You reached the top of the stairs and took a deep breath. Here goes…. you thought and lifted your fist to knock but the door swung open before your knuckles could make contact. You stood there, your arm in the air and a startled expression on your face.
“I expected the meeting to be inside my office, but if you prefer my threshold we can arrange something.” Dumbledore said with a smile.
“Um, no…sorry, sir….” You muttered, turning a bit red and walking into the office. The door closed behind you with a slam, causing you to jump. No one could say you weren’t fidgety.
The office wasn’t very big. The walls were covered with portraits of the past headmasters and mistresses. Sitting about on bookcases and tables were various types of knick-knacks that whirled, whistled, sang, and puffed smoke. You walked up the small staircase to the platform where his desk sat; behind that stairs rose from either side of the room to another platform that led into an alcove filled with books and possibly his room.
“Have a seat, Miss Crill.” You obeyed. “Now, what is it you needed to see me about? Your letter was quite frantic.” He said.
You scratched your head nervously, remembering the scribble of a letter you wrote to him on the train. You had been trying to hide it from Lily. When she caught you, you made up a story about forgetting to pack socks, wrote faster, and then gave your owl very confusing instructions.
“Well um…this is really hard to say, sir….” You said, twisting your robes in your hands.
“It’s always best to just say it out right,” said Dumbledore.
You nodded and looked up at him, but you found it easier to stare at your knees. You let go of your robes and they fell back onto your legs, crinkled. “Something really…bad, happened this summer.” You started and paused.
You were hoping he would already know. That he would stop you and say he’s known all along. You didn’t want to choke it out….
Your original fear of being kicked out of the school returned and your heart beat against your chest, so hard that you were sure anyone near could hear it. So many bad thoughts drifted through your mind as if on an endless movie reel.
Just spit it out and see what happens! your subconscious demanded. “Sir, I was bitten this summer.” you forced out quickly. Well if that didn’t sound stupid. Just bitten? For all he knew you could have been bitten by your cat.
Dumbledore leaned forwards; to your surprise he seemed interested. “By what, Miss Crill? I’m guessing it is not a normal bite or you would not be here in my office acting so nervous.”
“A…” you swallowed, “a werewolf.” You bit your lip, hard. You tasted a bit of blood in your mouth but ignored it.
Dumbledore leaned back and was silent. The silence pulled and yanked at your nerves until you finally looked up at him to find him smiling.
You were dumbstruck. Here you were, stressing out over whether you’ll be allowed to stay in the school or not and he’s smiling! Why was he smiling? Was he gonna take pleasure in kicking you out? “Miss Crill, I am well aware of your situation.”
Your mouth dropped open and you couldn’t manage to say anything coherent.
“Your mother sent me an owl explaining your situation before the start of term.” He explained, picking up the folded rice paper as proof.
“So….You’re not gonna kick me out?”
Dumbledore shook his head, laughing quietly. “Of course not. I have taught werewolves in the past and still do. I don’t plan to ever stop.”
You let out a sigh, feeling as if you’d been holding your breath the entire night. You felt totally relaxed suddenly, as if receiving an invisible massage. Then what he said triggered something in your brain. “Wait, do you mean you’re teaching someone else, right now, who is a werewolf…I mean, other than me?”
Dumbledore nodded. “Yes,” he thought for a moment, looking up to the ceiling, “and I want you to meet him. He can tell you what we do about full moons, since it’s a mutual topic.”
Your heart dropped so quickly you swore you could hear it splash into your stomach acids. You had pushed the full moon to the back of your mind as far as you could. It wasn’t a pleasant thought and it was one that constantly plagued you. “Who is it, sir?” Many names and faces were racing through your mind, trying to figure out who it could possibly be. A few people that acted beastly entered your mind, but you couldn’t think who it could be.
“Remus Lupin.” Dumbledore said, stopping your thoughts as if they had hit a brick wall. “It’s fortunate that he is in your house and year; quite the coincidence, yes?” He looked at you over his half-moon speckles, a twinkle in his eyes that confused you.
“Yea—er—yes, sir….” You frowned. Remus was part of the Marauders, the group that the girls had been drooling over. Sure, they usually left you alone and Remus never joined in the jokes. Lily liked him all right, but you had never really spoken to him. You were positive he at least helped plan their big pranks. Why else would he be friends with them, vice versa?
“Well, it has gotten a bit late, or else I would explain the procedure to you myself. But I think it’s time you returned to your house.”
You nodded and stood. “Thank you, sir.” You left, wondering how you were going to meet Remus and talk to him about this before the next full moon. It was only a few weeks away. Would you go to the infirmary? You definitely couldn’t stay in your dormitory. And then there was still Lily, she had no idea what was happening to you and you felt so…alone. Could Remus help you?
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