“That’s amazing Harry!” Hermione said when Harry transformed infront of her into the little wolf cub that he was and then changed back. “When did you mange that?!” “Last night.” He replied. “That’s brilliant… and now you can help me and Ron as well.” She said although Ron didn’t look too pleased. “I don’t think I want to be an Animagus.” Ron said and Hermione and Harry glanced at one another. “I just don’t see the point – I’m going to be a snake after all.” “But being a snake could be really useful.” Hermione said to him. “And it would look really good on your C.V.” Harry stared at her in disbelief. As if Ron was going to be convinced because it would look good on a C.V. “DO I LOOK LIKE I CARE ABOUT MY STUPID C.V.?!” Ron shouted at her. “I’ve already lost any hope I had of being an auror, why the hell would I care about becoming an Animagus?” Harry and Hermione sat in the common room by the fire looking quite stunned by this. They didn’t quite know what to make of this or how they could respond to him without hurting him in some way. Hermione opened her mouth to speak but Ron cut her off. “Don’t bother, Hermione.” Ron snapped at her before storming out of the room. “I don’t get him at all recently.” Harry said and Hermione agreed. “I know, but I suppose he’s just jealous of you.” Hermione said. “Jealous of me?!” Harry demanded, “How can he be jealous of me, again?!” “Well it’s just that your life seems pretty good to him now – you’re rich, famous, you’ve got Remus now, you can apparate, you’re an Animagus and you can do wandless magic. Teachers are willing to give up their free time to teach you things, even Snape who’s teaching you four nights a week with Legilimency and Occlumency. No one else would do that for him.” Hermione said calmly. “But he’s got a huge family –” “Who all love you as if you were one of them.” Hermione said. “He doesn’t seriously think that I’m stealing his family now, does he?!” Harry asked. “I really don’t know, Harry.” Hermione said to him. “But your life just seems a lot better than his.” “But my godfather just died!” “And he was replaced with Remus.” “Remus did not replace Sirius!” Harry said and Hermione was quick to respond. “No, I know he didn’t.” Hermione said before Harry could start shouting at her, “But that’s what Ron probably thinks.” “Well he’s wrong then, isn’t he?” Harry snapped. “He is.” Hermione agreed, “I know that no one will ever replace Sirius, I never said that they would but Ron has this strange skewed perspective which makes him think that your life is so much better than his.” “But I have to defeat Voldemort.” Harry said softly and Hermione was silent for a moment before she nodded. “I know, Harry.” She said, not meeting his eyes but keeping her head down instead and looking intently at her fingers. “Do you think he’s going to give up on apparating as well?” Harry asked her, changing the subject tactfully away from himself. “I don’t know.” Hermione admitted, “He’s not doing very well but at the same time everyone else can.” “Well soon you’ll be an Animagus as well so then he’ll be the only one who can’t. Won’t that be the same?” Harry asked her. “I really don’t know.” Hermione said, “I thought I had Ron figured out but I guess not, he's been so much more snappy recently and quite awful to be quite honest." “I know.” Harry said. “It’s probably just a phase, I’m sure that he’ll see sense soon.” He told her, hoping that she would be at least slightly comforted by this. “I hope so. I just think that he seems to overreact to everything though. He shouldn’t give up on being an Animagus so easily just because you’ve already managed and he should keep trying with his Apparation as well because Fred and George say that he’s making excuses and avoiding their lessons.” Hermione told him, “Anyway show me some wandless magic.” She said. Since Harry had told her and Ron that he was learning wandless magic from Remus they had been rather intrigued by it, although Ron didn’t like him to demonstrate his skills in the subject since it seemed only to depress him. Harry summoned his wand to him from the other side of the room without moving or even saying the incantation and Hermione’s eyes widened – clearly impressed. Harry smiled at her and levitated it up into the air easily. He had been practicing all week to lift things whilst he was in the physical world instead of just in his mind as he had been when he had practiced with Remus’ wand more than a week ago. He span it around and quickly changed it’s colour and made it sparkle before making it become invisible. “Wow, where did you send it?” Hermione asked him. “Nowhere, it’s still there.” Harry said and reached out to where it was, feeling the wood beneath his fingers. He had to extend his mind for a moment to check where it was as he reached out to it and he saw it’s form hanging translucent in the air. “That really is incredible, Harry.” Hermione said to him with a smile on her face. “But Professor Flitwick said that it wasn’t possible to make things invisible.” “Not with a wand.” Harry explained, “You need a lot of energy to make something invisible, it’s quite tiring actually. Anyway, you lose too much energy through your wand when you cast the spell so it’s fallen into disuse since only the most powerful wizards could perform it. Besides with invisibility cloaks and disillusionment charms it’s not really needed.” “You sound really intelligent when you talk about wandless magic.” Hermione smiled. “I just repeat what Remus tells me really,” Harry laughed. “He’s really good at it though, he can turn himself invisible and all I can manage are small things with a small surface area.” “You’re only learning.” Hermione told him, “You’ve been having lessons for what? A week? You can’t expect to become brilliant at it straight away.” “I suppose not.” Harry said. “Besides, even if you were rubbish at it then no one would know since there’s only you and Remus who I know of who can do it.” Hermione said, “He’s not mentioned anyone else who can do it, has he?” “No, he doesn’t know of anyone else who can.” Harry said to her and she nodded. “I suppose not, it’s very rare. Not surprising that you’re the only student in the school who can do it.” She said. “How do you know that?” Harry asked her. “Well anyone else would have made it obvious. You’re one of the only people I know who desperately shy away from the limelight, even Neville doesn’t mind being looked at for the right reasons. When he got an O in herbology he was telling everyone.” Hermione said to him. “Who taught Remus anyway, did he say?” “My mum.” Harry said quietly and Hermione looked at him with wide eyes and then understanding. “Of course…” She said, “It’s hereditary, isn’t it?” Harry nodded and they were silent for a moment. “Harry?” “Yeah?” “Can I have my wand back now?” She asked him and Harry grinned before taking her wand out of the air and making it visible again. “So how’s Quidditch going?” “Since when do you care about Quidditch?” Harry laughed. “Since you’re captain and Ron’s starting fights.” Hermione told him. “He isn’t half.” Harry said darkly. “It’s mostly with Ginny though because she’s a Chaser. He reckons that she’s too young which is funny because I wasn’t too young to be a seeker when I was in my first year and they’re always the ones that get attacked.” Harry said to her. “And then Dean started to stick up for her (he’s one of the Beaters, you know) and Ginny started shouting that she didn’t need to be stuck up for by him and this is naturally after she dumped him a couple of days ago.” “What about the other players?” Hermione asked, “You’ve got that Lewis Roberts as the other Beater, I know that.” “Yeah, he’s alright actually although it seems quite odd that he’s into Quidditch though – he seems more like the quiet reading type. He’s always in the library.” Harry told her, “Which is probably why I never really saw him around before. He doesn’t get on with people in his year very well though.” “I really am surprised that Katie Bell didn’t get to be the captain you know.” Hermione said thoughtfully. “She’s been on the team longer than you have.” “Only by a year.” Harry pointed out, “And I didn’t want to be captain, remember.” “How could I forget?” Hermione asked, “After Ron stormed off in Diagon Alley.” “I know, that was a little drastic.” Harry agreed. “Anyway, what’s the name of that other chaser?” Hermione asked him, “She seems really nice from what I’ve heard…” “Heard from Ron, you mean?” Harry asked her and she nodded. “Strange that, she really doesn’t like him and she’s not been that nice to him. Anyway, her name’s Laura Turner. She is really nice though and she’s in fifth year I think.” “You seem to like her.” Hermione said slyly and Harry looked at her quite surprised and amused. “She’s a good Quidditch player and nice to be around…” Harry said, “You’re not going to try and set me up with her, are you?” “Why, wouldn’t you want me to?” Hermione asked him. “I don’t want a girlfriend at the moment, thanks.” Harry said to her, “After the last time I went out with someone she spent the day crying…” “Yeah well Cho was wet, wasn’t she?” Hermione said and Harry grinned. “She was rather.” He admitted. “Speaking of horrific dates – when’s the first Hogsmeade weekend?” “Quite soon I think.” Hermione told him, “First weekend of October. When do you play Slytherin?” “You are frighteningly interested in Quidditch today, Hermione.” Harry said to her and put his hand on her forehead, “Are you sure you’re alright?” “I’m perfectly fine, thank you.” Hermione said loftily. “The match is next week if you really must know and if you dare to set me up with Laura on that Hogsmeade weekend you will regret it.” Harry said to her and he meant it. He did not want to be set up with anyone. He was perfectly fine alone, thank you very much. Hermione looked as if she was trying hard to appear unhappy about this but was going to agree to it anyway. Harry knew her well enough to know that she was going to try and set him up anyway unless he said something tactful and soon. “Besides, you and Ron are the only people who I want to spend my time in Hogsmeade with.” Hermione smiled at him and gave him a quick hug. Success. Harry thought. There was no way that she could still try to set him up with Laura now, right?!
Dumbledore was becoming mildly annoyed. What had begun as something quite harmless between his teachers was becoming alarming and almost dangerous. A greenhouse had been set on fire that morning whilst Pomona was in it. That did not matter really; she could easily have got out of there alive but many of the plants reacted badly to fire and began to break free. This had resulted in the lake becoming full of many swimming plants and the merpeople were now officially irritated with Dumbledore.
He looked out of the window in his office and stared down at the grounds below where students and teachers were walking around to their next class. He would make sure that he had a word with his staff later on that day and make sure that this problem between them was resolved once and for all because as well as their setting an extremely bad example to the students, someone had taken a bag of his sherbet lemons and he really did want them back.
“Your homework was absolutely appalling.” Snape said to his sixth year class, knowing full well that it had not been so and more than half of them had achieved Exceeds Expectations on their work, Potter included, but he wasn’t about to tell them they had done well, heaven forbid! “And your potions are almost as bad. Now, you are going to carry on making your Polyjuice potions today and by the end of the week you should be ready to test them.”
He finished speaking and the class moved to get back their potions from the lesson before. Harry glanced at Malfoy who was complaining loudly that his potion had disappeared but Snape only smirked at him and told him that if he couldn’t find it then he would have no choice but to start again.
Severus watched as Malfoy glared at him and sullenly began to make the potion again from scratch. He had taken his abysmal work from the lesson before and had used it to paralyse that cat of Filch’s so that he could catch it for Filius to get into the ceiling. Of course he wasn’t about to tell Malfoy what his potions had been used for.
He glanced over the class in front of him and his eyes skimmed over Potter who was managing to make a successful potion. For once he wasn’t tempted to stick a volatile ingredient into his work, after all it could be very useful to have a Polyjuice potion handy and Minerva had been complaining about his low marks in Potions recently after he achieved an O in his OWLs and no amount of telling her he was doing badly was going to change that.
Harry was worried. Snape wasn’t being nearly as nasty to him as he was usually and he couldn’t help but wonder whether he was about to get a face full of Shrinking Solution so naturally he was keeping his eyes on his Potions master at all times, just in case. The thing was that Snape kept looking at him over his work, and he wouldn’t have minded so much if it was to bark out some random insult on his work but he wasn’t… he was just staring at him and then going back to his work. It was almost eerie the way he was behaving. At least he had already put Malfoy in detention for attempting to steal Hermione’s potion. That was something at least.
Malfoy glared at Snape as he threw himself back down into his seat and Snape smirked. He had just put the insufferably spoilt boy in detention with Trelawney, Sinistra and Sprout for every night that week. Now that was going to annoy them. It had become something common that the teachers would put their most annoying students in detention with the other teachers which meant that Malfoy currently had more detentions than any other student in the school and was very annoyed about it.
Soon the lesson came to an end and Malfoy stormed out of the room and Snape didn’t bother to stop him. He didn’t even bother to give the class any homework as they exited the room; what was the point? Pomona would probably feed it to one of her more lethal plants anyway.
Severus waited until all the students had left the room and walked into his office, crossing it quickly and entering his living quarters for a rest. He didn’t have any students in the next lesson and he really did not want to have to go to the staffroom and most likely be attacked by any of the staff so he threw himself down on his sofa and dutifully took ten points from Gryffindor.
He was annoyed, it was official. Potter should not be handling things so well. The boy was working at a rate at which anyone normal would be nearing exhaustion and crying, he practically had extracurricular activities coming out of his ears! When the boy wasn’t in lessons he was in wandless magic lessons, learning Legilimency, learning occlumency, learning to apparate even further than he could and up until previously he had been attending Animagus lessons with Minerva, although now those were no longer necessary. Then there were the copious amounts of homework that all sixth years were receiving and not only was he completing them but he was completing them and getting high marks too, even in Potions when he was deliberately trying to find reason to mark him down. And Quidditch too! He had already organised a team which was irritatingly good, according to numerous Slytherins. Then there was the need to sleep and eat and somehow he was getting this all into one week and still appearing bright, cheerful and energetic.
Snape scowled at the ceiling and took five more points from Gryffindor, just because Potter could manage his life effectively. The thing was that even if the boy did happen to have any spare time he would be straight along to Lupin for more goddamn lessons in wandless magic! That was just outrageous behaviour; one should cherish their time, not squander it on such mindless activities.
He glanced across the room at his desk. Even from here he could see the homework that he had to mark beginning to pile up and just the idea of marking it seemed atrocious. Normally he would have gone through it, assigning random grades to the papers and most of them below Acceptable, but the ones he had to mark were for Ravenclaw and they always came back after the lesson and tried to find out just why they hadn’t so much as managed Acceptable for their monstrously large homework. Stupid Ravenclaws… He thought venomously whilst a little voice in the back of his mind attempted to remind him that Ravenclaws were Ravenclaws because of their high intelligence but he wasn’t going to listen to that voice today; that was the voice that told him that Potter wasn’t all bad and didn’t deserve torture. That voice needed silencing. He glared angrily at the ceiling before a little piece of paper was thrown through the fireplace in the shape of an intricate phoenix. Severus sighed and reached out to it and before his fingers so much as even brushed over the paper it unfolded to show a note written in the headmaster’s familiar loopy handwriting.
Your presence is required at a meeting of the staff in my office now.
That wasn’t good. The headmaster rarely called meetings of the staff where the meeting details weren’t passed on by word of mouth or pinned up in the staffroom. That meant that clearly not all the staff would be attending and he had a sinking feeling as to which staff were going to be present. Of course he could just march into the staffroom and demand to know who had received similar notes but for some reason no one ever did, they just guessed who would be there with them. He got to his feet reluctantly and walked over to the fireplace and taking some of the floo powder on the mantelpiece he flooed to the headmaster’s office.
“Glad you could join us Severus.” Albus said as he walked through the floo and glanced around at those already sat there. There were two groups of people at the two ends of the same long table which had been used for the Order meetings.
He walked confidently across the room and sat down by Minerva, Filius and Remus who were all holding neutral expressions on their faces whilst at the other end sat Sybil, Pomona, Argus, Heilia, Sabina and Poppy.
“You all know why you are here,” Dumbledore said calmly and although his voice showed no sign of anything but calm, his eyes were not twinkling as much as they normally did. Severus focussed his gaze on the table, making sure that he caught no one’s eyes, especially not those of the headmaster himself. It felt odd knowing that he was about to get a telling-off. He had not been reprimanded in the school for many a year and this was an experience he was not likely to enjoy.
When the teachers walked out of Dumbledore’s office almost an hour later Severus had been right in thinking that it would not have been an enjoyable experience. The headmaster had a strange sort of way of making them all feel guilty for their actions, they had been told time and time again that they had acted in a highly unsuitable manner for that of Hogwarts teaching staff and eventually Dumbledore had begun telling them what they had done wrong and they, his employees, had dutifully kept their eyes fixed on the table and mumbled in agreement to everything he said. Now that he thought about it the entire meeting seemed to have gone in a strange blur and he could barely remember anything that happened. Beside him Severus noticed that Remus looked quite dazed and probably felt the same way he did but he refrained from asking him just what the hell had happened and instead walked in silence to dinner.
“What the hell just happened there?” Remus asked Filius as they walked towards the Great Hall.
“In all honesty I can say that I have no idea.” Filius told him.
“That was the strangest meeting that we’ve ever had and I hate to admit it but we really did go over the top.” Minerva said as they reached the doorway to the great hall and walked inside whilst around them students walked either to or from the meal.
“Well it’s not quite until you realise that we were planning on locking Sabina in the now ceiling-less astronomy tower for an unlimited amount of time that you realise we may have gone too far.” Remus said lightly.
“Speaking of which, didn’t you brick Mrs Norris into that ceiling?” Severus asked Filius as they sat down.
“I did actually and as far as I know, she’s still there.” Filius replied, “Although how Filch will get her out I really don’t know; the ceiling is almost twenty feet above the ground and he doesn’t have any magic.”
“How exactly did you manage to build a cat into a large magical ceiling?” Remus asked with interest and Filius only smiled knowingly before helping himself to some rice from a dish which floated past and down to the other end of the table.
“I don’t think I can so much as look Albus in the eyes now.” Minerva said as Dumbledore walked past them and sat down at his usual seat in the middle of the staff table. The four of them were still in their usual seats and no one watching them would think anything out of the usual had happened, or that their staff had just been disciplined for inappropriate behaviour.
Albus smiled as he sat down in his seat and took some of the broccoli before it walked away towards Pomona whose hair did look rather singed come to think of it. He was quite pleased with the way that the meeting had gone, although none of his staff were willing to look him in the eye anymore or even look at him now that you mention it. At least there would probably not be anymore bizarre and frankly dangerous practical jokes from his teachers and that was something at least.
His gaze wandered over the tables of students filled before him before coming to rest on Harry who was deep in thought at the Gryffindor table, surrounded by chattering friends as he had some Yorkshire pudding halfway to his mouth, or at least Dumbledore thought it was Yorkshire pudding, his eyesight was beginning to fail him. He wondered just how Harry was holding up and how soon he was going to give up with all the extracurricular activities he was attempting to pursue. Then there was the matter of his now having two Animagus forms; it was just unheard of and highly intriguing that the boy would have one form for Sirius and one for Remus. At the thought of Remus Albus glanced down the table and saw his four members of staff sat there sullenly talking as if he had given them detention for the week on unfair terms, although surely even they knew how ludicrous they had been. He mentally counted the days to the full moon as his eyes scanned Remus’ tired profile. Only eight, the day after the Quidditch match he remembered before glancing across the room and wondering whether Nearly-Headless Nick was aware the first years he was talking to looked rather frightened.
A/N: Once again I went way over the top and after a wise review from Veritaserum which said that I had basically gone too far with the teachers I decided that I really had. I do go terribly over the top with things like this though (take the example of the Imperious curse in Hopefully Interesting Sixth Year) anyway sorry that this chapter's a day late, I got caught up in my panicky art work (exam in one week). Next chapter is currently nameless but contains the Gryffindor vs. Slytherin Quidditch match and an argument and that will be up on Thursday. :o)
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