Chapter 6: James’ Challenge
I could almost hear Fred’s silent cursing as class drowned on. History of Magic had to be the worst class ever. Professor Benn’s was a ghost for crying out loud! How can this be boring? A ghost for a teacher should be amazing, but obviously I didn’t know anything.
I chanced a glance at Fred, who still looked angry at me for ‘losing the Map.’
I didn’t really lose it. I actually had it on me. And if either of them were paying the slightest bit of attention then they would have realized that.
When I reached for it and saw Sirius’ horrified look, I remembered why I shouldn’t be showing anyone. My lie would have to hold and I think ‘I lost it’ was pretty permanent.
Fred would get over this in a few hours, maybe a day. But the damage it could have caused would have been far greater at the moment. I only shuttered to think what could happen to Sirius, if he was discovered.
After the world’s longest class finally ended, Fred got up without a word and left me and Sirius.
“He seems pretty torn up about this Map thing.” Sirius said to me.
I wanted to laugh at him, because he was forcing ideal chit-chat about something he made. I wondered if he was actually mad at me too for losing it.
“Yeah, he’ll forgive me after a while.” I told him.
“Well I guess it’s only our first year. We’ll have to find some other way of sneaking about the castle.” Sirius murmured to himself. I’m not too sure, if I was suppose to here that, but it seemed to me like he regretted not having that Map. I wonder if he realized his name would show up as ‘Sirius Black’ and not ‘Lee.’ Either way, he seemed more relieved than anything and maybe only slightly depressed from the lost of the Map.
“What do we have next?” I asked Sirius as he got out our schedule.
“Looks like we are ending with Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Sirius sighed. “Wonder if the teacher is any good.” I felt the silent this year
, at the end of his sentence and forgot that not long ago there was a different Defense Against the Dark Arts Professors every year.
“According to Teddy he’s fantastic.” I told him. “He supposed really knows his stuff.”
Sirius’ head turned to me. “Really?”
“Yes, I think Teddy is in love with him or something, the way he goes on about him for hours is just sickening sometimes.” I stuck my tongue out and grinned at Sirius. “He actually allows the first years to challenge him to a duel. Teddy got knocked out the first time he dueled him. I’m going to challenge him this year and hope I can really get the upper hand. I think I have a chance, since Teddy has told me all of his weaknesses.”
I ended my boost and looked back at Sirius. He had a thoughtful look on his face.
“Well, he is a Professor though, James. I don’t think they would hire him if he wasn’t capable of taking out a first year.” Sirius said. Then he grinned and turned back to me. “Although you could try, I can’t wait to see you get knocked out.”
I glared at him. Honestly, he could probably take Lowsley, but that would blow his cover. There was no need for him to be cocky about it though.
Just as we headed downstairs I saw a group of fourth years ascending the staircase and someone caught my eye.
I turned to Sirius. “Hey, Sirius? Do you mind going ahead? I think I just saw my cousin Molly and I need to give her something from my Mum later. Save me a spot?”
Sirius looked at me with questioning eyes, but nodded regardless of my feeble attempt at lying. I could tell that he was suspicious of me already, I would have to get better at lying to him or he might figure out my plans or even worst, that I know he’s Sirius Black. Merlin, I can’t handle this, I’m only a kid.
I watched him go down the stairs. When he was out of view just enough, I ran up the stair at the group of fourth years.
“Davison!” I yelled after the short, brown haired, fourth year boy. Although he was older than me he was about my height and just about as skinny. He turned around suddenly and had a worried look on his face until he saw me.
“Oh, hi Potter…” He said quietly.
“So did you do it?” I asked him.
“Yeah, I talked to Professor Longbottom during my class.” He shifted his eyes back and forth like he was worried that Professor Longbottom might hear him.
“And?” I said, annoyed I had to drag it out of him.
“He said that he will take care of it from there, but…” He stopped and then looked at me like I might hit him.
“But what?” I frowned at him.
“There is still time to back out! What if we are found out?” He said a bit too loudly. A few students turned but continued walking.
“By then it wouldn’t matter! Don’t you want to impress Victoire?” I whispered to him.
He swallowed a lump in his throat.
“Yes…” He said while nodding.
“Then this has to work!” I told him. I didn’t want him backing down on me halfway. “Do you have what I asked for?”
He nodded again and then reached in his bag and pulled out a small vial. “Tell me if you need more.”
I grinned and took it from him before he could take it back. “Thanks Davison.”
I then noticed the halls were almost virtually empty. I looked at my watch and cursed silently at the time. “Shoot, I have to run Davison.” I then saluted him. “Nice doing business with you, I’ll be in touch.”
I ran quickly to the third floor and cracked the door open to see if class had started. Unfortunately for me, the Professor was already talking and writing on the board. However, he wasn’t facing toward me, so I slipped in quickly and tiptoed to where Sirius was in the back. Just as I reached the row Sirius was in, a book zoomed pass my head and caused me to fall back cussing and loudly dragging the nearest person to the ground with me.
“I don’t tolerate lateness.” I looked up from the ground to see Professor Lowsley facing me with a stern look on his face.
I groaned and looked to see who I brought down with me to notice it was Fred. He was torn between amusement and anger, from still being mad at me for the Map. I was the first to get up and I offered him a hand.
He hesitated for a moment and looked like he wasn’t going to take it so I finally ended up grabbing his arm. As I pulled him up I whispered, “Just forgive me already, you know you want to.”
When I let go I saw a grin spread across his face. He picked up my bag and handed it to me then patted me on my shoulder.
I turned now to the Professor who was staring a hole into my forehead.
“I’m sorry I’m late Professor Lowsley.” I said facing him with a straight look on my face.
He huffed. “I suppose its fine since it’s the first day. Just promise that you won’t do it again.” He turned back around to the board.
“But Professor! I can’t make such a promise. After all, we have another seven year left together and I would hate to make a promise I can’t keep on the first day.” I continued to look at him with an unreadable look on my face.
Professor Lowsley now turned back around and fully looked at me, head to toe. If Teddy lied to me about Lowsley, then I screwed up. However, Teddy told me that Lowsley had a sense of humor. So hopefully I wouldn’t get a month’s worth of detentions from that comment.
“I like your honesty, but you do know I don’t normally let first years talk to me like this.” He glared at me now, but I saw his lip twitch up in amusement. I was in too deep now to go back.
“Perhaps Professors would be better liked if students could be this frank?” I said. My voice didn’t waver, but my nerves were racking up.
“Tell me a little about yourself boy!” He barked at me suddenly. I now realized that the whole class was staring at me. “Where are you from?”
“Godric’s Hollow.” I said at once.
“Two brothers, and a sister. My mom played Quidditch and my father works at the Ministry, he’s an Auror.” I continued counting Teddy as a brother.
He glared harder now. He clearly didn’t find what he was looking for, but seemed to focus on something else instead. “Your father is an Auror, huh? You must think you know it all then? Nothing for me to teach you, right?”
I froze. I somewhat remembered Teddy telling me this is how his first day with Lowsley went. I shook my head quickly, knowing full well where this was heading.
“What’s wrong boy?” He asked me, still frowning. “Lost your bite?”
“I’m sorry if I offended you Professor.” I told him slowly.
“Get up here.” He told me. “You’ll be my example for this year.”
I froze. This is exactly how Teddy told me it happened. I suddenly realized what was about to happen. I was about to duel my Professor and under these conditions, I was pretty sure I was about to lose. I swallowed the hard lump that formed in the back of my throat and took my wand out of my pocket. Then I slowly matched forward.
Lowsley raised an eyebrow, like he was slightly impressed as I faced him in the front of the classroom.
“On my mark…one…two…three-”
He silently waved his wand and directed a spell at me as I shouted, “EXPELLIARMUS!”
I saw his wand fly out of his hand before I was knocked back and hit the wall behind me. I gripped my wand hard as I passed out into the darkness.
“Jamie? Jamie are you alright?” I heard a worried voice above me.
I tried to open my eyes, as I heard my name being called over and over again. The more awake I was, the more I noticed the throbbing pain that was slowly disappearing on the back of my head.
him not to duel first years anymore. This
always happens to those dumb enough to challenge. And
it always seems to be someone close to the Potter clan!” A shrill voice rang into my ears.
“I’m sure everything will be fine, Madam Pomfrey.” I recognized this sweet voice that now rang into the air. It was fresh and charming.
“Well, I need you lot to get out! He needs his rest and only family is aloud in to see him at this hour. I’ll send him back to the dorm when he wakes up.” The shrill voice continued on.
“We are all family!” Another voice piped up from beside me. “Vic and I are first cousins and Teddy is Jamie’s brother.”
I heard a huff from the direction of the shrill voice.
“You have five minutes then!” With that I heard footsteps tap away from me.
I attempted to open my eyes one more time and found out that I had more success now, then before.
A bright light from above surrounded me and I could see three people around me facing the direction the shrill voice went off to, Madam Pomfrey, I suppose.
The three around me were none other than Fred, Teddy and Victoire. Fred turned around and looked at me. He then broke into a huge smile.
“Jamie wakey up now?” Fred grinned at me and then jumped on the bed.
Teddy and Victoire turned around.
“James!” Victoire almost yelled.
“You did brilliant James.” Teddy told me stepping forward to pat me on the back.
“Why don’t I feel brilliant then?” I asked rubbing the back of my head. “What happened?”
“You disarmed Lowsley!” Fred yelled excited.
Victoire gave an approving nod. “Not even Teddy has been able to do that. If you stayed awake, you would have technically won that duel.”
“Instead I suppose it came out as a draw. Well, in the real world you would have lost but dueling, as long as you hold onto your wand you are not out.” Teddy said, he appeared to be debating with himself. “You held onto your wand but passed out, while he lost his. I don’t know what the official call would be.”
“Teddy, I don’t think I like Lowsley…” I said weakly as I sat up. My head now felt perfectly fine. “He’s kind of an ass.”
Teddy grinned. “He grows on you. Trust me, that’s what I thought at first too.”
“I personally think he should teach a bit differently Teddy.” Victoire said glaring at Teddy. “James could have gotten hurt, more than he already did. That was no spell to use on an eleven year old.”
Teddy shrugged like it was nothing. “Same thing happened to me.”
Victoire frowned at him and crossed her arms like she normally did when Teddy didn’t agree with her, which happened often. Sometime I think he does it on purpose because I saw a small grin appear on his face.
I looked at Fred and realized someone was missing.
“Where’s Sirius?” I asked Fred.
Fred frowned. “Umm…he’s actually still with Lowsley…”
I didn’t like where this was going. “What? Why?”
Fred looked angry. “Lowsley accused him of using Dark Magic.”
Teddy and Victoire now looked at Fred too.
“What?” They asked together.
“Sirius, wouldn’t-no, couldn’t do that!” I yelled.
“I know! I know, James!” Fred said waving his hands in front of him. “I completely agree with you.”
“What happened? Why would he be accused?” I hated Lowsley more and more. What if he found out who Sirius really was and was just using that as an excuse to report him?
“Look, it kind of happened fast. After you got knocked out Sirius stood up for you and said something about ‘playing dirty’ and ‘only a child.’ He ended up challenging Lowsley to a duel. You were taken out of the room quickly because Madam Pomfrey was summoned and I stayed to watch their duel, thinking that Sirius would be right next to you soon. But…” Fred paused for a moment before he continued. “Sirius matched him perfectly…in fact, he might have been better.”
“That’s impossible.” Teddy mumbled.
I shook my head before Fred started talking again.
“I was thinking the same thing. Sirius won and had Lowsley in a body-bind when Professor Longbottom came in. Sirius undid it really quick and Lowsley started shouting about how Sirius used Dark Magic on him.” Fred looked kind of like he believed it. “Professor Longbottom dismissed the class and rushed them both out of the room. I think they went to see McGonagall.”
Victoire shook her head. “There is no way that a first year could know any Dark Magic!”
“There is also no way a first year could defeat Professor Lowsley.” Teddy said in Lowsley’s defense.
“James just did!” Victoire yelled.
“Not to the extent that Sirius did. He used silent spells and everything Vic, there is no telling what spells he really used.” Fred said, not helping.
I swung my feet to the floor and stood up.
“Sirius didn’t use Dark Magic.” I said defiantly. Teddy, Victoire and Fred all looked at me as I walked toward the door. “And anyone saying otherwise, will have me to answer to.”
With that I left the Hospital Wing and ran down the hall. I wanted to make sure that I could get far enough so they wouldn’t find me. I quickly pulled out the Map.
“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.” I whispered quickly, pointing my wand at the Map.
Once the ink flowed across the page I flipped to find Sirius’ dot and glared when I saw that he was in Lowsley’s office, alone. I whipped the Map quickly and headed toward the staircase.
I ran back to the third floor and right through the classroom and into Lowsley’s office.
“Sirius didn’t do any Dark Magic and you are a fool for thinking it!” I yelled upon entering the room.
However, to my surprise Sirius was sitting across from Lowsley drinking tea.
He glared at me.
“I know that now, McGonagall explained everything.” He then stood up. “But how do you know, boy?”
McGonagall explained everything? What did McGonagall explain?
“I…I just know that Sirius is my friend and he fought you to stand up for me…he’s also really talented. I had my other classes with him, you know.” I stammered not wanting to give anything away.
“Of course he’s talented. He’s been homeschooled by Professor McGonagall herself since he was old enough to know what magic was.” Lowsley said simply. “Professor McGonagall told me that his family paid good money for a home tutor and his mother is a great niece of hers on her father’s side. So she saw to some of his education herself.”
McGonagall was covering for Sirius, that’s why Neville took Sirius and Lewsley to see her. That cleared up a lot.
I nodded. “Yeah…it’s really something…”
“By the way, good job today, I didn’t catch your name before you blacked out and Sirius came to defend you.” Lewsley said bluntly.
“It’s James…James Potter…” I said just as quietly as when I told Slughorn early today.
Lewsley’s head snapped to me and his expression changed. “James! Of course you are! Teddy had told me all about you!”
His attitude changed drastically toward me. At least with Slughorn he wasn’t completely
judging me by my name. My first impression of Lowsley had been everything Teddy had told me before I started school. My second was when he knocked me out in class and this was my third. I have concluded that Teddy has gotten hit in the head one too many times, because I absolutely hate Lowsley. There was no way I could ever change my mind about that.
Sirius sat his cup of tea down and got up.
“I think it’s time for us to leave Professor. We should really get back to our dorm, it’s already very late you see.” Sirius told him.
“Yes, yes of course.” Lowsley said with a grin. “Come by again boys. We’ll have to have another duel sometime, both of you now.”
I nodded and Sirius seemed just to have a hard expression on his face.
We left Lowsley’s office together and I wanted to walk a couple floors up before I said anything. Before we even got out of the classroom Sirius stumbled a bit and tripped into a desk.
I grabbed his arm. “Are you okay?”
Sirius nodded and waved his hand away. We finally left the classroom and Sirius tripped again, this time on the stairs.
“Sirius? Are you getting clumsier?” I laughed.
Sirius laughed too as he sat on the stairs, but he looked a little worried about something. He held his hand in front of his face, moving it back and forth as if he was checking his eyesight. “I guess so…I don’t think I realized how tired I was.”
“I’m pretty beat too.” I said stretching my arms. “Let’s go back to the dorm and call it quits early tonight. We probably shouldn’t oversleep tomorrow.”
I offered him my hand. He grinned and took it. “Yeah, let’s go.”
As we ascended the stairs, Sirius stumbled a little more but overall seemed okay. Even if he kept missing a step or two. Finally, Sirius turn his head toward me and said, “So…what do you think of Lewsley?”
“Total ass.” I said without thinking and then looked at Sirius who was wearing a smirk on his face.
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