The End of Summer
Pettigrews, Remus, James and Sirius sat at the kitchen table eating their
supper and discussing the events of the previous night. The entire group had
returned to the Pettigrew home early in the afternoon and, shortly after arriving,
Peter’s sisters and their husbands had headed off to their own homes, both
claiming long drives. (Although Emily had leaned over to Sirius and muttered a
rather amusing comparison of Mrs. Pettigrew’s cooking to prison food and rat
they had no idea what happened?” James asked once more, spearing a piece of
broccoli with his fork.
they were able to figure out was that the campers staying at the site
disappeared and there was a clear sign of struggle,” Mr. Pettigrew repeated
Pettigrew shivered. “It’s so horrid. To think if that lunatic had only picked a
campsite a few over… it could’ve been any of us.”
Pettigrew stepped in quickly to change the subject. “Are you boys all packed?
Are you going to be traveling by… fire… again? How is this to work?”
my mum and dad are going to pop in and travel back with me, I think,” James
in, dear?” Mrs. Pettigrew asked, as she spooned more mashed potatoes onto all
four boys’ plates, despite their protests of being full.
“Er… apparate. They just sort of
appear… out of thin air, I suppose you’d say,” James amended, poking at the
mashed potatoes with his fork.
you, dear?” She turned to Remus.
I’ll just be going by Floo. My grandparents will meet
me on the other side,” Remus replied quickly.
I’m heading over to the Potters from here and going to Kings Cross with them,”
Sirius told the woman as he knocked his silverware purposefully on the floor.
dear, let me get you another set.” Mrs. Pettigrew got up from the table to get
the silverware and all four boys quickly scraped the extra mashed potatoes into
the fern that sat in the middle of the table. At the last second, they
remembered Mr. Pettigrew and glanced over to him. He appeared to be biting back
laughter as he shoved his own extra mashed potatoes on top of theirs and
quickly dumped some dirt on top, exchanging a conspiratorial wink with the boys
who all stared back at him in shock.
you are, Sirius.” Mrs. Pettigrew placed the silverware down in front of him.
“My goodness, you all are certainly hungry tonight. More
the five males at the table chorused.
we’re just far too full, Mrs. Pettigrew,” Remus quickly amended.
it was a lovely dinner dear,” Mr. Pettigrew added, rising from the table to put
his plate in the sink.
Pettigrew opened her mouth to reply but was cut off by a loud ‘pop’ and two
voices calling out from the hallway.
a distinctly masculine voice resounded.
or Mrs. Pettigrew?” a female one followed.
and Mrs. Pettigrew both looked frightened for a moment until they noticed
James’ large grin. “That’s my parents. Sirius and I’ll go grab out stuff.”
best get mine and head out too,” Remus added, following the other two boys out
of the room.
“Lovely to see you again, Mr. Potter.” Mr. Pettigrew rose to
Pettigrew and Mrs. Potter both did the same.
dear, I’m so glad to see that you’re all alright. We were so worried when we
read the Daily Prophet this morning. An attack right were James said
you’d be camping. My heart nearly gave out,” Mrs. Potter said quickly.
“The Daily Prophet?” Mr. Pettigrew asked.
newspaper, like the London Times, I’d reckon,” Mr. Potter replied and
then turned to Peter. “Good evening, Peter.”
chubby, blonde boy grinned at the man who was an older, taller replica of James
Potter. “Good evening, Mr. Potter.”
what was that incident doing in your newspaper?” Mr. Pettigrew asked, still
they attacked the campers with the Cruciatus Curse. Horrible really… they’re
off at the Ministry having their memories modified,” Mrs. Potter replied,
sitting down at the table when Mrs. Pettigrew gestured for her to do so.
me?” Mrs. Pettigrew asked just as Peter muttered in a horrified tone.
is that, Peter?” Mrs. Pettigrew turned to face her son.
paused for a moment. “It’s… a curse, which means it’s not really… good. It
hurts and it’s illegal.”
torture. The lunatic seems to have toned down his attacks. Going more for
intimidation and torture than death recently, most of it doesn’t even make it
into the papers,” Mr. Potter said, sitting down next to his wife.
“The lunatic?” Mr. Pettigrew asked, concerned.
Mr. Potter told him. Peter winced at the name.
this Voldemort man, Peter?” His father was peering intently at him.
Potter raised an eyebrow and looked over to Peter. “You haven’t told your
parents about this?”
it’s not as though there’s anything they can do, now is there…” he mumbled,
shoving his hands into his pockets.
then, who is he?” Mrs. Pettigrew asked.
dark wizard who has absolutely barbaric ideas about Muggle born witches and
wizards,” Mrs. Potter replied, a look of anger splaying across her pretty
features. “Unfortunately, the mindset of some of the older Wizarding families
is that Muggleborns are inferior. Insane if you ask me, I’m half and half and a
far better witch than many Purebloods that I’ve known… at any rate, initially
they just wanted legislation that put a lot of restrictions on Muggleborns… the
man behind all of this, Voldemort, has recently upped the stakes in his
and Mrs. Pettigrew sat silently for a moment. Finally, Mr. Pettigrew opened his
mouth to speak.
being done to stop the man?”
Potter replied immediately, “Everything possible, there’s a group of us
attempting to track him and his followers down. They’re good, but I’m
absolutely certain that, in the end, we’re better. And we will get him soon.”
large racket distracted them as the three teenage boys stumbled into the
kitchen with their trunks.
“Ready Dad?” James asked, looking to his father.
Potter smiled at his son, stood up and shook Mr. Pettigrew’s hand again,
followed by Mrs. Pettigrew’s. Mrs. Potter did the same.
boys go on now, we’re right behind you.”
my house had better still be standing when we arrive, Sirius Black.” Mrs.
Potter glared at him sternly.
won’t be more than five minutes dear,” Mr. Potter said to his wife.
gave Sirius an appraising look and then turned to her husband. “You
underestimate him, Alexander.”
Potter raised and eyebrow at Sirius, who attempted to look back at him
chuckled and pushed his friend towards the fire.
you next week, Peter, try to be on time this year, huh?” Sirius called over his
shoulder before stepping into the fire.
Peter,” James said to his friend and then followed Sirius through the flames.
then, Remus?” Peter asked his remaining friend.
help me get this trunk in the fire, would you, Peter?” Remus pushed the trunk
he’d packed for the week towards the flames and the two boys maneuvered it into
position. “See you in a week, mate.” In a flash of green, he was gone.
best be off, it’s not wise to leave Sirius Black unattended for long periods of
time,” Mrs. Potter told the Pettigrews with a smile.
well aware,” Mrs. Pettigrew replied as something caught her eye, causing her to
lean in closer to the fern on the kitchen table. A perplexed look crossed her
face but passed quickly as she bid the Potters a final farewell before they Apparated
right out of the kitchen.
Pettigrew shoved her hand into the fern and scooped out a handful of mashed
Looking to her husband and son, she asked,
“Would either of you gentleman care to explain this?”
sat on his trunk in the entrance hall to his grandparents lodge. In an hour he
and his grandmother would leave for Kings Cross and he was going to be certain
they were on time. The last week hadn’t been so bad, Remus had spent most of it
going over his homework, fielding frantic owls from James, Sirius and Peter
begging for help on the massive load of homework that they all only seemed to
begin that week, and catching up on his reading, just as he’d planned on doing.
course, he’d also kept up his weekly correspondence with Melissa, too, but that
wasn’t something he planned to admit to many people. He’d been scared to death
when he tied that first letter to Aziza, his
grandparents’ ancient owl, but it had been worth it when the old barn owl had
returned with Mel’s messy handwriting scribbled on the parchment. He kept all
of the letters in his trunk, something he’d decided to do after a long debate
over the possible discovery by another Marauder, but instead of opening his
trunk to get them out to reread them for the hundredth time, he reached into
his pocket to reread his favorite.
Well that was a surprise, your owl showing up
at my window, but it was a nice one. Any reminder of Hogwarts is nice during
the summer. I’m not sure what you want us to talk about, but if we can come up
with something, then sure, lets owl back and forth this summer.
I can tell you about my day if you want. I
hammered my fingers. It hurt. You know what a hammer is right? If you don’t, I’ll
explain in the next letter. Tessa came over earlier and we finished our
Transfiguration homework. I think Lily would die if she knew.
Love from. It was the first letter she wrote back to him. He’d spent a
better part of the summer daydreaming that someday he’d be able to show it to
her and explain why he’d kept it and she’d laugh and then… Remus shook his head
and shoved the letter back into his pocket.
could hear his grandmother shuffling around in the kitchen and his grandfather
coughing in their bedroom. It was so different here than how it had been at
home. There his mother would’ve been obeying every little whim of his father
and his father… well on good days, his father would be passed out in a drunken
stupor, on bad days he’d be wide awake and more than happy to belittle his only
closed his eyes and thought farther back to the dim and steadily growing dimmer
memories of how it had been before he’d been bitten. His father had been proud
of him; he’d walked, talked and shown magical ability well before even the most
optimistic predictions. His mother had been the prettiest woman ever in his
mind, an idea that slid far away once his father began drinking…
winced and the cleared his mind.
Control, Remus. That’s how we do it.
Control everything you can, and you can control this. Just don’t think about
it. It’s good here and your grandparents love you even if you are a werewolf.
thought led him to wonder how the Marauders were getting on with their Animagi
I really shouldn’t hope they succeed. It’s got to be dangerous.
Actually, I’m dead certain it is, since none of them will really tell me what
goes into all of it. I’ve read that book James gave me cover to cover, but it
doesn’t detail the full process… he must have other books for that.
The boy winced again and made a dreadful face
at the thought of his best friends doing something dangerous because of him.
They’re very talented, even Peter is sometimes, but I don’t think
they’ll get it down. I don’t know what I’ll do if they do. ‘Thanks for trying
guys, but I absolutely forbid you to come with me because something,
anything could go wrong.’
shook his head.
They’d never let me get away with that. I just hope they never get
But part of you hopes they do.
“You again.” Holy Harpies, I said that aloud.
Gran is going to think you’re mad.
She’s already expressed a concern about that issue, as you well
It’s the whole suicide rate thing, I suppose.
Isn’t it always? Either I scare people away because of what I am,
or I scare people away because of what I might do because of what I am. It’s a
lovely life, really.
You don’t scare them. They worry, yes, but they’re not scared.
That’s why you want them to succeed, to be able to keep you
company, to stay with you all the time.
But something could go wrong. Hell, knowing us, something will go
You don’t care, deep down, you just want to run wild and free…
with them. The wolf wants company.
let out a quiet, harsh laugh.
The wolf wants dinner, and if they do this incorrectly, that’s
exactly what he’ll get.
They won’t do it incorrectly, but even if they do, you’ll fight,
they’ll win and they’ll get their chance to try… even if it does compromise
everything you hold dear.
Even if they think they’ve managed it, I’m not going to let them
try because they are the only thing I hold dear and I won’t let anything happen
to any of them, especially because of me.
then, sweetheart?” the elderly Mrs. Lupin called from the kitchen. “Come eat
something before we leave.”
really not hungry, Gran.”
you wouldn’t disappoint your grandmother and insult her cooking by rejecting
something so simple as a piece of toast when I know good and well you’ll be
gorging yourself on chocolate frogs on the Hogwarts Express.” Her good natured
voice chided from the kitchen, causing Remus to roll his eyes but rise off his
trunk and join her there.
sat down and buttered a piece of toast, then began picking at it.
you excited? A third year, my you do grow up so fast, I can remember when you
were small enough to fit in the palm of your grandfather’s hand.” Mrs. Lupin’s
eyes took on a faraway reminiscent look.
quickly cleared his throat. “We’d really better go, Gran. My friend Peter
nearly missed the train last September and I really don’t want that to happen
grandmother shook her head slightly and smiled across at her grandson. “Of
course, dear, gather up your things and we’ll head out.”
two Lupins rose from the table, Remus several inches taller than his short
grandmother, and cleared the plates away quickly.
you going to say good-bye you your grandfather, Remus?” Her voice broke the
silence, sadly and quietly as both were sure the man wouldn’t live to see his
grandson return at Christmas.
course, Gran… I’ll go now,” Remus replied, equally quiet, and slowly made his
way over to their bedroom.
knocked on the door and let himself in. “Morning, Gramps. We’re leaving soon.”
old man offered a weak smile that in its heyday was identical to the one Remus
had. He motioned for his grandson to enter the room and sit down. Once Remus
settled himself, the old man opened his mouth.
times are coming, my boy,” Mr. Lupin rasped. Remus winced, but nodded. “Your
father was a prat and… I’m sorry. I failed him and in
doing so, I failed you.”
you didn’t, you and Gram are-”
elderly man cut him off. “But there’s no use living in the past and dredging up
regrets.” He paused a moment and took a deep, rattling breath. “You’ll have to
choose a side, boy, and the dark side will seem the easiest decision.”
didn’t say you would.” The old man’s hand lightly clasped the younger one’s. “But it always seems easiest. Just remember, remember
for always, that what is simple and what is easy is rarely ever right. You need
to decide what you believe and stand for it.”
sir,” Remus replied solemnly. There was a pregnant silence. Just as Remus was
about to get up and leave, thinking the old man had fallen back asleep, he
broke the silence again.
a piece of paper in the trunk at the end of the bed. I think it’ll help you…
when I was at Hogwarts, well… my friends and I never
managed to complete it. I overheard something you said once this summer and
thought it might be useful to you and your mates.”
walked over and opened the trunk.
rolled up bit with the green ribbon, aye that’s it,” Mr. Lupin rasped. “Don’t
open it until you’re on the train.” He smiled ruefully, but the smile was still
full of love. “Your Gran wouldn’t appreciate this the way we do.”
sir,” Remus said, a lump forming in his throat as he glanced over at the man
who’d taken him in and loved him after his parents had died.
men turned their heads towards the door at the sound of Remus’s grandmother
hollering down the hallway.
got to head off now, dear.”
Gramps. I’ll see you over Christmas,” Remus said to the frail old man in the
you will, my boy. Have a good term now. Don’t torture your Gran with too many
owls from McGonagall, alright?”
Remus let a real smile float to his lips.
“I’ll try.” Then he turned and headed out of the dark room, clutching the roll
of parchment tightly.