THE NATIVE HUE OF RESOLUTION
Lots of appreciation to Thing1, for writing such wonderful
characters and allowing me to borrow them.
cannot express enough gratitude to Durayan, Luna,
Thing1, and Vargmoy (thanks for sticking it out
through every draft!) for their wonderful beta-reading. This story has
been drastically improved thanks to their thoughtful comments and suggestions.
And lastly, thanks to J.K. Rowling, for writing such a wonderful characters as
Remus, Sirius, Draco, Professor Dumbledore, Harry,
Hermione, Ron, Hedwig, Crookshanks, and even
Cornelius Fudge for us to enjoy in her amazing world of witchcraft and wizardry
CHAPTER ONE – ANTICIPATION
“Here you go, Padfoot.”
Sirius was stunned by what Remus had placed before him in a rather large
bowl – some moist brown pieces of something.
“It’s your breakfast”, yawned Remus, as he prepared some
toast and peppermint tea. Remus loved
peppermint tea, even more than peppermint humbugs.
“I hate to be repetitious, Moony. But, what is
“So do I. It’s
your breakfast, Padfoot. And, may I add, thank you so much for trotting back and forth all
night long under my bedroom window while Katie and I were trying to sleep,”
Remus said with a mischievous glint in his eyes that Sirius failed to see.
Sirius sniffed at the brown pieces in his dish. “This is dog
food!!” he exclaimed in an infuriated voice. Remus noted with glee the dark expression growing on his friend’s
He looked at Sirius for a moment and went over to
the kitchen table where Sirius was seated.
He picked up the bowl, looked at its contents, and placed it back on the
table before Sirius. “Ah, so it is.”
Sirius looked at Remus in
disbelief. “What’s that for? You haven’t given that to me since we were eighteen
and I can’t even remember what it was for!”
“Same reason now as then.
It’s for making me dog-tired, not to mention my wife. Next time, don’t
spend all night whining, especially after we spent all day setting up wards and
have to do the same thing today. Now, be
a good boy and eat your breakfast.”
“You could have used a Silencing Charm!” grumbled Sirius.
“True. We could have, except we were too tired to even
get out of bed to get either one of our wands.
You may remember we worked awfully hard yesterday getting ready for
Harry. Why did you transform, anyway?”
“I was trying to force myself to think simpler thoughts
instead of worrying about Harry. It
Sirius crossed his arms firmly, leaned back in his chair
away from the food, and scowled with a slight growl. Remus rather enjoyed the times when he could
get Sirius’ dander up. Although he might
seem quite controlled and serious, underneath it all Remus had inherited his
father’s sense of humour and love of a good joke.
Remus and Sirius had spent the entire day yesterday
setting the numerous tight wards around the house and gardens to the exacting
specifications of Albus Dumbledore. They had worked on the wards until well after
dark. It had been agreed that they would
continue the task bright and early today because Sirius’ older godson, Harry,
was coming later that day and would be staying at Remus’ home until his Auror
training began in the autumn. It was vital that Sirius and Remus make the wards
extra secure since Harry was still in great danger of being killed by
was not going to be arriving alone at Grey Timbers, however. His best friends, Ron and Hermione, would be
joining him to celebrate the completion of their Hogwart’s education. Ron’s
younger sister, Ginny, would also be there, as she had grown much closer to the
trio over the years. However, although
Ginny did not know it yet, the main reason she had been invited was that
something of vital importance would be given to her at the celebration.
Remus knew that Harry was the reason Sirius could not
sleep last night. Yes, Sirius had problems sleeping anyway, but more so now
because he was both worried about Harry’s safety and excited with the
anticipation of seeing him again. Actually, thought Remus, I feel the exact same way. Remus tried
to shake the thoughts out of his mind and get back to his breakfast.
“Aren’t you going to be a good doggy and eat your
breakfast?” he laughed as he put the marmalade on the kitchen table.
“NO!” growled Sirius furiously as he turned to face the
kitchen wall, still pouting.
Remus laughed heartily as he pulled his wand out of his
belt. The bowl of dog food disappeared with a tap, and he then placed the wand
back in his belt nonchalantly. Chuckling
as he reached over to the counter, he said, “It’s not my fault you cook worse
than Hagrid ever did.
Here you go, Padfoot. Toast with marmalade and some peppermint
tea. I don’t think either one of us
could handle more than that this morning.”
Sirius looked over at Remus. Carefully, he uncrossed his arms and sniffed
the toast. “Does Katie know about this
little stunt of yours?”
“Who do you think came up with this ‘little stunt’ at
4:00 this morning?” smiled Remus.
Sirius raised an arched eyebrow at Remus and smiled. Finally, he bit into his toast. “Remind me to thank your wife properly when
she gets up.”
“Well, she would have been up if you had let her get some
sleep last night. You should know better
than to vex her by now,” said Remus as he took a sip of his own tea. “I learnt that one the hard way a long time
ago. Where’s Liz?”
“Same place Katie is.
Same reason,” winced Sirius.
There was silence as they both ate their breakfasts.
When he had finished, Remus looked again at Sirius’ face,
only to see that Sirius’ deep blue eyes were now a million miles away. Great. He’s worrying about Harry again. I’ve got to snap him out of it before he
“Well, this is no good. We still have lots of work to do
before we are ready for tonight,” said Remus, as he stretched and began
clearing away the dishes with Sirius’ help.
Remus went to the front room and grabbed the two books he
had carefully placed on the small marble table.
“I’ll be back as soon as I deliver the Portkey to Dumbledore. He said he would give it to Harry after
breakfast. Please give Malcolm his
breakfast when he wakes up and start on the wards. Katie should be up by then and so should
Liz. For your sake, I hope she got a
decent amount of sleep despite your antics.
I’ll be back soon.”
Remus could see Sirius nod just before he closed the
front door behind him.
to the Hogwarts’ gates and walked the rest of the way to his old school.
changes. It’s just as stirring to see as
ever. Remus reminisced as he walked
briskly up the familiar stairs to the entrance.
Remus headed for Professor Dumbledore’s office. Just as he was passing by a suit of armour,
he saw Draco Malfoy walking
noiselessly toward him. Draco looked quite the distinguished young gentleman,
straight and tall in black velvet dress robes with twisted black and pewter
chord trim and two pewter frog closures.
Remus had never seen such elegant robes before. He recalled as he motioned toward an empty
classroom that Draco had to give the Head Boy speech
at breakfast later.
Professor,” greeted Draco crisply as he reached to
shake Remus’ hand, once the door to the classroom had closed behind them.
“Hello, Draco. Are you ready
for your speech?”
“Yes, sir. Though, tradition dictates that this address
be brief. It is not much of a speech.”
“Perhaps. But it is still quite an honour,” smiled
indeed, Professor. I am quite certain
that my parents are immensely proud.” Draco’s elegant drawl was dripping with sarcasm. “Another Malfoy
displaying superiority over the common witch and wizard masses. It is all I can do to quash my anticipation
of their plans for me this evening.”
Remus wished Draco did not have to go back to Lucius
and Narcissa Malfoy. “I told you.
Katie and I would be pleased if you came to stay with us for a little
while. You may stay as long as you
Draco looked intently at Remus with a steely glint in his
eyes. “Sir, we have been through this
before. Once again, I am most grateful for the offer. Unfortunately, I fear I
cannot accept. Were I to do so, it would
arouse suspicion in my dear father that I am not as loyal to him and his
associates as I appear. All of our
careful planning would be for naught. It
is vital that Father not suspect my true allegiance. I cannot be of service to you and your
colleagues without his trust.” Draco hesitated slightly, then added, “Furthermore, I expect Potter and Black would
be less than pleased were I to accept.
Please, thank Mrs Lupin for me for the kind offer, but I am afraid I
“Very well, Draco. If you think
it is for the best. We shall miss
you. I cannot speak for your parents, Draco, but I for one am very proud of you and what you have
become.” He reminds me so much of myself
at his age, struggling to overcome the expectations that he will follow the
dark arts. Remus withdrew an old
thin black book with gold lettering on the cover from his robes and placed it
in Draco’s hands.
The book, by Rasput N. Baum, was entitled The
Dark Arts: Setting Your Own Path.
“This book was given to me many years ago when I attended Hogwarts by a
professor here. He was the first
individual outside of my family to believe in me. I should like to give it to you now.”
Draco glanced at the book and then at Remus in
surprise. “I am afraid I do not
understand. My family knows far too much
about the dark arts already, Professor.”
“No, Draco. This book is
not designed to instruct you on how to perform
the dark arts. It is designed to assist
you in choosing how you are going to use the dark arts – for good or evil as
well as how to handle your decision in the face of possible adversity. Knowing what you are up against, I thought it
could facilitate your further studies.”
Remus dropped his voice to little more than a whisper. “It was of
immeasurable help to me.”
Draco scrutinised Remus as he pointedly said, “After all you have suffered at the hands of
my family, I should think this would be the last thing you would want to give
me! No, Professor, I cannot accept such
a gift, especially under the circumstances.”
“Draco, you may be able to refuse our offer to stay with us,
but this is one thing I am afraid I must insist upon.” Remus pressed the book firmly into Draco’s hands.
Draco nodded formally at Remus and walked down toward the
Slytherin common room, with the book still in his hands. He has
chosen an extremely tenuous path to follow.
Using the password
the Headmaster had given him yesterday, “sugar quills,” Remus continued on to
Professor Dumbledore’s office. He brushed his greying hair away from his
face and was just about to knock on the door when it suddenly opened on its
was seated behind his desk, resplendent in scarlet robes. He beamed at Remus as soon as he saw
him. “Ah, Remus! So good to see you again! How are your lovely wife and our future
“Just fine, sir. Thank you.”
in order for tonight’s celebration?”
“Nearly. We are finishing setting up the wards to your
exact specifications this morning before they all arrive. That’s why I came so early – I need to get
back and help Sirius.”
“And how is Sirius doing? I imagine he is looking forward
to seeing Harry again,” said the headmaster as his blue eyes twinkled behind
his half moon spectacles.
Remus let out a sigh.
“That’s an understatement; he is starting to drive both Liz and Katie
insane! Everything has got to be just perfect. Did we get enough food? Are the rooms all ready? What about the presents?” He laughed a little at the memory of the last
few days. “Honestly, he is bouncing off
Professor Dumbledore nodded thoughtfully. “Well, he has been bound and determined to
make up for twelve lost years with his godson since he and Harry were
“He is at that.”
Remus reached into his robes for the second book he had
brought with him and offered it to Professor Dumbledore. “Here is the Portkey, Headmaster,” he said,
as the Headmaster carefully took the vellum volume. “Although I’ve protected it with some charms,
please ask Harry to take great care of it.
It is very special to me.”
“Thank you, Remus.
I shall make sure that Harry receives this after Hermione and Draco make their speeches.”
Professor Dumbledore looked at the book Remus had handed him and
Shakespeare has always been a favourite of mine.” A thin smile crept across Remus’ face.
“An excellent choice.”
nodded. “Well, I guess you must be off
to prepare for the feast. I still do
miss those end of year feasts.” Remus
remembered the special cake the house elves always made for the most important
feasts. He began salivating at the very thought of the rich, chocolaty
cakes. How did James manage to get the house elves to bake one for my
sixteenth birthday party?
Dumbledore nodded. “I do have to be
going,” said Dumbledore, startling Remus out of his thoughts.
“The Portkey is
set for 4:00. Please make certain they
all know that.” Remus thought for a
moment. “I know how difficult Portkeys are for Harry.
Unfortunately, it’s the only way for that lot, their pets, and their
trunks to get to Grey Timbers, now that we have been taken off of the Floo
network for the duration of Harry’s stay.”
usual, Mr Lupin,” said Professor Dumbledore in his most professorial voice.
laughed at that as they shook hands and said good-bye.
Dumbledore looked serious for a moment.
“Mr Potter will finally learn the truth about himself. Until tonight then, Remus.”