Disclaimer: Hogwarts, Dumbledore's wisdom, and Remus' sweetness all belong to Rowling, but I can dream, can't I?
Summary: Why did Dumbledore decide to allow a werewolf to attend school, and why did he select Remus Lupin? Oneshot.
20th of June 1971, 16:21, Dumbledore's Office
Albus Dumbledore was a man of principles, and one of the principles that he believed in most was equality. This extended from wizards to Muggles and from humans to "creatures." Enough people supported his views about pureblood supremacy being nonsense, however, not many people were focusing on the human/animal equality issue.
Dumbledore decided that something needed to be done.
What could he do? Well, the easiest way for wizards to treat someone that they considered a creature as an equal was for them to not know that the person was a creature at all. After living with the creature for a long time and then learning the truth, the wizards might realise they were wrong to deem him or her a creature in the first place.
Children were ideal for this scenario because they asked fewer questions and were less fixated in their views.
Unfortunately, it would be difficult to create that type of situation since pureblood parents would not want their children around "halfbreeds," and those were the children Dumbledore knew would benefit from the interaction most. Of course, if the parents didn't know what was happening, they wouldn't object.
Dumbledore firmly believed in the practise of telling people only what they needed to know. Nothing more. Nothing less.
Now that the decision had been made, how would he go about it? He could invite a "creature" to be a student...Dumbledore mulled over the idea and decided that it was a good one. He wasn't hailed as a genius by the entire wizarding world for no reason.
Which creature should he choose? Centaurs, mermaids, elves, giants, dwarves, and goblins did not look like humans, and instantaneously were picked out as different. Besides, he'd tried Hagrid the half-giant already, and it hadn't worked as he'd planned. Vampires and werewolves, on the other hand, looked human most of the time. Vampires didn't necessarily turn to ash in the sunlight, but it did often make them ill. Attending classes during the day would be difficult for a vampire, and it wouldn't be practical to have the students all attend courses at night. That meant that a werewolf was Dumbledore's only option.
The young werewolf he chose would require a place to transform, but Dumbledore was forced to admit that for a man of his intelligence that would not be strenuous to arrange. Locating a suitable werewolf would be the challenging aspect. It was uncommon for children to be bitten by werewolves, and even rarer for them to survive.
Dumbledore donned his purple cloak and left his office. There was much work to be done before school began again in September. He would need to search everywhere for rumours of wizarding families that behaved strangely, or of a young witch or wizard that had disappeared suddenly one full moon night and never returned.
6th of August 1971, 19:10, Dresdons' Backyard
About two months had passed and Dumbledore had three possible candidates: Joshua, Gracia, and Remus.
Joshua Parkinson was the only one that Dumbledore was certain suffered from lycanthropy. He was a twelve year-old that had run away from his prejudiced pureblood parents three years ago and was currently living – unbeknownst to his family – among a self-proclaimed "pack" of werewolves in a small, secluded mountain range in Scotland. It saddened Dumbledore that fleeing his home was probably the wisest course of action Joshua could have taken. Most pupils began their schooling at age eleven, however, being a twelve year-old oughtn't result in Joshua standing out too much. The only thing that concerned Dumbledore was that werewolf packs, like centaur herds, tended to mistrust humans. Dumbledore did not blame them, though it might mean that Joshua would be unwilling to go to a human-filled school. Even if Joshua wished to go, he might not due to a fear of being exiled from his pack, which was the only family that he had left.
Gracia Dresdon was a ten year-old girl in a Muggle town in Wales. Her parents were both Muggles, hence the records that the Ministry had of repeated incidences of magic in her home would indicate that she should be on a wizarding school's future attendance list. For some reason, though, no school wanted her. Even more curious than that was the fact that Gracia's Muggle schoolteacher revealed that Gracia missed a few consecutive days of school each month.
Was she a lycanthrope? Dumbledore was standing outside the window of her home on the night of the full moon to find out. If she was, the Ministry most likely had not informed Dumbledore about her out of worry that he would accept her into his learning establishment. Their frets were not unfounded, for that was his intention supposing that she would make a suitable student.
"Just breathe, dear." A man that must be Gracia's father sat beside a sickly female that was likely his wife. She was lying on the settee with sweat beading on her brow.
A dark-haired girl that could only be Gracia came in with a glass of water and handed it to the woman. "Mum, is it going to be like this for me when I get older?"
She sipped the water slowly and answered, "I hope not, Gracia. If you take after your Pa's mum it won't be. It's only like this for women in my family."
Mr. Dresdon looked at his wife sympathetically ere turning to Gracia. "Hopefully, we'll be able to afford proper medication for her period soon, and then you won't have to stay home from school to look after her while I'm at work."
Ah, no werewolves had residency here. This still failed to explain why no wizarding schools had Gracia on their lists. Since she would not be able to attend until she was eleven next year anyway, Dumbledore resolved to investigate the issue at a later date. At the moment he had more pressing matters to attend to.
He apparated to a forest outside of Dalham, a village in Suffolk, England, where a solitary cottage was surrounded by woods in all directions. Making himself invisible with an obscure spell that only a wizard of his caliber could manage, Dumbledore gaited up to the window and peered inside.
He saw a family of three seated in a small linoleum kitchen around a small, old wooden table with small amounts of good-smelling food adorning their small chipped plates.
"Eat up," a woman with a kindly face encouraged. She had soft brown hair that was prematurely grey in places, as if she spent a vast quantity of time worrying. However, this didn't stop her from smiling and making it apparent that some of her prettiness from her youth remained.
Dumbledore thought it was nice to see Faith Moss – or Faith Lupin as the current case happened to be – even if she was unable to see him. She was one of the first people to befriend the abnormally large boy that was in her year and House at school. Additionally, she was one of the first to stand by him and object when he was unjustly expelled and had his wand snapped. To this day, she and Hagrid still exchanged letters, though Dumbledore was sure that Faith did not use her extensive vocabulary in those letters.
Dumbledore had asked Hagrid if she ever mentioned that her son was ill, but Hagrid only knew that Faith was disappointed that her eleven year-old child, who she deemed more loving and insightful than anyone of his age, would be unable to attend school, not why.
"Yes, you'll need your strength tonight," added a man with solemnly intelligent blue eyes.
John Lupin, Dumbledore recalled, had been an excellent Head Boy. He handled many responsibilities at once with superb management skills, and was top of his year in almost every class, especially when it pertained to Healing charms.
The boy that Faith and John had been speaking to looked up from what appeared to be an untouched plate of food. Dumbledore noted that he possessed his mother's light brown locks and kindly face, and his father's eyes. This was unsurprising, though the fact that his eyes held a similar solemn intellect to his father was peculiar in one so young.
"It looks delicious, Mum, and I want to eat it, but it's hard to find the will to eat when I know I might throw it up again in a few minutes." He stated this calmly, not sullenly, like a person would recite any fact. His voice and entire demeanor was much more placid than any other child that Dumbledore had encountered before. Even exceptionally intellectual children, such as Tom Riddle and himself, had been prone to a child's dramatic emotions before they encountered puberty. This youngling was definitely interesting.
Faith stood up and lifted the boy's plate from the table. "It's all right, Remus. I'll keep it fresh for you until you feel up to eating it." She moved over to the counter and scraped the contents from the dish into a plastic container, which she placed inside of a Muggle refrigerator.
"Thank you." Remus seemed genuinely grateful, and not as if he was expressing appreciation as a mere courtesy, though Dumbledore suspected that – in addition to sincere gratitude – good manners had also been carefully instilled in him by his well-bred father.
Remus stood up from the table as well and, taking his parents' empty plates with him, headed towards the kitchen sink. After setting the dishes down within the titanium tub he turned on the faucet. His intentions were obvious.
"Remus!" At her husband's appalled exclamation, Faith turned around too and uttered a dismayed, "Remy!"
"What?" Remus inquired in confusion, reaching for the soap.
"You have transformation soon!" Faith rushed over and bodily pulled her son away from the sink. "For Merlin's sake, don't worry about that!" She shut off the flow of water.
Ah-ha! Dumbledore had been given the confirmation that he needed. However, he elected to watch for a few moments more in order to learn more about Remus so that he might discover if he would be suitable to surround with a cornucopia of possibly-hostile, possibly-accepting students.
"But," Remus gently eased out of his mother's protective grip, "transformation is hard on you both, too. It isn't fair for you to have to take care of me and the dishes."
John laid a hand on Remus' shoulder from his place in the chair and half-spun the boy so that they were facing each other. "We're the adults. We're supposed to take care of things." The firm, slightly exasperated way in which he spoke provided Dumbledore with the knowledge that this was a sentiment that was reiterated to Remus frequently.
"But-" Remus began to softly argue again.
John used his index finger to tweak Remus on the nose as a tender reprimand. "No 'buts.' If it means that much to you, once you've recovered I promise to track dirt through the house and let you clean the floors."
Dumbledore was aware that John was joking by the twinkle in his eyes and by Remus smiling at the jest. "Okay." Then, Remus' smile faded and he appeared deep in thought. "You know, as tempting as it is, I don't think I could let you do that for me." He sighed in pseudo regret. "You'll just have to let the floors get dirty naturally; not help them along."
The headmaster nearly chuckled along with John at the subtle wit and answering twinkle in the boy's gaze. "If you insist, I guess I'll live with the disappointment."
Remus patted John's arm supportively. "I know you'll make it through this."
John did not have the opportunity to chuckle for very long this time because Faith interrupted warningly, "Sunset."
Remus glanced out of the window, straight through Dumbledore, and nodded. "I'd better head down."
John squeezed Remus' shoulder and Faith embraced him tightly. "We'll see you in the morning, Love."
"Don't stay up all night?" Remus requested. When his parents both shook their heads Remus gave a suffering sigh that only people years older than him should have been able to produce.
They released him reluctantly and he walked with measured steps to a door in the corner. He opened it and rickety stairs plunging downwards into a dark basement were revealed. His back was to Faith and John, hiding his face from their sight, and for the first time Dumbledore believed that Remus' expression resembled that of a child. His eyes wobbled with fear whilst he stared into the blackness, and he bit his lip the way that children do when they're given a task they do not wish to endure, but are determined not to show weakness by complaining.
Remus inhaled silently to calm himself before spinning to give his parents a final, reassuring smile. "Please, just try to sleep. I'll be fine."
A deceptive "I'll be fine" was something that Dumbledore speculated Remus often said. Dumbledore had met very few individuals that focused so diligently on not 'burdening' others, and never had he heard of someone barely over a decade in age having such a selfless, considerate mindset.
Faith's eyes were wet, and she settled for nodding as if she didn't trust herself to speak.
Conversely, John's face was composed. He replied, "May moonset come swiftly."
"May sunrise be bright," Remus completed what was clearly a standard exchange between father and son. Without further ado, Remus turned on his heel, stepped beyond the threshold of the darkness, and snapped the door closed quickly behind him. Dumbledore supposed it was akin to tearing off a bandage; better to do it rapidly and have it done with.
Unable to view Remus, Dumbledore regarded the door that the boy had passed through with sympathy. Many people with terrible diseases grew resentful of the hand that fate had dealt them, and believed that the world owed them something. Remus was the polar opposite of this, and Dumbledore could not think of a child more deserving of an opportunity to accomplish things for himself, nor any child that would better comprehend the responsibility of being the first werewolf in a wizarding school. If Remus' seven years transpired with no other pupils encountering danger from him and with Remus achieving the same marks as any human student, then it would be more difficult then ever for the Ministry to claim that lycanthropes were too hazardous to have in schools.
Dumbledore conjured a quill and parchment out of thin air. He penned a message explaining that he would be visiting in three days (after he was confident that Remus would have sufficiently recovered) to discuss "a matter of great importance about your family's future." He alluded to no more than that, and deposited the note in the Muggle post box in front of the cottage.
Dumbledore had made his decision. Remus Lupin was perfect.
Minerva's Note on the 24th of Nov, 2011: I reposted this after correcting a few grammar mistakes. Sometimes, I'm too much of a perfectionist for my good. ::sweatdrop::
In case you're curious, I included Joshua and Gracia, who are my original characters, because I thought it would be completely unrealistic for Dumbledore to not explore possibilities other than Remus. I enjoyed writing this story because it's something in the HP books that was never explained to my satisfaction, and I've never read a fan fiction pertaining to it. Plus, I don't normally have a reason to write Dumbledore's mindset, or about the Lupins at home.
But, hey, enough about what I think. What do you think of it?