Title: It Takes Two
Pairings: Harry/Remus, Ron/Hermione
Warnings: Some sexual content, but nothing graphic (in this version); OC, but it helps the plot along; other minor pairings might happen in future chapters.
Notes: This is another fic that I started on a whim because of an idea I got when writing a 500 words or less challenge. I thought to myself: What if Harry did become the new DADA teacher after he's destroyed Voldemort? And what of Remus? Then things really got going, and I ended up with this fic. I hope you enjoy it – please tell me if you did! I'm working on this one when my muse gives me the time between school and work. I don't know when the next update will be, but I'll try getting it up sometime this week or before the weekend.
Remus POV for most of the story.
Disclaimer: I don't own these characters!
There was a light knock on the door. Remus looked up from his pile of work-related parchments and stared at the door in confusion. He wasn't expecting anyone now; those that knew that he was there told him that they were too busy today. Unable to stop himself, and letting his guard down and forgetting security thanks to Harry defeating Lord Voldemort, he told the person on the other side of the door to come in. Luckily, it wasn't anyone dangerous.
There, in the doorway, stood Harry Potter himself, with a grin. Harry was eighteen now and very well off, he'd heard. Harry still had a head of untidy, black hair, still wore those round spectacles, and bore that lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead. His clothes were less baggy now, but that was mainly because Harry's friends bugged him about it until he conceded. Harry was more than able to purchase himself new clothes, but what he lacked was knowing just what to get. Hermione had been a real help with that, and to show his gratitude, Harry had helped her arrange her wedding.
"Harry, what a pleasant surprise," Remus smiled. "Come sit down. Tell me what's on your mind."
Harry shut the door gently behind him and walked quietly to Remus's desk. During the fight against Voldemort, Harry had learned a lot about stealth and fighting maneuvers, and it didn't surprise Remus one bit that Harry still possessed most of those abilities. It scared some people out of their skin at times, during the war, when he'd walk right up to them and they didn't know he was there until they'd turn around. There had been many times when Remus turned around quickly, about to sprint out of a room or go back into one, and was startled almost to death to see Harry standing right next to him.
"Hey, Remus," said Harry, sitting in the chair in front of Remus's desk. "How's the job hunt going? Find anything yet?"
Remus shook his head and sighed heavily. "Not as such. Arthur Weasley told me that he'd been trying to get a new group in the Ministry started so that I'd be able to get a job, but he hadn't been having any luck."
"What kind of group?" Harry asked curiously.
"Oh, one that promotes safety and understanding for those with 'conditions', like lycanthropy and vampirism."
"You'd be a perfect leader of that group."
"Thanks, Harry," Remus smiled, blushing a little. "But for now, I just need to make ends meet."
Harry looked at the ceiling and made a little 'hmm' noise, as if thinking, but the look in Harry's eyes didn't fool Remus. He knew that Harry had something on his mind. Ever since Harry fought in the war against Voldemort and his Death Eaters, Harry'd come into his own as a man, and one of the things he had no troubles doing, as far as Remus could tell, was speak his mind.
Another thing that happened to Harry, besides becoming the greatest wizard in the world and best in Defense Against the Dark Arts anyone had ever seen, was that he'd developed a slight, lingering injury. It wasn't anything you could notice right away, and there were times when Remus even forgot that it existed. During the battle with Voldemort, Harry had sustained many hexes, curses, and physical wounds. If it wasn't for all the training he'd undergone before it, he was sure Harry would've cracked. However, Harry stood tall and proud, just like his father had done. But unlike his father, he survived.
Harry's injury was mostly physical. It took months in St. Mungo's for Harry to recover enough to where he could stand under his own power. Once he was deemed healthy enough and released, he still had remnants of his injury. Harry didn't show it too often, but there were times when Remus could see it in his eyes; how Harry would wince at certain sounds, movements, and touches; and how he would stand up awkwardly, or need to lean against something in order to sit straight. Harry didn't accept any physical contact for a long time even after he'd been out of St. Mungo's. He was going to hook back up with Ginny Weasley after the war, Remus heard, but because of his injury, Harry had decided it was best if they didn't. Ginny was upset but understanding, from what Arthur told him. He wondered if it wasn't something else entirely that kept Harry from Ginny.
But now, sitting before him, Remus could see a fire in Harry's eyes that he hadn't seen in a long while. His green eyes sparkled with mischief and mystery; Harry would have done his father proud with that look—it was pure James Potter.
"I have a proposition for you," he said.
Remus raised an eyebrow slowly. He didn't know what Harry was planning, and he wasn't sure if he wanted to know, but he asked anyway.
"And what would that be?"
Harry stood, and Remus noticed there was no sway or wobble in it, and he placed the palms of his hands flat on the desk and leaned forward, eyes still shining brightly.
"How would you like to come back to Hogwarts as the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher?"
Remus's other eyebrow rose to join the first one. He wasn't sure if he should be shocked that Harry had gone to Professor McGonagall about the position, since it was no longer cursed. He wondered, though, if McGonagall was the one to ask Harry if he'd like the position.
He shook his head, unable to fully comprehend what Harry was telling him.
"I don't think I could do that, Harry, as nice as that offer is."
"Why?" said Harry, his voice betraying his disappointment. "You were the best Defense teacher we've ever had. I doubt anyone could compare to you."
"What about you, Harry? From what I've heard, you did a great job teaching your fellow peers in your fifth year how to defend themselves. I doubt anyone would question your abilities."
Harry blushed, ducking his head a little before raising it again, still looking determined. "But wouldn't I be too young? I mean, you'd have to be a certain age…"
"I think that's only for becoming the headmaster; I don't think there's a rule that says eighteen is too young to teach if you're more than qualified."
Harry's blush deepened. "I know that I'm good at it, but teaching an entire class? Or—or school?"
"You've done it before, Harry. Why are you selling yourself short?"
Harry sat back down, and this time there was a little wobble as he did. Remus hoped he didn't put too much strain on him for not accepting the position and telling Harry that he'd be a better candidate.
Harry shook his head and then placed it shakily into a hand, his elbow shaking on the armrest. Remus opened his mouth to apologize, but Harry spoke first.
"I can't—I can't do it alone. I just—I can't…"
"All right, Harry, calm yourself. Just take a deep breath—relax. I think you have nothing to worry about. I'm sure your… slight handicap… won't be a hinder to you. And I'm sure your students would understand. I, on the other hand, have a much better excuse for not teaching at Hogwarts again. Have you forgotten that my secret is now out, and that the parents wouldn't want someone like me teaching their children?"
Harry looked up, determination set in his eyes again. "Remus… I'll be there for you. I'll make sure you get the Wolfsbane Potion every month; I'll make it my responsibility."
"So, you're living at Hogwarts now?" Remus didn't want to put any more strain on Harry by having to make him try Apparating or use Floo Powder to get to Hogwarts; it made Harry unsteady for a couple days afterwards. Remus knew that Harry wasn't able to ride on a broom for very long, either, and that was the one thing Harry loved doing the most. It hurt to see Harry stare up at the sky in a daydream, knowing that Harry was wishing he could go up there and fly the day away like he used to.
Harry pursed his lips. "I've thought about all of this, you see. If you become the teacher, then I could be an assistant, helping you with lessons and making sure that you don't forget to take your potion."
Remus frowned. "Harry, I'd be asking a lot from you, having to help take care of me. How would you be able to make the potion available for me every month, anyway, now that Severus is gone?"
Harry hung his head, frowning deeply and eyes shut tight. His body shook for a minute, and Remus thought he would need to make Harry lie down in order for him to regain his stability, but then Harry raised his head again, shaking it as if trying to clear it, and looked Remus in the eye.
"I—just don't worry about how I'll be able to get the potion for you. Just know that I will, and that I won't let you down."
"I don't doubt your loyalty to those you care about, Harry. I'm only concerned…"
"Don't be," said Harry swiftly, waving a quivering hand in the air.
Remus wasn't sure how Harry felt about the incident when Severus Snape had died in order to save Harry's life, and he wasn't sure if he should ask about it now. It didn't seem like the right time.
"What about McGonagall?" Remus asked instead. "She'll get pelted with owls demanding that I be sacked. I don't want to put that kind of pressure on her."
Here, Harry smiled, and it made Remus's heart leap to see it. It was a much better look on Harry than a frown or grimace.
"Well, here's the kicker: McGonagall isn't the one hiring you. I am!"
Harry beamed, eyes dancing as he stared at Remus for a reaction. A reaction he most definitely got.
"WHAT?" Remus stood abruptly.
"Yeah. Cool, huh?"
"It's—I don't think—Harry, there's no way…"
The light in Harry's eyes dimmed slightly, but he carried on his explanation.
"Just think, Remus: I'm wealthy enough to support myself and pay someone else for something. I won't be getting a maid or butler, seeing how I'll be living at Hogwarts most of my life, and I don't have anything else to use it for, now that the Weasleys don't need my help financially. I'm sure they'd refuse my help anyway, even if they did need it. Ron and Hermione are off on a long honeymoon now, and I don't know when they'll be back, so this way I won't be lonely, either. Besides, when McGonagall asked me to take the position, I couldn't help think of you and that you would need the money more than I would. I mean, sure McGonagall will probably be paying me for helping out, but I could care less how much I get. My sole concern right now is you."
Remus didn't know what to think. He was excited, anxious, hopeful, and happy all at once. It was true that if Harry hired him, he'd be more secure in the job than if anyone else hired him. It would keep McGonagall free of Howlers, and the public would think Harry was the real teacher.
"So," he said, voice shaking from either nerves or excitement. "I'm technically the teacher and you're the assistant, but everyone will think that you're the teacher and I'm the assistant?"
"Bingo," grinned Harry. "Of course, we'd probably be seen as a duo teaching team. There might come a time when we'd need to demonstrate something to the class together."
Remus nodded. "Yes. I understand where you're coming from, Harry, but wouldn't it still be better if you really were the teacher? I would gladly help you prepare lessons, and if you were stuck on anything, I would show you what to do. Also, as the assistant, I wouldn't be needed for every lecture. That way I wouldn't be seen as much as you; therefore, I wouldn't be considered as much of a threat to the students."
Harry was nodding at every point he was making, the wheels in his head turning. Remus understood now that there was no way Harry would be able to take on this task by himself at the present time; Harry was still recovering from the final battle, and Remus knew that Harry's body wasn't a hundred percent yet. There was no way he'd be able to take the stress of this sort of job alone.
"All right," said Harry finally. "Let's go talk to Professor McGonagall about this. You will take the job, right?"
Remus gave Harry a genuine smile. "Yes, Harry. I accept your offer."