PROLOGUE

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September 1st, 1991

PENELOPE LUPIN

With her father still waving at her, Penelope "Penny" Lupin stepped away from the train's window, sitting down in that empty compartment, she'd found for herself, blowing strains of the mouse brown hair out of her face. Her hands nervously tucked at the sleeves of the old grey pullover she wore, as students passed by, begging for no one to come in.

Her father had warned her that things couldn't be easy for her. Not with a father like hers. Not with a monster.

But Penny quickly shook her head to get rid of that thought. Remus Lupin, and everyone who really took the effort to get to know him would sign this, was not a monster. Indeed, he was the most caring lovely person you could meet, and anyone who thought otherwise should go and screw themselves.

There was a small knock on the window, and Penny flinched, as she turned her neck towards the source of the noise. Her father was beaming brightly at her and she opened the window.

"You almost forgot it", he said, reaching up his arm and handing her a small package. "Chocolate frogs and pumpkin pastry", he added with a smile. "Your grandpa was afraid you'd might starve on your way to Hogwarts."

"That's probably likely", Penny chuckled, taking the package. "Thank you, Dad."

"Take care of yourself, honey", her father told her, leaning into the window for a hug. "And write me. Once a week at least, or I'll have to visit you."

"I promise", Penny whispered, and the door behind her swung open.

CASSIOPEIA BLACK

"It's okay, I'm fine, really", Hunter Black mumbled, wriggling out of his aunt Andromeda's hug, and Cassiopeia watched it with a mischievous smirk on her face.

"This year I won't get a letter from Professor McGonagall, promise me, Hunter", she said, raising an eyebrow at the twelve year old boy. "You don't need to follow your father's footsteps!"

"Oh please, I won't murder a group of muggles in the brightest daylight, you can be sure about that, auntie", Hunter replied, and Andromeda's lips turned into a thin line, before she turned to her eleven year old niece.

"Have an eye on him, will you?", she asked Cassie, before she pulled the girl in a hug.

"Oh please, she's even worse than him", Nymphadora Tonks snorted, her bright bubblegum pink hair whipping with her movement of supressed laughter. "She's just acting cute around you, but everytime you don't look, she's placing dungbombs in my bedroom!"

"That's a lie", Cassie pouted. "I'm not responsible for you forgetting that you hid them under your mattress!"

Her cousin smirked, ruffling Cassie's ebony black hair, that was so equal to her brother's. "We'll see", she said with a wink.

"Now off you go", Andromeda commanded, shoving the siblings towards the open train door, a tear glistening in her eyes as she looked down on Cassie. "You'll make your mother so proud", she whispered, and a knot formed in Cassie's throat, as she nodded.

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