Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, if I did Remus would never have died and would have married Luna's never-before mentioned older sister, Liz. J
Note: I have long despised prejudice of any kind, so when I read about the werewolf bigotry in HP, I had to do something about it. The Society for the Protection of Harmless Werewolves was actually an idea I came up with that helped spawn this story. If you would like to join, PM me; it won't really mean anything except your username will show up on my profile as a member of SPHW. Now, isn't that great incentive?
The Society for the Protection of Harmless Werewolves
"Moony, what's wrong?"
Remus Lupin looked up into the worried face of his best friend, Sirius Black. "Nothing, Padfoot," he said, sighing and getting up from the kitchen table to pour himself a glass of butterbeer.
"So you're just deciding to mope around the house all day and act moody for no reason whatsoever?" Sirius asked shrewdly.
"It's nothing, Sirius," Remus repeated, putting the butterbeer flagon back in the fridge and closing the door with unnecessary vigor without even having poured himself a glass.
"Well, I guess that I can just use Legilimency on you and that will prove that it's nothing," Sirius said.
"You never even learned how to do Legilimency, Padfoot."
"How do you know? Maybe I learned."
"From who? With your big head, I doubt that you'd take lessons from Snape."
"Oh, so you've resorted to name-calling in your insecurity now, have you?" Sirius asked, pretending to write on an imaginary piece of parchment as a psychiatrist might.
"Shut up, Sirius," Remus said, sitting down again and burying his face in his hands. He heard Sirius sigh and sit down across from him.
"Come on, Moony," his friend coaxed. "You know you want to tell me all your problems."
"Will you leave me alone after this, then?" Remus asked, annoyed.
Sirius shrugged. "Maybe. It depends how serious your problem is," he said, getting into the psychiatrist act again.
Remus sighed. "Fine. I just went for a job offer and was denied because the manager found out about my lycanthropy," he said, kicking sullenly at a table leg.
"That's all?" Sirius asked incredulously. "What was it this time? The dishwasher at the Leaky Cauldron or perhaps even the janitor at Eeylops?"
A blush suffused Remus's pale cheeks, but he almost immediately replied to his friend's comment. "You don't understand. I need to be doing something. Voldemort and his followers are pretty quiet right now, they're waiting to strike, so I can't just sit here and twiddle my thumbs!"
Sirius understood his friend's implication, for he said, "Don't you think I'd be doing something if I could, Moony? The great Albus Dumbledore wants to keep me safe by locking me up in here and Snape's baiting isn't making it any easier!"
"You're right, Pads. I'm sorry," Remus apologized. "It's just. . . ."
"I know," Sirius said. "It's just hard for you, isn't it?"
Remus nodded. "Yeah."
"Well, you've got to know that you're welcome to stay here. We're both misfits, you know, me, the supposed convicted murderer and you, the werewolf. Plus, you'd be much more welcome than Snivellus," Sirius finished with a pretend shudder and a grin as he saw a small smile playing around his best friend's lips.
"I didn't know you still called him that," Remus said reminiscently.
"Well, I do. And he still calls me 'Black,' with that awful inflection of his."
Remus rolled his eyes.
"And we'll have to tell Harry all those stories about Snape and us, so that he can use them on old Snivellus when he's taunting Harry about James. Ah, the possibilities are endless," he said with a smile.
Remus grinned, the thought of James's son always cheered both of them up. "Yeah. Do you remember that time when James nearly ran him over on that Comet Two-Sixty of his?"
"Of course!" And the two men trailed off into reminiscent story-telling of their time at Hogwarts, the uncomfortable silence that had reigned between them nearly that whole day, breached.
However, as the two men reconciled, a girl named Hermione Granger left the stairwell leading to the kitchen and up to Harry and Ron's room, a purposeful glint in her eye.
"Harry. Harry, wake up." Harry Potter was shaken awake from a restful sleep by his friend, Hermione that night.
"Hermione, wha-?" he asked, fumbling for his glasses and putting them on as Hermione switched on the light.
As she did this, there was a moan from the adjacent bed and Ron's weary mumble. "Mum, five more minutes," he groaned.
"It's not your Mum, Ron," Harry said. "It's Hermione."
"What?" Ron asked, sitting up in bed. "Hermione, do you have something against a decent night's sleep? It's one in the morning for God's sake!"
"Well, maybe if you hadn't stayed up all night reading that Quidditch book," Hermione replied saucily.
"Hey, the Cannons are awesome!" Harry snorted and Ron glared at him. "Shut up, Harry," he said, half-teasing and half-serious.
"Make me," Harry teased. Ron threw a pillow at him which Harry returned and Hermione rolled her eyes at her two friend's behavior.
"Do you guys want to hear what I have to say or not?" she asked, somewhat annoyed.
Harry and Ron exchanged glances and then said simultaneously, "Not really." Hermione gave them a dirty look that would have made Draco Malfoy proud, then said, "But this is really important."
"Does 'this,' have to do with spew?" Ron asked.
"It's not spew, Ron," Hermione sighed. "It's the. . . ."
"Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare," Harry and Ron finished in monotone voices.
"We know, Hermione, so what's your point?" Harry asked.
"My point is that this isn't about SPEW," Hermione said.
"Well, if that's all, then I'm going back to bed," Ron said sarcastically, turning over and pulling the covers over him. Harry echoed him and Hermione groaned.
"But this is much more important," she said.
"What? Homework?" Harry asked sarcastically.
"Finding out another one of Rita Skeeter's horribly unscrupulous plans?" Ron guessed and using a vocabulary to make him sound much like Hermione.
"No," Hermione said, exasperated. "This is about Remus, so you two might want to listen up."
Harry's attention was immediately grabbed as Remus was a friend of his. Was he in trouble? "What is it?" Harry asked worriedly. "I saw him today, he looked alright." Ron, too, looked worried.
"He's not hurt," Hermione reassured them. "It's just that when I was going to the bathroom tonight, I heard them talking in the kitchen and, well . . . they sounded worried, so I thought I might be able to help, and . . . um. . . ." She trailed off, blushing as Harry and Ron gazed at her raptly.
Ron had just opened his mouth to make a comment when there was a sharp crack, a moan of annoyance from Ron, and one of the Weasley twin's voices. "You were eavesdropping, Hermione?"
"I'm astounded," said the other twin.
"You're getting as bad as us. . . ."
"Which means there's hope for you yet."
"So you won't get to be as big a prat as Percy. . . ."
"Or this redhead here," one twin said, socking Ron on the shoulder, who had been wincing since Fred and George had Apparated on his knees - yet again.
"We'll lend you an Extendable Ear one time if you'd like, we were just using one."
"And at a perfectly reasonable price."
"How much?" Ron asked excitedly.
"For you, little bro, ten Galleons, we were offering it at a discount to this new mischief-maker here."
Ron gave a snort of disgust as Hermione blushed deeper. "I just thought I could help and I can," she said defensively.
"Oh, so now you're the Little-Engine-Who-Could," Fred or George teased.
Hermione rolled her eyes. "No, I'm the Little-Witch-Who-Could and the witch who's going to hex you if you idiots don't start listening!"
"Keep it down," said a voice in the doorway and all the kids turned to see Ginny standing there. "Do you want to wake Mum up or what? If she sees that we're up at this time of night, she'll kill us."
"Thanks, Gin," Ron said affectionately to his little sister.
"So, what's happening?" she asked.
Before any of the guys could interrupt, Hermione had spoken. "SPHW is what's happening," she said.
"I knew it!" Ron said dramatically and immediately quieted at a quelling look from his sister, so that she looked very much like Mrs. Weasley. "I knew it had something to do with spew," he said in a softer tone.
"It's not about SPEW, Ron," Hermione said. "It's SPHW, not SPEW."
"So, it spi-hew," Ron said.
"That's pathetic even for you," Harry teased, earning a grin from both Fred and George.
"But this isn't about elves," Hermione insisted. "It's about something totally different. You see, SPHW stands for the Society for the Protection of Harmless Werewolves." She looked around at all her friends expectantly and they all gave her quizzical glances.
Ron finally broke the silence with one of his well-chosen remarks. "You're crazy, 'Mione," he said firmly. The rest of the kids nodded, even Ginny, who had somewhat supported Hermione's SPEW campaign.
"It isn't crazy," Hermione insisted. "I heard Sirius and Remus talking and Remus was sad because he'd been turned down for a job (although it was poor-paying, mind you), because the manager had found out about his lycanthropy and isn't as open as Dumbledore about such things. And we all know he's a perfectly willing and hard-working employee."
"I still say you're nuts," Ron commented. "I mean, the elf thing I can at least kind of understand, because they won't stand up for themselves and they're creatures, but werewolves are humans and can stand up for themselves if they need to."
"But they won't!" Hermione said, very annoyed that no one would agree with her. "That's the same problem that there was with the elves, they refuse to stand up for themselves, the elves like being in bondage, but I doubt that werewolves like Remus like all this bigotry against them, so we have to help him and others get past their passivity to work for equal rights!"
"Did you even ask Remus or Sirius about this?" Harry asked.
"Not yet, but we're going to need more of us to convince them that this needs to be done, so that's why I'm asking you guys to join," Hermione said pleadingly.
"How about . . . no?" one of the twins said, Disapparating with a crack.
"Definitely not," the other twin added, following his brother's example.
"Sorry, Hermione, but it just wouldn't feel right doing something like that," Ginny said apologetically. "I understood with the elf thing, because they're creatures under us and we were trying to get them to the same level as us, but werewolves are already human, so it would feel as if they were inferior to us if I did it," she said, with a surprising amount of wisdom for a fourteen-year-old. With that, she left the room, moving as quietly as a cat. Crookshanks, who had been listening to the discussion slunk out after her.
"What about you two?" Hermione asked, nearly begging her two best friends.
Harry and Ron looked at each other and, as they had so many times before said, "No," simultaneously before Harry switched off the light and they each laid back down, ready to go to sleep.
However, Hermione wasn't about to take no for an answer from those two, so she switched the light back on stubbornly and both of the boys groaned, trying to avoid the light so that they could get to sleep. "Why don't you want to join?" she asked.
"The same reason Ginny said," Harry mumbled as Ron nodded affirmation, yawning hugely.
"Plus, Remus is the only werewolf we know," Ron added and it was Harry's turn to nod.
Hermione frowned, Ron had a point, but then struck upon a new point. "I can't believe that you won't do this, Harry," she hissed. "I mean, Remus took care of you when you were in diapers and now he's having trouble and you won't even help him?"
"Remus doesn't need help, Hermione, and he wouldn't accept it if we offered it," Harry replied. "Plus, he doesn't need to be making money, he can stay here since he's part of the Order and everything."
"But Remus said he wanted to do more," Hermione insisted. "He said that he couldn't sit here and twiddle his thumbs, that he feels useless, then. It's like with Sirius being locked up in here, isn't it?" she asked Harry.
"Then get more members for the Order," Ron suggested. "No one will care about his lycanthropy if he's just doing that."
"You're right!" Hermione said excitedly and Harry and Ron looked at each other nervously. When Hermione got excited like this, it usually meant something bad for them. "You're right, Ron!" Hermione repeated. "Why, Remus could easily ask more werewolves to join the Order and then we could help all of them, too!" She was looking at him with a glint in her eyes that usually only SPEW or writing an essay two rolls of parchment long inspired in her.
Harry decided to try a new tactic now as Ron groaned at what his dissuading statement had caused Hermione to think. "Hermione, you're perfectly welcome to do this on your own," he said.
"But I can't!" Hermione said fervently. "I told you, I need more people on our side to convince Remus and Sirius that this needs to be done!" Ron groaned while Harry rolled his eyes and they were about to reply when the door was opened to reveal the stern-looking faces of Remus Lupin and Sirius Black.
"What exactly are you three doing up at one in the morning?" Sirius asked.
"Because Hermione's gone crazy!" Ron moaned, burying his head in the pillow.
"It's true, she seems to have something against a decent night's sleep," Harry added.
"Does this have anything to do with why you have to 'convince Remus and Sirius'?" Remus asked, raising an eyebrow and turning his amber eyes from the two boys to Hermione.
"Yes," Hermione said defensively. The two bachelors glanced at each other, they knew Hermione well enough by now to know that she wasn't usually out-right like this to adults she respected. It was obviously something important (or at least in Hermione's eyes, it was).
"What is it?" the werewolf asked patiently.
"It's about you, Remus," Hermione said. "You see, I heard you two talking about how Remus was denied another job because of his lycanthropy and I thought it would be nice if someone did something about it instead of just complaining, so I formed SPHW, but Harry and Ron here are refusing to join and I need someone to convince you that it needs to be done."
"SPHW?" Sirius asked blankly.
"The Society for the Protection of Harmless Werewolves," his godson answered, giving a slight grin as if the whole situation were comical instead of sleep-depriving.
Remus had remained motionless throughout these proceedings, but now he allowed himself a slight grin and Harry was surprised at how much younger he looked when a smile lit up his serious face. Then, he let out a small chuckle, shaking his head and murmuring to himself (sounding quite a bit like Kreacher) and chuckled again, louder this time. The others in the room joined in, all except Hermione, who looked wounded as the males in the room laughed at her idea.
"Werewolves don't need societies, Hermione," Remus finally said, still shaking his head.
"But. . . ." the girl started.
"No," Remus said firmly, putting up a hand. "Werewolves may be prejudiced against, but they can stand up for themselves if they need to, with their strength and especially on the full moon," he said with a slight grin as Sirius smiled behind him. "And have you forgotten the werewolves that are in Voldemort's service? Why, if something like this got off the ground, they'd take advantage of it and would be able to get inside the Ministry, get top positions and all that. That would give Voldemort even more spies inside the Ministry, outnumbering our Order members, and I know you wouldn't want that. Right now, the Order is the most important thing to me, and, although I'd like another job, keeping Voldemort at bay is my main priority right now, not my own personal appearance in society." He ended his speech of sorts with a squeeze on Hermione's hand. "Thank you for the offer, but I can't take you up on it," he concluded.
"You three get to bed, now," Sirius ordered, trying to act stern and parental, but failing abysmally. "You're lucky we didn't call Molly. You three were making enough noise to wake the dead, it's a wonder that she and Arthur slept through it," he added, trying to recover as all three of the teenagers gave each other glances, trying to hold back laughs at Sirius's parental air.
"Well, that's because we fed her a Sleeping Draught," one of the twin's voices added from the doorway.
"We figured you three would need it," the other added.
Sirius and Remus rolled their eyes while the trio grinned. "Thanks," Hermione said.
"It's one of the few times we've shown generosity, Hermione."
"So you might want to record this. . . ."
"And play it over and over whenever we do another prank on you."
"So that you don't hex us with one of your numerous spells."
"You smart little witch, you."
Hermione blushed as Sirius said, "Enough stalling, get to bed."
"Yes, Dad," Harry teased, switching off the light for himself and Ron as they lay down and Hermione was shepherded out of the room by the two Marauders.
Harry and Ron were asleep within instants, but Hermione lay awake in her bed, thinking. SPEW could get on its way if she could get a sponsored cleaning of the Gryffindor common room and maybe into the kitchens a few more times (you tickle the pear, right?), once they got to Hogwarts. But there had to be more, there were so many underprivileged creatures in this world that wizards liked to rule over, whether they were human, part-human, or not human at all. Werewolves wouldn't work, she decided, but, then again, goblins might need some help and Ron had even hinted about it. Oh, yes, she thought gleefully as she drifted off. SPUG, here I come!