Remus apparated from his parents' old house, well he could now call it his, to the station. He spent a few minutes looking around him wistfully, remembering days past when he would meet all his friends here for another year at Hogwarts.
He had been purposely avoiding Dora for the past day or so, claiming he wanted to be alone but really he didn't want to make himself even guiltier about breaking it off with her than he already had. She was going to hate him.
Remus shivered, like Hogwarts there were ghosts of his past here too. It was that spot where Sirius got pushed onto the tracks by Alice Smith and Lily Evans for flirting with them both. He met James over there, by the pillar, for the first time.
"Over here, Remus!" called Kingsley and Dora ran up to him only to drag him over to the group.
"Thought you'd be late," piped up George, in a new dragon skin jacket.
"Nah, Professor Moony is never late!" claimed Fred.
The train chugged its way towards them. Merlin, the train; it was where the four of them planned their first prank of the year, without fail. It was also where they played quite a large number of more minor pranks.
Soon students were pouring out of the scarlet train, chattering away and making promises to their friends. Some of them smiled at him or waved.
"Looks like someone was a popular Professor," Dora whispered to him.
Harry and co. were easy to find, considering that Ginny and Ron had such a striking hair colour. The four of them approached the group of adults, waving sadly to Neville and Luna.
"Ron, Ginny!" called Molly, hurrying forwards and hugging her children tightly. "Oh, and Harry dear – how are you?"
"Fine," lied Harry, as she pulled him into a tight embrace. It was so very obvious that he wasn't doing fine but Remus couldn't talk, he probably didn't look much better.
"Hello, Harry," he said, looking at Harry carefully.
"Hi," said Harry. "I didn't expect . . . what are you all doing here?"
"Well," Remus said with a slight smile, "We thought we might have a little chat with your aunt and uncle before letting them take you home."
"I dunno if that's a good idea," said Harry at once. Of course it was, scare them to stop them doing something.
"Oh, I think it is," growled Moody, who had limped a little closer. "That'll be them, will it, Potter."
Remus followed where Moody was pointing behind his shoulder and there, sure enough, were the three Dursleys, who looked positively appalled to see Harry's reception committee, good, this might be more fun than they thought.
"Ah, Harry!" said Arthur, turning away from Hermione's parents, who he had just greeted enthusiastically. "Well – shall we do it then?"
"Yeah, I reckon so, Arthur," said Moody.
He and Arthur lead the little group towards the Dursley's. Remus noticed Hermione disengaging herself gently from her mother to join the group.
"Good afternoon," said Arthur pleasantly. "You might remember me, my name's Arthur Weasley." We thought we'd just have a few words with you about Harry."
"Yeah," growled Moody. "About how he's treated at your place."
Vernon's moustache seemed to bristle with indignation and addressed himself to Moody, "I am not aware that it is any of your business what goes on in my house-"
"I expect what you're not aware of would fill several books, Dursley," growled Moody.
"Anyway, that's not the point," interjected Tonks, whose pink hair seemed to offend Petunia, Remus was certain that Dora was making her hair brighter on purpose. "The point is, if we find out you've been horrible to Harry-"
"-And make no mistake, we'll hear about it" added Remus pleasantly, there was no need to get nasty, he had found that you could be quite intimidating when you were supposedly calm and collected.
"Yes," said Arthur, "even if you won't let Harry use the fellytone-"
"Telephone" whispered Hermione
Remus tuned out the rest of Moody's rant. He'd heard enough of Moody threatening the Durselys, his threats got a bit repetitive.
Instead he stood there, watching Dora and wondered what he should say to her. He didn't want to purposely upset or anger her but he had to make her see that he was now too dangerous for her. Maybe he should throw in the 'too old' and 'too poor' argument as well. Well, it was true although it didn't really matter before but they weren't in a serious relationship, were they? Remus started to inwardly panic; Dora didn't expect anything more from this relationship, right?
Moody's farewells to Harry broke into his thoughts.
Petunia whimpered piteously. "As she should be," Remus thought vindictively. They wouldn't have had to threaten them if they treated Harry right.
"Bye, then, Potter," said Alastor, grasping Harry's shoulder for a moment with a gnarled hand.
"Take care, Harry," said Remus quietly, "Keep in touch." He didn't want to lose someone else, who was important to him, not if he could help it. Harry nodded at him with a slight smile on his face.
"Harry, we'll have you out of there in no time" Molly whispered, hugging Harry again.
"We'll see you soon, mate," said Ron anxiously, shaking Harry's hand. It was nice that Harry had such good friends. With any luck, his friends wouldn't leave him, unlike Remus'.
"Really soon, Harry," said Hermione earnestly. "We promise."
Harry nodded; he looked very touched to see them all there. Remus was glad that he could do something for him. Even if it was very, it got a smile on Harry's face that's all that mattered.
Harry smiled, raised a hand in farewell, turned around and led the way out of the station towards the sunlit street, with the Dursleys hurrying along in his wake.
Once Harry was out of sight the Weasley's apparated home with a 'crack', the Grangers disappeared around a corner chatting merrily, Kingsley walked over to a cafe and Moody apparated muttering something about Death Eaters. Soon they were the only two left.
He took a deep breath and asked nervously, "D-do you want to go for a walk, Dora? Or do you have to return to your parents' house?"
She beamed at him saying, "Of course, I don't feel like being cooped up somewhere. Fresh air sounds nice. I've had enough coddling from my mother to last a lifetime."
Remus couldn't help but feel very guilty.
AN: Aaaaaand it's over! –sobs- Hope you all enjoyed it AND never fear! There is a sequel ALREADY UP (hint hint) called 'Not There To See Me Fall' and I hope all of my faithful reviewers will read it!
Also I have a prequel called 'Falling is Easier Than Rising'
First, a big thank you to all who put me on story alerts (you may want to remove that alert now that this fic is finished) and those who added me to their favourite. I feel honoured that so many have done it.
Another thank you to my anonymous reviewers; frozenhurricane, kimmikiwi. Krystin, Jane, Reeader, gleeful x vampire, Jaws, Sarah, Susanna, S,Ahmed and greeni.
Thank you; Superstar87, selene861, Doctor Tonks Tickles Who, AmyLB97, chalk and cheese and jam, wish2dream, Jokegirl, LostInLaLaLand7, Team Weasley Forever, Muggle Creator, Psycotic Banana, lysmachine, Imaginone, Zakuro46, RandomPonyWriter, junebugbug96, cscorpia, foreverkake, ms out-of-clever-pen-names, I-LOV-TWILIGHT98, K.T.A.B, krynn, Duckyumbrella, MsEsmeBlack, Perkier, Romance and Musicals, Connortemple4evaneva, miaspotter, Sir Stud Muffin, In An Amethyst Flash, mustikas, SpencerReidFan89, gitte green, Confusingish, phoenixphlight, athena2517, Fanficreader5671, readpaintlaugh, .Squirrel, Teddy and Victoire, TWHATT18, Curly Wurly Me and Dimcairien for your few reviews.
A bigger thank you to Peace-bookluva, TotallyGaga, MasterSerina83, Zeoness and Nymphadora Andromeda Lupin, QueenSunset, iheartmoony7, Kaiti-94 and India'TeamStarkid'J for their support
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