“Not if you are careful. No one will see you,” countered Cassie.
Lily looked out of the corner of her eye at the two Gryffindor girls. They were plotting something, and it wasn’t difficult to imagine that it involved Cockroach Clusters, Love Potions, and Professor James.
“Then you do it,” insisted Francine.
“I can’t. It will be too obvious it was me that gave him a love potion,” whispered Cassie.
Lily tried to suppress it, but the laugh escaped causing the arguing girls to look at her.
“Let’s move a little further away Francine,” said Cassie, as she glared at Lily.
Lily smiled to herself as she ate her sausages and eggs. Normally she ate a light breakfast, but she didn’t get to eat last night because she was in the library. This morning she was making up for it. As she stuffed her mouth full, she felt him near her. She can tell when he was near. It is like a personal Potter-early-warning system. She chewed her mouthful of sausage slowly as she looked up slightly to see Remus and Peter walking in front of her. That meant Potter was behind her.
She braced herself for an arm around the shoulder and some unwanted comment in her ear. It never came. Potter and his friends walked past her and sat down. It felt strange, but she was actually disappointed that he didn’t say anything to her.
Glancing over his way, she could see his back turned towards her. It felt like an internal betrayal. There was no way that she could actual start liking all the attention that James has given her in the past. However, she had become so used to it that now she almost missed it. She went back to eating her large breakfast. The only other thing that caught her eye was Cassie making a quick exit from the great hall. She looked at Francine and saw apprehension written all over her face.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Lily stood in line outside of the Defense classroom. She was near the front of the queue, but Francine was several students in front of her. Francine was rocking back and forth on her feet nervously. Lily wanted to see if she was right about Cassie and Francine’s plans.
Professor James opened the door and everyone rushed inside. Francine was out in front of everyone. Lily watched as she took a looping route to her normal seat. She accidently bumped into the Professor’s desk, before turning and sitting in the second seat back.
Upon sitting down, Francine released a loud breath as though she just came up from swimming under water for a distance. She visibly relaxed and leaned back into her seat as she took out her homework and laid it on her desk.
After taking her eyes off Francine, Lily noticed someone else in the room. Ray was sitting in the far corner staring at Francine with a smile on her dark lips. Where she was located at, students might not notice her because she was in the shadows of the corner. Lily actually noticed her face in the shadows. She had no doubt that Ray saw Francine place something on the Professor’s desk. Lily sat down, took her parchment out, and waited for the class to begin.
Professor James ran his class differently from all the other Professors. He never asked for you to hand in homework. The class started with an open discussion about the homework assignment. She was sure many duffers would use that to skive off homework, but they would regret it when he gave exams. He gave some of the hardest exams she ever took. The only good thing about them was they stuck to classroom discussions and highlights.
More students entered the classroom and took their seats. Lily was starting to wonder where Cassie was. She had evidently planned something for today. It wouldn’t do for her to miss class, unless she was hoping to catch the Professor alone with a reason to talk to him “privately”.
The voice of James Potter interrupted her thoughts. It was only a whisper, but she heard it above all the other voices.
“Sirius, look who is over there.”
“Blimey, what is she doing here?” asked an excited Sirius Black.
Lily knew they were talking about Ray. She was asking herself why Ray was here. Professor James had proven that he was more than capable of teaching and instructing the class by himself. The noise level lessened as the students all took their places. Finally, Professor James closed the door to the hallway and walked towards the front of the class. He grabbed his class listing off the desk and hesitated for a second before picking up the Cockroach Clusters on his desk.
“A treat from someone,” he said to the class. “Thank you.”
He placed the confection back down on the desk and started to take roll. He stopped as he looked at the seat that Cassie normally sat in.
“Has anyone seen Cassandra Goshawk today?”
“She should be along. She was having trouble picking out clothes,” stated Francine.
Almost on cue, the door to the classroom opened and in strutted Cassie. She was wearing her robes open. She had the tightest fitting and shortest dress Lily had ever seen on someone. She had difficulty walking on the stone floor with her high stilletto heels.
“I am sorry that I am late,” apologized Cassie. “I couldn’t find anything to wear.”
“So you wore nothing,” stated a girl in the room. Lily didn’t recognoze the voice, but that didn’t stop her from laughing at how ridiculous Cassie looked. Most of the class laughed too.
“Silence,” said Professor James to the class. Lily could see him trying not to laugh. “Cassandra Goshawk, you have cost Gryffindor House five points.”
Cassie walked up to him and put on a face for the Professor. She might have thought it was seductive or suggestive, but it looked just stupid to Lily.
“Is there anyway I could make up for those points Professor?”
“Yes, study, you may take your seat.” Professor James turned and walked around the other side of the desk from her. It appeared that he didn’t want to chance making contact with her.
As Cassie walked to her seat, she looked down at the Professor’s desk. She must have seen the Cockroach Clusters there, because she flashed a smile at Francine. Lily wanted to laugh at their antics. Cassie sat down at her normal seat in the front. She didn’t even have her homework with her. She shifted her weight trying to find a pose that she thought the Professor might like.
Professor James ignored her as he took role. He stopped again.
“Has anyone seen Horace Travers?” He waited, but no one responded. “If he doesn’t show up by the end of class I will be contacting Professor Slughorn about his absence.”
Lily tried to remember if she had seen Horace since Saturday. She told the Headmaster about him being stuck in the chimney, but she never heard if they found him.
“I need to talk to everyone before we start our lesson,” stated Professor James. There was something about the tone of his voice. He sounded almost angry.
“This past Saturday…”
Lily took a deep breath. Was he going to talk about the attack on Hogsmeade?
“…I had a meeting with the Headmaster and a representative from the Hogwarts Board of Governors. It appears that there have been complaints filed with the Board of Governors about me.”
He picked up the Cockroach Cluster in his hand, before he started talking again.
“It appears that some of the students in the school are uncomfortable with me getting too close to the student population. I should correct myself; they feel that I am getting too close to the female student population.”
He tossed the candy in his hand a couple of times. It even looked as if he was going to eat it, but he laid it down on the back corner of his desk. He walked around and leaned back against the desk in front of her.
“I have never intentionally or from my knowledge unintentionally made inappropriate contact with any of the females in this school. The Board of Governors, however, doesn’t believe me. I am forced to take on an assistant to help me with the females of the classes. I will still lead the class, and lecture, but she will be assissting the females with the proper technique during the practical lessons.
“I would like to introduce to you, Ray. You will all call her Professor Ray,” he said as he motioned to the corner where she had been sitting quietly.
Some of the students gasped when she stood up. Evidently they hadn’t noticed her before. Ray walked up and stood beside Professor James.
“Some of you may remember her from The Three Broomsticks. I needed to find someone in a hurry. She is qualified for the assistant’s position. In addition we will be spending a great deal of time together working on proper wand movements and techiques.”
Someone from the back of the room snorted at the last comment. Lily wondered if he had intended on making sound as if the were going to be shagging.
“Your education will not be compromised by this latest unfortunate development,” he assured everyone. “Professor Ray, do you want to say something?”
She looked at everyone. “No, I’m good.”
“All right then, let’s start on today’s homework…” stated Professor James.
Lily only half listened as the class started discussing the varying things one could use for the “Duro” Charm concerning defense. Professor Ray sauntered back to her corner. When she passed the back corner of the desk she knicked the Cockroach Cluster.
Cassie and Francine both gasped when she picked up the candy.
Over the next thirty minutes, Professor James continued the open discussion of possible uses of the assigned Charms for Defense, while Professor Ray sat in the corner and ate the Cockroach Clusters. Lily was having a difficult time controlling her laughter as Cassie kept squirming in her seat trying to cover herself up.
Professor Ray sat in the corner with a large smile on her face and her cheeks were slightly flushed. Zonko’s was actually quite intelligent at using a Calming Draught and Pepper-up Potions instead of actual love potions. Love Potions would be illegal to sell to students. The other two would not be.
Professor James announced that it was time for practical reviews. The sound of chairs scraping across the stone floor filled the room.
“Ladies on this side of the room with Professor Ray; I will work with the men over there,” he shouted over the din.
Lily stood and tried to stay close to Cassie. She wanted to see what Professor Ray was going to do to her. The new Assistant Professor could be heard organizing the girls into lines for the practical. She had a stern voice that no one questioned. When she reached Cassie though, her voice softened considerably.
“Hi,” Professor Ray said softly and gently. “Nice dress, if there is anything I can do for you let me know.” She touched Cassie shoulder and smiled a wide warm smile at her.
What happened next would stick in Lily’s mind forever, Cassie let out a loud squeek before trying to run to the door to leave. She couldn’t run in those ridiculous heels she was wearing. Professor Ray walked besides her telling her she should not leave. When Cassie tried to open the door, Professor Ray stopped it from opening with her hand.
“I need to leave. I need to go to the infirmary. I don’t feel well,” exclaimed Cassie. Panic was evident in her voice.
“I can walk you there,” replied the Professor sweetly. “We can set up private tutoring sessions so you don’t fall behind in the class.”
“No!” shouted Cassie as the color faded from her face. She shoved Ray out of the way as she ran out of the classroom.
Ray returned to the other students. She even wore a dejected look on her face, until she passed by Francine. It was then she showed a slight smile and winked at Lily.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Harry and Ray were walking to the Headmasters office. They were trying to keep from laughing about the morning’s class. Harry had been able to watch as Cassie ran from Ray. She actually believed that Ray had ingested a love potion. He couldn’t laugh during class or the students would have realized that they had pranked Cassie. It would be difficult to keep that class in line after that revelation.
They had already passed the gargoyles guarding the entrance to the Headmaster’s quarters. They were now ascending the spiral staircase.
“What would you have done if Cassie was bisexual?” he asked Ray.
She looked at him for a second before responding. “You knew she wasn’t, right.”
“I didn’t think she was,” answered Harry. He looked up at the top of the stairs to hide his smile.
“You didn’t think she was,” growled Ray. “Look I am not like that. It wouldn’t have been funny. In fact it would have become down right awkward.”
Harry glanced at her out of the corner of his eye. She was glaring at him.
“You would also be known as Raisin Potter after I got done with you. Of course I will apologize to Ginny, but you would deserve it.”
Harry looked puzzled at her comment about Raisin Potter.
“I am very good at Shrinking Charms.”
Harry grimaced as he realized what she was talking about shrinking. The stairs stopped moving and they were facing the large oak doors leading to the Headmasters office. After knocking and waiting to be told to enter, they pushed the oak door open.
The Headmaster was sitting behind his desk and Alastor Moody was sitting in a seat beside the desk. They both looked rather grim. There were three empty chairs in front of the Headmasters desk. Without speaking, Harry and Ray sat down in front of the desk.
“Where’s your third?” asked Alastor of Harry and Ray.
“Theodore should be along soon, Alastor,” responded The Headmaster.
“He will?” questioned Harry.
“I sent a note to him to meet me up here,” stated the Headmaster.
“Well, I guess we will have to wait it out,” said Harry.
They sat there quietly for what seemed like an eternity for Harry. It was only about fifteen minutes, before the office door opened and Teddy Lupin walked in. He looked and saw Alastor Moody and then looked at Harry. Harry knew he was being watched so he didn’t say or signal anything to Teddy.
“Sorry, I am late. Some of the students wanted to know what I did now, and if I would be getting sent back to France,” laughed Teddy. “I told them I hope I don’t get sent back to France, since I was expelled from Beauxbatons.”
Harry laughed at his comment. “I imagine that earned you some respect.”
“Most definitely, they almost trust me. I still have a way to go before the completely trust me,” said Teddy.
“We can discuss dormitory politics some other time,” growled Moody. “I am on a time table. All right, here is what we got. The boy you want me to find, Horace Travers, is missing. Here is where it gets dicer, I went to his parent’s home. It had been invaded…”
“Invaded?” questioned Harry.
“Yes. Invaded. The outside doors had been blasted back into the building, and most of the windows had also been blasted back into the building. The interior was an absolute mess. Blast and curse marks everywhere, and no sign of the family.
“It is possible they became a victim of Voldemort. We had several young men turn themselves in in the past two days. It appears that Voldemort is using threats and torture to find out who ordered the march into Hogsmeade. If this bloke had any ties with the Death Eaters. His life could end rather suddenly and painfully.
“Voldemort has been taking random subjects and questioning them. He had said that he plans to kill whoever was responsible for the attack on Hogmeade.” The Auror looked at them thoughtfully for a few seconds. “Maybe they already discovered who it was, and are dealing with it.”
Harry shuddered as he thought what might be happening to the family. He actually cared a little for Horace’s family, but what Horace got as punishment was well deserved. He voluntarily joined the Death Eaters and he had tortured Harry’s mum. He deserved to be punished harshly.
“It looks as if Horace is out of the way,” stated Harry. “Do you have anything else, Alastor?”
The Auror mumbled something under his breath, before speaking out. “Yes, did you get a chance to read the Prophet yesterday? Barty Crouch doesn’t have Dragon Pox. It was a cover story to cover up his strange actions of late. He appeared Sunday morning in his office with his hair all cut crooked and no memory of what happened over the last four weeks.”
“It looks like our suspects got out fast before they could get caught,” stated Teddy. “Were you able to find any clues of where they were going from Crouch’s house?”
“What are you talking about?” snapped Moody.
“You did search Barty Crouch’s home for clues, didn’t you?”
Alastor Moody leaned forward and glared at Teddy. “I don’t know who you think you are or what you are used to doing. Here, we don’t go snooping around in someone’s house without reason. No one realizes that Barty Crouch has been doing anything strange. No one has a memory of him over the past four weeks. Whoever these blokes are, they are good at covering their tracks.
“I can’t go into Barty’s house unless he allows me entrance or in my case, I suspect him or one of his household to be practicing Dark Magic. That is not very likely. If you knew the influence that Barty Crouch has in the Ministry, you would not make such stupid and outlandish claims. Go into Barty Crouch’s home and search it. Hah! I would be fired before the sun set, unless I found something myself. Good day, Albus, you three best of luck to you. You will need it to catch these ghosts.”
The Auror stood up and walked out of the room.
“Bloody Hell, Harry! What did I say?” exclaimed Teddy, after Alastor Moody had closed the door.
The frustration of the tongue lashing that he received from Moody had set Teddy on edge. Harry could see it as plain as day. Teddy was getting edgy about something.
“Things are different here, Teddy. Some people are above reproach. We must be very careful what we say or do,” warned Harry.
“If we lose track of them, we will be back to where we were this summer,” warned Teddy, as he sat back in his chair. “We can’t wait here forever, Harry. Eventually we will make a mistake that will cost us everything.”
“I understand your concern, but we are here until the end of the school year anyway. We need to refocus on how to locate these people,” stated Harry. He had a plan in mind, but he didn’t want to pull Teddy to execute it.
“Headmaster, are the Order of Phoenix still available to help us?”
“What do you need, Harry?”
“I would like to have people ask around in the Apothecaries and various dodgy locations for anyone buying Polyjuice or the ingredients to make it. We could circulate the pictures.”
“How would that help us?”
“I am hoping that they have been frequenting the same location for their purchases. If we can set up surviellance on the store, then we might be able to find them.”
“That is a pretty long shot, sir,” stated Ray.
“I realize that,” sighed Harry. “Anyone have a better idea?” When no one answered, he started talking again.
“Headmaster, could we get a listing of all trainees or relatively new employee’s in the magical reversal squad?”
“I suppose, but it might take time. Can you tell me why?”
“I have a hunch that the third person we are looking for worked in that department Obliviating people. It may help us in our search.”
“What are you planning to do if we capture these two before the end of the school year?” asked the Headmaster.
“I was hoping that we could secure them in the castle until we were ready to return home. I could set up a secure location where they couldn’t escape all we would need to do is feed them.”
“I don’t want to endanger any of our students,” stressed the Headmaster. “I don’t like the fact that Horace disappeared. I do not want any more students to get hurt by you being here.”
“Trust me, I don’t want that either,” retorted Harry. He found himself sitting on the edge of his chair glaring at the Headmaster. He was extremely offended that the Headmaster would even consider him to be cavalier about students getting hurt. “I agree with Teddy. We are walking a fine line being in this time period. If we make a misstep the future may be compromised. Call me selfish Professor Dumbledore, but I want Tom Riddle dead and my wife and children the same in the future.”
“We will not solve anything by arguing,” stated Ray. Her voice was firm, and yet supportive.
Harry didn’t feel chastised at all by her comment. He sat back in the chair and Dumbledore also seemed to relax. “Teddy has been given detention for not returning from the Hogsmeade day.”
“Ah yes, I remember the memo flying by my desk,” stated Professor Dumbledore. “It was to last until the next Hogmeade day in December.”
“Then he will receive another detention to last until he finishes working on the Time Turner,” stated Harry.
“Why am I the only one working on the Time Turner?”
“You are not. You are the only one that needs to get detention to work on it,” replied Harry.
“Indeed, you may have been working on the actual machine, but I have been reading over all the research,” stated the Headmaster. He reached down and opened a lower drawer of his desk and levitated the pile of scrolls onto his desk. “I will keep these scrolls for now. I haven’t had the time to read through them. The others you may take with you. I have written notes on them in purple ink.
“I wish I could be of more help to you, but there are reagents that I am unfamiliar with, calculations that are beyond my knowledge of Arithmancy, and there is also the ticklish problem of where do we activate the Time Turner. It will appear in the exact same location as it left.”
Harry stared at the Headmaster. He felt deflated over how much work was left before the thing could work. He needed to get out of this time period. He wanted to go back to his own time period. He wanted to hold Ginny at night not some pillow.
“Well,” huffed Teddy as he stood up. He gathered up many of the scrolls under his one arm leaving Harry and Ray to take the rest. "I would like to get back to dinner before it is over. It looks as if I have a lot of research to do tonight. What do you want me to tell everyone about detention tonight?”
Harry thought about it for a while. He wasn’t sure what he could say to justify for Teddy being in Harry’s personal quarters until late at night. It suddenly occurred to him.
“I’ll have you grade the first and second year’s papers,” Harry happily said. His idea was met with a groan from Teddy and laughter from Ray and the Headmaster.
[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]
Three hours later found them in Harry’s personal quarters each one had one scroll in their hand and a large pile of scrolls sitting on his desk. They each were reading and writing notes on parchment in their lap. They never made it to dinner.
Teddy’s stomach let out a loud grumble. It was answered by Ray’s stomach also letting everyone in the room know she had also missed dinner. Harry’s stomach lurched for a second before grumbling. He looked at the other two.
“When our stomachs start calling each other and complaining, we need to take a break and get something to eat,” stated Harry, as he set aside the scroll he was reading. He stood up, stretched, and stared at his research team. “Well, are you going to dinner with me?”
“Do the Professors have a special dining room? I always thought that when you didn’t get the meal, then you would starve,” stated Ray.
“All you need to do is tickle a pear,” he teased them.
“What do you mean tickle a pear?” questioned Teddy.
Harry stared at Teddy. “You have never been to the kitchens?”
“No, that was off limits to us.”
“No, sir,” she replied.
“You two are in for a treat. Teddy, you will need to wear my Cloak. It wouldn’t look very professional to take you to the kitchens while you are serving detention.”
Harry walked over to his desk and opened a drawer and pulled the silvery Invisibility Cloak out. He handed it to Teddy who draped it over him.
“All right everyone ready?” asked Harry. Ray nodded affirmatively, but there was no response from Teddy.
“Tell me you didn’t nod your head Theodore,” asked a dismayed Harry.
“Oh bloody hell, yes, I am ready,” he huffed from under the cloak.
Harry opened the door to his office and started walking towards the portrait of fruit in the corridor below the great hall. It took them almost ten minutes to reach the portrait. Once there Harry tickled the pear, it giggled before Harry pulled the painting open. The noise and bustling of House Elves greeted them. Harry told Teddy to enter then Ray. He stepped through the portrait hole closing the painting behind him.
The entire scene tugged at his heart. It has been twenty-four years since Dobby died, but seeing these kitchens always reminded him of the overly-energetic House Elf.
“Harry is everything all right?” asked a concerned Teddy. He had taken off the Cloak and was now visible. “The Elfes want to know what we want to eat. Ray and I are going to have pumpkin juice and sandwiches. Do you want anything different?”
“No that will be fine,” he said half-heartedly.
“What is wrong, sir?”
Harry looked at Ray. “I thought you were going to call me Harry from now on?”
“Sorry, Harry,” she said just loud enough for him to hear.
“Yeah, what is wrong,” asked Teddy
“Every time I think of this place I think of Dobby,” said Harry respectfully. “He would often come running to serve me special.”
“He was the House Elf that Mrs. Granger-Weasley named the legislation after,” stated Ray.
“Yeah, he saved our lives and died because of it,” stated Harry harshly. He was feeling a little frayed around the edges. Dobby was one of the death’s that started him wondering if he was even half as good as some say, or was he just lucky to have so many dedicated and self-sacrificing people around.
No one said anything until the House Elf brought them a tray of sandwiches, pitcher of Pumpkin Juice, and plates and glasses. They all took several sandwiches each and poured themselves some Pumpkin Juice. They drained the glasses and ate the first plate full of sandwiches. They refilled their glasses and plates before anyone spoke.
“I am a little bit concerned about staying here until the school year is out,” stated Teddy. He leaned forward towards Harry. “I think your Dad is working on the Marauders’ Map.”
Harry realized that once his dad perfected the Marauders’ Map. Their identities would be exposed on the map. His little story about being from Australia would be shot.
“I realize what you are concerned about, Teddy,” stated Harry. “There is nothing we can do about it. We are locked here until the end of term.”
“Why are you so concerned about the map?” asked Ray.
Harry gave her a strange look. Certainly she had seen the map already.
“Well, Ray, the map…,” Teddy stopped talking and smiled a crooked smile at Ray. He stood up threw the cloak over his shoulders. A second after he vanished the portrait swung open without anyone in the hole.
“Harry what made him do that?” asked a puzzled Ray.
“I am not sure. He was just going to tell you about the map’s ability to…,” Harry stopped talking when he realized that with the map Teddy can finally discover what her actual name was. He swallowed hard as he realized that Ray was going to explode. “The map names everyone with their actual name regardless of what name they are presently using. Teddy always appeared on it as Teddy Lupin, instead of Theodore Lefevre.
Ray didn’t say anything. She stood up and ran out of the kitchen. Harry hesitated for a second, but he wanted to see the reaction when Teddy finally discovered Ray’s actual name. He ran as fast as he could to just keep up with the younger Auror. He was panting heavily and he had a stitch in his side. He saw Ray open his living quarter’s door. She stopped in the doorway as Teddy’s laughter echoed from the room.
“Welcome Sunshine Moon Ray,” shouted Teddy.
Ray pulled her wand. “You bastard,” she screamed before firing off a spell at him.
Harry yelled at them, but he could hear a battle taking place in his living quarters. He just hoped that he would have some place to sleep tonight.