Love Enough for Both by Manwe Valarian

Summary: Harry heard a goblin speaking and he came out of temporary stupor. He was surrounded by witches and wizards all staring at him. The most shocking thing was he had his arms around someone. Who was she and how did they get here?
Rating: PG-13 starstarstarstarhalf-star
Categories: Alternate Universe
Characters: None
Genres: None
Warnings: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Published: 2012.10.25
Updated: 2018.05.01


Chapter 1: Bonded
Chapter 2: Adults
Chapter 3: Inheritance
Chapter 4: Into the Chamber
Chapter 5: Eye to Eye
Chapter 6: Family Time
Chapter 7: Ambushed
Chapter 8: Darkness Approaches
Chapter 9: Will
Chapter 10: Some Potter History
Chapter 11: What a Library
Chapter 12: A Real Keeper
Chapter 13: Starting the Fight
Chapter 14: Fudge, the Minister
Chapter 15: A New Professor
Chapter 16: Special Classes
Chapter 17: Hogsmeade Weekend
Chapter 18: Resurrection
Chapter 19: Failed
Chapter 20: The Order Organizes
Chapter 21: Confusion at the Ministry
Chapter 22: Duels
Chapter 23: Deceived
Chapter 24: Trusting Snape
Chapter 25: Hunting
Chapter 26: Christmas Holiday
Chapter 27: New Years
Chapter 28: Springtime Lull
Chapter 29: Britain Falls
Chapter 30: Ancient Magic Reborn
Chapter 31: Fragments
Chapter 32: Like a Beautiful Jewel in the Night
Chapter 33: A New Plan
Chapter 34: Fighting amongst Allies
Chapter 35: The King of Magic
Chapter 36: The Massacre - Part 1 Tracking
Chapter 37: The Massacre - Fighting for Survival
Chapter 38: Refugees
Chapter 39: A difficult Decision
Chapter 40: Terror in Triplicate
Chapter 41: Phoenix Rising
Chapter 42: Power of the Love Bond
Chapter 43: With a Whimper
Chapter 44: Dealing with a New Reality
Chapter 45: Hogwarts 2420

Chapter 1: Bonded

Author's Notes: A special thanks to my Beta, Cognitur, for catching all my mistakes.

“A soul bond. The strongest of all four bonds, has not been witnessed in over 1700 years. Gringotts will prepare for them.”

Harry stared at the ancient goblin that seemed to appear on the street of Diagon Alley. He had just come out of Ollivander’s with his wand and was admiring his new owl that Hagrid purchased for him. Now he was in the middle of the street surrounded by gawking wizards, witches, and this cryptic goblin.

This new world was so strange to Harry. He wasn’t sure what to think about it. What was a soul bond, and why were all the people on the street looking at him?

He suddenly realized that he had his arm around someone. Looking to his left he was shocked to see a young redhead girl staring at him with an equally shocked expression. At the same moment he heard the voices of everyone around him. It was a roar of voices assaulting his ears. One voice rang above all the others. It belonged to a matronly looking woman with red-hair. She was short and stout with a flushed face that matched her angry voice.

“I don’t care if he is Harry Potter himself. He cannot just bond with my daughter. She is only ten years old!”

The girl finally spoke up. “Are you Harry Potter?” she asked him in a whisper that he was able to barely hear above the noise of the crowd.

“Yes, I am. Who are you?”

He never received an answer as her chocolate brown eyes became as wide as the galleons in his pocket, just before she became faint.

He was able to catch her and pull her to him to keep her from hitting the ground. He had never held a girl in his arms before. He never had the desire to hold a girl before, but she was different. It felt right to hold her.

Strong hands pulled his arms away from this beautiful girl and removed her from his grasp. The absence of her touch unnerved him.

“Leave my daughter alone,” ordered the angry mother. “She is only ten years old.”

“Technically, she is not your daughter anymore, Molly,” said a reedy female voice from the crowd. An old woman, who was so frail and bony she looked like she must creak when she walked, stepped forward.

“Who are you,” demanded the mother. “She most certainly is my daughter.”

“I am Cassandra Waffling from the Ministry’s department of records. To be more precise, I oversee records of marriage bonds. Thirty minutes ago, I saw a golden flash above the book of marriage bonds. This never before happened, but when I looked I saw the entry: Harry James Potter bonded to Ginerva Molly Weasley by virtue of a soul bond.”

Harry was confused by what this old woman was saying. It almost sounded like he just got married. That was impossible.

“No, that can’t happen,” responded the distraught mother. “Those things are myths, just something told as romantic tales of magic.”

“I am afraid they are real Molly,” the old woman replied sadly. “I too thought these were just myths, but it has happened. What further complicates things is that Ginevra is no longer under age. She and Mr. Potter here are technically adults in the eyes of the Ministry. They cannot attend Hogwarts, because Hogwarts won’t accept married couples.”

The frantic mother, Molly, looked at a tall wizard in purple robes with long silver hair and beard wearing half-moon glasses. “Is that true, Headmaster?”

He didn’t answer straight away, but when he did his voice was sad and thoughtful. “Yes, Molly, the bylaws of the school prevent married students from attending.”

“It isn’t only the bylaws, Albus, it is woven into the magic of the school. Headmaster Dippet had informed me that I couldn’t get married before my seventh year because of the restriction of the magic of the school. I was betrothed to my wonderful late husband, but we had to wait until I graduated.” The old woman stated sadly.

“Do not worry about this, Molly,” reassured the tall man. “I will investigate and find a solution to all of this.”

“Thank you Headmaster,” sighed the distraught mother who was still cradling the unconscious Ginny.

“Why don’t you take your family home, and attend to young Ginevra. I want to talk to Mr. Potter,” said the tall man.

“Thank you Headmaster,” said the mother again.

“Please Molly, you are no longer a student. Call me Albus,” chuckled the tall man. “Everyone run along now, there is nothing to see here. Just a misunderstanding,” he said to the surrounding crowd. The old woman went to protest, but the tall man silenced her with a stare.

Harry was absolutely confused. Twenty-four hours ago he didn’t know magic existed. Now he stood in the secret section of London that only magical people can see, he was also famous in this secret society, and now it sounded like he was married. His head spun with everything he had just experienced. He looked around to the only person he actually knew for longer than an hour, Hagrid.

Hagrid was standing in the street holding the cage with Harry’s snowy owl. He had a look of absolute shock on his face, or what part of his face Harry could see.

“Hagrid, I don’t understand. What just happened?”

“I dunt know ‘arry,” answered the bewildered man. “But yer can trust Perfesser Dumbledore. ‘e’s a great man, ‘e is. ‘e will sort everything out, ‘e will,” said Hagrid.

“Who is he?” asked Harry. He was pretty sure it was the tall man, but he had lost track of everyone in the confusion.

“Well ‘arry, its ‘im,” said Hagrid pointing at the tall man, who was now looking at Harry over half-moon glasses.

“Yes, Harry, I am Professor Albus Dumbledore. I was hoping we could introduce you to our world a little more calmly, but I am afraid that didn’t happen. Hagrid please take Harry to the Leaky Cauldron for me, and ask Tom to get us a private spot to talk. I will be along shortly. I must go to the Ministry and a few other places first.”

“Will do Perfesser,” stated Hagrid enthusiastically.

Without responding, Professor Dumbledore twisted and disappeared with a loud pop, leaving Harry standing in the middle of the street with Hagrid. Harry stood there for several seconds not believing what he had just seen. The man disappeared in front of him.

“Well, we best be getting up to the Leaky, then ‘arry,” said Hagrid, as he started walking.

When Hagrid moved, Harry saw Mr. Ollivander standing there. He had that strange smile on his face as he stared at Harry with his watery blue eyes. He almost laughed as he spoke.

“Great things indeed, Mr. Potter, great things indeed.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry sat in a secluded booth in the dingy pub. He finished his meal of beef stew and something called Pumpkin Juice. He was confused. How did he go from the freak of the Dursley family to being this quasi-celebrity in a hidden society? How did he end up with his arm around a girl in the middle of street? She wasn’t only a girl but his new wife.

“Why did you do it, ‘arry?” asked Hagrid who avoided talking to him until now.

“Do what, Hagrid?”

“Why did you go and hug her?”

“I was wondering that myself,” said Albus Dumbledore. He was standing at the opening to the booth.

“I don’t know why. I don’t even remember hugging her. I remember walking out of Ollivander’s and admiring my owl, then the next thing I remember that goblin was announcing we were bonded. What happened to me?”

“According to the Ministry, you and Miss Weasley are now bonded for life which makes you both adults. I have magical monitoring devices in my office at Hogwarts. They all indicated a strong surge of magic occurring in Diagon Alley. I arrived to see you and Miss Weasley frozen in an embrace behind a magical shield. I do not understand how this happened, but I will investigate it and find how to correct this,” said Albus Dumbledore. “Harry there are many things you need to know before you can make the decisions of an adult. There are also many dangerous aspects to our society. Without proper training and preparation, you may fall into a trap.”

“Could you teach me the things I need to know?” Harry asked.

The Headmaster smiled warmly at him. “I was hoping to do that, but recent events have complicated things. I think the best thing to do at the present time is for you to return home. I shall contact you at a later date.”

Albus Dumbledore then addressed Hagrid. “Please wait here with Harry, until Minerva arrives. She will take Harry back to his home in Little Whinging.”

“I can do that,” stated Hagrid.

“Until we meet again,” stated Albus Dumbledore. “And Harry, please be careful who you hug.”

Harry looked up at the tall Headmaster. He wasn’t in a joking mood, so the humor of the Headmaster’s comment escaped him.

“I am sorry. I didn’t know what I was doing. I am sorry I caused everyone problems, especially that girl,” he apologized.

He was used to being the cause of problems at his Aunts house. He guessed that it was a trait he would carry with him forever. Now he didn’t only destroy his life he also destroyed the pretty girl’s life.

“Things happen that are beyond our control Harry,” said the Headmaster. “However, I must caution you about talking to anyone from our society, and above all else do not trust the goblins. Goblins and wizards have a long history of mistrust and misdeeds. I shall see you again soon.”

Harry watched Albus Dumbledore leave. He felt terrible not only emotionally but also physically. The stew he ate must not have been good, because he was feeling a little queasy and warm. He also noticed that all his body ached.

“Hagrid what did I do back there. I mean it when I say I don’t remember anything between stepping out of Ollivander’s to admire your present to me, and when the goblin made his announcement.”

“I dunno ‘arry. You got this funny look on yer face, ya see. Then ya walk out into the street and ‘ug this girl. Not just any girl, mind you, but a Weasley.”

“What was wrong with her being a Weasley?”

“They are a big family and she ‘as a lot of older brothers. I don’t think they will like that you married their ten year old sister. You two started to hug and then this large silver dome surrounded the two of you. Well, no one could get inside of the dome. Even the ‘eadmaster tried several times, if ‘e can’t break through, no one can. The two of you stayed like that for a good thirty minutes, before the dome dropped and ol’` Grins Gringott announced that you are now soul bonded. That is about it.”

Harry sat there sipping on his pumpkin juice for several minutes. He could not fathom why he doesn’t’ remember any of what Hagrid described to him. How did he create such a protective dome? Why her? Why did he choose or bond with this pretty girl with lovely chocolate brown eyes and silky red hair?

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ginny Weasley sat at the kitchen table of her family’s home. She was staring blankly at the scrubbed wood table. She was tired of being questioned by her family, and thinking about what happened today. She still doesn’t recall how she ended up in the middle of the street with her arm around Harry Potter’s waist.

She had her arm around Harry Bleeding Potter. Now she supposedly was married to him by virtue of a soul bond. How and why this happened was beyond her ability to understand. She heard of soul bonds, but they were only myths.

The only story that she actually remembers is of a couple in ancient times that were getting bonded, but during the ceremony they actually bonded their souls. Within a year, they disappeared from magical society never to be heard from again.

She looked up at her four brothers in the kitchen. They were all with her when it happened. Ron has not said anything since they returned home. Fred and George started to tease her about trapping Harry Potter in the soul bond to ensure she married him. She had always wanted to marry Harry Potter when she grew up. Percy just paced at the other end of the kitchen and “tutted” and “tsked” to himself. It was obvious that he was upset because she had done something that was improper.

Her parents were in the other room arguing about what to do. Her mother was the most vocal about the situation. She kept insisting that Albus Dumbledore will set things right and get the bond dissolved. Her father insisted that the bond cannot be dissolved because of possible repercussion on her and Harry’s magic.

She took another sip of her herbal tea. Her mum had given it to her to settle her stomach and make her feel better. It wasn’t really helping. She was feeling warm and everything hurt. It felt almost as if she had caught the flu.

She smiled at the irony of the situation. She had met the person she admired most in the entire world, bonded for life with him, and got sick.

Her mum returning to the kitchen brought Ginny out of her thoughts. Her mum quickly bustled over and placed a hand on her forehead.

“Oh my dear, you are burning up. Off to bed with you.”

Ginny complied because she was too tired to fight and too sick to argue.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Bill Weasley sat deep within the bowels of an Egyptian pyramid. Even thought it was late at night, he was working through the ancient runes that magically protected this area of the pyramid. He never realized that being an expert at ancient runes would lead him to Egypt and discovering treasures.

He studied the etchings in the stone wall and then wrote down a rune. The ancient wizards were incredibly clever. This group had hidden their runes in with hieroglyphics. There were some stuck between the hieroglyphics. There were others that were formed by the arrangement of the hieroglyphics. This group he was looking at was formed by the outline of hieroglyphics. It was tedious and tiring work, but getting it right the first time was usually the difference between a person’s life and death.

“Mr. William Weasley,” croaked out a grating voice behind Bill.

“Yes,” he replied to the goblin.

“Stop your work and come with me?”

Bill stared at the goblin. He was going to protest, but noticed that it was the Goblin in charge of the Egyptian branch of Gringotts, Gratch the angry. Not wanting to lose this job, he closed his log book and left with the goblin. He couldn’t figure out why they would want to dismiss him. He has made more progress on his digs than anyone else for the past two years. He was even getting better. They should be promoting him.

As Bill thought about those things, they kept walking out of the pyramid. He noticed that they had passed Gratch’s office and was continuing out of the pyramid. Bill hadn’t realized that it was already dark. They walked past his and all the wizards and witches living quarters, a group of canvas tents.

He saw a short dark creature up ahead. When they reached the figure, it turned out to be the head of all of Gringotts banks, Grins Gringott.

“You wanted to see me?” asked a nervous Bill.

“Yes, I did. I must apologize for the conditions of our meeting, but I have more faith in this location than in there where the walls have ears,” said the Head Goblin indicating the temporarily erected housing for the goblin workers and magical humans.

“Mr. Weasley, do you know about soul bonds?” asked Grins Gringotts.

“I thought they were myths repeated by the romantics,” replied William.

“No, you are like so many others; relying on the magic of wands to survive. We goblins have always believed in older magic, and soul bonding is one of the most important. When one bonds their soul to another, it indicates a level of dedication and trust beyond anything else one might experience.

“It changes the couple involved. It makes it impossible for them to betray the other. They can never reverse or dissolve the bond, or they will die.

“Many of the goblin wars were actually started because of the wizards’ insistence of the wand being supreme and the goblins refuting that claim. It saddens me to know that many goblins of my generation believe that using a wand makes one superior to non-wand users.

“However, I did not come to Egypt to discuss the weakening magical structure of Goblin society. There was a soul bonding in England yesterday. I need your help with getting the two to come to Gringotts so we can help them.”

“Why me, why not some other wizard?” asked a puzzled Bill.

“Because the bond was between Harry James Potter and Ginevra Molly Weasley,” said Grins Gringott.

“No that is not possible. My sister is only ten years old. She cannot bond with anyone without my parents’ permission,” insisted Bill.

“A soul bond does not know anything about age. It relies entirely on the couple’s heart. Their age is a problem. Now that they are bonded, they are seen as adults in the Ministry’s eyes. They may not be able to attend Hogwarts.

“There are other things that may happen. There has only been one soul bond between two people so young. It happened ages ago and no record of what happened to the couple was recorded. According to what records we have, the couple will become adults upon bonding.”

Bill was expecting something much worse to be said about Harry and his baby sister. “Well the Ministry will regard them as adults. You already said that.”

“Yes, the Ministry will regard them as adults, but that isn’t what I am talking about. They will grow quickly into adults.”

“What?” asked a shocked Bill. “You mean that they will magically become adults? How long will this take?”

“A day or two,” answered the goblin. “Magical society will not be ready for them. They will not be ready for this. We, Gringotts, must take care of them, or I am afraid all will be lost.”

Bill stared at the ancient goblin. Goblins are not known for their cheerfulness and charitable work, but Grins seemed more worried about his sister and Harry Potter than the possible cache of Egyptian gold and jewels.

“Why are you doing this? Why are you helping my sister and Harry Potter?”

“Because without them the magical world may soon be engulfed in darkness, it could be the ruin of our two societies, goblin and man.”

Back to index

Chapter 2: Adults

Author's Notes: The soul bond starts to change Harry and Ginny. Each family reacts differently to the changes.

Harry tried to stretch his aching body, but it seemed his bed clothing had wrapped itself around him during the night. It was not surprising since he had a fitful night of sleep. Strange dreams plagued his slumber. He felt that the python he had released from the zoo had found him and tried to choke the life out of him.

“Wake up, boy,” shouted his Aunt from the hallway. “Just because we gave you Dudder’s spare room doesn’t mean you can get away with sleeping until noon. You have put us through quite a lot this past week.”

Harry heard her stomp towards the room as she shouted to him. His cousin Dudley had groaned and shouted for her to be quiet. Harry imagined his cousin would be sleeping most of the day. It must be traumatic to be given a pigs tail. He tried to roll out of the bed and reach for his glasses. His feet hit some of the broken toys that Dudley had thrown in here. His feet then hit the floor in an awkward manner causing him to fall all the way out of bed.

The door to his bedroom flew open. He looked up to see his Aunt storm through.

“You will clean…,” she shouted then suddenly stopped. “WHO ARE YOU! VERNON, WE HAVE AN INTRUDER CALL THE POLICE!” she screamed at the top of her lungs.

“Aunt Petunia…,” Harry tried to explain to her it was only him, but there was something different about his voice. It didn’t sound like an eleven year old’s. It sounded like a man’s voice.

His glasses were in his hand. Even without his clear vision he realized that his hand was different, it was much larger than it should be. Trying to place his glasses on his face, he had to struggle to get them to stay for they were too small. With his clear vision, he could see his hand. It was almost the same size as Uncle Vernon’s in length. He stood up to realize he was no longer a small eleven year old boy. He looked to be a fully mature man.

“Whoever you are,” shouted his uncle from the other side of the door. “We have a gun and the police are on the way.”

Harry had now stretched up to his full height. His pajama’s stretched but didn’t tear. They had been Dudley’s and even now he was much taller but not as round as Dudley.

“You don’t have a gun, Uncle Vernon. Unless you count that dueling pistol that can’t be shot,” shouted Harry. He enjoyed having this deeper voice.

“He must have been through the house,” shouted his uncle.

“He was in my china,” screamed Aunt Petunia. “My Royal Dalton with hand-painted periwinkles.”

Harry laughed hearing his aunt run down the stairs to care for her precious china.

“Uncle Vernon, I am Harry. I don’t know what happened, but you don’t need to worry about me. I just grew up over night.”

“I don’t care if it is you. You freak,” hissed his uncle from the other side of the door. “When the police come I will have you arrested for kidnapping my nephew, Harry Potter. We will be rid of you for good. Go ahead and prove that you are a scrawny eleven year old boy.”

Harry heard his uncle laugh on the other side of the door. He was right. Harry could never prove him to be only eleven. How was he going to explain to someone that he was only eleven and he just happened to grow to twice his size overnight?

“Uncle Vernon, you can’t do that to me,” he pleaded. “I have nowhere to go.”

“You can go to jail. That is where your kind belongs.”

Harry was in a state of panic. He knew his uncle would do that. He was stuck. He had no normal money. Worse than that he couldn’t even get out of his own room; he was now on the second floor. He would have to jump and run for his freedom.

In the distance he could hear sirens wailing. The police were coming closer. He grabbed the only two things he could think of; his wand and his new pet owl. Opening up the window as far as he could he tried to crawl out. He was so large now that he barely fit through it. He finally decided that the safest thing would be to go feet first. He had to hurry because the sirens were only a few streets away.

He hung from the window for a few seconds. He held Hedwig’s cage in his left hand and his wand was clenched in his teeth. His pajamas had slid up his legs and the brick of the house dug into his thighs. He was helpless. He was sure that he would jump and break his legs. The police would take him to jail and he would never be free again.

He just wanted a place to be safe and free from the abuse he had received here. Someplace where they would not call him a freak and unnatural, where someone would actually tell him that they loved him. He had always imagined that his parents told him that, but he could not remember. Maybe he didn’t deserve being loved; after all, all of his life he had been that freaky skinny Potter boy.

Praying for a miracle, he let go of the window sill. When he landed, he discovered he was no longer at Number Four Privet Drive.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Molly Weasley wearily walked past her daughter’s bedroom door. She stopped to listen. She didn’t need to open the door to realize that her daughter was having bad dreams. She had been tossing and turning all night. There had been an occasional moan coming from the room, but none were loud enough or frightening enough for her to check on Ginny.

Molly continued down the stairs to the kitchen. Ginny was on her mind. She could not believe what had happened to her daughter yesterday at Diagon Alley. It was called a soul bond. That could not be, because they were just myths, and she had just met that boy.

Soul bonds are only supposed to happen between two people that were deeply in love. When a couple gets bonded like her and Arthur, it was something like a soul bond, or it was supposed to be. There had not been an actual soul bond in 1700 years so Molly had no way of knowing what happened when one soul bonded.

But her daughter could not be soul bonded to Harry Potter. They had just met. They didn’t even speak. He just walked across the street and hugged her. He had also erected that shield that kept everyone from touching them.

A small smile crossed Molly’s lips as she steeped her morning tea. Was that the same shield that saved him from He-who-must-not-be-named? It certainly was powerful enough.

A knock on the back door, brought her out of her thoughts of Harry Potter. Dawn was just breaking and the sun was not completely up. Who could be knocking at this hour? Could it be Professor Dumbledore with the solution to their dilemma?

She walked over to the back door and gasped. “Bill,” she exclaimed as she flung the door open and engulfed her eldest son in a strong motherly hug. “What are you doing here? Why didn’t you write? Is everything alright? You didn’t get fired from that bank did you? I never trusted those goblins. Come in and I’ll get your father up and start some breakfast. Do you still like scones?” She rattled off without breathing or giving Bill a chance to respond or step into the house.

“I am good Mum. I didn’t get fired. I have a new assignment with Gringotts,” stated Bill as he stepped into his old home.

Molly looked at him. There was something off about him, but she will feed him then find out what he’s up to. “Go and sit in your old chair, and I’ll get your father and the rest of the family up.”

Molly closed the door and walked to the stairs. On the way, she noticed her son’s hair was getting rather long. Actually, it really needed to be trimmed. “After breakfast, I’ll trim your hair. It is getting much too long. You need to look professional.”

“I don’t need my hair cut,” he protested.

“Arthur, get up, Bill is back from Egypt,” she shouted up the stairs.

“Bill? Bill is here,” answered her husband groggily.

“Yes, he just made it back a few minutes ago. Give the rest of the family a shake on your way down,” she shouted back.

Turning back to the stove she started to think about everything they had for her to cook. It was a good thing that they had picked up some extras yesterday.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Her mum’s shouting woke Ginny up. There was really no need for her father to tell anyone but Ron to get up. They were all awake. She could hear them moving about in their rooms.

She had a terrible night of sleep. She twisted and turned and couldn’t get comfortable. Her nightshirt was twisted up something fierce around her chest and under her arms.

“Ginny, dear are you awake?” asked her father from the landing outside her door.

“I’m, WHAAAT!” she screamed. She had reached down to adjust her nightshirt and found something that she never had before; more precisely two things that she never had like that before, breasts.

Her father opened the door and stood there opened mouthed staring at her. They stared at each other too shocked to say anything. She had just awakened to discover that she had become a woman and had a chest that was bulging out of her night shirt. He father had also discovered the same thing. Neither of them said anything for a couple of long awkward seconds.

“Who are you,” bellowed her father.

“Dad, I’m Ginny,” she screamed as she pulled her worn quilt up over her. Her legs stuck out the bottom of the quilt. Feeling exposed, she quickly pulled them up also trying to hide them behind the threadbare fabric.

“My daughter is ten years old. What have you done with her,” shouted her dad, as he pulled his wand and pointed at her.

His action scared her and made her cower even further behind the quilt. She could hear her mum shouting and running up the stairs and feet above her thundering down the stairs. In less than a minute, her entire family except for Ron, who was probably still sound asleep, was in her room staring at her.

“Who are you and what have you done with our daughter? Speak, if you know what is good for you,” shouted her mum, while also pointing her wand at her.

“I am Ginny,” she weakly replied.

“No you are not,” screamed her mum as sparks flew from the tip of her wand.

“Yes, she is Mum,” said Bill. He stepped between her and their enraged family. “She has soul bonded. She is an adult now.”

“But — but she is only considered to be an adult,” stuttered their mum.

“There is much we wizards do not know about soul bonds but the goblins have kept records of them. Why don’t we go down to the kitchen, while Mum gets some clothes for Gin-Gin to wear?”

Her entire family stood their mute to Bill’s request, but they all slowly turned and walked out of her room. They all looked back at her several times as if she might change back to her ten year old self.

Her mum stood there and looked upset by all of this. She kept mumbling something to herself that Ginny couldn’t hear.

“All right up with you, let’s see if there is anything that will fit you.”

Ginny slowly stood up and let the quilt drop. From where she was standing, she could see herself in her mirror. Her night shirt was way too tight and pulled up exposing herself both top and bottom. As she looked at herself in the mirror, she didn’t recognize the reflection. She still had red hair and freckles, but she looked, dare she boast, beautiful.

“Put some clothes on, you look like a scarlet woman,” shouted her mirror to her.

Ginny could not help but laugh. This seemed to make her mother even angrier.

“There is nothing here that will fit. I will adjust one of my robes for you. Get out of that thing while I am gone,” her mum ordered as she left the room.

Ginny pushed the small night shirt off her, and wrapped up in the quilt again. Her mum returned in a few minutes with an old set of robes that she had from her Hogwarts days. They were a little threadbare and moth eaten, but they would cover her well enough to be seen in public.

“Put these on.”

Ginny complied and after her mum had temporarily adjusted them to fit her. They went down to the kitchen and the rest of the family.

“Has anyone Flooed Professor Dumbledore?” asked her mum when they entered the kitchen. When no one responded she went over to the Floo.

“Mum, stop, listen to what I have to say,” demanded Bill.

Her mum turned on him. “Did you know about this?” she said pointing at Ginny.

Bill stared at Ginny for several seconds.

“I found out last night. Grins Gringott came to Egypt to get me. Mum, everyone, something amazing has happened here. I know it defies all logic, but Ginny has soul bonded to Harry Potter. Even from everything that is known about soul bonds, it happening when they are this young is an amazing feat of magic.

“Ginny, have you ever met him before yesterday?” asked Bill.

“No,” she said. Her voice sounded so strange to her. Her brothers and father staring at her made her feel uncomfortable.

“That makes it even stranger. There must be a connection of love between the two of them for it to work.”

“Ah, is that all,” laughed George. “Ginny has been in love with him and wanting to marry him and have his babies forever. She loves him enough for both.”

“This is not funny, George,” screamed her mum.

“What? I didn’t say anything,” answered Fred.

Ginny giggled at the twins’ antics.

“I will say that he will be surprised when he sees this new and improved Ginny. You aren’t a specky little freckle faced annoyance anymore,” said Fred.

“You are actually beautiful, Ginny, that was why we couldn’t recognize you,” said George.

Ginny started to laugh, but realized she was just insulted. She didn’t have a chance to say anything back, because her mum exploded on them.


“I am here to take her to Gringotts. They are preparing things for her and Harry. There are aspects about their bond that will need special training.”

“No!” shouted her mum.

“Mum, the reason we don’t know about soul bonds is because they are ancient magic. Ever since we started using wands, our knowledge and acceptance of ancient magic has waned until we no longer understand it. They need special training.”

Ginny watched as her mum and Bill stared at each other. Her dad put his arm around her mum.

“Molly, I trust Bill. We must do what is best for Ginny.”

“But Arthur she is only ten years old,” her mum cried.

A sudden wave of emotion swept over Ginny. She felt as if she was a horrible person. She could see images of people yelling at her and calling her a freak. They locked her in a small cupboard under a set of stairs. The house wasn’t one she had ever been in before.

Everyone hated her, no one loved her. She felt as if she didn’t deserve to live. As if no one could ever possibly love her. Everyone she knew glared at her with contempt and blamed all their problems on having her living with them. She was desperate because they all wanted to send her to prison for the rest of her life for being her. She just wanted to get away some place where people could love her.

Tears were running down her face as she sobbed from the grief of being rejected by the ones that were supposed to love you. It didn’t matter what happened to her because she didn’t matter. She just needed to get away.

She felt a hand on her shoulder then she was falling. It was more like she was being sucked through a long tube much like side-along Apparation, but this was different. She had never turned. She had no destination in mind, but she was going someplace.

She landed with a thud on a dusty floor. Two other thuds accompanied hers. She looked up and saw Bill still holding onto her shoulder. Just inches from her, she saw a scared man. He was holding an owl cage that held a frazzled snowy owl. He had a wand between his teeth, tear streaked face, and he was wearing the most hideous clothes she had ever seen.

It was his eyes that mesmerized her. They were the most beautiful green eyes she had ever seen. No, she had seen them before, yesterday.

“Harry?” she asked him.

“Who are you?”

“I’m Ginny,” she said. She could feel her face flushing. It might have been from embarrassment, but she couldn’t tell. “We met yesterday. Ginerva Weasley.”

He smiled at her. “You look so different.”

“So do you.” She just stared at him. Yesterday he was cute. Today he was absolutely gorgeous, except his ill-fitting glasses and ugly clothes.

“It’s the soul bond,” said Bill. “Did they tell you would be considered adults?”

Ginny couldn’t remember. She blushed even more after remembering she fainted when she discovered who had his arms around her.

“Yes, sir, they did. A woman said we were legally married and considered adults,” answered Harry. “Who are you?”

Bill chuckled. “I’m your brother-in-law. More importantly I am from Gringotts. I came to take you two to Grins so we can protect you and train you.”

“Professor Dumbledore, told me not to trust the goblins.”

Ginny noticed even though his voice was mature he still spoke like an eleven-year old.

“I am sure he did, but I don’t think he realizes what is going on here. Did he tell you that you would grow into full adults?”

“No,” answered Harry.

“The goblins knew that. There are other reasons why you two need to go to Gringotts. Let me take you there, and then you decide what you want to do. How much do you know about the magical community, Harry? No one knows where you were sent after that night.”

“I didn’t even know I was a wizard until two days ago,” said Harry shyly. “I know nothing about all of this. Is this normal?”

Ginny stared at him. It was almost like she could see his very thoughts. In fact, she realized that she could feel his emotions and see some of his thoughts.

“Where have you been staying? Who has been abusing you?” she yelled. She almost cried herself when she saw him cringe like he was expecting her to slap him. She even saw him in his memories being slapped.

“My Aunt and Uncle’s, but they don’t want me anymore,” he mumbled out.

She laid her hand on his shoulder. The touch made her fingers tingle. “I do want you. You will never need to worry about not being wanted by anyone ever again, Harry.”

She felt so good saying that to him. He smiled at her with genuine joy in his face.

“Thank you.”

They stood like that looking at each other for some unknown amount of time. Ginny even forgot about her brother being there until he spoke again.

“Why did you come here, Harry?”

“I am not sure. I just wanted to go someplace where I can feel safe and — and loved,” he stuttered. He looked at her with an expression of desperation.

Ginny’s heart was aching for this man. A part of her wanted to hug and hold him, and even kiss him, but the ten year old girl was still embarrassed at such thoughts. So she stood there gazing in his eyes with her hand on his shoulder.

“So you came to your home,” said Bill from somewhere to the right of them.

Harry broke their intense gaze at Bill’s statement. “My what?” he asked.

Ginny also looked at her brother. They were in a destroyed room that looked to have once been a nursery. One half of the room was covered in dust but otherwise in good condition with cot, rocking chair, a dresser that had several pictures on it. On the other half of the room, there was a gaping hole in the outside wall and everything on that side of room was charred as if there had been a fiery explosion. Bill was over by the dresser looking at something.

“Your old home, Harry,” said Bill sympathetically. He turned and walked back to them holding a picture in his hand. “I do believe this is a picture of your parents.”

Ginny felt so many emotions wash over her as Harry took the picture form Bill. His emotions were out of control. She was finally able to sort out what he was feeling.

“You never saw a picture of your parents before?” she asked completely shocked. He and his parents were the most famous family in modern magical Britain, and he had no idea what they even looked like.

Harry looked at her with tear filled eyes. “No,” he choked out. “What happened here? How did they die? I had always been told they were drunks and died in a car crash, but Hagrid told me that was a lie.”

“Your parents were not drunks and they didn’t die in a car crash,” growled Bill. “They were fighting against a wizard so evil that no one wants to say his name. He was determined to kill your entire family…,”

“Why?” interrupted Harry.

“No one knows, or I should say I don’t know. He did things like that; target families that didn’t agree with him. He and his followers would kill entire families. He was after yours. He killed your mother and father, but when he tried to kill you. He was destroyed. I am guessing in this room.”

Ginny had chills run through her. This was the room where Harry defeated the most evil wizard ever.

“How did I do that?” Harry asked.

“I don’t know. I was only a little older than you two actually are now. We may find that out later. Right now, I need to get you to Gringotts and some better clothes to wear.”

“I have money at Griggotts, but I left my key at my Aunt’s home,” answered Harry.

“I have some clothes at Gringotts. I have all my belongiings there. I had no idea where this assignment will take me. You are about my size, so you can borrow some until we can buy you some more,” said Bill sizing up Harry.

Bill put his arm out. “Have you ever side along Apparated before?”

“That was a stupid question,” laughed Ginny. “He has no knowledge of magic.”

“What is that?” asked a puzzled Harry.

“I am going to take you and Ginny to my office in Gringotts. We will disappear here and reappear there,”explained Bill.

“Is — is it safe?” asked a scared Harry.

“Yes, if you are qualified as I am,” stated Bill. “Just get a firm grip on my arm and Ginny get a good grip on Harry. I will direct us. Remember to turn slightly to the left with me.”

Harry placed his hand on Bill’s arm. Ginny went to grab Harry’s arm, but still felt embarrassed at touching a man, so she only lightly touched his forearm.

“You are going to have to grab him tighter than that and get much closer,” laughed Bill.

She wrapped her arm around Harry’s and stepped closer to him. His close proximity made her blush as so many feelings and emotions swept over her. Harry looked at her wide eyed at her close proximity. He was also blushing as he stared at her. They stood there staring in each others eyes blushing. Bill’s laughter made her look away fom Harry.

“I was going to tell you that you are acting like a couple of ten year olds, but then you are a couple of ten year olds. Everyone hold on tight.”

With a sudden turn everything became dark and the feeling of being pulled through a tube overwhelmed Ginny.

Back to index

Chapter 3: Inheritance

Author's Notes: This chpater will explian why the goblins are so interested in Harry's soul bond. Hopefully, I have covered all the requirments for the challenge. I have left the stroy unfinished. I am thinking about where to take it from here, and may still finish it.

They had reached Bill’s office in one piece. Bill had clothes for Harry and he also had some bread, cheese, dates from Egypt with him. They all ate the strange breakfast too shocked and nervous to talk. Hedwig didn’t eat any of the meal, even though she must be starving because they had no owl treats for her.

Harry was now dressed as a wizard. He was feeling better about himself even though he was completely overwhelmed by everything that had happened to him in just the past two days. They were now standing in front of a waterfall in the middle of the bank. It hid a hallway that Bill said was the entrance to the offices of the most important goblins in Gringotts. On each side of the waterfall were two mean looking goblins in armor and holding long battleaxes that had spikes sticking out of the handle down to where the goblins held them. The battleaxes were almost three times as long as the goblins were tall.

Harry was holding Ginny’s hand, though he was still confused by why this happened to him. How could someone so beautiful care about him? Bill had mentioned something about the soul bond needing a great deal of love for it to form. He could only think that this love had come from Ginny. How could he ever be capable of loving anyone that much when he had no idea what being loved was like?

“Are you ready to go?” asked Bill.

“We are going to get soaked,” complained Ginny.

“No, we are not. The waterfall is magical. It will wash away any deceptions or disguises you may be under. You will appear on the other side dry and looking like your real self.”

“Will I be eleven again?” asked Harry.

“No, you are who you are, Harry,” said Bill. “Lets get moving.”

Harry gripped Ginny’s hand tighter for courage and stepped forward. He walked through the waterfall unchanged. There were four more goblins on the other side. They walked through three other magical barriers intended to stop anyone conceling weapons, dangerous creatures, and finally anyone wishing to harm the goblins. They stopped at a large plain oak door.

Bill knocked on the door and spoke something in a strange gutteral language. Harry heard the language spoken on the other side of the door.

“It’s Gobblygook the goblins’ native language,” whispered Ginny into Harry’s ear. The warmth of her breath and her close proximity caused strong emotions to rush through Harry.

The door creaked open to reveal a hallway with several doors. They walked past the other doors and to the end. The door was again heavy wood without decorations. Bill knocked this time, and spoke.

“It is Bill Weasley with Harry Potter and Ginny Wea — er — Potter.”

Harry’s eyes bulged to hear Ginny addressed as Potter. It reminded him that this beautiful woman was his wife. He was eleven years old and married to probably the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

“Come on you two, don’t just stand there and blush all over each other,” laughed Bill. He stood in the open doorway.

Harry walked in and looked around the office. It was well furnished without being lavish.There was a large desk filled with scrolls. The desk was wide but lower then what he had expected. Behind it sat the same goblin that announced their soul bond.

“Mr. and Mrs. Potter, please have a seat,” offered the old goblin.

Harry sat down still holding Ginny’s hand. He could sense that she was just as nervous about this as he was.

“I see the sould bond has started to work its magic. That is good because it shows it is a strong bond,” said the goblin with glee. “You may wonder why I am so interested in your bond. The answer is actually two-fold. The goblins have always kept with the ancient ways of magic. Soul bonds are that type of magic. Secondly, it concerns you Mr. Potter. You are now an adult and therefore you need to be informed about your inheritance.”

“I —I lost my key,” he stuttered.

The goblin looked at him with a strange expression.

“Your key? You mean the key to that vault you had from your father?”

“Yes, it is at my Aunt’s house….”

“Do not worry about that trivial amount. It will be included with your other accounts now that you are an adult.”

Harry gulped as he thought he had a lot of money in that vault. The goblin looked at Bill than at Harry.

“I and my family have a long standing relationship with the Potter family. I personally have handled your grandfather’s accounts ever since he died nine years ago.”

Harry was shocked at that statement. “My Grandfather Potter was alive when my parents died?” He almost shouted.

“Yes, he was most devastated that Albus Dumbledore took you from him and hid you.”

Harry was upset by this, but the emotions coming from Ginny were even more intense. He could almost feel hatred coming from her. It was hot, intense, and almost electric. The goblin stopped talking and stared at the two of them. He seemed to be enjoying what he was seeing.

“I see you two are sharing emotions. That is good. Your bond is indeed very strong.”

There was a knock on the door. The goblin didn’t even speak, before the door opened and in strode Albus Dumbledore.

“I understand that you are meeting with Harry without me present, I protest this arrangement,” he said. He stopped talking and stared Harry and Ginny. It was obvious he was confused by their mature appearances. “Where is Harry?”

“I am right here,” he snapped at this man who kept him from his grandfather to place him in an abusive home.

The old wizard regained his composure. “I insist that you come home straight away. You must go back to your Aunts home….”

Ginny released her grip on Harry hand. She flew past him as her temper raged out of control. “Harry will never go back to that house. You placed him in a house where everyone hated him and abused him. You had no right to take him away from his grandfather to send him to a place to be treated him like that. Did you know they had made him live in a cupboard under the stairs.They called him a freak. They beat him. They made him feel unworthy of being loved. He will not go back there and you will not cause him anymore pain. Ever!” she screamed at the man.

With her last exclamation, Albus Dumbledore was propelled out of the door and the door slammed shut. Harry stared in shock at what happened. The entire room seemed to be too shocked to process what had happened. Ginny hadn’t used a wand.

She was the first to move, as she returned to his side and took his hand. He looked at her. He could tell she was slightly embarrassed, but she also truly felt everything she had said. Without thinking about it, he kissed her cheek. He could feel his face flushing again and hers quickly did the same.

“That was impressive,” stated the goblin.

A knock was heard on the door again. “May I come in and explain my reasons?” asked Albus Dumbledore from the other side of the door.

“Do you want him in here?” the goblin asked Harry and Ginny.

Harry thought about it. He wanted to know why he did what he did. “Yes, I would like to hear his explanation.”

“Enter,” shouted the goblin.

Albus Dumbledore entered the office again and sat down on the other side of Bill.

“To begin with Harry, I placed you with your Aunt because of the sacrifice your mother made for you. She wasn’t supposed to die that night, but she wouldn’t let Voldemort kill you. When he killed her, her blood sacrifice of love protected you from dying. You didn’t stop Voldemort that night. Your mother’s love did.

“I placed you in your Aunts house because she was the only blood relative of your mothers. I enacted old magic that would protect you from Voldemort.”

“I thought he was dead,” interjected Bill.

Dumbledore glared at Bill for a second before continuing his explanation. “I have reason to believe that he did things to defy death. There was a spy amongst the Death Eaters that informed me of his boasting that he was almost immortal. I had to protect Harry from him and his followers.”

“He cannot return to that house, now,” stated the goblin. “That type of magic will only work until he is an adult, as you can see he is an adult now. Your plans have failed, Dumbledore. If you have nothing else to say, I would suggest you remain silent. Mr. and Mrs. Potter can I continue with the reading of your grandfather’s and father’s wills?”

“Yes, please do,” said Harry. He didn’t blush this time. He seemed to be getting used to hearing Ginny called Mrs. Potter.

“As the sole heir to the Potter estate, you now have ownership of the Potter Family vault at Gringotts. We will place your father’s vault back into the main vault and also the small vault that was left for you. You will inherit all the properties that your family has acquired over the years.

“I have been overseeing these properties even before the death of your grandparents. They are all empty and are being kept up by House Elves. Do you wish me to continue?”

“Yes, I guess,” he replied. “Excuse me, what are House Elves?” Harry knew it was a stupid question by everyone’s reactions.

“I’ll explain later,” said Bill.

“How many places did Harry inherit?” asked Ginny.

“You and Mr. Potter have inherited eleven homes in eight different countries. There are three here in England, two in France, one in Egypt, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Morocco. Their value very greatly from the house that was used by your parents in Godric’s hollow to an expansive estate in Turkey. All together they are worth more than ten million galleons in today’s financial market.”

Ginny and Bill all gasped at the same time. Harry had no concept of what that was in British Pounds, but it had to be a lot.

“Over the next twenty minutes, the goblin that Harry learned was the head of the bank, Grins Gringotts, explained to him about his wealth in business and real estate holdings. It was all so overwhelming for him. He had no idea that his family was so wealthy.

When the goblin had finished reading from the scrolls, he bent down behind the desk and picked up a large shallow stone basin and set it on the desk in front of Harry and Ginny.

“I will need your help with this part Mr. Weasley,” said the goblin.

“I have experience with Pensieves,” said Albus Dumbledore.

“I want Bill,” spat Ginny. The old wizard cowered back into his chair at her exclamation.

The goblin opened a vial of some type of silvery liquid. He poured it into the basin. It moved like a congealed vapor. In the basin it swirled to form silvery storm clouds. Bill stood up and stuck his wand into the basin and swirled the vapors. The vapors started forming something above the basin.

Harry was shocked to see the form of an old man and woman appear out of the vapor. They both had silvery hair and deep wrinkles on their sad faces. Their eyes were dark and sunken, yet they also had the appearance as though they had both been very good looking in their youth.

“Harry, my darling grandson,” spoke the spectral image of the man. “Louise and I just buried your father and mother two days ago.” He stopped as emotion overtook him. The woman appeared to be unable to speak as she just sobbed into his shoulder.

“We were told that we can’t see you for yours and our safety by Albus Dumbledore. He hid you from us. We could protect you in ways he could only imagine.” He practically yelled this statement.

“Anyway, if you are seeing this than one of the Gringotts is showing it to you, if it is Grins than I would like to thank my old friend for taking care of things for us. Thank you, Grins for all that you have done. Harry, trust the Gringotts family of goblins. I am sure that they will explain it to you.

“I am not sure if you know of your wealth or the responsibility that comes with it. Being as wealthy as you have just become doesn’t mean you have no responsibilities to anyone else. It means you have even more. We were so concerned that your father didn’t realize that fact. We were very old when he was born. A bit of a late in life miracle,” he said with smile. “We overindulged him, and he became a bit of — of….”

“Oh say it Maurice, he was a spoiled brat,” laughed Louise. “Your mother changed him into the man we wanted him to be. We will ever be grateful to your mum for that. So, please remember others in your decisions. I hope you find a wonderful woman to marry, like your father. We love you Harry James Potter.”

The images dissolved into mist and sank back down into the basin. Harry was almost openly sobbing. He couldn’t tell if Ginny was getting angry at Dumbledore for putting his grandparents through such torture or if the emotions were entirely his own. He tried to hold his tongue as Bill siphoned the memory out of the basin and placed it in the original vial, but was unable to contain his anger.

“How could you do this,” he hissed.

Even though Harry hadn’t mentioned Dumbledore, he answered. “There were still Death Eaters roaming England looking for Voldemort and you, Harry. I knew you were safe by being at your Aunt’s house.”

“Why was it so important for me to be safe?”

Albus Dumbledore pulled his wand. Harry, Ginny, and Bill all jerked wondering if what he was going to do. He placed his wand to his temple and pulled a silvery thread of vapor out of his head. At this time Harry didn’t even think it was that strange of a thing to do. Dumbledore placed it in the basin and swirled the vapor. A strange looking woman with large glasses, wearing a ratty shawl, and an excessive amount of beads rose out of the vapors and started speaking in a strange hoarse voice. She finished and sank back inside of the basin.

“That was a prophecy that tells of you being the only one to destroy Voldemort. One of his Death Eaters had also heard a part of it. He told Voldemort, who in turn made it his personal mission to kill you. You see Harry. You are the reason your parents are dead. They died protecting you. I am only trying to protect you. Your well being is of the upmost importance to me.”

“Is his well-being important to you, Professor? Or do you see him as a weapon to use against your enemy?” questioned Bill.

“Do you believe that goblins are interested in Harry’s well being,” countered Dumbledore.

“My family is,” said Grins Gringotts. “Centuries ago during one of the wizards’ purges of my race, an ancestor of the Potters put himself at great risk to rescue the clan Gringotts from persecution. He used a family heirloom to save us, which I do believe is still in your possession.

“He did this because he believed that our race had the right to live peacefully with his. He never asked anything from my ancestors. That impressed my ancestors so greatly that they swore an oath that no Gringotts could ever harm or allow harm to come to a descendant of a Potter. In fact, it was this ancient descendant of Harry’s that helped the Gringotts clan to start this bank. So you see I owe Harry a life debt, as does my children, and my grandchildren.”

Bill let out a low whistle at Grins statement. The goblin gave him a stern look and looked at Dumbledore. “I want that Cloak back here at the bank tomorrow morning. It is Harry’s and if you don’t I will have you prosecuted as a thief. Now if there will be no other interruptions, I have another memory for Mr. Potter. You can remove your memory first, Headmaster Dumbledore.”

He waited until the Headmaster had removed his memory before pouring another memory into the basin, which Bill stirred. A young couple rose out of the basin. They were holding a baby. Harry recognized his parents from the picture in his home.

“Hi, Harry,” said his father. “If you are viewing this than we are dead. Please don’t grieve for us, because you gave us the greatest joy in our life.” When his father said this, his mum hugged and kissed the baby.

“There are some things you need to know, son. I hope that the future isn’t as dark as our time is, because it is so hard to know who to trust now. We are hiding from an evil wizard. He believes that you are the only one who can defeat him.

“We are hidden by a Fidelius Charm. Your mum cast the Charm. However, the Charm needs a Secret Keeper. Originally, Professor Dumbledore wanted to be our Secret Keeper. We considered this option, but beside you, Professor Dumbledore is probably his main target. We told Professor Dumbledore that we were going to use one of my best friends, Sirius Black.

“When we went to cast the Charm, Sirius decided it would be best if we didn’t use him. He said he would most likely be the first person that they would come after. They have ways of extracting information that eventually Sirius would have revealed us, before dying. He was so sure he would be targeted that he suggested Peter Pettigrew.

“Sirius would hide Peter, and then check in with us every two days. If we didn’t see him, we were to go collect Peter and hide him with us. Sirius was willing to be tortured to death for us, for you, son. If he does die that way please honor him for the hero that he was. I hope you don’t have to see this, but if you do. Then you will need to choose who to trust carefully. If Sirius is still alive, you can trust him, and he is your godfather. Remus Lupin is another person you can trust, even if he doesn’t trust himself, because of his furry little problem.”

“Oh James, you are such a —oh, never mind,” said his mum. “Remus is a werewolf, Harry. He is a nice man and hates what happens to him every month.”

“You just need to have secure location for him on the full moon. He is totally trustworthy, Harry. Peter is also but if we are not around then he probably won’t be either. We love you son,” shouted his dad.

“We love you son,” said his mother.

“Marry a redhead,” shouted his dad as the image faded away.

Harry was once again crying, but he was also laughing about his father’s statement of marrying a redhead. He could sense that Ginny was also laughing about it.

“Merlin, what have I done,” whispered Albus Dumbledore. As everyone’s eyes focused on him, he explained further. “Sirius Black is serving a life sentence in Azkaban for killing Peter Pettigrew and twelve other Muggles. He kept saying that Peter was alive and he was the one that killed the Muggles. It was my testimony that Sirius Black had betrayed your parents that convinced the Ministry to send him to Azkaban without a trial. All the time, it was Peter Pettigrew that had betrayed your parents.

“Harry, can I have your permission to take that memory to the Ministry. I want Madam Bones to see it and get an innocent man out of that horrible prison.”

Harry stared at the old wizard. He seemed genuine enough, but could he be trusted? “You can have it, but be sure to return it with the cloak that Mr. Gringotts talked about.”

“Thank you Harry, I will have both of them back to the bank this afternoon,” Albus stated. He quickly siphoned the memory out of the basin and placed it in the vial. “I know you don’t trust me, but you can be assured I never wanted to cause you any harm. I was only doing what was best for you and the community. There are many things you need to know and learn. I remember Mr. Weasley as being an excellent student, but there are many things he may not be able to teach you.”

“I trust him, and I think I can learn a lot from him. You may have been only doing what you thought was best, but was it really what was best over all?” Harry questioned him.

The Professor smiled at him while peering over his half moon glasses. “You have matured much in the past two days.”

Harry watched the Professor leave the room. Everyone seemed to be waiting on him to say something. He looked at Grins Gringotts, Bill Weasley, and then Ginny. They were staring at him.

“I supposed you think I was wrong for allowing him to have the memory?”

“No, Mr. Potter,” started Grins Gringotts. “Albus is correct. You have matured. I am glad to see that the Potter family is once again led by one such as yourself and your grandfather.”

“Harry, I passed my NEWTs with high marks, but there are many things that I don’t know,” stated Bill.

Harry looked at Ginny waiting for her to say something.

“Say what you feel Harry,” she reassured him.

“I would like to have Remus Lupin and Sirius Black help you, Bill. If for no other reason, I can get to know my parents better.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry was once again sailing along on the tracks deep under London in a cart driven by a goblin. The difference was he was sitting in the back holding Ginny with Hedwig’s cage squeezed between them and the head of Gringotts bank was the one driving the cart. He kept smiling as they twisted and turned.

“Have you ever flown?” shouted Ginny to be heard over the rush of the wind and noise of the carts casters.

“No, I have never been in a plane,” he yelled back to her. He received a piercing stare from her.

“I meant on a broom,” she shouted back to him.

“Of course not.”

“You would love it. I can tell you are enjoying riding on this. You will love a broom. The freedom you feel while soaring through the air…,”

“I didn’t think you were allowed on a broom yet, Gin-Gin,” shouted Bill from the front of the cart.

Harry could feel an emotion that he could only call smug satisfaction.

“I’m not,” shouted Ginny.

The cart suddenly started slowing down. Grins and Bill started talking in Gobbleygook, while looking to their right. Harry looked that direction. He noticed a wizard and a Goblin at a vault. At first he saw nothing wrong with the scene, until he noticed that the wizard had a wand pointed at the goblin.

Bill turned around in his seat. “I need the two of you to get out and stay behind me. Above all else, keep holding each other’s hand.”

Harry looked at Ginny. She was just as puzzled as he was by these orders.

The cart moved to an intersection of the tracks. They changed their direction and approached the vault where the wizard was holding a goblin at wand point. As they approached them, Bill pulled his wand and Grins pulled a short sword or a long knife.

Their cart stopped and Grins and Bill jumped out. Ginny leapt from the cart pulling Harry with her. He wasn’t ready for her to jump like that. He was amazed how agile she was. The wizard finally saw them approaching and shot some spell at them. It ricocheted away halfway to them.

“Drop your wand. You are in violation of Gringotts rules,” shouted Bill.

The other wizard laughed a high pitched evil laugh that made Harry’s skin crawl and his scar thud with pain. The goblin that had disappeared inside of the vault ran out and started towards Grins and Bill. There was flash of green and the running goblin fell onto the ground.

Harry knew the goblin was dead.

Bill fired a curse at the wizard. He was just able to block it, but it collided with stone wall and exploded while driving the wizard from his feet. The explosion created a shower of stone. While he was trying to right himself, Grins threw the short sword at him.

The wizard saw it a split second before it sunk into his body. Then something confused Harry, black smoke billowed out of the wizard’s hood and gathered above the slumping body.

Everyone stood there staring at the sight. The smoke suddenly formed a face, and screamed as it rushed towards them. Harry was scared. He knew it wasn’t only him but also Ginny. This wasn’t any type of magic that she was familiar with. All he could think of was protecting her.

A silver dome appeared around all four of them. The dark apparition collided with it. It seemed to scream out in agony before flying off into the vast tunnels of Gringotts.

“What was that?” asked Ginny.

“I don’t know,” shouted Bill over his shoulder. After the silver dome disappeared, he ran towards the wizard who was slumped against the stone walls of the cavern.

Harry and Ginny followed him as they were directed. The wizard was barely alive. Bill pushed his black hood off his face. Harry gasped.

“That’s Professor Quirr — Quirrem. Oh, I don’t know how to pronounce his name. He was supposed to be teaching at Hogwarts.”

“Master, don’t leave me,” the wizard wheezed out. “Master, please save me.”

“Who is your master,” demanded Bill.

“Master, help me.”

“Who is your master?”

The wizard was pale and obviously dying. He looked at Bill with clouded eyes. “I serve the Dark Lord,” he said with his last breath.

Bill let the wizard’s head unceremoniously drop onto the stone floor. “Dumbledore was right. We need to get Harry and Ginny to safety. If he had been given the chance, he would have killed you two.”

By this time there were multiple carts filled with goblins arriving, they all had swords like Grins. He looked at them and shouted out orders in their language. He turned to Harry and Ginny.

“We need to get you to safety,” stated Grins.

“Can we stop at our vault?” asked Harry. He was curious what it was like. He knows they should leave, but he needed money. There was also a feeling he was having that he needed to go into the vault.

“Yes, there are books and records there that Mr. Weasley will need,” stated Grins.

They were back in the cart and flying along the rails. They passed through the same protections they had walked through earlier in the hallway, before coming to two huge steel doors guarded by six goblins with battle axes. They had no numbers on them. One had a letter “P” ornately etched into it, and the other had some symbol etched into the front of it.

Grins stepped out of the cart and walked to the door with the “P”. “Place your hands on the door and state that you are the Master and Mistress of the House of Potter. It may take a few minutes for the Charms to identify you.”

Harry and Ginny walked forward and placed both of their hands on the door. They said what they were told to do. Harry felt a strange sensation wash over him as if he was being touched by invisible fingers. He looked at Ginny and realized she was feeling the same things. After several minutes of this strange feeling the door shifted with a boom and a hiss. Dust rose from around it as it moved away and into the wall.

If Harry was surprised by his vault yesterday, he was shocked beyond thinking at the sight of this vault. It was as high as Aunt Petunia’s house was tall. It looked like one could fit two of her houses inside of it.
There were stacks of gold Galleons as high as him and stretching for several yards and looking to be several yards wide. There were artifacts in there that Harry couldn’t believe. Shining coats of armor from various centuries, various types of medieval weapons many of them golden or silver, swords with large gems in the pommel. All the armor seemed to be in pristine condition except one. It was battered chain mail armor. It had a large accompanying shield with several nicks from swords in it. The chain mail was covered over by a white tunic that had a single large red cross on it.

He went to step into the vault but Ginny held him back. He looked at her and realized that she was still staring in awe at the vault. He looked and saw Bill also staring at it.

“You’ve seen vaults like this before, haven’t you?” he asked Bill.

“Are you barkin? I have never seen this much wealth in one area,” he said while still staring at it all. “I need some books.”

Bill stepped into the actual vault. He was looking around and shouted like he found something special.

“A seven lock box, this is great we can store everything we need in one place,” Bill shouted. He found a set of keys and started to open the various locks. Harry marveled as one compartment after another appeared out the box, each one seeming to take up the entire area of the box. Bill started stuffing books and scrolls into one of the compartments. He closed it then put in a variety of weapons in another. He grabbed a leather bag and filled it with various coins and dumped it in another.

Harry looked at Ginny who was still wide-eyed staring at the contents of the vault. Her gaze was fixed on something off to the left. He followed her gaze and saw what she was looking at. It was a dressing area that had a wardrobe filled with silk and lace gowns. Beside it was large armoire filled with sparkling jewelry. Harry was surprised at the amount of jewels just piled up on the top of the armoire.

He tugged at her hand and moved over to the armoire. He had a strange feeling that the special thing he needed was in there. With his free hand he looked through the jewelry. While he was looking he came across a blue sapphire pendant surrounded by diamonds on a gold chain. He hung it around Ginny’s neck.

“Harry, I can’t take this.”

“It is ours, Ginny. All of this is ours,” he said waving his hand around the vault. He went back to finding whatever it was that was calling him, He pulled drawers out, each one filled with more ornate jewelry of expensive stones. There were emeralds, rubys, sapphires, and diamonds of various shades and sizes.
He stopped looking when he opened one drawer. He pushed aside several large gaudy necklaces to find a mahagony box. He picked it up. He knew looking at it this was what he wanted.

Pushing the lid up with his thumb, he saw three rings inside; two gilded bands of gold and large diamond ring. He turned and looked at Ginny. As she stared at the rings, she seemed to look confused. He could also feel her confusion and wasn’t sure why she was so confused.

“Those were your grandparents, Harry,” said Grins. “They gave them to me to give to you. They would be honored if you wore them.”

Harry looked back at Ginny. Why was she so confused and it felt almost like she was upset about something. He placed the ring box in his pocket.

“We will eventually,” he said to Grins. He could feel Ginny relax a little, but there was still the feeling of anxiety and confusion.

“All right everyone, it is time for us to leave,” shouted Bill from across the vault. He was Levitating the seven lock chest with his wand. On top of the chest was Hedwig nervously flapping his wings as the balance of the trunk shifted.

“Follow me,” ordered Grins. He started walking out of the vault.

After they left the vault, the door moved out of the wall and sealed up again. Grins walked towards a door that Harry had not seen earlier. It was small, barely taller than Bill and himself. The door was steel and there was a worn path leading to it.

“Your great-great-great-grandfather helped us make this when we expanded to other countries, Harry,” said Grins. He opened the door and inside was a large empty room.

“Follow me, you two,” stated Bill, as he walked into the vault.

Harry and Ginny followed his orders. They were confused by what was happening. Why were they inside of this empty room and what was so special about it?

“Which bank should I go to?” Bill asked Grins.

“This is connected to the Potter residences also; all you need to say is ‘the Potter Residence’ and the country where it is located. You will be in their lowest level of its basement. For France and England you will be sent to the manor house in each country.”

“Brilliant,” exclaimed Bill. “Do you two care if we go to Morroco? I have always wanted to go there?”

Harry and Ginny looked at each other. She was just as confused as he was.

“Sure,” they said together.

“All right then, we are going to Morroco. Grins send Remus Lupin and Sirius Black through as soon as possible. I have a plan that will ensure their dedication and Harry and Ginny’s safety.”

“I shall,” said Grins as he closed the door.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ginny paced back and forth in front of the mirror above the sinks in her and Harry’s bathroom. Her nerves were out of control. So much has happened over the past thirty-six hours. Yesterday as she left her ramshackle home, she was the youngest out of seven children of a poor family. Within hours she would soul bond to Harry Potter, the most famous young wizard alive. She was now married to him because of the soul bond. Not only was he famous, he was now the Head of the House of Potter, which could possible the wealthiest family in the magical world.

The soul bond had caused other things also, not only was she considered an adult, but she was physically an adult. Harry also physically matured into an adult, even though he still acted at times like the eleven year old he was.

So here she was pacing inside of her bathroom afraid or nervous to leave and go to her bedroom. This day had been a whirlwind of activities. She discovered she was a full grown woman, Harry desperate for comfort and help had pulled her across England to him, Bill had grabbed onto her and also met Harry, Bill had been sent from the head of Gringotts to help her and Harry, Grins Gringotts read Harry the will of his grandfather and father and discovered they were extremely wealthy with homes all over magical Europe, they went into the tunnels under Gringotts to discover a man trying to steal from a vault. They fought with him and discovered he was possessed by the spirit of Voldemort, then they saw the vast wealth that was theirs, Harry had picked out an engagement ring and wedding bands that were his grandparents from the vault, they magically transported to Morrocco, and they spent the rest of the day looking around this magnificent home. The home was large expansive and airy set on a hillside overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, they shopped and bought all brand new clothes for themselves without ever once caring how much they spent, she bought her first wand, and had a sumptuous dinner on the terrace watching the sun set in the Atlantic.

She looked up at her reflection in the mirror. It was amazing her head had not spun off her shoulders with a thirty-six hour time period like that. On top of all those things, something else was bothering her.

Harry had come out of the bathroom after getting ready for bed. He looked every bit the wealthy aristocrat. They had purchased pajamas of white silk. The climate here was warm and flannel wouldn’t be comfortable on warm nights. Her breath caught in her throat at the sight of him. He was so bloody handsome.

It was then her turn to get ready for bed. She came into the bathroom of fine white, pink, and green marble, but she was afraid to leave. They were both considered to be adults. They both looked like adults. However, she was still a ten year old on the inside. She wasn’t sure if she can do this. She had no idea what she should do. She had an idea, but she didn’t even know the proper Charms and didn’t have any potions. Yesterday, that wasn’t important; she was still a scrawny unmarried ten year old girl.

What would he think?

When he found his grandparents’ wedding bands, he wanted her to put them on, but she said no. He seemed to be slightly hurt by this response. She had always imagined a formal wedding where all her friends could gather around and watch them exchange vows.

A feeling of anxiety washed over her. It was Harry. One of the effects of the soul bond was they could sense each other’s emotions and sometimes their thoughts. She stared at herself in the mirror. They are bonded. Nothing can change that. Hopefully, he will understand.

She stepped into the bedroom. She looked at the large canopy bed with its white flowing hangings. Harry wasn’t in the bed. She looked around the bedroom at the sitting area by the fireplace. Again he wasn’t there. Hedwig’s cage was empty. Stepping forward she noticed him on the balcony staring out over the ocean at Hedwig flying in the moonlight. His feelings of anxiety were still present. There was something about this that bothered Ginny.

She walked quietly across the scarlet and gold rug that covered most of the floor of the bedroom to the opened French doors of the balcony.

“Harry, is there something wrong?”

He turned and looked at her with sadness reflecting in his eyes. There were so many emotions running through his expression right now that Ginny could not read him.

“Are you happy?” he asked softly.

The question shocked her. She hesitated before answering him. He turned away from her.

“Yes, I am happy. Everything is just a bit overwhelming. Only yesterday I was a poor ten year old witch who only wore second hand clothes. Today, I am married. I have grown into a woman. My incredibly handsome husband is one of the wealthiest wizards in the world and I can buy anything I want now. We are standing on a balcony of one of our eleven homes, which is more incredible than I could have ever considered a home being. I’d be barmy if I wasn’t happy. Confused, would describe my feelings right now.”

She finished and saw him staring at her.

“You think I am handsome,” he asked in that boyish charm he had.

“Yes, you are.”

“I was afraid you regretted having bonded to me. I still don’t understand all of this. To tell the truth I have trouble understanding any of it. Two days ago, I didn’t even know I was a wizard, then to be married to you.”

He stopped and stared at her.

“You are so incredibly beautiful, Ginny,” he said while looking away. “I can’t figure why you would love me enough for this bond to happen. It had to be you. It couldn’t have been me. I have no memory of what it is to love and be loved. All of this is because of you.”

He stopped talking and looked at her before blushing and looking away. He seemed to be extremely nervous about something. He turned suddenly towards her.

“Thank you for loving me so much that we could create this bond and I love you,” he spat out so fast that Ginny could barely understand it.

It was the last three words that caught her attention. She realized that she had never told him that she loved him.

“I..,” suddenly her throat was tight and dry. Her hands became damp with sweat. “I love you, Harry,” she squeaked out.

“You do?” he exclaimed.

They both broke out into giggles. They were both acting their actual age. Almost all of Ginny anxieties had been relieved. There was only one that still bothered her.

“Harry,” she started out nervously.

“Yes love,” he answered.

Ginny was taken aback by the term of affection. She smiled up at him, amazed.

“I know we are considered to be married, but there is one thing I was hoping we could wait a while to do?” she asked him. His face fell. It was obvious he was disappointed.

“It’s all right. I understand,” he answered while moving slightly away from her.

Ginny became nervous at disappointing him like this. “I’m sorry, Harry, but I am not ready for sex. I don’t even have…,”

“SEX!” exclaimed Harry. He looked peaky and shocked beyond belief. “I —I just wanted to be able to kiss you good night. I will even go to another bedroom. I — I never…,” he stopped talking and ran his hand threw his raven locks. “No Ginny, I never. You can’t do that until you are married.”

Ginny giggled at him which made him glare at her . “We are married according to law.”

“But we never had a ceremony,” he countered.

“I know, but I do think of myself as your wife. Are you comfortable with being my husband?”

“Yes, I am so happy to be your husband, but I wasn’t sure if you were.”

Ginny looked at him. “Was it because I didn’t want to put on the wedding rings?”

He nodded his head, yes. “I will get other rings for you, if that is what you want. Tell me what to do to make you happy.”

“You already did that. You told me you loved me. You are a gentleman and you respect me. I will wear the rings. I only said no earlier because my head was still spinning, and I always wanted a ceremony. However, we already leaped right over that and went straight to forever after.”

“You mean happily ever after, don’t you. I am happy and believe it will be that way forever with you,” he said blushing.

There was something about his proclamation that took Ginny’s breath away. He was heads over heels in love with her. She lifted her left hand.

“I will take those rings now,” she said to him. To her surprise, he pulled the case out of his pajama bottoms pocket.

He opened and lifted the engagement ring out with shaky hands. He looked at her hand and then at her. She realized that he wasn’t even sure which finger the ring went on. She lifted her ring finger a little. With a smile he slid the ring onto her finger. It magically sized itself as it moved over her finger. He took the wedding band out and again gently placed it on her finger. He stopped and looked into her eyes. His own were filled with unshed tears and emotions.

Ginny grabbed the box from Harry. He seemed a little surprised by this action. She took out the other wedding band. Harry stood there clueless. So, she took his left hand and picked it up so she could slide the ring on his finger. He smiled at her as the ring sized itself to his finger.

“I bind my magic and love to you forever,” she whispered up to him.

“I bind my magic and love to you, forever,” he said back to her.

They slowly moved into each other. Several times hesitating to look at each other unsure if what they were doing was right. Finally their lips touched. It was a soft gentle loving kiss, yet one that held them captivated. If they hadn’t been so caught up in their first kiss, they would have heard the thud and felt the entire estate vibrate by the sealing of their love.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Bill Weasley sat in the lowest basement of the Potter estate in Morocco. Across from him sat Remus Lupin the werewolf. He looked older than what his age would indicate. His clothes were worn and the luggage he carried showed years of abuse and neglect. Yet, he seemed like a good bloke, but Bill had to ensure Harry and Ginny’s safety. So he could take no chances. Remus Lupin had to leave his wand in England before Grins would transport him here.

The steel door of the transporter chamber rang out. The other was here. Bill stood up to walk to the door while keeping a watch on Remus Lupin. He fumbled with it because he was watching Remus. After grabbing the handle, he pulled it up and the steel door opened.

Out stepped Sirius Black. He was a gaunt skeleton of a man. He had sunken eyes that had a haunted look to them. The clothes he wore were new but they didn’t fit him well. He looked emaciated.

“Where is he?” demanded Black. “Where is my godson?”

He stopped talking when he saw Remus Lupin. “Remus, my old friend. Did you finally figure it out that it had been Peter all the time?”

“No, I must apologize to you, Sirius. I had always thought it was you.”

“James Potter had sent a memory to Harry to be read with his will. He told everyone what had happened. It was because of that memory that you two have been asked to be here,” stated Bill.

“Who are you?” asked Sirius.

“I am Bill Weasley. I work for Gringotts as a curse breaker. I have a personal investment with this also. Harry is soul bonded to my sister.”

“I thought soul bonds were myths,” said Remus.

“I hear that all the time. They are real and Harry and Ginny are bonded. They are also considered to be adults under Ministry Law. Before I say anything else I am going to ask you two to make an Unbreakable Vow with me.”

“What we will be vowing to do?” asked Sirius looking at Remus suspiciously?

“I want you to vow to protect Harry and his secrets with your life, and assist me with his magical education. You will also be protecting and teaching Ginny because they…,” Bill never finished what he was saying, because Sirius and Remus had thrust their left hands out.

“If you want us to vow to protect Harry, I will make that vow. I would die for him. I failed James and Lily. I won’t fail him,” growled Sirius.

“I will also make that vow,” stated Remus.

Bill grabbed their hands and cast the Charm while swearing an allegiance that all three of them will protect and teach Harry and Ginny.

Bill looked at the two men. They had suffered much in their lives. He felt that maybe he had tricked them. He needed to confess something to them.

“I hope you will forgive me, but I may have deceived you a little,” said Bill apologetically.

“How? What did you do?” growled Sirius.

Bill was shocked. Remus was supposed to be the werewolf, but Sirius had that feral dog look in his eyes.

“We may have to protect them for the rest of their lives.” He said. He saw Sirius relax at the statement. “The goblins have kept records of old magic such as soul bonds. In the past, couples who were bonded by this method were used by other wizards.

“When they form the bond and — and consummate it,” he said thickly as he realized what that meant for his baby sister. “They increase magical powers; not only for themselves, but for all who are within close proximity of them. In the past, many of them had become captives of power hungry wizards who used this phenomenon to destroy all who opposed them.

“Some bonded couples realized this and disappeared from the magical community.”

“Are you saying that if I were to stand next to Harry, I would become more powerful magically?” questioned Sirius.

“Yes, it is already happening and they haven’t even consummated the bond. It doesn’t matter if you are friends or enemies. If the Death Eaters discover this, before we can teach Harry to fight for himself.”

Bill didn’t finish the statement. Both Sirius and Remus understood what he was implying. Harry and Ginny could be used by the Dark Wizards that they hate.

A thud was felt throughout the estate. Causing Bill to react and pull his wand. He waited for a second for the security wards to activate, but when they remained silent, he sank back into his chair. He didn’t want to think about what caused it. She was only ten after all. It didn’t matter how old she looked.

“What was that?” asked Remus.

Bill let out a long sigh before answering. “I am guessing that they just consummated the bond.”

“Yeah, that’s my godson,” exclaimed Sirius.

Bill glared at him.

“Tell me,” questioned Sirius. “Is she a redhead like you?”

Back to index

Chapter 4: Into the Chamber

Author's Notes: Two years ago Harry Potter appeared in the magical world. The first time since he defeated Voldemort. On that day he soul bonded with the ten year-old Ginny Weasley. They haven't been seen in England, until today.
I would like to thank my beta seekers destiny for helping me with this chapter.

Bill Apparated in front of Hogwarts’ main gate with four other people. Remus Lupin and Sirius Black stood nearest the gate. Bill was the furthest away. Between them were the other two, Harry and Ginny Potter, hidden under an Invisibility Cloak.

“You would think they would be waiting for us,” grumbled Sirius. “We receive a letter saying they wanted to see us as soon as possible. We come here and no one is waiting for us.”

“They probably never imagined we’d arrive this soon. They actually sent it only four hours ago,” stated Remus. “They probably thought an owl would arrive first.

“I’m sending a Patronus to the Headmaster,” replied Sirius. “I am not waiting here, when there might be someone dying in the castle.”

With a flick of his wand, he sent a silver streak up to the castle.

“Sirius, I wish you would choose your words more carefully,” said a male disembodied voice. “Ron may not be dying.”

“The letter said that Ron had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets,” said Ginny softly her voice quavered with fear. “If we don’t know where it is, then how can we find him in time?”

“We will, love. We will,” reassured Harry.

“I wish you two wouldn’t talk while you are under the cloak,” grumbled Sirius. “People are going to wonder where the voices are coming from.”

“There is no one within listening distance, Padfoot,” countered Harry.

“How do you know that?” retorted Sirius.

“We can feel if they are that close,” said Harry. “No one between us and the castle and us and a house four hundred yards away.”

“Insufferable know-it-all, you are just like your mother and father,” grumbled Sirius.

“Thank you!” Harry said happily.

“I see someone walking from the castle,” said Bill interrupting the squabbling. “It looks like Professor McGonagall. “I don’t want you two to reveal too much about yourselves. Everyone will know you are bonded, but that is all they need to know. It is important that no one knows about all the other powers you have developed.”

“What about the prophecy?” asked Ginny.

“Don’t reveal that unless you are sure of the person’s loyalties, and don’t tell Mum unless you want her to have kittens.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Arthur Weasley stood in Minerva’s McGonagall’s office rubbing his wife’s shoulders. Her heart broke when she heard that their son, Ron, had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets. He remembered hearing about it when he was in school. It was just a legend at least that was what he thought at that time. Now his youngest son was captured inside of it and the message on the wall stated his bones will lie in there forever. Now he was waiting here with Molly, Percy, Fred, George, and Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall. An Owl was sent to Charlie in Romania. Another was sent to Bill and Ginny, he didn’t know where they had been staying, but it must have been close.

He had just heard Bill and Ginny were at the main gate, and he was nervous about seeing them. He had not seen either one for nearly two years, ever since she had soul bonded to Harry Potter.

“I wonder how they got here so quickly?” asked Percy. “It would take at least two days to set up an international Portkey.”

“Maybe they were in the country,” stated Professor Dumbledore.

“They were in England and didn’t stop to see us,” snapped an angry Molly Weasley. “Why that is most ungrateful and inconsiderate. What are we going to do about Ron?”

“The only thing that we can do, we are already doing. We are looking for the Chamber of Secrets at this very moment. I have all the Professors and Prefects looking for any indication of Ron.”

“It has been at this castle for one thousand years, and no one has found it. What makes you think that you can find it before my son is dead,” shouted Molly.

“There, there, Molly everyone is trying as hard as they can to find Ron,” consoled Arthur as he rubbed her shoulders trying to get her to accept that their son was as good as dead.

The door opened and Professor McGonagall stepped in followed by two wizards. They had their wands drawn and looked around the room, before stepping in further. Behind them Arthur could see Bill. The first two walked into the room making it impossible for anyone to get close to Bill. They were all dressed strangely for wizards.

They didn’t wear typical robes, but a brownish-green hooded cloak with a high collar. It looked to be leather, but it seemed a bit off for leather. Their clothes could have been Muggle, but they also seemed a bit off for even that. The fabric was heavy and they all wore dark brown leather gloves with high cuffs protecting their forearms. The long sleeved shirts were a russet color and the trousers a deep brown. The trousers were tucked into their leather boot. It was the same type of leather the cloak was made from.

Bill finally stepped through the door and closed it. He looked around the room, also. “It’s safe,” he said to no one in particular

The first two wizards put their wands away and relaxed. As soon as they did, Molly stood up to run to Bill, but she didn’t make it. A beautiful young woman appeared out of the air in front of her. Beside her was a handsome man. They both appeared to be the same age as Bill.

The woman grabbed Molly in a hug and said. “Oh, Mum, I have missed you so.”

The entire room seemed to freeze. Molly was so shocked that she stood there as this woman, Ginny, hugged her.

Her face was similar to Bill’s. So there was a family resemblance, but Ginny should have only been eleven at this time. Arthur remembered Ginny growing up the night after soul bonding with Harry Potter, but he didn’t remember her looking like this aristocratic woman in front of him. She was dressed similar to the others, but her clothes were cut to fit her shape, and her gloves were folded and tucked neatly into her leather belt.

Molly was now hugging her back. He was pleased that she hadn’t rejected Ginny. While he was looking at the two most important women in his life, he saw something on Ginny’s hand; a wedding ring and an engagement ring.

He was heartbroken. Ginny had been the first girl born in a family named Weasley for seven generations. He was going to enjoy escorting her down the aisle. Now it was too late.

Ginny pulled away from Molly and ran into his arms. It felt strange hugging this young woman. He had hugged Ginny many times in the past, but she had been a little girl. Now she was a woman who came up to his shoulder.

“I missed you too, Daddy,” she whispered into his chest. Even though the voice was slightly different, it was still his little girl. He leaned down to kiss the top of her head. He looked up to see the man that must be Harry smiling at them.

“You, you took our daughter away from us,” shouted Molly at Harry. “Don’t think I didn’t notice that ring on her finger. No one ever mentioned a wedding in any letters,” she said glaring at Bill.

“Mum, we were married when we first met in Diagon Alley,” said Ginny pulling away from Arthur.

Arthur had a sad feeling come over him. He missed holding his little girl.

“We didn’t have any ceremony. Harry gave them to me, because he knew it would make me happy.”

“I still don’t like it. It isn’t proper. You may look all grown up, but you are still only eleven,” shouted Molly.

Arthur watched as his daughter balled up her fists in fury. He was waiting for her to put them on her hips and start shouting back at Molly. It was exactly what Molly would have done when she was this angry. Ginny quickly released her fists and relaxed as Harry came over and placed a hand on her back. He could tell Harry had somehow calmed Ginny down.

“I didn’t come here to fight with you, Mum. I came here to try to save Ron,” said Ginny sadly.

“How can you save him, if Albus Dumbledore can’t,” shouted Molly back at her.

Bill looked at Molly with anger in his eyes, but didn’t address her. “Fred, George, you two said that Ron used to hide out in a woman’s bathroom?”

Everyone’s eyes turned to the twins. They looked at each other. Arthur could tell they were hiding something.

“He used to go to the one on the second floor…”

“but then he would disappear.”

“We had no…”

“idea where he went.”

The twins were finishing each other’s sentences. It was something that all the Weasleys’ had become accustomed to over the years. Arthur tried not to laugh at Harry’s expression as he stared gobsmacked at the twins. Evidently, Ginny hadn’t told him about Fred and George’s antics.

“I suggest we start our search there,” said Bill.

“First, I want an article of Ron’s clothes. Something that hasn’t been laundered yet,” said one of the men who had accompanied Bill and Ginny.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry was holding Ginny’s hand, as they walked through the ancient halls of the castle. Sirius, Remus, and Bill kept looking around at the stone walls wistfully. He could tell they were remembering their days at the school. Even with all these memories, they still kept their minds on the job at hand; finding Ron Weasley.

Harry though was feeling something else from the majestic stone walls of Hogwarts. Magic, very old magic was present here. There was a mix of dark and light magic, but other magic to keep the castle protected and secure was present.

“Why did you start following your brother?” Harry asked the twins.

They had accompanied them to Ron’s dorm to retrieve a shirt that Ron had laying about. Now Fred, George, and Professor McGonagall accompanied them as they walked towards the bathroom. The twins were looking at the Professor nervously.

“Well, we noticed he was acting rather odd this year,” said Fred.

“He was writing in a diary all the time,” said George.

“Ron writing in a diary!” exclaimed Ginny and Bill at the same time.

Harry had to keep from snorting at their shock to Ron keeping a diary. “I take it he isn’t the type to spend hours writing down his thoughts and feelings.” Harry thought about how lame doing that sort of thing seemed. The idea of keeping a diary never occurred to him, though Ginny kept one.

“We didn’t even know he could write,” stated George.

“Or have feelings, except hunger,” said Fred.

“Or thoughts, except ‘is there anymore’,” said George.

“We figured it was his new girlfriend, Hermione Granger. She is quite the bookworm,” the twins said at the same time.

“Miss Granger is the top student of her year,” sniffed Professor McGonagall. “She is also a Gryffindor.”

“She is also in the hospital…,”started Fred

“ as we speak…,”

“paralyzed from an attack,” finished Fred.

They had reached the bathroom. Professor McGonagall went in the bathroom first to check if anyone was in there. She came back out very quickly.

“It is empty as I suspected,” she said stiffly. “This particular bathroom isn’t used much because it is haunted by the ghost of Moaning Myrtle.”

“Did she die in there?” asked Ginny.

“I don’t know,” replied Professor McGonagall.

Harry could sense why Ginny asked the question. In one of the letters, the twins mentioned the Chamber of Secrets had been opened before and someone had died. As they walked into the bathroom, a cold chill ran up Harry’s spine. There definitely were remnants of dark magic in here.

Sirius took off his cloak and handed it to Remus. He then threw Ron’s shirt down on the floor.

“Time for Padfoot mode,” stated Sirius. He changed into his Animagus form, a large black dog. As he transformed he stepped out of his boots. They were made of dragon hide like his cloak and wouldn’t transform with him into his Animagus form.

“Is he registered?” Professor McGonagall asked Remus.

“Yes,” answered Remus. “But, not in this country.”

Padfoot sniffed at the shirt for several seconds before running his nose along the floor. He made several circles then walked towards the door and back across to a sink against the furthest wall in the bathroom. He quickly changed back to Sirius Black.

“His trail ends here,” He said indicating a sink.

“That was the one we saw him at, before he disappeared,” added the twins.

“How did you do that?” asked Professor McGonagall. “You can only see that sink from inside of the bathroom. You would have seen where he went.”

The twins looked nervously at each other. “We were hiding so he didn’t see us.”

The Professor’s mouth twitched as her lips became tighter and smaller. “Indeed,” she said without further comment.

Harry noticed Remus and Sirius smiling at each other. They seemed to know something, but didn’t say anything else. He could also feel Ginny laughing about the twins trying to lie.

“Harry, would you try Parseltongue. If this is the monster of Salazar Slytherin, I am guessing he made it so only Parseltongue’s could get in,” asked Bill.

“How would Ron get in?” asked Professor McGonagall.

“I guess we will first have to find him then ask him,” said Bill.

Harry stepped up to the sink. A cold chill ran through him again. It was his senses warning him that something dangerous was behind that sink. He looked over at Ginny. She sensed what he did too. This ability started to emerge after they became soul bonded. At times they can actually see and hear each other’s thoughts, most of the time they just understood each other’s emotions.

He closed his eyes and thought of the king cobra he spoke to at a bazaar in Turkey. With that memory firmly implanted in his mind, he hissed out the word “open” in Parseltongue. He opened his eyes when he heard the grating of porcelain over stone.

The sink moved aside revealing large round opening behind it. A rush of fetid air hit Harry as another chill of danger and death washed over him. He tried reaching out with his senses to see how close it was. He could feel it down there, but he couldn’t sense how far away the danger was.

Bill stepped up and waved his wand in several intricate motions, while softly speaking revealing spells. He pointed his wand at the opening. A bright blue blob formed from the end of his wand. It moved forward and disappeared down the opening.

“There is something down there, but it is far away,” Harry whispered to Bill.

“I just want to be cautious. It isn’t like I don’t trust your senses, Harry,” replied Bill quietly.

They all stood there watching and waiting for the blue ball to come back out. After about a minute, it hadn’t reappeared.

“It must be safe,” said Sirius, as he strode forward after replacing his cloak and pulling on his boots. “I go first, then Remus, and Bill….”

“Hold on, I and Ginny should be the next to go after Remus,” argued Harry. It had been an arrangement that they had practiced all the time. Sirius and Remus would always lead and Bill would be behind them to act as shields for him and Ginny. Neither one liked their friends doing this, but they would never be able to convince them to stop the practice.

“If Remus’ hunches are correct about what is down there, you need to stay up here and not come down at all,” stated Sirius.

“What do you think is down there?” asked Professor McGonagall.

“A basilisk, Professor,” said Remus softly. “It is the only thing that makes sense. People getting petrified now and the one that died years ago. The stare of a Basilisk can do both of those things. It is also considered to be the King of Snakes, which would be appropriate for Slytherin to use as his monster. Seeing that opening, I would say I am correct.”

“Ah Remus, our expert on dark creatures,” teased Sirius. He was now sitting in the opening to the Chamber of Secrets. “If you are done teaching, I will be going down this dank hole. Please come down before starting another lecture.”

“I’ll be down right after you, Sirius,” said Remus.

“All right, ‘long live the Marauders’,” shouted Sirius as he slid down the opening to the depths of the Chamber.

Remus quickly climbed in and slid down the opening. He also shouted, “long live the Marauders.”

“Did they just call out ‘long live the Marauders’?” asked one of the twins.

“They called themselves that when they were in school,” answered Professor McGonagall. “Harry’s father was also one along with another, I will not mention.” Professor McGonagall finished icily.

Harry smiled at her. He was grateful she hadn’t mentioned Peter Pettigrew. He had learned about his father and the Marauders from Remus and Sirius. To have Peter betray them like he did made Harry’s blood boil with revenge.

“I’m going down,” stated Bill. “Wait for my Patronus before you two come down. We need to be sure it is safe before you two come down.” Bill finished and slid down the opening.

Harry walked over to the entrance and the entire way he could feel Ginny’s eyes on him. He looked at her to reassure her that everything will be all right. She stood there also silently boosting his confidence with a reassuring smile as he stood there at the entrance to a chamber filled with death. Her smile made him completely forget about everything else but her lips and soft brown eyes. He wanted to reach out and pull her towards him.

“Oi, stop staring at my sister,” said George. “Bill just called for you.”

Harry turned to see Bill’s fox Patronus dissolve into vapor. He felt stupid for missing the message.

“You are to go,” said Ginny with a smile.

Harry felt embarrassed as he could both sense her laughing at him and also enjoying the look he had given her. Climbing into the small tunnel, he glanced at his wife before allowing himself to slide down the hole. His dragon hide cloak protected him from any sharp rocks or snags on the smooth hewed stone while sliding down the tunnel. He slid and turned several different directions. It started to feel as if he had been sliding for miles, when he was deposited on his backside in a puddle of muck.

The heavy moist stench of death and decay filled his nose, and the feeling of dread increased tenfold. He stood up to step aside for Ginny. Small bones crunched under his feet. He looked around and saw evidence of animals’ skeletons scattered across the floor of this large round chamber.

It was only about eight feet high, but it was at least thirty feet across. There were also four tunnels leading away or to the chamber, depending on your perspective. The entire room seemed to have been chipped from one solid piece of stone.

He sensed Ginny about to appear out of the tunnel from the bathroom and reached out to grab her hand and keep her from falling in the same muddy puddle that he had fallen into. He easily pulled her up without her getting dirty.

“Thank you,” she smiled at him and kissed his cheek.

“All right you two,” stated Sirius. He stepped up to the two on them in the light of his illuminated wand. Even though he had been out of Azkaban for almost two years, his face was drawn and his eyes had that hollowed look to them. It was an intimidating look, particularly in a dark and dangerous place such as this.

“If things get sticky down here, you are to leave and leave us to our fates. Everyone needs you two to survive.”

“We are all coming out of this hole, and we are bringing Ron with us,” snapped Ginny.

“Look, I failed Harry’s parents once. I won’t do it again. You will leave. I am serious!” he nearly shouted at Ginny.

“I know you are,” replied Harry cheekily. “That is Remus and that is Bill, we are Harry and Ginny. You told us that when we first met.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] two years earlier[ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry opened his eyes and was surprised to see the room he was in. It was warm, spacious, and elegant. The bed was the softest and warmest he had ever felt. He shifted his weight and felt another person beside him.

The memories of yesterday washed over him. He woke in the extra bedroom at Number Four Privet Drive. He went from there to the house his parents died in where he met with Ginny and Bill, to Gringotts, to this spacious estate that he now owned with his wife.

Harry turned to see her brown eyes looking at him warily. She was holding her left hand in her right. She seemed to be nervous about something. He started to wonder if she was regretting getting bonded to him.

“Good morning,” he said weakly to the beauty that was in his bed. The sight of her made him nervous and choke up.

“Good morning,” she said as much as a question as a response.

He stared at her wanting to ask something but he was afraid of hearing the answer. He almost wanted her to tell him that this all a mistake, but she laid there looking at him with that strange questioning look on her face. He needed to find out if she wanted out of this arrangement. He would understand, but he didn’t think they could have it annulled or whatever one did to break off a soul bond.

He had to ask. “Are you sorry we are bonded, and — and married?”

“No! Are you?” she squeaked out.

“No, no I am not, but I …,” he stopped talking as she kissed him. His mind went to mush with the sudden touch of her lips on his. When it was finished, he still couldn’t form words.

“I was afraid that you regretted being with me,” said Ginny.

“Why would I feel that?” he replied. “You could do so much better than me. You wouldn’t have to worry about that stupid prophecy.”

Her laughter stopped him. She seemed to find his comment amusing. She turned to look at him. “You are a dream come true to me, so don’t ever worry about my intentions. I want to be the best wife ever for you.”

He leaned in and kissed her gently. He smiled as he pulled away and saw the look of happiness on her face.

“What do we do now?” he asked her.

“I vote for breakfast,” she said.

“That sounds brilliant,” he said as he felt his stomach rumble with hunger.

Twenty minutes later, they had showered, dressed, and were walking into the eat-in kitchen. It was empty except for the Head House Elf, Gadget. He was preparing a large silver tray for tea and coffee.

“Good morning Master and Mistress,” the House Elf said without looking at them. “I hope your sleeping arrangements were to your liking?”

Harry felt himself blushing as he thought about sharing a bed with Ginny. He was pleased to see that she also was embarrassed by the question.

“If you do not like the bed, I will change it first thing this morning,” apologized the old House Elf. He looked ashamed that they hadn’t complimented him on the bed.

“The bed is fine, Gadget,” said Ginny. “Do not change anything until we tell you.”

“Yes, Mistress, I didn’t know what you wanted for breakfast so I prepared tea along with the coffee for your guests. What is you having for breakfast?”

“Where are our guests?” asked Harry anxiously. He was eager to see this Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. He was curious what they looked like, and he wanted to ask them questions about his parents.

“Your guests are downstairs planning your education. They have been down there all night. We’s been taking coffee to them all night.”

“Gadget, we will join them downstairs,” said Ginny. “Can you bring us down toast, scrambled eggs, and bacon with our tea?”

“Yes, Mistress, as you wish,” said the old House Elf. His gray hair fell forward over his face hiding his ping pong ball sized gray-eyes.

They went to walk down the service steps to the lower levels of the house. “How many house elves does your family have Ginny?”

She looked at him and laughed. “None, mum uses us to do all her work.”

“I thought all magical families employed House Elves?”

“No, not all magical families own House Elves, and the ones that do don’t employ them they own them.”

Harry stopped and looked at her. “Gadget is my slave?” he asked with horror showing on his face.

“Yes, he is,” she said hesitantly. “Only wealthy wizards can afford to buy them, and then they own them for life.”

“People accept that? No one questions owning another person?”

Ginny reached up and stroked his cheek. “Look, it is only a part of our culture, but you must remember that they are not humans.”

“That is wrong,” he said forcefully.

“Harry, please I am not very good at debating issues like this with you. I am only nine.”

Harry looked at her. She didn’t look nine, maybe nineteen, but never nine. He started to laugh at her comment. “Sorry, I don’t like hearing about people having their freedoms taken away. Let’s find your brother and my parents’ friends.”

Ginny smiled a warm loving smile at him. “I am glad you care about others the way you do.”

They continued to walk down to the next lower level. It was empty, or devoid of people. It was filled with a couple of desks and rows upon rows of shelves filled with food and supplies for the estate. Without even speaking they continued across this room and went to the lowest level of the house. It was where the link to Gringotts bank was located.

Harry could hear Bill talking to two other men. His heart rate sped up in anticipation of what these two men would look like. Would they recognize him as being Harry Potter? He didn’t have long to think about as they descended the steps to the vault area. Bill was sitting at a desk facing the stairwell. He saw Ginny and him descending the stairs and leaned out to look at them.

The two other men had their backs to them so they didn’t notice Harry and Ginny entering the room until Bill waved them over. Harry wanted to stand here. He wasn’t sure what the people would think of him. Ginny kept walking and pulling him with her.

The other two men looked much older than Bill. He wasn’t even sure how old they were, but their hair seemed to be tinged with gray. Both looked nearly sixty year old. He didn’t think his parents looked that old. Had they prematurely aged due to being a werewolf and imprisoned in Azkaban? He was nervous about them blaming him for their misfortunes, but Ginny reassured him that he was not the cause of their problems. It was Voldemort and Peter Pettigrew.

The two men turned to look at them. They were standing up from the chairs they were seated in. The taller one took one look at him and Ginny and nearly fainted.

“James, Lily,” he said weakly as he seemed to fall back down in his chair. He was off balance and it took his friend grabbing his shoulders to keep him from falling.

“Sirius, it is Harry. Look at his eyes, he has Lily’s green eyes,” said the other man.

Harry now knew that the taller of the two was Sirius Black, so the older one with torn and repaired clothes would be Remus Lupin.

“Harry,” Sirius Black started talking slowly as he seemed to regain his composure. “I am sorry, if I mistook you for your father. You look so much like him. So very much like him, except you have your mother’s eyes. James was so happy that you were developing green eyes like your mother.

“Let me introduce myself, I am Sirius Black of the most Ancient and vile House of Black. James befriended me, Remus, and another we won’t mention on our first train ride to Hogwarts. James became my best friend all throughout school. He even made me your godfather.”

“I know, Mr. Black,” said Harry. He was slightly nervous about the way this man was staring at him. Even though he had a drawn face and hollow eyes, his gaze was extremely intense and unnerved Harry. “I viewed a memory from my father. He said that I could trust the two of you. I asked for you two to help me.

“Will you help Bill teach and protect me?”

Sirius dove for him. He moved so quick that Harry clenched his fist to defend Ginny and him. Harry allowed himself to be engulfed in two very strong arms.

“I swore to protect you and your parents,” he whispered in Harry’s ear. “I will die this time before anyone harms you.”

Harry stood there in shock. He didn’t want this man to die for him, but he was afraid to refuse his offer.

“Harry, I am Remus Lupin, and I also will protect you with my life. Your father was the best friend anyone could ever have. I owe him a huge debt. I may not be as dramatic as Sirius is, but I am no less sincere.”

Sirius let go of Harry when Remus stated he was dramatic.

“Dramatic am I,” snapped Sirius.

“Yes, you are definitely over the top, mate,” countered Remus with a smile. “But, you have always been that way.”

Sirius smiled at his friend. The smile made him look so different. Gone was the haunted look that seemed to emanate from him. He now looked happy. He was not hugging Harry anymore, but he still had his hand on Harry’s shoulder. He turned back and stared in Harry’s eyes.

“I may be a bit dramatic, but I will not let any harm come to you as long as I am alive. I couldn’t be there to protect your father and mother. I will be there for you.”

“But…” Harry started to protest, but Sirius cut him off.

“Do not argue with me. This is important to me. You have no idea how much I owe your father. Protecting you will be the only thing that will make my life worthwhile.”

“Why? What did my father do for you?”

Remus and Sirius both smiled with moist eyes.

“Let me tell you about your father, Prongslet,” laughed Sirius.

“Prongslet?” questioned Harry.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Sirius leaned back away from Harry. “You are just as cheeky as your father, you know that, Prongslet.”

“You know I hate that name. It makes me sound like a girl,” protested Harry.

“Yeah, I know,” said Sirius with a smirk.

“Which way do we go?” asked Bill trying to get everyone back on task.

Harry looked at all of the openings. He could feel the icy chill of dark magic from one of the openings more than the others. It would make sense that that was the place where Ron was.

“This way,” Harry said pointing at the one opening.

“All right Remus…,” Sirius started to say.

“We all know the drill Sirius,” snapped Ginny. “Let’s get moving.”

Harry looked at his wife. He could feel her concern for her brother rolling off her like smoke from a fire. One didn’t even need to have a connection through a soul bond to understand that. Remus and Sirius smiled at Harry, as though to say good luck with this one, before walking through the tunnel opening.

The tunnel was short only about ten feet long, and it opened into a massive cavern. Casting his Lumos into the shadows he saw that all the tunnels opened out into this cavern. They walked for a few minutes, when he noticed Ginny was staring at the smooth floor.

“What is wrong?” he asked her.

“What made this path?”

Harry looked more carefully at the path they were walking on. It was worn smooth compared to the rough stones on each side of it. It wasn’t only smooth, but it was slightly depressed, as if whatever made this was round. He suddenly started to wonder how big this basilisk was.

“Merlin’s y-pants,” muttered Remus, as he and Sirius stopped walking. They were shining their wand light at something off to the left side.

Harry looked around them, and didn’t notice anything unusual at first. Then he noticed it. It was a snake skin that looked to be nearly six feet across at least sixty feet long, if not eighty.

“Is that a basilisk skin?” he asked shocked at the sheer size of the beast. Everyone turned and looked at him. “I know it was a stupid question.”

“It doesn’t matter what type of beast. Anything that big can be lethal,” said Bill.

“It had better be a basilisk or our plan won’t work,” stated Remus soberly. “I guess we need to move along and find out what we will be facing.”

They fell into line again with Sirius Black leading the front of the column. Even though the present formation was a routine and used so often before today, they still all moved with a sense of purpose and caution.

This cave seemed to go on forever. Maybe it was the urgency that they all moved, or it was the fact that Harry had expected to be in and out of the cave within minutes. It could take hours to search this cave, if they weren’t on the correct path.

“Harry, we have another door,” said Sirius from up front.

Harry took Ginny’s hand. Holding her hand had always comforted him. Right now he needed it, and it felt like she needed it also. He didn’t know what was bothering her, but it had her afraid.

“What is wrong? Don’t you feel Ron on the other side of the door?”

Ginny looked at him. “I feel two presences on the other side of the door, but one is getting stronger as the other weakens. It is like one is drawing the life from the other.”

“Could it be a Dementor?” asked Bill.

“There is only one way to find out,” stated Sirius. “Harry, open it please.”

Harry stepped up and stared at the door decorated in snakes. The words quickly hissed from his mouth. The ancient door unlocked and swung open with little effort. Sirius flung himself at Harry knocking him to the ground and covering Harry with his body. The entire tunnel was in panic. Harry could hear shouting from around him. Finally, Sirius stated that Harry was going to be fine and stood up.

“Sorry to scare everyone,” said Sirius meekly. “I thought it would have been on the other side of the door.”

“You could have told me to close my eyes,” protested Harry. He had been driven into a dirty spot to the side of the worn path.

“I said I was sorry,” stated Sirius again clearly agitated that everyone was glaring at him. “I am going through the door. Do you girls want to join me?”

“Lead on, mate,” ordered an irritated Remus.

The five of them went through the opening in the proper order: Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, then Harry and Ginny followed by Bill. They entered a large chamber. There was a strange pale green glow at the far end of the chamber. The sides had some type of construction. At the distance Harry couldn’t tell what it was. The place was easily larger than any hall Harry had ever been in. It appeared to be almost the size of a Quidditch Pitch. The only sounds were the constant dripping of water from somewhere in Chamber.

Ginny seemed to stiffen. Harry turned to her and saw her staring wide-eyed at the far end of the chamber.

“Ron is down there, and he is still alive,” she whispered hopefully.

“Let’s go then,” said Harry.

“There is someone else down there. Off to the left side in the shadows,” she whispered to Harry and everyone else.

“Let’s walk slowly down there and find out what is going on,” said Bill.

The group of five walked slowly towards the other side of the chamber. As they walked, Harry became aware that the huge things on each side of the chamber were actually sculptures of huge snakes. He started to worry that they would become animated with a spell. He doubted that anyone in the group would survive an attack by these huge snakes.

As they approached the far end of the chamber, Ron’s prone figure became clearer. He was lying prostrate by a reflecting pool. That was reflecting the statue of Salazar Slytherin. The statue reached from the reflecting pool to roof of the cave some thirty feet above them. The closer they got to Ron, the harder Ginny pulled on Harry’s left hand to get to her brother. When they had finally reached Ron, Ginny dropped on her knees beside him and lifted his head up in an embrace.

“Release whatever spell you have over him,” she ordered the person hiding. “Or I will break it.”

“I am afraid I can’t do that,” said person with a high pitched voice.

Everyone looked and saw a handsome young man stepping out of the shadows of Slytherin’s statue.

“You will find that you cannot break the spell either. You see this boy is the one that initiated the spell, and only he can break it. He won’t do that, because he can’t.” The young man looked at each person with a puzzled expression. “I am at a loss; this chamber was only accessible to the heir of Salazar Slytherin. How were you able to find it?”

“If this chamber was only accessible to the heir of Slytherin, then how did Ron find it? He is a Gryffindor,” asked Sirius.

“Why I told him. I am the true heir of Salazar Slytherin, the greatest of the Hogwarts four,” the young man announced with great pride.

“I thought Voldemort was the only true heir of Slytherin,” countered Sirius.

The young man stared at Sirius with a stare of cold fury. “Who are you to speak the Great Lord Voldemort’s name?”

“I am Sirius Black, and you are not a Lord or great. You are just evil, Tom Riddle.” hissed Sirius.

“I grow tired of your disrespect. It is time to die.” He started to hiss in Parseltongue. Harry could understand the snake language. “Come my pet and feed. Kill the five, but leave the young one for me.”

The hissing echoed throughout the chamber sounding like it was coming from all around. Harry listened as the basilisk answered Tom Riddle. “I come master. I have not killed for so long.”

“It is coming,” shouted Harry.

“Where is it coming from?” asked Bill.

Harry couldn’t tell because of the echo in the chamber. However, when the Slytherin’s statue’s mouth slid open, Harry pointed at it. “There!”

“You three keep the basilisk busy,” ordered Remus. “Whatever you do don’t stare at its eyes. I need to prepare the trap.”

Tom Riddle started to laugh. “You fools cannot stop my pet. It shall kill you and eat you while I watch.”

“You are too cocksure of yourself,” snapped Sirius with a grin.

Harry stood there casting Sensory Charms so he could tell where the Basilisk was. He knew he would not be able to hold off the monster for long. Ginny was still kneeling over Ron cradling his head. He needed to touch her to access her magic. Standing over her he laid his hand on her shoulder. He felt a surge of magical energy course through him. Bill smiled at him, while Tom Riddle stared at him confused.

Remus pulled a sack from his magical pocket in his trousers. It was lumpy and was moving. He had brought some type of an animal to fight the great beast of a basilisk. The ground in the chamber shook as the basilisk flopped into the reflecting pool. Harry could feel it moving at him and Ginny at incredible speed. With a flick of his wrist he sent a Blasting Charm at it, and hoped his aim was good.

An explosion and loud a hiss followed by the sounds of the monster colliding with stone indicated that he was accurate.

“Good shot Harry,” shouted Bill. “Are you two ready to kill that thing?”

Remus reached into the sack and pulled out a chicken with a blindfold covering its head. “We are now.”

“A chicken!” exclaimed Bill. “You are going to kill that thing with a chicken?”

Bill fired a blasting curse at the basilisk. It was now weary of being cursed and avoided the curse. Harry started firing off curses as fast as he could to keep the giant snake from clamping its massive jaws on them. They wore dragon hide cloaks so that the basilisk couldn’t bite through them, but this beast is so large the power of its jaws would crush them regardless if the fangs penetrated their flesh.

“It isn’t a chicken mate,” said Sirius. “It is a rooster and time to say good morning.”

With a flourish, he pulled the blindfold off the rooster and flashed a beam of bright light from his wand. The bird fluffed its feathers for a second before it let out a loud cackling crow that echoed off the walls of the chamber.

At the exact same time, the giant snake let out a sound that was a mix of a hiss and a scream. It then flopped down dead with a loud crash that shook the entire chamber.

“You may have killed my pet. Once I have completely regenerated, I will kill you all,” Voldemort shouted.

“You may actually be that powerful,” said Bill casually. He walked over and picked up the diary lying on the stone floor. Bill waved his wand at the diary as it glowed green. He nodded to the other members of the group, indicating his suspicions were correct. He pointed his wand back behind him towards the dead basilisk. With a flick of his wand, a large cloth shot out of his wand and floated down over the head of the giant snake.

“I am not sure if their eyes will still kill after they are dead, but I didn’t want to take the chance,” said Bill calmly, as he walked towards the snake. Bill walked up to the mouth of the snake. The snake was so large that its jaws were almost as high as Bill’s shoulder. The mouth was slightly opened and was partially exposed near the tip of the snout. Bill’s accuracy with the cloth was amazing without looking in the direction of his spell. He placed the book in the mouth of the basilisk.

“No don’t do that,” screamed Voldemort as he ran towards Bill.

“Good bye Tom,” said Bill.

He waved his wand and a large stone appeared above the basilisk’s jaw. It fell down onto the jaw and slammed the mouth shut. The seven inch fangs of the snake pierced the diary through in two places. The venom from the teeth seemed to burn the book as a black fluid that resembled ink flowed out of it.

Voldemort’s piercing scream echoed off the chambers walls and ceiling. His body seemed to be burning as it turned to red hot ash and floated away. Soon all was silent and the young Voldemort was gone.

Ginny had been holding onto Ron trying to keep Voldemort from consuming his soul too quickly. Ron suddenly woke up and looked up at her with a shocked expression on her face. “What, where, who are you” he shouted.

Ginny released her hold on him and leaned back. “Hi, Ron, I am glad you are all right,” her voice wavered with emotion. “I am Ginny, your sister.”

Ron stared at her. He looked at her up and down. “No way are you Ginny,” he protested. “She is only eleven.”

Bill stepped forward now. “Hey little brother, you remember me…,”

“Bill,” Ron nearly shouted. “If you are here,” he looked at Ginny again. “Are you actually Ginny?”

“Yes, Ron, I am. I have changed since you last saw me.”

Ron sat up a little and stared at Harry, then Sirius and Remus. His eyes shifted to something behind Harry. “Is that- that..,”

“Yes, Ron that is my husband, Harry Potter,” said Ginny.

“What,” said Ron? “Yeah that is him isn’t it but where did that ruddy chicken come from?”

Harry turned to see the rooster standing on top of the huge snake. It pecked at its tough scales before letting out a loud crow, as if it was celebrating its defeat of this huge monster.

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Chapter 5: Eye to Eye

Author's Notes: Harry faces off with Albus Dumbledore.
I would like to thank Seekers_Destiny for Betaing this chapter.

Harry stood at the side of the room with Ginny by his side, as Ron Weasley described how he came upon Voldemort’s diary. It sounded innocent enough, but would anyone outside this room believe him. He had found it with his school things. It didn’t seem out of place since most everything he had was used. He didn’t even intend to use it as a diary. He was going to use it as a lesson planner. His friend Hermione Granger had suggested that he purchase one to help him get organized.

Harry smiled as Ron launched into an explanation of how wonderful Hermione was for helping him with his school work last year. When Fred and George sniggered, he glared at them.

“She is the reason why almost all the Gryffindors tested out as high as we did,” he said in defense of his admiration for Hermione.

“Yes, as a former Gryffindor myself, I was quite proud of the first years test results last year,” stated Albus Dumbledore. “What I am curious is how this book came to be amongst your school supplies.”

“I didn’t purchase it,” said Mrs. Weasley defensively.

“Then how did it…”

“Lucius,” stated Mr. Weasley. “It had to be Lucius Malfoy.” His face became pink at the statement.

“He might have access to Voldemort’s possessions, but why do you seem so certain that he placed it with Ronald’s school supplies, Arthur?”

“Because my husband had a Muggle duel with Lucius in the middle of Flourish and Blotts; they knocked over several display cases and managed to spill all of the children’s school supplies in the process,” said Mrs. Weasley icily. She cast a sideways glance at the twins who were trying not to laugh out loud.

“He may be the wealthiest wizard in England, but I won’t stand for him to publically berate my family and their friends,” countered Mr. Weasley.

“Thank you Arthur,” stated Albus Dumbledore. “I think I have heard enough. Why don’t you take Ron up to the infirmary so Madam Pomfrey can attend to him?”

“I am fine,” protested Ron.

“Now Ronald, I agree with the Headmaster,” said Mrs. Weasley as though she was talking to a five year old.

“Oh bother, I’ll go,” Ron huffed out as he stood up.

“I would like a chance to talk to Harry,” stated Albus Dumbledore. “Alone.”

Harry hesitated at the last comment. He looked over at Sirius, Remus, and Bill. He was concerned about being alone with the Headmaster.

“Remus and I will go visit an old friend,” said Sirius with a roguish smile.

Ginny kissed him on the cheek before leaving with the rest of her family. Sirius and Remus both walked past him and grabbed his shoulder in a show of confidence. Harry knew they had been preparing him for this moment and it was time for him to find out if he was ready.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] Second week of training nearly two years earlier [ ][ ][ ][ ]

“That’s good Harry. Keep that feather at that exact height while we talk,” said Remus. “Do you know why we are doing this?”

Harry and Ginny had mastered the Levitation Charm the second day of training. Ever since, they were expected to hold the feather up without actually staring at it. They were told this was a way of developing discipline and concentration.

“This helps develop our focus and control over our magic,” he responded to Remus. He even looked away from the feather and at Remus who was seated to his right.

“Yes, it does, but there is more. Or I might say another step to this process,” said Sirius. He was sitting watching Ginny and her feather. “Have you ever heard of Occlumency?”

“Ocu- what?” asked Harry.

“What is that?” asked Ginny.

“Feathers, both of you,” admonished Remus. Their feathers had dipped almost to the table, as they had tried to remember hearing of Occlumency before.

“Occlumency is the art of shielding your mind from being invaded by another,” stated Sirius. “Voldemort is proficient at invading peoples’ minds and has used it to extract information out of people before.”

“He read their mind?” asked Harry. He broke his concentration while thinking about Voldemort being able to read his mind. No secret would be safe with him. No one would be safe if Voldemort could do that.

“You're right, Prongslet,” confirmed Sirius. “Albus Dumbledore can also perform Legilimancy. He performed it on your father. Harry your feather.”

Harry glanced over at the feather and had to refocus to make it float 12 inches above the table top. “When did he do that?”

“When your father told Dumbledore that they were changing the Secret Keeper, he didn’t tell Albus who it would be. The Headmaster extracted it from his thoughts.”

Harry noticed a flash of fire beside him as his anger came close to boiling over at Sirius’ comment about Albus Dumbledore. He turned to see Ginny’s feather smoldering and soot all over her face.

“I was sure Harry would be the one to explode over that information,” Sirius teased Ginny.

“It was him, I felt his magic move through me and incinerate the feather,” protested Ginny.

Bill, Remus, and Sirius all leaned forward to look at them.

“Has this happened before?” Bill asked.

“Not to this extreme, but yes it has,” answered Ginny.

“Cool,” shouted Sirius. “We teach one of them one subject the other one another and let them assimilate information at night,” he said while wiggling his eyebrows.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ] present day [ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry walked towards the desk that Albus Dumbledore sat behind. He was trying to calm his heart rate and focus his mind. He only wanted certain information available in his thoughts. He had learned that it was much easier to let someone see a little of your thoughts as opposed to block them out completely. Sitting down, he refused to raise his eyes; until he was sure he had everything compartmentalized.

“You can look at me Harry. I won’t bite,” said Dumbledore jovially. “I must say I was quite surprised and pleased that you were able to find the chamber in time to save Ron.”

“We work well as a team, sir,” said Harry. He was looking at the various pieces of parchment and the diary on the desk.

“Yes, you do,” agreed Albus Dumbledore, as he leaned back in his chair. “You never explained how you were able to get here so soon. I was under the impression that you were out of the county.”

“We were. Gringotts sent us the letter, by their own express system. We received it within two hours of you sending the owl.”

“How did you get the international Portkey made in such a short time period?”

“Does it matter?” replied Harry, irritated with this obsession with how they arrived at the gate. “Ron is fine and Voldemort has been stopped from forming his body again.”

“Yes, yes, I suppose that is the most important thing,” Albus Dumbledore said as he shifted in the chair and stared at Harry. “However pleased I am at you saving Ron, I am concerned about the education that you and Mrs. Potter are receiving.”

“We are doing quite well actually,” Harry said with pride.

“I would like to be sure that it is up to the standards set by the Ministry’s Board of Governors. Would you mind sitting end of year tests?”

“We have been discussing that over the last month and would like to take our OWLs,”

“OWLs ? Oh no Harry, those are fifth year level,” chuckled Albus Dumbledore.

“We are set to finish the fifth year’s entire curriculum this week.”

“That is incredible. I would like to talk to Bill before you take those tests.” Albus Dumbledore wrote something on a piece of parchment, before he looked up at Harry and continued talking. “Do you think the bond has helped you learn faster?”

Harry had relaxed in his presence, but he still felt the slight pressure of Legilimency in his mind. He quickly set up his compartments of thought before thinking about anything related to the question.

“I think the bond forcing us into physical adulthood has helped. We had too much magic for our young bodies to hold. I heard that when a wizard becomes an adult, their magic seems to increase also.”

“Yes, that is true, but is that the only reason why you are doing so well?”

Harry smiled at the Headmaster. He wanted Harry to think about other aspects of their soul bond. It would take more than that little trick to get over on Harry.

“Bill, Sirius, and Remus are excellent teachers. We also study and practice nearly twelve hours a day, sometimes even longer,” replied Harry. “Let’s wait until we get the OWLS results before we celebrate Ginny’s and my academic accomplishments.”

“Ah true, Harry,” laughed Albus Dumbledore. His eyes sparkled as he stared at Harry. “Even beyond your academics, there are things that you will need my help with.”

“Yes, I know,” Harry replied. His stomach was clenching up in a knot. He was getting ready to defy one of the most important wizards in the world.

“I am still not sure if I can trust you telling me the entire truth. It seems that you make a habit of telling people only what you want them to hear. We work as a team and share our thoughts and ideas with each other. Would you be able to do that?”

Albus Dumbledore sat up a bit straighter and his face hardened at Harry’s comment. “I can assure you that whatever I did was for the greater good,” he told Harry. His countenance seemed to change with the last statement, as if it haunted his memories. “I never intended to harm anyone.”

“I understand that, sir, but as far as trust and working together with others, can you do that? If you can’t then I shall keep my distance from you. I will still ask questions, and hope that you give me the information that we need.”

The room seemed to have become noticeably colder.

“I do not feel I have done anything but protect you the best I could,” said the Headmaster defiantly.

“But, was it the best for me? You wanted to keep me separated from Ginny after we had bonded. You also kept me from my grandparents after my parents were murdered. They could have protected me. We are using their protections and no one seems to be able to reach me, and I am not being berated and physically abused on a routine basis…,”

“Harry, I didn’t know. As I told you, I only placed you there because of your mother’s blood sacrifice. That protection would have extended beyond your Aunt’s home. It made it that Voldemort would not be able to harm you until you became an adult. Your bonding broke that enchantment. The reason I wanted to break your bond with Miss Weasley was to reinstate the protection that you mother had died to give you.”

Harry felt offended that he would make it appear that Harry was disrespecting his mother’s death by bonding with Ginny. He was quite sure that his mum would approve of Ginny and be happy he found someone to love.

“Do you think my mother would be happy that I was being called a freak and beaten so she can be honored?”

Albus Dumbledore again looked slightly embarrassed at Harry’s question.

“If you want me to trust your judgment then I will need to trust you. Trying to perform Legilimency on me while we are talking is not a way to make a person trust you. The next thing that you can do is tell me how many Horcruxes you think Voldemort made beside this diary.”

Albus Dumbledore’s eyebrows knitted up on his brow as he stared at Harry. It was obvious to Harry that he thought his attempt at invading Harry’s mind was so subtle that it would be unnoticed. He also seemed a bit shocked that Harry knew the diary was a Horcrux.

“Bill tested it in the chamber before destroying it. It was most definitely a Horcrux. Either Lucius Malfoy didn’t realize it was a Horcrux and handed it out or there were others made to keep Voldemort from dying. What are your theories on that, Mr. Dumbledore?”

Albus Dumbledore was quiet for several seconds, but it seemed like hours as he stared at the diary.

“I only kept things from you and controlled your life, because I wanted you to have normal childhood,” he said apologetically with his eyes downcast on the diary.

“My childhood was destroyed anyway. Voldemort made sure of that,” said Harry firmly.

The door to the office flung open and a tall man with black robes and long white-blonde hair strode defiantly in. There was wretched looking House Elf clinging to his left boot trying to polish it as he walked.

“I thought I had told you that you have been removed as the Headmaster of Hogwarts, Dumbledore,” hissed the man.

Harry immediately disliked this man. He might have issues with Albus, but he still respected the man. This new person showed him only contempt.

“Ah, Lucius, I thought you would have heard the rest of the Governors had requested that I return when Ron Weasley was captured and taken into the Chamber of Secrets. It seems their desire to save him overrode the fear they had of you,” said Dumbledore coolly.

Lucius showed a touch of a smile for second, before responding. “Weasley you said; one of Arthur’s brood? It would be so terrible to have fewer Weasleys in this world.”

Harry had to control his anger. Even Uncle Vernon never made Harry as angry as what this pompous arse just did. He didn’t even care that Ron might have died. He quickly made the connection. This must be Lucius Malfoy, the person who slipped Ron the diary.

As Lucius talked, the house Elf was trying to get him presentable. While the House Elf was standing on Lucius’ shoulders straightening his hair, it looked down at the desk and saw the diary. The House Elf recognized it and started shaking with fear so violently that it fell off Lucius’ shoulder.

“Stupid creature,” shouted Lucius. He swung his heavy walking stick back and it collided with the side of the House Elf’s head. The House Elf collapsed on the floor behind Lucius. The git kept his eyes focused on Albus Dumbledore. “Well did you?” he asked with contempt.

“Did I what Lucius?”

“Did you save that Weasley?”

“Ron Weasley is safe and being examined by Madam Pomfrey as we speak. Slytherins’s monster has been destroyed.”

Lucius Malfoy seemed to be surprised by the last announcement. He stared at Albus Dumbledore in amazement. Harry could feel someone staring at him. He looked down at Malfoy’s House Elf. He was staring at Harry with tennis ball sized green eyes.

“I didn’t do it,” stated Albus Dumbledore. He looked at Harry.

“I did,” stated Harry. He hoped Albus Dumbledore wouldn’t announce who he was.

“Who might you be?” Lucius sneered down his nose at Harry.

“That’s Harry Potter, master,” squeaked the House Elf.

“Bond, James Bond,” Harry said trying not to laugh. It was something that he had done at times to determine if one was magical or Muggle. Muggles would react to the name and most would laugh. Magical people would accept the name without any reaction.

“Silence Dobby,” shouted Lucius. He swung his cane at Dobby again. The little creature was once again bludgeoned in the face.

“He couldn’t be Harry Potter. Potter is the same age as my son,” stated Lucius. “James Bond is that a Muggle name?”

“Yes, it is,” replied Harry cheerily. He wanted to hit Lucius Malfoy with every Curse he knew, and then beat him with his own cane. It wasn’t just because he was cruel to his House Elf, but he also tried to kill innocent students and possess Ginny’s brother.

“Very well, I see everything is in order here. I shall be leaving,” Lucius stated.

He turned on his heels and walked out the door. He was able to kick his House Elf once on his way out.

Harry stood up. He needed to do something. A plan quickly formed in his mind. He looked at the diary on the desk. “I need to borrow that,” he said before grabbing it off the desk.

He kicked off one of his boots and removed his sock. He folded the sock and with a mild Shrinking Charm was able to place it in the book so it couldn’t be seen as long as the book remained closed.

After putting his boot back on, he ran after Malfoy. He eventually caught up with him.

“Mr. Malfoy, you forgot something,” shouted Harry.

Lucius Malfoy stopped walking and turned to look at Harry. “I did?”

Harry ran up to him and shoved the book into his hands.

“You forgot Voldemort’s diary,” he said as he stepped back so Lucius couldn’t hand it to him. “After all you did place it with Ron Weasley’s school supplies.”

“I never saw this before,” Lucius protested.

“Your House Elf recognized it, so I say you also have seen it.”

Lucius sneered at Harry. “Why don’t you prove it, Mr. Bond?” He glared at the House Elf and slapped him across the face with the diary knocking him over and dropped it on the House Elf’s chest. Lucius turned and walked away from Harry. Dobby stood up to follow, while carrying the diary.

“Dobby, open the diary,” said Harry.

“Don’t address my servant,” ordered Lucius.

Dobby had frozen in his tracks. He looked at Harry like he had grown another head. Harry made a motion with his hands like someone opening a book. Dobby looked between Harry and his cruel master, with trembling fingers he opened the diary.

The House Elf stared at the book for a second before grabbing the sock out of it and screaming. “I is free!”

“You,” hissed Lucius, as he went to pull his wand.

Harry was faster. He had his wand pointed at Lucius’ face. “Go ahead; I will curse you to bits.”

Lucius stopped trying to pull his wand. He stepped back and stared at Harry’s wand and then at Harry’s face. “You have no idea who you are dealing with. You stupid fool.”

“I know you are a cruel and sadistic arse,” responded Harry.

“I am not through with you, Mr. Bond,” growled Lucius as he turned and walked away.

Harry watched Lucius Malfoy walk away. He had to try to calm himself down. Dobby, the exuberant House Elf gazed lovingly up at him with tear filled eyes. Replacing his wand, he smiled. “Everyone can come out now, it is all over.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ginny left Harry to meet with Professor Dumbledore and walked with her family to the infirmary. She was concerned for Harry. He wasn’t as adept at Occlumency as he was at other forms of magic. She tried to keep their connection open so she could sense what was happening. She was concentrating on Harry’s mental state so intently that she wasn’t paying attention to the people around her.

“Are you going to talk to us?” asked Fred.

Ginny was snapped out of her thoughts by the question. Fred and George were staring at her.

“Sorry, I was…,” she stopped to think what she could say. She didn’t want to tell them that she had a mental connection with Harry. “…deep in thought.”

“Yeah, we could tell,” said Fred,

“What do you think Professor Dumbledore wants to talk to Harry about?” asked George bluntly.

She chuckled at this brass. He would just come right out and ask a question most would try to talk around the subject before finally asking her.

“They are probably sharing recipes and debating whether Pumpkin juice or Butterbeer is better,” she cheekily replied to them.

The twins stopped and together they hugged her.

“It’s good to have you back Gin-Gin,” they said in perfect unison.

“How do you two do that?”

“Do what hug you?” asked George.

“You open your arms like this,” said Fred.

“And you close them around the person you want to hug,” said George as the twins hugged each other.

All the Weasley’s, including their mother, laughed at the twins’ antics. It was good to hear them all laughing again. It had seemed like a lifetime since Ginny had heard her family laugh as a group. They had reached the doors of the infirmary to find Madam Pomfrey standing there waiting for them.

“Let’s get you in and examine you, Mr. Weasley,” ordered the school nurse.

“I am fine,” whined Ron.

“I highly doubt it after all you have been through,” huffed Madam Pomfrey.

“Ronald, you do what Poppy tells you,” ordered their mum.

Ron mumbled under his breath as he walked towards a bed that the nurse had set aside for him. After Ron reached it, Madam Pomfrey stood and stared at everyone with crossed arms, as though she was challenge anyone to defy her. She allowed Ginny’s Mum to be beside Ron, as she set up a screen to block them from view.

Ginny stood there waiting to hear what was wrong with Ron. She tried to connect with Harry, while she waited for Ron to be examined. She could locate him, but she couldn’t make the connection. He must be using Occlumency on Professor Dumbledore. Not being able to connect with his feelings and emotions left her feeling a little isolated, but she wasn’t concerned, because she knew he would be doing that against the Headmaster.

“I say two days,” stated George.

“No, just overnight,” replied Fred.

“What are the two of you talking about now?” demanded Percy.

“We are betting on how many nights Ron will have to stay here. You know how Madam Pomfrey likes to keep people for days for only having a hangnail,” said George.

“Ron looks good, so I say overnight,” replied Fred.

“She always finds something. He probably is weak from not eating for five hours. I still say two days,” countered George. “Ginny, what do you think?”

“Ron is in good shape, so I guess overnight.”

“That’s my bet, you need to take another time,” demanded Fred.

“Alright then, I say he won’t stay at all.”

Fred and George laughed at her bet.

“We can eliminate her from the competition,” they said together.

“If Ginny says there is nothing wrong with him, then I agree,” said Bill. “You won’t let me pick the same time, so I will say twelve hours.”

“But twelve hours could be the same as overnight,” countered Fred.

“No it isn’t,” replied Bill. “In twelve hours it will be midnight. For Ron to stay overnight, he must wake up here tomorrow morning at or after dawn.”

“All right then, twelve hours it is,” agreed Fred.

Ginny looked around the infirmary. It was rather bleak looking with old metal beds. Even though it wasn’t fancy, it still looked clean and well maintained. There were several beds filled but the occupants were not moving. They may be the ones that have been petrified, because she couldn’t feel anything from them.

Ron’s voice from the other side of the screen caught Ginny’s attention. “I told you that I was fine.”

“Even though I didn’t find anything wrong with you, I still want you to stay here a while longer. If you are still fine tonight you can return to your room,” ordered Madam Pomfrey.

“With what you went through, you should be weak physically and magically,” she said almost as a question.

Ginny smiled at her comment. After she and Harry had bonded, they both developed different magical abilities. Harry was able to feel the presence of magic and manipulate it without a wand. She developed into an empath with the ability to heal without using spells.

When they were in the chamber, she could feel and actually see Ron’s magic and life being sucked out of him. It scared her terribly to know that her brother was being drained by someone else. It took powerful dark magic to do that, but it was by Lord Voldemort, thus logical.

Even now she can feel everyone in the room. Madam Pomfrey was confused why Ron wasn’t in worse shape. Her mother was worried about Ron and angry that this happened to him. Percy seemed to be agitated about something; he was probably irritated that rules had been broken. Her father was nervous about something, but knowing his son had been possessed by Voldemort would do that. Fred and George were both extremely curious, but she wasn’t sure about what. Her power didn’t allow her to intrude into someone thoughts, but she could understand there emotional state by their physical state.

The only person that she could read their thoughts was Harry. They both could sense when the other was feeling strong emotions, but Harry’s ability wasn’t as well defined as hers. She liked the arrangement where she could tell what he was thinking, but he only knew her emotional state. It kept her a bit of a mystery to him, and she liked that.

“Ginny, we were wondering if we could talk to you alone, before you disappear again?” asked Fred.

“Sure, it isn’t like I am planning on being completely out of touch. You can always owl me.”

George laughed at her. “No, dear sister you haven’t been out of touch. We can owl you but we have no idea where you are living, and no one, including the Ministry, can locate you. Dad tried for six months, but even the Auror department and International Cooperation department came up blank.”

“Sorry about that,” she replied unapologetically. “What do....”

Ginny had a surge of anger wash over her. She knew it wasn’t her emotions, but Harry’s. She couldn’t decipher anything else from him except her was very angry at someone and had let his Occlumency wards drop.

“Blimey, sis, you don’t need to get so angry at us,” exclaimed Fred and George.

“What,” said Ginny? She forgot that she was in the infirmary with her family. She was so focused on Harry. “I need to leave.”

“What is going on with Harry?” asked Bill.

“He’s angry,” she said over her shoulder as she ran out of the infirmary. She could hear her mother and father calling to her, but she wasn’t concerned about them right now. There were others running with her through the halls. She knew Bill would follow her, but she wasn’t sure who else would. The castle was so confusing to her, and when she reached where the hallway met a stairwell, she was confused. She was sure that they came down the hallway, but she could feel Harry down the stairwell.

“Ginny, wait! We can help,” shouted the twins at her.

She stood there staring at the stairwell and the hallway. “Isn’t Dumbledore’s office that way?” she asked pointing up the hallway.

“Yes, why do you ask?” questioned Bill.

“Because I feel that Harry is down there,” she said indicating the stairwell.

“We can find him,” the twins said in unison.

They pulled out a blank sheet of parchment. Fred pulled his wand, but someone reached out with their wand and touched the parchment.

“I solemnly swear that I am up to no good,” said Remus Lupin.

Sirius and Remus had appeared out of seemingly nowhere. They both smiled at Fred and George.

“I wondered how you were able to see Ron at the sink and not know where he went. Moony told me you reacted to my Marauders comment,” said Sirius.

Fred and George looked star struck at Remus and Sirius. “Who are you?”

“Padfoot, Prongs was Harry’s dad, and Wormtail…,” Sirius went from happy to looking angry in a flash. “…we don’t discuss the bloody traitor.”

“That’s all well and good, but where is Harry?” shouted Ginny.

“Sorry,” said Remus. “He is there and he seems to be…,” Remus looked at Sirius. “We need to get to him before he does something stupid.”

“Who? Who is he following?” shouted Ginny. Harry anger was getting the best of her and when she mixed in her impatience at everyone around her.

“Lucius Malfoy,” Remus, Sirius and the twins said in unison.

They took off running down the stairs. Ginny was in the middle of the group. They ran down two set of stairs before the third moved just before they stepped on it. Fred ran to the left down the hall. He suddenly stopped and lifted a tapestry. George led the way into the secret passage hidden behind the tapestry. They ran down the hidden stairs and emerged into another hall. Ginny was completely lost. Even Bill seemed a bit confused, but the other four seemed to know where they were going.

Suddenly Harry’s emotional state changed. He seemed to be calmer and more confident. “Wait, something has changed,” she said to them.

George looked at the map. “If we drop down another secret passage we will come out right beside them.”

“What are they doing?” she asked.

“Standing, not moving,” George replied.

“Harry has a plan. Let him complete it,” she ordered everyone.

They went behind another tapestry and started down the stairs. Sirius was in the lead and he stopped and was listening to what was going on in the hallway. Ginny nudged her way through everyone to be beside Sirius. She could hear the conversations on the other side of the tapestry.

“I is free!” shouted a House Elf.

“You,” hissed Lucius.

“Go ahead; I will curse you to bits.” Harry said.

Ginny could feel he was confident. Sirius stirred beside her, but she paced a hand on his arm to halt him.

“You have no idea who you are dealing with. You stupid fool,” shouted Lucius.

“I know you are a cruel and sadistic arse,” responded Harry.

“I am not through with you, Mr. Bond,” growled Lucius.

Ginny could hear Lucius Malfoy walk away. She smiled at Harry taking away the git’s House Elf. She looked over at Sirius. He was beaming with pride at Harry’s stunt.

“Everyone can come out now, it is all over,” Harry said.

Ginny burst through the tapestry it took her two steps to reach Harry and wrapped her arms around him. “You had me so worried.”

“Prongslet that was brilliant,” said Sirius. “However, if you plan on antagonizing the likes of Lucius Malfoy, we are going to have to step up your dueling classes.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Lucius Malfoy walked through the doors of the magical creature department in the Ministry. He was irritated that some Muggle had tricked him out of a House Elf. It was a lousy worthless House Elf, and he could afford to replace it. It was that he was tricked by a Muggle born wizard. He was pureblood and superior by his bloodlines.

He looked at the secretary. “I want to speak to Macnair,” he demanded of the secretary.

“He is in his office, Mr. Malfoy,” she replied meekly.

Lucius walked past her without another glance at her. Macnair had told him that she was a Muggle born. She should have never been hired to that position. He quickly found Macnair’s office and walked in.

“Macnair, I need another House Elf,” stated Lucius.

The former Death Eater and associate of Lucius looked at him. “Another House Elf, Lucius, are you trying to have more than Hogwarts?”

“Never mind why I want another House Elf. I also want you to do something for me,” stated Lucius as he pulled out a small bag of gold and placed it on Macnair’s desk.

Macnair opened the bag and smiled at its contents. “I take it this isn’t Ministry business.”

“I need you to find out who James Bond is and where he can be found.”

“Bond, you say. Is that a Muggle name?”

“Yes, he is a wizard that needs to be taught his place in our world.” Lucius emphasized “our world.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Lucius Malfoy Apparated outside of his estate. He could have used the Floo, but he enjoyed surveying everything his blood purity had brought him. The estate had a sprawling manicured garden maintained by four House Elves. He employed three to cook and maintain the manor house and he, Narcissa and Draco each had a servant.

He smiled as he walked across the garden to the large front door. Opening it, he stepped inside. When Frac the House Elf that was responsible for the house didn’t appear, he frowned.

“Frac,” called Lucius. The servant still didn’t appear.

“Lucius, is that you,” called Narcissa from the sitting room.

“Yes, where is that useless Elf, Frac,” shouted Lucius.

“I don’t know, but the fires are burning low. When you find him, make sure he attends to the fires,” shouted Narcissa.

“I am going to my den. I don’t want disturbed,” shouted Lucius back to his wife.

If she responded, he didn’t hear her. He stepped into his den and closed and magically locked the door. He noticed that his fireplace was cold. With the mood he was in, he might have to get another House Elf when he found Frac. He walked towards his liquor cabinet and shot a spell at the fireplace. He poured himself a firewhiskey and gulped down a large swallow. He needed something to calm his nerves.

Feeling the burn of the Firewhiskey, he turned to see the fireplace hadn’t ignited with his spell. He walked over to see what was wrong. The wood was missing from the hearth. Levitating some of the wood, he placed it on the grate. He went to flick his wand to start the fire, but something erupted from the fireplace and grabbed his arm.

A huge snake poured out of the fireplace. Its jaws were clamped around his wrist. The pressure and pain from the long fangs piercing through his wrist made him drop his wand. He was now helpless to stop the snake from crushing him to death as it flowed from the fireplace flue and wrapped itself around him.

The breath had been pushed from him by the snake’s strong coils. He felt a couple of his ribs snap from the pressure. He opened his mouth but no sound came out. He was going to die in his den crushed to death by a snake, the symbol of his house.

The snake released his wrist and moved to stare at him. Lucius stared at its yellow slit eyes. Then something strange happened, it must have been a hallucination from dying. The snakes face started to shift and its eyes became scarlet.

“Where is my diary, Lucius?” the voice of his dead master sounded in his head.

Lucius tried to focus through his clouded vision. He felt someone in his mind sorting through his thoughts. He could see the scene from Dumbledore’s office when he saw the destroyed diary on the desk.

“You fool,” hissed the voice in his head.

The snake constricted around him again breaking a few more ribs.

“You were sworn to serve me. You will serve me again or I will kill your precious family,” hissed the voice in his head.

The snake released him. The rush of air returning to his lungs caused him to cough. It was a rough and hacking cough. He looked over and saw the snake. Its head was not the head of a snake, but of a man. It looked similar to the Dark Lord’s.

“I need a body,” hissed the snake. “I have spent far too long in this form. I shall return to my former glory. You shall do my bidding and assist me in getting my body back. When I searched for immortality, I never imagined it would be as something slightly more than a ghost. I have finally learned what I must do to return. I cannot remain in this creature much longer before I destroy it, then I will be forced to find another host. You wanted to be a Death Eater to keep all your money and prestige away from the Muggles. It is time you paid your dues for that protection.”

“Who are you?” asked Lucius.

The snake reared up so it towered over Lucius. The misshapen head glared down at him with scarlet eyes. “I am your master. I am Lord Voldemort. You will do my bidding or I will use you and your precious family as my next hosts.”

Back to index

Chapter 6: Family Time

Author's Notes: Harry and Ginny try to reconnect with her parents and Dumbledore.
I apologize for taking so long with this chapter. I had so many ideas how it should progress and none of them seemed to work well together. I would like to thank my Beta, Leif for his help and quick work.

The hazy morning light shone through the windows of the ramshackle house by the village of Ottery St. Catchpole revealing a short plump redheaded woman rushing about her house cleaning. She donned a well-worn dressing robe as she cast Cleaning Charms. Dust was disappearing out of corners of the rooms and furniture was fluffing itself with each wave of her wand. She would occasionally return to the kitchen to attend to the breakfast that she was preparing for her husband.

Molly Weasley was nervous about today: Ginny was coming home. It had been almost two years since she disappeared from the kitchen with her brother Bill.

Molly stopped everything that she was doing and stared at the exact spot that her daughter had disappeared. Their house was Warded to prevent people from Apparating in and out of it, but somehow she had and took her brother Bill along too. It was an incredible display of magic for a fully qualified witch. Ginny had only been ten at the time, which made it impossible to believe.

The anguish that she felt seeing her youngest disappear in front of her resurfaced. She had never felt such anger before. With each passing day, after learning that she had run off with Harry Potter and Bill, her anger and resentment grew towards the boy that everyone else considered a hero. None of them had their ten-year old daughter stolen from them by him.

Molly could feel her emotions towards Harry Potter swirl out of control, so she went back to work cleaning the house. She checked on the eggs and bacon for Arthur. They were done, but Arthur wouldn’t be ready to eat for another hour. She cast a Charm on them to keep them warm, before returning to cleaning the sitting room.

Everyone had always thought it had been Arthur that wanted a little girl. He did want a girl but not as much as she. She wanted to be there for her as Ginny went through her teenage years. She could offer her advice and comfort as she dealt with teenage crushes and heartaches.

Molly loved her boys, but there was something special about a little girl. Ginny wasn’t a girl anymore either. She was a full grown woman, married, and she was actually only eleven years old. She had been around magic all her life and she still thought it strange what happened to her daughter. Magic shouldn’t be able to make one grow overnight, but her Ginny did.

Molly hoped that she and Ginny would have a year together without the interference of the boys. Molly could never spend as much time with her daughter as she had wanted. There were always the boys there to attend to and discipline. She even worried what type of girl Ginny would become. She collected bruises and scabs on her knees like other girls collected dolls and stuffed animals.

Reaching out, Molly opened the door to Ginny’s bedroom. She didn’t even remember walking up the stairs. The room remained the same since the day she left. It took Molly almost a month before she could go back in there.

She waited until the boys had left for Hogwarts. Then she sat down on Ginny’s unmade bed and cried for most of the day and several days after. Arthur would even find her in here lying on the bed clutching the threadbare quilt that Ginny used when he came home from work.

The bedroom was now cleaned every week like the rest of the bedrooms in their house. Even though no one had used it since that day, Molly looked at the thin layer of dust on the chest of drawers and the odd shaped desk that Arthur had built for his girl. Taking out her wand, she quickly Charmed the dust away. She went over to the already made bed fluffed the pillow and tucked the covering back in place.

“If you plan on Ginny staying overnight, you will probably need to expand the bed,” said Arthur from the doorway.

She glared at him before responding. “You seem rather comfortable with the fact that our eleven year old daughter is sharing a bed with a boy.”

“You know I wasn’t…, Molly,” replied Arthur. “…until I saw them together. They love each other and he shows respect for her.”

“He is always touching her,” she snapped at him. It bothered her that Harry was always holding her hand or placing an arm around her shoulders. It seemed as if they couldn’t be in the same room together without him touching her.

“She initiates the contact too. Would it be so upsetting if Charlie or Bill was treating a girl that way?”

“Like that would ever happen,” snorted Molly. Her two oldest boys didn’t seem to have any interest in one girl. They are both older than when Arthur and she married, and yet they seemed to want to remain bachelors for the rest of their lives.

Arthur had crossed the room and placed his hands on her shoulders and tried rubbing them to get her to relax. All the hurt and anger was welling up inside of her again. She knew she was being unreasonable, but her daughter was taken away and her eldest son had been complicit with keeping her hidden from them.

“If only they had lived here, instead of hiding from us. I don’t understand why they had to go and hide from everyone.”

Arthur stopped rubbing her shoulders for a second. “I supposed it was because we wanted them to break their soul bond.”

Molly stood there staring at her daughter’s room. “What did they expect?”

“That we support her,” whispered Arthur. “Can we try to do that?”

“I’ll try, but it isn’t natural. They should still be small and going to Hogwarts.”

“I can’t explain how they grew like they did, but they seem to be getting a good education. They are taking their OWL’s; pretty impressive since they are only twelve and eleven.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ron Weasley stared at Harry, Ginny, and their two bodyguards approaching him at the Gryffindor breakfast table. They looked out of place. It wasn’t only their clothes, which weren’t regular robes, but it was their overall appearance they seemed more like Ministry officials rather than two people taking their OWLs.

“They never go anywhere alone. Why is that Ron?” asked Hermione Granger.

“Don’t know, why don’t you ask them?” growled Ron. He cared for Hermione and her constant inquisitive nature, but she was becoming annoying.

“I was planning on doing that,” she replied.

Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas laughed at Hermione’s comment. Before anyone else could make a comment Ginny and her entourage sat down across from them. It had become a routine that they would come to have breakfast with them before taking their exams.

“Where is all the food?” asked Harry.

“Ron ate it all,” laughed Seamus.

Ron glared at Seamus. He was going to say something, when there was a loud pop. A House Elf wearing socks, lederhosen, and a green felt cap was standing in front of Ron holding a platter filled with breakfast food. It was the oddest thing he had ever seen.

“Here is food for you and your Mistress, Harry Potter, sir,” squeaked the House Elf.

Ron leaned back away from the House Elf which appeared in front of him on the table. He opened his mouth to say something, but nothing came out. Hermione was beside him opening and closing her mouth like fish out of water.

“What, don’t I get some?” asked Sirius Black.

“Sorry sir, but I serve the great Harry Potter.”

“Dobby, you don’t need to do this. There was food down there,” Harry said pointing to a platter of food on the other side of Dean.

The House Elf’s shoulders slumped. “I is sorry. Should I punish myself?”

“No!” shouted Harry and Ginny together.

“Put the platter down and sit down and join us for breakfast,” said Ginny.

Ron stared at her. He could not believe that she would say that to a House Elf. They were to serve wizards and witches, not eat with them.

“No, Dobby already ate. I shall wait for you at home.” He sat the platter down in front of Ginny and Harry and disappeared.

Ron sat there and stared at where the House Elf had been. Everyone else seemed to be in shock at the appearance of the crazed House Elf, but Ginny and her entourage.

“Oh, croissants with strawberry and cream cheese filled crepes,” said Ginny, as she grabbed the unusual breakfast foods. Harry and the other two also grabbed food off the platter.

Ginny looked at him. “You can have some too, Ron. Please, there is plenty for everyone to tuck in.”

Hermione grabbed one of the crescent shaped pastries off the platter. “Thank you, they are even warm.”

“What’s wrong Ron? I’ve never known you not to be hungry.” Ginny teased him.

“What are those things?” He never liked strange looking food.

“Oh, try the croissants, they are delicious,” insisted Hermione. She was tearing off pieces of the pastry and eating them with smile on her face.

Ron picked up the funny shaped pastry. It gave under his fingers and hardly weighed anything. He took a big bite of one. It was light and airy and seemed to melt in his mouth. He finished it in three bites. “There isn’t anything to these things. They are all air.”

“Oh Ron,” laughed Hermione. “They are supposed to be light and delicate.”

“Is everyone ready to go home for the holidays?” asked Harry.

“Yes, it is about time,” replied Ron.

Everyone else said they were ready. Hermione sounded a bit sad, as if she wanted school to last forever.

“We have our last OWL this morning then we will be going to the Burrow,” Ginny said happily. “If everything goes well, we will be at the platform of the Hogwarts Express when it arrives in London. Harry has never seen it before.”

She was smiling at Harry. Ron was still having a difficult time thinking of her as his little sister. She looked so mature and nothing like the specky little annoyance she was growing up.

“Which OWL are you taking this morning?” asked Hermione.

“Arithmancy,” said Harry.

“I find that subject very interesting,” said Hermione excitedly.

Ron watched as Hermione chatted animatedly about some boring subject like Arithmancy with Harry and Ginny. It didn’t seem right. He knew about the soul bond and how it changed Ginny. She was so different. She was so damned near perfect. She was smart, pretty, and wealthy. He started to remember all the doubts that led him to writing to Tom bubble up to the surface of his thoughts. He was Ron the gangly dull little brother.

He had always been comforted that Ginny would be younger than he, but she appeared to be more Bill or Charlie’s age than his. How was he supposed to compete with her and the rest of his family? Bill was the smart and talented Cursebreaker for Gringotts. Charlie was the Quidditch star and rugged strong dragon tamer. Fred and George were the masters of pranks and mischief. Percy was just Percy the Prefect, always perfect and proper. What could he ever do to distinguish himself from the rest of his family? The only thing they seemed to say was he can out eat the rest of the family. That certainly would not impress everyone, especially Hermione.

He looked at the bushy-haired witch sitting beside him. She was actually very cute even with that overbearing know it type of personality that was uniquely hers. Why would she ever look at him? He didn’t know why she was paying any attention to him now. It was he that set the basilisk on her. It was Ron’s feeling of inadequacy that allowed Tom to take control of him. He trusted Tom at first. When he finally realized Tom wasn’t a friend, it was too late.

“Ron,” said Ginny just above a whisper. She had reached over and placed a warm hand on his forearm. “Is everything all right?”

Ron was caught off guard by her sudden attention. He could feel his face get warm from embarrassment. She stared at him with concern in her eyes. She reminded him so much of their Mum at that moment. He noticed she even had the same color of eyes. He was caught between being embarrassed and comforted by her touching him in public.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m brilliant,” he said too brightly.

“All right, just know that we are here for you,” she said softly, as she pulled her hand away.

Ron felt strangely disquieted when she took her hand away. That was the second time that Ginny calmed him by touching him. He remembered waking up in her arms in the Chamber. He wasn’t afraid or tired, until she let go of him. He had forgotten about Tom coming to life while she held him. It seemed like a strange thing to feel but he could actually feel himself getting stronger before he came out of the trance. It was like he was actually fighting Tom for his life.

The sound of Harry talking brought him out of his trance. Ron saw them getting up to go take their Arithmancy OWL. Ginny smiled at him.

“See you later, Ron,” she said. “If not before you go then we will be there at London.”

Ron didn’t know what to say. “Yeah, sounds good, see you then.”

It was a feeble response but at least he responded. He could feel Hermione looking at him with that questioning expression of hers.

“What?” he asked her.

“What is wrong?”

“Nothin’ is wrong,” he huffed.

“Ron you got very distant with us. What were you thinking?” questioned Hermione.

Ron didn’t want to discuss his feelings with her. He wasn’t even sure what he was thinking about or how he was feeling. He sure didn’t want to get into a discussion with Hermione here in the great hall.

“I wasn’t thinking about anything,” he replied. “After all, I am Ron Weasley and I am famous for not thinking.”

Everyone around them snorted and laughed at his self-deprecating humor, but not Hermione.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

“I want them banned from the grounds! Forever!” demanded Severus Snape.

Severus Snape was standing in front of Albus’s desk in his traditional black robes, but these had splotches of bright colors all over them. It seems that Peeves had appeared with a Muggle device called a paintball gun that shot pellets of brightly colored paint at people. He had attacked the Slytherins as they left the school for the train. He even pelted Severus with them, and hit him on his nose. It was now bright red making it appear even larger than before.

Albus had to control his laughter. The charges against Peeves were serious, but Severus still looked like a clown in some dark sinister circus.

“I shall investigate,” replied Albus.

“Investigate? There is no need to investigate. It is obvious that Black and Lupin gave Peeves this weapon. They should be brought up on charges and thrown into Azkaban. That is where they belong,” Professor Snape hissed venomously.

“Did anyone see them giving Peeves this weapon?”

“There is no need for that. This is just the type of childish immature prank that they are so famous for. Ban them from the school premises, if you won’t send them to Azkaban,” Severus demanded.

“I will speak to them and determine if they are responsible for Peeves having possession of that gun. Until I make that determination, please try to enjoy your holidays, Severus.”

Severus stood up as straight as he could and stared down his large red nose at Albus. It was almost comical to see. “I will try,” Severus said forcing his voice to be amiable.

Albus Dumbledore took a deep breath and tried to clear the image of Severus Snape and his cloak of many colors, before looking over the exams in front of him. Harry and Ginny seemed to have passed their OWLs with high marks. He had hoped that they would have struggled with some of them. So he could convince them that they needed his tutoring, but that didn’t happen. He was emotionally torn between being happy for them and concerned because he didn’t have more control.

He realized that he can be overly controlling of people around him. He never felt that it was wrong for him to be that way, because he was always the most intelligent person in the room. He was beginning to feel like he no longer was, or some secret has been kept from him, which was extremely maddening.

The Weasleys and Potters were both intelligent families. However, he had never seen this level of intellect before in either family. Now he has two people who are exceeding even his accomplishments while he was a student. He could not have passed these exams in his second year, let alone his first like Ginny Weasley did.

He realized that he thought of her as a Weasley not a Potter. If he hadn’t seen them in Gringotts before they disappeared, he would have never believed them to be Harry and Ginny. He had never heard of a magical bond making people grow physically before. He has been trying to find information on soul bonds for the past two years. He has found nothing but the mention of their existence in the past.

One of the resources he found mentioned that soul bonded individuals have a history of personal troubles and many die young or remove themselves from society. Albus had concerns about them growing so fast. Could they continue to age rapidly and die an early death because of the soul bond? If they did, could Harry defeat Voldemort before his demise?

The door to his office opened interrupting his thoughts as Professor McGonagall entered with Harry. Albus was surprised to see that he was alone. It was the first time he had seen him more than ten feet away from his wife.

“Headmaster, Mr. Potter wanted to see you. I thought that you would also want to talk to him,” said the stern Transfiguration Professor.

“Yes, I would. Thank you, Minerva,” he said as he stood up from his desk. He created a chair for Harry to sit in. “Won’t you have a seat, Mr. Potter.”

“Thank you, sir,” Harry said.

Albus stood there and watched as Harry casually sat down and stared at him. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your company?”

“I would like to talk to you about Voldemort and fulfilling the prophecy,” he said calmly.

Professor McGonagall gasped when Harry said the name. Albus glanced over at her, thinking that she really needed to get over that fear. “Professor McGonagall, that will be all,” he said dismissing her. She stared at him for a second before leaving.

“Harry, I would advise you not to discuss the prophecy in front of other people.”

“Why? I didn’t say what the prophecy revealed.”

“If people find out that you have been named in a prophecy…,”

“They will know that Voldemort came to kill me that night,” Harry cut him off. “They will know that Voldemort fears me. Are you afraid that Voldemort might realize that I know about the prophecy the same as he does?”

“Harry, it is in the best interest of the magical society to keep the prophecy a secret,” he chastised the boy, while standing over him.

“Is it really? Why?”

“Because it is,” he stated. “You don’t know what magical society is like. I do. If they know of a prophecy it will not help us.”

“You don’t trust Professor McGonagall?” asked Harry. “I thought she was a member of the Order of the Phoenix.”

Once again, Harry caught him off guard. Albus did not appreciate this young man surprising him and changing the direction of the conversation. “Did Sirius and Remus tell you about the Order?”

“Yes, they told me about it,” he replied. “I was wondering if it is still active.”

“There is no need for it,” Albus replied. “I can assure you that when the time comes that the Order is needed again, I will get it organized.”

“Then you believe that Voldemort is dead and the Death Eaters have all been caught,” Harry said staring at him.

Albus’ anger was rising at this line of questioning. “That is not your decision. I am the leader of the Order.”

“Yes, you are,” replied Harry forcefully. “I thought the Order of the Phoenix was formed to fight against the dark forces of Voldemort. There are still known Death Eaters roaming the streets. You know that he isn’t completely dead, and yet you sit there and wait until he gets organized before calling in the Order to stop him and save innocent lives.

“You know as well as I do that he is coming back. Why not get ready for him and his followers?” insisted Harry. “The last time, he was cutting your group down as you were getting organized. Stop him from doing that this time.

“We may be able to determine where a couple of his objects are hidden by following his minions. Sitting back idly not doing anything isn’t productive. If we can destroy all of the Horcruxes before he regenerates his body, then he may never come back.”

Albus needed some time to think about what Harry had said. He folded his hands behind his back and paced in front of Harry. He could sense that Harry wasn’t lying about anything, but it was still unnerving to have his actions scrutinized. The most frustrating thing was Harry was making sense. It wasn’t that he would reject a good thought just because it wasn’t his, but he didn’t want to give Harry the impression that he was going to relinquish control of the Order of the Phoenix to a twelve year-old.

“You seem to think that I haven’t been doing anything but sitting in this office twiddling my thumbs,” retorted Albus. “I have been very active in pursuing possible locations for the Horcruxes, without announcing to the world what I am doing.”

“Have you made any progress?” the young man asked.

“I do not wish to divulge that information at the present time,” Albus replied.

Harry’s face turned a deep shade of red, but he never yelled. He sat back in his chair and took a deep breath. “You will not share the information that you have gathered with anyone. Will you?”

“It is safer locked away in here,” Albus said tapping the side of his head.

Harry glared at him. “You talk about how information will be safer locked away in your head. How you will get the Order reorganized when Voldemort threatens society again. What will you do if you die before those things happen? Do you feel that you are immortal?”

Albus was stunned that the boy would say that. “I am feeling rather good. If I start failing, I will make the proper arrangements so we can keep up the battle against Voldemort.”

“You seem to feel that you cannot be killed, Professor,” Harry said icily.

“I know that I might die, Harry,” replied Albus. His voice was tight as he tried to control his emotions and tongue. “Do you know of any threats against me?”

“It only makes sense with me being out of the headlines…,” replied Harry calmly. “…that you will become Voldemort and his minions’ next target. It may even happen inside of this very school. All your research will be useless if it dies with you.”

Albus could not argue with Harry’s logic. It was just a bitter pill to swallow. “Are you suggesting that I reveal everything to you? That I make you the leader of the Order?”

“I don’t want to be the leader, Professor. I just want to make sure that I can win this fight coming up, and all the other battles along the way.”

Harry stopped talking and stared at him before glancing away at the portraits. Albus could see he was becoming emotional about something.

“I never intended for you to have to take on so much responsibility at such a young age,” Albus said gently to the young man. “It wasn’t because I wanted to control your life, but to protect you from it.”

Harry’s gaze turned back to him and became hard again; whatever was affecting his mood was pushed to the side. “I didn’t need protection. I needed to be educated. We still do.

“This prophecy has gone beyond me. It now includes Ginny. If I die, she will quickly follow. That is one of the disadvantages of a soul bond. I am not afraid to die, but I will not allow Ginny to die. There are many things we have learned about soul bonds in the past two years. There are many things we still don’t know or are not sure if they are possible, but we keep on trying to discover the limits and dangers of this bond we have.”

“That was one of the reasons why I wanted to break it,” interjected Albus. Harry snorted at his comment.

“You could not stop this bond from happening. We were destined. For us to be bonded, we must fit all the criteria. If we are missing one single criterion, this bond never happens. We must want to be bonded, and we must fulfill each other. We are much greater together than apart from each other.”

“In what way, Harry?” asked Albus. His professional curiosity was getting the better of him.

“You must first gain my trust before I tell you much more, Professor,” replied Harry. Harry looked at his watch. “You have five minutes to make your decision.”

“Five minutes? Why five minutes?” he asked the lad.

“In five minutes Ginny and I are going to try an experiment. If it works I will be gone. If I don’t gain some level of trust in you, then we may never return. It would be better for magical society if we disappear than if Voldemort captures us.”

“Why is that?”

Harry stared at him. “I need trust and promises, Professor.”

“Harry, we want the same thing.”

“Will you work with us and be honest with us?”

Albus took a deep breath. He hated making that promise, but he needed Harry to defeat Voldemort. Finally, he saw no other recourse but to make the promise.

“Yes, yes, I promise you,” sighed the Headmaster.

“Ginny was right again. She said you would come around, but would need to be pressured.” Harry stood up and stepped away from the desk. He extended his hand towards Albus. “Take my hand if you want to hear more and also join in an experiment.”

“I want to hear more, but what are you planning to do?”

“A soul bonded couple has the ability to ‘pull’ their partner to them by the need to be with them. I did it when we first bonded. I pulled Ginny from the Burrow to me. We want to see if we can break through the Wards over this castle.” Harry looked at his watch. “You have thirty seconds.”

“Where will we be going?” he asked Harry. He didn’t think Harry would do anything stupid and lead them into a trap, but he still need to know their destination. Anyone would want to know their destination. Albus wasn’t going to budge from his request, so they stood there staring at each other, until Harry finally spoke.

“To the Burrow,” he said. “Ten, nine, eight,….”

“Albus grabbed Harry’s hand as he reached ‘two’.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

The Burrow appeared in front of Ginny as she and Bill Apparated to a secluded meadow above their family home. Ginny could see it through a break in the surrounding woods. She never realized how much she missed seeing the strange building that she called home for the first ten years of her life.

“It has been a long time,” sighed Bill.

She didn’t dare look at her brother. She could hear the emotion in his voice. As difficult as returning would be for her, it would be much harder on her brother. He had helped her escape and kept her away against the family wishes. Their mother was not one to forget his actions.

“If things get too strained, I am leaving,” she told her brother.

“I thought you could sense Dad’s acceptance?” He asked her.

“It is Mum that worries me. Her overbearing matriarchal attitude reminds me of some despot.”

Bill chuckled at her comparison. “I guess you could call that the land of Molly down there,” he said indicating the Burrow. “We are her subjects owing her fealty.”

“I guess we should go and address the queen. We are on a time-table,” said Ginny. Bill’s laughter made her relax a little.

Being around him the past two years was helpful with her fears and adjustments to being an adult. All her life her mother told her that she would understand things when she grew up. When she matured so suddenly and still didn’t understand why life was ordered like it was. Bill helped her understand that many people accepted things the way they were. There was no great understanding of prejudice and hatred that seemed to separate people into classes, just acceptance that that was the way of it.

The home looked exceptionally neat and orderly as she walked towards it. There had always been Wellington boots sitting by the back door. They had been cleaned up now and the garden neatly trimmed. Ginny always enjoyed the chaotic and slightly unkempt appearance of the garden.

They had not made it halfway up the walk when her parents appeared at the kitchen door. Both Bill and she stopped walking for a second at the sight of both of their parents staring at them, but they both quickly recovered and continued to walk towards them.

Her parents seemed to take this as their cue to also start walking towards them. No one said anything until after she and Bill had been met and hugged by both their mother and father. It was her father that spoke first.

“Welcome back home, Weasleys’,” he said light-heartedly. “Come let’s have some tea and biscuits.”

The four of them walked into the neat kitchen. The sight of it made Ginny wonder how nervous and upset her Mum was. She could feel emotions pour off her like the waves of an angry ocean. Her father though seemed calmer and more honest with his emotions.

After everyone had their tea, he father once again started up the conversation. “What did you think of the OWLs Ginny?”

“They were difficult, but I think we did all right on them. Bill, Remus, and even Sirius were good teachers.”

Bill and she laughed at her comment. Everyone took the mickey out on Sirius about being a respectable Professor of Transfiguration and Arithmancy. Her father gave them a strange look, but her mother seemed to be smoldering at her comment.

“Sirius never thought of himself as the Professor type. He still thinks he is teenager,” laughed Bill. “He is quite skilled…,”

“Not better than any of the Hogwarts Professors,” said their Mum sternly. “You could learn a lot more from going to Hogwarts than being tutored on your own. You don’t have Albus Dumbledore to help instruct you. He was the best Transfiguration Professor ever.”

The anger washing off her mother made Ginny cringe. It was times like these that made her empathy towards other people was difficult to take. She didn’t need any special powers to know her Mum was angry with them, or her father was anxious about how her Mum was acting right now. It was obvious to a blind man.

“Molly dear, Minerva teaches Transfiguration now,” her Dad tried to defuse the situation. “Albus is the ….”

“That is not the point,” her Mum stood up and shouted at her father. “Ginny is only eleven, Arthur. She should be in school. Maybe if she was there, Ron would not have — have that terrible thing happen to him.

“No, she hasn’t been seen around here for years,” her mother continued to rant. “She went off and got herself married; never asked us if we approved. Who knows, she might even be pregnant by now. We might even have a grandchild. Our son, our eldest son has helped her do this; against our will and our pleadings to bring her back. This world is too dangerous for our little girl to be out there alone. Voldemort might be dead, but….”

“He isn’t,” shouted Ginny. She was tired of her mother’s attitude. “He isn’t dead, only defeated for now.”

“Ginny, you need to be careful,” said Bill.

“I don’t care. We need to tell them anyway. Besides, I am tired of sitting here and listening to her rant about me without saying anything. I am an adult now and have the right to make my own decisions. I was technically married when Harry and I bonded in Diagon Alley two years ago. I am wearing rings, but we never had a ceremony. I wondered if we could have one now, but it doesn’t sound like you would be receptive to being a part of it.

“Bill has been there for me over the past two years. He has dedicated himself to protect me and Harry. So have Remus and Sirius. We all work together as a team. We don’t give each other orders only advice like friends. I may only be eleven in actual years, but in the past two years I have matured to where people guess I am older than Bill.

“We came here today to see if you would like to join us in our fight against the evil that is festering in this country. I feel that Dad would be willing to help, but all I feel from you, Mum, is anger and resentment.

“I am not a doll or a plaything that was taken away from you. Your feelings of missing out on my developing years are misguided. I would never have gone to you about any boy problems or any other problems like that. We never had that type of a relationship. I would have been too afraid of being sent to do housework for failing you.”

Ginny took a deep breath to calm down. Her mother stared at her in shock. It was obvious that she had surprised her Mum with the knowledge that she had missed out on Ginny’s developing years. The emotion filled room was keeping Ginny anxious and agitated. She could not even tell who it was coming from. It might even be her emotions feeding everyone else in the room and then their emotions inflaming hers.

Without even thinking about it, she turned and walked towards her old room. “I need to get away for a minute,” she shouted over her shoulder.

As she walked up the stairs away from the kitchen, she could sense everyone’s emotions coming under control down in the kitchen. It had been her that had set everyone on edge. She needed to get away from them to calm down.

Stepping in her old room, she was hit with a wave of nostalgia. The room looked exactly like she remembered it. It was almost as though nothing aged here in the past two years. The same books sat on her makeshift desk. The same Weird Sisters and Harpies posters were on the wall, only a little more faded. The same worn quilt covered her bed. All the memories of her playing in here came back to her.

It was only two years ago, that she was sitting up here imagining flying with the Harpies as they defeated the Cannons by five hundred points. When she wasn’t thinking about flying with the Harpies, she was singing along with the Weird Sisters. The precious memories made her smile.

“It’s good to see you smile again,” said her father, from the doorway of her room.

“I’m sorry that I got so upset, but I can’t break this bond, Dad. Mum needs to understand that I can’t go back. I don’t want to go back. If you would just take the time to know Harry, you would love him. He is so unselfish and caring.”

“He sounds wonderful, pumpkin,” her father said as he walked up to her. “Your mother just cares a lot, and wasn’t ready to give you up to the world yet.”

“I know she wanted to be there for me during my teenage years. I am not sure if I would have ever confided in her.”

“How do you know that? Did she tell you that in one of her letters?”

Ginny smiled at her father. Would he believe what she was about to tell him? “No, I sensed it from her. I have developed what might be called empathy with people around me. In some cases, I can actually tell what someone is thinking. It can create problems when I am in an emotionally charged situation I can become emotionally overloaded.”

“Is that what happened downstairs?” he asked her.

Ginny ran her hands through her hair as she realized that the intensity of the argument in the kitchen was as much her fault as her mothers. “Yeah, that is why I came up here, to calm down.”

“How long have you been like this, pumpkin?”

“Since, I bonded with Harry. We each have developed different magical strengths over the past two years. Harry can sense the magic around him as I sense people’s emotions. Where I can walk into a room and feel everyone’s intentions, he can sense what type of a spell a person is casting before they cast it.”

“Merlin, you are serious,” exclaimed her father. “Can you tell what I am thinking?”

Ginny grimaced. She was not that close to him to tell what he was thinking. “Sorry Dad, Harry is the only one that I can actually do that with. Well, it seems that I can also do that with Mum.”

“Is that how you knew about her missing out on your teenage years?”

“Yeah, I guess. That just sort of popped into my head,” replied Ginny sheepishly. “I shouldn’t have said that I would have never confided in her. I was just — just so bloody angry about what she was saying.”

“Were you serious with what you said in the kitchen?” questioned her father. “About having a ceremony,” he added, when she looked at him with a puzzled expression

“I was serious, but I shouldn’t have said anything.”

He walked over and looked out of her window at the large garden behind the house by the orchard. “I had always wanted to have your wedding out there. I never asked you about that, because — well I always thought I had several years before that would happen.”

Ginny walked over and put her arm around her father’s waist and laid her head on his shoulder. She looked out at the garden. It would be nice place for a summer wedding. “That would be nice out there. I will have to ask Harry what he thinks.”

She lifted her head off his shoulder. “You don’t think Mum will do something to sabotage the wedding, do you?”

He laughed at her comment. “No, as long as she is given some say in it, you should be alright.”

“Good, let’s go talk to her. There are some other things that we need to discuss before Harry gets here.”

She grabbed her father’s hand and escorted him out of her old room and down to the kitchen. Her mother was sitting there talking with Bill. She could sense that they were fairly calm. There was some tension in the room, but nothing like it was earlier.

“Alright, I have calmed down,” Ginny said to her Mum. “We need to talk and you and I need to remain as calm as possible, or else we will have another blow up.

Her Mum opened and closed her mouth before looking at her Dad, who nodded his head. This seemed to drive the message home to her mother. “All right I’ll try. Bill explained that you are an Empath. I guess it is easy for you to become emotional.”

Ginny glared at Bill for a second before speaking. “I am more sensitive to people that I am emotionally connected. When you get emotional Mum, I get even more emotional.”

“I see,” said her Mum thoughtfully. “Is there anything else that has happened because of this bond?”

Ginny could feel Bill fidgeting, but she didn’t want to reveal everything right now. “Yes, there is but we don’t have time to discuss everything right now.” She checked her wrist watch and saw that she would have to try to call Harry to her in ten minutes.

“I have ten minutes before Harry gets here,” she said. Bill coughed slightly to remind her that they were trying to break through the wards at Hogwarts. She stared at him for a second before continuing with her explanation.

“All right, I have a lot to say, so please let me finish before you ask questions.” When her parents nodded yes, she started explaining. “You asked what else is different. The obvious thing is I am tied to Harry and his fight against dark wizards and witches in this country. There are many other things, but that is the most obvious.

“We want Professor Dumbledore to start the Order of the Phoenix up again. Last time the members barely survived, but we want to get a head start on Voldemort this time.” He parents reacted to the name. “Oh please, it is just a name he made up to sound more impressive than Tom Riddle.”

“Tom Riddle, as in the owner of that diary?” asked her father.

“Yes, the very same one, but I don’t want to discuss him right now. I need you to know that we: Harry, Bill, Sirius, Remus, and I have a plan to protect you, in case the Death Eaters come after this family. I have sensed that you will all cooperate, except possibly Percy. We will come up with a method of transporting you to a safe place via a Portkey. Once there, you will be stuck hidden away until the war is pretty much over.”

“Where would this be?” her Mum asked.

“We would be transporting you between our houses at random intervals,” replied Ginny.

“Houses?” asked her father.

“We have eleven, but we don’t want to reveal their locations just now.”

“Would they be large enough for our family and Harry’s?” asked her Mum.

“We could each have our own bedroom with some to spare,” laughed Bill.

“You have a house that large?” asked her father wide-eyed.

“No we have eleven that large,” snapped Ginny. She wanted to discuss something else, before it came time to try to bring Harry here. “Sorry I snapped, but I want to tell you, Mum, that Harry and I would like to exchange our wedding vows and have a ceremony with all the family present. Do you have any objections to that?”

“Where will we be holding it?” her Mum asked with an edge to her voice.

“Well, Dad suggested in the backyard and I like that idea,” responded Ginny. “Bill, do you think we could have stronger wards for protection?”

“Piece of cake, sis, especially with the two of you on the property” responded Bill.

Ginny looked at him. She didn’t want anyone to know about how their bond increases everyone’s magic that stands close to them. “Good I will discuss that with Harry when he arrives…,” she had a wave of emotion wash over her all the way from Hogwarts.

Professor Dumbledore would be coming with Harry. Ginny needed to feel a deep desire to bring Harry to her. Possibly the idea of them actually getting married was enough to make her want him beside her. Reaching out with her emotions, she could feel Harry hundreds of miles away. There seemed to be something between them holding him back. She tried to force him to her, to pull him all the way across the country. Closing her eyes , she filled her head with the images of strolling along the various beaches holding hands, of evenings spent in bed reading and doing homework, and private moments holding each other. Yet, something was keeping him away from her. She was getting desperate to see him again. Then the image of when he gave her the rings came to mind. They were standing on a balcony with the moonlight shining in Harry’s beautiful green eyes. The look on his face was making her heart melt.

Without a sound Harry and Professor Dumbledore appeared in front of her. The air in the room seemed to shift and shimmer for a second as they were pulled through the Wards protecting the home. She could hear her mother’s gasp at the sight of Harry and Professor Dumbledore.

Her eyes were focused on Harry. The Headmaster was there, but he was unimportant to Ginny. She stepped forward and wrapped her arms around Harry’s chest. “I’ve missed you,” she whispered into his chest.

He wrapped his arms around her shoulders and gently kissed the top of her head. “I missed you too. If you don’t mind asking, what was the memory you used?” he whispered to her.

“Our first night, when you gave me the rings,” she whispered into his chest. She wiggled so she could get as close to him as possible. This was where she belonged beside him holding him. She could hear a people talking excitedly around her, but she didn’t care.

Bill grabbed her shoulder and tried to pull her away from Harry. She clung tighter to him and glared at Bill.

“You two need to separate, right now,” he shouted at them.

She was going to ask him why, when she noticed that everyone was running around cancelling Charms that kept the Burrow running. The building itself seemed to be swaying and groaning. It suddenly occurred to her that this house was held together with magic. With her and Harry so close and so happy, she were increasing the power of all the spells used in the house.

Harry noticed also and stepped away from her. The distance seemed so cold and lonely, even though they were only about two feet apart.

The house settled down and stopped swaying and groaning. The brush that had been cleaning the pans from lunch had been virtually destroyed and one pan looked like it had been bent out of shape by the excessive magical cleaning.

Everyone else was settling down now that the magic in the house was back under control, and they were all staring at her and Harry, except Bill. He was looking outside.

“The wards have increased about tenfold. I will need to dial them back before anyone can come through them,” Bill said.

“Bill, you mentioned that increasing the strength of the wards would be easy with Ginny and Harry here. Is what we just witnessed the reason you said that?” Asked her father, while staring at her and Harry.

“That is one of the side-effects of our soul-bond,” stated Harry. “The worst thing that can happen is not Voldemort killing me, except that Ginny may die soon afterwards. The worst thing is if Voldemort captures us together.”

“He would use you as a source of power to increase his and the Death Eaters’ magical power,” said Albus Dumbledore. He looked a bit peaky as he looked at Ginny and Harry.

“It has happened before,” stated Bill. “An ancient wizard had two friends complete a soul bond. He used them to almost conquer the world. The two committed suicide to keep him from overthrowing the world.”

“You have books on soul bonds?” asked Albus Dumbledore.

“Three books and several scrolls,” replied Bill.

“Where did you find them?”

“The Potter family library,” stated Bill.

“I would very much like to see this library,” stated an eager Albus Dumbledore.

“Not until we have started up the Order of the Phoenix,” said Harry firmly.

The Headmaster looked at Harry. He seemed almost caught by surprise at Harry’s comment.

“We need to get a leg up for when Voldemort comes back to finish me off,” stated Harry.

Ginny smiled as her parents squeaked at Harry saying Voldemort’s name.

“I will do that, but it will take some time,” said the Headmaster. “I need to find a meeting place large enough to hold everyone without raising anyone’s suspicion.”

“We could use this house, when Harry and Ginny say their vows,” offered her father.

Harry looked at her in shock. Ginny could hear him thinking.

“Yes, they agreed and they want to have it in the back garden,” Ginny nearly shouted with excitement.

“Don’t worry, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, I will pay for everything and we can have the House Elves make all the food,” offered Harry.

He started looking confused as both of her parents were glaring at him. He hadn’t realized how much the offer had insulted them. She warned him that her parents would not take money from him and her Mum would want to cook and bake everything. Ginny tried and failed to keep her laughter under control at the sight of her husband stammering to apologize.

Back to index

Chapter 7: Ambushed

Author's Notes: Harry and Ginny prepare to have an actual bonding ceremony at the Burrow. Somebody else has other plans.
A special thanks to my beta Leif.

Macnair appeared on the front path of Lucius Malfoy’s estate. He brought with him two large cages. Each cage held an anxious unicorn, and they rocked from the movement of the unicorns as Macnair Levitated them towards Lucius.

“Well, there you are, Lucius,” said the former Death Eater, Macnair. He dropped the cages down by the front steps of Lucius’s manor house. “I never figured you to want creatures like these on your property…,” Macnair stopped talking as a peacock squawked to his left. “I supposed if you have those noisy birds, you have the right to own unicorns.”

Lucius stared at Macnair. He did not trust the man. He may have been a former Death Eater too, but he never swore an allegiance to Lucius, just the Dark Lord. “Just leave them, and I will take care of them,” he said angrily.

“No, I can’t do that. The law states that I need to oversee them being released back into the wild or a proper habitat,” said a smiling Macnair.

“And you always do what the ministry tells you to do,” countered Lucius. He could tell that Macnair wanted to find out what he wanted with the unicorns.

“These are highly regarded and protected magical creatures, Lucius. Why, if you would leave them in their cages for very long, they will die”

“They are to remain in their cages for at least another two weeks. My son wants to make a present of them to his girlfriend on her birthday, which will be in two weeks,” Lucius calmly lied.

Macnair shifted from one foot to another and stared at Lucius. He scrubbed his face with his left hand before speaking again. “What are you up to Lucius? Don’t lie to me and say nothing, cause I know better. You have gone through four House Elves in the past two weeks without any explanation as to why. Now you want two unicorns. Not any unicorns, but two of the largest and healthiest ones we have.”

Macnair stepped closer to Lucius and lowered his voice so it was barely above a whisper. “My Mark has been burning during the same time period. I am guessing yours has too. What do you know, Lucius?”

“I know there are times when it is best not to say anything or act like anything is out of the ordinary. Certainly, you have learned the same lesson over the years. You have been well paid for you services. If there is anything else that I need from you, I shall contact you.”

Macnair stepped back and stared at Lucius for several seconds before speaking. “Aye, I have been paid for silence, and silence is what you will get from me. Don’t leave me on the sideline Lucius, too long have I groveled and held my tongue while the unworthy have taken up better positions in the Ministry than me. Too bloody long, it has been.”

Macnair turned to walk away but stopped. He reached in the pocket of his battered robes. He pulled out three books. They looked to be Muggle books, because their covers were simple parchment type material.

“I found James Bond for you. He is a fictional Muggle character; here you can read about him.” Macnair tossed the books at Lucius’s feet. “There is something else you should know. Harry Potter is back in England. He is marrying Arthur Weasley’s daughter in five days. That Blood Traitor has taken time off from his job and reserved a person from the magical bonds department to conduct the ceremony. The bugger of it is, Potter and Weasley’s daughter are already considered married by magical law. They soul bonded two years ago.”

“Why is that of importance to me?” questioned Lucius.

“I thought you would like to know that the ceremony will be at Weasley’s home. It would be the first time we would know exactly where that Potter brat was.”

Macnair didn’t wait for an answer or comment from Lucius. He walked away and disappeared when he stepped through Lucius’ wards.

Over the next thirty minutes, Lucius Levitated the cages down to the lower levels of his manor. He didn’t have a basement in his home. He had an actual dungeon with steel doors with bars on cells. The only light was from the small windows in the cells and the pitch torches, which left oily smudges on the low ceiling. In a dark and dank corner of an area, that could be used for anything from an office to a torture and interrogation area, laid a small shriveled up creature.

It would be too much to call it human, though it was the physical manifestation of his master, Lord Voldemort. It had four short and twisted limbs. The skin was scaly and discolored as opposed to being smooth and pink like a child’s. It was reptilian in appearance. The head had a skull of a human, but its face was flat like a snake’s. The limbs that might be called legs were not at the end of it’s so called torso. They were located several inches up from the end.

If its appearance was disgusting, the sight of it being live borne from a snake was even worse. Lucius remained a faithful servant this entire time even if he had been repulsed by what he saw. If everything goes well, when the Dark Lord returned to his former glory, Lucius shall be rewarded.

“I see you have the unicorns, Lucius,” hissed his master. “I will need to be fed soon. Nagini has gone off to find food. When she returns, you can milk her and extract some unicorn blood to feed me. It must be an even mixture of both.”

“Yes, master,” mumbled Lucius. “Master, will Nagini be feeding on the sheep I bought?”

“Yes, she won’t eat anymore of your House Elves. I guess those creatures are too valuable for my pet to eat.”

“People are starting to wonder what I am doing that I need so many House Elves in such a short time.”

“Fine Lucius, I will ensure Nagini doesn’t eat any more of your House Elves. Is something else bothering you, Lucius?”

Lucius hesitated before speaking. He wasn’t sure how his master would react to the news.

“Do not make me wait. I may not be strong now, but soon I shall have my former glory back, and I will not forget,” hissed the twisted person.

“People are noticing your return, master. They are starting to ask questions.”

“Good, very good, what have you told them?”

“I haven’t said anything. You said you didn’t want anyone to know you are here,” replied Lucius.

“You are correct. I want to be returned to my former glory before anyone else sees me. Everything is falling into place. Soon I will be able to finish what we started over twenty years ago. Soon Lucius, very soon I will return to you more powerful than you ever realized possible.

“I need two things before I can rise again,” stated Voldemort. “I need my wand and I need Harry Potter to complete everything.”

Lucius stared at his master’s shriveled form. He wasn’t sure he could find the wand, but he was positive that he could locate Potter. He only needed to get about ten to fifteen associates to carry out the plot.

“I happen to know where Potter will be in five days, master.”

“Excellent, then we must move forward rapidly.”

The little creature seemed to laugh with joy, but it was so deformed, that its appearance was rather disturbing to behold.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry pulled at the sleeves of his dress robes. He was all dressed up and had to wait for another hour and a half until he could see Ginny again. They are trying to treat this like a traditional wedding, with him not seeing her before she walked down the aisle. Ginny had insisted on the condition, because she didn’t want him to see her gown before the ceremony.

Realizing that he wasn’t going to get his sleeves to feel any better, Harry ran his hands through hair.

“Bloody Hell, Harry, you remind me of your father on his wedding day,” groaned Sirius.

“He had an excuse. Unlike you, he hadn’t been living with Lily for two years before marrying her,” said Remus with a teasing look in his eyes.

“It isn’t Ginny that is making me nervous. It’s her parents. I don’t think her Mum has forgiven me for suggesting House Elves cook the food for the wedding.”

“That will take some time Harry,” said Bill. “Didn’t Ginny tell you not to offer to pay for everything?”

“Yes, she did. I couldn’t help myself,” pleaded Harry. “Why should they struggle to pay for the wedding when I have more than enough money to pay for it?”

“Because it is their daughter and they have wanted to do this since she was born,” explained Bill. “You will understand when you and Ginny have children.”

Harry heart thudded and he felt light-headed at Bill’s statement. “Children?” squeaked Harry. He stared at Sirius and Remus as they nearly doubled over in laughter.

“You should have seen the look on your face, Harry,” choked out Sirius.

“I thought your eyes were going to pop out of your head,” laughed Remus.

“Aren't you planning on having a family, Harry?” questioned Bill. “If you are not, don’t tell Mum she will try to split you two up again.”

“Yeah, we plan on having a family. Well after everything has been taken care of,” said Harry. His words sort of faded out as he spoke. He didn’t want to leave any orphans in this world. If Voldemort killed him, then Ginny would soon die, leaving their children orphans.

He looked at Bill and thought about the Weasleys. Certainly they would care for and love his children. He couldn’t see them treating their grandchildren like he was treated at the Dursleys'. He searched to find something to stop him thinking about having a family. He wasn’t ready. He wouldn’t be turning thirteen until the end of the month. Ginny and he would have years together as soon as they stopped Voldemort.

“Are the wards working properly,” he asked Bill to change the subject away from families and children.

Bill smiled at him. He had a warm and friendly smile much like Ginny’s. “Yeah, they are working great. No one will be able to see the Burrow or any of us, until they pass through the wards. They will only be able to do that with the Headmaster’s help. I also used a couple of tricks I learned in Egypt. No one will be able to break them, unless they are familiar with hieroglyphics.”

“Hieroglyphics?” questioned Remus.

“Yes, I used hieroglyphics in the construction of the wards spells. It is rather tricky, but makes it damn near impossible to override, unless you have studied them.”

“Do you mix them with runes,” asked the studious Remus Lupin.

“I used them at some point of the construct…,” Bill stopped talking and turned towards the Burrow.

Everyone in their group turned towards the house at the same time. Mrs. Weasley’s voice echoed out of the strange building. “Ronald Bilius Weasley you get upstairs and get ready. Do you understand me?”

As her voice echoed around the large garden, the remaining Weasley boys ran out of the kitchen door like rats abandoning a sinking ship. Fred and George were the first followed quickly by Charlie. Percy was the last to escape the yelling inside of the house. Fred saw Harry and company and turned the column of retreating Weasleys towards them.

“What did little Ronnie do this time?” shouted Bill.

“Nothing,” replied Fred.

“He must have done something,” replied Bill. “Mum doesn’t shout like that over nothing.”

“She does when she wanted something done,” said George, as he walked slowly towards them.

“Can I please get the entire story, instead of trying to get it out those prats,” Bill said to Charlie and
Percy. The twins stuck out their tongues at Bill in response to his comment about them.

“Ron doesn’t want to get dressed. He is just sitting in the kitchen pouting,” said Charlie. He smiled at Sirius. “I think, he is still upset over keeping Scabbers all these years. You must admit it must have been quite a shock finding out your pet rat was actually a person, and he was running around under your robes.”

Harry smiled at the memory of capturing Peter Pettigrew.

Platform nine and three-quarters was an amazing bit of magic Harry thought, as he stared at the train platform hidden from Muggles. He had just walked through a brick wall in a Muggle train station to find himself standing on a full-sized train platform. They were there waiting for Ginny’s older brothers.

It was a magnificent place. He almost felt sorry that he didn’t attend Hogwarts because he missed the experience of catching the train. He remembered Sirius and Remus telling him how they met his father on their first train ride. They were fast friends from that day until his death.

The morbid thought made Harry slightly somber. He wanted to be happy, but the thought of his parents’ death prevented that.

He tried to focus on something else. So he stared down the tracks to see if the shiny crimson steam locomotive was getting ready to reenter the train station. He had heard so much about it from Sirius, Remus, Bill, and even Ginny. She never rode the train, but she used to come here to retrieve her brothers or send them off to school.

As he watched for the train, families kept appearing at the station. They were Apparating onto the platform or passing through the brick entrance. It did not take long for the platform to fill up with families.

He was there with Ginny’s parents. Sirius, Remus, Bill and Ginny were there too. They made a large group right in the middle of the platform. No one seemed to mind them, as people jostled for position, to either see the train coming or find their child after they get off the train.

“The train is coming,” shouted someone close to the tracks.

Its whistle blasted its imminent arrival. The building seemed to pulse with the thrum of its steam engines. It was an exciting and exhilarating experience. Harry only seemed to travel by Apparation or Portkey anymore. The idea of the slow paced travel of the train seemed exciting to him.

He felt Ginny budging up past him to get a look at the windows of the passing train cars. He saw her excited expression. He wondered to himself if she regretted not riding the train and going to Hogwarts.

“No, I don’t,” she said smiling at him.

“I keep forgetting you can do that,” he tried saying quietly above the noise of the platform. Whether Ginny heard he couldn’t be sure, but she smiled knowingly at him.

With a final blast of steam, the train stopped moving and students erupted from the doors of the cars. The first ones out of the doors quickly found their families and disappeared. The rest were taking their time. Percy was walking around looking official and trying to help students who looked lost or confused. The rest of the Weasleys had not appeared yet. The crowd was starting to thin out around them.

Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were anxiously staring at the train trying to find their other three children. Fred, George, and Ron finally emerged from the train along with about seven Gryffindors. They all seemed to be laughing about something. George led them over towards Harry and company while dragging their trunks behind them. They were twenty feet away when Mrs. Weasley broke and ran to them. She gave Ron, Fred and, George massive bone-crushing hugs. Fred and George tried to make a joke out being hugged by their Mum in public, but Ron looked mortified.

Harry could feel Ginny laughing to herself beside him. When he looked at her she nodded her head towards Ron and rolled her eyes. Her brother was drawing more attention by his reaction to his mum hugging him than what the hug drew. Nearly all the other students were being hugged and greeted by their parents in similar fashion.

“Ah, come on Ron, hug your Mum again,” teased Sirius. He let out one of his loud unique barking laughs.

Ron’s face twisted up in confusion for a second, before he started grabbing at his robes.

“Scabbers, what are you doing,” Ron shouted as he twisted and grabbed at something moving in his robes.

“Wow that moldy old rat actually is moving,” shouted Fred.

Ron kept twisting and trying to grab at the rat as it tried to escape his robes. He did manage to grab it, but it bit him and he dropped it. It fell onto the platform at Ron’s feet. Everything seemed to freeze for a second as the rat seemed to stare at Harry with fear, but then all hell broke loose.

“Wormtail,” shouted Remus and Sirius together. The rat squeaked and ran away from them. Suddenly there was a large black dog chasing the rat through the crowded platform with Remus following behind with his wand at the ready.

Harry was stunned for a second by what was happening. Once it registered with him that his parents’ betrayer had been discovered, he took off running after the three of them. He heard screams and shouts as Peter Pettigrew in the form of a rat, Wormtail, ran away from his former friend Sirius Black in his Animagus form of a black dog. To an observer it may even have appeared to be funny, but to Harry this was an opportunity to close a chapter of his life. After Sirius had been released from Azkaban, no one had been able to find Peter Pettigrew. Here he had been living as his Animagus form with the Weasleys.

The chase lasted only about a minute, but it seemed longer and drew the attention of the security. They wanted to know what was going on, but Harry and Remus were too busy to tell them. It all ended as quickly as it started. A young witch screamed and kicked Wormtail when he got close to her. He flew up in the air and Padfoot snatched him out of the air with his jaws.

With a wave of his wand, Remus turned Wormtail back into Peter Pettigrew. He also turned Padfoot back into Sirius. It was quite comical to see Sirius biting Peter’s side before he dropped him. Barely containing his smile, Remus turned to the security wizard on duty.

“I give you Peter Pettigrew. The Death Eater who betrayed James and Lily Potter,” he said with great satisfaction.

Peter looked up and stared gaped mouthed at Harry. Ginny had caught up to him and was standing right beside him.

“James, Lily?” Peter asked in disbelief.

“No, they are dead thanks to you,” growled Harry.

“Please, you don’t know…,” pleaded Peter, but he stopped talking when Sirius punched him in the jaw.

“That doesn’t come close to what you deserve,” said Sirius rubbing his hand. “But I leave the rest up to the Dementors of Azkaban.”

Percy apologizing for first taking Scabbers into the house snapped Harry out of his thoughts of the capture.

“I would like to apologize for keeping him too,” said Percy. “If I had known that he was a criminal hiding from Aurors, you could have been released from Azkaban earlier.”

“Don’t worry about it Percy,” said Sirius with half a laugh. “You didn’t know who it was. He was an unregistered Animagus.”

“Yes, that is why we have laws governing such things,” said Percy pompously. Fred and George rolled their eyes behind Percy’s back.

“I thought the laws were so you have something to do in the evenings, since you don’t have a personal life, Perce,” teased George.

Everyone laughed at George’s comment. Percy looked around at all the smiling faces and looked greatly affronted. Clearing his throat, he announced to everyone around him. “I am going to attend to my duties as an usher. Would anyone like to join me?”

“Go ahead, Perce, I’ll catch up in a jiffy,” said Charlie with a large smile on his face.

“If he didn’t have the Weasley hair and freckles, I would swear he wasn’t one of us,” laughed Charlie, after Percy had walked out of hearing range.

“Are you two always that mean to him?” asked Remus.

“We aren’t being mean…,” said Fred.

“We are just pointing out the obvious,” finished George.

“Talk about pointing out the obvious, look Mr. Happyface is coming our way,” laughed Fred.

Ron Weasley looked like he didn’t have a friend in the world. He was walking towards Harry with his hands buried deep in his pockets. His dress robes looked like they came from a museum. They were old, moldy, and covered with yellowing lace. He would take a few steps before kicking a stone along the way. It wasn’t long before he had come close enough to see everyone was staring at him.

He met everyone’s eyes then dropped his head and slouched even more. He mumbled something that Harry couldn’t understand, as he kicked at the ground. Ron looked like he didn’t know whether to cry or wind his watch. Harry felt for the boy. He remembered living through similar situations a few years ago. When Harry was made to feel useless by the Dursleys and everything he did was wrong. Ron was feeling the same way.

However, Ron’s brothers weren’t so easy going. They let him have it. It started out with his lovely dress robes. It turned to his overall appearance. He was slouching so much; that eventually his head would be down between his knees and he would have to walk backwards to see where he was going. He needed to lighten up and smile once in a while.

“You put these on and try to look bloody happy,” shouted Ron as he tugged at the ancient robes.

“Ron,” Harry said, but he stopped and looked at Bill. He wanted to buy Ron robes to wear today, but he didn’t want to offend him like he did his parents.

“What is it,” he answered meekly.

Bill seemed to know what he wanted and nodded his approval. “I would like to buy you new robes for today,” said Harry.

Ron’s expression brightened immediately, but then went glum again.

“You can’t bloody well do that with the wedding going on, now can ya’,” replied Ron grumpily.

“Dobby!” said Harry slightly louder than normal speech.

There was a loud crack and Dobby appeared in his latest wardrobe choice; small cowboy boots, with spurs, leather chaps, a pair of Bermuda shorts, a leather vest and a large ten gallon cowboy hat.

Nearly everyone else snorted with humor at seeing the strangely dressed House Elf. Harry was just glad Dobby listened to him and covered the speedo he had on yesterday with the Bermuda shorts.

“Dobby, I need you to go to Diagon Alley and get Ron new robes,” ordered Harry.

Harry had barely finished giving the command when Dobby started measuring Ron. He was walking around on Ron’s shoulders and making all types of measurements, while Ron was looking increasingly annoyed by Dobby’s actions. He opened his mouth to say something, but Dobby just disappeared off his back.

“Where did the little bugger go?” asked Ron, while twisting and turning to see his back.

“He went to Diagon Alley to get you a set of robes,” said Harry.

“Is he always so … so…,” stammered Ron.

“Yes,” said Bill, Harry, Sirius, and Remus in unison.

“He means well, but he’s way too enthusiastic,” explained Harry.

“I see Dad waving for us to go over and help usher people in,” said Charlie to the rest of the redheads in the group.

“I need to stay and wait for my new robes,” said Ron happily.

With a pop someone appeared to Ron’s left. It was Dobby carrying an armful of clothes all bundled together with string.

“I’s got your clothes, Wheezy,” said the excited little House Elf. He nodded his head so violently that his long pointy ears bounced up and down.

“I’ll take them to my room and change…,”

Ron never finished what he was saying because Dobby had grabbed his hand and Apparated him away. Harry supposed it was to his bedroom. Charlie, Fred, and George were all still standing there with their mouths open when Dobby and Ron disappeared.

“He is one excited little bugger,” said Sirius.

Everyone laughed at his comment. Charlie, Fred, and George asked Bill if he was helping with escorting guests to the marquee. He wanted to stay with Harry to help him meet members of the family. The small group hadn’t made it thirty feet, before Dobby appeared with Ron and his new dress robes.

Ron was beaming with an ear to ear smile. It was the first time Harry had ever seen him smiling like that. The robes were basic dress robes, but they were new and fit him.

“Thank you Mr. Potter,” said Ron.

“Mr. Potter?” questioned Harry. They were the same age even though they looked years apart. “Are you going to call your sister, Mrs. Potter?”

Ron looked shocked at the comment. Evidently, He never thought about Ginny becoming Mrs. Harry Potter before. “I — I guess I will have to call her that,” stammered Ron.

“No you won’t,” replied Harry forcefully. “We are just Harry and Ginny to you and the rest of your brothers.”

“Really,” asked Ron. “Cool.”

Ron walked off towards the entrance of the wards. He seemed to be walking a little straighter and had a bounce to his step.

“Thank you, Harry,” said Bill into Harry’s ear. “I am guessing that Mum and Dad couldn’t afford anything better for Ron. Being the oldest, I didn’t have to deal with so many second-hand and make do items. I think Ron might resent me for being older than him.”

“I can relate to only getting things that no one else wants,” said Harry sadly. The years at the Dursleys' were still vivid memories. Harry can understand why Ron felt so bad about the robes his parents had picked out. It was like him wearing Dudley’s hand me downs, even if they were several sizes too big.

“Oh Merlin, prepare yourself, Harry,” whispered Bill.

Harry looked at Arthur walking towards him with a grim look on his face. He was escorting some shriveled up woman who was hunched over. Even though the old woman looked so frail that she might break at anytime. Arthur’s posture indicated he was afraid of the woman.

“That’s my Aunt Muriel,” said Bill.

Harry heard stories about the miserable tightwad from Ginny. This hunched over little old lady could cast fear over all the male population in the Weasley family. Harry couldn’t see it. She actually looked like some sweet little grandmother.

“If she starts on you, don’t defend yourself, Harry,” said Bill. “It will only make it much worse. Once she has her anger up, it takes days for her to start being nice to anyone again.”

“Well that certainly sounds promising,” quipped Harry. Sirius and Remus also laughed. Harry had just realized that he spoke too loud, and Muriel was glaring at him.

“So this is the man that is marrying your eleven year old daughter?” the wizened old woman asked Arthur.

“Yes Aunt…,” responded Arthur.

“Well it is just wrong no eleven year old needs to get married anymore. She certainly isn’t with child is she?”

“No she…,” Arthur started to respond.

“What did you do, sell her to him? Are you really that desperate to get money…,”

“I certainly did not sell Ginny,” yelled Arthur cutting off Aunt Muriel. “If you would listen to what other people are telling you, you would know that Harry and Ginny are actually soul bonded. They are already married in the eyes of the Ministry. I had nothing to do with their bonding.”

“You can’t even control your own family, some father you are,” Muriel shot back at him.

They had reached Harry by this time. Arthur looked like he wanted to take Muriel on a broom and see if she could fly when shoved off a broom at 5000 feet above the ground.

“Harry,” said Arthur tightly. “This is Ginny’s great Aunt Muriel.

“Pleased to meet you,” Harry said as he took a slight bow.

“Are you really?” asked Muriel.

“I am pleased to get it out of the way,” he replied.

“You probably think I am some bitter older woman that isn’t happy with anything,” said Muriel while staring at Harry. He didn’t turn away from her gaze. “Well, I am. You would be too, if your spouse died and left you alone for nearly thirty years. I am a faithful wife. Thirty years is a long lonely time. Don’t leave Ginny like that.” She shouted the last line.

Harry stared at the wizened old woman in front of him. He didn’t want to think about what she just said. Any image of Aunt Muriel intimate with a man, was disturbing enough, he didn’t want to linger on the thoughts. Her message of leaving Ginny was wasted. If he ever died, so would Ginny within days or weeks.

“I promise you, I won’t leave her alone for thirty years,” replied Harry sadly. He couldn’t because his death would mean hers.

“Good,” she said to Harry with something of a smile.

“Arthur, take me to the loo,” she ordered Mr. Weasley. “My stewed prunes are starting to work.”

Everyone stayed silent until Muriel was out of earshot. Bill broke the silence. “Just think Harry that could be Ginny in about sixty years.”

He laughed at Bill’s comment. “That’s certainly something to look forward to.”

“Oh, this should be interesting,” said Sirius. He looked towards the group walking with Percy.

Percy was leading the way. One step behind him was an old wizard who looked as if he was having a difficult time walking. His face seemed disfigured and he walked with a large staff. With them was a tall black wizard with a gold earring and a shaved head. The last person was a young witch with mousy brown hair. The three guests were dressed in similar robes, and had an official look about them.

“Who are they?” he asked Sirius.

“Alastor Moody, who is also known as Mad-Eye Moody, an Auror I don’t know, and my cousin,” said Sirius.

Harry didn’t have time to respond, because the group was already at them.

Percy went to say something, but the old scarred wizard pushed past him. His face was terribly disfigured and his one eye appeared to be some type of a magical eye that was held in with a strap of leather. He stepped up and stared at Harry with both eyes.

“So you are Potter are you?” the man questioned Harry from inches away from his face. His actual eye stared at Harry’s eyes while his other eye roamed up and down Harry of its own will.

“Yes, I am Harry Potter. Who are you?”

“Alastor Moody,” he replied with a growl. “You look clean, but you shouldn’t be this old.”

“I am only twelve. It was the soul bond that changed my appearance.”

“Soul bond, I will be keeping my eye on you,” he said. “I understand you want Albus to start the Order back up. Why is that?”

“There are still Death Eaters out there, and I don’t believe Voldemort is gone, just hiding.” He noticed that they all seemed to flinch a little to hearing Voldemort’s name. Alastor Moody smiled at him with a twisted lopsided smile.

“Constant Vigilance,” he said, before hobbling off to talk to Arthur.

“Hi, I am Kingsley Shacklebolt,” the tall bald Auror stepped forward and shook Harry’s hand. “And this is…,”

“Nymphadora,” said Sirius.

The female Auror stepped forward and glared daggers at Sirius. “Call me Tonks! I hate that name.”

“My loving cousin,” Sirius said. “Her mother is the only family member I get along with.”

“Pleased to meet you,” Harry said extending his hand to her. Her expression softened as she turned to him.

“Pleased to meet you to, but we should be moving along. It looks like you have other guests arriving,” she said looking over her shoulder.

Harry looked up and stared at all the people coming through wards. There were several Professors and more students who were talking eagerly to the Weasley boys. They were all coming towards him. He knew he would have to greet them all to be social, but he never realized how many hands he would have to shake.

“Well, Harry good luck. I am going to go and see how your lovely bride is doing,” laughed Sirius, as he clapped his hand on Harry’s shoulder.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ginny smiled as she stared out her bedroom window. Harry always preferred small groups of people. She could tell his nervousness at having to greet so many strangers. He was doing his best to suppress his desire to take a bunk, for her sake. It was another thing that she loved about him.

This day was for her, it was all that she ever wanted growing up. Even though she always dreamed about marrying Harry Potter, she never truly thought it would happen. She grew up as the youngest child of a poor blood traitor family. She had been so teased when she was younger that they let her hair grow so people would know she was actually a girl.

The soul bond changed everything. If she didn’t still look so much like Bill then she would have believed that the magic of the bond had changed her true appearance.

“Ginny dear,” said her mother gently. “Let’s take a look at you.”

Ginny turned to look at her mum. She had just placed the tiara, which was borrowed from Aunt Muriel, on her head as her Mum attached the veil to the back of her long hair.

Her Mum started to cry when she saw Ginny. She had been dry eyed all morning, but now she decided to turn into a human hosepipe. She opened her arms to give Ginny one of her bone-crushing hugs.

“Molly control yourself. You will mess up her dress,” shouted Aunt Muriel. She had come upstairs with the tiara and wanted to see it on Ginny. The acerbic old woman looked at Ginny with a watery smile. “You look beautiful my dear. I know you are actually young, and in all my years I have never heard of magic doing what that soul bond did, but don’t forget to make that handsome husband of yours happy.”

Ginny blushed furiously at what her great Aunt had implied. It had been a delicate subject with them over the past two years. It wasn’t for a lack of desire on her part, but the strange situation of maturing faster than their years. They both were still not yet teenagers by years, even though many people would never believe it to meet them. When they were alone together or with their guardians, they both allowed themselves time to be children.

“Two things,” snapped Aunt Muriel, as she held up two boney fingers. “First, don’t blush like that. I can’t tell where your hair begins and your skin ends. Second, I am assuming you have waited until this ceremony to consummate this bond.”

“Aunt Muriel,” shouted her Mum. “There is no need to talk about that with Ginny. She is still actually eleven.”

“Aye she is, but she has a body of a twenty year-old, and her husband is also quite fit. So, it is a subject that needs to be talked about, so shush now. Well, my dear are you ready. I may not know about soul bonds, but I do know the regular bonds are strengthened when you consummate the marriage bond. Certainly you want to….”

“Yes, I do. We both do, but we are not ready yet.”

“Are you telling me that virile groom would be willing to wait?” questioned Aunt Muriel.

“Yes, I am positive. We will both know when the time is right,” she half explained to her Aunt. She couldn’t go into details of how she knows that Harry will wait. It would be revealing more about their magical bond than she cared to do at this time. There was also the subject of the prophecy and the complications if they had children.

“Well I must say you got yourself quite the catch,” said Aunt Muriel as she stood up. “I am happy for you, and I want the tiara back tomorrow, since you won’t be busy tonight.”

Ginny couldn’t help herself, she again blushed at her Aunt Muriel’s comment.

“Please dear stop blushing, it clashes terribly with your hair. I should get down to the marquee. It will take me a while as old as I am.”

Ginny smiled at her Aunt. She was more of a character than she ever imagined. A feeling washed over Ginny. She did not feel it before, because of the topic of conversation, but a nervous person was standing outside of her door, on the landing.

She pulled her wand and stared at the door with a hardened expression, waiting to see who was there. Her Mum and Aunt both stared at her sudden change, and went to say something until the person knocked on her bedroom door.

“Who is it?” She asked the person outside the door. Her senses were becoming keener now that she wasn’t thinking about her and Harry’s wedding day. She relaxed as she sensed Sirius outside the door.

“It’s just Sirius, Ginny. I just wanted to talk to you.”

“Men aren’t supposed to be here. This is women’s time,” shouted Aunt Muriel.

Ginny could sense his nervousness increasing. “Its fine Aunt Muriel, you may enter.”

“Your groom may be out there,” spat her Aunt.

“He isn’t. It is only Sirius.”

Her Aunt stared at her for a second. “Evidently, you haven’t told me everything about you that have changed. Very well, keep your Aunt in the dark, your generation shows no respect to us elders.”

Ginny couldn’t help but smile at her Aunt. In the past five minutes her relationship had changed forever, with Aunt Muriel.

Sirius opened the door and held it open as Aunt Muriel hobbled out. He stood there holding the door open as he stared at her, in her wedding gown.

“Sirius, close the door,” ordered her Mum.

“Yeah so sorry,” he apologized, before closing the door. “Ginny, I just wanted to tell you. Thank you, for making Harry happy. He is down there nervous as his father was when he got bonded to Lily. I never thought I would ever see two people more perfect for each other than them. Then you two met, bonded, and well you two are more perfect for each other. Having you there for Harry as he faces the future makes me feel better about the possibility of him winning, of all of us winning.”

Sirius stopped and stared at her then his feet. Ginny had never seen this man tongue tied or nervous before.

“Thank you, I appreciate all that you have done for us, too,” she told him. “You know there is probably a woman out there that would be perfect for you.”

Sirius’ attitude changed dramatically. He let out a loud barking laugh and smiled at her. “The problem, Ginny, is there are many woman out there that are perfect for me.”

“Hmmp, I don’t understand you at times Sirius Black,” complained her Mum.

Ginny laughed at the two of them. “Sirius, can you find Luna Lovegood and have her come up here?”

“I will track her down and send her up,” he replied with an exaggerated bow, before leaving the room.

“I don’t understand that man, and why do you keep someone like that around.” Her Mum continued to complain.

“Because he is loyal to me and Harry, and we can trust him with our lives.”

Her response silenced her Mum’s complaints. Ginny turned back around and looked out at the marquee in the back garden. It was white with flowers woven up and over the entrance. People were quickly filling up the chairs inside of it. She could see that some of her brothers had already abandoned their ushering duties and were sitting with their friends.

Everything looked perfect, the weather even cooperated. It was sunny but cool. Everything seemed to be running on time. She reached out with her empathy to find Harry, and see how he was feeling. She felt nervous anticipation. She wondered if his anticipation was for the wedding or for tonight. Aunt Muriel had her thinking about things that they hadn’t considered talking about for some time. She smiled as she could almost hear Harry repeat to himself. “Please don’t mess this up for Ginny. Please don’t mess this up for Ginny.”

There was a knock at the door.

“Hello pumpkin, look who I found,” her Father said, as he stepped through the door leading Luna Lovegood.

It was strange having a maid-of-honor that you haven’t seen in two years and looked as if she could be your child, but that is Ginny’s life now. She picked Luna, because they had met and played together several times when they were younger. Luna even stayed with her family after her mother died from one of her experiments.

“Don’t you look lovely,” said her dreamy eyed friend.

“Yes, you certainly do,” her Father said with a watery smile.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

“You have the rings?”

“Yes Harry, for the fifth time in the last ten minutes, I have the rings,” responded Sirius with a groan. “I am sure the wards are still working well, but shouldn’t you be asking Bill about that soon. It has been at least sixty seconds.”

“I want this to be perfect for her,” he hissed under his breath. They were getting ready to move to the front of the marquee. “I stole her from her family. She lost her teenage years because of me. I want to give her everything that she missed, because of me.”

“I thought it took two to make a soul bond,” he replied calmly. “Evidently you have given her everything she wanted out of life already. The only thing that could possibly mess this day up is if you freak out because it isn’t perfect enough.”

Harry stared at Sirius for a second. He realized that his godfather was right. Ginny chose him as much as he chose her. They had a bond that hasn’t happened for seventeen hundred years. They must be doing something right.

“Hey, Harry, get moving,” whispered Bill. “Time to go to the front; the wards are just fine and everyone is through them.”

Sirius laughed at Bills comment. Harry wasn’t nervous anymore. He had said that this was all for Ginny, but he had always wanted a wedding very similar to this one. It didn’t matter to him that they had already bonded, or it was also a way of getting the Order of Phoenix reorganized. It was his public admission to how much he loved Ginevra Molly Weasley Potter.

He walked to the front of the marquee. The Ministry official was already standing there. He gave Harry an appraising look. There was someone playing an organ to some traditional tune, but Harry barely even noticed. He didn’t even care that everyone was staring at him. He was waiting on Ginny.

A small girl with long blonde-hair and large blue eyes stepped into the aisle. She was wearing a butter yellow dress. Harry vaguely remembered the conversation about how yellow was lucky at weddings.

Everyone turned, but Harry barely registered it, because Ginny was walking down the aisle on her father’s arm. She was so radiantly beautiful, that it took his breath away. He wasn’t nervous about messing anything up now. It didn’t matter. He was bonded to the most beautiful woman in the world.

She blushed slightly and smiled warmly at him. He realized that she just read his thoughts. It slightly annoyed him that she could read his mind, but he couldn’t read hers. However, if he can’t trust her with all his secrets, than whom could he trust? She looked at him with tears in her eyes. She heard what he thought. He had never admitted it or even thought it before, but it was true. He trusted her above everyone else in the world; he just hoped she also trusted him.

Harry sensed a wave of magic surge through the marquee. To everyone else it probably felt like a strong breeze, but he knew it wasn’t. They must have reached another level of being bonded. Ginny had finally walked up the aisle to reach him. He shook Arthur’s hand and took Ginny’s.

The presiding official started talking about how this was an extraordinary event. Harry thought it was an appropriate way of starting the ceremony, because Ginny was an extraordinary woman. He realized that he didn’t even think about her as a girl anymore. She was truly the most extraordinary woman in the world, and he was her husband.

The official was talking about their soul bond and how rare it was. Even though they were already magically bonded they wanted to have this ceremony to profess their love for each other in front of family and friends. Harry was getting nervous about talking. It broke his trance on Ginny’s beautiful face and her soft loving brown eyes.

If it had only been one, he may not have noticed it with everything else going on. There had been twenty or more distinct pops of Apparation. They were all outside of the Burrows wards. Everyone was here that was invited. These were uninvited guests. His thoughts left the ceremony and concentrated on the magical signatures that were coming from outside of the wards. They were trying to break through the wards.

“Harry, your vows,” whispered Sirius.

Harry heard him, but barely registered his words. Ginny was tugging on his hands. Her face was pale and she had fear in her eyes. “I sense them too. Harry, they have come to harm us.”

Ginny didn’t shout the sentence, but everyone heard it. People were looking on with strange expressions. Sirius, Remus, and Bill though reacted to it.

“What is going on,” demanded Sirius.

“Twenty people just Apparated on the other side of the wards,” said Harry.

“They are here to harm us,” added Ginny.

“Death Eaters?” asked Remus. A panic swept through the tent at his question.

“What’s this about Death Eaters?” shouted Alastor Moody.

Harry could see why they called him Mad-eye. His Magical eye was swirling around in the socket looking in all directions. He suddenly stiffened.

“Bloody Hell it is an army of them, they are outside of the wards, and they are Disillusioned. How did you…?”

“It doesn’t matter,” shouted Harry. He was furious that they would attack at his wedding. “Bill…?”

“No one can get through the wards. We will be safe in here,” Bill responded to his unasked question.

“I say we attack the ruddy bastards,” shouted Moody.

“We will do no such thing. We have the children to think of. We can’t start a war right now and have the children harmed,” screamed his mother-in-law.

“I agree with Molly,” said Albus Dumbldore. “We must think of the children.”

“We can take them, Albus. If we catch them by surprise we have enough talent here to take them,” argued Moody.

“Harry what do you think?” asked Albus Dumbledore.

Everyone turned and looked at him. “I would like to set some type of a trap for them for ruining this day, but I don’t want any of you harmed, even the adults.”

Albus smiled at Harry’s comment.

“Wait, I have a plan,” said Sirius grabbing Harry’s shoulder.

“Where are the Death Eaters now?”

Harry, Ginny, and Mad-eye all pointed towards the Burrow. “They are on the other side of it, moving to our left,” answered Harry.

“Bill, can you place a weak spot in the wards about there?” asked Sirius pointing at a spot away from Burrow.

“It might take a few minutes, why?” answered Bill.

“If we can let them enter there, we can set a trap for them,” said a smiling Sirius.

“I will not stand by and have the children harmed,” shouted Mrs. Weasley. “Professor Dumbledore say something.”

“What is your plan?” asked the Headmaster.

Sirius smiled as everyone stared at him. He turned to his fellow Marauder. “Remember what we did to Snivellus, when James promised Lily we wouldn’t curse him, unnecessarily?”

Remus looked at Sirius, and then looked around him and at the spot that Sirius had indicated. He smiled at his fellow Marauder. “It would be a much larger scale then we ever did before, but I think it would work. What will you do with the children?”

“We could put them in the Burrow,” said Sirius.

“Would you two tell us this brilliant plan, so we can decide if it is worthwhile or total codswallop,” demanded Moody.

Sirius smiled at everyone. “Certainly…”

Back to index

Chapter 8: Darkness Approaches

Author's Notes: The Order of Phoenix set a trap for the Death Eaters. Even though everything went well there was still something unexpected happen. No one realized what was wrong except for Ginny.
I should update everyone on the timeline. I keep tossing ages and years around without writing the dates. Harry and Ginny bonded on July 31, 1991, since that was the day Hagrid took Harry to Diagon Alley.
They matured over night and went into hiding from everyone the next day August 1, 1991. They returned almost two years later, June 1993. They took their OWL's, picked went to Platform nine and three-quarters to pick up Ron, and discovered Wormtail in the month of June. They are getting married early July 1993.

The Floo flashed green at the same time as another person knocked on the door of Lucius’ manor house. He watched Goyle step out of the Floo, while cleaning ash off his black hooded cloak. Severus Snape entered from the foyer. Almost all of the Dark Lord's most trusted followers not in Azkaban were here. Lucius was not foolish enough to believe they came here because he asked them, or that they were here to drink his wine and eat his food. They were here because they would all get a chance to avenge the Dark Lord by destroying Harry Potter.

They would not get the opportunity to kill Potter. The Dark Lord wanted him alive. How he planned to use Potter didn’t matter to Lucius. What mattered was him supplying his master with everything he needed. Potter wasn’t the problem. His master’s wand had needed to be found, and he had not known how to locate it.

Knowing the Dark Lord met his demise at the Potters’ in Godric’s Hollow, he went there first. To his amazement, the wand was lying in a tangle of weeds. How could the wand of the most powerful wizard in the world lay unnoticed for eleven years? The task he feared that he would not complete was over. The Dark Lord was pleased when presented with his long lost wand. The wand even shot out red sparks when it touched his master’s deformed hand.

It was time for Lucius to complete his master’s second command. He needed to bring him Harry Potter.

Everyone was here except one person. It just happened to be the most important person. Judson constructed Wards for the Ministry. He could take down any protective Ward except for the Wards at Hogwarts. Those were not cast with Ministry approved spells. If everything goes well, they would be inside the wards and have Potter before anyone would know they were there. When they were done no one would ever realize what hit them, because they would all be dead.

“When are we leaving Lucius?” asked the dull Crabbe.

“Not everyone is here. It also isn’t time to leave. The ceremony isn’t to begin until three o’clock. It is only fifty past two.”

“Shouldn’t we get there early?” Crabbe asked.

Lucius resisted the urge to make a biting quip at Crabbe. He chose to try to ignore the stupid question and try to answer in an almost civil manner. “We are not going there to get a seat. We will wait until the bonding is well on its way and we will break through the Wards and capture Potter. Everyone else at the wedding must die. We cannot leave anyone that could be a witness.”

“I thought you said we are going to destroy Potter,” asked Fenrir Greyback.

“We will, but first I must extract information from him.” Lucius drawled. “Then you can have him for your fun.”

“What type of information?” asked Severus Snape.

Lucius looked at all the Death Eaters staring at him. “I believe he can lead us to our Master.”

“How?” asked several members. Severus did not speak but stared at him with those cold black eyes.

“Only that Potter brat knows what happened that night,” stated Lucius forcefully. “I will extract it from him.”

“That could leave him as useless, a moldy turnip,” stated Macnair.

“Some sacrifices must be made, to return the Dark Lord to us,” laughed Lucius.

The Carrows made their usual guffawing sounds of laughter at his comment. He carefully watched everyone’s reactions. He could tell they were impressed by what he said. They all seemed pleased at the overall plan, now he needed Judson to show up.

“How many will be at the wedding?” asked Yaxley.

“Probably all of Arthur Weasley’s brood, Potter, Sirius Black, and Remus Lupin will be there,” Lucius answered. He looked at Severus Snape. “Will any of the Order of the Phoenix be there?”

“Dumbledore disbanded that organization years ago,” he replied coolly.

“Will Dumbledore be there?” Lucius was most concerned about the Headmaster.

“He and Potter are not exactly seeing eye to eye these days.”

“Very good,” said Lucius, as a broad smile appeared on his lips. “We will have no opposition that could possibly match us. This should be very easy.”

“To the Dark Lord,” shouted Amycus Carrow raising his wine glass. Soon everyone else was cheering for the Dark Lord and drinking to him.

Lucius said his obligatory cheer for his fallen Lord. He was starting to get worried. If he doesn’t see Judson soon he will need to find another to break the wards. He looked around the room and was not sure who to ask. There were many powerful wizards and witches, but taking down someone’s Ward was something altogether different.

His large clock chimed three in the foyer. He needed to get his team together, ready, and to the Weasleys' within fifteen minutes. He looked over at Severus Snape. If Judson didn’t appear in two minutes it would be Severus’ responsibility to bring down the wards.

“Severus,” called Lucius to the Head of Slytherin House.

Severus slowly walked towards him. “Yes.”

Lucius became agitated at Snape’s one word response. He didn’t want anyone see how frustrated he was at Severus.

“If Judson doesn’t appear in thirty seconds, you will be responsible for breaking through the wards,” Lucius informed Snape.

“If I can’t break them?” answered Severus in a haughty fashion.

“You will break them or die trying,” whispered Lucius venomously.

Snape stood up a little straighter and glared at him, but their conversation was cut short as the Floo flared to life. Judson stepped out and brushed the soot from his robes.

“It’s about time you arrived. I was about to offer your job to someone else,” snapped Lucius.

“They would never perform it as well as I,” Judson said haughtily. “I am on my lunch break. If we stick to the plan you told me Lucius, we can do this and I can return to the Ministry without raising suspicion.”

Lucius appreciated Judson’s answer. He was thinking like a true Slytherin. He wanted to ensure he could not be implicated in the murders of the Weasleys.

“It is time to leave,” Lucius informed his troops. “Please pick up an Invisibility Cloak on the way out and wait for me outside on the walk.

Lucius watched as each person picked up an Invisibility Cloak. He had purchased them so no one would give away their location by having their Disillusionment Charm fail. After the last cloak was grabbed, Lucius picked up his own Cloak. It had been separated from the others. It was made from a higher quality of fabric.

The Death Eaters were milling around on his front walk. They were all anxious to finish this task.

“Judson, Amycus, Alecto, and I will be in the first group. Everyone else cast a tracing Charm on us before we leave. You will all be able to Apparate to the same spot. Please don’t all Apparate at the same time. We do not need some bloody disaster on our hands when we all try to occupy the same space.

“Remember to wear your Cloaks when you are Apparating. They may be able to see us through the wards. When we get there, we will all remain silent and wait for Judson to break the wards. We will then proceed to walk together in a line to the wedding party. Everyone will have to wait until I Stun Potter, then you may kill — no — you shall kill the others. Do it quickly and we all can return to our predestined locations before anyone realizes what happened.

“Any questions?” Lucius asked the assembled Death Eaters.

“Yeh, can we torture them first?” asked Alecto Carrow.

“No, they must all die quickly. If we linger then the use of all those Unforgivables will trigger alarms in the Ministry.”

“Bloody Hell, you take all the fun out of this,” complained Alecto.

“If we do this correctly, your fun will come,” replied Lucius. “Everyone get ready. We need to leave in one minute.”

Lucius threw the cloak over him and reached out with his hand for Judson. Judson grabbed his hand then Amycus grabbed his and Alecto grabbed her brother's. Lucius could hear the others covering themselves with cloaks and cast the Tracking Charms. It was time. Lucius took a deep breath and turned with great determination.

The sensation of being released from Apparation was normally a pleasing one, but today it wasn’t. There was no Burrow in front of him. It appeared to be a large open meadow.

“We went to the wrong place,” someone muttered in one of the groups behind him.

“Silence,” he hissed under his breath.

He felt Judson’s arm flailing under the Invisibility Cloak. He didn’t need to see him to understand he was stumped about something. “What is it?”

“The Wards are different. They are not all in Runes,” whispered Judson. “I need room to move. I need to take off my cloak.”

“No,” hissed Lucius.

“Then someone hold it up so I can freely move my arms,” pleaded Judson.

“Amycus, Alecto, you heard what he said lift the cloak up to allow him to solve these wards, but keep it between him and the Weasleys'.”

“Where is that?” asked Alecto.

“You see the walk that suddenly disappears into the meadow,” hissed Lucius.

“Yep,” responded both of the Carrows much too loudly.

“That leads towards their house.”

Lucius sighed in relief as the Carrows lifted the cloak and held it the proper way.

Judson stood behind his Cloak waving his arms and making Runes appear, shimmer, and then disappear again. Lucius was silently counting down the seconds till they could attack Potter and the blood-traitors. If Judson does not break those wards in the next five minutes, they would need to try blunt force.

“Should we try another spot?” asked Severus Snape.

Lucius didn’t need to see him to know his voice.

“Look down, the footprints in the grass lead that way,” drawled Snape.

He took the Potionmaster’s advice. The grass where they were standing was trampled down as though everyone walked to their right. It had been the second location to enter the wards. The marquee, as of yesterday when he was here, was located so everyone would be facing the opposite direction.

“Judson?” he asked without clarifying.

“Hopefully we may find a doorway or weak spot in the Wards,” said Judson slightly out of breath.

“Let’s move,” ordered Lucius. “If we don’t get in there before the ceremony is over, we will have a fight on our hands.”

The group moved clumsily along the boundaries of the Ward. He was impressed with the strength of the Ward. He wished he could have a similar one cast on his manor house. Judson stopped walking. The Carrows almost exposed him as they kept walking.

“A doorway; look at the grass,” Judson said.

Lucius looked down and saw what Judson had seen. The footprints all turned towards the Ward. He could even see something in the ward. It appeared to be a large white marquee with people standing in it. After a couple of incantations from Judson, the marquee and people came into plain view.

“We are in,” whispered Judson after finding the right rune combination.

“Everyone move slowly and silently,” ordered Lucius.

He stepped through the opening in the Ward. The entire Burrow with its rustic impoverished look came into clear view. Straight in front of him was the hero, Harry Potter, or should he say James Bond. This was looking so easy. Everyone was turned away from them. He could feel the movement of people to each side of him, as they slowly and silently walked through the unkempt garden. He was amazed they hadn’t flushed any gnomes or stepped on something to announce their presence. They walked in a line until they were almost twenty feet from the Marquee entrance. There was only Potter, his bride, Remus Lupin, Sirius Black and eight of the Weasley brood.

He stopped and could sense everyone else stopping. He hoped that everyone felt his arm coming up. He could not see the tip of his wand, but he knew where it was aiming.

“Stupefy!” shouted Lucius.

The red beam collided with the side of Potter’s head. Green beams of light filled the air as everyone shouted out the Killing Curse.

It took him a second to realize that no one had fallen, and the Marquee was on fire. With a flick of his wrist Lucius erected a Shield, because the air was filled with spells coming at them from all sides.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry stared straight at Ginny with great difficulty. It was not her looks that were causing him problems. It was that he knew there were Death Eaters walking inside of the wards. He couldn’t see where exactly they were at or what their intentions were.

“It's alright, Harry,” whispered Ginny to him. “They are all focused on capturing your holographic image and killing ours,” she said through smiling lips.

He couldn’t figure out how she could do that. Her lips barely moved, but he could hear her clearly. He wanted to see if everything was going well for Professor Dumbledore. The Headmaster was casting the holographic image of them reciting their bonding vows to each other. It was so simple. All one needed to do was stare at something then perform a simple incantation and whatever the caster sees will be projected. The most difficult part of the spell was not breaking eye contact or blinking. The spell would project whatever the caster was seeing so if he would blink the image would also blink out.

The approaching Death Eaters seemed to believe what they saw was real. The projection was so perfect that they approached within fifteen feet of the marquee. Harry glanced at Professor Dumbledore. He was staring at Harry and the group of attendants while pointing his wand at an opening in the side of the marquee. The Headmaster projected the image of them in the appropriate location in the marquee.

Harry said his lines of the bonding aloud so the Death Eaters could hear them. It amazed him that they didn’t realize the sound wasn’t coming from the same place as the images they were seeing.

It took all his will not to flinch or react when he felt the Death Eaters drawing on their hatred to cast the killing curses. He didn’t even initially react when the marquee exploded into flames from all the deadly curses colliding with its fabric.

The fight was on and he didn’t need to stay still any longer. He saw Professor Dumbledore had turned and rounded the corner of the Burrow. Sirius and Remus were on his heels. Harry pulled his wand followed them. Ginny was close behind him along with Bill.

He was disappointed to see all the Death Eaters lying on the ground of the Burrow Stunned. Many of them had Invisibility Cloaks beside them on the ground.

“No one lower your wands,” shouted Mad-eye Moody. “Homenum Revelio,” he shouted. A red arc moved outward from him. As it hit each person, it bent to reveal them. The arc moved out to the wards without revealing anyone that was not visible.

“It looks safe,” said Moody. “What do you want to do with these scum?”

“Let’s see who they are?” asked Mr. Weasley.

Kingsley Shacklebolt was the closest to a Death Eater. He pulled his hood up. “They are not wearing masks,” he exclaimed. “Are they Death Eaters?”

“Check the left forearms,” said Professor Dumbledore to the Auror. He turned and looked at Harry. “What do you think about Alastor’s question?”

What did he want to do to these people who would come and try to kill Ginny and his closest friends? He thought Azkaban would be too good for them. However, he now had a chance to find out who his enemies were and use them to locate Voldemort.

“Is that Judson?” asked Mr Weasley.

“Yeah it is,” replied Tonks. “Bloody hell, Kingsley, look!” she shouted pointing at someone lying on the ground.

“It —it's Savage,” she said.

“An Auror,” spat Kingsley. “We should send all of these slimes to Azkaban. We can use their wands as evidence that they cast Unforgivables.”

“Oh look, its Snivellus,” shouted Sirius. “What a surprise.”

“What do you want to do Albus? If we are going to put a trace on this bunch we need get on with it,” shouted Mad-eye.

“Can you put a trace on them?” asked Harry.

“Yeah, but I will be needing nonmagical objects to attach the trace to, and also a large map to allow the tracing object to show us where they are at. If we are going to do that then we need to get on with it.”

“If we track these slimes, we may be able to find the rest of them,” stated Harry. Everyone else thought he was talking about Death Eaters. He actually saw it as a possibility to locate the Horcruxes.

“I need non magical objects, and it would be best if they are different,” demanded Mad-eye.

“I have those,” said Mr. Weasley. He waved his wand and the door to his workshop flew open and objects that looked like a swarm of bees flew out toward them. As they came closer, Harry could see that the objects were all things related to Muggle electrical systems. There were batteries, plugs of various styles, a few small radios, outlets, switches, and an assortment of pieces that Harry recognized as internal circuits to radios and television.


“That’s Tonks,” shouted the female Auror at Mad-eye.

“Whatever, write down who I attach the trace to the object. You were raised like a muggle so you know what these are.”

“I can help,” said a small female voice.

“Miss Granger, you are to be inside of the Burrow,” said the Headmaster sternly to the bushy-haired witch.

“I need to get this done fast. If you can help, then grab a quill and a piece of parchment.”

Hermione Granger seemed to produce a quill, a roll of parchment, and even an ink bottle out of her handbag. She wrote down each object as Mad-eye would cast a spell that bound the Death Eater to the object. It only took five minutes to put the trace on the Death Eaters, but it seemed to take forever. While Mad-eye was placing the trace on them, Professor Dumbledore went around and modified their memories.

“They won’t remember being Stunned. They will just think they were in a prolonged battle and were able to escape.”

Moody finished putting the trace on all of them. He handed the last object, a sparkplug to Hermione, who quickly recorded that the sparkplug was for Gregory Goyle Sr.

“You get yourself inside and keep your head down Miss. Things are going to get rather sticky out here,” Moody ordered her.

Hermione Granger looked around and stared at Ron.

“I want my children inside also,” demanded Mrs. Weasley. She started ushering Ron, Fred, George, and she went for Ginny, but was rebuffed.

“I am going to leave a few marks on these scumbags for messing with my wedding day,” Ginny said heatedly.

“Poor sods,” quipped Fred and George together as their Mother spirited them away.

“Everyone take the places before they were Stunned,” shouted Moody. “Albus, we are going to need to Ennervate them all at once.”

“Harry, you do it,” said Bill. He looked at Ginny, then at their hands. “Let them see,” he added softer.

Ginny grabbed his hand. The feeling of her beside him always gave him strength, but physical contact with her seemed to make his magic surge to unbelievable levels. He quickly turned and with a sweeping motion over the Stunned Death Eaters, he shouted, “ENNERVATE!”

The Death Eaters all rose at the same time and started to fire Curses at the Order members. The Order was ready. An intense battle erupted within a second. The Death Eaters were using Unforgivables, but the Order was able to avoid the deadly Curses and return fire.

“Bill, close the Wards,” shouted Albus Dumbledore.

The Death Eaters all started running towards the opening in Wards, while firing deadly curses at the Order members. Harry was firing of the Furunculous hex with the intent on making the Death Eaters suffer in pain for some time. Ginny kept hitting them with her Bat-Bogey Hex. Several Death Eaters were wildly casting hexes while trying to fight off bogeys in the shape of bats flapping about their face.

In all the confusion of the battle, Harry did not notice one of the Death Eaters breaking from the rest. Ginny’s Bludgeoning Curse made him aware of the threat. The Death Eater that he remembered was Fenrir Greyback had turned and charged the Burrow. He had leapt towards one of the windows when Ginny hit him in the side with the Curse. He flew several yards before rolling to a stop. He could only get up and limp away holding his chest.

As the last Death Eater ran through the wards, Bill resealed them. Harry could feel them all Apparate away. He looked at Ginny.

“They are all gone,” she told them.

“Everyone be prepared, I am going to check to see if they all left,” shouted Mad-eye.

“Ginny said they were gone, and they all Apparated away,” Harry said.

Mad-eye looked at him and came walking towards him with that magical eye boring into Harry. It occasionally would jump to Ginny.

“I would like to know more about you two. How did you know they were here? That spell to revive them was bloody powerful, too powerful for the average wizard. Hell, the only one I thought could cast a spell like that would be Albus.”

“We can do those things, because of our soul bond,” replied Harry.

“Is that all you’re going to tell us?” he responded. He stepped closer to Harry and spoke so softly that no one but Harry and Ginny would be able to hear “I am good at sensing when someone is lying and I feel you are not telling me everything.”

“That is all you need to know,” replied Harry.

“Until we can trust you,” added Ginny.

“All right, I can accept that, you two are being cautious,” said Mad-eye.

“Mr. Moody, Mr. Moody,” shouted Hermione Granger. She was carrying the bag that held all of the pieces that had been used to trace the Death Eaters. They were bouncing around inside of the bag making it jump, twist, and turn in her hand.

“I need a place where I can make a map,” said Moody loudly so everyone could hear. “It would help if we could make it our headquarters. It looks like we are in another war.”

“Use my house,” said Sirius. “I would be honored if we would fill the house up with people tracking down and arresting Death Eaters. It would make the memories of my parents much more pleasant.”

Tonks let out a loud laugh at Sirius’ comment. “You are going to make your parents roll over in their graves.”

Sirius’ laugh was louder. “That’s the point cousin.”

“Alastor, Sirius, Kingsley, Tonks, and Remus,” said Professor Dumbledore. “Why don’t you go and set up the map but first find out if it will be safe there. We will wait for your return.”

“Can we get out?” Moody asked Bill.

“As long as you don’t have a Dark Mark,” Bill replied quickly.

Harry stood and watched as they all left and Apparated away after stepping through the Wards. He looked around the Burrow’s garden. There were scorch marks from spells and areas that had exploded from the Killing Curses.

He turned to look at the marquee. It was in flames. All the decorations and the chairs were on fire. His in-laws just stood there and watched it burn. Even if the fire was put out now, everything would be a total loss. The damage from the Killing Curses was irreversible.

The friends of Ginny’s brothers had left the Burrow with Mrs. Weasley and Aunt Muriel. They were all looking at the scene of the battle with a blank look on their faces, except Hermione Granger. She seemed genuinely curious about everything.

“Excuse me, Mr. Potter,” she said trying to get Harry’s attention.

“It’s Harry,” he replied smiling at her.

“How did you revive all twenty Death Eaters at once? How did you know they were here? It seemed as though you could sense them even though you couldn’t see them. Does this have anything to do with your soul bond?”

“Blimey, Hermione,” exclaimed Ron. He had been silent just staring at everything. “He just had twenty Death Eaters attack him at his wedding. They tried to kill….” Ron stopped talking and looked as if he was going to faint. “They were planning on killing me. Without any reason, they were going to kill me.”

“You were safe little brother,” assured Bill. “They would have never made it through my Wards unless I let them.”

“Safe, they came here to kill an entire family,” shouted a heavy set Gryffindor. Harry thought he was the captain of the Quidditch team. “This was supposed to be over. You were supposed to have ended it when you defeated you-know-who years ago. I could have lost my beaters today… Ouch!”

“You arrogant arse,” shouted the dark skinned Chaser, as she slapped the captain about his head. “How dare you think about Quidditch at a time like this?”

“It wouldn’t have mattered Oliver,” said Charlie Weasley. “If Harry hadn’t noticed them, you would be dead too.”

Everyone seemed to stop talking at that statement.

“How did you notice them?” asked Charlie.

“I can sense magic, and it is a result of my bond with Ginny,” Harry said to everyone staring at him. “I sensed them Apparating. If they had walked out of the woods, I would have never known they were there.”

“Did you know they were going to come after you?” asked Charlie.

“Are you accusing Harry of endangering everyone here?” asked Ginny.

“Well it seems rather suspicious that he wants to reform the Order of Phoenix and Death Eaters attack for the first time in….” Charlie never finished his statement as bat shaped bogeys flew out of his nose and attacked him.

Harry turned and was pleased to see that Ginny hadn’t even drawn her wand.

“Getemoffme,” shouted Charlie.

“Apologize to Harry,” demanded Ginny.


“Apologize and I will.”

“I apologize. I’m sorry,” shouted Charlie. The bat bogeys disappeared as quickly as they appeared.

“I assure you that I do not want to put anyone in danger,” said Harry forcefully. “That is why we need to reform the Order of the Phoenix.”

“What’s the Order of the Phoenix?” asked George.

“It was an organization to fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters during the last war,” said Professor Dumbledore.

“Sign me up,” said George.

“Me too,” added Fred.

“NO!” shouted Mrs. Weasley. “Not the children. No Albus we can’t put the children in harm’s way. I already lost two brothers because they belonged to the Order.”

“I do not intend to allow children to fight Death Eaters, Molly,” said Albus calmly.

“But we want to help,” stated Hermione Granger. “Besides, after what we just saw, it won’t matter what you want. We will be in harm’s way if the Death Eaters decide it.”

“Enough of this talk,” shouted Mrs. Weasley. “Let’s eat. There is plenty of food for everyone and it would be a shame to see it go to waste. Everyone, go into the kitchen and get a plate and fill it up. You can sit anywhere.”

Ron quickly jumped to the head of the line. As the line was forming, Bill, Remus, Sirius, and Tonks returned.

“Where’s Alastor and Kingsley?” asked Professor Dumbledore.

“They are watching the map,” said Remus. “Everything is working great.”

“The house is a bloody mess and infested with Doxies, but we can use it for Headquarters,” said Sirius. “Alastor recommends that you place a Fidelius Charm on it, Professor.”

“I can do that,” replied the Headmaster.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Lord Voldemort leaned against Nagini in the dark corner of Lucius’s dungeon. It was a terrible existence for the greatest wizard of all time, but it was better than anything he had experienced in the past eleven years.

Two years ago he had possessed a wizard and almost stole the Philosophers Stone from its hiding place in Gringotts. If that goblin had not driven by at the wrong time, he would already be regenerated. Drinking the elixir of life would have returned him his body, but he would need to drink it every day to maintain his existence.

That failure forced him to think of another way; a permanent way to restore himself to his former glory. He had come up with a method. To ensure its success he needed a few drops of Harry Potter’s blood. With that and several other crucial ingredients, he would be flesh again, and he wouldn’t need to drink an elixir every day.

He could hear the metal door that separated the dungeons from the rest of the house shut. Lucius should be back with Potter. Soon he would be fully revived. The anticipation of regaining his body made him roll his wand in his deformed hands. They were small and twisted, but he could still hold his glorious wand.

The footsteps were getting closer, but it sounded like only one set. Lucius had better not fail him. He may have returned the wand to him, but he needed Potter also. Without Potter, he would not be able to regain his body, without a fatal flaw. Potter would once again be able to defeat him.

Lucius Malfoy stepped into his view. He was alone. Kneeling down in front of him, he spoke, “Master, I could not capture Potter. They had a trap set for us.”

“A trap? What type of a trap?”

“They lured us in thinking we were sneaking up on the wedding. I am not sure how, but they knew we were coming. We were surrounded. We fought valiantly but were not able to capture Potter.”

“Who surrounded you?”

“It was Professor Dumbledore and the Order of the Phoenix, master.”

“I thought Severus said they had been disbanded?” questioned Voldemort.

“Yes, master he said that, and he assured me that Professor Dumbledore wouldn’t be there.”

Voldemort felt the smooth wood of his wand. “I shall have a talk with Severus at a later date. You said you fought valiantly. How many did you kill?”

He saw Lucius squirm a little. “None, master.”

“How many of my loyal servants died trying to obtain the one thing I desired over everything else?”

“None master,” said Lucius.

Voldemort could sense Lucius’ anxiety as he knew what it meant to fail. To his credit, Lucius didn’t try to flee or beg for forgiveness.

“I did not ask that you try to capture Potter. I wanted you to capture him without any witnesses to confirm it was Death Eaters that captured him.” His anger was building. Years of exile without being able to use his wand was fueling his anger. “If Dumbledore has the Order reorganized then they know I am coming back. This will make my task even more difficult.

“You have failed me, Lucius,” he hissed out. “You must be punished. Crucio!

The feel of the magic coursing through his wand created an exhilarating feeling like none other. Watching Lucius twist and scream in agony only made the experience even better.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

White hot pain coursed through Harry’s head. It hit him so suddenly that he couldn’t do anything but fall to the floor. The intense pain was blocking out everything around him and was making him sick. If it didn’t stop soon he would be losing his dinner.

Soft cooling comfort came from Ginny’s touch and her voice. He could hear her through the pain and her comfort lessened it so he could gain control of his body again. He opened his eyes and saw the entire room staring at him. They had worried looks on their faces, most seemed to relax as he sat up with Ginny’s assistance.

“What hit me?” he asked no one in particular.

“Nothing hit you mate,” said Sirius. “You just let out a scream and fell to the ground and started thrashing about while holding your head.”

Harry looked at Sirius with disbelief. Certainly something had hit him, a piece of the cracked plaster on the ceiling had fallen, or a light, but as he looked around there was no evidence of anything like that happening.

“What caused the pain?” he asked, this time he directed the question to Ginny. She had the ability to sense when people are in pain and help heal them. She had just done it for him. She would know.

She didn’t say anything. If anything she looked rather peaky. Of course she can feel all his emotions and hear all his thoughts she must also have felt the terrible pain.

“Did it hurt you too?” he asked her.

She gave him a quick glance before turning away. “Yeah, I felt it too.”

He tried to sit up, but Ginny placed a hand on his shoulder to keep him sitting on the floor. “Perhaps, we should go home?”

Harry looked around him at Grimmauld Place the new headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. It was everything that Sirius had said about it, and even worse. Harry had thought that Sirius had exaggerated slightly when describing his parents and their love for the Dark Arts. It was all true. It wasn’t the evidence of Dark Magic in nearly every room that made it so terrible. It was not also the dirty unkempt appearance of the house. It wasn’t the life sized portrait of Sirius’ mother, who hurled insults at everyone as they walked up the stairs.

It was the House Elf heads in the stairwell. Sirius said that it was a Black family tradition to cut off the head of an aged House Elf and mount it on the wall. Harry had never heard of anything so barbaric. House Elves were intelligent and sensitive creatures. After seeing the heads on the wall, Harry understood why Sirius treated House Elves the way he did, like some beast of burden. Hopefully, the heads will be one of the first things to be removed from the house.

Alastor Moody and Professor Dumbledore started arguing again. They had been discussing using underage witches and wizards to watch the map for the Order. Professor Dumbledore was reluctant. It seemed he feared Mrs. Weasley’s wrath.

Harry stared up at the map that had the tracing objects attached to it. It was a large piece of glass that had the map of the British Isles etched on it. It had words of each European country and United Stated printed on it. If a Death Eater goes to one of those countries, the Order will know it.

It took him several minutes to realize where they obtained the glass from. They had removed the large picture window from the first floor and etched the map on it. The glass worked perfectly, because people could watch the map from both sides now.

Harry stood up. He felt Ginny’s hand on his arm. She looked so worried that it made him concerned about what happened to cause him such pain.

“If we are going to leave, then I will need to stand up,” he told her.

“Yes, of course,” she said distractedly. “Bill, Sirius, Remus, we need to leave.” She said with authority.

Harry saw them give her a strange look. Evidently, they were not ready to leave.

“Now, please!” she said even more emphatically.

Harry walked along as they left Sirius’ family home and Apparated to Gringotts. They went through the usual security and when they stepped into the special vault to transport them to one of his homes. Ginny insisted on Morocco.

This surprised Harry, because they had originally planned on spending the night in England. No one argued with her. It seemed to be something she inherited from her mother.

An hour later, Harry had been placed in his bed with a pot of tea and a small bowl of chocolates. He was feeling fine, but he wasn’t going to turn down the special treatment. The only thing that was bothering him was the way the Ginny was acting. He wished he could read her mind like she could his. Usually by this time, Ginny told him what he needed to know so he would stop worrying about her. Tonight she was different.

She stepped out of the bathroom with only a white cotton nightgown on. He stared at her. It was his favorite nightgown. It was simple but it seemed to make her all the more beautiful to him. It was low cut and usually one strap hung down off a shoulder. It only came to mid-thigh, and it seemed to cling to her curves.

The lights in the room dimmed without her using her wand.

The tea cup was now shaking in Harry’s hand. Seeing her like this made him want to do things that they promised not to do until Voldemort was finished.

“Chocolate,” he said offering her the bowl.

“No, I don’t need those. All I need is right here,” she said seductively as she slid up beside him.

Harry moved away from her. His heart was beating wildly. The very touch of her was causing him to doubt his resolve. “Ginny, we are supposed to wait until Voldemort is finished. If we have any children then they will be left orphans.”

“My parents will take care of them. Certainly we can find someone to protect them.”

“The war may drag on for years. Do you want to raise children during a war that we will be the center of?”

“I want to have your children, Harry. I want a boy and a girl. I want the Potter family to survive.”

Harry was a bit surprised by her last statement. “You seem to think I will die. We will die.”

“I accept it as a possibility. If we hadn’t been prepared to ambush the Death Eaters, I may already be dead, and so would you. Everyone thinks about you defeating Voldemort, but there is so much more that you are responsible for. Your family has actually been keeping the peace with the goblins and House Elves for hundreds of years. If we don’t have any children, then what will happen with that relationship?”

He looked at her. She was right. He never realized that the Potter family had so much responsibility in the magical community. They helped keep the peace with the Goblins through Gingotts and also support of House Elves.

“We are too young,” he pleaded with her. “You are still only eleven. I am only twelve.”

Ginny gave him a sly grin. A very sexy sly grin and moved closer to him. “Do I look like I am only eleven?” she whispered in his ear.

He knew at that point he had lost his argument, and he didn’t care one little bit.

Back to index

Chapter 9: Will

Author's Notes: Arthur Weasley was sitting in his kitchen the morning after Ginny and Harry's attempt at a bonding ceremony, when he receives a strange owl with a mysterious letter.
I would thank my Beta, Lief, for doing such a great job correcting my writing.

Arthur Weasley sat and sipped on his tea. The Daily Prophet lay beside him. He already read it completely through. It had nothing about the attack on his family the day before. He didn’t expect it to, but he wanted to check to be sure.

Everyone, except Ron, had already eaten their breakfast. Molly was on her way up the stairs to motivate Ron, since he had not responded to her yelling at him. Arthur didn’t want to waste his day sitting here waiting for the wedding rental people to show up. They were supposed to come by nine the next morning after the event. It was already half past ten, and he has not seen any sign of them.

In some ways, he was relieved that they hadn’t appeared to collect the marquee and the chairs. Everything had been destroyed yesterday. He had been fortunate enough to win the Lucky Galleon competition at work. He promptly spent everything, but forty galleons on Ginny’s wedding. The most expensive thing was her gown, but to see her in it made every galleon worth it.

Soon the rental place will come and he will have to figure out a payment plan to pay for the damage. He looked over the contract last night, and added up replacement cost on everything. It was going to cost him eleven hundred galleons to replace everything. He had forty.

It was times like these that made him regret his choice of profession. He had been offered a job at Gringotts when he graduated from Hogwarts, but he decided he wanted to work to help Muggles. They would not have needed to make all the sacrifices they have made, if only he had taken the Gringotts job.

They had endured buying second hand clothes and books for the children, but that won’t be enough to pay off the damages. He may need to take another job just to pay off the bill and send his children to school.

The plodding footsteps of his youngest son brought him out of thoughts. Ron never liked to get up early, and he appeared to not appreciate his mother waking him.

“Morning Ron,” he said cheerfully.

Ron barely lifted his eyes to look at him. “Yeah, good morning,” he said gruffly. “Are you going to work today?”

“I may stop in later,” he replied. “It is Sunday and we do get the opportunity to take Sundays off.”

“Yea dats rite,” Ron said with a mouthful of eggs.

Arthur ignored his son’s terrible table manners. “I am also waiting for the people to pick up the marquee and the chairs.”

Ron guffawed at the comment. He nearly spit toast onto the table. “Won’t need to do that, will they. It is all burnt to ash,” he said almost laughing.

Arthur looked at him irritated that he would brush off something like that as funny.

“How are you going to pay for it?” Ron asked.

“We will get by, Ron. Don’t need to worry, we will get by,” Arthur tried to say with more confidence than he had.

An owl’s pecking on the kitchen window caught Arthur’s attention. He quickly rose and went to let it in. He didn’t recognize it as one of the Ministry Owls. It hopped down on the counter and lifted it leg towards him. He quickly removed the large scroll attached to its leg. The bird took flight again after being relieved of its load.

Arthur looked at the unrolled scroll. It was blank, at first. He could feel a magical presence on the parchment. Soon handwriting appeared; the entire body appeared to him along with an ornate letter “P” in the bottom right corner.

Good Morning Dad,

Harry and I would like to invite you and the entire family to our place for dinner today. There are some things we need to discuss with you and Mum.

Take this letter to a clerk in Gringotts and he will know what to do with it. When you get to our special vault there will be a letter with further instructions.

Enjoy the ride.


Ginny Potter

“Molly,” he shouted for her.

“No need to shout, I am right here,” she said from the stairwell. She had two baskets of laundry floating behind her.

“Right, Ginny wants all of us to come over for the day. She said something about dinner.”

“I’m ready,” shouted Ron.

“We are going nowhere until you get cleaned up, young man,” stated Molly rather sternly. “I’ll get the rest motivated, Arthur.”

“I will need to stop by Wedding Supplies and Rental’s office. They still haven’t come for the marquee and chairs,” said Arthur to his wife.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Arthur walked down the middle of Diagon Alley with almost his entire family behind him. It was a pleasant day today and everyone he met seemed to be courteous to him and his family. It helped with his nerves. He wasn’t sure how he would explain everything to the Wedding Rental place, but he needed to square away that debt.

He stood in front of the door for several seconds before entering. It was actually a small shop in size. They either stored everything somewhere else or they were masters at Shrinking Charms. There was barely enough room for him to step in. The rest of his family had to wait on the street.

“Ah Mr. Weasley, what brings you to our little shop today,” said the owner Canton Briggs. He was small built wizard with greying brown hair and round face.

“I came about the marquee and chairs you rented me…,”

Mr. Briggs cut him off. “Do not worry about them, Mr. Weasley. Sirius Black stopped by this morning and explained everything. He also paid for the damages.”

Arthur’s heart skipped a beat. What did Sirius tell this man?

“Sirius paid for everything?” he questioned Mr. Briggs.

“Of course, it is only right, since he burnt them up. It is a dangerous thing to give firewhiskey to Mr. Black.”

Arthur smiled at the owner. “Yes, it was foolish of me to allow that. He paid for all the damages?”

“Yes. He did. I still have a hard time remembering that he had spent so many years in Azkaban. He was in here as polite as a wizard can be. It sure seems that the Ministry made a mistake by placing him in that horrible prison.”

“Yes, it sure seems that way,” said Arthur.

He stood there shocked and a little confused. It bothered him that Sirius would pay for the damage to the marquee. However, it made things much easier for him, since he had no idea how he would be able pay that debt.

“Is there anything else,” asked Mr. Briggs.

Arthur realized that he had been standing there with a blank look on his face. “No, nothing, have a nice day.”

When he left the little office, Molly was standing there looking rather peaky. He had spoken to her about their financial difficulties. Charlie and Ron had wandered over to Quality Quidditch Supplies and were staring at the latest display. Fred and George were talking to a couple of children that looked about the same age. Percy was standing beside Molly looking extremely anxious but proper as always.

“Everything has been sorted out,” he told Molly.

“All right, what does that mean for the coming school year,” asked Molly.

“Sirius Black paid for all the damages. He even told them it was his fault. He had too much Firewhiskey and burnt the marquee and the chairs.”

“Why would he do that,” asked Percy.

“Because, he probably knew we couldn’t afford to pay for it,” said Arthur.

Percy looked around and nodded slightly. He stared at his Mum before talking. “It was very nice of him to do that.”

“Yes, it was,” sighed Molly. “We should pay him back. We can’t let him pay our debts for us.”

“It was hardly our fault,” snapped Percy. “True, it wasn’t his either, but we know that the people who caused it will never pay for the damage.”

“It is good to have friends like Sirius and Harry,” said Arthur. “Harry did want to pay for the wedding. Speaking of Harry, we should get going to Gringotts to meet them.”

“Charlie, Ron, Fred, and George let’s get going,” shouted Molly.

All the boys turned and looked at her and started moving towards them.

“Let’s get moving Weasleys,” said Arthur.

They all walked towards the massive white building that housed Gringotts bank. He never figured out why they had to go to Gringotts to contact Ginny and Bill. He had never heard of goblins helping wizards before and here they were acting as protectors.

They casually strolled through the large golden doors of the bank. He walked up to the nearest open counter and handed the goblin the letter from Ginny. The surly window attendant stared at the parchment for a few seconds, before his expression changed.

“I will get Grins Gringotts,” the goblin said almost courteously. It jumped off the stool and hurried back into the offices.

“What was in that letter?” asked Percy.

“It was a letter from Ginny asking us to come over. She wrote to give it to any goblin,” answered Arthur.

“Very curious,” said Percy thoughtfully.

Charlie chuckled at his younger brother. “If what I have heard is true, we are in for a bit of a shock.”

“Why do you say that?” asked Arthur.

“Because, Bill made it sound like Harry and our little sister practically own this bank.”

“Harry did mention his family having a working relationship with the goblins,” said Molly.

“What do we have here?” said Arthur. There were five or six goblins walking towards them. He didn’t know much about the goblin hierarchy, but the three in front looked to be very important. All the other goblins either bowed out of their way, or started working extra fast and hard.

The group moved around the end of the counter, the goblin in the lead addressed them.

“I am Grins Gringotts, the heir. Did you give Kax this letter?” the goblin held out his hand with Ginny’s letter.

“Yes, I did. I am Ginny Potter’s father, this is her Mother, and these are her brothers,” Arthur said calmly to the goblin.

“She has requested your presence and I will take you to her. However, if any of you intend to harm her or Mr. Potter, then you best remain here, or suffer greatly.”

“Gee, Percy, looks like you be staying here alone,” teased George.

“I will not stay here,” snapped Percy haughtily.

All six goblins drew wicked looking swords and pointed them at Percy.

“You will not harm any of the Potters in my presence,” warned the one calling himself Grins Gringotts.

“I was only joking,” apologized George.

“I do not joke,” replied Grins Gringotts flatly.

“That is something Percy and you have in common,” said Fred.

“Enough you two,” ordered Molly. “I want to see my daughter.”

“Then follow me,” said the lead goblin.

Arthur followed along after giving Fred and George a look that said if they opened their mouths again they would regret it. They walked back to where the carts were kept for traveling to the vaults.

“Why are we going to the vaults?” Arthur asked the lead goblin.

“To access them you must go this way,” replied the lead goblin.

Everyone piled into carts to take the trip down into the vaults. They flew along on the rickety tracks on three different carts. Arthur was used to trips lasting only a few seconds. This one lasted nearly ten minutes. They had passed more vaults than he ever realized were down here. Groups of vaults lined both sides of the track. Soon the vaults were less frequent but larger. He heard a dragon roar up ahead, he knew that he must be passing by some of the original vaults.

He could hear Charlie say something in the car behind him, but with the noise the cars made, it was impossible to understand him. The dragon appeared and disappeared in a matter of a second. It seemed to be guarding a series of large vaults.

The carts started to slow down. Arthur noticed that there seemed to be no vaults in this section of the tunnels. In fact the track stopped in front of a large steel door. There were six heavily armed goblins standing guard at the door. He and Molly stepped out of the car and stretched their legs. The other two cars had stopped behind them and his sons were getting out.

Grins Gringotts stood and waited for them. “If any of you are not who you say you are, best you return to the surface now. You are about to pass through the highest security that Gringotts has.”

“Higher security than a dragon,” asked Ron.

“Yes,” the goblin said.

“Let’s get this over with,” said Arthur. “I didn’t intend on spending the entire day to see my daughter for a few minutes.”

“Very well, follow me in a single line,” ordered the goblin.

The goblin turned and started walking towards the steel door. Arthur nudged Ron to follow the goblin. Fred then George was next followed by Percy and Charlie. Molly walked ahead of him. He watched as blasts of wind seemed to generate out of the stone ground. What amazed him was the wall of water they had to walk through. It felt wet to the touch, but it didn’t soak his clothes. Finally his entire family was standing in front of the steel door.

“You have all passed,” said Grins Gringotts. He placed his hand on the steel door. There was a loud popping sound as the door started to move. Behind the door was another cavern. There were six more goblins in full battle armor. At the far side of the cavern were two of the largest steel doors Arthur had ever seen. They were the size of Hogwarts main entrance doors.

The one door had an ornate letter “P” carved into its surface. It was the exact match to the letter “P” that was on Ginny’s letter. He looked at the other vault. It had a symbol emblazoned on it. Arthur recognized it as a Gobbleygook letter “G”.

“Do we have to go through there?” asked Ron.

“No,” stated the goblin sharply. “Those are the original vaults. Only two members of each family may have permission to open those vaults. Only Harry and Ginny Potter can open the Potter family vault and my Father and Grandfather can open our family’s vault.”

Arthur wasn’t sure goblins got sentimental, but Grins Gringotts, the heir, seemed to get choked up about the vaults.

“You must go into there,” the goblin pointed at a small steel door. “There will be an envelope for you. Open it after I close the door.”

The other goblins who had accompanied them down here opened the third steel door in this cavern. It was a small empty steel lined vault. On the far wall was an envelope spell-o-taped to the wall. Arthur didn’t hesitate and walked into the steel lined vault. He could hear his family grumble behind him. They seemed to think this was a trick, except for Charlie. Eventually Ron stepped into the vault, and Grins Gringott closed the steel door.

There was a single candle burning in the vault giving him light to open the envelope. He tore open the seal and the vault was filled with Ginny’s voice.

“Morocco,” it said.

The vault seemed to shudder a bit before becoming quiet.

“I wonder what just happened,” asked Percy.

No one answered him as the steel door opened again. It was Bill this time.

“William,” shouted Molly as she ran to her eldest son.

“Hi Mum, glad you could make it,” he struggled to say as Molly hugged him. “If you come this way, I will take you up to Ginny and Harry.”

Arthur was amazed. He saw through the open door that they were not in the cavern anymore. “Where are we?” he asked his son.

“You are in Morocco, Dad,” Bill said with smiling eyes. “Pretty bloody amazing system isn’t it.”

“We traveled all the way from London to Morocco in a second?” asked Percy absolutely gob-smacked. “Does the Ministry have to approve travel like this?”

“The Ministry doesn’t even know about that vault, and please don’t inform them. Being able to travel from country to country without being sensed could be a big advantage. Now let’s get out of this basement,” said Bill as he turned and walked away.

Arthur noticed that the basement seemed to be hewed out of solid sandstone. He followed his sons and Molly took the lead with Bill. He could hear them talking up ahead, but he didn’t know what they were talking about because they were so far away.

The next level up was the house’s actual storage area. It was huge and the shelves were completely stocked with all types of supplies. The family crossed through this storage area and ascended another set of steps. He could feel the air become warmer and drier as they moved. Just before he made it to the next level, the scents of cooked food hit him and made his stomach grumble. They stepped into a kitchen staffed with house elves. He wanted to stop and sample some of the food, but his family kept moving.

There were not anymore stairs. They came out of the kitchen into a formal dining room of sorts. There were thick scarlet tapestries hanging on all the walls and large ebony table and chairs filled the center of the room. There was one chandelier hanging in the middle of the room. It looked like the entire Weasley family could sit at this table with room to spare. The next room they came to was some sort of a foyer or a general meeting room. It had wide open windows and doorways leading to a central garden. The air was extremely hot and he could smell the tangy smell of salt. They must be near an ocean.

Bill kept walking across the open aired garden to the other side of the house. The house was two floors high with a balconies opening onto this little garden with a fish pond and a small fountain. He started to wonder just how large this house was. The Burrow could stand in the central garden.

Bill had found Ginny. Arthur could hear Molly squeal out Ginny’s name, as she entered this new room. The boys just stepped into it and stared off to the sides. Arthur had to nudge them along so he could step in too. When he did, his mouth dropped also. It was an enormous two storied library. There were large tables located at three different locations. Twenty people could find places to do research here.

A set of arms wrapped around his waist bringing him out of his astonishment.

“Hi, Dad,” Ginny said, as she hugged him.

He returned the embrace and kissed the top of her head. Seeing her now, he didn’t think of her as a little girl. He saw her as a fully grown woman. The Bonding ceremony had somehow changed his perception of her.

“Welcome to Morocco,” she told him. “Does everyone want to see the place?”

All the Weasleys shouted that they did.

“I’ll take them around. Bill, do you want to go with me?”

“Sure, what about Harry?” asked Bill.

“Leave him, he needs the studying,” she said smiling.

Arthur once again fell in behind his children. He was able to listen to the Ginny talk about the house and answer questions that her brothers posed her. He walked hand in hand with Molly. It felt good to be able to do that. Ron asked about a Quidditch pitch.

“We don’t have one here. There is one in Turkey, France, and England, so if you want to play Quidditch, we must visit one of those homes.”

“How, do you plan on doing that?” asked Percy.

“All our houses are connected with the vault system,” replied Ginny as she walked. “We can go between our houses without anyone realizing it.”

“The goblins know where you are. Don’t they?” questioned Percy again.

“Not always, they don’t really want to know, and it gives us more security,” she said as she ascended a marble staircase.
As they were walking, Arthur was looking at the building. He couldn’t bring himself to calling something this large a house. The floors were all intricate mosaics and the stairs and balustrades were marble. He looked up through the opening in the center courtyard and saw the Atlas Mountains looming over them.

“You telling me you don’t have the room to play Quidditch,” asked a bewildered Ron.

“Here follow me,” Ginny opened a door along the second floor balcony.

They walked through a bedroom suite. It looked as if no one was using it, because everything was covered. She opened a set of French doors and stepped out onto an exterior balcony. It looked out over the surrounding grounds. This estate was in a middle of a town. There was a several hundred foot buffer between the house and the outer wall of the estate. Beyond that there were small houses built out of an off-white adobe.

“We are in a middle of a Muggle location,” stated Ginny. “We don’t hide this house, or do anything that the Muggles might fear like dive bombing them with Bludgers.”

“Well, you certainly aren’t any fun anymore,” said Fred and George together.

Ginny laughed at their comment. “I have to be more responsible now. I can still have fun, but nothing too reckless.”

“How can you have fun…,”

“And not be reckless.” George finished for Fred.

Ginny laughed at them. “Give me some time and you will see. Mum, Dad, I would like to extend an invitation to you to spend a couple of weeks with Harry and me.”

“I will be here too,” said Bill.

“That sounds lovely dear, but I will need to check with work and see if I can get the time off,” he told her. He actually thought he could get the time off, but he didn’t want to make any promises he couldn’t keep.

“Can we see the places where Bill has been curse breaking?” asked Molly, holding Bill’s hand.

“That shouldn’t be a problem,” replied Ginny. “I invited you to Morocco first so you don’t get too overwhelmed.”

Bill laughed at her comment. “Turkey and Egypt can be a bit over whelming when you see them.”

“Why is that, son?” asked Arthur.

“Turkey is huge and filled with ghosts fighting each other,” said Bill.

“The estate is located on top of Troy,” stated Ginny.

“Egypt is well ...,” said Bill. He looked lost for words.

“Have you ever heard of the Libraries of Alexandria?” asked Ginny.

“Vaguely, it was destroyed over a thousand years ago,” said Percy.

“No, it disappeared,” said Ginny. She smiled at everyone.

“You live in a library?” shouted Ron. “Hermione would move in if she could, that girl is always in Hogwarts library.”

Ginny smiled at her brother. “We occasionally live there. There are ghosts of sorcerers that died protecting its scrolls from destruction. They can be rather pesky when you want to look at anything ancient. ”

“Where do you live?” asked Molly. “You make it sound like you are jumping from one location to another all the time.”

“We do, Mum,” said Ginny. “It is safer that way.”

Everyone seemed to get quiet at Ginny’s statement. They remembered how the Death Eaters attacked yesterday, because they were finally able to locate Harry.

“When do we eat,” said Ron.

“Yeah, I would like to try some of that nosh your goblins were cooking,” exclaimed Charlie.

“That wasn’t for us,” said Ginny. Ron and Charlie’s faces fell hearing that. “Every Sunday the House Elves of this estate prepare a feast and leave it for the neighbors. They call it Atlas’ tithing,” she said laughing. “It is rumored that the titan Atlas stands on top of those peaks and holds up the sky from touching the earth.”

“That must get very expensive to do that every week,” Arthur said.

“It is only a small portion of what they pay us in rent every week,” said Ginny. “The Potter family tradition is to be generous with everyone and everyone will deal fairly with you. They do not believe in intimidation. It has worked well for them so far.”

Ginny looked at Arthur then Molly. There was something going through her mind. “Could I talk to you two alone? Harry will need to be there also.”

“Yes, dear that will be no problem. Is there something wrong?” Molly asked Ginny.

“We need to talk,” she said. It was obvious that she didn’t want the subject discussed in front of the entire family.

“You three can talk while the rest of us raid that kitchen,” said Fred.

Ginny smiled at her brothers as they left for the kitchens. It was only her and her parents on the balcony now. Her mother was fanning herself frantically. Arthur was also feeling rather warm. Spending time in the Mediterranean area Ginny must have acclimated to the heat. Coming straight from England, they were still used to the cool English weather.

“We can go to the library and talk. I’ll have some fresh lemonade brought for us there.”

Her mother smiled at her. “That sounds very nice dear. Is it always this hot here?”

“Yes, it is and where we will be going in Egypt to see Bill’s work is even hotter. Cooling Charms will help, but after a few days you will get used to the heat.”

“I don’t know about that,” sighed a red-faced Molly. “I don’t think I could ever get used to heat like this.”

“Come along, it is cooler in the library,” Ginny said as she led them back inside to the library.

Arthur smiled as he followed his daughter and wife back inside of the house. He continued to look around and tried to see everything about this house. Walking this direction, he noticed small things that he hadn’t noticed before. There were statues placed in recesses around the second floor interior balcony. He walked past a couple and recognized them as Apollo and Zeus. There were enough statues to cover all the gods of Olympus.

As they entered the library, Arthur noticed the doors had Greek letters on them. He did not read Greek so he couldn’t decipher them. Harry was sitting and reading from an advanced defensive magic textbook. The sight made him smile. Harry took his education seriously, which may be the only way he survives his destiny.

Harry looked up from the book and smiled at Ginny. They greeted each other with a small kiss. The look in their eyes reminded Arthur of how he and Molly were when first bonded and still were at times. It was difficult to show affection with several children running around the house.

A House Elf delivered a tray with iced lemonade. He didn’t remember Ginny actually called for the lemonade. The House Elf placed the tray on a conference table that Harry wasn’t using and left the room. Ginny poured Molly a tall glass of lemonade, and then poured a glass for him. He took a long cool sip of the lemony drink. It was so cooling and seemed to take the discomfort of the heat away. He held the glass against his warm face. The chilly surface refreshed him immediately.

“Mum, Dad, would you like to take a seat,” Ginny said indicating the table with the tray of lemonade.

Arthur held a chair for Molly. He noticed that Harry had done the same for Ginny. He was happy he did simple things like that for Ginny.

Ginny nervously took Harry’s hand and looked at him before speaking. “Mum, Dad, We would like to ask something from you,” she said. She seemed to hesitate before speaking.

“What is it dear?” asked Molly.

“We are thinking of having children,” Ginny said hesitantly.

“I am glad to hear that, but you are going to wait aren’t you?” said Molly. “There is no need to rush to have children.”

Ginny seemed to get a little peaky. “I think there is Mum. If something happens — no — if either one of us dies then the other shall die shortly after.”

“You seem to think that you will lose,” he said to his daughter.

“It is a possibility,” replied Ginny harshly. “We cannot allow the House of Potter to disappear.”

Arthur was shocked at what she said. “No offense to you Harry, but why is it so important to keep the house of Potter alive?”

“We have a pact with the Gringotts family and the bank,” explained Harry. “We also have a pact with the House Elves. If my house ends, then the pact is over. The bank would lose a large percentage of its assets and the Gringotts family has always influenced the goblin community to maintain a peace with the wizards and witches. If my house ends, they will no longer be bound to help us and our society.

“My house also has strong ties with House Elves. Any house Elf that has been given clothes can come to the House of Potter and be employed. We will pay them and they are not slaves to my house, but workers. It gives them the feeling of self-worth, and also makes them happy to be helpful to someone. If our House,” Harry said while looking at Ginny. “If we would cease to exist there would be many House Elves without anything to do. In the past they have been known to rebel against magical society. Their rebellions were never as large and bloody as the goblins.”

“Harry, I can appreciate that you want to keep your house alive, but I get the impression that you are trying to have children already. Even though you look to be mature, are you ready to have children,” Arthur asked them.

Harry looked nervous and glanced at Ginny.

“I have been ready to have children since the month after we bonded. I am afraid if we wait it will never happen,” argued Ginny.

“What changed pumpkin?” he asked his daughter.

“They were going to kill me and capture Harry yesterday. They were going to kill all of you,” Ginny said through a quivering voice. She was trying to hold back tears.

Harry pulled her close and kissed her on the side of the head. It was a loving show of support, but it seemed to make Ginny even more upset.

“Why are you telling us this? You could just have children and tell us afterwards,” questioned Molly.

Ginny looked Harry in his eyes before answering. “If we should die, we would like the two of you to raise our children.”

Arthur looked at her. Molly seemed to sit up a little straighter. Neither one said anything.

“We would like to ask if you would love our children like they were one of your own,” Harry questioned them.

“Of course we would love them like our own,” responded Molly. “What would ever make you think we wouldn’t love our own grandchildren?”

Arthur could tell she was upset that Harry would think they would not love their own grandchildren. Harry looked at Ginny; she smiled at her husband and abruptly stood up. She walked to an area at the end of the table and started waving her wand. It shot out silver sparks that stayed where she placed them. Soon she had some three dimensional drawing that looked a like an area under a set of steps.

“You see this Mum?” Ginny asked.

“Yes, I see it, but what is it?”

“What you are looking at is what Harry called his room until a week before his eleventh birthday.”

“But that looks like a cupboard under the stairs,” replied Molly bewildered.

“It was,” Harry added. “My Hogwarts letter came to me addressed to Harry Potter, The Cupboard under the Stairs, Number four Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. My Aunt and Uncle would lock me in that cupboard for days only allowing me to go to the bathroom, whenever I upset them.”

“Didn’t they have enough room for you?” asked Molly.

“They had two extra bedrooms. One was saved for visitors, and the other was for Dudley’s broken possessions he couldn’t keep in his own bedroom.”

Arthur stared at the space that Ginny drew. He was kept in a place smaller than a normal closet, by the people that were given charge to care for him. He suddenly realized the most disturbing fact.

“Albus Dumbledore knew you were living under those conditions, if your Hogwarts letter was addressed like that. He wanted to send you back to those horrible people. We were going along with his plan,” Arthur stopped talking and looked at the young man that was his son-in-law. “Why would he allow that?”

“The night my parents died my Mother sacrificed her life to protect me. Her loving sacrifice is what protects me from Voldemort. Professor Dumbledore evoked an ancient blood rite to keep that protection in place. As long as I lived with a blood relative of my mother, I will be protected from Voldemort attacking me.”

Arthur looked at his wife. Molly had unshed tears in her eyes. He couldn’t tell what part of Harry’s story caused the tears to form, but they were there. He better understood Harry’s past, but he was still curious about something.

“You said that your mother sacrificed for you. Didn’t your father die that night also? Professor Dumbledore could have sent you to your grandparents.”

“My Dad was going to die anyway. Voldemort had made a deal with Severus Snape to save my mother for him. Sirius and Remus believe it was Snape, because he was infatuated with my Mum.”

“Severus Snape is an idiot,” shouted Molly. Her face was flushed and she had tears rolling down her cheeks. “He has no clue what a parent will do for their children. Did he actually think that your Mum was going to step aside and let some monster kill a child of hers? No good parent would ever do such a thing. To think that even if your Mum had survived, she would not have spent the rest of her days trying to avenge her child’s death was asinine. He does not understand what it is to love someone and to have children, or he would have never thought the plan would work.”

Molly stood up and rushed around the table towards Harry. He looked at her nervously as she ran at him. It almost looked like fear in his eyes; fear that Molly would strike him. Arthur started to wonder if more happened at Harry’s Aunt and Uncle’s house than he told them.

When Molly wrapped her arms around Harry, he seemed unsure what to do for a second, and then he returned Molly’s hug. Arthur stood up also and placed a hand on Harry’s shoulder, while Molly was still hugging Harry.

“Of course we will take care of your children and love them as if they were our own,” he told Harry.

A set of arms wrapped around his waist. He looked down to see Ginny staring up at him. She also looked as if she might start crying any second.

“Thank you, Daddy, you don’t know how happy this makes me.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Arthur stood on the balcony of the room that Molly and he was given for the night. He could hear the festivities in the small town that surrounded the villa, as Ginny called it, winding down. He was sipping on some brandy trying to get his head to stop spinning.

After telling Ginny and Harry they would promise to raise their children if anything would happen to them, Harry started to tell him about the Potter family assets. He and Molly would be partially responsible for running the estate until the children come of age. He could not believe the vast wealth the Potters had accumulated over the ages.

Arthur took a sip of brandy and smiled. It would be difficult not to look down on Malfoy. All those years Malfoy derided him for being poor, and to learn that Malfoy’s wealth isn’t one tenth of what the Potters possess.

Arthur took a sip of his brandy. He should not lower his attitude to be like Lucius. After all, the Potters amassed this wealth by doing good deeds for people and actually living a rather normal life. Tonight was a prime example. It was a three hundred year tradition for the House Elves of this villa to give a feast to the Muggle community surrounding it. Everyone lived on Potter land and paid rent to them. They also loved the owners of the villa and protected them from outsiders. It was like Ginny said earlier. The Muggles actually pay them more than they give the Muggles. It all works for both sides.

Arthur drained his snifter of brandy and was getting ready to go inside, when the moon appeared from behind a cloud high above the Atlas Mountains. He almost choked on his drink.

“Molly, come and look at this,” he shouted for his wife.

Molly came out in a midnight blue cotton nightgown. “What is it Arthur?”

“Do you see what I see,” he asked her pointing at the Mountains.

“What am I supposed to be looking…?” She stopped talking and stared at the moonlight on the mountain.

When the moon was directly above the mountain, it appeared to be a bald man’s head. The light of the moon cast shadows in such a way that the peaks seemed to become its arms extending down to the ground where the crevasses at the base of the mountains appeared to be hands.

“I thought legend said he was supposed to be holding the sky up from the earth,” whispered Molly.

“I am starting to wonder how many legends we thought weren’t real are going to end up being real over the next week.”

“I thought soul bonds were only legends two years ago,” said Molly.

They stood there and stared at the moonlight image of Atlas holding the world up until the moon moved away and the image disappeared.

Back to index

Chapter 10: Some Potter History

Author's Notes: Harry tells the Weasleys about his family history and how they came to be so affluent. This chapter will take a serious turn into the AU category.
I would like to thank my Beta, Leif, for doing a fantastic job with my constant errors.

Harry walked out of his bedroom and looked down from the second floor balcony at Sirius sitting by the fountain reading a large tome and sipping on his morning coffee. Sirius had taken to the local style of coffee which was rather strong and he rarely drank tea anymore. The only time he seemed to drink tea was when he returned to Britain. After spending the past few weeks in England, Harry noticed how different he and Ginny were from the traditional English wizards and witches.

The English wore full length robes, while they wore hooded dragon-hide capes with trousers and long sleeve shirts. He had a set of robes he purchased that day in Diagon Alley, but he never got a chance to try them on. He bonded with Ginny and his physical size changed so radically that they would never fit him. He didn’t think he would like to wear robes because they seem too bulky and cumbersome. He wondered if the English looked at him and thought he looked weird.

Harry made his way down to his godfather. He wondered what type of a night Remus had as it had been a full moon last night. The latest bout of lycanthropy had hit Remus particularly hard. He hadn’t been feeling good for the past two days. Yesterday, he was particularly moody and was experiencing severe body aches. Hopefully this would mean that next month it will be easier on him.

Harry walked up on Sirius without him noticing. “Good Morning Padfoot,” he said loudly.

Sirius jumped at the sound of his voice, but it quickly turned into a smile. “You enjoyed surprising me. Didn’t you?”

“I find the look on your face was worth it.”

“You are so much like your father,” smiled Sirius.

“How was Remus’ night?” Harry asked, while pouring himself a small cup of the strong coffee before sitting at the table.

Sirius seemed to physically sag. “We need to perfect Wolfsbane, so we can help him. I hate seeing him suffering like he does. Those transformations are hell on him,” stated Sirius unnecessarily.

“I know,” replied Harry. “I am trying to brew it to perfection, but we are always a bit off.”

“I keep looking at this book on the Wolfsbane Potion, but Damocles Belby can be rather vague when describing his exact method of brewing the ruddy stuff.” Sirius closed the book with a huff.

“Has Belby published anything else relating to Potions?” asked Harry. “If he had, it might give us a clue on what we are doing wrong.”

Sirius looked at him before breaking out in a large smile. “At times you are as brilliant as your mother and father when you say things like that.”

Harry blushed slightly at his godfather’s praise. He always enjoyed being compared to his parents. From everything he has been told, his parents had both been excellent students. He wished right now he had his mother’s natural ability to brew Potions better than anyone in her year. Wolfsbane would help Remus with the effects of the full moon and help with the painful transformation. He often felt inadequate for not being able to brew it properly.

“I guess you know what your next Potions assignment will be,” said Sirius with a smile.

“Will that be instead of my preparation for my NEWTs or in addition to them?” asked Harry.

“Rather cheeky talking to your professor that way,” laughed Sirius. “That will be in addition to your NEWT studies.”

“NEWT studies?” asked Molly Weasley. “Are you really studying for your NEWTs?”

Molly Weasley had approached them silently. For a large woman she was able to move about rather gracefully and silently.

“We have them studying sixth and seventh year subjects already,” said Sirius proudly.

“You must do nothing but study all day long,” she said. She looked a little concerned. “Don’t you ever get a chance to just relax and enjoy life?”

“If I don’t learn enough, I won’t be alive to enjoy life for very long,” replied Harry. It was true, but he must have said it too harshly, because Mrs. Weasley became rather teary-eyed.

“Enough talk like that, you are young and just married. You shouldn’t be concerned about fighting dark wizards. You should be thinking about a career, starting a family, and finding a place for your home.”

Her comment made Harry realize that those should be the most important things in his life. Not trying to stay alive long enough to start a family, or having everyone he cared about getting killed. He wanted to tell her that that life wasn’t possible for him, but he kept silent.

“What do you want for breakfast?” asked Mrs. Weasley.

“If we are going to Egypt, we need to eat something light. The traditional English fry-up will make us sick to the stomach,” said Sirius.

“Oh nonsense, everyone needs a good breakfast,” protested Molly. She looked around at the doors leading into the villa. “Is that door the one to the kitchen?”

“Yes, it is,” answered Harry.

“I’ll be back in a flash,” she said, as she walked towards the kitchen.

Harry sat there and stared at her. Without a doubt Ginny got her stubborn streak from her mother. He wondered if that was where Ginny also got her desire to have a family so soon. He wanted children, but he wanted to defeat Voldemort first. Ginny’s desire to start a family made him wonder if she thought he wasn’t going to be able to defeat Voldemort.

Ever since they discovered about Horcruxes and how that could be the reason Voldemort was still alive, they planned on destroying them before Voldemort regained his body. Harry would then never need to face off against Voldemort in mortal combat. Ginny must not believe that is possible anymore.

“Hey, little Prongs, what are you so concerned about?” asked Sirius.

“Nothing, nothing at all,” replied Harry.

“Yeah, you really convinced me,” said Sirius sardonically.

“Ginny, she wants to start a family right now,” he whispered to his godfather.

Sirius threw his head back and let out a loud barking laugh. “Everyone in the villa knew you two had done the deed on your honeymoon night.”

Harry felt his face become extremely warm. “How — how did you know?”

“You two shook the entire villa, mate,” laughed Sirius with an exaggerated wink.

Harry became even more embarrassed. “So-sorry, I didn’t realize.”

“You remember that as you and Ginny strengthen your bond, you emit magical energy. That was what shook the villa. Didn’t you notice the torch sconces?”

Harry looked at his godfather strangely. He looked at the sconces around the interior of the villa. They all looked in good shape. “I don’t see anything wrong with them.”

“Look around them. All the walls and ceilings are charred. They are Charmed to burn, but because it was an active spell you and Ginny’s actions increased the power of the Charm. They all flared up and charred the surrounding walls.”

Harry stared at the sconces. Sirius was right. There was a blackened area of wall around all the sconces. “I wonder what else we disturbed?” he whispered under his breath.

“Nothing that you need to worry about, mate,” reassured Sirius. “Why are you so concerned about starting a family with Ginny?”

“I am not concerned about starting a family as much as I am concerned about why she wants a family right now. I almost get the feeling that she doesn’t think I will win. She asked her parents to care for our children if we died. Why would she do all that if she thought I was going to come out of this victorious?”

“Her entire family was nearly wiped out two days ago. Give her time to reflect on the near deaths in her own way. Give her time to grow, Harry. She is still only eleven.”

“Yeah, a very fit eleven year old,” Harry whispered into his coffee cup.

“What was that?” asked Sirius.

“Yes, what was that thought, dear?” asked Ginny from the balcony.

Harry blushed partly because of his thoughts about Ginny and also that she heard those thoughts. In many ways, he hated how she could do that. To keep her from knowing his thoughts he had to keep his Occlumency shields up at all times.

“Good morning Father,” shouted Ginny across the open courtyard.

“Good morning to you, and how is Mrs. Potter this morning?” he asked cheerfully, as he closed the door to his bedroom.

“I am wonderful,” responded Ginny. “Good morning Percy.”

Percy had emerged from his bedroom two doors from Arthur and Molly.

“Percy, please get the rest of your brothers up, I think I smell Molly cooking breakfast,” said Arthur.

Percy was standing directly above the door leading the dining room and kitchens. He took an exaggerated inhale and smiled. “I believe Mum is. I will try to get them up, Father.”

While all this was happening Ginny had descended the stairs and had reached Harry. She bent down and gave him a warm kiss. “So you think I am rather fit, do you,” she whispered to him as she broke the kiss.

Harry was left blushing again. Sirius broke out in a loud barking laugh at his embarrassment. Ginny had poured herself a cup of coffee and sat down beside Harry. She placed her hand on his knee and stared into his eyes. She had such loving brown eyes and Harry was getting lost in them.

A crash of falling metal and breaking plates was heard from the dining room area.

“Molly,” shouted Arthur.

“I am fine,” she said appearing from the dining room. “My Levitation spell went a little wonky.” She disappeared back into the dining room.

Harry and Ginny stared at each other for a second, before putting space between them.

“Mr. Black,” said Arthur addressing Sirius.

“Oh please don’t call me Mr. Black. It is either Sirius or Padfoot, but never Mr. Black.”

“Very well, Sirius, I would like to thank you for paying off my bill for the rental. I will repay you as soon as I get the money saved up, or do you want regular payments?”

Sirius looked confused for a minute, before responding. “Arthur, I am Harry’s godfather. Part of the expense of the wedding should have been mine. So I will not accept any payments from you. It is what family does for each other.”

Sirius had stood up and extended his hand to Arthur. Both men shook hands. Arthur looked a little emotional about what Sirius said.

“Well I must go and see if Molly needs any help.”

Sirius watched Arthur walk away, before turning and staring at Harry. He sat down and whispered. “I think someone has been hitting the Polyjuice without permission.”

“I couldn’t let him pay for that marquee and the chairs,” responded Harry.

“What, how did you do that?” asked a shocked Ginny. “Why didn’t I know about it?”

“I left early yesterday morning while everyone was asleep. I used Occlumency shields on my thoughts.”

Sirius looked like he was going to change into Padfoot and bite Harry. “Don’t do that again,” he hissed. “It was extremely dangerous. No one knew where you were and if you would have been caught, we weren’t there to save your sorry arse.”

“I went out as you,” pleaded Harry.

“Exactly! Don’t you think they would have wanted to capture me to find out where you were?”

Harry had never even thought about that. All he remembered was the dejected look on Arthur and Molly’s face as the marquee burnt to the ground. He knew they had spent nearly all their savings on the wedding. “I was only trying to help. I wasn’t sure how he was going to explain how everything was burnt down. So I went to the place and paid it all off and gave them a plausible story.”

Harry looked at Ginny for support but she looked even angrier than Sirius. “If you wanted to do that, you could have sent Sirius. You didn’t have to sneak around and do it yourself,” she snapped at him.

“I wasn’t sure he would agree to the story,” said Harry defeated.

“What did you tell the rental people?” asked Sirius.

Harry stared at Sirius and then Ginny. He looked for a supportive face, but only thing he saw was anger. He took a deep breath. “I told the bloke at the store that you drank too much Firewhiskey and burnt the marquee down when you tried shooting fireworks out of your wand,” he said dejectedly.

Sirius’s eyes twinkled with mischief and the corner of his mouth twitched but the frown remained. “He believed you?”

“Yeah, he didn’t even question it,” said Harry.

Sirius placed his hand over his mouth for a second, before he pointed at Harry. “Don’t do it again.”

“Yes, I second that opinion you prat,” added Ginny.

Harry looked between them waiting to see if they were done chastising him. Ginny was staring at her coffee and Sirius was looking everywhere, but at Harry.

Up on the balcony, the Weasley boys were all appearing from their rooms. They looked as if they would prefer to remain in bed. They were bleary-eyed and still pulling their robes on and straightening them.

Molly stepped out of the dining room doors. “Come along boys, breakfast is ready. You too Ginny,” she said smiling at her. There was a thundering of feet as the previously groggy boys all came awake and raced to the dining room.

“Well let’s get some nosh,” said Sirius. “I am glad I found out what I did at the reception. It would have been quite a surprise when everyone took the mickey out of me.”

Harry laughed and stood up and helped Ginny out of her chair.

“I am still angry with you,” she told him.

Harry fake bowed to her before following her to the dining room. Sirius seemed to find his bow amusing, and put an arm around Harry’s shoulders as they walked. The dining room was loud and noisy. All the Weasleys were in there and had started to eat. They all greeted the three of them between bites of food and grabbing food off the serving platters.

Ginny, Sirius, and Harry all sat together by Mr. Weasley. Harry stared at the food. It was all heavy food that might make everyone sick if they got out in the heat. He took a couple pieces of toast and some eggs. He looked around and Ron was stuffing his face with sausage, bacon, and eggs.

“Harry, I would like to Owl the Ministry and tell them that I need to take some time off,” said Mr. Weasley. “How would I do that, and how long should I ask for?”

“Do you have to work today?” asked Bill.

“I was scheduled to work, so I need to send an Owl soon.”

Harry was caught off guard by the question. It was something that he had never considered.

“Why don’t you take my parents to the vault, and Dad can Owl the Ministry from there,” suggested Bill.

Harry thought about the suggestion. He was going to try to explain his family history to the Weasleys. It might be a good thing to go to the vault today.

“Sure, we can go to the vault. I can show you my family history stored there,” said Harry.

“Which vault is that dear?” asked Molly.

“The one in Gringotts,” said Ginny.

“That huge one we saw when we came here?” asked Ron. “Can we come too?”

The noisy room became silent as everyone stared at Harry and Ginny. He didn’t know what to do. He looked at Ginny who was staring back at him.

“What do you think, love,” he asked his wife. She looked at him, but he could tell she was thinking and trying to sense what everyone would feel and do. She turned to look at everyone.

“You can go, but you must promise not to tell anyone about what you see in there,” she demanded of her family.

“What is in there?” asked Arthur.

“Nothing bad, actually it is all very impressive,” interjected Bill. “It would be best if all you ever said about it was it was large, filled with treasures, and family artifacts.”

“Nothing dark and dangerous?” asked Molly.

“No nothing like that, it is mostly things that have been kept secret for generations. I would like it to be kept secret,” said Harry.

“Charlie, can you keep the Potters’ secrets,” Arthur asked his second oldest.

“Sure,” said Charlie. “Who would I tell my dragons?”


“Yes, Father, I promise.”

“Fred and George?”

“Why do you always ask him first?”

“Because, I am a natural leader and better looking.”

“Not bloody likely…,”

“Boys,” shouted Molly.

“Yes, we promise,” they said in unison.


“Yeah, what would be so important in there anyway? The vault is practically impossible to get to. It isn’t like anyone would ever be able to get into it,” grumbled Ron.

“Molly and I will keep your secrets,” Arthur said to them.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Everyone stepped out of the vault used for transportation into the chamber with Gringotts' and Potter’s vaults. The six guard goblins turned to look at them. They acknowledged Harry and company before turning away again.

Ginny walked over to the guard goblins, and handed the nearest one her father’s letter. “Please have this sent to the Ministry,” she said politely to one of them.

The Goblin walked to the metal door separating the vaults from the rest of the cavern. He opened the door and handed a goblin on the outside the owl post and repeated the instructions in Gobbledygook.

After the Owl was sent, Harry turned to the door of his vault. He placed his hand on the door's surface. Nothing happened for several seconds, and then it shifted with a grinding noise, before sliding upwards exposing the contents.

“The records and family history is over here,” Harry said over his shoulder, as he walked to the right side of the vault.

“You can go in,” said Ginny.

Harry turned when he heard Ginny speaking. Her entire family except for Bill was standing and staring open mouthed at the vault. They were evidently overwhelmed at the sight of his family’s fortune. He remembered how shocked he was, so he decided to wait patiently for them to get over their shock. Ginny and Bill were smiling at their family.

There was a sound of a bell and a pile of galleons appeared in the vault. It was probably three or four hundred galleons in the stack. It appeared on the top of what looked to be a golden wall almost five feet high six feet deep and twenty to thirty feet long, and it was made out of galleons. Harry had a hard time remembering the timing of payments from the people leasing the land and buildings he now owned.

“There must be five hundred Galleons in that stack,” said Mr. Weasley in awe.

“Three hundred and forty-five,” Bill said reading a scroll that came out of one wooden box and dropped down the wall and wound itself into a second wooden box. “This is the ledger for all deposits and withdrawals from this vault.” He smiled at Harry. “I forgot you owned that building. Rather ironic, I think.”

“What are you talking about?,” asked Harry. He was clueless what building Bill was referring to.

“Why you own the building that houses the Magical Wedding Supply and Rental Company,” Bill said with a laugh.

“You own property in Diagon Alley?” asked Fred or George.

Harry wasn’t sure he could tell them apart. The only time he knew which one was which was when one of the Weasleys called their names. There were a couple of times he thought the wrong one answered, but he wasn’t going to say anything.

“He owns Diagon Alley,” answered Bill. “Why do you think Gringotts was there? The Potters own the land Diagon Alley was built on and half the buildings built on it.”

“You can give us a shop for our seventeenth birthday,” begged one of the twins.

“We have so many plans to improve the joke industry,” said the other.

“All we need is a store front and we could put Zonkos out of business in a year,” they said together.

“Why would he agree to that,” laughed Sirius. “The Potter family owns Zonkos and the building it is in.”

The twins snapped their heads around from looking at Sirius to staring at Harry. “Your family owns Zonkos?” they almost shouted.

Harry shrugged his shoulders. It was strange to know that he had so much wealth, and yet the first eleven years of his life he lived being treated like a beggar.

“Mum, Dad do you want to see my family history?” He called his in-laws Mum and Dad by Ginny’s request. She knew they would appreciate being called that. She was right. Both her parents beamed proudly at him.

“Of course son,” gushed Molly.

“Can I listen too?” asked Percy.

“Yeah, I would like to hear where your family obtained all this wealth,” said Charlie.

“Charlie, be polite,” admonished Molly.

“I am, but Mum. There more galleons in this one vault than probably in three-quarters of the vaults in Gringotts bank combined. How does one come by so much wealth?”

Another bell rang and a pile of galleons appeared on the wall of galleons. It was larger than the first pile that had appeared.

“Harry just made more money in the last two minutes, than Dad makes in a year,” said Charlie shaking his head.

“Charlie, enough,” demanded Mr. Weasley. “Harry, I apologize for my son.”

“No need to do that, Dad. I didn’t bring you here to make you feel bad or anything. This is where we keep the records of my family.”

Arthur looked at him and placed his hand on Harry’s shoulder. “I know you didn’t. I knew you were wealthy. I had no idea how wealthy. Harry, I never felt judged by you. So many wealthy families look down on me and my family because we don’t have much, but I never felt that coming from you.

“Now, I would like to hear about your family history. I have always known of the Potter family, but not a lot of details.”

“We will stay here with Ronnie-kins,” shouted Fred or George. “We will make sure that no one steals from your vault. That goblin out there on the end looks rather shifty.”

“Don’t you three touch anything,” shouted Molly.

Harry smiled as Ginny activated a security Charm. It was a subtle wand movement, but the Charm would prove hilarious if the twins and Ron tried anything.

“Follow me and don’t touch anything even by accident,” said Harry.

“Why?” asked Percy.

“Security, I’ll explain later,” Harry said with a smile.

He turned and walked towards an ancient desk that was built into a set of bookshelves. He walked up to the shelves, found the giant leather bound book with his family history, and pulled it from the shelves. He laid it on the desk.

“All right, the reason why you can’t touch anything unless I give it to you,” whispered Harry. “Ginny activated one of our security Charms. Unless she or I hand you something, anything you touch in this vault will create a Permanent Sticking Charm from you to the floor.”

“Can you teach me that Charm?” asked Charlie. “I could have a lot of fun with a galleon on the street.”

Harry laughed as he thought about people bending over to pick up a galleon only to get stuck to the galleon.

“Sorry, I know how to activate and deactivate. I don’t know how to cast it,” he replied. “Let’s get back to why we are here, my family history.”

“Harry, that book says Peverell, not Potter,” said Percy.

“That was my original ancestors’ names. It was changed later to escape persecution.”

“Persecution?” asked a puzzled Arthur.

“Yes, but let me start at the beginning and work my way forward. There will be some gaps in the chronology, but there is nothing we can do now.

“My original ancestors were the Peverell brothers. You heard of them from the stories of the Beedle the Bard. They were known as the Three Brothers.” Harry hesitated as the Weasleys reacted to his statement. He didn’t wait for them to comment.

“The story wasn’t true though. They never met Death on a bridge. They were three powerful wizards who had escaped death during the Dark Ages. After all, if the third brother had taken Death’s Invisibility Cloak, people would be able to see Death coming.” He tried to make a joke, but saw that no one was laughing. Clearing his throat he continued on.

“My direct ancestor was the youngest who created the Invisibility Cloak, Ignotus. The eldest was Antioch. He had studied wand making and created a powerful wand, which later became known as the Death Stick. The middle brother, Cadmus, worked with an enchanted stone….”

“The Resurrection Stone?” asked Arthur.

“Yes, the story isn’t exactly accurate. The brothers had developed these magical objects to help them survive during the dark ages as they traveled about Europe, Asia, and Africa trying to uncover all the various types of magic in the world.

“According to Ignotus’ writing about those travels, many groups of magical people were not accepting of others. Deadly battles routinely broke out when they came upon these groups. Antioch was the warrior of the three. Cadmus would use the stone to call upon a deceased friend that he trusted to investigate if there were any necromancers in the new group they found. He could also use his contact with the dead to impress the necromancers they met. Ignotus was their forward scout.”

“Necromancy, I thought that was a rare Dark Art,” interjected Percy.

“During the ninth century it wasn’t uncommon, particularly in many remote areas of eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. In the more populated areas, the magical community shied away from necromancy. They still had many confrontations, before Antioch was defeated in Spain.

“After his death Cadmus and Ignotus returned to England. They had spent ten years exploring the world. The brothers married and settled down to raise their families.”

Harry stopped talking and smiled at the information he had learned from this journal started by his ancestor.

“Ignotus had bought land just outside of the town of London. Cadmus moved to Scotland, where Hogsmeade is now located.”

“It was Ignotus’ son Petyr that saved the Gringotts family of goblins from being murdered. However, maybe the most ironic part of the two remaining brothers’ significance, was who their daughters married. Ignotus’s daughter Elizabeth married Gregory Gryffindor. Cadmus’s daughter Gwyneth married Lorci Slytherin. You would not believe who their children were,” he said sardonically.

“Godric Gryffindor and Salazar Slytherin were cousins,” smiled Arthur.

“Second cousins,” said Harry with a smile. “I think even Rowena Ravenclaw and Helga Hufflepuff were distantly related. That is for another discussion. I want to get back to the descendants of Ignotus Peverell. Petyr had rescued the first Grins Gringotts from being murdered, by using his fathers’ Invisibility Cloak. They had also invited the Goblin and his family to live on their estate on the outskirts of London.

“Gringotts bank is actually the original manor house for the Peverell family. Ginny and I own all the land that Diagon Alley sits on and we collect rent from all the businesses located there.”

“No wonder you are so bloody wealthy,” said Charlie.

“There are other reasons that occurred several years later and relates to those suits of armor,” he said pointing back towards the entrance of the vault.

“The Peverells were also friendly with Muggles. Even though they were not of noble birth, they were accepted by the British nobles. Ignotus had formed a relationship with the local lords when he purchased Diagon Estates. They even had Muggle serfs working for them.

“Several generations later, western Europe started to organize against the Moors. They started fighting crusades against them. When Antioch, Cadmus, and Ignotus were traveling, they had fought against Moor sorcerers. They were fighting in Spain when Antioch had died. Two hundred years later, Francis Peverell joined the crusades armed with the knowledge that they would meet sorcerers.

“Even though the crusades were organized with the blessing of the Vatican, the lords and the knights looked the other way when Francis used magic to protect them. Four nobles invited Francis to join them as they formed a special group of fighters called the Knights Templar. That suit of armor was his.” He pointed to the battered suit of armor with the white tunic adorned with a red cross. They had walked from the desk to the suits of armor by the entrance.

“Whose armor were these other suits?” asked Arthur.

“Yeah, I would like to know that,” shouted Fred.

“I also want to know. We are a couple of inquiring minds,” said George.

Harry looked over at them and started to laugh. They were stuck to the pile of galleons. Fred was turned around looking like he tried to hide his stuck hand behind his back. George stood like he was casually leaning against the galleons. It looked strange that he didn’t stand up, until Harry noticed his arse was stuck to the galleons also. Ron though had both hands and his right knee stuck to the galleons.

Ginny was giggling like a girl at the sight of her brothers. All the Weasleys including the three stuck to the galleons were soon laughing along. Harry enjoyed hearing the entire family laughing. He had always worried that he had ruined Ginny’s relationship with her family.

“What do you think, love?” asked Ginny. “Should we release them or leave them here for a while longer. They do look rather nice, almost like moving statues.”

“We have natural artistic abilities,” teased Fred.

Ginny waved her wand and her brothers were released. George wasn’t ready for the spell to be released and slipped pulling hundreds of galleons down on top of him. Fred and Ron laughed at him.

“I should be upset by this situation, but considering I am covered in gold, I find it rather nice,” said George placing his hands behind his head. He looked like he was lying in bed with a golden blanket over him.

Ginny waved her wand and the galleons flew back into neat stacks leaving George lying on the ground without his golden covering.

“You were always a spoil sport, Gin-Gin,” complained George.

“Harry, you were explaining about how your family obtained its fortune, before those three interrupted us,” huffed Percy.

Harry smiled at Percy. He had been completely engrossed with everything Harry had said about his family.

“The Knights Templar grew from the stories of their successes in battles. The Vatican gave them special status in Europe. They were above all the Kings in Europe and they could move across all the lands. Soon afterwards, the Templars started to offer the nobles moving through Europe to the Crusades, in Iberia and the Middle East, banking services. A noble would deposit their gold with the Templars and receive a parchment stating how much gold they deposited. The noble could then present the parchment and receive gold from another Templar banking location. His balance would be updated with each withdrawal. There was of course a small fee for these services.

“Francis’ son, Geoffery, created the small vault used for transporting gold from one bank to another. It was also during this time that Geoffery discovered many of the places that we have as estates. The Peverell’s purpose with the Knights Templar changed to being bankers instead of fighters. They were able to move gold around Europe and the Mediterranean.

“The Templars kept collecting treasure from knights, nobles, and even Kings as they went off to war. Soon most of the wealth in Europe was held by the Templars. Kings became jealous and even the Vatican was becoming worried that the Templars would become a threat to their control. The Templars were a large army and the wealthiest organization in Europe.

“On October 13, 1307, King Phillip of France, by order of the Pope, arrested and began executing all the known Templar Knights. He also tried to reclaim the treasure. King Phillip’s father had borrowed heavily from the Templars to fund an army to reach the Middle East leaving France bankrupt. Percival had collected these suits of armor from the King of France as collateral for the loan.

“The Knights Templar ceased to exist. Percival Peverell distributed gold to many of the surviving members. The rest ended up here,” he waved his hand around the vault.

“But, when did they change the name to Potter,” asked Molly.

“On October 14, 1307, Percival cast a charm similar to the Fidelius on the name Peverell. Anyone who knew them would forget their names. The name Peverell disappeared from all records relating to the Knights Templar. We even checked in Muggle records and they stated five nobles started the organization. They only knew the name of four of them. The fifth was forgotten.”

“Bloody Hell,” said Charlie. He was scratching at the one ornate suit of armor. “This looks like gold plate on this armor.”

“It probably is. It was a King’s armor after all,” said Harry with a smile. “You can’t have a King wearing something drab like steel.”

The sound of the steel door creaking open caught everyone’s attention. They turned and saw an outside goblin handing a parchment to one of the goblins on the inside of the door. That one in turn walked to Ginny and handed the parchment off. She handed it to her father. Mr. Weasley unrolled it and read it slowly.

“Well, Weasleys it looks like I have the rest of the week off.” The patriarch announced joyfully. There was a loud cheer echoing off the stone walls of the vault.

“Why don’t we go to Egypt,” suggested Ginny. “We can fill them in as to why the Potter family is so important to Goblins and House Elves.”

“Before we go, I have a question about something I saw back in the vault,” announced Charlie. “It was on the other side of the desk the Peverell History was on.”

Harry looked at Ginny and Bill. What Charlie requested could reveal more than they had wanted to let people know. There was an uncomfortable moment as the three of them looked at each other.

“Charlie, what could be so important,” questioned Molly.

He shifted on his feet as everyone’s eyes were on him.

“I saw four chests with the markings of the Hogwarts houses,” said Charlie quietly.

Harry took a deep breath. They were never clear how much they should tell them. He trusted Charlie wouldn’t tell. The person he was worried about was Ron. Would he blab all over Hogwarts? He looked at Ginny for guidance. She was standing there concentrating. He assumed she was trying to determine if they could trust her family. Her nose was scrunched up as she concentrated. Harry thought she looked adorable and wanted to kiss her nose.

“They are from the four founders,” said Ginny as she opened her eyes. “These are the things we are most worried about people finding out they are down here. Voldemort wants them for his collection, and we don’t want to give them to him.”

Her entire family cringed a little at the mention of Voldemort.

“Why would he want them?” asked Ron.

“He wanted to beat the best. He wanted to have control over the original founders. He could use some of the artifacts to grow more powerful,” Ginny said to her brother.

“Can we see it, please,” begged Charlie.

“What has piqued your interest?” asked Bill.

Charlie looked at Harry and Ginny. “I have always heard that Godric Gryffindor had a magnificent sword, but no one knew where it was. I was wondering if you had it down here.”

“It is down here, but it isn’t with the other artifacts in the chest,” said Harry.

“What?” said Charlie with a confused look on his face? “It is down here, but not in the chests?”

Harry bent over and reached down into the top of his left boot. He felt the grip of the sword appear from its magically expanded sheath. Standing up and pulling on the sword removing it from his boot. The magnificent sword gleamed in the dim light of the vault.

“I carry it with me,” Harry said to a wide-eyed Charlie.

He laid the sword across both his hands for Charlie to look at. Everyone else crowded around to look at it. Charlie stared at the sword and he even reached out, but didn’t touch it.

“Absolutely bloody amazing,” gasped Charlie.

The rest of the family muttered similar comments. Harry was amazed that no one tried to take the sword from him. He carefully placed the sword back into his boot. Even a small cut from it could be deadly.

“Do all of you have swords in your boots?” asked Ron.

Bill and Sirius laughed at the question. Ginny reached down and pulled out a dagger. It was made by the goblins like Gryffindor’s sword, but the blade was only six inches long. In the pommel was a large yellow topaz and the grip was made from onyx.

“Rowena Ravenclaw’s,” Ginny said.

“I never knew about a dagger,” said a surprised Molly. “What else do you have of the founders down here and how did you get it?”

“I thought you spent the last two years studying, not hunting up artifacts,” said Percy.

Harry really didn’t want to get into prophecies, but Percy left him no choice. “We have the artifacts down here, because of the seer, Trelawney.

“I see something dark in your future,” Charlie, Fred, and George all said in unison.

Bill and Percy smiled at the comment. The rest just stared at them.

“Sybil Trelawney is a fraud of a Divination Professor at Hogwarts. She always predicts that something dark will happen in half the students’ future. The only thing dark is when they go to sleep at night,” Percy said with disdain.

“Harry is talking about the ancestor of Professor Trelawney,” said Bill. “She lived several hundred years ago and was a renowned seer. After she realized that she couldn’t remember any of her own prophecies, she had an assistant follow her around and record them. We have the book back there.”

“The Prophecy that caused the Potters and Gryffindors to collect the artifacts of the founders was one that read: Darkness shall arise and consume our world. It will come from our four foundations, and use one to destroy the others. Only a bond of the three can save the light.”

“What does that mean and what does it have to do with the founders?” asked Ron.

Bill chuckled at his younger brother. “The four foundations are the four founders of Hogwarts, and the one to destroy the other three was Slytherin.”

“We are descendants of Gryffindor and Ravenclaw, even though some of us don’t show it,” teased Ginny.

“I am Gryffindor and Hufflepuff, and some Ravenclaw,” said Harry. “We are all related to the four founders in some degree.”

“So you and Ginny must destroy He-who-must-not-be-named,” said Ron.

Harry stared at him and the rest of the Weasley’s. “Voldemort heard a prophesy that said I would be able to defeat him with a power he knows not.” He reached over and brushed his hand down Ginny’s cheek. “I feel that our bond is the power he knows not.”

Back to index

Chapter 11: What a Library

Author's Notes: Ginny takes her family to Egypt after leaving the Vault at Gringotts.
I would like to thank Seekers Destiny for Betaing this chapter.

I hope no one is afraid of ghosts,” said Ginny, as she smiled at her family. They had just transported from the London’s Gringotts to Egypt’s.

They were all staring at her with blank expressions. They had all been at Hogwarts and were used to the ghosts there. However, these ghosts were different. She just hoped none of her brothers become too cheeky with the guards, or they may need to do some emergency repair work on them.

They had arrived at Egypt only a few seconds ago, but already the icy air was creeping through the door into the vault making it unbearably cold. Her family was pulling their robes tighter to them and shivering. Their breath was forming a mist in the icy cold air.

“I thought Egypt is supposed to be unbearable hot?” asked Percy.

“Outside it is, but we are deep underground,” said Bill.

“I say we get outside,” said Charlie. He said it as though he was trying to get people to all cheer in approval of his idea.

“All right, but be respectful of the ghosts,” said Ginny.

She pushed on the steel door that separated them from the catacombs of the Library of Alexandria. A creak of protest from the hinges, and the door swung open exposing hundreds of ghosts standing in the hallway.

They all turned and formed a phalanx. They were blocking anyone from exiting the vault. To prevent anyone getting past them, they all brandished short spears with broad bronze tips and a curved bronze blade on their hips.

“Bloody hell,” said several of her brothers in unison.

“They can’t actually stop us can they?” asked Percy. “They are just ghosts.”

“Yes and no,” said Bill. “They can actually stop you, and no they are not exactly ghosts. They are spectral images bound to protect the library.”

“The Potter’s employ ghosts like this to protect their personal library?” asked Arthur.

“No we don’t,” stated Harry.

“These soldiers were sworn to protect this library for all eternity,” said Ginny. “They were here for centuries before the Potters found it. The Peverell brothers came here on their journey. Cadmus took a stone from these very walls to create the Resurrection Stone,” said Ginny.

Her father looked around at the spectral images moving about. “If what you are telling me is correct, the stone from these walls can be used to resurrect dead souls.”

“That is partially correct,” said someone from outside of the vault.

He was a tall regal looking ghost. He wore a gold helmet, a bronze breast plate, and cloth of bleached cotton fabric. Ginny recognized him as the high priest, when the library was supposed to have been sacked the first time.

“This museum of magical knowledge was threatened centuries ago by Hellenic invaders. I was charged with protecting it from destruction. They attacked so swiftly and with such great numbers that I couldn’t repel them, so I was forced into drastic measures. Not only was I responsible for the protection of knowledge I was a student of it. I cast spells that created this very hall. The stone that makes up the walls keeps my army at the ready for all of eternity. As the Spartans and the Athenians killed my warriors, they reappeared here. Soon I had no soldiers to kill, but an army that couldn’t be killed. The Hellenic forces believed that they destroyed this place, but it was only a spell that I cast.

“On other occasions, powerful sorcerers had discovered this museum. Twice I had to destroy the soldiers and cloud the minds of their leaders so they believed they had destroyed this treasure of knowledge. The non-magical people thought that there had been some great fire that partially destroyed the library when first the Hellenic than the Roman sorcerers attacked with their armies.

“The Peverells were different. They came to learn and preserve. They had brought with them copies of magical texts from far distant land. They allowed us to keep the information here. It was for that reason they were allowed to leave with the knowledge they had gained.

“The line continues to respect knowledge and keep the secret of this museum, until now,” he said staring at Harry then Ginny.

“They are my family,” responded Ginny. “I brought them here to understand what it means to be a Potter.”

“The Peverell’s have shouldered a burden for years,” said the High Priest. “Can these others also bear the weight of knowledge without revealing it to those who are unworthy of it? They are wand wavers.”

“They know no other way,” said Harry. “Knowledge of the ancient ways has been forgotten.”

“Why do you call us wand-wavers?” asked Arthur. “All magicians used wands.”

“No, not all,” replied the High Priest. “There are many things that can be accomplished with potions and spoken spells. The wand was invented and perfected for one reason, to kill. We could cast spells over an adversary, but it took the wand to actually take their life with magic.”

The High Priest grabbed a spear from a soldier beside him. “This is a nobler way to take one’s life than to use a wand and magic.”

“I can assure you that neither I nor anyone in my family has ever taken one’s life with a wand,” answered Arthur. Molly had become nervous and placed a hand on her husband’s arm.

“I can see that you are speaking the truth, but you only know part of the truth about wands. If these Peverells had been educated by your teachers, they would have been unable to create the bond they share? You teach your children that they should only preform magic with a wand. In doing so, you rob them of the subtleties and wonders of ancient magic.”

“We only teach them to use a wand, because that is all we know,” answered Arthur.

“Very well, you may enter with my approval,” stated the High Priest. “You must not take anything out of the restricted areas and you must be respectful of the other creatures’ writings.”

“Other creatures’ writings?” repeated Percy.

“There is a section here that is reserved for goblins and a section reserved for House Elves,” said Bill.

“Goblins and House Elves? Why would they need anything in a library,” asked Ron.

“Do you think Goblins just come into being like you see them at the bank? They must be educated somewhere. There is a section here that is dedicated to them,” stated Bill.

“What about House Elves? They are really just mindless creatures doing others bidding,” replied Ron.

“The ancient Atlantians were an affluent and powerful race until their lands were destroyed,” said the High Priest. “It only took about a generation until they became more and more stooped and mindless. It was rumored that they derived their power from the very structures and buildings on Atlantis. When it was swallowed by the sea, the ones left behind slowly became the decrepit creatures you call House Elves.”

Ginny stared at Ron’s shocked expression. She understood how he felt. She had been raised with certain beliefs about House Elves and goblins. Now she realized that those views were not necessarily true. It would be like judging all wizards by looking at Voldemort and the Death Eaters.

The High Priest gestured for them to follow him as the spectral soldiers parted to allow them to proceed.

“Shall we go?” Ginny asked her family.

They followed her as she walked towards the upper levels of the library. They walked past room after room of catacombs where the dried bones of the spectral soldiers lay. She could hear her family mumbling behind her, but she just kept walking. She assumed Bill, Sirius, and Harry could explain what the rooms were to her parents and family.

They came to a set of marble steps that led up to the next floor of the library. They would need to go up two more floors to reach the ground level before the High Priest would leave them.

After leaving the catacomb level they reached the ancient scroll area. The bitter cold of the catacombs was gone, but they still had not reached the heat of the Egyptian day. She smiled as goblins were walking into their area of the library to the left. She could only imagine what her family was thinking. Their reaction was evident soon, as Harry called for her to stop walking. She turned to see them staring into the area filled with goblins of all ages. Not only was this the main library for goblins throughout the world, but it were also a school for them. Her family was standing there staring at the young goblins.

“Never saw a young goblin before?” she asked them.

“Are they teaching in there?” asked Percy.

“Yes, they are. It is also a school for them,” said Bill. “I never thought about working around here all these years, but they must have young ones and educate them somehow.”

“How fascinating,” said her father?

“Over here is the library for the House Elves,” said Harry.

Everyone looked at that side of the building; the library much smaller than the large expansive room used by the goblins. A marble statue of a tall stately person stood in the doorway. He was wearing clothing similar to the High Priest with a long robe. His head was slightly larger than most people along with his hands and feet. The statue also had pointed ears and a long pointed nose. Behind the statue the room had shelves filled with tubes of tarnished silver and gold. There were only one or two torches burning in the room. One was over a small desk, which had a silver tube laying on it and a scroll unrolled beside the tube.

Ginny saw the lone occupant of the library walk around a set of shelves. He was taller than a House Elf with a more human looking head and hands, but one could also see a resemblance to a House Elf and the statue in the entrance way. He wore the same clothes as the statue, except they seemed too long for him.

“Is that a House Elf?” asked Percy.

“He was and still is the librarian of the Atlantians,” said the High Priest.

“I thought their lands were destroyed and the Atlantians became the House Elves,” replied her Father.

“When the lands were destroyed, he stayed in there. He has not left that room for thousands of years,” said the High Priest.

“How can he survive without food?” asked Molly.

“There is powerful magic protecting the library,” said Harry. “He may be living off the magic of the library. He may actually be the source of the magic. No one knows for sure. No one can enter that room unless they are an Atlantian or House Elf.”

“When I was young and training here,” said the High Priest. “He looked different much like the statue you see of the Atlantian. As year turned to decades, decades turned to centuries, and centuries turned to millennia, his appearance has changed. If he hadn’t then I would conclude that he was a magical image. I was told that the Atlantians were as old as time. They were almost immortal.”

“House Elves get old and die,” said Percy.

“The creatures that you call the House Elves are not the Atlantians. They may have evolved from them, but they are not the same anymore.”

As the High Priest spoke the ancient Atlantian walked to the entrance of the library. He stood there and stared at them with bright pale green eyes. This close it was easy to see his wrinkled skin and the stooped nature of his frame. He was staring at Harry then Ginny with a crooked smile on his wrinkled lips.

Ginny stared back at him. He had only done this twice in the memory of the High Priest. The last time was when Harry and Ginny had first come here and looked into the library. Everyone stood for a minute staring at each other.

“Has he done this often?” asked Percy.

“In all my years, this is only the second time,” said the High Priest.

“When was the first time?” questioned Percy.

“The first time when I and Harry saw him,” said Ginny. She started to feel a little nervous at this Atlantian taking an interest in her and Harry. “Can we move along, it is getting near lunch time and I am hungry?”

They all mumbled a response and turned to walk along. As they passed by the ancient archives of the Egyptians guarded by more spectral soldiers, no one spoke. She could still feel the eyes of that Atlantian Librarian staring at her.

They reached a staircase leading up to the ground main floor of the library. The High Priest stood aside.

“This is as far as I will lead you. My duty remains down here. Be well family Peverell, until we meet again,” he said with a great deal of ceremony.

“Until we meet again,” said Ginny and Harry together.

Ginny and her family ascended the steps to the main floor of the library. The Egyptian heat hit them full force. Ginny had become used to it over the past two years, but her family was used to English weather and they immediately started to look flushed. Her mother started to cast Cooling Charms on their robes. She turned to cast one on Ginny’s but she just shook her head no.

“Bloody Hell,” gasped Percy.

He had noticed where they were standing. There were shelves of manuscript stretching up forty feet tall around them and several hundred feet in every direction. There were scrolls, heavy leather bound books that were hand copied, early forms of printed material, magical and also Muggle books stacked on shelves. There seemed to be no definite pattern to the books as they were all mixed up on the shelves.

“Welcome to the Potter family library,” said Harry.

“I thought your library back in Morocco was large,” said Arthur.

“All our libraries in all our estates are connected. All we need to do is write on a magical parchment at each location and we will receive the corresponding manuscripts or scrolls. You just need to careful what you ask for or you will receive more than you could possibly read in a life time.”

“Many of these books are new. Who bought them all?” asked Percy again.

“The Potter family has contracts with both magical and Muggle publishers. We receive a copy of every book available to be sold. We receive hundreds of books a day. Most of them we will never use, because they are trashy romance novels.”

Ginny’s stomach grumbled loudly announcing to everyone that she was hungry. “My stomach said we need to eat. So follow me.”

She smiled at her Father’s comment about being a true Weasley. She led them through the maze of book shelves to the exit. She could hear the tell-tale sound of weapons clashing in mortal combat. She had never considered the possibility of the goblins training the guards today. It normally didn’t happen more than once a month.

She squinted as she stepped out into the brilliant mid-day Egyptian sun. The heat was rising from the stone and sand in waves distorting her vision. The clang of steel on steel was louder now. She could hear her family asking what the noise was. Bill, Sirius, and Harry weren’t talking right now. She started to move to the right to avoid the amphitheater were the battle was taking place. She wasn’t sure how her family would react to the sight of the tests for guard goblins.

“Is there a sword fight going on over there?” asked Charlie. He turned to the left towards the amphitheater.

“Charlie,” shouted Bill. When Charlie stopped and turned to look at him, Bill continued. “Don’t go over there. The goblins don’t look at things the same as we do.”

“What is going on? You four seem to know something.”

“The goblins are testing two candidates to become a guard goblin,” said Bill.

“Oh, that sounds interesting,” said Percy.

A loud screech of a goblin in pain echoed from the amphitheater. It was followed the unmistakable fall of a heavy ax on flesh and bone. Ginny cringed to hear it. None of her family said anything, but Charlie pulled his wand and took off running.

The entire family followed him. Bill was faster than everyone else and quickly caught Charlie.

“Stop you ruddy idiot,” he growled at his younger brother. “This is a sacred rite of passage for them. We don’t have any right to stop it no matter how barbaric we think it is.”

“What are they doing, son?” asked her Father.

Bill took a deep breath. “The goblins must fight to the death. The winner becomes a guard goblin.”

“They kill each other?” squeaked a shocked Ron.

“Yes,” Bill said softly. “They view it an honor to die that way. They even honor their dead.”

Everyone stood there under the torturous noon day sun. Charlie put his wand away and turned to walk towards the amphitheater. Bill quickly jumped in behind him. “Charlie.”

“I want to see what they do,” he said over his shoulder. “I never realized this type of thing happened. I want to see what is going on. I am not going to try to stop anything.”

Charlie continued to walk around the corner of the library that hid the goblins’ amphitheater, with his entire family in tow. When everyone rounded the corner, they all stopped at the sight of the amphitheater. There were rows of stone benches filled with goblins in armor. The center circle was white sand stained red with the blood of the goblin that failed the test.

“If this is a rite of passage, why wasn’t anyone cheering,” said Ron.

Nearly all of Ginny’s brothers had turned their heads to stare at him. They had noticed that all the goblins in the stands were dead in various states of decay.

“The one’s that lose are placed in the stands to cheer on the next candidates,” said Bill softly.

“They are all dead,” Ron spluttered out.

“Yes, they are,” said Ginny. She was annoyed because everyone was standing and talking. She didn’t want the goblins getting angry at them for watching one of their more sacred rites. She also wanted to get to the dining area and get something to eat. “Can we discuss this over lunch?”

“Yeah, sure,” said Charlie.

Ginny took the lead for her family towards their living space. It was an old temple that had been converted to a small library, before the Peverell’s converted it into the manor house. She walked up the short set of marble steps between two rows of columns twenty feet high and five feet in diameter. It felt like walking through a marble forest. The manor house had only four rooms in it; the large common room, a bath, and two bedrooms. She wondered what the sleeping arrangements were for the three Peverells. Somehow the idea that two of them shared a room seemed a bit creepy.

There was a table in the dark back corner of the courtyard. She could see that the house elves were already placing various types of food and drink on the table. They must have figured that she and Harry would be stopping by to eat.

No one said much of anything as they sat down next to the table. Ginny started to giggle as her family tried to figure out the seating arrangements. They were trying to slide the long bench type seat with one raised arm up to the table. Bill, Sirius, Harry, and she all waited until the family to try to get situated before they sat down. Everyone else treated the lounge chairs as though they were short wide benches. Everyone shared a bench with another member of the family.

Finally, Ginny, and the three other people who had used these before, angled the lounge chairs to the table. They laid down on them so their right arm could reach the table. The shocked looks on their family’s faces were priceless.

“This is weird lying down like this,” complained Ron. “Do the Egyptians actually eat like this?”

“Not all of them, but some still do,” said Bill.

He seemed to enjoy watching his family trying to get comfortable. Ginny was enjoying watching her brothers look uncomfortable, and even to some extent her parents. She still held affection for them, and didn’t want them to be too uncomfortable.

“I want a normal chair,” stated her Mum.

Ginny watched as her Mum tried to transfigure the lounge chair into a normal chair. The spell coming from her wand was weak.

“Harry or Ginny will have to do that for you,” said Sirius.

“Why, what is wrong with my wand,” exclaimed the frustrated Weasley matriarch, as she waved her wand more violently with each casting of a spell.

“Because wands don’t work here,” said Ginny. “Harry, you change them.”

Harry stood up from his lounge chair and raised his hand. One by one the lounge chairs shifted into heavy high backed chairs.

“He was able to do magic. Why wasn’t I?”

“Because, Mum, there is a spell cast over this entire area; library and adjoining grounds. The spell blocks wands from preforming magic,” explained Bill.

“Bloody annoying it is, but it can be useful also,” said Sirius.

“How can it be useful? I see nothing useful about not being able to perform magic,” snapped Molly.

“Only Harry and I can perform magic of any magnitude in this area. The spell also makes the goblin guards out there rather formidable, not to mention the spectral soldiers we encountered, to any wizard trying to overthrow the area,” Ginny said.

“Are we safe here?” asked her Mum.

“As long as there is a Potter in the world we are safe,” said Harry. “The goblins oaths are like law and Gringotts family practically rules the goblin world. If we ever needed a place to hide from Voldemort and his Death Eaters, we would hide here.”

Ginny watch her parents visibly pale and look to each other. Her mum was nearly in tears. She didn’t even need to feel her emotional state to know what she was thinking. To her Ginny and Harry were children and shouldn’t be considering something like setting up safe areas from an army of homicidal maniacs. However, it was a reality for Harry and now also for her.

“We were going to talk to you about Portkeys for the family,” said Bill. “They would bring you to this stronghold, and you would be under the protection of the goblins.”

“Do you think we need them?” asked her Dad.

“It was only two days ago that Death Eaters attacked your home, because they knew Harry was there,” said Sirius. “Your entire family is now endangered.”

“Sirius, don’t talk like that in front of the children,” shouted Molly.

“Why? It is the truth. They need to realize this. All of you will need to be extra cautious while dealing with your friends. You never know whom might be a Death Eater or sympathetic to their cause. I lost two of my best friends, because we were careless.”

“Please don’t scare the children, things are different know,” Molly shouted even louder.

“Think about this, if you don’t want me to tell your children the truth,” hissed Sirius. He stood up and stared at her. “You had a Death Eater living with you and your children for eleven years. If it would have benefited him, he would have turned you all over to Voldemort.”

The entire room went silent after Sirius’s statement. No one was eating they were all sitting there staring at the platters of food. Ginny looked around at them all and felt their uncertainty and vulnerability. It bothered her to feel her family like this, but it was necessary to get them to realize how real this impending war was and they were in the middle of it.

“I have a question,” said Charlie breaking the heavy silence that blanketed the room.

“What do you want to know?” replied Harry.

“If the only thing that is keeping the goblins under control is the pact between the Potter and Gringotts family, what will happen if Harry is killed?” Everyone stared shifting in their seats.

“Charlie, please be polite,” ordered his Mum.

“This is not the time to be polite. It is time to be straight forward and honest. How safe would it be for this family to be here at this compound if there are no more Potters? If what I have been hearing is correct, if Harry or Ginny die the other will die shortly after.”

“Charlie please,” shouted his Mum.

“He is right Mum,” said Harry calmly. “The Gringotts are bound to the Potter family. However, they also realize that if Voldemort would take control over the magical world they would be hunted like wild animals and killed ruthlessly. Having the goblins on your side would increase your chances of winning the war, but they would also extract a high payment for the support. They may be brutal by our standards, but they do value honor and honesty highly.”

The table once again fell into an uncomfortable silence. Ginny sat there and tried to sort through the various feelings. It was hard to get past her Mother’s instinct of protecting her children against all pains and injuries. There was a sense of fear in everyone, but there was also a sense of determination. It heartened her to feel her family coming together like they seemed to be.

“Can I discuss something else?” asked Ron.

Everyone chuckled at his comment. It was just enough to relieve the heavy tension in the room.

“Sure Ron, what do you want to know?” asked Harry.

“What is this stuff and how are we supposed to eat it?” Ron was looking at the various foods on platters before him. There were pocket breads, seared meat, vegetables, hummus, olives, and dates laid out for him to eat.

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Ginny snuggled in closer to Harry. It was very warm in their room, but she didn’t care. She wanted to hold her husband close to her. They laid there without saying anything for a long time. It was moments like this that amazed her most about being bonded to someone. You didn’t need to do anything or say anything to be gloriously happy and content. At night, before they would go to sleep, they just laid next to each other, with Ginny basking in the happiness coming from Harry.

A smile stretched across her face as she felt Harry’s breathing slow and become deeper. She would many times wait for him to fall asleep first, but her smile tonight was for something else.

This day had been a whirlwind of activity. It started out with them in Morocco and then they went to London so Harry could tell her family about the Potter family history. They then came here to Egypt and learned more about the importance of the Potter family to keeping the peace in the magical world.

Lunch was extremely tense, but the afternoon was very enjoyable. Bill took everyone to see some of the tombs he had opened as a curse-breaker. They took a magic carpet tour or several ancient sites, before everyone except her parents had a pickup game of Quidditch out in the Sahara Desert.

Tomorrow they will be going to Turkey to see the sprawling complex they have there. By the end of the week they were going to visit Spain, France, and finish up in England, by going from one estate to another. She hopes her family enjoys the rest of the time like they did this afternoon.

She was getting ready to close her eyes, but a feeling of despair caught her attention. Sitting up she tried to reach out and feel where it was coming from. She could sense it was Ron and he was sitting in the great room by himself.

Easing away from her husband, she slid out of bed, grabbed her house coat, and started towards her brother. Her bare feet were silent on the marble floor. The only sound she made was the soft whisper of her silk house coat. She entered the great room and sensed Ron sitting at the table on the far side; the feeling of misery washing off him in waves. She had been concerned about him recovering from his possession by Voldemort. She wove her way to him past her brothers and Sirius sleeping in camp beds.

When she finally saw him in the dim light of the great room, he was sitting with his head down staring at the table. She walked up to him and he didn’t raise his head towards her. Not wanting to scare him, she decided to call to him.

“Ron, is everything all right?” she whispered trying not to wake everyone else up.

“WHAT!” he shouted and jumped back into his chair nearly toppling it backwards.

Ginny had to resist laughing at his actions. Sirius popped his head up, but saw her and lay back down. “Are you all right? Why are you sitting here all alone?” she whispered to Ron.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to do anything wrong. I’ll go back to bed,” he mumbled without looking at her. He started to get up and walk away, but returned to push his chair back under the table.

“Don’t go, we could have some tea and biscuits,” she said trying to get him to stay.

“Too hot,” was all he said.

“All right, how about some iced Pumpkin Juice?”

He hesitated for a second before nodding his approval.

“Follow me to the kitchen.”

Ginny reached for his hand, but he seemed to pull his hand away from hers. She walked in front of him around a corner out of the great room to a wall that looked solid, but was charmed to be like Platform 9 ¾’s. She passed through to the brightly light kitchen, but Ron stayed on the other side. She stood there waiting for him. Stepping back through the magical barrier, she saw him staring at the wall.

“It’s just like Platform 9 ¾’s, Ron.”

“Yeah it is isn’t it,” he said to her, before stepping through it.

“Have a seat,” she said to him indicating a stool by the one work counter.

Ginny walked over one of the ice boxes and grabbed a pitcher of Pumpkin Juice. She stopped at cabinet to remove a tin of biscuits. When she turned around, she noticed Ron was watching her, but he quickly looked away when she looked at him. She didn’t let this action worry her. She placed the tin of biscuits down in front of Ron and opened it. Summoning two glasses from the racks in another part of the kitchen, she filled two tall glasses with the iced Pumpkin Juice.

“So big brother, what’s bothering you or were you just hungry from the day’s activity?”

Ron snorted to himself about her comment. “I don’t feel like your big brother,” he mumbled under his breath.

Ginny could tell that he never intended on her hearing the statement. “Are you going to talk to me or am I going to need to break your nose like I did three years ago?”

The last year they were home together, before she bonded with Harry. Ron was being a massive git talking about how great he was going to be when he gets to Hogwarts. She of course told him he would be a great big prat. An argument ensued that ended with Ginny punching him in the nose and breaking it. Even though Ron towered over her, she was strong and not afraid to defend herself. He had been so embarrassed at her breaking his nose that he made their parents swear to keep it from the twins. She had to do all the laundry and the dishes for the next month, but it was worth it. He was actually afraid of her after that.

His eyes got wide at her comment with a look of fear. “You remember that?”

“Yeah, I remember that. You remember having make-believe duels with each other while only using sticks?”

Ron started laughing at the memory. “We would always end up fighting over who actually won,” laughed Ron. He suddenly became sad again.

“Ron, what’s wrong?”

He stared at the biscuit in his hand neither eating it nor talking to her.


“Hogwarts wasn’t what we thought it would be,” he said to his biscuit. He stayed silent for a while before talking again. The entire time he was staring at the biscuit in his hand.

“Even my first year was difficult. I thought that after hearing all our brothers talking about the school it would be a breeze for me. It wasn’t. There were so many students that were so much smarter than me. The only thing that I seemed to stand out from the crowd was my height and my red hair. At home I am just another person in the crowd. The only thing that makes me different at home is how much I can eat. Bill is the handsome Curse Breaker and former Head Boy, Charlie the rugged Dragon tamer and Quidditch star, Percy is Mr. Perfect Prefect, and Fred and George are the jokers of the family.”

“Then there is you,” he said looking up from the biscuit at her, before looking down again.

Ginny was slightly affronted by his action, but it revealed what was bothering him.

“You are jealous of me. Why?”

“That’s a stupid question,” snorted Ron. “You are famous for doing something that hasn’t been done in 1700 years. The person you soul bonded with is probably the wealthiest person in the wizarding world if not the entire world. You two are practically the king and queen of magical society. I bet you could almost overthrow Fudge, and half the magical Ministries in Europe, if you wanted to. I am sure there are other things I could say, but that seems like a pretty good list.”

Ginny had to resist yelling at the huge prat of a brother sitting in front of her. It would do no good and not make him see what type of life she was experiencing. Instead, she took a deep breath and tried to explain it to him.

“First of all, we have no desire to oust Fudge and his cronies,” she said harshly to him. “What would that get us? It could strain relationships that we have to get what - a position of power that would set us up for failure.

“Do you realize that our wedding is only the second time that Harry made a real public appearance in the magical community? The first time we bonded. I stand corrected. The second time we risked our lives to save you. The third time we were attacked and nearly killed.”

She stopped talking when his expression was similar to the one when he was being berated by his Mum. She realized that she let too much of her own pent up emotions out, and needed to be easier on him.

“Ron, you look at the life that I live as exciting. I look at it as scary. There is a death sentence hanging over our heads. We study and practice magic ten to twelve hours a day seven days a week. Even on our off days we still get about four hours of training in before we relax. If we don’t than we will not be prepared to face Voldemort. If we don‘t defeat him, then our entire world magical and the Muggle world could be plunged into darkness. That is a huge weight to bear on our shoulders. Bloody hell, we are actually only twelve and thirteen.

“I have not been on a broom for more than an hour a week until today. This past week has been like a huge vacation for me and Harry. We are constantly moving from one estate to another to ensure no one can find us. We are not much more than prisoners in a fancy prison.”

“A bloody fancy prison,” interjected Ron.

Ginny looked at Ron and saw a crooked smile on his face. She knew their discussion had helped him.

“If we survive, we will have a wonderful life together.”

“Why wouldn’t you survive,” countered Ron. “You two are very powerful separately and together almost unstoppable.”

“A Killing Curse will kill a person no matter how magically powerful they are,” she said sadly.

“Harry survived it once.”

“He may not survive it again, or it may be me who gets hit,” she said bluntly. “Harry would soon die after my death. He may not be able to destroy Voldemort in that time period. It is our responsibility to stop him once and for all.”

Ron looked at his biscuit again for several seconds before eating. “I guess you don’t have as good of a time as I thought,” he said as he chewed. “I guess I shouldn’t be feeling sorry for myself.”

He stared at the table as Ginny could feel him deciding if he should try to talk about something that has been bothering him.

“He told me that everyone thought I was worthless. He was my only true friend,” Ron said to the table. “I certainly misjudged that situation.” He added bitterly.

Ginny reached out to him. She placed her hand on his forearm. She tried to pour good feelings into him. He looked at her hand and then at her. “How do you do that?”

“Magic,” she said cheekily. “It is not your fault, Ron.”

“Thanks, I just hope everyone believes that when I get back to school.”

“I thought they already forgave you.”

“Yeah the Gryffindors, but no one else has really talked to me,” said Ron.

“Don’t worry about anyone but your friends and family. We all love you.”

Ron blushed at her comment. “Thank you, I guess I better try getting back to sleep. So we are going to Turkey tomorrow and see the battle grounds for Troy?”

“Yeah, we are and play some Quidditch,” Ginny said as she sent everything back to its proper place in the kitchen with a wave of her hand.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Judson looked at the runes he had written on a piece of parchment using the light from his wand. It was nearly midnight. He had been here at the Weasley’s hovel trying to figure out the wards that had stumped him two days ago. It was actually beneficial that Arthur had gone on a vacation for a week. He should be able to find the key for the wards before the family returns and notices him outside of their perimeter casting spells.

There were runes that he had never seen before. His higher education had been for teaching and learning ancient runes. To find runes that he was clueless about was perplexing. He was tired from a full day of work then Apparating over here and casting detection spells. Every time he thought about giving up, his Dark Mark would pain him something terrible. It was almost as though Voldemort was alive and controlling the Death Eaters again.

He didn’t think that was possible, but he didn’t want to take chances. He remembered what happened to people who displeased their master. He didn’t want the Dark Lord hearing he didn’t do what he was supposed to do and punish him.

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Chapter 12: A Real Keeper

Author's Notes: The Weasley's time with Harry and Ginny is coming to an end. Everyone is getting along, but and Owl causes some concern within the family.
I would like to thank my Beta, Leif, for the quick turn around on this and all the chapters.

Harry sat by the French doors of his bedroom skimming through a book written by Damocles Belby. The Potion master had penned several books, but this one and the last one Harry looked at revealed nothing as far as hints or clues to why he couldn’t make the Wolfsbane Potion. He had a good idea that they wouldn’t reveal anything. These books were strictly instructions for Potions that Belby had invented. Each set of instructions were laid out the exact same way with a list of ingredients and the step by step procedure with indications of what the Potions should look like at each stage. Harry contemplated making some of these to see if he would fail making these like he had the Wolfsbane.

“Hey, what time is it?” groaned Ginny.

He looked up from the book and stared at his beautiful wife. His breath caught in his throat. She was lying in their bed surrounded by the thick duvet and pillows. Her tousled red hair stood out in sharp contrast to the light beige of the bed clothes. Her face was a pink flush from just waking up. This was when he thought she was the most beautiful. She always looked beautiful when she dressed up, but not nearly as enticing as she did in these private moments.

“Harry, I asked…,”

Ginny started to talk then she stopped and stared at him. A knowing smile stretched across her face and her blush became more pronounced. She pulled back the duvet revealing her short night shirt that covered to mid-thigh. Lifting her arms above her head and stretching, the hem of the night shirt slid further up her thighs.

Harry was fixated with the way the nightshirt slid across her curves. Ginny slid out of bed. She walked directly to him, bent over, and gave in a rather passionate good morning kiss.

“I think you are rather fetching in the morning too,” she whispered in his ear.

Harry watched as she walked to the loo. It irritated him that she could read his thoughts so easily and he couldn’t read hers. Sometimes it felt like he never had a private moment to himself. However, there were rarely any thoughts that he wouldn’t share with Ginny anyway, so it wasn’t that bad of situation.

“Six-thirty,” he shouted to her. “But, you probably already knew that when I thought of it.”

“No, I just looked at the clock on the wall,” she shouted back at him from the loo.

If there was one thing he enjoyed about all their estates was they all had large master bedrooms. He and Ginny had their own private apartment with bedroom, a sitting area, and a bathroom. They were at the new British Potter Manor house today, and their master bedroom suite was as large as the Dursley’s bottom floor of their house.

He looked out at the steel grey skies as they leaked a fine mist over the grounds. It was just another wet and chilly day in jolly old England. He never thought of the Dursleys, except on days like this. The gloomy skies and bone chilling precipitation always brought back bad memories. His relatives were among the worst.

He stood up and stared out the French doors at the grounds surrounding the mansion. They were on a spit of land that jutted nearly a mile out into the North Sea. To Muggles, it would appear as a rocky ridge, but it was actually a rather well protected piece of property before using magic. It was surrounded on three sides by a cold angry ocean. He had never been here when the waves weren’t sending ocean mist twenty feet in the air. The only way to reach the estate’s main house was across the land almost a mile in distance. Even though wizards normally don’t use Muggle methods, this land would almost be impossible to conquer by that means.

He marveled at the way his great —great — great — grandfather had designed this estate. It was a fortress without appearing to be one. Their land stretched inland for a half a mile beyond where the small peninsula connected with the coastline. A hedgerow was constructed there on rocks and mud covered barrier planted with black locust trees. The trees had nasty two inch thorns on them. Between the earthen barrier and the trees, the barrier was nearly fifty feet high, and completely blocked the view of the Manor house.

His family over the centuries had set up a series of estates that could support an army of thousands of wizards and witches, and a network that could be used to supply that army. This estate was designed as gathering place for the troops. He had two other smaller estates in England. One was located in a magical forest that had a large source of wand quality trees; it was known as Bowtruckle estates. The second estate was the house in Godric's Hollow.

The two estates in France were equipped to handle healing the soldiers. The largest estate in the French Alps had an actual infirmary that was twice as large as Hogwarts. The smaller one was located in northern France where it was a large farm that grew grains for food, livestock, and magical herbs and mushrooms. It was located near the dense forests on the border with Germany.

The Spanish estate had the largest potion lab anyone had ever seen. Sirius had commented that Harry’s Mum would have loved the estate. It was located on a cliff overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar and she could brew Potions while staring out at the Mediterranean.

Turkey and Egypt were places that could be used for training and research. Morocco was located near a trading center where they could purchase anything they needed and couldn’t grow. He also had a dedicated army of House Elves to maintain all the estates, and goblin overseers to sell off anything that was grown on the estates, whether it was wood and magical objects for wands or herbs and plants for reagents.

Italy was another location in the mountains. They weren’t sure why his family had purchased it, until they found natural deposits of various minerals used for Potion making. It had large bunkers or caves located deep in the mountain for storage and also for hiding from raids.

The farm in Greece was where all types of food stuffs were grown that could supply an army. It along with the other estates also created income by selling excess products to the Muggle and magical community.

All these things were noticed by the Weasleys during their visits to the estates. Their reactions were of awe at the way his estates had been designed by his family. They were all purchased and designed for a purpose not just luxury, to help an army survive a long protracted war. Sirius and Remus' reactions were much different.

He had been watching his father’s friends over the past several weeks. They had become increasingly agitated as they moved from estate to estate. Harry talked to Bill about it, but he was unsure the reason why. As they moved to the large English estate, Sirius’s mood had made it almost unbearable to be around him.

“What is wrong?” he finally pleaded with his godfather the second night they were here. Sirius had started drinking Firewhiskey in large amounts and hadn’t tried teaching Ginny and he any lessons for the past two days.

“You don’t bloody want to know,” yelled Sirius as he took another drink of Firewhiskey.

“Yes, I do,” he pleaded with his godfather.

Sirius sat the glass down and stared at him. There were tears forming in his eyes. “If your Grandfather had told your father about this network, your parents would still be alive.”

Harry had never thought about that before. He remembered his grandfather’s memory in the Pensieve saying he could protect Harry in ways Dumbledore couldn’t understand.

“Maybe my Grandfather never had the chance to tell my Dad.”

“Why wouldn’t he? Remus and I never saw any of these estates. We just knew about the house in Godric's Hollow. IF your GRANDFATHER WOULD HAVE LET JAMES KNOW ABOUT THESE PLACES BEFORE, I WOULDN’T HAVE LOST HIM. YOU WOULD STILL HAVE YOUR PARENTS!” Sirius screamed at Harry.

“Sirius, it isn’t Harry’s fault,” said Remus, trying to calm his friend down. ”Besides, if James had known about this network of estates, Peter would have also known about them.”

Sirius looked at his friend for several minutes, before shaking his head. Harry could see a wide range of emotions move across his godfather's face. It varied from anger, to remorse, to pain, and finally he hung his head and cried. Remus moved beside him and put an arm around his shoulders as he sobbed.

“I know we lost a true friend, but we now have the resources to avenge his death. We now know this was all for Harry and it is up to us to ensure he succeeds at his quest,” Remus whispered to his sobbing friend.

Warm hands ran up his shirt and caressed his chest, catching Harry by surprise. She had approached him as he thought about everything that had been set up for him by his ancestors.

“Why are you thinking about such things as the war right now?” Ginny whispered in his ear.

“I want a plan for every possible situation, before we start this war on the Death Eaters. We can’t rely on the Ministry. Most of them could be under Voldemort’s control right now. This war is up to us to win.”

Harry felt Ginny stiffen at his last comment. He turned to face her. Her hands slid around and slowly stroked his back. She had an intense look on her face.

“I am sorry if I frightened you.”

“No, you didn’t, Harry,” she replied smiling. “I was waiting for you to apologize. You always do. Even if we hadn’t bonded, I would still resist the Death Eaters any way I could. I’m happy to be with you to help you complete this mission.”

She leaned up to kiss him, but pulled away when he started to snigger.

“What is so funny,” she growled at him.

“You are actually happy to be included in being the prime target of the darkest wizard of possibly all time,” laughed Harry. “Damn, you are barmy, Ginny.”

Ginny playfully punched his shoulder. “I am happy because you also treat me like an equal partner in this quest you are on, Harry. I don’t ever want to be protected and kept from harm, because I am a girl.”

He bent down and kissed her gently on the head. Mixed with the flowery scent of her hair, Harry could smell breakfast cooking as the aroma of bacon and sausages floated up through the Manor House. His stomach reacted to the smells, but he heard another stomach growl angrily.

“I am hungry. Let’s go and get something to eat,” he whispered into her hair.

“Oh you are so much like a Weasley,” complained Ginny. She pulled back and looked him in the eye. “Food has priority over everything else, including a romantic moment.”

He smiled at her. “I heard your stomach growling too.”

Ginny placed a hand on her stomach, as though it would calm down its growling for food. “Traitor,” she said.

He smiled at her, but said nothing. He took her hand as they left their bedroom suite and walked down to the dining room. They were surprised when they saw most of the family sitting around the table practically salivating waiting for breakfast.

“Why is everyone up?” asked Harry.

“Not everyone is up,” responded Percy. “Ron is still having a lie in.”

“Oh give the bloke about fifteen minutes and he will be down here eating everything in sight,” laughed Charlie. “Don’t just stand there, sit down and get in line.”

Harry started to sit down, when he realized just what Charlie said. “What line?”

“To get your food for breakfast; I was first, Bill was second and Percy was third and the twins were fourth and fifth, and you my friend will be sixth and Ginny seventh.”

“I am not seventh. Harry is seventh. He is a gentleman and let me go first,” she argued with her brother Charlie.

“No problem with me, I am still second,” said Charlie.

“What’s going on?” asked Sirius, as he and Remus entered the dining room.

No one answered him, because Molly and Arthur entered the room levitating platters of food. They placed the platters on the table and the entire Weasley family jumped up and started loading their plates. Harry sat there and stared at them.

Charlie looked up and smiled at him. “You missed your turn, Harry.”

“Sorry, I thought there was supposed to be at least a second or two between turns.”

Everyone laughed at him.

“He is funny. No wonder you kept him,” Charlie said at Ginny.

Ginny chuckled at Charlie’s comment. “Yeah, he’s a keeper.”

Harry shook his head at the Weasleys’ chatter as he loaded his plate with food. Sirius clapped him on his back as he walked past to find a seat. What had surprised Harry over the past week was how wonderful it was being a part of a large family. He had spent every day with Ginny’s family, and he enjoyed it. He almost didn’t want it to end. Charlie was going back to Romania in two days. Mr. Weasley will need to go back to the Ministry tomorrow. They were planning on going back to the Burrow this afternoon. He and Ginny would be back to traveling from estate to estate studying and preparing to fulfill the prophecy.

“Dad, Mum, after breakfast Ginny and I would like to talk to you.”

“What about dear?” asked Mrs. Weasley.

Harry looked at Ginny then at Sirius, Remus, and Bill. They didn’t want to talk about this in front of all the children, because of Mrs. Weasley’s protective nature. They were going to discuss making Portkeys for the entire family to wear, in case they would be attacked by Voldemort’s followers.

Ron came thundering down the stairs and ran into the dining room. He didn’t say hello to anyone as he sat down and started piling food on his plate. He was scooping food from the serving platters with one hand and putting it in his mouth with the other hand. Harry was amazed he could do that without spilling anything or choking.

“Ronald Bilius Weasley, show some manners,” shouted Mrs. Weasley. “There is plenty of food and we are not leaving for home for another two hours.”

“I’m hungry,” said Ron with his mouth half full.

Mrs. Weasley glared at her son, until he slowed down the frantic pace he was eating. She then turned her attention back to Harry.

“You wanted to talk to us about something?” she said brightly. She looked at Harry, then at Ginny.

Arthur was looking at her with a puzzled expression, until he realized what she was thinking. “I don’t think they would know so soon, dear. It has only been a week,” he said.

Molly looked slightly put out at something. “Oh, I guess you are right, Arthur,” she replied sadly.

Harry was trying to figure out what they were talking about until he looked at Ginny; she was somewhere between being embarrassed and mortified. He raised an eyebrow at her, and she replied with a pat on her stomach.

“What? No! Ginny isn’t pregnant,” Harry said suddenly. Then he looked back at her. “You aren’t pregnant, are you?”

Ginny glared at him. “No!”

He realized that everyone at the table was staring at him. Ginny’s parents were mildly embarrassed. Bill, Charlie, Sirius, and Remus were trying not to laugh, but the rest of the Weasley men looked rather peaky. Ron even stopped eating and stared at Ginny and him.

“What I wanted to talk to you about are the Portkeys,” he said to change the subject. “We need to get them made before you return home.”

“What do you need to know from us?” asked Mr. Weasley.

“What location you want the Portkey to take you?”

“France, the estate in the Alps,” stated Mrs. Weasley. “It has that wonderful infirmary. If we need to leave England in a rush, I may need to patch up my family.”

“She also wants to go into that village and ask about those ladies that were chatting up Bill,” said Charlie.

“When you find a steady job, you should also be looking to find a wife to start a family,” replied Mrs. Weasley. “Do you have an estate in Romania, Harry?”

The laughter at Molly’s comment was cut short by the bell ringing indicating that someone or something was in the transportation vault.

“I’ll get it,” said Remus.

Harry watched as Remus left the room. The table was once again alive with chatter as everyone was talking about the past week. He sat there and sipped on his morning tea, listening and enjoying that everyone seemed to have a good time visiting his estates.

“Could I interrupt everyone’s conversations?” asked Sirius as he stood up. “I would appreciate it…,”

“If you didn’t tell people about the estates you saw,” the Weasley children, not including Bill and Ginny, said in unison to Sirius. “Tell your friends that you went to see your brother and sister in Africa. If you tell anyone about all the places you have been, please be sure they are trustworthy.”

While they were talking, Sirius had an annoyed look on his face. He held his retort until they finished. “You are a cheeky lot. You know that,” he said with a smile. “Your silence is important.”

“If we were to tell people about what we have seen this past week, they will think we are as barmy as Looney Lovegood,” said Ron.

Ginny flung a sausage at him hitting him in the face.

“What was that for,” he cried out.

“Don’t call her Looney,” she shouted. “She is my friend.”

“She believes in Crumple-horned Snorkacks and Nargles. Does that sound sane to you?”

“I don’t care,” spat Ginny. “She is still my friend.” She flung another sausage at Ron.

“Quit it you two!” ordered Mrs. Weasley.

“You must be barkin’ mad to bond with that lunatic, Harry,” Ron said, gesturing towards Ginny.

“I have learned to pick my battles better.”

Mr. Weasley let out a loud laugh, but quickly stopped laughing when his wife shot him a glare. The entire table erupted with laughter at their actions.

“Arthur,” said Remus from the doorway of the dining room. “This letter is for you.”

Mr. Weasley took the scroll from Remus. He unrolled it and Harry could see his brow form into deep rows of wrinkles as he read it.

“What is it Arthur?” asked Molly.

“Alastor says I need to see him before anyone returns to the Burrow.”

Everyone started to talk at once. Mr. Weasley just raised his left hand until everyone quieted down.

“I will go to Headquarters and sort this out,” he said, standing up.

"I am going too,” stated his wife in a voice that told everyone she would not take “no” as an answer.

“Why don’t we all go, and leave for home from there,” Percy asked.

The senior Weasleys stopped and looked at each other as they tried to decide what to do. Molly turned to face them all. “We will go soon, but I don’t want you lot causing problems. Is that understood?”

“Oh perfectly clear, Mum,” Fred and George said in unison.

“I have an idea, Dad,” said Ginny. “You and Harry go first. You can start talking to Alastor and Harry can bring the rest of us at the same time.”

The Weasleys stared at her stunned for a second, before Arthur spoke up. “That sounds interesting, is Harry going to Apparate there and back several times?”

“I think Ginny wants to see me use my powers,” Harry said softly. He was scared about using magic on his relatives. If he would Splinch them, they may never find the body parts. “Whenever you are ready, I will go with you.”

“All right Harry. Molly, are we done packing?” asked Arthur.

“Close enough, unless you have dumped clothes out of the trunk already packed.”

“No, dear, I didn’t, so we should be able to go in a few. Weasleys finish breakfast, soon,” he said while looking at Ron. “So you don’t delay Harry and Ginny. I imagine they will need to set a time like before with the Headmaster.”

“I was going to see if Ginny can contact me through our bond,” Harry replied.

“You two can do that?” asked Arthur excitedly.

“Mostly close distances,” said Ginny. “What happens if I can’t contact you?”

“Send a Patronus,” replied Harry nonchalantly.

“If none of you need my help, I am going to Headquarters,” said Arthur, standing up from the table rubbing his hands together with excitement. “Let’s go, Harry. I must say helping you and Ginny develop your magic sure is exciting.”

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Chapter 13: Starting the Fight

Author's Notes: The Weasley's safety is threatened again. It is time for Harry and the newly formed Order of Phoenix to start working together.
I would like to thank Leif for the great Beta work.

Harry stared at the dirty pealing wallpaper and large piles of dust collected around the baseboards of Grimmauld’s dining room. It was not used as a dining room now, which is a good thing. Moody and Shacklebolt had converted it to map and tracking room just a week ago.

It was now becoming the communication center for the Order of Phoenix. The large dark wood table had a map of Britain standing on it with objects moving about tracing movements of known Death Eaters. There were several owls perched in the far corner on stands, their droppings littering the floor beneath them. It didn’t appear to Harry that anyone had tried to clean this filthy building in the past week.

His hand was inching towards his wand. He wanted to start casting Banishing charms on the dust and dirt before Scourgifying the entire house. It would probably be better to just burn the filthy and smelly place down to the ground and start over again.

“Well, Potter, what do you think?” asked Alastor Moody breaking him out of his thoughts of arson.

“About what?”

The old scarred Auror huffed and thumped his cane on the floor. “About the Weasleys returning to their home. That Death Eater, Judson, has been to it every night since they left with you. It is too dangerous for them to go back there.”

“Dad, what do you think?” he asked Arthur. He enjoyed seeing the older gentleman smiling at him with pride.

“Well, son, Molly wants to return to her home. I would like to have Bill look over the Charms Warding the place. If he thinks it is safe, then I will take my family back home.”

“You’d be a fool Arthur,” growled Alastor. “You should move your family in here. There is plenty of room.”

Harry almost laughed at the look on Arthur Weasley’s face. He looked like he might get sick at the thoughts of living in a house this dirty and unkempt. The Burrow might be odd looking and held together with magic, but it was always clean and comfortable.

“When Bill comes, we will go out and check the wards,” said Harry. “If he doesn’t think it safe, you can stay at the place we just came from, Dad.”

“Well, that sounds reasonable,” sighed Arthur. “Alastor, no offence but I wouldn’t want to stay here even if I was paid.”

“Heh, you may need to move in. Albus wants to get a group of Order members in here and clean this place up so it can be a proper headquarters.”

Arthur looked like he was going to get sick. “You want me to move my family in here?”

“Yeah, we need a large group of energetic workers,” Moody said plainly.

Harry was offended at the idea that people were looking at his family as just a large group of able bodied workers. “Are there no others to do the cleaning, or did you just save this job for the Weasleys,” said Harry with some force.

Moody looked embarrassed at his comment. “I didn’t mean it like that. Almost everyone we have signed up is busy tracking people either on the board or in real life. Don’t forget we are not that large of a group.”

“Alastor, my family will help clean up this place, but you will have to deal with Molly if we do.”

The grizzled Auror looked at Arthur with fear in his real eye. Harry almost laughed aloud at his reaction. “I could ask some of the Elves to help,” said Harry.

“This place has an Elf, and it is useless,” said Moody. “All it does is sneak around and swear at us. We need to think about the problem at hand. When will Bill be able to check the wards?”

Arthur looked at Harry.

“I haven’t been contacted yet,” he told them. “It shouldn’t be much longer.”

“What are you getting at,” asked Moody.

“Harry is going to try a little unusual magic,” said Arthur with pride. “Using his bond with Ginny, he is going to bring the rest of the family here.”

“This house has anti-Apparition and Portkey Charms. They won’t be able to make it through the wards.”

“We were able to go through the Hogwarts protections,” said Harry.

“Were you now,” said Moody staring at Harry. “Let me know when you plan on doing that.”

“I will. I need to find a room large enough for them to appear.”

Harry walked away intent on checking on the sitting room by the front door. He thought it was large enough for the entire family to appear in. He stared into a room that might have been a study, but he couldn’t tell by the dark furnishings and accumulated dirt. He had never seen such a dirty house before. When he was living at the Dursley’s, his Aunt kept the place spotless. Then moving into his new estates that were maintained by Elves, he had never lived in a dirty home. Sirius said that the House Elf was useless. Harry was wondering if it was even alive.

He entered the sitting room and stared at the dust covered furniture. He had to do something about all the dirt. He waved his left hand from right to left in front of him. The dust and loose dirt disappeared from that part of the room. He repeated the motion with his other hand going left to right Banishing the dust and dirt from the rest of the room. He then placed his hands together in front of him and moved them outward forcing the furniture to the walls. He looked and thought there would be enough room to bring the Weasley family.

He found a large wing backed chair to sit and wait for Ginny to contact him. He heard a low bullfrog voice talking softly from the hallway.

“Filthy half-blood moving my mistress’s furniture; she would not be pleased that the blood-traitor son keeps bringing this filth in here.”

Harry stared at the old House Elf with drooping hairy ears and dirty sagging skin.

“Hello, you must be Kreacher.”

“Oh, that Half-blood speaks to Kreacher. Kreacher will ignore him and walk away.”

Harry sat there shocked at the actions of this old House Elf. It acted like it wasn’t competent to be taking care of a house, which could explain a lot.

An image appeared in his mind. He saw Ginny standing holding hands with the rest of the family. They were all holding their luggage. Harry ran up the stairs to get Moody. As he ran past the Portrait, the noise of his footfalls awakened Walburga Black. Ignoring her shouting he made eye contact with Moody.

“I am going to bring them here in the sitting room.”

He turned and started down the stairs. As he passed the portrait, he pulled his wand and cast a Silencing Charm on it. He made it to the bottom of the stairs as another image of Ginny appeared to him. This time she had a look of concern on her face. He stopped and tried to let her know that he felt her presence. Her image smiled in his mind.

He stepped into the sitting room. He wasn’t going to wait for Moody. He could hear him clumping down the stairs. Harry concentrated on Ginny; her smile, her hair, the feel of her in his arms. It made him want to hold her. He could feel the magic connect across the hundreds of miles, and then she and her entire family was there.

He could hear everyone talking around them, but he only had eyes for his wife. He stepped towards her as she moved to him. She melted into his arms. She fit so well into his arms, almost like they were made for each other. Kissing her hair, she lifted her face to look at him. Leaning down he captured her lips. He was in heaven.

“That isn’t a very good way of transportation if you are in a battle,” shouted Moody.

Ginny and he started laughing at the same time. Harry responded to Moody. “We don’t have to snog, but considering the situation what can it hurt.”

“It can ruin a person’s appetite,” complained Ron.

Ginny pulled away from Harry and intertwined her fingers with his. “I doubt it could ever ruin yours, Ron.”

Everyone laughed at her comment including Ron. Moody though cleared his throat.

“We have a situation that needs to be addressed.”

“What is that Alastor?” asked Molly.

Moody seemed to grimace before looking at Harry. It seemed that it was up to Harry to tell what had been happening at the Burrow. Harry didn’t really want to say anything. He had just come into her good graces. If he told her that a Death Eater that came to attack him a week earlier was prowling around her home. He might swing back to the bad side of Molly.

“Alastor and the Order noticed a Death Eater patrolling around the Burrow for the past week,” said Albus Dumbledore.

Harry looked shocked at him. He didn’t realize he was in the house.

“Do you know which one,” asked Molly, anxiety showing on her face.

“Mr. Judson,” replied Albus.

“Harry wants to go out there with Bill to check the wards,” said Moody.

“I’ll be going too and also Remus,” said Sirius.

“Me too,” said Ginny.

Albus Dumbledore smiled at the comments, but Molly looked like her face was going to catch on fire.

“Mum, don’t start. We know what we are doing,” stated Ginny.

“I am going along to see if you really do know what you are doing,” barked Moody.

“Don’t worry, Alastor, I am following Auror procedures,” said Sirius with a wolfish grin.

“I was wondering if you remembered your training?” asked Moody.

“Alright, let’s get going,” ordered Sirius. “We can’t Disapparate from this house as a group and the stoop is too small. Moody and I will go first and Apparate to the main gate at Hogwarts. Bill and Remus will be second and Ginny and Harry last.”

He stopped talking and walked out the front door with Moody and Disapprated. Bill and Remus were right behind them. He and Ginny were ready to go, but Molly started to protest. Albus Dumbledore spoke to her. They didn’t wait to hear what he was saying. One second they were stepping out into the rain of London and the next second they were getting rained on in front of Hogwarts.

“Why did you bring us this way, Sirius?” questioned Moody “We can’t Apparate as a group to the Burrow that is all the way down in Suffolk.”

“Yes, we can,” replied Sirius undeterred by the questions. “We need to link arms. Bill you lead us and Harry and Ginny need to be in the middle. When we appear we need to take a four point defensive stance with Harry and Ginny in center. Wands, at the ready and go.”

Bill turned and the entire group was squeezed through rubber tube of Apparition. They landed in the orchard behind the Burrow. Bill took a stance facing the house. Remus was ninety degrees to his left. Sirius moved to ninety degrees to his right. Moody was opposite of Bill. They were all bent over so Ginny and he could see over them and scan the entire area. The rain was the same here as it was everywhere else they had been today unseasonable cold and steady.

Harry couldn’t feel any type of spells being cast. “All clear,” he told the others.

“I can’t feel anyone’s presence,” stated Ginny.

Everyone relaxed except for Moody. He stood with his arm extended waiting for an attack. “You need to keep your wands at the ready. You don’t know what is out there.”

“If Ginny and Harry give us an all-clear, it is good for me,” said Remus.

“You still need to keep your wands ready,” said Bill. “I am going to test the Wards. If this Judson is the best there is, than he could have placed some booby traps in the matrix of the Wards. Harry be ready to cast a shield in case the Wards explode.”

“Exploding Wards?” asked a puzzled Moody.

“Yes, I need to concentrate,” demanded Bill.

Harry stood there on the sodden ground with the rain soaking him to the bone focusing on what Bill was doing. He was moving his wand in a series of intricate motions. Occasionally, a wisp of energy would fly from his wand and hit the wards partially illuminating it. Each wisp was a different color and when it would hit the wards it would change to another color. Bill seemed to know what he was doing, because he mumbled something each time the wards reacted.

“Get ready,” Bill said softly.

Harry gripped his wand tighter preparing for whatever may happen. He would not allow any of his friends to get hurt. Bill swung his wand in a short arc and a bolt of purple magic shot from it and collided with the wards. The spell hit and spread out across the surface in a spider web formation. After it had spread out over the entire surface of the wards and disappeared, Bill seemed to relax and lower his wand.

“Well the wards were not set up as a trap,” he said with a sigh.

“I never heard of such a thing,” exclaimed Moody.

Bill laughed at the old Auror. “What do you think the Egyptians did all those years ago? All their protections were wards that were designed to activate some type of spell if disturbed.”

Bill stood there and stared at the Burrow. He rubbed his chin.

“What is it, Bill?” asked Ginny.

“I want to see what he might have tried to solve the wards. He could have even solved them and just waiting for the right time to drop them. If you five want to return to Headquarters, I’ll stay here.”

“No, we are not leaving you here,” snapped Ginny. No one objected to staying with Bill.

“All right, it will take some time though, and Harry and Ginny could you move back away from me a bit. I am going to need to balance my magic perfectly to track his spells.”

“Track his spells?” asked Remus.

“One of the first things you learn at Gringotts is to cast a Spell Detection Charm. It will track any spells cast over the past year. Sometimes even a longer time period, it saves on useless duplication. Since it has only been a week, I should be able to detect his spells pretty easily.”

“I appreciate this lesson in breaking Wards and Curses, but I am getting soaked out here,” complained Sirius.

“All right, excuse me Professor,” replied Bill.

Sirius growled at his comment. Bill ignored him and started waving his wand in what appeared to be a repeating motion as he walked along the face of the wards protecting the Burrow. Harry was fascinated watching him doing this. Occasionally, a series of runes would appear on the surface of the wards. They would sit there shimmering like a golden fire while Bill stared at them. He would wave his wand and the flaming runes would disappear.

They continued walking about thirty feet away from Bill, to not interfere with his spell casting. Thirty minutes of this turned into an hour, and then two full hours until they had completely circumvented the ward surrounding the Burrow.

“Well, he cast enough Diagnostic Charms to be able to see what the Ward construct is, however, he hasn’t tried to break the code. I want to make a few tweaks to the Ward in case he has figured it out.”

“Why not just change it completely?” questioned Moody.

“I am setting a trap. If they try to drop the Ward, I will know and another Ward will form about twenty feet closer to the house,” explained Bill.

Moody laughed at Bill’s explanation. It looked rather demented with his scared and misshapen mouth.

“That’s bloody brilliant.”

“I would like to have a barrier so no one could possibly see what I am doing.”

“What type of a barrier?” asked Remus.

“Something that will keep people from seeing me rearranging the construct,” he explained.

“Inflamare?” Sirius said looking at Remus.

“That should work, you cast one that direction, and I will take care of this side,” said Remus.

The two wizards stepped away from everyone and started moving their arms in a large circle in front of them. Soon fire was forming like a large disc in front of them. The fiery discs blocked the view of Bill manipulating the Ward’s configuration. They also helped warm up Harry and dry his clothes out. Harry started to wonder about Remus and Sirius. Certainly, they must be hot.

“All right I am done,” announced Bill. “You can stop that.”

Sirius and Remus cancelled the spell. Steam was rolling off their clothes. Ginny was the first to laugh when they turned around, he quickly joined her, and then Bill and Moody started to laugh at the sight of Remus and Sirius. They had burnt the hair off the front of their face. Neither had eyebrows and their hair next to their forehead was burnt back.

Sirius was the funniest. He had burnt off just the front section of his beard and moustache. The hair on his cheeks was still there but looked strange with the rest of his face. They looked at everyone laughing at them, so they decided to turn to look at each other. Soon all six of them were nearly rolling on the wet ground laughing.

“Let’s head back to headquarters,” said Sirius between chuckles. “Harry and Ginny you first, we will quickly follow, so no snogging when you get there.”

Ginny looked indignant at Sirius. “If I want to snog my husband, I will.”

She grabbed his hand was with a turn they were gone. They landed on the stoop of headquarters. He opened the door for her. What they saw caught them by surprise. Everyone was running around and cleaning Grimmauld place. Bill and Moody appeared behind them.

“What the bloody hell is going on here?” barked Moody.

“Alastor, do not use language like that in front of my children,” yelled Molly Weasley. “I cannot believe you would stay in a house this dirty. You didn’t even clean up after your own Owls. If you expect me to bring my children here to help clean this place there will be some changes in how you keep this place. You will treat this place with some respect and clean up after yourself.”

While Molly was chastising Moody, Sirius and Remus arrived. They stood there trying to contain their laughter at Molly yelling at Moody and the portrait of Sirius’ mother yelling at them all.

She looked past Moody and Bill and frowned at the two of them. “What in the world did you two do to yourselves, you look ridiculous. Honestly, I think the children are more responsible that the adults around here.”

“You can go home now Mum,” said Bill.

“Not until I at least make a couple of these rooms suitable to be lived in by humans. You would think a troll had lived here. I think the ghoul in our attic isn’t this messy. Don’t just stand there Bill, come along there is work for you and the rest of you. Lets get to it.”

“And people wonder why I never married,” growled Moody as he clumped towards the stairs.

“And will someone please shut that portrait up,” yelled Molly from another room.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry sat on the settee in the sitting room of headquarters. Ginny was beside him with her head on his shoulder. They were relaxing waiting for the first Order of Phoenix meeting to start. Bill, Remus, and Sirius were there along with Moody, Professor Dumbledore, and Professor McGonagall.

Professor McGonagall sat across form him and kept giving him wistful looks. Sirius, Remus, and Bill occupied the sofa and had a box placed in front of them on the coffee table. Harry still couldn’t look at Remus and Sirius without laughing about their lack of hair on their faces. Moody was plopped down in a wing backed chair complaining to Albus Dumbledore as he paced in front of the fireplace. There was a small fire to take the chill off the unusually cold summer day.

“I tell you Albus that woman is a slave driver,” said Moody.

“That’s my mother you are talking about,” snapped Ginny. Bill was also giving Moody a hard look. “If you had cleaned something in this place she wouldn’t have been so — well like my mother.”

“I am impressed with what she was able to get done,” stated Professor McGonagall. “We now have a sanitary kitchen, a clean work space, and even a clean bedroom to sleep in. She has a schedule to clean every room in this house over the next several months. I think you should be thanking her.”

“While Molly’s efforts to make this house livable are quite commendable, we have other matters to address,” said Albus Dumbledore. “How secure is the Burrow?”

“Very secure,” stated Bill. “I have made the Ward to recognize people and allow passage through them. If someone takes them down, I will know, and a second Ward will be formed closer to the house. The only security risk to my family would be if they go into town. They would be vulnerable.”

“Good,” replied Albus with a nod of his head. He turned and looked at Harry. “Harry, you wanted this meeting. Minerva and Alastor are two members of the Order that I trust the most. What is it that you wanted to talk about?”

“With the recent events, it is obvious that Voldemort is getting ready to return. We — the five of us — became aware of that two years ago shortly after I bonded with Ginny. While Ginny and I have been learning magic, these three have been doing other research that could be helpful.”

Harry looked at the three on the sofa.

“Right, where to begin,” said Sirius.

“I’ll start,” said Remus.

“After James and Lily were murdered, I thought I was alone in the world. I didn’t want anything to do with the magical world, so I hid in the Muggle world for over two years. I found that, with my shabby clothes, I fit in with the type of Muggles that frequent used book stores. I was able to find a job at these stores, where I started reading Muggle books. I particularly found detective stories very interesting. So much so that I started researching how Muggles solved crimes without using magic.

“Many of the methods would be useless to us, but one type I found fascinating. It is called profiling. Where the Muggles try to predict what the criminal would do by what they have done in the past. Everyone has patterns to how they do things, even Voldemort.”

“That is where I come in,” said Sirius. “I was locked in a part of Azkaban where everyone was sentenced to life. When you don’t think you will ever live to see the outside world, people will tell you things that they wouldn’t normally say. I had several Dearth Eaters in cells around me. They were bragging about how great their Dark Lord was. It appears that he has a set method of recruiting Death Eaters.

“He focuses almost exclusively on Slytherin students. Not just any student, but students that passed with more than six Outstandings on their Owls. The Death Eaters visit them between their fifth and sixth years and try to convince them of their Dark Lord’s noble intentions. If the Slytherin doesn’t seem interested they don’t press it, but they keep a close watch on the family. They contact the family again between their sixth and seventh years. This time if the child and the family are not interested, they apply pressure; usually threats and possibly even a little torture to make them compliant.”

Professor McGonagall sniffed at Sirius casual use of the word torture. Sirius looked at her and continued on.

“Remus and I delved into the records of Hogwarts reports to the board of governors…,”

“How did you get those reports?” asked Professor Dumbledore.

“My family vault,” said Harry. Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall stared at him awkwardly for a few seconds. “My family has a permanent seat on the Board of Governors. We get a report sent to the vault every year.”

“You also get a transcript of every meeting of the Wizengamot?” asked Professor Dumbledore.

“Yes, they do,” said Sirius. “Now that everyone is up to speed where I got my information; we stumbled on an interesting observation. There were no recorded Death Eaters that graduated in 1943 and before. In 44, there were only two known Death Eaters. In 45, almost the entire class was Death Eaters or sympathizers, except the smartest student, Tom Riddle.

“Our suspicions about him were confirmed when we went into the Chamber of Secrets and found him draining the life from Ron Weasley. The diary was Tom Riddle’s diary. Tom Riddle is Lord Voldemort. Many of his followers in Azkaban swear he is the heir or reincarnation of Salazar Slytherin.”

“I find this very interesting, but how does it help us. We can’t go and toss people into Azkaban because they fit your profile,” questioned Moody.

“Profiling isn’t intend to be proof of a criminals activity, but to try to predict when and where a criminal will strike next,” replied Remus. “Here is a list of possible recruited Dearth Eaters from Slytherin.”

Remus handed several sheets of parchment to each person in the room. He waited until the three eldest had a chance to look them over.

“You will notice that beside each name there are several markings,” Remus said. “The DE stands for people who were definite Death Eaters. The “P” stands for people who are possible Death Eaters. “D” stands for dead, “A” stands for Azkaban, “U” means we have no idea where they are. We can keep these handy to help determine what might be the next target and who would be acting on behalf of the dark lord.”

“We could end up chasing our tails while trying to track all these people,” said Moody.

“There are very few people Voldemort trusts. Sirius has a good idea who was in the inner circle from talk at Azkaban,” stated Remus. “They pass information from the inner circle to the other members. We can try to track this trail of information and be able to determine who else are Death Eaters.”

“While I am impressed by your work on this project,” said Albus Dumbledore. “I am not sure we can do what you want. The Order is not that large of an organization. It would take hundreds of people to keep track of all these people.”

“We are presently tracking known Death Eaters,” said Remus. “It may take some time to collect enough information to completely identify all the Death Eaters.”

“You make this sound like you are planning on a long drawn out war,” questioned Moody.

“There are Death Eaters working in the Ministry. We know that. Several of these additional names are Ministry employees. If this escalates to an all-out war, we may be fighting the Ministry,” Remus stressed to them.

Moody was getting even more agitated. Professor McGonagall was giving all of them disapproving stares while occasionally glancing at Albus Dumbledore.

“It may not come to that,” said Ginny.

He squeezed her hand trying to stop her from revealing too much information to Moody and Professor McGonagall. She turned and looked at him. It was easy to tell she knew exactly what he was thinking, because she always knew.

“It’s all right love. I trust them,” she said gently.

“Bill will you please seal the room,” Ginny asked her brother. She waited until he cast a Charm sealing the room off from unwanted listeners. “Our plan is to destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes before he has a chance to regenerate his body. From all the records we have found on Horcruxes, we cannot be sure if he would be pulled into the afterlife or continue to exist in his present spectral form. At least we think it is still a spectral form.”

“Horcrux, are you suggesting that Voldemort made a Horcrux,” spat Moody; his magical eye swinging wildly from Ginny to all the others in the room.

“We know he made at least one. We think he probably made more,” Ginny said calmly. She squeezed Harry’s hand, before saying anything else. “We were hoping for the Headmaster’s and the Order’s help in locating and destroying any he might have made.”

“I don’t know if involving the Order in such an endeavor would be wise,” stated Albus Dumbledore.

“Albus, you knew about the Horcruxes?” asked a shocked Professor McGonagall.

“Bloody Hell!” shouted Bill. He had his robes pulled back on his left arm. The bracelet that he wore was glowing blue. “Someone is tampering with the Wards at the Burrow. Come on, we need to get going.”

“Hold on, don’t you go there until we can get organized,” demanded Moody.

“We can’t wait for very long. They haven’t broken the wards yet, but they are doing something to set off the alarms.” Bill stood staring at the bracelet glowing blue on his wrist.

Moody limped past Bill and up the stairs as he yelled at the two Order members watching the map. Harry could hear footsteps running around upstairs, as Moody descended the stairs to the sitting room.

“We will be able to leave in two minutes. Here is what we will do…,”

“You and the Order will Apparate second to the lane in front of the Burrow. I will lead this group to the orchard,” stated Bill.

Moody looked like he wanted to argue, but he seemed to think about the plan before speaking. “It sounds good we will have them surrounded. If you go first they may attack, and we can catch them from behind. Wait until Nymphadora and Caradoc make down here before…,”

“It’s Tonks and we are here,” shouted the female Auror.

“Go Bill, I know where to go,” said Albus Dumbledore.

Harry grabbed Ginny’s hand and followed their team out to the stoop. It was a tight fit, but they were able to Apparate without incident. The orchard appeared around them. They not only made a popping sound, but also a splash as they landed on the wet ground.

No one spoke as they searched the area around them for a sign of someone. Harry could feel magic being used on the other side of the house. There was a loud splintering sound and the dome of the Ward protecting the house formed glowing blue spider veins before vaporizing.

“Let’s move they are on the other side,” whispered Bill. He took off running around the circumference of the wards.

Harry both heard the sound of Apparition and felt its magic on the other side of the house. Five people appeared while one had disappeared. He started to wonder if the person who broke the wards had left. The second ward glowed in a faint golden color twenty feet closer to the house.

“Bill, slow down we need to stay together,” whispered Sirius.

“We need to work as a group, Bill,” said Remus.

Harry could feel Ginny and Bill’s anger to anyone who would want to attack their family. Harry shared the sentiment, and was even angrier; this was all because of him. He noticed the other group from the Order was standing with their wands drawn facing the gate leading to the Burrow. He was starting to think that the person who broke the ward had Apparated away when the other group appeared.

Ginny stiffened a little beside him. He was going to ask why, until her could feel the magic building at a spot near the new Ward between his group and the other Order group. It was strange how he could see the glow of the spell before the other people even started to cast it. It was his special power, but he still had to act. He could see the green glow of the Killing Curse forming.

Thrusting his hands out he magically pushed the two order groups to the ground at the same time the attackers were shouting the Killing Curse. Six beams of deadly green magic shout out missing everyone lying on the ground. It was as though time had slowed down as the curses came at him. He moved slightly to his right and turned so he could extend he wand arm as the Killing Curses missed to the left and right.

The other wizards were Disillusioned, but he could now see them in the night. They still had that green glow of the Killing Curse illuminating them. Wordlessly he shot six separate beams out of his wand. Each one hitting its target with such force that their Stunned bodies were slamming against the new Ward.

He stood there watching and waiting for another attack. He wasn’t sure if anyone else was here waiting to attack them. The Order members were slowly getting back to their feet. Harry didn’t need to be an Empath to know that Ginny was seething beside him.

“You are so lucky that you didn’t get killed,” she hissed at him. “If I pass on because some gormless stunt like that, I will make your eternity a living hell.”

Harry almost started laughing at her choice of words. “If we are dead how could you make my afterlife a LIVING hell?”

Bill, Sirius, and Remus snorted beside him. He knew they thought what he said was rather funny.

“While you are standing there casting a Killing Curse with your eyes, could you try to sense if anyone else is around here?”

“No we are clear, you prat,” she growled at him.

He dropped his wand a little and walked towards the six who tried to kill them. Albus Dumbledore, Alastor Moody, and Nymphadora Tonks were standing over the six bodies.

“Nice wand work, Harry,” said Tonks with a smile.

“Do you know them?” he asked the other group.

“Slytherin’s,” the Headmaster said. “They were among the best students of their class. All did exceptionally on their OWLs and NEWTs.”

“Now do you believe me?” said Sirius.

“It doesn’t matter,” barked Moody. “They are all going back to Ministry and then to Azkaban.”

“Did anyone Apparate when you arrived?” he asked the other group.

“Not that I know, why?” responded Albus Dumbledore.

“Someone did,” he responded. He lifted his wand skyward. “Homenum Revelio,” he nearly shouted.

A red light glowed as it shot out in all directions from his wand tip. It looked like a red ripple on a black lake moving through the night air and slightly off the ground. It illuminated the Stunned wizards and the Order members as it moved outward across the Burrow’s grounds. It continued past the property boundaries and up the sides of the hills. It was even visible as it moved through the woods on the hills surrounding the Burrow. It highlighted a person hidden in the woods behind them.

A second later Harry could feel an outburst of magic. The person had Apparated away after being detected.

“I wonder who that was?” said Moody.

“It was probably Judson,” said Bill. “Or someone with experience in breaking Wards. They didn’t use blunt force they tried to tear the Ward’s construct apart.”

“You can tell all of that?” asked Moody. “You will be an asset to the Order.”

“It was Judson,” said Caradoc. “He was here when Alastor called for us.”

“Well get back to Headquarters and see where he went to,” ordered Moody. “We need to report this.”

“I can’t do that without revealing that I am with the Order,” said Tonks.

“Arthur can report it,” said Albus Dumbledore. “Maybe the Weasleys should move into headquarters tonight.”

Harry looked at his father and mother —in-law standing just outside the front door of their house with their wands clutched in their hands. He was starting to wonder what to do. He didn’t want to endanger them anymore, but he also knew they wouldn’t want to be shipped to a foreign country. Without even thinking about it, he laid his arm over Ginny’s shoulders and pulled her to him. They will need to talk to everyone about this. He just wasn’t sure what would be the right thing to do.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Lucius Malfoy was kneeling in the basement of his own home he was spoon feeding a mixture of unicorn blood, snake blood, and several other healing potions to his master. It was a disgusting thing to do, but he didn’t need his master punishing him.

“Any word from Judson?” asked the Dark Lord.

“None, there is no evidence that Potter will be at the Weasley’s hovel.”

“I cannot remain like this forever, Lucius. You must lure Potter out in the open and capture him.”

“I know master, but he has been hidden well by Albus Dumbledore.”

“Yes, Albus Dumbledore, we will need to take care of him also. First we must get Potter, and then we will destroy the Muggle loving fool. Who would dare to stand against us then?”

“Father,” called Draco. “Father, are you down here?”

Lucius could hear his son’s footfalls on the steps leading down to the dungeons. “Excuse me master,” he whispered. Lucius stood up quickly and strode towards the stairwell.

“Draco, did I not tell you to never come down here?” shouted Lucius at his son. “What is the meaning of this?”

“There is a man upstairs, who insists he must see you,” he son nervously said, while cowering back up the stairs. “His name is Judson.”

“Is he alone?” asked Lucius trying to keep any hint of anxiety out of his voice.

“Yes, he is, Father.”

“Very well, I shall meet him in my den. You can lead him there. I shall be up very soon.” Lucius watched as his son retreated up the steps. After the door at the top of the steps had closed, he turned and returned to his Master.

“Master, I must go see Judson. He was going to break into the Weasley’s to lure Potter out of hiding.” Lucius stood with his head bowed before his master. “I will report what he discovered.”

“Very well, Lucius, you may go, but don’t forget to punish him if he fails you. We cannot let weakness infiltrate our ranks.”

“Yes, Master.”

Lucius left the dark and dank dungeons of his manor house and entered his warm den. Judson was sitting in a leather wingback chair by the fire. Lucius noticed he picked the smaller of two chairs to sit in. It was good that Judson knew his station in life.

Pouring a glass of Elf-made wine, Lucius sat down in the larger chair and stared at Judson as he sipped the wine. The taste was strong and sweet. It helped to calm him, before he found what had happened tonight.

“How did everything go?” he calmly asked the lower ranked Death Eater.

“If you plan to take Potter captive, you better have a good plan.”

“Why do you say that?”

“I recruited my younger brother and several of his housemates to attack the Weasley’s home once they returned from their vacation. They were all excellent students and had some additional training from me.

“I was able to break the wards, but Bill Weasley had set up a second ward that activated once the first one was tripped. It had a Detection Charm added in, because Bill, Black, the werewolf, and the Potters appeared about five minutes after I broke the ward. I didn’t have time to break through the second ward, as Albus Dumbledore, the Auror Moody, and a couple of people I didn’t recognize Apparated right by where we were.

“I Apparated out of there to a safe spot to observe what went on. My brother’s group was Disillusioned. Dumbledore, Moody, and the other two didn’t seem to see them. Potter though seemed to almost sense them and was able to take them down like they were practice dummies. I never saw wand work like that except from our Dark Lord and Dumbledore.”

Judson pulled something out of his robes. It was a set of Omniculars. “Here, I recorded what happened. Watch it and see what we are facing. Taking Potter will not be an easy task, if you want him alive. I say we just kill him.”

Judson stood up and straightened his robes out.

“Where are you going?” asked Lucius.

“My brother was captured tonight, because of me. I need to somehow arrange for him to stay out of Azkaban.”

“Very well, do what you need to do, but do not expose us, or you will wish you were in Azkaban,” threatened Lucius.

Judson leered at Lucius for a second before turning on his heels and leaving.

Lucius lifted the Omniculars to his eyes and activated the replay feature. The observation was from a distance, but he could tell that Potter was a very powerful and talented wizard. It seemed as if he sensed when the Killing Curses were going to be cast, because he magically pushed everyone else to the ground and sidestepped two curses. The Stunning Spells erupted from his wand at an incredible rate and found people who were Disillusioned without missing once.

He will need to report this to his Master, and then begin to make plans to capture Potter. This will be most difficult, but the rewards will be great when he succeeds.

Back to index

Chapter 14: Fudge, the Minister

Author's Notes: WE get a look at what life is like for Ministry employees. In particular Arthur Weasley and anyone opposed to pureblood ideals.
Big thank you for seekers destiny for catching all my mistakes with this chapter.

“Were the Wards Ministry compliant?” asked the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge.

Arthur Weasley was sitting in the chair in front of the entire Wizengamot. He thought this would be a simple trial. Six wizards Apparated onto his property and tried to kill his friends who came to help him. Yet, he has been the only one being questioned.

Not just questioned but interrogated. Fudge had been asking him questions for nearly thirty minutes now. Did he know the attackers? Did he have any dealings with the attackers? Why would anyone want to do what the attackers did? Where is his son-in-law?

It wasn’t only he that was getting tired of this interrogation, about half of the Wizengamot were acting like nine year-olds squirming in their seats and occasionally rolling their eyes at the questions that Fudge was asking.

“Arthur Weasley, you must answer the question,” demanded the Minister of Magic. “Were the Wards Ministry compliant.”

“I do not know Cornelius,” answered Arthur.

“You will address the Minister of Magic with more respect,” said the simpering voice of Dolores Umbridge.

“Thank you Under-secretary Umbridge,” replied Fudge with an oily voice. “Answer the question!”

“I did not know that Ministry required Wards to meet any particular criteria,” Arthur answered honestly.

Under-secretary Dolores Umbridge let out a girly little laugh. Fudge seemed to puff himself up with self-importance at Umbridge’s giggle. “The Ministry must be sure that people are not using Dark Magic to create Wards,” explained Umbridge. “Our Minister signed a decree last week making it official that all Wards set up within the jurisdiction of the British Ministry of Magic must meet this criterion and also be inspected.”

“When was that decree voted on by the Wizengamot?” asked Albus Dumbledore.

“Why was I not made aware of that decree?” asked Madam Amelia Bones, Head of Magical Law Enforcement.

“The Minister is busy man,” said Umbridge as though that was all the explanation that was necessary.

“The Minister must be a very forgetful man to forget that any decree isn’t official until voted on by the Wizengamot,” stated Albus forcefully.

“Now Dumbledore, I was going to present it at the next meeting,” said Fudge as though the procedures were an annoyance to him.

“You will address me properly. I am the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, Albus Percival Brian Wulfric Dumbledore.”

“As the Head of Magical Law Enforcement, that Decree will not be presented to the Wizengamot until I have had a chance to read it,” stated Amelia Bones.

“Yes, yes, the proper procedures will be followed. Let’s get back to the trial. Arthur Weasley, why exactly did you think you needed a Ward to protect your family. Certainly with our esteemed colleague Madam Bones in charge of Magical Law Enforcement, we should all be able to feel safe in our homes.”

Arthur took a deep breath. If he wasn’t such a patient man, he would be going to Azkaban for murdering the Minister of Magic in front of the entire Wizengamot.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Arthur walked back through the Auror Department to his little office. He just spent four hours in the Wizengamot trial. Almost the entire time he was on the stand answering useless questions from the Ministry’s useless leader. He used to feel safe going to work and living in his home. Now he wasn’t so sure. It seemed that Fudge was putting him on trial, instead of the six future Death Eaters.

It was an open and shut case. Hit-wizards had done a Prior Incantato on the wizards’ wands and they all had cast a Killing Curse, which was a life sentence in Azkaban. Fudge seemed to believe that he had provoked the six to try to kill him.

It just didn’t make any sense. Unless the rumors he had been hearing were all true. Fudge was just the puppet of the Death Eaters. He wanted only one thing and that was to remain as the Minister of Magic.

Stepping into his little office, he smiled at the sleeping Perkins leaning against a wall while sitting in a chair. His wrinkled face stretched against the wall with his white hair sticking out in all directions. He can’t remember how many times he found him in that exact spot.

“Good Morning, Perkins,” said Arthur brightly as he walked past Perkins and sat behind his desk. “How did everything go last week?”

“Wotcher, Arthur,” said Perkins in a very feminine voice.

Arthur looked at his sleeping friend and saw a flash of pink form on the hair nearest the wall. Arthur stood there gobsmacked for several seconds before closing the door with his wand.

“Tonks? What are you doing here?”

“I am your guard,” she said while yawning and stretching. “At least for this week.”

“Are you taking off work?”

“No, I am working the graveyard shift. I figure I could take Perkins’ place. After all, he mostly sleeps all the day,” she said with a wink.

Arthur laughed at her comment. Perkins did spend most of his time asleep. “You are going to be a great bodyguard if you sleep all day.”

“Hey, I am a light sleeper, and I also wake up very angry. Any git who tries to mess with you had better watch out,” she stretched and looked at her watch. “Blimey, is it after noon?”

“Yes, the trial went on forever,” he said miserably.

“Why? We had their wands with a Killing Curse as their last spell.”

“Albus stepped aside, since he was at the scene, and let Fudge lead the Wizengamot. That man tried to get me to say that it was my fault they attacked us because we created the Ward in the first place. He tried to get their sentences reduced.”

Tonks transformed back to her normal self. “That is the craziest thing I have ever heard. Were they finally convicted?”

“Yes, they should be leaving for Azkaban by Portkey as we speak,” Arthur said as he looked at his watch.

There was a knocking at his door. He looked at Tonks and she transformed to look like Perkins. He hoped that Perkins didn’t come into work this week. He had agreed to take vacation this week, so he doubted it was him. Flicking his wand, the door creaked open. A blue memo flew into his office and landed on his desk. He looked at it without opening it. He didn’t know why. It was just a memo. However, after the treatment he received from Fudge, he was sure he couldn’t trust anything related to the Ministry.

“What is that Arty?” asked Tonks, but she sounded just like Perkins.

“It’s just a memo, but…,” replied Arthur.

“Well Arty, you should open it. Be careful, but open it.”

Arthur cautiously prodded it with his wand and the memo opened just like it was supposed to do. He glanced up at Tonks, before reaching for the memo.

Please meet me at the Three Broomsticks for lunch. Madam Rosmerta will be looking for you.
Madam Bones
Please destroy this after reading it.

The memo disappeared in a flash of flame and ash.

“I have been asked to go to lunch.”

“Anyone we can trust?” asked Tonks in Perkins reedy voice.

“If you accompany me, we can talk about it.”

Arthur stood up and walked slowly through the Ministry to the Atrium. He offered his arm to Perkins at the Apparition area. They appeared on High Street in Hogsmeade. He was amazed that Tonks didn’t revert back to her old appearance during Apparition. She made only one mistake.

“Perkins almost always stumbles when we Apparate,” he whispered to Tonks.

“I’ll work on that,” softly laughed Tonks. “Who are you meeting?”

“Madam Bones.”

“Have you ever met her for lunch before?”

“I have barely spoken to her in all my years at the Ministry. The fact that she wanted me to burn the memo probably leads me to believe she doesn’t want to be seen with me. While I am meeting with Madam Bones, you always have the corned beef sandwich and tea at the Three Broomsticks.”

“Hmm, sounds delicious. I’ll have to rethink this surveillance business,” muttered Tonks.

“I’ll see you later Perkins. You take care,” Arthur said, as they entered the Three Broomsticks. He looked across the pub and saw the owner talking with several of the patrons. She looked up and smiled at Arthur. With a gentle twitch of her head, she directed his line of sight to a door near the back of the pub.

Arthur walked across the pub trying not to look at anyone directly. With his height and red hair, it would be difficult to blend in with the other patrons. Luckily no one seemed to notice him, and he didn’t recognize anyone at the tables. The place was only a quarter filled with patrons. He reached the door Madam Rosmerta had indicated. He looked back at her across the pub. She nodded once more.

He opened the door and found a staircase behind it. He ascended the steps and found another door. Knocking, he waited for someone to answer. He knocked a second time. When the door opened, it was Madam Rosmerta.

“Hello Arthur, don’t look so surprised,” she said jovially. “This room has two entrances. I came up the other one.”

“I asked her to do that Arthur,” said Madam Bones. “I wanted this meeting to be secret.”

Arthur looked across the small cluttered room and saw Madam Bones sitting with Albus Dumbledore at a small scrubbed table. He was taken aback by the Headmaster’s presence for a moment. He quickly realized what this might be about, but he wanted to be sure.

“To what do I owe this pleasure?” asked Arthur.

Albus smiled at him. “I think you know. Please sit down and have some soup and tea.”

“If you want anything else, just ring the bell,” the Matron said indicating a pull cord on the wall. She left down the back set of steps.

“I have been talking to Albus about the lack of proper leadership at the Ministry,” stated Madam Bones. Her tone was matter-of-fact.

“Do you think he actually feels he is doing the magical community a service by his leadership?” asked Arthur. He ladled a bowl of soup from the tureen. It was more of a beef stew than an actual soup.

“I think he believes it,” stated Albus.

“Not to mention that toad, Umbridge,” said Madam Bones with scorn.

Arthur had to hold a spoonful of soup away from his mouth as he tried not to laugh too loud at Amelia’s comment about Umbridge. He took a bite of the soup and thought about what to say to them. He felt he was in over his head with the present company. He was only a minor player in the Ministry. They were two of the three most important people in Magical Britain.

“Arthur, Albus said there was a reason why you had such strong wards around your house,” said Amelia Bones.

He stared at her trying to read her intentions from her face. He had never seen her close before. She was a strong jawed woman, but she was still feminine in appearance. He saw a different look in her eyes. It looked like fear and concern. With her reddish-brown hair, she reminded him of Molly. He looked at Albus. He wasn’t sure what to say.

“Tell her the truth Arthur, or would you prefer if I did?” Albus asked him.

“No, I’ll tell her.” He took a breath to organize his thoughts. “There was a ceremony at my home for my daughter and Harry Potter. They were officially married when they formed the soul bond two years ago. They wanted to have an actual ceremony with family and friends of the family present. I had made arrangements for a Ministry Official to preside over it. We were attacked by a group of Death Eaters. They were stopped before they could hurt anyone, and they fled.

“I went with my son-in-law on vacation for a week and when we returned, we have six other Slytherins Apparate onto my property. When Albus and several friends come to help, they all tried to kill Albus and our friends. They were Stunned and captured in the fight.”

Amelia looked at him with a raised eyebrow. Albus smiled at him, as if he was a student who hadn’t completely answered a question at Hogwarts.

“Is that all?” She asked him.

“There could possibly be more, but to be honest I don’t know why you are so interested in what happened at my house,” he said plainly and stared her in the eye.

“In the last war, my brother and his entire family were killed by Death Eaters. The only members of the Bones family left are me, my sister-in-law, and my niece. If Death Eaters are getting organized again to strike out at magical society, then regardless of whether you-know-who has returned or not, I need to know.”

Arthur felt ashamed of being so short with Amelia. He remembered her taking the death of family members hard and needing over a week off work because of it.

“Of the initial group of Death Eaters that attacked us a week ago, Judson, Savage, and Lucius Malfoy were among them,” stated Arthur.

Judson and Savage were among the Death Eaters; an Auror and an expert on Wards who both work for the Ministry. Amelia Bones looked at Arthur for several seconds. “I shouldn’t be surprised. Lucius has always had been able to escape blame relating to various events of other Death Eaters. Judson and Savage were never caught and brought in for questioning, but that doesn’t make them more or less guilty of what they had done.

“I am going to assign an Auror to watch you over the next two weeks,” stated Madam Bones.

“There is already an Order of Phoenix member watching him,” stated Albus Dumbledore.

“Who might that be, if you don’t mind me asking.”

“Nymphadora Tonks.”

“The clumsy Auror?” asked a shocked Madam Bones. She seemed to realize what she said in front of Arthur and tried to reassure him. “She is competent and all,” she added.

“She will provide adequate protection for Arthur and Harry,” stated Albus Dumbledore.

“Why would you include Harry?” Arthur asked Dumbledore.

“He is critical in all of this.”

“Harry doesn’t need any extra protection. He has Bill, Remus and Sirius to protect him along with my daughter. Don’t forget, he is quite formidable himself, and if he wanted to disappear, we would never find him again.”

“Is that so,” said Dumbledore as he leaned back and stared into Arthur’s eyes.

Arthur quickly turned away. He didn’t trust staring at the Headmaster. He had been warned that Dumbledore could perform Leglimency.

“What about your family?” asked Madam Bones.

“What about my family?” replied Arthur. It didn’t sound like a threat, but he couldn’t be sure.

“If Harry and Ginny disappear, who will protect your family?”

Arthur looked at Madam Bones. He couldn’t figure out why she would be asking such a thing. “We would be protected too.”

“By Potter and the Order,” pressed Madam Bones.

“By Harry and his family’s protections.”

“Would your entire family be protected?”

Arthur had stopped eating, but he was quite uncomfortable at the line of questioning. “Why do you want to know?” he questioned her suspiciously.

Madam Bones, one of the most powerful women in magical Britain, started to tear up. She looked at Arthur and her strong and proud jaw started to quiver.

“I am probably one of the top five or ten targets, if the Death Eaters try to overthrow the Ministry. There is also a good possibility that my sister-in-law won’t survive the next attempted coup. I would like to ask if you could look after my niece Susan if neither one of us are around. She is a good girl, and deserves a chance to grow up.

“I realize this must come as a shock to you, as we only know each other on a professional level. I have found you to be a person of the highest character and dedication. It is obvious that you love children. You also are fighting on the right side of this war.

“Please, Arthur talk this over with Molly, and let me know what your decision is. If you do not want to be burdened with another mouth to feed, I will understand.”

Arthur didn’t say anything for several seconds. He couldn’t believe the request he just heard. He never figured someone as influential as the Bones would want to be bothered by someone like him. He may have even thought it was a gesture conceived out of a lack of respect for him, by suggesting his family would be useful as baby sitters. The tears in Madam Bones eyes and pleading of her voice convinced him otherwise.

“We will take your niece in if you want, and don’t worry about another mouth to feed. We will just make Ron eat like a normal human being and there will be plenty for everyone.”

Madam Bones let out a chuckle at his comment about Ron.

“Is he a young teenager?” asked Madam Bones.

Arthur started to reply, but the pounding of feet coming up the back steps made him stop talking. Madam Rosmerta appeared at the top of the steps.

“Madam Bones, there is someone here to see you,” she said between heavy breaths.

“I thought I said I didn’t want to be disturbed,” growled the Head of Magical Law Enforcement.

“It’s Baxter, he said it is most imperative that he speaks with you. He wants to come up here.”

“No! I will be down. Go and tell him, now,” she ordered the Matron.

Madam Bones stood up. She started to put on an appearance of a person in charge. The fragile women who was concerned for her niece’s safety was now gone. The Head of Magical Law Enforcement was now standing in front of Arthur.

“Please, keep this conversation to just your family; the fewer people, who realize that Susan may be living with you, the better.”

“I will tell Molly and the family, but Amelia, don’t give up hope yet. You may be able to get through this upcoming war and not have to worry about subjecting your niece to my twins.”

“I just want to ensure my loved ones are cared for,” she said before turning and marching down the stairs.

Arthur finished his beef stew and laid the spoon down. “Did you know she was going to ask that of my family?”

“No, I didn’t,” replied Albus. “I think she made a very wise choice.”

The sound of footsteps running up the backstairs preceded Madam Bones’ face appearing above the top step. It almost appeared that her head was sitting on the floor without a body.

“They escaped. The ones that attacked your home, Arthur, have escaped. The Portkey took them to a field in Scotland where someone was waiting. Their wands are gone from the Ministry.”

“Was it an accident they were transported to another location?” asked Albus.

“No it can’t be. The person making the Portkey must pass a rigorous test. I must get back to the Ministry and do some damage control.”

Arthur watched her leave. “Do you think the person making the Portkey was a Death Eater?” he asked Albus.

“No, it wouldn’t make any sense. He was going to get questioned no matter what the circumstances. He would be the first person everyone would suspect.”

“Hmm, I wonder who is behind this,” Arthur asked a rhetorical question.

“Does it really matter?” sighed Albus. He looked very old at this moment. “It appears our greatest fears are true, the Ministry is compromised.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Gabriel Brandenburg sat in a cold cell in the bottom of the Ministry. His life was virtually over, and he doesn’t know how it happened. All he knew was he had just been sentenced to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban for allowing six people convicted of using Unforgivable Curses to escape.

Ever since hearing about the Portkey landing the six in a field in Scotland rather than Azkaban’s receiving area, he had been trying to remember how it happened. He couldn’t remember actually programming the Portkey, when he made it.

Auror Savage had entered his office with an official order for an Azkaban Portkey for six people. He turned and grabbed a bicycle tire. That was the last thing he remembered until he handed Savage the active Portkey and signed Portkey order.

He pleaded with Minister Fudge that something must have happened since he can’t actually remember making the Portkey. The Minister made him drink Veritaserum. He was questioned about the incident, but the only thing they asked if he made the bicycle tire Portkey that the prisoners used. When he answered yes, the questioning was done. He was convicted to spend the rest of his life in Azkaban.

They even contemplated having him kissed by a Dementor. That decision still hadn’t been made.

How could his life end up like this? What would he ever say to his wife, Constance, and six year old daughter, Ashley? He would not even get a chance to say goodbye to them. In another hour, he would be getting a Portkey to Azkaban, where there would be no escape.

It was now six o’clock in the evening. When he left his home this morning, he had planned on being home thirty minutes ago. He should be sitting down to his dinner and telling Ashley to sit still and be patient until her Mummy gets dinner on the table. Instead he was sitting in this cell facing the living hell of Azkaban.

There was a clatter of steel moving against steel as Aurors opened the metal door to gain access to the cells. Several Aurors shuffled through the door. Savage was leading the group.

“Time to go and pay for your deeds, you scum,” Savage taunted him.

“I didn’t do anything wrong,” he pleaded.

With a flick of his wand Savage tossed him against the stone wall. “Shut your mouth,” Savage yelled. He started to laugh. “Yeah that would be bloody good advice for you.”

“Get in there and check him before sending him off to his fate,” Savage ordered two Aurors who accompanied him. The one was a heavy set man, that he seemed to remember was called Proudfoot. The other was a woman, he couldn’t remember her name. She was short squat and had a hard look on her round face.

She held the Portkey while Proudfoot clamped manacles and shackles on him. He stepped back and took the Portkey, a thick porcelain tea cup, from the short woman. He placed in Gabriel’s hands. Stepping back Proudfoot touched his wand to the Portkey activating it. Just before the world starting spinning he could swear that Proudfoot winked at him.

The intense spinning was making him sick. It had always been ironic that he was one of the best at making Portkeys but he also almost always got sick when traveling by them. He slammed onto the stone floor of a room. The surroundings were dark and grey. There was the feeling of desperation and cold that seemed to overwhelm and take control of his senses. He could feel strong hands grab his arms and lift him up off the floor.

“Stand him up so he can be kissed,” a nasty nasal voice ordered the hands that held him.

They roughly stood him up and tried to release their grip from his arms, but he just collapsed onto the floor again. It seemed that his body had no strength left in it. They grabbed him again and held him up.

“Pull his head back,” ordered nasty nasal voice.

A hand grabbed his hair and pulled so he was staring straight forward. A Dementor floated in front of him. Beside it stood a hawkish looking man with a huge beak of a nose. He stepped forward and grabbed the Portkey out of his hands.

Gabriel felt a pull behind his navel, and the world started to spin again with the two guards still holding onto him. He could hear them shouting. It was obvious even in his present state of mind that this wasn’t planned.

They landed with a thud on a grassy field. There was a flash of spell fire and the hands that held him were gone. He couldn’t look up. He was too afraid of what might be waiting for him. He was confused as to what this last Portkey was.

“Mr. Brandenburg, you need to stand up so we can get out of here,” said a familiar kind voice.

Lifting his head he saw the Headmaster of Hogwarts standing over him. He couldn’t understand what he was doing here.

“Headmaster, what — what is happening?”

“We are doing what is right, not what is easy,” said the Headmaster.

Gabriel stared at him confused.

“Can you stand up? We must Apparate away, before the Aurors arrive.”

The Headmaster offered Gabriel his hand. Grabbing the Headmaster’s hand Gabriel was able to stand up. He was in some random field, and the two guards were unconscious on the ground.

“Hold on tight,” said the Headmaster.

The feeling of being squeezed though a keyhole gripped him; the next thing he saw was an old beaten up wood door with peeling paint and a snake for a knocker. The Headmaster kept a hold on him and opened the door to a beaten up and dirty entrance hall.

Gabriel tried to walk into the house, but the shackles made walking nearly impossible.

“Let me rid you of those.” The Headmaster tapped the manacles and shackles. They fell off his wrists and ankles with a loud clatter on the floor. “We need to talk. I am sure you have many questions and so do I.”

The Headmaster grabbed his elbow and moved towards and an archway in the entrance hall. When Gabriel stepped around the corner, he heard the squeal of his daughter Ashley. She had been kneeling on the floor petting a large black dog. She jumped up, ran to him, and wrapped her arms around his legs.

“Daddy, where have you been? Can I keep the doggie?” she asked excited.

Gabriel ignored her. He looked over at his wife sitting on the large couch by the fireplace. There were unshed tears in her grey eyes. Her face was drawn with deep creases in her forehead. He saw she was wringing her hands in her lap. It was a sign that she was nervous, scared, or possible both.

“Please, have a seat,” said the Headmaster indicating a space beside his wife.

Gabriel moved slowly over and sat beside Constance. She looked so scared that he put an arm around her shoulder. He could feel her shaking from fear or was it him that was shaking? Ashley didn’t join them. She sat down beside the black dog and started petting it.

“I know you have many questions, but I need a few answers before I can answer all of them,” said the Headmaster. “First, I know you made the Portkey, but I also believe that you were probably Imperioused and then Obliviated by the Auror Savage. Do remember the interrogation with Fudge?”

“I just remember him asking me to answer a few questions.”

“You were under the influence of Veritaserum, so I believe you would not be able to remember very much. Madam Bones was able to extract a memory from you. We looked at it and noticed a gap in it. This can only happen when someone is Obliviated. The gap was from when you reached for the tire until after you made the Potkey. The only other person in your office was Savage. Even if there was someone else, he should have reported it.

“I am not guilty, then. I can go free,” He said excitedly.

“I wish it was that easy. Fudge, the Minister, needs you to be guilty. It is easier to explain that a person in the magical transportation department is corrupt rather than explaining that an Auror is.”

“But he Imperioused me,” pleaded Gabriel.

“Yes, I believe so, but can you prove it,” said the Headmaster.

Gabriel realized that was the truth. He couldn’t prove that he actually was Imperioused unless Savage confessed to doing it. “I’ll never be able to show myself in Britain or Europe again without being arrested.”

The realization of his fate overwhelmed him. He was now a fugitive from the law. He could never go out without fearing he could be arrested. He didn’t want to spend the rest of his life running from the law. He couldn’t ask Constance and Ashley to run with him. His wife must have sensed his distress and gently took his hand. It was good to feel her hand again. The only bright spot he found was he hadn’t been kissed by a Dementor.

“I have a proposition for you and your family,” said the Headmaster. “I believe that Cornelius Fudge is taking advice from Death Eaters. He may not be one, or even believe that he is aiding them in implementing their agenda, but everything he does seems to support them and work against people who would oppose them. When Voldemort comes back into power, I believe he will have complete control of the Ministry.”

Gabriel felt Constance stiffen at the mention of the Dark Lord’s name.

“I thought he was dead. Harry Potter killed him,” Gabriel said.

“Harry stopped him before, but alas he isn’t dead only weakened. I have reliable sources that believe he is back in Britain and regaining power.”

“No!” Constance almost shouted, “Does that mean he will attack half-bloods and Mudbloods?” she asked. Her eyes were wide with fear. She was a Muggle born, which made Ashley a Half-blood.

“I am afraid he will continue with his old prejudices,” said the Headmaster. He stopped talking and stared at Constance for several seconds. “Constance Williams, is that your maiden name?”

“Yes, Headmaster, Hufflepuff graduated in 1985,” replied Constance. “I am a Mudblood.”

The Headmaster frowned at her. “Please don’t use that term in my presence. You were born to Muggle parents, but that doesn’t make you any less worthy of being a member of our society.”

Gabriel realized that even if he hadn’t been wrongly convicted of setting prisoners free, he would still have to leave Britain to protect his wife.

“We have no choice but to leave Britain,” he sadly told his wife.

“Where will we go, dear?” She asked him. She was pale as tears leaked from her eyes.

“If you want to leave, North America would be your best place,” stated the Headmaster. “Or, you could help us fight against Voldemort and the Death Eaters.”

Gabriel couldn’t help himself. The thought of him battling someone like Lord Voldemort or Bellatrix Lestrange was so ridiculous that he laughed aloud. “I am no great dueler.”

“You don’t have to be,” replied the Headmaster. “I understand that you are the best in the Ministry at making Portkeys.”

“Yes, I am,” he stated without boasting. He had been regarded as such for several years.

“Having Portkeys available to transport injured or trapped people would be helpful,” The Headmaster said quietly. He turned his attention to Constance. “I remember that you wanted to be a healer.”

“Yes, I did,” she replied gobsmacked that someone as important as Albus Dumbledore would remember her. “I was in my second year of training when we found out about Ashley. I was thinking about going back and completing the training now that Ashley is older.”

Gabriel could feel her disappointment, so he put an arm around her shoulders.

“We could use the two of you and also your child can stay with us. You will be safe, but you will not be able to freely roam around Britain. This house you are in is protected by a Fidelius Charm. If you leave, you will never be able to find it. We have other homes that are just as well protected. Eventually we will be able to have access to these homes.

“Unfortunately, you must stay here at the present time. The house needs a great deal of cleaning, but we have a large and energetic family coming over to take care of those things. We will gladly allow you to stay here, but we will expect you to pitch in and help clean the house up.

“I do not expect your answer right this minute, but I will need to know tonight.” The Headmaster stood up and looked around the room. “I am rather hungry. Would you like for me to send up some food for you?”

“Yes, please,” said Constance. “Headmaster, would we ever need to fight?”

“If things get bad, you may be faced with that dilemma. You will need to make your decision then. Remember, that there is more to any army than just the fighters.”

Gabriel hugged his wife as he watched the Headmaster walk out of the room. He stopped by the archway and stared at the large dog that was curled up on the floor with Ashley draped over top of his back. The dog seemed to know that the Headmaster was leaving. The great big black dog slowly stood up and allowed Ashley who was half asleep to slide off his back. It calmly padded it way out of the room and after the Headmaster.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Albus Dumbledore had started up the stairs to the dining/communication room when Sirius changed from a dog to his human form. They walked for several feet before speaking.

“If he wasn’t the best at making Portkeys would you still have saved them?” asked Sirius.

“Yes, we will have use for all types of people before long. You realize Sirius that we may not be able to keep everyone unjustly sentenced to Azkaban out of that horrid place. Once Voldemort returns the Ministry will quickly fall, and then we may be powerless to save any innocent person from going there.”

Sirius grunted at his statement. “Thank you for saving him and his family,” Sirius said respectfully to him.

“You’re welcome,” he replied with a smile. “I have a question for your group. I need a Professor for Defense classes. Would you or Remus be interested in teaching it? There are some things that I need to communicate with your group and it would be best if you were all at Hogwarts. Talk it over with them. I need your answer very soon. The Hogwarts letters have already been sent out. I don’t want the board of Governors to pick someone. They might give me some Ministry crony.”

“I’ll talk it over with them. Will we be able to leave and return to the school to work on our mission?” asked Sirius

“I was hoping to join you on a few of these missions. So yes, that was part of my plan.” He stared at Sirius to try to determine if he liked the idea. He knew not to use Leglimency, because they all seemed to suspect him of violating their thoughts. “Shall we see the newest members of the Order of the Phoenix?

They walked into the communication room. Francis Proudfoot and Madam Bones were both there.

“Thank you Francis for helping that young man escape a terrible fate,” he said to the large Auror.

“Once I found out that he had been processed so quickly and scheduled to be kissed, I knew he had been set up. Besides, I never liked that pure blood fanatic Savage. Are you sure I can’t go back to the Department? I could find out more information for you.”

“No, Francis that won’t be necessary,” replied Madam Bones. “We have another source for information, and Savage will be able to figure out you had helped them escape. What you did was very brave.”

The old Auror blushed at her comment. He bowed slightly. “Thank you Madam Bones.”

Back to index

Chapter 15: A New Professor

Author's Notes: It's time for Harry and everyone to return to Hogwarts. There won't be much Harry and Ginny time in this chapter or the next. Without Harry and Ginny going to Hogwarts and Sirius being freed from Azkaban earlier than canon, there are several changes from the books. I am also moving the final conflict forward much faster than in the books. I promise that soon you will have some Harry and Ginny time.
I would like to thank Leif for doing a good job Beta-ing this chapter.

Sirius looked at Harry and Ginny studying. They were sitting across from each other at a wide honey pine table in the library of Potter Manor in England. They were each reading from a book while making notes on a parchment with a quill. They seemed to be concentrating solely on their studies, except when you looked under the table. Their feet were intertwined. He wondered if they even realized they were touching each other.

“Must you two always be touching?” he shouted, and then laughed a loud barking laugh when they jumped.

Harry and Ginny looked at him then at each other. It was obvious they didn’t realize their feet were intertwined.

“Your feet,” he said pointing at their feet under the table.

Ginny realizing their feet were touching and ran her bare foot up Harry’s leg. “Why is it such a problem for you? Maybe if you found someone….”

“Don’t start on me about settling down and becoming respectable,” he quickly told her. “I am quite happy the way I am; single and active.”

Harry smiled at him. “You will never change, will you Padfoot?”

“No never,” he said with a laugh. He stopped smiling and became solemn. “I need to talk to everyone. Where are Bill and Remus?”

“I am over here,” said Moony from the corner of the library. “I think Bill is in the classroom preparing the next exam.”

“No, I am here. I heard Padfoot coming back. How did everything go with the trial?”

“Not good,” he said with a growl.

“What, it was an open and shut case!” shouted Bill.

“Whoa, calm down,” Sirius pleaded with the angry Curse-Breaker.

“Fudge tried to convince the Wizengamot that your Father did something that made it justifiable for the attackers to fire Killing Curses…,”

“Were they acquitted?” asked a shocked Bill.

“No, but they aren’t in Azkaban.” Sirius held up his hands as the room erupted with questions. “If everyone will have a little patience and let me explain all the details. This will go much faster, there were a lot of developments today.”

He spent the next ten minutes retelling the events of the day. How the six attackers had been Portkeyed to another location and escaped. The Ministry sentenced Gabriel Brandenburg to be kissed by a Dementor, and Dumbledore and Madam Bones had arranged his escape, because it was obvious that he had been Imperioused. He finished up with telling them that the Order now has Madam Bones, the Auror Proudfoot, and the Brandenburg family as new members. Everyone looked to be in shock.

“There was one other thing, Dumbledore asked us to move into Hogwarts and one of us to become this year’s Professor for Defense Against the Dark Arts.” Once again Sirius held up his hands to stave off the questions. “Let me say a couple of things about Dumbledore’s request.

“First, he needs a Professor and Harry and Ginny need to expand their education.

“Second, Dumbledore is still the most intelligent wizard in the world. He may be manipulative and he might withhold all the facts, but he can be a real help to our mission.

“Third, We need to help recruit people to our side. When Voldemort returns, we will need people who others trust and believe in us. It would help our cause if Harry became public. Gain the trust of people. Since the Ministry is obviously corrupt, getting the Hogwarts staff and children to trust you will be a great start. I realize that it may take time for people to believe and trust us, but we must start sometime soon. We kept Harry hidden because of his inexperience with magic. After seeing what he did to those six at the Burrow. I think he can take care of himself.”

Sirius stopped talking and waited for the arguments to start. To his surprise, no one said anything. They all sat or stood there deep in thought. Remus was the first to respond.

“After hearing what you just said, I think all of us moving into Hogwarts would be an advantage to us and the fight against Voldemort. The thing that has me bothered the most is that was a very logical and mature explanation. Padfoot, my old friend, you seem to be maturing. I never thought I would see the day when that would happen,” Remus said while pretending to wipe tears from his eyes.

Everyone laughed at Remus’ comment, including Sirius. After the laughter died down, Sirius looked at Harry.

“What is your decision, Harry?” He noticed Harry looking around the room at everyone. “Harry, it is time you get used to people looking at you as an adult leader of the fight against Voldemort. You are going to need to gain people’s confidence if you want them to follow you.”

“But I don’t want them to follow me. I am only thirteen in actual years.”

“You are considered an adult, because of the soul bond,” stated Remus. “Padfoot is correct. We pulled you away from magical society because you weren’t ready to face your fame and position. The decision to go to Hogwarts should be yours, because you are the one that will be most affected by the move.”

Harry ran his hand through his hair just like James used to do. It had the same effect of making it stick up in every direction. “Am I ready for this?”

Bill snorted a laugh. “Look what you have done over the past few months. You faced off with Albus Dumbledore and won. You faced off with Lucius Malfoy and won. Those two would have intimidated ninety percent of the population.”

“All right, we will do this, but I can’t be a Professor I haven’t even passed my NEWTs.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ron Weasley pulled his trunk through the crowded corridor of the train. He wanted to find a compartment to hide from Hermione. The past month she had Owled him two or three times a week asking how his family was. He would only send back very vague answers in his Owls. The next Owl he received would be more demanding than the last. He knew the next time he saw her she would prod him incessantly for answers. As much as he trusted her, he wasn’t sure how much he should tell her about what he saw this summer.

Compartment after compartment was filled. He thought he was early, because the train didn’t leave for another ten minutes. He saw Penelope Clearwater. A girl he had petrified last year. He wasn’t sure if Dumbledore told the victims he had let the basilisk out of the chamber, but he didn’t want to take the chance.

A hand grabbed his arm and tugged him back towards a compartment he had just passed. He started to pull away and yell at the person until he saw it was Hermione. He straightened up and waited for the yelling to start. He supposed he would deserve it, even though he had orders from his parents not to write back to her.

“Well are you going to sit with us?” she hissed at him.

Looking over her shoulder, he saw Neville Longbottom sitting there. He would have been more comfortable sitting alone with Hermione.

“All right, I’m coming,” he said shakily as he pulled his trunk into the compartment.

Neville stood up and helped him with the trunk. Ron looked before he sat down and saw Hermione was already sitting down with her arms crossed across her chest. It was obvious he wasn’t going to escape the interrogation.

“Where are Dean and Seamus?” Ron asked trying to make small talk.

“They are sharing a compartment with the Patils and Lavender,” stated Hermione coldly. “It will only be us.”

“Hello, can I come in?” asked the unmistakable voice of Luna Lovegood.

“Sure, come in,” replied Ron.

He hoped that her presence would keep Hermione from digging too deep to find out what he knows. He stood and helped her with her trunk. He sat back down on the same side as Neville, but not directly across from Hermione.

Luna sat beside Hermione. She looked at Hermione, and then at Ron before pulling out her kaleidoscope glasses. She placed them on the bridge of her nose and oohed and aahed while appearing to look Ron up and down.

She was staring at him without saying anything to him. She was being extremely annoying. “What is so interesting?” he questioned her.

“You appear to be infested with whimperbees,” she said brightly. “They are interesting little insects that are attracted to people’s fear. Last year the castle was filled with them. What are you afraid of Ron?”

“Yes, Ronald what are you afraid of?” asked Hermione.

“No-nothing, there aren’t things called whimperbees,” he protested. “You’re just making that up.”

Hermione grabbed the glasses and looked through them. “Oh my just look at all the wimperbees gathering around Ron,” she said sardonically. She handed the glasses back to Luna. “Why don’t you tell us what has you so afraid, Ronald?”

He hated it when she spoke to him like that it reminded him of his Mum when she was disciplining him. At least Hermione wasn’t standing with her hands on her hips. She was sitting there with her arms crossed across her chest and a smug look on her pretty face.

The train jerked and started moving away from the platform. Ron looked out the window while trying to ignore the three sets of eyes staring at him. He wasn’t a coward. He just wasn’t permitted to tell everything to anyone. Can he even trust Hermione, Neville, and Luna? He glanced at the door to the corridor, before turning back to Hermione.

“Look I can’t tell you everything that happened this summer with my family,” he said rather harshly.

“That is fine Ron,” said Luna told him sympathetically. “It must be difficult to be so closely involved with overthrow of the Ministry.”

“No one is trying to overthrow the Ministry,” he nearly shouted at her. Pulling his wand, he pointed at the door and silently cast a Silencing Charm that Bill and Remus had taught him.

“What was that for?” asked a shocked Hermione.

Ron looked at them. They all were looking at him anxiously. He realized that pulling his wand out after being agitated at Luna must have appeared suspicious. “Sorry, it was a Silencing Charm. I can’t tell you everything, but what I tell you; you can’t repeat it. So you all need to promise.”

“Sure Ron, I promise,” said Neville.

“You can trust me too,” said Luna.

Ron looked at Hermione. She had an unreadable look on her face. “I couldn’t write and tell you anything, because Mum and Dad wouldn’t let me. They were afraid that our Owls would be intercepted.”

Hermione’s expression seemed to soften a little. “Why would they think that?”

“You were at the wedding, Hermione. Our home was attacked. Some of them were Ministry employees. Then we go on vacation for a week and when we were gone a bloke was trying to break in to our home. We get home for one day and that night six wizards show up and try to break our wards. When Professor Dumbledore shows up, they try to kill him and everyone with him. So, yes, we are concerned about people watching us and trying to read or Owls.”

“Did you enjoy your vacation?” asked Luna.

Ron looked at her surprised. She asked the question as though everything he told them before was an everyday event. “Yes, I did. We went to Egypt where Bill had been working breaking curses on treasure vaults.”

“That sounds exciting,” said Neville. “Is your family all… all right?”

Ron smiled at Neville as he stumbled over the last part of his poorly worded question. “Yeah, they are all just fine.”

He looked over at Hermione. She was looking peaky. “What is wrong Hermione?”

“I read that a person from the Ministry had been convicted of helping six wizards escape from Azkaban. Were they the six that attacked your home?”

Ron was unsure how to answer Hermione. He wasn’t supposed to say anything about what she asked. It was the same group, but the man convicted of allowing them to escape was working with for the Order of Phoenix. Ron had met him and his family. He looked at Hermione and started to talk but wasn’t sure what to say, so he just moved his mouth.

Hermione broke out in giggles. “Nice imitation of a fish, Ron.”

“Does anyone want to play a game of Exploding Snap?” asked Neville.

“Yeah, I do,” said Ron, grateful for the change of subject. He hoped that he had satisfied Hermione’s need to know.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ron sat at the Gryffindor table waiting for the sorting ceremony to finish so he could eat. It seemed that everyone was excited to be back, because they were all talking so loudly that it was almost impossible to hear anyone speaking to you. Hermione was staring at someone further up the Gryffindor table towards the head table. She went to ask him something, but he couldn’t even hear her across the table.

The Headmaster stood up to announce the start of the sorting. Ron tuned most everything out as the little runts were sorted into the different houses. He applauded for the Gryffindors, but he couldn’t remember any of their names.

After all the first years were sorted, the Headmaster stood up again. Ron groaned as he realized that he wouldn’t be able to eat for a few more minutes.

“Welcome to another year of filling your minds with knowledge at Hogwarts,” said the Headmaster over the crowd. “I will be brief…,”

That would be brilliant, because I am starving. Ron thought to himself as he tuned out the Headmaster. All he could think about was what would be on the platters when they appeared in front of him.

“…our new Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, William Weasley.”

Ron looked up from the table and stared at his brother standing at the head table. He looked back at Hermione who only rolled her eyes at him.

“We also have four teaching assistants this year,” said the Headmaster. “Please stand up.”

Four people stood up at the front of Gryffindor’s table. It was Ginny, Harry, Sirius, and Remus. Ron again looked at Hermione. This time she glared at him with one of her know-it-all stares. He looked back up and clapped with the rest of the Gryffindors.

“I would like to introduce to you; Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Harry Potter and his wife Ginny Potter.”

Fred and George stood up and cheered wildly for Ginny, who blushed in response. The rest of the hall sat there and whispered. It was obvious to Ron that they were surprised to see Harry Potter at Hogwarts.

“They will be helping everyone to get up to speed with Defense Against the Dark Arts curriculum. Please show them the same respect that you would any of the other Professors. Now tuck in.”

Food appeared on platters on all the tables. Ron already had a roast chicken leg in his mouth and was forking several boiled potatoes before anyone else even had the first serving on their plate.

“Is that one of things you couldn’t tell us?” asked Hermione over the sound of forks and knives scraping the plates.

“I didn’t know they would be here,” he said between bites.

They didn’t say anything else until they were filing out of the great hall. Ron was curious if Ginny or any of the others would speak to him. It bothered him a bit to be ignored like that. He will need to speak with Fred and George to see if they knew.

“My, my, it looks like the Weasleys have finally found a way of earning some actual money,” shouted Draco Malfoy. He was flanked by his two goons Crabbe and Goyle, as he stood in the entrance hall. “They had to because their father sure doesn’t earn enough at his useless job at the Ministry.”

A flash of anger raged through Ron. In the past he would have done something stupid like punch Malfoy and lose points for Gryffindor. Ever since talking that one night with Ginny, he had a new perspective on being wealthy.

“We don’t determine the value of the person by how much money they earn. Money doesn’t buy happiness. Look at that sour face of yours and it is obvious to everyone.”

All the Gryffindors around Ron laughed at his comment. Hermione’s laughter was the loudest.

“Shut up you Mudblood. You will get yours Weasley.” Draco pulled his wand as he spoke, but it was grabbed out of his hand by Harry.

Standing behind Harry was Sirius Black and Remus Lupin. Sirius beamed with joy.

“Why Draco, you know you are not allowed to say that word at Hogwarts. Five points from Slytherin house. You are also not allowed to pull your wand on another student that will be another five points from Slytherin house and a week of detention,” said Sirius. “Now go to your common room.”

Harry handed him his wand back. Draco took it and left in a hurry with his two goons right behind him.

“Is everything all right here?” asked Ginny with Luna right beside her.

“Yeah, everything is brilliant,” said Ron. “Why didn’t you tell me that you were going to be teaching assistants this year?”

“We only found out a few weeks ago, and things have been pretty hectic the past two weeks,” responded Ginny.

“Yeah, you’re right,” said Ron thinking about the long days of cleaning Headquarters at Grimmauld Place. “It was a bit of a shock, but it will be nice to have some back up against the Slytherins.”

“We are not supposed to be biased, Mr. Weasley,” said Sirius sardonically. “Now off to bed.”

When Ron turned around, he saw his entire year staring at him. Hermione was practically beaming at him.

“That was brilliant mate,” said Seamus.

“Yeah, Ron you really put Draco in his place,” said Neville. The rest of the group agreed with him.

“Thanks,” he said meekly to them. He started off towards Gryffindor tower with the rest of them following behind them. All his fears of how people would be treating him melted away. It looked like this might be a brilliant year.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

“He took points off Draco and gave him detention,” hissed Severus Snape.

Albus was stuck listening to Severus rant about allowing Remus and Sirius back onto the grounds and making them teaching assistants. He had expected Severus to complain, but at least he hoped it would be after a couple of days instead of the first night. Of course students losing house points before reaching their dormitories was unusual, but it had happened in the past.

“Maybe he had a good reason to deduct house points, Severus. I will ask him tomorrow about it.”

“He will just lie to you,” responded Snape.

“I will ask Mr. Black and determine if the punishment was justified, Severus.” Albus leaned back in his chair and stared at his Potion master. Severus was so one-minded about Harry’s father and his friends that it wouldn’t matter what they ever did. Severus would hate them. “How was your holiday?”

“Fine,” Severus replied, while trying to avoid looking in his eyes.

“Anything unusual happen during the holiday?” He knew that Severus was trapped. He hoped that Severus would tell him about the attack on the Weasleys’. He would hate to lose him as the spy for Voldemort, but he needed to trust him.

“Why do you ask?”

“Severus, do you really think you weren’t recognized along with Lucius Malfoy a month ago at the Burrow. Why did you not tell me about the attack?”

Severus looked at the Headmaster staring him in the eyes. Albus wasn’t naive. He realized that Severus only did this because he had his Occlumency shields in place. It bothered him that a man that he vouched for to keep out of Azkaban would now turn on him. He was willing to give someone a second chance to redeem themselves, but the third and fourth chances would have to be earned.

“Severus, I stood up in defense of you in front of the Wizengamot. I will not do it again if I can no longer trust you.”

Severus looked surprised that he said that. His face went slack for a second as a look of fear washed over his features.

“Lucius Malfoy believes that if he captures Potter he can find the Dark Lord. He wants to capture Potter and interrogate him.

“What were the plans for everyone else at the wedding?”

“He wasn’t specific about anyone else,” responded Severus.

If Albus had not spent so many years with Severus, he may not have caught the lie, but to him it was obvious. He was also privy to the truth.

“Everyone was permitted to kill the others, weren’t they? You walked onto their property ready to kill an entire family and you tried to pretend that it was nothing. I was there also. Were you intending on killing me?”

“I did not intend on killing anyone,” responded Severus coolly.

“Were you going to try to stop them?”

“I only swore to protect Lily’s son.”

Severus stood up straight and stared defiantly at Albus. It bothered him that Severus was acting this way. He was starting to have doubts about their relationship. If he can’t trust Severus, then he may be best served by allowing Severus to hear less and less.

“I did not contact you, because I did not know the plan until I arrived at Malfoy manor. Lucius had been spreading word to former Death Eaters that he had plans to avenge the Dark Lords demise and set things right once again. I attended to find out what he meant. After the attack I didn’t tell you, because I didn’t realize that I was spotted and, after all, no one was actually hurt.”

“I thought you were an ally in the fight against Voldemort. I may need to reassess your position within the Order.” Albus admonished Severus. “While I am contemplating that, I am going to inform you of a decision that I have made. I gave Harry and Ginny and anyone who is accompanying them access to the Potions labs at times that suit them. They have already checked the calendar and assure me that he will be out of the Potions labs before you need the facilities.”

“I did not know the Order was meeting again. Lucius and the Dark Lord’s followers do not trust me since they discovered Order members there.”

“That is a common problem with spies like you. One day you are doing good work, and the next day you are caught between two grindstones with no escape. The Order is reorganizing. I have reliable sources that believe Voldemort is regaining his powers. Do you agree with that?”

Severus stared at the Headmaster. “Your sources are?”

“It does not matter who has informed me. I trust them. Like I said, we need to reassess your position within the Order of Phoenix. Severus, do not take Harry and his entourage lightly. I don’t think taunts will work on them now, so don’t try it. The only thing you may end up doing is alienating yourself from the Order.”

“Am I to assume that you have someone else within the ranks of the Death Eaters to do your spying for you?”

“You can assume what you want, Severus. I will question Mr. Black about the points he took from Slytherin House and also why he gave Mr. Malfoy detention. If it was justifiable then his decision will stand. You are excused.”

Albus watched as Severus left his office. He had shaken Severus by threatening him with removal from the Order of the Phoenix. It may seem like a favor to not ask a person to spy for them, but Albus wasn’t a fool. He knew that Severus was also passing information to the Death Eaters. Much of the information Albus had approved. It was keeping him in good standing with Voldemort. Without that information, Severus’ ability to remain in good standing would quickly diminish. Hopefully, he will become more cooperative. Albus can’t risk the possibility of losing him, but to alienate Harry and his entourage would be even more devastating.

Back to index

Chapter 16: Special Classes

Author's Notes: Harry and company are at Hogwarts working with students and the Headmaster. There are special classes with the Headmaster and Bill is having special classes with some of the students.
I would like to thank Leif for the Beta work on this chapter. After all this time I am still overlooking too many SPaG errors. Thank you!

The great hall was filled with chattering students awaiting the class assignments for the start of the school year. The Heads of Houses were moving about the tables handing out pieces of parchment. All the serious students were anxiously awaiting these assignments.

Ron could wait. He went to classes because it was necessary, but to say he enjoyed them would be an exaggeration.

“Mr. Weasley,” Professor McGonagall said tartly as she handed him his class assignments.

Ron looked down at it and smiled. He had a free period first thing in the morning. He didn’t need to rush off to get his books from the dorm.

“What is your first class?” asked an excited Hermione.

Ron looked at her. She looked nearly as excited as most children would be on Christmas morning. “Transfiguration,” he said.

“Oh,” she replied. The excitement left her face. “That is my second class. I would have thought we would have it together.”

“We probably do. I have a free period first thing this morning.”

“Oh, I suppose you will be having a lie in every morning,” Hermione said haughtily. “I need to get to class.”

Ron watched her leave. She will never understand what it was like to relax and enjoy life. All she ever thinks about are grades and work. He watched as the students filed out of the hall going to class or back to their dorms. He started to think that Hermione had a good idea about having a kip.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ron ran as fast as he could around the students in the hall trying to get to his Transfiguration class. He slept longer than he had planned and had a minute to get to class before McGonagall took points off or gave him detention for being late. He skidded into the classroom and looked for a seat. Hermione was sitting beside Parvarti Patil and Susan Bones. There was a seat open on the other side of Susan. He was able to plop down in it seconds before the class started.

“Glad to see you could make it on time, Mr. Weasley,” said Professor McGonagall.

Ron smiled at the Professor. “Glad to be here.”

He could hear Hermione clicking her tongue and letting out an exasperated sigh at his comment. Susan started laughing beside him.

“It would figure that you would be late,” Susan whispered to him.

“Yeah, you know how much I like my beauty sleep,” he whispered to her.

Susan sniggered at his comment. Hermione though let out a little gasp and was staring at him across Susan with a shocked expression. Ron ignored Hermione. He supposed that he just said something he wasn’t allowed to say. Susan’s Aunt had joined the Order and brought Susan by to help clean up Grimmauld place. They had spent almost three weeks working together doing everything from dusting to chasing Doxies out of curtains. Susan was a nice polite girl, who he considered to be a friend. Hopefully it will never happen, but she might also become a part of the Weasley family, if her Aunt and Mother would die in the war.

“This year I will expect all of you to master….” Professor McGonagall started her lecture.

Ron pulled out some parchment, quill, and ink bottle to take notes. With the look that Hermione had given him, he doubted that she would be willing to let him copy her notes from class.

The class progressed like Ron had figured with Professor McGongall lecturing about the upcoming year and explaining their homework assignment and the actual spell that they would attempt during the next class; overall, a boring hour of note taking. McGonagall had finished her lecture exactly twenty seconds before the bell rang. Her ability to time her lectures so precisely always amazed Ron. Certainly she didn’t practice and time them, but after so many years she may just have them all memorized and timed.

“When do you have Defense?” asked Susan.

“Next period,” he replied to her. Her face fell a little at his response. “I suppose you have it at another time.” Ron gathered his books and supplies as he spoke with her.

“Yes, that means one of us have it with the Slytherins,” sighed Susan.

“Ron and I have it with the Slytherins,” said Hermione butting into the conversation. “I overheard Daphne Greengrass discussing her schedule in Arithmancy.”

“I feel sorry for you two,” said Susan. “You do have Bill as the Professor. He should be able to keep the Slytherins under control, if not Sirius will be taking points off them.”

Ron laughed at Susan’s comment. Sirius giving Draco detention and taking ten points off Slytherin had already gone through the grapevine at the school.

“I am sure Professor Weasley is quite capable and Mr. Black will only take points and hand out discipline when necessary,” stated Hermione haughtily.

Susan looked at Hermione then at Ron and rolled her eyes. Ron couldn’t help but laugh at her antics.

“Yes, Hermione I am sure Professor Weasley will be a good Professor too. Well, I am off to Herbology. See you around, Ron,” Susan said, as she ran to catch up with the rest of the Hufflepuffs.

“I didn’t know you and Susan were such good friends,” questioned Hermione.

She was staring at Ron with her left eyebrow raised a little. He had noticed she did this whenever she was in her interrogation mode.

“Yeah, her family and my family spent some time together this summer. I need to get to Defense before my brother docks me points and gives me detention to prove he doesn’t show favoritism.”

“Mind if I walk along with you?”

“No, you’ve got to go there too, don’t you?”

Hermione made a bit of a face to his comment, but walked along beside him to the Defense classroom. Ron looked at her a couple of times out of the corner of his eye. She never looked at him and kept her face locked in a blank expression looking straight forward. They reached the classroom and noticed that the room was divided onto two sections. Slytherins were on the right side and Gryffindors on the left. They went and sat down with the other Gryffindors.

Draco was sitting with his cronies whispering to them as they snickered to each other and glared at Ron or the rest of the Gryffindors.

Ron was sitting there trying to ignore the Slytherins, when he heard Hermione let out with an exasperated sigh. He looked to see what caused her to react in that manner. She was looking at Lavender and Parvarti.

They were reapplying their makeup and checking their robes like they were getting ready to impress someone. Bill walked into the classroom, and Ron realized who they were trying to impress. The thought of two girls his age trying to impress his older brother made him feel two things. One was sick because Bill was way too old for them. The other was amusement, because he was so much older, and from what he had heard, quite active with adult women.

“Good Morning everyone,” said Bill to the class. He waved his wand and the door to the classroom closed. “I am Professor Weasley. Headmaster Dumbledore has tasked me with getting you all up to speed with your Defense curriculum. I understand that for the past two years the Professors were somewhat inadequate. Therefore the first thing I am going to do is give you a test…,”

Bill had to stop talking because everyone except Hermione groaned and started to complain. Hermione’s hand shot in the air.

“Yes, Miss, I believe it is Granger,” Bill said pointing at Hermione.

“Professor, we didn’t have time to prepare for a test. It would hardly be fair to give us a test that would affect our grade without proper time to prepare.” The rest of the class agreed with her, even the Slytherins.

“That is a good point, if this test was for a grade,” said Bill. “What this test is for is to see what your level of understanding is on this subject. I won’t even be looking at each of your individual scores. I want to see if there is any area of your education that needs revisited. The test is based on the school governor’s expectations of what you should know at the end of the second year.”

Bill proceeded to take roll before handing out the test to all the students. Ron looked down at it and mentally groaned. It was a lot of information that he had basically forgotten. Even if he had learned it last year, he would have forgotten it by now. Dipping his quill in his ink bottle, he started scratching out answers to the questions.

Hermione finished her test before everyone else. She even went through the answers again before setting her quill down. The test wasn’t as bad as what Ron thought it would be. He thought he had done alright. There were a couple of things that he had no clue what the question was referring to, but he tried to answer it anyway.

“Miss Granger, if you are done. You can hand your test in and go to your next class. We won’t be covering anything else today,” said Bill. “That goes for anyone else that is finished.”

Ron looked at Hermione. She seemed to be disappointed that she could leave. Ron shook his head at her actions as he went back to work. He had finished the test five minutes before the bell rang. Almost half the class was gone by the time he finished. When he took his exam to the front of the room, Bill gestured to him before he could leave.

“I need to talk to you after class,” he whispered.

Ron just nodded and went out to hall to wait for the bell to ring. After the rest of the students left, he went back inside. Bill was organizing the tests.

“What do you want?” Ron asked.



“Call me Professor or sir when we are in school, Mr. Weasley,” said Bill. “What I wanted to talk to you about is the possibility of special classes. I was wondering if you can think of anyone you could trust and would enjoy a little extra work on practical Defense work.”

“Yeah, Hermione would always want a little extra studying and practice.”

Bill gave him a sly smile. “You can trust her?”

“Oh yeah, I can trust her. She was at the wedding and hasn’t said anything to anyone about what happened.”

“Good, we don’t want these classes to be advertised to all of the school just yet. We will be meeting in the evening after dinner for about an hour starting tomorrow night. Be prepared for some hard work.”

He asked Hermione about the classes that night after dinner. She had a hundred questions from what type of curriculum they would be covering, what books she should read for reference to the subjects that would be covered, to what she should wear. He listened to the first ten or fifteen questions, before answering the rest with an “I don’t know, Hermione”.

The next day went by quickly except for Potions. Snape seemed to be taking points from Gryffindor for anything including breathing too loud or with your mouth open. When the time came for Hermione and him to leave for the special class, they had decided to go to the library then to Defense classroom from there. Hermione had suggested the plan. She believed that no one would notice the two of them leaving at the same time from the library.

They arrived at the classroom and the first thing Ron noticed was his family was there. Percy was there with the Head Girl Penelope Clearwater. Fred and George were sitting with Lee Jordan and Angelina Johnson. Ginny and Harry were sitting in the classroom too. Ron realized that he hadn’t seen them since the opening feast. Sirius and Remus were also there.

“Come in and close the door, Ron,” said Bill from the front of the room. “Before we begin, let me seal the room.”

Bill started to wave his wand around while chanting an incantation. Ron could hear Penelope whispering to Percy. She didn’t look comfortable with what Bill was doing. The walls glowed with a pale blue light, as he cast his spell. Bill made one last flourish with his wand. The bluish light seemed to sink into the walls with a squelching sound.

“There the room is sealed,” Bill said.

“Professor Weasley, what are we here to do tonight?” asked Percy in a very officious manner.

“The quick answer is help Harry and Ginny train. Hopefully, you will get some knowledge and experience from all of this. Before anyone asks anymore questions, let me explain further.

“Harry and Ginny need live Defense work. They need to be able to take on large numbers by themselves…,”

“You can bet Voldemort and his Death Eaters won’t be dueling one on one with Harry and Ginny. They will attack from behind and in great numbers,” said Sirius.

Penelope nearly jumped out of her seat and squealed when Sirius said Voldemort.

“Thank you, Mr. Black. As I was trying to explain, we need people to attack Harry and Ginny. The object of this exercise is for them to be able to sense when a spell is coming at them without seeing it. This type of exercise is advanced Auror training, so none of you will ever need to worry about this being a part of the curriculum. All of you up, stand up, so we can get the desks and chairs out of harm’s way.”

Ron stood up with Hermione. She was looking rather uncomfortable at what was going on. Bill, Sirius, and Remus were moving the furniture up against the wall. As each piece of furniture hit the wall it would glow blue for a second before a squelching noise indicated it was protected from damage. Everyone else seemed a little uncertain at what was going on with these special lessons. Even Fred and George seemed rather reserved.

“Harry, I want you to stand in this circle,” Bill said while drawing a circle six feet in diameter on the floor in the middle of the room. “The rest of you spread out so you completely surround Harry, and there isn’t someone directly across from you. If Harry can’t neutralize your spell and he avoids it, I don’t want anyone else hurt.”

Ron shuffled over to a spot by the door. Hermione seemed a little uncertain too as she looked for a spot. Everyone else was also moving hesitantly to find a spot. Bill, Remus, and Sirius started moving people to the proper locations. Remus led Hermione a few feet to her left before coming to Ron.

When everyone was finally set, Bill shouted out, “Attack!”

Ron and everyone else stood there holding their wands staring.

“Professor Weasley,” said Hermione. “I am afraid of hurting Mr. Potter.”

Bill, Sirius, and Remus all laughed at her comment.

“Let’s give you an idea of Mr. Potter’s abilities,” replied Bill. “I want everyone to get a good grip on their wand. I am going to count while Harry disarms all of you. How many seconds do you think it will take him?”

“I say two,” yelled Remus.

“No, that is too slow. I say one,” Sirius said.

Ron had to laugh. It would be impossible to cast eight spells in eight different directions in two seconds.

“Go, one thousand one, one…,”

Harry moved his wand at speeds that Ron had never seen before. He wasn’t even looking in the direction he was aiming, but each spell hit true, even the three he cast over his shoulders.

“…thousand two.” Bill stopped counting.

“Two seconds, Sirius,” shouted Remus.

“They were all disarmed in one, it took an extra second for the wands to hit the ground…,”

Ron tuned them out. He looked around the circle to see everyone else was as amazed at what just happened. Hermione was actually staring at Harry with her head slightly cocked to the one side.

“Pretty impressive,” he said to her.

She turned to look at him. “Unbelievable is more like it.”

“All right, everyone grab their wand and try to hex Harry,” shouted Bill. He waited until everyone got their wands, before he shouted to attack.

Ron fired off a Petrificus Totalis, which Harry deftly countered without looking Ron’s direction. After everyone cast a spell without hitting Harry, they all stopped.

“Don’t stop,” shouted Bill. “Keep firing spells. I would like to get Harry about fifteen minutes to twenty minutes of defending, before Ginny takes her turn. Come on everyone. Whoever hits Harry gets a 100 percent on their next exam without needing to take it. Let’s fire away.”

Ron started firing every hex he could think of, along with everyone else. The room was noisy with hexes being shouted and looked like a fireworks display with all the lights from those spells. Everyone cast spells for fifteen minutes without stopping. Ron finally had to stop. He was exhausted and it looked like everyone else was too. The only person who didn’t seem to be exhausted was Harry, and he was able to block everyone’s spells.

“How can he do that?” asked Lee Jordan. “I am exhausted.”

“We train for an hour a day,” said Harry. “Hey, let’s show them.”

“I am getting pretty bored over here,” said Ginny. “Us four against you; you can use your cloak.”

Ginny tossed Harry his cloak and he tied around his neck. Ron hadn’t even noticed that he hadn’t been wearing it. Without warning they started to battle. If Ron was impressed by what Harry did against him and the students? He was amazed by what he was seeing now. There were spells flying at a faster pace with only five people casting them. No one said a single spell, so he had no idea what they were. He wondered why Ginny had given Harry the cloak, until a spell hit him on the cloak. The spell seemed to reflect off the cloak without harming him.

“Dragon hide,” shouted George. “Those cloaks are dragon hide they can resist spells.”

They stopped the exercise a few minutes later. Harry was finally breathing heavy from exertion.

“Why do you need us to cast spells?” asked Penelope Clearwater. “You are much more advanced than we could ever be.”

“Part of this exercise is for Harry’s benefit, but part of it is for yours,” said Bill. “I haven’t told you all the reasons why I asked you here tonight. I am hoping to start up what might be called a dueling club, and something else. There will also be an advanced Defense club for students who want to develop their Defense and dueling abilities. We could have it for students at all grade levels, and we could also use it to help some of the slower students to catch up to where they should be for their years at the school.”

“Oi, you just ruined it for George and me,” complained Fred. “Here I thought this was something outside of the class meeting and now you tell us this is an advanced class. People are going to think we are becoming studious.”

Bill laughed at him. “You do not need to worry about that nasty rumor being spread about the school Mr. Weasley.”

“Miss Clearwater, you seem to have some questions about this class. If you do not want to return I will understand and it won’t affect your regular class grade.”

“Are we going to have to duel like Harry or even any of you to pass?”

“This will not be graded as much as it is for refining and perfecting your techniques. This will be more about the practical side of Defense than the theoretical side.”

“Will this be open to the entire school?” asked Hermione.

“The dueling club will be open, but the advanced Defense will not be. It will be by invitation only.”

“No Slytherins, “said Ron.

Bill smiled at him. “We will see.”

“What’s the purpose of learning to duel, if we are teaching the Slytherins,” said Ron. “They are the ones we will be dueling out there.” Ron jabbed his wand in the direction that he thought was outside. Bill seemed to grimace at his comment, but didn’t reply.

“Not all Slytherins are evil, Ronald,” spat Hermione.

“And which one isn’t?” replied Ron harshly. Hermione’s snarky attitude had irritated him.

She seemed a little shocked at his response. “I don’t know, but I am sure there are some.”

“Oh, you are sure there is one that is nice…,”

“Enough,” shouted Bill. “We are here to work on dueling with our wands not our mouths.”

Everyone chuckled at Bill’s comment. Ron looked at his family and their friends. They were all smiling at him. Seeing their smirking faces made him even angrier at Hermione and her optimistic attitude about everyone.

“Ginny, your turn in the center,” said Bill.

Ron turned away from Hermione. He didn’t even want to look at her. He just wanted this evening to be over. He started firing off spells at Ginny. She wasn’t as fast or intuitive as Harry, but she was still good enough to block all the spells fired at her for fifteen minutes. Ron quit before everyone else. He couldn’t keep firing hexes. His voice was hoarse and raspy, and his arms felt like lead weights. Everyone else but Harry and Ginny looked exhausted. Hopefully after a few sessions, his magical strength will improve along with his spell casting.

After the class, he and Hermione were walking back to Gryffindor tower. He wanted to talk to her, but she was in one of her moods. Anything he would say would start her fighting again, but he had to say something.

“Do you think we will ever get as good as Harry and Ginny?” He never expected her to respond.

“We might, but it is highly unlikely. We would have to be bonded like they are…,” Hermione stopped talking and a blush crept up her cheeks.

“We will get better, I hope. I just wish…,” Ron left the sentence unfinished. Hermione had already admonished him for wanting to be like Harry. He didn’t want to go through that again. “I wish we could get some time alone,” he said. Hermione seemed to react to his statement, so he continued. “To practice, Hermione, just to practice,” he said nervously.

“Yes, to practice,” she said rather icily, before picking up the speed of her walk.

Ron watched as she hurried away from him. He had no clue why she was reacting like that. He just wanted to practice to get better. He also didn’t want to her to think he was doing all this to get alone time with her, even though that was a side benefit. It seemed like he could not say three sentences without her getting angry.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Six people were thrown out of the Pensieve in the Headmasters office. The Headmaster and Ginny were able to stay on their feet. The others weren’t so lucky. Bill, Harry, and Sirius were on one knee. Remus was less agile and ended up flat on his back on the Headmaster’s floor.

“You hurt?” Sirius asked his lifelong friend.

“Only my pride,” replied Remus with a smile. “I thought Portkeys were bad.” He took Sirius’ extended hand to pull up off the floor.

“That was Tom’s actual family?” asked Bill. “Not exactly a place for a Lord to get a proper upbringing.”

“The manor house that you saw was his father’s family home,” said the Headmaster. “Did anyone notice anything unusual about the memory?”

“I don’t know if you could call it unusual, but that ring Marvolo Gaunt was wearing was significant,” said Harry.

“Why do you say that Harry?” asked the Headmaster.

Harry looked at the rest of his entourage. He had opened his mouth and now he supposed he had nothing to do but to keep talking.

“Have you ever heard of the Deathly Hallows, Headmaster?” Harry saw a surprised look come over the Headmasters facial expression, but he also seemed to be amused.

“Yes, I know about the Deathly Hallows. How do you know about them?”

“Research,” Harry said quickly. “We came across them in doing our research.”

“What does the ring have to do with the Deathly Hallows?” asked the Headmaster.

Harry could tell he was testing him. “It was the Resurrection Stone. It matched the description and also had the mark of Peverell on it, as Gaunt was so proud to display.”

The Headmasters eyebrows nearly disappeared into his pointed hat on his head. “It matched its ‘description’. Where did you read about a description of the Resurrection Stone?”

“Research,” responded Harry. “Do you think Voldemort would also know about them?”

The Headmaster stood still for several seconds twirling his wand between his fingers. “I cannot answer that question, Harry. Tom had done quite a bit of research into obscure dark magic, but I couldn’t answer if he had investigated the Deathly Hallows.”

“What memory do you want us to see next?” asked Ginny breaking into the conversation.

The Headmaster turned to siphon the last memory out of the Pensieve. Harry looked at Ginny, who gave him a look that said she would explain later. He watched as the Headmaster placed another in the magical stone basin. Harry was the first to lean into the swirling vapors and be sucked into the memory.

Over the next two hours, they had viewed four more memories. Harry felt like his head was going to explode from all the information he had tried to memorize. Remus was responsible for writing things down. He wrote down what each person would tell him what they saw in the memory. He was looking the worst of all. The full moon was in two weeks. Harry still hadn’t perfected the Wolfsbane Potion. So his father’s dear friend and his mentor was going to suffer through another transformation.

“I would suggest that we take a break before we look at any more of these memories,” said the Headmaster.

“I agree. I need to go back to my quarters and grade some papers,” said Bill wearily.

“I would like for us to meet on a regular basis to view these memories,” said the Headmaster. “We can go through them once and then start viewing them all over again.”

“I think that would be wise,” said Harry. “There is too much information to comprehend in one viewing.”

“Very well would next week at this time be good for everyone?” Albus Dumbledore waited for everyone’s confirmation before dismissing them.

A half hour later found Harry and Ginny alone in their private quarters. He had wanted to ask her about the look on her face earlier when they were talking about the Deathly Hallows. He never got the question out.

“Did you see the way Headmaster was rolling his wand in his fingers?” she asked him.

“I hate it when you do that. Yes, I saw him doing that. What does it mean?”

Ginny smiled at him. “I think that was the Elder Wand. He had a strong reaction to you talking about the Deathly Hallows. You ever wonder why he had your family heirloom, the Cloak of Invisibility?”

“I never gave it much thought before, but I see your point. It just seems so strange that Albus Dumbledore would want the Death Stick? It is almost a piece of Dark Magic.”

“Whether it is a dark magical object or just a powerful tool does not matter. I think he has the Elder Wand.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry carefully added the next ingredient. This was the third ingredient he added to the Wolfsbane Potion and so far everything seemed to be working as described in the book.

He spent months reading all of Damocles Belby’s books on Potion making to no avail. It wasn’t until he thought about Belby’s dedication in each book to Ruth Swamproot. She had been his mentor at Potiion making. She wrote only one book about how each person’s magical aura affects their advanced Potion making. It was the one factor he never thought about.

Each time he tried making Wolfsbane, it would fail at a different stage. He started to think about each time he had been brewing it. Ginny had been present, but not always right beside him. He felt slightly guilty to making her sit on the other side of the lab, but so far everything was progressing as it should. Most other wizards and witches would not have his problem, but they were not soul bonded.

“How is it going over there,” shouted Ginny.

Harry smiled at her cheek. She was not that far away. She didn’t need to cup her hands around her mouth and pretend she was calling to him from across a great distance. Remus, Sirius, and Bill thought it was rather funny though as they were laughing at her.

“It’s going good, good, good, good,” he said as though there was an echo.

Ginny broke out in a fit of giggles at his comment. Hearing her laugh made Harry happy. He was happy because he might actually succeed at making the Wolfsbane Potion for Remus, and he was happy because Ginny didn’t seem to be too annoyed at being sent to the opposite end of the room until he can complete the Potion.

“Is Ginny going to be put in detention every time you brew this?” asked Remus.

“I need her to stay a consistent distance away from me, so our magic doesn’t affect the Potion too much. I’ll make it up to her later.”

“I didn’t need to hear that,” complained Bill.

“What is the meaning of this?” hissed the voice of Professor Snape. He had just entered the Potions lab from the hallway.

“Hello, Severus,” said Remus calmly. “Harry is working on a Potion. It is Saturday and the lab was empty, so we decided to use it. The Headmaster was to inform you of this.”

“He did mention it to me,” drawled Professor Snape as he swept over to Harry.

Harry was adding the next to last reagent. He had to wait until the Potion turned sapphire blue before adding the last ingredient. He slowly added the finely chopped root as he stirred the potion counterclockwise. After adding the last piece of root, he moved his glass rod around the cauldron twice before removing it. The Potion kept swirling even after he removed the stirring rod.

“You were supposed to keep stirring for two minutes,” said Professor Snape venomously. “You obviously don’t know how to follow directions.”

“According to Ruth Swamproot, the more magical the Potion is the more the actual brewing method may change according to the person brewing it. The more magically powerful you are the less you need to stir things. That was why I did not continue stirring.”

“Arrogant just like…,” Professor Snape started to say but stopped when the Potion reacted appropriately.

Harry smiled as the Potion turned the tell-tale blue color of sapphires. He added the last ingredient and gave the potion two stirs before removing the glass stirring rod. The Potion should start to emit a steam or smoke like tendrils of mist. It was the sign that the Potion was brewed correctly. It took a very long ten seconds before the mist started to appear. It looked just like the instructions said it would. The low hanging mist would waft down the sides of the cauldron seeming to cling to the metal surface.

“Congratulations Harry,” shouted Remus. He ladled out a tumbler full of Wolfsbane Potion in a glass.

“Remus, you should wait until I can test it to see if it is acceptable,” said Harry anxiously. He didn’t want Remus to take a drink of the Potion to find out it was poison.

“Harry, it is perfect. You know that there isn’t any reliable test for this Potion. The only way to tell if it will work is to drink it.” Remus drank the Potion down in three big gulps. He started to cough before setting the tumbler down on the lab table. “That tastes like a wet dog smells.”

“It does have wolf hair in it,” replied Harry. He was staring at Remus to see if he was feeling any ill effects from the Potion.

“Don’t worry Harry, you got it right,” said Remus.

“Well, Severus, it looks like Harry got something else from his mother beside those bright green eyes,” said Sirius.

Harry looked up at the Potion Master and smiled. He was halfway expecting some type of a compliment. He had just brewed one of the trickiest Potions at the actual age of thirteen. Professor Snape’s eyes widened a bit when Harry’s and his eyes met. Harry could almost sense a bit of shock from him.

“The less of his father he has the better. After dealing with James Potter once, I don’t want to deal with him again,” Severus hissed at Sirius, before turning and walking out of the lab.

Snape’s comment made Sirius jump down off the table he had been sitting on. It took both Remus and Bill to restrain him.

“James was twice the person that you could ever be. That was why Lily chose him over you,” shouted Sirius.

Snape hesitated for a second before slamming the door shut.

“Sirius, you shouldn’t provoke him,” said Remus.

“That greasy git insulted James,” shouted Sirius.

“Yes, he did, but you also insulted him,” countered Remus. “Don’t let him get under your skin. As long as he knows he can do that he will try to make you do something to get us kicked out of here.”

“Yeah, Moony, I know,” sighed Sirius. “Maybe we should have given Peeves a real gun that shot bullets last June, instead of a paintball gun.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

The last Saturday of September had a large crowd in the great hall after breakfast. It seemed that almost all the students were staying for the first meeting of the dueling club. Bill looked out over the sea of heads and started to worry. He had hoped for six or seven from each year for each house. He wasn’t sure if he could do anything productive with a crowd this large.

“Attention everyone,” he shouted out to get the students attention. “Attention, will everyone please be quiet and look this way.”

The crowd got a little quieter, but it was still too noisy to start the class. Professor Flitwick was trying to shout, but his squeaky little voice was not audible above the noise of the crowd. The Charms Professor looked at Bill then lifted his wand into the air. He shot a small explosive spell into the air. The noise was so loud that it echoed for several seconds after everyone stopped talking.

“Now that everyone is quiet,” shouted Bill. “Anyone who isn’t planning to participate in the dueling needs to leave. We will not be having any actual competitions today or for some time. When we get to the point where we can have a competitive duel, we will announce it to the school.”

Bill watched as a few students left. There were a couple hundred students here. His plans for the day were shot. He would need to reconfigure the training to accommodate everyone. He looked at Professor Flitwick, who just shrugged at him. It was obvious that he never imagined so many people would show an interest.

“All right everyone. I am Professor Weasley and this is Professor Flitwick. We will be working with you on the proper techniques of dueling. We will be following competitive Dueling rules with a variation. Anyone casting a Dark curse or a Severing hex will be kicked out of this group and disciplined by the Headmaster. You are to disarm or disable your opponent without causing permanent damage.”

Bill lifted a stack of papers with his wand and directed them to Percy. “Please, pass those out to everyone, Mr. Weasley.” He ignored Fred and George shouting that they were the real Mr. Weasley. “The papers going around have a list of spells deemed ‘Dark’ by the Ministry. Do not cast those spells.”

A group of Slytherins chuckled at his statement. He noticed Professor Snape seemed to smile along with his house.

“You will be dueling other students in your same year,” said Bill. “Since we have so many students from each house, you will practice with students from your house and year. We will eventually have an intra-house competition. For today, I want each house with their Heads of House to go to their house tables. Professor McGonagall, would you be so kind as to Transfigure the tables to dueling platforms?”

“Of course, Professor,” she replied.

She turned and waved her wand at the Gryffindor House table. It started to raise and become wider until it was eight feet wide and four feet off the floor. She went over to Hufflepuff House table next.

“While Professor McGongall transfigures the tables, I want the seventh years from each house to pair up. If you have an odd number than one of you will either have to duel a sixth year or go twice. We will have the seventh years start and the younger students can watch and learn…,”

“Professor Weasley,” said Professor Snape. “Perhaps it would be good to have an actual duel to start so the students an idea of how it is properly done?”

“Yes, I was planning on Professor Flitwick and I…,”

Snape interrupted Bill again. “I was wondering if Harry Potter and I could duel. After all, everyone is here to see him duel,” Snape said in an oily voice.

Bill was going to object, but Harry cut him off.

“Sure, I’ll try. I really don’t have a lot of experience doing this, but I’ll give it a try,” said Harry. He walked over to the Hufflepuff dueling platform and climbed up.

Snape was smirking with pleasure at Harry taking his bait. Bill was wondering if Snape knew how good Harry was at casting spells.

“The two opponents are to walk to the far ends of the platform. They are to face each other and bow. Traditionally someone counts to three. Are two ready?” Bill watched as Harry and Professor Snape both nodded after bowing to each other. “One, two, three begin the duel.”

Bill didn’t need to say to begin, as soon as he said three Snape cast some powerful curse at Harry. It looked alike a Bludgeoning Curse. It hit Harry’s Shield and reflected up to the ceiling cause dust to fall on the great hall. Harry countered with some lower level spells like Leg-locking and Petrificus Totalis. Snape was able to easily counter them.

With each counter, Snape kept firing more and more powerful spells at Harry. It seemed to Bill that Snape wanted to hurt or at least embarrass Harry. Harry kept blocking the spells and returning fire with simple hexes, which Snape kept flicking away with ease. Bill was wondering if Harry was trying to get Snape to feel overconfident. Harry had the skill and power to have won this duel a half dozen times. Even though the Potions Professor kept firing a steady barrage of spells, Harry had plenty of time between spells to blast him off the platform.

One of the curses that Snape was firing made it through Harry’s Shield. Harry was knocked backwards off the platform. Bill had to keep from smiling. Harry had let that bleed through. He had blocked that same exact spell four times before. He could have blocked it again, but he decided to let the git of a Professor win.

“Evidently, the great Harry Potter isn’t invincible,” drawled Snape.

A movement from the Gryffindor table caught Bill’s attention. It looked as if Sirius was going to do something, but Ginny was blocking him. She was whispering something in his ear. A smile formed on Sirius’s face as he relaxed.

The Slytherins were all cheering for their Head of House as if he had won some major victory. They must not have noticed that Snape was breathing hard from the exertion of the duel and Harry was still breathing normally. Bill was impressed at Harry’s maturity to allow Snape this small victory when it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.

“All right, let’s have the first group of seventh years up on the platforms,” ordered Bill. “The next group to go up can count to start the duel. Professor Flitwick and I will be moving about to help you with your duels and techniques. My teaching assistants will also be available for advice.”

“As long as it isn’t Potter,” shouted someone from the Slytherins.

“Are they actually that clueless,” whispered Professor Flitwick to Bill.

“Why do you say that?” asked Bill.

The small Professor smiled at him. “It was obvious to anyone with knowledge of dueling that Mr. Potter wasn’t trying to win that duel,” he whispered. “Mr. Black or Mr. Potter isn’t going to try to bet money on these duels is he?”

“No, he isn’t,” said Bill, but he looked at Fred and George and wondered if they were. “No, he won’t be trying to take bets from the Slytherins. I hope.” Bill whispered the last sentence. It was more of a prayerful request than a fact. He never knew what Remus and Sirius were going to do.

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Chapter 17: Hogsmeade Weekend

Author's Notes: A chapter from Ginny's POV. She always heard about Hogsmeade trips from her older brother and wanted to experience. However, it doesn't turn out as she hoped.
My everyday life got in the way of being able to write this chapter. Hopefully, I will be able to get the rest of the chapters out at a faster pace. I would also like to thank my Beta Leif, for turning around this chapter so fast.

Ginny’s body ached from the exertion of the past five hours, and she wasn’t done yet. The midwife was telling her that her baby would be born with the next push.

Her baby, her and Harry’s baby had been growing in her for nine months, and now it is about to be born. Harry had been with her the entire time, he was there holding her right hand, while her mother was holding her left. She always wanted to be a tough woman who didn’t need to be pampered. Harry and her Mum had been very supportive of her the entire time without making her feel weak.

“When the next contraction starts, wait for me to tell you to push. If you push too early it will complicate things,” said the midwife.

“Yes, I will wait.” Ginny stopped talking as pain gripped her again. She squeezed Harry’s and her Mum’s hands with all her might.

“You are doing great love,” whispered Harry, while giving her a brave smile.

“Yes, Ginny dear it will be all over soon enough,” said her mum.

Ginny didn’t answer because she was gritting her teeth to resist the urge to push. Neither one said anything to her; they just allowed her to crush their hands.

“Push Mrs. Potter! Push with all your might,” said the midwife.

Ginny went through the greatest pain in her life and also the greatest joy. She gave birth and heard her baby’s cry. Her mum said that she would suffer the greatest pain she ever felt when she delivered her child, but she would quickly forget all about the pain when she held her baby.

“Is it a boy or a girl?” she asked the midwife.

“It’s a boy,” the midwife replied while she finished swaddling Ginny’s son in a blanket.

Harry and her mum were staring at the baby. They were smiling with pride. The midwife handed Harry the baby. Her mum looked like she wanted to snatch the baby out of his hands, but she controlled herself.

“Oh look he has your eyes, Harry,” said her mum.

Ginny stretched her arms out to Harry. “I want to hold my baby.”

Harry gently placed the baby in her arms. Ginny pulled the baby to her and kissed its head. Her mum was right the pain was gone replaced with joy of holding her child. She turned it to look at its face. With a gasp, she nearly threw her baby across the room.

Its eyes were deformed. They weren’t human. They had a yellowish iris and slits for pupils like a snake’s. She was so shocked that she couldn’t talk. She looked up at Harry and noticed his eyes were exactly the same. Not the emerald green that she had known. She held her baby out to stare it; repulsed by its eyes. She saw the most disgusting sight of all, when it opened its mouth to cry. Its tongue was forked.

A scream of fear tore at her throat as she thrashed against the sheets that were wrapped around her.
She was covered with sweat making the sheets stick to her and making it impossible to toss them off her.

“Ginny, what’s wrong?” whispered Harry from somewhere in the room.

She could feel he wasn’t with her in the bed. The room was dark with the only light was the pale glow of the half-moon shining through the mullioned windows. She tried to look to see where Harry was; with the shock of the nightmare she had lost mental contact with him. The bed shifted beside her. Turning she saw him sitting there staring at her. She couldn’t see his eyes for the dark shadows. She had to see if they were still green or the light amber of her dream.

He reached to caress her face. She reached for his face too, not for comfort, but for confirmation. She turned his face so the light of the moon might illuminate his eyes. His face was covered in shadow. He had two dark pits for eyes outlined by his brows and cheeks. At first she still couldn’t see his eyes clearly in the moonlight. A yellowish light illuminated the room revealing his emerald eyes.

Relief filled her as she realized that it was only a dream; no, not a dream but a nightmare. She threw herself against his chest clinging to him for strength. She didn’t want to think about the nightmare or why it scared her so much. Harry gently kissed the top of her head calming her and dispelling many of her fears.

“You all right now?” he whispered to her.

“Yeah, I am,” she whispered into his chest.

“Do you want to talk about…,”

“No, I don’t. It was a horrible nightmare that I don’t want to think about. Let it be gone from my memory,” she softly pleaded.

He held her and gently rubbed her back for several minutes without saying anything. Ginny was slowly drifting off to sleep again, when Harry spoke again.

“That was impressive magic you did.”

“What magic?”

“You lit your wand without touching it. It was like you wanted to see my face and your wand lit up.”

Ginny didn’t say anything, because she didn’t remember trying to cast a spell. She remembered wanting to see his face. Did the wand respond to her unspoken request? If it did, that would mean she was capable of doing wandless magic.

“You don’t remember doing that,” he said teasingly.

“No, I don’t.”

“Could you budge over so I can lie down too?”

“I could if you tell me why you are awake at this hour.” She moved so he could lie down and hold her.

“I had a piercing headache about an hour ago. It seems to be getting better now.”

“Does it still hurt?”

He hesitated for a second indicating that he was lying to her. “Only a little.”

“You are such a terrible liar, Harry. Here let me try to relieve your headache.”

She knelt beside him on the bed and held the palms of her hands at each of his temples with her fingers spread out through his raven locks. She slowly messaged his head with her fingers as she moved her hands through his hair. As she worked her fingers across his scalp, she also willed her feelings of love and comfort into him trying to chase what was causing the headache out of his mind. She could feel him relaxing. She was able to reach out with her Empathy and feel that the pain was nearly gone. After about five minutes he was so relaxed that he fell asleep.

She pulled her hands away from his head, before sliding in beside him. He had rolled on his side so she could wrap an arm around his chest as he slept.

“Go to sleep my love, we have so much to discuss,” she whispered to him.

She lay there in their dark bedroom thinking about Harry and their relationship. They had so much at stake already, and now she is sure that their responsibilities have increased some more. She needs to tell him, but it would be best if she waited until a better time. She still isn’t sure how he will handle the news.

Pushing all the worry and concern for their future to the back of her mind Ginny was able to finally get to sleep. In a few hours they would be going to Hogsmeade, and she wanted it to be special for them.

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Ginny was brushing her hair and staring at the mirror in their private loo. She wasn’t sure if she should put more makeup on or if this was enough. She rarely wore any and Harry seemed to like her like that, but today she wanted to be extra pretty for him.

She didn’t want to wear their usual battle garments. The rust colored pants and shirt with dragon hide cloak and boots. She was wearing simple jeans and a deep green jumper; both would be considered too tight by her mum. A traveling cloak and the presence of Harry would be all she would need to keep her warm.

After staring at her reflection from several angles, she decided that her makeup was fine. She picked up the sapphire necklace that matched her engagement ring and placed it around her neck. The sapphire and gold chain looked striking against the deep green of her jumper.

“Harry, are you ready?” she called to her husband. He had cleaned up before she even started. He probably had his usual outfit on. It didn’t’ bother her that he wore that. He looked rather striking in it.

“Yeah, I am just waiting on you.” “As usual.” He either whispered or thought.

It was getting difficult for Ginny to tell the difference between when he whispers something and when he thinks something without saying anything. They were starting to sound the same to her. Her link to Harry had been steadily increasing to the point where she almost can’t stay out of his mind. This wouldn’t bother her except what she has been able to detect there.

The thoughts of that dark entity made her shiver even though she wasn’t cold. If she wasn’t able to connect so completely with Harry, she would never have realized what he carried inside of him. If she hadn’t tried to protect Ron from being possessed in the Chamber of Secrets, she would have not realized that the darkness wasn’t Harry’s. She does not want to think about that situation now or any other time today. One day in the future, they would have to face the fact that Harry was a Horcrux, but today wasn’t that day.

Ginny stood up and walked to the sitting area of their little living quarters at Hogwarts. It was cozy or in other words, small, but that was all they needed now. If they needed to get out and move around, there was the rest of the castle to use.

“Wow! You look fabulous,” gasped Harry.

Ginny was caught speechless at his reaction. She thought he would like her clothes, but she wasn’t expecting a reaction like she was feeling from him. He was actually getting excited looking at her. It was good for her ego to think that she still made him feel that way after being together for two years.

“I am glad you like it. We need to get something to eat before embarking on our little excursion to Hogsmeade.”

“We could just stay here,” he suggested to her.

“Now love, we can do that any other weekend. We should go and see Hogsmeade today. We also promised to watch over the students while they are there.” She walked to him and gave him a kiss on the lips. She held it a bit longer than necessary for a chaste kiss, but not so long as to illicit any further reaction. She was surprised that he was looking at her, when she pulled away. “You can wait until tonight, Harry. We will be back by five and we don’t have any studying to do tonight.”

“Yeah, brilliant, tonight then it is,” he said absent mindedly.

Ginny put her arm through his and led him out of the room. They walked slowly through the halls and down the various staircases to the great hall. They didn’t say anything during this entire trip. There really wasn’t anything to say. They spent almost all their time together, so they know each other’s thoughts almost completely. They have already shared all their experiences before meeting, so they didn’t have that to talk about. That was fine with Ginny. She didn’t need witty conversation to enjoy being with her husband.

They entered the great hall still arm in arm. Most of the students turned to look at them. Ginny’s Empathy was now causing her anxiety. She was feeling the emotions flowing from the boys in the room. She didn’t mind when Harry thought about her in that way. It was something entirely different when it was some randy teenager with out of control hormones.

She pulled Harry along the Gryffindor table until she was a safe distance away from Ron’s dorm mates. Dean and Seamus were both staring at her with similar thoughts to Harry’s. They both followed her as she walked past them. At least Dean Thomas had the decency to keep his mouth closed, Seamus didn’t.

They sat across from Percy at the Gryffindor table. He was reading through the Daily Prophet while eating his breakfast. He didn’t even look up when they first sat down. Percy’s brow was furrowed with worry lines as he read the newspaper.

“What is bothering you Percy?” she asked him.

He looked up shocked to see her and Harry sitting there filling their plates. He was obviously flustered at their appearance.

“The Ministry is passing new laws, in an attempt to keep us safe,” he said sardonically.

“Maybe when you get hired there, you can turn the place around,” she told her older brother. He had always wanted to work for the Ministry and a cabinet secretary or even one day the Minister of Magic.

“I don’t think I will be applying there for a job.”

Ginny was gobsmacked to hear him say that. He had wanted to work in the Ministry since she was old enough to remember.

“I don’t know how Father can stand to go to that place to work. It isn’t safe,” he whispered to her.

“It pays the bills, and he likes the work,” she replied.

“What are you going to do if you are not working at the Ministry?” asked Harry between forkfuls of scrambled eggs.

“I haven’t decided yet,” he said while sitting up straighter, trying to look very official. “I have been thinking about asking you if you need someone to manage one of your many…,”

“Percy, can we discuss this some other time,” snapped Harry.

Percy closed his mouth and his eyes became wide as he stared at Harry. Harry was rather abrupt with him, but it was for a good reason. Harry did not want everyone to know about all his holdings. The less people know about what he actually possessed the safer they would all be.

“Do you have anything planned for today, Percy?” Ginny asked her brother in an attempt to steer the conversation away from Harry’s wealth and estates.

“I will be going to Hogsmeade to watch over the younger students.”

“That is where we will be,” she told him. Harry wasn’t responding to anything. Ginny could feel his anger at Percy. He felt almost betrayed that Percy would be so careless in public. “We were thinking about going to Madam Puddifoot’s; isn’t that right Harry.”

Harry was focused on what he was eating and not paying attention to what she was saying. “Yeah, sounds good,” he automatically responded.

Ginny smiled at Percy who smiled in return. She was going to say something else, but another feeling caught her attention. She sensed Sirius’ presence and he was worried. She looked up to see him walking into the great hall from the entrance hall, and he was heading directly towards them.

Nudging Harry with her elbow to get his attention, she nodded towards Sirius walking briskly towards them. They both sat there and stared at Sirius until he stood in front of them. He was obviously worried, because he had a small crease between his eyes and his eyebrows nearly met giving him a uni-brow, when he was stressing about something. His face was in uni-brow mode right now.

“We need to talk in the Headmaster’s office,” he said briskly. He stood there for a second and when it seemed that Ginny and Harry weren’t moving fast enough he spoke again. “Now!”

“Alright, we will follow you,” said Harry.

Sirius turned and walked away at a brisk pace. Ginny stood up from the bench only to get pulled by Harry towards the entrance hall. Sirius was already walking through it. He didn’t even look back over his shoulder to see if they were following. Whatever was bothering him must be big for him to act this way.

It took only a few minutes to make the trip from the great hall to the Headmaster’s office. A trip that normally took ten to fifteen. The gargoyle jumped aside at the sight of them. Ginny didn’t realize it would recognize people and allow them access without the password. They nearly ran up the spiral staircase and opened the door into the Headmasters office.

She was starting to breathe hard from the trip, and was going to ask why he was in such a hurry. However, the people in the room made her realize they would not appreciate her cheek. Remus and Bill were there, along with The Headmaster and Professor McGonagall all with grim faces. The fifth person caused Harry to stop walking and stare. She could feel anger roll off him in waves as he stared at Severus Snape.

The stories that Sirius and Remus told them about Snape made Harry dislike the man. They also told him that his mother had been friends with Snape when they were young. Harry had wondered how his mum could be friends with someone who was so foul most of the time. Harry wanted to give Severus the benefit of the doubt and judge him on his own merits. Snape’s constant belittling of him and his father had worn thin with him.

“Come in and close the door, Potter. We have much to discuss,” drawled Snape.

“Harry and Ginny please close the doors. As Severus said, we have much to talk about,” said the Headmaster.

Ginny had to concentrate to keep Harry’s anger from affecting her. He was nearly angry enough to start throwing hexes around, with Snape getting all of them. He stepped forward pulling her along. She heard the door slam shut behind him. Everyone else in the room looked at the door and then at Harry with raised eyebrows, except Snape. He just sneered at the display of wandless magic.

They walked to the Headmaster’s desk and stood there and stared at him. Standing there for several seconds without anyone talking, Harry’s agitation kept growing. Ginny could feel Sirius, Remus, and Bill growing agitated too. She was getting ready to demand someone say something, when Harry said it for her.

“You call us up here and tell us we have much to talk about, but no one is talking.”

“Please have a seat,” said the Headmaster calmly.

“No, I would prefer to stand,” stated Harry. He then turned to her and spoke directly to her with a sweet and sincere voice. “You can sit if you prefer.”

Ginny smiled at him. It made her feel so special that no matter how angry he was at everyone around them, he was still sweet to her. She was going to say something, but Snape interrupted her.

“You are pathetic, Potter.”

Sirius and Remus stood up like they were ready to start throwing curses at Snape, but Ginny stopped them with a glance and a raised hand.

“There is nothing pathetic about a person being loving and sincere,” she told the vile Potion’s Professor. “You should try it sometime, or you SHOULD HAVE tried it at one time.”

“You…,” Snape hissed at her.

Ginny could feel the anger and regret flowing off him. “I guess it is too late for that now, so you just pretend to protect her son.”

If Snape was angry before his clenched teeth snarl at the Headmaster indicated that Ginny had hit a very raw nerve.

“I did not tell them anything,” said the Headmaster defensively. “I think we need to discuss what we came together to talk about.”

“I was waiting for someone to say something,” stated Harry harshly. “Professor Snape, your reasons for being angry with me is so obvious that one doesn’t need Leglimancy to know it. My mother is dead, because Voldemort wanted me dead. Let’s work together to destroy whatever is left of him.”

Snape seemed to be surprised by Harry’s comment. He looked at Harry for several seconds before speaking. “Lucius Malfoy believes he can find the Dark Lord if he interrogates you. That was why he attacked the Weasley home earlier in the summer.”

“Is that what you wanted to tell us?” asked Harry calmly.

“That and up until three days ago Draco Malfoy was talking about going to Hogsmeade today. Several days ago, he received an Owl from his father and has since changed his mind and is trying to get other Slytherins not to go to Hogsmeade today.”

“Has Lucius contacted you?” asked Sirius.

“No! He hasn’t. He does not trust me, since I didn’t know the Order had reformed when he attacked the Weasley’s home.”

“Remus, what do make of this information?” Harry asked his father’s friend.

Remus Lupin leaned back in his chair and stared at the space in front of his chair with a distant look on his face and deep furrows in his brow. He sat there deep in thought for several seconds before speaking.

“I am concerned about Lucius wanting to get his hands on you, Harry. If Draco doesn’t want to go to Hogsmeade, I am afraid that the students will be in danger if they go to Hogsmeade. I am guessing that they are planning on attacking the students to draw you and Professor Dumbledore out into the open.” He stopped talking and sat there silent for several seconds. “That is all I can guess for now.”

Harry turned to the Headmaster. “Professor Dumbledore, what is your opinion?”

“I agree with what Mr. Lupin said. Canceling the Hogsmeade day, would be difficult as the children should be getting into the queue by this time.”

“I agree that it would create problems if you did cancel today’s trip to Hogsmeade. Lucius would suspect something…,” Snape said.

“You are talking about a possible attack on the students of this school,” shouted Professor McGonagall.
“We must protect the children from a possible attack.”

“We will Minerva. We will protect the children, but I do agree with Severus,” said the Headmaster. “We must form a plan to protect the children without letting Lucius realize we knew he was planning on an attack. For us to cancel a Hogsmeade weekend, we must have a good reason. If the children don’t go to the village, then the attack won’t happen and no one will know that it had been planned. Harry, what do you think?”

Ginny looked at Harry. He turned to look at her and gave her a small smile. “Ginny, do you want to say anything?”

The look on his face and the feelings coming from him told her how much he cared for her. He wasn’t just asking her to be polite. He valued her opinion too. They both knew at this point he was being looked upon as the leader of the Order of The Phoenix. “I trust your decision, Harry.”

“Unless, I say something stupid,” he said chuckling.

“Yeah, then I would object.”

Harry turned back to the Headmaster. “I think we should let the students go to Hogsmeade, and make a plan to protect them. Bill, can we set up an area for the students to go for protection from attacks?”

“A warded area for the students to run to would be possible,” said Bill.

“Could we ward the path leading back to Hogwarts?” asked Sirius. “The students could be led back to the safety of the castle through the wards. If we ward an area that doesn’t have an escape, the students would be trapped inside of it.”

“That would be possible, but it would take some time and if any of the Death Eaters see me casting spells they would realize that we know there will be an attack.”

“We will have to accept those risks,” said the Headmaster. “The safety of the students is important.”

Professor McGonagall sniffed at this comment. “Then cancel the trip, if it is so important.”

“They want me,” said Harry. “I am planning on making myself very visible. If I am already down there, the students should be safer. Can we get everyone from the Order on standby? What about the Aurors?”

“If the town is filled with Order members and Aurors then the attack will be called off,” said Severus.

“The Order can be close by or possibly hidden in the shops. Have someone ready to call the Aurors. When the attack starts, call them and start moving the students towards Hogwarts. We will take the attack to the Death Eaters,” He said indicating Bill, Remus, and Sirius.

“I will talk to the Head Boy and Girl about emergency procedures,” said the Headmaster.

“I will go change and get ready for a battle,” Ginny said quietly. She felt Harry gently squeeze her hand in reassurance.

“Harry, I must stress how important it is for you not to get captured,” said the Headmaster.

“He and Ginny will be at the entrance of the ward,” said Sirius. “They can step inside the wards if things get dangerous.”

“How will you keep the Death Eaters out of the warded area?” asked Professor McGonagall.

“I could tie the wards to a person’s age. That would keep us old codgers from entering the warded area,” said Bill.

“Would Harry and I be able to enter them? We are considered adults.”

“I’ll figure something out,” said Bill.

“All right, it sounds like we have a plan and a lot of work to get ready,” said Harry.

He sounded upbeat, but Ginny could feel his nervousness. It was unnecessary because the entire room was behind him. Professor McGonagall was nervous about the safety of the children, and yet she still looked at Harry with respect. Even Snape had calmed down. He still radiated contempt, but it wasn’t as intense as when they first stepped into the room. She did not know what would happen today, but she was sure they would be ready for it.

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The gravel from the path scuffed her shoes as she walked to Hogsmeade. Ginny was walking slowly while holding onto Harry’s hand. She had changed back into her normal fighting gear along with the dragon-hide cloak. She could feel the weight of the dagger, in its sheath inside of her dragon hide boots, bouncing against her lower calf. Her wand was stashed just out of sight up her right sleeve. She was trying to be as nonchalant as possible while still being on the look-out for any threats around her.

It really was not necessary to be inconspicuous. They were walking along with Hagrid, who was pulling enchanted stones the size of a normal man’s fist out of his moleskin jacket and throwing them on each side of the path. Bill had enchanted them so he could easily anchor the wards to the stone. Hagrid was given the job because when he threw a stone down it would sink into the dirt so no one could see it. The students were being held at the school until the four of them could reach the village.

Bill was trailing them by about fifty feet activating the wards as he walked. Ginny smiled at her older brother. She had always known he was intelligent, but never realized how talented he was at wards until she and Harry went to live with him.

Harry was walking beside her on high alert trying to sense if anyone was using magic around them. To most people they would only see him walking while looking from one side to the other. He looked so confident and in control. She could feel his anxiety at the possibility of someone getting hurt today, but he was hiding it well.

“How much further to Hogsmeade, Hagrid?” asked Harry.

“Not far, just up around the bend we will come out of the woods to ‘igh Street.”

“Do we have enough stones to make it that far?”

“Well, ‘arry, take a look,” Hagrid replied holding out a hand as large as a dust bin lid. He had a dozen stones in it. They didn’t even completely cover his palm. “That should get us to the end of the woods.”

“Good, because I hear the students leaving Hogwarts,” she said to them.

“Let’s get moving then. They will come down that path in a ‘urry, they will.” Hagrid started taking long strides from one side of the path to the other while throwing stones into the ground.

Ginny and Harry had to increase their pace to keep up with him. Even with Hagrid moving back and forth across the path, they had a hard time keeping up with him. They had reached the end of the woods by the time they heard the first screams of excited students running down the path to get to Hogsmeade first.

Harry flicked his wand and a silver streak shot towards the town. A second later a silver weasel appeared in front of them.

“Everything looks good here,” said the voice of Ginny’s father.

Bill had just finished the wards and was able to hear the Patronus. “I will wait here while you three go into town. Harry don’t let her take you into Madam Puddifoot’s.”

Harry looked puzzled. “What is Madam Puddifoot’s and where have I heard that before?”

“Don’t worry love; I’ll explain it to you later.” She took his arm and pulled him towards the town. Hagrid let out a loud boisterous laugh causing Harry to squirm. He really wasn’t listening when she was talking to Percy at breakfast.

They had barely walked twenty feet when three boys flew past them at an all-out run.

“Do you think they are going to Madam Puddifoot’s?” Harry asked her.

His comment had caught her off guard, and she started laughing at the thought. “I really doubt it.”

“Do you want to go there?”

“No not really. I would like to see it. I have heard about it from my brothers. They speak about how completely sickening it is.”

“Why would anyone want to go there?”

“It is filled with pink hearts, confetti, sweet tea, and cherubs playing violins. Girls are supposed to be overwhelmed by the sheer romance of it.”

They continued walking without saying anything else. Ginny could tell that Harry was thinking about something. She was pretty sure he was thinking they should go to Madam Puddifoot’s.

“Are we going there first?” he asked.

She laughed at his comment. “We will walk past there. I said that I wanted to see it. I don’t need romance. I have you.”

“I am not romantic.”

“You are too romantic. You don’t do anything excessive, but you are very romantic and I love you for it.”

Harry had stopped walking and was staring at her.

“I never said that I wasn’t romantic. I did think it. Your powers are still growing. You can actually read my mind, without me being overly excited or worried.”

She stared into his eyes. He wasn’t nervous or afraid. It was one thing to be able to sense emotions and see old memories, but to be able to hear what he was thinking as he thought it was new. Why wasn’t he afraid of her ability to do this?

“I won’t hold your thoughts against you, Harry. I know at times we think things that we never intend to say. Unless you are thinking randy thoughts about another woman, then you will be in so much trouble Mr. Potter.”

Harry laughed at her. “Why would I think about anyone but you? If we are in a battle, I could communicate with you more precisely than just feelings of dread and danger.”

“I don’t always hear what you are saying in your thoughts, so I can’t guarantee that I will hear you.”

“You don’t always hear me, because I am a bloke. Isn’t that what many of you woman say about men. We don’t think about much and say even less.”

She had a difficult time from doubling over with laughter at Harry’s cheeky comment. “Where did you hear that statement?”

“Is it true?”

“Maybe,” she replied coyly.

“Sirius and Bill told me that women think that about men. They also said that many women like the strong silent type.”

“I don’t want to think about my brother’s and Sirius’s dating styles. Let’s go into Zonko’s and see what to look for around the school this next week.”

They spent the next hour in Zonko’s looking at the various merchandise. Harry would occasionally look out at the street to see if everything was all right. She enjoyed their time in Zonko’s it helped bring out the kid in Harry. It also reminded her that if Harry would have had a normal life he would be at Hogsmeade as a student looking to have fun, not being live bait for a planned Death Eater attack.

“Would you like to visit Madam Puddifoot’s?” she asked him.

“Might as well get that out of the way.” He thought to himself.

Ginny smiled at his thoughts before dragging him out the door to the uber-romantic tea shoppe. They walked through Madam Puddifoot’s door to be assaulted with confetti and cherubs screeching out a tune on their violins. The matron showed them to a little table between two sixth year couples. One couple was holding hands and whispering across the table. The other couple was snogging while making slurping sounds.

They were soon served a pink pot of tea and some biscuits. Harry poured her tea for her and even prepared it for her. She appreciated his gesture, but everything in here was so over the top that it was annoying her so much that she could barely stand it. Maybe it was being raised in a family of boys, but she didn’t find this at all romantic. It took all her concentration not to laugh at the couples around her. She knew that she would get dreamy eyed at Harry, but she hoped she never looked or acted like the girls around her. It was the boys that made her want to laugh. Almost all them felt the same as she did about this place, but they were here looking for a snog. Confetti came floating down from above them coating their hair and falling into their tea. She looked at Harry and tried to sense what he was feeling. The only thing she sensed was laughter, so she started giggling.

“Let’s get out of this bloody pink nightmare.” He thought.

She was giggling so hard that she couldn’t respond. So she grabbed his hand and they left after he placed a galleon on the table.

“That was supposed to be romantic?” he asked her, after they reached the street.

“To some people it would be.”

“I am so glad you are not one of them, Ginny. Let’s go find the others.”

They located Bill and Remus walking High Street acting like they were trying to keep the students from doing anything destructive. Sirius had volunteered to stay under Harry’s Invisibility cloak by the entrance to the warded area.

“Anything exciting?” Harry asked them.

They looked at each other, before Bill spoke. “Only the sight of you being dragged into Madam Puddifoot’s.”

“That place is a bloody pink nightmare,” Ginny said repeating Harry’s thoughts.

“Hagrid is watching things down by the Hogs Head,” stated Remus. “Why don’t you two go to the Three Broomsticks and grab a bite. You two can patrol the streets later, and we will take lunch.”

“Sounds good to me, Sirius interrupted our breakfast,” she replied to them.

Hand in hand they opened the door to the Three Broomsticks. The place was filled with students and teachers. Madam Rosmerta was moving from table to table getting orders and delivering food and drinks. Professor McGonagall waved them over to a table with her and Professor Flitwick.

The next hour they sat and ate and talked to the Professors. The conversation was tense at times, because everyone knew about the possible attack, but none of them openly mentioned it. Professors McGonagall and Flitwick relieved the tension by talking about incidents involving Harry and Ginny’s parents while they were at Hogwarts.

After finishing lunch, they were back out on the street patrolling for possible Death Eaters. The only thing they saw were students enjoying the beautiful sunny afternoon away from the school. The morning had been slightly overcast and cool. The sun burnt off the haze of morning and now it was warm and sunny especially for being October in Scotland.

Ginny was enjoying the relaxing day so much that she kept forgetting that they were supposed to be watching for an attack.

“After this is all over, I think our children should enjoy coming to Hogwarts,” she said to Harry. She could feel him stiffen at the thought of them having children.

“Yeah, it seems like a good school. Hopefully, some of the same teachers will be here when our children are old enough to start.”

She smiled at his reference that it should be a long time before they have children old enough to attend the school. “Oh, I think most of them have at least eleven or twelve years left in them.”

Harry stopped walking and turned to stare at her. He looked slightly ashen and was having a hard time forming words. He had not been this flustered since that first night in Morocco when he wanted to kiss her. She was getting ready to tell him more, when a small pop caught her and Harry’s attention.

Several other pops could be heard around the village. She could sense a change in the feelings in the air, even before seeing who had Apparated into the village. Harry sensed it too. He had pulled his wand in an instant.

Screams of scared children tore through the peaceful afternoon. The attack was on.

“All the students must return to Hogwarts straight away,” ordered Harry, using the Sonorous Charm.

Students started flowing out of The Three Broomsticks and running towards the path leading to the castle. Professor McGonagall was ordering the children out, while Professor Flitwick exited the pub first to stand guard for the students as they left the building. Other students were running from all directions towards the warded path. Harry grabbed Ginny’s arm and pulled her towards the entrance of the wards. They were supposed to get there and protect the children as they ran for safety.

They ran among the students trying to set up a position near the entrance where they could protect the children escaping the village. They could hear people battling behind them, but they had a job to do and that is protecting the entrance of wards and the children running towards it.

“Can you sense if anyone is following us?” shouted Harry as they ran with the students.

“I can’t sense anything but fear right now,” she shouted back to him as they ran around the students.

“The entrance to the ward is right up there. You stay on that side and I will take this side,” he shouted at her.

“Where is Sirius?” she shouted back at him.

Sirius appeared from under the Invisibility Cloak. “I am here.”

Several students shrieked when he appeared out of thin air, some even pulled their wands.

“Stop!” shouted Harry to the students. “I’ll ask him a question.”

None of the students fired hexes at Sirius, but they didn’t lower their wands.

“Sirius, what did you call me when we first met, and what was my reaction?”

Sirius smiled at Harry. “I called you Prongslet in honor of your father, but you said it made you sound feminine.”

“All right, he is trust worthy, so get you up to the castle,” Harry shouted at the all the children standing around them.

“You heard him, get moving and don’t wander from the path until you get inside of Hogwarts’ grounds,” Ginny ordered the students surrounding them.

She watched and motivated the students to keep moving all the way to Hogwarts. She also tried to calm down the scared students as they came through the line. She was so focused on the students that she wasn’t able to sense what was going on in the village. She hated standing up here not knowing what people are thinking in the attack. Were the Death Eaters winning? If they were not winning, were they inflicting harm on her friends?

“Look,” shouted Harry.

Ginny had seen the same sight as he had. Hagrid, Percy, and Penelope were ushering about fifteen third years in front of them towards the entrance to the wards. She could hear the students arguing with Percy and Penelope as they walked towards the wards.

“We can fight them. We have been taking dueling classes,” said Seamus Finnegan. He was a feisty dorm mate of Ron’s.

“You will do no such thing. You will get to safety. We will take care of the attackers,” stated Percy briskly.

“Ya heard the ‘ead Boy, mates,” said Hagrid.

“We want to fight. We deserve the chance,” the sandy haired boy said defiantly.

“You will get your chance, soon enough,” said Harry forcefully. “It won’t be today, though. Today you need to get back to the castle.”

The students looked at him before mumbling as they trudged up the path towards Hogwarts. Several more students were running towards them from the village. Hagrid, Penelope, and Percy had started back towards the village.

A flash of a spell came from the area of the village towards students. Ginny started raising her wand to cast a Shield Charm, but Harry was faster. His shield collided with the spell and diverted away from the oncoming students.

The students screamed and ran even faster towards them. Ginny watched as they ran past her and Harry up the path towards the castle. There was a break in the flow of the students leaving the village. She tried to reach out and sense what was going on in the village. She could sense fear and anxiety, but she couldn’t identify who was feeling those feelings. Her empathy was so frustrating in situations like this when everyone was overly excited.

Percy came running up the path with another group of students. He looked rather frazzled like he had been in a couple of duels. He started running past the students and straight to Harry.

“Harry,” he gasped as he ran. “We need you — down — in the village.”

He stopped running and doubled over with his hands on his knees. Ginny was looking at him trying to figure out why he was actually acting so strange. He normally doesn’t get that frazzled. The group of students that were running between her and Percy so she couldn’t get a good look at him.

“I can’t go Percy. I am supposed to stay here,” replied Harry. Harry looked torn between what he was supposed to do and what he wanted to do.

“It’s Sirius and Remus,” shouted Percy. “The Death Eaters have them cornered. Everyone else is busy fighting. Harry we need you.”

Percy reached out and grabbed Harry’s arm. Ginny saw for a second the glove on his left hand, and started to wonder why he had it on. The last student passed her and she was able to sense Percy completely. It wasn’t Percy over there, but someone else.

“Harry, that isn’t Percy,” she screamed, but it was too late.

The glove glowed blue for a second before Harry and the imposter disappeared.

“No!” she screamed out of desperation.

Reaching out with her mind, she tried to sense where Harry was. She felt like she was spinning at a maddening pace. She couldn’t get a good feeling of him to pull him to her. She didn’t know if he would Splinch if she did. She could sense him, and, as soon as he stops, she will pull him back to her.

The spinning was making her slightly dizzy and disoriented. She was starting to get sick, but it finally stopped. Ginny could see Harry lying on the grass of a graveyard. He was angry and ready to fight. She connected with him and started to summon him when she sensed a flash of light then terrible white hot pain filled her body. She screamed out in agony as the sensation of white hot knives cut through her, and she fell to the ground in agony.

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Chapter 18: Resurrection

Author's Notes: Harry was taken by someone disguised as Percy and tortured. Ginny had screamed out in pain as this torture was felt through the bond at the end of the last chapter. Lucius Malfoy's plan looks like it will work to bring the Dark Lord's body back.
As a change from canon, I have Lucius say the incantations in Latin. The actual translations are at the end of the chapter. I need to thank Leif for the wonderful Beta work that found my mistakes and made me think about different aspects of my writing.

Lucius Malfoy stood beside the iron cauldron waiting for Judson and Potter to appear. This was a last gasp effort to resurrect his master. He had killed the last unicorn to fill this cauldron with its blood. The Dark Lord had lost his patience with him several times. He wanted to be brought back to his full glory months ago, but every attempt to capture Potter had failed. Potter’s appointment as a teacher’s aide at Hogwarts had further complicated things.

Their plan was high risk, but it was their only shot at getting Potter before Christmas. Lucius knew he couldn’t withstand any more torture from his master. Nagini had eaten all the sheep that Lucius had bought for it to feed on and started eating House Elves again. This had to succeed; Judson had to successfully Portkey Potter back here so they can capture him and use his blood to resurrect the Dark Lord.

“How much longer, Lucius?” hissed his master.

“I do not know my lord. We don’t even know if Potter was in the village.”

“This cannot fail. This body is failing me.”

Lucius looked at his master wrapped up in a bundle of cloth lying on the ground beside the cauldron. He was even more disturbing to look at now than when he was first born. His flesh was starting to become scaly and his arms were becoming increasingly immobile. He was turning more and more reptilian every day.

“When Potter arrives I will be ready.”

“Judson needs to set the wards so no one but my servants can come through,” ordered Lord Voldemort. “When I regain my body, I am going to call everyone back to me. Then I will kill Potter in front of them and leave his body for Dumbledore to find.”

“Will he know to look here for Potter?”

“He will figure it out soon, but Potter will be dead and I will be building my armies once again. So be ready when Potter arrives.”

“Yes master,” Lucius dutifully replied.

He turned back to look over the graveyard they stood in. Lucius had never realized before that his master was a half-blood. However, they were in this Muggle cemetery so they could use a bone from his father’s grave.

The sun was starting to get warm on this sunny day. It beat down on him and his black robes causing perspiration to bead on his forehead. It could also be what Lucius had to do to resurrect the dark lord. It bothered him that he had to cut off his right hand, his wand hand, but his master had commanded it.

A thud to his right brought Lucius out of his thoughts. He had to take several steps to his right to look around the massive headstone with a Muggle statue of the grim reaper. There on the ground was Judson with Harry Potter.

“Crucio,” shouted Lucius, as soon as he saw Potter.

The spell collided with Potters chest. He had just started to stand up to get his bearings. He let out a scream and fell to his right side and started to twitch from the pain.

“Get his wand,” he ordered Judson.

Potter somehow had been able to fight through the torture and blasted Judson away. Judson collided with the massive headstone with a crunch. Lucius had to move as Potter tried to hit him with a spell. He could only move so much without releasing the Crucio. He didn’t know if he could defeat Potter in a straight out battle.

“Judson, do something help me,” he shouted.

Several pops of Apparition sounded around him. “I need help here!” he shouted and dodged another spell from Potter. How anyone could fight off a Crucio and be able to fire off Stunning spells, he did not know.

“Tie him up,” he shouted to one of the younger members of the raiding party. The stupid fool was so shocked by what was going on, his spell missed Potter and he tied up another member of the raiding party.

“Crucio,” shouted Macnair from beside Lucius.

Potter screamed again and fell on the ground twitching.

“Grab his wand,” Lucius ordered the young raider again.

He ran to grab Potters wand, but Potter rolled away so Lucius had to stop his spell. Potter had used the young raider to block Lucius’s spell. Fortunately, Macnair was able to keep his spell on Potter. However, Potter had recovered enough to Stun the young raider by him. Lucius had to block another Stunner aimed at him. Potter tried to Stun Macnair, but the experienced Death Eater was quick enough to avoid the spell.

Potter was struggling to his feet while firing off random spells at everyone around him. Lucius stopped and stared at this man. He should be immobile writhing on the ground. Instead, he was standing and fighting off six other people.

Lucius came out of his state of shock and fired an Incarcerous spell at Potter. The magical ropes wrapped around him for only a second, before he cut through them with his wand. He looked for Judson to help with Potter, but he was setting the wards. He had to control Potter to resurrect the Dark Lord.

He saw one opportunity. While everyone else was firing spells at Potter, he moved himself back towards a large headstone. If Lucius could get behind the headstone and stab Potter from behind, he could get enough blood out him to complete the ceremony.

“Use Crucios on him!” he yelled at everyone else.

Lucius moved quickly around the headstones. He knew that the young raiders were not up to his level for inflicting pain, but they should be able to contain Potter enough for this plan to work. He smiled as he saw Potter forced against the headstone screaming in pain. His left shoulder was exposed.

Lucius lashed out and tried to stab through his cape, but the knife didn’t penetrate the strange leather. Potter didn’t even acknowledge that Lucius tried to stab him. He had to get Potter’s blood. Reaching out he grabbed the edge of Potters cape and pulled it back. He swung the knife with all his might sinking it deep into Potters shoulder. He couldn’t tell if Potter reacted to the stab or if he was writhing from the torture. Blood poured out of the wound when he pulled the knife free. Potter didn’t seem to even notice so he pressed the vial against the wound so the blood flowed into it.

Potter finally realized he had been stabbed. He turned to face Lucius pulling his shoulder away. Lucius jumped back behind the headstone. He couldn’t afford Potter hexing the vial out of his hands. He quickly pulled the vial behind him and pointed his wand at the edge of the headstone, where he was sure Potter would try to attack him. He waited for the attack. When it didn’t happen, he looked to the other side of the headstone, but Potter wasn’t coming around that side either.

“What did you do, Lucius?” shouted Macnair.

“I did what was necessary. Have you controlled Potter?”

“Potter is gone,” shouted Macnair. “He just bloody disappeared! It didn’t even look like he Apparated.”

Lucius ran around the Headstone and looked to where Potter was standing just a minute before. This couldn’t be happening. He was supposed to hold Potter until the Dark Lord was resurrected. He would suffer for this, but he still had to resurrect his master.

“What are you planning on doing now, Lucius?” questioned an angry Macnair. “Was this all for nothing; just another failed mission to find the Dark Lord?”

“No it wasn’t a failure for that reason. It was a failure because we couldn’t keep Potter,” replied Lucius. “I have work to do.”

He strode past Macnair and the rest of the attack group. He had Potter’s blood, which was the final ingredient. With a flick of his wand, he lit fire under the cauldron. Everyone from the raiding party stood and stared at him. He didn’t have time to explain to them what he was doing. By the time he reached his master lying on the ground, the cauldron was boiling.

“Did you capture him Lucius?” hissed his master.

“I have his blood, Master.”

“Good, we must begin,” the Dark Lord hissed.

“What’s going on over there?” shouted Macnair.

Lucius ignored Macnair and lifted the Dark Lord up and removed the cloth that covered him before dropping him in the boiling unicorn blood. Turning he pointed his wand at the earth by the Riddle headstone.

"Os patris tui, capta insciens,"(1) he chanted as he summoned the thigh bone from his masters father. The bone erupted from the ground and flew towards him. He waved his wand and redirected it into the boiling blood. The blood hissed and popped for several seconds.

“Carnem dedit volunt servi tui,”(2) he chanted. He placed his wand inside of his robes and lifted his right hand up. With his left hand he gripped the razor sharp dagger, he cut into his wrist. The pain shot down his arm and almost made him sick. The blade hit bone and sinew and would not cut cleanly all the way through. Fighting through the pain, he moved the blade back and forth until his severed right hand dropped into the cauldron. Once again the blood popped and hissed, it also turned blood red then black before calming down to a boil. He took a cloth he had the master wrapped in and wrapped it around his bloody stump.

“Sanguine tuo, fortiter hostibus captus,”(3) he chanted. He lifted the vial up and poured Potter’s blood into the cauldron. It nearly erupted as it boiled out of control changing from silver to red and black. Lucius stepped away from it waiting to see his master rise from the cauldron. Everything stopped, the fire had gone out and the blood stopped boiling. He became filled with fear. Had he failed his master again? What punishment would he endure for this failure?

“What was supposed to happen, Lucius?” asked Macnair.

“I was going to resurrect the Dark...,”

The contents of the cauldron exploded in a flash of bright silver light. It was so bright that everything seemed dark after the flash. The cauldron lay in shards on the ground and standing in the middle of its remains was the Dark Lord. He had regained his body.

He was tall, thin, and pale. His skin seemed almost translucent and his veins shown through his skin like purple spider webs. His fingers were long and thin as he stretched them out. His face similar to its previous appearance, except his nose was flat and shaped like a snake’s. His eyes, which had been bloodshot before were now completely scarlet with vertical slits for pupils.

“Lucius, my robes,” he commanded.

Lucius quickly grabbed the robes he had purchased for his master with his left hand. He was having a difficult time draping them over his shoulders. Macnair knelt before the Dark Lord.

“Master, may I help?” Macnair begged the Dark Lord.

“Yes, Macnair, you may assist.”

Lucius looked at Macnair. He had wanted to be able to robe the Dark Lord by himself, but he was too awkward with his severed right hand. Between him and Macnair, they had robed their master. Judson, by this time the Polyjuice had completely worn off and changed back to his true appearance, stood and stared at them. The rest of the raiding party did the same. They were the six youths that Judson had used to attack the Weasley home. None, but Judson, had ever seen the Dark Lord and his previous intimidating presence. He was even more intimidating now in this present form than before.

“Where is my wand Lucius?”

“Here it is my Lord.” Lucius removed it from his robes and handed it to him. The Dark Lord took the wand and caressed it lovingly. He might have held it and used it before it his hideous state of half man half serpent, but he seemed to be even more enthralled now he held it with actual human hands.

“Where is Potter?” he asked.

“He escaped my Lord,” said Macnair.

“How could he do that with all of you here?” he hissed soft and deadly.

Lucius cowered and knelt to his master. He had heard that tone before and if you were lucky you only received a few minutes of torture. If you weren’t lucky, you would die slowly and painfully. Macnair was also cowering on his knees in front of the Dark Lord.

“Potter is one powerful wizard. It would take a miracle to control him,” responded one of the six arrogant young wizards. He defiantly stood there defiantly and stared at the Dark Lord.

“Do you know who I am?” asked the Dark Lord.

“Yeah, you’re the Dark Lord.”

“Avada Kedavra,” shouted the Dark Lord.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

The excruciating pain had stopped as everything folded in around him. Harry could feel Ginny’s presence even stronger in his mind and his body. The pain was replaced with the warmth of her presence, before he reappeared in her arms. At the same time he felt her arms wrapped around him, he heard the noise of people shouting all around him. He looked up to see Sirius and Remus staring at him. He was so near to collapsing from the pain that he could barely make out anyone else in the crowd that surrounded him and Ginny.

“She did it,” Remus shouted with joy.

When Harry had reappeared, he had been standing, but he could feel Ginny collapse dragging him down with her. He reached out with his left arm wincing as pain shot down his arm. He never hit the ground as something that felt like a heavy leather chair collided with his side.

“I gotch ya, ‘arry,” said Hagrid. Hagrid’s large hands gently picked him and Ginny up together. “I’m takin’ ‘em to Madam Pomfrey.”

“Yes, and don’t wait for us,” said a voice that Harry recognized as the Headmaster’s.

Hagrid took off on a full out run for the castle. His stride was long and bounced Harry and Ginny with each footfall. The jostling bothered Harry a little, but he was in so much pain that he didn’t mind since it meant he would be getting to the infirmary sooner. His head was now throbbing in excruciating pain worse than his body.

He realized that Ginny still hadn’t said anything to him. She was holding onto him, but her grip wasn’t that strong.

“Ginny, are you all right?” he asked as he tried to turn despite his pain to see her. Hagrid had to reposition his hold on them as Harry turned to keep from dropping them.

Harry saw Ginny and was filled with fear for her. She was extremely pale and looked to be unconscious.

“Ginny, please say something,” he pleaded with her.

Her mouth started to move, as though she was going to say something, but it twisted in a grimace as tears started to flow from her eyes.

“I thought I was going to lose you,” she said barely above a whisper.

“Who do you have there, Rubeus?” snapped the unmistakable voice of Madam Pomfrey.

“’arry and Ginny, they are hurt bad.”

“Put them down on this bed.”

Hagrid gently placed both of them down on a single bed. Once free from Hagrid’s grip, Harry turned and grabbed Ginny’s hand. She was so weak that it frightened him. He knew that she had connected with him to pull him back to her. So she must have felt the torture that he had gone through. It was probably her mental connection that allowed him the strength to fight back against the torture.

“Madam Pomfrey, help her please. She is so weak,” he pleaded with the nurse.

“I will, but you must lay back yourself and don’t touch her.”

Harry pulled away from Ginny. She reached for him, but he reassured her by whispering to her as Madam Pomfrey waved her wand over her. While the nurse was examining Ginny the hospital wing was filling up with people. They were all asking him questions about what had happened. He didn’t want to answer them right now; he wanted Ginny to be healed.

“If you cannot be quiet, then please leave and allow me to work,” snapped the nurse.

The hospital became quiet suddenly. Even in his weakened state, he could tell that someone had cast a Silencing Charm. As Harry watched the nurse work, he wanted to be able to touch Ginny again. He even believed that it would help her. He did not have her power to heal with his magic, but he knew that she always felt better when he was touching her.

“Mrs. Potter, I am going to give you a Potion to start the healing process. You must drink it. Can you drink it?”

“Yes,” Ginny said barely above a whisper.

The nurse bustled off to her office and quickly returned with a tray which held three large flasks and four glasses. She set the tray on the stand beside Ginny’s side of the bed. She took the largest flask and half-filled a glass with a golden looking Potion.

“Here drink this all down,” said the Nurse gently.

Ginny was so weak that she could barely lift her hand. Harry grabbed the glass from Madam Pomfrey and gently lifted Ginny’s head so she could drink without choking on the liquid. He held the glass against her lips allowing her to sip the Potion out of the glass. The pain exploded in his head again. He almost dropped the glass, but he had to help her now, since she saved him.

It hurt him to know that she had become so weak because of him. His arms were starting to shake from holding the glass and her head, but he wasn’t going to let go of her until she had finished the Potion. She was just about done with the Potion when her eyes opened. He could see it was helping her already. She looked around then focused her eyes on him.

“What are you doing, Harry? You are the one that was tortured.”

He leaned down and kissed her lips gently for a second. “Yes, but you helped and saved me, by taking the pain away,” he said to her. “You are my savior.”

“What do you mean you were tortured but she took the pain away?” asked Madam Pomfrey.

Harry looked around the hospital wing. “Are we the only ones here?”

“Yes, except your friends and family over there.”

“Harry lay back. I’ll explain it,” stated Ginny firmly.

When he lay back, he realized just how tired he was. His left shoulder was throbbing in pain with every heartbeat. Madam Pomfrey was over him waving her wand. “Go on explain.”

“We are soul bonded. I am mentally connected to Harry and he is connected to me, except my mental and emotional connection is stronger. I can also help people, not only Harry, by taking their pain away and even slightly healing them, particularly if the damage is from magic. When Harry was taken away with a Portkey, I was able to sense him and help him fight off the Crucio curses he was getting.”

Madam Pomfrey stopped waving her wand over him and stared at Ginny. “You were able to take his pain away from miles away?”

“Even wards can’t stop our connection.”

“Did you experience muscle spasms as if you had been actually tortured?”


“That was very dangerous thing for you to do considering your condition.”

Harry thought the way Madam Pomfrey phrased that statement was a little odd. “What do you mean by Ginny’s condition?”

The nurse looked at him then at Ginny for a second. “You will need to drink the same Potion as Ginny.” She said walking towards the tray.

“Why are you not answering me?” Harry asked the nurse. He looked at his wife. “Ginny, what did she mean?”

Ginny blushed a little as she opened her mouth to say something, but Madam Pomfrey interrupted her.

“Wait, Mr. Potter needs to drink this. Finish it just like your wife did.”

Harry took the glass from the nurse. He knew what they weren’t telling him. He just didn’t want to think about or maybe acknowledge what it meant. He drank the potion with little effort. It might be the only Potion that was actually pleasantly flavored.

“Ginny,” he said to her as he pushed up on one arm to stare in her eyes.

“We are going to have a baby, Harry,” she said with tears in her eyes.

Harry stared at her for a second, before collapsing back onto the bed. A horrible pain pulsed through his head. It felt like his head was going to explode and his stomach was roiling as if he was going to get sick. A small hand pressed against his forehead. The pain was starting to subside with her efforts. After a few seconds, he was able to open his eyes. He saw Madam Pomfrey with a puzzled expression on her face as she waved her wand over Harry and Ginny.

“Just relax love, I’ll take the pain away,” she whispered in his ear. “I wanted to tell you today, but things got so crazy this morning. We wanted children, didn’t we? I — I thought you wanted children.”

He was going to be a father. He had a group of murderers out to kill him at any cost, an entire society depending on him to save them, and now he was going to be a father. Several pulses of pain shot through his head. He could feel Ginny dulling them. He felt terrible. Not from the agony that he was enduring, but because he hadn’t responded to support her. She deserved support, not to have to take care of him.

“I am sorry,” he whispered.

“Shh, be quiet, remember I know what you are about to say,” she whispered to him.

He looked up and saw her smiling at him. She was so unbelievably marvelous. “What are we going to name him?”

“I thought Beatrice would be a nice name for HER.”

“Beatrice, he would be teased without mercy all his life,” he said as he pulled her close to him and kissed her.

A scraping noise and the sensation of magic made Harry glance up, he saw Madam Pomfrey create a screen to close off their bed.

“Why don’t you two get some rest,” the nurse said before slipping out.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

“Silencio,” said Albus Dumbledore with a wave of his wand.

“Albus will they be all right?” asked a nervous Molly Weasley.

“Poppy will be able to heal the after effects of their ordeal,” he told her. He wasn’t sure what had happened. The past thirty minutes had been so confusing and he needed to hear what actually happened. “Now that Harry and Ginny are both safe, does anyone know what exactly happened?”

“Ginny said something about a fake Percy and a Portkey,” offered Bill.

“I can only assume that a Death Eater had used Polyjuice and changed into Percy to get close enough to use a Portkey to take Harry away. I wonder where they took him.” Albus looked at the rest of the people standing there waiting along with him for any answers.

“Ginny was under too much stress and pain to get much else out of her.” Bill said apologetically.

Severus Snape opened the doors to the infirmary. He made eye contact with the Headmaster. Albus knew this was something important.

“Excuse me, I need to speak with Severus,” he said as he left the others waiting in the infirmary.

He closed the doors as he walked past Severus. The former Death Eater fell in beside him as they walked away from the infirmary. They walked a short distance, before stepping inside of an empty classroom.

“You needed to say something, Severus?”

“What happened to Potter today?” questioned the Potion Master.

“He was abducted for a short time period.”

“Were they able to use him to locate the Dark Lord?”

“I cannot see how that would be possible.”

“Something is happening,” Severus hissed. He pulled up his left sleeve to show the dark mark changing colors and writhing on his arm. “It is getting stronger by the minute. It is almost as if the Dark Lord has returned.”

Albus didn’t respond to Severus at first. He clasped his hands behind his back and started to pace. “Did Lucius tell you how he was going to locate the Dark Lord when he had captured Harry?”

“No, I assumed he would use torture and Leglimency.”

“He didn’t mention any ceremonies involving Harry.”


“Have you noticed Lucius acting differently recently?”

“Lucius Malfoy wouldn’t waste his time on someone of my social standing. Any associations I have with him involved missions for the Dark Lord.”

Albus didn’t respond immediately. He didn’t want to tell Severus about the Horcruxes. He didn’t want him to have that information in case his cover gets blown or Voldemort would be able to penetrate his mental shields. He kept pacing as he thought about the wound on Harry’s arm. Had Lucius discovered the secret about Lily’s sacrifice or should he ask the question; did Tom figure it out?

“Headmaster,” gasped Severus. He had his sleeve pulled up on his left arm. The Dark Mark almost looked to burning with a black fire. Severus’ was twitching from the pain. “The Dark Lord calls.”

Albus closed his eyes. That was a sentence he never wanted to hear again. They were making marvelous progress with dissecting Tom’s history and figuring out where he might hide his Horcruxes. Harry had the right idea: destroy the Horcruxes before Tom regenerates his body.

“Headmaster, I must go to him if I am going to maintain his trust.”

“Then go, if you are prepared for what awaits.”

Severus’s sallow complexion paled as he stared at Albus. He knew this would be a painful reunion.

“I will update you when I return.”

Albus watched as Severus left the room. There was nothing he could do now for Severus’ fate was in the hands of Lord Voldemort. He had to see what was going on in the infirmary. He wanted to know where they had taken Harry, and what happened to him there.

When he returned to the infirmary, there was a screen around Harry and Ginny’s bed. Everyone was still there waiting for him.

“Poppy said they needed to get some sleep.” stated Alastor Moody.

Albus knew better than try to override Poppy’s decisions within her infirmary. He needed to discuss what these people knew. “While they are asleep, let’s discuss what happened today.”

“All the students were able to return to the castle unharmed,” stated his Deputy Headmistress.

“The Death Eaters weren’t very good,” stated Alastor. “I swear some of them were still in school. They showed no experience in combat.”

“These were not the inner circle followers,” said Remus. “They were not even casting that many advanced spells. I agree with Alastor. They may have been out of school for only a year or two. They were able to hit the students with minor jinxes like Leglocker Hexes and other simple spells. I realize that they were actually creating a diversion, but I think the fifth and sixth year students could have taken them.”

After Remus had finished no one else said anything for several minutes. “Does anyone have anything else to say?” he asked the members of the Order of the Phoenix. No one spoke up. “I guess we will need to wait until Harry and Ginny wake up to get more details of what happened today.”

As Albus was walking back to his office, he was also thinking about what Severus would tell him. Was Voldemort back in the flesh? If he was, then it was a good thing that Harry insisted that they start the Order of Phoenix this past summer. If he was; how did he do it, or how did Lucius do it? Did they use Harry’s blood to regenerate the Dark Lord? If Tom realized that Harry was saved by a blood sacrifice, then he would want to use his blood to override the protections. A small smile formed on Albus’s lips as he thought about the possible ramifications of that simple little act.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry woke up with his wife in his arms. He had bad dreams again. His forehead ached as if the scar had been cut into his skin again and was healing. The dreams were strange. He had glimpses of wizards in long black robes with skull like masks covering their faces and they were bowing to him. He loathed them all, because they all failed him. He remembered the torture he subjected them to and hearing them scream for mercy. The thing he remembered that disturbed him the most was seeing his hand point the wand and deliver the curse. Even though it felt like his hand, it wasn’t his hand. It was pale as bone, and the fingers were long and spidery.

“Good Morning,” Ginny said in a breathy whisper.

“Good morning, Mum,” he replied with a smile. She looked at him and practically beamed with happiness.

“You are not upset?”

“No, love, I thought we decided to have children now instead of later.”

Ginny rolled and was on top of him. She ran her fingers through his hair and kissed him passionately. Harry was caught up in her passionate actions, until he remembered where they were at.

“Ginny, maybe we should wait until we are in our room,” he whispered, as he pulled away from the kiss.

She blushed prettily at his comment, before rolling off him and curling up next to him. “I supposed we should tell Madam Pomfrey that we are awake.”

“I guess that would be the proper thing to do, but I don’t want to take any more Potions.” He stopped talking as the screen around them rattled for a second, before Madam Pomfrey opened it.

“You two didn’t sleep long,” she said as she pulled her wand and started to wave it over Harry. Her brow furrowed and she muttered something under her breath. She walked over and to Ginny and repeated casting diagnostic charms. She looked even more concerned as she checked Ginny’s status.

“What is wrong, Madam Pomfrey?” asked Harry.

“This can’t be right,” she said. “Are you two holding hands?” She looked at them and realized that they weren’t. “Budge over Harry.”

Harry moved as far as he could away from Ginny, and she did the same. The nurse started casting diagnostic charms again. The entire time she was doing this she had that strange look on her face. With a huff, she stopped checking Ginny and went to Harry. She stood over him waving her wand, but her expression changed from confusion to disbelief. She stopped casting the diagnostic charms and put her hands on her hips.

“You have been asleep for only two hours and by all my tests you two are completely healthy,” she said obviously surprised. “Only two hours ago, both of your nervous systems were on overload and your magic core was unstable. What happened in two hours?”

“Ginny’s powers,” Harry stated with a smile. He saw his wife blush at his comment.

“I don’t know much about soul bonds, but I suppose any type of magic that can make you two age like you did could heal you so quickly. Don’t get any funny ideas about doing anything dangerous for the rest of the day. I want you two to take it easy and stay in your quarters. I also want you to take two more doses of that Potion I gave you.

“Finally, I want to see you, Mrs. Potter, tomorrow morning. We need to start your prenatal care,” stated the nurse.

“I’ll be here,” said Ginny.

An hour later, they were sitting in the Headmasters office meeting with the Order of Phoenix. Albus was sitting behind his desk, while Mr. and Mrs. Weasley were fussing over him and Ginny. Remus, Sirius and Bill sat calmly to his right, while Professor McGonagall was standing by the fireplace. Hagrid was standing by the door. Alastor Moody sat beside the Headmasters desk. Staring at Harry and Ginny.

“I am glad you are both in good shape and out of the infirmary,” stated the Headmaster. “Your healing seemed rather remarkable.”

“They should be back in the infirmary, Albus,” stated Mrs. Weasley. “I can’t believe Poppy would release them this early.”

“We are fine, Mum,” said Ginny exasperated. “Let’s get this over with so we can relax.”

“Harry, what can you tell us about what happened to you?” asked Albus.

“I was standing by the entrance to the Warded area protecting the students as they ran from the village. A person looking like Percy ran up to me and said they needed me in the village to help with the attack. I told him that I couldn’t leave my post, when they grabbed my arm. He had a glove on his hand and it must have been a Portkey, because I was immediately transported to a cemetery by Little Hangleton.

“There I was attacked by several people. They were trying to hold me, I guess. They started off by hitting me with Crucios then tried to tie me up. I was able to fight them off, but during that time period someone stabbed me in the shoulder.

“I think it might have been Lucius Malfoy. I turned and thought I saw him before he ducked behind the Headstone I was standing against. He seemed to be trying to save my blood in a vial or something. When I turned, the cloak blocked some of the curses effects and Ginny was able to pull me to her.

“Does that seem right?” he said to Ginny.

“Yeah, the best that I can remember,” she replied.

“Percy’s certainly not working with the Death Eaters?” asked a shocked Arthur Weasley.

“No, it was one of them using Polyjuice. I think it was Judson. Malfoy called for Judson to help him after I first arrived and the person who looked like Percy responded,” he explained. Arthur and Molly physically relaxed.

“Why would they transport you to a cemetery at Little Hangleton, and can you take us back there?” asked Moody.

“I know where it is Alastor,” said the Headmaster. “I would like to go there and investigate; Alastor, Bill, Remus, and Sirius would you accompany me there? Harry and Ginny please return to your quarters and rest, you two had quite the ordeal today. I will contact you when we return. Molly and Arthur can you stay with them to ensure they actually rest. Minerva, the school is yours until we return.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Albus walked past the Anti-Apparition wards of Hogwarts. He turned to address the other four people with him. “I will lead the Apparition and the rest of you will link arms. I am going to take you to a spot away from the cemetery. Be ready to fight. Severus was called away by Voldemort. We may be Apparating into the meeting of Voldemort and all his followers.”

“Well that is just bloody wonderful,” growled Moody.

“Yes, Alastor I agree,” he said to the group. “Alastor grab my arm and everyone grab an arm and let’s form a line; ready, one, two, three.”

They all disappeared with one distinct pop. They reappeared at the edge of the woods surrounding the cemetery at Little Hangleton. Albus looked out over the cemetery and saw the Riddle house standing tall against the setting sun.

“Bill, can you check to see if there are any concealment wards,” Albus whispered to him.

“I know spells that will do that, but they will reveal our location too.” Bill whispered in return.

“Let’s take the chance. If they are close, they would have heard the Apparition.”

Bill stepped forward and waved his wand in a circular motion above his head with his eyes closed. Pulses of blue light emanated from his wand, they flew out in large blue arcs away from them in all directions. After about the fourth pass of his wand Bill opened his eyes. The last arc glided away from him. It passed through solid objects, and kept going. If there had been a ward, the blue arc would have returned to them.

“It looks all clear,” Bill announced to everyone.

“Follow me, and keep your wands ready,” Albus told them. The tension among them was so thick that he was afraid that they may hex some innocent person walking through paying respects to their dead relatives. “Alastor, you need to be at the ready. Remember Constant Vigilance,” Albus teased the grizzled old Auror. Moody just grumbled under his breath, while the others chuckled at the humor.

He led them along a path to where he thought Tom’s parents had been buried. His eyes were darting from one side to the other waiting for a spell to be shot at them. They walked through the oldest section of the graveyard past headstones so weathered that the names were no longer legible. Albus’ nerves were getting to him. The graveyard was quiet, too quiet. They should be hearing birds chirping, or some other sounds, but everything was quiet as death.

They walked up a small hill to a newer section of the graveyard. It was still old dating back fifty to a hundred years, but much newer than the section they had just walked through. There ahead of them was a large ominous headstone. The Riddle family was murdered over fifty years ago, by their estranged son/grandson, Lord Voldemort. The Headstone with the carved statue of the Grim Reaper added to the fear and mystery of the incident.

Albus raised his hand to stop everyone else. They all stopped without a sound. He listened carefully for any sounds from anyone waiting for them. When he didn’t hear anything, he started forward. They came upon a strange, grisly scene.

There were seven bodies lying on the ground. They all appeared to be dead, apparent victims of the Killing Curse. By them was a large scarred area, it appeared that an explosion had scorched the grass and left small pieces of metal everywhere. By the Riddle headstone, the ground was torn up like someone had dug something up out of the ground.

“What do we do now?” asked Alastor.

“Investigate it like it was a crime scene,” replied Albus. “Alastor try to determine how they died. Remus, Bill, and Sirius move out and look for any other evidence.”

“I’ll find where Harry was at,” said Sirius. He kicked off his boots and cloak before changing into his dog animagus form. Bill and Remus moved outward in different directions looking behind headstones with their wands at the ready.

Albus looked at the scorched area. He cast a couple of minor charms and noticed something strange. The metal seemed to have unicorn blood on them. He looked at some of the pieces of metal and noticed that it may have been a large cauldron. He noticed more blood and a discarded vial in the grass under the some of the broken metal.

“Bloody Hell,” shouted Alastor. “They are Inferi!”

Albus turned around and saw the seven corpses rising up off the ground. Their movements were jerky and wooden. Alastor was walking away from them. Bill and Remus had turned around with their wands raised.

“I guess we should burn them,” said Alastor.

The Inferus that had been Judson raised his arm and pointed at Albus. Its mouth opened but didn’t move as the voice of Voldemort was heard. “You will die Dumbledore. I, Lord Voldemort, will destroy you, after I kill Harry Potter.”

The Inferi started moving towards them all going in different directions.

“Incendio,” said Alastor. The Inferi burst into flames. They kept moving woodenly as flames consumed them. Within minutes all of the Inferi were smoldering piles of ash on the ground.

“I guess there isn’t any doubt that Voldemort has been resurrected,” said Remus. “What are you doing?” Remus asked Padfoot as he walked past Remus with his nose to the ground.

Padfoot continued over to the remnants of the cauldron and sniffed around for several seconds, before turning back into Sirius. He put his boots and robe back on before speaking.

“I didn’t know we were going to have a campfire,” Sirius said indicating the burning Inferi. “I found where Harry was, and some strange things. I was able to pick up the scent of his blood over there and follow it back here to this burn mark.”

“It appears that Voldemort used Harry’s blood to resurrect himself in a dark ritual,” said Albus. “It was as I feared. Lord Voldemort has regained his body. I don’t think we will find anything else useful here, let us return to Hogwarts.”

“I am going back to headquarters,” said Alastor. “I want to see where everyone is at. I bet that is where he is.”

“Alastor, move with caution and don’t do anything rash,” Albus advised his old friend.

“You know me, I am the epitome of caution,” laughed Alastor, before Apparating away.

The rest Apparated back to the Hogwarts and returned to Albus’ office. When he opened the door Severus Snape was waiting for him.

“Someone, please, get Harry and Ginny,” he asked.

“I’ll be right back,” said Bill. He took off running down the stairs.

Albus moved to his desk. No one spoke as they all found seats. Severus looked in terrible shape. It was obvious that he had been tortured. He was sipping on something as he sat there. Occasionally he would glance over at Remus and Sirius, but he didn’t speak at all.

“Do you need Poppy to bring you anything?” he asked Severus.

“I have what I need here,” he said indicating a silver goblet of something.

“When Harry and Ginny make it here, we can start our discussion of today’s events,” Albus said to everyone in the room. The minutes that it took them to make it to his office seemed like hours. Albus wasn’t sure how Harry and Ginny would react to everything.

The door opened and Harry, Ginny, and Bill Weasley entered. As they were taking their seats, Harry and Ginny were looking around the room assessing everyone. Ginny’s gaze seemed to be locked on Severus. Harry sat down, but Ginny walked over to Severus. She reached out and touched his forehead. He reacted by pulling away from her.

“Let me heal you,” she told him.

“I have everything I need here,” he replied.

“I can stop the pain faster, let me heal you,” she said again.

She reached out and touched his forehead. He reacted to her touch and even looked hesitantly at Harry and the others, but he didn’t pull away from her. Albus watched as the effects of being tortured seemed to melt away from Severus. Within seconds he looked normal, and Ginny pulled her hand away from his forehead.

She didn’t say anything else to him, but went and sat down next to Harry on a chair that magically expanded to be a settee as she approached it.

“Thank you,” said Severus. He looked unsure of what to say or how to react. Albus knew of his past and sometimes wondered if he had ever had someone treat him with kindness other than Lily when they were young.

“Let’s recount everything that happened today. So we all know the same facts,” stated Albus. “The attack on Hogsmeade happened as predicted to capture Harry. No students were hurt, but they were able to get Harry, by using Polyjuice and a Portkey. Harry was taken to a cemetery where he was attacked, but Ginny was able to save him from that and return him here.

“I went to the cemetery with Bill, Remus, Sirius, and Alastor. We found the place where they had taken Harry. It appears that a dark ritual was performed to resurrect Lord Voldemort. Judson, who Harry believes was the person who had used the Polyjuice, and the six who had attacked the Weasley home were found dead at the scene. When we were investigating the scene, they became animated. They were made into Inferi. They gave me a message from Voldemort. He said that he was going to kill me after he kills Harry. We destroyed the Inferi and returned here.

“Severus, what do you have to add?”

Severus looked around the room again. It was evident he didn’t like everyone hearing what he had to say.

“It is true. The Dark Lord has returned. His appearance is different than before. He is thinner. His skin is so pale and almost transparent. His eyes are scarlet with slits for pupils, and his nose is flat like a snake’s. He is still very strong magically and as cruel as ever.

“He called all his remaining followers bearing the Dark Mark together. He tortured them individually according to what he deemed necessary, and then he gave us each an assignment. He is intent on raising an army of dark wizards, witches, and creatures to take over.”

Severus sat there and stared straight forward not saying anything or making eye contact with anyone. Albus knew there was more, but he didn’t want to say it.

“What were you assigned, Severus?”

“He wants me to remain a spy in the Order of the Phoenix.”

Albus was tired and didn’t have time for Severus’s hesitance. “What else, Severus?”

The Potion master looked at him and around the room before speaking. “I am to devise a plan to kill you. He wants it so that the students in Slytherin house actually are the ones to carry it out. He wants the school to be overthrown so he can be in complete control of it.”

Remus and Sirius started protesting. Even Harry and Ginny were commenting about how he can’t do that. Albus ignored all of them. He rose from his seat and walked to a window in his office that looked out over the school. He ignored the conversation behind him everyone seemed to be arguing, but no one was actually disagreeing.

He stared out at the school. It was night and the windows of Hogwarts were sparkling in the night. After all these years the school was just as beautiful as when he first saw it. Then he was crossing the lake in a boat and he was looking up at it in wonder. His perspective of the school has changed over the years, but his love for it and the students within its walls have not.

“I realize we cannot have the Headmaster murdered by his own students. I must have a plan. No one fails the Dark Lord without punishment or losing their life.”

“You owe him your life!” shouted Sirius.

“Silence,” shouted Albus. Everyone stopped talking and stared at him. “He wants to kill Harry first. We will protect him, and that will delay my death. Severus, you must devise a good viable plan for Voldemort, and if necessary carry it out.”

The room erupted with disagreements again. Albus raised his hand to quell the noise. “I have always known that he would come after me. I am not afraid of Death. Severus, promise me that you will not allow a student to destroy their soul, if there is still hope for them. If need be you must kill me. The most important thing until Voldemort is finally destroyed is that you, Severus, be one of his favorites. You can protect the students of this school when I am gone.”

(1) Bone of thy father unknowingly taken
(2) Flesh of thy servant willingly given
(3) Blood of thy enemy forcefully taken

Back to index

Chapter 19: Failed

Author's Notes: Harry and Ginny rethinks what to do next with everything that has happened.

Harry filed out of the Headmaster’s office with everyone else. He was too shocked at what the Headmaster had just said to reply. He may have had disagreements with the Dumbledore’s methods in the past, but he never wished him to die. He had accepted his possible fate without protest. His only wish was for Snape to kill him to ensure Snape’s standing with the Dark Lord. He wanted Snape to be in a position to protect the students of Hogwarts.

It was another incident of manipulation by the Headmaster, but it was for the noblest of reasons. He was genuinely concerned about the welfare of the Hogwarts students. Snape never said that he would carry out the order, but he didn’t have much of a choice. Whatever happened with Dumbledore, it would probably be months or, hopefully, years away, and so everything can be discussed and rethought before that time.

They silently walked through the halls of the school. Students who saw them seemed to sense their grave attitude and moved away to the walls of the hallways. It wasn’t curfew and the students weren’t doing anything wrong. It was probably intimidating to see so many teachers and assistants with cold hard expressions on their faces walking in a group.

They stopped at the top of a staircase. Snape would need to go down to the dungeons to his living space, while Harry and the rest would continue along on this floor to their living spaces.

“I will see you tomorrow,” drawled Snape. He seemed to speak to the entire group, but he was looking directly at Ginny.

“Yes, Professor, see you at breakfast,” replied Sirius with none of his usual contempt.

Everyone seemed to notice Sirius’s tone and they all looked at him. Even Snape raised an eyebrow at his former nemesis. Sirius didn’t react to the looks from everyone. He just stared back with a neutral expression. Snape almost smiled at Sirius, before walking away to the dungeons.

Sirius didn’t say anything until Snape was completely out of hearing range. “What, if I were to take the mickey out of him, you would yell at me for being insensitive,” he told them.

“Well mate, in the past you were always insensitive to Severus,” said Remus.

“No I was not,” sputtered Sirius. “I was always just taking the mickey out of him. He just reacted so well that I couldn’t stop myself.”

Everyone laughed at his comment. “I believe you, but I want to get to my quarters,” said Bill. “I have papers to grade.”

They all stepped out together. Harry smiled as Sirius, Remus, and Bill took defensive positions around Ginny and him. No one said what to do, they just did it. They almost didn’t need to look at each other as they all knew exactly what to do. Sirius was on their right hand side, while Remus was on their left. When they came to a corner in the hallway, one or the other would step forward and check what was down the hallway before he or Ginny reached the corner. They had just negotiated the last turn to the hallway where their rooms were located, when Ginny froze in her tracks. She had a look of terror on her face.

“What’s wrong?” he asked her. Ginny looked at him wide-eyed. Everyone else noticed her extreme behavior. She gripped his hand so tight that he thought the bones were going to snap. “Gin, you are scaring me. What is wrong?”

“She knows,” she whispered out. All the blood had drained from her face.

Harry was confused by the response. “Who knows what?”

“My Mum, you prat. She knows because Madam Pomfrey is in there,” she said with venom.

Harry was still looking at her with a puzzled expression. He wasn’t sure what was so wrong with her parents knowing something, and then he realized what she was talking about.

“Is your Mum angry?” he asked her.

She laughed at his question. “Angry, no not really, she is just overly excited about her first…,” Ginny stopped talking slapped a hand over her mouth.

Harry was relieved that Ginny didn’t say that she was pregnant. He wasn’t sure how her brother would react. He couldn’t get that lucky. Bill who was overly inquisitive and intelligent had figured it out.

“Ginny, are you pregnant?”

She bit her lip and looked up at Harry for help.

“Yes, we are,” he said with false confidence. He stared at Bill waiting for him to say something. Ginny was obviously worried about everyone finding out about her pregnancy. He wasn’t sure why, because she had wanted this and even spoke to her parents about it.

“Was this planned?” asked Bill.

“Yes, we need to ensure the Potter line doesn’t end if we fail to destroy Voldemort,” Ginny said. “We even told Mum and Dad about it.”

Bill stared at the both of them. He looked at Sirius and Remus. Harry waited as Bill’s expression changed several times from anger to happiness and then an expression that looked faintly like fear. “We can talk about this situation later and what it will mean for our mission. I am guessing that you should go in there and face Mum. I am going to do the rounds of the castle to ensure everything is secure.”

Remus looked at Sirius before walking away. “If Bill is walking the rounds, I will make sure no one tries to attack him.”

Sirius looked lost for a second before following Remus. “I will keep an eye on his back.”

“I can’t believe you three are Gryffindors,” shouted Ginny, at their retreating forms.

“We also have some Ravenclaw tendencies,” shouted Bill back at her.

“I guess we face Mum on our own,” she sighed.

Harry lifted her hand up to his lips and kissed it. “I am sure it won’t be that bad. I will be there right beside you through everything.”

Ginny rolled her eyes at him. “The only good thing about this is we are living at Hogwarts, so Mum can’t be pestering me every day about my pregnancy.”

Harry laughed at her comment. From being around the Weasley’s he learned that Molly was overly protective, but he could not see her being nearly that extreme. “We will need to leave and stop by the Burrow once a week. She should be happy about that.”

Ginny reached for the door knob of their living area. “You can be so thick at times.”

He was offended at her comment, but didn’t have time to reply. The door opened and it seemed that Molly had been standing on the other side of the door waiting for them.

“Where have you been?” Molly Weasley asked them. She did not wait for an answer. “Ginevra, you need to take care of yourself, considering your condition. Did you know this before you decided to get into a battle? That was very irresponsible of you. One Dark Spell and…,” Molly stopped talking as she whipped a tear from her eye.

“You must be more careful, get plenty of sleep, and eat properly. You must think of your child, too.”

Molly burst into tears and hugged Ginny. Harry stared as Ginny also burst into tears and hugged her mother back. He remembered Ginny saying that her empathy was strongest with him and her mum. It appeared that Ginny felt the same emotions as her mum. Now he understood why she was so hesitant to face her Mum alone without Bill, Sirius, and Remus being here. They would have been a distraction.

Molly pulled away from Ginny and held her face with both of her hands. “I understand that Poppy will be checking on you during your pregnancy. I supposed it won’t be any problem for you to come here for the appointments. You and Harry can have Bill’s room…,”

Harry cut Molly off. “We will be living here until the end of the term,” he said. He tried not to be too forceful, but he wanted to let her know that they were not leaving the castle.

Arthur sat quietly in the corner of the room sipping on a cup of tea. He looked at Harry with a weary look and shook his head, before taking another sip of tea.

“You can’t stay in the school if Ginny is in the condition she is,” said Molly.

“Madam Pomfrey can check to ensure that everything is fine, and we can stop over every weekend. You won’t be left out of this,” said Harry. He figured this should placate her.

“No, Ginny must come home. She is still very young and needs her mother’s help,” stated Molly.

“Madam Pomfrey can notify you if there is any reason to be concerned,” said Harry quickly, he never thought he would be negotiating like this. “We can stop by twice a week.”
“I am here only to ensure you take your potions, which I see you haven’t,” stated Madam Pomfrey. She poured out two helpings of the healing potion. “Here, drink up and get plenty of sleep. I must get back to my other patients.”

Harry took his vial of Potion. He knew Madam Pomfrey didn’t have anyone else in the infirmary. Molly had already grabbed the Potion from Madam Pomfrey for Ginny. She nearly shoved Ginny in a chair by the fireplace saying that she should be off her feet and promptly demanded that she take the Potion. Why didn’t he see the possibility of Ginny’s Mum being smothering. Was it naïve on his part?

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry sat in the large overstuffed chair by the fire brushing Ginny’s hair. She was sitting on the floor between his legs with one arm on each of his knees. He gently pulled the brush through her long silky hair. It had been an hour since her Mum and Dad left. He didn’t know if the terrified trio, as he and Ginny had decided to call Bill, Sirius, and Remus, had returned from their sudden inspection of Hogwarts halls. Ginny had barely spoken since her parents left. He wasn’t sure why. Her Mum might have upset her with her fussing and mollycoddling, or maybe it had been the day they had. It didn’t matter what the reason was. He knew that she was upset and doing this seemed to calm her.

“You can stop now if you want,” she told him. “I have calmed down. Thank you!”

She kneeled between his legs and kissed him gently on the lips. She crawled up in the chair with him and curled up. He wrapped his arms around her. He was unsure what to say right now. This day had been so overwhelming. So many things went wrong. They had always planned on defeating Voldemort before he had regained his physical form. Now he had returned, they still hadn’t destroyed any Horcruxes except the diary, and now Ginny was pregnant.

They were going to have a child. He knew if he had defeated Voldemort they would start a family, but he was unsure about before Voldemort was defeated. When she first approached him about the possibility of starting a family, he was a little affronted. He thought that she didn’t think he was good enough to defeat Voldemort.

Now that Voldemort was back in the flesh, he wasn’t too sure he could defeat him, before being killed. They had a plan and were starting to execute it, but Voldemort’s will and his followers had thwarted Harry’s plan.

He had failed to realize the extent of Voldemort’s desire to rule and overcome death. It was a silly thing to do, because if Voldemort didn’t have such a strong desire to defeat death, then he wouldn’t have created the Horcruxes. The only thing they can do now is reassess where they are on the mission and move forward. The Horcruxes must be destroyed whether Voldemort had regained is body or if he was still a bodiless specter.

“You’re right we still need to continue to find and destroy the Horcruxes,” Ginny whispered in his ear. “We will need to be more cautious now that he has returned.”

Harry had been brooding and focused on his thoughts while staring into the fire that he forgot Ginny was sitting on his lap. She shifted and looked at him slightly affronted.

“Sorry, I was so caught up in my failures that I even forgot about you,” he whispered miserably.

“Harry, you didn’t fail and I am not all that offended,” she replied quickly. “Voldemort caught us off guard this time. None of us died; most importantly you and I can still finish this mission.”

“People did die,” he said, shocked that she forgot about the seven people at the graveyard. They might not be any of their friends, but they were still people. “Soon others will also die. Maybe even some of our friends and family. Don’t you care?”

Ginny shoved him and jumped off his lap. The light from the fireplace made her hair look like it was fire, as she stood there and glared at him.

“Don’t you ever say that ‘I don’t care’ Harry James Potter! Don’t you ever think it again! I care some of the people who are going to die will probably be my family. It won’t be because of you, but because they will fight for what is right. They will join the Order to defeat Voldemort. If that happens, it will rip my heart out, but we will still have hope because you and I are alive to finish him.”

Tears leaked out of her eyes and she savagely wiped them away and she turned away from Harry. “If I didn’t care, we wouldn’t even be here. I would do anything in my power to keep you away from this fight. We could have a rather nice life hiding in the Potter estates. We could take family and friends to live with us, but that would make me and us cowards.”

Leaning down and placing her hands on his knees and staring in his eyes she whispered to him. “I am not a coward. You are not a coward. Together we must face this prophecy, Harry. I am willing to do that. I am not afraid to die as long as our child is born first. Until that happens we must do whatever is necessary to find and destroy the Horcruxes. Our mission hasn’t changed, only the conditions surrounding it.”

Harry was mesmerized by her intense gaze. She nearly crackled with defiance and determination, but there was also fear in her eyes. It was the fear that made him realize how much she meant everything she said. She knew the risks, but she was determined to face the dangers and accomplish this seemingly impossible task. Taking her face in his hands he gently kissed her on the lips.

“I am sorry that I am so afraid,” he said to her.

“It’s all right to be afraid. Don’t ever quit on me, Harry, and don’t think that every bad thing is your fault. I could sense your time with your horrid relatives coming out and I don’t like it.”

She plopped down on his lap again and leaned in against him. “I am not saying that I will never feel the same thing that you just felt. When I do, don’t be afraid to shout some sense into me. I think we will need each other more now that he is back than even before.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

The next morning Harry and Ginny woke up late and ate breakfast in their room. Neither one wanted to go to the great hall. They could only imagine the rumors running through the Hogwarts grapevine. After breakfast they took a slow walk to the infirmary. Ginny was feeling a little apprehensive about her first actual prenatal exam. She could sense that Harry was a little nervous also, but she couldn’t sense what it was about.

They walked into the infirmary to find Madam Pomfrey sitting in her office reading the Daily Prophet. She looked up at them before folding the paper neatly and placing it on her desk.

“Come into my office,” she called out to them. “I was wondering when you would make it for your follow up to yesterday’s ordeal. Come on now; pip, pip,” she called to them.

Ginny looked at Harry, who shrugged his shoulders. He seemed to be confused by her strange actions. Ginny couldn’t sense any malice from her, but she seemed a bit nervous about something. They walked into the office as directed.

“Please close the door, Harry?” asked the school nurse.

Ginny watched Harry close the door.

“Now cast an Imperturbable Charm on it and don’t make a show of it,” the nurse demanded. She had a stern look on her face, but her voice was filled with compassion. “I am going to drop the shades in this room so no one can see what we are doing.”

In just seconds they were completely closed up securely in Madam Pomfrey’s office. Ginny could sense Harry’s anxiety. He still had his wand in his hand. Madam Pomfrey looked down at the wand tightly gripped in his hand.

“I am who I say I am, but you can keep your wand out, Mr. Potter,” said Madam Pomfrey. “These are dangerous times we are living in. Especially for you two, or should I say three,” she said with a hint of a smile.

“Your exams will be scheduled so that no one can know about them. We don’t want the wrong people learning of your condition Mrs. Potter. If you ever come to an appointment and I ask Mr. Potter to put his wand away. Stun me! You can’t take a chance that someone got to me. Do you understand that?”

“Yeah, I appreciate your honesty. I have a request,” Harry said. The Nurse looked at him waiting for the request. “Don’t use any nonverbal spells during the exam.”

The Nurse looked at him and small smile formed on her lips. “Very shrewd, I will remember that. All right let’s get you examined Mrs. Potter.” With a few waves of her wand and a few Transfiguration spells on her desk, Madam Pomfrey created an exam bed for Ginny to lie down on.

Ginny laid there listening to all the incantations Madam Pomfrey was using to test her. She was able to pick out about half the words of the spells and it gave her an idea what the nurse was checking. Several of the spells seemed to penetrate into her womb and gave a strange sensation. It shocked her at first, and when she turned and looked at Madam Pomfrey, the nurse smiled and reassured her that it was normal. The exam seemed to take forever, but Ginny knew it was her anxiety making seem so long. It was over after only five minutes.

“All right, Mrs. Potter everything seems fine. You are healthy and I see no abnormalities that might cause you problems with the pregnancy. You must make sure to not over exert yourself physically or magically. Your baby is tethered to you in both ways.

“You appear to be just over five weeks. So your due date would be around, June 15th; right around final exams. It is still too early to determine the sex of the baby. Do you want to know?”

“Yes,” said Ginny.

“No,” replied Harry. They looked at each other and chuckled.

“I guess you two don’t think exactly alike with that bond,” chuckled the nurse.

“We are bonded because we complete each other, not because we are identical,” said Harry.

“That is very interesting. You are both different, but you are what the other needs. So you two talk it over and decide if you want to know the sex of the baby. Ginny, if you experience any sharp sudden pains, any long dull pains accompanied by discharge or bleeding, contact me and I will exam you. I mean day or night.

“I would like you to take a prenatal potion, but there is a problem. It is very tricky to make and it is dispensed by St. Mungo’s. I can’t get it here because none of the students should be getting pregnant. I can’t even get the entire procedure to make it, because it is closely guarded secret.”

“Why is that?” asked Harry.

“Abraxas Malfoy created it.” The nurse walked towards her bookshelf as she spoke over her shoulder. “The Malfoy’s had a legal magical contract drawn up that no one can make this with paying them royalties. No one can divulge how the Potion is made without the Malfoy’s approving it.”

“Have they had people arrested for revealing the method of making the Potions?”

“No, Ginny, the contract makes the person who tries to divulge the brewing method to forget about it and everything else from the point the learned the procedures.”

Madam Pomfrey placed a book on the bedside table. “Here is the list of ingredients. As you can see they are all low grade poisons. Somehow you must be able to extract or neutralize the common poisons. I wouldn’t be telling you this if it wasn’t important. The Potion also helps bind your magical essence to that of your unborn child.”

“The last thing I need to tell you is protect one another. You two are the most important people in the magical world right now. I might just be a nurse in a school, but I know you two are at the center of the fight against Voldemort. We are all depending on the two of you to defeat him.”

Ginny stared at Harry. How did she know about the Prophecies?

Madam Pomfrey tutted and shook her head. “It doesn’t take Albus Dumbledore to see how important you are. If you weren’t important why would Voldemort be after you like he is? Trust no one but yourselves. Now off with you. I am sure the Headmaster will want to talk to you today.”

The blinds gathered up at the top of the windows in her office. Harry silently canceled the Imperturbable Charm on the office, before they left the office. There was no one in the infirmary and only a few students in the halls. It seemed almost too quiet, but it was a late morning on a Sunday. Most of the diligent students were studying and rest were either sleeping or playing games with their friends.

The entire way to their living quarters Ginny was reaching out with her Empathy sensing people around her. There weren’t many students or teachers near them as they walked. She could sense Harry also trying to sense if anyone was trying to cast a spell at them. She was starting to get depressed now. Last night Harry had a bout of depression and fear about the fight they are facing. Today it was her turn. If she had been right beside Harry when the fake Percy had run up to him, she would have sensed it.

The realization of their mistakes came to her, and made her hesitate as she walked. It was obvious that they had forgotten why they are bonded. They complete each other. They are stronger together than apart. They should never be separated again in battle. If she had been beside him, Voldemort would not have regained his body.

“Ginny what’s wrong?”

She looked at the concern on his face. She had stopped walking and was staring straight ahead. “I am fine. We will talk about it when we get back to our quarters.”

Back to index

Chapter 20: The Order Organizes

Author's Notes: The Order of Phoenix is expanding and is doing things differently than before.
I would like to send out a special thanks to Leif for Betaing my writing. It can't be easy.

Harry sat looking around the room at the rest of the Order members. There were some that he didn’t recognize, but most he knew from the wedding. They were all waiting for Albus Dumbledore to appear so they could start the meeting. No one spoke and everyone seemed nervous. He could only assume it was from the news that Voldemort had been resurrected, but it may also have been from the room.

The Weasley family and Bradenburgs had spent August cleaning the Black family home, but it was still dark and gloomy. The dining room with peeling dark grey wallpaper seemed to absorb all the light from the various candles lit in the room. The dark wooden table and chairs only added to the gloomy atmosphere.

The last time Harry had been here it was the communication room with the map of England with objects representing traced Death Eaters moving around it. There had been several owls sitting over by the far wall. They had moved everything up to a third floor bedroom when they cleaned the room.

Madam Bones shifted in her chair, causing everyone to briefly stare at her. The Head of Magical Law enforcement stared back at everyone and they all turned their eyes away. No one spoke but they were all anxious to get the meeting started. Harry might have been the only one that didn’t want the meeting to start. He didn’t want to explain what had happened at Little Hangleton. He was also afraid that Molly would let it slip that Ginny was pregnant.

Ginny and he arrived a few minutes ago to an already overfilled room. He hadn’t spoken to anyone. Everyone seemed to acknowledge his presence with a silent nod of their head.

Several people checked their watches. Albus Dumbledore wasn’t even late. He would probably be along in a few minutes. Harry and Ginny had left him at Hogwart’s main gate when they Apparated here.

“The place looks much cleaner, since the last time last time I was here,” Ginny said to her Mum, breaking the tension from the silence.

“Thank you, it still needs a lot of improvement,” Molly said. “It will come along. Gabriel and Constance have been very busy working around this house.”

A man and woman who seemed to be hiding in the corner of the room across the table looked at Ginny and smiled. Harry could only assume they were the Bradenburgs. There were a couple of people sitting beside them that Harry had never seen before, but he didn’t want to go around asking questions. They were two rather unremarkable wizards both of medium height and weight. The one had mousy brown hair and the other brown streaked with grey. They wore the same style of robes, which he hadn’t seen before. He could only assume they were Ministry employees. The four seemed to be comfortable around each other so he could only assume they knew each other.

There were six other people sitting behind Harry against the wall that he hadn’t seen before either. He was starting to worry about security here. Should he and Ginny have remained hidden away at Hogwarts? He felt surrounded by strangers. The only people he knew were sitting at the table, except Hagrid, who was taking up a section of wall by himself, and the man sitting beside Madam Bones. He was portly and wore robes similar to Tonks and Kingsley’s. He had to be an Auror.

Ginny laid her hand gently on his forearm. “Relax, we are safe here,” she whispered to him.

He nodded at her. The wait was getting to him. Looking at his watch, he saw that it had been only five minutes since they arrived. The sound of footsteps on the stairs made him look up and instinctively reach for his wand.

Albus Dumbledore and Severus Snape stepped into the filled dining room. The Headmaster smiled warmly, while Snape scowled at them. Everyone seemed to sit up a little straighter at the Headmaster’s appearance.

“Good evening everyone,” Albus Dumbledore said brightly. “Let us get this meeting started. As you may have heard, Voldemort has returned. He is presently gathering followers to continue his agenda of blood purity and control of the magical world. It appears that it will be up to us to stop him. Many of his followers have found influential places within the Ministry. We may not be able to depend on them for help.

“I realize that our task might seem impossible without the support of the Ministry. I believe there are enough people who are good at heart that will come to our side if they truly see what type of a monster Voldemort is. If we get enough people on our side, we should be able to clean the darkness out of the Ministry.

“We also have an advantage this time as opposed to the last time Voldemort tried to overthrow the magical society.” Dumbledore glanced at Harry. He could feel everyone’s eyes on him. “We have a head start on who the Death Eaters are and what they are doing. Severus, you may give your report.”

Albus Dumbledore walked away from the table and stood off to the side, while Severus Snape stalked up to the table. He stood there in the gloomy room with his sallow hooked nose appearing out the sheets of greasy hair. Where Dumbledore’s appearance exuded confidence and good feelings in the room, Snape’s appearance did just the opposite.

“The Dark Lord is at the present time hiding waiting for his followers to complete tasks that he assigned them. Until those tasks are complete, I don’t believe he will make his presence known to the magical society.”

“What are these tasks?” asked Madam Bones.

“I do not know what anyone else has been assigned. He kept the tasks secret. Only he and the person they were assigned to know the exact task.”

“What about yours?” The man beside Madam Bones asked.

“I am delaying completing it as long as possible. I will not be able to delay it very long without the Dark Lord becoming suspicious.”

“How long, before the Dark Lord makes his move to overtake the country?” asked Arthur Weasley.

“I am not sure. I have stated that he is waiting on his followers to complete their tasks. He could decide tomorrow to call together his forces and attack, or he could wait for a year.”

“What are they looking for?” asked Alastor Moody; his voice was a threatening growl. He had been quiet until that point of the meeting.

“I said I do not know the tasks assigned his other followers. I have nothing else to share with you. As you all know my position, I will leave so you can continue your meeting.” He turned and nodded to the Headmaster before walking out the door and down the steps.

No one spoke until they heard Snape leave the house and the door close.

“Professor Dumbledore,” said one of the men beside the Brandenburgs it was the one with mousy brown hair. “I would like to request that he doesn’t come to meetings anymore. If he must be here, can I be excused until he leaves? I don’t want him seeing me.”

“He already saw ya, Reg,” said the other man in the same dark blue robes.

“Severus Snape is trustworthy,” stated Albus Dumbledore.

“I am not a fighting man, sir. I just work in the maintenance department of the Ministry. I have a wife and children to care for. I know you have taken care of Gabe and his family, but you can’t take all of us in.”

“Actually I was planning on addressing something about that very issue later in the meeting. It has been mentioned so I feel I should address it now. Mr. Brandenburg will be making Portkeys for all the Order members. They are to be used in only the direst of situations. They will also be strong enough to carry up to ten other people with you. You will be transported to a safe location with provisions. It won’t be here. We will bring you back to England, as soon as possible, to continue on with the fight.”

“Albus, you said ‘back to England’. Where are we being transported to and if we set up these international Portkeys won’t the Ministry find out?” asked Madam Bones.

Dumbledore’s eyes twinkled with mischief. “We won’t be asking for approval and our Ministry won’t find out.”

“How will we get back into our country, without being discovered?” Madam Bones asked.

“There are ways,” said Harry. “You will be hidden in the same locations as I have been for the past two years. You will be safe and I will be able to bring you back into the country to help out again. Be very careful with these Portkeys, you don’t want to bring your attackers with you.”

Everyone seemed to become calm after Harry spoke. They still seemed a little unsure of the situation, but no one was openly objecting.

Gabriel Brandenburg stood up and spoke. “If I may ask a favor of everyone, please bring in an object that I can make into a Portkey. It will need to be something that you can have on you at all times, but not easily tripped. When you decide on the object, stop by here and I will create the Portkey.”

Gabe sat back down.

“Madam Bones, would you please speak about the conditions at the Ministry,” asked Albus Dumbledore.

Madam Bones sat up straighter in her chair. “The Ministry is compromised. Not everyone is a follower of Voldemort, but many are sympathetic of his cause. The Minister is really just a pawn of Lucius Malfoy and we know of at least one Death Eater in the Auror department.

“The good news is that there several of us willing to fight against them in any way possible. Reg Cattermole and Gregory Bright are members of the maintenance department. They have been keeping an eye on with whom the known Death Eaters are associating. We already have several more names of possible followers or recruits. I approached these men, because of conversations that I have had with them in the past. They can move through the Ministry barely noticed by anyone and observe things without drawing suspicion. Albus, I would like to request that these two men are not asked to go on any missions they are not fighters but information gathers.”

“I promise not to send them on any missions, but they may want to brush up on their defensive spells. One day we may all be put in a position where we must fight.”

Harry looked from Albus Dumbledore to the two maintenance workers. Gregory Bright seemed to take the news in stride. Reg paled as he stared at the Headmaster. Dumbledore noticed this too.

“Mr. Cattermole, if you do not wish to be put in this position, then you may be excused. I will only ask to have your memory Obliviated before leaving us.”

“No — no, I — I can’t leave,” he stuttered. “My wife, she is Muggle born. She and my entire family will be targets. I need to do something, but I have always been rubbish at defensive spells.”

“What you need is some training,” shouted Alastor Moody. “I think that anyone who isn’t an Auror should have to be retrained at Defense. We have plenty of room here to set up a training area. I would be willing to teach you.”

“I think that would be wise for anyone who wants to brush up on dueling and defense,” stated Dumbledore. “We can start setting up a training schedule in about a week or two.”

“A week or two,” snapped a shocked Moody. “I was thinking about starting tomorrow every day for four hours.”

A general rumbling erupted from everyone in the room at Moody’s idea.

“I am sorry, Alastor,” said Dumbledore with smile. “We would attract too much attention if everyone would disappear for four hours at a time. We need to work as covertly as possible. Voldemort knows we have reorganized. He doesn’t know anything else about us. If we spend too much time together, his followers will be able to find out who all is involved with us.”

“As long as no one puts a trace on us, we should be able to elude them,” laughed Alastor.

“We will look at people getting retrained in defense at the next meeting Alastor.” The old Auror looked dejected at having his training regimen shot down. “Do you have the list of known Death Eaters to give everyone?”

“Yeah, I do.” He pulled a single roll of parchment out of his robe pocket and laid it on the table. Tapping his wand to it several times, duplicate copies were created. Waving his wand again he sent them floating to many of the people sitting around the outside of the room. “I will warn all of you. Those parchments are enchanted. They will disintegrate when they leave this house. So memorize them before leaving.”

“If you do not know who the people are on the list, do not worry,” stated Albus. “If you see the ones you know doing anything suspicious make a note of it. If they seem to be actively making new friends and associates, tell us about it. Not every name you give us will be a Death Eater recruit, but we need to find as many as possible.”

Reg raised his hand. “What about someone who these people seem to hate?”

“What are you getting at?” asked Madam Bones.

“Macnair, I have heard him telling people that he can’t wait to set things straight in his department starting with Gracie Woods, who is Muggle born.”

“I’d be more interested in who he was telling this to,” stated Madam Bones.

Reg looked down at the list embarrassed. “Sorry, I don’t know their names.”

Albus spoke again. “You are our eyes and ears out there if you see something suspicious, don’t put yourself in danger there are ways to extract your memories and view them. It would be more useful to us to do this than see a list of names.”

“Would it hurt?” asked a witch from behind Harry. Harry looked at her and tried to recognize her. She looked familiar, but he couldn’t place her face.

“No, Arianna, it doesn’t hurt,” replied Albus gently. “If that is all, then all of you ‘eyes and ears of the Order’ may leave.”

Harry sat there and watched as most of the people sitting around the walls of room stood up and started to leave. What Harry thought was part of Hagrids hairy jacket moved and a short shabby dressed man stood up. He walked up to the Headmaster.

“If it is all the same to you Headmaster, I will give you a list of people I see.”

“Are you afraid of that we might see what you are doing, Mundungus?” asked Madam Bones sharply.

“Hey, my work is very important,” the shabby man replied. “Isn’t it Headmaster?”

“Yes, Mundungus what you do is important.”

“Yeah, when we want to know what’s going on in the sewers of the world,” growled Alastor.

The shabby man quickly left the room staring at Moody the entire way.

“Run, you bloody sewer rat, run,” shouted Moody at him.

“Alastor, we need Mundungus to give us information of what is happening in Knockturn Ally,” sighed Dumbledore. “What information have we gleaned from the traces we have on the known Death Eaters?”

“Headmaster,” said Gabriel Brandenburg. “Before we start into that part, could I get the coordinates from Mr. Potter so we can go see about our daughter?”

Harry sat up and removed the piece of parchment from his robes and stood to hand it to Gabe. The man took the parchment from him, but his brows furrowed when he looked at it.

“I don’t see anything but names on here,” he said.

“The coordinates are written beside the names of where we want the people to go.”

“I don’t see any coordinates either, Mr. Potter.” said his wife.

Harry grabbed the parchment from him and stared at it. There right beside the list of names were the latitude and longitude for each of his estates.

“Harry,” said Bill. “You and Ginny may be the only people who can see those coordinates.”

“Do you have a Fidelius Charm on the houses?” asked Madam Bones.

“No, it isn’t a Fidelius. It is something slightly more complicated and its secret is passed down through a blood connection,” stated Bill. “If we are going to use your estates for our safe houses, you and Ginny will need to create the Portkeys.”

Harry looked at Gabe and smiled. “Sorry, I guess you will have to teach me how to do this.” Gabe gave Harry a strange look. It was almost like he was shocked at Harry’s lack of knowledge or something like that.

“Not a problem. I am here all the time. Just pop by sometime and I will try to teach you. Portkeys can be very tricky, especially if you are using coordinates. Well, good night all,” Gabe said with a hint of a bow, before he and his wife left the room.

Harry ran his hand through his hair in frustration. He was wrong again. He should have known that only he and Ginny would be able to make the Portkeys. They estates were only accessible by the two of them.

“I am sure you will master making a Portkey in a day or two of work,” said Remus.

“Sorry, I thought if I gave them to someone they would be able to see them,” he apologized to everyone.

“Potter, you need to learn a very important lesson about magic,” stated Alastor Moody leaning forward in his chair and staring at Harry with both his magical and normal eye. “Nobody knows everything about magic. Not Albus, not Voldemort, and most certainly someone as young as you. So don’t apologize for not knowing something, all right.”

“Yeah, I understand,” said Harry. He looked around the room and saw sympathetic eyes staring at him. For the first time that night he relaxed, he was so sure this entire meeting would be about him being Portkeyed away and how Lucius was able to take his blood to resurrect Voldemort.

“Good, I want to get back to our traces on the Death Eaters. They are either recruiting like mad or they are searching for something. They have been going to various villages, towns, and cities over the past two days. Most are moving late at night. I don’t know what they are looking for, because they never seem to stay for long. I have even taken a page out of Albus’ book and read the Muggle newspapers from these villages this morning and haven’t seen any news of strange attacks or peculiar activities.”

“You said you were reading Muggle newspapers. Were these villages all Muggle?” asked Sirius.

“Not all of them, but most were. Like I said they seemed to stay around for a few hours then leave. It wasn’t like they were watching anything, because they would stay longer. They didn’t attack anyone either. They haven’t been back to the same places except the larger cities. Do you have clue what they are doing?”

“No not a clue, but it has only been a couple of days,” said Sirius. “Once we get more names, we might be able to see a definite pattern.”

Harry looked at Albus Dumbledore. He seemed to be thinking about something, because his mind seemed to be a million miles away.

“A knut for your thoughts Albus,” said Madam Bones.

“I think I know who they are looking for. I figured Voldemort would do two things before he continued his campaign. Amelia, have the eyes and ears in the Ministry try to pay extra attention to anyone trying to get close to the Department of Mysteries.”

“Why is that Albus?” she asked him.

Harry stared at the Headmaster. He was thinking that Tom was going after the prophecy. He didn’t know what the other thing was that he was going after. It appeared that the Headmaster was keeping secrets, but if concerned Horcruxes, he supposed it could be acceptable. Albus turned and looked at Harry.

“Are you concerned that he will try to get the prophecy?” he asked Dumbledore.

“He still doesn’t know the entire prophecy. I assumed he would want to hear it in its entirety.”

Madam Bones stood up. “I don’t like to mess with things like that so I will just pass along the message to keep a watchful eye for any strange activity. I shall see all of you later.” Madam Bones left the room.

“I suppose that concludes this meeting,” said Albus, and everyone started to stand up.

“Wait, I want to propose a crazy idea,” said Sirius causing everyone to hesitate in their chairs. “Starting tomorrow night, I want to start tracking these Death Eaters and their activity up close. When you see them go to a location, Alastor, send me a Patronus telling me where they are.”

“Sirius, that is really dangerous,” said Ginny.

“Yeah, it is, but it might give us some answers,” he replied with a roguish smile. “Besides, I will be very careful.”

“I’ll do it too,” said Proudfoot. “It will sure beat sitting in this place staring at the map all damn day long.”

“It is dangerous, but it might move things forward,” agreed Albus. “I want both of you to have an emergency Portkey to some safe location in England from where you can then Apparate here or to Hogwarts. Sirius, why don’t you come here tomorrow night and have Gabriel create a Portkey, before going on your assignment.”

“Sounds like a plan,” barked Sirius.

Everyone stood up this time. Molly Weasley seemed to Apparate to Ginny’s side. She was hugging her daughter then she was holding Ginny’s face in her hands staring in her eyes. Harry couldn’t tell what she was saying with the noise from the chatter in the room.

Molly released Ginny and grabbed Harry and wrapped him in a bone crushing hug. She did the same thing with his face. “I don’t want you to take unnecessary risks. You two have been through enough. There are other people to fight this war. I want you to promise me that you don’t do anything crazy, Harry.” She said while gripping his face with both of her hands.

“I promise,” he said. He was halfway between being annoyed at the treatment and laughing about it.

“Good, you see that you do young man,” she said before quickly moving away.

Harry watched as she attacked Bill the same way. He felt a hand on his shoulder he looked up into Arthur Weasley’s kind face. “You’ll need to understand that she just doesn’t want anything to happen to anyone she loves, Harry. I know we had a rough patch at first, but she does care for you like family.”

“Thanks, that’s good to know.”

“Well, I guess we should be getting back to the Burrow. Stop by and visit sometime soon. Just make sure Molly can cook for you,” Arthur said with a smile.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry was staring at the cauldron, as it boiled slowly and steadily. Everything looked just like the Potion was supposed to look when finished, but he wasn’t content. When he checked it for being poisonous, it tested positive every time. He needed to do more research on this Potion and its reagents. Pointing his wand at the cauldron he banished the Potion and cleaned out the Cauldron. He looked at Ginny sitting on the other side of the lab calmly reading a book on making Portkeys and other forms of Magical transportation. He cleaned up the table and put the reagents back into the stores, just before Snape walked in.

“The full moon isn’t for another two weeks, isn’t it a little early to be making Wolfsbane.”

“I am working on another Potion,” Harry replied without looking at the Potion Master.

“What are you working on this time? You have already brewed everything necessary for your NEWT’s.”

“I am working on something a little more advanced. It didn’t work out, so I will need to do some more research. I need to talk to you about something.” Harry turned to face him. “You left last night’s meeting before it was over.”

“I didn’t get the impression that anyone wanted me there.”

Harry smiled at his comment. People didn’t want him there. “We are giving all the Order members Portkeys to use in dire situations. You will need to get an item that you can keep with you at all times to be turned into a Portkey. Use it only as a last resort. It will take you to a secure location where you will be protected.”

“Did it ever occur to you that if the Death Eaters discover I have this Portkey, they make me take several of them to this location?” drawled Snape. He stared at Harry like he had just asked a stupid question in class.

“Yes, I have thought of that possibility. When you use the Portkey, do not fight. Drop your wand when you reach the destination.”

“Drop my wand?” questioned Snape.

“That is all I am going to say about the Portkey.” Harry stood there staring at Snape. The Potion Master stared back at Harry with a calculating stare. Harry even felt what might be described as an attempt to perform Leglimency. His mental wards easily repelled Snape’s feeble attempt. Snape seemed to flinch and even step back away from him. It was obvious that he never expected Harry to be able to use Occlumency.

“I have something else to ask of you, Professor.”

“And what is that?”

“I would like you to tell me about my mother.” Severus Snape’s eyes widened and he sneered at Harry.

“Why would I do that?”

“Because you knew her when she was young, I have so many questions about her. I am really curious about her relationship with Aunt Petunia. Up until I received my Hogwarts letter, I was told that Mum was a lazy drunk who died in a car crash. When I received the letter, Petunia referred to her as a freak…,”

“A freak?” snapped Snape. “That foul bitter girl called your mother lazy and a freak. Tooney was the freak, not your mother.”

“What were they like when they were young?”

Snape glared at Harry, and then at Ginny as she walked up to Harry’s side. He looked back at Harry with a leer of pure revulsion. “The memories of my youth are mine, Potter. Yes, your mother was my friend before we came here and for most of our years at Hogwarts. If you want me to spend hours with you reminiscing about those times, you will be disappointed. I don’t intend to share those memories with anyone. I will tell you one thing about your mother.”

Snape hesitated. He seemed to be uncomfortable standing there staring at both Harry and Ginny. “Your mother was the most beautiful and wonderful person I have ever met, and your Aunt was nothing but a harpy. Now get out of my lab.”

Harry nodded at the Potion Master. It was obvious that making him remember his youth was painful for him, or it could have been regret. It didn’t matter. Harry would probably never learn what his Mum was like before she came to Hogwarts.

He and Ginny walked shoulder to shoulder up the stairs leading to the upper floors of Hogwarts. He was disappointed with Snape’s reaction. He didn’t want to delve deeply into Snape’s feelings for his Mum. He just wanted to know what type of things his Mum did. What games she played. Was she happy as a child? What was Petunia like, and did she have any reason to hate her sister other than being magical?

“Harry,” said Ginny softly, as they walked. The only other sound was the soft brushing of their leather shoes on the worn stone floors. “He may not want to discuss what your Mum was like, but he told you so much more about her. He said that she was the most wonderful and beautiful person he ever met. We know what he thought of your Mum. Isn’t that something?”

Ginny stopped walking and pulled on Harry’s hand. “I grew up with my Mum and I don’t know the type of things she did growing up. I know you want to know more to better understand her. Maybe you have to be content knowing that she was the type of a person that everyone loved and adored, except your Aunt.”

He smiled at her and brushed his hand across her cheek. He was so lucky to have her there to calm and make him see things more completely. “I am so lucky to have you.” He leaned in and kissed her.

Ginny smiled at him with a crooked smile. “Yeah, you are.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Sirius and Francis Proudfoot appeared with a pop about half a mile from the last sighting of two Death Eaters. Yaxley and Gregory Goyle were seen near this small nondescript village. Sirius didn’t even know the name of it, and he didn’t care. He was only interested in locating any possible Death Eaters in the village and putting a trace on them. This was their second mission to put traces on Death Eaters and if everything went well for them, there would be a few more that could be traced.

Last night they had followed Macnair and Crabbe. There had been three others with them; two wizards and one witch. Three Confundus Charms and three tracking spells later, they had three others that they could trace. That was only the first night, but it was hard not to be optimistic about their possible progress.

It was nearly midnight. Many Death Eaters seemed to wait until eleven thirty to go out on their missions.

There was a slight mist appearing over the grass that separated them from the village. Even at this distance, the three-quarter moon cast enough light to illuminate the five wizards moving through the shadows of the old village streets. The buildings were built close together, showing they were from a time period before there were cars. The thick thatched roofs with their extra-large eaves cast shadows on the walls of the buildings, creating perfect hiding places for those who didn’t want to be seen.

“I’ll go first,” Sirius said to Proudfoot. “Meet me there on this side of that outbuilding.” Sirius was pointing at a building on the same side of the village as they were. It would be easy for Proudfoot to move to the outbuilding without being seen.

Sirius had left his dragon hide cape and boots back at Hogwarts. Their resistance to magic made it awkward to change into his Animagus form and back. It had taken him fifteen minutes to inform Proudfoot of his plan to track the Death Eaters as Padfoot the night before. It took another twenty to calm him down before he could leave the bloke alone. Tonight he seemed to be taking it in stride.

“See you soon. Smell you sooner,” Sirius joked, as he changed into a large black dog.

The air came alive with scents that he hadn’t noticed in his human form. So many were delicious smells, while others were not so pleasant to him. he wondered if dogs separated scents between pleasant and unpleasant, or if they just separated things into food, enemy, and courtship. A particularly strong scent floated to him as he moved across the open field. It was a female in season. He would have to be cautious of other male dogs. He was large enough to defeat many of them, but it would draw attention to him.

He was able to pick up the scent of wizards. There were five distinct scents. They all smelled of old polished leather. He was able to recognize Sleekeazy’s leather cleaner in the air. He followed the first scent that he was able to separate from the others. It only took him about thirty seconds to locate the witch. She was several houses in front of him. She seemed to be waving her wand and casting some type of detection spell.

Padfoot left her and moved almost silently to his right. He was able to see the next wizard at the same time he smelled him. He again was trying to detect something. It took only about two minutes to locate the others. They were all moving through the small village rather methodically. He noticed that they seemed to be signaling each other, as if they had found what they were looking for.

He padded away, often looking back to be sure he wasn’t noticed. The Death Eaters seemed more interested in surrounding a house than noticing him.

He moved around the outbuilding to see Proudfoot leaning against the wall panting from the exertion of getting there from the woods. Sirius transformed back to his old self.

“They have found something,” he whispered to his partner.

“Should we send for backup?” Proudfoot asked.

Sirius almost laughed at him. They had no backup. They were on their own. “No, we go in now. Use a Confundus quickly followed by Sleeping Hexes. They don’t make a sound and they don’t create a bright light. Only use a Stunner if we get noticed. After they are out, Obliviate them and find out what they were after.”

They cast Disillusionment Charms on themselves before moving from behind the building. Sirius was back to his human form so he could quickly cast spells. They moved silently but slowly through the village street. The distant sound of dogs howling and barking covered up any sounds of their footsteps. They made a wide arc around the Death Eaters. He was surprised they hadn’t tried to get inside.

He stood there and stared at the formation of the Death Eaters. They had surrounded the house, but there was a method to what they had done. There was a Death Eater watching every side of the house and two at its front door. They were staring so intently at the building that Sirius doubted they would even notice him and Proudfoot approaching without the Disillusionment.

Canceling his charm, Sirius fired a Confundus charm quickly followed by a Sleeping Hex on the nearest Death Eater. She slumped down on the street asleep. He looked over and saw Proudfoot had done the same. They moved quickly around the building, putting everyone to sleep in seconds.

Sirius and Proudfoot stood there staring at each other, shocked at the ease with which they had dispatched the five Death Eaters. Proudfoot waved his wand in front of him. The detection spell indicated that there were Anti-Apparition Spells in place.

“They must be after a sorcerer,” Sirius whispered. “Let me sniff around a bit.”

Proudfoot nodded his agreement and stood guard as Sirius changed into Padfoot. Walking slowly towards the front door of the house, he was able to pick up a faint scent. It was something he had smelled a long time ago. It wasn’t a single scent, but the combination of two or three. He sniffed at the threshold of the door while picking his ears up, listening for movement inside.

The memory of the scents came back to him in a rush. He had never smelled them as a dog, but as a student at Hogwarts. He was able to separate them now. He was almost positive who was in the house. He changed back to his human form and went to speak to Proudfoot.

“I know who they are looking for,” he whispered. “It’s Professor Slughorn.”

“How do you know that?”

“I can smell candied pineapple and oak-matured mead, along with scent of that awful French perfume he likes so much. I will go in and collect him. Can you Obliviate and put the Trace on these ones out here by yourself?”

“Sure, they all seem rather out of it. It would be safer though if we just Stunned them before you go inside. If one would wake up with my back turned to him, I would be in a rather sticky situation.”

“All right, let’s get moving,” hissed Sirius. Proudfoot definitely wasn’t a Gryffindor, but he did have a point.

It only took about a minute to Stun all five Death Eaters. Sirius made quick work of the door lock and soon he was standing in the middle of a well-furnished sitting room. It was definitely Muggle in appearance. It had electric lights, but no telly. Sirius moved to the next room and dining room, but the scent became weaker. He often retained much of his canine senses for several minutes after changing back to his human form. He smiled at the memory of James with the bumps on his head where his antlers never completely went away for thirty minutes.

Sirius moved to another room on the other side of the sitting room. The scent of pineapple, mead, and perfume became weaker. He walked back into the sitting room and looked around. He smiled at Professor Slughorn’s mistake. There in the sitting room with all matching furniture was a chintz overstuffed chair. Sirius hadn’t paid it much attention at first, but now it was pretty obvious that it didn’t belong.

“Hello Professor,” said Sirius cordially. He sat down in a chair opposite of the chintz chair. “The Death Eaters outside will be waking up in a few minutes. It would be best if you are not here. They will not remember meeting me and my associate. They will come inside here to capture you. At least that is what they were going to do.”

The chair morphed back into Professor Slughorn. He had gained weight since he taught Potions during Sirius’ time at Hogwarts. Considering the rich food he liked, it wasn’t any shock to see him this large. If he had flippers instead of arms and legs he could have passed for a walrus with his girth and his large bristly moustache.

“What will you do with me?” the Professor asked.

“Take you to the Headmaster, and let him figure out what to do with you.”

“How is Albus doing these days?”

Sirius smiled at the question. “He is doing well. Why don’t you ask him when you see him? Or, would you prefer to meet up with Voldemort?”

“Don’t say his name,” snapped Professor Slughorn. “I will go with you. Let me get my supplies.”

Sirius rolled his eyes at the Professor’s obsession with objects, particularly candied pineapple.

Back to index

Chapter 21: Confusion at the Ministry

Author's Notes: Madam Bones learn of things involving another high ranking Ministry employee. Harry and Ginny are called to speak with Horace Slughorn.
I would like to give a big shout out to Leif for his Beta work.

Ginny was leaning on her left side because it was comfortable. Her left arm was starting to ache, but she didn’t dare move. She never thought about morning sickness, when she made the decision to have a baby. Being the youngest in the family, she wasn’t even sure if her Mum experienced morning sickness. She was six weeks along and thought this wasn’t going to happen to her.

Harry gently moved her hair off her face and stared at her with concern with those beautiful green eyes. He started to sit on the bed beside her. The movements made her stomach roll. She closed her eyes and moaned slightly at the sensation of getting sick again.

“Is this making you sick?” he asked barely above a whisper.

She opened her eyes slightly to see Harry perched on the edge of the bed. He had frozen as he was sitting on the bed. He was obviously very uncomfortable stuck in a half crouched position. Ginny could not help herself. She let out a small chuckle, which nearly made her sick again. She quickly covered her mouth. Harry stared at her wide-eyed. He was probably afraid she was going to get sick on him again.
Most people would be angry if their wife got sick on them when they kissed her good morning, but not Harry.

“I promise that I won’t get sick on you again.”

“Thank you, I would really appreciate that,” he said smiling at her. “I am going to get up and send Dumbledore a note that we can’t make this morning’s meeting. Then I am going to make you something to help you feel better.”

“I am feeling better. Maybe we could meet with the Headmaster a little later?”

He stood up quickly making the bed roll like the ocean. Ginny’s stomach made a loud rumble and she covered her mouth again.

“I think we will cancel the meeting this morning,” he said chuckling. “I was wondering if you would experience morning sickness. Dobby!”

The energetic House Elf appeared instantly. “You called Master Harry Potter, sir?”

Ginny started to giggle at the House Elf’s appearance. He was wearing a small flannel shirt and bib overalls. They fit Dobby but looked strange with his large head, hands, and bare feet. Harry glanced at the House Elf and tried to contain his laughter as he wrote a note for Professor Dumbledore.

“Dobby, can you take this to the Headmaster?”

“I will take it straight to him, Master Harry Potter, sir.”

“Dobby you are a free Elf. I am not your Master. You can just call me Harry. I like your clothes. Where did you get those to fit you?”

“I find them at a Muggle mass storage area. They bring these large trucks loaded with all types of Muggle items for storage on the pile. I found these along with other clothing, but Dobby won’t wear dresses.”

Harry leaned down and looked at something on the front of the bib overalls. He smiled at Dobby before handing him the note.

“What does Master….” Dobby stopped talking, and then corrected his wording. “What does Harry Potter want me to do after I deliver the note?”

“You can go back to work with the rest of the Hogwarts Elves.” Dobby looked dejected at his statement. “Dobby can you bring our meals to our room here today?”

“Yes, I can do that. Thank you!” squeaked the House Elf. He disappeared with a pop.

Harry started laughing. “He was wearing dolls clothes. That House Elf never ceases to amaze me.”

Ginny smiled at Harry’s reaction. He would make such a wonderful father. He was already a wonderful husband. She closed her eyes to help calm her nausea and dozed off, because the next thing she realized was Harry standing in front of her. He had a tray with a steaming mug of something and a rose in a bud vase.

“Here drink this; it will help with your stomach.” Harry sat the tray on the bed.

She picked up the mug and sniffed it. The fragrance seemed to chase away her nausea. “What is this?”

“It is just some ginger tea with a few extras.”

Ginny sipped the tea and she started to feel better already. “You are such a good husband.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Albus Dumbledore stared across his desk at his old friend, Horace Slughorn. With his friend’s discovery last night, Voldemort’s plans had come clear. He had suspected that Horace might have some knowledge of Tom’s plans at a young age. Tom had admired Horace and wanted to get into the Slug Club. What Albus needed to figure out was what Tom revealed to Horace that he wanted him captured. Certainly, he didn’t tell Horace about making Horcruxes.

“You still have no idea why Tom wanted you brought to him?”

“As I said Albus, I can only guess he wanted me to recruit influential people to his cause.”

“So you have been hiding from him because you didn’t want to recruit for him?”

“You know I don’t agree with what he has become,” said Horace with a sigh.

“He was an exemplary student while he was here. It is hard to imagine what he became after leaving the school. If we only knew earlier that he would become a Dark Lord. We could have watched him and made sure that didn’t happen.”

Horace flinched at his comment about knowing what Tom would become. Albus tried not to smile. If he did, Horace would catch on to this line of questioning.

“Would you be willing to help us, Horace?”

“Albus, I do not want to take sides in this war.”

“I think you have already taken sides. You are hiding from Tom. You know he looks at things differently from you and me. There are those who follow him and those who oppose him. Unless you join him Horace, you will have chosen your side.”

Horace didn’t say anything. He sipped on his tea and picked up a blueberry scone and took a bite. “What do you want from me, Albus?”

“Two things…,” he said. He stopped talking because a House Elf dressed in strange clothes appeared in the office.

“Master Harry Potter asked me, Dobby, to give this to Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.”

The House Elf held up a small scroll to him.

“Thank you, you have done well,” Albus said to the Elf, who quickly disappeared.

He looked at the note. This changed his plans. He had hoped that Harry and Ginny could make Horace feel guilty so he would be more willing to cooperate. Horace was enamored with Lily and had asked her into the Slug Club. When she started dating James, he thought they would become a power couple of the future generation. When Voldemort murdered them, it crushed him.

“It appears Harry and Ginny will not be able to join us this morning. I was hoping you might enjoy meeting him.”

“If I were to join you, how will you protect me?” asked Horace. “From everything I have heard the Ministry is actually ready to make Tom its Minister of Magic. Albus there is no way you can win this war. Where will that leave me?”

“Spoken like a true Slytherin,” he said with a smile. “Don’t be too sure that this war is unwinnable.”

“Do you have the support to fight the Ministry?”

“Two years ago Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley disappeared after forming a soul bond. No one could locate them. We asked for help form the other Ministries around the world. Unbeknownst to me, the Potter family has a network that is so well hidden that no one can find it. Harry is the key to our victory.

“Help us Horace. I need your help in understanding Tom. You were practically his mentor while he was a student. We will also need to have a good stock of Potions for healing and other purposes. I understand that Potter family owns an estate with a large Potion lab somewhere in Spain that overlooks the Mediterranean. Sirius Black and Remus Lupin both agreed that Lily would have loved that place. It is supposed to be top notch.”

“Brewing Potions would be no problem for me, but I am not sure I can help you with Tom. If there is one thing that he was good at was lying and deceiving people.”

“Everyone slips up, Horace, even Lord Voldemort.” Albus finally smiled. His old friend was going to help him. He would need to handle this with the upmost care, but he should be able to extract the information necessary to find the Horcruxes. Horace didn’t realize it at this moment, because he was more interested in the fine blend of teas and the expertly baked scones.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Amelia Bones finished her meeting with the Heads of the Aurors, Hit-wizards, Underage Magic, and Obliviators. It went well, considering her ever increasing fear of Voldemort’s influence in the Ministry.

Scrimgeour, the Head of the Aurors, was someone she may try to recruit into the fringes of the Order. Her main concern with him was his desire to ascend high in the Ministry. It was something that could be looked upon as a positive trait, but who he would befriend to move up in the Ministry? Would he unwillingly compromise the Order to his new political ally? She was sure he wouldn’t openly support Voldemort, but he may be complicit with some of his influential followers.

She wasn’t sure if it was her paranoia causing her to think this way or if she was just being cautious about him. He never liked Lucius Malfoy’s influence with Fudge. He also reached his present post from his exemplary record of capturing Death Eaters.

She sighed and tried to bring her thoughts back to her regular duties. She waved her wand and all her papers neatly sorted themselves into her attaché. Standing up she left her conference room for her actual office.

“Hello Melvin, anything happen while I was in the meeting?” she asked her administrative assistant.

“It has been pretty quiet out here,” he replied. “The only thing has been the constant flow of memos going into your office. I was thinking of taking lunch. Do you need me for anything in the next hour?”

“No, go on enjoy your lunch. I will sort through the memos. Don’t be surprised if it is a busy afternoon,” she said as she stepped into her office.

There flying above her oak desk were about thirty memos. They were flying in a circular pattern just high enough for her to reach them while sitting without them bumping into her head. Most high ranking officials had their assistant read all their memos.

Melvin was assigned to her by Fudge a year ago. She didn’t trust that pompous prat of a Minister. He probably wanted Melvin to spy on her. She decided right then that she would read all the memos and then give him work that she deemed safe for him to handle. It may have complicated her life, but it kept Fudge out of the loop.

In this case she wasn’t being paranoid. Fudge confronted her about her change of memo reading policy one month after Melvin started working for her.

Sitting in her leather chair, she reached up and grabbed a random memo. A quick glance showed that it was something that Melvin could attend to after his lunch. She wrote a note to Melvin on the memo and sent it out to his desk. She grabbed another memo and repeated the same procedure. Memo after memo was grabbed out of the air and sorted either to Melvin or to be handled only by her.

There were only about three memos left when she grabbed a peculiar one. It was from Gregory Bright in maintenance requesting that she send a request to have her windows changed this afternoon. She quickly burnt the memo. Something must have happened in the Ministry to cause him to contact her. It was an advantage of getting him and Reg in the Order. It was not unusual for high ranking officials to call on maintenance workers on a daily basis to change their office. Gregory was the worker for changing the windows and Reg changed the climate of the office.

She scratched out a memo to the maintenance department for a change of her windows, and sent it flying out of her office. She just hoped that whatever caused Gregory to write this note could wait until he was assigned to come here.

The afternoon passed slowly waiting for Gregory Bright to show up. Melvin was busy writing Owls and handling the mundane paper work that being in a position like this created. Amelia kept looking up waiting for something to happen, but it seemed the only thing that happened was her patience becoming frazzled.

She looked down at the document she had been reviewing it was the new proposed procedure for transporting prisoners to Azkaban. It had barely been over two months since the two incidents of prisoners disappearing had occurred. The people that Fudge had appointed to draw up a new procedure must have spent all that time writing it. It was over two hundred pages long. There were sections that were so confusing that she had to read them over three times, before concluding they actually said nothing in 10,000 words.

She turned looked down at page number eighty-four. One hundred and sixteen pages to go, and all she wanted to do is blast the cursed document with her wand. She couldn’t do that. If she didn’t produce reasons not to pass the procedure in the Wizengamot, then Fudge would force it through.

She smiled to herself. If this gets passed in the Wizengamot, she will make the useless bureaucrats who wrote this drivel train everyone. That might cause a two month backlog in transferring prisoners to Azkaban, but she wouldn’t be wasting her time or anyone from her department trying to teach people this tripe.

“Madam Bones, I am going home,” said Melvin from the doorway to the waiting area.

Amelia looked up at the clock on the wall and saw that it was four-thirty. Her entire afternoon had passed waiting for Gregory Bright. “Yes, Melvin, and have a good night.”

Amelia looked back down at the document, and tried to concentrate on it again. Whether she liked it or not, she had to read it. Fudge had tried to put his pureblood supremacy rubbish in the back pages of legislation before.


Amelia looked up to see Gregory Bright staring at her. He was leaning against the door jamb to her office, as relaxed as if it was his own house. “Interesting reading?” he asked her.

“Hardly, have you come the change the windows?”

“Yes, I have. What do you want? I can create any type of view in your windows, with barely a thought. I still have trouble with third year stuff, like casting Silencing Charms.”

Amelia caught onto his hint. As Gregory walked towards the first window on his right, she picked up her wand and cast a Silencing Charm on the Room.

“You can speak freely now. No one will hear you,” she announced to him. “While you are here could you give me a view of the Cliffs of Dover?”

“Do you want the perspectives to be as though you are looking at them from the channel?”

“Yes, that would be nice.” Amelia leaned back in her chair and watched Gregory Bright simply waved his wand and created the most beautiful and realistic image on her panel that was designated as a window. Her office was like the rest of the Ministry deep underground. No one’s office had actual windows. They all had panels set in window frames.

“How is that? Do you like the perspective of looking from sea level, or would you prefer to look at it as though you are riding on a broom?”

“Sea level is good. I am afraid of heights.”

“I am glad you like it. What should I do with the other window?”

“It doesn’t matter,” she said curtly.

Gregory sighed. “I always check Madam Bones, because some people are very picky about their windows. I was down in Bartemius Crouch’s office today. He wanted one window to look like a scene from Bulgaria and the other a scene from southern France.

“I had changed the one to his satisfaction, when suddenly his House Elf pops into his office. That poor thing was nearly screaming through her tears. It kept saying ‘I lost him, Master. I lost him, Master. I lost Master.’

“Bartemius went into a terrible temper and forbid the Elf from saying anything more, before storming out of the office. The House Elf shouted to him that she could take him to Master. Bartemius ran back into the office and gave the House Elf clothes before leaving.

“Poor thing sat down and stared to wail. It didn’t know what to do, so I decided to send it to Hogwarts. If Macnair got his hands on it, he would have executed it.”

Bright had changed the second window to a beach scene. It wasn’t in the channel. It looked more like Scotland, and it was vaguely familiar to her, but she just couldn’t place it. Turning her full attention to his story, she was confused why he would think what happened between Bartemius Crouch and his House Elf would be important.

“Why was that incident so important?”

“Gregory Bright looked at her with a penetrating gaze. “Do you know much about Bartemius’ family?”

“Bartemius doesn’t have a family.”

“Bartemius shouldn’t have a family. His Death Eater son supposedly died in Azkaban. His wife died shortly after that and was buried immediately. Quite an interesting coincidence that his wife, who was devastated by her spoiled brat of a son rotting in Azkaban, died shortly after visiting him with Bartemius. To top that coincidence off, the son died at about the same time, even though he was still healthy and young. The Dementors bury the dead in Azkaban. They are blind. To them one dead body looks the same as any other dead body.”

“What are you driving at and how do you know all this about the Crouchs?”

“What I am driving at is Bartemius Crouch Jr. isn’t dead in Azkaban. The House Elf said she lost him then she said she lost Master. A House Elf will only call members of their family Master. The only ‘him’, besides Bartemius Sr., that could also be called Master is his son. It is the only thing that makes sense.”

“Stop,” she demanded. “You can’t seriously believe that Barty Crouch broke his son out of Azkaban; the same Barty Crouch that sent his son to Azkaban for life. That doesn’t make sense.”

“Barty Crouch had to maintain his reputation as a hard-nosed prosecutor. His wife fell ill when it was revealed that her son was a Death Eater. She was dying of grief. He went and retrieved his son and left his wife in his place. It was too much of a coincidence that she died here and was buried without anyone seeing the body and their son died in Azkaban just a day earlier

“After what Bellatrix, the LeStrange brothers, and Barty Junior did to Frank and Alice, it would have been within the rights of the Ministry to have them kissed by a Dementor. It wasn’t for their sterling reputation. They were known strong supporters of — of you-know-who. They were wanted by the Aurors and were all suspected in at least three different murders and tortures. Why were they not given the Dementor’s kiss?”

“Gregory, this is all pure speculation. You have no proof of any of this.” She was concerned over this obvious obsession of his with the Crouches.

He smiled at her and looked at the second widow; the one with the seashore scene that she couldn’t remember where she saw it before.

“Do you remember that?” he said pointing at the picture.

“It seems vaguely familiar, but I can’t tell you why?”

“You were probably focused on something else. That is the view from Frank and Alice Longbottom’s holiday house in Scotland. They loved it up there. They used to go there to get away from it all. It was isolated. They were so isolated that when Bellatrix and company attacked them; no one would have been able to hear them scream. Three days they were tortured. They went there for the weekend and left little Neville with Augusta. They left notification of where they could be found with the Head of Magical Law Enforcement. The location would have been in that outer office, where his son worked. No one could have found them without that information. Of course that never came out in the trial, because there never was a trial.”

He turned and looked at her his eyes were red and puffy. As he had told her about the Longbottoms’ torture, his voice had become thick with emotion. “Alice was my cousin. She was ten years younger than me. She didn’t deserve that. I have been keeping a watch on the Crouches and the Lestrange connections ever since. If you think that I am barmy, well you can think that. I am sure that Bartemius’ son and wife didn’t die at nearly the same time. That House Elf would have never popped into Barty’s office unless it was something major. The only thing that the House Elf could have been talking about was Barty Crouch Jr. The slime is alive and now he is loose.”

Amelia stared at Gregory Bright. He didn’t have the appearance of a liar. She almost believed everything he said. However, it was a fantastic tale that would be hard to prove unless they could capture the son.

“I cannot launch an official investigation on what you just told me. We will pass it onto the Order as soon as possible. I am not even sure what they will think about what you just said. The only thing I can do is keep a personal eye on Barty Crouch and look to see if he is acting strange or taking excessive time off. If everything seems normal there may not be anything we can do. Gregory, please be careful. If you publicly accuse Barty Crouch of any of these accusations he will have you roasted in the Wizengamot. There will be nothing I can do to stop him.”

The maintenance worker stared at her. He looked too full of emotion to speak for several seconds.

“Thank you for listening and not throwing me out on my ear. I realize that most people will think I am barmy, but you at least are considering the possibility. Have a good night, Madam Bones,” he said with a quick nod of his head.

Amelia cancelled the Silencing Charm and sat back in her chair. She stared at the second picture. She now recognized the scene. The view from Longbottom’s cottage porch was amazing. The scene of their torture was the total opposite. The Auror Department went searching for them when they didn’t come to work on Monday. When they checked in the file drawer, the parchment with their location was gone. Fifteen Aurors Apparated to Frank’s family Manor. They found where they had been and Apparated there to find Bellatrix, Rodolphus, Rabastan Lestrange, and Barty Crouch Junior torturing them. They lost two Aurors in the battle and seven more were put into St. Mungos. People had been so outraged that they called for a trial and the Kiss to be delivered.

Amelia broke from her thoughts and waved her wand over her desk. Everything was neatly stacked and with another wave of her wand a Security Charm was cast. She needed to go home and relax. Tomorrow she will start watching Barty Crouch and digging deeper into the coincidences that Gregory spoke about.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

The Atrium of the Ministry was rather empty this morning. Amelia was waiting for Barty Crouch. He was normally here by 7:00 AM. It was now 7:10 AM and he was late. If Barty Crouch was anything, he was punctual. She didn’t know how many times he reprimanded someone in his department for being late when they showed up for a meeting only five minutes early.

She was stuck in a small dilemma. She would look suspicious if she waited here any longer for Barty to arrive. She had been here for nearly twenty minutes. It doesn’t really take that long to stand and clean a monocle or to take in the fountain of Magical Brethren without people becoming suspicious. She had no choice but to go to her office. Maybe later on today, she will stop by Barty’s office and see him. She just needed to find a reasonable excuse to do so, or Barty would become suspicious.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ginny stared at her reflection in the mirror. Nothing seemed to look right this morning. It was frustrating her to the point where she didn’t want to go with Harry to meet Horace Slughorn. The Headmaster had insisted that they meet him as a couple. She didn’t have any delusions as to why he wanted this. Remus and Sirius told them about Horace Slughorn and his obsession with top students with promise of becoming someone important in the magical world. Harry’s Mum was one of his favorites. Ginny had seen the look in people’s eyes that had known his parents when they saw her and Harry for the first time. Albus must have wanted to try to have Slughorn experience the same Déjà vu.

“I don’t understand how anyone can mistake me for her,” she shouted at her mirror. A suddenly wave of frustration had filled her up and she was near to crying. It took all of her concentration, as she squeezed her eyes closed, to keep the tears from smearing her makeup.

A feeling of warmth filled her up. She knew he was there before he slid his arms around her waist. His feeling of admiration and love quickly chased away her feeling of inadequacy. He placed his head on her shoulder and gently kissed her cheek. He didn’t say anything for a minute.

“You don’t look like my Mum, and I am glad. After all she is my Mum and that would make her an old woman. You are young and beautiful.”

Ginny smiled at his comment. Opening her eyes, she stared in the mirror. He was staring at her reflection.

“Thank you, I am sorry I am such a mess. I always heard my Mum talking about how wonderful it was to be a mother. I never thought about everything that is happening to me.”

“Did you Owl her to tell about what you have been feeling?”

“Yes, she told me that the morning sickness isn’t unusual. She said it is different with every pregnancy. She had it with Bill, Percy, and Ron. She also warned me about mood swings. The mood swings were worse with the children that she also had morning sickness. She wrote that I just need to remember that my body is changing and all these things will go away.”

Ginny looked down and saw that Harry had his hands clasped across her abdomen right over their baby. A sudden wave of emotion came over her. They were a family. She bit her lip to keep from crying.

“No tears Ginny,” said Harry. “We need to meet Slughorn in ten minutes.”

She spun in his arms and stared directly into his eyes. “We are a family, Harry. You, I, and our baby together are a family. Our own family, I love you!” She crushed her lips to his.

Harry returned the kiss but he seemed to be rather subdued compared to the feelings that she was sensing from him. He pulled away from her and stared in her eyes.

“We are now a family, and we will always be a family, Ginny,” he whispered to her. “However, can we continue this later? We need to meet this Slughorn in five minutes.”

As quickly as the last wave of emotions had filled her up, it was gone. She smiled at her understanding husband. “Yeah, let’s go meet Mr. Slughorn.”

They started to leave their living quarters. She almost started to giggle as she was sure she heard Harry speak to himself.

“Don’t forget to continue this later.”

They entered the Headmaster’s office and there sat a large man in expensive robes. He was so large that he looked to be wedged into the chair he was sitting. It was a good thing, or he might have fallen out of it when they entered. He had gone pale and stared at them. His gaze was fixed mostly on her.

It annoyed her that so many people thought she looked exactly like Lily Potter. Her hair was different shade of red, their eyes were strikingly different, and Lily Potter’s face and complexion was different. It always puzzled her; what it was that made people think she looked like Lily Evans.

“Horace Slughorn, I would like to introduce to you Ginny and Harry Potter,” said Albus Dumbledore.

A feeling overwhelmed her from this rotund man. It was guilt. The feeling was so strong and crushing that it had to be more than his mistaking her for Harry’s Mum. He pushed himself up from his chair and extended his hand to Harry first, then to her. She noticed that his feeling of guilt was increased when he shook Harry’s hand, rather than when he shook her hand.

“My goodness, I never expected you would look like this,” he said. “Albus told me that you are soul bonded, but he never told me you were so mature looking.”

“It is the soul bond,” said Harry. “Its formation made us adults by magical law. What no one knew it wasn’t just an adult in word but physically too. It took us by surprise when it happened.”

“How long did it take?” asked Slughorn.

“About eighteen hours,” she said.

“The transformation must have been strange and severe. How old were you?”

Ginny smiled his emotions had completely changed to fascination. “I was ten, and Harry was eleven. We experienced body aches and pains. It wasn’t extraordinarily painful.”

“Fascinating” he nearly gasped. “It has been hundreds of years since anyone had formed a soul bond.”

“Seventeen hundred years to be precise,” said Harry. “None had ever been formed between two people as young as we were. There had been no record of the physical transformation occurring to the extent of ours.

“I know you may have many more questions about our soul bond. I need to know will you help me stop my mother and father’s murderer and his army of dark wizards?”

Ginny could feel Slughorn’s emotions once again take a swing and it was as severe of a swing as she was experiencing with her pregnancy. She almost laughed at the realization that even though she was physically pregnant; he was the one that looked it.

“I don’t think I can help you with this war, Harry,” Slughorn replied weakly.

“Horace, you knew Tom better than anyone when he was at school here. Why would he be looking for you?” said Albus Dumbledore.

Ginny sat back in her chair and listened as Harry and Albus spoke with Slughorn. She couldn’t infiltrate his mind and know what he was thinking, but she could feel his emotions clearly. It became strange that he hated to have Albus or Harry to use the name Voldemort, but his biggest spike of fear was when they talked about Tom as one of his favorite students. It wasn’t remorse that he befriended a monster in making. It was fear of that monster.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Amelia was looking over the legislation that Fudge had drawn up, when the person in charge of Ministry Security came into her office. He had a look of fear on his face.

“Madam Bones, we have an incident,” he whispered.

“What is it?” she nearly shouted to him. She had visions of an attack on the Ministry.

“It is the Department of Mysteries,” he stammered. “Someone broke into the Hall of Prophecies.”

“Do you have them?”

“You need to see this. I don’t know how to handle this,” he said nervously. He kept looking over his shoulder at Melvin.

“Let’s go,” she said the Head of Ministry Security, in a second she was striding past Melvin. “I must go out. I will be back soon,” she told her assistant.

They walked past people without saying anything. Even while standing alone in the lifts, they didn’t speak. The possibilities of what had happened were running through her mind. It didn’t sound like anything good was coming from this. She had never heard of anyone trying to get into the hall of prophecies before. She had a good guess what prophecy they were going in there for. She thought of sending Albus an Owl telling him about this, but that would have been too obvious.

The lifts opened and they continued down a set of stairs to the Department of Mysteries entrance. Several Unspeakables were waiting for her. They held true to their title. No one spoke to her. They led her through the area with the rotating doors to the Hall of Prophecies.

The thought of all these prophecies made her skin crawl. She hated the thought that your life was controlled by what was held inside of these orbs. They took several turns. The size of this place shocked her. She never realized that there had been so many prophecies made. The sound of a man moaning and babbling could be heard in front of them.

She was led to a circle of Unspeakables. They obviously were surrounding the man on the ground. As she approached, a man who looked in control of the situation stepped away from the circle on Unspeakables.

“Madam Bones, I am pleased you came. This is a most awkward situation we have here.”

“What exactly is the situation we have here?” she snapped. Her irritation at being told nothing up to this point got the best of her.

The Unspeakable stepped back and waved his arm at the man on the ground. “He tried to remove a prophecy that was not made about him or by him. The prophecies have a Security Charm on them that anyone who does this will be cursed.”

Amelia never expected the sight before her. There on the ground twitching, mumbling, drooling was Barty Crouch Sr. She looked up at the dust covered orbs. There was one that the dust had been disturbed. Walking over to it, her fears were confirmed. Below the orb names of Harry Potter, Voldemort, and Sybil Trelawney were written.

Back to index

Chapter 22: Duels

Author's Notes: Harry and Ginny's presence at Hogwarts start to make a difference in the students ability. His presence also influences someone to divulge something they wouldn't.

“Barty Crouch do something illegal. You must be barkin’.” scoffed Alastor Moody. “That man has never broken a law in his life.”

Harry stared at the grizzled old Auror. He was laughing at what Madam Bones just told everyone. She was staring at him red-faced and a small vein throbbed in her temple. It appeared to Harry that people rarely tell her that she was “barkin’” to her face. There had been a hastily called meeting in the Headmaster’s office this evening. Madam Bones had sent a Patronus to Dumbledore saying she needed to discuss something important.

The story she just finished telling everyone seemed amazing to Harry. He had no idea who Barty Crouch Sr. and Jr. were, but it seemed a bit extreme to go to the measures he had for his son; particularly, since his son was a Death Eater.

“Why would Barty go into the Department of Mysteries and try to take a prophecy that wasn’t his to touch?” responded Madam Bones. “He would have known about the curses on the Prophecies. He was obviously under the influence of the Imperious Curse.”

“That doesn’t mean it was his son, who died at Azkaban years ago,” said Moody.

“If it wasn’t Barty Junior, then who would have gotten close enough to Barty to Imperious him. Barty has never been very approachable. After everything that Gregory Bright told me, it just fits. Barty Crouch Jr. is alive and has gone back to his Master.”

“Codswallop,” spat Moody.

“Alastor, please calm down,” said Albus Dumbledore quietly. “Amelia, you seem to be putting a great deal of faith in Gregory Bright’s version of what happened with Barty Crouch Jr.”

“I didn’t believe it at first, but after I thought about it. It started to make sense. Particularly concerning what Crouch’s House Elf said. The very next day Barty Crouch is found down in the Department of Mysteries trying to take a prophecy off a shelf. I questioned people who saw him coming into the Ministry and they all said he was acting strangely. He was distant and seemed confused and uncertain. Those are all traits of someone under the Imperious Curse.”

“If what you are telling us is true. It certainly is important, but I am not sure if that changes anything we are planning at this time,” the Headmaster said quietly. “I was sure that Voldemort would try to obtain the prophecy. I am sorry that Barty suffered a curse that left him mentally incapacitated. I cannot see this changing any of our plans at the present time.”

Madam Bones seemed to be slightly affronted at his comments.

“Thank you for bringing this to our attention, Amelia. Are there areas in the Ministry that Barty Jr. could still access?”

“No, even if he tried using his father’s wand, which we still haven’t found. All high security areas are locked out to him. We have deleted his wand from having access.”

“Thank you Amelia,” said the Headmaster with a sigh. He looked very old and tired as he stared directly at Harry.

“Is everything all right, Headmaster?” asked Ginny.

“It seems our possible allies are growing fewer every day. We will continue to monitor the Death Eater activities as we have. Do you have anything to add, Harry?”

Harry was caught a bit off guard by his question. “No, I am not even sure who you are talking about. This Barty Jr. Is he very dangerous?”

“He was involved with the torture of the Longbottoms,” stated Madam Bones. “We have no record of any Death Eater activity before that, but I doubt we would find any. He was working for his father, while Barty Sr. was the Head of Magical Law Enforcement. He had access to all the files. He was probably a spy for the Death Eaters.”

“Barty Crouch Jr. was an excellent student here at Hogwarts. He finished with ten NEWTs,” said the Headmaster. “If we are finished talking about the incident in Department of Mysteries and the Crouch’s, then I would like to move on. Alastor, how has the tracking of Death Eaters been going?”

“I feel we have at least three of their main meeting places picked out. They don’t seem to have changed their tactics after we found Professor Slughorn. Should we look for Barty Jr.?”

“I don’t think he will come out into the public for quite some time,” said Remus Lupin. “It isn’t the smart thing to do. It would be to Voldemort’s advantage to keep Barty hidden until it doesn’t matter anymore.”

“And when would that be?” asked Moody.

“When they take over the Ministry,” replied Remus nonchalantly.

Amelia Bones and Alastor Moody turned and stared at Remus Lupin.

“The Ministry is ready to fall,” he said in response to their shocked expressions. “We all know it is just a matter of time before Voldemort tries to take it over. I believe it will be either the Ministry or Hogwarts he tries to overthrow first. The Ministry is full of his followers and sympathizers. It would be the easiest to overthrow. I predict he will hit there first.”

“He may be out in the public, but I doubt if little Barty would appear without the assistance of Polyjuice,” said Sirius. “If what Madam Bones has said is true, than he was using Polyjuice on a regular basis to pretend he was his mother.”

“What we need is a way to regulate the brewing of Polyjuice,” said Madam Bones. “I tried to pass legislation to control the brewing of Polyjuice, but Barty tabled it without explanation.”

“We Aurors use it too,” stated Moody.

“I know they use it, but I wanted to keep it out of the hands of the Death Eaters,” said Madam Bones.

“That would certainly help,” said Alastor. “How could you do that? The ingredients are used in many other Potions. Telling people they shouldn’t do something won’t stop them.”

“Bicorn Horn,” stated Madam Bones. “It is primarily used for Polyjuice. It has uses for other exotic Potions, but nothing critical for medicines. That is all wishful thinking. There is no possibility of getting legislation passed with the present Ministry,” she sighed.

“I need to go home. Are we done here?” she asked the Headmaster. She was looking very tired and old.

“Yes, I believe so. Is there anything else we need to discuss before the Order meeting this weekend?”

“Yes, be sure to bring the item you want turned into a Portkey with you,” said Harry.

“I will do that. Have you practiced the spell enough to make Portkeys?” she asked him.

“He is very proficient at it,” stated Sirius.

“Very well, I shall see you all on Saturday evening.” Madam Bones stood up and left the room.

“I’ll be over at Headquarters in about an hour,” Sirius said to Alastor, a few minutes after Madam Bones left.

The old Auror smiled at Sirius. “You won’t be going out as Padfoot for a few weeks.”

Sirius leaned forward in his chair and stared at him. “Why is that? I can move about unnoticed as Padfoot.”

“You have been seen by most of the Death Eaters we are tracking,” said Professor McGonagall. “They might start wondering why they keep seeing the same dog every place they go. I will be going out for the next two weeks as a cat.”

Sirius looked at the Transfiguration Professor and started laughing. “You certainly are full of surprises, Minnie.”

Everyone in the room stared at Sirius at what he just said to Professor McGonagall. She just smiled cordially at him.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ron Weasley was walking from the Charms classroom to the library. Hermione was chattering away beside him about ramifications of the theory pertaining to some spell he had forgotten about already. When she was this excited about an opportunity to research and learn something new, she looked so cute. Seamus and Dean always made excuses to leave when Hermione gets wound up like this, but Ron didn’t mind being around her. He just needed to remember what it was she was talking about.

“…and precise wand movement may not be that critical, if I am correct about this theory. This is so exciting, isn’t it Ron?” she asked him practically bubbling with excitement.

Ron stared at her for a second. He was caught up in the sparkle in her eyes. She always complained about how she hated her dull boring brown eyes. He thought they were so beautiful, almost like Honeydukes best chocolate.

“I think all your ideas are stupid, Mudblood.”

Ron stopped and reached for his wand. He wanted to try out a few new spells he learned at the last advanced training session. He felt Hermione’s hand on his wrist. Her hand touching the skin of his wrist made his arm breakout in gooseflesh. He didn’t pull his wand because she had stopped him. He wasn’t afraid of Malfoy or his two goons, Crabbe and Goyle.

Malfoy was standing at the end of the hallway. It was the most direct path from the Charms classroom to the library. If Malfoy had wanted to set a trap for them this was the perfect place and time.

Bill was teaching seventh years. Harry and Ginny were teaching first years and Remus and Sirius would be helping those two with their classes. Professor McGonagall was teaching at this time. There would be no teachers helping them.

“If my ideas are so stupid Malfoy, why am I the top student in all the classes? Even the ones with you and your Slytherin buddies,” responded Hermione.

“How dare you talk to me like that? I am your superior,” he shouted back at her.

Something was bothering Ron. Malfoy was acting a little too brave. He had always been arrogant, but he was really pushing the limits right now. If there was one thing that Malfoy always did was ensure he could win any fight. Ron slowly stepped away from Hermione and turned to look behind him.

“Hello Blaise, Pansy,” Ron said to the two Slytherins standing in the hallway behind them. They must have been hiding somewhere waiting for them. This was a definite ambush. When turning Ron had moved enough to see Hermione’s face out of the corner of his eye, her expression had just become cold and calculating. He knew from experience that she was already starting to think about what spells she would be using.

“You should reconsider you little plan Malfoy,” said Hermione. Her expression hardened since realizing that this was a setup.

“Why should I do that,” he said, while drawing his wand.

“It would be really embarrassing to lose to a blood traitor and a Mublood, when you out number us two to one.”

“That is exactly why I won’t cancel this little plan of mine. It is going to work out perfectly. We will curse you two so bad that no one will recognize you and then set you free in Hogsmeade. By the time people finally figure out that you are not dead, you will wish you had died.”

“Those are a lot of bold words for someone who refuses to duel in class. Are you afraid of being embarrassed?” she taunted him.

“I have no need for Defense against the Dark Arts,” said Malfoy haughtily. “I have people far superior to your brother and Potter teaching me.”

“Who might that be?” asked Ron. “Your future master, or are you already a Death Eater?”

“What I am is superior to you, Blood Traitor.”

Ron almost ignored what Draco had just called him he was watching Pansy and Blaise. Those two worried him more than Draco. They were ruthless and he bet they even enjoyed inflicting pain on people. He glanced at Hermione to see what she was doing while watching the two behind them.

Hermione turned to make eye contact with him. He could see that she was confident. They had been taught in their advanced Defense classes how best to handle these situations. They had actually talked about this situation. Ron had already decided to Hex Pansy first with as strong of a Repulso Hex as possible. Hopefully, she will get pushed into Blaise and he can take him out before he recovers. He was sure that Hermione would take out Draco before neutralizing Crabbe and Goyle. Those two oafs were almost useless with a wand.

“What is going on here?” squeaked the tiny voice of Professor Flitwick.

Ron noticed Blaise and Pansy put their wands away. He assumed Draco had done the same.

“I hope you weren’t planning on any illegal duels in the halls. You all would end up in detention or expelled.” The Professor said, as forcefully as his tiny little voice would allow him to sound. “You can face each other this Saturday at the Dueling club if you feel the need to prove your prowess with a wand. Now run along everyone.”

Ron turned and looked at Draco. “This Saturday then at the Dueling Club?” he asked.

“Yeah, Weaslebee, I will see you there.” Draco sneered at Ron and walked away. Pansy and Blaise ran past Ron and Hermione to fall in step with Draco.

“Thank you Professor Flitwick for coming along,” Hermione said to the Professor.

“I am sure you two could take them,” he said dismissively. “Do be careful this Saturday. You two know that Dark Curses are not allowed, but I don’t know if they care.”

Ron smiled at his Charms Professor. “Thank you. We will keep that in mind.”

“Good, do that Mr. Weasley. Now don’t you two have some studying to do?”

“Yes, Professor we do. We need to get to the Library,” said Hermione. She grabbed Ron’s hand and pulled him towards the Library.

Ten minutes later they were standing between two large bookshelves searching for books so Hermione could do her research. Ron pulled his wand and waved it both directions while silently casting a Silencing Charm.

“We can talk freely,” he said to Hermione’s puzzled expression. “What curse were you going to cast at that junior Death Eater?”

Hermione’s surprised expression melted away to a smile. “Did you cast a Silencing Charm?” she whispered.

“Yeah, I didn’t want anyone hearing our conversation.”

“I was going to use a Petrificus Totalis first on Malfoy then Crabbe and Goyle. I was hoping that they would fall on top of that foul git.”

Ron laughed at the thought of Malfoy crushed under the weight of his two goons. “That would be rather comical. I was going to use Repulso against Parkinson hoping it would push her into Zabini. I think I could have disarmed them both before they recovered.”

“That sounds like a good plan. You are very good at using the Expelliarmus Charm,” she complimented him.

Ron smiled at her. His face was getting a little warm for some reason.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry had been silent as he and Ginny walked back to their quarters. He knew that Ginny would be pressuring him for an answer as soon as they entered the confines of their sitting room. He had a plan formulated in his mind, but he wanted Ginny’s opinion first before talking to Sirius, Remus, and Bill.

Harry opened the door to their sitting room. He stepped aside for his wife before closing the door. He smiled at her as she took a seat and stared at him. She crossed her legs and leaned back against the chair back.

“What is on your mind, love?” She asked him.

“I am thinking about doing what Madam Bones suggested,” he said to her rather cryptically. The Head of the Magical Law Enforcement had suggested several things. He stared at her as she sorted through his thoughts and what Amelia had said earlier.

Ginny’s eyes widened suddenly. “You are planning on buying up all the Bicorn Horn available.”

“I want to investigate the possibility of doing that. If we do it silently, we might be able to control who has the ability of making Polyjuice Potion. I need to contact Grins and see what the Goblins know about the world wide supply of Bicorn Horn. I also want to consult the older members of the group, before proceeding with this plan.”

Ginny stared blankly into space and played with the seam on the chair’s arm with her right index finger and thumb. She didn’t say anything for several minutes. “There are several methods of changing a person’s appearance without the use of Polyjuice.”

“None of them are as complete and many of the spells will fade without an anchor on the person,” he replied to her.

“I think you should ask Grins about the feasibility of your plan. Hopefully, we can afford it,” she said sardonically.

“If not, I am sure you can find a good job to support us,” he said. He sat down to write a letter to Grins Gringotts on the official Potter stationary ignoring the small pillow that hit him on the back.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Albus Dumbledore returned to his office after breakfast Saturday morning. The dueling club was going to commence in the great hall in a few minutes. He wanted to talk to Horace about watching it with him. Horace was never that good at dueling, but he should appreciate the skills that many of the students had obtained after barely two months of dueling.

He also thought that seeing Harry and Ginny interacting with the other students might make him think about Lily and her death. All he needed was to get Horace’s resistance to crack just a little and he would be able to convince him to reveal the secret that he has been guarding so intently.

“I hope you have had an enjoyable breakfast, Horace,” Albus said to his guest. Horace was sitting in his large leather chair wearing a silk dressing robes and nibbling on his toast, poached eggs, and caviar.

He sipped his tea before answering. “It was a particularly enjoyable experience. I never expected you to have such high quality caviar here at Hogwarts. Certainly, you are not giving such delicacies to the students.”

“No, Horace, I doubt if many students would like roe for breakfast. They prefer kippers. I only have a small amount of caviar. It was a gift from the Headmaster of Durmstrang, Igor Karkarof.”

Horace looked up at him and blanched. “Karkarof is the Headmaster at Durmstrang?”

“He testified against his former Death Eater friends. He said he was coerced into joining their ranks. The Ministry saw fit to suspend his sentence as long as he stays out of trouble.

“I have been communicating with him and the Headmistress of Beauxbaton’s. We are thinking about starting up the Triwizard Tournament at Hogwarts next year.”

“You are going to have Karkarof here inside of these walls?” spluttered Horace.

“You looked concerned Horace.”

“No one ever leaves his ranks and lives, Albus. I don’t trust him.”

“There is no reason for concern Horace. We are not planning on having the tournament until next year. I was wondering, if you would like to go to the great hall and watch the dueling club. It would be a good opportunity to watch for the next great dueling champion.” Albus watched with interest to see if Horace would take the bait. It was obvious that he wanted Horace to go to the competition. He just hoped he didn’t suspect why.

Horace thought the suggestion over for a few minutes before smiling at Albus. “I think that might be interesting. Is there anyone in particular you think I would find interesting?”

“I think there are several students that you would find interesting.”

Horace pushed up from the chair. He and the chair groaned from the shifting of his massive body. He stood up to Banish the crumbs from this morning’s toast from his robes. “I can’t go Albus. If any of the Death Eaters’ children see me they will know I am here.”

“I wasn’t going to announce you. All the students are too young to remember you.”

Horace sat down with a worried expression on his face. “No, I will stay here.”

“I would like you to come to the Order meeting tonight.”

Horace looked at him with a worried expression on his face. He looked as old as wrinkles formed on his forehead. “I will think about it.” He shifted heavily in the chair. “I know you think I have information that may help you. I assure you that anything that I may know about Tom would be insignificant and wouldn’t be of any use.”

“But, you do know something about him. He did confide in you something important to him. We cannot always judge what others might deem important,” Albus said in reply to Horace’s comment.

“If I tell you everything that I know about him, will you send me to that secure estate in Spain?” asked Horace.

“If you give us the memories that you feel might help us in the fight against Tom, I will allow the Potters to view them. If they are helpful, Harry or Ginny can take you to that estate. I cannot send you there nor retrieve you; only the Potters can do that.”

Horace stared at him. He had a crooked smile on his face. “You have to consult with them on everything, don’t you? That must irritate you something fierce. You were always the one for total control,” Horace nearly laughed at his comment.

“I admit that I always thought that my decisions were the best informed,” he sighed at the truth of his actual authority. “…but I have made too many mistakes because I wasn’t informed or was looking at things from the wrong perspective.

“To answer your question directly, it bothers me to lose control of everything around me. However, the final victory comes down to Harry and Ginny. It doesn’t matter what I do if they do not support my decisions.”

Horace stared at him for several seconds. Albus could almost see the thoughts tumble around in his mind without the need of Leglimency. He looked down at his robes then around the office and living quarters.
“If two young teenagers can get you to relinquish your total control of the fight against Voldemort, than it is quite possible they may be able to defeat him in the end. Those were two things that I always deemed to be impossibilities.”

Horace raised his wand to his temple. “You may need to get a couple of vials, Albus.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry watched as the great hall filled with excited students. There was a buzz of muffled conversation about today’s agenda. This was the first time the students from other houses were going to face each other in duels. They had hoped that they would be doing that last month, but it was deemed necessary to delay it for four weeks. They never planned on having this many students dueling. It took almost eight weeks for everyone to get three duels against their housemates. Anyone exhibiting a lack of control of their spell casting wasn’t permitted to duel today. Everyone who signed up for this club was able to duel today. No one had used any barred spells nor were any of the students so sporadic with the direction of their spells that they were deemed unsafe.

“Have you noticed that there are several students that aren’t in this club normally,” Ginny whispered to him.

“I noticed that,” said Bill from the other side of Ginny.

Ginny snapped her head around to see her brother standing there.

“I also noticed most of them are from Gryffindor and Slytherin,” stated Bill. “Is there something special planned today?”

“MAY I HAVE YOUR ATTENTION?” The magically enhanced voice of Professor Flitwick echoed off the great hall’s ceiling and walls. He had his wand pointing at his larynx.


Professor Flitwick produced a pointy wizard’s hat and waved his wand around the brim. Harry watched as the hat filled with little slips of paper. The Professor reached in the hat and pulled a single slip of paper. When Harry looked at it from a distance it didn’t look as if there was any writing on it.

“DRACO MALFOY,” said the Professor. A cheer came out from the Slytherin crowd on the one side of the great hall. The Professor reached into the hat again and produced another slip of paper. Harry was sure this one was blank. “RONALD WEASLEY,” his amplified voice rang around the great hall. It was the Gryffindor’s turn to shout out their support.

Draco and Ron quickly jogged to the dueling platform. Harry could feel the tension from here. He had heard rumors that they almost got into a duel in the halls the other day. Supposedly Professor Flitwick showed up and stopped the duel. Maybe he just planned on having it in here, because the slips of papers he pulled out of the hat looked blank.

“DUELERS, YOU MAY BEGIN AT THE COUNT OF THREE,” announced Professor Flitwick.

“Prepare to lose Weasley,” said Draco with a sneer.

Ron just smiled at him. The lack of a reaction seemed to irritate Draco. The Slytherin gripped his wand tighter and readjusted his footing. Harry smiled at Ron. He had improved the most of the people taking the advanced defense sessions.


Draco again readjusted his footing and moved, while Ron stood there calmly smiling at Draco.


Harry smiled as Draco almost twitched and cast a spell. Ron looked so calm and ready.


Draco shouted, “PETRIFIC….” His mouth was still moving but no sound was heard. The spell coming from his wand was weak and Ron was able to easily flick it away.

Ron had flicked his wand at the same time as Draco started his spell. He started using nonverbal spells two weeks ago and the Silencing Charm was one of few he had mastered.

Draco turned to say something to Professor Flitwick, but no sound came out of his mouth. Laughter could be heard from the Gryffindor side. Draco suddenly flipped upside down like a giant had grabbed his heel. His arms flung wildly around slamming into the floor.

“Repulso,” said Ron calmly.

Draco was pushed over the end of dueling table. He suddenly dropped like a rock onto the floor of the great hall.

“Finite,” said Ron. He was smiling as the sound of Draco’s whiney voice filled the great hall. He was crying like a little child.


“Professor Flitwick, I protest that match,” shouted Professor Snape. “Weasley used a Silencing Charm.”

“Which is legal,” countered Professor Flitwick. “Mr. Weasley was able to cast spells without saying them. It was obvious he was the superior dueler.”

Harry had to concentrate to not laugh at Snape’s reaction. There was fury in his eyes but his face looked like it was made of stone as he glared at Harry then Ron. He picked up a whimpering Draco and pulled him back with the rest of the Slytherins .

For the next three hours he watched students dueling each other. He was pleased to see that none of the students in the advanced defense class had lost their duels. All the students seemed to have improved since the first of the year. It looked as if their plan to prepare the students for the possibility of war was working. He didn’t think any of them could face off with the inner circle of Voldemort’s Death Eaters, but their chances are much better now than just three months ago.

As they were placing the great hall back in place for lunch, he looked at Bill, Sirius, Remus, and Ginny and saw they were all pleased with the quality of the duels. The students were also excited because the duels were entertaining without anyone being permanently damaged. He also noticed that the students were cheering for the other houses, except Slytherin.

Just before the dueling session was to conclude, a second year boy sought out Harry. He had a message for Harry and Ginny to see the Headmaster in his office after the dueling club was finished. Looking over at her, he tried to think about meeting with Dumbledore. He saw her smile at him. She was able pick up his thoughts in the room filled with excited people. Their bond was growing stronger every day.

Thirty minutes later, Harry and Ginny reappeared from the Headmaster’s Pensieve. They had viewed four memories that Slughorn had given them to view. This was the final link to deciding how many Horcuxes Voldemort made.

“Did those memories give you what you want?” Professor Slughorn asked them.

“Did you get a chance to view them Headmaster?” Harry asked, before responding to Slughorn.

“Yes, I believe we finally have some answers to how many he made. Horace would like to go to your estate in Spain, Harry.”

“When would you like to leave?” Harry asked Slughorn.

“I can have my personal effects ready in about an hour,” said Horace Slughorn, as he pushed himself up and out of the leather chair.

Harry was taken aback by this request. He figured it would be the next day or in a couple days. He never thought it would be within the hour. He stared at Ginny.

“Sure we can take you to Spain, but it won’t be for about two hours,” Ginny said to Slughorn.

“We will be Apparating part of the way. So you will need to have all your things confined so Ginny and I can Apparate you and your belongings in one go.” Harry added.

“I must remind you two that you are needed at tonight’s meeting,” said Albus Dumbledore.

“We will be back before the meeting,” Ginny said, while giving the Headmaster a reassuring smile.

“Are you two planning on Apparating me to Spain? That would be incredible,” said Slughorn. The excitement of being involved with something that fantastic showed in his voice.

“No, we won’t be Apparating all the way to Spain,” said Harry. “We will meet you back here in two hours.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry and Ginny walked slowly to the main gate of Hogwarts. Horace Slughorn was wearing a large heavy cloak to cover his face. He looked like someone had thrown a robe over a boulder. He moved about as fast.

They had left the Headmaster’s office, and they told Sirius, Remus, and Bill about the memory and taking Slughorn to Spain. They discussed if Harry and Ginny needed any assistance taking Slughorn to Spain. Everyone thought they would safe once they left Hogwarts. They could Apparate directly to the manor house in Britain then use the transportation vault to go to Spain. They should be safe.

They finally reached the gate after what seemed like an hour of walking. Harry was starting to wonder if they should have left an hour ago. He wanted time to discuss this trip before taking it. If they continue on at this rate Ginny and he may not be back in time for tonight’s Order meeting.

“We have made it. I always hated that long walk from the castle,” wheezed Slughorn. “Where are we off to now?”

“Take my arm,” Harry said while offering him his arm. He lifted his other arm for Ginny to take.

“You are going to take all of us at one time?” questioned Slughorn. “That would take a very powerful wizard.”

“Don’t worry, Harry can do this,” said Ginny with a smile.

“We go on three,” said Harry. “One, two, three.”

The Apparation was even more constricting than he had ever experienced before. Slughorn’s mass was probably equivalent to three normal people, and add the large trunk that Ginny was carrying, he was Apparating six people. His manor appeared in front of him. The sound of the angry sea breaking against the rocky shore covered the pop of Apparation. The cold November wind cut through their clothing.

“Merlin’s beard,” exclaimed Slughorn this can’t be Spain.

“We are at the Potter manor in Britain,” Harry told him. “We need to go inside to access transportation to Spain.”

They entered the manor. Harry had to stop and wait for Slughorn. He was gaping at the furnishings.

“I never knew the Potters owned an estate like this. This is just incredible,” he gushed to Harry.

“Yeah, it is impressive, but if we don’t continue on Ginny and I will never make back to the meeting tonight.”

“Yes, yes, you must not miss the meeting.” Slughorn said dismissively. He stared at everything as he followed them. “Is this place in Spain furnished like this marvelous house?”

“They are furnished according to local customs,” replied Ginny.

The progress down to the lowest level of the manor was slow. Again Horace Slughorn slowed them down.

Ten minutes later they were entering the transportation vault. Harry closed the door.

“What is this?” He said staring around him.

Harry didn’t answer him directly. “Potter Manor, Spain.”

There was a slight vibration as they were transported to Spain. Ginny opened the door this time. The room outside of the door was cut sandstone, instead of the granite in England.

“Welcome to Spain, Professor Slughorn,” said Ginny. “We will give a quick tour of the estate and let the House Elves know you are staying here.”

They had stepped out of the vault to find the Head House Elf, Piedra. He was dressed in a small black matador jacket a white shirt and short black pants.

“Madam and Master Potter, I am pleased to see you again. We are having a bit of a situation here that needs you attention.”

“Piedra, this is Horace Slughorn. He shall be living here in the guest suite until further notice. He is an accomplished Potion Master and will have full access to the Potions lab. If you could send his trunk to his suite, we will show him the estate.”

“Will Madam and Master be staying too?”

“No Peidra, we will be returning after showing Professor Slughorn the estate,” answered Harry. He was getting concerned about getting back to Grimmauld place by the start of the meeting. It was already past three.

“Master Potter, we are having some problems with the latest developments. Our storage facilities are full. What should we do?”

Harry looked at him with a strange expression. He wasn’t sure what the House Elf was talking about for a few seconds, before it came to him.

“Can the new supplies be stored in Italy or Turkey?”

“If you do not need me, I will go there and see if they can be properly stored.”

“Go on Peidra, it shouldn’t take you more than two hours. I need to return to England within two hours.”

“I shall return before you need to leave.” The House Elf disappeared with a pop.

“Are you ready to see the estate?” Harry asked their guest.

“Are there stairs?” Slughorn asked.

“Three flights to the main level,” said Ginny. Harry could tell she was trying to suppress a smile.

“Could we please Apparate to the main level?”

Harry offered his arm to the overweight Potion Master. Slughorn grabbed the arm. He seemed to be relieved that he didn’t need to walk up three flights of stairs.

“Meet me in the courtyard,” he said to Ginny, before Apparating away with Slughorn.

They reappeared in the open air courtyard. The air was chilly but not cold for being November, with a scent of the salt air from the Mediterranean. The sun was hanging low over the red tile roof. Its rays warmed Harry. He lowered his arm to allow Slughorn to walk on his own. Ginny appeared out of a doorway to their left.

“Harry, you need to see this,” she said. “We are going to have to move things around before anyone can start using the Potion Lab.”

“Peidro already talked about the problem. He is trying to find the solution,” Harry replied to Ginny. He turned to Slughorn. “Would you like to see the Potion Lab?”

“What exactly is this problem?”

“I ordered my financiers to purchase Bicorn Horn.”

“Bicorn Horn, how much did you ask them to purchase?”

Harry smiled. Horace was always so fixated with wealth and power. He wondered what his reaction will be to the amount of Bicorn Horn they purchased. He walked towards the door that Ginny had disappeared into. “I told them to buy them all.” He saw a puzzled look on Slughorn’s face.

“Buy them all? What do you mean by all? All the ones in the local market….”

“No, all the Bicorn Horn in the world; it is a rare reagent, and it will keep our opposition from making Polyjuice Potion.”

Harry opened the door to the Potion Lab. It was a large expansive room, nearly the floor space of the great hall of Hogwarts with a lower ceiling. There was a section by the door that had solid walls to reduce the light and fold out screens to block light from the other end of the lab. The distant half of the lab had windows on all sides with blinds to control the amount of light. On the benches were hundreds of boxes with Bicorn Horns in them.

“My goodness, Harry,” gasped Horace Slughorn. “A single complete Bicorn Horn can cost up to a thousand galleons. You must have a million galleons worth of Bicorn Horns.”

“Didn’t Grins say it was closer to one and a half million galleons,” said Ginny.

“A million and a half galleons,” Slughorn said with complete shock. “How can you afford that?”

Harry looked up at him. “You saw the Potter manor in England, and this one here in Spain. I have also seven other estates as large. I can afford to do this. I am not afraid to tell you this, because you are not allowed to leave here until the war is over. This location is probably safer than any place in the world. Only House Elves or Ginny and I will come here. No one will find you. If you need to communicate with anyone give Peidro the letter, he will deliver it. The House Elves will take care of your needs. We need you to make Potions for the Order. We will need healing Potions and others like Polyjuice.”

“What is to become of me if Tom wins this war?”

“If he wins then I and Ginny will be dead. If there are no other Potters, this estate is yours to keep.” Horace Slughorn opened and closed his mouth for several seconds. He stared around at the Potions Lab and all the Bicorn Horn along with other rare reagents on the shelves. He turned to Harry with a smile on his face.

“Shall we see the rest of the estate?” Slughorn asked them.

Back to index

Chapter 23: Deceived

Author's Notes: This chapter is really a continuation of the last chapter, but the chapter became to long.
I would like to thank my Beat Leif for finding all of my mistakes.

Harry was walking up the stairs to the meeting of the Order of the Phoenix with Ginny a few steps behind. They had made it back from Spain only an hour earlier. Slughorn was nearly over the moon when he discovered how wealthy and influential the Potter family was. Harry never told him about the connection with the Gringotts family, or about owning most of Diagon Alley. Slughorn had marveled over the Potter library. He could access any book that had been published in the past 500 years by writing a note to the library. He was so excited at being able to pursue research he had to give up years ago, because he couldn’t find the writings in other libraries.

Slughorn’s last words still bothered Harry.

“After you have defeated Tom, I will make sure that you have all the proper connections in magical Britain. You have the wealth. You will have the popularity. With my influences, you could become the most influential wizard since Merlin.”

Harry didn’t want that. He had even contemplated that after the war was over; he and Ginny would disappear to raise their family at the Potter estates. Their children could never have a normal childhood if they are victorious.

“Harry,” Dumbledore’s voice pulled him back to the present. He was standing in the doorway of the library across from the dining room. The meeting normally took place in the formal dining room since it was the largest room in the house. “I would like a word with you.”

The Headmasters voice didn’t sound grave. Harry looked at Ginny and she looked as if she was uncertain why he made the request. If there was something serious, she would have sensed it. Harry entered the library to find Madam Bones and Dumbledore standing there.

“Harry, I would like you to make the emergency Portkeys first before coming to the meeting. We are interviewing new members and it will be a long process. I don’t mean to exclude you, but your time might be better served staying in here and creating everyone’s Portkey. I will be sending members in to you one at a time, so no one but you will know what everyone’s Portkeys are."

“Ginny, I was hoping to have you at the meeting. It would help to determine if someone is being deceitful to us.”

Harry looked at Ginny. She took some time to think about it before answering.

“I think that would be a good idea,” she replied. “The only thing about me being in that room. Where will I sit? I need to be close to the person being interrogated. If I am too far away, I may get some other person’s emotions mixed up with theirs.”

Ginny looked at Harry, Her brown eyes bored into his. He could see that she was confident in this plan. “Are you fine with this?”

“Yeah, I will be right across the hallway from you. If you need anything just yell.” He reached out and brushed her hair behind her ear. He felt a slight tingle as his hands brushed over the smooth skin of her cheek. Ginny smiled and left the library with Dumbledore.

“I am glad you are agreeing to this,” said Madam Bones. “Am I safe to assume you have been practicing making Portkeys?”

Harry broke his gaze from Ginny’s retreating form and turned to Madam Bones. "Yes, I have made the last ten successfully, and they all have been delayed activated. What do you want made into a Portkey?”

Madam Bones pointed her wand towards the door leading to the hall. “I am casting a Silencing Charm. I don’t want anyone else to hear this.” She waited a few seconds after casting the Silencing Charm before speaking again. “I want my monocle turned into a Portkey. The activation key will be the ribbon on it, when it is broken, it will activate the Portkey. Can you do that?”

Harry thought about it for a second. “I can do that. Can you place your monocle on the table here,” he said pointing at a reading table to their right.

He cast a couple of Diagnostic Charms on the monocle and its ribbon. They were clean of all magical residue that might cause him problems. It took just two small waves of his wand to create the Portkey and its activation key. The monocle glowed blue for a few seconds, before the glow seemed to sink it the small object completely.

“You are all set,” he told the older lady.

“Where will this take me?”

“To a safe place. If you don’t know where, then no one can force it out of you,” he said calmly. He should trust her, but something made him hold back a little. “I am not planning on telling anyone where they are going. There will be provisions there and House Elves to help you. I have contacted them and told them that anyone arriving by Portkey are to be treated as guests, unless you attack them.”

“Why would I attack them?”

“I wouldn’t expect you to, but if a Death Eater grabs onto you or steals your Portkey. I can only assume they may attack the first thing that moves.”

“Will I be able to Apparate back here? You seemed to indicate that these locations are in another country.”

“They are. The House Elves will contact me and I will come and get you. It would be best that you wait for me. If you leave the estate, the country will become aware of your presence and it might create a bit of a problem.”

“I have one more favor to ask you Harry,” Madam Bones asked gently. “I would like you to make another Portkey for my niece, Susan. I asked the Weasleys to take care of her if anything would happen to me and her mother. I am afraid that she might not be able to get to the Weasleys if Voldemort suddenly attacks. If he does this during the summer holidays, she may be at home when the Death Eaters come after us. Will you do this for me?”

He stared at this strong woman. She had tears forming in her eyes as she begged for a way to protect her niece. He heard about almost the entire Bones family being murdered by the Death Eaters during the last war. They had been made an example of for those who opposed Voldemort.

“Sure, do you have something for the Portkey?”

Harry charmed a small crystal necklace for Susan Bones. Madam Bones left to attend the meeting. The Order members came one after another. Harry started to forget what he had charmed for everyone. He didn’t tell them that he had sent them all to the estate in France with the infirmary.

The only person who stuck out in his memory was Reg Cattermole. He came in with a woman’s hair clip. He said he would take his chances with the Death Eaters, but his wife was a Muggleborn. She would need to escape if they ever took over. Reg never claimed to be very brave, but Harry thought he was very brave for preferring to face the wrath of Death Eaters so that he wife could be safe. The maintenance man stated that he wasn’t planning on fighting so he would try to hide and bend a knee if necessary. He just wanted to be sure his wife and children would be safe.

Severus Snape was the last person to walk into the library. He looked at Harry with a look of distaste. He sat and stared at Harry with that sneering look on his face for several minutes before talking.

“I have told you before, that if you make me a Portkey, it is possible that I will be forced to take Death Eaters with me to the location.”

“I told you that when you arrive at the location. Do not lift your wand against anyone there,” Harry growled. He was tired and they already had this conversation. If someone had repeated a conversation like this to Snape he would insult them and call them a dunderhead.

“Will you make the Portkey without any snide comments or revealing what the Portkey is to anyone else?”

“Look, I am tired so just tell me what it is and what the trigger will be,” he snapped at the Potion Master.

“It is in my pocket, and I want my touch to activate it,” said Snape a little sheepishly.

Harry stared at him there was something that he was embarrassed about. He might not have Ginny’s empathy, but he didn’t need it.

“I can make it so the touch of your skin will activate it, but if you would accidentally touch…,”

“I will not make that mistake Potter,” he said cutting Harry off.

“Fine, place it onto the table, and let’s get this over with,” he ordered Snape.

Snape pulled his robe back and reached into hidden pocket over his left breast. Harry wasn’t prepared for what came out of his pocket. It was a four inch long braid of auburn hair. It was tied with emerald green silk ribbon on each end. He didn’t know how Snape got that lock of hair, but there was no doubt that it was his Mum’s. He became slightly agitated at the thought that this foul git had a lock of his Mum’s hair over his heart. Harry stared at Snape for several seconds.

“Lily gave it to me,” Snape hissed. “She had cut her hair between third and fourth year when Potter told her he loved her long red hair. She even tied the ribbons on it.”

“Why…,” Harry started talking.

“Because your mother and I were best friends growing up,” Snape said with a great deal of venom.

“Why are you using this for the Portkey?” Harry said. “I knew you and my mother were friends, but you chose to be a Death Eater.”

Snape sneered at him. “No one knows about this, except you and me. I supposed it was stupid of me to think that you could keep this a secret.”

“I won’t tell anyone, this will be our secret. I am keeping everyone’s Portkey a secret. After making so many, I doubt if I could remember everyone’s choice.”

Snape snorted at his comment, but didn’t say anything. Harry bit back a retort and started casting charms on the locket of hair. He wanted to touch it, but decided not to. The lock of hair wasn’t the same exact color as Ginny’s, but it was just as shiny and silky looking. It didn’t have any magical spells cast on it so it wasn’t magically preserved.

“There it is ready for you,” Harry told the Professor. Snape stared at him with his cold black eyes. Harry was waiting for some snide remark, but Snape didn’t say anything. He removed his wand and Levitated the locket of hair off the table and into his pocket. “Make sure you don’t get a hole in your pocket, or you may go on an unexpected trip.”

“I am not incompetent,” Snape sneered at him. “It is time to go to the meeting.”

Snape stood up and left the library. Harry watched Snape walk out of the library. He was exhausted. His day started early, the dueling club, transporting Slughorn to Spain, and now creating twenty Portkeys in just an hour. He just wanted to go to Hogwarts and crawl into bed, but he had a meeting to attend.

He stood up feeling older than he actually was in years. His back and legs ached. The one good thing about going to the meeting would be sitting near Ginny. The thought of being near her made him feel better. He walked out of the library and as soon as he entered the hallway he could hear the voices from the meeting room. Madam Bones’ Silencing Charm was still working.

When he walked into the meeting room, people were talking amongst themselves, and they didn’t notice him at first. Harry was drawn to Ginny. She was sitting on the far side of the table. She made eye contact with him and waved him over to the empty chair beside her. People started to talk to Harry, but he barely noticed or responded to them. He just wanted to sit down beside Ginny and take her hand.

“Harry, did you get everyone’s Portkey made?” asked Albus Dumbledore.

“Yes, I did,” he quickly said over his shoulder as he neared his wife.

“How many did you make?” asked Gabriel Brandenburg.

“Twenty, I think.” he plopped down beside Ginny and took her hand. The fatigue that had been causing him pain was washed away in her presence.

“Twenty International Portkeys in an hour!” Gabriel exclaimed. “You must be exhausted.”

“I will survive, now,” he said with a smile. The fatigue was nearly gone. His gloomy disposition disappeared with it.

“That is good to know,” sneered Snape from across the table. “Can we get this meeting started?”

“Actually, Snape the meeting started an hour ago,” said Moody. He seemed to enjoy irritating the Potion Master. Snape glared at Moody then looked at Dumbledore for confirmation.

“Yes, Severus, some of us here started an hour ago interviewing possible Order members,” Dumbledore said gently.

“You had possible Order members in your safe house. Are you sure they are trustworthy?” Snape nearly shouted.

“The house is under a Fidelius Charm and they were brought by trusted members of the Order,” Dumbledore stated to Snape. “They will not be able to find this place again and they were blindfolded and a Charm was cast to disguise all of our voices. So we did not betray our safe house to possible spies.” Dumbledore said the last part with a great deal of force. Snape looked slightly uncomfortable being spoken to in that manner. He was always so used to being untouchable because of his position.

“Any good prospects?” Snape asked civilly.

“Yes, there were,” said Madam Bones.

“So what are the numbers up to now?” Snape looked at her then at Dumbledore.

“We are growing Severus. That is all Voldemort needs to know at the present,” Dumbledore said to him. Snape again reacted almost like the Headmaster had physically slapped his face. “Do you have anything to report, Severus?”

“I actually have two things,” Snape said as he turned to address the rest of the room. “The first thing is more of an annoyance and it doesn’t directly involve the Death Eaters. I was informed by the manager of Slugg & Jiggers Apothecary that they do not have nor can they get any Bicorn Horn. I had an order to be filled this coming week for NEWT level students.”

“I don’t see the need to announce that,” growled Moody. “They will certainly get more in next week.”

“The reason I made this announcement is because they cannot get anymore in. It seems that the world wide supply of Bicorn Horn has been purchased in the past seventy-two hours. No one has it anywhere.”

“That’s impossible,” exclaimed Madam Bones. “There are thousands of apothecaries all over the world.”

“I do not know how it was done, but as of right now, we have no way of making Polyjuice Potion.”

Everyone sat in silence for several seconds before Ginny’s father spoke up. “Do you think the Death Eaters are behind this shortage of Bicorn Horn?”

“I have not heard of any plans like this. I supposed you are thinking about Malfoy throwing his gold around?”

Arthur and several others nodded in agreement.

“I don’t think Lucius has the amount of gold to make this happen. There is a rumor from Stegs, the manager of Slugg & Jiggers, that Owls took the orders to the middle-east. Stegs is wondering if some super wealthy Wizard was trying to buy out and raise the price of Bicorn Horn to make themselves even wealthier. Whoever has the supply will soon be able to sell it at three or four times the price they paid for it. If any of you have some Bicorn Horn in your personal supplies, please allow me to use it at Hogwarts?”

“No,” shouted Moody. “We may need Polyjuice for the upcoming war. Besides, some of your students are Slytherins.”

Harry smiled at the look that crossed Snape’s face. He looked halfway shocked and three-quarters offended.

“I am the Head of Slytherin House,” he said icily.

“Yeah, I know that,” responded Moody. “If the Death Eaters don’t have Polyjuice, then that will be one less thing we have to worry about.”

“I destroy all Potions made by my students. It will not fall into anyone else’s hands.”

“I have some Bicorn Horn,” said Harry. He could feel Ginny tense up beside him.

“Save it Potter, for when we need to make Polyjuice,” ordered Moody. He was getting rather offensive about insisting the Order has Polyjuice.

“I also have some Polyjuice from when I was practicing for my NEWTs,” he said to Mad-eye.

“Can we move on to my next item?” asked Snape. “It is more important than the lack of Bicorn Horn.”

“You found out what your master is planning.” Shouted Moody.

“No, and yes,” said Snape while glaring at Moody. “He is planning on having his new recruits attack a Muggle village this week. I do not know the time or the location, but I do know it will be this week.”

Everyone started talking about his latest proclamation.

“Will you be told the time and location of the attack?” asked Dumbledore.

“The Dark Lord wants his Inner Circle to accompany the new recruits and assess them and the areas they need to improve….”

“Bloody Hell, he is going to grade them on the proper techniques to kill and torture people,” said Moody cutting Snape off.

“I will be called to attend. I will try to pass information of where the strike will happen onto the Headmaster. You will need to be ready to send someone to stop the carnage. I doubt the attack will last much longer than fifteen minutes. When terrorizing a community, it is best to attack hard and leave quickly so no one can get their mind cleared to organize a counter attack.”

Harry sat there and clutched Ginny’s hand. He must have tightened his grip too tight, because he could feel a small jolt against the palm of his hand. He looked at Ginny.

“You were breaking my hand,” she whispered to him. She didn’t appear angry at him.

“Sorry,” he whispered back to her.

“Do not think that these new recruits are all recent graduates from Hogwarts. Most of his recruits are experienced Wizards and Witches that supported his cause from a distance last time. Many of them are openly joining this time.

“That is all I have for you at this time. Potter, could you get me the Bicorn Horn before Monday?”

“Are you brewing the Polyjuice starting on Monday?” Harry asked him.

“No, what does that matter.”

“If you have it your stores, then someone could steal it from you. I would prefer to wait. We may be needing to make some Polyjuice for the Order.”

Snape stood there and glared at him. Harry didn’t want to admit it openly, but he truly enjoyed irritating Snape.

“I will tell you a week in advance of brewing Polyjuice,” hissed Snape. He spun on his heels and left in a flutter of robes. He stopped walking when Sirius called out his name.

“We also need to know the total number of students. No sense giving away more Bicorn Horn than necessary,” Sirius called to him.

Snape never turned around or acknowledged Sirius. He seemed to stand there rigid as a marble statue for a second, before stomping away. Sirius sniggered from his location at the table. He had accomplished his daily goal of irritating Snape.

“How many…,” Moody started to say before Dumbledore cut him off.

“Before we decide who will be on the team that goes to counter the attack, is there anything else someone wants to report on? The information gathering at the Ministry, how is everything going there?”

Madam Bones leaned up in her chair and looked across the table at Gregory Bright, Reg Cattermole, and a new Order Member. “There is good information coming from the Ministry, but we are working to get enough people in maintenance so there will always be someone who wants our side to win in the Ministry. Gregory and Reg have been diligent in listening to their coworkers to find them.

“Barty Crouch has been moved to the Spell Damage Ward in St. Mungo. The Healers said there was evidence that he had been Imperioused. The Healers believe that the spell will protect him from permanent brain damage. They think he should be able to recover eventually and tell us who Imperioused him.

“The rest of the Ministry is plodding along as normal. Fudge’s spies are still in place. We know who they are so they really pose no threat to us. I know there are Death Eaters in the Auror Department, but should we contact them when Severus tells us when and where this attack will happen?”

Albus looked at her. Harry could tell he was not thinking about contacting the Aurors. He didn’t know why. The more help they had the better.

“If the Death Eaters are arrested, will they remain in prison?” Albus asked Madam Bones.

“If they don’t, there will be a major investigation and Fudge will probably be asked to leave office.”

“That might be a good thing,” stated Arthur Weasley.

“I doubt if Voldemort would allow it. They have invested too much in him at this time,” said Remus. “I would also be concerned that if Fudge is kicked out, Voldemort will ensure he has control over the new Minister.”

“I agree with Remus,” said Albus. “Amelia, please be careful. If there is another breakout, they may try to blame you and have you arrested. If we have the Aurors help us, we need to ensure they don’t know any of our identities. I feel it would work against us. We might even find some of the Aurors arresting us. Now that I have had time to think about this, I don’t think we should call the Aurors to officially help us. Does anyone object to that idea?”

Harry smiled as several of the older members seemed to be shocked that Dumbledore asked their opinions.

“If we don’t call the Aurors, what will we do with the wizards and witches we capture?” asked Arthur.

Albus looked at him and smiled. “Take their wands. Don’t break them, just take them and we will hide them.”

“What good will that do?” asked a new member that Harry didn’t know.

“If you win the wand in a battle, you will get the allegiance of the wand. If you break the wand, it may cancel the effects the loss of their wand’s allegiance will affect the original owner’s magical ability. At least, I believe it will, Caradoc. They will need to replace their wand no matter what we do with the wands.”

“It’s a shame that we can’t convince Ollivander to refuse to sell new wands to adults,” said Sirius.

Albus chuckled. “Ollivander is more interested in seeing what the wands he sells do, then who will actually win. He must think that he is safe no matter which side wins. Is there anything else that needs to be discussed, before we set up a communication system for the upcoming attack?”

No one said anything, so they all started to suggest ideas for communicating the exact location and time of the attack. Harry tried to listen, but he was so tired from all the day’s activities that his eyes kept going shut. He would jump slightly when he realized that this had happened. After about the third or fourth time, he saw Remus, Bill, Molly, and Arthur Weasley smiling at him. As everyone spoke about the method of communicating information, a thought occurred to him.

“Could I ask a question,” he said to cut into the conversation. “We are determining how to communicate with each other, but what would happen if this attack is planned during the day when we would all be at work in the Ministry or Hogwarts. It wouldn’t take a genius to figure out where we went, and who was in the Order.”

“That is a good point Harry,” said Albus. “All of us may be exposed to being in the Order if this attack happens during the daytime and we are either in classes or the Ministry.”

“I am willing to take that chance if it saves people from dying and being tortured,” stated Madam Bones.

“I am too,” said Arthur Weasley.

Soon everyone in the room stated that they were not afraid of being exposed as being a member of the Order of the Phoenix. The meeting finished up within the next fifteen minutes. Harry checked his watch and saw it was well past ten. He heard some heavy breathing from beside him, and realized that Ginny was sleeping in her chair. He smiled at her peaceful expression. He never thought someone could look beautiful when sleeping, but his wife was absolutely radiant.

“Harry,” whispered Molly Weasley. He looked up to see her staring intently at Ginny. “Is everything alright?”

“We had a very long day today,” he replied. The room was almost abandoned except the Weasleys, Albus, Bill, Sirius, and Remus. He wasn’t concerned about anyone hearing. “We were doing a lot of magic and we have been on the go since seven this morning.”

Molly moved closer to them as Harry spoke. She bent down and kissed her daughter on the head waking her from her slumber. When Ginny opened her eyes, she realized that she had taken a quick kip. Her face reddened for a second from embarrassment, but it quickly turned to anger. It was with anger that she addressed Harry.

“Why did you leave me sleep? You prat!”

“You were tired and nothing being said pertained to you,” he said to console her.

Her eyes flashed with anger at him. “Thank you for doing that for me. I would like to have been awake to hear what was being said.”

“Ginevra, the only thing you missed was everyone saying goodbye. Your husband was only thinking about you two.”

Sirius’ barking laughter broke the tension in the room. “You two are so much like Lily and James. I have a question for you, now that we are the only ones left here. How did you do it? How did you manage to buy all the Bicorn Horn in the world in twenty-four hours?”

Harry could feel everyone’s eyes on him at the moment. “I only asked Grins if it was possible. When he said it was and we had the finances to do it. I gave him the go ahead. The problem we have now is storing it until we want to sell it to the public again.

“Horace Slughorn has been delivered to the Potion Lab and he has been given a list of Potions to start brewing. It will be a month before we have a large supply of Polyjuice Potion.”

“That is wonderful, now why don’t you two go home and get a good night’s sleep, especially you Ginevra,” stated her Mum, as though she was addressing a toddler.

“I was planning on doing that, Mother,” Ginny replied waspishly. She turned back to Harry. “Do you know how embarrassing that is to wake up in a meeting and see everyone had left while you slept? I supposed everyone was laughing at me?”

“No one was laughing at you,” Harry said trying to console her. He could see that statement didn’t work. She was still glaring daggers at him.

“I got a good laugh out of it, Ginny,” said Sirius jovially.

Ginny never took her eyes off Harry when she flicked her fingers in the direction of Sirius. Harry glanced up to see the Stinging Hex hit Sirius right on the forehead. He yelped like a kicked dog as his hair was knocked back revealing a growing red welt on his forehead.

“Ginevra, apologize to…,” Molly Weasley started to say then just stopped. Everyone was looking at Ginny with amazement. It was the biggest display of wandless magic she had ever preformed in front of anyone.

Ginny looked away from Harry. “I guess I shouldn’t have done that.”

“You let the cat out of the bag,” he said to her.

“Sorry everyone, we need to leave I am really tired,” Ginny told everyone. She walked over to Sirius who now looked as if he was turning into a unicorn. There was a large lump quickly growing on his forehead. She walked over to him and placed a hand on the lump shrinking and healing it. Harry took Ginny’s arm and walked her towards the door. Bill’s voice caught them and made them stop.

“How long have you been able to do wandless magic, sis. Is there anything else you have forgotten to tell us?”

Ginny flipped her hair over her left shoulder as she looked at him. “About two months. I didn’t want anyone to know, because it is always better to use wandless magic when someone doesn’t know your secret.”

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Harry looked at the Potion carefully. He had finally accomplished it. The test Potion showed that the Prenatal Potion was safe to drink. He had been working on it for over a month to ensure it was perfect. It was actually so easy to extract all the various poisons out of the Potion. All he had to do was leave four Beazors in the Potion for four days. The Beazors absorbed all the poison in the Potion. There was only one test left before he would allow Ginny to drink it. Without hesitation he lifted a vial of the Potion to his lips and drank it.

It was actually a pleasant tasting Potion. He was glad it wasn’t a foul tasting. Ginny was pretty sensitive to anything tasting even slightly foul.

He stood there holding the little vial waiting for the Potion to take effect. If he started to feel sick, he had another Beazor on the table in front of him. He could feel the Potion coursing through his veins making him feel more alive.

“What are you doing?” asked Ginny as she entered their pantry/kitchen area. “What are you taking?”

“Just testing…,” he started to say.

“TESTING! Are you bloody barmy!” she screamed at him. “Is that my Potion you have been working trying to make it non-poisonous?”

“Yes it is. I think I have accomplished it,” He said to her. He thought she would be happy, but he could tell by her crossed arms and the anger rolling off her like waves of heat from a fire. “It passed all the other tests. I decided that I would take it and see what effect it would have on me before giving it to you.”

“And if it would kill you; your baby and I would both die,” she snapped at him, but it looked like a smile was forming on her lips.

“I have a Beazor ready if I start feeling ill,” he said sheepishly to her.

Ginny stood there with her arms crossed glaring at him. She was trying not to smile at him. “How long before you are sure it is safe?”

“Give me a few hours, before you take it. I tell you Ginny, this Potion really fills you with energy.”

Ginny smiled at him. “I am glad to hear that. By the way Harry how long have you been pregnant,” she said with a chortle. “You are going to have a difficult time explaining why you are growing breasts.” She burst out in laughter after her comment.

Harry stood there and shook his head at his wife. She started getting mood swings last week. She could suddenly start laughing or crying at the silliest things. Thankfully, it has been more laughing than crying. He hated it when she cried.

Someone knocked at their door. Harry looked at Ginny. She was still sitting there giggling. He didn’t even ask if she wanted to get the door. Harry turned his back to her and went to find out who was knocking at this time of the morning on a Sunday. He was surprised to find Ron Weasley and his friend Hermione Granger standing there.

“Good Morning, Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger,” he said to them brightly. He had to keep his focus with the sounds of Ginny’s giggles floating out of their living area. Ron seemed to hear them, because he was standing there with a strange look on his face staring into Harry living quarters.

Hermione elbowed Ron in the ribs to get his attention. “Good morning Professor Potter, we were wondering if we could come in and have a chat. Ron hasn’t seen his sister for some time. Have you Ronald.”

She practically growled his name. Harry could easily tell Hermione was only accompanying him as a friend for support. It was Ron who originally wanted to come here.

“What is wrong with Ginny?” Ron asked. “Did you hit her with a Tickling Charm?”

Harry smiled at his comment. “No, she just found something very funny. She will get over it eventually. Won’t you two please come in? Can I get you anything? Tea? Pumpkin juice?”

“Pumpkin juice would be great. Do you have any biscuits? They don’t make any biscuits for meals here. The puddings are great, but I still haven’t had any biscuits since I got on the train this year,” Ron said rapidly.

“Sure, I will get you some Pumpkin juice and biscuits. Hermione, do you want anything?”

“Pumpkin juice would be fine. I just ate breakfast and am quite full.”

He could see her glaring at Ron. They probably came straight from the great hall and breakfast. “While I am getting the Pumpkin Juice, why don’t the two of you take the love seat by the fireplace? I will be in shortly.”

He had to turn away from them and walk into the kitchen area. They both turned pink and stood there staring at him with their mouths hanging open. The mention of them sitting in the love seat, which he deliberately called instead of settee, was enough to make them awkward around each other. Harry had seen this type of reaction several times. He noticed that Ron became angry and overly concerned when Hermione would take a direct hit with a spell in the duels. She never was hit with anything dangerous. It was obvious to Harry that they fancied each other, but were afraid to do anything about it.

He noticed Ginny standing with her eyes closed in the one corner of the kitchen. She was taking deep breathes. He had seen her do this before to calm her emotions.

“Ron is here. Hermione said that they were concerned because they haven’t spoken to you for some time.”

Ginny opened her eyes and smiled at him. “I am fine now. The giggles are gone. He is here because Mum wanted him to check on me. I can guarantee that she wrote him this morning. She was concerned about me last night.”

Harry quickly gathered everything they needed on a tray and walked to the living area. Ron and Hermione had dutifully sat on the love seat. They were as far apart from each other and possible on such a small seat. It was designed for two normal people to sit, but there wasn’t much room for another full sized person.

“Oh my,” whispered Ginny. “I can’t let this opportunity pass us by.”

Ginny went and made Ron budge over so she could sit between him and the arm of the settee. It forced Ron to practically sit in Hermione’s lap. “First of all Ron that was a great victory, yesterday. Hermione, you did very nice job too. So Ron, what did Mom ask you to find out?”

Harry almost sloshed some of the Pumpkin juice when he sat the tray down in front of Ron and Hermione. He started to laugh at the look on the two youngsters face as they brushed up against each other. He remembered how uncomfortable he had felt even holding Ginny’s hand when they were first bonded. He wondered if they looked as awkward as Ron and Hermione did at this moment.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

It had been a week since the Order meeting that Snape said Voldemort was planning an attack. Harry had been on edge the entire time. Ginny had tried to help him calm down but she was almost as nervous as he. Sirius, Bill and Remus were also anxious. They were starting to wonder if Snape was winding them up, or feeding them misinformation.

Everyone else in the castle seemed as nervous and jumpy as they were. It wasn’t for the same reason. Slytherin House dropped from first to third last weekend because of their poor showing at the Dueling contest. Gryffindor House moved from second to first. The twins seemed to enjoy winding up the Slytherins in their year. Snape even spoke to Dumbledore about the twins’ actions and the Dueling contest. He wanted anyone who was taking advanced Defense Classes to be barred from the contest since they had an unfair advantage.

After the Headmaster spoke to Bill about Snape’s request, they decided to stop calling them classes and refer to the sessions as tutoring. None of them were getting grades in the class. It would also eliminate the need to include other students, if they requested participation. It would be complicated if other students saw how they were training the Weasleys and their friends to survive an attack. After the Headmaster told Snape about the changes, he still insisted that the Weasleys be barred from participating in the dueling. The Headmaster said that Professor Snape didn’t appreciate being told no so bluntly.

Remus, Sirius and Bill sat in Harry and Ginny’s sitting area discussing how they should plan the tutoring session with the Weasleys. It was late at night. The curfew bell had just rung.

“That is a sad sound,” sighed Sirius.

“What Padfoot, the sound of children needing to be in their common rooms?” asked Bill.

“No, the realization that I can be out after it and not get into trouble; it took away some of the purpose and motivation of my life.”

Everyone chuckled at Sirius’ statement. It was good to laugh to help relieve the tension in the room.

“I guess we should go to bed,” Bill said. “It seems our hostess is already asleep.”

Ginny was leaning on Harry’s arm sleeping with her mouth slightly open. She had been for the past ten minutes. She had been so tired that he didn’t bother to wake her. Even though she was taking the prenatal potion, she still became tired around this time of night. It was rare that she was ever awake later than thirty past ten. He needed to wake her get her to bed. Moving his arm and shoulder he was able to gently move her head to waken her.

“What,” she said groggily.

“It’s time to go to bed,” he gently whispered to her.

“Okay,” she said and sat up straight. She saw everyone staring at her in the room. “Harry, you let me fall asleep again. You know how much I hate….”

She stopped talking as four bumblebee Patroni appeared in the room.

“Come to my office immediately. Be prepared for a battle. The others have been notified. Buttered Rum.” The four Patroni disappeared into a silvery mist, after delivering their message.

“Well, I guess sleep is out for the night,” said Ginny. She suddenly appeared wide awake. “We need to change.”

They had stopped wearing their dragon hide cloaks, boots, and dueling clothing over the months of being at Hogwarts. They all needed to change into them before setting out against Death Eaters, even if they were facing recruits.

Five minutes later they were all riding the spiral staircase up to the Headmasters office. Harry could feel his heart rate increasing. He wasn’t actually nervous. He was more excited at the possibility of facing Death Eaters again and possibly doing something to discourage them from joining Voldemort. They had been discussing it all week. The plan was to subdue the recruits and take their wands. They wouldn’t break them, but just take them and hide them. Dumbledore said that according to various tales of wand lore this would make it impossible for them to obtain another wand that worked as well.

He tightened his grip on Ginny’s hand. He wasn’t getting separated from her. They were strongest together. After being whisked away by a Polyjuiced Death Eater with a Portkey. He and Ginny decided not to split up during a battle. If she had been there with him before, she would have sensed that the person posing as Percy was fake and up to something.

Harry entered the Headmaster’s office first. The Headmaster was standing by his desk. Professor McGonagall was standing behind it with her arms crossed and a severe look on her face. She always looked stern but tonight it looked like she could turn water into ice with her expression. She was dressed in a tartan green dressing gown.

“Professor McGonagall, are you not going?” Ginny asked.

“I am to stay here and ensure the students are safe,” she said with a clipped tone.

“I need someone who can officially take over for me, in case something unfortunate happens,” said Albus Dumbledore. “I might ask if it is wise for the two of you to go together. Your powers to bring the other to yourself could prove quite beneficial.”

“We are stronger together than apart,” stated Ginny. Her tone was even icier than Professor McGonagall. “If we had been together before, I wouldn’t have needed to bring Harry to me. Now, where are we going, and what are we going to face?”

The Headmaster opened his mouth to say something, but he closed it and he slumped slightly forward. He seemed to realize that arguing with Ginny right now would only waste time and further anger her.

“We are going to Godric's Hollow. I have no idea if the battle will be going on when we get there or if the Death Eaters will be waiting for some type of a signal. We will be traveling by Portkey.” He pointed to a Frisbee laying on his desk.

“We should go Dissillusioned,” said Harry. Everyone else but Dumbledore quickly agreed. “We may be landing in the middle of a group of Death Eaters. It would help if they can’t see us.”

“Our arrival will make noise. Someone could cast a Homonum Revelio spell,” countered Albus.

“That would be the point we start casting spells,” said Remus. “I think Ginny should be our lead. If the battle is in progress, Harry can take over. Everyone will need to hold hands until we drop the Dissillusionent.”

“Sounds like a plan to me,” said Sirius.

“I agree,” stated Harry. Ginny and Bill also agreed with Remus.

They all grabbed the Portkey before Dissillusioning themselves. Harry and Ginny didn’t even use a wand. He could see Professor McGonagall smiling at them.

“I am going to activate the Portkey,” said Albus Dumbledore.

Not being able to see Albus’s wand activate the Portkey caught Harry by surprise when the tug behind his naval lifted him and started him spinning. After the initial shock of the activation, he quickly got his bearings while spinning. He wasn’t sure how long this should last, but he felt as if they were reaching the end. There was a slight hesitation in their spinning before they all landed.

Harry wobbled a little upon hitting the ground. He could feel everyone else also stumbling a bit. They were in a field by an overgrown hedgerow. The town of Godric's Hollow was a short distance away. The house and street lights shown through the trees and underbrush of the hedgerows.

“I heard something from over there,” said a male voice from the other side of the hedgerow.

“Then investigate it,” drawled the voice of Severus Snape.

Everyone stood still as someone pushed through the hedgerow with their wand light. The man was medium height but heavyset. He looked to be about Sirius and Remus’s age. Harry flinched slightly when the light from wand hit him directly in the eyes. He hoped that his movement didn’t betray them. The man swung the wand light to the left and right several times. He extinguished the wand light and returned to the other side of the hedgerow.

Ginny pulled his hand to the left away from the town. Harry followed her trying not to stumble and cause anyone to speak or fall.

“Did you see anything?” asked Snape.

“No, it was probably an animal,” said the investigating wizard.

They moved behind the group of Death Eaters. The moon was at a waning half and there was a slight cloud cover blocking some of the light from the moon. Harry could barely see the area around them in the dim light. He also could see the ripples caused by the shifting of their Dissillusionment. If someone would stare in their direction, they would see them moving through the night.

Ginny found an opening through the hedgerow. They were about thirty yards behind the Death Eaters. As Harry passed through the hedgerow, he could see a clump of Death Eaters milling around on the path. He wasn’t sure why they were waiting. The town was completely quiet. They could already be in the town causing destruction and fear.

The road was a grass path. It looked as if it had once been a road, but hadn’t had much traffic for years. Ginny pulled them slowly towards the Death Eaters.

“I am bloody tired of waiting,” whispered a female Death Eater. “We could have been in there and gone already.”

“Silence you dunderhead,” whispered Snape. “The Dark Lord wants us to wait until the town clock chimes twelve. Muggles have a belief about midnight being the witching hour. Tonight it will be an hour of death and destruction.”

The rest of the Death Eaters laughed at his comment. Harry was waiting for Ginny to attack this group, but she just slowed their progress towards them. They were close enough to see Snape look at his watch.

“It is time to move…,” Snape stopped talking and looked towards the town. There were spells being fired in the dimly lit streets.

Harry felt it a second before the first spells were cast. He could sense about ten Stunners being cast at one time in the distance. They must have missed their mark because there were various spells being cast in retaliation. The battle could be heard from across the town.

“What is going on? It is not time,” said Snape.

Harry felt Ginny pull her right hand away from his left.

“Stupify,” she shouted. A Death Eaters standing to the right of Snape fell.

Harry had his wand up and he fired off about five stunners in a couple of seconds. Albus Dumbledore, Remus, Bill, and Sirius also fired off stunners. Most of the Death Eaters fell immediately but there were still four left standing to retaliate.

The Dissillusionment Charms had dropped when they started casting Stunners. The remaining Death Eaters saw they were facing Albus Dumbledore and several other Order members. They immediately Apparated away, except Snape. He glowered at them before disappearing himself.

Battles were breaking out all over the town. Harry could sense Unforgivables being cast to the left of them and straight ahead.

“Hurry, lets collect their wands,” said Albus Dumbledore. With a few flicks of his wand all the Stunned Death Eaters’ wands flew into his out stretched hand. He calmly placed them in a pocket in his robes.

“I will lead from here,” Harry said. “Grab onto me and I will take us to the fighting. Be ready when we land.” He reached out and grabbed Ginny and Albus. They all quickly latched onto each other before Disapparating.

They appeared on the outskirts of Godric's Hollow by his parents’ house. There was a house on fire and several Death Eaters were hiding behind buildings and trees casting spells randomly to keep the Order members back and inflicting whatever damage they could to the town.

Harry’s instincts had been correct. They landed behind the hiding Death Eaters. He had sensed where they were by what type of spells. He was able to catch the surprised expressions on the Order members’ faces when they appeared. In a flurry of spells, Harry and the others quickly subdued the hidden Death Eaters within seconds of landing. The street was then completely silent.

Albus stepped forward to collect the wands from the unconscious Death Eaters. As the Headmaster was stepping forward, Harry felt a Killing Curse being formed from a gap between two houses. He couldn’t be sure who the spell was being aimed at. He flicked his wand at the paved sidewalk by the houses. He was able to blast up an entire section of sidewalk. With the slab of concrete in the air, he propelled it at the origin of the spell. He did this before the spell had been completely cast. The green beam collided with the concrete at the opening between the buildings. The explosion sent a shock wave of debris in all directions.

He cast a couple of Stunners between the buildings where he thought the person might be.

“I think you got him, Harry,” said Ginny.

“Let’s see who it is,” said Harry.

“I’ll go,” said Sirius. He ran into the dark gap with his wand raised. “Well, well, I recognize this Death Eater,” Sirius said from the darkness. A thick bodied Death Eater floated out from between the buildings. “It’s Alecto Carrow.”

“Let’s take her wand,” stated Albus.

Sirius flicked his wand and sent Alecto flying onto the pile of unconscious bodies. She collided with the others with a heavy thud.

“Are you going to just leave them lying there?” asked Kingsley Shacklebolt. “I know they don’t have wands, but that is going to seem a little strange.”

Harry didn’t want to stand and listen to this conversation. He could sense another battle occurring across the town in the all Muggle section.

“Look, do something with them; permanently stick them to the street for all I care,” he said to the rest of the group. “I need to go.”

“Not without us,” shouted Remus and Bill. In a blink of an eye, Bill, Remus, Sirius and Ginny were all together ready for him to Apparate them to the next fight. As the bell tower struck the first chime of midnight, Harry Apparated them away.

When they appeared at the next fight, Harry immediately realized he had made an error. They were in the crossfire between Death Eaters and the Order. More precisely he had landed behind where the Death Eaters were located on both sides of the street, but the in direct line of fire from the Order members. There were Blasting Spells flying towards them as they materialized.

A silver dome formed around all five of them. It was the Shield that Harry was able to generate to protect the ones he loved. The Blasting Curses hit the shield. The concussion of the spells colliding with the shield sent a shockwave all around them dislodging some of the Death Eaters from their hiding places. The Order members quickly Stunned them.

Harry dropped the Shield and quickly Stunned the remaining four Death Eaters before they could Apparate away.

“Harry, Ginny, what you did was very dangerous,” shouted the familiar voice of Molly Weasley.

She was with this band of Order members. Arthur was with her along with Madam Bones and the Auror Proudfoot and another person Harry saw at the last meeting but didn’t know his name.

“That was a bloody fantastic bit of magic you did, son,” said the other Order member.

“Amos Diggory, don’t encourage him,” shouted Molly Weasley.

“Now Molly, stop acting like they are under age,” said Arthur. Molly turned and glared at Arthur who didn’t seemed to be affected by it at all. “They are well trained adults.”

Harry smiled at Molly and Arthur arguing. Ginny walked over to try to calm her Mum down. Standing there after this small battle he watched as Order members collected wands while conversing with each other. He could also hear the tower bell chiming out it twelfth toll. The battle started at five minutes to twelve and it was over before the clock struck twelve. Harry was feeling pretty good about how the Order had attacked and defeated the Death Eaters, even though they weren’t the inner circle.

Laughter filled his ears. He wasn’t sure who was laughing, but they seemed very pleased. He looked over at Sirius and Remus, but they weren’t laughing. He looked to see who else in their party would be laughing, when the pain hit him. His head felt like it was going to split open. He barely registered the pain in his hands and knees as his fell onto the rough pavement. The pain in his head was excruciating.

As suddenly as it came on, the pain melted away. He could feel Ginny’s hand on his forehead. She could always feel when he had these terrible migraines. He was so lucky that one of her powers from the soul bond was the ability to magically heal things. The pain was now just a dull ache in his forehead, and the laughing was a distant whisper.

“Thank you,” he said to his wife.

“What happened? Why is he on the ground?” asked Madam Bones.

“It is something that happens at times to Harry,” explained Remus. “He gets these incredibly powerful headaches, but Ginny can make them go away.”

A bumblebee Patronus appeared in their circle. “We need everyone back at headquarters. Leave the Death Eaters, and get to headquarters,” said the voice of Albus Dumbledore.

“Like hell I am leaving them like this,” said Sirius. He started waving his wand Levitating bodies into a large pile. He had them lying head to feet as he conjured ropes and tied them all together. Grabbing a brick that had fallen off a building, he created a Portkey and wedged it into the ropes. In a second, the bundle of Death Eaters disappeared.

“Where did you send them?” asked Madam Bones.

“To a field in Scotland. Let’s see how long it will take them to get out of that. They can’t Apparate while tied like that, but they don’t have their wands to use. I just wish I could watch them try to free themselves,” laughed Sirius. “Let us go and see what Albus wants.”

They all appeared in the square across from Headquarters within seconds of each other. Harry did look around to see if any Muggles were out walking their dogs or something else that kept them up past midnight. It appeared that their appearance wasn’t noticed. Harry pulled on Ginny’s hand as he turned to the Headquarters.

They filed in through the front door and up to the formal dining room, but it was empty.

“I am up here,” said the voice of Albus Dumbledore.

Everyone neatly moved up the steps and into another room with a large table in the middle of it and on the table a large etched glass screen. A large group of objects were attached to the upper corner of the mirror.

“What is going on Albus,” demanded the strong voice of Amelia Bones.

“It appears this entire night had been a diversion. I think his actual plan was to break prisoners out of Azkaban. Look, every other Death Eaters that was not at Godric's Hollow had gone north.”

A second after Albus Dumbledore pointed out the clump of markers on the magical map, several of them had moved to other locations around England and Scotland. Everyone was watching the markers indicating the Death Eaters locations.

Harry couldn’t watch the return of the Death Eaters. He was fixated on the fact that they had been deceived by Snape. He wondered how much Snape knew about this plan.

Back to index

Chapter 24: Trusting Snape

Author's Notes: I feel so ashamed Leif betaed this chapter in four days and I couldn't find time to submit it for over a week. Sorry!

Albus Dumbledore removed the letter from the owl’s leg. The large Ministry owl flew off without waiting for a treat. Looking at the sender, Cornelius Fudge, he knew what he wanted. Fudge will want to make some sort of bluster about the escape from Azkaban to make it look like he was competent.

Opening the letter, he glanced over it. It was a simple letter requesting his presence at the Wizengamot in two hours. He would of course be there. He didn’t want to leave Cornelius and Lucius to do whatever they wanted without a fight. It bothered Albus that the request was for the Wizengamot and not his office, if he was just planning strategy. Hopefully, there wasn’t going to be some hasty trial. They didn’t need to start that practice again. It caused them enough grief in the last war.

Albus turned back to his desk and stared at the person sitting on the other side of it. Severus Snape was trying to avoid direct eye contact with Albus, without making it look that way. It was rather amusing to him. Albus kept his gaze on Severus while he sat down in his high back leather chair. He wasn’t going to use Leglimency on Severus.

If Severus can defy Voldemort’s attempt at Leglimency, than Albus doubted if he could crack through the same shields and there were other ways to determine if someone was lying.

“Did you know about the attack on Azkaban?” he asked Severus.

“Yes, I knew about it before,” he drawled impassively.

“Why didn’t you inform me about it?”

“You would have tried to stop it, exposing me to Voldemort,” Severus said back to him. “You have often said that I need to become one of Voldemort’s most trusted advisors, to do that he must first trust me. Trust isn’t an easy thing to gain from the Dark Lord.”

Albus sat back, removed his glasses, and pinched the bridge of his nose. Severus was right about gaining Voldemort’s trust, but there were limits to what he could allow Severus to keep from him. He needed to find out what Severus would divulge.

“You say you didn’t tell me about this attack because you needed to gain Voldemort’s trust. You also told me in the summer that you couldn’t inform me of an attack on the Burrow because it would have compromised your position. Tell me Severus, what would make you tell me what Voldemort is planning? Would it take an attack on the Ministry or Hogwarts? You will need to start revealing information and allow me to discern what is important enough for us to act upon.

“Even though I wouldn’t want the break out to happen, I would not have stopped it. You should have let me decide that.”

“Is this where you threaten me with going to Azkaban?” asked Severus calmly. “You told me earlier that I was expendable. Maybe it is time I think about what is best for me after the war is over. Do you really think you can win this war? I cannot see how that is possible. If you are placing all you confidence in Potter, you will fail. He is no match for the Dark Lord.

“The Dark Lord’s knowledge of magic has increased since his last demise,” said Severus with gritted teeth. He raised his left arm and allowed the sleeve to slide down his forearm revealing the Dark Mark. “He can sense his marked Death Eaters now. He has changed the spell slightly and he can tell when one of us is betraying him.”

Albus stared at the Dark Mark. He rubbed his chin as he thought about Severus’s claim. He couldn’t see how that was possible, but he supposed it could be done. If that is the case than Severus would be useless to him.

“How can he monitor all his Death Eaters at one time?” Albus asked Severus.

“I do not know, but I am also not willing to take the chance that he will find out.”

“Has he asked you about your plans to have me murdered?”

Severus cocked his head slightly to the side and stared at the Headmaster. “No!”

“Will you tell me about the plans, before you have me killed?”

Severus’s face twisted into a grimace as he stared at him. “I agreed to do that, but I haven’t been able to finalize a plan just yet.”

“Very well Severus, you may go, and please allow me a bit of warning when you plan to have me murdered by one of my own students,” Albus said indifferently.

He watched as Severus stood up and left his office. Albus didn’t know what to think right now. He looked over to a corner of the room and watched as the Potter family Invisibility cloak slid off Ginny Potter.

“He was lying to you almost the entire time, Headmaster,” said Ginny. “I don’t trust him completely.”

Albus stared straight forward not speaking. There seemed to be something a bit off about the way Severus was acting. He was pretty sure he was lying, but Ginny’s statement confirmed his suspicions. If he can no longer be trusted than he just became a major liability to the Order since he can enter Headquarters. He also had been given a Portkey

“Headmaster, he was lying about the Dark Mark,” said Ginny. “I don’t know why he was being deceitful concerning the Mark, but he wasn’t telling the entire truth. It might only be a slight lie, but it was still a lie.”

“I thought he was being dodgy,” said Albus with a sigh. He truly hoped that Severus would have remained loyal to him. “He can enter Headquarters and also he has a Portkey to our emergency location.”

“The Portkey isn’t a problem. He told Harry that the Death Eaters could force him to take several of them to the location with the Portkey. Harry set the location to Egypt. We can easily move Headquarters, but should we let Severus know we are changing Headquarters? What about his assignment to arrange your murder? Were you being serious when you asked for a little warning to your murder?”

“I was speaking half in jest and all in earnest,” he said chuckling. “I suppose if we move the actual headquarters. We could still hold meetings at Grimmauld place. If we can’t trust Severus, we should start feeding him misinformation. I wonder how forgiving the Dark Lord will be when Severus tells him something that would end up being a trap.”

“How many people should we let know about what we are doing with Severus?” asked Ginny.

“You, Harry, Remus, Bill, Minerva, Sirius, and Alastor should be kept informed,” said Albus.

“What about Madam Bones?”

Albus stared at this young girl. She was so mature for her age, and she was correct. “Yes, we should tell Amelia. We shall call a meeting and rethink what our next move will be. I need to go to the Ministry. The Owl I received was from the Minister. He wants me to attend a meeting at the Wizengamot.”

Ginny nodded at his statement. “While you are gone, I will talk to Harry about preparing the Potter Manor for the new Headquarters.” She turned and walked out of his office.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Ron Weasley was busy eating when Hermione elbowed him in the ribs causing him to nearly choke on his eggs. He coughed and nearly coughed up eggs all over the table.

“Blimey, Hermione are you trying to kill me,” he said to her.

“If you wouldn’t eat so fast, you wouldn’t choke,” she said waspishly. She then jerked her head in a strange way several times.

“Is there something wrong with your neck?” he asked.

Hermione rolled her eyes and sighed. “You are so thick at times, Ronald.”

“Neville is there something wrong,” she said to Neville as she leaned past Ron.

Ron turned to look at his dorm mate. He was glaring at the front page of the Daily Prophet. His face was pale, but his brow was furrowed as he glared at the paper that was held in his clenched fists.

“Yeah, there is something, all those Death Eaters breaking out last night. That is the first time anyone has ever broken out of the prison,” Ron said to Neville.

Neville lifted his head and saw everyone was staring at him. He immediately balled up the paper and left the great hall.

“Are you going to talk to him?” asked Hermione.

“Why would I do that?”

“Because he is obviously distressed over the break out,” Hermione said in her overbearing tone of voice.

“He’s a bloke,” replied Ron. He stuffed a piece of toast in his mouth.

“You’re an idiot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn. Something is obviously upsetting him. Did he lose family in the last war to any of those Death Eaters?”

“I dun know,” he said with a mouth full of toast.

“Might I remind you that he has always supported and been a friend to you even last year,” she whispered in his ear.

He hated when she did that. Not only being right about something and making him feel guilty, but getting so close to him. He could feel his face get warm when she whispered in his ear. He swallowed his mouthful of toast and finished his goblet of pumpkin juice in one gulp before turning to Hermione. She was staring at him in disgust.

“Don’t you chew your food?”

“Not when I am interrupted,” he replied to her. “Let’s go find Neville.”

They walked out of the great hall. Ron turned to go up the stairs, but Hermione grabbed his arm and dragged him towards the doors leading outside.

“Why are we going outside?” he asked her.

“Because we are looking for Neville, and he will be going outside.”

“Why would he go there and not to his room?”

“Honestly Ronald, What is Neville’s favorite subject? It is Herbology. He is probably going out to the greenhouses,” Hermione lectured him as they opened the main doors.

Ron didn’t have time to respond to Hermione. They met Neville on the other side of the doors.

“Neville,” said Hermione brightly. Her condescending tone had vanished.

“I need to talk to you two,” Neville blurted out. He was standing there with the Daily Prophet crumpled up in his left hand. “I know you are getting extra training from your family Ron. I want to join you. I need extra training in defense.”

“Neville, you are pants at Defense,” replied Ron. Neville had problems with the simplest of spells.

“I don’t care I need training,” shouted Neville.

“There is no need to shout,” said a voice from behind them. Ron turned and saw Professor Lupin and Professor Black walking towards them. “Let us all go to Professor Weasley’s office and we can discuss this there,” said Lupin.

Professor Lupin then did something that seemed strange to Ron, he walked over to Neville and placed a hand on each of his shoulders. “How are you holding up Neville,” asked Professor Lupin gently. “I thought about you when I heard the news. If you ever need someone to talk to I am here. Your parents were wonderful people.”

“Thank you Professor,” said Neville with his face turning bright red.

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Albus Dumbledore sat and listened to Cornelius Fudge rant about Amelia Bones for the past thirty minutes. He was blaming her for all the problems in the Ministry over the past year. After all that time, the Minister still hadn’t detailed any actual criminal intent in Amelia’s actions. Albus had enough.

“What are the exact charges against Madam Bones,” demanded Albus interrupting the Minister.

“That she is negligent in her duties and by doing so she has allowed this rash of escapes. I have been talking about that for the past thirty minutes, if you remember,” replied Cornelius sardonically. He and several others chuckled at his apparent slight at Albus’s memory.

“I remember you saying many things in the past thirty minutes Cornelius, but you never mentioned official charges. You have been talking about incompetence in the Ministry, which you are the Minister of, therefore it is your responsibility. As far as the breakout at Azkaban, you haven’t said how that happened. If you don’t know how that happened, than how can you accuse someone of criminal intent? If there is no criminal intent, then there can be no trial. If we are not here for a trial, then this is all a waste of our time, Cornelius. So please, present your case against Madam Bones, or allow all of us to get back to our regular duties.”

When Albus finished talking, he sat there and stared at Cornelius. The man looked as if his face would blow up like a puce colored balloon. His eyes were bulging and his mouth was moving but no words were coming out.

“I am the Minister of Magic,” he shouted at Albus.

“As the Minister you are bound to oversee the running of the Ministry and uphold the laws of this governing organization. I know this Minister, because I am the Supreme Mugwump of the Wizengamot and am charged with overseeing its polity and adherence to the laws it has created. As the Supreme Mugwump, I must insist that either you present formal charges or I will call this session to a close.

“If you still insist that Madam Bones is responsible for all of these beaches of security, it is within your powers as Minister of Magic to replace her as Head of Magical Law Enforcement. I personally find those accusations preposterous. It was proven that the previous breaches of security were in fact from the Magical Transportation Department, which Madam Bones does not oversee.

“This breakout last night at Azkaban is rather serious, but if we look back in the records of the Wizengamot we will find that five years ago Madam Bones and I suggested removing Dementors from Azkaban. You objected saying that they increased security at the prison. If my memory serves me correctly, the last human to stand guard at the prison goes off duty one hour before the breakout occurred. Is that correct?”

“Yes, you are correct Supreme Mugwump,” said Amelia.

“It appears that the Dementors were the ones that allowed the prisoners to escape. The same Dementors that you insisted stay at Azkaban against the advice of Madam Bones.”

Albus again stopped talking and stared at Fudge. The man was a pompous idiot. He was being manipulated by Malfoy and the Death Eaters and he didn’t even know it.

“The public will want answers to this latest breakout,” Cornelius shouted.

“Then tell them the truth. The Dementors allowed the prisoners to escape. You have people in the Ministry that can do that, but that is not the responsibility of the Wizengamot. If you have nothing else that requires the presence of this organization, than I believe we are done here.”

“No, I have nothing else,” said Fudge, as he sat back down.

“Good, let us follow proper procedures and have a motion to adjourn so I can go back to Hogwarts and see about increasing security.”

“I move that the meeting be closed,” said Amelia Bones. Several people chuckled at her speaking out so quickly.

“I second,” said a wizard from behind Albus.

“All in favor say aye,” he said to the Wizengamot He heard nearly everyone vote for adjournment. “Those opposed?” he called out. When no one voted against, he spoke again. “I call this session of the Wizengamot to a close. Madam Bones may I speak to you before I return to Hogwarts about increasing the security at the school?”

“Yes, Albus, I am going to my office now.”

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Ginny sat and stared at Harry. He was sitting on their settee staring into the fireplace. She was beside him, but he barely acknowledged her presence. His eyes were bloodshot and there were dark circles under them. He looked as if he had aged ten years last night because he hadn’t slept at all. They had gone to bed at the same time and she had mentally reached out to comfort him as they both fell asleep. She was sure they had fallen asleep. Evidently he woke up without disturbing her.

She reached out and took his hand with hers. She tried to pour her comfort into him again to ease whatever it was that had him so upset. It didn’t matter what she did, he just sat their staring. He would still glance her way and give her a small smile. She was sure he even stared at her stomach for a second or two before turning back to stare at the fire.

“Are you going to tell me what is bothering you?” she asked her husband, after waiting fifteen minutes for a response.

“Just this mission we are on,” he said softly. “If we don’t defeat him quickly people are going to die.”

“I know, love. We are moving forward as quickly as we can. We have all the information we need to find his Horcruxes. We just need time to locate them and destroy them.”

Harry turned to look at her with a haunted look in his eyes. “Yeah, we need to do that,” he said rather morosely.

Ginny felt a chill run over her body; it wasn’t a feeling from Harry right now. It was his general attitude that scared her, and the secret she had been keeping from him.

“It will be difficult to destroy them if we are chasing his Death Eaters all over England to protect the innocent people from torture and death.” Harry had turned back towards the fire and spoke to her without looking at her.

“Harry didn’t you get any sleep last night?”

He didn’t respond immediately, but she could tell he heard her. His head drooped a little and he squeezed his eyes shut. He sat there for nearly a minute before replying.

“After you fell asleep, my headache came back. It wasn’t just a headache, I could hear him. I could hear Voldemort in my head and it was causing me pain. I had to use Occlumency to shut him out. It all started to add up. My headaches have always coincided with Voldemort’s activities. He must be able to enter my mind. The only way I can keep him out is to keep my mental wards up, but if I fall asleep, he can enter my mind. I can become a liability if he is able to extract the information from my mind that we have about his Horcruxes.”

Harry was nearly shaking with emotion. She could see he was frightened. He had figured it out that Voldemort was entering his mind and causing the severe headaches that he had been experiencing. He just had not figured out that Voldemort was able to do this because he was a Horcrux.

Ginny was at a loss to respond. She had no idea how to comfort him and get him to relax without telling him that she knew more about his situation than she had previously told him. If he thinks he is a Horcrux, then he might become reckless, or he may just give up the search and go into hiding. It was the one fear that she had because of his wealth and all the properties they owned. They could bounce around between estates and no one would ever be able to locate them. If Harry would ever decide to disappear and leave England to its own fate, no one could stop him, except her, and she couldn’t even blame him for doing that. The task they have is far too great for two teenagers.

The thought that they were teenagers made her smile. She may not know the best way to talk to him, but maybe if she could get him to smile he may relax and trust her.

“What are you smiling about?” he asked her.

She hadn’t been looking at him when thinking about them being teenagers, so his comments caught her by surprise. Maybe if she told him the truth.

“I was thinking about how impossible this task is that we have in front of us, especially since we are teenagers. Well, you are the teenager. I am still only twelve.” She stopped talking and stared at him. “And pregnant, not exactly model citizens are we. Whenever our child asks why they can’t date until sixteen when I was married and pregnant at twelve, it will be you responsibility to explain it.”

Harry raised his eyebrows at her before a smile graced his lips again. He rolled his eyes and shook his head. “If we survive, I will gladly take that responsibility.”

His smile disappeared and he became solemn again. “When we came back ready to fulfill this prophecy, I figured we could do it easily. However, Voldemort had already planned his resurrection.” He stopped talking and looked at Ginny for a second before he continued. “I never even considered we would be fighting against him. I just thought it would be us looking under rocks in England for his Horcruxes.”

Ginny laughed at the picture of them finding the Horcruxes under some rock in Voldemort’s backyard. She sniggered out loud when the image of them using some type of a dog to sniff out the Horcruxes popped in her head.

“Now what are you laughing about?”

“I just thought about us hunting Horcruxes,” she replied to him. “Is there a special dog to sniff them out?”

“Yeah, a Scottish Horcrux Hound,” laughed Harry.

“Love, I have sensed that there was a connection between you and Voldemort,” said Ginny. Harry stopped laughing and started to say something, but she held her hand up to halt him. “The connection isn’t as strong as you think. Something happened the night he tried to kill you, you have a connection with him. I can chase him out of your head by pushing happy loving thoughts into your mind. You can do the same thing.

“Harry, if you are so concerned about Voldemort gaining access to your mind, then keep your Occlumency wards up. You said he woke you because he caused you pain. You will always know when he has entered your mind. You can block them. If you need sleep, I can stay awake and keep him out of your mind for you.

“Harry, we are in this together. Together, we will defeat him,” she said to him. He smiled at her. It was the first time she saw true happiness on his face that morning.

“I am so lucky to have met and bonded with you,” he said to her. He leaned over and kissed her.

“Yeah, you certainly are lucky,” she teased him. “Why don’t we go to bed so you can get some sleep? Dumbledore wants to meet with all of us, but he won’t be back for several hours.”

“How did the meeting with Snape go this morning?” he said as he stood up and offered his hand to her.

“He is lying about things, but I couldn’t tell what he was lying about. He seems to have become rather uncooperative. He knew about the prison break, and justified not telling us by saying he needed to gain Voldemort’s trust.” Ginny sat at the head of the bed and pulled Harry down. “Lay your head on my lap.”

Harry did as he was told. She started running her fingers through his hair. She could feel him immediately relax. It only took a few seconds before he fell asleep.

“I never knew Snape to be cooperative,” murmured Harry as he fell asleep.

Ginny smiled at her sleeping husband. She never got the chance to tell him about moving headquarters to Potter Manor. She can tell him when he wakes up.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

“Why can’t Neville join us for the next training session?” Ron asked his brother Bill.

Bill was sitting behind his desk in his office. Professor Lupin and Professor Black were sitting against the wall to Bill’s left. Ron, Hermione, and Neville were sitting in front of Bill. They had just asked Bill about Neville joining the advanced Defense sessions.

Ron expected him to approve the idea without hesitation, but Bill didn’t respond positively or negatively. He just leaned back in his chair and stared at the three of them.

“Professor Weasley, I know I am not very good at Defense, but I am willing to learn. I will try harder,” said Neville.

“I am not hesitating at agreeing to this, because of your perceived lack of ability, Neville. After reading this morning’s paper, I am thinking about stepping up all of the defense courses. It won’t be nearly as intense as the advanced group, but I don’t think you will be the last person to ask for these advanced classes. We just don’t have enough room for our group to grow as large as the dueling club.”

“Minus the Slytherins,” said Ron interrupting his brother.

“I doubt if the Slytherins would be involved,” said Bill to Ron. “But! You never know what might happen. Let me talk to the Headmaster and get a feel for what we can do to prepare you for what might come.”

Bill leaned forward and softened his Professor persona. “Neville, I can understand what you may be going through with this breakout. We started this class specifically for my family members. This past summer there had been two attempts to murder my entire family. We had to do something to help Ron and our brothers defend themselves. I want to do the same for you. It isn’t as easy as saying sure the more the merrier, because of the...,” Bill stopped talking for a second before continuing. “…Ministry. I don’t trust the Ministry to do the right thing. They may try to stop us or send someone to oversee our training methods.

“I don’t want the Ministry and all of the bloody bureaucrats involved in my classroom. I will contact you when we can get something figured out. All right, Neville?”

Neville jumped to his feet. “Thank you sir.”

Ron snorted at someone talking to Bill that way. He still had a difficult time not calling him Bill in the classroom, but to hear people calling him, sir, was too funny.

“Is there something wrong, Mr. Weasley?” Bill asked him.

“No, nothing, Bi -er- Professor Weasley,” said Ron, as stood he up to leave the room.

He, Neville, and Hermione left Bill’s office. They walked quietly back to the common room. It was a Sunday morning so that didn’t need to go to class. Ron was trying to remember hearing about Neville’s parents or some other relative that was involved in the last war. In fact, he could not remember Neville talking about his parents, only his Gran and Uncle Algie. He must have lost his parents to some of the Death Eaters that escaped.

As they walked, a group of Hufflepuffs passed them. He started to wonder how Susan Bones was feeling about the escape. She had lost most of her family in the last war. She was another person that would want to improve their Defensive skills.

They had reached the common room without saying anything. Ron and Neville ran up to their dorm to get their books and homework to work on in the common room. They still hadn’t spoken since leaving Bill’s office.

“Ron, I would like to thank you for letting me talk with your brother,” Neville mumbled without making eye contact.

“I didn’t take you to Bill. Professors Lupin and Black did that,” replied Ron. He hesitated asking the question that had been bothering him. Neville seemed extremely nervous about something. He stood there by his bed shuffling his feet and occasionally glancing towards Ron.

“Nev…,” Ron started to ask, but Neville cut him off.

“The Lestranges, they…,” Neville started, but stopped talking for a few seconds. He suddenly started talking very fast. “They tortured my parents into insanity. They are in St. Mungos spell damage ward.”

Ron was shocked at what he heard. He figured it must have been Neville’s parents. “I am sorry to hear about your parents,” he said to Neville.

The two boys stood there and stared at each other and shuffled their feet for several seconds.

“I guess we should go back down to the common room. Hermione will be wondering where we are,” said Ron, finally. “I need to see if she would do my homework for me.”

Neville sniggered at his comment. “Good luck with that, Ron.”

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Alarms went off in Ginny’s bedroom. She and Harry jumped up with drawn wands at the noise. Someone had just broken into their living quarters.

“Oi, put those bloody wands down,” yelled Sirius.

He had his hands up in the air. Bill, Remus, and Dumbledore were standing behind him in their sitting room, while looking into the bedroom.

“Why did you break into our room?” croaked Harry. His voice was rough from just waking up from a deep sleep.

“We have been trying to get you for the past hour,” said Sirius. “We sent three Patronus messages, but you didn’t respond. Have you been sleeping this entire time?”

“What time is it?” Ginny asked them.

“It’s five in the evening,” said Bill. “We wanted to have a meeting in a half hour. What is wrong with you two?”

“I couldn’t sleep last night. Ginny was able to get me to fall asleep and she must have fallen asleep too,” said Harry. His wits seemed to be coming back to him. “What is the meeting about?”

“Are you sick Harry?” asked Professor Dumbledore.

Ginny could feel that Harry was nervous about telling the truth.

“No, I could not stop thinking about how much Voldemort advanced his cause in the past six months,” he said.

Ginny tried to contain the smile that was budding up inside of her. She was proud of Harry. He was able to give them true information without revealing all of his secrets. She could sense that Dumbledore wasn’t buying his explanation, but the other three weren’t so skeptical.

“I could have Madam Pomfrey give you some Dreamless Sleep Potion, if you are having trouble falling asleep,” offered the Headmaster.

“Thank you, but no, I will be fine,” replied Harry. “What is this meeting about?”

Dumbledore stared directly at Ginny making her feel a little nervous about not informing Harry about everything. At least, she cannot remember if she had informed him of everything.

“Some of the developments of the past twenty-four hours,” she said. “I wasn’t able to completely tell you everything, before we went for a kip.”

“Shall we go to my office and get everyone updated?” asked the Headmaster.

“Yes, we will follow you,” said Harry. He reached out his hand to her.

As she took Harry’s hand, she felt her stomach rumble from hunger. Being pregnant has increased her already active appetite. “Will you have anything to eat in your office?” she asked the Headmaster.

“I will have the House Elves bring us something,” the Headmaster responded.

“Thank…,” she started to reply, but she saw past them to the door of her and Harry’s living quarters. It was removed from the wall. It wasn’t just the door, but the entire frame. The door was still closed in the jamb, but the entire unit had been removed from their entrance way and was now leaning on the wall to the right of the doorway. “…What the Bloody Hell did you do to my door?”

“You need to use more than Locking Charms,” said Bill in a Professor’s style of voice. “Impertubles will extend beyond the door and jamb to the wall itself. We couldn’t get the Charm on the door to release, but luckily we were able to remove the entire unit.”

Ginny stood there and stared at her older brother. He didn’t seem the least bit apologetic that he ripped her door and its frame off the wall.

“A brilliant solution, if I say so myself,” said Sirius. “I would have probably blasted the door and the wall down to get in here.”

Ginny blinked at Sirius’ comment. They all seemed to think this was something humorous. “Can you fix it?” she asked her brother, while holding back her anger. She will just wait until the next time they are dueling to extract her revenge.

“I will have it reset and in place in a couple waves of my wand,” said Bill.

They waited until Bill had replaced her door before going to the Headmasters office. The Headmaster had gone ahead, but Sirius and Remus waited with them. She stood holding Harry’s hand while watching Bill repair the door. She could feel his emotions, so he wasn’t using his Occlumency shields. She also could feel that he wasn’t in any pain, which was good because Voldemort wasn’t trying to enter his mind.

“What is this meeting about?” asked Remus. He was looking at Harry.

“I don’t know. I imagine the breakout last night,” he replied with a shrug of his shoulders.

“That was obvious,” said Bill. “Ginny, what happened this morning?”

“Wait for the meeting,” she said. She could tell that there were people near her. They were probably in classrooms or broom closets, but she didn’t want to say anything secret in the hallways. Here it wasn’t only the people that could pass along information but also the portraits.

They walked the rest of the way to the Headmasters office in silence. They were greeted by the Headmaster, Madam Bones, Professor McGonagall, and Alastor Moody. There was also a tray of sandwiches and a pitcher of pumpkin juice.

Ginny grabbed a couple of sandwiches and poured herself some pumpkin juice before sitting down. Harry grabbed a sandwich and sat beside her. He took a sip of her pumpkin juice and smiled at her. It was a simple act, but it made her feel good that his depression and fear was under control.

“Now that everyone is together, we have some important things to discuss,” said the Headmaster. “The breakout at Azkaban is the most important item, but there are many other complications that came to the surface in the past twenty-four hours.”

The Headmaster made eye contact with Ginny. She could sense that several others in the room saw that. Harry was one of them. His anxiety spiked at that exact moment.

“What else has happened since last night?” asked Moody. It sounded more like a demand.

“I was almost sent to Azkaban, if Fudge had had his way,” said Madam Bones.

“What are you talking about?” responded Moody.

“Fudge tried to blame me for the breakout and the other incidents this summer with prisoners not making it to Azkaban. Albus defended me brilliantly,” she said with admiration in her voice.

“Yes, Cornelius was trying to convince the Wizengamot that Amelia was corrupt and working with Voldemort. It was easy to defeat his charges.”

Moody, Sirius, and Remus all laughed at the Headmaster’s comment.

“Fudge is barmy, if he thinks Amelia would ever help Voldemort,” laughed Moody. “I can’t believe he would even consider such a charge.”

“He is being influenced by Lucius,” said Amelia.

“Is he under an Imperious Curse?” asked Moody.

Madam Bones and Albus Dumbledore stared at each other for several seconds. Albus was the first to speak. “I didn’t see any of the normal signs of being Imperioused.”

“I haven’t either,” said Madam Bones. “I just think he is a power hungry idiot.”

Ginny chuckled at her comment. Madam Bones had always said everything politically correct. It must have been her years working in the Ministry. Except now, she referred to the Minister as an idiot.

“That really isn’t anything we didn’t know before,” said Remus. Sirius and Moody laughed even harder. “I didn’t mean to make a joke about it or downplay what he tried to do to you Madam Bones, but we have always known that he was a puppet. What else have we discovered, and how many Death Eaters actually escaped?”

“Only five, Rodolphus, Rabastan, and Bellatrix Lestrange, Antonin Dolohov, and Augustus Rookwood,” said Madam Bones. “He left over thirty of his followers still locked up inside.”

“Why would he do that?” asked Harry.

“Voldemort had an inner circle of Death Eaters; his most trusted followers. Those five were members of his inner circle,” said the Headmaster.

“Was Snape part of the inner circle?” Harry asked the Headmaster.

“No he wasn’t, he hadn’t been a member that long when you defeated Voldemort the last time.”

Everything seemed to fall into place for Ginny. She just figured out why he was acting like he was this morning. The breakout changed his status with Voldemort. She didn’t remember saying anything when she realized this, but everyone was now looking at her.

“Yes, Mrs. Potter,” the Headmaster said to her.

“It makes sense now why Severus was acting the way he was this morning,” she announced. “If Voldemort is reorganizing his inner circle and pushing Snape out of it, he must do whatever possible to regain his trust. That was why he didn’t tell us about the prison breakout.”

“You are telling me that Snape knew about the breakout and didn’t warn us?” asked Sirius. He looked angry enough to walk out of the meeting and find Snape.

“He said he did it to gain Voldemort’s trust. Mrs. Potter is correct. Severus would have gone along with the plan to regain the trust of Voldemort and the ones he broke out of prison. As far as trusting Severus, remember that we keep secrets from him. He still doesn’t know he is being monitored. That is the nature of the spy business. Everyone keeps secrets from others.

“Mrs. Potter have you had time to discuss with you husband the plans to move Headquarters?”

“No,” Ginny felt slightly embarrassed.

“What plans to move Headquarters?” barked Moody.

“Harry,” said Ginny a little nervously. If she would have approached him under different circumstances she was sure that he would approve of the move, but he must completely agree with the use of Potter Manor for Bill to rework the wards. “The Headmaster wants to move Headquarters. I suggested Potter Manor in Scotland.”

He raised a single eyebrow at her suggestion. “I suppose if we can work with those wards to get everyone through. What about Snape? I am not sure I want to allow him access to the Manor.”

“We were thinking about still using Grimmauld place for the meetings. The map would be moved to Potter Manor and we would relocate the Brandenburgs and Proudfoot there.”

“Brilliant, Snape would never gain access to our main Headquarters,” exclaimed Sirius. “We could start large scale training exercises at the manor. It has enough land with it that we could really create some realistic battle scenes. I think it is a brilliant move.”

“Excuse me,” said Madam Bones. “I thought your parent’s home was destroyed when you first defeated the Dark Lord.”

“Yes, the house we were living in was destroyed, but that wasn’t the only place the Potters owned at the time.”

“I think the move would be advantageous,” said Remus. “We could have full access to your family library. We could start extensive training at your facilities. The Ministry wouldn’t be able to detect anything we are doing. I am assuming that you would be bringing Order members back to England through the Manor, so that would make that process easier. We wouldn’t want to Portkey Order members onto the property. The Ministry can track Portkeys. The final question, is do you want to allow Mundungus Fletcher access to that manor?”

Sirius laughed out loud and slapped Remus on the back. “That bloody thief will try to nick everything in the house. Hell, his heart might explode from excitement.”

“You have some valuables in the house?” asked Madam Bones.

“A few,” said Harry. “I can always assign a House Elf to follow him around. I am concerned about the wards. I don’t know how to alter them to allow people through. Bill, do you have any suggestions?”

Bill sat there with an expression of deep concentration on his face. It took several seconds for him to respond. “I can’t tell you right now, they are the most complex wards I have ever seen. I think you and Ginny can allow people access to the manor by escorting them through the wards and saying they are permitted to enter the manor. The Wards will respond to your commands, but be sure that both of you mean it. I will do some research and try to find how they made the wards.”

“What type of ward is that you are talking about,” asked the Headmaster. “Why not use a Fidelius Charm?”

“These wards are stronger than a Fidelius,” said Bill. “I started researching them, but ran into a couple of snags that I haven’t had time to sort through. Hopefully, over Christmas I will have time.”

“What do we do until then?” asked Moody.

“I think Harry could possibly move everyone from Grimmauld Place to the Manor this weekend,” said Bill. “I do know that if both Harry and Ginny allow someone through the wards, they shall be able to pass through them alone, but no one with them will gain access.”

Ginny, Harry, Remus, and Sirius all chuckled at Bill. He had tried to bring a witch into one of the estates in France. He passed through the Wards while holding her hand, but she was trapped in the Wards. They wouldn’t release her until Harry and Ginny said in unison to release her. It ruined his plans that night.

“That isn’t good,” stated Moody. “What do we do if we need to take someone there to hide? Will we need to introduce them to the Potters so they can enter the place? I would like to see a Fidelius Charm in place. The Potters can be the secret keepers, but we can take people onto the property without revealing to them where they are and tell people where the Headquarters are located.”

Ginny could sense Harry’s hesitation at changing the wards. “Can we work with the Wards we have now? After Bill has had a chance to work with them, we will revisit the possibility of changing to a Fidelius Charm.”
“Do we have the plans to relocate Headquarters properly discussed?” asked Bill.

“I believe so,” said the Headmaster. “Is there something you need to bring up?”

“Yes, I would like to increase the intensity of the Defense Classes,” he said. “I am not sure how the board of Governors would react to my plans. I want to eliminate the dueling club and use the great hall for spell casting practice. Many of the students don’t really have a chance to improve their techniques casting spells legally. If we allow them to use the great hall in the evening, they would have an opportunity to improve. I wouldn’t be teaching them anything new, but just giving them a chance to hone their spells casting. I was thinking that we could have them work on Charms and Transfiguration also, if Professors Flitwick and McGonagall approve.”

No one spoke for several seconds, Ginny could sense Bill was getting nervous. “I think it is a brilliant idea,” she said trying to encourage him. “Are we still going to have advanced sessions once or twice a week?”

“I don’t know. I would like to pick out a few high risk individuals beside my family for advanced classes. Headmaster, what do you think of my idea?”

“I think it is logical considering that these children will need to prepare for a war, even though they are under age. I am not sure what the Board of Governors will say. Lucius Malfoy sits on that board. There is an even split right now. If one of my supporters should shift his allegiance…”

“I will use my right to vote on the board,” said Harry. “The Potters have a permanent seat on that board. I just have never used my right to vote. I like the idea, Bill. If the Headmaster doesn’t object and the other Professors agree, you have my support.”

Madam Bones started laughing. “Fudge is going to become paranoid that you are trying to form an army, Albus. You and an army of children seem to scare him more than the dark lord.”

Ginny watched as a sad expression formed on the Headmaster’s face. What Madam Bones said was true, and it was disturbing. The Minister would probably be more concerned about children learning how to defend themselves, than stopping Voldemort from taking over Britain.

Back to index

Chapter 25: Hunting

Author's Notes: This chapter has been a long time coming, but I was finally able to find the time to write it. There are several differences from canon as they collect and destroy Horcruxes. Hope you enjoy it,because my Beta, Leif, worked very hard to get this chapter presentable.

William Weasley watched as Albus Dumbledore stood up after breakfast on the first Saturday after the breakout at Azkaban. It had been announced in the common rooms that the Dueling Club had been terminated to allow time to tutor students in spell casting. The announcement was posted on Tuesday morning and by noon. Bill had received almost twenty complaints from various students. They wanted to duel each other not just work on their spell casting. It wasn’t surprising that the complaints were coming from sixth and seventh year students. He had just as many comments and questions from younger students who didn’t want to participate in the dueling club, because of a lack of skill.

“All of those who wish to work on your spell casting are to remain in the great hall. All others can return to their common rooms, library, or other appropriate places to…,” he stopped and looked at the twins. “,…study.”

The twins laughed at his comment. They had been some of the older students who complained to Bill about the cancellation of the dueling club. Once he explained the reason for the change, they were in full support of the tutoring. They even said they would help with the younger students.

Over two thirds of the students stood up to leave. Almost all of them were fifth year and older. It seemed that the entire Slytherin table stood up to leave, except about a dozen students that were first and second year. When the older Slytherins saw them still sitting they stood over them and glared until they also stood up and left. After all the students left the great hall, there were only half as many as would usually participate in the dueling club.

Bill was a little discouraged at this development. However, the students who needed the most help were the ones that remained. That gave him some hope that this would be a worthwhile effort.

The Headmaster looked out over the remaining students. “For all of those who remain, I give you your Defense Professor William Weasley.”

Bill stood up and looked at the Professors Flitwick and McGonagall. They had agreed to assist him along with Remus and Sirius. Harry and Ginny would be here, but this morning they had another assignment.

“Welcome, I hope you all have your wands. We are going to start out with simple spells by year. Depending on how well you do as a group will determine how fast we progress. You will be casting spells at inanimate objects, at first,” he stopped talking when he heard an audible gasp. “There are spells that you can’t learn by shooting them at a target, but you will not be learning any dark or dangerous magic during this tutoring. For the older students, I will be asking your help with the younger students, but you will also be getting a chance to practice more advanced spells. Are there any questions?”

Susan Bones raised her hand. She had an uncertain look on her face.

“Yes, Miss Bones,” he acknowledged her.

“Are the younger students going to be learning more advanced magic?” she stood up and asked.

“That would depend on how well they master the simple spells. You will be present when the older students are working on their spells. If you would want to try them, then I will discuss this with the other Professors. We do not want anyone to get hurt.”

Susan stayed standing; her face became pink before she blurted out another question. “Is this class because of the breakout last weekend?”

Even though no one else was talking before she asked the question, the great hall seemed to become quieter.

“Yes, the people who escaped the prison are cruel and would not hesitate harming anyone in this room. We want to make sure you can protect yourself and your friends. You are not being trained to become an army to attack the Death Eaters, but to protect yourself if you ever find yourself caught up in this approaching war.”

There was a loud sigh and a soft “that’s disappointing” from the Ravenclaw table. Bill and everyone else turned to stare at Luna Lovegood. “I think you would be a good general along with Harry and Ginny. We will need to form an army because we not only have to worry about the Death Eaters, but Fudge’s Heliotropes.”

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Amelia Bones appeared in front of a building that could be classified as a palace by Muggles. Harry had Apparated her and Alastor to Potter manor. She had been to many different manor houses during her life. This one was one of the largest she has ever seen. It was also one of the most beautiful. So many wizards and witches seemed to prefer stone or dark exterior wood. This massive three story building with its white walls and trim looked so simple and elegant. When she was a little girl and imagined marrying and moving into her dream home, the home looked like this one.

The second thing that caught her attention was the bitter cold wind, the salty air, and the thrum of the sea breaking against the shore. She tore her eyes away from the building to look at the grounds. The shore was only about a quarter mile away from them on each side. They were on a small peninsula that disappeared in the grey morning mist.

Ginny Potter, Proudfoot, and the Brandenburg family appeared without a sound a few feet away. Harry and Ginny used they magical connection to Apparate the group. It wasn’t Apparition since they never turned and there wasn’t that distinctive pop when they appeared. Everyone acknowledged each other with a nod or eye contact, before anyone spoke.

“Shall we go inside,” Ginny said politely.

“About time,” Alastor grumbled under his breath to Amelia. “They could’ve Apparated us inside to begin with.”

Harry took his wife’s arm and led them all to the front door of the manor. They didn’t respond to or they didn’t hear Alastor’s grumbling. He held the door open for them as Ginny entered the manor first. Amelia allowed the Brandenburgs to enter before her and Alastor waited until she entered before stepping inside. In the few short minutes that it took to get inside she was already chilled to the bone and shivering.

The entrance hall was warm and at the far end of the hall was a massive fireplace that had to be nearly six feet tall by twelve feet wide. A female House Elf asked for her traveling cloak. Amelia removed it and the Elf cast a Charm to dry it before levitating it into a large closet on the side of the landing. It wasn’t until after the Elf had walked away that she noticed it was wearing clothes. She looked at the other House Elf and noticed it too was wearing clothes.

“Welcome to Potter Manor,” Harry said officially. “Let us go eat. The dining room is off the right.”

The Potters led the way. Amelia was looking at the furnishings and they were all very elegant and tasteful. It was obvious they were also very expensive, but something was bothering her about the place. If this was the Manor house of the Potters, then where were the portraits of Harry’s ancestors? Every Pureblood family she ever saw always had portraits of their ancestors lining the walls.

When she walked into the dining hall, which was nearly half the size of the great hall at Hogwarts, she had another surprise. There were seven House Elves all dressed and sitting at the main dining table. There were ten different tables in the room that could easily seat over a hundred people. The main table sat parallel to a wall with four large windows that looked out upon the grounds.

There was a variety of food in platters sitting on the long table. There was a white table cloth covering the tables and linen napkins at each place setting. Harry and Ginny stood at the table and stared at her, Alastor, Proudfoot, and the Brandenbergs.

“I can see you are a bit surprised to see our friends eating with us,” said Harry.

“We don’t have House Elves as slaves. They are workers and friends to us,” Ginny said. “If you wish to stay in our home and on our land you must agree to treat them as you would a human. If you cannot do that than you may leave.”

“I don’t have a problem with that, but some of our associates may have some issues with it,” said Moody.

“Then they can find another place of sanctuary,” said Harry. “This war isn’t only about the human race of magical beings. The House Elves and goblins also have a stake in this war. Voldemort will have no reservations about getting dark creatures to aid in his conquest. We should also be as welcoming. The Potter family has had alliances with the goblins and House Elves that span centuries. I plan on upholding that tradition.”

“I am little surprised at seeing House elves in clothes and at the table,” Amelia said. “I always thought you all enjoyed being slaves.”

“We all enjoy being of service and take pride in a job well done,” said the eldest House Elf. “We are all different much like your race. I am the fourth generation of my family that has been employed by the House of Potter. All of us are descendants of free Elves, and we are all proud of that fact, and proud to serve the House of Potter of our own free will.”

The old Elf finished with a swell of pride in his voice. The others elves all nodded in agreement. They all looked at Harry and Ginny with respect and admiration. She never realized that any of the ancient Houses had alliances with House Elves and Goblins. She will need to investigate this.

“Let us tuck in,” said Ginny gleefully.

Everyone sat down around the table and started to eat. She didn’t eat much because she had too much on her mind. She wanted to know what other rules and guidelines they would have in this house. She was also curious about the library that Remus Lupin spoke about. He spoke as though it was the largest library in the England. After seeing the size of this house she could believe it.

“Ginny and I will need to leave in a few minutes. We have other things we need to do today. I will ask each of you. Do you agree to the terms of staying here? Will you treat the house elves with respect and promise to keep what you see here a secret from others who haven’t been here?”

Amelia thought it was a strange type of an oath. He had brought them all here, so she assumed that they could pass through the wards of their own free will. Yet, when she agreed, she could feel a weight lift off her shoulders that she hadn’t felt before.

“You all may leave if you wish and reenter the wards, but you cannot bring anyone with you that we haven’t approved,” said Ginny with a smile. She turned to the Brandenburgs. “You may choose any bedrooms in this house to set up residence. Auror Proudfoot, you may choose after they have chosen. The only rooms that are off limits are Harry’s and my suite on the third floor, and the basement is the House Elves.”

“If you have any questions please ask the House Elves,” said Harry. “We must be leaving. I do have one more warning. If you are outside on the grounds do not go past the hedgerow. If you come to a Muggle road, you have left the grounds and are outside of the wards. There are also small caves on the grounds. Please do not go in them, but if you do; be very careful.”

Harry and Ginny stood up. They were getting ready to leave, when they stopped. “I almost forgot. You cannot Apparate into the house. Only house Elves can move in and out of this building.”

“Another layer of protection?” Moody asked.

“Yes, it is,” answered Harry.

“Good,” Moody grunted back at them.

The Potters were halfway across the dining hall when Ashley Brandenburg took off running after them. Amelia smiled as the little girl hugged them both and said goodbye to them. The House Elves started to clean up the breakfast dishes. Constance Brandenburg offered to help. To Amelia’s surprise the House Elves permitted her to help them. The eldest female House Elf struck up a conversation with Constance and the left the dining hall.

“I am going outside,” said Alastor.

“Are you going to find your room?” she asked Proudfoot.

“I am, but I want a map of this place so I don’t get lost,” he said as he walked away.

Gabriel Brandenburg ran off after his daughter. Amelia smiled at the young family. She wanted to explore this house, but for different reasons. This house was missing something. It didn’t look like some ancient manor house that had been in a wealthy family for centuries. She wanted to find the Potter history. She remembered meeting Harry’s grandfather when she was young. She had always heard the Potters were wealthy and influential, but she never knew from where they received their wealth. She never heard any of the old wealthy families speaking about a manor house this grand. Her mother was the epitome of a socialite witch, and she would have spoken about a house this grand.

As she reentered the entrance hall, she turned to her right. There was a large set of stairs that ascended to the next floor. The house had three floors, but the staircase seemed to end at the second floor. She walked around them and turned to find a small wall that extended from the side of the fireplace to form an archway. She stepped through the arch only to find another arch set off the left forming a small room. The formal ballroom was though this next archway. There were chandeliers hanging from the ceiling that was made of a mosaic of white, blue, and green tiles. The entire room seemed to sparkle with the only gray light coming through the many windows. She could only imagine what this place must look like with all the candles burning in the chandeliers. She walked along the walls looking at the art on the walls. There were many different paintings. Many were magical and moved within their frames, but none of them had a placard indicating who the subject was in the frame.

After several hours of exploring the house she was able to find the library. It was an amazing place but it wasn’t as large as Hogwarts’ library. She found herself a little disappointed. There were many books, but they seemed to be rather eclectic in their selection. She ran into Moody again on the second floor. He was looking around to see where he could put the map to track Death Eaters, and set up a communication center.

“What do you think about this place?” Alastor asked her. His magical eye was spinning in all directions.

“I find it interesting that a family would have such a grand house, but not live in it. It shows no sign of anyone actually living here for years.”

“This isn’t a bloody house. It is a fortress. The walls have been magically strengthened. The design of the house prevents anyone from easily overthrowing it. A handful of skilled wizards could defend this house against a hundred attackers. The little caves that Harry spoke of are bunkers filled with Muggle weapons. The bunkers are large enough to house twenty soldiers in each. You can barely see the openings until you are practically upon them. This place was designed for one sole purpose and that is to repel a massive attack by thousands.”

“Is that what Harry and Ginny have been doing when they had dropped out of sight for those two years?”

“I don’t think so,” replied Alastor. He scratched his chin as he thought. “Some of these protections seem old. They even said they don’t understand the wards completely. I also don’t think they could have done all this in such a short period of time. This building was warded as it was built.” He tapped his magical eye. “I have never seen such deep protections except for at Hogwarts. We know those protections were set with the stones.”

“Why would a family invest so much money into building such a grand place to turn it into a fortress? Were there any conflicts that the Potters were involved in that would warrant such protections?”

“I don’t know, Amelia, but I am damn glad the Potters built it. It makes me feel safe setting up camp here. It is even large enough to hold large scale training exercises.”

The rest of the day Amelia spent at the manor. She spoke with several of the House Elves about the Potter family, but the more she heard about them the less she understood. It appeared that no one had lived in this house full time for almost eighty years. The House had been constructed over four hundred years ago, and it took nearly twenty years to build. There were both wizard and House Elf protections cast on it as it was being constructed. She wanted to ask the Potters if they knew the reason why this house was built with so much security, but she doubted they would tell her.

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Harry held Ginny’s hand as they walked up the stairs of Grimmauld Place. Sirius and Remus were right behind them as the approached the meeting room. They had had a very busy day today. Ginny and he had opened up Potter Manor to the Order of Phoenix. Sirius and Remus had helped Bill with the new training for spell casting at Hogwarts.

They spent the last six hours looking for Horcruxes. It seemed that they should have been doing this a month ago, but circumstances never allowed them time to start the hunt.

“You’re late,” drawled Severus Snape, when they entered the meeting room.

“You are irrelevant, Snivellus,” responded Sirius. “The Headmaster knew we might be running late.”

“At least I am doing something important, rather than teach children to wave a wand.”

The entire room seemed to go silent at Snape’s comment. Most everyone in the room knew that everyone in the magical community would be in danger if Voldemort took over, even the children.

“Enough,” said the Headmaster. “Now that we are all here, Severus, you can report what you have learned about the Dark Lords activities.”

Harry was sitting against the far wall of the room with his three late arriving companions. Severus stood up and looked around the room with a bored expression at everyone. Harry was amazed at the nerve of this man. He looked as if he had no remorse for deceiving them.

“As you all know, the Dark Lord deceived me and planned a diversion to break his most trusted servants out of Azkaban,” he said with an oily voice.

Several people grumbled and Harry was sure he heard Alastor mumble “bollocks”. Snape just continued on as if no one had spoken. He had to realize that no one in the room trusted him.

“At the present time the Dark Lord seems to be more interested in getting those he broke out healthy rather than planning any more attacks. When he reveals any of his plans to me, I will pass that information on the Headmaster.”

“Why did he leave so many of his followers behind in prison?” asked Arthur Weasley.

“The Dark Lord does not share his reasons with me. I only report what he cares to share with me.” When no one else asked any questions, Snape turned and left the room.

The room remained silent until they could hear the front door close. Protests erupted from all over the room. No one believed that Severus didn’t know about the breakout of Azkaban. It took Albus a good ten minutes to calm everyone down enough to have the meeting to reconvene. The Headmaster stood in front of everyone looking tired and defeated.

“We must assume that Severus Snape could compromise our mission and our present location,” he said with a grave voice. “Because of that, we are in the process of moving the actual location of the headquarters. Amelia or Alastor do you want to report what you found.”

Alastor jumped up and started talking before Amelia could say a word. “It is perfect Albus. I couldn’t design a better place to have our Headquarters. I think it is even safer and more impenetrable than Hogwarts. With some help,” he turned and looked at Harry. “I want to move everything out tonight.”

Amelia looked at Alastor in disbelief. “The location is fantastic,” she said, taking over for Moody. “I will say that it is as welcoming and comfortable of a place as this is dirty and dark.”

“That’s my family they are talking about,” whispered Sirius to Remus. They sat beside Harry so he overheard and it brought a smile to his face.

“Yeah, and they only scratched the surface with the darkness,” replied Remus with a smile.

“Yeah, it is almost as if there was an evil presence lurking in the bloody walls. I am not talking about Kreacher,” Sirius whispered as people questioned Alastor and Amelia about the new Headquarters.

Harry was happy that Moody and Bones didn’t reveal that it was Potter Manor just yet. He wanted to talk to everyone where Ginny could get a read on their emotions and trustworthiness.

“We need another week before opening the new Headquarters to everyone,” said the Headmaster. “We can trust that Voldemort isn’t ready to make a move on the Ministry yet.” People started to object to which he raised his hand to calm everyone. “Even if he does, everyone who has the special Portkeys can still utilize them the same as planned, and rest assured that Severus’ is set for a different location from all of the rest of ours.”

There seemed to be an inaudible sigh in the room as everyone relaxed.

The next hour was filled with reports of various things happening with the Order. The recruitment had picked up since the breakout. Many of the new people who wanted to join were family members of the children getting the extra training.

It was reported that Fudge was already starting to question why these children need to receive extra training. One of the maintenance men noticed a memo in Delores Umbridge’s desk asking her to look into it. Several of the Ministry employees groaned at hearing her name. Evidently, she was a bureaucratic nightmare.

No one reported anything unusual from the Diagon Alley or Hogsmeade. Several people stated that there have been rumblings about Ministry involvement in the lack of Bicorn Horn. Amelia Bones asked who was grumbling and why they needed Bicorn Horn. Harry smiled at the MLE coming out in her.

“I would say that if someone could locate any we could greatly increase the financial situation of this here organization,” said Mundungus Fletcher, who quickly shrunk back into his hole in the corner of the room at Amelia’s glare.

“I never knew that a lack of Bicorn Horn would create such a stir,” said the Headmaster, with a slight smile on his lips. “I was contacted by the Ministry and was told that any Bicorn Horn that we do not need for this year’s Potion classes must be turned over immediately. They seemed most disappointed to hear that we had had only enough for our NEWT classes. Is there anything else that needs to be discussed tonight?”

No one spoke up. “I call this meeting to a close. We shall see everyone in a week.”

Harry received a hug from his mother-in-law and a quick handshake from Arthur before they went home. Just before he left room, Moody caught up with him.

“Harry, we need to move the map tonight. I was going to put it in the massive room with the chandeliers.”

“Oh no, you are not,” growled Amelia Bones. “Harry, he wants to destroy your ballroom. Isn’t there another room that will work?”

“What, are you planning on having grand balls while we are fighting Voldemort? We are at war woman.”

Harry saw a major war forming in front of him and tried to stop it before it started. “The map and communication center can go in the den. Let’s go and move it now before you two start firing spells at each other.”

“I’ll see you at Hogwarts when you are finished Harry,” said the Headmaster with smile on his lips.

[ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ][ ]

Early Sunday morning, six figures appeared in a wooded lane by the town of Little Hangleton. Upon appearing, the popping sound they made sent several birds flying away from shrubs surrounding them. They stood motionless for several seconds until one pulled his wand and cast a Charm.

“I don’t think there were any Detection Charms,” said Bill.

“Bill and I will lead the way to the cabin,” said Albus Dumbledore.

Harry took Ginny’s hand and fell in behind Bill and the Headmaster. Remus and Sirius walked behind them. Ginny was looking at the Headmaster and then at Harry with a strange expression. He had a feeling that she was getting a funny feeling from the Headmaster.

The decrepit cabin stood in a copse of trees. Many years ago it was in a small clearing, now it was barely visible from the high weeds and the young trees growing up around it. The Headmaster seemed to pick up his pace towards the cabin. Ginny again gave Harry that strange look again. He was sure what it was about this time. The Headmaster was getting too excited.

“Professor Dumbledore, please slow down,” said Harry. “We don’t want to trip any traps.”

“I thought you said you were here yesterday afternoon. There shouldn’t be any traps.”

“What if we tripped one that we don’t know about and he came back and reset them. Let us be careful, for all of our sakes,” he pleaded with the elderly wizard. Harry glanced down at Ginny’s stomach. He was mostly concerned for her and their unborn child.

Albus Dumbledore slowed his pace down as they approached the cabin. Everything looked the same as yesterday. The thing that bothered Remus, Sirius, Ginny, and him about yesterday was the lack of spells cast in the area. The only spells they were able to detect were inside of the cabin. It seemed too easy. Certainly Voldemort would have put up better protections around one of his Horcruxes?

Bill cast a spell at the door of the cabin. “It looks clear. No wards keeping us out. Did you pick anything up, Headmaster?”

Albus Dumbledore also cast a spell around the front of the cabin. He seemed to hesitate and stroked his beard several times before responding. “I don’t detect anything that would prevent us from entering the cabin. You are correct Harry it seems almost too easy. Bill and I will enter first. Don’t come in unless we call for you.”

Harry watched as they shifted the door slightly open. Harry thought he saw the entire cabin shift with the movement of the door. Bill stepped inside first while casting Charms. The Headmaster followed close behind. It only took a minute for them to call out that it was safe.

Remus and Sirius stepped in before Harry and Ginny. When he finally saw the inside of the cabin, he really doubted that it was going to withstand their combined weight. The ceiling had rotted through in several locations. There was a small tree growing up through the floor towards one of the openings. Bill and Albus were kneeling on the floor staring at a floorboard. It looked like the only solid section of floor in the cabin.

“I can only detect one Charm under the floorboards,” Bill said the Albus.

“That is all I can detect too.”

“Was this one of the first Horcuxes he hid?”

“I do believe it was. That could explain his lack of more sophisticated protections. I’ll remove the floorboards and you can work on the Charm.” With flick of his wand, Albus lifted two floorboards revealing a small box hidden below.

Bill started waving his wand and whispering spells to reveal the spell construct of the Charm that was placed on the Horcrux. Several Runes appeared glowing in the air over the box. Bill touched one of them with his wand and they all disappeared. He cast another spell on the small box, as Albus reached his hand in to grab it.

“No,” shouted Bill. Sirius was the closest to the Headmaster. He grabbed the back of his robes and pulled him backwards keeping the box out of reach of his hand.

“There is another spell on the box or the ring,” Bill said emphatically.

He cast several more detection spells at the little box. It seemed like he couldn’t decide which the spell had been cast upon. “Everyone stand back, I am going to do something dangerous here,” Bill said. “Harry and Ginny get your shield ready. Everyone stand together, when I cast a Reducto on the box. Get that shield up.”

Harry held Ginny tight to him. He could feel the shield forming already. Bill gave him a look and he had to relax so the shield wouldn’t prevent Bill from either casting the spell or from him getting inside the area of the shield. Harry focused on feeling safe, even though he was afraid for Ginny’s safety. He could feel the magic to create the shield welling up inside of him.

“All right, he we go,” said Bill. “Reducto!”

As soon as Harry heard the spell being cast, he released the magic that created the shield. A silvery dome formed around everyone. However, it appeared to be unnecessary. The spell didn’t create any havoc. It simply split the little box into several pieces revealing the ring with the Resurrection Stone set in it.

“Well that was rather anticlimactic,” laughed Sirius, after Harry dropped the shield. “Let’s destroy it and move on to the next one.”

“How were you planning on destroying it?” Albus asked.

“A chisel and basilisk venom,” replied Sirius cheekily. He was holding a chisel and a hammer. Remus pulled a vial of basilisk venom.

Albus stared at the chisel with a look of horror. “Must we destroy it?”

“Professor Dumbledore, it is a Horcrux,” said Ginny. “It must be destroyed if we are going to win this war.”

Albus stared at the ring for several seconds. There was a longing in his eyes as he stared at the ring made with the Resurrection Stone.

“We know it is one of the Deathly Hollows, Professor,” said Harry. “The legend is just that, a legend. They were magical articles created by the Peverell brothers. You recognized my family’s cloak as one, and we have noticed that you are using the third one.”

Albus Dumbledore stared at Harry in shock. “How do you know all this?”

“I am a direct