Chapter 36 : What Time Brings
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What Time Brings
A/N: I apologize for this chapter's long delay, but my computer's been in for repairs since the beginning of November, but at least it wasn't the disaster it was the last time my hard drive decided to take a permanent vacation. I had everything backed up on an external hard drive and the only things I lost was a page and half of Maybe I'm Amazed and a half page of Nothing Else Matters. Thanks everyone for their patience! Alethea27
"Marking mortal privation, when firmly in place. An enduring summation Inscribed on my face. What am I?" Severus read the riddle aloud as they sat in the Room of Requirement that evening.
"Okay, what has an 'enduring summation inscribed on my face' since that the key phrase in the riddle to solve it?" Remus said.
"A statue does," Tav said. "Like the one on the third floor of Gunhilda of Gorsemoor. It tells you she was a healer, potion mistress, and discovered the cure for dragon pox."
"A memorial does," Lily offered. "There are a lot of them around London that tell you about what happened at that place on a certain date."
"What about a tombstone?" Emily said. "My dad's tombstone reads that he was a loving husband and father who died in the service of his country."
"That would certainly fit the description 'an enduring summation inscribed on my face' the best, I think," Dorian said.
"But whose tombstone are we looking for and in what graveyard?" Frank asked.
"Since this whole thing started with Rowena; it has to be her tombstone we'd look for," Irene proposed.
"That makes sense," Pete said. "But how do we find out where's she buried?"
"We can ask Madam Pince for books about the Founders," Alice suggested. "One of them is bound to say where they're buried."
"Or we can check 'Hogwarts: A History first and then if we don't find the answer in there, we can ask Madam Pince," Caddaric proposed.
"That definitely would be the first place I'd look," Reg added. "We have a copy of it in our library at home. You probably do too, Sev."
Severus nodded. "Yes, we do, but we can look at the library's copy. We still have an hour before curfew so we can look through it and see what we can find out."
"Let's go then," Emily said.
They left the Room of Requirement and went to the library. Severus politely asked Madam Pince where they might find a copy of Hogwarts: A History.
Madam Pince liked Severus. She thought he was well-raised, polite, and quiet unlike a lot of the pureblood students. She led them through the library to a special section, reached up and pulled a large book from the shelf and handed it to Severus. "Here is the book you require. The books in this section are all about Hogwarts. If you have any further questions I'll be up front at the circulation desk."
"Thank you, Madam Pince," Remus said politely.
"She's not so bad," Reg whispered. "Before I started Hogwarts Siri told me she was an old battle-axe who would hex your bum off if you put a book back in the wrong place."
"She probably did hex his and Potter's bums off for putting their books in the wrong places deliberately," Alice said.
They all took books out of the section and carried them to a table, sat down and began looking through them. Lily, Remus, and Irene searched through Hogwarts: A History while Severus and Pete and Jane looked through a book about the Hogwarts grounds. Reg and Caddaric looked through a book about the lives of the Founders while Frank, Alice, and Emily looked at a book about famous magical cemeteries.
"There's a lot of information to go through," Lily said slumping back in her chair with a sigh.
"Why don't we check out these books so we can read them at our leisure?" Irene suggested. "We can keep them in the Room of Requirement so we can read them any time we have free time."
"That sounds like an excellent idea," Severus said nodding. He looked at the clock in the library. "And we have just enough time to do it before curfew."
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Sirius was studying hard; he wanted his family to be proud of him, not ashamed. His tutor, Mr. Finchly, was very pleased with Sirius' progress. Lessons were done for the day and Aquinas was gathering up his things and placing them back in his bag. He nodded at Orion when he walked into the room and left.
Orion had gone back to work, but was assigned desk duty and only working half-days. He was still using Walla's grandfather's walking stick to help him walk. Walla thought it made him look very debonair and suggested he keep using it even after he no longer needed it. "Mr. Finchly tells your mother and me that you're doing very well in all your subjects and he's very pleased with your progress. I think that deserves a reward. How would you like to go to Fortescue's with me for some ice cream?"
Sirius looked up in surprise. Aside from visits to St. Mungo's when his father had been hospitalized, he hadn't been out of the house since he'd been sent home from Hogwarts. "That would be fantastic, Dad."
"Get your coat and we'll go," Orion said with a smile.
Sirius was back in a few minutes with his coat, his Gryffindor scarf and his gloves. "Shouldn't we let mum know where we're going?" Sirius asked as he was hurriedly putting on his coat.
"Your mother's at a meeting of the Witches' Aid Society, but I did mention it to her this morning at breakfast that I was going to take you out for ice cream and she agreed that you deserved a treat for working hard at your studies."
They flooed to the Leaky Cauldron and went out into the back courtyard where Orion opened the passageway to Diagon Alley. They crossed to the other side of the street and walked down to Fortescue's located kitty-corner from Gringotts.
Sirius ordered a Chocolate Almond hot fudge sundae that was his favorite while Orion ordered a Butter Pecan double scoop ice cream cone.
Sirius ate his ice cream with enjoyment. It was nice to be out of Grimmauld Place and out with his dad. He played with his ice cream as he said, "You know Dad, when I first met James at Alice Starkey's eighth birthday party I just thought he was a cool, fun kid. When he stole the candles Mrs. Starkey had bought and replaced them with the ones he'd brought to the party; he told me they were joke candles that you couldn't blow out no matter how hard you tried. And when Alice's mum lit the candles and the cake blew up all over everybody I was just as shocked as anybody else."
"I recall the three Potters were the only ones who thought it was funny. Neither of his parents cared in the least that their son had completely ruined Alice's birthday," Orion said with a frown.
"James said later that Alice was bossy, mouthy, and deserved it. He said his parents called them 'nouveau wizards' whatever that means."
Orion shook his head. "That would funny if it weren't so pathetic. The Potter family is barely five hundred years old. They aren't anywhere as old as our family, the Princes, or the Longbottoms, to name a few. It's true the Starkey family isn't as old as the families I've named, but they're older than the Potters are. Even the Malfoys, for all of Abraxas' strutting about, are only six hundred years old."
"I guess I should have listened better to mum's genealogy lessons instead of always thinking about Quidditch teams and scores," Sirius admitted.
"Well, it isn't the most interesting of topics, but don't tell your mother I said so," Orion requested. "But it is important to her so I listen when she wants to talk about it."
"I hope Professor Dumbledore lets me come back to Hogwarts next September because I really miss it. I know I have a lot of apologies to make, but I'm willing to do whatever it takes."
"I'm going to request to Professor McGonagall that Mr. Potter, if he returns, be put in a different dorm," Orion said.
"You don't have to worry about me going back to hanging around with that git – not after he tried to sell me out!"
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
"No, no, no, Mr. Potter!" Jeremy Cadwaller exclaimed pinching the bridge of his nose as he looked at James' second melted cauldron. "Did not Professor Slughorn ever explain to you that you cannot throw all the ingredients into your cauldron at once and expect good results?"
"I hate potions!" James pouted. "It's so boring and stupid!"
"You keep saying you want to be an Auror after you graduate from Hogwarts, but the Academy requires you have at least an Exceeds in potions in order to be accepted."
"What for? We're going to be catching dark wizards not brewing stupid potions."
"You're going to need to be able to identify deadly potions and poisons and know the ingredients so you can administer the correct antidote if need be. Giving the incorrect antidote can be as deadly as not giving one at all."
"So? I'll just tell my partner to do it. I'll tell him I'm pants at potions."
Cadwaller sighed. "Mr. Potter, I will say I've seen a great improvement in your work in the last few weeks. You're doing well in all your subjects with the exception of potions. This remains your biggest stumbling block. If you fail I can't guarantee you'll even be allowed back in Hogwarts."
"Okay, I'll do it again," James grumbled. He wanted to go back to Hogwarts – he had a lot of payback to administer.
"We can't today as your mother will need to go to Diagon Alley and buy you another cauldron."
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
Emily and Pete were in the Room of Requirement during their free period looking through the books on Hogwarts they had checked out of the library the night before.
Emily stopped looking through Hogwarts: A History and gave a frustrated sigh. "This is a really thick book to have to look for hopefully a mention of where the Founder's might be buried! Why don't Wizarding books have indexes like Muggle books do? This would be a lot easier if they did."
Pete put down the book he was looking though on famous magical cemeteries and said, "Maybe there's a spell you could cast that would lead you right to the information about where the Founder's are buried."
"Did you find any information in that book?"
Pete shook his head. "No. It's mostly about the Godric's Hollow cemetery. None of the Founders were buried there not even Gryffindor."
Emily was quiet for a moment then reached into her book bag and pulled out a small book she'd bought at Flourish & Blott's before school started. It was an English-Latin dictionary that she'd bought to help her with her spell casting and proper pronunciation. "I wonder …" she muttered to herself as she riffled through the pages for about fifteen minutes while scribbling down things with her quill. "I think this may do it. Cross your fingers, Pete." She tapped the book and said in an authoritative tone, "Retego fundator seplucretum situs." The book pages suddenly began flitting quickly as if there was a breeze in the room. Finally when they stopped it was in the middle of the book. Emily looked down at the open pages and then exclaimed, "It worked!"
"What does it say?" Pete asked getting up and coming over to where Emily was sitting.
"It reads that the Founders are buried in a small cemetery in a high meadow on the Hogwarts grounds. It also says the stars in the ceiling of the Great Hall point the way."
That evening after dinner Emily reported what she had discovered. "I was looking at the ceiling tonight while I was eating dinner."
"We noticed," Reg joked. "I was wondering if somebody threw something nasty up there that was about to fall down on our heads."
"No." She pointed to the passage in the book. "It reads 'the stars in the hall point the path.' The Great Hall is the only place that has stars that mimic the outside."
Severus thought for a moment. "I believe the stars in the Great Hall point East."
"East would be past Hagrid's cabin, wouldn't it?" Dorian asked.
"Doesn't that mean we'd have to go into the Forbidden Forest?" Lily asked.
"There must be another path to it because surely we're not the only students who have ever been interested in seeing the Founder's graves," Remus reasoned.
"We can't go anyway right now," Tav pointed out. "The snow's still too deep."
"I wonder if we can get a fix on where it is by looking in an easterly direction the next time we have Astronomy class," Caddaric said. "We ought to be able to see something off the parapet."
"That a great idea," Frank said. "At least maybe we can estimate then how far we're going to have to walk and how long it will take us to get there and back."
"I guess we will have to walk," Reg grumped. "I was thinking maybe we could ask Madam Hooch if we could borrow the school brooms and fly there. We'd be able to spot it better from the air too."
"But we'd have to tell her what we need the brooms for and she might run blabbing to Dumbledore," Irene pointed out. "We can't risk it when we're so close to finding the Grimoire."
"True," Reg agreed.
"We ask Hagrid again," Alice suggested. "I'll bet he know exactly where the cemetery is."
"Maybe, that spell you used to find where the cemetery was mentioned in the book can be used to lead us in the right direction to the actual cemetery, Emily," Jane said excitedly.
"What spell is that?" Severus asked.
"It's one I invented today because magical books don't have indexes like Muggle books do and I was tired of looking through a thick book for one page or paragraph where the Founders were buried," Emily said. "It's kind of like the Point Me spell, but more specific and I don't know that it will work on anything other than books."
"What is it?" Irene asked.
"The incantation is 'Retego fundator seplucretum situs' and it basically says, Reveal Founder cemetery site."
"That's brilliant, Emily," Lily said. "If you need to find anything else, you could just substitute the correct word in place of founder."
"I should use it to find my socks that keep disappearing at home," Dorian joked. "My mum keeps saying the dryer's eating them."
The next morning at breakfast an unfamiliar owl flew in and landed next Severus. It stuck out its leg and Severus took the note off and it flew off again without waiting for a treat.
"Hey!" Reg exclaimed. "That's mum's owl, Sir Henry. Who's the note from, Sev?"
"Merlin's beard!" Severus exclaimed. "It's from your brother. He apologizing for the stuff he did to me last year and this year. He says he'll make a formal apology to all of us when he returns to school next fall."
"Holy Guinevere's girdle!" Dorian exclaimed. "I never thought I'd see the day when Sirius Black said he was sorry about anything!"
"I told you Sirius was changing. Now that he's not hanging around with Pothead anymore he's a lot nicer. At the reception after dad got the Order of Merlin, he even went over and apologized to Sev's grandparents."
"Grandpa and Grandma wrote me about it," Severus said. "They were quite surprised."
Reg chuckled. "That's because Siri's never been one for apologizing."
They got up from the table to go to their first class. Severus waited for Lily outside the in the hallway. Jane and Emily waited with him. Dorian and Tav split off to go to their first class and Reg to his. Mary MacDonald went past and sneered at them. Jane flipped her off. Lily, Alice, Remus, Pete and Frank walked out together and walked over to Severus, Emily and Jane.
"Whose McDonald hanging with now that Pisshead Potter's gone?" Jane asked.
"She's been hanging around with our other two roommates, Brenda and Nancy, but I don't think they really like her too well," Alice answered.
"Who was your owl from, Sev?" Lily asked.
"From Sirius of all people," Severus replied. "He wrote that he was sorry for all the horrible stuff he's done to me over the last two years and he's going to make a formal apology to us all when he comes back in September."
Frank snorted. "I'll believe that when I actually see it."
"He has a lot to apologize for too," Alice remarked.
"I guess we'll just have to wait and see if he follows through," Remus added.
Saturday afternoon the gang was outside having a snowball fight when Severus spotted Hagrid walking back to his cabin after shoveling. "Hagrid!" Severus yelled, waving at him.
Hagrid walked over leaving a trail of footprints big enough for two students to stand in. "What can I do for yer, Sevrus?"
"We wanted to visit the Founder's graves. We know they're buried somewhere past your cabin. Do you know where they are buried?"
"Sure do, but ya can't get there right now. Snows too deep and even when it's melted, it's powerfully muddy and yore still need your wellies."
"We won't need to go into the Forbidden Forest will we?" Lily asked.
"No, there's a path that goes straight up to where ther buried. Hardly a body goes up ther and it's real peaceful like. Let me know when ya want to go and I'll show ya the path."
"Thanks, Hagrid," Severus said.
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February melted into March and the Potters were having a late Sunday morning breakfast. Charles sat reading the Sunday Daily Prophet. The headlines on the front page announced that Minister of Magic Bagnold had appointed Rufus Scrimgeour to head up the Auror department and fight the increasing influence of the person calling himself Lord Voldemort . He threw down the paper in disgust. "That woman needs to go! First she gives the highest Medal of Honor to a former Slytherin and dark wizard and now she appoints another Slytherin to lead the Auror department! It's a disgrace I tell you!"
"You're right of course, Charles," Mavis replied, buttering her toast. "That woman has absolutely no sense at all! She couldn't even clean up after our carriage horses!"
"I've been thinking that I should run for Minister of Magic."
"What an excellent idea, Charles!" Mavis said. "I know the majority of the Wizarding public will be behind you because they're tired of Bagnold's wavering and they want a can-do person in charge."
James came into the dining room yawning widely. He was dressed in his pajamas, robe, and slippers; his hair stuck up all over his head and his glasses were on crooked. It was just a little after eleven o'clock and he'd been awakened by the smell of maple-walnut waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausages.
"Good morning, Jamie," Mavis said. "Did you sleep well?"
"Yes, but I'm really hungry and that's what woke me up." He filled his plate and sat back down and began shoveling the food into his mouth.
"Your father has announcement to make, Jamie."
James looked up at his dad who was beaming. "What's up, Dad?"
"I have decided that I'm going to run for Minister of Magic. We've had enough of Bagnold's weak policies and letting this Lord Voldemort renegade run wild instead of clapping him into Azkaban for treason!"
James started clapping and Mavis joined him. "That sounds like a good campaign speech, Dad. And when you win you can kick all the Slytherin's off the Hogwarts board of governors!"
"That I will, Jamie that I will."
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Severus rose early Monday morning. His roommates were still asleep. They got up a few minutes
before breakfast started and wondered why they were always being docked points for being sloppily dressed. "Thick as bricks, that lot," Severus said to Grey as he fed him his special tuna and gave him fresh water. Grey meowed in what seemed to be an agreement. "Smart boy," Severus smiled petting him. He made sure he was neatly dressed and did his usual hair removing spell to get rid of all Grey's hair before he left.
Severus went upstairs to the Great Hall. He spotted Lily sitting next to Irene at the Ravenclaw table. They appeared to be practicing wand movements of some kind. Severus went over and sat down next to Lily. "Good morning, Lily."
"Good morning, Sev," Lily replied with a smile. "We were just practicing wand movements for Charms."
"Professor Flitwick did say as part of our final exam he would be checking our wand movements since even a slightly wrong wand move can change a spell you're attempting to cast."
"He did," Severus said. "And I should be practicing mine too. I still have to put extra effort into Charms and Transfiguration. They'll never be as easy for me as Potions and Defense."
"Do you realize Easter is a little over a month away and there will only be two months of school left when we come back?" Irene asked.
"By the time we come back the ground should be dry enough to make a trip to the cemetery," Severus said.
"I can't wait until we can give the Grimoire back to Helena," Lily said.
"Emily will probably want to start planning the Baron and Helena's wedding too," Severus joked. He got up and moved back to the Slytherin table while Lily joined her housemates at the Gryffindor table.
Classes were mostly revising for the mid-term exams they would be taking in a month. As promised Professor Flitwick had them practicing the wand movements for every spell they had so far learned that year.
Since Potter and Black had left everyone had learned more in Defense than previously because they didn't need to keep an eye out for miscast spells. Professor Bones was able to lecture uninterrupted by either of them.
March went by quickly and soon it was April 1st. the sun was getting warmer and the ground drier. The sixth years were nervous about their Apparition tests that were scheduled for April 14th which was also the day of the fourth and final Hogsmeade visit for the year. Exams would be the next week on Monday through Thursday and on Friday the 20th they would be leaving for Easter vacation.
"We still have to figure out the answer to the final riddle before we can visit Rowena's tombstone," Lily pointed out that night when they were in the Room of Requirement.
Read it aloud and we can brainstorm," Severus requested.
"Some will use me, while others will not, some have
Remembered, while others have forgot. For profit or gain, I'm
Used expertly, I cannot be picked off the ground or tossed
Into the sea. Only gained from patience and time, can you unravel
My rhyme?" Remus read it out loud for the group.
"I think it must be wisdom," Caddaric said. "Rowena was really big on it, wasn't she?"
"Yes, she was," Irene answered. "Also wit. 'Wit beyond measure is a man's greatest treasure' was etched on her diadem."
"What about knowledge? Don't Ravenclaw's really prize acquiring knowledge?" Reg asked.
"That's true too."
"Only gained from patience and time, that could be either of them," Alice pointed out.
Frank nodded in agreement. "It does take both patience and time to gain both knowledge and wisdom."
"So, it could be either wisdom or knowledge," Remus said. "But which is the better answer and the one that will release the Grimoire?"
"I think we should try knowledge first and if that doesn't work, we'll try wisdom," Lily said.
"I think that sounds like a plan," Emily said.
"Too bad Pothead isn't here to see us succeed in spite of him," Jane grinned.
"I'm sure MacDonald's been keeping him posted on everything that's been going on since he got suspended," Pete said sourly.
The next morning everyone opened their newspapers to find a large picture of the Potter family dressed in their finest and the headline above the picture read, 'Charles Potter Announces He'll run for Minister of Magic!'
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