Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters or the stories, but I do own Eileen Pierce and her pet kneazle Mephistopheles! I also own Lucas Beowulf, Page Beowulf, Cheryl Applegate, Winnifred Miller, and any other random characters that appear in the story that were not originally in the Harry Potter series, since it's no fun if I don't have my own characters to play with. Enjoy!

Chapter Twenty-six

The previous night's insanity was not known to many but those involved were quite exhausted. Eileen still felt the effects of her werewolf experience lingering throughout the day as she craved meat and growled at passing Slytherins. Fred didn't find anything odd about this and joined in several times for the fun of it, often making more ruckus than she was making.

Halfway through the day, Fred decided to go to Hogsmeade with the rest of the students, saying it was necessary for the survival of his future plans.

"I need to do a little shopping, care to join me?" Fred grinned, locking elbows with Eileen.

"I don't feel well, go on without me." Eileen said drearily.

"Alright, but you're gonna miss out on helping with my grand scheme!" Fred said before running off down the hallway.

"Don't blow anything up!" Eileen shouted after him before resigning herself to the outside courtyard for a little fresh air and peace. She sat on the very same bench she'd been seated on during her meeting with Lupin at the beginning of the term, the memories of her coldness toward him flooding back with the fonder moments later on. She'd grown very fond of the man over the months, spent so much time with him, and now she had this sinking feeling that she might not see him again for a long time. The sorrow of losing him overwhelmed her and she jumped up, stalking off across the courtyard hoping to distract herself from this feeling of grief. Surely he would be returning next year to teach, wouldn't he? Sure, Professor Lockhart didn't return but that was due to his unfortunate amnesia. She'd also heard that the teacher before that had met his demise before school ended, this was not a comforting fact. The fact that students claimed the dark arts position was cursed didn't give her much confidence in Lupin's return to Hogwarts either. Sighing, she decided to do a bit of studying in the library before dinner.

The hours passed and dinner finally came. It was a somber meal and many students were quieter than usual; Eileen found this a bit odd and glanced around the room curiously. Her eyesight fell over the teachers table and she found both Lupin and Snape absent from dinner, the other teachers looking oddly morose.

"Fred, did something happen?" Eileen asked her redheaded friend who was eating and scribbling on a piece of paper in his lap.

"Hmm?" He mumbled absent-mindedly, obviously distracted by his own thoughts.

"Everyone's so quiet and Lupin's missing, what's going on?" Eileen's voice was nervous, bringing Fred out of his trance.

He blinked a few times before saying quietly, "You didn't hear?"

"Hear what? Is Lupin okay?" Eileen looked worried now and Fred frowned sympathetically.

"You'd better catch him before he leaves and find out for yourself." Fred replied gravely.

"He's leaving? But..." Eileen didn't finish her sentence as she leapt up from her seat and ran out of the dining hall. As she tore out into the hallway, she saw the professor quietly sneaking past on his way to the entrance hall, bags in hand. Eileen ran up to Lupin and said in a strained voice, "Mr. Lupin, where are you going?"

He stopped and tried to give her a friendly smile as he said, "I'm not teaching here anymore, I've got to go home."

"Not teaching anymore? Why? Was it because of last night?" Eileen blinked in surprise.

"In a way, I suppose. Apparently it got out about what I am, the parents saw to it that I was...dismissed." Lupin's smile seemed ironic now.

"That's not fair, you're a great teacher! What does it matter if you're a..."

"Werewolf? You can say it now, no sense in hiding what everyone knows."

"You can't help who you are, professor! Why can't they see you for who you really are?" Eileen fumed.

No longer smiling, Lupin muttered, "Not everyone is as open-minded about it as you are, Eileen. People fear the unknown and that which the world has deemed dangerous, not all werewolves are as civilized as I am."

"But what about me? What am I suppose to do without you?" Eileen whispered, her eyes burning deep into his.

"You'll be fine, you have friends and loved ones to help you, no one knows about your...furry little problem." Lupin tried to reassure her with another smile but it didn't work.

"No one knew about yours either but they found out! I can't do this without you, I need you!"

"Eileen...you don't need me, you'll be fine." Lupin frowned.

"You're wrong...don't...go..." Eileen hung her head in defeat, letting the tears fall to the hard marble floor.

For a moment, Lupin just stared at her in silence, a feeling of remorse falling over him. Glancing around, he made sure there was no one around before setting his bags down and kneeling in front of her, taking her hands in his as he whispered, "Eileen, listen to me. Don't give up hope, you're not like me at all. You have the potential for greatness, don't let my failures get you down. You can do anything, be anything, the only thing holding you back is you. Believe in yourself...I believe in you."

"I believe in you too..." Eileen muttered before leaning forward and wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug.

Hesitating, Lupin slowly relaxed and hugged her back, saying, "Thank you...that means a lot to me."

"Can I visit you?" Eileen sniffled in his ear.

"Visit me? I...I don't know..." Lupin sounded uneasy.

Pulling back, Eileen said quickly, "Just as a friend! I might need checking up on during the summer, you know...to make sure I'm not doing anything dreadful to my neighbors..."

"I guess if it's a friendly visit...where do you live?" Lupin began to rummage in his briefcase to write it down when Eileen put her hand on his to stop him.

"I...can't tell you." She whispered, "It's a secret."

"What do you mean?" Lupin looked confused for a minute before saying, "You have a charm on it?"

"You have to ask...the person that knows."

"Who is?" He said before figuring it out and muttering, "Ah, well, I doubt he'd tell me."

"It's my choice! Besides, wouldn't it be safer if someone else knew should something happen?"

"If you can convince him to tell me, I would be honored to visit you."

"I'll work on it." She smiled.

"Well, when you get a chance to, write to me so I can find you. Here..." He scribbled on a piece of paper quickly before slipping it into her hand, "If I'm not there just send it to Dumbledore, he can find me."

"Okay." Eileen said quietly staring at the paper in her hand as she held it carefully, afraid to smudge the address.

Resting his hand on her shoulder, he sighed, "You'll be fine."

"What about you?" She asked, looking up sadly.

"Don't worry about me, I'll manage...I always do." He smiled before pulling out a dingy pocket watch and looking at it, "Oh dear, I'm running late. Hopefully I will hear from you soon, take care of yourself."

"You too." Eileen stepped back as he gathered his things and gave her a pat on the head before turning to go. She stood in the hallway and watched him disappear down the stairs, wishing the world were fairer.

"Alright, Dove?" Fred came out of the great hall from dinner and stood next to her, a look of concern on his face as he saw the tear stains on her cheeks, gingerly wiping them away.

"Lupin's gone." She replied simply.

"I heard. A shame really, he was a good teacher."

"He still is..." She muttered.

Fred put his arm around her and gave her a gentle squeeze, saying softly, "Don't worry, Dove, I'm sure it's not the last we'll see of him."

Without responding, she turned into Fred's form and buried her face in his shirt.

Fred held her without question as she began to cry again, unable to save face any longer. Trying his best to comfort her, he glanced around to see if anyone was watching. He spotted Snape watching from the shadow of the dungeon staircase, an unreadable expression on his face.

They met gazes for a moment before Snape swept off down the hall and down the stairs out of the school, not saying or doing anything about the situation.

Are you ever going to tell her it was your fault Lupin got sacked? Fred thought with a frown, holding Eileen tighter.

George wandered out of dinner and saw the teens standing in the hallway, quickly jogging over and saying, "Oi, what happened?"

"Tell you later, let's move somewhere less public." Fred whispered as they both guided her down the hall toward their dorms.

Outside the school, Lupin had just reached the gate and was undoing the lock when he heard behind him, "Running away so soon?"

With a cringe, Lupin stiffly turned and watched the dark figure approach him with slight disgust, saying, "I have a train to catch."

"I hardly count the Knight Bus as a train, Mr. Lupin, you should work on your ability to lie."

"Perhaps you'll give me some lessons sometime." Lupin muttered, watching the man's face contort into a sneer.

"I have enough lessons to give, thank you. But I won't hold you up any longer, I just thought you'd like this before you go." He handed Lupin a scrap piece of paper before turning and stalking back toward the school.

Thinking it was the same paper he'd given Eileen, he sighed and stared down at it in rejection before realizing the text was not the same. Reading it more carefully, he found it to be an address somewhere in London with the name "Pierce residence" written at the top.

"Do try to memorize it and dispose of the evidence, Mr. Lupin. I'd hate for that paper to fall into the wrong hands." Echoed the man as he disappeared back inside the building.

With a smile, Lupin looked down once more at the paper before setting it on fire, whispering, "You might be a right cruel man, Severus, but you never cease to amaze me with your reluctant kindness."

Quietly, Lupin slipped through the gates and walked down the road that many of the students would be taking later for their summer departure, becoming like a memory lost over time as he faded away from the minds of all but those who could never forget the times they had that year at Hogwarts.

The End.

Writers notes: Whew, what a story! So much drama, so much suspense, so much teenage angst! Haha, but all kidding aside, I hope yall enjoyed the story and come back for more in the later installments of my Hogwarts saga! Before the next great adventure, I give you a side story for my little lesser known original characters, as well as side characters that honestly dont get enough attention. You barely heard a word from them in this story but never fear, you shall learn the secrets of the cannon fodder! I meanside characters, heh. So if youre wondering what Eileen gets up to during the summer, go check out "Secret Keepers" a tale of the secret lives of Eileens friends and loved ones. Thanks again and dont forget to come back also for the 3rd story in this series: Eternal Knight! Later, yall!