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Door Into The Dark by The Last Marauder
Chapter 10 : The New Arrival and the Big Departure
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 7

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His acceptance into Hogwarts had pushed all the anger at Greyback to the back of Remus’s mind. Now his head was full of nothing but thoughts about Hogwarts. The next day, Mum and Dad took him to Diagon Alley to get all his things for school. They travelled by Floo-Powder to The Leaky Cauldron. Remus fell out of the fireplace at the other end covered in ash, but he didn’t mind. Mum brushed the shoot off with her wand and the three of them went out into the busy street beyond. When they entered the crowd of bustling shoppers, Remus found all he wanted to do was run around and jump and cheer. Mum and Dad were smiling and they held hands as they walked down the street after their son. Remus was so excited he couldn’t stand still. He ran to Quality Quidditch Supplies first, just because that was what he always did when they went to Diagon Alley. He looked at the Comet 180 brooms in the window, as well as the replica robes of the various teams, including the Tornadoes. There were even replica captain’s badges. Remus pressed a hand to his chest, where Plumpton’s badge had pride of place. His badge was better than the ones in the window, because his one had once belonged to the Tornadoes captain. 

Remus finally tore his eyes from the Quidditch window display when his parents reminded him of all the things they had to do today. Remus didn’t know where he wanted to go first, maybe to get his new books or his cauldron or his potion kit – or – or, no, wait, his wand, that was it, he wanted to go get his wand first.

Suddenly, he took off like a speeding Snitch and only stopped running when he reached Ollivander’s Wand Shop. There was a little sign in the front window: Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC. *1. But Remus didn’t need the sign to tell him that though, everyone knew Ollivanders was the best place to get your wand, it was common knowledge. Ollivander was the best wandmaker in England, maybe even the world. 

“Can we get my wand first?” Remus asked excitedly, once his parents had caught up with him. “Please?”

“Of course,” Mum replied, smiling fondly up at the old building. “I haven’t been in here since I was eleven.”

Remus opened the door and stepped inside, Mum and Dad followed. The shop gave the effect of being a very old, very dusty library; only instead of books, the shelves were covered with hundreds upon thousands of long, slender boxes. The shop was very narrow, but its ceiling was very high, giving Remus the slightly claustrophobic feeling that he had just fallen down a well, a well that was full of wand-boxes, not water.  

A counter stood in front of a little door that led into a back room. There was no one standing behind it. Mum and Dad were looking fondly around the place. Remus couldn’t see Ollivander anywhere. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, he appeared, right in front of them. Dad jumped, Mum gasped, but Remus only laughed. 

“Good morning,” said Ollivander. He was tall and thin like Dumbledore, and he also had a bunch of crazy white-hair, and, like the famous headmaster, he too gave off an aura of being all powerful. But it was his eyes that drew Remus’s attention, they were misty white, and looked plain creepy. Remus didn’t like looking at them.

“Hello,” Mum said brightly.

“Ah, Eileen Milburn,” Ollivander began mysteriously, “rowan wood and unicorn hair, eleven and three quarter inches, very protective, is it not?”

Mum stared at Ollivander, shocked. “Well remembered.”

“I remember every wand I ever sold, Ms Milburn, every single one.”

“It’s Eileen Lupin now though,” said Dad, taking Mum’s hand in his again.

“Ah, John Lupin,” the wandmaker exclaimed, “yours was red oak wood and phoenix feather I believe, twelve and a half inches, very adaptable?”

“Spot on,” Dad replied, grinning.

Remus frowned slightly at Ollivander’s words. He was talking about wands as if they had feelings and personalities, but they were just magical pieces of wood, weren’t they? How could a wand be protective or adaptable? It was just a stick.

“This is our son, Remus,” Mum said, placing a hand on his shoulder, “and we’re here today looking for-”

“Looking for a wand for this young man here, yes,” Ollivander brooded, cutting Mum off mid-sentence. Starting Hogwarts, I presume?” Remus nodded. Ollivander contemplated him for a second, looking him and down. Then suddenly his face was inches from Remus and his misty eyes bore into him, giving Remus the horrible feeling that they could see into his soul. 

“Which is your wand arm?” Ollivander asked quietly.

“My right, I think,” Remus replied tentatively. He always held his pretend stick-wands in his right hand, so he figured his real wand would feel at home in that hand too.

Ollivander drew his wand and flicked it, and before Remus knew what was happening a measuring tape was slinking itself all around him, measuring the length of his arms and his legs, it even decided to wrap itself around his head for reasons he could not quite comprehend. Ollivander, however, observed the spectacle quietly, humming and hawing to himself, and occasionally muttering words none of them could make out. 

When the measuring-tape ceased its work, Ollivander began running around his shop in a fit of excitement, pulling wands down from the shelves at handing them to Remus, announcing their core, length and wood-type as he did so. The funny thing was the Remus wasn’t even given the chance to test out the wands at all. The little sliver of wood had only touched his finger-tips when Ollivander pulled it from him again, muttering things like “No, no, no, that definitely won’t do. All wrong, no, all wrong.” Remus had no idea what Ollivander was waiting for. Surely picking a wand was a case of seeing which one wasn’t too heavy or too light, essentially just finding one he could grip the best?

After about half an hour, Remus was starting to get nervous. He appeared to have tried every wand in the shop with no success. Ollivander had snatched every wand from him, claiming each was the incorrect match. What if he didn’t have enough magic in him? What if there was no wand in this shop for him? Or what if being a werewolf meant that he couldn’t use a wand? What if wands didn’t work for werewolves?

The wandmaker, however, was unperturbed by the length of time it was taking in find a wand; in fact he seemed to be enjoying himself. “Tricky customer, no matter, no matter, we will find you a wand, don’t you worry.”

And he was right too, as five minutes later Ollivander handed Remus a wand and Remus knew instantly that this wand was the one for him. A warmth seemed to spread through his fingers when he first laid a hand on the piece of wood. It felt familiar, like an old friend he had known all his life, but had forgotten about until this very moment.

“Interesting combination, interesting combination,” Ollivander whispered quietly, more to himself than to any one in particular. Remus stared at the wandmaker, completely confused. “The wand chooses the wizard, Mr Lupin,” he replied, noticing Remus’s expression, “that much has always been clear to those of us who study wandlore. Your wand is willow wood and unicorn hair, exactly twelve inches long. It has uncommon healing power and is usually paired with a wizard who often has some, usually unwarranted, insecurity, however well he may try and hide it,” Remus’s gaze suddenly shifted to his shoes at this point, instantly frightened that Ollivander knew what he was. “My willow wands, however,” the wandmaker continued warmly, “have consistently selected those of greatest potential.” *2

Remus did not know what to say to this. He looked down at his wand. He had no idea how Ollivander could deduce all that from a stick of wood, but he was right about one thing: this wand did choose Remus. There was something about him this wand liked, but Remus honestly didn’t feel like he had any ‘great potential’ at all.

Mum and Dad paid for Remus’s new wand, before heading over to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions to get his school robes, hat and winter cloak. Remus became very self-conscious when Madam Malkin was measuring him for his robes. He didn’t want her to see his scars, so he kept his own robes closed tight around him and wouldn’t let her roll up his sleeves at all. She kept frowning, but Remus didn’t know if it was because he was thin or because she had somehow caught a glimpse of one of his unhealable wounds. But once the robes were fitted, however, Remus forgot about being self-conscious. He stared at the mirror in front of him, feasting on his own reflection. He barely recognised himself. There was a different boy staring back at him; he looked older, stronger, happier, normal. Remus liked his reflection so much he smiled. Mum stared at him teary-eyed. Dad took her hand in his again and squeezed it.

Next they bought his cauldron, telescope, scales, protective gloves and potion’s kit. The apothecary smelled funny and it was very dark. Pickled animals swirled in jars, and there were containers full of strange concoctions that bubbled, frothed, fizzed and popped. Once they had purchased what they needed, Remus was glad to be out of the dark, dank shop and back out on the bright street. The three of them then decided to take a break and stop for ice-cream at midday. They sat outside the parlour, under a sun umbrella. Remus enjoyed his sundae and he doubted he could remember all three of them feeling this happy. Mum and Dad were chatting and joking. Dad had an ice-cream moustache, Remus had gotten ice cream on the end of his nose, and Mum had chocolate sauce on her chin. All three of them looked at each other and laughed.  

They went into Flourish and Blotts next, to get Remus his school books. Most of them had to be gotten second hand, but Remus didn’t mind. He liked how some of the books were dog-eared, and how some people had written funny things in the margins, or else drawn some cool cartoons. 

Remus loved being in bookshops in general and Flourish and Blotts was his favourite book shop of them all. It smelled so nice; like fresh ink on parchment. He loved walking up and down between the different bookcases, sporadically pulling a book out at random and running his fingers over the new, stiff cover, before reading the description on the back. On this particular occasion, however, he stopped suddenly half-way down an aisle when he reached The Dark Arts section. Something had caught his eye, awakening his curiosity. He looked left and right, making sure his parents couldn’t see him, and then stepped over the rope-barrier which cut these books off from the rest of the shop. A sign hung from the rope, reading: Warning! These books are unsuitable for under-age wizards or those who suffer from a faint disposition. Remus ignored this sign though, as his eyes had fallen on a shelf of books on the subject of werewolves. He wondered if this Greyback was mentioned in any of those. He scanned the titles on the spines of the books; some disturbed him, like The Monster Within and Werewolves and the Danger they Pose to the Wizarding Community, but he did his best not to let those titles upset him.

I’m a good werewolf, a good werewolf, he told himself over and over.

Mustering his courage, he stretched out a slightly nervous hand and removed Werewolves: A Study of Violence from the shelf. He flicked to the index at the back, searching for the name he was looking for. He found it, along with a list of page numbers where it was mentioned: Greyback, Fenrir, 12, 24-37, 47; on his savagery: 389, 440-57; on his biting children: 277-94, on his ‘blood philosophy’: 21, 103, 167-82.
Remus repeated the name over and over in his head: Fenrir Greyback. Fenrir Greyback. Fenrir Greyback. Each time he felt the bite on his arm pickle as a shiver ran down his spine. That name meant fear

“Remus?” Mum called.

He jumped out of his skin in fright and nearly dropped the book. He had completely forgotten where he was. He hastily put it back on the shelf and ducked under the barrier. He didn’t want Mum knowing he was looking at those books on werewolves. She definitely wouldn’t like him doing that. 

“Coming!” he called back, as he slowly moved through the bookshelves, contemplating what he had just read. This Greyback liked biting children. He was savage and he had a ‘blood philosophy’, whatever that was. Remus needed to know more. He wanted to learn more about the one who had done this to him. He wanted to know everything Greyback had done, absolutely everything, so he could whole-heartedly justify blaming him and not his dad for being bitten. 

They left the book shop with two bags full of his new books. Remus couldn’t wait to get home and read some of them, but the small details he had learned from the werewolf book back in Flourish and Blotts were pressing down on him, robbing some of the goodness from the day.

Mum was running her finger down his list of school supplies. “Yes, I think that’s everything – everything except your present.”

“My present?” Remus repeated, slightly taken a back. “But it isn’t my birthday.”

“Ah,” said Mum cheerily, “but you need to get a present for getting into Hogwarts. Your dad and me were thinking of getting you an owl, what do you think?”

Remus’s face lit up and all thoughts of Fenrir Greyback were pulled from his head. An owl, just for him. His very own owl. He didn’t know what to say. Mum smiled, understanding the emotion he couldn’t voice. His smile said all the words he could not.

His parents led him into Eeylops Owl Emporium. It was very dark, and quiet, but the stillness occasionally punctured by an odd hoot from one of the birds. There were brown owls, and tawny owls, snowy owls and barn owls. Remus had never seen so many owls in his whole life. His parents were talking to the shop-assistant as Remus walked around, searching for the bird that was to be his. He wondered how he would choose, or would it be the case, like his wand, where the bird chose him? Did owls work the same way as wands? He didn’t know. Suddenly, Mum and Dad were calling him over to a corner of the shop which was full of the smallest owls Remus had ever seen. 

“Owls are quite expensive,” Mum began, slightly crestfallen, “but these Scops owls are not too dear, so you can pick whichever one you like.” Remus didn’t say anything, he just let his eyes feast on the tiny owls. “I know they’re not very big,” Mum continued, she seemed to be upset that they couldn’t afford to buy a bigger owl. 

Remus didn’t care. He liked the small ones best. They were like him, small. “I like the small ones!” he exclaimed. Mum beamed at him, so did Dad.

“Go on, son,” he said encouragingly, “pick one.”

There were a lot of different coloured Scops owls, some were white, some were grey or black or brown, and there were others that were the same colour as rocks or tree trunks. Most of them were asleep, but some were wide eyed and awake, and others looked merely bored. Remus didn’t know how to pick one. He gazed from one little face to the next. He stroked a few of them, but they didn’t react to his touch, like his wand had. 

“What about this one?” Dad said, pointing at a brown coloured one. “Or this?” he indicated a grey owl.

Remus wasn’t listening. His eyes fell on an owl in the corner. It was brown and white, and it was so small it could fit in Remus’s hand. It stared back at Remus with its large eyes that had yellow edges. He had never seen eyes so big. They looked sad and lost and in need of a friend, like Remus himself felt most of the time; or maybe he was just seeing what he wanted to, he didn’t know. He reached out and stroked the little owl. Its feathers were silky soft and very warm. The bird nibbled his finger affectionately. 

“Can I have this one, please?” Remus asked eagerly, as he continued to stroke the little owl. 

Dad smiled, so did Mum. “Of course,” they said together.

Five minute later Remus left the shop holding his new owl in his cage. The owl was a boy-owl, the shop assistant had told them, but Remus didn’t care if it was a boy-owl or a girl-owl, because it didn’t matter, because this owl was his owl. The bird was hiding his head under his wing, as though trying to shield his eyes from the sunlight. Remus couldn’t stop staring at his new owl. He couldn’t stop thanking his parents. They beamed back at him, relishing in his happiness, and finding that all the needed to be happy was to see their son happy.

“You’ve got to name him now,” Mum said.

Remus paused, thinking. “I’ll call him Gawain, yeah, Gawain sounds good.” 

“After one of the Knights of the Round Table?” Dad asked.

“Yep,” Remus replied. “He’s my favourite.”

“Well, Gawain,” said Dad, bending down to talk to the little owl as they entered The Leaky Cauldron, “welcome to the family.”



Remus spent the next few weeks pouring over his new school books. He tried out a few of the spells with his wand, but none of them would work for him, but that didn’t matter because he knew that once he started school he would be able to do all these spells in time. He couldn’t wait to start Defence Against the Dark Arts, that subject sounded very cool, especially seeing that it was Remus’s ambition to become an Auror. Potions looked very hard though and so did Transfiguration. History of Magic looked really interesting too, all the Goblin Rebellions and everything sounded like something Remus would read in one of his adventure books, only they were real, something that actually happened.

Remus spent every waking hour in the company of his new owl, Gawain. He showed the little owl all his new books, introduced him to Quidditch and the Tornadoes, and at night Remus read Gawain some of his Arthur books, showing the owl the stories about his namesake. 

Gawain soon became Remus’s best friend. They did everything together; they listened to Quidditch on the wireless; they read books, played in the garden and helped Mum do chores around the house. Mum and Dad really liked Gawain too. They said that if they had known that Remus would take to the owl like this they would have bought him one years ago.

Remus had to let Gawain out at night to hunt though. The first time this happened, Gawain didn’t come back for three days. Remus was distraught, he was convinced that the owl had run away, that he was gone for good and would not come back. Mum and Dad tried to console him, tried to tell him that Gawain would come back, but Remus didn’t listen. He stayed in his room, lying on his bed, trying not to cry. When Gawain did come back, however, Remus shouted at him, actually shouted at him. Gawain didn’t like that. He dropped the dead mouse he was holding and perched himself on top of the wardrobe and kept his back to Remus all day. This made Remus very upset, and Gawain only came down once Mum offered him some owl treats. 

After that, Remus and Gawain made a pact, Remus would never shout at Gawain again, if Gawain promised never to leave. Everything was alright then. Remus and Gawain continued to play together, and sometimes Remus would send letters to Dad at work, just so Gawain could practice sending letters. Dad would always write back, and he would always include a chocolate frog in the letter. Watching Gawain carry the letter was funny, because the letter was bigger than the owl, and he looked really odd flying away into the distance with his overly-large burden.

When the full-moon came, it was Mum’s mission to mind Gawain. She had to make sure that the owl was happy and safe while Remus was in the shed. Mum said that Gawain missed Remus at the full-moon, that the owl had been sad and lonely all day without his friend. Remus didn’t know if Mum was making this up or not, she might just be pretending, but Remus liked to think that Gawain missed him when he was in the shed, just like Remus missed Gawain when he went out hunting.

As September first came closer, Remus got more and more excited. He told Gawain everything he knew about Hogwarts; he told him about the castle, and the four houses and all about Dumbledore, Dumbledore who was the nicest man in the world, because he was letting Remus go to school, like he was a normal boy. Gawain seemed to be as excited about Hogwarts as Remus was, but then again Gawain was excited all the time. 

Mum and Dad though stopped getting excited the closer September came. They went all quiet and didn’t smile as much as they had done since Dumbledore came to visit. They said it was because they would miss Remus so much when he left for school. They said the house would be so empty without him. Remus never knew what to say to this.

The night before Remus was due to go to school, Mum made a big dinner of all his favourite things, topped off with treacle tart and ice cream. Remus didn’t eat much, because the full-moon had just past and he still felt sick and tired. Then Dad helped him pack his school things and coax Gawain back into his cage (he didn’t like being in there very much, because he didn’t have room to fly around). Dad was better at packing then Remus, because Dad could use his wand, which meant that packing was less of a chore and more of an exciting experience as they watched various possessions soar across the room. Remus took down his poster of Gudgeon and stowed it safely in his trunk. He also packed his favourite books, as well as his chess set and chocolate-frog card collection, which he was taking with him in the hope that he would find someone to swap cards with. He had to leave his broomstick behind though, which was disappointing to say the least; first-years weren’t allowed broomsticks, which Remus thought was a bit unfair.

He couldn’t sleep that night, which was only partly because Gawain was nibbling the bars of his cage, trying to get out, but mostly it was because he was nervous. Horrible thoughts started to enter his mind. What if there were kids at Hogwarts that recognised him, and then told everyone he was a werewolf? What if he got sorted into Slytherin, where all the dark wizards went? When happened if he bit someone at the full-moon? Or what happened if no one wanted to be his friend? What if everyone in the castle shunned him like everyone in the village did, or else called him names and screamed whenever they saw him?

When Mum called him on the morning of 1st September, Remus was a strange combination of tired, sick and nervous. He didn’t eat much for breakfast, mostly because his throat had decided to close up and when he was trying to eat his toast, it actually felt like he was chewing carpet, not bread.

They took Floo-Powder to The Leaky Cauldron again and then walked to King’s Cross station. Gawain didn’t like the travelling by Floo-Powder. He kept screeching and he got ash stuck in his feathers and wouldn’t sit still so Dad could remove it. A lot of people kept staring at them in London, because Gawain was making so much noise. Mum said they had to be careful, because they were out in the Muggle world and Muggles weren’t supposed to know that there were wizards living among them. In the end, Dad had to throw his coat over Gawain’s cage to try and quieten the sound of his screeches. It worked, but only a little. Remus kept trying to re-assure Gawain, telling him that they would be at Hogwarts in a few hours and then he could leave his cage and fly all he wanted.

King’s Cross was a big station, and its bricks were covered in soot from the trains. There were hundreds of Muggles going in and out of the entrance; some had big suitcases and others had briefcases or rugsacks. The sound of train whistles rang in the air, along with the screech of breaks as the trains stopped at their assigned platforms. There was a man selling newspapers right at the entrance. He was shouting out the headlines in a thick London accent. None of the pictures moved in Muggle newspapers, a fact Remus still found strange. Dad found a trolley when they arrived and placed Remus’s truck and owl on it and pushed it into the crowd of busy Muggles.

“Which platform do you get the Hogwarts Express from?” Remus asked Mum suddenly, realising that this was an important piece of information he did not possess.

“Platform 9 ¾,” Mum replied, smiling.

Remus looked around the station, he saw Platform 9 and Platform 10, but there was no 9 ¾; in fact there didn’t even look like there was enough room between the two of them for another platform.

“Where is Platform 9 ¾?” Remus asked, puzzled.

“Ah,” Mum replied, “well, that’s the magic bit.”

Dad stopped pushing the trolley when they reached the barrier between the two platforms. “Now, Remus,” he said brightly, as he walked up to the barrier, “watch this.” And suddenly, just like that, Dad was gone, just gone.

Remus stared at Mum. “Did Dad disapparate?”

“No,” she explained, half-laughing, “in order to get to the platform you have to walk into the barrier there, and if you are a wizard, it will let you through.”

Remus stared at his mum, instantly scared. “Will you go through with me?” he asked feebly.

“Of course,” she said kindly. “But you have to act normally, so you don’t attract the attention of the Muggles.”

“Okay,” Remus said, a little sceptically.

The two of them walked to the barrier, Mum leant against it casually, Remus copied her, but when he went to touch the bricks, he found there were none. He stumbled forward, nearly falling over, hardly believing that a solid wall could disappear so easily. Mum caught his arm, however, preventing him from hitting the ground, and that’s when Remus saw it: the Hogwarts Express. The scarlet steam engine looked nothing short of magnificent; it seemed to glow in the sunlight, catching every eye as it puffed out smoke every few seconds. Children ran all over the platform, shouting for parents or friends. Families stood together, saying goodbye. Some students looked frightened, others excited. There were prefects shouting. They looked both confident and stern, as they ushered younger students onto the train. Owls hooted, toads croaked and cats meowed, while teary-eyed mothers and fathers issued words of advice.

Remus felt himself shrink several inches. He fixed his gaze on his shoes. He didn’t like being in big crowds. He stayed close to his mum, feeling slightly embarrassed as he did so. He was eleven now, going off to Hogwarts, he should be beyond this childish stage of fear. 

They found Dad admiring the train. He was very excited. He hadn’t been on this platform for a long time. He said he felt eleven years old again. Mum led them down the platform, to a less crowded spot near the end. Dad lifted Remus’s truck and Gawain’s cage onto the train and placed them inside the very last compartment, which was empty. Then he came out, took Mum’s hand and looked at his son. Remus had been looking forward to this day all his life, but now that it was here, now that he was actually leaving for school, he wasn’t sure he wanted to.

“You’ll write to me, won’t you?” he blurted out desperately.

“Every day of every week if you want us to,” Mum replied, her eyes a little teary.

The train whistle blew so loudly that Remus jumped in fright. His heart started pounding in his chest. The platform was slowly starting to empty as students gave final good-byes to parents and boarded the train.

“What if someone recognises me? Someone from the village?” Remus babbled without thinking, fear had pushed the question from his lips.

“There are hundreds of students at Hogwarts,” Mum said reassuringly. “And even if there are kids from the village there, they won’t recognise you amongst hundreds of others. And, what is more, none of them would ever expect you to be even in Hogwarts. They would think that you wouldn’t be allowed to attend.”

“But I am,” Remus said. “I am.”

“We know that,” Dad said, smiling, “but no one else does.”

Remus wasn’t terribly convinced. Visions of kids from the village running away from him and calling him names in the corridors of Hogwarts filled his head. But there were other worries gripping him too, worries that only the point of departure could make him voice. “What happens if I bite someone at the full-moon?”

“You won’t,” Dad said, earnestly. “Dumbledore will have it all sorted out, he said that didn’t he? You won’t hurt anyone. You’ll be safe, and all the other students will be safe too. You don’t need to worry about that.”

“What if they find out I’m a werewolf?” Remus continued. All these fears and worries were pressing down upon him so heavily that he had to tell someone or else he felt he might be crushed under the weight of it all.

“They won’t,” Mum said. 

“But what if they do?”

“They won’t, Remus, I promise,” Mum said, and there was something about her tone that made Remus feel safe, that made him blindly trust her statement even when all the thoughts in his head were telling him otherwise.

The whistle blew again, angrily this time. Most of the students had left the platform. The time for departure had come and Remus wasn’t sure he was ready, wasn’t sure he could say goodbye to his mum and dad, to the people who had been with him through absolutely everything, to the people he hadn’t spent a night away from since he was born.

“Come here to me,” said Dad, spreading out his arms. Remus ran into them. Not caring who was watching, not caring that he was eleven now and maybe too old for hugs. “You be a good lad now,” Dad continued, his voice high. “You be good and do exactly what Dumbledore tells you to, alright?” Remus nodded as Dad let go. “And don’t look so frightened,” he added, “you’ll have a ball of a time at Hogwarts, everyone does.”

Remus nodded again and tried to smile, but didn’t quite manage it. Mum hugged him next. She had tears in her eyes. “Look after yourself now, promise me that,” she said, her voice shaking a little. Remus felt his eyes burn as he hugged her. He didn’t know what was the matter with him; all he knew was that he could stand here and hug her forever and that would be alright with him. He had wanted to go to Hogwarts all his life, all his life, but why then, once the moment to actually physically go had come, did he not want to? “Send Gawain to us when you get there,” she said, wiping her eyes as she kissed him on the cheek.

The whistle blew again. Remus had to get on the train, but he wasn’t ready to say good-bye. “I’ll make friends, won’t I?” the question escaped his lips before he could stop it. 

“’Course you will!” Dad said, clapping Remus on the back, his eyes too a little watery. 

“We love you, so much,” Mum said. “We are so proud of you.”

The door had suddenly closed. Remus had to talk to his parents through the open window. “I love you too. I’ll – I’ll send Gawain when I get there, and – and I’ll let you know what house I’m in.”

The train was pulling away. Mum and Dad waved, Remus waved back, his eyes burning. He didn’t understand why he was so scared. He didn’t understand why his eyes were stinging with tears. All the parents and families on the platform were waving. The train was gathering speed. He wouldn’t see Mum and Dad in a minute and that thought caused him to panic.

“Take care of yourself!” Mum shouted loudly, still waving.

“Write to me every day!” Remus shouted back, but he didn’t know if his parents heard him or not. Mum and Dad were holding hands. Mum was resting her head on Dad’s shoulder. They were waving and smiling, but their smiles were strange, half sad and half happy. Then they were gone, the image of them stolen from his view by an ugly brick wall. They were gone, or more correctly, he was gone, gone on his way to Hogwarts.

Quotes from:

*1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone pg. 63 (UK Edition).

*2 “The Wand Section.” on

General references from:

“Chapter Five – Diagon Alley.” Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (UK Edition).

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