Trusting in Secrets
Remus Lupin sat alone on the Hogwarts express, staring sightlessly out at the green blur of the scenery rushing past. It was very beautiful countryside, but his present frame of mind was not exactly conducive to the appreciation of pastoral delights. He still could not even be sure that he had made the right choice in climbing aboard this train in the first place...
He thought again of the neatly folded letter in the pocket of his robes.
In it, Dumbledore had not just suggested that he return to Hogwarts. He had requested it. 'For your safety, and for ours' he had written. Remus had pondered over this odd choice of words for a very long time. Alone on the train, his thoughts circled once again over the well-worn terrain.
The first part made sense enough, for if Voldemort and his cronies truly were returning to power, then Remus knew very well that he and Sirius would be among the first that Wormtail would want to see eliminated. But if they were at Hogwarts, Peter wouldn't dare take the risk. In all the wizarding world, there could be no safer place for Moony and Padfoot to reside than at Hogwarts.
But Dumbledore had spoken of 'our' safety. This was the part of the letter that Remus could not decipher. For how could the presence of a werewolf make Hogwarts safer? And who exactly did Dumbledore mean when he said 'our safety'? He couldn't mean himself. Perhaps he meant Harry? It was likely, after all, that James's son would need all the protection his friends could give him in the coming year. So perhaps the Headmaster just wanted another pair of eyes on the boy.
Or perhaps, Remus thought wryly, perhaps I'm simply reading too much into those words. Ostensibly, I am going to Hogwarts to support Professor Moody in teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts. And Dumbledore's justifications for inviting me in this capacity make perfect sense. He plans to double the number of Defence lessons the students receive, and to make that plan viable, he requires a second teacher qualified in the subject. It does make sense. And yet ...
Remus could not shake his doubts. It was not just the familiar old fear that the Wolf would escape which plagued him now, it was also the strange but persistent suspicion that there was something the old Headmaster was not telling him. Something that had been hinted at, but never properly explained…
Yet he could not have refused Dumbledore. For the umpteenth time, Remus's thoughts circled back to this same conclusion. For no matter what his own reservations were, he respected and owed Albus Dumbledore too much to defy him in anything. Whatever role the old Headmaster wished him to play he would play it, regardless of whether or not he understood it. That, ultimately, was the bottom line.
And his future? Well, only time would tell what the future held.