Where: Dumbledore's Office
Summary: James and Sirius go to tell Dumbledore about seeing people in the Forbidden Forest and to ask permission to go ahead with the Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts Group.
James walked into the dorm, yawning and scratching his stomach. Spotting Sirius, he got a bit more spring in his step. About to start ranting about Quidditch, he was struck with a sudden though. "Merlin, I almost forgot. Moony said we should see Dumbledore. About the Forbidden Forest incident. And about the Advanced DADA group. Just my luck to be the nominated one to do it...you coming?"
Sirius didn't have to be asked twice, because he dropped the charms book he'd been attempting to study, and gave James a nod. "You've got to tell me everything that Remus said. I think I must have been outside practicing with your quaffle when you guys talked."
"With my quaffle? I hope you returned it this time." James grinned, then nodded seriously, opening the door for them both. "Me, Marlene and Remus were talking about the Defence Group. They both thought it was a good idea to tell Dumbledore, because he might be able to get us more materials and room to use...more, organised."
"Still think we should keep it a secret?" Sirius was in the opinion that it should be, at least from the other students. Some didn't know how to keep their mouths shut, and who knew what would happen if parents of certain people found out. Sirius followed James, taking the moment to think it over.
James shrugged, walking through the common room. "Well...I can see their point. I just don't want it to be publically broadcasted. Imagine if, say...Lucius Malfoy found out. Any Slytherin, for that matter."
"I wouldn't approach this with such a black and white view, if we want to make this work, it wouldn't be the smart thing to do. I know a fair amount of Gryffindors and Ravenclaws who wouldn't think twice about making trouble for us. We have to go for the people we trust, above all else, despite anything else," Sirius offered his opinion, able to sound sensible when he put his heart into it.
James nodded, and sighed, opening the portrait for them. "I know. I'm just...skittish, I think. I'm actually working to make this happen, to make it succeed. I don't want it to be fail because the wrong people heard about it."
"We'll have to think carefully about who to tell. I'm not sure I'd trust haf the people I'm friends with to keep it secret. Not that I think they're bad, but they give it all that." Sirius played with the edge of his shirt, the part of it that wasn't quite tucked in.
James absorbed all this, nodding. A sad smile appeared, and he said thoughtfully,"Just listen to us, Sirius. We talk like old men. How did we get old, get so serious, so soon?" He shook his head.
"Hey, watch it. If you call me that again, I'll whack you over the bonce with my walking stick." Sirius waved his hand about in comical fashion, as though he was threatening James with an invisible stick that only he could see. He grinned slightly to lighten the mood.
James grinned as well, and raised an eyebrow at Sirius, lookign at his pants. "That shirt isn't tucked in. And those pants look a tad low, young man." Half considering an attempt to pull his pants down, he laughed to himself.
"This here is the style, young man," Sirius murmured in a crackly voice, completely on purpose. One on the younger Ravenclaw girls walked past them in the corridor, looking at him with a miffed and pitiful expression, not realising he was only acting. She got a surprise when Sirius dropped out of his acting gear and shot her a friendly grin. He began tucking his shirt into his belt again, smartening himself up.
"There's a good lad." James muttered, distracted for a seconds by the Ravenclaw, giving her a wink and turning around, watching as she walked off. She shot James an unreadable look, and at this he raised his eyebrow. Surely she was overwhelmed by his good looks and his undying charm!
"We can do this though, this group. Remus can look after all the books we'll need, he's perfect for that. We can demonstrate all that we know on each other, I'll cast the spells, and you can be the victi- er, test subject." Sirius might've sounded like he was taking the whole thing a lot less seriously than it deserved, but he was thinking about it in his own way, thinking ahead of how it would be organised.
James laughed. "I like the general plan, but...I'm not sure about being the victi- er, test subject, as you put it. You'd be answering to my Mum if I came home bright green with 3 limbs."
"I'm sure she'd find a use for you. I could make you glow in the dark too, then she could stick you by your three limbs beside the front door and use you as a homing beacon." Sirius patted down his shirt, slowing his walk as they approached the entrance to Dumbledore's office.
James pulled a face at him, stopping in front of Dumbledorés office. He stared ahead dumbly for a second, then sighed. "Here goes nothing. Alot rides on this meeting."
Sirius stopped by his side, looking to the door, then to James. "You can go first, and do most of the talking while you're at it. You're his favourite, if that head boy badge of yours is anything to go by."
James stuck his tongue out immaturely, and tickled the pear, muttering a password under his breath, even though he knew Sirius probably knew it off by heart. Watching with facsination, everything rearranged to let the boys pass. James never got sick of watching. He nodded to Sirius, and they walked in.
Sirius, true to his word, dropped into a step behind James. It had been his and Marlene's idea to start with, so that more than anything swayed him to let him take the lead with it.
James nervously inched forward. Although there was no uncomfortable atmosphere when in a conversation with the Headmaster, he felt himself approach Dumbledore with more caution. The conversation today would be a serious one. On reaching Dumbledore's desk, James cleared his throat.
In the headmaster's office, familiar to both the students by now, a thoughtful looking Dumbledore was sitting at the desk in front of them. He watched them enter, but it was only when they approached him that he began to speak. "Welcome," greeting them with a small smile, as though he had been expecting an impending visit from them soon.
James felt more at ease. He smiled back, and shoved his hands into his pockets, shooting a look at Sirius. "We came to uh...ask you two things. Do you want the more serius thing or the less serious thing first?" James was, of course, considering the people in the Forbidden Forest more serious. And it would be very serious, if Dumbledore had not been aware of their presence.
"Both sound of equal worth to hear, but tell me the one which you consider to be the most serious." The headmaster lowered the letter in his hands, in a way that showed he was giving them his full attention, "Then perhaps I can lighten your apprehension with your lesser thoughts." Dumbledore indicated to the seats in front of the desk, if they wished to make themselves more comfortable. Sirius gladly hopped over the arm of the chair and relaxed back into the cushion.
James followed suit; and soon was more comfortable than he was standing. Clearing his throat again, he said,"A week or so ago, I saw a small, brief fire coming from the Forbidden Forest. We, err, were a little suspicious, so we...went to check it out. There were people in the forest, Professor. Our guess was that they were Aurors, judging by some of the equipment they had, but if they weren't, then we knew that you needed to know." James glanced at Dumbledore to see his reaction.
"You should know that approaching the forest, especially at night, is a very risky act," his voice was stern, but not unkindly. It was the consideration he was known to feel for all his students. "However, I believe I can relieve you of some worry. I was informed by the Ministry of their concern about recent activity in the other side of the forest, and it was me who gave them the full scope of the forest for their own purposes. There is nothing to worry about, because the grounds here are protected, and it will not hurt to have the Ministry taking interest." He smiled, and as relieved as Sirius was to hear it, the Gryffindor realised that it wasn't an entirely happy smile. Sirius realised that even Dumbledore knew that the Ministry wasn't doing enough for their welfare. But, still, at least they were doing something.
James felt relieved, then asked excitedly,"What recent activities on the other side of the forest? Is something bad happening? V-voldemort isn't a threat to Hogwarts, is it?" Then, knowing he probably wouldn't ge an answer, he said,"The second thing we wanted to ask you...well, we've decided to start an Advanced Defence Against the Dark Arts group. Seventh years, mainly, and maybe a few sixth years. Mostly those who would be interested in extra studies. It's something me, Marlene and Remus have been talking about quite a bit. Everything from practicing the basics to learning more complicated stuff we don't get taught in class. We decided to tell you, because...well, we were hoping you'd support us. An empty classroom for regular practices would be really handy, maybe access to the restricted sections. Pillows, suggestions...anything." James ran through his ideas.
The headmaster respectfully declined answering his question on the intentions of Voldemort. Under the circumstances, it was best they didn't know just yet. "An advanced group," Dumbledore's voice said quietly through the silence. "It will take some consideration, but I am pleased to see you taking the responsibility, and had the sense to ask me first. This idea has my favour, yes. That is, providing you keep the practices safe for all those who attend. It must be in addition to your Advanced Defense Against the Dark Art classes, however. Your exams should remain your priority." His voice was speaking from an official capacity, but the glint in his eyes suggested that he
James looked elated. "Professor, do I look like the sort that would even consider putting exams on the backburner?" After a small chuckle, he continued,"Is there a classroom we could use? I'm thinking maybe...after dinner twice a week, and if people are keen, maybe an extra practice on the weekends. To me, learning more defence is just as important as the exams. If all goes well, we might even continue once we've left school. I don't know, I haven't really though that far..."
"I know the location of a classroom which would be suitable for this group. It's near the centre of the castle where anyone may reach it easily if they are looking for it, but well concealed in order for you to retain it's privacy." The headmaster nodded slightly, the glint remaining undiminished. Perhaps he was aware of the necessity to keep a certain privacy.
James nodded, and muttered a soft thankyou. "I think I know the one. I'll spread the word; maybe we can even start practice this week. " He glanced at Sirius, and gave him a grin. Everything was falling into place.