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Chapter 36: Chapter 36
Letter from Severus Snape to Cerridwyn Howard : February 8, 1992
I suppose you think that your angry words about the old Quirrel incident have angered me, but they have not. I feel relieved. Relieved to know for certain that you didn't waste yourself on the likes of him. Granted, as your brother I do not think anyone is good enough for you, though I do genuinely hope you find happiness.
I am in a better mood tonight than I was when I wrote my last letter. I put the Weasley demons in detention today -- always a cause for celebration. You worry about my emotional wellbeing without need. There are some satisfactions to be found in my job.
Kerri, I do not want you to worry about me. If you do that, I shall stop confiding in you. You have enough problems in your own life without anxiety over me. I am not worth the trouble. Heavens....do you mean to tell me that after so many years of despising your brother, you've become fond?
Trust me, if I could leave this place I would. I abhor every stone, beam, tile and blade of grass. I know you'll be greatly surprised when I tell you that I am not overly fond of the students either.
I have volunteered to referee the upcoming Quidditch match. I decided that was the best way to ensure I would be near enough to intervene swiftly should there be another attempt on Prince Potter. It is fortunate that I have no care for what people think about me because the entire staff thinks sabotage is my motive.
As if I need to sabotage Gryffindor -- my team has nothing to worry about from them.
Besides, this is a school, not a Quidditch camp. Too much emphasis is placed on sports around here.
I saw Quirrel lurking around outside again today. I had spare time on my hands so I thought I'd just take a little stroll around the grounds to see what he was up to. I'd love to know exactly what he's doing out there.
Oh yes -- I warn you that I'm about one move away from checkmate. Take your time to study the board before you make your next move -- it may be your last. I shall allow you an extra day to decide....despite the face that I am 'mean'.
Your Brother, Severus
Letter from Rubeus Hagrid to Cerridwyn Howard : February 5, 1992
How are you? I am fine.
Except I had a cold last week but Madam Pomfrey fixed me up. The Ogden's I drank helped a lot too. Nothing better for a cold. No cures are like the old cures I always say.
It's nice of you to say you learned a lot from me. Some day when your famous I'll tell people that. You could be headmistress of Hogwarts one day. Ever thought of that?
Fang and the salamanders and the mice all say hi back. One of the mice had babies on my pillow. They're pink and not much bigger than my thumbnail. I have quite a family here now.
Looking forward to starting the spring garden. The seeds you helped pick out at Christmas got here today. Any chance you'll visit around Easter?
Letter from Cerridwyn Howard to Charlie Weasley : February 16, 1992
They're going to send you home in a box yet! Not that dodging a dragon on a broomstick doesn't sound like loads of fun, of course.
You guys have to be nuts playing Quidditch in dragon habitat. What idiots ! People zooming around on broomsticks there is about as smart as a mouse running through a tiger cage in a zoo !
That dragon doo you've been collecting has clearly affected your brain.
Yes -- my mother drives me nuts too. I know exactly what you mean. I had a shouting match with her over the phone the other day. She was after me to come home and work full time. I understand how hard she works and that it isn't easy being alone, but I'm obligated to teach for seven years to pay back my debt to the school. Eventually I'll be making decent money and I'll be able to send some home to her, but she can't seem to get that through her head. She just doesn't want me living in the wizarding world, that's all her problem is.
We just go in circles and she makes me feel like a selfish, horrible person. Maybe I am.
You sound like you've had a rough time and now I'm being depressing and whining to you. Sorry. I hope your friend is all right and I hope you are too.
Hey -- this should amuse you. I attended a Valentine's Ball. I wore a ball gown and gloves and slippers and everything. If you don't believe me I'll send pictures when they're developed. I'll close off by leaving you with the entertaining thought of me looking like an idiot at a ball.
Well...I feel very ambivalent tonight about the future of my friendship with Remus. It isn't the same as it was before. There's a guarded awareness now on both sides and he seems to think of me differently. Despite agreeing that there is no future in a relationship with each other he's become almost annoyingly protective of me. The fact that he's ....fond of me... doesn't mean he needs to watch over me like a mother hen. Whey can't things go back to the way they were before? Why do they have to change?
Tonks didn't want me to have to face him alone. I had a tough time getting out the door without her when I left for practice. It took some doing to convince her that I really was perfectly comfortable facing him alone and that I preferred it that way. An audience would only have made it more embarrassing.
He was waiting for me when I pulled up in front of his house. He didn't even give me time to get out of the car and knock. The door opened the moment I pulled in and he came out to meet me.
"We need to talk." we said in unison as he slid into the seat beside me.
Despite my discomfort I couldn't help but laugh. Remus smiled too. "Let me go first." he said, taking a deep breath. "I'm the one responsible. I want to apologize about last night. I was entirely out of line. I was supposed to be a safe escort whom you could trust not to make advances and then I did that very thing." Remus paused, looking painfully ashamed. "I'm not going to make excuses for myself. I was simply wrong, and I'm sorry for it. I don't want this to ruin our friendship, but I understand if....well...I'm sorry."
It hurt to see how ashamed he looked. It had been my fault as much as it was his. Did he honestly think he'd forced himself on me or something? I hadn't exactly put up a fight. "It isn't your fault." I told him, suddenly very determined to make him see that. Did he think that because he was a werewolf I couldn't possibly be attracted to him? Some part of me wanted to set him straight and tell him exactly how crazy I'd been over him for the last few months. I plunged on recklessly. "I could have said 'no'. I'd had a good time at the ball and....it was my fault too. I like you a lot...not like a friend....in a different way. I may as well just make a full confession. I've been trying to get a handle on it. I didn't want you to know. Not because you're a werewolf but because I just have some personal issues in my life, and you know that.....and I'm rambling like a total idiot so you can stop me any time you like unless you just like watching me squirm."
Finally I got a smile out of him. I had to make an idiot of myself and put my heart on my sleeve to do it, but it was worth it. I didn't like seeing him looking so miserably guilty. "I'm fond of you too. Since you're making confessions I may as well too. I find you very attractive, Kerri. There is just something about you that feels right, as cliche as that may sound. However, you know there can never be anything between us other than friendship. My being a werewolf my not bother you, but it bothers me. I wouldn't want to burden anyone with my problems."
"So we both agree that we have our individual reasons for not being...more than friends." I finished lamely.
"Could we just pick things up as though it never happened?"
"That's exactly what I wanted to ask you." I agreed, and yet....although I know that's the best possible outcome, it seems sad too. It cheapens what happened between us somehow; makes it something dirty that should be swept under the rug. I don't like how that makes me feel.
I'll always wonder what would have happened if Tonks hadn't walked in right when she did. I'll always wonder what might have been if he hadn't been a werewolf and I hadn't been Voldemort's bastard.
Practice was uneventful. Remus announced that Lorcan has a permanent spot for us at Scarlet Dawn at nine every week night. It's going to make my study schedule tight but I'll manage. The more work I have to do, the less time I'll have to sit around mooning over Remus. I spend far more time thinking about him than is strictly necessary. After all --- we're just friends.
After practice Remus and I went to visit Royal and Celestia and pitch the safe room idea to them. Their flat is in the wing opposite Basil's and a couple floors down. The place is entirely too small for a family of six but somehow they make it work.
Royal's five year old opened the door, looking up at us gravely with big brown eyes just like his father's. "Hi."
"Hi there Matthew." said Remus pleasantly. "How are you tonight?"
"Getting ready for bed."
"Ah, I see. Is your father home?"
Matthew's nine year old sister who also strongly resembles her father, suddenly appeared behind her brother clad in a pink nightgown and slippers. "Hello Mr. Lupin."
"Well hello there Melissa. My friend Kerri and I would like to talk to your father."
"Let them in." came Royal's deep voice from somewhere within.
Melissa swung the door wide to admit us. The flat was comprised of four small rooms with peeling, dingy wallpaper; a living room, bedroom, bathroom. and kitchen. The living room had a sagging couch of an ugly, mustard yellow paisley patterned apholstery popular decades ago. There was also a rusty card table and several folding chairs. Sitting at the table reading a battered copy of "The Standard Book of Spells, Grade Two." was twelve year old Megan. The eldest of Royal and Celestia's children, she was the only one who had inherited her mother's blonde good looks. She set down her book and looked at us with interest as we came in.
Royal pulled out a folding chair for himself as he pointed us to the couch. "Always nice to have company."
"Where's Celestia?" asked Remus.
"In the other room changing Michael's bandages. He still isn't completely healed."
"I'll be glad when he's old enough to take the potion. He just about gnawed through his own leg." said Royal grimly. He leaned over for Matthew and Melissa to kiss him good night and watched them disappear through the curtain that separated the bedroom from the living area. "Megan, why don't you make tea? You've gotten pretty good at it lately."
"All right." said Megan, getting up from the table, looking glad for an excuse to stop studying.
"So." said Royal, turning back to us. "Problem with Fenrir after last week?"
"What?" asked Remus as I inwardly cringed, knowing Royal was referring to the confrontation between the boys and Fenrir in my yard during the full moon.
"He doesn't know?" asked Royal, turning to me.
I squirmed uneasily. He had a way of making me feel like a little girl who had done something naughty at school.
"What don't I know?" asked Remus, looking at me in a way that had the exact same effect.
"Nothing happened." I answered quickly. "I didn't want you to worry."
"Worry about what?" asked Remus, now sounding slightly alarmed.
"Nothing." I insisted. "Nothing happened. "Basil and the others came by to...to visit on the night of the full moon. Fenrir showed up with some friends and...nothing happened. Really." Neither of them looked like they believed me. Remus looked more furious that I'd ever seen him.
"They lured Fenrir into your yard, at night, while he was in wolf form?" he asked in a dangerously low voice.
"They didn't 'lure' him. He showed up on his own." I answered, starting to get annoyed at how he was making me feel so defensive. "How did you know?" I asked Royal.
"Word gets around. It doesn't matter that nothing happened. Fenrir knows that there are people who like you and that he can use you against them if he wants. Now he knows where you live."
"He's never been remotely hostile to me." I said, looking from one grave face to the other. "I've never given him the slightest reason...."
"Do you think I did?" asked Remus, his voice cold with fury. I'd never heard him use that tone before. "I'm going to go have a chat with Basil later. I know the idea was his."
"Don't do that -- he'll think I tattled."
But Remus's eyes had a stubborn, steely look in them that brooked no argument.
"I gave them permission to come by."
"Cerridwyn Howard." said Remus in frustration, sounding alarmingly like my mother when she has a sulky fit on. "What did I tell you the first day we met? Stay away from Fenrir Grayback. You have to take him seriously or you are gambling with your life. Not everyone survives him. I should never have let you join that band."
It was the last sentence that did it for me. "Excuse me, " I began hotly, 'but......."
"Tea." said Megan, coming in with a tray. For her sake I bit my tongue and didn't say the things to Remus that I wanted to. He is not my keeper.
"Thank you Megan." said Royal. "Sit here beside me. Remus is right Kerri, take Fenrir serious."
"Seriously." Megan primly corrected.
Royal reached out and stroked her golden head, not seeming to mind having his grammar corrected by a twelve year old. "This one is just like her mother. Celestia almost graduated from Hogwarts, you know."
"What happened?" I asked.
"My parents ran out of money." said Celestia, emerging from the bedroom with a first aid kit in her hands. "They owned a business in Hogsmeade but they lost it in my fifth year and I had to quit school."
"What house were you in?"
"We're family then." I said eagerly, glad the conversation seemed to be securely steered away from Fenrir and hoping to keep it that way.
"Really?" asked Celestia as she took a chair on Megan's other side. "I wish Megan could have gone. She'd have done well."
"Were you and Remus at school together?" I asked curiously.
"I left during his first year. I wish I could remember him. I'll bet he was cute."
"He was horrible." said Remus. "My friends and I were horrible little brats. I really do miss those days."
"I knew it." I teased. "Like I've said before -- it's always the quiet ones."
"It would have been nice to send the kids to Hogwarts," said Royal, glancing at Megan thoughtfully, "but with three of them...."
"Four!" Celestia corrected.
Between them, Megan rolled her eyes, apparently bored with the old joke.
"Whatever. Anyway, Celestia teaches them as best she can. We're still paying on Megan's wand, but it's worth it."
I felt a sudden twinge of guilt. By all rights I should not have been able to attend Hogwarts either. Like Megan, my mother would never have been able to afford to send me either. The only reason I'd been able to go was because Dumbledore had offered to educate me in exchange for an equal number of years service to the school as a teacher.
Megan was as deserving as I was. So were other poor children born and raised right here in the country. Why had I been singled out and brought all the way from overseas? The only unique thing about me is that Voldemort is my father. If anything I'd think that would make me the least likely candidate for charity. One of these days I'm going to have to question Severus about it.
"My wand is hazel and unicorn tail hair." Megan clarified.
"I'd help you work with Basil and the others," said Celestia regretfully, "but with five children to look after, I don't have time."
"Four." Royal corrected.
"Well you never know what the future will bring." said Celestia slyly.
"Please no." said Royal with an exaggerated shudder of horror. "This place is crowded enough as it is."
"Kerri and I came over here to present you two with an idea she had." Remus cut in. "She's an outsider and you know what certain people here think of me so it isn't likely anyone would listen. You two, on the other hand are highly respected in this place. What would you think of setting up safe rooms against dementors?"
"I think we need to do something before they start taking away our wands." said Royal gruffly.
"They wouldn't really do that, would they?" asked Megan, whose wand was proudly laying across her knees. "Mama says it will never pass."
"It won't." said Celestia firmly. "Like the one that would have nullifed all marriages between werewolves and nonwerewolves. I was pregnant with Michael back then and it gave me a lot of sleepless nights. Never again. Nothing that extreme will ever pass."
"Not that it matters anyway, seeing as most people in here don't know which end of a wand to point." said Royal. "Good grief -- Megan is more adept than I am. It's good what you two are doing for those idiots....I mean...those young men. I was hoping it would mature them a bit, though. They put some kind of spell on one of the landings the other night that made the women's skirts blow up. Then they got on the landing below to watch."
"They did what?" I gasped in horror.
"Another thing I'll mention when I have my little chat with Basil." said Remus quietly.
"What do you think?" I asked Royal, not wanting Remus to get started on the Fenrir thing again.
"I think it's a good idea. I assume that you'll be able to start with the idiots, but the more people who are willing to give it a try, the better. One of my neighbors down the hall had their door splintered during the last attack. Still has a sheet hanging up where it used to be. I'll ask around and see if I can get any takers. If I do?"
"I'll magically fortify the doors against dementors, provided the owners trust me." said Remus .
"I won't ask Yestin then." Royal teased.
"He's a total nutter." said Megan. "He had a fit the other day because Melissa dropped a ball going downstairs and it almost hit him. It was an accident and we told him we were sorry."
"I wish he'd just go move into The Lair with Fenrir and be done with it." said Celestia. "He makes me uneasy."
"And Kerri...." said Royal significantly. He waited until I met his eyes. "You steer clear of Fenrir. He doesn't need a reason."
"Speaking of which, I need to have a chat with Basil." said Remus. "We need to be going."
"Please don't." I begged. "What's done is done."
There was a stubbornness about Remus's manner that I'd never seen before, a dogged sort of over-protectiveness. Why? Because he'd kissed me he now felt some chivalric sense of responsibility for me? Please. It was simply too much testosterone.
"You go on without me -- I'll get myself home." he said as we left the flat.
"If you insist on going up there to jump all over poor Basil, I can wait." I said, thinking I'd rather go with him and try to diffuse the situation.
"No. I'm sure you have studying to do." he said firmly.
His tone was politely casual but his words annoyed me. He was trying to dismiss me. "I don't need you to take care of me, you know. I'm nineteen not nine. I thought things weren't going to change."
"This has nothing to do with that." he said stiffly, and then softened his tone with an attempt at humor. "Gryffindor chivalry, remember? It never goes away."
His words didn't do anything to soothe my chafed feelings. I wanted to tell him that kissing me didn't warrant a lot of outdated Dark Age chivalric nonsense and restrained myself with difficulty. Was getting a point across more important than saving our friendship and getting back our old camaraderie? I decided that it wasn't.
"Are you sure you can trust me to get out to the car safely?" I asked with false lightness. I was being facetious and he knew it, but it was better than the other things I'd have liked to have said.
He didn't rise to the bait, but then I hadn't really expected him to. "Of course." he said with characteristic placidity. "Have a nice night."
Will things ever be the same again or has everything been ruined by a moment of careless stupidity? I'm never attending another unnecessary social function as long as I live, or getting myself in a position where I'm alone with a guy I like. From here on in it's just work, study, and sleep.
Just like my brother.
Tonks shook me awake first thing this morning. It didn't seem like I'd had much sleep since I'd crawled back into bed after work and a glance at the clock told me that it had only been three hours. "Kerri. There's someone her to see you. From the werewolf commune I think. They have a sick cat and it doesn't look very good."
"Oh no....." I groaned wearily, though I instantly got out of bed and pulled on a robe. "Who is it?"
"A man with two girls."
I wasn't surprised to emerge from the bedroom and that it was Royal with Megan and Melissa. Both girls looked very anxious and it was clear that the youngest had been crying. They were crowded around a box on the counter, looking somberly down at the contents.
"I know it's early but I thought of you right away." Royal apologized.
"What's going on?" I asked, peering in the box.
Inside lay a black and white cat. It was panting and foam flecked it's mouth. It had a glassy look to it's eyes that I didn't like at all. "When did this start?" I asked, carefully feeling it for obvious signs of injury.
"This morning we couldn't find her and went looking." Megan explained, her face very white but her voice remarkably calm. "We found her outside the gate."
"She means the entrance to the courtyard." Royal clarified. "Laying there like someone wanted her to be found."
His voice was calm too but I could sense his fury. It was like standing beside a ticking bomb.
"Is she going to be okay?" asked Melissa, pressing close to my elbow.
"Do you know what's wrong with her?" asked Megan.
I was quite certain that the cat had been poisoned but I didn't think it was exactly delicate to tell them that. I exchanged significant looks with Royal who shook his head in disgust.
"What can I do to help?" asked Tonks brightly.
"Have you two eaten?" I asked Megan and Melissa who shook their heads. "Make them some breakfast, Tonks." I said, hoping she understood that I wanted her to keep them distracted.
"Will do." she answered cheerfully. "Come on and help me. I'm Tonks, by the way and I can always use an extra pair or two of eyes to make sure I don't mess things up too much in the kitchen."
"Can I do anything?" asked Royal.
"It would save time if you set the cauldron to heating. It's beside the fireplace. I need to put together an antidote."
"Do you know what it is?" asked Royal, moving toward the fireplace.
"By the symptoms I'd say that it's any one of a certain family of poisons. Which one I can't say, but fortunately they're all very simple and can be cured with one particular antidote."
I hurried to the bathroom cabinet where our medicinal potion ingredients are kept. I knew I only had a small window of opportunity in which to brew and administer the potion before real damage was done. Already it was possible that some of the cat's organs were permanently affected.
By the time I returned to the other room, the cat's breathing was so labored that it could be heard throughout the whole house. Royal watched me mix together the potion ingredients while Tonks kept the girls busy making pancakes.
"I have to bring it to a boil and then cool it down fast." I told Royal. "And I need a dropper --- Tonks, can you hear me in there? ---- I think it's in the drawer next to the silverware."
"My hands are covered in batter." Tonks groaned.
"I'll get it." Megan volunteered.
"Ouch!" Tonks gasped.
I didn't look up to see what had happened. I could only deal with one crises at a time.
"Don't worry -- I'll clean it up." sang Tonks from the kitchen.
"Will she be okay?" asked Megan as she brought me the dropper. "The cat I mean --- not Tonks."
"I hope so. It depends on how fast I get this potion made." I told her honestly.
She looked down into the box and reached in to stroke her pet. "I want to be with her."
I gave her a swift, searching glance. She looked far from happy, but very resolute and calm. Not the type to fall to pieces. "All right. Keep petting and talking to her. Keep her calm."
Megan threw herself into the task wholeheartedly while I mixed ingredients as fast as I could. The cauldron was good and hot by the time I was done and it took a minimal amount of time to get it boiling. Once it had boiled for the crucial ten seconds I cooled it quickly with a mild freezing charm.
"Okay Megan. I need to pick her up and set her in my lap." I said as I filled the dropper full of antidote.
"Will she be okay?" asked Megan doubtfully. The cat was laying there like a limp rag and didn't look in any condition to be jostled.
"If I get the potion down her she should be fine." Putting the dropper in the pocket of my robe, I lifted the cat from the box. She was a dead weight, her head lolling drunkenly as I carried her to the sofa and set her in my lap. She was completely unresponsive which actually made my job easier as I've never seen a cat that likes to take potions.
It took affect almost immediately. Her breathing slowed to the point that Megan began to look slightly panicked. "Is she breathing?"
"It's slowing to normal. We don't want her to be breathing as hard as she was a minute ago. This is a good sign."
"Is she sleeping?"
"Yes. Don't worry -- she's alive." I assured her, recognizing her unvoiced fear. "Want to carry her back to the box?"
Beside me, Royal let out a sigh of relief as we watched Megan walk off with her charge.
"I'd like to keep her for a few days." I told him "I want to be sure all her organs are still functioning."
"Sure. Whatever you think is best."
"Does she have a name? I 'd like to have something to call her while she's living here."
Royal hesitated for a moment, looking slightly sheepish. "Fuzzy Wuzzy." he said in a low voice.
It sounded so funny coming from a great big man like Royal that I couldn't help but laugh. "That's a cute name. So....do you have any idea who did this?"
"There's a wizard family that lives on the other side of the complex. They don't like us much. We've had threats...some vandalism. It's a pair of brothers. I think their father died about a year ago so they're there alone now. The older one works for the Department for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures and he's an advocate for having all werewolves classified as dangerous creatures and put down." Royal smiled grimly. "I should go over there and snap him in two. How much do I owe you?"
"Owe me? Do you honestly think I'd charge? I was glad to do it. It isn't like I have a practice or anything --- I'm just a student. Besides, we know each other."
"She's okay?" asked Tonks, covered in flour as she returned to the room and looked into Fuzzy Wuzzy's box.
"Come and see." said Tonks, beckoning the girls back into the room. They crowded around the box and reached in to pet the cat, looking immensely relieved.
"Not too much." I warned them. "She shouldn't be crowded. She needs a good air flow."
"What was wrong with her?" asked Megan, withdrawing her hand.
"She got into poison." I answered delicately.
"She's okay though?"
"Yes. But I want to keep her for a few days until she's completely well."
"Can we visit?" asked Melissa.
"Thank you." said Megan.
"Yeah, thanks. " Melissa agreed. "And for the pancakes too. Dad -- come see. They have happy faces."
Royal took her hand and followed her to the kitchen. Megan remained where she was, looking at me with sober blue eyes. "Someone did it didn't they?" she said in a challenging sort of tone as though daring me to tell the truth.
"Yes." I admitted. "You need to keep her inside from now on."
"It's because we have....you know....we're sick."
"Fuzzy Wuzzy?" I asked, deciding it might be best to change the subject.
Megan smiled. "Melissa calls me and Michael that when we change into wolves. He and I both have it."
"And what do you call her?"
"Baldy. Well....next to us during the full moon, she is pretty bald."
"Did you finish breakfast?"
"I didn't feel like eating. I was too worried." she said solemnly.
"Well, she'll be fine. Go on and finish."
She entered the kitchen just as Royal emerged. "Do these neighbors of yours have a name?" I asked.
"That doesn't surprise me somehow. I've met the younger one. He showed up here at a party once and called us all mudbloods and werewolves. We had to pull Mel off him."
"Oh really? And to think I usually discourage him from fighting. I'll have Celestia send him over some cookies -- some to you too. Seems like we ought to do something for you."
"Oh no!" came Tonks's voice from the other room. "Whoops....well that's okay."
"It's wall to wall flour and syrup in there." Royal warned me.
"It wasn't your girls --- I'm sure it was all Tonks. She's good at messes but not cleaning spells."
So that was the way my day started. I think I'm going to find out all I can about the MacNair brothers. It just seems that there's no justice in the world. Here's this nice little family, not bothering anyone, and these people try to hurt them for no reason. It just seems like something should be done.
Maybe it's my father's insanity coming out in me....but I got back at Gustav Goyle with the flesh eating slugs....I wonder if I could even the score with the MacNair brothers too?
Author's Note : Last week this story reached the 200 review mark. Thanks to everyone who helped get it there.
Next Chapter : A confrontation with Fenrir Grayback at "The Lair".
Streak and Mel whipped around like lightning and launched themselves at Fenrir so fast that I barely had time to react with a shield charm. The boys hit the spell instead of Fenrir, rebounding off so violently that they were thrown backwards.
"What did you do that for?" Mel thundered at me, jumping to his feet.
"She saved your lives." Fenrir growled at him. "You be glad she stopped you, boy. If you'd touched me you'd be dead by now."
"Let's go." said Remus, his voice sharp with authority.
"Oh that's right." said Fenrir, who seemed hugely amused by the entire scene. "You never liked confrontation. I still remember you squalling and bawling for your Mummy."
This time it was me that got angry. "You know it takes a lot of courage to be able to attack a seven year old !" I snapped at him.
"How do you do that shield charm thing?" asked Mel of no one in particular. "I think we might ought to separate her from him this time."