by Erik's Angel
Disclaimer: I am not, nor do I dare to imagine that I am JK Rowling. She created these characters and this universe. I just like to play with them. I mean no harm.
Summary: An extremely short ficlet about Remus Lupin at age 11. Sometimes dreams do come true, as this young werewolf will soon discover . . .
Author's Note: This fic was originally one of many that I had planned for a giant collection of short stories called The Marauders. That idea fell through, and so I'm publishing the individual pieces as stand-alone fics. Thanks must go out to my fabulous beta-reader, JK, for all her helpful suggestions and friendly support.
He had admitted me into Hogwarts when no other headmaster would've done so...
Dumbledore's trust has meant everything to me.
- Remus Lupin in Prisoner of Azkaban
The sun that morning in early August was bright, and almost all of the children in the neighborhood were taking advantage of the beautiful summer sunlight to have a chance to play. A small group of children was playing Exploding Snap on the pavement, while another bunch was playing Gobstones. Some of the older kids had organized a makeshift game of Quidditch and were shouting happily at one another. Not one of them noticed that one boy was absent - although that's not to say that he was often found playing with them.
A hill, bright with the vibrant colors of newly changed leaves, overlooked this small neighborhood. At the very top of that hill, nearly entirely hidden by a group of trees was a small house with a beautiful, cheerful garden out front. This was where the Lupins lived.
Inside this cozy house, a boy of about eleven years of age with sandy brown hair was pacing around his living room. Although it was difficult to hear what he was saying, one could catch snatches of "Should have come by now..." and "What if it doesn't?" He'd been doing this every morning for days.
"Remus, relax!" cried his mother in exasperation. "Dumbledore will inform us of his decision, whatever it may be. Pacing will do nothing but put all of us on edge."
Upon hearing these words, Remus said nothing but stopped and dropped into a nearby armchair, still nervously fiddling with his hands.
A man who, given his light brown hair and clear gray eyes, could have only been Remus's father, walked into the room carrying a copy of that day's Daily Prophet. His wife watched him as he crossed the room and nonchalantly dropped a brown envelope with green writing in his son's lap.
"Mail for you, Remus," he said, as if this were any normal letter.
Remus picked up the letter with his trembling hands and stared at it for a minute. As if deciding suddenly to open it, he tore the envelope to pieces and read aloud what the piece of parchment inside said:
Dear Mr. Lupin, We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
At this point, Remus stopped reading; his light gray eyes stared at the parchment as though he couldn't believe what he had just read. He closed his eyes, shook his head as if attempting to clear it, and began to read again.
Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment. Term begins September 1st. We await your owl. Yours sincerely, Minerva McGonagall,
Term begins September 1st. We await your owl.
Remus stared at the letter with his mouth hanging open.
"Mum...Dad!" he exclaimed, waving his list of school supplies around excitedly as he hopped impatiently from foot to foot. "When can we go to Diagon Alley? Today? Tomorrow?"
His parents chuckled merrily at their son's excitement. "We will go tomorrow," his mother said calmly. "But first, send your return owl to Dumbledore."
"Right," said Remus, looking momentarily disoriented. He recovered himself, sprinted to his room, scribbled something on a piece of parchment, ran back downstairs, and greeted a large tawny owl. "Hello, Kyrra," he said softly, "take this to Dumbledore for me, will you?" He tied the letter to her leg and watched her fly away. He let out a great sigh and walked back to the room where his parents were waiting for him.
"We're so proud of you, Remus!" his mother cried, embracing him tightly.
His father clapped him on the back and smiled warmly. "Well done, son," he said, his pride clear in his voice.
Remus smiled weakly. He was happy to be going to Hogwarts, certainly, but so little of it had to do with him. Rather, all of it had to do with Albus Dumbledore, who had a reputation for being one of the world's best wizards. What puzzled Remus was that Dumbledore, whom he had never met, had shown a great deal of trust in him by admitting him to Hogwarts. No one had ever trusted him that much since...well, since before the accident, but Remus tried not to think about that if he could help it. Nevertheless, he owed Dumbledore a lot, and it was hard to accept praise for someone else's magnanimous actions. But (in order to keep his parents from worrying), Remus forced a grin at them and excused himself before disappearing into his room.
Mr. and Mrs. Lupin exchanged glances, and though no words were spoken, they both knew precisely what the other was thinking. They knew their son was different, and they knew Hogwarts might be difficult for him. More importantly, they understood that he couldn't possibly keep his secret for seven whole years. They could only hope that he might find a group of friends that would accept him for who he was.
Remus knew that his acceptance at Hogwarts would change his life forever, but he could not possibly have known just what an adventure he was in for.
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