Chapter 10: Finding Common Ground
“Sarah must have a wand up her ass or something,” Sirius complained sourly as he plopped down in his seat next to Remus in the Great Hall.
“It’s only been a week, Pads,” James replied giving Sirius an incredulous look after he swallowed his food. “You know she’s still getting over Conner.”
“Exactly!” he exclaimed, pointing his fork accusingly towards James. “She’s been on the rebound for three weeks already! She should be begging for another bloke by now.”
“And you wonder why some girls slap you,” Remus goaded, a gracious smirk upon his lips as Sirius scowled at him. Sirius shoved his shoulder into Remus’ before rambling on about Sarah.
It was Sunday morning, a full week at Hogwarts already, and Remus had had a good first week. Their little prank had given them a week’s worth of detentions and a Saturday detention with Professor McGonagall, but that was hardly a punishment compared to what they had had in the past.
He was glad that he had James in all of his classes, except for Arithmancy and Ancient Ruins in which he sat next to Lily. This year he did not have to worry about life determining exams at the end of the year, which took a lot of pressure off his shoulders already. But he was still taking a full load of classes; taking two more classes than Sirius and James, and most definitely surpassing Peter. This meant long days in the library to get away from his distracting friends to work on his homework, essays, and reading assignments that he needed to do.
A lot of the time his friends had often questioned his need to excel and exceed with his schoolwork. Sure he loved to read and learn, but doing schoolwork was not what he liked to do. On the contrary he would prefer laying outside by the lake everyday or planning pranks all the time, but he had expectations to uphold. He had to prove to himself and everyone else that he was not just a werewolf. Remus liked to think that if he had proved himself to be smart, caring, and obedient, he could prove to others that he could be every bit as human as everyone else. By showing people that he was in fact completely normal, maybe he could, possibly one day, persuade people to not be afraid of all werewolves. Of course there were those werewolves who were complete opposites of Remus and were ferocious animals in human form, but he was only thinking about any werewolf that was like him; stuck under a stereotype because of the wrongs of others.
During breakfast, the owl post had arrived. James had received a letter from his parents, already berating him for the detentions that he had received already. Somehow his parents always found out about his detentions. Peter and Sirius had received nothing, something that was not uncommon and Remus was usually with them on that end, but today Remus had received a short letter in a small envelope.
“Didn’t your parents just write you yesterday?” Peter questioned, eying the envelope in Remus’ hands.
Remus looked up and nodded in confirmation. His name was written nicely on the front. He flipped over the envelope and noticed the Hogwarts wax seal pressed upon the opening of the letter. “It’s someone from the school,” Remus noted as he ripped open the seal and took out the note slowly.
Remus felt Sirius lean over to read over his shoulder.
Dear Mr. Lupin,
Please stop by my office fifteen minutes after breakfast concludes, there are a few things we must discuss. I hope that this does not interfere with any plans you may have made beforehand.
P.S. I’ve been eating a lot of Mars Bars lately.
“What does he need to talk to you about?” Sirius asked curiously before taking a large bite out of his sausage and chewing rabidly, his cheeks puffed out slightly.
Remus threw Sirius a disgusted look before replying, “I dunno. I haven’t done anything wrong so far, beside the prank, of course. At least I don’t think.”
“Lemme see,” James said holding his arm out over the table as Remus handed him the parchment. James read it over quickly, with Peter reading over his shoulder, a soft frown on his face. “Whatever it is, it seems serious.” Sirius had just swallowed his food and opened his mouth to comment on James’ use of using the word ‘serious’, but James had quickly pointed at him and said, “Don’t say a word, Padfoot.”
Sirius dramatically sighed and scolded James. “Fine, just suck the fun out of my clever wordplay why don’t you?”
James shook his head at his best friend and handed Remus back the note. “Reckon it has something to do with your furry problem?” he asked genuinely.
Remus shrugged. “We’ll find out eventually I guess,” he replied before eating the rest of his breakfast.
The boys had all sat at the table, discussing what they could do that day. Sirius and James debated over going to play Quidditch for a couple of hours before finishing up their neglected reading assignments that they might have pop quizzes on later on during the week. In accordance with this homework, they also had not started their Potions essay that was due in two days time. Before they could even think of a different plan, they started talking about why they even needed to read the material. Both of them already knew everything, and they already knew what they had to write on their essay; there was always tomorrow for homework right? Besides, Remus had already finished his essay, they could just borrow his for an hour or two and rearrange the wording a little and – wah-la! – a finished essay in time for Tuesday. But when they had discussed this possibility, they were given what they had dubbed the ‘fuck no’ look from Remus. This look consisted of a hard, blank stare, slow blinking eyes, closed mouth, and an emotionless face; every once in a while he would toss in a raised eyebrow, depending on how ludicrous their statement was.
Sirius rolled his eyes and said sarcastically, “Well, what do you suggest then, oh wise one.”
“How about,” Remus replied in what his friends considered his ‘prefect/professor’ professional, tone of voice, it all depended upon what subject he was talking about, and right now he was in his professor mode, “you do all your homework first without stealing my essay, then you stay in the common room until lunch time. Because honestly it would be a waste to go all the way out to the pitch just to walk back. So instead have lunch, and then play Quidditch until you can’t fly straight from starvation.”
“Whatever you say, Father,” James joked with a grin.
The four boys continued to sit at the table, knowing that Remus had to wait a little after breakfast before meeting up with Dumbledore. Once the food had disappeared off the table, the boys sat a little longer before getting up and taking a leisure walk up the staircases to the seventh floor where both the headmaster’s office and the Gryffindor Tower was located.
The walk had taken exactly twelve minutes, and Remus was perfectly on time for this last minute meeting Dumbledore had called. Remus stood in front of the gargoyle and said the password: ‘Mars Bars’. What a silly name for a candy, Remus had thought as he watched the gargoyle jump aside and the wall split to show a spiral staircase. He stepped onto the staircase and waited as the stairs began to turn and spiral upward, bringing him closer to the main door. Just as the staircase had stopped moving and he was standing in front of the door, he heard Dumbledore’s voice call out to him, “Come in, Mister Lupin.” Remus was slightly startled, seeing how he had not even lifted his arm to knock with the brass knocker placed on the large oak door, but recovered quickly and opened the door.
Remus had only been in the headmaster’s office a few times over the years, mostly for bad reasons, but the look of the room was always the same. Large uncovered windows, Dumbledore’s large desk with its high-backed chair, portraits of past headmasters covering the walls, his phoenix named Fawkes perched on a golden perch, books with parchment in various places, and the vast array of unfamiliar contraptions.
Remus quickly stepped into the room and closed the door behind him. He finally looked up to Dumbledore, and was surprised to see another person in the office as well. Addie Ferrari was elegantly seated in a chair facing the headmaster’s desk.
“No need to be afraid, my boy,” Dumbledore said gently and gestured to the open seat placed to the left of Addie’s chair. With a slight hesitation, Remus stepped forward and walked over to the chair.
“I imagine that you know Miss Ferrari already?” he asked as Remus sat down stiffly. Remus nodded mutely and glanced over to Addie who had shot him a small smile as to which he nodded in acknowledgement and gave her a half-smile as well. Remus was going over possible reasons why they were both needed at the same time for a conversation with Dumbledore, but he kept coming up with a blank. If she needed tutoring, which he knew she did not need, one of the professors would have said something, not Dumbledore.
“Good, good,” he muttered as he took a sip from his tea cup and then placed the cup back on the small plate in front of him. Dumbledore picked up a piece of candy and offered it to Remus wordlessly. Remus shook his head in response. Dumbledore nodded slightly to himself before talking again. “Remus you must tell Adelaide the details of what goes on during the full moon. I want-” Dumbledore started to say before Remus had abruptly cut him off.
“Professor! I-you-she,” Remus stammered in panic, his eyes and mouth open in shock as his hand had unknowingly started pointing at Addie. His pulse had started racing. Why did he tell her his secret? Wasn’t the whole point of actually being able to go to Hogwarts was by keeping his lycanthropy a secret? What was the point when he was blabbering about his condition to the new girl who had made many acquaintances over the week? Oh, and was also a in the Slytherin house? Slytherins weren’t known for their love of Dark Creatures.
Dumbledore held up his hand to silence Remus’ blundering as Remus saw him sharing a meaningful look with Addie beside him. Remus had snapped his jaw shut, but his eyes remained wide. “Do not worry, Remus,” he soothed. “Your secret is quite safe.” Before Remus could question why, Dumbledore had continued on, “You see, Adelaide here is also a werewolf.”
Werewolf? She was a werewolf? Little Miss Wonderful, a werewolf? Remus was waiting for the part where she yelled ‘Gotcha!’ and his friends would pop out from underneath the invisibility cloak and laugh at his face.
Remus made a face of confusion which then changed quickly into shock. Remus’ shocked expression did not change as he glanced at Addie who was already looking at him. Addie gave him another toothless grin and a nod in confirmation.
“I would like you to go over the process with her,” Dumbledore explained further choosing to ignore Remus’ still shocked expression that was starting to slowly fade away. “You do not need to go see Madam Pomfrey since you will be seeing her beforehand. I have already told her about the precautions of the Shrieking Shack and where the entrance lies and how to enter it. I have also advised her about how early she needs to be down to the Hospital Wing before sunset.”
Remus had nodded mindlessly, his brain still trying to grasp that this girl beside him was just like him. Of course she had seemed a little different to him, but she was a foreigner, she was bound to seem different.
“I must also press upon this issue,” Dumbledore continued on with a firm, but understanding voice. “You both must undress and redress in different rooms. Once in a while I know it might be unavoidable, if say Mister Lupin becomes unconscious Miss Ferrari would have to help him before you two could go anywhere at all, or if there was a situation before the moon sets.”
By the end of this explanation Remus had begun to start blushing slightly. To think that their headmaster had thought about this part already. They had to take off their clothes before the transformation or else they would rip their clothes to shreds and Remus could not afford to buy anymore clothes. This also meant that when they transformed they would also be naked. But two questions had floated into his mind. How could they control where they ended up by the end of the night? And what’s to say that they wouldn’t do anything together as werewolves? Sure his friends would be there, but could they really take on two werewolves, especially when one wants to mate with the other? That was too much to ask of them. Remus also did not was any images of him and Addie going at it while they were in their wolf forms either.
This also brought up the topic of his friends. They were going to wonder why there was all of a sudden another werewolf there with them. Would she be able to keep their secrets of being illegal animagi? What they did was very, very wrong and dangerous. They could get sent to Azkaban if the wrong person found out about them.
“Ah, yes, I forgot to mention one thing,” Dumbledore said and brought Remus out of his long string of thoughts. “Adelaide here is a lykánthrōpos epikefalí̱s or in other words a chief lycanthrope. I’m afraid I would not be able to explain the differences between a lycanthrope such as yourself to one like Adelaide as well as she can, which is why she will be able to answer all your questions when you two discuss this situation in private. I also believe there are certain werewolf traits that I do not have the proper perspective or answers to questions that will arise between you two.”
Seeing Remus’ slightly confused face, he tried to make light of the conversation. “And you, Remus, would probably prefer if I was not there for that part of the conversation,” Dumbledore said with a slight smile on his face and a small twinkle in his eye, which had made Remus even more confused. “I would prefer you both speak sooner rather than later, things should not be so rushed before full moon, we do not need any mistakes made with these serious matters. I trust you two, more than anyone else, will be able to get past the house backgrounds easily and have a civilized conversation with each other.” He gave each one a questioning look as they both nodded.
“Good,” he said as he stood up and the other two followed his lead, “now I must head over to the Ministry now for an important hearing. So I would like to request, if your pardon my rudeness, for you two to talk somewhere else where you will have privacy. I’m sure Remus will be able to find a good place, am I right Mister Lupin?” Dumbledore walked around his desk and led his two werewolf students to the door.
“Yes, sir,” Remus replied as Dumbledore opened the wooden door for them.
“Have a good day,” Dumbledore said in dismissal as Remus led the way out of the door and onto the spiral staircase.
Remus had given him a nod and small smile as Addie replied, “You too, sir.”
The short, slow ride down the staircase was not enough time for Remus to soak in all the new information he was so graciously dumped in. He was still waiting for the big surprise in the end where she laughs in his face about leading him to believing that she was this so called ‘chief werewolf’. What in the world was a chief werewolf? And what an odd name that was. He had never heard of one before. The name had never come up when he was researching about his condition. Then again the books mainly were about how dangerous werewolves were and all the bigoted views about how all werewolves were not like humans and are to be considered dark creatures because of their bloodlust once a month.
In a matter of seconds they were standing outside of Dumbledore’s office in the deserted hallway and the gargoyle back in its place. Remus was trying to think of what to say. Many questions were flying through his head at once. He was feeling very confused. The shock had already set in and subsided, but all that was left were questions that he needed answers to. He never liked being kept in the dark, never left any stone unturned. Remus was a naturally curious person. But he knew when to stop and back off a subject. Although this subject he wanted to know everything she could possibly tell him. How did he not know about this? Remus prided himself in being knowledgeable about a range of diverse topics, especially ones that he was put in the category of.
Remus was staring at the floor, and was snapped out of his thoughts when he saw Addie’s black shoes come into his view. His eyes took in her shoes, which were more like small slippers that showed that she was not wearing any socks, and quickly glanced up to her face; past her high-waist, billowy, blue, almost neon, skirt that reached her knees; past the thick black belt; past her skin tight plain black t-shirt that was tucked in underneath the belt and skirt; past the ends of the black scarf that pushed her hair back from her face; and finally reached her icy blue eyes.
“You okay?” she asked, her head tilted to the side slightly and eyebrows knitted together slightly. The look was endearing. She didn’t look like she could be a ferocious monster once a month.
“Yeah,” Remus choked out with a nod. “I’m just kinda shocked and confused at the same time.”
Addie laughed softly, “You’ve never actually met another werewolf before have you?”
Remus shook his head. “No,” he replied. “Why? Have you?”
She nodded in response. “So you didn’t know that I was a werewolf either,” she said rather than asked.
“Should I have?” Remus asked confused.
“No,” she said first then shook her head a little, “Maybe – yes. Well, you must have known that something was a bit…different about me. Did I seem different to you when we first met?”
Remus paused and thought about it. Her scent was strong, stronger than most people he had ever come into contact with. “You-,” he began to say, but stopped. What was he supposed to say? ‘You smell different’? That probably wasn’t even what she was asking about. Maybe then she would get offended and start yelling at him for his rudeness.
Oh, fuck it.
“Your…scent is really strong.” Remus felt a little relief when he saw her smile and nod.
“Exactly,” she said. “As a werewolf you’ll be able to pick out a werewolf’s scent easily since you are one yourself. And a girl’s scent is going to be more potent than a male’s purely because it’s a girl, you know.”
Remus nodded and they fell into a short silence. “There’s something you should know about the transformations,” Remus said hesitantly as his hands started to make gestures about what he was trying to say. “And I think I should tell you before we say anything else.”
Addie looked slightly confused, but nodded in agreement anyway. “Well, do you know a place where we can talk?” she asked and glanced around them.
“Uh, yeah, sure,” Remus said with a sigh as he looked at the different paths they could take. He needed to tell her about her friends being animagi before anything else was said. If she didn’t know that he couldn’t tell his friends that she was a werewolf. It was better that she found out sooner than later about them because she was going to find out about them soon enough. Remus was still trying to think clearly about the situation. He hoped that she could keep them a secret. If not he could always try to wipe her memory. But he’s never tried a memory spell before…there’s a first time for everything right?
Remus led her down the path toward the Gryffindor common room, but quickly realized that she wouldn’t be able to get in without being seen. Sure the Marauders had been able to sneak in a few people from other houses, but that took a lot of coaxing to the portrait to let them in, even though they did have the password. He spied a broom closet and immediately knew that was the quickest place to talk about this subject before moving somewhere else to continue their long conversation.
Remus opened up the closet door and waved Addie in. Addie raised an eyebrow, but complied anyway. Remus took a glance around before jumping inside and closing the door behind him. There was not a lot of room in the closet seeing how there were an array of random objects from brooms to buckets and maybe a shirt or two. They were close together, Addie on the left and Remus on the right, but there was enough room between them that they could both breathe easily without a problem.
Addie had took out her wand and quickly placed a silencing spell on the door as Remus took his out and lit up the end of his wand.
“Ed told me not to go into broom closets with boys. And I don’t think that this place was what Dumbledore had in mind,” Addie joked with a small laugh as she looked up at him. She was amazed that the closet was tall enough to fit Remus in without having to make him hunch over. Their closeness made her a little uneasy because, as much as she could try and deny it, she was recognizing her feelings of attraction for him and it had nothing to do with the fact that he was a werewolf.
Over the week she had learned that they were in all of the same classes except for her Care of Magical Creatures class. She had immediately noted his intelligence and was more than pleased that he could create intelligent sentences. Then she remembered his sarcastic, dry humor when he spoke with his friends and found it funny. And now as she stood in a dark closet with him she wanted to reach out and run her fingers through his brown locks and trail her fingertips across the scars on his face. What had this boy done to deserve this kind of life?
Remus laughed as he looked down at her. The light from his wand illuminated her features even more. Her blue eyes seemed brighter and every one of her freckles seemed to become even more defined. Her smile even seemed to become even brighter. He figured he could stare at her face all day and not get bored. Remus could even listen to her voice all day if given the choice; her accent was something he really liked about her. Being in this small space also intensified her scent and made him feel slightly dizzy, in a good way if there was such a case, from the luscious smell.
“I’m sure Ed has told you all about the broom closets as he’s been in them so many times. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve found him with another girl in them. And no, I do not think this was what Dumbledore had in mind, but it was the closest and quickest place to get to,” Remus replied. He then sighed, not really knowing how to start. He had crossed his arms over his chest and his right hand that held his wand was brought up towards his face, his index finger placed upon his lips that were pursed in thought.
“What seems to be the problem?” she asked curiously as she unconsciously glanced at where his fingers were then back up to his eyes.
“Well…my-,” he said and stopped with another sigh escaping his lips. “Can you keep a secret?”
Addie immediately gave him a ‘are you serious?’ look before replying with, “What do you think?”
“Yes, but this is very, big…illegal kind of secret,” he explained with a lot of emphasis in his words. “Like going to Azkaban if caught, kind of secret.”
Addie nodded to him, “Of course, whatever it is I’ll keep it a secret. Unless you let yourself lose to kill innocent people, then I might not keep quiet about that.”
“No, no,” Remus immediately protested, “it’s nothing like that…well part of it can be considered true, but that’s not the point.” Once again Remus had stopped talking.
“Spit it out, Remus,” Addie urged with a sigh.
“My friends, Sirius, James, and Peter, all know about me being a werewolf,” he said slowly.
“Okay, what does that have to do with me and how’s that illegal?” she asked in return.
“Well, a couple of years ago they found a way to, sort of, help me during my transformations,” Remus explained, his hands making small motions as he spoke. “But they weren’t successful until last year.” He paused and Addie nodded, showing that she was following him. “They all became illegal animagi.”
Addie was quiet and her eyes left his with a sigh as she began thinking quickly. Remus was worried that she was going to start lecturing him on how dangerous it could be and what could happen to them while he was a blood thirsty werewolf. But what she had said in reply was something that he had not thought about.
“So what you’re saying is that I’m going to have to tell your friends about me being a werewolf as well,” Addie said slowly as she met his eyes again.
“Didn’t think about that, but yeah,” he answered. “They would have noticed something about your disappearances around the full moon anyway even if I didn’t tell them. Why?”
“Nothing,” she countered hastily as she avoided his eyes. “I just didn’t plan on anyone knowing beside Dumbledore, a few of the professors, and you.”
There was a small uncomfortable silence around them. Remus could tell that she was still thinking about what he said so decided to stay silent until she said something else.
“Are they trustworthy?” she asked quickly looking up at him.
Remus’ eyebrows furrowed slightly at the odd and random question. “Yes, of course,” he replied firmly. “They’ve kept my secret since first year. I trust them with my life.” His mind seemed to have skipped over the part about last year’s fiasco. It was a touchy subject for the whole group and none of them really liked to talk about those days.
Addie nodded absentmindedly. “So they’ve known for a while and haven’t said anything - good,” she said as her nodding continued.
“Oh, bugger,” Remus muttered as he suddenly remembered ‘The Prank’ from last year, involving one very hateful Slytherin.
She immediately looked up to Remus’ face that had contorted to worry. “What?” she asked alarmed.
“Snape,” he whispered before looking into her distressed eyes. “Snape knows I’m a werewolf, too.”
A/N: YAY. We're finally getting somewhere with the story! Now you all have confirmation that she is a werewolf :] I will explain the differences in the next chapter.
I would like to thank all my new reviewers who reviewed last chapter!
I hope you all enjoyed this chapter :]
Review please? They really do motivate me to write more! ;]
And constructive critisicim would be very nice, as well as any corrections I need to make.