room behind the counter.

“Don’t worry! That was not an explosion but just a sound of one. It’s only Fred experimenting on something he doesn’t know yet what. So, you finally came to see us here! You’ve been busy, but – I’ve noticed when we’ve met at the headquarters – you haven’t been too exhausted. And today you look great!”

“Thanks,”Remus said with a wide smile. “And today I finally came to buy a present for Harry. I trust you can think of something he’d like.”

George looked at Remus thoughtfully while pulling out a chair for him and offering a candy out of an invisible bowl. “Please, try one of these. It won’t turn you into anything strange, but just give you the sensation that you’ve been fooled to taste such stuff which causes transfiguration. It kind of tickles you, doesn’t it? Yes, we certainly have ideas, but most of what we now produce and sell is to irritate and insult people. You know in these days the main inspiration is all this injustice around us. So, we spend our energy and use our talent to develop new weapons, which will denounce the evil altogether. Our motto is: No serious harm. But harm all the same. That’s always been the essence of jokes. So, not every client will be aware of a difference. And we don’t attach this declaration on our products. But I expect you to understand.”

Remus stared at George in genuine awe. “I suppose Dumbledore is aware of the way you are actually in the inner circle of the Order.”

“No, not inner circle, rather branch office. Anyway, maybe you can get Harry something that he needs in order to do some innocent harm to somebody who deserves it.”

“I suppose Harry would be happy to teach Phineas Nigellus some manners. That portrait has evidently been attached to the wall with Permanent Sticking Charm like Mrs. Black’s , and Harry would like to continue to stay in that room with Ron. I think it’s also good for him to share the room with Nigellus, who can act as intermediary of urgent messages to and from Hogwarts. But Nigellus is not good company for anyone who needs to build self-esteem.”

“We have a perfect present for Nigellus – I mean for Harry.”

George bent under the counter and lifted up a sheet of glass, like a window pane. He turned his back to Remus, and the other side of the sheet reflected his image with the difference of his red hair being frizzy and his face in desperate grimace. The mirror sighed and exclaimed, “Oh no, I told my hairdresser not to make it too curly! Will my lovely veela call me her honey bunny ever again!”

He placed the mirror on the counter and grinned, trying quickly with his both hands if his hair needed flattening. “From the other side you can see through this mirror, so Harry can hang it in front of the portrait and still enjoy the art – while Nigellus will have a less flattering look of himself. This glass can, of course, be used for other purposes, too. There is some strong magic in it, so with your skills in charms you could actually change it into functioning in different ways. It’s really a valuable multipurpose object.”

George started looking around at the shelves and continued with a trace of embarrassment in his voice, “But maybe you’d like something else. We haven’t paid to the supplier for this mirror yet. It’s a unique piece and I really can’t sell it for less than three Galleons.”

“It’s all right. I’ll take it. Are you sure three Galleons is enough?” Remus placed three gold coins on the counter and saved George from more embarrassment by volunteering an explanation. “For once I’ve got some money, because I just sold a painting this morning.”

The explanation still left George in confusion.”I didn’t know you owned pieces of art. Did you, too, have an irritating portrait, and how did you manage to get rid of it?”

“No, no. I’ve just finished painting it, and it was made to order. You can go and check yourself how irritating it is. The owners won’t get rid of it easily, as it’s a wall painting in their shop, the new pet shop.”

George tossed the gold coins into the cashbox and waved his wand to make a large sheet of paper wrap itself around the mirror. “You’re full of surprises. I suppose you want to go and surprise Harry, too.”



But before going to the headquarters Remus first apparated home and went downstairs to pay the rent for the whole summer. The gold made Mrs. Porchead speechless, and she did not refuse to sign the receipt Remus had prepared in his room. He had now managed to spend most of his money, but he calculated that he could still live on the rest of it for a couple of weeks, even if he now celebrated by inviting Harry out for lunch.

The only problem was that Harry was not allowed to go out of the headquarters without an escort of at least two members of the Order. Kingsley might, however, be available.

Kingsley was the only one who had resigned his position as an auror after the attacks against the goblins. In the meetings of the Order during the previous week Remus himself had supported and Dumbledore had accepted such suggestions that Moody and Nymphadora keep their positions for the time being, because they had not been asked to participate in the enforcement of the new decree. It might turn out wise not to leave the Auror Office completely in the hands of those in favour of it.

Remus suspected that Kingsley secretly held not only ideological but even a more emotional detestation in the Auror Office. However, Kingsley had insisted on resigning immediately simply on the grounds that he would, in any case, have been discarded for having interfered in a duty without a command. As a resigned auror he did not worry about looking for other employment, but spent days lazily at the headquarters and – unless important meetings forced him to stay – evenings and nights partying in the mansion of his family or those of other members in the high society. His grandfather had risen from being a blacksmith to make a fortune in cauldron industry, and he had been brought up to object to old noble families claiming privileges.

Kingsley had perhaps felt uncomfortable in Remus’s presence even before the attack, and after the attack the feeling was clearly mutual. Remus certainly did not want that handsome self-assertive man to accompany him and Harry to lunch. But he could ask Kingsley to escort them first to Diagon Alley and then to the Ministry of Magic, where security was arranged in any case, and leave them alone at the restaurant of the ministry. Arthur could agree to escort them back to the headquarters.

Harry was not able to apparate, but it would actually be more fun to travel in the muggle way. Remus seldom spent time in muggle London, because there money was even more indispensable than in his world. Thus, those days he hardly ever appeared in his muggle colthes, a pair of rather torn jeans and a black t-shirt. But in the pocket of the jeans he was sure to have the change for a few tickets for the underground, because that was demanded as precaution from all the members of the Order.



On the underground train, which rattled the three of them away from the shabby neighbourhoods and towards the heart of London, Remus felt he was sharing with Harry a wonderful emotion of freedom. He had also finally asked Harry to call him Remus. Kingsley was sitting opposite to them, dressed no less elegantly than usual albeit casually, but clearly rather envying Remus’s style, or that’s how Remus had decided to interpret his look when Harry had exclaimed admiringly that he looked like a rocker. Remus had spent enough time among the less respectable kind of muggles in his drifting days to know what his long hair and prematurely aged face in combination with these clothes made him resemble.

His arrival at the headquartes at noon had been a happy surprise for both Harry and Kingsley, who had declared that they were utterly bored and more than willing to take a ride to the centre of London. The ministry was not the favourite place for either of them, but Kingsley had got the idea that he could meet some friends of his there – but nobody in the Auror Office, he had assured.

To Harry Remus had told privately that it was the only place out of the headquarters where the two of them could be alone without breaking the rules set up for Harry’s safety. He had gone to Harry’s room to let him open the present there, and seen that Hedwig was fast asleep in her cage. Harry had looked a bit downcast when explaining that Ron and Hermione had left for Diagon Alley and promised to bring him his schoolbooks. Remus had been able to discern an obvious change in his mood caused by the invitation and by a surprise belated birthday present, even if Nigellus had been absent from his portrait. Remus had said it was wiser not to stay playing with the mirror, but to hurry out of the house, before Molly would return from shopping and start arguing that it was too risky and not necessary to go.

When the train left another gloomy station Harry gave Remus a wide smile. “I’ve never been anywhere. The Dursleys, of course, never took me.”

“Where have you wanted to go?”

“After I got to Hogwarts I didn’t think I wanted to go anywhere else. But now I don’t know. My fifth year there was not exactly cheerful. You know, I can’t remember having been to London before Hagrid took me here on my birthday, when I was eleven. This is somehow like it was then.”

“But you’ve travelled from the headquarters through muggle London before,” said Kingsley.

“Yeah, but just to the ministry for my hearing and to St. Mungo’s to see Ron’s dad.” Harry frowned but grinned then, adding, “Did not give me a feeling of being set free then. You must have travelled a lot when you were young.”

“Not at your age,”Kingsley said. “Wizards don’t usually take their children anywhere with them before they can apparate. Just through the floo powder network to some visits at other mansions.”

“How about you, Remus?” Harry asked, giving Remus beside him another such look which made Remus feel he had run away with his best friend.

“I was also ten years older than you now when I first seriously took to drifting – I mean travelling.”

Remus grinned. He felt a warm flush of youthful faith in the future. He wished he had been able to ask Harry if he would like them to travel together some day when what was called war was over. Instead he said, “Merely visiting places by apparating never really fascinated me that much. I used to choose muggle transportation whenever I could afford it. That‘s why I even enjoy these underground trips.”

He felt the two of them were closer to each other than ever when Harry said, “I’ll never forget the first time we met, and that was on a train, too.”

“Well, the reason I took the train with the students to get to Hogwarts three years ago was that I was too ill and broke to travel by other means.” Remus did not care if Kingsley was listening. “That trip is not – and was not – completely free of other less good memories, either.” Giving Harry a melancholy smile, he added, “Still, I was happy I was there and met you, although it was quite a shock to wake up at the sensations of the presence of the Dementors and to recognise you as James’s son. But that was the beginning of a good year for me despite all the… contradictory feelings…”

He thought of the feast after that distressing journey, the first of those Hogwarts square meals, which had for almost a full school year kept at bay the too faithful companion of his adult life – the continuous hunger. His emotional and intellectual hunger for interaction had also been somewhat eased by his friendship with some of the students and teachers.

Feeling that he would be able to slowly approach even the most painful topics when talking to Harry, he still pushed those aside and asked, “Didn’t I tell you I met Neville? It was more than a week ago. How could I forget to mention it!”

“How is he?”

“He had done well in the OWLs. Outstanding for Defence in addition to Herbology. I suppose he really believes it’s thanks to your teaching, too, and not mine... Oh, I haven’t even asked you about your results.”

At that moment, though, Kingsley told them it was time to get off. They were at the station closest to the Leaky Cauldron.

When they quickly walked through the pub to enter Diagon Alley, Remus said to Harry, lowering his voice, “If it’s all right for you, let’s not stop to do any shopping. I just want to take you to see something. And then I’d like us not to talk about it, until we are alone, over lunch.”

Harry nodded, probably perplexed, but on their way both to number thirteen and back Remus led them to a light conversation about their memories of buying school equipment in the shops they passed by. They laughed at the Monster Book of Monsters, which Hagrid had made all the students buy three years earlier, and Kingsley explained how – when trying his wand for the first time at Ollivanders – he had managed to shrink the wand master’s robes.

Remus asked Kingsley to wait on guard at the entrance of the pet shop. The ex-auror was clearly used to taking orders without questions, and maybe he also considered Remus’s business, whatever it was, not worth his interest.

Greeting the workers who were arranging merchandise on the shelves, Remus took Harry in front of the painting. “It was only this I wanted to show you.”

Harry glanced at him questioningly, but when he turned back towards the painting he gaped in amazement. Remus cautiously pulled him down to sit on the floor beside him.

Before they went out and joined Kingsley, Remus only nodded to Harry’s question, “Do you mean you painted that?”

Back on the underground train Remus encouraged Harry to talk about his OWLs. He was happy to hear Harry explain in a humble manner that he thought he had just achieved the required results to be accepted to the NEWT classes of Charms, Transfiguration, Defence Against the Dark Arts and even Potions, which he needed if he wanted to consider the career as an auror.

“I even got Outstanding for Potions. But I’m not sure I want to continue in Snape’s classes, anyway, or to be an auror. But I guess the auror training is what I have to try to do unless it’s… all over before I even finish school.”

With a feeling of pity Remus wondered whether it was impossible to talk about anything to Harry without bringing up tragedies of the past or the future. When they approached the visitors’ entrance to the ministry, he also wished he had really been able to take Harry travelling now, to places without painful memories attached to them. He knew Harry had come this way with his friends to rescue Sirius. Harry looked thoughtful, but when they entered the telephone box he just asked if they would be allowed in without any business. Kingsley dialed six two four four two and replied to the cool female voice’s inquiry that they were paying customers of the restaurant. Each of the badges which slid out of the metal chute had on it, besides a name, the words “Bon appé!@#$”.

“The ministry is having a profitable business with this restaurant, and to make as much profit as possible they allow not only ministry employees but any paying creatures,” Remus explained to Harry, as they started sinking down under London.

Remus had not been to the restaurant since the time when his friends had been auror trainees, but he knew that the place would not be a disappointment for Harry. Having put on their robes over their muggle clothes, they walked through the hall and past the fountain, which now had water spurting out of a single golden broomstick. Remus wondered why the golden statues of “Magical Brethren” had not been fixed after the battle. After the registration of their wands they entered a lift and ascended to Level One and Two Thirds: “The Windows of the Underworld”.



Chapter four is a bit shorter for a change. The second half will be posted soon.
Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#26
PaulaMcG

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When they entered the restaurant, Kingsley immediately got the attention of the head-waiter, who started showing him to his friends’ table. Remus was satisfied to see that Harry was gaping again. The dining room was enormous and luxurious, rather extravagant with all the gold, the crystal and the purple velvet. But starting to move between the tables, they seemed to step to ever changing alleys, with only windows offering to them views of the interiors of different restaurants. Harry walked quiet beside Remus for quite a while, until a turn around a corner revealed a couple of pizzerias at a charming little town square, which Remus recognized as one in Verona, Italy.

“That balcony is the image of the one which according to the Verona tourist office used to belong to Juliet,” said Remus.

“This is… incredible. You really took me travelling - and to a lot of places at the same time!”

“Would you like to have a look out before we decide where to settle? It depends on the weather, too.”

“Yes… Out?”

Remus enjoyed Harry’s multiple confusion caused by the sensations of already being out and by the knowledge of being under ground. Partly sorry about bringing Harry out of the illusion, but eager to show him everything, Remus led him to the back of the main dining hall, where they could – through the high gold-framed windows, curtained with purple silk and velvet – have an outlook over an architecturally designed and perfectly tended garden.

“The park of the Belvedere palace in Vienna,” Remus introduced it to Harry. “I would prefer something more natural. But at this place you eventually get what you prefer. The overall weather and season seem pleasant today, so I suggest we go out.”

Harry only nodded, and they walked through a spacious veranda and down magnificent marble steps onto a wide and straight path. The enchanted sunlight penetrated the perfectly translucent air so as to give an unearthly glow to the last blossoms in the bushes and flowerbeds – as the gentle cool of the completely still air clearly marked the end of the summer. The freshness felt soothing after the stifling heat of August.

Remus led Harry next to one of the simple tables which were placed on the lawn not all far from each other but separated by hedges or individual bushes. “It doesn’t really matter where we sit. Do you want to choose the surroundings?”

As Harry shook his head, perplexed, Remus said, “All right, let me choose first, and you can change it, if you’d prefer something else. We just both close our eyes for a moment, and you also cover yours with your hand and give your other hand to me.”

Remus decided to concentrate on his first spontaneous wish. When he opened his eyes, everything he could see around them had changed except the glowing light and the rosebush next to the table. The freshness of the air was intact as well, and he could hear the clink of cutlery from behind the bush, until it was covered again by the sound of the crickets and the waves breaking to the shore below them. They were on a terrace roof of a little whitewashed house surrounded by others, and the view of a sapphire blue bay with a rocky beach was framed by old platan trees.

Pulling out a rickety chair Remus helped Harry to manage in all his amazement to sit down on the other side of the small table, which was covered with a thin sheet of plastic.

“I hope you are not disappointed by being brought to such a simple little restaurant in the end. Would you like to change it to something different?”

“No…This is wonderful. This is… this is not real, is it?” asked Harry.

“No, this is not real creation, just an image of it. Captured in the air instead of words or paint on canvas or other such means, which humans normally use. I suppose the ministry co-operated with the elves to use their ancient magic of building images, and bought the copyright. Now nobody else is allowed to adapt the same method to offer private automatic visions, so the ministry can set the price as they like. The price for the food itself depends on the surroundings you choose.” Remus pressed his palms against the plastic cover of the table and sat quiet with his eyes closed for a moment.

Then he continued his explanation to Harry, thrilled by the fascinated expression on the boy’s face. “What is missing is the interaction with any creatures – so in order to fully enjoy it, you must come with a friend. In reality there would be cats circling a table like this. There are no waiters, as the food is prepared and served by the elves just like at Hogwarts. It will appear in a moment. I hope you’ll like it. This is the kind of restaurant – tavern they call it in Greece – where I used to celebrate after selling a painting. It’s relatively inexpensive, and the food is delicious and plenty. I suppose it’s all right I ordered the drinks without alcohol. Wine doesn’t really agree with me, and we will still taste them exactly like the real ouzo and retsina.”

Several plates of colourful salads and sea food and specialities of the local cuisine suddenly filled the table.

“Help yourself, and if you want something else, just press your palms against the tabletop and think about it.”

“Thank you, I don’t think I can imagine anything better than what you’ve imagined for me. This is great. I didn’t think having lunch at the ministry would be like this.”

“I’m happy you like it. I was afraid you were bored with sharing meals with me. It seems we always have our conversations at the table. But for some reason food means so much to me that these are the most precious moments.”

Remus smiled at his happy and bitter memories but decided to now concentrate on Harry, and on the beauty of everything he could sense at this moment, including what the table had to offer. He poured the drinks and they both started enjoying the meal.

But after a while Harry turned his head to survey the view of the sea and replied to what Remus had said, “Well, this is not just sitting at a table. Tell me – where have you brought me?”

“This place in reality is on the northern coast of Crete. Somehow I had it on my mind, maybe because the spell which I used for the wall painting you saw is believed to have originated from the artists of the Minoan frescos. Their images of life stopped moving centuries ago, of course.” To be honest to himself, Remus hoped that a reference to the painting would remind Harry of what he had wanted to talk about as soon as they had left number thirteen, Diagon Alley.

To his pleasure Remus heard genuine curiosity in the question. “How come you are an artist? I thought you always worked fighting against the dark magic, like the aurors.”

“No, I never had a chance to enter the auror training or any position in the ministry. According to the opinions of some people and the official definition I was not so far away from the dark side myself. In principle I’ve always been available for Dumbledore, but there was a long period of peace in the community, and while he didn’t need me I was mostly… a drifter. That’s when I took to painting as another chance. I had first carried on studies extensively and thoroughly almost in every possible field, but I could never get paid employment. Maybe I was just tired of that… also wanted to turn the failure into an advantage. I was completely free to devote myself to art. You know, I’d enjoyed drawing and painting since I was a little boy, and in 1979 I got the chance to start learning how to capture moving images of life. I mainly practised with sketches of…” He had to look away and draw a deep breath. “And then later after I gave up looking for a job on the basis of my scholarly qualifications, I painted only landscapes. I used to travel a lot. For a wizard the lack of money is not a big obstacle in travelling. On the contrary, disapparating is an alternative to paying debts. When I was young I used to be capable of apparating long distances except on a few days a month. So, I saw a lot of places. But I seldom had such close interaction with any creature that is required for a real portrait. I did not even seek it, either the chance to borrow an image of anybody or the interaction as such.”

Remus spoke in a low voice, worried he might be talking too much about himself, but determined to try if that could be a start for becoming truly a friend of Harry’s. “So it happened that your owl was the first creature after fifteen years to make me attempt it. There was a moment when I thought it was my birthday present to you. But my first instinct, after I had sensed Hedwig’s distress when I was taking you home, was that the value of a real portrait would be in giving her a chance to make her unconscious memories into dreams, and the dreams as true as possible. Later I realised it was for my benefit, my welfare both materially and emotionally, and not without a connection to my ambitions.”

While not knowing how much Harry even cared to understand about his complicated explanations, Remus still felt good about verbalising his thoughts.

Harry obviously concentrated on what he was saying. “You also wanted to dedicate the portrait to the memory of Amelia Bones.”

Startled first, Remus quickly realised why Harry had seen the dedication. “Yes, of course, I forgot that you met her at your hearing a year ago. I charmed the dedication to appear only in the eyes of those who ever talked to her. I did not want to make it into a public memorial. Just the most intimate…”

Looking away at the belated rosebuds in the bush, he forced himself to confess “She was at Hogwarts together with us. Amelia was… she once showed me more tenderness than any other girl ever.” Apart from your mother, he thought but chose not to add. “And she was the last one of my friends I had not lost.”

Tears now filled his eyes so that he hardly noticed he had turned to face Harry. “After Sirius… I’m sorry I can’t talk about Sirius yet.”

“You don’t have to,” Harry said.

Remus caught himself wishing that Harry would reach for his hand across the table. He quickly grabbed Harry’s hand and squeezed it hard, while looking away again. “Yes, we have to. But I can’t now. Someday I’ll start telling you what he meant to me.”

“People were staring at us!” The voice came from behind the rose bush and could be recognised as belonging to Draco Malfoy. It made Harry jump and pull his hand away. The sound-stopping spell had apparently gone out of order. Remus wiped his eyes, and the two of them could do nothing but look at each other while overhearing the conversation at the next table.

“Stop complaining. Now we’ve got privacy. And it’s just beneficial for us to appear in public. You have nothing to feel embarrassed about.”

“But Mum. They all know that Dad is in Azkaban. How can you act as if nothing had happened?”

“What has actually happened? My husband was arrested, he was condemned. But we can always continue with further appeals, so the sentence will actually never gain legal force. So, I’m going to act as if my husband were a perfectly respectable man. Some day the power will be in other hands. And no matter how long it takes, our property will stay intact. This administration has at least secured the rights for property as it should, while still allowing too many liberties for half-bloods and other worthless creatures.”

“But Dad is in Azkaban. I’ve heard it’s terrible. I know. I’ve seen Dementors myself.” The boy’s characteristically drawling voice now had a poorly stifled urgency in it.

But the woman’s voice continued in a calm, thoughtful tone, “Yes, it’s true. The laws protect property better than people. They lock up people in there after the first verdict of guilty, or even without a trial. On the other hand, even those who give up their appeals, or who are allowed no trial at all, have the right to keep their property. I must make Cornelius do something about that. It’s ridiculous that an escaped convict can keep a vault at Gringotts and make a will so as to pass property even outside of the family. Even if it is just one of the mansions and manors of my family and once legally passed to that blood traitor, I’m not going to approve of him hiding it and then…”

The voice trailed off and was replaced by the sounds of the crickets and waves again.

So, Narcissa Malfoy, Sirius’s cousin, and sister of Bellatrix, who killed him, did not hesitate to talk about him. Remus and Harry could not in any case do it now.

Remus whispered, “Let’s talk about that another time, Harry. We can’t know if the sound stopping spell breaks any moment in the other direction. I suggest we just enjoy escaping the reality while sharing this meal.”

Leaning back, Remus looked at Harry intently until he saw his own melancholy but reconciled smile reflected in Harry’s expression as a sign of understanding, and then he started, “Would you like me to tell you about the ancient ruins of the palace here on Crete? You might like to see the frescos some day. You must have heard about the monster Minotaur…”



“What did you think you were doing! The house empty! No note! I couldn’t know if Harry had gone alone or with Kingsley or what had happened…”

Molly Weasley’s rant started at the moment when the front door of number twelve, Grimmauld Place closed behind Remus, Harry and Kingsley, and well before she had climbed up the staircase to the hall. Remus did not really listen to her words. Instead, he enjoyed the sensation of warmth created by her figure of soft curves, by her plump face, by the burning colour of her curls, which in her distress she had let escape from her carefully arranged hairdo, and above all by her voice, in which she could not hide the deep loving concern, no matter how reproaching a tone she tried to adopt.

Remus thought of his own mother ranting at him during holidays, when he had honestly confessed all the pranks he had participated in or at least not prevented his friends from doing at school. He had learnt that it was safe to be honest and, still, that he should demand more from himself.

Honesty was what he admired in Draco Malfoy, as well as loyalty, no matter what questionable beliefs the boy had been brought up to support. As his Defence teacher he had not achieved much to make him question the values which he held as granted, but hopefully Snape could give him a chance, if it was not too tempting for the head of the Slytherin house to accept anything from him. This school year could be a turning point. Maybe Mrs Malfoy’s open lack of sympathy for even her husband would finally awake her son to oppose or at least question the values in the family. Remus wished he had been able to take the challenge to acquire Draco’s respect and to guide him, but he had to try to give his contribution on another level.

Dumbledore, of course, already knew about Mrs Malfoy’s close relationship with Minister Fudge and her objection to Sirius’s decisions concerning number twelve, Grimmauld Place. She or the Minister could never in practice obtain the house against Dumbledore’s will, but they could cause trouble for Harry.

Remus glanced at Harry’s face and was relieved, as the boy did not seem to brood on what they had overheard. Harry’s eyes revealed how happy he was about the escapade.

The three of them stood there in front of Molly like sons of her own, too experienced to attempt any defence, cautiously stealing looks at each other, trying their best to look regretful and not to smile. Remus suddenly realised how satisfying it was to be ranted at as a member of a group, although he could not help reasoning that the initiative and thus the responsibility was his alone. Exchanging a glance with Kingsley, he felt camaraderie with him as well.

It was Kingsley who had – when meeting them by coincidence somewhere between Vienna and Verona after they had all finished their lunch – suggested that they still make a tour of muggle London. As Harry had been eager to prolong his freedom, Remus had agreed. Having overheard them talking about the art of painting, Kingsley had decided to take them to the National Gallery. He had assured that he would take care of all the expenses, as he had invited them and he had always enough muggle money with him, because he frequented muggle night clubs, too.

Remus had, however, been happy to find out that the entrance was free to see the permanent collection of the National Gallery. He had enjoyed lecturing on the western European art through centuries, while even Kingsley had listened to him eagerly, totally fascinated by the fact that there was no movement at all in any of the pieces of art. Remus had felt especially thrilled by some self-portraits, including one of Rembrandt in a self-assured pose, only a little younger than he himself. Harry had asked for a permission to tell Kingsley about Remus’s wall painting, and Kingsley had expressed his interest quite pleasantly, saying that he would go to see it, but, loyal to his style, had refrained from asking more about it.

They had still walked around shopping streets, too. Kingsley had exchanged some of his pounds to Harry’s Galleons, so Harry had been able to buy himself something he called a portable CD-player and another one for Arthur to enjoy examining. So, they had returned, tired but happy, not much before dinner time.

Remus was startled out of his musings to realise that Molly had stopped to draw breath – as was high time, after he had already followed all possible associations in his mind to pass the time – and that Kingsley had launched into a skilful defence. Without any arrogance Kingsley admitted the whole responsibility for not leaving a message for Molly and assured that Harry had been completely safe when escorted by an ex-auror and someone so wise and experienced as Remus, and he even said on behalf of the other two, “They really needed to spend an afternoon like this together.”

Molly stared at Kingsley for a while and then spread her arms to hug both Remus and Harry at the same time. “I forgive you, if you just apologise like good boys and promise to leave a note next time. Fortunately I’d already had my new clock here fixed to include all of you. So I saw that for most of the time you were together and at no moment approaching the point of Mortal Peril.”




This is the end of chapter four "The Magic of Images".
Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#27
marymcbeth

marymcbeth

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This is really good, Eija. I've been devouring it since you started re-posting it. Your characterisations are excellent. I really like how you portray Lupin. It is much as how I see him. I'm looking forward to the rest...

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All Aboard!


#28
PaulaMcG

PaulaMcG

    Author of the Exceptional Martyrizer of Remus

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Mary Beth (may I call you so - though your user name is wonderful), thank you so much. I feel significantly more motivated to continue reposting this fiction, when I know that I'm actually feeding a hungry reader all the time. I do it as quickly as I can, but I read each instalment through carefully and make some mainly stylistic changes. I'm happy that you like my portrayal of Remus, and I hope that the future chapters won't disappoint you - even in case they turn out to be not exactly as you had imagined them. Please feel free to comment any time. By the way, I think Remus would be happy about the Goethe quote in your signature.

Chapter five will be posted in four instalments. There will be some detailed description of violence mainly in the second instalment.





Chapter Five: Controlling the Beast



At the end of that day filled with triumphant emotion, set out to enjoy walking home, Remus did not manage to keep his eyes from the mocking glare of the half moon high on the evening sky. Over the last quarter of the circle it was bound to be hard again for him to cling to any joy and pride related to himself.

He tried to keep himself as busy as possible by accepting an offer of a few days’ work on another construction site supervised by the same manager. In the evenings he drew sketches of imaginary landscapes and even experimented on such pictures which could be defined as abstract art, according to the exhibition catalogue Kingsley had bought at the National Gallery and presented to him.

Besides, he tried to concentrate on preparing himself for the trial in Wizengamot. There would still be plenty of time for that after the full moon, but he hoped that studying the legislation could help distract his mind from his own person.

He soon realised he had been wrong. The rules concerning the rights of the creatures unavoidably led him to the definition of his own essence. He borrowed from Hermione the field study of elves, and that book gave him a lot of pleasure, especially when he had a chance to discuss it with her. But in the conversations with the members of the Order concerning the war and politics he met with little response, if he mentioned the different nature and needs of various creatures.

The members were actually not busy at all. Had he not been given this task as a victim, Remus would have felt completely useless. The other members did not do more than some patrolling around Azkaban just as precaution, but they seemed to be happy to only talk about a war having begun.

They also enjoyed wagging their tongues on Narcissa Malfoy’s attempts to find and obtain number twelve, Grimmauld Place. Remus considered it more interesting to ponder Lucius Malfoy’s role in the so-called war.

Was it a sign that a war had actually begun that Lucius Malfoy had finally violated the law personally and openly? Dumbledore and his supporters had talked about a second war ever since Harry had witnessed Voldemort regain a bodily form a year earlier. Now even Fudge interpreted the situation as a war, and in official documents he had introduced the expression The Battle of the Department of Mysteries.

At the end of that so-called battle Voldemort himself had appeared, but first he had sent his most trusted followers to invade the ministry and enter the department, where Harry had been lured to pick up the prophecy concerning himself and Voldemort. Malfoy must have been ordered to lead this mission, which Voldemort had considered more important than recruiting followers or starting terror attacks. Voldemort had failed to find out the contents of the prophecy and lost several of his most experienced servants as sentenced to Azkaban. The prison was not so terrible a place as it had been, now that most of the Dementors had left the duty of guarding it. Still, none of the arrested Death Eaters had managed to escape yet.

Malfoy had certainly not expected to be exposed in this way. At the end of the first war he had claimed to have served Voldemort under the Imperius Curse. For fifteen years he had acted either according to the law or most cunningly through others to forward his own quest for power.

Would Voldemort now continue by acting quietly through others in perhaps even higher positions? Would there be more terror attacks – and initiated by whom? In that case, too, Remus would still object the defining of the situation as a war. It was a case of internal violent conflict. Voldemort supported a revolt. And there was still the question whether a certain kind of revolt could actually be justified.



As the moon continued to wax, day by day Remus felt it was harder to control the fury raised in him by any thought concerning injustice. He hated to think about himself, about his instincts strengthening, the beast side taking over. He could not deny the fact that this side always existed in him. On the other hand, he had come to realise that the full moon brought a kind of relief. The physical pain he suffered in the transformation could be taken as a punishment, and thus a catharsis.

On another sleepless early morning he pushed all books aside and, instead of taking notes for the trial, let his left hand move the quill freely. By the weak flicker of the blue flames which he had placed on his desk, the shapes emerging in diluted ink were hardly visible.

Naturally, like most people, Remus had very few conscious memories of his early childhood before the age of five. His personal history, carefully recorded in his mind, started from the beginning of his friendship with Miss Emeline, who had assisted in the healing of the outer injury he had suffered.

He remembered how terrified and how much in pain he had first been at the hospital. But after thirty-three years his subconscious still refused to release, and to transform into knowledge of his mind, his experience of the events at that evening of a full moon, when he had stayed too late playing in the forest on the hills. He knew the game he had played, because he had often played it both alone, aided by his imagination only, and with his numerous pals, as their leader. He had always been the hero king fighting another army of four-to-five-year-old boys, slaughtering them without mercy, using both a wooden sword and a branch for a wand.

He remembered clearly having considered by himself, as both Miss Emeline and his parents had advised him to do, whether he wanted to continue to play in the same way. At first he had desperately wanted to. He had destroyed whole armies in his imagination while lying in bed. He had been so fascinated by suddenly being able to build images of more cruel battles than ever before that he had not even cared when none of his friends had come to ask him out to play after he had returned home, apparently healthy again.

The memories of his lonely days – spent either wandering alone, carrying his weapons, or studying books of myths and tales of heroes, who motivated him to quickly learn to read, and practising to capture images of all that on paper – were in regular rhythm broken by a memory like a nightmare. He remembered the growing distress and aggression, and an intensifying ache, which gnawed his insides and spread on his skin, overwhelming him, and being shut in a room, and then regaining consciousness in pain – to examine the strangely fascinating, bleeding gashes in his arms. Every month, while healing his wounds, Miss Emeline had asked him if he had considered the justification of violence.

It had taken him a couple of years before he had decided to learn to control the aggression when in his full senses. Later he had come to realise that – with the help of his parents – he had succeeded in it better than normal boys of his age. He had been forced to do it, not by his parents but by his growing knowledge of what his disorder meant.

And it had taken him ten years before he had realised that he was able to control the aggression during the transformation and in his beast form, too. That achievement had been made possible by his three best friends, who had studied and practised hard to become illegal Animagi in order to accompany him, at the time of the full moon, each of them in the form of a different animal.

After losing his friends he had been forced to adopt the old habit again – to lock himself in a room and wound himself in lack of a victim. But fortunately even before that loss he had found out that he was able to communicate with such creatures who had no ability to produce verbal language. Soon locking himself in a room together with an animal – at first and most often with a bird, who would, if in need of it, have a chance to escape trough a small window – he had learnt to tame the beast in himself despite the full moon.

However, when Dumbledore had invited him to teach at Hogwarts, he had been happy to accept the offer of the wolfsbane potion concocted by Snape on Dumbledore’s order. Monthly going through both the physical transformation and the mental struggle against the violent instincts, without any support from another human, had during the previous twelve years almost destroyed his health, while his material and social deprivation had efficiently assisted the process. He had been too exhausted to resist the opportunity, although he had doubted that Snape would give him anything totally harmless. The potion had secured the safety of the students. And it had completed the rest with which Remus had been blessed for an almost full academic year. It had actually rather dulled his mind for the last quarter of each circle, besides allowing him to just sleep through the full-moon night, with no hardship beyond the transformation pain itself – which had, in turn, been harsher than without the potion.

Now he thought he fully understood why Dumbledore had not asked Snape to continue to provide him with the wolfsbane potion outside Hogwarts, not even after they both became active in the Order of the Phoenix. He had earlier wondered if Dumbledore had just wanted to give him a chance to enjoy the full moon with Sirius again. But the all-knowing wizard must have considered it was best for Remus to take again himself the full responsibility for the controlling of the beast.

This month the waxing of the moon forced him to think also about the events during his previous transformation. For three weeks he had managed to push that memory even beyond his dreams, as his nights had been haunted by other nightmares, more significant in the sense that they concerned the people he had loved and not only him.



He had never intended to stay in a werewolf community at the time of a full moon.

He had not been overjoyed at the mission trusted to him by the leader of the Order of the Phoenix. Still, he had accepted it, as was proper for a loyal member of the Order. He might have been tempted to discuss it in detail with Dumbledore and to seriously question its relevance and feasibility. But after the loss of Sirius he had felt such utter despair and resignation that he had not truly cared if anybody knew about his doubts or if he was bound to fail in his effort. For a while he had even thought he would not have cared if the werewolves had either killed him or forced him to abandon his struggle to maintain his humanity.

Afterwards he blamed himself for not believing in the success of the mission strongly enough. Maybe the communities would have been more willing to co-operate, if he had been more enthusiastic. He had found it hard to wholeheartedly pontificate about the defence war of a righteous wizard nation against an army led by an evil monster with dark powers.

The leaders of most of the communities which he had visited from Portugal to Persia had been grateful for the information but had argued that the problem was clearly an internal issue. The wise old head of the pack of Thessalonica had engaged him in a long conversation and concluded by pointing out that the enemy was one of the wizards of the nation himself.

“Why did you not stop him long ago?” the honorable Lykos Epikindinos had said. “In order to stop him from gaining followers you should have considered modifying the state of equality in your society. The followers of this aspirant to power don’t seem to be those with the lowest position. You should have tried building up a proper hierarchy, like ours, to meet their wishes for wealth and influence. Do you now want us to attack and either kill this Voldemort or turn him into one of us? That would just cause new revolts against your authorities. We can consider not accepting Voldemort’s offer, if he approaches us with a suggestion to join in on his revolt. In any case he will first negotiate only with our packs in Britain. They have been quite satisfied with your administration so far. Your laws and practices give them a fair chance to increase their population even by biting. The werewolves are not attacked while within their villages. The biters can easily avoid any punishment, and the bitten often join them. I doubt they have suffered many such losses like the loss of you…”

During the four weeks of Remus’s travel the werewolves he had come to visit had turned more and more suspicious. They had given more abrupt and haphazard replies. Some leaders had exclaimed in sudden rage that they would be ready to attack anyone, if an unstable state of affairs and freshly shed blood should provoke them.



Remus had started his tour with an artist friend of his as a guide. After leaving London he had first headed for the hidden ones of the Latin quarters of Paris and found the master of sadistic scenes in the same studio flat as ten years earlier. Jean Reno, now an overweight forty-year-old man with unstable but charming personality, had been a child when renouncing the community in which he had been born among werewolves. His mother, who had secretly kept him from participating in the rituals and in any biting, and had finally urged him to escape, had now sent them the information on the locations of the major packs in Europe and the Middle East.

At first Jean accompanied Remus willingly. They shared deep ponderings on art and life, and his company doubled especially the pleasures of travel on magic carpets from Casablanca to Mesopotamia and back to Istanbul. But as soon as the moon started to wax Jean turned irritable. After Prague he suddenly got mad at Remus for forcing him on the trip and returned to Paris.

Over the week of the waxing gibbous moon Remus, too, felt more and more nervous. The werewolves probably sensed his deviation more clearly as they let their own behaviour grow more aggressive. The more he tried to keep up his polite manners and stay in good terms with them, the more suspicious they got, concerning not only his mission but his person as well.

On the last week before the full moon Remus still succeeded in negotiating with a pack in northern Finland. Finnish werewolves seemed to be less hot-tempered than more southern ones but, on the other hand, rather reserved and prejudiced against any close contact with foreign creatures. They stubbornly declared their policy of neutrality. They also did not hide the fact that their main interest was now to prepare themselves for the party time of the month when they could intoxicate themselves with moonlight and blood and throw aside all their reserve. Remus quickly left Finland. Flying over Lapland, he headed for his last destination, the village of Bykle in Norway.

The fatal accident was the attack of a Norwegian Ridgeback.

While circling the mountain tops on his broom, looking for the hidden village on the highlands, Remus suddenly noticed below him a group of huge black eggs down among the rocks on an edge of a cliff. It was too late. The mother had already seen him get too close to the nest. He immediately heard the roar behind him and felt the heat in the air, but when speeding away he could not resist the temptation to turn his head to admire the terrible beauty of the dragon.

His broom was not very good and he was not a very good flyer. He was neither fast enough nor quick enough in diversions, and soon he felt the fire of the dragon burn his back. Grasping his broom, he started spiralling down. Just before losing consciousness he became aware of some men flying up towards him.

They were the werewolves of Bykle.

He was woken up by swearwords and some abrupt tugging movements, which made him wince with pain. He was lying on his stomach, and when he managed to turn his head a bit, he saw a woman rage at a tangled bandage and then bend down to take up a bowl. She tipped her fingers in the lotion in the bowl and, finding it almost finished, hurled the bowl against the wall to smash it. Then she rubbed her hand against Remus’s back so roughly that he could not help groaning.

She stepped closer to examine his face and said, “Don’t complain! Soon we get to rub our bodies with some better ointment. Nightshade, belladonna, henbane, pig fat…” Her voice turned into chanting. Then she grabbed the bandage from the floor and ripped it in two, shouting. “And you dare complain! Instead of preparing the ointment for the transformation ritual I have to take care of you!”

“Thank you,” Remus muttered.

“You just thank me while I’m hurting you! Are you a real werewolf?” She screamed those words, slapped his head hard and rushed out, slamming the door shut behind her.

A man then came to interrogate him. Remus did not bother to mention his mission but just said that, feeling too weak to join in on their ritual, he wanted to return home as soon as possible. The man argued that the ritual would give him strength. Remus’s calm manner of expressing his objections only infuriated him. He snatched Remus’s wand from the table and his broom and suitcase from the corner of the room and, smashing the window, threw them all out.

He conjured bars on the window and heavy bolts and locks on the door and left, shouting, “You stayre until the moon is full and we make you into a real werewolf!”


Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009.

Edited by PaulaMcG, 18 December 2009 - 07:26 PM.

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<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>

#29
Kyla

Kyla

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:blink: Wow you can post fast.

I am still finding subtle connections and comparsions. The dream sequence underlined the full extent of Remus s losses. Not only his friends but also a lot of his past, present and future. Like Harry there is so much lose that it is sometimes a wonder that they can still view the future in any sort of positive light.

Still my favourite scene is the day out with Harry and Kingsley. The restuarant was prefect. It did not only show some of workings of the wizard community but some of it problems. Remus and Harry showed that they really do need each other. Both have so much loss but still have so much to prove and give. I really enjoyed how all three wizards were able to find the common ground by indulging their appreciation of art. You were able to bring the two worlds together without it being contrived.

Remus arguement with himself about his inabilty to help the Order reveals volumes about him. Remus lack of confidence reflects Harrys own lack of confidence and concret solutions. It seems that both Harry and Remus need to find some unconventional way to take control of their lives. I dont know if I am over analysising but I get the feeling that the whole wizard community is going to have to go through some very difficult time and confront some hard facts so that it can get control of its destiny.

#30
PaulaMcG

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Kyla, thank you so much! I knew that you would be able to say something that I had not been aware of before. Even if chapter four is admittedly a relatively pleasant one, I had felt that it was somehow lacking in substance. You made me realize that I had managed to include some contrasts in it, anyway. There are actually some references to the elves and to the wizard laws, as well as some developments in Remus's relationships with more than one person, though the main theme is the art of images.

Your speculations concerning the necessity of finding unconventional ways in order to take control - individually and as the community - are even more fascinating. The lack of confidence was one of the main themes from the very beginning.

Now this is the instalment which is not recommended to those who want to avoid detailed descriptions of physical violence.





For almost four weeks Remus had refused to think about the anguish he had suffered in that hut. But now, two nights before the full moon, he returned back in time in his sleep and found himself lying on his stomach again.

The burn on his back was aching, and he was tormented by thirst. Nobody bothered to take care of him anymore. He was falling into slumber but forced himself to open his eyes and look around the room for water. He saw a bowl on the floor and struggled to get out of the bed and on his knees to reach for it. There was water in it, and although it looked like it had been used for cleaning his burn or something else, he drank it. It cleared his mind enough so that he realised it was night.

Moving on his knees back towards the bed, he saw the moon through the window. It was not completely full yet, but he quickly hid his face from it, feeling aggression rising in his mind. But he only wanted to break out of this hut and get away. He only hated himself. He hated his weakness, which did not allow him to disapparate. Leaning his elbows on the bed, he squeezed his head in his both hands. He slept in that position, resting against the side of the bed.

When he woke up once again, now to sounds of banging and chanting outside of the hut, he lifted his head to see the sky red like blood. It had to be the next sunset.

The chanting was getting louder and louder, and the banging was on the door of the hut now. Then the door flung open, and the noise and a rush of air overwhelmed him. Four or five men darted towards him, shouting. They were naked, and he realised he was naked, too. He was trembling with cold and terror, but could hardly lift his head from the bed, before the men had grabbed his arms. They pulled him up and dragged him out.

The glow of the sunset painted their faces and bodies red. There was a row of chanting women on either side of the door, and they were carrying hides, which partly covered their nakedness. He saw children with them, and some did not look older than five. Their chanting and screaming followed, as the men started running up a path away from the village. They were pulling him, and as he stumbled again and again, they pushed him, causing increasing pain on his back.

But that pain was gradually overtaken by another, which he felt growing from his insides and reaching towards his skin. He hated himself. He was one of them. On their faces he saw his own grimace of agony mixed with a pleasure of belonging.

They reached the outskirts of a dense forest. The trees were stunted and the ground was hard. He kept stumbling on rocks. But they did not let him fall until they arrived in a clearing. A big man with long dark hair hanging heavy over his face was drawing a wide circle on the ground. In the middle of it there was a fire, and all the others gathered around a woman who lifted a cauldron from the fire and started dealing out the ointment.

They had left Remus on the edge of the clearing. He was sitting on the ground with his arms wrapped around his knees, sweaty from the running and shivering. The fire was too far to give him warmth, and with the pain gnawing inside of him he caught himself wishing he could be closer to the crowd.

The big man approached him, drawing his circle with concentration and suddenly bent over him with eyes glinting mischievously behind his hair. Was there a hint of desire in the sparkle of those eyes, and was it Remus’s own longing reflected?

The man took his hand and pulled him up. There was an enticing smell around the man: it was the smell of the blood in which the long hair had been drenched.

He called out loud, and all the men and women took their places in the circle. The woman who came next to him handed him a bowl.

He made Remus drink from it and started rubbing the ointment both on his own skin and Remus’s. The enthrallingly fragrant ointment seemed to give Remus strength to remain standing, but at times he noticed that he was leaning against the man. The ointment warmed his skin and then started burning as the pain from his insides burst to the surface.

The red glow on the sky had intensified and was now reflected on the naked bodies, until it was suddenly switched off. In a moment the darkness of the clearing would be illuminated by the sparkling yellow eye of the moon.

The chanting erupted, “Make me a man-eater! Make me a woman-eater! Make me a child-eater! Make me a werewolf!”

Remus felt the man’s nails scratch the skin on his chest. They were lengthening into claws. But his chest was also growing hairier. He felt his own body changing. With tormenting pain his limbs and his back, his face and his mind started transforming. For a fleeting moment of panic he looked in vain for the strength to control his mind.

Then he was strong. He was a beast. He smelled the blood and desired more. But he leapt back from the big wolf beside him and started running away up a stony slope among the stunted trees. The pack was howling in chorus behind him. He hated them. He was one of them. He hated himself.

But there was only the smell of blood he could sense. Then he was aware of no more.



Yet, the dream continued. He was still running. Just the setting had changed slightly: the trees grew taller, and the ground was soft under his bare feet. He had hands of a human again,yes: he was carrying his wand and a sword. He heard only one solitary howl behind him. It scared him now more than the chorus of the sounds had, but he stopped and turned, raising his weapons with a bloodthirsty delight in the chance to slaughter an enemy.

The moonlight had turned this clearing into an enchanted unmoving black and white image. He was breathing fast in the anticipation of a battle. He was getting impatient. Now he finally discerned movement between the broad tree trunks behind the opposite edge of the clearing. It was a larger figure than he had expected. But he wanted the drama to continue, so he pushed aside the thought that it must be Dad coming to take him home.

He raised his sword higher and exclaimed, “Beware, you Monster of Darkness! Behold Arthur, your vanquisher!”

At that moment the monster darted towards him. With one leap it reached him. He hardly had time to see the dark hairy figure.

Then his field of vision was filled with a pair of shining yellow eyes with no sign of reason in them. For a passing moment he stared into the eyes, feeling how their utter soullessness did not allow him to say: “Stop, please stop!” Instead, the words continued to be repeated in his mind to prevent him from thinking clearly about what he experienced through each of his senses.

The stink of a wild animal’s breath and filthy fur; the sound of its panting and one more howl close to his ear; the sight of a dribbling stout opening to reveal long and sharp yellow teeth. And at the next moment the pain on his back as it hit a tree trunk, and the claws pressed against his chest.

The claws came down ripping his robes on both sides of his chest. The hairy head bent towards his face, and the snout almost touched his cheek and then snapped at the side of his neck. He held his breath not to smell the stink, and now finally closed his eyes.

But he opened them at that very moment to see the fiercely shiny disk of the moon. He had bent his head back and heard himself scream with agony.

The beast had lifted its claws and then pulled them down, gashing deep through his chest. Then it let go and backed off a bit, so he was able to fall forwards to the ground. The pain on his chest was blinding him. He struggled to support his body with his arms, so as to lift his chest from the ground, and his palms were drenched with the blood on the grass.

He managed to turn on his back – to see the beast bending over him, sniffing. Then it threw its hairy body down next to him. His ripped robes had left him almost naked. He felt the fur of the beast on his skin.

“Please… stop,” he whispered.

The beast leant its head on his shoulder. He felt the strong jaws open, the teeth seeking the right spot. Then the utter pain like mercy closed his senses and hid it all from his mind.



Remus opened his eyes but hardly realised that what he saw was the shadows drawn by the moonlight in his own room. Trembling, he closed his eyes again, and the nightmare continued immediately.



He was a werewolf now. He took pleasure in blood and it filled his senses. He was licking the blood from the fur of his companion. They were wrestling on the stony ground, which cut gashes on his back. His companion was bigger and stronger. It pushed him down and bent to snap at his snout with its teeth. At that moment he gathered the rest of his strength and broke free.

He ran away again and looked back only once to see that others had now engaged his companion in wrestling. He could escape. He could hide from the moon and sleep. He was a wounded beast, after all. He had already had enough blood. He had had enough… of blood.



With his eyes wide open Remus forced himself to think about every detail of the dreams from the moment of the transformation until the end. He had never known any of that and he did not want to lose it again to the subconscious. He verbalised each perception and emotion so as to record them all in his mind. He would still never know whether he had seen the true events, but this was all he could get.

He wanted to finally cry, feeling the pain and terror of the little boy. But he could not. His grief was overwhelmed by the most tormenting doubt, which he had managed to hide behind others until now. He still did not know all he had done. What else had happened when he had been one of the monsters?

Maybe he should have stayed in Bykle and asked the werewolves about it. No, they would, of course, not have had any memory at all of the events. Still, it might have been wise to stay for a day or two. After the full moon they would have been less aggressive and maybe given him food and a chance to recover. But he had just wanted to have nothing to do with them. He had, perhaps, actually been afraid of feeling pleasure of belonging to their community.



He could remember clearly how he had been woken up by the pain of his body transforming back to human. He had found himself curled up on the uneven stone floor of a small cave, his furless body shaken by violent shudders. Rather driven by an instinct than a decision he had crawled out of the cave before vomiting.

With his mind still blank he stared at the vomit. A feeling of relief finally brought to his mind the anguish of the previous days and the events of the night until the transformation. It looked like for a couple of days he had not swallowed anything except the dirty water and the mouthful of ointment. But could he have tasted human blood anyway, in the sense of killing or injuring someone, perhaps... biting someone?

Dizzy and shaking uncontrollably, he felt ready to fall back to merciful darkness. But the werewolves might find him; he had to get away. He looked around in the stony landscape and hardly believed his luck. There was a small brook only about ten feet away. As a wolf he had probably sensed it and already enjoyed drinking from it. He now crawled to the edge of the water to drink, and after a while had the strength to even wash himself. Refreshed, but with his naked body shivering with cold, he had forced himself to walk down the slope.

After falling down to the dewy ground several times and resting, and even nourishing himself with some wild berries, which he happened to find where he had sat down, he finally reached the outskirts of the village. It looked deserted, glistening in the light of the rising sun. Having realised that all the inhabitants were asleep after the orgies of the night, he dared proceed and soon found the hut in which he had been locked up.

Outside the barred window he saw his belongings scattered on the ground. He quickly got dressed, putting on the two robes and his old broken shoes, which had been in his briefcase. The clothes he had been wearing when brought in, including his cloak, he had lost. The rest of the gold which he had been given by the Order for the expenses was missing, too, but the rolls of parchment with the notes from the negotiations he had gathered back into the briefcase, and he soon found his wand among the grass, too.

Without considering any longer, he grabbed his broom and performed a charm on it to make it fly straight to London and the headquarters, and another charm to tie his suitcase and himself on it so he would not fall even if he lost consciousness. So he left the village without being seen and without seeing anyone of its people again.



His memories of the flight across the North Sea were just flashes of cold grey water underneath and endless freezing air for him to continue his way through. He had no idea how he had arrived and got in at number twelve, Grimmauld Place or if he had been found and taken straight to St Mungo’s .

The first thing he knew he had been completely aware of was Dumbledore telling him that Amelia had died. But it had taken him a long time to bear to think about that. He had stopped listening and hardly heard Dumbledore continue and say something about Harry. He had clung to the fact that there was still Harry.

The only thing to bring him back to consciousness and make him endure his life in London was the thought of Harry still being there, still alive and still at the Dursleys’ and suffering. He had been determined to leave the hospital soon and return to his room, which felt like home after all he had been through.

In order to go and see Harry in Surrey he had needed some money, and he had had none at all. He had been too ill to travel by any other means than the Knight Bus. Despite his weak condition he had gone around in the neighbourhood, until he had found some work – cleaning public toilets – in which he could earn the eleven sickles for the bus fare. In a hope of some better source of income he had sent another job application to a publishing company. In the meantime he had just needed to spend nothing, to let his landlady continue to scold at him, and to eat at the headquarters.

In only a few days after his return had he realised that he should not have waited at all. In a conversation during another dinner the members of the Order had confessed that they really had no sure idea of how Harry was doing.

“There is nothing to worry about,” Dumbledore had said soothingly. “I would know if he had left the Dursleys’. His letter to me, however, made me wonder whether someone should maybe check on him. Or what did you think, Remus?”

After finally listening to what Dumbledore had earlier tried to tell him about Harry, and after reading the letter, he had insisted on going to Little Whinging immediately unless the Order sent an escort the same night. Only Dumbledore’s strict order on the plea of his high fever had made him postpone his departure until the following day.



Before his trip to Surrey, too, he had pushed to the back of his mind what he had been through, and only thought about Harry – although that had forced him to think about Sirius as well. He had never ceased feeling unbearably lonely. But until now, for almost a month, he had managed not to become aware of a longing for anybody whom he had met on his mission.

Now the disturbing thoughts concerning the events of the previous full moon also somehow protected him. He could still not lose himself in the newly revealed experience of the five-year-old. But images and other perceptions kept coming to him.

In the morning after the dreams he sat down at his desk and stared at an open book. And he saw the black and white clearing, he felt the blood on his palms, and smelled the stinking breath. He tried to read, and suddenly decided to uncover his chest so as to examine the old scars, which had grown less clear perhaps, but wider, while he himself had grown. He had never known himself like this before.

Could he still keep and control the mind of the man whom the awareness of this memory had made him? How could he have strength for it now? He only wished he could cry. Was it too late? He should have cried a long time ago. He had cried, of course, as a boy when he had gradually come to realise the meaning of his disorder. But he had never been aware of the details in the violence done to him. He should have known about it all when he still had a mother and a father to comfort him. Did he now have to face this memory, his doubts and the next ordeal all on his own?

He did not allow himself to question an abrupt idea: he would apparate to St Mungo’s again.



There will be two more instalments of chapter five "Controlling the Beast".
Written by Eija Silvola in 2003.
Revised in August 2009

Edited by PaulaMcG, 18 December 2009 - 07:32 PM.

Posted Image
</span>
<span style='color:Gray'>Remus Lupin and the Revolt of the Creatures</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - and <span style='color:Gray'>short stories on Completed General Fanfiction</span> <span style='color:Gray'> - by PaulaMcG (Eija)</span>
<span style='color:Black'>No one knows you like I do / Nobody can know your heart the way I do /
No one can testify to all that you’ve been through / But this will. (Paul Simon & Derek Walcott, 1997.)</span>




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