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Harry Potter and the Balancers of Death, book 6



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Old December 14th, 2004, 3:44 am
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
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Harry Potter and the Balancers of Death, book 6

This a story about Harry and his friends in their 6th year. It take's place after JK's OOTP. THe charaters and concept belong to JK Rowling and I am just using her great works as an output for waiting for her next book.

This is an action adventure, with a touch of romance. I have tried to stay true to JK' orginal works, but there could be inconsistancies. Forgive for I am merely a muggle.

I hope you enjoy it and please post reviews. Thanks.
Reviews can go here, feedback .

James P

Chapter 1- Gracious Hosts

All the houses on Privet Drive look exactly the same on the outside. They each have the same number of windows and the same number of outer walls. Each have a small black mail box on the right hand side of the front door. Some have families, and others have a single resident. Some have cats, some have dogs. But only one house on Privet Drive has a wizard.
"Have you written that letter, BOY!" yelled Uncle Vernon.
"I’ve already sent it with Hedwig one hour ago!" screamed Harry in reply.
"That bloody owl better have not been seen," Uncle Vernon bellowed. "or you will be out of this house in a blink of an eye!"
Harry did not respond. He slammed his bedroom door shut and sat on his mattress. The mattress that had become too short for him to lie on. This was the mattress that once belonged to his cousin Dudley. Dudley was a few inches shorter than Harry now, however, Dudley won the measurement contest when it came to roundness.
Can't he get a break, Harry thought to himself. Every few days Uncle Vernon and Harry would get into a heated yelling match over the letter he was to send to the Order of the Phoenix. Members of the Order, Mad Eye Moody, especially, requested a letter every three days to see if Harry is doing well. His Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon made sure that he send one before noon every three days. Other than that, the Dursleys did not bother Harry much. They feared that members of the Order would draw too much attention if they came up the walk way. Harry would love to see Aunt Petunia's face if Mad Eye Moody came knocking at the door.
Harry sat in his room contemplating how mundane his summer has been going. He still felt the guilt of his godfather's death earlier that summer. "I'm sorry Sirius." Harry would say out loud every night before turning to bed. Some nights he would not sleep. He replayed the scene of Sirius falling through the arch at the Department of Mysteries over and over again in his mind. Harry thought if he had not to fell for Voldemort's trap, Sirius would still be here.
Even though it would be a few weeks until he returned to Hogwarts, Harry received his first letter a few days ago. He knew it must have been from one of the Weasleys when he saw Pigwidgeon at his bedroom window. He untied the letter and gave Pig a something to eat as he read the letter.

Harry,
All is well here. Not much news about You-Know-Who or his Death Eaters. Dad thinks its because he has been outed earlier than he wished. We're all at Padfoot's place. Hermione just arrived a few days ago. Neville and his grandma are also here. I am not suppose to be writing you but I thought I would give you a heads up. Some one from the Order will be arriving at your uncle's later this week. You will be staying here for the rest of the summer. It will be good to see you again. Don't write back or they will know I wrote to you. Send Pig back ASAP.

Ron

PS.
Ginny and I have a bet weather or not you will have better O.W.Ls then I would. So let me see them before you let Ginny see them.

"OWLs?" Harry said. He hadn’t thought of them at all this summer. He believed that Ron would have done a lot better in Transfiguration but not in Defense against the Dark Arts. He was sure Hermione would have gotten all 12 O.W.Ls. Harry wondered if he would be able to take all the courses required to be an auror. He hadn't thought much of it after leaving Hogwarts. Potions was his biggest hurdle, Professor Snape would not allow a student in his N.E.W.Ts class if they received anything besides an "O". It was very unlikely that he got an "O" in Potions, Harry believed. Professor McGonagall might be a little disappointed in Harry if he could not become an auror as she had planned, but becoming an auror was the least of Harry's worries.
Harry dosed off for a brief nap when he was awaken by a peculiar knock at the front door. It reminded him of the Hogwarts school theme. He thought it was a coincidence until he heard his uncle scream, "What the hell! In front of my house…in the plain of day!" Harry raced out of his and down the stairs to see Albus Dumbledore standing at the Dursley's doorsteps in full wizarding robes.
"Excuse me, I am here to see Harry." Dumbledore said politely. "May I come in..."
"I told your lot not to come here," Veron said growing redder than Harry had ever seen him.
"Especially when the whole neighborhood could see you."
By this time Dudely was hiding behind the kitchen door as Aunt Petunia walked in from her backyard garden to see what all the fuss was about.
"Oh my!" Aunt Petunia gasped as she discovered who the visitor was. "Please come--come in sir…"
"What?" Uncle Vernon asked, as he kept Dumbledore in the corner of his eye. "I don't want his kind in my house anymore…"
"Uncle Vernon, please, let the man come in." Aunt Petunia said in a haste, rushing to the door.
Harry saw her whispering something into Uncle Vernon's scarlet colored ear. After Uncle Vernon took a second to process what she said, Harry could not believe what was coming out of his uncle's mouth.
"Please s-sir, come in" Uncle Vernon said looking downward at his feet. Dudley's mouth flew open not believing that his uncle would let this man dressed in a purple robe with golden star s into their house.
Aunt Petunia began to speak up, "My husband did not know who you are sir. Umm- we had problems with wizards in our house before." She embarrassingly said. "Please understand…"
"No problem, Petunia." Dumbledore said with an amused grin on his face. "I too might have reacted that way if I was in Mr. Dursley's shoes'
Harry knew that Dumbledore would never have treated a visitor like that. He was one of the kindest men Harry has ever met. Dumbledore would more than likely greet a visitor by offering them sweets, instead of yelling at them. Harry met Dumbledore at the bottom of the staircase. "Hello sir," Harry smiled, "what are you doing here?"
"All in good time Harry, first let me see that cousin of yours."
Dumbledore motioned for a pale Dudley to come closer. Only with a nod from Aunt Petunia, did he start towards that oddly dress man in his living room.
Harry noticed a green bag in Dumbledore's hands. It had red lettering on its sides that read, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes. Harry let out a small laugh as Dumbledore gave Dudley the bag.
"Now, Dudley I don't want you eating anything from that bag." Uncle Vernon said while attempting to look into the bag itself.
"There is nothing wrong with, I got Non-Magical and Muggle Friendly Goods isle at this fabulous store." Dumbledore cheerfully said handing the bag to Dudley, "nothing will harm him, I can promise you that."
Before Uncle Vernon could reply, Aunt Petunia chirped, "That is very good. Sir, would you like some tea?"
"A spot of tea would be nice, I have had a long trip." Dumbledore said to a now very nervous Uncle Vernon, "But let me help you with that."
Harry saw Dumbledore take out his wand as whisper something he could not hear. After small blue spark from his wand, the living room coffee table had Aunt Petunia's tea kettle and serving dishes for all of them. There were even cubes of sugar in the Aunt Petunia's silver plated sugar bowl. Uncle Vernon's face went from pink to magenta it two seconds. Harry couldn't imagine what Aunt Petunia said to quiet him down. Also, how did Aunt Petunia recognize Dumbledore.
"Um, my wife says your names is Dumbell- door?" Uncle Vernon said gritting his teeth.
"Ah, I must have forgotten to properly introduce myself," Dumbledore realized, after scooping six cube of sugar into his tea, " My name is Albus Dumbledore. You can call me Dumbledore, I am the headmaster of Harry's school…"
"Is that it?" Uncle Vernon yelled, looking to Aunt Petunia, "Is that what makes him the most powerful wizard in the world?"
"Vernon, dear, wait-- I'll explain…" Aunt Petunia replied horrorstruck.
"Mr. Dursley please calm down." Dumbledore said quietly, "Petunia was just being gracious, I am no way the most powerful wizard in the world…in this house, maybe." Dumbledore said with a wink to Harry.
"I am here to take Harry away for the summer. Your family has fulfilled their obligation to him for this year. He will be back next summer. I hope that his absence does not put out you terribly. I will…" Dumbledore stopped to look down at his lap. He grabbed the chocolate frog that had just landed there and handed it back to a very nervous looking Dudley. "Ah, you have to be careful with these. They are quite tasty, but if you let them hop off and can't find them before they melt, you will have a hard time scrubbing the stain out."
"This is you, isn't it? Dudley held out a card with Dumbledore smiling and waving back.
"Ah, yes. I was quite embarrassed when they asked if they can put me on the card, but several Hogwart's professors convinced me to do it. It is quite a good picture of me, I think" Dumbledore said with a laugh. Dudley began to search the rest of the bag for goodies after chompping into the chocolate frog.
"We should get going, Harry." Dumbledore motioned for Harry to stand up after finishing his cup of tea with one long sip. Harry looked as at his dazed uncle and his nervous aunt as he walked toward the staircase. He was tempted to laugh at the whole situation.
"I need to get my things Professor." Harry said holding back a smile.
"I will take care of it Harry," Dumbledore replied pulling out his wand. Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon winced as Dumbledore said a charm that had all of Harry's possessions gently fly down the stairs and neatly stack themselves in front of the door. Hedwig hooted in her cage as it was placed on top of Harry's school trunk.
"Mr. Dumb-ley-der, please don't have those things fly outside," Uncle Vernon said with anger building up in his voice.
"You won't have to worry about that. I will put a charm that will make Harry's things and ourselves invisible to everyone outside this house." Dumbledore said attempting to calm Uncle Vernon down before he turn another shade of red, "I was under the same charm when you answered the door earlier."
Uncle Vernon gave a look of relief to Aunt Petunia. He was about to open the door when a look of terror stuck his face.
"Mum, Dad!" yelled Dudley. He was now covered in yellow feathers and had what appeared to be a half eaten custard cream in his hand.
"Dudley!" Petunia screamed, "What happened!"
"What did you do to my boy!" Uncle Vernon roared at Dumbledore.
"Oh my, that must be Fred and George's handiwork." Dumbledore said calmly, "Harry do you know counter-charm?"
"Just wait a few more seconds and all the feathers should fall off." Harry said laughingly. Sure enough, all the bright yellow feathers fell off of Dudley and on to the floor below him.
"Don't get up Petunia, I will clean that up." Dumbledore flicked his wand and the pile of feathers a foot high vanished into thin air. "I do apologize. I was guaranteed that all the items in the bag would be safe for muggles." Dumbledore said to Uncle Vernon with a twinkle in his eye, "I do believe there was no actual harm done."
"GET OUT!" yelled Uncle Vernon, "GET OUT RIGHT NOW!"
"Again, I do apologize for your inconvenience. Harry will be here next summer. I wish you all well until then." Dumbledore quickly opened the door motioning Harry to car in the driveway.
Harry smiled as he realized he was walking toward Arthur Weasley's old Ford Anglia.

Reviews can go here, feedback .



Last edited by jparan1; January 11th, 2005 at 7:49 pm.
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  #2  
Old December 14th, 2004, 3:50 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 2-Christening


Dumbledore used the Wingardium Leviosa charm to float all of Harry's belongings into the boot of the car. It never ceased to amaze Harry that all his stuff could fit into the small space of the Ford's boot. Harry secured Hedwig and her cage into the back seat.
Dumbledore climbed into the drivers seat and started the engine. "Come on in Harry, I know what I am doing" he said looking at the apprehensive young man. "Its not the first time I've ever driven a muggle car." Harry climbed in and closed the passenger side door. Dumbledore slowly pulled the car out of the driveway and onto Privet Drive.
"Um, Professor, " Harry asked curiously, "how do you know how to drive?"
Dumbledore smiled to Harry as he turned left onto Wisteria Walk a block away from the Dursleys. "I spent a few years in a muggle community in London, Harry." Dumbledore explained. He turned to wave to Mr. Tibbles, one of Mrs. Figgs cats, who was lazily laying on Mrs. Figgs' porch watching them drive by. "In my much younger days, I owned a scarlet red 1905 De Dietrech, with gold trim. It was a beauty, I was one of the first in the neighborhood to have one. Aberforth and I would, how do you say it, 'go crusin'.'' Dumbledore let out a nostalgic sigh.
Harry laughed at the thought of the Dumbledore brothers 'crusin'. "I guess driving is a lot like riding a bike, you never forget how to do it." Harry himself having never operated either a bike or a car.
"Oh, no Harry, I had Madam Hooch give me a refresher course a few weeks after we found the car." Dumbledore replied stopping at a pedestrian crossing allowing a family of ducks to pass.
"Why did Mr. Weasley want this car back?" Harry asked while watching the smallest duck reach the other side of the road, "Won't he get in trouble with the Ministry?"
"For some reason I am reminded of a nice joke about ducks crossing the street at this moment." Dumbledore said cheerfully before answering Harry. "Many things are changing at the Ministry, Harry. Cornelius Fudge has realized the importance of getting the word of Voldemort's return out to the world. Even to leaders of the muggle world." He said in a way that made Harry think that Dumbledore was impressed with the Minister's new way of handling the situation.
Dumbledore continued, "Arthur was promoted to be the Head of the new Department of Muggle/Wizard Relations. He is in constant contact with the British prime minister, and he believed it would be best if he used muggle transportation when traveling to meet with him." Harry smiled at the thought of Arthur Weasley getting to mix with actual muggles, and the prime minister no less.
Harry thought that Mr. Weasley could have gotten another car but he found his old one. He asked Dumbledore how they got the old Ford back from the Forbidden Forest.
"Well," Dumbledore started, "Arthur was quite fond of this car, since he took it apart and put it back together. He and Hagrid were able to bait the car out of the forest with a gallon of gasoline and a pint of motor oil they left at the edge of the forest. It took a couple of days to tame it but once that was done, we were able repair the damage and correct the charms placed on it."
Moments later, Dumbledore glanced at Harry's lap, "Buckle up Harry, once we get out of Little Whinging, we are going to be airborne." Harry quickly reached for his seat belt remembering the trip he had with Ron when they flew to Hogwarts in their second year.
After reaching a nice altitude, Harry saw Dumbledore take out his wand and tap the steering wheel. "We added a new feature when its flying, Harry. You can now tell it the destination and it will fly itself there. We got the idea after Hermione told us about something muggles use on their airplanes called auto-pilot. It sometimes amazes me how muggles find ways to do things without magic." Dumbledore said while reaching for bag of peppermint humbugs. He nodded to Harry offering him one.

"No thanks." Harry said politely, "I thought Grimmauld was unplottable?"
"Well, it is, however I am secret keeper therefore, I know where it is. So, I have the car going to the neighbors house." Harry thought that it was quite clever. However, the issue of why had it been Dumbledore that came to take him back to Grimmauld Place arose in Harry's mind.
"Professor can I ask you something, and you wouldn't be put out by it?" Harry asked cautiously.
"Sure, Harry, ask away" Dumbledore smiled as he took another peppermint humbug out of the bag.
"Why did you come to pick me up?" Harry asked, "I--I mean, all the other years its has been someone else?"
"Oh, that’s a valid question." Dumbledore nodded, "Most of the Order are doing something for me at the moment, and it was easier for me to get you there since I am the secret keeper." Harry's face showed that he was not satisfied with that answer.
"Plus," Dumbledore continued after a sideways glance at Harry, "I thought it would give me an opportunity to answer any questions you might have. I believe it wise to change my policy on keeping things from you, due to the events earlier this summer. That doesn't mean everything but I will try to be as open as possible from now on. So feel free ask me anything."
Harry winced at the mention of what happened to him and Sirius a few months ago. If he knew what the Dept. of Mysteries was protecting, he would have never fallen for Voldemort's trap, and Sirius could have been the one to pick him up. Before the tears started to swell in his eyes, Harry thought to change the subject, "So, how does Aunt Petunia know you?"
"Ah, I was waiting for that one." Dumbledore smiled while looking out the front window at a flock of seagulls. "We met once before in person, Harry. It was at your Christening…"
"My Christening?" Harry interrupted. "She would never have come to my Christening. She would never have wanted to be in a room full of wizards and witches."
Dumbledore thought for a moment before he began, "She was very jealous of your mother and her new wizarding companions. I believe Lily once told me that Petunia thought she might get a letter from Hogwarts, but it wasn't meant to be."
Harry listened to his Headmaster's story while watching the car overtake an irate flock of seagulls.
"Harry, she was jealous, but she did not hate your mother then. It probably began at your Christening that she started to hate your mother. She felt a sense of obligation to her family, wizard or not, to attend."
"What happened at my Christening that would make her hate wizards?"
"Well you have to understand what was happening before the Christening. It was a dark time, we had learned of the prophesy several months before. However we did not know which one, you or Neville, was the one who the prophesy was about. We felt that we should have you two christened the wizarding way to guarantee that you would have a place at Hogwarts and people to protect you if anything should happen to your parents."
Dumbledore continued after placing the empty bag of peppermint humbugs onto the back seat next to Hedwig's cage. Hedwig gave a little hoot with the presence of Dumbledore's hand near her cage. "Neville's family had him Christened a week before you. I was the one who christened you both…"
"How does christening us guarantee us a place a Hogwarts?" Harry interrupted.
"Well, that is an old wizard tradition that is not used much anymore. Mostly from old wizarding families. I believe James' family held the tradition. It allows the child a place at Hogwarts after the christening has taken place. It's not really a guarantee, because parents could later decide to send them elsewhere."
"Oh." Harry said trying to figure if the Weasleys and the Malfoys had also been Christened.
"It was a small ceremony. Sirius, Lupin, and Peter were there, as you know Sirius was your godfather. Well, your mom introduced everyone to your Aunt. She came by herself without your uncle, understandably. Everything was going well until after the ceremony. Several Death Eaters appeared." Harry gasped realizing the reason for a small ceremony.
Dumbledore continued, "A few people were stunned, Peter was one of them. Only after your third year did I realize that was a ruse. However, after I cursed a few they fled quickly. Your Aunt was frightened, and rightfully so. She said to everyone there that she never wanted to have anything to do with wizards or her sister again. But she didn't totally mean it."
"How do you figure, Professor?" Harry said angrily, "She never liked me and hated that I am a wizard!"
"Ah, but Harry, she did have something to do with wizards." Dumbledore said calmly, "She took you in. She did not even speak to Lily after the ceremony, but when you were at her doorstep, she took you in. She took you in knowing what could happen. Whether it be due to her sense of obligation or her not wanting to look like a heartless person, she took you in. And by doing that, she might as well have saved the wizarding world."
Harry sat for a moment, thinking about all Dumbledore had just said. "Why do you think Uncle Vernon allowed her to do that after what happened at my christening?"
"Harry," Dumbledore answered, "I will wager you that your Uncle is finding out about exactly what happened at your christening right about now as well."

Harry felt the car descend a few moments later. He could see the block of Grimmauld Place a few thousand feet below them. Harry wanted to ask more questions before they arrived. "Professor, if Sirius was my godfather, who was my godmother?" Harry asked with a bit of worry on his face, " It couldn’t be Aunt Petunia?"
"Oh no, Harry, Petunia was not your godmother, even though she has taken care of you for all these years. I am afraid that I cannot tell you who your godmother is. It was her request that you should not know and I can respect that." Dumbledore noticed that this wasn't sufficient for Harry. Dumbledore continued "There is no harm in keeping it from you, but I do believe she will tell you when she feels ready."

Harry remained quiet for the last few minutes of their descent. Once they landed, Dumbledore pulled out of the driveway of number 10 Grimmauld Place and parked in front of an empty space next to it. "We are here. I will take care of your things, if you could manage Hedwig." Dumbledore requested. "I am sure the Weasleys and Mrs. Granger are anxious to see you."

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Last edited by jparan1; December 27th, 2004 at 4:51 pm.
  #3  
Old December 16th, 2004, 3:52 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 3- Family

Harry walked towards the front door of number 12 Grimmauld Place, carrying Hedwig in her cage. The front exterior remained as Harry remembered it. Harry could barely see through the dirt ridden windows or could he stand to look at its stained block outer walls. He walked up to the huge black door and grasped the silver knocker that had the shape of a twisted serpent. He gave a loud three knocks before he wiped his hand of the knocker's filth. A moment later, the door opened to reveal a smiling Molly Weasley. She was wearing a white apron with red rose pattern throughout. It almost match the red in her cheeks. She grabbed Harry in a tight hug, gushing over him. "Oh Harry, have you been eating at all! You're skin and bones. We'll fix that up, lunch should be ready shortly. Oh Harry , its so good to have you back." Molly beamed.

"Its good to be back, Mrs. Weasley" Harry replied getting one last squeeze in before letting her go. "Where is everyone?"

"Ginny, Ron, and Hermione are up stairs" Mrs. Weasley turned from Harry toward the stairs and yelled, "Ron, Ginny, Hermione! Harry is here. Come help him with his stuff…NOW!" She turned back to Harry and smiled.

Dumbledore placed all of Harry's belongings at the bottom of the stairs. He greeted Molly with a smile as he walked to the kitchen with her. A moment later, Ron and Hermione raced down the stairs. Hermione leaped on to Harry and gave in a huge hug. "Oh Harry, how are you? How is everything? Have you thought of what your OWLs might be?"

Ron rolled his eyes while breaking the two apart and giving Harry a brotherly hug. "Hiya Harry, don't mind her, she won't shut up about O.W.Ls." Ron whispered. "How have you been?" Ron said in a concerned voice.

Harry looked at the both of the them noticing both wearing muggle clothing. Hermione in a white tee shirt and dark blue jeans with her hair in a ponytail. Ron in a green Hawaiian shirt and long kaki shorts. He also noticed that Ron looked about one inch taller than the last time he saw them, which was only a month ago.

"I'm fine, just been thinking a lot." He said to both of them. "Hey why does this place look so much cleaner?" Harry noticed. The floors all shined and the stairs were not grimy, you could actually see the white marble underneath. All the pictures and paintings were up right and all of the cobwebs that were once there had been removed.

Hermione spoke up first, "Dumbledore had Dobby come over a few weeks ago, to help Mrs. Weasley out. He has been hard at work since."

This made Harry think of the Noble House of Black's previous resident elf. He began to burn up thinking about that treacherous house elf. "Where is Krecher?" Harry asked motioning that he would blast him the first time he sees him.

"Don't worry mate," Ron said calming Harry, "that nutter's dead."

"Oh, Ron" Hermione complained, "don't be so insensitive!"

"What? He deserves to be dead. I just wish it could have been me that had the honor of disposing of him." Ron replied curtly.

"How did it happen?" Harry asked before World War 3 began.

Hermione frowned at Ron before she began, "Lupin told us that when the portrait of Phineas Nigellus informed the portrait of the Widow Black, she order Krecher to cut off his head. He did exactly that. She has been quite ever since."

"Good thing too, or I would've cut his head off myself," Ron said in defiance of Hermione's dark glare. "Harry agrees with me, don't cha' Harry?"

"Yeah, Hermione, Krecher betrayed Sirius, and now look what happened." Harry said with anger raising in his voice. "A lot of things would be different if it wasn't for that stupid elf."

"OH, Harry Potter is here. " Dobby said joyously, as he appeared through the kitchen door. Harry was startled by his sudden appearance. But what was more startling was his appearance. Dobby wore a red sock on his right foot, a green and white stripe sock on his left, a blue sock on his right hand, and a purple one with gold stars on his left. He was wearing an old pillow case for a shirt with a rope for a belt. And to top it all off, he had two of Hermione's knit caps on top of his head. "Is Harry Potter mad at Dobby?"

"Oh no, Dobby," Harry replied, "I was talking about Krecher. I was telling Hermione that he cause a lot of trouble."

"Oh yes, Dobby knows how he betrayed Mr. Sirius." Dobby nodded to Harry.

Harry smiled and asked, "Dobby, why do you have socks on your hands?"

Dobby looked at both of his hands remembering he indeed had socks on them, "Oh, Dobby wears socks on his hands when helping Mrs. Weezy in the kitchen. The stop Dobby's fingers from burning on the hot pots and pans."

"He kept allowing himself to get burned while helping her," added Ron. "She had enough of it and told him to do something about it. He kept saying Mom was as kind as the 'Great Harry Potter'."

Dobby grew embarrassed at the story but he helped carry all of Harry's things to his room upstairs. He would be sharing a room with Ron while Ginny and Hermione shared the room accoss the hall.

Harry caught a glimpse of Ginny as he passed by her room. She was brushing her long Weasley red hair. She too had grown since Harry last seen here. She was wearing a green button down shirt with red lace on the front and a pair of blue jeans. She caught Harry's eyes and made her way to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a welcoming kiss on the cheek. Harry turn a shade red by this but smiled nonetheless.

"How are you Harry?" Ginny said excitingly.

"I'm fine, " Harry replied, breaking from her hug, " what took you so long?"

"Oh you know us girls." Ginny said with a wink to Hermione.

"Ginny, trust me I don't know anything about girls." Harry joked, "just ask Hermione. Hermione nodded in agreement.

Molly called the group down to lunch a few minutes later. Ron caught Harry up on Chudley Cannons' 7 game losing streak during lunch. Hermione and Ginny gossiped with Molly about Arthur meeting the England's muggle royal family. "Ginny I have to bring you some pictures of the princes" Hermione giggled, "they are so cute."

After lunch, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione helped Harry unpack his things. Harry was waiting for a moment alone with them to ask them a bunch of questions.

"So, whats been going on with the Order?" Harry whispered to them, checking to see if anyone was at the door.

"Well, mate," Ron replied, "not much. Every thing has been quite with V-Voldemort and nothing has been in the Daily Prophet…"

"So, you're finally saying his name." Harry said with a hint of pride in his voice.

"Well, yeah," Ron said embarrassingly, "I figure if I am going to be fighting Death Eaters and V-Voldemort, I might as well. It seems like we are destined to do so with all the trouble we get in with them." Ron turned to empty Harry's trunk, grabbing for his broom polishing kit. "Harry can I borrow this?"

"Sure." Harry answered. "Anything else going on?"

"Not really." Ron replied.

Hermione looked at Ron with a bit of shock. "How can you say nothing is going on?" Ron there is plenty."

"The Daily Prophet hasn't said anything major and it doesn't seem that the Order knows anymore." Ron replied curtly.

"Just because its not in the Daily Prophet doesn't mean its not happening. We learned that lesson last year." Hermione turned to Harry, who was waiting version of what was going on.

"Look Harry, the Order has had new people in almost every day. It seems like more are joining the Order since everyone found out he returned this summer…"

"He returned last summer, Hermione." Harry said growing angry.

"I know that, but it took what happened at the Ministry for Fudge to tell the world. And now everyone can't deny it anymore." She said with a hurt face.

"Sorry, Hermione, I didn't mean it that way."

"I know Harry, as I was saying, the Order is growing, but they are not meeting like they used too. People are there to attend the meetings but the meetings are much shorter. Some are just 5 minutes long."

"Why are they so short?" Harry asked.

"Well, I think there is nothing to report…"

"See," Ron interrupted, "there is nothing going on."

Hermione gave Ron a cold look. He quietly sat down on Harry's bed allowing her to continue.

"There is nothing to report, because most of his main Death Eaters are in Azkaban. But I think Voldemort is buying his time. He is not the type to back down. If he is being quiet he is planning something."

"You could be right Hermione." Harry said, "But what about Snape? I am sure he can get info?"

"Well that’s the thing Harry," Ginny began "Hermione and I think he is out of the loop."

"Ron stood up thinking about what Ginny had just said, "That would make sense." Ron said to his younger sister.

"Why? " asked Harry.

"Snape's has only been in the house for 10 minutes at a time," Ron said to Harry, "He doesn’t even attend the meetings anymore. He talks to Dumbledore privately for about 10 minutes and leaves."

"Yes, Harry," Hermione confirmed, "He looks like how Sirius did, like he is not being useful..."

"Well, he deserves it," Harry snorted, "if it weren't for Snape, Sirius would have not felt that he to rescue me?"

"You know it wasn't like that." Hermione said defending Snape, "Sirius would have gone anyway…"

Ron grabbed Hermione's arm and whispered a "Not now," into her ear. Hermione's eyes began to swell with tears as she looked onto Harry's angered face.

"I'm sorry, Harry" she sniffed, "We miss him too."

"I--I know" Harry said fighting back the tears, "Its just so hard without him."

"Its ok, mate," Ron said as he placed a comforting hand on Harry's shoulder, "we all cried for him."

Ginny stood up and wrapped her arms around Harry's waist allowing him to cry on her shoulder. Hermione quietly wept onto Ron's. After a few minutes, they composed themselves and Ron challenged Harry to a game of Wizards Chess. Ron and Harry played at the foot of Ron's bed as Hermione and Ginny watched.

"Check mate!" Ron yelled a few hours later.

"Well, I lasted longer this time." Harry said attempting not to be totally defeated.

"That’s because you had Hermione and Ginny helping you." Ron gloated, "Hey that means I beat all three of you at once."

Hermione playfully threw a pillow at Ron. Before he could throw one back, Dobby appeared at the doorway.

"Mrs. Weezy told Dobby to tell Harry Potter and his friends that dinner is ready. There are two more Weezys down stairs."

Everyone raced to the dinning room as Dobby hopped happily behind them.

Sitting at the table was Bill Weasley, the Weasley's eldest child. He was wearing a a black leather jacket with a black t-shirt underneath, dark blue jeans and black dragon skinned boots. His hair was twisted into a ponytail and fang earring on his left ear.

Arthur Weasley was heading out of the dinning room as he spotted Harry. "Hullo, Harry" he said with a smile, "how has everyone been treating you?"

"Great , Mr. Weasley, I see that you got your car back," Harry grinned.

"Ah, yes, how does it fly?"

"Great, you really worked the bugs out."

"Oh, Dumbledore helped, he said he liked being under the hood again. I am just dropping by, I have to take the car th Prime Minster's and update him about the status of You-Know-Who. I will see you later Harry. See you kids." With a peck on the cheek for Molly, Mr. Weasley left the room.

Harry and Ron took a seat across from Bill while Molly and the girls sat besides him. Ron, Bill, and Harry chatted about Quidditch while eating their Cornish pasties. After dinner was finished, Molly began to speak.

"Harry your birthday is in a few days, do you want anything in particular?" Molly asked.

"Well, I was thinking that it would be best that I didn't get anything this year," Harry said modestly, "There is nothing I really want."

"Oh, come off it Harry" Ron snorted. "You can't not want anything for your birthday."

"Really, Ron, I don't" Harry protested.

"Well, how about a nice dinner with some friends." Molly asked?

"Umm…"Harry started before being cut off by Ron.

"You got to celebrate Harry," Ron said excitedly, attempting to persuade Harry. "It'll be the first time you got to celebrate your birthday with real family."

"Yeah." Hermione and Ginny chimed

Harry was touched that Ron felt that they were his family. Harry always felt like Ron was the closest person he had to a brother. But he didn't think Ron felt that way, since he had so many of his own. But apparently, Ron did feel the same way.

"Ok, you win." Harry said in a voice mocking defeat.

"Well, its set then." Molly smiled. "We actually already invited people, but I will tell them not to get anything if you really want?"

"Yeah, Mrs. Weasley" Harry replied, "All I want is a nice dinner with family and friends."

Harry and Ron helped Bill clear the table, while Ginny, Hermione, and Molly discussed what Harry's birtday dinner would consist of. Harry heard Hermione say, "Anything but Hagrid's rock cakes" which made Ginny and Mrs. Weasley burst out laughing.

"Hey, Harry" Bill said trying to catch Harry's eye, "I'm sorry but I won’t be there for the dinner. I promised Fleur that I would attend her baby cousin's christening with her. I don't think it will be too long, so I will try to make it later. But I can't promise."

"Oh that’s ok," Harry said with an inquisitive look. "Is this a muggle or a wizard christening?" The question caught Ron, Ginny, and Hermione's ears.

"There is a difference between wizard and muggle christenings?" Hermione asked.

"Duh, Hermione," Ron teased, trying to get a shot at Hermione for not knowing something for once, "I amazed that you didn't read it in Hogwarts: A History."

"I don't see how christening have anything to do with Hogwarts, Ronald Weasley!" Hermione huffed.

"Well, they do," Billed said," somewhat at least. For some families it guarantees you a place at a school, but that can be changed. All the Weasley's had one. "Bill thought for a moment before returning to Harry, "See, Harry, a wizard christening is different from muggles because it is a reenactment of a christening that happened hundreds of years ago, even before Hogwarts was built. Its a lot different now, cause it has changed throughout the years, but all have the 3 blessings and 1 curse...?

What?" Harry said perplexed. "Why would there be a curse during a christening."

Well," Bill began, " the blessings and curse are due to the christening that started the tradition. What I remember of the story was a king and queen had a daughter, and at her christening, three witches gave her blessings. But a fourth dark witch, cursed the baby, because she wasn't invited to the christening. However, this was before the third blessing had been placed. The third blessing countered the curse. I am not sure about the rest of the story but what happens nowadays is that the parents bless the child, the godfather curses the child, and the godmother gives a blessing of protection. Usually the curse is something funny, but if you're from a dark family you could get cursed something awful. But that's usually not the case."

How do you know so much about wizard christenings?" Ron asked not believing what Bill said was correct.

I had one, and I attended all the of my brothers' and sister's christening." Billed said with a wink to Ginny, "Actually, it started to become a bore once they got to yours?"

"Ha ha." Ron said sarcastically.

"How does a christening determine the school you attend?" Harry asked laughing at Ron.

"That's only started a couple hundred years ago." Bill replied. "Old wizarding families started to do it so that their children would have a place at the school their descendants had attended. But there have been plenty of times that the child was later found out to be a squib and not sent to school. It's more for ceremonial purposes.

"What are the blessings and curse?" Hermione asked, now intrigued by the story.

"Well, its different for each family," Bill took a second to think, " but all of the Weasley's had the same. Mum and Dad gave us a blessing of good health and good life. Uncle Andrew, who was all of our godfather, cursed us with Weasley red hair, and Aunt Megan blessed us with manageable hair."

Everyone looked at Hermione before she crossed her arms and gave out a little huff. Ron said that the blessings came true but he thought Uncle Andrew could have cursed them from never getting a bad grade. Hermione then went on for ten minutes about the differences between a curse and a charm. Harry thanked Bill for the answer and began to wonder how his christening went. He also thought of what could Sirius curse be.

Before he could think more about his christening, Molly rushed all of them out of the dinning room and told them to get ready for bed. Harry felt like he was home even though this house was never his, he was with friends that he considered family. That, he thought to himself falling asleep, was all you need to feel at home.

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Last edited by jparan1; December 27th, 2004 at 4:54 pm.
  #4  
Old December 20th, 2004, 4:09 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 4- O.W.Ls and Cake.

For the next several days, Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny helped Molly and Dobby with cleaning he house. Dobby had done away with most of the dangerous aspects of cleaning so Harry felt it wasn't to bad. He had gotten used to cleaning due to the uneven number of chores his Aunt Petunia gave him during his years on Privet Drive. When they were not cleaning, Harry and Ron were either playing wizards chess or exploding snaps. Sometimes Hermione and Ginny would join them, other times they tried to do each other's hair. However, Ginny had a much harder time with Hermione's hair. Every time Ginny would have Dobby use magic to get it to not be so puffy, Ron would giggle uncontrollably. Well, until Hermione gave Ron one of her evil stares.

"I swear, mate," Ron said cautiously to Harry once, "if Hermione wasn't on our side, I am sure she would give V-Voldemort a run for his money." Harry laughed as he watched Ron to check if Hermione as out of earshot.

On the morning of Harry's birthday, Hermione came running into Harry and Ron's room. "They're here, they're here!" she said with an excited smile. She tossed Harry and Ron and envelope each. Harry looked down to see it was from Hogwarts. He knew then that it was their O.W.L results. A lump began to form in Harry's throat. He knew that he did not do as well as he wanted to on the exams. Harry could see that Ron felt the same way as he entered the room clutching his unopened envelope. Ron held his out to Harry.

"Open mine, Harry, I can't look."

"Sure, mate, you open mine." Harry said as he handed Ron his envelope.

Harry slowly opened Ron's envelope while Hermione tore open hers. Harry stopped to look at Hermione's expression. He could not tell if it full of horror or delight.

"This can't be right?" Hermione exclaimed now looking quite perplexed. Ron and Harry looked at her strangely as she ran out of the room without another word.

"Must've not gotten the marks she hoped for," Ron shrugged, " So, you got 7 O.W.Ls, good job mate. What about me?"

Harry couldn't believe it, 7 O.W.Ls wow that must be a mistake, Harry thought. He took a look at Ron's marks and was amazed that he too got 7 O.W.Ls. "You too mate, 7 O.W.Ls!"

Ron's expression was a mix of amazement as self-doubt. "Let me see that." Ron tossed Harry back his marks as he grabbed his own.

Harry took a look and was in disbelief once again. He did receive 7 O.W.Ls.

Harry read his O.W.L report again.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

O.W.L Report for

Harry James Potter, Gryffindor House

Transfiguration:O

Defence Against the Dark Arts: Perfect O.W.L.

Care for Magical Creature: O

Divination: T

Herbology: O

Charms:O

Astronomy: E

Potions:E

History of Magic:E

Total: 7 O.W.Ls

O - Outstanding Full O.W.L.

E- Exceeds Expectations Half O.W.L

A- Average Possible O.W.L

P- Poor No O.W.L

T- Terrible No Hope

Note: Half marks are rounded up for the total. Possible O.W.Ls are given if student fails to receive any O.W.Ls before calculation of total. This is based on professor's recommendation.

Perfect O.W.Ls are given when a perfect score is made on an exam.

Mark was upgraded due to special circumstances during examination.

Authenicated by: Trenton Tofty, Head Examiner for the for Wizarding Examination Arthurity

"Looks like we got the same score,” Ron smiled, "except for Divination, I got an E and a P in History of Magic. You know what this means, Ginny didn't win the bet. She owes me one galleon. Smashing!"

Harry took a look at Ron's marks; the letter was almost the same as his except for the differences in Divination and History of Magic and their names. "This is brilliant Ron," Harry said relieved, "I didn't think we would do this good."

"You know, I bet it’s all because of Hermione," Ron said humbly, " she has helped us all these years. We would be as bad as Crabbe and Goyle if it weren't for her. But don't tell her I said that."

"I won't, but you right. She has helped me more times than I could count. Maybe we could get her something to thank her.

"That might go to her head," Ron joked, " she might have us do extra classes if she knew it worked. But maybe something small."

"Yeah that would be…" Harry began before hearing a crack at the bedroom door.

It was Dobby, with a giant smile on his face. "Come down stairs Harry Potter. And bring your Weazy too." Dobby cheered, "Miz Weazy has good news, good news. Hurry!"

Crack, Dobby vanished as quickly as he came. Ron head out the door clutching his O.W.L results. "C'mon Harry," Ron said, "let's see what in bloody blazes is going on."

Harry followed Ron down the steep marble steps to the Black's kitchen. When they got there, they saw a very excited Mrs. Weasley gushing over a very shocked looking Hermione. Ginny was there too reading what looked like Hermione's O.W.Ls. "Guess what!" Ginny exclaimed happily, "Hermione got perfect O.W.Ls!"

"What!" Ron said surprised, "Let me see." Ron grabbed Hermione's results from Ginny and began to look over it in awe. Harry knew it was true when he saw Ron's jaw drop. "This is unheard of," Ron said with a last hint of disbelief, "take a look, Harry."

Harry reached for the paper and began to read.

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

O.W.L Report for

Hermione Granger, Gryffindor House

Transfiguration:Perfect O.W.L

Defence Against the Dark Arts: Perfect O.W.L

Care for Magical Creature: Perfect O.W.L

Divination: Perfect O.W.L

Herbology: Perfect O.W.L

Charms:Perfect O.W.L

Astronomy:Perfect O.W.L

Potions:Perfect O.W.L

History of Magic:Perfect O.W.L

Ancient Runes: Perfect O.W.L

Muggle Studies:Perfect O.W.L

Aritmancy:Perfect O.W.L

Total: 12 Perfect O.W.L.s

O - Outstanding Full O.W.L.

E- Exceeds Expectations Half O.W.L

A- Average Possible O.W.L

P- Poor No O.W.L

T- Terrible No Hope

Note: Half marks are rounded up for the total. Possible O.W.Ls are given if student fails to receive any O.W.Ls before calculation of total. This is based on professor's recommendation.

Perfect O.W.Ls are given when a perfect score is made on an exam.

Congradulations, you are one of five wizards and witches to have ever have 12

Perfect O.W.Ls. Jolly Good work.

Authenicated by: Trenton Tofty, Head Examiner for Wizarding Examination Arthurity

Harry had to read it twice before it could sink in. Hermione got twelve Perfect O.W.Ls. Plus she was one of only 5 to ever do it. Even though this was a surprise, it wasn't to shocking. Hermione always did well on exams and she studies hard, good for her, Harry thought. "Congratulations, Hermione, if anyone could have gotten 12 Perfect O.W.Ls, it sure would be you."

"Yeah, cheers, Hermione," Ron added, "but didn’t you drop some of these classes?"

"Well, yes," Hermione started coming out of the shock she had been in since she first read her letter, "I asked Professor McGonagall at the start of the school year last year if I could take all the O.W.Ls, assuming that if I did poorly they wouldn't count against me. She saw no problem with it and made arrangements with Professor Dumbledore and Wizarding Examination Arthurity. All I had to do was study."

"You studied for 12 O.W.Ls," Ron said with his eyes wide open, "that is almost as amazing as Harry beating that Dragon at the TriWizard tournament."

Hermione began to blush, Harry knew that Ron did not give Hermione compliments often and could see the affect it had on her. "Amazing job, Hermione, really amazing." Harry added.

They continued to talk about everyone's O.W.Ls over a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and toast. As Harry, Ginny, and Hermione were finishing breakfast Ron was helping himself to thirds. "What?" Ron said defensively, "A growing boy needs to eat." This made Harry think of his Aunt Petunia and Dudley. If only Ron knew where all that food could lead to, Harry thought smiling to himself.

The rest of the day the group stayed in their rooms and played either chess or exploding snaps. After lunch, Hermione wrote to her parents about her grades. Her parents didn't know much about the wizarding world, but what they could appreciate were good grades. She sent the letter with Pig as she explained to Ron and Harry that she had to get her parents accustomed to receiving mail by owl. Harry could relate, thinking of all the fuss Uncle Vernon made with Hedwig. Harry took a brief nap as Ron decided to play a game of match the cards, which Harry had taught them earlier in the day with a deck of muggle cards he brought from Privet Drive. When he woke up a few hours later he found out that they were playing with all the cards facing up. "This must be the easiest Muggle game ever mate." Ron said not aware of his error.

"I didn't have the heart to tell him he has to have the cards facing down." Ginny whispered to Harry, "I bet he thinks he is the king of this game, too." Both Hermione and Ginny began to giggle.

A short while later Dobby appeared at the door in a very excited state. "Dinner is ready, Miz Weazy wants youz at the dining room right now." Dobby said very gleefully.

Harry wondered for a moment why Dobby was extra happy, but he didn’t mind too much. He raced Ron to the dining room doors. As he opened it to enter a loud bang went off inside. He quickly looked to see Dumbledore standing at the far end of the dining room table with his wand in the air. There were small red and gold fire works erupting from it. Above Dumbledore's head were the words HAPPY BIRTHDAY HARRY! written in sparkling lights. He could also see red and yellow Christmas bulbs all over the room and pair of mismatched socks sticking out of the tops of all the seats. He then realized that there were many more people there. To Dumbledore's right was Professor McGonagall, and to her right was the enormous Hagrid. Tonks, and Lupin and Charlie Weasley were coming out of the kitchen to greet Harry. Mad Eye Moody surprised Harry by placing he hand on Harry's shoulder. "Got to always be alert boy," Moody growled, "what if I was a vampire or worse a werewolf." Moody gave a playful wink to Lupin who returned it.

"So how have you been Harry?" Remus asked Harry with a look of concern.

"I have been good, Professor Lupin," Harry replied with a smile, "not much to do though."

"Come off it Harry," Remus said sweetly, "you don't have to call me Professor anymore. Remus will do just fine. I haven't been your professor for a few years now. Sirius teased me to no end once he found out…"

Remus stopped abruptly trying not to talk about Sirius in front of Harry. Harry could see in his face that he was hurting too. Sirius and Remus were the last of the Marauders, if you didn't count Wormtail. Wormtail didn’t deserve to be a Marauder, in Harry's mind. Now there was only Remus.

"I have to get used to calling you , Remus. " Harry said grabbing at Lupin’s arm affectionately. "Maybe we can talk about some things when we get some time together."

Harry saw that Remus understood as he nodded and placed his hand over Harry's hand. Harry also saw Remus’s eyes mist up before he excused himself to help out in the kitchen.

"Wotcher Harry." Tonks greeted slapping Harry on the back, "Shacklebolt sends his greetings, he has watch duty at Azkaban."

"So are Aurors now guarding Azkaban?" Harry asked while watching Tonks hair change from purple spikes to a magenta Caesars cut.

"Yeah, for the time being," Tonks said while checking to see if her hair did indeed shorten, "until they find some sort of replacement guard."

Harry then noticed Neville Longbottom emerging from the kitchen with a large wooden bowl containing some of Mrs. Weasley's famous Garden Gnome-Free salad. He almost tripped over Crookshanks as he attempted to place the salad on the table. Luckily, Tonks was there to stop him, however she lost her balance and found her self under the table. Everyone looked at her for a moment before returning to his or her conversations. Tonks' clumsiness was well known by every one in the room. Neville, pink with embarrassment, helped Tonks up. Tonks rubbed her back but gave a wink to Neville to let him know she was all right. Neville then made his way towards Harry.

“Hey, Harry, how’s your summer been?”

“Good,” said Harry still amused from the spectacle Neville just caused, “what are you doing here?”

“Oh, Dumbledore asked my grandma if I could join you for your birthday party.” said Neville, “I hope you don’t mind me being here.”

“Neville, its great to have you here,” Harry replied with a smile, “Plus, wasn’t your birthday a few days ago? So this can be a birthday party for the both of us.”

“How did you know it was my birthday a few days ago?” Neville questioned.

“I think I heard it from someone before.” replied Harry, who felt a little guilty not letting Neville know what he had learned about the prophesy.

“Oh.” Neville accepted, “Harry, I didn’t bring you anything, Dumbledore told me not to.”

“That’s fine.” Harry began to explain, “I didn’t want presents for my birthday this year, getting presents is actually something I really haven’t gotten used to. Mrs. Weasley wanted to do something, so I told her a dinner would be just fine.” Neville frowned for a moment.

“Don’t worry Neville,” said Harry, “I didn’t get you anything either, so we can call it even.”

Just then, Arthur Weasley appeared from the kitchen carrying a giant ham dressed with pineapple slices. Mrs. Weasley followed him with a large wooden bowl filled with creamy mashed potatoes. Harry could see Ron’s mouth beginning to water. Dumbledore clapped his hands to get everyone’s attention. “It looks like dinner is ready, so lets begin before the young Weasley leaves nothing for the rest of us.” Everyone laughed as Ron quickly took a seat closest to the ham. Harry sat to Ron’s right and Neville to Harry’s right. Hermione and Ginny sat to Ron’s left. Hermione kept slapping Ron’s hands as he attempted to pick at the ham. “You can wait a few more minutes, its not like you’re going to starve to death.” said Hermione as she admonish Ron for his poor table manners. “More likely beaten to death at this rate.” Ron whispered to Neville and Harry.

There were many discussions at the table as everyone feasted on Mrs. Weasley’s delicious ham, mashed potatoes, sweet yams, fried tomatoes, candied okra, and curried greens. Harry never knew about some of these dishes, but he knew that Mrs. Weasley is an excellent cook. All the food was great, and Harry seemed to be eating more than he usually did. This didn’t stop Mrs. Weasley for telling Harry to eat more every ten minutes.

The whole group talked about many different things. Mr. Weasley told them that all that he was learning all about muggle futbal and was teaching the British prime minister about Quidditch. “There is a lot in common with the two sports,” said Mr. Weasley, “except that there are only two hoops, and no one flies, and there is only one ball. But very similar…”

A few conversations later, Neville was learning all about Weasley Wizard Wheezes and how Fred and George were doing. Neville learned that Gryffindors would get a discount when they go to buy their school supplies this year. This started a conversation about the O.W.Ls they just received. It seems that Neville did as well as Harry and Ron, except he got a P in Potions. “I didn’t expect to do to well,” Neville said, “but grandma was furious. She almost made me stay home, but she has been easier on me since what happened a few months ago.”

Harry began to sink in his chair. He didn’t want to think about what had happened anymore. Ron seemed to have felt this in Harry and quickly returned the subject back to O.W.Ls.

“Hermione got 12 perfect O.W.Ls!” Ron said proudly.

“Really, ‘Ermione tha’s great!” Hagrid bellowed, “Tha’s two wizards at tis table that had 12 perfec’ O.W.Ls”

“Who else had 12 perfect O.W.Ls?” Hermione said excitedly.

“Can’ ye guess?” Hagrid smiled at Hermione, he was obviously very proud of her too, “Tha’ be Prof’essor Dumbledore.”

“Ah, yes, I did get 12 perfect O.W.Ls.” Dumbledore interjected, “I had almost forgotten. Congratulations, Hermione, quite a feat. I’m just glad some of that intelligence has rubbed off on your companions.”

Ron and Harry blushed for a moment. They both knew that without Hermione, they would be getting tutored by a bunch of third years.

“Who else got 12 perfect O.W.Ls, Professor?” Ginny asked.

“Well, lets see, there is Hermione and me,” Dumbledore pondered while counting on his fingers, “Nicholas Flamel, and Atoinette Theophilus from Beauxbatons.”

“That’s only four,” Hermione said curiously “the letter said I was one of five?”

Hagrid let out a low grunt, Professor McGonagall’s face became worried and Professor Dumbledore began to frown. The rest people at the table seemed to not know why the question would cause their moods to change. Ron and Harry looked at each other curiously. Remus and Tonks too grew interested in who was the other wizard or witch to accomplish such an achivement. A few moments later they would find out why…

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Last edited by jparan1; December 27th, 2004 at 4:54 pm.
  #5  
Old December 21st, 2004, 4:31 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 5- Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes

“I beg of you, Hermione,” Professor Dumbledore said sternly, “not to let this information cast a shadow on you great accomplishment. There is no reason why you should ever compare yourself to him.”

Harry had a guilty feeling of knowing the answer now. He knew why Dumbledore was warning Hermione, it was easy to doubt yourself when you are linked to him in some way or another. He listened as Professor Dumbledore continued.

“Hermione, this wizard was the most recent, before you, to receive such high marks, Dumbledore said, “but you are a totally different wizard. You have shown great moral strength and character…”

“Please, Professor,” Hermione begged, “who?”

“Tom Riddle.” Dumbledore said after with some hesitation.

Most of the wizards and witches let out a gasp. Mrs. Weasley began to tear up, and Ginny went very pale. Tonks shook her head with this new information and Remus looked to Hermione and Harry with concern. Charlie and Arthur Weasley began to whisper about the amazing coincidence. The only one who did not seem to understand what had been said was Neville.

“Who is Tom Riddle?” Neville whispered to Harry and Ron.

“Tom Riddle is Voldemort.” Hermione answered plainly, interrupting Ron. She then got up from her chair and raced to her room, Ginny quickly followed.

“Well, I guess that is it for dinner.” Dumbledore announced, “ Sorry, Harry for putting a damper on it.”

“Oh no, Professor,” Harry replied, “ its better we know these things.”

Professor McGonagall stood up from the table and intercepted Harry and Ron before they left the dining room. “Boys, here are your letters from Hogwarts, and the classes that your are eligible for. I have one for you too, Neville.” She handed each boy his own envelope. “Open these later, right now I need to have a word with you two.” She gestured to both Ron and Harry to the corner. “I want to discuss with you who would be taking the role of Gryffindor Quidditch captain. Harry, I know you are a wonderful seeker and have been on the team the longest, but I am going to make Ron the captain this year.”

Ron was in awe. His mouth was wide open and for the first time that Harry has known him, he was speechless. Harry however did not feel anything. He thought he should be jealous, but he knew Ron wanted this since their first year. He was actually quite happy for Ron. He loved Quidditch, but if there were one person that loved it more, it would be Ron Weasley.

After taking a moment to compose himself, Ron began to speak up. “Why me, why not Harry, he’d be a good captain?”

“After some thought, I believe you would make a better captain.” Professor McGonagall explained. “You probably know more about Quidditch than anyone else at Hogwarts, and you performance at the Quidditch Cup last year proved to me that you are excellent strategist. As long as you’re confident in your abilities you can win Gryffindor the Quidditch Cup again this year.” However, Professor McGonagall’s slim smiled turn into a stern expression, “But be aware, that there are those who can take your place, this was a very hard decision.”

“One you won’t regret Professor,” Ron said with excitement.

What happened next took both Harry and Professor McGonagall by surprise. Ron reached around and hugged his stern Transfiguration professor. For a moment, Professor McGonagall did not know what to do with herself, she then gave Ron a soft hug back.

“Now boys, go to see Ms. Granger,” she said composing herself, “and let her know that I am very proud of her and not to worry herself.”

“We will.” Harry answered teasing a blushing Ron. “Neville, you want to come up with us?”

Neville watching from the other side of the dining room stood up and nodded.

“Actually, Mr. Longbottom has to return to his own residence,” Professor McGonagall interrupted, “ I promised to get him back early, I am sure he will be able to visit you later in the summer.”

“Would that be alright Harry?” Neville asked.

“Sure, come as much as you want.” Harry smiled patting Neville on the back.

“And bring your wizards chess board,” Ron added, “my pawns are forming a union and claiming they are overworked. Go figure.”

Harry and Ron raced up the stairs after saying goodbye to some of the guest. Remus told Harry that James wasn’t Quidditch captain either. “He was good at catching the snitch but couldn’t make a game plan for the life of him.”

Hagrid had given Harry and Ron some of his homemade rock cakes for “munch’in on when ye get h’ngry.” As Hagrid left, Ron joked that the rock cakes would be good for weight training for Quidditch. “I’ll have our beaters lift these a few times a day and they will be able to knock the bludgers out of the Quidditch pitch.”

When Harry and Ron finally reached Hermione and Ginny’s room they heard what they thought was giggling. As the opened the door, Hermione and Ginny quickly composed themselves and stopped the girlish chatter.

“I thought you were down in the dumps.” Ron exclaimed taking a seat next to Hermione.

“I was, until Ginny told me that I am nothing like Voldemort.” Hermione said.

“I also told her to look at Harry” Ginny said humorously poking Harry’s scar, “if anyone is linked to Voldemort, it would be Harry. But he is far from it.”

“Well gee, thanks Ginny.” Harry said sarcastically while playfully rubbing his scar as if it hurt.

“Well, that’s good. Guess what?” Ron said with enthusiasm, “I was made Quidditch captain!”

“That’s great Ron.” Hermione said giving Ron a brief congratulatory hug, “But why not Harry?”

Both Harry and Ron explained what had happened before McGonagall left. They also gave Ginny and Hermione their Hogwarts letters. Hermione seemed more excited about her Hogwart’s letter than Ron’s news about being made Quidditch captain. They all opened their letters. Ron, Harry, and Hermione had a letter explaining what classes they are eligible for and to check off 6 classes. Hermione was eligible for every class. They all had to choose 6 classes. She was miserable that’s she could only choose six. Ron tried to remind her of her course work in their third year. “I am pretty sure you won’t get a time turner again. Plus you can maybe take up some extra activities in your spare time.”

“What do you mean extra activities?” Hermione asked raising one eyebrow.

“Oh, I meant like becoming Gryffindor’s Quidditch manager…” Ron said, “ …you know, like keeping statistics on our team and the other houses team, and organizing some of the game plan. I think that would help Gryffindor a lot.

“That sounds like a good idea.” Hermione nodded, “But if all I do is carry the brooms and balls around, you will answer to me Ronald Weasley.”

“I hate when she calls me that.” Ron whispered to Harry. “Sure, Hermione, we can carry our own brooms and balls. But I need you to be keen on this.”

“Of course I will.” Hermione said before going her course offering.

“Hey Ron, can I look at your class listing?” Harry asked.

Ron handed Harry his letter and began to read over his shoulder.

“Are you seeing what I am seeing?” Harry pointed out.

“Blimey, we got listed!” Ron cried out.

“Let me see that…” Hermione read the letter Harry had gave her, “Yes its on both of yours. But I thought Professor Snape only allowed those with an ‘O’ into his N.E.W.T level Potions class?”

“Maybe Professor McGonagall asked him to let us in.” Harry said.

“Maybe, so are you going to take it.” Hermione inquired?

“Yeah, I am thinking about being an auror and you need it to qualify.”

“I am taking it to. I rather that than Divination.” Hermione stated.

“I guess I will brave another two years of Snape if you are Harry.” Ron said. “Plus Fred and George said they had some items from the shop they needed to test out in his class room.”

Hermione gave Ron a stern look but then went back to her course listing. They all chose Transfiguration, Potions, Care for Magical Creatures, Defence against the Dark Arts, and Charms. Hermione chose to stay with Arithmanacy while Harry and Ron both chose Herbology. “I’m sure Neville will be in that class if we need help.” Ron said to Harry.

After checking off their classes, the list of N.E.W.T classes offered turned into a list of books and materials they would need for their 6th year and their classes. Most were the standard N.E.W.T level reading material. The excitement of getting a new list of books had Hermione giddy. But Harry and Ron were ready to turn in for the night rather than listen to Hermione going over her study schedule.

The rest of the summer went by without much excitement. Neville came over occasionally, sometimes with his grandmother. Mrs. Longbottom had a gentler demeanor toward Neville than what Harry remembered. Neville explained that she seemed very proud of him even though she wouldn’t say it. Ron would routinely destroy Neville in wizard’s chess. Once, Neville’s pieces threatened to join Ron’s pieces in a boycott if Neville kept losing. When there was nothing really to do, Ron would have everyone talk about Quidditch and go over some famous game plays. Ron even listened to his father as he went over some defensive strategies he heard about in muggle futbal.

Every now and then, Remus and Harry would talk about Sirius and the Marauders. It’s was hard for Harry to talk about his death, but he enjoyed listening to Remus talk about James, Lily, and Sirius. Harry learned that Lily’s best friend was Alice Longbottom and that James once kissed Sirius on the lips on dare. “I will never kiss Ron like that,” Harry laugh, “not even for a million gaellons.”

Harry enjoyed the rest of his quiet summer. Ron spent a lot of time with Hermione teaching her the finer points of Quidditch. Ginny would joke that if Ron focused on his classes like he did Quidditch he would have had 12 perfect O.W.Ls.

It was the week before they were to go to Hogwarts that they made the trip to Diagon Alley. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley accompanied them along with Tonks and Remus. They all had to travel by the Ford Anglia. Harry was amazed that everyone could fit in comfortably in the back seat. Once they arrived, they hurried to purchase their school supplies. Ms. Weasley said they could go to Fred and George’s shop once their done. Harry and Ron spotted Neville coming out of Ollivander’s wand shop.

“Hey, Neville,” yelled Ron, “watch ya got there?” Neville had been holding what had obviously been a wand box. It was similar to the Harry’s wand box, he thought. Except it had a dark purple ribbon around it. “Well, after breaking my dad’s wand, Gran thought I best get a new one rather than trying to repair it. I never got to choose before, it was very cool.” Neville said excitedly, “I only had to try three out before this one chose me.” Neville unwrapped his box to show Harry and Ron his wand. “It’s made out of Holly, and has a phoenix feather.” Neville announced proudly.

“Wow,” Harry said dumbfounded, “mine is also made of Holly and has a phoenix feather, actually Dumbledore’s phoenix gave the feather.”

“Oh, Mr. Olivander said that this phoenix feather was from the younger brother of Dumbledore’s phoenix.” Neville stated. “Kinda cool that our wands are somewhat related.”

As Neville let Ron hold his wand, Harry thought of how related both he and Neville was. Not by blood but almost by destiny. Moments later, Neville’s grandmother appeared out of Ollivanders. She was wearing a dark brown mink fur around her neck and large purple Sunday hat with a large peacock feather sticking out of it. She had a stern face, but also a face that looked like it had seen some painful times. Harry and Ron both greeted her with a quick “Hello.”

“Neville, looks like you have found some of your friends here,” Neville’s Gran said with a stern but grandmotherly voice. “Good afternoon gentlemen. I see Neville is showing you his new wand. Dumbledore suggested he might get better at doing his own magic if he had his own wand.” Harry and Ron nodded in agreement.

“Well, Neville, we best be going.” Neville’s Gran said. “I hope you boys do not get into to much trouble this year. But if you do, stick by each other, it seems you get the better of people as a team.” She smiled and led Neville away.

A few moments later, Hermione and Ginny met up with them as they headed toward Weasleys’ Wizard WheezesIt was nestled in between Eeylops Owl Emporium and a shop that sold magical instruments. It looked like a small cottage, smaller than the Dursley’s garage with a yellow door and yellow roof and red siding all around. The window displayed posters of the different treats and tricks you could find inside. Harry thought the store looked dwarfed when next to the other shops. He thought that it would be hard for all four of them and Fred and George to be in the shop at the same time. Ron and Ginny were the first ones in. They had been there before so he did not stop like Hermione and Harry did to admire the posters.

“Are you guys coming in or what?” Ron said from inside the door way.

Harry let Hermione in first. Harry heard her gasp as he followed. He realized why once he saw the inside; the inside was huge. Bigger than any department store Harry had been in. The ceiling was also a lot higher than what it had appeared to me outside. Each wall had a different color. One was Weasley Red, another looked to be bright pink, the wall facing that was a deep blue, and the wall with the entrance was gold with silver trim. There were crowds going up and down the isles; mostly, Hogwarts students and fellow Gryffindors. Harry saw Euan Ambercrombie, Katie Bell, Ernie Macmillan, Hannah Abbott, Parvati, and Padma Patil. There were quite a few adult wizards there without their children. One fellow looked as if he was clown at a kid’s birthday party, except without the makeup.

“This place is huge.” Hermione said in awe. Harry saw her and Ginny standing next to a 9 ft waterfall that went into a pond that looked similar to the swamp that Fred and George create to get at Umbridge last year.

“That’s one of our best sellers.” Fred said creeping up behind Harry.

“Some people want it for a prank.” George started.

“Some people want it to have in their back yard.” Fred added.

“It has cross market appeal.” George finished, with a smile.

“You guys are doing bloody well for yourselves.” Harry smiled.

“All thanks to you Harry,” George replied bowing down to Harry. “We are also amazed of how well this has all taken off.”

“We are also thinking of opening a store in Hogsmeade,” Fred said happily, “We even asked Dumbledore to help us out.”

“What did you ask him?” Ginny asked with a curious look.

“You’ll see lil’ sis,” George replied. “Nothing big, just a little business deal.”

“You like the store Hermione.” Fred asked.

“Its amazing.” Hermione cheered, “I can’t believe you guys could come up with this…um… you know… not that you couldn’t…but”

“Yes, yes, we’re kinda amazed ourselves,” George interrupted, “we got a great location and it seemed like people even outside of Hogwarts knew about us.”

“That Umbridge prank made us a house-hold names.” Fred exclaimed.

Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny spent the rest of the afternoon playing in the shop. Ron was fooled once to eat violet gumdrop that turned him a shade of violet. He remained that way until Fred gave him a clear gumdrop that cleared his complexion. Harry and Hermione raced throughout the store trying different goodies and chatting with their fellow students. They discovered that Ernie and Hannah were now an item and Patil sisters recently had a baby brother named Prasad. Ginny bought a handful of gobstoppers before Mr. and Ms. Weasley came to get them.

“Hey, before you leave,” Fred said cornering the four, “we want you to have these.” He held out in his palm four silver coins, however they did not have any marking on them. They were just flat pieces of silver to the naked eye.

“These are coming out next summer, there are still kinda experimental.” George grinned.

“I am not sure about this…” Hermione protested.

“There is nothing dangerous with them.” Fred defended, “Look hold the coin in the palm of your hand, think about a realistic image of yourself, and place it on the ground. A real life image of you will be standing were you placed the coin.”

George took one coin and placed it in his hand. He place the coin on the ground a moment later, another George was standing there with a smile on his face. “This George is an illusion, see.” The real George passed his hand right through the illusion George.

“Light doesn’t even pass thought it like it does with ghosts,” Fred boasted, “the coin will take the image of yourself in your mind, that’s what will come out. We call the me Double Take coins.”

Harry laughed to himself as he had seen the twins become triplets. He understood why they were giving the coins to them… they would be handy in a sticky situation.

“The only problem is it last for a couple of minutes,” George frowned, “We are trying to get them to last an hour at least, we figure we will have that done by next summer.”

“So, take them, and don’t get into any trouble.” Fred said with a wink.

Each of them placed one in their pocket. Harry actually placed his Double Take coin in the pocket where he kept his Dumbledore’s Army coin. He doesn’t keep any real money in that pocket so he wouldn’t get confused. After their goodbyes to Fred and George, Harry and the rest piled back into the Ford Anglia. He had decided to take a nap during the trip, however, he finally got to rest once Ron and Remus finished their noisy game of wizard’s chess.

Harry found himself back at Fred and George’s shop. He ran and leaped into the waterfall…Harry was now on Hogwarts grounds… he saw a few trees from the Dark forest topple over…Now he was talking to Hagrid, however Hagrid was three times his normal size…All of a sudden, everything went black… He heard a hissing all around him… he could feel someone approach him, dressed in black…he could now see his face… It was Voldemort.

“Harrrrry Potttter.” Voldemort hissed. Harry reached for his wand, but it was not there.

“I know this is a dream.” Harry shouted, “you can’t hurt me in a dream.”

“I can, and I will.” Voldemort pointed his want at Harry, “Crucio!”

Harry covered his face, but when the spell hit him, he felt nothing. He looked back at a stunned Voldemort. “Get out!” he yelled, “Get out now!”

Harry woke up, clutching his scar. It burned like the time Voldemort appeared at the Ministry. He knew it was more than a dream. Everyone in the Ford was looking at Harry with concern.

“What happened, Harry?” Hermione asked.

“I need to talk to Dumbledore, now!” Harry shouted.

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Last edited by jparan1; December 27th, 2004 at 4:55 pm.
  #6  
Old December 25th, 2004, 4:40 am
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 6- Hogwarts Bound

Dumbledore stared at Harry’s face with a look of concern. He had apparated to the House of Black as soon as Arthur Weasley contacted him. Remus and Tonks stood behind Harry as he told what he dreamt. Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Molly and Arthur Weasley sat around the dining room table listening closely.

“…so then I woke up.” Harry stated plainly.

“Interesting. Very interesting.” Dumbledore said reclining back in his chair.

“What do you think it means, Professor?” Tonks asked in a worried voice.

“Well, Tonks, Harry, I think this shows that Voldemort cannot attack Harry’s mind anymore.”

“How do you figure?” Ron said questioning his Headmasters wisdom.

“Harry was not harmed by Voldemort.” Dumbledore started, “Once he was inside Harry’s mind, he is not powerful. This might be due to certain protections Harry has had since the first defeated of Voldemort, when he was an infant.”

Dumbledore stood up and walked toward Harry. Harry was apprehensive in what Dumbledore had said. Dumbledore sat beside Harry and folded his hands on his lap.

“However, Harry, even though Voldemort cannot harm you physically while in your mind, he can do other things when he has invaded,” Dumbledore said with a frown, “which we learned from experience.”

“What can I do about it?” Harry said with a bit of anger in his voice. “I am not going to do Occlumency with Snape again!”

“No, Harry, you won’t have to.” Dumbledore said quietly to calm Harry, “ I believe that it weakened your mind for attacks. Even though Severus is a skilled Legilimens, there is more to it when teaching the skill. I fear, that Severus will not get over the experiences he had with your father. I will make arrangements for you to learn Occlumency this year, with another wizard qualified to do it. However, you must clear your mind before you sleep, even when you nap. I believe Voldemort isn’t done with his attempts to get into your mind, but we cannot be too careful.

Harry sat there in silence as everyone left the room. He didn’t want to let Voldemort in anymore. He knew what damage he can do while in Harry’s mind. Ron quietly came back into the room and sat beside Harry.

“I don’t know what your going through mate,” Ron said somewhat bravely, “but my family and I will always stand beside you.”

“Thanks, Ron.” Harry said not saying anymore. Harry could tell that Ron knew what he had said was appreciated and he felt better knowing such a fine wizarding family like the Weasleys stood beside him. He felt that the Weasleys were his family and Ron was his brother; this gave him enough comfort to get out of this mood he was in.

There was a feeling of excitement in the air the day Harry had to return to Hogwarts. He had packed his trunk and placed Hedwig in her cage for the long journey. Remus helped Harry pack his books for his 6th year classes. They chatted about what Harry should expect from his N.E.W.T classes.

“They will not be easy, Harry.” Remus warned.

“I’ve got Hermione to help me out,” Harry replied, “plus I think I will spend more time in the library this year.”

“That’s good to hear,” Remus said cheerfully, patting Harry on the shoulder, “however staying in the library doesn’t mean you will be studying when you’re in there. Sirius and James would never study there, and they hardly let me study when I was there with them. I think they fancied studying in the dorm room better. They didn’t feel it necessary to show of within Gryffindor’s boys dorm.”

“It is quieter there, sometimes…” Harry added. He pictured his father, Sirius and Remus trying to get work done in the dorm.

Later that morning Harry said goodbye to Remus and Tonks. Mr. and Ms. Weasley were going to take them to the train station. They all piled into the Ford Anglia like they did on their trip to Diagon Alley. The trip to the train station was short since they were leaving from the Black’s Manor. And as usual, Ms. Weasley made a fuss about Harry’s hair, before he boarded the train.

“Will this hair ever stay down!” Ms. Weasley exclaimed.

“I’ve tried, it won’t.” Harry said, smiling at the way Ms. Weasley mothering of him.

“Well, you all have a safe and pleasant trip.” Ms. Weasley said starting to tear up, “And Ronald Weasley, do not cause any trouble.”

“What about Ginny!” Ron said defending himself.

“She’s a prefect now, she just better keep you out of trouble.” Ms. Weasley commanded.

Hermione and Ginny began to head to the prefects’ meeting before the realized their were one prefect short.

“Aren’t you coming?” Hermione scowled at Ron.

“Well, I was thinking that since you two were going,” Ron said, “that I could just find a compartment with Harry.

“Ronald Weasley, you will go to that meeting!” Hermione yelled. She stormed off with a huff and Ginny waved to Ron to follow.

“It will just be an hour, mate,” Ron said with a shrug. “Just save room for us.”

“Of course.” Harry said, as it was obvious. “Have fun.”

Harry had walked passed a couple of compartments with a few Huffelpuffs and a few Ravenclaws. He found Luna Lovegood sitting quietly alone in a compartment that was mid-train.

“Mind if I join you.” Harry said knocking on the compartment door.

“Oh Harry, of course.” Luna said, “ I was wondering when I would meet you again.”

“Did you think I was going to miss the train ride?” Harry asked.

“Yes,” Luna said lazily, “ I thought Professor Dumbledore would‘ve had you take another form of transportation to Hogwarts.”

“He didn’t mention anything like that.” Harry said.

“Well, you’re here now…” Luna said looking out the window. Harry felt a little weird talking to the side of her face, but it was something he was going to have to get use to. Luna was quite peculiar and seemed to never look at anyone when while having a conversation. Harry was about to open a chocolate frog when he saw a flushed Neville standing at the compartment entrance.

“Would you mind if I …I sit with you Harry…Luna?” Neville said with a puff.

“Of course, Neville.” Harry said while moving his bag to make room next to him, “ why are you panting?”

“Oh, Trevor got loose the second we stepped on board.” Neville said while gaining his composure, “ I had to chase him through most of the compartments.”

Trevor seemed to squirm a little in Neville’s hands. But Neville began to pet it gently on his head, which seemed to calm the large toad down.

Harry, Neville, and Luna chatted about their summers for about an hour before Ron, Hermione, and Ginny appeared at the entrance. Room was made for their new guests. The girls gossiped about what rumors they heard about other Hogwarts students over the summer. Luna gave keen insight over some of her fellow Ravenclaws that have started dating over the summer.

The boys busied themselves with several games of exploding snaps, however once in a while Ron would get distracted when Hermione had a piece of juicy gossip for Ginny and Luna.

“When did she become a gossip queen?” Ron whispered to Harry.

“Um, she is a girl, and this is how girls talk.” Harry said to Ron in obvious tone. “Unless you want to gossip, chat with them or I suggest you play your card.” Both Harry and Neville snickered as Ron played his last card.

A few hours later they finally arrived at the Hogsmeade station. Hagrid was there to greet all the first years.

“Fir’s yers th’s way.” Hagrid bellowed.

“Hullo Hagrid.” Harry greeted.

“Hullo Harry,” Hagrid smiled, “How’d yer’ trip go?”

“Oh very good.” Harry smiled, “ I was just remembering you calling me when I was a first year.”

“Oh thas’ was n’ inter’estin yer” Hagrid laughed, “So was ev’ry yer’ a’ter dat. Yer best get’ a’long.”

Harry met with Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville at the entrance of the great hall.

“Ready for another year, Harry.” Ron said.

“ More or less…” Harry shrugged.

“Don’t worry, Harry…” Hermione said confidently, “We will make sure you’re ready.”

Harry and the others took their seats at their House tables. Harry could see the group of worried looking first years waiting to be sorted. After Sorting Hat sang the same song as last year, Herbert Abernathy, Vijay Perriello, Thomas Kantor, Marie Horne, and Anuradha Ram were sorted into Gryffindor house. The others were evenly sorted into Huffelpuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. Harry watched Draco Malfoy greet several of the first years. It looked like he pointed to Harry and gave them all a lecture of which house they were in.

“Did you see that Harry…” Ron pointed out Draco, “…the bloody git is already turning them against us.”

“Don’t worry about him Ron,” Harry said with a snide tone, “he is just upset that his daddy isn’t there to bail him out of trouble this year.”

After the last first year was sorted, Headmaster Dumbledore, stood up to make his annual News and Rules speech.

“Congratulations first years, you will see that you house will be like your family. They will show you the way around and help you when you need it. Before we get to the Great Feast, a few announcements. We have a somewhat new professor for Defense of the Dark Arts, some of you will remember a version of him two years ago, Alastor Moody.”

Dumbledore pointed at the old man. Most of the students sat quietly in shock of Moody’s scars and disfigurations. Moody bowed his head for moment to accept the silence.

“Why didn’t I see him sitting up there before.” Harry whispered.

“I think I just saw him appear,” Hermione answered.

“He apparated?” Ron asked.

“No, Ron, no wizard can apparate on Hogwart’s grounds...” Hermione stated, “…how many times do I have to tell you that, I think he was invisible. His chair was pulled out from the table since we got here.”

“He was probably told how much commotion Barty Crouch Jr. made when he appeared as Moody for the first time at Hogwarts.” Harry added.

Dumbledore continued after a short pause, “We would like to congratulate Hermione Granger for achieving 12 perfect O.W.L.s for her examination last year.” The Huffelpuffs, Ravenclaws, and most noticeably Gryffindor, cheered for Hermione. The Slytherins were eerily quiet. Hermione went red over such praise. Harry realized she has never been the center of attention of a cheering crowd. He also noticed how Ron was clapping the loudest at the Gryffindor table.

“A quite extraordinary feat…” Dumbledore continued after the hall quieted down, “…I hope our fifth and seventh years will follow her example and study hard for their exams this year.” Hermione went a deeper shade of red then she was before.

“Now, I must tell you this,” Dumbledore said with a more sincere voice, “Voldemort is back and we all must unite against him and his dark forces. The way you can do so, is to be prepared to go into the world with all the knowledge Hogwarts can give you. Being able to defend yourself is not a small feat. There are a number of protections here a Hogwarts and you will be safe here, so it’s best to be prepared for what lies beyond these walls. With that, the Forbidden Forest is strictly forbidden, without supervision of a Hogwart’s faulty or staff.”

“Better not go into the Forbidden Forest or you might be giant food.” Ron whispered to the wide-eyed Thomas Kantor. Hermione pulled Ron’s arm to get him away form a now frighten Thomas.

“You’re going to scare him, Ron.” Hermione said angrily.

“Just a warning. I am doing my prefect duty.” Ron smiled.

Harry turned from his fighting friends when Dumbledore began to finish his speech.

“Caretaker Filch has posted a list of prohibited items on his office door…he would like to announce that anyone attempting to replace Fred and George Weasley as the schools top trouble makers will be severely dealt with. This reminds me…” Dumbledore pulled out his wand and gave a flick. Green pamphlets appeared at everyone’s place setting. “…Fred and George Weasley has kindly donated a waterfall pond located at the Root and Herb garden to be used for Herbology classes. They have also kindly donated catalogs of their products from their new store, Weasley Wizard’s Wheezes, located in Diagon Alley. With that, let’s eat.”

“Did Dumbledore just plug my brothers’ store?” Ron said half confused half amused.

“That’s what Fred and George were talking about at the store,” Ginny said with a childlike smile, “I have to write them an let them know.”

“Look at Filch, he looks murderous,” Neville pointed out, “I guess he thought he would be rid of Fred and George this year.”

Harry and the rest headed up to their houses. Harry tagged along with Hermione, Ron, Ginny, and their first years. After learning the new password to the dorms, “Chocolate bunny,” Harry looked over his class schedule. He will have Double Potions Tuesday mornings and Double Dark arts that afternoon. He decided not to worry himself about Potions or Snape. He just wanted a good nights rest before starting classes.

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Last edited by jparan1; December 27th, 2004 at 4:57 pm.
  #7  
Old December 27th, 2004, 4:58 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 7- The Briar Rose

Early Tuesday morning Harry and Ron got ready and went to the Great Hall for breakfast. They’ve learned that Potions class goes a lot slower on an empty stomach. Hermione and Ginny joined them ten minutes into Ron’s third helping of sausage and toast.

“Slow down or you’ll choke.” Ginny said to Ron in a motherly fashion.

“So…mmf.. wha..smm yor…firs…clas?” Ron said with a mouthful of toast. Hermione and Ginny both looked at each other in disgust of Ron’s table manners. Harry elbowed Ron to let him know that they did not take to Ron’s eating habits as well as Harry did. Harry had years of watching Dudley shove food down his face. Harry whispered to Ron, “Keep your yap closed in front of the ladies.”

After Ron swallowed, Ginny decided it was a good time to talk, “I have Dark Arts first, Divination, and Double Potions this afternoon.”

“I am sure glad we don’t have Divination this year.” Ron said.

“I wouldn’t mind Divination with Firenze,” Hermione said, “he seems to know a lot more than Professor Trelawny.”

“Yeah, me too,” Harry said, “I wish we had more time, but I am sure Firenze wouldn’t mind teaching us a few things in passing.”

“That would be nice.” Hermione said buttering her toast, “We should get going, Snape would love for us to be late.”

Harry and Ron found themselves to be the only Gryffindors in the classroom. They both took a seat on each side of Hermione close to the entrance of the classroom. They wanted to be the first ones out if possible. Harry noticed that there were more Slytherins than any other house, however Crabbe and Goyle were not in attendance. All of the Slytherins sat in a group across the room from Harry, Ron, and Hermione. The last Slytherin to enter was Draco Malfoy, he was somewhat surprised to see Harry there, but not with Hermione.

“Looks like mugbloods have nothing better to do than study.” Draco sneered.

“Sit down you git,” Ron said growing heated, “or I’ll tell everyone how your daddy whimpered and cried when he was arrested.”

Draco was in shock after that comment. He quietly went to a seat in front of all the other Slytherins. He shot daggers at Ron, Hermione, and Harry.

“Lucius didn’t cry or whimper.” Hermione whispered to Ron.

“Yeah, I know that, but he doesn’t, and way he sat down so quickly, I am sure that it’s not beyond the Malfoys to cry and whimper.” Ron said with a smile.

“Quiet class, quiet!” Professor Snape ordered as he strode into the dark classroom.

“This is your N.E.W.T. level Potions class, you studies this year will prepare you for you N.E.W.T exam next year. I promise you that if you do poorly on your N.E.W.Ts there will be no lowering the standard, again.” Snape said looking at Ron and Harry. Now, Harry felt certain that Professor McGonagall made Snape to take Ron and himself into his Potions class. He can tell that Ron was thinking the same thing.

“Are you paying attention, Mr. Potter.” Snape said interrupting Harry’s train of thought.

“Yes.” Harry said in a harsh tone.

“It seems like you have started daydreaming early this year, 5 points from Gryffindor.” Snape sneered.

Harry could hear the Slytherins snickering; he sunk in his chair, thinking that he will not try to lose any more points today.

“Now today we will learn that all potions are not always in liquid form. We’ll be making the Cloud of Peace today. The main ingredient is the Briar Rose, which in its self is a very powerful sleep inducer. Once the potion is applied, the victim will sleep until the counter potion is given. There are a few methods to counter this potion; we will not have enough time today to work on those. The ingredients and instructions are on the board, get in groups of 2 or 3 and begin. You have until the end of class to work on it; you will need all that time to get it right. The potion should be clear with a tint of red.”

Harry, Ron, and Hermione gather together all ingredients and began to work. A minute into their task, Snape walks over to them.

“Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley can do without your help this year, Miss Granger.” Snape said coldly, “No wonder they got the second highest scores in the class, since the had help from you Miss Granger.”

“I did not help them.” Hermione defended, “They got their scores on their own.”

“I am sure a student like yourself can do this potion alone and in time.” Snape hissed. “I will like to see if you were truly deserving of the Perfect O in your Potions O.W.L.”

Hermione packed her things and moved to a seat alone in the center of class, she gather more ingredients and quickly began to make the potion. Harry and Ron could tell she was furious by the way she crushed her Briar Rose pedals.

“Remind me never to make her mad like that Harry.” Ron said with a gulp.

“Hey, did you hear Snape,” Harry whispered, “we got the second highest scores, that means everyone else got below an E. Snape couldn’t just let Hermione into his class, he had to lower the standard for everyone.”

“That means Crabbe and Goyle blew it big time,” Ron said, “and we did better than Malfoy. I can’t wait to let him have it.”

Most of the students were having a hard time with the potion. Snape seemed to help mostly the Slytherin students. The Ravenclaws and Hufflepuffs that were there, helped each other out. Ron and Harry were determined to get their potion done on time. They could tell that Hermione was to. A few minutes before the end of class, Snape announced everyone to stop with their potions, and he began to inspect the potions. None of the groups received full marks. One Hufflepuff group got a zero for having their potion a shade orange. All that were left were Draco’s, Harry’s group, and Hermione. Snape called Draco’s first.

“Your liquid is a dark burgundy and you cannot see through it.” Snape said disappointed,

“You used to much Briar Rose and not enough asphodel to balance it.Half marks for Mr. Malfoy’s group. Mr. Potter and Mr. Weasley, please bring your attempt up here.”

Harry and Ron slowly brought up their potion, they knew it wasn’t perfect, but it was way better than Malfoy’s. It was clear and a shade of red, hopefully they got the right shade.

“What do you think this is?” Snape asked.

“The Cloud of Peace.” Ron replied.

“Did I not say this should have a tint of red?” Snape snarled.

“It does have a tint of red!” Harry argued.

“It looks more like a shade of pink to me.” Snape replied, “Sit down both of you, zero marks.”

Harry and Ron stormed away from the Professors desk. Both were furious at the injustice. Before they could sit down, Snape stood up from his desk.

“Tonight two feet about the effects and cures of the Cloud of Peace. This will be due next week. That will be all…”

“What about Hermione?” Ron interrupted.

“You don’t believe she is done do you Mr. Weasley?” Snape angrily questioned.

“Well, you could ask her instead of assuming.” Ron argued.

“Very protective of Miss Granger I see,” Snape said while the Slytherins began to laugh, “Miss Granger, are you finished?”

“Yes.” Hermione answered.

“You have?” Snape said somewhat shocked, “Bring it up here.”

Hermione quietly brought her potion to the front. Snape took a couple of minutes to examine the potion. He stirred it and brought it against a candle. Harry and Ron could see that Hermione had a clear liquid with a tint of red, definitely red.

“Well, it looks like you managed to make it look correct.” Snape said, “however lets see if your confident in your work. Take a sip and mind you that the simplest cure takes fourteen weeks to prepare. You will get full marks if you drink it, and zero if you don’t.”

“That’s not fair.” Ron yelled, “you can see that she has the best potion in the class.”

“I will determine what is fair in my class, Mr. Weasley.” Snape snarled, “Five points from Gryffindor, would you like more?”

Ron sat down defeated. Harry can tell that he was worried about Hermione. So was Harry. Harry could see that Hermione was contemplating on drinking it. She would hate to not to get full marks if she could help it. Then Hermione took the vial and took a sip. She made a face that told Harry that the potion was almost as disgusting as the polyjuice potion he had in his second year. However, Hermione did not fall, nor gave any indication she was a bit sleepy.

“That was very courageous of you, child…” Snape said in awe to some extent, “but what do you expect from Harry Potter’s sidekick. Do you know why you are not out cold on the floor?”

“You said earlier that not all potions are in liquid form.” Hermione said with pride in her gamble, “I believe that this potion is most likely effective in a powder or crystal form, hence the name Cloud of Peace.”

“Full marks, now sit down…” Snape said gritting his teeth, “What Miss Granger said was correct. This is only effective in its powered form. It takes five months for the liquid to evaporate and leave the crystal residue. At that time you must carefully crush it without breathing it in. Its best to have immunity to it before attempting to crush it. The final result is a light red powder that will put all who breathes it in a deep sleep, possibly everlasting. There once was a kingdom that slept for a hundred years before a prince found the cure. The Ministry of Magic forbids the powder form, because it is very easy to fill a room with it. We have asked special permission to make the liquid part. Now please empty your vials and wash out your cauldrons, then you may leave.”

Snape angrily stormed out of the room and slammed the door. Harry and Ron quickly emptied they vials and washed their cauldrons. The rushed to Hermione’s side as soon as they were finished.

“That was great Hermione.” Ron cheered. “You really showed him.”

“Yeah, Hermione,” Harry added, “you should have seen his face when you had taken that sip.”

“That git never learns.” Hermione spat.

“What do you mean?” Harry asked.

“I read all of the chapters before classes start.” Hermione started, “I even look up the reference in the library. But he always thinks I wouldn’t know. I didn’t know about the powder form of potion, but I have read about other powders. Really, does he think I cannot put two and two together?”

“I think he just jealous,” Ron stated, “I am sure he didn’t get a Perfect O.W.L. on his Potions exam. Plus, he is just a prat.”

Hermione smiled at Ron, Ron quickly began to blush and started to head to the door.

“Come on,” Ron yelled, “lets get to lunch, I’m starving.”

Already the Great Hall was buzzing with students coming from their first set of classes. Neville and Ginny were already at the Gryffindor table eating their lunch.

“Hey Harry, Ginny says we’re going to have a good time in Dark Arts.” Neville said.

“Yeah, you guys don’t really need to bring your books.” Ginny added.

“What? What is Moody up too?” Hermione frowned.

“Don’t worry there be enough to do,” Ginny assured her, “Eat up, and make sure you have some energy.”

“Aren’t you going to tell us what’s happening?” Harry asked.

“Nope, patience Potter, patience.” Ginny giggled.

“Hey Ron, could you pass the jello.” Neville asked. Ron just sat there, staring blankly at Ravenclaw’s table.

“Ron, the jello.” Neville asked again.

“Ron, Neville is talking to you.” Hermione said, “don’t be so rude.” Ron continued to sit there with his empty stare, not saying a word to them.

“Why are you ignoring us?” Ginny said growing impatient herself, “you know mom taught you better manners than that.”

Harry listened to the others attempt to get Ron to notice them. Harry could see that he was wide-awake, but did not move an inch. He did not even breathe. He looked like a statue. Harry then stood up and walked over to Ron. He swung at Ron’s head. Everyone watching was taken aback at Harry’s attack. But what was even more shocking is that Harry’s hand passed thought Ron’s head complete, as if Ron was a ghost.

“Ha, I knew it.” Harry cheered, “He is using a Double Take coin. Good one Ron.”

Ron emerged from under the Gryffindor table in tears. He looked as if he was trying to hold back the laughter all this time.

“You should have heard yourselves.” Ron said picking up the coin. “I was about to wet myself.”

“Ronald Weasley, don’t you have anything better to do than play pranks?” Hermione huffed.

“Fred and George will get a kick out of this.” Ginny said, “They’ll like to know it’s a success.”

“Can I get one?” Neville asked.

“Well, there not out yet,” Ron said, “these are test models.”

“I’ll tell them to send you one, Neville.” Ginny said, “You should have one by this weekend.”

“Thanks a lot Ginny,” Neville said gratefully, “ I going to use it on Seamus at Hogsmead this weekend.”

“There is a Hogsmede trip this weekend?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, Professor McGonagall just posted it before lunch.” Neville responded.

“Cool. We should do something together.” Harry said, “How about some butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks at 4 o’clock.”

“Well, if we are going to Hogsmeade I want to stop at Dervish and Banges and check out broomstick supplies.” Ron said.

“I—I am suppose to be somewhere at 4.” Neville said turning slightly red.

“Well, how about 5 o’clock.” Harry posed.

“That’s good.” Ron said.

“That’s good for me too.” Hermione added.

“M—me too, Ernie and some others asked if we are going to have DA this year?” Neville said changing the subject quickly.

“Well, I haven’t really thought to much about it.” Harry said.

“We could have a meeting to talk about it.” Hermione added.

“Well—OK, how about have we it at the Three Broomsticks.” Harry said, “That way we can keep it a secret if we still need to. I will set the coins, but let everyone know it’s at the Three Broomsticks this time instead of the Room of Requirements.”

“Sounds good to me,” Ginny said, “ I need to get to the Owlery before my next class, enjoy Dark Arts.”

With that, Ginny left the rest to post her letter. Harry and the others finished their lunch before heading off to Professor Moody’s classroom. He wondered what could make Dark Arts so exciting, but he figured anything would be more exciting than what Umbridge had them doing last year. Mad-Eye Moody should keep the class interesting at least, even if he just tells stories of his adventures against Death Eaters. Harry observed that the line outside of Moody’s door consisted of mostly DA members and only a couple of Slytherins. Unfortunately, they were Draco, Crabbe and Goyle. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville took their place at the back of the line, as a clank could be heard coming from the end of the hallway. As it grew louder, Harry realized it was Moody making his way to the classroom. Most of the students knew of the fake Moody, and they knew that Harry was a friend with the real one. However, Draco and the other two gave a face of disgust as Moody open the door.

“Come in children, come in.” Moody said eyeing each student as they entered. His magical eye looked directly at each student’s school bag. “I hope you don’t plan to play Exploding Snaps during my class Mr. Weasley?”

“Um—I only play it at lunch or in at Gryffindor house.” Ron said shocked that Moody saw right through his school bag.

“Good, but I am keeping an eye on you” Moody said cheerfully, “I’ve heard what trouble you Weasleys can cause.”

Harry and Hermione laughed at Ron’s embarrassment, they both knew that Moody was only teasing the son of his good friend Arthur Weasley. However, Harry and Hermione stopped laughing when they noticed there were no desk or chairs in the classroom except for the professor’s desk.

“You might be wondering why the classroom is so empty…” Moody sneered, “I thought you had enough of studying form books last year. This year will focus on studying the practical aspects of Defense against the Dark Arts. Particularly, dueling.”

Several students gasped as they heard they would be dueling. Harry could see that Neville began to grow a bit more pale than usual. Hermione pointed out that the Slytherines seemed cockier than they did before entering the classroom full of Gryffindors.

“You need to know what to do if you were attacked,” Moody continued after the students grew quite, “dueling will get you there faster than any book can. You must know how to think on your feet, that is more important than knowing the greatest number of shield spells. This year you will all duel with a partner, and I will monitor you duel. I will give you suggestions and for homework, you will research new spells that should be incorporated into your duels. This is might scare you at first, but I assure you that there are scarier things out in the world. You might skip out on your homework, but remember this is for your own good rather than getting a good grade. You will be graded on how well you duel, how well you react to your opponent, and how you incorporate new spells into your duel. No Unforgivable Curses are allowed at anytime. Everything else is legal. Don’t think magic is the only way you can win a duel. You win when you get your opponent’s wand. Now pair and find an open space.

Hermione quickly looked around and raised her hand, “Um—Professor, is there enough room for everyone to duel?”

“Ah—yes, one moment.” Moody said notice the lack of space, “Spacieli Expandus.”

With a flick of his wand, the walls of the room began to move further away, the ceiling ascended higher until the room was as big as the Great Hall. Hermione seemed impressed and noticed that outside the window nothing was displaced. “That will be a handy spell when getting a house.” She said to Ron and Harry. Hermione grabbed Ron by the arm and dragged him to the corner of the room to begin dueling. Harry and Neville found an area close to them.

“Wait—Mr. Potter,” Moody said, “I would like you to partner with Draco Malfoy and Mr. Longbottom you can take on his partner Mr. Goyle.”

“This—this isn’t fair,” Harry huffed, “I already chose my partner.”

“Yes you have,” Moody said as he focused both his good eye and his magical one onto Harry’s eyes, “but you above all others should know that real preparation would be dueling against a rival rather than a friend. I am sure Mr. Malfoy will keep you on your toes.”

“Harry, I am going to get creamed,” Neville whispered, “Goyle isn’t going to hold anything back.”

“Neither should you, Neville.” Harry said grabbing Neville’s shoulder, “You are an experience dueler. Just remember everything you learned in DA last year and you’ll be fine.”

With that Neville approached Goyle while passing a snickering Malfoy.

“Your buddy is going to be dragon food once Goyle gets done with him.” Draco said loud enough for the whole class to hear. “and you will be no better once I am done with you.”

“I wouldn’t bet on it if I were you Malfoy.” Harry said threateningly.

“Take your places students and begin.” Moody announced.

Harry quickly sidestepped Malfoy’s stunner. He wanted to feel Malfoy out before casting his own spells. Malfoy cast spells quickly but sloppily. Harry knew that all he had to do was duck most of his spells and he would be ok. But that wouldn’t get him Malfoy’s wand. So Harry cast his first spell hitting Malfoy directly on his chest. It was the Blasting Curse that Harry had cast, it knocked Malfoy 10 feet into the air and against the wall. Most of the students stopped their duel to watch the remainder of Harry and Draco’s match.

As soon as Draco landed he quickly moved out of the way of a stunner that Harry had quickly cast. He stood up and angrily began an incantation, “PERITI DIA…” Malfoy started before being blasted with a yellow light. Malfoy didn’t feel a thing, but tried to finish the curse. However, no sound came from his mouth, Harry had hit him with the Silencing Charm. Harry ran over to a very stunned Malfoy. He looked Malfoy square in the eyes, and punched him directly on the nose. All that were watching gasped at the site of Malfoy hitting the floor. Harry bent over and grabbed Malfoy’s wand from his shaking hand.

“Looks like Potter is the winner.” Moody announced. He grabbed Malfoy and cast the counter charm on him.

“Did—did you see him punch me.” Draco screamed. “Fighting is not allowed.”

“Actually Malfoy, I said that you don’t always need magic to win a duel and that everything but the Unforgivable curses were allowed. Plus if I am correct you were about to you’re a Stone Changer curse. Very dark magic, Mr. Malfoy, they don’t even allow it to be taught anymore. Thank goodness that Mr. Potter can handle himself. Maybe you should have stayed with Mr. Goyle. He seems more your speed.”

Everyone turned to see Neville holding Goyle’s wand with Goyle stuck to the ceiling of the room in what looked like a web of slime.

“I didn’t think I had it in me Harry.” Neville said, “ but once we started dueling, I wasn’t scared. I—I mean, I thought if I could face Death Eaters and live, a Slytherin can’t be that bad.”

“Great job, Neville.” Harry cheered, “I definitely want you by my side if we ever have to face Death Eaters again.”

“Neville, Harry that was great.” Hermione said running over to them. “ Both your duels were so exciting to watch.”

“Who won your duel?” Neville asked as Ron hobbled over.

“There wasn’t a winner,” Ron said quickly, “it was a draw.”

“Well, technically, yes,” Hermione said, “ but I was beating you.”

“Well, I still have my wand,” Ron said defensively, “ and I was going to make a comeback right when we stopped.”

“Why did you stop?” Harry asked.

“When Draco hit that wall, almost everyone stopped to watch.” Hermione said, “All the Gryffindors wanted to watch you beat Malfoy.”

“And did you ever, mate.” Ron added happily, “That one is going to be the story of the week.”

“Alright class, that’s enough for today.” Moody began, “Before your next class I want you to study the Stone Changer curse and its counter-curse. Most of the information can be found in books in the Forbidden section of the library. I have permission for all my N.E.W.T students to go into the Forbidden section and study. Please stick to what your researching or otherwise Madam Pince will have my only good foot. Good day class.”

With that Moody chanted a charm to reduce the size of the room and escorted the students out of the classroom. Harry heard the most of the DA members did really well in their duels against non-DA members. Ron and Hermione walked with Harry to the library to study the new curses.

“I can’t believe we have access to the Forbidden section this year.” Hermione said while reaching for a dusty book on Dark curses, “This is were all the juicy magic stuff is anyway.”

“How do you figure?” Ron asked.

“Anything that adults try to keep away from kids is usually very interesting.” Hermione said with a mischievous grin, “my parents keep their wine collection high in the kitchen selves after they found me drinking one when I was four.”

Ron and Harry burst out laughing picturing Hermione with a bottle of wine at the age of four.

“I was a very curious child.” Hermione said in her defence.

“Shhh.” Madam Pince hushed. “Just because you have work in the Forbidden section doesn’t mean you can disturb the rest of the students, keep quiet.”

With that, Harry, Hermione, and Ron quietly read from the Dark Arts books they found.

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  #8  
Old December 29th, 2004, 3:58 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
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Chapter 8- The Hero Within

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny left around mid-afternoon on Saturday for their trip to Hogsmeade. They first went to Madam Puddifoot's for a light snack of croissants, jam, and plum tea.

"You know I came here with Cho, last Valentine's day.” Harry said adding sugar to his tea.

“Are you still interested in Cho.” Ginny asked.

"Um—I don't know," Harry replied, "I don't think so, anyway isn't she seeing Micheal Corner?"

"I heard they broke up over the summer." Hermione interjected, "people are saying its because they don't have anything in common except being Ravenclaw."

"Ah—Harry don't even think about her," Ron said with a mouth full of croissant, "you got more things to worry about than girls."

"Yeah, like Voldemort." Herimone said.

“More like Quidditch!” Ron had said as if obvious.

“Whatever, only a fool would think Quidditch was more important than V—Voldemort.” Ginny said.

“I didn't say that Quidditch is more important than V…Voldemort, I meant that Harry has other things that he can think about.” Ron said in his defense.

“Ron is right for once,” Harry said, “I rather think of anything besides that old *******.”

Just then, across the room, a cup shattered on the ground. A lady with a black hood quietly reached down and cleaned it up with a tap of her wand. She quickly left the room before Harry could see her face. After the momentary distraction, Harry and the others decided to head over the Dervish and Banges to allow Ron time to look over broomstick supplies. Hermione and Ginny lead the way as they made there way down the street. Harry and Ron chatted about the newest broom out. It was the Cleansweap X. It wasn't as fast as the Firebolt, Ron explained, but had better maneuverability and breaking spells.

The girls waited by the door as Ron paid for his newly acquired broomstick repair kit. Harry had taken out the manual to see if the repair kit had any tips on tweaking the speed of the broom. To both the boy's surprise it actually had a whole other manual on just that.

“Sooner or later, I'm going to have a faster broomstick Harry.” Ron said teasingly.

“ You might have a faster broom, but you still need to know how to race it.” Harry quipped back.

After a short stroll down the main street of Hogsmeade, Harry and the others spotted Neville and Luna heading toward the Three Broomsticks. They seem to be having a very pleasant conversation Harry had noticed. As they found seats at a small table, Ron called out to them and caught Neville by surprise.

“Watcha been up to Neville?” Ron said mischievously.

“Uh—oh, Luna and I were just having some tea at the Madam Pudifoot's just before we got here.” Neville explained.

“Funny we were just there not to long ago.” Ron said.

“We were there for only a short time,” Luna answered, “Neville didn't want to have anything, so he sat their completely still and quite. It was quite a boring so I suggested we leave.”

Harry and Ron looked at Neville knowingly. Neville grinned slightly.

“He was using a Double Take coin on you Luna, Hermione said admonishingly toward Neville, “it makes an illusion of the person that’s holding it.”

“I was wondering why you were so quiet,” Luna said dreamingly, “oh, next time don't use that coin.”

“Sure, Luna,” Neville said, “I just wanted to test it out, I couldn't find Seamus earlier.”

Ron and Ginny pulled up several chairs next to Neville and Luna's table. There weren’t many people at the Three Broomsticks except for the bartender and the lady Harry noticed at

Madam Puddifoot's. Her back was turned away from the group, which denied Harry a glance at her face. Harry quickly was returned to the conversation when he mentioned that Gryffindor will need to replace a few positions on the team.

“What we really need is some good beaters,” Ron frowned, “Fred and George were brilliant... don't tell them I said that.”

“We should hold tryouts next week,” Hermione said, “I will contact Madame Hooch to book the pitch.”

“We should also put a sign up for chasers and beaters in the common room.” Harry added.

“Good idea.” Ron nodded.

Soon more members of the DA began to arrive. First Hannah Abbot and Justin Flitch-Fletchly came in, shortly followed by the Creevey brothers. A minute later came Seamus, Ernie Macmillan, and the Patil twins with Lavender Brown. So all the memebers of DA that were still at Hogwarts were at attendance. Noticeably absent were Cho Chang and Marrietta Edgecombe.

“Well Harry, is there going to be a DA this year?” Zacharias said interrupting the many conversations the group had among them.

“I don't know if we need it...” Harry said bluntly. Everyone went silent. “...l—let me explain. I think that we have a great Defense Against the Dark Arts professor this year. We only started the group to learn what we weren't learning from Umbridge. Right now I see no need for it.”

Many began to wishper their opinion to each other, Harry could hear a few.

“What makes him the boss?” whispered one member.

“We did.” replied the another.

“But I made so many friends in DA.” Said Dennis Creevey.

“Don't worry they still will be your friends.” assured Colin.

“Wait a minute everyone!” Hermione interrupted, “just because we aren't going to have a DA doesn't mean we can't practice spells together. We have a great professor this year and we will be learning a lot, so we will need the time to practice. You have more freedom this year to make your own group up and your own schedules. And you don't have to sneak around.”

“Thank goodness,” said Hannah, “that way no one will have the risk of having 'Sneak' written across their face.”

Several students began to snicker at her comment only to be interrupted by a loud thud. They all turned around to see the bartender missing. The women in black turned to the group of students and removed her dark hood.

“Bellatrix Lestrange!” Neville shouted.

The students gasped as she pointed her wand at them.

“EXPELLIARMUS!” Bellatrix shouted. All of the students’ wands were ripped from their sides and sent to the far side of the room.

“H—how did she do that?” Hermione said out loud.

“My dear girl, the Dark Lord can enhance a witch's power greatly...” Bellatrix cackled, “if you where wise you would join him and prosper yourself.”

Bellatrix turned and pointed her wand at Harry, “You have caused my master great grief, Harry Potter. By foiling his plans to reveal the prophecy, my master has to rethink his strategy of overtaking the wizarding world and wiping it clean of muggles and half-breed. But first he needs to dim the hopes of many, buy destroying you. I will be his greatest subject when I rid the wizarding world of you!”

In that moment Neville Longbottom stepped infront of Harry. “Y-you would have to go through me first.” he said with tremor.

“And me.” added Ron.

“And me.” said Hermione.

“Me too.” said Ginny.

“Me as well.” entered Luna.

“Us too.” yelled the Creevey brothers.

Soon all the member of DA had added their names to the list of people that would defend Harry. Harry was touched by their support but he could not dwell on it. The woman that killed Sirius stood before him.

“Stupid little children...” Bellatrix laughed, “don't you think you each will die beside the great Harry Potter. You... You are the Longbottom’s boy. Come here.”

“Run Neville!” Hermione yelled.

Neville began to run for the door, but he stopped midway he turned back and ran towards Lestrange. With a flick of a wrist Bellatrix stunned him ten feet in the air. He lied motionless under a table a few feet from the bar. With a wicked laugh she screamed, “Crucio!” Neville convulsed in pain, pain that Harry new too well.

“Deal with me!” Harry yelled. “Leave them out of this.”

“But it would be such fun to rid the world of all the Longbottoms.” Bellatrix giggled, “ but you first Potter, you must be dealt with.”

“D—don't you want to know the prophecy?” Harry said to stall her, “I know it, let them go and I will tell you.”

“Ah, a clever ploy Potter, but the Dark Lord has decided that your death was more important than knowing the prophesy.” Bellatrix said walking away from Neville, who was out cold from the pain of her curse. “I am sure one of your friends were told, I will have fun prying it out of them, as much fun as I had with the Longbottoms. Its been so longs since I had the chance to torture the Dark Lord’s enemies, I might be rusty. But first business before pleasure.”

Bellatrix raised her wand and pointed straight at Harry chest. “Say goodbye to your friends Potter...Avada Keda—” —CRACK!

Bellatrix dropped her wand and fell to the ground. A stream of blood began to ooze from the back of her head. Standing over her was a very pale Neville holding a broken wooden chair.

“I—I couldn't let her hurt you Harry.” Neville mumbled.

“I am sure glad you couldn't.” Harry said still in shock.

“That was bloody brilliant Neville...” Ron said grabbing the broken chair from Neville. “...do you want to tryout for Beater.”

Hermione reached down and picked up Bellatrix wand. She poked at her lifeless body, “I think you killed her Neville.”

For a moment everyone was silent a few students went for the wands across the room, handing them to their rightful owners.

“Good. She deserved it.” Neville said quietly.

“How did you get behind her Neville?” Seamus asked, “I saw you lying in the corner a moment before.

“I used the Double Take coin Ginny gave me. While she thought I was still in the corner snuck up behind her, I—I couldn't let her hurt you Harry, she hurt so many...”

Harry saw that there were tears in Neville’s eyes, he understood whom Neville was talking about. Luna and Ginny reached to comfort Neville. Harry placed his hands on Neville's shoulder. “You were very brave,Neville, your parents would be proud.”

Hermione and Ron circled around Neville as the rest of the DA watched. Soon several aurors apparated into the Three Broomsticks with their wands ready.

“By Merlin's beard, children what happened.” Bellowed Kingsley Shackelbolt. “I—Is she dead?”

“Sure looks like it...” said Tonks poking Bellatrix's nose with her wand. “What happened here Harry?”

Hermione stepped in to explain what just occurred. Several junior aurors were reviving the bartender and cleaning the blood around Bellatrix body.”

“Neville Longbottom...you don't say.” Tonks exclaimed after Hermione finished. “Well that’s poetic justice don't you think.”

“Look everyone,” Kingsley yelled, “we will arrange transports for you shortly, just stay put in the corner, we don't know if there are any other Death Eater still lurking around. Stay with the kids, Tonks, I will do a sweep of the premises”

After Shacklebolt left for the upstairs, Ron asked how did they know there was trouble.

“Well when Sirius escaped a few years back and was spotted near Hogsmeade, all the shops and restaurants were equipped with a switch that notified the Ministry of Sirius if spotted. It hadn't been used since then but we saw the alarm go off in the Aurors department. It took us some time to figure where the alarm was set off. Once we did, those that were in the office apparated right away. We need to work a few kinks out of the system.”

“You think?” Ron said sarcastically.

“Well it was your fathers idea,” Tonks quipped, “said he heard about it from of a muggle shopkeeper.”

Kingsley emerged from the cellar with some dust on his broad shoulders. “All clear down there. I believe there are some carriages outside. Will all of you please enter them and do not linger. We need to contact your families immediately.

Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Luna and Harry entered one carriage. They saw that Neville was still in shock of what had happened. “Here Neville, ride with us.” Harry yelled out.

“Oh, I almost forgot we were leaving.” Neville said dropping his face into his hands, “I really hope I don't get in trouble.”

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Chapter 9- Reunion

Most of the students that went to Hogsmeade were told to go straight to their houses. Harry, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville, were sent straight to the headmasters office. Professor McGonagall ushered the six of them through the crowded chattering hallway of confused students. Most did not know why they were pulled from Hogsmeade. After Professor McGonagall dropped the students off at the headmaster's office, she gave them his new password, “Chocalate Chip Cookie Dough.”

Professor Dumbledore was standing next to his phoenix Fawkes, who cooed softly as he saw Harry enter the room.

“Fawkes is quite fond of you Harry.” Dumbledore smiled.

“I am fond of him too, Professor...” Harry replied, “ wasn’t he hurt by the Killing Curse Voldemort shot at him.”

“Well he was aiming for me,” Dumbledore smiled, “but no he wasn't hurt, he was ready for a fight that day. Children please sit. It is urgent you tell me what exactly happened.”

Hermione began the story, being interrupted by Ron's explanations and Ginny's correction of Ron's explanation. Luna sat quietly tending to Neville who had been somber since they let the Three Broomsticks.

After the story was finished Dumbledore knelt down beside Neville and placed his hand on Neville's shoulder.

“Killing is a hard thing to do, Neville,” Dumbledore said softly, “if you weren't so melancholy about it I would be worried. Your heart is big enough to feel pain for your enemies. And that shows the real strength of your character.”

“I have always wanted to get vengeance for my parents,” Neville started, “but now I still feel empty and worse.”

Neville's words caught Harry off guard. Sirius' killer was now dead Harry thought to himself, but he didn't feel any better about it. He realized that Bellatrix death wouldn't bring back Sirius.

Dumbledore turned away from Neville to the rest of the group. “You all have had a long day, its best that you get back to—” Dumbledore was stopped in mid-sentence when the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge entered the office, with a hefty witch that was in a St. Mungo's uniform.

“Dumbledore, this is Miriam Strout from St. Mungo's, she is here to escort, Neville Longbottom to the hospital.” Minister Fudge said in haste.

“I believe Mr. Longbottom is uninjured, Minister.” Dumbledore said leaning on his desk, “well, he might have an upset stomach, but that’s probably because all the butterbeer he drank earlier, I doubt he has had a chance to use the facilities.”

“This is not about his injuries, I will explain in private.” Cornelius said motioning for Neville to go with Nurse Strout.

Dumbledore nodded for Neville to follow Nurse Strout. Once Neville was out of sight, Cornelius took a seat next Dumbledore's desk, not before he poured himself a glass of fire whiskey.

“Children if you will excuse us we have to talk about today’s events.” Fudge said.

“Don't you want to hear what happened from us.” Harry said sternly.

“I have had a full report from our aurors,” Fudge said with a patronizing smile, “I have all the Ministry’s aurors sweeping Hogsmeade as we speak. So please excuse us, we have adult business to attend to.”

Dumbledore shook his head and sat at his desk, motioning the children to leave. They made a single file line toward the exit. Before they reached it, Hermione stopped and turned around, Ron grabbed her arm tugging her to come along.

“Minister Fudge I have a question?” Hermione shouted from the exit.

“Yes, child what is it?” Fudge said impatiently.

“If all the aurors are in Hogsmeade, who is guarding Azkaban?” Hermione asked.

Fudge's eyes began to widen, it was apparent that he had follied and allowed Azkaban to go unguarded when he called all the aurors to Hogsmeade. “Out girl, get out!” he yelled in frustration.

Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny were bombarded with questions from curious Gryffindors who were not at the Three Broomsticks once they entered Gryffindor tower. Harry made it known that he was not willing to retell the story, by slamming the boys dormitory door shut. Hermione and Ron gave a brief update on what had happened and where Neville went.

“You don't think they will send him to Azkaban?” Dennis Creevey asked.

“I don't think they would send someone to Azkaban for killing one of Voldemort's top Death Eaters...” Hermione said as a matter-of-fact. Several students gasped as she said Voldemort's name out loud, but they did not interrupt her any further. “I would think they would give him a metal.”

“The Order of Merlin is more like it,” Ron added, “look, don't bother Neville when he gets back, he is taking it a bit hard. And if I were you, I wouldn't ask Harry either, or you might get his foot up your knickers.”

“Ron! Harry wouldn't do that!” Hermione gasped.

“Well, I will if I find out any of you have been bother Harry or Neville.” Ginny said very sternly.

Ron and Hermione waited next to the fire for Neville's return. Most of the Gryffindors went to bed around midnight; a day at Hogsmeade and all the excitement tired them fiercely. After the Gryffindor common room was clear, Ron and Hermione chatted about the day's events.

“I noticed how you stood in front of me once Lestrange showed up.” Hermione said sweetly.

“Um, uh, I just wanted a better view of what was going on,” Ron said while his face blushed a deep red. “you know me, I love to see the action up close.”

“Oh, come off it Ron,” Hermione said in a huff, “ you are taller than most of the 6th years, I almost missed what was going on while you were pushing me behind you.

“U—m, lo—ok at the time,” Ron stuttered, “near—ly 1am, I don't think they would bring Ne—ville back this late. We—uh can find out what happened in the morning.”

Ron picked up his things and began to head for the boy's dorm.

“Wait, Ron!” Hermione said walking up him, “ I know what you did, you can say what you want, but I know.” Ron began to stutter something as Hermione leaned closer. Ron went quiet watching her face getting closer to his. She leaned even closer, then...

“...she kissed me.” Ron whisperer. He and Harry were at the edge of his bed, getting dress for the breakfast the next day.

“What?” Harry said pulling a grey t-shirt over his head, “you mean on the cheek right, she's done that a hundred times before.”

“To you maybe,” Ron said a bit louder, only to catch himself being to loud, “ but she's never kissed me, and it was on the lips too.”

“How long was it?” Harry said beginning to giggle at Ron's dismay, “Did you kiss her back?”

“Stop it.” Ron said hitting Harry with a pillow, “I just stood there while she kissed me. It felt like forever. I guess women just react weird after near death experiences.

“No, then she would have kissed you during our 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year—“

“—Whatever,” Ron interrupted, “It surprised the hell out of me.”

“Well, I could have told you this day would come,” Harry laughed throwing the pillow back at Ron. Now they were the only two left in the boy's dorm. “Shoulda known that Hermione would have made the first move.”

“What are you talking about you silly turd!” Ron said perplexed.

“Get off it Ron, you have fancied Hermione since 4th year, at least that’s when I realized it.”

“No I haven't.”

“Then it was before 4th year, but all I know is she fancy's you too.”

“What! How do you know? Did she tell you? You got to tell me! My mom knits you a sweater every year, you owe me. “

“Um, yeah, thanks for the sweaters Ron.” Harry said sarcastically.

“Com' on, tell me.”

“Um, she kissed you Ron, of course she fancies you. Actually, to think about it, I thought she fancied you too in 4th year.

“She fancied Krum in 4th year!”

“No, she went to the Yule, ball with him, because you didn't ask her in time.”

“Oh...yeah. I forgot.”

“Look, Ron, its cool if you did fancy her. But I would recommend not bottling up.” Harry said gently. “I can deal with you to being girlfriend/boyfriend, but I could't deal with you not talking to each other like in 3rd year. Do you like her, be honest?”

“Y—yeah, I—I do, for a long time, Harry” Ron said growing red again, “I was just to embarrassed to say anything. I couldn’t imaging her liking me more than a friend.”

“Well now you know. So don't let that stop you.” Harry smiled. He felt good for Ron, he knew that if Ron could get over his self-esteem issues, he could accomplish great things. “Lets get some breakfast, I haven't eaten since Hogsmeade.”

“Yeah, I'm starving.” Ron said, “Hey do I look ok, does this shirt match.”

“Um, yeah.”

“Maybe I should were my dress robes?” Ron said looking for any stains on his burgundy button down shirt.

“Are you going bonkers?” Harry quipped, “Hermione knows how you look, lets just go.”

“Ok, but promise not tell her that I told you,” Ron said, “I will deal with this my own way.”

“Ok, if you promise not to snog during meals,” Harry joked, “I might vomit whatever I am eating.”

“Ha, ha— maybe I can get you a date with Pansy Parkingson and we can see who throws up the most.” Ron challenged.

“I need new friends.” Harry said shaking his head running toward the Great Hall.

When Ron and Harry arrived at the Great Hall, a group of Gryffindor’s was standing around a seated Hermione, peering over her shoulder. Once Hermione saw Harry and Ron enter, she franticly raced toward them with a newspaper in her hand. “They've escaped!”

“Who?” Ron asked.

“The Death Eater's,” Hermione said pointing to the Daily Prophet's headline. “Last night while the aurors searched Hogsmeade.”

She handed the paper to Harry. He and Ron began to read the article:

Death Eaters Escape Azkaban Prision.

Late last night several Death Eaters, that were caught last May during an attempt to break into the Ministry of Magic, escaped with the aid of an unregistered animagus. A witness, whom wishes not to be named, “In case of You-Know-Who reads the Daily Prophet,” said rat entered the prison around 11pm, transformed into a balding little fat man, and unlocked the cells of several Death Eaters. These Death Eaters are believed to be in the inner circle of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. “There wasn't a guard in sight.” The Ministry's aurors were guarding Azkaban after the Dementors left last May. Sources told the Daily Prophet that the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, order all active Aurors to Hogsmeade. No one at the Ministry commented on the Minister’s actions but sources told us that a Death Eater attacked several students at Hogsmeade. Details are sketchy, but when asked, Headmaster Albus Dumbledore replied, “All students of Hogwarts are safe, however, the Death Eater that was foolish enough to attack a group of young wizards from Hogwarts, is dead.”

The identity of the Death Eater has not been revealed, nor the circumstance surrounding the attack. Sources at the Ministry did mention that a full investigation into the Minister's withdrawal of the only guards at Azkaban would be made. A list of those Death Eaters that have escaped will be release shorty. Continue to check the Daily Prophet for more updates.

Rita Skeeter

Harry and Ron put down the paper with their mouths wide open.

“They’ve all escaped.” Harry said in shock.

“It was a distraction, Hermione you knew it.” Ron gasped.

“I didn't know, but I found it weird that Fudge would empty out Azkaban.” Hermione stated.

“You think he is with Voldemort?” Harry asked.

“No, but I do think he is a fool and played into Voldemorts hands.” Hermione said.

“Oh no, look who is coming over.” Ron whispered.

Just then, a very smug Draco Malfoy holding a copy of the Daily Prophet walked toward Gryffindor table. His usual gang of Crabbe, Goyle, Pansy Parkinson, and Theodore Nott followed him.

“Well, look what we have here,” Draco started, “A group of scared little Gryffindors. Well, you should be scared. Now that our fathers are out, the Dark Lord will have his revenge against you, Potter.”

“Get lost you, git.” Ron said gritting his teeth, clenching his fist. Hermione grabbed Ron's fist to calm him down. Ron was shocked by her touch that he recoiled immediately.

“Won't let your girlfriend touch you weasel,” Draco sneered, “maybe we can look forward to fewer Weasels in the future then.”

“I wonder why you are so happy?” Potter exclaimed.

“Why shouldn't I be?” Draco snarled, “My father will want to see you soon, Potter.”

“Well, yes your father might, but your Auntie won't be seeing anyone anymore.”

“What are you talking about, Potter!” Draco yelled.

“Harry, no, let it be.” Ginny interrupted.

“No, I guess the Slytherins are out of the loop,” Harry smiled, “everyone but the Slytherins know what happened at Hogsmeade. It was your Aunt Bellatrix that attacked us, she is the one that died, good riddance.”

Draco went pale, paler than he usually was. He could see on the faces of the other Gryffindors that it was true. He quickly turned away and ran out of the Great Hall. His gang quickly ran after him.

“You shouldn't have done that Harry.” Hermione said.

“He had to find out some way,” Harry said, “why should I give Rita Skeeter the pleasure of revealing it.

“Oh Harry.” Hermione said disappointingly.

“H—how is Rita Skeeter writing for the Daily Prophet again?” Ron said attempting to change the subject. “I thought you told her not to write anymore.”

“Over the summer, we agreed that if she didn't sensationalize and write bad things about Harry, then she could write again without me telling the world what she is. She has been doing work for both the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler, and actually her articles have much improved.”

“Well she will definitely have some stories to write this year.” Ron said, “We have already been attacked and its not even November yet.”

After the attack, Dumbledore announced that future trips to Hogsmeade where canceled for rest of the term. To a chorus of boos, he also mentioned that professors would be available over the weekends if any students wish for any assistance on their class work. Most of the students complained about the cancellation, but DA members, and surprisingly the Slytherins did not.

Classes went as usual for the next few days, however Neville continued to be absent. Harry, Hermione, and Ron asked several teachers about his whereabouts but did not get an answer from any of them. The most information they were able to get was from Dumbledore. “He is safe and sound, and will be returning in a day or two. Don't worry, I am sure he will make up any school work, Hermione.”

It wasn't till Thursday evening when Luna, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, and Harry were called to the headmaster's office that they discovered what had happened to Neville.

As the five of them entered the office, they saw Professor McGonagall and Professor Dumbledore chatting next to Neville and his grandmother. But there were two adults, a man and woman, standing next to Neville. The man was dressed in long purple robes and had dark hair and stout stature. The woman had wispy gray hair, and was wearing a similar purple robe. They were quite thin in the face, but very happy looking. Harry also noticed that Neville and his Grandmother were also very cheery. Hermione nudge Harry in the arm. “Don't they look familiar.” Then Harry realized, they were Frank and Alice Longbottom.

“Um, Neville are these your parents?” Harry asked cautiously.

“Ah, you guessed before we could make a game of you.” Frank cheered, “Yes, yes, we are Neville's parent, I am Frank, and this is my lovely wife Alice. Ah, look Alice this must be Harry Potter, looks just like James, amazing resemblance.”

“I am guessing the red headed children are Weasleys,” Alice chirped, “Oh, you must be Ron and you Ginny. Am I right Neville?”

Neville smiled and nodded. Harry never had scene Neville so cheery. He was beaming.

“Ok Alice, two left, and if I remember, which is something I haven't done for over a decade,” Frank laughed, “ you girl, are Hermione Granger, don't worry lassie, Neville has told us a lot about all of you in the past few days.”

“And this must be Luna, Luna Lovegood, am I right, Neville,” Alice said beaming to Luna, “Your lady friends are quite pretty.”

“Um, yeah mom uh, that’s the lot.” Neville said a bit nervously.

“Sit, sit, no need for introductions now, I assume you all have met Neville's grandmother before.” Dumbledore said pointing out Neville's grandmother.

“Um, Professor, how is this possible.” Hermione asked taking a seat next to Luna.

“Long story, Hermione, but it would not feel so long if we had some milk and cookies while we discussed this.” Dumbledore smiled. He flicked his wand and a large plate of warm chocolate chip cookies appeared on his desk. Then with a second flick, a large pitcher of milk and enough glasses for everyone appeared next to the cookies. “Come now, everyone dig in.” Everyone grabbed a glass and several cookies. Every time a cookie was removed from the plate another reappeared. Professor McGonagall looked at Ron sternly as he took 6 cookies, but handed him his 7th as he was about to return them.

“Frank, Alice, dears, you need to eat more,” Neville's grandmother persuaded. “There’s plenty and you need your strength. Frank grabbed a handful more, giving a couple to Neville, Alice, and keeping a few for himself. He sat between his mother and his wife. He leaned over to his mother and gave her a small kiss on the cheek. She turned as red as the hair on Ron's head. “You never let me eat this much as a kid, mum.”

“Ok, now we are settled, were to begin.” Dumbledore started, “ I think we have to go back 16 years ago if we want to tell this rigth, Frank, Alice, would you like to start?”

Frank couldn't talk with his mouthful of cookies; so Alice began the story for him.

“Well, you all know that it was a dark time then.” Alice began. “The Order was fighting very hard against Voldemort...”

“Don't say his name, dear.” Neville's Grandmother interrupted.

“Fear of the name grandma, even I can say V—Voldemort.” Neville said. Both Frank and Alice beamed at their son for his courage; not for saying Voldemort's name, but correcting his Grandmother, Harry thought to himself.

“James, Lily Potter, Frank, and I were working on a secret mission before we heard about the prophecy...”

“What prophesy?” Neville asked.

“Oh, dear, no one has told you.” Frank said. “Well, I can understand that, but Dumbledore, you said Harry knew, correct?”

“Harry is the only one that knew.” Dumbledore said sadly. “I told him after the attack on the Ministry last year.”

“Oh, we heard how brave you all were, especially you Harry.” Alice said. “I am sure your parents would be quite proud of you.”

“James would have cursed you to oblivion for going to the Ministry, but then he would have bought you a pitcher of Butterbeer once Lily wasn’t looking.” Frank said.

Harry thought about what Frank had said. He never thought of his parent disciplining him. He guessed that his father was such a troublemaker that he would be proud that his son would be one too, but he would also need to teach his son a lesson or two.

“If you promise not to reveal what you about to hear” Dumbledore stated, “We will let you in on the prophecy.”

All agreed to keeping quiet. Ron and Hermione looked very worried about what they are about to hear.

“The prophesy states that Harry will either kill or be killed by Voldemort. That they cannot 'survive while the other one lives.'” Dumbledore said painfully.

“What!” Ron blurted. “That can't be. You can't expect Harry to kill Voldemort!”

Hermione grabbed Ron by the arm to calm him down. “He is right, Ron, think about it. Everything Harry has done, it all looks like it will be him against Voldemort.”

“No, no, Harry, whether you like it or not, I am going to be there.” Ron said not knowing what to think.

“Me too, Harry.” Neville said, “I mean if you need me, I'm there.”

“Funny, Dumbledore, but how do you know its Harry?” Frank said.

“What do you mean?” Ginny asked.

“Well, I believe the prophecy said a child born as the 7th month dies will be the one to face Voldemort. Harry and Neville were born a few days apart in July. The Potters and we were told about this so we could go into hiding. This interrupted our work.”

“Frank, I believe it to be Harry.” Dumbledore said, “The prophecy said that the Dark Lord will mark his equal, and Harry bares a scar from Voldemort's failed Killing Curse.”

“A failed Killing Curse?” Alice blurted. “Let me see, Harry, please.”

Harry pushed back his dark hair that was covering his forehead to reveal a scar in the shape of a lightening bolt.

“Merlin's beard. I can't believe it.” Frank gasped as he saw the scar, “It worked Alice, it worked!”

“What worked?” Luna said dreamily.

“We will get to that but first how the Longbottoms came to be here tonight.” Dumbledore smiled.

“Ah, yes, but I can't believe it worked, but yes, where was I,” Frank said still staring at Harry's forehead. “ We went into hiding, but the Lestranges found us. They wanted to know about the Order, where V—Voldemort was, but we wouldn't say anything. So they torured us with the Cruciatus Curse for two days. When Rabastan and Roldolphus tired of it, Bellatrix gleefully took up the task. She had such venom in her, that we could only hold out for a few hours before passing out into this coma like state we have been in for the last 16 years.”

Everyone, even Professor McGonagall were in shock. They couldn't imagine fighting the Cruciatus Curse for over a minute rather than a few days.

“Well,” Alice continued, “When Neville killed Bellatrix, it some how knocked us out of this state we have been in, actually, I don't even remember how I was the last 16 years. Could you imagine the shock when I looked in the mirror for the first time. Well, the healers didn't understand either so they kept us under watch for the last few days. When we did wake up we asked to see our son, so that’s were he has been.”

“Handsome young lad, don't you think?” Frank said winking at Luna. “Neville and mum have been filling us in on their lives and what we have missed in the last 16 years. We still have some gaps to fill.”

“They will be staying at Hogwarts for the remainder of the year.” Dumbledore announced, “Partly, to spend time with Neville, and for safety concerns.”

“Do you think they are in danger?” Harry asked.

“Yes, they will be targets of the Death Eaters once they find out about their return and the circumstances of Bellatrix death. Hogwarts is the safest place for them. So they will assist me in some of my Order duties while spending their spare time with Neville.

“Neville, we are sure glad your OK.” Ron said.

“Yeah, we were worried sick. Especially, after how you looked when you left.” Ginny added.

“I don't want to think of what happened, but I got my parents back.” Neville said.
Harry felt happy for Neville, surely he deserved getting his parents back. They seemed so

happy together, and seeing Neville happy made him happy. But he wished he could also get his parents back, and Sirius. He started to lose his happiness just thinking about them.

“Look at the time children, back to your houses.” Professor McGonagall chimed.

“Please, everyone, what you have learned tonight, should not spread to anyone else. These are sensitive topics.” Dumbledore reminded.

“It was sure nice to meet you Mr. and Ms. Longbottom.” Harry said.

“The pleasure was ours, you’re the first people, outside of family, that we had a decent conversation with in 16 years. I hope we have many more.” Frank cheered.

“Please, know we all are grateful for how you have supported Neville all these years.” Alice said with a tear beginning in her eye, “Y—you have been so kind to him, oh, you would have to be a parent to understand.”

“I think we kind of do Ms. Longbottom.” Hermione said getting teary herself.

“What’s going on here?” Ron whispered to Harry and Neville.

“Let’s go before we all start holding hands.” Neville quipped.



Reviews can go here, feedback .

Chapter 10- Training

Classes progressed as usual, for the next week. Harry had noticed an increased workload from most of his classes. Hagrid was the only one not to increase homework. Harry and Hagrid chatted about what had happened at Hogesmeade while the rest of the students chased after gremlins in the pumpkin patch. Ron had an especially bad time with one after it stole his wand. Fortunately, Hermione was able to stun it before it could toss his wand into the Forbidden Forrest.

Ron decided to hold Quidditch tryouts on the weekend since Hogesmeade trips were cancelled. Neville was picked to replace Jack Sloper who wanted nothing to do with Quidditch after he took a bludger to the head last season.

“Neville isn’t a great flier”, Ron mentioned to Harry, “but he has a good arm, well if didn’t keep ducking the bludgers.”

Ginny switched to being the lead chaser since Harry was allowed back on the team. Dennis Creevy tried out for the second spot and made it. Seamus Finniganalso tried out for chaser and took the third spot. Andrew Kirke remained as beater from last year.

“A bit inexperienced this year, huh, Ron?” Harry said on their way to the Great Hall after tryouts.”

“There is potential.” Ron shrugged, “The way I see it, if we practice everyday, before breakfast, during the mid-day break and after classes, we should be ready for our first match.”

Fortunately, for the rest of the team, Madame Hooch would not let Ron book the Quidditch pitch for more than three practices a week.”

It was late Sunday afternoon when Professor McGonagall entered the Gryfinndor common room looking for Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Neville.

“Please follow me, the Headmaster would like to see you five right away.” Professor McGonagall announced.

Luna was waiting outside the common room by the Fat Lady’s portrait.

“Do you know what this is about?” Luna asked.

“No, I thought you would.” Harry replied.

“Oh, why would you think that.” Luna answered.

Before Harry could reply, Luna began to hum to herself while walking closer to the Professor.

In no time, Harry and the rest found themselves together in Dumbledore’s office yet again.

“Ah, yes, please sit.” Dumbledore said kindly, “This won’t take long. I brought you all here because I feel that you six, are among most likely to cross the path of a Death Eater or Voldemort himself. We need to take the necessary precautions if this should occur again you will be ready.”

“Ready for what, Professor?” Ginny asked.

“Anything, Ginny, I believe that you all should begin to learn how to apparate.”

“Um, Professor, don’t we have to be of wizarding age to learn how to apparate?” Hermione asked.

“Well, yes, but I find it prudent that we overlook such policies in light of recent events.” Dumbledore said walking over to his bookshelf. “If indeed, you find yourself in a situation that calls for you to apparate, I will deal with the Ministry then.”

“You must understand children,” Professor McGonagall interjected, “this is not a game, we are doing this for your safety. We do not want you to take this lightly. Potter, train at apparation as you would at Quidditch.”

“Why not the rest of DA.” Neville asked.

“Well, we are doing this behind the Ministry’s back,” Dumbledore grinned, “one of many things we do behind their back. However, we needed your guardian’s permissions if we were going to train you. It would be easier to keep it a secret if there was a smaller group. The first time you would use it could be a surprise for the Death Eaters, and we wouldn’t want to loose that advantage. So we all must keep this to ourselves, agreed?” Everyone nodded in silence.

“How long will it take?” Ron asked after a few moments.

“Apparation will not come easily, it is difficult for most wizard’s at first, and it takes about a year to master, however we have been blessed to have a licensed instructor among our staff. Madame Hooch will be instructing you in a facility outside of Hogwarts.”

“Why does is it outside of Hogwarts? Ron asked curiously.

“How many times do I have to tell you Ron,” Hermione interrupted, “you cannot apparate on Hogwart’s grounds.”

“Oh, I forgot.” Ron said sheepishly.

“You will have you apparation lessons on Sunday afternoon, starting today. Meet Madame Hooch and Hagrid at the Hagrid’s Hut right now.” Dumbledore said pointing to the door.

“Oh, Harry, wait one minute.” Dumbledore said as the rest left his office.

“Yes, Professor?”

“What we spoke about this summer, Occlumency lessons, well I found someone to teach you.

“Who is it?”

“Oh, I will leave that as a surprise. Just be in the Room of Requirements at 7pm tomorrow.”

Harry gave a grinning Dumbledore a nod and hurried after the rest. All were whispering to each other about how apparation classes would be.

“I have read that most wizards do not pass their apparation exam on the first try, some have to do it four times before they get their license.” Hermione pointed out.

“Why is it so hard to get a license?” Neville asked.

“Because, they don't want you popping on top of a person or in the middle of a tree. I hear Healers hate dealing with apparation injuries cause its complex to reverse.” Hermione replied.

“Why do you think we are going to Hagrid’s, what's he got to do with it?” Ginny asked.

“I dunno, maybe we will learn in his hut, away from school.” Ron shrugged.

“Oh, no, I don't think we would have a class in a place so cluttered, lovely, but cluttered.” Luna said dreamily picking a daisy from the path in front of Hagrid's hut.

Harry waited for the rest to get close to the door before he knocked. Hagrid opened the door beaming. “Aw, yer her' fer yer first lesson'. Les' go.”

Hagrid stepped outside and onto the path. A moment later Madame Hooch stepped out holding her wand in her right hand and her broom in her left.

“All right, you all must listen close, and pay attention.” Madame Hooch said sternly. “That means you too Weasley. Wands out, stay behind me and in front of Hagrid. Single file formation. Don't break formation unless there is trouble.”

Harry thought he was listening to Oliver Wood before a Quidditch game, but Madame Hooch was a lot stricter with her words.

“What trouble, Professor?” Ginny asked.

“We will be going deep into the Forbidden Forrest. We all should be ok as long as we stick together and do not stray.”

“Dumbledore must be nuts,” Ron whispered to Harry, “ All these years he tells us to stay away from the Forrest and now he has us having classes there.”

“He must have his reasons,” Harry answered, “even though I don't know what they are most times.”

“Are you bringing Fang?” Hermione asked Hagrid.

“No, he'sa bit mor sheep then dog,” Hagrid laughed, “but don' tell em I'd said tha'.”

The students followed Madam Hooch silently into the forest. All had their wands out ready for anything. Harry reassured Ron multiple times that they were not going the same directions as cave of Argog. They walked for twenty minutes over the rocks and dirt before they got to the foot of a large hill. Madam Hooch got on her broom and flew over the hill.

“Coast is clear.” Madam Hooch said upon returning. She pointed her wand towards the a large boulder at the foot of the hill and chanted, “Alohoboulo.”

The boulder rolled to the left to reveal an archway into the enormous hill. “All in, this way, watch your head Hagrid.”

All realized that the room they had just entered was almost as big as the hill. It was a very square room, with bright white walls. The room was brightly lit but there was no source for the light. The room was completely empty, a good room to learn how to apparate in, Harry thought.

“Ok, everyone, wands away, we are safe here. We are at Hogwarts new Apparation Center. We are still waiting for certification from the Ministry to use this facility, but for now we have more important issues at hand than dealing with Ministy's red spellotape. There are a few rules, the room has been enchanted so you cannot apparate out of here, however you can apparate in. Funny thing is that when you do learn how to apparate into here, you will not have any use for it. Rule one, you will only be able to apparate within the red circles. Rule number two, stay in the blue circle when you are not apparating. Thats it, any questions.”

“Um, Madam Hooch, what circles?” Hermione asked.

Madam Hooch looked around to see the room completely bare of any red or blue circles. With a huff she tapped her wand against the entryway. Several large red circles appeared throughout the room, most on the floors, some on the walls and two on the ceiling. Most were large enough for several adults to stand in, however one on the floor was only big enough for one. A large blue circle appeared underneath where Harry and the rest stood. He didn’t move out of the circle until Madam Hooch called him to one of the red circles on the floor.

“First everyone, we have to understand some of the wizarding rules that govern apparation.” Madam Hooch started. “First we must think of where we want to be. Have a clear definition of the exact spot and its surroundings. Once properly trained, you will be able to do this without using a wand. This is much easier said than done. If an accident occurs, you might splinched together with a chair, wall, or even another wizard. There have been incidences were wizards have died due to a misplaced lamp.”

Madam Hooch walked a circle around Harry before she continued. “Now, Harry do you see that small red circle across the room. Imagine yourself there, close your eyes if you have to. But will yourself there.” Harry closed his eyes, he thought of himself standing on top of the small red circle. He felt himself being lifted and then all of a sudden the blood rushed to his head. When he opened his eyes, he saw the rest of the group staring up at him. He looked around the room and realized he was upside down on the ceiling. Harry heard Madam Hooch use the levitation spell to get him down from the ceiling.

“See children, this is not easy as you would think.” Madam Hooch repeated. “This room has been enchanted to enhance your apparation magic, so you can apparate within the room fairly easily, but we have to work on aim. The better you get, the less the room will help. This might be very difficult for some of you. Your confidence in your skill might falter if you see yourself fail after a few successes. But you will do well if you just have patience. This is actually a new method of training that Dumbledore and I came up with over the summer. We hope to cut down on the training but still have you very skilled with apparation once you have passed. Now Harry what did you picture, describe it if you can?”

“Well—um, I saw myself standing on the red circle.” Harry stated.

“And…” Madam Hooch said pushing for more information.

“…and that’s it.” Harry shrugged.

“Well, that is why you didn’t make it to the appropriate circle. You should have thought of the walls and ceiling in relation to where you stood, and to see us in the far end of the room staring at you. You have to be keen to the environment you plan to apparate to. I would highly recommend never attempting to apparate to a place you are not familiar with.

With that said, the remainder of the afternoon, the students took turns on attempting to apparate onto the small red circle. None was successful, even Hermione who excelled at learning new magic.

After the trek back to Hogwarts, the students were in time for dinner. They spent the rest of the evening finishing any homework that was not completed yet. For Ron, that was all his homework. The next day could not have gone any slower for Harry. Charms were especially boring, that Professor Flitwick nodded of a few times himself. Harry had let the others know that he would continue Occlumency in the Room of Requirements that night. After a quick dinner, Harry left Ron and Hermione to go to his first Occlumency lesson for the school year.

Harry didn’t even think of what he wanted the room to be before he opened the door. He entered a warm room, with a lit fireplace. There were two large comfortable couches in the middle of the room. Soft pillows were all over the room. Across the room stood a thin man in shabby clothes. His hair was light brown flecked with gray.

“Remus!” Harry shouted with surprise.

“Its good to see you too Harry.” Remus said cheerfully.

“So you are going to teach me Occlumency?” Harry asked.

“I hope to, whether you learn it is a different matter.” Remus quipped.

“I didn’t know you knew Occlumency…why didn’t you teach me it last year?”

“Well, Harry I didn’t know it last year. Once Sirius and I found out that Snape would be teaching you Occlumency, we thought one of us should learn it just in case. Since I was the better student, that one became me. I have been studying it for several months now, and Dumbledore caught me up to speed with anything I couldn’t find in books. I might not be as proficient in it as Snape or Dumbledore, but Dumbledore and I both decided that you would learn it better if you were more relaxed at your lessons.”

“Well, I am sure glad it is you.” Harry smiled, “By the way, what are all the pillows for?”

“Well, just some cushion if one of us lets out a stunner when we are connected.”

“Good idea.” Harry smiled.

“Lets get started, Harry, what do you remember from your last lesson.”

“Well we got up to me building a mental wall to protect my mind form attacks.”

“Good, try that again, I am going to attack and see how much you can block.” Lupin raised his wand and said, “Legilimens.”

Harry quickly made his mind blank and built a wall, he could feel Lupin pushing against it. The harder Lupin pushed, the harder Harry had to push back. Harry could feel that Lupin was testing his strength. It wasn’t even ten seconds before Harry’s thoughts were visible to Lupin.

Harry’s thoughts began to swirl around in his head, he saw a flash of green light that he now knew as the Killing Curse… being bullied by Dudley when he was eight…he was chasing after a snitch in his second year…he was getting ready for the Yule Ball with Ron…he was in the Department of Mysteries witnessing Sirius fall into the black veil. Harry had pushed back harder this time. His thoughts began to change. He saw a small boy crying holding his bloodied arm…the same boy being chased by a group of first year Slytherin…an older boy sitting with James Potter, Sirius, and Peter Pettigrew at the Three Broomsticks…the young man naked in the Shrieking Shack. Harry had felt himself thrown back. He landed on one of the couches.

“V—very good, Harry” Lupin said panting. “You actually learned something from Professor Snape.”

“Are you OK Remus?” Harry said worriedly.

“Yes, I wasn’t expecting those memories to show up, did you know what you were looking for?”

“No, I just wanted you out of my head and I pushed back.” Harry said.

“Interesting. Sooner or later you will learn how to select which thought you want to see. Harry, what was that green light?

“I think that is when my parents were murder by Voldemort.” Harry replied.

“You remember that?” Lupin asked sounding intrigued.

“Bits and pieces of it…” Harry said, “sometimes I just remember screaming.”

“Oh my…” Lupin said with a sad tone, “ that’s interesting that you remember that, I must tell Dumbledore.”

“Is it that important that I remember that?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know, but it could be.”

Lupin had Harry clear his mind before ending the session. They chatted in the hallway up to Gryffindor tower. Before he left Lupin gave him some more advice in dealing with any more attacks. “Remember Harry, its your mind, if someone invades it you have home pitch advantage, use it.” With that Lupin left Harry at the portrait of the Fat Lady. To Harry it seem that he went the direction of Dumbledore’s office rather than exiting Hogwarts. Harry knew though that no one would spot him if he didn’t want them to. If anyone could navigate the halls of Hogwarts undetected, it would be a Marauder.

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  #9  
Old December 31st, 2004, 3:56 am
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
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Chapter 11- Harry’s pensive

The next morning at breakfast Harry and Hermione enjoyed several pieces of toast and jam while they watched Ron start on his third helping of eggs and bacon.

“Slow down Ron, no ones going to steal your food.” Hermione pointed out.

“MMh…yoouhf try livffing wif five brofhers?

Just then, Draco with his gang of Slytherins marched up to where Harry, Ron, and Hermione were sitting.

“Guess who just got an owl from his father.” Draco said with a sinister smile.

“Guess who gives a dam.” Harry said standing to his feet.

“Now, now Potter, you wouldn’t want to miss this great news I have…” Draco said waiving the letter in Harry’s face. “…it involves your precious mutt of a godfather.”

“Shut up Malfoy.” Ron said angrily. Hermione began to hold Ron and Harry back from moving any closer to Malfoy.

“Looks like your little mug-blood girlfriend is worried that you might go and do something drastic…we wouldn’t want that.” Malfoy said looking over his shoulder at Crabbe and Golye, both of them were cracking their knuckles with anticipation.

“Well, it looks like the Malfoy estate will double its wealth in the next year.” Draco said smugly. “You see, by wizarding law, the entire estate of a deceased wizard goes to the closest living relative, if there isn’t a will created by that wizard. Since, my mother is the closest living relative, and I doubt you flea-brained godfather had a chance to write a will while he was burying bones who knows where. Mummy and daddy promised me the house of Black once I am finished at Hogwarts. I believe I will have it demolished and open a pet store. Sounds fitting huh Potter—”

Just then, Harry leapt from behind Hermione and struck Draco in the face with all him might. Draco hit the ground hard and Harry jumped on top of him pummeling him. Crabbe, Goyle, and the rest of the Slytherins just stood there in shock of what had happened. Their lack of reaction time extended to outside a duel.. Hermione and Ron pulled Harry off a whimpering Draco. Harry was breathing hard but did not look as he was hit. His fist still clutched tightly as he yelled, “Don’t ever talk about Sirius like that again!”

“Come’ on Harry, lets get out of here.” Hermione whispered.

Harry and rest rushed out of the Great Hall before any professors could walk in on the melee.

“You shouldn’t have fought Draco, Harry, you can get into big trouble.” Hermione admonished.

“He deserved it Hermione, with all he said about Sirius.” Ron defended. “If he didn’t do it, I would have, wouldn’t you?”

“Well, um, yeah I would, but I would have gotten him back rather than fighting him then and there.” Hermione said.

“It wasn’t a fight, it was a thrashing, and it was better that watching the Quidditch World Cup.” Ron said trying to lighten the mood.

Harry walked quietly with Ron and Hermione toward their first class of the morning when they noticed Professor McGonagall was waiting by the door of Professor’s Flitwick’s.

“You three come with me. Professor Dumbledore wants to see you right away.” McGonagall said in haste.

Harry felt a lump grow in the back of his throat as he followed McGonagall toward the Headmaster’s office. He had a sinking feeling that he was going to have to explain his fight with Draco.

“Bloody prat snitched us out.” Ron whispered to Harry.

Harry could see that Hermione was also worried, she has never been sent to the Headmaster’s office for being in trouble. Once they entered the office they saw Neville, Alice, and Frank Long bottom sitting together on one side of Dumbledore’s desk, and Lupin sitting on along side four empty chairs on the other side. On Dumbledore’s desk, Harry recognized immediately, sat a bowl of pensive. Harry and the others took their seats next to Lupin and gave quizzical looks to Dumbledore.

“Ah, yes, you must be wondering why I pulled you four out of class.” Dumbledore started. “Well, it has come to my attention that you, Harry, have some memories of the night Voldemort attacked your family. When Lupin told me this last night, Alice and Frank were with me at the time. They believe that this memory of yours holds the key to what they have been working on before they where institutionalized. Well, I think they would be better at explaining it.”

“Uh, yes, ok, lets see, we did mention last time we met that we were working with James and Lily on a secret mission.” Frank started. “It was for the Order and only us four and Dumbledore knew about this mission. James was an expert at Dark Arts and Lily of Charms and Transfiguration, they headed the project we worked on. Alice and I had our expertise in Potions and Herbology so we did a lot of research since our skills are honed on research. The four of us spent almost a year and a half before you two were born researching spells, plants, potions, whatever we thought could work. We looked at Egyptian magic, Indian Magic, and even Voodoo. But we were going nowhere. It was only a few months before the attack that we started to make some progress. It was Lily and Alice who first set us on the right path. They were the more focused of the four of us since they were pregnant and didn’t have much time to be doing other Order duties…”

“Um, Mr. Longbottom, what are you talking about?” Hermione politely interrupted.

“Oh, yes yes, this doesn’t make sense without knowing what we assigned to do. What no one thought was possible but we had the task of making it possible…”

“Honey, you’re still rambling.” Alice said gently.

“Ok, Ok, Dumbledore had given us a task to find a way to take away the fear that Voldemort and his Death Eaters had placed on the community. Something to empower wizards to stand up against the darkness that was spreading.” Frank said thoughfully, “We were to come up with a defense against the Killing curse.”

Everyone other than Dumbledore, Alice, and Frank gasped. Lupin sat up in his chair even more so. McGonagall looked to Dumbledore for reassurance of what Frank was telling them truth.

“Isn’t that’s impossible!” Lupin asked.

“Well, we thought so too at first, but the more we research the more we discovered it wasn’t.” Alice reassured. “With magic, everything has a balance. We saw some Indian spells that counter some spells here that were long believed to be uncounterable. So, our task was to find the balance, the counter to the Killing Curse. And we did.”

This time everyone looked at Harry and his scar.

“How did it work, mum?” Neville asked.

“Well, we are not sure.” Alice started, “Lily and I knew that the emotion behind the killing curse must be with evil intent. That’s why it’s such an easy curse for dark wizards. But one day when talking how we would like our kids to go to Hogwarts and all types of emotional stuff that comes up when you are an expecting mother, we both realized, almost simultaneously, that a spell with such a strong emotion of hatred behind it can only be countered with just as strong emotion, love.”

“Once Lily and Alice got this idea, James and I researched it and we saw that this was more than a plausible theory.” Frank added. “We named the spell Gryffindor’s shield, in honor of Hogwarts greatest founder, and began to test the theory out. Unfortunately, we couldn’t test it out properly.”

“Why not?” Lupin asked looking very intrigued.

“Well, it was hard to practice a defense of a killing curse that we weren’t sure would work. James was willing to be a target, but thankfully Lily talked him out of it. Then there was the attack on the Potters and we were told to go into hiding. We didn’t know that Harry had escaped the Killing curse.”

“Neville told us all about you Harry and your scar. Yesterday, when Remus said something about you remembering your attack we thought there might be a possibility that we can find out the missing link to complete the spell.”

“How would you do that?” Harry asked.

“The pensive Harry.” Dumbledore said pushing the bowl of pensive to the edge of his desk. “There is a way to get your thoughts into the pensive allowing the Longbottoms to see what had happened that caused the Killing curse to be deflected from you.”

“But I don’t remember all of what happened.” Harry replied.

“Well, I believe using my Legilimency skills I can extract the entire suppressed memory.” Dumbledore said.

“I have never heard of this before.” Lupin said cautiously.

“I have done this a few times to help aid in the defence of few wizards, and a brother. Its perfectly safe.”

“Let’s do it.” Harry said.

“Are you sure Harry?” Lupin asked.

“Yes, I am for anything that can help defeat Voldemort.”

“Ok, Harry just stand next to the pensive, I want you to clear your head, don’t try to push me out. I won’t poke around too much. Once I get a bit of the memory, I can put it in the pensive. Now try to relax.” Dumbledore said softly.

Harry closed his eyes as everyone watched. He felt the tip of Dumbledore’s wand on his temple. Shortly afterward his head began to swirl. He saw what he believed to be the inside of a crib, then he heard a loud scream and flash of green. Soon his head began to swirl again and his mind was clear once more.

“You can open your eyes Harry, I’ve got it.” Dumbledore said.

“That was quick?” Harry said sounding surprised.

“Well, I think you had it ready for me, maybe you didn’t want me to see what happened between you and Malfoy earlier.”

“Oh, uh, yeah.”

“I will speak with you later about that Mr. Potter.” Professor McGonagall said from her seat.

“All we have to do is touch the pensive to witness the attack.” Dumbledore instructed. “Harry, the Longbottoms need to see this, and so do I, but if you don’t want to, I’ll understand.”

“No, I need to know. I am going in.” Harry said, “Remus, would you like to see, they were you friends.”

For a moment Lupin sat there thinking, and then stood up and walked toward Harry. “Harry I hope you don’t mind me not joining you for this.” Lupin said with his eyes getting watery, “ I know this is important but I rather remember them how they lived. I don’t think I could bare seeing it.”

Harry, Frank and Alice, stepped up to Dumbledore’s desk. Each dipped their hand into the bowl. Immediately Harry felt himself jerk forward, the shelves in Dumbledores office turned into a wall with pictures of Sirius, Lupin, the Potters and many others. Harry could see his mother and father in the living room huddle close to a baby. Harry noticed how happy his Mom looked when she was holding him. He felt a sudden pain in his heart when he realized what is about to take place.

“Just like I remember it Harry.” Frank said placing his hand on Harry’s left shoulder.

“Oh, look at that picture,” Alice squealed, “this was taken probably a few months before all this. Neville used to be so plump.”

Harry saw his parents posing with him, beside them, the Longbottoms were posing with Neville. It was a very cheery photo like most of the photos in the house.

“How can I remember all this?” Harry asked.

“The mind is a mysterious creature in itself.” Dumbledore said looking at a picture of James Potter and himself playing a game of wizard’s chess. “He would always beat me you know. I think he would give your friend Ron a run for his money.”

Suddenly, there was a commotion at the front door. Harry could hear muffled voices from the other side of it.

“Here, my lord, in here.” Said a squeaky voice that Harry had known to be Peter Pettigrew.

“Wait here, Wormtail,” said another voice, “I will deal with them myself.”

Harry saw the door blast open, and in walked Voldemort. Before he knew, James had shot a stunner directly at Voldemort only to be deflected.

“Run, Lily, run. Get Harry out of here.” James shouted.

Harry was amazed how quick his father reacted. He was going spell for spell with Voldemort. Lily grabbed the baby Harry and made for the stairs. Harry noticed that she dropped her wand as she was running with Harry.

“We must follow her Harry, your memory continues with her, not here.” Dumbledore said guiding Harry to the steps.

“Terrible just terrible…” Frank said shaking his head.

They followed Lily to Harry’s baby room. Alice stayed the closest to Lily, observing her very closely. Once they saw Lily place Harry into his crib they saw a flash of green coming from the living room downstairs. Harry knew that his father had just died. His mother began to tear up, she realized she had left her wand. Harry and the others listened to footsteps as Voldemort made his way up the stairs.

“Are you hearing this Frank?” Alice said trying to get his attention away from the stairs.

“Oh my, yes, yes I am.” Franks said moving closer to Lily.

Lily was bent over Harry’s crib whispering something Harry could not hear from across the room. Soon Voldemort entered the room and pointed his wand at Lily. Voldemort chanted the Killing curse and a moment later a Lily was dead on the floor. Harry could feel the tears swell up inside him as he witnessed all this. He knew he couldn’t do anything right then, but he swore to himself he would defeat Voldemort if it was the last thing he did.

Voldemort walked up to Harry’s crib and pointed his wand down toward Harry, chanted the Killing curse once again. But after the flash of green there was a glow of red coming from the crib. Alice and Frank were the only ones close enough to the crib to see what the glow was from. Harry then saw Voldemort scream in pain. A beam of light from the crib hit Voldemort in the middle of his chest. A moment later Voldemort disappeared, leaving his robe and wand behind.

Harry walked toward the crib that was still glowing red. Before he could see inside he felt himself being jerked backward. Suddenly, he was looking down at a marble paperweight on Dumbledore’s desk. He looked around to see McGonagall, Ron, Hermione, Lupin and Neville staring right at him.

“Are you ok Harry?” Lupin asked.

“Y—yeah, I’m ok.” Harry said realizing there were tears rolling down his face. Harry looked behind him to see Dumbledore, Alice, and Frank all standing on the other side of the desk. Dumbledore handed Frank and Alice each a tissue and took one for himself.

“I believe you were able to get what you wanted from that.” Dumbledore said drying his eyes. Alice nodded but sat quietly. Frank, too, was quiet allowing himself a moment to compose himself.

“Harry, your parents, were very very brave.” Frank sniffed.

“Thanks.” Harry said quietly.

“We were able to get the information we came for, but it will take some time to put it all together. Once we do, Harry, we will definitely let you know.” Frank said.

“Ok.” Harry agreed.

Dumbledore excused Harry from classes for the rest of the day. He felt Harry need sometime to deal with what he just witnessed. Harry spent most of the day down by the lake. He replayed his parents’ murder over and over in his head. Even though he had glimpses of their murder in past, seeing it unfold completely was frightening. It wasn’t until early evening did Harry find himself hungry and drained from walking around the lake all afternoon. He thought that he might be able to get some food before most of the other students went to dinner. It wasn’t until he entered a half full Great Hall that he realized he had made it in time for the beginning of dinner. He only saw a few Gryffindors at the table, mostly third years. Harry spotted a gloomy Ron sitting by himself; picking at his plate of mashed potatoes and baked chicken.

“Not hungry for once, Ron.” Harry joked.

“Yeah…hey you ok, Harry.” Ron asked.

“Yeah, but I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

“Hey, I understand. I can only imagine what you have been going through today…have you seen Hermione by the way?”

“No, I have been outside most of the afternoon. Why, is something wrong?”

“W—well, after lunch, Hermione and I went to the library, not my idea mind you,” Ron started, “it was the first time we actually got to be alone for a while, so I asked her about that kiss after the Hogsmeade trip and well…she said it was nothing.”

“What? Are you sure she said ‘nothing’?” Harry asked.

“She said it was the heat of the moment and that we should just remain friends…but I think she is just saying that…she sounded very unsure of what she was saying.”

“Then what happened?”

“Well I told her that I wanted to be more than just friends and I had liked her for a long time…and I didn’t want to bottle up my feelings anymore. After that she just left…I think she was crying. I haven’t seen her after that.”

“Why would she kiss you and then just want to be friends?”

“I saw Ginny a few minutes later, she asked why Hermione was crying, and I told her…she knew about the kiss already.”

“How would she know?” Harry asked naively.

“Well, apparently those girls talk about everything,” Ron answered, “and Ginny and Hermione have been talking about this for years…Ginny said Hermione had liked me for a long time too.”

“Then why would she run off like that?” Harry asked sounding more perplexed.

“That’s what I asked Ginny,” Ron said, “and she said that ‘its complexed’ whatever that means…she was like ‘Hermione really likes you but she over analyzes your relationship. She doesn’t want to lose your friendship.’ Why would I not be her friend if we were dating?”

“See, this is why I don’t understand a thing about women.” Harry shrugged, “I hadn’t a clue about how to deal with Cho.”

“At least Cho wanted to be ‘more than just a friend’. Ginny said Hermione will come around sometime, but I don’t know how long I can wait.”

“You’ve waited all these years.” Harry pointed out.

“Yeah, but its different now,” Ron said, “everything is out in the open, and I don’t want to keep it in anymore.”

“Well, good luck.” Harry said not knowing what to say. They sat there silently for a few moments picking at their food.

“I wonder how much Ginny and Hermione talk about us?” Harry said out loud.

“I bet a lot from what it sounds like.” Ron added, “Seems like Ginny knew about Hermione’s feelings for a few years too.”

“No wonder we have terrible luck with girls,” Harry said shaking his head, “they stick together so well.”




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Chapter 12 – MacGonangall’s secret

The rest of the week went by fast for Harry. Saturday was Gryffindor’s first Quidditch match of the season and it was against Slytherin. Ron had the double practice on Tuesday and Thursday just to go over several plays that Ron had thought of during lunch. When Saturday morning arrived, all the Gryffindors had different displays of Red and Gold all over them. Colin Creevy had painted his face gold and red, and made a sign the said ‘Go, Denis, go!’ , while Parvati Patil wore an enchanted t-shirt with and an animated lion biting the head off a snake. Harry had always loved the morning of a Gryffindor Quidditch match and this was the first official one he got to play since Umbridge’s ban on him last year. He felt giddy just getting changed for the game. Unfortunately, Neville was anything but giddy; he was actually a few shades paler than normal. He saw Ron trying to calm him down as everybody made his way to the pitch.

“He’s a goner.” Ron said to Harry as they entered the Gryffindor locker room.

“He’ll do alright.” Harry said in half assuring voice.

“Maybe, as long as he hits the Bludger in the right direction.” Ron said.

Once the team had made it out onto the pitch, the roar of the crowd was amazing. Harry had felt that the Gryffindors were yelling extra loud to see him back. They could also be yelling for Ron who miraculously won the Quidditch Cup for them last year. Nonetheless, it felt good to here the cheers. Even Neville seemed to be comforted by it.

The game started quickly after Madam Hooch released the Snitch. Draco shadowed Harry early on.

“Playing the lazy seeker again, huh Malfoy?” Harry said irritated by Malfoy’s proximity.

“I am just trying to stay away from Longbottom,” Draco sneered, “the way he is flying, I would bet that he is going to take someone out.”

Harry could see that Neville was having a hard time keeping up with the Bludgers. The few times he did connect, he sent Bludger across the pitch to Slytherin’s goal or close enough to a Slytherin player that it made them go of course. It was thirty minutes into the game and the score was still zero to zero. Ron had been successful to block all of Slytherin’s attempts at goal. However, Ginny, Dennis, and Semus were a lot less successful in trying to make a goal. Harry knew that the only way this game was going to go anywhere is if he caught the Snitch, but, Malfoy stayed close by. Harry flew close to Ron when the action was at Slytherin’s side of the pitch.

“Malfoy is tailing me!” Harry whispered.

“Hmmm, ok, look when I give you a signal, act like you have seen the Snitch and buzz right pass Neville.” Ron whispered back.

“What?”

“Trust me, just wait for my signal.” Ron smiled.

Harry had flown back to the center of the pitch watching the action. With a close save, the Slytherin’s keeper sent the Quaffle halfway across the pitch. Harry saw Neville and Ron discussing something as Ginny intercepted the Quaffle.

“Look Harry the Snitch!” Ron shouted pointing passed Neville.

For a moment Harry looked, but then realized this was Ron’s signal. With tremendous speed Harry raced toward Neville. Harry saw that Neville was bracing himself; he realized that Neville was going to block Malfoy. Harry then knew that it was what Ron had planned after noticing Ron was closing his eyes, waiting for Neville and Draco to crash. Malfoy flew directly behind Harry and could not see Neville a hundred yards in front of them. Harry then stood on his broom, like he did in his first game. Neville’s face showed Harry that he understood what was coming next. Neville began to speed toward Harry. Malfoy could now see Neville coming closer. Draco must I’m nuts to have a head on collision with Neville, Harry thought to himself. Just a second before Neville and Harry met in mid- air, Harry jumped as high as he could from his broom, high enough to go over Neville’s head. His broom magically flew under Neville, and caught Harry at the bottom of his arch. A loud thud occurred behind Harry, then a great cheer burst from the Gryffindor stands. When Harry turned around, he caught the sight of Malfoy falling off his broom and onto the sanded ground below. He could see that Malfoy wasn’t badly injured, but definitely out of commission for the rest of the game. Harry looked at Neville who was rubbing his shoulder. With a look of pain across Neville’s face, “Boy, did that feel good.”

Harry had to laugh, he knew how sticking it to Malfoy was pleasure only a few had. “Excellent block,” Harry smiled, “He is going to feel that for days.”

“Thanks…hey Harry there’s the Snitch!” Neville shouted excitingly, pointing past Harry’s shoulder.

Harry quickly turned and sped toward the illusive Snitch. The Snitch flew in a straight forward pattern, easy enough to catch with a Firebolt as your broom. Harry reached out his hand and closed it around the Snitch and then held it up high.

“Harry Potter has caught the Golden Snitch!” Madam Hooch bellowed. “Gryffindor wins! 150 to 0!”

The Gryffindor stands erupted. The rest of the team came over to congratulate Harry.

“That was a great catch, Harry!” Dennis cheered.

“Awesome block, Neville.” Semus added.

“Yeah thanks.” Neville said, still rubbing his shoulder. “It was Ron’s idea.”

“Well, Harry needed to get Malfoy off his tail...” Ron smiled, “…and I thought Neville would like a chance at Malfoy. He was up for it.”

“Yeah, it felt nice watching Madam Pompfrey take Malfoy back to the castle.” Neville joked.

By then a crowd of Gryffindors surrounded them patting each player in the back, shaking their hands, and cheering. Harry could see that Neville was not used to the attention, he was blushing bright red.

The Gryffindor house was up very late partying from the day’s victory, Ginny managed to sneak a load of sweets and butterbeer in. “The twins would be proud.” Colin Creevy said to Ginny as he helped her unload the sweets. Hermione listened to Ron as he explained his strategy to help Harry out of his Malfoy situation. All Hermione could say during his explanation, was that they should add that to their play book.

“What play book?” Ron asked after his longwinded speech.

“Well I started one, I been putting plays that you have taught the team since practice started.”Hermione answered.

“T—that’s cool.” Ron said with an impressed look on his face.

“Well, what should we call that play between Neville and Harry.” Hermione said blushing.

“Um, call it the Longbottom Block, we will start incorporating it into our practices.” Ron said looking over to Neville who was pouring himself and Parvati Patil a mug of butterbeer.

Harry enjoyed the rest of the night. He had planned to do his school work late Sunday morning and meet with Lupin tomorrow evening. It was nice to play a proper game of Quidditch, Harry thought to himself as he drifted to sleep.

It was early Sunday evening as Harry headed up to the Room of Requirements. Harry had a quiet Sunday, mostly catching up on schoolwork with Ron. As he entered the Room of Requirements, Remus was already there waiting for him.

“Great game yesterday.” Remus smiled.

“You were there?” Harry asked.

“I arrived yesterday to help Dumbledore with some Order stuff, I stayed the night in the staff house.” Remus answered.

“Why didn’t you say hi?” Harry asked.

“Dumbledore wants me to keep a low profile, especially from the other students.” Remus said.

“Oh, ok, but if you want to, I am sure the Gryffindors wouldn’t mind you at our house.”

“Well… maybe, shall we start,” Remus said approaching Harry, “They say time is galleons.”

“Sure.” Harry said preparing his mind.

“Ready?” Remus said raising his wand, “Legilimins.”

Harry felt his mind being attacked, he held off Remus for as long as he could, but then his mental wall broke. He could see Neville chasing after his toad Trevor in his first year…Ron and Hermione arguing over Scabbers and Crookshank in their third year… he could see Dumbledore dancing with Madam Maxime at the Yule Ball. Then Harry fought back, he didn’t want Lupin to go any further. He could feel that he was blocking Remus again and then he began to see Remus’s memories. Remus as a toddler was playing with a puppy…then he was dancing with a girl at what looked like the Yule Ball during his time at Hogwarts…then Remus was standing next to James, Sirius, Lily, and Dumbledore while a baby was being christened, Harry noticed another woman in this memory, but her face was hidden. Just then Harry was brought back to the real world and Remus looked slightly dazed.

“That was good Harry, your defense is getting better.” Remus said softly.

“Was that my christening I saw?” Harry asked Remus.

“Yes, yes it was.” Remus said coming out of his daze.

“Who was that other woman, I couldn’t see her face.” Harry asked.

“That was your godmother, she is…” Lupin thought for a moment, and when he began to speak, he mumbled something unintelligible.

“Who?” Harry asked more curiously.

“She is mmbleblea…” Lupin said strangely.

Harry had thought he was going deaf.

“That is odd.” Remus said out loud.

“What?” Harry asked.

“I know who it is, I can see her no problem, but the image was hidden from you…” Lupin said. “… and I can’t say her name out loud, I can’t reveal her to you.”

“Why not?” Harry asked more confused.

“ I think I know why, I think someone made her identity as your godmother a secret. That is some complex magic, a variation of the Fidelius Charm I believe. Only one person I can think of that could do that…”

“Dumbledore!” Harry and Lupin said at the same time.

“Let’s go!” Lupin said leading the way to Dumbledore’s office.

They quickly raced out of the room toward Dumbledore’s office. As they were passing the Transfiguration classroom, Harry had notice Professor McGonagall, Hermione, Ron, and Dumbledore chatting by McGonagall’s desk.

“There in here.” Harry whispered to Remus.

“Remus!” Hermione shouted Harry and Lupin entered.

“Ah yes, I was expecting you two?” Dumbledore said amusingly.

“You knew we were coming here?” Harry asked.

“Well no, but this seems to be a good place to start?” Dumbledore smiled.

“To start what?” Ron asked confused.

“Well, we are here to ask about that mysterious lady that was at Harry’s christening and why I am not able to tell him who she is.” Remus stated.

“What’s going on?” Hermione asked.

Harry had told them what had happened in the Room of Requirements and that they had some questions for Dumbledore?

“Yes, I felt that you were trying to unlock that memory, that is part of this particular Fidelius Charm. It alerts me when someone attempts to discuss its secret.”

“What secret?” Ron said even more confused?

“Who is my godmother?” Harry said sternly, looking at Dumbledore.

“Well, it is not for me to say…” Dumbledore said before being cut off.

“Its Ok professor, its time for him to know.” McGonagall said standing up. “I should have said this long ago.”

“Said what?” Harry asked.

“I’m your godmother Harry.” McGonagall said quietly.

Harry, Hermione, and Ron were all shocked into silence. Harry looked at her strangely for a few moments before he began to speak.

“Why hadn’t you told before?” Harry asked.

“It’s a long story, Harry,” McGonagall said, “When your mother came to school here, she hadn’t a clue about the Wizarding world. Her relatives that were wizards and witches were distant relatives. So, after a few weeks of classes, she was slipping behind in her Transfiguration work. I had her come after classes so I could help her catch up. Same with Mr. Weasley here.” She said looking down at Ron.

“It wasn’t hard to see how delightful a witch she was, and how determined she was to learn as much as she could about wizarding. She was full of questions, so bright eyed, much like Ms. Granger. By the end of the year, she was tutoring several other students herself. We grew to be more than just student and professor, but quite good friends. I found myself reliving my school years through her, especially the time she punched your father in the nose. Trust me he deserved it.” Lupin and Dumbledore began laughing at the memory of it.

McGonagall continued, “She graduated with top honors in Transfiguration and several other subjects. She was one of my brightest students and by that time a dear friend. She stayed at my flat in London while you father trained with the aurors. I was at her bridal shower and in her wedding party, and she was at each of my birthday parties since leaving Hogwarts. I never had children Harry, and she was the closest thing to a daughter that I have ever known.”

“Then why did you keep it from me?” Harry asked in almost sounding hurt.

“Oh, it was not because of you, or Lily…” McGonagall said in a comforting motherly way. “…How can I explain this? There was one other student I had felt this close to before, so proud of…but he was not like your mother after all. It was my last year at Hogwarts, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do after Hogwarts. After athe first few weeks, the headmaster at the time asked me to take a first year under my wing. He too was completely at a lost when it came to the wizarding world. I grew fond of his eagerness to learn and his ambition. I was so young back then, I was fool. I thought of myself as his big sister, a protector. By the end of my time as a student at Hogwarts, he was easily the first in his class. That inspired me to go into teaching. As I went to Professors College, we corresponded through owl, and I would visit him occasionally. He was quiet, but funny. I should have known, I should have seen through his lies.”

“You could not have known he would turn out that way, his journey to darkness was only slowed by your friendship.” Dumbledore said reassuringly.

“Who? Who are you talking about” Lupin asked?

“I didn’t know Harry…I was young…it was all an act…” McGonagall said in shame.

“Its ok Minerva.” Dumbledore said placing his hand on her shoulder.

Harry was astounded to see that Professor McGonagall was now beginning to cry. Dumbledore comforted her by placing her head on his shoulder. “Tell him, Minerva, he will understand, he has some of Lily in him.” Dumbledore whispered.

“I—t…was Tom Riddle.” McGonagall sniffled. Lupin, Harry, and Hermione all gasped in unison.

“Who?” Ron whispered to Hermione.

“Voldemort.” Hermione whispered back.

“O—h, yeah I forgot.”

Harry thought for a moment before speaking. “I—I know whose side your on, so why would this prevent you from telling me in the first place.”

“After seeing Tom rise as V—Voldemort and cause so much pain, I could only blame myself, why couldn’t I see this evil in him. I swore to not treat anyone special again, to be stern but fair. No one was going to fool me again. B—but your mother was the first student in a long time that got passed that wall. I was so happy with our friendship. B—but after V—Voldemort killed James and Lily, I couldn’t allow myself to be close to my students, well not until you three came to Hogwarts…”

“That’s what she calls close, taking points off Gryffindor left and right?” Ron whispered.

“Shut up you insensitive prat.” Hermione growled.

“I—I felt guilty of letting the man I befriended in my youth, helped him learn about his powers, and supported through his education, kill one of my dearest friends. How could I look you in the eye and let tell you I am your godmother Harry. I am unworthy of being the godmother to Lily’s child. I asked Dumbledore to keep that from you, and to hide any memory of it...” McGonagall said tearfully.

By this time Hermione too was crying, and Dumbledore had a look of concern on his face toward McGonagall. Lupin and Ron were surprised with all the information. Harry was surprised at first, but then knew that McGonagall was always kind to him. She was stern, but he always felt that he was one of the privileged few to see her gentle side every now and then. If his mother felt that she was fit to be his godmother, then that was enough for him. He walked over to McGonagall and gave her a gentle hug.

“Thank you, Professor.” Harry started. “I know it was hard for you to tell me this, but I appreciate it. I don’t care if you were friends with Tom, I only care that your were friends with my mom. I would like to hear more about how my mother was through your eyes…I hope you still want to be my godmother, I would like that.”

“Oh, Harry, of course, I will be your godmother, but don’t expect me to be lenient on your Transfiguration work.” McGonagall said with a smile. “ And Mr. Weasley I expect better work from you now that I have given Hermione an outline on how to tutor you. Merlin give her strength.”

“I suggest you three to head back to your house, and please keep this between us.” Dumbledore smiled. “Remus, would have time for some tea?”

Dumbledore escorted Remus and McGonagall toward his office. McGonagall gave a nod to Harry before she exited and he nodded back. To Harry, Professor McGonagall seemed to have had a huge weight of lifted off her shoulders.

“That was very interesting.” Ron said walking on Harry’s right.

“Could you imagine holding all that in…in front of you…all these years?” Hermione asked walking on Harry’s left.

“Well, I am glad its out.” Harry said, “Its good to have a fairy Godmother on your side.”

“She is not a fairy.”

“Forget it Ron, just an expression.” Harry smiled.




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Chapter 13 – A Weasley Christmas

The weeks passed quickly for Harry. With his coursework from Snape and McGonagall, he wondered how he had time for Apparation and Occulmency. Moody’s duels in Defence Against the Dark Arts and Ron’s Quidditch practices left him exhausted every night. He was making little progress in Apparation, and he felt that Madam Hooch might be getting a little frustrated with him. “The art of Apparation comes to each in its own time.” Madam Hooch would tell Harry every time he failed to apparate in the appropriate circle. He was particularly envious of Ron when he was able to apparate across the room only a few weeks after they began. Harry, however, had been making progress in Occulmency. He was able to see more and more of Lupin’s memories. He particularly paid close attention to the memories that involved the Marauders and his mother. Lupin would blush occasionaly when he explained different Marauders adventures. He blushed profusely when he told of the time Sirius found a way into the Gryffindor’s girls dormitory and had the Marauders place a hundred frogs in their bathroom. “Dumbledore had to strengthen the Girls only charm after that particular adventure.” Lupin said turning another shade of pink.

Ms. Weasley owled both Harry and Hermione an invitation to spend Christmas break at the Burrow. Hermione rsvped yes after finding out that her parents where heading to the Caribbean for the holidays. “Who wants a sunburn in December?” Hermione reasoned. Harry had too decided to go to the Burrow, he rather be far away from Professor Snape after the last Potions exam before the break.

Harry and Hermione arrived in the late afternoon at the Burrow on Christmas Eve. Ron and Ginny arrived a few days earlier by the request of his mother, to help clean and decorate. Harry had never seen the Burrow so brightly lit. There were red and green Christmas bulbs all throughout the house, some as big as basketballs. Harry really enjoyed the festive atmosphere at the Weasley’s, but something was missing.

“Where’s the clock?” Harry asked looking at the empty space where it stood.

“Oh, it’s getting repaired.” Ron answered as he helped set the table.

“Mum is Flour coming?” Ginny asked before setting a place for her.

“Oh, no dear, just family?” Mrs. Weasley answered.

“What are all of the other members of the Order doing?” Hermione asked.

“Oh, Dumbledore wanted them to spend the holidays with their loved ones, if they are not on special duty for him.”

“Mz. Weazy were do you want this Ham?” Dobby said entering the dinning room carrying a ham twice the size of his head.

“Oh, on the center of the table dear.” Mrs. Weazy smiled.

“Dobby what are you doing here?” Harry asked.

“Harry Potter, oh, Dobby was azking Dumblydor what Dobby could do for the Order during Christmas. He said Dobby could stay with the Weazies or go back to Hogwarts. Once Dobby knew Harry Potter was coming here, Dobby wanted to be here too.” Dobby smiled now hugging Harry around the waist.

“ I am glad you’re here to Dobby, I hope you are not being trouble for Mrs. Weasley.” Harry joked.

“Mum is in love with Dobby. She is so happy to have the help.” Ginny smiled.

“Dobby loves to helping the Weazies. They are good friends of Harry Potter. Plus Dobby doesn’t like resting. Resting makes Dobby go crazy sometimes.”

“Oh, Dobby you can rest whenever you want, but I really do appreciate all the help you have been. Its so nice not to have to do everything.” Mrs. Weasley giggled walking back into the kitchen.

“What are we, chopped liver?” Ron shouted.

Shortly before dinner, the rest of the Weasley’s apparated into the living room a. All but Percy.

“Staying at the office.” Arthur mumbled after Ginny asked.

Mrs. Weasley ran into the kitchen before any one could see the tears coming down her cheeks. “Still upset over Percy.” Ginny explained to Harry and Hermione. A few minutes later, Mrs. Weasley returned more composed holding a large bowl of mashed taters. “Dinner is ready Weasleys.”

The Weasleys, Harry, and Hermione gathered around the table. Fred, George, Harry and Ron sat along one side of the elongated table. Bill, Charlie, Hermione, and Ginny sat at the opposite side. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley sat at either end. Dobby sat next to Mrs. Weasley in what Harry thought was a baby’s highchair, only without a tray in front of him.

Harry had a great time stuffing his face with Mrs. Weasley’s terrific food. Maybe it wasn’t as gourmet as he had at Madam Pudifoot, but it was the type of good ol’ home cooking that he enjoyed the most. Ron was fairly quiet during his dinner, mostly focused on his meal. Harry noticed Ron stealing glances at Hermione when she looked away. However he would not look at her in the face when she was looking at him. He felt Ron and Hermione’s relationship might not be what Ron was hoping for. Before Harry could think more about the subject of Ron and Hermione’s dwindling romance, Fred and George charmed two bread sticks into a mid-air sword fight at the center of the table.

“Stop it you two!” Mrs. Weasley shouted before she burst out laughing as George’s bread stick exploded all over Charlie. Even Charlie was laughing at the twin’s midair dinner combat. Most of the rest of dinner was over the happenings of last semester. Bill and Charlie had Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny retell the story of how Neville stopped Bellatrix Lestrange. Hermione corrected Ron every time he went off exaggerating his role in the ordeal. Harry was amazed that Ron allowed her to correct him with little resistance. He noticed Hermione realized that he wasn’t defending himself either. Soon she stopped correcting Ron and began to focus on her bread pudding.

After dinner, Harry and Ron played Charlie and Bill in team Wizard’s Chess. Harry was doing poorly against Charlie, but Ron had a huge advantage against Bill. “Show some mercy little bro.” Bill begged after Ron capture his queen in his fifth move. After a sound beating, Bill and Charlie decided to head to bed. Harry and Ron shortly followed as Fred and George talked to Dobby about elf magic and the possible charms they can use at the store.

“You Weazies like to joke, Dobby likes good jokes too.” Dobby laughed after the twin showed him Canary custard. “Dobby shoz you how to make a wizard into a duck after feeding him a chocolate frog…but don’t tell Mizz Weazy.”

Harry was sharing Ron’s bedroom as Hermione was sharing Ginny’s.

“We should get another bed in here so you don’t have sleep on the floor every time you visit.” Ron suggested as he changed into his pajamas.

“Hey, Ron can I ask you something?” Harry asked cautiously.

“Sure, what’s up?”

“Um—why were you so quiet at dinner… especially when Hermione was talking?” Harry asked.

“Oh, I um, had a lot on my mind.” Ron said.

“Like Hermione?” Harry pushed further.

“Well, we’ve been a bit distant in past few weeks.” Ron answered.

“I’ve noticed.” Harry said.

“I was hoping we might be able to work out our issues over break.” Ron said.

“Well I could talk to her, if you want?” Harry offered.

“No, I am hoping that my Christmas gift might show her how much I care for her.” Ron said quite nervously.

“What did you get her?”

“You’ll see tomorrow. It’s not much, but I hope she likes it.”e Ron said.

“ I never thought you would be so romantic, you know, you’r getting soft.” Harry joked.

“Shut up.” Ron smiled.

“Maybe we should have tryouts for a new keeper, you know someone who doesn’t get weepy over love songs.”

“GO TO BED YOU PRAT!” Ron yelled throwing his dirty sock at Harry.

Harry and Ron woke to the smell of bacon and eggs on a snowy Christmas morning. After rushing to brush their teeth and change their clothes, they race to the dinning room table only to realize they were the last to arrive.

“You could have woke us.” Ron mumbled to Ginny.

“ I wanted to leave the rest of the family a fighting chance to eat breakfast.” Ginny quipped.

Hermione giggled only to stop after Ron buried his face into his plate of toast, eggs, and bacon. Harry sat at a place prepared by Dobby. He was amazed at the amount of bacon on his plate compare to the rest the Weasleys.

“Look like you have a fan, Harry.” Bill said helping himself to a piece of bacon on Harry’s plate.

“Um, yeah, Dobby does get a little carried away.” Harry smiled, passing around his plate of bacon. After everyone took a piece or two, Harry was finally able to see the eggs and toast that was hidden by the mountain of bacon. After everyone had ate breakfast, they gathered around the elaborately decorated Christmas tree in the living room. As Weasleys opened their gifts, Harry handed Dobby a gift box he wrapped before he went to bed the night before. Dobby was ecstatic when he opened the box to reveal a maroon sweater with the letter ‘H’ sown in gold in the middle. Ron and Mrs. Weasley gave Harry a look that forced him to explain to Dobby that the was the sweater Mrs. Weasley made for him in his first year.

“It was too small for me now so I thought you would like it.” Harry grinned shyly.

“Oh, Harry Potter could have given this to anyone and he gives it to Dobby.” Dobby said starting to weep, “Harry Potter is such a great, great wizard to think of a house elf like Dobby.”

“You’re not a house elf, Dobby, you are our friend.” Hermione said handing Dobby her handkerchief.

Mrs. Weasley had to ask Dobby to start on lunch to calm him down. She explained that he would feel better if he was doing something helpful, ‘it’s their way.’ Harry had received a book of Dark Arts spells from Hermione, a muggle t-shirt from Ginny and a Cuddley Canons jersey from Ron.

“It’s the Quidditch team to root for.” Ron explained.

“Just because you like him doesn’t mean Harry would.” Ginny argued.

“Its ok Ginny, I like them too.” Harry lied.

Ron began to explain in great detail how Cuddley Canons were far superior to any other Quidditch team in England. As he was explaining how their seeker captured the golden Snitch in the 1904 Quidditch Cup final, Hermione let out a great gasp. She was holding a small gift box in one hand and a gold necklace in the other.

“R—Ron, i—its beautiful.” Hermione said admiring the pendent on the necklace. It was her name written in a soft cursive font.

“I—I had to get it custom made from a muggle goldsmith.” Ron said nervously. “ Ginny helped me charm it, it shines brightly when you rub the ‘H’. I thought it would help you when reading at night.”

Hermione was in awe at Ron’s thoughtfulness. Before Ron could say anything else, she ran upstairs to Ginny’s room with tears running down her face.

“I’ll talk to her.” Ginny said to Ron with sympathy. She raced after her only after she gave her older brother a hug.

“Ronald, how you afford that.” Mrs. Weasley said interrupting the silence.

“U—um, I, um…” Ron stuttered.

Harry could tell that Ron was thinking up of a lie to tell his mother. It was apparent to the twins as well.

“We gave it to him.” Fred chimed in.

“Um, yeah, as a loan of course.” George added.

“You shouldn’t loan your brother money.” Mrs. Weasley huffed.

“We thought it was a worthy cause.” Fred said.

“Love always is.” George continued.

“Besides, if a brothers can’t help each other, what use are they?” Fred said.

“Would you have us turn away our own brother?” George said now hugging Ron around the neck.

“No, but what’s in it for you two.” Mrs. Weasley asked suspiciously.

“What, us take advantage of family!” Fred gasped.

“I raised you two, I know you got him by his socks on this one.” Mrs. Weasley argued.

“Well, he did agree to work off his loan at the shop…” George said smiling mischievously at Ron.

“…it will only be a few months this summer.” Fred said catching on.

“Did you agree to this Ronald?” Mrs. Weasley asked.

“Um, yeah mum.” Ronald relented.

“Oh what boys do when they are in love…” Mrs. Weasley sighed, “that was sweet of you Ron, you know you’re a romantic just like your father.”

“Urgh, mum we don’t want to hear how much a Romeo dad is.” Fred said with a face of distaste.

“We already know he’s a romantic, mum, there are seven of us.” George quipped.

The remainder of the Christmas holiday went by as quietly as it began. Ron and Hermione did not speak to each other, even after Ginny and Harry attempted to talk some sense into Hermione. Hermione sat in awkward silence as Harry tried to explain Ron’s feelings for her. He felt he blew his argument when he compared Ron’s feelings for her for his feelings for Quidditch. “I don’t think anyone can love someone as much as Ron loves Quidditch.” Hermione huffed.

The morning of the day they were too return Hogwarts, Arthur Weasley apparated into the living room with a tall, narrow wooden crate.

“Oh it finally ready!” Mrs. Weasley said excitedly, “Just in time for the children’s return.”

“Yes, they said it took longer with the Christmas rush and all.” Arthur smiled.

“What is it?” Ginny said curiously.

“Don’t get too excited,” Mrs. Weasley said tapping the crate with her wand. “ Its just the old grandfather clock that was in the living room, we wanted to make some…additions.”

Harry, Hermione, Ron, and Ginny watched as the crate opened to reveal the old grandfather clock that Harry remembered. This clock was not like other clocks that told time. This told were the Weasleys were. George and Fred’s faces were pointing to the word Shop, Pearcy, Bill, and Charlie’s were pointing to the word Work, and Arthur, Molly, Ron, Ginny, Hermione and Harry’s faces were pointing at the Burrow. Harry had just realized that his and Hermione’s faces were the ‘additions’ Mrs. Weasley was talking about.

“Um…Mr. and Mrs. Weasley…I—I don’t know what to say.” Harry said slowly.

“Well, you don’t have to say anything dear,” Mrs. Weasley said placing her hand gently on Harry’s shoulder, “we think of you two as our own children now. Just think of everything you have done for us.”

“You do everything for us, what have we done for you?” Harry said quietly.

“Well if weren’t for Hermione, I am not sure if Ron would still be in Hogwarts,” Mrs. Weasley said smiling. “and if it weren’t for you Harry, A—Arthur might not…might not…”

Mrs. Weasley smile started to quiver. Tears began to form in her eyes.

“Its ok, Molly, its ok.” Arthur said hugging his wife, “Excuse us Harry, I think its time for you all to pack your trunks into the car’s booty.”

After they all gave Mrs. Weasley a hug goodbye then made their way to the train for Hogwarts. Harry daydreamed as the train made its way toward Hogwarts at a steady speed.

The Weasleys’ accepting him as family made him feel very warm inside. Unfortunately he could tell Ron and Hermione did not have the same feeling. They sat across from each other the whole train ride without saying a word each other. He decided to take advantage of the quiet and take a long nap, long enough to get him to Hogwart’s train station.



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  #10  
Old January 3rd, 2005, 3:20 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
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Chapter 14- The Balancers of Death.

Harry had found himself immersed in his schoolwork once he got back. The professors did not hesitate to give them a mountain of homework their first day back. Professor Snape hissed, “Since you all have been refreshed, three feet of parchment on poisons that take a non-liquid form.” Harry was relieved to see that Hagrid was not as demand and only asked them to reread the chapters on giant. “Got’ er something specia’ fer’ ye next class.” Hagrid smiled at the end of their first lesson back. Harry and the others frowned to each other; they knew when Hagrid said ‘something special’ it more than likely meant ‘something dangerous.’

As Harry made his way up to Moody’s classroom, Draco Malfoy met him at the door.

“I won’t forget what you did before break Potter.” Draco sneered, “I will remember it when I level the house of Black and make it a grave yard for those who opposed me.”

“Maybe you shouldn’t count you chickens before they hatch.” Hermione said walking up behind Draco.

“Is that some kind of bloody muggle saying?” Draco laughed, “I guess you’re not bright enough to keep up with wizard’s slang.”

Draco soon made his way into the classroom as he heard Moody’s wooden foot clang against the floor down the hall. Hermione followed quickly behind him.

Ron was there too, grabbing Harry’s arm. He was trying to prevent him from punching Draco again.

“I should let you give him a thumping again,” Ron whispered, “but Hermione told me to get you into the classroom.”

“When do you start taking orders from Hermione?” Harry smiled, relaxing his arm.

“When it’s the first words she had said to me since we got back.” Ron frowned.

“I’ll talk to her for you, she is being ridiculous.” Harry said reassuringly.

“Ok Gryffindors, time for class.” Moody said as he approached.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville stood next to the large window beside Moody’s desk.

“I’ve been practicing defense and attack spells all break with my parents.” Neville whispered excitedly to Harry. “I can’t wait to use it on Draco.”

“Give it to him good for me, Neville.” Harry replied.

“Ok, class, I have an announcement to make before I split you up.” Moody bellowed over the noisy class. “I have gotten permission from Professor Dumbledore to have the top five students test their defense skills against in a duel with fully trained adult wizards. Not any adult wizards, but the faculty and staff here at Hogwarts.”

The class was in shock. Several students wined quietly about not wanting to face a professor, but Harry felt if would be awesome way to test his skills. When a student can master the teacher, he thought, then he has truly mastered the lesson.

“A couple of teachers have volunteered for this already, Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape. I am still scouting for more volunteers.” Moody rumbled.

The class was silent after hearing Professor Snape’s name announced. Harry wouldn’t want to be the student that had to face him. But then he realized he could easily be the one that faced Snape.

“Now I realize that some of you are apprehensive about this, but it’s only the top 5 of the class that gets to do it. And to make it more competitive, those who are chosen get full marks for the year and do not have to take the final.” Moody said with a bit of cheer in his voice.

The students now began to whisper about not taking a final and getting full marks might be worth having Snape cast a curse on them. Ron said to Harry that he would do anything to get out of a final. Hermione said it would be a good exercise but not enough to skip a final. Neville look paler than before said, “ I don’t know if I could be top 5 in the class, but the thought of having to duel Professor Snape scares the **** out of me.”

After the announcement Moody separated the class into pair for a refresher course to begin the semester. Harry had Neville and did see a great improvement from him. Harry thought at this rate, Neville could be on of the top 5 in the class.

Harry had spent all weekend doing homework for Professor Snape and McGonagall. Harry felt the only class he could relax in was Hagrid’s. Without any Slytherins the class was highly enjoyable last fall. But Harry had almost forgot about Hagrid’s ‘something special’ before he made it to his cabin before class.

“Ok yers, we’r goin’t walk te da edge o’ da forest.” Hagrid smiled tugging at Fang to follow him.

Even though the Forbidden Forest was off limits to students, Hagrid had no problem teaching by the edge of the forest on occasion. Several of creatures that they studied could easily be found in the forest.

Hagrid had motioned them all to sit as he went into the forest to retrieve his ‘something special’. A few moments later the students could feel a rumbling below them. Everyone looked closer to the forest to see what emerged. It seemed like a mountain was walking toward them. Hagrid in front, slowly motioning for it to follow. As most of the students gasped at what they saw, Hermione, Ron, and Harry knew what it was. It was a giant named Gwarp.

“Settled’ down, settled’ down” Hagrid said to the class, “Tis’ her’ is Gwarp.”

“Is he a giant?” Lavender Brown asked as Gwarp’s shadow engulfed as he stepped closer.

“Yer, n’ he’s me half-brotha.” Hagrid said proudly. “He’s nice n listens ter me, so ye don’ need to worry.”

Even though Hagrid said this, Harry could see that the rest of the class was not sure if there were no reasons to worry.”

“Aren’t giants…I mean real giants evil?” Padma asked looking at Gwarp as he looked back.

“Me no evil, me Gwarp.” Gwarp bellowed to Padma.

“Not al’ giants be evil, Padma’” Hagrid said, “Dats’ y Gwarp’s her’. T’show yer not all giants be evil.”

“HER-MINE-ONY!” Gwarp cheered once he caught sight of Hermione sitting next to Harry. He gently placed his finger next to her face.

“H—hi G—gwarp.” Hermione said placing her hands around his finger.

“Gwarp mis Her-mine-ony.” Gwarp said smiling.

“I—I missed you too, Gwarp.” Hermione lied.

“Now we get der intr’ductions out da way, lets g’over what yer know a’bout giants.”

Several students said how giants were almost near extinction and they have been living in mountains. Hermione went on to say that even if they don’t cast spells they have a great defense against spells cast on them.

“Yer right H’ermione, it takes a’lot ter hurt a giant, sever’a wizards at time wit some.” Hagrid added. “Only d’ragons have m’or defensive magic in der skins.”

At this point, Gwarp began to dance in front of the class. Each time his foot hit the ground the students bounced several inches off the ground.

“No can hurt Gwarp.” He sang.

“Calm down der,” Hagrid smiled, “ He just show’n off fer yer.”

The rest of the class Hagrid explained how giants and wizards began to feud. He also had Gwarp tell them how he likes living in the forest. But mostly Hagrid wanted to let the students know that giants aren’t evil like they have been told so many times before. He even had Gwarp tell them of how his tribe of giants were like.

As most of the students headed back to castle, Harry, Hermione, and Ron stayed behind to talk to Hagrid.

“Well, I didn’t expect you to bring out Gwarp.” Harry said to Hagrid.

“Yer, dat was Dumble’dors doing.” Hagrid smiled. “He tought da students need ter k’no not all giants’r a’like.”

“But do you think Gwarp was ready to meet everybody?” Hermione asked.

“Yer, Dumble’dor’s been helping me teach’m a’bout wizards.” Hagrid said. “Ever’ week he come to de forest and reads him a story for one er them books he has in ‘is office. Great man, Dumble’dor is, great man.”

“Why do you think Dumbledore wants us to know about giants now?” Ron asked.

“Cause’ for’ giants’ are now with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. Hagrid blurted, “I shouldn’ have told yer dat, I shouldn’ have told yer dat.

“What happened?” Harry asked.

“Look, yer pro’bably find out anyways.” Hagrid said. “Bes if I told yer. Tis break Olympe n I wen back to da mountain where we found Gwarp n de other giants. We flew there since we din’ have to worry a’bout being recoginized. N’ we were armed. But when we go’t der, da three bigg’s giants were missing. We ask’d de others n they said tem lef’ wif’ Death Eaters!”

Hermione gasped as Harry shook his head.

“Yer, right te worry. Yer don’ wanna mess wit a giant, but er giant wit magic is deadly.”

“What makes you think they have magic.” Ron asked.

“Dumble’dor tinks dat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named will give it ter dem. And I don want te be around when they use it.”

“What does Dumbledore think Voldemort has planned?” Harry asked.

“He’s not sure. But he feels som’thing’ll happen soon. Dats why he wants der studens to kno’ not all giants da same.”

Harry had heard enough before saying goodbye. Hermione and Ron thought that giants on the side of Voldemort will start another wizard/giant war, and other giants will join in.

“They’ be extinct.” Hermione said as they reached the castle.

“That’s what Voldemort wants.” Harry explained. “To get rid of all non wizards, but let them do their damage first.”

Later that evening as the students were leaving the Great Hall from dinner, Professor McGonagall met Harry at the entrance.

“I need you, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Ginny, and Luna to go the Headmaster’s office right this instant.” Professor McGonagall order.

“You think we’re in trouble?” Ron asked.

“No, we didn’t do anything.” Harry responded.

As they entered Dumbledore’s office, they saw that Alice and Frank Longbottom were chatting with Dumbledore, and Lupin was looking at some of Dumbledore’s more dated books.

“Harry and everyone please sit.” Dumbledore greeted. “This won’t take long but I do think some candies would be appropriate for the amount of time needed.”

Dumbledore taped his wand and dozens of chocolate frogs appeared on his desk.

“Catch one before they get away.” Dumbledore smiled, “Frank, Alice, you may begin.”

“Hello everyone.” Frank cheered.

“Hello.” Alice greeted.

“Ok, last we met, we had a look at Harry’s pensive. That was a turning point in our research to find a counter to the Killing curse.” Frank smiled. “We have studied the pensive even further and was able to determine that Lily affectively countered the Killing curse, knowingly.”

This did not surprise Harry, but he did wonder how she did it. He could tell by Hermione’s face that this was no small feat.

“Lily, used the most potent emotion as the power behind her shield for you Harry.” Alice continued. “Love, and a mother’s love is the strongest of them all. She was able to focus that energy, that raw power, and shield you with it.”

“What’s the difference from what you told us before, we knew love was the counter for hate?” Ron asked.

“Well, yes, but the difference is that you cannot protect yourself from the Killing curse.” Frank explained, “You can only protect someone you love from it.”

“That way it is powerful enough to keep death at bay.” Alice added.

“This doesn’t make sense.” Ginny said.

“You’re right, Mrs. Weasley, but Frank and Alice is here to make it make sense.” Dumbledore answered. “They have studied and researched this for years, and it will take time to understand it completely like they have.

“Well, we never claimed to understand it completely.” Frank stated, “But we can teach it to you, and right now, that is more important.”

“Why right now?” Hermione asked.

“Well, I am sure you know of what has happened with the giants by now.” Dumbledore started, “Recently, Kingsly Shacklebolt reported at an Order meeting that the Ministry has found the body of Igor Karkaroff, the Drumstrang’s headmaster, in a forest outside of a small village in Romania. To me, this is indicating that Voldemort is getting his affairs in order. He is gaining strength and he is beginning to assemble his forces for something. I don’t know at this point, unfortunately.”

“How come we never heard about Karkaroff, it was never in the Daily Prophet.” Hermione asked.

“The Ministry has kept it quiet against my wishes, they don’t want to cause a commotion.”

“I thought the Ministry was listening to you now.” Harry asked.

“Well, I never felt the Ministry actually listened to me, sometimes the students don’t listen to me when I warn them about the Forbidden Forest,” Dumbledore said smiling at Harry, “but I think Minister Crouch is getting his footing back. He wants more control and he believes doing anything I say not to do, is the way to show who is in control.”

“The Minister is an idiot.” Lupin interrupted.

“Well, whatever we may think of him, he is the Minister. But I have a bad feeling that he is playing into Voldemort’s hands by opposing me.” Dumbledore sighed.

“So how do we stop Voldemort?” Harry asked.

“Well this won’t stop him, but it will knock him off his high horse.” Frank laughed.

“The counter of the Killing curse won’t kill him, we have already seen that,” Alice said, “But if he cannot use his greatest weapons against his enemies then, that is a plus for our side.”

“How are we going to learn this?” Hermione asked.

“Well the incantation is ‘Amorious,’ and you are to think of the person you want to protect, and why you love them.” Frank started, “But its hard to teach because you can never properly test it out. I could not have Dumbledore cast a Killing curse on me to have Alice shield me. If there was a mistake, and I am not saying Dumbledore makes mistakes, but I could be die.”

“I’ve made quite a few mistakes in my day.” Dumbledore quipped.

“Yes, but we must be careful. So we can only teach the theory behind this.” Frank stated. “Attempting practical experiments with the shield could be fatal.”

“Frank and I have made arrangements with Dumbledore to teach you Sunday mornings for an hour.”

Harry heard Ron grunt in disapproval but Hermione shot him a look that made him look as he had seen a banshee.

“We know, you guys in particular, have a heavier workload than most 6th years, but this is for your own safety. It has seemed that you are all potential targets of Voldemort and we do not want you ill prepared if you must face him or his minions.” Dumbledore said.

“Ok, its time for everyone to get back to class.” Professor McGonagall announced.

Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Neville split form Luna and Ginny as they made their way to morning classes. It wasn’t until lunch did they see Luna and Ginny with a large number of students, standing in front of the bulleting board at the Great Hall entrance.

“What’s going on?” Neville asked Luna.

“Go with me?” Luna said excitedly.

“Go with you where?” Neville replied even more curious.

Luna had pointed a pink poster on the bulletin board. In the middle of the poster was a large red heard with the following writing:

Due to cancellation of Hogsmeade weekends for the rest of the year, the faculty and staff has decided to quell the student body’s restlessness by hosting a Valentine’s Day dance. It will be held Saturday, Feburary 14th between 7pm through 1am. The entire student body is welcomed. Formal robes for the wizards, and witches may choose to wear formal robes or gowns. Please contact your parents to send you the appropriate clothing if needed.

And in honor of a great witch, Sadie Hawkings, witches must ask the wizard to the dance. The wizard has the option of declining. Only 34 days left until the dance.

“What the hell is this ****?” Ron fumed, “ ‘Witches must ask the wizard.’ Then I will never be asked.”

Ron stomped his way through the cluster of students still trying to read the announcement.

“Well, we are about to have an interesting few weeks ahead of us.” Harry said to Ginny.

“Maybe a first year will ask him.



Reviews can go here, feedback

Chapter 15- Cupid’s Arrow.

The first and only Quidditch practice was a week before their first Quidditch match of the semester. Unfortunately, that was a week before the Valentine’s Day Ball. All the members of Gryffindor’s team had other things on their mind rather than Quidditch. Even Ron seemed to have his thoughts elsewhere, rather than on Quidditch, which was first thought Harry. Ron had excused himself from practice, sighting he was not feeling well. Harry had thought he was covering for something else but did not press him on it. He knew that he was depressed because no one had asked Ron to the Ball as of yet. Ron was hoping that one of the Patil twins would ask, but they had asked two Ravenclaw sixth years instead. Harry thought it was wise of them to do so since Ron and wasn’t much of a date at the last ball. Harry too hadn’t had any luck in the date department since the announcement of the Ball. Two first years had the gall to ask Harry two days after the announcement. Hermione almost died laughing as Harry had quickly ran the other way. He made her promise not to tell anyone about it. She promised not to as long as he promised not to ask who she is going with. Harry thought it wasn’t Ron so he didn’t care who she asked.

It was the morning of the Gryfinddor’s match against Ravencawl. Harry and the other members of the team were waiting for Ron in Gryffindor’s locker room before the match. Ron had gone to breakfast early and left before any of the other team members got to eat. Harry was worried if Ron was going to be at his best for the match. It was a minute before they had to enter the pitch that Ron entered the locker room. He was carrying a broomstick covered in the blanket. Harry thought this was unusual but knew that Ron cared a lot for his Cleansweep.

“Are you ok?” Harry asked.

“Um, yeah , I justed bogged down with homework.” Ron answered.

“Good, then lets go!” Harry said.

After they entered the pitch,Harry had noticed that Ron wasn’t riding his Cleansweep. He saw that Ginny saw the same thing because she was approaching Ron. Harry made sure the Snitch wasn’t anywhere to be seen before he approached Ron as well.

“Where’s your Cleansweep?” Harry asked.

“Umm.” Ron hesitated.

“C’mon Ron.” Harry insisted.

“Uhh…”

“He sold it.” Ginny said furiously.

“What!?!” Harry yelled. “Why would you do that?”

“I was just about to ask him myself.” Ginny added. “Why Ron?”

“I had too,” Ron blurted. “it was the only way I could afford Hermione’s Christmas present.”

“Oh Ron.” Ginny answered.

“ You could have asked me for the money.” Harry said.

“Yeah…but then I didn’t want anyone to know.” Ron said sadly. “I wanted it to be form me and then maybe Hermione would realize that I am serious about her.”

“Hermione has done a number on you.” Ginny said.

“Yeah, but I know she feels the same way.” Ron said.

“Hermione’s a girl, and girls are complicated.” Harry stated.

“Excuse me?” Ginny said in an aggravated tone.

“Not you, I mean other girls.” Harry said sheepishly.

“Um, we do have a game to play.” Ron pointed out.

Harry had noticed that Cho, Ravenclaws seeker was searching for the snitch on their side of the pitch. He sped toward her noticing that she was waiting for him to get close before she sped up toward snitch. Harry heard that Ravenclaw had scored while he fallowed Cho. For several minutes the snitch stayed out of reach for both of them. Ravenclaw score several more times due to Ron’s slowness as keeper. Ron had pulled Dennis Creevy back to focus more on defense. However Dennis was more of an offensive player as was duped several times by Ravenclaws chasers. Harry was able to catch the snitch as Cho celebrated Ravenclaw’s nineteenth goal. The score was 150 to 190. Gryffindor had just lost its first Quidditch match this year.

Harry had a hard time to convince Ron to cheer up after the match. He had been in a depressed dazed since then. Harry could understand, first Hermione was barely speaking to him, second, he doesn’t have his Cleansweep which Harry thought he loved as much as he loved his mum, and third, he had lost his first Quidditch match as captain. Ron seemed to be avoiding everyone, by getting his meals early and rushing out of class as soon as it ended. Harry thought he would grow out of it, but he got more worried as the Valentine’s Day dance approached.

The day before the dance Harry saw Ginny sitting alone at Gryffindor’s table before the lunch crowd came. He decided that he would see if anyone else was worried about Ron.

“Hey, Ginny.” Harry said positioning himself across from her at the table.

“Hey Harry.” Ginny smiled.

“Um have you seen Ron?”

“You mean what’s up with Ron right.” Ginny answered.

“Yeah, he has been really depressed since the game.” Harry stated.

“Before that, since Christmas.”

“Yeah, I guess I have been to busy to notice really.” Harry shrugged.

“I know, apparition, and the classes with Longbottoms are really tough,” Ginny agreed, “and you have Occlumency, too. Hows that going?”

“Well, Lupin is great, much better than Snape. I don’t get headaches after our lessons at all.” Harry said.

“Hey, have you seen Hermione?” Ginny asked.

“Yeah she headed to the library after class.” Harry stated, “Do you know who she asked to the dance?”

“No, I’ve asked but she darted the question.”

“Hmmm, what about Ron?” Harry continued.

“You really haven’t been paying attention” Ginny laughed, “I don’t think the first years have even tried and I seen a couple ask 5th years.”

“Ron’s not having a good semester is he?” Harry frowned.

“No, he’s not.” Ginny said. “Have you been asked?”

Harry hadn’t really thought about being asked to the dance until now. His face was giving away the answer?

“No one’s asked you, huh?” Ginny said curiously, “Well, I thought you would have been asked by…”

“Asked by whom?” Harry said catching that she stopped herself from finishing the sentence.

“…by Cho.” Ginny surrendered.

“Why would she ask me? …I—I thought she was seeing some other Ravenclaw?”

“She was and got dumped last semester.” Ginny said with a devilish smile.

“But still I don’t think she would want to go with me.”

“Yeah she does, she put the word out that you were off limits.” Ginny said going into gossiping schoolgirl mode.

“What?” Harry said completely surprised.

“Yeah, I also heard she was worried that Hermione would ask you first.”

“What is with that girl! I have tried to tell here that Hermione and me are just friends.” Harry said in frustration.

“Well, would you go with her if she asked?” Ginny in a sly tone.

“U—Umm,uh, I don’t think I would now.” Harry said in disgust. “I—I mean now no one will ask because of her.”

“Well, if you want someone to go with someone, you could go with m…” Ginny said before being interrupted by a slender figure standing behind Harry.

Harry had felt a soft hand touch his shoulder before Ginny was about to finish her sentence. He turned to see a smiling Cho standing behind him.

“Um Harry can I have a word with you?” Cho asked gently.

“Uh, yeah sure, one minute Ginny.” He replied. Ginny nodded, but Harry missed the face of disappointment she had when he turned toward Cho. They moved to the far end of the Gryffindor table to have some privacy.

“How have you been Harry?” Cho asked.

“Um good I guess.”

“Great match last Saturday.” Cho said to break the tension.

“Where you at the same game I was at?” Harry said sarcastically.

“I—I mean you did catch the snitch from me,” Cho rebutted. “Even if Ron wasn’t doing well.”

“Yeah, I guess.”

“Look Harry has anyone asked you to the dance?” Cho asked if she didn’t know the answer.

Harry knew it was coming. But he didn’t know what to say. Cho was obviously setting him up. He looked at Cho thinking that once he would have given up Quidditch to go to a dance with her, but now he wished she had graduated last year so he didn’t have to see her. He could do only one thing, lie.
“U—umm, yeah.” Harry answered.

“No, you didn’t hear me correctly,” Cho said even though it was evident that wasn’t the answer she was looking for.

“Uh, yeah I did, and I said yes, someone asked me, and I am going to the dance with her.” Harry said with more courage in each word.

“What?” Cho said indignantly, “Who, Hermione? Was it Hermione?”

Harry could tell she was fuming on the inside. “How many times do I have to tell you, Hermione and I are just friends, that’s all!”

“Seriously, Harry,” Cho said attempting to sound calm, “who?”

“Uh…” Harry could only think of one person he wouldn’t mind going to the dance with. It somewhat surprised him. “…Ginny.”

“Ginny…Ginny Weasley?” Cho said looking over at Ginny at the other end of the table.

“Yeah.”

“C’mon Harry, wouldn’t you want to go with me?” Cho said trying to coax him into surrendering to her.
“Actually, no, I rather go with someone more emotionally stable.” Harry said trying to get her to end the conversation.

“What?” Cho said outraged. “I’ve wanted to go with you Harry, and now I won’t be able to get a date!”

“Um you could ask a first year,” Harry said mischievously, “I heard there were some that were desperate for dates.”

With that, Cho stormed out of the Great Hall. Harry was smiling as he moved back with Ginny.

“I guess you found yourself a date with to the dance?” Ginny said unhappily.

“Uh… yeah about that.” Harry started hoping that Ginny wouldn’t make him a total liar. “Would you like to go with me?”

“What?” Ginny said confused.

“Yeah she asked me, but I said I was going with you.” Harry said.

“Why did you say that?” Ginny asked even more confused.

“Cause when I was thinking of a person I could tell her that I was going with, you were the only one I could think of.”

“So I was the last resort?” Ginny asked.

“N—No I didn’t mean it like that.” Harry said feeling that he was digging himself into a deeper hole. “I want to go with you Ginny, not just because I didn’t want to go with Cho. I should have asked earlier…” Harry said sounding defeated.

“Well ask again, properly” Ginny said.

“Ginny, will you go to the dance with me?” Harry asked feeling for a moment that Ginny was going forgive his stupidity.

“No.” Ginny smiled.

****, I knew it. I don’t understand women at all. Harry thought that instant.

“But let me as you a question,” Ginny said, “Harry Potter, will you go to the dance with me?”

“What?” Harry said surprised. “I thought you said no?”

“Harry, are you that dense?” Ginny said shaking her head. “The girls have to ask the boys for this one.”

“Oh…um, yeah I would love to go to the dance with you.” Harry said finally smiling at a very clever looking girl.

“Good, I’ll meet you in the Common Room tomorrow?”

“Yeah, 7pm.” Harry said.

“No, lets make it 7:15, we can make an entrance.” Ginny smiled, collecting her books for her next class.

“You want to make an entrance with me?” Harry said full of himself.

“You wish, I was going to let you make an entrance with me.” Ginny said patting Harry on the head.

Harry was attempting an Ironing spell on his dress robes a half hour before the dance. He realized he had read about one last year in his Charms class. It only took him a few trys to get it right, but after turning it green he was able to get it to look as good as it look the day he bought it. He hadn’t seen much of anyone that day, students were getting ready for the dance. To the dismay of Madam Pince, some girls were doing each other’s hair in the library. He didn’t Ron until a few minutes before he was to meet Ginny. Harry was about to leave the boy dorm as Ron entered looking the most depressed he had seen him in weeks.

“Aren’t you going to get ready?” Harry asked a disheveled looking Ron.

“I’m not going.” Ron mumbled.

“What?”

“Look no one asked me, and I don’t feel like it.” Ron grunted.

“There will be plenty of people there without dates, you should go.” Harry insisted.

“Look I don’t want to argue. I really don’t feel like it.” Ron said sounding defeated.

Harry knew that it was pointless to argue at this point. Ron looked as bad as he sounded.

“Ok, but you should get something to eat.”

“I’ll sneak down to the kitchen later.” Ron said sounding better that he wouldn’t have to argue. “So, who are you going with?”

Harry had dreaded this moment. He knew Ron would have his head but there was no way to get out of it.

“I’m going with mmginmey.” Harry mumbled.

“Who? What did you say?”

“I am going with Ginny.” Harry said.

“WHAT!” Ron said going for his wand.

Harry didn’t realize Ron would get this angry. Harry had left his wand out of arms reach on his bed. Before he knew it Ron had cast a spell at him. All of a sudden a flash of green blinded him. But then when his vision came to, he couldn’t see that anything had changed. Except for his clothes. They were all wrinkled again.

“Um, a Wrinkle spell?” Harry said confused.

“Yeah, I saw your Charm book was opened to the Ironing spell, I have gotten Fred and George with that a couple of times. To bad most of their clothes are wrinkly to begin with.”

“I thought you would be madder than this.” Harry said holding a very wrinkled sleeve.

“Well I knew she had a thing for you, and she asked you to the dance.” Ron stated.

“Yeah, you know Ginny.” Harry said letting Ron think that going to the dance together was Ginny’s idea.

“Look just be nice to her, ok.” Ron said sounding big brotherly.

“I wouldn’t do anything to hurt her.” Harry assured him.

“I know, have fun, but not too much fun.” Ron said.

“Um, can you fix this?” Harry asked holding up his robe.

“Yeah one sec.”

Harry was waiting in the Common Room for Ginny. It was fairly empty with most of the students having already headed to the Great Hall. The first girl emerging from the girls Dormitory was Hermione. She had her hair done the way it during the TriWizard Ball. And her gown was made of silk and had an emerald sheen to it. As it clinged closely to her body, Harry thought it was way more muggle fashion than wizard. She was also wearing the necklace Ron had given, her for Christmas. He wished Ron was here to see her, he could appreciate Hermione this way better than Harry could.

“She will be down in a minute, Harry.” Hermione said.

“You look great, Hermione.” Harry complimented.

“Thank you, and you look very handsome.” Hermione said attempting to pat down some of Harry’s hair.

“Um, thanks.” Harry said, “So who are you going with?”

“Well, I didn’t ask anyone, so I am going alone.”

“You could have asked Ron.” Harry said.

“Harry, I don’t think Ron and I can be serious.” Hermione said with a frown.

“What do you mean, he is totally going crazy over you.” Harry pointed out.

“I don’t want to lose our friendship, and I really don’t think Ron can be serious about anything.” Hermione argued.

“Look you haven’t talked to him in weeks, you are losing his friendship.” Harry said. He knew what he was about to say was forbidden by Ron, but it seemed the only bit of hope he had left to see his friends back together. “He sold his Cleansweap.”

“What? He would never sell that, he loves it more than he loves eating.” Hermione said trying to make some sense of it.

“Yeah, but he did, and he bought you that chain.” Harry relented.

“No way.” Hermione said grabbing her necklace, it began to glow until she released it.

“Yes, he doesn’t want you know about it. That’s why he didn’t have his broom during our match.”

“How could he…it means so much to him…” Hermione said still in doubt.

“He really cares for you Hermione.” Harry said.

“I need to talk to him, who is he with?” Hermione asked.

“He didn’t have anyone ask him.” Harry said sadly.

“Oh…is he going?”

“No, he is in the boys dorm, he looks pretty upset.” Harry answered.

“I’m going to talk to him. Oh I hope he doesn’t hate me.” Hermione said with tears building up.

“Ok, I’ll see you later, and try to bring him if you can, looks like he is loosing weight.”

Hermione hugged Harry before she ran up to the boys dorm. Somehow seeing Hermione so emotional about Ron made him feel that things might be better between the two. Before he could dwell on the thought Ginny emerged from the girl’s dorm. She was wearing a velvet red witch’s gown. Red lace covered her mid-section and arms, making it moderately see-through. Her ears were adorned with little red heart earrings and gold necklace with a red heart as the pendant. Instead of wearing her hair straight she had it curled and tied at the end. Harry for the first time thought of Ginny as more of Ron’s little sister or a friend. To him, she looked amazing.

“You look really great, Ginny.” Harry said.

“That’s the tenth time you said that.” Ginny giggled.

“Hogwarts isn’t known for their English program, so I am rusty on my vocabulary.”

Ginny continued laughing as they entered the Great Hall arm in arm. Most of the school had already arrived. Harry could see most of the students turned to look at them. Some of them whispered that they knew they were boyfriend and girlfriend. Some whispered that they would have asked Harry if it wasn’t for Cho. A lot of the male students were doing double takes of Ginny. But the most commotion came from a group of Gryffindor boys standing next to the buffet table at the far end of the Hall.

“Way to go Harry!” yelled a 7th year.

“Ginny, you’re breaking my heart!” said a 5th year mocking a heart attack.

“See, Harry that’s and entrance.” Ginny stated making her way to a group of 5th year girls. “I want to mingle a bit.”

The Hall was decorated in deep red curtains and white doves fluttering around. At one end of the Hall, there was one of the dinner tables filled with pastries and desserts. The centerpiece of the buffet was an elaborated punch bowl that seemed big enough to bathe in. Harry had made his way to the punch to chat with the group of Gryffindor boys. He noticed Neville and Luna standing at the opposite end of the buffet. They seemed to be in their own world giggling and laughing. Luna had a yellow gown on the seemed a bit loose for her, but Neville seemed to hardly notice. Harry enjoyed watching them from a distance. It was by his second cup of punch that Professor Dumbledore strode onto the floor with Professor McGonagall on his arm. Both were wearing elegant purple robes, almost regal, Harry thought. They began to dance, a simple waltz. Harry was glad that he did not have to lead the school in the first dance as he did for the TriWizard’s Ball. He could sense that he was about to join them, as he turned around she saw Ginny striding toward him.

“We have to dance!” Ginny demanded.

“I am not good at all.” Harry warned.

“Don’t worry, I grew up with Weasley men, I know how to lead.” Ginny said with a wink.

As Harry had attempted to dance the waltz, jitterbug and foxtrot with Ginny, he could tell that she enjoyed watching him attempt to dance. She couldn’t stop laughing even when a slow song began to play. Harry was having a great time too. He wished the Triwizard’s Ball was this much fun.

After the slow song finished Harry began look into Ginny’s happy face when he noticed a drop of red liquid fall on her nose. Both looked up out of instinct and saw the large punch bowl hovering above them. They couldn’t move fast enough as it began to tip over. As Harry closed his eyes out of impulse, then he heard someone yell ‘Umbrelus’ from the corner of the Hall. When he opened his eyes, he saw that none of the liquid hit him, he and Ginny were dry. Harry also noticed several Slytherins, including Draco making a hasty exit.

“Draco!” Ginny yelled as Professor Sinistra chased after them.

Dumbledore came over to see if they were ok. After Harry assured them they were, the headmaster cleaned the floor with a flick of his wand. Harry could see that it was only a momentary distraction as the rest of the students began to dance when the music began to play again.

“Hey, do you want to get some air?” Harry asked.

“Yeah, sure.” Ginny smiled.

As they entered the garden outside the Great Hall they noticed that several other couples had thought of the same thing. Harry and Ginny took seat on a bench next to several tall buses.

“Besides the punch, I have been having a good time.” Harry said, noticing Ginny’s attention was elsewhere.
“Shhh.” Ginny hushed.

“What?”

“Shh, listen, I think that’s Luna and Neville.” Ginny whispered.

Harry had begun to here the voices on the other side of the bushes. He felt a little guilty listening in on their conversation, but it wasn’t the first time he has eavesdropped.

“That was pretty quick thinking, Neville.” Luna said proudly.

“My Gran taught me that. She would use it when we went shopping and it rained.”

“You know, I’ve noticed that you’re very loyal to Harry.” Luna said.

“Yeah, well you know, he’s a nice guy, always been nice to me.” Neville said sheepishly.

“No, it seems like there is more to it.” Luna pressed.

“Well, yeah, there is, but you can’t tell anyone about this.” Neville said worriedly.

“I would never tell people your secrets, even if my father would pay top dollar for it.” Luna smiled.

“I knew about the prophesy for a long time.” Neville admitted.

“What? How?”

“My Gran knew about it when Harry’s and my parents learned about it. She is very tighted lipped about certain things, but not when she was sleeping.” Neville answered.

“She talks in her sleep?”

“Yeah, but not too much. Just cause I have been with her for so long, I’ve found out about the Prophesy.”

“So that makes you so loyal to Harry?”

“Well no. Before Hogwarts I always thought the prophecy was only about me, that I had to defeat V—Voldemort. I grew so worried about this destiny that it crippled me. I was worried and nervous about everything. You should have known me the first four years here.”

“Well you had a reputation of being a bit clumsy, not to bad, however, I thought you were cute.”

Harry could feel Neville blushing from the other side of the bush.

“Thanks, when I came here I met Harry, and began to hear what he has been doing at school. He had faced Voldemort his first year, version of him the second year, and faced Sirius Black in our third year. It was when he faced Voldemort at the end of the TriWizard tournament in our fourth year that it was clear to me, Harry was meant to face Voldemort. Since then I have felt the burden lift from my shoulders, but I could only imagine how Harry was handling it. I knew he was going to be the one to take down Voldemort, and I want to be there to help.”

“You think he can do it?” Luna asked.

“I don’t know, but he has done some amazing things so far.”

“You know, he is not the only amazing wizard here a Hogwarts.” Luna said dreamily.

“Um, Ginny, they are kissing, we should go.” Harry whispered.

“Yeah, lets go.” Ginny giggled.

Harry and Ginny were one of the first Gryffindors to arrive back to the common room. There were two 4th years snuggling by the fire, which Harry thought was cute. Ginny had Harry almost dancing to every song after they returned from the garden; Harry had never had that much fun with a girl. Ginny didn’t care how horrible Harry had danced, and she laughed every time Harry stepped on her foot.

“Don’t worry, I don’t need that foot.” Ginny teased.

They decided to head back early to beat all love struck students that would be crowding Gryffindor’s common room. Harry had walked Ginny to the girl’s staircase.

“Well Harry, I had a wonderful time.” Ginny smiled.

“So did I, a really good time.” Harry said. “Look, I told Ron that you asked me to the ball, so let him think that or he might kill me.

“Um, I did ask you.” Ginny pointed out.

“Yes, technically, but it was my idea.” Harry argued half-heartedly.

“Well, I was about ask you just before Cho interrupted us.” Ginny revealed.

“Oh really…well I’m glad it worked out this way, I don’t think I would’ve had this much fun with Cho.” Harry said with a grin.

“Harry I did too and who would have had thought you to be the dancer.” Ginny joked.

“You bring it out of me.” Harry said with a laugh.

Harry was still laughing as Ginny leaned upward and kissed Harry on the cheek, he felt the warmth of her kiss a few seconds afterwards. It was a sweet and unexpected moment. Much better than my first kiss with Cho, Harry thought.

“Ginny…I…I” Harry stuttered.

“I was just saying thank you for a great night.” Ginny blushed.

“No, I liked it…it was nice.” Harry said touching the spot of his cheek where she had just kissed him.

“Goodnight Harry.” Ginny said smiling. She began to walk up the stairs to the girl’s dorm.

“Goodnight Ginny.” Harry returned.

Harry walked toward the boy’s dorm still touching his face. He was smiling as he made his up his way up the stairs and entering the dark dormitory.

“Luminous.” Harry said to turn on the magical lamps that lined the walls.

As the darkness faded, Harry was not ready for what he saw next.

“Ron…Hermione!” Harry gasped.

Both were sitting next to each other on Harry’s bed, lip locked.

“Harry!” Hermione screamed as she turned the same color as Ron’s hair. She quickly got to her feet and almost knocked Harry over as she race out the door. Harry saw that even though she was blushing, she was still smiling. He turned back to Ron who had a bigger smile on his face. Harry quickly understood the situation.

“I guess you and Hermione are talking again.” Harry said sarcastically.

Ron nodded with a smug smile on his face, then got up and walked toward his bed.

“Hey!” Harry shouted looking at his ruffled sheets. “Did you have to make out on my bed!”


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Chapter 16- The Four Duels.

The next several weeks were fueled with romance that the Ball had created. Harry had seen couples everywhere. Even Ron and Hermione were open about their newfound relationship. Ron had told him soon after he got back from the Ball what had happened between himself and Hermione. Hermione came into the room with tears in her eyes and apologized to Ron for how she has been acting. Ron didn’t know why she was acting like this until she told him that she knew about the broom and the necklace. Hermione couldn’t fight her feelings any longer. They spent most of the night talking about how long they have liked each other and making up for lost time. Every now and then Hermione would kiss him, Ron explained, each time it lasted longer than the last. Harry still didn’t find out how they ended up on his bed.

As Hermione and Ron’s relationship blossomed, Ginny and Harry began to grow closer as well. When Ron and Hermione would escape to some cozy corner of Hogwarts, Harry had spent his time talking and laughing with Ginny. He could hear the gossip in the hallways that they were an item, but he didn’t mind it at all. He enjoyed flirting with Ginny, between classes and seeing if Ron would get mad if he snuck a kiss in front of him. Ron’s attention was more on Hermione, who was being much nicer to Ron since he elevated to boyfriend status, however, she still would not let him skip out on his prefect duties or his homework. Even Neville was enjoying the romance that comes with spring. Luna and Neville would always sit together during their meals; sometimes at Ravenclaw’s table, but most of the time at the Gryffindor’s table. It seemed that more Gryffindors found all this romance more palatable since a number of them found someone this spring to enjoy it with. Harry also thought that the Gryffindor girls were gigglier now that they had more to gossip about; Hermione and Ginny seemed to be the worst when they were together.

The topic of ‘love’ also came up with their sessions with the Longbottoms. The six of them would pay close attention to Frank and Alice as they spoke of their knowledge of Gryffindor’s Shield.

“Magic is most powerful when connected with emotion.” Frank said at the beginning of a lesson in late April. “This, you already know, but it’s a great emotion that you need to be able to do this spell. We have gone over how we cannot teach you to conjure such spell without risk. If we calculate incorrectly it could mean death at the worst. This is because we might not have the estimated the right balance between the two elements of magaic, even the Gryffindor’s shield needs to be balanced by the Killing Curse. See we believe that Lily’s love for Harry was way more powerful than the hate Voldemort had for Harry. That is why it attacked Voldemort and almost destroyed him. Now if we were to use the spell to protect a good friend or even brother, we would not be able to manage this feat, the connection between mother and child is the most potent.”

“Why is that? Hermione asked.

“Good question.” Frank cheered. “Alice, dear, this is more your territory.”

“See, Hermione, an theory by Amith Thochu, an Indian wizard from the 16th century, describes that for wizards and magical creature in the broader sense, magic is passed through the mother. Fathers are biologically important, mothers are more so magically. Its this connection draws the most power.”

“Yes, but this does not mean you cannot protect your other family or loved ones. Just not to the degree with the effect of taking a Dark Lord out for 14 years. A wizard or witch with great control could protect their loved ones with less risk. One has to be able to focus that emotion and magic to pull off the spell, almost like the Patronus spell. However, this is more difficult because this is done without a wand.”

“How is wandless magic possible?” Harry said curiously.

“All wizards and witches are magical, it’s the wand that focuses that magic. If you think about it, that dependancy makes wizards the less evolved of magical beings.” Frank said with a laugh. “Even house elves can do magic with the snap of their finger. But wizards need a wand to focus magic, but not all magic. Think about it, have you ever used wandless magic? The Summoning charm is an example of magic that does not need a wand. Focus is key. You see this with the greatest wizards, they have great focus. The same with Gryffindor’s Sheild, when you ever need to use this spell, you must focus on the emotion of love, and not fear. This is what can save your life.”

Harry and the others felt they had learned a lot from the Longbottoms during their lessons on the weekends. He was amazed at how they made the theory so clear, he wished Umbridge was that good? But Harry had learned in his first Potions class in his 1st year, not all teachers are created the same. Nor are all students.

Harry had grown frustrated with Apparation class. He still had trouble with his aim and he had never been able to apparate into the correct circle. Madam Hooch believed that the rest of the gang was close to testing for their license, while Harry needed another year of training.

“Mr. Potter, you do so well in Quidditch. You can focus on the Snitch, now focus on the large circle over there and apparate.”

Harry had failed once more.

“I don’t know why I can’t do it?” Harry yelled in aggravation.

“I think you have some kind of mental block,” Madam Hooch pondered. “Which type of magical travel do you like the least?”

Harry did not hesitate, “Floo powder.”

“Ok, now we are getting somewhere. Which is one your favorite?”

“Broomstick.”

“Ah, spoken like a true seeker.” Madam Hooch nodded as she circled him. “Look, now focus on that red spot next to Ron, and imagine yourself flying to and land at that spot. Now apparate!”

Harry closed his eyes, and imagined flying to the spot. He felt himself being lifted in the air. I’m doing it, Harry thought, I’m finally I doing it. Harry had believed that he would be looking at Ron’s smiling face when he opened his eyes. As he slowly began to open his eyes and the figure the appeared before him was neither Ron nor laughing. Madam Hooch stood before him scowling as if he had cheated at Quidditch. He could see Ron on the other side of the room almost in hysterics, all the others couldn’t hold it back either. Harry looked down and saw that he had just apparated to the wrong circle, naked.

“You should stick to traveling with a broomstick, Mr. Potter.” Madam Hooch said half disappointed, half laughing. “And never plan to play Quidditch in that uniform.”

Neville and Ron would not let Harry live it down for the next week. Even Luna, Hermione, and Ginny would give Harry catcalls every time he entered the Great Hall. He made them promise not to tell anyone, but they made sure he wouldn’t forget it. After a few days, he was laughing at the image of him, naked in the Apparation room.

Harry was entering Defense Against the Dark Arts as Neville and Ron presented him with a pair of underwear. Hermione entered behind them laughing uncontrollably as Ron explained it charmed so it wouldn’t come off during apparation.

“Cause, mate, we don’t ever want to see you out of your knickers again.” Ron joked.

“You guys are the worst friends a guy could have.” Harry said with a laugh.

“Clam down, students,” Moody said as he hobbled into class. “calm down. Today is D-day.”

“D-day professor?”Semus asked.

“Duel day.” Moody answered.

“I thought that was suppose to be at the end of the semester?” Hanna Abbot complained.

“I thought I would give the top 5 students a little surprise. They should be ready no matter what, and you dear are not one of the top 5.” Moody said with a tight smile.

He pulled out two wizard hats and placed them on his desk. “One hat has the names of the top 5, the other, names of the professors that have volunteered. To keep this somewhat fair, I will pick the students from they will pick their opponent from this hat. This way they will go in random order and will be matched up randomly as well. Let’s see the first name is, no surprise there, Hermione Granger.”

Hermione slowly walked toward the hat with the faculty’s names in it. She apprehensively reached in and pulled out a folded sheet of parchment. Harry was surprised to see her turn pale once she read the name to herself.

“Who is it Hermione?” Ron asked cautiously.

Hermione attempted to speak but no sound came out. Harry thought she might have chosen Snape, but a moment later she announced it. “Professor M…McGonagall.”

“Great, then lets get started.” Moody cheered as he walked toward the door. “Minerva would you please come in.”

Professor McGonagall walked through the door scanning the classroom. Once she saw Hermione standing outside the crowd, Harry could tell that Professor McGonagall knew she was her challenger.

“There are four others duels to get threw today, so lets not delay.” Moody announced, “the dueler wins by claiming their opponents wand. No Unforgivable curses. Get in position, and go.”

Hermione had little time to think, Professor McGonagall had sent a stunner as soon as she could. Hermione yelled “Protego!” out of reflex.

“Good, Hermione, you are quicker than I expected.” Professor McGonagall said with a smile.

“Is Professor McGonagall trash talking Hermione?” Ron whispered to Harry.

“I think so. This is going to be good.” Harry replied.

Hermione decided that it was time to go on the offensive rather than lay back. She used a Protean charm to change Professor McGonagall’s hat into stone. The Professor’s head quickly drooped backwards. Before she lost her balance, she transformed into a cat. Hermione smiled as she did so, and quickly ran toward her. Harry realized what Hermione had done; in cat form, McGonagall could not hold her wand.

Hermione searched around were Professor McGonagall had transfigured, but she could not find the wand. Soon, she realized that the tabby cat was changing back to McGonagall.

“Very clever, Hermione, but I learned a long time ago to transfigure my wand into a collar when I transformed. I do it by instinct now.” Professor McGonagall said before hitting Hermione with a Tickling Charm.

With that, Hermione was laughing so hard she dropped her wand, leaving it for the Professor to casually walked over and picked it up.

“Winner, Minerva McGonagall. But I have to say, Hermione, that would have worked on most other wizards, to bad Minerva is not like most wizards.” Moody said with a wink.

“That was good, Hermione.” Harry said trying to sound cheerful.

“I should have known.” Hermione said rubbing her ribs.

“You did great.” Ron said giving her a hug.

“Thanks, but I don’t ever want to face her in a duel again,” Hermione said. “its hard to face your favorite professor.”

“She’s your favorite?” Ron said half jokingly.

“Ok, it’s now time for our second duel, lets who is the lucky student. Ronald Weasley.” Moody proclaimed.

Ron released Hermione from his hug and made his way to the black hat. He quickly grabbed a piece of parchment.

“Of course, Alastor Moody.” Ron said sarcastically.

“Ah yes, I wanted to see if I still could hold my own against young ruffian as yourself,” Moody smiled taking his spot. “Let’s see what you got, Weasley. Go.”

Ron quickly shot a silencing spell at Moody. Moody was faster than he expected, he ducked out of the way and shot a Bat-boegy hex at Ron.

“I have ducked many of those Professor.” Ron said after rolling away from the curse.

“I thought I would give it a try, you sister is quite proficient with it.” Moody laughed.

Ron quickly attempted to circle Moody. He made a shot toward his peg leg and was able blast an inch off.

“TARANTALLEGRA!” Ron shouted.

A moment later Moody was clanking around doing the most unusual jig Harry had ever seen. Harry had thought that Ron had beaten the famed auror, Alastor Moody, until he saw a smile appear on his Professor’s face. Professor Moody shot a spell at Ron while dancing. Ron began to sing into his wand. Moody then cast the counter curse onto himself and limped over to Ron. He grabbed his wand, then spoke the counter curse to spare everyone a second verse.

“Good try Weasley, but I used to be a hell of a dancer before the peg. I know how to keep my balance and aim while doing a jig. You need to know that when hunting banshees in Ireland. But I will tell your father how impressive that was. Ok let’s see whose next.”

Harry was watching everyone’s faces, no one but Draco seemed to wanted to be called next. Harry thought that everyone should be jumping at the chance to duel a professor. Even if they did lose, the experience itself would be worth it. Harry watched and listened as Professor Moody selected the third piece of parchment. Moody’s face distorted after he read the name to himself.

“Oh, I seemed to have picked from the wrong hat.” Moody said scratching his head. “Whoever’s next, gets to duel Professor Snape.”

Everyone around Harry, had gasped in fear, eve Hermione looked worried and she had already went. Professor Moody hobbled even more so, due to part of his peg leg being across the room, as made his way to the class room door and asked Professor Snape in.

“Who shall I dispose of?” Snape said as he entered.

“Well, I drew your name first by mistake,” Moody growled. “so you can choose your opponent from that hat.”

“Very well,” Snape said striding toward the hat. He noticed Harry standing at the front of the class and made his way toward the group of students. “I do hope Mr. Potter has made it to the top of the class.”

“We’ll see.” Moody said at his desk.

“I would so enjoy a chance to duel with you Mr. Potter.” Snape sneered as he reached into the hat. “It would be like my birthday coming early.”

Harry watched as he read the name of the next student. He thought he saw a smile for on his lips. Uh oh, Harry thought.

“Maybe, not my birthday, but definitely like a second Christmas.” Snape smiled. “Neville Longbottom.”

Harry could see Neville turn white; he knew this was the worst thing that could happen to Neville. Harry made his way toward Neville; he saw that Hermione and Ron were doing the same.

“Look you can do this, Neville.” Ron said trying to build his confidence.

“Just be quick.” Hermione said.

“Neville, this your chance to get even for every wrong Snape has done to you in Potions.” Harry stated. “You’ve faced worse.”

“Mr. Longbottom are you going to duel or would you like to forfeit, now.” Snape teased.

Neville looked almost paralyzed; he slowly made his way to the dueling position.

“D—duel.” Neville stuttered.

“He is going to get killed.” Draco said loud enough so everyone could hear.

“Be fair, Professor.” Professor McGonagall said in a worried tone.

“I wouldn’t think of being otherwise, Professor.” Snape replied snidely.

“Hogwarts Dueling rules, and no Unforgivable Curses. Understand.” Moody said to Snape. “Go.”

Snape waited for Neville to attack, but Neville couldn’t move.

“C’mon Mr. Longbottom, at least make a sport of it.” Snape said lowering his wand.

Neville just stood, frozen. Draco began to laugh louder every second Neville hesitated.

“Mr. Longbottom, I will even give you a sporting chance.” Snape sneered, “I will lower my wand and allow you the first cast.”

Neville, stood, gripping his wand tighter. Harry could see that Neville was coming to, but would he be able to do anything was another matter.

“T…t…t.” Neville stuttered.

“Go for it Neville.” Harry shouted trying to get Neville to snap out of it.

“T—Timudous!” Neville finally shouted. A blue spark erupted from Neville’s wand, and flew across the classroom. Snape stood there in shock, to slow to duck before the blast hit him square in the chest. At first, Snape didn’t react, or could Harry notice any change. Then, Harry could see it, Snape began to turn pale. His knees began to shake and his arms became ridged. He looked like how Harry felt the time Dementors attacked him during a Quidditch match in his third year.

Neville began to make his way cautiously toward Snape. Amazingly, Snape began to recoil as Neville approached. As Neville reached for Snape’s wand, Snape dropped his wand and ran out of the classroom. The class erupted with laughter. Even Moody and McGonagall couldn’t hold it in. The sight of Snape fleeing from Neville Longbottom was the last thing anyone expected to see. Draco stood their fuming, embarrassed at his Professor’s cowardice. Harry didn’t know which sight was better; Snape running as if he saw a Dementor, or Neville standing there with Snape’s wand.

“What did you do?” Semus said patting Neville on the back.

“I didn’t think it would work?” Neville said in a half daze.

“What?” Hannah asked.

“I learned that from my dad this winter break.” Neville explained. “It takes the fear you have and places it in your opponent.”

“Bloody brilliant.” Ron cheered.

“Yeah, my dad thought I would need it.” Neville smiled. “ I wish he was here see it.”

“Don’t worry Mr. Longbottom.” Professor McGonagall said walking toward the group of Gryffindors. “I’ll make sure he knows about it the next time I see him. Great job.”

Neville beamed from all the attention. Harry felt proud of Neville’s accomplishment too, not everyone can come face to face with what they fear the most and stand up to it. Before Neville could celebrate for too long, Moody selected another name from the hat.

“Draco Malfoy.” Moody growled.

Draco strode up to the desk, with a smug look on his face. Once he selected his opponent, an evil smile came across his face. Harry knew this could not be good.

“Hagrid.” Draco said superiorly.

Moody opened the door for Hagrid who came in smiling, it look like he was carrying a Hogwart’s wand, that was used if a student lost their wand, in his right had. Hagrid stopped smiling when Moody told him who his opponent was.

“Ta’ker easy on ‘me.” Hagrid joked.

Draco did not answer, he took his position and pointed his wand. Harry could see that Hagrid was a bit apprehensive.

“You’ll do fine. Kick his butt.” Harry mouthed to Hagrid. He nodded in return.

“Go!” Moody shouted.

“Petrificus Totlalus!” Malfoy shouted.

A yellow beam hit Hagrid on his arm. A moment later, Hagrid’s arms and legs went ridged.

“That was simpler than I thought. Let’s see, what do you look like in a dress.” Draco said walking around a bound Hagrid, as if he was captured prey.”

“I look down on poor sportsmanship.” Moody warned from his desk.

“Oh very well, lets just make this the quickest duel I have ever won.” Draco said reaching for Hagrid’s wand.

Suddenly, Hagrid grabbed Draco’s empty hand. Startled, Draco looked up to see Hagrid smiling down at him. Hagrid applied a little pressure to Draco’s hand, which brought Draco down to his knees. With that, Hagrid removed Draco’s wand without much fight afterwards.

“Neva ‘new I’d do a lil actin’ huh.” Hagrid said to a stunned Draco.

“How did that spell not work?” Draco said walking to the back of the room, grabbing his crushed hand.

“Yer need a lot mor magic than yer hav ter take a giant down.” Hagrid said handing Moody Draco’s wand.

“I’d bes be leaving, got ter feed Fang and tell a little friend.” Hagrid said with a wink to Harry.

“Good job Hagrid.” Hermione shouted as he left.

Ron couldn’t help but teasing Draco by holding his hand in mock pain. Moody made his way back to the table to draw the final name.

“I know its you Harry,” Ron said. “you basically taught half the class last year.”

Harry had felt he would be one of the top 5, however he was enjoying watching the duels to realize his name had not been called. Moody smiled as he read the last name, “Harry Potter.”

Harry quickly made his was to the hat that contained the names of the opponents. When he opened the parchment he thought he didn’t he read the name right. He realized, that even if some might consider him the best in this class, he was about to get his but kicked. Harry read the name with the tone of defeat already in his voice, “Professor Dumbledore.”

Professor Dumbledore walked into the room with a smile to greet the class. He nodded to Moody and asked who his opponent was to be.

“Ah, yes, very good.” Professor Dumbledore said with a smile after receiving the information. “Should I stand here?”

Harry was now standing in front of Professor Dumbledore, trying to figure out the emotion he was feeling, it wasn’t fear or confidence. He could hear the students whispering in anticipation of the match; Hermione was the only on to look worried.

“Are you ready, Harry.” Professor Dumbledore said gently.

“Um, no.” Harry replied. Harry finally realized what he was feeling. He was standing before the wizard who looked after him all his life, who was friend and a mentor to him and his parents, and now he was about to duel the one wizard who would not harm him even if he is the greatest wizard alive. Harry was feeling humility.

“I surrender.” Harry said handing his wand to Dumbledore.

“Are you sure?” Dumbledore asked.

“I can’t fight you, even if it was for sport.” Harry said.

“I understand. I appreciate not having to have to deal with the possibility of spending some time in the school’s infirmary.” Dumbledore said with a wink, “Thank you, Harry.”

Harry knew that Dumbledore truly did understand what Harry had meant, he was trying to show the amount of respect he has for his Headmaster. Even if the next few weeks, the halls would claim him to be a teacher’s pet, Harry felt good about his decision.

“Well, let that be a lesson to all of you.” Moody said getting up from his desk.

“Know when you are out matched, and when not to duel. I wouldn’t face Professor Dumbledore of all the gold in Gringotts. Now for the students that have dueled, win or loss, you will not have to take the final, however, don’t let me catch you slipping in the next few weeks or you will be helping Flitch clean out the latrines.”


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  #11  
Old January 5th, 2005, 9:47 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
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Chapter 17- The Safest Place

The school had been buzzing about the duels for the next few weeks. Most students understood why Harry didn’t face Dumbledore, but a few, mostly Slytherins, had a laugh at Harry’s expense. Ron, however, was happy to remind them of Draco’s and Snape’s performance every chance he got. After a night in the infirmary, Snape had fully recovered from Neville’s spell. He had to take his aggression out on the few Gryffindors that were in his N.E.W.Ts since Neville didn’t take Potions. Harry, Hermione, and Ron bared it the best they could, it was worth getting the extra attention from Snape to have seen him run from Neville.

Neville had become the toast of Gryffindor, and enjoyed retelling the story of the duel to anyone who asked. The Longbottom’s had been particularly happy for Neville, Frank and Alice were beaming at their lesson after the duel.

“Showed that slimy git, didn’t he.” Frank said proudly of Neville.

Two weeks before the end of the year, Gryffindor was to play Ravenclaw again, for the Quidditch cup; the late date was due to the game being delayed twice due to extreme fog. Usually, they would play Quidditch in almost any condition, but if there was zero visibility, the game was rescheduled; this was more for the spectators than the players, Harry believed.

Ron had improved for their game against Huffelpuff a few weeks before. A Gryffindor 5th year forced Ron to use his Comet 260 during the game. It wasn’t as fast as Ron’s Cleansweep 11, but it was just as maneuverable. With a decisive win of 190-0, Gryffindor secured its place in game for the Cup. Ron was told to use the Comet 260 for the final as well. Most students felt, with Ron back in form, and Harry as the seeker, this would be another Cup and House win for Gryffindor.

Harry and the rest of the team hovered over the pitch as Madam Hooch announced the rules to the crowds. Harry had noticed most of the professors were at attendance, even Lupin and the Longbottoms. Lupin had missed most of Harry’s matches this year, but didn’t want to miss the final and Longbottoms had been cheering Neville on since they learned he was on the team. Even Gwarp was watching from the bottom of Gryffindor’s stand. Hagrid had been teaching him the ins and outs of Quidditch and had him attending games this spring. The only person missing was Snape, but Snape had been noticeably absent at public events and meals since the duel. Harry thought being defeated by Neville was getting the better of him.

“You guys ready?” Ron said addressing the team. “Chasers stay together, the last game, they split you guys apart too much, I think they will try that again.”

Harry was watching his teammates got into place, he noticed Cho eyeing him from across the pitch. After a minute of watching her acting like she wasn’t watching him, he noticed Madam Hooch flying towards the faculty stand. The other professors were paying close attention to her as she began to talk frantically to Professor Dumbledore. Harry couldn’t understand what she was saying, but it was causing the other professors to grow concerned. A moment later Dumbledore stood up and began to speak into his wand, his voice echoed throughout the stands.

“I apologize but this match must be cancelled. I have been just informed that there are four giants are headed this way from the Forbidden Forrest.”

With this, Harry and several other Quidditch players flew high enough to see the above and beyond the castle toward the Forbidden Forrest. He could make out four heads bobbing up and down through the treetops, heading toward the castle. He then understood the worry in Dumbledore’s voice. Hogwarts was being attacked.

“All students will follow me to the castle, into the Great Hall, do not go into your separate houses. Professors and faculty will regroup at the edge of the Forbidden Forrest. Be prepared, I don’t think these will be the normal giants we have seen in the past. Students please head toward the castle, now.”

Harry watched from high above, as a stream of students leaving the Quidditch pitch, heading toward castle. The professors, with worried looks on their faces, headed toward the edge of the Forbidden Forrest as instructed. He noticed Ron had found Hermione and her on the back of the broom. As they reached the castle, he watched Dumbledore, patiently, wait for every student to enter before sealing the castle door. Harry saw that he also cast a spell on the door for extra protection.

Once inside the Great Hall, he noticed all the students attempted to get a view of the Forbidden Forrest from the stain glass windows. Dumbledore enchanted the windows so they would be clear and the curious students would not have to crowd.

“Please, listen. You must all stay here, within the Great Hall. This place is protected with many spells and you will be the safe here. I will have Sir Nicholas in charge while I go to assist the other professors. Giants can be very deadly, so for what ever reason, do not leave.”

Harry had watched as his Headmaster exited the Great Hall and race toward the edge of the Forrest. A moment later the Hogwarts ghosts appeared through the walls the Great Hall, all began to watch through enchanted windows.

Soon, four giants, twice the size of Gwarp, emerged from the dark forest. Several professors launched a barrage of spells toward the lead giant, to no effect. He brandished a sword that blazed with fire; the other three wielded similar swords.

“Dear Merlin!” Sir Nicholas gasped.

“What! What’s wrong?” Harry asked.

“Fire swords! They can set the whole castle ablaze if they reach here.” Sir Nicholas said with fear. Harry examined closer to see that each giant were covered in chest and leg armor, obviously enlarged by magic, and each carried a large pouch around its waist.

“Can’t the professor’s stop them?” Hermione asked, growing more worried for the professors’ safety.

“It’s going to be difficult. A fire sword is a strong magical weapon, and giants, unarmed, are hard to take down.” Sir Nicholas said as if watching a loosing battle

“We need to help them.” Harry stated, watching a giant shot a fireball at Professor Flitwick. He was able to duck most of the flame but was burned on his arm.

“No, you students need to stay here, Hogwarts has its own defenses.”

“Not if the professors are taken out.” Harry argued, pointing to the battle across Hogwart’s grounds.

“Ok, but you students stay here. We have a plan for such an occasion. Bloody Baron you lead the ghosts, I will gather the house elves.” Sir Nicholas ordered.

With that, the house ghosts flew threw the wall facing the forest, and then appeared along side the professors. Moments later house elves emerged as well. Together, Hogwart’s professors, ghosts, and house elves stood together to defend the castle. Harry saw several professors were able to stun the smallest giant after ten minutes of continuous stunners. Minutes later, Hagrid and Gwarp were able to wrestle a fire sword away from another; however both limped away with burns on their legs and arms. Madam Pomprefy was trying to apply ointment to Gwarp while Hagrid tried to hold him back from returning to the fight. Meanwhile, the house elves levitated trees toward the giants, unfortunately, the giants were able to slice through most of them. After some time, a few elves found that rocks were a lot more effective; one giant fell as Winky and others dropped a boulder on its head.

The ghosts were mainly helping by going on the defensive; they would push professors out of the way as the giants cast fireballs toward them. Professor Moody and the Bloody Barron were an extremely efficient team; Moody would cast several spells in rapid succession, while the Bloody Barron pushed the auror out of the way at the when needed. Together, Dumbledore, Moody, Sir Nicholas, and the Bloody Barron were able to down one giant by levitating him and dropping him on his head. After seeing this was effective, the other professors were able to manage the same with the remaining two giants. The Great Hall erupted with cheers as the last giant fell.

Madam Pompfrey was attending to the professors and elves that had been burned during the battle; Professor Sinistra and Flitch looked to have needed a nights stay in the infirmary, while the rest only had minor burns. Dumbledore spoke to a group of uninjured professors while the house elves levitated four giants onto the middle of Hogwarts ground. The professors and elves were taking a closer look at the giants when a pink fog erupted from large pouches tied to their mountainous waists.

“What’s that?” Ron yelled as the pink fog surrounded the professors, ghosts, and house elves. The students, growing more fearful, couldn’t see the professors through the dense pink cloud.

“I don’t know.” Harry said growing more worried by the moment. “Can you see anything?”

“No, just that pink stuff.” Ron said, placing his hands around his eyes on the window, to focus better.

A few moments later, the pink fog began to disperse, mysteriously as it arrived. Harry and the others were shocked to see that all the professors and house elves were laying on the floor. Once all of the fog was gone, Harry noticed that the house ghosts were also laying on the ground.

“What happened?” Dennis Creevy asked trying to understand what he was all looking at.

“They are all dead!” Padma yelled.

“No they are not.” Hermione yelled back, “You’re freaking everyone out!”

“Then what’s in Hades is going on?” Parvarti said.

“I don’t know.” Hermione conceded.

“Look!” Neville yelled, “Dementors!”

Harry watched as dozens of ghostly Dementors emerged from the forest and began circle the professors. At first, Harry began to fear that the Dementors were going to attack, but then he noticed they stayed their distance from the wizards and witches on the ground. Harry then knew that they were following orders, not to drain the enemy yet. The giants were a distraction, the pink cloud was the real attack, and the Dementors were to secure the fallen. Harry knew what was going to happen next.

His scar erupted with pain.

“Is that him?”

“Those are Death Eaters!”

“We’re going to die!”

“That’s him!”

“We need to get out of here now!”

“SHUT UP!” Harry yelled, turning away from the frightened students, trying to fight through the pain. As the pain subdued, he began to peer deeper into the battle field.

Thirteen figures in black robes appeared, the one in the middle removed his hood to reveal his snake like eyes and his distorted face. Harry had feared this once the giants attacked. It was Voldemort, and he was smiling.

He surveyed the fallen giants and had his Death Eaters group the comatose professors in front of him. He laughed as a few Death Eaters tossed the house elves into a pile.

Harry couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Voldemort’s army had taken out the strongest wizards he knew; nothing but bricks and grass stood between them, now. He could hear the cries of the younger students as they also began to realize how dire a situation had become.

“Harry Potter.” A voice echoed through the walls. Harry gazed out to see Voldemort speaking into his wand just like Dumbledore had done earlier. One Death Eater, shot the Dark Mark high about Hogwarts as he did so; even the daylight one could see its eerie green glow.

“Harry, you do know who this is, don’t you?” Voldemort said in a mocking tone.

“Shut up, everyone! !” Draco shouted smugly, “He’s talking to you, Potter, pay attention.”

Harry gritted his teeth, he would have pounded Draco right then, however he knew there were more pressing issues at hand.

“I know you know you are in there.” Voldemort said peering at the windows of the Great Hall. “Do you now see how powerful I truly am? Look, the greatest wizard lies at my feet, the world-renowned Hogwarts professors lay besides him. What else does the world need to see to know I am a greater wizard than Dumbledore, the greatest wizard you have ever seen. Those who doubted my strength will now see, today I take Hogwarts, tomorrow, my legions will grow, it is only a matter of time that all will choose to follow me, or perish.”

Harry could feel the joy Voldemort had for his victory. Victory, Harry thought, not if I can help it. Harry, growing with rage, waited for Voldemort to continue.

“Yes, I feel you Harry.” Voldemort said, “just as you feel me. You know, this connection we have has interested me greatly. I am going to make you an offer. Join me, and you will survive unlike your professors. Come out now, and join me and you will see how Lord Voldemort rewards his followers.”

“Don’t go Harry!” Hermione shouted.

“You know he kill you the moment he gets.” Ginny said, with tears rolling down her face.

“He’s bluffing, Harry. He’s waiting out there not because he wants to, but because he has to.” Ron said as he surveyed Voldemort’s face. “Look, he is getting angry too quickly.”

“I guess you know better.” Voldemort’s voice echoed with increasing anger. “I can feel the defiance in you growing. You are not as stupid as I thought. You know with all the protections your beloved Dumbledore has placed on Hogwarts, we cannot enter his fortress, however, what I seek can come to me and that is what you will do.”

“Never.” Harry said to himself.

Voldemort began to walk around the professor’s bodies, turning over the ones with their faces to the ground, “Ah, I have found my example. Harry, I will only give you one minute, to come before me. With every minute you delay one of your beloved professors will be fed to one of my Dementors. Yes, this one has been a pain in my side for many years. Many of my Death Eaters would love to get their hands on him, but I will use him to show you how serious I am.”

Voldemort pointed to one Dementors then pointed to the body at his feet. “Feed, on this one. Watch and learn what happens to those who oppose Lord Voldemort. Say goodbye to Mad-Eye Moody.”


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  #12  
Old January 6th, 2005, 3:11 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 18 – Marked Him as His Equal

Harry and the students watched in horror as the Dementor leaned over Moody’s unconscious body and lowered its hood. The kiss lasted only a moment, but it was a sight not to be forgotten. One of Harry’s favorite professor, and a friend, lost his soul to a creature he would have bested if awake. Harry couldn’t believe it first, but when he heard other students crying over their fallen Defense Against the Dark Arts professor, he knew it was true; Moody was dead.

“Harry, lets see who will be the next one to be the Dementors food if you do not come out. Oh, I found one. Ha, I am feeling a tingle of emotion, yes, I once had a soft spot for this one, but she has decided to follow him. I shall not spare her, however, she does deserve better than a Dementor’s kiss. Don’t you think Harry. You have one minute.” Voldemort said pointing his wand over the motionless body of Minerva McGonagal.

“Harry you can’t go.” Hermione insisted.

“I have to, or he’ll kill everyone or worse.” Harry argued heading to the Great Hall exit.

“He’ll kill you!”

“Look, Hermione, I can’t stay here and watch him kill them!” Harry yelled.

“Then I’m going with you!” Hermione cried.

“So am I!” Ginny added.

“No, he wants me and only me.” Harry argued. “I can’t let you risk your lives.”

“And we can’t let you risk yours.” Neville shouted.

“Look, there might be a better way.” Ron said.

“How?” Harry said, realizing his friends would not let him face Voldemort without them.

“Ok, I think there is enough of us, DA and some older students that can face them.” Ron began. “We can break up into two groups. One will follow you behind you from a distance, while the other use there brooms to circle around and come from the Forbidden Forest.”

“Will this work?” Neville questioned.

“Yeah, well maybe, Ron and I used to do something similar when we had snowball fights with Fred and George.” Ginny said supporting her older brother.

“Well, it depends, the ground force and broom force need to attack one minute apart.” Ron said hesitantly.

“What? What’s wrong?” Hermione said hearing the doubt in Ron’s voice.

“Harry has to buy us time.” Ron said looking to Harry.

“No! He’ll be killed.” Hermione cried.

“Hermione, he’s right.” Harry said understanding Ron’s strategy.

“I think we only need a couple of minutes to get into position.” Ron said lifting his broom.

“I’ll do my best.”

“Please be Ok!” Ginny said grabbing Harry.

“Harry you can do this, you’ve done some amazing things in the past.” Neville said in attempt to boost Harry’s confidence.

“If were going to do this, we don’t have much time left.” Luna said joining the fold.

“Good luck everyone.” Harry said as they all grabbed to hug him.

“I’ll rally the ground troops, Ginny you lead those who want to fight and have brooms. Have them summon them quickly.” Ron order. As Harry listened, he thought Ron sounded like a general before a big battle. If Harry needed a general, Ron would be the one he would want on his side.

“One thing, Ron.” Harry said, grabbing Ron’s shoulder. “Hit the Dementors first, and hard.”

Harry had marched toward Voldemort and his army of Dementors and Death Eaters, grasping his wand his one hand and his Firebolt in the other. He could make out some of the Death Eater’s faces, as he approached. There was Lucious Malfoy, and Crabbe and Golye’s fathers standing guard over the bodies of the professors; Rodolphus and Rabastan Lestrange were poking around the bodies of the house elves and Peter Pettigrew was sniffing Lupin’s walking stick in a rat like manner. Harry couldn’t see the faces of the others as they surrounded their master. As he got closer he could hear the voices of the Lestrange brother eerie conversation.

“Rodolphus is that Frank Longbottom?” Rabastan said poking at one of the bodies closer to the pile of house elves.

“I think so,” Rodolphus said with an evil laugh. “and here is his retched wife.”

“My Lord, please will you allow us to dispose of these two.” Rabastan said bowing low to Voldemort.

“I do understand your enthusiasm to rid the world of the Longbottoms,” Voldemort smiled, “Somewhere in there, is the son of these two, soon he will know what punishment is in store for the one who killed my most loyal. But first my Death Eaters, our honored guest has arrived.”

Harry stood ten feet away from the wizard that killed his parents. Even if scar did ached, he knew it might help him read Voldemort as Dark Lord read him. He stood firmly, raising his wand toward Voldemort.

“Leave now!” Harry ordered.

“Oh, very brave are you. Good, this will be more pleasurable than I first thought.” Voldemort sneered. He then pointed his wand toward McGonagall. “Drop your wand and broom or else.”

Harry could feel the hatred building inside Voldemort; he knew he was preparing to cast the Killing curse to his own mentor. He had to delay this as long as he could to allow Ron and the others to make their move.

“Ok.” Harry surrender. He dropped both his wand and broom to his feet.

“Ah, yes, you are a caring one aren’t you? Accio wand!” Voldemort commanded. For a moment, he admired Harry’s wand, and its similarities to his own. “I remember you dragging that dead boy’s body to the portkey. At the time, I thought of you as brave, but now, I know, it was stupidity.”

“You may kill me today, but there will be others to stop you.” Harry yelled.

“Kill you?” Voldemort laughed. “ No, not today, boy. Dumbledore will die surely, even though I will take my time with him. But you will be my new face of fear. The Boy-Who-Lived will live as symbol of my rebirth, paraded before those who had hope in you. It will darken those who had seen you as their light. Even if you were only a lucky child, some see you as a great wizard already. Their fate lies with your professors. I would pity them, if I could feel pity.”

“I will never serve you!” Harry bellowed.

“You have no choice.” Voldemort hissed. “Crucio!”

Harry fell in tremendous pain, his veins felt like they were on fire. Harry believed he was bleeding through every pore in his body. He fought hard against passing out; tears filled his eyes as he attempted to open them against the curse. Moments later, as he felt the pain fade away, he could only hear the voices around him.

“Its time to clean up my Death Eaters, dispose of the house elves, we only need a few professors, leave the rest for the Dementors.

Harry slowly opened his eyes to see Crabbe and Goyle levitating Dumbledore, McGonagall, Lupin, the Longbottoms and Hagrid, all enemies of Voldemort. Demeantors began to fly toward the other motionless professors when Harry heard charge from a distance.

“Expecto Patronum!” came from a chorus of students racing toward the Dementors.

Harry saw that Ron, Hermione, and Luna leading a group of thirty students, mostly DA members. He knew it was a matter of time before all the Dementors would flee as a Manator, platapus, unicorn, and many other patronus made chase. Harry also noticed that the Death Eaters and Voldemort were in shock at the number of corporeal patronus around them.

“These are just students!” one hooded Death Eater said in awe, “How do they know how to conjure these!”

Harry got to his feet as several DA members shot stunners at the Death Eaters near him. However, the Death Eaters began to shoot back a barrage of spells that struck several students. Colin Creevy was hit hard by blast that left him unconscious and growing boils. Ernie Machmillian was quick enough to dodge a stunner but was slowed down when Zacharis Smith was levitated into him. Luna played field nurse, levitating injured students away from the battle.

A moment later, Ginny arrived with Neville, Cho and many of Hogwart’s Quidditch players, casting spells from high above. Harry could see the dozens of students battling against the Death Eaters who surrounded Voldemort. Voldemort watched with quiet rage as several of his Death Eaters,fell to Ginny’s fleet of airborne students. Ron and Hermione stunned Malfoy and Goyle, while Neville made a ferocious attack against Rodolphus. Soon all three were down. Harry was amazed at the strategic movements of Ron’s student army. Ron was yelling orders, as Hermione covered him, watching his back as he arranged students to surround Voldemort. Harry was amazed to see the last Death Eater fall to a fierce stunner shot buy a vengeful Dennis Creevy.

It was a sight to see as Gryffindors, Huffelpuffs, and Ravenclaws encircled Lord Voldemort. Noticeably absent, from this Hogwart’s militia, were the Slytherins; but Harry knew they would have benefited the most if they stayed out of the battle. Harry stood up and walked toward Hermione and Ron.

“A—A re you ok, Harry?” Hermione said panting for air. Harry could hear that she was not used to running around this much.

“You guys were right on time.” Harry said looking at all the students pointing wands at the darkest wizard of this age.

“What are we going to do with him?” Ron said eyeing Voldemort closely, he was visibly more pale than usual.

“Nothing, you thick headed mongrel.” Voldemort hissed. “EXPELLIARMUS!”

All of the wands that were pointing at Voldemort flew to his feet. He flicked his wand and those who were flying a dozen feet above him fell off their brooms and onto the ground. Their brooms were summoned to Voldemorts feet as well. With another flick, Voldemort levitated the majority of students behind Harry, Hermione, and Ron so his back would not be exposed.

“Harry, did you expect me to fall so easily.” Voldemort laughed. “I will say I am disappointed in my Death Eaters, you seem to have a more competent, yet foolish, group of followers.”

“It seems like you two are the ones that feed Potters’ every growing ego.” Voldemort said point his wand toward Ron and Hermione. Ron pushed Hermione behind him like he did during Bellatrix’s attack at Hogsmeade.

“Yes, I feel you growing more worried,” Voldemort said, “These two mean the most to you. Ah, your feelings betray you.”

Harry watched as Voldemort made his way toward Hermione and Ron. He felt his strength returning but was too weak to physically fight. He knew that Voldemort was about to do and he needed to do something to stop him.

“You give away so much. With every step I take toward these two, the more despair you feel. Watching them die first will definitely break your spirit, lets see, which of you two would like to die first.”

Harry watched as Ron pushed Hermione further behind him. He stepped away from her and closer to Voldemort.

“No, Ron!” Hermione cried. “Please!”

“A brave young man, indeed. However, your step closer to me, is a step closer to death.” Voldemort said superiorly, “Harry do you have any last words for your you friend?”

Harry lowered his head; he knew he had to do this right. He could feel Voldemort hatred build. He needed to focus.

“A—Amorious.” Harry whispered to himself.

“Nothing, then watch your friend die. Avada Kedavra!” Voldemort yelled evilly.

A green flash erupted from his wand and flew toward Ron. A moment before it connected, time slowed for Harry. He had remember all the times Ron and him would play wizards chess or exploding snaps, the first time Ron shared his mother’s minced pies with him, the arguments they had in their 4th year, and the time he had told Ron about the prophesy. Harry attempted to focus again.

“AMORIOUS!” Harry yelled.

He fell silent as he watched the green blast connect to Ron’s chest. He could here Hermione crying out Ron’s name, and see Ginny covering her eyes. Students watched in shock as Ron fell to his knees, his body had gone limp. Harry waited for Ron’s body to completely collapse however, Ron did not fall any further. He saw Ron looking up toward Harry, his body glowing red. Harry’s hope rose as Ron took a step upward.

“W—What is this?” Voldemort said not believing what he was seeing.

Ron was now standing tall, staring at his chest. “I’m OK Harry, it worked.”

Harry almost began to smile when Voldemort backed away from Ron. He could feel the fear growing within Voldemort. Harry saw that he attempted to cast the curse again, but this time toward Hermione.

“AMORIOUS!” Harry yelled once again, before the light hit Hermione.

This time, Hermione wasn’t the only one being protected by Gryffindor’s Shield, all the students began to glow red, as well as the professors on the ground. Moments later, several of professors began to come to.

“This…this can’t be!” Voldemort screamed.

Harry could now see the fear in Voldemort’s eyes. Harry was amazed at what he saw next; Voldemort had grabbed a broomstick that was lying on the ground and began to fly away. For some reason, Harry was compelled to give chase; he felt that he needed to retrieve his wand before it was lost to Voldemort forever. Still weak from Cruciatus curse, Harry grabbed his Firebolt and slowly began to follow.

Voldemort was high above the Forbidden Forest before Harry had caught up to him. He reached toward the Dark Lord’s robes, grabbing for his wand. Voldemort attempted to blast Harry, however, Harry was able grab Voldemort’s wand before he could cast the spell.

“You will die!” Voldemort yelled as they wrestled high above the forest.

Moments later, Harry was able to grab his wand. He attempted a stunner, but could not aim at such close range. Harry watched as Voldemort attempted to break away.

“Legilimens!” Voldemort yelled as he freed his wand.

Harry’ scar erupted as he felt Voldemort attempt to gain control of his mind. He could feel Voldemort shift through his memories: his win against the Horntail…his first kiss…with Cho…the battle in the Ministry…his talk with Dumbledore afterwards. He felt Voldemort mentally recoil after the last memory; this gave Harry a chance to fight back. He could now see a child being tutored by a young McGonagall…a young man drinking the blood of a slain unicorn…a small creature entering a boiling caldron…Voldemort flying over a stone forest....

“GET OUT!” Voldemort yelled, as Harry felt he had weakened Voldemort’s connection.

Harry had then noticed Voldemort pointing his wand directly at him, a moment later; Harry was blasted off his broom; he had found himself falling toward to the Forbidden Forrest.

He could see the forest trees getting closer and closer. He was still reeling from the blast as he fell to only a few hundred feet above ground. He could see that he was going to land on a huge boulder directly 50 feet beneath him. So that’s where I’m going die, Harry said to himself.

“Wait!” Harry yelled moments before he was about to strike the enormus boulder.

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  #13  
Old January 10th, 2005, 6:06 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
First Year
 
Joined: 5115 days
Posts: 15
Chapter 19- A New Day.
Harry slowly opened his eyes to see Ron and Hermione sitting on a bed across from him. He had seen this sight before, he knew he in the school infirmary. He looked around to see many DA members surrounding his bed. Some were playing cards, while other read books. None seemed to be injured but just waiting around as if they were in their common room.
“W—What’s going on here? Harry said in a groggy voice.
“Harry you’re awake!” Ginny screamed.
“How do you feel?” Hermione said running to his side.
“A bit stiff, but ok.” Harry admitted.
“I’ll get the Madam Promfrey.” Luna said.
“Harry, what happened?” Ron asked.
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“All we saw was Hagrid carry you out of the Forrest, he thought you were dead, he was sobbing.” Neville explained.
“Then Dumbledore had him bring you to the infirmary.” Ron added.
“What happened to the professors, the house elves.” Harry asked.
“All fine.” Dumbledore said as he hurried to Harry’s side. “Students, please give Harry and me some time to discuss the events of the last few days.”
“Days?” Harry asked. “How long was I out.”
“About a week.” Ginny smiled, knowing that Harry was ok.
“Children, please a moment.” Dumbledore smiled.
DA members left the infirmary with a chorus of “Get Wells.”
“Professor, what happened?” Harry asked.
“I will tell you what I know and what has happened in the last few days. You just sit back and listen.” Dumbledore said with a smile.
Harry relaxed back into his bed while watching Dumbledore adjust his glasses.
“As you know Harry, the professors, house elves, and ghost were incapacitated by the Briar Rose potion. We would have still been sleeping now if we hadn’t taken precautions throughout the year. We had been taking small doses of the potion before bed each night. We had a feeling that Voldemort was preparing to use it at some time, but we did not now when. So, we were able to grow a small immunity to it, under the guidance of Professor Snape, however not enough so to resist it completely. That is why we were only asleep for a few minutes rather than a few months. Once we heard what had happened to you and Voldemort, the professors searched the Forbidden Forrest. Hagrid had found you lying unconscious in the Apparation Room.”
“How? I thought we can’t apparate on Hogwart’s grounds.”
“Yes that is true, but the Forbidden Forest is not part of Hogwarts. So once we couldn’t find you in the forest, Hagrid used his sources in the forest to find where you had fallen. Hagrid recovered your limp body from the room. You had broken your ribs and legs.”
Harry quickly checked to see if his legs were indeed broken.
“Don’t worry, nothing Pompy couldn’t fix. Your body needed to rest, it had been through much.”
“So, what happened to Voldemort, the Death Eaters?” Harry asked curiously.
“Well, we were able to round up all the Death Eaters, except Peter, he transfigured and ran straight into the forest. Minerva, made chase, but she couldn’t keep up for long. The Death Eaters that were captured are now under the custody of the Ministry…but don’t worry, the Order has take precautions to make sure they won’t be free any time soon.”
“And Voldemort?”
“Well, he has escaped once again, however, not before doing his damage. Professor Moody is at St. Mungo’s, getting special treatment for the Dementor’s kiss, but I wouldn’t get my hopes up. No one has come back from a Dementor’s kiss.” Dumbledore said sadly.
Harry hadn’t thought of Moody’s state until now. He realized that Moody would never be the same, just like Barty Crouch Jr.
“He was a great wizard, Harry, and a great friend. I will sorely miss him.” Dumbledore said wiping a tear from his eye. “The news Voldemort’s attack has spread throughout the wizarding world. But so has news of your victory. I have spoken to Frank and Alice and they believe you have now cemented their theories on Gryffindor’s Shield. The Order is now trying to teach any wizard that wants to learn, and many have come forward. Voldemort’s plan was to drive the wizarding world further into darkness, by attacking what many to believe the safest place for wizards, but your fellow students and yourself put a stop to that as well.”
“What do you mean?” Harry asked.
“You have inspired the wizarding world to be proactive in this battle against Voldemort. Many have joined the Order or the Ministry, wanting to do their part in the war. Voldemort miscalculated when
he attacked Hogwarts, and it cost him dearly. He has lost his most loyal Death Eaters, his Dementors were rendered useless, and he could not defeat you Harry. This is what was most disastrous for him, he can now see your strength.”
“Professor Dumbledore, I think he knows about the prophecy.” Harry said.
“Why do you think so?” Dumbledore said concerned.
“He entered my mind again, and he saw our conversation, last year.” Harry said.
“Oh, dear…Well, we have lost this element of surprise by him knowing it, but he will now know not to take you lightly anymore. All is not lost, far from it. He will take more precautions next time, but we will be ready.” Dumbledore said with optimism.
“I do have some good news for you.” Dumbledore said, in attempt to lighten the mood. “Dobby found Sirius’s will.”
“What? I though he didn’t leave one.” Harry said perplexed.
“Well he did, and he left it were a few would find it.” Dumbledore said with a twinkle in his eye. “Dobby was able to befriend Buckbeak after a few months, while he discovered it while he was cleaning the room Buckbeak was kept in. You should have seen Dobby as he realized what he had found. He was happy that the house was not being given to the Malfoy’s.”
“So who gets the house?” Harry asked.
“ You get the house, and one fifth of the Black’s family fortune.” Dumbledore answered. “Lupin, the Weasley’s, Professor McGonagall, and myself received one fifth as well. Hermione gets all the books in the family library and Mrs. Blacks family jewelry, even though I doubt Sirius would have thought she would really wear them. They tend to be on the more menacing side of wizarding fashion. Harry, now that you have control over the House of Black, I need to ask your permission for the Order to continue to use it as its headquarters. So may we?”
“Sure, just make sure you give Dobby a break every now and then.” Harry smiled.
“I wouldn’t think otherwise.” Dumbledore said patting Harry on the shoulder. “I’ll send Madam Promfrey in to see you now, I think you will probably be completely healed by tomorrow. I’ll send in your friends after you get some more rest. Harry I have to say thank you for saving Hogwarts, and our lives.”
“Nothing you wouldn’t have done.” Harry pointed out.
“Yes, but still, the choice you made to fight against Voldemort, knowing the prophesy yourself, was very brave. I cannot begin to tell you the amount of pride I have in you and your friends. I believe that was Hogwarts most shining moment.” Dumbledore said, turning to leave Harry.
“Wait, Professor, can I ask you a question?” Harry asked.
“Sure, ask away, Harry.”
“I’ve been so terrible at apparating, why do you think I was able to do that right then?”
“Yes, I have been giving reports by Madam Hooch about your apparating status,” Dumbledore said with a smile, “not your best class. However, you were able to dig deep, consciously or subconsciously, and find away past that mental block. I believe it to be out of necessity that you were able to do so, which is why I had you take the class in the first place. I think over the summer, with a few more lessons, you will now be able to apparate willingly. Now, Harry, may I ask you a question?”
“Sure?” Harry said.
“Well, Harry.” Dumbledore said with a laugh in his voice. “Could you tell me why you were naked in the Apparation Room?”
“Hagrid had covered you up before he brought you out of the forest.” Hermione said, reassuring Harry that the whole school did not see him naked.
“Thank Merlin, who would want to see your pale bottom, anyway.” Ron teased.
“Speak for yourself Ron.” Ginny said with an impish smile.
“Urgh, I about to throw up.” Ron said while playfully grabbing his mouth.
“Like you should talk, you and Hermione have been snogging every chance you get for the past week. Oh, Ron, your so brave. I’ll do anything for you Hermione.” Ginny teased, while doing a pretty good impression of the both of them.
Harry had enjoyed sitting alone with Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Neville in Gryffindor’s common Room, while most of the students were outside to enjoy the sunny day. It was only days away from summer break, and Harry said he could use the vacation, only to realize that he had to go back to the Dursleys.
“Don’t worry about it.” Ron said, “Dumbledore said you can come to the Burrow after a week, this year. I can’t wait for you to see it.”
“Why?” Harry asked.
“Cause dad and mum had built a new extension to it, Charlie said it was huge.” Ginny smiled.
“That was fast.” Harry said.
“Wizard builders a pretty quick when you can pay top dollar.” Ron smiled. “And now, we all can have our own rooms.”
“We all?” Harry asked.
“Yeah, Hermione is staying this summer too, and when ever Neville visits.” Ron said, “You can ask if Luna wants to come too.”
“Thanks Ron.” Neville smiled.
“Why aren’t you going to stay with your parents, Hermione.” Harry inquired.
“Well, I thought since it’s our last summer together, before 7th year, well why not.” Hermione smiled.
“More, like she can’t get her hands off Ron.” Neville joked.
“What can I say, I’m a babe magnet.” Ron boasted.
“Har, har, Ronald, you know I just want to spend more time going through books from Sirius’s library.” Hermione said.
“Your library now.” Harry smiled.
“Yeah, guess what, Harry.” Ron interrupted, “My parents are going to get me a Firebolt.”
“Just about how much money did Sirius have?” Harry said amazed at Ron’s good fortune.
“Enough to give the Malfoys a run for their money.” Ginny quipped.
“Well, I have to get going. Mum, Dad and I are leaving for India this afternoon.” Neville said. “We’ll only be gone for a few weeks, so I’ll see you all soon.”
“Why India?” Hermione asked.
“To do some more research.” Neville said, “Plus they wanted to have some bonding time outside of Hogwarts.
“Well, have a great time. And tell them thanks for what they taught us.” Harry said.
“They would say thank you for proving it works. And boy does it.”
Harry had spent the next few days, talking with Ron, Hermione, Ginny, and Luna before take the train back to Number 4 Pivet Drive. He realized what an amazing year he had, he had learned so much, outside as much as inside the classroom. He will never forget the final days of the semester as many from the student body thanked him and told him of their part of the battle. He was proud to see the flags of Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff hanging besides Gryffindor’s during the House Cup ceremony; for the first time in Hogwarts history there was a three-way tie. Dumbledore awarded an ample amount of points to those who participated in defending Hogwarts. Only the Slytherin table looked depressed during the celebration. The entire student body now recognized their choice to stay out of the fight, backfired, as Voldemort was defeated and the professor rewarded those who helped.
Harry said his goodbyes to the professors before he left for the trainstation. Hagrid had hugged Harry so tightly that he thought he would break his already healed bones.
“I war rely’ worried’ bot yer, Harry.” Hagrid said releasing him.
“I know, thanks for everything, Hagrid. You always have been there for me.” Harry said.
“Ar, anything fer yer, Harry!” Hagrid smiled.
Harry had waved good-bye to Ron and Hermione as he drove away in the Dursley’ car. He knew that he would only endure the Dursley’s for a week, and spend the rest of his summer with his real family, the Weasley’s and Hermione. Harry reclined back in his seat and smiled.


.

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Last edited by jparan1; January 19th, 2005 at 7:49 pm.
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Old August 15th, 2005, 10:08 pm
jparan1  Undisclosed.gif jparan1 is offline
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how does everyone like this?


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