minerva's suite

40. We are not allowed to challenge students to ‘Meet me on the field of honour at dawn’, and then show up wearing a full suit of armour that we stole from the dungeons.

“You know what?” Sirius growled, stepping forward until he was nose-to-nose with the greasy boy he loathed, “No. I am sick of this. I’m sick of you. This ends now.”

“Fine,” Snape replied coolly, his eyebrow raising as though he were completely unaffected at the display of anger before him.

He reached into his pocket and pulled out his wand in a smooth motion, holding it up to defend himself.

Sirius reached down into his pocket to do the same, but was stopped when a hand reached down and touched his arm.

“No,” James, his best friend, told him.

When Sirius lowered his wand hand, and James was satisfied he wasn’t going to do anything stupid, the messy, black-haired boy turned to look at their mortal enemy.

“You want to do a duel? Now? Here in the Great Hall where anyone, no any teacher, can walk in at any moment and catch us?”

James scoffed, “Surely, not even you are that stupid.”

Snape growled, glancing back at his friends who were also looking around nervously.

“Fine,” he spoke again through gritted teeth, refusing to lower his wand in case of a surprise attack, “What would you propose then?”

James looked at Sirius thoughtfully.

As though their minds were completely in sync, they both turned to look at the other group, identical smiles creeping onto their faces.

“Meet me on the field of honor at dawn,” Sirius spoke, with his chest puffed out, “The winner shall live on in glory.”

“The field of honor?” Avery asked, another Slytherin standing close behind Snape.

James rolled his eyes, “Yes, the field of honor. You know, the Quidditch Pitch? Do you know when dawn is? Or do we need to explain that to you too?”

“I know when dawn is,” Avery growled, stepping forward as though he were planning on pummeling the Gryffindor boys with his bare hands.

Snape held out his arm, stopping Avery in his tracks, and shot him a look of warning.

A professor stepped into the room, whistling to themselves, paying no attention towards the group of students planning out their own dual.

“The Quidditch Pitch at dawn,” Snape confirmed in a low tone, glancing back to make sure the professor didn’t over hear them, “I’ll be there.”

“Wait,” Peter squeaked out from behind the two boys eagerly, “Don’t you need a second if you’re going to do a dual?”

“Good idea, Pete,” Sirius replied, as Peter stood taller in pride.

“James is my second.”

James nodded, as though he hadn’t expected any other words to come out of his best mate’s mouth.

Peter slightly deflated, but didn’t protest the decision.

Snape glanced back at his friends before announcing, “Mulciber is mine.”

Mulciber smiled a yellow, crooked smile in delight at the thought of having the chance to fight.

“Fine,” Sirius answered, turning back to look at Snape, “See you then.”

“Ugh, this thing is a lot heavier than I imagined it to be,” Sirius complained, struggling to lift up his arm.

Remus sighed, before holding out his wand and murmuring a few charms. White light streamed from his wand, and glowed around the metal material encompassing Sirius’ body.

“Better?” he asked.

“Oh wow, yeah,” Sirius replied, lifting all of his limbs with ease, jumping on one foot, and then spinning in a circle as quickly as his balance would let him, “That’s loads better.”

“That’s brilliant, Remus!” James spoke, dragging his legs as he took a step forward in the same uniform that Sirius was wearing, “Can you do me too?”

Remus sighed again, but mimicked his earlier actions on James.

“I still don’t understand why I couldn’t be your second,” Peter whined, pouting from his place on his bed.

Sirius waved him off, “I had to make a quick decision. My decision was James. There’s no turning back now.”

“I still don’t understand what possessed you to think that this was a good idea,” Remus complained, stepping back as James jumped around in his suit.

“Which part?” James asked, reaching for his wand and jumping into a defensive stance.

“The dual part,” Remus replied, eyeing their outerwear warily, “Although I’m not entirely sure the suits are a good idea either.”

“They’re both brilliant ideas,” Sirius assured him, standing at the doorway with his gloved hands on his hips.

“What’s done is done,” James answered, walking over to join Sirius before he turned back to face his two other friends, “Either you’re with us, or you’re not.”

“I’m with you,” Peter exclaimed quickly, scurrying out of his spot on his bed and slipping on a pair of sneakers before joining the other two boy’s sides.

Remus’ face softened, “I’m with you,” he assured them, “I’m always with you.”

James smiled brilliantly back at him while Sirius whooped.

“Let’s go kick some Slytherin butt!”

What on earth do you think you’re doing?”

Minerva McGonagall never knew what to expect each day.

She had woken up extra early that morning to grade some essays her third year students had turned in the day before. As she had sat down at her desk, drinking some rather strong tea the house elves had been so kind to fetch for her, she glanced out her window which had a great view of the Quidditch pitch below.

Much to her surprise, she found several students out on the field, despite the earliness of the morning.

At first, she thought that perhaps one of the Quidditch teams had desired to get an early start on their practicing.

After a moment of watching and seeing red sparks fly out of someone’s wands, she knew immediately this was not the case.

She cursed the walls that prevented her from simply apparating to the field, a complaint she found she often had, and raced out of her office and down the stairs out to the Quidditch Field.

She slowed down as she approached the field, not entirely sure if her eyes were seeing what they were supposed to be seeing.

“What on earth do you think you’re doing?” she asked incredulously, expecting the students to stop.

When they did not, she pulled out her own wand and called out a curse, forward everyone to be frozen in their spot.

Knowing that no one else could move, she took the moment to look around to try and figure out what exactly was going on.

It was a dual, it had to be.

Two students were facing each other, with their wands out and ready, while a second student stood by the first student’s sides.

A small crowd of people were standing off to the side, watching the display before them.

She could immediately see who the first student was: Severus Snape.

His second appeared to be Mulciber, with Avery and a handful of other watching.

But the other one …

The other two students were standing in what appeared to be full suits of armour.

She glanced into the crowd, trying to make sense of the whole thing, when she saw Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, staring straight at the ground.

Her lips thinned into a straight line, and she said the names of the two boys in the suits.

“Potter. Black.”

She waved her wand, making the helmets of the two suits disappear so she could see the faces of the two boys who were constantly getting into trouble and acting as a complete thorn in her side.

Both boys smiled at her sheepishly, speaking out in unison, “Good morning, Professor McGonagall.”

“Where did you find full suits of armour?” she asked unamused.

The two boys glanced at each other before James admitted, “We stole them from the dungeons.”

“You – you stole – ?” She sputtered, looking at the detail more carefully.

Sure enough, she recognized those etchings from the ones she had seen in the dungeons before.

She wasn’t sure if she should be upset or impressed they were able to fully modify two suits of armour to not only fit their bodies perfectly, but to be fully functional in a dual.

“I am disappointed and ashamed,” she announced to the group, “of all of you.”

She continued, “A dual was incredibly foolish and is not tolerated on Hogwart’s grounds. House points will be taken from each and every one of you. Not just the participants, but those who watched as well and did nothing to stop the madness before them. Every one of you will receive detention and a letter will be written to the parents of those a part of the dual.”

She turned to the Slytherins, “I will be informing Professor Slughorn and he will decide further what punishments he sees fit for each of you.”

She turned back to the four boys in her own house, wondering if she’d ever find a moment of peace as long as they attended the school, “And you four. My office. Now.”

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I’ve been reminded that some people only know Maggie Smith from Downton Abbey.  This is sad.  It’s even sadder that Dame Maggie herself thinks people only know her because of Downton.  I was a fan long before Downton.  I hope more people will check out some of her other work.  

I don’t mean Harry Potter.  Check out California Suite, The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Love & Pain & The Whole Damn Thing, My House in Umbria, Quartet, and everything else featured in this video of Maggie Smith films!