Chapter 9, Pensieve Discussion

Remus was sort of looking forward to Defence Against the Dark Arts for several reasons; first of all it had always been his favourite lesson, who else got to learn to recognise themselves in lessons? He thought it was hilarious. Then there was this new teacher; he wondered whether she would be up to scratch, or if they’d have another Professor Gaffyd on their hands. There was also the case of Sirius; he’d been a bit off all morning and Remus was wondering if it had something to do with Tara, they did had Defence with the Hufflepuffs and she was one of the few continuing.

He had showered after Herbology, changed and was now lying across a sofa in the Common Room, one hand behind his head, the other lightly holding the latest book he was reading. It was lengthy, overly complicated and Remus was loving every word of it; it reminded him somewhat of the Marauders.

James appeared at the bottom of the stairs and Remus looked up from his book; his friend looked as though he wanted to say something, but Dorcas and Laura bounded down the girl’s stairs and into the room.

‘We’ve been having a lovely bath!’ Dorcas told them happily, ‘I love this new timetable!’

‘Together?’ James asked, eyes lighting up.

‘No! There are two bathrooms!’ Laura shot back, still a little stung over Lily’s bath sharing comment from the train.

‘I never knew you guys had two bathrooms! That’s so unfair, how come boys only get one?’

‘Because girls need more space and caring than boys do!’ Laura replied regally.

Remus picked up a cushion and aimed it carefully at the back of Laura’s head and her perfect hair, winking at James.

‘What are you grinning- Argh! Remus you’re such a-’

But James picked her up and dumped her onto the sofa beside Remus and began to tickle her mercilessly, ‘James! James stop! Dorcas! Dorcas! My ha- ha- hair!’

Dorcas was laughing too hard to help, besides she didn’t want to her hair all messed up too. They had spent most of the morning preening while Lily and Alice were grubbing around in the Greenhouses with the boys. Finally they stopped and a dishevelled, red-faced Laura was allowed to go back up to her dorm to brush her hair again before lunch.

Dorcas accompanied the boys down to the Great Hall where they found Peter and Sirius already engulfing chicken and ham pie, ‘I won’t tell James that’s your third helping, Wormy,’ Sirius said loudly as they approached and he winked at them behind Peter’s back.

‘No, it’s not! Oh, hi, Prongs, Moony, Meadowes,’ he said nervously looking up them.

Dorcas never understood why Peter never called anyone by their first name; it was always Meadowes, or Yates, or Tavistock. Maybe that’s why he didn’t really seem to know anyone; he just wasn’t very approachable. She sat down beside them, helped herself to pie and asked James, ‘So, when are try-outs?’

James turned away from pretending to berate Peter over his diet, ‘I’m to going to ask McGonagall if we can have them on Saturday; I want to get a new team sorted out completely before the season begins.’

‘Sounds like a good idea, same team as last year though?’ she asked hopefully, she didn’t really want to spend hours messing around with new chasers.

James considered this for a moment, ‘Yeah; there’s no point breaking up chasers who’ve played together for a year and Sirius is probably the best Beater in the school except for Quigley.’

The best Beater in the school,’ Sirius corrected, leaning across Remus.

James ignored him, ‘So we only need a Seeker, another Beater and a Keeper.’

‘Any ideas on that?’

‘I was wondering if we could get George Hill on the team; his brother was the best Keeper I’ve ever seen,’ James replied. Henry Hill had been in Seventh Year when James was in First, but he now played for the Falmouth Falcons.

The remainder of lunch was spent in serious discussion of what kind of team Slytherin and Ravenclaw might be able to put together and whether Hufflepuff had anyone other than Syd Tollip worth watching out for.

Lily and the rest of the Gryffindor girls except Laura were queued up outside the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom when Peter and Remus appeared without the other two. All four houses now did Defence Against the Dark Arts together but with the number of people who had stopped, the class was still slightly smaller than last year. Lily thought that was a good thing though; they would probably learn more. She wondered what the new Professor would be like, turning away as Avery, Severus and Rosier arrived. She hadn’t talked to Sev yet and wasn’t sure how she felt about their friendship after last summer. She continued chatting to Alice.

At exactly half past two, the classroom door was opened from the inside and Professor Jenson was there, smiling at them, ‘Come in, guys!’ she said as she held the door open for them.

Lily and Dorcas exchanged looks; no teachers had ever called them “guys”. They filed in and took seats, mostly in Houses, though Lily stole the seat next to Emmeline Vance before Benjy came into the room. Rosier somehow ended up next to Mary as everyone sat down, and Lily couldn’t tell if Mary thought this was bad thing or not. Rosier was one of those ‘decent’ Slytherins, as Remus called them when Potter and Black weren’t about, though even they had admitted once that he was “alright”.

He was polite, didn’t seem to share the rest of the House’s prejudices and was sort of palely good-looking. He always seemed a bit aloof, but if you talked to him he was actually really friendly. Lily wondered why he had sat next to Mary. Lily also noticed that not one of the Slytherin girls had carried on Defence.

Then the young Professor caught there attention by clearing her throat, ‘Right, hi guys! I’m Professor Jenson-’

Benjy Fenwick snorted.

‘Yes, Mr Fenwick?’ the young woman asked politely, as though she had never met the boy before.

‘Um, nothing Lara.’ Benjy muttered.

‘That’s Professor Jenson, Fenwick.’ She corrected, unfazed by her cousin’s attitude.

‘Yes, Professor,’ Benjy capitulated, rolling his eyes.

‘As I was saying; I’m Professor Jenson and I’ll be teaching you this year-’

Lily caught a quiet, ‘Bet she has,’ from Avery behind her followed by sniggering.

‘Ten points from Slytherin, Mr Avery,’ the blond woman at the front chimed, ‘I don’t like to be interrupted when I’m speaking.’ Apparently she already knew their names.

Avery glared at her, but didn’t say anything. But the door burst open and Sirius Black stumbled in; his robes were askew and his ordinarily immaculate hair was ruffled. He looked for all the world as if he had just-

‘Sorry, I’m late Professor, sort of lost track of time…’ he grinned lazily and went to sit down at the back, pulling out his books and parchment before he could get any points taken off.

Professor Jenson sighed and waited a moment until Black had sorted himself out, ‘What I was going to say was that you are almost young adults and I expect a bit more maturity from you than I would my younger pupils,’ she gave Avery a pointed look, ‘if you act like adults I will treat you like adults and if you act like children-’


The door flew open, framing James Potter in the doorway, ‘Oh, shit, didn’t mean to do that,’ he said quickly, walking into the room, ‘Sorry I’m late Professor-’

‘Ten points from Gryffindor for lateness, Mr Potter,’ she said, spots of colour appearing on her cheeks as she was interrupted for the third time.

James was already walking to his seat beside Sirius and stopped, he turned around and said, ‘Actually, you can’t do that.’

Professor Jenson gawped at him, ‘Sorry, what?’ she said, finally showing her youth and inexperience at James’ audacity.

‘I’ve got a note from Professor McGonagall excusing me,’ he said smugly, now walking to the front and handing it to her.

‘I… Very well,’ she snapped, taking the note and reading it.

James made his way back to his seat, grinned at Black and pulled out some parchment.

Lily felt a bit sorry for her; she seemed nice enough and definitely didn’t deserve to have Potter, Black and the Slytherins messing her about in her first lesson with them.

‘As I was saying,’ Professor Jenson finally continued, having determined that no one else was going to burst through the door or anything, ‘Act maturely and I’ll treat you with maturity. Now, we’ll be looking mainly at two subjects this year; Curses and Counter-curses, as well as Non-verbal magic. I think we ought to start with a few questions to see how much you know.’

Lily was quite enjoying the lesson; after the troubled start Professor Jenson asked them about subjects from previous years, obviously wanting to see how much they knew. Then she moved on to Curses and Non-verbal spells, ‘Now who can classify Jinxes, Hexes and Curses for me?’

Lily stuck her hand in the air; this was First Year stuff really, but Caradoc Dearborn, who seemed to have recovered from that morning’s Herbology lesson was chosen to answer.

‘And how would you classify the Stunning Spell, anyone?’ she asked, ‘Jinx, Hex or Curse?’

Lily stuck her hand in the air again, but Black answered from the back, ‘It’s a Charm.’

‘Hand, next time please Mr Black. Miss Evans, why is it a charm?’

Lily smiled, finally her chance, ‘Because it changes the state or behaviour of the person it is cast upon; improving their condition from possibly dangerous to unconscious.’

Potter piped up at that point, ‘Surely though, from the point of the victim you could call it a hex or a curse, because it’s having a negative effect on the person.’

‘But it’s not,’ Lily replied, ‘Unconscious is better than dangerous.’

‘Yeah, but if I used it on you, you’d say you’d rather be conscious no doubt.’

Lily wasn’t sure how to answer that, but Professor Jenson stepped in, ‘Very good Mr Potter, it comes back to the question of classifying spells; do we classify them from the point of view of the caster, or of the… victim, shall we say.’

‘Surely spells are always classified from the view of the caster,’ Lily replied.

‘Yeah, but look at the Imperius Curse,’ Caradoc joined in, having made it to the lesson on wobbly legs and obviously picking up on Potter’s idea, ‘you could make the person do some beneficial to themselves, or something harmful. Yet it’s an Unforgiveable.’

‘Very good, Mr Dearborn. Now that leads us on to the Unforgiveables; one being the Imperius Curse. Who can name the others?’

Lily let some of the others answer questions and turned to Emmeline, ‘So? What did you and Benjy get up to over the summer?’

Emmeline glanced at Lily and a slight blush came to her cheeks, ‘Benjy came and stayed at my house for a week,’ she admitted.

Lily was intrigued, ‘And? What did you get up to?’

Emmeline blushed deeper.

‘You didn’t!’ Lily said, astonished.

‘No, we didn’t have sex or anything!’ Emmeline said, knowing what Lily was thinking, ‘We just did some other stuff…’

By the end of Defence Against the Dark Arts, Sirius was bored; all they’d done was talk about what they already knew. He watched Lara Jenson out of the corner of his eye; he refused to think of her as a Professor, she’s was Fenwick’s cousin for Merlin’s sake.

She was pretty, she was obviously confident; how many twenty-four year olds were teaching cocky sixteen year-olds? She was intelligent; you had to be to teach at somewhere like Hogwarts. Sirius doodled across his parchment and listened to the discussion going on around him, by the end of the lesson he had a fair drawing of a girl in only her underwear on his page. He’d asked Benjy how old his cousin when he talked to him after lunch, he’d also found out that Quigley was Ravenclaw Quidditch Captain. Compton; the Slytherin Seventh year was still sporting his shiny silver badge and the new Hufflepuff captain was a Seventh Year called Henry Kayser.

Apparently James had got McGonagall’s permission to hold try-outs on Saturday; earlier than most teams but McGonagall was always good with Quidditch stuff, especially if there was a chance of them winning the Cup. He suspected that the teacher’s enjoyed the Quidditch matches as much as the pupils and he seen McGonagall looking inordinately happy after a Gryffindor victory.

His entry at the start of the lesson had been on purpose; knowing he looked like he just climbed out of a broom cupboard he’d wandered in late, just to judge Jenson’s reaction. It wasn’t one to miss; she’d obviously thought he had just climbed out of a broom cupboard. He reckoned it was his brazen display that had distracted her enough for him to get away with it, and then James had burst in.

She’d been so close to actually getting angry and Sirius could see it in her eyes that she didn’t want to shout in her first lesson, especially when James told her she couldn’t take points. James was great at winding up people when he wanted to; apparently this woman was no exception. Eventually the lesson ended and he got up with James, shoving his quill in his bag and hoping Charms would be a bit more exciting; James had already read most of the textbook and said they were doing Memory charm theory this year.

Flitwick’s lesson was bound to be much more interesting; they always were. More people did Charms so they were just with the Ravenclaws this year; and there a few girls for Sirius to look at. Gryffindor girls didn’t count; they were pretty, but Sirius would never go out with someone in the same House. You would end up spending too much time together.

Silvia Keitch, Marlene McKinnon and Tamsin Greene were the Ravenclaw girls with them in Charms. Silvia wasn’t much, Marlene was kind of pretty, but Tamsin was the real stunner; he seen Remus staring at her all through the start of year feast and decided to leave her to him if he was going to make a move. But then, it was Remus, and Remus had never done girlfriends; he said they weren’t worth it. He hadn’t complained at Louisa following him around all summer though and holding hands, Sirius thought, grinning to himself; the boy was human after all.

Suddenly he realised he had left the scrap of parchment he had been drawing on in the Defence classroom, and mentally swore; that could be embarrassing next time he had Defence. He wondered what he might say if Jenson asked him about the drawing, but soon gave up; he’d play it by ear. He sat back and listened to what Flitwick had to say.

‘Correct Miss McKinnon! Now can anyone tell me about Pensieves?’

The whole class sat silent. James looked up; it was a word he had never heard before. He looked at Sirius; he was looking interested for a change, this wasn’t on the syllabus, Remus frowned and flicked through his textbook.

‘You won’t find answers in there, Mr Lupin.’ Flitwick called from his position at the front.

‘Very well, a Pensieve is a stone container; a sort of viewing platform for memories.’

Flitwick now had every person’s attention in the room; even Peter was looking surprised enough to listen. Lily had her mouth open slightly, and James could see a hint of very white, even teeth between soft lips as she gazed at Flitwick in astonishment.

‘How does one view these memories? One removes a specific memory from one’s mind and places it within the viewing bowl. Of course, a memory is a fragile thing; without a wand, mind or Pensieve to sustain it will dissipate and be lost.’

James watched as Lily raised her hand, ‘Yes, Miss Evans?’

‘You said you could view the memories, Sir?’

‘Yes, quite right. One places a memory within the viewing bowl and touches the surface. One is then transported into the memory and can view it from an entirely different perspective; as if you were standing in the room with yourself at the time of the event.’

‘But you said memories could be corrupted, Sir.’

‘Oh, yes; a memory can be altered to show a different event or a different interpretation of an event. However, it takes a very subtle and gifted hand to alter a memory and not leave a trace. A viewer of such a memory would find blurring or even mist appearing to cloud that which is not to be seen.’

‘Sir, would it be possible to place a memory in any other kind of inanimate object?’ James asked; he’d had an idea.

Flitwick frowned, considering the possibilities, ‘I believe you could, though without sufficient spellwork and protection the memory would soon be lost. You see, a Pensieve is not just a ‘memory box’; it is a source of magic within itself. A memory requires life or a similar source to maintain itself; a mind or wand attached to someone’s hand, or it will dissipate. You see, Pensieves are obviously not alive; but they draw so much of their maker’s energy, magic and life source that it takes years to recover from such a venture. As a result, Pensieves are extremely rare and valuable objects.’

James looked at Sirius and mouthed two words.

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