Okay. I have to move the full moon. The full moon of 1993 at that time? September 1. Since Remus was at the feast, we shall have to say it was 8/31, which would make sense of his terrible appearance on the train.
Remus didn't really think his Distraction Charm had been necessary. Hogwarts students would not, as a rule, go to a compartment occupied by a teacher, sleeping or otherwise, unless there were no other choice. He'd been more worried that Harry and his friends would find a different place to sit, but Dumbledore had expected a crowded compartment wouldn't do for Harry's purposes. "Molly doesn't want to frighten him," he'd said, "but Arthur will make sure that Harry doesn't lead anyone off on mad adventures. He'll do it before they board the train, which means that Harry will be looking for a place to talk to Ron and Hermione."
"They might still choose another compartment," Remus had said.
"With all the news this summer?" Dumbledore smiled. "I assure you, the other students will be on board to start gossiping long before the Minsitry cars get Harry and the Weasley family to the station."
As usual, he'd been right. Remus had cast his Distraction Charm, then sat down near the window, leaned against it, and waited. To his surprise, he had nearly drifted off. The transformation last night had been relatively easy with the Wolfsbane Potion, but he was still exhausted. The world had become rather glassy and distant, and the door to the compartment opened, at first, it seemed part of a dream. He heard a boy ask, "Who d'you reckon he is?" A girl was able to produce Remus's name (or at least "R.J. Lupin," a conceit he'd briefly attempted in his very early twenties, but no one could call him "R.J." without snickering, so it hadn't lasted). The girl deduced that he would teach Defense Against the Dark Arts; in the dream-like logic of the netherworld Remus was in, it made perfect sense that she would know this.
"Well," the boy said, "I hope he's up to it. He looks like one good hex would finish him off, doesnt' he? Anyway... what were you going to tell us?"
That was when the third voice came.
Remus's near-sleeping mind tried to tell him it was just James, spinning one of his schemes... but the wakeful part of his mind over-rode it. James was gone.
It was Harry.
Remus tried to open his eye just a slit, so the children wouldn't notice. He was meant to be looking after them, seeing what they knew, and generally finding out if they planned to do anything mad. It wouldn't be terribly helpful if they knew they were speaking to an adult.
Ha! Sirius said in his mind. Moony, the responsible adult! The paragon of perpetual dignity! The Monarch of Maturity! The--
Remus ground his teeth to make the voice stop. For nearly twelve years, he'd been able to easily silence Sirius's voice from among his school friends'. It had been an effortless trick. But since he'd escaped from Azkaban, he seemed to have also taken up a running commentary in Remus's head, and it was not welcome... not least because these missives didn't seem to come from the Death Eater who'd betrayed James, but from the manic, wild boy who'd always seemed like a friend (if an occasionally disturbing one).
And it was Harry he ought to be listening to--not the lying voice of a traitor.
Apparently, Arthur Weasley had told Harry everything... at least everything that he knew. Harry did not, mercifully, appear to know that Sirius had once been his favorite visitor, that nothing had made him laugh harder than Sirius's clowning. That Sirius had been his godfather, before he'd murdered his parents.
Clearly, no one seemed to know that part, as the other boy--Ron, Remus supposed; the girl had to be Hermione--had no idea why Harry would want to "go looking for a nutter who wants to kill him."
The conversation about Sirius was suddenly interrupted by a high, whistling noise.
"Is that a Sneakoscope?" Hermione asked eagerly.
Remus considered letting them think it had woken him. It would be as good a time as any.
Right. Because it would never occur to them to wonder if you're the one setting off the Sneakoscope, Sirius said in his head. Let's see... three smart kids, one Dark detector, and one teacher who it will take them thirty seconds to figure out was faking it. Which, in case I have to remind you, isn't very trustworthy.
Fine. True enough. And Remus didn't feel particularly trustworthy, having already eavesdropped on this much without revealing his presence.
The matter of the Sneakoscope was apparently not of great interest to them in the end. Ron passed it off as having been cheap and malfunctioning when he'd packed it (apparently, he'd borrowed an owl he wasn't meant to borrow), and the whole thing shifted to a discussion of Hogsmeade... where Harry couldn't go, because his uncle hadn't signed a permission slip. Remus found himself angry at this, though in theory it ought to make it easier to keep Harry safe. It was just not right that it hadn't been done for that reason. It had been done by Petunia's miserable lump of a husband for no reason other than to hurt Harry. As he had been doing for years. Remus had tried to adopt Harry, but of course, his state as a werewolf (not to mention an unmarried one) and his finances had made it impossible. Dumbledore hadn't fought for him. Dumbledore had said that there were reasons... reasons...
Remus felt his eyelids flutter. Real sleep was coming. He tried to fight it.
Some of what the children talked about worked its way into his dreams. He heard the witch with the sweets cart come through, but somehow Ron had become Sirius, offering to get him treats. He heard someone unpleasant drawling in the door.
But in his mind, he was on a different train, a holiday train of some sort. Harry was with him; Harry who he'd raised from infancy. Harry had a pet cat (that might also have come from the real world, where voices were arguing vaguely about a cat). They were going north, going to Greenland, Remus's fantasy land when he'd been a boy. In Greenland, Lily and James had finally woken up, and were waiting for them. Harry was sitting at the window, smiling with delight. They talked about things they'd done together, laughed about all the silly mistakes people had made, like thinking James and Lily were dead at all. Clearly, Sirius had just hidden them away for their own safety.
"Uncle Peter should come along," Harry said.
"Unfortunately," Remus told him in the dream, "Uncle Peter really is dead."
"No, he's not. See?" Harry pointed to the door, where a rat sat chewing happily on some cheese. "He was faking, too. Everything is all right."
The rat transformed into Peter Pettigrew, cheerful and chubby, and then a shadow fell. Peter's eyes went dark and the compartment went cold and miserable.
Harry turned around, and he was now gaunt and sad. He pointed at the window and said, "There's something moving out there..."
Remus fought to wake up. He knew this. He knew why it was cold.
He knew the sense of helplessness. He saw himself transforming, looking at the trap door of the Shrieking Shack as it started to rise, and there was Severus Snape, coming up, and Remus was lunging until something flew out of nowhere--James's fist--driving him back, until the trap door...
...slammed shut. There was a great deal of motion in the compartment, but Remus could see none of it. He could hear more children now, calling to each other, frightened.
Remus stood up and said, "Quiet."
something with Dean and Ginny, before their boyfriend-girlfriend thing went sour. for Sally
"This is for Charms?" Ginny asked, looking at Dean's canvas. "And who is that woman?"
Dean sighed and looked at the figure that was emerging. He didn't know her, other than what he'd been told. "Her name was Allesandra Foscari. She was an artist in Venice. And it's not for Charms, exactly. Flitwick is helping me with a special study."
"You're making one of the... real portraits?"
"Yeah." Dean bit his lip. "How is it?"
"Looks pretty." She kissed his cheek. "Could you do one of me?"
"Not until you're dead." He scraped a bit of paint that had gone astray. "I could make a regular one--the non-talking sort. Maybe I could Charm it to move around or whatnot. But the Charm on real wizarding portraits can't work until the subject dies--it invokes the Imago Vivere spell--and she has to have left memories to mix with the paint." He pointed at the bottle beside him, where he might otherwise have kept linseed oil (which he also needed, of course, though in lesser quantities). The bottle glowed with a soft, tan colored substance that looked like a cloud. "Signora Foscari was part of the Arti Meraviglioso movement... er, that means 'wondrous arts.' Er, sorry don't mean to make a class of it."
"No, I'm interested."
"Well... they didn't invent our sort of painting, but they wanted to be able to pass it on to people who might not have the connections that art apprentices usually had, so they all left little bits of their memories for apprentices to work with. So, I'm practicing on Signora Foscari. To learn how. It's really the only way to study at Hogwarts, as we don't really have art classes. I wish we would. The art history alone around here..." He paused, realizing he probably didn't sound like a particularly manly example of a boyfriend.
"So, how do you do it?"
"It's like the solvent," he explained, and at her blank look, added, "The liquid you mix with the paint. You want a little more of the memories... and the solvent, for that matter... the higher the layer of the painting, otherwise it might crack." She still didn't look like she completley understood. "More memories on the top of the painting than the bottom," he said. In terms of the top and bottom of the layers of paint, not the top and bottom of the canvas. The good part about that is, if you have to scrape toward the beginning, you don't lose as much, and you can really use a lot when you're doing detail work."
"Oh. So... how did you get this stuff?" She pointed at the bottle.
"Professor Flitwick got me the materials from the Meraviglioso Institute, and I learned the Charms myself, and... I don't know. It's probably a stupid career idea. I should do something more practical."
"What for?" Ginny asked. "You're good at this. What do you think you should do, push papers around the Ministry?"
"I doubt I'm good enough to make a living at this. I should have something to fall back on." He smiled sheepishly. "My mum thinks I'm a little flighty with this."
Ginny rolled her eyes. "Yeah, well. Look at my Mum with the twins' shop. She still thinks they'll be murdered in their sleep, and that it can't possibly work, if they don't have a safety net."
"But they're doing so well! I wish I could be as insecure as they are with that business."
"That's what they keep trying to tell her. I was mad, but Dad said that it's a mum's job to worry about how you're going to keep eating."
"What does she think of your plans?"
"What makes you think I have plans?"
"Hey, I was the one who stayed after practice with you to work on showy catches when we thought Catriona McCormack might make it to a game."
"Oh. Right. But you see, being a professional Quidditch player is a much more practical career path than art."
"On sheer numbers, it is. How many portrait artists do you see in Diagon Alley?"
"None. Which means there's a niche to fill."
"Not true. There are a few, which might well match the number of people who can afford to have portraits done." Dean frowned. "Dumbledore's having one done, you know."
"He invited me to observe a sitting to see how to work with a live subject. I sketched him while Ms. Mordaunt painted."
"Can I see it?"
"He kept it." Dean shook his head. He was still somewhat dazed that Dumbledore had liked his sketch so well. Being complimented by Albus Dumbledore, like he was someone who really counted in the scheme of things, had been rather amazing. "Anyway, Ms. Mordaunt--she's the portraitist, she lives in Merseyside--said that I might study with her for a few months after I finish school."
"Are you going to do it?"
"Maybe. But maybe I should have a regular apprenticeship instead."
"Why not have one too?" Ginny suggested. "You don't have to go right into your apprenticeship. Lots of people take a year off. Not my brothers of course, they're mad, but lots of other people--"
"People with money," Dean said. "They can afford a year where they're not even getting a lousy apprentice income."
"There's that," Ginny said, and sighed. Dean could see her trying to work her way around the problem, and he let her. Who knew... she might actually think of something. One thing they had in common was that both of them knew what it meant to have to scrimp sickles. Unlike Ron (the only other person in Dean's dormitory who had any financial problems), Ginny never seemed ashamed of it. She just got frustrated if she couldn't work out a way around it. "Can you make funny pictures?"
"Well, maybe the twins would hire you when you're not studying. Or you could help them design their packaging..." She smiled. "That's it! Dean, you should that. They're working on some great new things that Lupin sold them, and I could probably get them to look at your work for, well, box covers and so on. Unless... well, you don't think that's, you know... low class or something?"
"Half the Art Nouveau movement was making soap wrappers and things like that," he said. "I could try it... do you really think they'd think about it?"
"Yeah... though you might have to put up with them being... well, Fred and George."
"I'll risk it," Dean said.