Chapter 10

"…and the first years should also get to try out for the Quidditch team. They should treat us all equals." Ron Weasley exclaimed loudly, earning himself quiet stares from all others in the room.

"But it is about safety of first years, Ron." Niall said, snapping his book shut.

It was tow months after beginning of school year, and all of them were currently seated in the Gryffindor common room. And by them, I meant the group of Harry, Niall, Ron and Hermione. Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor Quidditch captain had just announced that the tryouts for the Quidditch team this weekend.

"Only for second years and above." Oliver Wood said, earning himself lots of glares from the first years.

"I don't know why you are so excited. It's just a pointless sport." Hermione said, sounding as haughtier as everyone believed her to be.

"Pointless sport! Are you barking mad!"

"Ron, could you speak a little lower." Fred and George said from across the room. Ron just huffed.

"See, if I was in the team right now, they will treat me with respect. They think they all are so mightier than me just because they are in the team, and I am just a useless first year." Ron said, frowning at the fireplace.

"They once were first years too." Harry said, feeling a bit sorry for the redhead in front of him. But Ron completely ignored him.

"They all do not respect me at all. They treat me as if I am some sort of dirt, an unwanted member of the family. I can clearly go ahead and tell them Dumbledore trusted me with the task, not them. But mum and dad does not-"

"What task?" Niall asked, looking a bit shocked. Ron suddenly went pale, his freckles getting redder.

"Umm…to...to…to train Ginny, you know." Ron said, a bit rushed.

"Train Ginny, for what?" Niall asked.

"For…for that…umm…that…I AM COMING! Sorry guys, Percy is calling me." And with that, Ron ran away.

But Harry did not hear any call. Infact, Harry was pretty sure Percy was in one of those prefect meetings.

"What was that?" Hermione asked to Niall.

"Nothing." Niall replied, seeming depressed, "I am going to sleep."

Harry and Hermione just watched him climb the stairs to the common room.

"I think something is wrong." Hermione whispered.

"You think?" Harry replied, sarcastically.

"Oh shut up. Have you done the Potions essay?"

"Which one?"

"Properties of various ingredients." Hermione replied, looking a tad bit frustrated.

"No, there's time for it."

"Time, what time. We are supposed to submit it tomorrow." Hermione screeched.

"Crap!"

#####

"…so if she joined just ten years ago then she cannot be present when Harry was born?" Remus asked for what seemed like the hundredth time.

"Yes, Moony." Sirius replied.

"Then why did she lie to us?" Remus asked.

"I don't know, Moony."

"But she said she was here when Harry was born. But according to her records, she just joined this orphanage seven years ago."

"Exactly."

It was a week after Sirius and Remus went to meet Mrs. Jones at the orphanage. Remus had finally collected enough information about the matron, and the information he found was nothing special. She lived just a plain, muggle life.

However, Sirius thought it was treasure.

This afternoon, Remus came to Sirius's house with the file. After Sirius saw the file, he was 'hmm…'-ing and nodding at various places. And sometimes his eyes got really wide and his face got red, making Remus partially confused and frustrated.

And when he started explaining all the reasons to Remus, well, Remus was in for a huge surprise.

Currently, our head researcher was sitting in the study of Number 12, Grimmauld Place, with his head in his hand.

"You mean to say, Padfoot, this woman is working for Dumbledore?" Remus asked, finally looking at Sirius.

"No."

"No? Then why did she lie to us?"

"Memory modification. Someone had modified her memory." Sirius replied calmly.

"And how can you state that?"

"Well, we aurors are thought during the basic training itself the symptoms of a MMS- Memory Modification Spell. And speaking in monotone, glazed eyes and confusion are the basic symptoms of it."

"She was obliviated?" Remus asked.

"I believe she was." Sirius said.

"Bu Dumbledore?"

"Yes."

Remus sighed. Of course Dumbledore was involved. When isn't he?

"I also believe this isn't the first time she got her memory modified?" Sirius said with the same calm tone.

Now that was a surprise.

"So- sorry?" Remus stammered.

"I had my doubts the first time I saw her." Sirius begun. "Tell me, Moony, what data are missing from Mrs. Jones files that must be present."

Remus went through the file again.

"Umm…let me see. Birth place…family information…umm…and, yes, her brand of lipstick." Remus replied cheekily.

"No birth information, no family life…just as I believed."

"Will you stop talking like…that! Explain."

"Okay, listen moony, about seven to eight years ago I received a fire call in my office. I was working under Kingsley back then (now I am Kingsley's partner.) There was one woman, wanting to talk to me. She said it was something I will be interested in, something personal. Actually, she wanted to talk to James, but James and Lily were both on a year long vacation, remember? To raise Niall safely and all." Remus nodded.

"Well, I gave her a appointment of the next day, but she never turned up!" Sirius said.

"So?" Remus asked, still confused.

"I am not finished. You know how one's face become during fire call, don't you? Her face was also not clear to me. The very next week, one employ of Daily Prophet came to me saying his colleague is missing. The girl was a muggleborn and was working for daily prophet, writing articles about missing deatheaters. We searched a lot, but it was as of she just disappeared from the face of earth."

"You mean, the matron is that missing girl?" Remus asked.

"I am almost sure. All I need is to confirm it."

"How?"

"We are going to meet her again, and give her a little surprise." A grinning Sirius replied.

Just outside the room, the portrait of Professor Phineas Nigellus Black, the least popular headmaster of Hogwarts, turned around and disappeared from the frame. He needed to give some much needed information to the current headmaster of Hogwarts.

#####

"…and as long as I can remember, he was there. Always poking his crooked nose in each and every aspect of my life. He was the one who forced me to learn duel, when all I wanted to do is play and eat. And-"

"Wait a second, learning dueling is beneficial, right?" asked Harry, stopping Niall in between his rant.

Both Niall and Harry were inside an empty classroom. It was almost midnight, and the duo had sneaked out of their beds. Harry was sleepless, and Niall was tired of listening to Ron snoring again and again. In there past two months, all of the boys in the dorms were accustomed to Ron's snoring time, which usually lasted till midnight.

And while they were there, Niall was explaining Harry the exact difficulties of being the boy-who-lived, especially if you have a certain headmaster interfering in you life.

"Harry, I was only six back then!" Niall exclaimed.

"Oh, sorry. Continue."

Niall sighed. "Let it be, I don't want to burden you."

"No, its okay. Go on."

"Nah, mate. Let it be." Niall said, and this time Harry did not protest his decision. Secretly, he was now feeling a bit sleepy, and was looking forward to his warm bed with comfortable mattress and fluffy pillows…

Harry yawned.

"You know it was Dumbledore who introduced Ron and me." Niall suddenly said.

"Really?" Harry got mentally ready. Niall was not going back anytime soon, he just knew it.

"Yes. He wanted us to be friends. I guess Ron is always following me on Dumbledore's orders." Niall said.

"I don't think it is like that." Harry said, but he would be lying if he did not have the same notion before. After all of the things he had learnt about Dumbledore, Harry had very little respect for the headmaster.

Niall merely raised an eyebrow.

"I guess we should head back." Niall suddenly said. "I am sleepy, and Ron must be quiet by now."

You are sleepy! Really? "Yeah, lets go back."

Walking back to the dorms with eyes heavy with sleep was much difficult than coming here. Many times, both boys run into a wall, or a suit of armor, or Peeves… well, passed straight through Peeves, but it still counted. Halfway over there, they had to pass library, and while on that corridor, they almost ran into Severus Snape.

Almost. Thank goodness.

"…and I don't care if Dumbledore is doing all of this for greater good, Minerva. It. Is. Wrong!" Professor Snape was whispering furiously to Professor McGonagall. As both the boys loved to be in their little shell and mind their own business, they stayed to eavesdrop on the whole conversation.

"But he can be someone else-"

"You really think that, Minerva?" Snape was looking at Professor McGonagall with questioning gaze. Prof. McGonagall sighed.

"No."

"Even Lucius noticed, you know."

"Lucius Malfoy? How did he come to know?" Professor McGonagall asked.

"Draco Malfoy."

"Oh. So even the kid noticed."

"Its hard not to." Snape said.

"We cannot go against Him, Severus." McGonagall said.

"I know."

At that precise moment, Mrs. Norris, who was right behind the two currently invisible boys, crashed to them. A loud hiss echoed through the corridor.

"Who's there?" Snape growled.

The boys ran in the opposite direction.

"It's just the stupid cat." Harry and Niall heard McGonagall say before taking turn towards another corridor. They didn't know how, but soon the boys were standing in some abandoned classroom.

Apparently this was the same classroom with Mirror of Erised temporarily placed.

"Woah! Dumbledore is using a classroom to place mirror. Is this a school or a storeroom." Niall said, looking at the mirror with a frown.

"For all we know, it could be charmed or something." Harry said, handling the invisibility cloak to Niall.

"It must be. Look at the writing."

And Harry looked at it. Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi.

"What language is it?" Harry asked.

"Do I look like some rune master or something, Harry? Of course I don't know." Niall said, looking at the mirror. "Hey, I look different in the mirror."

"Huh?"

"I look a bit different. I don't know what…my hair is same…wait!" Niall turned around. "Is there a scar?"

"What?"

"There is no scar on my forehead." Niall said, smiling hugely.

"No, the scar is there." Harry said, and Niall's smile disappeared.

"What? But there's none in the mirror. And I look so good without it."

"Maybe it erases all the ugliness from a person." Harry said, smiling.

"Yeah, maybe- Hey!" Harry started laughing loudly, and Niall soon joined. For a moment, both of them forgot they were running from Snape, they forgot they were out in castle in middle of the night, and they forgot voice echoes in this silent castle.

And because of that, they also forgot Flitch patrols the whole castle every night.

"Well, well, well, are we in trouble."

Niall and Harry gulped loudly.

#####

"…utterly shameful and disappointing! How can you just break the rules like they mean nothing! And all these things Minerva said…"

For the past half an hour Niall was listening to his mum screaming at him. As soon as Flitch handled Niall and Harry to Professor McGonagall, Professor McGonagall handled Niall to his parents, and took Harry away. And not to mention both had twenty points reduced from Gryffindor. Also, Harry got a detention with the librarian tomorrow, and Niall was subjected to his mother's wrath.

Lucky Harry.

"Are you even listening to me?" His mother shouted at him.

"Yes." Niall said quickly. He glanced at his father, and saw him shaking with silent laughter.

Oh you didn't dad.

"Mom, I just wanted to be like dad. He always says about his and Sirius's midnight adventures in their first year. So I bullied Harry into coming with me. I was following Dad's footsteps." Niall said, making a puppy dog face. His mum turned around to glare at dad. Now Niall knew, he was safe.

"James!"

"Lily he is lying. Sirius and I started out midnight adventures from third year, not first."

"You…you both father and son…you…ugh!" Lily stormed out of the room. Niall sighed with relief. No extra punishment.

"And since you bullied Harry, you will be helping professor sprout the whole week, two hours each day." Lily shouted, and Niall groaned. His mom knew Niall hated plants.

"So." James asked after a moment. "How was your first experience?"

Niall smiled. "I knew you were interested."

"Only when your mom is not around. Now tell me every detail."

And Niall told him everything, including the conversation between Snape and Professor McGonagall. Niall was so immersed in his story that he did not observed the horrified face of James.

Yes, James understood perfectly what Snape was talking about. And if James get Snape as alliance…

He needed to discuss it with Lily, Padfoot and Moony.

#####

Dumbledore heard everything Phineas said, and was very angry. He remembered Rose Wilson very well. The witch was a good reporter, too good for herself actually. She knew too much. Nosy as she was, she wormed out all the information about him, and also came to know about Harry.

Yes, she knew all about potter Twins.

Infact she almost revealed everything to Sirius Black. On that day, Dumbledore managed to trace her floo network. He even crucioed her, but before he could fire Avada Kedavra, her portkey activated and she was gone.

And since then, she was missing. And looks like she was found now.

Dumbledore quickly took out a parchment, scribbled a small note and sent it with Fawkes. Within five minutes, Elphias Doge was sitting right in front of him, listening to the whole story.

"Gather Sturgis and Dorcas. I want the mudblood filth killed by tomorrow morning."

A/N: I am extremely sorry for the lack of update. At the beginning, I did not write just because of pure boredom and nothing else. However, just two weeks before, my grandfather passed away. So yeah, writing this story was not my top priority.

I wrote this chapter just in an hour, so my apologies for any mistakes I have done. I admit it, not one of my best chapters, but still…

Just an hour ago (before I post this), I received a review on the last chapter. So, AndreasAlva: No, I am not having any beta. Betas and I…we don't get along that well. I am sorry for your inconvinence.

Also, I hope you all got a bit of insight of Ron's life. I just hate to make Ron villain.

Seeya!