'You should have finished adding your ingredients by now; this potion needs to stew before it can be drunk, so clear away while it simmers and then we'll test Weasley's…'
Vince and Greg laughed openly, watching Ron sweat as he stirred his potion feverishly. Harry was very relieved to see Hermione was muttering instructions to him out of the corner of her mouth, so that Snape wouldn't see. Snape would know, of course, but Harry didn't care as long as the potion wasn't going to mess up even more than it might already.
Harry concentrated on the connection he had with the rat through imperio. It was just as strong as before, though he hadn't been aware of it until he thought about it. The rat was totally calm and relaxed. For one desperate moment Harry considered making it bolt. It was too late though, as Snape strode over and scooped the Scabbers look alike off the desk.
'Everyone gather 'round,' said Snape, his black eyes glittering, 'and watch what happens to Weasley's rat. If he has managed to produce a Shrinking Solution, it will shrink to it's form as a baby rat. If, as I don't doubt, he has done it wrong, his rat is likely to be poisoned.'
The Gryffindors watched fearfully, and Harry tried to hide that he was there with them. The other Slytherins looked excited. Snape held up Scabbers in his left hand and dipped a small spoon into Ron's potion, which was now a pale green. He trickled a few drops down the rat's throat.
There was a moment of hushed silence, in which the rat gulped; then there was a small pop, and a hairless baby rat was wriggling in Snape's palm.
The Gryffindors burst into applause, though next to Harry Neville only warily let out a sigh.
Snape, looking sour, pulled a small bottle from the pocket of his robe, poured a few drops on top of the baby rat. While everyone else celebrated, Harry was still feeling stressed.
'Five points from Gryffindor,' said Snape, which wiped the smiles from the Gryffindor faces. There was another light pop, and the rat reappeared suddenly, fully grown. Harry felt himself relax. It looked the same, and he still held it under imperio.
'I told you not to help him, Miss Granger. Class dismissed.'
Harry could finally concentrate enough to think of anything else, at which point he noticed Neville, despite looking relieved for Ron, still looked highly strung.
'What on earth was with you today?' Harry demanded, as soon as they were in the corridor. Neville let out a shaky laugh.
'Sorry Harry, I actually expected him to kill me.'
Harry raised one eyebrow. Snape didn't like Neville, granted, but that was a bit drastic.
'Why would today be any diff-'
'Hey Potter!' Seamus' voice echoed in the hall interrupting them.
'Yes, Finnigan?' Harry replied with a huff. Surely he wouldn't be stupid enough to start anything now. There was a group of older Slytherins coming up from the common room and the Gryffindors would be quite outnumbered.
'Have you heard? The Daily Prophet this morning - they reckon Sirius Black's been sighted. Getting worried yet?' Seamus taunted.
'Where?' said Harry, distracted from Neville. He wondered if it was specific enough that he might be able to head Sirius off before he even made it to Hogwarts.
'Not too far from here,' said Seamus, who looked far too excited that a supposed killer might be nearby. 'It was a Muggle who saw him. 'Course, she didn't really understand. The Muggles think he's just an ordinary criminal, don't they? So she phoned the telephone hot line. By the time the Ministry of Magic got there, he was gone.'
'Did it say which town?' Harry asked, otherwise unconcerned.
'Thinking of trying to catch Black single-handed, Potter?' Pansy sneered.
'Single handed? Worried you might have competition Pansy?' Harry sneered back, 'I hear your festering wound might call for amputation.'
'Maybe you should help him, Parkinson. Hopefully Black might do us all a favor and finish you both off.' Ron sneered. Seamus laughed loudly.
Harry turned back to Neville as he could see this was going to escalate and had better things to do.
'So why was today any worse than usual?' Harry asked Neville, starting towards the hall for lunch.
'Well we had defence just now and-'
'Where is Hermione?!'
This time Harry wasn't so annoyed at the interruption. He already had his answer. Obviously Neville's boggart was the same as ever. He did give Dean a heavy glare for good measure though.
'Sorry. Neville faced a boggart and put Snape in a dress. There, you know the story. But seriously, where did Hermione go? She was right there!'
'There she is,' said Harry, amused.
Hermione was panting slightly, hurrying up the stairs behind them; one hand clutched her bag, the other tucking her timeturner back down the front of her robes.
'How did you do that?' said Dean.
'What?' said Hermione, joining them.
'One minute you were right behind us, the next moment, you were back at the bottom of the stairs again.'
'What?' Hermione looked slightly confused, and trying not to catch Harry's eye. 'Oh — I had to go back for something. Oh no —'
A seam had split on Hermione's bag. Harry wasn't surprised; he could see that it was crammed with at least a dozen large and heavy books and she hadn't expanded it at all.
'Why are you carrying all these around with you?' Dean asked her suspiciously.
'You know how many subjects I'm taking,' said Hermione breathlessly. 'Couldn't hold these for me, could you?' She shoved a pile of books at the nearest hands, which happened to be Harry's.
'A Thousand and Sixty One Runes for Everyday Use.' Harry drawled, reading out the title on top. 'You do realise this won't be at all helpful until we've started covering placement and carving technique?'
Hermione looked up slightly startled at Harry being there.
'Where did you come from?' She asked.
Dean let out an annoyed huff and threw his hands up in exasperation. Harry laughed. He must have been still talking to Neville alone when she slipped off.
'Give me your bag, Granger.' Harry said, instead of answering. Hermione tried to keep it out of his reach, but she wasn't ready for a slight wandless summoning charm, so he soon had it. 'Reparo.' He waved his wand over it to repair it then tapped it twice with his wand again for the featherweight charm 'Ut Levissia'.
'That's a sixth year spell!' Hermione sounded half impressed, half annoyed, and snatched her bag back to look.
'You're welcome.' Harry snorted.
'That is cool.' Dean picked up the overflowing bag with one finger once Hermione had refilled it. 'But it doesn't explain why you have a Runes book with you. You don't have half these subjects today. It's only Transfiguration next.'
'Oh yes,' said Hermione vaguely. 'I hope there's something good for dinner, I'm starving already.' she added, and she marched off toward Transfiguration.
'D'you get the feeling Hermione's not telling us something?' Dean asked Neville.
Harry just made a mental note to give her a book on stealth and sped up to catch up with the Slytherins.
'I think I'll ask Entwhistle if Granger was in Runes with him just now.' Theo said, watching as the Gryffindors split off.
'Granger was in class with us.' Harry said, stepping back in line with them.
Theo frowned. 'Yes. I bet she's been given a time-turner.'
'What?' Harry spun to face Theo completely surprised.
'Don't be ridiculous Theo.' Blaise scoffed. 'It's just rumor that students can get them. As if the Ministry would allow thirteen year olds to play with time.'
And they really shouldn't, Harry mused. Especially when the thirteen year old was already a time-traveller who could easily sneak around their rules. Actually, now that he thought about it they helped a convict escape the first time too. Really, it was an awful idea.
'It would be just typical.' Theo argued. 'Granger the Gryffindor gets one, while our Harry has the better grades.'
Blaise sniffed. 'That does sound like something Dumbledore would do, I suppose.'
'So you think Granger is going to all of the classes?' Harry asked hiding his amusement.
'Caullding was right. She is a swot.' Theo pointed out.
Harry laughed. He sort of hoped Theo found out he had one too, just so he could retaliate to that. Not twenty meters further away Harry made the excuse of needing the bathroom, and said he'd meet them at Defence.
'Don't take too long. Professor Lupin was part of whatever had Snape in such a nasty mood before. He was probably a Gryffindor.'
'The Professor was normal, Theo.' Blaise rolled his eyes.
'It's not normal to do a complete mood shift! He was in a huge rage when he stormed out of the great hall!' Theo grouched as the two walked towards Defense.
Harry frowned slightly. It was rather odd. Unless-
.:Are we turning back again?:. Apep slid his head out.
.:Further than usual:. Harry nodded. Apep let out a hissy sigh.
Harry took the opportunity of running to the library once they were back two hours, before heading towards the Great Hall. Keeping track using the marauders map he was able to time his arrival to the exact moment Snape stormed out of the hall. Theo had been telling the truth, if Neville had had to see Snape immediately after the boggart class, he may not have made it. In the original timeline they had quite a while after Defence before they had to see Snape again, which had obviously given Snape time to calm down (or possibly take it out on Lupin in staff meetings). Harry sighed.
'Excuse me Professor, might I have a word?'
'Potter.' Snape snarled. 'I am quite sure that to your enormous inflated head time is inconsequential, but I have no intention of wasting mine listening to your inane mutterings.'
Well that was more what he was used to. Unfortunately he knew Snape would have calmed down before class, and he was now relatively sure that he was the cause. Snape was currently walking away from him without a backward glance however, which would prove problematic.
'Sir. I really think-'
Snape rounded of Harry with such a murderous gaze that three younger students actually ran from the corridor. Unfazed, Harry glanced around. They were now alone, however they were in the main thoroughfare to the Great Hall, so wouldn't remain so.
'No, Potter, you don't think. You act, and usually cause more problems than you are worth. You are nothing more or less than an arrogant little boy who thinks the whole world revolves-'
Harry could tell where this was going, and had had enough. Snape wasn't talking to him right now. He was talking to Potter, as in James.
'Enough. I am not my father.'
He probably shouldn't have interrupted Snape, but he had no interest in being the man's outlet.
'Detention! And get out of my sight.'
Snape turned was half way down the stairs before Harry caught up to him.
'You know,' Harry said, ignoring the death glare. 'I'm just surprised that Longbottom watched his parents crucioed to insanity as a small child and yet his greatest fear is a potions professor. I can see why he's in Gryffindor. Bellatrix Lestrange would give us all enough nightmares as is.'
That caught Snape's attention.
'I thought I told you to get out of my sight?' Snape snarled. Harry was almost taken off guard when Snape's aura flared. He realised that it was a method of getting submission. He wouldn't have recognized it in the original timeline as anything more than suddenly fearing that Snape was more powerful than him. Now, however, he had both timelines worth of magic under his control, and no interest in playing along. Switching to the Darkest he could for the best effect on a Dark wizard, he pushed his aura right back.
The reaction he got was nothing like he expected.
Snape stumbled back from him in shock, and grabbed his left forearm. Harry suspected that had it been anyone else, they would have been gaping at him in shock.
'Voldemort was coming for me that Halloween, wasn't he?' Harry asked calmly.
'Yes.' Snape was thrown a little by the apparent switch in topic, however answered anyway. His face was totally blank, but his nails were digging into the fabric of the long black sleeves that covered his Dark Mark.
'It's funny. When the dementors are close, I hear and see memories of my mother pleading with Voldemort. He tried to spare her, but she won't move aside from protecting me, so after three requests for her to move, he kills her.'
Snape had gone decidedly pale, but his face was still blank.
'I only mention it, because Lily isn't dead.' Harry continued.
'The Longbottoms were under the fidelius charm too, were they not?'
There was a beat of silence.
'And they now reside in St. Mungoes.'
Harry could see Snape had realised his point, but wasn't going to leave room for error or misunderstanding.
'I wonder what Neville sees when the dementors are near?'
Snape visibly flinched.
'You've made your point, Potter. Now release me.'
Harry's eyes widened just slightly in surprise, but he otherwise managed to hide his shock. Release him? He hadn't been aware he was holding him. He frowned slightly. Despite the words, it hadn't even been a demand. Snape was genuinely submitting. Harry pulled his aura in completely. Snape let go of his arm slowly, but didn't make to leave. Instead he stood staring at Harry with his utterly blank face. Harry was beginning to worry Snape wouldn't make it to class on time and they would create a paradox, when Snape finally broke the silence.
'It is impossible to have two Dark Lords at the same time.'
Snape's voice was quiet, almost a whisper. Because of it Harry couldn't recognize the tone. The information seemed entirely random to him.
'Is it?' Harry didn't think so. Grindelwald had been active while Tom was at school, and was still alive living in Nurmengard. Tom certainly wasn't dead.
Snape straightened his back slightly.
'I am going to class now.'
Harry frowned again, but stepped aside. That had almost been asking for permission, in a weird sort of defiant way. Snape walked past him silently, but paused and turned at the last minute.
'Why do you sit in the middle of the table at dinner?'
Harry was really quite confused by this conversation.
'To be King.'
'But why that exact spot specifically?'
'It is the best spot, and I am not the first to do so.'
Snape was still staring at him expectantly.
'Ideas shouldn't be disregarded, simply because your opposition deems them significant.'
'Opposition?' Snape asked, but turned and walked away before Harry could respond.
Harry only just made it to his third Herbology period of the day, despite the extra time. The lesson was quite boring, as it was prep work for the Ravenclaws' double. Harry had already had his double with the Hufflepuffs. Harry spent the entire lesson going over notes and finishing the worksheet, and he did win a few points with Padma and Su as he was ahead. Really, the only interesting point in the whole lesson was listening to the two girls gossip, mostly about what might have put Snape in such a rage, and what he might do to whoever it was. Harry knew that they were in for a disappointment.
He caught up again with the Slytherins before they had even reached the classroom.
'That was quick.'
Harry shrugged. He had forgotten to look at his watch before he turned back, so couldn't remember the exact minute time.
'What do you think this professor will be like? Think he'll last the year?' Theo leered.
'Doubtful, there is a rumor that the job is cursed.' Blaise sniffed his disdain at the thought. Harry raised an eyebrow.
'You don't think there is?'
'You would have to have a huge amount of power, and at least one binding artifact to let it hold. It is obviously a volatile curse, so it would have to be dark, and there are ways of detecting Dark artifacts, which no doubt Dumbledore would have employed.'
Harry's lip twitched. 'I think you'll find it's not what, but who, Dumbledore didn't employ that is the problem.'
'Stop talking in riddles!' Theo groaned. Harry was sorely tempted, but let that one pass.
'You can't think of anyone powerful enough?'
'Well…' Blaise's face morphed to one of surprise. 'But why would He curse it?'
Harry made a very snarky comment in his head about small children not wanting anyone to have a toy if they couldn't play with it themselves, but figured that one was best kept to himself. He supposed Tom Riddle was qualified, but he would have just been caged in by Dumbledore anyway. There was one interesting point however.
'You think it would need a binding artifact?'
'Yes. If it really does exist, then it was probably some form of ritual to tie the wizards magic to the artifact, then until it was destroyed their intent would hold.' Blaise replied confidently.
'How do you know that?' Theo demanded.
'We have something similar on the manor.' Blaise finished, then paused. 'Not to do with people's deaths.'
Harry and Theo both snorted.
'But anyway, this teacher?' Theo pressed.
'He lacks a certain sense of fashion.' Blaise dismissed him. Blaise's clothes were all of high quality (Italian cuts were just as smooth in robes) and always perfected.
'Lockhart had the latest fashions and look how that turned out.' Harry pointed out.
Blaise's lip curled up.
'I hear the mind healers had their work cut out for them over the holidays.'
They stepped into the Defence classroom as the door opened at that minute. 'But his classroom looks promising.' Blaise continued.
'Thank you, Mr.-?' Remus smiled making his way into the room at the same time from the opposite side.
'Zabini.' Blaise calmly supplied, hiding his surprise.
'If you could all take a seat, thank you.' Remus walked around to the front of his desk and picked up a scroll and pen. 'Now I know this is a bit of a hassle, but unlike the rest of your teachers I haven't got you all down pat yet. So to keep things interesting I'll call your name, and why don't you answer with… hmm, how about a favorite animal? Hannah Abbot?'
'Present. And uh… I like unicorns.'
'Excellent. Did you know they are one of the few magical creatures still found across all continents? Susan Bones?'
'Here. Cats are my favorite animal, but I'm allergic.'
'Oh. Well kneezles are meant to have different reactions, have you thought of-'
Harry tuned out as Remus made a comment on each creature. His own favorite animal was probably a snake, purely because he could communicate with them. But he wanted to test Remus if he could. In the original timeline he had been grateful that a member of staff would go out of their way to help him out, learning the Patronus Charm. This time, however, he knew that Remus was a close family friend. He still didn't really understand why he hadn't introduced himself.
Harry rolled his eyes, he was surprised she didn't pick peacocks.
'Beautiful creatures, though they often eat in the same areas as Grindylows, so be wary of any water you see them feeding from.'
Remus looked down at his list, his eyes pausing on the scroll for a little longer than usual, but his voice sounded exactly the same as on any other student.
Harry didn't answer at first, but he tilted his head slightly, to look like he was thinking about it. He waited until Remus' eyes found his.
'Deer. Stags, specifically.'
Remus' eyebrows shot up. 'Is there any particular reason?'
'No.' Harry said lightly. 'Should there be?'
Remus faltered slightly, 'Quite often there is. Stags aren't magical, exactly, though their antlers have been used in a few potions, mostly for healing draughts, actually.'
Remus voice wavered just the tiniest amount, and he looked back down at the scroll.
'Ah, last, but not least, Mr. Zabini. Your favorite animal?'
'Excellent, hmm… again, not at all magical, although it is rumored that the Nundu is somewhat related. Though the comparison I read was specifically relating to the cheater, so a bit of a stretch. Right then.' Remus flicked his wand and the scroll floated into his tatty old briefcase, which snapped closed around it.
'Welcome to Defense Against the Dark Arts. Hopefully this will be a productive year. My name, as Headmaster Dumbledore informed you at the opening feast, is Professor Lupin.'
Remus smiled at the class, specifically towards the Hufflepuffs, who warmed up to him with his smile.
'In your third year the main focus of our classes will be on defence against Dark creatures, especially in-'
Remus broke off with some slight surprise.
'Yes Mr. Potter?'
Harry dropped his arm from where it had shot to the air half way through the speech.
'Are we only going to learn to defend ourselves against Dark Creatures?' Harry raised an eyebrow as Remus frowned. Harry tried not to notice the similarities to Teddy when he did so, and pushed on. 'What about defending against Light Creatures? They can be equally as dangerous.'
Remus' from deepened.
'Now I wouldn't say equally. Though I suppose it is true that they can cause harm, though it is thought that it is more about intent, than capabilities.'
Harry couldn't help but think that was a little hypercritical, coming from the werewolf.
'Thought by whom?' Harry asked.
'A fair point, I suppose, however for this year, the focus will remain on creature threats.' Remus didn't show even the slightest bit of annoyance, inline with his character, and Harry managed to hide his completely. Blaise, however, looked furious (for him). It caught Harry by surprise, when he noticed his friend beside him bristle. He hadn't seen Blaise loose control of his mask like that since early in first year. Harry wasn't sure what to make of it.
'We started our lesson out mentioning our favorite animals, however I am afraid an opportunity came up that I couldn't ignore, so we will be starting our year with most wizards least favorite. Boggarts. Does anyone know what a boggart is? Miss Greengrass?'
'A shape-shifter. They take on the image of our greatest fears.'
'Excellent, very concise.' Remus smiled. 'Boggarts are known to enjoy enclosed dark spaces, such as under beds, in small cupboards, and I even came across one that had lodged itself in a Grandfather clock.'
Harry was watching his classmates, rather than Remus. He was interested to watch the reaction this time around, actually knowing enough about boggarts to recognize the fear in most of the students eyes. Much like the Gryffindors, the Slytherins seemed to feel that this was something they should be quite worried over. The Hufflepuffs all had mutual looks of pure terror.
Justin's hand shot into the air in alarm.
'You don't- that is… We aren't going to have to face a boggart, are we?' He didn't look quite so pale as the three Hufflepuff girls, but his voice was edging more towards squeaky than not.
'There is nothing to worry about, two classes have already faced the boggart that has taken up residence in the staff cloak closet. We have a distinct advantage that most people don't however, can anyone spot what it might be?'
No one raised their hands, the Slytherins mood had shifted to extremely wary, and the Hufflepuffs were still wrapping their minds around the horror. Harry sighed internally.
'There is too many of us for a boggart to decide what to become. We'll confuse it. The boggart relies mainly on a strange branch of legilimency, however while no one has been able to block their thoughts against one, the boggarts can't control their gift and will get easily confused by reading multiple thoughts at once.'
Remus looked very impressed. 'Indeed, two points to G-Slytherin.'
The slip was so minimal, and quickly covered that Harry suspected the majority of the class would have missed it. He narrowed his eyes, Remus had tinged slightly pink, but continued on with false obliviousness.
'So a Boggart sitting in the darkness within it's hidey-hole has not yet assumed a form. He does not yet know what will frighten the person on the other side of the door. Nobody knows what a Boggart looks like when he is alone, but when he is let out he will immediately become whatever each of us most fears. It's always best to have company when you're dealing with a Boggart. He becomes confused. Which should he become, a headless corpse or a flesh-eating slug? I once saw a Boggart make that very mistake - he tried to frighten two people at once and turned himself into half a slug. Not remotely frightening.'
Beside him Blaise had managed control of his mask, and snorted loudly.
'Ah,' Remus smiled at Blaise. 'Precisely the response a boggart itself fears. There is a charm that repels Boggarts, which we shall be learning tomorrow in your double. It is quite simple, yet requires force of mind. What really finishes a Boggart, however, is laughter.'
Remus smiled at them, 'For the rest of this lesson we shall be covering the theory on boggarts I'm afraid, however your double tomorrow shall be a practical one. I suggest that you have a bit of a think overnight about what a boggart might turn into when you face it, then see if you can think of a way to make that fear funny. Neville Longbottom for instance-'
'Probably would appreciate his fears being spread around.' Harry interrupted.
This got startled looks from most of the class. Harry had got quite the reputation for politeness towards everyone outside his close group. That had been born more out of necessity than habit. If he was the model student it was harder (though apparently not impossible) for the teachers to discredit him. It wasn't very mature of Remus to rub in his victory over Snape. Besides, Harry could clearly remember the memory he'd viewed of his father in Snape's pensive. Harry still hated bullies, perhaps all the more for hating his own father.
'Are you friends with Mr. Longbottom?'
Harry inclined his head. Remus looked a bit startled, no doubt wondering how they managed to bridge the gap between houses. Harry remained mute. The whole class was sitting in awkward silence.
'There is an example here,' Daphne spoke up suddenly, 'of a man whose greatest fear was of bees. Page seventy-two.' Daphne added, Harry flicked his book to the page and let out a snort. There was an excellent photo of the swarm of bees. Their stingers suddenly started to grow, until they were so heavy they were hovering in the air, wings beating furiously trying to stay up. Eventually the stingers got so heavy they fell out and the bees died.
The class moved on to the history of the boggarts, both magical and muggle, as well as some famous examples such as the Old Boggle of Canterbury and the Screaming Bogey of Strathtully (both of which were particularly small boggarts that terrorized local muggles and in the end took wizards very little effort to clean up).
Harry took notes, but was one of the few who did. The rest of the class seemed to be lost in contemplation. It was quite a subdued group who made their way to the great hall for dinner. The third year Slytherins all made their way quickly through their meal, and almost as a complete group made their way back down to the dungeons.
Draco, Vince, Greg and Pansy split off and headed to the lounge, but the other girls stuck with Harry, Blaise and Theo. As they came to an awkward stop Harry realised that through Draco vying for the lounge all the time, and his avoidance of the common room, their year had lost their set of usual seats towards the back of the room to a set of firsties.
'Our dorm room?' Harry suggested.
'It might be amusing to see you try and get in ours.' Tracey said snootily with a grin.
'Blatantly unfair, that.' Theo grouched. Harry just shrugged. It was a surprisingly easy set of wards to break, though he could cheat using parseltongue anyway. More amusing than the Gryffindor slide, the Slytherin girls dorm sucked the poor boy unfortunate enough to try and enter in; pulling him right to the end of their corridor and leaving him stuck in a small room there until Snape did the rounds once a week. The house elves fed them, but there would be no explanation offered for missed classes, and on top of the humiliation, the victim usually got a good week's worth of detentions.
'I'm not sure how I feel about our new Defense professor.' Daphne said, settling on the neatest corner of Theo's bed.
'What sort of teacher asks you to contemplate your greatest fear just before going to bed?!' Lillian agreed vehemently.
'Worried you'll get nightmares, Moon?' Blaise teased.
'Yes.' Lillian shuddered, then glared. 'I'll remember to take out my temper in the morning on you too.'
Blaise got a false alarmed look.
'Anything but that!' he laughed.
'So do you all know what your greatest fear is?' Harry asked curiously.
'That's rather personal, Harry.' Daphne pouted.
Harry shrugged. 'It will certainly be an informative lesson tomorrow.'
'Clearly he is not a Slytherin.' Blaise said, referencing Remus.
Harry snorted. 'He was a Gryffindor. He went to school with my father.'
The group turned to Harry curiously. Harry wasn't quite sure why he shared that. Perhaps sitting and just chatting in a group was reminding him too much of his Gryffindor days. There wasn't a lot of that in Slytherin.
'If you suddenly tell me we have to befriend that pretentious man too, then I think we will have to revoke your rights as a Slytherin and kick you out of the dungeons.' Blaise growled.
Harry raised an eyebrow. 'You really don't like him, huh?'
Blaise bristled. 'What would he know about the influences on behavior of Dark Creatures!?'
Harry nearly snorted out loud, but could see that wouldn't have gone down too well. He considered his friend carefully. Perhaps- Harry made a mental note to find out if the rumors were true about Blaise's father's family.
'At any rate he clearly doesn't want to acknowledge the connection for some reason, and I'd never heard from him before I saw him in the hall.' Harry shrugged. 'So no worries, hate him to your heart's content.'
'He's a smug git.' Blaise grouched.
'Well I thought the lesson went well.' Daphne stuck her nose in the air.
Blaise, as was intended, took immediate offence. The argument evolved quickly from there (splitting into girls versus boys out of loyalty more than opinion on Remus), but other than Blaise and Daphne the barbs didn't get too nasty, and Harry suspected the Slytherins all just enjoyed the debate. Harry watched more often than not, but was quick with a snarky point when needed.
Two hours later when they split off and the girls headed to bed Harry admitted to himself that he enjoyed the playful argument just as much as he had the games of exploding snap with the Gryffindors the first time around.