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Harry woke late the next morning and even then not naturally, but rather to the sound of Padfoot barking. He threw off the covers and went to the window overlooking Bowman's garden, where the noise seemed to be coming from.

Down in the garden Padfoot was standing splay-footed, clearly ready to catch something, barking joyfully; a triangle of toast went whirling through the air even as he watched, and Padfoot leapt to catch it, crunching it up in his huge jaws. Harry leaned forward, trying to see who was down below. Remus, hair askew from sleep, sat in a garden chair of some kind with a large plate of food on his lap. Mrs. Jenkins stood next to Remus, talking with Tonks, who looked likewise as sleep-rumpled as Remus. Two magpies swooped down and began fighting for the remains of the toast that fell sloppily from Padfoot's mouth. Harry slid the window up.

"Good morning!" he called. Remus turned his face up to look at Harry, and smiled.

"Good morning, Harry!" he replied. "Did we wake you?"

"You should have, ages ago! What time is it?" Harry asked, unaccountably cheerful.

"Coming on nine-thirty. Hermione and Ron floo'd to say they couldn't come over, so we thought we'd let you sleep," Tonks answered.

"I'm going to market today," Mrs. Jenkins added. "Would you like anything, young Harry?"

"No thank you, Mrs. Jenkins, I think we're fully stocked."

Remus flung another piece of toast across the garden, this one in a high arc, and Padfoot executed a near-backflip to get it. Tonks laughed and applauded.

"What a lovely creature," Mrs. Jenkins said appreciatively. "Only mind, don't let him go in Bowman's flower beds."

Remus winked at Harry behind her back. "He's fully trained."

Harry washed and dressed quickly, descending to the bottom floor and passing through the kitchen into the sunlit garden. It would be hot today, he could tell; that was fine. They could cast cooling charms and stay inside. He had a commission to make of George, who was meeting him down at the Witch And Wardrobe, but that wasn't until late afternoon. It would be a nice walk. Perhaps Padfoot would tag along.

Remus offered Harry the remains of the toast and one sad fried egg. Harry took the toast and nibbled on it, content to lean in the doorway and watch Tonks wrestle Padfoot for possession of a prime fetching-stick.

"Nice morning," he said, idly.

"Yes," Remus agreed, tilting his head back to rest it against the wall of the house. He glanced up at Harry. "Sleep well?"

"I did."

"Good. I wondered...this house..." Remus shook his head. "But you were right, Harry; this is fine."

Harry smiled as Padfoot knocked Tonks over and proceeded to bolt, stick in mouth, while she shook her fist after him.

"She's being very tolerant," Harry observed.

"She loved her cousin. It must feel like a reprieve for her; she blamed herself -- too much. To have him back seems like a reassurance of sorts. A second chance."

Harry glanced down at Remus, who was watching her with studied carelessness.

"I wonder what we did to deserve it," Remus said, after a time.

"Maybe it's not what we did. Maybe it's what he did," Harry pointed out. "This could be his reward, not ours."

"So it could. Mmh," Remus grunted, adjusting his shoulders slightly. "I'd forgotten what it was like to sit in the sun -- seems like I spend all day buried in libraries or dim little shops."

"You must remember my parents living here," Harry said. He'd never prodded Remus about what he knew, though he'd often wanted to. It wasn't fair to make him secret keeper and in addition keeper of the memories of James and Lily -- and Sirius.

"Vividly. James' mother turned up her nose at it; nothing was good enough for her son and his wife. But he liked it, and Lily loved it."

Padfoot came dashing back across the lawn, knocked Tonks over again, dropped the stick on her head, and rushed up to Remus and Harry. He skidded to a halt in front of Remus, tossing muddy paws up on his knees and panting in his face.

"You stink," Remus informed him. "And you have crumbs in your whiskers."

Padfoot's eyes rolled in a wild, bizarre imitation of a human eyeroll. He jumped away from Remus and nudged Harry's knees, shoving him aside gently. Inside there was a sound like an exhalation of air, and Sirius' bare feet could be heard tracking mud into the downstairs bathroom.

"Can't sit around all day," Remus said, hoisting himself up out of the chair and stretching. "There are letters to write and books to read. I thought I'd go into town this afternoon; there might be a bookshop that needs a clerk, or something similar."

"You're not seriously thinking of getting a job?" Tonks asked, following him inside. Harry backed out of the doorway to let them through, then pulled the door closed and went about procuring himself some cereal.

"Well, perpetual unemployment has its appeal, but it's bad for the digestion," he answered drily.

"You're not well yet."

"I've never been well; it's never stopped me before." Remus seated himself complacently at the kitchen table and opened his quillcase, uncapping his inkbottle. He pulled a sheet of parchment out of the little compartment for scrolls, unrolled it, and began to write.

"Harry, tell him he doesn't have to get a job."

Harry shrugged. "He knows what I'm worth better than I do. He knows he doesn't have to get a job."

"Then tell him he shouldn't!" Tonks growled in frustration.


"Yes, Harry?"

"You shouldn't get a job."

Remus smiled at him. "Thank you for the advice, Harry. However, without one it is difficult to procure ink, quills, clothing, food, books, shiny baubles for Tonks -- "

"Men!" Tonks crossed her arms.

"That's hardly fair. I'm sure there are plenty of men who would be happy to live on Harry's savings their whole lives," Remus said with a smile. "It's all right, you know. I doubt anywhere would hire me at any rate, so it's likely you shan't have to worry."

"What're we worrying about?" Sirius asked, emerging from the bathroom with a towel tied around his waist.

"Sirius, that's my towel!" Tonks cried.

"It's nice," Sirius said. "Very thick and woolly."

Harry glanced at Remus as Sirius and Tonks began to bicker about personal property rights and contagious skin diseases. Remus gave Harry a small smile, then bent back to his writing.


It was agreed that the afternoon trip down to the centre of town could be successfully accomplished by Remus and Harry, with Sirius tagging along as Padfoot since he seemed to be in a doggy mood for the majority of the day. The proprietess of the Witch And Wardrobe could hardly be expected to ban Padfoot when she dealt with rats, cats, toads, owls, and spiders as her customers' familiars on a regular basis. The life of a magical pub owner is not an easy one.

The walk wasn't difficult, and Harry felt it rather did Remus good, in fact. They strolled in a leisurely way down the streets, Padfoot occasionally scouting ahead, clad in a thick leather collar which had been procured in Diagon along with Sirius' teaching robes. Tonks had gone in to London to complete some paperwork and fill out some scheduling forms, still vaguely annoyed by Remus' insistence on looking for a job.

There were help-wanted signs in a few windows; Harry and Padfoot loitered on the sidewalk or browsed while Remus spoke with shop-owners and cashiers. His poverty had always been theoretical to Harry before now, but to see his clever and kind professor ask about shelf-stocking jobs annoyed him. It didn't help that he knew Remus was naturally inclined to shyness, and even the simple act of asking was difficult for him.

"I need to talk to George alone," he told Remus, as they stood outside the Witch And Wardrobe. "It shouldn't take long, though."

Remus indicated the newspaper under his arm. "I'll stay at the bar with Sirius until you call us."

Harry hesitated, torn, then dug in his pocket and pulled out a handful of galleons and sickles. "It's coming on dinner -- can you get me something to eat? Doesn't matter what. And a bowl of something for Padfoot and stuff."

Remus examined him, head tilted a little, eyes a little more knowing than Harry was comfortable with. Finally, he held out his hand and accepted the money.

George was already sitting inside at a rear booth, a pint in front of him. Harry left Remus speaking with the witch at the bar and slid into the seat across from George, smiling a greeting.

Harry had a theory that, while most twins weren't necessarily identical or mystically connected or any of that rot, magical twins were different. Without Fred, George was listless and unhappy; Charlie had written again to say that Fred was just as miserable, but it was good motivation to find a solution, and they were making headway.

"What's up?" George asked, leaning forward. "You said super-secret, hush-hush?"

"Yeah. Well. That and I wanted to see if you wanted to come over for dinner tomorrow."

George gave him a small grin. "And here I was thinking you were sending me on a dangerous and exciting mission."

"Well...sort of."

"I'm all ears. And red hair."

Harry bit his lip.

"I've silenced the booth," George added. "Anyone eavesdropping really will be all ears. Have at it."

"What I'm planning for Voldemort isn't going to be easy," Harry said quietly. "We're going to have to get to him, and to that snake of his. I need his defences weakened. Hermione's already working on Fenrir Greyback, and you know what Fred's up to."

George nodded, looking more interested now.

"It's the humans I'm still worried about."

"Snape," George said, a full measure of loathing in his voice.


"If I find him first, do I get to kill him?"

Harry smiled. George did not.

"I don't think anyone's going to find him. But if anyone could, George..."

George nodded. "I know people. I can ask around. I've heard things already -- I have to go into Knockturn to buy supplies sometimes. Tonks has, too. Word is, though, he's just vanished. He might be in Europe, but I think he'd stand out like a sore thumb there, especially if he has that little weasel Malfoy there with him."

"I need you to find him, George, or at least find out where he might be. He knows all our weaknesses -- he taught most of us." Harry lowered his voice. "If you find them, you can have Malfoy. Snape belongs to me."

"That little tit," George said bitterly.

"Do what you can. I'm not expecting miracles from anyone. I just want to know where they are. Any other information you can round up would be welcome, too. Other Death Eaters -- cutting them off, getting them thrown in Azkaban, anything we can do to make trouble."

George nodded. "Harry, I had this...idea."


"Yeah. We get a lot of regulars in the joke shop. Kids. They see stuff. They don't even always understand what they see. Could be useful, though. Some of them have parents who work in Knockturn."

"Any spies you can get, George. Keep track of what you pay out and I'll have Remus pay you back from the vaults." Harry leaned back. "Speaking of which, it looks like he has our food. Are we agreed, then?"

"Yeah," George said. "You're a bit scary, Harry, you know that?"

"Good," Harry answered grimly, turning around to wave at Remus. The older man nodded and picked up a plate and a bowl, carrying them over to the table while juggling two pint glasses as well. Padfoot followed, squirming under the table and flopping down on Harry's feet.

"I thought George might want some," he said, indicating the double-helping of fish and chips on the plate. He set the bowl of stew in front of himself and one pint glass in front of Harry. "And I ducked into the owl office next door -- brought the post."

Harry glanced down at the two letters, addressed to H.P. c/o Remus Lupin, Godric's Hollow, Poste Restante. Remus had a letter too, and Sirius had no less than three addressed to Nigel Padfoot, which seemed to have stuck despite all his best efforts to insist on Samuel. One from Gringott's, probably confirming the addition of his name to the access list for Harry Potter's vaults; one from Hogwarts, no doubt to do with the tutoring position, and one from Kingsley Shacklebolt, thick and looking like it probably contained several fake identification papers for Nigel Padfoot. And possibly a dog licence.

"How are you faring, George?" Remus asked, as Harry opened his letters. A long one from Neville, still in Ireland; a slightly shorter one, stuffed with newspaper clippings, from Luna. McGonagall must have sent them his new address.

"Pretty well," George answered with a shrug. "Working on some new stuff for when Fred gets back."

"Any news on that front?"

"Charlie says soon," Harry answered, stuffing his letters in his back pocket along with Sirius'. "We may be ready before we're actually ready, which would be a welcome change."

Remus nodded, opening his own letter.

"Fred's really good with explosives," George said, rather unnecessarily. "He thinks if you packed something harmful to them in with a lot of Muggle fireworks explosives, you could build these...rocket type things, maybe even modify Muggle firearms -- "

He stopped, because Remus had just dropped the letter he'd opened into his stew as if it had burned him.

"Remus?" Harry said. Remus stared down at the letter which was slowly soaking into the gravy. "Remus, what is it?"

"Bollocks," Remus said, startling the others and reaching into the stew to pick up the letter, hastily cleaning it with a paper napkin. "Oh, bollocks -- "

Padfoot lifted his head up into the space between Harry and Remus in the booth, inquiringly.

"Bad news?" George asked, craning his neck. "Hey, that's got the Hogwarts seal on it."

Harry looked too, even as Remus bent to cleaning the grease and beef juices off the parchment.

It is the pleasure of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to offer Mr. Remus John Lupin the position of Professor of Defence Against the Dark Arts for the coming school year --

"Ooo-er," George said, eyes wide.

And in view of his past services to the school, to offer in addition the position of Head of House for Gryffindor.

Harry heard Remus swallow, convulsively.

"McGonagall's gone mad," he said, hoarsely. "Absolutely round the twist. If she thinks she has a chance of getting this past the Board of Governors -- "

"No, look," Harry said, indicating a grease-marked spot.

Understanding the health and safety concerns involved, the Board of Governors has approved the offer conditional upon the following. 1. That Mr. Lupin remove himself to a secure location for the two days surrounding the full moon --

Remus peeled the first page off and set it aside. The second page, having got the worst of the stew, was nearly illegible. Harry saw McGonagall's signature at the bottom.

"I'd better be going," George said, cramming some chips into his mouth and sliding out of the booth. "Good to see you, Harry. Dinner tomorrow, yeah?"

"Yeah -- I'll have someone come fetch you," Harry said.

"Cheers. See you, then."

The red-headed man vanished into the cabinet. Harry glanced at Remus, who was still reading the letter.

"What are the other conditions?" he asked. Remus looked up at him, vacantly.

"Um," he said. Harry didn't think he'd ever seen Remus so completely at a loss.

"Other conditions of you being hired?" Harry prompted.

"Oh. Ah. Shack for the moons...can't live at the individual tutoring without another professor present." Remus said, reading the list. "That's all. Nothing about Wolfsbane."

"That's not so bad, really. You can stay at Fourteen Back and floo in, and you never did much tutoring anyway," Harry said.

"No, you were the only one..." Remus shook his head, clearing it. "McGonagall shouldn't give me that kind of news in a letter. My nerves can't take it."

"But it's good news, right?" Harry asked. "I mean, no more looking for clerk jobs..."

Remus looked noncommittal. "Perhaps we should go," he said, after a pause. "I've paid for the drinks and such already."

He absently reached into his pocket and provided Harry with his change as they left the booth, Padfoot scurrying out ahead of them. Remus almost left the letter behind, but Harry gathered it up and muttered a cleaning charm to keep it from getting grease all over his pocket.

Outside, Padfoot romped joyfully around Remus for a second before running down an alley, emerging a few seconds later as Sirius. He laughed and punched Remus on the shoulder.

"Professor Lupin!" he said, grinning. "We'll get to see each other every day!"

Harry, who sensed there was something deeply upsetting in the letter, grabbed Sirius by the arm.

"Don't make a show," he said.

"Aw, Harry, come on -- " Sirius caught his eye and stopped, then glanced back at Remus, who had continued to walk onwards. "What...?"

"Later," Harry said.

The walk to Fourteen Back was conducted in a tense silence, Sirius looking like nothing so much as a whipped puppy, Harry watchful, Remus abstracted and anxious. They could have gone in through the front door that faced the alley, but out of habit they went through the garden, waving at Bowman where he sat on the back porch.

"Harry, did you..." Remus asked, and Harry held up the letter. Remus accepted it and smoothed it open. "Thank you."

"Are you okay?" Harry asked.

"Ah...she always did like putting me in the hot seat," Remus said.

"Who?" Sirius asked.

"McGonagall...made me Prefect because she thought I could control -- well, you...wanted me to be more prominent in the Order..." he sat at the kitchen table. "She likes it when I'm between a rock and a hard place. Think it helps my character."

"I don't see what's so bloody rocky about it," Sirius burst out. "Nice soft teaching job -- "

Remus laughed mirthlessly. "Soft, you call it? I did that job for a year, Sirius. I was lucky to get out with my skin. I was lucky Harry got out with his skin."

"Not the old curse," Sirius groaned, dropping into the seat opposite him. "I didn't believe in it then and I don't believe in it now."

"No -- it really is," Harry started, but apparently this was an old argument that Remus was more than willing to pick up again.

"We had eight professor in seven years, Sirius. Belief isn't really an issue," Remus said.

"Eight?" Harry asked curiously.

"He had a heart attack and he'd only been teaching for two days, Blankenship doesn't count," Sirius argued.

"I don't want to fight an uphill battle. I'm too tired for that," Remus said. "The minute I show my face in the Great Hall, dozens of owls are going to go home about it."

"I dunno," Harry said. "Most of the parents who're easily scared have already pulled their kids, haven't they? And the students who are going back don't want to do anything to jeopardise that. And the rest think Hogwarts is safer than anywhere else anyway."

"Harry, you can't ask me to seriously consider this." Remus gave him an astounded look. "I'm hardly in condition to spend all day teaching, I haven't any lesson plans prepared and no time -- "

"Hah! Already thinking about lesson plans!" Sirius said triumphantly.

" -- and I wouldn't be able to teach for whole days together," Remus finished.

"You didn't before, either. Sirius can fill in for you," Harry said. "Why else have a tutor around?"

"Steady employment," Sirius said tantalisingly. "Having me around all the time..."

"Hardly a perk," Remus drawled. Sirius mocked hurt. "Let's put this aside for now. And for Merlin's sake, whatever you do, don't tell -- "

"Tonks!" Sirius said brightly, leaning out the window. "Hiya! Here for dinner? We've eaten already..."

"I just heard," came a voice in reply. "Is Remus there?"

"Heard? From who?" Remus asked, alarmed.

"Whom," Harry murmured. Remus glared at him.

Tonks burst into the kitchen and Remus stood just in time to be knocked back against the wall by her overenthusiastic hug. He clutched his chest.

"Oh -- Merlin -- sorry," she said, while he gasped for breath.

"S...fine..." he managed. All three of them waited expectantly while he got his wind back. "I'm all right."

"Of course you are!" she said excitedly. "McGonagall owled to say she'd offered you the Dark Arts job again!"

"Bedamned woman -- her, not you," he said quickly, when she scowled. "She must be desperate. I don't imagine anyone wants the job of the man who killed Albus Dumbledore."

"All the more reason you should take it," Harry said quietly. "They need someone who knows what they're doing now."

"You'll have Sirius with you on the full moons," Tonks added, touching Remus' arm hesitantly. When he didn't pull away, she rubbed it, comfortingly. "You won't have to lie about where you are."

"Head of House," Remus murmured to himself. "Tempting bait."

"Well, someone has to, now that she's Headmistress," Tonks said. "Can you imagine Trelawney trying to be Gryffindor Head?"

Remus covered his eyes with his hand. "All too clearly," he murmured. "Oh, Merlin..."

He began to laugh, dropping back into the chair at the kitchen table. Sirius and Harry exchanged a nervous look while Tonks accio'd a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water, offering it to him.

"I told you my nerves couldn't stand this," he said to Harry, taking a deep sip. "Merlin knows what I'll do the first time I have to give an order to the Prefects."

Tonks glanced sidelong at Harry and grinned. "Merlin knows," she agreed.


Harry's life in the last weeks of August became a constant, if not unpleasant, series of letters and books and discussions. Two years, even a year ago, he would have rankled at the inaction, but now he didn't even see it as such. Each course of research, each correspondence, became a single thread which connected him -- however indirectly -- to Voldemort. Charlie's cheerful but uninformative letters, George's cryptic notes about information received, Hermione's over-detailed but necessary reports, Ron's shorter and much more entertaining ones, Tonks' forays into Knockturn, all these came to Harry's hands, occasionally intercrossing and sometimes even seeming to form patterns.

Fenrir Greyback and a small pack of werewolves loyal to him were living, even as humans, on Dartmoor near Exeter. Their options for travel were limited; none of them knew how to Apparate, and none of them would voluntarily use broomsticks. Remus had told Hermione that Fenrir was essentially illiterate and had no magical knowledge other than a few wandless healing charms. Harry privately thought it was quite possible Fenrir's philosophy of ignorance stemmed from shame in his ignorance. Remus had been the first werewolf ever admitted to Hogwarts; Fenrir had never been given the chance to join wizarding society, let alone understand it. He was determined to keep the rest of his pack as ignorant as he himself was.

Sirius finished Animagus Winter and Remus agreed to lend his copy to Harry, who had been interested enough by Shop Gods to wish to continue. Sirius', which had an inscription he would rather -- for obvious reasons -- not share, was packed in his trunk along with his robes and schoolbooks. The Fourteen Back floo was connected to the fireplace in Remus' office and he spent a very long, very tiring day with Tonks, blowing most of his first advance paycheck on new clothing and robes. It was amazing the change that occurred from this alone; he still looked slightly ill in new and unpatched clothing, with a proper haircut and shining shoes, but he no longer looked as though he were on death's door.

Perhaps the most entertaining thing they had all encountered in weeks was the Tutors' Code of Conduct that McGonagall had dug up and sent to Sirius. It had clearly not actually been revised in several hundred years. Additions had been made here and there and a few things had been visibly scratched out or rearranged, but the document -- almost an inch thick -- was a considerable testament to the long tradition of scandalous and scurrilous Tutors who had held the post since the Renaissance.

"All right, listen to this," Sirius said, grinning as he paged through it the evening before two of the three residents of Fourteen Back would be returning to Hogwarts. "On pages twelve, twenty-nine, sixty, and forty -- which by the way comes after sixty -- I am warned about the consequences of licentious fornication with the headmaster. I think maybe someone should be coming up with a code of conduct for the headmasters, don't you?"

"Admit it -- you're planning licentious fornication with McGonagall," Harry accused, laughing over the top of his own book, a catalogue of 'harmless' magical artefacts on display in the British Museum.

"Oh sweet Merlin's toes!" Sirius looked horrified. "Do you suppose she's capable of it?"

"I shouldn't see why not. In fact I'm fairly certain she is," Remus replied. Everyone looked at him. "I'm not telling you any more than that," he added firmly. "I don't think she fancies you, Sirius."

"No chance of modest fornication, then," George suggested. Ron, sitting on the floor next to him, punched him in the arm and the two scuffled while Sirius calmly continued paging through.

"Ah, page ex ell vee eye eye as well," Sirius said. "Which comes between pages thirty-two and thirty-three, both of which contain advice about how to properly remove a fainting student's corset so as not to cause any intimation of impropriety."

"How do you do that?" Hermione asked. She was already elbow-deep in all her NEWTs subjects, her schoolbooks spouting sticky-notes like demented hedgehogs. To no-one's surprise, she had been declared Head Girl; equally unsurprisingly, Ron had not been declared Head Boy, though he had been made Quidditch Captain in Harry's absence. Ron and Hermione would be going back to Hogwarts on the train, like always, with Tonks as part of the train's security escort; Remus and Sirius would floo in just before the Sorting was to get underway, and Harry would be left -- at least until Remus came back late in the evening -- alone in the house for the first time since they'd moved in.

"Planning on removing someone's corset in the near future?" Sirius inquired. Hermione glared at him. "It's just an under-clothes banishment."

"Like this," George said, flicking his wand at Hermione, who shrieked.

"Send them back, George!" she insisted. "Ack, what a draft!"

"George," Remus said warningly.

"That's his Head of House voice," George stage-whispered to Harry.

"Send them back, George, before Ron pummels you again," Harry said. George rolled his eyes and snapped his fingers. Hermione got a very odd look on her face and fled for the bathroom.

"When you unbanish 'em, they generally return backwards," George said. Ron glared at him and got up to go see if Hermione was all right.

"This bit on catching cheaters is a riot," Sirius said, thumbing through a well-worn section. "There's eight different people writing in it and it's still at least twenty years out of date -- well, which means really it's forty years out of date by now. Ooooh, we never tried that one though."

Sirius reached over the edge of his chair and languidly stole one of Hermione's sticky-notes, marking the page with it. Harry, sitting on the floor with his arms around his knees and his back propped up by one of the chair's arms, grinned up at him.

Harry suddenly wished he knew how to work a pensieve; he wanted to take this memory and preserve it forever in a little glass jar, so that he could see it whenever he wanted. Hermione standing in the doorway, Ron's arm around her waist; Sirius sprawling above him and laughing; George feet-up on the sofa; Tonks doing a wizarding crossword next to the hearth of the empty fireplace; Remus in his new clothes on the other wing-chair, checking over his lesson plans.

He turned his head, resting it against the chair, and his eyes fell on the door to the nursery. By common consent it was walled off, secured away and treated as if it were a missing part of the house, a dead limb.

And that was the reason the memory unwinding in front of him right now couldn't last. Always lurking in the background, casting a shadow over the cosy living room of Fourteen Back, the room his parents had died in, the room in which Voldemort had met his first death.

Sirius slid down out of the chair, dropping to the floor next to Harry and offering him the book for perusal. "Look at this -- I bet this is why they fired the last tutor."

In what was clearly McGonagall's angular copperplate script, Harry read a new addition to the Code of Conduct.

The Tutor is considered a role model and mentor to young students, being generally a young person themselves. They are gifted with a great trust, the shaping and improvement of youthful minds by example. They are expected to comport themselves with dignity and sobriety at all times. The Tutor is forbidden from imbibing alcohol or mood-changing potions during school hours, while in the presence of other students, or while representing the school in any way.

"Think he was a drunk?" Harry asked.

"No, keep reading," Sirius said in his ear. George was distracting Remus and Hermione by teaching them how to make Hermione's sticky notes flap up in the air like moths; Ron was distracted (as usual, of late) by Hermione, and Tonks was engrossed in her crossword. Sirius leaned against Harry, right hand pointing to a paragraph lower down.

The Tutor is permitted to entertain approved visitors only in their quarters between the hours of three and eight in the evening on week-days. The Tutor is not permitted to entertain students of any gender in their quarters, nor are they permitted to escort individual students to Hogsmeade or any formal occasion at the school. The Tutor must bear in mind that they exert a certain power over students, and not engage in any romantic or sexual misconduct.

"Spoil your fun, eh?" Harry asked lightly, though Sirius hadn't moved his hand, and the close proximity of his face was suddenly very confusing.

"Oh, I don't know. I was never much interested in anyone below our year, and most of the people in our year and above were pretty annoying too, come to think of it," Sirius said casually. He reached further across the book to the far page, turning it over. Quite suddenly, the next page was an antiquated list of infractions and punishments the Tutor was allowed (indeed, required) to dispense. Above it, in McGonagall's hand again, was the annotation Try any of these and you'll live to regret it.

"Are you looking forward to it, Sirius?" Harry asked, while Sirius chuckled.

"Going back to school? Sure. Going to be let study on my own, have occupation, real occupation -- be useful, you know." Sirius nodded. "Yes, I think so. Why?"

"Just curious."

"Still time for you to come along, Harry."

Harry cut his eyes away, shook his head. "No. I have other responsibilities."

"But you will come and visit?"

"Visit?" Harry asked. The idea had never occurred to him.

"Of course, you git. I'm allowed to entertain visitors from two to two-forty five on alternate Tuesdays, remember?" Sirius grinned.

"I'm not sure I should -- "

"Do come. We'll comport ourselves without dignity or sobriety and make bad examples."

Sirius looked pleading, and Harry realised that aside from Ron and Hermione, who were not precisely Sirius' best friends, the other boy would know only Remus, and none of the other students.

"I'll come when I can," Harry promised. Sirius grinned at him.

"They're planning something," Remus said, and Harry glanced up. Remus was watching him and Sirius, not with any particular malice, simply taking them in. As he had watched Harry the day in town, when Harry had offered him the money for the pub.

"Mischief," Sirius said with a wink, and hoisted himself back up onto the chair. "That's all."

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