Hogwarts – June 10th 1994
Would it be like he expected? Piotr was on his way to Snape's class room and thinking about the conversation he dreaded a bit. As expected Snape had invited him to 'speak about the events' and even with Piotr trusting the Professor more than most other students did he wasn't inexperienced enough to think that the Slytherin House Master would simply believe his word to stay quiet. A very small smile crept on his face as he thought about where he had just been. A small package, a small note to the Royal English Post and he hoped that his little reinsurance would be enough to outmaneuver the smart teacher. Entering the passage with the room he forced his thoughts to alter their path, remembered all what he had learned in painful lessons about Occlumency.
He assumed that Snape would be a good Legilimence – something Piotr had not much skill so far – but Piotr had learned very early how important it was to shield his thoughts from intruding teachers and luckily his sister had been a very talented teacher. Hopefully it would be enough.
He would be here in a few minutes as Snape knew. A little fear could be seen in his eyes as Snape invited him to his room but that was no surprise from someone with Mr. Kamenew's background and experience. Durmstrang obviously had taught him a healthy respect in dealing with teachers.
Snape hated what he had to do and this emotion troubled and surprised him. But perhaps it was quite normal as Kamenew had proven himself to be a bearable person even with his sometimes unnerving comments especially about his friend Granger. There weren't many students that not only showed this kind of interest in his subject but also seemed to like to spend time with him, even if 98% of this time was related to Potions.
More than one obscure book had found his way to Snape in the last year and these notes Kamenew had published to assist the junior students had really been helpful. Snape had no qualms to admit this at least to himself as these notes had spared him more than one hour of painful explaining. Only one thing had been difficult to grasp for him even now: Kamenew seemed to really … like him in a way. Like him without the ulterior motive to influence his marks or somehow kiss his ass. So far he had seen this behavior only from Draco and the young Malfoy was his Godson and hence a very special case.
Snape sighed. These thoughts weren't helpful. He had to do this and he had to do this now before Kamenew had time to speak about the events at the lake with anyone. So far he apparently had held his mouth shut. Certainly Harry or Lupin or Dumbledore would have shown somehow their knowledge if Kamenew had told them about snaky Snape rescuing the boy-who-lived; the 'boy-who-would-be-dead-without-my-help' Snape corrected himself inwardly with a little smirk. But nobody could be allowed to know that he had rescued Harry. It wasn't only his reputation that he had to shield but also his cover. He was the bad, black Death Eater, a person like him didn't defend Harry Potter against the kiss of a Dementor.
"Lily, he is safe again, as I promised," he mumbled shortly. Kamenew certainly had noticed the unusual form of his Patronus. How could he know that it had been like this in memory of the one woman in his life he had really loved so far? No, Kamenew had to forget about that, about the Patronus and the Rescue. But he had to be careful and extinguish these memories very carefully. He didn't want to damage that mind.
A knock … "come in" … Snape trained his wand towards the door … Kamenew … "Obliviate".
Hogwarts – June 23rd 1994
The last two weeks had been a weird mix of relief and grief: grief because Peter Pettigrew had escaped and with him any chance to prove Sirius' innocence. Relief because live seemed secure again. About Sirius Black's escape only vague rumors could be heard, none of them even near the truth. Lupin would leave the school with the students. Too many parents had expressed their concern about a werewolf teaching their children.
Piotr shortly thought about the letter Lupin had promised to write at Snape. He hoped that it was a first step to at least a kind of truce between these men as he respected both of them despite their great difference. He believed Lupin that he hadn't known about the prank Sirius had planned so many years ago but he also understood Snape.
"Professor Lupin … that wasn't a prank, nothing comparable to hiding his books or throwing some water bombs or a little shoe hex. If Harry's father hadn't intervened Snape would have been very badly surprised. That Sirius tried to send him in the Howling Shack knowing that you would be there as a Werewolf … you know exactly that you wouldn't been able to control yourself. You could have wounded him, killed him perhaps or even more frightening caused him to be a werewolf too. Who else than you would know what a kind of fate that would have been. It is quite possible that he won't believe you even now that you both didn't know about Sirius' plan but I hope that you try at least to tell him. And he deserves an apology … don't you admit? He deserves some words of 'I'm sorry about what nearly happened'. Even with Sirius your best living friend he had done sometime despicable back then, something only explainable because of his youth back then. I don't expect him to ever admit that but from you …"
Lupin had been very quiet at his little speech, his deep frown very slowly smoothing. That Lupin had promised to do this at least in a letter caused Piotr to smile. A letter was the best he could have hoped for. Nobody could stand to apologize to a smirking Snape. The Slytherin wasn't really helpful in those matters.
Very gentle Piotr's hand stroke the book before he placed it carefully in the smaller bag he planned to use during the train journey. 'Darwin's Journey to the Galapagos Islands' had been his present from Hermione six months ago. Always had he promised himself to finally read it but always there had been other, more important books waiting for him. Now he would start it finally. He had used the last two days to say good bye to everyone:
To Hermione who would spend the summer with her parents and a few weeks with the Weasleys; to Harry who had to endure the time with his Uncle and Aunt, the wizard-hating Muggles who did all to justify the bad picture Draco and Pansy had about their kind.
Draco … he had spoken with him a week ago, mostly exchanged promises to stay quiet about the events around Buckbeak. Not even Hannah and Hermione knew about his part in the rescue. Reputation … reputation … it was very important for the young Malfoy but that he had helped in saving the Hippogriff's live had been a good sign for the future.
Pansy had nearly growled at him as he pressed a little book with tasks for potions in her hand but she had promised to at least take a look at them. She had taken great leaps in the last year in Potions and he would regret it to see hear doing a regress.
Hannah and Neville … they had been his best friends in this difficult first year, difficult especially because he still had problems trusting the teachers, still had problems to see the difference to Durmstrang. He was willing to change but always there had been this small devil on his shoulder, whispering presentiments in his ear. Without Neville and especially Hannah it would have been much harder to find his place in Hogwarts. They had promised to write him to St. Mungo's and he hoped that his work there would allow him to answer them.
Madam Prewitt had told him about his planned work and he was anxious to see the children's station, to get to know his colleagues there. Would the work with them be similar to the Hospital Wing? Would they be similar to Madam Pomfroy? Irrespective of how hard it would be, he would make his Aunt happy and proud, that he had sworn to himself.
She had noticed him lingering in the background these last days. He obviously tried hard to find a moment without Ron around to talk to her. Long had she pondered about how to react but at last something convinced her to come his way at least a bit. She had been in the library for a longer time than needed and even went to corridors not overrun with other students. Ginny was unsure what to expect. In itself she wasn't allowed to speak with him; in itself Ron and Percy would expect her to tell them willingly about every exchange of words.
But she knew that she wouldn't see him for three months and a little bit she felt sad about that. Luna had often told about him; Neville was proud to be his friend and even Hermione spent nearly more time with Piotr than with Ron and Harry. How could it be false to … no this thought was wrong? Percy had been adamant about this and he was only following their father's words about this, she knew.
"I wanted to congratulate you on your examinations. Luna told me that you had been very successful." His words, even with her expecting them, startled Ginny. She didn't turn around and her nod was nearly invisible. "If you ever need help in the next year, I'll be there for you. And Hermione would care for you too, if you'd allow her." He put a small bottle on the shelf beside her. "Using this in small amounts on wounds helps with clean and unscarred healing." Not waiting for an answer he went away, not seeing – only hoping – that Ginny after long pondering stored the bottle in her bag and left the library.
It was time for the train.
With this ends the first story about Piotr Iljitsch Kamenew and his time at Hogwarts. In the next days I'll start the next part, describing the events of year four – the Goblet of Fire – where Piotr will meet some of his former fellow students from Durmstrang.