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Cartographer's Craft
Chapter 18

By copperbadge

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McGonagall, watching Remus fumble with his spoon at breakfast on Tuesday morning, made an impartial decision having nothing to do with her fondness for her former pupil and sent him off to get some rest before the evening's Change. Sirius helped him down the passageway and into a freshly-made bed in the Shack before dashing back to take over his first class.

Remus had been at Hogwarts often that weekend, composing lesson plans for him and explaining what and what not to do. Sirius grasped the basic gist fairly quickly, and it would have been ridiculous after two weeks of Tutoring to be afraid of standing up and lecturing. Absolutely ridiculous. Surely.

He wiped his palms on the inside sleeves of his robe again and leaned back against Remus' desk. The second-year Slytherin-Hufflepuff class was slowly sorting itself out into factions and cliques just like always, seating themselves and slamming books around.

Slytherins and Hufflepuffs. Great. And he had them double, which meant all morning long.

"All right, settle down," he said, crossing his arms over his chest. "Everyone in seats, books and parchment out, come on, you know the drill. For those of you who've been living under a rock, I'm Mr. Padfoot."

"We know who you are!" a young Hufflepuff by the name of Brianna piped up.

"Good, I'm glad to know my fame is spreading," Sirius answered with a smirk. The class finally fell into full silence, and he almost stuttered. The immense focus of everyone in the room on him was almost frightening. He'd been the centre of attention before -- he liked being the centre of attention -- but always because he'd done something worth it. He'd never simply been stared at for being the Teacher.

"Now, I'll be teaching for Professor Lupin today, and probably tomorrow and the next day. So it behooves you not to annoy me or otherwise cause Grudges to be Held. I see that, Dentworth," he added, before he could stop himself. One of the Hufflepuffs was slipping a note to his next-door neighbour. Both boys suddenly looked terrified. "If I see it again, I'm reading it aloud. Remember my mercy this time around."

Oh Merlin, he thought, I'm turning into McGonagall.

"Now, let me see...since I'm the teacher today, that means one of you has to be Tutor..." he tapped his finger against his lips, pacing back and forth and finally pointing to a particularly uppity Slytherin girl. "Maddie, you're just the sort I think this class needs, don't you?"

She looked startled as Sirius undid his scarlet robes and swirled them around her shoulders. He did up the knot-and-loop clasp around her neck, settled the sleeves neatly, and grinned at her. She looked as though she were sitting in a large, gilt-edged red tent. Everyone else laughed.

"You laugh now, but with the red robes comes the power," he said. "So you had better watch out for Maddie. And Maddie had better do a good job, or else she's fired, just like me. But if she's suitably helpful, I'll pay her ten points to Slytherin at the end of class."

He held out his hand to the small girl, and she shook it firmly.

"Now then!" Sirius said, returning to the front of the class and rolling up the sleeves of his white Hogwarts shirt, "Professor Lupin left you with the categories of defensive magic, I think. Anyone want to take a stab at naming all eight?"


It was just as well that Remus was indisposed in the Shack all day and had been gone most of the weekend, since as a Professor he probably would have warned Ron and Hermione away from leaving the school grounds. McGonagall politely looked the other way since they'd told her it was Order business, and besides she still had a school to run.

The pair of them had spent most of their weekend at Grimmauld Place with Harry, stewing wolfsbane -- the herb, not the potion -- in a cauldron on the stove and studying maps of areas that Fenrir was likely to try. Bill had commissioned Fleur to find the silver they would need and through family connections she managed quite a bit, in ingots, for a very low price. It was now in the hands of a professional: George, who had enough experience with volatile chemicals that molten silver was no problem.

Hermione had also set up a series of large, square boxes in the garden of Grimmauld Place and produced two items which made Harry and Ron both extremely excited and extremely nervous.

"It's scary how much you know about this," Ron told Hermione, as they took a well-deserved break on Sunday afternoon. London was sunnier than Hogwarts, and they were enjoying the brief warmth in the back garden over lemonade and biscuits.

"I read," Hermione had said.

"I know," Ron had answered sourly, but she leaned over from where she sat next to him on the steps and kissed him, which seemed to cheer his mood considerably.

"Do you really think we'll have to use all this?" Harry had asked.

"We might. I don't care if we kill Fenrir Greyback, but I know bloody well that he's not going to kill us," Hermione had answered. "You've got a pretty good eye, Harry."

Harry had waggled his fingers. "Seeker, remember? Used to finding small things."

Now, as he waited at the edge of Hogsmeade for Ron and Hermione to appear on Tuesday evening, he wondered if they weren't being ridiculously arrogant. George had delivered the requisite weaponry that morning after Remus left for Hogwarts, and the silver-plated dagger had already absorbed the heat of Harry's body, becoming a warm weight in his pocket. He felt guilty carrying it, but the dagger was the least of his worries. The crude bracelets and necklace worried him far more. If they were detected because the werewolves could sense silver...

"CONSTANT VIGILANCE!" someone roared in his ear. Harry turned, instinctively raising his hands. Bill leapt backwards, laughing.

"Sorry, Harry, I couldn't resist," he said.

"Bill, don't do that," he scolded.

"I am sorry. You should pay more attention to your surroundings! Phew, that stuff is awful," Bill added, indicating the silver on Harry's wrists. Harry let his sleeves fall back over the silver circlets, and Bill looked more at ease.

"What's it like?" Harry asked curiously.

"Dunno about real werewolves," Bill answered. "But for me it's like...this buzzing noise, and the closer you get the louder it is, only it gets inside your head. Like a headache. And Charlie says if it touches real werewolves, it burns them."

"Yuck," Harry said.

"It's not great," Bill agreed.

"You think it'll hurt our chances of finding Fenrir?"

"No, I don't think so -- smell carries a lot further than silver. That's what Remus told me, anyway. You have to get really close to make an impact with silver."

"Good," Harry said, just as Ron and Hermione Apparated with a crack.

"Wotcha," Ron said, coming forward. "All ready?"

Harry nudged the nearby sack with his boot. "Everything's in there. Are we sure this is a smart idea?"

"It's what has to be done," Hermione said. "Look at it this way...Remus hasn't left the school. So Fenrir's going to turn -- possibly kill -- a child. We're defending a child from death."

"How long until moonrise?" Bill asked.

"Almost an hour. Think it's enough?"

"It has to be," Harry replied. "Any sooner and he might not even be out -- all we'd be doing is spreading our scent."

"Which reminds me..." Hermione offered him a fragile-looking glass vial. "If he gets out of control, crush it -- it's the distilled wolfsbane we made. Ought to keep him off you for long enough to call for help. Sorry, Bill -- haven't got much to offer you."

"S'all right," Bill said. "I brought something I had dad find for me."

He unshouldered an oblong bag he'd been carrying and opened it. Harry and Hermione's eyes widened.

"It's a raffle," Bill said proudly. "Dad showed me how to use it. George loaded it up with silver bullets for me."

"Rifle," Harry corrected, staring at the sleek, shining hunting rifle. "Bill, those are really dangerous!"

"Yeah, I know. Figures Dad would have one, doesn't it?" Bill held the rifle up and sighted down the barrel. Harry stepped back quickly. "He says Muggles hunt ducks with it."

"And other Muggles," Hermione said. "Put it away, Bill, before someone loses a limb."

Bill shrugged and zipped it back up into the case. Harry picked up the sack next to his leg and shouldered it, looking expectantly at Hermione and Ron.

"All right," Hermione said. "Bill, can you take Harry and follow us?"

"No problem," Bill said with a grin. "Whenever you're ready."

Harry took hold of Bill's arm and, as soon as Hermione and Ron vanished, felt that horrible sensation of being squeezed through a tube, breathless, heart about to explode in his chest --

And then they were standing in the open air once more, far damper than Scotland's had been, with a breeze that smelled of the coast -- wet gravel, seaweed and fish. They were next to a road which led northwards, but on either side of the road there was nothing but grassy turf, broken by rocks and the occasional small pond.

"He likes the coasts -- fewer distractions than forests," Hermione said. In the distance, water crashed on the beach, a dull background roar. "He likes to have somewhere he feels safe, somewhere protected but wild."

"Why here?" Bill asked, studying the darkening sky above them. "I'd think he'd strike Hogsmeade. It's closest."

"Because this is Remus' home," Hermione answered quietly. "He told me once. It's closer to his heart than Hogsmeade. And it has that," she added.

They followed her gaze across the stretch of rocky, uneven ground before them, to where a dim shadow jutted up towards the sky. From here he could barely make out the jagged shapes of a ruined building, freestanding walls and scattered stone.

"Whitby Abby," Ron said.

"It looks creepier in person," Harry observed.

"I think he'll start there." Hermione sighed. "You know how children are. There are bound to be a few who want to go adventuring in the Abbey on a full moon night."

"And if there aren' isn't far away," Harry said. "Just down the cliff."

"From here..." Hermione said, "...from here, I guess it's all Bill, really. Harry, do you want to unpack?"

"I think we'd better," Harry agreed. He lowered the pack from his shoulder and crouched over it, undoing the drawstring at the top. Bill grunted and stepped back as Harry drew out a handful of George's best work -- long, thin shafts of wood with sharp silver tips. They were followed quickly by three wicked-looking wooden contraptions, stamped on the side with Infensus Arms Co, Est. 1102.

"Crossbows?" Bill asked.

"Yeah, well, wands, not much good against a werewolf, really," Ron said, accepting one of them. He was still a little clumsy loading it, but they weren't planning on having to reload in a hurry. "Besides, you brought a raffle."

"Rifle," Harry and Hermione corrected in unison.

"True," Bill conceded. "Do you know how to work them, even?"

"We've been practicing," Hermione said.

"For a whole weekend," Ron added, rolling his eyes.

"Well, the plan isn't to hunt him," Hermione said. "Just to reason with him, and if reasoning doesn't work, to shoot him at close range. Besides, they're charmed for easy use."

"This isn't," Bill said, indicating the rifle. "This is for if he tries to eat my little brother. Or my little brother's girlfriend and best friend."

"Can you tell if he's here?" Hermione asked. Bill lifted his head and for a moment Harry saw the part of Ron's brother which was not entirely human; the tilt of his chin, the flare of nostrils and the sudden tense stillness were all things one would expect of a hunting dog -- or a large jungle cat. He'd never seen such things in Remus, but then Remus had spent a lifetime learning to hide them.

"Not yet," Bill said. "But the wind is coming off the ocean -- if you stay behind me as we go, I'll smell him a long time before he smells any of us. As long as he's not coming up behind us," he added. "We should try to keep as invisible as possible -- maybe a Disillusionment?"

Even as he said it, Harry felt a cold trickle over his skin, and realised that Hermione had anticipated Bill's suggestion. He glanced at Ron, standing next to him, and saw Ron's head and arms begin to blend in with the landscape. Another second and Ron had nearly vanished; only the occasional warp or discolouration showed where he was.

"I'll keep an eye on our back," Hermione said. "We should hold hands."

Harry felt Bill's hand grope along the side of his arm and settle on his shoulder; Ron's hand gripped his wrist tightly. They moved along the north-running road slowly, cutting across it to make a more direct line for the Abbey. Harry kept his eyes fixed on it, straining for the slightest sign of movement. Not so much as a flicker of a shadow.

Bill's fingers tightened on his shoulder suddenly.

"Don't talk," he said in the barest of whispers. "Fenrir. Follow me."

Harry shifted place, reminded of his adventure with Sirius under the invisibility cloak, and gripped Bill's sleeve with his right hand, left cradling the crossbow. The wind still blew against them, masking their scent and clearly carrying Fenrir's to Bill on the air.

There was a soft noise, a thud of footsteps, and Harry realised Hermione had gone ahead. She must have seen Fenrir -- and in a second, he did also. A dark shape lounging among the fallen stones of the ruined Whitby Abbey, seated on a large chunk of wall and, incongruously, smoking a cigarette. He was facing west, in profile, away from the water and towards the outskirts of Whitby itself.

Harry heard Ron break away and head in the opposite direction from Hermione; he wondered if they'd developed telepathy since they'd begun snogging each other.

He saw Hermione step out of the Disillusionment upwind from Fenrir at the same time he felt a warm rush of air across his skin. Ron appeared far off to his left, Hermione across the ruins and closer to Fenrir than either one of them.

The werewolf tensed and leapt to his feet, but he didn't run. He must have smelled Hermione a second before she appeared.

They all stared at each other for a minute; Fenrir surrounded by a triangle of humans, the others watching to see what he would do. Finally he straightened from the fighting stance he'd been in.

He was still filthy and he reeked of animal waste and cigarettes; slowly he produced another from his pocket, took the one he was smoking out of his mouth, and lit the new one with the butt of the old. He dropped the old one to the ground, where it smoldered and smoked. He didn't bother putting it out. He was barefoot.

"Children," he said, showing his teeth. "What brings four such tasty morsels to the door of the Big Bad Wolf?"

"I'm surprised you read well enough to know the story," Hermione said.

"Oh yes, I know that story, Riding Hood. I like that story," Fenrir answered.

"Doesn't end well for the wolf."

"Maybe not in the one you'," Fenrir said. "In the old stories they pass down in the packs, the wolf picks his teeth with the woodchopper's bones."

"Greyback," Harry said, not wanting to waste time on comparative mythology. The sun was setting. "Out without your pack?"

Fenrir snorted. "If you were wise, little boy, you would understand. If your pet pack-traitor had bothered to learn anything I had to teach him, he could have told you. You know nothing about us."

"I do," Bill rumbled. Fenrir grinned at him.

"How's your face, Ginger? Wish I could have got you on a moon."

"If one bites, they all want to bite...but only the Alpha gets to pass on his bloodline, isn't that right?" Bill asked.

"Clever, Ginger. How did you learn? You haven't been running with a pack now, have you?"

"No," Bill said. "My brother Charlie reads too. He told me all about it. Really, it must be embarrassing to you."

"What's that?" Fenrir asked. Harry could almost see his ears prick -- if Bill looked a little like a hunting dog at times, Fenrir practically was.

"Failure," Bill said. "Impotence. I mean look at me -- still human. Can't be very powerful, can you?"

Fenrir started to snarl, then turned it into a laugh and extended a claw-nailed finger. "Nice try."

"That's why you came alone?" Hermione asked. "So that you had first taste?"

Fenrir licked his lips.

"Well, that was cocky and stupid," she said.

Harry wanted to laugh; she wasn't being smug, she was being so...Hermione. She sounded as though she were scolding Ron for making a dangerous dive in Quidditch.

"I could start with you, Riding Hood," he snarled. "Or with the other boy -- the one who smells like your sex."

Harry glanced at Ron, startled.

"We were nervous," Ron said, apologetically. Harry heard Bill snort behind him.

"Or with the Chosen One, the little boy -- oh, wouldn't his Lordship love to see you turned," Fenrir said, taking a step towards Harry. Harry reached one hand into the pack that hung off his shoulder, removing the last item in it, wrapped in thick burlap. He tossed it at Fenrir's feet.

Bill and Fenrir both winced; lying on the ground was a brightly glinting set of delicate silver shackles and a silver collar, supplied by Moody from the Aurors' armoury.

"Never," Fenrir growled.

"It's this or we kill you," Hermione said.

"You? Kill me?" Fenrir asked. He managed another bark of laughter, but it looked like an effort.

"We won't kill you in cold blood," Harry heard himself say. "But if you go near a child tonight rest assured we will kill you."

"How alike we are," Fenrir said. "You ask, I disobey, you act; I do no different for the pet. One must teach errant cubs obedience. They learn to be headstrong from humans."

"Put on the chains, Fenrir," Hermione said.

"Fenrir now, is it, Riding Hood? And if I refuse?" he asked, curling his hands into hooked, clawed talons.

Hermione held up the crossbow and sighted along the length of the bolt. Fenrir's laugh was more sincere this time.

"Do you even know how to use that?" he asked, grinning wickedly.

"Isn't it this little button?" she said, finger tightening on the trigger. "I think so. And I never can remember to put the safety on..."

"It can end here," Harry said. "All you have to do is let us tie you up."

"Bind and castrate me like a dog, is that all? Like Lupin, that lapdog?" Fenrir spat on the ground. "You'll have to kill me first."

"If you insist," Hermione retorted, tracking his every move.

"The moon will be out soon. Put the chains on," Harry continued. "You have a count of five to start."

"And if I don't?" Fenrir asked.

"One," Harry said. "Two."

"You won't shoot without provocation. I know your kind. Useless, weak -- "

"Three. Four."

"She's just a girl, she hasn't the -- "



There was a solid, dull noise as the crossbow bolt slammed into Fenrir's thigh, and a sickening squeak when it collided with bone. Fenrir screamed and lunged for Hermione --


Ron's crossbow fired, catching him in the shoulder. He gasped and gripped it with the hand that wasn't already snapping the wood on the bolt in his thigh. The end of his cigarette lay still smoking on the ground.

"Put the chains on," Harry said, as Fenrir screeched in pain and clawed the silver tip out of his shoulder. "If you don't put the chains on, we'll leave you here like this, and when you change if you come within ten feet of a human being we'll shoot you."

Harry heard a soft snick behind him. Bill Weasley had chambered a silver bullet in the rifle.

"I don't hold with killing animals that hurt children," Bill said. "Most of the time it's on account of children not using their own common sense. I'm bang alongside killing people who hurt children, though."

"And here's what will happen, Fenrir," Harry said. "Even if you get away tonight we will find you and we will chain you down and if you get free, if you harm a single human being, rest assured we will hunt you down and make you pay."

Fenrir, hunched over on the ground, lifted his right hand and let the bloody silver bolt-tip from his thigh fall to the ground. Hermione had already reloaded.

"Do you really have it in you, Chosen One?" Fenrir asked Harry. "Do you really think you could?"

"Funny thing," Harry said, as Ron and Hermione edged closer to him. He could see Bill on the edge of his vision, the rifle lifted and aimed, though he was trying to keep his head as far away from the silver bullet as possible. "I keep being told that love is the weapon I need to win this war."

"Fool's game," Fenrir snarled.

"No," Harry said simply. "See, I remembered that, when you love someone, it's not just dying you'll do to protect them. Funny how your pack's all afraid of you but Lupin's pack loves him, isn't it?"

Harry looked along the line of the crossbow bolt. From here he could send it straight through the side of Fenrir's head. It wouldn't go all the way through, but it would go far enough.

"Put the chains on, Fenrir."


The singular condition of his stays with Remus in the shack was that Sirius not allow the Changed werewolf out into the Forest or the fields outside Hogsmeade. He had been tempted to break this rule, but he was seeing what Remus could not, and what nobody else would suspect -- the wolf was as tired as the man was. It still wanted to stalk and hunt and kill, that much was clear, but Padfoot led the wolf a merry chase around the inside of the Shack instead, destroying what was left of its paltry furnishings in the process and generally exhausting them both.

Eventually the wolf had caught the big black dog and tumbled him over, pinning him on his back. Padfoot, no fool, whined and bared his throat; the wolf seemed satisfied with this, and together they dragged their carcasses upstairs and into the little bedroom with its now-shredded blankets and dilapadated old bed. New sheets would have to be in the offing, Sirius thought, but the shreds and scraps did make a lovely warm nest to curl up in.

He woke at dawn with Remus shuddering and shivering next to him; in an instant he was human again, pushing himself up to grab the tattered blankets and pull them over the other man's shoulders. Remus twitched and huddled closer.

"Padfoot," he said hoarsely.

"It's fine, Moony, I'm here."

"How....was it?"

"Fine, we stayed here," Sirius said, remembering that this had always been the first question, after they had begun going out of the Shack. How was it...did I kill anyone?

"Good. Unh..." he grunted and arched his back. Sirius murmured a quiet spell to relax the muscles, and Remus settled in a boneless heap in the blankets. "Sore."

"I know," Sirius said. "But you're not bleeding."

"Small mercies."

"Would you like Padfoot?"

"Don't I....have him?" Remus asked, with the barest smile.

"I mean, I could be Padfoot."

"No, I need..." he closed his eyes and sighed. "Any news?"

"News? About what?"


"It's barely dawn -- even if there were I wouldn't have it yet. Go to sleep. I'll wake you when I hear anything."


"I promise, Moony," Sirius said. "Sleep."

"Yes," Remus agreed. "Promise you're sure?"

"I promise," Sirius said, changing back into Padfoot. He flopped over next to Remus, curling up against his belly to keep him warm. Remus shifted slightly and curled one hand in Padfoot's thick fur, clinging tightly. Padfoot huffed happily. He was Being Useful to Moony.

One day, he said to himself. One day they're going to name a cure for Lycanthropy after me.

He didn't precisely sleep again, but he did doze, eyes closed, listening to Remus' heartbeat where his head was pressed to the man's chest. Remus slept very still, only his fingers flexing occasionally in Padfoot's fur. Sirius missed Wormtail's habit of gnawing reassuringly on Padfoot's ears, and the presence of James who, not being of the precisely cuddly animal persuasion, tended to change back and be the one to potter - HA! -- around and fix tea.

There was a noise from downstairs and Sirius' head jerked up; Remus didn't even register it.

Padfoot slipped to the floor as quietly as he could and slunk out the door, teeth already bared. He hadn't arranged for anyone to show up this morning, and it was hours yet before he'd have to be back at Hogwarts for classes. It wasn't likely that it was trouble but, if it was, they were going to have to go through him to get to Moony.

He huffed with relief when he saw that it was Tonks running up the stairs. He galloped to meet her, throwing his paws up on her shoulders in greeting and licking her face. She hugged him, her pink hair tickling his ears.

"Oh, Sirius," she said, stepping back. "Where is he?"

Sirius changed back and took her sleeve, gesturing for her to be quiet. They moved quickly along the landing and into the bedroom where Remus still hadn't moved.

"He said to wake him if there was news -- about, about Fenrir," Sirius said. " there?"

She bit her lip and nodded, then sat on the bed and touched his arm gingerly. "Remus...wake up."

"Mmh," Remus mumbled.

"Remus, it's important," she continued, as Sirius circled to the other side of the bed, hovering.

"Promised I'd wake you, mate," Sirius added, and his deeper voice seemed to reach Remus more clearly through his exhausted sleep.

"Oh..." he said, eyes opening, eyebrows pulling together in confusion. "It's you..."

Tonks smiled and stroked a lock of hair out of his eyes. "Yeah. Hi."

"Hi," Remus said, and Sirius felt suddenly as though he were intruding on something private, far more intimate than if he'd walked in on them having sex. He shifted his weight from foot to foot, unwilling to leave, wanting to hear the news Tonks plainly had to tell.

"Harry sent me," she said softly. "I have news about Fenrir."

"Oh god..." Remus moaned and covered his face with one hand.

"No, shh, it's okay -- it's all right," she said, grasping his wrist and pulling his hand away. "He didn't hurt anyone. Harry -- I don't know the details, they didn't tell me they were planning this. Probably thought I'd tell you, and they'd have been right...they found Fenrir in Whitby. I don't know how they did it...Remus, Fenrir's been captured. He's in chains at Auror headquarters in London."

Remus stared at her, his eyes wide and not completely focused. "Chains...?"

"I don't know much -- they haven't let anyone in to see him and they haven't even told the Prophet yet. Two of the Weasley brothers Apparated in with him early this morning -- apparently they'd spent all night keeping watch, with Harry and Hermione and Ron. He tried to bite Charlie, and Bill's filed charges for attempted murder."

"But -- "

"It's all right," she said, soothingly. "He's been caught. You're safe."

Remus' chest gave a dangerous heave, almost a spasm, and then he was weeping -- silently, exhaustedly, tears rolling down the sides of his face in streaks. He tried to turn away out of shame, but he didn't have the energy; Sirius watched as Tonks pulled him into her lap and he pressed his face against her robes, shoulders jerking helplessly.

Tonks looked up at Sirius, confusion plain on her face. She didn't know what to do or how to fix it, and Sirius could see that she was looking to him for help. He leaned across the bed and touched Remus' head, whispering softly. As he did so, the erratic movement of Remus' shoulders ceased. The tension drained out of his body, and finally he drew a deep, even breath.

"Sleeping charm," Sirius said quietly.

"Thank Merlin," Tonks said, her hand rising to cover the back of Remus' head protectively.

"Is it true?" Sirius asked. "This werewolf -- they brought him in chains? And he's to be imprisoned?"

Tonks nodded. "I think he's been waiting to hear that since he was eight years old. He was so afraid some other little boy was going to go through what he had to."

She wiped her own nose on the sleeve of her free arm and gestured for Sirius to come closer. He changed into Padfoot as he crawled up on the bed, nuzzling her shoulder. She let her head rest on top of his, sighing.

"I wish I could say it was over," she said, "but I think it's really only starting..."

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