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Chapter 21: Chapter 21
I was used to this part of the year. Everyone huddled over notes, trying to remember various dates and wand movements. Hermione seemed to handle it the worst though, especially with all of her classes. People quickly learned not to bother her or the table she spread all of her work over. I wonder how she’s going to act before the O.W.L.s. Speaking of studying for the O.W.L.s.
“A sure sign of the end of the world if you two are studying,” I teased, standing over Fred and George.
“Ugh,” George mumbled, tossing down the notes he’d been reading.
“We need at least one O.W.L. or we have to repeat,” Fred said miserably.
“Don’t suppose you’d lend us that gift of yours?” George asked me.
“What classes are you planning to take next year?”
“As few –”
“Of course,” I said rolling my eyes. “Hmm…joke shop. Charms and Herbology. I’d go for Care of Magical Creatures too. I’m sure Hagrid will have some interesting things for N.E.W.T classes. Potions would –”
“No Potions,” they said firmly in unison.
“You didn’t even let me finish.”
“I was going to say you could learn easier out of a book if you followed the directions correctly, making Potions not worth the effort.”
“Anything would be better –”
“–than two more years –”
“Defense might be a good choice. I’m sure Lupin’s prepared you well enough. Transfiguration, although interesting, would be quite a bit of work,” I suggested.
“Care of Magical Creatures.”
“That’s two each.”
“Both of you in all four,” I said, interrupting their conversation. They looked at me like I was mad. “Four O.W.L.s will go over easier on your mother than two a piece.”
“Four it is.” They tossed the unrelated books and notes aside.
“How did you even get these notes?” I asked.
“Nicked ‘em,” they responded in unison.
“Of course you did.”
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I didn’t have much trouble with most of the finals, alright, I had no trouble. McGonagall’s did have some rather advanced questions on it, some of which I knew we hadn’t discussed in class. Defense Against the Dark Arts was the only one that provided any issues. Lupin had set up an obstacle course outside. We had to make our way through it, avoiding the traps the creatures tried to lure us into. I was doing fine until the end. A boggart. Thankfully no one else was able to see it.
The first thing I did was strengthen my mental barriers. Of course that had no affect, stupid boggarts. It quickly changed into Draco who opened his mouth to speak. I froze. If the boggart was really talking or not I had no idea, I was fixed on the eyes, Draco’s eyes. Accusing eyes. I always avoided looking Draco in the eyes, I was too much of a coward. I didn’t want to see that look in his eyes, a look that screamed ‘it was your fault.’ Here that boggart was looking at me with those eyes, it broke my heart.
‘Use your bloody wand,’ a voice that sounded suspiciously like Snape sneered. It snapped me out of my trance. “Riddikulus,” I said, aiming my wand at the Draco-boggart. I left, trying to put what happened out of my mind. This seemed to be the end of the course since Lupin was waiting here, grade book in hand.
“Well done,” he said kindly.
Potter was with him so I gave a quick nod, muttered “Thanks,” and left.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
There were whispered conversations all throughout the Great Hall. And I mean all throughout. Wondering what it was about, I sat across from the Weasley twins.
“What’s going on?” I asked immediately. They shared an awkward look.
“Er…Professor Lupin.” I went rigid, fearing the worst.
“Turns out he’s a werewolf,” Fred said.
“What happened?” Surely he would have been taking Wolfsbane, making him harmless, but something could have gone wrong.
“Er…everyone knows that he’s a werewolf?” George said unsure.
“Is that it?”
“Wait, you knew?”
“It was a bit obvious. Now answer the question,” I said briskly.
I frowned. “He didn’t attack anyone?”
“Well no, there was a bit about Sirius Black –”
“What about him?” I asked instantly.
“I guess they caught him, then he escaped again.”
“The Dementors are gone too, they tried to attack Ron, Harry, and Hermione I heard.”
“Yeah, crazy, I know.”
“How does Lupin fit into all of this?” I asked, trying to work out everything they were telling me.
“No idea. Slytherins found out about Lupin this morning –”
“How did they find out?”
“Er…I guess he let it slip.”
“Yeah, ‘slip’ that’s rich. You can tell he hates Lupin, the greasy git.”
“I have to go,” I said, standing up even though I’d only been sitting for five minutes.
“There’s a Hogsmeade visit today –” I didn’t hear the rest.
Quickly I headed to Snape’s office, growing more and more furious. The door burst open before I even touched it. I slammed it shut behind me. Snape glared at me from behind his desk.
“Knock before –” he started angrily.
“How dare you?!”
“Do not –”
“You let it slip? Is that what happened? You just ruined a man’s chance at a normal life because you slipped up?!”
“Do not presume to have all the facts,” Snape snapped at me.
“All the FACTS?! Which ones are those?! That you hated him?! That you tried before to tell everyone?!”
“What I do is not your concern.”
“You destroyed a man’s life! You may not have liked him but he was a good man,” I said furiously.
“Stop coddling Lupin.”
“Showing someone respect isn’t coddling!”
“He doesn’t deserve any respect, from anyone. I refuse to show him any.”
“He’s been one of the best teachers all year!”
“Yes, learning about monsters from another monster. How lovely it must have been,” Snape mocked.
“He is not a monster! He deserves to be judged on his actions, not on one thing he had no control over! You think he wanted to be like this?!”
“He deserves to be locked in a cage!”
“Oh, you’re one to talk, look at what you’ve done! Should we all judge you based on that?!”
“DO NOT COMPARE ME TO THAT MONSTER!”
“YOU’RE RIGHT, IT’S NOT COMPARABLE! LUPIN DIDN’T HAVE A CHOICE IN THE MONSTER HE BECAME! CAN YOU SAY THE SAME?!”
I stormed out of Snape’s office, slamming the door again on my way out. I headed up the stairs, filled with rage. Snape had no right. Lupin wasn’t a monster and he’d never have a normal life all because of Snape. The other students were right, Snape was a greasy, bitter old man. He didn’t deserve freedom, if anyone was dangerous in this school it was Snape. He should be rotting with the other Death Eaters in Azkaban.
I found myself in front of Lupin’s office. I knocked rather hard and didn’t wait for an answer before opening the door. Lupin was packing his belongings and looked surprised to see me.
“Don’t let him win.”
“Snape. The other students. Anyone actually, anyone who thinks less of you because of who you are.”
“How long have you known?”
“I see. I should thank you and Miss Granger for keeping it to yourselves.”
“You’re one of the best teachers here.” Lupin stared at me a minute before responding.
“I knew Frank and Alice Longbottom, not as well as I should have, but I considered them amongst my friends. I remember reading what happened to them in the Prophet the next morning. I remember feeling guilty that Neville would never know his parents like I had. And I remember hating the Lestranges. Voldemort was gone but lives were still being ruined, it shouldn’t have been that way. Not once did I think about you. I don’t think many, if any did.”
“Dumbledore told us, all the teachers, about your transfer to Hogwarts. He told us to watch you. I thought you would be like them, your parents. You look so much like your mother. On the train you surprised me. When you were sorted into Gryffindor and when we spoke in here you stunned me. Harry Potter and to an extent Neville Longbottom will always be judged by the brave acts of their parents. People will try and judge you based on yours. Don’t let them, you are nothing like them. Yes, you’ve made mistakes, everybody has though. You have so many options with your intelligence and character. Don’t ever let someone hold you back because of where you came from. If you keep working and keep your integrity intact, your last name won’t matter anymore because people will just see you and what you’ve worked hard for.”
“I’d say that this isn’t fair but I think we both know life isn’t fair,” I said with tears rolling down my cheeks.
“No. No it is not,” Lupin replied with a sad smile.
“You have more integrity than most of the people I’ve met.”
“Thank you. I would say the same goes for you.”
“Here everyone’s been telling me that being expelled reflects badly on me,” I said sarcastically.
“Ah, well,” Lupin said with a light laugh. “You’re still at Hogwarts, that counts for something.” Lupin stuck out his hand. “It was a pleasure teaching you this year, Miss Lestrange.”
“I enjoyed being your student,” I said shaking his hand. “I’m glad you didn’t poison the chocolate,” I added as an afterthought.
“I’m glad you had a plan for if I did,” Lupin said with a laugh.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
I wandered mindlessly down a few corridors before I came to a stop in front of a large window. I rubbed my eyes and sighed while staring out over the grounds.
“Sometimes I get the impression that you’re following me, Professor Dumbledore,” I said, not bothering to even turn around.
“We do seem to run into each other quite a bit,” Dumbledore replied as he moved beside me. “You know, there was once a boy from a family very much like yours. He too was sorted into Gryffindor and later disowned from his family. He also could not escape from the prejudice held towards his last name.”
“Doesn’t this story end with him becoming a Death Eater and killing thirteen people?” I asked in a bored voice.
“For a long time, I thought it did. I was very wrong, we all were. I am determined not to make that mistake again, Miss Lestrange, with you or anybody else.”
“Huh, not a Death Eater after all.”
“You don’t sound surprised.”
“When they came to question us, Lucius’s behavior, it was off. Narcissa’s too. I suspected they knew something. Didn’t realize what though.”
“You are rather perspective for your age.”
“Why were you really expelled from Durmstrang?” I turned to look at Dumbledore, surprised by his question. I considered lying to him, but the hell with it.
“I broke about half the school rules finding out how much of a greasy git Karkaroff really was. I didn’t want Lucius to know, so I took the expulsion. A friend promised he’d have someone watching Karkaroff full time so he wouldn’t get away with anything unpunished again.”
“I see,” Dumbledore said thoughtfully. “Thank you for your honesty. I do look forward to seeing you next year,” he said sincerely.
“I look forward to unraveling more of the mystery around you next year, sir”
Dumbledore nodded. “You know where to find me. I do enjoy late night snacks.”
As I watched him stroll down the hall, I couldn’t help but admit, out of all the people I’d met over the past year, Dumbledore was by far the strangest. But you know what? I kind of liked it that way.
A/N: Yes, that is the end. I might have been too lazy to think of a King's Cross ending, I don't think this is too terrible though. There's no Sirius Black in this story, I'm sorry if you were expecting him. Jade is more on the outside of the main Harry Potter events going on. Next year I promise she interacts with the trio a bit more. I'm actually submitting the first chapter of the next story right after this so check on my page for part 2, Jade Lestrange: A Death Eater's Daughter.
Leave a review, let me know what you think and thanks for reading (b'-')b