Rose, Michael and Diana didn’t get much time to discuss what they’d overheard either that day or the next. Michael in particular was the centre of attention. He hadn’t been the hero of the match or anything. Gryffindor’s win had been far too decisive to need heroes. But he had been the team’s newest player and had certainly played well enough to prove he deserved his place on the team.
“Joshua said I played well,” he declared triumphantly to Rose when she cornered him at breakfast the next morning. “He said…”
“Don’t mind Joshua for a moment,” Rose interrupted. “Don’t you think that what we heard yesterday is a little more important.”
A hurt look crossed her cousin’s face.
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, Michael, of course you played well. And of course I’m glad that Josh was pleased with you. But this is serious!” She lowered her voice. “If Snape is after helping a Death Eater escape from Azkaban, don’t you think we should tell somebody or something? He and Malfoy might be planning something, you know.”
“Well, we can’t decide now. We have to get to class.”
“Never mind class. The entire world could be in danger. Haven’t Ron and Hermione told you all about what happened before Voldemort was defeated? The stuff the Death Eaters did?”
“Well, yes, but…” Michael paused. “I mean, there are only two of them,” he continued more confidently.
“How do you know that?”
“Look it can wait a couple of hours,” Michael said, beginning to sound annoyed. “We’ll talk about it this afternoon, with Diana and then we’ll see. Ok?
“Ok,” Rose agreed, but she couldn’t stop thinking about it. Overhearing any conversation like that would have been exciting enough, but when it was Snape? She couldn’t wait until everybody found out. He was such a git; he deserved to get his comeuppance.
Thank Merlin for Unnoticeable Notes. She used up nearly half of those she had left passing notes to Diana in her classes that day. The rest of the time she just daydreamed; imagining the reactions of those around her when she told them about Snape. What would her dad think? James? The Headmistress? Perhaps she would get a special award for services to the school or whatever it was called.
“Rose Potter!” Professor Flitwick called. “Could you please pay attention?”
It was after the afternoon classes that the three friends managed to get together to discuss what they should do.
“We do have to tell somebody,” Rose said.
“Who?” Diana asked.
“Well, McGonagall, I guess. She’s Headmistress after all. She should know that one of her staff is a Death Eater.”
“Would she believe us though?” Michael asked. “I mean, she must know that we don’t like Snape much. He took a hundred points from me one day last year.”
“What would we say anyway?” Diana added on, a little apprehensively.
“Well, that we….” Rose paused. What exactly could they say? They could hardly go to the Headmistress of the school and admit that they had been eavesdropping on a teacher’s private conversation. Her father had done some rather unorthodox things when he had been at school, but Dumbledore had been Headmaster then. Somehow Rose felt that McGonagall wouldn’t be quite as sympathetic about them breaking the rules as it sounded as if he had been on some occasions.
“I don’t know,” she admitted quietly. Then “maybe we should just wait until we know more,” she continued more excitedly.
“You mean, solve it ourselves?” Michael said, sounding equally excited.
“Yeah, why not? Think of all the stuff our parents did when they were at school. They took on Voldemort. Snape can’t be any worse than that, can he?”
“I don’t know if we should do that,” Diana said. “I mean, I don’t want us to get in trouble or anything, but I think we should tell somebody. What if Malfoy really is planning something, and Snape is helping him or whatever and they could have been stopped if only we’d told somebody in time?”
“We’d stop them, of course. Like Dad and Michael’s parents always stopped Voldemort just in time. We could shadow Snape and then, when he went to meet Malfoy, we’d raise the alarm and he’d be caught right in the act.”
“Yeah, like he really wouldn’t notice that,” Diana scoffed. “This is Snape we’re talking about, you know. He’d probably put us on detention for the rest of the year if he caught us following him.”
“We’d think of something,” Rose insisted.
Now that she had thought of it, she was reluctant to let go of the idea. It would be fantastic to see Snape arrested and sent off to Azkaban of course, but at the same time, it would be a pity to hand it over to the grown-ups straight away. This was the most exciting thing that had happened since she had started Hogwarts. Plus, it would be so much fun to have Snape realise who it was that had found him out. Once he was arrested and unable to do anything about it, of course.
“What about your Dad?” Diana asked.
“What about him?”
“Well, he’s an Auror, isn’t he?” Diana sighed. “Why don’t we owl him and tell him what we overheard? He wouldn’t care that we were eavesdropping, would he?”
Rose shrugged. She didn’t think he would actually, particularly not when it was Snape they had been eavesdropping on. Despite all the years that had passed since he left Hogwarts, he still couldn’t stand Snape and would probably think he’d deserved it. Her Mum might mind, but she didn’t really think her father would tell him.
“Don’t you think it’d be more fun if we stopped him, though?” she asked.
“Maybe,” Diana said doubtfully. “But what if we can’t? It’d be easier for your dad. It’s his job, after all. We could still keep an eye on Snape here, if he isn’t arrested straight away, that is. Just in case he did anything. But if you tell your dad, he might be able to make Snape tell him where Malfoy is hiding. Wouldn’t that be great?”
“I suppose so,” Rose replied, a little sulkily. “Ok, I’ll owl him. Can I use your owl, Diana? I don’t want to use the school ones in case Snape finds out.”
“Course you can.”
Rose rushed the letter off quickly.
Everything is fine here at Hogwarts. I’m having a fantastic time.
I have something really important to tell you though. Yesterday, when Michael, Diana and I went to the Visual Contact Room to tell you about Gryffindor winning the match, we overheard Snape saying that he was the person who helped Malfoy escape. He said that the escape plan had worked and something about Malfoy’s son. Maybe he helped too-the son, I mean.
Anyway, like I said, Gryffindor won it’s first match of the year. And the Slytherins lost their’s . Theodora and Ceri are going mad. Now, Gryffindor are second in the House Cup. Ravenclaw are first. We’ll beat them yet though.
“Is that ok,” she asked shortly, flinging the letter at Diana.
Diana shrugged. “Looks all right. It gets the point across anyway.”
She sounded relieved.
“You don’t want us to do it ourselves, do you?”
“I just think we ought to leave it to the grown ups. Snape is kind of scary, don’t you think? If he found out what we were doing, who knows what he’d do. And if he has Malfoy helping him…. well, you know Malfoy’s reputation. He’s supposed to have killed loads of people and stuff. This way, even if we do do some investigating ourselves, at least somebody will know what’s going on. Somebody who can do something, I mean. Do you want Fortuna now.”
Rose shook her head. “I’m going to write a letter to Jessica now and send it with the one to Mum and Dad, so they can post it on. I haven’t written to her in ages. Her last letter sounded kind of annoyed. I just don’t know what to say to her. Most things I can’t tell her. But I can tell her about this.”
Diana looked shocked. “No, you can’t. You can’t tell her about Azkaban! Or the Death Eaters! It’d give everything away.”
“I can, if I don’t mention Azkaban,” Rose grinned, her earlier annoyance forgotten. “Now, leave me alone for a while and let me write it.”
Thanks for your letters. Sorry I haven’t replied that often. We have just been so busy here. You wouldn’t believe the amount of homework they give us!
I told you we were put in different houses, didn’t I? Well, guess what! Our house won its first match of the year yesterday. My cousin Michael is on the team. I don’t think you ever met him. I tried out for the team, but I didn’t get on it. They hardly ever let first years on the team, so they didn’t even give us a proper chance. They just decided against us, ‘cause we were first years. I don’t think that’s fair, do you?”
Wait until you hear what else happened yesterday though! I just found out that one of my teachers is helping a dangerous criminal to escape from prison! Michael and I overheard him talking about it. Well, we were eavesdropping, to be honest, so we can’t really tell any of the teachers. I’ve told Dad, though. He will probably know what to do. This teacher is really mean anyway. He always gives detentions and stuff. Except he is Head of one of the houses and he hardly ever gives detention to the students in that house. He favours them! I hate teachers who have pets, don’t you? Anyway, it’ll be so much fun to see him get arrested!
I really like getting your letters. I just can’t believe that Jenny is in danger of getting suspended already. She’ll end up getting expelled if she keeps on like that. Does Lucy’s mother still bring her into school every day? You never told me. Imagine having a mother like that. It’d drive me crazy.
Write soon and let me know everything that’s going on.
Well, she can’t complain now, Rose thought, as she folded the letter into the other, before racing over to find Diana.
“Can I borrow Fortuna now?” she asked quietly.
The two girls headed up to find the owl.
“What did you tell your friend?” Diana asked, a little suspiciously.
“Oh, for Merlin’s sake, do you think I’m stupid? I just said that one of our teachers was helping a criminal to escape from jail. They do have jails and criminals in the Muggle world too, you know.”
“I know that!”
They tied the letter to Fortuna’s leg.
“This is for Rose’s dad now, Fortuna,” Diana said. “You know, Harry Potter. Don’t go bringing it to my house by mistake.”
Rose spent the next day, waiting for some sort of a response to her letter; either a letter in reply from her father or the arrival of the Aurors to question or even arrest Snape. Nothing happened.
“Where are they?” she asked. “You’d think they’d want to question him as soon as possible, so that they can catch Malfoy before he leaves the country or something.”
Diana shrugged. “Would we even know if they were questioning him? I mean, they’d probably do it quietly, wouldn’t they? McGonagall probably wouldn’t want us to know that one of the staff was a criminal.”
“Hey, maybe Snape won’t be here for our Potions class! Maybe they’ll have taken him away.”
“That would be great,” Diana agreed.
“Don’t you think it might happen?”
“Yeah, I think it’s pretty likely actually.”
For the first time since they started Hogwarts, the two girls were almost looking forward to Potions class.
“I bet they’ll give us a sub, though,” Diana commented as they headed down to the dungeons. “They’ll never just let us have the class free.”
“Still, they can’t be worse than Snape, whoever it is. Who do you think it’ll be?”
“No idea. Probably whatever teacher is free at the time. Your aunt, maybe. She’s good at Potions, isn’t she?”
“She’s good at everything! Like Harriet.” Rose rolled her eyes.
They hurried into the classroom. There sitting at the top of the room was Snape, looking exactly as usual.
“Ten points from Gryffindor,” he said.
“For what?” Rose asked in amazement.
“Rushing into my class at the last minute. I expect all students to be here in good time. And any more arguing and I’ll make it thirty points.”
The two girls stared at each other. They were in time for class. Ok, so they appeared to be the last ones to arrived, but there was still about a minute until the class was meant to begin.
Rose passed an Unnoticeable Note to Diana.
Maybe he is in a bad mood because the Aurors have been questioning him.
Diana glanced at the note and scribbled something and passed a note to Rose.
Or maybe it’s just because he’s Snape! When is he ever in a good mood?
Rose glanced over at her friend and shrugged.
“Rose Potter, please pay attention. A further ten points from Gryffindor. Slytherin will be passing you out soon.”
So that was what he was up to. Slytherin were about twenty or thirty points behind Gryffindor. Snape was just making sure that they caught up. The dirty cheat! Rose started wondering if he would worry about something like that if he was in trouble with the Aurors. Surely he would have more to worry him if he knew that they had found out. Maybe they hadn’t questioned him yet. They’d want to hurry up, though.
It was another couple of days before Harry replied to his daughter’s letter. Nothing seemed to have happened in those days. Snape was still teaching and still as obnoxious as ever. It was hard to tell if there was something bothering him or not. He was always so bad tempered that it would be hard to tell if he was in a bad mood over something specific.
Anxious to find out what was going on, Rose snatched the letter from the owl’s leg, grabbing leg and all. The owl squawked and flew just out of reach.
“Oh, come back here,” Rose said, grabbing him and pulling him to her. She removed the letter.
Darling Rose, it began. Lovely to hear from you. Glad that Gryffindor won the match. Looks like you are well on your way to winning the House Cup. Ravenclaw will be quite difficult to beat though. They have all the geniuses after all.
Don’t worry about Snape. I don’t like him any more than you do, but unfortunately, I am quite sure that he is on our side. I wondered quite a bit in the past, but he proved himself in the Final Battle and he has proven himself since by constantly supporting us. I am sure you must have misheard him.
Everything is find at home, although it is quiet with both you and James away. Your mum and I miss you. I haven’t told her about your spot of eavesdropping! Make sure you don’t get in any more trouble, or at least, make sure you don’t get in too much trouble. You know what she will say if you do.
Love from Dad.
Rose passed the letter to Diana.
“He doesn’t believe us,” she said.
“What?” Diana asked, before scanning the letter. She sighed as she handed it back to her friend. “You’d better destroy this.”
Rose nodded. “And we’ll have to find some proof now. You agree, don’t you?”
“I guess we don’t have any choice.”
Rose couldn’t believe that her father had dismissed what she’d said like that. In a way, she was pleased as it meant that she could catch Snape herself, with the help of Diana and Michael of course. But at the same time, it was annoying not to be believed. If anybody should believe her, it was her dad. After all, he’d been disbelieved often enough when he was at school. He knew what it was like. Well, she’d show him. She’d prove she was right.
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