A/N: This story disregards many of the major (and IMHO unnecessary) deaths that occurred during Deathly Hallows. If you finished that novel with a heavy heart as I did, then you might enjoy this read - "Of Courage and Love" sticks mostly to the DH occurrances otherwise. Then again, if you are a strict Canonite, this might not be for you. *winks* ~LM
The greying professor looked over her tiny reading glasses and studied the lanky, dark-skinned boy as he slipped quietly into a seat at the back of the class. “It seems we have a tardy student with us today.” She mused aloud, the smallest hint of a smirk upon her face. “And what‘s made you so bold, as to be late on the first day of class, young man? Did you miss the Hogwarts Express? Have you no interest in sixth year Charms?” Her eyes narrowed. “Or did you simply decide that you were entitled to an extra morning of summer holidays?”
The young man shrunk visibly in his seat, the room went very silent, and all eyes turned to the object of the teacher‘s unfavourable attentions. “N-no, P-professor Sawhoff, ma‘am. I… I…” his voice died in his throat.
The new teacher snorted, clearly enjoying the boy’s fearfulness, and with the air of an authoritarian ready to make an example of someone, she strode towards him. Her tall, overly thin form stopped at the edge of his desk, towering over him as if tensed, and ready to strike.
“What is your name?”
“F-Frank Lee.” The boy replied without looking up. There were a few quiet sniggers that were instantly silenced as Sawhoff’s gaze swept across the room. She glanced at her roll call parchment and scowled. “I see no Frank Lee on my list. What is your LAST name, boy?”
Frank stared down at his desk as intently as if he meant to memorize each dent and scratch upon the polished wood, but oddly, he did not mumble or mutter his reply. This time, he spoke very clearly and loudly. “Unimpressed, ma’am. I’m Frank Lee… Unimpressed.”
With that, the class exploded with laughter, and Professor Sawhoff staggered backwards in shock. When Frank finally looked up, she could see that he was grinning impishly, and the bold look in his chocolate eyes told the old woman that he had not really been intimidated by her, not even for a moment. She pointed at him accusatorily.
“You,” she snarled, “are going to the Headmaster’s office THIS INSTANT!”
For some reason, the laughter in the room increased at this command. Frank rose from his desk and bowed, and then strode across the classroom grinning as if this punishment was some sort of prize. Before he slipped out the door, he turned and waved jovially to his classmates, most of whom were still doubled-over with laughter and cheers.
And when Frank shut the door behind him, Anselma-Jean Sawhhoff threw up her hands in frustration, certain that she had missed something altogether.
Headmaster Lupin looked up wearily. “You always have to try something on the first day of school, don’t you, Teddy?”
Frank screwed up his nose, and his entire face began to return to its usual form. His matted black hair grew into silky, brown locks that hung casually his shoulders, and his chocolate-brown eyes twinkled back to a yellowish-hazel hue that sparkled with the inner light he had inherited from his mother. “I don’t know WHY you hired Saw-Jaw.“ Ted flopped into the armchair across from his father.“ She scares the first-years.”
"Sawhoff." Lupin resisted the urge to sigh loudly. “The first-years are scared of everyone. They need to adjust, that’s all, and YOU have to try to keep a lower profile. You are, after all, the Headmaster’s son, not to mention the son of your Defence Against the Dark Arts professor, and people will be looking for you to be favoured…”
“Which I’m most certainly not!” Interrupted Teddy. “You and mother are harder on me than anyone else in this entire school. I hate being the point you’re trying to prove.” He muttered.
“We just want you to do well.” Lupin nodded and smiled kindly, raising his hands before his son could interrupt again. “Which you do. And we are both very proud of you. Top grades, excellent sportsmanship, mostly impeccable reputation…” The Headmaster’s eyes twinkled with sentiment, and Teddy looked away, a hint of an embarrassed smile touching his youthful face. “You know,” Lupin continued, “there was a time when I didn’t know how you would turn out, how everything would turn out - a war was raging, and I was filled with hopelessness and cowardice. When your mother told me that she was expecting, I tried to run for the hills. It frankly would have been the biggest mistake of my life.”
Teddy looked up at his father, his expression sceptical. “You’ve never been a coward, father, you would have never run off. And if you had tried to ditch her,“ he added, “mom would have just hunted you down and kicked your ass, I’m sure.”
“Undoubtedly.” Both men grinned the same boyish grin, united in a healthy respect for Nymphadora Lupin’s fiery spirit and knack for quick-draw hexes. “I do believe,” the Headmaster said with a whimsical smile, “that an all-day detention in my office is in order for your irascible behaviour, Master Lupin.”
Remus rose from behind his desk, and pulled a worn photo album from the shelf. He handed it to his son, messing the young man’s hair casually before he resumed his seat. “And while you’re here, we can talk a little about the past, and about how your mother saved my life, and about why I am the man I am today.”