Disclaimer: I do not own anything you recognize from the Harry Potter universe. That privilege belongs solely to JK Rowling.
Professor R.J. Lupin—better known to his friends and small family as Remus or Moony—leaned against the desk in his classroom gazing out at his last class of the day (Gryffindor and Ravenclaw third years) as they quietly read from their books about dementors. Most of the quills belonging to the students barely touched the surface of the parchment, though they were supposed to be taking notes on the subject. Hermione Granger, a rather bright Gryffindor Professor Lupin had come to know through his surrogate godson, however, was threatening to burn a hole through the table if she didn't slow down the speed of her quill.
Professor Lupin glanced at his watch and looked back up at his students. "Okay, quills down, books closed, the bell is about to ring. Yes, you too, Hermione," he added with a smile at Hermione's look. "Now, before you all go enjoy this wonderful Friday afternoon—" The class looked gloomily out the windows; it had been raining for days. "—I would like to remind you all that exams are only two weeks away. You are all exceptionally bright and I have full confidence that none of you will fail. Nevertheless, I want to see you all studying hard in the coming weeks, not only for this class, but for all of your classes." He looked pointedly to the back of the classroom where Harry Potter and Ron Weasley were bent over a piece of parchment whispering conspiringly together.
At the silence of their professor, the two boys looked up. Harry quickly hid the parchment in his robes. "Sorry, Professor," they muttered with sheepish smiles.
Once Professor Lupin was confident they were now paying attention, he continued, "As I was saying—" Just at that moment the bell rang throughout the castle signaling the end of the school day. "Have a wonderful weekend!" he called over the noise of students gathering their belongings. "Harry, can you stay back a moment, please?"
Harry was nearly out the door when the professor called his name, and though Professor Lupin couldn't see his face, he knew the boy had winced. Harry said goodbye to Ron and Hermione and turned back to walk to his professor. He was walking slowly, biting his lip. Remus was sure his surrogate godson was thinking up a story before he even knew what he was in trouble for.
"Up to my office, please," Remus said, picking up essays from his desk and leading the way up the stairs in the classroom. "Sit," he said, pointing to a chair in front of the desk. Harry gulped and did as he was told. Remus closed the door and crossed the room. He leaned on his desk before Harry, his legs and arms crossed, with a stern expression. Remus inwardly amused himself by watching Harry squirm under his stare—it was sort of a cruel, but effective technique he had adopted from Minerva McGonagall.
To Harry's visible relief, Remus spoke, "I had a nice little conversation with Professor Snape this morning, Harry. Care to tell me your side of the story?"
To Remus' bewilderment, Harry seemed further relieved at the topic. He began to talk rather quickly. "It wasn't my fault, Remus. Honestly! He wouldn't shut up about my dad and Sirius. It's not like I planned to make him fly into the desk!"
Remus raised an eyebrow. "Fair enough. But did you really have to call him 'Professor Potato Head' in front of the entire class?"
"Well, no, it just sort of... came out," Harry insisted, trying to hold back his grin.
Remus frowned deeply. "Listen, I know you don't like Professor Snape, Harry, and to tell you the truth, I'm none too fond of him myself. But unfortunately for you, he is your teacher. And as such, you must treat him with respect."
"Is a grown wizard," Remus said firmly. "Sirius and I went to school with Professor Snape. Sirius can say whatever he wishes. And in the summer, so can you. But while we are in school, and while he is your teacher, you will treat Professor Snape with respect. Understood?"
"Yes, sir," Harry muttered, looking down at his shoes.
"Good. You have a detention with him tomorrow night. And no, I cannot and will not get you out of it, end of discussion," Remus said.
Harry sighed, but nodded.
"Okay, then. I am not even going to bother asking what you and Ron are up to. I don't really think I want to know, to tell you the truth," Remus said warily. Harry grinned. "How're your other classes going?"
"Fine. Hagrid's got us studying Flobberworms. He has to keep Buckbeak tied up since the attack on Malfoy. Too bad Buckbeak didn't tear the git apart," Harry muttered.
"Yes, I heard about that. Professor Dumbledore asked me to go to Hagrid's hut last night to convince him he'd done nothing wrong," Remus said, looking at his watch. "Well, you better be going. Don't you have Quidditch today?"
Harry looked down at his own watch and jumped. "Bloody hell! Sorry," he added at Remus' raised eyebrow. "Are you coming down to watch?"
"Later. I've got a few papers to grade first."
Harry nodded and picked up his school bag. He said goodbye to Remus and headed out the door. Remus looked around for a moment and remembered something. "Harry! Wait a second!" he called. Harry stopped on the stairs and turned around. "Sirius owled this morning. He's managed to get us tickets to the World Cup this summer, top box."
"You're kidding!" Harry exclaimed, letting his bag drop to the floor.
"Nope." Remus grinned. "But if you don't pass all your exams with exceptional marks, you get to stay home and clean."
"Yeah, right," Harry said with a smirk. He knew full well that even if he failed half of his exams—which he would not—he would still be allowed to go to the Quidditch World Cup.
"I'm serious," Remus said, trying to hide his smile.
"No, you're not," Harry said, "Sirius is at home!"
Remus rolled his eyes and groaned loudly at the overused pun. "Get out of here! I'll see you later."
"Bye!" Harry called, running out of the classroom and slamming the door behind him.
Remus shook his head at the door and headed back to his office and reading through the seventh years' papers on the Unforgivable Curses. Just as he was about to grade the third to last paper, a muffled voice inside of his desk called out to him.
"Moony! Come on, I know you're there! I can hear you breathing! Pick up!" the voice said.
Remus smiled and shook his head again. He opened the drawer and shifted some parchment. Finally he found the old mirror with Sirius' face in the middle of it.
"Yes, Padfoot?" Remus said in a mock-irritated voice.
Sirius grinned. "Did you tell him?" he asked excitedly.
Remus could almost see him jumping up and down. "Yes, I just told him. But he seems to think he can still go if he fails his exams."
Sirius' expression changed from excitement to horror in a millisecond. "Of course he can still go! Are you mad? This is the Quidditch World Cup!"
"As you've said many times since you heard they were hosting it here," Remus said dully.
"So was he excited?"
"Highly. Now, I hate to cut you off, but I have some papers to grade, and I want to go check out Harry's practice before dinner."
Sirius nodded. "Yeah, okay. Let Harry know I'll be there for the House Cup match, will you? I cleared the day for it."
"Will do, see you, Sirius."
"Bye, Professor Moony!" Sirius said before disappearing from the mirror.
Remus chuckled, placed the mirror on his desk, and continued with his papers.
As he said his goodbye to Remus, Sirius' smile began to fade. He placed the two-way mirror on the mantle above the fireplace, and looked at one of the many wizard photos surrounding it. This particular photo was Sirius' all-time favorite. It was of him and Remus with Harry in between them, and unlike many of the other photos they had taken together, the figures in this one only smiled softly. Sirius and Remus both had their arms around the twelve-year-old, and Harry seemed quite content to just stand with his guardians.
Sirius sighed and went to sit in his favorite armchair. He missed his housemates; it was way too quiet with them both away at Hogwarts for the year. Remus and Harry seemed to be having the time of their lives, and Sirius couldn't think of any two people who deserved this happiness more.
But he was bored.
Work on the Malfoy case mostly kept the Head Auror occupied; in the past six years, there hadn't been a single solid sign of the runaway Death Eater. There had been a few leads a year back, but the moment Sirius and Kingsley checked them out, they were right back at square one.
Last year had been a most interesting year in Sirius' godson's life. Sirius couldn't help but worry about the safety of him and Remus while those things were going on. It was nearly as bad as Voldemort coming back. And according to Remus, the events of Harry's second year nearly did bring the foul excuse for... well, anything back to the world.
No one ever found out how Tom Riddle's diary had gotten into the hands of first year Ginny Weasley, but it did.
And, well, you know that story...
The night Ginny had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets, happened to be a full moon. Meaning that there was one less person on staff to try and find the girl. The staff had no idea where to even begin, but somehow Harry and Ron had. The two took it upon themselves to save Ginny. There was some sort of cave once they had entered the chamber. The rest, as I said, you already know.
Harry saved Ginny, killed the Basilisk, got rid of the memory-Riddle, and was able to get his friends out safely.
Dumbledore had called Sirius and Remus into his office a few days after the events to discuss the diary and try to figure out how it came to Ginny's possession. Sirius had his suspicions, but unfortunately he needed Lucius Malfoy to confirm it. Just one more thing to ask the git after Sirius beat the hell out of him...
Sirius was about to get up and make some dinner when the fireplace called his name. The Auror turned around and grinned. Hestia Jones' head was in the middle of the dancing flames. The two had remained in contact after their meeting with the Order of the Phoenix six years back. They spent most of their free time together, but while most would call this dating, Sirius and Hestia called it "keeping busy." Remus had once questioned Sirius what this meant exactly, and whether or not it happened with Harry in the house, but Sirius evaded his friend's questioning.
"Hey," Sirius said, kneeling before Hestia.
"Hey, yourself." The black-haired witch smiled. "Wanted to see if you want to go to the Leaky Cauldron with me for a bite to eat."
"Yeah, sure, you read my mind actually. I'll meet you there."
Hestia smiled and disappeared from the fire. Slightly cheered, Sirius ran a hand through his long hair, winked at a picture of Remus and Harry, and Disapparated with a pop.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione said good night to Remus after dinner and headed back to Gryffindor tower. Harry was quite exhausted after his training session earlier in the afternoon. Oliver had forced the team to train for two hours in the cold rain before he was satisfied that they had done well enough before allowing them to go back into the warm confines of the locker room.
Harry and Ron were discussing the Quidditch World Cup and the chances of the Weasleys meeting Harry, Sirius, and Remus there—apparently Arthur was trying to get tickets as well. Hermione remained silent, glancing at them out of the corner of her eye, scowling. She spoke the password to the Fat Lady when they arrived, and the three of them crawled through the portrait hole.
Harry sat in his usual armchair in front of the fire and sighed with Ron next to him on the sofa. Hermione, however, stood in front of them with her hands on her hips, her expression stern.
"You know, Hermione, you look just like McGonagall when you do that." Harry yawned.
"Good," Hermione snapped. "You two should be studying, not talking about Quidditch."
"Aw, come on, Hermione! Exams are like three weeks away! What do we need to start studying now for?" Ron asked, stretching out on the sofa.
"You two never listen, do you? Didn't you hear Professor Lupin in class today? Exams are only two weeks away."
"See, we still have time," Ron said lazily, scratching Crookshanks behind the ears as he passed.
Hermione clicked her tongue, rolled her eyes, and stomped up to the girls' dorm.
"What's up with her?" Harry asked, staring perplexedly up the spiral staircase. "We never study until last minute. She acts like this is something new."
"I don't know. Want to play chess?" Ron asked.
"Yeah, sure, just don't cheat this time," Harry warned.
"I do not cheat!" Ron said.
"Yeah, you do. Setup the board."