Disclaimer:Anything you recognize belongs to the goddess, JKR. Dedicated to Lynn because she's good at keeping secrets ::grin::

Secrets and Second Chances

I can't believe it.

I really can't.

All my research…all that I've observed…it's all there.

I know I am right about this and it scares me half to death.

Let me check this one more time. Perhaps I missed something important. No, it's all there. Every last piece of information points me to the same conclusion.

Professor Lupin is a werewolf.

So, what do I do now?

Dumbledore has to know. I mean, he knows everything, doesn't he? Barmy old codger that he is, he must have known that he hired a werewolf to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts. The other staff must know too…maybe that's why Snape assigned this particular topic.

Does the old snake want Professor Lupin found out?

Is it merely concern for our safety or is there a more sinister reason? I can see that Snape hates him. That much is pretty well obvious.

Maybe he wants him found out so that he can take over the position on a permanent basis.

Bloody prat.

But…Professor Lupin seems like such a good person. Newt Scamander describes the werewolf as extremely dangerous but, only when it is in its transformed state. As a human, it is no different from me or Ron or Harry.

He's a good man. I know he is.

Besides, Dumbledore must have safeguards in place, right? Perhaps the Dementors are not just here to protect us from Sirius Black after all. Although, from the look of that criminal madman, I think I'd rather take my chances with a werewolf.

I wonder if anyone else realizes that Professor Lupin's greatest fear is the moon? Who was it that said something about his being afraid of crystal balls? Lavender? Parvati? What nonsense…typical of girls whose minds are muddled with tea leaves and incense.

I think it's safe to say that no one else will figure it out.

He's a werewolf. He's dangerous. He could kill me…or make me like him.

I'll admit I'm a little scared.

But he is a good man. I know this. He saved Harry and the rest of us from the Dementors on the train. He is the best Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher we've had yet. He really cares about his students…even Neville is doing loads better.

Besides, I think Professor Lupin has had a hard enough life. It's quite apparent that he has had difficulty in finding a decent job. There is so much stigma with being branded a werewolf. It's all there in the books. People don't trust you. People don't want to be anywhere near you.

I suppose it's not that different from the stigma I face because my parents are Muggles. For example, Malfoy and his taunts and superior airs stemming from the fact that he is an inbred, pureblood bigot from a long line of inbred, pureblood bigots. I would not wish that sort of humiliation on anyone…not even our werewolf professor. He has enough to deal with…all the books I have read on the subject talk about how excruciatingly painful the transformations are. I can't imagine the hell he must go through with every full moon and I wonder…how long has he been forced to live like this? He looks so drained sometimes, almost as if a strong wind could knock him over.

Could this kill him? I wonder if a cure is possible? I should do some more reading on what has been done to date. Probably not that much. Wolfsbane Potion took forever to be approved for use…Ministry bureaucracy, public outcry and all that. The only thing missing was a mob of raging villagers armed with torches and pitchforks.

Where is his family? Where are his friends?

Is he alone in the world?

It's just not fair. It's not his fault. He didn't ask for any of this.

It's not fair at all.

I know what I'm going to do.

Merlin help me but I am going to keep a werewolf's secret.

Snape will not be pleased, the overgrown bat, but I can't say that I care all that much. If Snape wants Professor Lupin's secret out, that's more the reason for me to keep it.

And Snape had better give me an excellent grade on this paper. It's four feet longer than what he requested and it's one of my better pieces of work, in my opinion.

Imagine that. A werewolf. A Dark creature teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts. How ironic and yet…how appropriate.

Well, I have found out Professor Lupin's secret…but I am not about to tell anyone.

Because I think he deserves a second chance.