Chapter 5 - Hogwarts
Harry met everyone back at headquarters on the morning of September 1 before they went to King’s Cross to board the train. Molly had a few words for Harry. She was upset that he left without telling her, especially after the Order had rescued him and he didn’t even stick around where he would be safe.
“Mrs. Weasley, I’m so sorry I didn’t find you to say good-bye but I was in a big hurry to get to sleep due to an early start the next morning. However, I did speak to my godfather and Remus about it. I told them what was going on and where I would be. I also made them promise to keep some of what I told them a secret. They were only allowed to tell you that I went back to my ancestral home and I have a portkey that takes me there. My ancestral home is safer than here and even safer than the Dursleys. My parents left instructions on how to get there with the portkey and they wanted me to live there where it would be safe and I could enjoy everything it offers. So, I am merely following my parent’s wishes, Mrs. Weasley. As far as the rescue goes, no one bothered to ask but I didn’t actually need rescuing. It was good to see everyone though.”
“Oh, Harry, I didn’t mean to fuss but I was so worried about you.”
“I know, Mrs. Weasley, and I love that about you. You are the closest thing to being a mother that I can remember. I was too young when my parents were murdered.”
Molly enveloped Harry in a hug he would not soon forget. She then let go and went back into the kitchen sniffing. Harry’s ribs were a little sore after the hug but he didn’t mind.
After everyone had eaten and made sure all the trunks were downstairs waiting, Mr. Weasley came in and was going to offer to shrink their trunks for them but found no trunks sitting there.
“Where are all the trunks?”
All the teenagers patted their pockets and smiled.
“Who shrunk them for you?”
“We all did it ourselves, Mr. Weasley,” said Hermione. “We found out that the Ministry can’t detect magic in this house because of its charms.”
“Well done kids! However, do not let Molly find out,” he said with a wink and a smile.
All the teenagers laughed.
At King’s Cross after they had all said their good-byes, the students found a large empty compartment in the back to sit and talk. Ron and Hermione were prefects so they had to attend a meeting first thing with the other prefects and the Head Girl and Boy. A blond-headed girl named Luna Lovegood showed up after they left. Ginny knew her so introduced Luna to Harry. Neville joined them later. Not long after that, Ron and Hermione returned. Neville commented about Harry’s new look, clothes, and growth spurt.
“You’re getting a lot taller yourself Nev,” said Harry. “Pretty soon you may even catch up with Ron here.”
“I doubt that,” said Neville. “Ron never seems to quit growing or eating.”
“Hey, I resemble that remark!” exclaimed Ron. “I can’t help it. I’m a growing boy!”
They joked around for a while longer before Neville left again. Luna left right after that as well. The lady with the trolley came by and Harry bought enough for everyone. They were all talking and enjoying the snacks when about halfway through the ride the door slammed open to reveal Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle. Malfoy stepped in with his goons standing right behind him.
“Well, if it isn’t Potty, the mudblood, and the weasels!”
Harry quickly got up and went up to Malfoy so he could get some distance between them and his friends. He turned back to his friends and said “please don’t get up, I’ll handle this.” He saw that all three of his friends had reached for their wands.
“You’ll handle this? What makes you think you can handle anything about me, Potter?”
“Malfoy you’ve interrupted our conversation with your rudeness again and we’re not in the mood to hear any more of it. I strongly suggest you go back to your own compartment and leave us alone. Nothing good will come of this if you don’t leave.”
Harry was right up close so Malfoy didn’t think he had room enough to pull his wand and use it so he pushed Harry away from him then took a swing at him. Harry stepped back from the push and ducked under the swing. Malfoy then went for his wand. Harry spun around quickly and hit Malfoy with a spinning back fist to the chin that knocked him out cold. Goyle came at Harry but he was nailed with a roundhouse kick that knocked him down and into Crabbe. He was not out but dazed. Crabbe quickly got up and came at Harry. Harry hit him with a front snap kick in the solar plexus driving all the air out of him. When he bent over Harry grabbed Crabbe’s head and pushed down while smashing his knee into his nose. Crabbe’s nose was broken and blood went everywhere. Crabbe fell down holding his nose and catching his breath.
Harry’s friends were looking at the scene in shock. They never saw anything like it. Harry just took out three guys without using any magic. They could not believe how fast he moved.
“You guys had enough?” asked Harry. Crabbe and Goyle nodded their heads. “Good, I would hate to have to get violent and resort to magic.” Harry gave them another minute to recover.
“Stand up Crabbe; I’ll heal that for you.”
Crabbe stood up and Harry cast a healing spell silently that fixed his nose completely, even the blood stopped. Next Harry cast Tergeo silently on Crabbe, the wall, the floor, and any clothes where the blood splattered.
“Crabbe, I left your headache as a reminder to you of your poor choice today. If it doesn’t go away before we get to Hogwarts then you should get a potion from Madam Pomfrey for it.”
By this time, Goyle was standing up as well holding the side of his head. Harry held his wand over Malfoy’s face and cast Aguamenti on him. He woke up sputtering and very wobbly.
“Take him back with you,” said Harry indicating Malfoy, “and one word of advice. Never assume you have the upper hand. If you noticed, I never drew my wand. If you force me, I can promise it will not be pretty. Now get going.”
Crabbe and Goyle helped Malfoy up and dragged him back to their own compartment. Harry closed the door and turned back around to his friends. They were all looking at him with their mouths open.
“That’s a good way to catch flies leaving your mouths open that way.” Harry walked over to Ginny and lifted her chin up to close her mouth then took a seat next to her across from Ron and Hermione who began to recover as well.
“Harry that was amazing!” said Ron. “How did you learn to do that? You took all three down in about 3 seconds! You used your hands and your feet in ways I have never seen. Incredible!”
“Wait a minute Harry,” said Hermione, “you cast silent spells and a pretty powerful healing one at that, then you cleaned up all the blood silently as well. Was that Tergeo you used on the blood?”
“Yes, I used Tergeo to clean up the blood but the healing spell is a bit complicated. I’ll tell you about that one another time.”
“I remember, you said that your grandmother was a healer and she was teaching you healing spells,” said Ginny. “You also said that you were being taught self-defense. That was what you just demonstrated on those three idiots, right?”
“Right, that was self-defense, Isshinryu karate actually. I learned a good bit of it over the month of August. Respect and discipline are important in karate so you don’t use your skill against others without justification. I asked Malfoy nicely to leave and warned him of the dangers if he chose not to. He then pushed me, took a swing at me, and then went for his wand. Three strikes you’re out. Crabbe and Goyle got involved because they have never been that smart. This is one lesson they learned…hopefully.”
“Harry, you are my hero,” said Ginny scooting over closer to Harry. “What you did to those morons was outstanding! You should get a medal for that.”
Harry laughed at Ginny’s antics. He was happy she was feeling more comfortable around him. He then replied. “No, I was just doing what was necessary. They forced it so I’m not sorry for the pain they suffered for their actions.”
They remained silent for a while contemplating it all then normal conversation eventually started back up before it was time to change into their Hogwarts robes.
At the welcoming feast, all eyes were on Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle who were sporting marks on their faces that look to be the beginning of big bruises. Harry and his friends were pretending that they knew nothing about it.
Snape got up from the head table after everyone started eating. He marched over to Malfoy. He obviously was asking him what had happened. Harry couldn’t hear what was said since they were whispering, but Snape left them and immediately came over to Harry.
“Potter, you will serve two week’s detention for Muggle fighting and causing harm to fellow students. I will see you starting tomorrow evening after classes at 5:00.” He stated it loudly so all could hear then began walking away.
Hermione, Ron, and Ginny started to protest but Harry spoke up and he was not worried about who heard him either. “No, sir.”
“What’s that Potter?” snarled Snape turning back around.
“I said ‘no’ Professor. I will not serve detention with you for what happened to Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle. I did nothing wrong.”
“Do not push me Potter or things will get worse for you.”
Standing up, Harry stated, “I made a decision this summer that I would not put up with your rubbish anymore and this, sir, is rubbish. You spoke to Malfoy and he told you something I couldn’t hear. You then came over to me and publically made it look like I was guilty, assigning detention for something Malfoy caused. Apparently, you were not interested in getting to the truth because you never asked me once for my side of the story. Well, we are all about to hear it. You wanted it public so public it is. I’m sure Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle won’t mind letting the truth out.”
“That won’t be necessary Potter. Sit down.”
“Oh, it is definitely necessary. Without a doubt it is necessary,” said Harry while calming himself. Then speaking up so all could hear, “You see Malfoy likes to stop by every train ride and insult us. Right on schedule, he showed up again interrupting our conversation and enjoyable ride. He is very free with his insults and manages to call one of my best friends a mudblood every time. I thought that term was unacceptable to decent folks? Does that mean Malfoy is not a decent person? Well, he is certainly overly rude. That’s a fact. When he arrived and burst through our door uninvited, I stood up. I asked him politely to leave, letting him know that we were not in the mood for his rudeness and insults. I warned him that his bad behavior could lead only to no good. Malfoy then pushed me, which caused me to step back. He then tried to hit me but I ducked. He then grabbed his wand so I hit him and knocked him out cold. Goyle then came at me but I hit him as well and that knocked him into Crabbe. Goyle stayed down but Crabbe got up and came at me so I broke his nose. I gave them some time to recover then I healed Crabbe’s nose and cleaned off all the blood on his face, hands, and clothes. I also cleaned the blood off of anything else where it splattered. Malfoy was still out so I woke him with water from my wand. He was still wobbly so I asked Crabbe and Goyle to help him back to their compartment. That is the truth and I have three witnesses that saw the whole thing. I was only responding in kind to defend myself.”
Snape did not look happy.
“Oh, and one last thing Professor Snape, if you ever pull this rubbish on me again I will hex you!”
“Are you threatening me Potter?”
“No sir, that’s a promise. There’s nothing in the handbook that says I have to allow you to disrespect me and treat me the way you do. It’s simply wrong and I will take no more of it.”
“Why you little –”
“That will be enough Severus and Harry,” said Dumbledore when he walked up. “Why don’t you both join me in my office after the feast and we’ll discuss this calmly.”
“Certainly Headmaster,” said Snape regaining his composure.
“Yes, Professor,” said Harry. “I’d be happy to join you and Professor Snape in your office to discuss this.”
Snape and Dumbledore went back to the head table to finish their meals.
Malfoy was giving Harry a murderous look. “Be ready if they need to call on you for your statement,” said Harry to his friends. “Also, watch out for the Slytherins. You never know what they might try.”
“We’ll be ready,” said Ron. “Don’t worry about us, Harry”
After the meal, Dumbledore introduced the new teachers. Hagrid was noticeably missing. While he was away, Professor Grubbly-Plank had returned to teach the Care of Magical Creatures class. Dumbledore next introduced Professor Umbridge, the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry did not like the look of that woman especially after the unwelcomed speech she gave that left no doubt that she works for the Ministry. He had enough on his plate without Ministry interference.
Harry followed Dumbledore when he headed toward his office. Snape was already at the gargoyle waiting.
“Harry, I would like you to go on up and wait. Severus and I will be along shortly.”
Harry saw Dumbledore cast a Silencing Spell around Snape and himself as he rode the winding staircase up to Dumbledore’s office. About 3 minutes later Dumbledore and Snape entered the office.
“Ah, Harry thanks for waiting. I just needed to talk to our Professor Snape privately for a bit. Care for a lemon drop?”
“No thank you, Professor.”
“Okay, gentlemen, let’s discuss this calmly and come to an agreeable conclusion. Harry would you care to start?”
“Certainly Professor but I have nothing further to add to what I stated in the Great Hall. If I need to repeat it for this meeting I’ll be happy to oblige.”
“No, that won’t be necessary Harry. We all heard perfectly what the both of you said. Severus, would you care to enlighten us with what Draco said so we can hear both sides to this event?”
“No, headmaster, I realize now that my actions were a bit rash and I should have fleshed out the truth before taking action. Your detention will not be required, Mr. Potter.”
“Excellent! I’m glad we were able to get past that so quickly. Cool heads prevail and all that, right? Now, Harry I believe you need to apologize to Professor Snape for threatening him. Students are not allowed to threaten their professors.”
“I’m afraid there has been a misunderstanding Professor Dumbledore. I told Professor Snape that if he ever pulls this rubbish on me again that I would hex him. That in no way was said or meant as a threat. Professor Snape even asked if I was threatening him and I told him no. That sir was a promise.”
“Now, Harry –”
“I’m sorry sir but I’ve had to put up with this very thing since my first year here. Prior to that, I was abused by my relatives where you placed me. It dawned on me this summer amidst my studies and training that I was allowing myself to be taken advantage of and abused. Since I no longer have my parents and no adults have opted to step forward in my defense, I realized it is left up to me to do something about it. Please don’t misinterpret my meaning. I am not planning on behaving in an inappropriate way. I’m simply going to stand up for myself when it’s necessary because evidently I have no one else who will.”
Dumbledore was thinking hard about Harry’s words.
“Now, the elephant in the room,” Harry continued, “is Professor Snape’s aberrant behavior for all the years I’ve been here. I can only assume he has behaved this way before I came here but to that I cannot testify.”
“What do you mean by elephant in the room?” asked Dumbledore.
“That’s a Muggle expression meaning we are avoiding what we should be talking about. It’s like having an elephant in the room that we continually ignore. Do you think if there were an elephant standing here with us in this office that we could easily ignore it? No, we couldn’t.”
“Okay, Harry I’ll sit down with Professor Snape later this evening and go over the issues you‘ve raised. I’m sorry that you feel you have no one who’ll stand up for you Harry. I assure you that while I‘ve made mistakes concerning you, I’m definitely on your side and I will endeavor to do better for you. Now, I believe we have some other things to discuss so I would like you to stay so we can discuss those items now. Would that be alright with you?”
“Yes, Professor. There are a few things I need to tell you but I’ll only tell you, not Professor Snape.”
“Of course. Severus if you will excuse us, I’ll contact you later for our discussion.”
“Yes, Headmaster,” said Snape as he left the office eyeing Harry carefully. There is something definitely different about Potter, he thought to himself.
After Snape had left, Harry took out his wand and cast a Silencing Charm just around Dumbledore and himself.
“Very impressive Harry, but I assure you that my office is safe.”
“I’m not so certain and I don’t want any of the portraits to hear this either. Eventually this will all be known, but I’m quite certain that I need to keep it secret for now. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Harry, continue.”
“This will be information that you’ll need to hold secret until I’m ready to reveal to others. I will not require a wizard’s oath but I will require your word. Will you promise me to hold the information I’m about to share with you secret? You can tell no one.”
“I promise, Harry, I will keep your secrets,” said Dumbledore.
“Thank you, Professor. Let me start from the beginning. I found a small ornate box in my vault last year….”
Harry went on to tell Dumbledore most of it. He left out his extra power and the extent of his self-defense. He got a kick finding out how well Dumbledore knew his grandparents and Simon. Dumbledore attended many functions at Potter Place but it was many, many years ago. Due to the enchantments, he no longer remembered how to get there or much about it until Harry mentioned it.
“The last thing I need to tell you Professor is that I will not be going back to the Dursleys.”
“How so? Is it because you have better protection at Potter Place? I know that it’s safer but the blood ward at Privet Drive not only protects you but your relatives as well.”
“Actually my relatives are fully protected even with me never returning. In fact, it should continue past me turning seventeen.”
“Perhaps you should enlighten me Harry. Since I cast the blood ward I think I have a handle on how it works.”
“You did but I changed it.”
“You changed it? How did you accomplish that?”
“After you showed me the ward stone and you re-cast the blood ward spell on it, I realized it was failing because I’d been gone, not because it wore off. I’d only spent one night at the Dursleys so after a couple weeks it started to fail. I asked Simon how to fix it so I could remain at Potter Place. He knew exactly what to do. He had me fill up a potion vial with my own blood then he showed me a spell called Inficio Substantia that I used to copy my essence into the blood so it represented my entire body. I then had to seal the vial and cast the Unbreakable Charm then the Impervious Charm on it. He had me take it to the ward stone and bury it within three feet of the stone. I actually had to enlarge it to five times the size then bury it. The ward stone now thinks I am there all the time and remains fully charged.”
“Ingenious!” Dumbledore exclaimed. “Simon truly was an amazing and knowledgeable wizard. Thanks for sharing that with me Harry. I believe I can find uses for that.”
“You’re welcome, Professor.”
“Look at the instrument that monitors the ward Harry. It’s been practically off the charts since that day. I thought I had mistakenly put too much power into the spell but it was Simon’s trick all along. Outstanding!”
Dumbledore looked back at Harry.
“You best be off Harry. It’s getting late and I’m sure your friends are waiting on you.”
“Thank you Professor. See you at breakfast?”
“That you will, Harry. Have a good night’s rest. I am here if you need me.”
“Good night Professor.”
Harry’s friends were indeed waiting on him. He found Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville sitting on the couches when he entered the common room.
Hermione jumped up and ran toward Harry. “How did it go? Do you have detention? What happened?” she asked.
“Slow down Hermione, one question at a time. Everything went fine. Dumbledore talked to Snape privately before we met so I think some things were pre-decided. Snape changed his mind in our meeting right away and said he perhaps had been a bit rash in his actions so he cancelled the detention. It’s a good thing because I was definitely not going. I then told both of them that the days of picking on Harry were over. I have no parents or guardians that will be in my corner and defend me when I’m being wronged so it dawned on me this summer that it will be left up to me to defend myself. No one else was going to do it. I told Dumbledore that Snape has been treating me this way ever since first year and I have had enough.”
“Whoa Harry I bet they didn’t expect that,” said Ron.
“Dumbledore said he was going to have a talk with Snape about all that later this evening so I’m not sure what will come of it but he better not continue to pull more of his stunts. I’m not remaining quiet and sitting there taking everything he dishes out. That ship has sailed. I will fight back if I’m wronged. The same goes for Malfoy. He was not even on my radar before but he inserted himself on the train. He was made to pay for it but I highly doubt he’s that smart. It’s not likely that lesson sank in at all. He’s too hard headed for that. I’m sure he will try something else and that will be his downfall. I won’t start it but I’ll not be shy about finishing it. I’ve come to realize that bad people have no incentive to stop being bad if the good people never stand up to them and make them know they are wrong and that they will not be allowed to get away with it. They have to be put in their place or they will continue to inflict wrong. Why should they stop if no one objects enough to take action against them? I am just letting you guys know that this is the new Harry. My parents set me on this journey and I intend to not disappoint them.”
All four just sat there looking at him pensively, thinking over everything he had just shared with them.
“Well, that’s it for me,” continued Harry. “I have to get to bed so I can get up at 5:30 for my morning exercises. I’ve been training all summer and I don’t intend to slack off. Good night all.”
“Good night Harry,” they all said together a bit distractedly.
Harry was up at 5:30 the next morning running around the lake. He had plenty of workout clothes that Mattie had given him. He was currently wearing trainers, shorts, and a loose fitting tank top. He did what he thought was approximately 7 miles then dropped down on the ground and did 25 reps each of pushups, crunches, and squats with no rest in-between. He then repeated that cycle 4 times giving himself a minute rest between cycles. In total, he did 100 reps of each of the three exercises.
He did not have a bar for his pull-ups but found a low enough tree limb where he cranked out 50 pull-ups in two sets of 25 with a minute rest between sets. He decided he would look in the castle when he had time to see if he could find an unused room for his exercises. He really needed a bar for his pull-ups and an incline for his pushups and crunches. Not to mention, he needed a private room to practice his karate. He didn’t want a lot of people knowing about his ability so he would keep that as quiet as he can. Of course, he’d used it on Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle but they really didn’t see all that much of it. Harry attacked them so fast they didn’t see any of it coming.
Harry walked back to Gryffindor Tower to get cleaned up for breakfast. He had taken off his shirt and had been using it to wipe the sweat off his face. He entered the common room and was headed for his dorm and the shower.
He didn’t see Ginny sitting on one of the couches waiting for a friend to go to breakfast. When she saw Harry walk through she was speechless after drawing in a quick intake of breath at the site she just witnessed. Her eyes followed him all the way up the stairs until he disappeared. Harry was tall, tan, and muscular. He was in top shape and all his muscles were showing. In fact, some were still expanded from the workout he had just completed. Ginny was drooling before she caught herself. She then sunk back into the couch and said to herself “what is he doing to me?”
Harry had taken a quick shower and was waiting in the common room for Ron and Hermione so they could go to breakfast. A few others were down as well waiting for their friends. Hermione and Ron showed up almost at the same time.
“Good morning Harry, did you get your exercises done?” asked Hermione.
“All done, Hermione.”
“Harry did you really get up at 5:30 to exercise?”
“Yes, Ron. It’s not that difficult to do if you are motivated like I am. With Voldemort back I plan to be as prepared as I can be.” Ron had grimaced when Harry said Voldemort but Harry kept going and ignored it for now. “You guys are welcome to join me in the mornings. It’s good to get the heart pumping.”
“We’ll think about it Harry,” replied Hermione. “I know I’m not very athletic but I see where it would be beneficial to do.”
“Speak for yourself Hermione. 5:30 is just too early for me. Let’s get some breakfast. I’m starving.”
Harry and Hermione both looked at each other with a knowing smile and followed their hungry friend to the Great Hall. Harry saw Ginny was already there with one of her friends. Their eyes made contact so he smiled at her and waved. Her face turned red and she looked away. He was not sure what that was all about but decided not to ask her. He thought that Ginny was comfortable around him now but she didn’t look like it right then. Hermione noticed the interaction between Harry and Ginny and decided she would question Ginny about it later.
“What was that with Ginny?” Hermione whispered to Harry
“I don’t know Hermione.” Harry whispered back. “I thought she was comfortable around me now but she didn’t look comfortable then when I waved at her. She looked embarrassed. I don’t know what I can do about it so I’m not going to say anything.”
“I’m sure it was nothing, Harry. Don’t worry about it.”
While eating breakfast Harry kept noticing Cho Chang, a very pretty Ravenclaw, looking at him on occasion. When he thought about it, he realized that he had been looking at her as well. Of course, Harry had caught many of the students looking at him. He assumed it was due to the lies the Daily Prophet had been telling about him and Dumbledore.
Harry had been insulated from all that rubbish over the summer when he was at Potter Place so he tried to take it all in stride when he found out but all the stares he was getting was making it very difficult. He decided that if it started to bother him too much he would use some of the techniques Ben had taught him to center himself and block out the offending feelings. At any rate, it’s not his problem if people choose to believe the lies in the Daily Prophet. Harry knows what the truth is and that will not change no matter what lies others choose to believe.
Professor McGonagall handed out the class schedules. He and Ron had History of Magic, double Potions, Divination, and double Defense Against the Dark Arts all on their first day. Nothing like starting school off with a full schedule.
Professor Binns was boring as usual. No doubt, Harry and Ron would be borrowing Hermione’s notes again. They were just discussing it after class when they ran into Cho. She wanted to speak just to Harry but Ron didn’t pick up on that. Nevertheless, Harry noted she had chosen to talk to him instead of stare and point like most everyone else did.
Potions was a challenge. Snape was obviously more subdued than normal but Malfoy was being his regular annoying self. The potion they were working on was a complicated one called the Draught of Peace. It required concentration and Malfoy kept distracting Harry by trying to toss something into his potion to ruin it.
Just by chance, Harry caught Malfoy’s action out of the corner of his eye when he tried to throw something in the first time. After that, Harry was keeping a closer look out. Every time Malfoy would attempt to toss something into Harry’s cauldron, Harry would silently and wandlessly cast a shield over his potion so the item would bounce off. Harry had to keep dropping the shield though in order to stir and add more ingredients. After three attempts by Malfoy, Harry decided it was time to stand up for himself. Harry kept an eye on Malfoy for another attempt. As soon as Malfoy had his hand up to toss the item, Harry cast Immobulus on him to freeze him in the act.
“Professor Snape?” said Harry.
“What is it Potter?”
“Sir, Malfoy has been trying all class long to ruin my potion. I have immobilized him on what is now his fourth try so you can see I have caught him in the act. Let me be perfectly clear about this to Malfoy and anyone else who may have a funny idea about trying to ruin my potions. This is a very serious act and I am taking it as a severe threat.”
“Let me explain. By ruining my potion, Malfoy would hurt my grade for the day. By hurting my grade, he is messing with my education, which I value highly. By messing with my education, he is in turn threatening my chances at a career. Does everyone understand or do you need me to explain further?”
Some of the Slytherins tried to cancel Harry’s spell on Malfoy while Harry was talking but they could not. Harry put some power behind it so only he could undo it. He noticed Snape even waved his wand once with no result.
“That will not be necessary Potter,” said Snape. “Now remove your spell from Draco.”
“I will remove the spell after I make one last statement.”
“What would that be Potter? Haven’t you spoken enough already?” asked Pansy Parkinson.
“I will handle this Miss Parkinson,” said Snape
“Good Professor, because I need you to handle Malfoy and deal with his severe behavior. If you do not, then I will be forced to take matters into my own hands. Malfoy could have caused my cauldron to explode harming multiple students in your classroom. I would think given his reckless behavior he should be punished…severely.”
Harry released Malfoy from his spell.
“Potter, I will get you for this!” yelled Malfoy.
“Mr. Malfoy, you will join me for detention tonight at 5:00 and if you attempt to ruin anyone else’s potion today you will receive a zero. Now get back to work. All of you!” said Snape.
Potions class was a lot quieter after that. Harry was able to complete his potion without further incident. He did not think Snape had gone far enough with Malfoy’s punishment but at least he did something. No doubt, Malfoy was not done though. Harry was sure his confrontations with Malfoy were far from over.
After managing to get through all their other classes, they ended up in the last one for the day – Defense Against the Dark Arts class with Professor Umbridge. Things did not go so well with the new teacher from the Ministry. She seemed determined to make everyone believe that Harry had been lying and Voldemort had not really returned. Needless to say, Harry was not going to sit there and take that. After the argument, Harry ended up with a week’s worth of detention with the professor starting tomorrow evening at 5:00. Harry was fuming when he left her classroom.
Later that evening in the common room…
Ron, Hermione, and Neville were sitting on the couch. Harry was pacing in front of them.
“I will not be going to detention with Umbridge,” Harry stated emphatically.
“But Harry she’s a professor. You have to go,” replied Hermione.
“No, I do not Hermione. Professor or not, she’s wrong and I’m right. Remember what I said about this very thing? No more,” said Harry. “I will not be disrespected and abused like this and let her get away with it. I am the only one I have who can stand up for me when I’m wronged.”
“You have to be careful Harry. She represents the Ministry. Your actions could have dire consequences,” said Hermione.
“Yeah, mate,” added Ron. “This could get real ugly.”
“Harry, I will back you whatever you decide,” said Neville. “Just a word of advice on this, you may want to reconsider and pick your fights carefully. This has the makings of turning really bad.”
“So you guys are saying this is too dangerous and I should just allow her to run all over me no matter what?”
“No, Harry,” replied Neville. “What I’m saying is weigh your options before you decide on your course of action. This is a situation that requires careful consideration.”
“Thanks guys. That’s good advice,” said Harry in a much more calm and collected manner.
Harry paced for a bit longer thinking it through then suddenly stopped and addressed his friends again.
“Okay, here’s what I’m going to do. I just met her today and I don’t know what exactly I’m dealing with so I’ll slow it down for now. I need more information before I can make a careful decision. I’ll go to detention tomorrow evening and see what else I can find out. I can serve detention until I’m confident on my best plan of action. It may mean I serve the full week and I move on or it could end sooner based on the information I’m able to gather. One way or the other she will not get away with this completely. I can promise you that.”
“That is sounding much more reasonable, Harry,” said Hermione. “Just be careful please,” she begged.
Everyone headed up to bed after talking some more. Hermione decided to check and see if Ginny was still up. She had not had a chance to ask about what happened in the Great Hall at breakfast when Harry waved at Ginny. She went to the fourth year girls’ dorm and knocked quietly. Ginny’s roommate Becky answered the door and let Hermione in. All the girls were still up working on homework or getting ready for bed. She went over to Ginny and asked if she could talk to her for a minute.
“Sure Hermione. What’s up?” asked Ginny.
Hermione cast a Silencing Charm around Ginny’s bed.
“Whoa, this must be important,” said Ginny.
“It’s concerning Harry,” said Hermione.
“What’s wrong? Anything happen to him? Is he hurt?” asked Ginny worriedly.
“No Ginny. Harry’s fine. Let me be more specific. What happened this morning when Harry waved at you after we entered the Great Hall? Your face turned so red like you were embarrassed or something and then you turned away. Harry thought you were finally able to be comfortable around him but after what you did this morning he was not so sure.”
“Oh Merlin,” said Ginny as she fell back on her bed covering her face with her hands. After a minute with Hermione waiting patiently Ginny finally spoke. “Hermione, do you remember how you told me to date other guys so it would help me to be more natural around Harry?
“Well, it worked! I finally was able to quit acting like an idiot every time he walked into the room. That is until he walked into the common room early this morning. I was the only one down there sitting on a couch waiting for Susan to join me so we could go to breakfast. Next thing I know in walks Harry from outside. He evidently had been working out. He didn’t see me as he headed for his dorm. Merlin, Hermione he had his shirt off. Have you seen him with his shirt off? That boy is no longer skin and bones. He looks like a god. He’s tall, tan, and muscular. I watched him the entire time until he was out of site. I was drooling Hermione. Drooling!”
Hermione laughed at her friend.
“What am I going to do Hermione?”
“You my friend are going to focus and get back on track. Concentrate more on your boyfriend. Get in control again. Show Harry that you are comfortable around him. Ginny, Harry really cares for you and wants you to be happy, but right now he wants that as your friend. Be his friend, Ginny. If more is to come it will.”
“But look at the way he looks at Cho. It drives me crazy!”
“Ginny, don’t worry about Cho. Harry doesn’t really know Cho. He just thinks she’s pretty…and she is. You have to give her that. She’s not a bad person either but I know Cho and I know Harry. They would never stay together if they ever dated. She’s not the right person for him and he will see that for himself just as soon as he gets to know her better. Mark my words, not those two.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I’m positive.”
“Thanks Hermione. I will put on the friend face and gain control again.”
“What are friends for? Good night Ginny,” said Hermione as she cancelled the Silencing Charm.
“Good night Hermione.”
The next morning after Harry’s run and other exercises, he decided to spend some time looking for a spare room he could use to workout in and practice his karate. He had a free period later so decided to look at that time. The tree limb was not ideal for pull-ups. It was too rough on your hands and difficult to hold on to. Plus he could not find anything outside that was suitable to work as an incline for his pushups and crunches. He would likely have to get help from Mattie and Dobby to bring in the equipment he needed but he would cross that bridge once he found the room where he won’t be disturbed.
When his free period came, he told Ron and Hermione that he had something he needed to do and he would catch up with them later. He looked around for a while with no success then decided to go to the kitchens for a snack. He tickled the pear near the entrance and went into the kitchens. Dobby came over immediately to greet him.
“What can Dobby do for the Great Harry Potter?”
“Hi, Dobby! It’s good to see you again. I was hoping I could get a snack real quick.
“Dobby will be happy to get the Great Harry Potter a snack. Have a seat and I will be right back.”
Dobby returned about a minute later with tea and scones for Harry.
“Thanks, Dobby. I’ve been trying to find a room I can use to do my exercises in but I’ve not had much luck. Do you know of any rooms not in use that I could use for that?”
“Yes, Harry Potter sir,” said Dobby excitedly. “Dobby knows the perfect place. It is a room in the castle called the Come and Go Room by the elves. It is also known as the Room of Requirement! It appears only when a person has a real need of it. It is called the Come and Go Room because sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not. It equips itself for whatever the user needs.”
“Can you show me where it is? It sounds perfect.”
“Yes, Harry Potter sir. I can show you right now if you wish.”
“Sure Dobby, let’s go.”
Dobby took Harry to the seventh floor where hung a tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy being clubbed by trolls. Dobby instructed Harry to walk three times in front of the wall opposite of the tapestry while thinking about what he needed. Harry tried it and a door appeared right in the middle of the stone wall.
Harry opened the door and found a workout room much like the one he had at Potter Place. It included a large oval track that he could use for running if the weather was bad outside. There was plenty of equipment for all his exercises.
“This is brilliant Dobby!”
Harry decided to talk to Dumbledore before his detention with Umbridge.
“Harry what brings you here?” asked Dumbledore.
“Hello Professor. I have a situation that I want to inform you about.”
“What would that be Harry?”
“Well sir, at 5:00 I will have a detention with Professor Umbridge.”
“Yes, I’ve heard that you do. Please continue.”
“Yesterday in our first class with her she was trying to convince the class that you and I have been lying and that Voldemort had not returned. I argued with her about it and she assigned me a week’s detention. At first, I was not going to go because obviously I was wronged in this situation and I felt the need to stand up for myself and not allow someone in authority over me to abuse their power. However, my friends convinced me to be more careful and proceed cautiously.”
“You have some very good friends Harry who care greatly for you. Never ignore their advice.”
“Yes sir. I found that to be true as well. After they advised me, I gave it some thought and came up with a new plan. Since I really don’t know the professor I thought I would go to the detention and just see how it goes. It will give me a chance to consider the situation more carefully before I make a decision. It could be that it’s not worth making a fuss over and I will just serve the detention to be done with it.”
“Very responsible and mature of you Harry to take the high road.”
“Thank you Professor, but just so you know I have a sinking suspicion about her and have my doubts about how well this will go. However, I give you my word that I will be on my best behavior and put my best foot forward. I have enough issues to deal with without adding another teacher to my list.”
“Harry I have faith in you that you will do the right thing. We are in a precarious situation here with the Ministry getting involved. Things could get nasty before too long. It would be best not to hurry it along, if you catch my meaning.”
“That I do, Professor. I will see what I can do without compromising my principles.”
“Thanks Harry. I can’t ask for any more than that.”
“It was good talking to you sir. Thanks for your time.”
“Not a problem Harry. I’m glad you decided to share your plans with me. I’m sorry you have to deal with this at all, but I agree with your friends and I advise caution when dealing with Professor Umbridge.”
“Yes sir, caution it is then. Bye Professor.”
At an early dinner in the Great Hall because Harry had detention at 5:00 with Umbridge, Ginny had joined Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville. After catching Ginny up on what was going on between Harry and Umbridge, Hermione asked about Harry’s plan.
“Harry have you changed your plan any since last night? Are you going to be careful?”
“No, Hermione. My plan is still the same. I’m going to be very careful. I even went and talked to Dumbledore earlier today about it.”
“You did? What did he say?” asked Hermione obviously impressed that Harry would do that.
“Well, I should thank you guys for your sage advice because he told me to be very careful as well. He said we’re in a very precarious position with the Ministry involved here, that things could get nasty before too long but there was no need to hurry it along. I promised him I would be on my best behavior and see what I can do without compromising my principles.”
“Well, Harry we wish you all the luck with Umbridge,” said Ginny. “I had class with her yesterday and didn’t like her at all.”
“Thanks Ginny. Sad to say but I think I will need all the luck I can get. I have a really bad feeling about this.”
“Stick to your plan Harry,” said Hermione. “It will all work out. We will wait for you in the common room and see you afterwards.”