Disclaimer: As the great Charisma constantly says: "Blurb."
Again, I don't own the Beatles.
The poetry is my own original work (slightly edited).
A/N: This is my very last chapter. After this, it's all over. I will go back over stuff, edit here and there, tweak, but the essence will stay the same. I have a few random points that I need to throw out because they're not important to the plot. If you have any opinions, please let me know. Be sure to include your overall attitude of this story with this chapter's review! Criticism is now more important than ever.
The summer I describe resembles where I live, but I figured it would be that hot under a fur coat.
Time Is a Pretzel
Each and Every Day
"How could she say to me
'Love will find a way'?
Gather 'round all you clowns,
Let me hear you say,
'Hey, you've got to hide your love away.'" -
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" by the Beatles
Mr. Remus J. Lupin:
As of the past several years, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been lacking of a permanent Professor of Defense Against the Dark Arts. It has come to our attention that you are unemployed, and the faculty believes you have the skills required to fulfill the needs of learning students.
The faculty remembered that you suffer from Lycanthropy, and we believe this will not present a great problem. Due to recent developments with the Wolfsbane Potion, a werewolf may remain conscious of his actions during the transformed state. At every full moon, we expect you to drink the potion created for you by Prof. Severus Snape.
Another recent event has created hesitation in your employment here. The escape of Sirius Black is a concern to the safety of all persons, but especially that of Harry Potter. The Ministry has appointed Dementors to guard the grounds. We must also receive a wizard's oath of loyalty to Hogwarts from yourself before you begin your teachings. We apologize for the lack of immediate trust, but previous circumstances have raised our precautionary actions when employing a new member to the staff.
Professor Dumbledore wishes me to inform you on a more personal matter. Thirteen years ago, the Ministry of Magic discovered the past of one Ms. Hermione Granger. Ms. Granger seems to have journeyed from the present time into 1976, when you attended Hogwarts with her. The staff agreed that no member would tell Ms. Granger of her fate, as it is sure to upset her. Please do not let personal emotions interfere with her education.
We request your reply by immediate owl, and if it is an acceptance, arrive at Hogwarts by September first with all of your teaching supplies.
Professor Minerva McGonagall,
Head of Transfiguration Department,
Remus arrived at Platform 9 3/4 an hour before the other students, determined not to accidentally bump into Hermione and lose his self-control. The Hogwarts Express had not arrived yet. Remus sighed, turned his trunk sideways, and sat down on top of it. Several bars of chocolate weighed in his pockets. Remus had spent the last of his pocket money on these thick, large hunks of candy bars. He had a feeling he would need them.
Fifteen minutes later, the large red train pulled up, steam billowing up from the smokestacks. Remus quickly boarded and settled into the Marauders' old compartment. He quickly fell asleep. He was still tired from his transformation last week.
He woke suddenly but did not start. The rhythm of the moving train had stopped, and the lights were off. The people in his compartment were moving around and making more noise than could possibly be safe under the circumstances. "Quiet," he croaked. His voice was hoarse from lack of use. He called a ball of flame to his hand, and saw the people.
There was James. 'No,' he reminded himself firmly. 'He's Harry.' Two children with red hair and freckles, a pudgy boy who reminded him sadly of Peter, and… There was no mistaking that bushy hair. The person he feared seeing was staring at him, a little girl of thirteen, with complete trust in her eyes. His stomach twisted into a knot.
"Stay where you are." He stood up, slightly shaken at seeing the face that had haunted his dreams for so long. He went to the door, eager to breathe air not tainted with her tempting scent…
'Great.'A Dementor opened the door. "None of us is hiding Sirius Black under our cloaks. Go." It wasn't moving, and the creature took in another rattling breath. "Expecto Patronum," he whispered. He didn't choose his strongest memory (Christmas Day alone with Hermione), for his giant wolf would never fit inside the train. He chose something weaker and settled on Halloween night in his sixth year.
A tiny wolf head flew out of his wand and began to growl. It must have been a Dementor from the battles he had fought, for it hissed and glided into the woods. Several others followed.
Remus conjured several lanterns to see by, and he looked down at Harry. He was slumped on the floor, and Hermione and Ron were kneeling at his side. His heart wrenched. 'How long ago was it that she was the one on the ground while Sirius and I were beside her?'
The rest of them were busy piecing together what had happened when Remus took the largest bar of chocolate from his pocket. It broke with a particularly satisfying crack. He handed it out with the advice to eat it, and said, "I need to speak to the driver, excuse me."
Once away from her, he leaned against the corridor and tried to regain control of his pounding heart. 'She's dead, Moony. The Hermione you knew (and loved added a nasty little voice) is dead, and this one is no substitute. Control yourself.'
He sighed and continued down the corridor towards the engine. He was pleased to see lights on in every compartment.
The engineer looked pale. "I-I-I couldn't fight them… They were coming for me."
Remus took another bar of chocolate. He broke it into two pieces. "Here," he sighed as he handed the engineer his share, "eat it." Remus stuffed his in his mouth and returned to the students he had left alone. 'I might as well face my fears. Lord knows Harry has had to face everyone else's.'
He smiled when he saw no one had eaten his or her candy. "I haven't poisoned that chocolate, you know."
They all took a wary bite, and then warmth slowly spread across their faces.
He sat and watched the rain slither down the windows in thick, unsteady streams. He didn't feel like talking, so he didn't unless a question pointed directly at him. He was too busy thinking of a Hermione three years older to talk.
It was summer, at least. His thick, long black hair was sticking to his thin, sweaty frame like a French bikini to a swimsuit model. His mouth was open, tongue lolling out to the side. The shade outside Hagrid's hut was hardly any protection from the sheer humidity.
His ears perked up, and his panting stilled. Students, but they were nowhere in sight. This meant an Invisibility Cloak. It had to be Harry. Surely enough, a ripple of light outside Hagrid's door revealed three students. Harry and the red headed boy were one of them. Anger possessed his mind, and he was too busy to recognize the other student as the one Crookshanks had described as its owner.
The three children admitted themselves inside. Hagrid was sobbing, and they were trying to comfort him. A girl offered to make tea, then screamed, and a crash of china made his ears ring. "Scabbers!" a boy shouted. An instinctive bark of laughter burst from Sirius's throat in mockery.
He dared to send a message to his old classmate. 'Hello, Wormtail. Miss me?'
An animal, a rat to be specific, began screeching inside the hut, and that boy was shouting "It's okay, Scabbers! No cats! There's nothing here to hurt you!"
'The hell there isn't,' he thought to himself.
He heard more people approaching. Dumbledore brought a smile to his muzzle, and then followed Crouch, and an older Macnair than the one he had known during his days at Hogwarts. He froze in horror when he saw the axe swinging from his former classmate's belt, his right hand caressing it slowly. He began to back up, and he stepped on something that hissed at him. He raised his back paw alarmingly and looked underneath his chest at the cat that had been trying to help him these past few months. 'Sorry.'
While his enormous yellow eyes narrowed, it backed out from underneath him. Sirius gestured with a paw at the redheaded boy clutching his pocket and leaving the hut. The cat hissed and arched its back. 'Go and get Wormtail out where I can see him. I don't want to hurt the boy.'
"Er- Mr. Black- Sirius?"
Her voice called his name softly, and it finally struck him who she was. Sirius couldn't help but stare at her while so many memories of longing for her touch hit him unlike any Dementor's cold breath ever had.
"If you don't mind me asking, how – how did you get out of Azkaban, if you didn't use Dark Magic?" No wonder he hadn't recognized her earlier; she hadn't been so quiet when he had known her.
"Thank you!" Peter gasped. "Exactly! Precisely what I-" Lupin glared at him. Instantly, Sirius had the greatest sympathy for his old friend with the realization that Lupin had had to resist her for at least a year.
"And that's it?" Harry whispered. His fingers spread wide on the cleaned tabletop and the banner in the corner hung with its original vibrancy. Ron's arms folded across his chest and his eyes stared at the wall as if there was something immensely fascinating about these particular stones. Remus had been blushing throughout the story. Sirius had told a fair part of it, but on the more intimate parts, Remus explained and occasionally added details. Sirius smiled to himself; he hadn't seen Remus blush this furiously since their days at Hogwarts.
Remus replied, "That's it." Sirius cleared his throat. "Well, it's a censored version, at any rate."
Ron no longer stared at the wall but at his Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor. "Professor Lupin!"
"What? We were two horny teenagers in love!"
Harry snorted. "Horny" was not a word meant to be used by elderly professors with graying hair and a large amount of influence on two seventeen year old boys.
"Of course," Sirius added bitterly, "we don't know what happened when she was alone with Snape." Ron twitched, and Sirius grinned. "I feel the same way."
"Sirius?" asked Harry with a note of hesitance.
"That night you guys went to Hermione's flat, and she found out about my mum being pregnant, and then you kissed her, what you were you thinking about?"
'Crap.'"Well… Harry… I…" He looked around the room searching for something to help him.
Remus shrugged and his eyes said, 'Don't look at me, stupid. You're the one who had the idea of telling them.'
"I'll tell you when you're older." Harry merely glared in response.
"Ron? Are you okay with all of this?" asked Remus in concern.
He unfolded his arms and leaned forward, eyes narrowed. "Why didn't you tell us all this when we met her?"
Remus massaged his temples. "What would've happened if we had? Think about it, Ron. You would've treated Hermione as if she wasn't really your age, and Hermione herself was never fond of 'destiny' and things like that. She wouldn't have believed us if we told her. It was bad enough to pretend we hadn't known her previously. Imagine the pain for us to know that she knew and have her ignore us just the same."
Ron nodded. "I understand."
"Hey you two. Can you leave us alone for a minute?" Sirius mumbled. Harry nodded and pulled Ron out the door with him.
The door clicked shut, and Sirius walked over to the bookcase by the wall. He pulled out a chair and mumbled to Remus as he felt on top of the cabinet, "I'm glad they didn't look up here." Remus arched an eyebrow.
Sirius pulled another book and blew on the cover. Clouds of dust billowed up from the leather binding, and Remus coughed. "Come on! It took the house-elves three days to make this place clean!"
He stepped down off the chair and opened to the first page.
Remus craned his neck to see and groaned when he saw the handwriting. "Severus would kill you if he knew you had that."
"Well, he doesn't, and he shouldn't, so he won't."
"That makes so much sense," Remus said.
It pollutes the air.
The stench of it chokes our faith.
The sight of it blinds our hope.
It darkens our soul.
Our minds are beaten worse than our bodies.
"Mind over matter" is no longer valid.
This is our destiny.
We are to lose all of our possessions to your ridicule.
"Why should we care about you?"
A/N: THANK YOU ALL FOR REVIEWING! LOOK AT ME! I'M CRYING BECAUSE I'M SO HAPPY! :') ANYWAY, I OWE MY DEVOTION TO THIS FIC TO ALL OF YOU, AND… OH, F***! I LOVE YOU GUYS!