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Lily's Defender by Snapegirl
Chapter 46 : Exposed
 
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Chapter 46

Exposed

Alethea27

Albus was sitting behind his desk, reading that month's edition Transfiguration Today. Even though he wasn't teaching Transfiguration, except occasionally when Minerva was absent, he liked to keep up on the latest news.

The Floo sounded suddenly and spit out Charles Potter, looking enraged. Albus was surprised. He hadn't seen any of the Potters since he'd spanked and then suspended James for stealing the emeralds out of the Slytherin hourglass.

"You know, Charles, it would have been more polite if you'd let me know you wanted to see me first," Albus suggested calmly, putting down his magazine

"There's no time for politeness, Dumbledore. Why have you hired a Werewolf to teach Defense?"

Albus blinked in confusion. "I'm sorry?"

"Professor Gold!" Charles snarled. "James heard his wife talking to him about brewing a potion that helps Lycanthropes outside of Hagrid's hut."

"And exactly where was James when he 'heard' this?" Albus demanded.

"That doesn't matter, Albus! The important thing is you need to terminate this person's position immediately."

"Well, Charles, I will be doing nothing of the sort! He's one of the best defense professors we've had outside of the Magnusson's. I'm assuming James was under his cloak, sneaking around and eavesdropping when he supposedly heard this. It might shock you to learn he did not hear things correctly. Professor Gold is no more a Werewolf than you or I."

Charles ignored the fact that Albus knew that James was sneaking around under his invisibility cloak and said, "James did not mishear what Gold or his wife said. If you are unwilling to do anything about Gold, I am going to the Board."

"That's your decision, Charles. I bide you a good day."

Fuming, Charles stormed back into the Floo and to Potter Manor. He stepped out of the Floo in the library, still enraged. Mavis came into the library, followed by three elves to which she was giving the day's cleaning orders. "Charles? What are you doing home? I thought you had already left for the office."

"No, I just came back from seeing that old fool, Dumbledore. Jamie owled me this morning that he discovered the new Defense professor is a Werewolf!"

Mavis gasped, covering her mouth with her hands. "We must bring Jamie home this minute, Charles! We can't risk him getting bitten!"

"I demanded that Albus terminate this Gold's position immediately, but he refused. I threatened to go to the Board and he replied that it was my decision."

"You can contact the Gryffindor members of the Board and let them know what's happening," Mavis said. "The Hufflepuffs members will likely vote with us, won't they?"

"But we still have the Ravenclaw and Slytherin members and they'll vote together and we'll be at a deadlock. Unfortunately, many of the other members fear Marius Prince and Abraxas Malfoy for what they could do to them or their families and won't vote against them."

"So? We just leave our son to be bitten and turned into a hideous beast?" Mavis shrieked.

"Calm yourself, Mavis," Charles said. "I'm going to speak with Rita Skeeter at the Prophet. I know she's always on the lookout for a good story. She wants to be the top reporter and have her own column and this story will definitely help her get there."

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

Albus made his way down to the defense classroom just as the third class of the day was letting out. He waited outside as the seventh years students exited the classroom, talking excitedly about what they had learned that day. Most nodded at the headmaster politely as they passed him.

Albus entered the now empty classroom and called, "Robert, may I have a moment of your time before your next class starts?"

"Of course, Headmaster; what can I do for you?"

"I had a visit from a parent this morning. Apparently you were overheard by a student talking to your wife about a potion she brewed that helps with the symptoms of Lycanthropy. This student now believes you are a werewolf and owled their parents immediately. Their father came to see me this morning, insisting I terminate you or he will go to the Board. I told him you were no more a werewolf than I was. I believe he has very little influence with the Board, but none the less; I thought you should be aware of what is occurring."

"I thank you for letting me know, Headmaster, and I will be watching for any problems," Gold replied. He had a pretty good idea of who the student was. The other professors had warned him about Mr. Potter's invisibility cloak and he figured Potter was chuffed at the detentions for bullying he'd assigned him and had taken to spying on him, trying to find a reason to get him dismissed.

The third year Slytherins and Gryffindors were just coming in as Albus was leaving. "Mr. Lupin, it's good to see you're out of the hospital wing and back in class."

"Thank you, Headmaster," Remus replied politely. He was still a bit pale, but otherwise felt a lot better.

James smirked at Gold. His father had owled him that he was going to speak to Rita Skeeter about Gold being a werewolf and teaching at Hogwarts and Dumbledore refusing to dismiss him. This would definitely put his dad in the Minister's seat where he rightly belonged. He couldn't wait until Gold saw the Prophet the next morning!

"We're going to be having a practical outside today so don't bother getting out your books," Robert announced. "Please follow me."

The children followed him outside with James and his cronies whispering and laughing at the back.

Severus looked over his shoulder at them disgustedly. They were up to something rotten and that usually meant trouble for somebody; he hoped it wasn't him or any of his friends.

But to everybody's surprise James behaved and listened attentively as Gold taught them more about stealth tracking and then had them break up into small groups. Potter worked with his group hiding and tracking. Remus' group, of which Severus was part, came in first due to his superior scenting ability that was part of his werewolf legacy.

James was upset that his group, led by Jane, didn't come in first, but decided not to make an issue of it. Gold would be getting his in the morning.

Severus continued to watch James as they walked to the next class. The fact that he hadn't whined and complained about Remus coming in first was suspicious. He was definitely up to something. He confided his suspicions to the others when they met in the Room of Requirement after their last class.

"I was shocked," Jane admitted. "I figured Pothead would be screaming at me that I was incompetent and if he had been the leader, we would have come in first."

"Yeah," Sirius agreed. "Potter's always been really aggressive when it comes to winning. He's got to be first in everything or he throws a bloody tantrum!"

"Yeah, you should have seen him when he found out he wouldn't be a Chaser this year, but Treadway read him the riot act and he shut up!" Frank stated.

"I don't mean to alarm you, but Remus, you need to be on your guard," Severus said. "While you were sick, Potter and his friends were snooping around trying to find out why you were sick."

Remus paled at that. He didn't need James finding out about his condition under his invisibility cloak and stalking him. "I'll keep an eye out for him."

"You won't be able to see him if he's under that beastly invisibility cloak," Lily said. She bit her lip. "I wish we could find a spell that we can use if we think he's following us that would reveal he's under that damn cloak."

"Yeah, then we could report him to our heads of house," Caddaric said. "Professor Sprout won't take kindly to the students in her house being stalked by a sneak under an invisibility cloak."

"Neither will Professor Flitwick," Irene said.

"I thought McGonagall sent that stupid thing home," Reg said.

"You know his parents let him bring it back, Reg," Tav replied scornfully.

"Tav and me just learned a summoning spell in Charms today," Dorian announced. "How's that for timing?"

"Can you show it to us, Dorian?" Pete said. "I for one would love to embarrass the heck out of him!"

"The incantation is Accio," Dorian explained. "Watch closely. Accio Lily's textbook!" The textbook flew into his hand.

"You've got to twist your wrist like so," Tav said. "Accio Janes's shoe!" One of Jane's shoes that she had taken off flew into Tav's hand.

"Okay, everybody give it a try," Dorian urged. "Tav and I will watch and correct your wand movements."

They all practiced the charm with Dorian's and Tav's help until Sirius' stomach growled loudly reminding them it must be close to dinner. Everybody laughed.

"If there's ever a time when none of us has a watch; we can always depend on Sirius' stomach to let us know when it's time to eat," Remus joked as they left the Room of Requirement.

"I can't help it if I'm a growing boy!" Sirius replied, giving Remus a shove.

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

The next morning at breakfast the owls flew in bringing mail to the recipients. Lily was thrilled to get a letter from Tuney in Paris. She had mailed it to her parents and asked them to owl it to Lily. She ripped it open and eagerly read it and then started giggling.

"What's so funny, Lily?" Alice asked.

"Remember I told you that Tuney was going to Paris for training? Well, she wrote me that this guy named Vernon saw her and asked her out. She told him she was already going with somebody, but he keeps sending her flowers, candy, and asking her to dinner. He's apparently visiting Paris with his sister who Tuney says looks as if she could be a guard at Buckingham Palace complete with a mustache." Lily started giggling again. "Tuney says Paris is very romantic and she wishes Salem could visit her. They're keeping in touch by owl mail."

"That is so romantic," Alice said with a sigh.

Over at the Slytherin table, Tav's owl, Valerius, landed in front of him with the Daily Prophet. "Good boy!" Tav said giving him a slice of bacon. He opened the paper and gasped.

"What wrong?" Dorian asked as he spread strawberry jam across a piece of toast.

Severus leaned over and looked at the paper whose headline read: Suspected Werewolf Teaching at Hogwarts! Byline by Rita Skeeter.

'This reporter was told yesterday by an upstanding citizen whose only child attends Hogwarts that there's a new professor, teaching one of the core subjects who hides a secret – that of being a werewolf! This father's son overheard the professor thanking his potion mistress wife for brewing a potion that helps with the symptoms caused by the pre-transfiguration stage of this condition. The father went to Headmaster and further stated that Headmaster Dumbledore refused to listen to him or terminate the aforementioned professor. Parents be warned!

"I guess we know why Potter was so agreeable yesterday. He knew this was coming out," Dorian said.

"Does it say who it is?" Reg asked.

"It doesn't mention anybody specific, but she says it's a new professor teaching one of the core subjects. She may as well have printed Professor Gold's name!" Tav replied angrily.

"Yeah, and I'll bet Pothead's daddy is the little bird that was chirping in Skeeter's ear too!" Jane said.

"He did it because he's mad because Professor Gold punished him for bullying that Summerset boy, I'll bet," Emily guessed.

Over at the Gryffindor table, Frank's copy of the Prophet was passed from hand to hand. It was also being passed around at the other two house tables. There was a lot of murmuring in the Hall and people looking up at the head table where Gold was calmly eating his breakfast.

James sat smirking at the reaction of the students around him. There would be a lot of parents owling Dumbledore now; he might even get a few Howlers. Gold would be forced to resign in disgrace!

Daniel nudged him out of his enjoyment. "Gold doesn't even look concerned," he hissed.

"Don't worry about him. He's faking it and he probably pissed his drawers underneath the table when he saw the paper!"

"Ooh, Jamie!" Mary complained. "That's so gross! Not while I'm eating!"

Lisa merely contented herself with giggling inanely.

Albus put his wand to his throat and said, "Sonorus." He stood up and requested loudly, "May I have your attention please?"

The students quieted down and looked up at the headmaster expectantly.

"I want you to know that the front page story in this morning's Prophet is a complete falsehood. I can assure you that none of your professors is a werewolf. Please attend your classes secure in the knowledge that you are safe from any harm. There is no danger!" He put his wand to his throat again and said, "Quietus."

The bell indicating that the students had 10 minutes to get to their first class rang, startling everyone. They got up and slowly shuffled out of the Great Hall.

Albus made sure they had all left before he summoned Gold and Minerva into the room where the first years waited before the sorting. He closed the door and cast a powerful silencing charm over the door. "I do apologize, Robert, but apparently the parent I spoke of yesterday went to the Prophet instead of the Board. Be assured I will be having a word with Barnabas Cuffe about slander and false accusations."

"I'm assuming it was Mr. Potter who's the author of this slanderous campaign? I'm afraid I underestimated the young man's thirst for revenge," Robert said.

"Yes. James must have been following you under his invisibility cloak and heard you talking to your wife about the potion she brewed for Mr. Lupin and jumped to the wrong conclusion," Albus replied regretfully.

Minerva couldn't help but smirk at Albus' answer. For two years she and the other professors had been telling him that allowing Mr. Potter to continue having that cloak was a recipe for trouble, but he wouldn't listen and now he was reaping the bounty of his stubbornness. "I believe there is a simple test to diagnose Lycanthropy. You could have it done and Albus can release the results to the Prophet," Minerva suggested. "That would certainly put a spoke in Mr. Potter's wheel."

Robert nodded. "I recall my wife talking about it. She's very involved in researching the disease, hoping to find a cure or at least a treatment for it. She invented the potion she brought me for Mr. Lupin."

"I'm sure Madam Pomfrey could perform the test, but it would be best to have it done at St. Mungo's to avoid any hint of collusion," Albus said.

"If you can find somebody to take over my first period class; I'll Floo immediately to St. Mungo's."

"Filius has a free first period today and I'm sure he won't mind taking your class over," Minerva said. "I'll go and speak with him right now." She was back in a few moments. "Filius said he'll be happy to take over your first class for you."

"Good," Robert replied. "I'll leave immediately."

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

Severus and Lily walked to Greenhouse 3 for Herbology and were rather lagging behind the other students when Severus suddenly stopped, bent and plucked a flower growing on the path. It was a bright red flower with gold edging. "This is for you, Lily," Severus said shyly.

"Sev, it's beautiful!" Lily exclaimed. Suddenly she stood up on her tiptoes and gave him a quick kiss on his lips this time. "Thank you!"

Severus was blushing as he walked into class. James looked over, snickered and said loudly, "Hey, Snivellus! Why so red in the face? Did you pee your pants on the way to class?" He and Daniel guffawed loudly while Mary and Lisa tittered annoyingly.

"Sit down and be quiet, Mr. Potter!" Pomona snapped. "I want everybody's attention up here today. We'll be covering poisonous plants. Mr. Potter, you've expressed a desire to be an Auror so it's best if you know which plants are poisonous and which ones aren't so you don't end up accidently killing someone you're trying to help. Please open your textbooks to page 26."

"Sorry, Sev," Lily said softly as she opened her textbook.

"It's okay, Lily. I don't care what Pothead thinks. Besides it was nice," Severus whispered back.

Lily beamed and returned to taking notes on what Professor Sprout was saying.

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

Robert returned with the results from Master Healer Josephs who was the head of the department of Magical Diseases and gave it to Albus; he flooed to Barnabas Cuffe's office. Cuffe's secretary escorted Albus in. Cuffe got up from behind his desk and shook Albus' hand. "Professor Dumbledore. How may I be of service to you?"

"I'd like a word about slander, Mr. Cuffe," Albus replied as he tossed the Prophet on his desk.

Cuffe was reminded of the time when he was a sixth year and had to go see the headmaster about something he'd written. His tone had been nearly the same. "You're referring about Rita's story about a werewolf teaching at Hogwarts, I take it?"

"Yes, the professor accused and yes, everyone knew exactly who it is, went to St. Mungo's. I don't know if you or Miss Skeeter is aware of it, but there is a test to determine Lycanthropy. Master Healer Josephs who is head of the department of magical diseases performed the test this morning and this is the result." Albus tossed the copy of Gold's test results on Cuffe's desk. "As you can see it was negative for Lycanthropy." He turned to leave and stopped. "I want an apology by Miss Skeeter to her victim and a retraction printed on the front page of tomorrow's paper. I don't really want to resort to legal means to get them, Mr. Cuffe, but I will if I find my hand is forced."

Cuffe nodded and replied. "You'll have both, Headmaster with no objection from me or Miss Skeeter."

Albus nodded and flooed back to Hogwarts. He summoned Minerva to his office. "When classes are over, would you please send Mr. Potter to my office?"

"Of course," Minerva replied with a nod. She hoped Albus was considering giving James some of the same as he'd had last year before he was placed on suspension.

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

Albus was busy putting out the flames from the last of the Howlers when there was a knock on his door. He looked up to see Minerva McGonagall and Rita Skeeter spelled out over the door. He called. "Please come in, Professor and Miss Skeeter."

Minerva came in, followed by a short woman with shoulder length blond hair and hideously green, sparkly framed glasses. Her nails were long and painted crimson red and she carried a purse about the size of a student's book bag. She smiled at Dumbledore and extended her hand. "Rita Skeeter, Professor."

Dumbledore remembered her from when she was a student. She'd been in Hufflepuff, he recalled. "Miss Skeeter," he said giving her hand a brief shake.

"Barnabas told me you quite upset with my story this morning so I'm here to apologize."

"I'm not the one you should be apologizing to. Your apology should be given to Professor Gold. He is, after all, the one who's reputation has suffered due to your story. Might I suggest in the future if Mr. Potter gives you anymore news tips about Hogwarts; you verify it with either Professor McGonagall or myself?"

"I'll certainly do that, Professor," she replied breezily. "Now if someone will direct me to Professor Gold so I can make my apology?"

"If you will follow Professor McGonagall; she will take you to see Professor Gold."

After they left, Albus vanished the ashes from the Howlers and did a Reparo on his desk. It was obvious to him that Rita Skeeter was not very sorry at all.

Minerva led Rita down to the first floor and to the Defense classroom. Professor Gold was seated at his desk, marking essays. "I'm sorry to disturb you, Robert, but Miss Skeeter is here and wishes to speak to you."

"Thank you, Minerva," Robert said as he rose from behind his desk. He took a quill out of his desk drawer and configured it into another chair. "Please have a seat, Miss Skeeter."

Rita made a show of seating herself and then said, "I do apologize for any embarrassment I may have cause you with my article, Professor, but it seemed to be information I thought the wizarding public should know."

"And I'll warrant your source forgot to mention where he got this information; that his son was spying on me while under an invisibility cloak?"

"No. Unfortunately he didn't or I would never have printed such malarkey! But if you wouldn't mind answering one tiny question, Professor Gold. Who was the potion your wife brewed actually for?"

Professor Gold smiled, showing his teeth. "You don't think I'm actually going to answer that, do you?"

Rita laughed nervously and got up. "Well, you can't blame a girl for trying!"

After she left, Gold wondered what she was going to write about next. Thankfully, he knew she would be unable to find out any information about him at the Ministry, but he was concerned about how this entire episode would affect Remus.

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

Remus and Peter were walking back to Gryffindor Tower after they're last class, discussing Professor's Gold class. "We're really learning a lot of stuff, besides what's in the book, I mean," Peter said enthusiastically. "I know I'll never be able to be an Auror because of my asthma, but I like to be included in the lessons."

"Pete, there's plenty of other things you could be besides an Auror. You're good at both Potions and Herbology. Even Sev says that, so you could be a Potion Master, or a Herbologist or even an Apothecary."

"Do you think I could be something at the Ministry that has to do with Muggle relations? I'm really interested in what Muggles have accomplished and I think I'd enjoy working with them."

"I think you can be anything you set your mind to, Pete," Remus replied confidently. He stopped suddenly and sniffed as his heightened sense indicated a new odor close by. He nudged Pete and made a nodding motion behind him. Peter nodded to indicate he understood. Remus turned, making it look as if they were headed towards the Fat Lady's portrait and then whirled around and yelled, "Accio Potter's cloak!"

The cloak flew into Remus' hands, leaving James and Mary exposed. James looked dumbfounded and Mary started to cry because she knew they would be turned over to McGonagall which would result in a letter home to her parents which would probably result in a Howler tomorrow morning at breakfast.

Minerva came around the corner just then in search of James so she could give him Albus' message. She strode over to the four and glared at them, hands on her hips. "What exactly is going on here, Mr. Lupin?"

"Potter and MacDonald were following us under that cloak of his, Professor," Remus explained handing the cloak to her. "I did an Accio and exposed them."

"Where on earth did you learn the summoning charm, Mr. Lupin? That spell is taught to fourth years."

Remus grinned. "Dorian and Tav taught it to us just for occasions like this, Professor."

"Well, I see I need to award points to both Slytherin and Gryffindor," Minerva answered. She motioned to James. "Come along, Mr. Potter. I was just coming to fetch you as the headmaster wishes to see you. I will be sending an owl home to both your parents informing them of your latest misbehavior and you have detention with me tomorrow evening."

Minerva led James to the Gargoyles and gave them the password 'Sugar Quills' to open up the passage to the headmaster's office. She knocked on the door and was greeted with, "Please come in Professor and Mr. Potter."

They came in as Albus looked up from the papers on his desk and motioned to the chairs in front of his desk. "Please have a seat and I will be with you in a moment."

"Mr. Potter and Miss MacDonald were caught by Mr. Lupin hidden under this cloak, stalking he and Mr. Pettigrew just now. Mr. Lupin was able to Accio Mr. Potter's cloak, revealing them," Professor McGonagall explained.

"I was only trying to find out what's up with Lupin. There's something not right about him; he's always getting sick. How do we know he doesn't have something contagious?"

It was a few minutes before Albus finished scribbling his name on the last piece of parchment. He looked up again and directly at James. "So you have been using your cloak again for unsavory purposes, Mr. Potter?"

James opened his mouth to protest, but Albus held up a hand to stop him. "Can you explain why you were following Professor Gold under you invisibility cloak other than you were angry because he stopped you from bullying Mr. Summerset?"

"I wasn't following him and you can't prove that I was!" James said in a belligerent tone of voice.

"Mind your tone, Mr. Potter," Albus said sharply then continued, "Your father told me that you told him that you had heard Professor Gold's wife talking about brewing a potion that helps people with Lycanthropy outside of Hagrid's. How do you explain how you knew Professor Gold had made an arrangement with Hagrid so he is able to see his family? Hagrid and myself were the only ones who knew this."

"I didn't know. I …" James stuttered.

"So you were following him under your cloak?" Dumbledore said. "You were doing it deliberately so you could find a reason to get him into trouble," Dumbledore said. He sighed. "James, I had really hoped being suspended for six months last year would have changed your attitude, but it appears I was mistaken. From October 1st through November 1st you will be on suspension in that when you're not in class; you will be in Gryffindor Tower. Any extracurricular activities of any kind are hereby revoked."

"But I'll miss the Halloween Feast!" James protested loudly.

"Perhaps you should have thought about that before you started on this foolhardy endeavor of stalking people," Albus replied. "In addition you will also apologize to Professor Gold for following him and for all the trouble you have caused him."

"I'm not apologizing to him! He's been picking on me since my first day in class!"

"You will apologize as part of your punishment, Mr. Potter. That is a non-issue as of right now! Professor McGonagall, if you will please owl Mr. Potter's cloak back to his parents and I will write a letter to go with it." Albus sighed and continued, "James, I realize now that I was very wrong to allow you to run wild for the last two years. I am hoping that you will see that the path you are currently on is not a good one and will decide to change paths, but right now I see very little evidence of that." Dumbledore got up from behind his desk.

"You can't do this to me!" James said. "I'm going to owl my father."

"Professor McGonagall, please escort Mr. Potter back to Gryffindor Tower."

Albus sat back down and wrote his letter to Charles and Mavis. In it he informed them that if James returned with the cloak after the holidays, it would be confiscated and locked in his office and wouldn't be returned to him until he was ready to board the Express at year's end. It was much too valuable a family heirloom to be used so carelessly. When Minerva returned with the cloak, Albus gave her the letter to go with it.

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

The next morning the headline on the front page of the Prophet read: 'Werewolf Story False!' It was once again bylined by Rita Skeeter. 'This reporter admits that the story I was given by Mr. Charles Potter was entirely wrong and I did not take the time to verify the information. He also forgot to inform me how he acquired this 'story'. Apparently, his son was following this professor under an invisibility cloak and eavesdropping on a private conversation. '

Severus chuckled as he read the article over Dorian's shoulder.

"I guess she's determined she isn't going to sink alone," Dorian snorted.

'I realize now I made a grievous error in judgment believing Mr. Potter without checking his facts and I possibly did serious damage to the reputation of the Hogwarts professor and to the Daily Prophet as well. From this moment on, this reporter promises to double and triple check her facts before allowing her story to be printed.

Tav chuckled too. "Even though she didn't say much, she made Potter sound like a right git!"

Reg laughed too. "The timing is perfect too. The election for Minister of Magic is tomorrow."

Over at the Gryffindor table, everybody was laughing, whispering, and pointing at James who sat red-faced stoically eating his porridge while Mary patted his shoulder sympathetically and whispered in his ear.

Sirius leaned over and said to the others, "Fulton, one of the second year boys in Potter's dorm told me Dumbledore suspended him and he can't leave Gryffindor Tower except for classes for a month stating October 1st! He said Potter was whining about it all night until somebody threatened to hex him if he didn't shut up and go to sleep."

"That means we won't have to see him at the Halloween Feast!" Lily said.

"Yeah, he isn't being allowed to go to it," Sirius said.

"Good riddence!" Frank snapped.

"I'm going to make it a special point to wish him a happy Halloween every time I see him that day!" Alice giggled.

The warning bell rang and all the students got up and began walking out of the Great Hall to their first class.

Page ~*~*~*~* Break

Albus returned to his office and sat down behind his desk and sighed as he saw even more paperwork sitting on his desk than there had been last night. Fawkes trilled.

"Yes, I know, Fawkes. It's never ending, isn't it? But I shall try to make inroads by lunchtime."

The Floo sounded and Albus looked up immediately annoyed to see Charles Potter's head in the fire. "If this is about James' suspension, Charles; I don't have time to visit with you this morning. You will have to come back some other time," Albus called and then went back to his paperwork.

Charles stormed out of the Floo, through the room and towards the door. "I'm not here on behalf of Jamie."

"Since the election's tomorrow, I thought you'd be out doing some last minute campaigning," Albus remarked not bothering to look up.

"I'm challenging Gold to a duel for the damage he's done to my reputation."

"I believe he's the one who should be challenging you as you attacked first, Charles."

"I'll be back to talk to with you about Jamie when I'm finished with Gold!"

"I shall be here," Albus replied indifferently.

Charles angrily strode downstairs and into the corridor, heading for the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. He stopped and looked into the classroom, seeing that Gold was alone and stormed inside.

Robert looked up from the lesson he was preparing for his next class of 2nd year Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs. "Mr. Potter, what may I do for you?"

"I'm challenging you to a duel for the damage you've caused to my reputation!"

Robert grinned, shook his head.

"You think I'm joking?" Charles demanded.

"I think your ego is massively over-inflated and I am not going to make it any bigger by giving you the satisfaction of an idiot duel."

"You can't refuse me!" Charles hissed.

"But I can, Mr. Potter," Robert assured him. He knew if they dueled, Charles would undoubtedly lose and would be infuriated which might lead to putting Remus' secret in danger of being discovered. "I am the defense professor and I will not give my students the impression that duels are to be fought for any petty reason."

"You …you," Charles stuttered.

"Please go home, Mr. Potter. I have a class starting in ten minutes and I'm sure you have things you need to attend to also."

Charles turned to go, but stopped and said threateningly, "You'll be hearing from my solicitor!" He stormed out of the room.
 


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