AN:/ So, this is dialogue heavy. It solves a few questions I think you all had. You'll see a hint of Harry's new power soon, it's just taking a while for me to get there. I hope I got Sirius right. As always, read, rave, review, repeat :) You all are the best!
"What do you mean Seamus? Of course I've got them…" He trails off as he feels for the glasses. The uncomfortable but traditional broken frames were not there. Yet, he was seeing clearly. Something was off. " Or not. To answer your question Seamus, I'm not sure, and normally yes."
At Harry's confused look Seamus grinned. "Mate, you're Harry bloody Potter. You don't do normal."
To this Neville laughed. "Seamus is more than right; it's your family motto, isn't it?"
"Family motto?" Harry asks.
"Yeah, all big families have one. The Longbottom one is something along the lines of 'Grandis est quercus superum angens vitis', or for those of us who have yet to learn the language of spells, 'Tall is the oak that survives the strangling vine'." Neville says.
"Bloody hell." Seamus says, borrowing from Ron. "Are they all that complex?"
Neville laughs. "Mine is; Harry's isn't. He's lucky. 'Nos numfacis Normativis."
"Ergo, volo normatis, mi amicae." Harry says, resting his head on the table.
(Well, I want normal, my friends.)
Neville's grin grows wider. "Qui cognis laitus?"
(When did you learn Latin?)
It takes Harry a moment to think up his response. It had been a while since he had last spoke Latin. "Cognoscobam laitus per libri." He replies hesitantly, to which Neville looks pleased.
(I learned Latin through books.)
Seamus looks between the two before giving up. "I-ay o-day ot-nay know-ay atin-lay, o-say I-ay ill-way eat-ay ow-nay." He says smugly.
"udis-Lay uria-cay." Neville smirks. Seamus does not look amused. A few seconds later, Harry grins, having translated the lines.
(enjoy-ay our-yay ood-fay)
"Bon dies, Nevillus" Harry says, standing.
(Good day, Neville)
"E tu, Harrius." He replies.
(And you, Harry)
Harry smiles at the duo and turns towards the doors leading away from the great hall. He walks outside them, stepping aside for a gaggle of Hufflepuff girls to pass through without breaking rank. His mind whirls as it tries to comprehend the freedom of his next day and a half. The previous years, his time was taken up by the hospital visits or other issues. This year, he had it free. He could do anything. Hell, he could even free another Dobby! Who does he know that mistreats their elves, and how can he get them inside the castle…
While he plots grand theft servant in his head, his feet carry him on a familiar path. Every Tuesday, after breakfast, he either has Defense, or visits Professor Lupin. It was so common that the portraits along the route had started giving him tips.
"Potter!" A stately looking bloke calls out, jogging down the hall. Harry stopped in front of the normal meeting place, a portrait of a card game of some sort, taking place in what appeared to be The Hogs Head.
"Yes, Michael? What do you have for me today? Another one of the masters tips on how to not fall on my butt?" Harry teases. The man shoved a patron of the bar aside and quaffed a tankard of something. Harry didn't really want to think of what Portraits drank. Ink? Sealant?
"Nay, laddie. I got a tip for you from meself this time. I was hanging around the Hufflepuff dorms, trying to get to that kitchens portrait you told me about. Fruit larger than I, yumm. Anyway, So I hears these two gals talking abouts a fencing class they taking over the summer. Tis in London, above a shop on Diagon alley. You should learn you some type of weapon, more than a wand. Everybody's got a wand. Not everybody's got a claymore in their britches. Eyep, masters calling me back. Remember laddie, learn more. And as me Pap said, 'Semper Vigilo!'" He shouts as he runs.
Harry had yet to catch the boy's name, but he guessed that was their family motto, having heard about them from Neville. He just had to find out what family had such a motto. 'Constant Vigilance,' it sounded exhausting. They were probably mattress makers by now. Still, such advice was rare to get free, especially from people who were training under actual masters. Thank Merlin some strange person had thought to paint a portrait of a masters/apprentices ball. Getting them all together had to have been a hassle, given the tensions at the time due to the popularity of both line and apprentice theft. (And some abuses of the apprentice oath and bond, but those tended to get brushed under the rug. cough * harem * cough) However difficult it had been, the end product was amazingly informative and utterly hilarious. How that portrait was painted, Harry would never know. He takes the final few steps from the corner of the corridor to the door to the defense room. He hesitates, holding off knocking. 'What if Professor Lupin was angry at him, or hadn't come back. If he hadn't come back,' Harry's internal voice agonizes, "then someone has to pack his stuff. May as well be him', he rationalizes.
Just as he goes to knock, the door swings open. Harry's upraised fist now beats not on the solid door it was poised over, but instead over Lupin's sparse hair. For a moment, they both blink at each other in surprise.
"Three things: one, James would tell us to stop making eyes at each other by now; two, Sirius would joke about checking for empty space in my head; three, I'm glad you came by. I was meaning to find you sooner or later. There are important things here for you." The Professor says, breaking the moment.
"Really? About my dad and him. They really would have? And what do you have that is so important?" Harry asks.
"Yes, they tried to be jokesters and pranksters. Went too far once or twice. Come into my office, I promise I don't bite." Lupin says.
"Professor, no offense, but I've seen you. You do bite. And it's not fun. You're not mad at me, right?" Harry says.
"Harry, you should know, I only bite at night. Or if someone asks me to. Some witches like that sort of thing I hear. Of course, they tend to rhyme with umbrella. No, I'm not mad at you. Why would I be?" He pauses and swivels to give Harry a sharp look, "Should I be?" He almost sounded worried at the last part.
"Er, no. I haven't done anything that warrants anger, I think. I came to see how you were handling things." He says. Time seems to slow. Remus eager face slowly falls. The happy go lucky look tanks.
"Oh." Remus says. "No, I'm used to being run out of jobs once people find out. I honestly didn't expect to make it this long, but I'm sure the angry mob of parents will be here within the fortnight to 'burn out the dark creature'."
"I didn't even think about that. You've been an amazing professor, surely Dumbledore can keep you safe and make them see." harry protests.
Remus smiles, but doesn't halt his packing. "Even Dumbledore can't keep all of them out. No, my teaching career is done."
Remus stops and closes his eyes, taking a moment to breathe. "He was a good friend, when I knew him. However, those years in Azkaban changed him. He never got a chance to grow up, barely out of school before being confined with the dementors. He was always joking, playing pranks. Never as mood and unhinged."
"Yeah right! He was the life of the party, he had to be unhinged! He was awesome! He flirted with Dumbledore!" a voice laments loudly.
"Professor, who was that?" harry asks nervously.
Lupin sighs and walks towards his office. "An unfortunate relic of a misspent youth."
"Prat." The voice calls.
"Git." Lupin shoots back.
Harry turns the corner to see a portrait of Sirius sitting on Remus' desk.
"Heyya prongslet." Sirius says. "I'm sorry about you not being able to live with me. I really wanted to save you from those muggles. The whale, Vernon, he sounds like trouble."
"Thanks, I guess." Harry says, following Remus to his desk. "Wait, what did you call me?"
"Prongslet. You're James' runt, after all. Since you don't have a form for yourself yet, you'll go by James'." Sirius says, before the smile slides off his face and he gets deadly serious.
"Watch yourself around your Unlce. You're losing that youthful look and resembling James more than before. Vernon hated James with a burning passion, quite literally. He tried to set James on fire twice. Watch yourself." He waits for Harry to indicate he understands before letting the tension drain away.
"On a brighter note, you have an inheritance coming to you once you turn 14, courtesy of yours truly. So be sure in August to visit the goblins. I can't get you away from the muggles this year, but as long as they execute my will right, and I paid enough that they'd better, then this time next year you'll be going home to a special place in James and I's hearts. You'll find out at the will reading. Now get, you've got another day to enjoy before its back to, what did you call it? Durzkaban? Durzkaban for you!"