|Scene Title||Catching Up|
|Synopsis||Remus Lupin takes up a conversation with young Neville Longbottom in the Three Broomsticks.|
|Location||Hogsmeade: The Three Broomsticks|
|Date||April 1st, 1995|
|Watch For||Neville drinking what is perhaps a bit too much butterbeer.|
Oh yes, it is a Hogsmeade weekend. Students pack the place, filling almost every corner. Holed over in likely the least crowded spot, a table half hidden under the staircase to the second floor, is young Neville Longbottom, going over his Honeydukes and pub fare feast. A flagon of butterbeer, ten kinds of mini rum cakes… lemon, coconut, raspberry, and more. Yet untouched, a pile of chocolate galleons and a pack of ice mice. A basket of chips and a large ear of salted, buttered corn. The latter is what Neville is just finishing off, his teeth picking at the remaining kernels. His feet are slung up in probably the only empty chair in the place.
Enter in Remus Lupin, ex-Defence Against the Dark Arts professor. If the multitudes of Hogwarts students lining the streets didn't tip him off that it was a Hogsmeade Weekend for the Hogwarts students, the inside of the Three Broomsticks does. He smiles and greets a few students here and there who still think he was one of the best teachers they had for Defence Against the Dark Arts. He slowly makes his way to the back of the room to try and find one of the few and fare between empty tables left.
Neville sets the now naked corn stalk to the basket, starting on his chips. "Professor," Neville chimes to the ex-Professor. Some things, like titles, are a hard thing to break. "Professor," he repeats, struggling to sit up and pull his feet from the chair they rest on. He nearly falls from his own chair in the process, catching himself hard on the table. The boy, sheepish now, motions to the empty seat. "Need a seat, Professor? 'Fraid it's a full house, just about."
Lupin catches sight of Neville and smiles. "Mister Longbottom. Thank you very much." He says, taking the seat across from Neville. "I'm glad that I ran into you, in fact." He says happily. "How are you, Mister Longbottom?"
"You are?" Neville says, face falling in a shallow look of worry. Surely he can't receive detention from someone who isn't a Professor anymore? Neville gulps, sitting up fully and making sure his hair is in order. "I'm… I'm doing all right, I suppose. Good to be in Hogsmeade, even if it's a bit," he pauses, unsure of his working, "scarier." The admittance comes with a halfway, thoughtful frown.
No, no detention. That's not even on Lupin's mind. No reason for it to be, that he knows of. He nods a little bit. "I wanted to thank you for helping Angelina Johnson with her Herbology. It is very generous of you to do so, and I know she really appreciates the help." He says softly. "I can understand why Hogsmeade is a little more scarier now."
Realization falls to Neville's features and he props an elbow up, pushing a wrapped banana rum cake towards Lupin in an offer. "Angie? Well, she's brilliant, really. And she wants to be an Auror. She'd make a spiff one, too. It's the least I can do. I hadn't realized you were close to her?" He shrugs, looking to his chips as he eats another. "Not scary enough to keep me from Honeydukes, Professor. And I survived last time, in any case."
Lupin smiles softly. "Well, I've been giving her a little bit of tutoring as well. I've been attempting to teach her Herbology, but it's nice to have you there as well. While I know Herbology well enough, it's not my area of expertise. But you…well, you are quite excellent at Herbology, from what I hear. So it reassures me that you're helping her with it." He chuckles. "Ah, yes. Honeydukes is quite alluring, isn't it?"
"It's all pretty easy with her, I think. She picks up on things quickly," Neville starts, attempting to swallow down a blush from the compliment. "I'd wager she's the smartest witch in her year, even if Hermione might have her beat school-wide." He keeps the coconut cake close by, but tosses his hand towards all the other sweets. "Take what you want, Professor."
"Even so, it's quite generous and kind of you to offer up your skills to her." Lupin responds in kind. He looks over all the sweets and picks one up, and taking a bite out. "Mmm, lemon. Quite delicious." He says happily. "Now, how is school for you?"
Neville nods his head as Lupin selects the lemon cake. "It's school. You know how that is with me. And well, what with everyone in a bit of a frazzle over all the Death Eater stuff, people are attempting to coach me left 'n' right. They think 'cause I…" Neville stops himself, tossing a look around before letting his gaze drop to his lap. "'Cause I went after that Bellatrix woman. That— that now m'some Auror-to-be. But I very well wasn't in my right mind. Everyone calls me brave, but I think m'a bit thick, you know?"
Lupin nods understandingly. "That can happen when you go after a Death Eater, yes. Especially one such as Bellatrix Lestrange." He says softly. "Maybe you're brave, maybe you're thick. Maybe you're neither. Personally, I don't think you're thick. You had your reasons for wanting to go after her, I am sure. And those reasons, that purpose for you going after her, doesn't make you thick. It makes you…well, it makes you normal. And between you and me, there's nothing wrong with being normal."
"She…" Neville begins, tensing his shoulders enough to duck his head down. "She— you know what she did," he breathes, a momentary flicker of anger crossing his tone and facial features. "Normal is something I'd like a little more of." He cools back down, going back to his chips. "But, you know, it is Hogwarts."
Lupin nods ever so slightly. "Yes, I do know what she did. Yes. Which is exactly why I think that it's normal for you to act the way you did, going after her. You're angry, no doubt. All natural." He says softly and kindly. "Well, normal would be good, wouldn't it? Well, let me tell you a secret…life only gets more strange. Hold on to all the normal things in your life that you can now." He chuckles. "But Hogwarts…Hogwarts is perhaps one of the most normal things in life, I've found."
Neville doesn't appear very heartened at that thought. "Well, with a bit of luck I'll fail and have to stay there. Forever." It's meant as a joke, and Neville smiles weakly. "How is life for you, Professor Lupin? Outside of Hogwarts an' all."
Lupin chuckles softly. "Life for me is going well, thank you, Neville. I'm doing quite well." He smiles softly. "Actually, I had been thinking, depending on what you decide to do after Hogwarts, I bet you'd be a great Herbology teacher at Hogwarts, once Madam Sprout retires."
"Who, me?" Neville wants to know, turning his head to each side. "A professor? I… I had thought of maybe opening a store, perhaps. But—" The boy stops himself, sitting back with a chip halfway up to his mouth. He looks pensive about this new idea. "Professor Longbottom," Neville says to himself, laughing up at Lupin. "You make a habit of pondering your old students futures?"
Lupin chuckles a little. "Well, I pondered yours. You're one of the better Herbology students, and I think Professor Sprout would agree." He smiles softly. "I have a feeling you'd be great as 'Professor Longbottom'. I bet anything the children would love your classes."
"Maybe it's good to have some practice with Angelina, then. And Jackson. He's a kid who wanted a bit of help as well. I even got him a pair of really nice clippers for him. Those school issued ones are ruddy things. Mayhaps I should do the same for Angie." Neville is beaming, roused and cheered from the sudden subject. "You said Angelina mentioned me?" he asks suddenly, eyeing Remus carefully.
Lupin gives Neville a little nod. "Well, it seems you're getting some good practice in, then." He smiles softly. "Oh yes, Angelina. She mentioned how glad she was to have you teaching her. In fact, she said something to the effect of you being brilliant." He chuckles softly.
"Brilliant," Neville repeats, eyes widening up at the older man. There is a sliver of disbelief in his voice. "Bloody hell," he murmurs to himself, jerking his head. Some curls swing into his face and he shoves them away. "Oh! Sorry, Professor," he says quickly after the curse.
Lupin smiles softly. "Well, I'm not surprised, really. You don't give yourself the credit that you deserve, Neville. You're a smart young man, especially in regards to Herbology, as I've said."
Neville keeps up a smile, even his momentary cursing in front of Lupin can't wash away. "Yeah, I've been feeling pretty good about most things. Even with You-Know-Who's followers knocking on Hogwarts door." The chip is finally devoured. "Even potions isn't too shoddy right now, without Professor Snape."
Lupin nods a little, finally flagging down the waiter, ordering himself a butterbeer. "Well, things are looking up then? I'm glad to hear it! How's your grandmother doing?"
Neville pipes up for another himself, letting the waiter take his empty chip and drink dishes. "She's doing fine, thank you for asking. How she managed to fit a howler into a howler after that Hogsmeade incident is beyond me. Gran is wicked at magic when she wants to be."
Lupin chuckles softly. "Well, sounds like she's as feisty as ever." He nods ever so slightly. "Fitting a howler inside a howler is quite the talent." He says thoughtfully.
"Yeah," Neville says with a breathy chuckle. "But that's my Gran. She's my family an' all." The boy leans back as he spies the server weaving through the crowd with two butterbeers.
Lupin speaks again after the butterbeers arrive. "Family is important, isn't it?" He smiles softly. "It's good that you've got her. She takes good care of you, doesn't she?"
"It's important," Neville agrees. "Gran is a bit… protective. But it's the times, of course. I love her dearly, and she's done more for me than anyone could expect, really." The current topic brings up a thought to him. "Have you come to see Harry, then?"
Lupin nods firmly. It all makes sense, especially seeing what happened to Neville's parents. She'd want to keep Neville protected from the same fate. "Well, she cares about you and loves you, it does make sense." He smiles. "Um…no, I haven't actually come to see Harry. I've some other matters to take care of here in Hogsmeade."
Neville takes up his butterbeer. "He'd probably enjoy seeing you," he comments from over the glass rim before taking a long sip. "I barely see him myself and he's in my house. I mean, we're /all/ busy… but Harry is Harry, of course."
Lupin nods a little bit. "Yes, of course. I do plan on visiting him." He takes a long sip of his drink. "Well, I can understand that. Really. Every is busy these days. And Harry has a lot on his plate, I'm sure."
Neville bobs his head and keeps tasting the warm, sweet liquid. "Nothing is new, it's been that way for four years, now." Neville snorts into the butterbeer foam. Finally the precious coconut rum cake is unwrapped and sampled. The Longbottom sighs happily.
Lupin smiles and chuckles softly. "Well, I think I can see your point." He takes a gulp of his drink. "So, everything is good then?"
"I'm /brilliant/," Neville insists to his old Professor, looking up at Lupin with very warm, butterbeer enriched brown eyes.
Lupin chuckles softly and nods. "Of course. Good, good." He smiles. "And how is the Brilliant student doing at Defence Against the Dark Arts going? I can't help but ask what you think of Professor Moody."
Well, there is a show stopper. But, in the glow of good company and good drink, Neville clicks his teeth with a deep, dark amusement. "He scares the blazes out of me." Honesty is very evident.
Lupin smiles kindly. "Well, somehow I expected that." He really did! "He's a scary man isn't he?" He considers. "Well, he knows his stuff." He smiles lightly. "How are you doing in his class?"
"Err," Neville says, sloshing his drink in a circle around the glass. "Let's just say I was doing a bit better under you, Professor. And I make sure to keep chocolate well stocked in that class," his finger finds the pile of chocolate galleons and taps them gently.
Lupin chuckles softly. "Ah, good thinking on your part. Chocolate helps quite a bit. I can't emphasize that enough." He says with a tiny smile. "Well, I'm sure you'll get a good teacher again soon. One that you work better with."
Neville tips his glass up, keeping up his comfortable buzz, of sorts. "Oh, Professor Moody works wonders with most of us. But for me… well, I guess you just were a better match for me." Neville trails his voice off for a moment. "He's building an army of students, Professor Moody is, in a way. I suppose Angelina has talked about it?"
Lupin smiles softly at Neville. "Well, I'm glad to hear that. I did quite enjoy teaching the class." He bows his head in a little nod. "I did indeed hear about Professor Moody's little plan." He pauses for a moment. "I've offered to help out a little bit if he needs the help."
"Wish you could have stayed," Neville regrets, but seems to perk at the idea. "Yeah? Could you? I mean, I'm sure if you were there I could do pretty well. That'd be great, Professor. If you could."
"Well, then. It is settled! Can't let the Brilliant Neville Longbottom do horribly. I shall be there." Lupin thinks for a moment. "Well, if I remember correctly, you did exceptionally well against boggarts."
"There are /still/ kids that can't look at Professor Snape without laughing," Neville says proudly, tipping his chin up. "I can't wait, now. I've been a bit… squeamish over it, but with you!" Neville looks happy and doesn't bother to finish the sentence.
Lupin chuckles. "There ya are." He takes another long sip of his drink. "Well, I look forward to teaching you again, Neville."
Neville sits back, humming to himself, clutching his butterbeer between his hands. "Brill'," he sighs happily. "Can't wait now, actually!"
Lupin nods slightly. "So, how is Professor McGonagall?" He asks lightly.
"I saw a tabby cat earlier. I'm wondering if she's doing a bit of spy work. Or perhaps she just likes being a cat. If it was her." Neville seems concerned about this, knitting his brows in thought. "I don't figure I'd like being a cat." Oh yes, this is good butterbeer.
Lupin takes a small gulp of the butterbeer. "Well, I'm sure that being an animal has it's advantages however. Besides, what is the point of being an Animagus if you don't ever change?"
"I suppose I don't think I'd like being a cat," Neville explains, smiling comfortably. "But you have a point."
Lupin chuckles softly. "No, maybe not." He smiles. He finishes off his drink. "Well, it has been a pleasure talking with you, Mister Longbottom. But I'm afraid I must take my leave of you now."
Neville reaches forward, swiping some of the chocolate galleons. "Just in case," he explains, holding the candy coins out for Remus. "I'll be seeing you at school, Professor."
Lupin smiles kindly and graciously accepts the chocolate galleons. "Thank you very much. I shall be seeing you at the school." He places some real galleons on the table to pay for his drink, and he's off on his own.