A shadow fell across them and they looked 'tip to see a very bleary-eyed
Hagrid, mopping his sweaty face with one of his tablecloth-sized handkerchiefs
and beaming down at them.
“Know I shouldn' feel happy, after wha' happened las' night,” he said. “I
mean, Black escapin' again, an, everythin'—but guess what?”
“What?” they said, pretending to look curious.
“Beaky! He escaped! He's free! Bin celebratin' all night!”
“That's wonderful!” said Hermione, giving Ron a reproving look because he
looked as though he was close to laughing.
“Yeah... can't've tied him up properly,” said Hagrid, gazing happily out
over the grounds. “I was worried this mornin', mind... thought he mighta met
Professor Lupin on the grounds, but Lupin says he never ate anythin' las' night...”
“What?” said Harry quickly.
“Blimey, haven' yeh heard?” said Hagrid, his smile fading a little. He lowered
his voice, even though there was nobody in sight. “Er—Snape told all the Slytherins
this mornin'... Thought everyone'd know by now... Professor Lupin's a werewolf,
see. An' he was loose on the grounds las' night... He's packin' now, o' course.
“He's packing?” said Harry, alarmed. “Why?”
“Leavin', isn' he?” said Hagrid, looking surprised that Harry had to ask.
“Resigned firs' thing this mornin'. Says he can't risk it happenin again.
Harry scrambled to his feet.
“I'm going to see him,” he said to Ron and Hermione.
“But if he's resigned —”
“— doesn't sound like there's anything we can do —”
“I don't care. I still want to see him. I'll meet you back here.”
Lupin's office door was open. He had already packed most of his things. The
grindylow's empty tank stood next to his battered old suitcase, which was open
and nearly full. Lupin was bending over something on his desk and looked up
only when Harry knocked on the door.
“I saw you coming,” said Lupin, smiling. He pointed to the parchment he had
been poring over. It was the Marauder's Map.
“I just saw Hagrid,” said Harry. “And he said you'd resigned. It's not true,
“I'm afraid it is,” said Lupin. He started opening his desk drawers and taking
out the contents.
“Why?” said Harry. “The Ministry of Magic don't think you were helping Sirius,
Lupin crossed to the door and closed it behind Harry.
“No. Professor Dumbledore managed to convince Fudge that I was trying to
save your lives.” He sighed. “That was the final straw for Severus. I think
the loss of the Order of Merlin hit him hard. So he—er—accidentally let slip
that I am a werewolf this morning at breakfast.”
“You're not leaving just because of that!” said Harry.
Lupin smiled wryly.
“This time tomorrow, the owls will start arriving from parents... They will
not want a werewolf teaching their children, Harry. And after last night, I
see their point. I could have bitten any of you... That must never happen again.”
“You're the best Defense Against the Dark Artsteacher we've ever had!” said
Harry. “Don't go!”
Lupin shook his head and didn't speak. He carried on emptying his drawers.
Then, while Harry was trying to think of a good argument to make him stay, Lupin
said, “From what the headmaster told me this morning, you saved a lot of lives
last night, Harry. if I'm proud of anything I've done this year, it's how much
you've learned... Tell me about your Patronus.”
“How d'you know about that?” said Harry, distracted.
“What else could have driven the dementors back?”
Harry told Lupin what had happened. When he'd finished, Lupin was smiling
“Yes, your father was always a stag when he transformed,” he said. “You guessed
right... that's why we called him Prongs.”
Lupin threw his last few books into his case, closed the desk drawers, and
turned to look at Harry.
“Here—I brought this from the Shrieking Shack last night,” he said, handing
Harry back the Invisibility Cloak. “And...” He hesitated, then held out the
Marauder's Map too. “I am no longer your teacher, so I don't feel guilty about
giving you back this as well. It's no use to me, and I daresay you, Ron, and
Hermione will find uses for it.”
Harry took the map and grinned.
“You told me Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs would've wanted to lure
me out of school... you said they'd have thought it was funny.”
“And so we would have,” said Lupin, now reaching down to close his case.
“I have no hesitation in saying that James would have been highly disappointed
if his son had never found any of the secret passages out of the castle.”
There was a knock on the door. Harry hastily stuffed the Marauder's Map and
the Invisibility Cloak into his pocket.
It was Professor Dumbledore. He didn't look surprised to see Harry there.
“Your carriage is at the gates, Remus,” he said.
“Thank You, Headmaster.”
Lupin picked up his old suitcase and the empty grindylow tank.
“Well—good-bye, Harry,” he said, smiling. “It has been a real pleasure teaching
you. I feel sure we'll meet again sometime. Headmaster, there is no need to
see me to the gates, I can manage...”
Harry had the impression that Lupin wanted to leave as quickly as possible.
“Good-bye, then, Remus,” said Dumbledore soberly. Lupin shifted the grindylow
tank slightly so that he and Dumbledore could shake hands. Then, with a final
nod to Harry and a swift smile, Lupin left the office.
Harry sat down in his vacated chair, staring glumly at the floor. He heard
the door close and looked up. Dumbledore was still there.
“Why so miserable, Harry?” he said quietly. “You should be very proud of
yourself after last night.”
“It didn't make any difference,” said Harry bitterly. “Pettigrew got away.”
“Didn't make any difference?” said Dumbledore quietly, “It made all the difference
in the world, Harry. You helped uncover the truth. You saved an innocent man
from a terrible fate.”
Terrible. Something stirred in Harry's memory. Greater and more terrible
than ever before... Professor Trelawney's prediction!
“Professor Dumbledore—yesterday, when I was having my Divination exam, Professor
Trelawney went very—very strange.”
“Indeed?” said Dumbledore. “Er—stranger than usual, you mean?”
“Yes... her voice went all deep and her eyes rolled and she said ...she said
Voldemort's servant was going to set out to return to him before midnight...
She said the servant would help him come back to power.” Harry stared up at
Dumbledore. “And then she sort of became normal again, and she couldn't remember
anything she'd said. Was it—was she making a real prediction?”
Dumbledore looked mildly impressed.
“Do you know, Harry, I think she might have been.” he said thoughtfully.
“Who'd have thought it? That brings her total of real predictions up to two.
I should offer her a pay raise...”
“But —” Harry looked at him, aghast. How could Dumbledore take this so calmly?
“But—I stopped Sirius and Professor Lupin from killing Pettigrew! That makes
it my fault if Voldemort comes back!”
“It does not,” said Dumbledore quietly. “Hasn't your experience with the
Time-Turner taught you anything, Harry? The consequences of our actions are
always so complicated, so diverse, that predicting the future is a very difficult
business indeed... Professor Trelawney, bless her, is living proof of that...
You did a very noble thing, in saving Pettigrew's life.”
“But if he helps Voldemort back to power
“Pettigrew owes his life to you. You have sent Voldemort a deputy who is
in your debt... When one wizard saves another wizard's life, it creates a certain
bond between them... and I'm much mistaken if Voldemort wants his servant in
the debt of Harry Potter.”
“I don't want a connection with Pettigrew!” said Harry. “He betrayed my parents!”
“This is magic at its deepest, its most impenetrable, Harry. But trust me...
the time may come when you will be very glad you saved Pettigrew's life.”
Harry couldn't imagine when that would be. Dumbledore looked as though he
knew what Harry was thinking.
“I knew your father very well, both at Hogwarts and later, Harry,” he said
gently. “He would have saved Pettigrew too, I am sure of it.”
Harry looked up at him. Dumbledore wouldn't laugh—he could tell Dumbledore...
“I thought it was my dad who'd conjured my Patronus. I mean, when I saw myself
across the lake ...I thought I was seeing him.” “An easy mistake to make,” said
Dumbledore softly. “I expect you'll tire of hearing it, but you do look extraordinarily
like James. Except for the eyes... you have your mother's eyes.
Harry shook his head.
“It was stupid, thinking it was him,” he muttered. “I mean, I knew he was
“You think the dead we loved ever truly leave us? You think that we don't
recall them more clearly than ever in times of great trouble? Your father is
alive in you, Harry, and shows himself most plainly when you have need of him.
How else could you produce that particular Patronus? Prongs rode again last
It took a moment for Harry to realize what Dumblefore had said.
Last night Sirius told me all about how they became Animagi,” said Dumbledore,
smiling. “An extraordinary achievement—not least, keeping it quiet from me.
And then I remembered the most unusual form your Patronus took, when it charged
Mr. Malfoy down at your Quidditch match against Ravenclaw. You know, Harry,
in a way, you did see your father last night... You found him inside yourself.”
And Dumbledore left the office, leaving Harry to his very confused thoughts.
Nobody at Hogwarts now knew the truth of what had happened the night that
Sirius, Buckbeak, and Pettigrew had vanished except Harry, Ron, Hermione, and
Professor Dumbledore. As the end of term approached, Harry heard many different
theories about what had really happened, but none of them came close to the
Malfoy was furious about Buckbeak. He was convinced that Hagrid had found
a way of smuggling the hippogriff to safety, and seemed outraged that he and
his father had been outwitted by a gamekeeper. Percy Weasley, meanwhile, had
much to say on the subject of Sirius's escape.
“If I manage to get into the Ministry, I'll have a lot of proposals to make
about Magical Law Enforcement!” he told the only person who would listen—his
Though the weather was perfect, though the atmosphere was so
cheerful, though he knew they had achieved the near impossible in helping
Sirius to freedom, Harry had never approached the end of a school year in worse
He certainly wasn't the only one who was sorry to see Professor Lupin go.
The whole of Harry's Defense Against the Dark Arts class was miserable about
“Wonder what they'll give us next year?” said Seamus Finnigan gloomily.
“Maybe a vampire,” suggested Dean Thomas hopefully.
It wasn't only Professor Lupin's departure that was weighing on Harry's mind.
He couldn't help thinking a lot about Professor Trelawney's prediction. He kept
wondering where Pettigrew was now, whether he had sought sanctuary with Voldemort
yet. But the thing that was lowering Harry's spirits most of all was the prospect
of returning to the Dursleys. For maybe half an hour, a glorious half hour,
he had believed he would be living with Sirius from now on... his parents' best
friend... It would have been the next best thing to having his own father back.
And while no news of Sirius was definitely good news, because it meant he had
successfully gone into hiding, Harry couldn't help feeling miserable when he
thought of the home he might have had, and the fact that it was now impossible.
The exam results came out on the last day of term. Harry, Ron, and Hermione
had passed every subject. Harry was amazed that he had got through Potions.
He had a shrewd suspicion that Dumbledore might have stepped in to stop Snape
failing him on purpose. Snape's behavior toward Harry over the past week had
been quite alarming. Harry wouldn't have thought it possible that Snape's dislike
for him could increase, but it certainly had. A muscle twitched unpleasantly
at the corner of Snape's thin mouth every time he looked at Harry, and he was
constantly flexing his fingers, as though itching to place them around Harry's
Percy had got his top-grade N. E. W. T. s; Fred and George had scraped a
handful of O. W. L. s each. Gryffindor House, meanwhile, largely thanks to their
spectacular performance in the Quidditch Cup, had won the House championship
for the third year running. This meant that the end of term feast took place
amid decorations of scarlet and gold, and that the Gryffindor table was the
noisiest of the lot, as everybody celebrated. Even Harry managed to forget about
the journey back to the Dursleys the next day as he ate, drank, talked, and
laughed with the rest.
As the Hogwarts Express pulled out of the station the next mornIng, Hermione
gave Harry and Ron some surprising news.
“I went to see Professor McGonagall this morning, just before breakfast.
I've decided to drop Muggle Studies.”
“But you passed your exam with three hundred and twenty percent!” said Ron.
“I know,” sighed Hermione, “but I can't stand another year like this one.
That Time-Turner, it was driving me mad. I've handed it in. Without Muggle Studies
and Divination, I'll be able to have a normal schedule again.”
I still can't believe you didn't tell us about it,” said Ron grumpily. “We're
supposed to be your friends.”
“I promised I wouldn't tell anyone,” said Hermione severely. She looked around
at Harry, who was watching Hogwarts disappear from view behind a mountain. Two
whole months before he'd see it again...