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Life at Hogwarts is unusual, to say the least. Thankfully, I have the Marauder’s Map with me so Jason, Alfie and I rarely get lost, and when we do, it’s not long before we find ourselves back on track.

Peeves the Poltergeist seems to remember my father from Hogwarts, and delights in following me around, chanting, “Loony loopy Lupin!” in an annoying sing-song voice.

Alfie, who has been brought up in a life of luxury, seems very… not unimpressed, no - that’s not the word… calm. He seems very calm and collected by the whole thing — already used to house elf cooking, (I admit, so am I, but only at Harry’s place, and Kreacher’s getting old. While he’s lovely, bless him, his cooking has nothing on the Hogwarts house elves) old, moving paintings and grand old fireplaces.

Harry has a distinct Muggle tinge to his house, and so do Ron and Hermione. I can’t quite place my finger on what’s Muggle and what isn’t, though. Maybe it’s just because a lot of their furniture is bought out of Muggle shops (Harry hates being noticed, and he’s basically non-existent in the Muggle world, so that’s where a lot of holidays, shopping and days out take place) and they wear muggle clothes. Well, Harry and Hermione at any rate.

Anyways — Alfie seems perfectly knowledgeable and prepared for Hogwarts. Jason, on the other hand, has never experienced something so exciting in his life. Walking down just one corridor with him takes ages, because he wants to talk to every portrait, and check every tapestry or statue for the hidden passages I told him about.

“I told you,” I say impatiently, tugging on his arm, “they were all blocked up during the war. There aren’t any others — they’d be on the Map!”

“How do you know, though? The Marauders and Death what-do-you-m’call-ems might have missed one!” he exclaims excitedly, fighting back to prod the statue a little longer.

“Yes,” says Alfie, seriously, thought there’s a cheeky gleam in his eye, “it’s very possible that they might have missed one that leads to an amazing place, like Lapland or somewhere, and if Jason finds it, he will go down in wizarding history.”

“Really?” gapes Jason, his eyes as wide as saucers at the thought. Alfie stares at him for a moment, then his eyes slide up to the ceiling, and he frown slightly.

“Do you know,” he says slowly, his voice full of puzzled bewilderment, “that there’s something gullible on the ceiling?”

“What? Where?” asks Jason, looking up too, as I snort with laughter.

Alfie rolls his eyes, grinning. “I can’t believe you fell for that.” Jason looks back at Alfie, frowning in a confused way, before replaying the conversation, and giving an embarrassed grin.

“Come on — we’re going to be late for our first lesson,” I say, checking my watch that Grandma got me for my birthday. Jason glances at his, draws in a sharp, hissing breath, and we pelt down the corridor.

***

“Good morning, class.” Standing at the front of the Transfiguration classroom is a short, stout woman, who looks to be in her thirties, with blonde hair that reaches down to her shoulders (though there are the suspicious hints of dark brown roots) and a somewhat wrinkled face. She introduces herself as Professor Gemmell (McGonagall retired yonks ago — she comes to visit Harry sometimes) and smiles kindly at us, but we soon find that she must have a split personality or something, because the slightest thing wrong, and she will rage and scream for a few moments, then continue on with the lesson as if nothing has happened. I get the feeling that she has a fierce temper, but doesn’t hold grudges, which is a good thing, I suppose.

Half way through the lesson, she remembers that she hasn’t taken the register, and goes through the register, usually with a comment on each name; whether is be remarking on the originality of the name, or the appearance of the person (she is always complimentary, if a little patronizing) or, in my case, something to do with our parents.

“Ahh, I had the pleasure of meeting your mother, once, Ted! She was lovely — helped me out a lot; Death Eaters, see. But her and the rest of her team of Aurors were brilliant. Fantastic spell work. Do you remember anything about her?”

“Err…” I stammer, thrown a little of guard by the question, “No… I was only a couple of weeks old when they died.”

“Oh, yes — silly of me, I should have realised. It was the tenth anniversary of the battle of Hogwarts last May, did anyone go to it?” she asked the class, and at once, off-topic tales of the celebration which took place up in the Scottish Highlands, in sight of the Hogwarts castle filled the classroom.

I do remember it; it was great fun, but I went with my Grandma, because none of the Weasley’s or Potter’s wanted to go.

“I’d rather not, Ted; it would be a bit difficult to go, see,” Harry had said, and I had replied that it wouldn’t be difficult to get there at all, because Grandma and I were taking a Portkey. Harry had just smiled and ruffled my hair.

Still, it was a great night — there were loads of fireworks, and a great big bonfire and music and dancing and I saw lots of famous Quidditch players, like Oliver Wood, Captain of Puddlemere United, who introduced himself and said that he was on a Quidditch team with Harry.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic — like the lesson seemed to go. Her lesson was mainly discussion mixed with writing out some theories (she said that we would do practical work, just not for a few weeks yet), and the discussion, for she seemed quite chatty, often became totally unconnected to the lesson, and she seemed quite content to talk and answer questions about the war — he favourite student to talk to seemed to be me.

“Has your Godfather told you much about the war, Ted?”

“A bit,” I mumble, acutely aware that everyone was hanging onto my every word, including the Gruesome Twosome. “It’s mainly the Weasley’s that tell me stuff about the war though — Ron and George and that lot. I reckon that they make stuff up though. In fact, I know that they make stuff up.”

Professor Gemmell laughs. “Make stuff up? How do you mean?”

“Well, Ron told me that he defeated thirty Death Eaters when he was thirteen-years-old using only a spoon and a scarf, and I know that’s not true, ‘cause Hermione slapped him around the head and said ‘Don’t lie!’ when he told me and Victoire last Christmas.”

The class laughed (apart from Corrine, who gives a shrill shriek rather like a monkey) and Jason winked at me. The class discussion stops when the lesson is over, and we make our way to the Greenhouses.

Neville is overjoyed to see me, and gives me a brief hug before the rest of the class come in (I came early just so I could have a chat with him).

“I’ve already owled Harry and Andromeda about you getting into Gryffindor, Ted. I expect Harry’ll be thrilled.”

I grin at him. “He’d be even more thrilled if I earn Gryffindor lots and lots of points this lesson.” Neville just laughs and turns away as the rest of the class come in. Above his desk (which looks more like a rainforest in a pot, if you ask me. Not enough detail for you? Fine then — it has massive leafy plants all over it, and big thick vines creeping up the legs, and massive pink-red flowers the size of my hand, and a weird looking plant that seems to be making sighing noises. All in all, there is about thirty centimetres square where you can see the desk, and even that is filthy with soil) he has proudly hung the sword of Godric Gryffindor, and I have heard the story of that both from him and also from Bill when he got drunk one family gathering and told all the kids about the last battle. Harry was furious with him, because loads of the little kids started snivelling and getting scared that there were Death Eaters under their beds, and then Hermione took me aside and asked me whether I “was okay” and “wasn’t upset” in the sort of voice that made me wonder if I was terminally ill.

Anyway, it was a good lesson, apart from the fact that I knocked over a massive pile of flower pots (oh, come on, that was an accident waiting to happen!) and they all smashed and everyone laughed at me. But Neville managed to sneak me quite a few points to Gryffindor without making it look like favouritism, even though it was, and Jason, Alfie and I had a right laugh throwing peat at each other, until Neville, obviously trying not to laugh, told us that it had been mixed with Hippogriff droppings.

After Herbology, we went to go and visit Hagrid, who gave us some cake that was quite nice at first, but then I crunched on something hard in mine, and Alfie found a snail shell. So we sneakily hid the cake in our hands and, when Hagrid wasn’t looking, fed it to Fang, who had stiff joints because of his old age and didn’t move about much.

If I had a dog — I’ve been asking both Harry and Grandma for years, but Grandma doesn’t like them, and Harry says not while he has young children about — I’d call it Paddy, because I like that name, and one of my Dad’s best friends could turn into a dog and his nickname was Padfoot. Merlin knows why Hagrid called his dog Fang, because he’s about as different to a Fang as chalk and cheese. All he really does is lounge about and groan a lot, sometimes with a dribble of silvery drool hanging from his slack lips.

***

Dear Teddy,

Congratulations on making Gryffindor, just like your Dad. I hope you have settled well into Hogwarts, and you have made lots of new friends. By the way, you left your
Hogwarts; A History book behind, I’ve included it for you. Please don’t “forget” it again — Hermione bought you that, and it would be rude not to read it.

I do hope that by becoming a Gryffindor you will not follow the Weasley route and be horrible to all Slytherins just because they’re Slytherins — just remember that I was a Slytherin myself, so it’s in your blood.

I hope your lessons are going well and that you’re behaving yourself. Remember to hand in all homework in time, and study hard, and make sure you leave your dirty laundry at the foot of your bed on Thursday mornings for the House Elves to collect.

Love,

Grandma


I tut-tut several times while reading this — yeah, I know Hermione bought it for me and everything, but it is a ridiculously boring book, and how did my Grandma find it anyway? I deliberately stuffed it down the back of the radiator so that she wouldn’t find it and send it on. The poor owl she sent it with looks like it’s going to collapse.

And yes, Slytherin may well be in my blood, but I don’t think that’s reason to be proud of the fact. To be honest, though, I haven’t seen much of the Slytherins. They keep out of my way, and I keep out of theirs.

That’s so typical of Grandma to go all Hermione on me and encourage me to become a total geek — why doesn’t she give me a frizzy haircut, bow tie and a healthy sprinkling of acne to go with it? I won’t even go into the laundry thing — way too embarrassing.

Casting the heavy, book-shaped parcel a dirty look, I pick up the other letter, and see my name written as Teddy-bear, which must mean Harry wrote it, and addressed it as such just to annoy me.

Hey, Teddy-bear!

Well done on making Gryffindor — that’s the best House there is, you know. I bet you’ve made loads of friends — tell me what they’re like so that I can make sure that they’re good enough to hang around with my godson!

How are your lessons? Have you had a Defence lesson yet? I reckon you should be good at that; your Dad taught it once, you know.

Don’t duel with the Slytherins — you haven’t learnt how yet, and I have no desire to see you black and blue in the hospital wing.

We all miss you already — James especially; he says he’s got no one to play with now.

Hope you’re having fun!

Love,

Harry


Poor little James! I bet no one else can endure his dramatic make-believe games now I’m gone!

I already knew that Dad taught Defence Against the Dark Arts — Harry tells me about twice a week. I have one (a lesson) later today, actually.

Jason and Alfie are sitting either side of me, reading letters from their parents. Alfie keeps snorting in annoyance and Jason keeps laughing.

“Look at that — my mother can even manage to have a go at me through a letter! ‘Upsetting Corrine’ indeed… I’ve barely even spoke to her!”

“Maybe that’s what’s upset her,” I say idly, munching on a piece of toast as I put Harry’s letter on the table and shoo the owl away.

“No it’s not,” Alfie says darkly, “She’s just saying it to get me into trouble — she always does stuff like that. It’s dead annoying.”

“Why would she want to get you into trouble?” asks Jason, shocked. “You’re family!”

“Only through marriage — and that’s still too close for my liking. Corrine’s dead attention seeking and Mickey’s dead aggressive.”

“Will you stop saying ‘dead’ all the time, Alfie? It’s dead depressing,” I mutter, crushing the rest of my toast into crumbs.

“What’s got your wand in a knot?” he asks me.

“We’ve got Defence Against the Dark Arts later,” I say, glaring up at the staff table.

“So?” asks Jason.

“Well, that Dermot bloke seems to hate me. Did you hear how he read my name out during the Sorting?”

“Don’t be so judgemental and paranoid. I’m sure he’s fine; he’s just a bit scary is all,” says Alfie waving a hand at me. “C’mon, we’ve got Charms with that Flitwick bloke, what’s he like?”

“I’ve heard that he’s all right,” I reply, and we get up from the breakfast table, and leave.

***

We’re all waiting in the classroom for Defence Against the Dark Arts, and my stomach seems to be tied in a queasy knot. Jason is to my right, tapping his hands on the desk and bobbing his head to the rhythm. Alfie is on the other side of him, trying to ignore Corrine, who keeps asking him “what kind of stuff” I’m into.

The entire class is producing a low buzz of chatter, and someone has written a rude rhyme on the blackboard.

“QUIET!” The door bursts open, and everyone jumps, and snaps straight to the front in total silence. Dermot is standing there, glaring around at everyone. “You first years obviously haven’t learnt how things are run in this school; when the teacher enters the classroom, there should be no noise!” he yells. “Am I understood?”

There is a mumbling, and he moves to his desk, casually flicking his wand over his shoulder to wipe the rhyme off the board. He takes the register, and stops at my name.

He stares at me, and I stare back.

“Your father wasn’t Remus Lupin, was he?” I can’t tell what emotion there is behind his voice. He seems blank, and empty.

“Yes, sir, he was.”

“And your mother… I suppose she was Nymphadora Tonks?”

“Nymphadora Lupin, sir,” I correct, and he gives me a long, cold stare.

“Mr Lupin, who is the teacher in this classroom?” I don’t know what to say, so I don’t respond, and instead glance around the room, but everyone seems as confused as me. “I asked you a question, Mr Lupin,” he says again, and his voice sounds much scarier, more threatening. “Who is the teacher in the classroom?”

“You are, sir,” I reply quietly, and I don’t feel at all like a Gryffindor now.

“Then why were you correcting me? I assure you, Mr Lupin, that I know a lot more than you, and therefore you will take my statements, and my statements only, to be correct, do I make myself clear?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Speak up boy!”

“Yes, sir,” I say louder, though I am still pretty quiet.

Dermot turns back to the class, as if nothing has happened. “Those of you with older siblings in the school may already know that my teaching post here at Hogwarts is rather irregular. I also have a job at the Ministry as a trained Hit-Wizard, so there maybe periods of time, very often days, when I am not here.” I very almost sigh in relief at this. “When I am not here, the class will be taken by Professor Allen, who you will meet when I am next given an assignment by the Ministry. I am actually going to have one tomorrow, but I do not know how long it will take — you may be unaffected.”

He turns and flicks his wand at the board. The date and title ‘Starting to learn Defensive Magic — when should it be used and how can we avoid confrontations?’ appeared on the board.

“Sir-” begins a girl behind me, but Dermot waves her down.

“Questions at the end of the class — and in future you will raise your hand!”

A/N I'm so sorry for the long update, guys. This fic is proving very difficult to write - not because of lack of idea's, but because everything that can go wrong has gone wrong.

Which means that me and Kevin-the-review-box would like lots of nice long, deatialed reviews to make us feel better! ;) :p

~Evie (and Kevin)

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