Description: Remus Lupin was proud to say that he was very normal, thank you very much.
Characters: Graphic Depictions Of ViolenceSirius Black & Remus Lupin & Peter Pettigrew & James Potter Sirius Black & Remus Lupin Remus Lupin & James Potter Remus Lupin & Peter Pettigrew Hope Lupin & Lyall Lupin & Remus Lupin Albus Dumbledore & Remus Lupin Remus Lupin & Poppy Pomfrey Remus Lupin & Minerva McGonagallRemus Lupin James Potter Peter Pettigrew Sirius Black Albus Dumbledore Poppy Pomfrey Lyall Lupin Hope Lupin Minerva McGonagall Original CharactersAngst Humor Blood and Injury Full Moon Original Character(s) Cross-Posted on FanFiction.Net Marauders Marauders Era (Harry Potter) Marauders Friendship (Harry Potter) Peter Pettigrew is a Marauder Young Remus Lupin Young Peter Pettigrew Young James Potter Young Sirius Black Werewolf Remus Lupin Hurt Remus Lupin Sarcastic Remus Lupin Manipulative Albus Dumbledore Good Albus Dumbledore Drama Other Additional Tags to Be Added Father-Son Relationship Mother-Son Relationship Werewolves Canon Compliant Brief mentions of suicide Long finished and just need to upload Updates every other day Nightmares Gore Childhood Trauma Hogwarts Hospital Wing Hijinks & Shenanigans implied PTSD Religion
Remus Lupin was proud to say that he was very normal, thank you very much.
He was a shy ten-year-old with brown hair, hazel eyes, and a very skinny frame. He liked to read and memorize 19th-century poetry, even though he wasn’t very good at memorizing things. He owned exactly seventeen socks¡ªyes, he had counted. Frequently.
Oh, who was he kidding? Remus Lupin was not normal whatsoever, even by wizarding standards. In fact, he was probably the most abnormal child in the area¡ªin the country¡ªon the continent¡ªin the world? He wouldn’t be surprised.
Normal, his mum always said, was overrated.
Normal, his dad always said, was a myth.
It didn’t matter what normal was, though; not really. Whatever is was, Remus Lupin wasn’t it.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.),Notes:
This fic (which, fair warning, will be LONG) follows the Hogwarts years of Remus Lupin and will possibly go on beyond that (though it seems so far away at the rate this is going). No, I don’t know how many chapters there will be or where it will end (there will, however, be 101 chapters in first year). Suppose I’ll figure it out somewhere down the line, but for now, we’re just going to go with the flow. Currently, I have about 200 chapters written. There are also two separate fics that I’ll publish somewhere along the way.British spelling will not be used (I can type faster in American), but British terminology will be used where applicable. I have lots of immediate English family, but I haven’t been there in a long while. I might slip up and use American phrases, but I shall certainly try my best to stick to British culture whenever I remember to do so! But for now, please enjoy the odd combination of American spelling and faint British vocabulary.Just wanted to point out that my fic is more character-driven than plot-driven. I get a lot of joy from exploring (both reading and writing) character nuances, traits, and backstories. That will be painfully obvious later on, I’m afraid. Plot will still be present, of course, but this story is told in more of a subtle snapshot way than an exciting, action-packed, plot-heavy way (though those themes will most definitely be there sooner or later!). I do hope that it will still be entertaining. That’s why I’m writing here–there’s a lot of freedom to just… you know… do whatever.After I get the first ten or so chapters out, then it’ll update every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I hope that you are sufficiently entertained by my antics!
Chapter 1: Prologue: April, 1965
Prologue: April 1965
Dumbledore sat in the Hog’s Head, trying to avoid the gaze of his furious brother. They never talked now. Dumbledore could understand why, but it did feel a bit childish to be bickering like… well, like siblings. He listened to Aberforth scrubbing the counter in a sort of agonized rhythm. Aberforth was still staring, eyes narrowed¡ªperhaps Dumbledore could not see it, but he could feel it. “Just a few more minutes and I’ll be out of your hair, Aberforth,” Dumbledore said lightly. “I am afraid that this is the easiest place for secret information to remain secret.”
“I had to shut down my pub, just for you,” scowled Aberforth. “We can’t all be rich and famous, Albus.?Some?of us have to make an honest living instead of pulling political strings for the greater good.”
Dumbledore winced. All of their meetings went like this. “This is important,” he said. “And Clark is an honest man.”
“Clark Darnall is a werewolf.”
“An honest werewolf, then. He is doing good work and he has important information. I might as well offer him a drink at one of the best pubs in Britain.”
“Flattery won’t work on me.”
“I am not trying to flatter. I truly do not mean to bother you, Aberforth¡ª” Dumbledore glanced up at the portrait of Ariana and sighed. “I do not mean to bother you,” he said again. “Please. One hour.”
“I wish the whole world knew that you aren’t the paragon of light they think you are,” hissed Aberforth, slamming down his towel. He sat down behind the counter. Dumbledore heard him cross his arms.
Silence. The only noise in the room was the sounds of Aberforth’s annoyed huffs and the tapping of Dumbledore’s long fingers on the tabletop.
Minutes passed. Suddenly, the door flew open.
“Albus Dumbledore. Oh, thank you fer meetin’ me.” Clark looked just the same as ever¡ªall mussed brown hair, unhealthy frame, dirty face, and ripped robes. His strange accent was the same as ever. Clark Darnall had been bitten at age nine and had escaped to Greyback’s werewolf pack shortly after. The pack, from what Dumbledore understood, was a conglomeration of all kinds of different people and nationalities. Clark’s accent was a strange combination of a lot of different places. He hadn’t lived in human civilization in a little less than twenty years. Dumbledore’s heart ached for his plight.
“My pleasure. Sit down, Clark. Aberforth, if you would…”
“Don’t speak to me,” said Aberforth, slamming two cups of Butterbeer on Dumbledore’s table. Dumbledore stole a glance at Aberforth for the first time. Sure enough, Aberforth looked ready to kill him. Never mind that, thought Dumbledore. He turned his attention back to Clark. Dumbledore’s relationship with his brother, he suspected, was a lost cause.
“You said that you had pertinent information, old friend?” said Dumbledore gently, and Clark bobbed his head up and down.
“Yes. Yes, sir, I do. I… werewolves… you know. No one listenin’ in?”
“Not a one. Except for Aberforth, but he’s a very moral man. He can keep a secret.”
Aberforth scrubbed harder and grunted an agreement.
“Tha’ man. Aberforth. He doesn’t like werewolves much, hunh?”
Dumbledore smiled. Clark wasn’t usually this blunt, but a werewolf who had lived amongst other werewolves all his life often misjudged humans’ ability to hear spoken comments. Heightened senses were a blessing and a curse. Mostly a curse, according to Clark. “He can hear you, Clark.”
“Oh! Oh, I’m sorry, sir. Ab… Aberforth. So sorry.”
Aberforth did not grace this with a reply, so Dumbledore broke the awkward silence. “How much time do you have?”
“‘Bout an hour till Greyback notices I’m gone, p’raps less. I should hurry.”
“I’m listening.” Dumbledore took a sip of Butterbeer.
“Greyback’s been excited lately. Dare I say over the moon.” Clark chuckled weakly. “There was this man, while ago. Fergot his name. Somethin’ like… Loopy, I guess. I’ll remember later, prob’ly. But he sort of insulted Greyback… Greyback had a spot of trouble with the Ministry, you see, and was brought in fer a proper hearing. Pretended he was a Muggle tramp. Almost got away with it, ‘parently, but… the bloke, Loopy… he didn’t buy it at all. Clever man.”
“Do you know anything else about this man?”
“Greyback was goin’ on abou’ Boggarts. ‘Parently the bloke was an expert… and then they hired him at the Ministry. Somethin’ like Crocodile fer a first name… you know my mem’ry’s not all there, Albus.”
Dumbledore paused. An expert on Boggarts who had been hired by the Ministry… Crocodile Loopy? Dumbledore’s mind started to conjure pictures of the young man whom he had taught years earlier… brown hair, shy demeanor, studied various subjects for fun… sense of humor… got into fights with other Hogwarts students at times. Mostly mild-mannered, but a temper. “Lyall Lupin,” he said heavily. “It was Lyall, wasn’t it? I taught him.” Dumbledore started to picture what possibly could have happened between Greyback and Lyall that made Greyback so happy… a fight, perhaps? Lyall lost? The full moon was a few weeks ago… was Lyall killed? Or bitten? Poor man.
“Yup, Lyall Lupin. Tha’ was it, I’m sure of it. Well, Lyall saw righ’ through Greyback. His coworkers didn’t believe him, and Greyback mentioned… Greyback said they sort of taunted Lupin a bit. Seemed happy abou’ it, whatever it was, but I don’t know what they said. Ministry let Greyback free and tried to Obliviate him, but Greyback escaped. Ministry knows what ‘e looks like now. Greyback was hoppin’ mad abou’ tha’, he was. Face’s all over the papers. Can’t go undercover anymore. But ‘parently Lupin said that… werewolves were… heartless, soulless… creatures? I do’nno. Also implied we should all die.”
Dumbledore closed his eyes.?Oh, Lyall…
“So I guess Lupin both insulted Greyback and outed his appearance to the media, and Greyback was goin’ on abou’ revenge for a full day. ‘Twas the day before the day of the full, you know. He was tellin’ the story to everyone who would listen. Called us all together. Plotted his revenge. Said he was goin’ over to Lupin’s and killin’ him. Said if the whole world knew who he was, he might as well make it worth it.”
“And he went over to Lupin’s a bit before the moon rose. Came back. Looked pleased. Blood all over.”
Dumbledore felt a bit ill. “Lyall…?”
“Perfectly fine. ‘Parently Greyback went out and scouted the area. Watched the house fer a bit. S’not just Lyall livin’ there, he has a family. Wife. Kid.”
Dumbledore felt even more ill.
“You know how Greyback goes after the kids. Ecstatic that there was a little lad there. Big Lupin got away with not even a scratch, he did, but Greyback meant to kill the kid.”
So there was hope after all. “Meant to?”
“Meant to. Lad was only ’bout five, Greyback says. Tiny thing. Asleep before half-seven. You know children tha’ young don’t survive the firs’ full, so there was no point in bitin’ him and lettin’ him live. So Greyback decided to… you know. Rip ‘im apart. Leave ‘im barely recognizable. Wanted to hurt Lupin, he did.”
“Meant to?” Dumbledore repeated. Clark had always had a flair for the dramatic; he certainly liked to draw things out for maximum suspense. It was usually entertaining, but right now it was just mildly annoying. “You said that he… meant to kill the child.”
“Yeah, he did. But he says he only got one bite in before Lupin heard noises and scared ‘im off. No sense stickin’ around when a wizard’s got a wand and s’firin’ curses at you.” Clark chuckled. “Miffed parents are dangerous, and Greyback’s not stupid. Says it was still fun, though¡ªlad didn’t even scream; too stunned to do anything but stare. Greyback was pretty happy abou’ how things turned out. Says it’ll be a lot more fun for Lupin to live with a werewolf kid for a month. Said it wasn’t possible fer such a young lad to survive the full, so Lupin would either have to put ‘im down or let ‘im die with the rising of the moon. But he regretted that he didn’t get the kid fer himself. Younger ones taste better, he says.”
Dumbledore shifted in his seat with discomfort. Clark was desensitized to such talk, having grown up among werewolves, but Dumbledore was not. He wasn’t entirely convinced that Clark did not ever bite or kill people on the full moon, but he would never voice his reproaches to Clark. Clark was, after all, a good informant and debatably a good man… yet Dumbledore would not hesitate to protect anyone whom Clark may be willing to attack. “Continue, Clark.”
“Righ’. Well, tha’ was two and a half months ago, tha’ was. Lad’s been through the first full. Lupin let ‘im live, which Greyback found surprising. But you know what’s even more surprising?”
Dumbledore shook his head.
“The kid lived. Had his skeleton torn apart at the age of five, he did, and he didn’t die. Mostly they’ve got to be at least five and a half, and even tha’s rare. Greyback says seven is the best age. Greyback also said the kid wasn’t even five yet when Greyback bit ‘im. Close, but not yet¡ªhe was four. Family was talkin’ ’bout fifth birthday prep’rations, he said. Lad prob’ly transformed for the firs’ time righ’ aroun’ his birthday. Only five.”
That was rare, certainly, but Dumbledore didn’t see why it was such important information. “So…?”
“So tha’s a big deal! You prob’ly don’t understand. Yer brigh’ and all, but you can’t understand. In the werewolf world, tha’s huge. Greyback went and discovered a kid who somehow got past all the laws of the world. Tha’s why he’s so happy. Got ‘imself a protegee, he said. But when he tried to go get the kid and bring ‘im to the pack… lad refused.”
“Do you know the child’s name?”
“‘Course I do. Remus Lupin. Greyback’s been sayin’ it over and over, like it’s a song stuck in his head. He gets obsessive sometimes. Scary. The fact that Remus refused made ‘im even happier. Usually he can go into the child’s room sometime before the second moon, cast a Soundproofing Charm, and then convince the kid to come join. After they’ve been through the firs’ full moon they’ll do anythin’ to make it better, and Greyback makes sure the parents aren’t aroun’ to make the decision fer their kid. So tha’s what Greyback did with Remus. Sometimes he makes us do it, but he really wanted to do it himself this time. Never seen ‘im so excited abou’ anythin’. His heart was going a mile a minute, it was.”
“But Remus refused?”
“Yup. Greyback did all the normal stuff… promised he could make the pain go away, said it was almost like a cure, said Remus’d meet other kids like ‘im. Greyback even said that he tried to act all nice and fatherly, but none of us believe ‘im. Anyway, lad heard that Greyback could help an’ then flat-out refused. Said he wanted to stay where he was. Also a big deal, Dumbledore… pain’s a lot, an’ kids don’t offen have the presence of mind to make their own decisions.”
“Greyback tried Plan B, as he always does when the kids refuse. Took off Soundproofing Charms, let parents in. Sometimes the parents love to get the kid off their chests. But Lupin wasn’t having it, ‘parently. And Lupin can duel, so Greyback left. Lupin still loved his kid, even though he’d hated werewolves just two and a half months ago.”
“Fathers do tend to love their children,” murmured Dumbledore. “Lyall was always headstrong, but I never had any doubt when he was at Hogwarts that he’d do the right thing.”
“Don’no if it is the righ’ thing, meself. Remus Lupin’s not gonna have an easy life. People’re gonna hate ‘im. And he’s only five. He migh’ have been better off with us… plus, I kinda wanted to meet him, I did. After Greyback’s said so much abou’ him.”
“He will be better off here,” said Dumbledore. “He will. Lyall is a good father, I’m sure.”
“Yeah, well. They moved, after Greyback found ’em the second time, but Greyback isn’t worried. Loves that the lad has a mind of his own. Says he’ll go find Remus later when he’s grown and try again. Says it’s somethin’ to look forward to. He’s always so much happier when he has somethin’ to look forward to. We’re always scared of ‘im after the euphoria of the last full moon dies down and he’s got a whole month to go. But now he’s practically bouncin’ off the walls. No tellin’ whether Remus’ll survive the next full, but I hope he will. Really wanna meet the kid, I do.”
“So do I,” said Dumbledore thoughtfully. “But I imagine that the family is going through a lot right now. You’re right, Clark. This certainly changes things. You always do bring me good information.”
“Least I can do after you saved my skin few years ago,” said Clark. “Heckin’ werewolf hunters. Execution’s the worst way to go. Well, I’d better get back before Greyback wonders where I’ve been. See ya sometime, Albus.”
“See you sometime,” repeated Dumbledore, smiling. He watched Clark go. The second he left, the smile dropped off of his face. “Aberforth, you needn’t listen. But I need to talk things through.” Dumbledore stood up and began to pace.
“Oh, joy,” said Aberforth sarcastically.
“Armando is set on retiring, and I¡ªforgive my arrogance¡ªexpect to be headmaster in a few months’ time.”
“Of course you do.”
“Lyall was always a good man. He will raise Remus to be a good man as well, I am certain of it.”
“If you think werewolves can be good.”
“I do. And I think that, since Remus is so young now, he will have had a chance to adapt to the curse by the time he is eleven…”
“Oh no,” said Aberforth. “Absolutely not.”
“I heard that Lyall has married a Muggle. I believe her name is Hope. Remus might be nonmagical… but with Lyall’s talent, I suspect that he is a wizard. I shall have to check, but I would not be surprised if his name is already down for Hogwarts. If I can create arrangements for full moons…”
“You’re not planning on raising this boy to fight in the war, Albus.”
“I thought you didn’t like werewolves,” said Dumbledore. “Don’t worry. That is not my intention. I simply think that he has a right to an education, don’t you? I can see many ways that this will be a success… but, if I am as magically competent as I believe myself to be… I cannot see many ways in which it can fail. If this works… yes, indeed, I can see it working,” he said, more to himself than Aberforth, “and it could be life-changing for a great many people. Or perhaps just Remus Lupin. Either will satisfy me.”
“You say that, but you only care about the greater good. None of that is true at all.”
“It is certainly true,” said Dumbledore quietly, “and I’ll thank you to let me be my own person. I am changed. I have learned. And Remus Lupin will learn as well, if I have anything to do with it… except in a very different sense. He is young still, but in six years… six years. Yes. I shall… what is the expression?… put it on the back burner.” He smiled. “Would you like a caramel toffee, Aberforth? In thanks?”
“A caramel toffee will not make up for your mistakes.”
“No, but a caramel toffee certainly doesn’t hurt…”
“I don’t want your toffees.”
“A couple Galleons?”
“I am not a charity case.”
“Don’t touch me.”
“You may have my scarf, but it’s a bit old and probably too flamboyant for your tastes…”
“Get out of my pub so that I can reopen.”
“Very well. Let me know if there’s anything you ever need, Aberforth.”
“I need you out of my life,” Aberforth called, but Dumbledore was already halfway down the cobblestone street, humming Rossini’s?Barber of Seville?overture.
All in all, it had been quite the productive day.