Perhaps this is a bad idea.
We can’t keep him here, he needs to be around others his own age. Other children Like Him, Hope.
Like him? Lyall, they Won’t be like him. No one will be like him…Oh my poor boy…Can’t we just home school him?
Dumbledore has assured me that he will be safe, Hope. They’ve got everything figured out to accommodate his condition.
Eleven year old Remus Lupin could hear his parents bickering in the kitchen. They thought he was asleep. He ought to be asleep at such a late hour of the night. But he couldn’t. Not because of his parents, who he knew were only concerned for his safety, but because he was too excited. Glancing at his alarm clock, he could see that it was 2:30 in the morning, and that meant that in only 6 and a half hours, he’d be on the train to Hogwarts. Him! A werewolf! Imagine that…
What if someone finds out? Or worse! What if he hurts-
Hope! Don’t say things like that.
Lyall, it’s a perfectly valid concern!
Remus frowned and turned on his other side, pulling his pillow over his ears and shutting his eyes tight. He himself had the same concerns as his mother, but he refused to think about it. He was going to Hogwarts. He was going to school like a normal boy his age. He was going to be normal.
I just want to be normal…
“Remember Sirius, you are not normal. You are not average. You are above that. You are a Black and I expect you to be on your best behavior, is that understood?” Walburga spoke sternly as she stood, stone faced in front of her eldest son on the platform, awaiting the scarlet steam engine to arrive. Her son, Sirius, was a bored looking boy with shining black hair and stormy grey eyes who did not appear to be paying attention to his mother at all. Rather, he was making puffs of different colored smoke shoot out his brand new wand to amuse his younger brother, who was squealing with laughter.
“Mum! Mum I want to go to Hogwarts too! I want to get my wand, Mum! Siri, can’t I come with you?”
“Soon, Reg!” Sirius grinned. “Watch this-“
“Sirius Black, are you listening to me?” Walburga snapped, grabbing her eldest by the shoulder. “Stand upright and stop with your silly tomfoolery. I don’t want to hear about you causing any sort of havoc. You are representing The Noble-“
“And Most Ancient House Of Black, I know Mother.” Sirius grumbled as he pulled away from her. He straightened up dramatically, like the muggle soldiers he had seen in London, the ones that wouldn’t move or smile. Once his mother turned her back, he winked at his brother and grinned. As the train pulled up, parents said their weepy goodbyes to their children. Sirius hugged his brother tight.
“I’ll see you during the Holiday Reggie. It will come quick, I promise.” And with a polite goodbye to his mother, Sirius grabbed his trunk and ran on board.
Rushing through the cars, he could feel all the pent up excitement he had kept buried inside of him since his letter had come in the mail. He had wanted to yell and jump and scream with joy, but that sort of behavior was frowned upon at The Ancient and Most Nobel House of Black.
“Sirius!” A familiar, drawling voice broke him out of his dizzy fit of glee and he stopped short, nearly stumbling on the trunk of the small pudgy boy in front of him that was making his way down the rows of compartments. Once again he straightened up slightly, bringing his shoulders back and lifting his chin slightly as he turned to face his cousins in the compartment to his right.
“Narcissa.” He nodded curtly to the older blonde sister. “Trixie.”
“Don’t call me Trixie!” whined the younger, dark haired girl. “I hate it when you call me that.”
“Well I hate it when you speak, but, here you are, screeching away.” Sirius smirked and leaned against the door. Bellatrix’s eyes narrowed and she opened her mouth to say something snarky in response but Narcissa interrupted.
“Sirius, I told Auntie Walburga I’d keep an eye on you,” she said, eyeing him with a look of slight disgust. As if it were a burden. “I’m a Prefect, after all.” She added, flipping her silvery blonde hair over her shoulder to show off the shining badge.
Sirius rolled his eyes. “Really, Cissy I hadn’t heard that even one time this summer. ‘Oh Narcissa the prefect! How lovely! Oh Sirius why can’t you be more like your cousin!’”
Narcissa’s eyes narrowed. “You’d better not make any trouble, Sirius. If Slytherin loses the House Cup for the first time in five years because your behavior costs us points, you’ll be the disappointment of the family.”
“Oh, how awful.” Said Sirius, flatly. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to find a seat.”
“Aren’t you going to sit with us?” Bellatrix asked in her shrill little voice. “Auntie Walburga said you were supposed to sit with us.”
Sirius looked around. “Funnily enough, I don’t see her here. Ta, ladies.” And before either of his cousins could object, he quickly bolted to the next car.
The train had already begun moving, and the compartments were already mostly full to Sirius’ dismay. He had decided that he would rather stand for the whole ride than go back to sit with his cousins. He was about to accept this as his unfortunate fate, when he came to an open door. This compartment wasn’t full. The pudgy boy he had almost run over earlier was talking animatedly, though in a hushed voice, with a lanky, bespectacled boy with messy black hair. And then there was another boy. A small, pale boy with auburn colored hair who seemed to be sleeping, slumped against the window. The boy with the glasses looked up and saw Sirius and smiled broadly.
“We’ve got room, if you’re looking.” He stood up as Sirius entered and reached out to shake his hand. “I’m James Potter. This here is Peter Pettigrew.”
“Black, eh?” James’ smile faltered a little and Peter gave an audible gasp. The other boy continued to snooze. “Shouldn’t you be sitting with your family? I reckoned you lot stuck together.”
Sirius frowned, slightly offended “What’s that supposed to mean?”
James looked embarrassed. “Sorry, mate. I didn’t mean…Sorry. You can still sit with us, if you’d like.” He sat back down beside Peter. Sirius didn’t sit, instead he let his eyes wander over to the sleeping boy. He looked ill. Sirius briefly wondered if he was contagious…maybe he should find another place to sit.
“Who’s that?” He asked.
James shrugged. “Dunno. Poor bloke must’ve had a rough night though. He’s out cold. Heavy sleeper.” Sirius eyed him for another moment before deciding he would take his chances. If he was sick, maybe he could catch it and get out of a few classes and explore the castle.
“So anyway,” James continued to Peter. “My whole family has been in Gryffindor for generations. So I’m a shoe in. Don’t be too nervous. I’m sure you’ll get into a good house with a good lot. It’s not like you’ll be sorted into Sly-“ he trailed off and looked at Sirius. “I mean, not that Slytherin is, y’know, always a bad thing or-“
“I’m not going to be a Slytherin.” Sirius stated, folding his arms.
“Oh,” Said both James and Peter.
“Sorry.” Said James, sheepishly. “It’s just that your whole family-“
“Well not me.” Sirius gritted his teeth.
Peter gave him a quizzical sort of look. “No offense, but…How d’you know?”
“I’ll tell them I don’t want to be.” Sirius insisted. But he hadn’t thought of that. How would he assure that?
James bit his lip. “Er…Sure, mate…Anyway, Pete, d’you want to see the photograph I got signed by Carlos Clodoaldo at the last cup?”
Sirius’ eyes lit up “You’re a Brazil fan, eh?”
"Nah, Bulgaria. But Clodoaldo is a hell of a beater!”
“Anything from the trolley, boys?” Interrupted a plump woman pushing a cart of treats. All three boys jumped up off their seats, plunging their hands into their pockets and ordering as much sweets as they could afford. Still, the sickly looking boy didn’t budge. And as James and Peter sat back down with their loot of candy and cakes, Sirius pocketed a chocolate frog just in case the boy woke up.
The train came to a slow stop and everyone hustled to grab their belongings and hurry off the train. As James and Peter joined the rest of them, Sirius turned and gently nudged the sleeping boy.
“Hey…We’ve arrived.” Startled, the boy's eyes, which Sirius could now see were a bright, nearly inhuman amber color, flung open.
“Oh…I…Er…th-thanks…” the boy seemed flustered as he stood and collected his things. “Blimey, I was really out for that long, eh?”
Sirius nodded. “Yeah…You’re a heavy sleeper. You alright, then?”
“Yeah. I’m fine. Thank you. I mean…for waking me up.” And with that the boy grabbed his things and darted out, disappearing into the crowd.
“Firs’ years!” Boomed a loud voice over the crowd of chattering students. “Firs’ years this way!” And they were lead, by what Sirius assumed must be a giant, out to the lake.
“Four to a boat! C’mon then.” Sirius climbed into into a boat and was joined almost instantly by his cousin Bellatrix, a boy with greasy hair and a long nose and a girl with red hair whom Sirius assumed had to be a Weasley. Everyone was mostly silent as the boats drifted across the dark lake. Until, finally, a loud gasp escaped from every single one of them as the castle came into sight.
“It’s beautiful!” gasped the red haired girl. “Severus, it’s the most incredible thing I have ever seen! Oh Tuney would love it!” her voice sounded sad.
“Don’t think about her, Lily.” Said the boy, Severus.
“I thought it’d be bigger,” Bellatrix quipped. “There’s no way there’s a basilisk hiding away in their like Lucius says.”
Sirius rolled his eyes. “You really believe everything that git says, Trix? You’re dumber than your sister.”
“Stop. Calling. Me. That!”
“Oh shut up before I push you into the bloody lake and let the giant Squid get you…”
“There’s no giant Squid, Sirius. That’s ridicu—ooh!” As if on cue, a long tentacle emerged from the otherwise glassy water, waving lazily in the air before in disappeared once more.
If the view from the lake hadn’t been breathtaking enough, stepping into the castle was the most incredible thing any of them had ever seen. The excitement in the air was palpable as they chattered away, amazed at the moving staircases and suits of armor that surrounded them.
“So what house d’you reckon you’ll be sorted into?” James Potter was talking to the red head, Lily, that Sirius had shared a boat with.
“Oh, I’m not sure. “ She shrugged. “My family are all muggles, you see.”
“I know I’ll be sorted into Gryffindor,” said James proudly. “Where Dwell the Brave at Heart! Just like my dad! It’s the best house-“
The greasy haired boy beside Lily scoffed. “Only if you’d rather be brawny instead of brainy.”
“Where were you hoping to go, then?” Sirius smirked. “Seeing as you’re clearly neither.”
James howled with laughter and Lily grabbed the other boy.
“Come on, Severus.” And lead him away.
They all came to a hush as a stern looking witch with graying hair tied securely in a knot at the top of her head and small rectangular glasses that sat at the tip of her nose.
“Welcome first years,” She said, eyeing them all over the edge of her glasses. “I am Professor McGonagall. I am the Deputy Headmistress, Professor of Transfiguration and the head of Gryffindor House. The sorting is going to begin momentarily. Follow me.” She turned around, her long emerald robes sweeping behind her and the doors opened.
The first years gaped wildly at the enchanted night’s sky that the ceiling of the Great Hall portrayed and the floating candles. Some of them waved excitedly to siblings and family members in upper years as they slowly made their way to the front of the room where there stood a simple wooden stool with a lumpy, ancient looking wizard’s hat perched on top. Professor McGonagall once again addressed the first years;
“When I call your name, you will sit on the stool and try on the hat. When the hat announces your house, you will join your housemates at their tables.” She opened a long scroll of parchment.
“Avery, Killian” Whom Sirius recognized as one of his father’s friends’ son, was the first to be sorted, and the hat yelled “Slytherin!” after not even a moment atop the boys head.
“Beckwith, Davis” Became a Hufflepuff.
“Bellrose, Anastasia” was the first Ravenclaw.
“Black, Bellatrix!” Sirius cringed as his cousin, tiny in form but so very large in presence with her jittering energy, nearly shoved her way up front and clambered up onto the stool. The hat hardly touched her before shouting “Slytherin!” to which she squealed with joy and ran off to join her older sister. Which could only mean that next would be;
There was a murmur throughout the Great Hall as some students craned their necks or even stood to get a look at the heir to the infamous Black fortune. Throwing his shoulders back and swallowing hard past the lump in his throat, Sirius walked up, sat on the stool and risked a look over at the Slytherin table where his cousins were scooting over to leave room for him. His stomach dropped as Professor McGonagall lowered the hat onto his head.
Unlike Bellatrix, the hat did not immediately call out a house assignment. Instead, Sirius heard a voice coming from deep inside his head;
“Well now, another Black. I’d have thought you’d be as easily placed as your cousins.”
I’m nothing like my cousins. Sirius thought fiercely.
“Well I wouldn’t go that far.” Said the voice. “I see a lot of ambition, and you’re certainly vey cunning, Mister Black. You’d be a star pupil for Slytherin.”
NO! Sirius gritted his teeth so that he wouldn’t accidently say it out loud. Not Slytherin. I’ll leave. I’ll run off. You can’t make me stay. I refuse.
“Rather hot headed, aren’t you? But I see loyalty in you, Sirius Black. And bravery. Yes…well then, I think I’ll put you in GRYFFINDOR!”
There was a loud gasp throughout the entire hall followed by a deathly silence and Sirius could feel the piercing cold glares of his cousins as he slid off the stool and headed to the table at the opposite end of the room. His footsteps seemed to echo in the shocked silence until;
“YEAH SIRIUS!” Shouted James Potter from the crowd. “YOU DID IT MATE!” And with that, the room erupted with cheers as they had for the other students. Grinning from ear to ear, Sirius slumped down with a great sigh of relief at the Gryffndor table and the sorting continued.
“Evans, Lily” Was called and the hat did not take long to announce that she too was a Gryffindor. She gracefully ran to the table, taking a seat across from Sirius and smiling broadly at her friend Severus, who did not look as pleased as she did.
“Flannigan, Declan” Became a Hufflepuff.
“Goyle, Robert.” Slytherin.
“McKinnon, Marleen” Gryffindor.
“Meadowes, Dorcas” Gryffindor.
“Norton, Joleen” Ravenclaw.
It was the sick looking boy from the train. Sirius couldn’t place what it was, but something about the boy intrigued him. The hat seemed to be taking it’s time with him as well, but after a few moments it shouted “GRYFFINDOR!” and Remus, looking quite stunned, made his way to the Gryffndor table and sat beside Sirius, looking down at his hands with wide, shocked eyes.
More students were sorted. Peter Pettigrew joined them at the Gryffindor table and the hat hardly touched the messy hair of James Potter before shouting that he too would be their housemate. James plopped himself on the other side of Sirius and clapped him firmly on the shoulder.
“Well done, mate. How’d you do it?”
“Dunno,” Sirius lied as Severus Snape was sorted into Slytherin. “Guess I’m just not cut out for Slytherin.”
James pulled a face as Snape joined the table at the other end of the hall.
“Better off.” He shook his head. “Hey Evans, that slimy git Snape is giving you a look. What’s his problem?”
Lily looked offended. “He happens to be my friend. And he’s only disappointed that we were sorted differently.”
“Might as well give up on that friendship,” James chided. “Now that he’s in with that lot.”
Lily’s bright green eyes flashed with anger. “I can be friends with whoever I see fit, Potter. No matter what house they are in.”
And with that, she stood and moved down the table to sit beside Marleen McKinnon and Dorcas Meadows.
James grinned broadly. “I reckon she fancies me.”
There was a soft chuckle from Sirius’ left side, and Remus Lupin, still staring intently down at his hands, quietly said “Imagine how she’d treat you if she hated you.”
Sirius barked with laughter and Peter snorted. James frowned, pushing his glasses up the bridge of his nose.
“You’re the boy that was asleep on the train.”
The boy blushed slightly, which actually gave his cheeks a healthier looking glow.
“Er, yeah…I’m Remus. Remus Lupin.”
“James Potter,” he extended a hand to Remus who hesitated before accepting it, as if he had never had much human contact before. James went on with the introductions. “That’s Peter Pettigrew. And this here, at the Gryffindor table, believe it or not, is Sirius Black.”
Sirius rolled his eyes, but grinned and shook Remus’ hand. Remus blinked at him with those large, eerily bright eyes. “Sorry, er...Is that supposed to be a big deal?”
“He’s a Black.” Peter repeated. “No Black has ever been sorted into any house but Slytherin. The whole family is loaded too. D’you live in a castle Sirius? Is it bigger than this?”
Sirius raised an eyebrow and shook his head “No, don’t be ridiculous…I mean…it’s a mansion, sure…but not…not a castle…” he ran a hand nervously through his hair.
“Oh.” Said Remus. “Sorry. I was raised mostly around muggles, so…”
James looked thoughtful. “Lupin…That’s a Wizard name, though.”
Remus nodded. “Yeah, My dad is a wizard, but my mum is a muggle.” He looked like he didn’t want to talk much about his family or his home. Luckily for him, an old looking wizard with a long white beard had stepped up to the podium in front of the Great Hall.
“Welcome To Hogwarts! I am Headmaster Dumbledore. I just have a few announcements before we begin with our feast. To start, Mr Filch kindly asks that you refrain from using any dungbombs in the corridors,” his eyes twinkled. “And also would like to remind you all that fanged Frisbees are for outside use only.” There was a fit of laughter from some older Gryffindor students. “Also, we have planted a very rare, very dangerous tree on the grounds. The Whomping Willow is to be avoided at all costs, for it can and will break every bone in your body.”
“Why on earth would they put something so dangerous in the middle of a school ground?” Lily Evans hissed.
“Now then,” Dumbledore continued. “I’m sure you’re all itching to begin with our feast. Enjoy!” He waved his hand and the tabled, which had been completely empty, filled with all sorts of food. Chicken, ham, pork, steaks, veggies, potatoes, anything you could have imagined. Sirius, James and Peter began to pile food onto their plates as Professor McGonagall came up behind them.
“Mr. Lupin, would you come with me, please? Professor Dumbledore would like a word.” And Remus stood and followed her.
James watched them leave and shook his head. “Couldn’t have waited til he got some food in him? Poor bloke looks like he hasn’t eaten in months.”He didn’t seem too concerned though, as he stuffed more mashed potatoes into his mouth.
“Yeah…” Sirius agreed. Something about Remus Lupin was definitely off. But he shook it from his mind and put his focus back on his own grumbling stomach.
“Ah, Mister Lupin.” Dumbledore smiled warmly as Remus entered the office, looking around the room with interest at all of the magical artifacts and books and portraits. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“It’s nice to see you too, Sir.” Remus replied politely. “And thank you, again…for letting me be here.”
Dumbledore frowned. “My dear boy, it’s your birthright to be here.”
“Well…I mean…perhaps if I wasn’t a…well, you know…” Remus looked down shamefully.
“Remus, listen to me.” Dumbledore said, leaning over his desk, blue eyes gleaming kindly. “You are not your condition. And you have every right to be here. You do not have to thank me. I have faith that you will be one of Hogwarts’ best students.” He winked, sitting back in his chair. “However, we do need to talk about your safety, of course. I promised your father I would do everything in my power to make sure you are protected and that no one figures out your secret.”
Something about the look in Dumbledore’s eyes made Remus feel safe, and he nodded smiling back at the old wizard.
“Now then, Professor McGonagall will introduce you to Madam Pomfrey, our healer and they will show you where you will be spending the nights of the full moon. I promise you, Remus, this will work. I think you’ll be very happy here.”
Remus nodded and stood. “Thank you, Professor.”
He turned to leave with Professor McGonagall.
“And Remus,” Dumbledore added. “Yes Professor?” Dumbledore smiled. “Make friends. They will be your greatest strength, I assure you.”
Remus’ smile faltered slightly. It seemed that Dumbledore knew that Remus had planned to get through school with his nose in a book, flying completely under the radar.
“I…I’ll try, Professor.”
By the time Remus finally made it up to his new home in Gryffindor tower, it was very late. Most of the other students had already gone to bed. Remus was careful to be extra quiet as he entered the first year boys’ dormitory and made his way to the vacant bed that clearly belonged to him. Exhausted, he pulled off his jumper, glad that his bunk mates were asleep and could not see the scars that littered his body. He changed into his pajamas and climbed into bed when he heard the crinkling sound of foil beneath his pillow. Lifting it, he found a solitary chocolate frog and a note scribbled messily on a scrap of parchment;
Thought you might be hungry. – Sirius