A/N As you read, keep in mind: This is an alternative universe story so things are not going to follow canon. This is BASED on the books but it is a separate story based on the imagination of the author. :}
Background Information: The Junior Level students don't associate during the schoolday with Senior Level students. They have separate class schedules and stay in separate houses also.
Harry Potter .J. L. ch. 4
"So, Hermione, who is it on that card you're holding? " Draco asks.
"Well, you'll never believe me so I'll just show it to you." She says handing the card over to the boy.
"Wow, you're right, I wouldn't have believed it. Take a look at this Ron!" Draco says giving the card to him.
"Oh Merlin! It's Harry!"
"It's what Ron." Harry says looking at his friend. "You said 'it's…..and then you called me. So what is it? Is it a card of Grandpa uh, I mean the Headmaster?"
"No, it's not him. Here you look at it." Ron answers showing Harry the card.
"Why is my picture on a chocolate frog card? I'm not a famous person!" Harry asks surprised.
"Actually Harry, you are a famous person. Most everyone in the Wizarding World knows the name Harry Potter. Read the back of the card." Draco tells him quietly.
"Harry James Potter son of Aurors James and Lily Potter is believed to have killed or banished the evil wizard known as Voldemort . This young child accomplished this feat at the age of eight. He is the only known person to have survived Avada Kedavra also known as the Killing Curse! He will be a strong warrior one day!" Harry reads aloud from the back of the card.
"Why has no one ever told me I'm so well known? I don't like being thought of as a great warrior to be. That means everyone will be expecting me to be perfect."
Exchanging a look with Ron, Draco says "Well, they already kind of do think of you are a great warrior. They think you have more magical powers than everyone else. They call you 'The Boy Who Lived'."
"Well I'm not 'The Boy Who Lived'! I'm Harry James Potter Black and they better just leave me alone with all that famous stuff. Dad wouldn't like it and I don't either. Let's talk about something else! Ron, Hermione, tell us about your summer. Ron, what about all those brothers of yours, do you get along with all of them? Draco, Hermione and I don't have brothers or sisters. What's it like?"
"It's sometimes a lot of fun but I have too many who think they can boss me around. Even the twins try to tell me what to do and they're only twelve. Percy is too busy being his highness to bother with me but Charlie and Bill try to boss me."
"How old are they?" Hermione asks not having met them but once. Senior Level students were in different classes and they didn't come around the Junior Level houses often.
"Bill is seventeen and Charlie is fifteen. Percy is fourteen, the twins I already said are twelve, I'm ten and Ginny is eight almost nine. Her birthday is in November. She missed out on the cutoff for Junior Level exams because she isn't nine yet. "
"I feel sorry for your Mum, Ron." Hermione tells him.
"What do you mean?"
"You are all so close together, she must have been really tired when everyone was ten and under!"
"Not Mrs. Weasley, Hermione. She's never tired. I visited their house and stayed overnight and she kept everything going without any problems. She seems to be able to do eight things at one time!"
"Harry! Stop exaggerating. No one can do that. Unless they use magic. Was she using magic?"
"No Hermione, and they don't have house elves either. She is really organized or so Dad says. I guess that's how she does it.
"She doesn't need house elves with that many kids in the house!" Draco says grinning.
"You said it! Mum has us doing chores so she doesn't need elves." Ron answers frowning.
"Draco and I have to do chores at home too. We've also been put to work at school. Dad and Uncle Sev have had us being the house elves for two weeks already! We've hardly had any time to play or explore the castle." Harry complains.
"That's probably good, Harry. Every time you want to explore something you wind up being into something that gets you in big trouble! We're all going to behave this year, right?"
"We try to behave, Hermione. It's just that trouble seems to follow us around!" Draco tells her as Harry nods in agreement.
"Yeah, even painting pictures got us into trouble!"
"How could that get you into trouble?" Ron asks.
"Dad had us both painting the planets on the classroom walls. He spelled the paint so it would resist magic. We tried to use magic to make the picture dry faster and it ruined it." Harry explains.
"Oh, I guess Professor Black was upset about that."
"Upset wasn't quite the word, Hermione. I'd say MAD might be better. We both got our bums set to burn for it. I thought for awhile we were going to get them roasted!" Draco tells her.
"Because you disobeyed?"
"Yeah and because we were dumb enough to try to lie our way out of trouble. I think if we hadn't lied, we wouldn't have been spanked." Harry answers.
"That'll get you a paddling every time, guys! Parents get all bent out of shape if you lie to them!" Ron says seriously.
"Had some bad experiences with lying have you?" Draco asks fighting the giggles.
"YES! It's not funny either. My Dad uses a hairbrush on us if he catches us lying!"
''Well, I think that's just barbaric! When I get to be a Mum, I'm never going to allow anyone to spank my child. There are much nicer ways to teach children to behave. My parents have never spanked me."
"Yes well, you've probably never done anything to deserve a spanking. Girls are not known for causing trouble or taking risks! They're probably much easier for parents than boys are." Ron tells her.
Squirming under the glare Hermione sends his way, he quickly changes the subject. "Well, tell us about what you did this summer, Hermione. Weren't you and your parents going somewhere?"
"We went to the beaches on the coast of France. We stayed two weeks as that's all the vacation time my Dad has with his work. He's an oral surgeon and has to be available for patients. Mum works as his assistant and bookkeeper."
"Uh Hermione? What is an oral surgeon or bookkeeper?" Ron asks puzzled.
"An oral surgeon is a Dentist who does surgery. " At Ron's continued blank look, she adds "A person who takes care of people's teeth. A bookkeeper keeps the amount of money paid to their business and they pay all the bills also."
Turning to Draco, Ron says "Now that Professor Snape is your Dad, I guess you'll have an easy time this year. You and Harry both I'd say."
"What do you mean by us 'having an easy time'?" Draco asks eyes narrowed.
"Well you know, being able to get by with not doing homework and having extra help for tests and stuff like that. You guys have Dads who are Professors so they'd let things slide for you. Right Harry?" Ron asks trying to get Harry to join his view.
"No Ron, that's not right. You seem to have forgotten last year. Dad was tougher on me than anyone else. If I got in trouble at school, he made sure I got in trouble with him too! See with you, when you do something wrong you get punished by one professor. With us, it's two! We get it from our Dads also." Harry tells him.
"We don't get any more extra help than anyone else either. If you or anyone else needs extra help with Potions or Astronomy I'm sure you could have it just by asking. If anything, we have to be sure to get all our homework and other assignments done and done up to their standards or we get in trouble. I got my broom taken away for a week last year for not doing an essay the way Dad assigned! He wanted me to do four feet and I only turned in two. The class only had to do two but I had more for mouthing off about something. When I didn't do my punishment, I had to give up my broom!" Draco tells Ron angrily.
"Don't get mad, Draco. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you upset. Are you still going to be in Slytherin this year? Now that we're friends, it would be nice if you could be in Gryffindor with us."
"I don't think anyone can change Houses once they've been sorted, Ron. Besides, we can still be friends no matter what House we're in. Can't we?" Draco asks.
"We'll be the new mauraders! All of us! Won't that be fun? We can prank inside Slytherin now and no one will know who did it!" Ron exclaims grinning happily.
"Ronald, we go to school to learn not to pull silly pranks on people. Your Mum and Dad are paying money for you to go to school to learn how to be a great wizard! I'm not getting involved in any of your schemes! They just lead to trouble."
"Gee Hermione, you sound just like my Mum sometimes! I have a Mum already, I don't need two so lay off the lectures!" Then turning to the boys, he says "Guys? Let's talk about something besides school. We will be at school for four months before we come home so can we not talk about it right now?"
After two more hours of visiting and sharing stories of their summer, the friends notice the train is beginning to slow down.
"Time to get on your robes, everyone. We have to meet up with Professor Lupin at the station. He's going to take us to the castle himself. " Seeing the sad look on Hermione's face he quickly says "I meant to say he's going to take us all together in one boat. Someone else is taking the rest of the Junior Level in. The first years are going too. The older students that are with us will be escorted by one of the other Professors waiting in Hogsmeade."
After much scrambling around the four children finally exit the train. Harry can see they are nearly the last ones off as the station is full of students in black robes. "Come on guys, we need to find Remus before I get in trouble! Dad said I had to stay with him and not cause him any problems. Ron, I'm going to assign Hermione to teach you how to pack so next time you don't have to unpack your trunk to find something! You having your robe at the BOTTOM of your trunk has made us late to meet Professor Lupin!"
"There he is Harry! He's standing over there talking to the Aurors." Hermione says pointing.
As they get closer, Harry hears "Yes, I'm sure they were. I don't know where they could have….."
"Professor Lupin! We're sorry we're late." Harry exclaims when they are near enough for him to speak.
"Thank you for your time. I'm sorry to have bothered you with this. We'll just be leaving now." Remus tells the two Aurors. Turning to the children he says "Come with me. The boats are about to leave and if you want to ride in one, we'd better get moving."
"Uncle Remus? Is something wrong?" Harry asks quietly once they settle into the long boat. Remus is far too quiet and stern looking for Harry's comfort. Normally he'd be talking with them and joking around a little too.
"You could say that. I'm surprised at you Harry. Why would you do such a thing! You know how much your Dad and I have talked about safety. I'm really disappointed in your behavior today, young man. I'm sure your Dad will be also." Remus answers just as quietly.
"But sir! What did I do? What is it you are going to tell Dad? If I am in trouble, I should at least know what I did and I don't!" Harry whispers beseechingly.
"You honestly expect me to believe you don't know you left your compartment again after I brought you back? I came and checked on you children twice and both times you and Draco were not there! You and Draco are going to have to explain to your Dads and myself why you did not follow the rules. I hope you can come up with a very good explanation or you will most likely find your bum in jeopardy."
Getting up and carefully making his way back to the seat where Draco is sitting, Harry says "Excuse me Hermione, Ron, I need to talk to Draco privately for just a few minutes." After the two move up in the boat, Harry tells Draco what Remus said.
"Draco, he's going to tell our Dads we disobeyed them and left the compartment! The only time any of us left after I came back from looking for Neville, is when he took you out to talk to you by yourself. If he tells my Dad I disobeyed him, I'll be in big trouble! So will you right?"
"Probably not. I'm not the one who has a bunch of crazy half human things after me. You are."
"Why would Uncle Remus say we weren't there when we were? That doesn't make any sense!" Harry whispers.
"I don't know but you had better start thinking of something to say because we are at the dock right now." Draco tells him.
"Alright everyone, make sure you have your trunks and pets before you leave the boat. The front entrance is on the other side of the Castle from where we are. It will be quite a hike back down to the boats if you forget something. Everyone line up on the dock and wait for my signal to move." Remus tells all the children as the other five boats dock.
"Everyone, line up by levels please. All Junior level students stay together. First years line up behind Professor Hagrid please. Second year and older all of you line up behind Bill Weasley. Let's go everyone." Remus signals Bill to go first with Hagrid following behind. The Junior Level students follow Remus as he walks behind everyone else.
"Professor?" One young boy calls out.
"If we are the smallest why do we have to go last? Why can't we be at the front of the group?"
"I'm making sure we keep all the other students together Duncan. We are the ones keeping the first years from running away you see. They are probably scared but you all are not, so you can be trusted to be at the end. That's a big responsibility to keep everyone from turning back. Wouldn't you agree?"
"Yes Sir! We can do it too! We can keep those big kids from running away!" The little boy answers.
Looking over at Harry, Draco rolls his eyes at the conversation. Harry nods in agreement, while busy trying to think of a reason for not having been seen in the compartment.
Reaching Sirius' quarters after having sent the rest of the students to their houses, Remus ushers Draco and Harry ahead of him inside. "Sirius? We're here."
"Hello Remus. Boys, how was the train ride? Did you enjoy yourselves?" Sirius asks coming into the room from the study.
"It was a lot of fun, Dad. We even talked to the Hogwarts Express's Engine! It told me it was over fifty years old! That's old for a train. I'm surprised it still looks so new and runs so well. It said it had taken you and Daddy and Mummy to school too. It remembered you. Will it remember me too someday?"
"I'm sure it will, son. Now save the rest of your story for later. Let's let Remus or Draco talk now." Sirius tells his talkative son.
"Well Sirius as much as Harry wants to keep talking about all of the enjoyable experiences there was one he hasn't mentioned but I will. When we arrived at the train I told the boys your rule about staying in the compartment as well as the rules for no fighting and no magic. Well as far as I know they followed the last two rules perfectly."
"So you are telling me they Did Not stay in the compartment after you specifically told them too? They deliberately disobeyed you?" Sirius asks while looking directly at the boys.
"Well Sirius, I never saw them leave the compartment except once when they were having a problem and came to tell me. That was fine, as I had instructed them to do so if there was a problem. I settled the problem, which I will tell you about later and returned to my station on the next car. Twice I went back to check on the boys and neither time were they in the compartment."
"Harry? Would you care to explain this?" Sirius asks sternly.
"I can't, Dad. We were in the compartment the whole time after I went to get Uncle Remus. I don't know what happened. Maybe he was looking in the wrong compartment."
"If that was the case Harry, why would I have seen Hermione and Ron but not the two of you?"
"Draco do you have anything to say about this?" Sirius asks, the look on his face making Draco very uneasy.
"No Sir, it's just as Harry said. We didn't leave the compartment." Draco answers looking anywhere but at his uncle. This just makes Sirius even more suspicious that they aren't telling the truth.
"Harry James! I'll ask once more and I want the truth this time. Did you leave the compartment after Remus told you to stay inside of it? You think carefully son, remember what the penalty for lying is in this family.
"Dad, Uncle Remus, I swear to both of you, I'm telling the truth! Please listen. I didn't go anywhere after the time I went to get you when we couldn't find Neville and the boy was bothering us. Uncle Remus, why aren't you listening to me? Don't you even care about me? Why are you trying to get me in trouble? After you brought me back I stayed right there in the compartment and Draco was with me! "
When Remus shakes his head sadly, Harry continues. I'm not lying! I'm not! We were there! Ask Ron, he saw us!" Harry says his voice getting louder until he's shouting in frustration.
"That is enough! You are being very disrespectful. You do not shout at people. Go to your room, Harry! I'll be in to discuss this with you in a few minutes. I'll just take Draco home first. Remus? Would you stay until I return?"
"Dad, No! I didn't do anything! Please Dad!" Harry says as Sirius takes him by the arm. Leaning down to whisper in Harry's ear, Sirius says "You have a choice to make. Either obey me and go to your room or continue to argue. I warn you though, if you choose to argue, Remus and Draco will get a show of me applying my hand to your bare bum. Now which do you choose Harry James?"
Unable to stop the tears that have started falling, Harry wipes his face as he turns to go to his room. Lying on his bed, he hears the floo. Knowing his Dad has left he lets the sobs come. It just isn't fair! I didn't even do anything and everyone's mad at me! He thinks.
Unable to take the sobbing coming from Harry's room, Remus goes in to talk to him.
"Harry? It's not like you to carry on this way. What is it?" Remus asks the sobbing child as he sits on the bed beside him.
"I'm going to be spanked for something that I didn't even do! I haven't had a spanking in weeks and I want to keep it that way! Uncle Remus, I'm not lying! I'm not! Please believe me. Dad's going to use the hairbrush on my bum because everyone thinks I'm lying. I can't explain why you didn't see us because we were there! I wouldn't disobey you like that! I knew I was to stay in for my own safety. Please Uncle Remus, Please believe me! I wish Hermione was here, she never lies and she could tell you we were there the whole time."
Just as he finishes talking they hear the floo roar again.
"Alright Harry, that is probably your Dad. I'm going to talk to him and I'll try to get him to wait on punishing you until we talk to Hermione. Would that be fair?"
"Yes sir. Thank you Uncle Remus." Harry answers giving the man a hug.
"I may not be able to change his mind, you know that right?"
"Yes but at least you will listen to Hermione first." Harry answers beginning to calm down.
Walking out to the main room, Remus says "Sirius, I've talked to Harry again and I think we need to check with his friends. There's something not quite right about this and I just want to be absolutely sure the boys disobeyed before they are punished. Was Draco in trouble with Severus?"
"I just escorted him home, Remus. I didn't say anything about this to Severus. Draco is insisting they were there the whole time just the same as Harry. I decided if we felt Draco was in need of punishment we could talk to Severus later or assign it ourselves."
Just then there was a knock on the outside door. Walking over, Sirius checks the see through panel on the wall to check who might be knocking. Surprised, he opens the door.
"Well hello there Hermione! What do we owe the pleasure of your company today? I'm afraid Harry is restricted to his room at the moment so he can't visit." Sirius tells the girl as he motions her to come inside.
"Hello Professor. Actually sir, I came to talk to you. I'm happy to see you are here also Professor Lupin as this is something you need to know too. Ron told me that Harry was going to be in trouble because he disobeyed Professor Lupin. I think I can help but first may I ask something?"
"Yes, go ahead." Sirius says just a little overwhelmed by the little girl's adult ways. Even after a year of knowing the child, he couldn't quite get used to the mini adult in a child's body.
"What was it that Harry did to disobey you sir?" she asks Remus.
"He and Draco were told not to leave the compartment. After I escorted Harry back and talked to Draco, I checked on you children twice. I did not see Harry or Draco in the compartment either time I checked. I know I had the right compartment because of the number and the fact I could see you and Ron. I could not see Harry or Draco however. That leads us to believe they disobeyed and left the compartment." Remus replies watching the girl.
Sighing and blushing slightly, Hermione says "There was a good reason you couldn't see them sir. They were there the whole time but they were invisible to you."
"What charm or spell did Harry use?" Sirius asks sternly. "He knows not to use magic without supervision."
"No" Hermione says shaking her head at his wrong assumption. "Sir, it wasn't Harry. Professors, I cast a disillusionment charm on Harry and Draco. That's why you couldn't see them when you looked in, Professor Lupin. I was trying to protect them from getting into another scuffle with that horrible boy. He was bound and determined to pick a fight with Draco and if he came back Harry would have fought him too. I didn't want them to get in trouble. Now I've gone and done just that. I hope I'm in time to stop you from punishing the boys. It wasn't them. It was me."
"Thank you for coming to tell us this Hermione. I have a question for you. Who taught you the disillusionment charm? I know it wasn't covered last year." Remus asks.
"I taught myself, Sir. I found it in a book from the library and I worked to get it just right. I really hadn't used it on people until today. I only made my things invisible before. I'll accept whatever punishment you want me to have. I know I deserve it for doing magic without permission."
"Well young lady, I ought to put you over my knee as I would have done to Harry!" Sirius says mock sternly.
"Yes sir." Hermione says biting her lip.
"I'm not your Father and you haven't collected enough detentions for me to punish you as Head of House. What I will accept is a promise from you not to try out new spells without supervision again. I also want 200 lines of that very promise written by tomorrow afternoon."
"Yes Professor Black."
"Hermione." Remus says.
"I don't want to hear of you practicing magic alone again. You are too young to be in control of it and I don't want you or someone else hurt. That is the reason for this non -negotiable school rule! Sirius is your head of house but I am your professor. If I hear or see you disobey us on this, one or both of us will spank you! Do you understand me young lady? Professors who are Head of House have parental rights over their charges!
With a gasp at this, Hermione answers "Yes sir, I understand sir."
"Thank you for coming and being honest, Hermione. You may go back to your dorm now." Sirus tells the shocked girl.
A few minutes after Hermione has left, Sirius says "I didn't know you had it in you, Remus."
"That sternness I just witnessed. Threatening to spank a child? I'm shocked, Moony! Besides that, do you have written permission from her Dad?"
"I would spank one of the troublesome foursome if I thought it would do any good. Draco, Ron, Harry and Hermione are all too smart for their own good at times. Especially that little girl. Sirius she's one smart child to be able to teach herself that way at the age of ten. These children really are prodigies! As to whether or not I have her Father's permission, No, I don't. She does not need to know that however. Right now, I think you should go talk to your son. Sirius, he was extremely upset when you left, thinking you didn't believe him. He's hurting, Padfoot. Go talk to him. I'll see the two of you at supper."
Taking a few minutes to compose his thoughts, Sirius goes in to see Harry. Finding the boy asleep is surprising. "Harry? Son, wake up please. Come on Pup, we need to talk. Wake up, son." Sirius says quietly as he gently shakes Harry.
"Hmm? What time is it? Is it supper?" Harry asks barely awake.
"No, it's not suppertime yet. Sit up here and let's talk." Sirius answers
Fully remembering what went on before he fell asleep, Harry begins to bite his lip nervously.
"Harry, I owe you an apology. I jumped to conclusions and automatically assumed you had disobeyed Remus. I should have listened and believed you and I didn't. I apologize. I caused you to worry and be upset. Remus and I talked to Hermione and she told us she performed a charm on you and Draco. She cast a Disillusionment Charm on both of you to keep you invisible. We know you did not leave the compartment. Will you forgive Remus and myself for our mistake?"
"Yes, I forgive you. Dad why did she cast that charm on us? Hermione doesn't break school rules without a good reason."
"She told us it was to protect you both from some boy. Do you know what she means?"
"There was this boy, Jeremy Pippen is his name, he tried to pick a fight with Draco. Draco didn't fight him though so please don't tell his Dad he did."
"Harry, why was this boy picking on Draco? What house is he in? I don't recall that name."
"He's a first year and hasn't been sorted yet. Draco said he was the son of one of his other Father's friends. He told us the boy was a bully and liked to hurt other people but would be all nice around adults. He's going to be a mean one, Dad. I felt a lot of anger in him."
"Did he try to do anything to you?"
"No sir, he just tried to get Draco to leave us and sit with him. He made out that we were beneath his level of proper people. He called Draco, "Malfoy" and talked about "purebloods"."
"Well you just stay away from him as much as possible. He seems the sort to be troublesome. I'll keep my ears open and find out whose house he winds up in. Where do you think he'll go?"
"Definitely Slytherin, Dad. He's too mean not to make it in to that house."
"Harry, not all Slytherins are mean as you put it. There's good and bad in every house, you know."
"Yes Dad." Harry says thinking; Hmmpfh, little do you know! Grownups!
"Dad, while we were on the train we met the Candy Trolley Lady. She's really nice, Dad. Before you ask, no, I didn't buy too much candy. I also didn't get anything chocolate. I bought just a little candy and the others bought a lot more. OHH! Dad, Guess What?"
"You saw a two headed red, white and blue dragon on the train." Sirius answers solemnly.
"No, silly." Harry says giggling. "Hermione got a chocolate frog and you'll never guess who was on her card. C'mon Dad, Guess!"
"A picture of Merlin?"
"No, but that is a good guess Dad. Do you want to guess again or do you want me to tell you?"
"Tell me because I'm no good at guessing."
"The card had MY picture on it! Can you believe that? I am on a chocolate frog card. Draco says it's because I'm famous. I didn't know I was famous Dad, did you?" Harry asks excitedly.
"That isn't something we need to be too pleased about, Harry. The less people know about you, the better it is for you. You do remember the talk we had about keeping yourself safe?"
"Yes sir, I remember. I don't want to be famous Dad. People might treat me different if I'm famous."
"I wouldn't worry about it son. I'm sure everything will be just as it always is with your friends."
"Yes, probably. Dad? I'm worried about Neville. He did not make the train and I haven't heard from him since my birthday party. Could you call his Gram and find out if he is alright, please?"
"Come and let's do that right now. Maybe you can talk to Neville."
Walking in to the front room and kneeling down with Harry beside him, Sirius calls into the fireplace throwing floo powder in, "Longbottom manor, Augusta Longbottom, Sirius Black calling".
A few minutes later, Harry sees an older woman in a flowered dress and a pearl necklace, kneeling down on the other side of the fireplace.
"Augusta, good to see you looking so fine. Harry here is concerned about Neville. The children were looking for him on The Express but he didn't show up. Is everything alright?" Sirius asks.
Listening, Harry wonders at his Dad's eyesight. The woman in front of him doesn't look all that nice to him.
"Well Sirius, I heard you had adopted Harry. You'll be a fine example for a young, impressionable boy, I'm sure! After all you were such a well behaved, fine upstanding young man yourself! You don't think I've forgotten all those tales from Frank about your shenanigans, do you? You just make sure to do right by that boy and not turn him into one of the junior marauders." The woman says in a scalding tone of voice.
Recognizing the tone and the meaning behind her words, Harry stiffens beside Sirius. He doesn't like to hear his Dad being criticized this way. It's all he can do to keep from telling the old bat just what he thinks of her opinions as she rattles on.
"My grandson didn't ride the train because I'm going to floo him to school myself. I have a few words for that abominable man you call Headmaster. I do not agree with some of the classes he has assigned Neville. However do you stand the abominable old fool you have for a headmaster? He should have been sacked years ago. He's nothing but a crazy old man!"
This is too much for Harry. "My Grandpa is NOT a crazy old man or an abominable either. I don't know what an abominable is but if you said it then it must not be good! He's very nice and is good to us. We love him. My Dad is good too. He's doing fine with me and I'm not listening to YOU say differently when you don't even know us! You need to speak nicely of people and not call them rude names! How would you like it if I called you an ugly old bird?" Harry says quickly before Sirius has a chance to shush him.
"Well Sirius, I see you are raising him to be a well- mannered child. He has no respect for his elders does he? Neville would never speak that way to someone."
"I'm sorry Augusta. Harry's had a bit of a trying day and is not on his best behavior right now. He will apologize." Sirius says giving Harry 'the look'. "Harry James, apologize to Mrs. Longbottom now."
"I apologize Mrs. Longbottom." Harry says dutifully, having recognized the watch your behavior look he received.
"Hmm, I seriously doubt you are sincere young man. You, young man, could do with a good spanking! I highly recommend it Sirius."
Seeing Harry open his mouth again, Sirius whispers "Say one more unkind word and I will take her advice!"
Thinking better of saying anything at all, Harry keeps quiet but glares at the woman on the other side of the fireplace.
"Well, we are happy to know Neville is well and will be rejoining his classmates soon. As always, Augusta, it's been a pleasure talking with you." Sirius says as he closes the fireplace ending the connection.
Turning now and pinning Harry with his solemn stare, he says "What was all of that about? You know better than to back talk someone that way. Don't you?"
"I got mad at her. She has no right to be talking bad about you and Grandpa that way! She really is an ugly old bird!" Harry replies stubbornly.
"Watch your attitude here Harry, you are getting into the danger zone again. You narrowly escaped a spanking earlier today. Are you wanting to receive one now?"
"No Sir." Harry answers thinking who would want to get a spanking!
"Dad, may I go stay in the dorm with Ron tonight? Please, Dad?"
"You may but I want both of you in bed and asleep by ten o'clock. I'm going to be checking so don't test me out on this. We have the Welcome breakfast and then the sorting of the First Years tomorrow morning. You also have your first class tomorrow afternoon after lunch, remember?"
"Yes Dad, I remember. Why do you think Grampa put us with the First Years? We know more than they do."
"I do not know Harry. What I do know is you are not going to be bragging or showing off what you feel is your superior knowledge. You are to do exactly as the Professors tell you. I don't want to hear of you acting out in any way."
"Yes Dad, may I go to the Dorm now? Please?"
"Go ahead, I'll see you at breakfast because you will be asleep when I come check on you." Sirius replies ruffling Harry's hair.
Quickly packing a night bag and his change of clothes for tomorrow, Harry picks up his schoolbag and then calls "Bye Dad, see you in the morning." as he closes the front door. Walking down the stairs to Draco's quarters he knocks on the door.
"Hello Uncle Severus, Dad is letting me go to the Dorm for tonight. Could Draco come too?"
"Draco doesn't live in Gryffindor, Harry." Severus says eyeing the boy in front of him.
"Yes sir, I know but Ron won't care and he's the only one there tonight. Neville hasn't come yet. Please sir, that is if Draco wants to come. Do you want to come Drake?" Harry calls seeing Draco peering out of his bedroom door.
"Come here Draco." Severus calls to the boy.
"Harry wants to know if you'd like to go stay in Gryffindor tonight with him. As long as you are dressed for class and on time for breakfast in the morning, I don't see a problem with it. Would you like to go?"
"Yes sir, I'd like to stay with Harry."
"Then go pack your night clothes and school clothes. Don't forget to take your schoolbag for tomorrow's classes."
Getting all of his things together quickly, Draco comes back into the front room to leave with Harry.
"Just a second boys. Now, you two are not to stay up all night playing around and Merlin help you both if you leave that dorm! I want both of you to stay put and be in bed asleep by ten. Understand me?"
"Yes Dad." Draco answers while Harry tries very hard not to laugh.
"Did I say something amusing Harry James?" Severus asks sternly, giving Harry his Professor Snape glare.
" Uh, not really, it's just ,well, Dad already told me we had to be in bed asleep by ten and now you go and say the same thing. He's even going to come check to see that we are asleep. "
"Good for him. Alright boys, go enjoy your last night before school begins. We'll see you at breakfast for the sorting. I will expect you dressed properly and well rested at breakfast, Draco."
"Yes Sir, good night Dad."
"Good night Draco. Good night Harry."
"Good night Uncle Sev. I guess I will have to work hard at not saying that in class. What would happen if I accidentally called you that in class?"
"I guess your bum would accidentally get smacked after class was over. I will be your Professor in class not your Uncle. You will address me respectfully or risk the consequences young man."
"Yes Sir. Come on Draco let's go see Ron. He's probably lonely." Walking up to Gryffindor tower, Draco says "Harry, I'm sorry my Dad was so grouchy and didn't have a sense of humor today. He smacked me and made me stay in my room for not behaving on the train."
"Who told him you got into trouble on the train?"
"Professor Lupin stopped by and told him I had a run in with Jeremy Pippen on the train. Dad made me tell him all about it and then smacked me four times for being disrespectful. Normally he wouldn't have smacked me I don't think. He's not himself lately. "
"My Dad isn't either. You saw how I nearly got a spanking for lying because Uncle Remus told him we had disobeyed and left the compartment. It took Hermione coming down and telling them she cast a disillusionment charm on us before he would believe me. I guess they are upset about school starting back. I don't know what else it might be. We'd really better watch ourselves 'cause they are ready to pounce on us!"
"I agree with you there! I'm glad to get away from them for awhile aren't you?"
"Yes, that's why I asked to come to the dorm and wanted you to come too. I just felt if I stayed at home that Dad would wind up spanking me for something. I nearly got it twice this afternoon. He talked to Neville's Gram in the floo and she was hateful. She talked ugly about Dad and Grandpa. I said some things back and nearly got my bum reddened! Neville's coming in tomorrow by floo."
"So what do we do tonight besides have supper? We better not leave that dorm or we'll be too sore to sit tomorrow in class."
"We can play exploding snap or chess or any number of other games we can find in Gryffindor! We have a cabinet stocked full of games and books too. I wish we had a telly here but we don't. Do you think the house elves would bring us some hot chocolate if we asked?"
"I'm thinking they would, Harry. They're here to serve the students and we're students now. We're not just visiting Professor's kids. Let's call for some when we get up to the room. Do you know I've never been in Gryffindor before? I hope it's alright for me to be there. I don't want to be in trouble with Professor McGonagall for doing it."
"Draco, we have our Dad's permission. I think that's all we need. Here's the entrance, the password is "liontamer."
The next morning the boys were all dressed and sitting at their house tables in the Great Hall dining area. The sorting of the first years is underway. Harry isn't paying much attention until he hears "Pippen, Jeremy" announced. Watching the boy swagger to the stage to put on the Sorting Hat, Harry looks over at Draco. Catching his eye, Harry nods towards the stage. Draco nods once to show he's watching too. The hat announces "SLYTHERIN!" and the boy swaggers back to join Draco and others at the table.
After the sorting has finished for the first years, the students are free until lunch. Harry sees Draco join his Dad as they talk to the Headmaster and then leave with him. Wondering what they are doing, he decides to follow them.
"Harry my boy, I'm afraid this is a private matter between Severus, Draco and myself. I'll visit with you later this morning if you'd like to come back then. Right now, I believe you need to go find your Dad as he is looking for you." Professor Dumbledore tells him as he catches Harry following.
"Yes Grampa, I'm just curious to know what's going on. Is Draco in trouble with you?"
"No son, he isn't in any trouble. If he wishes to tell you what is going on he will but for now as I said, this is a private matter. For now Harry, you need to leave. Go find your Dad before you are the one in trouble."
"But why can't I know now? " Harry asks sounding a little whiney.
"Harry. I explained to you twice why you can not stay. Do I need to call your Dad up here to take you away? I don't think he would be very happy with you for not obeying do you?"
"No sir. I'm leaving, you don't need to call him, see? I'm going right now." Harry says walking backwards down the hallway.
"Little brat! " Severus says affectionately "I swear that boy has more curiosity than is good for him at times. I was about to step in and give him a few whacks if he hadn't left when he did. Sirius would put him over his knee if he knew how he wouldn't obey what you told him the first time. I've a good mind to do it myself! "
"Severus simmer down. Harry's just a boy and boys don't always do as they are told without complaint." Dumbledore tells him. Walking into his office where Draco is waiting he says "Well now Draco, let's get the process started and we'll see what results we get. This is a first for Hogwarts. I don't believe any student has ever requested resorting before. Are you just unhappy with your first placement?"
"No Sir, not really. I don't mind the boys in my dorm or the girls in Slytherin. It's just I feel different now and I don't feel like I fit in Slytherin. It's hard to explain sir."
"Now that you are Severus' son and have a new name you feel it might be best to start over in a different house, maybe?"
"Yes sir, I think that's about how I feel. Would it be alright to try the hat on one more time? If it still says Slytherin I'll accept that." Draco tells him.
"By all means Draco, we'll try it. I'm as anxious as you to see what happens." The Headmaster says as he takes the hat off the shelf where it just settled back on.
"I finished my job for now! Just why am I being moved, I would like to know! It's my time to rest you know! Sorting takes a lot out of an old hat like me!" The hat complains.
"There, there little one, it's alright. You will rest again in a few more minutes. We require your services only once more today." Dumbledore says stroking the hat soothingly.
It's all Draco can do to keep from laughing. His eyes begin to water from keeping the giggles in.
"Imagine having to calm down a fussy hat! Man, I wish Harry were here right now to see this!" Draco thinks as he feels his Dad staring at him. Looking over he sees his Dad shake his head reprovingly, silently telling him to straighten up.
"Draco, come here son and sit in this chair. I'll place the hat on your head and we'll see what happens." The headmaster calls.
As soon as the hat touches his head and clamps on, Draco hears it in his mind. "I've seen you before young one. You are a Malfoy…. NO, NO, something's different. You are different now, you have changed and learned since last we met. I see calm, I see caring for others, I sense a level of mischief though young man, a desire for fun and knowledge too. Before you were cold unfeeling mean spirited but no longer… HMM interesting …. Where to place you now…different child different house…. How about GRYFFINDOR! There you are young master Snape. Let me rest now please."
"Thank you so much Sir Sorting Hat, I appreciate it." Draco answers back in his mind.
Taking the hat off the boy's head, Dumbledore asks " Well, what did you decide Sir Hat?"
"This child is different now. He is no longer a SLYTHERIN. He is a GRYFFINDOR!" The hat yells out the house names.
"Very well then Draco, you may have your trunk and belongings transferred to a room in Gryffindor tower tonight. " Dumbledore says.
"Yes sir, thank you sir. Headmaster, may I ask one more favor please?"
"DRACO! We agreed on this task only. You should not be bothering the Headmaster for more!" Severus scolds him.
"Severus, let the boy ask. It's not going to hurt to ask, now is it? Go on son, what did you want to ask me?"
"Sir, I would like to room with Ron, Neville and Harry please. Could I do that?"
"Draco, I don't know if that is a good idea. You need to study not play cards and talk. If you are with Harry I wonder how much studying will get done." Severus says."Dad, I promise you I will study. I'll even make sure Harry studies also. We can quiz each other. Please Dad, I really want to be with Harry. There's even an extra bed and dresser not being used in that room. The elves won't have to do a thing but send my things to the room. Please sir?"
"It's fine with me Severus, but you make the decision as you are his Father." Dumbledore says as Severus looks to him for an answer.
"Draco, we will try this until mid- term. If you are not receiving grades of at least Acceptable in all of your classes by the first nine weeks report, you will be moved out. Anything less will result in you standing up to eat when I see your grade report. Understand me? We have already discussed your schoolwork and my expectations have we not?"
Blushing at being told he would be spanked, where the Headmaster could hear, Draco whispers "Yes Sir."
"Harry is probably waiting at the bottom of the stairs. Why don't you go find him and tell him the news." Dumbledore tells the boy.
"Yes Sir. Thank you again sir for letting me switch houses." Draco replies.
Sure enough, Harry is lounging around the bottom of the stairs waiting for someone to come down.
"Hi, Harry. Guess what? You'll never guess it so let me tell you. I got resorted! That hat is clever. It knew me but it could tell I've changed. I'm not a Slytherin any longer. I'm changing houses! I'm going to get to room with you! Isn't that good news?"
"Well, yeah that's great! We can talk and play together just like this summer! We can plan out our other things too." Harry says deliberately not saying what they might be planning in case someone is listening.
"We have to do our coursework too. We can't just goof off all the time. I'm under a warning that if my mid-term grades are Acceptable or better I can stay in your room. If I score lower, I'll get moved out plus other things I don't think I need to tell you." Draco says rubbing his backside.
"Got it. Yes, Dad gave me the same speech. Keep your grades up, listen and do well in class, stay out of trouble, make good grades or face the hairbrush! He actually didn't say that about the hairbrush but he will punish me if I bring home anything less than Acceptable on my grades. He doesn't mean just mid-term either!"
"Yes, I'm under the same warning. Well, at least today's two classes are going to be easy ones. Muggle math and Herbology are easy. What do you suppose we will do in Herbology this year? We can't just listen all the time."
"Didn't you have it last year? We didn't just listen then. We repotted plants and learned about roots and what potions need which roots." Harry replies.
"I didn't have Herbology because Lucius thought it was a waste of time. I had defense lessons instead. Do you think it will matter that I missed last year's class?"
"I don't think so. I can explain or Hermione will anything you are confused about. I'm hoping you can help me with the math. I'm just pants when it comes to equations and word problems. I can't do those X plus Y divide six subtract four type things. They do not make any sense! Besides I don't know how to divide yet! We had a problem like that last year and I couldn't do it."
"I'll help you, Harry. Math is not hard when you get the formulas and plug in the numbers. You'll see."
Later that afternoon, the boys find themselves in the Math class. The instructor is giving his welcome speech "Hello children. I am Mr. McTavish. As you can see from my name I am from Scotland. I do look the part don't I, what with the red hair and all. I will be your Mathematics instructor for levels three, four and five. This will be a multi level class with students working at their level. We will begin by having a review and then a short quiz to see what level you might need to begin on. Now, as the course progresses, you may find yourselves moved from one level to another. It all depends on your knowledge. Any questions?"
"Of course Hermione has a question!" Harry whispers to Draco who nods in agreement.
The teacher sends him a look and says "No comments or talking unless spoken too, young man."
Harry whispers to Draco right as Hermione is asking her question "Who told him he's the only one who can talk here? This is supposed to be a free country!" Several children sitting nearby chuckle at that, earning them all a stern look.
"Sir, what do we do if we only have level three and four books. No one here has a level five textbook. How are we going to do level five work?" Hermione is asking at the same time.
"Your name please, miss?"
"That is a great question Miss. Hermione. The answer would be, I have texts available for all levels. If you are assigned a level five for a subject, you may use one of mine. I don't anticipate having many students moving to level five right away. Most likely we'll have the opposite. Now on to the review. When I call your name, I want you to come to the whiteboard and show me one of the most difficult multiplication problem you know how to solve. We'll start with you please Miss. Hermione."
"Yes Sir, I'll be happy to do that sir." Hermione answers walking to the board. Choosing a colored marker she writes 965 x 96. After multiplying it out in steps Hermione announces "The answer to nine hundred sixty five multiplied by ninety six would be ninety two thousand six hundred and forty, sir."
"My you are a bright one aren't you. How old are you child?"
"I'm ten, sir."
"We'll just start you out at level five, I believe. Alright now, let's see who's next. How about You, young man. Right here in the red tie. What's your name son?"
Harry feels someone poking him in the side and realizes the teacher is talking to him. Having been busy staring at the problem Hermione just wrote, he missed the fact that the teacher was calling on him.
"Um Sir?" Harry gulps.
"Your name, young man."
"Harry Potter- Black, sir."
"Ahh, Professor Black's son are you?"
"Well Mr. Potter-Black, in my class you will pay attention and answer when spoken too. I do not allow daydreaming or tomfoolery in this class. You will be held accountable for the work the same as everyone else. Professor's child or not! No go to the board and show me your hardest multiplication problem you can solve."
"Yes Sir." Harry answers, his face red at the scolding.
Wishing he could use magic to do this, he thinks hard desperately trying to find a suitable hard problem he can write.
"We are waiting Mr. Potter-Black! We need to move along quickly to get everyone a chance."
"Sir, someone can have my chance. I'll skip my turn." Harry says turning to hand the marker to the teacher.
"Young Man! This is no joking matter. Write your problem as it is your turn. We will not skip turns."
Sighing Harry writes 11 X 96. "Eleven multiplied by ninety six is … UM well, let's see six times one is .. and then you….. okay the answer would be Um …. Yeah, the answer is one thousand fifty six, Sir." Harry finally says after having to work it out slowly.
"Is this the most difficult problem you could think to write young man?"
"Multiplying by ones, is the most difficult you could come up with?"
"I didn't multiply by ones, sir. I used eleven, sir." Harry answers.
"No cheek in this class young man. You will remain after class so I can contact your Father. He needs to take you in hand. Take a seat."
"But sir, I did the problem as you said. I'm just not good at multiplying yet, sir." Harry says trying to keep his bottom lip from trembling. The first day and he's already in trouble!
We'll discuss it after class with your Father as I said. Now TAKE YOUR SEAT!
"Where do you want me to take it sir?" Harry asks innocently.
He hears Draco snicker at that question at the same time Hermione hisses "Harry!" in a scolding tone.
"Headmaster's office, Mr. Potter- Black. You will remain there until I meet you and your Father there. Take this note. You are dismissed!"