The Lupin Childe
Author's Note: Hello and welcome my lovelies, I hope that you find yourself enjoying the story you are about to read. I recently started the process of editing this story and so you'll find that a majority of the later chapters are, of course, unedited. Please pardon any spelling/grammar errors and I apologize in advance for any inconsistencies (though there should only be some in character descriptions, maybe).
Cheers for my wonderful Beta: butterfly83
Summary: AU. Two years after that history making Halloween night, Remus Lupin discovers the whereabouts of one Harry Potter and he is not pleased with what he finds. Out of obligation to his deceased friends and love for a little boy with weary green eyes, he adopts the Potter child, and reshapes the childhood of Harry beyond measure.
Disclaimer: No I do not own and never will own Harry Potter, that is the monumental privilege of Ms. Rowling.
Warnings: (1) OCs by the bucket load. Most are inconsequential, the ones that aren't should be obvious but feel free to ask. (2) An abundance of fluff or so I've been told. (3) Alternate Universe…obviously.
Remus Lupin looked down at the tiny child clutching his hand tightly. He was pressed into Remus' side but, was looking up at the castle before him in understandable three-years-old fascination, with his thumb captured firmly in his mouth. It was unbelievably cute. "This, Harry, is Hogwarts," he said softly to the jittery child. "What do you think?"
Large, bright green eyes blessed him with a look before returning to the castle. "It's big," he spoke carefully around the appendage. Remus chuckled.
"Yes, it is. I think that was my general reaction when I first saw it." After a few quite moments of enjoying the view Remus looked back down at the too small boy. "It's a fairly long walk, would you like me to carry you?" he asked like he always did.
"No, I'm fine," Harry replied like Remus knew he would.
Once again, Remus marveled at the fact he could even hear the tiny whisper of a voice, but he pushed the thought aside in favor of starting the journey up to the castle. He kept his pace slow and measured knowing that going too fast would irritate Harry's legs and that the child would never mention anything about the discomfort. They crossed the vast lawn, stopping every few minutes, so Harry could rest and Remus could point out things.
"That's Hagrid's hut, the half giant I told you about. And that's the Black Lake. Maybe on our way home we'll see the giant squid."
Harry watched everything in silent curiosity and listened closely to everything his current guardian said. "There's the Forbidden Forest, all sorts of things live in there."
There was a moment of silence before Harry asked hesitantly, "Like wha?" Remus smiled down at him.
"Unicorns, centaurs, things like that. Like in your story books."
Harry glanced back at the forest as they continued to the doors. "Then why is it f'bidden?" Remus gave him a surprised look before smiling wearily.
"Well, not everything in there is so nice."
Harry nodded in understanding and his attention went back to the structure in front of them. It was few more minutes before they reached the front steps. Instead of asking the boy, as he already knew the answer, Remus picked Harry up and settled him on his hip. The little one instantly wrapped his arms around Remus' neck as he climbed the front steps. Harry's eye's widened upon entering the castle. His thumb dropped from his mouth as it formed a small 'o' and he turned his head every which way. "Impressive, isn't it?" Remus asked in amusement and Harry nodded distractedly in agreement.
They passed portrait upon portrait that either waved or looked at the two of them curiously. Some of the suites of armor even saluted, making Harry blink in surprised confusion. Luckily, none of the staircases hindered their trek but when Harry saw some of them move his thumb went instantly back to his mouth out of nervous habit. Remus could feel as the boy stiffened a bit in his arms, and quickly considered a way to calm him down. "Do you remember whom we're going to see?" he asked and Harry unconsciously relaxed a bit as his attention was turned back to the light-haired man carrying him.
"Yes," he said quietly. "We're goin' ta see P'fessor Dumbbly- Dumbly-"
"Dumbledore." Remus prompted gently and Harry nodded his agreement.
"Dumbledore." he repeated carefully, succeeding in wrapping his small tongue around the difficult sounding name.
Remus grinned at his effort as they reached the stone gargoyle. "Lemon Drops." he announced clearly and the thing leapt aside. Harry gazed back at it but didn't utter a word or sound as they ascended the moving stairs. The closer they got to the door the more nervous Remus got, and his grip tightened on the little one in his arms. Harry blinked owlishly at him for a moment before turning his attention back to the approaching door. Stepping off the stairs, Remus hesitated. Was he really ready to face his old headmaster?
It seemed the choice wasn't up to him as the kind elderly voice from inside called "Enter," without him ever raising his hand to the door. With a calming breath he pushed it open. The office was just as he remembered, not that he had seen it that often. As many times as the Marauders had been in trouble, they had rarely been called here. In fact, the last time he was here he had just found out the news of James and Lily's death and had come to demand to know if it was true…
He started, not having noticed the older man sitting behind the desk looking at him over half-moon spectacles. He found himself at a loss for words for quite a few moments before clearing his throat and managing to choke out a meek "Hello Headmaster."
"Why don't you have a seat?" Dumbledore asked pleasantly and Remus was too nervous to notice the twinkle in his eye. He took the offered seat across from the man anyway and settled Harry firmly in his lap.
The weight of the little one pressed against his chest seemed to give him some sense of reality. "Say 'hi', Harry." Harry looked briefly up at him before muttering a very small 'hi'.
Dumbledore smiled widely. "Hello my dear boy, how are you?"
Harry seemed startled for a few seconds before gracing the headmaster with a hesitant smile as he removed his thumb from his mouth for the moment. "I'm fine, and you?"
Dumbledore chucked good-naturedly answered, "Just wonderful." He then turned his eyes to the person holding him. "And You Remus? How are you?" Remus couldn't help the slight blush that flooded his face.
"I'm doing well."
"Marvelous." Dumbledore stated stippling his fingers together. "I must admit, Remus, I was both surprised and mildly concerned when I received your letter."
Remus bit his lip. It seemed they were jumping right to the point then. "I- I didn't know what really to tell you or how much but I figured, eventually, you would notice he was gone. And… and I would need your help." he said quickly and gestured lightly to the boy in his arms. Harry was resting against his chest, thumb back in mouth, and looking around the office seemingly not paying attention to the conversation.
"Indeed," Dumbledore agreed and his eyes looked grave. "But when I got your letter I decide to give you the benefit of the doubt. You were, after all, a most responsible boy. I figured I would not take Harry from you just yet."
"You won't take him from me at all." Remus said loudly but there was a panicked undertone to his voice. He clutched Harry to him tightly. The hold was not enough to hurt the boy but still pulled his attention from looking at Dumbledore, which Harry did instantly upon hearing his name. He looked down into the large green eyes and murmured an apology as he relaxed his grip very slightly.
"Calm down, my boy." Dumbledore soothed. "I do not plan on snatching the child away from you. Like I said, you have the benefit of the doubt. I will give you ample time to explain your actions."
Remus nodded, feeling slightly better. He still needed a moment to calm his breath before he next spoke. "It was about three weeks ago…
"I was wandering around, trying to clear my mind. My mother had been asking me to come back to France. It was tempting and so I was thinking it over. I didn't actually have a place to go so I was just walking… then I heard a child crying…"
"I looked around and I saw a women about a street away struggling with a little boy. He was crying and having trouble walking, but she was tugging him along and cursing him to high heaven. She turned her head and I saw her face. I recognized her."
"It was Petunia Dursley. Lily had shown us pictures of their childhood and we'd met once when Lily went to get the rest of her things after graduation. It was her and the child she was pulling was Harry."
Remus looked sadly down at the little one. "I didn't realize it at first. But the hood of his coat had fallen after she'd-after she had-Headmaster, she hit him."
Dumbledore blinked. Out of all things he'd not expected that. "Remus, are you-"
"I'm sure. I'm positive. There's no way I would lie about something so serious as Harry's well being. She'd hit him, slapped him really, in the middle of the street. It was enough to make him fall over. Obviously she hadn't seen me." Dumbledore looked troubled.
"What did you do?" Remus looked down.
"Unfortunately, I was in shock. The last thing I ever expected to see was Lily's sister, or her hitting Harry. I didn't do anything for a moment, but she was yelling at him then about him making her late after he had the nerve to need to go to the hospital, or something just as cruel. Then she raised her hand again…"
"I didn't do her any real damage though I wish I had. I frightened Harry pretty badly but I had only knocked her out. I took him. Picked him up and walked away, leaving her there." There was no remorse in his voice as he said this.
"He's not going back there, Headmaster. You don't realize the half of what they did to him." Dumbledore frowned.
"What do you mean?"
Remus blushed slightly again. "When I got home, I, err, gave him a bit of a sleeping potion. He was shaking and pale and obviously in pain." Before the headmaster could ask Remus eyes had darkened and he continued. "There were bruises and cuts everywhere. I tried my best but many of them left scars. They had beaten him, constantly. That much was obvious but that wasn't even the most horrifying thing I found. I did a medical scan on him. His legs had been broken, more then once. They had apparently just started to mend, with accidental magic by the looks of it, and here was Petunia Dursley, making him practically run to keep up with her." Remus breathed in deeply he calm himself. Even now, nearly a month later, he wished he had gone back and finished off the vile women.
"He was beaten, broken and severely malnourished and I had to do everything in my power to help him. I had to. But I don't think I can do anymore." He looked up. "I need help. Not just for his health but, well, the full moon…"
Dumbledore nodded but stayed silent. He examined his former student closely and then the boy who had started to doze in his lap. "Well Remus," he started slowly. "It seems to me you were doing what was in Harry's best interest." Remus' eyes brightened. "And Harry certainly does seem attached to you even for such a short amount of time. It might be more harmful then helpful to take him away from you at this point."
"Headmaster?" Remus asked softly. He had to be sure. Dumbledore smiled.
"It will take me a while to get the paperwork and for the ministry to agree, but…" Remus grinned widely.
"Thank- you, Headmaster! I-"
"Call me Albus," said easily as he stood. "I am no longer your Headmaster. Now, shall we take this little one to Madam Pomfrey?"
Remus stood and carefully adjusted Harry in his arms. The little one rested his head on Remus' shoulder and promptly closed his eyes. "You don't have to worry about the paper work or Ministry permission Hea-Albus. I'll write my brother. He has the French Ministry wrapped around his finger. I can do it through them and it would be completely legal." Remus said quietly as they descended the stairs. Dumbledore smiled.
"Then why ever did you come to me? It seems you could have handled this on your own."
Remus blushed a bit. "I could have but despite my determination, well, your opinion and approval still mean a lot to me." Dumbledore paused for a moment before his smile widened.
"That's very kind."
"Maybe," Remus said with a slight grin. "but remember Headmaster, I am a Marauder, and we always do what we want. With or without permission."
Dumbledore laughed. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind."
Harry watched in sleepy fascination as the women piled vial after vial into Remus' arms. "He'll need the nutrition supplements before every meal- he's very malnourished- and the salves for his legs, and the other for the cuts and bruises, the pain reliever, this one builds bone and muscle strength- he'll need to take it twice a day, when he wakes up in the morning and before he goes to bed- this is for his immune system, its
rather weak, and these are calcium pills- for his legs as well. I think that's about it."
Remus shifted his arms uncomfortably as Professor Dumbledore watched in amusement. "All this will help Poppy?" The women in white nodded curtly.
"If taken correctly it should." She turned a gentle smile to Harry who had been instructed to lie back on the clean white sheets. "All this will make you better, dear."
Harry blinked at her owlishly. She wasn't frightening or mean but she was rather talkative and a bit bossy. Then again, she was a nurse. It was her business to make people better, no matter the cost. Remus sat the bottles carefully at the end of Harry's bed.
"What do we say Harry?" he asked absently as he committed which potion was which to memory. Harry removed his thumb from his mouth and mumbled a small 'Thank-you Madam Poppy' before becoming silent again. Madam Pomfrey beamed at him.
"You are very welcome Harry." she told him kindly and he smiled slightly. He liked her, she was very nice to him. Her attention returned to Remus as he piled the potions into a bag she provided. "If you forget which is which don't hesitate to fire call."
"Thank you, I will, though I think we'll be fine." he assured her.
She nodded and looked back to Harry. "Well it was a pleasure to meet you Harry, I suppose I'll be seeing you again soon?" she said and raised a questioning eyebrow to Remus who smiled apologetically.
"Yes, during the full moon, Harry will spend two days here. I can't thank you enough for-"
"Not to worry," Pomfrey brushed it off. "Harry's a lovely child, I'll be happy to watch him." Remus smiled again and heaved to bag of potions onto his shoulder then held his arms out to Harry who came immediately. When he was settled in his guardians arms Remus turned to the other two occupants of the room.
"Thank you Poppy, Albus." The nurse nodded and the headmaster led him to the door.
"If you have any legal problems with the ministry…"
"Thank you, Professor." Remus cut in "But I'm sure it will be fine." Dumbledore smiled.
"And I'm sure you'll be a wonderful father." Remus blushed and looked down at Harry who was watching them from under heavy lids.
"I'll try my best."