Chapter 10 : Year Nine - Hermione's Year Three
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“What about the Astronomy tower?” Dumbledore asked.
A figure walked into the room, it was Jayson. “All the towers have been searched thoroughly. No sign of Black to be found Albus.”
“Livermore, what brings you to Hogwarts this time?” Snape asked with a scowl. Jayson simply smiled at his former teacher and rival.
“The ministry has made finding Black a top priority. They have reassigned several of their most accomplished agents and Aurors to the hunt for him…including me. It didn’t take much to figure that Black may be hunting Harry Potter given the ties between them, so I came to Hogwarts. Unfortunately, I arrived too late to capture him. Any ideas on how he got in?”
“Many, Jayson, each of them as unlikely as the next.” Dumbledore answered.
Snape scowled again. “You remember the conversation we had, Headmaster before – ah – the start of term?”
“I do, Severus.”
“It seems – almost impossible – that Black could have entered the school without inside help. I did express my concerns when you appointed…”
“I do not believe a single person inside the castle would have helped Black to enter it.” Dumbledore responded.
“Besides, how would both of them slipped by the dementors? One is astounding enough, but two working together? That is not at all likely.” Jayson intoned.
“Very true indeed.”
“Should Mr. Potter be warned?” Snape asked.
“In time, but for now…let him sleep.” Dumbledore replied.
“Speaking of sleep…shouldn’t someone down on that floor be asleep?” Jayson asked. The other two turned and saw him kneeling down next to his favorite student – Hermione Granger.
“I’m asleep.” Hermione retorted.
“Are not…” Jayson replied.
“I can tell you’re not. When you’re asleep, your eyes flutter…”
“Oh fine, be that way.” She stuck out her tongue at him.
“I can always put you to sleep like I used to…” He retorted.
Hermione looked in horror. “You are not going to rock me to sleep in front of everyone. If you try I will so hex you.” She said.
“No, I wasn’t thinking that way. Although it is a pleasant thought Mi-Mi. I was referring to the other way. Now lay back down…”
Hermione put her head back on her pillow as Jayson leaned over and started to sing to her.
Waiting on the water’s edge
Watching all the ships
As they were heading for the Harbor wall
I was just a boy
You were just a girl
Dreaming of a wide world…
Watching as they disappeared
Reading out the names of
All the places I have never been
Looking out to sea
Staring out to sea
Dreaming of a wide world…
I wish I was sailing away,
Sailing away, with you too…
By the time Jayson finished not only was Hermione sound asleep, but so were all the rest of the students who had been listening. He stood up and walked back over to Dumbledore and Snape.
“Albus, I would like your permission to remain at Hogwarts for a while until the Black matter is cleared up. I just get the feeling that he is going to return. If he does, I want to be here waiting.” Jayson asked.
“Of course you may, Jayson. In fact, the guest quarters are already for you.”
“Thank you, Albus.”
The next day saw Jayson scouring through as much of the “evidence” as he could. He took notes on everything; no detail was unimportant to catalog. No one had ever seen this side of him before. He took meals in the guest quarters as he compiled his notes into something much more organized. Even Hermione did not see much of her friend, but she understood why he was doing this. Jayson wanted Black captured, period. The one who did it would have literally fame and fortune at their feet.
It was on the fourth day that the commotion started. Everyone was at lunch when someone screamed. Harry, Hermione, and Ron immediately ran towards the screaming, with Dumbledore, Snape, and McGonagall right on their heels. The group made it to the front gates of the castle to behold a strange sight.
Jayson was standing in front of about three dementors with a serious look on his face. The three were beginning to come closer and Jayson’s hand was starting to twitch.
“Jayson! Get away from them!” Hermione shouted.
“They’re in my way.” He responded.
“So what are you going to do?”
‘This…” He stuck his wand straight out. “EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!” From his wand acme a silvery wall of light which began to push the dementors back. Jayson continued to push until they were off of the drawbridge. He then lowered his wand. “Now stay there until I’m done! Don’t make me push harder!”
The dementors circled the area, but didn’t move closer to him.
“Amazing…” was all anybody could say to this feat. No one had ever been able to influence dementors like they had just seen. One thing was for certain, Jayson was one powerful wizard.
Jayson then fell on all fours and began to scour the grass as if he was searching for something.
“All this just because he lost something in the grass?” Snape asked.
“I don’t think so, Professor.” Hermione replied and walked over to Jayson and kneeled down close to him. “Can I help you find what you’re looking for?”
Jayson stood up and scowled. “I’m afraid not, Mi-Mi. What I am looking for doesn’t seem to exist; which makes this mystery all the more puzzling. I had better tell Dumbledore…” He reached over and took Hermione’s hand. Together they walked back to the group. “Bad news, Albus, there is no sign out there of how Black got into the castle…unless he apparated to the drawbridge and walked in…which I doubt.”
“Any suggestions?” Dumbledore asked.
“I would re-secure the castle so that no one could get in or out.”
“Unfortunately, that is not a practical solution Jayson. We need to get in and out of the castle for various reasons.”
“Understood…it was just a suggestion. By the way, have you seen a large dog around lately?”
“No, why?” Dumbledore asked confused.
“Large dog tracks coming in and going out of the castle, that’s all. Probably not important…” Jayson said, though his instincts were telling him otherwise.
“So that’s why Snape doesn’t like you,” said Harry slowly, “because he thought you were in on the joke?”
“That’s right…” Sneered a cold voice from the wall behind Lupin There was Snape pointing his wand at Lupin and Black.
“Severus…” Lupin began.
“I told the headmaster that you were helping an old friend into the castle and here’s the proof.”
“Professor Snape – it wouldn’t – hurt to hear what they have to say…would it?”
“KEEP QUIET YOU SILLY GIRL!” Snape shouted, but then a hand covered Snape’s wand and pushed it down.
“Jayson!” Hermione squealed
“Enough Severus, Give them an opportunity to defend themselves. They have never had that chance.” Jayson intoned as he pushed Snape’s wand down to his side. He turned to Lupin and Black. “Tell me about Peter Pettigrew?”
“He went to school with us. We thought he was our friend.” Lupin said.
“So what?” Jayson asked.
“At the last moment, I convinced Harry’s parents to make Peter the Secret Keeper instead of me, because I was too obvious a choice. The night they died, I went to check on Peter, make sure he was still safe, but when I arrived at the hiding place, he was gone. No sign of struggle. It didn’t feel right. I went to your parent’s house, and saw the bodies. I knew then what Peter had done. It’s my fault, I as good as killed them.”
“Be that as it may, what makes you think that Scabbers is this Pettigrew person…” Said Ron. “He’s been in my family for…”
“Twelve years.” Said Lupin. “Didn’t you ever wonder why he has lived so long?”
“He’s missing a toe.” Black said
“So?” Asked Ron.
“All they found of him was a finger.” Harry said.
“The little bugger cut it off to make everyone think he was dead, then transformed into a rat and scurried down the sewers to join the other rats.” Black intoned.
“Why are we listening to this drivel again, Livermore?” Snape asked, now quite frustrated.
“Because it is starting to get interesting, Severus. If they can’t prove it, then we haul them away to Azkaban. If they can however…” Jayson replied.
“There is one certain way to prove it. Ron give me that rat.” Lupin said.
“What are you going to do?” Ron asked.
“Force him to show himself. If he really is a rat, then it won’t hurt him.”
Ron reluctantly agreed and gave Scabbers over. Lupin held the rat while Black borrowed Harry’s wand. On the count of three, a flash of blue-white light hit the rat. Scabbers fell, Ron, yelled, then there was another flash of light.
A head shot upward from the ground; limbs were sprouting in all directions. Soon, a man was standing where Scabbers had been. He was cringing. He was a very short man, hardly taller than Hermione. His thin, colorless hair was unkempt and there was a large bald patch. He had a shrunken appearance of a plump man who had lost a lot of weight quite quickly. Jayson pulled out his wand immediately.
“Is that Pettigrew Severus?”
“Unfortunately, yes it is.” Snape said with a scowl.
“Sirius…Remus…my old friends…” Peter said with a squeaky voice. He then tried to make a dash for the door. Lupin and Sirius grabbed him and threw him back.
The next few minutes were taken up with a “conversation” where Mr. Pettigrew attempted to talk his way out of the situation he found himself in…and failing miserably. He began pleading with anyone who was nearby. Everyone reacted with repulsion at his feeble attempts to gain mercy from his accusers except for Jayson and Snape; who were watching the whole seen with no emotion whatsoever. Then Lupin and Black stood shoulder to shoulder with wands raised.
“You should have realized,” said Lupin quietly, “if Voldemort didn’t kill you, we would. Good-bye Peter.”
“NO!” Harry yelled. He ran forward, placing himself in front of Pettigrew, facing the wands. “You can’t kill him…you can’t.”
Jayson looked at Snape with an amused look.
“Interesting situation we have here. Potter’s being noble.” He said.
“Or just plain stupid.” Snape replied.
They tied Pettigrew up and brought him to the base of the Whomping Willow with the intention of turning him over to authorities. The tramped their way through the grounds getting closer to the castle. Snape and Jayson followed behind eyeing the entire situation carefully. They began to talk amongst themselves.
“Interesting development we have here.” Snape commented.
Jayson nodded before looking over his shoulder and gasping, “and it’s about to get more interesting…look!” Jayson pointed to the full moon looming overhead.
Lupin went rigid and his limbs began to shake.
“Severus, help Black protect the children. I’ll handle Pettigrew!” Jayson called out, but it was too late. Pettigrew took the opportunity to transform back into a rat. Jayson attempted to hit him with one of his rapid fire spells but missed completely as the rat scampered through the grass and out of sight. Jayson cursed and then returned to assist the others in defending against the werewolf. Sirus, Snape, and Jayson managed to stun Lupin into oblivion before taking the trio and exiting the area quickly.
They arrived at the castle out of breath. Fudge and Dumbledore were there waiting.
“You’ve captured Black…well done!” Fudge exclaimed, but Jayson waved him off.
“Hold fast, Cornelius. There is more than meets the eye. Sirius has been wrongly imprisoned these last twelve years. Pettigrew is alive, and an unregistered animagus.”
“What? You can’t be serious!”
“No, he’s Sirius, but I am telling you flat fact.”
“Jayson, are you sure?” Dumbledore asked.
“Quite sure, Albus. I saw him as did everyone in our group.” Jayson answered. “We need the Wizard Court called immediately. Only right, as Black never got a trial.”
“Are you willing to concur with what Livermore is saying Severus?” Fudge asked.
“Unfortunately…yes.” Snape responded.
“Then the Wizengamot shall be convened.” Dumbledore announced.
After listening to the testimony of three adult and three student wizards testify as the existence of Peter Pettigrew, the Court had no choice but to exonerate Sirius Black. He was allowed to leave with the others. Lupin, who had rejoined the others to give testimony, went back to the teaching position and completed out the year. Snape was awarded a commendation for services to the school. Jayson was congratulated by the Wizengamot for his shrewd detective work and rewarded with a bonus. The Ministry issued a bulletin for the capture of Peter Pettigrew, but few had any luck in evening finding a clue, much less his location.
Jayson was packing to leave Hogwarts when Hermione came up to him and hugged him tightly.
“Can’t you stay just a little bit longer?” She pleaded.
“I’m afraid not, Mi-Mi. I need to get on to my next assignment, which the Ministry has already given me.”
“Love you too.”
“Leaving so soon, Livermore? I would have thought that you would stick around and bask in the glory.” Snape said as he came up to the two of them.
“I leave all the glory for you, Severus. You deserve it more. Besides, I have work to do.” Jayson stuck out his hand. Surprised, Snape shook it on reflex.
“Bye All!” Jayson intoned as he walked out of the castle gates then apparated home.
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