Harry Potter and the ? (Prisoner of Azkaban)

Talons and Tea Leaves

I can never say enough, how much I thank you all for the constant reviews and support I get just from watching the views shoot up every time I check. You are the reason I do this!

“Can we please have lunch now” James groaned, rubbing at his stomach and eyeing Lily hopefully before Harry could start.

“Oh yes, alright,” Lily sighed, then asked “would one of you go get the baby please.”

Sirius jumped to his feet and did as asked, while Harry followed his Mom into the kitchen, badgering her about letting him help this time. She finally relented, leaving Remus and James in rather awkward silence.

Remus got to his feet and shuffled awkwardly for a second, then gestured vaguely to the kitchen as he began “ah, guess I’ll-”

“I’m not mad at you Remus” James interrupted, patting his hands on his knees with nerves and not exactly looking over at him. “It’s not like it’s really your responsibility to look after him-”

“But I still should have done something” Remus cut off, temper at himself beginning to rise again. He didn’t really get mad at too much, liking to think of himself as a rather laid back person, but his own actions had set him on edge like he had just found out his future self-had dumped Harry at the Dursleys.

“Like what?” Sirius asked, making the pair turn and see Sirius leaning against the door, the baby cradled in his arms.

Remus cast his mind around before offering “gotten Dumbledore to set up somewhere I could have seen Harry, even if it was infrequently it would have been better than nothing.”

Lily and Harry made their reappearance, Lily catching on at once and cutting in “sorry Remus, but I don’t see that happening.”

“Why not” both James and Sirius huffed, since this had been something they had both been thinking.

“Well think about it,” Lily snapped “you’re sitting there blaming one of your best friends for something that even Dumbledore or Hagrid didn’t do! No one had been there to check on Harry since he was left there, or worse Dumbledore knew and did nothing. Why I still can’t imagine, but I still haven’t forgiven him for what these books have implied he did back during Harry’s first year, so lay off someone who might not have even been given a say in the matter.”

Sirius opened, then closed his mouth and turned his attention back to the baby, rather shamefully scuttling into the kitchen to get the kid his food. James shifted his weight around, but nodded and caught Remus’ eye saying honestly “okay, true. I am sorry for, ah, being mad.”

Remus hesitated, rocking back on his heels and still looking up to arguing the point anyways, then gave a dark laugh at the irony he was still holding this against himself when clearly no one else was. Now more curious than anything, he persisted “has anyone stopped to question why though? What exactly was Dumbledore thinking when he cut off Harry like that? Remember how we thought ol’ Mrs. Figg might be the same from the Order, and all those random people Harry saw when he was younger. Why didn’t he grow up with someone telling him what was going on?”

“Dumbledore explained that in the first chapter,” Harry reminded “said he didn’t want me growing up knowing my fame and all.”

“I get that,” he waved off “and I’m not saying there’s an easy way to explain that to you at any age, but if you’d grown up knowing it, been treated as a normal child and not a hero like someone should have while explaining this to you-” he finished giving a suggestive look to Lily like he expected her to give a counterargument.

She didn’t though, no one did. They all saw a leader in Dumbledore, someone to be respected and not questioned too deeply, but this was Harry they were talking about. Had he really done something to make sure Remus didn’t do exactly this? If so, then that truly was going to tick them all off, where did he get the authority to do that?

Harry was gently testing his feelings, trying not to pry too deeply as he pondered if he’d ever really been given an answer to this. He was still sure his headmaster explained to him more properly about these types of things later in life, but had Remus been mentioned during this? He didn’t think so, and now almost hoped he had asked at some point.

With nothing else to say on the matter, they ate lunch in relative comfort, and after they were done Sirius insisted he wanted to keep the baby around again. They were all confident nothing to bad should happen to Harry this year, so no one protested as Sirius began one of the toddler’s favorite games, and started releasing colorful puffs of smoke from his wand while he used his chubby fists to clutch at them, random peals of laughter erupting all around.

Harry took one more moment to capture this, looking around at his family and determined to keep this very image in his mind for the rest of his life, before starting his chapter.

The next morning at breakfast, the first thing they saw was Malfoy seemingly entertaining some of Slytherin house with an amusing story.

“Highly doubt it was actually that funny” Sirius said in a goofy voice since he was still mostly entertaining the kid.

As they were walking by, he pretended to faint, to cheering laughing.

“Wow, Sirius was right” Remus rolled his eyes.

“First time for everything” James grinned.

Hermione just told Harry to ignore the lot of them, it wasn’t worth retaliating.

“Easier said than done” Harry grumbled.

Another of Malfoy’s gang, Pansy Parkinson, caught sight of Harry and jeered at him that the dementors were coming for him.

Harry ground his teeth together in annoyance for a moment, but then Sirius gave a snarky laugh and demanded “was she actually trying to scare you, because that was pathetic.”

Harry slammed into his chair next to George, who asked what was wrong with him. Ron explained just as Malfoy set up another uproar of laughter again at the Slytherin table with his fainting act.

“Probably caught sight of his own reflection” James grumbled.

George called him a git,

“My sentiments exactly” Remus smirked.

stating that he hadn’t acted nearly so cocky when the dementors had been near them. Fred agreed that he’d come running into their compartment with wet pants.

“Now there’s something I would have liked to see” Sirius grinned, still not completely over his disgust at the beasts, but pretty sure he’d tolerate them just to watch that.

Both of the twins agreed those dementors hadn’t made them feel any better, but Harry morosely asked if they’d passed out during their experience. George told Harry to cheer up, no one could act very well with those things around, remembering when their dad had to go out and visit Azkaban once, and he’d come back to the house shaking.

James grimaced and nodded in disgust, having personally never been there himself, but knowing someone else who had that came back in the same way.

Fred agreed that dementors had the effect of draining happiness out of anything, and that most of the prisoners went crazy while there.

Sirius refused to let his mood drop back down at this nasty little reminder, continuing his own personal game with the baby, which made the others realize all the more why he had insisted on wanting him down here.

Then he added on a happier subject Malfoy wouldn’t be acting like this long once the first Quidditch game came around, Gryffindor versus Slytherin.

“How could I forget” James smiled, distracted at once from keeping an eye on Sirius to make sure he really was okay.

“I want that chapter,” Sirius said at once “I haven’t gotten any of them!”

“Well you can have it,” Remus said in disgust “cause I’m rather sick of them at this point.”

“Cheer up Moony,” James said with a shrug “yeah those past ones were awful, but there’s no way anything like that can happen again this year. I’m sure Harry will finally have a good game.” He finished with more hope than he should have, rather annoyed that his son couldn’t seem to go one year without something bad happening.

This did lighten the mood when Harry remembered his only past game against Malfoy, where the blond had lost quite poorly.

“There’s a pick me up” Lily smiled indulgently, still personally feeling she’d rather pull Harry from the team altogether, but it was clear he enjoyed the game as much as any of these boys. She didn’t have quite as much faith as them that everything was going to be peachy this year, but she hoped as well.

In a much better mood now, he turned eagerly to his breakfast as Hermione began looking at her schedule for this year, stating they had some new classes. Ron was peaking over her shoulder though, and began laughing that she’d been over scheduled, there wasn’t enough time for all that.

Harry was blinking in puzzled shock and confusion, and then looked around to see the others were as well. What on earth could Ron have said that felt so significant to him?

“Can she really have just doubled up her schedule like that?” Lily asked with interest.

“I don’t see how,” Remus shrugged “like Ron said, there really isn’t enough time in the day for all of that.”

“Then what’s she playing at?” Sirius demanded.

They all shrugged, at a complete loss, and Harry continued eagerly hoping for a better answer.

Hermione said she’d worked it out with McGonagall,

“Well that explained nothing” James grumped.

but Ron was persistent as he pointed out some of the flaws, like how at nine o’clock she had both Divination and Muggle Studies at the same time, which repeated with some more of her classes down the list.

“That’s, impossible though right” Harry asked, ruffling up his brows with confusion and annoyance that he really thought he should know the answer to that.

The four of them exchanged stunned looks. Not as impossible as Harry might think, but time magic was a very obscure thing, hardly anyone understood it properly, and those that did, didn’t share willingly. For Hermione to have gotten a hold of something like it, with McGonagall’s ascent, was mind blowing to them all.

After a bit more of a pause, Lily said slowly “well, no, not impossible dear. Very ah, very hard to pull off, but not undoable.”

“How?” Harry persisted, getting rather eager now they really might know.

“Can’t say for sure,” James said, running his hand through his hair in confusion “it’s not something any of us have knowledge about, correct me if I’m wrong.” He finished with a hopeful look at his friends.

They however, both shrugged and agreed with the couple. Sirius thought he had once heard of something odd in time magic happening to an Unspeakable, but it had been from a girl in a bar months ago, so he couldn’t actually remember the details now. Something about a girl, named Eloise Mintumble, dang what had happened to her again?

Harry nodded in understanding and deflated a bit, knowing it wouldn’t do any good to continue pestering them about something they couldn’t answer. He did ask though “but, what if you wanted to take Arithmancy and Divination, if they really happen at the same time is it just not allowed?“*

“Well no” Lily said fairly “you’d have to rearrange your schedule and possibly take it without your normal classmates, like Hermione would attend Divination one day and most likely take Arithmancy with perhaps the Ravenclaw students instead of her usual house, and that would have explained it if she wasn’t taking three at once. There really just isn’t enough time to work all of that in. Plus, it would have been marked on her schedule as such, not the way Professor McGonagall worked it up.”

Ron was laughing, saying she couldn’t be in both places at once, but Hermione told him he was being silly, she wouldn’t be doing that.

“Yes, Ron’s the one being silly” Lily rolled her eyes.

He tried to keep arguing, but Hermione wouldn’t have it, telling him to get on with his breakfast.

“Wow, she really wants him to let this go” Remus said with a frown.

“And I really hope Ron doesn’t let her” James replied with the same frown.

Ron tried one last time, but Hermione snapped at him that what was it to him if she had a full plate this year?

“Because it’s weird,” Sirius insisted, not that anyone here needed him to remind them of that.

She’d fixed it with her head of house. Hagrid walked in then, carrying a dead polecat.

“Well that’s not encouraging” Lily frowned in concern.

“A bit ominous” James agreed in surprise. They really did like Hagrid, but his few experiences with Harry and his pets hadn’t ended well so far.

“Don’t fret you two,” Remus rolled his eyes “Hagrid can handle anything in that class.”

He spotted the trio and told them how excited he was, that they were going to be in his first ever class, and he really hoped it went well.

“So do I” Lily muttered.

Then he walked away towards breakfast, still brimming over at how happy he was to be a teacher, with the dead polecat hanging limply from his hand.

“That, I will admit, is kind of gross,” Sirius wrinkled up his nose “eating with that thing on the table.”

Ron couldn’t help a bit of unease as he asked what Hagrid could be doing,

“See,” James nodded “we’re not the only ones.”

but they realized they’d have to wait for later to find out, as they had Divination to get to, which was up in the North Tower.

“Well glad we get to see this new class” Remus said eagerly. He didn’t think much of the future seeing magic, but he wasn’t exactly against it either.

“Sorry it had to be so far away though” Sirius grimaced in disgust.

They called a goodby to the twins, but couldn’t exit the hall without Malfoy giving one more performance.

“That’s not even funny,” James snapped “if he’s going to mock you, at least come up with something better than a three-year old’s act.”

“James” Lily said severely, wondering if he’d just realized he’d said picking on their son was okay.

“What?” he snapped right back. “You can’t stop children from picking on each other Lily, the world doesn’t work like that.”

The two sat there for a few moments giving each other moody looks, so Harry just decided to read on and hope to ignore this.

Harry could hear people’s continued laughter ringing up the stairs.

“Glad to see the whole house has the same sense of humor,” Sirius said in disgust “has to make Malfoy feel better about himself somehow.”

Even after two years in this school, they still didn’t know every passage of this castle,

“Seven won’t either” Remus grinned, finally finding a lighter topic to discuss. “In fact, I’m pretty sure there’s no one who actually knows every secret about this school.”

and they had never been up to the North Tower before.

“We did, back when it wasn’t being used,” James nodded “Peter found the entrance to it, and we kind of used it as a secret meeting place sometimes.” Privately keeping out where else they tended to spend their free time. Harry did know about the Shrieking Shack, but not how to get there.

“Wonder what they did to it now it’s a classroom” Sirius said eagerly.

Ron was begging for someone to show them a shortcut,

“There are a few,” Remus nodded “but either way, it is a long walk.”

as they climbed up the seventh staircase, winding up on an unfamiliar bit of corridor, with a nice painting of a green landscape.

“Oh I remember this nutter” Sirius smirked, now watching Harry eagerly to see how he reacted.

Hermione pointed down one corridor,

Remus leaned in and whispered in Sirius’ ear “if only they had some sort of map to help.”

Sirius nodded eagerly, but Harry didn’t notice the exchange.

but Ron looked the way she was pointing and said that had to be south, as the lake was visible from there.

“Credit to him for noticing that” Lily said in approval.

Harry had no idea, and was simply enjoying the magical painting. As he watched, a gray pony came trotting onto the scene, and began happily chewing up the grass. While Harry was long used to the magical paintings of the wizarding world going about, he still loved to watch it.

“Agreed,” James nodded “I always find something interesting to talk to them about.”

The way he said it made it quite clear these talks weren’t always wholesome, but Harry was laughing lightly so Lily didn’t see the point in demanding details.

As he kept staring, a tiny man came charging onto the scene dressed as a knight, armor and all. He stopped next to what was obviously his horse, doubling over and panting. The green stains on his knees showed he had recently fallen off of said horse.

“Bet his attitude hasn’t improved any” Remus rolled his eyes.

“I’d be more worried if it did,” Sirius shrugged “he is a painting, their behaviour shouldn’t change too much.”

He caught sight of the three of them, and pulled a sword out that was much too big for him, calling them several ye old names and demanding a fight.

By then the three boys were laughing in both remembrance at their own interactions with Cadogan, and Harry’s astonished look at the little painting. Only Lily didn’t really know how to feel just now, not used to this rather exuberant nature from a painting.

Even as he did though, he swung his sword that was bigger than him just that little to far and it swung into the ground point first, while the painting landed face first next to it. Harry asked if he was okay,

“You are so sweet” Lily smiled at her son, which only increased the boy’s laughter all the more at Harry’s concern for a painting.

but the painting wouldn’t be pandered and got back to his feet, tried to wrench his sword out of the ground to no effect, then sat back on the grass. Harry jumped in with the question if he knew where the North Tower was.

“That’ll get his attention” Remus nodded approvingly.

The knight’s mod changed at once upon hearing they were on a quest, and shouted they could follow him through any deadly adventure to find this place.

James opened his mouth to say something, but then quickly closed it again. He didn’t seem to find mocking death that funny anymore.

Then he ran right out of the side of his painting, the three of them scrambling to keep up as he continued in this way, only keeping track of him as he pelted threw every painting shouting of the adventures this could lead to. They briefly caught sight of him jumping through a painting full of well dressed women,

“Bet he wouldn’t have minded staying in that painting a bit longer” Remus whispered, making Sirius release a surprised snort of laughter, making the baby in his lap giggle anew.

startling the lot of them though he showed no care as he continued leading them up a spiralling staircase. When they finally reached the landing, he praised at what fun they’d had, and told them that if they needed any more help with these things to simply give Sir Cadogan a call.

“He’s certainly handy to have around” Lily said in some unease, still finding him rather odd.

“Plenty entertaining to” James smirked.

Ron agreed they’d do just that, if they ever needed anyone mental.

“You’d be surprised how often someone mental can come in handy” Sirius grinned.

They looked around to find a few other students in their year mulling around, while Harry looked at his schedule again and told that their Professors name was Sybill Trelawney, but where was she? The moment he said that, a staircase fell from the ceiling, ending right at Harry’s feet.

“She seems to enjoy a show” Lily said in amusement.

Harry went up first, and found himself in a circular room, with tiny tables and beanbags all around the room, the curtains keeping the room in permanent shadows and the fireplace flickering with mystery.

“At least it sounds comfortable,” Sirius grinned “much better than those stools in the other classrooms.”

“I would have fallen asleep in there for sure” Remus rolled his eyes.

The room was already boiling, and there was some smell lingering around the room seemingly coming from a teakettle.

“You’re actually starting to make me sleepy just thinking about it” Sirius nodded in agreement.

Along the walls were dusty books, crystal balls, and many other mystical objects. Ron had climbed up next to Harry, and whispered where the teacher was, and his answer came from a whispering voice behind them, welcoming them all while stating it was nice to see them in the physical world for the first time.

Lily rolled her eyes indulgently, she’d clearly pegged this woman right about putting on a show.

They turned to find a woman, stout and covered in thick green shawls wrapped all around her. She wore many golden bangles and heavy such jewellery, with round glasses that gave her the appearance of a gleaming insect when she blinked. She made her way to one ornately done overstuffed chair and instructed the rest of the students filling in to take a seat. She then introduced herself, and explained that they’d never seen her before because she disliked going into the rest of the world, it tended to obscure her Inner Eye.

“Explains why we didn’t even know who she was before now” James nodded.

“Think she really does have an Inner Eye” Sirius asked with amusement.

“She clearly thinks she does” Remus pointed out, causing all of them to laugh again.

Harry and Lily couldn’t help but notice how giggly the lot of them were being, and wondered if this was how they normally made up a fight, making a lot of idiotic jokes at each other.

There was no comment to this, so she continued by saying that she was pleased they’d all chosen Divination, as it was the hardest of any magic to learn.

“Now that was just a bit pompous” Lily scoffed.

“All teachers think their branch is the hardest” James agreed.

She did warn though that this class was selective, you must have Sight to progress. Books weren’t going to be of much help here.

“Sounds like a loaded class if you ask me,” Sirius raised his brow in surprise “if the teachers already saying she can’t teach you much.”

Harry and Ron couldn’t help but shoot a laughing look at a surprised Hermione.

“I can see where that would bother her” Lily nodded.

Trelawney was still talking of how other wizards were good at making banging noises, smells, and disappearing,

“Are those actual fields of magic,” James asked between loud bursts of laughter “because I think Sirius is most proficient in the smells!”

Remus muttered something under his breath that caused all three of them to continue laughing like idiots. Harry waited indulgently until they had subsided before continuing.

but her branch was much more focused on the mind and mystics of life. Then she turned on Neville, and demanded to know how his grandmother was doing? Neville’s lip trembled slightly that last he’d heard she was fine, and Trelawney warned him not to be complacent with that.

Now they were frowning, not finding that remotely funny. Why on earth would this woman say something like that to a child?

Trelawney turned away again like nothing had happend, and began listing some of the things they’d be learning this year, before cutting herself off again and turning on Parvati Patil, warning her to be weary of a redhead.

“What does Ron do to her?” Sirius chuckled.

“Might not be Ron,” Remus reminded “one of the Weasley twins might pull something on her later.”

Parvati gave a fearful look at Ron and began edging away from him.

Lily made a little ‘pfft’ noise in disbelief.

Again Trelawney kept talking like this was perfectly normal, predicting that come February classes would thin out a little due to sicknesses, and come Easter someone would leave them for good.

“Well she’s just going to be buckets of fun huh?” Sirius snickered.

Harry puzzled why he felt like Trelawney was right, but shrugged and kept going.

Then she turned on Lavender, who tensed up, but the teacher merely asked her to go and fetch the teapot on the shelf. Lavender looked plenty relieved,

“Can’t blame her at this point,” James nodded, still smirking “she probably thought she’d get the next death omen.”

and she did this, but before she could return to her seat, Trelawney clutched her hand and told her the thing she feared would happen on Friday the sixteenth of October.

“That poor girl,” Lily frowned “why would she say something like that.”

“Like you said,” Remus shrugged “I think she’s enjoying scaring them. When that Friday comes and goes, and nothing happens, I’m sure these kids will realize they’re being played.”

“Kind of wishing I’d taken Arithmancy now” Harry grumbled, more annoyance coming up the more he heard about this new teacher. He also had a vague feeling, like she did something really important to his life, or perhaps said something to him? It was such a little thing he didn’t really even register it underneath all the grumbling.

Then she addressed the class on their lesson for the day, telling them they were all to drink a cup of tea, swirl the dregs around, and consult their text on what they could mean. Before they could begin, she said to Neville that after he broke his first cup, to not grab one of the pink ones next.

“That’s self-fulfilling prophecy,” Lily pointed out “if you say something like that, it’s bound to happen.”

“So none of you really believes in this stuff?” Harry clarified.

“I think psychics exist,” Sirius shrugged, lounging back comfortably “I had a Great Aunt that was one, she actually did these same kinds of things and had my brother and I going for ages. This Trelawney woman in particular? Nah, she’s enjoying herself more than anything.”

“So, was your aunt really psychic, or pulling the wool over a couple of naive kids?” Remus asked.

“Both,” Sirius grinned, “Dad swears she made a real prophecy to him when he was younger. Never did tell me what it was though, but the way he said it, yeah I believed him.”

“Well, aside from Sirius and his gullible nature, no, I don’t think any of us believe this” James grinned.

“I’m not gullible” Sirius snapped right back. “Prophecies really do exist!”

“Moving on” Lily rolled her eyes at the pair.

Not ten minutes later, there came the distinct noise of breaking glass, and Trelawney descended on him with a broom and a reminder she favoured the pink cups, and not to grab one of those.

“Well that was fast” Remus remarked.

Harry and Ron had some difficulty gulping down their hot drink,

“At least there’s a bonus to this class” Lily grinned.

but finished and did as instructed, Harry flipping through his pages as Ron passed over his cup. Ron asked what Harry was seeing, and Harry just muttered a bunch of brown crap.

All four of them released surprised snorts of laughter at Harry’s sass, he clearly wasn’t taking this class very seriously, though none of them said it in fear of eliciting a joke from Sirius.

He couldn’t help but feel heavy eyed with the dark room and thick smells of the class, making his brain drag.

“Sure she does that on purpose” James nodded.

Perhaps Trelawney heard this, as she called the class to open their minds to the supernatural, block out the mundane of the world.

“Think she heard that, or just good timing?” Sirius asked.

“Timing,” Lily shrugged, “Harry can’t be the only one who’s thinking that.”

Harry gave himself a shake then, and took a real crack at finding images while telling Ron that he found a messed up cross, which according to the book meant Ron was going to have a suffering trail, but there was also the sun in there, which meant he was going to be happy about it.

“Sounds like life,” James rolled his eyes “so sorry to Ron for living.”

Ron told Harry he needed to get his Inner Eye tested.

None of the boys bothered to stifle their laughter one bit, even Lily was giggling and said to James “Ron just beat you out of a joke dear.”

“I’ll forgive him” James chuckled, still bright-eyed.

Ron went for Harry’s cup next, saying he first saw a bowler hat, and thinking this meant Harry was going to be the next minister! Then he caught sight of an acorn, which apparently meant money was coming his way.

“An acorn means gold?” Remus demanded “what exactly does that book translate?”

“You let me know if you figure it out” Harry smirked.

Then he kept spinning it, saying he found something like an animal, maybe a hippo, or a sheep.

“Ron just went from a hippo to a sheep,” Remus smirked “can’t imagine what either of those things mean.”

Trelawney overheard that, and came over snatching Harry’s cup away from Ron while spinning it counter clockwise.

“Did she say to do that?” James snickered “I don’t think she said to do that. Could have saved a bit of confusion.”

What she found was a falcon, which meant Harry had an enemy.

“Wow, thanks, I was trying to forget that for five minutes” Lily huffed.

“How did she get a falcon from a hippo?” Sirius demanded of nothing.

Hermione was frowning at her, telling that everyone knew that, as Harry was famous for being against You-Know-Who.

“I love Hermione,” Lily beamed “that girl keeps everyone in perspective.”

“She is good to have around” Remus agreed with just a hint of admiration at this girl saying something like that to a teacher. James said as much out loud in amazement, none of them having guessed it would be this girl who would make a smart comment like that to any adult.

Then Sirius defended her, saying “now remember what got them to be friends in the first place? Hermione’s clearly willing to do a lot, like lie, to defend Harry and Ron.”

Harry was smiling, more than pleased his family didn’t seem to find either of his friends annoying like he knew some of the kids at school had.

Trelawney ignored her, still eyeing Harry’s cup as she found a club, which meant he was going to be attacked soon, muttering to herself how this was not a happy cup.

“Well I’ve never met an unhappy one so I’ll believe you” Sirius smirked.

Ron muttered how he’d thought that part was the bowler hat.

“How do you get a club and a hat twisted” James burst out laughing.

Then she found a skull, that danger was creeping up on Harry. Finally her eyes spotted something else that made her scream.

“Well she’s certainly got their attention” Lily said, raising a brow in surprise.

Neville’s hand twitched so hard in shock he broke his new cup.

“Guess she didn’t see that coming” Remus smirked.

Trelawney sat down in the nearest chair, closing her eyes in shock.

“She’s really hamming this up isn’t she” Sirius noted.

She was begging Harry not to ask what she’d seen,

Harry rolled his eyes and said “as if the whole class wouldn’t ask after that little scene.” He remembered the sinking feeling of attention as all of the students got up to go around them.

but Dean did anyways, trying to look into Harry’s cup himself now. Trelawney gathered herself up and whispered that she’d seen the Grim.

Sirius lost it. Still holding the baby to him, he continued laughing and blinking tears out of his eyes as he realized just how accurate that sentence was. James and Remus weren’t much better.

“A giant, black Scottish Deerhound is going to be tailing you for the rest of your life now,” Lily nodded in approval “well she’s got that one right.”

“I- told you-” James said between gasping breath’s “we should have- call-called him Grim!”

“And I told you” Remus rebutted, massaging his ribs and trying very hard not to continue laughing as he said “we should have called him Cloud. It’s got a better theme.“**

“I like Padfoot,” Sirius sniffed “I think Peter had it better saying we should nickname more after the animals.”

“Which is why you two won the vote” James agreed.

Harry was very curious and wanted to ask what other nicknames they might have considered, but decided to ask that later. ***

Harry had never heard of it, along with a couple of other students, but some like Ron looked just as shocked as Trelawney, who explained that it was the spectral dog of death.

“I’m rather flattered she thinks so much of me” Sirius smirked.

“You’re so big headed,” Lily rolled her eyes at him “you think every black dog in the world relates to you.”

Harry felt his stomach leave him, remembering again that black dog he’d seen the night he’d run away from the Dursleys.

Remus muttered something that made Sirius snicker again, and James release another snort of laughter.

Hermione was looking herself now, and told that she didn’t think it looked like a Grim at all.

“Ha!” James laughed, eyes gleaming with continued mirth. “Hermione’s going to be the buzz kill to this class, isn’t she?” He didn’t sound very sorry about it.

“Well this class obviously needs one to keep them from exaggerating” Lily nodded in agreement.

Trelawney finally regained all of her composure, and looked at Hermione with akin to dislike.

“A first for both Hermione and a teacher I’m sure” Sirius nodded.

She told Hermione that she had a very poor aura, and didn’t see much for her future predicting skills.

“Was that supposed to be insulting?” Harry asked.

“I guess” Remus shrugged.

Seamus was still looking at the cup, twisting his head from side to side and squinting as he said it sort of looked like a Grim when he did that, then cocking his head the other way and stating but now it looked like a donkey.

The boys almost lost it again, snickering away while Lily continued to giggle as well and state “if you have to do that much to figure it out, it’s hardly a good sign.”

Harry couldn’t help but smile indulgently at all of them. Back then he knew his thirteen-year-old self had been equally scared and annoyed by this, but watching his family mock the whole instance actually did put a funny spin on it. It also helped to know what exactly had been dogging him this year, and that he obviously wasn’t going to die anytime soon.

Harry lost his patience, telling the class that if they were all done deciding whether or not he was going to die.

“Oh, snappy” James smirked.

“Nice little reality check moment” Lily chuckled.

Nobody would look him in the eye to respond.

“Oh please,” Sirius rolled his eyes “these students are so easy.”

Trelawney decided that was enough of class today, and gave them all an early dismissal. Harry and his two friends made to leave, though he couldn’t help but notice Ron was avoiding his eye as well.

“Oh, not Ron to” Remus groaned.

“Well he did grow up learning about Grims and such,” James nodded fairly “remember how Peter flipped out when he first saw Sirius, called him a Grim too. It can be a little shocking at first.”

“I think there just being superstitious kids” Sirius snorted, rather siding with Remus on this one.

Before they could leave though, she gave Neville one last warning that he would be late again on the next class, so do some extra studying.

Lily rolled her eyes in contempt, this woman really was going to get on her nerves, wasn’t she?

They left and made their way to the next class, Transfiguration.

“Well that was a fun first class” Sirius said with chipper.

“Honestly can’t wait for the next one” Remus agreed.

They got a little lost again, so even with their head start they only just made it in time.

“Not a good omen for how the rest of the year works out” Lily grinned.

Harry and his friends sat in the back of the class, so that it would be harder for the other students to stop looking at him like he was going to drop dead any second.

“Not a pleasant feeling,” Harry shrugged “though sadly I was used to being stared at by this point.”

He didn’t pay any attention to today’s lesson, which was McGonagall explaining about Animagi,

All five of them went bright-eyed with interest at this, James and Sirius sharing a wicked grin. Sirius adding on “this was the class that gave us this idea!”

“We did all kinds of research for ages,” James agreed “double checking all sorts of facts to make sure it would work.”

“Did you know what animals you were going to turn into?” Lily asked with interest. “It would be rather pointless to go through the whole process and find out you were all something small and not useful.”

“Yes,” James nodded “there’s a charm that will tell you. It’s fairly reliable, never seen it be wrong.”

Harry looked extremely interested in this, nodding as he remembered all the things McGonagall had talked about in this class, and dearly wishing he could spend hours interrogating his Dad and Sirius about these things. He somehow knew, without understanding, he’d never taken to become an Animagus himself, but he did rather like the idea. Why wouldn’t you want to turn into an animal at will?

Lily, while still finding the fact that they were illegal one of her greatest hangups as of right now, was rather curious on the subject. She didn’t have the inclination to be one but found the whole concept of your animal spirit fascinating. She was determined as soon as those three boys registered, she’d end up launching a whole field worth of studies.

which was a wizard that could change into an animal at will. McGonagall herself demonstrated what that was like as she turned into a tabby cat with square markings around her eyes. When she changed back to her normal self and realized she didn’t have anyone’s attention, she told them that though it didn’t matter, she usually got some applause for that.

That garnered a laugh from all of them. “‘Not that it matters’,” Sirius chuckled “oh, she’s completely miffed she doesn’t have their undivided attention.”

“Well can you blame her?” James demanded, still smirking himself “it takes a lot of work to be able to become an Animagus, I think she enjoys that round of applause for her dedication.”

Everyone’s eyes flickered towards Harry again, but no one chose to explain except Hermione, who put up her hand.

“Why am I not surprised” Harry nodded, always thankful he could rely on Hermione to answer the questions he found uncomfortable.

She began by explaining they’d just gotten out of Divination, but that was all McGonagall needed as she surmised that someone had been told they were going to die.

All three boys released surprised snorts of laughter, making Lily and Harry give them concerned looks.

“Oh don’t mind us” James wheezed, looking far too giddy for the comment as far as Lily was concerned.

“Yeah, we’re just over here trying to understand why she always got so lofty with us, when she goes around saying things like that” Remus cackled.

Sirius looked likely to fall off the couch soon, he was still laughing and trying his hardest to not let the baby fall and squirming all around. James finally took over the situation by taking his son back, forcing Sirius to come back down to earth.

There was a brief squabble where James won and was still cuddling his son as Harry continued.

Harry told that it was him, and McGonagall told him that it was a known practice of Trelawney’s to tell one student every year they were going to kick the bucket ever since she started here.

“Well she’s just a right ray of sunshine” Lily laughed, unable to keep that sarcastic tone out of her voice.

None of them had yet to, and because she never spoke ill of someone she worked with, she paused and had to draw a breath before continuing in the same tone that she didn’t put much stock in that branch of magic. A true Seer was of the rarest variety, and Trelawney...

“She’s really going out of her way to make sure this class knows how she feels” Remus grinned.

She cleared her throat hard before finishing that as Harry looked perfectly fine to her, he would not be exempt from homework, though if he did croak, he didn’t have to worry about turning it in.

“Best teacher ever!” Sirius grinned like a maniac.

“Love her confidence in you” James agreed fervently.

Remus and Lily just laughed lightly, and Harry couldn’t help but agree with all of them.

Hermione laughed, and Harry couldn’t help but feel better for it. It was a lot harder to feel spooked over the whole mess,

“You were actually scared of this” Lily demanded, some of her humor gone and annoyance rekindling at that teacher.

“A bit, yeah,” Harry admitted with a shrug “but I guess it was just the environment and stuff. You guys convinced me already it’s ridiculous.”

“Glad for that” Sirius nodded with content.

away from the atmosphere of the class. Ron still looked a little grim himself as he eyed his best friend, and Lavender was whispering what about what happend to Neville and his cup?

Lily snorted and shook her head, but didn’t bother to repeat herself.

When lunch arrived, Hermione tried to convince Ron that he was being dramatic, but Ron still wasn’t touching his food.

“Wow, this is really bothering him” Remus noted in surprise.

“Like I said,” James offered with a small frown “Ron might just be the superstitious type. Once he realizes it doesn’t really affect anything, he’ll get over it.”

He asked if Harry had seen a black dog around, and Harry told of what he’d seen when he ran away from the Dursleys.

“Not the best thing to tell him right then” Sirius said lightly.

Ron’s fork fell from suddenly numb fingers.

They all nodded, that had been about what they were expecting.

Hermione wasn’t fazed, telling that it had probably been a stray.

“Now that I’ll disagree with” Remus smirked.

Ron told Hermione off for that, saying he’d had an Uncle Bilius who had seen a Grim, and he’d died twenty-four hours afterwards.

“Ouch” Lily winced in sympathy. “Okay, I know why Ron’s so spooked about this now.”

“Yeah” Sirius and Remus nodded together, determining to stop picking on him for this now.

“That’s Ron’s middle name,” Harry said randomly, looking for something more pleasant to think about.

Hermione still wasn’t impressed, saying that was all coincidence.

“That was a little harsh” James frowned.

“Agreed, that’s not something she should have taken so lightly, even though it probably is a coincidence” Remus agreed.

Ron was getting outright mad at her now, telling her that wizards should fear the Grim! Hermione said it was rubbish, they just died from fright at the thought of it.

“Nah,” Sirius chuckled “there are much scarier things to die of fright from than that.”

It wasn’t a sentence of death, it was just a by-product of it. Harry was smart enough and still be alive because he hadn’t realized what was going on and decided he might as well start digging his grave.

Remus couldn’t help another bursting laugh. He wasn’t used to Hermione giving off such dark humor, but he found it all the more hilarious coming from her.

Ron was still speechless as he stared at his friend, but Hermione was still going, saying that she found the whole class fairly useless. Ron snapped back it hadn’t been a guess he’d, seen that Grim! Hermione shot back that he hadn’t even seen it, he’d thought it was a sheep.

“She’s got another point” Lily nodded in agreement.

“Ron and Hermione are taking this to an extreme,” Sirius noted “it’s a petty argument, why are they treating it like this?”

“They treat everything like this” Harry noted in a long-suffering voice.

Ron was sure Hermione was now just being mean because Trelawney had insulted her aura, and she just didn’t like how badly she was going to do in this class.

“Wow,” James said, raising a brow in surprise “and you put up with this all the time?”

“Yep” Harry nodded, popping the P for emphasis. He was far too used to this to really care though.

Hermione lost her patience, slamming her book down on the table and rattling some plates.

“Temper, temper” Remus muttered, noting she did seem to have one before as well when it came to this type of thing.

She snapped that she wasn’t going to be putting up with this class long anyways if guess was all it took. She had enjoyed her Arithmancy class much more.

Harry blinked, both shocked and puzzled, then glanced up and around to see the rest of them were as well.

“What did she mean?” Lily asked anyways, not really expecting an answer from all the blank faces. “She hasn’t been to that class yet, she’s been with you all day.”

True to her guess, no one answered. They were all rather stuck, and found it rather frustrating they couldn’t figure something out about a third year. Bright as Hermione was, how on earth could she be doing something like this, and none of them understood how?

She stalked away, and Ron now switched to puzzlement as he asked what Hermione had meant, she hadn’t been to that class today.

“Glad Ron’s just as confused” Remus muttered.

Harry had no idea, but didn’t bring it up as they headed outside for their first Care of Magical Creatures class.

Harry pushed eagerly past his confusion about Hermione, wanting very much to remember Hagrid’s first class.

Ron and Hermione weren’t speaking to each other,

“A first I’m sure” Lily said with just a hint of sarcasm.

but Harry was far too used to this as they headed towards the Forbidden Forest, finding the Slytherin’s already in attendance.

“Oh come on!” James groaned in disgust. “They already have to deal with those jerks in potions.”

Malfoy was chatting with his friends, who were snickering along.

“Probably the dumbest conversation ever” Sirius grumbled.

Harry had the feeling he already knew what they were talking about. Hagrid made his appearance then, telling them to come closer and to follow him!

“At least he’s enthusiastic” Remus grinned.

“The best teachers are” James agreed.

He at first began leading them towards the forest,

“Oh please no” Lily shuddered.

“He shouldn’t,” Sirius frowned “at least not until his sixth year, seventh at the latest.”

“Say what?” Lily balked at him.

“Sure,” Remus shrugged “the advanced classes learn how to find and study them in their more natural habitat.”

Lily frowned, not really sure how she felt about this. She’d heard more than enough about Harry being in there, but then she could hardly fault him if he did do it for a class. Then again, one of those times he’d been in there was for a detention, and that hadn’t exactly gone over well.

and Harry was not pleased at that prospect, having more than enough nightmare fuel from that place.

James couldn’t really help but agree, though he thought this class would go a long ways to helping his son if ever he did choose to go back in there.

His assumption was wrong though, as Hagrid made a sharp turn and instead lead them towards a fenced off field.

Lily still couldn’t help but release a breath of relief, thankful that she didn’t have to deal with that place for now.

There wasn’t anything inside yet, as Hagrid told them to come around and begin opening their books,

“Uh oh” Remus frowned.

“Ah, was there some kind of instruction manual we missed?” Sirius asked curiously “because I thought you never did get that thing open.”

“I didn’t” Harry nodded, looking rather upset. He felt like he’d let Hagrid down by this, but he still had no clue what to do with that book. He was also trying very hard to ignore this impending sense of doom, something wrong was going to happen in Hagrid’s first class, which made him very uneasy.

but Malfoy was the first to interrupt by asking how to do this? Some of Hagrid’s enthusiasm dropped as he realized Malfoy wasn’t the only one, they all pulled out their copies of The Monster Book of Monsters, each wrapped up tight.

“Poor Hagrid” Lily frowned, feeling sympathy for him.

“Don’t know what to say honestly,” James shrugged “cause I’ve got no idea either.”

Then Hagrid told them that you were supposed to stroke the spine of the book, in a tone implying he had found it obvious.

Remus blinked several times, wondering if he’d heard that right, but no one really interrupted Harry to find out since he was fixing to read it anyways.

He took Hermione’s book as an example, tore away the tape sealing it shut, and before the book could do anything Hagrid ran his hand down the brown spine of the book, which then fell open happily.

“Well there you go” James said, quirking a brow in surprise.

“Points for originality,” Sirius agreed “I never would have thought of that.”

Malfoy jeered that of course that should have been obvious, his tone implying the exact opposite.

“That jerk” Lily frowned severely. “He didn’t figure it out any more than anyone else. Hagrid should take points or something away from him, he shouldn’t be allowed to talk to a teacher like that.”

“Here’s hoping” Harry nodded in agreement.

Hagrid looked confused as he said he’d thought it was funny.

“I agree” James nodded fervently. “Now that I get the joke, I think it’s actually quite hilarious, a monster book that you have to pet to open.”

Malfoy didn’t agree, mocking that it was quite a laugh if it didn’t bite his hand off.

“Wish it had ripped your hand off” Sirius grumbled.

Harry told Malfoy to shut it, while Hagrid continued to look more upset by the minute.

“Wish you’d done more then tell him off” Remus huffed, he more than agreed someone needed to knock that kid down a peg.

Hagrid seemed to lose some of his train of thought as he said that now they needed their creatures, and walked off into the forest.

“Wait, he didn’t say which page to turn to” Lily noted with concern.

“Wonder what he’s showing” James agreed with more curiosity than anything.

When he was out of sight, Malfoy kept going with his diatribe, stating that Hagrid getting made as teacher was a disgrace, and his father would throw a fit at the Ministry.

“Is that his go-to for everything?” Sirius asked in disgust. “How does anyone stand this kid?”

“Search me” Harry muttered with disdain.

Harry told him to shut up again, and Malfoy just mocked Harry that there was a dementor behind him.

“And that joke is still not funny!” James snapped.

Conversation was cut off by Hagrid coming back in with half a dozen beasts. The front half of their bodies being eagles coupled with wings sprouting from their sides, and the back half being horses.

“Hippogriffs” Remus and Sirius said at once, both grinning at this prospect.

“This out to be fun” James grinned brightly.

“I didn’t even know the forest had those” Lily said with honest interest. “Though I do wonder if that wasn’t a little big to start?” She posed it more as a question than anything, not having much to do with the field she wasn’t really sure on the matter.

“Nah,” Remus shrugged “sure it is a bit advanced, more would have preferred showing that towards the end of the year than the first class, but it’s not above them either. A competent person can learn how to handle one easily enough.”

“Sure” Sirius nodded. “We only ran into one, they’re really secluded and spend a lot of time in the high branches. This little foal fell down in front of us, and the parents were close by, so we didn’t stick around even though we did know what to do with them.”

They ranged in a variety of colors, all tethered together with thick collars that led to chains in Hagrid’s hand. He carraled them all to the fence, where the class took a collective step back. He introduced them as hippogriffs, declaring them as beautiful. Harry only slightly agreed.

“Oh come on Harry,” Sirius said bracingly “I haven’t agreed with a lot of Hagrid’s pets before this, but you’ve got to admit this one fits the bill.”

Harry nodded in agreement as he said “it was like seeing a Centaur for the first time. Just took me a moment to get over the shock before I could appreciate it fully.”

It did have a majesty about it, with the front feathers blending into horsehair, the way they tossed their heads, and the sharp intelligent eyes watching them. Hagrid began by saying they could all come closer, but no one moved.

“This class is depressing me” James rolled his eyes.

“Leave them be,” Lily scolded at once “Hagrid hasn’t even gotten to how to handle them yet. I’d still be nervous too.”

Hermione, Ron, and Harry were the only ones to begin inching forward.

“There’s always the brave ones” Remus beamed.

Hagrid beamed at them as he began to explain about these creatures, starting by saying how proud they were, and you should never insult one, or it would be the last thing you do. Harry caught sight of Malfoy and his friend’s clearly not paying attention,

“Well that’s not good” Lily frowned at once. She didn’t like those boys more than anyone else, but she certainly didn’t want to see them get hurt; which was bound to happen if they truly weren’t paying attention to Hagrid in this instance.

“Those little jerks better not do anything to mess with Hagrid” Sirius growled at once.

Harry’s bad feeling was rearing up again at once, and he didn’t like that his first instinct was to think Sirius was right.

talking at the back of the class, but Hagrid didn’t seem to notice as he continued explaining how to approach the hippogriffs for the first time. First you were to walk up to them, and take a bow. If they bowed back, it was them giving permission to approach them, but if they didn’t bow back, it was best to move back, as there talons were very sharp. Then he asked for a volunteer, and in answer, the class took another collective step back.

“Ouch,” James winced “and that was sound advice, why are they still so nervous.”

Lily just looked to the ceiling in wonder, did any of these boys have a sense of life? They certainly didn’t show it very often, since it seemed more often their first instinct was to jump headlong into whatever they saw fit.

Even Harry and his friends still felt nervous, as the animals continued twitching around in unease, clearly uncomfortable with being tied up.

“Now that’s a legitimate concern,” Lily nodded in understanding “exactly how tame are these?”

“Quite being such a worry wart Lily,” Remus chuckled. “Hagrid’s there, and I’m more than confident he can handle this. No, they don’t like being tied down, but who does?”

Lily hesitated a moment more before nodding, and amazingly her nerves actually did relax.

Then Harry saw the begging look Hagrid was giving the class, and Harry said he’d try.

“That’a boy” James nodded in approval.

Harry grinned hesitantly back, not exactly mentioning that he had done this more out of loyalty to Hagrid, not out of real interest in wanting to get closer to that Hippogriff.

“What would have happened if no one volunteered?” Lily asked curiously.

“Most likely, the teacher would have demonstrated himself,” Remus shrugged “in this case Hagrid obviously, but there’s always one brave soul who volunteers, so it’s usually not an issue.”

This caused a stirring in the class, Lavender reminding Harry of his tea from this morning.

“Oh please,” Lily muttered scathingly “this exact set of circumstances would have happened whether Harry drank a cup or not.”

“Now Lily,” Sirius said at once, a light gleaming in his eyes “think about that. Divination doesn’t write what is to happen, it helps to predict what could happen.”

Lily looked rather stunned for a moment before nodding, admitting she’d been a little too harsh that time.

“Can’t believe you’re defending that subject” Remus noted in surprise.

Sirius chuckled and admitted “well I still think that teacher was rubbish, but I’m hardly going to pass up an instance to correct Lily.”

She scowled over at him without any real heat, causing Harry to chuckle lightly before reading.

Harry gave them no notice as he approached, while Hagrid set one of them apart, introducing him as Buckbeak, a dark gray colored hippogriff, and took him apart so that Harry could approach him. When Harry was ready, Hagrid cautioned not to blink too much, he could take that as mistrust.

“Which means you’re going to want to start blinking at once” James noted with amusement.

Harry felt his eyes itching at once, but didn’t allow that, trusting Hagrid’s advice as he kept eye contact when Hagrid instructed him to bow. It made Harry uncomfortable to expose his neck like that, but didn’t argue either as he did.

“Glad you’re smart enough to listen to him” Remus nodded in approval.

After bowing, he glanced up to see the hippogriff didn’t look up to returning the gesture.

“Wonder why” Sirius asked curiously.

“Probably because Harry was still too close, the hippogriff might still have felt threatened” Remus speculated, though not for sure since he wasn’t there. There was also the fact that, these were still animals, and it was impossible to truly ever predict what they would do or feel or think.

Hagrid began to tell Harry to start backing up, he was a little too close, but then the hippogriff did bend it’s scaly knees in an unmistakable form of bowing. Hagrid congratulated Harry, telling him he could go and pet him now. Harry would much rather had been told to go back to the rest of the class,

“You’re not exactly getting into this” James noted lightly.

Harry just shrugged, he wasn’t taking that back.

but moved forward and began lightly rubbing on its beak, which he seemed to enjoy, half closing his eyes and leaning into the touch.

“The area where the beak merges into their face is a particularly scratchy spot to them” Remus nodded “so I’m sure he did, if you were patting in the right spot.”

The rest of the students began applauding, all except Malfoy and his friends who looked more like they’d missed a good show.

“Did they really want that thing to attack you?” Lily asked in disgust.

“After what he said about Hermione last year, I’m not putting anything past him” James hissed.

Hagrid then told Harry he’d built up enough trust to ride him.

“Ride him” they repeated in shock.

“Now that is a bit advanced,” Remus noted “definitely should have been a bit later in education when he’s had more confidence, and time, with the beast.”

“Guess Hagrid really wants to show off” James shrugged, unable to hold back a hint of jealousy, this was something he’d never got to do before.

Harry did not agree, as the only thing he’d ever flown was a broomstick, and had a feeling the hippogriff wouldn’t feel anything alike.

“It won’t be,” Sirius agreed “but a fun experiences all the same.” He also sounded just a tad envious, he would love to try something like this.

It took a lot for Lily not to snap at them; they were being idiots again, but she also consoled herself that she might be just a bit jumpy and over reactive of late, so held it back she did.

Hagrid began instructing Harry on how to get on, making note not to be pulling feathers as it would bother him, and Harry found a niche where his wing merged to scramble onto the back.

“He didn’t even give you a saddle,” Remus noted in amusement “nor did he mention where you are supposed to hold on.”

“Didn’t exactly give him anything to steer either,” James remarked “so I’m hoping this one doesn’t get any ideas.”

Buckbeak took to his full height, and when Hagrid gave him a smack to get going, his twelve foot wing span exploded on either side of Harry, and they were off. With several hard downstrokes, they were up in the air and gliding around the enclosure, and Harry had no doubts he’d much rather be on his broom. The horse like creature was a shaky fit, and he had nothing to hold onto or steer except feathers all around, leaving him to clutch at the neck perhaps a little too tight.

“Sounds like a ton of fun” Sirius said eagerly.

“Though I’m glad you’re hardly going to quit the Quidditch team in favor of starting a Hippogriff team” James snickered, finding plenty of amusement in that.

Thankfully the ride didn’t last long, as without command Buckbeak began soaring into the green grass again, and Harry barely had time to lean back and brace himself as a thud announced his return to land.

“You didn’t exactly sound like you were enjoying that” Remus noted with high amusement.

“It’s not something I’d want to repeat” Harry admitted, then he blinked for a moment and wondered if that gut feeling was really telling him he had done just this. He certainly hoped not.

Lily couldn’t help but grin, more than happy to admit she was just as happy to hear Harry was both safe on the ground, and didn’t have a sudden urge to go back up there again.

Hagrid applauded him again, then asked who wanted their turn. The rest of the class had no more qualms about coming forward and being paired off.

“Typical,” James grumbled “they think it’s plenty fun now.”

Hagrid set them all up, and Harry went back to sit by Hagrid and watch while the students took their turns. Neville was having some issues, as his hippogriff didn’t seem likely to bow anytime soon.

“He did have problems with his broom,” Sirius remembered “he’s probably just as nervous now, which I’m sure that hippogriff noticed.”

Ron and Hermione were now working with a bay one, while Malfoy and been given Buckbeak, who had just bowed back and was being petted by said boy.

“Buckbeak just lost some points with me” Remus muttered to Sirius, who nodded in agreement.

Malfoy wasn’t impressed, saying of course it had, it had bowed to Harry after all, meaning it couldn’t be very intelligent.

“He what!” Sirius choked out.

“That idiot” Remus frowned, leaning forward in concern. While he hardly liked Malfoy, that kind of insult could get him killed.

Before anyone realized what had happend, Buckbeak lashed out, scraping his claws at whatever he could reach of Malfoy before Hagrid jumped in, putting Buckbeak’s collar back on and dragging him away from a bleeding Malfoy.

“Uh oh” James muttered, bouncing around in agitation now, causing the baby in his lap to giggle, thinking this was a new game.

This sadly didn’t actually release any tension in the room this time. They had been begging for someone to hit Malfoy for ages now, but not like this! What if this kid really did die? They would all feel ten kinds of awful for ever having mocked him, he was still a child after all, a bad one but still, even Malfoy didn’t deserve that!

Harry was reading in honest panic now, very much not appreciating that he had been right in this instance.

When Buckbeak had been secured away, Hagrid ran forward to take a look, finding Malfoy’s arm to have jagged tears in it, his blood painting the ground in an uneven pattern as Hagrid picked him up and began carrying him up to the school.

They were all still frowning in deep concern. At least that wasn’t in the chest like they had feared, but there was some very important things in the arm that Malfoy could still die from if this got too serious. None of them could think of a thing to say, so the quite remained while Harry read.

The rest of the class followed in subdued form, the Slytherin’s taking the chance to shout abuse about Hagrid.

“About what?” Lily arched a brow in disdain. “How was that Hagrid’s fault? Malfoy was the one who didn’t listen, in fact I’d laugh if someone decided to give him a detention on top of this.”

James managed a half amused laugh at this, noting lovingly he had been thinking along those same lines.

Pansy in particular looked near tears as she swore she’d see that man fired for this.

“It was Malfoy’s fault!” Remus snapped in disgust. “They can’t fire him, he didn’t do anything wrong.”

Dean shot back that it had been Malfoy’s own doing!

Sirius released a surprised snort of amusement, noting pleasantly “you just mimicked a kid we hardly even know this time.”

Remus gave him the stank eye, he still didn’t find it that funny.

Crabbe and Goyle tensed up, looking ready to fight back,

“Ooh, I’m so scared” James scowled.

but then they reached the shadow of the castle, and recognized they couldn’t do anything. Pansy was still wailing in despair as she declared she was going to go check on him.

Lily was the only one who looked rather touched by this. Malfoy was an awful child, but they were seeing him from Harry’s perspective. If Malfoy had actually managed to get a girlfriend, maybe he really wasn’t as bad as he pretended. She declined mentioning this, knowing quite well the boys wouldn’t find that interesting.

The rest of the Slytherin’s skulked off, while the Gryffindor’s headed off to their tower, still talking about it, but with a more hopeful tone as Harry pointed out Madam Pomfrey had fixed far worse with ease.

“Very true,” Remus nodded in agreement “and he did get there fast enough, there really shouldn’t be a problem.” Even he couldn’t deny that there was still hints of nerves in his voice even as he said that. The best medics in the world couldn’t fix everything.

Ron was working himself into a fury again, growling that this was the worst thing that could have happend in Hagrid’s first class, and it was all Malfoy’s fault.

“Agreed” Lily sighed, more than disgruntled at the boy’s actions.

That night at dinner, they were dismayed to see Hagrid hadn’t made an appearance.

“Not a particularly good sign” James frowned in concern.

“They wouldn’t really fire Hagrid would they?” Harry asked anxiously.

“Dumbledore wouldn’t” Sirius said at once.

“They really shouldn’t,” Remus agreed, explaining better “if a teacher got fired every time an accident happened in this school, they’d be going through teachers by the month. Accidents happen in a building full of too many kids and not enough supervision, it’s just a fact of life. They really can’t blame this all on Hagrid.”

“Let’s hope a Malfoy will agree with you” James muttered, no hope at all in his voice.

Hermione whispered that Hagrid hadn’t really been fired for this?

Sirius was still a little too distracted to notice this time Harry had just mimicked someone.

Ron shot back someone better not have! Harry was distracted by watching the Slytherin table, where the group from their class were all sitting close together and having their own whispered conversation. Harry had the sneaking feeling they were making up a story of what they said happend.

“Well then it’s a good thing there are more witnesses than those prats” Lily spat in disgust.

That night they spotted lights on at Hagrid’s place, and Harry said that he wanted to go visit him. Ron agreed as it wasn’t curfew yet, but Hermione hesitated, eyeing Harry.

“Why” Sirius demanded, blinking at the random distraction.

Lily frowned pitifully at him, not exactly wanting to mention she had a good idea why Hermione might say that. Harry had a good idea as well, but simply read out sadly.

Explaining that Harry wasn’t supposed to be wandering out there, with Sirius Black still around.

“Oh” was the only answer Sirius could come up with to that, slumping back in his seat and crossing his arms moodily. He had almost this whole bleeding chapter without having to think about that, now here was Hermione bringing it up.

James took pity on him and passed him back the baby, forcing an almost genuine smile back onto that Godfather’s face.

Harry pointed out he wasn’t supposed to leave past the dementors, no one had said anything about the common grounds. Hermione didn’t argue further as they left, though still happy they didn’t see anyone as they weren’t positive this was allowed.

“Of course you are,” Remus scoffed “if Ron said it’s not curfew yet, then it’s not.” He failed to mention something he had noticed, but the others seemed to have skipped in this whole mess. He hadn’t seemed to have called Harry to his office yet for that talk that was so desperately needed... surely he was just busy because of the first day back, right?

They knocked on the cabin door, and while Hagrid did call for them to come in, they didn’t walk into a good sight. Hagrid was slumped across his table, a huge mug hanging from one hand, and he wasn’t focusing on them very well.

“Crap” James muttered in concern, but he was the only one who did. The others had tensed up, now fearing the worst really had happened and someone had actually managed to fire Hagrid. This really shouldn’t be possible though, only Dumbledore actually had the power to fire his staff, and no force on earth should have convinced him to do this!

Hagrid began slurring that he’d broken a record, the shortest teacher to ever have lasted.

Lily opened her mouth in outrage, fully prepared to give a verbal beating to the poor schmuck who had done this to Hagrid, but Harry had been reading ahead a bit desperately, and read loudly before she could get started.

Hermione gasped in shock, demanding to know what had happend, and Hagrid acquitted that it hadn’t happend yet, but Malfoy would see to it.

“Oh thank Merlin” Sirius said in relief.

“It doesn’t matter what Malfoy says” James said hotly “Dumbledore won’t fire Hagrid! I’ll bet my wand on that, especially because it wasn’t his bloody fault.”

Ron asked how serious Malfoy’s injury was.

Sirius released a half-hearted smirk, but he was honestly too curious to hear the answer to reply this time.

Hagrid explained that Pomfrey had fixed it all up in seconds, but Malfoy was still claiming to be in horrible amounts of pain.

“Liar” Remus spat at once in disgust, this finally distracting him from his own thoughts. “If Madam Pomfrey fixed him, then she bleeding fixed him. That brat’s lucky he didn’t lose his whole arm, I’ll be surprised if he even has a scratch left.”

Harry snapped that he was lying.

“I’m glad you believe me Harry” Remus noted in amusement.

Harry gave him a grin while Lily groaned and said “oh not you too! Please don’t encourage that, it’s annoying enough when Sirius does it.”

Before any of them could comment further, Harry decided to keep reading loudly to avoid a useless dispute.

Hagrid agreed, but Malfoy still had a lot of pull with the ministry, who had told him he’d started to big with hippogriffs,

They all pursed their lips, unwilling to admit this had sort of been on their mind earlier, but then James riled up and grumbled “but Hagrid was handling things fine, it was Malfoy’s fault for not paying attention.”

Since they all agreed with him anyways, and couldn’t think of anything else to add to that, Harry kept going still rather subdued.

that he should have started with something smaller like flobberworms. Hagrid was blaming himself, but Hermione told him how wrong he was, it was Malfoy’s fault!

James poked Sirius before he could mention it this time.

Harry agreed they’d seen the whole thing, they’d stick up for Hagrid that nothing had gone wrong until Malfoy screwed it up. Ron agreed they would make sure people knew what really happened.

Sirius stopped his glaring at his best mate to smile warmly at Harry, knowing without a doubt any of them would have done the same thing in a heartbeat.

Hagrid beamed around at all of them, reaching forward and pulling Harry and Ron into a rib snapping hug.

Remus chuckled and began in a conversational tone “well, if you do go up to the Hospital to get checked out, make sure to point out to Madam Pomfrey that she needs to discharge Malfoy on the grounds he’s an idiot.”

“Duly noted” Harry nodded.

Hermione then told him he’d had enough to drink tonight.

“And I agree” Lily smiled lightly.

Hagrid agreed, and stomped outside where a splashing noise could be heard. Hermione poked her head out and informed them he’d stuck his head in a water trough.

“Well that’ll clear you up quick” James chuckled.

Hagrid came back in, shaking out his wet hair and thanking them for coming to see him, when he caught sight of Harry and began screaming that he was out of his mind.

“Wow,” James blinked in surprise “overreaction much.”

“Guess I really wasn’t allowed on the grounds” Harry noted absently, rubbing his ears at the remembered volume.

Sirius grumbled something under his breath, but refused to let himself react this time, pulling his wand back out and creating a puff of red smoke and making the little baby giggle all over again, the act making him feel slightly better. Though he was forced to continue listing.

He stormed over to Harry and grabbed him, hauling him outside as he told Harry he wasn’t supposed to be out of school, then he turned on Ron and Hermione for letting him. He marched them all back to the castle, telling them they’d better not pull a stunt like this again, Hagrid wasn’t worth the consequences.

“Unnecessary as that is” Lily noted, giving Sirius a protective sort of watch to make sure he really wasn’t going to sink back down into a depression again “that was still kind of sweet.”

“I’d just like to point out that if Harry didn’t know what was going on before, Hagrid would kind have blown that then” Remus agreed, placing his elbow on Sirius’ shoulder and leaning on him as if he were bored with the whole topic.

“Chapter’s over by the way” Harry nodded towards Remus for his turn.

*Question offered by Grank, I know it’s not the best explanation especially when you consider sixth and seventh years who all take combined classes with all the houses and so it wouldn’t work out in the same time frames then, but that one really did stump me. I’ll try to work out something better and have Harry bring it up again at the end of the year.

**Random note, the dog that played Sirius in the Order of the Phoenix movie was a Scottish Deerhound named Cloud, thought it was funny enough to put in here.

*** Anyone want to suggest some nicknames? I’ve thought up a few more I’ll sprinkle in, but I’m just curious.

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