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Title: Meeting the Headmaster
Rating: All Audiences
Characters: Albus Dumbledore, Remus Lupin, his parents, and Nymphadora Tonks
Setting: One month before the start of Remus' First Year at Hogwarts and one month after the start of Tonks' First Year at Hogwarts
Format: Fic (just over 2,000 words)
Summary: "Before long, a man with long white hair and a long white beard entered the office."
Also Posted at: This was originally written for Prompt 8 (June 23) of the rt_challenge: One Year of Canon Ficathon: authority
Disclaimer: I own none of this. J. K. Rowling and assorted companies including but not limited to Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Warner Brothers own everything. They also make all the money. I am just having fun and in no way seek financial profit from their property.
Note: In case you don't recognize the names immediately, Gideon and Fabian Prewett are Molly Weasley's brothers. They were members of the Order of the Phoenix during the first war against Voldemort and were killed in a fight against five Death Eaters. There is very little canon information on them so I have decided to make them twins (the G&F connection to George and Fred was too good to resist).



Meeting the Headmaster


One month before the start of term:
He walked into the headmaster's office. Ordinarily all the magical devices sitting on the shelves and the portraits lining the walls would have fascinated him, but today he was too nervous to notice them. He knew his entire future depended on this one meeting. Timidly he sat down in one of the three vacant seats across from Professor Dumbledore's desk and waited.

Before long, a man with long white hair and a long white beard entered the office. He knew instantly this was the headmaster. The wizard introduced himself to the boy's parents first and then turned to the boy.

"I am Albus Dumbledore," he said as he extended his hand.

"Remus Lupin," he whispered softly, hesitantly taking the outstretched hand.

Remus' father began to speak as Professor Dumbledore settled himself onto the chair on the far side of the desk. "We appreciate your speaking with us. Of course, we will understand if you say no, given his condition, but…" He trailed off as Professor Dumbledore raised a hand.

"Mr. Lupin," Professor Dumbledore began calmly, "first, let me apologize for my tardiness. Hogwarts just acquired a fabulous Whomping Willow and its planting took longer than I anticipated."

His natural thirst for knowledge bubbled up and Remus blurted out, "What's a Whomping Willow?"

"Don't interrupt, Remus. It isn't polite," his mother frantically hissed.

Remus blanched and looked down towards his feet. His parents had repeatedly warned him that he had to be on his best behavior for this meeting and he had ruined everything. Out of the corner of his eye, Remus saw Professor Dumbledore turn to him with a smile. The boy looked up into twinkling eyes that were clearly visible behind half-moon glasses. "There is nothing more proper for a school than a quest for information," he said. "A Whomping Willow is an amazing tree that is quite capable of protecting itself and thereby guarding others. I could tell you how it does that, but I think it best you see one for yourself rather than having it described to you. It loses some of its magic if you are warned."

Remus nodded, not entirely understanding how his knowing could affect the tree's magic but unwilling to contradict this man.

"Now that the introductions and pleasantries are behind us, let us move forward to the real reason you are here. I usually find it best to confront matters directly so you will pardon me for not mincing words." Remus felt his heart stop at the professor's words. He quickly glanced at his parents, both of whom were on the edges of their seats and had apparently ceased breathing. The headmaster spoke to Remus' parents, seemingly ignoring the boy. "From your owls, I have ascertained that you desire that your son attend Hogwarts beginning this term but are uncertain he will be allowed due to his lycanthropy and the danger this poses to himself, the other students, and the faculty." Remus' parents nodded woodenly. "What I have not been able to discover from our previous communications is Remus' thoughts on the matter."

Those friendly eyes again turned toward him. "Remus," the professor began, "do you want to attend Hogwarts?"

"Oh, yes," he breathed out, surprised anyone would have to ask such a question. "Mama says not to get my hopes up but I want to go to school more than anything."

Professor Dumbledore's smile grew larger. "I was certain that would be your answer, but it is always best to discover the facts. Provided you are willing to agree to certain arrangements I have made, I know of no reason why you should not join us here on the first of September."

Remus' heart had resumed beating and was now threatening to leap out of his chest. He would be allowed to go to school!

"What sort of arrangements?" he heard his father ask warily. "We know he can't be treated like a regular student but we won't allow him to be treated like an animal. He is still our son." Remus' heart again slowed.

"For the most part, he is just like any other student and will be treated as such," Professor Dumbledore stated firmly, looking Remus' father and mother in the eyes. The old wizard again turned his attention to Remus. This time, the boy's heart had soared at the headmaster's words and he was beginning to wonder how much more the poor organ could take. He ignored those thoughts to listen to Professor Dumbledore. "You will sleep in a dormitory with other boys in your house, attend classes with the rest of your year, and eat meals with the rest of the school. Your Head of House and the school nurse will be informed of your lycanthropy. From there, no one else need know. It is your secret and you may tell anyone you choose, but I advise you to choose wisely." Remus nodded, knowing that he would never tell anyone.

Professor Dumbledore addressed Remus and his parents. "Remus is only a danger to himself or others during a full moon. Anticipating Remus' desire to attend Hogwarts, I have begun making arrangements for a safe place for him to transform. Remus, you will be escorted to and from this location on the night of any full moon. This is the only way in which you will be treated differently than any other student but I must insist that you comply with these arrangements. Do you agree to that?"

"Yes, sir," he quickly replied. It would be no different than his father locking him in the cellar at home.

"He'll be a good boy," his mother assured the headmaster. "We're so grateful and he'll never make you regret this. He'll behave."

"I would like to give you a tour of the grounds so you can see the location I have picked for his transformations and Remus can see our new Whomping Willow, but first I must make one thing very clear. Remus is a young wizard in need of education and training just like any other. He has every right to attend Hogwarts and you have nothing for which to be grateful. Except for nights with a full moon, Remus is simply a Hogwarts' student, free to attend classes, make friends, do his assigned homework or not, break the rules, and generally be himself. He will not be treated any differently than any other student so he will not be punished more or less severely for any infractions just because he is a werewolf." Professor Dumbledore turned to Remus, the twinkle in his eyes larger than ever before.

"Do you understand me?" Professor Dumbledore asked gently.

"Yes, sir," he replied with a grin.



Several years and two months later:
She walked into the headmaster's office. She scanned all the magical devices sitting on the shelves and the portraits lining the walls and they made her nervous. It all looked so fragile and she was afraid she would trip and crash into something. Hurriedly she sat down in the vacant seat across from Professor Dumbledore's desk and waited.

Before long, a man with long white hair and a long white beard entered the office. She recognized the headmaster instantly, though she had previously only seen him from across the Great Hall.

He motioned for her to remain seated and he walked around his desk. "Nymphadora Tonks," he began as he seated himself in his chair across from the little girl with neon yellow hair. She cringed slightly. She hated that name.

He apparently noticed her reaction and correctly interpreted its cause. "Ms. Tonks," he said with a slightly questioning tone. When she did not recoil, he continued. "It is highly unusual for a first year to be in my office barely one month after the start of term."

"I'm not the first, am I?" she asked, uncertain if she should be worried or proud.

"This year, yes. The record, however, still belongs to Mr. Gideon Prewett and Mr. Fabian Prewett." His voice sounded oddly sad when he mentioned those names but brightened as he continued. "They were not sent to me until the middle of their second week so I daresay someone will someday surpass that mark, but it is not to be you."

Professor Dumbledore looked at her. He seemed to be expecting some kind of response but she did not know what to say. He smiled softly and said, "To the matter at hand. I have spoken with your teachers but I would like to hear from you. What has happened in your first month at Hogwarts?"

"Lots of things!" she said brightly. "I've been learning loads in classes and made lots of friends and…"

"Forgive me," he interrupted. "I should have been more specific. What has happened that resulted in your being sent here?"

She had of course known exactly what he meant. She paused, trying to think of another loophole but found none. "Lots of things," she repeated, but this time her tone was more dejected. "It wasn't all my fault!"

"Let us start with the things that were not your fault then."

"Well," she paused, unsure where to begin. She finally settled on the incident that had angered her the most. "Professor McGonagall gave me detention last week just because I set a box of matches on fire."

"Why did you do that?" Professor Dumbledore calmly asked.

"I didn't do it on purpose!" she protested.

"Then please tell me how it happened."

"We were supposed to be changing them into needles and I broke my first one. I was just getting another one from the box and I tripped. It was stormy so the torches were lit because the classroom was dark, and the matches fell into the fire, and the box burned up. It was just an accident and I tried to tell her that but she didn't believe me!"

"Very well. What else happened this month?"

"I crashed into the supply cabinet in potions. I'm really not sure how that happened. I was just putting my bag over my shoulder on my way out of class and I guess I lost my balance. It definitely wasn't my fault!" She shrugged. "I'm just kind of clumsy."

"I see. And have there been any other incidents before today?"

She again hesitated. She did not want to actually confess to anything he had not already heard about.

"Have you talked to Madam Hooch?" she asked.

"I speak with her often," he replied unhelpfully.

"She kind of yelled at me for going too high on my broom during lessons the other day."

"Ah. And was this your fault or not your fault?"

"Not?"

He looked at her. She sighed in defeat. "Maybe a little of both," she admitted. "She never said exactly how high we were supposed to go. I know I was flying the highest and I guess it was too high but nothing was going to happen! I like flying. There isn't anything for me to trip over when I'm in the air."

"I have never much cared for brooms but I am beginning to understand your attraction to them. And what of Professor Binns' class today?"

She smiled proudly. "Some of the sixth years were saying no one could get him to look up from his notes and actually see a student during class. I bet them two galleons that I could and I won!"

"And how exactly did you distract him?"

"Like this." Her face screwed up in a mixture of intense concentration and slight pain. Her hair began to flicker between varying shades of red, yellow, and orange. After a few moments she stopped, leaving her hair the neon yellow it had been when she entered Professor Dumbledore's office. "When he finally noticed, I think he thought my head was on fire. I suppose I was thinking about the colors from the fire in Professor McGonagall's class because I served my detention with her last night."

Professor Dumbledore's face was serious but she was certain she saw laughter shining in his eyes.

"Ms. Tonks, your ability to change your features is a rare gift and I certainly do not wish to discourage you from exploring and developing your abilities as a Metamorphmagus. However, you also need to learn when it is appropriate to use your powers and when it is not. You should not use them to disrupt classes. I will speak to your professor's about giving you some leeway regarding accidents but from now I ask that you refrain from morphing during classes."

"Do you understand me?" Professor Dumbledore asked gently.

"Yes, sir," she replied with a sigh.



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Comments:

xela30991
xela30991 at 12:00 am on 23 July 2006 (UTC) (Link)
a tonks is soo cute
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 11:30 pm on 24 July 2006 (UTC) (Link)
Thanks. She had to have been a bit of a trouble maker at school and this just seemed like the kid of thing she would do. I had fun writing it so I'm glad you enjoyed reading it.
Jordan
kileaiya at 9:48 pm on 03 September 2006 (UTC) (Link)
Aww, 11 year old Remus was adorable! And Tonks! Brilliant. She totally had to have been a trouble maker, whether it was intentional or not. XD
Rachael
bratty_jedi at 1:23 am on 04 September 2006 (UTC) (Link)
Doesn't she make some comment about not having had the necessary qualities to be a prefect, including the ability to behave? She totally caused her fair share of trouble. Who else could keep up with Marauder!Remus? I'm glad you liked it and thanks for reviewing.


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