Author: Halloween567 PM
Romano has unfortunately lost a bet to England, thereby ending up at a certain wizarding school as an assistant teacher to Professor Lupin. US/UK/US Spain/RomanoRated: Fiction T - English - Romance - Harry P. & England/Britain - Chapters: 3 - Words: 10,457 - Reviews: 184 - Favs: 233 - Follows: 334 - Updated: 09-05-11 - Published: 06-09-11 - id: 7066718
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Summary: Romano has unfortunately lost a bet to England, thereby ending up at a a certain wizarding school as an assistant teacher to Professor Lupin. Harry is suspicious.
3 for third year
Harry was surprised when Dumbledore told him that they would be having an assistant teacher that year; mainly because it would be that attractive brown-haired boy that had a curl on his head.
Harry had at least thought that he would be a transfer student, because he looked about their age. Remus Lupin, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, had defended them from the dementors in the train earlier that day; Harry had been positively traumatized of the dark creatures, but the brunette kid had sat grumpily next to professor Lupin and had not said a word. When the dementor came, he had sat there impassive and stared at Harry, the dementor seemingly not having an effect on the boy. The brunette had then turned away disinterested and continued staring out the window.
Afterwards, when Harry had thought about it, he knew it was abnormal.
"Honestly Ron, he must have the qualifications to teach, even if he isn't actually a professor," Hermione huffed, tapping her fingers against the Gryffindor table, after the Sorting.
"But look at him 'Mione! He's like, sixteen!" Ron protested, as they both stared at the new teacher.
Interestingly enough, Harry found that the other teachers were just as surprised about the boy as he was. Snape narrowed his eyes at the brunette and examined him critically before continuing to eat. McGonagall's mouth was in a stern line as she glanced at the boy from the corner of his eye, disapproving—probably at his age. Harry snickered to himself.
Dumbledore stood up and began his announcements, the Hall quieting down. Whispers flew when he spoke of the new DADA professor, Remus Lupin, and even more whispers erupted as he introduced the new teacher's assistant, Romano. Wasn't that a type of cheese? Harry found himself wondering, and what kind of name was that? Hermione's eyebrows were furrowed as she frowned at the boy himself—Romano.
Although he was older than Harry, Harry felt disgruntled because the T.A looked only as old as George, thereby giving Harry the right to call him a boy. In his mind. Hm.
Many females stared at him. Romano didn't even stand up; he just sat there with his arms across his chest as he stared sideways, off into space with a seemingly permanent frown on his face. But regardless of his attitude, his face was obviously attractive enough. His face was spotless and well-shaped, and his strange hair curl only added to the curiosity. But what really made him stand apart was his ability to frown and be grumpy and still look "cute", as Ginny had just whispered.
Against his will, Harry found himself becoming irritated—and he had not even talked to the assistant teacher yet.
Hermione herself even found herself slightly infatuated with him, even though she seemed more intent on figuring him out, like some sort of puzzle. Her eyes were narrowed at him, squinting. Uncaringly, the new T.A bit into a tomato (what?) and read a book, his lithe fingers flipping the page.
That kid had better watch out. Hermione was looked like she was going to tear him apart.
The first lesson of DADA was fun, and Professor Lupin was a fine teacher. Romano, on the other hand, sat on a chair in the far corner and read some type of wizarding history book. Rumors had been flying around the school that Romano was not his real name, and that he was a very secretive person—
No shit, Harry snorted. Who actually has a name named after cheese? No parents would be that cruel—Harry paused in his thoughts, horrified. He personally found Romano cheese to be disgusting, and being named after it would have been—Harry shuddered.
It was hard to approach the assistant, and no one really knew how he acted or anything, considering the fact that wherever he went, a metaphorical looming raincloud followed him. Ron and Harry noticed Hermione staring at him all the time and along with her strange multi-ability to be at all classes at once, immediately came to the conclusion that she liked him. Later that day, they confronted her.
"You idiots—do you really think that I would do something as inappropriate as that towards a teacher?" She looked horrified, and then promptly blushed as she began to speak again, "He may be very—" Hermione coughed, clearly embarrassed, into her palm. "Very handsome, but his personality leaves much to be desired."
So in short, Hermione thought his personality was a turn-off?
Hm. Harry disagreed. Considering the fact that the only time anyone had really heard him speak was when he told Snape to "fuck off" in the hallways, if Harry was a girl, he would find that a turn on. Not that he was going to say anything though.
"Then why do you keep looking at him?" Ron demanded indignantly, his face red. Hermione raised an eyebrow.
"Don't you think he's kind of—suspicious? I don't know, his mannerisms irritate me." She huffed, arms crossed across her chest.
"Well, can't you look at him more secretly or whatever? Everyone is noticing you staring at that guy!"
"Ronald Weasley! Don't use that kind of language towards me. And stop exaggerating, this really is tiring you know—"
"No! This is your fault. Don't tell me what to do!"
"Fine! Oh—I'll be more discreet in my studying of his mannerisms! Are you happy now?"
Harry decided to tune them out and just go to bed. Sometimes his friends were exhausting, and he just wanted to think about this year and his future. And Romano. Couldn't forget that guy.
Being perfectly honest to himself, Harry was drained from dealing with dementors, Snape, Voldemort, all of it. Sirius Black was on the loose, and Voldemort was probably still plotting at the same time. Draco, as always, tried to make life as difficult for Harry as possible, and Snape was doing the opposite of teaching. Harry understood all this, but it still stressed him out.
On the other hand, Harry did not understand Romano. Mainly due to the lack of communication, Harry felt like the assistant teacher was an enigma. Unsolvable. Untouchable. A bad-tempered little ice bitch with an attitude, but somehow endearing nonetheless. As the days passed, Harry continued to examine the teacher's assistant.
The looks he gave some of the professors sometimes… he was also constantly bad-mouthing them. Hermione naturally found it horrifying, but Harry and Ron thought it was funny—and brave. Sometimes, the brunette randomly sprouted curses in Italian, which Harry found interesting. An Italian at Hogwarts… he was not sure if Italy had its own magic society or not, and Harry was too afraid—?—to ask him.
One thing Harry noticed was that none of the teachers ever punished him or attempted to fight back. It was as if Romano had the highest authority—even escaping the hold of Dumbledore. He could go wherever he wanted, and he never actually helped Lupin teach the class, and Harry needed to be taught.
Harry felt weak and unable to defend himself at all. A sense of hopelessness had settled in the pit of his stomach, and it would not leave until he learned how to do whatever Lupin had done in the train to Hogwarts. As Harry drifted into sleep at the end of another day, he thought of his parents.
And the days passed.
Nothing really changed; Harry was occupied with Quidditch, his classes, rumors of Sirius Black, and Hermione and Ron's quarreling. One day though, in DADA, Lupin presented to them a rattling wardrobe, and asked the question—
"What is a boggart?"
Hermione raised her hand immediately and gave a description of a magical creature that would show someone what they feared the most. Draco snorted at her and muttered something to his fellow Slytherins. They all snickered.
Harry did not feel confident at all. It was amusing, however, to watch Neville's fear of Snape as the simple incantation of "Riddikulus!" caused Snape to don woman's clothes. Romano tapped his fingers against a desk as his robes shifted awkwardly, his face in a dark scowl as he narrowed his eyes at the students.
Hermione frowned back—as she began to "know" him better, it seemed as if she began to dislike him more. Lupin told everyone to get in a line, and Harry gulped, a strange excitement settling in his stomach at the same time.
"I know what mine is, definitely." Ron whispered, sounding not as frightened as he should have been. It seemed to Harry as if no one was actually scared until they actually saw what they feared most, unlike Harry.
"Bugger off." Harry snapped, agitated.
Ron shot him an amused look, before swinging an arm around Harry.
"As long as it ain't You-Know-Who."
Fantastic, Harry thought bitterly, because that's exactly my problem.
One at a time, they went, Parvati, Ron, and eventually it came to Harry. He stared at the swirling blob of a boggart, and his insides twisted in apprehension.
Bloody Hell. Harry had honestly thought it would be Voldemort and now it was something completely different but just as horrifying—
He could feel depression, the emptiness settling in his stomach, the dementors looking absolutely terrifying. Harry froze—how could he possibly think of something funny when he felt, felt so— the other students shivered in fear, Hermione stared in wide-eyed horror, and Ron could not move.
And then Romano was in front of him, before Lupin could even move. Not really in front of him, as much as pushed Harry out of the way.
"Do I have to do everything here? Fuckfaces." He muttered to himself (unfortunately, Harry could hear him), before taking out a slender, plain wand—presumably his— from his robes and pointing it at the dementor, his stance clearly experienced. Romano stood, bored, as the boggart warped, waiting. All the students stood with a bated breath to see the materialization of the mysterious T.A's fears. Lupin stood by hesitating, as if considering interfering or letting Romano do his thing.
The boggart warped into a person, seen as a very, very handsome man, with olive toned skin and brown, curly hair, and green eyes that stared at Romano. Hermione's mouth popped open and half the girls in the class swooned quietly. Harry was just surprised that Romano's fear was an aesthetically beautiful man.
The aforementioned brunette watched the handsome (Spanish?—it seemed) man with an unreadable, bland expression.
Nothing happened for a second, before the curly haired man opened his mouth, reinforcing his Spanish heritage with an accent.
"Ah. Roma," He said smiling, lovely, someone whispered, "Of course I prefer your br—"
Romano's lips tightened, his eyes filling with hurt and acting mercilessly.
"Riddikulus." He said, jabbing his wand at the boggart, as if pseudo stabbing the real thing. The person blew up. Blood and guts spewed all over the room, and a splattering of blood got itself onto the assistant professors cheek.
Harry was disgusted, and he wasn't the only one. Ron looked green, and a girl from Hufflepuff moved to hurl.
Romano himself looked extremely pale, his face whitening at the display of gore.
"Class is over, students," Professor Lupin said frantically, before the shocked silence turned into a screaming horde of third years, "Sorry but, just—get out!" His arms waved, ushering them out of the classroom, while Romano stood frozen. It was a scrambling mess to get out of the classroom.
"Oh my god. He just—"
"Did you bloody see that? That was disgusting!"
Hermione stood, looking faint.
"I'm going to my room." She managed, before walking briskly away towards the dormitories. Ron worked his jaw quietly, opening and closing his mouth.
"Yeah." Harry replied. He probably should have been more horrified, but after seeing Voldemort on the back of someone's head and a giant basilisk, seeing someones guts get blown apart wasn't as traumatizing as he thought it would be. Especially when he had more important things to do rather than sit and say "gross" all day.
"Go on. I need to ask the Professor something." Something concerning dementors and how to repel them. But Harry was still a little bitter about the Hogsmeade situation, so he didn't mention anything to Ron.
"Now?" Ron burst out, clearly incredulous. "But." He pointed a little desolately at the classroom. "Didn't you just... Blimey Harry…" Sighing, Ron waved his arm as if to say 'go on' and then walked in the opposite direction, shuddering every few seconds in mock disgust.
Harry's face twitched, and he stood outside the door, listening as the hallways cleared out. The door was open just a crack, thankfully. It was not like Harry could be blamed for his curiosity.
"—inappropriate." It was Professor Lupin.
"Somehow, it seemed funnier in my head. I— I would never actually want him to die." Romano choked out, sounding horrified at what he had just witnessed. Harry found that sort of ironic, in a 'you deserved it' sort of way.
"This isn't about you, this is about my students! They were traumatized, scared, that display frightened them! Show some responsibility, please!" For some reason, it sounded more like begging than berating.
"Does it look," Romano's voice was ice cold, "Like I give a shit about your fucking students." It wasn't a question. Harry shivered just from listening to his voice. He was glad that he wasn't Remus Lupin.
"I'm sorry." Professor Lupin sighed, sounding weary and less angry, almost immune to Romano's rudeness. "Dumbledore said that we had to treat you with the utmost respect regardless of whether you did the same. But couldn't you at least make an effort to return the gesture?"
"No." There was a moment of silence.
"That's very blunt."
"That's an astute observation, jackass."
Another sigh. "At least tell me—why are you here then?" Good question. Harry was wondering too.
The foul-mouthed Italian did not reply for a weighted moment, before finally saying, "A stupid bet."
"What?" What? Harry echoed.
"A stupid bet with your stupid nation. Now fuck off." And with that, Romano walked toward the door. Scrambling to get away, Harry hid himself behind a pillar as Romano walked away in the other direction. Harry was left confused, and he probably was not the only one.
Glancing into the DADA classroom, there was no traces of blood anywhere, and Professor Lupin had his head in his hands, looking very tired. Harry almost didn't want to bother him.
Then he shrugged nonchalantly and walked in anyway. Getting away from dementors was crucial to his survival, and if it meant putting Romano to the back of his mind, he would do it.
"It's called the Patronus Charm… yes… you do this hand motion. Do not forget to think of your happiest memory." Professor Lupin lectured, imitating some movements so that it would be easier to learn.
It was kind of hard though, when Romano was glaring daggers at them both. Honestly, what did Harry ever do to him? Angrily, the brunette flipped a page of his book loudly, the sound of crinkling paper extremely distracting. Harry tried to ignore it. Lupin ran a hand through his hair, looking slightly distraught, as he continued to give pointers to Harry about the boggart-dementor.
"Romano, will you come here and give us a—" Lupin began hesitantly.
Abruptly, Romano stood up, slamming his book shut.
"Keep that thing, away from me." He hissed, making some flimsy hand gesture toward the boggart and then walking briskly out of the room.
Lupin pursed his lips, staring at Romano's back.
"Professor," Harry began, "Why don't you ever punish him for his rudeness?" Harry also knew that Dumbledore had told them all not to, but Harry wasn't supposed to let Lupin know that.
"His blatant disrespect is excused because of his position." The corner of the professor's mouth twitched.
"Position? Is he a government official or something?" Assuming from Romano's conversation in which he said he made a bet with a country, which was hard to understand. Harry felt like that was an understatement.
"No; Romano is an extremely powerful individual in Italy, and he came to Hogwarts as a favor to one of Dumbledore's old friends. However, I don't think he came willingly."
"No shit." Harry muttered under his breath, incredulous that Romano was an influential person in Italy. A moody, hot-headed violent teenager was very important. Right.
Lupin laughed at the look on Harry's face, patting him on the back.
"None of the teachers know much either, so don't dwell on this subject too much."
"Hm." Harry sounded reluctant.
"Let's take a short break, and then start practicing again." Lupin decided, pulling on his left robe sleeve absentmindedly. Harry was suddenly plagued with a thought that had been troubling him since the very first day Romano arrived at Hogwarts.
"Professor, how old is the assistant professor?" He said, sounding somewhat anxious. Lupin looked unsurprised.
"The Headmaster informed us that he is eighteen. He certainly looks younger, though." Harry blinked, and realized that none of the professors really had any idea who Romano was—any and all information was from Dumbledore, who was not giving away much at all. Of course, he had known that at first, no one knew about him, but he had thought that Dumbledore or Romano himself (unlikely) would have filled the teachers in. They were staff, after all. Clearly though, that was not the case. His existence and arrival was secretive—but why? Harry voiced this out loud.
The most peculiar look came across Lupin's face after he heard the question.
"It is to my knowledge that Romano is associated with a certain individual that both the magical and muggle government of England treasure very much." He said, his tone having an underlying strangeness to it. Harry's curiosity was piqued now.
"If he were that important, wouldn't we all know him?"
"No…" There was a brief hesitation. "This person is seen in various occasions, but nobody knows who he is."
"But do you know who he is?"
"Ah, no." He said, closing the conversation effectively with his icy tenor.
Harry was not sure whether to be doubtful of his words or unresponsive. No questions had been answered—confusion that formerly lingered at the back of his mind clouded it now. Harry was almost positive that Lupin did know who the mysterious individual that the ministry and muggle government coveted was, and that he was just refraining from telling Harry. Harry was not sure whether Dumbledore only told Lupin information, or Lupin just knew. Or perhaps, Harry was wrong in his presumptions the entire time, and Dumbledore had no clue about who Romano was—he may just be acting like he's aware of everything. Harry, however, was reluctant to doubt Dumbledore at all, and stuck to focusing on what he was doing at the moment, which was practicing the Patronus with Lupin.
By the end of the day, Harry had learned how to do the Patronus Charm, but he felt as if he had learned nothing at all.
A/N: So I wrote half of chapter two and then my computer got crashed and infected by a Trojan virus. All files were lost. I… have nothing to say. I'm too upset. Was supposed to have Alfred/Arthur next chapter… but it got deleted… all 2000 words… I'll rewrite it... eventually... ahahaha~
I'd rather get a review than an alert, my darlings. It's okay though, I love you ALLLLLLLLL! 8DDDDDDDDD
BTW this story was partly inspired from ZAFO, Sunny Day in February, and all other USUK fic writers that I read (probably all of them).