Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Once in a Blue Moon

Chapter 7

by USA_Tiger 1 review

n/a

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Crossover,Fantasy,Humor - Characters: Dumbledore,Harry,Neville,Snape - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2018-03-23 - 6164 words

1Ambiance
Once in a Blue Moon

Author: USA Tiger

Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to J. K. Rowling and Final Fantasy 7 belongs to Square Enix

Thanks to Tsuyu-the-Hanyou for betaing this chapter.

Chapter 7

At Longbottom manor, things had finally calmed down. With the discovery that Neville, for certain, was able to access his magical core and that he had a familiar in Angeal, a small celebration was thrown by the family. Algie had even tried to hand down his old pet toad Trevor to Neville as a gift, until Augusta reminded him that her grandson didn’t need a, frankly, useless pet since Neville had Angeal. Both Neville and Trevor felt like they had dodged a bullet on that one.

It was days afterward that Neville finally sat down with Angeal, in the little greenhouse that Neville was allowed to grow some safer plants, where he finally heard Angeal story. He liked the greenhouses, no one except the family House Elves came out there.

“So, you were human once?” Neville asked as he dug a hole into the rich, dark soil.

“Yes, with a little something extra I found out about many years later. I was a general in an army,” Angeal explained as he laid his head on his paws watching Neville. “I joined Shinra with my best friend, Genesis.”

Neville made a little sound of awe; he couldn’t get over how strange it was to hear Angeal’s voice in his head. The idea that Angeal had been a human and had served in an army, one he claimed was from another world? That really blew his mind, who knew other worlds had life on them?

Neville had also learned, within the first few days, that he hadn’t been the only one who received a special familiar like Angeal; the other was none other than Harry Potter/. Neville couldn’t believe it! He wondered at first if he should feel sad that he wasn’t the only one with someone like Angeal, but decided that it wasn’t something to be sad about. It made Neville feel a little special that he had earned something like this, the same as /the Boy-Who-Lived.

“What was your friend like?” Neville asked as he gently set the plant he was moving into the hole he made and packed the soil back in around the roots.

“Genesis? He was… is very passionate, he loves the arts but ‘LOVELESS’ was always his favorite. He was forever reading and quoting it. He honestly drove Sephiroth and I a little nuts, but we still loved him regardless,” /Angeal said fondly about his oldest friend. He missed Genesis, hated the path of madness they both took, although in different ways. He missed the quotes from LOVELESS, sparring with Sephiroth and Genesis, even Genesis’s fiery personality. /“He was a fierce swordsman, always wanting to beat Sephiroth and to be the hero. He also had a temper like fire.”

“He sounds… a little scary,” Neville admitted. Angeal’s warm chuckle filled his mind.

“He can be a little much at times, and he did scare some of the cadets and infantryman in the regular army,” he agreed. “What about your friends?”

“Well… umm…” Neville shyly traced a finger in the soil, drawing out little shapes. ”I don’t really have any, except you. Gran always kept me at home, I mostly spent time with my Grandfather until he passed away.”

“You’ve never been sent to a school?” Angeal asked, tilting his head to the side.

“Well, I’m going to Hogwarts next year, we know that for sure… I’ve always been taught by tutors my Gran hired,” Neville shrugged his shoulders.

“She seems a… little over protective,” Angeal pointed out. Neville shrugged his shoulders again slightly.

“I guess… I think she might be afraid that You-Know-Who’s servants might get me,” Neville confided to his guardian in a soft tone. “I’m not really supposed to know about all that, but sometimes Gran and my other relatives talk about it at night when they think I’m in bed. Not all of the Death Eaters were caught and a lot of those who were, were let go after they claimed they were under the Imperius. Mum and Dad used to fight against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, you know? Back during the war. Gran said Dad was a great duelist, he and Mum put away a lot of His servants.”

“She thinks they would come after you in revenge,” Angeal guessed.

“Yeah, I’m not sure if that’s true or not, I’m not much of a wizard,” Neville reached up wiping at the beads of sweat on his brow. “But at least she’s going to let me go to Hogwarts.”

“You do not need to worry Neville, I won’t let anyone hurt you,” /Angeal said laying his paw on Neville’s knee. /“I swear on my honor, I will keep you safe.”

“Thanks, Angeal,” Neville said with a shy smile and basked in the feeling of having an older male figure care for him. He loved his relatives, but many of them were stuck in old Pureblood traditions and ways of thinking or were just too old to connect with Neville. His Grandfather was the only person he had ever been close with, up until he passed away. A little grin crossed Neville’s face as he remembered that his Grandfather was still watching over him and had sent Angeal to him.

“Do you take care of all these plants?” Angeal asked as he looked around the greenhouse filled to the brim with different plants. Some appeared similar to plants found on the Planet while there were many others that Angeal couldn’t even begin to identify.

“Well… not everything, the House Elves take care of a lot of it,” Neville said as he sat back on his heels and looked around. “This greenhouse contains all the plants I’m allowed to look after by myself, the safe ones that is. Our other greenhouses have plants I’m not allowed to look after yet without supervision, or I’m just too young to handle them yet. The most dangerous are kept on other properties my family owns.”

“Such as Cactuar or Malboros?” Angeal assumed. Neville tilted his head to the side, confused.

“I’ve never heard of those before,” he said.

“They are two plant-type monsters from my world. Cactuars are cactus-looking creatures that always look like they are running, with holes for eyes and a mouth that looks like it’s always open in surprise. They’re usually a smaller monster that can be tamed and kept as pets, though it’s unusual. There is another creature called Cactuer who are stronger and much more violent,” Angeal explained in the same mentor tone he had used with Zack. “Malboros on the other hand, are much more dangerous, they possess the ability ‘Bad breath’ which would inflict a number of status spells from Confuse to Small on their opponents.”

“Wow…” Neville’s eyes were wide, he was both wishing he could see these plant creatures, (his love of all plants shining through) and glad that he wouldn’t see them, as they sounded very dangerous. “Are there other plants monsters?”

“Hmm… let’s see. There are Razor Weeds, they’re not very dangerous but they can be annoying,” Angeal tilted his head back, thinking. “And… ah Mandragora.”

“Mandragora? Mandrakes?! We have those!” Neville said grinning. “The Longbottom greenhouses grow both the magical and non-magical kinds. There are a few of the non-magical kind here, in this greenhouse, but the magical ones are grown in one of the other greenhouses off property. They’re great for medical potions, and I think we provide Hogwarts with infant Mandrakes every year. I’ve helped Grandfather replant infant Mandrakes, you know, when he was still alive. You have to wear earmuffs when you handle them, as an adult’s scream will kill a person.”

Angeal panted happily as he watched Neville gush over talking about plants, looking very much like the happy, active child he should always be.

“I don’t think they’re quite the same Neville,” Angeal said. “Mandragoras are mostly harmless, like Razor Weeds. They won’t even attack unless they are provoked first and are very easy to dispatch.”

“Oh…” Neville deflated, just a little, as he thought he had found something their two worlds had in common. Angeal shuffled closer and laid his head on Neville’s lap.

/“That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy hearing you talk about plants, I enjoy it I assure you,” /he said.

“Do you like plants, Angeal?” Neville asked.

“Very much so, I used to grow plotted plants when I lived in Midgar,” Angeal said. “They didn’t grow very well, due to the mako pollution, but they reminded me of home.”

“What was your home like?” Neville asked.

“Banora Village was always green, close to tropical but not as hot as say Gongaga was,” Angeal began with. “There were old mines under the village, but no one went there and the village was surrounded by Banora White Apple trees.” There was a lot more to Banora’s history that he learned from his mother, Gillian Hewley, after he started degrading, but Neville didn’t need to know that horrible truth and Angeal would rather remember the happier times anyway. “Banora was the only place in the world where White Apples grew, or as we called them, ‘Dumbapples’.” Neville started giggling loudly and started to pet Angeal.

“Dumbapples? Why did you call them that?” He asked.

“Hmm… you have apples on this world?” Angeal asked as his tail started thumping against the ground.

“Yeah, my family owns a few different fruit orchards around the world,” Neville said. ”So we grow a bunch of different apples.”

“Well, firstly, we too have different apples, usually in shades of red or yellow, sometimes green,” Angeal explained to which Neville nodded as that sounded like Earth apples. “Banora Whites are different; their skin is a dark purple color. We referred to them as ‘Dumbapples’ due to the fact that, for whatever reason, something to do with the soil, Banora White apple trees will bear fruit at random times of the year, unlike normal apple trees. Hence they were called ‘Dumbapples’ due to the fact they were too stupid to know when they were supposed to ripen.”

“Wow, I wish I could have seen one,” Neville said while his young mind tried to puzzle out how that was even possible.

“There’s nothing like them anywhere else,” /Angeal agreed. /“Their taste is unique, extremely sweet. They grow all over Banora, Genesis’s family had the largest orchard. When we were young, Gen invented Banora White Juice which was quite popular.” Neville settled in against Angeal’s side as the former SOLDIER told him tales of Angeal and Genesis’s youth in Banora.

****

Madam Augusta Longbottom folded the missive and poured a drop of hot wax on the back at the center of the folds, then stamped it with the Longbottom crest. She stared at the letter as she waited for the wax to cool, letting her mind wander over the last few days.

Her relatives were in a tizzy over the proof of Neville’s magic once and for all, they had all been worried that the Longbottom heir was nothing more than a squib. Augusta would be lying if she said she hadn’t been worried about that as well, for a time she had been looking into muggle private schools for Neville’s education in case he was. But after the incident, where her uncle-in-law Algie nearly dropped Neville out the window when the boy was 8, she had finally gone to her friend Minerva McGonagall whom worked at Hogwarts as the Transfiguration professor, as well as both Head of Gryffindor and the Deputy Headmistress. It had been a relief to hear from the Scottish witch that yes, Neville was in the book of Hogwarts that kept track of all those whom were able to go to the school.

If Neville had been a Squib, or a very low level wizard (only able to cast a very few select spells), his name wouldn’t have been in the book. Augusta had relaxed after that, assured of Neville’s place at the school that generations of both her and her Adair’s families had gone to. She had also told her family to back off, but it seemed they never fully believed Neville was a wizard unless they saw him using some sort of magic.

Augusta snorted softly to herself as she remembered tearing Algie a new one for trying to drop Neville out the window, just to force him to use accidental magic. Her uncle could have ended up killing her grandson with that stunt! You’d think he wouldn’t have been so foolish as to try something like that ever again, but it seemed Augusta had underestimated Algie’s ability to think since he had attempted to do the same thing yet again. Thank Merlin for Neville’s familiar showing up when he did. Speaking of Neville’s familiar…

Augusta frowned to herself as she stood and walked over to the window that over looked the greenhouses, she could see her grandson and his new dog through the clear glass. The dog, Angeal which was a nice strong name, was… odd to say the least. She had with a bit of research found him to be a German Sheppard, his solid black coat made him a rarity, but otherwise seemed to at first glance be a normal dog. Except for his eyes, not only did they glow but they were filled with an intelligence that was very human like. And there was just something about them that screamed that he could be very dangerous.

The House Elves employed to their family had also informed her that Neville spoke with the beast as if he could understand him, which fit in well with what Neville said that very first day. He claimed that the dog had said his name was Angeal. All-in-all, it was very strange and if it wasn’t for the fact that Augusta had tested for and seen the familiar bond for herself, which meant Angeal would be very loyal to Neville and would never hurt him, then Augusta would have had the dog sent away. The only explanation she could foresee was that Angeal was no normal mundane dog, he had to have been crossbred with a magical creature. Which creature, she didn’t know and likely never would.

Still, she didn’t have any proof and would keep her thoughts to herself. The beast would be by Neville’s side to the end of his days and would always protect him even after she passed on to join her Adair in the afterlife. Angeal was a calm, noble creature that would fit in well with the Longbottom household so Augusta would happily accept whatever oddities he had.

Augusta turned from the window and picked up the letter off her desk, walking over to an owl stand where one of the estate’s barn owls waited.

“Take this to Headmaster Albus Dumbledore at Hogwarts,” she instructed the owl as she tied the missive to its leg. The owl hooted then as it glided out of the room on silent wings, Augusta watched the post owl until it was just a dot on the horizon then turned to return to her other paperwork to finish before dinner.

****

Harry and Zack spent the rest of the day settling into their new home. Zack laid on the giant dog bed taking a light cat-nap to catch up on the rest he didn’t get while at the Dursley’s household while Harry excitedly set out his things around the room. Lunch consisted of sandwiches and crisps with a juice for Harry, though he did share part of one sandwich with Zack. Harry couldn’t get over how he was finally away from the Dursleys, that the Professor… Severus… had offered him a new home. Harry shivered as he remembered the look of rage on Vernon’s face and how he had not only pointed a gun at them, but had tried to kill Zack. As abusive as his uncle was, Harry never thought the man would go that far.

Harry hugged his still nameless stuffed dragon to his chest thinking that this was almost like a dream. No more Petunia, Vernon or Dudley. And no more Marge and her ruddy dogs! Harry never wanted to see any of them again. And he was going to a magic school next year, to learn real magic. It was more than Harry ever thought would happen to him. Maybe now he could make friends that wouldn’t be scared off by his bully of a cousin, which would be nice. And he would get to ask Severus about his mum!

A soft knock on the door knocked Harry out of his thoughts, Zack snorted and rolled over to his feet as he woke up blinking sleepily.

“Whazzthat?” Harry placed his dragon stuffie down and walked to the door smiling brightly up at his new guardian.

“I trust you’ve settled into your new room?” Severus asked. Gone were the almost intimidating black clothing from before, replaced by worn jeans and a plain dark blue shirt. Just because he had a certain reputation to uphold at Hogwarts and in the public didn’t mean Severus didn’t wear normal muggle clothing, he liked being comfortable in his own home after all. Harry grinned brightly again as he eagerly nodded his head.

“Yes sir, I really like it,” he said his voice showing his excitement. “Thank you again for taking me and Zack in.”

“Come then, it’s time for dinner,” Severus said as he motioned for Harry to go ahead of him. Zack eagerly followed, whatever Snape had made smelt really good and he wondered what was for dinner!

*****

Dog food…. It turned out it was dog food for dinner. Well, at least for Zack anyway. Zack gave a heaving sigh as he stared down into his bowl then snuck a glance at the table where Harry and Snape were enjoying a hearty looking stew. The smell took him back to the nights his Ma would make stew, making him miss her all the more.

‘Shoulda known this was gonna happen,’ Zack thought to himself as he turned back to the bowl with a cringe on his face, which looked really funny on a dog. The food in the bowl was a brown mashed up mess, covered in some sort of gravy, it was unappetizing looking and smelt funny. Truth be told, it reminded Zack of the food Shinra fed cadets when he first joined the SOLDIER program or what they had fed the army. The food for the SOLDIERS wasn’t much better and many had learned to either cook for themselves or live on take-out.

Sighing again, Zack gave in and lowered his head, mentally gagging and he took a bite of the stuff Snape had called dog food.

‘Oh planet! It tastes just like the food in the mess hall too!’ Zack thought with a mental wail as he forced himself to eat. He would not be surprised if Shinra really had fed its army dog food, anything not to spend a lot of money if they could get away with it. Too bad Snape was very firm that Zack would not be eating human food like he had been getting away with at the Dursleys, hopefully Harry could maybe talk the man into feeding him something other than… than whatever this stuff was cause he didn’t know if he could stomach eating Shinra quality food like this every day. “Bleh…”

Harry glanced over at Zack, watching him eat with a sulky look on his face.

“I don’t think Zack likes that stuff,” Harry said.

“He cannot continue to eat the same food you do,” Severus said then sighed. “But we can research alternatives at a later time, I only picked up what I saw at the shop. For now, I will inform you of the house rules.” Harry quickly turned his attention to his new guardian. “On top of the rules of not entering my lab, office or room without permission, you will have only a few chores. You will keep your room clean, you will clean up after yourself and after Zackary. You will be responsible for your familiar’s feeding, cleaning and playing with him. You will take out the garbage and sweep the floors once a week and you will help wash the dishes after dinner.” When Snape didn’t continue, Harry blinked in surprise.

“T-that’s it?” He asked. “W-what about cleaning the rest of the house? The dusting and the laundry? The gardening? And the cooking? I kinda like cooking.”

“While chores are common and in fact are a good thing for children your age to have, the amount of work your relatives placed on you was not normal. They used you as their personal House Elf,” Severus explained.

“What… what’s a House Elf?” Harry asked. He knew what an ‘Elf’ was, or at the very least what the general idea of an Elf from books was but he never heard of a ‘House Elf’.

“Mibly,” Severus called out loud in lieu of answering Harry’s question. Both Harry and Zack, who had come over in curiosity, jumped as a small being appeared suddenly with a burst of displaced air that made a ‘Pop’ sound. It was short with long, floppy-looking bat-like ears, bald and with large purple colored eyes.

“Professy Snapes be calling Mibly?” the creature said with a high pitched voice that made it sound feminine. Mibly wore a tea towel wrapped around it… her… like a toga with a small crest decorating the corner.

“This, Harry, is a House Elf,” Severus explained. “Mibly is my personal House Elf at Hogwarts. Despite the name, they are not related to Elves but instead are an off-shoot of Brownies.”

“Wow…” Harry said with wide eyes as this was his first time seeing or meeting a magical creature.

“Holy Ifrit! That thing looks like a goblin!” Zack barked loudly making Mibly jump at the sound and stare at him with wide eyes. “Just put some shorts, a pointy hat and some boxing gloves on it.”

“If Professy Snapes is not needing Mibly?” Mibly asked as she nervously eyed Zack as if he would attack her but Zack never made any move toward the House Elf.

“Yes, Mibly, you may go,” Severus said. Mibly bowed again then disappeared with a pop.

“That was so cool!” Harry grinned widely as he really loved this magical world thing, then looked at Severus confused. “But why did you compare me to Mibly?”

“Finish your dinner,” Severus gave the half eaten bowl in front of Harry a pointed look, then took the time to explain what it was House Elves did. He explained how Elves would bond with an individual, families or with places with a high output of magical power and how the House Elves drew on the bond to power their magic. In exchange, they would willingly serve the family or in cases of a place like Hogwarts, keep the school clean and cook all the food.

“So… their not slaves are they?” Harry asked.

“… Some families mistreat the House Elves in their service, but there are many more that treat their House Elves kindly,” Severus explained. “House Elves enjoy cleaning and taking care of their family, for many it’s a sense of pride. Mibly belongs to the school, but she was assigned as my personal House Elf while I work there.”

“So they do all the work and cooking, that’s why you said my aunt and uncle treated me like one?” Harry asked.

“And how they abused you the same way some families will abuse House Elves,” Severus added thinking of the Malfoy’s and their treatment of the House Elves bonded to their family. “But, if you are feeling useless, my neighbor is sure to find you some work.”

“Neighbor?” Harry asked.

“Mrs. Herbert,” Severus explained. “She’s a near squib whom watches over my house and garden during the school year. A squib is a child born without the ability to use magic into a family of magic users.” He quickly added when Harry opened his mouth to ask what a squib was.

“Does she live on that farm next door?” Harry asked.

“She does indeed, I will take you and Zackary to meet her in a few days,” Severus said. Zack gave an irritated huffing sneezing noise.

“I wish he wouldn’t call me that, it sounds like I’m in trouble with my Ma or with Angeal,” He muttered into Harry’s mind.

“During the school year, she will watch you after school until I leave Hogwarts for the day,” Severus continued. “I usually live in the school when it is in session but for this year I will return here after the day is done.”

“I’m not going to the same school as before am I?” Harry asked. He didn’t think he would, he had a feeling Snape’s house was a long way from Little Whinging.

“No, you will be going to the local school just for the next year. After that you will be going to Hogwarts,” Severus explained. Harry found himself hoping he could make a couple of friends at his new school even if it was just for a short time. With no Dudley to run the kids off, and no one knowing who he was or knowing the awful rumors his aunt and uncle told people about him Harry had high hopes that he would.

And if he didn’t…. well at least he had Zack to play with.

*****

Dumbledore sighed softly as he settled back into the plush wingback chair that sat in front of the fire place in his personal quarters and drew the warm quilt, a gift from a student in the past that was covered in little cartoony bumblebees that buzzed around the surface, over his legs. It was nice to take an evening to sit down after a long day of preparing for the new school year and dealing with his duties in both the Wizengamot and the International Confederation of Wizard, or ICW for short.

Then of course, there were the constant requests for advice and help from their new Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge. While Albus never showed it, it did wear on his nerves to have dear Cornelius constantly bother him. Sometimes Albus wondered if he should drop one of his roles, not Headmaster of Hogwarts, of course, he did so love helping to guide young minds toward the future, but one of the others…?

Albus sighed and shook his head with a small smile, opening one of his many candy dishes to snag a lemon drop. For now, nothing would change and Albus wanted to puzzle over the new mystery young Harry Potter presented.

Familiars, while not overly common, weren’t unusual to see. The most common familiars were cats, owls and even toads; this was the very reason why these three animals were on the students list every year. Owls also had an added benefit of delivering the paper and mail. Some people gain a familiar while they were children and some as adults, Albus had just started teaching Hogwarts when Fawkes found and bonded with him, a partnership that went a long way of easing his mind and soul after what happened with Gellert. So Harry, who had the potential of being powerful one day bonding on that level with an animal wasn’t so surprising. What the creature was on the other hand was.

One could tell a lot about a person through their familiar. Dogs were loyal, pack creatures that would protect those they care about. Albus felt that Harry’s familiar being a dog spoke of how loyal Harry would be to those who became his friends. The fact that the bloodwards and Lily’s protection had tied themselves to Harry’s dog whom Severus referred to as Zack was… well, Albus was at a loss to explain it.

Albus would admit, at least to himself, that he didn’t know much about the spell Lily had placed on her young son to save his life that Halloween night so many years ago. She never spoke to him about it or anyone else as far as Albus knew except for maybe her husband. He could only deduce how it worked and had assumed it was a blood ward. He had leant her a book on blood magicks, after warning her to be very careful as blood magic was tricky and could very easily turn against her. He knew she had used the spells inside to erect a blood ward around her older sister’s home and had assumed that spell she used was meant to work with the ward.

But according to Severus the wards and protection spell had anchored itself to Harry’s familiar. It would seem he didn’t know what Lily’s intentions were after all. It also eased his heart to see Severus take Harry in, that had surprised him greatly but he was overjoyed to see the young Potions Master was putting aside the hurt of his past and his deep dislike of James Potter to take in the man’s son.

Albus’s thoughts were interrupted by a tapping sound at the window. He leaned forward and turned to look, seeing an owl waiting on the other side of the glass. Curious as to who would be owling him at this late of an hour, Albus used a bit of wandless magic to open the window and let the owl in. It glided over to him, landing silently on the arm chair and held out its leg with the letter attached.

“Good evening to you as well,” Albus chuckled as he plucked the letter from the offered leg. The owl hooted, then took to the air again and glided out of the room. “I guess they don’t want a response,” the elderly Headmaster said to himself as he turned the letter over, his eyebrows rising almost into his hair when he saw the Longbottom crest.

He and Augusta didn’t have the best relationship, they worked well together on the Wizengamot, at least on issues they agreed on, but otherwise spent little time speaking. Augusta blamed Albus for what happened to her son and daughter-in-law, convinced that if Frank and Alice hadn’t been a part of the Order of the Phoenix, then the Lestranges and Barty Crouch Jr. wouldn’t have attacked them and drove the young couple insane. Albus hadn’t been too sure about that, yes, he was willing to admit that Frank and Alice working with the Order might have been part of the reason. But both had been high ranking Aurors as well and had put away many Death Eaters.

Frank’s father, Augusta’s husband, Adair had agreed with Albus and had never put the blame of what happened on Dumbledore but Adair had never been able to convince his wife of that.

Cracking open the seal and unfolding the letter, Albus’s eyebrows rose again as he read the contents. After reading over them again to be sure of what he read, he lowered the letter and thought over this new information.

“Curious… curious indeed,” he said turning to Fawkes who trilled a questioning tune. “Not only did Harry gain a familiar in the form of a dog, but so did young Neville. I wonder, my dear Fawkes, if this means something. Both children were targets of Tom due to the prophecy though in the end it was Harry whom was marked as Tom’s equal.”

Putting the letter onto the side table, Albus leaned back in his seat and pressing his fingertips together so his fingers made a steeple as he stared into the fire. Whenever he thought of that prophecy, he felt a lot of regret, he had never imagined the events that lead to that fateful interview would play out like it had.

Albus had never intended to interview anyone in his younger brother Aberforth’s pub, the Hog’s Head Inn, but they had a really bad infection of Doxies in the castle, someone had snuck in a Doxy queen near the end of the school year and failed to inform anyone when she escaped. By the time the Doxies were discovered in the school, after the year had ended and some of the Professors had returned from their summer trips, the annoying biting fairies were everywhere, leaving them no choice but to call in an expert to get rid of the things. But in the process, no one living could be in the school, so Albus had to conduct interviews for Defense and Divination elsewhere. It had taken a lot of sweet talking to get Abe to let him use a room in the Hog’s Head.

What had happened with Sybill Trelawney was certainly something Albus hadn’t seen coming. He had agreed to interview her only out of courtesy rather than any real desire to hire anyone to take over the now empty Divination post. He had, in fact, been thinking of taking Minerva’s suggestion of simply shutting the class down all together. Sybill had been the only one to apply and had tried to impress him throughout the whole interview, but it had been abundantly clear that she did not possess the same gift as her Great-Great-Great-Grandmother Cassandra Trelawney. Or at least it had seemed that way at first, right up until Albus had tried to bring the interview to an end only for Sybill to slip into a trance and recite a true prophecy. He had been so shocked by the events, that he hadn’t even noticed that someone was listening in on the other side of the door, or that his brother had forcefully removed said someone who was later revealed to be Severus.

Albus had no choice after that but to offer Sybill the job she wanted for her protection, less Tom snatch her up to pull the rest of the prophecy from her. Things had played out from there, where it was discovered that the prophecy could apply to either the Longbottom or Potter child. In the end, Tom had marked Harry as his equal fulfilling the first part of the prophecy and making young Harry the ‘chosen one’ so to speak. But Albus had always thought that maybe Neville might still have his part to play and he couldn’t help but wonder if this was proof of that.

Or it could just be a huge coincidence that both boys just so happened to gain familiars that happen to be dogs. Maybe he was just looking into things way too much as was his habit.

Still…. Maybe it wouldn’t be a bad idea to introduce the boys, as protective as Augusta was of her only grandchild Albus doubted Neville had many, if any, friends his age and Harry could do with a new friend that was from a wizarding family. He didn’t even think Augusta would disagree with him on this as the Potter and Longbottom families had long been great friends and allies.

Taking another lemon drop from the candy dish, Albus nodded to himself and settled back into his nice comfy chair. He would speak with both Severus and Augusta tomorrow about his idea.

*****

Author Note: So I gave a plausible reason as to why Dumbledore would interview Trelawney in a pub instead of his office at the school. I know a lot of people see Dumbledore as evil, that seems to be a big trend in Harry Potter fanfics lately I’ve noticed, and a lot think Dumbles set it up so Snape would hear the prophecy or any other set of reasons but I don’t write the secretly evil/dark lord in hiding Dumbledore. I like reading those types of fics, I find a lot of them entertaining, but it’s not my personal head canon for the old man.

It’s just a case of the castle being fumigated due to a really bad doxie infestation so Dumbledore needs to do all school business off school grounds but at the same time stay near the school. So he’s using his brother’s pub as a temporary base of operation for school business.
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