Cauldrons and Lilies

Chapter 61

I don't own Harry Potter

Thank you guys for the support! Please keep reading and reviewing

Chapter 61

Harry looked over the preference parchments for third year. He was conflicted between Care of Magical creatures and Divination. He wanted to take Arithmancy after all. Hermione was biting her nails so much because she wanted to take all the classes including Muggle Studies. Hermione lacked perspective sometimes. She defended their DADA teacher even though he was incompetent and she knew it. It was not until the Neville incident where Lockhart almost caused him to suffocate that Hermione stopped defending him. Harry hoped Dumbledore did not ask Lockhart to come back next year. The man was a fraud.

Ron took off his vest while Ginny played gobblestones with Neville. They were all almost done with the year. There were only three more exams. Potions, herbology and astronomy which was that same night. Harry's second year was less interesting than his first year for sure.

The young Gryffindor thought about how much his father watched over him since the incident with Voldemort. His mother was his best ally and managed to keep his father in check most of the times. In fact, his father was less controlling these past few months. His parents fought a lot last September through Christmas but then his father got news about an old death eater. Things were easier but still strained. It also helped that Uncle Remus and Sirius were successful with their research. Uncle Remus' transformations were less painful and he seemed to have semblance of control or so his father commented.

Harry enjoyed his second year, it was normal, uneventful like it should be. He got into the quidditch team as a seeker. His father was not thrilled with the idea. "All those Weasleys; they are the ones responsible." Draco also tried out and became the seeker from the opposite team. Gryffindor won the cup last weekend. Harry was ecstatic.

"I can't do this anymore." Hermione said with a defeated voice.

"Just pick the easiest ones like I did." Ron said and rolled his eyes. "Here, Care of Magical creatures and divination."

Harry thought about Arithmancy and Ancient Runes. It would involve him taking afternoon classes twice per week during quidditch tryouts and future practices. The young Snape decided to follow Ron's schedule and take Divination.

"I'm going to the library." Hermione huffed and left.

Harry shrugged and decided to join Ginny and Neville. Ginny blushed as soon as she saw him.

"Hi Harry." Ginny drop her marbles on Neville's shoes.

Ginny acted strange ever since that summer. She hid from him and was not her usual self around him. She blushed, talked in a high pitch voice and laughed too much in front of him. She did not even play quidditch with him and her brothers anymore.

"Hi Ginny. Mind if I join?" He asked.

"Not at all." She laughed and then looked around the room. She let him win three times in a row. He frowned but did not ask her.

Neville came back from the dorm and joined them once more. Ginny seemed more comfortable then.

Hermione was back from the library looking even more stressed out. "Draco is taking Arithmancy and care of magical creatures."

"So take those." Harry replied.

Ron frowned, "When did you see Draco? Why did you go without us?"

Hermione sighed, "He was there studying for Herbology. We reviewed and then he told me about his schedule."

Ron's frown did not go away. "You should have told us; maybe we also wanted to review."

The girl glared at him, "you yelled at me when I asked you to quiz me."

"That's beside the point. You should have asked us before you went by yourself." Ron argued back.

Harry sighed, he knew it would be another fight. They always fought about silly stuff. "I'm going to see my dad."

Harry walked out of the common room and headed for the dungeons. He knocked on the door and entered the office.

His father worked over some parchments and vanished them as he entered the room. "That was your exam." His father said in explanation.

Harry's father looked old and he smelled of cigarettes. He was too thin. "You should freshen the office; mum will hate the cigarette smell."

His father smirked and waved his wand around and a sandalwood smell took over. "Thank you for noticing. Are you nearly done choosing your third year courses?"

"I am. Divination and Care for Magical Creatures." Harry finished.

He expected his father to frown and ask him why he would not choose Arithmancy or Ancient runes. His father nodded, "You will enjoy working with magical creatures. Divination will not be as easy as you think."

Harry smiled, "I thought you would encourage me to take harder subjects."

The older man smiled back, "I knew you would choose Divination over Arithmancy. I am highly aware of the grueling quidditch trainings and meetings that Mr. Wood and Mr. Flint will impose next term."

Harry felt relieved, "where is mum?"

"She's staying the weekend with Petunia." His father did not sound so happy about it.

"Are you two still at odds?" Harry knew they fought a lot over the past year. His mum did not even want to vacation this year because dad looked as if he would set roots and manage to make them stay there.

"Not so much at odds. Your mother and you need to see reason and listen to me. We are not safe here son." His father continued.

Harry frowned. "Dad, mum and I are not afraid. We have you." He finished and smiled at him brightly.

His father stood up and kissed his forehead. "Go back to your dorm. Sleep well."

Harry went back to Gryffindor tower and found Ron and Neville playing chess. "Harry, care to take over. I'm knackered." Neville stood up and went to his bed.

Ron demolished his pieces. "Could you believe Hermione? She should have invited us."

Harry shrugged.

"Draco is no better. He should let us know he was in the library." Ron mumbled to himself. Harry half listened and worried about his parents.

They would not get divorced. They loved each other, but mum spent so much time with Grandpa and aunt Petunia. It was strange; ever since Harry was little his parents were always laughing and kissing. Harry did not remember the last time he saw them kissing or singing silly to each other. It used to embarrass Harry

The young man slept fitfully that night. He recovered his spirts after the Potion's exam. It was challenging but Harry thought he did well. Draco smiled happily as did Ron. They walked to Hagrid's hut side by side. Hermione and him lagged back a little.

"I am sure you have a perfect score Hermione." Harry reassured his best female friend.

The girl was pale, "professor Snape looked at my parchment funny. I should have read more."

Harry did not laugh. He grabbed her hand and squeezed. "You did well. I know it so." Hermione hugged him hard. It was the last night of term.

"You two enough! We have to reach Hagrid's hut soon." Draco yelled.

They went to Hagrid's and found him in a great mood. "Did you all decide your courses for next term?"

They all nodded. "Anyone taking Care of Magical Creatures?"

Hermione nodded, "we all are." She said dutifully.

Hagrid laughed merrily, "you are looking at your new teacher."

"Wicked." Draco said and gave him a huge smile.

"Congratulations Hagrid." They all cheered and smiled at him.

They all celebrated with tea and rock cake. Ron stomached it as much as he could. Draco and Hermione claimed fullness and Harry gave his to Fang. "Any interesting summer plans?"

Draco nodded, "Dad is taking us to Australia. We are going to spend time in Canberra and Sidney. The girls are excited to see the kangaroos. Dad said we will be going to New Zealand too."

"I am spending half the Holiday in France. My parents rented a beach house. We are going for August." Hermione said happily.

"I know you are going to see Charlie, isn't that right Ron." The redhead nodded. "The twins and I are going. Perce is going too, so is Gus. It will be fun; no parents. Ginny and my parents are going to see Bill. She misses him a lot and they thought it would be good for her."

"What about you Harry?" Hagrid asked.

"Nothing much. I am staying in England my mum has a crazy schedule this summer so we will not go anywhere really." Harry was not upset about it. He remembered Greece last year. His father was obsessed with security. It was an ordeal to get into the house. His father actually thought of permanently staying in one of the Greek islands. His parents rowed until his mother boarded a plane with him aunt Petunia and Dudley. Grandpa, Gus and his father stayed another week on the island before arriving back to Cokeworth.

The Hogwarts' students made their way back to the castle when Ron noticed a hurt rat. He bled from one of his paws or so Harry thought. "Look, he's missing a limb." The boy remarked and cleaned the rat a little.

"Let's take it to Hagrid." Hermione offered.

Draco frowned, "I am not going back. It's almost curfew. Dad said he would leave me with uncle Sirius if I got one more toe out of line." Draco and Ron had a fight with Zabini about Hermione three weeks before. It was a big thing with muggle dueling involved. Zabini had called Hermione mudblood. Ron threw the first punch. Draco and Harry tried to separate them but Zabini then called them blood traitors and said that Hermione should die. Draco joined Ron. Hermione and Harry ran for help.

"I can't go back either." Ron said paling at the thought of getting in trouble once more. Mrs. Weasley sent him a howler after the incident.

"Fine, Hermione and I will go back." The rat however trembled and squirmed away.

"You are scaring him. I'll take care of him." Ron said and they went back to the castle.

He cured the rat and named him Scabbers. Harry thought he was a little old and scrawny looking but Ron took his role as nurse seriously. He placed Scabbers in Hermes' old cage. He fed him and bandaged his paw. Hermione found him a book about taking care of pets; Ron put his whole mind into taking care of old Scabbers. He healed its arm and the little stump looked better. Scabbers could not walk or run a lot but he sort of crawled a little. Ron was immensely happy with Scabber's healing process that next morning.

Harry did not board the train with his friends. He would spend another week in the castle with his parents. His father had meetings all week.

His mother greeted him with a kiss and a hug. "There is some dinner by the table sweetheart. I have to leave. There is an emergency with one of my patients." She rushed out of the quarters.

Harry sighed and used the Walkman Dudley gave him and listened to some tapes. It was better sounding now that there was less magic. Hermione taught him a trick to make the sound clearer. Harry spent hours listening to music and eventually fell asleep.

His father shook him awake. "Harry, it's time for dinner." He said a little forcefully.

His mother set the table while his father served the food. It was Great Hall food; his mother ate quietly as did his father. Harry knew they were both tense and tried to distract them with small talk. It was useless. They were not budging.

"I think this summer will be fun." Harry pointed out.

"If you say so son." His father sighed.

His mother frowned, "you've never liked traveling. We had to drag you out to go to France and other places." His mother hissed.

His father rolled his eyes and frowned, "you are incorrect. I thoroughly enjoyed our outings." Harry sighed and tuned them out as they continued to argue. He felt a headache coming in.

"I don't want to stay with you this summer. Could I go with Ron to Romania?" Harry said over the hisses. His parents never yelled at each other; they used the silent treatment and were cold to each other.

"What do you mean?" His father said.

"I said what I said." Harry replied honestly.

"All you do is fight. You need to fix this now." He was done, the boy thought that things would be better but they continued to be nasty to each other.

"Solve it. Stay together or separate but you two need to talk without me." He finished. His parents looked at each other in surprise.

He slept better that night. His mother woke him up the following morning. "Good morning sweetheart. How did you sleep?" She caressed his cheek.

"Fine." He said and rubbed his eyes.

"Your father and I talked a lot yesterday night. We think you are onto something." She said sadly.

"Harry, we are not separating or divorcing. I love your father very much and he loves me even more or so he says." She said with a brighter smile. "We need to have some time for ourselves."

Harry nodded, "so, I am going with Ron?"

His mother shook her head, "no. Molly and Arthur will not be there. Your father and I do not feel comfortable sending you to another country without us. You'll stay with your grandpa and aunt."

"Nice." He said happily. He would enjoy spending time with Dudley.

Harry was happier when he saw that his parents half smiled genuinely as they apparated him to Cokeworth.