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Chapter 10 : Treacle Tart
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She was walking with the Slug Club and Professor Slughorn. He was the reason they were walking so slow. Even at the slow leisurely pace he was panting as he walked. His vest was stretched so tight that Lily decided never to walk in front of him in case one of the buttons popped. It could possible send someone to the hospital wing if it hit you.
“I certainly wished the headmaster would provide a more dignified way for us older teachers to be escorted to town I find this excursion rather taxing and it takes away from the enjoyment of the day,” complained the rotund professor. “Now Lily, do not forget to stop by Honeydukes and get my crystallized pineapple. I have been told that there is a new shipment there for me. Xavier Ipecac is fan of that delicious confection.”
“I won’t forget, Professor,” she replied. She knew that the renowned medicinal Potioner would only get a small sampling of the crystallized pineapple.
Xavier Ipecac worked at St. Mungos. He was the person in charge of brewing healing Potions for incurable diseases and unknown maladies. It was the field that Lily wanted to pursue after graduating from Hogwarts. He had been one of the earliest member s of Professor Slughorn’s Slug Club.
The Professor had taken her under his wing during her first year. She had shown a natural ability to understand the finer details of adding various reagents to the potion. He had suggested to her a long time ago about pursuing a career as a Potion brewer for St. Mungo’s. She had thought he was joking at first. There are only ten members of that group, and the last one was hired five years ago. Yet, each year Professor Slughorn had convinced her that she was good enough to join them. When she scored one of the highest scores ever in the Potion section of her OWLs, she started to believe that maybe she could brew potions for St. Mungo’s. Today she was scheduled to meet Mr. Ipecac to talk about possibly apprenticing over the summer. Her dreams seemed finally to be within reach.
A group of giggling girls walked past her group. She almost completely ignored them, until she saw who was in the middle of the group, Professor James. She noticed his wide brimmed wizard’s hat and his long dark hair above the gaggle of girls surrounding him. Two months into the school year and he was the desire of almost every fifth, sixth, and seventh year girl.
“Is that Cassandra Goshawk?” asked Professor Slughorn.
“Yes that is her,” answered Regulus Black.
“Pity, she could have been a good member of the Slug club with her father and illustrious aunt Miranda, but instead…”
The Professor left the last statement unfinished. Everyone knew what he was thinking but didn’t say. Cassandra was the largest flirt in Hogwarts and according to rumor a definite slapper. Lily had to associate with her being in the same dorm, but personally she did not like her.
The walk continued at a leisurely pace. The Professor took time to talk to all if the members of his club.
Lily kept watching the group in front of them. They seemed to have slowed down and now were only forty or fifty feet away from her group. Even though the girls actions seemed to be obvious, Professor James seemed to be unaffected by it. She had thought more highly of him. She tried to study him to see if he was enjoying the attention or just tolerating it. She didn’t know why, but the thought that he enjoyed such prattle and flirtatious attention bothered her.
When they reached The Three Broomsticks, Professor Slughorn and the rest of the club went inside, while Lily continued to Honeydukes. The town was absolute mayhem. Students had already been to Zonko’s. They were running around the town trying to scare each other. A loud bang, several screams, and flashs of light came from behind a building to her left. She turned and pulled her wand, ready for someone to attack her.
Fireworks flew into morning sun from behind the building. She relaxed knowing that it was only someone pranking another. She lowered her wand, and realized that she was ready to defend herself. In a second she pulled her wand and had several spells at the tip of her tongue ready to start hexing whoever was there.
She turned to see Professor James had run to her side. His sudden appearance surprised her even more than the fireworks. He was standing there in the middle of the street with his wand out and intense look on his face. It looked as if he was ready to fight all of the Death Eaters by himself.
“It was only some pranksters, Professor,” she said to him. He seemed to relax a bit, but kept looking around the street. “It was probably Potter and his friends.”
“Mr. Potter is back at school finishing up his detention,” he said without looking at her.
“I thought his month was over, or did he do something else.”
“He agreed to serve an extra week of detention to play in the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch match. Mr. Travers was rather upset about the agreement, because he had to comply also to play. Enough talk about the school prankster, where were you going on this wonderful day, Miss Evans? Planning on visiting Zonko’s.” He smiled at her.
“No, I was going to Honeydukes and then The Three Broomsticks.”
“I was planning on going to Honeydukes also. Do you mind a Professor walking along with you?” he asked politely.
Lily looked at him, then at the gaggle of girls that he had been walking with. She was comfortable with the idea of walking along with him, but she didn’t want to get associated with them. A feeling of embarrassment swelled up in her as she realized how prudish that sounded.
“If we are going the same direction, than I don’t mind,” she answered him politely.
She started walking towards the group of girls. Cassie tried to glare at her without the Professor seeing her expression. Lily thought it was rather comical. Cassie and company walked up to them, and proceeded to nudge Lily away from the Professor’s side. Soon they were gushing and batting their eyes at him. Lily was glad she was able to see this up close, because the Professor gave them all a bored look. He appeared unaffected by their childish attempts at flirting. By the time they had reached Honeydukes, Lily was almost laughing at the foolish behavior of the girls.
One girl, Lily couldn’t tell who, asked the Professor in a dreamy voice. “What is your favorite hair color?”
“My wife’s is red. So that is my favorite. She has always had long beautiful red hair. Her entire family had hair like it. Well, I would never call any of her brothers’ hair beautiful.”
Lily chuckled at his comment about his brother-in-law’s. The other girls seemed sad, because they were mostly blonde.
When they entered the sweet shop, she broke away from the rest of the group. The store was an absolute mad house. She had to push her way to the line to pay for the merchandise. There were several students in front of her, so she waited.
When she finally reached the counter, there was a young girl behind it. She was expecting the owner, Ambrosius Flume, but he apparently was elsewhere ensuring that no one nicked any of the merchandise.
“I am here for Professor Horace Slughorn’s crystallized pineapple,” she told the clerk. The clerk looked around under the counter for a few seconds, before producing a large tin. It looked to weigh almost a full stone.
“That will be 25 galleons,” the clerk drawled.
“25 Galleons, but I only have 15,” replied a shocked Lily. “Certainly, you can put this on Professor Slughorn’s bill.”
“Nope, can’t. ‘m not allowed to put anything on a charge, today.”
“I need this today. It is important…,” she said, but was interrupted.
“Here is the rest of the gold,” said Professor James. He dropped ten galleons on the counter.
“Professor, I can’t allow you to do that. I will talk to the owner. He is a friend of Professor Slughorn.”
“Does Professor Slughorn always expect students to buy his sweets for him?” asked the Professor.
Lily was embarrassed at his question. It sounded like the Professor Slughorn was taking advantage of her. “It isn’t only for him. I am to meet someone today for an interview. It could mean a job,” she said. When she first thought about buying the confection, it didn’t seem wrong, but now it did.
“’ere’s yer pineapple, miss,” said the clerk as she shoved the large tin across the counter at her.
She picked it up and held it to her chest. It had to weigh a full stone, but she wasn’t going to put it down. For some reason the act of buying this pineapple was bothering her.
“I’ll pay you back, Professor,” she stated firmly.
“When you get the chance, don’t’ worry about it. I’ll be fine,”
“You have a wife. You have children?” The first was a statement, but the second was a question. She had heard him talk of his wife, but he never mentioned children.
“I have three children,” he replied calmly. “If I need money, my wife could send it to me.”
“Professor, oh, Professor,” called Cassie. “We were just wondering what your favorite sweet is?” she asked giggling.
“Of everything I tried in here, hmm, that is a difficult one,” he said while staring around the shop. He stepped away from the counter, and grabbed a handful of Cockroach clusters. “These, they are rather good.”
He turned and plopped them down on the counter along with some other chocolate. “Now I will pay for these, but I would like to place an order for ten pounds of chocolate. I will Owl later to let your owner know what grade of chocolate I want.”
“I can’t do that,” whined the clerk. “I am only working today, because of the Hogwarts day.”
“Can you tell me what chocolate costs per pound?”
“I don’t know, I just know that everything in the store costs four for a galleon,” replied the clerk. The clerk counted the number of items on the counter. “That will be three Galleons, please.”
The Professor produced three galleons and laid them on the counter. “There, have a good day,” he said sardonically.
He turned to Lily ignoring the other girls in the shop. Lily watched as several of them grabbed all of the cockroach clusters off the shelves.
“I was going to The Three Broomsticks, would you mind if I walked along?”
The Professor’s question caught her by surprise. It wasn’t because she was uncomfortable with being around him. It was that he seemed to have an interest in talking to her. Before she could answer, Cassie and her associates all bid Professor James goodbye as they exited the shop. There was something about the way they were acting that made her nervous.
“Miss Evans?” he plied her for an answer.
“No, not at all,” she quickly replied. She was thinking about Cassie. Those girls had all gone in the direction of Zonko’s. If the rumor was correct, that shop sells love potions.
The Professor walked slightly ahead of her through the shop and opened the door for her. As they walked out on the street, he walked along side of her. She was still holding the large tin of crystallized pineapple to her chest with both arms. It was too large and awkward to hold any other way.
“What job are you applying for,” asked the Professor.
“I want to work in St. Mungo’s making healing Potions. It is a very difficult job to get, but a former student of Professor Slughorn’s is the head of the department and is supposed to meet me at The Three Broomsticks today.”
“Congratulations, Miss Evans,” said the Professor with a great deal of enthusiasm.
His enthusiasm caught her off guard. She turned to look at him and he seemed to be beaming with pride at her. It was a strange feeling, but again not uncomfortable.
“I had always wanted to work making healing potions, ever since I heard about the position. I had originally intended on focusing all my NEWT studies towards that goal.”
“Until I came along and forced you to take Defense classes,” he said teasingly.
“Yes, something like that,” she replied quickly. She became nervous that she might have offended him. “But, I don’t mind with you being the Professor.”
“Oh, thank you.”
Lily thought what she had said seemed a little too flirty, so she decided to explain further. “You have a completely different approach to Defense than the other Professors. You made me realize that to defend against the dark arts is more than dueling and hexing people. It is something that you must be aware of everyday in the way you live your life.”
They stopped at the front door of the pub. Professor James reached for the door but didn’t open it. He smiled at her with a warm and friendly smile. “If everyone in the class has realized that, than I have been successful, beyond getting you ready for NEWTs.”
“I don’t know if…,” She hesitated saying anything, but decided that she should tell him. “Professor, I don’t think it was wise to tell those girls what your favorite candy was. They bought all the cockroach clusters left in the store then walked off to Zonko’s. Professor, Zonko’s sells love potions.”
Professor James started laughing. It was a light hearted laugh. Lily stood there outside of the pub watching this man stand with one hand on the door laughing to the point his shoulders were shaking.
“Thank you for being concerned for me, but rest assured, I do not like cockroach clusters,” he chuckled to her.
Lily realized what he had said. He was quick enough to realize they were up to something. She started to laugh also. He stopped laughing, but kept smiling as he opened the door of the busy and noisy pub. She stepped through and he followed along behind her.
“ Would it be wrong for me to give out all the cockroach clusters I get as presents this year to first and second years as prizes for doing a good job in class?” he nearly shouted so she could hear him.
It took her a second to realize what he had said. He would be giving candies laced with love potions to young boys who would fall in love with sixth and seventh year girls. She stopped walking and looked at him behind her. He was smiling and had cheeky smile that reminded her of Potter.
“Professor that would be so wrong, that would be against the rules…,”
“I know, I won’t do that, but it might teach those girls a lesson.”
Lily didn’t respond, but she agreed. Professor James was certainly different than any Professor she had ever talked to before. She looked around for Professor Slughorn. He was sitting with the rest of the club and most of the Hogwarts’ Professors.
“Is that your group over there?” asked the Professor behind her.
“Yes, weren’t you going to meet the rest of the Professors in here?”
“Yes, It looks like we are going to the same place,” he shouted over the din.
They walked through the crowd to not one table but four of them along the one wall. Between the Slug Club and the Professors, there had to be over twenty people in the group. Professor Slughorn was sitting at a central table taking up most of it and talking to several of the Professors. The students were located on the side of the Potions’ Professor away from the rest of the Professors. The only open seats were by the Professors. Lily walked up to Professor Slughorn and presented the tin of pineapple.
“Wonderful, wonderful, my dear Miss Evans, I was starting to wonder if there was a problem,” said the rotund Professor gleefully. He immediately opened the tin and grabbed a piece of the confection. He popped it into his mouth and beamed with joy as he ate it.
Lily wasn’t sure if she should tell the Professor about having to pay for it and needing to borrow money from Professor James. She looked at the Defense Professor for a clue of what to do. He was talking to Professor McGonagall, who seemed to have a disapproving look on her face. So she decided to let the incident of buying the pineapple a secret.
“It is most delicious,” declared Professor Slughorn, as he popped another piece in his mouth. “Xavier will be most pleased with this little surprise; most pleased indeed.” He popped a third piece in his mouth.
“He won’t be pleased if there isn’t any left for him,” stated Professor McGonagall.
Professor Slughorn chuckled at her comment. “Even I couldn’t eat that entire tin in one day. There will be some left,” he reassured them.
“’scuse me, sir, would ya want something to drink?” asked a female beside Lily.
She turned to look at the waitress. She was different than the one last year. This girl looked young, but made Lily feel uneasy, almost intimidated by her. She was attractive, but she wore her makeup too dark. Her lips looked almost black. Her hair was jet black, thick, and shoulder length. She had some of it tucked behind her one ear. The ear had at least six different earrings in it. She was dressed in a plain black robe. Lily could easily see that she was rather fit through the folds of cloth.
“You forgot from summer, Miss,” replied Professor James. “You were to call me Harry.” The Professor almost had a smirk on his face as if he had said some type of a joke.
“And ya forgot to call me Ray, Harry,” she said with a smile. There was a definite tone to her voice, like they were rehashing an old joke between the two of them.
“All right, Ray, I will have tea,” he said to the waitress.
“Is that all?” asked the waitress writing down his order on a piece of parchment.
“Yes, I will stick with tea today.”
“There is treacle tart in the kitchen.”
“There is?” Professor James seemed to become excited. “Hmm, I’ll have a piece. That would be good with tea. Miss Evans, do you want something?”
When Professor James said her name, the waitress turned to look at her. She stopped writing on her parchment. The sudden movement surprised Lily, but it was the waitress’s stare that unnerved her. She seemed to be assessing Lily with her eyes.
“What would ya like,” she asked Lily.
“I am fine, I don’t want anything,” Lily said to the waitress. She couldn’t get anything if she did want it. She was broke.
“Miss Evans, I will pay for it,” offered Professor James. “So please order something.”
Lily stood there slightly embarrassed by his offer. It would be the second time he had offered to buy something for her that day. “Professor, you have already spent too much on me,” she said trying to turn down his offer.
“Excuse me, what do you mean he spent too much on you,” snapped Professor McGonagall.
Lily had forgotten about her listening in on the conversation. In fact when she turned and looked at the rest of the Professor’s they all were eyeing her and Professor James suspiciously.
“Well, please explain yourself,” pressed her Head of House.
“Professor James gave me ten galleons to pay for the pineapple. I didn’t have enough money to buy it,” she said miserably.
“She said it was important,” interjected Professor James.
“You – you- paid for the pineapple,” spluttered Professor Slughorn with a mouth full of the confection. He quickly swallowed the mouthful before speaking again. “It was supposed to be placed on my account. I’ll have a talk with Ambrosius about this. I never intended on you having to spend your own money one this.” Professor Slughorn was extremely agitated over her statement. It made her feel much better realizing that he hadn’t sent her there to purchase his treat.
“Mr. Flume wasn’t working the counter he was watching for students nicking his goods,” Lily explained. “The clerk wasn’t allowed to put anything on order, so I had to buy it with my own money and some of Professor James’.”
“Well that was inexcusable. I will talk to Ambrosius about this. He knew it was for me. He should have already billed my account. Miss, Miss Ray give these two whatever they want today, on my account,” ordered the rotund Professor.
“So what ya have, Miss Evans?”
Lily looked at the waitress and thought about this. Traditionally, she would always have a butterbeer, but what Professor James ordered sounded good to her. “I’ll have the same thing Professor James is having.”
The waitress raised her one eyebrow and looked at her then at the Professor, before turning and leaving. Lily looked at the Professor, and he was staring at her strangely.
“You like treacle tart?”
“It is my favorite dessert,” she told him. “My mum always makes it for me when I get home. I assume it is also your favorite. Did your mum make it for you when you were growing up?”
It was an innocent question, but the look in Professor James’ eyes nearly broke her heart. He had the most pained expression as if she had said something to torment him. He stared at her for several seconds before looking away. He appeared to be fighting crying. It was so strange to see a man like this nearly cry over a simple question.
“No, she didn’t,” he said thickly.
Lily suddenly remembered something he told her after her first class. He was born to magical parents, but was raised with Muggles.
“Your parents died when you were young, didn’t they?” she asked him.
She was trying console him, but it seemed to hurt him even more. He choked back a cry and looked at her. She stared at his eyes and realized why she was so comfortable around him. His eyes were so similar to her father’s. His glasses were slightly tinted, but she could see they were green and filled with pain. Her father had been in the Muggle army. He had seen horrible things. Professor James, might look young in age, but his eyes were the eyes of an old man.
“They had fought against the darkness that was taking over our land. They were killed when I was still an infant.” He gripped the side of the table as though he might fall if he didn’t hold on. “I never really got to know them, except through stories from their friends.”
Lily’s heart clenched at this statement. She couldn’t imagine growing up without her parents, even without Petunia and her foul moods. She felt sorry for the Professor. She was sorry she had ever asked the question. Feeling guilty, she did the natural thing and reached out and grabbed his hand to reassure and comfort him. “I am sorry.”
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Harry was losing control of his emotions. He was about to blow his cover and change the course of history. He was prepared for so many things. Why did the fact that his mum’s favorite dessert was treacle tart made him lose control? He had heard the stories about her. She was everything that he had imagined and even more. But, it was the connection of a simple dessert that fractured his resolve.
That wasn’t true; the dessert was the last straw. She was going to be a medicinal Potioner. She would be healing and helping people, if it wasn’t for him and the bloody Prophecy. It seemed so selfish to allow her to die so that the future he knows can be sustained. She didn’t deserve to die. It had bothered him that he might be able to change the future. However, up until this moment he was never tempted to change it. Would it be so terrible to sacrifice his future so she could have one?
“I am sorry,” she said consolingly. She took his hand. He felt the warm flesh of his mother. In all his memories he could never recall that feeling. It made his hand almost tingle. He never thought he would ever remember the feel of her touch in his life. His determination to preserve the future crumbled even more.
He looked at her eyes. They were the same type of eyes as he has. There was something else in those eyes that further broke down his resolve. He saw love in her eyes, compassion, concern, and tenderness was there also, but mostly love. He had only seen this from one other person, Molly Weasley. Ginny’s expression was different. He knew he has her undying love and affection, but her passion made the look in her eyes different. His mum was looking at him like he was her son.
Someone this special should not be sacrificed. How could he live with himself knowing he had a chance to save his mum, but allowed her to die?
“Excuse me, that is most inappropriate,” hissed Professor McGonagall.
Her voice made Harry realize there were others in the world. His mum looked extremely embarrassed. The Professors were all looking at him disparagingly.
“I upset the Professor, and was only trying to comfort him,” explained his mum.
“I must apologize for breaking down like that,” interjected Harry. “That hasn’t happened to me for several years. I thought I was over the pain of my parents’ death. I guess not.”
“I understand that, Professor. However, the sight of the two of you holding hands and staring into each other’s eyes could be easily misconstrued,” explained Professor McGonagall.
His mum blushed at the thought. “I hadn’t thought about that. I am sorry.”
“Everything all right ‘ere?” asked Ray. She was holding a tray with a tea pot, two cups, and two pieces of treacle tart. She had addressed the group, but was staring at him.
“Yes, it is Ray. I was getting a little out of control there, but it is all great now.”
Ray seemed to accept what he said. “Yeah, yer a wild one ya are,” she said cheekily. Everyone at the table chuckled at her comment. She placed the tray with the tea and tart down between him and his mum. “There ya go, enjoy it ya two.”
Harry and his mum both picked up their fork before pouring their tea. They took almost identical bites of tart. It was dry, very dry. Harry reached for the tea pot, but his hand collided with hers. He pulled his away allowing her to pour her tea first. She then filled his cup. They quickly sipped the hot liquid trying to get some moisture in their mouths.
“Dry,” he said.
“Too dry, was it this dry before, when you were eating in here?” she asked him.
“No, but maybe it is still the same tart,” joked Harry. His mum started to snigger then covered her mouth as she laughed. Harry smiled at her. She was enjoyable to be around.
“Ah, I see Lily Evans has won another Professor over,” drawled a voice.
Harry looked up and saw it was Regulus Black. He was almost glaring at the two of them. Harry became a little uneasy about this, because he knew that Regulus sided with Voldemort.
“GET YOUR BLOODY HANDS OFF ME!” shouted Ray from across the bar.
“That had better not be Sirius Black,” growled Professor McGonagall.
Harry turned to see who had grabbed Ray. Whoever, it was he pitied them. It was an older wizard, who looked pissed. The codger was still smiling drunkenly at her as she yelled at him.
“If you grab my arse again, I’ll bend this tray over your bloody ‘ead,” she threatened him.
Harry smiled as he turned back around. He was amazed she hadn’t done that already.
“I am starting to get worried,” stated the Head of Gryffindor House. “I haven’t seen Potter, Black, or Pettigrew all morning. Mr. Lupin is sitting in that booth by himself.”
“Those three, Theodore Lefevre, and Horace Travers are serving detention right now, Professor,” said Harry. “They wanted to play in the Gryffindor and Slytherin Quidditch match. I made them a deal. They could take that day off detention, but they would owe me a week more.”
“They agreed to that?” asked Regulus Black.
“Yes, Mr. Potter and Black without hesitation Mr. Travers hesitated a little. Even Pettigrew and Lefevre agreed so they could cheer their team on.”
“At least those two were not disappointed,” crowed Professor McGonagall. “Gryffindor 290 and Skytherin 130, it was a marvelous game. Wouldn’t you say so Horace?”
“Ah Minerva, always so proud when your house wins a Quidditch match,” sighed the Head of Slytherin house. Regulus Black, the Slytherin seeker, looked as if he was going to spit fire at Professor McGonagall.
“Are they going to be at the school all day?” asked Regulus.
Harry thought it was a strange question coming from him. “They only need to complete a task and they are free to come to town.”
“What is that task?” asked Professor McGonagall.
“They need to clean all the loos in the school; the ones not in the houses.”
“That shouldn’t take this long,” stated Regulus.
“They were to do it without magic,” he stated. Regulus looked shocked, Professor McGonagall smiled, but Lily laughed aloud.
“I guess we won’t be seeing them today,” she said happily.
“I thought you would be disappointed,” Harry teased her.
“Why would I be disappointed?”
“Didn’t you and Mr. Potter…,” Harry never finished his statement as his mum cut him off.
“No, I don’t need Potter making my life miserable when I am meeting Mr. Ipacac.”
Harry smiled at her. He noticed that Professor McGonagall was also smiling. Horace Slughorn was too engrossed in eating another piece of crystalized pineapple to care. “When is that meeting?”
Lily looked at her Potions professor. “When did Mr. Ipacac say he was coming?”
“He will pop in when he gets a free moment. Do not worry, he will love you Miss Evans,” he said between licking his fingers.
The conversation quickly changed to medicinal Potions and what would be involved in the training. Harry noticed that his mum was getting more nervous as the time ticked away. She was defintely excited, but her nerves were also showing. Regulus kept staring up High Street towards the entrance to the school, while checking his watch. Every time he did this, Harry became increasingly worried if something was being planned for today with the Death Eaters.
Harry finished his tea and ordered more. The conversation now changed to other people’s choices of vocation. All the while Regulus became increasingly agitated. A clock in the pub struck one o’clock. Regulus started to fidget in his chair. It seemed like he didn’t know what to do. He suddenly sat up straight and pointed up High Street towards the school.
“There they are,” he nearly shouted.
The four Gryffindors and one Slytherin were walking towards Hogsmeade. They all looked exhausted. They had reached the intersection beside The Three Bromsticks, when Horace Travers turned and nearly ran up the intersecting street. The Gryffindors continued to walk towads the pub.
“I wonder where Mr. Travers is going?” asked Professor Slughorn.
“I’ll ask him,” said Regulus. He jumped out of his chair and ran out of the pub after the other Slytherin.
He threw the front door open and ran past his brother and friends. They ignored him and stepped into the pub.
“It is time to start the party. We are here,” shouted James Potter over the noise of the crowd.
Harry was smiling at his father’s bold action. He had named his son correctly. He could see James Sirius doing the same thing. At his side, his mum moaned and placed her hand over her forehead as if she had just developed a massive headache.
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“Can any of you see her?” asked James Potter as he stepped into The Three Broomsticks.
Teddy was looking around for Lily Evans, but Sirius found her first.
“There she is. She is standing with the Slug Club and Professor James. I think you are right mate, you are growing on her.”
Teddy saw her and she was holding her hand over her face acting embarrassed by what James had just done. “Are you sure?” he asked Sirius.
Sirius turned and looked at him. He smiled a roguish smile. “I know birds mate. If James here didn’t mean anything to her, then she wouldn’t be embarrassed.”
“She would just glare at me like she always did in the past. Let’s find Remus and get something to drink.”
“I’ll order the drinks,” stated Sirius.
“There’s Moo…, Ouch!” yelled Peter. James had punched his shoulder when he almost said Moony. Evidently they still didn’t trust him completely.
“Hey Remus, we’re coming over,” shouted James over the crowd noise.
The four of them wove around tables and patrons trying to get to the booth that Remus had saved. He was looking rather peaky. The full moon was four days ago, and he was still recovering. Remus slid to the outer wall and Teddy was able to slide in the booth across from him. Peter squeezed in beside Teddy, and James was on the other side of Peter. Sirius sat down and gave Remus a big hug.
“Thanks for saving our booth mate,” said Sirius. “Oh waitress, Zoey, I am here,” he called out. He was looking smugly at everyone else as he waved his hand in the air. “We are having Firewhiskey, mates. Of course if Theofrank would prefer Pumpkin juice…”
“Firewhiskey is fine,” replied Teddy.
“Zoey, where are you?” he called out again.
“She ain’t ‘ere,” said Ray. She appeared beside Sirius.
“I always have Zoey wait on us. We give her big tips,” he said suggestively.
“Oh, you must be the bloke that got her fired. I was told that she was caught giving students Firewhiskey. Evidently one of them were chatting her up and possibly beyond,” said Ray with venom.
Sirius stared at her dumbfounded. The rest of the Marauders were also silent. Teddy was digging his nails into his leg under the table to keep from laughing. Zoey had quit her job, because she finally got hired in the magical transportation department at the Ministry. He was wondering how she knew about the Firewhiskey.
“So what will you blokes want, Pumpkin Juice?” she asked.
“No, Butterbeer will be fine,” said Teddy quickly. The others still seemed to be in shock.
“’ow about you. You want any more tea?” she asked Remus.
“No I will have a Butterbeer.”
“All right now, I’ll be back with yer drinks.”
Sirius watched as Ray walked away. Teddy couldn’t be sure if he was still in shock or if he was watching Ray’s arse. Teddy had to restrain the desire to stand up for his trainee.
“I got her fired,” said Sirius in disbelief. “I never intended to do that.”
“You didn’t force her to give us Firewhiskey last year,” consoled Remus. “I didn’t think you even had to try that hard to persuade her.”
Sirius’ attitude suddenly changed. “It is a stupid rule that students aren’t allowed Firewhiskey on Hogsmeade weekends. Any other time of year I can come in here and have one.”
“Or more,” added James with a laugh.
“I will have to have a talk with Madam Rosmerta about this. It isn’t right that she got fired,” stated Sirius loudly.
“What do you want to talk to me about?” asked Madam Rosemerta. She always made it a custom to talk to all the patrons on Hogsmeade days, even when Teddy goes to school many years in the future.
“I think it was wrong for you to fire Zoey…”
“I didn’t fire Zoey. She got hired at the Ministry. She is working in the Department of Magical Transportation,” she said looking at him confused. “You boys shouldn’t believe such rumors. Zoey and I are still friends. She comes in here about once a week.”
Sirius looked at her and smiled. “Oh, I guess I was wrong. Sorry for the confusion.”
“It’s all right. Now you boys have fun, but not too much,” she said playfully.
Everyone laughed as she walked to another table. Sirius leaned in to the middle of the table. Everyone else leaned in to hear what he was going to say.
“That waitress took the mickey out of me. Can you believe it,” he whispered in disgust.
“That she did mate, but she was good at it,” laughed James.
“She had me completely believing everything she said.”
“Looks like you finally met your match,” laughed Remus.
“I need to get revenge,” he whispered. “What can I do…”
“’ere’s yer Butterbeers,” Ray said loudly making Sirius jump. She was smiling at him. “Goin’ ta get me back are ya?”
Sirius stared at her for several seconds. Ray was smiling at him with her devil may care smile. After what seemed like a long time he finally said something. “Do you date students?”
Everyone else at the table looked at him in shock. They never expected him to ask that. Ray laughed out loud at him. “No, I am not looking for anything like that, and definitely not with students, who are probably underage.”
“I will be of age before the year is out. Maybe in the spring, it doesn’t have to be a Hogsmeade weekend. That would make it all the more fun,” he said while trying to flirt with Ray.
“No, I will be back when ya need a refill. I was to tell ya that this first round is on the Professor over there,” she said while pointing at Harry.
He looked at them and raised his teacup to them for a toast. Everyone at the table raised their Butterbeer in return.
“He isn’t such a bad Professor,” stated Remus.
“Oh he seems to know his subject. I suppose if you don’t count the fact that I have had detention nearly every day this year with him, he is a right fine bloke,” stated James sardonically.
Teddy laughed at his comment. Sirius and James started to talk to each other in whispers. Teddy looked over at his father. It seemed so strange to sit and have a butterbeer with your sixteen year-old father on a Hogsmeade weekend.
“How was detention?” Remus asked him. “Get all the loos scrubbed clean?”
“Oui, I thought my arms were going to fall off,” Teddy told his father. The truth is Harry and Ginny had always used Muggle house cleaning as a form of punishment. He was used to scrubbing and cleaning for hours.
“I noticed when you all came in,” Remus responded.
“It seems an exercise in futility considering what ze people are going to do to those sparkling white pieces of porcelain.”
Remus and Peter, who was listening to the conversation, nearly choked on their drinks. The three of them started up a conversation about the various Professors. They talked until Teddy finished his Butterbeer.
“I need another,” he announced.
“I’ll get it,” said James standing up. He straightened his robes and stared at Lily Evans who was talking to Professor James or Professor McGonagall.
He didn’t take two steps before two girls intercepted him. Teddy strained to hear what they were saying.
“Going to see Lily, James,” asked Francine. She was smiling like she knew a secret. “Didn’t you have a date with her today?”
“I was going over there to start it up,” he replied a little annoyed at the interruption.
“I think Lily is already on a date with Professor James,” sneered Cassie. “They were even holding hands earlier.”
This last statement caught James by surprise. He seemed to look at Cassie, then Francine, and finally over to the table where Professor James and Lily were standing and talking.
“They walked in together. He has been by her side all day. Isn’t it a coincidence that he was the one that gave you detention today,” said Francine with emphasis.
James looked shaken. Teddy had never seen him like this before. He actually appeared unsure what to do. Teddy didn’t like what these girls were trying to do. It was obvious that Francine fancied James. They were probably trying to break up the two. Teddy had to say something.
“I am sure zat eet ees all wrong. Lily would never do zat,” Teddy said out loud to the two girls. They looked at him like he was vermin.
“Whatever, you judge for yourself, James,” said Cassie. “Remember, there are other women around beside her.”
The two girls walked away leaving James standing unsure what to do. He sat down and looked at Remus.
“You were here the entire time, Remus. What did you see?”
“They came in together, but they have just been talking and laughing with the Professors and the Slug Club,” replied Remus.
“Did you see them holding hands?” James asked with urgency.
“I don’t know what I saw. I wasn’t watching them every second. Lily seemed to lay her hand on his for a second. It didn’t look like a boyfriend/girlfriend. It looked more like she was consoling him or something. I think Theofrank is right. Lily would never date a Professor. Don’t forget mate that Francine has been after you this year. Cassie has made it quite obvious that she wants that Professor as her plaything. You should consider the source, mate”
James seemed to relax after Remus spoke. “Thanks that makes sense now.”
Everyone looked to where the sound came from. There was a patron holding his head while Ray was holding a bent tray and glaring daggers at the patron.
“I told I’d ‘it ya with the tray if ya couldn’t keep your slimey ‘ands off me,” yelled Ray at the man.
He was rubbing his head and when he pulled his hand away Teddy could see blood on it. He reached inside of his robes, but Ray had her wand drawn and in his face before he could pull his wand.
“Out!” shouted Madam Rosmerta, she was weaving he way through the tables to Ray and this man. “I have warned you. Ray has warned you. Yet, you still won’t leave her alone. Get out this instant and don’t come back.”
The matrons voice echoed thought the pub. Everyone was silent watching and listening. The man grumbled something to Ray as he stood up. She just smiled at him and said something in return. Teddy guessed she returned the threat he had said. As the man turned around, his nose became visible. It was now laying against the left cheek, giving his face the looks of an abstract portrait.
Sirius let out a low whistle at the sight of the old man. It was then that Teddy noticed that Sirius had pulled his wand and appeared ready to step into a fight between Ray and the bloke.
Teddy turned attention back to Ray. With a flick of her wand she straightened the tray and appeared to whisper an apology to Madam Rosmerta. The matron patted Ray on the shoulder before turning and talking merrily to someone at another table.
“You want to snog that?” asked Remus.
“I would like to do more than that, mate,” said Sirius while wagging his eye brows.
“You know how dangerous that would be? She could kick your arse.”
“Remus, have I ever been one to avoid dangerous situations,” he said with hidden meaning. “Besides, the danger is the biggest turn on.”
Sirius looked again at Ray. Teddy was sure he was watching her arse as she walked around the pub. He immediately wanted to hex him, but knew he couldn’t.
Sirius pulled his gaze from Ray for a minute to speak to Remus again. “The danger is definitely a turn on, and do you see how fit that vixen is?”
Remus shook his head at Sirius’ comment. He opened his mouth to say something, but a voice interrupted him. It boomed through the pub. It was definitely spelled with a Sonorus Charm.
“THE DARK LORD IS COMING. YOU HAVE BEEN TOLD LIES!”
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