Chapter 9 : Hogwarts is Fighting Back
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The wind continued to howl outside, as he got ready for bed. It seemed like he had only just gotten asleep when he was awake again. Teddy was crying. Lupin drew his wand, remembering the nightmare he’d had a few weeks ago. He looked around the room but there was no dark figure lurking in the corner.
“Remus,” said Tonks sleepily.
“Don’t worry, I’ll look after him,” said Lupin, he was of course more than happy to do this, any excuse to hold his son again.
“Do you reckon he’s hungry?” Lupin asked realising that he knew nothing about the feeding habits of newborn babies.
“I don’t think so,” said Tonks, who was still groggy, “I had just fed him before you came back.”
Tonks got up out of bed and went over to the crib.
“Perhaps the wind frightened him,” suggested Lupin.
Teddy seemed happy once more, lying there in his father’s arms. Tonks cast a spell on the windows which muffled the sound of the raging wind outside and sure enough within moments Teddy had gone back to sleep.
The next day Andromeda filled them in on the routine for nighttime feedings and how to approach looking after Teddy, which proved to be very helpful indeed.
Both Lupin and Tonks would sit there for hours watching Teddy sleep or watching him bat his tiny fists at the air above him.
Teddy had now accumulated a great many toys, his favourite of which was a stuffed animal that resembled a wolf. Lupin found this to be extremely odd where as Tonks thought it was simply cute that wolves seemed to be Teddy’s favourite animal.
Nothing made Lupin happier than to simply see his son’s face break into a smile when he saw him. That scared feeling he had about his son being ashamed of him went away completely. Lupin couldn’t love his little boy more. He was so proud of him.
Teddy had now taken to changing his hair colour daily but his favourite appeared to be turquoise. He had also gotten very excited when the camera was produced. He seemed intrigued by it and he would always reach up and try and to touch the lens.
Teddy’s birth seemed to have taken them all out of themselves. They no longer felt the chill from the dark world around them. They had each other and that was all they needed.
Lupin sent photos of Teddy to Molly and Arthur and to Bill and Fleur. Molly said that she might pop in for a visit but Lupin didn’t think that was a good idea. It was not safe for any of the Weasleys to be outside their stronghold. They should only come in a real emergency.
He awoke late one morning, as he had been awake half the night with Teddy. Something had made him restless and no matter what Lupin did he couldn’t get him to settle down. He also had no idea what had what had gotten him so upset. He simply grabbed hold of his father and cried. He had been fed and changed. Lupin had played with him and he had even tried singing to him, all with no effect.
He walked into the kitchen and the headline on the Daily Prophet made him drop his cup of coffee.
HARRY POTTER BREAKS INTO GRINGOTTS!
It has just been confirmed by a spokes goblin for Gringotts Wizard Bank that early this morning, Harry Potter along with two accomplices broke into the bank. Potter infiltrated one of the oldest and most top security vaults. It is also believed that he stole a very valuable artefact from within the vault. The Gringotts’s Goblins made an attempt to apprehend Potter but he and his accomplices escaped and are still at large. It is believed that only an extremely powerful wizard with a deep knowledge of the Dark Arts could have broken into the bank. The wizarding world is reminded that Potter is still wanted for questioning about the death of Albus Dumbledore. If anyone has any information about his whereabouts we strongly urge you to contact the Auror Office immediately.
Lupin put the paper down. Harry, Ron and Hermione had broken into Gringotts to get something from one of the vaults and from what the article had said they had gotten what they were looking for. Lupin had no idea what treasures were hidden in the top security vaults. He knew that they must be really valuable or really dangerous.
So Harry, Ron and Hermione had broken into the Ministry and now Gringotts. On both occasions they had taken huge risks so they must have known what they were looking for was there. This was all part of the mission Dumbledore had left them with, the mission that had to be completed or Voldemort couldn’t be killed. Were they looking for a powerful weapon? Something that could beat Avada Kadvera? Something that would beat death itself? But he knew of no such thing, outside fairytales that is.
“Wotcher Remus,” said Tonks as she walking into the kitchen with Teddy in her arms. Lupin quickly hid the paper under the table so she wouldn’t see.
“Hi Dora,” he said smiling. “And how’s my little boy doing?” he asked Teddy as he patted him on the head. Teddy just gurgled happily back at him.
Tonks looked exhausted, clearly she had been looking after Teddy so he could have a rest. He decided he would return the favour.
“Why don’t you go and lie down? I’ll take care of him.”
“I think a few hours sleep would do me some good. I’m so tired,” yawned Tonks.
So she handed Teddy to her husband and went upstairs nearly tripping as she did so. Andromeda seemed to have gone out. Maybe she had gone shopping. Lupin hoped she would return soon, it was not a good idea for her to be out alone.
Lupin looked down at Teddy and his hair was now bubble gum pink.
“You know,” said Lupin, “you are getting more and more like your mother everyday.”
Teddy just looked up at him. His blue eyes fixed on Lupin’s brown ones. He then smiled up at the familiar face of his father. Lupin put Teddy down for a nap and Andromeda came back in the evening, her arms full of shopping.
“How’s my grandson doing?” she asked pleasantly.
“Oh, he’s fine. Had a bit of a restless night but he’s asleep now,” replied Lupin.
Tonks came down later that evening with Teddy. She looked a lot better after she had gotten some sleep. Lupin was beginning to feel a little tired himself. After feeding Teddy Tonks began to play with him and Lupin watched happily. Then he took over when Tonks went to get something to eat.
He placed Teddy on a blanket in the sitting room, took out the toy wolf that he loved so much and began to play peek-a-boo. Soon the house was filled with Teddy’s playful laughs. He then took the wolf from his father’s hand and began to chew on its ear. Teddy was getting good at holding things now.
Suddenly there was a knock on the door. It was far too late for any visitors. Tonks came in and snatched up her son and held him tightly in her arms as she brought him into the kitchen. Lupin took out his wand and pointed it at the door.
“Who is it?”
“Remus! It’s me, George Weasley,” said the supposed George. He sounded terrified and oddly enough excited at the same time. Lupin however did not open the door.
“I’m George Weasley, founder of the Weasley Wizard Wheezes along with my twin brother Fred but I’m the better looking twin of course! You, Remus John Lupin, saved
me when the slimy git, Severus Snape cursed my ear off the night we went to rescue Harry from his Aunt and Uncle’s. Remember how I felt holey after the experience?”
Lupin opened the door, it was indeed the real George Weasley. He stepped foreword into the house and glanced behind himself before he shut the door.
Tonks, Teddy and Andromeda had come into the hall to see what had happened. It was strange to see George without Fred. They were always together and George seemed somewhat incomplete without his twin. He was pale and yet his eyes were buzzing with excitement.
“Harry needs us! Hogwarts is fighting back!”
Lupin apparated into the Hog’s Head where Aberforth’s scowling face greeted him.
“What’s happening?” asked Lupin.
“The Potter boy is up at the school. He is finishing off some mission my dear brother left him with.”
Lupin looked around the room. Instantly on top of the mantle piece a large portrait swung open revealing a long tunnel. Lupin didn’t know there were other secret passageways into Hogwarts. He thought the marauders had discovered them all but here was one they had missed, the one that connected the Hog’s Head to Hogwarts.
There were smooth stone steps leading up the passageway. It was definitely the most comfortable of the Hogwarts passageways to move through. Brass lamps hung from the walls and the earthy floor was worn and smooth as if it had been used for many years.
Lupin ran through the passage in silence, his own footsteps echoing in the stillness. Saying goodbye to Teddy and Tonks had been the hardest thing he ever had to do. He couldn’t explain it but he some how knew that he would never see them again. He was the last marauder and he had been left behind to help Harry fight in the final battle. He just wished he had more time, time to see his son grow up and see the man he would become.
The stone steps began to rise now and ahead of him Lupin saw a door. He pushed it open. He did not recognise what room he was in but it was packed with people. He saw Hogwarts students and members of the Order. There were even past pupils like Oliver Wood and Angelina Johnson.
The room was enormous. It looked like a tree house or a garden shed. Different coloured hammocks hung from the ceiling. There were no windows at all and only one door at the other end of the room. Lupin wasn’t even sure he was in Hogwarts until he saw the three tapestries hanging on the walls. There was the black and yellow
Hufflepuff badger and the bronze and blue Raven of Ravenclaw and finally the gold and scarlet Gryffindor lion and as Lupin saw it a rush of school pride came back to him.
There were other objects in the room too, there were hundred of books crammed into the over flowing bookcases, there were broomsticks and Sneakoscopes and not to mention a large wireless in the corner. Lupin would bet anything that they were using it to listen to Potterwatch.
Lupin found Kingsley at the foot of the steps leading up to the main door. He didn’t have any idea what was going on either only that Harry needed them all because they were fighting back against Voldemort and his Death Eaters.
Then suddenly the door burst open and Luna and Harry appeared, both breathless as if they had been chased. Lupin met Harry at the foot of the stairs and asked him what was going on. Harry explained how Voldemort was coming, intent on attacking the school; and how Snape had fled
Harry then stared around, hardly believing his eyes that they were all there. Fred had explained how they had sent messages around to the Order and the DA, and they had passed the word around.
Harry then told him all that Professor McGonagall and the other teachers were evacuating the young students, and drawing up a battle plan in the Great Hall. No one seemed to want to miss the action, so there was a great rush as everyone headed up the stairs and past Harry. All were ready to fight, to claim Hogwarts back and to end the tyrannous hold Severus Snape had on the school. Soon the only ones remaining were himself, Harry and the Weasleys.
Ginny was having an argument with her mother. She wanted to stay and fight for those she loved, but her mother would not let her, reminding her over and over that she was underage and therefore had to go home with the rest of the younger students.
Lupin felt sorry for Ginny. She wanted to fight for the ones she loved. She wanted to fight for Harry and fight for a better world. Tonks had been the same way. But Molly was right she was sixteen, still a child and brave though she was the battlefield was no place for a child.
Then the last thing any of them expected to happen happened, Percy appeared, desperate to know if he hadn't missed the fight to reclaim Hogswarts from the rule of the Death Eaters. He stopped, however, when he spotted the rest of his family and a silent awkwardness descended upon them all. It was the painful silence which seemed to last forever.
Just to break the icy tension that had gripped the room, Fleur turned to Lupin and asked very loudly how Teddy was.
“I – oh yes – he’s fine!” shouted Lupin trying to drown out the silence with his own voice. “Yes, Tonks is with him – at her mother’s!” *1
There was still silence and Percy stood rooted to the spot staring at his family. Nobody was moving. Lupin showed both Harry and Fleur a photograph he had in his brest pocket, just to show them what Teddy looked like, and also to give them something to look at, so they didn't have to look at the Weasleys. Both Harry and Fleur lept at the sight of the photograph, as if it was a life-line. They smiled as they stared down at little Teddy waving his tiny fat fists at the camera.
Lupin nearly dropped his photograph as the silence was finally broken. Percy's resolve finally broke, and he appologised to his family for the way he had been acting since he left school.
Lupin stared down at the photo of his son, trying to block out what was being said. This was awkward enough for the Weasleys without him standing there listening to it all. Harry looked at the photograph too. They watched Teddy smile up at the two of them waving his arms in the air. Lupin wished he could hold him just one more time.
Ginny, under cover of her brother's reappearance tried to sneak out of the room, her mother, however, spotted this, and made her come back.
“Why doesn’t Ginny stay here, then at least she’ll be on the scene and know what’s going on, but she won’t be in the middle of the fighting?” *2 Lupin said. He had thought that a compromise would work the best. He heart went out to Ginny, he understood why she wanted to fight. Then again he was now a parent himself and he completely agreed with the side Molly was taking. No parent wants to see their child get hurt.
Molly agreed to this and Ginny did so too but begrudgingly. Then he, Molly and Arthur left Harry to do what he needed to and headed straight for the Great Hall.
They joined McGonagall, the other teachers and the rest of the Order on the raised platform in the Great Hall. Everyone was panicking and scared. Students were running around in their dressing gowns with petrified looks on their faces. McGonagall seized command of the situation and began the evacuations.
A great cheer erupted from the students upon being told that Snape had done a bunk. McGonagall tried to explain the procedure for getting the younger students out when she was cut off by a cold clear voice that filled the room. The voice sent a chill right through Lupin. Students screamed and clutched each other. The voice seemed to be right beside them, like some horrible monster rearing to attack. Voldemort was speaking to them, taunting them all, he did not want to spill magical blood.
Silence had descended on the hall now. It was too quiet, too silent. All that could be heard was Voldemort’s voice. Fear gripped everyone now, they became consumed by it as only the words from that evil voice pounded inside their brains.
Lupin thought Voldemort's words were empty. Voldemort didn’t have respect for the teachers, he’d no respect for anyone. As for not spilling magical blood and not wanting to kill anyone, a huge lust for vengeance ran through Lupin now, Sirius had died, Dumbledore had died and Mad-Eye and Ted too. Voldemort didn’t care about spilling their blood. Voldemort didn’t care about their lives, Voldemort cared about no one, not another living soul, except himself.
Voldemort's speech continued, demanding that they hand over Harry and all would be well. Rage poured through Lupin at this point. He grasped his wand tightly in his hand. How dare Voldemort ask for such of thing? How could he even believe that they would hand Harry over to him? If anyone even attempted such a thing Lupin was ready, ready to fight them, he would take on all of them if he had to. He would not let anyone, no matter who they were, lay a hand on Harry.
But as he looked around Lupin realised that he was not the only one feeling this way. Hundreds of students from Gyffindor, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw surrounded Harry, all with their wands pointed at the Slytherins. No one was going to lay so much as a finger on Harry, let alone take him to Voldemort.
McGonagall restored order in the Great Hall and Kinsley prepped them with the battle plan. Lupin would be leading a group of fighters out into the grounds along with Arthur and Kingsley.
Harry was still standing there in the Great Hall. He wasn’t doing anything. He seemed momentarily lost and perhaps a little frightened about what would happen to all the friends that had come here to fight for him.
Lupin looked down at Harry as he left the hall in search of whatever object Dumbledore had told him to find. Somehow, Lupin knew this would be the last time he would ever see him. He knew he shouldn’t be thinking thoughts like that but he couldn’t stop them coming into his mind. He just had this feeling that he was not going to make it out of here alive.
He watched Harry for a moment that seemed to last a lot longer than it should. He then instantly saw James in him with the jet-black messy hair and the round glasses. He saw Lily too, she was there in those bright green eyes just as she always had been. Then Lupin saw Harry himself, the brave boy that he had met at the age of thirteen, the boy that no matter what the world through at him he never gave up, he kept on fighting even when all hope seemed to be lost, even when it seemed to be the end.
“Remus!” shouted Arthur as a large group assembled to his left with Kingsley amongst them. “Come on! We have to go into the grounds and fight off the Death Eaters!”
Lupin then tore his eyes from Harry and then headed down to group of fighters. He let them out of the Great Hall, away from the floating candles and the enchanted ceiling. He then pushed open the great oak front doors and everyone stopped.
They saw hundreds of Death Eaters approach them and they had brought with them several large towering giants that cast long dark shadows around anyone that stood within twenty feet of them. Then creeping out of the forest were large shadows with many long hairy legs.
Lupin stared forth at the battle ahead of him as his heart pounded against his ribs. He placed his hand over his heart where the photo of Teddy lay in his pocket. He, just like James, would give up his life to protect his son. He would gladly die for Teddy and for Tonks and for Harry. He would gladly lay down his life for a world in which all of them would live a happier life. He now knew why he was the last marauder, he was the last one so he could fight in this final battle and fight for Harry, Teddy and Tonks and fight for the end of Voldemort and for the triumph of good and for the power of innocence.
He then raised his wand and the others followed him and with Kingsley and Arthur either side of him and with James and Sirius with him in spirit he sped off into the night and into the final battle.
Quotes taken from the UK versions of the books. Copyright JK Rowling.
*1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Chapter 30 The sacking of Severus Snape pg 485
*2 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Chapter 30 The sacking of Severus Snape pg 486
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