A Shiny New Badge
1st September 1975-
Remus was standing in front of the mirror in the bathroom doing up his tie, trying to make sure it was straight. He had been wearing a tie with his uniform for the last four years, but he still had to check it in the mirror to make sure it was straight.
There was a bright and red and gold prefects badge shining on his jumper, that would still take some getting used to. Dumbledore must have been mad to have made him a Prefect. He was a werewolf, to begin with, that would have been enough reason for most people not to make him a Prefect.
There was also the fact that he didn’t have the natural people skills or leadership qualities as Sirius or James. To be fair though, the way that Sirius and James used those skills to cause mischief and create havoc, was probably the very reason why they hadn’t been made Prefects.
Remus took a deep breath and ran his fingers through his hair.
‘You can do this Remus,’ he assured himself nodding at his reflection in the mirror.
‘You nearly ready Remi!’ called Lyall from downstairs
‘I’ll be down in a minute Dad!’ called Remus.
Remus went out of the bathroom, and through to his bedroom, where his open trunk was nearly packed. The only thing left to be packed was his enchanted record player he had been given four years ago before he started Hogwarts.
Remus loved music, especially muggle music. Not only was muggle music highly superior to wizard music, but it also gave him something to talk about with his muggle cousins when he met up with them over the holidays.
Some of his mates ribbed him over his passion for muggle music, but he knew for a fact that Sirius loved Queen, and he had even caught Peter listening to one of his Baycity Rollers records when Peter had thought no one else was listening. As for James, he knew all The Beatles records from back to front.
He tapped his record player with his wand, and it stopped playing the Roy Orbison album he had been listening to. The record player closed itself and packed itself away in his trunk on top of his textbooks.
The rest of his records were already packed away in his trunk along with his school things and clothes. He did a quick scan of his room, to check that everything was packed, and closed his trunk.
He picked up his school robe from the back of his chair and folded it away in his satchel. They had a method, that if Remus didn’t put on his school robe until they actually reached platform nine and three quarters, he would like a normal teenaged muggle in a school uniform, so he’d pull the robe on over his uniform on the platform.
‘Remus! Son!’ called Lyall up the stairs, ‘we need to get a move on!’
‘I’m coming!’ called Remus dragging the trunk out of his room and down the stairs.
The Lupins lived in the middle of a small Welsh mining town and didn’t live in a very big house. They lived on a street of terraced stone-built houses, and although it was a small house and only had three bedrooms, they were only a small family so they didn’t need a big house. They had a spare room for guests and a small boxroom where they could fit a camp bed if they needed to, and that was enough for them.
They lived in a muggle town, and their house looked muggle to the common eye, they had all the modern muggle appliances from a television to a refrigerator and a blender, Lyall had even gotten Hope a dishwasher for their last anniversary. Hope was a muggle, so couldn’t do the washing up or the cooking by magic. It also led to less awkward questions when the neighbours or Hope’s side of the family came to visit.
There were, of course, some magical things in the house, there were quite a few magical books mixed in with the muggle books on the bookshelves, and Lyall always had to remember to put freezing charms on the photographs before letting muggle guests into the house.
They lived in Wales, as both the Lupin family and Hope’s family the Howell’s were Welsh. Remus and Lyall had slight accents, but having been educated at boarding school as they’d gone to Hogwarts, their accents were less pronounced. But Hope had a broad valleys accent, and sometimes even talked to the neighbours over the wall in fluent Welsh that she had learnt at school.
Remus was a werewolf, but they didn’t get any strange questions from the neighbours about the noise, because Lyall soundproofed the boxroom that Remus transformed in once a month. The boxroom was kept empty so that Remus wouldn’t destroy half the furniture once a month.
Lyall and Hope were waiting by the fireplace in the sitting room, and Lyall was pacing by the fireplace.
‘There you are!’ sighed Lyall, ‘you took your time!’
‘Da it’s ten o’clock,’ chuckled Remus, ‘it takes twenty minutes to walk from the Leaky to Kings Cross, we’ve got plenty of time.’
Lyall looked thoroughly unconvinced. There was a flash of light as Remus pulled his trunk into the sitting room, and he nearly dropped his trunk on his foot.
‘What the Hell Mum!’ said Remus shaking his head at his Mum who was trying to get a photograph of him.
‘It’s not every day my only son becomes a Prefect,’ she gushed, ‘besides, this is something that my family will actually understand.’
‘The faster you smile for the camera the sooner it will be over,’ whispered Lyall conspiratorially taking the trunk from Remus.
Remus looked up and laughed at the camera his Mum was holding.
‘You’re so grown up Cariad!’ she said stroking his cheek and beaming at him, ‘I can’t believe you’re a Prefect!’
‘I can,’ said Lyall, ‘but if we don’t get a move on, the flu’s going to get clogged up, let’s go!’
Flu powder was the method of travel that the Lupins usually used when they weren’t taking the car, as it could be used by muggles fairly easily so Hope could use it. Hope had found it a bit strange standing in the middle of emerald flames, and spinning between fireplaces, to begin with, but she had to admit it was quick and convenient.
Remus went through the flu first with his trunk, followed closely behind by Hope and then Lyall. The pub as always on the first of September was full of families who were about to go to Hogwarts.
Remus recognised the Prewett twins, who were a few years older than him and friends with Frank Longbottom, who were accompanied by who Remus thought was their older sister and her husband, and two small boys. Every single member of the family had bright red hair.
Lyall helped Remus carry his trunk to the platform. There was a featherlight charm on it, but it looked less strange to the muggles for a heavy school trunk to be carried by two people rather than one.
When they got to the platform, it was only half-past ten but it was already getting steadily packed with small families. Remus spotted Sirius almost instantly, who was looking thoroughly bored, leaning against a column as his parents fussed over his younger brother Regulus.
The second that Sirius saw Remus though, his face lit up and he came running over pulling his trunk with him.
‘Moony!’ he exclaimed, ‘good to see you mate!’
‘You too Pads,’ laughed Remus.
Remus and Sirius had been through a rough patch last year what with the prank that Sirius had decided to play on Snape, that had nearly ended Snape’s life. It had taken quite a while for Remus to forgive Sirius for that prank, he hadn’t talked to him for over a month. But in the end, Remus had forgiven Sirius, and now they were as good friends as they had used to be.
‘Do my eyes deceive me, or is that a Prefect badge I see gleaming on your chest Remus?’ asked Sirius.
Remus blushed profusely and stared down at his shoes.
‘I knew it!’ exclaimed James running over pointing at Remus’ new badge.
‘When I didn’t get a badge, I knew you must have had,’ laughed James.
‘You’re going to do great Remus,’ said Peter who came over to complete the group.
‘I think we’ll leave you in safe hands Remi,’ said Lyall patting Remus on the back.
‘Look after him,’ said Hope looking at James and Sirius.
By that she meant, try and keep Remus out of your mischief-making. Remus was usually safe in the library either studying or researching new inventive ways to create mischief for James and Sirius, so he hardly ever got into trouble.
‘We always do Mrs Lupin,’ laughed James, as Hope gave all four boys a hug, giving Remus an extra hug.
‘Have a good term boys,’ said Lyall.
Hope gave Remus one last hug, and didn’t seem to want to let go.
‘Bye Mam, bye Da,’ said Remus.
When referring to his parents to his friends he would call them Mum and Dad like everyone else, but at home, Remus always called them Mam and Da.
‘Come on Moons,’ said Peter, ‘let’s go get a good compartment.’
‘I’ll see you at Christmas Mam,’ said Remus releasing himself gently.
‘Be safe,’ she whispered.
‘I always am,’ laughed Remus getting on the train after his friends.
They managed to find an empty compartment, and put their trunks away. They started talking about their plans for the year, and the mischief they were going to cause, all the girls Sirius was going to flirt with, James’ new plan for getting together with Lily Evans.
Basically anything and everything apart from their OWL exams they would have to take at the end of the year, which James and Sirius could pass in their sleep without even trying.
Remus checked his watch and saw it was nearly eleven o’clock.
‘I’ll be back in a bit,’ said Remus, ‘I have to go to a Prefect meeting.’
‘Say hello to the other teacher’s pets for us,’ said Peter.
‘Tell us who the others are when you get back,’ said James tuning his guitar.
‘We’ll keep your seat warm!’ called Sirius laughing as he put his feet up on Remus’ vacated seat.
‘Gits,’ he muttered walking down the train. He knew that his mates making fun of him like that, was actually their own strange way of saying well done on getting the badge.
As he walked down the corridor of the train, he ran into two people facing away from him, who were blocking the corridor talking.
‘Can’t you just say here,’ said the boy, ‘we need to catch up.’
‘We’ve been able to catch up all Summer,’ laughed the girl, ‘I have to go to the Prefect meeting.’
‘I’m sure they won‘t miss you,’ the boy tried to say.
‘Excuse me,’ called Remus, ‘can you move please, I need to get past.’
The Slytherin boy who was standing in the compartment doorway whipped his head towards Remus his curtain of black hair swishing slightly. When Snape saw Remus though, his slight sneer changed to an expression of utter terror and he went ghostly white.
Remus gulped heavily, Snape clearly hadn’t forgotten about what had happened last year in the Shrieking Shack.
‘Hi Severus,’ said Remus in his best attempt at a friendly tone.
‘Lupin,’ he snapped, going back into the Slytherin compartment and slamming the door shut.
‘For God’s sake Sev!’ muttered Lily, shaking her head and moving her long red plait from side to side.
‘Hi Remus,’ said Lily turning to him and smiling, ‘good Summer?’
‘Great,’ nodded Remus, ‘you?’
‘Yeah,’ said Lily, ‘got to get to the Prefect meeting though.’
‘Yeah me too,’ said Remus.
‘Oh thank God,’ sighed Lily.
Remus smirked slightly.
‘No offence, I know James is your mate, but he’s a right prat, and the thought of having to do Prefect duty with him for the next three years had been haunting me since the badge arrived four weeks ago. The only one worse than James would be Sirius, he would probably spend the whole time trying to flirt with me behind James’ back!’
Lily said all this very quickly and flusteredly, hardly stopping to breathe.
‘What I’m trying to say is,’ she laughed, ‘you deserve that badge, and you’re going to make a great Prefect.’
‘Thanks,’ laughed Remus, ‘you too.’