You Were Never Like This
Chapter 5 - Snapsies is a'teasing
It was Sunday night and Remus was looking down at Hagrid's organised lessons in horror. He felt sick all of a sudden and wished he'd never come back. He began to suspect that Dumbledore had known of Hagrid's plans and, frankly, Remus hated that. Dispiritedly, he opened the textbook at the page and stared at the heading with apprehension.
"Just my luck," Remus muttered. "I have to teach the class the properties of a werewolf."
He pushed aside the book and began to scrawl lazily what he would do if he could get his hands on Hagrid. Remus didn't know much about the subject, really. He'd always avoided it for very obvious reason. He knew about the whole full moon thing, but beyond that...
Lupin moaned helplessly. Rubbing his eyes, he stood up, deciding visit Dumbledore in his office and give the Headmaster a piece of his mind. Storming through the corridors, he met no challenge - just a few ghosts who skirted out of his way quickly. Halfway along, he found Peeves the Poltergeist floating upside down and scribbling on a shrieking portrait.
"Hello, Peeves," Lupin said briskly before he could catch himself.
Peeves spun right way up and poked his tongue out of Remus.
"I really don't have time for this," the professor told the poltergeist, then walked straight past him.
This seemed to not go down well with Peeves, who was used to people hanging around. Non-plussed, Peeves zoomed after him. Remus halted and stared sideways at him for a long time. Peeves stared back without blinking. Tauntingly, the poltergeist sang, "Loony loopy Lupin."
Remus pulled out his wand and finally Peeves vanished. Grinning savagely in triumph, he walked down the deserted corridors cursing poltergeists and strange creatures in general. When he realised this included him, he scowled and walked straight into a suit of armour. He swore out loud and kicked the dormant decoration, sending it clattering down the stairs.
"Have you considered anger management classes?" Shamari asked from behind him.
Remus glared at her, choosing to remain silent. She bent over and picked up the heavy suit, leaning it skilfully against the wall and speaking once more, "I did that about four times in my first week."
"Hagrid's lessons include something I'd rather not talk about."
"And what is that?" Remus swallowed with difficulty. Having to admit something like this was going to be painful. He looked away as he muttered, "Werewolves."
Shamari crossed her arms, a sly smirk playing across her face. "That makes two of us, then. According to Dumbledore, I've got to do something on werewolves. Do you think he's up to something?"
"Took you long enough." Remus sighed. "Do you need help?"
"I said," Shamari, repeated, "Do you need help?"
Lupin stared at her, puzzled. Why would she want to help him? Finally, he found his voice. "I do."
Although he wasn't to teach the topic for a couple of days, Remus found that he was increasingly nervous. He avoided Dumbledore, more than a little cross. Lupin kept feeling as if the Headmaster was looking at him and evaluating his mood. On Tuesday, while he was teaching, Hermione asked what the upcoming subject was. Grimacing, he answered mysteriously, "It'll be a...surprise."
"But, Professor." Hermione was not giving up. "I want to revise the subject."
By this time, the whole class was listening intently. Remus looked at each of their faces and was relieved that no one had guessed. But that look Harry was sporting...He shook it off, deciding that if Harry had been eavesdropping again it wasn't his problem.
"Tell you what." Remus reached a conclusion. "If you can guess before the start of next lesson what the topic will be, I'll go easy on the homework."
The class looked uneasily at each other. They didn't quite like the tone of his voice, which suggested a surprise not unlike Hargid's. But Hermione looked disappointed and was heard later to say, "But I wanted more homework."
And thus was torn between the desire to spend a few lunch times in the library guessing which topic was going to be taught and a longing for a heavy homework load. Harry didn't say a word. Sometimes it was best to observe than be involved, he reflected.
By dinnertime, Remus felt exhausted, having fended off students asking about the new topic. Disinterestedly, he pushed his food around his plate and wondered if Hermione had figured it out yet - seeing as Harry might have. Despite his attitude, Remus smiled and drank pumpkin juice so that he could watch the students discreetly. But it seemed no one was arguing about it at all.
Remus turned to look at Shamari as she took her seat beside him, immediately filling her goblet and taking a long draught. She dropped heavy books beside her seat and picked up a considerably lighter book, sticking her nose into it. She said nothing, and Remus didn't want to intrude in case she was in one of her deep thinking sessions.
"Don't ask," she said suddenly.
"I wasn't going to," Remus replied innocently.
Shamari glared at him briefly before turning back to the book. Curious, Lupin read the title and choked on his steak and kidney pie. Before he could stop himself, he wrenched the book out of her hands. "You shouldn't be reading this trash. It's discrimination."
Professor Witherspoon arched an eyebrow. "Is that what you're teaching your students? I thought they were meant to reach a decision themselves."
"Look," Remus said angrily. "Every book in this castle has something bad to say about us. Don't you think it's time to have the creature's point of view?"
Shamari stood up abruptly, snatched her books and strode out a side entrance without a backward glance. Sighing in exasperation, Remus opened the book slowly, sneering at the foreword. Before long, he had slammed it shut and muttered to himself, "What kind of a sicko writes a book titled Avoiding the Worst: Werewolves?"
And he too stormed out the side entrance. Having heard their argument, Snape reached over and picked up the book. He only scanned the first few pages before something of a wicked smile made its way painfully to his face. Lazily, he reached for his goblet and peered down into it. No one looking at him would guess what he was about to do.
Shamari sat at her desk, casting aside some hastily scribbled notes. She was frustrated and tired, but pushed this from her mind. She had to get this research done by Friday or there'd be hell to pay. Forcing herself to pick up the quill, she began writing again, this time using Remus' idea. She had to admit it was much easier to write about than using a general summary of werewolf.
Suddenly Shamari stopped and looked up to see Professor Snape leaning against the door jam. She didn't feel comfortable so said quietly, "Would you please leave?"
"I don't listen to werewolves," Snape sneered at her. "They're pathetic excuses for humans."
Shamari looked up at him, hurt running across her face. Slowly, she rested her quill on a spare piece of parchment and stood up, feeling a hot whoop of anger. "Yeah well, there's a pathetic excuse standing right in front of me."
Snape was enjoying this and decided to continue. "At least I'm not a freak."
Shamari's eyes moistened and she wiped them quickly. She wanted to tell herself she couldn't be hurt by his words, but her knees were shaking. She couldn't stop the flow of tears pouring down her cheeks, couldn't stop the stab of his cruel statements.
Remus was strolling through the corridors, humming to himself to pass the time. He caught sight of Peeves bounding towards him, singing in a high voice that would have made all the singers in the world cringe. The poltergeist was cheerful and this bothered Lupin who knew Peeves was only ever happy when someone else was miserable.
"Peeves!" he shouted.
"It's you again." Peeves instantly sounded less than cheerful.
Remus sighed and brandished his wand. "You're never happy unless someone's suffering. Tell me why you're this cheerful."
Peeves grinned wickedly at him. "Snapsies is a'teasing the other werewolf."
"Thanks Peeves," Lupin managed before he disappeared around the corner.
The poltergeist stared after him in bewilderment before bouncing off down the corridor, singing loudly, "Snapsies is a'teasing the other werewolf! Snapsies..."
Remus ran without thought of what he would do when he got to Shamari's study. By the time he reached there, he was gasping, but paid this no heed. He burst into the room and bent over, breathing deeply. Finally he looked up evenly at Snape. "Go wash you hair, Severus."
Remus realised he still clutched his wand and looked a tad ridiculous pointing it at Snape. The greasy black haired menace stepped forward. "What did you say?"
"You heard me.," Lupin snapped. "The grease is getting absorbed into what little brain you have. And I wouldn't get any closer, unless you want a nasty curse on you."
Snarling, Snape turned and stalked out. Remus turned to Shamari who was busy wiping her eyes with her robes so he wouldn't see. But he knew what she was doing and decided not to aggravate her. Shamari looked up at him in puzzlement. "Why did you come?"
"Peeves told me." Remus hesitated. "You would have done the same for me."
Shamari glared at him with something remarkably like hatred. "You're wrong, Remus."
Remus sighed and turned around, leaving her to mope. He didn't feel much like baby-sitting anyway.