A/N: Long time no see my dear readers. This story was a challenge set by me beta and housemate Megan. I had to write a story involving Teddy Lupin and Neville Longbottom which involved Teddy getting into trouble so I hope you like it.
Its dual persepctive (like Sleeping with Ghosts) and flits from one to another.
It is set during Teddy's first year at Hogwarts when Neville has become Herbology teacher.
Anyway, let me know what you think!
Professor Neville Longbottom rarely prepared for lessons. His attitude towards academia had remained virtually unchanged since his days as a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Do the best you can and remain enthusiastic. It had fared him well in most of his subjects, Potions excepted, and he now approached his teaching with the same laid-back optimism. He had accepted long ago that Herbology was never going to prove quite as exciting as Defence Against the Dark Arts; although every year he hoped that there would be one keen scholar who would find the same fascination in the study of magical plants as he did.
Neville always saw the first lessons at the beginning of a new school year as a clean slate. He could wipe away the mishap of Marjory Mipplethink and that rather large Venomous Vetcher he had managed to breed last year. The summer holidays had afforded enough time to forget the slight accident involving three De-composting Worzles and two Hufflepuff boys. The enrolment of fresh-eyed and apprehensive first-years meant that Neville could monopolise on the fact that they had yet to witness the way in which his students made frequent visits to the Hospital Wing. Therefore, as he waved his first class of Slytherins and Gryffindors into the Greenhouse, the thrill of hope seized him.
Teddy Lupin's hair had remained blanched of all colour since arriving at Hogwarts. From the moment the train had rolled out of Platform 9 ¾'s in a billow of smoke his gut had knotted as the students around him chattered excitedly about things to come.
Although sensing his fear, his godfather had offered few words of comfort as he had helped him haul his luggage across King's Cross Station; what could he say? Teddy looked on Harry as more father than godfather but there were times when the tension between them became uncomfortable. Resentment was not exactly what Teddy felt in the moments he would remember his orphaned state and the way in which his parents had so selflessly given their lives for Harry. But this anger was always swiftly eclipsed in moments of laughter or tenderness which made Teddy realise with a guilty jolt that Harry would willingly have done the same thing for them.
Yet he had always known that Hogwarts could never be a playground. It was a graveyard; haunted by those who had fought so courageously and died there – his parents amongst them. He had heard of the statue that had been erected in the Entrance Hall, commemorating the Battle of Hogwarts, yet until now he had never seen it. On the train he found himself drifting off to sleep and in his dreams he saw the names of his mother and father etched into the marble, like those of the Muggle soldiers that had given their lives in their own wars.
But on arriving there had been no time to see it. He had been whisked into the Great Hall along with his fellow first-years and sorted, to his delight, into Gryffindor. He had joined their table and cast his eyes to the teachers who sat at the very front of the Hall at a table upon a raised dais. Some of them he knew well, if not in person then by name; Professor McGonagall, the headmistress, Professor Longbottom and Hagrid. There was a silvery looking old witch, tall and willowy, in amber coloured robes that Teddy learnt was Professor Summersmith and taught Charms. A stout, sour faced Goblinish man taught Transfiguration and a wizard with a wide-brimmed scarlet hat and alluring green eyes was now teaching Defence Against the Dark Arts. With a slight shiver Teddy Lupin turned away, looking down solemnly into his goblet of pumpkin juice. He wondered whether or not he would be as talented at that particular subject as his father had been.
"Welcome to Herbology!" Neville piped up as soon as the class had piped down. He gazed around at the faces of the startled students with obvious affection before perching on the soily bench and continuing "Now, I know that starting school is daunting and that, very soon, you might feel as though your head's going to explode with everything you've learnt…" Two girls sitting at the front exchanged worried looks. "But I want you to enjoy Herbology. It's all very hands on so those of you who don't particularly excel at essay-writing don't panic. This could be the subject for you!"
At the back of the class two Slytherin boys's sniggered but Neville, with a determination that was only possible on the first day of term, pressed on.
"Something simple for today's class…just to give you a taster of what you might expect this year. I want you all to get into groups of three. Each group has to identify the plants which are being described by the clues in front of you." Neville flourished his wand and, after some delay, rolls of parchment appeared upon every desk. "Ten house points to the group with the most correct answers. Off you go!"
For a moment no-one moved but after the initial scraping of chairs and the rearrangement of the class, the Greenhouse was full of the chatter of students. After watching their endeavours discreetly from behind a large Witcherty Fern he was in the process of re-potting, Neville decided that it was probably the time to make a circuit of the class to see how his students were getting on.
It was better than he hoped. A group of Slytherin girls had, so far, identified all the plants correctly and, after confiscating a Weasleys Wizard Wheezes product with a slight smile from the boys, most of the groups had settled down to get their task done.
There was one group, however, that Neville could see where only one boy was diligently ploughing through the work whilst two girls twittered idly, contributing nothing. Uneasy, as always, with the prospect of reprimanding, Neville moved so that he was standing behind the girls, hoping to prompt them back into concentration. It worked yet as he moved to return to the front of the class he caught sight of the name of the boy who had been so quietly working, scrawled neatly in the corner of his page.
"I'm sorry, Teddy, I barely recognised you!" Neville tried in a discreet whisper, causing Teddy to turn round to his teacher.
Teddy had grown fast in the six months it had been since he had seen the boy last; he was much taller and leaner than before. The last time he had seen Teddy his hair had been a violent shade of purple and he had been grinning broadly as he had been given his very first broom. Yet now, his hair drained of its colour, his eyes ringed with dark circles, Neville could clearly register the resemblance he bore to Remus, which had always been hidden by the jovial eyes and penchant for bright hair he had inherited from Tonks.
The two girls that had been talking had stopped, their eyes moving inquisitively between their Herbology teacher and the drained looking youth they had been tactically ignoring.
"How you getting on? Alright?"
"Fine," Teddy mumbled down at the parchment that he had swiftly looked back down to under the scrutiny of the girls.
Neville felt compelled to quiz the boy further, unconvinced that all was well yet, knowing himself how unsettling the first few weeks at a strange school could be, he prevented himself from saying anything further. After placing a hand on Teddy's shoulder he moved away, back to his task of re-potting the Witcherty Fern, but conscious of the boy's presence for every moment of the lesson after that.
When Teddy Lupin bent down to collect his bag from beneath the desk at the end of that morning's lesson, he tried desperately to avoid the eye of Professor Longbottom, who seemed intent on saying something more to him before he left. He watched as two Gryffindor girls left and tried to catch the eye of the prettier one with wavy chestnut hair. Unfortunately, like many of the more eager first-years, they bolted, paying little attention to their teacher's request that all parchments be brought to the front of the class before they left.
"Wait a minute, will you, Ted?" Professor Longbottom called as Teddy tried, and failed, to exit unseen from the Greenhouse. He turned back round to face his teacher with a less than confident smile. Professor Longbottom had sat behind his high-potting bench and was now waving Teddy over to join him.
"What did you think of the lesson?" Professor Longbottom asked as Teddy sat down on the teetering stool. Whatever he had expected to have been asked, it was not this and Teddy suddenly warmed at the sheer hopefulness in his teacher's open expression.
"I think it was…" he saw his teacher tense before he conceded "brilliant. I really think you did a good job."
"You think so?" Professor Longbottom relaxed back into his bow-backed chair, his round face flushed. "I know Herbology isn't exactly like learning to fend off Dementors, but it does have a charm….of…it's…own…"
Teddy raised his eyes to his teacher as he had trailed off, sensing that Professor Longbottom feared any mention of anything that might remind them of the past.
"I haven't had Defence Against the Dark Arts yet."
"I see. Well, I'm sure you'll be very good at it. I never was. In fact, I only did well in it for one year…" He hesitated, venturing tentatively with a subject Teddy knew would be raised. "It was the year your dad taught me."
Teddy nodded in the way he always did when other people mentioned his parents.
"Was he a very good teacher?"
Professor Longbottom nodded enthusiastically.
"I think we all pretty much agreed he was the best Defence teacher we ever had. I remember when he taught us about Boggarts…" Teddy listened, enraptured, as his teacher recounted his memorable lesson when Snape had appeared from the wardrobe, dressed in his grandmother's clothes. He began laughing, and his laughter was infectious and Teddy laughed too as he clearly saw his father's sense of mischief manifesting itself in the suggestion he had made for Neville to imagine the loathed Professor Snape in woman's clothes.
The remnants of the laughter subsided from them both and Professor Longbottom, wiping his weeping eyes with his muddy sleeve, said, "It's so odd to think back now on the way that man frightened me and all the while…" He trailed off and Teddy swallowed hard knowing, as most of the Wizarding World did now, just how courageous Severus Snape had been.
"I want you to know Teddy that if you ever have any problems…or want a chat…my door is always open to you." Professor Longbottom's voice was earnest and Teddy nodded hurriedly to imply he understood. "I'm not like an ordinary teacher…my friends are your friends."
"Yeah…I know…" Teddy said evasively, grabbing his bag and moving to stand. "But I've really got to go now."
Professor Longbottom nodded and Teddy, suddenly feeling that he had had enough of the closeness of the air in the Greenhouse, swiftly left.
A/N: Obviously I have changed some of the teachers to cater to what I think would have happened so many years after. Reviews and opinions welcomed and encouraged.
Also, if any of you have any story ideas for me let me know. I am in the market for something that sparks my imagination and that you might like to read.
Next chapter coming soon xxx