Chapter 3 : Carnal Competitors
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Naturally my parents didn’t know what to think or what to do. They were distraught. Werewolves were not looked upon kindly at all, and even now the prejudice still remains. It’s not as harsh as it was once, but I still get dark looks as I walk down the streets of Hogsmeade or Diagon Alley.
It was worse when I was young. Werewolves were evil creatures, creatures of the night and the spawn of the devil. Or at least, that’s how they were seen. Confidantes of Pluto and his army of evil creatures, we bore death and destruction with use where ever we went, or so the myths said.
The fact that my Turning had been a conscious act on the part of the werewolf made it so much harder for me to come to terms with it. Generally, werewolves were not pack creatures, unlike their original counterpart. They were territorial and carnal competitors, and other werewolves would prove to be nothing other than competition.
As such, most times when a werewolf attacked, it was to kill. It was not to maim, it was not to Turn, it was to kill. The werewolf that had bitten me, however, had done so with little more than a nip to the tender inside of my elbow. It had left me, laying in wet grass and mud, to carry out my conversion in loneliness. Perhaps it had thought I was too young to survive. Perhaps it liked the idea of playing with my life.
Not prepared to handle my sudden change, my parents treated me as a stranger… I was still their son, and they tried to convince me so, but there was still something different about them.
Their attitude towards me changed momentously; they would try never to anger me, wouldn’t let me stay at friend’s houses, insisted that everyone I was ever in contact with knew exactly what I was so that they couldn’t be accused of putting other people in danger by keeping my condition a secret. They acted so cautious, as if the slightest sudden move they made would result in me going berserk and attacking them.
Sure, I was a werewolf, but I was a kid, too.
When my letter came from Hogwarts, my parents became very antsy. They were stressed and anxious, even slightly more scared of what I might be capable of doing in the face of my imminent disappointment. Of course, my parents insisted on telling Dumbledore exactly what I was, and they had expected the offer of me attending Hogwarts to be immediately revoked as a consequence. They would never let a werewolf attend school at Hogwarts.
I certainly wasn’t happy about my predicament, but there was very little I could do to change it. I was told at a young age that my father had attended Hogwarts, and thusly I was automatically accepted. To learn that because of one fateful mistake I would not be attending a school that I had looked forward to going to since I was five was slightly distressing, to say the least.
“Ah,” Dumbledore mused, looking over his moon-shaped glasses as the three of us entered the room. “Hello Mr. and Mrs. Lupin. Remus,” he added, nodding his head in my direction.
“Good afternoon, Professor Dumbledore,” my father answered, taking his hand in his own. Dumbledore shook his hand briskly and gave him a friendly pat on the shoulder before he turned to my mother. He took her hand and planted a polite kiss on it, smiling.
“We… ah, we needed to speak to you, Professor,” my father told the matured old man, looking grave.
“Of course, of course,” Dumbledore assured him. “Do sit down.” He waved his hand invitingly at the chairs that had appeared just that very moment.
We all seated ourselves, and Dumbledore’s brow furrowed with concern. He knew something was wrong. Mother was fiddling with the hem of her sleeve in an embarrassed, scared manner, and my father was absentmindedly flicking his thumb against his thigh.
“May I ask you straight off, what is the matter?” Dumbledore asked, interrupting my parents’ inner musings. “Is it to do with Remus’ schooling?”
“I have always been amazed at how perceptive you are, Professor,” father said, smiling self-consciously. “It has a lot to do with Remus’ schooling, but there’s something else as well.”
“Oh?” Dumbledore enquired, raising his eyebrows.
“Yes,” my father continued. “Well, one night about a year ago, my son was bitten by a wolf.”
The room was silent for a moment, while Dumbledore took in the information.
I expected him to ask us to leave, to shun me and revoke my invitation to attend Hogwarts. What I didn’t expect was for him to turn to me, his old blue eyes dancing with mirth and say, “My, how unfortunate. It must have been terribly painful!”
It dawned on me then, that he had misunderstood. He believed I had just had an unfortunate accident, had no concept that the wolf that had bitten me may have been anything more than a wolf. Obviously, my parents had come to the same conclusion.
“No, Professor, I don’t think you understand,” my mother announced, concerned. “It wasn’t an ordinary wolf. It was a werewolf! Remus, he… he transforms, every full moon.”
My mother dissolved in a fit of sobbing, and my father placed his hand comfortingly on her back, rubbing. He looked morosely up at Dumbledore.
“We’re sorry you went to the trouble of sending out an invitation to attend Hogwarts for Remus, Professor, and we under--”
“Please, do not jump to conclusions,” Dumbledore interrupted, smiling. “I can assure you that I was already fully aware of Remus’ unfortunate accident when I organized the letters to be send. I am quite sure this misfortune will not affect his learning in any way.”
“Really?” my mother asked, shocked.
“Really. Remus is an extremely bright boy,” Dumbledore announced, smiling at me. “I’m sure he’ll do just fine here.”
My parents were extremely pleased by the conclusion of events, though still wary towards me. They were, understandably, instant fans of Albus Dumbledore. It seemed that his act of kindness had scored outstandingly well in their books. What did I care what they thought of Dumbledore anyway?
After all, he’d been kind and understanding enough to let me attend Hogwarts. He was certainly agreeable, I liked him, and he’d seemed perfectly nice.
That was all just icing on the cake though – I was going to Hogwarts.