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Chapter 12 : A Warning delivered Part Two
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AN: I do not own Harry Potter that right and privilege belong to J K Rowling.
Remus looked the headmaster over carefully, obviously weighing him up, and Albus bristled slightly at the caviller treatment. Before he could comment, Remus started to talk. “Right I do not really want to be here old man, but a promise is a promise no matter who it was made to or where it was made, so I will get this out of the way as quickly as I can.” Remus stopped when he noticed the headmaster’s triumphant gleam and resolutely bit back a growl, settling instead for a wolfish grin. He leant his knuckles on the desk and angled his body towards the headmaster, the wolfish grin showing white teeth never leaving his face and his eyes hard. “Firstly, headmaster” he sneered the title, “you will not be blaming Professor McGonagall for my not wanting to be around you.” Remus smirked at the headmaster’s expression, “I just do not really like you all that much. Well I really have not liked you since you went on to my mother about how big a deal it was for me to be accepted into Hogwarts and how grateful we should be to you. Strange how you then proceeded to charge her the highest rate of fees…those normally reserved for the richest ranks of wizarding society. Do not worry though headmaster I have revealed to no one how manipulative you really can be, the sad thing is my mother really is grateful for my chance. I need to ask though if you knew that there are only four adults in this castle I need to be grateful for? Did you know there are only four adults in this castle I am grateful too? I will even save you the trouble of guessing who. Madame Pompfry, Professor McGonagall, Mr. Filch and Hagrid.” Remus paused to allow this to sink in, snarling slightly at the incredulous look the headmaster was giving him. “No, old man, do not shake your head at me. It I those four and those four only who have shown me any compassion, kindness and occasionally even understanding. They do not pity or judge me, they see me for who I am and not just the wolf. All of the other adults-yes even including yourself-either fear me, are disgusted by me or pity me, occasionally all three. So no professor don’t you dare blame Professor McGonagall for my not wanting to see you."
Remus stopped, pausing to catch his breath and noticed Dumbledore was slightly grey. He sighed internally and conjured a cup of hot, weak sugary tea for the headmaster. Placing it in front of the old man, he repressed another sigh knowing he was doing this all for a ghost of a memory. He knew Fawkes, his head of house Professor McGonagall, the school’s med witch Poppy Pomp fry (he had trouble calling her Madame when she had seen him at his worst monthly for nearly six years) and many others he cared about would be highly disappointed in him if he allowed the headmaster to be taken by shock. Waiting until the old man had finished most of the tea, gave Remus time to go over his story again.
“Headmaster?” The old man looked up at him with sharp blue eyes, are you ok now?” The headmaster nodded and Remus looked him over carefully, “would you like me to tell you the real reason I am here?” the headmaster nodded again and Remus flopped with animal grace into a chair rubbing his hands distractedly over his face feeling two days worth of stubble. Aware of the headmaster watching his every move Remus looked up and fought back a grimace at the really, really bright robes the old man was wearing. He closed his eyes for a second to try and ward off the headache that was building at the back of his skull then began tiredly. He could hear his voice now dull, with out any hint of anger or emotion fill the room and focused on what he needed to get across. “I will start at the beginning then headmaster, it will make things easier for you at least. It all started about four months ago. The first month wasn’t too bad for anyone involved bar myself. It is after all easy to hide nightmares and dream shadows when you have practice of hiding darker secrets. The only one I think coming close to knowing something was wrong that month was Professor McGonagall, but that woman is highly unusual and did not bug me about it. I know she was keeping a close eye on me but she would not and has never interfered unless we need her. The nightmares and dream shadows were nothing new, but it was the subject matter and frequency of them that got me. I normally have nightmares about what my wolf could do. But the pain in these dreams was real. The silver sharp and cold, the flames hot and bright, the shadow dark and so, so real.” Remus shudder unnoticed by the headmaster, “yet I had a strange feeling it was not my pain or fear I was experiencing. The next moon-about three months ago- I was in the infirmary after the full moon and thought I had woken up. A young lady was there and she felt of copper and wood smoke. I called out to her desperate to find out what was going on, she turned to look at me, she was deathly white, and her eyes they were dead. They were the eyes of someone who has seen too much horror lived through to much. I became frightened when she did not move or speak and called for Po…Madame Pompfry as I was restrained. This seemed to reach something inside her for she reached a pleading, an almost comforting hand out to me before she started to fade and the blackness claimed me. I awoke the next morning to Po…Madame Pompfry fussing about me. Apparently my vital signs had gone haywire during the night and she hadn’t been able to wake me.” Remus frowned, “I really do not like worrying her headmaster and I felt so guilty, the woman has a heart of gold. The nightmares continued that month and the moon was terrible, however when It happened again the night after the full moon my respect for Madame Pompfry made me try to change my reactions to it. I lay stock still when I awoke and tried to keep my heart rate and breathing slow and steady.”
Remus paused for breath on a well timed sob, feeling his heart constrict and eyed the headmaster wearily. Dumbledore was leaning forward, both elbows on the desk fascinated by the story. Remus did not dare look at Fawkes and yet desperately wished the bird could sense his need for some comfort, some help in calming the distraught wolf. He drew a shakey breath before continuing, surprising himself when his voice stayed calm. “Sorry headmaster. It was worse that time tough. I could hear flames and see their shadows dancing on the walls. I could vaugely hear voices, but it was like a badly tuned radio and the kept fading in and out, I could not make out words but the voices sounded pleading. The young woman was there again, but her appearance had changed. Before she had looked pristine if terrified now she was dishevelled. Her clothes were torn in places and she had a smudge of ash across her cheek. The terror was still behind her eyes but they burnt with anger and longing. She looked as if she would give everything to protect something she cared for. She reached a hand to me and touched my face with cool fingers and I had merely seconds to notice she was trying to say something when a shadowy hand reached out of the darkness and pulled her away. Sir, it smelt wrong as well. Like burning, wood smoke, yet it had undercurrants of something darker, more acidic, more wrong.” Dumbledore flinched as Remus raised haunted eyes to his face, the wolf shining through and showing as much despair as the boy. “Every night since then my dreams have been filled with that smell, those pleading whispers, and shadows moving against flames. Did Madame Pompfry tell you I snapped my leg in the hospital ward the moon just gone, not in the shrieking shack.” Dumbledore shook his head, trembling and slightly grey. Remus flicked his wand impatiently refilling the tea cup. “Drink old man I am not going to continue until you do.” Remus watched the headmaster carefully, waiting until the trembling stopped and he had regained some colour. He allowed himself a moment to dwell on the young woman who had turned his world upside down the night before and wondered if she knew what she was asking him to do, wondered if she had been able to see the dreams behind his golden eyes, if she had known just what she had ripped from him as she melted away. He shook his head as he realised the headmaster was calming down, ruthlessly pushing any thoughts of his mate away.
Clenching his fingers around his wand he relished the feel of the rough wood against his palm and looked directly at the headmaster, “should I continue sir? Are you ok?” Watching Dumbledore nod in positive response to both questions Remus drew on the strength of the wolf, steeling himself to do what had to be done. “I dreamt about a storm that night sir. It was true it was raining and dark clouds rolled overhead, but this was a different kind of storm. The kind that has not been seen in any of our lifetimes, yours or mine. This was the storm of war, magical flames rose high consuming all in their path, the rain not quelling them and the wind whipping them to greater frenzy. Their violet, green and blue flames casting long shadows and illuminating scenes I never ever wish to see again. There was screaming both human and not, the sound of hooves, flashes of metal, and flashes of spells, all dying eerily into silence. Their was a great host of men in armour, the hooves of their steeds as deadly as their arms. A massacre, thousands of innocent lives must have been lost for the majestic fighting valiantly to protect them to the children caught in the centre of the storm. Whispers in my ear of a prophecy of sorts. I was in the middle of this all. The only dream I have ever left my bed. I snapped my leg trying to escape a rider sir. He was coming right at me. Even though deep down I knew it was a dream I had tried to help. I couldn’t not. Anyone who saw those scenes would have tried to help. Anyone. I had stopped to try and help children. Toddlers sir, maybe two or three years old at the most, the young woman I had been seeing in my dreams lay dead in front of them. Her throat had been slit, “Remus stopped, ignoring the tears running down his face, he felt his wolf growl deep in his chest and he straightened his back his voice turning deadly. “If I ever, I do not care if it was a dream or not, I mean this. Anyone who so much as raises a hand to an infant again when I am there to witness it will be lucky to walk away.” in that instant Remus looked every inch the dangerous creature the wizarding world saw him as, the wolf seriously annoyed at been unable to help even dream children looked out from behind the cage of human flesh and changes stared to occur unnoticed by the headmaster, but felt by Remus as talons started to cut into his palms. He shook his head and returned to the story. “I had picked the children up and made to run with them when I was caught up in the middle of a great many men with weapons I twisted to avoid them and staggered into the path of a mounted man who rode at me with murder and hatred in his blue eyes. I could hear those children crying and it broke my heart. I knew I couldn’t out run this horse but still I had to make an effort. It is kind of really blurry after that and I am somewhat glad. I don’t think I could have come back as myself if I had seen those children murdered in front of me. Whether they were really or not. I think Poppy’s dreading the next moon.” Remus paused to collect himself, as both he and the headmaster failed to notice the use of the school medi-witch’s given name. “I nearly hurt her that time sir. I did break Mr. Filch’s arm. Poppy was nearly hysterical and I broke down in tears when I came to. I cried over her like a homesick firsty”
Remus scowled remembering the cuff to the back of his head and Mr. Filch’s gentle mocking, showing him he was forgiven for this act. “the dreams stopped after that though sir. Well they had stopped up until last night. We’d all gone to bed quite late and I had for once fallen asleep almost immediately. It wasn’t scary this time, despite it looking like the same woman. I am ashamed to say I cursed at her at first but she some how managed to calm both the human and the wolf down. Said I had to get a message to you. I feel rather stupid for not asking more questions but I was so stumped that she knew who you were that I just did as I was told. She said I had to tell you that a storm is about to break. That the people of Hellavan-are they really a peoples sir?-have finally understood their prophecies. She also said you would understand any of what I just said. Please say you do headmaster because I am clueless.”
Remus stopped his recital, breathing hard. The headmaster looked ready to kill he thought. Standing he gathered the rest of his energies, “Sir? Headmaster may I leave now?” brilliant blue eyes looked with his and Remus’ mind instantly flew back to the rider in his dream, he pulled himself back to the present with effort and noticed the headmaster merely nodding in response so he fled the room. He noticed the sky turning to orange out of the large windows as he fled the room, and the dark mass gathering on the horizon. He reached the bottom of the stairs in record time and as the gargoyle closed softly behind him he leaned against the wall and scrubbed a tired hand through his hair. Deciding he was safer away from a murderous Albus Dumbledore, Remus pushed off the wall and staggered down the hall in search of the kitchens and the comforting presence of the school’s house elves.
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