The Good Wolf
"There once was a girl named Lavender, and she was a witch." The accompanying picture was of a young girl in a field, making flowers magically float and sparkle in the air around her. The next page had her in a kitchen, taking a letter from an owl. "Lavender received her letter from Hogwarts, and was excited to be going to the magical school." Hermione smiled. It appeared that Dean had kept his promise, and not shown Lavender's face in any of the drawings. As the owl departed page three Hermione turned to page four. Dean had done a spectacular job. He had told Hermione that he sat on the archway from the Leaky to the Alley for two days drawing it, and it showed. The picture was from that vantage point, showing the whole of Diagon Alley. People were going to and fro, from shop to shop, while Lavender and her family came out from under the archway and walked into the scene.
As Hermione looked closer at the incredibly intricate drawing, which took up two pages, she realized that she was walking up the right side of the drawn street. Then she saw other friends had been drawn into the scene. Harry and Ron, looking as they had in their first year, stood ogling a broom in a shop window. Luna was just coming out of Flourish and Blotts, Padma and Parvati were walking towards the front of the picture, arms laden with school supplies, and Dean and Seamus were standing by the fountain laughing at some unheard joke. "Lavender and her family went to Diagon Alley to get her robes, books, cauldron, and familiar," the text read. The word "familiar" was in purple to indicate that this was one of the new words this book was to teach the young reader. Just before she turned the page Fred Weasley poked out from behind a shop, and shot a stinging jinx at George on the opposite side of the alley. George jumped and looked around, but by that time Fred had hidden again. Hermione smiled, George is gonna love that, she thought.
The next page was a collage of Lavender emerging from the shops with her things. Lavender with a stack of books up to her nose, her back to the door of Flourish and Blotts; Lavender with her new wand, Ollivander smiling from behind his window; Lavender in her new robes, and lastly Lavender carrying a cage with a baby bunny. "Lavender bought her books. Lavender bought her wand. Lavender bought her robes, and Lavender bought her familiar. His name was Binky." The opposite page had Lavender facing her parents at the kitchen table. "Lavender's mother and father told her all about Hogwarts, and the laws about children and magic." She had told Hermione about that particular conversation. Her parents had been so serious, and Lavender had paid practically zero attention to them. Maybe you should have ended up with Ron… She shook her head, and laughed. NAH!
"On the first of September Lavender went to the rail station and boarded the Hogwarts Express." Another two page drawing and it was beautiful. Dean had the colours exactly right, and again familiar faces were all throughout the picture. She let a wave of nostalgia run through her. Hermione remembered that day very well. It was the same day she met her future husband and father of the brat that was currently tap dancing on her bladder, her very best friend, and Lavender herself. Steam floated trough the illustration as she turned the page.
"She was sad to leave her family for the school, but excited at the new adventure." The word "adventure" was in purple. Lavender's family was smiling up at her from the platform as she waved goodbye. The next page was another collage; Lavender on the train shaking hands with Parvati, Lavender in a boat, and lastly Lavender from behind on the stool with the Sorting Hat on her head. "Lavender rode to Hogwarts, and met her best friend on the train," was at the top of the page. "She rode the boats to the school," was halfway down. "And was placed in Gryffindor by the Sorting Hat," was at the bottom. And placed in my dorm room too, Hermione mused.
The next two page drawing had no text, but it was sure to be Hermione's favourite in the entire book, and Dean had drawn it completely from memory. It was the Gryffindor common room. All the first years were standing in the middle of the room, staring in awe at the surroundings, while the older housemates smiled and joked with them. The first thing she noticed was how he had captured the light that was fairly glowing from their faces, and then she had started to pick out her friends. They were all there. In addition to Lavender, Dean and Seamus were almost, but not quite, clinging to each other, Fred and George were harassing Ron, Harry looked like he'd been hit with a bludger, and she was standing next to Harry jotting down notes on a piece of parchment. She still had that little piece of parchment, carefully tucked away for Rosie, and whoever it was that was resting now and not playing her insides like a drum. Parvati, Katie, all her dorm mates, Angelina Johnson (one day to be Weasley), and of course Percy, all drifted in and out of the picture.
"Lavender studied hard at school." That text accompanied an illustration of a girl with long blonde curls bent over a desk. Hermione laughed to herself. In all the years she knew Lavender, she had never seen this, but this was a children's book, and "Lavender completely disregarded her studies to pursue boys and gossip, barely squeaking by on her grades," wasn't going to make a good lesson. "Then, in her fourth year, the Triwizard Tournament came to Hogwarts," "Triwizard Tournament" was in purple. The picture was an interesting work. The four champions formed a diamond in the middle of the page. Above them was a view of the inside of the Great Hall during the Yule Ball, with revellers dancing and twirling. To the right of the four was the dragon arena, and while Hermione watched, one by one the champions faced their dragons as they had that day. To their left was a scene from under the lake. Four bodies were tethered to a stone and then Harry swam up and freed Ron. Cedric was there nearly at the same time and freed Cho. Still Harry waited. Suddenly Victor appeared in his half shark form and swiftly took Hermione out of the frame, and still Harry waited. Finally Harry threatened the Merpeople with his wand, freed Gabriel, and swam out of the frame dragging Gabriel and Ron with him.
Hermione had to sit back a moment, her heart was pounding. Sitting there on her couch in her cozy little study, years and miles away, she had just relived some very stressful moments in her life. Being completely at the mercy of pregnancy hormones didn't really help either. Thankfully Dean had only captured the beginning of the last task, and the four figures one by one marched into the maze at the bottom of the picture. "Lavender went to the Yule Ball, and cheered for Harry Potter to win the tournament as he entered the maze on the final day," was written below the drawing. Taking a deep breath Hermione turned the page.
"Cedric Diggory was killed by the Dark Lord that day," It was the inside of the great hall, a banner with Cedric's face hovering near the top of the page under the lettering. Lavender was sitting near the front of the Gryffindor table, head bowed in mourning. Tears unbidden flowed down Hermione's cheeks. Her publisher had fought her over this, but she would not relent. "We can't lie to the children and tell them it was all sweetness and light, it wasn't!" and that had settled it, at least as far as Hermione was concerned. "And Lavender promised herself she would fight the Dark Lord any way she could," was across the bottom of the facing page. Lavender was standing in the doorway to the school, wand in hand. The view was from behind her, and a glorious light was streaming through the open doors framing her in a golden halo.
"The next year an evil woman came to Hogwarts." Hermione smiled at the illustration of Umbridge. Dean hadn't tried to make her any more of a hideous toad than she already was. He had just drawn her as she had been, and that was enough. "Harry Potter and his friends formed Dumbledore's Army, and Lavender was one of them." It was the inside of the Room of Requirement. Harry was in full on professor mode, walking from student to student, showing proper wand technique, and occasionally demonstrating a spell. They were all there, every one. Hermione brushed her fingers over one of her fallen friends. "Lavender earned her O.W.L's despite the evil Professor Umbridge." Her parents were hugging her in the kitchen, her O.W.L. results were lying on the table, and a large school owl was nibbling a treat on a perch in the corner.
The publisher had worried that they would be sued for slander by Umbridge, and this had brought on another heated disagreement. She had settled it by amending her contract to say that she would cover all legal costs associated with that page. "Let her try," she had told him. Hermione had not exactly enjoyed Umbridge's trial, but still there was a grim smile of satisfaction on her face. That bitch had got hers.
"The sixth year Lavender learned about love." Hermione had told Dean that he could imply Ron, but not get carried away. It was perfect. A non descript handsome boy, ok, so he looks a little like Ron, was holding Lavender around the waist, and as the picture moved they shared a chaste kiss.
Well, here it was. "In Lavender's seventh year she fought in the Battle of Hogwarts against the Dark Lord." She certainly did, and paid a heavier price that practically anyone else. The drawing was outside of the school. Lavender was on a parapet, firing spells down into the oncoming Death Eater horde. "And there she was bitten by the evil werewolf, Fenrir Greyback." Greyback streaked across the entryway to maul her in the next picture. Hermione had asked Lavender if it was alright to include this, and she said it was fine. It actually helped in an odd way.
Lavender hadn't been told that Ron and Neville had killed Greyback, but at Harry's Eighteenth birthday party, Neville, in a bit of a drunken brag fest, described in great detail how they did it. Ron had given Greyback a full Reducto to the face, blasting half of it away, and then Neville had done three successive Sectumsempra swipes across his belly, eviscerating him. Lavender, with a fire in her eyes, had risen from her chair, and stalked across the now silent room to Ron and Neville. Everyone had held their breath, not knowing what her reaction would be. Their fears were proved groundless when she grabbed Neville by the collar, and snogged him soundly. Hermione then whispered in Ron's ear, "Let her thank you too." She took a step away from him, and nodded at Lavender. She kissed him too, not quite with the fervor that Neville had received, but her thanks where obviously packed into it.
"Lavender spent the next two weeks in the hospital at Hogwarts." "Hospital" was in purple. Hermione had seen so much of the hospital wing in her time at the school that she knew it intimately, and Dean had it exactly, right down to Lavender being in the correct bed. Madam Pomfrey moved up and down the aisle, tending to her and the other patients. "Lavender knew she would become a werewolf at the first full moon, and she was very afraid." Yes she was, and courageous. If we hadn't stopped her… Hermione thought. The picture showed her from above, sitting on her bed with shaking hands, trying to write letters that would never be sent. "But Lavender had some very special friends, and they would not to let her become a beast and an outcast." The door to the hospital wing flew open, and eight women walked down the aisle in the picture.
"Very special indeed," said a voice over Hermione's shoulder, and she jumped in her seat in surprise.
"Merlin, Lav! Don't do that to a pregnant woman. I just about peed myself." Hermione said laughing. "You really need to work on making a little noise when you're not trying to sneak up on people."
"Sorry, it's all that training. So, Ron told me the proof is in, is that it?"
"Yeah, I think it's great. I had to stick up for a few bits to be included, but when I threatened the publisher with taking it and the rest of my work elsewhere, he gave in."
"I'll just bet he did. You're quite the cash cow for him, I'm thinking."
"Maybe? How many books have you written?"
"Umm… well… seventeen"
"Umm hum, and how many were best sellers?"
"Well…all of them."
"And I get to win an argument with the famous Hermione Weasley," Lavender said chortling as she sat down next to her.
"Don't get used to it," Hermione said and nudged her. "You want me to start again?"
"No, this is the best part," and she laid her head on Hermione's shoulder.
The picture showed the group of women gathered around Lavender's bed. "Lavender thought nobody could help her, but they convinced her that they could," "convinced" in purple.
"Convinced? As I recall you really didn't give me much of a choice."
"Oh, we had to talk you into it. Madam Pomfrey wasn't going to let us drag you out of there kicking and screaming. As a mater of fact McGonagall had to bully her into letting us take you at all."
"Thanks," and she snuggled into Hermione a bit more.
Hermione patted her hand and said "Well let's see what Dean did with this. I told him generally what we did and who was there. Luna never told him a thing about that night." She ended in an impressed tone, and turned the page. Both women gasped, the illustration spanned the next two pages.
Eight women stood around Lavender in the midst of a stone circle. They could tell who was who, but only because they knew. To anyone else it was just eight women, one with bushy hair, two blondes, four with black hair, and one redhead. The fire that burned under the cauldron cast flickering light against the stones. "With very old and very new magic, Lavender and her friends subdued and tamed the wolf in her." "Subdued" was in purple.
As the two women watched the picture play out, the bushy haired woman dipped a ladle in the cauldron, filled a cup, and handed it to Lavender to drink. Then she pulled another vial from her robes, and Lavender drank that one too. A third vial appeared in her hand. She put on the end of her wand, and raised it over her head. Seven golden streams of magic converged on the vial, and then Lavender drank that one. The bushy haired woman leaned in to say something to Lavender, and then backed away throwing her robes off. All the other women did the same thing, and suddenly they were all nude. Dean had preserved everyone's modesty along with their identities. No one's naughty bits were to be seen. The bushy haired woman and one of the black haired women began to change, and in moments they were a bear and a snow leopard.
"We thought a swan and an otter wouldn't stand much of a chance against a werewolf," Hermione said with a chuckle.
One of the blonds took the hospital robe from Lavender, and placed it near one of the stones. Then Lavender changed. There was a brief scuffle between the wolf, the bear, and the leopard, and then the bear pinned the wolf. A spell hit the wolf, and it was frozen. The blonde who had taken the robe stepped up to the wolf, and pointed her wand between its eyes. The other women laid there hands on top of the blondes wand. A stream of blue light bloomed from the end of her wand, and enveloped the wolf's head.
Hermione nudged Lavender. "My arms not going anywhere," she said.
Lavender looked down, and her knuckles were white she was squeezing Hermione so hard. "Uh, sorry."
The wolf Lavender in the picture rose from the ground, and hugged the blonde.
"Dean is amazing! I hate it that Luna had to let him go."
"I do too." Hermione replied. "Alzheimer's is awful. We don't have it in the wizarding world, something about our genes. Dean just wasn't going to put Luna through it, watching his mother die a slow, horrible, painful, unavoidable, death. He couldn't do that to her. He made her leave him, you know that."
"Yeah, I guess. But still, they were so good together. I know he still loves her, he asks about her every time Seamus and I see him."
"Me too, but she's with Rolf now, and you're making me cry Lavender; lets get back to the book."
"Ok, stop messing with the pregnant lady's emotions. I get it."
Hermione turned the page. "Lavender had been saved." And it was Lavender's turn to cry. The picture was of the whole group romping in a meadow, laughing, dancing, and riding the bear, wolf, and leopard. Hermione patted her hand.
The facing page said "Lavender knew she could not have children, because they would be werewolves too, so she chose to protect children." The picture was of Lavender, face on, in full wolf. She had a small boy with black hair by the hand, and baby with a shock of dark red curly hair cradled in her left arm.
"With my life," she said in a low husky voice.
Hermione turned to the last page. "And that is how a girl named Lavender became the Good Wolf." The final drawing was of Lavender on all fours, surrounded by children. Two were on her back, several were petting her fur, and one, the same boy with the black hair, was kissing her cheek. This was the only one that had been drawn from a photo. Arthur had taken it at one of the Weasley family picnics.
"You're making me out to be some kind of hero."
"Yeah, pull the other one."
"Lavender, you are an amazing woman. You have overcome adversities that other people couldn't comprehend," Hermione said in a very serious voice. "When you had to change at McGonagall's party… it scared some people. That's not going to happen again."
Lavender looked at her friend in wonder.
"When I got the idea for this book I initially thought I'd just write it for our kids, but then the more it came to me, the more I knew I had to share it. I don't ever again want to see fear in someone's eye's when they look at you in wolf." She had taken Lavender's hand. "I am perfectly aware of my undue influence in the wizarding world. Everyone will buy this book, even if they don't have kids, just because I wrote it. That's the purpose of the book now. Yeah, it'll teach a few words to the kids, but what it really will do is teach the adults not to be afraid of you."
"Unless they need to be."
Hermione nodded, "Unless they need to be."
Seven weeks later the book was released. Flourish and Blotts ordered eight cases, and they had vanished in two weeks. The manager called on Hermione to ask if she would do a signing, as this was turning into her best selling book and that was saying something. She had agreed on one condition, that Lavender would sign with her.
Hermione was sitting at a table in the Leaky, a small glamour preserving her privacy, when Lavender arrived. As was her habit these days, she wore nondescript robes over her clothes. Hermione knew that a very fashionable dress was probably under those robes though. Seamus and Lavender tended to frequent the Muggle clubs when they were off duty. Lavender, of course, could tell who she was by scent, and walked straight up to her table.
"You ready for this?" Hermione said as Lavender took a seat.
"How do you do this public speaking thing? My stomach is in knots."
"Took me a while," she laughed, "You remember the first D. A. meeting? I was petrified." She indicated a drink on the table. "I took the liberty of ordering you a shot of courage, hope you don't mind."
Wordlessly Lavender took the shot of Firewisky, and downed it in one go.
"Ok then," Hermione chuckled, "shall we go change?"
"You having one?" Lavender asked.
"Oh… yeah… sorry, little distracted"
Hermione laid her hand on Lavender's. "You'll be fine. I'll be there, and they love you now."
"Yeah, well we'll see."
"Yes we will, c'mon, let's go."
They went to the ladies, and while Hermione undid her glamour, Lavender stripped. With all her clothes neatly folded and packed in her bag, she faced Hermione. She was naked but for her wand in its holster on her thigh.
"Time for the wolf," Hermione said.
Hermione watched Lavenders face hardened in concentration, and the change began. Lavender had mastered the art of transforming to her wolf self, she quivered very slightly as it still hurt a bit, but in seconds she was in full wolf.
"You're sure?" Lavender asked, as she shook out her fur.
"You know, you've asked me that before," Hermione said, and cocked an eyebrow.
Lavender remembered very well. "Yeah I know, and the answer never changes does it."
Hermione snorted a laugh. "Nope," she said.
"Alright, let's go."
They left the bathroom, and stepped into the back courtyard that led to the alley. Hermione activated the arch, and they waited while the bricks parted. As they stepped through they were greeted by a thunderous applause. People were lining the street from Flourish and Blotts almost to the archway, waiting for them. As always some people came forward to greet Hermione, but unlike any other time she had been in the alley without Harry, more people went to another person, Lavender. A mob of children tore themselves from their parent's arms, and fairly ran to her. Lavender knelt down to receive them, tears swelling in her eyes. They closed on her, hugging any part they could touch.
A man that had been close by with his son cast a sonorus on his throat and said, "Alright kids, lets give them some room, don't love her to death."
The children backed off a little, and Lavender looked to him nodding her thanks. She stood and greeted the mob that was surrounding her with a wave, to overcome with emotion to speak.
"Tell them that everyone will get their chance, and we'll meet them at the store," Hermione said to the man. He repeated what she said, and the crowd started to move back a bit. "I though we might need this," she said to Lavender as the man spoke, and she pulled a conglomeration of leather straps from her bag. She nodded at the man's son, "Do you mind?"
"Not at all," Lavender said, her voice still slightly choked. She took the assemblage of straps, and began sorting it out and putting it on.
Hermione leaned into the man and his son. Grinning from ear to ear she asked the boy in a quite voice, "Wanna go for a ride?"
The boy was dumbstruck, and with drop jawed excitement on his face turned to his father. He nodded beaming. Lavender finished tightening the two belts on the now obvious saddle, and crouched down on all fours next to him. The people nearest them gasped in awe as Hermione sat the boy in the saddle, and quickly adjusted his feet in the stirrups.
"Put your hands through these two loops, and hang on tight to this strap." The boy leaned forward, laying down on Lavender's back doing as he was told. "Hook your knees on those," she pointed to the knee braces. "Hang on tight! Off you go!"
Lavender hunkered down to the ground, and in a single vault, leapt over the heads of the crowd around her. She and the whooping boy sped off down the street to cheers and laughter. The boy was shouting at the top of his lungs in pure delight, his screams of joy echoing off the buildings. Down the alley they went, so fast the people were just blurs to the boy. Lavender built up to top speed as she reached the end of the alley. Leaping into the air, she ran sideways along the second floor balcony railing on the left side of the alley, cornered on the balcony at the end, ran halfway down the one on the right, before bounding back into the air and executing a perfect barrel roll. She landed at full speed in front of Ollivander's, and raced back up the alley. As she approached the square she shouted to the boy, "We're going over the fountain, ok?" She felt him tighten his grip. Thirty feet from the fountain she left the ground. Lavender pushed off the head of the wizard at the top of the fountain, and came down fifty feet later at full gallop. She slowed as she reached the group at the archway, and stopped in front of the boy's father and Hermione.
The crowd erupted in cheers and applause.
Daily Prophet Aug 6 2007
A book signing commotion in Diagon Alley
Saturday the 4th saw the largest crowd for a book signing at Flourish and Blotts the manager can recall. "I never seen such a throng," said Fountinailia Draggle, manager of the book shop. "They started arriving at six in the A.M., a full two and a half hours before we open, and the queue was almost to the Leaky by nine." The Book in question is the latest offering from the prolific author, legal mind, and war hero, Hermione Granger Weasley. A departure from her normal fare, it's a children's book about her good friend, the werewolf Lavender Brown.
Illustrated by the rising artist, and war hero himself, Dean Thomas, "The Good Wolf" tells the story of a young girl who goes to Hogwarts during those terrible years of the second war. Ms. Brown was bitten by the werewolf Fenrir Greyback (killed in battle) during the Battle of Hogwarts. Although it was not a full moon, the werewolf had completely transformed, and therefore Ms. Brown became a werewolf herself. The book goes on to tell how, with the aid of her friends, Ms. Brown became the only werewolf to maintain her sentience after transformation, without suffering the debilitating effects of the wolfs bane potion.
Mrs. Draggle told us that the book sold sixteen hundred copies in two weeks, becoming Mrs. Weasley's fastest selling book. She restocked with the same amount for the signing. Mrs. Weasley has since revealed that her international publisher has received inquiries from as far off as Australia, China, and Brazil. Translated editions are in the works, and for collectors Mrs. Draggle says that Flourish and Blotts will attempt to stock copies in every published language.
To say that Mrs. Weasley knows how to make an entrance is a bit of an understatement. When she and Ms. Brown arrived at nine they were immediately mobbed. Ms. Brown, fully transformed to her wolf self, was gracious and gentle as a horde of children descended on her. One lucky boy, Jason Goodheart, age eight, of Brighton, was allowed a ride. "She's so strong and fast, better than my dad's broom," said the excited youngster.
Ms. Brown and Mrs. Weasley remained at the shop signing copies, posing for pictures, and receiving heartfelt thanks the remainder of the day.