You're tearing my heart
There was a short silence after Harry had banged the door shut, and Snape quickly turned to face Lupin. Remus could have sworn he had glimpsed a note of puzzlement in the Potions teacher’s eyes; and Snape being confused, and showing it, meant something.
You thought you knew everything, did you, Snivellus? Remus thought sourly. If you had had more friends among the Order they would have told you Harry hasn’t spoken to me all summer…
He didn’t feel at all like staying there in the classroom with Snape. Just the thought of seeing the greasy haired man in his black cloak about to lecture him like a three year old made him forget everything else; what Harry had just said left his mind momentarily, and he concentrated on how to get out without Snape holding him back.
“If you would please” he muttered, noticing Snape was blocking the way to the door between the desks.
Snape seemed to hesitate for a second, and for a moment Lupin thought he was about to take out his wand and cast him a nasty spell squarely in the chest. But, to Lupin’s surprise, Snape stepped aside.
Lupin walked to the door, keeping his eyes down as he passed Snape, then pulled it open and put a foot outside.
“By the way, Lupin,” Snape’s voice reached his ears as he was almost out. Lupin listened but didn’t look back at Snape. “You’re on patrol tonight. You and Malfoy. Dumbledore’s instructions.”
“And who─” Remus asked, still not looking at him, “do you have the pleasure to be with?”
Snape didn’t reply. A slight smile appeared on the corner of Lupin’s mouth. It was barely visible, but it felt good. He knew for sure Snape and Harry were to pair together. And if everything else in the world was dreadful and just not right, at least this was something Lupin could call a revenge. Snape and Harry together… if he was annoyed to have Malfoy, then at least Snape wouldn’t be better with Harry.
For the rest of the afternoon until dinner, it seemed there was an unspoken tension in the air wherever Lupin went. Whether it was into the corridors or in class, students were looking at him, trying to guess what was going on.
At first he thought with fear that maybe, just maybe they had learned about Harry yelling at him? If not, why did he feel their eyes on his back all the time?
But in fact, it appeared that the news of Ron and Ginny’s precipitated departure had traveled fast; that, and the sudden exit of the teachers from the the Great during breakfast. If only a few had noticed, they had quickly put two and two together, and told everyone who would listen that there was a link there with Lupin walking in the Gryffindor Common Room shortly after.
He avoided going to the staff room until he was forced to at the end of the day; he knew there it was worse than anywhere else: whispers and worried looks and sighs and edginess…
“Good evening” Dumbledore said as they had all sat down in the Great Hall half an hour later. Silence fell instantly in a deep, heavy, uncomfortable atmosphere.
Lupin, seated once again beside Mc Gonagall, saw her shift awkwardly in her chair. Dumbledore was directly on his left, standing, meaning he couldn’t see the expression on his face.
But Lupin had known Dumbledore for a long time now. And he couldn’t help noticing the slight, barely detectable trace of anxiety in the headmaster’s voice, which on the outside sounded perfectly controlled and balanced. It was unnerving to think of the powerful wizard as an old man uncertain of the future. On the outside, Dumbledore needed to show his strength. On the inside, few, but among them Lupin, knew that the headmaster was unsure of what to do, and just as tired and exhausted as everyone else…
You’re just human like me… Lupin closed his eyes. He could feel his heart beating furiously. But you’re the greatest wizard in the world, Albus. For christ’s sake… If you’re afraid, then the rest of us has better be scared to death as to what’s happening right now.
Dumbledore’s first words were merely an introduction. He had news to announce to them all; he wanted them to listen to him the entire way through, and not interrupt him, etc.
Lupin opened his eyes and scanned the Great Hall. Four tables listening eagerly. Hundreds of students wondering what was going on. Hundreds of pairs of eyes going from Dumbledore to their closest neighbors; glances, nervousness, apprehension, convulsive gestures every next word pronounced by the headmaster.
Let it be over with. Just say it and end it before someone bursts out with impatience…
“Yesterday evening” Dumbledore finally reached the critical point, “there was an attack on the Ministry of Magic.”
Lupin stared ahead. A wave of murmurs was raising from the students now. Frowns, some gasps. Many clenched their teeth, swore inwardly, felt like banging their heads in the walls because they couldn’t do anything about it, because they were just students who had to get through what happened every day in the world, because they knew they might be the next ones to be attacked.
“This is just a confirmation that Voldemort is back,” the Headmaster continued. “As for the casualties─” everyone held their breaths,“─as you will all learn it anyway, I feel it right to tell you that Arthur Weasley left us along with Cornelius Fudge and several other men and women dedicated to our cause.”
Remus couldn’t help but look in Harry’s direction. Hermione was seated beside him and had a hand over a mouth. And Harry─
For a slight second something odd happened. Their eyes met and for an instant, just an infinitely short instant, it was as though nothing had ever happened. They were both seated on opposite sides of the Hall, and yet there was no distance between them. They were both side by side, sharing the same grief, helping each other in getting through it all. They were close again, they were friends, and without words one understood what the other felt because he felt it too…
Then Harry’s gaze became colder, way more distant. And the next second, he turned away with an expression of fury on his face. At Lupin, and maybe at himself.
God, Harry. Don’t do this. Please don’t do it.
Not right now.
Not when I need you and you need me more than anything else in the world...
Lupin sighed deeply, reported his attention back to Dumbledore who was still speaking, hands stretched-out to make everyone quiet down.
“To ensure security at Hogwarts, night patrols will start from this evening on. Curfew will be at ten every evening. Students not in their Common Rooms or Dormitory by then will have to answer to their Heads of Houses. The patrols will require Prefects to meet teachers in front of the staff room right after dinner. During Ronald Weasley’s absence, Harry Potter is to replace him. And until further announcements─ I have nothing more to say than have a good dinner.”
Dumbledore sat down and food appeared on the tables; but it took a while before anyone moved or talked or did anything else than stare blankly at each other. Finally, students and teachers alike unenthusiastically filled their plates.
Lupin knew he must eat but really didn’t feel like it. He helped himself to some pork chops─ in fact, the only thing that looked like it wouldn’t make him throw up─ but quickly stopped eating. Dumbledore didn’t stay long and rose up, getting back to his Office, and left an empty seat on Remus’s left, making it seem even more like it was hopeless. Dumbledore’s simple presence usually provided a feeling of safety; now that he was gone, they were alone.
Time to go meet Prefects upstairs Lupin eventually got up with the other teachers. Only a few students hadn’t finished eating here and there, and Lupin saw them talking in low voices, giving small glances to the staff table from time to time. Harry and Hermione were nowhere to be seen; they were probably upstairs waiting by now.
Let's go. Gather up some courage…
The night was far from being over. And even if it was, Remus saw no bright perspective of better days ahead. The day after, or the next, or the next, there was no hope there. Nothing but gloomy hours, news of killings, news of uneven fights against Dark Wizards, with students crying in the corridors because they had lost their parents, their brothers and sisters, their friends. Nothing but worn out teachers, worried past anything imaginable, walking in the corridors mechanically, their thoughts somewhere far away.
Nothing but furious glances from Harry than made him feel even more guilty about it all than he felt already. The kind of looks that made him hate himself for who and what he was, the sort of desperate glances of anger that destroyed him, that killed him slowly, that made him wish he was dead already.
A/N: liked it? Hated it? Comments? Ideas? Please don't forget to review! *don't I sound like I'm making a commercial?-lol*.
Ok here is what I really wanted to say: this story will probably be something like 13 or 14 chapters long... so if you wondered whether it was soon going ot be finished or not... here's your answer!
(And don't ask me if Harry will speak to Lupin or not─ I already said he wou─ oups─ never mind... I can't believe I said that...!)
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