Disclaimer: All previous disclaimers apply.
Dumbledore seem taken aback by Harry's rather strident tone, but replied, "Your father never took any of those classes and he did fine without them."
"Well, I don't want to play Quidditch except maybe for fun with my friends and I don't want to be an Auror either."
"What are you going to be then, Harry?" Dumbledore asked.
"I haven't decided whether I want to be a Pediatric Healer, a Potion Master like dad, or a Child Protection Officer like Regulus, but I do know I do want to work with abused kids," Harry said.
"That's very noble, Harry, but you do know Aurors save children from dark wizards," Dumbledore replied.
Harry shook his head. "Not that much and besides I'd probably have to work with Potter and Black too." Harry stuck his finger in his mouth and made a vomiting motion.
At that moment Severus and Lily hurried over after spotting Harry with Dumbledore. "Do you have all your school textbooks, Harry?" Severus asked.
"Yup," Harry replied.
"Let's take them up to the register then and get them paid for," Lily said leading Harry towards the line of people waiting to pay for their purchases. "Hermione, your parents are in the back talking with Mr. Weasley." She shot Dumbledore a glare as she left with Harry and Hermione.
Severus watched them leave then turned back to Dumbledore. "I thought I had made it clear, Headmaster, that I did not want you interfering with Harry or with his studies."
"Why do you insist on turning an adventurous boy such as Harry into a dull, stultifying, bookworm, Severus?"
"Harry has plenty of fun with all of his friends and with his cousin, Dudley," Severus pointed out calmly. "He never was like James. He is much more like Lily in his attitude towards learning and studying." He saw Harry and Lily heading back in his direction. "A word of warning, Headmaster. If you continue trying to interfere with Harry or the courses he wishes to take or you allow Potter and Black to keep bothering him I will be filing a complaint with the Board of Governors."
They left Flourish & Blotts leaving Dumbledore with a gobsmacked expression on his face.
"Where to next?" Harry asked as they stood outside.
"We do not need to go to Slug & Jiggers as I can provide you with the ingredients you will need for third year Potions," Severus said.
"How about Eeylops Owl Emporium?" Lily asked. "I need to get some more owl treats for Morgana."
"I need to get some for Hedwig too," Harry said.
"A good idea as I believe Aesculapius is low on them also ," Severus added.
~*~* Page Break ~*~*
James was stretched out on a couch in the library of Potter Manor reading that month's issue of Quidditich Illustrated. He had snacks and Butterbeer within his reach and he was all set to enjoy his peace and quiet when the floo sounded. He sat up, cursing under his breath. He hoped it wasn't Dumbledore again bothering him about running for the Board of Governors, but it was Amber instead. "James, can I come through?"
"Of course," James called.
Amber brushed the ash off her clothing before she stepped out of the floo. She sat down on the couch next to James. "Did you talk to Dumbledore?"
"Yeah, but he said he couldn't get close enough to Harry to cast the spell to see if Snivellus was using a spell to keep Harry tied to him. He said if he even gets near Harry; Lily or Snivellus are in his face and if it isn't them then it's McGonagall, Flitwick, Sprout, Burbage, Sinistra, or even Moony!"
Amber thought for a moment then proposed, "If you can show me the spell, maybe I can get close enough to Harry so that the next time I see him I can cast it. None of them know me and they wouldn't consider me a threat."
James brightened. "That a great idea, Amber. By the way, Dumbledore wants me to run for the Gryffindor Governor's seat that's open on the board. He doesn't want Augusta Longbottom to get it because I think he's afraid she'll stir up no end to trouble for him."
"She does appear to be strong-willed," Amber replied, thinking back to her meeting with Augusta and Walburga Black.
"She is!" James declared. "She used to practically lead Frank around by his nose when we were at Hogwarts. He never got to have any of the fun me and Siri had."
"Then you should do it," Amber encouraged. She thought for a moment then asked, "The Hogwarts Letters have already gone out I'm assuming. We always got our Beauxbaton's Letters this time of year."
James nodded. "Yeah, why?"
"Harry's probably already been to Diagon Alley for his textbooks and other supplies and he probably won't be going there again until he's back for the holidays so I was thinking I could go to Platform Nine and Three Quarters, wait for him to come, and then cast the spell. That will give me two weeks to practice it and make sure I can cast it correctly."
James nodded enthusiastically. "That's a great idea, Amber!"
~*~* Page Break ~*~*
Severus gathered odd metal parts and pieces of metal for the next two weeks. He planned to transfigure them into bicycles for Harry's wizarding friends. He smiled as he imagined the fun Fred and George would have on them. He could easily see them racing each other around the Great Hall at breakfast, lunch, dinner, or possibly all three.
Lily had taken Frank and Alice to IKEA this morning to buy a bicycle for Neville. She was going to buy it for him as a late godmother's gift and assured them that somebody could teach him how to ride it and it was easier than learning how to ride a broom. Neville had come a long way since since he had gotten his parent's back. He had a lot more confidence now and was not afraid of trying something new. He did suspect however that either Alice or Frank might want to put a balancing spell on Neville's bike as he still tended to be rather uncoordinated.
"Hi Dad," Harry said coming into the shed where Severus was. "I finished watering all the plants. What are you doing? What's all this for?" He asked pointing at all the metal pieces laying around.
"I am planning to transfigure them into bikes for all of your friends that do not have one and many of them probably do not even know what one is."
"That's a great idea!" Harry exclaimed. "I wonder if we can get Percy to ride one."
Severus smiled at the picture in his head of Percy riding a bike. He would probably look as pompous on a bike as he did the rest of the time. "You can certainly ask him. I suspect he might enjoy being asked to join even if he does not accept your invitation."
Lily came out into the garden and noticed the shed door was open. She went over and looked in the door. "There you two are. Tita asked me to tell you that lunch would be on the table in a few minutes."
"Did you get Neville his bike, Mum?" Harry asked.
She nodded and replied, "Yes he chose a yellow bike with black racing stripes on it and it has an adjustable seat so if gets taller he'll still be able to ride it."
"Cool!" Harry said. "I'm going inside and get washed up."
"I was thinking that we may need to put a Balancing Spell on the bikes after I transfigure them. I know Fred and George probably will not have a problem learning to ride, but some of the others may although if they can fly a broom, a bike should be no problem."
Lily nodded. "Alice already decided to put one on Neville's."
They left the shed and went into the house. Severus went upstairs to get washed up while Lily went into the dining room. Harry was already seated. She still didn't see why they had to use the formal dining room when it was just the three of them, but the the elves had been aghast at her suggestion they eat in the kitchen.
"Are you anxious to be going back to Hogwarts?" Lily asked.
"Yeah, as long as I don't have to deal with Dumbledore or Potter and Black," Harry said, making a face. "I'm anxious to study Arithmancy and Anciet Runes."
Severus came into the room. He seated Lily then seated himself. "Yes, Arithmancy is a fascinating subject as is Ancient Runes. As for Potter and Black, I told the headmaster if he does not stop interfering in your studies and continues to allow Potter and Black to bother you, I will file a complaint with the board."
"How come he can get away with all the kinds of things he does?" Harry asked.
Severus sighed. "Back in the 1940's there was a dark wizard named Grindelwald. Like the one we just defeated; he terrorized, killed, and imprisoned the witches and wizards who were against him. Dumbledore was the one to defeat him and put him in prison even though he let him go pretty far before he 'stepped up to the plate' as the Muggles say. People were so grateful to Dumbledore for ridding them of Grindelwald that they're willing to turn a blind eye to his less attractive traits."
"Don't worry, Harry, none of them will be coming near you unless they want to be heading for the Black Lake with their bums on fire!" Lily said with her eyes flashing.
Harry laughed. "I'd like to see the other two heading for the lake like Professor Dumbledore did that time when you set his bum on fire, Mum!"
Severus nodded. "I do not recall ever seeing the headmaster move that fast before."
The next two weeks passed quickly. They paid a short visit to Spinner's End and from there they flooed to the Leaky Cauldron then caught a cab to go to Kings Crossing.
~*~* Page Break ~*~*
Amber stood out of the way of all the commotion on Platform 9 3/4, but kept a sharp eye out for the Snape's. James had suggested she change her appearance a bit in case Mrs. Longbottom came with Alice and Frank to see Neville off so she had changed her hair and eye color. She had memorized the incantation of the spell she was going to cast and James had told her if Harry was surrounded by a blue light after she cast her spell; it would indicate that a spell, likely a compulsion spell, was present.
She spotted Harry immediately as he came through the barrier followed by Snivellus and Lily. They were all dressed in casual clothes rather than robes. Lily wore jeans, sandals, and a short-sleeved sweater in fact.
The Weasley twins and Cedric Diggory spotted him, yelled, and came over. Severus had a bag he had brought the bicycles he had transfigured and took three of them out and gave them to Fred, George and Cedric. "I imagine you three already know how to resize these," Severus said. "But it is best if you ask Professor Sprout or Professor McGonagall to do it so you do not get into trouble."
"We heard from Hermione about Harry's bike club ..." Fred said.
"And we're anxious to figure out how to ride one of these since we've seen Muggles riding them in London," George finished for him.
Severus finished giving out the bikes to all of Harry's wizarding friends. Luna and Ginny were thrilled with their bikes. Luna's was blue with bronze racing stripes and Ginny's was bronze with blue racing stripes. He gave Vince and Greg their bicycles when they turned up. They all thanked Severus for their bikes. "Just make sure you ask your heads of house to resize them so you do not get into trouble for using magic outside of the classroom."
Lucius, Cissa, and Draco joined them. "Got your bike, Draco?" Harry called.
"Yes," he replied, patting the pocket of his robe. "Mother shrank it for me this morning. He turned to Severus. "Thanks for helping me to learn how to ride it, Uncle Severus."
"You learned as quickly as you did riding a broom," Severus remarked.
"Once Draco figured out how to keep his balance," Lucius added.
Amber waitied impatiently for Harry to step away from Snivellus and his mother so she could cast the spell. Finally Harry was headed for the train with a leather bag clutched in his hand that contained money for treats for him and his friends. She cast the spell and waited a few seconds for the spell to show Harry encased in a blue light, but nothing happened. To be on the safe side she cast it again and got the same result.
The kids, following years of tradition, put down the top part of the windows, leaning out, waving, and yelling to their parents as the train pulled out of the station, beginning its journey to Hogwarts.
Lily and Severus took a cab back to the Leaky Cauldron and flooed to Severus' quarters at Hogwarts. Lily helped Severus unpack and put away the ingredients he'd purchased for the student stores and for his private stores. When everything was put away he went to check on his house to make sure everything was ready when the students came. He went over the points he would make at their first house meeting immediately after the feast.
While Severus was doing that Lily was checking the list Madam Pomfrey had flooed to see what medicines she might need as soon as possible. She thought it was most likely the Stomach Soother as it was a given that many first years would overeat especially the ones coming from poorer families.
Severus came back and they immediately went to work brewing the Stomach Soother. It was a pretty easy potion to brew and it could be used as soon as the potion cooled. Lily chopped and added the ingredients while Severus stirred. He kept his eye on the clock in his lab because as a head of house he was required to meet the carriages when they arrived. They brewed a double batch, put it into vials, and then took half of it upstairs to Madam Pomfrey and Severus kept the other half. He knew he'd be summoned by his Prefects in the middle of the night because of first years who were ill from eating too much or who were homesick. They got done just a half-hour before the carriages were to arrive.
Both Lily and Severus changed into their teaching robes and went upstairs and after a quick kiss, split up in the Entrance Hall. Severus went outside while Lily went into the Great Hall.
It was raining as usual and Severus wondered if there would ever be a time when it wasn't raining when the students arrived at Hogwarts. As usual the Gryffindor's were the first ones out of the carriages and were talking exuberantly. The Slytherian followed also talking, but softly and more intently. Harry and his friends occupied two carriages and they all walked in together, splitting up as they entered the Great Hall. When the last carriage had emptied and trundled off to the stables, the heads of house went back inside into the Great Hall except for Minerva who remained in the Entrance Hall waiting for the arrival of Hagrid and the first years.
Severus quietly made his way up the aisle between the Slytherin and the Ravenclaw table. He nodded at his snakes and smiled at Harry. He went up to the head table and sat down between Filius and Pomona. Lily was seated next to Remus and Minerva would be seated on her other side once the Sorting was finished.
It was about twenty minutes before the double doors opened and Minerva led about 45 first years in and up the center aisle. Some of them looked around in awe while others looked nervous or scared. Severus hoped the Weasley twins weren't still spreading the story about having to wrestle a troll.
"Now when I call your name you will sit on this stool, place this hat on your head, and you will be sorted."
Harry watched from the Ravenclaw table. By the time the Sorting was finished they had gotten twelve new members. Slytherin had gotten eleven new first years. The other twenty-two were split between Gryffindor who got ten and Hufflepuff who got twelve.
Dumbledore stood up, clapped his hands and said, "Let the feast began!"
Severus watched in amusement at how wide the first year's eyes got when all that food, any kind they could possibly imagine, suddenly appeared on the tables. For himself, he took some French Onion soup, slices of chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. Lily had helped herself to some chicken also, but had a bowl of salad and a thick slice of homemade bread. She and Minerva were deep in conversation.
"I should probably warn both of you that you going to have to resize some Muggle bikes for some of the students in your houses. Harry decided he wanted to have a bike riding club this summer and he asked his Muggleborn friends to bring their bikes and I transfigured quite a few for his wizard friends. We shrank them before they got on the Hogwarts Express and I warned them not to resize them, even though I am certain some know how, but to ask their heads of house. Lily and I both have bikes and will be riding with them."
Filius nodded. "I will be happy to do it, Severus."
"And me also," Pomona added.
Severus nodded. "I will also tell Minerva she will need to resize the Weasley twins' and Mr. Thomas' bikes."
Severus glanced over at the Slytherin table and grimaced as he watched the first years refilling their plates with all the different foods and the desserts had not even appeared yet! He suspected he was going to be up late tonight administering Stomach Soothers.
Once the desserts had disappeared, Dumbledore got up and gave his usual speech. He never changed it. Severus knew it by heart. He then introduced the head girl and head boy, both Gryffindors. After having the students sing the school song, he dismissed them. Severus bade Filius and Pomona goodnight and then walked down the center aisle and stopped at the Ravenclaw table to speak to Harry.
"Did Keb and Isis get back okay?" Harry asked.
"Yes, Matias brought them safely back."
"Good. I'll come down in the morning before breakfast and see them."
"I will say goodnight then. Have a good night and pleasant dreams."
"Thanks, Dad. You too!"
He looked up towards the staff table where Lily was still talking to Minerva. "I am sure your mother will be along in a few moments to wish you goodnight, but I must go to Slytherin House and get ready for our first house meeting."
"Okay, I'll see you in class tomorrow."
Severus nodded and swept out of the Great Hall with his robes billowing out behind him. "How does he do that?" Michael Corner asked Harry.
Harry shrugged. "I don't know, but it sure makes him look powerful, doesn't it?"
Severus went into his private quarters then through the door that led into his office. He usually waited there until one of his Prefects summoned him after they had gotten everyone settled down. The door to his private quarters opened and Lily came through. "Mind if I sit in on your house meeting, Sev?"
"Not at all," Severus replied.
There was a knock on his office door. "Yes?" Severus called.
One of his seventh year prefect, Anna Duncan, stuck her head in. "We're ready for you, Professor."
Severus walked out and Lily followed and sat down in one of the study carrels around the room.
Severus stood in the middle of the room and his dark eyes sought out each student of his house. "Good evening. I am Professor Severus Snape, head of Slytherian House and Professor of Potions. I am also a Medi-Wizard." He looked around the room. "We have certain rules for Slytherin House, but I will only tell you the three most important ones. The rest are posted by the fireplace and you can read them on your own time. The most important rule is unity. We always show a unified face outside of these walls no matter what may be occurring internally. The second rule is to do well at your studies. If you are having trouble with a subject let me know and I will find you a tutor or I will tutor you myself if need be. The third rule is that you always show respect to the headmaster, your professors, your fellow students, and the house elves, particularly the ones who are responsible for taking care of our house. They are nobody's servants so I do not want you thinking that they are here to pick up after you or clean up whatever messes you make. If you receive detention from a professor, for whatever reason, be warned I will double it. Are there any questions so far?"
Nobody spoke up so he continued, "Unless you are ill, I expect to see you for all three meals every day. I require all of my house to have a physical. An appointment will be scheduled and you will be notified of the time. The ladies will see Madam Pomfrey and the gentlemen will report to me. Does anyone have a question?" Again there was no response.
"The last thing I want to talk about is bullying. If you are being bullied by someone in-house or by a member of another house, let any of your Prefects know and they will refer it to me. If you do not feel comfortable going to them then you may speak directly with me. My office hours are posted on the door of my office, but normally I am there from seven to nine. Do not try and handle it yourself."
Severus finished by introducing the fifth, sixth, and seventh year Prefects. After the first years had been taken to their dorms by the fifth year Prefects, Marcus Flint came up to Severus. "I noticed two first years being bullied by a couple of fourth year Gryffindors. I chased them off and stayed with the kids until we got to Hogsmeade."
Severus sighed and shook his head. "What are the names of the children?"
"Athena Garvey and Jason Kemble."
"Keep an eye on them if you can and let me know right away if it continues. I will have a word with the bullies and if that does not work then I will have a word with Professor McGonagall. Thank you, Marcus."
He nodded and left to go to his room. Lily came over. Severus smiled. "How do you think I did?"
"Very well," Lily replied. "I wish Professor McGonagall had taken that much time with us, but she always leaves it to the Prefects to explain thing and then they only explained the basics."
Severus shook his head. "I cannot believe how young the first years look. It seems every year they look younger."
"Or maybe it's because we're getting older," Lily teased. "Need a hand, Old Man, to get back to our quarters?"
"I would not object," Severus replied smiling.
~*~* Page Break ~*~*
Severus was getting his books and lecture notes together to take to his classroom before he went to lead the first years up to the Great Hall. He usually did it for the first week of school. He was feeling a bit tired as he had been summoned by his Prefects five times; four times for children that needed Stomach Soothers and once for a child who was homesick. He stopped as he heard the door to his quarters open. He knew Lily was still in their bedroom getting ready.
Harry came into the room, "Good morning, Dad." He had his satchel, containing his books he'd need for his morning classes, over one shoulder
"Good morning, Harry. Did you sleep well? I surprised to see you up this early."
"I slept good," Harry replied. "But the reason I'm up so early is because I wanted to ask you if we could visit Nessandra later and I couldn't do it upstairs."
"I think that can be arranged as I believe Professor Dumbledore is going to be at the Ministry most of the day."
"Good! I'm going to say hi to Keb and Isis," Harry said and headed to his bedroom.
Lily came out dressed in her teaching robe and her hair done in a plait. "Did I hear Harry just now?"
"Yes, he got up early to ask me if we could visit Nessandra later and I told him we could. He is looking in on Keb and Isis now."
Harry came back out and smiled as he saw his mum. He still couldn't believe how lucky he was to have gotten his mum back from behind the Veil. He gave her a hug. "Morning, Mum."
"Good morning, Harry," Lily replied. "Ready for your first day?"
"Yup," Harry said. "I got everything I'd need for this morning together last night before I went to bed."
"You two go on ahead. I am going to take these to my classroom and then lead my first years up to the Great Hall."
Harry and Lily went upstairs to the Great Hall. Dumbledore was thankfully nowhere to be seen.
~*~* Page Break ~*~*
Dumbledore was hurrying around his office, snatching scrolls up. He had overslept, unable to fall asleep last night, because he was thinking about the problem of Harry Potter. He was due at the Ministry first for an interminable meeting with Cornelius then he had to floo to Paris to mediate a dispute between Greek wizards and Turkish wizards. His job Supreme Mugwump required him to settle disputes no matter how trivial they might be. His floo sounded and he heard James' voice say, "Albus, can I come through? It's really important."
Albus sighed. Well, Cornelius could wait a bit longer he supposed. "Yes, James, go ahead and come through."
James sterpped through. "Amber was at Platform 9 3/4 disguised yesterday and she cast a spell on Harry that we Aurors use to check if people are under a spell without them knowing it."
"And?" Albus asked.
I told her Harry would be surrounded by a blue light if he was under a spell, but she said there was no reaction at all and she did it twice. Either she did it wrong or Snivellus has Harry under a dark potion of some sort."
"Give me some time to think about what you've told me and we can discuss it later. Right now I'm due at the Ministry for a meeting with Cornelius."
"Alright," James agreed as he went to step back into the floo then turned and said, "Oh! By the way Amber thinks I should run for that Gryffindor seat on the board."
Dumbledore smiled. That was the first good news he'd had in a few days.
~*~* Page Break ~*~*
After his last class, Harry came down to his parents' quarters to wait for them. They both had late afternoon NEWT classes. He went into his bedroom to visit with Keb and Isis again while waiting for them and then started his homework. He heard the entrance door open then heard his his dad's and mum's voices.
"Harry? Are you here?" Lily called.
Harry came out. "Right here, Mum."
"I checked with Minerva, using the pretext that I wanted to speak to Dumbledore about the Gryffindors that bullied two of my first years on the train, and she said he was at the International Confederation of Wizards in Paris, mediating a dispute between Greek wizards and Turkish wizards so he will not be back until much later," Severus explained. "She also asked for the names of the ones doing the bullying. I told her I did not know their names, but I would talk again with Marcus, find out, and then floo her."
"Good! We don't have to hurry then," Harry said.
They went upstairs to the 2nd floor girls bathroom. They could hear girl's voice coming from inside. Severus motioned to Lily. "Perhaps you should go in first. Some first year may have needed to use the facilities such as this one is."
Lily nodded, opened the door and looked in. She found Luna talking with Moaning Myrtle. "It's Myrtle and Luna," Lily said.
They went inside. Myrtle smiled at Harry. "Hi Harry."
"Hi Myrtle, how was your summer?" It was always kind of iffy to ask Myrtle that particular question because if she hadn't had a good summer, she'd start moaning and it was hard to get her to stop.
Myrtle shrugged her ghostly shoulders. "Kind of boring, but at least nobody was around to flush me into the Black Lake."
"Well, that's good," Harry replied.
"Luna was telling me about your bike club. I use to ride my bike all the time when I was home."
"Well, you're welcome to join us if you'd like," Harry offered.
Myrtle's eyes widened. "Really?"
"Sure! We'd be glad to have you."
"Myrtle is going to visit Ravenclaw Tower with me," Luna said. "I'm showing her my bike."
"We do not want to keep you two," Severus said.
"Come on, Myrtle," Luna said. She left with Myrtle floating along beside her. "I'll see you at dinner, Harry."
"Myrtle was in a surprisingly good mood today," Lily remarked.
"Myrtle likes it when Luna comes and visits her because Luna treats her like a regular person instead of a ghost," Harry explained. He went over to the broken sink and spoke the words to open the passage way in Parseltongue. He stepped back and with a loud grinding noise the sinks split apart and the broken on lowered, revealing the passage way to the Chamber of Secrets.
Lily cast a spell on the pipe, turning it into stairs that they could easily walk down. Severus took three pairs of mirrored sunglasses out of the pocket of his robe and gave one to Harry and the other to Lily. "Put them on right now because we don't know exactly where Nessandra will be and she may not have her glasses on."
They all put the sunglasses on and walked carefully down the stairs. The place looked fairly decent now that the elves had been tending to it. They walked up to the round iron door and Harry spoke more words in Parseltongue and the snakes on the door moved and then it swung open. They walked into the room that contained snake head fountains lining the walk.
Severus glared at them as if daring them to drench he, Lily, and Harry.
Harry called out for Nessandra in Parseltongue. They heard a dragging sound then Nessandra peered out of her den. "Harry!" She said joyfully. She was wearing her glasses so they could take their sunglasses off.
"Hello, Nessandra," he replied in Parseltongue.
"Ask her if everything's alright and if she's encountered any problems," Severus requested.
Harry turned back to Nessandra and posed his father's questions to her. Nessandra hissed a long string of syllables. "She said everything's fine and there's no problems. The elves keep her den clean and lay fresh grass and moss in it every week. She says she hasn't seen any mice with missing toes yet."
"I do not think she will. Is she getting enough to eat?"
Again, Harry asked Nessandra the question and listened as she hissed a reply. "She says more than enough, Dad."
"Good," Severus replied nodding.
Nessandra hissed something else and Severus looked at Harry. "Nessandra wants me to thank you again for the picture frame so Salazar can come down here and visit her."
"She is most welcome," Severus replied.
They spent a few more minutes talking to Nessandra then said goodby, promising to return in a couple of days. They returned to the bathroom and Harry closed the entrance and Lily dirtied the sink to make it look as if it hadn't been disturbed. They left the bathroom and suddenly heard Dumbledore's voice demanding, "What are you doing in that bathroom and what dark deeds are you up to?"
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