Sparks of the Tempest

Sequel to Child of Innocence. With Harry's fifth year comes the return of Voldemort: ominous news for both Harry and Severus. Coupled with the oppression of the Ministry of Magic, Harry's fifth year is not shaping up to be much better than his last. With Severus's help, can he manage to defy the Ministry and convince the Wizarding world of Voldemort's return?

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34. Chapter 34

   Harry approached Hermione at breakfast time. He hadn't seen Draco in bed that morning. When he entered the common room, Draco had been sitting on one of the worn, over-stuffed scarlet armchairs in front of the fireplace, intensely reading one of those big, ancient books.

   "Yes?" Hermione asked, frowning when she saw his worried expression.

   "Have you talked to Draco lately?" he asked her.

   "No . . . why?"

   Harry wasn't exactly sure whether or not he should alert Hermione of his worries. "Nothing," he said.

   "Harry, if something's wrong, you need to tell me."

   "No, it's fine. I was just wondering."

   Ron approached them. "Did you hear what happened to Umbridge yesterday?"

   "No," Harry and Hermione said in unison.

   "Draco disarmed her. He was almost expelled!"

   "What?"

   Ron nodded. "It's true! I saw it!"

   "What did he do?" Hermione asked worriedly.

   "Umbridge got mad at him for being 'within six inches' of Daphne Greengrass and tried to give him another detention."

   "That's so unlike him . . . " Harry said curiously.

   "Yeah, I don't know what's been happening with him lately," Hermione commented. "He hasn't been turning all of his homework in on time, he's been saying all sorts of things. Whether to the teachers, or his . . . "

   "His what?"

   "Just . . . his friends."

   "He hasn't said anything to me," Ron said stubbornly.

   "Nor me," Harry supplied.

   "You mean he didn't -" Hermione abruptly stopped. "Where is he?"

   "Draco?"

   "Yes!"

   "Oh, uh . . . " Harry wondered why Hermione all of a sudden sounded kind of desperate. "He's in the common room."

   "Be right back," she said.

   Ron shuddered. "Alright." When she walked out of earshot, he said, "Man, I'd hate to be Draco right now."

   "Yeah. I wonder what he said?"

   "Me too. Do you think it was to her, or did she, like, witness him talking to someone else?"

   Harry shrugged. "I don't know. She seemed pretty upset, though."

   "Maybe you should talk to Snape?"

   "Probably. I've been meaning to check on him anyway. I'll go tonight."

   "Just . . . make sure Umbridge doesn't catch you," Ron said, glancing around.

   "Yeah." Harry glanced up toward the staff table, where Umbridge was sitting. He wrinkled his nose in disgust as she poured four spoons of sugar in her tea and turned away. She seemed to not care, at the moment, about what he and his friends were planning. He knew it would change soon, of course, but he decided to take advantage of her neglecting state, and looked over at Severus.

   I'm coming tonight, Harry thought when Severus looked at him. Severus nodded, somewhat hesitantly.

   "Oh, by the way, did you finish the essay in detention the other night?" Ron asked.

   "Mostly, why?"

   Ron smiled mischievously. "I kind of . . . forgot to finish it. Can I borrow yours?"

   Harry laughed. "Severus would kill me."

   "He doesn't have to know."

   "Yes, but he knows that you would do worse than me," Harry teased.

   "I can always throw in some misspellings," Ron suggested slyly.

   Harry sighed melodramatically. "Fine."

 

---{}-{}-{}---

 

   Right before Harry put on his Invisibility Cloak, he saw something new on the notice board.

 

PROCLAMATION

EDUCATIONAL DECREE No. 32

    No teacher may talk with a student about anything noneducational,
and will be fired if caught doing so.

 

   Harry knew that was directed at him and Severus, as did, he figured, the rest of the school. But there was nothing he could do about it, so he just threw on the Invisibility Cloak and ventured to the dungeons.

   When he arrived, Harry threw off the cloak and entered Severus' office. "Severus?" he called. "It's me."

   "Oh, good, you are here," Severus responded. "You can help me finish brewing more of the potion."

   Harry raised his eyebrows. "Why? The mark is gone, remember?"

   "Yes, but we still have the issue of your scar hurting. Voldemort and you are still . . . connected."

   "Right," Harry cleared his throat. "Anyway, I wanted to talk to you about something."

   It was Severus' turn to raise his eyebrows. "Oh?"

   Harry hesitated for a moment, then took a breath. "I'm kind of concerned about Draco."

   "Why?"

   "Well . . . he's been reading these books that look like dark magic . . . stuff . . . in them, and he's almost changed personalities. He tried to disarm Umbridge yesterday!"

   That did seem strange to Severus. Normally, Draco would not interfere with Umbridge and her iniquity. "How sure are you that the books contain dark magic?" he asked.

   Harry thought for a moment. "Ninety percent?"

   Severus sighed. "I can look into it." He put the cauldron in back of his office. "Go back to your dorm. Professor Umbridge wanted to meet with me in ten minutes."

   "Alright." Harry put on his cloak and left.

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