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"I won't be taking anymore lessons from Professor Moody."
Everything just seemed to stop for the minute that the Headmaster took that in. Then Professor Dumbledore nodded.
"I see." He nodded again. "I see."
Harry just waited, resisting the urge to apologize.
"I…" Professor Dumbledore seemed at lost for words. "I had believed…. I didn't expect you to quit, Harry."
That stung, but Harry refused to back down. "I'm not quitting. I'm going to continue to train."
"By myself!" Harry didn't quite snap. "Or with the D.A. like I did last year."
"I see." The Headmaster patted at his pockets before taking out his tin of lemon drops. "Lemon drop, Harry?"
He didn't really want one, but Harry reached for one anyway. His hand shook nearly as badly as it had when he first woke up. It was probably just the added stress, but the Headmaster noticed it.
"It's from the pain curse, sir." Harry popped the lemon drop into his mouth. "It will go away by tomorrow, the day after at the latest."
"I see." The headmaster seemed to understand what Harry wasn't saying out loud. That he'd been under that curse before, more than once. "I understand that Alastor's methods have been… Harsh."
"Yes." They have been.
"Perhaps I should have monitored the lessons more," the Headmaster admitted. "But you've shown such improvement, Harry. I was afraid my interference would…." He sighed. "I have taught your grandfather, your father and you…. I would like to one day witness your own children walking these halls, Harry. I felt that, perhaps in this case, the ends justified the means."
"I understand sir." And Harry did. Really. "But I know the drills now, the schedule P-Professor Moody gave me. I think I can practice on my own. Train on my own. I know what's at stake."
"But you won't take lessons anymore."
"Not from him, sir." Perhaps he could get professor Flitwick to show him another thing or two and Professor Snape had quite a few awards for duelling as well as potion making in the trophy room, if Harry begged the potions professor might be willing to mention a few books.
"I see." The Professor was silent for a moment. "I wonder if you would consider something for me, Harry."
"It is your right to stop taking lessons, and I will not force you. But…" He pulled out a folded parchment and handed it over. "Perhaps you would consider this schedule instead?"
Harry hesitantly took the parchment, but didn't look at it right away.
"Our dear Madame Pomphrey felt you have been ill used." The headmaster said, his blue eyes regaining the sparkle that had been surprisingly absent. "I believe that if I or Alastor had been any younger we would have felt the burn of a switch as well as her tongue. She's very fond of you, Harry."
Harry's lips twitched into a small smile, before he began to abuse the lower one between his teeth. He opened the schedule. All his classes were the same, but he had 'exercise' scheduled for an hour at six-thirty in the morning and his evenings were very different. He only had lessons with Snape on Mondays and a theory lesson on Thursday, but it still said Moody was his instructor. Harry started to shake his head. "I'm sorry, sir, but-"
"Any lessons with Professor Moody, including your theory lesson on Thursday, will be supervised by another professor, or myself, Harry."
That made Harry pause.
"If you agree to this program," Professor Dumbledore continued, "A friend of Madame Pomphrey will come to create a good exercise program for you to do in the mornings. Perhaps when you are feeling better, in a week or two."
Would that be enough? He'd promised himself he wouldn't learn under Moody anymore, but was this compromise enough? Harry would get everything he needed to succeed, and he already knew that Moody was very didn't when someone was watching. He could be a good teacher, when he wanted to be.
Suddenly Harry was exhausted and all his sore muscles seemed to complain at once.
"Would you mind if I think about it, sir?"
If the Headmaster was disappointed, he didn't show it.
"Of course!" Professor Dumbledore patted Harry's leg and stood. "I believe that Madame Pomphrey won't be letting you go to classes today or tomorrow. Perhaps we should meet after you classes on Wednesday. After quidditch. "
Harry agreed, yawning. He was just so tired.
He only vaguely noticed Madame Pomphrey come back and putting his pajama top back on before giving him his potion.
He fell asleep to the feeling of her tucking blankets firmly around him.
Author's note; Just a tiny little chapter for everyone. I'm working hard to get another longer one out soon.