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Chapter Three: Skiving Potions

Wow, thanks so much readers (And very, very, very much reviewers.) I had no idea it would be so popular! Well... I really hoped it would but I didn’t know for sure. Over 1,000 views! I’ll try to get one in validation each week but I’m not sure how great I’ll be with that... I’ll try though! Thanks again. Sorry this ones so short too. Now here’s the story (The part you really care about.) Also, please review!



“No, no! She couldn’t! I mean how? How could she find out? TELL ME EVANS!” Remus scribbled back to her furiously, balling up the parchment to throw it back into her lap.



‘Look at her Remus, Hermione’s not an idiot! It doesn’t help that she’s best friends with Harry Potter - MY son. The brown contacts, James’s hair, and slight name changes weren’t enough! The slip-ups we keep making and british words we keep using are giving us away! Almost like...’ Lily couldn’t finish writing the sentence. It was too horrible to think about. Still, it bounced around in her head, echoing Dumbledore’s words. It was almost like...like Dumbledore wanted the others (Hermione, Ron, Harry) to figure it out.



“What is so interesting on you paper, Ryan, Lillian? Would you like to show the class? If not, put it away now.” Professor Flitwick reprimanded them.


“Flitwick wasn’t so demanding before either, we should have used ‘Muffliato’.” Remus said to Lily, sliding the parchment into his bag. The rest of the class went on without anything out of the ordinary, and before they knew it, Professor Flitwick had sent them off to their next class - Potions. They had Professor Slughorn, the same teacher as they had had in their own time. Luckily, he was getting old and he didn’t seem to recognize them.


“Eriks, you said?” Slughorn asked Lily when they walked in the door, a tad late. “You partner off with him - Janie?” He pointed towards James, who looked rather gleeful as he reminded Slughorn that it was Jamie.


The two of them sat down at one of the tables, with new secondhand books and cauldrons. Behind them, Sirius was laughing loudly with remus over some prank they had just planned, while a few girls looked on with lust in their eyes.


A little while after they had become comfortable in the class room, the door opened and a timid Hufflepuff first year poked her head into the room. “W-will Mr. Harry P-p-potter, Miss Hermione Granger, and R-Ronald We-Weasley please come and see P-pr-professor Dumbledore’s portrait immediately.” The poor girl managed to stutter out.


The three of them rose from their seats, Ron angrily muttering to himself, “What about me? Aren’t I important enough to be a Mr? Hmmm? HMMM?”


“I’m sure it’s nothing too horrible.” Hermione said to Harry, ignoring Ron's inraged mutterings. “There shouldn’t be anything wrong, not really.”


“Well we'll see.” Was all Harry said in return. Together, the three of them walked the now-familiar path towards the Headmaster’s office. “Lemon Drop.” He added to the gargoyles, who moved for him to pass.


The office was filled as it usually was, with whirling sneakascopes and flashing lights. The only thing that looked out of place in the room was a smashed time turner, lying on a large ornate mahogany desk. Professor McGonagall who was now headmistress, was nowhere to be seen and Harry wondered for the hundredth time what Professor Dumbledore had sent them here for.


“Ahhh, you came.” Professor Dumbledore’s portrait said.


“And it’s like you never died.” Added Ron under his breath.


“Perhaps Ronald, but you must remember that that isn’t so. I am dead, and there’s nothing any of us can do about that.” Professor Dumbledore gently reminded them. “Conjure up a seat for yourselves if you will.” He added, gesturing in front of him. The three of them did so, Ron’s a hard-backed folding chair, and Hermione’s a soft leather recliner.


Ron looked on at her spellwork in envy, for he was never very good at these transfiguration spells. “How’d you do that? Mine ended up like this.” He pointed towards his seat.


“Oh, alright, here.” Hermione said, retrieving her wand and charming his chair into an identical of her own (Except his happened to be a rather bright pink), all nonverbally. “Better?” She asked expectantly.


“Much.”



“Now, if I could ask you to please listen to what I have to say, that would be wonderful...” Professor Dumbledore prodded them for silence, then continued on. “I trust that you have met the new exchange students? Is that all going well?”


Harry, Ron, and Hermione all nodded and spit out routine words of encouragement and compliments.



“But there is just one thing...” Hermione started to say, biting her bottom lip. ‘But I don’t understand...it doesn’t make sense.’ She wanted to add, but she had a feeling she shouldn’t.


“It’s not high time yet Hermione.” Professor Dumbledore added, as if reading her mind. “You need some basis for a hunch.” The headmaster’s cozy office was silent for a while, Hermione fuming slightly at Dumbledore’s portrait’s remarks, Harry pondering important things (Such as the meaning of life and what was going on), and Ron simply wondering what the hell was going on.


“Should we go?” Hermione asked tentatively, hoping that they could go back to class - the NEWT levels were excruciating and she just couldn’t stand to miss a minute of any other teachers lectures.


“You may.” Dumbledore nodded through the canvas, his blue eyes twinkling like he was a toddler with a ‘secrud’ you didn’t know. “But be nice to the new students, who knows? You could make some new friends...”


The three of them were al out the door before Dumbledore could say any more, half jogging down the spiral stairs that already turned for them anyway.


“It’s horrible in there!” Ron cried out the second they were out of earshot of the gargoyles that guarded Dumbledore’s office. “It always reminds me of those nights in fifth year...Dad and the snake...Voldemort...the war! I just can’t stand it.”


“Ron, it’s okay now. Really!” Hermione awkwardly patted him on the shoulder, and Ron looked droopy - like he had wanted something more. A handhold? A kiss on the cheek? And excuse to go drag her into the broom closet...?


“We have tryouts tonight, Ron.” Harry said suddenly, after they had been walking for quite some time in silence. “I guess we’ll see if this Jamie’s any good.”


The discussion quickly turned to the team, and the upcoming tryouts that night. This year they only needed a new chaser, since Katie Bell had graduated last year. They talked animatedly about all the students who showed any promise for the sport, while Hermione stayed silent, watching the two of them talk.


-


“So you’re going to try out?” Sirius asked James as they walked to Defense Against the Dark Arts.


“Yeah, Dumbledore sent me a Firebolt. Padfoot, it could fly circles around the Comet without even trying. It’s like its responding to what your THINKING. No shaking when you get too high, no unexpected turns - it’s amazing.” James didn’t mention that he had never actually *tried* the Firebolt out yet, this was all gathered information from Ron - he wasn’t quite comfortable having conversations like that with his son yet. His and Lily’s son. Just the thought of it made him grin. And since Harry’s still here...


It’s still gonna happen. Hell yes!



“That’s freaking awesome.” Sirius replied. He couldn’t quite share the volume of James’s excitement. He was a good beater, but there was a pair of phenomenal ones in his own year, so he played with James over the summer at his mansion.


“Wanna just skive off and try it out?” James asked, grinning in
anticipation. “We’ll have time to practice for tryouts.”


They changed directions, heading down the hallways and Hogwarts’ many staircases, towards the Quidditch pitch. They stopped in the Gryffindor common room as well, ignoring the Fat Lady’s protests and questions about them skipping class with a broomstick. “Do you think we should go tell Moony?” Sirius asked James as they headed out to the large double doors towards the frigid grounds.


James didn’t answer.


Sirius looked up, and James was, indeed, flying circles around his head, grinning and letting out maniacal whoops as he swooped and soared. The broom flew faster than Sirius could watch, and it seemed as though James was apparating from one to a hundred feet in the air.


“God, Padfoot you have got to try this.” James said breathlessly, landing beside Sirius. He handed over the firebolt - laughing in between his quick, uneven breathing. James watched as Sirius tried out the broom, screaming from impossible heights, flying around the pitch in a just matter of a few seconds. After a few minutes James left Sirius there, heading towards the Quidditch shed to nick a quaffle to play with.


“Catch!” He shouted, straddling a Nimbus 1000 that he had brought with him from the Quidditch shed. He hurtled the quaffle in Sirius’s direction and flew over to the Keeper’s goal posts to guard.


They lost track of time, playing one on one. They had switched broomsticks after a little while in and by the time they had snapped out of it and landed, it was getting dark. “Woot woot!” Called a feminine voice from the stands.


Cho Chang walked up to them, holding her own Nimbus 2000. “But I bet I could beat you.” Cho added with a grin. The boys stuttered their replies, taken by surprise by her sudden intrusion. Cho explained that she had been coming down to the pitch for practice before her own Quidditch practice and tryouts that week.


The three of them played two on one for another hour, Cho switching teams with each point, until it got to dark to see their hands in front of their face - let alone the quaffle or posts.


“That was really fun.” Said Cho as they walked back to their respective common rooms, her flushed face illuminated in the light of the fires in the hallways.


“Yeah, it was.” Sirius replied, slipping his arm around Cho’s shoulders and giving her an irresistible grin.


“And I’ll just be going now...” James said, edging away from the two of them - gesturing over down the other hallway. He hurried down it, not bothering to wait for an answer that was never going to come anyways from Sirius and Cho.


-


That morning at breakfast, all the boys were piling up their plates with the house-elves cooking. Bacon, pancakes, waffles, eggs, and sausage were piled at disgusting heights. Meanwhile, Lily and Hermione sat off to the side, discussing a possible thirteenth use of dragons blood that they had discovered.


“Ermm, Lillian?” Hermione asked, interrupting Lily’s long winded explanation of why she thought Dumbledore hadn’t thought of it earlier. “Can I ask you something...”


“Uh, yeah, sure.” Lily replied, slightly tentatively. She didn’t like that tone of voice too much.


“Shoot, Hermione.” Sirius said, getting into the conversation.


“Alone?”


“Alright then.” Lily said, getting up from the Gryffindor tables, heading out of the Great Hall with Hermione. She didn’t like the way this conversation was going at all. Not very good at all, that’s how.


“So...” Hermione started, when they were safely in a deserted hallway, where no one would over hear. “Lily...can I call you that?” Lily nodded mutely, begging in her head for Hermione to just get it over with. “Can I ask you something...?”


“Yes.” Lily whispered.

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