Chapter 16 : Summer Vacation Begins
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Summer Vacation Begins
At breakfast the next morning the Heads of House handed out the end-of-term reports to their House members. Horace was walking up and down the table handing out the reports as they were in alphabetical order. The hall was suddenly filled with a massive amount of owls hooting, twittering, and screeching as they brought OWL and NEWT results. He handed Severus his report. “There you go, my boy.”
Severus took a deep breath and unfolded his report and then smiled widely as he saw the O in Potions and Herbology, and the E’s in Charms, Defense, and Transfiguration. He’d also gotten A’s in Astronomy, Flying, and History of Magic. He resolved to bring his Astronomy grade up to E next year in memory of his dad.
“Mr. Malfoy, how did you do?” Horace called jovially.
“Seven Outstandings, sir,” Lucius answered imperiously.
“Oho! Your father will be very pleased.”
Severus looked across the room at the Gryffindor table and saw Lily wave at him and point towards the doors. Severus nodded. He noticed MacDonald was bawling and James and Sirius were patting her back in what looked like an attempt to comfort her.
“How did you do, Sev?” Dorian asked nudging him.
“Really good thanks to you and Lily,” Severus replied. He, Dorian, and Tav all exchanged reports. Both Dorian and Tav had gotten all E’s except Dorian had gotten an O in Transfiguration while Tav had gotten an O in Astronomy and Dorian had gotten an A, but they’d both gotten A’s in History of Magic. “Come on,” Severus said. “I’m meeting Lily.”
Lily was waiting in the hallway. When she saw Severus she gave him a big smile and then gave him a hug. “How did you do, Sev?”
“I got E’s in Charms and Transfiguration thanks to you and Dorian’s help.”
“I’m so happy for you, Sev!” Lily said giving him another hug. “I got an O in Charms.”
Tav and Dorian decided to go and finish packing. Severus turned and said. “Whoever gets to the train first, save us all a compartment.”
“We’ll do,” Dorian promised.
Lily and Severus exchanged reports. Besides the O in Charms, Lily had gotten E’s in Potions, Herbology, Defense, and Transfiguration and A’s in Flying, Astronomy, and History of Magic.
“Good job, Lily!”
“Mum and Dad will be really pleased, too,” Lily said.
“What’s MacDonald bawling about?”
“Stupid twit got a T in Potions and a P in Defense. What did she expect? She wouldn’t pay attention while you were trying to help her in Potions and then she tries to cheat in Defense by looking at Remus’ exam! I don’t feel a bit sorry for her!”
“Me either. I’m just glad I don’t have to tutor her anymore and I hope I won’t have to tutor any of them next year!”
Lily giggled. “Old Pothead got a P in Potions, but Black got an A.”
Severus snickered. “I’ll bet the thought of his mother spanking him again scared him into getting a passing grade.” He frowned wondering if Potter was going to run to Dumbledore and complain that he deserved a higher grade and Dumbledore would change it.
Lily and Sev split up in the Entrance Hall by the main staircase. Severus returned to the dungeon to retrieve his trunk. He put Greymalkin inside his carrier. Dorian and Tav were just coming down the hall dragging their trunks behind them and carrying their owl cages. They took them upstairs and left them in the Entrance Hall along with their owls. The elves would see that everything got loaded on the train.
Severus left his trunk, but took Greymalkin with him. He never left Grey to be looked after by anybody except him. Severus, Dorian, and Tav were able to get one of the first carriages down to the Hogsmeade. They jumped onto the train and commandeered one of the bigger compartments for their own. They talked excitedly about their summer plans. Tav was looking forward to going to Italy to visit his grandparents and his other relatives. “My grandparents own one of the biggest vineyards in Tuscany; my grandfather allows me to ride out to the vineyards with him just about every morning. And my grandmother is the best cook ever! You should taste her Cacciucco,” He sighed.
“What’s that?” Dorian asked.
“It’s a fish stew consisting of several different types of fish and shellfish, cooked in wine, tomatoes and chili pepper. It’s a regional dish specific to the port city of Livorno where my grandmother’s originally from.”
“Sounds delicious,” Severus replied. “Maybe, you can bring us back some.” He let Grey out of his carrier and he jumped up to sit in Severus’ lap and watch out the window.
There was a sudden increase of noise and activity outside the train. Lily and Alice appeared and then Frank, Remus, and Pete. They all came in and sat down. They were all excited to be finished with school and not having to worry about getting homework done.
Mary passed by still crying, followed by James and Sirius. James stopped and threw open the compartment door. He shook his fist at Severus. “This is your fault entirely, Snivellus! Now because of you and your stupid bodyguard, Mary will be grounded by her parents for most of the summer!”
“She shouldn’t have been so arrogant and paid closer attention to what Sev was trying to teach her then, Potter,” Dorian yelled back. “Maybe then she could have squeaked by with an A.”
“Yes, and if she hadn’t tried to cheat in the Defense exam, she wouldn’t have flunked that either!” Alice added. “So she should quit crying like a baby and blaming everybody else for it.”
“Just get out of here, Potter! None of us wants to see your face until we have to next year!” Lily yelled.
James slammed the door shut so hard the glass cracked. “Idiot!” Frank shouted and then did a Reparo spell on the glass. “I hate having to share a room with him and Black – they’re total morons.” He plunked back down in his seat with a look of disgust on his face.
They began talking about their grades. Peter had gotten an E in Potions, but an A in everything else although Conor had written a very nice note to his parents saying that he tried hard and did his best even though his physical condition prevented him from some of the spells.
Alice had gotten an O in Herbology, E’s in Defense, Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, and Astronomy. She got A’s in Flying and History of Magic.
Frank had gotten an O in Transfiguration, E’s in Charms, Defense, and Potions and Flying. He’d gotten A’s Astronomy and History of Magic.
Remus said he’d gotten an O in Defense and Transfiguration, E’s in Charms, Potions, Astronomy, and A’s in Flying and History of Magic. “I think Binns routinely gives everybody an A just because it’s easier on him,” He joked.
“Potter was bragging that he got an O in Flying,” Frank said.
“Big deal!” Alice muttered. “That won’t get him into either the Auror Academy or the Black Cloak Academy.”
“I wonder who we’ll get for Defense next year,” Frank wondered. “You know, Sev, maybe you could suggest to your grandfather that the Board take over hiring the defense professor. Dumbledore can’t find his own arse with both hands, a locating spell, a mirror, and ten house elves helping him so how the heck can he find a decent defense professor?”
“That’s a great idea, Frank,” Tav said. “Merlin knows we don’t need another Hardbroom!”
“That is a good idea, Frank,” Severus said. “I’ll talk to my grandfather and see what he says.”
When the trolley came by, they all brought pumpkin pasties and cauldron cakes. Severus ate one of each, but shook his head at any more. “Gran will be very unhappy if I’m too full to eat dinner because she’s probably made all my favorites.”
They spent the rest of the trip playing Exploding Snap and discussing their summer plans. Lily invited Alice over so she could play her Beatle records for her and she could meet her two Muggle best friends, Cathy and Beth. “We can have a sleep over and stay up all night, eating and playing records.”
“Sounds like fun!” Alice said grinning. She turned to Severus. “I can’t wait to visit Mirrorvale either. I’ve listened to everybody talk about how beautiful it is for years and I can’t believe I’m actually going to get to see it!”
Severus smiled. “It really is. There’s a beautiful flower garden in the back and Gran has two other gardens where she grows vegetables and another where she grows herbs and magical plants for her potions. There are several different kinds of fruit trees and flowering trees, and also a small lake we can swim in where the water’s just the right temperature for a summer day.”
“I’ll bet there’s a lot of open space, too to fly our brooms so we can a practice for next year,” Frank said. He, like James, wanted to try out for the Gryffindor House Team next year.
Severus nodded. “And you don’t need a Notice-Me-Not Charm either because there are no other houses around for miles.”
The train began slowing down as it approached Platform 9 ¾. When it finally came to a complete stop, the doors opened and all the students began swarming out, jumping down onto the platform and going in search of their parents. The friends said goodbye to each other and went their separate ways looking for their parents.
Severus easily found his grandparents who were standing with Black Leif and Conor. He greeted the two Magnusson brothers warmly and then got hugs and kisses from his grandparents.
“Sev, we’ve missed you so much!” Vesper exclaimed. “And I do believe you’ve grown another inch.” She was dressed in a mint green light summer robe with matching green pumps. He hair was done up in an elegant French twist and she wore a discreet jeweled hair clip to hold it in place.
Marius smiled as he watched his wife fuss over Severus. They really had missed him while he was away at school and it was wonderful to have him home again.
“Gran and Grandpa, let’s go home. I have so much to tell you,” Severus said.
“We’d best be going as there’s always a long line at the Leaky Cauldron,” Marius reminded everyone.
“I do wish there were more connections to the Floo Network in Diagon Alley,” Vesper said.
Black Leif nodded. He shrunk Severus’ trunk and put it in his pocket while Severus picked up Grey’s carrier and followed his grandparents through the barrier. Leif and Conor followed him.
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Lily had found her parents immediately and gave them both a big hug. “Mum, Daddy, I’ve missed you so much!”
“We’ve missed you so much, Lily,” Hyacinth said returning her hug.
“Agatha’s parents are taking them out for lunch and she’s staying overnight,” Paul said. “I’m sure she’ll be happy to see you at breakfast,” Paul said.
Lily’s face fell. “She never once wrote me. She’s still thinks I’m a freak and she’s still mad at me for going to Hogwarts, isn’t she?”
“It’s just one of those teenage phases she’s going through right now. Petunia’s trying to find herself and be her own person,” Paul explained.
“Tell us about school,” Hyacinth said changing the subject. “Are those two boys still bothering you?”
Paul loaded her trunk into the boot while Lily put Guinevere into the backseat and got in beside her.
“Pothead and Black still bully me a bit, but not as much since I’ve made friends with Sev, Dorian, Alice, Frank, Remus, Peter, and Tav. I’ve also made friend with Jane and Emily, two girls from Sev’s house. I think Black’s too afraid his mum will come to the school again and burn his bum if he misbehaves!” Lily giggled as she told her parents about Sev witnessing Black being turned over his mum’s knee and her walloping him good. “He had to sit on a pillow for a few days.”
“I don’t think I’d want to cross that lady,” Paul joked.
“Mum, Dad, you said I could invite a friend to go to the seashore with me so I invited Sev, if that’s okay?”
“That’s fine, Lily. Sev’s very well behaved and has very good manners. He was never any trouble when he used to live next door,” Hyacinth answered. “We’d be happy to have him come along.”
“Tuney won’t like it though. She never liked Sev,” Lily said. “Who did she invite?”
“She invited Agatha.” Paul answered. “Don’t worry about Tuney. She and Agatha will probably spend most of the time at the beach, staring at the boys.”
They stopped at a restaurant for supper and Lily showed them her marks.
“Lily, this is an excellent report!” Hyacinth exclaimed. “And you deserve a reward for working hard and getting good grades.”
“How was the replacement for that Hardbroom woman?” Paul asked. “Your mother and I were happy to hear she’d finally been dismissed.”
“You can thank Sev’s grandfather for that. He’s the one that forced the issue with the other governors and that was even before Sev got hurt in class.”
“We’ve joined in a class-action suit against her and Mr. Prince will be acting as our legal counsel.”
“Daddy, that’s great. I’m glad she’s going to be punished. I hope she has to give over every Galleon, Sickle, and Knut she owns!” Lily said vehemently.
“Tell us about her replacement, Lily. Was he a good teacher?” Hyacinth asked
“The best, Mum! His name is Conor Magnusson and he’s a Black Cloak. His brother Leif taught the older students. They’re special bodyguards, sort of like the ones that guard the Queen, but a lot better. Sev says you can’t just hire them because they have to be contracted and the Black Cloaks have a right to refuse the contract and it has to be renewed every year. He says they’re expensive so even very few pureblood families can afford them. Conor is Mrs. Prince’s bodyguard and Black Leif is Mr. Prince’s. Sev will have one when he turns seventeen.”
Paul and Hyacinth smiled at the deluge of information spilling out of their daughter. They finished their meal, got back in the car and drove the rest of the way home.
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Severus, Marius, Vesper, and the Magnusson’s stepped out of the Floo at Mirrorvale. Black Leif took Severus trunk out of his pocket, resized it, and cast a levitating spell over it so it was floating.
“I’ll see you in you in fifteen minutes,” Severus said as he took over and steered it upstairs to his bedroom being careful not to bump into and nick any of the woodwork on the staircase on his way up. He set down Grey’s carrier and let him out. Grey jumped up on Severus bed, stretching out lazily and grooming himself.
Severus opened his trunk and began unpacking, hanging up his school robes, shirts, and pants in one section of the wardrobe. He suspected he would have to buy all new robes by the end of the summer. He folded and put away his jumpers in one of the drawers in the wardrobe, and took out all his books and lined them up neatly on a shelf over his desk. There was a knock on the door and Severus opened it to find Mitzi outside. “Young Master, if you have finished unpacking, Master and Mistress are waiting for you in the parlor for tea.”
“I am, but if you wouldn’t mind putting my trunk away for me, Mitzi I’d appreciate it.”
“Easily done, young master,” Mitzi replied. Using her own elfin magic, she shrank his trunk and easily levitated it up on a shelf in the wardrobe.
“Thanks, Mitzi,” Severus called as he grabbed his term report and hurried downstairs to the parlor. Marius and Vesper were seated on the couch when Severus came in. He handed them his report and sat down in a comfortable armchair opposite the couch. Mitzi carried in a tray with a teapot, cups, and a plate of biscuits, setting them down in front of Vesper.
“Sev, this is an excellent report!” Marius said. “You’ve successfully brought your grades in Transfiguration and Charms to an Exceeds and you’ve gotten an Outstanding in third year Potions.”
“Lily and Dorian helped me get the E in Charms and Transfiguration,” Severus replied modestly. “Next year though I want to bring my Astronomy grade up to an E in honor of dad’s memory. Remember how he always used to look through a telescope at the stars when we visited because the sky here is more open and clearer than in the city?”
“Indeed I do,” Marius replied. “Toby knew a lot about Astronomy and I’m sure he and Eileen would be very proud of their son today.”
“As are we, Sev,” Vesper said enveloping him in another hug. She then proceeded to pour tea and hand the teacups around followed by the plate of biscuits.
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James came downstairs, leaving his trunk to be unpacked by the Potter house elves, and walked into the dining room where lunch had already been laid out for the family. Mavis and Charles were already seated, waiting for their son to appear. He handed them his report.
“Jamie, how did you get a D in Potions?” Charles asked. He saw James had gotten A’s in everything else except Flying and he’d gotten an O in that. He knew James tended to joke around in class, but the teachers surely weren’t giving him low grades for that.
“Aww, Slughorn doesn’t like me. Remember he accused me of sabotaging that Muggleborn, Lily Evans’ potions even though she was messing up her own potions because she’s stupid? He gave Mary a T and she cried all the way home on the train. He doesn’t like Gryffindors and favors his own House. He forced me to accept tutoring with that arrogant half-blood snot, Snivellus Snape even though he threatened to use dark curses on me if I didn’t do what he wanted and then we had one of the Prince’s bodyguards teaching us Defense and he favored the Slytherins too and that why I only got an A in Defense.” James whined.
“Well, this is unacceptable, Jamie!” Mavis declared. “We’re going to have a meeting with your Godfather Albus and get this straightened out. Don’t worry, darling. We’ll make sure you get the grades you deserve!”
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“Mary Ann Louisa MacDonald!” Her mother yelled, looking up from her report card. “Your grades are a total disgrace! You got a Troll in Potions and a Poor in Defense and I’ve had an owl from your Defense professor saying he gave you a zero on the final exam because he caught you cheating!”
“Slughorn doesn’t like Gryffindors!” Mary whined. “He favors his own House and lets them get away with everything in class!”
“You forget, Mary. Both your mother and I went to Hogwarts and had Professor Slughorn for Potions and he always treated all Houses fairly,” her father said. “What about this accusation that you were cheating?”
“I wasn’t cheating! I only glanced at Remus’ paper for a second and Professor Magnusson jumped on me and accused me of cheating. He made me sit on a stool in front of the class wearing an awful sign that read cheaters never prosper.”
“And so he should have, Mary. You should not have been looking or even glancing at anybody else’s exam paper; your eyes should have been on your own exam,” her mother said in a severe tone.
Mary started to cry. “Slughorn forced me to go to tutoring lessons with this awful Slytherin, Snivellus Snape and he was horrid to me!”
“If you’re referring to the Prince’s grandson, Severus, and you were calling him that awful name even I would find it hard to be sympathetic to your plight.”
“Ever since you’ve started hanging around with those two renegades, James Potter and Sirius Black, we’ve noticed a change in your behavior and it’s going to stop right now, Mary!” Her father warned. “You’re grounded for the entire summer and your mother and I will work with you on all your subjects. We’re going to be assigning you homework that we expect to be completed and if it’s not, other privileges will be revoked. We’ll also be testing you and if you do not pass, the same punishment will be administered.”
“I hate you!” Mary yelled at them when she heard their decision. “You’re horrible and I wish you were dead!”
Mary’s mum grabbed Mary and turned her over her knees and began spanking her bum. “Don’t you ever say that again, young lady! You are getting much too big for your pants! I don’t know how James Potter or Sirius Black talk to their parents, but saying those things will not be allowed in this house! I’m sorry you feel we’ve let you down, but it’s for your own good!” Her mum let her up and her father said, “Please go to your room and stay there until we tell you to come out again. We’re sorely disappointed with you and this attitude you’re displaying.”
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Severus awake at seven the next morning. He threw back the bedcovers and walked over to the window. He loved getting up early in the summer at Mirrorvale and seeing the green hills and the riot of gorgeous colors in the garden and flowerbeds. He took a shower, got dressed and went downstairs. Marius and Vesper were having breakfast in the dining room. Marius was reading the front page of The Daily Prophet. The headline read: ‘Dismissed Defense Professor’s Trial Begins on Monday!’
“Granddad, how long will Professor Hardbroom’s trial last do you think?” Severus asked.
Marius put the paper down and looked at Severus. “I think possibly a few days, Sev.”
“Will we kids have to testify?”
“No, we have enough testimony from Professor Slughorn, Professor McGonagall, and Madam Pomfrey that we will not need you children to testify.
“Good,” Severus breathed a sigh of relief. He really didn’t want to ever see Hardbroom again.
“Sev, will you please owl Lily and find out what time her parents are leaving Monday so I know what time to Apparate you to Lily’s?” Vesper requested.
“Okay, Gran,” Severus said and as soon as he was done with breakfast he wrote a note to Lily with the requested information and sent it off with Callista.
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Lily and Tuney were eating breakfast with their parents when there was a tapping at the window. Lily got up and let Callista in, took the note from her and gave her a treat. She opened the note from Severus and quickly read it. “Mum, Dad, Sev’s grandmother wants to know what time we’re leaving Monday so she knows when to bring him over.”
“That’s who you invited?” Petunia shrieked. “That freak who used to live next door? You couldn’t invite one of your other normal friends!”
“I couldn’t invite them both and hurt one of their feelings,” Lily pointed out. “Sev’s my best friend, too.”
“He’d better leave that stupid cat of his home. Agatha’s highly allergic to any kind of pet hair.”
“Sev already knows Dad is allergic to cat hair so he’s leaving Grey at home.”
“We’re planning to leave about seven,” Paul said. “I want to get an early start before there’s a lot of traffic heading to the shore.”
“Why don’t you ask Sev if his grandmother can bring him over on Sunday night and he can sleep here,” Hyacinth suggested
“Eww …please!” Petunia said making a face. “It’s going to be bad enough having to spend two weeks with these two freaks. Let’s not add on any additional time, Mum!”
“Petunia, don’t start,” Hyacinth warned. “Unless you want to lose your phone privileges.” Petunia had received a pink ‘Princess’ phone for her bedroom for her birthday in March. She loved it dearly and enjoyed bragging to whoever would listen that she was one of the few kids that had her own phone.
“I’m not happy about having to spend two weeks with Agatha either!” Lily snapped. “All she does is whine and she’s a big crybaby!”
“Girls!” Hyacinth warned. “Another word and both invitations will be rescinded.”
Lily stuck her tongue out at Petunia and Petunia stuck out hers at Lily.
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Vesper walked into Courtroom 10 at the Ministry of Magic with the Longbottoms while the Starkeys, talking with Mr. and Mrs. Andrews and Mr. and Mrs. De Luca walked behind them. They seated themselves in chairs behind the table where Marius and another member of his firm were already seated. Haldana Hardbroom and her barrister sat at a table opposite them. The courtroom was packed.
The Wizengamot, consisting of 50 Members, was minus one member as Amelia Bones, Head of Magical Law Enforcement, had suggested to Dumbledore that he recuse himself from the proceedings telling that he could be called by the Wizengamot to answer questions about why he ignored complaints about Hardbroom from the other professors. The members were seated higher above the courtroom and were dressed in plum-colored robes and high triangular shaped caps of the same color. The department heads could be differentiated because they wore black robes and caps and had a silver W on their robes.
“Are you ready to start the proceeding, Lord Prince?” Madam Bones asked.
“I am,” Marius said in a solemn tone of voice.
“And you, Mr. Fleecewise, are you and your client ready?”
“We are, Madam Bones,” He replied
“The scribe shall read the charges,” Madam Bones said.
“Haldana Hardbroom, former defense professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, is being sued for 500 Galleons a piece by the parents of minors, Peter Pettigrew, Frank Longbottom, Dorian Andrews, Lily Evans, Alice Starkey and Octavius De Luca for both physical and emotional injuries sustained by former Professor Hardbroom’s teaching, grading and detention methods. In addition another sum of 1000 Galleons is being sought for minor Severus Snape by his grandparents, Lord and Lady Prince for physical and emotional injuries sustained by former Professor Hardbroom’s teaching, grading, and detention methods. The total amount being sought is 4000 Galleons.”
“I object!” Fleecewise jumped to his feet. “Lord Prince cannot act as barrister for his own grandson. It’s a complete conflict of interest.”
“My apologies, Madam Bones, but my grandson’s interests will be represented in this suit by my colleague, Lord Sidney Bosworth. I will be representing the interests of the Andrews, De Luca, Evans, Longbottom, Pettigrew, and Starkey families,” Marius explained smoothly.
“That will be satisfactory, Lord Prince,” Madam Bones replied. “Scribe, please call the first witness.”
The scribe rose once again and said, “Minerva McGonagall is summoned to take the stand.”
Professor McGonagall came in through the doors, walked to the chair in the center of the room and seated herself.
Marius stepped up and asked, “How long have you taught at Hogwarts, Professor McGonagall?”
“I returned to Hogwarts as a Professor of Transfiguration in 1946 when Professor Dumbledore was appointed Headmaster. He taught Transfiguration at that time, but felt he could not continue teaching with all the duties of Headmaster. I assumed the duties as Head of Gryffindor House at that time also. In 1955 I was appointed Deputy Headmistress by the Board of Governors.”
“Please tell us when you first became aware of irregularities regarding Professor Hardbroom.”
“It was the first month of the term. As you know the portrait to Gryffindor Tower is charmed to let me know if students are coming in after curfew. That night it let me know that a student was coming in after eleven. I went out and found Miss Evans and Mr. Snape. He explained that they had just gotten out of detention with Professor Hardbroom and Miss Evans was so tired he had escorted her because he was afraid she’d be unable to make it on her own. Mr. Snape also looked exhausted so I told him to wait and I would walk with him to the dungeon. I took Miss Evans to her dorm and then escorted Mr. Snape back to his dorm.”
“What did you do after that?”
“I excused Miss Evans and Mr. Snape from attending morning classes. In the morning I sent notes to Miss Evans and Mr. Snape to come to my office at three to meet with myself and Professor Slughorn. I also sent a note to Professor Hardbroom informing her she needed to be in my office for a meeting at 3:15.”
Lord Bosworth took over the questioning at that point. “Professor McGonagall, what did Miss Evans and Mr. Snape tell you about their detention?”
“They told us that Professor Hardbroom had made them scrub the defense classroom floor with toothbrushes and told them if it wasn’t clean enough for her to eat off of they would have to do it over the next night. She cast a least two Stinging Hexes at them for talking; Miss Evans said she had asked Mr. Snape to move the bucket of water for her. Hardbroom made degrading remarks about Mr. Snape’s parents and racial insults about Miss Evans’ heritage all through the detention.”
“What did former Professor Hardbroom say about her detention?”
“I informed her that first years were never to be kept in detention past nine o’clock and that lines or cleaning cauldrons were the preferred type of detention. She said Mr. Snape had a foul temper and Miss Evans a smart mouth and children such as them needed a firm hand. I said Miss Evans and Mr. Snape had also complained about the degrading remarks and racial slurs she had uttered all during their detention.”
“How did she react to that?”
“She got very angry; she said didn’t have to listen to my accusations and if I had any other complaints to take them to the Headmaster.”
“So she thought she had done nothing wrong and had no intention of changing either her teaching or detention methods.”
“That was my impression.”
“Thank you, Professor.”
“Do you have any questions for Professor McGonagall, Mr. Fleecewise?”
“Not at this time, Madam Bones, but I do reserve the right to recall Professor McGonagall.”
“So be it,” Madam Bones replied. “You may step down, Professor.”
The scribe stood up again and said, “The court calls Professor Horace Slughorn to the stand.”
Horace nodded at Minerva as they passed coming in and going out of the courtroom. Horace sat down in the chair Minerva had just vacated.
Lord Bosworth took the lead on questioning Horace as he had been a Ravenclaw and Marius wanted no hint of impropriety.
“Professor Slughorn, how long have you been teaching at Hogwarts?”
“Fifty years. I started teaching at Hogwarts as soon as I gained my mastery in potions in 1922.”
“When did you become aware that Professor Hardbroom was not following the rules set down by the Board of Governors?”
“Since the beginning of the school year I had been receiving complaints from members of my House about Professor Hardbroom’s continually labeling them as future Death Eaters, dirty untrustworthy snakes, etc. After that it was the detention she had Mr. Snape and Miss Evans perform.”
“Did you confront former Professor Hardbroom about this spitefulness of hers?”
“Oh my, yes! I spoke to her about it at the same meeting with her and Minerva. I told her she could not hold these children responsible for the actions of a former Slytherin and his friends and if she continued I would go to the Headmaster.”
“What was her reaction to your threat?”
“She told me to do what I had to do, but she was going to teach the student how to fight the former Slytherin Death Eater scum.”
“Professor, will you describe what happened on December 28th?”
“I found myself getting at least fifty owls from parents of the students in my House all complaining about their children’s defense grades. Students who had gotten O’s or E’s previously were marked down. Nobody got higher than an A and in most cases they were dropped to a P. At first I thought Professor Hardbroom was possibly a low marker, but when I talked with the other Heads of House, none of them reported receiving complaints about defense grades and I began to suspect she was deliberately giving Slytherin students bad marks.”
“And there was a matter of the confidentiality violation.”
“Yes. When he returned to Hogwarts after the holidays, Mr. Snape advised me that James Potter knew what his grade and Miss Evans’ grade was. He said Mr. Potter wasn’t just guessing, he was stating it as a fact. I knew Professor Hardbroom had been invited to stay with the Potters over the holidays and I suspected she was discussing student grades with people who were not the student’s parent or guardian.”
“What did you advise Mr. Snape to do?”
“I told him he should let his grandfather, Lord Prince, know as he is on the Board of Governors.”
“Thank you, Professor Slughorn,” Lord Bosworth said.
“Do you have any questions for Professor Slughorn, Mr. Fleecewise?” Madam Bones asked.
“Yes, I do,” Mr. Fleecewise said walking up to Professor Slughorn. “Isn’t it a violation of confidentiality, Professor to send off those complaints you got from the parents to Lord Prince?”
“No. Lord Prince is on the Hogwarts Board of Governors and I felt he and the other governors should know what was going on in the school,” Professor Slughorn said stoutly. “It would be a different story if I’d sent them to the Daily Prophet or Abe at the Hog’s Head.”
“No more questions.” Fleecewise said hastily.
When Slughorn had left the courtroom, the Scribe stood up again. “The court calls Madam Poppy Pomfrey.”
Madam Pomfrey walked in and sat down. Lord Bosworth questioned her about the injuries received by Severus in Professor Hardbroom’s class. “He fractured his shoulder and collarbone plus he broke three ribs and cracked two others when he hit that wall. He had a concussion also. This was due to Sirius Black casting the Repello Maxima spell on him that sent him flying into a wall. He said Professor Hardbroom had been taunting Mr. Black about being a coward and he lost his temper.”
“Thank you, Madam Pomfrey,” Lord Bosworth said. He sat down and Marius stood up. “Madam Pomfrey, will you please tell the court what happened in Professor Hardbroom’s class on January 7th of this year?”
Madam Pomfrey described Peter’s asthma attack caused by Hardbroom’s treatment of him. Mrs. Pettigrew grabbed her husband’s arm and buried her face in his shoulder. Marius watched them, as did members of the Wizengamot
“She almost caused a student to die because she was too busy taunting him for being weak and totally ignoring the fact that the boy was suffocating!* If Mr. Lupin hadn’t come to get me when he did, Peter wouldn’t be here now. Some of the children said they told her he was having an attack, but she ignored them. Others pleaded for her to help Peter, but she refused and said he was faking.”
“Thank you, Madam Pomfrey,” Marius said.
“Do you have any questions for the witness, Mr. Fleecewise?”
“Not at this time, Madam Bones.”
“Court is adjourned for today and will resume tomorrow at nine.”
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
Albus looked up as he heard his Floo sound and he saw Charles and Mavis stepping out of the fireplace. He smiled delightfully. “Mavis, Charles, how wonderful to see you! What brings you here? Please sit down and I’ll call my elf for some refreshments.”
They seated themselves in the chairs opposite his desk. Albus called his elf, Twinky, and requested tea. The elf popped back in a few minute carrying a tea tray with a teapot, cups, and a plate full of small cakes. Albus happily bustled around pouring tea and then sat down behind his desk again.
“Albus, we’re here to complain about James’ grade. We feel he didn’t get the grades in he deserves in Potions and Defense. He got a D in Potions and only an A in Defense and he certainly deserves E’s in both subjects,” Charles said.
“Jamie said Slughorn favors his own house and he appointed that Snape boy as his assistant because he supposedly some sort of potions prodigy – he probably is in making dark potions since Slytherins don’t know anything else!” Mavis declared
“He also said Slughorn forced him, Sirius, and Mary MacDonald to have Snape as their tutor and he was so horrible and threatening that they didn’t learn anything and Defense was awful too. How could you let a Black Cloak teach children, Albus? Why they’re nothing more than assassins for hire! James said he and Sirius were forced to do fifteen push-outs, I think they’re called; it’s some sort of exercise Muggles do, because they talked out of turn in class.”
Albus steepled his hands and rested his chin on them as he listened to Charles and Mavis complaints. “As much as I would love to rectify James’ grades as I know he’s a very talented boy who certainly deserves top grades, I cannot. The Board of Governors has been keeping a close watch and I believe they’re looking for an excuse to dismiss me.”
“That’s horrible, Albus!” Mavis exclaimed. “Why things would be terrible around here if you weren’t here. Those evil Slytherins would just take over the entire school!”
Charles snorted. “I’ve said many times that the Board should be set up differently. There should be five Gryffindors, three Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs and only one Slytherin.”
Albus sighed. “As much as I would like to see that, Charles, the setup of the Board is not something that can be changed as it was designed that way 200 years ago and it was thought giving each house three votes on the Board was fair.”
“We’ll wait and see how this year goes, but I warn you, Albus, if Jamie continues to receive unfair treatment, we’re going to keep him home and we’ll be warning other Gryffindor parents not to send their children here as Slytherins are rewarded for their evilness!” Charles replied.
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
Severus and Lily walked along the seashore barefoot, stopping occasionally to dig their toes into the wet sand. It was a cloudy day so there weren’t many people out on the beach today. He was enjoying his time here immensely in spite of Tuney and her whiny friend. He stooped down and picked up a shell. It was a perfect fan-shaped shell of deep blue. He handed it to Lily. “For you.”
“Thanks, Sev. It’s beautiful,” Lily said putting it safely in her pocket.
They had gotten to Brighton’s Kemp Town beach yesterday. Lily’s parents had rented a three-bedroom bungalow for the two weeks. Lily loved it here and hoped her family could come back next year. The only bad part of the vacation was that she had to share a room with Tuney and Agatha.
“I didn’t see Tuney or Agatha at breakfast this morning,” Severus remarked.
“Agatha has one of her migraines this morning,” Lily said. “Merlin, Sev! She’s only fifteen and she acts like she’s eighty and she snores so loud she sounds like a jet plane going down the runway! I had to sleep in the living room last night and I could still hear her. I’m surprised you could sleep being as you’re in the room next door to us.”
“Well, I did sleep with my pillow over my head,” Severus confessed with a grin.
“I sure pity her husband if she gets married.”
“She’ll have to find a guy who snores louder than she does,” Severus smirked. They both broke up laughing.
“We’d better get back to the bungalow. Mum probably has lunch ready.” Lily said. “Come on, I’ll race you back!”
“Okay, I’ll give you a head start because I’ve got longer legs than you,” Severus offered.
“No way, Sev. I can beat you fair and square,” Lily replied.
“Okay, on the count of three …one, two, three!” They both took off running back in the direction of the bungalow. Hyacinth had just come out on the porch when Severus and Lily both ran up laughing and out of breath. “See! I told you I could beat you, Sev!”
“Okay, so you did.”
“Sev, an owl came for you and I’m afraid it scared Agatha right back into her bed.”
“What doesn’t, Mum?” Lily muttered as she followed Severus into the house. They both saw Callista waiting patiently in the open kitchen window. Severus took the note from her and gave her a strip of bacon off the plate Hyacinth had fried for their bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwiches. He opened the note. “It’s from Grandpa. He says the first day of Hardbroom’s trial went really well. Professor McGonagall, Professor Slughorn, and Madam Pomfrey all testified. He said the members of the Wizengamot appeared to be really shocked when Madam Pomfrey described what happened to Peter. It’s continuing today and Hardbroom’s barrister is supposed to be presenting her side of things.”
“I hope she goes to that prison of yours,” Hyacinth snapped. “Imagine almost letting a child strangle to death!”
“I’m sure Grandpa will let me know the outcome as soon as he knows.” Severus said.
**testimony taken from Snapegirlkmf’s chapter 12, for those who don’t recall what happened back there.
*** the Amelia Bones referred to in this chapter is the mother of the Amelia Bones in Harry's time, they simply share the same name and occupation, or eventually they will as right now Amelia the younger has just finished school.
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