Callidora Black: A Witch's Tale

The night that Lily and James Potter died it was understandable for Remus Lupin to be in a state of shock and grief. What he didn't expect was a bundle on his doorstep with a note from the man who allegedly betrayed him and their friends. As the child grows, strange things other than usual wizard magic beings to happen and leaves Remus to wonder just what the child's heritage was. Will he ever find out? Will Sirius be able to tell him? Will Sirius ever get to be a father to his daughter? Read to find out

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12. The Hearing

Remus transfigured a nice polo shirt and black pants for Harry that went well with his trainers that the wizard cast a minor Reparo on. He grinned as he saw how adorable Harry looked in the stylish clothes as opposed to the baggy and huge cast offs that he normally wore. He made a mental note that when he gained custody of Harry that the first thing he was going to do was take him to get some of his own belongings. 

Andromeda unsuccessfully tried to tame Harry's hair causing Remus to laugh at stubborn jet black hair that the young wizard had definitely inherited from his father. He told Harry and Andromeda "James' hair was just as untameable. I'm not surprised that Harry got that short end of the stick." 

Harry grinned at Remus and asked, "Do I look like him?" 

Remus smiled even if his heart ached "Yes Harry, you look extraordinarily like him...except for your eyes...they are your mother Lily's." 

He pointed out other features that Harry got from both parents, knowing that the poor young lad had missed out on this because of Vernon's narrow mind and Petunia's jealousy. He looked at the time and saw that they would have to get to the Ministry for the hearing. He looked at the young wizard sitting next to him and the pureblood witch across from him and he suddenly knew that his life was about to change forever. 

He looked to Harry "You ready to go kiddo?" 

Harry looked suddenly nervous as he replied: "As I ever will be." 

Remus gave his shoulder a comforting squeeze and answered "No matter what happens today Harry, you will always be family to Callidora, Andromeda, Ted, Hermione and I and I will let hell freeze over before I let anyone give you to a guardian that will not care for you and I know that Andy will not allow it either." 

The witch nodded and gave Harry's hand a comforting squeeze. She said "That is true Harry. We will not let you go to a home that will not love or care for you." 

Remus nodded as he stood and took one of Harry's hand into his own. The werewolf led Harry to the fireplace where Andromeda followed them to use the fireplace to Floo to the Ministry since Amelia set it up the previous night for them when she found where Remus and Harry were staying and the kids were all asleep.

Remus said, "This will be weird at first but I figured that it would have been much more comfortable than trying Apparition for the first time when you are already so nervous."  

Remus flooed with Harry and caught him when he stumbled from the fire place with Andromeda following behind them. They slipped through the throngs of people to stealthily make it to the court room unnoticed so that Harry didn't get mobbed by "adoring" fans who wanted to see the Boy-Who-Lived. Remus and Andromeda made it to their designated court room without incident only to discover that it was full of people. 

Remus snarled when he saw the mass of people filling the seats in the court room...including the Family Seats. Andromeda whispered, "This is a full wizenmagot hearing." 

Remus answered "I gathered as much. What is it that Dumbledore wants with us...or even Harry because he is the only one with the power and pull enough to arrange this." 

Andromeda said "I don't know...but I see that the head is Marlene McKinnon...she is head of the Wizarding Child Protective Services now. I guess she gets the verdict and the Minister accepts or denies it." 

Remus glanced at Minister and held back a snarl as he sat smugly in the seat towering above the rest as the werewolf whispered back "I went to school with Marlene. She and Lily were good friends so we might have an advantage." 

Andromeda nodded and asked, "Did you think to get a witness for this?"

Remus smirked and answered, "I got two...you and Amelia." 

Andromeda went to answer but Remus whispered in her ear and cut her off "I also sent a Patronus to the goblins who were working on unsealing the Potter wills just in case so if that happens today then we have nothing to worry about." 

The pureblood witch breathed a sigh in relief as she followed Remus to the seats on one side of the court room. He saw that Amelia was already sitting there and that she had stacks of papers ready as long as Pensieve memories bottled and ready to go. 

The trio took a seat next to her and she introduced herself to Harry who greeted her shyly. She smiled warmly at him "You will be fine Mr. Potter. I won't let you go to a bad home...never again. You will be placed with a loving family that is close so that Remus and his daughter can visit you...but I have a good feeling about Remus' outcome in this." Remus grinned at her and gave Harry's shoulder a comforting squeeze. 

The werewolf looked up when footsteps sat down at the other table and he tensed and held back his snarl when he saw Albus Dumbledore there following a smug looking Molly Weasely. He didn't like what this was foreshadowing for the custody hearing...he definitely knew that this was going to be a tough battle. 

The doors slammed shut and the Minister banged his gavel a few times causing the court room attendees to instantly become silent in anticipation of what was to come. Minister Fudge looked around at everyone and slowly looked from Remus and Harry to Dumbledore and Molly. 

His voice boomed through the quiet room causing Harry to hide behind Remus in fear "Custody Hearing of one Harry James Potter on October 16, 1985, now in session. Minister Cornelius Oswald Fudge presiding." 

Remus kept his expression blank and emotionless even though he was seething on the inside wishing that he could let his werewolf side free and rip all the arrogant people in this court room a new one. Fudge looked at the court secretary to see if he was copying it down before continuing "We are here to today to settle the new guardianship and custody rights of Mr. Potter and we have both parties attending I presume...so starting on my left if you could please state your name and occupation for the court record."

Remus hid his emotions as Molly spoke up "I am Molly Patricia Weasley nee Prewett and I am a stay at home mother while my husband works for the Ministry of Magic in the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts department." Dumbledore smiled his grandfatherly smile at the court room as he stated: "I am Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore and I am Headmaster at Hogwarts School of Witch Craft and Wizardry." 

Remus hid his eye roll as he saw the Headmaster trying to smile at him in his grandfatherly way, but Remus did not buy it any longer. Not after what happened to Sirius...or what happened to have Harry end up on this path in the first place. 

He spoke up "I am Remus John Lupin and I sell texts on the side to provide for the household."

Remus didn't want to reveal the ace up his sleeve until he had to...he vowed to protect Callidora and that is what he would do until his dying breath. 

Andromeda gave his forearm a squeeze as she stated "I am Andromeda Cassiopeia Tonks nee Black and I am a stay at home mom and house wife with a side cleaning business while my daughter is away at Hogwarts. My husband Edward Tonks runs his own business that builds and sells parts for military use." 

Remus gave Harry's hand a comforting squeeze as the boy stated softly "Harry James Potter and I am a student in Kindergarten." 

The werewolf hid a broad grin at Harry for answering the complete question since not many 5-year-olds would know what the word occupation meant. 

Finally, Amelia introduced herself "Amelia Seren Bones Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement." 

Remus was thankful that the court proceedings could now get underway so that he can get home in time to meet his daughter...and make his family more complete by having his prongslet with him where he belonged. He was however angered when Molly Weasley started spouting that she would be a better guardian because she has been raising kids for over 10 years now and it was a family filled household as opposed to the single male household that Remus lived in. 

It was the line "Every child deserves a mother figure...and Remus doesn't seem to have any interest in finding a woman to share the duties or the rest of his life with." 

Before he could snap at the woman Andromeda smoothly slid in "Not that it is any of your business, Mrs. Weasley. But maybe Remus has just not found the right one yet...or maybe you don't know him like you think. Harry will have a mother figure in his life." 

Remus quietly thanked her and she just gave him a small smile in return. Remus took a deep breath before beginning to plead his case "I left the wizarding world 5 years ago and live as a muggle. Harry would benefit from living a life like that because he could have a chance to just be Harry and not have to be a wizard who hears about how he is a hero because his parents died...he won't have children coming up to him and saying that they heard his story as a bedtime story and that they want to be his friend. He can have a chance to just be a child because he will be in the muggle world where no Death Eater would think to look for him and where he can just have a relatively normal childhood until the age of 11 but at the same time get lessons of the wizarding world so he isn't lost when he gets there." 

The people in the seats were staring at him blankly and he held back a sigh...it seemed that Dumbledore had his hands on a lot of people's lives or futures...or whatever he promised them. He knew that this was going to be rough upcoming. 

Molly Weasley said "Where does this man get the folly that he can raise a child. He has no friends, and he was close to Sirius Black who is to say that Black didn't manipulate him to the dark side before he betrayed the Potters. That child will be isolated and will have no social skills when if he grows up with that wizard." 

Remus felt a growl coming from his throat and he swallowed it down before replying "Mrs. Weasley, I do have friends. Andromeda here is my friend, and so is Amelia. Even Alastor Moody is a friend of mine. I had friends before they were lost in the war, it is true that I do not have as many as I did...but alas I do have friends. In fact, I visit Andromeda here frequently." 

Andromeda answered "It is true. I met Remus in Diagon Alley and I knew that he must have been lonely without James and Lily so I decided to spend some time talking with him and now he is more like family to me than my own flesh and blood is." 

Amelia said "It is true for me as well. I met Remus through the Auror Department when James Potter and Sirius Black enrolled and I found a bit of myself in him so I made fast friends with him. He would chat with me while he was waiting for his friends to get out of training and I have seen Alastor Moody talking with him numerous times in a friendly matter, not a professional matter, they seem to be close friends." 

Remus saw Molly deflate and he looked to the Headmaster knowing that he was going to be the one to strike next. He wasn't disappointed when Dumbledore said "I am glad to see that Mr. Lupin has found a way to make a living and some friends to help with the grief of losing his close friends, but I do alas worry about Mr. Potter. While he is a kind and considerate man and always, he also has just one little minor problem...Mr. Lupin is a lycanthrope, that wasn't a problem in Hogwarts as we had a Potion prodigy invent and continue to supply Mr. Lupin with the wolfsbane potion, now however since he graduated I fear that he does not have the chance to get some and that he would be a threat to Mr. Potter in that state."

Remus felt a mixed flood of emotions run through him and he felt shock was one of them. He could not believe that the Headmaster had stooped that low just to get Harry under his thumb. The court room was so silent that you could hear a pin drop as every single eye turned to Remus who could feel the judgment and scrutiny in their gazes. 

Minister Fudge glared at him and asked "Is this true Mr. Lupin? You dare seek custody of a child when you are a registered werewolf?" 

He noticed out of the corner of his eye...the smug look on Molly's face and the fleeting smugness on Dumbledore's face before it was hidden behind his grandfatherly mask before he answered "Yes it is true that I am a werewolf. I was Harry's age when Fenrir Greyback broke into my room and bit me to exact revenge on my father for insulting him. I have been transforming ever since and I know how to properly contain myself so that I am not a threat to any living and breathing thing besides myself."

Fudge said, "There is still a risk though, you must realize this."

Andromeda spoke up before Remus could answer "Just because Remus has a condition he can't help does not mean that he cannot be a good parent. I don't see any Death Eater parents getting custody revoked or questioned when they are or were a risk to their children. There are so many Death Eaters out there that have not been caught that could have children by now that Remus' furry problem would seem like a cake walk to them because of what their parents could put them through. Why condemn Remus who had no choice as an opposed to someone like Theodore Nott Senior or Vincent Crabbe Senior who had a choice and made the wrong one; yet got to keep their children." 

The court room all stared at her as she stood tall with all her aristocratic beauty and grace while she presented a logical case, demanding respect with her political knowledge as a past member of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black. 

Fudge spluttered "That...that may be so Mrs. Tonks, but werewolves aren't trusted to hold jobs let alone raise children...he could maul the child...or bite him and infect the child...maybe that is his plan is to get custody of Harry and turn him into a werewolf to spite the child." 

Remus at this point had enough and threw all his cards on the table so to speak "I would never bite Harry intentionally for spite. I know that he would be safe, loved, and cared for and Andromeda would help see to that. I have successfully been raising a daughter for 5 years and she has no scars or previous incidents with my werewolf form. For every month the day before a full moon Andromeda takes Callidora and watches her until the full moon passes and it is safe for Callidora to return. My adoption of her was approved despite my lycanthropy and she already loves Harry. Therefore I do not see why Harry would be in such bad care if I have already filled a parental role without incident for the past 5 years." 

He saw Dumbledore's attention snap to him at his revelation and he knew that he would keep Callidora's true identity a secret until there was no choice or until Sirius was free because he knew now more than ever that the Headmaster could not be trusted. 

Remus saw Marlene consult with a WCPS member behind her before drawing Amelia up to them and having a three-way conversation that the young wizard hoped would be good news for him. 

Finally, Amelia came back to her seat and Remus didn't dare ask her anything as Marlene whispered her decision to Fudge who looked less than pleased at whatever she had told him. 

He banged his gavel gaining silence in the room who waited with bated breath the results of the hearing. He seemed to ground his teeth as he spit out "Full guardianship and custody rights are granted of Mr. Harry James Potter is granted too...Mr. Remus John Lupin. The first two months Miss. McKinnon will be checking in on the child to make sure that nothing is wrong and that everything is as it should be." 

Remus forced a polite "Yes Minister. I agree with that, whatever it takes to prove that Harry will be fine under my care." 

Fudge glared at him as he barked "Court dismissed." 

As everyone was leaving Harry leaped into Remus' arms and hugged him with emotional tears sliding down his cheeks and soaking the werewolf's shirt...not that he minded. Andromeda whispered in his hear "Dumbledore is headed this way." Remus groaned but then it turned into a smirk when he felt the portkey from the goblins around his wrist heat up. He already knew that Dumbledore would be at the will reading, James and Lily would want him there for revenge and also because they would want him to know just how little he knew and would be getting help wise in the war. 

Maybe today wouldn't turn out to be so bad after all...maybe it would turn out fun to watch Dumbledore during the Potter will reading...in a totally Marauder way that is. 

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