The students were all a buzz about what Harry Potter did to Professor Snape. By the time they were all back in their dorms, the story was that Harry had broken the noses of five Slytherins before he did the same to their Head of House. Everyone could plainly see the blood on his hand when he held it up under Snape’s nose in the Great Hall. They were saying that Malfoy had attacked Harry so Harry just punched him. Then when Pansy, Nott, Crabbe, and Goyle pulled their wands on Harry, he broke their noses too.
The Slytherin dorms were telling a slightly different version of the facts. Pansy was complaining that Potter had to have had some help. The spells they cast never made it to Potter’s back and he never even turned around, she told them.
“Next thing we knew, we were all stunned on the floor, except for Draco, but his nose was busted. He had to have had help, I’m telling you.”
“But we didn’t see anyone else, Pansy,” replied Goyle.
“We even looked around really good to make sure we wouldn’t get caught,” added Crabbe.
“I’m not so sure Potter didn’t cast some sort of wide area stunner behind him,” offered Nott.
“But he never pulled his wand, Theodore,” argued Pansy.
“So! This is Harry Potter we’re talking about. You know how good he is in Defense. He’s always been ahead of the rest of us. He beat three seventh years in the Triwizard tournament when he was just a fourth year. He just came back from the Ministry where he and some of his friends, that he personally trained by the way, took on 12 of the Dark Lord’s best fighters, including some of our fathers, and they won.”
“They had help too,” replied Pansy.
“Pansy, did you happen to notice that although Potter’s friends who went with him are all in the hospital, he didn’t have a scratch on him.”
“Okay, so he’s good at defense. That doesn’t mean he’s good enough to block our spells and wandlessly cast a wide area stunner to put us all down at the same time, besides the stunner didn’t hit Draco.”
“Draco was laying on the floor holding his nose. It could have easily gone straight over him,” Nott argued.
“What did you see, Draco?” asked one of the seventh years.
“I didn’t see anything after he hit me. I was trying to stop all the blood and my eyes were closed.”
“I still don’t believe he was able to do all that wandlessly,” Pansy stated.
“You’re forgetting one more thing, Pansy,” Nott continued.
“What?” she asked exasperated. Nott was so difficult to argue with.
“Potter is extremely powerful. You and Draco may not be able to sense it, but I can. What’s funny about that is I don’t think he even realizes just how powerful he is. He’s not as powerful as Dumbledore, not yet anyway, but he’s definitely getting closer.”
“Are you sure about this, Theodore?” asked Draco.
Back in Gryffindor House, Dean and Seamus went up to their dorm room a little early that evening to see if they could ask Harry about it all but he wasn’t there when they looked in his bed. All of his things were missing too. They wondered where he could have gone.
When McGonagall and Snape made it to Dumbledore’s office they saw him diligently working on a small silver instrument. He seemed to have all his focus on it.
“Albus, we missed you at dinner,” announced Minerva. “You also missed all the excitement.”
“Excitement?” he asked distractedly.
“Yes, by the way, what are you working on? It seems to have all your attention.”
Albus looked up at his two professors and sighed, giving them the attention they deserve.
“I have a broken instrument so I was attempting to repair it. I’m not having much luck.”
“You’ve been working on this one instrument so long that you missed dinner?”
“No.” Albus rattled an open box on his desk. “I’ve been working on several instruments that caused me to miss dinner.”
“How were they all broken?” asked Severus.
“Hmmm… accident. What can I help you with?” he asked putting his work aside for the moment.
“We had an incident between Harry Potter and five Slytherins –“ began Minerva.
“Let me guess, Minerva,” Albus interrupted. “Draco Malfoy was one of the Slytherins and they were all upset because Harry and his friends managed to get their fathers, who just happened to be Death Eaters in the service of Voldemort, arrested and locked up. Am I right so far?”
“Actually, your story sounds more plausible than Mr. Malfoy’s. According to him, Mr. Potter attacked them out of the blue for no reason whatsoever. They, of course, were doing nothing to provoke him.” She frowned and shook her head. “According to Poppy, Mr. Potter had left the infirmary just a few minutes before after visiting his friends. He received a Pepper-Up potion from her, along with a Dreamless Sleep potion for later, to assist him since he had not slept at all. Also, she mentioned that his magic was extremely low. He also confirmed this to me when I questioned him.”
“Can we bring the students together now and get this resolved?” asked Albus.
“No, because Mr. Potter was needing to finish eating and go to bed early, healer’s orders. However, that is not all that happened. There’s more.”
“Yes. When Severus and I approached Mr. Potter at the dinner table so we could have him meet with us and give his side of the story, he informed us that he would need another 10 minutes to finish eating before he could meet with us. We did not know at this point he was under healer’s orders. That had not been established yet. Severus took his response as a slight and did not respond appropriately as a professor should.”
Albus looked at Severus then back to Minerva.
“Well, I never mentioned that Mr. Potter broke Mr. Malfoy’s nose during their confrontation and in the middle of all that the other four Slytherin students were stunned. Mr. Potter claimed that Mr. Malfoy and his friends all pulled their wands while threatening him. He then mentioned that Severus used the exact same threat and went for his wand, which is why Mr. Potter broke his nose as well.”
“Trust me, Albus. Severus deserved it. In fact, he was about to curse Mr. Potter when I took his wand and petrified him to prevent anyone else from getting hurt. It was after that I discovered Mr. Potter’s low magic level and you could see how extremely tired he was.”
“What happened next?” he asked exasperated and a little worried about Harry.
“I floated Severus to Poppy so she could fix his nose and allow him to cool down. I released him from the bind in the hospital wing but I told him I would give you his wand and let you give it back to him if you wish.”
“Please provide your memory of the events, Minerva, and let’s all watch it together.”
Minerva pulled the memory from when they heard the shout until her and Severus left Poppy. When they came out of the memory, she handed Snape’s wand to the Headmaster. Albus turned around and handed it Severus.
“Thanks,” Severus drawled.
“Just so you know, Minerva, Severus carries a backup wand so if he went along with you on this with no complaints then he should get his wand back. When can we get to the bottom of the issue between Harry and the Slytherins?”
“Perhaps tomorrow after breakfast?” she asked. “Mr. Potter should be rested by then and his magic restored.”
“That will be fine. However, before you go I need a promise from you Severus. You are going to swear to me that you in no way, shape, or form will you seek revenge on Harry Potter. I want your word.”
“You have it. I swear I will not seek revenge on Harry Potter for breaking my nose.”
“See to it. I informed all of you this morning about what happened at the Ministry and implored you to give Harry a wide berth as he was dealing with far too much already. He needs time to come to grips with it all. He needs time to mourn. He’s too powerful to be messed with like this. You need to show him some respect. See what happened? Did I not warn you?”
“Yes, you did,” he answered contritely.
“As the Muggle song goes, next time you might try a little tenderness.” Minerva and Severus frowned, not knowing the song. “Great song by the way. I heard a Mr. Otis Redding sing it a long time back. Now, I believe that will be better received as far as Mr. Potter is concerned.”
Minerva was smiling but Severus was still frowning. The idea was repugnant to him.
“Thank you, Severus, and you as well, Minerva. You may go. I’ll see you both at breakfast.”
Harry woke a little earlier than usual but then again he went to bed early. It was only about 5:30 in the morning when he woke. He decided to go ahead and grab a shower. He noticed all of his things were now in the bedroom so he checked the closet and the drawers, seeing his other items of clothing.
The little elf appeared immediately with a small pop.
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir?”
“Did you bring all of my things from the dorm?”
“Yes. Dobby was worried that the mean professor would come as you feared. Dobby did not want the mean professor to take the Great Harry Potter’s things when he discovered Harry Potter missing.”
Harry stared at Dobby and thought it over for a few seconds, nodding.
“Thank you, Dobby. I very much appreciate that.”
“You is most welcome Harry Potter, sir. Can Dobby get you anything?”
“Not at the moment. I think I’ll take a shower then do some more reading in that book I found. I’ll need to go visit my friends in the infirmary around 7:00. Most of them are getting out of there this morning.”
“Yes, Harry Potter, sir. Dobby noticed Harry Potter’s magic is back to normal now. This is good.”
“Yes, I agree and I feel much better than I did yesterday. See you in a bit Dobby.”
After Harry had his shower and got dressed, he went back to the desk in the library and picked up where he left off in the Parseltongue book he found. After a while, he had Dobby bring him some tea while he continued to study it.
Harry really got into the book and the lessons it provided. It was amazing the spells he was discovering that could be done using Parseltongue. Most of them were rather large and destructive area effect spells, bordering on gruesome. Of course, the book was about battle magic so that made sense. He made a mental note to temper these lessons with some of the other books he saw on the shelf that were specifically for normal type spells.
Harry was really getting into it when Dobby let him know it was 7:00. He had not been paying attention to the clock. Harry thanked Dobby and had him take him back to the hospital wing like last time. They appeared in the same spot in front of the doors.
Dobby popped back off and Harry entered the infirmary again. He only saw Hermione still in her bed. The rest were nowhere to be seen. Harry walked over to Hermione and was chatting with her when his other friends started coming out of the bathrooms and one from behind a dressing curtain. They came out one at a time dressed for the day. They all gathered around Hermione’s bed and were talking excitedly about finally getting out of the infirmary. Hermione looked a bit downcast at the thought but put on a brave face anyway.
Harry asked Madam Pomfrey if she had any news about their friend Ron, but she said no. Nothing as of yet.
Around 7:30 they left Hermione and made their way to the Great Hall for breakfast. This time no group of Slytherins were waiting on Harry. He was thankful for that. They found a seat at the Gryffindor table with Luna joining them. They ate a good hearty breakfast.
McGonagall went up to Harry while he was eating and let him know that he was needed in the Headmaster’s office after he finished breakfast. They needed to discuss yesterday’s incident with the Slytherins.
“Yes, ma’am,” Harry replied, dreading having to go back to that office.
“And, how are you feeling this morning? I trust you got plenty of rest and your magic has been restored?”
“Yes, I did and it has. Thanks for asking. I feel much better today.”
“Glad to hear it. I’ll see you after breakfast, Mr. Potter.”
Harry nodded as she turned and walked away.
“I forgot all about asking you what happened yesterday, Harry,” Ginny stated. “We were in the hospital when Malfoy and four more Slytherins were brought in. It was Pansy, Nott, Crabbe, and Goyle. They were fine other than being stunned. Pomfrey just checked them for any other problems before declaring them okay. Malfoy, however, was bleeding constantly from his nose and it was obviously broken. He was complaining about you and telling McGonagall and Snape how you just attacked all five of them out of the blue. The other four just nodded their heads agreeing with him.”
“Oh, brother. Malfoy is such a liar.”
“That’s not all, Harry,” Neville picked up the story. “After McGonagall and Snape left, Pomfrey fixed up Malfoy, who was screaming like a little girl when she straightened his nose. After that she had them leave and go back to their dorms. Next thing we know though, McGonagall is floating Snape into the hospital wing and he has a broken and bloody nose just like Malfoy. Then we find out you did that one too. What’s going on?”
“It’s simple. My magic was very low and it was not a good idea to use it yet, at least until it was able to build back up. Malfoy threatened and pulled his wand so I hit him. Later, Snape used the same threat, even the exact same words. He then pulled his wand as well. So, I hit him too.”
“You hit a professor?” asked Ginny incredulously.
“Yes. He threatened me and went for his wand. What else was I supposed to do?”
“What about the four stunned ones?” asked Luna.
“That’s not important.”
“Of course it’s important, Harry,” argued Ginny. “They were all four stunned. How did that happen?”
“What do you mean, ‘no comment?’ she asked.
“Exactly that. How they were all stunned is no one’s business but my own.”
“What are you going to tell Dumbledore and the rest of them when they ask about that part?” asked Neville.
“The exact same thing I told you.”
“I don’t think that’s going to fly, Harry,” Ginny offered.
“Sure it will. They all drew their wands and I never drew mine. They were stunned after they drew their wands on me. They were going to curse me in the back. It’s a cut and dry case of self-defense.”
“But, you’re not going to tell how they were stunned?” asked Neville.
“Good luck with that then, Harry,” replied Luna.
“Thank you, Luna.”
Harry saw McGonagall and Dumbledore heading for the door so told his friends he would catch up with them later. When he reached the gargoyle leading up to Dumbledore’s office, there was a group of people waiting to go up. McGonagall and Snape were there directing them. McGonagall allowed Snape to take his students up first then she gestured for Harry to hop on with her following right behind them.
When Harry walked into the office, he was surprised to see all was repaired and back in the right place. Dumbledore was watching him carefully. Harry made sure to not look him in the eyes. Snape either. It was obvious he was trying to hide it, but a sneer escaped Snape’s face every time he looked in Harry’s direction.
There were seats for everyone so Harry sat down on the end away from the Slytherins, leaving the seat close to them for McGonagall. She sat and Dumbledore began.
“Thank you all for coming. It is my understanding that there was an altercation between you five and Mr. Potter. Who would like to share their side of events first?”
No one said anything for a few seconds as Harry was going to allow them to hang themselves on their lies. Dumbledore looked back and forth between the two factions waiting on an answer. When they didn’t say anything, Harry spoke up.
“I’ll go first, sir,” Harry said with a slight shrug.
“Very well, Harry. Please tell us what happened from your perspective.”
Dumbledore was being extra nice he noticed but he ignored that and told about the events that occurred between him and the Slytherins. He told it exactly how it happened, how he was planning to ignore them and keep walking but he struck Malfoy when he was threatened and the boy pulled his wand along with the other four. Like before he didn’t mention how the four Slytherins were stunned.
“That’s a lie and you know it, Potter,” accused Malfoy.
“Prove it, Malfoy. Let’s hear your side and then we’ll see who can prove what they said.”
“But you didn’t say how we were stunned,” complained Pansy.
“So, that’s not important. It’s inconsequential.”
“Not to us it isn’t. How did you do it?” she asked.
“I’m sorry, but that’s none of your business.”
She turned to Snape.
“Make him tell us how he stunned all four of us at the same time after he broke Draco’s nose,” she pleaded with him then turned to Dumbledore. “Can’t you make him?”
“I’m afraid not, Miss Parkinson. If Harry doesn’t want to share that part then we can’t force him. At any rate, he seems to think he doesn’t need it to win his case. Now, I believe it is your turn to tell your side,” he said to the Slytherins, “Which one of you wishes to share?”
“Potter ambushed us. It’s plain and simple,” Malfoy replied. “He must have seen us standing there talking in the hall. He just walked up and punched me for no reason. Then he stunned my friends before walking over to the Great Hall. I yelled at him that he broke my nose, but he just waved at me over his shoulder with the bloody knuckles he hit me with. He never even turned back around that I could see. He should be expelled.”
“That doesn’t appear to match very well with Harry’s version. What shall we do to resolve this, I wonder?”
“Might I offer a suggestion, Headmaster?”
“Yes, Harry, please do.”
“Perhaps we should view a memory of the event? That way we can all be certain of what exactly happened.”
“Excellent idea, Harry. Would you like to provide the memory?”
“Potter has probably planned on this and has tweaked his memory appropriately,” Snape said.
“Oh, I don’t think Harry would do that, Severus.”
“No, that’s fine, Headmaster. I don’t mind if someone from the other side provides the memory. How about Nott? He was on the end so I’m sure he had a good viewpoint of everything. If not him, then any of the others besides Malfoy should work. Malfoy missed a good bit after I punched him.”
“See, he even admits it!” Pansy cried.
“That has already been established by Mr. Potter himself, Miss Parkinson, when he shared his side of the story.”
“Yes, very true, Minerva. Now, Mr. Nott can I get a memory of the events?” asked Dumbledore.
Theodore looked at his friends and his Head of House. Snape nodded for him to participate, believing they were being honest about the spoiled brat’s actions. He had no problem believing Potter would do that to his students. Dumbledore summoned his pensieve and placed it on his desk.
“Mr. Nott,” began Dumbledore, “I want you to draw up the memory starting with when you first saw Harry coming down the hall. If you want to provide a little before that as well, just to add a little more background, that will be fine. The memory can end after you were stunned. Nod when you have it.”
Nott thought about it for a second then nodded. Dumbledore placed his wand on the boy’s temple and drew out a silver strand. He placed it in his pensieve and stirred it around. He then tapped the pensieve three times and cast a silent spell on it.
The Slytherins were looking rather nervous.
The scene played magnified above the pensieve so all could see and hear what was going on. Unfortunately for the Slytherins, Nott wasn’t experienced in manipulating memories, nor was he provided the time to prepare one. The memory showed exactly how Harry described it to the minute detail. Dumbledore rewound it and stopped it again at the point just before the four Slytherins cast spells at Harry. Harry somehow shielded himself then the four were stunned. They looked all around and at Harry in particular but they could not see how he did that. He never used his wand or his hands.
Harry almost smirked, but held it back. He had spoken to Dobby early that morning about what he did when he helped to put down the Slytherins. He was afraid that when he saw Dobby that everyone else would see him too if they viewed a memory of it. Turns out Dobby stayed invisible while he blocked their spells and stunned them. He only appeared so Harry alone could see him afterwards, he said. No one else could see him. Harry played it safe though and didn’t use his memory just in case that allowed everyone to see Dobby. Worked perfectly.
“I see,” Dumbledore said. “That will be 50 points… each… from you five and since we have only a few days left in this semester, then at the beginning of next semester, you will all serve two weeks detention with Mr. Filch. Any questions?”
It was obvious McGonagall and Snape were furious with the Slytherins and the Slytherins had nothing else they wanted to add. They just wanted to leave.
“Fine, you are all dismissed. Harry, would you stay for just a bit longer?”
Harry allowed the rest to leave before he answered at the door.
“I’m sorry sir, but I can’t. I really… I just can’t.” Harry turned and left.
Dumbledore supposed it was too early for him. The feelings were still too raw, he imagined. He decided to give him some space. Perhaps, next semester he could manage to gain Harry’s trust again.
He turned back to the pensieve and watched that final segment over and over again but for the life of him, he couldn’t see how the kids were stunned. It then dawned on him. Did Harry use his magic like he did in his office the other night. Did he block the spells and stun them all with just his mind? He wondered if he would see something extra if he could see Harry’s memory of the event. Harry did seem overly accommodating to allow the use of someone else’s memory. Interesting.
After lunch, Harry told his friends that he was going to go visit with Hermione again. They decided to tag along with him. However, when they arrived there was an extra person in the infirmary with Hermione and in the bed right next to hers. When they got closer they noticed it was Ron.
“Ron, it’s so good to see you, mate. I’ve been so worried about you,” Harry said hugging him. He noticed Ron didn’t respond very much to the hug.
“Hello, Harry. It’s good to be back at Hogwarts. St. Mungos was no fun at all.”
“So, are you going to be alright, brother of mine?” asked Ginny as she hugged him too.
“They think so, but they also said I may have a few quirks now and again that show up.”
“Well, that’s nothing new, Ron,” said Neville. “You’ve always been a little quirky.”
“We’ll see,” he said with a sigh.
“What about you, Hermione?” asked Harry. “How are you doing?”
“I’m better. The potions appear to be working. I’m still a little sore at times, but Madam Pomfrey thinks I should be able to get out of here in another day or two.”
“Great! What about you, Ron?”
“Same. Probably in a day or two as well.”
“Good for you guys,” replied Ginny.
“Are you enjoying having a friend in here with you again, Hermione?” asked Luna.
“Yes, although Ron hasn’t been his normal talkative self since they brought him back a couple hours ago. Much too quiet for Ron and he hasn’t argued with me once.”
“Miracles never cease,” said Neville.
“Sorry, Hermione, I’m not quite myself,” he said very politely. “The healers told me that I may never be the same as before. They said I was changed by that thing.”
“Are you going to be okay?” Hermione asked worriedly.
“Yes, they said I would be normal but I would likely not have the exact same personality as I had before. I think I’m probably just more serious about things now.”
“Well, as long as you don’t turn into another Percy, then we’ll be fine,” Ginny warned.
“No, no way will I turn into Percy. That I can guarantee, sis.”
“Thank, Merlin!” she replied.
“More serious, you say?” asked Hermione.
“Yes, I’m already looking forward to classes next year. I’m planning on doing much better than in the past.”
“Hmmm.” Things were looking up, she thought.