The dream ended and Harry woke up smiling. He went over in his mind what had happened in his dream and what it could mean. He sat up shaking the image of Ginny out of his head, got dressed and made his way down stairs to breakfast.
Ginny too woke up smiling. Though her dream had been strange, the end had been wonderful. She had been with Harry and they had kissed. She hadn’t wanted it to end.
Down in the great hall all of the sixth year Griffindor’s were anxious to meet the new potions master. All of those students who had already had potions talked about was how much they liked the new professor.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione, took seats near the front of the class. Harry was both pleased and surprised to see that Neville had made it into the NEWT potions class.
Right on time the door opened and the new potions master stepped inside. “Good morning class.” he started. “I am professor Augustus Marchbanks. I was a healer at St. Mungos for many years, until I retired. Professor Dumbledore has asked me to come teach potions, so I am here.” Harry studied the new professor and guess he must be nearly as old as Dumbledore. He had an easy way about him, just like the headmaster.
“We are going to begin by seeing who can prepare the most difficult potion you saw on your OWLs.” the professor said. “While it is brewing I will be giving you a list of questions to answer on various other important potions. Since I’ve not taught any of you before, this will aid me in finding out where we need to begin.”
The potion and instructions appeared on the board and the class set to work. Without Snape there to torture him Neville did quite well. In fact everyone did well enough not to be assigned any homework. All said the lesson went well and everyone like their new professor.
Harry, Ron, and Hermione had just left the classroom when they heard a familiar drawl. “Well, well, St Potter. Must feel like a third wheel with the Weasel here and his mudblood girlfriend. I suppose it’s for the best. I’m sure the Dark Lord would love to know if you had a girlfriend.” Malfoy sneered.
Before they could reply a new voice broke in, which was probably for the best considering how red Ron’s face had turned. “Excuse me, young Mr. Malfoy is it? Do my old ears deceive me or did you just use the term mudblood?” Professor Marchbanks said. At the word mudblood, he made a face like there was a bad taste in his mouth.
“Well I uh...” Draco stammered.
“ I’ll take that as an admission.” Professor Marchbanks said. “That is unacceptable. 10 points from Slitheryn and detention tonight at 8 in my office. Now Mr. Potter I need a word with you please.”
Draco headed back towards the Slitheryn common room and Hermione and Ron headed towards the great hall. Harry stayed back to find out what the professor wanted. “I wanted to talk to you about your occlumency lessons.” the professor told him when the others were out of sight.
“You are going to be my teacher?” Harry asked.
“Yes, Dumbledore feels that a different approach would work best for you. I am aware of who your previous instructor was and that his talents in the field had been used primarily for deceit.” He started. “You may or may not be aware that healers use their skills in this area to try and repair injuries of the mind. It is not always successful, but it can help with recovery. Dumbledore thinks that perhaps someone who has used their skill to help others may be better suited to help you. Beside the fact that I hold no ill will towards you, or conflicting loyalties.” Professor Marchbanks finished with the same twinkle in his eye that Dumbledore’s usually held.
“When can we start?” Harry asked.
“I think Professor McGonagall has something to talk to you about before we set up a time to meet. Well, you best be off to lunch.” Professor Marchbanks told him. Harry nodded and started off to the great hall.
Harry joined Ron and Hermione at the table. Harry was glad he was almost done eating. Ron kept giving him curious looks and Ginny had just entered the great hall. Harry knew that avoiding her was wrong and was probably hurting her, but he figured it was the only way to protects her.
Ginny sat in the seat Harry’s departure had left empty. “I figured it out.” Hermione said when Ginny had started eating.
“Figured what out?” Ginny asked.
“Why Harry is acting so strange.” Hermione told her. Ginny looked first at Ron then back at Hermione. “I’m sorry I had to tell him when I accidentally said ‘that explains it’ out loud.”
“It’s okay, just tell me. He has been acting like I am carrying the plague.” Ginny sighed. “If he didn’t really mean it, I’d be okay as long as we could still be friends.”
“Oh, he meant it I think.” Hermione said.
“I think he did too. I heard him say your name in his sleep last night.” Ron offered.
“You’re okay with this?” Ginny asked her brother.
“Of course. All those other guys you dated were gits. Harry would be good to you.” Ron said.
Hermione smiled at Ron thoughtfulness. “He is afraid to like you because he doesn’t want you to get hurt. If Voldemort found out you would be his number one target and Harry doesn’t want to put you in that kind of danger.” Hermione told her.
“Are you sure that’s it? Then why did he ask Parvati out?” Ginny asked.
“I’m sure, but I don’t know why he asked her out.” Hermione replied.
“I might.” Ron started. “Probably to keep his mind off you and to push you away.”
Both Hermione and Ginny surveyed Ron with surprise. He had actually said something insightful that made perfect sense. “What? You two are looking at me like I have a face full of bat bogeys.” Ron exclaimed.
“Nothing. It is just that you are probably right.” Ginny said with a smile. Ginny hoped that they were right, and she had a feeling that they were, but she still missed having Harry as a friend.
The truth was Harry missed having Ginny as a friend as well. He could talk to Ron and Hermione, but it wasn’t the same. Harry made it through his afternoon class, even though he found himself continually distracted by his thoughts about Ginny.
He waited in the common room with Ron and Hermione until it was time for dinner and was relieved that due to having more classes, Ginny didn’t turn up. Harry took a seat between Ron and Neville, so he wouldn’t have to worry about Ginny sitting too near him. Throughout the meal she kept looking at him trying to get his attention, but he pretended not to notice. Just before the end of the feast Professor McGonagall approached him.
“Mr. Potter, I am sure you have already realized that the former Professor Umbridge’s life long quidditch ban has been revoked. As you are the longest standing member of the Griffindor quidditch team, I think it only fitting that you be made captain. That is if you are up to it.” Professor McGonagall said.
“Really?” Harry asked. McGonagall nodded. “That’s great.”
“Let me know when you intend to hold tryouts and I will book the pitch for you.” Professor McGonagall told him. “I am expecting to keep the cup Mr. Potter. I hope you are up to it.” She walked away, returning to the head table.
“Congratulations Harry.” both Ron and Neville said at the same time.
“Thanks.” He replied. “You know Ron, I am probably going to need some help with the team. I could use a co-captain.”
“What?” Ron asked.
“Well you are really better at strategy than I am.” Harry admitted. “And if you would be working to help me it is only fair that you share being captain with me as well. What do you say?”
“I say, we better start planning the fist match is only two months away. We have to get the team together and...” Ron rambled.
“Easy Ron.’ Harry interrupted. “Let’s just start with a tryout date. I was thinking the Saturday after Hogsmeade.”
“Well that would give us more than 6 weeks to practice.” Ron said. “I guess that’s all right. How about around 2pm.”
“I’ll tell McGonagall tomorrow in transfiguration.” Harry finished. He had finished eating as well. Harry made his way out of the great hall and was on his way back to Griffindor tower when Ginny stood directly in front of him stopping him.
Ginny couldn’t believe how uncomfortable he looked to be confronted with her. “I just wanted to say congratulations on being named captain. I’m sure you’ll be great.” She told him.
Harry just stared at her, so she turned to walk away, when she felt a hand on her arm. Harry looked at her as she turned back to face him. He couldn’t get it out of his head how pretty she looked. “Thanks, Gin.” he said softly and he pulled her into a hug.
It was more than she could take, being so close to him. “I miss you Harry.” she said. She didn’t mean to say it, but it slipped out, and she regretted it instantly.
He let he go and looked at her sadly before continuing on his was to the common room. She knew that if she followed he would just go up to bed , so instead she went outside. Ginny liked to go into the school gardens. There were many familiar smells that reminded her of the garden at home.
She was so angry with herself for telling him she missed him like that, and being in a familiar place calmed her. Maybe she should tell Mark that she would go to Hogsmeade with him. She didn’t have to fall in love with the guy, just because she goes somewhere with him. Maybe he could stop her from thinking about Harry for a while. After all he was going with Parvati.
Ginny made he way back inside and when she saw Mark in the common room she accepted his invitation to Hogsmeade. He was almost too excited and wanted her to stay downstairs and talk to him. Ginny politely declined and went to bed.
Harry had seen her come into the common room and was about to go up stairs when he saw that she wasn’t going to come over toward him. He remained seated watching her. She was accepting a date from a fifth year he didn’t know. Good, she’s trying to move on too, he thought. But if that’s how he really felt then why did he have a pain in his stomach and the overwhelming urge to go punch that guy in the face. At least she didn’t stay down here and flirt with him.
Harry suddenly realized just how tired he was and went upstairs to bed. He lay in bed for a long time thinking about Ginny and how she had said she missed him. He had to walk away from her. He wanted so badly to tell her that he felt the same way, but knew it would have only made things worse. He heard Ron come up and knew it must be pretty late, so he put it out of his mind and went to sleep.
The next morning Harry resumed his tactics. Avoid Ginny at all costs. He ate breakfast with Parvati and Lavender again, and it was all he could do not to jump up and run to Ginny. All these girls talked about was clothes and makeup. With Ginny he could talk about quidditch and make jokes. He would also have liked to sit with Ron and Hermione.
Harry applied himself thoroughly to his class work to keep his mind off everything else. He managed so well that he didn’t mouth off to Snape and he got points for Griffindor in transfiguration. Also while in Professor McGonagall’s class he received a note about his first occlumency lesson. It would take place on Friday night in the potions class room.
That night at dinner Harry told Ron and Hermione about his lesson. For once he wasn’t dreading it. Harry had a feeling that working with his new professor would be nothing like working with Snape.
Friday came quicker than Harry had expected, and before he knew it Harry was standing in the empty potions class room with Professor Marchbanks. “Before we get started I am going to tell you some things that I hope will help you have a clearer understanding of how occlumency works.” he said. “Snape grudgingly informed me exactly how you proceeded under his tutelage. I would like now to hear from you about the experience. What he told you, how it felt, and so on.”
“Well, he didn’t really tell me much. He just said to clear my mind and empty my emotions, and then he tried to force his way in. After every lesson I felt weak and had Voldemort entering my mind.” Harry told him. “I actually thought Snape might have been making it easier for Voldemort to access me.”
“It is as I suspected. Severus has allowed his dislike for you to cloud his judgement. Before attacking you he should have explained things to you more clearly.” he said. “We will have to postpone a practical lesson. I have a book I would like you to read.” Harry was handed a cop of a book. It was sensibly called ‘Learning Occlumency’. “I want you to read that book and we will meet again in two weeks. Then if you have any questions we will discuss them. I would also advise you to practice the relaxation techniques in the first chapter each night before bed.”
“All right. Is there anything else I should be doing until then?” Harry asked.
“Try not to keep your emotions bottled up inside. Though I realize how difficult that can be for teenagers.” Professor Marchbanks told him. “That will be all for tonight. You may return to your common room.”
“Thanks Professor.” Harry said and he left to go back to Griffindor Tower.
Just as Harry suspected Ron and Hermione were waiting for him to hear how the lesson went. He showed Hermione the book and she nodded approvingly. She had always wondered why Snape never tried giving Harry a book to study, before attempting a practical application. Harry wouldn’t be surprised if she asked to borrow it when he was done reading.
“Well, I better get up to bed. Professor Marchbanks wants me to work on the first chapter tonight.” Harry said.
“Goodnight.” Hermione and Ron said together as Harry headed upstairs.
Harry sat on his bed and closed his curtains. He opened the book and started to read.
Learning occlumency is very difficult. It is a skill which many witches and wizards are never able to master. This first chapter deals with relaxation techniques designed to help you clear your mind and relax your body
Progressive muscle relaxation:
Progressive muscle relaxation is one example of a deep relaxation technique that can be used to reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and insomnia. Based upon the simple premise of tensing, or tightening, one muscle group at a time followed by a release of the tension This form of muscle relaxation is progressive in two senses. Firstly, the muscle groups are tightened and relaxed one at a time in a specific order, generally commencing with the lower extremities and ending with the face, abdomen, and chest, although other sequences have been used by some practitioners.
You cannot learn this technique by reading this- you will have to practice! Which will take about 20 minuets each day.
The book went on to explain a step by step process for the technique. Harry continued his reading through the second technique.
Self Hypnosis is the process of directing yourself into a deep state of relaxation and suggestibility. Similar to classic hypnosis, this method allows you to “program” your unconscious mind with suggestions to help you experience fewer stress symptoms, sleep better, or to achieve other goals or improvements in your lifestyle.
When Harry finished reading both sections he began practicing the first lesson and was only half way through it when he fell asleep.
As the next week passed Harry began to regret his decision to ask Parvati to go to Hogsmeade. Even more than that he didn’t want to see Ginny there with someone else. He had tried using the self hypnosis to move thought of Ginny to the back of his mind, but it hadn’t worked.
At last Saturday morning came and Harry was waiting downstairs in the common room for Parvati to join him, so they could go wait outside with the others. He had already seen Ginny leave with her date, and wasn’t feeling good about it at all.
Parvati came downstairs and he had to admit that she did look rather pretty. Perhaps today wouldn’t be so bad after all, if he could just manage to avoid Ginny. They joined the rest of the students waiting in front of the school for the announcement that it was time to leave.
They arrived in Hogsmeade and Harry was hoping that Parvati wouldn’t suggest the tea shop. “Uh, let’s go to Honeyduke’s first. If that’s all right with you?” Harry suggested.
“That sound fine.” she said taking his arm.
He bought her some of her favorite sweets and then they went to Zonko’s and Harry stocked up on some of his favorite items. Then much to his relief Parvati asked if they could get a butterbeer at The Three Broomsticks.
They went inside and Harry didn’t see Ginny and her date anywhere. He led Parvati to a table in the back, and they ordered two butterbeers. They were drinking their drinks and chatting politely when he saw Ginny come in. Harry did his best to ignore her.
A few minutes later Lavender came in and Parvati excused her self to no doubt go talk about Harry in the loo. Harry was just finishing his drink when Ginny approached the table.
“Listen Harry, I get it all right. You think it was a mistake. That’s fine. I was happy when we were just friends, but I can’t take you ignoring me.” Ginny said. Her voice was barely above a whisper, but Harry could tell how upset she really was. “Please can’t we just be friends again?”
Harry saw Parvati heading back to the table. “I know I’ve been a git, Gin. Can we talk when we get back to the castle?”
“Sure Harry.” Ginny replied and returned to her date.
For the next half hour all Harry could think about was in how many ways Parvati wasn’t Ginny. She was pretty, but Harry felt no connection with her. He was starting to feel a little sick to his stomach and wished the day would end.
He watched as Ginny and her date headed for the door and when he saw him put his hand on Ginny’s back to escort her out a knot formed in the pit of his stomach and he knew he was going to be sick. “Parvati, I’m really sorry, but I’m not feeling well and have to go back to the school.” Harry whispered.
She looked at him and he did appear slightly green. “It’s okay. Do you want me to come with you?” she asked.
“I kind of want to be alone, besides I don’t want to ruin your day.” Harry assured her.
He managed to make it outside and a good distance away from town before he threw up. He walked the rest of the way back to the castle and went straight to Griffindor Tower. He sat down in the most comfortable chair and fell asleep.
Harry was in a dark room and he could tell he wasn’t alone. There were voices coming from the other side of the room. Voices he recognized.
“My Lord, You sent for me?” Wormtail asked quietly, as he bowed down to the floor.
“Yes, I need a test subject for my newest discovery. I must admit this one took me longer to master than I had hoped” Voldemort hissed. “I doubt I will even get much use from it, but is a necessity if I am to achieve my true goal. Are you ready to be of service?”
“Of course my Lord.” Wormtail said bowing low to the floor.
A strange and happy music started to play. Harry began to smile, which was odd considering where he found himself, but he couldn’t help it.
“Harry, wake up.” Ginny’s voice called.
Harry was laughing when he opened his eyes to look at her. “Hey, Gin. I’m so happy to see you.” Harry said.
“I sure wish I had dreams that could wake me up laughing.” Ginny replied.
“You know.” He said still smiling. “It wasn’t even a good dream. I was dreaming of Voldemort, but who wants to talk about that? How was your date.” Harry was secretly hoping she would saw that it was awful, and wondered why he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.
“Pretty bad honestly.” Ginny told him. “He was so boring. Why are you so happy all of the sudden?”
“I don’t know. I just am.” Harry responded.
“So does this mean you are going to stop avoiding me?” Ginny asked.
“Would that make you happy?” Harry asked.
“Yes.” Ginny told him.
“Then I won’t avoid you anymore.” Harry replied. Ginny hugged him and the euphoric feeling he had when he awoke was starting to fade. What was going on? Harry was worried about how his dream had changed his mood so dramatically.
“Are you coming to dinner?” she asked.
“Let’s go.” Harry replied.
Over the next week he didn’t avoid Ginny, but he did keep his distance. It wasn’t as bad as he thought it would be. He actually felt better being near her and seeing her smile. He even occasionally talked to her alone, but always in the common room. Thursday night when he went to bed he dreamed about what it would be like to really be able to tell her how he felt.
A/N: The relaxation techniques are modified versions of information I found on about.com
Write a Review Harry Potter and the Dagda's Harp: Chapter 4 The New Potions Master