Wolf and Child

Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, nor any of the characters, places, etc. associated therein. Everything but the plot of this one story belongs to JK Rowling and publishers.

Author's Note: This story contains serious spoilers for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. If you haven't read it, I would suggest you leave. This will not only destroy the real book for you, but will also not make much sense.

Summary: After the death of her parents, a week into summer holidays, Dumbledore sends Hermione to live with Remus Lupin. Slowly, she begins to see him as a fatherly figure. Haunted by the memories of his past, will Remus allow her to become the daughter he never had?

Main Characters: Hermione Granger, Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Molly Weasley and Albus Dumbledore, with cameos by Draco Malfoy, Harry Potter, Ron Weasley, Minerva McGonagall and Sirius Black.

Ships: slight Remus/Tonks

Rating: PG13

Warnings: rape, death and spoilers for Order of the Phoenix

Chapter: 1/14


Chapter 1-Broken Hearts

Remus Lupin carefully dodged a spell shot at him by a Death Eater. Whoever it was, they had shrouded themselves in their uniform of black, indistinguishable robes, making it impossible to identify them. Remus thought that was to his advantage. Even if he had the blood of a wolf in him, he had never been keen on killing, even during his days on the Order of the Phoenix, shortly after graduation. After seeing so much death in his thirty-seven years, he would rather have switched places with Sirius and been confined at 12 Grimmauld Place for a year.

He fired a spell back at the Death Eater, knocking him unconscious. He whirled around, but there were no more opponents. With the arrival of Dumbledore, the Death Eaters had panicked, causing most of their numbers to be captured or killed. His eyes came to land on Nymphadora Tonks. She was laying on her back, eyes closed. His sharp eyes could see that she still breathed. He moved to go towards her, but Hermione Granger beat him to it. "Is she all right?" he asked the brilliant fifteen year old witch.

Hermione checked her pulse, biting her bottom lip in worry. A smile blossomed on her face. "She's going to be fine," Hermione announced. "Just-" A scream was ripped from the witch's mouth as her eyes widened at something behind him. "SIRIUS!" she wailed. She was not the only one, Harry had yelled as well.

Heart in his mouth, Remus spun around to see Bellatrix Lestrange hit Sirius with a red spell. Sirius looked astonished and Remus could almost see him thinking 'I've been hit'. It seemed to take ages for him to fall in a graceful arc. Remus was not too worried. Sirius had taken worse and lived to tell the tale. But his body was numbed when he watched, horrified, as Sirius fell through the Veil. "No!" he cried.

Hermione was crying behind him. She surged to her feet, as though to go after him, but Alastor Moody was there, holding her back. "Stay where you are, girlie," instructed the old Auror. "He's gone beyond our aid now."

Remus ran to Harry, fighting back the waves of grief that were threatening to bowl him over. Harry was staring aghast at the Veil. "Where is he?" muttered the Boy-Who-Lived, in a trance. "He's never kept me waiting before." He started running towards the Veil, obviously meaning to retrieve Sirius himself.

Remus pulled him back, fighting Harry as he tried to escape his grasp. "You can't do anything, Harry," he tried to tell him. He wasn't sure how much was understandable, there was a lump in his throat, causing his voice to come out rather choked. He pulled Harry closer. "He's gone." Harry lingered for a moment, stiff in his grasp. Then with a bellow, he tore away from Remus and dashed after the fleeing Bellatrix.

Remus took a staggered step after him, but Dumbledore shook his head and followed Harry himself. Remus finally knew he didn't need to be strong anymore. He fell heavily to his knees, staring disbelieving at the Veil. "Professor Lupin?" asked Hermione, timidly, coming up to kneel beside him.

"Call me Remus, Hermione," he said half-heartedly, not really knowing what he was saying.

"Oh, Professor," whimpered Hermione. To his shock, Hermione flung her arms around him. He tilted her head back and saw tears flowing freely from her usually sparkling brown eyes. "I don't know what to say. This is one of the few times thats happened."

"Then don't talk," he advised, burying her into his chest. "Just cry." He in turn buried his head into her hair. They clung desperately to each other and cried.


Remus slowly opened his eyes groggily. Tears were flowing down his cheek. His head was pounding. Slowly he forced himself to sit up, ignoring the massive headache that haunted him. Several large bottles of Ogden's Old Firewhisky were scattered haphazardly around the room he occupied at 12 Grimmauld Place. He noted with a sinking heart they were all painfully empty. He seemed to have vague memories of drinking them all himself. He lay back slowly with a groan. That would explain the headache. Sirius had always told him he didn't have the belly for the strong firewhisky, as his very few drinking binges had proven. Sirius, on the other hand, could have drunk twice as much as he had the previous night and awoke the next morning set to play Quidditch or fight a horde of Death Eaters. Sirius.

Now he remembered why he had even bothered to drink. Mentally he added to what was becoming a very long list of things that did not help him forget Sirius. Drinking myself into oblivion. He forced himself to roll over and swing his legs out of bed. 'If you're going to be foolish, Lupin, pay the consequences,' he told himself dryly.

He moved slowly around the room, making half-hearted attempts at cleaning his room. He made his way to the lavatory and brushed his teeth. On second thought, he ducked his still fuzzy head into the sink, which he had filled with water. It was cold, but it had the effect he wanted. His head certainly felt a lot clearer. He tottered back into his bedroom, combing his light brown hair with his fingers. He tried hard to ignore the silver stands in his shoulder length hair. A check in the mirror showed him looking even more dreadful than normal, in his opinion. His face was paler and the violet shadows under his brown eyes, flecked with gold, even more pronounced. He changed into a light grey robe, recently patched quite nicely by Molly Weasley. Certainly nicer than anything he had ever done. He really needed to start stripping before his transformations.

A knock on the door startled him out of his reverie. "Come in," he called. The door swung open to admit Tonks. He offered her a sad smile. Since the death of her cousin, Tonks had grown up startlingly quickly. She no longer delighted in using her Metamorphmagus talents to change her appearance unless necessary. She resorted to her birth apperance- shoulder length black hair and blue eyes that seemed to belong to Sirius. Being with the new Tonks was a healing and a curse. She looked a lot like her cousin, so much so that it hurt. But her cheerful disposition was also reminiscent of Sirius. It was comforting to be around a person who knew that no matter the grief they felt at that moment, eventually they would start living again.

"Morning, Remus," she smiled weakly. She had dressed in a pale pink robe, with a golden star on both breast pockets. "How you doing?"

"As well as can be expected," he shrugged. Her sharp eyes took in the whiskey bottles and she came to her own conclusions.

"As well as can be expected," she snorted. "We all have our own ways of dealing, but surely you could think of a better one than that."

"Well, forgive me," snapped Remus. He noticed how red her blue eyes were appearing this morning. "Some of us can't find comfort in crying ourselves to sleep every night."

Tonks looked at him, startled and worst of all, hurt. He sighed deeply. It would be so much easier to be rude to a person if they ever got angry and fired insults back. Like Lily. It had always been more amusing than enraging to watch her fights with James. "I'm sorry, Nymphadora," he apologized, accidentally using her first name. "I didn't have a very good night."

"I know," she said, pity in her beautiful blue eyes. She made herself at home and plopped down on his unmade bed, drawing her legs up around her. "I heard." He raised an eyebrow questioningly. "Not that I was listening or anything. I have the room across the hall. I wasn't sleeping much. Like you said, we all have ways of dealing. And don't call me Nymphadora."

He stopped fiddling with the buttons of his robes and crossed to sit beside her. "Poor, Tonks," he sighed. "I sometimes forget I wasn't Sirius' only friend. So many people have suffered and I've been cooped up here for a week, soaking up my own grief."

"No one expects you to be their shoulder to cry on," shrugged Tonks, eyes avoiding his intense gaze. "No one doubts that you suffer hardest."

"But, thats just it," Remus argued. "I don't suffer the hardest. That title would go to Harry. He just lost the only father he's ever known, and he's been sent back to those insufferable Muggles."

"I think Hermione Granger is suffering pretty bad as well," Tonks said, unexpectedly.

"Really?" frowned Remus, recalling how pain filled her scream had sounded. "Yes, I suppose so. She has a large heart and I know she and Sirius corresponded through the summer months." Tonks didn't say anything. She edged closer to him on the bed and rested on his shoulder. He didn't move away, finding guilty pleasure in her body against his. It had been a long time since he had been with a woman. It felt good to know someone might still look to him for protection. He wrapped an arm around her, taking as much comfort as giving. "Well, no more of this," he said with more conviction that he felt. "I have to get on with my life. Sirius wouldn't sit around moping if one of us had gone."

"You're right," Tonks nodded. "He would have gone and done something rash, like seeking down the person who had done it and ending up in Azkaban or..." She trailed off, unwilling to say 'or dead.' She looked up at Remus and smiled shakily. He became uncomfortably aware of how his body was reacting to her closeness and just how sweet she smelled...almost of lavender. "Remus, none of us expect you to get over Sirius very quickly. But, I think, more than a few of us, myself included, would love to have you back."

Knowing with startling certainly he could no longer be in physical contact with Tonks, Remus stood up, nodding in agreement. "You're absolutely right," he smiled, his first real smile. "I am not going to forget Sirius anytime soon. But the least I could do is try to live a half-normal existence."

Looking a little affronted at his sudden departure, Tonks stood as well. "I'm glad to hear it," she grinned. "I'll let you tidy up then." She looked around despairingly at the whiskey bottles and his unmade bed. "Oh, by the way, Remus. You might want to hurry. If I couldn't coax you out, then they were sending up Molly Weasley. She won't appreciate those bottles. And could I suggest you shave? She's also not very fond of stubble."

Remus tried a laugh. Having to face Molly Weasley was really not a laughing matter. Although most of the members of the Order of the Phoenix were only a few years younger than her, and a good few were older, Molly was determined that her 'children' would all make it through the war and that meant in good spirits. "See you in a few minutes, Tonks," he promised, all ready collecting the liquor bottles as she swept out, only tripping once.

Remus moved quicker than he thought possible, considering the fact that there was still a fairly steady throb in his temples. He had just put the last pillow in place before Molly came bursting into the room. "Remus Lupin, you get downstairs this minute before I..." Her words failed her when she took in the tidy room and Remus all ready heading towards the door. The spoon she had undoubtedly planned to 'encourage' him with, was lowered and she showered him with a motherly smile. "Wonderful, dear," she complimented. "You're room is very tidy. Much more so than any of my ruffians could ever manage. Come downstairs and lets get you something to eat. I daresay that some of my porridge and eggs will fill you up right quick." She eyed his slender form and no doubt took in the way his robes hung from his frail body. "And you could definitely use some filling up!"

"I think that is a very good idea, Molly," nodded Remus agreeably. She glanced at him suspiciously, but finally took it for good luck and ushered him out the door.

Downstairs, Mrs. Black had ceased her hollering. After learning of the death of her final son, and consequently, the name of Black, she had been almost subdued, only yelling at Remus, Dumbledore and Tonks. The kitchen was an almost cheerful atmosphere. When he entered, he was greeted by smiles in varying degrees of warmth by Alastor Moody, Tonks, Ron Weasley, Showna Applegate and Bill Weasley. He took a seat and gratefully excepted eggs, porridge and bacon from Molly. He ate ravenously, having not eaten for almost two days. When he nodded Molly's consent for a second heaping of porridge, Bill looked at him over his paper. "Taste any of that, Remus?" he inquired. It was a half-hearted joke, but even so it sent Ron and Tonks into soft laughter.

As he ate his second helping more slowly, Remus watched his dining comrades. Ron was putting photographs into an album, his porridge all but forgotten. "What are those, Ron?" Remus inquired, curiously.

Ron slipped in the final picture. "The pictures we took at Christmas," he explained, frowning. "I want to send them to Harry...but there are an awful lot with Sirius."

"Oh," Remus said blankly. Ron seemed to understand Remus really didn't want to talk, as he got up and went off in search of Ginny. Bill was reading the Daily Prophet. The paper was now far from a happy read, even less so than it had been during Fudge's period of denial. The pages were filled with reports of murders, tortures and hell-raisings. Now that Fudge had openly announced the return of Voldemort, the wizarding community had fallen into chaos. However, the Order of the Phoenix's numbers had swelled by fourteen young witches and wizards that had passed Dumbledore's tests of trust and capability. Showna Applegate was one of them. She was an Auror and had been for only three years, but upon learning Voldemort was up and about, she had come directly to Dumbledore telling him, without flinching, that she was more than willing to put the Order before her job. She was currently being fiercely trained by Alastor Moody, he was sure he could have her ready by December to enter the top level of their members.

He was just digging into a second helping of eggs, when four owls swooped in the open bay window, delivering the morning post. Several letters fell down by Tonks, Showna and Moody, one landed next to himself, and Bill received one from Fleur Delacour. The remainder of the letters were dropped in the middle of the table, letters to the rest of the Order to be picked up whenever they got a chance. Remus reached around his plate and opened his letter.

Dear Professor Remus Lupin (see, I called you Remus),

Hey! Its Hermione Granger, in case you couldn't tell. I just wanted to check up on you. I know you were very distraught afterwards. Harry wrote to me to tell me that he wanted to write to you, but was afraid he would remind you of your grief. He charged me with the task. He's nice like that.

I really do hope I am not reminding you. I am going to be coming to 12 Grimmauld Place in August. I don't know for sure if Harry is, as he may not want to be reminded. Dear me, I'm babbling.

What I am really trying to say is, how are you? I was very worried after the Veil. You seemed so empty, so far away and there was nothing I could do to bring you back. Please write back and tell me how you are.

If you don't get a chance, then I'll see you in August!



"Oh, Hermione," he smiled lightly. He always forgot what a big heart she had until it was suddenly proven by some deed like this. He refolded the letter and slipped it into his robe pocket. Besides the Mauraders, Hermione was the person who had shown him the most kindness. He would never ever be able to repay her for protecting him from the scorn of the parents and their students her entire third year. It could not have been easy for her.

He could read between the lines and tell she was hurting as well. Of course, she would not want to come out and say as much. She probably thought she had no right grieving heavily for a man who had only been the godfather of her best friend. That would explain why she had waited until August before she returned to 12 Grimmauld Place. She wanted to make sure she had a hold on her emotions.

He looked up when he felt eyes upon him and found Tonks looking at him questioningly. When he looked up, she quickly looked away. He frowned, wondering what she was thinking. For the remainder of breakfast he couldn't help but notice how her eyes continuously drifted towards the pocket where he had concealed Hermione's letter.


Marcus Flint shivered in the darkness. His fellow Death Eaters glared at him from beneath their cloaks. He forced himself not to draw in on himself. You would think they could be a little more understanding. Crabbe and MacNair had been Death Eaters for over twenty years. They had killed many times, while this would be his first venture. The Great Lord wanted to make sure Flint had the stomach for murder. This was a test and everyone knew it.

"Alohomora!" whispered MacNair. The front door to the Granger household swung open on well greased hinges. They swept inside, merely a whisper in the darkness. "Stay here," MacNair ordered softly. He walked away, quickly swallowed by the darkness. Flint was left standing in the open with Crabbe.

"Why are we here?" hissed Flint, glancing around in disdain at the obviously Muggle household. "Why are we risking our lives for Muggles and a Mudblood?"

"Because," snapped Crabbe. Flint resisted the urge to roll his eyes. He doubted Crabbe himself knew. He stood very low in the Great Lord's favour. Not that Flint could blame the Great Lord. Crabbe didn't seem altogether very...sharp.

All he knew about this mission, was they were strictly instructed to kill only the adults. The little Mudblood was to remain unharmed in her bed. They were not even allowed to capture her. Flint had gone to school with Granger for three years and try as he might, he could not think of any reason why she should be spared. She was one of Potter's best friends. If the Great Lord wanted to hurt Potter, what better way than murdering his two best friends? This made no sense. But, he knew he would follow the orders to the 'T'. One did not have a chance to bungle the Great Lord's orders twice.

MacNair suddenly appeared out of the gloom. "C'mon," he ushered. "Everyone is asleep. I placed a sleeping spell on the Mudblood so she doesn't wake up. Its the door at the end of the hallway."

They slowly made their way up the stairs, careful that they did not step on the fifth stair, which squeaked. When they entered the hallway, MacNair brought his wand up and whispered, "Lumos." The light lit only enough to show them a few feet in front of them. They walked silently down the hall, looking very much like Grim Reapers, Flint assumed. All that was missing was the scythe.

When they reached the last door, MacNair motioned Flint forward. "Go on, boy," he hissed. "Kill'em."

"Me?" squeaked Flint, wholly taken back. "What are you two here for?"

"To make sure you're not squeamish," Crabbe informed him.

MacNair nodded. "That, and someone's got to do it, if you bungle it." He caught Flint's arm as he started into the bedroom. "Flint, make sure you don't bungle it."

Swallowing thickly, Flint entered the bedroom. The blinds were up, allowing the half-moon to cast a little light across the faces of the people Flint had been sent to kill. He stood still for a moment, branding their faces on his mind forever. The man was a bit pudgy, with a kind face and blonde, thinning hair. The woman was almost pretty with crow's feet and a few wrinkles marring what would have at one point in her life, been a pretty face. Her hair was a tangled brown mop.

'Just get it over with,' he told himself. He hefted his wand, trying to ignore how violently it shook in his trembling hand. 'This is it. If I do this, there's no going back. I'll be bound to Voldemort forever. Kill them and I can't change my mind.' He stared blankly at the Grangers. 'Don't be an idiot,' hissed a voice in his mind. 'There was no going back the minute you let them tattoo you with the Dark Mark. Kill them, fool! Just be thankful they're only Muggles.' Will resolving, Flint placed his wand on the man, Mr. Granger.

"Avada Kedavra," he hissed. A flare of green shot out from his wand and hit the slumbering man. He stopped breathing instantly. The light startled his wife awake. Mrs. Granger looked, horrified, at her husband, then noticed the man standing at her, pointing his wand at her heart. She leapt out of bed, screaming.

"Hermione!" she yelled at the top of her lungs. "Hermione! They're here, love, you must run! Run, Hermione!"

"Shut up, Muggle," Flint ordered. This would be harder, now that she was awake and he could look her in the eye. There was no fear in her green eyes. He wondered at that. 'Why doesn't she fear me? Surely she knows she is going to die.' There was only love and desperation for her child in her eyes. "If its any consolation, we don't want your daughter. She's going to wake up tomorrow morning and find your bodies. Avada Kedavra."

Mrs. Granger fell into a heap, dead before she touched the ground. Flint pocketed his wand and went out to rejoin MacNair and Crabbe who were looking anxious. "Could you have taken any longer, boy?" snarled Crabbe.

"The woman woke up," Flint explained. "She was trying to save her daughter...she didn't care about herself." MacNair looked at him sharply. Was that pity he caught in the usually hard black eyes?

"Well, don't worry about it," he said gruffly. "You did it, and that is all that matters. Well done. Our Master will be pleased. Don't worry too much. The first kill is always the hardest." Silently, the Death Eaters Disapparated.


Hermione woke up quicker than usual. She felt strangely refreshed. The sun was already high up in the sky. It looked like it would be a beautiful day. The sky was a shocking blue and several larks were chirping outside her window. She marveled at the peacefulness of it all. How could this moment be, when she knew that somewhere, not far away at all, her friends and allies could be risking their lives to fight a darkness she could not really imagine? She was really quite lucky. Her parents were a wonderful comfort. They were Muggles, true, so although they couldn't help her with her summer homework, they could tell her with conviction that everything would turn out right in the end. They didn't know the darkness that was Voldemort and, due to this, they truly believed nothing was really wrong in the world.

She rolled out of bed and dressed in white shorts and a bulky blue and white tank top. Quickly brushing her bushy brown hair, she made her way downstairs. She was surprised to find that her parents had not come down yet. It was Tuesday, they would have to go into work soon. She glanced over at the clock. 10:45am. She hadn't realized she had slept that long. Her parents must have already left for work.

She shrugged and turned on the television, indulging in an interview with Jude Law. It wasn't exactly an intellectual program, but it was summer. Helping herself to a bowl of Coco Puffs, she settled down to drool over the luscious young star. Before she could get into it however, the telephone forced her away from the program.

"Hello, Hermione Granger speaking," she answered.

"Morning, Hermione," greeted the voice on the other end. "Its Barb."

"Oh, hello," smiled Hermione. She had met Barb, her parent's co-worker, several times and found the old lady very sweet, not to mention an interesting person to talk to. "How are you?"

"Actually, I'm getting a bit frantic," she admitted.

"Oh, whats the problem?" Hermione frowned.

"I'm wondering where you're mom and dad are," she answered. "They were supposed to be in at eight and we are ten appointments behind time."

"But, they weren't here when I woke up," Hermione informed her. "I woke up late and I assumed they had already gone." A strange feeling entered Hermione...a feeling of dread. She had only felt it twice before. Once, the minute Harry and Cedric had disappeared from the Maze during the Triwizard Tournament and then the minute Sirius, Remus and the others had burst into the Department of the Unspeakables. She could identify the feeling easily enough. It meant someone was going to die. Tears pricked her eyes. She sincerely hoped it wasn't Barb.

"Could you go and check out their bedroom?" Barb suggested. "They might have overslept or something. You would think if they were in a car accident, they would have called."

"All right, I'll check it out," Hermione agreed, reluctantly. "Be back soon." She left the phone on the counter and dashed up the stairs. Her parents' bedroom door was closed. She pressed her ear to the door. It was silent. She laid a hand on the doorknob. "No, Hermione!" a voice inside her head said sharply. "You will not open that door." Hermione leapt back as though burnt. She recognized the voice. Sirius. If Sirius had spoken to her from the Afterlife, she was more than willing to take his instruction. Heart sinking, she returned to the phone.

"Barb, I know this sounds really foolish, but I am not going in there," Hermione apologized. "I just got a really bad...feeling when I touched the doorknob."

"Okay then," sighed Barb, sounding a little annoyed. "Well, I have a feeling I am going to wring your parents necks when I get a hold of them. Listen, I'll be there in a minute. I'm closing the clinic."

"Okay, I'll see you then," Hermione promised. "Bye!" She hung up and returned to the television. However, Jude Law had been replaced by Nicole Kidman. Sighing, she switched over to a documentary on the uncovering of King Tut. She tried to concentrate on the archaeologist, but her thoughts were whirling. Why would Sirius tell her not to go into the room? It was not the first time he had talked to her. She had been crossing the street three days after school finished and she heard him shout inside her head to stop. Startled, she had halted. Seconds later, she watched horrified as a transport truck slammed into a minivan, quite close to where she would have been had she not stopped. Every time he talked to her, she was grateful, but it brought up all the feelings of grief and loss. She hoped he didn't talk to Harry. Harry would have enough trouble getting over his beloved godfather. Hermione had no delusions that she and Ron were the most important people in his life. That title had gone to Sirius and now Sirius was gone.

After ten agonizing minutes, Barb arrived. The lady did not look very happy with Hermione, so Hermione mutely pointed her in the direction of their bedroom. Hermione waited downstairs, anxious. Seconds later, a piercing scream split the air. "Oh, God!" wailed Barb. Heart in her throat, Hermione pulled out her wand and dashed up the stairs, two at a time.

She found Barb standing in the doorway, eyes brimming with tears, face ashen gray. When she saw Hermione, she quickly pulled the door close. "Hermione, don't go in there," she instructed. "I have to make a few phone calls."

"Barb, what is it?" demanded Hermione.

Barb turned to face her. Hermione stopped breathing. She recognized the look Barb shot her. It was the same look Tonks and Moody had shot at Harry shortly after Sirius' death. "You poor child," clucked Barb, making her way to the telephone.

"No," whispered Hermione. "Please, no." She turned and ran into the bedroom, ignoring Sirius' hollers inside her head. She burst into the room. Her eyes widened when she saw her parents. Her father lay in the bed as though sleeping. Her mother lay in a heap on the floor, her face twisted in horror. Neither of them were breathing. Ignoring the tears coursing down her face and the way her heart was shattering, she fled blindly outside and glanced above her roof. There it was. It glittered in the morning sun as though mocking her.

The Dark Mark.

"NO!" she wailed. Her eyes rolled up in her head and she knew she was going to faint. Her body fell limply to the ground and she knew no more.


A knock on his classroom door caused Remus to look away from the fifth year papers he was grading. He stood and smoothed his robes as he went to answer it. Hermione Granger was standing outside his office, face pale, eyes wide. She was clutching a leaf of papers and kept glancing around nervously as though unsure that she should be there. "Hello, Hermione," Remus greeted, silently wondering why she looked so nervous.

"Hello, Professor Lupin," she replied. He forced himself not to frown. She sounded on the brink of tears. "I...I was wondering if I could talk to you?"

"Of course," Remus nodded, ushering her in. "Come in, come in. I was just about to have some tea. Care to join me?"

"Um...all right," she nodded. Her lips twitched as though she saw something very ironic about the whole situation. He poured her tea and chose to ignore the way her hands shook as she sipped it.

"Now, what can I do for you?" he inquired, taking a gulp of his own tea.

"Professor, you have to understand," she begged, plunging into the middle of her story. "I didn't want to know. I certainly didn't try to find out, on my own accord. But, the essay Snape gave us...it sounded quite interesting, really. So I did a bit of research. Not too much, you understand, as I half-expected you would cancel the assignment when you found out about it. But, I'm sure you tried to be careful, but really...if one knows where to look its frightfully obvious. I mean, you were afraid of the full moon and you disappear once a month. So, I just..."

Fear coursed through him and he felt the wolf surge out of him before he could stopper it. He almost leapt over the desk and grabbed Hermione by the shoulders. "What is obvious, Hermione?" he demanded. "What have you found out?"

He didn't realize how much he must be frighting her, until she kneed him in the groin and leapt up. She put a desk between him and herself. "I was afraid you might take it this way," she said, deadly calm. "Understand, I don't want to use this, Professor Lupin, but I will if you try to harm me." She took a silver goblet out of her bookbag and placed it on the desk. "I suppose you don't need me to tell you it is pure silver. Professor, I know that you are a werewolf."

Breathing raggedly, Remus almost collapsed into his desk chair. He forced himself to look at the young girl. Oh Merlin, she was smart! They had all been so sure none of the students would figure it out. Even Dumbledore had underestimated Hermione Granger. One Professor hadn't though....Severus Snape. He knew damn well that given the chance, Hermione could quite easily figure out the secret of Professor Remus Lupin. Hermione was still watching him placidly. He admired her. She was obviously terrified of him, and hated him, but she managed to put compassion into her gaze.

"You're right, of course," Remus said, voice emotionless. "I doubt you need my confirmation. You wouldn't have risked coming if you weren't one hundred percent sure."

"Yes, I was quite positive," Hermione allowed.

"I...I will understand if you want to be excused from all further Defense Against the Dark Arts classes," Remus continued. "I will give you the credit without your attendance. I'm afraid I have to ask you not to tell anyone what you have discovered. You probably won't believe it after I made an arse of myself just then, but I have never harmed anyone."

Hermione frowned at him, as though confused. "Well, of course you haven't," she laughed lightly. "Dumbledore wouldn't have hired you if you had. I assumed the other Professors know. I didn't tell anyone...not even Harry and Ron. I won't either. Not that I think they would mind overly much. But, why would you think I would want to be excused from your classes?"

"You know what I am," Remus sighed heavily. "If the students knew, I'd be fired within two days."

"Then, they had better not find out," Hermione said sharply. "You're the best teacher we've ever had and just because you're a bit hairier than most people once a month, doesn't change that fact." She walked away from the desk, right past him, carrying the goblet in front of her as though it would kill her as well. She opened the window and tossed it out. She wiped her hands clean, and then turned to face him. "Naturally, I will be attending your classes, without any silver on me."

Remus stared at her, in wonder. "Come here," he said breathlessly. She walked towards him, only a little hesitant. He stared at her, not caring that his eyes must be tearing up. His trembling hand reached up and touched her small face. "Merlin, you're real, aren't you? Not some angel sent to watch over me?"

"No...no, I don't think so," laughed Hermione, still appearing a bit bewildered. Without reserve, Remus wrapped her in a warm embrace. She didn't fight and even wrapped her arms around him for a moment.

She drew back rather quickly, just the same. Remus wondered at her. She still didn't realize the great kindness she had shown him. By now, she was probably wondering if she wasn't dealing with a werewolf, but a dirty old man. "Thank you, so very much, Hermione Granger," Remus said hoarsely. "You may go."

"You're welcome, I suppose," Hermione smiled. "Though, all I did was decide not to hit you over the head with silver. See you in class tomorrow, Professor."


Remus woke up smiling. He loved that dream. It had been one of the happiest days in his life. Before Hermione, he had gone years without finding someone who accepted him for what he was. She had done it so innocently, so bewildered, not understanding she was doing something that very few wizards could bring themselves to do. Offering a little prayer of protection for Hermione, Remus rolled out of bed and quickly changed.

He entered the kitchen and his mouth dropped. It was chaos. Ron Weasley was comforting his sobbing mother, looking as though he would like to cry himself. Showna and Bill were talking seriously over the noise. Severus Snape and Minerva McGonagall were yelling at each other. From what he caught, it sounded as though Snape had failed to find out something extremely important. Arthur Weasley and Ginny were dashing around, giving the other members of the Order of the Phoenix- Tonks, Moody, Fletcher, Kingsley and a woman Remus recognized as Professor Vector, tea and food. George and Fred Weasley were sitting at the kitchen table, staring around blankly and looking very lost. Showna and Bill approached him, their faces grim. "Morning, Lupin," Showna said briskly. He got over his wondering what had happened to unnerve the Order in a way that was almost as bad as when Sirius had....well, never mind, to note that Showna was always very brisk. "I'd get something to eat if I were you," she continued. "Its going to be a very long day. There's been another attack." She pushed past him and into the hall.


"Shut the hell up, you old hag!" snapped Showna, slamming the door behind her.

'What is going on?" frowned Remus.

Bill looked a little worse for wear. "Like Showna said, there was another attack," he explained. "The Dark Mark was reported hovering over a Muggle house. Showna and I were dispatched to see what was going on. It was the Granger household." Remus felt the life drained from him.

"No," he whispered. "Not Hermione. Oh Merlin."

"No," Bill disagreed, hastily. "It wasn't Hermione. We found her looking more than a little shaken on her couch. She had passed out when she saw the Dark Mark....it was her parents, Remus. The Death Eaters killed her parents. They just wanted one of Harry Potter's friends to feel pain."

"Oh, Hermione," Remus sighed. He felt like screaming. It was all so frustrating. So many were dying and there was nothing they could do until they were already dead. "I have to see her, Bill. She was my student and now my friend. She protected me against the entire school when she found out that I was a werewolf. I have to help her now."

"You'll have your chance," Bill promised. "This afternoon, you, Tonks and Mum are going over to get her and bring her back. She should be with her own kind now."

"I really, really hate this war," Remus said bitterly.

"Thats the point," Bill sighed. He left then too, yelling an obscenity at Mrs. Black on his way out.