What Aren't They Telling Us
The weekend went quickly. Ravenclaw had won the Quidditch match; 160 points to 70. Gryffindor were in the lead for the cup and James and Sirius couldn't help but be excited. They had won it last year but it had felt pretty close. It had all hinged on one match. They partly hoped that they could comfortably win it this year. At the moment Gryffindor were more than one hundred points up but they weren't sure how long that would last. The next match wasn't until February when Ravenclaw would play Slytherin. Slytherin had a horrible team this year. None of the teams particularly wanted to go against them. It was predominately made up of seventh years. All except the captain/ seeker Emma Vanity who was in her fourth year. The seventh years were all big and bulky – even one of the girls; Edna Becnal looked remarkably like a boy.
The dementors had been drawing closer to the boundaries of the forest. James had a feeling that they were hungry. They were craving the emotions that were rampant in the castle. They could be seen hovering just within the forest. Dumbledore had told the students one night after dinner to be extra cautious. He had told them not to go outside alone and to try and stay in groups of five or more when out in the grounds. The weather still hadn't let up and James was beginning to think that it might have been a result of the dementors presence in the school grounds. He had noticed a change in his friends' behaviour. Everyone was more irritable than normal and there had been dozens of fights in the corridors.
In care of magical creatures they were currently studying the life cycle of the Doxy. Professor Kettleburn would usually have taken the class out into the grounds during his lessons and perhaps into the forest but he'd had to keep them indoors as a result of the dementors that were encamping the forest. Instead he had brought a large box of soil into their classroom and several Doxies. The Doxy's didn't have their teeth as they had been removed to prevent the students being injured. The four Doxies were flying about the room above their head as Professor Kettleburn tried to teach his class, "Who can tell me an alternative name for the Doxy? Miss Evans…" he smiled.
"The Biting Fairy," Lily replied, "although the Doxy is fairy like it is not a fairy."
"Well done, ten points. The Doxy – as you can see – is covered in coarse black hair, and has an additional set of arms and legs. They have shiny beetle-like wings and very sharp venomous teeth. It is important if bitten to take an antidote immediately. Now I have brought this huge box of mud for them to lay their eggs so that we can observe their life cycle over the next few weeks. Doxies bury their eggs underground laying up to five hundred at once – that's why the box is so big." He joked. "They take about two to three weeks to hatch – so we will be observing them up until Christmas and for a while after Christmas."
"Now the Doxy prefers a cold climate – that is why this room is so cold today." He smiled as he noticed one of his students shivering gently. "They can be found throughout Europe and North America. Wizardkind consider Doxies as pests as they have a habit of infesting houses – that is why you must be very careful when you enter and exit this classroom… we don't want these pesky Doxies escaping. To remove them you have to use Doxycide – which stuns the little creatures so that they can be removed from the home – but believe me its hard work."
The Death Eaters had been very quiet over the last few months and as the November rain was replaced by December rain there was no change there. James was becoming a bit suspicious of the lack of news. He decided to write to his father.
I just thought I'd write because. Well I just wanted to know if the prophet is hiding things again. Only the D.E.s are being really quiet and I don't understand it. Please get back to me and let me know what you think. I'm really looking forward to seeing you and mum at Christmas.
Love James. Xxx
Mr Potter had been unusually quick at replying. A response was waiting for him at the breakfast table the next morning.
Your mother is really excited about having you home for Christmas. She wants to know if Sirius wants to come and visit or if he is going home. I hope he knows he is always welcome. In answer to your question; sadly no, the paper is not telling you everything. It is trying to stop people panicking – although it seems pointless to me. In actual fact several muggle-borns have gone missing – mainly ministry employees – but a few civilians too. There is nothing to worry about though.
What I suggest you do is focus on your school work and do as Dumbledore tells you. Whatever you do James – do not go out alone – I am aware of the dementors in the forest. I have a team of aurors trying to keep them away from the school but it doesn't seem to be working. I will be at the school next week to discuss the situation with Dumbledore so I might see you.
I love you son. Keep safe.
James sighed, "I knew they were lying." He quickly looked up, "Sirius – what are you doing for Christmas? Are you coming with me?"
"I meant to tell you. Andromeda has invited me to hers," he laughed bitterly, "besides the baby is due over the Christmas holiday and I promised I'd be there."
"Oh – I forgot she was pregnant," James smiled as he wrote a reply to his father.
Sirius isn't coming – he's going to his cousin Andromeda's house.