You Were Never Like This
Chapter 8 - The Doctor and His Assistant Go to Work
Shamari was strolling along the lake as she did every morning, contemplating how she wanted her classes to go that day. She ignored the bitter air and quickened her pace to warm her up. In her hands she held stone cold toast, not even touched, and threw pieces ocassionally into the lake where the Giant Squid would claim them. She turned and walked back to the castle.
She smiled slightly as she reached the doors. Some things were best kept secret.
The owl fluttered onto the table and began to preen itself. Sirius grabbed the letter and it flew off into the Forbidden Forest, disappearing into the rising sun.
"You got a letter!" Sirius called over to Remus who, for once, did not have a hang over.
Remus frowned as he picked it up. "Who'd be writing to me?"
His eyes flew to the bottom of the letter and he felt his heart clench. Remus found that his hands were shaking as he put the note down onto his study. He sat hard in his chair, gazing at the parchment as though it were about to throw itself at his face. The colour drained from Lupin's face, making him look ashen and sickly. He looked like a total wreck.
"Sirius," he rasped, "throw that in the fire."
Sirius looked down at the seemingly innocent letter. "Are you okay...?"
"Just do it!"
When at last the letter was curling over looking nothing remotely like what it was, Remus had a long draught from his brandy. He set the bottle down and looked over at Sirius. "Do you know who sent me that?"
Sirius shook his head.
"It was Voldemort, Siri," Remus said softly. "He wanted me to join his side."
Sirius shot a nervy look at the merrily burning hearth. They both fell silent, each thinking about the letter. Suddenly, Sirius burst out, "So are you?"
"No! You might look intelligent, but sometimes I wonder if you are."
Sirius feigned hurt, but soon found himself laughing at Remus' joke. Remus couldn't help himself either, grinning so hard it was painful. They both forgot about the letter, now ashes, as it lay within flames.
Sirius and Harry were waiting for Remus to come out of his rooms, discussing how to get the Love Doctor's plan in motion. They stopped suddenly when they heard footsteps approach. Sirius swore, but suddenly he was replaced by a quiet black dog sitting by Harry. As the footsteps drew nearer, it became apparent that it was the dainty step of boots with a heel.
Shamari Witherspoon caught sight of Harry and flushed red up her neck. She bowed her head so that he would not see her embarassment. Grinning wickedly, Harry said innocently, "Hello, Professor. A bit early for class, isn't it? Breakfast hasn't even started."
"I thought I'd walk around," she replied waspishly. "Not against the law is it?"
Harry shrugged carelessly. "I think Lupin's in the shower. He might need the company."
Shamari stared at him in shock for a few seconds before demanding, "Where'd you get that strange idea, Potter?"
Harry patted Sirius on the head, saying nothing but gave her a wink. He noticed that she didn't attempt to leave - it seemed she was more interested staying. Shamari was standing there, weakly trying to hold Harry's eyes with her own to see how much he really knew. Harry blinked, losing the contest, but certainly not the one he had started.
"Well," Harry said slowly, "you kind of like him, don't you? I've been watching the pair of you since he arrived. You can tell me, Professor. I mean, the school isn't buzzing with the news."
Shamari glared at him, but warned, "If you do..."
"Ooh, you're threatening me with the whole full moon thing are you?"
Shamari looked surprised for a second, then very angrily, she snapped, "How did you find out?"
Harry tried to smile, but failed. "Kinda obvious, isn't it? You're always sick around the full moon."
"He told you, didn't he?"
Harry nodded, not sure his voice would hold steady. Shamari scowled and swept past him, ready to scream when suddenly, Harry called over to her, "If it makes you feel better, he likes you too."
Shamari frowned at him. "He does?"
"Oh yes. It's just that he thinks you haven't forgiven him for that night..."
Shamari swept out of sight this time and did not return. Sirius resumed his human form and grinned guiltiy at Harry and returned the grin. Sirius sighed. "I think we can hurry up phase two."
"I'm on it," Harry promised just as Remus stepped out.
Remus had the odd feeling that Sirius and Harry were planning something. And he didn't like it. He spent the day avoiding the black dog or its 'master' just to be on the safe side. It seemed that Dumbledore knew about the dog and even offered to send extra food to Remus' study in such an offhand way that none of the staff noticed anything suspicous. Or perhaps they were too caught up in dinner to notice?
So caught up in this, he didn't notice that Shamari was watching him carefully. Finally, she asked him as casually as she could, "I didn't know you had a dog."
Remus' eyes widened somewhat and he tried to paste a smile on his face. "Uh, yeah. His name is Snuffles."
"Snuffles?" repeated Shamari in amusement. "How odd."
Remus did not reply to that. He silently cursed Sirius Black and his wonderings around the castle as a 'lovable stray'. Remus nodded his head curtly, then left abruptly, lost in teh sea of students that had filled the remaining space to the main doors. Shamari didn't know she was smiling like an idiot, but she knew she felt like one. She got up slowly and followed Remus.
But she felt someone grab her arm. She spun to see Harry Potter with a gleam in his emerald eyes. "Come on. I want to show you something."
"What?" Shamari asked, baffled.
"You'll see," he replied mysteriously.
He led her up a great number of staircases before reaching the room she had once attended Transfiguration in. The classroom was empty, as were the surrounding corridors. Professor Witherspoon was about to demand what the hell was going on when she heard two familiar voices. One she picked instantly, but the other one eluded her. She knew she'd heard this other voice before, but it was beyond her. She heard Remus sigh. "I don't need your help. There's nothing anyway."
"You call that nothing?" demanded the other voice, but cheerily. "You talk about her all the time."
"Siri!" Remus sounded rather exasperated.
Shamari stared into the door and whispered, "Is that who I think it is? Sirius Black?"
Harry nodded, but his eyes told her to be quiet. Shamari obeyed, but reluctantly. She wanted to know why a convincted criminal was hanging around Hogwarts giving love advice. She remembered the countless times back at school when she'd actually asked for his help. Smiling alightly, she heard Sirius spoke sternly with his friend, "You really, really like this woman, yeah? So why don't you tell her?"
Shamari listened intently for Remus' reply. She heard him draw in a breath. "She doesn't like me, Siri. How are you supposed to tell someone who hates you that you...like them?"
"Don't worry...Harry and I have that all sorted out."
By the sounds of it, Remus had tried to hit his friend, but got the wall instead. His voice was almost stressed as he gasped, "You can't do this to me! Sirius Black, I think you're doing more than you should."
Sirius laughed. "But I am the Love Doctor."
"Love Doctor or no..."
And their voices faded as they continued along the corridor. Harry quickly explained about how Sirius was innocent, but left a great deal out. Shamari knew this already, but how was a very mysterious question. Harry glanced at his cheap watch. "In half an hour, Sirius will have Remus alone in his study - perhaps you'll pay him a visit?"
"Definitely," Shamari agreed, smiling.
Remus slumped in his chair, defeated. Sirius had gone bounding away in dog form, claiming he needed to stretch his legs. Lupin hadn't spoken to him at all, having been more than cross that his friend was at the match making business again. He heard the floor creak and looked up to see Shamari standing there, books clutched tightly in her hands.
"I didn't see you there," Remus said politely.
"I came to talk about the topic."
"Did you now?"
Shamari swallowed. "Maybe not."
"Then why did you come?"
Shamari dropped her books and walked over to him. Frozen momentarily he made no moves to stop her as she pressed her lips against his. Suddenly, he felt a rushing sensation within himself. Remus let her, but as the seconds ticked by, he became uncomfortable. Pushing her away, he muttered, "I've got work to do."
"And so have I," she said casually. "Goodnight, Remus. I'll see you tomorrow."
"'Night," He responded, dazed.