AUTHOR'S NOTE: This fandom's fancast videos are a treasure trove of artistry and inspiration, and practically is it's own fandom. Because of this, there's been a resurgence of interest in many minor characters.
Lily and James Potter feel more real to me when fancast as Sophie Skelton and Andrew Taylor-Johnson, than they ever did in the films. A good example is the Black family; even though the majority of them never appear in person in canon, the characters are so rich. But one family with a huge amount of potential who are still ignored, is the Lupins.
Obviously the generally accepted fancast for Remus is Andrew Garfield. But the stunning fanvid Harry Potter Universe | Your Mother Loved You by Bells included Hope Lupin and Remus. It got me thinking about the Lupins, and Rowling's Pottermore essay showed his parents to be wonderful people dealing with a difficult situation.
My fancast is Andrew Garfield as the teenage Remus, Joel Kinnaman as Lyall, and Shantel VanSanten as Hope. The fic title is from a quote by George R. R. Martin, and the lullaby is "Stay With Me" from Into The Woods by Stephen Sondheim.
"Let me tell you something about wolves, child.
When the snows fall and the white winds blow,
the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives."
- George R. R. Martin, A Game Of Thrones (1996)
After marrying a wizard, Hope thought her life would be strange and wonderful. She never expected it to be so hard.
The twenty-year-old is the first woman in the Howell family to earn a degree. After graduating from Swansea University, she starts work as an insurance agency's secretary. Though the job is steady, the Welsh young woman came to Cardiff for adventure after her dull, coal mining hometown of Aberfan. Hope has always a dreamer and a romantic, boldly chasing after the unknown. Maybe that's why she was always drawn to stories about fantasy and the supernatural, like Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and the newly-published The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. As a child, she once thought she saw a fairy, and dreamed of joining Peter Pan in the far away Neverland.
After another day of dull monotony, she goes to the woods outside of the city limits. Nature has always revitalized her, and she takes a deep breath to drink in the crisp air. But then she sees a figure in the shadows, and Hope freezes.
"No," she breathes. "It can't be."
Mr. Adams couldn't have come from Swansea and stalked her here in the Cardiff woods. But there's no mistaking it is him, with the same piercing eyes, dark hair, and hulking frame that towers over her. "There you are, dollface," Mr. Adams says with that familiar hungry look in his eyes.
She runs, and he chases her.
Hope has never been so terrified. Her heart beats so hard it might fly out of her chest. It might save her life that she's wearing pedalpusher trousers and not a poodle skirt. Darting like a deer on the path, she reaches a toadstool patch, and slips on the dew-dappled mushrooms. Mr. Adams bears down on her as she frantically catches herself, and he lunges.
She sees a young man burst through the trees, pointing a thin stick at Mr. Adams with a flash of white light. At the same time, Hope trips on a root and slams into the grass. When she looks up, Mr. Adams is gone and the young man remains. Maybe she was wrong, and the young man had a huge branch that he beat Mr. Adams off with. A twig wouldn't make sense, and the flash was just the sun in her eyes.
"It's all right, it was only a Boggart," the young man says. A handsome young man, in fact, with bronze hair, gentle brown eyes, and a kind, long face. He has an English accent, clearly not a Welsh local. He wears a blue cardigan, and looks like he calls his grandmother once a week.
Perhaps she hit her head when she fell. "I'm sorry, I've got no idea what you said."
"Never mind. Are you okay?"
"Mostly. Thanks for chasing him off."
She starts to get up, knee smarting, and he offers a hand. "Let me help you."
"I'm alright, thanks." She's bold, not stupid. A girl has to be careful around men she doesn't know – and men she does, like Mr. Adams.
Her rescuer pulls his hand back. "Whatever you want."
It makes more of an impression that he steps back. He doesn't touch her without her approval, and he doesn't cop a feel for his own benefit. It's more respect in five minutes than Mr. Adams had ever shown. Hope has always been free-spirited, but maybe a quiet, level-headed guy would be a good change than the boys she'd dated before.
"My name's Lyall Lupin, by the way."
"I suppose the only sensible thing to do, is for me to accompany you home," Lyall says. "To protect you."
She's no wilting flower, but she also did just get hunted like a wolf after a rabbit. "Okay."
Lyall keeps a respectful distance as they walk back to the city. Hope learns he works in London at The Ministry, which she guesses is a church soup kitchen. She tells him about her boring office job, only a secretarial post because people believe women can't sell insurance policies. When they head into downtown Cardiff, he starts to go into an abandoned factory. "I live this way," Hope says.
"Oh, sorry, I know someone who lives on this side of Cardiff. She's a witc-" He suddenly goes pale with a horrified look.
"She must be a terrible ex if you call her a witch," Hope says in the odd silence that follows.
He lets out a nervous laugh. "Not exactly. But I'll follow you."
They reach her flat. "Thanks for what you did in the woods, and walking me home."
"You're welcome," he replies. "Goodbye then, Hope."
"Goodbye, Lyall." But when he turns to leave, she impulsively says, "Wait. Do you want to maybe go out for tea?"
"I'd love to. I wanted to ask, but I thought it was too soon."
"Tea it is then." He smiles, and she can't help but return it.
"You're a what?"
"A wizard," her boyfriend repeats on their tenth date. They've gone back to the woods; she wants to make good memories here. "Not card tricks and pulling rabbits out of a hat. Real magic. I was born with it."
Hope stares at Lyall. He'd seemed so normal up to this point. "Prove it."
Lyall takes out the carved stick he always carried around with him. He'd called it a good luck charm before, but he holds it like a wand at a clump of mushrooms. He says something that sounds like Latin, and a pink light streams from the wand. She watches the toadstools twist into a bouquet of red roses, which float into her hand. "For you."
"They're beautiful, but I'm going to need more proof."
"You're smart enough to ask. Come with me."
The wizard takes the Muggle girl through the abandoned factory into Cardiff's wizarding boroughs, and it's like every fairy tale come to life. Later, Hope and Lyall go out for tea. He meets her parents in Aberfan, and Lyall takes Hope on the Knight Bus to meet his parents in a village near Stonehenge. They dance in Muggle clubs to Elvis Presley's Blue Moon, and in wizarding clubs to Celestina Warbeck's Ask For The Moon (And I'll Get It For You). After a while, Lyall and Hope fit together in each other's lives like pieces they didn't know they were missing.
"The fact that you saw a Boggart is unusual," Lyall begins in The Red Dragon Pub on the wizarding side of town. "Muggles can't see magic. Do you have a witch or wizard in your family? Even far back?"
Hope shakes her head. "Nope. The Howells have always been ordinary coal miners. We're hardworking, blue collar, and definitely not magical."
"Some wizarding folk don't have magic," Lyall continues. "They're called Squibs. The parents are magical, but the Squib child has no powers, yet can see everything a wizard or witch can. Basically it's really close to having magic, but not quite. I wonder if you might be a Squib."
She raises an eyebrow. "So it's like a repressed or mutated gene in your DNA?"
Now he's the one to be confused. "What's DNA? And what do denim jeans have to do with it?"
She laughs. "No, genes like cells in your body."
"Never heard of it," he admits. She smirks, but he grows solemn. "Remember I told you the guy following you was a Boggart?"
"Yeah, he was a creep."
"He didn't technically exist. Boggarts are another magical being, a spirit or a ghost who turn into your deepest, darkest fear. My Boggart is my family's tombstones, and my cousin's Boggart is the ocean 'cause she almost drowned once." He pauses. "You don't have to tell me, but is there a reason that guy was your Boggart?"
She doesn't answer for a moment. "Mr. Adams was my boss when I was a waitress in university. He got… handsy, which was why I quit. I hadn't seen him in years, and so I thought he stalked me all the way to Cardiff."
"I'm sorry." So different from Mr. Adam's intense gaze, Lyall's gentle brown eyes meet hers. "That's never going to happen while I'm around."
Hope's blue eyes shine. "Is that a promise?"
"Do you want me to stay?"
She nods. "Yep."
"So do I."
Hope kisses him.
They marry in a ceremony blending Muggle and wizarding traditions.
Hope wears something blue for her family, and the wedding party dances around a May Pole for Lyall's family. The Howells and even Hope herself are surprised by the magical customs, and Lupins seem equally baffled by mundane conventions. But Hope has Lyall, and knows she can face anything with him by her side.
Their son Remus is born almost exactly a year later. The shy wizard, his Welsh Muggle wife, and their charming son might not be wealthy, but they are blissfully and incandescently happy.
When Lyall comes home from the Ministry, Hope plays with the four-year-old Remus as Frank Sinatra sings Fly Me To The Moon on the radio.
"Welcome home!" Hope says with a smile as she turns, but it fades when she sees Lyall's somber expression. As he walks into the sitting room, her normally optimistic husband's face is lined with worry. His pale blue shirt reflects his mood, contrasting his wife's brightly-colored Mod style with a large sunhat, hot pink paisley shift dress, and white go-go boots. "Is everything okay?"
"No, it's not," Lyall replies. He joins them on the rug, ruffling Remus' hair as their son plays with a soft three-headed dog toy. "I did something stupid. Fenrir Greyback came into the Ministry today. He said he was a Muggle, but his lycanthropy was obvious."
"Lycanthropy?" Hope asks, feeling ignorant. Lyall never makes her feel foolish, but she's still new to the wizarding world and is very aware of her inexperience.
"The name of the werewolf condition," he explains kindly. "So Fenrir came into the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. You remember the deaths of those two Muggle children?"
She nods. "I do."
"We thought Fenrir might be behind it. A witness said they saw him. So obviously I wasn't very welcoming to a child murderer, werewolf or not. It'd been a long and stressful day. He didn't have a wand on him and stuck to his story of being an innocent Muggle, so Mr. Silver believed him and wanted to let him go. But I noticed how hairy Fenrir was, and his eyes looked canine and not human. I said he should be kept under observation during the full moon. Which is tonight, actually. But my coworkers laughed at me. Mr. Silver even said 'Lyall, you just stick to Welsh Boggarts, that's what you're good at.'"
The corner of Hope's mouth turns up.
"But if those innocent Muggle kids did die at Fenrir's hands, I wasn't going to let a child murderer go. So I said something I deeply regret now. I told Fenrir that werewolves are soulless, evil, and deserving nothing but death."
Silence falls, broken by Remus' toy dragons being clacked together.
"That's not like you," she finally says.
"I know, Hope," Lyall sighs. "I know. The department head apologized to Fenrir, and upbraided me. But then Mr. Silver came back black and blue. He said he'd tried to give Fenrir a Memory Charm, but there were two other werewolves outside. They and Fenrir beat Mr. Silver to a pulp, and said werewolves had rights too. Fenrir swore he'd make me pay for what I said, and they left." He pauses. "How could I be so prejudiced? I treated Fenrir the same way Muggles used to treat wizard folk during the medieval witch hunts. And now I've put not only myself in danger, but you and Remus too."
Lyall bows his head in shame. Hope puts her arms around him, and feels the tension in his lean body. "I'm terrified," he says into her nut-brown hair.
"I know. If you see him again, apologize, and maybe he'll forgive you."
"He didn't seem like the forgiving type, but I'll try."
She looks at the clock. "We should put Remus to bed."
"Is a werewolf going to carry me off?" Remus asks once he's been tucked in. His will-o'-the-wisp floats as a nightlight, and the toddler clutches his favorite three-headed dog toy.
Sitting on the edge of the bed with a quilt embroidered with dragons and hippogriffs, Hope and Lyall look at each other. They hadn't thought he'd been paying attention before. "Of course not," Lyall says.
Remus' brown eyes are still wide. "But what if…" Then Hope starts to sing.
Don't you know what's out there in the world
Someone has to shield you from the world
Stay with me
Princes wait there in the world, it's true
Princes, yes, but wolves and humans too
Stay at home
I am home
Who out there could love you more than I
What out there that I cannot supply
Stay with me
Stay with me
The world is dark and wild
Stay a child while you can be a child
By the time she finishes the song, Remus has fallen asleep. Hope checks the lock on the window as the full moon shines down, and she closes the curtains.
"There's ten spells on his window," Lyall whispers.
"I know, but I just wanted to be careful," Hope replies softly.
They both linger before quietly closing the door, finally going down the hall hand in hand. Once their own bedroom door is shut, they hug, and wordlessly stand in each other's embrace for a long moment. As they turn in, Hope notices Lyall puts his wand – applewood with a unicorn hair – under his pillow. He usually leaves it on the nightstand, and sometimes forgets it in the kitchen or the sitting room.
But not tonight.
Hope wakes to Remus' scream.
She and Lyall bolt out of bed, still half-asleep but desperate to reach their son. When they throw open the bedroom door, a man is biting Remus' arm in the dark room. His teeth tear into the boy's skin as the toddler screams. But as her eyes adjust, Hope sees the man isn't human at all. He's a wolf, but not like any usual wolf she's ever seen, bald with unnaturally long fingers and limbs. Blood soaks his teeth and his muzzle, and she instantly knows he is the werewolf Fenrir Greyback.
Lyall fires a green spell from his wand at their son's attacker. "Avada Kedavra!"
"Get away from my son!" Hope screams. She lunges, intending to claw Fenrir's eyes out. She might not have magic herself, but she is a mother, and she will defend her child to the death.
But Fenrir deflects Lyall's spell and snarls, "Protego!" At the same time, the werewolf's Shield Charm slams into Hope, and she hits the floor. Scrambling to her feet, she sees Fenrir head for the open window.
"Crucio, you monster! Avada Kedavra!" Lyall shouts, going after Fenrir.
Hope picks up the sobbing Remus, turning to shield him with her body and never wishing more than in that moment to have magic. Her child's mangled arm is ripped open and imprinted with teeth marks, and wet, dark blood drenches his pajamas and the bed. Her husband keeps firing curses, but the Fenrir blocks them every time with the Shield Charm. The bedside lamp shatters, a hole is blasted in the wall, and some of Remus' toys are set on fire. Then the werewolf dives through the window and Disapparates.
Lyall looks at Hope as she holds the wailing Remus. "We need to get him to St. Mungo's, now!" Her husband offers a hand, and she grasps it right before he Disapparates them.
"I'm sorry to say that he does have lycanthropy," the mediwitch Brigid says in the exam room.
Afraid she might collapse, Hope grips Lyall's hand before putting an arm around Remus. His arm bandaged in a sling, the dozing boy had been given a calming draught and a plush unicorn to hold. The only thing Hope knows about werewolves is from Muggle B-movie horror flicks, like The Curse of the Werewolf and Lon Chaney's The Wolf Man. In the films, people always fled from the monsters, but Hope will never abandon her son.
"We still love him, no matter what condition he has," she declares, voice thick with emotion.
"Always," Lyall says, smoothing their son's hair before looking back at the mediwitch. "What treatments are there?"
Brigid doesn't look hopeful. "I'm afraid there's not much. A wolfsbane potion is being developed, but-"
"Can we try it?" Hope asks instantly. She doesn't even know what wolfsbane even is, but she'll do anything to heal her son.
"It's not ready," the healer finishes. "I'm sorry, but there's not a lot of options." She hesitates. "You could put him in a lycanthropy home like The Van Helsing Asylum-"
"Absolutely not!" Lyall says curtly with atypical firmness. "We're not putting our toddler into one of those places, to poke and prod him and lock him up with chains!"
"Our answer is no!" Hope declares.
"Then for your own safety, you two need to protect yourselves during his transformations."
"He's four," Hope says. "He won't be able to hurt us as a werewolf pup."
"You'd be surprised," Brigid replies.
Their lives orbit around the full moon.
The Lupins obsessively start following the moon's cycle. Books on wizarding astrology and scientific astronomy fill their bookshelf alongside tomes on lycanthropy. But nothing could've prepared them for Remus' first transformation.
He screams as he begins to turn. His parents wearing thick clothing, Lyall hovers and Hope holds Remus while their son wails. As she rubs Remus' back, fur bristles on his skin beneath her gloved hand, and he grows a tail. His bones and muscles change, organs shifting as his skull morphs. His pajamas rip beneath a canine body not made for clothes. Then Hope holds a werewolf pup, not her human son. He's still Remus, but how much of her child is left in the wolf? The frightened pup shakes in her arms, panting and exhausted from turning. His mother strokes his head again. "It's alright, Remus. Mum and Dad are here." She doesn't even know if he can understand her in this form. Suddenly Remus growls. He curls his teeth back like a badger, snarling at Hope and pinning his ears flat to his skull. "Remus?"
He lunges with a snarl.
Hope blocks the bite with her arm just in time, and his teeth sink into her coat sleeve, not her skin. Lyall hauls their son-wolf-neither off his mother, and Remus fights like an alley cat. It truly looks like he wants to tear bloody chunks out of them, but he's small enough that his father can restrain him.
"What's happening to him?" Hope exclaims, tears spilling over as the creature - no, her son, the werewolf is still her child - growls. "To our sweet, gentle boy?"
"Lycanthropy," Lyall replies, drained, as Remus fights to break free.
The full moon continues to make the otherwise gentle Remus violent. Once, he bites through Lyall's coat. When Remus turns human in the morning, he doesn't remember anything. Lyall tries to convince Hope to lock the door and wait outside, but she refuses.
Instead, she buys raw meat with blood still in the Styrofoam package. "Maybe this will distract him from…"
"Eating his own family?" Lyall finishes flatly.
Hope bites her lower lip. "I'm trying not to think about that. But he said he didn't remember attacking me. He's not in his right mind when he turns."
The next full moon, Remus devours the meat as voraciously as a polar bear eating a seal. Then the werewolf pup smells blood on Hope's gloves, and attacks her so wildly she actually thinks he's gone rabid. He's still a boy-pup, but he's growing, and even his father struggles to haul him off the wrist of the mother Remus doesn't recognize.
Later, Hope and Lyall's nerves are like live wires. "Maybe there's something to keeping werewolves confined by themselves," he says so quietly she almost doesn't hear him.
She slaps him.
"I'm not locking our four-year-old in a room alone, Lyall!"
"I won't be able to handle it if you get lycanthropy yourself!" he shouts, pushed past his mild temperament by an impossible life. "I can't lose you and him, Hope!"
The next time, Lyall puts five locks on the door, and fifteen spells to keep in Remus and keep out Hope. No matter what she does, his Muggle wife can't get past magic. Listening Remus' snarls and howls from outside is worse than be attacked themselves within. Hope and Lyall stay up all night in chairs, and she sobs as they hear their son trying to bust the door down. The next morning, Remus is confused as to why he woke up alone. The wood paneling on the walls is destroyed, the curtains are in tatters, and even the floor has claw marks. Hope makes her husband sleep on the sofa for two weeks, even after the full moon.
After the first year of Remus' transformations, they stop restoring and refurbishing the room.
Remus has to be pulled out of his primary wizarding school.
The teachers are getting suspicious, and the other students spread rumors. When their son comes home in tears again and again, the decision is easy for his parents. Yet the five-year-old Remus needs social interaction, so he still plays with Ruby McHood across the street. The orphaned girl is being raised by her grandmother, both witches. The children were friends before the attack, so the Lupins hope the camaraderie will continue.
But one day close to the full moon, Remus is particularly hairy. The dusting of light hair on his arms and hands is becoming noticeably bushy, even though he wears a long-sleeved shirt in summer. His canines are enlarged, his pupils are changing, and the tips of his ears are going into a point.
"Let's see who runs faster!" Remus calls as he plays with Ruby in the McHoods' garden. Her grandmother brings out Butterbeers, and the Lupins serenely observe the children. From the way Remus looks at Ruby, Hope wonders if her son has a crush on the raven-haired girl so charming with the scarlet coat her grandmother made.
Then Ruby declares, "You look like a werewolf. And my granny says werewolves should be locked up and get the Killing Curse."
Hope, always the more bold of the pair, strides forward from Lyall's side. "How dare you say that awful thing!"
"Hope," her husband says as he follows. Even though he's just as upset, Lyall isn't as dramatic about it.
"Wait, he's really a werewolf?" Ruby asks.
"Of course not!" Lyall says too quickly.
"How ridiculous." Hope looks at Ruby's guardian. "I imagine your daughter learned such backward notions from you."
"Werewolves are dangerous," the grandmother insists. "It's a proven fact. I'd skin one myself if he went after Ruby. Should I be worried about your son? He's not going to attack her, is he?"
"No, he won't," Lyall says firmly. He's not as outspoken as Hope, but he's just as appalled by the prejudice. "Because Remus isn't a werewolf."
A week later, Hope and Ruby's grandmother see each other while getting the morning Daily Prophet. As the Barn Owl and Great Horned Owl soar away, the caring young Muggle and the old-fashioned and aging witch look at each other. "I'd rather not have Ruby be around a werewolf anymore," the grandmother says haughtily. "And a Muggle's child, no less."
Hope smiles coldly. "I was about to say the same thing to you." She lifts her chin. "My son is not a werewolf."
"Keep telling yourself that. The Ministry will get your Mudblood brat one day, mark my words."
The Lupins move to Godric's Hollow, hoping people there will be kinder.
A neighbor boy, Peter Hunterson, mocks Remus' excessive hair and howls every time he sees the other boy. The Lupins last six months before they move to Holyhead. It's a blessing for Hope to be near her parents again in Wales, but the locals ask too many questions. The Lupin family packs up again and go to Loch Ness.
They move, and move again. And again. And again.
Sometimes they find a wizarding village close to a Muggle town, and Hope gets work in the non-magical world. Then they move again usually a year later, and more often than not, it's too far for her to find a job. Those times are leaner being on one income. Lyall can Disapparate easily to the Ministry, but it's too risky for him to teleport her to her job among Muggles. The Lupins draw enough attention as it is from the wizarding community, and they don't need the mundane world prying as well.
Hope does what she has to for her family. And if that means moving every year and stretching every Galleon to barely make ends meet, so be it. But she starts to hate the sight of cardboard boxes, and loathes endlessly packing and unpacking. Hope and Lyall become meticulously organized about moving.
They can't let Remus play with other children now, and he stops asking to. Even as drained as he is, Lyall gets even more shifts at the Ministry, and so Hope is left alone to look after their son. She does everything she can think of to make Remus' life as full and rich as it can be. Hope buys wizarding toys like a Kidditch broom, and Muggle toys like matchbox cars and G.I. Joe action figures. They spend hours outside during the day, and listen to the radio in the evening.
Then Hope starts a homeschool curriculum, and orders Muggle and wizarding material. The mundane homework - science, English, math - is easy to teach, but spells are legitimately impossible. She doesn't know if she's even pronouncing them right, and barely knows what any of it means. Even with how exhausted he is after work, Lyall takes over helping Remus learn incantations. Hope teaches herself potions, ancient runes, and even the rules of Quidditch so Remus can have the best education they can provide.
But the pale, thin boy still grows more withdrawn as time passes. Hope feels like a failure that her child isn't happy despite his mother's Herculean efforts, and she knows Lyall feels the same way.
Hope goes to Lyall after their nine-year-old son has fallen asleep. The Lupins have a telly set in the sitting room, her husband's gift so his wife could be connected with her world. She still doesn't know how he rigged up electricity or got channels to their house in Ottery St. Catchpole.
"The American Muggles are putting men on the moon," Hope explains quietly as she and Lyall sit together on the sofa. "Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin might not be wizards, but it's a once in a lifetime event for the Muggle world. And I know the moon complicates all of our lives now. I want to see it on the telly, but Remus…"
"Remus shouldn't watch it," Lyall finishes.
"I was thinking that exact thing." She sighs. "Of course I wouldn't even turn on our telly. Who knows what seeing the moon on the screen would do to him."
"If you want to watch it somewhere else, I could stay home with him."
"You'd do that?"
He nods. "Of course."
She kisses him on the cheek. "Thanks, dear."
Hope leans into his side as Lyall puts an arm around her shoulders. They rest quietly in the sitting room, taking a moment to appreciate the quiet so rare in their lives. "I wish it could be peaceful like this all the time," she muses. "I wish our son could be healthy and happy."
Now it's his turn to sigh. "So do I."
She swings her long legs over his lap. "At least we have each other."
His hand goes to her thigh, fingers brushing the hem of her grey Jackie Kennedy pencil dress; her clothes are plainer now to deflect attention. They've been focused on Remus for so long, that they don't take much time for the two of them. Hope treasures this moment all the more for its rarity. "I couldn't do this without you," Lyall says, and presses his lips to her temple.
"I love you, Lyall Lupin," she murmurs as she gazes into his warm brown eyes. There's so much of Lyall in Remus. They have the same gentleness, the same shy nature. Their son used to be outgoing like his mother, but Remus' lycanthropy stole his courage.
"And I love you, Hope Lupin," he replies. They kiss, and he cards his fingers through her hair.
She goes to her parents' home in Wales to watch their black-and-white telly. It's during a waxing crescent moon, the first phase after the new moon, so Remus won't transform while his mother is away. As she watches the American lunar module land on another planet, Hope reflects on the moon as more than a trigger of Remus' condition. It had become a source of terror and revulsion for the entire Lupin family, and Remus most of all. But now the moon shown as a glorious event, and the Muggle astronauts are hailed as heroes. Hope knows she can never show her son this, but part of her wants to all the same.
When Remus is about to turn eleven, there is a rap on the door. "Albus Dumbledore!" the lifelike doorknocker with a lion's head calls to the owners.
"Dumbledore?" Lyall says, looking at Hope across the kitchen table.
"Who?" she asks, knowing she'd heard the name somewhere.
"The headmaster of Hogwarts, which we can't send Remus to."
They open the door to find a man with a long grey beard on their front step. He wears blue robes embroidered in silver stars, and fits every image Hope once had about wizards. "Good afternoon," he says with a smile. "I've come to speak to you about your son. Is Remus here?"
"I'm sorry, we were about to go out," Hope says smoothly. She's become very, very skilled at lying.
"Remus isn't available," Lyall adds.
Suddenly the old wizard vanishes, and they find him in the sitting room playing Gobstones with Remus. "You can't just barge in here and Disapparate without our say!" Hope exclaims.
"I'm here to discuss Remus' enrollment at Hogwarts," the headmaster says.
"Hogwarts?!" Remus cries, enthralled at the idea.
"It's impossible," Lyall says. "I can't tell you why, but-"
"I know about Remus' lycanthropy," Dumbledore says calmly. But his words make Hope's blood turn to ice in her veins. This is all a ruse, the Ministry sent Dumbledore to steal Remus and put him in chains in The Van Helsing Asylum-
"It will not be a deterrent to his enrollment," the older man adds.
Lyall pinches the bridge of his nose. "What if he accidentally hurts another child? We'll be taken to court."
"There's a new potion that just came out," Dumbledore continues. "It will help Remus through his transformations. The potion's called-"
"Wolfsbane," Hope and Lyall say together.
"We've been following its progress," she explains.
"Hogwarts has put funding into the research, so children with lycanthropy can attend school. It is very safe now."
"We'd have to try it before the term," Hope insists. "See how Remus reacts. I wouldn't want something to go wrong if he takes it at Hogwarts, and we're not there."
The headmaster nods. "Of course. I'll send an owl and have them put you on the waiting list. Every werewolf on earth is just as eager for this as you are. But I've heard good things about the potion, and I believe it'll help Remus attend Hogwarts."
That summer, the Lupins go to St. Mungo's for the wolfsbane trial.
After Remus drinks the potion - "it tastes like Muggle bug spray, Mum!" - he is put in a secured room with a window. Hope's hand shakes as she reaches for Lyall. They are joined by Brigid, the same mediwitch who had treated Remus after the Fenrir Greyback attack. And then the eleven-year-old starts to transform.
But it's different than before. It doesn't seem as painful, only uncomfortable, and Remus doesn't weep or scream. Instead, he turns into a wolf. An honest-to-goodness, mundane wolf that one would expect in the forests of Europe. He looks like an average grey canid instead of a monstrous, unnatural werewolf.
Hope gasps and lays a palm flat on the glass. "Remus?"
"I don't know if he'll recognize you," Brigid cautions gently.
But Remus comes to the window. The wolf goes straight up to Hope and looks at her through the glass. He doesn't say anything, but at least he's not in a violent, berserk rampage. He might not be very human in the moment, but the wolf is calm and curious.
Hope bursts into tears. "It worked!" Tearing up himself, Lyall pulls her into his arms as she openly sobs in relief. "The wolfsbane worked!"
Remus starts taking the potion every month, which takes considerable coaxing. The transformations are excruciating otherwise, but he's still an eleven-year-old who doesn't want to drink bitter medicine. Yet there's an extreme shift when he turns. Full moon nights become painless and quiet, and he transforms into a typical wolf.
In the beginning, Hope and Lyall stay up all night in the hall as they did before. But when the wolfsbane's healing effects are consistent, Lyall sometimes falls asleep in his chair outside the basement stairs. Hope valiantly remains awake, needing to be there for Remus. Though just as caring, Lyall eventually goes their own bedroom with the door open, but Hope stubbornly stays by the basement. The wolfsbane isn't medicine or science to her, it's a magicked potion cooked up likely with dragon eyeballs and hen's teeth. Lyall eventually convinces his wife to rest in their actual bed, but she tries to sleep with one eye open. Then finally, finally she wakes up to birds chirping and no howling, and realizes she slept through the night on a full moon.
The last time Hope can remember sleeping peacefully was before Fenrir Greyback attacked.
Hope is a mess when they drop off Remus at Platform 9 3/4.
Lyall is watery-eyed too, but Remus is ecstatic. The eleven-year-old hasn't been around this many people in one place since he was four. The station is packed with children and their families as the Hogwarts Express pulls in. Two dark-haired boys - a charming one with round glasses, and the other with a roguish grin - push through the crowd. "Hurry, Peter!" the bespectacled one calls as the other boy laughs.
A third, stout boy named Peter chases them. Thankfully, he isn't the Peter Hunterson who mocked Remus before. "James, Sirius, wait!"
The train whistle sounds, and Hope bends down before Remus. "Don't tell anyone about your secret, and take your wol- the potion. If you don't feel well, go to one of the professors, and if something happens we'll be right there. And write to us-"
Lyall puts a hand on her shoulder. "He knows."
She hugs Remus tightly. "I'll miss you." They haven't been apart for more than a day until now.
Her son embraces her. "I'll miss you too."
Remus hugs Lyall next. "Your Mum and I love you very much," his father says, clearing his throat.
The whistle sounds again, and Remus dashes onto the Hogwarts Express. Other children lean out the window, but the Lupins catch a glimpse of their son talking with James, Sirius, and Peter. Hope gasps. "He's making friends!"
The pain is different when she watches the train carrying away her son, her child, the center of her world. Hope wants this for Remus, and at the same time wants him to be home forever. But for him to have a full life, not a half one, he has to go to Hogwarts.
She has to let him go.
Hope clutches Lyall's hand as they wait for the Hogwarts Express. It's Remus' first trip home from Hogwarts for the full moon. His letters had been cheerful about becoming thick as thieves with the boys in his dormitory, the same trio he'd met on the train. But seeing him in person could be different. Hope has visions of Remus at his most ill - pale, thin, and miserable.
But the boy who runs off the Hogwarts Express barely resembles her sickly son. Remus lets out a full-voiced laugh, and then he rushes to his parents. Even that strikes a chord with his mother; before he'd been too ill to sprint for years. She sweeps him into her arms, and her voice breaks when she says, "Welcome home!"
Remus is so excited to share everything that happened at school, that at sunset Lyall has to remind their son, "The moon's nearly up."
Remus' smile fades a bit, but not completely. "Oh. I almost forgot."
The routine of dealing with his transformation is different tonight. Though the motions are familiar, now the boy has a spring in his step, and a broad smile. Instead of being morose, he chatters away as they descend the basement stairs. "Tomorrow, I'll tell you about a prank James, Sirius, Peter, and I pulled on Mr. Filch, and-"
"Of course, dear," his mother says. "I put out your favorite steak. Rare like always."
"Thanks," Remus says. He goes to the door, and Hope's heart breaks all over again that she has to lock her child away. He's so happy now, and yet she has to treat him like a monster. She sees Lyall's pained expression, and it's clear he's thinking the same. But then Remus throws his arms around her waist. "I love you, Mum." Then Remus hugs Lyall. "You too, Dad."
She can barely see through her tears. "We love you too."
Remus goes into the basement. Hope makes herself close the door, and Lyall hesitates before turning the five locks and casting the fifteen spells. They linger outside the door, listening to shuffling and quiet thumps as Remus transforms. A wolf's toenails clack on the floor, and a bark is heard, but there's no savage beast in the basement now.
Two chairs are in the hall at the top of the stairs. They haven't pulled an all-nighter since he started the wolfsbane potion, but they will now. Hope sniffs as they sit down. "You alright?" Lyall asks.
She swipes at her tears. "For once, yes. Remus is healthy, he has a life now."
"It's a miracle," Lyall agrees, and Hope weaves her fingers through his.
For the first time in years, she's truly happy at last.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: Honestly, the Lupin family dynamic kind of reminds me of Tsar Nicholas, Tsarina Alexandra, and Tsarevich Alexei. But I hope the Lupin parents would be better equipped to look after their son better than the inept Romanovs.