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SIYE Time:11:43 on 3rd December 2023


Harry Potter and the Ritual of Love's Memory
By Forge2

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Category: Post-HBP
Characters:All
Genres: Action/Adventure, General, Romance
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 198
Summary: After the horcrux hunt implodes leaving most of those Harry loves dead, he starts a new life with a few fellow survivors far away from wizarding Britain. But the discovery of an ancient ritual that promises to send a single memory back in time sparks hope that maybe things can change. Dark ending to DH followed by a tweaked retelling of GoF through DH. Harry/Ginny. Friday updates.
Hitcount: Story Total: 38045; Chapter Total: 793
Awards: View Trophy Room






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With the headmaster gone, all eyes stared at the six students standing together in the Chamber's torchlight. Harry's nerves were on high alert as he tried to remember what he was supposed to say and when. He felt extremely uncomfortable as the center of attention and was quite grateful to have friends alongside him.

"Okay, everyone! We wanted to run through some details with you about how this will be working before we jump right in. After sitting through Umbridge's classes this term, I'm sure we're all ready to dust off our wands for some actual defense practice." Cedric's voice echoed through the Chamber as he spoke to the group. "The plan is for us to meet as a big group like this once a month, but to also break into years for a second, more targeted meeting. With a group as large as this, we wanted to ensure people didn't get lost in the crowd. Hermione?"

"The six of us will be planning out topics to cover. We'll choose them based on a few criteria. First off will be usefulness. We want to make sure anything we spend time on could come in handy if you need to defend yourself or someone else.

"We're also going to consider what could be on our OWLs or NEWTs. If Umbridge won't prepare us to pass our exams, we'll do it ourselves." Harry could see a few students smirking as they watched a girl infamous for being a teacher's pet openly defying a professor. "We're also going to be considering your suggestions. If there's something that you really want to learn about because you think it'll help you defend yourself, we'll consider adding it into our plans."

Hermione nodded to Ron, who did his best not to sound nervous addressing the mass of students. "Yeah, what she said. So, there's at least one of us in all of the four years for the split-up meetings. But since there are three of us Fifth Years, Harry, Hermione, and me will each be jumping in with another year to help out a bit. For some reason, Harry opted to go with Ginny and the Fourth Years…" A smattering of giggles from some of the students made Harry smile as Ginny squeezed his hand. "Hermione and Cho are going to be working with the Sixth Years, and I'll be alongside Cedric on team Seventh Years."

"We're going to do our best to schedule meetings so that they don't interfere with quidditch practice or other important stuff," said Cho. "From what I saw, it looks like we've got members of at least three House teams represented, maybe all four. Cedric and I have already spoken with Angelina, and we're working together to make sure to all be flexible."

As Cho finished, Harry squeezed Ginny's hand encouragingly while she gathered herself. "Speaking of different houses, we want to make sure everyone who wants to learn defense is welcome here. The six of us were excited to see that all four houses were represented on the interest sheets, and if things go well more people may want to join. The main rule is not to be a git to anybody. Even though the six of us can't take points or assign detention, we can kick you out if you're bullying someone."

"With all that said, we wanted to start today with two spells that are on the simpler side but can be dead useful," said Harry as he stepped forward. "Chances are everyone here has at least attempted to use Protego, right?"

There were general murmurs of agreement from the group.

"Great! The Shield Spell may seem a bit basic but used correctly and with enough power, it can be a lifesaver. We want to make sure everyone can produce a decent shield. The problem with that is that it's hard to know how good your shield is without someone trying to get past it. That's where the second spell we're practicing today comes in. We'll be using Expelliarmus to test out your shields."

"Oh, come on!" moaned a tall boy from Ravenclaw that Harry thought was a Seventh Year. "After all that talk about practicing real defense, we're just doing Shields and Disarming? Super lame!"

Harry's brow lowered as his genial expression became frustrated, but Cho jumped in first. "Hey, Stephen, nobody's forcing you to stick around if you're too good for this!"

Ginny didn't look frustrated at all, instead bearing a mischievous smirk. "Okay, how about this… Stephen, right? We were going to demonstrate how to cast them both before splitting into pairs to practice. Since these spells are so easy for you, wanna show us how it's done?"

The blonde boy immediately started nudging his way forward, a confident smile on his face. "Sure, not a problem! Who am I disarming?"

"Take your pick," said Ginny with a smile.

"In that case, I'd love the chance to take down the Triwizard champion," he said, excitement dancing in his eyes. "You up for it, Potter?"

"Co-Champion," replied Harry as he pulled out his wand. "Viktor and I tied in the Third Task. But yeah, if you want to help demonstrate with me, that works."

Cedric was whispering something to Cho as Harry and Stephen squared off, causing her to cover her laughter with a free hand. She composed herself before addressing the group of eager students. "Our plan was to have one person casting a shield while the other tries to disarm them, then switch. Stephen can start with Expelliarmus and Harry will use Protego. If he's still got his wand after the first volley, they'll switch roles. You two ready?"

Both of them nodded.

"Then GO!"

Harry concentrated hard as he waved his wand and shouted, "PROTEGO!" while his opponent aimed at him and cast his spell. A small jet of red light flew from Stephen's wand and collided with Harry's shield and careened off it into the ground.

Quite a few of the students watching giggled as Stephen's face became a bit flushed. "Wait, wait, wait!" he called to Cho. "It's been a long time since I've used that spell. Give me another go!"

"Harry's shield is still up, so I think that means he's fine with another attempt, right?" Harry nodded as the five other leaders looked on with grins.

"EXPELLIARMUS!" cried Stephen, putting much more power behind his spell this time and getting his wand movement more precise. Harry kept his concentration as the spell ricocheted off his shield for a second time.

With mounting frustration, Harry's opponent took a large step forward as he bellowed, "EXPELLIARMUS!" once more. At the moment the spell was about to strike the shield, Harry surged extra power forward. The red jet of light collided with the shield, but the power behind the shield overwhelmed it. The red light dissipated into nothingness.

Stephen's red face and heaving chest indicated that he was not as pleased as the students who clapped appreciatively at Harry's performance. "See! The Disarming Spell is way too weak to waste our time on. It can't even break through a simple shield!"

"Prove it!" called out a voice from the back of the crowd that Harry thought sounded suspiciously like Fred. Stephen wiped his slightly sweaty brow with his sleeve and grit his teeth. He screwed up his face in concentration and cast his shield.

"Whenever you're ready," said Harry calmly. Stephen grimaced slightly but nodded as he conjured his shield.

"Expelliarmus!"

Harry's spell punctured the shield with ease, knocking Stephen onto his back and causing him to skid a few feet along the stone floor. His wand flew out of his hand and spun to Harry, who caught it without having to move from his spot. When a fairly-shocked Stephen looked up from his place on the ground, he saw Harry extending a hand to help him to his feet.

Hermione raised her voice a bit to speak over the murmur of impressed students. "Stephen was able to cast both spells effectively and that could have been enough against a different opponent. That's definitely a good place to start. But Harry has spent a lot of time working on his Disarming and Shielding. Both are excellent forms of defensive magic. Obviously, a Protego can deflect or even dispel an incoming curse, but an Expelliarmus can remove an attacker's weapon. That's why we're going to practice them today!"

The six helped the eager crowd form lines and spread out around the Chamber. They paired solo students with each other and did their best to ensure nobody was too overmatched. Harry found that it felt much more natural to be speaking to a couple at a time rather than the massive crowd, and he got a small thrill when he watched Neville produce his first-ever decent shield.

There were several mishaps along the way, including Dean disarming Seamus only for his friend's wand to accidentally strike a nearby Lavender in the nose, but things went well overall. Harry did his best to work with each of Ginny's classmates so that they'd be more familiar with him during the Fourth Year session. It was clear that they all had a lot of work to do in order to become proficient at defending themselves, but several showed real potential. He was pleased to see Luna casting her Expelliarmus well against a Hufflepuff from her year.

At the end of the row of Fourth Years stood Demelza, who was doing her best to avoid Harry's gaze anytime he walked nearby. After thirty minutes, Harry finally just walked right next to her before she was ready to cast. He adjusted her arm position and had her move her feet to shoulder-width apart before encouraging her to try the spell again. She nervously yelled "Protego!" and Harry let out a low whistle as her best shield yet materialized. He gave her a crooked grin as he applauded her work, then moved on down the line.

Harry didn't linger too long with the few Slytherins who'd made an appearance. He did make sure to greet Blaise and Theo as they practiced and was fairly impressed with Daphne's shield as she faced off with Susan.

When the club's allotted time drew to a close, Cedric called for everyone to gather up before leaving. "Great first meeting, everyone! We're all glad that you chose to hang out and work on defense together. Find one of us to figure out when your year will have its own practice or if you've got an idea about what kind of stuff you want to go over. Am I missing anything?"

Hermione raised her hand instinctively and then blushed as she realized that wasn't at all necessary. "Professor Dumbledore asked me to let everyone know that the room with the stairway we entered through is going to be designated as a student lounge. He said it's mostly stocked with books on defense. The idea was to have a place to study where students from different houses could work together besides the library. It's like the Sorting Hat was saying at the start of the year: unity is more important than ever."

"But keep an eye on Myrtle while you're up there," Ginny called out with a laugh. "She'll try to steal your boyfriend!"

Lots of students quickly made their way back into the entryway to get back to their Common Rooms and out of the still-somewhat-creepy Chamber, but several stuck around to talk with each other and the six club leaders. Harry had just finished talking to a rather sheepish Stephen when Blaise approached.

"So that's ol' Salazar, huh?" he said as Harry turned to face the stone visage of the Hogwarts founder. "Pretty wild that you fought a Basilisk in here on your own as a Second Year."

"To be fair, Dumbledore's phoenix helped out a whole lot. Fawkes pecked out its eyes so it couldn't petrify me and brought me a sword. I still got bit by the thing, but apparently Phoenix tears cure basically any wound you can get."

Blaise swore under his breath. "Still pretty impressive, if you ask me."

"Well, thanks, I guess. I was really glad to see your name along with Theo and Daphne when we were planning all this. Hope you don't get too much grief for being down here with us."

"I'm not worried," he replied easily. "Draco won't be able to stop himself from saying something, and there are a few older Slytherins who aren't pleased, but we can handle ourselves just fine. No need to worry about us."

"Fair enough. If any of your housemates want to join, feel free to get them connected."

"Doubt this'd be Crabbe or Goyle's cup of tea, but I know of a couple of others who might be interested. Appreciate you making the effort." He gave a small nod in Harry's direction before rejoining Daphne and Theo as they left.

"Well, I think that went about as well as we could've hoped," said Hermione brightly as the six gathered their things before leaving.

"I told you Stephen would pull something like that!" said Cho with exasperation. "He thinks way too highly of himself."

"Hope that getting smacked around by Harry might take him down a peg," replied Cedric with a smirk. "Any good suggestions for topics to add to the docket?"

None of them had been presented with an idea yet, but Ron kept looking at Harry oddly. When Harry's eyes met his, a touch of color reached his cheeks and he looked away.

"No worries!" said Cedric. "Hermione and I have more ideas that we can run past you. Even if we start with more of the simple stuff that we can hone like we did today, I think we can build up to some more advanced spells as the year keeps rolling."

The group moved toward the exit when Ginny had an idea. "Ooh, I know how we can get our planning done without having to worry about scheduling around three teams' quidditch practices! What if we grab our food and bring it to the new lounge once a week? I doubt anyone else would be there and none of us have classes or practice then."

The consensus was that the idea was brilliant and it was quickly decided that they'd meet each Friday to talk through future meetings and how they could make the Defense Club even better.

~RLM~

Hogwarts wasn't typically a place brimming with students filled with intrigue about political machinations, but Thursday's no-confidence vote seemed to be the exception to prove the rule. The Daily Prophet's front page photo was of Minister Fudge, whose photo kept noiselessly yelling at anyone who attempted to read the story about the upcoming vote.

Speculation about who would replace Fudge if he were ousted filled the next few pages, complete with pictures and short biographies of Amelia Bones, Rufus Scrimgeor, and Professor Dumbledore. Harry laughed to see the headmaster's photo rolling his eyes and pointing to his quote that read, "I am perfectly content in my current roles and have zero desire to serve as Minister for Magic, as I have made clear the previous forty-three times you have asked me since (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named)'s return."

The buzz grew once students noticed the conspicuous absence of their Defense professor at breakfast. Umbridge had apparently taken the day off to be in London for the vote. Harry could imagine her trying to sway people to support Fudge, but he had a hard time picturing her simpering actually convincing anyone that Fudge was competent.

By dinner, there was a palpable tension in the air. Most owls brought letters or packages during breakfast, but many eyes strained to see if an owl would arrive late with breaking news. The magical ceiling shone with a beautiful sunset as the light began to fade outside the Great Hall.

Dumbledore was chatting amicably with Professor Sprout at the head table when a silver Lynx glided through a stone wall and leaped onto the table in front of the headmaster. Many students broke off their conversations to watch as Dumbledore nodded sagely with an ear inclined to the glowing animal. When it dissipated, he rose to his feet to address everyone.

"Good evening, students! I have just received word from London regarding the goings on at the Ministry. I would like to inform you all that we have a new Minister of Magic, Madam Amelia Bones."

The often-subdued Susan Bones let out a riotous whoop and began high-fiving her housemates while many of the students began excitedly clapping and chattering with each other about the news, what this meant for Fudge, and so on. Hermione let out a great sigh of relief as she turned back to her friends.

"There was a part of me that refused to believe they'd actually kick him to the curb," she said. "I heard several Order members saying that she'd be the best pick, but they thought it'd go to Scrimgeour since she's a bit younger."

"And a woman," added Ginny.

"Who d'you think sent Dumbledore the message?" asked Ron. "It kinda looked like an overgrown cat."

"Didn't you say Kingsley's Patronus was a Lynx? It could have been him." Ginny looked to her boyfriend, who confirmed with a nod. "Bet Kingsley would've gotten word about how things went really quickly since he's an Auror."

"A Patronus seems so useful, even if there aren't dementors around," said Ron cautiously. "I was wondering something about them at the end of Defense Club…"

He cast his eyes down at his plate and moved his potatoes around with his spoon. "I know it took you a lot of work to learn to do it back in Third Year, but do you think that's something we might be able to figure out together? I was thinking about how we could've used one when Lockhart caved in the tunnel while we were trying to get to Ginny. It would've been nice to send one off to tell McGonagall or somebody where we were. Same for when the portkey took you at the end of last year."

The thought was intriguing to Harry. "That's not a bad idea, Ron! It's a pretty tricky spell to figure out, but I bet the six of us could all get it down. Wanna bring it up tomorrow with Cedric and Cho?"

"If you think it's a possibility, yeah," said Ron with a little more confidence. "You really think we could get it?"

"Probably, especially if we can get the professors to help get us going. Maybe, if we can all get it, we could go over it with the whole Defense Club at some point. Even if not everyone can do it, knowing the basics could give them something to practice."

~RLM~

The nervous energy coursing through Harry's veins grew to nearly untenable levels as the Wizengamot filed into the chamber to take their seats. He was sandwiched between Mrs. Weasley to his right and Lupin on his left. Both were doing their best to keep the worry off their faces, but Molly looked as if she were crushing Mr. Weasley's hand in hers while Remus had turned slightly green.

Most of the witches and wizards of the Wizengamot were on the older side, many sporting white hair or bald spots. Their robes were all serious and quite a few had a scowl to match. Harry gulped as he wondered how these adults were going to react to Sirius' testimony. A part of him wanted to rush out of the room and drag Sirius back to Grimmauld Place where he'd be safe, but he knew how much being sent to the Dursley house each summer took a toll. Neither he nor Sirius were meant to be locked up in places with such terrible memories.

Remus seemed to understand Harry's state of mind, placing a hand on his shoulder. "I know how you feel, Harry. It's a lot to take in. But Kingsley told us that the case is simple and the evidence is in Sirius' favor. Madam Bones will want to make it clear that she's not making the same mistakes as her predecessors, so we don't need to worry."

Harry thought back to the letters he'd received from Sirius and Remus about how the trial would go and Professor Dumbledore's instructions as they'd flooed to the Ministry that morning. It was as if they wanted him to ignore that his Godfather had a chance of being ripped away and thrown into Azkaban.

"Then why do you look like you're going to throw up at any minute?" asked Harry under his breath.

Remus let out a sigh. "Probably the same reason you look like you just saw a Dementor. I just wish they'd get on with it."

"Good morning," called out the strong voice of Amelia Bones. If she was nervous about running such a huge trial so soon after being appointed as Minister of Magic, Harry thought her demeanor did not betray any lack of confidence. "We are convened to consider the case of Sirius Orion Black. Is the accused present?"

At the side of the room, an Auror opened two large doors with a flick of her wand. Flanked by Kingsley on one side and Dumbledore on the other, Sirius strode into the room. Harry could see a smile on his godfather's face, even though it was twinged with nervousness. Madam Bones nodded as Sirius took his seat in front of the Wizengamot while Kingsley fastened the manacles to his hands and feet.

"Interrogators: Amelia Susan Bones, Minister of Magic; Rufus Brutus Scrimgeour, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement; Mafalda Elizabeth Hopkirk, Acting Senior Undersecretary to the Minister. Court Scribe is Percy Ignatius Weasley. Witness for the Defense?"

"Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore," said the headmaster, placing a hand on Sirius' shoulder.

"Very well. The Defense may now present their case."

~RLM~

When Madam Bones finally announced the verdict, Harry melted into his seat as relief washed over him. The chains on Sirius opened and he shook Dumbledore's hand gratefully before taking the outstretched hand of Kingsley with less enthusiasm. Harry imagined that both of them would be celebrating much more raucously this evening when away from the eyes of Kingsley's superiors.

Even after being declared innocent, much of the crowd still gave Sirius a wide berth as he made his way to where Harry, Remus, and the Weasleys were standing. A few of the braver members of the Wizengamot or the other attendees tried to grab his attention, but his eyes were fixed upon Harry. Before Sirius could reach them, Tonks sprang from the crowd to engulf her cousin in an embrace, nearly toppling him over in the process. He beamed at her before whispering something into her ear that elicited loud laughter from the witch as they made their way to the group.

Sirius pulled Harry into a rough hug, his arms shaking slightly from the build-up of tension over the previous two hours. Harry could feel the impact of Remus and Mr. Weasley's firm pats on his godfather's back. When they broke apart, Mrs. Weasley took it upon herself to crush Sirius in an embrace. "You risked all of this to keep our kids safe," she said as Sirius' eyes bulged from her squeeze. "I can't tell you how happy I am that you're a free man!"

"Easy, Molly," said Mr. Weasley with a grin. "It'd be a shame for you to break him in half right when he's got his freedom back!"

"Well, what do you want to do first?" asked Remus expectantly.

Sirius smiled and looked at Harry. "I've been doing a little research about guardianship of minors. Figure it might be time to make good on a promise I made to James and Lily. What do you think, Harry? We don't have to do anything yet, but you seemed eager over the summer."

"Of course I want to get the adoption sorted out!" said Harry, his eyes shining as he grinned. "What do we need to do?"

"Arthur was kind enough to bring the forms by Grimmauld Place, so I've done most of the paperwork already," said Sirius as he produced a thick stack of parchment from a manilla folder that looked far too small to have held such a stack.

"Didn't even have to go looking for it," said Mr. Weasley with a watery smile as he squeezed his wife's hand. "Molly and I had a copy made several years ago. We couldn't have dreamed up something as good as you being able to go to the man your parents chose to take care of you, but we always wanted to be ready. Y'know… Just in case you'd ever needed to have official paperwork declaring you a Weasley."

The revelation that the Weasleys had actively planned to adopt Harry combined with his godfather's exoneration and the prospect of living with him was more than Harry could handle without shedding several very happy tears.

After another round of hugs, including an extra tight embrace for Mr. Weasley, the group began sorting through logistics.

"Since you're not of age yet, it doesn't require any signature from you," explained Remus as he leafed through some of the pages. "But an older adoptee often signs as a means of attesting that the adoption is mutually agreed upon. Padfoot, how long did you say it usually takes to process?"

"Sometimes up to a couple of months, but I think the office might be a bit quicker about it now that the Ministry's trying to get back in my good graces," Sirius waggled his eyebrows at Harry. "And I think they might have heard of you. Think there's a chance?"
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