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

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Category: Post-HBP
Genres: Action/Adventure, General, Romance
Warnings: Death, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Situations, Violence
Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 247
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.

Original Timeline

Voldemort's Victory - Chapter 1-5 (Feel free to skip if you don't like major character deaths)

Tenochtitlán - Chapter 6-9

New Timeline

Harry's 4th Year - Chapter 10-28

Harry's 5th Year - Chapter 29-68

Harry's 6th Year - Chapter 69-Current
Hitcount: Story Total: 68056; Chapter Total: 1043
Awards: View Trophy Room


Harry looked at the headmaster with wide eyes as questions flooded his mind. "Where? Which one is it?"

"They did a thorough search of the old Riddle mansion located near the graveyard where Voldemort regained his physical form earlier in the week but found nothing of note. Tonight, they had planned to examine the shack that once belonged to his mother's family. Minutes before you arrived, Sirius sent a message explaining that the house is heavily warded and they detected a faint presence similar to the one given off by the diary."

"Are they going in on their own?" asked Harry. He imagined the two of them dodging intricate traps while attempting to steal a cursed locket and shuddered at the idea of Sirius being injured or worse.

"I have asked them to wait until I arrive," replied Dumbledore calmly. "There are a number of precautions they can take in the meantime, and I thought it would be wise to attempt to extricate the horcrux together."

Despite having just worried about Sirius' safety if he entered the Gaunt house, Harry felt a jolt of excitement at the idea of being included.

"Observing how Kingsley, Sirius, Minerva, and myself identify and address these dangers may prove more instructional than anything I could teach in the safety of this office, but it is clearly much more risky. Sirius agreed with my belief that including you would be worthwhile and wanted you to have the choice of whether or not to join. Would it be a safe assumption that you would like to join us this evening?"

"Yes, sir, that'd be great!"

"Before I allow you to come along with us, you will need to agree to a few ground rules. Your safety will be our top priority. If any of the adults give you an instruction, you must follow it immediately. This includes instructions such as 'flee,' even if your instinct is to remain to help. You must also refrain from using magic or touching anything unless authorized by one of us four. This is to prevent you from mistakenly activating the defenses that are guarding the horcrux. Can you faithfully abide by these rules?"

Harry's brow furrowed, but he nodded to the headmaster.

"Excellent! In that case, let us make our way to the Hog's Head. Minerva will meet us there, and we can apparate to where your godfather and Kingsley should be waiting for us."


Harry shook his head back and forth with his hands on his knees as he attempted to dislodge the after effects of Side-Along Apparition from his brain. It was as if his entire body had been forcefully pulled through a long garden hose. He quietly hoped that using the technique on his own would be less unpleasant, but doubted he was that lucky. He looked up to see Sirius smiling down at him.

"Finally got away from your girlfriend, huh? Thought you might be too busy with a date to spend time with us."

"Are you kidding? I wouldn't miss this for anything!"

Sirius laughed. "Yeah, that's what I figured. Dumbledore go over the rules with you?"

"And Professor McGonagall reiterated them before we apparated. I'm good to go."

"Great. Let's gather up and figure out how we're doing this."

Harry looked around in the fading light of dusk at their surroundings as he walked to where Professor Dumbledore was speaking with Kingsley. They were on an old cobblestone road that looked like it had gone unused for years. The trees and bushes on either side of the road were overgrown and encroaching on the path of the road as it disappeared beyond a curve. An ominous wind blew through the trees, punctuated by the distant cawing of crows.

"The shack is just up ahead," said Kingsley, indicating just beyond the curve of the road. "We can tell there are some wards up around the place, but we're fairly confident there's an item of interest inside." Harry listened intently and remembered Kingsley's suggestion that mentioning horcruxes aloud when not somewhere secured would be unwise.

"I'll take the lead as we enter the premises. Albus and Minerva follow when I give the all-clear, then Harry, with Sirius in the rear. If we need to evacuate for any reason, Sirius will be in charge of getting Harry to safety, with Minerva as his backup. Understood?" Sirius' hand squeezed Harry's shoulder as they both nodded. Kingsley's experience leading dangerous missions shone through as he gave instructions, and Harry got a surge of excitement as he felt almost like Auror himself. "We stick together and clear the building one room at a time. Call out anything that you notice. We want to leave as many enchantments in place as possible, so that if the owner returns, our intrusion might go undetected. If and when we find what we're after, we get it safely into a storage chest. It'll keep anything we find contained until we're ready to examine it further elsewhere. Any questions?"

"What kind of protections should we be expecting?" asked Harry, trying to keep the nervousness from his voice.

"Good question. There're definitely some Repelling Charms meant to keep anyone from stumbling upon the shack. Beyond that, it's all guesswork. I'd wager that there are some nasty curses placed around any objects of interest, maybe throughout the building. Albus, you've got more experience with his magical signatures and proclivities. Anything to add?"

"I have seen many examples of Tom's magic through the years, but it continues to vary and evolve. He holds the belief that few would be powerful enough to oppose him and that even fewer would have the knowledge needed to do so."

"Basically, you're the only one he believes capable of finding it," said Sirius.

"That seems likely," replied Dumbledore. "Which means that any curses he has placed here will be calibrated to defend against someone of my skill and power."

"Just what we wanted to hear," said Sirius while rolling his eyes. "So anything we come across might just explode the entire countryside a mile in every direction."

Dumbledore chuckled. "Perhaps, though I'm hopeful that such hubris may work to our advantage. Consider what we know about Tom: his use of multiple of these objects, the placement in an area long abandoned and unknown to much of the wizarding world, and his certainty that few would ever attempt to unravel his secrets… I shouldn't be surprised if he has but a few potent defenses instead of a myriad of weaker ones."

"Well reasoned, but let's not lean too heavily on those assumptions," said Kingsley as the building came into view. Harry thought it resembled the shack in which he first met Hagrid on the sea. Creeping vines choked at the walls and the ancient chimney. The grass was wildly overgrown and several of the windows were broken. "Harry, you're holding onto the container until we need it, but be watching what we do. I've got a Muggle Repelling Charm and two other low-level wards I'm picking up that seem to be holding the house together. Anyone notice something else, or are we good to enter?" None of the others felt anything else surrounding the shack, so the group quietly entered the front door.

There was no foyer or entryway. The front door led straight into a dirty and dilapidated kitchen. Much like their first exploration of the Chamber, the adults fanned out with their wands at the ready. Harry stuck close to Sirius but watched Kingsley closely. The man had his wand trained on the wall, but his free hand was extended toward the back of the house. After several minutes of silent searching, Kingsley pointed them to the next room.

A molding couch and a few upended chairs dotted this larger room, which had a filthy fireplace on the far wall. "We've got something," called Kingsley over his shoulder as he stepped into the room, and Harry could feel the hair on his arms stand on end as soon as he passed under the threshold. A sense of dread quickened his breathing. "Sirius, help me move the couch by hand. No unnecessary magic until we know what we're dealing with. Albus, Minerva, would you get the chairs?"

Harry watched warily as the adults carefully moved about the room, physically picking up each item of furniture and moving them along the walls. Sirius pointed to an ancient threadbare rug that had been under one of the chairs, and Kingsley grabbed it with him and pulled it aside. A plume of rancid dust flew up from it when they dropped the end over the old couch, causing Harry to cough loudly into the unsettling quiet.

"Let's check the floorboards, but be on your guard," said Kingsley, his deep voice echoing through the empty house. Four wands pointed to the ground as the adults felt around for signs of magical concealment. McGonagall made a small sound of interest as she surveyed the area that had been covered by the rug.

"I believe I've found it," she said stoically, her eyes trained on the floor below her wand. The others converged around the spot, with Harry standing back slightly.

"Tom's handiwork, of that there can be no doubt," mused Dumbledore as his bright blue eyes peered down. "Kingsley, how would you like to proceed?"

"We spread out," he replied, eyes darting around the room. "Sirius by the door to the kitchen with Harry using the doorway as cover. Minerva on the opposite wall. Albus, you and I can open the floorboards and try to remove it. Once we've got it secured, Harry can bring the containment chest forward and we will secure the item within."

Everyone took their assigned positions without argument. Sirius and McGonagall gave quick nods to Kingsley, who gave Dumbledore an expectant look. "Let's see what the bastard left for us." They fixed their wands on the floor and pulled back, causing three boards that looked connected to each other to rocket up from the ground, lodging into the ceiling.

From within the hole in the floor, a great clap of thunder sounded that shook the whole house and burst the glass from several already-cracked windows. Harry watched as black clouds spewed up from the hole and engulfed the middle of the room. A hiss like pressurized air escaping long confinement muffled the surprised yell of Kingsley as he jumped backward. Dumbledore had fallen back, tripping over the leg of a chair and landing in a heap by the wall.

The glint of a metal ring with a dark stone set in it caught Harry's eye as it began to rise from the hole in the floor. It belched the dark smoke that was filling the room, even as it shook while levitating.

"STEADY!" called Kingsley, his wand outstretched.

A flash of lightning within the burgeoning cloud flashed dangerously before another clap of thunder that Harry could feel in his stomach. A powerful gust of wind blasted through the house, causing them all to squint. Harry's glasses protected his eyes enough to allow him to see as figures began to materialize out of the smoke. A young girl with dark skin and two poofs of hair appeared before Kingsley while a pale girl who looked a couple of years younger than Harry formed in front of Dumbledore. A strong-looking young man with Kingsley's complexion stepped forward toward McGonagall. In front of Sirius, Harry could see a ghostly resemblance of his parents, though their eyes lacked the warmth and compassion that he'd seen from them while facing Voldemort in the graveyard.

The voices of the other apparitions were too far off for Harry to hear, but there was no mistaking the words of the terrible versions of James and Lily.

"You betrayed us! If you hadn't been such a coward, Wormtail would've never been able to give us over to the Dark Lord!" shouted the spirit that looked like Harry's father. "It's your fault we died!"

"You dare to claim ownership of my son?! You abandoned him in order to fulfill your lust for vengeance, leaving him helpless and alone!" The shade of Harry's mother spat at Sirius. "You saunter into his life when it's convenient for you, constantly only caring about yourself. He'd be better off with my sister!"

Harry tore his eyes away from the two horrible figures to see Sirius looking as stricken as he'd been when they first met. His jaw was slightly slack and he looked as though he'd been sucker punched in the gut.

"Don't listen to them, Sirius!" cried Harry desperately. "That's not what they think about you! That's not what I think about you!"

With great effort, Sirius met Harry's gaze. He squeezed his eyes tightly shut as a few stray tears rolled down his cheeks, but the man grit his teeth and nodded. "Give me the chest, Harry!"

Holding the bottom of the chest in one hand and its open lid in the other, Sirius moved toward the swirling clouds against the wind emanating from within it. With every step forward, Harry thought the storm grew stronger. The figures of his parents closed in on either side of Sirius, spewing vile accusations that Harry knew must have been rooted somewhere deep in Sirius' heart. His godfather pushed the chest forward against the wind storm, but couldn't get the chest all the way to where the ring hung in midair.

From across the room, Harry heard McGonagall call out a spell he didn't recognize. The smoke-man in front of her melted away while her face grimaced in anguish. As the figure began to reform, she locked eyes with Sirius, who was still pushing against the strong winds emanating from the ring. With great effort, she cried, "Depulso!"

The ring was flung away from McGonagall and straight into the collection chest. As soon as it collided with the bottom of the chest, Sirius dropped it to the ground and slammed the lid closed. At once, the clouds and figures disappeared, leaving the five struggling to regain their composure.

Harry quickly crossed to the middle of the room to check on Sirius, who had collapsed to his knees from exertion. The man swore, more to himself than anything, as his breath came in hoarse gasps. Sirius grasped Harry's outstretched hand tightly as his godson pulled him back to his feet.

"You alright, Harry?" A shaky nod was the only response Harry could muster.

"Everyone alright? Nobody hurt?" His gaze darted back and forth to the others, each of whom looked significantly worse for wear. Their eyes were dark and their expressions pained.

"No injury here," said Kingsley quietly, his voice brimming with emotion. He kept staring at the spot where the young girl had stood. "Apologies for not helping more. When I saw her I…"

"Not a problem. We got it sorted out. Nice shot, by the way," Sirius inclined his head toward McGonagall. She acknowledged the gesture. "Albus?"

"Just a bit shaken up. I had many theories about what methods a horcrux might utilize to defend itself, but it never occurred to me that it would be so…" The headmaster let out a long sigh. "Personal."

"Agreed," said Kingsley ruefully. "I've seen a lot over the years, but that was a shock, to say the least. Let's return the room to how we found it and get the hell out of here."


Harry's heart was still pounding in his chest by the time the five arrived back in Dumbledore's office via the Hog's Head floo. There hadn't been time to debrief about what they'd seen and experienced, and everyone appeared to be more than a bit shaken. After seating himself next to his godfather on a couch that Sirius pulled closer to the desk with an Accio, he did his best to wait patiently for whatever was happening next.

Kingsley laid the containment chest to the side of his chair and looked at Dumbledore, who had fallen into his seat with much less poise than usual. "Well, that was certainly eventful. Despite the challenges we encountered, I think it would be hard to count our expedition as anything less than a success. Kingsley and Sirius, you have our thanks for your work in tracking down…"

His brow furrowed slightly and his eyes darted back and forth. With the flick of his wand, dark curtains began covering the portraits on the walls. Harry heard one of the former headmasters groan with frustration before the cloth completely silenced her. Kingsley looked pleased.

"For your work finding the horcrux," finished Dumbledore.

"Not a problem!" said Sirius a bit more brightly than his face looked. "What's the plan for it? Are we going to try to destroy it now?"

"I would like to leave its destruction for a later date," offered McGonagall. "Albus and I are still working our way through the arithmancy behind the creation of these abominations, and having an active example to study would be helpful."

"Yes, I believe that would be the wisest course of action," replied Dumbledore. He peered down his nose to the chest where the horcrux was hidden. "Unfortunately, as it is currently protected, I doubt we will be able to examine it closely."

Kingsley cracked his knuckles as a small frown appeared on his face. "I thought that might be the case. How do you suggest we go about it, Albus?"

"Unless one of you objects, I believe it would be best for me to take the lead in dismantling the spellwork protecting the ring." Harry certainly wasn't going to volunteer for the task, though he was quite interested in how the headmaster would go about the task. Sirius shook his head before looking at McGonagall, whose expression was unreadable.

"I think it would be helpful to better understand what we're up against and how it affects each of us," she said carefully as she gazed at Dumbledore. "From what I could see, we were each beset by an apparition that looked to prey upon our insecurities. Whether the same forms reappear when we open the chest again or others attempt to impede us, I would like to better understand what they are and whom they are mimicking."

Dumbledore's eyes looked distant, and Harry almost thought the headmaster would object to the idea. But Sirius let out a grunt and replied, "Fair enough. I saw James and Lily." He blinked back some emotion as he tried to make it through quickly. "They were angry that I'd gone after Peter instead of taking care of Harry. Said it was my fault they were dead."

"Which proves that, whatever those things were, they aren't the real thing," said Harry loudly trying to make eye contact with his godfather, whose face was cast downward. "They would be thrilled that I'm with him now. The one pretending to be my Mum claimed I'd be better off with my aunt and uncle, which is the stupidest thing I've ever heard!"

A soft, humorless laugh escaped Sirius, but he met Harry's eye and squeezed his shoulder.

"I'm not sure why the horcrux didn't go after me, but from what I saw from Sirius it looked almost like the effects of a dementor." Harry tried to remember how the room had felt while the horcrux attacked. It hadn't felt cold like when a dementor was nearby, but the effects bore remarkable similarity. "It seemed like the figures were trying to convince him that his worst thoughts about himself were true."

"That makes sense," replied Kingsley heavily. "Mine was Tessa."

Harry watched McGonagall wince and heard Sirius take a sharp breath. Dumbledore simply closed his eyes and bowed his head slightly.

"It'll be three years this January." He glanced at Harry with a faraway look in his eyes, his deep voice brimming with emotion. "My daughter. She was six."

"Would it be fair to assume that whatever the figure said was deeply personal and crafted with just enough truth to wound?" Kingsley clenched his jaw and gave a curt nod. "As I thought. The horcrux produced a facsimile of my younger sister, Arianna. She died when I was just out of Hogwarts."

"I saw my former fiance," said McGonagall resolutely. She looked at Harry, who was doing his best not to appear shocked that she had once been engaged. "He was a Muggle from my hometown."

The headmaster let out a long sigh. Harry thought he looked much older in moments like this. "I am open to suggestions as to how we can unmake the protection surrounding the horcrux. Are there any ideas worth considering?"

"How much time are we talking about for someone to dismantle that kind of magic?" asked Sirius. "Not that I'm raring for another face-to-face with whatever else might emerge from the blasted thing, but maybe I could distract it for long enough for one of you to take the protections down."

McGonagall frowned. "I doubt we have enough information to form an accurate estimate. Neutralizing the protections would be preferable, especially since we'd all rather not subject you to more of what you endured in Azkaban."

"Speaking of Azkaban, Potter made a good point about it acting like a Dementor," said Kingsley, his hand caressing his chin as he stared at the chest. "But it also reminded me of a Boggart with the way it manifested itself for each of us. I've never heard of a spell that could do something like that, but it might be worth tackling in the same way we'd attack those kinds of creatures."

"You mean laughing or a Patronus? Because I think we're all going to find it challenging to make that mess funny." Sirius furrowed his brow as he followed Kingsley's gaze.

"Patronus would be my first thought. If two of us worked on undoing the protections, the other two could cast a Patronus to try to keep whatever comes out of the ring at bay."

"Three of us," corrected Sirius. "Harry can cast a Patronus like a champ. Otherwise, I wouldn't be around."

"That seems like as good a plan as any," said Dumbledore as he rose from his chair. "Minerva, would you be willing to assist if I should take the lead on diffusing the protections?"

"Gladly. What would be most helpful?"

As the two discussed their plans, Kingsley turned to Sirius and Harry. "Okay, here's the idea. If we each cast a Patronus, the three of them should be able to surround Albus and Minerva. We'll stand back toward the door and hope that part of the intensity from the shack was due to our proximity. That should allow us to protect them while they're taking down whatever enchantments they find. If the horcrux attempts to take us out, one of us may need to direct a Patronus to give us cover."

"I'll be ready in case we need that. Maybe a bit of protectiveness over this one," Sirius elbowed Harry. "Could give me an extra bit of motivation."

"Before we get started, could I try something out?" Kingsley and Sirius looked expectantly at Harry. "It's just… I haven't tried out using the future memory as a source for a Patronus. I'd kinda like to see if it works before we do this for real."

Sirius laughed, and it was a real laugh; the first Harry had heard since they'd encountered the ring. "Fair enough, kid. Let's see what you've got!"

Harry breathed in deeply through his nose and closed his eyes, focusing on the memory that had haunted his mind for months. He gripped his holly wand tightly, scrunched his face in concentration, and yelled, "EXPECTO PATRONUM!"

His body shuddered with exertion and he felt his arm tense up, as if the blood in his veins had been replaced by electricity. There was a loud ringing in his ears as Harry grit his teeth and cracked a single eye open, only to realize that nothing had appeared from the end of his wand and that the four adults were each looking at him.

"It's just as well," Sirius said with a chuckle. "If some sort of flaming, three-headed stag with a mane of Ginny's hair had popped out of your wand, I swear I woulda never stopped mocking you. Maybe just go with something simple."

Harry grinned sheepishly, focusing on his first time kissing Ginny. A crazy, future Patronus would have been pretty cool, but he felt confident that this memory would work just fine.

"We're ready when you two are," called Kingsley. "The three of us will cast from here to surround you. Shut the ring back in the chest if you need to, and we'll call out if we notice something from our end."

"Excellent," replied Dumbledore. "My hope is that the process will only take a few minutes. If we go much past a quarter hour, I suspect we will need to close the chest for a breather. And that is all under the assumption that the Patronus plan works."

The headmaster used his wand to clear everything from his desk while McGonagall grabbed the chest and set it down on the desk carefully. "Gentlemen, whenever you are ready," she called to the other three.

Harry, Sirius, and Kingsley shouted the incantation as a silvery stag, dog, and lynx bounded from their wands. The animals sauntered around the professors, weaving around empty chairs and other furniture. Minerva waited for a nod from the headmaster before flinging the chest open wide.

Smoke immediately billowed up toward the lofted ceiling and to the windows. A clap of thunder sounded as the dark cloud materialized into figures in front of Dumbledore and McGonagall, who were already moving their wands in tight circles and muttering things Harry couldn't hear over the wind that emanated from the chest.

The figure of Arianna Dumbledore again formed from the smoke. Harry could tell it was pointing at the headmaster, crying desperately as it slowly walked forward, and it sounded as though it said something was "all your fault!"

From next to Harry, Kingsley's voice cut through the noise. With a slash of his wand, the lynx bounded onto the desk, standing between Dumbledore and the figure.

The smoke creature stopped advancing, cocking its head to the side. It raised one hand to the side, siphoning off smoke until there was enough behind Dumbledore to form a new smoke figure. This one, a tall young man with white hair and a manic expression, began to walk toward Dumbledore. His voice was malicious as he accused the headmaster of betrayal.

Harry's eyes darted to where Sirius' Patronus had come between McGonagall and the figure of her former fiance. With significant effort, Harry pointed his wand at the new figure. His stag sprang to the spot between Dumbledore and the creature, which stumbled slightly. A droplet of sweat ran down Harry's forehead and into his eye, causing him to squint against the burning sensation as he tried to focus on his positive memory.

Lightning crackled through the billowing smoke, followed immediately by deafening thunder, but neither Dumbledore nor McGonagall took notice. The smoke figures were stymied by the Patronus guardians, evidently unable to move through or around them. The smoke version of Professor McGonagall's fiance split into a second, shorter figure. Harry couldn't identify who it was mimicking but thought it resembled a student.

Now that there were more figures than Patronuses, Kingsley called out to encircle Dumbledore and McGonagall as they worked. Harry gripped his wand with his off hand to steady himself as the minutes dragged on, his stag pacing round and round. The figures would sometimes attempt to push past the silvery animals to reach their targets within the circle of protection, but a resolute Patronus would inevitably dart forward to block them. Harry wasn't sure how long the process was going to last, but the effort of holding off the horcrux was obviously draining him of energy.

His drooping eyes shot open when McGonagall let out a very uncharacteristic cry of excitement. His gaze followed hers to the ring. It was no longer belching dense, black smoke. Instead, it looked to have spawned a small cyclone, which was sucking up the smoke that had filled the room. The windows were uncovered, bathing the room in the low light of a half moon in the clear skies. The four smoky figures were the last to be reabsorbed by the ring, each calling out a few final words at their targets.

Dumbledore fell back into his chair with such force that Harry thought he had fainted. As he, Sirius, and Kingsley approached the desk, however, they spied a distinctly satisfied smile on the old man's face. McGonagall was leaning over the desk with both hands firmly gripping its sides to keep her upright, but she also looked quite pleased.

"Not too shabby, Minerva," said Dumbledore, his eyes still almost completely closed.

"You were rather impressive, yourself," she replied. "It's been a long time since I've attempted anything that challenging. Quite the rush of adrenaline. It feels almost like the end of a particularly well-fought quidditch match."

"Do either of you want to explain what just happened?" asked Sirius as he massaged his sore wrist.

"In short, we have disabled the protections on the horcrux," answered Dumbledore. "The spellwork amplified the properties of the horcrux, which feeds on insecurities, self-doubt, and recrimination. Its power was already lessened by forcing it to attack both of us at once, and your excellent Patronuses gave us the time to unwind the enchantments. We should now be able to examine it more closely as we continue our arithmancy experimentation."

"I believe it likely that we now hold the key to determining how many of these infernal creations we must seek out," added McGonagall, wiping her brow with a handkerchief. "I must say that I will enjoy sending that horrid thing into the abyss from which it came."

"Couldn't agree more," said Sirius. He set a hand on Harry's shoulder. "It's probably just from the strain of holding the Patronus that long, but I'm kinda beat. Think you can handle making your way back to Gryffindor Tower without me?"

"Yeah, I should be fine. Think the others would still be working with Professor Flitwick?"

Professor McGonagall looked at a nearby clock on the wall and grimaced slightly. "I should hope not. It's far later than I expected already. If Filch finds you, tell him you have special permission from the headmaster. I'll see to it that you don't receive any detention."

With a sly smirk, Harry pulled his invisibility cloak from his bag and draped it over his head. Sirius snickered as McGonagall's lips grew thin.

"Thanks, Professor," said the empty space where he had just been standing. "But hopefully I won't need the help!" She watched the door to the office open seemingly on its own and then close again, letting out a sigh of frustration as Sirius and Kingsley laughed. She shook her head in defeat when she heard that even Dumbledore was chuckling.
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