Chapter 3 : Potterwatch
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He stared up at the moon, it was nearly full, he had four days before he would be forced to transform. When he was a child, Lupin would look up at the fast approaching full moon and just wish that this month it would not ripen to full but retreat back down to a small crescent shape. Of course it never did that, but at the time he was young enough to believe that if he wished hard enough the moon would simply just disappear, haunting him no more. But Lupin was grown up now and he had long since given up on such childish things. You can’t simply change something by purely wishing it to be different.
The stars twinkled, lighting up the brilliantly clear sky. It would have been a wonderful sight to see if the moon didn’t torment him so much. He looked up hating every inch of the night sky. Things always seemed a lot worse at night. Hope seemed to disappear with day-light, and the darkness always brought with it those dormant bad thought one locked at the back of one’s mind. But then he remembered something Dumbledore had once said:
“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”
It was not that he was afraid of the moon per say. It was more that he was afraid of himself and what the full moon did to him. Pain aside, it wasn't easy to turn into a monster, and have no control over what you are doing. You could be attacking your best friend and you wouldn’t know it.
He gazed up at the stars once more. They flickered in the darkness, as if they too were in on the joke, laughing at how much the moon tormented him. Quickly dismissing this, Lupin’s thoughts then left the sky and fell on Harry. He was out there somewhere, along with Ron and Hermione. They were isolated and cut off from their families, and the rest of the world, as they faced magic none of them had ever encountered or imagined. Lupin wanted to help them, after all, Harry helped him more than he knew. Lupin, who knew what it was like to be cut off from the world, lost and alone, wanted to do something to tell Harry that he was not alone, that they were all with him and that they all had faith in him.
“Can’t you sleep?” came Tonks’s groggy voice, out of the darkness.
“No,” replied Lupin quietly.
“Too much on your mind?” asked Tonks, who was becoming more awake with each passing second.
“You could say that,” said Lupin.
Tonks got out of bed, crossed the room and joined him at the window. The gentle breeze cooled her face and the smell of the night air rushed around her. The two of them stared up at the stars in silence for a while, soaking up every detail of the night sky, as if they would never see it again.
“It’s a beautiful night,” said Tonks, “doesn’t the moon look magnificent?”
She didn’t realise what she had said until it was too late. Lupin remained silent.
“I’m sorry, Remus, I didn’t mean -” she said apologetically.
“It’s alright,” said Lupin, his mouth barely moving, “you’re right, the moon does look…nice…”
He only said that to reassure her. To him the moon was everything but nice. It was a raging monster, tormenting him wherever he went, constantly haunting him and reminding him of what he was.
“So what’s on your mind?” Tonks asked changing the subject. Although, she had a shrewd idea of what the answer would be.
“Harry,” said Lupin after a few moments.
“Remus, I’m sure he’s OK. He has Ron and Hermione. The three of them will look after each other.”
“I know,” replied Lupin, “it’s just – I want to help them, to let them know that I am with them all the way and that I have complete faith in them, we all do.”
"I'm sure they know that already," smiled Tonks.
“But, you see, I know what it’s like to be alone in the world. It can nearly destroy a man and they will be facing magic more powerful than anything they have ever seen. They will need all the help they can get. It could make all the difference if they knew we were with them in spirit,” explained Lupin looking up once again at the sky.
“They know we are with them, Remus. Don’t worry about them, they are all right, they have each other, and, as you said before, there is nothing that the three of them can’t do. They are unstoppable when they put their minds to it,” Tonks assured him.
“Just look at what they have done," she added quickly, trying to put his mind at ease. "In their first year they broke through all those enchantments to get to the Philosopher’s Stone. They were only eleven and they could do that. Think of what they could do now? Sure Harry killed the Basilisk, fought off hundreds of Dementors, won the Triwizard Tournament and has faced You-Know-Who so many times now that it’s hard to keep track. He’ll be OK, Remus, don’t worry.”
Reminding him off all the things Harry had done soothed Lupin's troubled thoughts a little. Harry had faced more danger than half the Order. He would be OK. But still, Lupin wanted to help him. Just to talk to him, if only for a minute, just to let him know that everyone was behind him.
“I think you could do with getting some sleep,” said Tonks after a while, taking his hand in hers and bringing him back to bed.
She was right, of course; his eyes were aching with tiredness and his mind was longing for a good sleep. So he took one last look up at the moon, before closing the curtains and getting back into bed.
Kingsley had called an Order meeting the next day. However with half the Order running around Britain on various different assignments it would be impossible for everyone to attend the meeting.
They also had to change headquarters, as the Burrow was no longer safe. So they had placed a Fidelius Charm on Molly’s Auntie Muriel’s house and held their meetings there. It was the only protective enchantment that worked against Death Eaters now. Arthur was the secret-keeper.
Lupin and Tonks approached the door and knocked.
“Declare yourself!” came Molly’s voice from within.
“It is I, Remus John Lupin, werewolf, with my wife, Nymphadora Tonks. Your husband, Arthur Weasley, told us the location of this stronghold and we have come here today for the meeting of the members of the Order of the Phoenix,” said Lupin painfully, getting tired at having to recite all that off every time he came to visit.
The door clicked open and Molly greeted them, “Remus, Tonks, come in, come in. You’re just in time. I’ve just made a pot of tea.”
Both followed Molly down the hall and into the kitchen. It was a large room, with a fireplace and a long table with mismatched chairs at which; Bill, Fleur, Fred and George were sitting.
Lupin greeted them all and sat down. He noticed that Molly’s enchanted clock was sitting on top of a couple of old newspapers on the kitchen counter. She brought it with her everywhere. All nine hands were pointing to Mortal Peril, although, it had been like that for more than a year. Even still, it made Lupin feel uneasy to look at it.
“We are just waiting on Arthur and Kingsley and then we can start the meeting. No one else was available to come. Arthur has just gone to get a report off Minerva McGonagall about the situation at Hogwarts and on what Snape is up to, and Kingsley is in Downing Street, he’s still protecting the Muggle Prime Minister,” explained Molly, handing both Lupin and Tonks a mug of tea.
Lupin didn’t dare ask if any of them had heard from Ron, they must be worried enough as it is. Instead he turned to George, “How’s your ear?”
“You know me, Remus, I’m a fighter! I’ll live!” smiled George as he made an attempt to fake a sigh.
“That’s our George!” laughed Fred, “he’s a real hero, get it, hearo!”
Lupin rolled his eyes and Tonks laughed. Molly shot a warning look in the twins’ direction and then Bill hastily changed the subject.
“We’ve bought a house,” he said.
“That's great!" exclaimed Tonks. "You must be delighted. Where is it?”
“It’s Shell Cottage on the outskirts of Tinworth. We have placed a Fidelius Charm on the place so it’s safe. I’m secret-keeper. I’m telling you both the location,” he indicted to Lupin and Tonks, “in case there is an emergency.”
Lupin and Tonks both nodded. But both secretly hoped that the time would never come when they would have to come to Shell Cottage in an emergency.
“On the outskirts of Tinworth?” said Lupin brightly, “you must have a lovely view of the sea.”
“It eez beautiful,” said Fleur, “you can zee ze ocean from ze back of ze ‘ouse. C’est magnificique!”
In the corner of his eye Lupin saw that Arthur’s hand on the clock had switched from Mortal Peril to Travelling, and sure enough about a minute later there was a knock on the door, which prompted the hand to revert back to Mortal Peril.
Arthur walked into the kitchen, and everyone knew from the gloomy expression on his face, and the way he was twisting his hat in his hands, that they were not about to hear good news.
“Ginny broke into Snape’s office,” he said finally.
“What?” said Fred, slopping tea down the front of his robes.
Arthur nodded gravely, “She tried to steal the sword of Godric Gryffindor. Neville and Luna were with her too.”
“Did they catch her, Dad?” asked Bill immediately.
“Yes,” Arthur said grimly.
Lupin’s blood ran cold at the thought of Ginny being brought to the Carrows.
Molly instantly dropped her mug of tea. It crashed to the floor shattering into a million pieces. “They didn’t…they didn’t send her to the Carrows, did they?” she asked her voice trembling.
“No, Minerva intervened and I am very grateful that she did. They were given detention with Hagrid in the fore-” Arthur broke off, clearly he had not intended telling his wife the bit about the forest.
“The Forbidden Forest?” gasped Molly.
Arthur nodded and Molly’s face drained of colour. “But there are werewolves in there!”
Then realising what she had said she gave an apologetic look towards Lupin. He didn’t mind. He was well used to throw-away comments like this.
“There are no werewolves in the forest, Molly,” Lupin replied kindly, “don’t worry, Ginny will be with Hagrid and nothing in that forest will harm her as long as she is with him.”
“I would rather have her in the forest than at the mercy of the Carrows. Minerva said they have taken to performing the Cruciatus Curse on students that get detention,” said Arthur, shuddering at the thought.
“But what on earth possessed Ginny to break into Snape’s office?” asked Bill.
“Dumbledore left Harry Gryffindor’s sword in his will and Ginny was trying to get it for him. It’s rightfully Harry’s now,” explained Mr Weasley.
“Harry told her to -” said Molly, shocked that Harry would ask her daughter to do such a thing.
“No, Harry asked her to do nothing of the sort. But Dumbledore left Harry that sword for a reason and it might be crucial in his mission. Ginny only wanted to -” Arthur trailed off as there was a knock on the door.
He then turned to Lupin and Tonks and changed the subject, “Did you hear that there were intruders in the Ministry yesterday?”
“Intruders? What did they do?” asked Tonks intrigued.
But Arthur’s answer was lost as Kingsley entered the room. His expression was vague, unreadable. Lupin wasn’t sure if they would hear any good news.
“Any more word on the intruders?” Arthur asked Kingsley, as the latter sat down at the kitchen table and helped himself to tea.
“Yeah there is, as a matter of fact. We know who it was. The most unlikely trio, they seemed to be working together, the whole thing is very strange,” explained Kingsley.
“’O wos it?” asked Fleur.
“Mafalda Hopkirk, Reg Cattermole and Albert Runcorn.”
“But they work for the Ministry. You can hardly call them intruders now,” injected Arthur.
Something then clicked in Lupin’s mind and excitement rushed through him. “That’s true Arthur, but what if it wasn’t Hopkirk, Cattermole and Runcorn? What if it was three other people impersonating them? What if it was Harry, Ron and Hermione?”
It was hard to read everyone’s expressions. It was as if they were all caught between excitement and shock.
“Why though?” asked George, “I mean breaking into the Ministry, that’s suicidal, particularly for Harry, Mr. Undesirable Number One.”
“It was probably part of this mysterious mission Dumbledore left them with. Always knew Dumbledore was mental,” said Fred, he then moved to mimicking Dumbledore’s voice and said, “Harry you have to go and break into the Ministry of Magic while it is full of Death Eaters and Aurors all intent on killing you.”
But Molly shot him an angry look. This was not the time for joking around. This was serious.
“I saw Runcorn and Reg yesterday,” interrupted Arthur, as if he had only just remembered. “I was talking to both of them. I didn’t take any notice of it at the time, but they didn’t seem like themselves and I could have sworn that Reg nearly called me Dad.”
“It was them!” exclaimed Lupin excitedly. Any information that confirmed that Harry was alive was brilliant news in his opinion.
“What happened Kingley? Did they get caught?” asked Molly her face growing paler by the second.
“Well there are all sorts of rumours flying around. But this much is confirmed. They broke into the Muggle-born Registration Commission, stunned both Umbridge and Yaxley and freed about ten Muggle-borns that were lined up for interrogation,” said Kingsley.
“Umbridge? As in Dolores Umbridge? That old hag that tried to teach us Defence Against the Dark Arts?” asked George, smiling at the thought of Ron stunning her.
“The very same,” replied Kingsley, “there was something else, one of them broke into Umbridge’s Office, but as far as I know nothing was taken.”
“Why on earth break into Umbridge’s Office?” asked Tonks, the reason for such a thing seemed beyond her.
“We can only guess but it must have been for something important. They took a huge risk entering the Ministry. They were lucky to get out in one piece,” sighed Kingsley.
“Fine way things are going,” said Molly, her face beginning to get back a little colour. “First Ginny breaks into Snape’s Office and now Ron, Harry and Hermione have broken into the Ministry. Some one will be breaking into Gringotts next!”
Bill laughed at the idea of some one breaking into Gringotts. The security had been tightened so much that no one could possibly ever even get in the front door.
They spent the rest of the meeting discussing the Muggle-born Registration Commission and the fishy deaths and disappearances throughout the country.
Two hours later the meeting had finished and you could hear the shifting of chairs and the clinking of mugs as everyone got up. Bill and Fleur were the first to leave. It was decided that it would be best not to leave all at once, in case anyone was watching. Lupin had a funny feeling that the Ministry was tracing their every step.
Tonks was talking to Kingsley and the twins. Lupin sat down in an armchair in the sitting room. Then he took to staring absentmindedly around. Everything was old and there was even an old dusty smell lingering in the air. Faded photographs hung on the walls and old chipped china ornaments were hidden between the dusty books in the bookcase in the far corner of the room. There was a pile of old Daily Prophets on the floor by the coffee table. However the place was spotlessly clean. Obviously Molly had given the place a thorough scrub down.
Lupin now thought of Harry, Ron and Hermione and why they had broken into the Ministry. Was it simply to free Muggle-borns or was there something more? Umbridge’s Office…He tried to think of what possibly could be in there that they needed so desperately. His first thought was a new piece of anti-werewolf legislation that would make his life even more miserable. But then forced himself to think more realistically, maybe they needed to get information about something or some one.
“I ‘ear you want to help Harry,” said George.
This statement pulled Lupin from his thoughts. He nodded in reply.
“Well, then we have a little proposition for you, Remus my friend,” said Fred brightly.
“Potterwatch!” said George,
“Potter-what?” asked Lupin, completely confused.
“Potterwatch!” repeated George again, “it’s this idea we have.”
Lupin looked at George and then to Fred and finally to Kingsley. He was utterly bewildered as to what they were talking about.
“We have been thinking about transmitting a pirate wireless broadcast updating the community on what’s really going on in the world,” explained Kinsley.
“And Tonks just told us that you want to let Harry know that everyone is behind him, one hundred percent. This is how you can do it! On Potterwatch!” added George excitedly.
“We’ve got our friend, Lee Jordan to be the host. You remeber him, don't you?" Fred asked Lupin. "The chap that would not shut up in your DADA class. He used to commentate the Quidditch matches too. He’s perfect for the job."
Lupin smiled reminiscently, as he remembered Lee’s uncanny ability to keep talking, even after he had been told several times to be quiet. He concurred with Fred that Lee was definitely made to be on the radio. Now, he wanted to jump at the idea of this wireless broadcast except that there were many reasons why the whole thing wouldn’t work.
“Well,” Lupin began, “if we did do a broadcast, that means that anyone, including Death Eaters, would be able to hear it, and not to mention what will happen when they figure out where the broadcast is coming from and come and kill us off, one by one.”
“Don’t worry,” said Kingsley smiling. Lupin was getting a little tired of people telling him not to worry. The whole wizarding world was at war, that definitely was something to worry about.
“We’ve it all figured out,” Kingsley continued, “Obviously the hosts won’t use their real names. Also, you can only tune into the broadcast when you say a special code word. We could use words connected to the Order, like Albus or Mad-Eye or something so there is no way the Death Eaters could figure it out. We would also have to do our broadcast from a different location each time.”
“It will drive them mad not being able to find us!” laughed George. “So Remus, will you join our Potterwatch family?”
Lupin smiled, “Yes. But we will have to think very carefully about how we are going to go about doing this. The Wizarding Wireless Network can easily track down pirate signals.”
“We just need to find a location. Then we will worry about that,” said Kingsley.
“What do you think of the name? Potterwatch? Lee came up with it. I think it suits the whole thing nicely, don’t you?” said Fred winking.
Lupin felt a lot better now that he was doing something that would finally help Harry. However when he and Tonks reached her parents house the next day, his spirits changed.
Ted and Andromeda were in the sitting room, both looking grim. Andromeda's hair was sticking out and odd angles, and she was crying silently.
“What’s wrong?” asked Tonks, her voice full of concern.
“Dora,” said Ted solemnly, “Dora I am going to have to leave for a while.”
“What? Why?” asked Tonks, shocked at the idea of this.
“I’ve just heard that the Death Eaters are in the area searching for Muggle-borns. I refuse to register as one point blank. But, that lives me with only one option: I’m going to have to run for it.”
“No! We'll hide you! We'll protect” said Tonks passionately. She had known that eventually he would have to leave but she wasn’t expecting it to be this soon.
“There are no other options, Dora,” said Ted calmly, “now I need you to look after your mother while I’m gone. She should be alright seeing as she is a pure-blood and you’ll be OK too.”
Tonks felt as if she was being treated like a child, her father telling her to look after her mother while he went out. She didn’t want to have to say goodbye. She didn’t know when she would see him again.
“I don’t want you to go,” said Tonks hugging her father, feeling more and more like a little kid.
Lupin felt as if he was intruding in on something private so he headed into the kitchen to make some tea, leaving Tonks and Andromeda to say their goodbyes to Ted.
It was not right that families had to be torn apart over things like this. Muggle-borns, pure-bloods and half-bloods: what was the difference? There was no real difference. They were all people. They all had the right to life just as much as anyone else.
Suddenly Lupin was dragged out of his broodings by a soft tap on his shoulder. Jumping back to reality, he turned around and, to his surprise, found Ted facing him.
“Remus,” he began, “I owe you an apology for the way I’ve acted.”
Lupin stopped him there, “You have nothing to apologise for Ted. It was perfectly understandable.”
Ted reached out and shook Lupin’s hand. “My daughter is lucky to have you. You’ll look after her, won’t you?”
“Of course,” replied Lupin, himself sad at the thought of Ted going. They had, perhaps, not always seen eye-to-eye, but Ted was a good man, a good wizard and he shouldn’t be forced to run away like this.
Without another word, he was gone. Lupin wasn’t sure if he would ever see him again. Death Eaters have Snatchers out all across the country trying to capture Muggle-borns on the run. And Lupin knew all too well how hard it was to elude Death Eaters forever.
He came back into the sitting room finding both women teary eyed. He doubted whether Tonks and Andromeda would be safe. It’s true that Andromeda was indeed a pure-blood but she had disobeyed her family when she married Ted, so, to them, she was just the same as a Muggle-born. Tonks would be in trouble too, she had married him, a werewolf. He remembered, on the night they had rescued Harry from his Aunt and Uncle’s, how hard Bellatrix had tried to kill Tonks. In these troubled times he doubted whether anyone was safe, except perhaps maybe the Death Eaters themselves.
Lupin wondered who would be next. Who would they come after once they had all the Muggle-borns? Would it be werewolves next? They did indeed have their uses to Voldemort but what happens when he no longer needed their services? Would they too be wiped out? There was a list of every werewolf in the country at the Ministry, it would be all too easy for Voldemort to track them down and kill them one by one. Lupin was not concerned about himself but for Tonks’s safety. He couldn’t bear the think of what might happen if Bellatrix got a hold of her.
Even still, it was not right that families got torn apart like this, over something that shouldn’t really matter. Dumbledore had it right, Dumbledore knew all along that,
“It matters not what someone is born, but what they grow to be!”
Quotes and references from:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 36: The Only One He Ever Feared
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Chapter 26: The Cave
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