|SIYE Time:22:36 on 22nd June 2018|
Love Enough for Both
By Manwe Valarian
- Text Size +
Category: Alternate Universe
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations
Story is Complete
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?
Hitcount: Story Total: 126010; Chapter Total: 3253
Awards: View Trophy Room
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.
“WE ARE GOING TO USE ONLY ONE DUELING TABLE TODAY. I WILL PULL THE OPPONENTS NAMES OUT OF THE HAT WITH ALL THE NAMES IN THE SAME YEAR. THE TWO COMBATANTS SHALL PROCEDE QUICKLY TO THE TABLE. IF YOU ARE NOT THERE IN ONE MINUTE THAN WE SHALL CONSIDER THE DUEL A FORFEIT, YOU WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. THE TWO COMBATANTS WILL ONLY HAVE 60 SECONDS TO DEFEAT THEIR OPPONENT. IF NEITHER OPPONENT DEFEATS THE OTHER NO POINTS WILL BE AWARDED THEIR HOUSE. IF YOU DEFEAT YOUR OPPONENT, YOUR HOUSE WILL RECEIVE A POINT. IF YOU LOSE TO AN OPPONENT, ONE POINT WILL BE TAKEN FROM YOUR HOUSE.”
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.
“RON WEASLEY IS THE WINNER. GRYFFINDOR RECIEVES ONE HOUSE POINT. SLYTHERIN HOUSE LOSES ONE POINT,” Professor Flitwick announced to the great hall.
“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.
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