“Good morning, nurse.” Giles greeted the nurse at the front desk. He was relieved to see it wasn't the annoying blonde woman again.
“Back so soon, Mr. Giles?” For a brief moment, Giles wondered if it was a bad sign if all the hospital personnel knew his name.
“Yes, I’m worried about my brother.” He admitted. “By the way, if you don’t mind, could I take a look at his wallet?”
“Well, it’s with the rest of his stuff in a locker; do you really need to see it?”
“Yes, actually, I think it’s rather important.” Giles replied.
Giles inwardly sighed. He hated how the Hellmouth had turned him into such a bad pathological liar. Granted, he had a fair amount of practice in that before moving here, but his plausibility levels had suffered considerably in the past four years. “Yes, well you see, I don’t have his employer’s number, and I thought it would be nice to call and explain that Sev will need a leave of absence.”
“Oh, that’s awfully thoughtful of you.”
“Yes, well, if I’m actually to do that, I’d have to find Sev’s business card in his wallet.”
“Oh, of course. You’re such a know-it-all.” Giles winced at that comment, but the nurse didn’t notice. “You know my daughter always told me that you were the most intelligent librarian the high school ever had.” The woman smiled warmly at him.
“You know, Jennifer?”
“Ah, yes, Jennifer.” Giles replied, having not a single clue which of the many Jennifers was her daughter.
“Pity about the school.”
“You must have been there for graduation. Was the explosion as big as they say?”
“Quite possibly.” Giles agreed, while contemplating the best way out of the conversation. “Shall I just go on to Sev’s room, and you can bring the wallet there?”
“Wallet? Oh yes, the wallet.” The woman muttered, shuffling through some papers on her desk. “Now where did I put the locker keys?”
“Yes, well, I’ll just be down the hall.”
“Oh, Mr. Giles, you need a visitors pass.”
“Right, of course.” Giles rolled his eyes. He was on the verge of a major mystery, and this woman was clearly trying to frustrate him.
“Here you go. I’ll see you in Room 113.”
“Yes, thank you very much.” Giles grabbed the pass and headed down the hall, wondering which would come first- Severus’ reawakening, the wallet, or the loss of his sanity.
“Alright class, today we begin our unit on changing basic features of an object. It is imperative that you all grasp what we cover in these next few lessons, as they are the building blocks of transfiguration. Who can tell me the incantation for making something larger? Yes, Mr. Giles?”
“Well done, a point to Slytherin.” McGonagall commented. Rupert smiled smugly in the general direction of his house. “And do you know the proper wrist movement?” Rupert, who had been up into the wee hours of the morning reading ahead, demonstrated the standard swish and flick.
“Now who can tell me how you stop the spell?” Two hands shot in the air, but Professor McGonagall patiently ignored them, instead calling on a member of her own house. “Mr. Potter?”
“Um, finite incantatem?”
“A reasonable guess, but a wrong guess. Yes, Mr. Snape?”
“You flick and swish.”
“Correct. Point to Slytherin. By reversing your wand movements, you will stop the enlargement from continuing. Who can tell me what a finite incantatem would do to an object under engorgio?”
Once again, two hands shot up in the air. McGonagall peered over her spectacles in dismay. “Anyone? Ms. Evans?”
“It would deflate?”
“Correct, point to Gryffindor. Now, what would we cast if we were trying to make the object smaller?” Two hands shot into the air. McGonagall sighed. “Yes, Mr. Giles?”
“It’s Reducio!” Severus was quick to point out.
“You are correct, but if you don’t mind, leave the teaching to me, Mr. Snape.” The boys exchanged scowls, but quickly turned back to the lesson. McGonagall set the class on their assignment of turning various teacups into different sizes. As the students got to work, she approached her two most diligent students with a request to see them after class.
The bell rang, leaving Rupert and Severus alone in the room with Professor McGonagall. “Boys, though I appreciate your efforts to contribute to the class, my fellow teachers and I have noticed a disturbing trend. It’s only the first week into the year, and no other student in your courses is able to get a word in edgewise. This one-upsmanship between the two of you must cease immediately, or we will be forced to contact your parents. It is one thing to contribute to the class, it is quite another to compete with your fellow classmate, a sibling no less, to be the smartest know-it-all in the school. Am I making myself clear?”
Both boys stared grimly at their shoes. “Yes, Professor McGonagall.”
“You’re both good students, and I don’t want this to prevent you from contributing to your courses, but surely you must recognize that your motivation is misplaced?”
The boys rolled their eyes slightly, but refrained from speaking. “Alright, now run along to your next class. I don’t want to cause you to be late.” She tried to offer them a comforting smile, but neither boy recognized it for what it was. Instead they turned and trudged out the classroom. She could hear them bickering out into the hall, arguing about which one of them was the know-it-all that got them into trouble in the first place. No matter how old she got, she wasn’t sure she’d ever understand the Slytherin students.
A/N: I know, short update, sorry. The good news is that there will be another update tomorrow. At least, I hope someone out there sees that as good news.