Chapter 44 : Some Secrets Revealed, Some Secrets Kept
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Some Secrets Revealed, Some Secrets Kept
The next morning before breakfast the friends stopped to visit Remus who was still in the hospital. He looked very tired and Madam Pomfrey would only allow them to stay a few minutes before shooing them out.
“Remus still looks as bad as he did yesterday,” Jane remarked. “He must be sicker than with a mild stomach flu.”
Severus had been reading ahead in his Defense Against the Dark Arts textbook had an idea as to what Remus’ chronic illness might be, but chose to remain silent. He figured if Remus wanted to tell them he would, but if he didn’t; it was his secret to keep.
As they walked past the hourglasses in the hallway, the Gryffindors noticed immediately that their hourglass had dropped down since yesterday in spite of Lily, Peter, Frank, Alice, Remus, and Sirius winning points yesterday.
“Damn Potter and his stupid friends!” Sirius muttered.
Potter and his gang were already sitting at the Gryffindor table when the others walked in. Lily noticed immediately all the glares being directed at Potter by the rest of the table.
“I’m going to have my dad look into this Professor Gold. I’ll bet he isn’t even really a professor. I’m going to have dad check his credentials!” James said loudly. He’d had to scrub the floor of the defense classroom without magic until nine o’clock and just for putting that little twit Rolly Summerset in his proper place.
“Don’t you think your dad ought to be looking for a safe place to store the Potter gold first?” Sirius yelled down the table. “He can’t keep it in Gringotts anymore and that’s a first. I don’t think anybody’s ever been kicked out of Gringotts before this!”
James face reddened at Sirius’ taunt.
The owls flying in suddenly lightened the tension. Everyone looked forward to getting mail whether it was mail from home or the Daily Prophet. Ringo landed in front of Lily with a letter from Tuney. She took it from him and gave him a slice of bacon to eat. Lily read the letter and squealed in excitement.
“What’s going on?” Alice asked.
“Remember I told you that we met Mr. Ollivander’s son, Salem when we were school shopping and he seemed kind of interested in Petunia?”
Alice nodded. “I remember.”
“Well, Tuney wrote me saying that Salem had sent her a note asking her if she could meet him for tea at the Leaky Cauldron. He also sent mum and dad a note asking their permission and they agreed.” Lily turned the note over and quickly wrote on the back, ‘I hope you have a great time! Let me know how it went. Love, Lily.’ She gave the note back to Ringo who flew off.
The bell sounded warning that students had five minutes to get to their classes. Roland Summerset got up and started to walk out when suddenly his book bag flew out of his hand and turned upside down spilling everything out of it. Ink bottles crashed to the floor, breaking. Books and parchment fell into the spilled ink along with his quills. Roland looked at the mess in a panic; sure he was going to receive detention.
“What a klutz!” James sneered at Roland as he went past with Lisa and Mary giggling and shaking their heads. Daniel went past. “Go back home, you stupid Muggleborn! Can’t even manage your book bag!”
Lily, Frank, Alice, Peter, and Sirius stopped to help him and the Slytherins came over to help. Severus used the Reparo spell to fix his ink bottles and snapped quills while Reg and Sirius used the Tergeo to siphon the spilled ink off his books and parchment. Reg grinned. “Mum used to use that spell all the time on Siri and me because we always got stains on our clothes.”
They got everything put neatly back into his book bag and escorted him to Charms and then the Gryffindors and Slytherins went onto Transfiguration while Irene and Caddaric went outside to Greenhouse 3 for Herbology.
In Transfiguration, the class was attempting to turn animals into water goblets. James sat smirking and looking around at his classmates still struggling to do the transfiguration. He had gotten it on the first try and earned twenty points for Gryffindor.
Severus was frustrated because every time he attempted the transfiguration of his bird, his water goblet ended up with a beak and tail feathers still.
Lily had managed to turn her bird into a goblet on her fourth try, earning Gryffindor another twenty points. She leaned over to Severus and whispered encouragingly, “You’re trying too hard again, Sev, and blocking the flow of your magic. Remember what Dorian taught us.”
Severus closed his eyes and took a deep breath to calm himself. He sensed his magic, and pictured it flowing down his arm and into his wand. He tapped the bird three times sharply with his wand and then pointed it at the bird and whispered, “Vera Verto.” His bird changed into a goblet and this time without a beak or tail feathers.
“Very good, Mr. Snape. Twenty points to Slytherin,” Professor McGonagall said. “For the ones that weren’t able to do the transfiguration today, please re-read chapter 2 and everybody write a foot of parchment on what you think you did right or wrong. We will be doing this exercise again tomorrow. Class is dismissed except for you, Mr. Potter.”
“She’s probably going to award me extra points for being the first one to transfigure my bird and didn’t want to do it in class because the Slytherins would be so jealous of me and probably try to hex me,” James whispered to Daniel, Mary and Lisa. He strutted up to Minerva’s desk after everybody had left. “You wanted to see me, Professor?”
“Yes, Mr. Potter. I saw you cast a spell on Mr. Summerset’s bag, causing it to turn upside down and spill everything out. I’ve had a report from Professor Gold that he caught you bullying Mr. Summerset yesterday afternoon. He gave you detention last night and I’m assigning you detention tonight with me and taking thirty points from Gryffindor for your continued bullying of Mr. Summerset.”
“I didn’t do it! I don’t know who did it. It was probably those slimy snakes! You can ask my friends; they’ll tell you I’m innocent,” James protested.
“I wasn’t born yesterday either, Mr. Potter and I know your friends would have no qualms about lying for you. The detention stands and you’re dismissed. You may give this note to Professor Sprout so she doesn’t take points for being late. Merlin knows Gryffindor can’t afford the loss of any more points.”
James sulked all the way to Greenhouse 3. He handed Sprout the note and went over to the table he was sharing with Mary, Lisa, and Daniel.
“Looks as if Pothead didn’t get the praise from McGonagall he thought he deserved,” Lily whispered to Severus.
“Looks like he did get something he wasn’t expecting,” Frank chuckled.
Sirius, Pete, Emily, and Jane all snickered at James’ petulant expression.
“I hope the git got punished for what he did to Summerset this morning,” Alice declared.
“The headmaster doesn’t seem to be interfering on Pothead’s behalf as much as he’s done the last two years,” Emily remarked.
“He can’t,” Severus replied. “The Board of Governors is keeping a close eye on him this year and his position is tenuous at best. Abraxas Malfoy wants to fire him with or without a reason.”
“I say fire him!” Jane replied. “The way he treats the houses other than Gryffindor; it’s a disgrace!”
“But there’s always a chance we could get an even worse headmaster,” Pete pointed out.
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
Professor Gold was looking over James’ school record and shaking his head. His file was loaded with detentions, mostly for bullying. He’d started off his first year by getting detention the first night for bullying a Muggleborn girl. The bullying continued the entire year with the headmaster stepping in to stymie the efforts of the other professors to discipline him. His parents’ constant interference didn’t help matters either.
He of course knew who Charles Potter was. Anybody who worked in the Ministry knew of him and a bigger bragging blowhard there had never been. Most of them also knew of his snobby, pretentious wife, Mavis. It was no surprise to him that they had created the disaster that went by the name of James Charles Potter.
He looked over some of the files of other third years. Severus Tobias Snape, son of a witch and a Muggle. Grandson of Marius and Vesper Prince. Both his parents had died within a short time of each other when he was five and he was raised by the Princes. He was apparently a potions prodigy, but also had mostly E’s and O’s in all his other subjects, the exception being History of Magic in which he’d only achieved an A, but that was understandable.
He picked up the next file. Sirius Orion Black whose father was Auror Orion Black. Now there was an interesting file. He had been Potter’s best friend and appeared to be going down the same path as Potter until they were suspended last January for arranging to have emeralds stolen out of the Slytherin hourglass by Mundungus Fletcher. From the looks of things, Sirius did a complete turnabout and rejected further involvement with Potter and straightened up.
Lily Evans was another interesting student. A Muggleborn who was top in her class, excelling in Charms, Potions, and Defense. She was the one Potter had bullied relentlessly first year, but instead of withdrawing or turning bitter she had fought back with help from her best friend, Severus Snape.
Remus Lupin was the next file he perused. Of course he’d recognized instantly what his real problem was yesterday. Mr. Lupin suffered from Lycanthropy. He knew James would love to get his greedy little hands on that information. Other than suffering from Lycanthropy, Mr. Lupin was an excellent student which in itself was remarkable given he probably missed two or three days of class each month.
His study of the files was interrupted by a knock on his classroom door and he saw Minerva standing outside. “Please come in, Minerva,” he called.
“I’m sorry, Robert. I hope I’m not disturbing you.”
“Not at all.” Robert summoned his personal elf and requested tea and crumpets. After the tea arrived, he poured Minerva and himself a cup.
“I see you’re going over the files of the third years.”
Robert shook his head. “Yes, and I see Mr. Potter’s been in trouble almost from the first moment he set foot in this school too.”
“Yes, it was really a struggle the first year because he’s Albus’ godson and he wouldn’t allow any of the professors to punish him or Mr. Black no matter how bad their behavior.”
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw him bullying that first year, ordering him to pick up his spilled stuff and when he was finished, to kiss his feet!”
“I know,” Minerva shook her head. “I had hoped after being suspended for half the year last year, Mr. and Mrs. Potter would realize their son was quickly turning into a unwholesome brat and try to correct it, but my hopes went up in smoke his first day back.”
“Mr. Black’s behavior has certainly turned around though,” he remarked.
“That’s because his parents care and they really cracked down on him hard when he was suspended.” Minerva smiled a bit. “Mrs. Black even came here Sirius’ first year and paddled his bum so hard that he was sitting on a pillow for a week. He had deliberately injured Mr. Snape in Defense and put him in the hospital wing. I understand she was livid about it!”
“What about Mr. Lupin?”
“What about him? Minerva replied in a guarded tone.
“Come now, Minerva,” Robert said with a shake of his head. “I do teach Defense Against the Dark Arts so I do recognize the symptoms of Lycanthropy when I see them.”
Minerva relaxed visibly. “I’m the only one who knows it other than Poppy due to my being the deputy headmistress and Mr. Lupin’s head of house. It remains a closely guarded secret owing to the Ministry being unaware of his admittance.
“I was looking at Mr. Lupin’s file and I am surprised to find his grades are excellent despite his missing class for two or three days each month.”
“The other professors were told he has a non-infectious chronic illness and they make allowances for late assignments and missed exams, as do I.”
“I was told that by Headmaster Dumbledore also and asked to make an exception. It wasn’t until Mr. Lupin become ill in my class the other day that I realized what his chronic illness was.”
“He does get a lot of help from his friends also. They catch him up on his reading and assignments. Mr. Snape on Potions, Miss Evans on Charms, Mr. Andrews on Transfiguration, Miss Starkey on Herbology, Mr. Longbottom on Defense, and Mr. Pettigrew on Astronomy. Between the professors making exceptions and his friends, Mr. Lupin has been able to do quite well academically.”
“It’s good that he has such first-rate friends, but I am concerned about Potter finding out. That would be an unmitigated disaster for Mr. Lupin!”
“Mr. Potter isn’t going to find out and I will warn Poppy to be on the lookout for any mischief from Mr. Potter or his friends,” Minerva replied.
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
Severus was sitting by Remus’ bed in the hospital wing and reading. The curtains around the bed were drawn and Severus assumed Remus was sleeping. He didn’t see Madam Pomfrey around anywhere and figured she was probably in her office.
There was a loud noise as the double doors to the hospital wing were thrown open and Severus saw Potter and his three friends striding in. He put his hand on his wand, ready to pull it out if they were intent on causing any problems. “What do you want, Potter?” Severus snapped.
James strutted up to Severus. “None of your business, Snivellus,” James sneered. He made a move to pull back the curtain, but stopped suddenly when Severus blocked their way. “Remus is asleep. Leave now and don’t come back,” Severus ordered.
“There’s four of us and only one of you, Snivvy; try and stop us.” Daniel said.
The fracas was interrupted by Madam Pomfrey coming into the hospital. She had just come back from escorting Remus to the Shrieking Shack to transform. “What is going on here?” Poppy demanded, hands on her hips.
“We just came to visit Remus and Snivellus blocked our way,” James complained.
“I told them Remus was asleep and not to bother him, but they wouldn’t listen and Potter was trying to pull the curtain back and wake Remus up.”
Poppy looked at the four of them. She knew very well that James and his friends were there for only one reason and that was to spy. She’d heard from her personal elf, Tibby who had heard it from the elves that cleaned Gryffindor Tower that James was trolling for information on Remus’ illness.
“Detention for the four of you with me tomorrow evening and five points from each of you,” Poppy snapped.
“You can’t give us detention or take points; you’re not a professor!” James barked.
“But I am head of the hospital wing, Mr. Potter and that gives me the same authority as a head of house.” She took out her wand and said, “Expecto Patronum.” When her Patronus, a St. Bernard dog appeared, she said, “Please find Professor McGonagall and bring her to the hospital.”
It was about ten minutes before her Patronus returned followed by Minerva. She saw James and his friends standing by Remus’ bed, sulking and Severus with a defiant look on his face while Poppy looked very angry. “What’s happened?”
“Mr. Potter and his friends came in with the intent of disturbing, Mr. Lupin while he was sleeping and Mr. Snape stopped them. I gave them detention and took five points each from them. Mr. Potter seems to be under the impression I have no authority to do that.”
Minerva glared at the James, Daniel, Mary, and Lisa. “Madam Pomfrey is correct. What was so important that you four couldn’t wait and come back in the morning when Mr. Lupin was awake?”
James muttered something while the other three looked rebellious.
“What was that, Mr. Potter? I afraid I didn’t catch your response.”
“I said how come we get detention and lose points, but Snivellus doesn’t?”
“Mr. Snape was not deliberately trying to disturb Mr. Lupin. I know that for a fact because he or one of Mr. Lupin’s other friends have been here since Mr. Lupin was admitted.”
Minerva sighed. “Alright you four, your punishment and point loss stands. It’s almost curfew so return to Gryffindor Tower. If I see any of you lurking about, I’ll double what Madam Pomfrey already gave you.”
The four of them left, muttering and grumbling under their breaths.
“Mr. Snape, I’m awarding ten points to Slytherin for your defense of Mr. Lupin,” Poppy said.
“Thank you, Madam. Remus is my friend and I would have protected him no matter what,” Severus replied picking up his book. He nodded at Professor McGonagall who smiled out him and left.
Minerva shook her head. “Sometimes I think there’s a thirty year-old stuck inside Mr. Snape’s thirteen year-old body.”
Madam Pomfrey sank into the chair Severus had vacated. “Thank Merlin, Mr. Snape was here! I had just escorted Mr. Lupin to the Shrieking Shack and come back. If Mr. Potter had pulled back the curtain back and found nobody was there, he would have been determined to find out what was going on.”
“I imagine he’ll be owling his father about your detention so be ready,” Minerva said.
“I’m not afraid of that idiot of a windbag!” Madam Pomfrey replied.
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
The friends met in the Room of Requirement before they went down to breakfast and Severus explained about what had happened last night.
“Merlin! You can’t even get sick anymore without the Potters sticking their big noses into things!” Sirius snapped.
“He thinks Remus has something contagious and he’d determined to find out what it is and have him chucked out,” Lily said.
“It’s none of Pukehead’s business!” Alice snapped.
“He doesn’t care about anybody except himself,” Emily said.
“Maybe, if he gets back on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, somebody can ‘accidently’ ram into him with your broom,” Reg suggested.
Dorian grinned. “I like that idea, Reg, but unfortunately he’d go whining to his dad about it and old man Potter would probably come roaring to Dumbledore and he’d give the game to the Gryffindors.”
“That’s exactly what would happen,” Jane agreed.
“Potter won’t try out anyway,” Frank said. “The only position we have open this year is for a Beater and he thinks it’s beneath him to play that position.”
“Potter and his friends got punished fairly,” Severus said. “They’ve got detention with Madam Pomfrey tonight and she took five points from each of them.”
Tav chuckled. “I wouldn’t want detention from Madam Pomfrey. She’ll probably have them washing bedpans without magic.”
“Ooh!” Irene exclaimed. “Not before breakfast, Tav.”
“I think my appetite just disappeared too,” Caddaric said making a face.
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
The tryouts for the Gryffindor and Hufflepuff teams were held that weekend. The Hufflepuff team needed to replace two Chasers and their Keeper. The Gryffindors just needed to replace a Beater. After the Hufflepuffs chose theirs from the kids who had tried out, it was Gryffindors turn. Madam Hooch stood by as James strutted out onto the field, dressed in his Quidditch uniform and with a smirk on his face.
“Are you going to try out for the Beater position then, Mr. Potter?”
“Of course not. Do I look like a dummy? Only morons try out for Beaters.”
“Well, why are you here then?” Madam Hooch asked in confusion. “Since the Beater position is the only position open on the Gryffindor team.”
“I want my former position as a Chaser back,” James demanded and pointed at David Harperton who had replaced him last year. “He can take the Beater’s spot.”
“You can’t just walk in here and demand Dave give up the Chaser position to you, Potter,” Archibald Treadway, the Gryffindor Captain said. “He won the position fair and square after you were suspended last year for stealing those emeralds. Either try out for the Beater position or take a walk!”
James looked around to find the rest of team glaring at him in a most unfriendly way. “You win for now, Treadway, but my dad’s going to hear about this and he’ll make you wish you hadn’t been born!” James turned away and stalked off back towards the castle.”
“Git!” Treadway muttered and then yelled, “Okay who’s first to try out for Beater?”
Page ~*~*~*~* Break
Minerva was correcting a stack of fourth year Transfiguration essays when her floo sounded. She looked up to see Charles Potter’s head sitting in her fireplace. She got up with a sigh and knelt down in front of the fire. “What may I do for you, Mr. Potter?”
“Several things, Minerva. May I come through?”
“Yes, but please make it short as I have many essays to grade.”
Charles stepped out of the floo, brushing the ash off his clothes. He took a chair in front of her desk. Minerva didn’t offer tea as she wanted him to leave as soon as possible. “I understand from James that he was unable to continue being a Chaser on the Quidditch team. I believe you told him last year he would be able to resume his rightful position when he returned this year.”
“I told him no such thing, Mr. Potter. I told him he could try out again, but I did not promise him a place on the team. The only open position was for a Beater and he didn’t want to try out for it.”
“Well, you’re head of his house and you could certainly put James on the team if you wanted to.”
“I am not going to do that,” Minerva snapped. “Mr. Harperton won the position fairly in tryouts last year. He’s proven to be a solid team player and an excellent Chaser. There will be no change, Mr. Potter,” she stressed.
“We’ll see about that, Minerva. What about Madam Pomfrey giving James and his friends detention? She has no authority to do that!”
“On the contrary,” Minerva replied. “Accio Hogwarts Code of Conduct.” A thick, heavy book sailed off the shelf of her bookcase and into her hand. She opened the book and leafed through several pages until she found the passage she was looking for. “It says right here that the Medi-witch is in charge of the hospital and has the same authority as the heads of house.” She sent the book back to her bookshelf. “Your son and his friends were attempting to push their way into Mr. Lupin’s bedside with the intention of bothering a very sick young man and that is why Madam Pomfrey gave them detention.”
“And what about that Snape kid. Why wasn’t he given detention?”
“He was trying to protect Mr. Lupin and keep your son and his friend’s from bothering him.”
“Yes, Lupin,” Charles sneered. “James has been trying to find out if he has something that could be contagious to the rest of the school. We certainly don’t want him in school if he has something dangerous.”
“Mr. Lupin’s health is neither yours nor your son’s business and if I catch him snooping around and bothering Mr. Lupin again, I will be issuing detention.”
Charles snorted. He’d just have to warn Jamie to be more careful in his investigation. “The third thing is this Professor Gold! Who the hell is he to give my son detention? I’ve never heard that name; he’s obviously not from any of the prominent families.”
‘Meaning pureblood families,’ Minerva thought sourly. “Professor Gold is an excellent teacher and from what I’ve heard the students really enjoy his classes and look forward to them.”
“What house is he from?” Charles demanded.
“I do not know and it’s nobody’s business anyway. It’s not a qualification for being hired unless you’re applying for head of house.”
Charles sat quietly for a moment and then smiled. “Minerva, you do know that Albus is on thin ice right now with the Board of Governors right now. I’d be surprised if he lasts until Christmas. Should he loose his position, we would need a new head and of course, it has to be a Gryffindor.”
Minerva’s eyes narrowed and so did her mouth. “What are you saying, Charles?”
“I’m saying if it does happen; I could be persuaded to back you and convince some of the governors …”
Minerva slammed her hand down on her desk and shot to her feet. “Leave my office this instant, Mr. Potter before I call Hagrid and have you thrown out the front gates!”
Charles Potter rose too. “You’ll be sorry, Minerva. When I’m Minister of Magic, things are going to be a lot different at Hogwarts.”
“Then I will not be here to see such as an ass as yourself to muck things up!” When Minerva was really angry her Scottish burr came to the front.
Charles hurriedly flooed out and just missed getting hit by the vase Minerva threw at the fireplace.
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