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The Wolf Doesn't Lose Sleep Over the Bleating of Sheep

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Mon 26 Jun 1994
Waning Gibbous Moon
Hogwarts, Summer Break

Remus Lupin was packing up his office when Harry Potter appeared in his door. 

"Harry!" he said brightly. But Harry was clearly not happy to see him. If he had to guess Harry's mood, he would say 'quietly furious'. 

"Mr Lupin," Harry said. 

"So you know I've resigned."

Harry shrugged. "It makes sense. You were out on the grounds, weren't you? That's pretty unsafe behaviour."

Remus winced. It was true, and it could have been so much worse. "Yes. It was. Why are you here, Harry?"

"Two things. First, I'd like my father's map back, now that you're no longer my teacher." He didn't ask, simply demanded, as if he was the ranking person here. Remus handed it over without a word. "Second, I need you to take a walk with me."

"Need?"

"Hermione has something to say to you."

Remus realised he was getting nothing more than that. So he simply said, "Lead the way."

As Harry led him through the Castle, Remus tried to chat, "You seem to be recovering well from the Romping Rubella and the thestral wounds, to be out of bed." 

"I suppose," Harry said. 

Then after a moment, "This isn't the way to the Isolation Ward. Where is Hermione?"

Harry went straight through the Entrance Hall and out the front doors without answering. Clearly Hermione was on the grounds.

They walked without speaking, through the grounds, down the hill, and around the lake-shore to the noisy stream. Hermione was sitting on a boulder with her wounded foot propped up on a transfigured cushion. Her crutches were on the ground nearby. Both children had been savaged by thestrals the other night while trying to escape him, and those wounds were slow to heal.

Harry sat down next to Hermione, and Remus transfigured a bench and sat as well. Harry started.

"Do you remember the failed ritual we did yesterday with Dumbledore?" Harry said.

"Professor Dumbledore, Harry," Remus said automatically.

"It didn't fail. It was a Fidelius, and Hermione is the Secret Keeper," Harry said.

Remus's eyes opened wide. "You lied to Professor Dumbledore?"

"It's our Secret, and we don't want him to know," Hermione spat. "We wouldn't tell you either, but we need at least one adult."

Remus shook his head. "I don't know what you two are up to, but I'm not participating in a conspiracy against Albus Dumbledore."

Harry stood up and grabbed Remus by the front of his shirt, with surprising strength, and pulled him down to his knees in front of Hermione. He was so shocked by the sudden move (and still in pain from his transformation a couple of days ago) that he found her gripping him by the chin and the back of the neck, and pulling him close enough to whisper in his ear before he could resist. The words shook the foundations of his world.

 

"No..." he gasped. His memories from the last few days came into startling clarity, as Moony laughed and laughed in his head.


Thur 23 Jun 1994
Full Moon
Hogwarts, Last Week of Term

"Listen to me, Harry. It is too late, you understand me? You must see that Professor Snape's version of events is far more convincing than yours."

" He hates Sirius," Hermione said desperately. "All because of some "stupid trick Sirius played on him —"

" Sirius has not acted like an innocent man. The attack on the Fat Lady — entering Gryffindor Tower with a knife — without Pettigrew, alive or dead, we have no chance of overturning Sirius's sentence."

" But you believe us."

" Yes, I do," said Dumbledore quietly. "But I have no power to make other men see the truth, or to overrule the Minister of Magic. …"

Harry stared up into the grave face and felt as though the ground beneath him were falling sharply away. He had grown used to the idea that Dumbledore could solve anything. He had expected Dumbledore to pull some amazing solution out of the air. But no … their last hope was gone.

" What we need," said Dumbledore slowly, and his light blue eyes moved from Harry to Hermione, "is more time."

" But —" Hermione began. And then her eyes became very round. "OH!"

" Now, pay attention," said Dumbledore, speaking very low, and very clearly. "Sirius is locked in Professor Flitwick's office on the seventh floor. Thirteenth window from the right of the West Tower. If all goes well, you will be able to save more than one innocent life tonight. But remember this, both of you: you must not be seen. Miss Granger, you know the law — you know what is at stake. … You — must — not — be — seen."

Harry didn't have a clue what was going on. Dumbledore had turned on his heel and looked back as he reached the door. "I am going to lock you in. It is —" he consulted his watch, "five minutes to midnight. Miss Granger, three turns should do it. Good luck."

(Excerpt From Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban)

Dumbledore left the Hospital Wing, half expecting to see Harry and Miss Granger running up to him as they caught up with themselves in the timestream. When he didn’t, he was slightly concerned, but not very much. Harry Potter had proven himself very resourceful in the past three years, and with Miss Granger by his side, he was sure to succeed. 

He made his way through the castle, to the room where Sirius Black was no doubt no longer being held. 

That’s where his plans came to a stuttering halt. Because when he opened the door with a flourish, Sirius Black was still there, just as before. There was no sign that two time-displaced teenagers had ever been.

“Of course you will not be taking him with you,” Dumbledore stated. He was thinking fast, but it would be necessary to go back to his first plan, the one that he had rejected in favour of allowing Harry and Miss Granger to save Black. It would provide more live training for the two teens as well as saving the political capital he’d have to expend on saving Black through the legal process. 

“What?!” Snape demanded. “He’s a murderer! He should be taken to the Dementors at once!”

“In my capacity as Chief Warlock, I am rescinding the Kiss-On-Sight Order until a proper trial is held.”

“Dumbledore!” Fudge exclaimed. “You can’t possibly believe that Black was condemned to Azkaban without a trial! The very notion!”

“If you have the trial transcripts available…”

“I don’t keep them on my person!”

Black spoke up for the first time, with a snort. “There was never a trial, Cornelius. Crouch threw quite a few of us into Azkaban and forgot about us.”

Snape slashed his wand through the air, causing the door to slam shut again, leaving Black alone in his makeshift prison. “Albus, you can’t possibly mean to help that criminal!”

“If a fair trial shows that he is indeed guilty, then I will not interfere further.”

“It’s a bloody waste of time!” Snape snarled. But he stormed off, in a swirl of robes, and eventually, Fudge was talked around as well.

The minutiae of how to get Black safely into a Ministry cell without him being Kissed by a Dementor or Cursed by an Auror took up the rest of the night, and Dumbledore had completely forgotten about the two wayward teenagers that he had sent out onto the Dementor strewn grounds, on the night of a full moon.

Until a Patronus arrived the next morning: Albus, I’m in the Forest with two wounded. Please help and be discreet.

A sick sense of dread filled Dumbledore. He’d forgotten the children.

He’d forgotten the children.


Fri 24 Jun 1994
Waning Gibbous Moon
Hogwarts, Last Day of Term

Remus knew something was wrong as his transformation returned him to human. He was outdoors. Wrong. His mind was fuzzy, not clear as it had been during his transformations all year. Wrong. 

Moony was happy. More than happy. Overjoyed.

Wrong wrong wrong wrong.

Whenever the full moon set, Moony was sulky and displeased. Remus knew from talking to other werewolves that if he accepted the Wolf instead of fighting it, the Wolf wouldn’t resent letting him transform back to human. But last night, something had happened that made his Wolf feel elated.

Then he heard whimpering sounds, and his worst fear came crashing down on him. He’d attacked someone.

Pack build pack have cubswas the happy refrain he could now pick out coming from Moony.

He opened his eyes and looked around. He could see torn robes.

No no no...

“Professor?” a voice called said weakly. “Is it you? Are you safe?” It was Harry Potter. He was in a tree.

“I’m rational,” Remus said bitterly. “Whether I’m safe… I bit you?”

“Me and Hermione both," Harry said.

Fuck fuck fuck, I bit two students. I bit the son of my best friends and my favourite student.

Moony said sleepily: Yes, strong pack. Good.

Fuck you, Moony! Remus said, and with an effort, he shoved the Wolf back into the cage it lived in most of the month.

“Harry, may I borrow your wand to summon help?” Remus asked.

A voice came from the tree. “Not yet Harry. Professor, tell me what spell you will be casting,” Hermione said icily.

“The Patronus. It can be used as a messenger,” Remus said.

“You’ll cast one spell, then you’ll return Harry’s wand to him,” Hermione said.

Remus didn’t even try to negotiate for the right to transfigure clothing. They had every reason to mistrust him. “Agreed.”

Harry tossed his wand over, and Remus sent the Patronus, then Hermione immediately summoned the wand off of him.

“Do you know… can you tell me… what happened to everyone else? Did I bite anyone else?” Did anyone die?

Harry wasn’t inclined to talk, but Hermione did. “Ron and Professor Snape made it back to the castle. Pettigrew escaped. Sirius Black… we were trying to rescue him. We had a plan to fly a hippogriff…” 

“He’s Kissed by now,” Harry said in a dead voice. “We failed.”


Fri 24 Jun 1994
Waning Gibbous Moon
Hogwarts, Last Day of Term

Fawkes flamed Albus and Poppy into the Forbidden Forest to find Harry and Hermione in a tree, both of them holding wands on a naked, human, and unarmed Remus. 

“There is no need to hold him at wand-point. Professor Lupin will not harm you,” Dumbledore said.

“I’m no longer their Professor,” Remus said. “Albus, I know I deserve to be locked up for this. Just… let me get away from Hogwarts. I’ll do something else to get arrested - Merlin knows there are enough Werewolf laws that I can find something - so their names will stay out of it. You can send Severus with me if you don’t trust me.”

“My dear boy, there’s no need for that,” Albus said.

Poppy tried to ignore the by-play between the two men. Lupin had been her patient for decades, but these two children were the priority. She levitated the teenagers out of the tree. Both had torn robes. Harry had a bite on his left arm. Hermione’s bite was on her right foot. Both were crudely bandaged with torn fabric.

“Werewolf bites?” she asked quietly.

“Yes,” Harry said. “I almost got Hermione into the tree in time. He bit her foot as I was pushing her up. He’d already gotten me by then.”

“Then Lupin calmed down completely and just guarded the tree. He wouldn’t let either of us down, but he didn’t try to get to us. He wasn’t trying to eat us, just one bite each,” Hermione said. “All the wolf cared about was making sure we would be turned.”

The two were clinging together so tightly that Poppy conjured a single stretcher for them. “Albus, isolation tower 4? If you can prevail upon Fawkes, then we can keep their condition quiet.” 

Fawkes flew to her arm and in another burst, Madam Pomfrey, Harry and Hermione were apparated with the phoenix into a hospital room that she rarely used.

“This is the Isolation Tower, that we use for contagious illnesses or any sort of disease where separation from the student body is advised,” Madam Pomfrey said. She finally coaxed them apart enough to put them on separate beds, and took charge, treating their bites first, and then for exposure, and all the scratches and bruises they received while running through the woods.

“Oh… oh no… I can’t go home!” Hermione realised. “I can’t… my parents are muggles! Harry can’t either!” Then suddenly, frightened, “Am I going to be allowed to come back to school next year?!”

“Miss Granger - I daresay the Headmaster will work something out. But you should know that in the worst case, Beauxbatons and Durmstrang are both more accepting of students with creature blood, including werewolves.”

Hermione reached across the gap between beds and took Harry’s hand. “The Headmaster would never allow Harry to go anywhere but Hogwarts.”

Harry stared into her eyes with steel in his expression. “Let him try and stop me.”