Disclaimer: All Btvs and HP characters belong to their respective owners and as always I'm not making any profit from this fic.
Chapter 16: Suspicions
"What are these?"
Buffy looked up to see Sirius standing at her desk, his palm full of the silly badges that the Slytherin students had made.
"'Potter stinks?' Why do you have these on your desk?" He asked as he stared at her, almost as if he was accusing her of making them.
She rolled her eyes at him, "It's just some stupid badges that the Slytherin kids made. I've been making them take them off every time I see one so I kinda have a drawer full of the things." She explained quickly, gesturing to said drawers.
"I assume you didn't ask us to visit to tell us that..?" Remus said as he sat down in an empty chair. Once again the three of them had set up a small meeting in her classroom after dark, once the rest of the school was asleep.
"No, I had some news."
Sirius turned then so that he was facing the pair of them. "Harry already told us about the task. He seemed quite excited about being in second place."
"I know, he done really well. But that's not the reason I wanted to talk to you guys either." She said as she stood and began pacing the length of the aisle. "You said to watch out for any suspicious behaviour around the school."
Both of them straightened up slightly, listening intently.
"Harry told me that Ray helped him with the clue to the second task."
The puzzled looks she received back was not what she had been expecting.
"So what?" Sirius asked as he slumped back in his seat, almost as if he were dismissing her words before she had even had a chance to explain them.
"So, my point is he's the champions mentor, it goes against all the rules for him to just give away the answer like that."
"Well I think that's a bit hypocritical seeing as you helped Harry with the dragon..." Sirius replied slowly.
"It's completely different to that." She argued, "I helped him because he's like family to me, no he is family to me. What reason does Ray have to help?"
"Perhaps he was purely concerned that Harry hadn't worked out the clue so close to the task?" Remus said, making his statement come out as a question so that Buffy wouldn't think he too was dismissing her words.
"I don't believe that." She said instantly, crossing her arms.
"Or perhaps he told the others too? They're just not telling about it." Sirius suggested with a shrug.
"No, it was only Harry. I already spoke to Cedric and he said he worked out the clue himself before the holidays. I imagine the others did too."
"But you're not sure?" Her brother asked slowly, he looked a bit more thoughtful than Sirius, but it still bugged her that he wasn't taking her concerns seriously.
"Buffy, you said yourself, Cedric already knew the clue and you think that the other two figured it out on their own." He answered. "I still think that Ray saw how behind Harry was and decided to just give him a helping hand. I mean, think of what could have happened if he hadn't."
"I suppose it's possible, yes. But I still don't like it. Why just Harry? Why not tell the others before they could work it out too? I'm telling you there's a reason he told Harry and not the others. There has to be something more behind it."
Sirius shrugged casually, "Well maybe he just likes Harry and wants him to win."
"Exactly, he obviously wants Harry to win. But why?"
Sirius scoffed and Remus groaned at his friend, watching his sister in concern. He could easily see the pair of them getting into another huge argument over this.
"Maybe he's a fan?"
"Or maybe he's the reason Harry is involved in all of this in the first place." She said, purposefully letting her frustration show in her voice.
"You think he put Harry's name in the Goblet of Fire?"
"Why not? There's obviously a reason for him to want Harry to be involved in the tournament. And if I remember correctly, he was the first person to suggest that Harry stayed in the competition after his name was pulled out from the goblet."
Sirius laughed from his seat, "So the guy's not even allowed to support Harry because that makes him a suspect?"
Remus shook his head slowly while sending his sister an apologetic look, "I'm sorry, Buffy, but I just can't see him doing that. For one he was in our year at school, he was friends with us and James and Lily. He was never a death eater or convicted of any crimes so he'd have no reason to go after Harry. And most of all he's from the ministry, I don't think they'd stoop that low-"
"Right, because they're really all innocent in everything they do!"
"Well of course you're a bit biased when it comes to the Ministry, they did want you dead after all..." Sirius replied quietly.
"Come on, you can't seriously be telling me you don't find any of this at all strange?" She cried while waving her arms around in annoyance.
"Sorry, but I just don't see any reasons for Ray to be involved."
"Nope, me neither. Sorry, Izzy."
"Ugh, fine. But I'm not letting this slip away. I'll just have to keep an eye on him myself." She said stubbornly as Sirius and Remus sighed, knowing that they were not going to stop her once she had made up her mind.
Remus and Sirius stood and sadly gathered their things. "If you hear any more then we can talk about it again. I just don't think we should be jumping to conclusions." Her brother told her as he walked towards her office, where the fireplace was.
She nodded as she watched the pair of them leave, her eyes narrowing on the empty doorway. Maybe she was jumping to conclusions. Maybe there was a completely normal reason for Ray to help Harry through the task. Maybe she was being a bit paranoid. But there was definitely something up with Ray, and even if it was just his rule breaking, she was determined to find out and find out why.
She stepped out from her classroom, slowly closing the door behind her and turning around, crying out in alarm as she walked straight into someone.
"Oh, I'm sorry I wasn't paying attention to where I was going."
She looked up at the sweet voice of Ray, who smiled down at her with an apologetic look.
"What are you doing hanging around outside my classroom?" She asked, keeping her voice low, almost in a threatening tone.
"Oh? I was just passing by and-"
"Do me a favour, Ray, and save the excuses for someone who'll believe them." With that she stalked away, not bothering to look over her shoulder to see his reaction.
Remus and Sirius might well be right about the man, but she wasn't willing to bet Harry's safety on it.
After all, if the man was completely innocent, why had he been standing outside her door, listening in to their conversation?
Harry sighed as he flipped his quill in between his fingers, drumming it on the book that he was using for his latest potions essay.
He was sitting up in his room, alone since his room-mates were all either downstairs in the common room or already snoring in their beds.
But he found that he couldn't concentrate on his homework and was quickly getting frustrated about it.
With a sigh he pushed his half written essay away from him and looked around the room, looking for something that would take his mind off it for a while. He would get back to his homework later.
His eyes spotted the Marauders map sitting just inside the trunk by his bed and with a grin he yanked it out and opened it up. He didn't rightly know why, but he always found some comfort in looking at the map, even if he wasn't using it to sneak around. It gave him a sense of power, being able to know where everyone was at any one time.
His eyes scanned the pages, finding his own name and then the names of his friends in their own rooms.
His eyes darted to Buffy's classroom, expecting to see her name sitting behind her desk like normal. But it wasn't Buffy's name that he found there.
Bartemius Crouch was in Buffy's classroom... But why?