Author’s Note: A house-elf is always
happiest when busy. And so, after some
months of fervid imaginings, I have decided to write another longish
story. How longish? I cannot say. I’m still getting it all down.
I have planned and plotted, but my plots have a tendency to pick me up,
drag me around by my bat-like ears and then fling me in the air. Suffice to say, this story will take a
This is the first
story I have written which takes into account the events of Harry Potter and
the Order of the Phoenix. For this
reason, it cannot represent any sort of continuation of my two Fifth year
stories, Harry Potter and the Brotherhood of the Besotted and Harry Potter and
the Sticking Broom. While I am
(somewhat foolishly) sorry to say goodbye to the Hogwarts of my earlier tales,
I would be a far greater fool if I did not embrace the fascinating new
characters and locations that J.K. Rowling has now placed at my disposal.
Mrs Rowling is not the only person who has inspired me in
my folly. I would like to thank John
Howard, Prime Minister of Australia, for convincing me that we can rid the
world of untold evil if everybody has enough fridge magnets. And of course, thank you to my intrepid beta
reader, Elanor Gamgee, who is the inventor of the Mobilihippus spell . Equally,
thanks to my alpha reader, Mary, who is ten.
HARRY POTTER AND THE FLOWERS OF MIMAS
An Inaccessible Room
flick, Severus,” Filius Flitwick’s cheerful voice squeaked from near the top of
the stairs. “You need a good, smooth
wand action. Swish and flick.”
it was obeying the Charms teacher’s instructions, the pale strands of a horse’s
tail suddenly swished and flicked across Snape’s face. Snape spat out a stray, sticky hair, stabbed
with his wand and snarled, “Mobilihippus.”
He was gratified when a set of palomino haunches, which had been
hovering uncertainly in front of his nose, jerked roughly into the air. Firenze uttered a sound of surprise that was
somewhere between a gasp and a whinny.
no!” Flitwick’s voice was becoming less reassuring and more desperate. “Keep your end steady. Mobilihippus! We’re almost there.”
swishing and flicking, the three professors made an ungainly progress up the
first flight of stairs. They paused on
the landing to wait for the next tier of steps to move into its proper
position. As the marble staircase swept
into place, Snape noticed that Flitwick was red in the face from his
exertion. Firenze’s startlingly blue
eyes fixed a disdainful look on the wizards as he floated back down to the
practice is as preposterous as it is unnecessary,” the centaur pronounced
gravely. “Noble creatures were never intended
to inhabit such a foul cave, hiding their heads from the stars. For what reason am I required to meet with
humans in an inaccessible room?” He
flicked his tail peevishly before declaring, “The staff room must be moved to
the ground floor.”
we’ll be discussing that at the meeting,” Flitwick replied, making a valiant
effort to remain polite. Firenze
snorted derisively. The Potions Master thought of a much less polite response,
but at that moment a pair of students squeezed past them on the landing. Snape did not wish to give Miss Granger or
Ron Weasley any clue to the indignity he was feeling, so he seethed in silence.
know, we don’t have to do it this way,” Flitwick continued. “We could enchant a hoist to take you
up. You’d just need to slip on a
Firenze reared furiously. Snape hoped
he would overbalance and tumble back down to the Entrance Hall. Unfortunately, after his display of temper,
Firenze’s four hooves remained on the landing.
But, his right front hoof tapped on the stone floor in an agitated
fashion. Snape recollected that certain
words should never be used in the presence of a centaur. “Harness” was
definitely one of them.
Granger had left the Entrance Hall and Snape felt no further need for
restraint. “If the facilities of this
castle are not to your liking,” Snape suggested in a sneering tone, “perhaps
you should reconsider your employment here.
We seem to have a surfeit of Divination teachers at present. And, whatever the shortcomings of Sybill
Trelawney, at least she has never saddled her colleagues with the task
of carting her upstairs.”
thin lips twisted into a vicious smile while he watched his speech create the
desired effect. Pressing his gaunt body
against a tapestry, he narrowly avoided a flashing hoof. Firenze bucked again, causing the portraits
on the stairwell to cower and Professor Flitwick to hide his head in his
hands. A painting of a rotund friar on
a donkey shouted, “Whoa there, Dobbin!” Luckily, the incensed Divination
teacher seemed not to hear. Eventually
Firenze regained his composure, although his hoof tapped the floor even more
come to this place, human,” the centaur retorted, “at Professor Dumbledore’s
invitation. On his word alone will I
– yes, well, he’ll be here any minute,” Flitwick said nervously. The little man did not appear to relish the
prospect of any further conflicts with centaurs on staircases. “Why don’t we just move along? Don’t want to be late. Ready, Severus? Er – Mobilihippus.”
of the second flight of stairs was just as arduous as the first. Flitwick, who
was now panting heavily, even abandoned his practice of interspersing his
incantations with friendly words of encouragement. Snape waved his wand monotonously, all the while reflecting on
his unhappy ability to be in the right place at the wrong time.
If he had
not been walking up from the dungeons at precisely 4:34 pm last Wednesday, he
would never have been behind Flitwick and Firenze on the stairs. Had he not been behind the pair on the
stairs, he would not have noticed how impossible it was for the tiny wizard,
despite his great skill in Charms, to keep a fully-grown centaur airborne. Snape had assisted, not from any sense of
duty or compassion, but from the realisation that a large equine was about to
fall down the stairs onto him. It had
irritated Snape no end when Flitwick had thanked him profusely at the staff
room door. It has irked him even more
when Filius had said, “So, we’ll meet you in the Entrance Hall, same time next
A week had
passed. Snape had dismissed his
Wednesday afternoon class five minutes early, with the express purpose of
hurrying up to the staff room before Flitwick or Firenze could waylay him. And yet, when he reached the Entrance Hall,
they were both waiting.
front hooves clattered as they scraped against the first floor landing,
breaking Snape’s reverie. They were now
just a few paces from the staff room door.
Flitwick lowered his arms with a heavy sigh and said, “We made it. Thank Merlin! I’ll see the pair of you inside.”
responsibility fell to Snape to transport the rest of Firenze up the last few
stairs, which he did with a lamentable lack of grace. As the rear end of the centaur returned to the ground, it lurched
backwards, so that Snape’s hooked nose collided with the dock of Firenze’s
tail. Once all four hooves were on the
ground, the Divination Teacher trotted through the staff room door, not even
turning to thank the Potions Master.
Snape wiped the earthy scent of centaur from his face with a
handkerchief and did his best to ignore the gargoyles. They were still sniggering when Snape
entered the room.
had already poured himself a fizzy drink and was chatting to Professor
Sprout. Firenze had crossed the room
and was standing beside the windows with Hagrid. The cross expressions on the faces of Professors Sinistra and
Vector suggested that they had been unceremoniously moved aside to let the
centaur pass. And, next to the drinks
trolley, Sybill Trelawney was caressing the neck of a bottle of sherry while
she, too, scowled at the back of Firenze’s white blonde head.
in no mood for the casual social interaction that normally preceded Hogwarts’
weekly staff meeting. He pulled up his
usual chair at the round table, briefly perused the agenda and waited with
mounting impatience for Professor Dumbledore to appear in the fire.
retirement of Dolores Umbridge, the Ministry of Magic had not entirely
relinquished its supervision of Hogwarts.
Most noticeably, the school has been included in the government’s war
propaganda campaign. The castle’s
ancient hallways were plastered with the Ministry’s garish posters, which either
fueled hysterical fear of the Dark Lord’s minions or promoted anti-Death Eater
attitudes. This feeble crusade to quash
centuries of bigotry consisted of daubing every public building with futile
warnings, pretty pictures and trite sentiments. Snape glared resentfully at the enlarged photograph hanging above
the fireplace. A group of little
wizards and centaur foals skipped in an open field, above the caption: LET US CLASP THE HOOF OF FRIENDSHIP. He returned his gaze to the gilt-edged
piece of parchment before him.
glittering agenda showed that, among other things, they would be discussing
Cornelius Fudge’s visit to Hogwarts at the end of the month. If the Daily Prophet was to be
believed, the entire wizarding world was in the grip of turmoil, with Death
Eaters lurking behind every lamppost and Lord Thingy hiding under every
bed. Fudge, who had managed in a few
short months to reinvent himself as the “people’s politician,” had seized on
this mood. No doubt he was coming to
Hogwarts to personally trample unorthodoxy and root out the seeds of
sedition. And while he was about it, he
would probably make sure that a certain Housemaster, who wore the Dark Mark,
was relieved of his responsibilities.
Snape’s slender fingers drummed the table softly as he mused that his
role as Housemaster of Slytherin, in the middle of a war with the Death Eaters,
was another sorry example of his being in the right place at the wrong time.
of Snape’s colleagues had begun to eye him with suspicion. His being the Lord Voldemort’s spy was the
worst kept secret in the staff room – even more widely known than the fact that
Madam Pince dyed her hair. It was
expected that he took tea with his former lord and master at regular
intervals. But in fact, the whereabouts
of the Dark Lord was unknown to all.
Dumbledore had spent the last two months on diplomatic missions to the
wizarding Governments of Europe, trying to ensure that whenever and wherever
Britain’s most wanted criminal showed himself, the process of extradition to
Azkaban would be swift. Snape had spent
an unpleasant summer holiday loitering in seamy pubs, renewing his loathsome
Knockturn Alley acquaintances and dreading a summons that never came.
we should start without him if he’s delayed.” Minerva McGonagall’s stern Celtic
brogue silenced the hubbub. She took
her seat beside Snape and waited while an agenda floated from the top of a pile
to her outstretched hand.
Moody, who had finally been given the opportunity to accept Dumbledore’s
invitation to teach Defence Against the Dark Arts, sat down with his back to
the windows. Various other teachers made their way to the table, and the
agendas wafted towards them. But Firenze and Hagrid stayed where they were.
you announce at once that the staff room is to be relocated?” the centaur
McGonagall peered at Firenze over her wire-rimmed spectacles. “That’s open to discussion.” She checked her
agenda and added, “Item six. We should
get to it later tonight.”
expected Firenze to rear up again, but Hagrid’s steadying hand on the centaur’s
shoulder prevented it. “I expected,” Firenze shouted, “that this problem would
have been given first priority. The
staff room must be moved to the ground floor.”
electric-blue, magical eye swiveled backwards to confront the Divination
Teacher. “Now see here,” he
growled. “We can’t just go moving an
important room around the castle. There
are security implications.”
in fairness, Alastor,” Professor McGonagall said placatingly, “if You-Know-Who
wants to kill us all in the staff room, there’s a lot more than the first floor
staircase to prevent him.” Her lips
pursed together to suppress a smile, but she gave Snape a mischievous look.
Sinistra made a habit of saying very little at staff meetings. Snape suspected that, because she normally
taught late into the night, she used Wednesday afternoons to catch up on her
sleep. So, he was surprised when she
opined wistfully, “I hope we don’t have to go.” The astronomer waved a hand in the direction of the enormous
windows and continued. “Such a lovely view.
The moon rises in a little while.
And Saturn has been so bright lately. I’ve even been able to map
Mimas.” Her voice trailed away, as
though her thoughts had turned inwards once more, possibly following the
passage of Saturn’s inner moons for the rest of the discussion.
Professor Sprout asked with a worried voice.
her any attention, because Flitwick had started to enthusiastically bounce in
his chair. “I’ve just had the most
wonderful idea!” he exclaimed with a chuckle. “What about that room on the
seventh floor, opposite the tapestry of Barnabas the Barmy?”
floor?” McGonagall asked. It was
clear that she thought Flitwick was a barmy as Barnabas.
but here’s the beauty of it,” Flitwick said excitedly. “All it seems to be used for at the moment
is a lovers’ nook – I’ve caught some senior students. But, you can make that room into anything you like. And, you can get anything you want in
it. Jolly useful after a hard day’s
teaching – we could put a jacuzzi in there, or a little ice cream parlour or -”
leading anywhere?” McGonagall asked sternly.
“ – or a lift!”
Flitwick concluded triumphantly.
Sprout still seemed to be apprehensive.
She asked quietly, “Could I get a pair of amethyst bladed secateurs from there, do you
think? For highly toxic blooms?”
Moody did not answer her. Instead, he turned
from Flitwick to McGonagall and growled.
“Are you telling me that that room is still able to be
opened? The room that Potter and his
followers used for training?”
Argus to lock it, but he says the house-elves just keep opening it again,” she
him to put a bloody Imperturbable Charm on the doorknob,” Moody demanded,
obviously unaware that Hogwarts’ caretaker was a Squib. Argus Filch could no more charm the doorknob
than eat it.
dear.” Flitwick sounded most
disappointed. “No jacuzzis and ice
cream, then? And my Miss Chang and Mr
Corner will need to go elsewhere for their trysts.”
must keep students out of there.” McGonagall’s voice resonated with its
snorted his dissatisfaction and clip-clopped towards the meeting table. He
barged through Professor Binns without so much as a by your leave, causing the
ghost to react with mild surprise.
“So, you have
no solution?” Firenze asked accusingly.
“You are unwilling to admit any but humans to these meetings?”
here you are,” Snape drawled nastily.
am.” Firenze’s eyes glowed like bright
pools of asperity. “Here I am,
human. You seek allegiance with my
kind, and here I am. You seek to know
the portents of the heavens, and so I answer your call.” At this remark,
Professor Trelawney made a small, whimpering noise and pulled her shawls
tightly around her shoulders. Firenze
disregarded it, and continued. “Yet,
when my loyalty is won, you spurn me.
Such has always been the way between centaurs and wizards. I shall take my leave of Professor
Dumbledore. If he permits it, I shall
return to the forest tonight.”
turned his eyes to Sybill Trelawney, noticing her features had been transformed
by the broadest of smiles. However, her
look of satisfaction immediately turned to one of alarm when a sizeable
explosion occurred in the staff room fireplace. Snape’s gaze snapped back around to view the hearth, where the
Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry stood.
give my permission, Firenze,” Dumbledore said firmly as he stepped from the
cinders. He brushed soot from his long,
silvery beard and added in a softer tone, “I’m concerned that you feel the need
to ask for it. Have we given any
ongoing matter of accessibility,” McGonagall tersely informed him.
that all?” Dumbledore said brightly. He
was carrying a battered briefcase, which he opened and placed on the
floor. From it, he drew a large bolt of
sturdy fabric. He unrolled the material
to reveal an elaborate carpet, decorated with whirling Dervishes. When Snape looked down at the rug, he found
that the spinning of the tiny figures had a hypnotic, but dizzying effect.
what I think it is, Albus?” McGonagall asked warily.
the Headmaster happily answered.
“Firenze, will you stand here, please?”
risen to his feet and was hobbling towards the fireplace as fast as his wooden
leg would allow. He stood between the
centaur and the carpet and pointed a trembling finger at Dumbledore. “Those
things are illegal, you know.” The former
Auror’s hoarse voice was full of foreboding.
“Did anyone see you bring it here?
If the Ministry gets wind of this -”
Minister was happy to give me his blessing,” Dumbledore countered. “He signed the importation permit
himself. The carpet, you see, was a
gift from the Grand Magus of Assyria.
We’re very keen, at present, to strengthen our ties with the Middle
East.” Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled. “So,
in addition to an excellent box of Turkish Delight, I have been able to obtain
this most serviceable form of transportation.
Will you let Firenze get through now, Alastor?”
approached. He abandoned all his former
haughtiness now that he was in Dumbledore’s presence.
the mat, just in the centre,” Dumbledore instructed. The centaur obeyed meekly.
Then, Dumbledore raised his aged hands and clapped once. The carpet lifted a metre from the ground,
but Firenze’s thin legs buckled underneath him and he nearly fell. Dumbledore gave two quick claps, which sent
the carpet back to the floor.
be better if you kneel. At least, until
you’re used to the sensation,” the Headmaster suggested. Firenze knelt with a wobble, Dumbledore
clapped again and the centaur floated from the floor.
done!” Flitwick cheered.
commands the direction,” Dumbledore explained as he walked over to the meeting
table. Moody followed him, still
shaking his head disapprovingly. Hagrid also joined them at the table, his
massive body quaking with laughter at the sight of a flying centaur.
teach you how it works after our meeting,” Dumbledore said, before clapping
twice. Firenze descended gently to the
floor, to his visible relief, while the Headmaster took a seat.
really started yet,” McGonagall said apologetically.
seem to have resolved item six,” Dumbledore remarked, tracing a long thin
finger down the meeting agenda.
“Perhaps we shall continue our numerical unorthodoxy, and take on item
not even been aware that an item twelve existed. He turned over the parchment, which he was certain had only been
printed on one side a few moments before.
The words Item 12: Visit by Draco Malfoy to his father, were in
the process of appearing in glistening, wet ink on the back of the page.
received no notice of this,” Snape said, in a voice that he hoped did not
convey the full force of the annoyance he was feeling.
contacted me while I was abroad, when Lucius asked for Draco to visit him.
Apparently the boy’s seventeenth birthday is coming up, and they thought
it might be nice.” Dumbledore said the
words quite matter-of-factly, as though a visit to Azkaban was a perfectly
normal and pleasant sort of birthday treat for a teenage boy.
hardly needs discussion here, then.” Snape peered at Dumbledore keenly, but the
old man’s countenance gave nothing away.
Even so, the Potions Master was certain that there was much more to item
twelve than met the eye. He tried to
sound nonchalant as he concluded, “Arranging family visits falls within the
purview of a Housemaster’s duties.” McGonagall was nodding supportively beside
inclined his head and said thoughtfully, “This might be a special case.”
not need Legilimency to guess what his colleagues were thinking. This was a special case, because he was
a special case. Or rather, in the space
of a few months, the whole of Slytherin House has assumed “special case”
status. Mighty Salazar’s successors were now treated as a house of misfits,
criminals and Death Eaters. Nearly half
of Slytherin’s pupils had failed to return to the school after the summer
holidays. Many, notably the Crabbe,
Goyle and Avery families, had transferred all their children to
Durmstrang. The Sorting Hat had
directed only three first years Snape’s way, and they were a sorry lot. Most galling of all, Dumbledore had
neglected to appoint any Slytherin fifth year prefects. Slytherin was a house in decline.
the Department of Magical Law Enforcement expect us to do?” Moody asked
gruffly. His tone conveyed what many
were no doubt thinking. There was a war
on, and in times of war, the niceties of house traditions and loyalties could
be dispensed with.
no objection to the visit taking place,” Dumbledore replied.
Moody cleared his throat noisily and Snape wondered if he was about to
choke. At the end of his dramatic
expectoration, Moody snarled, “Damn fools!”
they’ve managed to keep Lucius under lock and key for nearly three months,”
haven’t convicted him!” Moody thumped the table with his gnarled fist. “How many adjournments has he got? Four?
Five? And each time he wheedles out of a trial on a more stupid excuse. Last time, his lawyer – that Plimpy-witted
buffoon – you know -”
Barwick.” Dumbledore serenely supplied the name.
Barwick – the great Flobberworm,” Moody raged.
“Last time Barwick said Malfoy couldn’t stand trial because he’d
suffered from spattergroit in my youth.
It can be most uncomfortable.”
Dumbledore said these words evenly, but his eyes were glinting with
Malfoy’s comfortable enough,” Moody blustered.
“Azkaban without Dementors – it must be like a ruddy holiday camp out
there! And Lucius is just biding his
time until he finds a way back home.
Mark my words – this visit is one of his tricks. We need to be vigilant, Albus!”
entirely.” Dumbledore twisted a strand
of his beard between his fingers and lowered his eyes. “That is why I have insisted that Draco be
escorted by a representative of this school.”
the visit?” Moody asked. “I’ll need to
cancel my classes - ”
be necessary.” Dumbledore raised his head and surveyed his staff through his
half-moon glasses. “I believe it will
be less awkward for the family if Severus goes along.” The Headmaster nodded in Snape’s direction
and added softly, “If you don’t mind.”
Mind? Snape thought. Return to Azkaban - that hellhole? The
place that still feeds my foulest nightmares? And face Lucius, who by now must
realise my treachery?
Housemaster said silkily, “Not at all.”
Moody had turned a very unattractive shade of scarlet, but knew better than to
debate Dumbledore’s decision. The staff
meeting settled into more routine discussions, such as the rescheduling of
Potions classes and arranging substitute teachers for Snape’s absence on
Friday. After item twelve on the agenda
had thus been dispensed with, Dumbledore capriciously moved onto item four (the
house Quidditch practice timetable) before touching on several other minor
matters (including preparations for a Gobstones tournament, a visit by a
specialist lecturer on Ancient Runes, drafting a teachers’ roster to supervise
detentions and settling the teachers’ roster for undoing damage caused by
Peeves) in an exceedingly random order.
Professor McGonagall was scratching out completed matters as they went
along. So, when the dinner bell rang,
she alone knew which issues still required discussion.
need to touch on Cornelius Fudge’s visit,” she read. “That was item one. And,
the teaching of astrology was going to be discussed as item five.”
visit will be a relatively straightforward affair,” Dumbledore said calmly. “He won’t be staying for more than a day or
two. He just wants to see how we’re all
tell Filch to prepare the guest suite for that weekend,” McGonagall said
without looking up. She scratched item
one from her agenda in a decisive way.
“Oh, and he
wants to see how we all like the new curriculum,” Dumbledore went on airily.
McGonagall tone of consternation spoke for the whole group. Snape observed that his fellow teachers had
frozen in a tableau of dumbstruck horror.
Ministry has decided to change the O.W.L. and N.E.W.T. curriculum,” Dumbledore
responded. Professor Vector gasped
loudly, before clapping her hand to her mouth.
“Nothing major,” the Headmaster reassured them all. “They just thought, given the new philosophy
regarding our relations with Muggles, we should make Muggle Studies a
for O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s?” Professor McGonagall’s quill stabbed through
the parchment she was holding. “But hardly
anybody takes Muggle Studies! We
don’t even have a permanent teacher any more. Professors Binns and Flitwick and
I have just been sharing the classes out between ourselves for the last two
appear to have three eminently qualified teachers.” Dumbledore smiled indulgently.
“Cornelius will be so pleased.”
well,” said McGonagall through gritted teeth. “You and I will need to talk
about this later, Headmaster. At some
“Do we have
time to talk about astrology?” Dumbledore asked the group. Sybill Trelawney made an odd sound. Snape could not decide if it was a sob or a
hiccup. The rest of the staff remained
silent, hoping that their refusal to enter the discussion would enable them to
be dismissed in time for the main course downstairs.
can wait until next week,” Dumbledore decided, rising from the table. “Thank you all.” He turned to face Firenze, who had been standing beside his
carpet during the meeting. Addressing
the centaur, he said jovially, “Come, my friend. Let us have a flying lesson.”
loitered by the table as his fellow professors filed from the room. Dumbledore seemed wholly preoccupied with
the task of moving Firenze in a balletic figure eight above his head. However,
just when the Potions Master had decided to leave, he caught the old man’s eye.
lips were still, but his rich voice echoed within Snape’s mind. Phineas Nigellus will tell you what you
need to do. Snape tilted his head
barely perceptibly, to indicate that the message had been received. He then took his leave of the Headmaster.
* * * * *
Snape exited the staff room to find Ron Weasley yelling loudly at a wall.
Adhaerere!” A scroll of parchment kept rolling
up again, despite Weasley’s vocal attempts to affix it to the masonry. “This. Is. Completely. Bloody. Useless!” he
in this hallway seem to be able to repel Sticking Charms,” Hermione Granger
said in her typical know-it-all, grating manner. Snape marveled at how such a studious, dutiful girl had the
unfailing ability to set his teeth on edge.
Granger continued, “It’s probably some sort of anti-graffiti ward, to
stop students putting up rude signs outside the staff room.”
what’s the point in trying?” Weasley
appeared to have now placed a Sticking Charm on the palm of his hand, and was
clumsily ripping the scroll from his own grasp.
Luna will be back with the Spellotape soon,” Granger said. “That might work better. If we’re lucky, we’ll be able to finish -”
dinner, Miss Granger.” Snape completed the sentence, and quite enjoyed the
shock his eavesdropping had caused.
“The dinner bell sounded more than twenty minutes ago. Why are you not in the Great Hall?”
sir,” Granger began. “We needed to get
these new posters from the Ministry put up.
All the prefects have been told to help.” She unrolled the poster she was holding, which bore the heading: CAN
YOU TELL IF YOU ARE UNDER IMPERIUS?
sniffed at the twaddle, which the Ministry thought passed for important
information. The first line of the poster read: If you are acting under the
Imperius Curse, you have probably been instructed not to read this sign.
He said coldly, “You were required to go directly to the Great Hall when
the bell sounded.”
we’re nearly finished now, sir,” the girl insolently replied. “In fact, we would have finished in plenty
of time, if all the prefects had done their bit. But I’m afraid Pansy Parkinson and Draco -”
Parkinson and Mr Malfoy are not the ones flouting school rules by being late
for dinner,” the Potions Master snapped.
“Five points from Gryffindor for each of you. Now, get downstairs. You
can complete this task later.”
down the staircase ahead of the students, deciding that he would forego dinner
in the Great Hall that evening. He was
much too keen to hear what Phineas Nigellus had to say.