Content Harry Potter Miscellaneous
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Chapter 4: Tamer

Dear Aletha,

I know we haven’t corresponded in a while, and to be honest I don’t really know what to say to you. The last time we saw each other, the world was a very different place for both of us. But I’d like to see you, to tell you a few things that I think may be important. I’m a bit ill right now, so I’ll be stuck at home for a day or so, but any time after that I’m free. I’d appreciate an answer, even if it’s "no".


Remus Lupin

Remus laid down his quill and considered the letter. I think it’ll do.

It had better. It’s my 14th draft.

He waved the letter in the air for a moment to dry the ink, folded it, and addressed it: Ms. Aletha Freeman. Then he went over to his fireplace. A quick "Incendio!" and a handful of Floo powder later, he knelt down on the blanket he’d folded on the bricks. "London post office," he said clearly, and put his head in the fire.

When the spinning subsided, he was looking at the interior of the Diagon Alley Post Office. One of the clerks, a small blonde witch, noticed him and hurried over. "Good morning, sir, what can I do for you today?"

"I have a letter I’d like to post," Remus said. "How much to rent an owl for one delivery?"

"Is this a local or an international delivery?"

"Local, definitely local." At least I hope so. Last I heard, she was living in London.

"That’s fourteen Knuts, sir. Shall I charge your vault, or would you like to pay up front?"

"I’ll pay now, thanks." Remus felt around in his pocket until he found a Sickle and tossed it into the fire. He counted silently. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three...

The Sickle clattered onto the floor of the post office. "I’ll get right on that, sir," the clerk said, scooping it up. "Can I get your name and address, please?"

"Remus Lupin, number 17 Oxman Road, Cold Crossing, Surrey." Fifteen minutes from Little Whinging. That’s all. Six months I was worried about Harry, and all that time he was just fifteen minutes away from me... no wonder Dumbledore would never tell me where he was.

The clerk recorded the information at her desk and returned to the fireplace with a handful of Knuts. "Your owl will be arriving in approximately half an hour, Mr. Lupin." She poured the coins into a funnel hanging by the side of the fire; they streamed through the connection and landed by Remus’ side without hitting him in the face, for which he was decidedly grateful. "Thank you for using the Diagon Alley Post Office, and have a nice day."

"Thank you, ma’am." Remus pulled his head out of the fire, coughed once or twice, and scooped up the Knuts which littered his hearth.

Half an hour. Time enough for lunch.

As he fixed himself a sandwich, Remus’ thoughts kept returning to Harry, and to the Grangers. He and Neenie seem to like each other, as much as two toddlers ever like anything. And he’s obviously bonded strongly with Danger. She’s probably like a mother to him, which is good — he needs one.

But he needs a father, too. So does Neenie. And they don’t have anyone...

He halted that train of thought before it started pulling into improper stations.

I have absolutely no right to be thinking anything of the sort. I only met these people yesterday, no matter how charming or nice they are. No matter that the little girl, admittedly shy, likes me enough to fall asleep in my arms, and that I’m hopelessly attracted to her sister...

Well, I’ve admitted it. Might as well say it aloud, then...

Remus put down his sandwich and sighed. "All right. I am very much attracted to Danger."

Then he had to laugh at the other possible meanings of that statement.

So yes. I’m attracted to her. But it would never work. I’m a werewolf. Once a month I go into a killing frenzy where I want nothing more than to hurt human beings. What sane person would even think of putting a child, never mind two children, in a house with me?

Of course, what sane person would think of leaving a child in a house where he’s locked in a cupboard by his supposed guardians?

I guess it all just goes to show one thing.

I’m not entirely sane.

But Sirius and James told me that for years...

A rapping on the window broke into his thoughts. Oh, the owl’s here. Good.

He opened the window, and the owl flapped into the room, perching on the back of one of his kitchen chairs. Quickly, he opened his letter and added a PS:

It’s about Harry. R.L.

"That should get her attention," he muttered to himself as he blew on the ink to dry it. Aletha had been one of the Potters’ most frequent visitors, coming to talk with Lily and play with Harry at least once a week. A strong and practical woman, the first female Beater at Hogwarts in 10 years, she would have loved to have children of her own, but Sirius had always been too interested in making trouble, at first for his superiors and then, as the war worsened, for Voldemort...

He was planning to ask her to marry him soon, I think. Sometime in November, and have a Christmas wedding...

God, this whole mess just keeps getting worse, the more I look at it. Lives ruined everywhere I turn. Lily and James, Sirius, Aletha, Harry, me... even Danger and Neenie had their lives shattered by Death Eaters.

He attached the letter to the owl’s leg with a spare piece of string, and it took off.

But the hallmark of humanity is the ability to start over. What if we, all the survivors, could start over together? Make a home somewhere and rebuild our lives, helping one another?

Impossible, said his cynical side. You’re dreaming.

But the idea had taken hold of his mind, and it refused to let go. It might be worth a shot. Maybe. Possibly.

It’s a dream, all right, but doesn’t everything start with a dream?


Danger dreamed.

She was driving along roads she had never seen in waking life, driving as if she took this path every day, or every night, since it was nighttime. Neenie slept in her car seat in the back seat of the truck. They had to hurry, hurry, there wasn’t much time...

A right, a quick left, and she was there. She parked the truck, noting the time before she turned it off — 10:13. Up the front steps of one of the houses she ran; the door opened to her hand, and she stepped inside and closed it behind her.

She had only a moment to look around before she heard a loud thumping, crashing noise, as if something was being thrown at a wall over and over again. And the wall was starting to buckle from the strain...

No, I’m wrong. Not a wall, a door.

That door.

The door in question looked as if it should lead only to a closet, but there was obviously something in there. Something that wanted out.

And something that was about to get out. The door was cracking.

Three more hits ought to do it, Danger estimated, stepping off to one side.

Two more.



The door flew into splinters, and a long, gray, shaggy form erupted from the closet, landed on the floor of the hallway, and howled in triumph.

A wolf.

No, a werewolf.

Remus. It has to be.

The werewolf noticed Danger and snarled.

Danger noted from a distance that she really should be scared, but somehow she couldn’t find the energy for fear. Her entire being was fixated on what she had to do —

The werewolf charged her, leaping up to bite her, and she dropped quickly to the floor. Its jump carried it over her head, and she reached up and caught hold of one of its paws. Something like an electric shock passed through her, and —

She was sitting up in bed, gasping.

Quickly, she flipped the light on and looked at her clock. 9:49.

I have to go. Now.

She dressed faster than she had ever done, snatched Neenie and practically ran down the stairs, was unlocking her truck before her nearly hysterical mind caught up. What am I doing? Werewolves hate people, they try to kill them! There’s no way I should be doing this!

As of two days ago, you didn’t even know werewolves really existed, she told her doubting side, buckling Neenie into her car seat. So shut up.

The doubts grumbled but subsided.

Danger had no idea where Remus Lupin lived, except that it was in the general area nearby, but just as in her dream, the roads unfolded before her as if she had known the way from childhood. "Turn right here" or "sharp left coming up" floated into her mind precisely when they were needed. It was an eerie feeling.

I wonder if this is my magic, and I can find the way to anywhere I really need to go? That seems like not very much for magic to do, but maybe that’s the way it is if you come to it late...

She parked the truck in front of the house she had seen just as the last little number on the dashboard clock turned from 2 to 3 and ran up the front steps, wondering idly if the door would open for her, and feeling no surprise when it did. She pulled it shut behind herself and locked it, taking a look around.

The house was small and a bit shabby, obviously lived-in. Motion on the mantelpiece caught her eye — a black-haired baby crawled into view within the frame of a photograph and rolled over, displaying a big smile on a very familiar face.

Harry. And a magic photo of him, no less. This has to be the right house.

On cue, the thumping from the closet began.

Danger discovered that when it was for real, she felt fear. Fear almost paralyzed her. She would have run away, except for one thing.

If I don’t do something, he’ll get out of the house and start hurting people, maybe even killing them. Then in the morning, when he realizes what he did, it’s only a matter of whether he commits suicide before the authorities find him. He would never be able to live with himself.

And I can’t live without him.

When there was time, Danger decided, she was going to do a complete mental check and make sure she wasn’t turning into some simpering fainting romantic sissy.

The door crashed outwards.

I guess not, since a sissy would have fainted by now...

The werewolf rushed at her — she saw its hindquarters gather for the leap and bent her knees in a controlled fall — the gray body flew over her head, snarling down at her as it passed — her hand flew up and made contact, wrapping around one of the front paws — she felt the roughness of the paw pads, the slippery fur, the blunt claw sheaths —

The shock was much worse in real life than in the dream. She was only vaguely conscious of collapsing to the ground, the wolf slumped beside her, her hand still wrapped around its paw...


Remus came to full awareness with a start. Where am I?

The last thing he remembered was despair. He had locked the closet door at two minutes to moonrise and suddenly noticed that the grain in the wood seemed to have more vertical lines than it should. The door was cracking. It probably wouldn’t survive his usual onslaught of the night. And it was too late for him to do anything about it.

So I should be somewhere in the countryside, probably covered in blood from some innocent person I bit, or if I’m very lucky, still in the closet. Instead, I’m...

Wearing dress robes?

"You all right?" said a familiar voice from the other end of the small stone room where he sat. Sirius Black, flawlessly attired in dark red, was leaning against the wall. "You look like your dog just died."

"What’s going on?"

"What’s going on, the man wants to know," Sirius said to the air. "How do you forget your own wedding?"


"Come on, there’s our cue!" Sirius sprang across the room and grabbed Remus’ wrist, towing him towards the door. "Having second thoughts? She’s a lovely girl, I’d take her off your hands if I didn’t already have one myself..."

"No, no," Remus said, realizing what must be happening. It’s a dream. That’s all. It’s just a dream. "No, I was just a little distracted. I’m ready now."

"Good. Here we go."

They stepped out into — the Great Hall?

Sure enough, it was the Great Hall at Hogwarts, but Remus had never seen it like this. The tables were gone, replaced with bench-like seats in two sections, all facing the dais where Remus and Sirius stood, and all filled with people. White flowers and ribbons were everywhere, and a balding man was standing on the dais, a few yards away from the two of them, wearing what looked like the official robes of the Minister of Magic. Sirius practically propelled Remus in his direction. "Just like in rehearsals, Moony," he muttered.

I wish I remembered them, Padfoot! Remus retorted inside his mind, but kept his mouth shut.

The music playing in the room changed into a processional. Two pairs of bridesmaids and ushers walked sedately down the aisle, followed by a maid of honor, and finally the crowd rose to its feet to signify the arrival of the bride.

Her veil was over her face so that Remus couldn’t see her, but he knew the man escorting her down the aisle — none other than Albus Dumbledore. He sneaked a look at the wedding party. The brunette bridesmaid looks familiar... I don’t know the redheads... the other usher looks like James, only that’s not possible. But that is Aletha across from Sirius...

The bride stepped onto the dais and turned to him. Dumbledore gently lifted her veil, and Remus looked into a pair of bright brown eyes lit up with joy, joy he couldn’t help but return as he recognized her.

"I was so happy to see you that I forgot I didn’t know anything about you." Danger’s voice rang in his head. "And suddenly I did know all about you. Everything."

And as Remus joined hands with his bride, he discovered what she had meant.

The life of Gertrude Kelly Granger played itself on fast-forward inside his mind. He learned about her in those few seconds as he might have over the course of months, years, normally.

She had always been bookish and a bit scatter-brained, a quiet girl who loved her family and home above all, who almost never went out, who had never even had a boyfriend or a date. She was all right with children, not stellar but not hopeless either, but she had lost her heart to her baby sister from the first moment she saw the tiny face. She had only ever worked part-time in her life and was used to everything coming easily, no rough spots or bumps in her road.

Then her parents were killed.

If it hadn’t been for Neenie, Remus realized, Danger’s world would have ended that day, as his own had practically ended on the previous Halloween. Her parents had been the world to her, as his friends had been to him. She, like him, had considered suicide at one point. But Neenie had needed her, and that had kept her going, forced her to recover and fight back.

And they need me now. Harry, and Danger and Neenie, need me. I can’t let them down.

"... as long as you both shall live?" finished the man in official robes, whose fringe of hair proved to be red up close.

Remus realized he was being addressed. "Er, I do."

Apparently it was the correct answer, since the man turned to Danger and repeated what he had said to Remus.

"I do." Her answer rang out clearly through the Hall.

"By the power vested in me by the office of Minister of Magic, I do hereby pronounce you husband and wife. You may kiss the bride."

Remus did as he was told.

Danger’s voice surfaced in his mind again.

"And please don’t take this wrong, but if you kiss in real life like you did in the dream... damn."

Same to you, beautiful. Same to you.

I am definitely in love.

Everything blurred around them as they broke off the kiss, and suddenly they were dancing, swaying in one another’s arms to something slow and beautiful, something by Bach, Remus thought.

Danger smiled impishly at him. "I figured out the second quatrain of the poem."

"What, all of it?"

"I think so. Let me see:

"The wolf that runs in brightest dark

"Of fear in danger strikes no spark,

"For she is maid of warrior soul,

"And by her touch his mind is whole.

"The wolf is you, of course — ‘brightest dark’ means the night when there’s the most light, the night of the full moon. So the first line just means you." She laid her head against his shoulder. "My handsome wolf."

"Does ‘danger’ in the second line mean you?" Remus asked.

"I think it does," Danger said without lifting her head. "And the third line is me. ‘Gertrude’ means warrior woman, so the ‘maid of warrior soul’ is me." She pulled away slightly to look him in the eye. "Those first three lines of poetry boil down to the fact that you don’t scare me when you transform."

"I don’t?"

"Well, the first time, yes. But it won’t any more."

"Why not?"

"When you transform, you lose your human mind in the wolf, right?"


She smiled, and Remus registered once again how beautiful she was. "I found out tonight that my magic reverses that. I’m a werewolf tamer. When I touch you after you transform, you regain your human mind. You’re in control."

In control... Merlin, what that would mean to me...

I’d never have to be afraid again. No one would need to be afraid of me. I wouldn’t wear myself out during the full moon night, so I wouldn’t need to stay home the next day. I could live a normal life.

If it’s true.

Oh, God, please let it be true!

The only problem is, since Danger’s the only one who can do the magic, I’d have to stay close to her.

Looking at the woman in his arms, he realized how much he wished this dream-wedding had been real.

This is a problem? Somehow I don’t think so...

"And you can’t claim you don’t know me any more," Danger said with a grin as the music swelled up. "We know all about each other, now. So I feel safe in saying this. I love you, Remus Lupin, wolf of my heart."

Remus felt his voice catch as he started to reply. He had to swallow hard and start over. "I love you, Gertrude Granger, Danger of my life."

She raised her eyebrows. "That sounds terrible."

Remus laughed. "Yes, it does, doesn’t it."

Sirius and Aletha were dancing nearby. Dumbledore had led Minerva McGonagall onto the floor. The ushers and bridesmaids had paired off, a redhead to each pairing...

"The red in the poem," Remus said slowly. "The red that’s actually orange. Could that mean red hair?"

"You know, I think it could," Danger said, following his line of sight. "But that’s something to worry about tomorrow."

As they lost themselves again in the music, Remus couldn’t help wishing, just a little, that tomorrow would never come.

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