HPBFL CH 14

CHAPTER FOURTEEN: CLASSES

Monday morning and the first day of classes drew a groan from the fifth-year boys. It got even worse when they were given their schedules; first thing Monday morning was double Potions with the most hated Professor, Snape. As they made their way down to the Common room, Harry followed quietly as his roommates argued about something.

            “Will you look at this?” Hermione brandished a piece of parchment in Ron’s face. Harry caught sight of it and nearly laughed out loud.

“Something must be done; we’ll have to speak to them,” Hermione continued, not seeing the look of alarm that spread across Ron’s face.

“Why?”

“Because we are Prefect’s, we have to set an example,” Hermione replied, simply making Harry smile as she gathered up the first years, herding them out of the portrait down towards the Great Hall. Harry walked alongside them as the first years peppered him with questions; there were ten Gryffindor’s this year, four boys and six girls. Hermione grinned at the flock surrounding him.

“Harry, you were the youngest seeker in 100 years, right?” Mark Evans asked.

“Where did you hear that?”

“Miss Hermione told us, said you were the best that’s ever been here,” Rhianne, a first-year girl replied with a slight sigh. Hermione tried not to laugh at the dreamy look on the girl’s face. The bookworm could already tell she had a crush on Harry. Harry, meanwhile, narrowed his eyes at his best friend, who smirked at him.

“I’m not sure about the best, but you’ll have to wait until the second year to try-out for the Quidditch team,” Harry got some groans and sighs at that proclamation as he went on to explain some of the dynamics of the game.  After breakfast, the fifth year Gryffindors made their way down to the dungeons where they met the Slytherin’s.

            “Are you going to fail again this year?” Blaise Zambini taunted. Harry just gave him a look like the boy was beneath him, which seemed to infuriate the Slytherin even more.

“Enter,” Snape snapped like he was already having a bad morning. Maybe he did not want Gryffindors either on Monday morning, Harry thought with an internal laugh, “Now this is your O.W.L. year. Happily, I shall be getting rid of most of you by the summer as most will not pursue NEWT-level potions.

“Until that happy day, you will work to my high standards, or I shall make you wish you were never born.”

“I wish Snape had never been born,” Ron mumbled, for the moment forgetting he was not talking to Harry. Snape heard him, though, giving the red head a glare.

“Professor McGonagall in her infinite wisdom would like for you all to be partnered with someone from another house, you shall remain with that partner for the rest of the year,” Professor Snape explained, earning a small sigh from Harry, “Hermione Granger, Theodore Nott; Lavender Brown, Vincent Crabbe; Parvati Patil, Blaise Zambini; Ron Weasley, Blaise Zambini; Neville Longbottom, Daphne Greengrass; Seamus Finnigan, Pansy Parkinson; Dean Thomas, Millicent Bulstrode, and Harry Potter with Draco Malfoy,”

Snape grinned maliciously as he finished the names, not realising Draco had become friends with Harry. Harry snatched up his bag and equipment for show, dumping them on the table next to Draco.

“Malfoy!” Harry huffed. Though they had already made in-roads in the eyes of the school, it did not hurt to make people think they were not friends at this moment. Lucius Malfoy was still a danger until Sirius annulled the marriage.

“Now that we are all comfortable,” Snape said sarcastically, “you shall be making Amortentia today.” 

“That’s a NEWT-level Potion,” Hermione whispered.

“Five points for speaking out of turn, Professor Dumbledore feels that you are up for the challenge. Now can anyone tell me what it is?” Snape snapped at the witch.

“A love potion!” Hermione called out.

“Calm down,” Draco murmured, seeing Harry grip the table, his hands going white.

“Please put your hand up, Miss Granger. That will be another five points from Gryffindor. Now can anyone else tell me what it does?”  Theodore Nott, the lanky dark-haired Slytherin, put his hand up.

“Yes, Mister Nott,”

“Amortentia is a love potion, a potent one,” he explained, sounding bored. “Amortentia doesn’t create true love. But it does cause a powerful infatuation or obsession.”

“Five points to Slytherin,” Snape replied almost cheerfully for his usual dour self, then looked at them a bit vindictively, “Now I already have some of it made up, Amortentia smells different for everyone, please come up here.”

“He’s going to try goading you, remember what Sirius said,” Draco spoke in the noise of everyone getting up. The small group crowded around the cauldron, which appeared to have a mother-of-pearl sheen to it. Snape looked around the room, then his eyes landed on Hermione and indicated for her to step forward. She brushed the hair out of her face and breathed in deeply.

“So, Miss Granger, care to tell the class what you smell?” Snape smirked.

“I smell freshly mown grass, Broomstick polish and- “Hermione flushed as she faltered, realising she revealed a little too much.

“What else can you smell?” Snape asked, his eyes looking even crueller.

“Treacle Tart,” Hermione whispered quietly. The Slytherin contingent all snickered; Harry noticed Draco had plastered on a fake smirk. Ron seemed to be glaring at the curly-haired witch.

“Mr Weasley,” he invited, and the tall ginger-haired lad stepped forward with a gulp, regretting taking on Potions.

“I smell my mother’s cooking, bacon and some sort of perfume,” Harry noticed he was flushed; it must be Hermione’s perfume he was smelling. Snape turned to Harry, and his eyes lit up with glee; he loved to humiliate the boy he thought was privileged like his father, even worse now that he had found out Sirius was Harry’s father. Harry returned his gaze levelly; no longer would this dungeon bat cow him. He stepped up to the cauldron and took a deep breath.

“Smells delightful; I smell Parchment, books, and I get a whiff of something flowery,” he answered, and his smirk grew as he added with a lie, “It almost smells like hair gel.”

“Everyone back to your cauldron, get started,” Snape snarled, beaten at his own game. Over the next 90 minutes, they started to make the Amortentia Potion. Harry had to pretend he and Draco did not get along even though they had worked on potions this complicated together during the summer. They finished with a near-perfect Amortentia getting a sneer from Snape and ten points to Slytherin. Harry, Hermione, and Neville headed back up to the upper levels with Ron trailing behind.

“What an arse! He’s positively evil,” Ron complained.

“That wasn’t fair of him,” Hermione agreed as they climbed out of the dungeons, “He was challenging you, Harry,”

“What?” Harry asked absentmindedly, his thoughts entirely elsewhere. The smells Hermione had recited seemed awfully familiar; he wondered whether she liked him as much as he liked her.

“I said, he seemed to be challenging you, and you took the bait.”

“I’m just not going to let him walk all over me anymore,” he answered.

“You need to be careful; why are you so openly defiant?” Hermione asked. Harry ignored her as he noticed Draco heading outside into the sunlight.

“Because I am not an eleven-year-old, people can bully. I’ll meet you at our Healing class; I’m going to get some fresh air,” Harry told the young woman.

“I can’t believe he quit divination,” was the last thing Harry heard as he moved outside into the sun, enjoying its warmth on his back. He slowly walked along the lake until he reached Draco, who appeared to be staring across the Black Lake.

“If you’re going to stand there gawping, you might as well come keep me company,” Draco announced loudly.

“How did you realise it was me?” Harry asked.

“Because you sound like a troll stomping about,” Draco deadpanned.

“Thanks, blondie, you have a way with words,” Harry returned.

“You need to be careful with Snape; he seems to be out for your blood this year,” Draco warned.

“He’s always out for my blood; he is so biased!”

“Well, you better watch yourself. Otherwise, Granger will dice me up and use me for potion parts,” Draco returned, realising he had said a little too much.

“What do you mean?”

“Well, she’s your, ah, girlfriend, so of course, she’s going to threaten me,” Draco swallowed, trying to look anywhere but at his friend.

“Firstly, she’s not my girlfriend, not yet anyway,” Harry murmured the last bit, getting a massive grin. “Now tell me what you meant?”

“She sort of made me promise to keep an eye out for you,” Draco admitted to a goggle-eyed Harry, “Now did you hear what Granger said about her Amortentia? I think she likes you!”

“I don’t know Draco, and you could call her Hermione now,” Harry had been completely distracted from Draco’s admission.

“I could, but I’m walking a tightrope at the moment,”

“Thanks for the other day,” Harry said abruptly, “I know it’s going to cost you,”

“I’ll still be the prince of Slytherin,” Draco answered, “But I’m trying to convince them the Blacks are a better side than Riddles. I’m doing it carefully, so it doesn’t get reported back to Father,”

“Have you heard from your mother?” Harry asked, changing the subject.

“I received an owl this morning from her; she is doing well. Bumbledore has tried contacting her, but mother is ignoring the letters. Apparently, she’s been at Grimmauld Place fixing it up and got rid of the portrait of Great Aunt Walburga, though she was reluctant to go,” they laughed at the image of the portrait being removed.

“I hated that portrait, as does Sirius,”

“But she was getting a bit shut-in, so Mother has moved to the house in France, even Father doesn’t know about the Black house.”

“Aren’t you worried the letter would be intercepted?” Harry asked curiously.

“She used an ancient charm; only I would be able to read it. Everyone else would just get gobbledegook,”

“Who’d thought you would say gobbledegook,” Harry grinned. Draco drew himself up and looked down his nose at Harry.

“It’s because I have been around commoners for far too long,” He tried to say but ended up laughing as much as Harry. Suddenly they heard the bell for class.

“Let’s go; we’ve got Healing now,” Harry reminded the other boy.

“That’ll be interesting, Aunt Andi can be quite strict,” was Draco’s parting shot as they separated, so no one saw the pair of them together.

Harry found the Healing Class interesting with students from all four houses, including himself and Hermione from Gryffindor, Michael Corner from Ravenclaw and Susan Bones from Hufflepuff. Draco Malfoy, Theo Nott and Daphne Greengrass were amongst the small Slytherin contingent. Andromeda began with the basics; all the occupants found the class fascinating, talking together in a circle at the end of the class before Andromeda dismissed them.

“Mister Black, a word if I may?” Andromeda called to him as he shouldered his backpack for lunch.

“I’ll catch up with you, meet me down in the Great Hall,” Harry told Hermione, who gave him a little smile and closed the door behind him.

“How are you doing this today?” Andromeda asked.

“It’s only been the first morning,” Harry replied.

“I heard you had a bit of a run-in with Snape,” the healer looked at him curiously.

“Wow, the news certainly works fast,”

“It’s the Hogwarts rumour-mill,” she answered.

“He tried to make me look like a fool, but it backfired on him,” Harry replied with an evil grin.

“Something about Amortentia, I hear,” Andromeda suggested as a blush rose up on Harry’s face.

“Can you give this to dad? I received it yesterday,” Harry rummaged around in his bag before handing over the letter from Gringotts. She quickly scanned the letter.

“I’m sure Sirius can arrange something; this seems like it’s quite urgent,”

“I think so.”

“What I really wanted to ask if you’ve made any progress with the heirs at all?” she asked.

“Actually, they came to me. Now that Ron is not in the way as much, I could get a meeting with them. I’ve already got oaths from the old Potter alliance,” Harry replied happily.

“Good, Sirius will need to start speaking to the current Lord and Ladies then. We were outvoted on the Muggle-born Act, but we need some more allies if we’re going to turn this war on Riddle.”

“I know, Draco is working on the Slytherin angle,” Harry told her.

“Good, now you better be off, or your girl will be worried,” Andromeda teased,

“Andi, she’s not my girl,” Harry whined. 

“Whatever.”

“You and Draco have been watching far too much Mundane Television,” Harry sighed as he bid her goodbye heading down to lunch. The Great Hall was noisy when Harry walked through the doors grinning as he headed over to the Gryffindor table. He conjured up his usual chair at the end of the table.

“How was Healing Class? Hermione enjoyed it,” Lavender asked, sitting close to Ron.

“It was good; there was no group rivalry despite all houses being represented,”

“I’m surprised the Snakes didn’t try anything,” Ron muttered. Harry ignored him, but he was getting more and more annoyed by the redhead. Since the summer and his outburst, Harry distanced himself from Ron, but the boy didn’t seem to be getting the message.

“Are we the first group to have Defence?” Harry asked.

“We are,” Hermione confirmed.

“This is the worst Monday ever; Potions with the dungeon bat, Divination with a mad bat and then that Umbridge woman,” Ron complained while stuffing his face. Hermione and Ceph turned away from him

“We can provide you with a nosebleed nougat cheap if you like,” Fred popped up, sitting next to his younger brother.

“Why cheap?” Ron looked between them suspiciously as George sat on the other side. Ceph looked at them eagerly.

“Because you’ll keep bleeding until you die, we have not perfected the antidote yet,” said George cheerfully.

“No, you’re not having any of their products,” Harry looked at his little brother sternly.

“You’re such a spoilsport!” Fred added playfully but got The look from Harry. “OK, no products for little brother.”

“Yes, you cannot advertise for testers on the Gryffindor notice board,” Hermione pinned them both down with her own look.

“Says who?” asked George, appearing astonished.

“Says me,” answered Hermione firmly, “and Ron,”

“Leave me out of this,” Ron added hastily.

“Some Prefect you are,” Hermione muttered.

“You’ll be sorry, this is your O.W.L year. They’ll be keeping you busier than a niffler after gold,” Fred smirked.

“Half our year had mental breakdowns,” George added. 

“This is Hermione you’re talking about; she’ll have planned her O.W.L year out since the first year,” Harry announced proudly, loving the pretty shade Hermione went when she blushed. He then turned to look at the twins sternly. “No advertising on the board, it’s word of mouth, the person has to give explicit consent and none under third-years.”

“But Harry!” the twins protested.

“If you do this, I’ll think about introducing you two to the Marauder’s.” Instantly the twins’ mouths dropped, then they looked excited, peppering Harry with questions agreeing to his terms. Hermione looked gratefully at him, mouthing a ‘thank you’. She wondered why Harry wasn’t the other Gryffindor Prefect.

“Come on, Harry, we need to show the first-years to the Transfiguration classroom before we go to Defence,” Hermione suggested as Harry finished his lunch. He grabbed up his bag, then followed the other teen in collecting up the first years.

“Can you really become an animal?” Rhianne asked as they left the Great Hall.

“It’s called becoming an Animagus, and it’s incredibly dangerous unless you have an expert on hand,” Hermione lectured.

“But so cool, my dad is a giant dog while my dad’s best friend was a stag.” Hermione knew Harry still found it difficult to differentiate between James, his ‘foster’ dad, and Sirius, his biological dad.

“When can we change?” Ceph asked wide-eyed.

“You have to be at least sixteen, then you’ll need a proper teacher like Professor McGonagall,” Harry replied. Hermione watched as he interacted with the young years, thinking he would make a good dad one day.

“Ah, Mister Black, Miss Granger, I’m not expecting you for transfiguration today,” Professor McGonagall sat behind her desk as they reached the Transfiguration classroom. She usually liked to surprise the first years.

“We were just showing the first years up to the classroom, so they don’t get lost, Ma’am,” Harry replied respectfully. Her stern demeanour slipped, and she gave Harry a rare smile.

“Well done, ten points to you and Miss Granger for the initiative. I’m sorry you were not made Prefect,” the Scottish woman sighed.

“Can I ask, why wasn’t Harry made Prefect?” Hermione questioned, getting an astonished look from Harry. Seeing the first years were occupied, Professor McGonagall answered quietly.

“I was overruled; it seems Mister Black past misdeeds exclude him from becoming a Prefect.” Hermione looked ready to protest, so Harry grabbed her hand. “Speaking of Professor Dumbledore, he would like for you to meet him this evening.”

“Has the Headmaster ever asked to meet a student as much?” Hermione asked, which made the transfiguration professor hesitate thinking about it.

“No, he’s not usually as involved, at least not since James Potter and his group,” McGonagall answered.

“You’ll be there, won’t you?” Hermione asked.

“I’m, erm, not sure,” Harry had never seen the Professor on her back foot before, but Hermione had done just that.

“As his Head of House and according to the Hogwarts charter when meeting with the Headmaster, a student must be represented by his Head of House,” Hermione spouted off like a lawyer.  Harry looked appreciatively at Hermione, knowing he didn’t want to spend time with the Headmaster. 

“I’ll be there. I will let you know at dinner what time the meeting is,” McGonagall now sat up straighter as the pair thanked her, then began heading down the corridor towards the Defence classroom.

“Hi, Harry!” It was Cho Chang, but she was on her own, which surprised Harry. Usually, she had a gaggle of girls around her, like when he had tried to ask the other seeker to the Yule ball. He noticed her turn to Hermione frostily. “Granger.”

“Did you….er…. have a good summer?” Harry struggled for something to say. He felt different now from when he looked at Cho during his fourth year. Then he realised what he had said, Cedric had been her boyfriend!

“Yeah, I mean, it was OK- “she barely got to say before a loud voice spoke up.

“Is that a tornados badge?” Ron demanded suddenly from behind them. While Ron might have noticed Cho, Harry had been observing Hermione. Suddenly he grinned because he saw Hermione was gripping her wand tightly and glaring at the pretty sixth year. “You don’t support them, do you?”

“Yes, I do,” Cho replied, so Harry grabbed Hermione’s hand, ducking past the girl as the two began to argue.

“Did you see his face?” Harry laughed; aware he was holding Hermione’s hand but not willing to drop it.

“He’s such a moron sometimes,” Hermione spoke up, getting a gasp from Harry.

“Miss Granger, are you belittling one of our fellow students?” Harry mocked his friend.

“You’re such an idiot,” Hermione smacked the boys’ arm, getting a grin from him, “Since when did you know big words like belittle?”

“You see, I have this very intelligent friend that I sometimes listen to,” he returned with a bow. The pair looked at each other, then began giggling.

“What’s the joke?” Neville asked, walking up the passage, eyeing their combined hands.

“Nothing, just something Hermione said,” Harry guffawed as they followed the rest of their friends into the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom. Professor Umbridge was already seated at her desk. Harry shuddered as he was reminded of a toad in a pink cardigan. Ron came in, complaining loudly about glory supporters.

“Mister Weasley, when you enter my classroom, you shall be quiet. That will be ten points from Gryffindor,” Professor Umbridge spoke up, looking at him pointedly. Ron realised that Harry and Hermione had found a table together; he looked around to see the only spare seat was next to Blaise Zambini.

“Now, good afternoon, class!” she said when finally, the whole class had sat down.

A few people mumbled, “Good afternoon,” in reply.

“Tut, tut,” said Professor Umbridge. “That won’t do, now, will it? I should like you, please, to reply, ‘Good afternoon, Professor Umbridge.’ One more time, please. Good afternoon, class!”

“Good afternoon, Professor Umbridge,” they chanted back at her.

“There, now,” said Professor Umbridge sweetly. “That wasn’t too difficult, was it? Wands away and quills out, please.”

“I have been reviewing your scores and previous teachers; your teaching in this area has been woefully inadequate. A half-blood mongrel was teaching our next generation, absolutely disgraceful,” Umbridge stood up, looking around the room. Harry held onto the table, his knuckles white with the strain.  Harry had seen her in the Wizengamot in both her trial and the Muggle-born act. She was a genuinely horrible creature.

“Calm down,” Hermione whispered. Harry took a breath allowing Hermione’s calming presence to wash over him.

“Something to say?” Umbridge looked at the Mundane-born girl with her beady eyes.

“I was just eager to hear your aims, Madam,” Hermione blasted the women with a thousand-kilowatt smile.

“Well, good, this year has been carefully structured by the Ministry to help you pass your O.W. L’s,” the toad continued, a little put out that she had not been able to punish Hermione. Harry quickly wrote down the three aims that she had placed on the board when she spoke up again, “Has everybody got a copy of Defensive Magical Theory by Wilbert Slinkhard?”

“Yes, Professor Umbridge,” came the muted response. Harry could see the Ministry woman was wrestling with herself about whether to correct the class, but she gave up.

“Good, now I would like for you to turn to page five and read the first chapter,” Umbridge instructed. Harry began reading his book, which was incredibly dull. Watching paint dry was more interesting than this. After reading the same passage several times, he looked around, Ron seemed to be half asleep, but he had a surprise as he looked at Hermione. Her Defence book was not even open. She was staring at the Professor with her hand up.

It was almost ten minutes later that Umbridge could no longer ignore Hermione’s attempt to get her attention; over half the class were now watching the girl with fascination.

“Is there something you would like to ask about the chapter, dear?” Umbridge asked Hermione, sickly sweet.

“Not about this chapter, no.”

“Well then, I’ll answer any other questions at the end of the lessons,” the toad went to sit down again when Hermione spoke up.

“Actually, I have a question about your course aims.” Umbridge appeared shocked, as if no one had ever questioned her before.

“Your name is- “

“Hermione Granger.”

“Miss Granger, I believe the aims were perfectly laid out for you and a bright young woman,” Umbridge looked like she had swallowed a lemon, “such as yourself will have no problems in understanding them.”

“I understand them. However, the aims make no mention of practical magic,” Hermione pointed.

“What? We won’t be learning practical magic?” Ron shot up.

“Hand, Mr Weasley,” Umbridge shouted, a little strained, giving away the fact she knew exactly who they were. “Now the ministry has decided that you can learn everything you know from the theory book.”

“Dean Thomas, Ma’am, what about the practical portion of our exams?”  the Mundane-born asked, receiving a slight look of disgust from Umbridge.

“Hand, Mr Thomas,” Umbridge snapped, “However, I shall answer your question. The Ministry feels that if you complete your theory work, then you should be capable of completing the practical.”

“What about in the real world? Theory won’t be good if you’re attacked,” Harry spoke, now unable to stay silent any longer.

“Pray tell, who do you expect to attack you, Mr Potter?” Umbridge narrowed her eyes.

“That’s Lord Rendlesham, Madam Umbridge,” Harry sat up straighter, though he felt Hermione’s hand on his arm warning him.

“Excuse me?” Umbridge took a step back, confused.

“You may refer to me as Lord Rendlesham, I am not a Potter, but a Black, and my title is the Marquess of Rendlesham, Madam Umbridge,”

“Be that as it may, in my class, you are just like your peers Mister Black,” She snarled, finally becoming flustered.

“Then I shall continue to call you Madam Umbridge as you are not an accredited teacher,” Harry snapped back, hearing gasps from around the room.

“I do not know where you have heard that from, Mister Black, but the Minister has every bit of faith in me as a teacher,” Umbridge returned.

“The Minister is a fool,” Harry declared, the room falling silent. “You only finished with Four N.E.W. T’s and only an acceptable in Defence Against the Dark Arts. How you can be qualified to teach it is beyond me.”

“You are a liar, a filthy little liar. I don’t know where you got your information, but I am more qualified than most of your so-called teachers so far, including that half-breed Lupin,” Umbridge told him vindictively. “I shall be putting you in Detention for the rest of the week, but you are dismissed from my class.”

“Good, I shall speak to His Grace about hiring a real Defence tutor,” Harry began throwing his parchment and quills into his bag as Umbridge started to write furiously on a piece of parchment. She thrust it into his hand.

“You shall take this and report to Professor McGonagall.” Harry looked at her contemptuously then walked out of the Defence classroom letting the door slam closed on his way out. He knew it was childish, but the woman thoroughly annoyed him. He made it to the Transfiguration and knocked quietly.

“Enter!” Harry put his head around the door, uneasily; he respected the Transfiguration teacher and was worried about her reaction, “Yes, Mr Black, what can we do for you?”

“I was, erm, sent to give you this,” Harry replied, now nervous. He had forgotten she was teaching the first years. He crept over, handing his favourite teacher the note. Minerva McGonagall’s eyebrows went into her hair as she read the letter, her lips pursed together.

“Right, well, it seems you are at my disposal, so perhaps you can assist me in helping the first years,” McGonagall suggested, making him sigh in relief. She directed him to work with a group of first years which included his little brother.

“Can you change into a cat?” Mark asked, he was in a group with Cepheus and two other girls. Thankfully neither of them was Rhianne, the girl he noticed that had a crush on him.

“McGonagall showed you her Cat trick?” Harry asked.

“At the beginning of the lesson, because we told her we had been asking you,” one of the girls, a blonde pig-tailed girl, explained.

“No, I’m not an Animagus, I have other abilities, but one of my friends can turn into a panther,” Harry replied, laughing at the awed look on their faces.

“Do you think he’ll teach us?” Cepheus asked earnestly.

“You don’t need to change into anything to get into trouble,” he ruffled his little brother’s hair, “Now, what are you doing today?”

“We’re learning the transfiguration alphabet. We have these letters,” the other girl pointed out the little cards on the table. Harry had a thoroughly enjoyable double lesson helping out the first years, all clamouring for his aid.

As the firsties left, they all thanked him, telling Professor McGonagall what a wonderful lesson it was.

“Come,” McGonagall snapped at him. He gathered his bag, following the teacher to her office, where she sat him down near the fire. He watched as she threw some Floo powder into the fireplace, having a brief conversation with someone else.

“Were we ever that small?” Harry asked as she stepped away from the fire and began to get the tea set ready.

“Yes, Mr Black, you were that small; quite frankly, you were shorter,” McGonagall’s lips twitched in a smile, so he knew she wasn’t mad at him, “how did you find teaching today?”

“I really enjoyed it,” Harry answered honestly.

“You might want to consider teaching when we sit down for our Career Conversation- “Professor McGonagall was cut off as the flames whooshed into a green colour and Andromeda Tonks stepped out of the fireplace.

“It’s the first day, Harry; why are you in trouble already?” she asked, making him feel about six-years-old. He secretly loved that he had someone to care for him like this.

“I wasn’t doing it on purpose; she is refusing to teach us practical magic,” Harry tried to explain.

“So, you told her she was un-educated and not suitable for the job?” Andromeda tried to remain stern, but he could see the smile creep through.

“She couldn’t get my name right,” argued Harry.

“Be that as it may, she has a lot of power at the Ministry, power your father is trying to negate, but you cannot annoy her,”

“Sorry, Andi,” Harry looked at his shoes, ashamed,

“Now tell me what you said exactly?” Andromeda laughter soon joined McGonagall’s as Harry recited what he had said. Harry looked at the pair astonished; he had never seen the stern Professor laughing so freely.

“I would have loved to have been a cat in the room for that,” laughed McGonagall. “Now, I got your letter about lessons on Wizarding culture.”

“Having known nothing until this summer about Houses and Ancient and Noble houses, it might be beneficial for first year students,” Harry began his spiel. Andromeda looked at him, impressed as she drank her own cup of tea.

“I spoke to Professor Dumbledore about it, but he said we don’t have the budget for it this year with taking Andromeda on,” the transfiguration teacher told him after he had finished, “he told me to wait until the summer and ask about next year.”

“Harry!” Andromeda cried as the teen let out a string of swear words.

“Dumbledore doesn’t seem to want Muggle-borns integrated into society,” Harry suggested darkly, using Muggle for McGonagall’s benefit.

“The Headmaster has done more for Muggle-borns than anyone,” his Head of House looked scandalised.

“Sorry, ma’am, do you have any other suggestions?” the older woman’s scowl became a sly grin.

“While the Headmaster may stop formal lessons, there is nothing about clubs,” she told him, “I would endorse a club on a Saturday for the younger years to learn about Wizarding culture and Muggle culture.”

“Muggle?” Harry asked.

“Yes, I think it would benefit the Purebloods,” McGonagall answered. “You’ll need some help in teaching, though.”

“I think I can get Hermione on board for help with Muggle culture and perhaps Neville with Susan for the Wizarding World,” Harry thought about it.

“I want to see a plan in the next week of what you might teach,” the sometimes-stern Professor suggested.

“OK, thanks for the tea Professor,” Harry gathered his stuff and went back to the Gryffindor Common Room where Hermione was waiting for him.

“What happened? Where did you go?” she looked anxious.

“Umbridge sent me to Professor McGonagall, so I ended up helping the first years,” he answered, “now I need your help with something.”

“OK?” Hermione looked at him curiously.

“Well, Dumbledore shot down my idea for lessons on Wizarding Culture, but Professor McGonagall will endorse a club to teach younger years all about that and Mundane Culture.” Hermione almost squealed, pulling the boy into a hug.

“You want my help? Oh, I have to go to the library,” the book-worm began to list things she would need to do as Harry laughed at her.

“Yes, I want your help with the Mundane side and perhaps lesson planning. She wants a plan in a week, but I was going to ask Susan and Neville to help with the Wizarding side,” He smiled at the girl.

“That’s a great idea; let’s go see Neville and then go to the library,” She grabbed Harry’s arm pulling him in the direction of the library.

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