147 Chapter 147: Lupine Behavior

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I would like to thank my beta, Akisu, for his help in this chapter.

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2 September 1993, Hogwarts

As their first Arithmancy class ended, Harry grudgingly accepted the fact that Professor Vector knew what she was talking about. Their first lesson was simple and something that Harry knew by heart. It was a simple introduction about what the entire field was for, as well as some basic rules, or axioms that they would use to build practically all other theorems.

Arithmancy wasn't just a way to create spells or enchantments, it's not using numbers to predict people's characters, although that's typically what other schools learn in their first year. No, Arithmancy is a language. A language to interpret the world, to be more specific, a language to interpret magic. It wasn't complete, not by a long shot, but with every new discovery, the magical world steps one foot closer to having a complete understanding of the arcane.

It was a language based on muggle mathematics, which is used to interpret the physical universe. And since spells already affected the physical world, it would have been foolish not to use an already interesting foundation. However, interpreting the metaphysical world was just one step further. It required something more, like a new dimension of necessary calculations to achieve the same result, which meant that even the simplest spell could be very difficult to interpret. There was a reason why spellcraft was very difficult.

Harry could tell that the pace she chose for the class was far higher than that of the other classes. The frankly insane assignment that Vector assigned was proof of that. Arithmancy, in general, was challenging. The learning curve was very steep and not could follow that.

This was evident by an outburst from Michael Corner the moment he left the classroom, "I'm done with this. I didn't sign up for this bullshit."

It was a testament to how difficult the class was when no one refuted that statement. It wasn't that hard, to be honest, but Vector really was going too fast for the average teenager to follow.

Daphne was holding her head, probably having a headache from the information overflow, and murmured discreetly to him, "It's a sad day when I'm agreeing to Michael Corner of all people, but this was insane."

He simply shrugged in return, "Not that much. She was a bit quick, but that's understandable considering how behind we are. It's pretty fun when you start experimenting with it, but I don't think Vector would waste time with parlour tricks just to get people interested."

"Yeah, we're not all insane like you. My parents even got me an arithmancy tutor during the summer and I could barely understand our lesson. I can't help but wonder how the others who are experiencing this for the first time are doing…"

Harry watched as the rest of the students left with dejected expressions on their faces, "I think Corner was the only one without any prior tutoring. Bones' aunt wouldn't let her flounder like this, Nott and Malfoy's parents must know how difficult this class was, and they're not hurting for gold. I don't know much about Patil, Li, and MacDougal, but they were still following along. They weren't comfortable, that's for sure, but they understood a bit of the basic principles, enough to make do, for now."

"And there's you…"

"What about me?"

She glared at him, "You're joking right? You spent half the time working with the equations that she had on the board around the room."

"What?" he asked with a confused expression, "They're very interesting and I haven't seen work that complex except for some really arcane stuff. Some were kinda simple, but a lot were really elegant. One of them was incomplete but it's very interesting. I think that it was what she's currently working on. It's a shield charm that allows you to envelop it with another spell, or another shield entirely, like a variably layered shielding. I think it can even activate spells in the shields to cast them if they break, but that's a bit out there."

Daphne snorted, "See, you already know most of the material. Out of curiosity, how much ahead are you?"

"I don't really know," he said, "it's not that I'm being difficult, it's that it's hard to put a label on what you're studying in post-NEWT stuff. You just choose specialities that interest you."

"You're so tutoring me in this."

"I'm always happy to help, Daph," he answered with a smile, making her blush slightly.

The blonde quickly changed the subject, "So, what do we have next?"

Harry took out his schedule, "double defence sessions with Gryffindors."

She groaned, "Why do we always have them in defence? It's like whoever made those schedules want to start as many fights as possible. Although, I am curious about Lupin as a professor."

And wasn't that an understatement? Harry had complicated feelings about their new defence professor, who definitely had too much interest in Harry. The last Potter never really cared about researching his parents for obvious reasons. They died when he was a child, he already had his family legacy in terms of his cloak, his crest, and his gold. And while he was curious about what happened in Godric's Hollows, it was purely from an academic standpoint. After all, Harry loved puzzles.

He never researched the Marauders. He never researched his mother. He honestly didn't care. Only one member was still alive, and he was supposed to be this cowardly werewolf who never tried to contact Harry in any way. And that was all fine with him.

Remus Lupin's presence in the castle, the evidence that he was so different, made him throw everything he assumed happened out of the window. The truth was that Harry assumed that the divergence from the stories was Voldemort choosing to mark Neville as his equal. But now, he wasn't so sure….

He didn't like being uncertain. It was a puzzle, which was something he loved solving, but it was too personal for comfort. He decided to just wait and see.

"Sure," Harry responded briskly.

"Alright, that's enough!" Daphne exclaimed, "What is your problem with him? I could tell that you don't like him from the feast, but I don't know why?"

"You mean like you're hiding your sister from me?"

She glared at him, "I'm not hiding Astoria from you. And stop deflecting. What's with Lupin."

"He's a werewolf!" he returned.

"As worrying as this is, I know you enough to know that's not it…"

"Fine! I think he was friends with my parents, alright? And I just feel uncomfortable around him. The way he's looking at me just gives me the creeps and I don't like it."

Daphne stayed silent for a moment. Thankfully, she didn't say anything because Blaise and Tracy literally just walked towards them. She glared at him and muttered, "We'll talk about this later."

After exchanging a few greetings, Tracy asked, "So, how was Arithmancy?"

Daphne groaned in misery, "It was hell. I don't know whose idea it was to remove arithmancy classes from the first-year curriculum, but I will find them, summon them from the grave if I have to, just to kill them again."

The previously tense atmosphere lightened after that statement, with Blaise and Tracy bursting into laughter. The conversation flowed from there but ended immediately after they finally arrived at the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.

Every Defense Professor liked to change their classroom to suit them, and Remus Lupin was obviously not any different. But Harry never expected the man to change things so drastically.

It was hard to call the result a classroom. The floor was replaced by a ground of dirt and grass. Hell, there was some moss in the corner. There were no desks, no chairs, no boards, nothing. If it wasn't for the walls and ceiling, Harry would have thought that they were outside the castle.

One by one, the rest of the students arrived, each with a bewildered look on their faces. Malfoy and Parkinson were sneering in disgust at being outside, and a few Gryffindors looked slightly uncomfortable. Neville barely batted an eyelash though, and well, considering the situation he ended up in, it made too much sense for comfort.

Lupin was under an invisibility spell of some sort, probably an enhanced version of the disillusionment charm. It wasn't bad, but not as good as Dumbledore's one. Harry never really cared to enhance personal invisibility spells since he already had his cloak, but he was skilled enough in illusions to know that this wasn't one. It was close, a mixture of a disillusionment charm, enhanced with slight illusions around the edges, where it's normally noticeable, and a notice-me-not charm on top. It would have probably worked if it wasn't for Harry's Arcane Hearing, which made it the opposite of subtle. And Lupin's song was too distinct to ignore.

With a wave of his wand, Lupin dispelled the charms and spelled the door to close, "Good Morning, everyone. As you probably know, my name is Remus Lupin, and I will be your Defense Against the Dark Arts professor this year. As you probably noticed, we will probably focus on the practical applications of Defense, which I'm told, you're very lacking in. Now before we get started, let's discuss your curriculum. Like your previous year, your semesters will be divided into a wanded aspect and dark creatures. My predecessor's notes say that you have finished studying common pests found in the magical world and simple creatures. This year you will learn how to handle more dangerous creatures, like Boggarts, Grindylows, and others like it. This will be, for many of you, your first encounter with anything that can be called a Dark Creature. So, who here knows what a Dark Creature is?"

Malfoy answered while rolling his eyes, "It's a creature that attacks with Dark Magic."

"Five points from Slytherin for speaking out of turn, Mr. Malfoy. With a wrong answer too. The truth is that dark creatures and dark magic have nothing in common apart from the name. A creature is labelled as Dark by the ministry, which they deem to be dangerous. But there is at least one requirement, the wounds inflicted by a Dark Creature must leave a sign, even if they're healed. It's the same with Dark Curses, there's always something they left behind, a trace of magic that is there more than just physically. There is a reason why vampire bites, and werewolf attacks, leave scars that don't heal. You can heal a doxy bite, but I haven't seen anyone fully heal scars from a werewolf, even just a claw."

He really looked like he was speaking of experience when it came to dark creatures. He was right, of course, but that didn't make his speech any less disturbing.

"And why are we standing on dirt and not in a classroom like civilized witches," Parkinson questioned.

"I am very glad you asked. You see, there is a Dark Creature in this classroom, and I'm testing you a bit to see how you react to a surprise attack," the werewolf replied.

Before any of them could digest the man's response, the wall shifted slightly, letting a big figure leap out of the shadows with claws raised towards a student. It looked like a vampire thrall. It was more like the inferi version of vampires that acted like servants. They were muggles that drank the blood of a vampire, and they heavily needed blood to survive, or they just went mad, like the one in front of them.

Just by reflex, Harry waved his wand and pulled the students back behind him before the claws could reach them. It wasn't a particularly dangerous creature; it was barely faster than the average wizard, slightly stronger. Their biggest danger was the fact that they attacked in packs.

The rest of the students were running for the door, screaming, only for it to stay locked since it was probably warded. A few brave students tried to send hexes at the thing, but they just seemed to bounce off the vampire.

There was something wrong. This wasn't how spells rebounded off magical creatures with a magical resistance. It was too structured. The rebounds were too perfect, the directions of the returned spells were exactly the same as the incoming spells. There was none of the randomness and unpredictability that came with living breathing beings.

Now that he thought about it, the movements of the creature were too structured. It didn't attack on a feeding frenzy like Harry assumed. Deciding to investigate further, he analyzed the creature with his Arcane Magic and discovered that it was nothing more than an animated structure. It was a bit impressive, the transfiguration was spot on, and the whole structure was very well-warded, but the whole thing was under Lupin's control, who had a disturbing grin on his face.

Growling to himself, Harry waved his wand again and cancelled the animation. Lupin gave Harry a surprised look as the spell wormed its way through the enchanted protections that the werewolf put on his construct as if they weren't there and removed the connection between it and its controller.

The vampire thrall fell face-first mid-lunge, and Seamus Finnigan poked it with his wand, "Is it dead?"

Everyone turned to Harry with awed looks on their faces, but he didn't care. He was looking at Lupin's face who looked surprised at first, then started to grow a disturbing smile on his face. He tried not to flinch when he heard the caged beast inside him release a deafening howl.

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I tend to upload drafts of early chapters on there to get people's opinions of them so you can read up to 20 chapters ahead as a bonus.

Thank you guys for your support in these hard times.

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