In the Werewolf's Lair
Neither Buffy the Vampire Slayer
nor Harry Potter
are my property. They are being used solely for my (and I hope, your) amusement.
This is a sequel to my previous ficlet In the Moment
, which is a rewrite of a scene from Prisoner of Azkaban
chapter 15 (the scene in which Hermione slapped Draco Malfoy) - if it had taken place during 'Chosen'. It is taking place at an indeterminate time later in Prisoner
Hermione was frustrated and, honestly, a bit frazzled. She'd spent hours - working straight through lunch and dinner, then backtracking thanks to the Time Turner, for several successive days until Madam Pince finally threatened to drag her to the Hospital Wing for anorexia; then she'd backed off for a couple of days before doing it again - and she still hadn't found anything.
Admittedly, she knew that even in the Wizarding World, hearing voices wasn't a good sign; Ron had told her that last year, during the whole thing with the basilisk. But, she mentally defended, she'd only
heard the one voice, once, and it had only spoken six words - "Are you ready to be strong?"
It all came back to that day, really. She'd nearly (according to Madam Pomphrey, anyway, who had
been known to overstate the case) broken Draco Malfoy's jaw... with an open-handed slap
that sent him sliding across the corridor.That's
when she'd first noticed her strength. And
her ability to see in the dark. And
the appraising thoughts that seemed to run through her head every time
she looked at a suit of armor and the castle's wide array of medieval weaponry lately. And
when she'd started having nightmares, mostly of being chased by someone who never managed to catch her before she awoke. And
that was the first night she'd had the urge to wander the castle after curfew. Not that she hadn't been out after curfew before, but now it almost felt like a responsibility
she kept finding herself drawn to the exposed places - the tops of the open-topped towers, like the Astronomy Tower, and the ramparts on the lake side of the castle that could be easily reached through the Owlery's open-slit windows. She'd repressed the additional urge to actually leave the castle, knowing that it wasn't safe for a third-year student who couldn't produce a Patronus to be wandering alone, outside the castle, when there were Dementors about.
She didn't know what she was looking, or waiting, for, but in the last month, she hadn't been able to sleep through more than two nights in a row without going out after curfew on the next. It was like an itch that just had to be scratched. And
, she wasn't sure (the Time-Turner was messing up her internal clock), but she thought she might be sleeping less, even though she felt more rested than she had at the beginning of the school year.
Something was definitely up. Something
. And judging by the fact that she hadn't
found anything truly relevant in the library, it wasn't something that commonly happened to fourteen-year-old witches. (She was one of the oldest in their year, her birthday being only a couple weeks after the beginning of the school year, so she'd already turned fourteen.)
Checking the phase of the moon out the window - it was nearing full, but surely, not yet full enough
- she decided on a course of action. She didn't think it was necessarily something to do with the Dark Arts, but Professor Lupin seemed a bit more approachable than Professor McGonagall. And if he didn't have any idea, then perhaps she would steel herself for a talk with the Deputy Headmistress.
She had to mentally force herself to put her heels down as she prowled
the castle without her bookbag - she'd been loading it extra-heavy of late, to force herself into her normal posture - and made her way to the appropriate corridor. She'd been in the office before, though not since Professor Lupin had moved into it. (Professor Lockhart had been a bit useless, really, but pleasant to look at, and she'd gotten into the Restricted Section on his permission form.)
She knocked on the door, and mere seconds later, Professor Lupin opened the door. "Come in, Miss Granger."
Something in her soul rebelled against the open invitation, and she involuntarily winced before crossing the threshold. Lupin reached for the door to close it behind her, paused, then completed his movement.
"I'm afraid I'm out of tea, but would you like some chocolate?" He gestured to a small bar sitting near the front edge of his desk.
"No, thank you." Hermione smiled. "I haven't been attacked by Dementors, at least, not lately."
Lupin nodded, returning to his seat. "So what brings you to my office this evening?"
He looked worried, and Hermione thought she knew why. Ever since that day, she'd felt that Professor Lupin was... something different. And she had a hypothesis, but she needed a little more evidence to be sure, and even if he really was
a werewolf, what was the harm in that? Clearly, Dumbledore and McGonagall would have to know and would therefore have taken measures to protect the students. There was, quite simply, no reason for her to mention her suspiscions at this point.
No, this was something else. "Well, I realize it may not exactly fall under the category of Dark Arts, but then again, it might. And you were so helpful when it came to the Dementors on the train. And, I must say, a bit more approachable than Professor McGonagall."
Professor Lupin smiled. "I am glad to be appreciated, especially by one such as yourself. I believe you are leading to a question, Miss Granger?"
She paused, wondering how to phrase it. Finally, she asked, "Is it common for young witches to become stronger and able to see in the dark?"
Professor Lupin paused, apparently gathering his thoughts, before asking, "Able to see in the dark? With or without a spell?"
He leaned forward in his chair. "Has she had any visible bitemarks or unexplained visits to the Hospital Wing in the last... oh... six months or so? Perhaps a year?"
Hermione shook her head. "Certainly not."
Professor Lupin nodded. "I take it we are speaking of yourself, then?"
Hermione hesitated. "Why would you think..."
"Because you would not be as certain of a classmate's medical history. I know from Professor McGonagall's notes regarding the progress of the students, that you were one of the students who were petrified by partial exposure to a basilisk last year, but neither that nor the mandrake draught that you were given to counteract the effects should have any such effect."
Hermione shook her head. "Whatever it was, it wasn't that. I didn't notice it until well after we returned to school after the summer break. I certainly would have noticed earlier."
Professor Lupin nodded. "I am not certain, of course, but..." He paused. "You're the studious type, I'm certain you would prefer to discover it for yourself." He pulled out two sheets of parchment; on the first, he scrawled out three book titles, and on the second, "I'm writing you a permission slip for the Restricted Section. I want you to read the three books I'm listing, but don't let anyone else know the purpose of your research. Mix in a few other books... maybe some dark creatures?"
Hermione raised an eyebrow. "Like... werewolves?"
Professor Lupin paused, before signing his name. "Yes, and trolls, vampires, Dementors... it might be expected that you would focus on Dementors, since they are currently guarding the castle. But these three books may answer your question. Don't let anyone
else see the list." He looked up, folding the two parchments together and holding them across the desk. "Even Mister Weasley or Harry."
She blinked; why Harry
, and not
After returning to the Gryffindor girls' dormitory staircase, she flipped the Time Turner back two hours before entering her room, then settled into her four-poster, before finally unfolding the two parchments Professor Lupin had given her. The first was a permission form, allowing her access to the Restricted Section, though carefully specifying that she should only
be allowed into the portions having to do with creatures, with magical history, and with magical myths and legends.
The second was a list of three books: The Methods and Motives of the Modern Slayer
by Chastity Wyndham; Vampyr
(Professor Lupin had provided no author for that volume); and That Which Monsters Fear
by L. Anne Glover. She wondered what she would find in those three books, but she'd have to wait until tomorrow; it wouldn't do to present Professor Lupin's permission form before he'd written it!