Unexpected Truce

The New Defense Professor

Chapter 45

The new year was beginning. Summer holidays were over. The bustle of students walking the halls would begin again. Albus was standing by the window in his office, looking down at the grounds. He knew he would have to be sure of his suspicions. He knew that there was no way that half-blood Slytherin should have been able to release Harry from that bench. Albus speculated that he and Harry bonded, but he needed to find out for sure.

If they did bond, then things would have to be different. Not only would Severus be protective of Harry but Harry would be the same. Sighing, he turned and walked back to his desk. There was a knock when he sat down.

“Come in, my boy,” Albus said.

Harry walked through the doorway. Albus extended his hand to the chair that was across from his desk. Harry walked over to the seat and sat down.

“You wanted to see me, Professor?”

“Yes, Harry,” Albus said, his eyes twinkling. “How was the rest of your summer?”

“Fine, sir,” Harry said.

“Good to hear.”

“Sir, is something wrong?”

“No, my boy. Everything is fine.”

Albus stood up and walked over to the perch where Fawkes was currently sleeping, rubbing his phoenix’s feathers.

“Could you help me with something, Harry?” Albus asked after a moment of silence.

“If I can, sir.”

Before Albus could open his mouth again, there was a knock on the door. With a quick wave of his hand, the door opened. Harry turned to see who was there and a ghost of a smile graced his lips.

“What are you doing here?” Albus asked.

Severus looked at Albus and then at Harry, who was still sitting in the chair, back to Albus.

“Wondering where Potter was,” Severus said, silkily. “He was due in my office ten minutes ago.”

Harry’s brow furrowed as he lowered his head, looking at his lap. He couldn’t remember his Professor wanting to see him, but for some reason he knew saying anything against it was unwise.

Albus looked at the child sitting in the chair. Harry looked like he was embarrassed.

“Harry,” Albus said quietly. The child looked up at the Headmaster. “Why didn’t you tell me that you had prior engagements?”

“Sorry, sir,” Harry said, lowering his head.

Severus put his hand on Harry’s shoulder, moving him so that the child could stand. Once he was on his feet, Severus steered him towards the door.

“Severus,” Albus said. Severus successfully pushed Harry out of the office and closed the door, turning to face the Headmaster. “How did you know that Harry was here?”

“His fan club,” Severus sneered. “Informed me that you sent him a note.”

Severus turned and walked out of the office.

Albus sat down behind his desk with a deep sigh. What was he going to do now? It is clear to him that Severus and Harry had bonded. This was not suppose to happen. Severus wasn’t suppose to have more on his side. He was just a Slytherin pawn that was only to be used for his purpose.

Albus hated that he would have to go another route to get Harry’s devotion, but he would if he was going to win this war.

______0000_________0000________0000

The walk towards the dungeons was a quiet one. Harry followed Severus as they descended the stairs. Once they got to Severus’ chambers, not saying a word, Severus reached for Harry’s wrist. The first thing that Severus noticed was that Harry did not resist. He pondered would the child had been this comfortable around him last year. Would he be this comfortable with the child?

Placing the child’s hand on the side of the portrait, Harry felt a tingling sensation that traveled up his arm. Harry looked at the portrait and then up at his Professor.

“Attaching you magical signature to my chambers,” Severus said.

The portrait opened and they walked in. Severus had yet to let go of Harry’s wrist. Not that Harry noticed or cared that he was being toted like a toddler. Harry looked around the room of his Professor’s chambers and loved what he saw as much as he felt. His chambers didn’t live up to the hype that was going around the school. Snape’s chambers gave a calm feeling throughout his entire body.

“Should you need to come here,” Severus continued, bringing Harry out of his own thoughts and feels, “there should be no problem of you getting in.”

Harry, remembered what happened just a few moments ago and a small raise of panic started to bubble up in his stomach.

“Sir, I’m sorry,” Harry babbled. “I didn’t know I was suppose to come. I didn’t mean to miss our appointment -”

Harry was cut off by the deep, rich smell of potions. It took another second to realize that he was in a safe cocoon. Strong arms encircled him, holding him tightly.

“Calm yourself, child.” Severus’ voice was low and soothing. “You’ve done nothing wrong.”

Hearing his Professor’s voice as well as feeling the vibrations through his chest calmed Harry and he leaned against his Professor.

“But I missed -” Harry muffled in Severus’ robes.

“Absolutely nothing,” Severus cut him off. “The next time you get a note to see any Professor you come to me first.”

Harry nodded and sighed. The rising panic he was just feeling quickly vanished.

_____0000________0000_________00000

“Welcome to Fifth Year Defense Against the Dark Arts,” Umbridge said as the last of the students sat down in their seats.

Slytherins and Gryffindors were sitting in their usually seating. Slytherin on one side and Gryffindors on the other.

Pointing her wand at the board, words began to write on it. “Ordinary Wizarding Level. In other words, O.W.L.s. Now the past years in this subject have not been up to standards. This year it is my job to get you all to the Ministry prescribed level so that you may become successful witches and wizards.”

As she spoke, books levitated towards the students and were placed in front of them.

“Now, wands away,” she ordered.

Everyone was completely shocked. No wands.

“What are you talking about?” Draco asked.
“We aren’t using wands?” Ron piped up afterward.

“How are we suppose to learn defensive spells?” Harry asked.

More questions were asked at the same time, but Dolores turned towards Harry, signaling him out.

“And why would you need to learn defensive spells?” Her eyes bore down to Harry’s.

Harry could feel the hatred coming of the Professor.

“Answer my question, Mr. Potter,” she ordered. At the sound of her voice, quieted everyone in the room. “Why would you need to learn such things? What are you planning on using them for? Trying to take over the Ministry?”

An audible gasp was heard from Hermione, who was sitting next to Harry. Harry’s eyes widened at the accusations. His mouth hung agape. He was stunned to silence. He didn’t know how to even respond to that.

“Detention, Mr. Potter,” Dolores growled before turning away from the stunned child.

When she walked back to the front of the class, her attitude changed. She was smiling again. “Now, let us begin.”

Everyone, Slytherin and Gryffindor alike, couldn’t believe what just happened. There would be no learning of new spells, and Professor Umbridge gives out unprovoked detentions. As she continued on with her lecture, oblivious to the fact that not everyone was listening, still stunned by what had happened, all the students took glances at Harry.

Hermione looked at Harry and could tell that he was trying to keep his emotions in check. Slowly, she reached out and placed her hand over Harry’s that was balled up into fists on his desk. She gave him a comforting squeeze as one traitorous tear escaped Harry’s eyes.

As soon as the class was over, everyone began packing up their belonging.

“Mr. Potter,” Umbridge called out. “Stay behind.”

Harry, Ron and Hermione looked at each other.

“Alone.”

Ron looked at the Professor with disgust then patted Harry’s shoulder. He and Hermione walked out of the room. Harry continued to pack his belongings. Once he was done, standing by his table, he waited for the Professor to speak.

They stood across from each other neither saying anything. Dolores glared at the child. She did not like Harry Potter and if it was the last thing she did she was going to show the world that Harry Potter was nothing more than a spoiled brat looking for attention.

Harry could see the total disgust coming off the Professor. He was sure that if she could she would destroy him where he stood. He didn’t like this feeling. He was feeling intimidated. He’d lived with that feeling for thirteen years and after he stood up to his relatives he promised himself that he would not live like that again.

“Is there something that you wanted, Professor?” Harry asked trying to end this. “I have to get to my next class.” The thought of missing a moment of his next class before now was unheard of. But now after everything that had happened during the summer, Harry was excited to see how Potions would be now.

“Do you think that you run things here?” Dolores’ voice was harsh. “I am the Professor and you will leave when I tell you. You will report back here at six for your detention.”

Harry picked up his satchel and walked out of the room, but not before mumbling something as he walked out the door. He could hear Umbridge yelling for him to come back and repeat what he said, but Harry was long gone, heading for the stairs.

Harry rushed down the stairs, praying that they would not move, so he wouldn’t be too late to Potions. Harry knew that he didn’t have time to go get his book, but he figured he could share with Hermione or Ron. As he passed the Great Hall to take the final stairs towards the dungeons, there was a tightness in his chest. There was a lump forming in his throat. He didn’t know why he felt like he was going to cry, but the longer it took him to get to the Potions Lab room, it seem to get larger and larger. Once he got to the door, opening it and noticing that class hadn’t started yet, Harry was able to take a deep breath. Finding his seat next to Ron and Hermione, he sat in between them.

“What happened?” Hermione whispered.

“She just told me what time my detention was,” Harry said. “Can I share with one of you? I didn’t have time to go get my book.”

“Sure,” Ron said, moving his book so that it was in between them.

The door slammed opened and Snape walked in the room. Severus walked to the front of the class and began his lecture on what they were to expect throughout the term and what was expected for their OWLs. As he talked he and Harry made eye contact. It was brief but prominent. Harry let out a breath that he didn’t realize he was holding before.

The rest of class went as usual. At the end of the lecture, Snape announced that they would be brewing in the next class and to read up the Shrinking Potion. After that, he dismissed the class. Everyone gathered their things and left.

________00000__________00000________000

Severus didn’t come to dinner that night. There was something else that took his immediate attention. The potion that the Dark Lord wanted was ready. As much as he didn’t want to make it, he didn’t have a choice. Bottling up several phials, Severus placed them in his robes and headed for Malfoy Manor. Since he had a unknown potion on his person, he didn’t want to risk apparating so he decided to go by floo. Once he landed in the Malfoy’s receiving room, Severus, not waiting to be announced, walked towards the study where he knew the Dark Lord would be.

Knocking on the door, he waited till he heard the command.

“Enter.” The sound was muffled through the door.

Severus entered the room. Once he stood in front of Voldemort, he bowed his head.

“It is finished.”

Voldemort lifted his gaze to the Potions Master. A smile graced his thin lips.

“Wonderful. Have you tested it?”

“On mice,” Severus answered, coolly.

“Well, let’s have a demonstration,” Voldemort said, standing up. He snapped his fingers and an elf showed up. “Bring her here,” he ordered.

The elf disappeared only to return instantly holding a witch. It took a moment for Severus to recognize the witch, but when she lifted her head, he instantly knew that he was looking at Bellatrix. Severus looked at her coolly but on the inside, he couldn’t believe that she was once Voldemort’s second in command. Now, Bellatrix, on her knees, looked broken.

“Where is the Potion?” Voldemort asked.

Severus removed one phial from his robes and handed it to the Dark Lord. Voldemort looked at the phial as if studying it. He opened the stopper and gave a small movement back and forth under the slits in his face where his nose would have been, as if smelling the contents. Without notice, Voldemort rushed over to the cowering Bellatrix, pulling her hair back, causing her to open her mouth. He poured the contents of the phial in her awaiting mouth. Bellatrix coughed and gagged as the thick liquid slid down her throat. The affect was instant. Bella fell to the floor twitching and screaming through gritted teeth. Voldemort laughed evilly as he looked at Bella’s pain.

Severus looked on with no emotion on his face. Brewing this potion, he knew what the affects would do and how long it took.

“How much do you have?” Voldemort asked, walking away from the twitching witch.

“It yielded three phials,” Severus said, pulling two more out of his robes.

“Well done, Severus,” Voldemort praised. “Hold on to that until I ask for it.” Severus gave a curt nod. “How long will the affects last?” he asked as Bella began loosing all control of her bodily functions.

“Since it is not something that can be stopped as if it were a spell, it doesn’t stop. Honestly, the Longbottoms were lucky that at one point the curse stopped, even though they lost their minds. Since this was ingested, it will continue until the subject dies.”

Voldemort laughed.

“Well done, Severus. Well done.” Voldemort praised again, snapping his fingers. The small elf reappeared. “Take her back.”

Once again it was quiet when the elf apparated away with the screeching witch.

“Now, Severus,” Voldemort said, his demeanor changing from gleeful to serious. “I understand that progress was made.”

“My lord,” Severus said.

“Is Poppy Pomfrey dead?”

“She succumbed to her injuries,” Severus answered with no emotions.

Voldemort nodded.

“As to McGonnagall,” Severus started.

“Don’t worry about that,” Voldemort said, cutting Severus off. “There is something else I want you to do.”

_______0000_________00000_________0000_______0000

Harry walked to the Defense classroom. It was ten minutes to six and he was knocking on the Professor’s door. Harry remembered what his Professor said, but when he didn’t see him at dinner, he knew that he couldn’t tell Severus about his detention before so maybe he could talk to him afterward.

A muffled ‘Enter’ was said and Harry opened the door.

“In the office,” Dolores called out.

Harry looking up the small staircase to the cracked door. Sighing, Harry made his way up to the office.

“Have a seat, Mr. Potter,” Dolores said, sweetly.

Harry looked around the office. For the last two years, he had come in this office. Never had it ever looked like this. It look like different shades of pink just threw up in the room. The stone walls were painted pink. There were small framed pictures of cats. His first thought seeing the cats were of Mrs. Figg.

“Have a seat, Mr. Potter.”

Harry looked over at the desk and saw he was just too masculine for this room. It was too pink. The desk that he was to sit in was just as pink as the walls. Sitting down, he placed his satchel next to him on the floor.

“Now, Mr. Potter, things around here are going to change.”

Harry looked at Umbridge and said nothing.

“Your time walking around here like you own the entire wizarding world will end. You will learn respect. Do we understand each other?” Harry nodded. Her demeanor quickly changed from calm to fierce as she slammed her hand on the table. “A verbal answer.”

Shocked by the sudden noise, Harry said, “Yes, ma’am.”

“Very good.” Her voice calmed again. “Now, speaking of respect, what did you say when you left my classroom?” Harry said nothing. “Come now, Mr. Potter, surely you can tell me what you said.” Again, Harry said nothing. “Didn’t you call me a ‘toad-faced bully’?” Harry just looked at her. “That’s alright. We will settle this tonight. You will be writing lines.”

Harry sighed as he bent down towards his satchel to get his parchment and quill. When he sat back straight in the seat, Umbridge was standing in front of the desk he was sitting at. It startled him a little as he didn’t hear her come close to him.

“There is no need for your quill. You’ll be using mine.”

“Yes, ma’am,” Harry sighed, dropping his quill back in the satchel.

“You will write, ‘I will show respect to my Professors.’”

“How many times?” Harry asked, with attitude in his voice.

Dolores wanted to slap the boy, but refrained from it. She instead smirked at the boy.

“As many times as it takes for the lesson to sink in.”

“Ink,” Harry said.

“I beg your pardon?” she replied.

“I need ink.”

“Not with that quill. This way I don’t have to be bothered by ink spots.”

She turned her back to Harry and stood at her desk. Harry looked at her for a second before he began his lines. By the time he got to the third set of lines, his left hand began to itch. By the time he got to the seventh set of lines, the itching turned to burning. At the twelfth set, the skin began to break on his hand.

Fear and astonishment was on the child’s face. When he finished that set of lines, the words were now carved into the back of his left hand. As if being burned, Harry dropped the quill, looking at it as if it would bite him.

Dolores turned and looked back Harry. Her face was full of concern.

“Is there something you want to tell me?” Her voice was the model of a sympathetic human being. Harry looked up at her. There was fear in his eyes. “You know that deep down you deserve this. Don’t you, Mr. Potter? You will write eight more lines and then you are free to go.”

She turned back to her desk. Harry could have sworn that there was a slight spring in her step. Looking back down at the quill, he couldn’t help but wish that his Professor was here right now.

“Continue, Mr. Potter,” She said once she sat back down. “I don’t want you wandering the halls so close to curfew. It’s only eight more lines.” Dolores lowered her head and started back on the work she was doing when Harry walked in the office.

Eight more lines, Harry thought. He could do this. He had worse punishment with his relatives. This will be nothing. Slowly, he picked back up the quill and began his lines again. Just eight more lines, he thought through the pain in his hand. Just seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. Last one.

Harry had a sheen of sweat on his brow. He looked over at his left hand and was surprised that it wasn’t bleeding. The cuts didn’t look that deep, but the pain was intense. Harry lowered the quill on the desk.

“I’m finished, Professor,” Harry said. His voice was quiet and submissive.

Dolores got up and walked over towards Harry. She then cupped his face and lifted his head so that he was looking at her.

“Now, Mr. Potter, I don’t want to have to do this again, okay?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“You may go,” she said, letting Harry go and straightening back up.

As fast as he could, Harry gathered his things and rushed out of the office. A smirk of satisfaction was on the witch’s face as the boy left her office. This was going to be a wonderful year, she thought as she closed up her office and headed towards her chambers.

_________00000_______0000_________00000

Harry walked up the stairs, planning on going straight to his bed. His hand had never hurt this bad before. At first upon leaving the toad’s office, Harry wanted to go to Snape’s chambers but quickly dismissed that idea as he didn’t want to get lectured as to why he had detention with her in the first place. Looking down at his hand again, he didn’t notice someone coming towards him. As Harry approached the hallway, he and the other person collided as the other person wasn’t really paying attention to where they were going. Colliding with the person’s chest caused Harry to back up. The quick thinking of whomever he bumped into, Harry was grabbed by the front of his shirt and pulled forward. He was grateful as he knew he was close to the edge of the stairs and if it wasn’t for their quick thinking he would have tumbled down the stairs.

“Sorry, kid,” Derek said, letting go of Harry’s shirt when he got his footing.

“I’m sorry,” Harry said looking up at the man.

Derek’s eyes narrowed as he really looked at the boy. He looked small that a strong wind would knock him down. What got him curious was the dampness of the child’s hair from what looked like sweat.

“Are you alright?” Derek asked.

“Yes, sir,” Harry stumbled to the side. His hand was throbbing and all he wanted was to go to bed.

Derek looked down at the child and noticed the redness on his hand.

“Do you know who I am?” Derek asked.

Harry looked up at the man. “The new Healer.”

“Good,” Derek said. “Come with me.”

Harry followed the Healer down the hallway. He knew he was heading towards the Infirmary. He’d been there enough times to know how to get there without being escorted. Self-consciously, Harry looked down at his hand. He noticed that it no longer looked like the lines he just wrote. It just looked like scratches.

Once they were in the Infirmary, Harry sat down on the bed as he was silently instructed. Derek walked towards the supply cupboard and grab the essence of murlap.

“You want to tell me how this happened?” Derek asked, as he applied the murlap on the scratched hand.

Harry looked up at the new Healer. Harry thought, he was okay, but he just didn’t trust him yet. He wasn’t a Madam Pomfey.

“I was just clumsy. I was heading to bed. It wasn’t that bad,” Harry lied.

Derek just raised his brow at the child, but said nothing else. Once he was finished, he sent the boy on his way.

_____00000_________00000_______0000____0000

Severus walked back to the castle from the apparation point. It was the longest he’d ever stayed at Malfoy Manor. But the Dark Lord was relentless. Never wanting to ever see the effects of that potion again, Severus knew he would have to create and brew an antidote for it. No, he did not care for Bellatrix, especially since she was one of the ones that orchestrated the abduction of his mother, but she did not deserve to die in that manner. She died just two hours after the potion was administered. The mice that Severus had used it took them four hours to pass on. Bellatrix was the first human to test the content and afterward Severus mentioned that it didn’t take the entire phial to get the desired affect, but he didn’t think that Voldemort was listening over the intense glee that he was emulating watching her twitch and struggle from the potion.

Walking into the castle, Severus headed straight for his chambers, where he found his mother sitting by the fireplace, reading. Severus sighed for what seemed like the hundredth time that evening. The last thing had him bothered more than ever. Knowing that someone else was assigned to carry out the deed of killing Minerva was unsettling. Not knowing who was commissioned for the deed was infuriating.

Minerva looked up from the book when she heard the door close.

“Ah, Severus,” Minerva said, with a smile, closing the book she was reading and placing it on her lap. “Come, let’s have tea.”

TBC

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