The light of the four bright candles upon the cake brought the color out in his bright brown hair. Even more so in his eyes. The green surrounding his tiny, black pupils gleamed as he stared eagerly down at the beautiful white frosting.
"Make a wish, Remus," Hope spoke as she held his tiny arms to secure him from burning himself on the flame, shoving his face into the cake or both. As quick as a flash, Remus gave a small puff that one would assumed wouldn't even blow out the tiniest flame, but left all four candle tops smoking. Hope looked at Lyall with what seemed like concern at what had happened but he just smiled and shrugged in return. This was a small example of the signs of magic his son was showing. He would grow up to be a powerful wizard.
While Hope was cutting the cake, the small family was surprised by a sudden visitor that soared in through the open kitchen window out of the twilight. A great gray owl lighted down on the table before them, dropped the letter down in front of Lyall and flew off. Lyall was a little surprised to see the stamp with the crest of the Ministry carved into the red seal. He rarely got letters as it was.
"Excuse me for a moment you two," He said as he picked up the letter and left for the living room. As he sat down in his favorite arm chair, the one that reminded him so much of the squishy, comfortable ones in the Gryffindor common room, he opened the letter and began to read through the short paragraph.
Mr Lyall Lupin.
We have decided for your position to be upgraded to a secure, full-time spot in the Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures due to the department being currently understaffed. Wednesday morning, please visit the front desk for more information.
Hope you are well
Head of Secretary ~ Mary J Hopkins
When Lyall returned to the kitchen to join his family for a slice of cake, he did not bring up the subject of his promotion. But he could not hide his smile. Though he was happy for his promotion, part of his smile was of joy and pride to see his four-year-old son levitating his slice of cake onto his plate. After another hour, after Remus was sent to bed, he caught his wife in a conversation while they sat in the living room.
"I've been promoted," He spoke , trying to sound casual.
"You have?! That's great!" Hope squealed. "To where?"
"The Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. They're understaffed."
"Well that's absolutely brilliant!" Hope said as she hugged him.
"But I've got a hunch..." He spoke with a pit of unhappiness.
"Oh no... What now?" Hope asked, looking at him.
"You know about the rise of the dark magic activity over the last couple of years?" He asked. Hope nodded quickly, looking away. She hated the topic, the talk of the horrible things some witches and wizards had been doing in the paper disturbed her greatly.
"There is word that some magical creatures have been recruited into this activity." He spoke regretfully. Hope frowned.
"This isn't looking good, Lyall..." She spoke.
"I know. Not at the moment. But soon enough- you'll see- this will all just be water under the bridge."
"Yes...?" Spoke a very tired, grumpy looked witch from behind the tall desk. The huge line had finally cleared and Lyall stepped up.
"Hello," He spoke happily. "I've been promoted to a new department and I was told to visit the front desk.
"Ah, yes. Lupin," The witch said as she lazily flipped through some papers. "Go to the level of the Magical creatures. The first desk you see you should find a witch named Tulip. Ask her... Next."
Lyall stepped out of the way for the next wizard behind him to step up. "Thank you," He spoke but it obviously wasn't heard as the witch continued the same, dull toned questions with the next wizard.
Lyall crammed himself into one of the elevators and waited as it zipped left, right, up, down, any direction it could think of before it came to a halt. A clear female voice spoke. "Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures." Lyall stepped off.
Looking around, he spotted a desk with a middle aged witch with curly red hair tied up messily in a bun, eyes zipping back and forth behind a pair of spiked-rim glasses as she ruffled through piles upon piles of files and papers.
"Are you, Tulip?" Lyall asked, feeling a little bad from taking this women away from her tremendous amount of work for the moment.
"Can I help you?" She said edgily, barely looking up at him.
"I'm Lyall Lupin. I'm starting new in this department.
"Eliot!" She suddenly screamed. Lyall jumped. Was she talking to him? Apparently not. A young wizard, dressed perfectly in a suit and cap raced up and came to a halt before Tulip's desk. He was sweating and his eyes flashed with fear.
"Can I help you, Ma'am?" He spoke clearly.
"Take Lupin here to his office and get him something to do."
"Yes, of course ma'am. It would be my pleasure," The boy named Eliot spoke. He turned and looked at Lyall with much less respect than he showed Tulip and spoke to him now instead. "Follow me. Don't lag."
Lyall found himself having to jog at the least to keep of with the wizard. He zipped around corners and zoomed down halls, avoiding the constant flow of other workers. Lyall kept up the best he could, really, he was afraid of what might happen if he was left behind in these unfamiliar halls.
"Your office, sir," Eliot spoke, presenting a small room with a desk that already had a pile of files upon it. "Return to Tulip if you have any questions." Lyall muttered a thank you and thought about how the last thing he wanted to do was bother the witch, Tulip again. Before he could step into his office, Eliot was already gone, racing back to another destination. Lyall sat in the rather uncomfortable chair and picked up the first paper atop the pile, titled: The control and discipline of poltergeist's and common supernatural beings. Lyall sighed as he flipped open the folder. He knew it had something to do with Peeves. He may have been promoted, but it seemed like he hadn't been moved two inches.
It had been over two weeks, the day was slipping away as the clock to Lyall's left circled up into the evening hours. He had stayed overtime, was tired and the only thing he felt like doing was sleeping, but he sat at his desk in silent pride. He rested his folded hands atop the finished pile of work. Just moments later, there was a tap on his door.
"Come in," Lyall spoke. When the door creaked open, Lyall immediately noticed how silent the halls were. Everyone must had gone home. Except his boss. The equally tired looking face of Claudius Dragger peered in and look at Lyall.
"You're the only one left, Lupin," He spoke.
"Not for long, sir. I was thinking of going home soon."
"Yes, well you're not going to like me for what I'm about to ask you." Lyall looked at him, but let him continue. "I need you to come in at eight am tomorrow morning, friday. We have just arrested an accused werewolf today and we can't keep him in custody for more than a night if he isn't proven guilty."
Lyall nearly shuddered at the mention of a werewolf, but felt delighted to know that he was being asked of a job like this. "It would be my delight, sir." Lyall spoke as he stood and packed up his briefcase.
"Thank you so much, Lupin. Ill see you tomorrow. Goodnight,"
Lyall sat in his best robes in a small courtroom filled with five others, including himself. One of which was a scribe, eager to begin typing the events that were about to take place. Lyall's boss sat in the center chair of the stands showing that he had the highest authority. The other two men in the court Lyall did not exactly recognize, but they were in his department, he knew that. Their faces hallow and dark bags beneath their eyes, the obvious signs of being over-worked. Lyall knew that he looked quite the same.
The door in the chamber slammed open and three men entered. Two of which were strong Ministry employees, each with a steady hand on another man who they practically dragged into the court room. This must had been the accused werewolf. The man was placed in the seat centered in the room, facing Claudius Dragger.
"Let us begin," Mr Dragger's voice boomed in an echo around the absent seats. "In session, Mr Fenrir Greyback, accused of Lycanthropy and the death of two muggle children,"
"Muggle?" The man named Fenrir piped up in confusion. Mr Dragger looked at him, but continued.
"Interrogators: Claudius Dragger, head of the Containment of Common Magical Creatures of the Department of the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Also, Alec Cottonfeild, Jaxon Lundra, Lyall Lupin and Court Scribe, Maxwell Krater." There was a quick silence that was only filled by the sound of the scribe named Maxwell copying down every word.
"Now, Mr Greyback," Mr Dragger continued, "If you haven't already guessed, you are accused of being infected with Lycanthropy. Do you deny?"
"Lycanthropy?" He asked in the same manner that was becoming a little annoying when paired with the stunned look on his face.
"Are you, or are you not a werewolf?" Mr Dragger boomed.
"Werewolf? They don't exist, sir! And may I ask where I am?"
"I'll be asking the questions. You are being accused of murdering two muggle children. Does this sound familiar to you?"
"Well, I am still not familiar with the term muggle sir, so I couldn't answer that question," He spoke simply. There was a silence where Mr Dragger was picking his words carefully, wondering how stupid this man could get.
"A none magical person," He informed Greyback.
"Oh my, people were murdered?" He sounded astonished.
"Where exactly do you think you are right now, Greyback?" Mr Dragger interrupted, beginning to sound a little irritated.
"I have already asked that question myself. I have no idea, sir."
"Do the words, Minisry of Magic ring a bell, son?" Mr Dragger asked tiredly, placing down a piece of paper and rubbing his eyes. But the man sitting next to Lyall did quite the opposite and began eagerly searching through a pile of his own.
"Magic? No, sir. This sounds like some kind of weird dream."
"Mr Claudius Dragger, sir" The man next to Lyall piped up, holding the piece of paper he was looking for. "May I add to this case?"
"Yes Mr Cottonfield. You may proceed," Mr Dragger replied.
"Well, it says here that the accused did not hold possession of a wand. Perhaps this may lead to the possibility that he is muggle?" Alec suggested. Mr Dragger considered his words.
"Yes, that would make sense..." He spoke more to himself. He turned back to Greyback. "Where did you attend school?" He asked. Greyback thought for a moment.
"Well, sir, it depends on if you are asking about elementary or high schoo-"
"Release him," Mr Dragger finally spat, throwing himself back in his chair and waving his hands in frustration.
"Umm- perhaps , sir," Lyall finally spoke up, "We should hold the accused until the full moon to be sure he does not contain any signs of Lycanthropy. The full moon is just tonight?" Lyall was speaking now only because something had jolted his memory. It was when Greyback flashed his face up in his direction, he recognized him. He wasn't quite sure from where, but he found that it would be hard to forget such a strange beard as his, nearly consuming his entire face.
"All in favor of this plan, raise your hand," Mr Dragger spoke. Lyall was the only one to lift his hand.
"Sir, I must disagree. This man could very well be lying. And I would say that just because he doesn't have a wand doesn't mean that he is instantly a muggle. Werewolves have been known to not a own wands," Lyall stated. The man named Jaxon now spoke up.
"I would have to say that the odds are leaning towards saying that he is just an innocent, confused muggle, Lupin."
"How can we be so sure? This could very well be the vicious creature who murdered those poor muggle children!" Lyall took another breath to say more but was cut off.
"Come off it, Lyall." Mr Dragger spoke with a slight edge.
"But sir! You have no other leads on this case. He's the best bet we've got. The full moons just tonight! Why not be sure?-"
"Quiet, Lupin!" Mr Dragger spoke more firmly.
"Out! You and this Muggle scum!" Mr Dragger said, obviously referring to Greyback's ratty clothes as he gestured towards him. Lyall looked at his boss, stunned. "Out!" He bellowed once more.
The two escorts entered to take Fenrir while Lyall seized his bag and headed for the entrance angrily. "You werewolves! Soulless, evil! Deserving nothing but death!" He spoke angrily to himself as he left.
"Lyall, just stick to Welsh Boggarts. That's what you do best," Alec Cottonfield said as Lyall passed him by. Lyall faltered in his steps, too angry to say anything so he just gazed around the court. Just before he turned away to storm out of the court, Lyall noticed Fenrir as he was being taken away by his escorts. He looked over his shoulder, eyes set unblinking on Lyall with the most evil stare.
Lyall went home early that day. He dropped off his finished assignments and stormed out of the Ministry, not looking back. He was afraid of what he might do if someone gave him a strange look. The only thing keeping him from screaming in hatred was the thought that he would be seeing Hope and Remus in a few moments.
"Daddy!" Remus's voice squeaked as Lyall apparated into the entrance hall just outside the living room. Remus threw down his action figures and ran up to hug his father.
"Hello, Remus," Lyall spoke.
"Wanna come play with us?" Remus asked as he clung to his leg, only being a couple feet tall. Lyall looked into the living room to see that Hope had obviously been sitting with Remus while he played.
"Not right now, Remus. I just need some rest," Lyall said.
"Oh, well maybe later?"
"Of course." Lyall smiled. He walked on and made his way up the steps. On the top floor, he pushed the door open into his and Hope's room and slumped down on the bed without taking his shoes off. As he lay their, face down, so many horrible thoughts rushed through his head. Was he fired? Would he be demoted? How was he supposed to return on Monday after creating that scene? There was a tap on the door to interrupt the thoughts.
"Honey?" Hope's voice spoke gently. "Is everything alright?" Lyall sat up enough to look at her.
"Fine." He lied. "I just need some sleep. Its been a hard week. That's all." They exchanged looks.
"Alright." She finally agreed. "I'll be downstairs if you need me." And she was gone. Lyall kicked off his shoes, threw his cloak on the floor and fell asleep instantly.
It was the eerie chords that the clock downstairs struck that woke him up. It was counting up to the new hour. The sounds hit his ears twelve times. Judging by moonlight seeping in through the curtains behind him, it was midnight. Hope was laying next to him, fast asleep. She slept so deeply that she did not notice the grand-father clock. Lyall noticed how thirsty he was and decided to get up for a glass of water.
When he reached the kitchen, he retrieved a glass, filled it at the sink and stood for a moment there as he drank, taking in the evening air from the open kitchen window. Immediately he noticed, the scratchy sounds coming from Hope's radio. He smiled. How typical. Forgot to turn it off again. But instead of turning it off, he turned the tuning knob until he heard a voice.
"News has been released from the Ministry about the escape of an accused murderer. Mid day today, Friday, March 27th, a man who is known as Fenrir Greyback was put in trial for the murder of the two muggle children in Britain and of Lycanthropy." Lyall gasped and turned up the volume." The head interrogator, Mr Claudius Dragger states that the man was released due to the court being convinced that he was nothing but a muggle. After the short hearing, Greyback was released to have a memory charm placed on him. But further news has just been released revealing that things didn't go as smoothly as they usually do. Fenrir happened to have some friends. Two men attacked Greyback's escorts and and trio of werewolves escaped the ministry unharmed. Their whereabouts is undetermined, but the minister has confirmed that it is one of their top priorities to have these criminals sent to azkaban as soon as possible."