Sign of the Lion
Chapter 11 - Levitating Beaters
Harry pushed the door open into the Room of Requirement. The DA had assembled there, talking quietly amongst themselves. As soon as he entered, Hermione turned expectantly to him as if expecting something. But it had been her idea, Harry thought irritably. Why didn't she start making the speeches? Whatever she expected, she wasn't going to get it.
Nerves stretched from the time spent with a crowd in the Great Hall, Harry forced a smile to his face and said something he'd usually leave to Hermione to say, "Even if the school can perform the Expelliarmus spell, I don't think it will work against the Unforgivables...so, I guess we'll continue going through stuff. If you'd just prefer to learn whatever Professor Tonks is teaching, fine."
"I'm willing to continue the DA," Hermione immediately assented.
The others looked at each other, undecided. Finally, taking the lead of Neville and Ron, they agreed to remain banded within the DA. Harry, after waiting for everyone to decide, sat down on a cushioned chair near the door. "Uh, now that's sorted we can - "
He was interrupted by the door banging off the wall so hard that it nearly splintered. Siobhan and Alex catapulted into the room and beamed at Harry. Ron expelled a loud groan; Seamus avoided eye contact with his cousin all together.
Hermione bristled. "What are you doing here?"
"We want to join the DA!" Siobhan said brightly. "And we knew you guys would be here."
Harry suppressed the glare he wished to throw at them as words tumbled out of his mouth in his surprise, "How did you know? I thought we were discreet enough not to be followed."
Seamus coughed, looking ashamed. Alex pointed at him. "He told us! Well, he wouldn't at first so Siobhan threatened him with her wand."
"You gave in to a couple of first years?" Ron snorted in disbelief.
Seamus looked around at the members of the DA pleadingly while Siobhan and Alex giggled helplessly. There was no escaping the stern look Hermione was giving him or the sniggers that Ron had given in to. Seamus muttered, "You don't know what it's like, being threatened by them. It was more frightening than Snape."
A chocolate sundae suddenly appeared in mid air in the middle of the assembly. Siobhan dove for it, exclaiming happily, "Just what I wanted!"
She missed and landed on her stomach. She rolled over, whipping out her wand and aiming it upwards at the sundae. Seamus moved out of the way just as the dessert exploded, sending ice cream and slithers of several different toppings all over the DA. Dripping, Harry wiped off his face with the sleeve of his robe.
"I see where you're coming from," Ron admitted to Seamus. "I'd be scared too."
Hermione made a disgusted sound in her throat and cleaned herself up with a quick charm. She crossed her arms and eyed the two troublesome girls. "It would do us great service if you would kindly leave."
iobhan sucked on a chocolate covered finger indifferently for a moment. "We might tell everyone that you're down here...unless you let us join."
"Yeah!" agreed Alex enthusiastically, face almost completely white from ice cream.
A pained expression came across Harry's face. He was sure that they wouldn't get into any trouble with Dumbledore - the Headmaster seemed to know everything that went on the castle. But then, he didn't know about the powers Harry had gotten and he didn't need to know.
Harry looked down at Siobhan (who was swinging her wand lazily) and shrugged at the DA. "What has more harm - letting them join the DA or having them tell everyone where we meet?"
"Your call, mate," Ron said hastily as Harry shot him a desperate look.
Harry knew he was going to regret his words. He decided, "It's less harm having them in the DA, don't you think? Imagine what the Slytherins would do if they got a hold of this room."
Harry woke with a splitting head ache and he blamed it on the previous night. Staring at the ceiling of his dormitory, he listened to the sluggish sounds penetrating the curtains around his four poster. He conjured a glass of water and consumed it greedily. The glass drained, he ripped open his curtains and reached over to his bedside table for his robes.
Harry blinked away the white spots dancing in front of his eyes, seriously considering a trip to the hospital wing. Blindly, he crashed into his trunk and went flying head first in to Ron who'd just stepped into the room.
"Blimey, Harry." Ron looked down at him. "Class starts in ten minutes."
Harry shot at him, "Then why are you up here?"
Ron bent over and helped him to his feet. "Hermione sent me."
Harry straightened his robe and stuck his wand in his pocket. He shot a quick look at his timetable then took a hold of Ron. Barely a moment later, they had arrived at the green houses for Herbology. Ron muttered aside to Harry, "I actually have to do well in this class. I don't have many N.E.W.T. classes."
"There should be no problem," Harry commented slyly, "especially since Hermione is in this class and will give you personal one on one tutoring."
Ron's ears went red.
Harry barely ate anything at lunch and managed to convince Hermione that he had left his N.E.W.T. Transfiguration essay under his bed so that she wouldn't worry if he was late. He felt terrible as he climbed the marble staircase and fumbled his way to the classroom. He'd barely gotten halfway down the corridor when he walked straight into Professor McGonagall.
"Shouldn't you be in my class, Mr Potter?" she asked sternly.
Harry blinked at her through the spots in his vision. "Um, shouldn't you? Class started ten minutes ago."
McGonagall eyed him beadily through her spectacles, looking to Harry as if she was deciding if his answer was impertinent or not. She crossed her arms carefully. "Miss Granger expressed a concern for your ability to make it to class."
Harry groaned loudly. He hadn't been able to fool Hermione at all. Catching the worry which flittered in his Head of House's frown, he supposed he wasn't going to get into too much trouble. He didn't flinch when McGonagall pressed a hand to his forehead.
"You're burning up," she told him firmly. "The hospital wing is in the other direction."
Harry was about to retort that he was just fine when a piercing scream bounced down the corridor. Both student and professor went racing off in the direction from where it came. In his mind, Harry was quickly running through all the spells he'd learnt and wondering what evil had befallen Hogwarts already.
The screaming was coming from a Charms class room and when Harry first burst in, he wasn't sure what to think. Everything in the room was airborne, including Professor Flitwick who was struggling to reach his levitating wand a few feet to the side. But sitting calmly on flying tables in the middle of the chaos were Siobhan McPherson and Alexandra Chambers, both beaming proudly.
"Oh, hi Harry!" Siobhan waved her wand at the new comers. "Wingardium Leviosa!"
Alex echoed her and both Harry and McGonagall floated off the ground. Harry smiled weakly in return and looked around the classroom helplessly as the girls then summoned his wand. The one thought that struck him particularly was that they could do it better than Neville. He wondered where they had learnt it.
Professor McGonagall's lips thinned. "They're really quite intelligent, despite appearances. It's not that they don't have any brains, it's just that they don't use them. I fear they may become the new Weasley twins."
Remembering the roped off patch of swamp left in one of the corridors, Harry's smile became wider. When he looked again at struggling Flitwick, he flicked a finger and everything thudded back onto the floor. Scowling, Siobhan shook her traitorous wand. McGonagall immediately turned to Harry. "They need to focus their energy elsewhere, wouldn't you agree?"
"Definitely," Harry muttered, thinking of his regret over letting them join the DA.
McGonagall dusted herself off. "I heard you have two vacancies for Beaters on your Quidditch team."
Harry's eyes widened in horror. In his mind's eye he could see the pair of them hacking brooms to pieces with Beater clubs. He opened his mouth to argue but the Transfiguration teacher raised a hand. "I'll ask you politely for now, but I expect them to be on the team by the end of next week so you may commence training."
Harry despairingly picked up his wand from the ground. His headache had worsened in the last minute and those terrors were being entrusted to the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Things just couldn't get any worse. He followed McGonagall to Transfiguration and was grateful that his health had been forgotten in the light of Siobhan and Alex.
"Harry!" Hermione whispered disapproingly as everyone packed up their books and made for the door. "You look terrible."
He did feel terrible - but he supposed it was nothing he couldn't fix with a flick of the finger. He resolved to try in N.E.W.T. Charms. Slinging his bag on his shoulder, Harry forwarded out of the classroom in front of Hermione, trying to ignore her fussing. She was probably going to gang up with Ron in Charms on the subject but he couldn't be bothered to listen to her nagging for now.
N.E.W.T. Charms was by far the most taken advanced class across the year. Ron waved them over to a desk and they set out their books. Harry noted that the classroom was again clean and bore no signs that it had been in the wake of Siobhan and Alex. Professor Flitwick still looked flustered as he took them through slightly more advanced Charms than the compulsory class.
Right when he was explaining the differences between a large and small spell, Harry's headache drove back in full force. To top it off, his scar exploded with pain as well. Barely hearing the instructions, he tried to join in with the practise, but his wand dropped from his fingers. Clenching his fingers this way and that he willed the aches to go away.
Dimly, he heard something smash. As soon as it had, his vision cleared and he was able to think properly. Harry looked over at the smashed window, remarking casually, "That was strange."
Hermione shot him a severe glare.
"Mate." Ron leaned in closer. "Do you really have to aggravate her like that?"
Harry laughed but even to him it sounded stiff. He nudged the red bead in front of him with a finger and muttered under his breath, "Engorgio!"
The bead grew to the size of a juggle ball and Ron just shook his head. Harry looked at his two best friends for a moment and shrugged. He needed a bit of fun every now and then, what with the stupid prophecy hanging over his head and Hermione's constant research and nagging about his powers. No one would notice the wandless magic.
Suddenly, Harry's headache returned in full force. He rested his head in one hand and tried to get rid of it again. This time, several beads started shaking and vibrating furiously. Harry saw this and stopped what he was doing immediately. The beads lay quiet. He cursed mentally - things were happening out of his control.
Hermione put a hand on his arm and squeezed, looking cross but concerned. Harry nodded his thanks at her and hastily packed up when Flitwick announced the end of the lesson. Most of the class had left already and Ron and Hermione were making moves to leave as well.
"Mr Potter, would you mind staying after class for a moment?" squeaked the Charms professor.
Harry paused uncertainly near the door and so did Hermione. Ron slowed just outside; obviously the only thing on his mind was dinner. Flitwick waved a hand jovially. "It's nothing too serious, Mr Weasley and Miss Granger. You'll have him back in a few minutes."
Ron and Hermione traded dubious looks but left the room and were heard walking down the empty corridor outside. Harry turned to Flitwick. "Is it about my grades from last year or something? I don't think I did too badly, Professor."
"Nothing of the sort." Flitwick's face had gone deadly serious even though he spoke lightly. "Mr Potter, I am just having a guess, but is your wandless magic related to any sort of mark on your arm?"