Chapter 2: The Werewolf
"This is what you meant!" Tonks burst into Mad-Eyes office and tossed the Daily Prophet onto his desk.
"What are you on about?" Mad-Eye said roughly.
"This," Tonks said, pointing to the Daily Prophet.
Mad-Eye looked down at the article in front of him. It was written by Rita Skeeter and the headline read: 'Werewolf Professor Resigns from Hogwarts.' Mad-Eye scowled down at the newspaper. "Oh, That."
"Yes that," Tonks said. "That night at Hogwarts, when you asked me how dangerous I thought he was, I knew you knew something you weren't telling me." Tonks found herself dwelling on that encounter with Remus Lupin. In those quiet moments before she fell asleep at night or when she was losing focus on the paperwork she needed to do, she would catch herself thinking of him and his grey-blue eyes and gentle voice. She would wonder about the scars on his face and Mad-Eye's cryptic message about his dangerousness level. But now Tonks didn't have to wonder anymore. "He's a werewolf! Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't realize that it was any of your business," Mad-Eye said casually.
"Any of my business, Mad-Eye!" Tonks exclaimed. "I was alone with him for like twenty minutes. Didn't you think I should have been told?"
"Do you think you could get infected by just talking to him?" he said sardonically.
"I just can't believe he's a werewolf," she said. "I mean, he was so nice."
"Nymphadora," Mad-Eye said sternly. She huffed but remained otherwise silent. Mad-Eye only called her Nymphadora when she really irritated him. "You don't look like a dunderhead to me. Are you?" He raised his eyebrows at her. Both normal and magical eye were focused on her. "Well?"
"No," she said in a small voice.
"Good," Mad-Eye said. "Because you are going to be an auror in a few weeks and I would hate to think that after all your training you turned out to be a simpleton."
Tonks rolled her eyes at him. "Just get to the point will you."
"Why would him being a werewolf have anything to do with him being nice?"
"Well because-" She didn't have an answer. "Did Dumbledore know about this before he hired him?" she posed instead.
"Of course, Dumbledore knew," Mad-Eye said somewhat impatiently.
"Then why would he hire him, at a school of all places?"
"Seriously, Tonks," he said with exasperation.
"Look at the article, Mad-Eye," she said.
"Since when have you been so interested in the words of Rita Skeeter," Moody remarked.
"There's a testimony from Professor Snape and-"
Mad-Eye let out a humorless laugh. "If anything, there is a prime example of Albus Dumbledore's questionable staffing decisions, not Remus Lupin."
"I forget about that," she admitted. Maybe because she was so used to Snape, but she did not dwell on the fact that Snape was once a Death Eater. It was common knowledge. He had been her teacher for seven years after all. Yes, he was an arse, but he didn't seem evil.
"So, let me get this straight," Moody said. "You are going to overlook Severus Snape's discretion, in which he had full decision-making power, but you are going to discriminate against Remus Lupin for something he has absolutely no control over."
"Remus Lupin is an incredibly decent man, who had something really terrible happen to him from a very young age. He doesn't deserve people like you holding a prejudice over him."
Tonks looked at her shoes, feeling ashamed. "How old was he when it happened?" she asked.
"I don't know, Tonks, young. Four or five, can't remember."
"Four or five," she said horrified. "How did it happen?"
"That is not my story to tell," Mad-Eye said.
Tonks shuffled her feet and stared without really seeing.
Mad-Eye picked up the Prophet and handed it back to her. "Get this rubbish out of my office," he told her.
Tonks turned to leave.
"Use your head, Tonks," Mad-Eye said at her back. "It's our job as aurors to form our own opinions and not be swayed by what others tell us."
Tonks nodded, but then remembered her back was turned. "Yes," she said and then walked out of the office.
She balled the paper up and chucked it into the bin. She took a seat at her desk and pushed aside the piles of reports she was supposed to be looking at. 'My own opinion,' she thought. She ran through everything she had ever heard about werewolves.
Mostly what she had ever heard was that they are dangerous and that she should stay away from them. But why? During the full moon obviously, but other times? As far as she knew, lycanthropy was not transferable unless the individual was transformed, but she wasn't sure.
She thought about Fenrir Greyback, the werewolf who abandoned his humanity completely, attacking even when he was not under the influence of the full moon. Greyback embraced being a werewolf and other individuals living with lycanthropy followed him.
Once Tonks was taken along on a raid, with some experienced aurors, of a werewolf camp in the mountains. This group was sympathetic with Greyback's ideals that werewolves should separate themselves from other witches and wizards. The rest of the wizardry community did not protest the separation. This 'pack' that Tonks had come across, slept outside or in caves like real wolves. They huddled together for warmth, many of them naked. The men overpowered the woman, just grabbing them, taking them out in the open while others watched.
This particular camp did not have any children, but Tonks had heard about infected children being handed over to other werewolves to be raised away from their parents, who could not control them and who feared them.
The word werewolf was often followed by those of 'attack, rape, and cannibalism.'
Tonks and the aurors had gone to this werewolf camp to arrest some of them for thievery. The incidences of rape and violence happening in the pack were not even to be addressed. The wider wizardry community was not concerned about what happened within the pack as long as it was happening well away from them. The thievery was not as much of an issue as was the fact that the werewolves in question came into proximity to uninfected people in order to steal.
At the time, Tonks thought these wolves- people looked pitiful, cold and hungry. Now she would admit to herself that she had looked at them as she would have looked upon less intelligent beings, animals that could not be trusted to make their own decisions, who could be pitied as one would pity a stray dog.
She had never actually had a conversation with a werewolf before Remus Lupin, at least as far as she was aware.
When she had first read the article, she had questioned its truthfulness because how could this kind, handsome, and intelligent professor be in anyway associated with the poor creatures she had seen at that camp.
Once she had accepted that the article must be accurate, she then questioned if Remus Lupin was really as kind and intelligent as she thought; she hadn't talked to him for very long after all.
Perhaps she was just caught up in the moment because he was fanciable with those grey-blue eyes of his. Then she was taken aback that she had found a werewolf fanciable. But he was. And he was kind and gentle, everything that she was taught a werewolf was not. She had basically spilled her guts to him because she immediately felt like she could trust him, which was crazy! A woman should not assume that about any man, werewolf or not.
'Why am I even putting so much thought into this?' she asked herself. It wasn't like she was ever going to see him again.