Title: Orchestra of Blue
Date: August 2, 2007- October 27, 2007
Disclaimer: I make no claim to any of the Harry Potter characters, its storyline, or its overall
universe. I do not write for compensation; I do not hold any copyrights; this is purely a hobby
that I pursue for personal pleasure.
Authors Note: This, as you may guess by reading my profile, is my first Harry Potter story. It
will be RLNT-centric with a decent dose of other characters on the side.
Prologue: Fly-by (August 1993)
Late summer, London: The daily highs continued to break records—a heat spell so intense that muggles seemed to drip into shapeless puddles on the sidewalk. Sweat glistened, feet dragged, and anyone without air conditioning baked inside their homes like biscuits. In such conditions, only a fool would wander about without purpose or destination. And yet, as the sun began to wane one certain Thursday evening, a single lonely figure shuffled slowly down the road. He paused at the occasional storefront, hands buried in his pockets, expression somewhere between contemplative and bored. To the casual onlooker, he was clearly engaged in one of life's most useless activities: window-shopping.
The last sparks of daylight slanted off the storefront glass, and crickets like mini-orchestras pulsed their melodies into the humid air. Dusk fell steadily into twilight.
"Ice cream," he murmured as he peered into a brightly-colored parlor bustling with sticky-fingered children laughing and shouting nonsense. "There's nothing as perfect on such a hot summer evening." He shook his head wistfully and smiled at the innocence of muggle flavors—bland yet somehow endearing—and couldn't help feeling sorry for those non-wizarding kids who would never experience ice cream's full potential.
It had been a week, maybe two, since he'd received the offer. He'd refused it outright at first—politely, then insistently. But Dumbledore had managed to say all the right words to appeal to the cherished memories of his youth, and in the end, there'd been no question as to whether or not he'd agree to return to Hogwarts. 'Perhaps,' he'd thought to himself, 'Dumbledore is always so compelling because no one ever turns him down.' Or maybe it was just the simple kindness in his eyes and the sincerity in his voice that finally crumpled Remus's resolve and ended his self-inflicted exile.
Although he'd given Dumbledore his word that day—which, for a wizard, is as binding as any muggle signature—the formal contract arrived by owl the following morning. The writing was, in typical Hogwarts fashion, overly elaborate considering the simple message it conveyed. The recipient's name, inked at the top of the scroll in a grandiose flourish of swirls and dots, presided over his new title, etched below in perfectly slanted lines.
Remus J. Lupin
Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Its duty completed, the owl had quickly fled away into the morning haze, leaving the new professor alone with an empty flat, lukewarm tea, and the crazy realization that the unthinkable had become reality—that he'd be returning to his beloved alma mater, this time at the front of the classroom. The thought was wonderfully exciting, exhilarating, uplifting… and at the same time, simply terrifying.
In the ensuing days he often found himself unwittingly drifting into fond memories from the summer before he returned to Hogwarts as a prefect. Ambling from day to day in a flutter of nervous anticipation, like then, he both yearend for and dreaded the official start of term.
But that night, as he walked along the store-lined streets filled with muggles and muggle things, the residual anxiety drained away like water from a sieve while as his breathing fell into the steady rhythm of passing traffic and shuffling feet.
'Muggles, for all their shortcomings,' he mused, 'sometimes dream up the most ingenious footwear.' One would think, after all these thousands of years, that shoes would be relatively intuitive things. After all, it's not as though the shape of the human foot has changed significantly in recent history. He paused on the corner beside the run-down vacuum repair shop with the droopy striped awning and leaned his shoulder against the dirty glass to watch a pair of teenagers zigzag toward him up the street. Lights, glowing white and blue with every step, pulsed rhythmically from the heels of their sneakers. 'Was it really possible, without magic, to achieve such a pattern?' he wondered as the shone bright against the dark smudge of sidewalk
Years later, he'd look back on what happened next with a certain nostalgic fondness. At the time, however, it was hardly anything memorable. She'd appeared from somewhere behind him and flew across his path, their shoulders separated by just a fingers-width of air as her head, for a brief moment, obscured his vision—bright violet, practically glowing. 'Definitely not a shade achievable through dye, even the more obscure wizarding varieties.' He couldn't help but stare as she dashed past the kids in sneakers, narrowly missed the street lamp, then careened around the corner past the mailbox and battered fire hydrant. "Kids these days," he'd muttered to himself (perhaps already subconsciously adopting a proper professorly mindset).
He shook my head at what he was quick to label the "folly of youth," and returned to his more sedate amblings with the erroneous conviction that even with you-know-who's disappearance, the adults, himself included, were somehow allowing the world to gradually fall apart. Little did he know that strangely-colored hair and odd blinking footwear would be the least of his worries in the coming years.
There was little left to do that evening besides a short detour to the grocery, a solitary dinner, and an early night's sleep. The full moon was fast approaching, and Remus knew that he'd only have a day afterwards to prepare himself for the Hogwarts start-of-term banquet.
Dumbledore, it seemed, had thought of this before he offered Remus the position because after the latter had finally acquiesced, the headmaster had suggested—as though it were the most natural of things—that he send his luggage to the school beforehand and ride on the Hogwarts Express with the students. "You'd be of service," the headmaster had said without a trace of sarcasm, "if the Express were to encounter any difficulties along the way." And so it was decided. And there was nothing left to do but wait.
End Notes: This prologue is just that—It's not a full chapter and is (more than usual)
admittedly scattered and plot-less. Think of it as an appetizer for a main course that is
yet to come. I promise that later parts will actually be coherent :-)
Supplemental Note: Again, this is not a new chapter but rather a re-write of a chapter
published in August 2007. I will be going through this story and changing all chapters
to third person. Apologies for the inconsistency during this process.
Chapter One Teaser:
'It happens to the best of us' he sighed as he treaded silently up to the Ministry's ornate entranceway. For what person can say in complete honesty he's never found himself at this or that function and wondered why, in the name of Merlin, he'd ever bothered to come in the first place. This particular reception, Remus was sure, would undoubtedly be one of those affairs.