Chapter 63

Training Moved Up

The silence remained for ten minutes after Moody spoke. They could barely believe it; the Death Eaters had only gotten out because the Dark Lord had come and broken them out. So just how had Albus Dumbledore escaped from custody, getting the better of the Dementors, guards, and the water surrounding the place? Unless the wards had been ripped down, enabling him to Apparate away from the island without even attempting to swim? Merlin, Severus couldn't help but wish they'd kept those spells on Dumbledore, that way he wouldn't have been a problem. Stiffening his spine, Severus vowed if he ever saw Albus Dumbledore again, the crazy old wizard would die by his hands. He wasn't going to let him get anywhere near his submissive, he didn't care what happened to him afterwards.

"Minerva, I apologize for doing this to you, but we need to move up Harry's training. You need to find a Potions teacher," Severus stated, his body as tense as if he suspected Dumbledore was in the room with them. He would put nothing past Dumbledore, including bugging his own office, but Minerva had cleaned out everything so with a bit of luck there was no way for him to hear anything.

"How about this, someone teaches the first- through fourth-years? You can teach the fifth- through seventh-years?" Minerva asked, her voice filled with hope. She really didn't want to lose Severus, not so soon, although she knew it was inevitable. As soon as the Dark Lord was defeated, he would be off like a shot. She was really just trying to delay the inevitable, perhaps have Severus teach someone to take over the classes full time. Who that someone was, she had absolutely no idea; she just wished life wasn't so damn complicated by being Headmistress of Hogwarts.

Severus eyed Minerva thoughtfully as he pondered on the best course of action. Truthfully, he just wanted to go back to his London flat with Harry. The only downside was the wards weren't exactly adequate, and Dumbledore knew about his property. Hogwarts' wards had proven themselves inadequate as well, but if Minerva was right and the wards were stronger, they might be in for a chance of being safe within her walls. He hated teaching, but the thought of just teaching the older years was appealing, for a while. It would mean he had more time to help Harry learn everything he needed to stay safe and protect himself.

"Who exactly would you get to cover the classes?" Severus asked; there weren't many Potion Masters who'd willingly want to give up their careers to teach eleven-year-olds how to brew basic potions. They preferred being in their own labs, brewing more complicated potions or inventing their own. He should know, he was well acquainted with a few Potion Masters.

"Right now I can only think of one other: Horace Slughorn," Minerva answered, not sure what Severus would think of that one.

"He cannot brew worth a damn," Severus stated, rolling his eyes in exasperation.

"He doesn't have to, he taught the students often enough. He's qualified to do that at the very least," Minerva replied.

"He's alright," Moody agreed, nodding his head grimly.

"I postulate he's probably better than anyone else we could get at this point, added to that is the fact we can trust him to some extent around Harry," Severus said, agreeing reluctantly.

"Some extent?" Harry asked curiously, wondering exactingly what his Dom meant by that statement.

"I think you've got it the wrong way round, laddie," Moody said in amusement, his scarred face drawn back as the Auror actually smiled with grim humour. It wasn't a sight people saw often... or at all, really, and not one they actually wanted to see, ever again.

"What does that that mean?" Harry asked yet again, turning to stare at the Auror, not the least bit intimidated.

Minerva's lips were pursed as she tried to rein in her amusement, knowing every well what both men were thinking. "You can be very intimidating, Harry," Minerva confessed.

"I had a reason to be!" Harry snapped. They'd kept him locked up here like some sort of criminal… well, technically speaking he was one, he'd been stealing for years ― but so not the point. "I don't know him, so I might like him." The snort from both men caused him to tense. What the hell did they know? And why would they want him at Hogwarts? Was he like Severus? Sullen and irascible? He was rather proud of himself; he knew what irascible meant. Then again, that's only because he had looked it up after hearing his Dom saying it.

"Horace is… shall we say a bit of an enthusiast and devotee to anyone who could raise him up the ladder," Minerva told Harry. All of them were aware of what Horace's game was; they didn't pretend otherwise.

Harry grimaced, baring his teeth; he wasn't quite so quick to open his mouth again after that. He hated... no, loathed his so-called fame; he wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted no reminder of it either; hopefully when people saw that, they would leave him alone. Judging by what it was like in the Great Hall, it wasn't going to be soon in coming. The first-years were different in their awe of him, and while it still made him uncomfortable, it was better than the disgusting Boy-Who-Lived worshiping. This was how he felt and he'd only seen them a few times; he just couldn't imagine how it would feel being there full time. At least he wouldn't be in Potions with this Slughorn, or any class with any teacher, come to that.

"I know you don't like your fame, Harry, but you will have to get used to it." Severus said softly, feeling the disgust Harry had for his status in the magical world. Anyone else in the world would have loved to have that kind of power, the fame, but not Harry.

"No I don't. I'm never going to be who they want me to be; I won't conform," Harry adamantly declared. He wouldn't change to become whatever they wanted him to be.

"I wouldn't want you to," Severus said honestly, "Unfortunately, the magical world doesn't have anyone else to venerate. You, whether you like it or not, have just taken up the position of the most powerful wizard alive."

"Dumbledore is still alive; I think we should talk about him, don't you?" suggested Harry, not even wanting to think about what his Dom was implying. He didn't want people to look at him and want to be like him; it wasn't a good path to go down. He was bitter and twisted, he knew that, and he doubted he'd ever change.

"Do they know when it happened?" Minerva asked, grasping onto the conversational turn, desperately wanting answers. Just how had Albus Dumbledore succeeded in breaking out of Azkaban? It wasn't good news at all.

"They are combing the scene, talking to everyone who visited Azkaban in the past week. So far there isn't a sign of what happened," Moody said seriously.

"Which means?" Harry demanded.

"Which means they might have to consider the possibility of it being an inside job," Severus answered grimly, understanding what Moody was getting at.

"Fucking fantastic. That means he's got at least one person working with him. That will make him one hundred times more difficult to catch," Harry stated, grumbling under his breath, but what he was saying was a mystery, even to Severus who couldn't hear what it was. Although knowing him as Severus did, he had a pretty good idea of what it was.

"The consensus is that we missed someone who's under the effects of the potion, his back-up if something went wrong," Moody said, scratching at the stubble on his jaw. Dumbledore would have to keep a very low profile; he would be recognisable anywhere. Being in the limelight so much, everyone knew him and how powerful his magic was, it had a feel to it that was unmistakable. The boy was right; he had to have someone working for him. If he had a back-up, then he already had a wand and money stashed somewhere, but there were a few Aurors stationed in both areas keeping an eye out. They were also keeping an eye on Molly Weasley, Doge, and Aberforth Dumbledore. Two out of the three were most likely to help him; the third hated his guts apparently, but that could just be a pretence.

"Would he be able to get into Hogwarts?" Harry asked; if that was the case, he was definitely going to carry his daggers around.

"There is no way to prevent someone getting passed the wards, the only way it would happen is if Albus was a threat to the school itself," Minerva said bleakly.

"Was his cell open?" Severus asked, his mind going haywire.

"I don't think so," Moody said; he hadn't asked.

"There might not be anybody, he could have used Fawkes. Has anyone seen the bird?" Severus asked.

"No," Minerva replied, at the same time as Moody said, "I didn't even think of that." So where exactly was the bird?

"Phoenixes are light creatures, why would he bond himself to Albus in the first place?" Severus asked, sitting forward. "Is there a way for them to sever ties?"

"Phoenixes can severe ties, but only when they have a burning day."

"What the hell was that?" Harry asked, looking around quite alarmed.

"That was the sorting hat," Severus said, his lips twitching.

"A hat that can talk?" Harry asked, intrigued. Zoning in on the black hat, he was amazed by it, he'd never seen anything like it before in his life. When Severus spoke of it, he just assumed it was enchanted to tell them whatever house the new first-years fitted into best.

"Indeed," Severus said wryly.

"Wicked; what's your name?" Harry asked curiously.

"The founders of Hogwarts did not name me; I was created for one purpose, and one purpose only: to sort the students of Hogwarts," said the hat.

"What did they do that for?" Harry asked, liking the hat immensely since it couldn't look at him in awe.

"They worried about the sorting of students after they died, and so it was that Godric removed his hat, and I was enchanted for the purpose of sorting each student," the hat informed Harry.

"Go on, put it on," Minerva said, moving the hat from its place and putting it on Harry's head, having no doubt where he would be sorted.

"You are curious at how I was made," the hat said into Harry's mind, speaking solely to him. "No other has expressed such a fascination, Harry Potter; you are interesting…very interesting. You are loyal to those whom you deem worthy, oh yes; but Hufflepuff wouldn't suit the rest of your personality. You have a newfound love for books, knowledge, but Ravenclaw wouldn't suit you since you don't believe everything you read…. hmmm, fascinating… you are brave, extremely brave, but Gryffindor would spell the end of you, Mr. Potter; you cannot stand being in the limelight… you have no thirst for power, no need for admiration, yet nowhere else would suit you… and the games the Slytherins like to play you wouldn't participate in… you, Mr. Potter, prefer bluntness the likes of which Hogwarts has never seen… yes, yes, I know you don't like your name; there is a lot you don't like, but that's part of life."

"So how did they do it?" Harry asked curiously, ignoring the last statement.

"Magic," said the hat mysteriously before his brim opened up and shouted "Slytherin!" Its mouth went down and remained silent.

"Funny," Harry sighed, rolling his eyes and wincing as the light hit his eyes yet again.

"So we have no known way of figuring out if Fawkes has had a burning day yet," Moody said, continuing the conversation that had been ongoing while Harry was under the sorting hat. He was watching Minerva return the hat to its resting place, then take a book from its shelf before sitting down once more.

"No, they don't have regular burning days, at least according to the book," Minerva said, looking at the book on phoenixes that was open on her desk.

"All this is on the speculation he did use the Phoenix; for all we know he didn't. What we do know is that we must be on high alert. If he brews that potion again, if it's in circulation again, we must take precautions to prevent ourselves being ensnared. He has nothing to lose now; he won't pick and chose his targets carefully," Severus insisted; from now on all of his and Harry's meals would be from their quarters, everything checked regardless of who'd made it. Harry was a Slytherin; that wasn't a surprise but he was nonetheless rather proud of Harry. His Submissive had spent a long time under that hat, he was curious to what it said to him.

"I wish I could say I know his next move," Moody growled, wanting to rip his hair out in frustration. A few years ago he thought he would have known all of Dumbledore's moves. From the moment the trial had started, though, he realized he'd been completely blind; as an Auror, that was intolerable to think about. Now he knew he could never understand what Dumbledore thought, couldn't even assume his next move.

"You do," Harry bluntly muttered. "He's obsessed with that damn prophecy, and my part in fighting Voldemort. If he's still feeling that, he will come here. I'd have people watching all over Hogwarts, because I guarantee this is where he goes next." And if the bastard got close enough to him, he thought, a well-placed dagger to his chest would put a permanent end to him. He didn't care about making him suffer.

"I don't think that will be his next move," Moody contradicted, shaking his head and trying to put himself in Dumbledore's shoes. "He will plan something; he's very good at waiting, and I think he will wait until the heat wears off."

Harry didn't bother arguing with him, he obviously didn't have the perspective of a desperate man, which is exactly what Dumbledore was. He had been desperate once. When he'd run, it wasn't entirely the same thing, but he remembered the feeling all too well.

"Harry needs to begin training. I'm going to need yours, Filius', and perhaps a few of the Order's help," Severus said. As good as he was, they all had their perspective fields.

"I'll help," Moody said immediately, a bloodthirsty grin on his face.

"No holds barred?" Harry asked innocently, a devilish glint gleaming in his green eyes.

"What is that, Potter?" queried Moody.

"Yes or no?" Harry asked, leaning forward; oh he was looking forward to this.

Severus' lips twitched, feeling Harry's excitement through the bond. At least during training he would enjoy himself. It would remind him of his old life. He could barely believe Moody didn't understand what no holds barred meant; Pureblood wizards were so behind it was frankly disgusting. Perhaps he would learn a thing or two just watching him fight.

"Yes," Moody growled, unable to say no, despite not knowing what Potter meant. He was a Gryffindor and an Auror; what could he say? He was rather wary about what it meant and he suddenly didn't have the guts to ask him again.

"Brilliant," Harry said in supreme satisfaction, sitting back.

Minerva wryly shook her head, which by the way was still spinning; the entire conversation had gone back and forth alarmingly. It had been difficult to keep up with them: Dumbledore escaping, Severus wishing to quit, then the topic of Slughorn, then the sorting hat, Fawkes, suggestions on what Albus might do, then last but by no means least, Harry's sorting and the talk of a fight between the battle-hardened Auror and a boy who'd basically grown up on the street. Knowing how vicious Harry could be…she wasn't sure who to bet on! "I am sure Filius will have no problem helping; I myself can put in a few hours each day," Minerva offered honestly.

"Remus is a good dueller…" Moody started.

"Only if you want him in the hospital wing within a few minutes," Severus said wryly. Harry did not like Remus at all.

"Have I missed something? I thought it was Black he had a problem with?" Moody frowned.

"I have a problem with all of you; every single one of you knew," Harry said bitterly.

"I didn't," Minerva said after clearing her throat, not liking the accusation levelled her way, "I was quite rightfully furious when I did find out."

"Oh," was all Harry had to say. Poppy and Minerva had been kept out of it, and Sev had told them how it was, that they were going the wrong way about it. He knew deep down that if he hadn't been with Sev for two years before being caught, he wouldn't be here now. He would have still been under Dumbledore's thumb; either that, or the unlikely scenario that he'd succeeded in getting away from him. Sev wouldn't have risked it, he didn't think. He wouldn't need to find out, he just thanked the heavens that he'd been chosen as his submissive two years earlier.

"How about we begin tomorrow morning?" Minerva suggested, understanding why Severus wanted this done as soon as possible. It was now even more important with Dumbledore out loose and among them. "I'll see what I can do about getting Horace here today; I am not sure he will answer to any letter I send, but it's worth a shot. To be honest with you, I've not seen Horace since he retired."

"I believe you won't have any trouble at all," Severus said, his eyes automatically sliding to Harry. Slughorn would want to meet Harry. News was out that he was indeed at Hogwarts, so it was inevitable really.

"Only time will tell," Minerva said. She had more interviews today as well... and she'd thought she'd been busy as Deputy Headmistress, Gryffindor Head of House, and Transfiguration teacher. She had been deluded; this was by far much more exhausting work, but once everything had settled down she was hoping it would be much smoother sailing.

"How about I start on him tonight?" Moody asked curiously.

Harry stared at Severus, wondering if he would agree or not.

"Very well, after dinner," Severus said. He would never allow Harry to train alone; he wanted to be there all the time.

"Alright, I'll see you this evening, laddies," Moody said, standing up and quickly making his way through the Floo. He would need to investigate the case thoroughly; he had to find out how Dumbledore had succeeded in getting out of Azkaban. And also find out what his possible next move might be.

"It's nice to meet you officially, Mr. Potter," Filius said, standing in front of the teenager. He had his mothers eyes, chin, and nose the teacher noticed. He had a few pieces of his father in him, but the rest was uniquely, individually just 'Harry'. It was a pleasant surprise; James had looked like the spitting image of his father, and James' father had looked like his father. Perhaps it was Lily's influence that prevented Harry also being a carbon copy 'Potter'.

"It's Harry or nothing, Filius, he does not like his last name," Severus curtly stated, making sure they understood. He wasn't about to let his submissive be made uncomfortable.

"Very well, Harry it is. It's common in the magical world to refer to one another by our last names. Especially among my generation, who believe it's an honour to be allowed to call one another by their first name," Filius said, explaining why he had called Harry by his last name. "It puts them on an intellectual level, one where they are equals.

"Alright," Harry said, accepting the explanation. He was just glad he hadn't met Filius earlier; he used a lot of words that he wouldn't have understood. He was too excited to really care about his last name... and wasn't that something? This was the first time he'd felt this sort of excitement since he'd been brought here.

"It took Severus nearly a year to call us by our given names when he began working at Hogwarts, everyone, that is, besides Dumbledore," Filius said.

"Really?" Harry asked, now genuinely curious.

"Oh yes, I had to ask him a million times," Filius replied nodding, completely bemused.

"It was merely a reflex," Severus replied drolly, not admitting he'd felt too uncomfortable to call them by what they'd continued to ask: their first name.

"Alastor is on his way," Minerva said, entering the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. All the tables and chairs had been piled up at the back of the room to create a space for this. "I am the only one who thinks this is a bad idea?"

Severus just raised his eyebrow, refraining from commenting. Filius just squeaked in suppressed excitement, or rather unsuppressed, as it were.

"I thought so," Minerva said, her brown eyes shadowed with worry. Harry had no training whatsoever! And he and Alastor were going to engage in a duel? Fist fighting, fair enough, Harry would probably have the upper hand, but with magic? Severus hadn't had the time to properly train him. Calming herself down, she realized there was no point to getting flustered; anything that happened Poppy would be able to fix it in a jiffy... hopefully.

"What have you learned so far, Harry?" Filius asked, speaking to Harry while they waited on the Auror coming.

"Nothing," Harry said bluntly.

"Nothing?" Filius echoed, staring at him as if he'd spoken a strange language he wasn't familiar with.

Harry shook his head. He didn't care, anyway his magic was different from theirs, that much was obvious.

"I see," Filius said, perturbed by that revelation. "Perhaps we can give you some pointers?"

"Alright," Harry shrugged indifferently.

"Take out your wand," Filius said removing his own, ready to show Harry a few spells before Alastor Moody showed up.

"I don't have one," Harry confessed.

"I see why you are worried Minerva," Filius said, looking between them as if he realized he was missing something drastic.

"He is capable of Wandless magic, Filius," Minerva told the deputy Headmaster, amused despite herself.

"Oh ho! This I must see. Can you do the Accio charm? Summon something to yourself," Filius said, explaining in a way someone new to their world would understand.

Harry scoffed, "That's bloody easy." He'd been using that spell since he was nine years old; nice to put a name to magic he was using. So without even looking he summoned the empty frame from the corner of this room. It fell and clattered on the floor, breaking into four pieces but it had been empty, waiting on some other Defence teacher to fill it in with whatever they wanted to teach the students. Truth be told, it hadn't been used since Gilderoy Lockhart had been a teacher here for a year. Harry hadn't been about to try and grab onto it, it was too large, but he did flick his finger at it, making it knit back together and fly back onto the wall as if it had never been touched.

Filius gaped, his eyes nearly popping out their sockets as he looked from the floor to the perfectly fine picture frame before repeating the process all over again. "You say he only knew about the magical world for a few w-weeks?" Filius squeaked; this time it wasn't one of excitement but rather of total and utter disbelief. It wasn't possible, in his opinion; he found it difficult to do one Wandless spell, never mind multiple ones without even breaking a sweat.

"I've been using magic for years," Harry said, shrugging indifferently.

"Without a wand? This…this…this is unprecedented," Filius declared, wiping his brow overwhelmed.

"How long is years?" Minerva asked, actually curious now that the subject had been brought up.

Harry turned to Minerva, dark lurking in his eyes as he remembered just how young he'd been when he'd first started stealing to survive. He wondered if they realized what he'd done; they weren't stupid, surely they realized that? If they did, they didn't seem to care. Severus didn't, maybe nobody did…still, it didn't matter now. That part of his life was over, as his Dom said; even if they split up, he had more money than he could spend in one lifetime at Gringotts.

At The Very Same Time - Location Unplottable….

"Did you get it?" asked the figure, cloaked as if terrified to be seen even by one who knew who he was working with, uncaring of the smoke emanating from the large cauldron beside them. Every single worktop was filled with ingredients of all kinds; most were actually unquestionably illegal, but this didn't bother the two.

"Do you doubt me?" Albus Dumbledore asked coldly, his usual grandfatherly façade nowhere to be seen. He held up a vial of three hairs, all different lengths but all dark coloured.

"I don't see why I should have to do this," she said grimacing in disgust at the mere thought.

"You keep your end of the deal," Dumbledore hissed, his blue eyes glinting angrily. She didn't need to know that as soon as he was done with her she'd be discarded. He didn't leave any loose ends, not dangerous ones who wanted his potion to use for their own ends. Oh no, the only people that would be under it would be those he specifically chose.

"Fine," she said in irritation. She'd gotten him out of Azkaban, helped him; she was supposed to be in charge of this. But no, he had to walk in and take charge. As soon as she had the damn potion, she was going to make sure the Aurors found him and landed him right back in Azkaban, just after she'd Obliviated him. She couldn't be implicated here, after all; she had so many plans she had to put in action. This was her big ticket; everyone would regret messing with her.

"You know what to do next, go," Dumbledore said, moving into the lab, ready to enact the next stage of his plan.

She moved away also, meanwhile thinking 'only a while left'.

Back To Harry, Filius, Minerva, Severus and Company

"A long time," Harry said truthfully.

"Consistently since he was nine years old," Severus stated, revealing exactly how long, since Harry didn't seem in the mood to share. Harry was never in that mood; he barely told you enough to satisfy someone. Even he had to dig and prod to get more information from him, but Harry always knew when he was pushing it.

Filius shook his head in shocked wonder, nine years of age? Sure, children did accidental magic at that age but to consistently use Wandless magic from that age? It was astonishing, and he suddenly couldn't wait to teach Harry all he could, maybe one day duel him. If he wanted to, he knew the young man could potentially take his place as a duelling champion.

"Severus?" Minerva asked, standing beside him and whispering so nobody could hear her. "What exactly does 'no holds barred' actually mean?"

Severus couldn't help himself; he burst out laughing for a few seconds before regaining control over himself. Especially when he noticed that both Minerva and Filius were gazing at him in admiration. He was changing, and it was the first time Filius had seen it, Minerva however had been noticing it for the past few weeks. Harry was good for him; he was less sullen, less angry and more prone to amusement. His masks were chipping away, and both of them were glad to witness this… phenomenon; it was a marvel, really.

"Basically it means that there are no limits or control on the…duel, in other words they can do whatever they like without consequences. Of course without the Unforgivables and anything life threatening, which doesn't need to be said," Severus replied. He was now getting impatient; it was well past the time the damn Auror said he was going to be here.

"I don't suppose you think they've found Dumbledore, do you?" Minerva asked, but you could tell by her voice it was merely a hope. She knew with every iota of her being that she was being disingenuous, really.

"We aren't that lucky, nor is Dumbledore that stupid; we won't find him, he will come to us," Severus said grimly. "It's just a matter of who gets the better of whom at the end of the day." He sincerely hoped it was him who put an end to Dumbledore, that he could keep his submissive safe. The words Harry had muttered earlier that day worried him; Harry had an uncanny ability of being right. He rather hoped not, but he would be keeping a close eye on Harry at all times in the future until Dumbledore was caught.

"Sorry I'm late," Moody said, stomping into the room and looking extremely frustrated.

"You have no idea how he got out of Azkaban do you?" Harry stated, eyeing Moody, knowing there was only one real reason he could be so irritated.

"You are a perceptive laddie," Moody muttered, impressed with the Potter boy; he continued to be amazed with him.

"I had to be," Harry said blandly.

"Live or die, let's get this on," Moody said, a bloodthirsty grin on his face; this was exactly what he needed.

Harry rolled his eyes. Moody apparently liked to say that, and it had been funny the first time but it got old ― fast.

"Remain three feet apart. The custom is to raise your wand up, bow down before turning away from your opponent and taking five steps back, then turning to face them once again," Severus calmly stated.

Harry nodded that he understood as he stepped up to the area Minerva had chalked as the duelling area.

"Are you sure he should do this?" Minerva asked, watching both of them take their marks.

"It's the only way he will learn," Severus said, his voice slightly off, revealing he was having his own internal reservations about this entire thing.

"Yes, but normally they actually learn how to defend themselves before fighting," Minerva said, watching them bow with trepidation and turn away, taking five steps and turning back around.

Then Moody said something that caused things to get explosive extremely fast.

"Where's your wand, boy?" Moody asked, just realizing that Harry had merely raised his arm up, imitating his own movements.

Moody had barely gotten the word 'Boy' out before a few things simultaneously happened. Moody was blasted back with a pure untarnished ball of magic that no shield could defend against, and Moody did try; he was an Auror, he was always prepared. Except for this. His body blasted back into the wall, before it slid down to the floor leaving a trail of blood sliding in its wake. Cries of alarm immediately rang out in the defence classroom, including two newcomers who had just entered the door: Tonks and Shacklebolt. Moody's wand had been flung to the other side of the classroom beside Harry. Harry's eyes were flashing dangerously with fury; his magic was still oozing from each part of him.

The most battle-hardened Auror ever to grace the academy, one who had brought in the most dangerous criminals and Death Eaters to boot, was taken down by one single bout of magic. When Alastor Moody woke up, he was going to wish he hadn't.

"Shit," Shacklebolt said, rushing over to the older Auror. He couldn't take knocks like that anymore! He wasn't fit like he had been ten years ago. "He definitely needs the hospital wing."

"Calm down," Severus said, standing right in front of Harry, not giving even a second of his time to Moody. He was sure the Auror had been in worse scrapes and come out unscathed; it helped that he didn't like the wizard at all. "Imagine yourself somewhere isolated, where you can be yourself, without any pressure." He was calming Harry's magic down, but he needed to control his own feelings, which were in a roundabout way affecting his magic, in a never-ending bloody circle. So much to do and so little time; Occlumency was definitely on the important list.

"What was that all about?" Filius asked, staring at them flummoxed.

"Harry doesn't like to be called boy," Minerva whispered. She remembered it was all Vernon Dursley had called him during his interview at the Ministry all those years ago. The phrase, 'The boy got what he deserved' rang in her ears; how many times had a defenceless child been told that? Dear Merlin, she felt sick just thinking about it.

"I think that's enough for one evening," Severus said. Harry had to get over his aversion to his name and the title boy. He had no idea how to go about it, but he couldn't keep reacting like that; one of these days it was going to be the wrong person it happened to. He had to protect Harry, even if it was from his magic and himself at the end of the day.

"I agree," Minerva said, "Let's get Poppy to have a look at Alastor."

Shacklebolt had already conjured a stretcher and Tonks had levitated the injured wizard on top of it. "I know where it is, don't worry," Nymphadora said.

"Very well," Minerva said in agreement.

"Goodnight gentlemen, Minerva," Severus said, guiding Harry out of the room. Thankfully he was in full control of his emotions so he no longer had to keep such a tight rein on his magic. They left stunned teachers and Aurors in their wake who had to give themselves a little jolt to get moving. Only once they were walking toward his rooms did it sink in that Harry had gotten the better of Alastor 'Mad Eye' Moody, one of the toughest Aurors on the force, one that most Death Eaters were terrified of going up against.

"Goodnight," they replied out of ingrained politeness.

Edited by Jordre and Jake big thanks guys