Title: Into the Crowd
Word Count: 2500
Pairing(s)/Character(s): Remus Lupin/Nymphadora Tonks, Teddy Lupin, OCs
Summary: The Lupin family goes to Platform Nine and Three Quarters for Teddy's first ride on the Hogwarts Express. Remus & Tonks overhear a conversation between several 11-year-old girls and have a bit of a laugh.
A/N: Just a bit of something in between projects to cure my writer's block, and a little taste of humor for you all.
Into the Crowd
"Dad, why'd we come so early? We've probably got twenty minutes 'til the train leaves."
"Because your mother has a nasty tendency of turning up late to anything remotely important, and -"
"I don't have a tendency to be late, Remus!"
"You do, Dora."
"Oh, really? Is that so?"
"It's so, Mum."
Nymphadora Tonks turned to her left and looked at the boy walking next to her. His hair was bright turquoise – the color he had liked best since he was a baby. He was pushing a cart that was loaded down with a large, heavy trunk and an owl's cage, complete with an owl, of course.
"Fine, then," she said to him. "But you know, Teddy, I wouldn't dream of being late to something like this."
"I know, Mum," said Teddy. He glanced over at her, but he did not smile. The cart was very difficult to push, and he was too determined on moving it to bother showing any emotion.
"You may not dream of it, Dora, but it could happen, anyway."
Tonks turned to face the man walking next to her on the right. His hair was faded brown mixed with gray. He was wearing a nice pair of pants that Tonks had bought him two years ago, and a classic brown Weasley jumper. In his left hand, he was carrying a suitcase, which was labeled Professor R.J. Lupin.
In his right hand, he was holding the hand of a little five-year-old girl, whose hair was bright purple. Every few steps or so, she was bouncing up and down in the air. It was good that Remus had a firm grip, or she would have tripped and fallen several times already.
Another little girl walked right behind the bouncing girl. She was only a few years older than her sister, but she was obviously quite different. Her hair was a soft, mousy brown, and she was not jumping up and down. She walked along quite peacefully behind them, not saying a word.
"I owe you a hex for that, Remus," said Tonks.
"You owe me hundreds of hexes, Nymphadora," said Remus.
"Don't call her that, Daddy," said the girl holding his hand. "She doesn't like it."
But Remus and Tonks laughed. "I've got you well-trained, haven't I, Juliana?" said Tonks. "And as for you, Professor Lupin," she added, looking at him, "that's yet another hex you've added to your record. What would your students think if they knew how many hexes your wife owes you?"
"They'd know I was perfectly normal, of course," said Remus. "Ah, look, here we are," he added, pointing in the direction of the nearby platforms. Signs on either side of the group indicated that they were standing in the middle of Platforms Nine and Ten.
"D'you remember how to get through, Teddy?" asked Tonks.
"Dad's only told me a thousand times, Mum," said Teddy, rolling his eyes. He looked around to see that there weren't any Muggles watching, and then he began moving quickly toward the barrier. The next moment, he had disappeared.
"Remus, you take Juliana next," said Tonks. Remus nodded and motioned for Juliana to come with him. Delighted, she sprang forward toward the barrier, and they, too, disappeared.
Tonks turned to look behind her. She extended her hand to her other little girl. "C'mon, Lissy," she said. Lissy grabbed her hand, and together, the pair walked toward the barrier and vanished.
"Dora! Alissandra! Over here!"
Tonks looked around to see where Remus's voice had come from. Then she saw a hand waving over the crowd, and two heads of turquoise and purple shining nearby. She pulled on Lissy's hand, and they hurried over to join the rest of the family.
"My, don't the two of you look lovely today?" said Remus as they approached.
"What about me, Daddy?"
"Yes, Juliana, you are absolutely beautiful today, too," said Remus. He winked at Tonks, while Juliana grinned and held his hand more tightly.
"Now, see Teddy?" said Tonks. "We've only got 10 minutes 'til your train leaves. We aren't too early at all."
Teddy didn't say anything in response. Instead, he turned to Remus. "Dad," he said, "are you going on the train, too?"
"No," laughed Remus. "I haven't done that in at least fifteen years. I'll be taking another alternate route to Hogwarts." He paused, glancing at Tonks. "That is, unless you'd rather I'd be on the train."
"No, no, I was just wondering," said Teddy quickly, blushing slightly.
"Well, you'd probably better get on the train," said Tonks. "You'll want to get the best compartment."
"Okay," said Teddy. He glanced around the station and saw that several other children were already climbing on board. "Bye, Mum," he added, turning back toward her.
"C'mere," said Tonks, and she pulled Teddy close to her for a hug. "You remember – if you need anything, have Dad floo me."
"And be good, all right? I don't want to hear that my son's been up to any mischief."
"I'll be good, Mum."
"And don't forget – I love you, Teddy."
"I love you, too, Mum," said Teddy. Tonks gave him another hug before letting him pull away. She watched as he gave each of his sisters a good-bye hug, and then, with a wave, he walked away into the crowd and disappeared.
"Hey, Lissy, look! It's Harry! Teddy's with Harry! And he's got Ginny and James and Al and Lily with him, too!" squealed Juliana, who pulled her hand away from her father and pointed off in another direction. "Daddy, can we go see him, too, please?"
"Go right ahead," said Remus. "But stay together!" he shouted as the two girls vanished into the crowd.
"What's Harry doing here?" asked Tonks.
"He probably wanted to see Teddy off," said Remus. "He is his godfather, after all."
"Yeah, 's true," said Tonks. Her eyes followed the two little girls, who had found their brother and the Potter family. "Aren't they adorable?" she said.
"Yes, but not quite as adorable as their mother," said Remus.
Tonks wheeled about to face Remus. "You're funny," she said in a slightly sarcastic manner. "Simply hilarious."
"It's one of the things you love about me," said Remus, grinning.
"Hey, Beth, isn't that one of our professors?"
"Yeah, I think so. I think it's Professor Lupin. Mark told me all about him."
The sound of young girls whispering reached the ears of Remus and Tonks. Tonks turned to look in that direction. She could see a small group of three girls, presumably first years, who were huddled together and looking at them. She quickly turned back to look at Remus, who hadn't moved at all.
"Who's that with him? His girlfriend?"
"No, of course not. Mark said that he's married – to an Auror!"
"Couldn't that be her?"
"No, she doesn't look at all like an Auror, does she? Her hair's pink, for Merlin's sake!"
"I think her hair's pretty."
"That isn't the point, Abby. She can't be his wife. She's too – too –"
"Maybe. I'd don't know. Maybe she's just a friend of his, or a former student, or something."
"He is awful good-looking, though, isn't he? Just look at those scars!"
The voices faded away as the girls began to walk away. Tonks watched as they disappeared into the growing crowd. Then, she turned to look at Remus, who had been watching her the entire time. A strange combination of shock and surprise had come over his face.
"What's wrong, Remus?" asked Tonks, playfully. "Haven't you ever heard teenage girls gossiping about you before?"
Remus shook his head. "No, never," he said. "Why? Is that...normal?"
Tonks tried very hard to stifle a laugh as she threw her hands on her hips. She put on a fake scolding smirk. "Why, Professor Lupin, I do believe you're getting out of touch with your students. I simply cannot believe that you haven't learned one of the fundamental habits of young teenagers."
"And what is that?" asked Remus.
"The desire to know everything about the personal lives of your professors – particularly the good-looking ones," said Tonks.
"My friends and I never did that," said Remus.
"That's because you were all boys," said Tonks. "It's a girl thing – Lily might've gotten into it once in a while."
"Somehow I doubt that," said Remus, remembering how much Lily had respected each of their professors.
"You obviously don't know teenage girls well enough," said Tonks. "We all did it at least once. Though, we never had as good-looking a professor as you when I was in school," she added with a smile.
"So, you don't mind it, then?"
"Mind what? That dozens of teenage girls are probably completely infatuated with you? No, definitely not," said Tonks. "They're right, you know."
"Right about what?"
"That you're awful good-looking," said Tonks, rubbing her hand along his scars in a slightly seductive manner.
"Don't you try to deny it," said Tonks. "Still, they were a bit off in their bit about me, now, weren't they?"
"I should think so," said Remus. "I think you look very much like an Auror."
Tonks laughed. "I meant the part where they said I wasn't your wife."
"Oh, yes, that," said Remus, smiling as though he had know what she meant all along. "I nearly forgot about that." He pulled her closer to him and kissed her lightly on the lips.
"Well, I think we'd better go and set things right," said Tonks.
"What do you mean?"
"We've got to make sure those girls have got their facts correct."
"What, talk to them? Now?" said Remus, his eyes growing wide in fear.
"Don't tell me you're scared to talk to your future pupils, Professor Lupin."
"I'm not, it's just that –"
"And we can't have Teddy's yearmates go off to Hogwarts with the wrong impression of who his mother is, can we?" Tonks interrupted. "I can show them that I'm more... matronly than I look."
Remus laughed. "You are by no means 'matronly.' You're just a naturally good mother."
"Matronly," Tonks insisted. "Couldn't you tell? The ripped t-shirt and pink hair complete the look."
"Oh, yes, very matronly," said Remus, going along with her sarcastic comments. "They won't be able to tell the difference between you and Sirius's old mum."
Tonks's smile vanished immediately. It was replaced by a hard glare. "That's another twenty hexes added onto your record," she said seriously. "And if you say something like that again, you'll be in a Full-Body Bind 'til Christmas."
"All right, I'm sorry," said Remus. He quickly decided to change the subject. "What say we go over and introduce ourselves to those darling girls, Mrs. Lupin?"
Tonks's smiled returned. "I couldn't agree more, Professor Lupin." She took his hand in hers, and together, they began to weave their way through the crowd until they found the spot where the three girls had gone.
"Excuse me, ladies," said Remus, now obviously trying to sound professional, but still very pleasant. The three girls turned around slowly, and, to their horror, saw the two people they had only just been whispering about. "I just thought that I would introduce myself," Remus continued. "My name is Remus J. Lupin, and I will be your Defence Against the Dark Arts professor at Hogwarts."
For a moment, none of the girls could say anything. "It – it's good to m-meet you, Professor," said one of the girls.
"Thank you," said Remus. "And this – this is my wife, Nymphadora Tonks, who prefers to be known by her maiden name, only." He motioned to Tonks as he spoke. "Our son, Teddy, will be joining you at Hogwarts this year."
The three girls will unable to hide their shock as the woman standing behind their new professor stepped forward to shake each of their hands. "What are your names?" she asked.
"M-my name's Beth - Beth Fletcher," said the only girl who seemed to be able to speak. "And this is Megan Johnson, and Abby Bennett."
"Ah, Mark's younger sister?" asked Remus, looking at Beth Fletcher. She nodded, then shrank back to stand behind her friends.
"It's wonderful to meet all three of you," said Tonks. "Do keep an eye on Remus and Teddy for me, will you? I don't want them to get into mischief."
It couldn't be more obvious that the girls did not want to be talking to them. Beth Fletcher nodded in response to Tonks's request, and then, with a slight wave, the girls hurriedly moved away into the slowly-dispersing crowd. With moments, they were gone. As soon as they had left, Remus and Tonks looked over at each other, and began to laugh.
"You've got to admit – that was fun," laughed Tonks. "Though I would've died if it'd been me."
"I think you're right," said Remus. "James and Sirius would have enjoyed that."
"Ah, the inner Marauder strikes again," said Tonks. "But you'd better hope they recover from that."
"Yes, or it will be quite awkward for a very long time," said Remus. "And I hope they won't think worse of Teddy for it."
"No, no, hopefully not. But it was fun," said Tonks.
"Yes, it was."
At that moment, the train whistle blew, and the Hogwarts Express began to inch forward. Remus and Tonks turned quickly to look at the train. Tonks scanned the windows for signs of her son. She could see his blue hair glimmering in the sunlight. She scrunched up her eyes and felt herself stretching. Soon, she could see easily over the crowd.
"Bye, Teddy!" she called, waving her hand happily. Other people in the crowd stared up at the unnaturally tall woman, but Tonks didn't seem to notice. Teddy looked over at her and blushed, but he didn't look away. He waved his hand, smiled, and mouthed words of good-bye.
When the train had disappeared around the bend, Tonks shrank back down to her natural height. She took Remus's hand again. She was trying to smile, but she could feel a few tears building up in her eyes. Her little boy was off to Hogwarts. My little Teddy is growing up, and going off to Hogwarts.
"Are you all right, Dora?" asked Remus, who knew exactly what she was thinking.
"I'll be fine," said Tonks. She wiped her hands across her eyes. "I'll be just fine."
Remus put his arm around her and squeezed her tight. "I know – it's hard. But he'll do fine at Hogwarts. He'll make friends easily, and you know how bright he is."
"Yeah," said Tonks. "I know." She turned toward Remus, threw her arms around him, and gave him a big hug. "I'm glad you'll be there, too. I don't know what I'd do if you weren't going, too."
"You would learn to live," said Remus. "And you would do just fine."
Tonks managed to smile through her tears. "C'mon, Professor Lupin, let's go find our girls, shall we?"
"I couldn't agree more, Mrs. Lupin."
And together, they disappeared into the crowd.
Author's Notes: I wrote this little piece originally on paper, so it's probably a bit rough. But, I really wanted to share this with all of you. I was having some writer's block, anyway. In this fic, you also get to meet the rest of my AU-verse Lupin family, namely Miss Alissandra and Miss Juliana Lupin. In some other story, I'll get into more detail about them, perhaps. But for now, just enjoy.
In this fic, you also get to meet the rest of my AU-verse Lupin family, namely Miss Alissandra and Miss Juliana Lupin. In some other story, I'll get into more detail about them, perhaps. But for now, just enjoy.