Yo! Wow, has it really been less than a month? Crazy. Thank you to all readers so far!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or any of its characters...
Violet was incredibly relieved once the weekend came to an end and she was finally allowed to leave the hospital wing. Madam Pomfrey had been very...fussy, so it was nice to finally get away from the constant nagging. She knew the woman was just concerned, and took her job very seriously, and that was something Violet did actually respect (especially after the Matron's constant neglect), but it became overbearing very quickly, even if the intentions were good.
The corridors were empty as Violet walked through them, but that wasn't surprising as everyone was probably in the Great Hall for dinner. Having already eaten in the Hospital Wing before having been dismissed, Violet just made her way down into the dungeons and into Slytherin's common room. It was mostly deserted, containing only a handful of older students who clearly must not have felt hungry.
She hadn't even made it half way through the common room when she noticed Sauron slithering over to her, and she remained still as he made his way up her body. He always had to wrap himself around her so awkwardly because of how much larger he was than her-Violet still found it to be so amusing.
"You are well again?" he asked her, tongue flicking out to touch her cheek.
"I'm better now, yes. Those dementors are just..."
"Have you been fed?"
"Yes, that boy...Theodore you call him, has ensured it. He is still frightened of me."
That got a light laugh out of the girl. "Well, you're a very big snake, Sauron. He's probably worried you're going to strangle him or swallow him whole or something."
"Sss, I doubt you humans taste very good."
Violet giggled and shook her head in exasperation, beginning to make her way back to her room, unaware that all the conversations in the common room that had stopped suddenly when she and Sauron had started to speak, started up again.
To them-the Slytherins, it didn't matter how important what they were saying or doing was. When this particular Potter started speaking in Parseltongue, they were all going to shut up and listen to her. Sure, they didn't understand a single word...or rather, hiss, but the fact that they could listen was enough for them.
Most of them doubted she was aware of the significance the language had, but unlike her damned twin, she at least wasn't afraid to speak it, and now that she had a snake (and an excuse), well, they liked being around her a lot more all of a sudden.
Violet was actually kind of relieved when she returned to class the next week. She'd been stuck alone in the Hospital Wing with her thoughts for way too long, so for once she was glad to be around other people again, just because it meant she didn't have the time or the attention to focus on those thoughts.
That relief was only increased when she saw that Professor Lupin seemed to be back for their Defence class. He definitely did look like he had been sick though. He still looked weak and tired, and had dark circles under his eyes. ...What the hell was wrong with him?
Still, Lupin smiled and greeted them as kindly as ever as they took their seats, and launched into yet another fascinating lesson that not even Malfoy complained about in the moment.
And it was after the lesson, once everyone was dismissed, that Violet was called to stay behind. Telling Theo she'd meet up with him after, Violet and the professor were soon left alone.
He didn't speak at first, just regarded her closely, eyes searching her face, before finally saying, "How do you feel?"
"Better," Violet replied truthfully, "but still kind of...heavy?" She didn't know how to explain it really, but since she had woken up, her body felt sort of weighed down. She didn't know why that was, but it was certainly a whole lot better now than when she had awoken.
Lupin nodded in understanding, but frowned slightly. "It is...strange that you are being affected so badly."
"Is it?" It wasn't like she liked it or anything, but she hadn't thought there was anything particularly odd about it. She'd figured it was just bad luck that it always happened to be her. Bizarre, unfair things like this were a common occurrence in her life.
"It's strange because while your sister was affected enough that it had her falling from her broom, the dementors had no other affect on her. And that's something that is almost unheard of when she was the one being attacked in the first place."
"Oh." Did that mean Rose was stronger than her? If she was affected twice as bad, but Rose not at all, isn't that what that meant? That her twin was stronger than she was?
"It has absolutely nothing to do with strength or weakness," Lupin added suddenly, as if realizing what she had begun thinking. "Dementors are dark and foul creatures that drain all happiness and hope from a person, magical or Muggle, though Muggles can't actually see them. They drain away everything that you find good, and if exposed to them long enough, you're left with nothing but negative emotions and memories. The more negative experiences you have had in your life, the most susceptible you are to the effects of the dementors. You're not weak, Violet, but you have gone through a lot."
"And-and that's why they make me feel like that? Like this?"
"That has much to do with it, yes."
Violet bit her lip, hesitating, then said, "But Rose has been through at least some of what I have-bad things, I mean. And I think those things were much worse for her than they were for me. So why don't the dementors make her remember those things? Or-or remind her of those?"
Lupin sighed, bracing his hands on his desk. "That's the part that I find to be strange. There is no reason why only one of you should be affected like this, especially as, at least this second time, it was Rose who was attacked, rather than you yourself."
Violet had no idea what to say to that, because she honestly didn't understand it. "Is there...is there a way to-to get rid of dementors? To make them leave you alone?"
The man blinked, then inclined his head. "There are spells, yes. Dementors can't be killed in any fashion, but there are spells to defend you from them. The spells-or spell, rather, is most useful when there are only one or two, but..."
"Do you think you can teach me, Professor?"
The hesitation that Lupin felt upon hearing those words was obvious in the expression that crossed his face. "There...is a spell, one that I know of that can help you, but..."
"It's a difficult spell, Violet. Very advanced. I'm not sure you would even be able to cast it right now."
"But how would you know that if I don't at least try?"
Lupin reached up and scratched his chin, his brow furrowed. "I suppose that's true. It isn't as if casting the spell is dangerous. It simply uses a great amount of magic that children your age generally don't have. But it's worth attempting it, at the very least." He nodded here, as if to himself. "You'll have to wait until after the Christmas holidays though. I have a lot to do before the break thanks to falling ill at such an inconvenient time. The spell is called the Patronus charm, by the way. There should be books in the library that can tell you more. I'll explain it in more detail of course, but feel free to look it up if you'd like."
Violet had no reason to argue with anything that had been said there. It wasn't as if he was refusing to teach it to her, just that right now was a bad moment. Christmas break wasn't that far away, so she could wait. She was certainly going to take him up on his suggestion to research the spell too. She was curious to learn more about it, even if it turned out she couldn't cast it yet herself...
The last weekend before the break began was another Hogsmeade visit. Pretty much everyone seemed to be pleased about that, mostly because they would be able to do their Christmas shopping there. Violet herself was mostly indifferent. Nothing about her situation here had changed, so she obviously still wasn't allowed to go to the village.
It really wasn't that huge of a deal, honestly. Would it be nice to go? Sure. Did she want to? Of course. But she still had around four school years to do that. She understood that because of Black being around, the adults were nervous about letting even Rose, who did have permission, go. So there was no reason for them to give her special permission when they were already worrying. They probably figured it would be easier if she stayed in the castle, since it was safer. It was hardly the end of the world.
So she gave Hermione a list of things to buy, along with some money, that way she could actually give her friends Christmas presents for once. Of course, he had Theo buy Hermione's present, because that would be weird otherwise. Then she said goodbye to her friends, watched them head off into the cold, and made her way back into the castle.
Now, what to do? She could head to the library, or maybe see if Lupin had any new creatures in class. Sauron was going to have to be fed today too, so she'd do that in a bit. Or she could-
"There you are, dear old friend of ours."
She didn't even have to look to know who was speaking. She turned, finding Fred and George approaching her. "I'm surprised you two haven't left for Hogsmeade yet," she said in greeting.
"We have plans," said Fred with a grin, "but there's something we decided to do first."
"We have an early Christmas present for you!" George announced with a grin of his own. "We've been using it since first year-"
"-knicked it from Filch's office, as I recall-"
"-but honestly, we don't really need it anymore. We have it pretty much memorized and figured it would be a lot more useful to you."
Violet blinked, then raised a brow when Fred held out a rather old looking parchment that seemed to be folded. "And what is this, exactly?"
"This, darling Violet, is how my dear brother and I have been as successful as we have."
"Check it out." Pulling out his wand, George tapped the parchment. "I solemnly swear that I am up to no good."
Violet watched, fascinated as lines of ink began to spread out from where George's wand had touched, flowing out over the entire parchment, forming- "A map?"
"Not just any map."
The girl took it as it was handed to her, examining it closely. Right on the top were the words 'Messers Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs are proud to present the Marauders' Map'. And yes, it certainly was a map-a map of Hogwarts, to be precise. A very detailed map of Hogwarts that showed not just the corridors and rooms, but the people inside as well. It showed exactly who they were, and where they were, and seemed to follow them as they moved.
"Salazar, this is amazing!" Violet breathed, feeling genuine awe. How had these people created such a thing? She hadn't thought something like this would even be possible. Magic really was just...just amazing, wasn't it? Then she looked up. "Why aren't you giving this to Rose?"
The Weasley twins exchanged a glance, and in unison said, "We'd rather you have it."
"We owe you for saving our sister's life-"
"-and besides, Rose has an Invisibility Cloak. It may not be as effective as it would be with the map, but she's already got a way to sneak around."
"You may not be able to be invisible, but so long as you're quiet and keep an eye on the map, you'll be fine."
"So we bequeath this to you!" they said simultaneously.
"Now, what you need to know is that there are seven secret passageways out of the castle," said Fred, pointing all of them out for her on the parchment. "Most of them lead into Hogsmeade."
"Filch definitely knows about these four," said George, tracing them with his finger. "But we're positive that he, and the other professors aren't aware of these three here. This one here's caved in though, so it can't be used. And this one's got the Whomping Willow over it, so obviously don't bother using that one either unless you want to get hurt. But this one here's safe, and leads into Honeydukes' cellar."
"So if it comes to sneaking out of Hogwarts, this one here's your best bet."
Violet looked up at the twins. "So what you're telling me, is that I can use this passage here to get into Hogsmeade."
"Yep. But you'll have to be careful if you go today."
"Since it's the last visit before the break, a lot of the professors go too, so it's possible you'll be caught."
"So just be careful if you do. And to clear the map, you just tap it and say 'mischief managed'. Make sure you remember-"
"-or else anyone could read the map."
And that was it. Violet thanked the twins, who merely responded with winks and cheeky smirks, before they turned and headed off, no doubt to make their own way to Hogsmeade.
Once they were out of sight, Violet refocused on the map in her hands. This was certainly a very valuable thing she had just been given, and was most definitely something she was going to use quite often. And while sneaking into Hogsmeade was something that was possible now, the twins were right in that today wasn't the best day to do it.
She had already seen more than one professor leave for the village herself, and it was unlikely that they would mistake her for her twin. They did look alike, of course, but there were still a couple of obvious differences between them. Maybe a first glance could be passed off, but not more than that.
So no, she wasn't going to go today, but that didn't mean she couldn't use this map to explore the castle more. Since everyone else was out in the village, she was less likely to be disturbed here.
Nodding to herself, Violet made her way back to Slytherin's common room so she could feed Sauron, and then brought him with her to explore (as he demanded when she told him what she was going to do)...
When Violet met up with Theodore and Hermione when they returned, both of them looked somehow...off. Disturbed. Hermione especially. Instantly, Violet's guard was up.
"What's...going on?" she asked cautiously.
The other two exchanged an equally cautious glance, before Hermione began to speak hesitantly.
"When we were at the Three Broomsticks, we both...overheard something..."
"Overheard what?" Violet asked curiously.
Hermione chewed on her bottom lip, but didn't answer, seemingly unsure of what to say or how to say it. Maybe that was why Theodore took over.
"McGonagall, Flitwick, Hagrid, and the Minister were talking to the owner of the Three Broomsticks. They were talking about Black. He was friends with your father-best friends, apparently."
Violet nodded. That wasn't all that surprising, since Black was her twin sister's godfather. Their parents would only have done that if Black was someone they really trusted. You didn't really make random old classmates the godparents of your children, after all.
"Black was the one who turned traitor and told the Dark Lord where your parents were hidden. According to McGonagall, Dumbledore had some sort of suspicion about Black, but your parents, your dad mostly, insisted Black was trustworthy and used him as their Secret-Keeper. Er, you know-"
"I know how the Fidelius charm works," Violet confirmed with a nod. She'd read it in a book not too long ago, so there was no need for it to be explained to her.
"Right, so no one would know where your house was unless Black himself told them. And I guess that's what happened. He ran after that, and the next day the whole thing with Pettigrew and the Muggles happened."
"Fudge said that even though Black spent so many years in Azkaban around the dementors, he seemed strangely normal," Hermione finally said. "That's...pretty much impossible, or should be, rather. I mean, even in Muggle prisons people who have been locked up for so long show some signs of being affected. And Black was locked in one of the worst cells to be locked in-they said there were dementors at his door almost constantly."
Slowly, Violet nodded. Sure, finding out Black was weirdly sane was kind of surprising, but that didn't explain why her friends were behaving so oddly. Surely it couldn't be because of this information. So she asked them what else was wrong. There had to be something else. And sure enough, they once again exchanged one of those cautious glances.
"We-we learned why Black isn't your godfather."
Theo sighed and dragged his fingers through his sandy coloured hair. "Black isn't your godfather, because Lupin is."
"...Ah." That was...genuinely surprising. Violet wasn't quite sure what to say. Lupin hadn't ever mentioned anything to her about this, but...hadn't he sort of...hinted at it? He didn't seem to care at all that she was in Slytherin, he had made an effort to speak to her in private-they'd had tea together, and he knew who her friends were by name too. "I-I wonder why he hasn't said anything?"
"Maybe because he's sick?" Theo suggested. "At first I thought it was because he didn't want to mix up his professional life with his personal one-like Professor Snape. He's Draco's godfather, but neither of them ever show or mention that. But that would only apply for this year. So I suppose it's possible the illness he has, whatever it is, makes him too weak to take care of a kid?"
Violet blinked, then cocked her head to one side. "That...makes sense, actually. It he does have a chronic illness like I think he does, then it's definitely possible that he's just physically, and maybe even financially incapable of taking care of a kid, me or not."
Theodore sighed. "But that doesn't really explain why he hasn't at least contacted you before, even if he couldn't take care of you."
"Yeah... Hermione? What's wrong?"
Having been oddly quiet for the last few minutes Hermione, looking hesitantly thoughtful, finally spoke. "You know...I sort of have a-a suspicion on what might be wrong with Professor Lupin."
"About his illness?"
"Yes. I-I'm not positive yet or anything, but I'm...beginning to wonder if he might be..."
Violet just stared, but Theodore made a soft sound of understanding. "Actually, you could be right."
"Yes," he agreed with a nod. "I didn't really consider it before, but being a werewolf would explain a lot about Lupin. It's a really...straining thing. That could be why he always looks so tired, and why he looks older for his age and those grey hairs he's already getting. It would explain why he gets sick around the same time of the month, and why he always looks even worse when he comes back. And it would explain why he's hasn't said anything to you, Violet."
Theodore nodded. "I guess you wouldn't know this, but werewolves don't have any actual legal rights in our world. Even if he was already a grown man when he was turned into one, he would have lost all those rights immediately."
Hermione looked scandalized. "What!? But that's horrible!"
"It's been like that for years, and was made worse by some Ministry hag when we were little-or maybe around the time we'd have been born. I'm not really sure. Either way, even if your parents named Lupin as your godfather, Violet, him being a werewolf means he has no actual rights over you. Actually, him taking care of you would be illegal. That could be why you were left in an orphanage-I don't know. And while I can't say for sure why he didn't contact you, I wouldn't be surprised if the werewolf thing had something to do with it. That is, if he really is a werewolf."
Slowly, Violet nodded. "How can we make sure? I don't really want to go asking him out of nowhere. Is there any way to prove it?"
"I can do more research," Hermione offered. "Like I said, I'm only suspecting he's a werewolf, but it's entirely possible that I'm wrong. I'd like to wait at least another month to see if he gets ill at the same time again. For now it could all just be a coincidence or a fluke. So I'd like to wait one more month to make sure."
That was fair, Violet agreed. She didn't quite understand this whole werewolf thing, and definitely was going to have to look into that more. But at the same time, she wanted to hear what Lupin had to say about all this himself...
The Christmas break started just a couple of days later, and Violet felt a little...off. Almost the entirety of the castle had returned home for the break, and Violet was the only girl in Slytherin who was still here. Theodore had stayed too, the two of them the only members of their House left in the castle. There were no Ravenclaws at all, a couple of first year Hufflepuffs, and the only Gryffindors here were Rose and Ron.
Yeah, that made things a little awkward.
Rose seemed perfectly content-Weasley too, but Violet and Theodore ignored them for the most part. It was almost as if they had called a truce for the break, without having discussed it or anything. Honestly, they were all fine with that. Violet had too many things on her mind right now to focus on her twin and her friend.
Christmas day itself passed normally a couple of days later, and it was during Christmas dinner that they really noticed how few were still in the castle.
A single table had been prepared and set for twelve-the six students, Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Sprout, Filch, and Hagrid. Lupin wasn't there, and the Headmaster informed a curious Rose that the professor was ill again, but asked Snape if he had prepared 'the potion' for Lupin, the Potions Master confirming that he had.
Upon hearing this Violet and Theo exchanged a glance, and the boy nodded in response to the girl's unspoken question. Lupin had once more become ill around the full moon. The possibility of him being a werewolf was only growing. They were going to have to let Hermione know about this when she came back.
Neither of them noticed that Snape, sitting across them, had noticed their interaction, watching them with a small frown on his face...
It's been a shit few days for my left eye-the one that's pretty much useless to me, and I've been in excruciating pain because of it (It basically feels like you're being stabbed in the eye. Constantly. The pain is unbearable). So yeah, I wrote during moments the pain was less, but this is kind of a chapter I just had to get through to get to the more important bits. So now I'm in a piss mood thanks to my sister, and watching Backlash (I love Nakamura's new entrance, mostly because I love jrock), so forgive any typos or whatever the fuck I may have missed. Looking forward to reviews. Laterz.