A/N: I Liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiive!…. Now on with the story!
The Dawn of Understanding
**Harry looked around feeling weary despite his defensive stance. He was surrounded by a circle of death eaters, trapped, with no where to run. He was at a loss for what to do, but he needed to come up with something quick. Think… Think! There had to be some way out of this. Where was Nero when you needed him?
"So we meet again, Harry Potter," a voice hissed as one of them stepped forward from the circle of shrouded figures. Harry watched as the death eater practically glided towards him, cackling manically. Harry set his footing, gripping his wand tighter and attempted to look unafraid and confident as the death eater circled him.
"You should have realized by now that I'm not afraid of you Voldemort," Harry stated bluntly, keeping his wand evenly levelled at Voldemort. Voldemort's laughter echoed throughout the cemetery as he threw back the large hood of his cloak revealing his inhuman face. The cackling rose as the circle of death eaters joined Voldemort's laughter.
"Very true Harry Potter," Voldemort said as he circled Harry yet again, eerily graceful in his movements. "It is very, very true that you are brave when only your own life is at stake," he paused again, as if pondering something. Harry's eyes narrowed. What was Voldemort up to?
"Although you are brave when you stand alone… it makes me wonder… how brave you will be when it is not you who will face the torture and eventual execution through the most painful method I can think of," Voldemort mused.
Harry glowered at Voldemort, though his mind was racing. What could he be up to? Had he taken someone? Was it—
"Let's just say that I have found something, or rather, someone to, shall I say, influence you?" Voldemort cackled, grinning maniacally before turning back to face the circle of death eaters.
"Malfoy!" Voldemort snapped, never looking away from Harry.
Another hooded figure stepped forward out of the circle and faced Voldemort.
"Yes my lord?" Lucius Malfoy's voice was unmistakable. Harry watched as Lucius bowed so deeply to Voldemort that Lucius was more grovelling than bowing.
"Bring out the girl," Voldemort hissed.
"Right away my lord," Malfoy said and bowed again before leaving the room. He immediately returned with a small redheaded figure bound by ropes. Harry nearly lost his composure as he realized who the red head was. It was Ginny. Anger, despair, and fear surged through Harry's body.
"Ginny!" Harry shouted, unable to run towards her, his path blocked by Voldemort.
~Harry~ Ginny's voice sounded weakly in his mind. ~Don't give in. No matter what happens, promise me you won't give in.~
~But Ginny I—~
~Promise me!~ her voice, though faint in his mind, was determined and unwavering in her request.
~I promise~ Harry said.
~I won't let them use my power. It would destroy all hope of defeating this monster. Resist them Harry, no matter what they do to me! Remember that I—~ she was interrupted when Voldemort cackled evilly breaking their concentration on the mind link.
"Now Harry, I will only ask this once. Keep in mind that whatever you decide will affect the girl," Voldemort said and paused. Harry braced himself to resist whatever Voldemort asked him to do.
"Will you join me or not?" Voldemort hissed. Harry looked at Voldemort dumbfounded for a moment and then glared at him with the utmost loathing.
"Listen carefully Voldemort, as I will only say this once," Harry said mocking him, his voice a low rumble. "I will never join you," he spat venomously. Voldemort stared at Harry, in disbelief.
"Come now Harry, do you really wish to see her suffer?" Voldemort asked almost laughing as he traced his wand along her throat. Harry looked Voldemort straight in the eyes.
"I will never join you!" Harry shouted and Voldemort cackled.
"As you wish Harry; just remember you could have prevented this unnecessary torture," Voldemort sneered and turned his wand on Ginny yelling: "Crucio!"
The cruciatus curse hit Ginny and she let out a blood curdling scream.**
"Harry!" a voice said loudly, and someone was shaking him. Harry bolted upright, his body trembling and covered in a cold sweat. He looked around franticly, his vision blurred without his glasses. Where was Ginny? Where was he? A pair of glasses was shoved onto his face and he was then looking into the worried eyes of James Potter.
"Harry, are you alright? You were screaming for Ginny," James said. Still shaking, Harry forced himself to take a couple of steadying breaths.
"I'm ok, I think… it was just a nightmare," Harry said, but his voice was trembling.
"Do you want to tell me about it?" James asked tentatively. Harry shook his head and gave him a small smile.
"No, I'll be ok once I see Ginny. Thank you though," Harry said. James smiled and ruffled Harry's hair. Harry blinked and looked up at him indignantly.
"Hey!" he said trying to flatten his hair. James just laughed.
"What? The girls love the messy look," James said. Harry glared at him half heartedly as he tried to flatten his hair again.
"Sure, you let yourself think that," Harry said wryly.
James sighed, shaking his head.
"Let's get dressed and go see if the girls are up. If they are already down in the common room we'll all head down for breakfast, does that sound like a plan?" James suggested still laughing at Harry as he tried to flatten down his hair. Harry nodded in agreement.
"Da- I mean James," Harry corrected himself and James turned back to look at him.
"Have the rings separated yet?" he asked tentatively. James looked startled, but slowly nodded.
"Yeah, Lily has the other ring," James said quietly and looked away from Harry as he rummaged through his dresser. "But we haven't spoken about it since the day it happened. In fact, lately, we hardly speak much at all," he said.
"Why? What happened when the rings separated? Was it something horrible?" Harry asked. James turned back to face him, looking rueful.
"The rings separated during a terrible event. It's a painful memory for Lily, and she doesn't want to remember that day," James said quietly. "Have you ever had a memory you wish you could forget? One that's too painful to forget?" he asked Harry, gazing at the ring on his left hand. Harry thought back to the first time he'd encountered a dementor and shuttered.
"I do," Harry said. "But what happened to Lily to make her want to forget that day?" he asked curiously. No one had ever told him that his parents had had moments when they were not fully happy. James began to pace the dorm.
"Lily's parents were killed in a death eater attack the night the rings separated. The only surviving family Lily has left is her sister Petunia, who blames Lily for the attack, and the death of their parents," James said. Harry noticed that James' expression darkened at the mention of Petunia's name. "To make matters worse, Lily believes her sister, and hasn't been able to forgive herself for what happened. Lily also seems to believe that I'm only with her out of pity, or simply because the ring chose her," James said and then suddenly slammed his fist on the top of the dresser, startling Harry, before putting his face in his hands.
"It's been three months since the attack, and she hasn't truly smiled or been involved in the real world since that day. No matter what I say, she still thinks I'm only with her out of pity, but I'm not. I love her and I would give anything to take her pain away," he said, and slammed his fists against the dresser again.
Harry was astounded. Who would have thought that a person could be so sad, in so much pain, while being in love? His father and mother were both suffering alone when they should have been consoling one another.
"Grief, despair, guilt, they can do horrible things to a person's mind if you let them," Harry said calmly and James looked up at him.
"I'm completely aware of how these types of feelings can eat away at you. You blame yourself for things that you cannot control, thinking 'if only I'd done this', or 'if I'd been there'," Harry said, and James continued to stare at him with wide eyes.
"The thing is, you can 'what if?' until the world ends. I'm sure that Lily loves you James, but what you have to realize is that the emotions she's bottling up will make her doubt that she's worthy of you. She probably has herself believing that you deserve better than anything she could ever offer you. Don't give up on her, prove to her in any way, shape, or form that you'd do anything for her, that you truly love and care for her," Harry said gently and then paused for a moment.
"To tell you the truth, Lily seems a lot like Ginny. Ginny is a person who will keep her fears and worries bottled up because she doesn't want others to worry about her. She doesn't like to bother anyone with what she thinks is trivial in the scope of things. She's the youngest out of seven children, and the only girl. Whenever she feels insignificant or sorry for herself she bottles up the feeling, shoving it out of her mind, and pretends that everything is ok. She puts on a good mask, but if you know to look past the surface of the mask, you can see that her strong image is simply a façade. I've seen how much pressure she puts on herself to prove to everyone else that she's good enough, to prove to herself that she can overcome any obstacle without help. But the thing is, sometimes you need others to help you get by. In truth, there's nothing wrong with accepting help from others, you just have to let them," Harry said and then smiled ruefully.
"Then again, I'm one to talk. I'm no different than Ginny, well, in terms of bottling up emotions and trying to take on the world all by myself," he chuckled. "Luckily I have friends who don't listen to me when I tell them not to involve themselves, to let me go things alone regardless of how stupid I'm being about it," he said. James looked at him thoughtfully.
"When you set your mind to something you don't let anything get in the way of it. Am I right?" James asked and Harry nodded.
"Once I set my mind to something I won't quit until I've accomplished what I set out to do," Harry said with a crooked grin. "I must admit that it took me a very long time to figure out that I loved Ginny… five years actually… but once I figured out that Ginny was the one I wanted, that she made me complete, I was determined to keep her with me, and make her as happy as I possibly could, for as long as she is willing to put up with me. I wouldn't give Ginny up for anything, despite the constant abuse I have received for carrying her over the last little while," Harry said smiling and then sobered, remembering the reason he'd begun explaining about his and Ginny's relationship.
"Getting back to the actual point of me saying all this to you," Harry said. "Maybe you should just tell Lily how you're feeling James," Harry suggested. James opened his mouth to reply but Harry continued.
"Have you ever told her how much it hurts you that she believes you're only with her out of pity? That she doesn't believe you when you tell her you love her? It might help her realize that her fears aren't as justified as she thinks."
James stared at him for a moment, seemingly at a loss for words, and then before Harry could blink, James had crossed the room and pulled him into a hug. Harry grinned and hugged him back. After a moment, they seemed to realize what they were doing and the two suddenly jumped back, running their hands through their hair embarrassed. James cleared his throat.
"We should get to the baths and get ready. The last thing we want is for the girls to complain that we take longer to get ready than they do! We'd be an insult to men everywhere if that happened and the girls would never let us live it down," James said overdramatically making Harry laugh.
"That and I'd prefer not to die at the hands of my lovely girlfriend, who would kill me if I was later than she was getting ready," Harry said, playing along. James laughed and clapped Harry on the shoulder leading him to the baths to get ready.
~With Lily and Ginny~
Ginny screamed, bolting upright with a start. She looked around frantically for Harry, but instead found herself looking into the startling emerald eyes of Lily Evans.
"Ginny, are you ok? Did you have a nightmare?" Lily asked rubbing Ginny's back soothingly just like her mother would whenever Ginny woke up after having a nightmare. At the thought of home, tears began to run down her face and she could only nod at Lily. Taking a deep breath, Ginny tried to calm herself down long enough to speak.
"I'll be fine once I see Harry… I-I haven't b-been separated f-from him for more than an hour in months…" Ginny said, still crying.
"I understand that during the day, but surely you don't sleep in the same bed with him every—" Lily stopped as Ginny felt herself flush red with embarrassment.
"It's a long story… but don't get the wrong idea! It's completely innocent," Ginny said quickly. Lily eyed her suspiciously.
"Then why…?" Lily let the question hang.
"It's the nightmares," Ginny said quietly, looking away from Lily. "We both have them, and they're connected somehow. We fell asleep on a couch together once and discovered that the nightmares didn't come when we were together. My parents found out and arranged for us to share a room to avoid the constant unrest our dorm mates. Never mind that we weren't getting any sleep either," Ginny explained quickly.
"James stayed with me while I slept for the first month after my parents were killed," Lily admitted quietly. "It helped with the nightmares, the bad memories, and the extreme guilt that I felt for not being there to try and save them." Ginny watched as a blush flared on Lily's cheeks at the thought of the memory. "His parents never knew, and I've never told anyone until now." Ginny scooted closer to Lily.
"You still feel the guilt don't you? That you could have some how prevented all the terrible things that have happened?" Ginny asked. Lily nodded, and looked down at her ring.
"These promise rings separated that night. The night my parents were killed, as James held me and told me he'd never let me go," Lily's voice quavered as she continued. "I-I can't help but think he's only with me out of pity. That he made a promise and simply won't break it because he refused to go back on his word," she said. Ginny stared at Lily wide-eyed, completely dumbfounded at the prospect of that statement being true, but then sobered.
"It's obvious, just even in the short amount of time that I've been here, that's not the case Lily. The way he looks at you, how he acts when you're around. Some of the most telling signs of love are the ones that go unspoken. James' eyes, as he looks at you, tell me that he truly loves you. It's the same way Harry looks at me," she said. Lily looked up, meeting Ginny's eyes. "If James is anything like Harry, and I think he is, he adores you for you. He's content with just being in your presence, a smile, a brush of hands, or a hug, though he'd never turn down a kiss," Ginny said slyly. Lily looked thoughtful at Ginny's analysis. Ginny just hoped she'd gotten through to her.
"Well, why don't we go get ready and then we'll meet the boy's down in the common room," Lily said. Ginny nodded and the two set to getting ready for the day.
Harry and James had gotten ready quickly and were waiting down in the common room for the girls. Sirius, Remus, and Peter had already left for the great hall ten minutes before. Harry looked towards the girl's staircase and sighed. Hopefully they'd be ready soon. He was starving. He heard footsteps and soon found himself flattened against the ground as Nero pounced on him, licking his face affectionately.
"Enough Nero, get off!" Harry said laughing as he scratched Nero's ears affectionately. Nero sprang off him and raced back to the staircase where Ginny and Lily were now emerging from.
"Morning boys," Ginny said chuckling as Harry got up and dusted himself off. Lily and James wore similar expressions of question at the scene they had just witnessed.
"Nero pouncing on me is a daily ritual," Harry explained to Lily and James as Nero trotted back to Ginny's side, panting happily. Lily smiled.
"Does Ginny ever get this treatment?" she asked. Harry shook his head.
"Nah, Nero favours Ginny over me," he said with a shrug, but couldn't help but smile.
"Well now that the morning ritual, as you call it, is finished, shall we go have breakfast before another riveting day full of magic lessons?" James suggested, smiling and shaking his head.
"Yeah, I think we could manage to do that. I'm starving," Ginny said and walked over, taking Harry's hand.
"What? No good morning kiss?" Harry questioned teasingly. Ginny raised an eyebrow.
"With Nero's slobber all over your face? I don't think so Harry," she said with a laugh. Harry tried to appear wounded but all it did was make the others laugh harder.
"What about me? Don't I get a good morning kiss?" James enquired as he circled his arms around Lily's waist. Lily blushed but kissed him on the cheek.
~I think I know why we're here,~ Harry said.
~So do I,~ Ginny answered. ~We're most likely here to make sure your parents resolve the problems they've been facing so that the future will stay intact.~
Harry nodded slightly in acknowledgement. James and Lily headed towards the portrait hole. Harry and Ginny followed, and the four of them, and Nero, walked down to the great hall together.
The great hall was full of noise when they entered. Without hesitation, James and Lily led them down to an empty spot near the other Marauders. Harry noted the stares, double takes, and incredulous looks they got as they took their seats, and tried to suppress a grin. To anyone looking on, it probably looked like Lily and James had decided to duplicate themselves just to see what reaction they'd get from the other students and the faculty.
As a pair Harry and Ginny looked, at first glance, identical to Lily and James, it wasn't until someone actually took a closer look that they would see any differences. Dumbledore cleared his throat and the noise dissipated instantly.
"Good morning students. Just a few announcements for you all before you begin your breakfasts," Dumbledore said, pausing for a moment before he continued.
"First thing, a reminder about the Yule Ball, all those who wish to participate in the preparation need to sign up with the head students, James Potter and Lily Evans, by the end of this week. The ball is one week before the winter break, which, in case you haven't been keeping track of what day it is, is in two weeks' time. Also, the first Hogsmeade weekend is tomorrow; please make sure you have your permission forms submitted to your head of house before leaving the grounds. A reminder that this Hogsmeade visit is only for years three and up, however, there will be a party in each house later that night which everyone may attend," Dumbledore finished and with a wave of his hands, there was food on the tables.
~Hogsmeade, that's the perfect time to start on our plan,~ Ginny's voice sounded in Harry's mind, nearly making him jump.
~Plan? What plan? I was not informed there was a plan to start,~ Harry said, and promptly felt a sharp kick to his shin. He had to bite the inside of his lip to avoid wincing noticeably.
~The plan to help your parents' relationship. You know, to make sure that you are created in the future and our world is not ruled by a maniacal, psychopathic, dark wizard bent on world domination,~ Ginny said, her voice dripping with sarcasm.
~Right, that plan… so what was it again?~ Harry asked, and Ginny sighed exaggeratedly in his mind.
~We need to make them confront all the problems they're facing in their relationship, and make them realize that as long as they're committed there's nothing that their love for each other can't solve,~ Ginny explained. Harry reached under the table and took her hand, squeezing it gently.
~That was beautifully put Gin. So how do we go about this?~ Harry asked, taking a bite of his breakfast, as did Ginny. They had to make sure they didn't look overly spacey when talking this way… it wasn't hard to look like they were dreamily looking off into the distance.
~I was thinking that Lily and I will have a girl's day and you boys can do as you like. After the Hogsmeade trip, we'll get back together with you two at the party. I'm assuming it's no different than when we have parties back in our time. The prefects have to set up the common room of the tower and arrange for food and such. Seeing as both of the Head Students are Gryffindor's I'm assuming they're in charge of bringing back food and drinks for the party, as well as the majority of the setup. We'll offer to help them, but we'll make sure to stick them together jobs and such. Sound like a plan?~ Ginny asked.
~Sounds good to me. Gin—~
"So Harry, what year did the two of you enter when you transferred?" Remus' voice cut off the inaudible conversation. Harry looked up from his food, swallowing.
"Seventh year," Harry answered. Sirius raised an eyebrow.
"But neither of you look like you're seventeen or eighteen," Sirius said accusingly.
"We're quite advanced from the extra schooling and the exchange we were on," Ginny said.
~Nice thinking Gin,~ Harry complemented and felt her squeeze his hand.
"They're shadowing Lily and I for the day," James inserted, wiping off his mouth.
"What's the schedule for the day?" Ginny asked, turning to look over at Lily who was sitting between Harry and James.
"We have Transfiguration with Slytherin, Potions with Ravenclaw, Charms with Hufflepuff and double Defence Against the Dark Arts with Slytherin," Lily answered.
"You'd almost think this was a Monday," Harry said with a groan, then noticed everyone's questioning looks.
"Because we start with Slytherin and then end with them for the day… so not a pleasant day in my books," Harry clarified. This got a laugh from the group.
"One day here and already the prejudices are already firmly in place. This must be Sirius' doing. I'm officially disappointed in you Sirius," Lily said with a laugh, shaking her head.
"You mean it hasn't been official until now? When are you not disappointed in Sirius Lily flower?" James asked, chuckling slightly. Lily looked thoughtful for a moment.
"Good point James, he's constantly a disappointment," Lily agreed, looking at Sirius with a calm smile. "Sorry for the mix up Sirius," she said pleasantly. Sirius' jaw dropped, and he looked indignantly at the two of them who just sat there calmly.
"Hey! When have I ever been a disappointment?" Sirius demanded, getting a laugh from everyone.
"Oh Sirius, we would list the many times you have been a disappointment, but alas, we would never get through the list before nightfall," Remus said despairingly, which elicited another laugh from everyone. Sirius huffed, glaring at Remus who only laughed harder.
"But Harry has a good point Lily, beginning and ending your day with Slytherins is never good! You can't deny that fact!" Sirius whined. Harry watched as Lily tried to suppress a grin.
"Of course I can, and I will," she said calmly and straight faced. Sirius opened his mouth to argue but James cut him off.
"Shut it Padfoot," James said, also looking like he was trying to stop himself from laughing.
"You're favouring her over me?" Sirius asked, looking wounded.
"Yep," James said simply, wrapping his arms around Lily and kissing her cheek. Harry watched as Lily's face flushed a light pink. "She's a lot prettier and smarter than you anyways," James added, grinning widely at Sirius.
"We should get going to class, we don't want to be late for McGonagall's class," Lily said, promptly cutting off any retort Sirius could have made. The other's nodded and got up, heading to their first class of the day.
Nero was in front of Harry and Ginny, trotting along happily, and completely invisible to the rest of the students.
"Make sure you behave Nero, we don't want to get into trouble if we can avoid it," Harry whispered, and suddenly a picture appeared in his mind of Nero looking angelically innocent. Ginny chuckled beside him.
"Don't worry Harry, Nero will behave. He'd never do anything purposefully to get us in trouble," Ginny said and Harry raised an eyebrow. "Ok, well he'd never do anything to get me purposefully in trouble," she conceded, and to emphasise her point Nero twined around her legs.
"That's because he loves you more," Harry said, scratching Nero behind the ears anyways. Nero was by nature, mischievous, and nothing that Harry ever said or did would change that fact.
They reached the classroom and took their seats quickly. McGonagall waited for only another few moments before she began the class.
"Professor Dumbledore has informed me that we have two new students this morning. Mr. Potter and Miss Weasley, you will share with James and Lily until you are able to get your supplies," she said and then moved on with the lesson. For the rest of the day Harry was paired with James and Ginny was paired with Lily. Harry and Ginny proceeded to question them about their relationship, and slowly began forming their strategy for repairing James and Lily's relationship without either James or Lily the wiser of their plan.
The day progressed quickly, and they were soon in their last class, Defence Against the Dark Arts with Slytherin. This was Harry's strongest class back in their time, and hopefully it would be in this time as well. The professor walked into the room with an air of arrogance, his nose turned up, and wore Slytherin colours. Harry cocked his head to the side slightly at the déjà vu he was experiencing. The professor's arrogance reminded him of the way Professor Snape would sweep into the potions class.
"Today's class will focus on Patronus charms for the first half of the class. For the second half of the class we will be practicing duelling," the professor announced.
~Perfect, what I do on a daily basis. I thought we were supposed to learn new things at school,~ Harry said wryly. Ginny patted his arm.
~Well at least you know you're good at it right?~ she asked.
~I guess so, but I still don't like dealing with dementors more than I have to,~ Harry said.
~I'm with you on that one. The less I have to deal with them the better,~ Ginny agreed. ~But it's unlikely that they brought in dementors to use on us,~ she added.
Right as she said it the room went cold, and eight dementors appeared in the classroom, all heading directly for him. Harry pulled out his wand.
"EXPECTO PATRONUM!" Harry yelled and a silver stag erupted out of his wand, driving the dementors back. When they were gone, and the stag stood back beside Harry, he noticed that everyone was staring at him with wide eyes, aside from Ginny.
"What?" he said.
"Mr—" the professor began.
"Potter," Harry supplied, crossing his arms, and trying to calm himself down. What kind of sick teacher set dementors on their students unsuspectingly without teaching them the proper charm first.
"Mr. Potter, how did you manage to ward off all eight dementors that quickly? You should not have been able to deflect them single headedly," the professor said. Harry looked up at the professor with steely eyes.
"I've faced many more dementors than eight at one time Professor," Harry said through gritted teeth. "Did you ever stop to think that it might be more sensible to first teach the students the charm to repel a dementor before letting eight of them descend on the class?" Harry questioned, clenching his wand tightly.
"Practical experience is much more useful, especially during these times," the professor said dismissively.
Harry looked over to where James was holding Lily tightly against him, she was shaking uncontrollably. Harry went over and reached into his bag, pulling out a small bar of chocolate and handed it to James.
"Get her to eat the chocolate, and you eat some as well. It will help to get rid of the feeling the Dementors left," Harry said, and turned his attention back to the professor.
"How in the bloody hell is it practical experience when you haven't taught the spell needed to repel the dementors? When I was taught to do the Patronus charm I was taught the spell first, and then I had to practice with a Bogart. I realize that these times are complicated with Voldemort—" The class gasped at his blatant use of Voldemort's name, and Harry mentally kicked himself but continued.
"But I can't imagine Professor Dumbledore would ever allow a teacher to swarm their class with eight dementors without teaching the class the proper fundamentals of the spell! If the foundations for a defensive spell are not strong, the spell will fail you when battling dark wizards," Harry said.
"Very true Mr. Potter. Very well then, we will do as you suggest, simply due to your incredible display of a Patronus charm. Pair up everyone, and Mr. Potter will be the one to observe your progress for the rest of class, seeing as he appears to know more that I do," the professor said snidely, before retreating into his office. Harry groaned. Me and my big mouth he thought angrily. Why couldn't I have kept my temper under control?
~Well go on then Harry, teach us,~ Ginny urged. Harry looked around at the class. All eyes were on him, watching him expectantly. He sighed, and then took a breath before beginning.
"When casting a Patronus Charm it is important that you fuel the spell with the strongest happy memory you have. The charm will take extensive practice. It will not likely come easily at first, but there is always the possibility that it can," Harry said.
"The basic of the spell is easy. You simply point your wand and say, 'Expecto Patronum'. The difficult part is making it take shape. Initially the spell will produce a white mist, and depending on how powerful your happy memory is, it will take its own unique form. A patronus will usually take the form of an animal once you get the spell right. Everyone pair up and start working on the spell, and I'll be around to help," Harry said and everyone silently went off to do as he said.
"Where on earth did you learn to do a patronus charm that powerful?" Lily asked, as she came up to him, along with Ginny and the Marauders. Harry smiled grimly.
"Dementors and I don't get along all that well," he said simply. "You guys should all get to working on the spell. I'm going to go talk to Dumbledore after this is all over."
"We'll go with you. This is completely unacceptable for a professor. Dumbledore won't be happy that the Professor—"
The doors of the classroom burst open, and an irate looking Dumbledore walked in, heading directly to where the professor was hiding out in his study, opened the door, and shut it with a loud bang. The room was deathly quiet as everyone stared after the headmaster.
"I don't think I've ever seen Dumbledore that angry…" Sirius said, sounding slightly stunned, and the others nodded.
"What on earth possessed the Professor to bring in actual dementors anyways? And how could he get them here without anyone noticing until they tried to attack Harry?" Lily asked.
"I have a feeling that's exactly what Dumbledore is asking him right now," Harry said, before moving around the class to check on the student's progress.
The class was over by the time Dumbledore emerged from the professor's office. Harry, Ginny, Lily, and James had stayed behind to talk to Dumbledore. He stopped and looked at the four of them, his eyes were still dark with anger.
"Your professor has been given three hours to pack his things and leave Hogwarts," Dumbledore said, his voice grave. "I suspect he was here to spy for Lord Voldemort, but there is no tangible proof of that, so all I can do is send him away and forbid him from ever returning." The four nodded in understanding.
"In the mean time I will be conducting the Defence Against The Dark Arts classes until I can find a suitable replacement for the remainder of the year," he said, and then turned to Harry.
"We are lucky that you were here to prevent the inevitable disaster those dementors would have caused. You have my greatest appreciation Mr. Potter."
Harry met Dumbledore's eyes and nodded.
"Thank you Professor," he said, and then paused for a moment.
"Professor Dumbledore? Is it possible that this ordeal was meant to be a distraction? A diversion?" Harry asked, and Dumbledore looked at him sharply.
"What do you mean Mr. Potter?" he asked.
"I mean that something as big as a dementor attack at Hogwarts would take eyes off of smaller movements Voldemort would likely make… That, or it would undermine the fact that Hogwarts is one of the safest places in the Wizarding World, causing parents to take their kids away from the school, and make the young witches and wizards who are not aligned with Voldemort, easier targets," Harry said. And once he said it, he realized how possible it was.
Dumbledore looked even more troubled than before, and didn't speak for a moment.
"You may be right Mr. Potter, but I sincerely hope you're not," Dumbledore said finally.
"Believe me Professor, so do I."
To Be Continued…..