Harry was boiling with anger. Professor Lupin was the best teacher they had ever had, who cared if he was a werewolf? Only those stupid parents with their stupid letters that Lupin had talked about. Harry could imagine those parents, who looked a lot like Aunt Petunia, her bony face scrunched up as she insisted that nothing so nasty and filthy as a werewolf should be allowed near her precious Diddykins and Lucius Malfoy with his cold, sneering face calling Professor Lupin a 'half-breed'. Harry fought the urge to cry, insisting to himself that he should be too old to cry over something as trivial as loosing a teacher, except Professor Lupin had become more than a teacher to him, had become something like an uncle. Now Snape, because of some stupid schoolboy grudge, had decided to get rid of him. Harry also blamed Snape for the loss of Sirius, who, even though Harry had known so briefly (and some of that time Harry had been trying to kill him) he had felt something of a kinship to, he had felt that Sirius could have become something like a father. Harry gritted his teeth. Snape would pay. Lupin might be prepared to forgive and forget, but Harry was not. He had the perfect idea, he just needed a little help from the troublemakers in chief. The Weasley Twins.
Harry didn't have long to wait, he saw them in the Common Room and immediately went over, "Hey, did you hear about Lupin?" He asked,
"Yeah," muttered Fred, or was it George? "I heard it was Snape who told everyone as well, I'd love to get the git back," Harry gave a wide grin,
"I was hoping you'd say that, listen," they huddled closer together, "I have an idea, and I think its a good one."
Remus Lupin once more entered his ramshackle house, quite a bit more cheerfully than might be expected for a man who had once again lost a job due to his 'condition', but it had been an unusual year. Sirius, of course, Sirius innocent and free was a large part of his current happiness. Although he could not help feeling angry and saddened by thought that Sirius had spent twelve years in Azkaban for a crime he did not commit and could not now even spend time with his godson because most still believed him to be guilty. And that was the other reason for happiness, Harry. Harry who was unique, kind and noble, as loyal a friend as James and who saw no problem with his lycanthropy. Lupin hoped that he would be able to see them both again sometime. He was distracted from his musings by a owl pecking him, angry that he had been ignored, "Sorry," he muttered, "I was distracted," he untied the letter, recognised Dumbledore's handwriting and read.
I hope this finds you well. Please allow me to once again express my utmost regret in the nature of your departure. I know that most of the students are sad to see you go.
Lupin stared at the sentence for a long time. 'Most of the students'? He had imagined that, once they learned what he was, most of the students would be happy to pack his bags for him. The idea that 'Most of the students' would have wanted him to stay overwhelmed him and he felt like he had just drunk several large tankards of butterbeer. Remus allowed himself a small smile, then continued to read.
I am writing to tell you of a small incident that may amuse you (and that you will, of course, completely disapprove of).
Remus snorted. He could almost see Dumbledore's eyes twinkling knowingly back at him.
Shortly after your departure Harry Potter and the Weasley twins took it upon themselves to avenge your misfortune on Severus Snape, who they blame for letting the school know of your lycanthropy although I believe it was Harry's idea, the twins merely helping with the details. The nature of their revenge was as follows. If you remember your very first lesson with the third years you might remember that, when dealing with the boggart one Neville Longbottom forced the boggart to become Professor Snape, wearing his grandmother's clothing. You might remember that the story spread through the school like the proverbial wildfire. Harry and the twins got Neville to repeat the experience, took many photos and displayed them around the school with permanent sticking charms (I believe certain Maps, Invisibility Cloaks and nighttime wanderings were involved). Some of the photos blown up to make large decorations in the Great Hall, which have been met with great amusement. I believe even Minerva may have shown a hint of a smile. Harry is currently serving detentions with Severus everyday until the end of term, which he wished me to tell you was 'worth it'.
I am, yours most sincerely,
Remus grinned, memories of the Marauders flooding him, and a burst of fondness for Harry, and even the Weasley Twins burst in his chest, those brave, funny boys, so good that even McGonagall had to smile occasionally. It seemed that Harry was indeed his father's son, but he still had all the best aspects of Lily and shed the worst of James. Harry was no bully. Remus found a new piece of parchment and began to write.
I have just received a most interesting letter from Professor Dumbledore detailing a certain joke played on Professor Snape. While I stand by my word that I do not hold any grudge, either from our school days or the manner of my departure (as I said before, the truth would have got out anyway), I must admit myself touched. There are not many who would risk detention with Snape for the likes of me, few would have considered it 'worth it', two of those who would have were your father and Sirius.
I want to end this letter, not as your teacher, but as your friend (if you'll have me). If you ever wish ask for advice, talk, or, indeed, get help with homework, feel free to owl me. I would be honoured to count you among my friends.
Remus paused, wondering, then added;
Harry lay on his bed, the letter from Sirius clutched in his hand which had come on the train ride back to Privet Drive. His godfather. Harry glanced out of the window, hoping to see the familiar figure of a bear like black dog, like he had last summer, but Harry knew there would be no dog. Sirius would not visit Privet Drive again.
Although this summer was certainly going to be better than the last. The threat of an escaped wizard mass murderer showing up on their doorstep meant that the Dursleys mostly ignored him and did not try to starve him, lock him in his room or stop Hedwig from going out, but he could not look upon the weeks ahead with anything but bitterness. He could have been living with Sirius by now. He could have been living with someone who genuinely cared for him and he cared for in return.
A gentle tapping on the window woke him from his reverie, an owl he did not recognise was waiting to be let in. He tore the letter from the owl's leg as Hedwig allowed the new owl some of her water. Harry started at the handwriting, the same handwriting that had been marking his essays for the past year. He had not expected to receive a letter from Professor Lupin.
Harry read, a smile gradually growing across his face, then he grabbed a spare bit of parchment and a quill.
Dear Remus (although it is slightly odd to think of you as anything other than Professor Lupin),
I'm glad you approve of the joke played on Snape, my only hesitation in playing it was that you might not think it funny and since it was for you that would have rather defeated the point. Anyway, you couldn't really complain since it was you who got Neville to think of Snape in his grandmother's clothes in the first place. As for the detentions, that is not really a sacrifice since Snape generally finds excuses to out me in detention anyway. It's nice to have actually deserved them for once and it was for a very good reason.
I would be delighted to have you as a friend as well as a teacher (since you were the best Defence teacher we've ever had). Just one thing, which you probably will disapprove of. Ever since I heard about the secret of the Marauders I have been rather attracted to the idea of becoming an animagus, not least because dad and Sirius were, but also because it would be a good way to escape all the madness and unwanted attention that I get. I will fully understand if you do not want to help me and will not ask again of you say no, but please think about it.
Dear Harry (or should I say Prong Jr?),
Trying to become and animagus without proper help is stupid, extremely dangerous, not to mention illegal and as such I will of course try to help in any way I possibly can. You should study the theory as thoroughly as possibly before you even attempt a transformation. Read the books I have enclosed several times over to make sure you understand it fully.
I know I was a teacher and tended to follow the rules more than James or Sirius did, but I was a Marauder and some things never die. Also, I have no doubt that if I refused to help you you would try on your own and that would be even more dangerous.
And the more sentimental side of me cannot resist the idea of James' son becoming an animagus like he did, just like it cannot resist the idea of you owning the Cloak, the Map and breaking rules like he did.
Harry curled up with the old, battered books Profess- Remu- Moony had given he and smiled as he felt more like his father's son than he had ever done before, felt the thrill of breaking the rules and working towards something that would make his life much simpler and happier.