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Lily Evans fan art http://www.fanpop.com

After pretending to be asleep for the next four hours Remus gave up, threw on his rumpled robes which had remained in a heap on the floor, and hurried out of the tower.  It was so early in the morning that the paintings refused to help with directions sleepily waving Remus away with one or two harsh words peppered in for good measure.  This, of course, meant that by the time Remus actually reached the Great Hall most of the grey predawn light had shifted to the pale yellow of sunrise.  Still with it being a Sunday the tables were mostly empty.

Remus walked towards the empty middle section of the massive Gryffindor table his stomach trembling at the sight of the bubble and squeak filling a large pewter platter.  Sitting down heavily Remus immediately tucked into a very large portion, and lost in the rhythm of eating neglected to notice when he had company.

“I hope your not attempting to eat it all, because I heard a rumor these dishes are bottomless.”

Remus startled so badly that potato and roast from his fork landed at the far end of the table.

Lilly’s smile faltered as she noticed the bruised look around his eyes, “I didn’t mean to frighten you,” she apologised.

“Lilly, its just…I just didn’t sleep well,” Remus stammered as way of explanation looking at the floor shaking his head.

“Well do you mind shoving over a bit?  Every where else is full.”  Her serious face cracked into a huge grin as Remus looked around confused.  “Remus,” she laughed while swatting at him, “you must stop being so serious, it is the weekend you know?”

“You remembered,” Remus said true surprise coloring his words.

“Well yeah,” Lilly said slightly hurt, “I wouldn’t forget you.”

The words transformed the sad lonely boy’s face which now smiled a genuine smile. 

While the two ate in amicable silence only interrupted by the occasional off hand question or comment Remus felt himself relaxing. By the time he had eaten his way through two full plates, a slice of toast and jam, and a glass and a half of pumpkin juice Remus was almost happy, the nightmare nearly forgotten. Then Lily’s green eyes went wide in silent O’s of surprise. An itchy sensation between his shoulder blades told Remus that someone was standing right behind him, staring.

“Can I help you…,” Remus started obvious annoyance lacing his words as he turned to face the interloper, “ma’am” he finished lamely.

“Oh I’m sorry, are you busy Mr. Lupin,” the toe tapping visage of Professor McGonagall asked, ” have I interrupted, perhaps, your third plate of bubble and squeak?”

Remus could feel Lily pulling back and sitting up straighter in her desperate need to escape the tricky situation without notice, not that he could blame her. Watching a friend get punished for cheek was not high up on his list of fun things to do.

“I…um,” Remus stammered.

“A word please,” Professor McGonagall said while motioning towards the door, “in my office Mr. Lupin. Good day Miss Evans.”

Remus was able to shoot off one shrug in answer to Lily’s quizzical expression before he was steered out the door and around the corner.

*******

Professor McGonagall’s office was in a word meticulous. The spines of the books on her many bookshelves were perfectly inline, the tasteful furnishings, while sparse, were arranged in such a way that Remus had a hunch rulers had been involved, and there was not a speck of dust to be found. However, with the tapestries hanging on the wall and a fire happily crackling upon the hearth the room had a certain hominess to it as well.

“Sit Lupin this will only take a moment, I should think”

The look in Professor McGonagall’s eyes was not unkind Remus thought to himself as he sat down it was more calculating than anything he determined, as if she was making her mind up about him. “Yes Professor,” he asked as calmly as he could, “is there a problem?”

“Only time will tell Mr. Lupin,” McGonagall said while looking over her wire rimed spectacles at Remus. “Until then we shall have to place our trust in Albus that no there are no problems nor will there be. I have my concerns, but we will see.”

Her honesty hit Remus like cold water, and as such he sucked in his breath and braced himself for what would come next.

“You were up quite early this morning and from what I could see quite distraught, are you alright?” She paused looking at him intent worry wrinkling her brow. Unsure how to react Remus met her with a wall of silence. “Let me try again,” she said this time looking at Remus through her glasses, “you may or may not be a threat to others, but you most certainly are a danger to yourself. So…you can take my help or not Remus, my offer stands regardless.” Professor McGonagall then sat back and pulled a parchment from her long emerald sleeve tapping it against her empty hand waiting.

“I have dreams,” he admitted to one of her bookcases, “nightmares really. About the night it happened, and always right before the moon.”

“I see. The next time this happens please go directly to the hospital wing Miss Pomfrey will be able to alert me right away,” McGonagall said in her most matter of fact tone. She stood indicating that the conversation was over and handed Remus the roll of parchment. “Professor Dumbledore wishes to speak with you.”

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