Chapter 6 : Two Lessons
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"Now what's this about James and Mr. Black, Minerva?" Dumbledore asked. "I hope you haven't given them more detention for some trivial prank."
"No. I wanted to let you know that I wrote both the Potter and the Black families explaining in detail what they had done. This is my right as both Deputy Headmistress and Head of House. You recall the Howler Mr. Black received this morning? That was a result of the letter I wrote to Orion and Walburga Black. Mr. Potter's parents sent him an owl, ordering him to surrender his cloak to me so I could send it back to them which I have already done. Their reign of misbehavior is going to end, Albus. I will not tolerate either bullies, especially ones who bully girls, or deliberate rule breakers in my House." Having said that, Minerva marched to the fireplace, grabbed some Floo powder from the mantle, threw it into the fire and said, "Headmistress' office," and then disappeared into the green flames.
Albus shook his head. James was a little high-spirited at times, but he would never deliberately hurt anybody, especially a girl. After all Charles and Mavis did raise James to be a gentleman. He decided to keep an eye on his professors to make sure none of them were deliberately targeting James based on what they heard from Minerva and Horace.
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Severus sat in the common room reading his potion textbook while petting Grey who was stretched out on the end table beside his chair. He looked at the clock and saw it was eleven-thirty. He closed his book and got up. Grey jumped down from the table and followed him. He went into his dormitory and looked at his four roommates in disgust. Avery, Wilkes, and the Lestrange brothers were all asleep and both the Lestranges were snoring loudly. Severus had taken a short nap after dinner, but was up again by the time his roommates decided to get some rest before their midnight Astronomy class with Professor Fleinhardt. He thought about waking them, but decided he wasn't going to be the one to make sure they always got to class on time even if it meant Slytherin would lose points. Grey climbed up on Severus' bed and began to purr. He patted Grey's head before leaving. He made his way to the entrance of the Astronomy Tower and sat down to wait for Lily. There was a spiral staircase that led up to the Tower where the classroom was located and he always walked with her because of her fear of heights. There was another door inside the classroom that led out to the parapet where they looked through their telescopes at the stars, planets, and constellations. Severus loved Astronomy. It reminded him of the times he spent with his dad looking through a telescope and learning about the night skies.
"Hi, Sev," Lily said sitting down beside him. "You were far away. What were you thinking about?"
"My dad. I don't know if you recall, but he loved looking at the stars."
"Those are nice memories to have," Lily said squeezing his hand.
"Do you want to go up now before the three jerks get here?"
Lily nodded and got up. "I don't want them behind me where I can't see what they're doing."
Severus opened the door for her. "You go first and I'll be right behind you, okay?"
As they walked up the spiral staircase, Lily asked, "Are we still on for Friday, Sev?"
"Yes, I'll ask Professor Slughorn tomorrow if we can use one of the extra classrooms in the dungeon."
They entered the tower and sat down next to each other. Professor Fleinhardt came in five minutes before class was to start. He nodded at Severus and Lily. "Good evening, Miss Evans and Mr. Snape. It's beautiful night for stargazing." He sighed sadly. "We won't be able to do it much longer as winter is fast closing in."
The rest of the Gryffindor and Slytherin first years suddenly swarmed in through the door.
"Oi, Snape! Why didn't you wake us? We were almost late!" Avery complained.
"I'm not your mum," Severus snapped. "If you can't wake up in time for class that's your problem!"
"Quiet down, everybody," Professor Fleinhardt called. "That includes you, Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, and Mr. Pettigrew." He had a soft voice, but could make himself heard with no problem.
Professor Fleinhardt was about 5'6, with curly brown hair and blue eyes. It was obvious from his enthusiasm that he loved Astronomy, but he spoke to his students on their level. "Tonight we will be studying the constellation Andromeda. Who can tell me something about it?"
Lily raised her hand. "Andromeda is the largest and brightest constellation in the northern hemisphere. It's visible in the fall and winter and best visible in November, high in the evening sky. It was one of 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy."
"Excellent, Miss Evans. Ten points to Gryffindor."
"Miss Muggleborn Know-It-All," James said to Sirius.
"Did you have something to add, Mr. Potter?" Professor Fleinhardt asked, putting his hand to his ear. "I think I may have misunderstood you."
"No, sir," James said. "I didn't say anything."
"Does anyone else have anything to add?" He asked and then pointed at Severus who had raised his hand. "Yes, Mr. Snape?"
"The constellation is named after Andromeda, the princess in the Greek legend of Perseus who was chained to a rock to be eaten by the sea monster Cetus."
"Correct. Ten points to Slytherin."
Alice raised her hand. "Some of the stars in the Andromeda Constellation are Alpheratz,Mirach, Almach, and Adhil."
"Very good, Miss Starkey. Another ten points to Gryffindor. I'm happy to see that at least some of you did your reading. Now we're going to go outside and take a closer look at Andromeda. Please bring only your telescope. Leave any dung bombs and stink pellets in the classroom." He directed a look at James, Sirius, and Peter."
The class went outside and everybody set up their telescopes on the ledge of the parapet. Professor Fleinhardt walked around helping the students correctly position their telescopes. Severus helped Lily with hers as he knew exactly where Andromeda was. Professor Fleinhardt nodded at Severus and said, "You seem to have a good working knowledge of the skies, Mr. Snape."
"My father loved looking at the stars, Professor and he taught me a lot about them."
"Aww! Isn't that sweet, Siri! Snivvy's daddy taught him about the stars," James said mockingly.
"You best shut your face, Potter," Rosier warned. "The Black Cloaks are contracted to his family and he's had lessons from them. He could probably rip your arm off and eat it for a midnight snack!"
James paled momentarily, but then puffed out his chest. "How did his family get a contract with the Black Cloaks? They very choosey about who they contract with."
"Yes," Severus answered without bothering to look away from his telescope. "That's why they won't contract themselves to any Potters."
Beside him Lily giggled. She glanced back into her telescope. "Andromeda is really clear tonight, isn't it?"
"It's like you said in class. November is the best time to see it."
James and Sirius were whispering while Peter was standing idly listening to their conversation. "Watch this," James smirked, taking a Golden Snitch out of his pocket. He held it in his hand, the wings suddenly extended and it took off, zooming around the Astronomy Tower. It flew over to where Lily and Severus were standing. Lily screamed and ducked down, crouching in a corner and covering her head as the Snitch buzzed around her wildly.
James, Sirius, and Peter were laughing hysterically and hooting insults at Lily. "Look, Silly Lily's afraid of a Snitch!" James yelled
"Yeah, what's she gonna do at the game next week – scream and faint every time she sees the Snitch?" Sirius hooted and then gave a bark of laughter.
"No, she'll probably scream, jump into Snivellus' lap, and pee her pants," Peter guffawed.
Severus stood on his tiptoes and easily caught the Snitch and handed it to Professor Fleinhardt. He helped Lily to her feet while speaking in a soothing tone, "It's okay, Lily. It's just a Snitch that Potter let loose. It won't hurt you."
Professor Fleinhardt put the Snitch into his robe pocket and shook his head.
"Hey! You can't keep that! It was given to me by Eunice Murray, the Seeker for the Montrose Magpies!" James protested.
"I don't plan to keep it, Mr. Potter. I plan to give it to your Head of House. As for you, Mr. Black, and Mr. Pettigrew" He looked around him. "It looks as if the pigeons have really had a good time up here and it also looks as if it hasn't been scrubbed down in awhile so you gentlemen will be doing that without magic for detention tomorrow evening and for however long it takes you to get it clean."
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Friday, before the game, Severus, Lily, and Dorian met in a classroom down in the Dungeon #2. Severus had asked Professor Flitwick to transfigure pillows for the floor of the room so they could practice without getting hurt falling on a hard stone floor. Severus started out by showing them the easy move he had used to disarm Potter in Potions. "It's a very simple move that Black Leif taught me. Your opponent, especially a magical one, would not be expecting it." He turned and unexpectedly swept his leg into the back of Dorian's knees, lifting him off his feet and causing him to fall on his bum on a pillow with a loud, "Oof!"
Severus had Lily and Dorian practice it until he felt they could both do it without hesitation. Lily had even managed to down him once.
"Okay, you're both doing great. I'm going to show you another easy defense tactic taught to me by Lief's brother Conor, and then Dorian has a jinx he's going to teach us." Severus stood on one leg, lifted his other one, bent it at the knee and struck out with it, knocking Dorian over, but not hurting him and then pulling his wand out of his arm holster and pointing it at him. "The good thing about this move is that you can either disable an opponent without hurting them such as striking them in the stomach and knocking the wind out of them or depending on the force you put into your kick; you can break an arm, a rib, or a knee. In the case of a guy, the groin area is really vulnerable."
"Ouch!" Dorian muttered. "Did you really have to tell her that, Severus?"
Severus smiled and said, "Go ahead and practice it." He watched them, interrupting a few times to correct a stance, to show them how to better keep their balance, or make their kicks stronger.
"There's a shield spell I want to show you next so you can cast it over your cauldrons, over yourself, or over your entire workstation. This was also taught to me by Black Leif." Severus knelt down next to one of the pillows, and said, "Contego Substrictus!" He waved his wand over it.
Lily and Dorian could faintly see something surrounding the pillow and Severus nodded at them. "Go ahead and toss something at it." Dorian picked up one of his textbooks and threw it at the pillow, but it bounced harmlessly off the shield and away. "Wow!" Dorian said in admiration. "I can't wait to learn more from these two guys!"
Severus got up again. "Suppose you want to shield a larger area, you would say, "Contego Tantus." He waved his wand again and the shield appeared and extended itself over Lily and Dorian. "To remove any shield large or small, you say Emoveo Contego and wave your wand over the shielded area." He demonstrated by removing the shield over Lily and Dorian and over the pillow. "It can also be done while you're inside the shield."
"Sev, that's brilliant!" Lily exclaimed.
He smiled modestly and then said, "Dorian, you're up next."
'Well, the first thing I want to show you is the disarming spell we learned in Defense. It's kind of tricky cause you have to kind of twist your wand around after you say the spell, but it's dead useful if somebody has their wand pointed at you. Sev, can you and Lily point your wands at me?"
Severus removed his wand from his holster and pointed it at Dorian and Lily did the same.
"Expelliarmus!" Dorian said with a twist of his wrist and a backwards flick of his wand. Both Severus' and Lily's flew out of their hands and into Dorian's.
"That spell I'd really like to learn, Dorian," Lily said.
Dorian gave them back their wands and demonstrated the spell again. Severus got the hang of it after a couple of attempts, but Lily was having a bit of trouble with the twist. Dorian worked with her until she mastered it and was able to disarm both him and Severus. "You've got it, Lily! Good job! Okay, this next one I'm going to show you is funny. My dad taught me it and he's got a rather odd sense of humor or so mum says." He pointed his wand at Severus.
"Umm …are you sure you know the counter-jinx, Dorian?" Severus asked uncertainly.
"Of course, Severus. Don't worry so much." Dorian pointed his wand at Severus' head and said, "Tollo Crinis!" Immediately Severus' shoulder-length hair rose and stayed straight up in the air.
Lily giggled at his appearance and giggled even more when Dorian cast the jinx on her. She reached up and touched her hair. "Oh! How I'd love to see Black with his hair like this."
Dorian pointed his wand at them and said, "Crinis Summitto." Both of their hair went back to their normal appearance.
"Okay, so it's Tollo Crinis to cast it and Crinis Summitto to reverse it?" Severus said, writing it down on a piece of parchment in his spidery style which Vesper despaired of ever improving. Suddenly, something whacked him on his back and he landed on the floor on his bum. He looked up to find Lily standing over him with a pillow in her hands. She giggled and whacked him over the head with it. "Pillow fight, Sev!"
He picked up a pillow and ran after her. Soon all three children were hitting each other with the pillows, laughing, and feathers were flying all over. Severus, cornered by Lily and Dorian, and attempting to fend off their pillows, glanced at his watch. "Look at the time! We'd better be heading out to the pitch."
Lily looked around at the room which by now was quite a mess. "What do we do about this? We can't leave it so messy."
Severus took out his wand. "Reparo," and waved his wand over the mess. Immediately the pillows repaired themselves. "My grandmother taught me that. You use it to repair damage."
"We should meet here every Friday after class and practice," Dorian proposed as they left the dungeon.
"I'd like that," Lily replied enthusiastically.
Severus nodded. "I think it's a great idea, Dorian."
They joined the rest of the students in the Entrance Hall who were streaming out to the Pitch. Alice had saved Lily a spot next to her in the Gryffindor section while Severus and Dorian made their way over the Slytherin section and sat down. "I don't know why we can't just sit anywhere," Severus complained to Dorian.
"Sure, if you don't mind the Gryffindors hexing the crap out of you, especially if they lose," Dorian replied. He nudged Severus. "Shush! The game's starting."
Slytherin took an early lead, scoring 20 points in the first ten minutes of the games. This appeared to demoralize the Gryffindors and they allowed the lead to widen from twenty to fifty before they rallied. Despite their best efforts though, the Slytherin Seeker caught the Snitch. The final score was 30 Gryffindor and 200 Slytherin.
As they walked off the Pitch and back to the castle, James could be heard complaining loudly, "Those slimy snakes only won because they cheated. When I'm on the team next year I'll show those cheaters what sportsmanship really is! There's going to be three positions opening up next year, two Chasers and the Seeker. Hey Siri, you and I can take the Chaser positions and Pete can have the Seeker position. He's small enough for it."
"Merlin, help us!" Frank muttered. He was walking back to the castle with Alice and Lily. He was planning on trying out for one of the Chasers.
"If the Three Stooges get on the team, Gryffindor won't have a chance at all!" Lily complained.
"They won't. McGonagall has the final say," Alice replied.
"Yup, when the three of us are on the team, we'll teach those sneaky cheating snakes some proper manners!" James bragged loudly.
Severus and Dorian were walking behind them unnoticed by James, Sirius, or Peter. "What happens if you don't apply the counter-jinx for that hair-raising jinx?"
"Your hair would remain standing straight up, but for how long I don't know."
"Fair enough." Severus aimed his wand at Potter, Black, and Pettigrew and said, "Tollo Crinis!" Suddenly James,' Sirius,' and Peter's hair stood straight up in the air. Everybody started pointing at them and laughing. Severus and Dorian ducked behind some seventh year Slytherins, blended in with them as they walked into the castle.
Lily looked around for Severus and Dorian, but all she saw was the seventh year Slytherins. She started to giggle as she saw Black's long curly hair standing on end.
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"Come in, Lawrence," Albus called.
Professor Fleinhardt came into the office. "You wished to see me, Headmaster?"
"Yes, please sit down and I'll call Tingly for some refreshments." Tingly was Albus' personal house elf and popped into the room immediately when he called her. "Yes, Master Headmaster. What may Tingly do for you?"
"May we have some tea and scones please, Tingly?"
"Tingly will be right back," She promised. In a few minutes she popped back carrying a large tray with a teapot, cups and saucers, and a plate of freshly backed cherry scones.
"Thank you, Tingly," Albus said taking the tray from her. Tingly bowed then popped out again.
"It's interesting how the elves aren't affected by the anti-apparition spell," Professor Fleinhardt mused, taking the cup and scone Albus offered him. He assumed the headmaster wanted to see him about his detention of Potter, Black and Pettigrew. He'd heard grumblings in the staff room about detentions being canceled by Albus.
"Now about this detention, Lawrence. Don't you think making the three boys scrub centuries of pigeon poop off the parapet is a little overboard for releasing a Snitch?"
"Headmaster, I warned the students at the beginning of the year that there would be no fooling around on the parapet. I made it very clear, but Mr. Potter, Mr. Black, and Mr. Pettigrew chose to ignore me so they must suffer the consequences. Also, Headmaster, there is not centuries of excrement on the parapet as the elves remove it at least twice a year."
"But making them scrub it off without magic …"
"Perhaps will cause them to think next time before they misbehave. Headmaster, I teach this class and I must have total authority while teaching." Professor Fleinhardt put down his cup and got up.
"And James' Snitch?"
"Has been given to Minerva to return to his parents where it'll be safe."
Albus shook his head. Lawrence was an excellent teacher and the children enjoyed his classes. He would have to explain to James, Mr. Black, and Mr. Pettigrew that they would need to do the detention with good grace and he would award Gryffindor 20 points if they did.
A/N: I will award a chocolate cauldron cake to anybody who can tell from where I borrowed Professor Fleinhardt.
Contego Substrictus – Small shield, Contego Tantus – Large shield, Emoveo Contego – Remove shield, Tollo Crinis – Lift hair, Crinis Summitto – Lower hair.
Also, please note that even though Sev has had a few months of tutoring by his Black Cloak bodyguards, this does NOT make him a master of combat. He knows a few basic moves, the kind anyone can learn from a self defense class, and a few small jinxes and hexes. The other Slytherins are starting rumors about how much he really knows as a way to make the other Houses jealous and fearful and so Avery and his lot don't seem like wimps. Sev is also more mature for his age because he grew up an only child in a family who expects much of him, plus he is serious and studious by nature. This doesn't mean he's a perfect child, he's no more perfect than Hermione.
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