Fixing Past Mistakes
Albus Dumbledore sat himself down on the seat in the Great Hall, ignoring the Aurors shadowing him, as he always did. When news got out that he had been allowed to return to Hogwarts - secluded as he was - the parents had gone on the defensive. Vowing to remove their children from Hogwarts and send them to Ilvermorny, something the Ministry of Magic did not want to happen. Magical Britain was down in numbers as it was, without the loss of more students, who they predicted would remain in America after graduating, and it was simple math really. To appease the public and parents Cornelius had decided that two Aurors would keep an eye on Dumbledore for the duration of his time within Hogwarts walls.
Many people were confused as to why or how someone like Dumbledore couldn't afford a home of his own. He was receiving three individual incomes and not to forget money from the projects he'd been involved with, such as the dragon blood with Flamel. What people didn't realize was Albus had left himself in a mountain of debt incurred during the war with Voldemort. He'd had to stop Tom by any means necessary during the sixties when he was at his most powerful by bribing members of the Wizengamot, prevent any legislations he didn't approve of from going through. Tom had persevered for a lot longer than he expected in the political scene. Eventually he did what Albus had known he would, gotten angry and ditched his efforts. Then to his immense annoyance, he came back with a vengeance, killing anyone who so much as got in his way. Albus had no choice but to create the Order of the Phoenix, it wasn't easy running a secret organization nor was it free. He'd had some help towards the end, receiving funds from Order members who had died, nowhere near enough to cover his debts he incurred from dipping into Hogwarts scholarship funds and loans from personal associates and Gringotts as a last resort. Each month when his money went in, most of all of it was taken by the goblins to repay what he took, so much each month, which was the agreement.
He lived on what was left, admittedly it wasn't much but considering he lived at Hogwarts it hadn't been a problem. He was too proud to sell any of his precious books and things he'd bought over the year. The thought of anyone seeing him selling anything to pay off debt and seeming desperate horrified him. It was bad enough that the goblins knew how destitute he was without the magical world getting wind of it. He was trying his hardest to ensure nobody figured it out even now.
Looking around the empty room, his blue eyes dimmed, he hadn't seen hide or hair of any student since his return to Hogwarts. His rooms had only a small window facing the forbidden forest, and it was sealed closed, the Aurors did not accompany him into his quarters but remained standing outside until their watch was over. Each morning he got up and ate breakfast, and had to be out of the room before the first of the students trickled down for breakfast. Which he couldn't help but be inwardly thankful for, the howlers and cursed mail he had received the first few days had been horrific, and everyone was bound to have heard the howlers sent to him. Now his mail was carefully screened, both out going and in coming. He was only able to get the newspaper at lunch time, since he wasn't present at breakfast when the owls were sent out to deliver the papers. His life was very secluded at the moment and he rather hated it.
In the beginning of his confinement he had gone to visit the others, primarily, Minerva and Filius but neither wanted to talk to him let alone spend some time with him. Not even to hear what he had to say, Filius had been very fond of Lily, and Minerva both James and Lily, they were acting as if he had been the one to kill them. As if he had been the one to kill Harry, all he had done was send him somewhere he would get the best protection from Voldemort, one that was self replenishing. Everyone had turned their backs on him, and there was nothing he could do about it.
Grimacing softly at the steady pain that began to course through his body, it came and went, he would have to go to Poppy and get a few more potions he was running low. He was slowly recovering from the curses that had come off the letters months ago, added to the stroke he had, and gaining much needed weight so he didn't look so frail and weak. Even the House-elves were against him; his food was often bland, burnt or just down right inedible. Just like today, the porridge was full of gloop, the fruit was at least decent enough and the toast was too dark for his liking and only a little smear of butter on it.
The school had undergone a lot of changes, and by Merlin it burned him something rotten to see it happening right under his nose and not be able to say anything. Minerva had picked out a new Transfiguration teacher to take her place, to his immense surprise she had managed to get one apprentice (before she became a teacher) to fill the slot, he was a very good Transfiguration master, had created multiple complex Transfiguration spells over the years, one of them had even made it into Minerva's class. Professor Frazier, he was young and very well liked by the students despite the fact he'd been a Slytherin in his days. Filius had taken on an additional after school class, this one in Wandless magic, which had become so popular they were now having to use the Great Hall as a classroom and increased the days it was on, Filius had been ecstatic that he decided to do it three times a week.
All the books he had deemed unsuitable for Hogwarts students had been returned to their slots within the library. He had argued with Minerva regarding the dangers of doing that, but she had completely ignored him, insisting the students had a right to learn about all magic, it was their choice that determined whether they were unsuitable for them. One couldn't make an educated understanding of subjects without all the available information, and so he'd had to listen to Irma Pince happily exclaiming how delighted she was that her library was once again complete in the staff room, which he frequented just to try and talk to the others and get information. His only source of information, and despite the cold shoulders, he continued to attend in hopes of something changing.
The most infuriated thing of all was the fact Minerva had left his Potions Master go he would need the wizard when Voldemort returned, and he would. Without Harry, there was nobody to stop him, nobody but him that was. It was definitely a way to salvage his reputation and ensure Hogwarts was put firmly back under his thumb and stop this nonsense, he'd had the school exactly the way he wanted it. Now it was being frayed and changed in ways that he did not approve. He wouldn't give up, not on Hogwarts and not on those who didn't know that he had to make sacrifices for the good of the world; the need of one did not outweigh the need of the many.
He still couldn't believe that Harry was dead, he'd warned the Dursley's against doing anything too severe (he visited them of course under a glamour - he hadn't gotten to where he was by being stupid enough to write anything like that down). Yet they had, the manner in which he had passed on to the next great adventure did sadden him severely, the thought was quite a horrific one. Unfortunately there was nothing to be done, without the boy it was up to him to do what he must to ensure the survival of magical Britain. He would need to get in touch with Severus immediately, get him to return to Hogwarts, even for only a visit, he required Severus nearby, he wanted to know the second Voldemort returned and Severus would when his Dark Mark activated once more. He couldn't be specific in his letter, but wishing to speak to Severus shouldn't raise too many eyebrows after all the wizard had worked for him for many years.
Albus glanced to his left when he heard someone clearing their throat, only to see him pointing to his watch, biting down on the urge to say something completely unsavoury, he merely gave a respectful nod, eyes twinkling he stood up, "Thank you, I am afraid I get myself quite lost in thought these days! Too much time to oneself gives too much time to stew in brooding thoughts when one desires not to." it never hurt to be kind, especially considering if he wanted to do something it was best to catch them off guard. Not that he had plans to do so, but it was always better to be prepared, plus they were tough nuts to crack. He suspected these Auror's were ones that frequented Azkaban on guard duty since he didn't remember seeing them around the Ministry at all.
Auror Irvine made a sound of agreement, while Auror MacDougall rolled his eyes heavenward, neither could really stand Dumbledore, they'd been Slytherin's in school and knew the old fool put on a 'front' they were just revelling in the fact that Dumbledore's front had been utterly destroyed by the public. Who still wanted him dead or seriously hurt judging by the hate mail that was still continuing to pour in. In fact they were just finished going through them, it was the first thing they did, well second really, they relieved the two night watch Auror's Kane and Mackay.
Just as Albus made his way through the antechamber he heard the telltale signs of students entering the Great Hall for breakfast, he didn't need to look to know it would mostly be fifth years and seventh years, it was a very important year after all, and they crammed a lot of studying in during the year to ensure everything had sunk in for their exams. It was mostly the Ravenclaw's who studied so zealously while Gryffindors and Hufflepuff's waited until the end of the year and studied then, they definitely had their priorities the way they wanted them.
Knowing that there was a staff meeting scheduled today since it was the weekend, he decided to make his way towards the staff room, sighing in annoyance at having to use secret passageways to get anywhere. The Auror's took their jobs seriously and absolutely refused to let him near any student. He rarely got to go outside, he missed the sun on his face, as rare as that was to begin with, missed a large open room like his office. He would always consider it his, not Minerva's he was the best Headmaster Hogwarts would ever have.
Before long he found himself sliding through the secret door and straight towards the staff room, a pang of loss shot through him, there was a time where he had been able to feel everything around Hogwarts, the wards themselves harnessed to him until he lost his position. He missed the strength that came with them, he was an old man now whether he liked to think it or not, and he wasn't as able bodied as he used to be, nor was he as powerful. He would need all the help he could get to defeat Voldemort, the Order would need to be restarted, which meant he'd need to get money from somewhere. The goblins wouldn't lend him more, damn Harry Potter, damn Vernon Dursley, damn the entire thing to hell, Harry Potter was supposed to deal with his greatest mistake, instead his mistakes continued to pile up and worse - the public knew quite a few damning things about him, but not the worst, that was all that mattered.
He passed the 'head' seat, glancing at it longingly, before he resignedly sat on one of the chairs on the sidelines, since he wasn't a teacher he wasn't permitted to sit in on the meeting table. Minerva had used his own words against him, and he couldn't disagree without coming of looking a little petulant and so he had reluctantly agreed. He did not like the new Potions professor that Minerva had employed, but everyone was incomparable when put next too Severus, since Severus was the youngest Potions Master in the world. Professor Magee had gone to Ilvermorny and had a rather cheerful disposition that put Filius Flitwick to shame, not good for teaching potions Albus was sure but he had not heard of a single accident in the class as of yet. He was completely unaware that Severus Snape himself had recommended him to Minerva, and Magee wishing for a change in pace for a few years had readily agreed.
Albus didn't even blink when a House-elf popped in with trays containing biscuits, tea, coffee and an assortment of cakes which was the norm for these meeting despite the fact it was held directly after breakfast. The meetings could run for up to three hours sometimes, it just depended on what they had to discuss, but it's normally the beginning of the year that was so long due to the fact they all had new students to talk about whether they were concerned about them or just their grades. However, Albus did sit up straighter, knowing he would soon be joined by the faculty.
Not even five minutes later, if that, he was joined by Minerva, Filius, Magee, Sprout and Pince first and foremost, they began to sit around the table, and others began to join them. Each of them were absently taking cups and filling them up with either tea of coffee, whichever they preferred.
"Minerva?" Albus called, wishing to speak to her before the meeting officially began.
"Yes?" Minerva asked, turning to face Albus her tone curt, same as always when dealing with the ex-headmaster. She hated the fact Dumbledore was still at Hogwarts, but honestly, she wouldn't wish Azkaban or the Ministry holding cells on anyone.
"Have you kept in touch with Severus?" Albus queried.
"Why?" Minerva asked, sounding a tad too defensive. She would never let Albus try and guilt Severus back into the fold, no, he was so happy where he was, living life to the full, she'd never thought she'd see Severus that way and she would protect him fully.
"I just wish to speak to him," Albus replied, taken aback by the bite in her voice. "We did work together for many years, I came to consider Severus like a son to me," or rather Severus worked for him, but that sounded too conceded.
Minerva wasn't quite able to keep her snort to herself, if Albus considered Severus a son, she was wholly glad he had not had a family given how he had treated Severus over the years. "Then send him a letter," she informed him, with nothing more to say on the subject she turned back to the others, just as the last of the teachers trickled in. The only teacher not present at the moment was Trelawney, for that she was grateful. She hated the woman, most of it stemmed from the fact she had falsely made a prophecy about a child which resulted in the death of James and Lily, leaving a child alone. She believed the prophecy to be false; she completely discarded Divination as a real subject.
"First things first, anyone have any problems with their schedules?" Minerva enquired, looking around her own schedule and a notebook in her hand now. All of them replied that their schedules were just fine and they foresaw no problem. She nodded herself, murmuring a quiet 'good' as she wrote in her book.
"How are your students, Mark?" Minerva asked the new Head of Gryffindor House, it was so odd hearing those words come out of her mouth.
"There are a few I'm concerned about," Mark commented immediately, "They're a little too rancorous, lonely, they're only children and I suspect they've grown up without many friends and are finding it difficult to make friends on their own. That and finding it difficult to integrate into wizarding society, their grades are also a concern as well unless it's just my class. I wish to set up a rudimentary class for Muggle-born's to attend on Friday evening at some point, I want to plan on getting them more used to potions and let them develop the skill of properly dissecting ingredients and give them the confidence to brew if its possible."
"I have Wandless classes at six, for one hour, there's nothing after that if you want to put the class for seven o'clock, if you need help with rounds I will shift with you," Filius reassured the wizard, some of his Ravenclaws would benefit from experience, he had seen some of their grades and he knew they could do better. "I do hope you can do it, my first year Ravenclaws definitely would benefit from such a class."
"I agree," the other two Head of Houses' agreed.
"Seven sounds fine, one hour so it will be finished by eight before curfew," Magee agreed immediately, nodding thoughtfully, tapping his wand and putting it into his schedule, it was immediately blinking into existence on everyone else's after school timetable.
"I shall put up a notice on the notice board tomorrow," Sprout commented, writing down on her to do list.
"Other than the aforementioned students all is well?" Minerva questioned.
"Yes," he confirmed immediately.
"Pomona?" Minerva moved on.
"My badgers are just fine," Sprout informed Minerva, "The prefects have come to me concerned about a student bullying some of his fellow first years though but I will take care of it," she said just to be clear, her voice firm.
"Zacharias Smith?" Filius questioned.
"My, yes, how did you know?" Sprout asked, closing her eyes, "Has he been bullying outside of the common room?"
"Unfortunately," Filius said softly, "Miss Patil was one of his victims; she came to me in tears over it,"
Sprout huffed in exasperation, "I will do what I can, starting with a month of detentions with me!" she exclaimed angrily, she detested bullies, mostly because she knew how it felt to be so completely alienated when she was just a student herself. She did not tolerate it within her Hufflepuff's and she will make sure Smith regrets every single instance. "Has anyone else been the focus of Smith?"
"I've not heard anything about an instance from the Gryffindors," Magee replied first, but he would be speaking to them individually, it might be what was wrong with his two first year Gryffindors.
"The Slytherin's do not trust me quite yet," Frazier answered honestly, mulling quietly, "They seem to have their own in house system,"
"Oh, I forgot to explain," Minerva said eyes lightning in understanding, "The previous Head of House had a system in place that allowed each student to receive an appropriate amount of attention. Or the attention that Severus felt his students warranted, with them being sometimes quite isolated by the other students with bullying and the preconceived notion that all Slytherin's are evil…it was necessary." she informed him exasperated at the thought. "I will give you a list of the things Severus did so you can understand how things were run more clearly."
"I would appreciate that," Frazier said dipping his head in thanks.
"Yes, Severus Snape was quite brilliant, it's a shame I did not get to meet him," Mark Magee said, as a master in Potions, Severus Snape was well known to him, the only other that held his awe in such high regard was Septimus Regis. His books were fabulous and he had already decided that next year he would be using those books for his students if Minerva agreed, and they were very reasonably priced.
Except of course unless you were a Weasley, Ginny Weasley wouldn't be able to get a second hand book of that particular one due to the fact it had only been out a year, and so far it wasn't mainstream in Britain, but even Ilvermorny had started using those books.
"Are the Slytherins giving you trouble?" Minerva asked James Frazier.
"No, they're just taking a while to warm up, but with Severus' schedule I'm sure once they're back into a proper routine and gotten over the abrupt head of house change I'm sure they'll settle." James informed her, giving him a smile, "It's mostly the third and second years that seem a little off kilter…this explains why."
"Good," Minerva nodded, relaxing back, perhaps this meeting wouldn't even take an hour today.
"There is one student I'm concerned about," Magee said slowly, "Correct me if I'm wrong but is Ronald Weasley from the pureblood Weasley family?" he had not attended Hogwarts nor lived in Britain so he had only ever heard the name in passing.
"Yes, he's the youngest son of Arthur and Molly Weasley," Minerva revealed surprised, "Is everything alright with him?" his brothers never had trouble settling down. Glancing around the room seeing resigned but understanding looks on all the teachers faces did not bode well at all.
"His penmanship is atrocious, I have a Muggle-born student who writes ten times better than him, and I cannot even understand half of what's written. He hardly makes any effort in class, and as of yet, he hasn't made a single potion correctly, they're blown up in the early stages, and any questions I've asked him which are in the front of the book he's been unable to answer. Not only that he's received 'T's on the three assignments that have been given out and all work in my classroom…he will fail his first year if this keeps up." Magee, "I've tried talking to him but he just stares blankly at me as if he's not even listening to a word I'm saying."
"Has it been like this for his other classes?" Minerva asked, glancing at the others.
"I'm afraid so, I offered him additional assistance, to come to the charms after school class but as of yet he hasn't made an appearance." Filius revealed, "Quite frankly, he's a big disappointment, we had to say no to another student trying for a scholarship, while Ronald Weasley just isn't interested. I think we need to inform him of the consequences of him not doing well, if he continues to underperforms then it's within our rights to deny him a scholarship funding for his second year."
"You cannot do that," Dumbledore blurted out unable to keep silent, "You know as well as I do that some student's start of slow but end up quite accomplished!"
"This isn't just slow, apparently two of the teachers have approached him and spoke to him, and he just isn't interested in working." Sprout pointed out seriously. "I haven't noticed anything from my end, but they haven't handed in their first assignment yet, and they are partnered up in my class."
"I will take him aside and speak to him," Minerva informed them, completely ignoring Dumbledore. She would get no pleasure in informing Molly and Arthur their son might not attend Hogwarts for his second year, but Filius was correct, it was deeply unfair of the student who had missed out due to Ronald being put first. Hopefully the fact the Headmistress had called on him would put the fear of Merlin into him and make him change his ways.
With that concluded, Minerva began to slog through all other issues that needed addressed, which was more than one would think, considering they met up once a week, sometimes more than that. She addressed any things that had been changed in the school since the previous week, which was the short statement. Shared her pride at how smoothly the school was running and thanking the new professors for their dedication. Added some statements about challenges and spoke about what needed done before the next staff meeting and what would happen (hopefully) during it.
"You wish to come up with ways to raise money for Hogwarts?" Charity Burbage blinked in astonishment as she stared at Minerva.
"Yes, I wish to start up a few classes, Wandless class most notably," Minerva said curtly, sipping a drink of her tea to soothe her throat, which was beginning to get a little sore from the hour she had spent talking.
"And the others?" Grubbly-Plank queried genuine curiosity on her face.
"If possible I would like to bring back Alchemy at the very least," Minerva revealed.
"Is it possible? I mean raising money is all good and well, but it requires three years of classes to pass Alchemy, that means you'd need to raise either quite a lot…or continue to raise money each year…is that not the case?" Magee pointed out thoughtfully.
"No, that won't be the case at all, once the money is put into Gringotts it will gather interest, and if I can make as much as I hope, then it will be the interest alone that will come from the account." Minerva explained further.
"How much would be required?" Frazier asked wide eyed.
"Quite a bit, which is why I am hoping you'll have some ideas on how to raise it," Minerva didn't inform them exactly how much would be required. She was hoping they could come up with something, but at least she'd have Harry's idea to fall back on if nothing came to mind for the other professors. She was determined to accomplish it, and perhaps the students could help, an idea hit her, letting the students from Hogwarts communicate with students from Grande Riviere students, they'd get an understanding of how much better Hogwarts could be…and maybe, just maybe she could accomplish what she desperately wished to. Thinking back on Harry's incredible Quidditch match didn't hinder her determination - it strengthened it. She wanted to feel proud of Hogwarts again, but since learning of what Talin's school had accomplished, she was in awe of Grande Riviere magical school.
"I'll give it my full attention," Frazier promised, stretching out, his body getting a little stiff at having been sitting in the same position for over an hour. The others nodded their agreement; the prospect of more classes was quite enticing for them all, mostly because those who taught at Hogwarts had once been students themselves.
They ended up discussing the prospect of new classes for over half an hour, Albus Dumbledore did not remain for the entirety of it, as he abruptly stood up and made a speedy exit insisting he had 'things' to do, his face twisted in resentment.
"Dad, are you in?" Harry called out as he made his way through the front door, listening intently as he hoisted his surf board into its usual place. It wasn't hard to do since he had put a weightless charm on it, like he always did; it was one of the first few spells he was taught when he began to attend surfing classes. Along with the bubblehead charm, and other useful spells to aid him in being a better surfer. Shrugging his shoulders, he ran up the stair, into his bedroom and quickly got changed out of his wetsuit. Standing in front of the mirror when he was finished changing, he concentrated and changed the length of his hair, putting thick blue highlights in his hair with a grin before grabbing his brush and tying it up.
He absently hung his wetsuit up, put his bag on his bed; he'd get everything sorted for school on Monday tomorrow. His friends would be here in twenty minutes and they planned on doing some studying, and their homework. His stomach grumbled hungrily, all he'd been able to eat was a slice of toast for breakfast since he'd gotten up so late. His dad had had to Apparate him to surfing class for the first time since he in years, but he was just glad he hadn't been late.
Jogging down stairs, he entered the kitchen and opened the door glancing out to see Luna playing with her siblings, who couldn't be considered 'cubs' by anyone's definition, regardless they were still 'Moon cubs' no matter their age. Leaving the door open, he wandered over to the fridge and chose himself something to eat - decided on a ham sandwich.
"Does Master Harry want help?" Heather asked appearing in the kitchen with a pop!
"Bloody hell, don't do that!" Harry jumped, "I'm fine Heather, thank you," he said with a small grin as his heart beat began to slowly right itself. "Is dad in?" he asked absently as he smothered the freshly baked and cut bread in butter, flipping on two slices of ham, then grabbing the pickles and grated cheese from the freezer and adding both before cutting the sandwich and replacing the items.
"He's in the potions lab, Master Harry," Heather said clicking her fingers and the mess was gone - admittedly it wasn't much of one.
"Oh, alright then," Harry said, before biting into his sandwich, humming in delight, he as just about to join his dad in the lab when he heard the door open. "Hey, Dad, how did the ICW meeting go?"
"It went very well," Severus said smirking as he passed his son, heading straight for the kitchen and poured both him and Harry some orange juice, he handed his son one of the glasses before he downed his in one go. He didn't even blink at the change in hair colour, which was happening more and more often. Harry liked playing with his Metamorphamagus skills, mostly due to the fact his teacher who helped him get a greater understanding of it, informed him that using it daily would strengthen his ability. He never used his skill to change his full appearance like Nymphadora Tonks did, something he knew all too well as she had come to his class each week with a new look and constantly showed off to the other students, interrupting dinner by making the most outrageous faces, sometimes even putting animal parts somewhere on her face such as pig snouts and ears. It had been quite disgusting to see if he was honest, that and her clumsiness had irritated him. He was honestly surprised she'd made it into his N.E.W.T's classes.
"Really? So what happened?" Harry asked curiously, after painfully swallowing his half chewed food, taking a few sips of juice to wash it down.
"Arguing back and forth, half the ICW members were on Tali…Headmaster Addison's side," Severus explained simply, calling Talin Headmaster Addison as he always did especially during the school year. "All it took was one more person to side with him to make it a majority vote, the rest agreed after they came to an agreement to visit the school and speak to the students to see for themselves."
"So they're going to view the memory after someone comes to inspect the school?" Harry said, understanding what his dad was meaning, he scowled at the audacity of the idiots to dare question his school or his headmaster or worse his dad!
"That is correct," Severus replied, pride glinting in his eyes, he was inordinately proud of his son. He'd just turned twelve, he would be taking his O.W.L's at the end of the year, and he understood the political world and the working of the ICW. Severus honestly wouldn't be surprised if Harry understood the rules of the ICW greater than him, but he had read about them, even asked him a few questions about things he didn't quite understand and of course he had explained in a way he knew his son would get the greatest of understandings from it.
"They'll see," Harry stated surely, knowing they'd have no choice but to make his school internationally recognized by the end of the year.
"That they will," Severus said, agreeing wholeheartedly, nobody could miss how great the school was, watching his son slip onto the chair in the kitchen and finish his breakfast from where he was leaning against the counter. He had half an hour to pass before he was needed in the potions lab.
"Oh, Josh, Dylan and Jay are coming soon," Harry said, "We're going to do our homework and some studying up in my room, can I take a few of the books from the study up? I'll put them back afterwards,"
"Be careful with them," Severus warned him, "Do not let Mishi slither all over them."
"I won't," Harry reassured him, "I gave her a row for doing it!" she'd been shedding and his dad had been annoyed at the book almost being destroyed and told him not to let it happen again or he wouldn't let him borrow his books.
Severus smirked, "I noticed," he said wryly.
Harry just grinned; his friends had found the entire thing hilarious even if they hadn't understood a word. He finished off his juice when he heard the door going, quickly putting it in the sink he ran through to the living room and opened the door to let his friends in hearing his dad returning to the lab by the door closing.
It wasn't his friends. It was Sirius - again.
"Hey, Sirius," Harry said blinking at the wizard surprised to see him.
"How's my favourite godson?" Sirius said cheerfully, his eyes twinkling brightly.
"I'm your only godson," Harry pointed out his lips twitching in amusement.
"That you are, up for a game of catch the snitch? Test out that new broomstick?" Sirius asked him, beaming in delight.
"I…" Harry sighed, "Alright, but we can only play for fifteen minutes, my friends are coming over, and we're doing our homework and studying."
"You have a whole year before you need to worry about your O.W.L's!" Sirius waved away his concern, "Plus you'll ace them! You're brilliant!"
"I still need to study," Harry pointed out shaking his head, "Come on in; I'll go get my broom,"
"Ah, you need a break from it all, Snape will understand!" Sirius grinned, as he watched Harry run up the stairs. "If not there's no harm to sneaking around!"
"Don't call him that," Harry snapped from upstairs, "And dads not making me study!" if anything his dad constantly warned him that too much studying would make him freeze or panic when it came time to take his O.W.L's and he would know he was a teacher and so Harry made sure not to spend too much time studying just two hours each day sometimes even only one hour. Although Sunday was the one day he didn't do homework or studying, it was his one day where he did whatever he wanted or lazed around. This was the one thing he didn't like about Sirius, the constant digs about his dad. When he wasn't saying anything though he was decent, oh and the stories he liked to brag about made him wonder if his father was a bully, it certainly seemed that way, especially considering Remus when he was there constantly stepped on his foot or punched him in the arm to stop him talking. Thankfully his dad had given him many good stories about his parents.
"I didn't say he was," Sirius pointed out as Harry returned with the broomstick he had bought him and given him. He'd been very thankful for it, but nowhere near as ecstatic as he had imagined him to be when he opened it.
Harry expertly kicked off; flying up high, the wards prevented him from being seen as long as he remained within them - which he did. He glanced down watching Sirius mount his own broom. No matter what he said to Sirius he constantly said things that he knew were digs about his dad, and he really didn't like it. Normally he could ignore it, but he didn't want to continue ignoring it he just wanted to nip it in the bud.
"Ready?" Sirius said mischievously.
"You need to stop," Harry said seriously, floating in mid air on his broom.
"Stop what?" Sirius blinked confusion now his primarily emotion.
"Taking digs at my dad, I'm not deaf or stupid, Sirius," Harry said, eyes shadowed, he didn't want to be this way, Sirius had moved away from England, from all he knew, to be closer to him, it was obvious he wanted to be a godfather, to be in his life. Some day, Sirius would grow up; become the man he would have been if not for Azkaban just as soon as he began to live his life again properly. "I really don't like when you do that."
"Just because I said your dad would understand?" Sirius argued.
"That's not all is it," Harry pointed out, "I really like you, Sirius, I do want to get to know you better but I won't let you say things about my dad in our own home." he said vehemently.
Sirius deflated, sighing softly, "I'm sorry, Harry, I guess old habits die hard,"
"And calling him Snape? If news got out about me…I'd never forgive you," Harry said seriously, he never, ever wanted to be known by that stupid title - the-Boy-Who-Lived, what a lot of tripe! He didn't want everyone gaping at him, following him everywhere, and reporting every last detail about him or worse people expecting miracles of him. He was just Harrison Regis, a boy who did really well at school who had a dad who had sacrificed everything to save him. He had parents who had died when he was a young boy, in a few years he will have completed his O.W.L's and N.E.W.T's then he'd pick a career he wanted and get a job. He had the best friends in the world, he was happy here, so no, he didn't want his life completely destroyed by anyone finding out he was 'Harry Potter' which he did not consider himself as. He had been adopted, he was legally Harrison Regis, and even his dad didn't want to go back to being Snape.
Sirius swallowed thickly, understanding what Harry wasn't saying to him, "I'm sorry," he said sincerely.
"I know you are, about a lot of things," Harry said, "Come on, let's play before my friends get here." hopefully they'd get their lunch first otherwise he'd have to endure Sirius' whining and pouting that he never got to see him. Honestly…Harry felt like Sirius was an annoying younger brother, he certainly felt the way some of his classmates felt about their younger siblings.
"Game on," Sirius said chuckling wickedly, their earlier conversation quickly forgotten. He released the snitch, counting to ten under his breath before both of them shot after it.
From the window, Severus watched his son, with pride, he had overheard the conversation. It was ironic just how much more mature Harry was to Sirius; despite the fact Sirius had been twenty-one when he was imprisoned. Turning his gaze away, knowing better than to watch the crazy manoeuvres Harry pulled especially when just flying around on his broomstick, he decided to return to the lab.
"Master Regis has letters," Dobby said, appearing with the mail just as Severus was about to make a move.
"Thank you, Dobby," Severus stated, giving a nod to the House-elf telling him without saying anything to return to his normal duties. The Longbottoms, he realized, he recognized the motif. One also from St. Mungo's, probably from Healer Chen whom he was in contact with, Healer Chen had been the one responsible for giving Frank and Alice the potion and recording everything step by step, which he continued to receive each fortnight. Chen was quite inquisitive, and Severus admired her intelligence. Glancing at his watch, he realized he had more than enough time to read his missives and then return to the lab.
As always it takes two days to get a chapter of this story out :) it's the only long story still going I suppose...well this and Willing next chapter I think we'll focus on a ICW wizard checking out the school and perhaps flashing back to the ICW meeting with Talin and Severus? I just couldn't fit it in here, not with having it in Dumbledore's POV for once and it being back to school time so yeah flashback would work though! I hope you all found the reason for Dumbledore's pennilessness realistic since I know many of you wanted to know the reason why Dumbledore didn't have a property! I think after the ICW meetings I'll have Harry taking his owls and do a time skip to what would be his fourth year at Hogwarts ;) then get to the fun! If they do write back and forth many of them are going to already know each other! Who would you like Harry to know through his 'friends' pen pals? Draco Malfoy? Luna Lovegood? Blaise Zabini? Fred and George Weasley? Susan Bones? Hermione Granger? or will they stop writing in it due to her attitude? :D whatcha think? R&R please!