Thank you to the Guest reviewer "Santa". I'm happy to know you enjoy the story and like how Sirius is developing into a better parent. To everyone who has read the Harry Potter Child Prodigy stories, Thank You. Merry Christmas and have a fabulous New Year. I hope to hear from you and new friends in 2014!
Harry Potter Junior Level Ch. 6
Entering the front room, Harry takes off his jacket and hangs it in the front closet by the door. "Uncle Sev? Draco? I'm back from Hagrid's."
"Hi, Harry! What did you do while you were at Hagrid's?" Draco asks coming to the door of his room.
"Young Man, you close the door right now. You will wait until after lunch for your inquisition of Harry." Draco hears as his Dad comes out of his study.
"Daaaad, it's only ten minutes until lunchtime! Besides, I'm not out of my room, here!" Draco complains irritably and loudly.
"So I see, which will make it all the easier to come in and correct your attitude, won't it? Now, do you wish to continue with this backtalk and whinging and receive that correction or do you wish to be able to sit for lunch?" Severus asks giving his son his best dungeon bat glare.
"I'll stop. I apologize for back talking and whinging, sir." Draco answers immediately.
"Then we will see you in ten minutes, washed, combed and ready for a civilized, quiet lunch. Close the door, now." Turning to look at Harry, Severus sees the boy looking very surprised. "What has caused you to have that look of complete shock, Harry? Surely it's not my scolding of Draco that put that look there. I've scolded you before."
"I have never heard Draco talk back to you or any adult that way. I was shocked, sir."
"Yes, well he has his moments just as you do I'm sure."
"Uncle Sev, that is a good thing though don't you see?"
"Pray, tell me how a disobedient, rebellious child is a good thing! I fail to see your argument."
"Well, I think it means he feels like he knows you will care for him and love him even if he acts out. Lucius never loved him from what he's told me. He just beat him but never cared for him. Even if you spank us, Uncle Sev, we know you love us." Harry tries to explain.
Sitting down on the couch, Severus sees the look of apprehension cross Harry's face as he walks to him.
"I didn't mean anything. I was just talking." Harry scrambles to come up with an excuse for his words.
Reaching out, Severus pulls the child to him and lifts him off his feet. Instead of laying him face down as Harry expects, he sits him on his lap.
"Son, you are quite an amazing ten year old. You have such a way of understanding people for one so young. Thank you for telling me what I needed to hear." Severus says holding the boy close for a few minutes. Harry finds it hard to believe he's being held and snuggled by his strict no nonsense uncle.
Neither sees the blue eyed, young boy watching angrily from his slightly cracked bedroom door.
"Uncle Sev, is it time for lunch yet? I'm really hungry." Harry asks beginning to squirm on Severus' lap.
"Is my holding you making you this uncomfortable Harry? I've seen you with Sirius and you didn't seem this uncomfortable."
"No sir, it's not you holding me, that feels nice. It's just that Hagrid made us tea and he serves tea in a bowl. He insisted I have two cups or bowls, sir."
When Severus doesn't seem to take the hint, Harry decides he had better spell it out.
"Uncle Sev, I really need to go to the loo here, I'm about to die!"
"Well we wouldn't want that, go on then, lunch will be on the table when you get out."
"Yes sir." Harry answered rushing down the hall.
"Draco, you may come out now. You may set the table for lunch. We need plates, glasses, bowls, forks, knives and spoons as well as napkins." Severus tells the boy as he comes into the kitchen.
"He had to make a loo run, he'll be here in a few minutes. Would you like chicken and vegetable soup or beef and vegetable soup?" Severus asks.
"I like the beef the best. May we have roast beef sandwiches with cheese too?" Draco asks beginning to gather the plates and bowls.
"That's what we'll have. We'll see what Harry wishes to have for dessert."
Coming back into the kitchen, Harry sees the table set and steaming bowls of soup waiting.
"Wow, Uncle Sev, you cook real fast! You must have had that already cooked." Harry says as he watches Draco cover his mouth to hide the snickers.
"Why was that funny?" Harry asks getting irritated with his cousin.
"Dad didn't cook this, you silly troll. Don't you know anything?"
"Draco!" Severus says quietly but firmly.
"I'm sorry for laughing Harry. The house elves cooked this and we just ordered it up for lunch. We also ordered roast beef and cheese sandwiches with chips. Dad says you get to pick out dessert. What are you going to order?"
Shaking his head at his son's pushing, Severus says "Let Harry alone. He hasn't even taken a bit of soup on his spoon yet and you are pushing for him to order dessert. Leave him be. What is with you today? You are not behaving very nicely."
Huffing a little at the second scolding, Draco answers quietly "I'm just tired of being alone and want to talk I guess."
"Talking is fine but being rude to your cousin and acting out is not. This is my only warning Draco. Straighten it up or I will take you over my knee. You have reached your limit for one day, my boy."
After a few minutes of silence, Severus asks "Well Harry, besides having two giant cups of tea, what else did you do while visiting Hagrid?"
"He served us one of his rock cakes and Ron tried to take a bite of it!" Harry says breaking into giggles at the memory.
"I fail to see the humor here, Harry."
"Oh but Uncle Sev, you should have seen Ron's face. He thought the cake was going to be soft and good just like the ones we have here but it really does seem like a rock. It's hard and you can't even cut it with a knife. It was so funny."
"Hmm, well what else went on. It doesn't take two hours to have tea and cakes."
"He told us stories too. All about the creatures he's worked with and what he finds in the forest. It's fascinating."
Seeing both Harry and Draco enraptured with the ideas of magical forest creatures, Severus says "I'm sure he has wonderful stories to tell but just remember he is an adult not a child. He is allowed to visit the forest but, hear me well boys, You Are Not! It's called the FORBIDDEN Forest for a reason. It is forbidden for students to enter unless accompanied by at least one adult wizard. You must have my or Sirius' permission and have someone we approve of with you at all times. It's a dangerous place and you two better heed me and stay away from it if you value your hides."
"Yes Sir" both boys answer, Draco sighing at the scolding.
"Harry, if you are finished you may order dessert for the two of you. I have some correspondence to finish. Once you finish dessert, you may entertain yourselves quietly here in the house. Draco, you are still grounded for the rest of the day. Harry you may go out only if you ask permission first."
"Yes sir, I remember." Draco answers.
"So, Draco do you want treacle tart or ice cream or cake?" Harry asks.
"Let's do both ice cream and cake."
Harry asks "How do I get it to come? Who do I call to bring it? Dobby?"
"No, just tap the table three times and say we want yellow cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate ice cream and chocolate shakes."
"We want yellow cake with chocolate frosting, chocolate ice cream and chocolate shakes." Harry repeats tapping the table three times.
Popping into sight is a young house elf wearing a small blazer emblazoned with an S. "Youse called sirs?"
"I didn't call you Mitzy." Draco says dismissively.
"Someone called for dessert, young Master Snape. Be that not youse?"
"Oh, uh, that was Harry."
"Ah, young master Potter-Black. You have wishes for dessert do you?"
"Yes. May we please have it now?" Harry asks politely.
"Right away young sir. Here you are." Mitzy places a thin slice of cake with chocolate icing in front of each child.
"Mitzy, stupid elf! We asked for more than just a slim piece of cake! Bring the rest NOW!" Draco orders in his best lord of the manor tone.
"Mitzy Beee Sorrreee, Sirr. MItzy go punish herself." Before the boys can say anything she's banging her head on a cabinet door and then opening and closing the door on her head.
"What in all that is good, is all that noise? What are you two doing in here?" Severus calls loudly as he storms into the kitchen.
"Elf, cease At Once!" Severus snaps seeing Mitzy punishing herself.
"Yes Master Snape."
"What is the meaning of this?" Severus asks all three of the kitchen occupants with a fierce scowl.
"The young masters ordered dessert sir. Mitzy bring dessert. Young master angry, order loudly for more. Find Mitzy disobedient! Must punish self!"
"I see cake on the table, exactly what else did the young masters order Mitzy?"
"Chocolate ice cream and chocolate milkshakes. House elves under strict orders not to serve but one dessert. Harry Potter- Black one chocolate serving so say Professor Black."
"Did young Master Black order you to bring the chocolate desserts when you gave them cake?"
"Oh no sir. Young Master Black never raised voice, complained. Young Master Snape objected, ordered stupid elf obedience loudly. Tis true. Stupid Elf. Must punish! Disobeyed! Bad Elf!
"Two of those statements are true, Mitzy but not about you. You followed your adult Master's orders perfectly and that is all I ask. Do not punish yourself for badly behaved children. The children take orders from us and have no authority to order you to do something. Have a good afternoon, you may go."
With a wide eyed look of awe, Mitzy pops out as easily as she popped in.
Turning to look at the two boys who are suddenly fascinated by the tablecloth, Severus commands "Look at me!" Trying to remain calm, he asks "Harry, how many desserts are you allowed per meal?"
"One, Uncle Severus."
"Was it your idea to order all of those desserts?" Glancing at his Uncle's snapping eyes, Harry bites his lip and looks back at the tablecloth.
"I asked you a question Harry James and you had better answer me with words right this minute!"
"No Sir, it was not my idea. I've never ordered for the table before. We don't do it that way at home." Harry says quietly looking straight at his uncle as he knows he is expected to do.
"Draco! Did you tell Harry to order three desserts?"
"Did you tell him to order three chocolate desserts even knowing he is not to have that much chocolate because of his allergy to it?"
Unable to answer that for the lump in his throat, Draco nods.
"Draco Tobias, did you issue orders and call Mitzy a Stupid Elf because she would not follow them? Give me a verbal answer young man!"
"Yes Sir." Draco whispers bottom lip trembling.
"Draconis Tobias Snape, I am ashamed of you! You of all people, know what it is like to be put down and called names. You are not to order anyone about, young man! You are not the Lord of the Manor here. You treat everyone with courtesy and respect! My son is a gentleman and will behave as such! I told you earlier today, you had just reached your limit on cheekiness and acting out, remember?"
At Draco's nod, Severus says "You just crossed the line, my boy. Go to my study and wait for me in the corner. I do not want to see you anywhere but that corner when I come. Go Now."
"Uncle Sev?" Harry whispers near tears.
"Yes Harry?""Please don't whip him sir. I shouldn't have ordered what he said. I should have said no to him. I didn't so I should get punished too."
"First of all, I don't plan to whip Draco. His cheekiness and rude behavior has earned him a spanking, however. Second, you didn't do anything to deserve punishment, son. Most people who have not ordered for the table would have copied the order as told to them. I think it would be best for you to go back to the dormitory for the rest of the evening. Remember not to go anywhere but there and do not leave it. I will be checking on you later."
"Yes Uncle Sev. I'll mind you. Uncle Sev? When will my Dad be home? I thought he'd be home by now."
"He's in a meeting so it will depend on when the meeting adjourns. I'm sure he will let you know when he does arrive home. Now be off with you."
Entering the portrait hole, Harry finds Ron sitting in front of the chessboard looking lonely. "Hi Ron, want to play?"
"Harry! I thought you were staying at Draco's today."
"I was but Uncle Sev sent me here. Draco's in a lot of trouble and is getting his backside blistered about now. I really didn't want to stay to listen."
"His Dad would spank him enough to leave blisters? That's mean!"
"It's an expression, Ron. It just means he's getting a sound spanking! Merlin, you are hard to talk with at times!"
Much later that evening, Severus comes to check on Harry and the rest of the children in the dorm. "Good evening children. Professor Black is away for now so I'm handling the lights out tonight. Everyone needs to get their baths now and be ready for lights out in an hour. I'll be back to see that my instructions were followed. Anyone not ready for bed will lose points and have detention with me tomorrow."
This announcement causes a mad dash for the showers. Chuckling under his breath, Severus turns to Harry. "Well, did you have some supper Harry?"
"Yes sir." Harry answers with Ron looking on wide eyed.
"Then be off to get yourself ready for bed. I'll be coming in again in an hour to check on you."
After Severus leaves and the boys have showered, Ron whispers "Harry, you lied to Professor Snape! Have you lost it? You know you didn't eat tonight."
"I haven't lost it, Ron. He would make me eat if he knew and I am just not hungry. I'll eat breakfast and I'll be fine. Let's get in bed. I don't want detention tomorrow."
When his Uncle has completed bed check and the lights have been off for an hour, Harry allows the tears to come. His stomach is hurting much more now than it was that afternoon. Curling up on his side he feels the tears soak his pillow. "I just want to see my Dad. Why won't he come? I don't want to be all alone. Please God, I need my Dad back. Don't take him too, don't let me be all alone." Harry pleads silently. Two hours later he's still wide awake and needs someone to talk too.
"Uncle Sev will be mad if I go to him when he said not to leave the dorm. Grandpa is gone too so I can't talk to him. I'll go visit Uncle Remus, he might help. I'll just take the invisibility cape and I'll be fine." Harry convinces himself as he pulls on his clothes.
Fifteen minutes later, finding himself confronted by a rather stern looking Uncle, he wonders if this was a smart decision.
"Harry James Potter - Black! What on Earth are you doing wandering the halls at midnight? Get in here!"
"I just needed to come see you." Harry says quietly.
"Sit down and explain." Remus answers somewhat less sternly, seeing the boy is close to tears.
"My stomach has hurt all evening and is still hurting. I can't sleep."
"Harry, I'm not the Potions master or the nurse so what is the real reason you came to me?"
"I'm afraid." Harry whispers.
"Afraid of what Pup?" Remus asks after sitting beside the boy and pulling him into his lap.
"Dad's been gone for two whole days! I haven't had an owl or anything from him at all. I'm scared he isn't coming back! Is he dead too, Uncle Remus? If he is will you take me in?"
"Harry, Sirius is coming home."
"You don't know that. Will you take me? I promise not to be much trouble. I can be good."
"Hush now, listen to me. I would take you if I had too no matter what you might do. I won't have too. Your Dad is coming home little one. He has to be busy right now but he will be back. I believe it will be by lunch today even. Now come and I'll walk you back to your dorm. I want your promise you will not leave after curfew again."
"I promise. Um, Uncle Remus? Are you going to tell anyone?"
"This is between us, Pup. I will not mention it unless I find you wandering the halls after curfew again. If I do, you will be answering to me not Severus. That is who you are worried about isn't it?"
"Yes. I'm supposed to be minding him as he's looking after me this weekend. I'm in trouble if he finds out."
"There's no ' IF he finds out' to it young man! Just where have you been? Ron alerted me to the fact that you were missing a half hour ago! Explain yourself before I decide to put you over my knee and paddle you right here in the corridor!" Harry hears behind him.
Closing his eyes and hoping he is dreaming, Harry slowly turns around only to find he isn't dreaming at all. A furious Severus Snape is standing right behind him.
"Now Severus, calm down. Harry has been with me and is alright." Remus says soothingly.
"DO NOT tell me to calm down, Lupin! The boy is my responsibility this weekend not yours. If he disobeys he will be punished. As far as I see it, his having been told to stay in the dorm and the fact he is now out here, qualifies as disobedience."
"STOP!" Harry yells, suddenly feeling angry at the arguing and his stomach still aches.
"Harry James Potter- Black, don't you ever raise your voice to us!" Remus says sternly.
"I'm sorry for shouting but Uncle Remus, Uncle Sev, I don't want you two arguing over me, please stop. I went to Uncle Remus because I needed to talk to him about something. I took the invisibility cloak and no one knew I was there. I was safe Uncle Sev."
"Go to bed, Harry. We will discuss this at breakfast. You come to my quarters for breakfast at eight in the morning. For your bum's sake, Do Not let me even suspect you disobeyed me again tonight!" Severus says as they reach the Gryffindor common room entrance. "This cloak of your will be kept and turned in to your Dad when I next see him. He needs to keep it locked up!"
"Yes sir, good night Uncle Remus and Uncle Severus." Harry says before entering the room.
"Sleep well Harry. Your Dad will be back, you'll see." Remus answers.
"What was that about?" Severus asks after Harry has gone.
"He came to me in tears because he is worried Sirius won't come home. He said he wanted to know if I would take him in if something had happened to Sirius. He's scared, Severus. Harry's just a little boy and he lost his parents. Now he's afraid something has happened to Sirius too. Please don't punish him for this. I would have spanked him myself if I thought he needed punishment."
"YOU doling out a spanking to your favorite child? I just don't think it will happen. I won't punish him but I am going to have a stern talk with him about this."
"Thank you Severus. Good night." Remus replies turning the corner to go back to the junior Slytherin dorm.
Harry finds himself outside his Uncle Severus's quarters at seven fifty the next morning. Warily, he knocks on the door hoping maybe, his Uncle is not home. Unfortunately, the door opens and he hears "Come in Harry. We're in the kitchen."
Stopping to hang his coat and scarf on the rack by the door, Harry walks slowly towards the kitchen. Sev's voice didn't sound angry but he wasn't going to hurry either. He just didn't want to get punished for last night.
Finally entering the Kitchen, sitting room area, Harry stops and stares in surprise.
"DAD? Is that really you?"
"Hey there Pup, of course it's me. Why are you so surprised?" Sirius asks now holding a lapful of boy.
"Harry had himself convinced you had left him, Sirius. He had a bad night last night because he thought you were not ever coming back. I found him wandering the hall after curfew. He'd been out to see Lupin and was being taken back to the dorm by him."
"Harry? Why did you think I wouldn't come back? I'll never go off and leave you alone, son. You mean the world to me. You're my Pup!"
"I just get worried that somebody is going to kill you like they did Mummy and Daddy. I'd be all alone then."
"No son, you wouldn't be all alone. I don't plan on anything ever happening to me but if something did, you have Uncle Sev and Uncle Remus who would love you as their own. You have Grampa and Grandma also. I'm sure even Ron's Mum would step in and take over your life if you let her. You'd have so many people bossing you around you would be screaming for help!"
Giggling at this statement, Harry asks "Can I stay home from classes today? I want to be with you and I'm awfully tired too. I didn't get much sleep last night."
"Well if you hadn't misbehaved and gone wandering after curfew, you wouldn't be tired today, now would you?" Sirius asks somewhat sternly.
"I know. Am I going to get punished?" Harry whispers.
"Severus? Do you think Harry deserves to be punished for disobeying while he was in your care?" Sirius asks quietly.
"Harry was very well behaved the whole time you were gone, Sirius. I think under the circumstances, he should get off with just a warning this one time. Do you agree?"
"Harry James, we will let this one slide. This will be your only time when you are not punished. If you are caught out of your dorm after curfew again, you will face severe consequences. I will not allow you to put yourself in danger! Is this understood young man?" Sirius asks, his voice stern.
"Yes Sir." Harry whispers looking ashamed.
"Good, now once we finish breakfast, I think we should both go home and sleep. I'm exhausted and you seem tired too. I'll have your assignments delivered to our quarters and you will do them today after your rest."
Later that afternoon, working on his school assignments, Harry makes a decision. Gathering quill, paper and ink he goes to find his Dad.
"Dad? I need to show you something. Fred and George gave me this quill. I want you to see what it does." Harry says dipping the quill in the ink. Pressing the tip to the parchment paper, Harry moves the quill across the paper. The quill writes 'Sirius Black'. Lifting the quill and waiting, Harry bites his lip in anticipation of what his Dad might say.
"The quill signs my name? How ingenious is that? That would come in handy for grade reports and correspondence. I'm a bit mystified at why you want a quill to sign my name instead of yours. What reason would that be, Harry?" Sirius asks while giving Harry a searching look.
"Dad, I'm not doing well in my Mathematics class. I'm trying really hard and Draco's been tutoring me too. I don't know what's wrong but when I do the work outside of class, I can usually do it. When I have to do quizzes or tests or perform in class, I get all mixed up. I have three tests with poor on them and I used the quill to sign them. I'm sorry. I wasn't really trying to hide it from you. I just didn't want to let you know I wasn't as smart as you think I am."
"Come around and sit with me, son." Sirius says pushing his desk chair out so Harry can climb up on his lap. "Alright, let's get this settled once and for all. I love you. You are my son and it does not matter how smart you are or how well you perform magic. You are my child and I love you just for who you are. Can you believe me on this?"
"You don't care that I can't do math well?"
"I want you to do your best at all times, Harry. If you are doing that, then I am satisfied. I don't know where you get the idea that you have to be the top performer in everything. That just isn't true. I want to see you do your best work and won't accept less but I do not expect you to be the top of every class or event. If the score is the best you can do, then I will be happy with that."
"Are you going to spank me?
"What have you done that you feel might warrant a spanking, Harry?" Sirius asks wanting to know if Harry understands his misdeeds.
"I think for having three tests with Poor and for not letting you see them and having the magic quill sign them and not being truthful."
"Let's go over that list you just told me. I think we already covered the fact that if you do your best, the grade doesn't matter, I believe you have been truthful as you just told me everything that went on so that only leaves not letting me see the quizzes. Let me ask you something, is it acceptable to hide things from me, Harry?"
"No sir, but I wasn't really hiding the grades….…. well, I guess I was. I just didn't want you to be upset with me. I'm really sorry and I won't do it anymore, I learned my lesson. Okay Dad? You don't have to spank me."
"I think we should go with that, son. You knew better than to hide things from me. Climb off and lay over my lap."
"Please Don't, I'm sorry!" Harry says, near tears as he positions himself face down.
"You said there were three tests that you used the quill for so you get three smacks. No more hiding problems from me ever! If you have a problem with something tell me and we will handle it together." Sirius says as he smacks Harry's bum just enough to let him feel a slight sting. Finished, he lifts the boy back into his lap again.
"That was my spanking? I hardly even felt the smacks!" Harry says, perplexed at this soft punishment.
"Hmm, maybe I should try it again. I can smack harder this time if you want me too."
"No, No, that's fine. I felt it enough. I won't be signing any more tests with the quill. I swear!" Harry says quickly.
"No, that won't be happening. I'm keeping this quill to use it myself. Now, let me see your Mathematics notebook. I want to see what you are having problems doing. Is your grade going to be below Acceptable on the grade report, son?"
"I'm not sure, but I'm thinking it might be. If it is are you going to punish me?"
"Let's just work on what you have trouble doing and not worry about that for now."
After classes the next day, Harry tells Draco and Ron how cool his Dad is being. "I mean I had THREE tests with Poor, I hid them and had a magic quill sign the tests for him and he barely even punished me! He gave me a spanking but it was so light I hardly felt the smacks at all! Draco can back me up on this, my Dad has the hardest hand in Britain and if he wants to attack your bum he will!"
"I've had him spank me too, Harry. I don't need you to tell me about how hard he spanks! Remember last year?" Ron replies rubbing his backside sorrowfully.
Giggling at his expression, Draco says "Let's get off talking about spankings. Let's do something FUN! We have two hours before dinner, let's go visit Hagrid. There's something going on that the two of you aren't telling me. Will you let me in on it?"
"It's not us keeping it, Draco. Hagrid is the one keeping the secret. We can go, but I can't say he'll let you in on the secret. He probably will though. Okay Ron?"
"Yes Harry, let's go. I want to see the secret again. I wonder if it's changed."
Inside Hagrid's hut, Harry explains "Draco wants to know what's going on. We didn't tell him but he's very good at guessing. Can we share it with him?"
"Right-o Harry! We weren't keeping it from you Draco. You just didn't get to come that time. Let's pull the shades and I'll get them out."
Placing the box on the table, Hagrid says "Climb the stools boys and have a look."
"Are they for real and can I touch it?"
The three boys all say in unison.
"Amazing isn't it boys? Yep, they're for real. No, Draco, I don't want you to touch them just yet. They're only babies you know. Give 'em a fortnight or so before we handle them. You will keep this secret right boys? They'll be taken away from me and you if someone finds out! I can raise them with your help. Are you in?"
"I'm in!" Harry answers immediately.
"Me too!" Draco replies.
"What kind of help do you want? I'm not much good with babies. I dropped Ginny three times when she was a baby. Mum only knows about once so don't tell!" Ron admits.
"I'll need you to gather leaves and bark for them mostly. You can start today. Here's the leaf, it comes from the brickle bush and the bark comes from the towering oaks. "
"UMM, Hagrid?" Harry speaks up after Ron and Draco both nudge him.
"Those things you want us to get only grow in the forest."
"Tis True. Problem?"
"The FORBIDDEN Forest, Hagrid."
"Well, if you don't want to help, then I guess I can get it myself sometime."
"NO, we all want to help!" Draco puts in quickly. "We'll get them. Right guys?"
"Yeah, we'll do it, Hagrid. We'll go right now even!"
"Such good lads. All three of you. I knew I could count on you. But, I see now it's getting dark, so you better wait until another day to go. Right now, you better scurry off to supper. You don't want your Professors to be looking for you."
"Right! Bye, Hagrid! Thanks for letting us help." Harry calls as the boys leave.
Walking back to the castle, Draco says "I'm shocked. I knew it was something special, I mean with Hagrid it had to be, but that was never thought of!"
"I know. I was shocked too. How are we going to get in and out of the forest though?" Ron asks. "If we get caught we'll get detention for weeks!"
"If we get caught, detention will be minor compared to what our Dads will do to us!" Draco replies.
"We'll just have to keep thinking of something. I thought of my cloak, but Uncle Severus took it away from me so I don't have it. We can't attempt to go into the forest until the weekend. We have to have enough daylight to hunt for the plants." Harry speaks up.
"Draco, maybe you could find Harry's cloak in your house and bring it out to us." Ron tells him.
"Ron! Do you want me to be housebound for the rest of the year?"
"Well no. It was just an idea!"
"Yeah a bad one. My Dad would know it was missing and who took it. After he got finished blistering my backside, I'd be confined to my room forever! Bad Idea, Really Bad Idea!" Draco says shuddering at the thought.
Harry can't help but giggle at the look on Draco's face and his words. "Bad idea, Ron. Really Bad Idea!" he snickers.
"Well then, you two think of something. I'm not staying around to be laughed at. I'm going to dinner!" Ron says as he huffs and walks off by himself.
"Whups! I think we insulted him." Draco says to Harry.
"He'll get over it. He gets mad fast but he gets unmad faster! Come on, let's eat!"
The children were given their mid- term grade reports two days later.
"What a way to ruin a three day weekend! No classes Monday but with grade reports going out, who's going to want to have fun?" Ron complains to Harry.
"Yeah, I know. I still don't know for sure if I'm going to be punished for a bad grade in Math. I told my Dad about the problems I was having but that might not be enough. I didn't tell him until Monday that I was still having problems."
"What score did the old evil one give you? He's had it in for you since the first day! Other kids can't get all the problems either and he doesn't jump down their craw for it!"
"That's 'jump down their throat', Ron. It's not 'craw' it's throat." Harry says absently while looking at his score report. "Oh, great, I'm in deep trouble. I made a P in muggle mathematics."
"But you said, Sirius knew you weren't doing well. So why are you in trouble?" Ron asks.
"I don't know if I'm in trouble for that but look at the score for History."
"Harry! You had a Exceeds Expectations last year and now you have a Troll? What in the universe happened to you? Man, your Dad is going to blast into space when he sees this! You better think up something to tell him and fast! I don't want my best friend to be killed by his Dad."
"Hi guys, what are you looking so worried about?" Draco asks walking into the common room.
"Take a look at Harry's score report and you'll see. Maybe you can help him out. He needs all the help he can get!" Ron says shaking his head sorrowfully.
"Let's see it Harry." Taking the paper he reads, "Astronomy – E. Yeah, you'd be dead if you messed up in your Dad's class, Potions – A , Transformation – A, Mathematics – P, Defense – E , Herbology – A and History… Oh Man, what is that? What happened to you? I thought you loved History! Didn't you make an E in it last year? Now you have a TROLL! You better find six pairs of underwear and put them on before you show Uncle Sirius this score! He might just whip you this time! Man oh Man, I'm glad I don't have to face him with this! I don't want a belt on my backside!"
"So am I! I'm really happy not to be you right now, Harry. My Mum is going to be all over me for making a P in Potions but at least she's not right here in the castle." Ron exclaims.
"Harry, do you still have that special pen? Just this once, you could use that here." Draco says not wanting to let Ron know what he means.
"Draco, I know about the quill! My brothers invented it, remember?" Ron says irritably. It seems to him the cousins are forever trying to keep secrets from him.
"Sorry, I just didn't know you knew. Now, Harry, do you still have it?"
"No, Dad has it. I'm not going to sneak around about this. I'm just going to face up to it. I'm going down to get it over with in just a few minutes. Don't wait up because I more than likely won't be back tonight. I probably won't feel up to walking after our talk."
Coming into their quarters, Harry hangs his coat in the closet and calls "Dad? Are you home?"
"I'm here in the study, Pup. Come join me for tea. I just fixed a pot." Sirius answers coming to the doorway.
"Dad, I came to show you my score report. I didn't want to wait until tomorrow. Here it is." Harry says handing it to Sirius as he walks into the study and sits down.
"Go ahead son. Fix you a cup and take a couple of biscuits. I'll just read over this and then we can talk about it together." Sirius says noticing Harry just sitting not drinking.
Watching Sirius as he reads, Harry sees him nod and smile slightly during most of the reading of the scores until he comes to the two Harry is most worried about. Harry sees his Dad's eyes darken slightly at the first low score and widen in shock at the last one. Dropping his head to look at his lap, Harry fights to keep the tears that have formed in his eyes, from falling.
"Harry, look at me, son." Sirius says.
"I'm so sorry, Dad. I didn't know I was going to make that T. Do you want me to go wait in my room now?" Harry asks as the tears drip off his chin.
Sighing slightly, Sirius answers "Come around here, Harry."
Walking slowly, Harry approaches the other side of his Dad's desk.
"Come closer, son." Sirius says reaching out for his son. In seconds, Harry is sitting on his lap with his face buried in the front of Sirius's shirt, sobbing.
"Hush, stop crying and listen to me. You are alright. There's no need to cry so. I'm not angry at all, Pup. Hush, now." Sirius says rubbing Harry's back gently.
"But I made such bad scores. I didn't just make a P, I made a T! The only thing worse than a Troll is Dreadful! A score of T is really bad, you do know that don't you?" Harry asks looking up at Sirius.
"I am a professor, Harry. I believe I know the grading scale quite well. I've even given out a few Trolls and once or twice a Dreadful, myself. You know something else? I made them as well, when I was a boy. I lived to tell about it and so will you." Sirius says smiling now.
"You aren't going to spank me?"
"No, son. You aren't going to be spanked or punished in any other way. I do want to know what happened in your History of Magic class. That's one of your favorite classes."
"I put so much of my worktime into the math that I let my work in the other classes get behind. I couldn't keep up with the homework for History. I thought I had only missed two assignments but Professor Buggs said I hadn't turned in four. I forgot to turn in my History of Magic report last week. I had it finished but I forgot to take it to class. He wouldn't let me go get it in the dorm and gave me a D for not having it with me. I offered to bring it after class but he wouldn't let me. Professor Buggs is not as nice a teacher as Professor Lemmings was last year."
"Nice or not, he is your Professor for this year and you must do as he says. I expect you to turn in all missed assignments by the end of next week. This is a mid- term report not end of term report so you have four weeks to bring your grade up to Acceptable or above. This History grade will be back to at least Acceptable by then, right son?"
"Yes Sir." Harry answers, understanding the unspoken command to raise the grade.
"I've been thinking, Harry and I've decided to take you out of the muggle math class altogether. I think any Mathematics work you need to learn can be taught by Remus or myself. I've talked to Remus and he has asked to tutor you in Mathematics two days a week after classes. We'll make that be on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from four to five. How does that seem to you?"
"I can't wait! I love that idea, Dad. You're the best Dad ever!"
"MMM hmmm, I'll remind you, that you think I'm the best, the next time you get mad at me for some reason. Now, do you want to stay here or go back to the dorm? It's after curfew, so I'll walk you back if you want to go."
"I think I'd like to go back. Draco and Ron thought you were going to whip me or kill me for that T score. Draco said I should put on lots of underwear."
"He said that? Well did you listen to him?"
"Not exactly. He said to put on six pairs but I only put on one extra. I could barely get my pants fastened over them. And now that I talk about it, I need to get them undone quick! I REALLY need to go, Dad!" Harry says frantically trying to undo the tight fastening.
Taking his wand out of his wand holder, Sirius points it at the boy's pants and says "resolve!"
"THANKS Dad!" Harry calls as he runs from the room.
Coming back to join Sirius by the front door, Harry, shaking his head at himself, admits "I nearly didn't make it, Dad! I wouldn't have if you hadn't helped me out. Ten year olds don't wet their pants!"
"You are quite a nutter, Pup. Maybe next time you decide to add extra underwear you will also choose bigger pants to put over them and not ones that are almost too small to start with! You are lucky I remembered the unfasten charm quickly."
"I think that's a charm I need to learn, Dad."
"That's true and son, just so you'll know, adding extra underwear doesn't help when you are in big trouble. Dads can tell these things and will work around them."
At Harry's confused "Huh?" He answers "I would have pulled your pants down."
"Not fair, Dad!" Harry replies reddening at the thought of a bare bottom spanking.
"That's life, kiddo. Unfair as it is." Sirius answers, chuckling at Harry's outraged expression.
"Let's get you back to the dorm before your friends send for the Cavalry. I like being known as a stern Professor but I don't want to be thought of as a murderer!"
"You aren't either one. The kids don't really believe you would actually kill me. It's just an expression Dad. It means they thought I was going to be in really big trouble for my scores." Harry explains.
"Thank you for explaining, son. Now, don't forget to do at least one History of Magic assignment tonight. Tomorrow, bring it down and I'll proofread it for you. You'll have the rest of the weekend free of History assignments. I do recall some Astronomy homework assigned however. Since you think that Professor is a pushover, you might feel the urge to skip it. A word of advice...Don't."
"Yes Dad, I'll do your assignment." Harry says giggling at the teasing.
"In you go, Pup. Enjoy your night and I'll see you for lunch tomorrow with that finished essay for History." Sirius says as they reach the dorm's entrance.
"Wait, before you go in, there's one more thing we should take care of just for your friend's sake." Sirius says as he applies his hand firmly to Harry's backside.
Rubbing fiercely and staring at his Dad in shock, Harry whispers "What was that for?"
"You shouldn't go in all smiles, when your friends expect you to be half dead now should you? Well, I was helping you out. See you tomorrow, son." Sirius whispers back, grinning.