Title: Prisoner of the Moon.
Rating: euhm, I don't know. Make it PG-13. At least, it's not suited for your little brother/sister/whatever.
Disclaimers: everything that's not familiar to you is mine, the rest is JK Rowling´s.
Pairings: not that I'm aware of – yet. The only thing that I know for sure is that it's not going to be slash!
Spoilers: for the first four books, especially the third one, "Harry Potter & The Prisoner of Azkaban". This fict even borrows complete scenes from that one…
Author's Note: Back by request! This is the sequel to my rather popular fanfiction called "Remus Lupin". As you can guess, the main character is Remus Lupin, everybody's favourite werewolf! Where "Remus Lupin" told his story from The Bite until him falling asleep in the Hogwarts Express in book 3, this story starts where "Remus Lupin" ended, at the Hogwarts Express, and it basically tells Prisoner of Azkaban from Remus' POV.
For those wanting to read "Remus Lupin": it's on this site, so you can just check my profile, and there it is. You don't really have to read that one to understand this, though of course it makes this one more fun, so I recommend you read it. I must warn you, though, it's quite long…
Well, that was everything I had to say. No, one more thing: I am aware that this chapter is long. Bad news for you: there are even longer chapters coming up!
I'm not sure how often I´ll post a new chapter, but it will be at least once in two weeks, probably even more often. Unless, of course, nobody is reviewing, then I´ll just wait until someone does that…
Oh, and finally: I'm Dutch, English is my second language, so I deeply apologise for any spelling or grammar mistake made. I try to keep them out of my fict, but if they're there: it was not intentionally.
Now, onto the story!
Prisoner of the Moon.
The next instalment of "Remus Lupin".
September 1, 1993.
"So we finally have a Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher who knows his remedies."
The huge black dog was chasing the stag, but only playfully. Its paws thundered on the ground. Suddenly, it turned around and barked a few times, calling for him to move on; the night was far too beautiful to stay hanging around in the forest. The brown wolf came out of the shadows and answered the call with a long howling. Without hesitation, the dog joined him. Two canines, both howling to the same moon. The stag stamped his hoof on the ground and the rat between its antlers squeaked as if to tell the larger animal to cut it out. The earth shook and the wolf heard heavy objects falling on the ground.
Remus woke up with a jolt. He sat upright, immediately completely awake. Though, was he awake? He knew he had his eyes opened but couldn't see a thing. Where was he? Oh, of course, the Hogwarts Express. But what was happening? Were they there yet? Why on earth had he fallen asleep –
"Come in and sit down – " He suddenly noticed he wasn't alone. Someone else was here too, several people by the sound of it.
"Not here! I'm here!"
"Ouch," someone exclaimed.
"Quiet," Remus interrupted them, his voice hoarse, due to the lack of sleep in the past few days. Immediate silence. He took out his wand and waved with it. Flames appeared in his hands, so he could see around him, though the light was flickering and not really bright.
"Stay where you are," he said to the children in the compartment, getting to his feet. First of all he needed to find out what was happening. But before he could even reach the door, it already opened.
A freezing feeling washed over him. Occasions he did not want to recall, memories he had wanted to loose, suddenly appeared in his head. "Remus – James and Lily, they're… they're – You Know Who killed them…"
The creature stood there in the opening of the door, breathing heavily. A hideous looking hand appeared from out of the dark robes, but was quickly and suddenly drawn back.
"Harry!" a brown-haired girl exclaimed. Remus tore himself away from the image of James saying goodbye and saw a black-haired boy with glassed pass out on the floor.
Stupid twit, he scolded himself. Use your Patronus on that Dementor instead of crying about the past! The next moment he had taken his wand, concentrated on a happy memory (acceptance to Hogwarts, always that memory) and muttered the charm. A silvery Patronus flowed out of the tip of his wand and the Dementor immediately turned and left.
Only moments after that, the lights turned on again and the train started shaking; they were moving again.
With a barely audible sigh of relief, Remus turned his face to the children in the compartment. Two red-heads, a rather fat boy, the girl with lightbrown hair and –
O God, James – I mean Harry. What is he doing here?
Idiot, do the math, Harry's thirteen now. He's in his – third year.
The nameless girl with the bushy lightbrown hair was tapping Harry's face. On Harry's other side sat a boy with bright red hair and a long nose, looking worried.
"Harry!" exclaimed the girl again and tapped Harry on the face. "Harry! Are you all right?"
"W-what?" Remus sighed barely audible when he saw Harry open his eyes. The boy looked pale, and the beads of sweat on his forehead made him look like as if he was suffering from fever. His friends helped him on his seat.
"Are you OK?" asked the redhead.
"Yeah," said Harry. Remus couldn't help but notice his quick glance to the door, where the Dementor had been standing. "What happened? Where's that – that thing? Who screamed?"
"No one screamed," his friend replied, looking more nervous than before.
At this point, Remus remembered his suitcase, and what he called his ´Dementor first aid kit´. Not noticed by anyone else in the compartment, he took a large slab of chocolate, removed the wrapper and started breaking it into pieces. The snap made the children look up in alarm.
"Here," Remus said to Harry, handing him the largest piece of chocolate. "Eat it. It'll help." You need it, you most of all…
Harry took the chocolate but eyed it suspiciously. "What was that thing?" he asked.
"A Dementor," Remus answered, still breaking the slab of chocolate, and handing pieces out to everyone. "One of the Dementors of Azkaban." Naturally, the children stared at him as he crumpled the wrapper and put it in his pocket (no bin in sight).
"Eat," he repeated. He didn't want to scare the children, so talking about Dementors was the last thing he should do. "It'll help. I need to speak to the driver, excuse me…"
He made his way out of the compartment and walked swiftly past the others. The students were unusually quiet. A few first-years practically jumped when they heard him coming. He flashed them a reassuring smile and finally reached the steam engine, where the driver, an elderly wizard, was sitting, looking not very pleased. He looked up when he saw Remus enter.
The younger man had never been there before, so he took a few moments to look around. Being the driver of the Hogwarts Express didn't seem like the hardest job around. Shovelling the coal into the engine was done magically, so all the driver actually had to do was start and stop at the right times, and make sure they weren't going too slow or too hard. The witch with the candy-trolley was sitting in the next compartment, knitting and reading a gossip-magazine, so the driver didn't need to be hungry either. The only problem was that it was boiling hot – literally. The roaring fire was almost white. The driver was wearing only a thin shirt, which was soaked with sweat.
"Yeah, what do you want?" he asked almost hostile.
"Sorry to bother you, but do you happen to have an owl here?" answered Remus politely.
"The Dementors, eh? I got an owl right here." The driver of the Hogwarts Express guided Remus to the next compartment, where a small owl was dozing in a cage. Remus took a piece of parchment, a quill and some ink from the driver and started writing a note to professor Dumbledore.
"Did anything happen to a student, or something?" the driver curiously wanted to know.
"Yeah, something like that," Remus replied vaguely, folded the letter and tied it to the owl's paw. Then he opened a window and the animal flew away.
"Who are you, anyway?" was the next question. Remus was about to leave, but turned around in the door. "Remus Lupin, Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher."
He had to admit to himself, while he was walking back to the last compartment, it sounded really cool.
They still haven't eaten the chocolate, was his first thought when he entered the compartment. Careful kids. He paused for a moment, smiled, and said "I haven't poisoned that chocolate, you know…"
The five of them took a bit from their chocolate, and Remus could see the effect it had on them. As if they were warmed after being outside on a cold day.
"We'll be at Hogwarts in ten minutes," he continued. "Are you all right, Harry?" He looked like he was, but it wouldn't hurt asking.
Harry looking away, slightly embarrassed. "Fine," he muttered.
Remus didn't push the subject, but walked with a few large steps to his seat and made sure his suitcase was still okay for the journey. The children were silent until they reached Hogsmeade station. They were in a hurry to get out, but Remus took his time. He picked up his suitcase and slowly made his way out. For him, this was also a journey back to his childhood, and he didn't want to rush. He waded through the small first-years (a much heard comment among the seventh-years was always "are we that tall or are they that small?") to the horse-less carriages. Rain fell down on them like thousands of little icy nails, and they all ran for the carriages. Remus shared his with three second-years, who were eyeing him suspiciously and didn't open their mouth for the whole journey. Not that he cared much, he was much too occupied with the familiar things he saw; the winged boars on the columns at the gates, the distant silhouette of Hogwarts castle with its many turrets and towers.
After ten minutes or so, they arrived at Hogwarts. Hogwarts! It had been – how long ago? Ages, it seemed. Remus climbed out of the carriage and admired the view. It was as impressive as it was when he'd first seen the castle, over twenty years ago.
"You fainted, Potter? Is Longbottom telling the truth?" drawled a voice suddenly. "You actually fainted?" A blond boy was standing near Harry and his friends, looking utterly delighted.
"Shove off, Malfoy," said Harry's red-haired friend.
"Did you faint as well, Weasley?" continued Malfoy. "Did the scary old Dementor frighten you, too, Weasley?" The boy reminded Remus strongly of Severus Snape bullying Peter.
"Is there a problem?" he cut in. The blond boy turned and watched him disdainfully. Remus felt as though he was being measured and found wanting. The pale grey eyes went from the patches on his robes to his old suitcase. With a tone which could easily have been used by old Snape himself, he said "oh, no – er – professor." He smirked at two large boys standing besides him and made his way into the castle.
Typical, Remus thought. That's going to be my favourite student…
Suddenly noticing the rain that was still falling down, he also climbed up the steps and got in. He looked around, slightly in awe. It was all the same! The marble staircase, which led up to the Great Hall. The stairs which lead to the dungeons, the armours, the house crests on the wall – amazing.
He didn't have long to look around, however. Filch, the caretaker, approached him and told him the house-elves would take care of his suitcase.
"The Headmaster is already waiting for you in the Great Hall," he said. "You're late." The old man was watching Remus a bit suspiciously, no doubt he was recalling the many pranks the Marauders pulled. When it came to that, the man had a flawless memory.
Rid of his suitcase, Remus walked with large steps up the marble staircase, into the Great Hall. Not pausing to look around (he was late, after all), he walked quickly and stealthily to the Staff Table.
"Remus!" said an all-too familiar voice. Dumbledore. Remus couldn't suppress a smile when he saw the old Headmaster. Dumbledore looked exactly as Remus remembered it; the long silvery beard, the wide and luxuriously embroidered robes, the half-moon spectacles. "We started to fear you weren't coming."
"Some trouble on the train," Remus explained shortly. Dumbledore nodding knowingly.
"The Dementors." The old man looked sad and slightly depressed for a moment, then lifted an eyebrow. "And yesterday evening? No problems there?"
"I fell ill, but not unexpectedly," said Remus, immediately falling back into the old habit of using innuendo and code-words when talking about the full moon and his Lycantrophy. "But I'm pleased to say I fully recovered."
"Good, very good," answered Dumbledore. "Now, Remus, your seat is over there." He pointed to a chair next to professor Vector, the Arithmancy teacher.
Remus was relieved. He had already imagined himself sitting next to stern professor McGonagall, wishing for the feast to end and careful not to say anything wrong. Professor Vector, on the other hand, was perfect. Arithmancy had always been one of Remus' best classes, and he took great interest in it. With such an interesting topic to discuss, dinner would be over before he even knew it.
Determined, Remus started making his way to his seat. He had only taken a few steps, when someone stopped him. A voice he had not heard for years, associated with the last person he wanted to meet.
"How sad, you fell ill. And what a pity you recovered."
The hairs on the back of Remus' neck immediately stood on end. He turned around, not wanting to believe what his ears told him. But it was only too true. There, greasy-haired, hook-nosed and with the same sallow skin and yellow teeth Remus remembered him with, stood Severus Snape. What on earth was he doing here?!
Remus immediately looked at Dumbledore, but the old man conveniently managed to avoid Remus' glance. Without a doubt, the Headmaster had expected this and had chosen it better to 'forget' to tell Remus about his colleague.
"Snape, what are you doing here?" he asked, finally.
"It turned out, only a few weeks ago," the other man snarled, "that I have the unbearable pleasure of working alongside you. I'm even lucky enough to be allowed to make a certain potion for you which will help with you 'illness'."
Remus wanted to give a sarcastic reply, but was cut off by professor Flitwick, who entered with the first-years and the Sorting Hat. Both Snape and Remus sat down, each of them sometimes shooting glaring looks at each other. The Sorting Ceremony passed by unnoticed, as Remus' mind was working hard on a deadly comment for Snape. Childish, okay, but this was a matter of the Marauders code: never let a Slytherin, and especially not Snape, have the last word.
Only the end of the Sorting Ceremony and the enter of professor McGonagall and Harry with his brown-haired friend interrupted his thoughts. Wondering as to where they could've been, Remus saw Dumbledore get to his feet, and he smiled slightly. What kind of fantastic speech had the Headmaster in store this year?
The first part wasn't that fantastic, however. The old man warned the students for the Dementors, not revealing the true reason why the guards of Azkaban were at Hogwarts, yet advising the students to stay out of their way. Of course, the staff had been informed, and Remus couldn't help but think of it. Sirius.
The reason was of course the unexpected escape of Sirius Black, the most famous prisoner of Azkaban. He had betrayed his best friends, Harry Potter's parents. Harry's story was known to everyone, but only a few people knew that Sirius had had another best friend: Remus Lupin. Naturally, Remus' feelings towards Sirius weren't that friendly anymore…
Dumbledore had gone from the Dementors to the new teachers at Hogwarts. Remus himself was greeted with only a polite applause (not that he had expected more), but the surprising appointment of Hagrid as the Care of Magical Creatures was welcomed with a thundering applause.
After this, the feast begun. It was like every other feast Remus had enjoyed at Hogwarts: rich and satisfying, the golden plates filled with everything you could possibly want to eat, and the goblets filled with fresh pumpkinjuice. He took the opportunity to eat as much as he could, and by the end of the feast, he had the feeling he would never be hungry again, for the rest of his life.
Dumbledore announced, finally, that it was time to go to bed, tomorrow was the first schoolday after all, and it seemed as if the students heartily agreed with him. The Great Hall emptied quite quickly, and it wasn't before long that the teachers were one of the few left. Snape had disappeared; Remus had seen him sneak away through a door behind his seat. Obviously it lead to the dungeons, the Potion Master's headquarters.
He turned around to find McGonagall standing behind him.
"I´ll show you to your office and private chambers," she said, and immediately turned, apparently wanting him to follow, though she hadn't said that.
Up the Marble Staircase, to the second floor, a few corners to the left, some more to the right – he had lost his sense of direction a few minutes ago – another staircase, another turn – finally.
"This is your office," the Deputy Headmistress said, "and here – "she walked through the small office and opened a wooden door, "– are your private chambers. Bed, bathroom with shower and sink; you must be able to manage."
"Yes, thank you," he said, looking around and already feeling at home.
"You're welcome," she replied, friendlier than he would've imagined. "And Remus – "
"Welcome back at Hogwarts," she continued. She sounded almost apologetic. "Some of the teachers – "she paused meaningfully, "– were reluctant to allow you here, but I am pleased to say, that I was not one of them."
As if she felt she had gone out of her way with saying this, she quickly apologised and left the room, closing the door softly behind her. Remus bit his lower lip as he thought about her words for a few moments, then shook his head. It was no use, worrying about professors who had problems with werewolves. He was at Hogwarts, he was a teacher himself, and a good one too, though he did say so himself, and he would show them what they would've missed. Oh yes would he show them!
Packing his suitcase for the next day, Remus had the feeling this was going to be quite a year.