120 First DADA
Arth waited behind the wall as He, Harry, Ron and Hermione exited the potions classroom. The moment Arth saw that his past self and Hermione disappear, Arth quickly ran in to take his place.
"Five points from Gryffindor because the potion was all right! Why didn't you lie, Hermione? You should've said Neville did it all by himself!"
Ron looked around.
"Where is she?"
Where was Hermione?
"She was right behind us," said Ron, frowning.
"Er, she had do go back to get something she left behind. She told me before leaving."
"Oh, ok." Said Ron losing interest immediately.
"There she is," said Harry.
Hermione was panting slightly, hurrying up the stairs; one hand clutched her bag, the other seemed to be tucking something down the front of her robes.
"Why are you carrying all these around with you?" Ron asked her.
"What?" Hermione looked slightly confused. "Oh. I had to go back for something. Oh no-"
A seam had split on Hermione's bag.
"Just my luck." Hermione said while groaning.
"Here, I'll fix it, repario."
The bag magically mended itself.
"You know it would be easier on you if you didn't carry everything all the time?" Said Ron with a confused look.
"You know how many subjects I'm taking," said Hermione breathlessly.
"I don't actually."
"Well, I hope there's something good for lunch, I'm starving," she said, and she marched off toward the Great Hall.
"D'you get the feeling Hermione's not telling us something?" Ron asked Harry and Arth
Arth just shook his head while sweating on the inside.
"...maybe she is having her period?"
Arth started to pity Ron's future girlfriend.
After eating lunch, they went up to the defense against the dark arts class.
Professor Lupin wasn't there when they arrived at his first Defense Against the Dark Arts lesson. They all sat down, took out their books, quills, and parchment, and were talking when he finally entered the room.
"Time to start the annual defense against the dark arts teacher grading process," Arth muttered to himself. "Let's hope this one is better the the last."
Lupin smiled vaguely and placed his tatty old briefcase on the teacher's desk. He was as shabby as ever but looked healthier than he had on the train, as though he had had a few square meals.
"Good afternoon," he said. "Would you please put all your books back in your bags. Today's will be a practical lesson. You will need only your wands."
Arth raised an eyebrow before complying.
"Right then," said Professor Lupin, when everyone was ready. "If you'd follow me."
Puzzled but interested, the class got to its feet and followed Professor Lupin out of the classroom.
He led them along the deserted corridor and around a corner, where the first thing they saw was Peeves the Poltergeist, who was floating upside down in midair and stuffing the nearest keyhole with chewing gum.
Peeves didn't look up until Professor Lupin was two feet away; then he wiggled his curly-toed feet and broke into song.
"Loony, loopy Lupin," Peeves sang. "Loony, loopy Lupin, loony, loopy Lupin —"
"I'd take that gum out of the keyhole if I were you, Peeves," he said pleasantly. "Mr. Filch won't be able to get in to his brooms."
Filch was the Hogwarts caretaker, a master in the arts of cleaning and stalking. A very respectable figure in Arth's eyes.
Peeves paid no attention to Professor Lupin's words, except to blow a loud wet raspberry.
Professor Lupin gave a small sigh and took out his wand.
"This is a useful little spell," he told the class over his shoulder. "Please watch closely."
He raised the wand to shoulder height, said, "Waddiwasi!" and pointed it at Peeves.
With the force of a bullet, the wad of chewing gum shot out of the keyhole and straight down Peeves's left nostril; he whirled up- right and zoomed away, cursing.
Arth started to clap.
"Thank you, Arthur," said Professor Lupin, putting his wand away again. "Shall we proceed?"
They set off again, the class looking at shabby Professor Lupin with increased respect. He led them down a second corridor and stopped, right outside the staffroom door.
"Inside, please," said Professor Lupin, opening it and standing back.
The staffroom, a long, paneled room full of old, mismatched chairs, was empty except for one teacher. Professor Snape was sitting in a low armchair, and he looked around as the class filed in. His eyes were glittering and there was a nasty sneer playing around his mouth.
As Professor Lupin came in and made to close the door behind him, Snape said, "Leave it open, Lupin. I'd rather not witness this."
He got to his feet and strode past the class, his black robes billowing behind him. At the doorway he turned on his heel and said, "Possibly no one's warned you, Lupin, but this class contains Neville Longbottom. I would advise you not to entrust him with anything difficult. Not unless Miss Granger is hissing instructions in his ear."
It was sad, but it was the truth, unless they were in herbology.
Professor Lupin had raised his eyebrows.
"I was hoping that Neville would assist me with the first stage of the operation," he said, "and I am sure he will perform it admirably."
Neville's face went, if possible, even redder. Snape's lip curled, but he left, shutting the door with a snap.
Arth couldn't help but glance at Trevor who was sitting comfortably in Neville's arm.
"...you reckon that Trevor is going to die in this class?"