Author’s Note: Special thanks to my wonderful SQ Beta
Heather, aka Felina Black, for her excellent beta! And thanks to my
friend Nielawen. Without her, this
story would be entirely different, and probably very bad. Enjoy the first
morning sun filtered brightly through the curtained windows in the small town
of West Camford. All up and down
Hanover Road men and women were rolling out of bed to greet the already
stifling July morning. Teapots and
ceiling fans hummed to life as morning routines began along the road, and the
daily post flopped unceremoniously through its appointed metal slot in each
door of the tree-lined street.
17 Hanover, however, this ritual was met with great anticipation. Petunia Evans sat with bated breath
right behind the door in the front hall, for today—July 20—was the day; the day that Veronica
Grant’s invitation would arrive.
As Petunia sat nervously smoothing her purple nightdress, her mother and
father chuckled. The Evans family
had heard nothing but party rumors for the past two weeks from Petunia’s
thin-lipped mouth. Never had Violet and Spencer Evans seen
their daughter more excited! But
on this morning, a much more exciting and much more important letter would drop
into Petunia’s outstretched hands.
A letter that would greatly outshine the gold embossing of Veronica’s
invitation. A letter that would
begin a chain reaction, and that would eventually take Petunia’s life in a most
unwanted direction. However, this
letter was addressed not to her, but to her little sister, Lily…
clock struck eight, Petunia heard the familiar creak of the mail slot, and a
jumble of envelopes came tumbling onto her lap. Glancing desperately at the pile of standard-size white
envelopes, her hopes faltered, and she feared the worst. Then suddenly, an enormous
sapphire-blue envelope with gold calligraphy was wedged through. Petunia shouted with glee at the
coveted invite, and hardly noticed a second large letter that shot through the
slot a few seconds later. If it
had not been for the wild beating of her heart, Petunia would have heard a
distinct ruffle of wings outside the door. If the blue envelope had not been the sole focus of her
attention, she would have noticed the oddities of the second letter. Its envelope was of a thick, creamy
parchment. It was addressed most
bizarrely to “Miss Lily Evans, the Third Bedroom, West Camford, Kent.” There was no postcode. No, Petunia noticed none of this, not
even the archaic crest in the upper corner, nor the thick red seal on the back
of the envelope. She merely
scooped it up along with the other mail and proceeded in a daze to the kitchen.
in the very third bedroom mentioned on the strange envelope, Lily Evans had
been awoken by her sister’s delighted yell. She grumbled, turned over, and tried to fall back asleep,
but the sun blazed too brightly through her soft white curtains. Sighing, she slowly sat up and swung
her legs over the bed. Undoing her
ponytail was somewhat of a challenge, as her thick red hair had a knack for
tangling. As she yanked and
pulled, Lily cursed the nascent morning, not knowing that this day would change
her life. She stumbled blindly
down the stairs, still rubbing sleep out of her eyes, and groaned at the
familiar voice in the kitchen.
Jennifer said there was going to be a live band and that we were having lobster
as one of our
main courses! And here on the
invitation, it says to bring a bathing suit, so we must be going for a dip
somewhere! Oh, if only I could have thrown such a party
when I turned
dear,” her mother interrupted in a strained voice, “you had a fabulous
thirteenth. We had thirty people
over for Heaven’s sake!”
know that mother, but we didn’t have lobster now, did we?”
knowingly ignored this remark and let her eldest daughter continue with her
ramblings. She smiled as she saw
Lily roll her eyes and walk into the kitchen to grab some toast. Violet picked up the stack of mail that
Petunia had carelessly discarded, and shuffled through it. “Oh Spence, dear, your subscription to Stamp
is almost up! Will you renew
it? Spence? Spencer!” Mr. Evans finally looked up from his paper.
sorry love, what did you say? I
was reading this fascinating article…”
always a fascinating article, eh?
that your subscription to Stamp Collector’s Weekly is almost up!” Lily giggled as she saw her father’s
eyes go wide in shock, and then snatch the notice from his wife’s outstretched
“What! How can that be? I signed up for 24 months, not 12! I’ll have to phone them right away!”
it’s Saturday. No one will be in
the offices. Just calm down and go
back to your paper. I’m sure the
stamps won’t have gone anywhere by Monday…” she continued to rifle through the
stack of mail. “Oh Lily, look,
there’s something here for you!
And what nice handwriting!
Is one of your friends having a party too? My, they certainly don’t know how to address an envelope, do
they? I wonder how it even got
down her half-eaten toast and stared at the envelope. It was very large and very thick, and she admired the seal
briefly: Four animals entwined
themselves around a large letter “H.”
It was a strange way to mark the return address, but it must have been
from her friend Sandra Howard; the only friend she had whose surname began with
“H.” She pried the envelope open
and two letters fell out. The
first was written on a fancy letterhead bearing the name “Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry.” Lily
rubbed her eyes, thinking this to be some sort of trick of the light. Surely there wasn’t really a school for witches! They didn’t exist! She read on, muttering under her
breath. “Headmaster Albus
Dumbledore, Order of Merlin First Class, Grand blah blah blah, what is
this? Dear Miss Evans, we are
pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of—what? Mum, will you take a look at
Evans put down the spatula she was holding, and picked up the letter. Her eyes widened as she skimmed its
contents. “Lily, is this some sort
of joke? Can you think of anyone
that would like to make us all have a good laugh?”
I can’t! I think it’s… I think it’s
honestly, are any of
you listening to me?” Petunia
chimed in. “I was just telling you
the guest list, but nobody’s paying me any attention at all!”
Petunia. Lily’s got a most
Lily Evans? My sister got a letter? Let me see!” The letter once again changed hands, and once again, the
reader got a shock. “You, a witch! Well, that about fits, you freak!”
“Petunia!” Violet shouted, and reprimanded her
eldest, while at the same time profusely congratulating her youngest. “Lily, this is remarkable! I always knew you were special, but I
had no idea you were a witch, did you?
No, of course not, otherwise we would have expected this! Spencer! Spencer! Look
up from that confounded newspaper for a moment, would you! Lily has exciting news! She got a letter—she’s a witch!”
smashing good job, Lily,” he said sarcastically. “Turn my boss into a newt, would you? I’d love a holiday.”
darling, you can’t actually think that the letter is real, can you? It’s probably just a cheap joke!”
LOOK at the letter! This is not
then it’s an expensive joke,” said Spencer with an exasperated sigh as he took the letter.
of things that are expensive,” chirped Petunia, “I’ve heard that the Grants are
shipping in thirty
Andalusian horses from Spain!”
load of rubbish, Petunia. Anybody
important enough to do that would have enough sense not to invite you to her party! Your ugly mug would scare away all
those beautiful creatures!” Lily
was still fuming at Petunia’s remark about her letter. Finally, Lily got some recognition, but
Petunia, as usual, demanded all the attention.
Lily as her temper flared up inside.
I’ll show you a freak, Petunia. Lily
imagined great tufts of purple hair sprouting out of Petunia’s perfectly
coiffed head. The thought made her
laugh. The sight that greeted her
when she opened her eyes made her laugh even harder. The vision was actually happening! Petunia screamed as coils of outrageous
purple cascaded their way down her back.
Great jets of pink hair followed, and stood up straight on top of
Petunia’s head. Blue fuzzy strands
came out of her ears next, and Lily was doubled over on the floor. Petunia was wailing something awful,
but Violet and Spencer were staring transfixed. The bacon on the stove was burning, and the Hogwarts letter
hung loosely from Spencer’s hand as he looked at his daughters, then at his
Scot,” he said in an amazed whisper.
a witch!” He and Violet swooped
down and embraced their grinning daughter in a giant hug, while a sobbing
Petunia ran hurriedly out of the kitchen.
“So can I
go Mum? Dad? Can I?” Lily was giddy with excitement. A few strange things had happened to her before, but nothing
like this. Thoughts reeled through
her head, and she imagined a grand manor filled with tall, robed people running
around with pointy hats and magic wands, pulling rabbits and doves out of top
“Well, I don’t
know, what do you think, Spence?”
But Spencer was now staring open-mouthed at the second piece of paper.
this list of supplies! Robes,
cauldron, potion supplies, a magic wand!
It’s all here! Where are we
going to get this? In London?”
that’s a yes, Dad? I can go?”
say so! I can’t wait to see the
stores that we’ll go into! Do you
think that witches and wizards have their own stamps?”
always you and your stamps!” Violet teased. “Lily, of course you may go. Your father and I are thrilled! Now, how do we RSVP?
It said something about an owl… Yes, here: ‘we await your owl by no
later than July 31.’ Well that’s
something, isn’t it! We haven’t
got an owl! Do you suppose they
mean Petunia’s parakeet? I daresay
that even if we could fit a letter onto those scrawny legs, Petunia would never let us use him! Maybe we need to go buy an owl! But then again, how would it know where
to send the letter? I suppose—”
“Mum. Mum! MUM!” Lily tried in vain to get her mother’s attention. “Mother! Stop the rambling!
There’s an owl right there!”
She pointed at the window above the sink, where a great barn owl was
perched on the sill, hooting impatiently.
Lily pushed back the curtains and flew open the window, and the owl hopped
in and landed on her arm. Violet
hurried to the junk drawer and grabbed a pen and paper.
see… what do we say? ‘Dear Mr.
Dumbledore and Ms. Mc’—what was her name? Oh yes, ‘Ms. McGonagall….’”
beamed with joy as the letter was finished and the owl flew away. Violet beamed and fussed with her
daughter’s hair, then yelped as the fire alarm alerted the family to the
presence of the burning bacon. Spencer
stared in wonder at his daughter, then smiled and resumed his newspaper
reading. Petunia’s moans could
still be heard from upstairs, and there was no doubt she was imagining the
horror of attending Veronica’s party now…
in a wealthy neighborhood in Wiltshire, another young wizard was about to
receive a very similar letter…
boy, what’s the date?”
July I think.”
“Wonderful! Today’s the day then!”
Potter, a bright-eyed, messy-haired boy of eleven was just sitting down to
breakfast in the spacious dining room at 423 Lancaster Crescent. His father, Charles Potter, was a
well-dressed elderly gentleman with slightly knobby knees who worked as a
barrister for Gringott’s, the Wizard Bank. He took great pride in defending the bank’s claims to the
jewels they found overseas, and took even more immense pride in his only child,
James. Today was the day that
James would undoubtedly get his Hogwarts Letter.
is it, Charles?” James’ mother was
Grace Divine Potter, a kindly, warm woman who worked in the Department of
International Magical Cooperation at the Ministry of Magic. She, too, was proud of her bright young
boy, but was forever frustrated with his unruly hair. She was fiddling with this very hair when James looked up,
an eager look upon his face.
today’s the day I get my Hogwarts letter!
That is, if I get in and all.”
“Of course you’ll get in!” Charles
boomed. “Every Potter for six
generations has gone to Hogwarts, and probably before that too, but no one
could keep decent records, the prats.
You’re Hogwarts bound, and likely to be in Gryffindor, too! Fancy a try for the House Quidditch
really think I could make it, Dad?
I mean, I have been practicing a lot with Sirius, whenever he’s at the summer
house.” Sirius Black was James’
extremely fun-loving, extremely wealthy best friend, whose family had a summer
house—well, more of a summer mansion—a little ways away from the
Potters. But before Charles could
elaborate on James’ sure skills with a broomstick, Grace interjected.
don’t know James. It’s so dangerous, flying around on those brooms so
high! You and Sirius give me a
fright every time you practice!
And they don’t take first years anyway, right Charles?”
might make an exception for you, eh James? I reckon you’d make a fine Seeker!”
that too, but didn’t say anything.
It would be silly to get his hopes up when he hadn’t even technically been accepted at Hogwarts. Oh, come off it, he thought to himself. Of course you’ll get in. You’re a Potter! This thought put a smile on his face.
enough, James had just started into his second round of sausage and eggs when
the Potter’s mail owl rapped on the window. Mrs. Potter stood up, opened the window, and took the mail
along with the Daily Prophet that the owl clutched in its beak. She casually shuffled through the
letters and bills, pretending not to notice the identical looks of anticipation
on her husband and son’s faces. It
was when she started nonchalantly reading the newspaper that Charles cleared
sorry!” Grace said sweetly. “Were
you expecting something?”
grinned as she handed him the traditional cream-colored envelope bearing the
Hogwarts crest and seal. He ripped
it open, and a look of delight came over his face. After he skimmed the acceptance letter, he handed it to his
father. Charles grunted
approvingly and said, “You’re lucky you won’t have Professor Dippet as
Headmaster. If you ask me, it was
more like Professor Dipshi—”
“CHARLES! Not in front of James!” But Grace’s scolding was merely a
formality—it seemed that she also was relieved that Hogwarts was under
James, you’re in for a real treat.
Professor Dumbledore was always my favorite teacher at Hogwarts—he
taught Transfiguration, you know. He’s a fine man, though. A fair headmaster.
An honest man, and a right powerful wizard if I ever did see one. Now let’s see that supply list…”
handed it over, and silently contemplated what Hogwarts would be like. He always heard tales of the amazing
castle, with its trick staircases and alleged hidden passages. A smile crept onto his face as he
imagined being the first to find all of them. Charles and Grace beamed at their happy son, and began
scheduling the trip to Diagon Alley.
“I say we
go right away, don’t you think, Grace?
Get a jump on it?”
I’m absolutely swamped at the office this week. We have a council on Wednesday with the Albanian minister,
and Transylvania will no doubt pop in on Thursday. There have been awfully strange reports from Eastern Europe…
Dark reports, and it’s giving me gray hairs!”
A look of
concern came over Charles’ face.
He pulled Grace onto his lap and said soothingly, “You know, you don’t have to work anymore, dear. We certainly don’t need the money, and
the job gives you so much stress!”
course I know that, Charles, but I want to work.
Uniting the magical world has become so much more important
recently. You know, when Albus
Dumbledore, bless his soul, got rid of Grindelwald back in ’45, I thought
everything was going to be on the upswing, but it seems to be steadily getting
worse. I just think that—oh,
sorry James dear,” she stopped abruptly at James’ expectant look. “I shouldn’t be complaining about work
when we’ve got such an important thing to plan! What say we go into London around the thirty-first, and get
your supplies before August rolls around, okay?”
Mum, that sounds great! I can’t
wait to talk to Sirius!” His
wishes were answered, though, as a handsome young face popped into view of the
window. Sirius Black stood
outside, clutching his Hogwarts letter, a triumphant grin on his face. James beckoned him in, and Sirius
slipped swiftly through the open window.
Grace fussed half-heartedly that he could have fallen and hurt himself,
but James and Sirius didn’t hear.
They were too busy catching up.
know you were back at the summer house from London, Sirius!”
Flooed in this morning. Mother
kept complaining that I couldn’t Apparate yet, said a proper wizard my age
would know how. Guess she doesn’t
really care that it’d be illegal, eh?”
James laughed, along with his father. The Blacks were a notoriously haughty
upper-class family whose distinguished tastes often clashed with those of their
roguish son. “Anyway, we’ll be
here until the thirtieth, then back to Grimmauld Place, and next day to Diagon
Alley, I think.”
perfect! We’re going into town
then, too. Wonder if Quality
Quidditch Supplies would let us have a go on the new Cleansweeps!”
“Oh boys! I hear
there’s a new line of Nimbus broomsticks coming out.” Charles couldn’t help but join in. He fondly remembered his own Quidditch
days… “Aritcle in yesterday’s Prophet called ‘em the Nimbus 1001 line. Said the broomstick would still have
all the handling of a Cleansweep, but it fixed the braking problems of the
Nimbus 1000 and added a Drafting Charm!”
“Blimey!” chimed the boys in unison, and the rest of the morning
was filled with delusions of grandeur atop a shining new Nimbus 1001.
Around midday, Grace Divine Potter received a most unpleasant
scare as she went about her business in the kitchen. A burst of emerald green flames and a screeching voice made
her jump and she turned around to see the head of Algea Black—Sirius’s
mother—in the middle of her kitchen fireplace.
“Oh, good morning, Algea,” she said cordially. “You gave me quite a fright!”
“I did? Well, my
apologies, Grace,” said Mrs. Black, not sounding apologetic in the least. “I suppose my ungrateful son is causing
trouble at your house right now?”
“Oh, Algea, you know Sirius is no trouble for us! We love having him ‘round!” Grace struggled to keep her tone even,
though the wretched woman’s words made her blood boil. How a woman like that is fit to be a
“Hmm...” said Mrs. Black, her lips pursed into a thin line. “Well, I’d rather him be home right
now. His Uncle Arcturus is coming
by the house later today and you can no doubt see he looks a fright; we’ve got
to get him cleaned up somehow. Best
if we could scourgify his filthy mouth, but apparently that child-rearing
technique is frowned upon these days.”
All Grace could manage was a laugh she hoped didn’t sound too
false. “Well Algea,” she said,
hoping to end the conversation before smoke started spouting from her ears,
“I’ll certainly go track him down and send him right home. Not to worry. Tell Nigellus we said ‘hello.’”
“My husband is not home—he’s gone to meet his brother.”
“Right, well, I’ll just go get Sirius, then.”
“Thank you,” responded Algea, but her head had disappeared from
the flames before the words were fully out of her mouth.
Grace slowly unclenched the fists she had been making and cringed
at the lines where her fingernails had cut into the flesh of her palms. “That woman!” she screamed to no one in
“I gather my dear mother has just popped in for a visit, Mrs.
Potter?” Sirius said with a forlorn smile from the kitchen doorway. James stood behind him, and both boys
were flushed in the face, their brooms slung over their shoulders.
“Nothing says ‘good afternoon’ like a chat with Mrs. Black,” James
Grace attempted another laugh, this one just as false as the
last. Her eyes softened, though,
as she looked at Sirius. The
poor boy. But the universe had ways of righting itself... “Well, Sirius, she wants you home as
soon as possible. Apparently your
Uncle Arcturus is coming into town.”
“Bloody brilliant,” he scowled. “I probably won’t bee seeing you all again until London,
then. Uncle Arcturus usually likes
to take a full week to explain to me how much I’m shaming the family name.”
“Well, you could always try one of Viridian’s new hexes! I thought the Cross-Eyed Confundum one
looked good!” James added hopefully.
“Right, well if I pull that, I won’t be seeing you all ever again. It’d be straight to Azkaban for me.”
“Oh tosh, Sirius. The
day a boy like you goes to Azkaban... Well anyway, do you want to use the fire? We have more than enough Floo
Powder...” Grace trailed off, the proffered jar of Powder in her outstretched
“No thanks, Mrs. Potter.
I think I’d rather walk.
But thanks anyway, and thanks for having me over today,” he said as he
headed for the door.
“Not a problem at all, Sirius. And you know you’re welcome here any time you want. Any time at all.”
“Thanks again, really.
walked across the Potters’ perfectly manicured lawn, cut across a few fields
and through a garden or two, and was soon in sight of the Black summer
home. He sighed. What wonders awaited him this time? Well, at least the summer home was better than Number Twelve
in London. The summer home meant
proximity to the Potters, and a great deal more freedom—relatively
speaking, of course.
Number Twelve... Well, Algea and Nigellus Black were unlikely to let their
least favorite son have any sort of fun in London if they had anything to say about
it. So his daily routine proceeded
unaltered, as it had for the last eleven and a half years. Every morning he would be awoken by the
violent arguments between his mother and father, by the distraught grumbles of
the hated house-elf Kreacher, by the snide remarks of his
great-great-grandfather Phineas Nigellus, whose portrait unfortunately hung in
his dank and dark bedroom. And
every morning he longed to get away from this house and from his family. From his maniacal parents, from his
simpering younger brother, from the relics of the Black family that greeted him
at every waking moment as he walked around the house.
exactly had he done to displease them?
It didn’t really matter.
Ever since he had let slip the barest hint that he did not, in fact, hate Muggles. Ever since he had occasionally helped
Mrs. Hagemeyer from next door, or talked to the Lupins two doors down, or had any sort of contact with any Muggle… His parents were just
determined to hate him. Everyone
in the family seemed determine to hate him. Yes, there were exceptions, and he relished trips to Uncle
Alphard’s house, or clandestine rants with his cousin Andromeda. But they were few and far between, and
becoming more rare with every passing year.
he loved most were his family’s frequent trips to the country. And though the Blacks’ summer house was
visited often by the dreaded Malfoys, it was only a few minutes away from the
Potters. And therefore, Sirius
could see his second family—his real family—as often as he liked.
was always the inevitable return to the Realm of the Blacks. And now, that time was imminent. Lord, thought Sirius as he approached
their house, even our summer house looks like something out of Grindelwald’s
imagination... Who puts gargoyles
on a summer house in Wiltshire?
stared up at the ugly, twisted beasts glaring back down at him, Sirius was
apprehended by his mother.
Apparently mistaking his happenstance gaze at their décor for a severe
offense against the family, she harangued him with her millionth lecture about
the disgrace of the blood traitors in the family. And as soon as she had stopped ranting about her accursed
brother-in-law, she set in on scolding him for taking so long to return from
the Potters’ house. And so
continued just another day in the life of Sirius Black. How he longed to be free from it all...
Black emerged out of nowhere in the middle of Grimmauld Place in London. He had no need to conceal himself from
ordinary Muggles—they were too stupid to notice an Apparating Wizard,
even if he popped up right in front of their noses. Muttering to himself about the sorry state of the world, he
crossed the street and entered his family’s imposing brownstone, Number Twelve.
two doors down, however, existed a family who would indeed have noticed an
Apparating Wizard, especially if he popped up right in front of their noses. But the Lupins were not formally
acquainted with the Blacks even though their son Remus was about the same age
as the two Black boys. No, the Blacks
had not cared to stoop so low as to introduce themselves to the “commoners” of
Grimmauld Place. And the Lupins
could never be bothered to introduce themselves to a family who seemed so
supercilious, so above everything and everyone on the street. So two Wizard families remained blissfully ignorant of each
other. At least for the time being...
that morning, at Number Ten, Remus Lupin had awoken with a start. How many days left? Heart beating like a drum against his chest, he glanced at
the lunar calendar taped next to his bed.
He breathed a small sigh of relief, however, when he noticed that the
full moon was still two full weeks away.
He was a
werewolf. Every twenty-eight days
as the moon approached full, Remus was staunchly reminded of this fact. Every twenty-eight days he dreaded what
happened to him as the moon waxed, and then rejoiced gleefully as the terror
passed and the moon began to wane.
But the glee was only temporary, for as sure as Merlin’s beard was
white, the lunar cycle would happen again.
the transformation was worse than usual.
Sometimes he roared and raged and thought of a face—the face of
the werewolf that had bitten him.
He never fully recalled his thoughts as a werewolf, but that face would
come back to haunt him in his human dreams. He could not escape it, just as he could not escape what he
was. What he had become.
parents had dealt with it the best they had been able to. A fully qualified witch and an
intelligent Muggle man, they could nevertheless neither prevent their son’s
transformation, nor aide him while he was transformed. So they left the country home where
Remus had been bitten, moved into an old brownstone in a forgotten corner of
London, and shut their son away behind iron doors every twenty-eight days. They shut him away and attempted to
shut away the howls and memories that came from behind those doors.
doors led to an iron-and-magic-reinforced basement, which in turn led to the
sewers deep under London. The
Werewolf had free reign of his own section of sewer, nothing to keep him
company but the rats and his inhuman thoughts.
It was no
surprise Remus looked weak and tired before every full moon. And it was no surprise that sometimes
people took notice of his appearance as the full moon approached. With four or five days left until the
full moon his hair usually started to grow a bit, and get a little wild. His canine teeth would lengthen
slightly—not really noticeable to anyone but Remus, but just a sad
reminder for him. Two days left
brought a definite downturn in his character, both emotionally and physically. His skin paled, his hair would
sometimes fall out. And the day of
the full moon? It was best to just
not be around him... But today was
solidly in the middle of the cycle.
These were the best days, the happiest days. And today specifically was even better and happier than normal, for he had
just received his Hogwarts letter.
some sense of normalcy. Remus,
thanks to the grace and foresight of Headmaster Albus Dumbledore, would be able
to attend Hogwarts. Hogwarts. His mother’s alma mater, the best
school for witches and wizards in the world, and what he had been dreaming
about since he was a little boy.
as his eleventh birthday had come and gone in March, Remus had become extremely
apprehensive that Hogwarts, realizing his disability, would not admit him into
the school. His parents had done
some research and found out that Hogwarts had never admitted a werewolf. But then Professor Dumbledore had
contacted the Lupins and told them of his plan for Remus. He could go to Hogwarts. He would go to Hogwarts. He would be normal, or as normal as he
had more than an eleven-year-old’s share of disappointments. But this was a fresh start. This was a new beginning. Albus Dumbledore had some excellent and
intelligent plans for his unique pupil, and Remus was looking forward to
Hogwarts more than he had looked forward to anything in his life.
still had his doubts. Oh yes, he
had doubts. Would other students
find out? Would he be shunned? Humiliated? Rejected? Would
they shy away from him because of what he was, just like so many before?
you cannot change what you are,” Headmaster Dumbledore had said in a visit with
Remus and his parents. How true
his words were. Remus had merely
nodded his head and risen from his chair, resigned to face the facts.
Dumbledore continued, drawing him back.
change what you become.”
can. And I will.
another forgotten corner of London another boy was reading his Hogwarts letter. Peter Pettigrew sat at the small
breakfast table in the kitchen, his father beaming down at him, his stepmother
glancing anxiously at the letter.
very good school, Frances,” said Douglas Pettigrew. “I went there myself, and Nora did, too, of course. That’s how we met.”
you’re not thinking of sending him there to meet his future wife now, are you,
Douglas?” asked Frances Madden-Pettigrew.
course not, but still, Hogwarts really is just the most wonderful place, and I
really think Pete could do well there!” replied Douglas, twisting his hands
together just as his son was wont to do.
think... Douglas, you know how Peter is about making friends. And now that he has a little group at
Sudbury, wouldn’t it be best to keep him there? His marks will improve and he won’t be so far away from
having him so far away won’t be nice, that’s right, Frances. I suppose... Well, I suppose I—I
think the decision through a little bit more, but—”
think that’s a good idea, Douglas.”
continued speaking as if Peter wasn’t even there. Not like it mattered to him. Though he was usually perfectly aware of and attentive to
his father and stepmother’s conversations, on this particular morning he was
far too concerned with the hallowed piece of parchment he held in his
hands. And he knew that this time, nothing his stepmother said would keep
him away from Hogwarts.
Frances had any ill intentions toward her stepson. She just was not a witch and thus did not understand the
importance of the aforementioned letter.
She had, however, raised Peter from the time when he was very young, his
mother Nora having died while he was still a toddler. And she definitely was a persuasive woman, as her husband Douglas
the other hand, my dear,” said Douglas, casting a nervous glance at his son and
lowering his voice, “It is entirely possible that staying at Sudbury will
remind him of... Of... Well, of...” He was unable to finish his sentence, and
Frances saw that tears were gathering in his already watery eyes.
and of Elaine?” Her husband
nodded. “Yes, that is true, I
suppose. But sending him away will
only increase his homesickness and will no doubt trigger unhappy memories, Douglas.”
again and increased the velocity of his twisting hands. “Why don’t we—”
him?” His wife finished his
sentence. “Yes, why don’t
we.” She turned to Peter. “Peter, dear, you don’t want to go to
this school, do you? Hadn’t you rather
stay here, close to your father and me and your friends at Sudbury?”
made a small noise of protest at the way his wife had directed the sentence,
but his fretting was quelled as Peter shook his head, his sandy-blond hair
tossing back and forth. “Ma’am,”
he said, addressing her in his usual way.
He had never been comfortable calling her ‘Mum.’ “I really think I should go to
Hogwarts. I really want to go to Hogwarts. And I think Dad agrees, right Dad?”
nodded, his eyes again filled to the brim with tears. Frances gave a little sigh and picked up the Hogwarts
letter. “Well, we’ll think about
it, all right boys? We haven’t
made a decision yet, understand?”
and son agreed but exchanged a glance that Frances missed. The matter was decided; there was no
doubt about that.
the pieces were set for a game of such grand scale. The magical quill of Hogwarts had merely transcribed names
into a book, not realizing the scope and magnitude of this task. And Minerva McGonagall had mailed the
letters without the slightest inkling that in just a few short years such a storm would be brewing on
account of these children. Not
even Albus Dumbledore could have foreseen the ends of the paths these students
would eventually walk. But they
all started at Hogwarts...