Chapter 3 : Hogwarts?
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Eleven year-old Remus Lupin sat curled up on his bed, staring at a thick tome with frayed edges. He had read and re-read the book, Hogwarts, A History ever since his mother had told him, at age nine, that he would never be able to go there. The Headmaster, Professor Dippet, had owled them and said so. He couldn’t help but wonder what would have happened if his life was different. He rested a rough, scarred hand upon it and sighed. He was about to open it to read, for the ninth time, when his mother called for him.
The young werewolf jumped and, urged by the ecstasy of his mother’s voice, bolted out of his room. To his amazement, there was an old man sitting at the table. He was wearing dark blue robes, his long white beard trailing down. He was smiling at Remus, his eyes twinkling happily over half-moon spectacles. Remus saw a wand sticking out of his pocket. This man was a wizard.
A feeling of dread washed over Remus. A wizard. No wizard would be around him, not when they knew what he was. That was why they never had company over. There was the chance that they could find out about Remus, and the Lupins refused to let that happen. But instead of seeming nervous, his mother seemed completely elated.
“Remus!” She said excitedly, trying but failing to hide her complete joy. “This is Professor Dumbledore! He’s from Hogwarts!”
“”Nice to meet you sir,” said Remus automatically. As he thought about his mother’s words, however, he was completely bemused. Why was the Headmaster at his house? And to see him, no less? Was he there to tell Remus that he couldn’t come to Hogwarts? He already knew that. His mother next words, however, made him freeze and wonder, for a moment, if he was dreaming.
“Remus, Professor Dumbledore said that you could go to Hogwarts…”
Remus stared at her mutely. Surely she was wrong? Or joking? He was a werewolf, after all! They would never let him into Hogwarts… would they? He briefly considered pinching himself to see if it was a dream or not.
“Would you like to go to Hogwarts, Remus?” Asked the old man kindly as he gazed at the young boy.
“Yes!” Remus blurted despite himself. Dumbledore and his mother smiled, but his mother’s smile dropped a moment later and she looked troubled.
“But Albus, where would he go to… transform?” She was understandably uncomfortable talking of his transformations. It was not something they talked of, if they could help it.
“It has been taken care of. A house been built in Hogsmeade, and the villagers have been warned that it is haunted by rather violent ghosts. A tree, with a tunnel under it, has been planted on the grounds. Unless you know how to enter it, the tree will stop anyone from going near it. The teachers have, of course, been informed of his condition.” His mother nodded slowly, her eyes wide. “You do want to come, of course?”
“Yes sir!” said Remus quickly, not bothering to hide his eagerness. Dumbledore smiled and, turning to his mother, handed her a thick envelope.
“This is Remus’ letter. If you’ll excuse me then, I must get back to the school.” He nodded to Remus. “I’ll see you on September 1st.” With a large crack, their visitor departed.
Remus turned to his mother wide-eyed. He opened his mouth to say something, but he found that he couldn’t speak. He wordlessly pinched his arm as he had seen in a muggle movie. He was supposed to wake up now, right? His mother laughed at him.
“You’re going to Hogwarts,” She breathed, sounding dazed herself. After a moment she shook her head, as though to clear her thoughts, and walked into the other room, a large smile on her face. Slowly, Remus went forward to the table and gazed at the letter his mother had left there. This really wasn’t a joke. He was going to Hogwarts! His fingers trembling, he opened the envelope and read it slowly, savoring every word.
of WITCHCRAFT and Wizardry
(Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorc., Chf. Warlock,
Supreme Mugwump, International Confed. of Wizards.)
Dear Mr. Lupin,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all
necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on 1 September. We await your owl by no
later than July 31.
He quickly grabbed the next piece of parchment.
First-year students will require
1. Three sets of plain work robes (black)
2. One plain pointed hat (black) for daywear.
3, One pair of protective gloves (dragon-hide or similar)
4. One winter cloak…
“Come on, Remus! Get up!”
Remus spent a few seconds inwardly groaning at being forced to wake up, but in the next second he was bolting for his door, fumbling with the handle. Today was not an average day. Today was the first time ever he would be going to Diagon Alley. And the reason he was going was his favorite part. He had been accepted to Hogwarts!
His mother rolled her eyes and shook her head in dismay as the normally polite boy wolfed down his breakfast. He seemed to be inhaling it rather than eating. After a probably a minute or two-or less- he was finished, and sped up the stairs. His father, who had nearly been flattened by the excited boy, mumbled something about kids being too hyper.
Remus was nearly vibrating with joy as his mother handed his the floo powder. Unfortunately, running into a fireplace... well, that's not exactly the smartest thing to do. He stumbled and banged into the back of the fireplace, hearing his parents snicker behind him. Coughing, he managed to choke out his destination… Or he thought he did…
“Digon alay…” He coughed. The last thing he heard before he was thrown into the swirl of green was his mother groaning.
Remus coughed as he shakily stood up, dusting off his already tattered robes absent-mindedly. An ugly couple at a table near the fireplace snickered at him. He glanced around warily. His mother had warned him about mis-pronouncing things, and this definitely didn’t look like the right spot.
He brightened slightly as he saw a dark-haired child, probably his age, staring at the window moodily. He didn’t exactly look very happy, but he was his own age. He would be much more comfortable asking someone his own age than an adult.
He walked up to the boy timidly. He was always a shy boy. “Er, excuse me, but do you know where this is? I think I got lost in the floo…” His quite voice trailed off as the boy turned to look at him.
The gray eyes stared at him for a moment, and Remus felt very self-conscious. He knew he probably did look pretty odd. His lycanthropy had given him some gray hair, one of the physical traits of being a werewolf. He guessed it was because his wolf form had gray fur. With his bright, amber-gold eyes and slightly tattered clothes added to this, he wasn’t quite sure how he looked to others. But the seemingly stony boy surprised him after a moment by giving a warm smile.
“Trying to get to Diagon Alley?” He asked, cocking his head to the side, much like a dog. Remus nodded slowly. “You’re in the wrong place, right enough. This is Knockturn Alley. Dodgy place honestly, though my parents love it.” The boy rolled his eyes. Then he stared at a menacing-looking couple for a minute before standing up. He jerked his head to the door.
Remus cautiously followed the mysterious boy. He wrinkled his nose at the odd place he found himself on. A pale figure was carrying a bag of what looked like blood and walking by. The man, obviously a vampire stopped and narrowed his eyes at them. Vampires and werewolves didn’t exactly get along, and Remus had to fight down the wolfish urge to bare his teeth at the vampire. Thankfully, the pale man simply turned on his heel and walked away, and the wolf part of Remus’ mind howled in triumph at what it viewed as retreat.
He glanced back at his escort, and was relieved to see he had noticed little or nothing. He seemed intent upon finding his way back. He gave a rare smile as they saw a set of stairs leading up. He quickly pattered up them, and they ignored the suspicious glance people gave. The boy smiled exultantly at his accomplishment.
“Here we are!” He said happily. Suddenly he smacked his head, and Remus jumped in surprise. “Sorry, I forgot! I’m Sirius Black. You?” He cocked his head to the side again.
“Remus Lupin,” Said Remus happily. But before Remus could say another word a figure embraced him tightly.
“Remus! Where did you go?” Cried his mother. His father rolled his eyes at her and smiled at his blushing son. A look of envy crossed Sirius’ eyes, but it quickly left. A moment later Rose noticed him.
“Oh! I’m sorry, dear, I’m Mrs. Lupin.” She smiled at him and waited for his name.
“Sirius.” He replied simply, though with a charming smile. “If you’ll excuse me, I think I should go. My parents won’t be happy when they notice I’m gone… Well, if they notice.” He muttered the last part, though with his sharpened hearing Remus heard it well. But the smile was still stuck on the handsome boy’s face. “Well, see you at Hogwarts, Remus!” And with that, he bounded off into Knockturn Alley.
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