You Were Never Like This
Chapter 1 - Returning To Hogwarts
Author's Note 2008 - Due to the release of books changing this canon, I attempted to explain this AU's events. This story is set in Harry Potter's seventh year. Sixth year is apparently as follows:
Voldemort had a go at the Ministry, but failed (summer)
Harry ended up at Grimmauld Place for safety
After Harry and co left to go to Kings Cross, Sirius did a runner, didn't like being cooped up
Attacks and stuff were happening all year.
Towards the end Harry and co (includes a few Gryffies, Huffies and Ravens) race off to save Beauxbatons but are classically late and only manage to save a dozen or so people. A certain dog was seen on scene briefly. Harry went to Privet Drive, but the position was compromised so more Grimmauld Place.
Remus Lupin dragged his feet as he made his way from Hogsmeade Station to Hogwarts. A horseless carriage had been waiting, but he had cast it aside. He had no use for it, really. He hoped to leave in a few hours, considering the whole school knew what he was. But he also had dreadfully painful memories of this school. He could remember it as though it was yesterday.
It had been the sixth year dance, Remus recalled. He had taken the blonde of Ravenclaw, Shamari Witherspoon. The girl had liked to dance, liked to flirt, and most of all - liked him. The corner of Lupin's mouth turned upwards slightly as he remembered dancing with Shamari. She'd been pleasant, no doubt about it, but there had been some chemistry, he decided.
But alas they never had another date.
A scowl had crept over Remus' face now. His feet began kicking fiercely at the loose gravel, his lips twisted into a snarl. He could still remember running from the dance - it had been full moon and he was cutting it fine. He'd broken his promise to Dumbledore in going to the dance. It was too risky. But he had been a Marauder, hadn't he?
To his deep regret, Shamari had followed him. She had called his name over and over angrily. She hadn't liked been abandoned at the dance. But by then, Remus has changed. He had bitten her and the next day he found out that Shamari was leaving. She wouldn't even say goodbye.
Remus looked up at the ivory gates of Hogwarts, but they did not welcome him as they had done in his first year. He snorted disdainfully and walked through, casting a cross eye upon the Whomping Willow. He had half a mind not to see Dumbledore, but an old man's word was law. Expecially in these dark times...
Lupin pulled open the heavy oak doors and drew a deep breath. The still air reminded him of his own house when Sirius was not visiting. Empty, forgotten...But Remus knew the school was far from that. Within the castle students listened to their lessons, lied about their homework and some thought about night time wonderings. No, this school would never be empty.
In spite of his mood, Remus laughed. He felt so cheerful all of sudden, as though his returning had lifted years of heavy burden. His laughter filled the somewhat silent corridors, making the suits of armous stir; the portraits look at each other in bewilderment. And also drew the attention of another wanderer.
"Who are you?" demanded a prissy voice. "If you want to see the Headmaster he is busy."
Remus froze. He knew that voice. Even as he replied, he felt his throat dry, "Dumbledore asked me to see him. I am inclined to ask what you are doing here, Shamari Witherspoon."
"Remus Lupin." He heard her roll the name around. "How...nice...to see you."
The Marauder turned around slowly to see her draped in violet robes, books clutched in her hands. Her hair was cropped short to her ears and her cheekbones stood out prominently. She looked pale and drawn, and her lips were pulled into a thin line. Shamari's once bright eyes seemed dulled, but her face was still fresh and new, as though she had kept her youthful essence.
Remus smiled warily. "Been a long time."
"Longer than you know," snapped Shamari. "You could have told me where you were going that night."
"You would never have believed me, Shamari."
"You have no right to decide what I would and would not believe!"
Remus backed down, his eyes averting hers. He was nervous of what she would do. If his memory wasn't failing him, the blonde of Ravenclaw had the most terrible temper. Shamari suddenly whipped out a battered wand, her voice raising, "You bit me, REMUS! You knew the rules!"
"But you did not, Miss Witherspoon and I advise you not delay Remus any more than he is already," came Dumbledore's soft voice.
Both Remus and Shamari jumped. Dumbledore was haggard, leaning onto the edge of an ornate door frame, his wizened form hunched over somewhat. His beard was tattered and flowing, but his eyes were bright, the only part of him showing signs of gaiety. His age seemed more apparent than Remus had ever remembered it and the stoop of the respected man showed weariness.
"I came as soon as I could, Albus," Remus said quickly. "What's wrong?"
A smile lit up Dumbledore's dark face and he stood up straighter. "Nothing, Remus. I merely thought the school could do with your presence in these dark times."
"That's ALL?" demanded Remus.
"No, not quite." Dumbledore chuckled pleasantly. "I would enjoy you returning to teach."
Lupin was already heading towards the doors. But Dumbledore called after him, "I need someone to replace Hagrid as the Care of Magical Creatures professor, Remus. No one else will come anywhere near the school."
Remus paused, his thoughts racing. He knew he dare not refuse Dumbledore's offer but there was Shamari Witherspoon to torment him. He was ready to bet that the woman would make sure he knew exactly how she felt about the 'incident'. Remus found himself saying, "I will if Shamari keeps her tongue in check, Albus."
"Excuse me!" Shamari interjected.
Dumbledore clapped his hands together. "Excellent! Remus, you know when dinner is. Your timetable should already be in your rooms."
Remus sighed. "You knew I couldn't refuse, didn't you?"
"But of course," The Headmaster replied, amused. "Shamari is the Defence Against the Dark Arts professor and I would like cooperation from both parties, if it is not too much to ask. You shall begin tomorrow morning."
With that, Dumbledore hobbled away, chuckling to himself. Shamari turned abruptly away, beckoning slightly. She had known of his arrival, Remus mused. She had just wanted to open the closet and let the skeleton fall out.
Shamari glared over at him. "You're to keep out of my way, Remus. I don't want to see you in the corridors. At all. If I do, you'd better watch out when the full moon rises."
"You were never like this," Remus blurted out.
Horrified, he looked away. To his surprise, Shamari's eyes had softened and her voice wasn't as chiselled when she spoke again, "Neither were you."