"An Academic Question"
STANDARD DISCLAIMER: The HP characters belong to J.K. Rowling. If money is being made off of this, I am not the one making it, I promise you!
AUTHOR'S NOTE: This is (another) sequel to my fic An English Werewolf In New York. If you haven't read that one, you won't understand what's going on in this one. Oh, and this fic contains HUMONGOUS SPOILERS for the other one. I wrote this because there was something at the very end of that story that didn't seem to reconcile with some of the things that gone before, and this is my attempt to sort out what must have happened. I know this sounds strange but if you read that fic and then read this one, you'll understand what I mean. Oh, and in case it's unclear, the journal article that Hermione read is the one that's quoted at the end of the other fic.
EXTRA CREDIT QUESTION: Do you recognize
the lines that Harry and Amanda quote to each other in the hallway?
(It's not from anything related to Harry Potter, but it's appropriate
for this fic nonetheless).
Hermione Granger's favorite
thing was school. Her voracious appetite for knowledge coupled with her
insatiable curiosity had placed her firmly among the most outstanding students
in the history of Hogwarts. If there was a question anywhere, about anything,
she HAD to know the answer, or die finding out.
It was this unquenchable thirst for knowledge rather than some prurient desire to learn the intimate details of her teachers' personal lives that brought Hermione to Amanda Lupin's office. She was still standing outside the door trying to decide how she would phrase her questions when she saw Remus Lupin approaching up the hall.
"Why, hello Hermione," he said cheerfully.
"Hello, Professor Lupin," she replied. As she recalled the reason she was there, her cheeks went scarlet. "I'm just waiting to see Amanda."
"Oh, is there someone in there with her?" he asked curiously. Hermione shook her head.
"No, I'm just… thinking."
"Hmm," Professor Lupin said. The office door suddenly opened from within, and there was Amanda, beaming brightly at them both.
"Hey there," she said happily. "I heard your voices. What's going on?"
"Nothing," Hermione squeaked out, staring at her shoes. Amanda exchanged a glance with her husband, who shrugged. "Come on in," she invited, holding the door open. Hermione followed Amanda into the office, acutely conscious of Professor Lupin behind her. "Have a seat," Amanda invited, closing the door and gesturing at the empty chairs in front of her desk. Hermione sat down and looked at the floor. Amanda perched on the edge of her desk and regarded them both. "So what's up, kids?"
"Hermione was here when I arrived," Professor Lupin said, "so she should go first."
"Sounds fair," Amanda said. Hermione's head jerked up, and she glanced over at Professor Lupin who was sitting in the chair next to hers.
"Oh no, I… I couldn't!" she said, looking horrified at the prospect. She blushed furiously and looked at the floor again.
"Oh-KAAAY," Amanda said, raising her eyebrows. "How about you, Remus?"
"Oh, I just came to ask you if that boggart is still living in the linen closet in our bathroom. If he is, I'm going to let my first years have a go at him."
"Well, he was still in there this morning," she replied. "And I seriously doubt anyone's chased him out since then." Professor Lupin nodded.
"Wonderful," he said, standing.
"That's it?" Amanda asked, looking up at him. He nodded. "Ah, romance!" she said dreamily, clasping her hands together between her breasts and batting her eyelashes at Professor Lupin in an exaggerated manner. He laughed.
"You want romance?" he asked quietly. He bent toward her, a slight smile playing about on his lips.
"Yeah," she said, looking up at him, smiling. "I want romance." Neither of them noticed that Hermione had raised her head and was watching the exchange with interest. She had the distinct impression that they had completely forgotten she was there.
"All right then," Professor Lupin said softly. He put a gentle hand on Amanda's cheek, tipped her face up, and kissed her. Hermione was transfixed. Though they were married, Amanda and Professor Lupin always maintained a professional demeanor in public. Neither she nor any of the other students had ever seen them indulge in overt physical displays of affection.
"Oh," Hermione breathed. Professor Lupin suddenly recalled her presence and moved away from Amanda, looking embarrassed.
"Well," he said. "I guess I'd… um… Right."
"Yeah. Right." Amanda agreed, smiling in amusement.
"I'll see you later," he told her.
"Count on it," Amanda said, winking at him. He was still chuckling when he walked out the door. "So," she said, turning her attention to Hermione. "What can I do you for? Don't tell me you came here needing help with Muggle Studies!"
"No, I…" She blushed and looked down at the floor again. "I just…" Amanda frowned.
"Hmm," she said thoughtfully. "This sounds like it's going to be a 'door shut' kind of conversation." Hermione nodded.
"Definitely," she whispered. Amanda stood, closed the door, and came back to sit in the chair recently vacated by her husband.
"So, what's on your mind?"
"I uh… I read your paper," Hermione said without looking at Amanda. "The one that was just published in the Journal for the Study and Control of Dangerous Magical Creatures." Amanda nodded.
"Yeah, lots of people read that one," she said, smiling. "Evidently it annoyed a whole lot of folks for some reason. Can't imagine why." There was a long silence. "Do you have a question about that paper?" she finally asked.
"Yeah." There was another long silence.
"Do you want to tell me your question?" There was yet another long silence. Just as Amanda was about to try again, Hermione spoke.
"How did you know you wouldn't turn into a werewolf if you had sex with Professor Lupin?" she blurted out, her cheeks flushing once again. Amanda blinked. "Oh!" Hermione exclaimed, putting a hand over her mouth and looking shocked at her own temerity. Amanda was quiet for so long that Hermione thought for certain that she going to be in BIG trouble. Finally, Amanda spoke.
"Well," she began slowly, "and this information isn't for public consumption," she continued meaningfully, raising her eyebrows. Hermione nodded.
"I won't tell anyone, I swear!" she promised. Amanda was quiet for a moment, thinking about what to say and how to say it.
"After I'd stayed with Remus a few times when he'd transformed, our relationship started to change. We got a lot closer. Then one night he told me he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me… to marry me, but that it wouldn't be fair to condemn me to a sexless marriage. That's when I told him about…" Amanda suddenly stopped talking and frowned. "You're a Muggle, right?"
"Am not!" Hermione flared, always sensitive about her non-wizarding heritage. Amanda sighed, exasperated.
"I don't mean that as in insult. I'm a Muggle too, remember?" Hermione nodded.
"Sorry. I'm just sensitive."
"It's OK. I was just thinking out loud. Since you're - excuse me - since you WERE a Muggle, I don't have to explain condoms to you, do I?" Blushing furiously, Hermione shook her head. "Well, that makes for a pleasant change of pace, let me tell you. Imagine me explaining them to Remus!" Hermione giggled at the mental picture. "OK," Amanda said, picking up her story. "So at this point, Remus has been celibate for his entire life, like thirty-five years. This poor guy is just raring to go, you know what I mean?" Hermione nodded, now giggling like a maniac. "This guy's a real Quickdraw McGraw, right?" Amanda continued, just to see if she could tip Hermione over into embarrassed hysterical laughter. As it turned out, she could and did. "OK," Amanda said when Hermione's laughter had finally subsided. "I accepted his proposal, and it was…" Amanda had a faraway, dreamy look on her face. "…really something." She finished. Hermione thought for a moment.
"But in the paper, you wrote - "
" - that we'd discovered that lycanthropy can't be transmitted sexually," Amanda finished for her. "And you want to know how we could possibly know that for sure if we were using condoms." Hermione nodded, her face an alarming shade of crimson. "Let me tell you something that you'd do well to keep in mind, my dear. If you forget everything else that I ever taught you, remember these three words: Sometimes condoms break."
"Oh," Hermione said thoughtfully. Then her eyes widened in comprehension. "OHHhhhh!"
"Yeah. 'OHHhhhh!' Is right! Remus totally flipped out when… uh… we realized what had happened. He went completely bonkers. He said words I didn't even know he knew. We weren't using any other form of birth control, so this was like was all of his worst-case scenarios rolled into one. What if I became a werewolf? What if he'd fathered a werewolf child? By the time the full moon was coming and he was beginning to get sick, he was practically having a nervous breakdown. He finally calmed down when he realized that I wasn't getting sick too. I personally don't think - and I've told Remus this - that lycanthropy is transmitted any other way than a werewolf's bite. I mean, think about it. Why do werewolves bite?"
"To make more werewolves," Hermione answered immediately.
"Yep. So I doubt there's an alternate transmission method. And in about seven more months or so, we'll know for sure," Amanda told her, patting her abdomen.
"Oh… so the rumors are true!" Hermione said. Amanda's eyebrows went up.
"Yeah. You know how gossip travels at Hogwarts!"
"I do now!" Amanda said.
"Well, congratulations," Hermione said, beaming. "I think it's wonderful news!" There was a knock on the door.
"Come in," Amanda called. The door opened and Professor Lupin walked in. Thinking of all the intimate details she now knew about the professor's private life, Hermione blushed scarlet and looked at the floor.
"Hello again," he said. "I hope I'm not interrupting anything."
"No, not at all," Amanda told him. "What's up, Remus?" Quickdraw McGraw, Hermione thought, and immediately began giggling hysterically. Remus glanced at Hermione and raised his eyebrows.
"Has someone given her a Giggling Potion?" he asked mildly.
"Yeah, I think I did," Amanda replied, trying hard not to explode into giggles herself. "But it'll wear off."
"Hmm," Remus said thoughtfully. "Well, I came to ask you if you had any idea how the name 'Miss Severus Snape' happened to get put on the mailing list for the Victoria's Secret catalog." Hermione was now beside herself with laughter. Both teachers stared at her.
"Fred - " Hermione choked out, unable to speak for laughing. When she realized what she'd done, she clapped her hand over her mouth and stared at them, wide-eyed. Remus's eyebrows went up.
"I'm sorry, Hermione," he apologized. "I don't think I heard you. Did you say something?" Her hand pressed firmly to her mouth and still giggling like a loon, Hermione shook her head vigorously. "All right then," he said. She stood to leave.
"Thanks, Amanda," she said through her giggles.
"Anytime, Hermione. My door is always open," Amanda told her. Hermione turned to Remus.
"Professor Lupin," she managed, going into another fit of giggles and blushing furiously again. She was still giggling when she left.
"So what were you and Miss Granger discussing in here?" Remus asked curiously.
"Mmm, girl stuff," Amanda replied.
"Which means…" he began. She smiled. "…that you're not going to tell me." he finished.
"That's right," she agreed. He sighed.
"All right, I know when I'm not wanted," he said jokingly. She laughed. He bent to kiss her. "See you later." He left, shutting the door behind him. Amanda sat down at her desk and tried to concentrate on the papers she was trying to grade. Instead, she found herself thinking about their wedding night, the first time she and Remus had been together. He had made her put out the lights so that she wouldn't see the scars all over his body where he'd bitten himself over the years during his transformations. Inexperience had made him clumsy, and yet he had been so gentle, so touchingly eager to please her that she had cried afterwards. On an impulse, she stood, went to the door, and poked her head out into the hallway. Remus stood a little way down the corridor, talking animatedly with a couple of third year Ravenclaw girls. She saw Harry Potter approaching up the hallway, hurrying to his next class. As he passed her, he put his hand out.
"Better stay away from him," Harry said, smiling.
"He'll rip your lungs out, Jim," she replied, slapping his palm. They grinned at each other momentarily, then he continued down the hall. Amanda turned her attention back to Remus, who was still talking to the students. He had gotten out his wand and was gesturing with it as he spoke. "Professor Lupin," she called, using the same overly serious tone she always used when addressing Snape. Remus turned, eyebrows going up.
"Yes, Professor Lupin?" he replied, matching her tone of grave formality.
"When you are done speaking with your students, may I see you in my office for a moment… or so?" She gave him a wink.
"I think that could be arranged," he said slowly.
"All right then," she said, putting on a fairly good English accent and borrowing one of his favorite phrases. He laughed. She went back into her office and perched on the edge of her desk. In a moment, Remus walked in, shutting the door behind him.
"You wanted to see me?" he asked. She bent her head.
"Yeah," she said, looking up at him through her eyelashes and smiling. He walked over to her.
"About what?" She put her arms around his waist and drew him against her.
"Stuff," she replied, wrapping her long legs around him.
"Oh," he said, and bent to kiss her. Soon, their kiss grew passionate. Amanda's hands slipped inside his robes -
There was a knock at the door.
"Amanda! Are you in there?" called Neville Longbottom's voice.
"No," Amanda replied. Her hands grew bolder under Remus's robes and he made a sound low in his throat. "I'm not in my office," Amanda continued. "Go away." There was a long silence as Neville thought about this.
"But if you're not in your office - " he began. The mood had been killed; Remus and Amanda stopped kissing, looked at each other, and started to laugh.
"It's all right," Amanda called. Remus straightened his robes and went to the door to admit the student.
"Hello, Neville," he said. Neville looked at him oddly, then began laughing.
"I can come back later," Neville said. "If this is a bad time…"
"Don't be ridiculous," Amanda said. "What's on your mind, Neville?"
"Well," he said, glancing uncertainly at Remus before continuing, "I'm having trouble with understanding telephones."
"Well, come on in," Amanda invited.
"I'll just be going," Remus said from the doorway as Neville walked in and took a seat. Amanda glanced up at her husband.
"OK, see you later," she said.
"Yeah," Neville said, waving at Remus. "Bye, Professor Lupin. Oh, and that's an awfully nice shade of lipstick you're wearing today!"