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[a/n: Greetings to you, oh lovely readers! *waves merrily* I know I tell you guys this in just about every chapter, but I Siriusly love you all! I’m getting such a great energy boost from all the happy reviews—not to mention many excellent and stylish souvenirs! *holds up the box of “trust” (aka: mist) from mellie and the crown that says “I LOVE HP!” that bLuEcOw219 covets* hehe ^_^ So yeah, in conclusion to my sillyness here, you guys KNOW you rock, right??? *hands everyone who’s reviewed a party hat with a fuzzy Snitch on top that says “I’m obsessed and I’m proud!”* Wear them well, everyone! *ushers everyone into chapter 10*] Disclaimer: I don’t own Harry Potter, nor do I own a pair of radish earrings like Luna Lovegood. *sulks* I am DETERMINED to find a pair of those and wear them for the rest of eternity! *strikes a super hero pose and flies off to the store to—YET AGAIN—ask the clerk if there are any in stock* (lol Store clerks just adore me...*wink*) Chapter 10: “Yay! Detention!” “For the last time, Claire,” Bethany said, looking up from her potions essay for the third time in ten minutes, “will you PLEASE stop fidgeting?!” They were sitting in the Gryffindor common room, most of the second years hard at work tweaking their essays for their potions class first thing tomorrow morning. Claire was not one of these people—she was far too antsy to sit down and write a paper, for heaven’s sake! It was a good thing she had finished it already, or she would never have been able to sit down and complete it, seeing as detention would probably last late into the night. “I can’t!!” Claire cried, also for the third time in the past ten minutes. “I’m too excited!!” “About detention?” Bethany inquired, raising her eyebrows in disbelief. Shaking her head and turning the page in her notes, she added, “And yet again, you cease to amaze me...” “C’mon, Bethie! It’s with Lupin of all people!! Lupin!” Claire said, standing up and pacing again, her steps lively and full of enthusiasm. “I mean, if you knew the man’s life story you’d be thrilled too!” “So...” Bethany said skeptically, “...what is the man’s life story? Hmm?” Claire paused in her pacing. She knew Bethany was completely trustworthy, but as the common room was very full and she was pretty certain Bethany would shriek with surprise if she suddenly found out that one of her teachers was a werewolf, she didn’t think it was wise to share the information. “I—erm—I really can’t tell you that, Bethie,” she replied. “You’ll find out at the end of term anyway—the whole school will be talking about it...wait a minute! I can change that too!” She threw herself into an armchair, beside herself with happiness. Maybe there was something she could do that could somehow keep Lupin on as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher! And if she succeeded in doing that...Voldemort would never be able to position Barty Crouch Jr. at Hogwarts! Plus Harry wouldn’t have to go through the agony of the Triwizard Tournament, and no one would have to meet the toad-like Dolores Jane Umbridge! It was brilliant.... “Whatever you say, Claire,” Bethany said, laughing at her friend and continuing to flip through her papers. It wasn’t until she caught sight of her watch a few minutes later that she added, “Heavens, is that the time?! Claire you only have five minutes, you’d better get going—” “YAY! DETENTION!” Claire exclaimed, jumping up from her seat and waving her arms in the air as if she was a three-year-old whose mother had just agreed to take her to the zoo for the day. She ran to the portrait hole with another shout of excitement, waving to everyone in the common room before she made her exit and proceeded to bounce merrily all the way to the dungeons. The common room was rather quiet while everyone stared after her in disbelief. A few people laughed as Bethany’s face burned and she ducked to hide under the table, but no one said anything until Fred Weasley broke the silence. “Now there’s a kid who’s going places!” he said proudly as he and his twin stood up and applauded Claire. ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ “Heeeeeeeeello?” Claire called in a small whisper, peaking around the corner of the hallway she was in and into a dark corridor. None of the torches in the dungeon were lit and no one appeared to be around. It made her wonder if she was supposed to be meeting Professor Lupin somewhere else. Could Professor McGonagall have made a mistake? “Hello to you too, Miss Woods,” said a cold voice that made Claire jump about three feet in the air. She spun around to see, not Professor Lupin, but the dark silhouette of Professor Severus Snape. He gave his wand a flick and fire sprung out of the nearest torch holder. The light reflected almost blindingly off his greasy hair and nose. It made Claire gag. “May I ask what business you have being in the dungeons at this hour?” Snape said with the air of someone about to take twenty points from Gryffindor. “She has detention with me tonight, Severus,” said a voice as more light flooded the corridor. Looking around Snape, she saw Professor Lupin standing there, holding a lantern and watching the scene with a small smile on his kind face. Claire grinned too, remembering the rivalry that was probably still fresh on both these men’s minds from their school days. “Hmm, I should have guessed,” Snape said, turning back to Claire. “I wouldn’t be smiling if I were you, Miss Woods. You hardly know what you’re dealing with.” He shot a nasty glance at Lupin and turned to be on his way. But Claire muttered quietly to herself, “Actually, I know exactly what I’m dealing with plus additional information, thank you.” Claire didn’t notice that Snape’s ears perked at these words, as he merely continued on in the direction of his office. Lupin then directed his attention to Claire, smiling as he said, “Well, Miss Woods, let the punishment commence! Follow me, if you please...” He proceeded down the dark corridor, and Claire walked alongside, a grin spreading across her face in spite of herself. Each time they passed a torch bracketed to the wall, flames would roar to life, making their shadows dance along the walls. It was kinda cheery actually, despite the cold atmosphere the dungeons were well-known for. Claire was having trouble containing her excitement. “What’re we gonna be doing, Professor?” Claire asked, resuming her skipping rather than walking like a normal human being. “Tonight you will be assisting me in removing all of the doxie’s from one of these rooms,” Professor Lupin replied, taking a right turn down yet another hallway. “Have you ever used Doxycide or seen a doxie before, Claire?” “No,” Claire replied, “but I know what a doxie is. Highly poisonous, aren’t they? Like to live in curtains, couches, places with fabric and such?” Professor Lupin looked surprised at her knowledge of magical household pests. Claire, of course, knew all about them from The Order of the Phoenix, when Harry and co. spent an entire day demobilizing doxies at Grimmauld Place. She would have mentioned her source, but had no doubt in her mind Lupin would be even more astonished that she knew where Sirius Black once lived. Not wanting to ruin her chance of Patronus lessons, she just grinned and said, “I read a lot, professor.” Lupin chuckled and opened the door to a large room on the right side of the hallway. “I can see that there is at least one of those types of students in each year of Gryffindor House.” “Are you talking about Hermione Granger, sir?” Claire asked. “Friends with her, are you?” Lupin asked, taking some Doxycide out of a closet and tossing a bottle to Claire. “Er—I wouldn’t say that. I know her though,” Claire replied, rolling up her sleeves and tossing the cap of the spray bottle into a corner of the room. “Very clever girl,” Lupin commented before turning his attention to a long table in the middle of the room. “Commonly, Professor Dumbledore has meetings with the staff down here. However this table cloth is highly infested with doxies, and one of them bit Professor Sinistra just last Tuesday. Naturally, Professor Dumbledore did not want half the staff in the hospital wing, and asked that I get a student to assist me in getting rid of the problem. Do you know what to do?” Claire, knowing precisely how to handle the situation, twirled the bottle in her fingers and set herself in a ready stance. “Bring it on,” she said, a grin to send the doxie’s fleeing for cover spreading across her face. “One...two...three...SPRAY!” It was actually a highly enjoyable activity. Claire had fun spraying three or four doxies at a time, and tossing them into the basin between her and Lupin with the enthusiasm of a basketball player. Professor Lupin laughed at this. “You’re attitude has always impressed me, Claire,” he said. “You never take anything for granted it seems. That’s an excellent trait to have in life.” “Well, I don’t know how long I’m gonna be here—no one does,” Claire replied, tossing three more doxies over her shoulder and under her leg into the bin. “It is my personal belief that people should enjoy what they have when they have it, ‘cause they could wake up tomorrow and it’ll all be different.” “A good way to live your life,” Professor Lupin agreed. Claire imaged him enjoying his time with his friends at school twice as much as the usual boy, because once a month he’d be taken away from them and sent into isolation, living like an animal for a few days. The situation wasn’t fair to Lupin, but it probably gave him a different perspective on life. Claire figured she’d better start changing the conversation over to Patronus lessons. She decided to sort of progressively work it into their chat. “Especially lately...” Claire said, trying to look worried. “Ever since the quidditch match I’ve just had this nasty feeling.” “You mean because you passed out?” Professor Lupin asked, spraying a doxie just before it took a large chunk out of his nose. “Yeah, I guess,” Claire said. She wasn’t lying either; those voices really did creep her out. “I heard things when the dementors came into the stadium...things in my head. There was this voice—two voices, actually—one of them was me...and I was begging someone not to hurt—er, people.” She didn’t feel it necessary to bring Harry into the conversation. She didn’t want to give Lupin reason to think her suspicious. “Hmm...that’s interesting,” Lupin commented, sounding very interested in the matter. “Usually dementors cause us to relive the worst moments in our past—memories that haunt us. But you're saying you have no recollection of the conversation you heard?” “Exactly,” Claire answered. “Curious...” Lupin said in a mysterious voice. They were silent for a few minutes to concentrate better on their task. The doxies seemed to be rebelling, attempting to gang up on Lupin and Claire and drive them from the room. After narrowly avoiding an aerial attack by no less than a dozen of the creatures, Claire ventured onward in the conversation. “Professor?” she asked, gathering up the aerial-attacking doxies off the stone floor. “Isn’t there any way to fight it? The dementor attacks, I mean.” Lupin stared at her, letting the doxie he just sprayed fall lightly into his hand. “You came back to my classroom before dinner, didn’t you?” he asked. Claire flushed. Had she been that obvious in her approach? “Erm—” Lupin laughed. “It’s alright, Claire. The only thing that disturbs me about your spying habits is that you always happen to overhear the conversations that are very personal to the people involved. Did you hear what Harry was saying?” “I already knew all of that, professor.” Claire said this and followed it with a sharp breath. She had said to much! Trying to cover up her mistake, she added, “Harry was in the hospital wing with me, so he mentioned it before.” Lupin didn’t look entirely convinced, but he didn’t argue. “I see,” he replied, sending another spray at the table cloth even though there didn’t appear to be any more doxies concealed inside. “Well, naturally you’ll understand if I ask you not to repeat anything you heard to other students. Harry has enough to deal with at the present time without everyone harping on him about that...” Lupin looked older when he said that. He was obviously worried about Harry, the son of his best friend. Claire felt guilty. “I wouldn’t dream of doing anything like that, professor,” Claire said in a small voice. “I understand how Harry’s feeling.” There was a moment of silence before Professor Lupin spoke. “I suppose you want to ask me if I’ll also give you Patronus lessons?” he asked. Claire gulped. “Well—erm—I know you didn’t want to give them to anyone else, but...” Lupin held up a hand to quiet her. “Naturally, if I’m going to help one student, I will certainly have to help another,” he said logically. “I’ll give you lessons, and you may ask Robin if she would like the same. I’ll talk to Harry about it and see if he doesn’t mind learning with you two at the same time. If he does, I shall give them to you all separately.” “Thank you so much, Professor Lupin!” Claire said, running over and hugging him. Lupin, taken aback, laughed and said, “Of course.” ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~ Claire returned to her dormitory around 11:30. She felt so light-hearted and happy as she practically sang Sir Cadogan the password. Quite the opposite of how she had felt that morning! Quite a few people were still in the common room, but Claire, wanting to check over her potions essay one more time, headed up the girl’s staircase. She opened the door of her dormitory, expecting to find it dark with three sleeping people inside. But this was not at all the case. All of the candles and lanterns in the room were lit, and the room was unoccupied with the exception of the brown and white owl that had visited her on a couple occasions before. He was sitting on one of the posts of her bed. “Fancy seeing you here!” Claire said, running over to see what news the owl had brought her. But there was no letter attached to the owl’s leg, and Claire nearly jumped out of her skin a moment later. “You better fancy seeing me here, after all the trouble I went through to GET here!” the owl said. [a/n: DUN DUN DAAAAAAAAaaaa!!!! Why are there talking animals in this story?! Will Robin want to take Patronus lessons as well?! Who knows? *author raises her hand* I do! I do! But I love it when people guess! 10 points that mean absolutely nothing will be given to whoever can guess the deal with the owl! I shall post the points in the next chappie! Much thanks for reading everyone, you make my life worth living! ^_^ Don’t forget, wear your fuzzy Snitch party hat and feel special doing so! *waves* IMPORTANT...AGAIN! If someone would be kind enough to tell me how to make a banner, or if someone would like to make one for this story, PLEASE email or review me! Thanks guys! See you in the next chappie! *ushers all her readers out the exits of the chapter*]

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