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One Moment At A Time

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This story is No. 1 in the series "Connections". You may wish to read the series introduction first.

Summary: The War’s over. They won. And it’s just like it was last time for Remus. Only everything’s different.

Categories Author Rating Chapters Words Recs Reviews Hits Published Updated Complete
Harry Potter > Willow-Centered > Pairing: Remus LupinsmolderFR1377,0892197,3422 Dec 112 Dec 11Yes

part two: spires

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Buffy the Vampire Slayer belongs to Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt. Harry Potter belongs to J.K Rowling.
Warnings/Spoilers: Post-War AU Harry Potter (so some character death different than the books obviously). Season 6 & Slightly changed (no Kennedy) Season 7 BTVS.
A/N 2: Reviews are Good. This has been a subtle hint from the author - Please return to your regularly scheduled reading.



Part 2: spires



The Wizarding World in general should be more accepting now that Voldemort was gone and the “good guys” were in power.

Should being the operative word in that sentence. Because it seemed after the War people were still just as terrified of werewolves as they ever had been. Perhaps more so because of the nuisance and horror Fenrir Greyback made of himself working under Voldemort - leading practically an entire pack.

So that was the public perception now. That all werewolves were feral creatures that lived in unclean groups and would bite people (or worse) as payback if they crossed them.

Lovely environment to go out and attempt to get a job in.

They knew who he was. The newspapers had done write-ups on all of the survivors (HEROES!) of the Final Battle with big pictures of the mass funerals (probably hoping to garner support and make people forget that they had just been printing propaganda for the other side days before). They had also done the wonderful job of actual journalism for a change – going on about his time as a teacher at Hogworts, his work with the Order, that he was now a widow and single dad…..before outing him as a werewolf.

He supposed all of the people who smiled awkwardly and told him positions were filled or simply slammed doors in his face had only read the end portion of his write-up. Had skipped over the war hero parts and gotten down straight to the lycanthropy.

Or perhaps the latter made the former cease to exist somehow. In the opinion of the Wizarding World, as long as he was a werewolf he might as well have been on the Death Eater side.

To them the fact that he continued to fight everyday didn’t matter. All that he had lost didn’t matter. James. Lily. Sirius. Dumbledore. Fred. Tonks.

Shit, Dora…..

Remus stepped out of the street, into an alleyway and pressed his forehead against the brick hard – forcing himself to simply breathe. Moments. Moments. He just had to get through these moments and remember why he was doing this.

(Just keep in mind the little boy he had left earlier today waving to him happily. Giggling as he bounced on the hip of one of his former students. The image Remus had seen right before he apparated – of Teddy grabbing a chunk of Luna’s long blonde hair and trying to stick it in his mouth, his own hair instantly changing to match. )

He let out his breath harshly and pushed away from the wall. Well, if the Wizarding World wouldn’t take him, he’d see if the Muggle World would.

***

He had a good feeling about Oxford he decided. The way the spires of the old building poked through the fog reminded him of Hogwarts – one of the only places he had ever felt at home.

He tried to let that sense of comfort propel him forward as he made his way across the campus. Tried not to think too hard on the fact that he desperately needed this job (any job) and he held no credentials whatsoever for the position. That technically to this world he didn’t actually exist.

It’s not that Remus wasn’t actually qualified for this (he had been top of his class in school, studied extensively on the subject in the years since and he had already taught something similar to multiple grades in the one year he had taught at Hogwarts)…..he just didn’t have the qualifications that mattered here.

He tapped his foot nervously as he sat in the waiting room of the Human Recourses department and smiled politely at the secretary when she called his name and followed the finger she pointed to the door behind her.

The lady behind the desk was middle-aged and looked serious and professional. Remus’ mind somehow flashed to a much younger Minerva McGonagall although there was no real resemblance in her appearance.

“Mr. Lupin,” she said. “My name is Eva Kowel. Please sit,” she gestured to the chair in front of her.

He did so trying hard not to show his tension. “Thank you, Ms. Kowel,” he said politely.

She smiled slightly before her face became a professional mask again. “So, Mr. Lupin. I understand that you are interested in becoming a Professor of Mythology here.”

“Yes,” he said simply, although he knew more was expected of him. He was simply hoping to stave off the rest of this conversation.

She waited a beat for him to say more but when he didn’t she continued. “I suppose something malfunctioned with our machines because your resume has not yet arrived,” she stated waiting for him.

“That is a shame,” Remus stated smiling stiffly.

“Mr. Lupin,” Ms. Kowel said in a slightly frustrated tone. “Are you even qualified for this position or have you simply been wasting my time.”

Remus closed his eyes in defeat and began to rise from the chair - to turn around and finally give up (at least for today). But when he opened his eyes again something caught his attention and he had to fight not to show the burst of excitement inside him.

“Is that a Holyhead Harpies patch?” he asked pointing to the simple green circle with a gold talon through it that had been sewn onto a messenger bag that was slung across her chair.

She went tense and wary but something flickered across her face. It was either familiarity or she thought he was crazy – either way, Remus figured he might as well go for broke. There was nothing left to lose right now.

“The Harpies are having a great year. I have to admit, in the past I didn’t follow as closely but quite a few of my former students on the team right now,” he tried to say in a conversational tone.

“Really?” she asked her eyes going wide and her voice a bit breathy – an utter turn around from her former demeanor. “You know them?”

“Angelina, Alicia, Katie, Ginny,” he listed easing back into the chair in front of her, knowing that none of them would mind him dropping their names like this. “I only taught at Hogwarts for one year but they were all in DA as well and we all had to keep close because of the War.”

Her look of egger fan slackened and her eyes dropped to the papers on her desk. She re-arranged them blindly for a few moments.

“I- I’m a squib,” she finally said looking up at him through her lashes as if admitting a dark secret. “My parents aren’t – they’re a normal witch and wizard. They never were cruel or tried to cut me out of the family like some did when their children were born without magic but when the Death Eaters took over …,” she trailed off for a moment. “It- it was no longer safe for me to live there, in that world. Even though it had always been home to me….although I suppose I never truly belonged,” she gave a sigh.

“I’m a werewolf,” Remus blurted.

She looked up surprised.

“I just wanted to say -,” he stumbled wishing almost that he could take it back, “that I understand. If you aren’t exactly like them you never get accepted by them. That’s why I’m here,” he admitted, “the War’s over but they still don’t accept. I fought, I lost almost everything but I’m different so naturally I am feared,” he ran a hand tiredly through his hair.

She looked at him carefully. “Do you have a resume. A real one?” she quirked an eyebrow. He flushed slightly and fished one out of his coat, handing it over to her. She studied his actual credentials for several moments.

“You’re a werewolf,” she stated when she looked up.

“Yes,” he said keeping eye contact with difficulty.

“Would you need time off near the full moon or do you have ways to stay in control? To deal with it on your own - both the change and the pain?” she asked practically.

“I have a steady supply of Wolfsbane Potion,” he answered her.

She looked down at his papers again. When she looked up at him once more, she was smiling slightly.

“I know some people. We can make you real here, too. Set up Muggle World equivalents to these credentials,” Eva stated.

“Thank you,” he said getting up and shaking her hand - feeling the first stirrings of hope creep up from deep within him. “Thank you.”
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