Harry was contained within the hospital wing for days and was only released on Monday.

Malfoy was almost beside himself with glee at Gryffindor's defeat. He had finally taken off his bandages and celebrated having the full use of both arms again by doing spirited imitations of Harry falling off his broom.

Malfoy spent much of their next Potions class doing dementor imitations across the dungeon; Ron finally cracked and flung a large, slippery crocodile heart at Malfoy, which hit him in the face and caused Snape to take fifty points from Gryffindor.

"If Snape's teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts again, I'm skiving off," said Ron as they headed toward Lupin's classroom after lunch. "Check who's in there, Arthur."

Arthur peered around the classroom door.

"The teacher who resides within is not the one you dread."

"Just say it in a normal way."

"Lupin is teaching."

Professor Lupin was back at work. It certainly looked as though he had been ill. His old robes were hanging more loosely on him and there were dark shadows beneath his eyes; nevertheless, he smiled at the class as they took their seats, and they burst at once into an explosion of complaints about Snape's behavior while Lupin had been ill.

Arth couldn't help but retort a few people.

"It's not fair, he was only filling in, why should he give us homework?"

"Cause he still is teaching us a subject. I don't know why it doesn't make sense to you."

"We don't know anything about werewolves—"

"Did you not read the passage? Or did you not listen to his lecture?"

"— two rolls of parchment!"

"Honestly, two rolls of parchment is light work."

"Did you tell Professor Snape we haven't covered them yet?" Lupin asked, frowning slightly.

The babble broke out again.

"Yes, but he said we were really behind —"

"— he wouldn't listen —"

"— two rolls of parchment!"

Professor Lupin smiled at the look of indignation on every face. "Don't worry. I'll speak to Professor Snape. You don't have to do the essay."

"Oh no," said Hermione, looking very disappointed. "I've already finished it!"

Arth raised his hand.

"May I get extra credit for finishing the homework that I had no need to do?"

They had a very enjoyable lesson. Professor Lupin had brought along a glass box containing a hinkypunk, a little one-legged creature who looked as though he were made of wisps of smoke, rather frail and harmless-looking.

"Lures travelers into bogs," said Professor Lupin as they took notes. "You notice the lantern dangling from his hand? Hops ahead — people follow the light — then —"


The hinkypunk made a horrible squelching noise against the glass.

When the bell rang, everyone gathered up their things and headed for the door but —

"Wait a moment, Harry," Lupin called. "I'd like a word."

Arth, Hermione, And Ron watched as Harry doubled back into the classroom.

"Why do you reckon he has been called back?" Asked Ron with a curious look.

"Probably about the recent quidditch match." Replied Arth with a shrug.

Soon, Harry came back from his little talk with Professor Lupin looking a bit better.

Apparently, Professor Lupin offered to provide anti dementor lessons for Harry. But that was not the only plus.

Ravenclaw flattened Hufflepuff in their Quidditch match at the end of November allowing for Gryffindor to hold a chance.

Two weeks before the end of the term, the sky lightened sud- denly to a dazzling, opaline white and the muddy grounds were re- vealed one morning covered in glittering frost. Inside the castle, there was a buzz of Christmas in the air.

Professor Flitwick, the Charms teacher, had already decorated his classroom with shim- mering lights that turned out to be real, fluttering fairies. The students were all happily discussing their plans for the holidays.

Both Ron and Hermione had decided to remain at Hogwarts, and though Ron said it was because he couldn't stand two weeks with Percy, and Hermione insisted she needed to use the library, it was really just an excuse to keep Harry company.

Arth had plans, however, with Scarlett to go back home and spend time with his parents. His parents had planned out an elaborate vacation plan for him and he wasn't going to miss out on it.