The Sugar Quill
Author: Crookshanks  Story: A Traitor in Their Midst  Chapter: Chapter 1: A Dormouse, An invisible building and LOTS of red hair
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The distribution of this story is for personal use only. Any other form of distribution is prohibited without the consent of the author.

Disclaimer: The quote ‘Do you believe in enchanted places,’ comes from Jerry Spinnelli’s Stargirl

Disclaimer:  The quote ‘Do you believe in enchanted places,’ comes from Jerry Spinnelli’s Stargirl.  All the characters belong to J.K, except for Jenny and all the other kids, but since they’re the children of her characters, I guess they belong to her.

Alice in Wonderland belongs to Lewis Carroll.  Yeah, the chapters are kind of short, but oh well.

 

Thanks to my beta-reader Arabella!

 

A Traitor in Their Midst

 

 

 

Chapter 1:  A Dormouse, An invisible building and LOTS of red hair

‘Mum?’

 

‘Yes?’

 

‘Do you believe in enchanted places?’

 

‘I… suppose I do.  Why?’ 

 

Jenny smiled coyly at her mum.  ‘No reason.  Just wondering.’

 

Her mother changed the subject abruptly.  ‘Jenny, have you finished your summer reading?’  Jenny sighed.

 

‘I’m NEARLY done.  Alice in Wonderland is a really long book.’

 

‘Go finish.  You only have a month left until school starts up again.’

 

‘A month is a long time.  Can’t I finish it later?  I want to go outside.  It’s lovely out today!’

 

‘No.’  Her mother said firmly.  Jenny flashed her mother an exasperated look, and slumped away into her bedroom, shutting the door rather harder than needed.

 

Hermione amused herself for a moment thinking of Jenny in a big family of seven children, all boys except for her, and—she didn’t want to think of that.  It reminded her of Him too much.  But she couldn’t help wondering… what would it have been like if he hadn’t been arrested?  Hermione could see many of His traits in her.  Not that it wasn’t a good thing.  Jenny had inherited her hair, but his freckles.  Her nose, but his teeth (thankfully).  Jenny’s hair was his c! olor too.  Flaming red.  

 

Hermione gazed out the window as she thought all this, but for a strange reason, perhaps it was because she was so deep in thought, she seemed to miss the large brown owl that swept past.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

There was a table set under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it; a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over it’s head.  ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice, ‘only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’

           

The table was a large one, but the three were all gathered together at the corner of it.  ‘No room!  No room!’ they cried out when the saw Alice coming.

 

‘There’s PLENTY of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large armchair at one end of the table.

 

‘Oh…’ Jenny groaned, looking up from the book.  ‘I suppose mum won’t mind if I go outside for a bit…’ she stood up and lifted the glass window up, struggling under its weight.  ‘… Just to get my brain going.’

 

She ducked her head under the window frame, and hoisted herself onto the shingled roof.

 

‘It really is lovely outside.’  Jenny thought, looking down at the view of London.  Toy cars zoomed around making putting noises, and tiny ants littered the streets. 

 

Jenny was not practical like her mum.  She did not always read books like her mum.  And she certainly did not think of things the same way as her mum.  She liked to have her own adventures.  Her mum liked her to be… well—like her.  Jenny wondered if she was like her father.  She  had never met him.  And whenever she’d asked her mum about him, she’d always pretend she couldn’t hear.  Her mum never called him by his proper ! name when she did talk about him, but would simply refer to him as ‘Him.’  Jenny didn’t even know his name.

 

Her birthday was tomorrow.  She would be eleven years old.  Once the summer ended she would be off to a school not far from her house, called St. Margret’s.  Jenny really didn’t want to go to this school.  It sounded very unexciting.

 

Jenny’s mind slipped away to the enchanted place.  She thought of it and thought of it until she could no longer bear to keep this wonderful place to herself.  But who would she tell?  Not her mum—she would forbid Jenny to go there anymore.  She wouldn’t think it was safe.  Not any of the girls at school—they didn’t like Jenny at all, and Jenny didn’t exactly like them either.  Not anyone who she couldn’t trust.  The answer struck her like lightning—Jack!  Of course, her only friend, why had it taken her so! long to figure that out?

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

‘Oh, hello Jen.  Hold on a moment.’  Mrs. Caraway turned her back to Jenny and shrieked up the stairs, ‘JACK!  JENNY’S HERE!  COME DOWN STAIRS!’

 

Jack appeared at the door a moment later looking flushed and breathless.

 

‘Hi!’  he said. 

 

‘Hey.’  Jenny replied.  ‘Mrs. Caraway, may Jack please come to the park with me?’

 

‘Sure… Jack, take you coat.  And don’t cause any trouble!’  she called at their retreating backs.  Jenny turned and gave a little wave before she and Jack rounded a corner.

 

‘So,’ he started, once they were out of earshot, ‘What do you want to show me?’  His blond hair glistened in the sunlight. 

 

‘Well, I found this really neat place yesterday next to the book store.’

 

Jack puzzled over these words.  ‘What d’you mean?  There’s nothing next to the book store.  Are you talking about the one on Highland Road?’

 

Jenny nodded slowly, narrowing her eyes.  ‘I’m sure I saw it.  But I never noticed it before.  It just sort of… appeared there.  And it was like no one else could see it.  They all passed it without a glance.’

 

They approached the wooden building, and Jack looked around blankly.

 

‘Well, here it is.  Let’s go inside.  I think it’s some kind of pub, or something.’

 

‘Jenny,’  Jack began cautiously, ‘There’s nothing here.  Just some weeds and a wall.’

 

‘What are you talking about?!’  Jenny said, panicking.  ‘It’s right here, in front of us!  Don’t you see it?’

 

Jack shook his head.  ‘Jenny,’ he repeated quietly, ‘There isn’t anything here.  Are you all right?’

 

Jenny threw her hands up.  ‘Of COURSE I’m all right!  You must think I’m mad, but I see it!’  then, much more quietly, she said, ‘Please tell me you see it.’

 

‘I… don’t.’  he said worriedly.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

Jenny stayed awake late into the night.  That was how she lost friends—everyone thinking she was strange.  But she had touched the building.  It was real.  She had felt the splintered wood against her fingers.  But why couldn’t Jack see it?  Was she crazy? Some of these questions she would never answer.  Around midnight, Jenny decided never to! go back to the enchanted place.  She would never think of it again.

 

                                                                        ~*~

‘Mum?’

 

‘Yes?’

 

‘Can I go outside?’

 

‘I don’t know, can you?’  Jenny hated it when her mum corrected her grammar.

 

‘Mum!’  Her mum chuckled.

 

‘Where will you go?’

 

‘Behind the house.  Where the trees are.’

 

‘I suppose you can go outside… though I can’t understand why, it’s terribly wet from last night’s rain.’

 

Jenny loved going outside right after it rained.  Everything seemed fresh and new, and everything had a clean smell to it.

 

The trees tingled with tiny droplets of water that jingled every time you shook them.  The sound was musical and magical at the same time.

 

 

*PLOP.*  ‘What was that?’  Jenny thought, hurrying over to where the noise had erupted from.  She poked her head around the bush, and—

 

‘Ohhhh…’  Jenny gasped as the owl got gingerly to its feet.  She crouched down and pushed her hair behind her ears.  The owl was snowy white—It sure didn’t come from England.  The owl’s eyes suddenly lit up, and it lifted it’s talon and let loose an envelope made of yellow paper.  Jenny held her breath when she saw that the letter was addressed to her.  How curiou! s, an owl delivering a letter.  Her hand trembled as she retrieved the letter within.  As she read, Jenny couldn’t help letting out the delighted squeal that escaped her.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

‘Mummy!’

 

‘Yes?’ Jenny’s mother seemed alarmed.

 

‘Mummy, I’m a witch!’  Why did her mum just turn white?  Was she scared of witches, or something?

 

‘Don’t be silly…’  her mum croaked, ‘There are no such things.’

 

‘Yes there IS Mummy, look!’  Jenny thrust the letter into her mum’s trembling hand.  If possible, her mum became even paler.  ‘Are you okay, Mummy?’

 

‘Y-yes.  I j-j-just want to k-know where you got this from.’  Jenny’s mother said shakily.

 

‘I found an owl outside, and it gave me this.  When can we go to buy my school supplies?’ 

 

‘We can’t!  I-I mean not today.  How about next week?’  Why was she acting so strangely?

 

Please can’t we go today?’

 

‘Oh, all right.  I don’t want to argue.’

 

                                                            ~*~

 

Dear Diary,

            I got you today when my mum and I went to Diagon Alley.  I didn’t even know I was a witch until this morning!  I’ll miss Jack Caraway, though.  He was the only friend I ever had.  I’m so exited I’m going to Hogwarts!  I don’t think I can wait all month! 

 

Mum made me get loads of books today.  Textbooks.  Well, actually, she got me this one book that’s got a THOUSAND pages in it.  It’s called Hogwarts a History.  I haven’t started reading it yet.  Mum said it was a really good book.  I asked her how she knew that.  She said she asked the manager of the store.  I reminded her that the manager ha! d been talking to someone else and we had gone straight to the sections without any help.  She told me to shut up.

 

Oh, and the enchanted place?  That’s the way into Diagon Alley!  The reason why only I could see it and Jack couldn’t was because muggles can’t see it.  Muggles are people who can’t do magic.  But my mum could see it.  I think she’s a witch too.  And that’s why she knew about that book.  But if she is a witch, why did she leave the Wizarding world?  Maybe this has something to do with why I never met my dad!  Maybe he—oh, nev! er mind.

 

I never really much wanted a diary, but I figured I might need one now so I can remember what happens at Hogwarts everyday.

 

                                                            Love,

                                                            Jenny Granger

 

                                                            ~*~

 

 

Jenny couldn’t shut her trunk.  There were simply WAY too many books crammed into it.  Out of frustration, Jenny booted her disobeying trunk, which resulted in her yelping in pain and clutching her wounded foot. 

 

‘Owwww!’  she groaned loudly as she tore off her shoe and rubbed her throbbing toe.  Jenny thrust herself onto the trunk, and that was how her mum found her a half hour later, and she hadn’t made much progress.

 

‘I can see you love your trunk, but—‘  her mother dodged playfully out of Jenny’s reach, as Jenny took a swipe at her.  ‘—the train leaves in less than an hour, and we’ve got to leave for platform nine and three-quarters.’

 

‘How… how did you know about Platform nine and three-quarters?  I haven’t showed you my ticket yet.’

 

‘Oh, I—‘  her mother began to look nervous again.  ‘I read it when you weren’t looking.  I’m sorry.’

 

‘But you couldn’t have,’  Jenny began slowly, ‘It was at the bottom of my trunk…’

 

Her mum patted Jenny’s trunk.  ‘Hurry up and finish packing.’ 

 

Why does she never answer my questions?  Jenny thought bitterly.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

 

‘Come on, keep up!  Ben, stop pulling Samantha’s hair!  Try to keep a straight line!’

 

‘GEORGE!  Don’t you DARE give Tommy that dungbomb!’

 

‘John and Sarah—don’t listen to your dad—DON’T BLOW UP ANY TOILETS!  Fred!  Stop winking at them like that!’

 

‘Mummy!!!!  I d-d-don’t w-want T-T-Tory to leave m-me!!!!!!!!!’

 

 

The largest group of red-heads Jenny had ever seen in her entire life made an extremely loud racket as some of the kids boarded the train.  They must all be related, Jenny thought, they all look exactly the same!

 

Her mum seemed to have noticed them too, and she pulled Jenny sharply behind a column where they could not be seen.

 

‘Muuum!’  Jenny cried.  Her mother quickly covered Jenny’s mouth with her hand.  ‘Mmmm!’

 

‘Hush!’  her mum whispered, glancing over her shoulder anxiously.  ‘Erm… Jenny, I’ve got to tell you something… but I can’t tell you now, so—send me an owl to write you tonight.  Okay?’

 

Jenny nodded and wished her mum would release her jaw—it was getting really painful.

 

‘I’ll miss you, Mummy.’  She said when her mother let go.

 

‘I’ll miss you too, Jenny.’  Her mum sighed and kissed Jenny on the forehead.  ‘I hope you make friends.’  They hurried over to the train as the whistle sounded.

 

‘Bye!’  came the chorus of voices as the train began to inch slowly towards a new life for them all.  And Jenny could see her mother crying.

 

                                                            ~*~

 

 

Chapter 2:  A Feared Lesson

Disclaimer:  None of these characters belong to me, they belong to J.K. Rowling.  Well, Jenny belongs to me, but, you know.  She’s too brilliant, J.K. Rowling.

I used some parts of this chapter from PoA, so if they sound familiar, that’s where they’re from.

 

And what would I do, without my beta-reader Arabella?  Thank you!

 

 

 

Dear Mum,

            What did you have to tell me before I got on the train?  You told me to write you and send you an owl so you could write me back.

 

I made a new friend.  Her name is Tory Weasley.  She’s really nice.  This is how we met:

 

I was sitting alone in a compartment and a boy came in.  He looked like one of those red-haired people we saw at the station.  We introduced each other and he said he had a cousin my age.  His name was David Weasley and he’s in his fifth year.  That means he’s fifteen, Mummy.  I didn’t really bother to think how old people here get, because I was mostly thinking about first years.  But since there’s seven years we have to spend at Hogwarts, we’re at least SEVENTEEN when we leave.

 

Anyway, David ended up introducing me to all his cousins—and boy does he have a lot!  I counted nine, at least, but he has more at home who either aren’t old enough to come here, or already graduated.  Do you want me to tell you their names?  That was a silly question because I can’t here you.  So I’ll tell you anyway.

 

There’s Ben, first of all.  He’s in his third year now.  He’s exactly like David, and all the Weasley boys look the same.

 

Then there’s his younger sister Samantha—but she hates being called by that name and prefers Sam, because her father always calls her Samantha, and she gets tired of it.  Did you know their dad’s the Minister of Magic?  He’s the guy who is in charge of the magical world in Britain.  Wicked.  Samantha’s in second year.

 

Then there’s his REALLY older brother Mavis, who left Hogwarts three years ago.

 

And his REALLY older sister Oona, who left Hogwarts last year.

 

Then there’s his older sister Carrie who is in sixth year;

 

And his sister Rachel who’s in her fifth year, she’s a twin to David;

 

And his younger sister Fay in fourth year;

 

And his older brother Percy Jr. in seventh year.

 

That’s a big family.  Their cousins (thankfully) don’t have so many siblings.

 

In one family there is Tommy, and he’s an only child; Tommy is in his first year, too.  He is really mischievious, just like his cousin, John.  I think they’re identical cousins—you can’t tell the difference between them.

 

John has a sister named Sarah in second year, but she’s only half as sneaky as her brother.

 

And then there’s Tory.  She’s in her first year, and so far, we’re pretty good friends.  Tory has a three-year-old sister named Madison.

 

That’s all the Weasleys.  There’s a really mean boy in our year, though.  I think his surname is… Malfoy, or something.  This is how WE met:

 

Tory and I then left her cousins and sat alone in the compartment I was in before.  Only, there was one other person in it.  A sneering, silver-haired boy.  He said to us,

 

‘Oh look.  I see it’s the Mudblood.  The only one this year.  Good thing Headmaster Snape didn’t let any in—‘  At this point, I had to grab Tory’s robes so she couldn’t attack him.  I was confused, so I didn’t know what he called me.  But Tory told me later what it meant, and it meant I had dirty blood!  Isn’t that awful!  Just because I’m of muggle heritage!  ‘—Wait!—‘  He paused, ! as if thinking this over.  ‘That would mean… that you… aren’t a mudblood..’  He seemed almost as bewildered as me now.  ‘I—you CAN’T be a mudblood.’  Tory practically spit at him, ‘What are you talking about, you great prat!’  It wasn’t really a question.  ‘Well, look at it this way,’ he began, sneering again, ‘If Professor Snape made a rule for no mudbloods allowed, why would he allow this piece of filth to be dragged in—‘  Tory and I both lunged at him and he later got up sporting a bloody nose.  Tory said his name was… oh, now I remember!  His name was Blake Malfoy.  Stupid name, isn’t it?

 

I don’t think it’s fair at all not to let any muggle-borns in.  They’re wizards and witches who have non-magical parents.  I wouldn’t work here if I was the rest of the faculty.  But Tory told me that work is hard to find these days, and this was probably their last choice.  Besides, Snape was just appointed this year and the staff can’t all quit just because of him, can they?

 

Mum, we were sorted into houses by a hat!  I got into Gryffindor, which is for if you’re bold and brave.  The hat said something strange, though.  It said something like, ‘The truth will soon unfold the past, and one person will guide you.’  It was no surprise to me that Malfoy got in Slytherin, which is for if you’re a slimey git, and you want all the power for yourself.  Suits him.

 

Tory and all the other Weasleys are in Gryffindor too.  I’m afraid this letter is getting too long, so I’ll say goodbye now.  Bye!

 

                                                                        Love,

                                                                        Jenny

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

Harry looked around at the familiar faces.  Of course he knew that at least half the Gryffindors were Weasleys.  He could spot Ben and Samantha, Tommy and John were giving a fifth year a canary cream, Sarah was chatting with her friend Melony, and Tory was talking to… someone he didn’t recognize.  She couldn’t be a muggle-born, Snape had a strict rule about them… then who could she be?  She was probably a first year, so he’d teach her tomorrow, first class.  She looked like a Weasley, but… he didn’t think any Weasley had had a kid without him knowing it… she certainly wasn’t Percy’s, not Fred’s or George’s, not Bill’s, he only had Tory ! and Madison, Charlie didn’t have kids, and Ginny wasn’t married, so… yes, he could spot out the bushy hair and Hermione’s features… no WONDER she looked so much like a Weasley!  Poor girl, she didn’t even know anything about the past—but he wasn’t even sure if she was a Weasley.  He couldn’t just make inferences like that… well, he’d find out her name tomorrow morning when he consulted his attendance list…

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

 

‘All right, settle down everyone, Tom, put that dungbomb away NOW.’  Harry always hated the first lesson of the year.  ‘When I call your name, tell me if you’re here or if you aren’t.  Weasley, Tom?’

 

‘I’m not here, sir.’

 

‘Hilarious, aren’t you?  Weasley, John?’

 

‘I’m not here either, sir, are you?’

 

‘If this keeps up, you’ll both end up in detention.’

 

‘Sorry, Professor.’

 

‘Weasley, Victoria?’

 

‘Here.’

 

‘Wilson, Peter?’

 

‘Here.’

 

‘Thomas, Jeffrey?’

 

‘Here.’

 

‘Sampson, Dana?’

 

‘Here.’

 

‘Longbottom, Christopher?’

 

‘H-here, Professor.’

 

‘Granger, Jennifer?’  Granger.  Hermione. 

 

The girl with the bushy red hair rose as Harry had expected.  ‘Here.’

 

‘Finnigan, Richard?’

 

‘Here.’

 

‘Well, now that everyone except for Tom and John are here, we can begin the lesson.  You all look like a bunch of bright students, so we’ll be working today on a third year level.  Can anyone tell me what a boggart is?’  Only one hand shot up into the air, and it belonged to Jennifer.

 

‘Yes?’

 

‘A boggart is a shape-shifter,’ she said.  ‘It can the take shape of whatever it thinks will frighten us most.’

 

‘Couldn’t have put it better myself.’ 

 

Jennifer glowed. 

 

‘So, the boggart is all alone is the dark.  What does it look like?’  Once again, Jennifer’s hand was the one and only.  ‘Jennifer?’

 

‘Nobody knows what they look like, do they?  Because whenever someone is there to see it, it’s in the form of their biggest fear.  And it’s Jenny, Professor.’

 

‘Precisely.’  Jenny beamed.  ‘Nobody knows.  Perhaps when it’s alone, it assumes the form of IT’S biggest fear.  Maybe it’s just a ball of smoke, or light?’  Harry said, looking around at his students.  ‘Boggarts are very hard to find.  You might find one without even knowing it.  Because, the boggart would look like your biggest fear.  That’s why you need to know how to defend yourself against them.  Just last week, I f! ound one in the classroom closet, right over here.  And it’s still there, so we can use it to practice.’

 

‘What’s your biggest fear, Professor?’  Jeffrey looked exited and curious.

 

‘I’ll show you at the end of the lesson.  But right now, the important thing is for you all to learn.  First of all, we have a huge advantage over the boggart before we begin.  Do you know it, Richard?’  Richard had been showing his time-table to Jeffrey, and when the Professor addressed him, his head snapped up immediately.

 

‘Erm… no.’

 

‘Try to listen next time.  Anyone else?’  Several hands shot up this time.  ‘Christopher?’ 

 

‘Er—because they are so many of us, it won’t know what shape it should be?’

 

‘Exactly.  He becomes confused when more than one person is around him.  The charm that repels a boggart is laughter.  You need to force the boggart into a shape that you find amusing.  The charm is simple, yet it requires force of mind. 

 

‘The incantation is Riddikulus.  Can you all say that?’

 

Riddikulus.’ They said in unison.

 

‘Very good,’  Harry said.  ‘Any volunteers? ‘

 

Only Jenny raised her hand, though she did look around nervously.

 

‘Jenny, what is your biggest fear?’  Harry asked curiously, though he doubted he needed to ask.  After all, he suspected that her parents were his best friends at school.  He probably knew her better than all the other teachers.

 

‘Sp-spiders.’  She managed to squeak.  Tom and John laughed, but stopped quickly because no one else did.

 

Harry nodded, suddenly wondering what she would do to the spider.  ‘Do you have in mind what you are going to do?’

 

‘Yes.’

 

‘All right.  Everyone, stand back.  And everyone, think what scares you most so you’ll be ready when I call for you to come up.  If everything goes right, we should be able to finish off the boggart.  You may begin, Jenny.’

 

Jenny tentatively stepped forward and pulled open the door, revealing a giant spider.  Its great hairy body towered over her, and Harry could here a great deal of sqeaks escaping from her mouth.  As the spider advanced on her, clicking it’s pincers menacingly, quite a few people screamed.  But Jenny looked determined, and bellowed, ‘Riddikulus!  There was a sound like a whip crack, and the spider turned into a woman with the same bushy hair as Jenny.  The woman was talking to Jenny, saying things like,

 

‘Have you finished you summer reading yet?  School starts in just two months, you haven’t got much time!’  and, ‘Honestly.’  And, ‘Eat your vegetables, don’t play with them!’  Laughter filled the room.  Harry grinned.  Hermione.

 

‘Tom.’

 

Tom stood up and continued to laugh as he stepped up to the closet.

 

Out stepped a bloodstained, bandaged mummy; its sightless face was turned to Tom and it began to walk very slowly, dragging it’s feet, it’s stiff arms rising—

 

Riddikulus!  cried Tom.

 

Crack!  The mummy’s bandages unraveled, and the rotted, skeletal body crumbled.

‘Richard!’

 

Where the mummy had been was a Chimaera.  It’s snake tail hissed and spat.  However, Richard did not seem scared.

 

Riddikulus!

 

Crack!  The Chimaera’s tail fell off.

 

Crack!  The Chimaera turned into a rat, which chased it’s tail in a circle, then—crack!—became a rattlesnake, which slithered and writhed before—crack!—becoming a single, bloody eyeball, which—crack!—became a lethifold, creeping along toward the students.

 

‘It’s getting confused!’  shouted Harry.  ‘Tory!’

 

The eyeball became a severed hand, which flipped over and began to creep along the floor like a crab.

 

Riddikulus!’ yelled Tory.

 

There was a snap, and the hand was trapped in a mousetrap.

 

Harry suddenly hurried forward. 

 

Crack! 

 

The hand had vanished.  In it’s place stood a black-cloaked figure, with rotting, glistening hands, slithering back beneath the cloak… a long, rattling breath from an unseen mouth… then a cold so penetrating it felt like drowning…

 

Everyone was screaming, but that didn’t stop the familiar voices in Harry’s head:

 

‘Not Harry, not Harry, Please not Harry!’

 

‘Stand aside, you silly girl… stand aside, now…’

 

‘Not Harry, please no, take me, kill me instead---‘

 

His mum and Voldemort. 

 

Numbing, swirling white mist was filling Harry’s brain… he couldn’t see… he’d heard these voices before… he—

 

‘Professor!  Professor, wake up!’

 

Harry opened his eyes.  He could feel a cold sweat on his forehead.  ‘Huh?’  He murmered.  He sat up, and saw that Jenny had fought off the dementor, and Tory had woken him up.  Everyone else looked more or less terrified.

 

‘Professor, are you alright?’  Jenny asked, approaching him cautiously.

 

‘Erm… yeah.’  He said, rubbing his head. 

 

‘You fainted.’  Tom pointed out.

 

‘Yeah, just like this—‘  John dramatically clutched his forehead, and fell backwards onto the floor.  ‘Ow.  I’m okay.’

 

‘Thank you for pointing that out.’  Harry muttered.  ‘Oh…’  he glanced up at the clock, which showed it was time for the next lesson, which for the Gryffindors, was a free lesson.  A good time to talk to Jenny.  ‘Class dismissed.  Jenny---could you stay here a moment?  I need to talk to you about your excellent skill in Defense Against the Dark Arts.’

 

Jenny beamed, and stayed behind, telling Tory that she’d meet her in the common room.

 

‘Come sit, please.’  Harry beckoned toward his desk, and summoned a chair in front of it.

 

‘You did very well for your first class.  Have you any experience with magic?’

 

‘No.  I’m a Muggle-born.’

 

‘What’s your mother’s name?’

 

‘Her name is Hermione.  Hermione Granger.’

 

Harry didn’t seem too surprised, but he couldn’t help holding his breath.

 

‘Why do you ask, Professor?’

 

‘Erm… so I could address her when I send her a letter asking permission for you to be in advanced Defense against the Dark Arts.’

 

Jenny’s face lit up.  ‘Oh, thank you, Professor!  Thank you so much!’

 

 

‘You quite welcome.  In case you don’t know, the advanced Defense Against the Dark Arts class takes lessons with the year above.  So you’ll be taking these classes with the second years.  I’ll notify Professor Snape of it, and you will be handed out a new time-table tomorrow at breakfast.

 

Jenny went back to the Gryffindor common room very satisfied with herself.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

 

Chapter 3:  Calling Hermione

Disclaimer:  All these lovely characters belong to the Bloody Brilliant J.K. Rowling.

 

Thanks to Arabella for beta-reading!

 

 

 

Harry decided that night not to send a letter, but to call Hermione on the telephone.  After all, she would probably be less shocked, and he did know how to use them.  The only problem didn’t know her telephone number.  But he knew how to get it.  All he would have to do was take a day off and buy a telephone book in London, where Jenny said she lived.  Now the problem was taking a day off. ! ; Snape would never allow him.

 

It had been a week since his first lesson.  He stopped doing boggarts and switched over to red-caps.  He couldn’t stand doing boggarts again.  It made him feel like he was thirteen. 

 

Since it was a Saturday, his best chance of getting a day off was today. 

 

Harry hesitated before knocking on Snape’s office door, hoping he caught Snape in a good mood.

 

‘Come in.’  Growled Snape. 

 

‘Good Morning, Professor.’

 

Snape grunted in reply.

 

‘Um, I was wondering if I could get a day off today?’  Uh-oh, Harry thought, the bull was about to charge. 

 

‘YOU THINK YOU CAN JUST COME IN HERE AND DISTURB ME JUST SO YOU CAN ASK IF YOU CAN GET THE DAY OFF?  WHAT SORT OF SCHOOL DO YOU THINK I’M RUNNING HERE, POTTER?  WE NEED TEACHERS TO TEACH!  WHO WILL TEACH DEFENSE AGAINST THE DARK ARTS!

 

‘It’s Saturday, Professor.’

 

‘Just go!  If you’re not back by dinner, I’ll fire you!’

 

‘Okay.’  Harry almost skipped down to the Apparation gate.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

Harry hadn’t been to London since he was at least seventeen.  It had changed a lot, with all the new stores.  He teetered on the idea of actually going to Hermione’s house, but decided not to, that would be a much greater shock than needed, he would just call her.

 

He roamed the streets for a while, and found a decent-looking travel agency store that sold brochures and phone books.  He had forgotten to bring Muggle money, so he had to pretend he was going to the loo when he transfigured it. 

 

‘Thank you.’  He said cheerfully to the lady at the counter as he strode out of the store.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

Harry was lucky to have a telephone in his office, because he was already late as it was.  Lucky for him, Snape didn’t notice. 

 

After dinner, Harry rushed to his office, eager to talk to Hermione.  He couldn’t believe they hadn’t spoken for almost eleven years.  She had left the Wizarding World shortly after Jenny was born, because Ron had gone to Azkaban.  She had been ashamed, and he could see perfectly well why.

 

Harry dialed the numbers, and listened to the ringing.  Someone picked up on the fourth ring.

 

‘Hello?’ It was a woman’s voice, and Harry expected that it was Hermione’s.

 

‘Hi.  With whom am I speaking?’

 

‘This is Hermione Granger.’

 

‘Good.  I don’t know if you remember me, but we used to go to the same school--’

 

A beep issued from the other line.  Harry dialed the numbers again, knowing that she’d hung up on him.  This time someone picked up on the tenth ring.

 

‘H-hello?’

 

‘Hermione, I know you remember me.  It’s Harry.  Harry Potter.  We were best friends.  I’m just calling to tell you that Jenny did an exellent job on her first spell, and to ask permission if she can take Defense Against the Dark Arts classes with the second years.’

 

‘You—you know Jenny?’

 

‘Yes.  I teach Defense Against the Dark Arts at Hogwarts.’

 

‘What was the spell?’

 

Riddikulus.

 

‘On the first day of school?  That’s hardly first year level.’

 

‘Well, she got it correct, and even went first.’

 

‘What was her biggest fear?’

 

‘Spiders.  But it hardly came as a surprise to me.’

 

The beep responded.  She’d hung up again.  Ergh… Harry thought, reaching over to dial again.

 

‘Professor Potter, there is trouble in the kitchens.  Please come down and help.’  His hand froze over the receiver, and decided to call the next day.  Professor McGonagall’s voice had come through the voice box in the corner of the room.  He had work to do in the kitchens.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

It turned out that Dobby had started a riot and was demanding wages.  But the only other elf who joined him only helped because Dobby had made him.  Of course they stopped when the teachers came down.  If they had lost their jobs, it wouldn’t be very pleasant for them. 

 

His past Defense Against the Dark Arts class had been very successful.  Everyone had gotten a very high mark on their essays.  Especially Jenny.  Her score was one hundred and fifty-four percent.  That was the highest he’d ever marked. 

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

 

Dear Mum,

            How are you?  I’m fine.  When are you going to write me back?  I’ve been here almost three weeks and I haven’t gotten a single letter from you.  I hope you’re okay. 

 

I got the highest score in my class in Defense Against the Dark Arts class essay on Red Caps.  Professor Potter said it was the highest he’s ever marked!  I’m top of the class in all my other classes too. 

I’m going to make this letter short, so please reply!  I miss you, and so does Crookshanks.

 

                                                                                    Love,

                                                                                    Jenny

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

Someone had been stopping her letters!  Hermione wondered… who would do such a thing?  How could they do it?  They couldn’t stop the owl in midair, could they?  The owls were supposed to reach their destination and come back to their owners.  They weren’t allowed to deliver to anyone else but who their owners told them to.  But Pig had never really been her owl.  That would mean that… the letters were being delivered to Him!  Oh no, she thought.

 

                                                                        ~*~

 

Harry was glad it was a Saturday.  He always had time away from Snape on Saturdays.  He wished Snape could be fired and Dumbledore would be hired again.  But Dumbledore was retired and couldn’t come back.

 

Harry decided to try calling Hermione again.  Please don’t hang up, he thought as the ringing proceeded to go.  Please pick up!

 

‘Hello?’

 

‘Hi.  Before I tell you who I am, do you promise not to hang up the phone?’

 

Beep. 

 

‘Damn.  Hung up again.’

 

Ring!  Ring!  Ring!  Ring!  Ring!

 

‘Harry, leave me alone!  I don’t want to talk to you!’

 

‘Can I just ask you one thing, and then I’ll never call you again?’

 

‘Fine.  What is it?’

 

‘Does Jenny know who her father is?’

 

‘Of course not.  Why should she?’

 

‘Because she has the right to know about her heritage.  Anyway, since I asked my question, I’ll just leave--’

 

‘Leave?’  Hermione said quietly.

 

‘Yes, I promised I would never call you again.  So, bye Hermio--’

 

‘Harry, wait!’

 

‘Yeah?’

 

‘He’s stopping my letters.’

 

There was a long pause.

 

‘Ron is?’

 

‘Yes.  Are you able to come to London tomorrow?’

 

‘Erm… if Snape allows me.’

 

‘Ugh, I can’t believe he’s the headmaster!’

 

‘Why did you ask I could come to London?’

 

‘For lunch at the Leaky Cauldron.  To discuss Jenny’s grades.  To visit Azkaban.’

 

‘Why?’

 

‘So I can get my letters back.’

 

                                                                        ~*~

//
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