A/N: I'm back! Here's my second story. It's complete and probably will be posted at the rate my other one was. I also have two more Remus/Hermione ones in mind, a Remus/muggleOC I'd like to try, and probably a Harry/Hermione one too. There's probably a zillion canonical mistakes in here, since I don't have the books. Sorry if it bugs you! This starts out as a bit Harry/Hermione but it will turn into Remus/Hermione. Personally I prefer "Many Cups of Sugar Get You to the Moon" over this one, but I hope you all enjoy it:) Also, if you haven't read my previous story, everything in parenthesis are the character's thoughts.
Disclaimer: JKR owns everything.
Last Minute Teacher
Remus Lupin snoozed on a couch in number 12 Grimmauld Place. He felt exhausted after the full moon a few nights ago. Voldemort had been defeated a couple months earlier, so he decided he had a license to be lazy after all the hard work he'd put in to help Harry and the Order in their successful effort against the dark lord. He was in such a deep sleep that he didn't hear a knock at the door, and the slow creak as it opened.
Dumbledore softly padded into the house, looking around for its occupants. Remus now owned the place, after he was willed it by Sirius. Harry had moved in with him, and recently Hermione came too, after she lost her parents in the war, the poor girl. She'd been devastated. Remus had kindly offered her a place to stay, when she had no where else to go. So she'd sold her parent's house, and almost everything it contained, and moved into a guest room here. As Dumbledore finished his reflection of the recent events, he caught sight of Remus asleep on the couch. Normally he would have left the poor man be, but today he had an urgent request that just couldn't wait.
Remus felt someone shaking him awake. "Go away, Harry. For the last time, it's your turn to cook dinner," he grumbled.
Dumbledore chuckled. "Sorry, Remus, but I believe Harry must still be upstairs."
Remus's eyes shot open at the sound of Dumbledore's voice. He hastily sat up and rubbed his eyes. "Hello Dumbledore, this is a real surprise!" he said, stifling a yawn.
"I'm sorry to interrupt your rest, but I have a request to make. I'm in desperate need of a Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. No one has applied, and term starts tomorrow! I will field any complaints that parents may have, don't give it a thought. I doubt it will be a problem. Please accept the position, Remus. We both know how much the class needs to be taught, to be sure we don't get another Voldemort."
Remus began to struggle with himself. As a werewolf, especially since everyone knew that now, he didn't feel that he should go back. What if something happened? Then Dumbledore would look bad. On the other hand, he was in desperate need of money. Harry and Hermione were well off, but as he had a very hard time of getting jobs, his own piggy bank was almost empty. He also hated the thought of living here by himself and letting Dumbledore down when he needed him. Perhaps it would be all right. After all, people now thought highly of Dumbledore, since he'd let the successful effort against Voldemort. "I will accept the position, Dumbledore. However, the moment you find someone more qualified, I will be happy to step down."
"I think I would be quite difficult to find someone who'd do a better job, Remus. I will expect you to come with Harry and Hermione tomorrow, when they begin their seventh year at Hogwarts. I need to go now, I have more errands to run. Goodbye, Remus."
As Dumbledore exited the house, Remus could hear the thump, thump, thump of two pairs of feet running down the stairs. Remus smiled to himself. He knew Harry and Hermione would probably be quite excited to have him back as their teacher. "Good morning, or is it evening?" he called to them. He peered out the window. "Must be evening."
"Who was here, Lupin?" wondered Harry as he approached his friend.
"Dumbledore was here asking me to be your Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher," Lupin explained.
"And you accepted, of course?" demanded Hermione. The look she gave him was more of an order than a question.
Lupin laughed. "Yes, at least until he could find someone else."
"He won't find someone else," said Harry decisively. "It's my turn to make dinner, isn't it?" He felt a twinge of dread. Working in the kitchen was never his strong point. He needed to hire Dobby to come here and do it for him.
"I was thinking, since this is our last night here, we could all do it together," Remus suggested. Harry grinned in relief.
Not for the first time that month, Hermione found herself thinking about how cute Harry was when he smiled. It felt a bit strange to have a crush on her best friend, though. Harry only saw her as a friend, it couldn't go anywhere, right?
The trio walked into the kitchen, beginning to make preparations. Hermione's mood turned rather gloomy. Working in the kitchen made her think of all the times she'd helped her parents out doing just that. Now they were gone forever. She bit her bottom lip to keep from crying. Remus and Harry, who'd suffered similar losses, had been so understanding of her grief while they continued with their own. She couldn't cry now. She didn't want to spoil the fleeting happiness everyone was feeling over Remus's return to Hogwarts.
Harry noticed the look on Hermione's face, but kept silent. He knew that after Sirius's death, he'd wanted space, so space is what he'd give her. He wished there was something he could do to make her smile. He loved her smile, it made her look so pretty. Sometimes he thought about asking her out, but he was afraid that if she didn't like him back, it would ruin the friendship they had already. She couldn't possibly want him as a boyfriend, would she?
Remus walked over to Hermione and squeezed her shoulder. "You can sit down at the table and wait while Harry and I make dinner, if you wish," he offered. "We don't mind." He saw Harry nod in agreement.
Hermione smiled, her eyes shiny with unshed tears. "You two are really sweet," she said thankfully. She sat down at the table, absently tracing the patterns of the wood with her fingers. Her throat grew tight with emotion. She wondered if the pain would ever go away. The sounds of the kitchen faded to the background as she recalled what happened the fateful night her parents were murdered.
"Goodbye, Ron. Thanks for the ride home," said Hermione.
"No problem, Hermione! I'll hopefully see you at Harry's surprise birthday party. Got to go and help my dad with his latest assignment. Bye!"
"Bye Ron!" she called as he backed down the driveway. He'd gotten a muggle driver's license recently, and was quite proud of it, insisting on driving everyone everywhere. She smiled fondly, and walked up to her front door. She rang the doorbell expectantly. (Nobody seems to be home, and the door's locked. Too bad I can't use magic.) She walked around to the back and flipped over a stone where a spare key was usually kept. Sure enough, it was there. (Strange that my parents aren't here to greet me. They're usually quite overexcited to have me home.) She picked up the key and jumped over the bushes by her front door. She unlocked the door and pushed it open. A horrible feeling washed over her as her footsteps resounded on her living room floor. She turned, and clapped her hand over her mouth in horror at what she saw.
Her parents lay there, dead. A note was on the floor: "Help Potter anymore, and you'll be next."
She froze in shock. This just couldn't be real! She had to talk to someone, anyone. (I know Harry's phone number. I could talk to him) She picked up the phone, dazed, and punched the numbers. Mr. Dursley answered. "Hello?" he asked.
"Hello, I was wondering if I could speak to - " Hermione paused, realizing that unless she pretended she didn't like Harry, she wouldn't get to speak with him. "That horrible brat Harry."
"Of course, I'll get him on," answered Vernon, delighted that Harry would probably get chewed out for something.
Harry picked up the phone. He almost didn't know how to use it, he rarely got phone calls. "Hello?"
"Harry, well I..." Suddenly Hermione found she couldn't speak, as she sobbed into the phone.
"Hermione!" said Harry, alarmed. "What's the matter?"
"Parents -" was all she could say.
"Hermione, please tell me what happened," requested Harry gently.
"Dead," she squeezed out in between sobs.
"Oh no!" Harry said in shock. "I'll contact Dumbledore immediately. We'll all come to your house, Hermione. I'm so sorry, Hermione, this is horrible beyond words."
"Bye," said Hermione, hanging up the phone. She couldn't say, think anymore. It was only minutes, but felt more like hours, until most of the Order of Phoenix arrived at her house. The rest of the day had passed by in a miserable, stunning blur.
Hermione suddenly became aware of the fact that tears where streaming down her face. She discreetly wiped them away, hoping that Harry and Remus hadn't noticed. (I'll be glad when I have homework to do. It might make me feel better.)
Thanks to everyone who reviewed Chapter 25 of my previous story! I'll post review answers at the end of that chapter soon.
Preview of next chapter: McGonagall arrived at the scene, appearing quite frazzled. "PEEVES!" she roared. The poltergeist had been quite uncontrollable lately. "I'M GETTING THE BLOODY BARON IF YOU DON'T STOP!"
Peeves reluctantly let his last paintball go splat on the floor and floated away. With a few flicks of her wand, the paint disappeared. She walked off in a huff to lead the first years to the Great Hall.