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Lily's Defender by Snapegirl
Chapter 32 : Crime and Punishment
 
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 6


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Chapter 32

Crime and Punishment

By Alethea27

A/N: In answer to Bluerayseverus' question. I took Alice's last name from Beatle Ringo Starr whose legal name is Richard Starkey.

Severus and his grandparents Apparated to Spinner's End at ten o'clock in the morning on December 27th.

Lily was waiting with her parents and Petunia who wore her new cashmere sweater with a pair of tan slacks. Lily was wearing the new bra her mum had just bought her for the first time and felt a bit self-conscious. As soon as the Princes Apparated in, she ran over and gave Severus such a big hug that she almost knocked him over. "Sev, I missed you so much, not seeing you every day!"

Severus blushed slightly, but said softly, "I missed you too, Lily, and I'm so glad you're coming to Mirrorvale again."

Paul shook hands with Marius. "Good to see you again, Marius. I hope you had a good Christmas."

"It was a very good one, Paul," Marius answered. "I enjoyed our tea and I hope we can do it again."

"The next time we'll be at King's Crossing will be when the kids come home at Easter so perhaps we can do it then," Paul answered.

Cinthy gave Vesper a hug as she had always given Eileen one. "Lily's been so excited about visiting Sev. Thank you for having her."

"You're welcome, Hyacinth. Sev's been talking about nothing else, but Lily visiting and Marius and I are so happy to have her visit us again."

Lily gave her parents a hug while Marius shrank her suitcase and owl cage and placed them in his pocket. Lily had already sent Guinevere ahead.

"That's a very nice sweater you're wearing, Petunia," Vesper complimented her. "And the color looks lovely on you."

"Thank you, Lady Prince," Petunia said with a slight curtsey. She knew from hearing her parents talk that they were some kind of wizarding royalty.

"No need for that, child," Vesper said with a wave of her hand. "I'm simply Vesper."

Petunia was surprised. She couldn't imagine any of the British royalty requesting that she just call them Elizabeth or Philip.

"Goodbye, Tuney. I'll see you on the 31st, okay?" Lily said giving her a hug.

"Okay. Have a nice time, Lily."

"Thanks, Tuney!" Lily called as she went to stand next to Vesper and took hold of her arm. Vesper turned on her heel and after the uncomfortable feeling of being shoved through a too small tube they were suddenly at the front gates of Mirrorvale. Leif and Conor were waiting to let them in. Marius and Severus apparated a few seconds after Vesper and Lily. "Beat me again, my dear," Marius joked.

"Welcome back to Mirrorvale, Lily," Severus said.

"Mr. Andrews and his son arrived a few moments ago and I escorted them to the drawing room," Conor said.

"Good," Marius said with a nod of his head. "Shall we go in and greet our other guests?"

"I'll ask Mitzi to bring some tea and snacks," Vesper decided as they went inside.

David Andrews and Dorian were waiting in the drawing room and both rose to their feet as the Princes, Severus, and Lily walked. It was obvious which of his parents Dorian took after. He looked like a younger version of his father.

Dorian smiled widely as he saw Severus and Lily. "Hey guys, I'd like you to meet my dad, David Andrews. Dad, these are my two best friends, Severus Snape and Lily Evans."

"It's wonderful to meet you, Mr. Andrews," Lily said shyly. "We've heard a lot about you from Dorian."

"I hope he only told you the good stuff," Mr. Andrews joked, shaking Lily's hand.

"I told them about how you and mum met," Dorian replied with a grin.

"Ah yes! A most fortuitous event."

"I'm happy to meet you, sir," Severus said offering his hand.

"Yes, Dorian has spoken of you often. He says you're quite the potions prodigy, Severus," Mr. Andrews said shaking Severus hand.

"My gran's taught me a lot," Severus replied modestly.

Mitzi popped in floating a big tray in front of her containing tea and snacks; small cakes, cookies, and finger sandwiches. She set the tray down and popped out again.

Vesper poured tea and handed the cups round and everybody helped themselves to the snacks. Dorian couldn't wait to hear more about the emerald heist, but knew he'd have to wait until they were alone to hear anything.

Mr. Andrews said goodbye to Dorian, saying he would see him on the morning of the 31st.

Severus showed Dorian up to his room. Arlo had already taken his luggage upstairs and unpacked for him as Mitzi had done for Lily.

They met in Severus' bedroom. "Okay so what was that article in the paper about those two guys stealing our emeralds?" Dorian asked.

"Grandpa remembered the name of a thief who was once caught by the goblins when he unlocked a display case in their jewelry store intent on stealing. He said the locks they use are similar to the ones on the hourglasses. He had Black Leif check out this Warty's associates and that's how he came upon Mundungus Fletcher. Black Leif turned over all the information he'd gathered to Bartemius Crouch, who's head of the Magical Law Enforcement department."

"So one or both of them were stealing the emeralds, but how did they get in?"

Severus smirked. "That's the best part. We suspect Potter and Black were either letting them in or had them hidden somewhere in the castle."

"If that's right Sev, how come nothing's happened to them?" Lily asked.

"Well, Grandpa's said he figures Mr. Crouch knows they've read the paper and have their alibis all lined up so he's probably letting them think they got away with it and then he's going to spring it on them when they're least expecting it."

"Yeah, that makes sense," Dorian agreed. "Catch them with their guards down."

"I wonder if they'll finally be expelled," Lily said.

"If not, they'd better be suspended for the rest of the year," Dorian stated. "Pothead's godfather won't be able to get him out of this one!"

Severus laughed. "And when Black's mum finds out about it; he probably won't be able to sit down for six months without a pillow."

"I take it they were stealing our emeralds because they were probably mad that we were in first place and Gryffindor's, no offense, Lily, in last place?"

"And whose fault is it we're in last place?" Lily said. "Those two gits lose us 20 points practically every class."

"That's what I think. Pothead's really stupid if he thought it would work."

"We already know that, Sev," Dorian pointed out.

They spent the rest of the time before lunch playing Exploding Snap and various other card games. Severus showed Dorian and Lily the notes from the potion book his mum had started writing. "I'd like to finish it, but it's a big project. Do you and Dorian want to help me with the writing and I can draw the plants and herbs for it?"

"That would be fantastic, Sev. We can make it a living memorial to Aunt Eileen," Lily said eagerly.

"I'll be glad to help with it too. Just let me know what you need me to do," Dorian added.

Severus rolled off his bed and went to the trunk at the foot of his bed. He'd almost forgotten their Christmas gifts! He lifted the lid and got out their gifts. He handed Lily hers and Dorian his. "Happy Christmas. I hope you like them."

Lily gasps as she opened her box and saw the framed picture of Ravenna. "Oh Sev! It's beautiful and I love it!" She gave Severus a tight hug. "Thank you! I'm going to take it back to school with me and hang it in my dorm room.

"You're welcome, Lily," Severus replied his face flushing a bit from Lily's hug.

"Now for your gift." She gave him the present her mum had wrapped for her.

Severus opened it and gasped in surprise as he saw the book she'd bought him. "I was just reading about this book in gran's potion magazine and thinking I'd wanted to read it. Thank you so much!" He opened the ornament with the Slytherin crest on it that she'd gotten him also. "Wow! I've never seen one of these before. Thanks so much!"

Lily beamed. "You're welcome, Sev."

Dorian tore off the paper from his present, opened the box, and took out the Dragon hide Quidditch gloves. "Merlin's beard, Sev! These are wicked! My old ones were falling apart so these arrived just in time. I can't wait to try them out. Maybe we can talk your grandpa into playing a two on two Quidditch match."

"We can certainly ask, but the snow's pretty deep outside so I don't know."

Sev and Lily opened Dorian's gifts and each had a new peacock quill and gift certificate to Fortescue's.

"Thanks so much, Dorian. Peacock quills are the best to write with," Severus said.

"And Fortescue's is my most favorite place in the whole world," Lily declared. "Thanks so much!"

"You're welcome," Dorian replied. "And thanks for the Quaffle ornament, Lily. My mum loves the way it flies around the tree."

"You're welcome, Dorian. It's got an unbreakable spell cast on it too."

"I wonder what Pothead got for Christmas, he said.

Severus snorted. "It's more of a question of what didn't he get, I think."

Dorian and Lily went back to their rooms to freshen up for lunch. They walked downstairs and Severus hung his ornament on the tree before they went into the dining room where Mitzi was just putting lunch on the table. Severus seated Lily and then sat down between her and Dorian. They had tuna and mayonnaise sandwiches, crisps and thick slices of cheddar cheese rounded off by apple slices baked in cinnamon and sugar.

After lunch, they went back into the drawing room where Vesper handed out the gifts for Lily and Dorian. Lily's eyes widened as she lifted the sea green dress robe out of the box. "It's beautiful, Vesper!" She held it up in front of her and turned to Severus. "Sev, what do you think?"

"I think you'll look beautiful in it, Lily," Severus said.

"Thank you, Sev," Lily replied blushing. She opened her other two gifts; Advanced Charms and the box of potion ingredients. She gave Vesper and Marius hugs. "Thank you so much for these gifts! I just love them!"

Dorian was pleased when he saw his three magazine subscriptions. He loved reading Transfiguration Today and Quidditch International featured articles about all the international teams. He was especially thrilled when he saw the subscription to Quidditch Illustrated.

"Now, young man I do not want to hear stories about you passing around the February issue of that magazine to your year mates," Vesper said jokingly waving her finger at Dorian.

"No, ma'am. Merlin's honor!" Dorian replied.

They decided to go out sledding for the rest of the afternoon and stayed out for two hours and came in with red faces and wet clothing. They went upstairs to get dry and change clothing and then came down where Vesper had hot chocolate and cookies waiting to warm them up.

"That was fun!" Dorian declared. "You have some great hills here to sled on."

"We don't have any hills to sled on at home," Lily said.

Dinner was Vesper's famed pineapple glazed ham that was so tender it practically melted in their mouths. Severus and Dorian wore good robes and Lily wore the dress she had gotten for Christmas. She blushed when she noticed Severus staring at her.

The next morning after breakfast the children worked out with Black Leif and Conor. Lily promised herself she would buy an arm holster for her wand when she got her birthday money next month.

They had talked Marius, Leif, and Conor into a three on three game of Quidditch with Marius, Leif, and Lily against Severus, Dorian and Conor. Vesper agreed to referee the match.

It was a hard fought match, but Severus' team finally won when Dorian caught the Snitch.

They went back inside and warmed up with hot chocolate and spice cookies that Mitzi had just taken out of the oven.

The next day three Hogwarts' owls arrived with their end of the semester grades. Severus eagerly tore open his. He had retained his Exceeds in Charms and Transfiguration, gotten Outstandings in Potions, Herbology, and Defense and was pleased to see he'd raised his Astronomy grade to an Exceeds. His only A was in History of Magic.

Lily had an Outstanding in Charms, Potions and Defense and Exceeds in Herbology and Transfiguration and A's in History of Magic and Astronomy.

"Well, this is much better than last year," Dorian commented. He gotten Outstandings in Transfiguration and Defense, Exceeds in Charms, Potions, and Herbology and A's in Astronomy and History of Magic.

They exchanged reports and then Severus gave his to Marius and Vesper to look over. "Excellent, Sev," Marius said. "We'll discount the A because I know how boring Professor Binns is. He was boring when Vesper and I were at Hogwarts and he was alive then."

"You make us so proud and I know Eileen and Toby would have been bursting with pride too," Vesper said giving Severus a hug.

The rest of the holiday passed quickly and soon it was the morning of the 31st and Dorian's father returned to take his son home again. "I'll see you guys on the train the day after tomorrow," He called.

"Okay, Dorian, we'll see you then," Severus called. They heard a sharp crack as Dorian and his dad Disapparated.

"Are you ready to go, Lily?" Vesper asked.

"Yes, ma'am," Lily replied. She had given everyone farewell hugs, even Leif and Conor, but she couldn't resist giving Severus one more big hug that left him flushing. "I'll see you on the train, Sev. Don't be late!" She took hold of Vesper's arm and once again experienced the feeling of being pulled through a too small tube. Once home again, she told her parents and Petunia all about her visit, showed them her report and then went upstairs to write a thank-you note to Marius, Vesper, and Severus for the wonderful time she'd had and the gifts she'd received.

New Years Day was spent with Cathy, Beth, and Alice. Lily had bought tickets to a Beatle movie festival for their Christmas presents. They saw A Hard Day's Night, Help, Magical Mystery Tour, and Let It Be. Cathy and Beth continued to tease Lily about Severus and both said they hoped they could meet him sometime.

Before she went to bed that night, Cinthy came into Lily's room. "I wanted to thank you for doing that for Petunia, but you probably shouldn't have used magic. What if it doesn't last?'

"Mum, Vesper did it for me and she told me she cast a permanent transfiguration spell on Tuney's sweater so it won't ever change. I just wanted something nice to happen for Tuney, Mum."

"I understand, Lily, and it was very sweet of you to do that for your sister." Cinthy replied giving her a kiss.

The next morning Paul and Cinthy drove Lily into London to catch the train back to school. This time Petunia wanted to come with them. At Kings Crossing she gave them all hugs. "I'll see you at Easter!" Lily called before she lined up her trolley, ran towards the barrier, and disappeared. Petunia looked at the barrier a bit wistfully.

Seeing her expression Paul suggested, "Why don't we look around London for a bit and have lunch before we go home."

"I think that's a capital idea, Mr. Evans," Cinthy replied giving him a kiss.

Lily saw the Hogwarts Express as soon as she came through the barrier on Platform 9¾. She looked around to see if she could spot any of her friends, but as always all the steam from the engine made it difficult to see. At last she spotted Caddaric and waved. He wheeled his trolley over to her with a big smile on his face. "Thanks so much for the cool Snitch ornament you gave me. My brothers loved it too and I had to keeping yelling at them to keep their mitts off of it."

"I loved the charmed puzzle you gave me. I still haven't figured it all out yet, but it's challenging."

Frank, Remus, and Peter appeared through the smoke and wheeled their trolley's over to Lily and Caddaric.

"Hi, guys," Frank called as he, Remus and Peter came over. They chatted for few moments and then decided they'd get on the train and save a compartment. Peter took Guinevere for Lily; she had decided to wait for Sev.

A few minutes later she saw Sev walking with Dorian and Tav and his grandparents walking behind them. She waved and they came over. Marius helped them get their trunk onto the train. Severus picked up Grey's carrier. He decided he wasn't going to let Grey out of his carrier until he was on the train. He didn't want a repeat of what had happened at the beginning of the school year.

Severus and Lily both gave Marius and Vesper a hug goodbye and then the four of them quickly found the compartment Frank, Caddaric, Remus and Peter had saved. Irene was already there and they were soon joined by Alice, Emily, and Jane. Alice had been telling Jane and Emily about the Muggle movies she had seen. Reg rushed in just before the train was due to pull out. He sat down out of breath. "Sorry, Siri was being his usual snotty self. He wanted to Apparate here with the Potters, but mum and dad told him he couldn't. I don't know what his problem is, but he seems to hate us!"

"He's a jerk that's what his problem is," Emily said.

"Well, watch out everybody," Reg said. "He's got a chip on his shoulder the size of Hogwarts and he'll probably be looking for a fight."

They train ride was quiet. The patrols by the Prefects seemed to be stepped up as they noticed them passing by their compartment more frequently. It was snowing quite hard as the train pulled into Hogsmeade. Clive appeared to take the Slytherin luggage to the dungeon and he took Grey with him. Severus knew he would take good care of Grey They all got out and looked around for the carriages.

"Out of the way, turd faces!" James bellowed, shoving Lily into Severus. "Your betters are coming through first!" Sirius shoved through after him, making sure he shoved Reg in the process.

"Welcome back, Lucius and Bella," Severus sneered.

"What did you say, Snivellus the Greasy?" James said pulling out his wand.

"I thought I heard him compare us to his Death Eater idols," Sirius added, pulling out his wand too.

"Here now, here now," Hagrid said, coming over. "James, Sirius, put yer wand away and get yourselves into a carriage for you gets left behind."

James continued to glare at Severus, but put his wand away; he and Sirius commandeered a carriage after kicking some first years out of it.

Lily, Sev and the rest of their friends found an empty carriage and got in. As soon as the doors were shut it began to move. They got out at the front entrance and went inside to the Great Hall, everybody going to their different tables.

Once everybody was in and seated, Dumbledore rose. "Welcome back, everyone. I hope everyone had a happy Christmas."

"Welcome back, sir," James yelled. "We missed you; things just weren't the same without you!"

Alice looked at Lily, Remus, Frank, and Peter and made a silent gagging sound. They nodded in agreement.

"Thank you, Mr. Potter. It's good to be back." He spread his arms and said, "Let the feast began."

The tables were suddenly filled with dishes of meat, soups, potatoes, and vegetables. Severus took some slices of roasted chicken and roasted pork, vegetables, and mashed potatoes with brown gravy over them.

"Doesn't Potter make you want to sick up?" Tav whispered. "He's such an arse kisser!"

"And a bully!" Severus growled. "Did you see the way he just shoved Lily aside? I wanted to punch the git and knock out his front teeth!"

"I wanted to boot Sirius into the lake!" Reg said.

After dessert, Dumbledore got up and said, "Now that all the Slytherin emeralds have been recovered and returned, things can return to normal. Of course nothing such as that ever happened on my watch, but there's always a first time for everything, Minerva so I wouldn't feel too bad."

"Did he just insult Professor McGonagall?" Lily asked.

"It sounded like that to me," Remus said. The Gryffindors, with the exception of James, Mary, and Sirius glared at Dumbledore.

After his speech about hoping everyone would try and get along and stop hexing each other, Dumbledore dismissed them to go to bed.

A couple of days later Albus was working at his desk when the Floo sounded and he saw Barty Crouch's head sitting in the fire. "Barty, what can I do for you?"

"If I can come through, Dumbledore, I'll explain."

"By all means, Barty," Albus replied.

Bartemius stepped through the Floo into Dumbledore's office. Albus summoned his personal elf, Twinky, and ordered tea and cakes. She popped in with the requested tea and then popped out again. Albus poured the tea and offered a cup to Bartemius. "What may I do for you, Barty?"

"First I will need you to fire-call the Potters and the Blacks and tell them they will need to summon their barrister if they have one. Secondly, I will need you to send for James Potter and Sirius Black."

"This sounds like a very serious matter, Barty," Albus joked weakly.

"It is, Dumbledore," Bartemius said shortly.

Dumbledore followed Crouch's instructions and soon Mavis and Charles and Orion and Walburga were in Dumbledore's office. He had checked James' and Sirius' schedule and summoned Minerva. When she appeared she was still rather frosty towards him. "What is it, Albus?"

"Minerva, would you please get James and Sirius out of class and escort them up here?"

Minerva nodded, wondering what in Merlin's name Potter and Black had done this time. Since Barty was here, she had an uneasy feeling it had something to do with the stolen emeralds as she had read the Prophet about the capture of the two thieves. She got James and Sirius out of Charms class and escorted them up to Dumbledore's office. She opened the door and motioned for them to go in.

"Shit!" Sirius muttered as he saw Barty Crouch, his parents, and James' parents standing inside.

"Just be cool, Siri and don't panic," James warned.

"Please have a seat, Mr. Potter and Mr. Black," Dumbledore offered. They both sat down. Sirius' foot was tapping nervously on the carpet.

Barty silently walked around the room, studying the strange silver fixtures Albus had all over his office and glancing out the window at the Hogwarts grounds.

Charles and Mavis looked at each other and then Charles complained, "Really, Barty, you drag the boys out of class and now you're wandering around the office as if you've lost your brain!"

Orion, who knew of Barty's interrogation techniques, recognized it as a method to cause James and Sirius to become uncomfortable and uneasy. After perusing the scene outside for a few minutes, Barty suddenly turned and snapped, "Which of you let Mundungus Fletcher into the school?"

James and Sirius looked at each other. "We didn't …he came in on his own," Sirius said.

"I see, Mr. Black. He just walked inside doors that are spelled to only recognize students and the professors?"

"Well, maybe he was disguised as a student …yeah, that's it he must have been disguised as a student," James added.

"I see and you do realize that the front entrance is also spelled to recognize authentic school badges?" Barty walked around some more looking at the previous headmasters' and headmistresses' portraits. "Mr. Fletcher stated he'd stayed in an unused classroom on the third floor and that you, Mr. Potter, told him that your house elves had fixed up with furniture brought from Potter Manor. They also brought him food."

Mavis gasped loudly at this statement and Bartemius smirked. She had just confirmed Fletcher's statement.

"Mr. Fletcher told me he came through a passageway that begins in Honeydukes and opens on the third floor behind the statue of Gunhilda of Gorsemoor," Bartemius continued. "I believe you need to use Dissendium to open it and Claudo to close it again. Now we can do a Priori Incantato on your wands and that would definitely prove that you hadn't done the spells."

"Now Barty, I think that's a little extreme," Albus objected. "If James and Sirius swear truthfully that they didn't have anything to do with the disappearance of the emeralds that should be enough." He looked at James and Sirus. "Boys, would you be willing to swear on your magic that you didn't do this?"

James and Sirius nodded, stood up, raised their left hands and said, "We swear on our magic that we had nothing to do with those emeralds being stolen."

"There, that should satisfy matters, Barty," Albus said cheerfully.

"Anyway, it was probably Snivellus and his rotten friends that did it, trying to make us look bad," James said.

"Yeah," Sirius grimaced. "Snivellus knows more dark spells than most seventh years. That's probably how he got the hourglass opened."

Barty turned around from where he had once again been studying the portraits. "It's strange you should use that name because Mr. Fletcher told me how you, Mr. Black, were always telling him stories about how you and your best mate, Jimmy Potter, were always pranking two other children, Snivellus and Silly Lily. Now I'm positive he did not hear that name from any street contacts."

Minerva glared at James and Sirius. "That's quite correct, Mr. Crouch. I've only heard Severus referred that way by these two."

Orion and Walburga had moved to a corner of the office and were talking animatedly under a silencing spell. When their discussion ended, they moved back to the rest of the group and Orion said, "Barty, you may take Sirius' wand and do a Priori Incantato on it. Sirius, give him your wand."

"But Dad …" Sirius began to protest.

"Now, Sirius!" Orion snapped.

Sirius reluctantly pulled out his wand and gave it to Bartemius. He held the tip of Sirius' wand to the tip of his own wand and spoke the words, "Priori Incantato," The spells were few since they had just come back, but the one that did show up was Sirius using Dissendium to open the passage on the third floor and Claudo to close it again.

"Siri, why'd you do it?" James asked pretending to be shocked.

"Why'd I do it?" Sirius yelled. "The whole thing was your idea!"

Barty smiled. There was nothing so satisfying as seeing thieves turn on one another.

Sirius looked at Bartemius and said, "James was mad because Gryffindor was in last place and the snakes were in first place and he wanted to find away to steal enough emeralds out of their hourglass so they'd be in last place," Sirius accused James.

"You were the one who knew Mundungus and asked him to come here!" James snarled.

"You told me to ask him!"

"Enough!" Albus roared shocking everyone in the room. He grabbed James by his ear, pulled him over to his desk and over his lap and began walloping James' bum. "You've lied to me and put me in danger of losing my position. Well, it ends here, Mr. Potter!"

Charles and Mavis were too shocked by Albus' behavior to intervene.

"No! Stop! You're hurting me!" James wailed loudly as Albus continued spanking him. "Mum, Dad, make him stop it!" James bawled; his face bright red and tears running down his cheeks.

Sirius winced at the sound of Dumbledore's hand meeting James' bum. He figured he was in for it too either by his father's ruler or his mum's hand when he got home.

"You have embarrassed me and made me look a fool in front of the Ministry and the school. I believed you over the other children when in fact it was you attacking them and not the other way around!" Albus gave him one last, hard whack on his bum and stood him up. "Now, stop crying, James. You deserved every whack you got," he said coolly.

"How dare you, Albus!" Mavis hissed, running over to her crying son and gathering him into her arms. "There, there, Jamie. Stop crying. We know you didn't do anything wrong."

Albus looked sternly at both sets of parents. "Mr. Potter and Mr. Black will be suspended for the remainder of the school year. If they can prove to me that they have reformed their behavior only then they will be allowed to return on September first."

"But what about James' classes? He'll be behind," Charles said.

"We have a list of Hogwarts approved tutors. Normally they're used for children who become ill during the school year and are unable to finish out the year. Professor McGonagall can give you the list. Professor, please escort Mr. Potter and Mr. Black to Gryffindor Tower and make sure they pack their trunks and then bring them back here where they'll be Flooing home with their parents."

"But what about Quidditch?" James asked. "I'll lose my place."

"If you're back on September1st, you may try out for the team again," Minerva said. "Now come along. I don't have all morning." She led James and Sirius out of the office.

"Sirius will be punished thoroughly at home and he'll be confined to the house until school starts again. He'll only be able to leave it if his mum or I are with him. We are going to hire one of those tutors and believe me when I say his nose will be so close to the grindstone he won't even have time to think about getting into or causing trouble. Will that satisfy you for punishment, Barty?" Orion asked.

"Yes, that's quite satisfactory, Orion." Barty replied. He turned to the Potters. "This was a very serious offense your son was involved in and if you're going to ignore the opportunity you've been presented with here; I am afraid I'm going to be seeing your son on a regular basis."

Orion looked at the Potters. "I want James to stay completely away from Sirius. I don't want any owls, fire-calls, or any other means of communication from him to Sirius. James is a very bad influence on Sirius and their friendship is over as of this moment."

"Well, we never wanted James hanging around with a dark family such as yours anyway and it's your son who's the bad influence – all Slytherins are!" Charles snapped.

Minerva came back with James and Sirius who were hauling their trunks behind them. She gave the Potters and the Black's the list of tutors.

Albus stood with his arms crossed over his chest and a hard look on his face. "I hope this will serve as a hard lesson to you both because I could have made the decision to snap your wands and expel you, but I believe you deserve a chance to reform."

"Thank you, Albus," Orion said. "I'll make sure you don't regret your decision." He took Sirius' arm and Walburga took his other arm and they disappeared into the green flames.

"I've never witnessed such cruelty towards an innocent child as I have today!" Mavis snapped. "You are no longer welcome in our home, Albus."

"That's fine, Mavis, as long as James learns his lesson and is able to change," Albus replied.

Charles and Mavis escorted James into the fireplace and Flooed in high dudgeon back to Potter Manor.
 


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