Chapter 17 : Lupin's Confession
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Remus Lupin was sitting next to her cot, his back hunched over and his head buried in his arms. His elbows were resting on the smooth railing for the bed…his coarse hands dangling over the side. Kaily managed to lift her sore arms and extend them. The girl’s long, narrow fingers began caressing Lupin’s limp hand. The man, startled, jumped backwards at first but quickly calmed down. His eyes were red and swollen from crying and his face was wan and pale.
“Kaily…” he choked out, “I owe you explanations.”
The teenager was unable to muster up any energy to reply. She merely stared at the ex-professor in a tired expression.
Lupin let out a quick, breathy nervous laugh before continuing. “I thought we lost you. You’ve been unconscious for several weeks.”
Kaily’s voice was scratchy and weak as she asked, “What day is it?”
Lupin hesitated briefly. “It’s June fourteenth, at around ten in the evening. Tomorrow is your seventeenth birthday.” The man swallowed. “It’s been exactly six years since Fred and George flew by your window.”
The wounded teen looked up at the man in surprise. Then a sudden reality came upon the teen. “Is Fred okay? What about Snape? How’s Tonks? What about-”
Lupin held out his hand to stop her. “They’re all doing fine. The Weasley twins have come in here quite often to see how you’re doing. Tonks is at home with Teddy and his grandma. As for Professor Snape… he’s been reassigned as Hogwart’s Headmaster.”
Relief flowed through Kaily’s body. Her eyes wandered to her strands of cherry-red hair lying to the side. “What happened to me?” she asked slowly.
At this question Remus looked nervous and almost scared. His luminous silver eyes glistened as he inhaled a gulp of air. “I need to tell you everything.”
A clock in the distance ticked away several seconds of silence. Lupin tightly sealed his eyes as if preparing himself for something. Kaily noticed that a quarter moon sparkled with mystery out a window opposite her. Finally the man gazed at the teen.
“Let me start from the beginning… one month before Voldemort killed off Harry’s parents… on the exact day you were born. On June fifteenth Dumbledore offered James and Lily a present… a present that would be highly valuable if anything ever happened to them and leave their baby boy parentless… a gift that would always be loyal to the good and watch over their child and his friends. That gift… was a phoenix.”
Kaily stared in a confused state. Lupin ignored her perplexity and went on. “Lily and James knew that they would eventually be found by Voldemort, and they also knew that they would do everything in their power to save Harry. They knew that the phoenix would definitely come in handy.
On the day after James and Lily were murdered I ventured out to their house and rummaged through the wreckage alone. I was surprised to find a baby phoenix and a letter attached to it. The letter said that whoever found the creature was assigned to take care of it, and no one else could know. The letter also contained a curse to make… to make…” At this tears poured out Lupin’s moonlike eyes. He continued with breathless sobs. “…to make the creature feel alone.”
Kaily was taken aback. “Why? I thought they wanted the phoenix to help? Why would anyone make up that rule?”
Lupin sobbed even harder. “I’m sorry. I’m so… so sorry.” A couple minutes went by. Lupin cried into his sleeve. After a while Remus regained his self control and blew his nose. “It was all a test. Dumbledore wanted to test the phoenix’s loyalty. He needed to know if the creature would have a pure heart… even if it seemed that its caregiver hated the thing. Dumbledore wanted to make sure that the phoenix would remain loyal to the good side no matter what. I was her caregiver… I was unable to fight the curse. And, you, Kaily, are the phoenix.”
Kaily gawked. “So… I’m a… I’m a…”
Lupin nodded. “Yes.”
Kaily took in a deep breath, “I’m a bird?”
Lupin let out a small chuckle. “I guess you could say that.”
“But how could that be? I was in an orphanage my whole life! I was always human!”
Remus shook his head. “No, no… you see, Lily put a charm on you. The charm made you human for the rest of your life. You probably are still wondering why you don’t have brown hair anymore, and why your eyes are now green. Once Professor Snape saw through your eyes, the secret of your mission to save everyone was revealed. The curse Dumbledore put on you was broken, because Severus then knew almost everything. And you, you look similar to Lily because she was the one who made you human in the first place. Originally, if you were always a phoenix, if anyone discovered about the mission, you would have died as a phoenix. Since Lily placed the spell on you, instead of dying you resembled her. Not only did you look differently, you were able to use your phoenix abilities of flying. Because you would have originally died at that time, the phoenix inside you was able to be shown.”
Kaily was still utterly confused. “But why were you so cruel to me? Was that part of the curse Dumbledore put on me?” Lupin nodded solemnly. “But then why were you able to break the curse at Grimmauld place, when I was talking with you about your leaving Tonks? And after I saved your life from that Death Eater? Why were you not yelling at me?”
Remus looked like he was holding back tears. “It was not I who momentarily broke the curse… you did. You snapped me back to reality because you showed pure love towards me, even though I was so cruel to you. It was that love that stopped the curse temporarily. I tried to tell you everything then, when I was still in my right mind, but there was no time.”
The teen closed her eyes and tried to absorb all the information. She was a phoenix. Lily made her human. Once Snape figured out what Kaily was doing she looked like Lily and started to use her phoenix abilities. Lupin was unable to control the curse placed upon him. The girl once again looked into Remus’ moonlike eyes. “I had never shown any qualities of a phoenix before. Why?”
“Oh, but you did.” Lupin gave a small smile at Kaily’s confounded face. “You had always had a talent for singing, is that correct? When a phoenix sings, the good-hearted are comforted while the wicked are frightened. Also, for a skinny teenaged girl you are quite strong. How else were you able to carry me up the stairs after you knocked me over in Grimmauld place? And that’s not it! You were able to cure Professor Snape’s bite wound with your tears. Human teardrops can’t do that.”
Kaily wasn’t yet satisfied. “I thought a phoenix left the world forever when its owner died?”
Lupin gave a serious, stone-like expression. His face was even waner then before. “They do.” The man inhaled deeply. “I, Kaily, am not your owner. Lily Potter was yours. You didn’t vanish because of the curse Dumbledore placed upon you. No one is quite sure what happens to phoenixes when they leave, but you, Kaily, are not a normal phoenix. Because Lily made you look and act human, you will leave the world like all humans do… you will die.”
Kaily wasn’t able to react right away. “Everyone dies. I knew I would die since I was small. I’ll just die like a normal person, right?”
Remus clutched the teen’s resting hand. “No, Kaily. You are not a normal human either. The war is over, and your original purpose to protect the good in the war is done with. Because of the spell Lily put upon you, you’ll die on the birthday nearest to the time when your work was over.”
Kaily felt lightheaded. “But that’s tomorrow…” Kaily looked out the window at the lit-up sky. The zillions of stars danced carelessly and freely, as if there was not a trouble in the world. Remus started weeping again. The girl was not ready to die. She would never grow up and get a career, never get married and have kids, and she had never had a family…
Kaily started sobbing. “I never had a family! I’ve never had parents, and I’ll never have kids of my own! I’ll never know what it’s like! I was born alone in this world, and I’ll die alone!”
“Don’t say that.” Lupin became serious again. “Tonks and I were talking… would you like to be our adopted daughter?”
Kaily instantly stopped the crying. Straggling tears fell softly down her chin. “Would you really do that?” The man nodded with a grin plastered across his cheeks. The teen beamed up at him. She had a family… Remus would be her father; Tonks, her mother. And she was a big sister!
Her cheerful thoughts were interrupted with the squeaking of the door. A familiar pair of red-heads wandered into the room, looking a little worried. “Kaily,” George asked slowly, “are you alright?”
The young teen smiled widely. “Never better!”
The twins ventured to the undersized cot. Fred knelt down and sighed. “I couldn’t tell you how grateful I am of you for saving my life.” Kaily reached out and loosely grasped his long, slender fingers in reply. Fred’s ears slightly turned red. “Look, I thought about you day and night since Harry defeated Voldemort. I’ve never felt this way about anyone before. Kaily… I… I think I’m in love with you.”
This time it was her turn to become scarlet about the cheeks and nose. Butterflies entered her stomach. Fred stared at the teenaged girl, highly embarrassed, holding his breath while he waited for a response.
Kaily laughed a little. “…wow.” Fred smiled like a little kid that just got a huge ice cream cone. That answer said it all. Lupin gave a playful grin. George smirked in the background and attempted very hard to control his fits of giggles.
The young teen looked around the room at everyone in a thrilled way. She couldn’t believe it; she had gotten a loving family and a boyfriend all in the same night!
Remus glanced at his watch and grimaced. “It’s almost midnight.” Everyone watched Kaily as if she would blow up at any second. The young teen, though, didn’t seem the slightest bit troubled.
“Thank you guys, for everything. I love you all. And don’t worry about me, I’m not scared. This is the best day of my life, even though it’s the last. I’ve gotten everything I’ve always wanted.”
“What’s that?” Lupin inquired tenderly.
Kaily looked up at the man and smiled. “People who love me.”
Lupin started sobbing a bit again. Fred and George looked serious, as if they were holding back every desire to cry. Kaily inhaled another breath of precious air and delicately closed her eyes. Lupin clutched her hand tightly. “Remember this Kaily… you have a body of the human… but a heart of the phoenix.”
The teen gave her last smile and took in her last breath of oxygen. Then her mind was forever lost in a dark, placid abyss of eternal rest.
Harry Potter was going through his scrapbook in his bedroom. Hedwig hooted happily alongside him. The boy reached out and stroked his pet lovingly before finding what he was looking for: pictures of his mom.
Harry carefully took out a worn photograph. A beautiful teenaged Lily beamed up at him. She was in front of the great lake at Hogwarts, splashing her feet in the frigid water and giggling blissfully. Purple mountains framed her cherry-colored hair and the sun shone brightly over the ripples of water. The boy smirked. He knew just what he would do with it…
The scruffy-haired teen took out his wand and swished it over the photo. Before him there was an exact replica of Lily’s picture. Harry handled the new one carefully and put it in an envelope. Then he stretched out his arm and handed the package to his snowy owl. “You know what to do, Hedwig.” The bird hooted in reply and flew off into the faded blue sky.
Several miles away at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, Headmaster Severus Snape dully stared at a humungous pile of paperwork on his wooden desk. He now fully appreciated all the work Dumbledore had to do.
A house-elf popped into the room. “Here’s the coffee you ordered, sir.” He squeaked. Snape grabbed the warm mug from the small, outstretched arms. “Dobby hopes that you enjoy your coffee, sir.” Dobby said in his high voice. Snape grumbled a ‘thanks’ and the house-elf left with a loud ‘crack’. The headmaster continued to stare at the papers as if they would suddenly vanish.
A hooting at the open window stirred the man. A recognizable snow-colored owl perched on the windowsill. Curiously the professor strolled towards the animal and cautiously clasped the parcel. He opened it and to his bewilderment, a picture of Lily gracefully fell onto his desk. Alongside it a letter floated down. Snape grabbed it with trembling fingers. The parchment read in unruly handwriting:
I owe it to you.
The professor grinned. Maybe the boy wasn’t so useless after all. Snape placed the photograph in a drawer to his desk, right next to the adult Lily laughing. Despite the mounds of papers he had to fill out, the new Headmaster smiled widely.
“Are you ready for it, George?”
George covered his ears as Fred, with his protective goggles and coat, slowly lifted an oversized bean to his mouth…
“Mr. Weasley and Mr. Weasley, a customer wants to see both of you!” a girl’s voice called from the distance.
“Aw, I guess we’ll try this later.” Fred placed the bean next to several untested products and threw off his gear. The twins headed out to the shop.
A plump old woman with gray hair held tightly to a young toddler with pure blonde hair. “What does the money go to? I heard there was some donation going on.”
“Fifteen percent of all products bought at Weasleys Wizard Weezes go to all the victims of the recent war to help repair any damages.” The twins exchanged grins. They would do anything to repay Kaily, and by doing that they would continue out her work.
Remus and Tonks sat outside their house in the country; Tonks cuddling her baby boy in her arms. The evening stars glistened above them in the moonless night. The young woman leaned towards her baby; her now silvery hair fell lank above the little boy’s head. “Look up there, Teddy.” She whispered. “Your sister is up there.”
Remus smiled and leaned also towards his son. “And she was an amazing girl too. She’ll continue watching over you, Teddy, like the big sister she is.”
Tonks laughed. “Yes, and I hope she watches over the two of us when Teddy gets into his temper tantrums.”
Remus smiled widely and watched the white stars ahead of them, knowing that somewhere, Kaily was smiling back at them.
Thanks to all of you for reading my story! I really hope you enjoyed it! I’d also like to thank all my reviewers out there, so, THANK YOU! :D And I’m sorry if you’re still confused about some things. I’m not that good at explaining things, and I know Lupin would have done loads better if I wasn’t writing his dialogue. If something is still confusing just ask me in a review and I’ll try to clear it up for you! Once again I hope you liked this story! Thanks for reading!