Chapter 20: Work Detail
Harry Potter Junior Level
Chapter 20: Work Detail
The Saturday following "the big blow up" as the boys call it, Harry, Draco and the Weasley boys are all meeting on the astronomy tower waiting for Sirius.
"Did you get in much trouble with your Dad?" Draco whispers to Ron, not wanting to risk his Uncle hearing him if he happens to come while they are talking.
"Dad paid us a visit and brought his paddle along. All three of us had a session with it and we are grounded to our dorms until holiday. What about you?"
"About the same. Dad flipped out on me for being in contact with a dragon and for smuggling illegal animals. Plus I had that fight with Jeremy Pippen. He walloped me, grounded me until winter break, I have two essays to write, the headmaster docked points, I'm having to clean up this tower and I'm not allowed to visit Hagrid without an adult escort probably until I leave Hogwarts!"
"Yeah, I forgot about the meeting with the Headmaster. I'm surprised he took twenty points from each of us! That's 100 points just for one wrong move! Gryffindor is going to be far down in points because of us."
"Hermione is not speaking to me or Harry because we lost so many points." Draco whispers, just as his Uncle comes out on the tower.
"Everyone come over here by me." Sirius calls sitting on a boulder. As the boys stand around him he gives out the instructions for the task.
"As you know, this is part of your punishment for the danger you put yourselves in. We gave you a few days to recuperate from your first punishment. We imagined your bums would be too sore to move rocks for a few days." Sirius says smirking at the red faced boys. "Today, you are going to work together to move the loose rocks and boulders to one pile. Once we have the pile, we will then use magic to repair the tower. You are not to use magic during your work. Security barriers are in place near the edge so if you get too close it will sting you slightly. Harry, Draco and Ron are together for lifting bigger rocks, George and Fred, you two are together also. You are here to work and that's it. All conversation is to be about the best way to finish the job. You have two warnings for disobedience. After that, the person who is uncooperative will receive more punishment from me. Any questions?"
When all five boys shake their heads answering "No Sir." he tells them to begin clearing the rocks. Moving the smaller rocks out of the way first seems to be pretty easy. When they attempt to move one of the larger boulders, Ron whispers "This is too heavy. I can't get it to move at all. Harry, cast a lightweight charm on it so we can lift the blasted thing!"
"No Ron, I'm not going to do that. We are in enough trouble without me adding to it. Dad said not to use magic, remember?" Harry answers quietly after a quick glance at his Dad.
Listening, Sirius smiles to himself "Good job, Pup! Don't let him pressure you." he thinks as he pretends to be engrossed in a copy of the bimonthly Hogwarts News. The school newspaper published by the fourth year muggle studies students is a new project by the Headmaster.
"Draco, you can cast that, can't you? You do it." Ron cajoles.
"No, I can't. Even if I could I wouldn't do it. I don't want to be turned over Uncle Sirius' lap right here! My Dad did a thorough job making my bum ache and I don't want to have it happen again anytime soon! I really don't like wooden hairbrushes any longer." Draco whispers back, causing Harry to giggle.
"Is something amusing about your work Harry? Is the rock telling jokes?" Sirius asks, pretending to be all stern.
"No Sir. The rock is really heavy Dad and we can't lift it. Could you help?"
"George, Fred, come over here please. Let's see if all five of you can work together to move this rock. George stand by Ron, Fred you stand between Draco and Harry. When I count to three, everyone lift at the same time. ONE, TWO, THREE, LIFT." Sirius directs.
"Professor Black! It would be so much easier if we could just levitate it!" Fred complains as the boys struggle to lift the rock.
"No use of magic, Fred. We are doing this job the muggle way. You five are on a short leash so do not even attempt to disobey. I promise you will not enjoy the consequences if you do!" Sirius replies firmly.
Several tries later, when the boulder hasn't moved at all, the boys stop trying to lift it and sit around it.
"We have to come up with a way to move this. There must be something other than magic that will work. Dad wouldn't make us keep trying if he didn't think we could move it." Harry tells his friends, earning several skeptical looks at his comment.
"Well, we could try rolling it." Ron says after the boys rest a few minutes.
"Good idea, Ronnikins! Maybe we could try putting some flat topped rocks under it and try pushing it on them to get it started." George exclaims.
"Don't call me Ronnikins! I'm not four any longer! Georgie Porgie"
Just as George raises his fist, Sirius calls "MR. WEASLEY!" causing all three Weasley boys to freeze in place. Fred doesn't move either, just in case he is being addressed also.
"George and Ron, come over here." Sirius calls. "What is the argument about, boys?" he asks, as the two downcast boys reach him.
"Just a brotherly spat, sir. I was teasing Ron and it upset him so he teased me back. We are sorry, sir." George answers for both of them.
"Alright boys, apologize to each other and mean it! Let us have no more flare ups between you. Your Father has given me permission to act in his place if necessary. I won't hesitate to do so if I feel it is needed. Do you understand boys? This is your first of the two warnings."
"Yes sir." both boys answer in unison.
"I'm sorry for teasing you, Ron. You did have a good idea and we'll try it." George tells his brother.
"I'm also sorry, George. I do have a quick temper as Mum always says. I'll try to do better Uncle Sirius, I meant to say Professor Black." Ron finishes, blushing at his mistake.
"You may call me Uncle Sirius if you wish. No other students are around that aren't family. Those were very nice apologies, boys. I think I might need you to teach Harry and Draco how to apologize so well. For now, let's get some boulders moved."
Working together the five boys manage to roll the larger boulders to the rock pile.
"Well, we did it! We've moved all six of the biggest boulders. Now we have the smaller boulders and rocks left. Let's make it a competition. We'll have a time limit and whichever team can move the most wins. Want to?" Harry asks his friends.
"Yeah but you have three on your team, whereas we are only two." Fred complains.
"That's true, so we'll let you two get started first. You get to move as many rocks as you can in two minutes and then we'll start." Harry answers.
"Wait, Harry. We better ask Uncle Sirius first. I don't want to be in trouble for playing around." Draco cautions his cousin.
Nodding, Harry calls out "Dad? We want to have a competition between teams to move the rocks. May we, please?"
"That sounds like a very good idea, son. I'll be the timekeeper for you." Sirius replies after walking over to listen to the plans.
"Alright Fred and George, get set, GO!" Sirius calls out watching the twins grab as many small rocks as they can hold and run to pile them up.
"Time's up, boys. Come stand with me." he calls after two minutes.
Panting, the twins follow his instructions.
"Alright, teams ready?" Sirius asks after letting the twins rest a few minutes. Receiving nods, Sirius holds his hand in the air and then drops it fast saying "GO!" The boys have agreed to work for fifteen minutes before calling time.
Watching Harry, Sirius sees the boy find a large flat topped stone and use it as a base to hold smaller rocks. Draco has pulled his shirt out of his pants and piled rocks in it as he holds the tails of it up to form a pouch. Ron is just grabbing as many stones as he can carry at one time, racing to the rock pile and back to the loose rocks.
After the time limit is up, Sirius calls "TIME, teams stop! Everyone come sit beside me. You boys did an excellent job. Look around you, just look at how many rocks you cleared!"
"Who won, Dad?" Harry asks, sprawled out on his back panting from rushing around.
"Well, let's look and see which team has more. Fred and George, I see an impressive pile on your side. Harry, Draco and Ron, you three were quite ingenious with your techniques for moving rocks. I have to say, the younger boys moved more. Just look at their side and you can tell they have more."
"Yipppeeeee!" Harry yells throwing his arms in the air.
"Yipppeeee? Where'd you hear that one, Harry?" George asks cocking his head to look at his friend.
"SHHH, Pup! You don't want to cause a rockslide with the loose rocks, quiet down." Sirius scolds, grinning. "How about something to drink and a snack, boys? I'll call for whatever you wish to have."
"I heard it when we went to Disney World in the states, George. It's like hooray, I think." Turning to his Dad, Harry says " I thought we were on punishment, Dad"
"You are on punishment son, that doesn't mean you are going to be denied food. Now what would you like boys?"
"Can I have a chocolate shake?" Harry asks.
"I'd like to have chocolate cake and a shake." from Draco
"Pumpkin pasties with pumpkin juice." Ron requests.
"May we have chips and Butterbeer?" Sirius hears from the twins.
How about butterbeer and fish ~n~ chips, boys? I don't think sweets are something you need before lunch. Perhaps later, as a reward for finishing the job."
"I thought we were finished, Uncle Sirius." Draco exclaims. At his uncle's raised eyebrows look, he explains. "We moved all the loose rocks."
"Draco, this is only the first part of the job. The second part is to use these rocks to repair the damage to this tower."
"Dad, are you going to allow us to use magic this time? I don't think any of us are strong enough to lift boulders high enough to repair the walls." Harry asks.
"I will be doing the higher heavy work while you boys work on the lower parts. Here's Dobby with lunch, let's eat. Thank you Dobby." Sirius says taking the loaded tray from the elf.
"Youse welcome, Professor. Hello boys and HarryPotterBlack." Dobby says, grinning happily at Harry.
"Hello Dobby. Thanks for the lunch." Harry answers as the other boys snicker at the elf's obvious fawning over Harry.
After Dobby pops out, George asks "Harry, didn't you tell him your name isn't Potterblack?"
"I've tried really hard to teach him to call me Harry. He used to call me Mr. Harry Potter Sir all the time. Then it was Harry Potter Black Sir, now it's HarryPotterBlack all in one word. I'm just going to give in and answer to whatever he calls me."
After the boys have finished lunch, Sirius calls them to come near the tower's outside wall.
"Boys, you are going to use mortar and the tools I have here, to repair the tower wall. You spread the mortar on the rock, place it down on the wall and press down. We'll work on this for an hour and then stop for today. Now, I've placed a restraining barrier on the outside of this tower so you won't be in danger of falling. That does not mean I want you to take risks. No climbing up on the wall or trying to jump into the barrier. Just for safety, hold out your arms and let me place a charm on all of you. I'm going to be on the other side, working with the boulders. Call me if you need help."
Watching Fred and George, Draco tries to spread mortar on the rock he's holding. The white mixture slides right back off into the bucket.
"This is too hard to do without magic. We ought to be allowed to do it the magical way! It's so much easier to wave a wand than this way!" he complains to Harry and Ron.
"You aren't holding the rock the right way, Draco. Let me show you how to do it. See, you hold it as if it's a piece of bread and you are making a sandwich. You spread the mortar on the rock the same way. You're trying to hold it on it's end, no wonder the mortar slides off. Now, try it again." George instructs the younger boy.
"Good, now you have the technique down perfectly. Come on, Fred and I will work with you three. Let's take turns spreading and placing. We'll spread first and you all put the rocks on, then we'll switch."
"How do you know so much about stones and mortar?" Draco asks as he accepts his fourth rock from Fred.
"Our Dad has had us help him make stone walkways, restraining walls for flower beds and also a bench in our garden. We learned it from him." Fred answers.
"How come you didn't learn it Ron?" Harry asks as they switch places with the twins. He and Ron are going to spread mortar as Draco holds the rocks.
"They did this a few years ago and Dad thought I was too young to do more than hand them rocks. I never got to spread mortar before now."
An hour later, the boys are all standing around admiring the new part of the tower wall when Sirius walks up.
"The wall looks fabulous, boys. I can't believe you finished it all in one hour. You didn't use magic did you?"
"No, Dad. Fred and George have worked with stones before and taught us how to do it. We all worked together and it made us finish early."
"Well then, it's time for all of you to go to your dorm or quarters to clean up. I'll finish up here, Harry and meet you at home."
Watching his friends walk away, Harry says "Dad? What about the sweet treat you said we could have when we finished?"
"I never promised, son. I said "perhaps", go clean up and then work on one of your essays." Sirius answers watching all five boys droop in disappointment.
"Yes sir." Harry answers following his friends to the door to the castle.
"Bye Harry and Weasleys, I guess I'll see you in the Great Hall and classes. Being grounded for a month is going to really be a major pain in the backside!" Draco declares as Harry turns to go to his quarters and the rest turn toward the opposite stairs.
"I concur!" Harry says grinning at his friend's faces.
"What?" Draco asks. "Is that a word?"
"It means, I agree. Hermione taught it to me. Bye, guys. Being with you made the punishment jobs more fun." Harry calls as he starts down the stairs to his home.
"We concur!" he hears the twins call.
Smiling to himself as he comes out of the loo, feeling freshened after his shower, Harry sees something tall on the table in the sitting area. Walking in, he finds a tall frosted glass with another glass inside. Taking off the top, he lifts the inside glass out, taking a long sip as he does so. "Ahh, chocolate milkshake, YUM!" he thinks.
"Thanks Dad!" he calls out, hearing Sirius in the kitchen.
"You're welcome, Pup. You deserve a treat after working so well and hard today. I sent the other boys treats also." Sirius answers coming in to the room.
"When you finish your shake, go to your room to work on your essay on The Dangers Of Dragons. I'll be in the study working on something, if you need my help."
"I was hoping you forgot about the essay, since I got the shake."
"Nope, now enjoy your treat. You won't have another for several weeks. Remember, that is part of being grounded, no sweets. I made the exception this one time because of your excellent work up on the tower."
The next morning Harry awakens feeling sore from the work on the tower. Thinking he isn't going to get much sympathy from his Dad, he doesn't mention it. He decides the soreness is part of the punishment. Sunday turns out to be an extremely long and boring day. Used to being allowed to spend time with his friends on weekends, being kept in his room to do schoolwork is quite different. Sending Hedwig with a message to Draco is not allowed either. Sirius has removed Hedwig from his room for the week. He may have her back in one week, but for now she is being kept in the Owlery.
"This grounding is turning out to be rather long already, no friends, no pets, no messaging to friends, no treats, nothing but staying in my room and working on schoolwork. It's only been four days and I'm already going bonkers!" Harry thinks to himself as he stares at the ceiling from his spot on the bed. "I wish I'd never heard of Hagrid and his bloody dragon!" Harry whispers to himself, rolling over to try to sleep away some of the day.
Waking on Monday morning, Harry smiles happily. His long day of being confined to his room is over. He can see something besides his bedroom and talk to friends today. Even the fact that he will be seeing the friends in classes, doesn't damper his enthusiasm for the day.
"Good Morning Dad! Beautiful day, isn't it?" Harry asks, bouncing up from the table to pour coffee for Sirius as he comes into the kitchen.
"Good Morning, Pup. What has you so bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning? Thank you." he replies as Harry hands him his steaming mug of coffee.
"It's Monday! We go to classes today!"
"Hmm, you seem overly excited about this. I wonder why?" Sirius teases, knowing the boy is ready to be out of his room.
"I'm ready to be out of my room, Dad! I'm not confined there any more am I? You said three days and it's been three days, now."
"You are sprung from your solitary confinement, that's true. You are still grounded to our quarters, so I expect you home by four. Your last class is over at three forty five so that gives you fifteen minutes to get home. I will be here by three today, as I don't have a class after one o'clock. I do have the astronomy lab for the fourth years tonight so you'll have to come along."
"Why Dad? Why can't I stay home? I don't want to go to a lab with the fourth years! I never had to before!"
"You were never grounded during the time I had a lab, before. I'm not leaving you here alone and that's final. No arguments, Harry. Be prepared to come with me. The lab begins at seven tonight."
"Fine! I'm leaving. I have to get to class." Harry huffs as he slams the chair back under the table and stomps out of the room.
"Harry! Come Here!" he hears Sirius call just as he reaches his schoolbag and black school robe. Sirius insists he eat breakfast before putting on the robe in case he spills or drops something while eating. He says at least his Pup will start the day clean and neat even if he often doesn't finish it that way.
Walking very slowly, he obeys the command in his Dad's voice.
"Yes sir?" Harry questions, stopping just inside the kitchen doorway, well out of reach.
"Come back to the table and sit down. You haven't finished your breakfast. Finish the porridge and put your dishes in the sink, please." Sirius answers.
Grudgingly, Harry does as he is told, making sure to approach his seat without passing near his Dad. Sirius has been known to smack the seat of his pants for cheekiness before, so Harry is keeping his distance.
Finished eating, Harry places his bowl, silverware and juice glass in the sink. Walking towards the doorway, he is stopped again by Sirius.
"Not quite yet, son. Please push your chair under the table nicely. You were rather rough with it before and it doesn't deserve to be manhandled. Be nice to the furniture so it will be nice to you, Pup." Sirius says, eyes twinkling.
"Yes Dad." Harry giggles, pushing the chair in gently.
"Very nice job. Have a great day in school, son. I'll see you after classes are finished." Sirius tells his boy, pulling him into a short hug.
As his final class of the day, Herbology, ends, Harry heads back towards his quarters with Draco walking beside him.
"What does Uncle Sirius make you do when he grounds you?"
"I have to go to bed an hour early, do every one of my assignments when they are given even if they are not due the next class, he has me restricted from sweets too. I also have to be with him all the time. Tonight I have to go to lab he's doing with the fourth years! I do not want to go but I have to!"
"Why don't you just tell him you are not going to go?"
"Let me ask you something Draco, What would your Dad say if you refused to do as he told you to do?"
"He wouldn't say a whole lot, he wouldn't!" Draco protests at the doubting look Harry gives him.
"Drrraaacooo!" Harry complains.
"Well he wouldn't say much, just "Draco Tobias Snape!" and give me the dungeon bat death stare!"
Snickering at that, Harry says "Bye, Drake. I'll see you in class tomorrow. Be good tonight so you don't get the death stare."
"Enjoy the night lab, Harry. Maybe you will get to do the assignment with the class and not just sit around up there." Draco tells him, as he and Harry part ways.
Coming in to his home, Harry calls "Dad! I'm home!"
"Hello son, thank you for coming in on time. How were your classes, Harry? Did you do well in Transfiguration today?"
"I had a very good day. I helped Gryffindor win back some of the points we had taken. I answered a hard questions in Transfiguration and Grandma awarded me 10 points!"
"That is terrific, son! Now, how much homework do you have for tomorrow?"
"I have to finish the Potion's essay and I'll be all finished. I did everything else during the time you made me stay in my room."
"I'm glad to hear this, Pup. Fix yourself a light snack and finish your essay. We will eat early since we have the lab tonight," Sirius tells him.
"Can we have baked beef and cheddar sandwiches and bean with ham soup? I love that soup."
"That is what we'll have then. Those are perfect choices for a cool night out on the tower. You'll need to wear your warm jacket as the night is going to be cooler than we have been having. I told all of the students to leave off their school robes and wear jackets. I'm telling you the same."
"I wasn't planning to wear my school robe anyway. I'm wearing jeans and a t shirt. It's not one of my classes so I'm not a student tonight."
"Better make that a long sleeved sweatshirt, Harry. It's going to be around 7.2 tonight (45 F). With the wind blowing it's going to be quite chilly." Sirius replies.
"Go fix your snack and let's talk about tonight." Sirius says, following Harry into the kitchen. When Harry reaches for the box of shortbread wafers and glances over at his Dad, Sirius shakes his head. "You know you aren't allowed that. Get some fruit and cheese or a half sandwich, Pup. We really are going to be eating early so you won't need to wait long."
"Didn't you eat lunch today, son?" Sirius asks as he watches Harry build a half sandwich using triple slices of bread with cold cuts, lettuce, tomato, two types of cheese, pickles and pour a large glass of pumpkin juice.
"Yes, Dad. We had beef wellington or toad in a hole to choose today. Why is it when I tried to take a slice of pie it wouldn't stay on my plate?" Harry asks without thinking. (In recent months, due to the time limit of lunch, the students have been offered choices of two main courses for lunch with a variety of side dishes. Breakfast and supper remain the same with many dishes to choose from.)
"Why would you try to take a slice of pie when you are restricted from sweets, young man?" Sirius responds sternly.
Eyes wide and swallowing quickly, Harry says "I forgot for a few minutes as everyone else was getting some dessert."
"The answer to your question as to why it wouldn't stay on your plate is simple. As long as you are grounded from sweets, the sweets won't allow you to take them. It's a charm parents use to monitor how many sweets children eat and limit the number."
"You placed that restricting charm on me again? That's not fair Dad!"
"It isn't fair that you put yourself in danger of being killed by a dragon either. This restriction from sweets is part of your punishment. The charm is on as long as you are still grounded. Time to finish your essay while I get my lessons ready for tonight. I'll call you when it's time to prepare supper so you can help me."
Pulling out his Potion's essay and book from his desk in his room, Harry takes it back into the living room. After three days of having to stay mostly in his room, he's not going in there voluntarily to work. Spreading out his parchment, book, quill and ink pot, he settles in to reread what he has written. The assignment is to write three feet on the differences between two types of beetles used in potion making. The students are to describe the beetles, where they are found, what parts are harvested for potions and then write about two different potions that can be made using those parts.
Harry has one foot finished. Having chosen his two beetles, described them and where they are found, he now has to figure out which parts of the beetles are used for potion making. Looking back through his Potion's notebook, he finds the section where Professor Snape lectured on the uses of beetles. Unfortunately for Harry, the section listing what potions beetles are used for, seems to not be found. Instead he finds a long written conversation between himself and Ron, along with a tic tac toe game. Biting his lip, trying to think what to do now, he tears out the offending page and throws it in the fire crackling in the fireplace. Normally in this situation, he turns to Hermione for the missing notes as she always has every word the professor says written down.
"Being grounded really sucks! If I wasn't grounded, I'd owl Hermione for the notes! I'll just see if it's in the book, somewhere." Harry tells himself. Picking up the thick Potions textbook, he scans the index looking for uses of insects in potions. Finding several listings, he jots down the page numbers and begins to search through them. After reading three of the six entries, he hasn't found what he needs. Each section was detailed and two to three pages but not the information he is looking for.
"Come on stupid book! I need to find this information or I'm dead. I can't write the rest of this essay without the information. Surely it's in here somewhere!" Harry whispers to the book just in case it will magically open to the pages he needs. Searching through the rest of the page numbers does not help him either. It seems the class lecture is the information Professor Snape wants them to use for their essay. Not having that information, Harry can not complete his assignment.
"Harry, time to help with supper." Sirius calls to him as he walks from his study.
"Yes Dad, I'm coming. Let me pack away these things." Harry answers, gathering his work materials.
"Maybe, I can corner Hermione early in the morning and use her notes. I'll have to skip out on a class to write the rest of his assignment. I can't show up to Potions with an incomplete essay!" Harry thinks as he packs his school bag.