A Meeting of the Minds
Disclaimer – Harry Potter and the original characters are all property of JK Rowling. A few new names are of my own creations.
Note – Thanks to all for the wonderful reviews that I have been given. It is nice to hear helpful advice. Thanks to all of you who have read my story so far.
Chapter 3 – A Meeting of the Minds
Harry started the next day with a positive outlook. Thus far there were only a few incidents which required his attention. Harry watched as the Heads of House went through the Great Hall handing out their class schedules to the students. Ginny smiled at Harry as she took the schedule that would allow her to study to become an Auror. Harry glanced over at Severus with a smile. The potions master decided to allow certain members of the DA as well as the members of the SFG into his N.E.W.T.S class with and E. Severus looked back at Harry and returned the smile. As the students were starting to gather their belonging and head off to their first classes, Harry approached Hermione.
"Hermione what is your first lesson?" asked Harry.
"Oh!" she exclaimed. "I have first year Slytherin and Hufflepuff. I do not think I will need you for my first or second year classes Harry. However, I will send Pinto to you if I have any problems. Thanks for asking him to keep an eye on things with me. That was very sweet of you."
Harry shrugged his indifference.
"I have to watch out for all of you, don't I?" he asked.
"Yes I guess you do," she replied.
With that she headed off for her first class. Harry saw Pinto trail behind her. With a smile and a wink to the elf, Harry turned around and headed in the other direction. Harry watched as students made their way to different parts of the castle. Filch could be seen cleaning near the front door. When he saw Harry watching him, he scowled and moved to another section. It was knowledge among the staff that Filch did not approve of Harry being the Head Master. He still thought of Harry as a, snot nosed little kid. Harry scowled back and returned to his office. Upon reaching his office Harry saw Hedwig sitting on his desk preening her feathers. When he approached she held out her leg for him to take the letter that was attached to her leg.
"Thanks Hedwig," he said.
He gave her an owl treat and watched as she went sit on her perch near the window. Now that Harry was Head Master, there was no longer a need for her to go to the Owlery. Harry stopped long enough to whisper words of encouragement to Apollo and went to his desk. He opened the letter and began reading.
I hope things are going well for you at the school. I need you to come to the Ministry of Magic at your earliest convenience. There was a problem here, and I need to discuss certain matters with you regarding Peter Pettigrew. Please let me know when we can set up a meeting.
Harry set the letter down and made his way to Severus' office. He knew that Severus had this free period and was keeping an ear out on Draco's first class. With a smile he remembered the deep blush the blond Slytherin gave when Harry and Albus gave him the post of Assistant Professor. Upon reaching the dungeons, Harry gave a soft knock on the door. Putting his head in, he saw Draco standing at the front of the class.
"Pardon me Professor Malfoy," he began. "I was wondering if I might have a word with Professor Snape."
Draco smile at Harry and gestured him to the office where Severus sat. Harry quickly passed through the classroom and gave a soft knock on the door. Severus waved him inside. Once in, Harry shut the door quietly behind him.
"Severus, I received a letter from Albus this morning," he said. "He wants to discuss something with me about Wormtail. Therefore I will be leaving the castle for a few hours. Hermione will be ok today as she only has first and second years today. You seem to have things well in control with Draco. I was wondering if you could keep an eye on the school for me so that I can meet with Albus."
"Harry you don't even need to ask," said Severus. "I know that you are still not used to the idea that you are in charge of this school. You don't need my permission every time you want to do something you know."
Harry blushed, a bright red, at this statement. He still felt like a child sometimes when he thought about his status in the school. He still could not believe that at 17 years of age, he was Head Master of the school. He gave a nervous smile to Severus.
"I still have a little trouble remembering that I am of an age where I do not need permission to go where I want, when I want." Harry replied. "The idea that I can just go somewhere when I want to still makes me nervous."
"Well Harry," said Severus. "I am sure that you will get past what you are feeling soon enough."
Harry smiled his thanks and quietly made his way back through the class room into the hall. Slowly he made his way to the entrance hall.
"Pinto and Rose," he called. "May I have a moment of your time please?"
With two small pops the elves appeared before him.
"What can we do for you Head Master?" asked Rose.
"I will be leaving the school for a few hours," stated Harry. "If either of your charges is in need of assistance, please send word to Professor Snape immediately."
"Yes Head Master," replied both elves with a bow.
Harry grinned at the two elves and with a quick turn on the spot he apparated to the Ministry. After handing his wand over for inspection, Harry made his way to the office of the Minister of Magic.
Things had changed in the Ministry since the death of former Minster, Arthur Weasley. Albus went through such extremes with the security of people going in and out of the ministry. At any given time, one could see a patrol of Aurors circulating among the visitors. The procedure was to keep the Aurors alert to possible danger. Albus was implementing the same type of rounds here that he had with prefects and the Head Boy and Girl at Hogwarts. At 175 years of age Albus was still a very powerful wizard. His mind was sheer intelligence. Harry was grateful for such a wonderful mentor. Were it not for Albus, Harry would have been lost so many times in the years. Every trial and such that Harry had gone through made him stronger, for the support of his old friend and former Head Master. It was still spread that Albus Dumbledore is the only man Voldemort ever feared. Harry knew this to be both true and slightly misleading. Voldemort did not actively seek out a fight with Albus, however during Harry's fifth year the two powerful wizards did battle right here in the Ministry of Magic. That was the first and only time Voldemort ever tried to possess Harry. The power of Harry's emotions kept Voldemort from attempting that again. For Harry possessed such an innocent and loving heart, that Voldemort could not possess him without sustaining damage to himself.
Harry finally made it to the door of the Minister. Knocking softly, Harry was asked to enter. Once more Harry wondered how Albus always knew who was on the other side of the door. Entering, Harry made his way over to the desk that Albus was standing behind. After clasping hands with the old wizard, Harry took the offered chair and sat.
Harry, I am sure you are wondering about the cryptic message that I sent to you," began Albus. "It seems that Peter was able to escape from prison last night."
"WHAT?" exclaimed Harry. "How did he manage that?"
"From the information that I have gathered," continued Albus. "It would seem that when his door was opened at feeding time, he changed into his Animagus form and escaped the prison. We have not been able to find him as of yet. I want to assure you that we are doing everything in our power to locate him. He is not an easy person to catch up to."
Harry stood up and began to pace back and forth in front of the desk.
"What are we attempting to do to catch him?" he asked.
"Everything we can," answered Albus.
"Trust me Harry, we are doing everything in out power to catch him and keep him away from Voldemort. However it would not surprise me to learn that he is with his master already," said Dumbledore.
Harry nodded his acceptance at this. If Albus said it was so then it must me so. Harry had no reason to doubt him. Turning he sat down in front of Albus.
"There is a way to see if he is there," said Harry. "I can always venture into Voldemort's mind and see. If you come to the castle this evening we can do this. It is time for me to make a trip into his thoughts anyway. This way I can see what he is up to and we can get information on Wormtail."
"That is an excellent suggestion Harry," said Dumbledore with a nod of his head. "I will come to the castle around 8:00 if that is ok with you. Also we can get Severus and Minerva to sit with us for this."
Harry nodded his agreement. He stood up and shook hands with Dumbledore once more and made his way out of the room. He made his way to the street. After looking around to make sure he would not be spotted Harry apparated back to Hogwarts. He walked to the transfiguration classroom. With a quick knock on the door, Harry entered the class. Minerva was a bit surprised to see Harry there, but she smiled and beckoned him over.
"Minerva," he began. "I need you to come to my office at 8:00 to meet with me and Albus this evening. There was a problem and Albus wants you and Severus to join in the meeting. I am also going to ask Hermione and Pomona to join us."
"Of course Harry," said Minerva. "I will be there."
With that Harry made his way out of the classroom and headed to the dungeons to give the news to Severus. Severus' reaction was the same as Minerva's. However he promised to be there at 8.
Harry made his way to Hermione's classroom. As he was about to enter he could here a second year giving Hermione a bit of attitude.
"That will be 10 points from Hufflepuff, Stebbins," said Hermione. "I am not going to tolerate cheek from you. I am no longer a student. I am a Professor in this school and you will treat me as such. If I hear one more word from you I will give you a detention."
Harry smiled as Stebbins lowered his head and mumbled and apology. Harry knocked on the door and entered.
"Hermione I need a quick word if you do not mind," said Harry.
Hermione nodded and walked over to him.
"Please meet me in my office at 8 this evening," said Harry.
She nodded her acceptance with a questioning look.
Harry smiled at her and left. He sent a house elf with the same message to Pomona. He did not feel like walking all the way down to the green houses. The elf appeared a few moments later and gave Harry her affirmation. When the elf disappeared with a small pop, Harry slapped himself on the forehead. He could just as easily apparated to the green house himself. He kept forgetting that he could do things here at Hogwarts that no one else could. With a glance at his watch Harry realized that lunch time was in 5 minutes. He entered the Great Hall and made his way to his place. Dobby appeared next to him and handed him a glass of juice. Harry accepted it with a smile. It never ceased to amaze him that this little elf took such great care of him. Five minutes later, the bell rang for end of lesson, and the students and staff started making their way into the Great Hall for lunch. After everyone was present and seated, Harry stood up.
"I have a small announcement to make," he said. "It seems that some students have a problem with Professor Granger being a Professor. Twice in as many days I have witnessed a student disrespecting her. From now on if a student disrespects her they will automatically serve a week's detention as well as the loss of house points. It is getting rather tiresome that some of you older students are not setting a better example of decorum and behavior to our younger students. For every student who disrespects a teacher in this school, they will serve their detention with Professor Snape, McGonagall, or myself. I promise you that they will not be pleasant detentions either."
With that being said, Harry sat down and the tables filled with food. Harry glanced over and he could see Hermione and Minerva with their heads together discussing what had happened and Harry's new idea about punishment. Harry did not like being so harsh with the students, but things were starting to get out of hand with the students disrespecting the staff. Finally, lunch was over and Harry filed into Hermione's class room to observe the rest of her classes that day. After his announcement at lunch no other student wanted to try the patience of the Head Master. This pleased Harry. The day wore on and finally dinner came. At a quarter till eight, Harry left the Great Hall with the Heads of House in tow. They made it to the entrance Hall just as Albus was approaching the great doors. Together, they made their way to Harry' office. Once inside, Harry gave his desk to Albus, who graciously accepted. Eyebrows lifted at this, but Albus was ready to get things underway.
"I am sure you are all wondering why we are gathered here, "he began. "It seems that Peter Pettigrew has escaped from prison."
The cries of outrage started up at once. Albus however, was ready for them.
"Let me assure you," he continued. "That we are doing everything in out power to recapture him. Once we do so he will be unable to transform into his Animagus form again. He will not be able to escape us again."
Nods went around the room.
"The other reason you are here," said Harry. "Is that I am going to probe the mind of Voldemort."
The shudders went around the room. Harry and Albus ignored this.
"With you all being here," he continued. "You will be able to hear what is going on. Albus and Severus have experience with guiding me back to myself, from these little journeys. This way I don't get trapped by Voldemort in my own mind."
Again the shudders went around. Again Harry and Albus ignored them. Albus conjured a small cot, and Harry laid on it. Severus and Albus each took a chair and placed it near Harry's head and sat. Both placed a comforting hand on each of Harry's shoulders. Softly Apollo started his song. This was the song that allowed Harry to focus his thoughts and go into the mind of the darkest wizard to ever have walked the planet. Harry always considered these journeys a form of astral projection. However, he knew he was not really leaving his body. He was just using the link that Voldemort himself established 16 years ago. With a small shudder Harry plunged into Voldemort's mind.
"Wormtail," said Voldemort. "I see you have made it back. The rat in you has found a way of making it back to my service. I congratulate you on your thinking. I would not have thought it possible that you possessed the brain power to pull off such a stunt."
"Thank you my Lord," whimpered Wormtail. "I got the idea from Black when he escaped Azkaban."
"Wormtail," laughed Voldemort. "I know you didn't come up with the idea all on your own. However, your honestly is admiral. You will be rewarded however. I have a special job for you to do that I will only trust to someone such as yourself. Your rodent abilities will serve you well in this endeavor. I need you to sneak into Hogwarts for me. There is something behind the green and silver door…."
Harry came to with a start. He glanced around at Hermione. They both registered the shock together. They had found that same green and silver door. Now Harry knew how to get into the room beyond. Parseltongue was how to open the door. The rest of the heads of house was confused about the door. Even Albus was giving Harry a questioning look.
I can not explain it to you all yet," said Harry. "I know where that door is. Hermione and I found it over the summer. I committed its location to memory. We can lead you all there."
Harry and the rest of the staff stood up. Harry wanted to get into that room quickly.
Authors Note: OOOHHHH A cliff hanger. Time to come back for Chapter 4 and see what is behind the door. Thank you all for being patient with me. I am taking my time with typing this story. That way I do not burn myself out trying to come up with ideas and plots for the story. With twenty Chapters I have to fill it up somehow.