Diclaimer : I don't own Harry Potter.
Not the Best Lesson I've had
I was having a really bad day. A really, really bad day.
First, clearly, I didn't want to get out of bed this morning, the next night was a full moon, and you know I tend to get a little cranky at this time of the month... Okay, maybe cranky can be considered the understatement of the year : I don't snap at everyone, for nothing, I don't become mean and say things I should never even dream to say to the people I love. But I just go silent and cold, don't peep a word, don't listen to what people are talking about, saying to me. Surely, not the best time of the month for me, who am actually a kind of nice and cheerful guy.
It got even worst when I got into the Great Hall for breakfast. The food at Hogwarts is amazing, really, but hey, did I mention that the full moon isn't the best time of the month for me ? The eggs were overcooked for me, the bread was clearly disappearing into crumbles in front of me, the bacon wasn't cooked enough, the toast were totally burnt (how could Victoire not see that ?!). And obviously, I couldn't help myself, I had to complain, really, it was a necessity for me. How would I survive the day (and the night ) if I didn't take out all my frustration and nerves on something as trivial and unharmful as food ? Better than just take it all out on the Slytherins, right ?
But what really was the lowest of my day, well until what is actually the point of MacGonagall's letter to you anyway, was Louis, who had to say that I clearly was in my time of the month, and if experiencing PMS was really that bad... I mean, really ? Isn't he supposed to be my cousin (or godcousin, as you want) and support me through the bad times ? So, I just snapped at him, what else could I do ? Now that I think about it, maybe he just said that to lighten the mood, that I had clearly darkened when I sat down at the Gryffindor table. But still, it wasn't the best way to do it. I really wonder how werewolf girls manage to handle two times of the month, by the way... But surely ignoring me would have been best, or telling me to just shut up already... Well, maybe not, I don't know, no one ever tried that...
Anyway, after telling him to shut up and preferably asked that question to his father, I just stood up, looked at everyone around me, my cousins looking down at their plates and the others looking baffled by my attitude ( hey did you really think I was that bad ? I don't generally wander around the castle to just traumatize the first (un)lucky student that would get in my way. And if I do because it can happen, if I don't refrain myself from doing so, I usually don't attack the fisrt person I see, because I just feel like it ).
Potions class was like hell that day, at least the nearest thing to hell I've ever experienced. Slughorn really should have gone back to retirement after the war... I hate how he looks at me, probably thinking that I hate him because I must certainly know that he's the one who put Voldemort on track for the Horcruxes (because of course you told me everything about the part he played in the war and especially Voldemort's rising, right). And by domino effect, is responsible my parent's death who died trying to help defeat Voldemort and his Death Eaters. I don't believe it's Slughorn's fault. I don't think is responsible. Voldemort and his bloody death eaters are. My great aunt Bellatrix is. But Slughorn is not. Sure hadn't he said to Voldemort almost all he needed to hear, the second war may have never happen, and my parents wouldn't have died in the Final Battle... But that doesn't mean, that the first war would have ended in a good way, or that my father wouldn't have died during it, or maybe it would have meant that my parents would have never met, or... Or a lot of things that would have made that I wouldn't have been born, so...
I'm pretty good at potions, my grades are around Exceed expectations and Outstanding. But that day I just wanted to get the day over with, so I just did the potion that was expected from us without really thinking. I was glad that it actually turned out pretty good, considering that I had messed up
cutting up my daisy roots and the way I skinned my Shrivelfig wasn't the best I could. But Slughorn wouldn't actually give me a bad mark at this time of the month, he felt too guilty over my parent's fate for that (and probably was he also trying to make up for all the times he gave dad bad marks right after the full moon)... When I handed him a vial of my production, he smiled at me, a « sad, knowing smile », just as I hate them. Alright, I was an orphan from the war, great, so what ? I mean, I can't have my life just going as if it was the only thing that mattered ! I respected my parents' sacrifice more than that...
The next class was Transfiguration, and I know what you think, MacGonagall wouldn't be as cheesy as Slughorn, right ? Then... You would be awfully wrong ! Okay, it wasn't funny... Of course it wasn't Professor MacGonagall who was teaching us, she was now the Headmistress.
Well I may have been joking about Professor MacGonagall, but it doesn't mean that I was joking about the fact that the Transfiguration teacher was like Slughorn. Her name was Miss Brown, yeah, Uncle Ron's ex-girlfriend... Yep, I also wonder how he actually went out with her, when you compare her to Aunt Hermione. I mean, they're nothing alike... I really wonder how Miss Brown actually became a teacher and why she hasn't herself a husband to get married and have a bunch of kids already. Anyway, she always wants me to show my abilities in class, and Merlin knows I hate that... Yes I am a Metarmophmagus. So ? It doesn't mean I am Superman, or Albus Dumbledore. Changing my hair color isn't gonna make the world a totally safe and joyful place...
Today's lesson was actually about Animagi... I smiled at the thought of my father and his friends, who became Animagi for him when they were barely older than I am. Of course, even if the Order of the Phoenix knew about that, it didn't come out... So fortunately, they didn't talk about them. I really hate when we have classes that involve the war, like in History of Magic, and that everyone just look at me because I'm the only one in the class who has lost his parents because of it, or that involve names that are associated with me or you... Being stared at isn't really the funniest thing ever, I can tell you that, even if you actually already know all about it right ?! I know what you're gonna say : I wear my hair funny and flashy colours, maybe I actually crave for all the attention I never got from my dead parents... Well I don't want it for being an orphan, your godson or any other reason related to the war, or my relatives. My hair colour is actually probably a way to just attract the attention for another reason than who I am. They say : « hey it's teddy lupin, the metamorphmagus with turquoise hair ! », not « it's teddy lupin the war orphan raised by the Savior ! »
So the lesson about animagi turned out to be cool, because even if Professor MacGonagall doesn't teach anymore, she still came to class for a demonstration ! I got to tell that even in her cat form she still looks severe as if she is gonna give you detention for the first step out of the way you take. But she's great, I really like her because she's always trying to be fair.
When the class ended who were still excited over her turning into a cat. And we just kept talking about what our animagus form would be all through the way to the next class. Not that we think about becoming animagus, don't worry, I will never do that just because I think it's kinda great...
We entered the DADA class still happy and laughing after Brian told me that his brother's animagus form would most certainly be a snail, because he is always so slow ! We sat at our usual place, second raw on the left, next to the windows. We waited about five minutes before the teacher came into class, because we were early, Miss Brown letting us leave her class before the end of the period. When Professor Knight came in, he was smiling and looked as cheerful as ever. Once again, I wondered what my dad looked like when he entenred the same classroom at the beginning of a period, how he felt. Professor Knight sat down at his desk and asked us to get our books out. There was a murmur around the classroom, we were disappointed that we wouldn't practice any skills today. When he looked up to see if everyone had their books out on their desks, he told us to go to page 257. You probably don't know what the lesson in page 257 of the sixth year DADA book is about, even if I supposed that you guessed by now. Werewolves. We were about to study werewolves... I had barely glanced at the pages that I knew I wasn't gonna like what would be said. I mean, the first page was fine, but did you know that this chapter had been modified after yours, that they had added some elements to it, that it's the reason why werewolves are studied only in sixth year now ? Believe me, if you ever get a hold on one of these books, you wouldn't like it either ! Professor Knight started his class.
"So as you can see today's lesson is about werewolves. First can anyone tell me anything they happened to know about them ?" He asked the class, looking around.
I looked down at my hands, I didn't know if he knew about dad, and I didn't wanna found out. I just wanted to get it over with, to make time go faster, or to have been lucky to bring a tricking sweet from Uncle George's shop, so I could've gone to the hospital wing instead of bearing this lesson...
"They're very dangerous creatures." said matter-of-factly a Ravenclaw girl, Lana, shy and usually nice girl. Today I just wanted to glare at her until she would evaporate.
"That's right, Miss Chang !" replied the teacher. "Indeed they are. They transform at full moon into their werewolf form and are irresistibly attracted to humans, having a great desire to tear human flesh with their long fangs." he said as if narrating a horror-movie. I looked up at his tone and glanced at him, to see that he wasn't just fooling around and actually believed what he said.
"All werewolves aren't like that." I said defensively, speaking without thinking to. Knight turned toward me.
"You think so ? Well, let me tell you that all werewolves are like that, it's in their nature to want human flesh and hurt innocent and poor human being !" he almost cried at me, laughing a little at what he probably thought was my naivety. I could have just agreed and stayed still and quiet until the end of the class but... Really, was I really about to let that stupid teacher who just wanted to get admiration from his students to denigrate my father and in a way my mother like that ? To denigrate me ?
"Werewolves are werewolves one night per month only, the rest of the time, they are normal people ! Normal human beings ! Well, maybe they have a thing for rare meat, so ?" I said calmly staring at him straight in the eyes. " What they do and happens during full moon ? They can choose : they can just be the monster you described earlier or they can do everything to be as harmless as possible. There is the wolfsbane, they can keep their human mind with it. And there is a potions master who is actually working on a new potion that might help them keep their human form as well.
"The thing is they have the choice, and whether or not they decide to make themselves as harmless as possible is the line between an unlucky guy to whom something bad happened to and a monster."
"I'm sorry" said Knight, not sounding sorry at all. "But werewolves are all monsters, they are dangerous and they all want to kill or turn into one of them any human being, magical or not. You have to understand this."
I snorted. What an idiot he is to say things like that and actually believing them ! I mean I'm aware of what happened during the war and all, Greyback and his pack working with Voldemort, but... And the worst was that he didn't even seem to understand where everthing I was saying was coming from. He's a teacher, he's supposed to know what he's talking about and if he really had prepared his lesson, he should have known about my dad ! Or maybe he was just too stupid to realise the connection between Remus Lupin and I, I don't know...
"I'm sorry, sir" I echoed his words and sarcasm hinted in my voice. "But I don't think what you're saying is true." I said maybe a little defiantly.
"Why's that ?" he said his chin sticking out, trying to look so superior to me with all his knowledge.
"Because" I said staring right at him, my eyes never leaving his. "If all werewolves were monsters, then I would have never been born, sir_"
"What ?" he said his eyes widening and his face flushing so much he looked a lot like Uncle Ron does when he gets reprimanded by Aunt Hermione and Aunt Ginny.
"My parents would never have gotten married" I continued, not aknowledging his interruption. "My mother would have been killed earlier than she was, if any werewolf was a monster."
By then, Professor Knight looked like he might've exploded. He looked as much confused as fuming. He was clearly furious at me, and maybe I should've stopped then for my sake, but I couldn't, and I know you know what it is, I think you can understand how I felt. I remember Uncle Ron telling me how you blew up your aunt because you got really mad at her. I think it's what happened to me and professor Knight, though I didn't blew him like a balloon. Anyway, I just kept listing a lot of things that would have never happened, had my dad been a monster.
"My god father wouldn't be Harry Potter. The Wealsey family wouldn't consider me on of them, if all werewolves were monsters."
"What are you on about, Mister Lupin ?!" he almost yelled.
"Exactly Professor ! Mister Lupin, doesn't the name ring a bell to you, considering the lesson ?" I asked glaring at him. I was really mad at the guy. He was talking bullsh so many idiocies about my dad that I just couldn't care less about anything else.
He just stared at me blankly, confirming what I thought : the guy's an idiot who can't be saved from his stupidity.
"That's what I thought ! Then let me finish and you'll understand what this is all about, sir. If all werewolves were monsters, my father wouldn't have been fighting a war to defend a society that rejected him all his life again. Or more like not at all. If he were a monster as you seem to be so sure of, he wouldn't have died with my mother fighting against Voldemort and his Death Eaters and all of those who associated with him. If he were a monster, if Remus Lupin was a monster, I wouldn't be an orphan." I ended in almost a whisper, my throat hoarse.
The class was silent, no one was saying anything, or moving. I even wondered if they had all stopped breathing. The teacher was still staring at me, not knowing what to say, awkwardness clear in his eyes and posture. I don't know how long we stayed like that, but it seemed like only a few seconds as much as eternity. Then idiot Knight seemed to shook himself into movement again.
"Mister Lupin, I think you should get your stuff and go to the Headmistress office. You'll wait until the end of the hour and the start of the break for me to get there and we'll talk about what just happened here with Professor McGonagall." he finally said, trying to sound stern and severe but his voice broke in the middle of the sentence.
I stared at him, not moving, all the other students staring at me, waiting for me to do something. But I just stayed there not moving, just staring at the guy.
"Mister Lupin." he said raising his voice, probably losing patience.
I just grabbed my book, my bag and all and stormed out of the room. What happened after you already know, I'm sure. He complained to professor McGonagall that I perturbed his class and that I disrespected him, that I was being insolent and should get punishment for all that? And that my guadian should be informed of the incident. I know he's the one who wrote the letter you received and though McGonagall told me she would explain things more objectively to you, I wanted you to hear my side of the story. I just hope you're not disappointed by me, Uncle Harry, that was never my intention. I just couldn't bear to let him say all those horrible things about my father, and let that idiot call him a monster. If there's a monster in this story, that's him, Knight, for all those ideas about good and right, thinking he knows better than anyone and being a part of everything that makes people like my dad, the ones who don't wanna hurt anyone, just have a life as normal as possible, outcast.
Hope everything's fine for you
AN : What do you think ? I started to write that a long time ago and totally forgot about it, but decided to finish it when I realised what it was... Well, anyway, please, review ?