Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.
Before we begin, I would just like to say (as my story will reference this) that during The Prisoner of Azkaban Esmeralda was guarding the school in her animagus form. She was talented with a patronus, and as an animal did not get attacked by Dementors, so if, for instance, she saw any kids stray too near Dementors, she could save them. Though sometimes she appeared as a human and spoke to the Professors. Just imagine her animagus form sitting at the end of the Professors' table eating out of a bowl? How random!
The small strip of dead grass behind Sirius' house was pitiful. But even so, Fred and George would go out there to be separated from all of the crazy people indoors. They sat together, discussing plans for their new pranks this year. They had to be good – it was their last year, after all. All of a sudden, there was a loud crack and a huge white wolf appeared. Fred and George leaped to their feet. This wolf was bloody and limping slightly, holding its right-front paw just about the ground. Its bright blue eyes were slightly glazed.
Fred looked at his twin uneasily, "George?"
"That – that wolf – it just Apparated!"
"So you noticed that too, eh Fred?"
"And… no one can come here unless they were told of the location by Dumbledore himself?"
"Yes Fred, that is what I've heard."
"So that means Dumbledore told…"
"So it must be…"
"Is it time for some fun George?"
"I've always wanted a dog."
The slowly approached the giant wolf, whose head reached their chests, while it licked some blood from below its neck. The wolf paused and looked up at the boys, and licked their hands. Relief shone in the wolf's eyes when they smiled and grabbed a stick.
For a few minutes, the Weasley twins played 'fetch' with their new friend. Then they heard a scream – their mother's scream – and saw a flash of red light.
They wolf yelped and ducked behind the twins, who had edged towards it with their arms outstretched like guards.
"Boys this is no time to joke! That – that beast is dangerous! Look at it! Probably rabid. Look at the wounds – must've gotten into a lot of fights! Move!"
At the sound of her yelling, all of the children (Ron, Harry, Hermione, Ginny) came out of the house to see what was going on – all of the adults were at work, excepting Remus Lupin and Sirius, who were discussing further motives while feeding Buckbeak.
"Please Mum, can't we keep it?" Fred pleaded.
"Certainly not Fred!"
"But it must be okay, tame, if it Apparated here?"
"Don't be silly now George, perhaps animals don't follow these spells. They were meant for Muggles and Wizards!"
"If it's so dangerous why hasn't it bitten our hands off yet?"
At the commotion Remus came outside, and when his eyes fell on the wolf, he whispered, "Bloody hell! It can't be!"
The twins dived as Mrs. Weasley shot more jinxes and curses at the wolf, which nimbly dodged each, until it stumbled on its hurt leg. As another bolt of light shot at it, Remus jumped in front of the wolf and shot the counter curse back, then kneeled by the wolf.
"Now really Remus!" Mrs. Weasley shouted indignantly, "We all know your partial to wolves, but really… step aside! I will not having this – this beast hurting any of the children!"
"Mum, we're not children!" the four Weasley kids whined. Harry and Hermione had no comment, too focused on the wolf, which was currently licking Remus' face in obvious gratitude.
"Molly please," said Remus gently, looking strained, "you've no idea. You mustn't hurt her! If you do there will be consequences."
"Remus after all these years… you've lost your mind."
"No, Molly, I assure you, I've not. If you could just get Sirius–"
"STUPEFY!" A bright red jet of light hit the wolf squarely in the chest.
Sirius, in the doorway, had just come out as Molly stunned the wolf, which had gone completely limp on the ground, hardly breathing, eyelids fluttering.
He looked furious, "MOLLY! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER?"
Molly, exasperated said, "And why are you and Remus so sure it's a 'her'?"
"I dunno mum, why don't you check?"
"Honestly George, you just had to say that?"
"Sorry mum, reflex."
"Because, Molly," Sirius said in the deadly quiet voice he used when truly angry, "that is not a wolf."
"What are you talking about Sirius? Honestly, you've been locked up too long…"
"No, Molly, Sirius spoke the truth. This isn't a wolf." Remus looked down at the prone figure, and pointed the wand over her heart, "Ennervate"
The wolf stirred, though weakly, and nuzzled Remus' hand. Sirius hurried over to the wolf's side.
"Oh, Remus! What trouble has she gotten into? I – I'm sorry to see her like this."
Mrs. Weasley, angry now, puffed "Will one of you explain this?"
Remus nodded carelessly, "Do you feel like you could–"
The wolf nuzzled him again, and slowly grew. Something fell heavily to the ground, and everyone noticed for the first time that a small bag was tied to the wolf's tail.
In the place of the wolf, a beautiful lady now stood. She looked like she was in her late twenties, though truthfully she was only a couple years younger than Remus and Sirius (putting her at 33). She had fluffy, light-as-air gold hair, and the same bright blue eyes as the wolf had. She was slightly pale, like Remus, and wearing deep blue robes, which were frayed and had claw marks torn through them. Blood seeped from her arms, and from the area right under her neck, and from some deep scratches on her legs, and other marks.
She looked exhausted, and weakened from the stunning spell. Remus and Sirius both gently gripped one of her arms, pulling her up. Fred stooped over, and gave her the small bag. She took it, hands shaking slightly, and smiled at him. This showed her sharper-than-average teeth. Fred also shied away from her hands, as her nails were an inch long and sharp, pointed to a tip.
"'Ello Remus, Sirius. Harry." Harry blushed when she spoke his name in her soft, angelic voice, "Molly, why'd you try to kill me?"
Mrs. Weasley looked as though she'd been the one who was stupefied, "You – you can't be! Rumored – rumored that… No! You just can't be here!"
The lady smiled faintly, showing off her fangs again. She brushed some hair out of her face, showing some slightly pointed ear tips. The kids were starting to connect her to somebody… "Well I am here Molly. I've heard of you from dear Remus here. And Harry, dear, so good to see you. And… Ron? Hermione? Fred and George? Ginny?" she guessed.
She stepped forward gently, and extended a hand to Harry. With her arm stretched, he could see where the flesh was torn a bit about her elbow, explaining why the wolf limped.
Harry, looking slightly afraid, said "Who are you, and how do you know us?"
She laughed – a rather pretty sound – and said gently, squeezing Harry's shoulders with a wince of her own, "Oh Harry, you look just like James… but you have Lily's eyes…"
"Did you know my parents?"
"Why yes Harry, haven't Sirius and Remus told you the stories? I'm Esmeralda Lupin."
"Oh," Ron said, connecting the obvious, somewhat, "are you Lupin's wife? That'd explain the… the…"
"The wolfish features Ron?" Esmeralda said, "No. Anyone else piece it together? Hermione?"
Everyone jumped, for Hermione, standing behind Esmeralda, had gotten a look of dawning on her face, but Esmeralda couldn't have known that... could she have?
Hermione nodded timidly, "Esmeralda Lupin… I've heard that before. In… our third year! Yes! First, early on, Professor McGonagall had told me, after taking a test, 'Well done, Miss Granger, you remind me of the best student Hogwarts ever had… Esmeralda Lupin.' I then looked up the name – your name – and found you had made a discovery relating to the wolfsbane potion, adding honey to make the drinkers sweeter and gentler as a wolf, and to help it taste better. You had also managed to start Hogwarts when you were only nine. And I couldn't help but think if you were related to Lupin… Harry, we've finally solved the mystery of the lady in your photos!"
"Oh – what? Oh yeah… That lady who showed up on my first Christmas picture… Hogwarts Graduation… mum and dad's wedding… You were Maid of Honor!"
"I know Harry," Hermione said excitedly, "and she was so much more! I've heard stories… and she was the wolf guarding Hogwarts from Dementors that year! She was the lady Lupin was talking to in his Office all the time!"
Esmeralda smiled slightly, "Indeed I was Hermione. Of course, Dumbledore didn't want me showing who I really was in front of the students… they'd get curious, wonder if I'm a registered animagus… which I'm not. Actually, I was the one who inspired James, Sirius, and… him… to become animagi. I was also the one who did all the research for the Marauders Map – though I chose not to be a marauder myself. I do have some interesting stories of myself… but those are for another time, as you can see, I'm exhausted and rather beaten down. It's dangerous to attempt my new job under the full moon… highly dangerous. I don't recommend it at all."
Remus walked back up beside her, "Esmeralda we'll have time for stories later, let's get you some rest and care."
He steadied her and they walked inside. Sirius followed, a dazed look upon his face.
Mrs. Weasley stared at the children, "Well? Nothing to see here! Get back inside!"
"But mum," Ron started weakly, "It isn't every day that a pretty woman-animagus that just happens to be related to our werewolf-professor from our third year just shows up! That was definitely something to see."