You Were Never Like This
Chapter 2 - Harry and Dinner
Remus was unpacking sometime before dinner when suddenly his door knocked. Slipping on a fake smile, he reached over and twisted the doorknob, revealing the face of a very welcomed guest. His smile became real briefly. "Harry! Do come in."
The boy he once knew was gone, replaced by a young man still sporting the vivid red scar above his bottle green eyes. As captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, Harry had became lean and muscular. As soon as he had gotten wind of Remus' arrival, he had come running down the corridors without telling Ron or Hermione. He supposed they were in the bathroom together. Again.
"You're back," Harry stated, "but we already have a DADA teacher."
Remus laughed. "I noticed. I'm taking Hagrid's spot for the year."
Harry grinned suddenly, but it looked as though the effort was difficult. The teen settled down into an armchair. "I'm glad you're back, Remus. Have you..." Harry hesitated, "...heard from Sirius?"
Sirius had been working undercover under unknown circumstances since last Summer and Harry hadn't heard anything for him since last term. Remus crammed some robes into his already full wardrobe, then dug something out of his trunk, handing it to Harry who opened it slowly. Remus couldn't see what Sirius had written, but assumed it was full of good humour as always. An accompanying package revealed some fairly dangerous prankster instruments.
"He didn't!" Remus shook his head. "The things he sends you..."
Harry put the package into his robes. "You're not going to miss dinner are you? I asked the house-elves for something special on your plate."
The both made their way to the Great Hall, making jokes. Remus could tell that Harry was worn out from lack of sleep. Lupin supposed he would too, had he seen the things Harry had. When the reached the Hall, Remus immediately singled out the only vacant position on the High Table. He couldn't help but groan. Harry looked at him. "Are you alright, Professor?"
"Fine," Remus sighed. "I'll see you in class, I expect. I start tomorrow."
He waited until Harry had sat down with his friends before slowly making his way to the staff table. He was going to dread sitting next to her all year. Remus saw Shamari flash a disdainful look in his direction before turning back to converse with Professor McGonagall. Ah, the silent treatment, Remus reflected. This was going to be a long dinner - especially with the Potions master on his other side.
Lupin eased himself into the seat and rubbed his temples tiredly. He tried to ignore the piercing glances he got from Snape, but eventually he would crack. Remus cast an eye over the sea of students, talking happily and eating their fill. But Remus found he couldn't touch his food. He just didn't have the appetite. Shamari was talking, the back of her head facing him. And Snape...was staring out at the students in a way which made even Remus shudder.
Lupin began to notice the unabating stares of the students rested upon him. The Gryffindors looked cheerful, but the rest of the school seemed to be whispering behind their hands and pointing at him. Remus sighed - this was exactly the reason he hadn't wanted to return. Remus gave in to the pumpkin juice, consuming it greedily.
He began searching the students' faces, but found each face turned down. Some were disgustingly cheerful, he noted. Obviously there parents were in with Voldemort. So immersed was he in his thoughts, he didn't notice he had knocked over his goblet until Shamari pleasantly informed him, "Are you going to drink the pumpkin juice or let the table have it?"
"What?" Remus snapped back to himself. "Oh! Sorry."
Shamari smirked at him before turning back to McGonagall who was too busy talking to somebody else. Remus allowed a smile to creep over his face. "What a pity. You have only me to talk to."
"Not like it's a shock. Most people don't converse with werewolves unless you didn't notice," she pointed out icily, but did not attempt to stem the talk.
Remus grinned sloppily. "Guess we should stick together then."
Shamari glared at him and Remus took the hint. He looked down at his empty plate, fiddling with the cutlery nervously. He noticed Shamari wasn't eating much either. Poor girl, he thought, because of me she's had far from a normal life. Sympathetically, he instinctively reached out and patted her hand, "I know how you feel."
Shamari wrenched her hand from his, but with not as much velocity she had held within her voice. Remus smiled weakly before excusing himself, hoping no one would notice his departure as he used a side door. This did not go unnoticed by some students - and Shamari. Her lip twisted, but she turned back to her unfinished food. She prodded it with her fork, making no moves to eat it. Suddenly she cursed and followed Remus out.
"Why are you following me?" demanded Remus, turning around abruptly.
Shamari caught his arm and whipsered furiously, "You don't understand what it was like! My parents disowned me, my life began to slide. Why should I care? You weren't there! How could you know?"
Remus freed his arm easily. "Go back to dinner, Shamari."
He strode away, ducking his head to hide his face. He heard he walk the other direction, but didn't care. If she wanted to lay all her blame on him, so be it. Remus supposed she had every right to blame him of her state and inside he was already blaming himself for everything that had happened to those around him.
Sighing, Lupin slowed his pace and stared out at the moon. It was a half moon, waxing too fast in his opinion. Each month went too quickly, far too quickly. He didn't know how much longer he could put up with this. Still, he mused, Shamari must have it worse.
And suddenly he was gone, the moonlight shining into deserted corridors.