|SIYE Time:17:40 on 21st October 2018|
Love Enough for Both
By Manwe Valarian
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Category: Alternate Universe
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry heard a goblin speaking and he came out of temporary stupor. He was surrounded by witches and wizards all staring at him. The most shocking thing was he had his arms around someone. Who was she and how did they get here?
Hitcount: Story Total: 132503; Chapter Total: 4091
Awards: View Trophy Room
Harry and company are at Hogwarts working with students and the Headmaster. There are special classes with the Headmaster and Bill is having special classes with some of the students.
I would like to thank Leif for the Beta work on this chapter. After all this time I am still overlooking too many SPaG errors. Thank you!
The great hall was filled with chattering students awaiting the class assignments for the start of the school year. The Heads of Houses were moving about the tables handing out pieces of parchment. All the serious students were anxiously awaiting these assignments.
Ron could wait. He went to classes because it was necessary, but to say he enjoyed them would be an exaggeration.
“Mr. Weasley,” Professor McGonagall said tartly as she handed him his class assignments.
Ron looked down at it and smiled. He had a free period first thing in the morning. He didn’t need to rush off to get his books from the dorm.
“What is your first class?” asked an excited Hermione.
Ron looked at her. She looked nearly as excited as most children would be on Christmas morning. “Transfiguration,” he said.
“Oh,” she replied. The excitement left her face. “That is my second class. I would have thought we would have it together.”
“We probably do. I have a free period first thing this morning.”
“Oh, I suppose you will be having a lie in every morning,” Hermione said haughtily. “I need to get to class.”
Ron watched her leave. She will never understand what it was like to relax and enjoy life. All she ever thinks about are grades and work. He watched as the students filed out of the hall going to class or back to their dorms. He started to think that Hermione had a good idea about having a kip.
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Ron ran as fast as he could around the students in the hall trying to get to his Transfiguration class. He slept longer than he had planned and had a minute to get to class before McGonagall took points off or gave him detention for being late. He skidded into the classroom and looked for a seat. Hermione was sitting beside Parvarti Patil and Susan Bones. There was a seat open on the other side of Susan. He was able to plop down in it seconds before the class started.
“Glad to see you could make it on time, Mr. Weasley,” said Professor McGonagall.
Ron smiled at the Professor. “Glad to be here.”
He could hear Hermione clicking her tongue and letting out an exasperated sigh at his comment. Susan started laughing beside him.
“It would figure that you would be late,” Susan whispered to him.
“Yeah, you know how much I like my beauty sleep,” he whispered to her.
Susan sniggered at his comment. Hermione though let out a little gasp and was staring at him across Susan with a shocked expression. Ron ignored Hermione. He supposed that he just said something he wasn’t allowed to say. Susan’s Aunt had joined the Order and brought Susan by to help clean up Grimmauld place. They had spent almost three weeks working together doing everything from dusting to chasing Doxies out of curtains. Susan was a nice polite girl, who he considered to be a friend. Hopefully it will never happen, but she might also become a part of the Weasley family, if her Aunt and Mother would die in the war.
“This year I will expect all of you to master….” Professor McGonagall started her lecture.
Ron pulled out some parchment, quill, and ink bottle to take notes. With the look that Hermione had given him, he doubted that she would be willing to let him copy her notes from class.
The class progressed like Ron had figured with Professor McGongall lecturing about the upcoming year and explaining their homework assignment and the actual spell that they would attempt during the next class; overall, a boring hour of note taking. McGonagall had finished her lecture exactly twenty seconds before the bell rang. Her ability to time her lectures so precisely always amazed Ron. Certainly she didn’t practice and time them, but after so many years she may just have them all memorized and timed.
“When do you have Defense?” asked Susan.
“Next period,” he replied to her. Her face fell a little at his response. “I suppose you have it at another time.” Ron gathered his books and supplies as he spoke with her.
“Yes, that means one of us have it with the Slytherins,” sighed Susan.
“Ron and I have it with the Slytherins,” said Hermione butting into the conversation. “I overheard Daphne Greengrass discussing her schedule in Arithmancy.”
“I feel sorry for you two,” said Susan. “You do have Bill as the Professor. He should be able to keep the Slytherins under control, if not Sirius will be taking points off them.”
Ron laughed at Susan’s comment. Sirius giving Draco detention and taking ten points off Slytherin had already gone through the grapevine at the school.
“I am sure Professor Weasley is quite capable and Mr. Black will only take points and hand out discipline when necessary,” stated Hermione haughtily.
Susan looked at Hermione then at Ron and rolled her eyes. Ron couldn’t help but laugh at her antics.
“Yes, Hermione I am sure Professor Weasley will be a good Professor too. Well, I am off to Herbology. See you around, Ron,” Susan said, as she ran to catch up with the rest of the Hufflepuffs.
“I didn’t know you and Susan were such good friends,” questioned Hermione.
She was staring at Ron with her left eyebrow raised a little. He had noticed she did this whenever she was in her interrogation mode.
“Yeah, her family and my family spent some time together this summer. I need to get to Defense before my brother docks me points and gives me detention to prove he doesn’t show favoritism.”
“Mind if I walk along with you?”
“No, you’ve got to go there too, don’t you?”
Hermione made a bit of a face to his comment, but walked along beside him to the Defense classroom. Ron looked at her a couple of times out of the corner of his eye. She never looked at him and kept her face locked in a blank expression looking straight forward. They reached the classroom and noticed that the room was divided onto two sections. Slytherins were on the right side and Gryffindors on the left. They went and sat down with the other Gryffindors.
Draco was sitting with his cronies whispering to them as they snickered to each other and glared at Ron or the rest of the Gryffindors.
Ron was sitting there trying to ignore the Slytherins, when he heard Hermione let out with an exasperated sigh. He looked to see what caused her to react in that manner. She was looking at Lavender and Parvarti.
They were reapplying their makeup and checking their robes like they were getting ready to impress someone. Bill walked into the classroom, and Ron realized who they were trying to impress. The thought of two girls his age trying to impress his older brother made him feel two things. One was sick because Bill was way too old for them. The other was amusement, because he was so much older, and from what he had heard, quite active with adult women.
“Good Morning everyone,” said Bill to the class. He waved his wand and the door to the classroom closed. “I am Professor Weasley. Headmaster Dumbledore has tasked me with getting you all up to speed with your Defense curriculum. I understand that for the past two years the Professors were somewhat inadequate. Therefore the first thing I am going to do is give you a test…,”
Bill had to stop talking because everyone except Hermione groaned and started to complain. Hermione’s hand shot in the air.
“Yes, Miss, I believe it is Granger,” Bill said pointing at Hermione.
“Professor, we didn’t have time to prepare for a test. It would hardly be fair to give us a test that would affect our grade without proper time to prepare.” The rest of the class agreed with her, even the Slytherins.
“That is a good point, if this test was for a grade,” said Bill. “What this test is for is to see what your level of understanding is on this subject. I won’t even be looking at each of your individual scores. I want to see if there is any area of your education that needs revisited. The test is based on the school governor’s expectations of what you should know at the end of the second year.”
Bill proceeded to take roll before handing out the test to all the students. Ron looked down at it and mentally groaned. It was a lot of information that he had basically forgotten. Even if he had learned it last year, he would have forgotten it by now. Dipping his quill in his ink bottle, he started scratching out answers to the questions.
Hermione finished her test before everyone else. She even went through the answers again before setting her quill down. The test wasn’t as bad as what Ron thought it would be. He thought he had done alright. There were a couple of things that he had no clue what the question was referring to, but he tried to answer it anyway.
“Miss Granger, if you are done. You can hand your test in and go to your next class. We won’t be covering anything else today,” said Bill. “That goes for anyone else that is finished.”
Ron looked at Hermione. She seemed to be disappointed that she could leave. Ron shook his head at her actions as he went back to work. He had finished the test five minutes before the bell rang. Almost half the class was gone by the time he finished. When he took his exam to the front of the room, Bill gestured to him before he could leave.
“I need to talk to you after class,” he whispered.
Ron just nodded and went out to hall to wait for the bell to ring. After the rest of the students left, he went back inside. Bill was organizing the tests.
“What do you want?” Ron asked.
“Ca ll me Professor or sir when we are in school, Mr. Weasley,” said Bill. “What I wanted to talk to you about is the possibility of special classes. I was wondering if you can think of anyone you could trust and would enjoy a little extra work on practical Defense work.”
“Yeah, Hermione would always want a little extra studying and practice.”
Bill gave him a sly smile. “You can trust her?”
“Oh yeah, I can trust her. She was at the wedding and hasn’t said anything to anyone about what happened.”
“Good, we don’t want these classes to be advertised to all of the school just yet. We will be meeting in the evening after dinner for about an hour starting tomorrow night. Be prepared for some hard work.”
He asked Hermione about the classes that night after dinner. She had a hundred questions from what type of curriculum they would be covering, what books she should read for reference to the subjects that would be covered, to what she should wear. He listened to the first ten or fifteen questions, before answering the rest with an “I don’t know, Hermione”.
The next day went by quickly except for Potions. Snape seemed to be taking points from Gryffindor for anything including breathing too loud or with your mouth open. When the time came for Hermione and him to leave for the special class, they had decided to go to the library then to Defense classroom from there. Hermione had suggested the plan. She believed that no one would notice the two of them leaving at the same time from the library.
They arrived at the classroom and the first thing Ron noticed was his family was there. Percy was there with the Head Girl Penelope Clearwater. Fred and George were sitting with Lee Jordan and Angelina Johnson. Ginny and Harry were sitting in the classroom too. Ron realized that he hadn’t seen them since the opening feast. Sirius and Remus were also there.
“Come in and close the door, Ron,” said Bill from the front of the room. “Before we begin, let me seal the room.”
Bill started to wave his wand around while chanting an incantation. Ron could hear Penelope whispering to Percy. She didn’t look comfortable with what Bill was doing. The walls glowed with a pale blue light, as he cast his spell. Bill made one last flourish with his wand. The bluish light seemed to sink into the walls with a squelching sound.
“There the room is sealed,” Bill said.
“Professor Weasley, what are we here to do tonight?” asked Percy in a very officious manner.
“The quick answer is help Harry and Ginny train. Hopefully, you will get some knowledge and experience from all of this. Before anyone asks anymore questions, let me explain further.
“Harry and Ginny need live Defense work. They need to be able to take on large numbers by themselves…,”
“You can bet Voldemort and his Death Eaters won’t be dueling one on one with Harry and Ginny. They will attack from behind and in great numbers,” said Sirius.
Penelope nearly jumped out of her seat and squealed when Sirius said Voldemort.
“Thank you, Mr. Black. As I was trying to explain, we need people to attack Harry and Ginny. The object of this exercise is for them to be able to sense when a spell is coming at them without seeing it. This type of exercise is advanced Auror training, so none of you will ever need to worry about this being a part of the curriculum. All of you up, stand up, so we can get the desks and chairs out of harm’s way.”
Ron stood up with Hermione. She was looking rather uncomfortable at what was going on. Bill, Sirius, and Remus were moving the furniture up against the wall. As each piece of furniture hit the wall it would glow blue for a second before a squelching noise indicated it was protected from damage. Everyone else seemed a little uncertain at what was going on with these special lessons. Even Fred and George seemed rather reserved.
“Harry, I want you to stand in this circle,” Bill said while drawing a circle six feet in diameter on the floor in the middle of the room. “The rest of you spread out so you completely surround Harry, and there isn’t someone directly across from you. If Harry can’t neutralize your spell and he avoids it, I don’t want anyone else hurt.”
Ron shuffled over to a spot by the door. Hermione seemed a little uncertain too as she looked for a spot. Everyone else was also moving hesitantly to find a spot. Bill, Remus, and Sirius started moving people to the proper locations. Remus led Hermione a few feet to her left before coming to Ron.
When everyone was finally set, Bill shouted out, “Attack!”
Ron and everyone else stood there holding their wands staring.
“Professor Weasley,” said Hermione. “I am afraid of hurting Mr. Potter.”
Bill, Sirius, and Remus all laughed at her comment.
“Let’s give you an idea of Mr. Potter’s abilities,” replied Bill. “I want everyone to get a good grip on their wand. I am going to count while Harry disarms all of you. How many seconds do you think it will take him?”
“I say two,” yelled Remus.
“No, that is too slow. I say one,” Sirius said.
Ron had to laugh. It would be impossible to cast eight spells in eight different directions in two seconds.
“Go, one thousand one, one…,”
Harry moved his wand at speeds that Ron had never seen before. He wasn’t even looking in the direction he was aiming, but each spell hit true, even the three he cast over his shoulders.
“…thousand two.” Bill stopped counting.
“Two seconds, Sirius,” shouted Remus.
“They were all disarmed in one, it took an extra second for the wands to hit the ground…,”
Ron tuned them out. He looked around the circle to see everyone else was as amazed at what just happened. Hermione was actually staring at Harry with her head slightly cocked to the one side.
“Pretty impressive,” he said to her.
She turned to look at him. “Unbelievable is more like it.”
“All right, everyone grab their wand and try to hex Harry,” shouted Bill. He waited until everyone got their wands, before he shouted to attack.
Ron fired off a Petrificus Totalis, which Harry deftly countered without looking Ron’s direction. After everyone cast a spell without hitting Harry, they all stopped.
“Don’t stop,” shouted Bill. “Keep firing spells. I would like to get Harry about fifteen minutes to twenty minutes of defending, before Ginny takes her turn. Come on everyone. Whoever hits Harry gets a 100 percent on their next exam without needing to take it. Let’s fire away.”
Ron started firing every hex he could think of, along with everyone else. The room was noisy with hexes being shouted and looked like a fireworks display with all the lights from those spells. Everyone cast spells for fifteen minutes without stopping. Ron finally had to stop. He was exhausted and it looked like everyone else was too. The only person who didn’t seem to be exhausted was Harry, and he was able to block everyone’s spells.
“How can he do that?” asked Lee Jordan. “I am exhausted.”
“We train for an hour a day,” said Harry. “Hey, let’s show them.”
“I am getting pretty bored over here,” said Ginny. “Us four against you; you can use your cloak.”
Ginny tossed Harry his cloak and he tied around his neck. Ron hadn’t even noticed that he hadn’t been wearing it. Without warning they started to battle. If Ron was impressed by what Harry did against him and the students? He was amazed by what he was seeing now. There were spells flying at a faster pace with only five people casting them. No one said a single spell, so he had no idea what they were. He wondered why Ginny had given Harry the cloak, until a spell hit him on the cloak. The spell seemed to reflect off the cloak without harming him.
“Dragon hide,” shouted George. “Those cloaks are dragon hide they can resist spells.”
They stopped the exercise a few minutes later. Harry was finally breathing heavy from exertion.
“Why do you need us to cast spells?” asked Penelope Clearwater. “You are much more advanced than we could ever be.”
“Part of this exercise is for Harry’s benefit, but part of it is for yours,” said Bill. “I haven’t told you all the reasons why I asked you here tonight. I am hoping to start up what might be called a dueling club, and something else. There will also be an advanced Defense club for students who want to develop their Defense and dueling abilities. We could have it for students at all grade levels, and we could also use it to help some of the slower students to catch up to where they should be for their years at the school.”
“Oi, you just ruined it for George and me,” complained Fred. “Here I thought this was something outside of the class meeting and now you tell us this is an advanced class. People are going to think we are becoming studious.”
Bill laughed at him. “You do not need to worry about that nasty rumor being spread about the school Mr. Weasley.”
“Miss Clearwater, you seem to have some questions about this class. If you do not want to return I will understand and it won’t affect your regular class grade.”
“Are we going to have to duel like Harry or even any of you to pass?”
“This will not be graded as much as it is for refining and perfecting your techniques. This will be more about the practical side of Defense than the theoretical side.”
“Will this be open to the entire school?” asked Hermione.
“The dueling club will be open, but the advanced Defense will not be. It will be by invitation only.”
“No Slytherins, “said Ron.
Bill smiled at him. “We will see.”
“What’s the purpose of learning to duel, if we are teaching the Slytherins,” said Ron. “They are the ones we will be dueling out there.” Ron jabbed his wand in the direction that he thought was outside. Bill seemed to grimace at his comment, but didn’t reply.
“Not all Slytherins are evil, Ronald,” spat Hermione.
“And which one isn’t?” replied Ron harshly. Hermione’s snarky attitude had irritated him.
She seemed a little shocked at his response. “I don’t know, but I am sure there are some.”
“Oh, you are sure there is one that is nice…,”
“Enough,” shouted Bill. “We are here to work on dueling with our wands not our mouths.”
Everyone chuckled at Bill’s comment. Ron looked at his family and their friends. They were all smiling at him. Seeing their smirking faces made him even angrier at Hermione and her optimistic attitude about everyone.
“Ginny, your turn in the center,” said Bill.
Ron turned away from Hermione. He didn’t even want to look at her. He just wanted this evening to be over. He started firing off spells at Ginny. She wasn’t as fast or intuitive as Harry, but she was still good enough to block all the spells fired at her for fifteen minutes. Ron quit before everyone else. He couldn’t keep firing hexes. His voice was hoarse and raspy, and his arms felt like lead weights. Everyone else but Harry and Ginny looked exhausted. Hopefully after a few sessions, his magical strength will improve along with his spell casting.
After the class, he and Hermione were walking back to Gryffindor tower. He wanted to talk to her, but she was in one of her moods. Anything he would say would start her fighting again, but he had to say something.
“Do you think we will ever get as good as Harry and Ginny?” He never expected her to respond.
“We might, but it is highly unlikely. We would have to be bonded like they are…,” Hermione stopped talking and a blush crept up her cheeks.
“We will get better, I hope. I just wish…,” Ron left the sentence unfinished. Hermione had already admonished him for wanting to be like Harry. He didn’t want to go through that again. “I wish we could get some time alone,” he said. Hermione seemed to react to his statement, so he continued. “To practice, Hermione, just to practice,” he said nervously.
“Yes, to practice,” she said rather icily, before picking up the speed of her walk.
Ron watched as she hurried away from him. He had no clue why she was reacting like that. He just wanted to practice to get better. He also didn’t want to her to think he was doing all this to get alone time with her, even though that was a side benefit. It seemed like he could not say three sentences without her getting angry.
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Six people were thrown out of the Pensieve in the Headmasters office. The Headmaster and Ginny were able to stay on their feet. The others weren’t so lucky. Bill, Harry, and Sirius were on one knee. Remus was less agile and ended up flat on his back on the Headmaster’s floor.
“You hurt?” Sirius asked his lifelong friend.
“Only my pride,” replied Remus with a smile. “I thought Portkeys were bad.” He took Sirius’ extended hand to pull up off the floor.
“That was Tom’s actual family?” asked Bill. “Not exactly a place for a Lord to get a proper upbringing.”
“The manor house that you saw was his father’s family home,” said the Headmaster. “Did anyone notice anything unusual about the memory?”
“I don’t know if you could call it unusual, but that ring Marvolo Gaunt was wearing was significant,” said Harry.
“Why do you say that Harry?” asked the Headmaster.
Harry looked at the rest of his entourage. He had opened his mouth and now he supposed he had nothing to do but to keep talking.
“Have you ever heard of the Deathly Hallows, Headmaster?” Harry saw a surprised look come over the Headmasters facial expression, but he also seemed to be amused.
“Yes, I know about the Deathly Hallows. How do you know about them?”
“Research,” Harry said quickly. “We came across them in doing our research.”
“What does the ring have to do with the Deathly Hallows?” asked the Headmaster.
Harry could tell he was testing him. “It was the Resurrection Stone. It matched the description and also had the mark of Peverell on it, as Gaunt was so proud to display.”
The Headmasters eyebrows nearly disappeared into his pointed hat on his head. “It matched its ‘description’. Where did you read about a description of the Resurrection Stone?”
“Research,” responded Harry. “Do you think Voldemort would also know about them?”
The Headmaster stood still for several seconds twirling his wand between his fingers. “I cannot answer that question, Harry. Tom had done quite a bit of research into obscure dark magic, but I couldn’t answer if he had investigated the Deathly Hallows.”
“What memory do you want us to see next?” asked Ginny breaking into the conversation.
The Headmaster turned to siphon the last memory out of the Pensieve. Harry looked at Ginny, who gave him a look that said she would explain later. He watched as the Headmaster placed another in the magical stone basin. Harry was the first to lean into the swirling vapors and be sucked into the memory.
Over the next two hours, they had viewed four more memories. Harry felt like his head was going to explode from all the information he had tried to memorize. Remus was responsible for writing things down. He wrote down what each person would tell him what they saw in the memory. He was looking the worst of all. The full moon was in two weeks. Harry still hadn’t perfected the Wolfsbane Potion. So his father’s dear friend and his mentor was going to suffer through another transformation.
“I would suggest that we take a break before we look at any more of these memories,” said the Headmaster.
“I agree. I need to go back to my quarters and grade some papers,” said Bill wearily.
“I would like for us to meet on a regular basis to view these memories,” said the Headmaster. “We can go through them once and then start viewing them all over again.”
“I think that would be wise,” said Harry. “There is too much information to comprehend in one viewing.”
“Very well would next week at this time be good for everyone?” Albus Dumbledore waited for everyone’s confirmation before dismissing them.
A half hour later found Harry and Ginny alone in their private quarters. He had wanted to ask her about the look on her face earlier when they were talking about the Deathly Hallows. He never got the question out.
“Did you see the way Headmaster was rolling his wand in his fingers?” she asked him.
“I hate it when you do that. Yes, I saw him doing that. What does it mean?”
Ginny smiled at him. “I think that was the Elder Wand. He had a strong reaction to you talking about the Deathly Hallows. You ever wonder why he had your family heirloom, the Cloak of Invisibility?”
“I never gave it much thought before, but I see your point. It just seems so strange that Albus Dumbledore would want the Death Stick? It is almost a piece of Dark Magic.”
“Whether it is a dark magical object or just a powerful tool does not matter. I think he has the Elder Wand.”
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Harry carefully added the next ingredient. This was the third ingredient he added to the Wolfsbane Potion and so far everything seemed to be working as described in the book.
He spent months reading all of Damocles Belby’s books on Potion making to no avail. It wasn’t until he thought about Belby’s dedication in each book to Ruth Swamproot. She had been his mentor at Potiion making. She wrote only one book about how each person’s magical aura affects their advanced Potion making. It was the one factor he never thought about.
Each time he tried making Wolfsbane, it would fail at a different stage. He started to think about each time he had been brewing it. Ginny had been present, but not always right beside him. He felt slightly guilty to making her sit on the other side of the lab, but so far everything was progressing as it should. Most other wizards and witches would not have his problem, but they were not soul bonded.
“How is it going over there,” shouted Ginny.
Harry smiled at her cheek. She was not that far away. She didn’t need to cup her hands around her mouth and pretend she was calling to him from across a great distance. Remus, Sirius, and Bill thought it was rather funny though as they were laughing at her.
“It’s going good, good, good, good,” he said as though there was an echo.
Ginny broke out in a fit of giggles at his comment. Hearing her laugh made Harry happy. He was happy because he might actually succeed at making the Wolfsbane Potion for Remus, and he was happy because Ginny didn’t seem to be too annoyed at being sent to the opposite end of the room until he can complete the Potion.
“Is Ginny going to be put in detention every time you brew this?” asked Remus.
“I need her to stay a consistent distance away from me, so our magic doesn’t affect the Potion too much. I’ll make it up to her later.”
“I didn’t need to hear that,” complained Bill.
“What is the meaning of this?” hissed the voice of Professor Snape. He had just entered the Potions lab from the hallway.
“Hello, Severus,” said Remus calmly. “Harry is working on a Potion. It is Saturday and the lab was empty, so we decided to use it. The Headmaster was to inform you of this.”
“He did mention it to me,” drawled Professor Snape as he swept over to Harry.
Harry was adding the next to last reagent. He had to wait until the Potion turned sapphire blue before adding the last ingredient. He slowly added the finely chopped root as he stirred the potion counterclockwise. After adding the last piece of root, he moved his glass rod around the cauldron twice before removing it. The Potion kept swirling even after he removed the stirring rod.
“You were supposed to keep stirring for two minutes,” said Professor Snape venomously. “You obviously don’t know how to follow directions.”
“According to Ruth Swamproot, the more magical the Potion is the more the actual brewing method may change according to the person brewing it. The more magically powerful you are the less you need to stir things. That was why I did not continue stirring.”
“Arrogant just like…,” Professor Snape started to say but stopped when the Potion reacted appropriately.
Harry smiled as the Potion turned the tell-tale blue color of sapphires. He added the last ingredient and gave the potion two stirs before removing the glass stirring rod. The Potion should start to emit a steam or smoke like tendrils of mist. It was the sign that the Potion was brewed correctly. It took a very long ten seconds before the mist started to appear. It looked just like the instructions said it would. The low hanging mist would waft down the sides of the cauldron seeming to cling to the metal surface.
“Congratulations Harry,” shouted Remus. He ladled out a tumbler full of Wolfsbane Potion in a glass.
“Remus, you should wait until I can test it to see if it is acceptable,” said Harry anxiously. He didn’t want Remus to take a drink of the Potion to find out it was poison.
“Harry, it is perfect. You know that there isn’t any reliable test for this Potion. The only way to tell if it will work is to drink it.” Remus drank the Potion down in three big gulps. He started to cough before setting the tumbler down on the lab table. “That tastes like a wet dog smells.”
“It does have wolf hair in it,” replied Harry. He was staring at Remus to see if he was feeling any ill effects from the Potion.
“Don’t worry Harry, you got it right,” said Remus.
“Well, Severus, it looks like Harry got something else from his mother beside those bright green eyes,” said Sirius.
Harry looked up at the Potion Master and smiled. He was halfway expecting some type of a compliment. He had just brewed one of the trickiest Potions at the actual age of thirteen. Professor Snape’s eyes widened a bit when Harry’s and his eyes met. Harry could almost sense a bit of shock from him.
“The less of his father he has the better. After dealing with James Potter once, I don’t want to deal with him again,” Severus hissed at Sirius, before turning and walking out of the lab.
Snape’s comment made Sirius jump down off the table he had been sitting on. It took both Remus and Bill to restrain him.
“James was twice the person that you could ever be. That was why Lily chose him over you,” shouted Sirius.
Snape hesitated for a second before slamming the door shut.
“Sirius, you shouldn’t provoke him,” said Remus.
“That greasy git insulted James,” shouted Sirius.
“Yes, he did, but you also insulted him,” countered Remus. “Don’t let him get under your skin. As long as he knows he can do that he will try to make you do something to get us kicked out of here.”
“Yeah, Moony, I know,” sighed Sirius. “Maybe we should have given Peeves a real gun that shot bullets last June, instead of a paintball gun.”
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The last Saturday of September had a large crowd in the great hall after breakfast. It seemed that almost all the students were staying for the first meeting of the dueling club. Bill looked out over the sea of heads and started to worry. He had hoped for six or seven from each year for each house. He wasn’t sure if he could do anything productive with a crowd this large.
“Attention everyone,” he shouted out to get the students attention. “Attention, will everyone please be quiet and look this way.”
The crowd got a little quieter, but it was still too noisy to start the class. Professor Flitwick was trying to shout, but his squeaky little voice was not audible above the noise of the crowd. The Charms Professor looked at Bill then lifted his wand into the air. He shot a small explosive spell into the air. The noise was so loud that it echoed for several seconds after everyone stopped talking.
“Now that everyone is quiet,” shouted Bill. “Anyone who isn’t planning to participate in the dueling needs to leave. We will not be having any actual competitions today or for some time. When we get to the point where we can have a competitive duel, we will announce it to the school.”
Bill watched as a few students left. There were a couple hundred students here. His plans for the day were shot. He would need to reconfigure the training to accommodate everyone. He looked at Professor Flitwick, who just shrugged at him. It was obvious that he never imagined so many people would show an interest.
“All right everyone. I am Professor Weasley and this is Professor Flitwick. We will be working with you on the proper techniques of dueling. We will be following competitive Dueling rules with a variation. Anyone casting a Dark curse or a Severing hex will be kicked out of this group and disciplined by the Headmaster. You are to disarm or disable your opponent without causing permanent damage.”
Bill lifted a stack of papers with his wand and directed them to Percy. “Please, pass those out to everyone, Mr. Weasley.” He ignored Fred and George shouting that they were the real Mr. Weasley. “The papers going around have a list of spells deemed ‘Dark’ by the Ministry. Do not cast those spells.”
A group of Slytherins chuckled at his statement. He noticed Professor Snape seemed to smile along with his house.
“You will be dueling other students in your same year,” said Bill. “Since we have so many students from each house, you will practice with students from your house and year. We will eventually have an intra-house competition. For today, I want each house with their Heads of House to go to their house tables. Professor McGonagall, would you be so kind as to Transfigure the tables to dueling platforms?”
“Of course, Professor,” she replied.
She turned and waved her wand at the Gryffindor House table. It started to raise and become wider until it was eight feet wide and four feet off the floor. She went over to Hufflepuff House table next.
“While Professor McGongall transfigures the tables, I want the seventh years from each house to pair up. If you have an odd number than one of you will either have to duel a sixth year or go twice. We will have the seventh years start and the younger students can watch and learn…,”
“Professor Weasley,” said Professor Snape. “Perhaps it would be good to have an actual duel to start so the students an idea of how it is properly done?”
“Yes, I was planning on Professor Flitwick and I…,”
Snape interrupted Bill again. “I was wondering if Harry Potter and I could duel. After all, everyone is here to see him duel,” Snape said in an oily voice.
Bill was going to object, but Harry cut him off.
“Sure, I’ll try. I really don’t have a lot of experience doing this, but I’ll give it a try,” said Harry. He walked over to the Hufflepuff dueling platform and climbed up.
Snape was smirking with pleasure at Harry taking his bait. Bill was wondering if Snape knew how good Harry was at casting spells.
“The two opponents are to walk to the far ends of the platform. They are to face each other and bow. Traditionally someone counts to three. Are two ready?” Bill watched as Harry and Professor Snape both nodded after bowing to each other. “One, two, three begin the duel.”
Bill didn’t need to say to begin, as soon as he said three Snape cast some powerful curse at Harry. It looked alike a Bludgeoning Curse. It hit Harry’s Shield and reflected up to the ceiling cause dust to fall on the great hall. Harry countered with some lower level spells like Leg-locking and Petrificus Totalis. Snape was able to easily counter them.
With each counter, Snape kept firing more and more powerful spells at Harry. It seemed to Bill that Snape wanted to hurt or at least embarrass Harry. Harry kept blocking the spells and returning fire with simple hexes, which Snape kept flicking away with ease. Bill was wondering if Harry was trying to get Snape to feel overconfident. Harry had the skill and power to have won this duel a half dozen times. Even though the Potions Professor kept firing a steady barrage of spells, Harry had plenty of time between spells to blast him off the platform.
One of the curses that Snape was firing made it through Harry’s Shield. Harry was knocked backwards off the platform. Bill had to keep from smiling. Harry had let that bleed through. He had blocked that same exact spell four times before. He could have blocked it again, but he decided to let the git of a Professor win.
“Evidently, the great Harry Potter isn’t invincible,” drawled Snape.
A movement from the Gryffindor table caught Bill’s attention. It looked as if Sirius was going to do something, but Ginny was blocking him. She was whispering something in his ear. A smile formed on Sirius’s face as he relaxed.
The Slytherins were all cheering for their Head of House as if he had won some major victory. They must not have noticed that Snape was breathing hard from the exertion of the duel and Harry was still breathing normally. Bill was impressed at Harry’s maturity to allow Snape this small victory when it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
“All right, let’s have the first group of seventh years up on the platforms,” ordered Bill. “The next group to go up can count to start the duel. Professor Flitwick and I will be moving about to help you with your duels and techniques. My teaching assistants will also be available for advice.”
“As long as it isn’t Potter,” shouted someone from the Slytherins.
“Are they actually that clueless,” whispered Professor Flitwick to Bill.
“Why do you say that?” asked Bill.
The small Professor smiled at him. “It was obvious to anyone with knowledge of dueling that Mr. Potter wasn’t trying to win that duel,” he whispered. “Mr. Black or Mr. Potter isn’t going to try to bet money on these duels is he?”
“No, he isn’t,” said Bill, but he looked at Fred and George and wondered if they were. “No, he won’t be trying to take bets from the Slytherins. I hope.” Bill whispered the last sentence. It was more of a prayerful request than a fact. He never knew what Remus and Sirius were going to do.
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