A Supprise for Dumbledore
“Luna, time to go” Neville called as he poked his head round the door to her room.
“Thank you Neville. I’m just getting changed now” she said and Neville blushed and went to get his trunk downstairs. It seemed a little heavier since their trip to the theme park. Neville had picked up quite a few souvenirs. Each had spent all of their money, but they had all agreed it was the best time they had had in a long time. All five of them had a muggle photograph of themselves after going on a white-water ride. Harry was the only one who was dry, as he had cast a discrete water repelling charm on himself, much to the annoyance of the others at the time. Susan was already downstairs and waiting, as was Harry and Hannah. They had agreed the night before that they would wear their Hogwarts robes before they got in the train, so as not to leave Harry alone, should anybody try to jinx him. The sound of a trunk being dragged down the stairs, alerted the others to the fact that Luna had arrived to join them.
“Dobby” Harry called and the house elf appeared. He was dressed in a jumper that the others had bought for him as a gift. It had took a few hours for him to believe that he wasn’t being dismissed from Harry’s service, for him to start to wear it. “Dobby, we are going to Hogwarts now, I want you to go to the kitchens there like you do” Harry finished.
“Dobby understands Harry Potter” and Dobby disappeared.
They all pulled their trunks outside while Harry put a locking charm on the door. Waiting for them was a magical taxi. It worked on the principle of the knight bus except it was smaller. Hannah had tried to book a taxi for the trip that morning, but had been told that nothing could be done. Then Harry asked, and suddenly, one was spare. There where times, Harry thought to himself, that being him actually paid off.
The trip was uneventful and they reached Kings Cross station with no problem at all and with plenty of time. As it was busy, nobody paid them any attention to their odd dress. After the train had left, the group went to see their other friends, but made sure that Harry was always with somebody. For the welcoming feast, they had to go to their separate house tables, but as Susan pointed out, it would only be for one night. Harry suspected that Dumbledore had tried to read his mind, but Harry had spent part of the hols, learning to block those sorts of people from getting in. the sorting hat did it’s regular job and Harry was reminded fondly of his own sorting. It turned out a long time afterwards, that he was the first person to successfully argue the sorting hats decision.
“Those of you who start Hogwarts tonight the staff and I extend a big welcome to you all” Dumbledore said to the newly sorted first years. “I would like to inform you of a few rules we have here; no magic to be used in the corridors between lessons, first years can not be in the Quidditch teams for any house (though Harry knew of one first year who had played), and the other two dozen rules, that Mr Filch our caretaker, has asked me to say can be seen in a full list in his office. I hope that you do well this year, and now, on with the feast” and he sat down after giving Harry what could only be described as a scathing look. Nobody else seemed to notice it though, so Harry’s mind was returned to the different types of food on the tables. As he expected, Harry was only talked to by Neville. The poor boy had to endure the looks of most of the table, the first years were too busy talking amongst themselves. Eventually, the feast wound up and the students split up and went to their various houses. Neville stuck to Harry like magical glue as they made their way to their tower. They waited until everyone was in bed before Harry posted a notice on the common room board that said he was now the team captain, and that Ginerva and Ronald Weasley had been placed on probation. Not wanting to risk Ron attacking them, the two boys sat in an armchair each. These where the ones were it was possible to go to sleep. Neville soon dropped off to sleep but Harry watched into the flames and wondered what Professor Dumbledore’s reaction would be to his request. According to the school rules he could not refuse, but Harry had the feeling that he was going to try something anyway.
The next morning Harry woke early out of habit of living with the Dursly’s. Looking quickly round he saw that he and Neville remained the only ones in the common room. He gently woke him up and the two boys had a quick shower and dressed in their formal school robes. This was a more posh version of their normal work ones.
“Nervous?” asked Harry.
“A bit” admitted Neville. He had never done anything like this, even though Harry would be doing the most speaking. What was making him feel how he was, was the fact that it was he who had told the others about the rule.
“Don’t worry, Nev. Dumbledore can not refuse us. But you know what?”
“Imagine the look on his face when he sees the number of students revolting. He is going to have kittens” Harry said laughing to break the tension and it worked as Neville started to laugh. “Hey Neville, as team captain I have to find out new players. Want to join the team?” he asked
“Me? Remember what happened on our first flying lesson? What position could I take?” Neville asked not believing what his friend was asking him.
“Well, I reckon you’d make a great chaser. I’ll try you out and see how you are” Harry said. He glanced his watch. “We better go to Dumbledore’s office before he goes out. The girls are meeting us there” Harry said mean Hannah, Luna and Susan. He and his fellow Gryffindor walked to Dumbledore’s office where the girls did indeed wait for them.
“Well, lets get this over with” Harry said and the group turned to the pair of gargoyles which guarded the entrance to Dumbledore’s office. “We would like to see Professor Dumbledore please” Harry asked politely. To his surprise, the statues allowed them entry without asking for a password. They walked up the marble staircase and knocked on the wooden door.
“Enter” came Dumbledore’s voice from the other side. Harry opened the door and walked in, with the others following close behind.
The room was much as it was at the end of the last school year, but now had a few more books on shelves and yet more trinkets and strange instruments.
“Ah good morning Mr Potter, Miss Abbott, Miss Bones, Mr Longbottom and Miss Lovegood” he seemed to be confused about the various students up so early. “What can I do for you?” he asked.
“Professor Dumbledore, under the Hogwarts rules, I request that you give me a dorm of my own. I request it because it is no longer safe for me to be in Gryffindor Tower anymore because blame me for allowing Lord Voldemort back” Harry said. “The other reason is that because of your meddling, my best friends have turned from me”.
“Well, I admit that I may have been wrong in something’s, but you do realise that I can not possibly grant your request. I am sorry” Dumbledore said looking at each person through his glasses.
“Living outside of house dormitories.
In exceptional circumstances, a student is permitted to reside outside their normal house dorm. A request must be made to the Headmaster or Headmistress stating the reasons why the request is being made. The Headmaster or Headmistress can not refuse this request. Should the Headmaster or Headmistress refuse the request, the requester may appeal to the Board of Governors. The requestor may choose up to four fellow students to live with them, should they agree. These students may come from different houses should that be the case” said the five students in perfect unison, and to add effect, Neville pushed over the rule book he had brought with him towards Dumbledore who picked up the book and read and re-read it for several minutes.
“It seems I have no choice. Have any students agreed to reside away from their houses with you?” Dumbledore asked with a tone of defeat in his voice.
“Yes sir. Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood have agreed to my request” Harry said barely containing the smile on his face. After all the times, Harry had to do what Dumbledore said; it sure felt good that the tables had turned.
“Very well. There is a tower that contains two dormitories which you can use. I will make an announcement at breakfast. I was going to go before you came in, so would you care to accompany me?” Dumbledore said trying to save face and the group agreed.
They went down to the great hall with the friends talking to themselves and pointedly ignoring Dumbledore. They reached the doors and Dumbledore stopped and turned to the group.
“I wait until everybody has finished breakfast, however to keep the houses here I will tell them to stay with the exception of Slytherin house of course. Will that be acceptable to you” he asked expecting Harry to speak, but it was in fact Susan that replied.
“Thank you Headmaster. Though we will no longer will be staying with our houses, we would still like to contribute any points to the house totals. And from now on, we will no longer be taking our meals in the hall” she said determination crossing her face and the others nodded to show their agreement.
“I suppose that can be arranged. Tell me though, how will you get your food to your towers common room?” Dumbledore asked thinking that he could at least make them suffer having to eat with their houses.
“That’s no problem, sir” Neville said and called Dobby’s name. During the holiday, Harry had told the elf to respond to Hannah, Luna, Susan and Neville’s calls should it be that they needed him for some reason.
“Harry Potter and his friends have need of Dobby?” asked Dobby wearing a t-shirt that the group had got as a present for him.
“Dobby take all our stuff and take it to our own tower if you would please. You will also bring all our meals to the towers common room” Harry said.
“Dobby will do what Harry Potter and his friends want” Dobby said .With a nod to the group he disappeared.
Dumbledore waited till the elf had gone to open the doors. The friends followed him in and went to their house tables for what would be the last time. The headmaster went to the top table but did not sit down, instead he faced the students.
“I would like to request that when you have finished your breakfast, only Slytherin house goes. I would like the other houses to remain where they are, thank you” and Dumbledore sat down.
Certainly there had always been buzzing in the hall when students talked while they ate, but this time it was extra loud. Slytherin students tried to finish as late as possible to try and hear what was going to be said, but Professor Slughorn shooed them away and out of the hall. Harry and Neville glanced at the table and saw that the teachers where as confused as the students. Dumbledore stood and addressed the remaining students.
“I have to inform you that a student has made a request to live outside of the house he has been sorted into. Harry Potter will now live in the west tower on the seventh and eighth floor” he glanced at Harry and then continued. “Mr Potter, under the rules, you may pick four students to reside with you. Do you have anybody in mind?” Dumbledore already knew the answer, but he had told the group that he would do things formally.
Harry stood up and spoke in a clear and level voice that carried to the entire hall.
“Yes Professor I do. I would like to pick the following people: Hannah Abbott, Susan Bones, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood” as he spoke each of the named people stood up and away from their tables.
“Very well Mr Potter, I wish you and your friends all the happiness” Dumbledore said. It seemed to Harry that there was a trace of hurt and a sense of defeat in his voice, but if the teachers or students heard it, and Harry decided that they had not heard it in the first place. “Mr Potter, you and your friends may go now” Dumbledore said and he sat down.
Harry led the way past all the open mouthed students and out into the corridor.
“I wonder how we will get our timetables for lessons” Luna said.
However when they got to the tower where they were now going to live, the group spotted timetables on a coffee table in their new common room. It looked to be a large room, at least as big as the Gryffindor one Neville remarked. There where two sofas and a five armchairs dotted around the room. On the wall opposite was a series of windows that gave a magnificent view of the castle and grounds. There where a couple of tables dotted around, with one having some wooden chairs round it to sit on. There was a decent sized fireplace which had the banners of the friends three different banners. The Lion of Gryffindor was flanked by the Badger of Hufflepuff on one side, and the Eagle of Ravenclaw on the other.
Neville was looking at his timetable with a mixed look on his face. He had been expecting some surprises in the new timetable, but not like this.
“Harry, look at your timetable” Neville said sitting in the nearest armchair, while the girls sat on the sofa.
Harry looked at his until he found the problem.
“All our lessons are with the Hufflepuffs? Not that I mind it” he added when he saw the glare from Hannah and Susan. He and Neville had Herboligy with them but something was wrong with the timetable surely.
“It’s not just yours that are messed up” Luna said glancing up at hers. She looked at each of the others. “Mine are with the Hufflepuffs as well” she said.
Harry looked at the banners which he noticed now had an egg timer underneath each one. They where perfect replicas of the ones in the entrance hall that kept the house points. Harry decided to get more information on the problem.
“Dobby” he called and the house elf appeared.
“Harry Potter needs Dobby?”
“Yes I do. Can you go to Professor McGonagall please and ask her tom come and see us please” Harry requested.
“Dobby will do what Harry Potter wants” and the house elf disappeared to McGonagall’s office.
While they waited they looked to see if the timetables had been charmed as a joke, but no matter what spell or charm the five tried, it remained the same. There was a knock on the door of the common room and Susan crossed the room and opened the door and moved out the way to allow the Deputy Headmistress inside.
“Dobby gave me your message. What seems to be the problem?” she asked the group.
“Professor, our timetables are all showing the same thing. It shows that we have all our lessons with the Hufflepuffs. Now that would be fine for Neville and me, but Luna’s in Ravenclaw so she should have a different timetable to the rest of us” Harry said and showed her Luna’s timetable.
“Yes, Harry, I already know about that. Professor Dumbledore told me of your conversation with him this morning after you left the Great Hall. I talked to the other teachers and they agreed that it seemed right to keep you together” McGonagall said. It was partly true what she had said. She had talked to the other teachers, but she had not spoken to Dumbledore. Harry had sent her a letter after the row he had with Ron and Hermione. He had said that all of his fellow Gryffindor’s in his year wouldn’t acknowledge him, and the rest of his house wouldn’t speak to him. She didn’t know what was going to happen until Dumbledore’s announcement. The other tutors had rapidly agreed to her idea. It was decided that Luna had better stay with the others for her lessons because she might have been the subject of pupils playing jokes on her.
“Harry, I’m glad you had the courage of a Gryffindor and able to take decisions. But please tell me, I detected a sense of hostility between you and Professor Dumbledore. Can you tell me the reason?” She asked concern creeping into her voice.
“Professor Dumbledore has been lying to me for a long time. He told me about Voldemort, but he didn’t tell me that I was emancipated at the age of 16 and that there where two wills. One for my parents, and one for Sirius as well” Harry said as McGonagall shook her head.
“I had no idea” she said. She got up and walked to the door, glancing at the clock as she did so. “It is nearly nine. I believe you should get along to your first lesson” and walked out the door, dropping a piece of parchment as she passed through the doorway.
Neville picked it up and looked at it intently.
“Good old McGonagall” he cried as he passed the scrap to Harry who looked at it.
“For those who do not have the benefit of being able to read that piece of parchment, would one of you two please tell us what that says?” Susan said in a mock annoyed tone.
“This is the password to the Gryffindor tower. I’d need it to get in to post things like the notices for Quidditch try outs and other stuff” Harry said.
Hannah looked at their timetables once more.
“Well, if I’m reading this right, we all have Herboligy. I’ll bet our bags are in our rooms” she said and she led the other two girls upstairs to the dorms, Harry and Neville followed to theirs. They came out of the rooms a moment later and swapped on account of the fact that Harry never wore nightdresses, they got their correct rooms. After grabbing their school bags with the right books in them, they headed off to the greenhouses. Luna had to be shown where to go because it turned out that Ravenclaw used a different greenhouse to the other four friends.
They got there with a minute to spare and took the only free space available, the potting table nearest the front. There were some stares as the other Hufflepuffs saw Harry, Neville and Luna in their midst. They started muttering to themselves and Harry caught somebody mention a few choice words about Harry, including the word Mudblood. He reached for his wand, but Susan stopped him.
“No Harry, that’s not how we sort this in Hufflepuff house” she said while looking at the offending person, and she made a mental note to talk to Justin later.
Professor Sprout came in and started the lesson. She had a shrewd mind and kept the friend together even though everybody else was in groups of three.
“Ah Mr Potter, Mr Longbottom and Miss Lovegood. I’m glad to see that you have seen the light and decided to have your lessons with us. Three of the best students for this subject in your year. Though I do feel sorry for Gryffindor and Ravenclaw” she said picking up a trowel.
“Why is that Professor?” asked Luna picking up some compost for the Monkshood.
“They don’t have your brilliance to help those who don’t get the subject” she turned to the two Gryffindor’s, “As for Mr Longbottom and Mr Potter. As you are now in all our classes, I suggest that you help us by coaching our Quidditch team” she dropped her voice to a lower level, but the class could still her. “I mean we promise to help Gryffindor to win the cup, by playing so good against Ravenclaw and Slytherin. And we promise to let your house win, but it wont be easy” she finished and the whole class laughed to break the little bit of tension there had been before the start of the lesson.
They settled back to work and Harry found he was more relaxed then ever when he did this subject. Neville was helping a Hufflepuff who couldn’t get his plant potted properly. Hannah and Susan talked to their friends, but where careful not to say anything Harry had said. He didn’t want the entire school to know. But he could use the fact that the two ran the school rumour mill to his own plans. He planned to let it slip that the reason he was now living outside his house was because of things that other members said to and about him. And there was also the fact that as Qudditch Captain, he had the plan to replace Ron with Neville and recruit another better keeper. After two hours of potting plants, and also learning the history of them, they had a quick five minutes to wash the soil and other stuff off their hands before going down to Professor Flitwick’s classroom for Charms. Once again, the friends grouped together and it turned out that they got more work done and understood more when they worked as a group. Flitwick noticed it and awarded the five 10 points each, except Luna who he gave 20 to, on account that she was the only Ravenclaw.
After the end of charms, it was time for lunch, and Harry led the way up to the tower. Dobby had set up a table full of food including Crisps, sandwiches and other magical and muggle foods. At one end of the large table, the one with the wooden chairs, sat a pitcher of pumpkin juice and five glasses.
Luna served the juice as Harry and the others got plates and piled food on it. The friends sat down on the chairs and sofas with Luna and Neville putting their get up on the small coffee table in front of the sofa.
“Make yourselves at home” Harry said laughing.
“We intend to” replied Luna and Neville in perfect unison making the other three laugh really hard.
They had a great lunch and Harry had finished first. He looked at his timetable and then at Luna who was getting up for another glass of Pumpkin Juice. He had a sudden thought and then yet another great idea.
“Neville, can I have a look at your book please?” he asked.
“Sure thing Harry” and the other boy passed the book from where it had been left that morning. “What you want it for?” he asked.
Harry beckoned the two Hufflepuffs to get closer so Luna couldn’t hear them.
“We are in the same year as each other except Luna – she’s in the year below us. But I thought we could do something about that” Harry said in a low whisper.
“What do you mean?” asked Hannah.
“I thought perhaps we could get her moved up one year” Harry said to her. “Neville, can this book of yours search on its on” he asked.
“Oh sure it can. Just tell it what you want, and it will find the best match for your needs” Neville said.
“Right thanks Nev” Harry said. Harry turned his attention to the book. “Find me any rules that allow a pupil to be moved up a year” and as soon as he finished, the book started to flick through its own pages. It stopped roughly towards the end of the book at the same time that Luna returned.
“What you all doing” Luna said as she passed Neville a glass of juice.
“Well, we noticed that you are in the year below us. So I thought of finding out if we could get you bumped up a year” Harry said.
Luna put her glass down and then jumped over to Harry and hugged him fiercely.
“Thank you Harry she said and as she let go, she gave him a small kiss on the cheek, much to the others amusement and giggles.
“Well … um right. As I was saying, the book seems to have come to out help yet again” Harry said and he read aloud the passage he had been looking for.
Pupil Year Allocation (Moving Up)
A pupil may be moved up a year if that pupil has the nomination of one member of staff and at least two pupils, one of which must be a prefect or similar grade.
Judging by the look on the others faces they had thought of the same thing. They quickly finished their drinks and food and brushing off the crumbs, they went to Dumbledore’s office for the second time that day.