Note: This is the first fanfiction I have ever written! So pleaseee let me know what you think!
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter. If I did Snape, Remus, and Dora would all still be alive.
The seventh year Gryffindor's sat quietly in front of the common room fire place for what would be their last night in the old tower that held seven years of memories, both good and bad. Memories of life, birth, deaths, memories that would remain over a lifetime. They were a quiet group, a group that had lived through a war, defied everyone, been touched by death, a group of friends whose bonds had strengthened in this, their final year.
Harry sat with his arm around his girlfriend Ginny, beside Ron who had his arms wrapped around his girlfriend. Neville was there, and Luna who had crept into the Griffindor common rooms. Somehow, the lines between the houses had blurred in the past year. Blurred for everyone bar Slytherin who still held themselves aloft, their tattered pride and dignity closing them in a tight, angry and bitter rank. Dean sat nearby, Seamus having fallen in Hogwarts Halls. A lasting memory of the names of students in a fountain that flowed by Dumbledore's grave.
Tomorrow would be the last time the Golden Trio would board the Hogwarts express. The last time they would be in this castle as students. "Where are you and Hermione going, Harry?" Dean glanced at the faces of his friends in the flickering firelight.
Harry frowned suddenly. "The Lupin's. Tonks insists we go and stay with them rather than at the Burrow." He sounded irritated, as if this was the one thing he did not want to do.
Hermione sighed loudly. "It was generous of them to offer." She scolded. "And I think it will be nice to live with Tonks and Remus and Teddy is adorable. Besides, it's not practice for us to live at the burrow."
"I wouldn't have minded." Ron mumbled against her hair causing a laugh to escape his friends.
"Mum might have. And Charlie said that the Den is a second home."
"Rather accurate really. A den for a wolf and his pack." Luna's voice was dreamy. "You are becoming part of the pack, Hermione."
"So long as he doesn't bite." Dean joked weakly.
Neville frowned at him. "When you are settled we will visit." He had grown in confidence this last year, changing from that shy boy into a strong, powerful wizard. "I would like to talk to Professor Lupin—"
"Remus!' Ginny and Hermione corrected at once.
"Remus." Neville grinned. "I'd like to talk to him about a few things."
"You'll be lucky if he answers." Harry spoke bitterly, his green eyes resting on the dancing flames, a cold look that did not suit him lingering on his face. Facing Voldemort had left scars on him.
"Harry!" Hermione's eyes flashed angrily.
"Oh shut up." Rising abruptly he stared at his friends. "I don't care, Hermione, he made his decision, all I ever was, was James' son and Sirius' godson. And they are both dead. I'm going to bed." He turned and stormed up the staircase.
Ron sighed heavily, disentangled himself from Hermione and followed his friend from the room.
"Harry always forgets that Remus never called him James." Luna's voice held an unnaturally hard edge to it, her clarity of the situation was different from Harry's, very different. "Sirius did."
Ginny leaned against Hermione. "He forgets Remus is human."
"He's a dark creature. Maybe Harry is finally aware of that." Dean's eyes widened as four wands were suddenly pointed at him.
"Don't you ever speak about Remus Lupin like that again!" Hermione's eyes flashed with fire. "Ever! He is a good, brave man who risked his life for the wizarding community! If it wasn't for his sacrifice then many more innocent people would have died! Don't you ever call him a dark creature! Ever!"
It was Dean's turn to storm from the room.
It is strange how perceptions can colour your judgement. How incidents and accidents will make you think one way and make it impossible for others to sway your opinion. It is strange how set you can become in a belief that even when you are confronted you turn your back to the truth and instead seek what you want to believe.
It was of course, far too dangerous to walk through a crowded train station if your name was Harry Potter, Ronald Weasley, or Hermione Granger. It was, in fact. Impossible. The students were told the morning that the train was to leave, the Weasley's Luna, Neville, Harry and Hermione were to use the headmistress' fire and floo to the Burrow. There, Tonks, Mrs. Longbottom and Mr. Lovegood would meet them and take them to their homes. Each of the students were given a password and vanished in a flurry of green smoke from the school to emerge and be engulfed in Molly Weasley's arms.
She had missed her children, the war had taken her beloved Fred from her and broken her heart, and then, a month later the younger ones had gone to Hogwart's leaving her alone. Alone until she had taken the Lupin's into her arms more securely then ever and became a surrogate mother and grandmother to the little family. Tonks was there, sitting on the edge of the table, laughing at Molly's reaction to each of her 'children' that stepped from the fire.
"Wotcher Harry!" she grinned and hugged the tall young man. "You get longer every time I see you!" She shook her bright pink head and turned to Hermione. Her eye's softened. She could see the envy that the young witch felt as she watched the Weasley's with their parents. "Remus and I have decided to keep you." She announced. "We think the brightest witch of our age would be an excellent addition to our mis-matched family." She hugged the girl tightly and felt Hermione relax in her arms. "Besides, Remus says you are a more interesting conversationalist then I am!"
A laugh went around the kitchen.
"Stay for lunch?" Molly looked hopeful but Tonks shook her head.
"I promised we would come straight home. Besides, I'm sure George will want to see Ron and Ginny." She smiled at the two red-headed children who were talking in hushed tones to their partners.
"Well, if you need anything..." Molly smiled slightly.
"I will call." Tonks kissed her plump cheek. "You are a wonder Molly Weasley. Alright all those to go to the Den please follow me. We are driving."
"You have a car?" Ron sounded excited.
"One that doesn't fly." Molly's voice was firm as she followed the group out the door.
"We go into town fairly often." She opened the trunk of the small blue car to display their trunk. "This helps maintain a certain belief that the strange reclusive family is somewhat normal! In we get, Molly, we shall see you for dinner tomorrow. Enjoy being home, kids!" She waved at Ron and Ginny, ensured her two charges were safely in the car, pressed a button and nodded happily as the car became a shadowy blur and moved at speeds that rivalled the Knight Bus.
"The house is under the Fidelius charm. There are still enough death eaters out there to cause problems for us and seeing I am back at work it is usually just Remus and Teddy at home. The Weasley's are around constantly and our Floo's have a direct network. We have password's on the floo, of course. It's not safe without them anymore." She sighed and her shoulder's slumped slightly.
"Your bedrooms are both on the second floor. Remus Teddy and I are on the bottom. Teddy has his own bedroom but he prefers to be in with us." Her usual sunny facade fell back into place. "He has grown a lot since Christmas! He is walking and starting to talk."
"I can't wait to see him again!" Hermione smiled thinking of the adorable baby that she and Ginny had wanted to steal during their last holidays.
"He is very excited that Uncle Harry and Aunty Hermione are coming to stay. He will claim you as his own. He did it with Bill and was very jealous of Fleur for a long time."
Harry laughed at this. The topic was safe. His little godson he adored. "I wish we could have been here for his birthday."
"Nonsense. You were in the middle of NEWTS. Remus would have thrown a fit if you had left school for Teddy's party."
"How is he?" Hermione spoke into the silence as Harry turned to the window moodily.
"Remus?" Tonks bit her lip. "Tired. He has changed a lot. You both saw him at St Mungo's Well, he honestly doesn't look much better now than he did then. But he is alive." Her voice was firm. "And that is what matters. Now, the Den may be found at 911 Moorlake View." Immediately a house appeared, not a tiny cottage that both Hermione and Harry had expected but a beautiful two story house that resembled something from the middle ages with its gabled roof and the white and brown woodwork that was covered by ivy and climbing roses. Dora parked the car and levitated their trunks up the path to the heavy wooden doors.
"Where did you find this, Dora?" Hermione stared at the expanse of green grass around the house in awe.
"Half was a wedding present from Mum and the other half was that Sirius left both Remus and I a rather large amount of money. The fool. We built this and Molly and Mum had a field day charming the roses and ivy to grow faster and all over the house." She pushed open the door and stepped inside.
"It's me. Nymphadora Lupin who married Remus Lupin and has a son Theodore Lupin. I have a birthmark on my right hip that I cannot charm away."
There was a shout of laughter from a room down the hallway and a tall red-headed man emerged.
"George!" Hermione hugged him and he grinned at the surprised teenagers.
"Hullo kids. How were the NEWT's? Am I still glad that I didn't take them, Harry?" He winked as Hermione shot him a stern look.
"Very glad!" Harry shook his hand warmly. "What are you doing here?"
"Had to run over to discuss a few ideas with the last Marauder. I am trying to convince him to tell me the secret of the map."
Tonks rolled her blue eyes that were strangely like Sirius'. "You have been trying that for months, George Weasley. What makes you think he will give it up?"
"Worth a shot. See you tomorrow!" With a pop he vanished and Harry was left with a feeling of impending doom as Tonks led them down the carpeted hallway and into a large room.
"Oh!" Hermione gasped at the sight of the books that lined the wall and a soft chuckle made them all turn to where Remus Lupin sat with his son on his knee.
"I see you have not changed, Hermione." His voice was warm and kind, the voice of their teacher in third year.
"This is amazing, Prof—Remus!" she wrenched her gaze from the books and looked at him. Swallowing convulsively she crossed the room and bent to hug the older man. Remus had always looked old before his time, but now, after the cursing he had received at the hands of Dolohov and many other's he looked worm and tired.
Harry nodded curtly across the room not betraying his shock at seeing the once brown hair completely white. "Remus."
Tonks bit her lip as she watched a flash of agony slide across the haggard face before being hidden under a mask of calm. "Harry." His voice was grave.
Hermione sighed and looked at Remus with a slight sympathetic grimace. "Can I steal?" She indicted his son and his face lit with a smile. He nodded and Hermione scooped Teddy into her arms. He looked at her gravely for a moment before his face suddenly lit up with recognition and he excitedly pointed towards a photo that was above the fireplace of Hermione and Ginny last Christmas.
"Say Aunty Hermione." Tonks coached.
Hermione laughed. "That is very close."
"He only says that." Tonks looked disgusted. She was seated on the arm of Remus' chair, balancing on his shoulder and Hermione noted with amusement he had his arm around her waist to prevent any falls that were likely to occur. "Sit." She waved to the overstuffed arm chairs behind where the two Hogwarts graduates stood.
"It's sheer favouritism." A toss of the pink curls accompanied this statement.
"I am the nicer parent." Remus pointed out obligingly.
'Only because you have a never ending store of chocolate. I'm his favourite for faces." She morphed a duck's beak and Teddy chortled in delight.
Hermione rolled her eyes.
"There are a few things you should know." Remus spoke quietly, his gaze resting on Harry for a brief minute before turning back to Hermione. "I do not leave the house, and nothing that has my signature or ay piece of my writing can leave. It enables whoever placed a certain curse on me to track me and I do not want that."
"How?" Hermione looked horrified but intrigued.
Remus rubbed a hand across his eyes and Harry noticed the leather patch covering his right eye for the first time. "I don't know." He admitted.
"What curse.." She trailed off and blushed. "Sorry."
"Don't be." Remus watched as she played with Teddy before Harry claimed the little boy. "I have been looking for it ever since I was well enough, and Charlie, Bill and Dora were trying to find exactly what I was hit with while I was ill. We have only eliminated what it is not."
Hermione frowned her thoughts already flowing as to what the strange curse could be.
"So, that means nothing that has gone near Remus can leave this house." Tonks' voice was firm. "The wards around us are just as strong as those used at Grimmauld so there will be a minimal risk especially seeing there are only a few people who visit us."
"The perk of being a monster." Remus smiled.
"Oh shut up."
Harry looked surprised at the teasing way Tonks had replied, had the birth of Teddy changed their relationship that much?
"I should show them around the house."
"And then you should make me lunch."
"Already done. Roast chicken is in the oven."
"I am so glad I married you. Give Teddy back to Remus, Hermione, he has a look on his face that doesn't bode well for his nappy and we shall vanish before having to change it."
Hermione rather promptly deposited the little boy back onto his father's knee. "I want him back later." She warned.
"You do realise that by living here you are one of a select few people who have rights to him every day?" Remus looked amused.
Hermione laughed. "Even when Mrs. Weasley and Ginny are here?"
"Oh when Molly's here Remus and I don't have a look in with our son!"