Title: They Always Say, You Can't Go To Hogwarts Again
Author: Loligo (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Rating: Suitable for everyone who likes depressed moping.
Spoilers: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Disclaimer: Remus Lupin and Hogwarts belong to J.K. Rowling. I do feel a bit odd about borrowing from a real author, but I'm pretty sure she doesn't plan on writing this bit.
Archiving: Anywhere, just let me know
Summary: They always say, you can't go home again, yet here's Remus Lupin, teaching at Hogwarts.
Some people say that going back to teach at the school where you once studied is a difficult thing. They say it makes you feel like a child again, being surrounded by all those scenes of your youth. They say you look at all those venerable professors who had seemed so impossibly old and dull to you, and you think, "How can I possibly be their peer?" Makes it hard for you to take yourself seriously, they say.
Remus Lupin couldn't have disagreed more. Not about the difficult part, no -- returning to Hogwarts held quite enough pain, thanks. But he didn't feel like a child again at all. Quite the opposite --every day that he spent here erased more of his youth, pushed it out of his memory, made it seem like a thing he had only dreamt.
Here he sat, at the carved oaken table at the head of a classroom, with a pile of parchments before him, waiting for students to arrive for class. He'd taken classes in this room, more than one, though the only one he could remember for sure was a seminar series on Invocations. But in those days he'd sat on the other side of the room and seen it all in the opposite way. Every day that he stood and lectured here, every day that his eyes traveled over the crack in the back wall and saw the view out the window from _this_ angle, the grown-up classroom grew more fixed in his mind and the child's classroom faded away.
He jumped up and paced the length of the room. The first stirrings of lunar restlessness prickled his legs, though the change was a week away. His fingers brushed over the students' tables and chairs. The age-darkened wood was scarred by the initials of only the cleverest students, the ones who had properly warded against restoration spells. He thought of sitting down here and taking his old place, only... only he was four inches taller now than he'd been even in his final year. What if he sat down, and looked around, and everything looked _almost_ the way it used to? What if that tiny change crept back and contaminated his memories for good, leaving him unable forever to picture the room as he'd truly seen it once upon a time?
He shoved at the nearest chair and was tempted to kick the table. By all the petty gods, this was ridiculous! Other people didn't have to be so careful with their memories. Other people could say to their friends, "Remember that time..." and could hear from their parents, "Oh, you were always so..." You don't have to worry so much about forgetting when there's twenty people to remember with you. You can rebuild each other's memories and warm each other with their fires.
Remus had never had twenty people to start with. The handful he'd shared his life with were dead now, or twisted beyond recognition. There was only Hogwarts to share his memories.
But Hogwarts always belongs to the children here and now. It had forgotten Remus long ago. Its chairs and tables, its paintings and stairways -- all were part of new, young stories now.
Sometimes Remus wanted to take an axe to the false chairs and cheating tables and chop them into kindling.
The first students began to arrive for class.
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