Dolores Umbridge woke up with a smile on her face. The first thing she remembered was her detention session with Potter. The satisfaction she felt when he looked up after writing for a short while was gratifying. She could still remember the look of shock and pain on his face, and it put a small spring in her step as she did her morning ablutions. Even the knowledge that since the brat only did twenty lines it would not linger on his hand come the morning didn’t deter her good feeling of finally getting one over on Harry Potter.
As she walked towards the Great Hall for breakfast, she remembered the look of submission and defeat on Potter’s face when he finished his punishment. A smirk came across her face as she could picture the look. She walked into the Great Hall and saw that many of the children were sitting down having their breakfast. Paying no attention to them, she walked up to the Head table and took her seat. After she filled her plate, she looked around the Hall as she ate. Wanting to know how Potter was dealing with the aftermath of his first detention with him, a full smile came across her face as she saw said boy sitting at the table with his head bowed and not eating what was on his plate.
Yes, Dolores thought. Now, I can truly break that boy.
Her smiles didn’t last long as not a few moments later she saw the boy stand up abruptly and rush out of the Great Hall. She didn’t know what that was all about, but she knew she would definitely get to the bottom of it.
Albus walked in the Hall and spoke to everyone that was there.
“Good morning, Headmaster,” Dolores said, when Albus sat down next to her.
“And how was your first day, Professor?” Albus asked.
Dolores put on her brightest smile and looked at the Headmaster.
“Just delightful,” she answered. “Such a bunch of wonderful children.”
Minerva sat on her bed and thought about her tea time with her son. She had her head leaning against the headboard, looking up at the ceiling.
"Mother,” Severus said, sitting across from her. “Your abduction was to hurt me.”
"We shall be careful,” Minerva said, sipping her tea.
"They’re still out to hurt me,” Severus continued.
"What do you mean?”
"I was originally ordered to. . .,” Severus abruptly stopped.
It truly worried her that he cut himself off.
"Severus,” Minerva said, her tone showing more concern now, as she lowered her tea cup on to the table.
"The Dark Lord has ordered your death,” Severus whispered.
Minerva got up from her bed and wrapped her robes around her. On the floor, at the foot of her bed, was a big black dog curled up, asleep. She smiled while looking at him. Slightly shaking her head at the idea of having a bodyguard, but she couldn’t argue with Severus. She actually agreed. What surprised her more was that Sirius agreed to it as well. She didn’t think that he would want to be saddled with his old professor all the time. Sirius had been in prison for a long time and now being in the same building with his godson, she knew he would want to be with Harry more than her, but Severus did raise a good point. Sirius couldn’t follow Harry around like he would have liked. Sirius was still wanted, and Albus knew that he was an animagus.
Minerva walked over towards the dog and knelt down, rubbing the dog’s head.
“Sirius,” she called out. “Sirius, wake up.”
The black dog opened his eyes and looked up at his Professor. Minerva’s head tilted as she could see sadness in the dogs eyes.
“What’s wrong, Sirius?” she asked standing back up.
Snuffles changed and Sirius was still sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed.
“I’m losing my godson,” Sirius said, sounding so dejectedly.
“No, you’re not,” Minerva quickly said.
“Yes, I am,” Sirius said looking up at his Transfiguration Professor. “He prefers Snivellus over me.”
Minerva raised an eyebrow at the name.
“Sirius Black,” Minerva said in her stern voice. “I will not stand here and listen to you talk bad about my son. I’ve told you before that Harry needs both of you.”
“He doesn’t need me.”
“Yes, he does,” Minerva said, walking across the room and sitting in her dressing chair.
Sirius shook his head.
“Loyalty and cunning. I’ve told you before those are the things that will protect Harry the best.”
“But he still just goes to Snape,” Sirius said, sounding like a petulant child.
Realization came across Minerva’s face. She looked at her former student, sitting on the floor with a broken heart.
“Sirius,” Minerva soothed. “Harry loves you.”
For the first time, Sirius looked up at Minerva.
“But he called Severus da,” Sirius sighed.
Feeling like she was getting to the root of the problems, Minerva looked at Sirius.
“Sirius, do you even know what happened that night at the Burrow? When Severus and Harry were stuck together?”
Sirius shook his head.
“I’m surprised, Sirius,” Minerva said. “You of all people should have known what was going on. It happened to you.” Sirius looked confused. “The Potters.”
Minerva looked at her former student and in the beginning she saw hurt and anger, but after speaking of the Potters the look of realization came across his face.
“That was a Magical Bonding?”
“Harry’s not replacing you, Sirius,” Minerva said. “He just gained another protector. So don’t be angry with them or yourself about this. It’s something that can’t be helped or changed.”
Sirius looked down again. He remembered when it happened to him. He loved the Potters so much. They treated him like he was theirs. The one thing that hurt him the most was that they weren’t able to legally adopt him like he wanted.
Sirius was brought out of his thoughts by someone clearing their throat. He looked up and saw the face of his teacher.
“Now, I will say this one time, and one time only.” The tone of her voice made Sirius gulp audibly. “You may not like Severus, but you will respect him. If I hear you call him that name one more time, let’s just say, you’ll wish you never did.”
Sirius gulped again. He remembered what happened to Kingsley when he tried to arrest Severus at the meeting.
“Excellent,” Minerva said with a smile. “Shall we get ready for breakfast? I think we’ll have our breakfast here, yes?”
Sirius nodded as he stood up from the floor and followed Minerva out of the room.
Remus sat up from his bed and stretched. He was still a little sore from his run-in with Fenir, but it wasn’t as bad as if it was a full moon. Walking out of the room he stayed in, he came into Severus’ sitting room. On the table in the small kitchenette was a note addressed for him.
“Dobby,” Remus called out.
“How can I help Professor Wolf?” Dobby said, once he popped into the chambers.
Remus raised his eyebrow at the title he was given.
“Dobby knows all about you,” Dobby said, boldly. “I’ve been here since Master Harry Potter was in his second year. Not much get pass elves. But Dobby is a free elf so Dobby don’t have rules. But protect Master Harry Potter.”
“Okay, Dobby,” Remus smirked. “Since you’ve known about me since Harry’s third year, why did you not let my secret out?”
“Dobby watched you with Master Harry Potter. You were good and nice to him. He could come to you. You were not mean to Harry Potter.”
“Well, I appreciate your candor, Dobby,” Remus said. “Would you please bring me a small breakfast?”
Dobby nodded and popped out of the room only to come back instantly with a covered dish. Remus thanked Dobby and began to eat.
Derek walked to the Great Hall. Usually he wasn’t an early riser, but now that he was commissioned to work as a school healer, he decided to change his sleeping habits. Plus, his encounter with Harry Potter last night was still heavy on his mind. He really didn’t like the excuse that he was given when Harry told him the reason behind the cuts on the back of his hand.
Derek was usually a private person as well so going to the Great Hall was not really to have his breakfast. He really wanted to check on Potter again. He wanted to look at his hand again.
When he walked through the doors, Derek could see that it was pretty full in the hall. Everyone sitting having their breakfast, chatting to each other. From a once over glance over the entire Hall, Derek didn’t see the child in question. Looking at the Head table, he didn’t see Severus or Minerva. A part of him wanted to turn around and walk back to his office, but a wave of the Headmaster’s hand got his attention.
Albus stood from his chair while hitting his goblet with a knife. The chime got everyone’s attention.
“Good morning, everyone,” Albus said, once it became quiet in the Hall. “As you are aware, Madam Poppy Pomfrey is not here. Sadly, I was informed that she passed away during the summer.”
All the students started murmuring and whispering among each other.
Hermione and Ron looked at each other in shock. As did most of the other students in the Hall.
Albus tapped his goblet again to regather the attention of the students.
“I know we are all sadden about Madam Pomfrey,” Albus raised his hand, gesturing Derek to come forward. “This is Healer Williams. He will be the new healer for Hogwarts.”
Everyone watched as the new healer walked up to the Head table. He shook hands with the Headmaster and then took a seat at the end of the table.
Albus sat down as the talking slowly began again in the Hall. All too soon, it was time for the children to get ready for their classes.
Ron and Hermione walked towards the front door. They saw Harry already standing there waiting. They had Herbology first. Walking towards the greenhouses, they were all silent.
Severus walked into his chambers after Harry left after breakfast. Remus was sitting at the small kitchenette table, reading the Daily Prophet. Remus lowered the paper when he heard the portrait open.
“Morning, Severus,” Remus said.
“Remus,” Severus said, sitting down opposite the wolf. “How are you feeling?”
“I can’t complain,” Remus said, smirking.
“I want to ask another favor.”
“Okay, Severus,” Remus said, giving the man his full attention. “What is it?”
“I want you to stay at my house.”
“Okay.” Remus gave Severus a skeptical look. “Why am I going there?”
“The third most important person in my life is in that house. Black is watching over the second. I’m asking you to watch over her.”
“Who is Sirius watching over? I thought he was staying with Harry.”
“With Harry in classes, and Dumbledore knowing that Sirius is a dog, I can risk anyone knowing that Black is here. Especially with that Defense professor here.” Severus struggled saying that title to the Pink toad that took the Defense position.
“So where do you have Sirius?”
“He’s watching over Minerva,” Severus said, quietly. “Someone’s been ordered to kill her. Actually both women have been targeted for assassination.”
“I take it the other woman is the one that I’ll be protecting.”
“Who’s at your house, Severus?” Remus asked.