Time to Learn

By Loralee

Disclaimer: HP is owned by JKR

AN: I wanted to get this chpt up before DH comes out so here it is, relatively unbeta'd . I am still working on this. Thank you for all the lovely revews

Chapter 2

Harry entered through the main doors into the entrance hall, levitating his package of books. He spotted Professor McGonagall clearing several younger students off the staircase where they had apparently been playing Gobstones.

"Professor," he called.

"Hello, Mr. Potter," she frowned slightly looking at the package, "What on earth do you have there, it's not from the Weasley twins shop is it?"

He grinned at her, "Of course not Professor, how could you think such a thing," trying for an innocent tone. Her frown deepened. "It's books for the extra Defense reading. I was wondering if we could get a bookshelf in the common room. Since I was going to buy the books I needed I picked up one set for each year. They are supposed to be sharing the books and paying me back."

She looked surprised and glanced at the package again then asked, "My goodness, just how many books were assigned?"

He pulled out the sheaf of parchment and handed it to her, "Here's the list. I'll head on up to the common room."

"I'll have a house elf bring you a set of shelves," she said scanning the list of books.


A little house elf was waiting in the common room with a very large bookshelf when Harry entered.

"Where is Master Harry Potter sir, wanting his shelves to be putted, please," asked the bouncy elf.

"How about against the wall here," Harry indicated a place and then thanked the surprised elf.

The common room was beginning to fill up with students dropping off their things before dinner. Harry unwrapped the packages and placed the 10 or so books for each year on the shelves, looked around and said, "Remember you have to share, let's be nice about it."

Then he carried the sixth-year books up to his dorm and dumped them on his bed to sort out later.


Toward the end of dinner, while Harry was picking at his dessert Dumbledore came down the aisle between the tables and said, "Mr. Potter, you will have detention with me this evening."

Harry looked up in surprise and then narrowed his eyes and asked, "Why do I have detention, Headmaster? I've done nothing wrong."

"You left Hogwarts this afternoon without permission, Mr. Potter. You must understand the rules are for the student's safety and that I cannot allow you such liberties simply based on your name," said Dumbledore sternly.

"You are mistaken Headmaster, I am emancipated and as the Head of two Families I don't need permission to leave the grounds on business. As a common courtesy I did however inform Professor McGonagall that I would be gone and where I would be," said Harry coldly.

Dumbledore turned and glared briefly at McGonagall and then said to Harry, "Be that as it may, you must inform me the next time you wish to leave," and he turned and retreated out of the Great Hall.

Harry eyed McGonagall who threw her napkin onto her plate and followed the Headmaster.

From down the table Seamus asked, "Merlin, Harry what did you do to get his knickers in a twist?"

Harry merely grimaced as the rest of the table laughed and began to talk again.

Later in the Staff room

Just before curfew Minerva McGonagall entered the staff room and sank into a chair with a sigh.

"Tea, Min?" asked Pomona Sprout.

"Yes, please Pomona," said Minerva fervently.

"Did you sort out whatever it was Albus was upset about," asked Filius Flitwick.

I most certainly tried but I fear he wasn't listening. The nerve of that man trying to confine poor Harry to the castle," she said after a sip of the tea.

"Oh dear, perhaps you need something stronger that tea, then," said Filius with a chuckle.

"I wish," Minerva said with a huff, "legally Albus can't require Harry to either stay in the castle or ask his permission to leave, he is the Head of his Family after all."

"I don't understand Minerva, what could he possibly hope to gain by antagonizing Mr. Potter? The Hogwarts rules are quite clear that students who are of age are free to come and go outside of class time and Potter's certainly proved he can take of himself if the papers are to be believed," said Sinistra.

"I can honestly say I have no idea what Albus is thinking," said Minerva with another sigh. "Harry informed me this morning that he had an appointment with Gringotts and would be gone this afternoon. I found out he stopped off at Flourish and Blotts and bought texts for the Defense class too."

"Yes, about that class," said Sinistra turning to Flitwick, "Filius can't you do something about your students, they've checked out all of the books on that required list of Baxter's, every one of them."

"Really, Aurora, I don't see why you must blame my house for that," protested Filius.

"I can, I asked Irma, she said all of the books on the First through Fifth year lists are out to Ravenclaw students. She said that if Baxter had told her she would have reserved some for library use only," said Pomona. "By the way Minerva, one of those books on the 6th year list is in the restricted section. The History of Dark Arts I believe it is. I'm not sure I approve of requiring the children to read a Dark Arts book."

"Well I intend to speak to Professor Baxter about the extra reading anyway. I don't doubt I'll have howlers from parents complaining about the expense of buying more books after the start of term. At least they aren't the self promotions that Lockhart insisted on," said Minerva.

"Ah, Minerva, there you are, I've had the most productive day," said Hooch coming into the staff room and throwing herself into a chair. I spent several hours at the Ministry with Elgin at Sports and Games. I'll have a formal proposal drawn up tomorrow but in a nutshell I want to hold a Quidditch workshop on the last Saturday of the month. I already have promises from ten professional players to participate, all of them Hogwarts alumni, even better, they'll donate their time."

Minerva sat up straight and asked, "What are you on about? Professional Quidditch players, here at Hogwarts?"

"Yes, a workshop, Professionals coming here to demonstrate Quidditch moves and educate our students. All the students, not just the Quidditch teams mind you, but everyone interested can meet with the players, get a little one on one instruction, Sports and Games wants to set up a booth as well for recruitment to their department. Elgin contacted both Nimbus and Cleansweep and they are both willing to sponsor a health and safety booth if they can have broom displays," she took in the looks of shock from the other teachers and added, "I know I should have asked you first Min, but I wanted to find out if it was even feasible before I approached you. I went to see Elgin and he made a floo call and things just snowballed," she laughed, "Oliver Wood caught me as I was leaving the Ministry, he said he'd heard I was going to put on a workshop and demanded I let him help."

Minerva looked at the other teachers who were beginning to look excited and said, "It sounds like a marvelous idea, Rolanda but I'm not sure if Albus—"

Hooch broke in, "Min, You-Know-Who is gone. There's no security risk here and really, it's a wonderful opportunity for the students."

The other three Heads spoke their agreement and Minerva smiled and gave in. She would convince Albus one way or another.


The rest of the week passed swiftly with Harry enjoying his classes and having fun with friends. His Thursday afternoon Care class had only three other people in it, Anthony Goldstein and Morag MacDougal from Ravenclaw and Millicent Bulstrode.

The four exchanged greetings as they headed down to Hagrid's hut.

"So what do you think he'll try to kill us with this year?" asked Millicent.

"Why are you here if you don't like the class?" asked Anthony.

"I need a N.E.W.T in Care to qualify for a Magical Creatures husbandry license so I can work with my uncles. They harvest animal based potions ingredients to sell to apothecaries and Potion houses. How about you?" she said.

Anthony chuckled, "A Veterinary on a magical preserve must have a MC license also."

Morag chimed in, "We breed Crups, Kneazles and Owls, also licensed."

They turned to Harry who shrugged and said, "I like Hagrid."

"You're mental, Potter," said Millicent with a laugh.

"I suppose I am, I saw the seventh years out here the other day, Hagrid was showing them an acromantula," said Harry with an evil grin.

The other three paled just as Hagrid came around the edge of his hut carrying a perch with the ugliest bird Harry had ever seen.

"There yer lot are. This here's an Augurey. Now who can tell me about 'em?" said Hagrid.

Harry found the class enjoyable but wasn't nearly as happy as Hagrid when the Augurey decided to sing. Augurey song being a foretelling of rain they were soaked to the skin by time they returned to the castle.


Friday morning's Prophet announced the upcoming Quidditch workshop and breakfast was a frenzy of speculation.

Dumbledore stood and announced, "I'm pleased to see that you are all interested in the upcoming Quidditch workshop that Madam Hooch is putting together. We will have more details later in the month. All students in good standing will be eligible to attend so be on your best behavior. Now I believe it is time for class."

The noise level in the Great Hall rose again as the student began to make their way to class.


Saturday morning Katie and Ginny put the chaser candidates through their paces while giving Ron a work out. Harry tried several beater pairings from the hopefuls and selected a pair of husky fourth years, Ray Vetor and Ben Farmer. Then he turned the snitch lose and told the seeker candidates to bring it back. He watched carefully as they scattered to search for the snitch. He flew in among them grounding several who were terrible flyers and one girl who spent most of her time watching him and almost crashed into the chasers. He finally selected a tiny second year named Nancy Boles.

Meanwhile Katie and Ginny had narrowed the chasers to two and Harry decided to take them both on. Dennis Creevey and Natalie MacDonald would both join the team and whoever did better in practice would start.

At the end of lunch the most of the Slytherins left for the pitch and their tryouts. Harry shook his head glad that he hadn't had to rebuild the entire team. He didn't envy Warrington at all.

Many of his housemates had begun to leave the table when Luna came over accompanied by Terry Boot. Several students at the Hufflepuff table noticed and Susan was nudged and prodded by her housemates until she joined them as well.

"Er, Harry?" said Terry Boot seating himself across from Harry, "We were wondering if you are going to start up the DA this year?"

"I was too," said Susan.

"Well Voldemort's gone and Professor Baxter seems to know her stuff. So why do we need the DA?" asked Harry.

"What about the next Dark Lord that comes around?" asked Neville.

"Harry that's part of why I didn't take Defense because I thought you'd teach the DA," exclaimed Hermione.

"We'd really like you to teach us what you know, Harry," said Susan.

Harry sighed, "Look, I—"

"Dangerous creatures walk on two feet," interrupted Luna examining a partially eaten roll.

Harry looked sharply at her, "Luna, you think we should have a Defense study group?"

Her gaze lifted to his eyes and she said, "I'd like to learn whatever you have to teach me, Harry."

His eyes narrowed slightly and he nodded once. "Alright, but we call it something other than the DA. Dumbledore's Army isn't a name I want associated with our study group. We can have a short meeting at 7 o'clock tonight in the room of requirement. Pass the word."

"Thank you Harry," said Susan as she rose from the table.

"Great, we will be there," said Terry a bit pompously.

"I think it's a good idea, Harry," said Hermione.

"I suppose," said Harry, "I guess I was hoping it wouldn't be needed but," he eyed Luna once more and shrugged

"I think it's the right thing to do, Harry," said Neville softly.

Harry nodded, "So what shall we do this afternoon?"

"Chess," said Ron.

Hermione rolled her eyes, "No one likes losing all the time, have you done your homework?"

This time Ron's eyes rolled, "There's plenty of time yet for that."

"I need to check my seedlings," said Neville rising from the table before Ron and Hermione could really get started.

"I'm going to go spy on the Slytherin's try outs," said Ginny.

"I've finished my assignments," murmured Luna.

"So have I," said Harry.

"Then you should decide what you're going to teach tonight," said Hermione.

Harry smiled at her and shook his head, "Nope, it's an organizational meeting and we may go over the Patronus again. That will be enough, I expect."

"So chess," asked Ron again a little smugly.

"No, maybe you should ask Professor McGonagall, Ron, after all you won her game first year."

"But," protested Hermione as Ron rose to approach the Professor who was still drinking her tea.

"I'll help you study, Hermione," said Luna.

"I don't need help," sputtered Hermione.

Harry laughed then watched Ron race out of the Hall to retrieve his chess set and Professor McGonagall come toward them followed by Professor Flitwick.

"Mr. Weasley has challenged me to a game of chess," said the Professor.

"He's sort of the champion of Gryffindor tower, Professor," said Harry.

"We'll have to see how well he performs then," said Professor McGonagall with a decided smirk.

"Minerva is the champion of the staff room," said Professor Flitwick. "This should be rather entertaining don't you think, Mr. Potter?"

Harry grinned at the tiny Professor as Ron hustled back into the room with board and men. Harry settled in to watch some chess.


Nearly all of the returning DA members gathered in the room of requirement that evening. They had trickled in two or three at a time. Once everyone was there Harry stood.

"Welcome, thank you all for coming. I've been told that you would like to start up the DA again. I won't start the DA," there were sounds of protest and Harry held up a hand. "Voldemort is gone. Dumbledore doesn't need an army. We no longer need to hide. So I will run a defense study group for anyone interested. Every Saturday evening after dinner until just before curfew. Professor Baxter seems competent and I don't intend on trying to take over her job."

"What will you be teaching then?" sneered a voice. Harry looked out and saw Zach Smith.

Harry grinned at him and said, "I'm glad you asked. For part of every evening we can go over whatever Baxter is teaching, anything you might be having trouble with or want to practice more. The rest of the time we can focus on the actual use of what we are learning."

"What's that mean?"

"I mean learning to use what we are being taught in actual situations," he looked around seeing blank faces. "All right let me show you. Hey Nev, come here."

Neville blinked and then came forward and said, "Yeah, Harry?"

"You up for a demonstration?" Harry asked him.

Neville raised an eyebrow and said, "Please don't hurt me, Harry," in a fake whimper.

Everyone laughed and Harry grinned and gestured Neville to stand a few feet in front of him.

"Okay, everyone, in defense when we learn a spell we take turns. One person casts the spell, the other shields, right?" asked Harry casting a stinging hex at Neville who automatically cast a Protego. Heads were nodding around him.

"Now in a real fight you can't just stand there and cast or shield. Nev please cast a stinger at me," he requested.

Neville nodded and cast the stinging hex. Harry dodged slightly to one side while muttering under his breath and making a small movement with his wand. Then a large beach ball bounced off the back of Neville's head. Neville whirled around, wand at the ready.

"What the hell?" he asked looking at the ball and hearing the laughter.

"Now anyone want to tell me what I did?"

"You killed Neville," said Luna.

Neville's wand lowered and the laughter stopped.

"You're right, Luna. I used a simple charm to take out my opponent. That ball could easily have been a rock or limb if we were outside. A chair or vase in a house. The charm was not one we learned in defense but rather in Charms. Voldemort is gone. Most of the Death Eaters are gone but there are still evil people in the world. There may still be a time when you will need to defend yourself or your loved ones from bad people. What I'd like to try and teach you is how to put together what we've been learning here into something you can use," said Harry.

The students looked around at each other and heads began to nod.

"What about the cursed parchment?" someone asked.

Harry shook his head and grinned, "I don't think we need to hide this year. After all we are just another study group."

"Say Potter, what really happened with You-Know-Who this summer? How many Death Eaters did you kill?" called Michael Corner.

The others hushed waiting for a reply.

Harry sighed, "He came to my house, Corner, and tried to kill me. We fought, I won. I don't really want to discuss it. As for killing Death Eaters well I try not to think about it. I hope that none of you ever have to kill anyone." He looked around. "Let's get in some Patronus practice because the Dementors are still out there."

There was some grumbling but they started moving and soon there was a veritable zoo of silvery animals roaming in the room of requirement.