You Were Never Like This
Chapter 6 - Teaching the Topic and a Near Miss
Remus woke wondering why he felt so miserable. Then he remembered he had a new topic to teach today and it wasn't just any old topic either. It was five in the morning and Remus was grumpy and bothered. Staggering over to his study, he opened the desk and took a long gulp of brandy. His eyes fell across the werewolf notes Shamari had collected for him and he spotted an unopened letter lying across the research. Curious, he opened it and his jaw dropped.
I'm sorry about last night, but I'm sure you understand. I hope your class goes okay today and that you don't get too embarassed.
Remus shrugged and dropped the letter into a drawer, deciding that the apology had come to late. He sat back in his chair, watching the dawning sky brighten, until it was time for breakfast. Grumbling about werewolf hangovers, he made his way down and hoped he wouldn't get buried alive. Remus stormed along the last corridor in such force he nearly bowled over Harry.
"Sorry about that," Remus apologised sheepishly.
"That's okay, Professor. I just thought you'd like to know that I figured out what the topic was."
Remus looked at him sharply. "And what is it?"
Harry grinned at him, but not unkindly. "It's werewolves, isn't it? It can't be too bad. They think you're a great teacher, just don't like to show it. I think they're afraid that they'll be seen as a friend of a werewolf."
"Thanks, Harry." Remus smiled tiredly in relief.
Remus entered the Great Hall in high spirits. He took his seat next to Snape and Shamari cheerfully, as though nothing had happened the night before. Remus winked at Snape. "Had a good sleep, slime ball?"
"Better than yours, I suspect," Snape snapped.
"That's good!" Remus returned cheerfully.
He then grinned over at Shamari, but said nothing. She glared at him, as if daring him to say something but made no effect to turn away as Remus spoke to her, "And you! Thanks for the letter. Good luck to you too."
"Shut up," Shamari told him, but softly.
Remus turned to the students and waved at the Slytherins, completely confusing them. He grinned over at the rest of the houses and didn't realise he looked strangely vague. He proceeded to greet each staff member who arrived in the same fashion, either getting a snappish or delighted response. When Dumbledore arrived, Remus slapped him on the back. "Knees not bugging you, Albus?"
"Now they are," Dumbledore replied with humour.
Down at Gryffindor table, Ron asked of Harry, "What's up with him?"
"Dunno," Harry lied.
Shamari looked over at Lupin, worried. "Remus, are you okay?"
He paused thoughtfully. "I really don't know, Shamari."
With that he dug into his food hungrily.
The Care of Magical Creatures class which included the Slytherin and Gryffindor seventh years, arrived at Hagrid's hut with excitement. Remus was late, but he turned up only five minutes so, beaming estatically at the students. Rubbing his hands together he declared, "I assume nobody has figrued out the topic?"
Winking at Harry, he strode over and peered down at the disappointed class. Lupin paced back and fowards until he could take the silence no longer.
"Well, somebody did," he announced. "So I guess that's not so much homework."
Hermione looked disappointed, to no one's surprise. The sun was suddenly swallowed up in clouds, but Remus paid this no heed, not noticing that he looked eerie almost. He inclined his head at Harry who grinned back at the Professor before saying, "Wasn't that hard."
Remus would have liked to sigh in relief, but knew this would betray his anxiety. He told them to put their books aside, fighting a queasy feeling in his stomach. At last, he turned back to the class.
"Our new topic..." He paused, looking each student in the face. "Is werewolves."
The bell rang across the quiet lawns of the school grounds, declaring that break had begun. Watching all his students file up towards the doors, Remus folded up his notes and stuffed them into his robes. It had been a great success, in his opinion. Despite the apprehensive looks plastered on their faces, the class had listened fairly well. Remus sat down on Hagrid's front steps and took a swig from his hip flask. Suddenly he felt alarmed for no apparent reason.
"Class went okay, then?"
He jumped and looked over to his left. Shamari was standing there, watching him without blinking. Slightly unsettled, Remus tucked the flask away. "Can't you say hello like a normal person?"
"No, not really." Shamari frowned heavily at him as she came over. "You really should stop drinking."
Remus scowled. "And who's going to stop me?"
Shamari stepped over and without any real effort, snatched the flask away and emptied its contents on the grass. Lupin was too intimidated to protest, deciding that the blonde of Ravenclaw would regain her temper if he did so. Looking down at the puddle of alcohol, he admitted, "I might have a problem with that."
"Might?" demanded Shamari disgustedly. "You are a goddam alcoholic! You can't keep using it to escape the world, Remus! If you shut it out, it'll never accept you."
Remus looked taken aback and he made no move to defend himself. He swallowed his pride and hang his head miserably, trying to hide his face. But Shamari wasn't to be brushed off lightly. She took a deep breath and said softly, "But some people accept you."
"Like who?" Remus lifted his head.
Shamari found herself leaning towards him. They both gazed into each others' eyes for a moment that seemed to last ages. Remus became uncomfortable at how close she was to him, and at the last moment before their lips touched, he pulled away.
"You're right, I shouldn't have done that," Shamari muttered, embarassed.
She turned and hurried towards the castle, blushing furiously red. Lupin watched her go and picked up his fallen flask, screwed the lid back on and tucked it onto his belt. He stood up and stretched, yawning widely. He began walking up and froze as he saw Harry standing by one of Hagrid's empty paddocks, looking very amused. Remus gave chase, but as the younger had longer legs, he was able to evade an angry Professor Lupin.
Remus gave up and made his way up to his study. He was extremely glad to have a free period at last and threw himself into his chair. Automatically, he opened his top drawer and retrieved some brandy. Sipping on this he wondered if Harry was happily spreading the news, but quickly cast this thought aside. He was certain that the Gryffindor Quidditch Captain was far too noble to do that. Harry wasn't going to tell anyone that he had seen two professors nearly kiss.
But he was wrong.
Harry Potter, at that moment, was using up his short break time to write a note for Hedwig to carry. He really didn't know what to write, but kenw he had to get it done fast otherwise he'd be late to Charms.
"Harry!" Ron called from downstairs. "Hurry it up will you?"
"Just a minute!" Harry shouted down.
Sealing the letter, he attached it to Hedwig and made sure you flew off. Harry sprinted downstairs and couldn't suppress the grin that fought to break out on his face.
Sirius Black was far from Hogwarts, receiving the letter a good week after it was sent. He was about to start his journey south, but before he could start travelling out from his hiding place, an owl landed next to him. Frowning slightly, he opened it. Soon a smirk had replaced his frown and Sirius decided to go to Hogwarts. Leaving the letter behind for when he came to use the hiding place again, he transformed into a black dog and bounded away towards the north.
Long after he had gone for months, the print was still visible:
I was wondering if you could visit. I know it's risky, but I thought you could help Remus who is teaching again. You see, there's this particular female professor who I think likes him.
Sorry I can't write more,