Just a Little Twist – 4/6 – Duochanfan

Title: Just a Little Twist
Author: Duochanfan
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Action Adventure, Drama, Pre-Relationship, Romance, Slash
Relationship(s): Harry Potter/Draco Malfoy, Ron Weasley/Viktor Krum
Content Rating: R
Warnings: Hate Crimes/Hate Speech, Major Character Death, Torture, Violence – Graphic, Violence – Domestic and/or Against Children, Discussions of Abuse, Murder, Torture. Murder. Character Death. Kidnapping.
Word Count: 166,650
Summary: Remus remembers to take the Wolfsbane potion before he heads off to confront Sirius and Peter Pettigrew. This one thing helps to give Harry something he had wished for in the dark days of living with the Dursley, a family. It all kicks off a ripple of events that take place over Harry’s Fourth and Fifth year that will change everything.
Artist: SpencnerTibbsLuvr



Chapter Forty-Six

Draco held out his hand for Harry as he stepped out of the carriage. “I can’t believe we’re going on a date without having a chaperone,” Harry remarked as he looked around. Normally when they alighted from the carriage either Sirius, Remus or Narcissa would be there waiting for them. Shadowing them from place to place.

“Yeah, we’ve reached the three months of our courtship, so that means we can have one private date, where it’s just us, and the rest of the time we must be out for people to see,” Draco shook his head, “It’s a little weird, even to me, but I understand it. It’s for us to show people we’re serious about our courtship.”

“It also means I can finally spoil you back,” Harry laughed as he curled his arm around Draco’s as they walked into the Village.

“Hmm,” Draco hummed, not sounding too happy.

“Hey, chin up,” Harry grinned at him as he dragged him towards one of the shops that were close by, “It was Ron’s birthday last week,” he said softly thinking of his best friend.

“Yeah, we couldn’t get him anything then, so want to this week?” Draco asked, glancing at his boyfriend.

Harry nodded and they walked into the shop, browsing what was on selection. “Ron’s hard to get for,” he murmured, “You may not think it, but he’s not one for books or things like that. He loves quidditch and he plays at the burrow. But he’s not on a team, so he doesn’t enjoy getting quidditch gifts often,” he sighed softly.

“Hmm, how about something to do with his lessons, he is doing well with Artimancy. The professor says that he’s pulling ahead even in class,” Draco said, as he was also in their Arithmancy class.

“Maybe,” he mumbled, “Ugh, why is it so hard!” he huffed, “Nothing here,” he sighed as he then walked out of the shop.

The two went around a little more, finally getting something for Ron. And as Draco had suggested, had got him something that would help him with his class. Settling on a small restaurant a little out of the way, they had their lunch. No one watching them, finally getting the privacy that they wanted when they first started. It was getting late when they finally went towards the carriages back to head back to the castle. Taking one instead of walking as they noticed as they left the restaurant that someone was beginning to follow them.

“I hate that,” Harry said as the door of the carriage closed. He glanced out of the window and shook his head as he could see a flash of lime green before it disappeared.

“Yeah,” Draco sighed softly, “It’s mostly because you’re not really out in public apart from getting your Hogwarts things each year. Since you’ve come back to the Wizarding World, the press and the people, all want a piece of you. I know it’s not right or fair or anything like that,” he told him gently, “But people-”

“Think I belong to them just because of what happened when I was a baby,” Harry finished for him, “I know, but that doesn’t mean that they are free to take a peek into my private life. It is just that, private,” he huffed.

“I agree with you. I think it might be an idea to get in touch with Sirius and tell him that someone was following us,” he told him, leaning back as Harry leaned against him.

“Hmm,” he nodded, “I will,” he promised as he looked up at Draco and felt himself relaxing against him.

The carriage came to a stop and they got out, heading to meet up with their friends after their own time out at the small village. Waving to Ron, Harry walked over and handed him his gift.

“Sorry it’s later,” Harry apologised.

“You had your mind on other things Harry,” Ron pointed out, “I’m fine without, you know,” he told him as he pulled off the brown paper it had been wrapped in. He grinned as he saw the book, “Thanks, I’ve been eyeing this one whenever I went in,” he told him as he opened it and quickly read through the front page.

“You’re hard to get for,” Harry grinned at him.

Ron hummed and then looked up, closing the book, “How was your first date unchaperoned?” he asked the two of them.

“It was nice, we could do things without being watched or feel like we can’t talk about anything and everything,” Harry said, sitting down as Draco joined them, “We walked around, went shopping, and had a meal.”

“Though we were followed, when we were heading back to the school. We ended up taking a carriage instead of walking,” Draco added, causing Harry to nod.

“Tell Sirius,” the redhead told him straight away. “It might be nothing, or it might be something,” he warned.

“I know, Draco already said,” he smiled, “now-”

“You had to have a chaperone for a date?” Hermione asked as she walked past them, “How old fashioned.”

“Not old fashioned, it’s to make sure that-”

“Bull shit!” Hermione snapped, she turned to Harry, eyes narrowed, “have you forgotten your root Harry James Potter!” she yelled at him. Causing those that were in the Great Hall to turn towards them.

“Of course I haven’t forgotten where I’m from, but I think you have,” he told her, shaking a little in anger.

“You’re from the Muggle World do-”

“I’m not through, not really. I may have grown up there, but I was never really part of it thanks to the Dursleys. They kept me locked away for most of my life. I was born in St Mungos, a Wizarding hospital, I spent my first year of life in a Wizarding village, or did you forget that my mother may have grown up in the Muggle World, but she spent more of her life in the Wizarding World,” he pointed out to her, stopping her from saying anything more.

“She was a Muggleborn, I bet she didn’t forget who she was and where she was from,” Hermione growled out, eyes narrowed, sure of what she was saying.

Harry snorted, “Nope, wrong about that, mum started following the old traditions when she was 12, thanks to her best friend.” Narcissa had been the one to tell him that little snippet.

“What?!” her eyes went wide at that proclamation, “It couldn’t be, she… she was a Muggleborn.”

“And so are many others, a lot of people take to following the tradition, a lot of them do so before Hogwarts. For those that come from the muggle world, they tend to learn from the other students and research it themselves before practising,” Harry told her, repeating what he had been learning from the others.

“I learned that almost 80 percent of the Muggleborns learn about our traditions before leaving school and start practising them then. Many others learn after, and some of them take them up. A lot of the time, those that don’t learn about themtend to go back to the Muggle World after being out of Hogwarts for two years. Those that learn but don’t practice tend to lose interest in the Wizarding World and return to the Muggle World as well after about five years,” Nevilles said from where he sat a little further down the bench.

“So they are pushing Muggleborns out!” Hermione sounded horrified by the notion that Muggleborns were being harassed to leave the Wizarding World if they didn’t learn.

“No, we’re not. They’re leaving because of the same view as you. They think we are old fashioned and don’t believe in what we practice. That’s fine, we’re not asking them to leave or anything like that, all we want if for them to respect that we have a different belief instead of trying to ‘fix us’,” Neville told her, “My grandmother has come across many Muggleborns that have tried that route and all of them have failed because they never understood the practices in the first place.”

“So if I took the time to understand you would listen to me?” she asked him, curiously.

“No I wouldn’t, understanding the practice means taking part in them at least once to know what they truly about,” he pointed out to her. “If you don’t know what you’re talking about then why would I listen to you? You have to experience something to understand it. Reading it in a book or listening to a lecture about it, does nothing,” he argued back before she could just run off to the library to do so.

“I-”

“Look,” Ron spoke this time, “Take part in a few of the Holidays, see what we are talking about, understand what we are going on about instead of just reading it and seeing it through the eyes of a Muggle, you’re a Witch, not a Muggle. Start thinking more like one. We’re in two different worlds,” he said, keeping his voice soft hoping that she would listen. Though to him, it was a lost cause.

“I don’t have to take part to know and understand how… how old they are!” she said, clinging fiercely to her own belief.

“Then we have nothing more to talk about,” Harry told her, “You’re unwilling to see things from other people’s point of view. You do that all the time, you never listen, just push what you think and believe onto everyone else.”

With that, they shut her out one again to sit alone contemplating what she was clinging onto.

“So, Ostara is coming up soon,” Draco said, changing the subject a little.

“Yeah I know, we’re already working on a small booth,” Harry grinned as he looked at his dorm mates. They had been brainstorming for a while, and finally figured one out.

“Yeah, we’re going to bring something a little Muggle with a Magical twist to the table,” Dean grinned as Neville and Seamus moved a bit closer.

“We’ve got one sorted as well,” Draco smiled softly, laughing as he saw the excited look on Harry’s face.

“We’re going to be working on something in some of our classes as well,” Neville said, “Professor Sprout is already sorting something out, though we won’t know until our next class,” he said, a little secretly.

“Oh?” Draco quarried.

Nevile nodded, “She’s asked me to help get things started, she’s going to ask our year to help her.”

“Great, can’t wait to see,” Dean nodded.

“Surprised, Miss Grouch hasn’t tried to stop it,” Draco said, rolling his eyes.

“Miss Grouch?” Viktor asked, a little confused at the name.

“Hermione,” Ron told him quietly. It wouldn’t do for her to overhear them.

“Ah,” he nodded, “We are also doing something for the Ostara celebrations as well, we’re going to be running two booths for it,” he grinned.

Harry nodded, deep in thought, “You know,” he said softly, “I need to talk to you, Fleur and Cedric about something,” he said, getting up, “come with me, please,” he asked him.

Viktor nodded and got up as Harry darted off, with him quickly following as he gathered the other two champions and took them to a deserted hallway.

“So what do you want?” Cedric asked him good-naturedly.

“I was thinking that why don’t we all come up with a booth as well, something from us champions. I know that Viktor you’ll be doing something with your school, and I know the dorms are having a number as well. But-”

“I think it’s a good idea,” Cedric interrupted him before he could ramble even more, “We’ll just have to come up with something.”

“Hmm,” Fleur hummed, “It would have to be something good.

“How about we do something that we can be alone for and that we could take shifts?” Harry suggested, thinking deeply.

“I have an idea, saw it at a Muggle carnival,” Viktor said softly.

“Oh?” the three of them went as they leaned closer.

Viktor grinned, “It will mean we get wet or gooey maybe,” he added.

“Well, we shall have fun,” Fleur said with a smile.

Viktor nodded as he then began to outline his idea. Harry grinned, having seen something like that at his primary school.

“That is perfect, I know a lot of people that would want the chance. We can take it in turns so we can go back to the other booths that we’re helping with,” Cedric agreed, nodding.

“Then we are going to do it?” Viktor asked them.

“Yes, I can’t wait. It shall be fun” Fleur giggled as she and the four of them went back to the great hall.

“So?” Draco asked as soon as Harry sat beside him again. He and the others were all curious as to what the teen was up to.

“Secret,” he grinned at him, leaning against him as they waited for dinner to be served.

Draco pouted but didn’t interrogate him further on what he was up to. He would be able to find out the day before Ostara since that was the day they would be setting everything up

Chapter Forty-Seven

Two weeks later the fields between the village and the castle were full of booths, not only those belonging to the staff and students of Hogwarts but those of the Villagers as well. There were so many. Harry grinned as he looked at them all. He walked over to the booth that he and his dorm mates had made. It had taken them a good while to get the charms just right, with a little help from Professor Flitwick. But they had managed it.

“Well,” Harry said as he looked at it, “It should be fun at least,” he giggled as Dean picked up the oversized mallet and hefted it onto his shoulder.

“Yeah, I loved playing this game at the arcades when on holiday in Rhyl. I spent hours playing them. Spent so much money as well,” he laughed, remembering happy memories of holidays with his family.

“I never played, but I saw,” Harry said softly.

“Well, why don’t you have another go?” Dean told him, offering the mallet. The two of them were manning the booth for a couple of hours before Ron would take over with Neville.

“Sure,” he nodded, taking it from him.

Dean went over and started the charms up. “Let’s play some Whack-A-Rat!” he yelled out, causing a few people to turn towards them.

Harry let loose on the Rats that popped up. Dean, Seamus and Neville knew who it was that they were basing the rat on. The missing toe was a big indicator. Harry carried on and on. It didn’t take long for the game to be over.

“Nice harry!” Dean called out, taking the mallet once more, “New high score,” he laughed at the surprised look on Harry’s face.

“Wow, really, you set it high,” he protested, glancing at the board that kept the top ten scores for the game.

“You looked fierce and were bloody fast,” he told him as someone called him over so they could have a go.

Harry and Dean carried on, with Draco walking over to them and spending time with them for a bit. After a couple of hours, Ron walked over with Neville to take over. Seamus with them as he went off with Dean.

“So, let’s have a look around,” Draco suggested as he took Harry’s hand and they explored all the booths.

“Hey, this is ours,” Harry said as he looked forward and then started to jog a little, causing Draco to be pulled along for a moment before the blond was able to keep up.

“Hey,” Cedric grinned from where he was perched on a wooden board over a large tank of glittery goo. That had been Fleur’s idea. The blond was already covered in glittering goo, shining brightly in the sunlight.

“Well, since we’re here,” Draco grinned as he went forward and took up the balls that were on offer to those willing to pay five knuts. Dropping the money into the tub he took a few steps back. And threw them one by one at the target.

Harry laughed as the final ball hit the target. The bored disappeared and Cedric fell into the glittering group. A moment later he resurfaced, “You okay?” he asked him.

“Yeah,” he laughed brightly, “I could do without the sparkle though,” he said as he pulled himself out as the board reappeared and he sat back.

“You don’t bother cleaning up after a dunk?” Draco asked him.

“Nah, I’ll be doing it constantly otherwise. You’re after me Harry,” he reminded the other teen as someone else came up to try their luck.

“Right, I think I’ll do the same as well,” Harry smiled at him, waving.

Cedric waved, only to yelp out as the board disappeared from under him and he went onto the group once.

Harry and Draco laughed a little as they went around the booths, playing some of the games that were on offer and sampling the food that was around as well. Sirius and Narcissa had turned up with Remus and Lucius. Going around the booths, all of them taking the time to stop at the Dunking booth to try their luck at sending Harry into the group. It worked for them all. Dunking three times thanks to Lucius, who was taking great pleasure at getting back at the teenager in the only way he could unless he wished to face the wrath of his wife and her cousin.

When Harry’s turn was over, he and Draco joined up once more as they walked around the booths. PLaying a few of the games that were on offer and tasting a little of the food samples they came across. They passed by Cedric as he walked towards another of the booths. On his back was Luna, giggling as Alica walked beside them. A little further away was Viktor and Ron, huddled close together talking.

“We’re going to grab something to eat,” Luna said from where she was.

Harry looked up and smiled, “Yeah, anything good?” he asked them.

“Come with us, Viktor and Ron are joining us,” Cedric said, as Alica nodded.

“The twins, Angelina and Katie are going to be waiting there as well,” Alicia told them, “Should be fun,” she added.

“Sure,” Harry agreed, as he glanced towards Draco, “sounds good.” With that, they joined up heading towards one of the food booths.

The sun started to set and the booth began to close up, ready to be taken down the next day as people went back home or to the school, which had been opened to the families of students for the night, for a large feast. The Great Hall was packed with people, tables set up differently, more like they had been for the Yule Ball as families settled down together.

“It’s so nice to see so many people around,” Harry said softly, as he noticed that a number of the Muggleborn students had asked for their parents to join in. The only one that wasn’t taking part and hadn’t contacted their parents was Hermione, who opted to have a meal in the Gryffindor dorms to protest the celebration.

Sirius nodded, “Yeah, it’s nice to see the place opened up once more to the parents,” he said, “It hasn’t been done since before the war with Voldemort,” he told his godson.

“Really?” Draco asked.

Narcissa nodded, her husband sat quietly beside her, a sour look on his face with the group he had been pulled to sit with. “Yes, Muggleborns parents were able to come once a year, near the end so that they would be able to see what their children were learning. But that stopped when Voldemort started to rise and targeted a group of Muggleborn parents when they came to the school. We didn’t want to risk them any more so we had them stay away. It’s nice to see that it’s being brought back.”

“Ah,” Harry nodded, “it seems like a good idea,” he murmured. Wondering if his Aunt would have been able to visit the school when his mother attended.

The feast carried on as talk turned to the booths that they had all run. With Narcissa and Sirius taking great pleasure in dunking Harry as well when he had been at his booth.

XxXxX

The next day as they finished taking them down Viktor stopped Harry before he could head back to the castle. Taking him to the side, near the edge of the forbidden forest. “Everything okay?” Harry asked him as he waved to Ron and Draco. The two were giving them a look and were about to head over.

“Okay?” Draco called out to him.

“Yeah, just need to talk to Viktor a moment, be up in a bit,” he reassured them, smiling as he waved them off.

The two nodded and walked to the castle as Viktor watched Ron for a moment before turning back to Harry, “I would like to speak to you about Ron.”

“Oh, what about him?” Harry asked him, slightly curious as to what the other wanted.

“I would like to know more about him, does he… like anyone?” he asked, sounding unsure if he wanted to hear the answer.

“He… he used to have something for Luna I think, but he was turned down a while ago. He’s moved on I believe as he now treats her much like he does Ginny, as a little sister,” Harry answered softly.

“What about Hermione?” he asked, “I heard that they had a… thing?… together?” he questioned, a frown on his face.

“Well, that’s gone out of the window. We had been close friends before the summer. But she did something that we can’t forgive her for. And now that we’re back at school and we’re learning about the traditions and the holidays that we celebrate. Well, she’s been antagonistic since then,” he replied, a smile on his face.

“Good,” he smiled.

“Why do you want to know?” he asked him.

“Well-” he began only to be cut off when someone burst through the trees.

“Barty Crouch?” Harry blinked as he saw the man. He looked dishevelled and half-starved as he stumbled towards them.

“Potter, Potter,” he called out, seeing Harry and zoning in on him as he went over.

“Sir,” he questioned as the man collapsed to the ground before he could say anything more. Harry rushed over, Viktor close by as they moved down, the man gasped and rolled onto his back.

“Barty, Barty, tell Dumbledore, Barty-” he stopped when lights whizzed towards the two teens.

Harry reacted quickly. Pulling his wand and shielding himself from the spells heading towards them.

“Harry, go to the castle, get help,” Viktor said as he flicked his wrist, sending an incoming spell towards the tree line.

Harry nodded, shooting a spell in the direction the others were coming from. Hoping that it would hit something as he ran towards the castle. He burst through the doors of the Great Hall, “Headmaster!” he yelled out, seeing the wizard there.

“Harry?” he asked as he got up, seeing the frantic look on his face.

“Barty Crouch just turned up, mumbling something, I don’t… I don’t know what he meant, but he said your name and his own,” he told him, “He collapsed, but someone started attacking us, Viktor is there, alone with Crouch,” he said as he began to head out of the hall, “we have to go and help,” he added.

Ron got up from his seat, as did Draco, the two followed Harry out of the great hall, Dumbledore quickly following behind them. It didn’t take them long to approach the area. Ron’s eyes went wide as he saw Viktor lying on the ground. Rushing over he checked him, “he’s still alive,” he gasped in relief, hand’s trembling as he took hold of Viktor’s hand.

“We’ll get him up to the castle,” Dumbledore said as he began to look around as he conjured a stretcher for Viktor.

“Okay,” Ron said as he followed the old wizard towards the castle.

Harry quickly explained what happened in more detail before he left. “I don’t know who it was that was attacking us,” he said softly, taking Draco’s hand in his as they walked into the castle and towards the hospital wing.

“We shall ask Mr Krum when he wakes, if he can remember anything more,” Albus reassured him, “I shall send for his headmaster,” he added, as he looked to Draco, “Would you go and get him from the great hall?” he asked him.

“Yes headmaster,” Draco nodded as he hugged Harry quickly before he left.

It didn’t take long for Madam Pomfrey to wake Viktor up. Answering questions they found out that he had been knocked out only a few moments after Harry had left him. Crouch hadn’t said anything more and he hadn’t seen who it had been. Ron was just glad that the other wizard was alright. Kakoroff was spouting a load of nonsense about trying to cheat for the tournament by taking out Viktor. The Headmaster took him away so Viktor could rest, with Ron sneaking back in after they had all been kicked out using Harry’s invisibility cloak. Ron wanted to make sure Viktor was okay.

Chapter Forty-Eight

Harry smiled as he looked towards Draco, they had been going out for seven months now. And they were going to be chaperoned for the first time in months. Though this was more because of what they would be doing later. Beltaine had been fun. The only damper was Hermione. She had taken to trying to talk to her classmates and year mates out of joining in the celebrations. Harry had argued with her once again, trying to get her to at least take part for a while. Just to see what it was all about. But she had refused and had yelled at him even more. The witch had spent the whole day in the dorm, refusing to join in at all. She even had her meal there.

They had tossed their wish papers into the fire that had burned throughout the day and night. And spent the rest of the night feasting in the open air with the students of all three schools and some of the villagers that had come to join them. The days had gone quickly. Training with the other champions was happening every other day. The headmaster had given the four of them permission to bring in Sirius and Remus to help train them up. They were quickly getting a crash course in defence and the ways that Aurors fought. They worked hard, even Ron and Draco had joined in with them. Wanting to help in any way they could.

“Well,” Harry said as he walked towards the Great Hall, Draco was standing there waiting outside of it.

“Excited?” Draco asked him.

“Nervous as well,” he nodded, taking his hand as they walked inside.

“Can’t believe it’s been seven months since you two got together,” Ron snorted.

“Seven months, are you going to?” Neville asked the two of them.

Harry nodded, “Yeah, we’re meeting with Narcissa and Sirius later on,” he said softly, a shy smile on his face as they sat down for breakfast.

“Good, you’ll have to tell us what happens,” Neville said from where he was sitting.

“Sure,” the blond nodded.

Breakfast went by fast, each of them speculated what colour that Draco and Harry’s magic would go. Waving to their friends as they left the great hall, they were greeted by Narcissa and Sirius. The two had been able to come in because of the courtship. The guardians or parents of the child would be the ones to witness the blending of magic for the first time.

“Are you two ready for this?” Sirius asked, smiling at his godson. He had received several letters about this day from Harry. Asking him what to expect and how it would go. Sirius had done his best to reassure him.

“Yeah, of course, we are,” Harry grinned as he hugged his godfather.

Narcissa moved closer and hugged her son tightly, “I never thought you would be able to do this,” she murmured. There had been a betrothal between her son and Astoria Greengrass, but neither of the two wanted to marry. Narcissa with the backing of Sirius had been able to cancel it. Which had been Draco and Astoria’s suggestion as soon as the two learned it was an option.

They took the two teenagers to the ritual room that has to be used. Since it would stop any outside magic from interfering with the merging. Walking into the room, the door closed tightly behind the four of them. Taking out their wands, Narcissa and Sirius tapped on the runes in the room to stop their magic from interfering unless something went wrong. Though that very rarely happened.

“Okay,” Sirius said as he looked at the two teens, “you both know that you’ll be sharing your magic today,” he said softly, getting a smile from the both of them.

“We’ve gone over what you need to do, so don’t be afraid if you feel a heavy pressure from each other’s magic. In this room your magic will be swirling around you,” Narcissa added, her voice gentle and full of happiness.

Harry and Draco nodded. “We’re ready,” Harry said, his voice shaking a little, he couldn’t tell if it was because of excitement or nervousness.

The two walked towards the magical circle of runes on the floor and settled into the middle of it. Kneeling to face each other as Narcissa and Sirius took up spots at the edge of the room. The runes they had tapped covering them to make sure that their magic wasn’t called out in any way.

“At this moment we ask Mother Magic to bless and assess the potential of our union,” the two said softly, as they took each other’s hands. Closing their eyes for a moment they concentrated on the magic they had in them. Letting it flow inside of them for a moment before they let go of each other’s hands and slapped them against the stone floor. The runes below them began to glow as they pushed as much of their magic inside them. As soon as they started to feel light they stopped.

Opening their eyes, as they felt a pressure surrounding them. They smiled as the two magics began to swirl around the room. A physical representation of their magic. The runes brightened as another magic joined in, mother magic coming to the front as it began to merge the two.

Harry and Draco took hold of each other’s hands once more. Smiling as the two began to merge, as mother magic left it alone. Their magic took on a light pink hue, sweeping around the room causing their hair to sway in the wind that it was creating.

“It merged,” Harry grinned, glancing down at Draco.

Draco looked at him, a wide happy smile on his face, “Yeah,” he laughed brightly, “it did, it did.”

“Pink,” Narcissa smiled, her voice quiet as she glanced towards her cousin.

“Yeah,” he nodded. He looked at his godson and his boyfriend and watched as the magic began to fade, returning to the runes so that it could rejoin who it belonged to. Except for a small sliver of magic that wrapped around the wrist of the other. A bright light flashed as the courtship bracelets that the two of them had changed. Showing their compatibility with each other.

“Wow,” Harry said softly, “That… that was…” he trailed off, unable to voice what he was feeling.

“It’s like we were a part of each other,” Draco said, “Like we were together, I could feel you, the way you were surprised by the magic, the way that you care about me, everything.”

“Care, I… I really really like you. I don’t know if I can say love, but,” he shrugged, “you know what I mean?” he asked hoping the other got it.

“I do,” Draco smiled at him, “love takes time, or it could take an instant, it’s different for each couple.”

“Hmm,” Harry nodded as they began to stand up. The magic making them both feel like they were floating, causing them both to stumble.

“You okay?” Sirius asked as the barriers that stopped them now let them go. He walked over to his godson and hugged him tightly.

“I’m okay, just feel…” he trailed off with a giggle.

“Floaty,” Draco laughed brightly as he was hugged by his mother, their hands still linked with each other as they left the room.

“Yeah,” Harry agreed as they were let go and left to walk ahead of the two adults.

“Well,” Sirius said as he looked tbh his cousin, “looks like they’re compatible,” he smiled, happy for Harry and Draco.

“Yes, it does, I’m so happy for them,” she smiled as she watched the two of them lean closer to each other, whispering and giggling. The high of the magics they had just done, had not faded yet, it might be an hour or more before they did. “I’m glad it’s the weekend,” she laughed lightly as she heard the two giggling once more.

Harry and Draco looked back at them,” are you joining us in the Great Hall to wait for the others?” Harry asked them.

“No, we’ll let you tell the good news on your own,” Narcissa laughed lightly, “Go and have some fun,” she reminded them.

“Okay,” Harry nodded, smiling as the two of them walked into the great hall.

“How’d it go?” Ron asked as soon as they sat down, they knew that they wouldn’t be gone for long. As it wasn’t a ritual. It was one of the shorter ones.

The two held up their arms, showing their bracelets that still had a soft glow of magic around them, “We’re compatible,” Harry grinned brightly.

“That’s great, so when you marry, and bond, you can have it fully blessed by magic,” Nevile cheered for them.

“Yeah,” Ron nodded in agreement.

“Congratulations,” Viktor said with a smile at the couple.

“So?” Dean asked, “What colour came up?”

“Pink,” Harry murmured shyly.

“Oh,” Seamus murmured, “Well, Ginny!” he called out.

“Yeah!” she yelled back as she got up and walked over to them, nudging Nevile over so she could sit back down, “What?” she asked, glaring at Seamus for yelling at her.

“You won,” he told her, pulling out the bag which had the money from the pot in it.

“So it was Pink then,” she grinned as she held out her hand and took her winning of 30 galleons.

“Yep,” Dean nodded, “Can’t believe you won.”

“Come on it was easy to tell what it was going to be,” she rolled her eyes. She looked over to Harry and with a genuinely happy smile on her face, she said, “Congratulations to the both of you. New love huh,” she wiggled her eyebrow at them.

“To you, it might have been obvious,” Dean muttered, sulking as he had thought the colour would have been red.

“To all of you idiots,” she muttered back, glaring at the other teenager and then sticking her tongue out.

“Okay,” Harry said before they could start arguing.

“Why are you even basing your relationship on such a thing?” Hermione asked, sneering at the group.

“Shut up, we don’t care what you say. We’re happy about it,” Harry told her, before turning away from her and looking at Draco.

“Well, why would you base it on that?” she asked again.

Ron sighed, keeping his cool as best as he could as he tried to answer her, “When a relationship isn’t blessed by magic a lot of problems can happen,”

“My parents weren’t,” Draco said, “They do not always get along.”

“Same with mine, mum berates dad something rotten most of the time,” Ginny muttered darkly.

“When a marriage is blessed by magic, that they are truly compatible and are in love, well the marriage can be something made of dreams. They are stronger magically because of it,” Nevile said, “My parents were like that as well, blessed by magic.”

“Sirus said my parents went through courtship and had their marriage blessed,” Harry said softly, smiling as he recalled the things that Remus and Sirius had told him about his parents.

“As were mine,” Viktor added, a smile on his face as he looked at Ron.

“People blessed by Mother Magic during such a time can become a lot stronger, as they can share their magic in a sense,” Nevile told her.

“Why don’t you go and ask some people what they know about their parents, if they have been blessed and what they are like,” Ron told her, “A lot of those that aren’t, while they can have a loving relationship, find that magically they are the same as when they left Hogwarts. But those that are married and are blessed by magic tend to be stronger magically. Most aim for this type of blessing during their marriage. Though it can happen later on in the marriage as well. It doesn’t always start like it.”

“Arranged marriages often start without a blessing. A couple can get to know each other and love each other, and they can go through the ceremony to be blessed later on,” Draco added.

“Padma and Pravati’s parents were like this. An arranged marriage. Their parents worked hard at their relationship and just before they started Hogwarts, their parents went through a renewal of their marriage to have it blessed by magic,” Dean pointed out, they were talking about it after tradition class a few weeks ago when the merging during the seventh month of a courtship was spoken about.

Hermione looked at them in turn, her eyes contemplative as she turned and walked away without another word. The group signed in relief that she was listening to them, at least a little. They friends soon began to talk about what it means for the Pink to come up and if it would change after the year was up.

Chapter Forty-Nine

Harry sat on one of the large desks in the classroom. Draco was beside him, and Ron on the other, next to him was Luna. They were working in pairs for this lesson. Ron and Luna were near the top of the class with only Draco and Hermione above them. Harry wasn’t that far behind either, though Draco took the time to explain a few things to him when he got a little lost. They looked up as there was a knock on the door.

“Come in!” the Professor yelled out.

The door opened and a Hufflepuff walked in, “Professor,” he greeted with a nod, “The Headmaster has called for Harry Potter, something to do with the tournament,” he told her.

“Very well,” she sighed, annoyed at the interruption, “Mr Potter, please put away your things,” she instructed.

“Yes Professor,” he said dutifully as he packed up, “I’ll meet you for lunch in the Great Hall,” he told Draco quietly as he then followed the Hufflepuff out of the classroom.

“The Headmaster wants you on the pitch, he’s with Cedric and the other champions already,” the teenager said, mostly trying his best to ignore the small Gryffindor.

“Right,” Harry murmured, adjusting his bag a little. He tried to think of something to talk about, but he understood that the other wizard didn’t want to talk with him. He found that with most Hufflepuffs, even those in his year had been silent towards him after the first task. None wanted to talk with him, but at least the bullying and attacks had stopped. They walked in silence, out of Hogwarts and towards the quidditch pitch.

Green eyes went wide in horror as the perfectly good quidditch pitch now had tall hedges being grown on it. “What the hell,” he muttered as he walked over to where the other champions were gathered.

“Yeah I know,” Cedric commiserated and Viktor nodded in understanding.

“You quidditch types,” Fleur muttered, though she was amused by their looks of horror at the state of the pitch.

“If you played then you would understand,” Cedric told her.

“Who said I didn’t play, I play chaser,” she huffed at them, “I’m just not overly sentimental about a pitch that could easily be put back,” she smirked at them, as they looked at her in shock.

“You play?” Harry asked, eager to know more.

She nodded, but before she could say anything more she was interrupted when the three headteachers along with Bagman walked over to them. With a nod of greeting from the four champions at them.

“Now, I know you may not like the way the pitch looks,” Bagman started to say, getting nods from three of the four champions. “But it will be all put back by the end of the school year. For now, it is growing what will become a large magical maze. There will be dangers inside that you will have to face. At the centre of it is the Triwizard Cup.”

“So our task will be to get through it?” Fleur asked.

“Yes, you have a while to prepare for it, but you will be facing it alone. The points you have gained will determine the order you go in and the headstart on the others that you have,” he explained, looking excited as he glanced towards Harry.

“Right,” Harry said, looking away, he felt uncomfortable with the attention that the man was giving him.

“Well, it looks like practising and quidditch is off for a while,” Cedric mutters, the three of them have taken to having a little seekers competition when it goes quiet. Making sure that no one found out about them since it would cause a bit of a ruckus.

“Yeah,” Harry nodded, sighing. He’d been having fun with those little competitions.

“Now,” Bagman called out, getting their attention once more, “We are hoping that you will all consent to a small interview before the event,” he began to say.

Harry started to shake his head, “I’ll not do so without my godfather present. I’ve had my name in the paper recently and they’ve been sharing some rather private details of my life. So I’ll decline,” he told him, making sure that it was agreed to before he wouldn’t even think of meeting with the likes of Rita Skeeter.

“You have to admit that the last article she wrote about you was funny,” Cedric snorted.

“What that I’m in a love quadrangle with Draco, Ron and Viktor?” Harry rolled his eyes. It had been a stupid article that had come out not long after the second task.

“It was funny,” Fleur giggled.

“Yes well,” Bagman interrupted, floundering a little.

“We shall respect your wishes Harry, and if any of you wish for someone to be with you during it, you are fine to bring someone,” Dumbledore told the group, “Now, thank you for coming out, lunch will be soon so why do you all head to the Great Hall straight away,” he informed them, instead of letting Bagman continue babbling on about what the task was. They already knew.

“Yes headmaster,” Cedric and Harry said.

“Madam,” Fleur said with a curtsey to her headmistress.

“Sir,” Viktor nodded sharply.

The four of them walked away, heading to the Great Hall. “So, are we going to continue training?” Cedric asked, glancing towards Harry.

“Yeah, I’ll talk with Sirius about coming into the school again three times a week, we need to be prepared for anything. I’ve got a feeling that Hagrid will be in charge of choosing some of the monsters in there,” Harry murmured, as he had heard something from the gentle giant over the last few days.

“Yeah,” Cedric snorted, “one of the reasons why I didn’t take creatures is that he has a… a different sense of what’s dangerous,” he laughed lightly.

“Hmm,” Harry nodded, “Why I stopped,” he said, “Though I know it hurt Hagrid’s feelings, I don’t think I need it,” he murmured.

“Hmm,” Cedric nodded, patting him on the shoulder as they walked, “It’s fine, he got over it, there are plenty of people that still take the class and enjoy it.”

Harry nodded, “Ron and Draco are going to meet me here for lunch,” he said as he glanced over at Viktor.

“I will stay with you,” Viktor told him, settling down at the Gryffindor table. The two sat down to wait, with Fleur and Cedric joining them for a while to discuss the type of training that they would need.

XxXxX

Harry grinned as he rushed over to Sirius, the older was once again training the group to make sure that they were going to be fully prepared. While the rules state that they weren’t allowed to go to their teachers for help. It said nothing about asking those on the outside to help them prepare for the task ahead.

“Hey Bambi,” Sirius greeted him, smiling down at him, holding him tightly.

“Hey,” he murmured back, “So, ready to help us?” he asked, pulling back and taking hold of Draco’s hand.

“Of course, Albus said we can use one of the old classrooms on the third floor, so let’s go,” he said, leading the way, Remus walking beside him as the champions, Ron and Draco followed him.

Sirius opened up the room and stepped inside, everyone quickly got inside. The two adults stood at the head of the room, Remus bringing out a shrunken trunk, “Right,” Remus said, a large wolfish grin on his face, “You want to test things out, now is the time.”

“Beyond that door, Albus and I have planned out an obstacle course for each of you to go through. When you get to the other side you’ll end up back here, don’t ask how, you know what Hogwarts is like,” Sirius stopped Harry from saying anything.

“True,” Harry mumbled, remembering one of the secret tunnels that were very short but went from the charms corridor down into the dungeon.

“Okay, now in this, I’m going to set up a few more things, there are a few of Hagrid’s smaller monsters in there,” Remus told them, as he enlarged the trunk and headed through the other doorway.

“You’ll be going in one at a time, you don’t talk about it until everyone is through. You’ll be getting a glimpse as to what the marauders were like,” Sirius warned them, a large grin on his face.

“Okay,” Harry nodded, gulping at the thought. Ron was in the same boat, as he knew how bad the twins could be, the Marauders, he knew, were even worse.

Remus came back, a grin on his face as he and Sirius sent the first one inside. One by one they went through and came out the other side. Each of them dishevelled, and even a few cuts and bruises on them. When Ron was the last one to come out, he sat down on the floor and looked horrified at Sirius and Remus.

“You had to do that?!” He squawked out loud, shivering.

Harry couldn’t help the little giggle, knowing it was the large spider that had done Ron in. “So,” he then said, seeing the glare the redhead was shooting towards him.

“From what Remus and I observed,” Sirius began as he started to go through their weak points and their strong points. “Ron, I know you’re scared of spiders,” he then said as he turned to face the young wizard.

“Yeah, that was… that was terrifying!” Ron yelled, eyes still wide as he felt an arm go around him. He smiled a little at Viktor who was comforting him.

“I know, but you did well, you kept your cool long enough to not only distract it but disable it as well,” Remus praised him.

Ron blushed, “Not as bad as Aragog,” he muttered, shuddering, even more, when he thought of the large spider that had made its home in the Forbidden Forest.

“I doubt anything could be as bad as him,” Harry agreed, pulling a face.

“Aragog?” Sirius asked the two.

“Acromatula in the Forbidden Forest. We ended up in his nest in second year,” Harry said, as Ron shivered at the very thought.

“Really, basilisks, giant spiders, wraths, is there anything you haven’t faced yet?” Sirius asked, looking at his godson.

“I would have said dragons, but we took care of that in the first year,” Harry couldn’t help but say cheekily. Ron and Draco nodded beside him.

“What!” he yelled, eyes wide, “what the hell do you mean by that!”

Harry quickly explained about Norbert and how they got the dragon out of the castle with help from Ron’s brother. “And that’s the dragon from our first year. We also faced a troll and a Cerberus.”

“Yeah, fluffy,” Ron nodded, the two couldn’t help but laugh at the gaping look on the two adults’ faces.

“You know, I think we need to sit down again and learn exactly what you were up to during your first two years here,” Sirius said as he looked at Harry.

“Okay,” he said, glancing back at him.

“Something tells me I’m going to regret this,” he muttered as Remus laughed at him, shaking his head.

“Well, he did face a wanted criminal in third year, I think that sets the tone for his first two,” Remus warned him, patting his shoulder in commiseration. He had been given all the gossip when he had become a teacher there. Part of him had been horrified, and a part of him had been impressed with how well Harry had dealt with things.

“Right,” Sirius said, huffing as he glared at his godson for a moment before launching once more into teaching them some of the better ways to use their magic and power up their spells.

The next five hours went past, and by the end of it, all of them were flat on their backs, breathing hard.

“He’s trying to kill us,” Ron gasped out, attempting to do it up.

“Yeah,” Harry agreed as he finally sat up.

“Okay, that’s enough for today, in two more days we’ll be back, and I’m going to drill you once again, so make sure you get some practice in as well,” Sirius warned them, a devious grin on his face.

“Yeah, he’s going to kill us,” Cedric snorted. Glancing at the others, who were nodding in agreement.

They began to get up, dinner would be soon, and they were all hungry. All they wanted was some food and their bed. Almost seven hours they had been working with Sirius and Remus without a break or food. Only water had been given to them. They said goodbye to the two adults and left, talking quietly with each other as they talked about what they had just learned.

Chapter Fifty

The weeks leading up to the third task were filled with the occasional date and more training than what anyone could stand. The only true break Harry had was when he and Draco had gone out for the blond’s birthday. Though they had spent a little of the day with their friends, so they could all celebrate together. Now, the task had come and Harry and Draco were rushing through the corridors.

“Sirius!” Harry yelled out as he rushed over and hugged the man tightly. Draco almost fell as he was let go.

“Harry,” Sirius grinned down at him, as he picked him up and swung him around, “Good to see you again.”

“Yeah, but we haven’t got any training today,” Harry murmured, sighing in relief as he was put back down. He was a little confused as to why the man was there.

“It’s time to meet the families of the champions,” Draco sighed, “I thought they told you that?” he questioned.

“They may have done, I didn’t pay attention to most of it, Bagman is… making me uncomfortable. He keeps staring at me,” Harry murmured, looking a little sheepish at them.

“Getting forgetful Harry,” Remus teased lightly, “As for Bagman, it might be because of who you are,” he reasoned, “Well, shall we go and meet with the others?” he asked.

“Yeah, though you know all of us champions,” Harry pointed out as he grabbed their hands and pulled them over to where Fleur was standing with her younger sister and two older people.

“Fleur,” Harry greeted.

“Harry,” she smiled back, “Sirius, Remus, good to see you again,” she greeted, “These are my parents, Benoit Delacour and Apolline Delacour, and of course my little sister, Gabby, or Gabrielle.”

“Pleasure to meet you all,” Sirius greeted, “I’m Sirius Black, this is Remus Lupin and my godson Harry Potter, along with his boyfriend, Draco Malfoy.”

“The pleasure is ours,” Benoit greeted back, voice slightly accented.

It didn’t take long for Viktor and Cedric to join them, with their own families being quickly introduced. “So, is everyone ready for tonight?” Mathius Krum asked, Viktors father.

“We are,” his son replied, surety in his voice.

“Good to know,” Celine smiled at her son, and then looked at the others.

They chatted for a while. Amos boasted a lot about his son, much to Cedric’s annoyance and embarrassment. “Champions please assemble at the Quidditch Pitch,” came a voice echoing through the school.

“Looks like things are going to start now,” Harry said as he and the others quickly made their way to the quidditch pitch, they had been holed up in a small room so they could take and be with their families. Harry had a feeling of dread in his stomach as he walked. Rubbing at his scar, “I’ve got a bad feeling,” he muttered, so only Draco and Sirius could hear him.

“Chin up Harry,” Sirius told him, an arm going over the teen’s shoulder, “You’ll be okay, Remus and I have been drilling all of you on Auror tactics and spells for the last two months. You will be fine,” he reassured him.

“Yeah,” Harry said, standing up straighter, “Right, I need to,” turning to Draco he kissed him, arms going around the slightly taller teen.

“Good luck Harry,” Draco said softly, a smile on his face.

“Thanks,” Harry told him, then going to Remus and Sirius hugging the two men tightly before jogging over to the other champions. “Hey,” he greeted Bagman and the headteachers walked over to them all.

“The last task,” Bagman said, almost jumping up and down, excited about the last task. “You will be going through the maze one by one. When the whistle blows, Viktor Krum, you will be going first, Then Mr Potter and Mr Diggory, and last Miss Delacour.”

The four of them nodded, “Right,” they muttered. Glancing at each other, they all had plans to meet in the middle. They were going to take the cup at the same time.

They lined up at different entrances. And then the first whistle blew. Krum nodded to them before heading inside. Then it went again moments later. Harry darted inside. Wand out and glancing around as he took his first turn.

Harry went through the maze, jumping at almost every little rustle. Using all he knew, he went through the beasts that lined his path. The one that almost caught him out had been the Bogart. The dementor it had turned into threw him for a moment, but he had been able to push it off yelling “Expecto Protrunum,” the stag that erupted from his wand danced around, pushing it away.

“Damn it,” Harry muttered to himself as he cast, “Ridiculous,” at it. Causing it to take on the appearance of someone caught in a white sheet.

Harry carried on, rushing through. Dodging around one of Hagrid’s little beasties. And blasting it with a high-level curse that Sirius had taught him. He almost laughed when it skittered off away from him. “It didn’t even make a bloody dent,” he shook his head and carried on. He stopped short when he came across something else.

“Hello,” the creature said softly.

“Hello,” he bowed to them, puzzled by this one. “A Sphinx?” he asked curiously.

“Yes,” it nodded, “past me is the way you seek, but first a riddle you must solve.”

“Okay,” Harry murmured as he waited.

“I have Cities, but no houses, I have mountains but no trees, I have rivers, but no fish. What am I?” the sphinx spoke clearly and then waited.

“Hmm,” Harry said, plopping down on the ground as he repeated the riddle many times. He grumbled a little as he knew that Draco was better at these. Luna would often quiz them all with them. “A city, mountain and river, but nothing in them…” he trailed off, “A… map?” he asked, unsure of himself.

“Correct, you may pass,” it said as it stood up, towering over Harry as it moved out of the way.

“Thank you,” Harry sighed in relief as he darted through. Only to have to dodge a large leg coming towards him.

“Watch out Harry!” Cedric’s voice came.

“Thanks for the warning,” he bit back, a little sarcastically as it had come a little too late to help. “Underbelly,” Harry told him, moving quickly through the eight legs of the giant acromantula. Firing a couple of deadly spells at the weak point. It began to thrash around even more. Harry ran from under it, a hand grabbing him and pulling him further away as it crashed to the ground.

“Bloody hell,” Cedric said, and Harry couldn’t help the laughter bubbling over, “What’s so funny?”

“Ron, that was his reaction to a lot of things, he would have been terrified,” he snorted a few times as he collapsed to the floor, breathing hard, “Hope we’re safe here for a moment,” he muttered.

“Yeah, the cup is just over there, met up with Viktor on the way, said someone tried to Imperio him, we were going to stick together a hedge got in the way,” Cedric told him softly.

“Glad Sirius made sure we could face that curse,” he muttered.

“Yeah,” Cedric agreed, sitting down on the steps that led up to the Cup.

“Let’s wait for the others then,” he said, relaxing a little, but keeping alert should something come up at the last minute. Another rustle and the hedge parted as RFluer rushed through. Seeing them she went over to them and sat, “That was horrendous,” she said, shaking a little.

“You okay?” Cedric asked.

“Yes, bogart,” she answered. Cedric and Harry nodded in understanding as the hedge parted once more and let Viktor through.

“Well, we’re all here,” Harry said as he stood up.

“We take the cup together, a victory for all of us,” Viktor smiled.

The other two nodded and as a group, they approached the cup.

“One, two, three!” Harry counted down.

They touched the cup and with a pull, they were whisked away. Landing, Harry had a bad feeling once more, “Wands out,” Cedric said. Everyone quickly did so. Looking around the graveyard that they now found themselves. In.

“Where are we?” Fleur asked quietly, unsure if this was part of the task as well.

“Down!” Harry yelled as spells began to fire towards them. Harry returned with one of the more powerful blasting curses. Moving through the gravestones, they dodged the curses flying towards them as best as they could. Though soon enough, they went down, one by one. Harry the last one to go down.

Harry woke and struggled against the thing that was holding him.

“Welcome back Mr Potter.” The voice was strong, the man before him was unknown to him.

“Who?” Harry questioned, eyes going wide as he thought of his fellow champions. He looked around. Seeing them all together, the cup nearby. Harry looked back at the man as he walked closer, in his arms was a baby. Or what he thought was a baby until it was revealed to him.

“Rockwood, begin the ritual,” the baby hissed his demands.

“Yes Master,” Rockwood nodded as he moved around. With one arm, he used his wand, “Bone of the father, unknowingly given, you will renew your son,” he said, letting his magic levitate the bone that had been taken from a grave. “Flesh of the servant willing given, you will revive your master,” he said, gritting his teeth as he cut off one of his hands. Harry recoiled away as the man walked towards him, “Blood of the enemy, forcefully taken, you will resurrect your foe,” he intoned as he cut into Harry’s arms. The teen hissed, but kept the yell of pain back. Rockwood flicked the blood from the knife into the cauldron. With that, the baby-like creature was put in. A few flashes happened and the cauldron disappeared as the baby levitated up. Shrouded in shadows and whips of smoke. A large form began to appear.

“You have done well Rockwood, come,” Voldemort said, as he was cloaked by the man.

“Yes Master,” he said, presenting his arm with the dark mark vivid against the pale skin.

“You have pleased me,” he smirked. With a press of his wand, a call went out. “And a gift to my most loyal,” he added, his wand weaving around the bloody stump, a silver hand quickly forming on it.

“Thank you, Master,” he bowed as people began to arrive.

“Well, we finally have everyone,” Voldemort said, sarcasm in his voice, “You left me, abandoned the cause, leaving me to rot!” he yelled out as he began to unmask them, “I see some are missing from my side. When we are done, find them, bring them to me so they may be punished!” he ordered, “But first,” he said.

Harry sneered as he felt eyes on him, Struggling in the grasp of the stone statue that held him. “Let me go!” he yelled out.

“Where are my manners,” Vodlemore chuckled darkly. With a flick of his wand, the stone statue let Harry go. “Give him his wand, I want to play,” he said as he looked at Rockwood.

“Of course Master,” he nodded, tossing the wand he had taken from the boy.

Harry grabbed his wand and ducked as a spell shot towards him. “Now Harry, come out. You do know the rules of a proper duel do you not!” he yelled out.

“I may know them, but I will never show any type of respect to a murderous scumbag like you!” Harry yelled out. The grave he was hiding behind, shattered and he rushed to find another one to take cover behind. He knew he couldn’t beat them. There were too many. He needed to get to his friends and get them out of there.

“No one interferes!” Voldemort ordered as he chatted another grave as Harry came out behind it and shot a few spells back. Using a blasting chain that Sirius and Remus had drilled into him, over the last couple of months.

Harry moved quickly, firing spells, not just aiming for Voldemort, but for those that had gathered. He knew he would need to take some of them out if he wanted to stand a chance of escaping with his friends. Rolling behind another grave, he took a second to catch his breath. Stepping out, he poured as much as he could into his next spell.

“Expeliamus!” he yelled.

“Avada Kedavra!” Voldemort yelled out.

A beam of red met with the sickly beam of green and a wave of magic spread out from around them. Harry kept hold of his wand, fighting against the killing curse as it tried to end him. “Won’t let it,” he muttered to himself, gritting his teeth and pushing even harder.

Chapter Fifty-One

The two beams of light fought each other. Harry could hear groaning behind him, and he moved around a little, keeping his concentration on the beam, but making sure that he was between Voldemort and his Death Eaters, and his fellow champions. He didn’t want to see them get hurt if he could protect them.

“Harry!” came a frightened gasp.

“Get the cup nearer to you,” Harry began, as he pushed even harder. The link between the two curses headed more towards Voldemort.

“Okay,” Cedric said as he began to wake the others up.

Harry carried on pushing, feeling elated when it finally ended up in Voldemort’s wand. What he wasn’t expecting was the blast of golden energy. A male figure flew from Voeldemrots wand. An old man. Then came a woman, and Harry bit back a cry at seeing her. It didn’t take long for a man to come through as well. Harry continued to keep the connection with Voldemort’s wand, scared of what would happen if he let go.

“Mum, Dad,” Harry said, recognising the two people.

“Hello Bambi,” James said, a smile on his face as he looked towards his son.

“Sweetheart,” Lily said, a misty smile on her own face as she and her husband moved closer to their son. “When we tell you, you need to let go and escape,” she told him, her voice quiet so the Death Eaters and Voldemort wouldn’t be able to hear.

“Okay,” he nodded. “I love you both.”

“And we love you, you’ve made us so proud,” James said, a ghostly hand on his son’s shoulder.

Harry could feel the warmth of it, he smiled at the man, “Yeah,” his voice trembled a little.

Lily and James looked at one another, before glancing down at their son. Smiling at him one last time, “Now Harry, let go,” she ordered.

Harry nodded and cut the connection to Voldemort’s wand. James, Lily and the old man rushed towards Voldemort. Blinding him, and protecting the other from the Death Eaters. Harry turned to meet up with the others. “Let’s go,” and with that, they all touched the cup at once. With an unpleasant pull and then a slam. They were soon back at Hogwarts.

Harry lay there for a moment, breathing hard and shaking from what had just happened. “You all okay?” Harry asked as he began to sit up, as officials began to head over to them.

“That… that was You-Know-Who?” Cedric breathed, eyes wide as he looked at Harry.

Harry nodded, “Yeah, he’s back,” he trembled. Looking up he saw the Headmaster, “He’s back, Voldemort is back,” he told him.

“Are you all alright?” Albus asked them all, turning to them one by one.

“Yes,” they replied, “just a little bruised, and a little cut up,” Viktor said, sounding calm. Though they could see that he was just as shaken as they were.

“He… he can’t be back,” came a shaking voice from behind the Albus.

“Cornelius,” Albus began.

“No, no, he isn’t back, what you saw, heard or anything is a lie!” he shouted, shaking his head and stepping towards the four teens.

“I know what I saw,” Harry began as he stood up, the others doing the same.

“He is back, he called a number of people. Some I recognise,” Cedric added, “Dad,” he said, turning to his father, “some of them have even been in our home. We thought… We thought them good, but they’re not,” he shook his head, unsure if he should say the ones that he had seen.

“Son?” Amos began, “You… be quiet,” he ordered.

Cedric took a step back, “Dad, no. I won’t be quiet about what I saw. I won’t stand for it, I won’t stand for people to bury their heads in the sand.”

“Minister,” Harry began, looking at the man, “I know what I saw, I know who I faced. I know who we escaped. I know the names of those that gathered as he said them all as he went around. You need to be careful, some of them are very close to you,” he told him, warning the Minister.

“I don’t believe you,” he said, turning and talking with his people.

Harry took a step back. Glancing around, he wanted Sirius to tell him what was going on. And to talk with Draco. He had been surprised that of those that had gathered for Voldemort, that Lucius Malfoy hadn’t gone there. But if he really was turning over a new leaf, then he needed to be warned that Voldemort was out for those that didn’t show up.

“Potter,” came a gruff voice from behind him.

“Professor?” Harry queried, glancing behind him and seeing Professor Moody heading towards him quickly.

“Coem, let’s get you back to Black,” he told him, guiding him away.

“Yeah,” Harry nodded, letting himself be led away from the hustle of what was going on with the others.

Professor Moody guided him to his classroom, and then through to his office. “Sit down potter,” he told him, as he went over to his seat.

“I… I thought you were taking me to Sirius?” he asked, looking at the man.

Moody snorted, as he glared at the teenager, “Yeah,” he told him, “What was it like?” he asked him. “Seeing him come back?” he continued, excited as he leaned forwards on his chair.

“It…” he began, frowning, this didn’t seem right. “It was scary,” he admitted softly, “bu-”

Moody stood up, giving a cackle almost, “It would have been glorious to see, I’ve no doubt,” he said, “but I have my orders.”

Harry moved and stood up, wand in hand as Moody pointed his own towards him. “Prof-”

The door slammed open, with Sirius and Albus standing there, a stunning spell hitting Moody before he could even utter a sound. The man was down for the count.

“You all right Harry?” Sirius asked as he rushed over to his godson. Remus stepped into the room as well.

“Yeah, I… what the hell?” he asked, looking at the Professor and then to Sirius.

“Sorry Harry, no time to warn you,” Sirius said as he went over to him, pulling him into his arms and holding him tightly.

“It’s not Alastor,” Albus said, “I am a fool,” he muttered to himself.

“He fooled all of us, he was good, he knew how to act with each of us,” Sirius said softly, looking over at the aged headmaster.

“What is going on?” Harry demanded to know.

“Alastor would know that I would want Harry near me with what is going on. He wouldn’t take him away” Albus said softly, as he went over to the unconscious man and levitated him into a chair before tying him to it.

“Yeah,” Sirius said, nodding, “It’s not your Professor, Harry, we don’t know who it is at the moment,” he told him softly.

“Right,” he said as Professor McGonagall and Snape walked into the classroom.

“We have a few problems,” Professor McGonagall said as she looked at the Headmaster.

“What like?” Albus asked though they could hear the sigh in his voice.

“Fudge is demanding that the champions shut up about what they are saying or he will have them arrested. At the moment the Delacour and Krum families are up in arms. Amos is trying to keep his son quiet, but-”

“He’s a Hufflepuff, he’ll want the truth out there. They care about truth and hard work. Cedric won’t be quiet,” Harry interrupted.

“Idiot boy is what I call him,” Snape muttered as he pulled a vial from his pocket and handed it over to the Headmaster, “I should not be here when he wakes,” he added.

“Try and deal with things in my absence, and fetch Madam Bones here. I believe we may need her,” Albus instructed the Potions Master.

“Keep Fudge away from here, he’s going to fuck things up otherwise. He’ll do something stupid like have the Man Kissed before he can be put on trial,” Sirius added to the warning.

Snape nodded and strode out of the room, robes billowing behind him in his signature look. “How does he do that?” Harry wondered, it always impressed him.

“He started doing that in sixth year,” Sirius snorted as he turned back to the man that was beginning to come around.

Waiting for him to fully regain consciousness Albus administered the potion and began to ask him questions. Partway through Madam Bones walked in, with Fudge following behind her.

“What is going on?” Fudge demanded to know, entering the room as loudly as he could. Hope it would distract the Wizards and Witches from what was going on around him.

“They are questioning me because I’m the one that made sure the Dark Lord will rise again. They want to know what I did and who else was involved,” came the monotone voice of their prisoner.

“Why do you have Moody locked up?” Madam Bones asked, looking at Albus for an answer.

“It’s not Alastor,” Albus answered her easily.

“Who are you?” Madam Bones then asked, looking at the man as she stepped forwards.

“Bartemius Crouch Junior,” he answered.

Madam Bones took over asking a few questions. Then after almost ten more minutes of questions. They took a step back as the polyjuice potion he had taken started to wear off.

“It… It really is, he’s supposed to be dead,” Fudge said, an alarming shade of white on his face.

“Well he isn’t and we’ve learned that You-Know-Who has returned,” Madam Bones said.

“He hasn’t!” fudge yelled.

Harry glared at him, “He is back, and you need to listen. If you don’t then things can get a lot worse than they were during the first war. We need to prepare,” he told him.

“You have no idea what you’re talking about, you were delusional, and so is this… this man, prisoner. He should be dead and he will be by the end of the night!” he yelled out as he stormed out of the room.

“Amelia,” Albus said as he looked at the woman, “I suggest that you get all you can from him, record it down.”

“Fudge has a lot of backers,” Amelia agreed, “he is going to do something stupid. I’ll try and get things rolling behind his back, but it’s going to be hard to do so,” she said as he went over to Barty Crouch Jr and began to interrogate him using a recording charm.

“Come on Harry, let’s go find the others so we can reassure them that you’re safe,” Sirius said as he guided Harry from the room. Albus following behind them, he would ask Aemilia for a copy of the recording when it was done.

“Harry!” Draco yelled as soon as he saw his boyfriend. Running over to him he wrapped him up in his arms and held him tightly.

“I’m okay,” he reassured the blond, leaning against him, arms quickly wrapping around Draco.

“What happened?” Ron asked him.

Harry quickly explained and then said, “Where are the others?” Glancing around, hoping to see one of the other champions as least.

“They’ve been taken to one of the tents, Fudge is… well, being a shit, to be honest,” Ron muttered. “They wouldn’t let me in to see Viktor.”

“Then let’s go and see him,” Harry said as he marched over to the tent that Ron indicated. There were two Aurors on duty, guarding it. “I want to see my fellow champions need to make sure they’re fine,” he said as he was stopped from entering.

“Can’t, we’re under orders from the Minister of Magic,” one of them said, sneering at the group.

“I suggest you move out of the way,” Albus said, “One of my students as well as visiting students are inside, and if you and the ministry wish to end up with a diplomatic incident on your hands I would stand aside,” he ordered them.

The two looked at the aged wizard, “Yes Sir,” the second one said meekly as they felt the power radiating from the wizard.

Albus walked in and began to try and smooth things over with the other Champions parents while Harry went to see his friends. He didn’t think they had been hurt, but he wanted to make sure. It was almost an hour later when Amelia Bones walked into the tent telling Albus that Fudge had brought dementors onto school grounds to take out Barty Crouch Junior.

Albus stormed from the tent, leaving the place a little worse for wear as his temper flared at the idiocy that Minister Fudge was displaying. Harry and the others left the tent, only to be grabbed by the student body, wanting to know what was going on. They told the truth, though many didn’t want to believe it. Who would want to believe that a Monster that their parents had feared was back.

Chapter Fifty Two

Harry sat down in the great hall, people looking at him and then back at the papers they were reading. “What are they saying now?” he asked Neville, who just handed over the paper, shaking his head.

Lying Potter confuses fellow Champions

Harry Potter (13) has once again shown himself to be lying to those of his school and to Ministry Officials. After somehow getting into the tournament reserved for those over the age of 17. He has now taken to confusing his fellow champions into believing that they saw something. This could easily cause us to have problems with those overseas. In a recent statement from the Minister of Magic, Cornelius Fudge, we were told that the young wizard was telling all those around him that You-Know-Who is back. Telling such a lie can easily cause panic among the people of our world

Minister Fudge has reassured us and the public that no such thing could have happened. Thank Mr Potter has released such a vicious lie to the world for attention.

Harry stopped reading, rolling his eyes, “so basically they are trying to make me seem like a…” he trailed off not sure what word he could use.

“Spotlight hogger,” Neville supplied.

Seamus shook his head, “No, glory hound,” he grinned.

Dean laughed, “I think Attention Seeker sounds better.”

Ron snorted, “Peacock!” he yelled out.

Harry couldn’t help the smile on his face as he felt happier and lighter as his friend’s joke around. He felt arms go around him as Draco stood above him. “Hey,” he said, the two sharing a sweet kiss.

“I don’t think Peacock suits Harry either, Ron, he’s not colourful enough,” Draco teased, laughing as the others did the same.

“Hey!” Harry huffed, smacking him on the arm as the blond carried on laughing, sitting beside him.

“So they’re already printing lies then?” Draco asked as he glanced at the newspaper, he had already read it as soon as he got to the Great Hall that morning.

“Of course,” Harry rolled his eyes, “Should I really expect anything better than that?” he asked him, giving him a look.

“Nope,” Ron muttered as owls started to arrive. An elegant owl landed in front of Ron. He looked at it curiously as he then slowly took the package and letter. He looked up at his friend, who just smiled at him.

Harry and Draco shared a look as soon as Ron looked back down to the package. They knew what was going on and they couldn’t wait to see his reaction to it. Ron looked at them again, and frowned, seeing their excitement. Opening the letter he began to read, eyes going wide.

“I… What?” he said, shaking as he put the letter down and opened the package. Inside was a plain gold bracelet. Much like the one Harry had been gifted, it too was decorated by clouds. Harry’s now sported trees and animals. A scene was beginning to be etched into the metal.

“Well, he’s watching, are you going to answer?” Harry asked, leaning a little closer.

“But what… what does he see in me?” he asked, unsure as he looked at his best friend.

Harry smiled, “You’re loyal, brave, you’ve stuck by me through a lot of shit. Faced your fear of spiders with me. And you’re still here. You’re funny, and you’re smart, no matter what some say.”

“All that Harry said, why wouldn’t someone want to court you?” Draco shook his head at the low self-esteem that Ron had.

Ron sighed, “I’m… I’m not that good, honestly. I’m not…” he trailed off as he took the Cloud cuff from the box.

“You are, now hush,” Draco told him, huffing a little at Ron’s stubbornness to not believe in himself.

“Well, are you going to answer?” Harry asked him again. He could see Viktor watching them, waiting for an answer.

Ron looked down at the cuff, letting a finger trace the pattern, “It… it wouldn’t hurt to try, would it?” he asked unsure of himself as he looked at his best friend.

“No it doesn’t,” Harry smiled at him, “Take a chance,” he coaxed him.

Ron took a deep breath, closed his eyes for a moment and then opened them, staring at the cuff as he placed it onto his wrist. He gave Harry a shaky smile. Harry glanced around and could see a smile on Viktor’s face as he walked over to the table, “He’s coming over isn’t he?” he squeaked.

“Yeah,” Harry laughed at Ron’s reaction.

“Thank you for accepting,” Viktor said as soon as he reached them.

“Hi!” Ron squeaked again as he looked up, face almost as red as his hair.

Viktor smiled, laughing lightly as he sat down, “I’ve already organised a date for us, my mother will be our chaperone for it. I’ve also sent a letter to your father telling him about my wish to enter a courtship with you. He has already agreed and will also be able to chaperone us on another date before I have to leave back home.”

“Really?” Ron blinked, “I didn’t think you would have asked my dad,” he murmured softly.

“Of course, I wouldn’t have asked unless I got his blessing,” Viktor told him, a little frown on his face.

“Did you ask Sirius?” Harry then questioned Draco, wondering if he did the same.

“Yeah, I did, during the summer before we went back to school. I wanted to make sure that he was going to be okay with it before I asked,” Draco answered him quietly.

Harry frowned, “Summer? Then why did you take so long in asking me?”

“Because I was scared,” he admitted, looking over at Harry.

“Sorry, but you should have known he would say yes before the school year even began,” Ron snorted, “he was blushing a lot of the time when your name came up and he talked about you,” he said, shaking his head. He had seen it not long after Harry’s birthday and which Draco had attended.

“I know, but I was still scared, there was a chance that I could have been rejected,” Draco told him, looking over at the redhead.

“Hmm,” Ron nodded.

“I was scared as well, I have been trying to think when to ask since before the last task,” Viktor murmured, sitting beside Ron, eyes looking from the cuff that was now on his wrist to look up at Ron.

Ron looked at him, “I still don’t know what you see in me. I’m the sixth child out of seven. I’m not that bright or anything,” he shook his head, “I don’t have a lot to offer you and you being you, you could get anyone?”

Viktor shook his head, taking Ron’s hand, “I’ve found you have a sharp wit when you wish to use it. You’re smart, able to run circles around me while we play chess. You make me laugh and smile and at first, I know you saw me as Viktor Krum the Famous Seeker. But as you spent time with me, you stopped seeing that and saw me as Viktor,” he told him, “I want to at least try and see if a relationship may work between us. I know we live in separate countries, but I am willing to try, are you?”

“Okay,” Ron said, blushing at the words.

“Good,” Viktor nodded as he turned to the others and they began to quiz him a little on the date that he would be taking Ron on. Not that the seeker let slip anything more than it was going to be in the Hogsmeade village.

XxXxX

The first date that Ron and Viktor had gone on had gone very well. Ron had done nothing but talk about it over the last week. Now it was time for his second date, and Ron was looking forward to it. There was only two days before the foreign students would be leaving and four before the Hogwarts Student would be heading home themselves. Thankfully it was Litha and Ron had gone off with Viktor to enjoy their date, with Arthur following behind them. Draco and Harry were glad that they didn’t need to do that anymore.

“It’s like everyone is wanting to do a courtship,” Harry said softly as he looked around, there were a number of courting couples. Some of them were still being followed around by chaperones, and there were a number of others, like themselves, that weren’t. Harry couldn’t understand why there was a sudden influx.

“It used to be very popular until Dippit stopped the Tradition class from being taught. Barely anyone would do it at the school after that, and would usually wait until afterwards. Now that Dumbledore has brought them all back, people are starting to do so again. It’s a good way to really get to know someone and to let the other know you’re being serious about it all. While a lot will still date as the Muggles would, this means something special,” he tried to explain.

Hmm,” Harry nodded, “come on, let’s go and check out some of the stalls. Don’t forget that Dumbledore is putting on a show tonight.” Harry was excited about that. Dumbledore was a powerful wizard in his own right. He and others believed that it should be a good show of Magical Ability tonight.

“Yeah, there’s not been a show like it for a long time at Hogwarts. They used to be common before Dippiet,” Draco sighed, “he stopped a lot of things going on. But recently only the older families would do them, and they would have a party,” he said softly, remembering the times they would celebrate at home before he had gone to Hogwarts.

Harry giggled as he saw a small child dressed up as a fairy rushing around the stalls in the village green. “It’s so bright and colourful.”

“Hmm,” Draco nodded, “come on,” he said as he grabbed Harry’s hand and pulled them over to one of the food stalls.

“Here you go,” the woman running it said as she handed over small bowls full of small cakes.

“Thank you,” Harry said, wondering about paying them.

“Those under seventeen are given free food,” the woman told him as she watched the young wizard trying to pull out his coin purse.

“Oh,” he blinked, a little frown on his face, “I didn’t know that,” he murmured.

“This is mainly a celebration of life,” she told him, “so children are very much the focus of this celebration. The longest day so we spend it celebrating them, letting them have free food, letting them dress up and have fun. Let their magic go wild,” the woman grinned.

“Thank you,” Harry smiled at her, as he and Draco carried on. They walked around, sometimes bumping into their friends as they celebrated. They headed towards the stage that had been set up at one end of the village green. “Time for Dumbledore’s show,” he grinned as he joined the others there sitting down on the grass. Their friends had made sure to bring a large blanket for them all to sit on to watch from. There was a large crowd and Harry could spot a few reporters going around, taking pictures.

They settled back and waited for the wizard to appear on the stage. It didn’t take long for him to walk on, “Afternoon to you all and Blessings on this day,” he greeted, “We celebrate the preciousness that is life and the next generation on this day. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show, all of you!” he called out as he spread his arms and let a burst of magic go from his hands.

In the sky, the different coloured balls of magic formed animals as they moved above the crowd. The beasts swooped down in front of the children, as they reached up to touch them. Giggling as the magic tangled against them. Warming them.

“Wow,” Harry said, amazed once more at what magic could do.

With one last run around the crowd, some of the animals brushing up against the children, causing them to giggle. They rose up into the air and burst into what looked like fireworks, lighting up the sky and raining down on the crowd. Instead of sparks there ware sweets, which hovered in the air until someone took hold of them.

“Magic made candy,” Draco laughed lightly as he took one, “These are the best, but they can take a lot of power to create, and a little knowledge of alchemy is needed,” he said, “Not many can do this now,” he murmured, looking at a few more that were hovering around them, waiting to be plucked from the air.

“Just the Headmaster,” Harry nodded, “I think he’s the only one that does alchemy anymore, or if there are more, then they aren’t well known.”

“It’s a hard field to study in, you need to be an apprentice under a master, it’s the only way as it’s not taught,” Draco nodded as they watched Dumebldore gather magic once more to send it out around the crowd, this time as small balls for the children to bat at. When they did the colour would change.

The show continued on, with Dumbledore showing them so many tricks, using the elements as well to form shapes and put on a show for the children and the adults that were also gathered. As the night came to an end, the students went back to the school, buzzing over what they had done and seen that day. Harry joined Ron, who talked almost non-stop about his date with Viktor. The redhead was disappointed that he didn’t have long left to spend with Viktor, but they already had plans in place to visit each other for small dates and such during the holidays.

Chapter Fifty-Three

Ron slumped as the ship went under the water. He felt an arm go around him and someone patting his back. “I knew it was going to happen,” Ron muttered, pouting as he was going to miss Viktor.

“I know, but I bet it still hurts,” Harry said, guiding him back into the school.

“Glad that the year is over,” Draco said, “at least during the summer you’ll be able to see each other again,” he then reminded Ron, trying to cheer him up.

Ron brightened a little, “Yeah, that’s true,” he smiled at him, “still going to miss being able to talk to him every day

“I’d be the same,” Harry said softly as he looked at Draco, “glad I don’t have to face that,” he added.

“Hey!” Ron complained, elbowing Harry lightly in the stomach, “don’t have to rub it in that you have your beau right beside you all the time,” he pouted at him.

Harry laughed at the look on his face, “Sorry Ron,” he smiled, “come on, we have packing to finish,” he said as he looked at Draco, “you don’t mind meeting us a little later?” he asked him.

“Of course not, I’m doing something with Blaize and Pansy in a bit, promised to spend some time with my friends. As I haven’t spent that much time with him this year. Though he has been thinking about chasing someone. He gets a little obsessive when he does. And Pansy, she has plans of her own when it comes to finding the right person” he muttered as he thought of his friends.

“Who this time?” Harry asked as they stood at the bottom of the great staircase.

“Not one person, but two,” he rolled his eyes, “he won’t tell me who. But I do know that they are both in Gryffindor and are a couple already.”

“Hmm, our year, that could be Dean and Seamus, or it could be Ginny and Neville. I know that Neville will be asking Ron’s dad about trying to court her next year. They are doing the casual dating thing at the moment,” Harry murmured.

“He better treat her right, I won’t have her being hurt,” Ron muttered darkly. Since his sister had started treatment at St Mungo’s her whole attitude had changed. The teenager had become a little closer to Ron as a result and even became friends with Harry over the year. Not close to being around all the time, but enough that she wasn’t immediately looked at with suspicion. Neville had also been good for her as well.

“He will, you know that. This is Neville,” Harry reminded him.

“Yeah, yeah,” he huffed, “come on, I still have a load of packing to do,” he muttered as he headed for the stairs.

“I’ll say, you haven’t even started,” Harry sorted, kissing Draco, “See you later.”

“See you,” Draco laughed as he left the two as they headed up the stairs.

“I’ve had other things on my mind,” Ron defended himself as fiddled with the cuff on his wrist, “I still can’t believe it’s real,” he murmured.

“I still don’t know what he sees in you,” came a snide voice from behind.

“Hermione, just go away, we don’t want to talk to you anymore,” Ron told her, looking straight ahead, avoiding her as best as he could.

Hermione moved in front of them, standing at the top of the staircase they were on, hand on hips, much like Mrs Weasley when she had a bone to pick with someone. “Well, what does he see in you then? You’re a fanboy,” she began, ticking things off as she went on and on about how unsuitable Ron was for someone like Viktor Krum.

“And you are?” Harry snorted, stopping her tirade, “Ron is a lot better than you,” he told her bluntly, “you trampled all over his beliefs, without a second thought of how he felt about them. And when he told you, you bitched at him about it.”

“You turned him against yourself before you even had a proper chance with him. And when he went to someone else, all you’ve done is put me down,” Ron told her, “I still can’t understand what happened to our friend Hermione Granger, you’ve become such a… bully since then. I know you steered us wrong, but… that wasn’t all the time. We were prepared to forgive you. But any time something happened that you didn’t like you tried to-”

“Mess it all up. And when that didn’t work you bullied us and others to try and get your way. Take Litha a few days ago, you went on a tirade about it. before that, S.P.E.W did you do what we told you to. Talk with the elves, and then looked at resources before you decide that they should all be freed?” Harry asked her.

“Why would I? It’s obvious that they are being downtrodden,” Hermione began, about to lecture them for having what she believed to be slaves in the Wizarding World.

“House Elves need to be bonded to a home, family or person, or their magics start to consume them. Dobby is a free elf, but he’s dying. I’m even thinking of asking Sirius if we could take him on,” Harry said, thinking of the small elf that had begun to look sickly and weak when he went down to the kitchens in the last couple of days. Winky, as well, was beginning to look the same. Though in a shorter amount of time.

“That isn’t true!” she yelled, stomping her foot like a toddler.

“It is, now get over it,” Harry sneered at her, shaking his head as he and Ron walked around her and towards the dorms once more.

Hermione followed them, berating them for what the Wizarding World was doing wrong, and how things were different in the Muggle World. That it was better because of those things. Harry and Ron ignored her, quickly disappearing up to the boy’s dorm with the others. Hermione tried to follow them, but because they had talked to McGonagall about it, the stairs changed and she slid right back down to the bottom. She was ranting about the unfairness of it as they closed the door behind them.

XxXxX

Breakfast arrived too fast the next day. Ron was rushing around the dorm, making sure he actually had everything and nothing had sneaked into the others’ luggage. It wouldn’t be the first time they had to send something to one of the others. “We’re going to miss breakfast!” Harry called at the door, sighing as Ron carried on darting around for a few seconds.

“Yeah, yeah!” Ron yelled out as he shoved another lone sock into his trunk, “I think I have everything now,” he grinned as he sat on the thing to make sure it closed. “I still don’t know how I’m going home with more than I came,” he muttered as he called to Harry, “help me here!”

Harry snorted and jumped on the trunk lid with his friend. It gave that magical click and was finally locked, “let’s go,” he laughed as the two rushed out of the dorms, the last ones to do so that morning and headed to the great hall. He waved at Draco, who was sitting by Blaize and Pansy. Draco smiled back, waving as well.

“Come on,” Ron muttered before the brunette could walk over to his boyfriend.

“Yeah, sorry,” Harry grinned as he followed. The two sat down by their friends as they waited for the Headmaster to give their leaving speech.

“We say goodbye to another year at Hogwarts. I shall be sad to see you all go,” The headmaster said as he stood up and took centre stage. “For the house points,” he began as the decorations in the hall showed Yellow, “Congratulations to Hufflepuff house, at a wonderful 452 points. The second was Gryfindor at 421 points. Slytherin at a very respectable 417 points. Ravenclaw came in with 283 points.” It was the lowest the house had ever had. And most of it was because of the bullying that had been going on by their members towards Luna.

“Now, as we say goodbye, I must remind you all to be careful during the summer. I know what the Ministry is having printed in the papers. And I know you wonder the truth. But trust in Harry Potter, Cedric Diggory, Fleur Delacour and Viktor Krum. All four of them saw what happened that night, Voldemort,” he started, as most of the students flinched at the name, “is back, and if you need help, send word to one of your teachers. We will be here for you,” he told them all, “Be safe and be well. Let’s enjoy our last breakfast together until the new year,” he finished as breakfast was served.

“Are you really telling the truth?” Seamus asked, sounding scared.

Harry looked at him, “I am Seamus, you know me. When have I ever lied about something like this? You know what the last few years have been like here,” he added softly.

“Yeah,” he sighed, “I just wish it wasn’t true. I’ll make sure people know. I know me, mammy, though,” he said, accent going thick, “She believes whatever the papers say,” he added.

“Ah, look, don’t argue with your mum about it, just tell her to be careful, hopefully, she’ll believe it. If you want I could, I don’t know, write to her, talk with her like that,” Harry suggested. “I know a lot of people are going to believe what’s in the paper. Just know that you can send a letter to me, and I’ll do what I can to help.” It was a promise he would keep, wanting to make sure as many families stood together and kept safe as he could.

Nevile nodded, “We’re going to stick together. Gran told me that the Ministry is sticking to what they said. Madam Bones is having her budget cut, which means that the number of Aurors are going to be lowered again this year.”

“Fudge is such a fucking idiot,” Ron growled, eating the last of his eggs, and grabbing some more.

“I know,” Harry said, “he seems like he only wants to be in power for the prestige, not for the good he could do for the people.”

“Yeah,” Neville nodded, grimacing, “he sucks up to Gran a lot, she has a lot of sway on the Wizengamot, as does the Headmaster.”

“Well, that will be stopped. As soon as people start siding with Dumbledore and I, well, no one is going to want to stick around and get tarred with the same brush. He’s going to lose support, and same with a lot of people,” Harry sighed heavily.

“Then we’ll have to think of a way to get through to people outside of the Daily Profit,” Dean suggested, “Like what the schools would do, my juniors, we did a small flier type thing. Especially when things happened around the area,” he said, looking at Harry, “You know what I mean?”

“Yeah, my school did the same type of thing,” Harry nodded, “We’re going to have to work on it over the summer and see if Dumbledore will let us get them sent out to families. What about the Muggleborn families, they’re not going to be able to protect themselves?” he pondered.

“Talk with Sirius and Remus, they might have a few ideas,” Ron suggested, “let’s finish breakfast. We’ll talk more about this on the train,” he grinned.

Harry nodded and the group began to eat. They talked about summer plans, along with days that they should be free to get together to work on this flyer. Ideas were swirling around Harry’s mind with what could be on there. Information on keeping safe, the laws that were in effect for Muggleborns to be able to protect themselves from things, and how some of them would now be able to use magic outside of school if they got certain results.

Almost an hour later they were on the train going back home. The year had been an exciting one, but summer now loomed and with it, it’s own set of problems that they would have to face. Along with what a Ministry and the Minister burying his head in the sand, and losing valuable ground. Already Harry had seen the newspapers, full of him being dragged through the mud. Even Albus Dumbledore was being dragged, along with the lies of him confusing the other Champions. He knew that Sirius was already starting the ball rolling on getting them to stop. Though with the Ministry backing them, it might be harder than it normally would be. Harry sighed as he looked out the window, he could hear his friends chatter, but he was worried or what was to come.

Chapter Fifty-Four

Harry threw the paper down once again full of nothing but printed lies. He sighed, glad that his friends and Draco were going to be coming by. It had been a week since Hogwarts had ended, and the papers had been full of lies about him and the Headmaster. Cedric was also being dragged through the mud, though his father was doing his best to make sure his son couldn’t say anything. Cedric had written to him, telling him that he was being grounded and was unable to leave the house. The letter was the last he had received, and nothing else was heard from Cedric. Though Luna had gotten in touch saying she was communicating with him. The foreign papers were also reporting what Viktor and Fleur had been telling what they saw as well. Though it looked like the Ministry were going to try and ban those papers from coming over to the UK.

“Lies in them again Harry,” Draco asked as he walked in. The others following behind him.

“Yeah, as always,” he muttered darkly, “Well, let’s see what we can do about this flyer. Dumbledore has already agreed that they can go out with the school letters. Those that are Muggleborn are being given the chance to have a warning system on their home. Just in case. Sirius is helping to set that up. Though I think most of that is because he’s bored,” he grinned as it had been Sirius’ own idea for that.It would send a warning to the Auror Department and to the Headmaster and Sirius, giving them the location and time to apparate to get there and help. They just hoped that it wouldn’t be needed.

“Had an idea,” Ron said softly, “Why don’t we put down the basic spells, I know that first years aren’t able to do them, but if we put detailed instruction better than the book. We can even have moving pictures of people doing the spells to help as well,” he suggested, as they sat around the table, Muggle notebooks out along with pens so they could brainstorm easier.

“That’s a good idea. I know when I first got the books and it was describing the spells and how to cast them, I wasn’t really getting it, so the pictures would help a lot, especially moving ones. Also, warn them about certain spells and that getting away is the best thing they could do,” Dean grinned as he began to write it down.

“Hmm,” Draco hummed deep in his throat, “Nightbus,” he added, letting them know how to call it and that it can take them anywhere for a price.”

“Making sure they have money so they can get on and travel to Diagon Alley. That should be a safe area to go to. Lots of people and Auror’s around there,” Harry nodded, “I took it in third year, it helped me get away from my Muggle relatives at the time.”

“So,” Dean began as he began to list the things that they had come up with.

“This is going to take a while to do,” Ron murmured, as he glanced at the list of things.

“But we should be able to get it ready by the time the letters go out if we work hard maybe we can get them out earlier and even put some around Diagon Alley for people to pick up,” Seamus suggested, though his tone was a little subdued.

“Good idea,” Harry nodded, looking at his friend in concern, “everything okay?” he asked him.

Seamus gave a small smile, “Mammy isn’t happy with what’s going on. She’s reluctant about letting me go back to Hogwarts this year because of everything in the paper. I’ve tried to talk to her, but…”

“She’s saying I’ve confused you or something along those lines,” Harry guessed.

Nodding, “Yeah, she is taking what the papers say as truth. I’ve told her it’s a pack of lies. Everything that’s been in there over the last year about ya has been,” he sighed heavily, “not much I can do but let her keep thinking like that.”

“Sorry Seamus,” Harry told him softly, “I wish there was some way I could really get the truth out there and have people believe it.”

“I know, but I can’t do it for now. Just have to let her be,” he sighed, “Let’s sort this out and get to work on it,” he smiled weakly. They then began to make a mock-up of what they wanted until they could put everything into action.

XxXxX

Sirius looked at the two people that walked into the library, “Narcissa, Malfoy,” he greeted his cousin and her husband.

“Sirius,” Narcissa smiled as she walked over and sat down, “Everything all right?” she asked him.

“Not really. We’ve been getting a number of Howlers. Thankfully, Harry doesn’t know about them. The wards I have around the place have stopped them coming in, but it still tells me what was said and who sent them. A lot of them are from Ministry employees and a number from normal Wizarding World Citizens,” Sirius sighed tiredly. He stood behind Harry and what he was doing one hundred per cent. He knew Harry was telling the truth, could see it in his face and the way his voice trembled as he spoke of what happened.

“Hmm, don’t tell him,” Narcissa told her cousin, glancing towards her husband.

“I’m not,” Sirius agreed with her, “It would hurt him to know what people are really thinking about him. Some of the things they are saying… they are threatening to harm him, and his friends. If he found that out. I… It would hurt him so much.”

“Fudge is burying his head in the sand. He’s started to listen to a few that I know are Death Eaters. I’ve been keeping a low profile,” Lucius said quietly.

“Are you happy about that?” Sirius asked him, sneering a little at the man. He only let Narcissa remain married to him because she loved him, and he loved her.

Lucius looked at him, “Yes, I never enjoyed prostrating myself to someone who didn’t respect the life we have,” he sneered back.

“Then why the hell did you join that madman?” Sirius yelled at him.

“You have to remember that Dippet changed so much at that school. All that made up our world was being torn down by those that knew nothing about it. When he rose, he did so at the time when we were weak. When we wanted nothing more than to bring back that which made us. He promised us that he would bring back the old traditions, the old classes that had been there, I was all for that.” Lucius told him, “I may not like the methods he now uses, but before that, he was charming and brought us in with promises to bring things back to how they were. To how my grandparents remembered it being. Where the Muggleborns came in and were shown what our world was about, what the world that they were now a part of was about. Accepting them, and them accepting us as we were, not how they thought we should be.”

“We’re doing it now, it may have taken a while, but we’re doing it,” Sirius pointed out to him.

“Which is why I don’t wish to rejoin him,” Lucius told him, “We celebrate the traditions of our world openly once more. I see the peace in the children that had stopped being present after the rituals were discontinued at the school. I can feel how light my son’s magic has become this year. Last year, it felt heavy, repressed. Tied down almost.”

“Harry’s the same. We forgot our roots for a while, mostly because we were trying not to scare the Newbloods that were coming in,” Sirius sighed.

“Yes,” Lucius agreed, “but now we can be proud of who we are. I will carry on to supporting you and the Headmaster.”

“That I will accept,” Sirius told him, “How are things going at the Ministry?” he asked him, feeling a little calmer after listening to him.

“Fudge is determined to cut down the DMLE budget as much as he can get away with. All to show that he isn’t back, I’ve tried to talk with him, telling him that it would be… prudent to keep a strong force,” his face twisted in distaste as he thought of what he had to do to try and get the man to listen to him.

“Right,” he hummed, “The papers are calling all of us liars, Harry especially. They’re also targeting the other champions. I want to go after the papers, we nip them in the bud and then we might have a chance with the ministry,” he said as he looked over at Lucius.

“I will see to it, Draco is being dragged into this as well, and I do not want to see him harmed,” Lucius told him, “and I thank you, for the warning,” he added.

“Yeah, so they went after you then?” Sirius asked him.

Sitting down, Lucius nodded, “They did, two days ago. Thankfully the wards caught them and they were taken to the DMLE, not that they were there long, they were out yesterday. I fear for Draco, so we’re not letting him go out alone,” he added, Narcissa nodding beside him. Both of them were worried.

“I’ve done the same with Harry. I’ve not let him leave the house yet, though I’ve no doubt I’m going to have to let them go out at some point. He would want to meet with his friends elsewhere,” he sighed heavily. “I don’t want to have him become a prisoner in his own home. I know what that’s like. My parents did that while I grew and it’s horrendous,” he muttered, “Though the only place I will let him go would be the alley. And maybe into the Muggle World, he knows it well enough to be able to get around without trouble.”

“Then we’ll do the same, they’re both strong boys,” Narcissa said softly, “They know how to fight, you’ve been teaching them.”

“Yeah,” he nodded, “I may take to doing that again, though, maybe I should add his friends too, not just Ron but the others that hang around him,” he murmured to himself.

“Harry does get into some… escapades,” Narcissa said, a small fond smile on her face.

“Yeah,” Sirius snorted, shaking his head as he thought of all that Harry and Ron had told him after the holidays began. Telling him everything this time instead of just a few of the highlights. “I’ll take to teaching them before they go back, they can use magic here, so there’s no problem with the laws,” he added. He had the place shielded from the trace here, most Wizarding homes had the same. Though with the right O.W.Ls students could practice at home.

XxXxX

“Bye,” Harry said as Ron went back home.

“See you later Harry,” Ron grinned, stepping into the floo and heading back to the Burrow.

Harry slumped a little as he walked out of the floo room and towards the living room. Sirius and Remus were already inside, talking quietly. “Hey,” he said as he slumped onto the sofa and curled up against his godfather.

“Friends have all gone then?” he asked, putting an arm around the teen and hugging him.

Harry nodded, “They left, we’ve figured out what we want to do for the flier as well. The Headmaster is going to let us send it out with the letters this year, though I do wish we could send them out earlier.”

“How about putting some of them in the Leaky Cauldron and places like that?” Remus suggested, sipping his tea.

“Yeah, we think that as well. We want to take pictures of some of the wand movements for those that haven’t been able to do the spells before. Like the incoming first years, just the shield and expelliarmus spells. Though we are putting out that they should run as soon as they can. How they can call the night bus and the money needed and the places they should head to for safety,” Harry said, “Though everyone will have these, they may just save a life,” he said, hopeful that they would help people.

“We can hope,” Sirius said, tightening his grip for a moment, “Right, dinner?” he asked, “Shall we eat out?”

“I want Indian,” Harry answered quickly.

“There’s that new place that opened in the Muggle town nearby, we could try there?” Remus suggested.

“Then let’s go,” Sirius grinned as he stood up, pulling Harry with him.

Harry grinned, glad to be getting out as the three of them quickly got ready and headed out to the nearest Muggle town. Harry walked down the street, looking at the shop windows as he walked ahead of Remus and Sirius. For a moment, he felt like a true teenager, carefree, happy, not feeling like the weight of the world was on his shoulders.

Chapter Fifty-Five

Harry looked around the corridor that he found himself now in. It was green-hued but still dark. He shuddered as he felt a pull towards the door at the end of the very long corridor. “Hello?” he called out, hoping that someone was there to answer him.

There was no answer, no nothing, it was silent around him. He walked towards the door, giving in to the pull that he was feeling. He reached the door, looking at the dark green hue. He shook his head, trying to pull himself away from it. Taking a step back, he took a deep breath, closed his eyes and pushed the pulling feeling away as best as he could.

“Come on Harry, you know there’s nothing good behind that door,” his voice trembled as he fought whatever it was calling to him. With one last push, he finally felt free. Opening his eyes, the world around him swirled as it disappeared. Eyes went wide as he began to fall. Landing with a thud.

Opening his eyes again, he sighed in relief, he had woken up in his room.

“You okay!” came a concerned voice.

“Yeah,” Harry crooked as he got up from the floor.

The door to the bedroom opened and Sirius walked in, “You were shouting in your sleep and then a thud?” he questioned.

“A dream, but… I don’t think it was a normal one,” he said softly. Shaking his head.

“Tell me about it?” Sirius asked him as Harry climbed back into bed.

Harry nodded, Sirius sat down on the bed as Harry told him what had happened in his dream, “And then I woke up. I can still feel that pull, though it’s faded a lot since I woke up.” Harry shuddered as Sirius wrapped his arms around him. “Do you think it’s actually still there?” he asked, scared of the answer.

“No, they got rid of it Harry, they did. The Goblins are brilliant at this kind of thing,” Sirius reassured him.

“Why am I seeing this?” he asked, “I know it’s to do with him, I felt as though I wanted to be sick most of the time like there was something there,” he said, shaking against his godfather and holding onto him tightly.

“I need to look at a few things and look in your mind,” he said, hesitantly, “But I think that with what was in you. It may have created a link. Something like that can’t be broken,” he told him, trying to be gentle.

Harry stilled, “No… No I… I don’t want that!” he exclaimed, becoming upset at the thought he could still be linked to Voldemort.

“Harry, Harry,” Sirius said as he held him before he could rush away, “It’s okay, it really is. It doesn’t mean much. It-”

“It does!” Harry yelled, breaking free. He almost threw himself off the bed, “I can’t have him in my mind,” he cried, his breathing becoming a little erratic at the thought.

Sirius jumped from the bed and rushed over, holding him once more, “and you won’t, there’s something we can do to make sure that no one will be able to get into your mind. But you’re going to have to work hard,” he told him softly, his voice calming Harry.

“I’ll work hard,” he promised, breathing hard as he clung to his godfather.

“Okay, try and get a bit more sleep,” Sirius said, guiding the shaken teenager to the bed and settling him back into it. “We’ll talk more in the morning okay,” he told him, tucking him in and kissing his forehead, “sleep well,” he added as he left the room. Sighing as he went back to his own room and crawled into it. Curling up against Remus, he told the other what had happened, and promised to talk more in the morning.

XxXxX

Sirius nodded to Arhtor as he walked over to the chair and sat down, “Thanks for coming over at short notice,” he told him.

“Don’t worry about it, now what can I help you with?” he asked him, sitting down and facing the younger man.

“Harry’s had a dream, I’ve done a few checks, and he has a connection to Voldemort. It’s not that strong, but it’s still there. I’m going to be teaching him Occlumency, but I’m also thinking it might be a good idea to do the same with Draco and Ron since they are with Harry all the time,” he began to explain.

“And it would be an extra layer of protection on them all,” Arthur nodded in agreement, “Well, I don’t mind you teaching Ron, it might help him even more,” he murmured softly as he thought of his youngest son.

“Then I’ll start teaching them in a few days. Need to start them on knowing how to meditate,” he gave a wry smile at that.

Arthur laughed, “Yes, good luck,” he smiled, shaking his head. He didn’t know if Ron or Harry would be able to sit still for that.

“Albus is starting up the group again,” he murmured quietly.

“I know, we’ve been asked to join, which I shall be doing. Molly is the same, but neither of us are the best of fighters,” Arthur told him.

Sirius snorted, “You were as good as your brother-in-laws. Just need to get back into the swing of things,” he said smiling at the older man.

“That was a long time ago Sirius,” he smiled softly, “A lifetime ago for me,” he added.

“I know, but if you want to get back into the swing of things. I don’t mind duelling with you a few times, be good to get myself back in shape as well with all that has happened,” he told him.

Arthur nodded, still not sure if he will take the offer up, “I need to get back before Molly misses me,” he said, standing up, “I’ll speak with Ron and tell him that he should come over soon to talk with you and to learn,” he smiled as Sirius got up as well.

“All right, but the offer remains open,” he told him, showing him to the floo and letting the man leave. He gave a heaving sigh, he had a few things to figure out so he could teach Harry, Ron and Draco.

XxXxX

Harry and Draco walked side by side, hands held tightly as they were finally able to get away for a date. “Trying to meditate is hard,” Harry mumbled. They had begun lessons with Sirius at the beginning of the week.

“It is, but after you get the hang of it, it should be easier,” Draco told him.

“You would say that,” Harry pouted at him, “You’ve been able to do it for a while.”

“That’s because Uncle Severus started me on things. He told me I need to learn how to protect my mind,” he replied with a smile.

“Hmm,” Harry nodded, nose wrinkling at the thought of having to be taught by Professor Snape. The man may not have been so bad over the last year, but Harry wasn’t holding his breath that it would continue.

“So, where do you want to go?” Draco asked as he stepped into the alley fully.

“Ice cream?” Harry suggested, grinning as he looked towards the Ice Cream parlour.

“Sounds good to me,” he grinned back, pulling him along as they headed down the alley towards the small shop.

Reaching the door, they went in, Harry waved to Mr Fortescue, “Hi!” he greeted the elderly man.

“If it isn’t young Mr Potter, so good to see you again. Here to do your homework?” he asked as he bustled over to them.

Harry gave a shy shake of his head, “No, I’m on a date,” he grinned, looking towards Draco.

“Pleasure to meet you, Mr Fortescue, Harry told me he spent a lot of time here under your watchful eye to do his homework,” he smiled at the man.

“Mr Malfoy,” he nodded, recognising the similarity to his father and grandfather. “You look much like your father and grandfather. Through your eyes, they are more like your mothers. She would often spend a good few hours here when she was your age.” There was a soft fond smile on the man’s face.

“Oh,” Draco blinked, not expecting that little bit of information about his mother.

“She would come in with her sisters most of the time. And her cousins, especially young Regulus, such a shy boy,” he said as he led them to the counter, “now, what would you both like?” he asked them.

“Can I have the butterscotch ice cream please,” Draco asked politely.

“My usual?” Harry asked with a grin.

“Strawberry, chocolate and mint,” Mr Fortescue chuckled lightly, “of course, now go sit down and I’ll bring them over, and don’t worry about paying my treat,” he smiled at the two before Draco or Harry could even think about handing over money for the ice creams.

“He’s really nice, just like you said,” Draco smiled, sitting down at one of the tables. There were a few other people inside, but not many.

“Yeah, he made me feel really welcomed here, and he helped me a lot with my homework on the witch burnings,” Harry nodded. The two didn’t have to wait long for their ice cream. They talked quietly to each other as they ate their ice cream. Harry talking about his time in the alley during the summer before third year. And Draco about being taken to the alley as a child and how things had changed.

“I think we’re going to have to head home soon,” Harry sighed heavily as he noticed that it was starting to get late. They both had to be back home by five o’clock in time for dinner.

“Yeah,” Draco sighed as the two waved goodbye to Mr Fortesque who was serving another customer.

They began their walk back towards the Leaky Cauldron so they could head home. As they walked, Harry began to notice some of the looks and stares that he was receiving. He once again felt like he had during the beginning of his fourth year and part of his second year. “I don’t like this,” he murmured so only Draco could hear him.

“Liar!” came a yell from the crowd.

“It’s Potter, the liar!” another yelled.

Harry closed his eyes, before taking a breath and standing up straight, “I’m not lying. I’m telling the truth, Please, just prepare yourself, keep yourselves safe!” he called out to them.

“Bullshit!” one person screamed out, “Why the hell would you say that he is back, why? Didn’t we have enough terror back then before you got rid of him?!” they shouted out, people around him nodding in agreement.

“No one wants to think he is back, but he is. I saw it and so did plenty of others,” Harry told them, “I know it’s going to be scary, the fear that people have. It’s going to hurt you, I know. But please, just prepare yourself,” he begged them.

“We won’t listen to someone who is lying to us,” one person said, stubbornness in their voice.

Harry stood up straight, shoulders back, “I, Harry James Potter, vow on my gift of Magic, that Thomas Marvolo Riddle, otherwise known as Lord Voldemort is back!” he yelled out, “So Mote It Be!” he raised his hand and shot light out into the sky. It glowed brightly flashing even brighter above their heads.

“A vow as such can not be a lie,” one old witch said from the crowd.

“I still don’t believe it,” another said, “he could be faking what he just did,” she added, as she and a number of others walked away.

Harry could see that there were a few that were believing in him. He smiled at them as he and Draco carried on walking out of the alley. He almost jumped when a flash went off in front of him. He closed his eyes and sighed as he saw that it was a reporter. Rita Skeeter standing nearby.

“No comment,” he said and strode off quickly. Draco held his hand tightly as they almost ran towards the Leaky Cauldron to get back home. Neither of them wanted to talk to the vile woman without Sirius present, Lucius Malfoy would have been the better choice for that matter.

Chapter Fifty-Six

Harry was excited, there was a celebration for Mother Magic at the Ottery St Catchpole. Mr Weasley had come and talked with them all, see if they wanted to go there for the celebration. Harry quickly agreed to it, making sure that Draco would be able to come as well. Ron had told him that Viktor was going to be coming over as well, another date. Though his dad was going to be chaperoning the two of them.

“So, what are we to do?” Harry asked, knowing that Draco had been to these every year.

“Much like one of the others, we celebrate things, with games, a magic show is usually put on by those that are masters with the elements. I think the Headmaster might be doing another one, he has an understanding of three of the elements if I remember right. He was at the last one I went to,” Draco answered him.

“Yeah,” he nodded, “So you usually go to the ones nearer to where you live?” he asked him.

Draco nodded, “There is one near us, I went to it all the time. I think the Headmaster goes to this one here a lot of the time. There are more children that attend this one. It’s also one of the largest ones as well,” he said as he looked out at the common green that was full of people, stalls and children running about.

“There are Ron and Viktor,” Harry grinned, waving to the two of them. He could see Arthur behind the pair, watching them with a smile on his face.

“Want to go and say hello?” Draco asked as he began to head towards their friends.

“Yeah,” he grinned, following behind Draco.

“Hey Harry, Draco,” Ron grinned, standing close to Viktor.

“Hello,” Viktor nodded at the two fo them.

“You look happy Ron,” Harry grinned at his friend.

“Am now I’m out of the house,” he told him, “and with Viktor,” he looked up at Viktor, smiling at him.

“Oh?” Harry frowned, “Why are you happy to be out of the Burrow?”

“Hermione is visiting,” Ron sighed, “She’s been there for the last few days. According to mum she owled her and asked to come over so that she would be safe. Her parents are off on holiday somewhere, so she would have been alone according to her,” he muttered, he didn’t really believe that her parents would leave her alone like that. They would have taken her with them. They must miss their daughter while she was away at school.

“What has she done?” Draco asked, seeing Ron grimace again.

“She’s just…. She and mum have been talking to me a lot about the courtship and how I shouldn’t be doing this. Dad pointed out that he went through a courtship with mum. She is going through each of the traditions we celebrate, from marriage, courtship even to those dealing with pregnancy and such and telling us what it’s like for Muggles and how easier it is,” Ron muttered.

“She doesn’t understand how delicate a baby’s magic can be. It’s why Magical mothers and their families go into seclusion during that first week. It’s to stop others’ magic from potentially harming the babies. Muggles don’t have that trouble when it comes to the Muggleborn to them,” Draco said, aghast at what Hermione was suggesting.

“Everyone knows that it’s why my cousin ended up a squib. A magical family that didn’t know about the seclusion went and bustled in when they shouldn’t have done,” he nodded.

“Someone who doesn’t practice?” Draco asked.

“Muggleborn that didn’t know. They were sorry,” Ron answered him, “But the damage had already been done. It’s one of the reasons why dad makes sure we know and that he wanted to teach Hermione as well, to make sure she didn’t make the same mistake. But she isn’t listening to anything we’re saying.”

“Wish you could kick her out,” Harry said, shaking his head as he gripped Draco’s hand tightly, feeling bad for Ron.

Ron snorted, “Wish, mum’s listening to her and going along with everything she is saying. Says it’s better than what we’re doing.”

“Mrs Weasley needs a wake-up call,” Harry huffed.

The three nodded their agreement, “We’ll leave you now,” Draco said softly. “Have fun.”

“You as well,” Ron grinned at the two as they split up once more and the two couples went back to their dates.

XxXxX

It was two weeks after the Mother Magic celebrations that there was another celebration going on. Harry had spent a little of the day at the Burrow with Draco and Ron, all three of them avoiding Hermione and her attempts to talk with them. None of them wanted to give her a chance any more. They had run out of patience for the girl. Ginny had taken to hiding with them part of the time as well when she hadn’t gone over to see Luna. When the afternoon hit, Sirius had called him back to The Den, along with his friends.

“Happy Birthday!” those that had gathered shouted as soon as Harry had walked into the large dining room.

Harry grinned, “Thanks,” he said, looking around at his friends.

“Another year old Harry,” Seamus grinned, “you’re never going to catch up though, being the youngest in the year,” he laughed.

“Ugh, don’t be a prat,” Harry complained, pulling a face. He and Neville were the youngest in their year, born only a day apart, with Harry being on the thirty-first and Neville on the thirtieth of July.

“But it’s fun!” he laughed.

Harry rolled his eyes. As others went over to him and wished him a happy birthday. “Oliver,” he greeted his former quidditch captain.

“Harry,” he grinned, “happy birthday,” he said, clapping the teenager on his back.

“Thanks, good to see you again, how are you settling in at Puddlemere?” he asked his friend.

“I’m going to be starting first in a few weeks, the old keeper is retiring. So I’m taking over. They’re looking into getting someone else in from another team, but it might take a while before they find someone they want,” he said as he gave a small puzzled look as Draco walked over to them. “Well, you two look very cosey,” he observed, a little smirk on his face.

“We’re courting,” Harry said, a soft smile on his face as he took Draco’s hand.

“Only just?” Oliver asked them.

“No, it’s been around 10 months almost,” Draco answered him.

“Knew it would happen, just unsure when it would,” Oliver nodded.

Kattie laughed, “Yeah, so much Unresolved Sexual Tension between the two of them,” she winked at the couple.

“Yeah, we took bets on when it would happen,” Angelina grinned.

“And now that Ollie boy is here, we can finally settle it,” Fred called out as George pulled out a small bag.

“What?” Harry said a little wide-eyed at them all.

“We knew it was going to happen at some point,” Olliver said, shaking his head, “it was a hate that bordered on love,” he snorted.

Alice nodded, “You two, we all knew it. The rivalry you had with each other, the need to see each other in trouble. But you’d also follow each other with your eyes.”

“So, the closest for the date was Oliver,” George said as he looked at the small notebook that was in the bag. “But for the way, well, our lovely Angelina was right on that one.”

“What did you bet?” Harry asked, curiously.

“Angelina bet that you would have a courtship offer from Draco,” George answered as he handed over the money to her. “Oliver said it would be before Yule of your fourth year. Though he said it would happen during a quidditch match,” he grinned over at his former captain.

“Well, it wouldn’t have surprised me if they hadn’t gone down kissing at some point,” he grinned as he received his winnings.

“Traitors,” Harry yelled out, though everyone could hear the amusement in his voice.

“Just having some fun,” Fred said as he went to Harry’s right side, George moving Draco away so he could sidle up on the other, “And now-”

“-For a birthday surprise,” they grinned mischievously as they kissed him on each cheek.

“Hey!” Harry yelled out, “Not allowed!” he complained.

“Sorry, birthday kiss rules!” the two darted away before either Draco or Harry could get them back.

The twins kept away for most of the day, with Harry and Draco only getting them back when they went home that night. Letting them leave through the floo sporting more colours that was thought possible by the pair.

XxXxX

The day after Harry’s birthday Ron and Draco were back at the Den, this time for another lesson in Occlumency. Sirius stood before them as they sat down on the floor in the living room.

“Right, we’re going to sink into your mind once again,” Sirius said, keeping his voice calm as he talked them through it.

Harry listened to his voice for a while as he sank into his mindscape. He was still building it, the foundation to a good barrier. This couldn’t really be taught. The only thing they could do with instruction was how to drop into the mindscape in the first place. Harry glanced around, he had based it on a Muggle theme park. He had been to one once, the school taking him, even though it hadn’t been paid for. He would have been the only one not to go. Since he had so much fun, and the chaos of the place meant that someone would get lost in it, he used it. The rides held different types of memories.

Harry went towards one of them, a calmer ride that had some of his less precious memories and began to sort them all out. While his scarier memories were hidden in the haunted house. He felt calmer as he sorted them, could recall things he didn’t know he could remember. He even found a few memories of his parents before their death. He carried on, knowing that soon enough they would be building the actual defences for his mind.

“Okay, now it’s time to slowly leave, come back now,” Sirius called to them, smiling as they opened their eyes to look at him, “How did it go this time?” he asked them.

“I find it easy to go through everything to set it into place,” Draco murmured, he had learned a lot of this already.

“I still find it really hard,” Ron murmured, “but I’m getting there,” he smiled at them, trying to look happier.

“It’s okay Ron, I found it really hard at first, but I think I’m getting the hang of it now,” Harry smiled over at him, “Just keep going, and you’ll get there.”

Ron nodded, “I know, but it feels like it’s going to take forever,” he sighed.

“Well, it can,” Sirius told him, “Everyone has a lot of memories, you’ll be doing this each and every day for all the memories you gather. While you won’t be spending hours and hours on it, you’ll still be spending some minutes on it each day to make sure you keep things organised in your mindscape so it’s easier to protect against intrusion.”

“Okay,” Ron nodded, “Les do something fun?” he asked, hopeful that they could do something else.

“Sure,” Sirius grinned, “How about some training instead?”

The three looked at each other, “Sure!” they got up and Sirius guided them to one of the duelling halls that were in the manor.

“Right, we’re going to be working on the power of your spells, I know you’re still having trouble with this,” he began as he started to strike the three of them. It didn’t take long for them all to be blowing up the boulders and things that Sirius created for the three of them. The day ended when Arthur had to come and pick Ron up. While Narcissa and Lucius would be by even later for Draco. Leaving the two teens to spend some time with each before they would have to part. Coming up with plans to have another date in Diagon Alley, hopefully without the mob around to annoy them.

Chapter Fifty-Seven

Harry and Draco had decided against going to Diagon Alley for their date, instead of telling Sirius that they were going to be going to a Muggle area and having a more traditional Muggle date. Seeing a movie and then going out for a meal after. The two walked hand in hand after the film had finished, leaning close together and enjoying the freedom that came with the Muggle World.

“That was so good,” Draco gushed again, “The action was amazing, and you say that they use no magic of any kind to do that?”

“None at all,” Harry murmured, smiling brightly, “They have to do without that at all, so they work around it, and yes, sometimes some of the people doing the stunts do get hurt, but it’s not that often, I don’t really know how to explain it, but maybe I can get a book or something on it and sow you have things are done,” he said, wondering if he would be able to find something like that for him.

“That would be great,” Draco smiled, “So, where are we going for a meal?” he asked.

“Just a little chicken place that I heard of from some of the other Muggleborns,” he shrugged, “Not been there before, but they said it was good,” he said leading the way towards their next destination. They slipped through the small streets, going towards an underpass.

“I had a lot of fun,” Draco said softly, “More than I thought I would, pity all we have in the Wizarding World is moving pictures. Would love to see what we could come up with,” he added, his mind already working through things that they could do to try and recreate the effects that the film had done.

“Hmm,” he nodded. They were almost halfway through the underpass when Harry began to feel a familiar coldness surrounding them, “Draco, wands out,” he ordered, eyes going wide as he started to look around.

Draco looked at him, seeing the other teen doing the same. He pulled his wand out, eyes going wide as he saw two dementors at one end of the underpass. They quickly ran towards the other end, wanting to try and get away from them without having to resort to using magic. The dementors swoop towards them. Draco closed his eyes as he stumbled, memories assaulting him that he never even realised were there.

Harry was doing a little better, able to remain standing even though he could once again hear his mother screaming as she was killed. Taking a quick breath, he centred himself and yelled out, “Expecto Patronum!” A silver stag burst from his wand, tearing down the two dementors and chasing them off. “Draco?” he called out as he knelt down to see how his boyfriend was, “We need to get home,” he said softly. He looked up as the stag stood by them for a moment before disappearing.

“Yeah,” he said, his voice shaking as he stumbled to his feet, “We… we need to find a place to use the portkey,” he murmured.

Harry glanced around, he couldn’t see any muggles, but that didn’t mean that someone couldn’t walk in as they used it, “We should get out of here, too closed in. They might come back,” he worried.

“Hmm,” he nodded as the two moved as fast as they could out from the underpass and headed towards the same place they had portkeyed into. There weren’t that many muggles around as they walked, both of them keeping an eye out for the dementors. Harry was scared that they might have gone after someone else as well.

“Right,” Harry said, finally reaching the safe area, “We can go back to the Den now,” he added, pulling out the portkey that would take them home. He activated it after one last look around.

It didn’t take them long to arrive back at the Den, landing in the welcoming room. “You okay?” Harry asked him, seeing how pale Draco was.

“Just… just remembered something I didn’t know happened,” he said, shuddering a little at the memories.

“If you want to talk I’m here for you,” Harry told him as he then looked to the door, “We should get Sirius,” he added softly as he helped Draco to his feet once more. As they had landed hard when they reached the Den.

Draco nodded and the two left the receiving room and went to find Sirius. “Sirius,” he called out as soon as he spotted his godfather.

“What is it?” Sirius asked, confused as to why they were already back. It didn’t take long for him to notice their dishevelled and pale appearance.

“There were dementors, while we were going through an underpass. Shouldn’t have used the Patronus,” Harry explained quickly, just giving him the gist of what had happened.

“There were no Muggles around when he did so,” Draco said, still shaken up.

Sirius’ eyes went wide as he yelled out, “Remus, bring some of your chocolate stash here!”

“Why?” came the answering call from somewhere nearby. Though it didn’t take long for the man to appear with a bar of chocolate in his hands, “Ah,” he said as he looked at the two. He knew what a dementor attack looked like, he had to deal with a lot of students after getting too close.

“Dementors,” Sirius answered as Remus broke some chocolate off for the two of them and handed it over.

“Are you both okay?” Remus used softly, as he then guided the two of them to the living room. Just as a letter appeared in the middle of it.

Sirius strode forwards and took it, “Fucking Ministry,” he muttered.

“What is it?” Harry asked, a feeling of dread in his stomach as he looked at the official-looking parchment.

“From the ministry, demanding that you are to be brought before the Ministry to answer for your under aged use of magic,” he muttered, “I’ll take you there at the right, make sure you’re properly protected from the idiots,” he added, reassign harry that it would all be fine.

“As long as you’re there, I think it would be best. The Ministry is still trying to get the papers to call us liars. I tried to-” he was cut off as Sirius’ hands landed on his shoulders.

“Harry, I know you did, but this isn’t on you to get things out. Don’t forget that the flyers go out in two days. Hopefully, people will read them and use them, we’re already putting them out in places in Diagon and Hogsmeade,” he told him, “you’re already doing your bit.”

Harry nodded, “I, I know that, but, I just wish I could do something more,” he mumbled, looking down.

“You can’t take on the world Harry, and if you try, you’re going to need a bit of help,” Sirius said softly.

Harry gave a little chuckle, “Yeah, okay,” he nodded, getting what Sirius was trying to do.

They all jumped when Fawkes appeared in the room, “Seriously,” Sirius muttered as he looked to him and then took the letter that was in his beak, “Thank you,” he sighed, “Try and announce yourself instead of just appearing like that, you scared the life out of us,” he complained only to have Fawkes thrill at him in what sounded like laughter before going over to Harry and demanding attention.

“Albus wants us to go to Headquarters for a day or two,” he said as he looked at Harry. He glanced towards Draco, “I think your parents may be asked to do the same so us ‘adults’ can talk about things.”

“Okay, I’ll make sure that they are prepared,” he nodded at the man.

“The Weasleys and Hermione are already there, the Burrow isn’t as well protected. Albus thought that they might come under attack as well,” he added, looking back at Harry.

“How long have they been there for?” he asked, he hadn’t seen Ron in a couple of days.

“Only two days, just to make sure that they’re safe,” Sirius told him, patting him on the shoulder. He knew why Harry wasn’t sure about going as soon as he mentioned Hermione.

“But… why would they be taken?” he asked him. The Burrow may not have been protected, but he didn’t understand why they would have been told to leave it.

“There were some people near the Burrow that Arthur didn’t recognise, so we’re not taking chances,” he answered him, hoping to reassure him that they were.

“They’ll be staying there for the rest of the summer, though they are free to go out,” Remus added, seeing the worried look on Harry’s face, “They’re just taking precautions when they go out. The place they are staying is well protected.”

“Okay,” he nodded, “Do we have to go now?” he asked, looking towards Sirius.

“Yes,” he answered, “Draco, your parents should get a letter as well, so you need to go home and prepare for the move for a few days,” he suggested as he showed Draco to the Floo.

Harry followed behind, hugging Draco tightly and saying quietly, “If you want to talk about what you saw, do so, either to your parents, me or Siri and Remy. We love you and don’t want you to suffer alone with what you saw,” he reminded him.

Draco gave a shaky smile and nodded, “I will,” and with that, he went through the floo back home.

It didn’t take long for Harry to be going through the floo to Grimmauld Place. The place was still a little dark, though it was a lot better than how they had left it. Though Remus and Sirius had been going back and clearing it out slowly. Looking around, he grinned as soon as he spotted his best friend.

“Hey Harry,” he greeted as the teenager went over to him.

Harry quickly explained what had happened, “So now I have a tribunal type thing to explain what happened.”

“Right, at least you have Draco for a witness no matter what the Ministry might say,” he grinned at him.

“Yeah,” Harry grinned back, “How have things been here?” he then asked as the two began to walk around the house. It had been a year since he had last been there. The place looked a lot cleaner than how they had left it.

“It’s been okay, Hermione is trying to get into the Black Family Library. Not realizing that it’s locked by blood so only Sirius would be able to get in there and those he personally lets in, like you,” he told him, “She has been moaning about it since she got here.”

“Sorry, but Sirius told me that there are Family books in there, and dark ones. I doubt he would let her in there. I’m not allowed in until I’m sixteen,” he winced. A moaning Hermione is worse than anything. She’ll constantly whine in a pitch that would drive a saint to murder.

“Oh, so you finally arrived as well,” Hermione said, standing in the middle of the hallway, hands on her hips, reminiscent of Mrs Weasley when she was telling someone off.

“Oh go somewhere else, Moaning Mione,” Ginny said, pushing the witch aside as she went to greet Harry, “Hey, welcome to the madhouse, be warned mum is on a cleaning binge and she will do her best to rope you into helping. Avoid it if possible, which reminds me, she’s heading this way, so let’s move it,” she added, grinning as she rushed past them and headed for the staircase.

“I suggest we do as Ginny is,” Ron said, grabbing onto Harry’s arm and pulling him away before Hermione could say another word.

Harry followed him willingly, only stopping when they got to a bedroom with two beds in, “this where you’re sleeping?” he asked.

Ron nodded, “You’re going to be sharing with me, hope you don’t mind,” he told him.

“I don’t, Draco is going to be coming as well,” he told him.

“Nice,” he nodded and then began to tell Harry how they had ended up at Grimmauld Place. “Not only that, but mum’s stopping us from going out, and she’s trying to stop me from seeing Viktor. I’m going to be heading out in a couple of days for another date. Dad’s going to be chaperoning again, though I think it was going to be Viktor’s mother at first. Dad’s being a bit… overprotective, I understand why since it happened, but…”

“You’re hoping he would trust others,” Harry nodded as the door opened and Sirius walked in, Darco behind him.

“I’ll leave you boys to it, and Draco is sleeping in the same room as the twins,” he added before Harry could say anything.

“Damn,” the two boys said, though they blushed at the implication of what Sirius said.

We didn’t mean it like that!” they protested.

Sirius shook his head, “I don’t believe you,” he laughed as he walked out of the room.

Chapter Fifty-Eight

Lughnasadh came and went quickly. With Sirius, Harry and Remus spending it in the kitchen of the Den making bread, cakes and pies for their friends, neighbours and family. He learned from Ron that it was the only traditional holiday that Molly celebrated. And mostly because it dealt with baking, which she loved to do. After the holiday celebration, Harry was now sitting in the study of Grimmauld Place, Sirius and Albus with him. They had something important to tell him. Since he was now able to protect his mind.

“So, what’s this about?” he asked, feeling nervous as he sat across from the two of them.

“First, you can’t tell Ron or Draco just yet. I want to make sure their minds are just as protected as yours, I know Draco is slightly ahead of you, but Ron isn’t and I don’t want to this to cause a rift between them if you were to tell one and not the other,” Sirius told him, wincing a little.

“Yeah, I get that,” he nodded, agreeing easily.

“Okay,” Sirius smiled, “this is something that happened before you were born. I was told not long after and so was Remus,” he added.

“They were the only ones told,” Albus added quietly, “There is someone else that does know,” he alluded, but said nothing more about it.

“What is it?” Harry asked, leaning forwards on his chair, glancing between his Headmaster and godfather.

“Before you were born I overheard a prophecy,” Albus began, “The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.” The words were spoken in an almost monotone voice.

“What… What does that all mean?” Harry asked, voice shaking as he got the gist of it.

“There were two children that were born at the end of July, yourself and Neville Longbottom. When he came after you and your family, he marked you,” Albus told him, trying to be gentle with his words.

Harry frowned, hand going to the faded scar, “But-”

“It’s all right Harry,” Sirius reassured him, going to the sofa where Harry was sitting and sat beside him. An arm around his shoulders, “We’re here for you, we’re going to help you with anything that you need. You’re not alone in this,” he reminded him.

“What the hell is this power?” he then asked, looking at his Headmaster.

“I don’t know,” Albus said, “At first I thought it was the fact that you have a mother’s protection on you, but now… I’m unsure as Voldemort would have the same protection from the ritual he used,” he sighed heavily.

“Siri,” Harry said quietly, looking at his godfather as he leaned a little closer to him, “I need to train, I need to be ready,” he was almost begging at the end, pleading with his eyes.

“Of course Harry, and we’ll be doing the same with your friends as well,” Sirius reassured him, holding him tightly for a moment before letting him go.

“Thanks,” he smiled, relieved that he would get the help he needed.

“Go and join your friends, we’ve got a few things to talk about,” Sirius reassured him as he pushed Harry up to get him to leave.

“Okay,” he nodded at the two of them, glad to have been told why he had been hunted down by Voldemort. He still felt guilty about being the reason why his parents had been killed.

“Not your fault Harry,” Sirius said, reading the look on his face easily.

“Bu-”

“Not your fault,” he repeated, “They wanted you, they knew as soon as their due date was given that it could be you. They were determined not to let him overshadow their happiness about being parents.”

Harry paused for a moment and then nodded, giving him a weak smile, “Okay, see you later,” he then headed out of the room and down to the living room where he knew that Draco and Ron were waiting for him.

“So, what was that about?” Draco asked, getting up and going over to him.

Harry shook his head, taking Draco’s hand as they walked back towards the sofa, “I can’t say anything until the both of you are at the same level in Occlumency,” he told the two of them.

“Okay,” Ron nodded in agreement, “I know I’m not the best at it, but I’ll work a lot harder,” he said, smiling at his friend.

“I know you will be competent at it soon,” Harry reassured with a smile, as someone walked behind him.

“Occlumency?” came a venomous voice.

Harry stood straight, turning around he came face to face with Mrs Weasley, “yes, it’s something that we need to learn,” he told her bluntly.

Mrs Weasley turned red, “That… you’re all learning it?” she questioned looking at the three teenagers.

All three shared a look before they nodded, “We need to in order to help protect Harry,” Ron was the one to speak up. Not wanting to cower at all when it came to his mother.

“I can’t believe they would let you learn something like that,” she shouted. Her voice echoed throughout the house.

“It’s needed,” Harry told her, “Mrs Weasley, we need to protect our minds from those that could try and use what we know against us,” he added, hoping that she would see that it was the right decision.

“It’s… dark… dark arts!” she gasped out, eyes wide.

“It is not,” Sirius told her, “it’s the mind arts and it’s something that all three of them need,” he said as he walked into the room, with most of the household walking in behind him.

“Arthur,” she screeched as soon as she saw her husband, “They’re teaching Ron Occlumency!” she informed him.

“I know, Sirius asked permission first,” he told her calmly, “it’s something that Ron needs to know along with Harry and Draco. It’s safer for them if they’re able to protect their minds,” he did his best to reassure her.

Molly shook her head, “No, it’s dark arts, you know that it’s something that everyone should keep away from,” she insisted.

“Molly,” Albus said as he looked at her, “It’s fine to learn,” he told her, knowing from the others that she tended to listen to him better.

Molly still didn’t look happy at the reassurance, but asked, “Are you really sure it’s fine for Ron to learn?”

Albus nodded, “Yes, it is necessary in these dark times,” he added, a benevolent smile on his face.

“I’m not happy about it, but if you believe that it is truly necessary for them to know, that I will leave it be, but don’t teach it to the others. I don’t like this type of magic being known to my family,” she said, glaring at those around the room to make sure they would follow her word.

“I won’t, I’m only teaching them because they need it,” Sirius reassured her.

Molly huffed as she stormed from the room, giving Sirius a cold glare as she went back to the kitchen. Harry slumped where he stood, glad that the woman had left.

“And why haven’t I been included in these lessons?” Hermione demanded to know, glaring at her friends. Though only she believed that.

“Because you don’t know anything of importance,” Sirius was the one to speak, ”You’re also no longer part of the people that are closest to Harry and could be attacked. Their knowledge could harm Harry if it got out.”

“Just because I don’t, doesn’t mean that I should be excluded from such things!” she told him, stalking towards him and glaring at the man. “You keep me from the library here as well!” she yelled.

“And with good reason, not even Harry is allowed in there. And it’s a place that only families would be able to enter and those that I give permission for. Only myself, Albus and Remus are allowed in. And Harry when he reaches sixteen next year. It had family books in there that only he would be allowed to look at,” he told her, shaking his head at the entitlement that she felt she was owed.

“That’s… that discrimination, the information should be free to all!” she argued with him.

“No, it isn’t,” Draco told her, “Would you tell us the information about your family? Say how much your parent’s practice is worth, how much they make per week when your mother’s cycle is,” he added, “that is the type of personal information that is within the family library, in the family books. It has our history. I will also be looking at them since I am part of the family as well. Though Harry and I are related distantly. His great grandmother was a Black and my mother was a Black. We are both told to learn the family history that comes with such a lineage. Harry wouldn’t be able to see the Malfoy family books until he marries me. Ron wouldn’t either. Just like I wouldn’t be able to see the Weasley family books.”

“That… that…” she began, trying to think of an argument, “A lot of the information that you asked for is readily available to the public in the muggle world.”

“But something like your mother’s menstrual cycle wouldn’t be, the more private things of a person’s life. Would you let us read your journal, your mother, your father?” Harry asked her, “Would you tell us about how your mother explained the menstrual cycle to you? What about how you… masturbate?” he carried on, thinking of an example that would shock her and be of the right kind of private things that most muggles wouldn’t talk about.

“What!” she yelled out, eyes wide, “That… that is extremely private information and I… you… ugh!” she stomped.

“Then stop asking to be let into something that doesn’t concern you,” Draco told her.

Hermione was red with embarrassment as she glanced around her, seeing some of the colder looks that she was getting. “I just… want to learn,” she said, a little weaker.

“And it’s something that you don’t need to know,” Sirius told her. “You don’t know anything of importance that could be used against Harry, Ron and Draco,” he finished, his voice going tight as he was beginning to lose his patience with the girl.

“Harry’s my friend,” she argued with him, “Of course I know things about him.”

“You don’t,” Harry told her bluntly, causing the witch to turn to him.

“Harry,” she said, her voice soft, as she turned towards him.

“I don’t trust you, I can’t. You betrayed my trust for so long and then you constantly have a go at me for my own choices. I can’t tell you anything without you trying to undermine me. I stopped telling you things about me in second year,” he said, his voice sad as he looked at his former friend.

“I’m still your friend,” she said in a small voice.

Harry and Ron shook their heads, “No,” Ron was the one to answer, “How can you be? You talk down on what we believe, I understand if you don’t want to celebrate, or believe as we do. That was fine, it was the constant put down. Then you started putting me down when I started to date Viktor. How can I remain a friend to someone who betrays me in such a way?” he asked of her.

“Ron’s right, you’ve hurt us both so much. You bitch at us, bully us and when things don’t go your way you are downright nasty to everyone near you. No matter if they were a friend or not. You need to look in the mirror at Hermione and see the real person that’s looking back at you and not the one you think is there. Because you’re not the young girl we used to know. You’re someone I can’t even recognise as Hermione Granger any more,” Harry responded sadly.

Hermione looked at the two of them, seeing the sadness and pain in their eyes. She shook her head, straightening herself up, “I know who I am, it’s you that don’t,” he huffed, trying to keep herself from crying as she stormed from the room, brushing past the others that were still standing there.

Chapter Fifty-Nine

Sirius looked at Harry, it was the day that they were going to the Ministry, they were just going to tell their side of what happened with the Dementors. “You all right?” Sirius asked him, seeing the nervous look on his godson’s face.

“Yeah,” he nodded, voice shaking a little as he glanced up. They were going to the Ministry early. Lucius had warned them that it would be best if they did so. He believed that Fudge had something planned.

“You’ll be just fine, you’ll be talking to Madam Bones about what happened and that should be that,” he smiled, patting him on the shoulder as they walked around the atrium.

Harry nodded, and looked around, seeing the statue that stood in the middle of the atrium, “So self-centred,” he muttered as he realised what it was showing.

Sirius snorted, “Yeah, very much so. We wizards think we are at the top of the food chain. But one little thing and I’ve no doubt we could be toppled from it all,” he said quietly.

“Sirius,” came a voice from behind them.

The two turned and saw Lucius walking towards them, “Lucius,” Sirius greeted him, frowning, “didn’t think you would be in today.”

“Fudge is an imbecile, he’s called for a full trial, in front of the Wizengamot. I brought Draco, and If I were you I would send for your solicitor as well. They will be needed. I’ve already sent word to Albus as well as to what is going on. It’s at courtroom ten, and you know what will happen if you don’t turn up,” he warned them, as Draco stepped out from behind him.

“Dad thought it would be best if I was here because I was a witness to what happened,” Draco explained.

“Okay,” Sirius nodded, “I’ll see you in there,” he nodded, “Right Harry, Draco let’s get down there,” he said as Lucius walked off quickly heading to the Wizengamot entrance for the courtrooms.

Sirius led the way through the atrium to the elevators and down to the floor with all the courtrooms. Rushing towards courtroom ten he opened the door and looked in, seeing that the Wizenmagot was there, Lucius looking relieved when he spotted the man.

“Lord Black,” Fudge said with an air of disgust in his voice, “You are late!”

“I didn’t even know that there would be a full trial for my godson,” he answered him, as Draco and Harry walked in behind him as she strode to the middle of the room, eyeing the chair there with distaste.

“Letters were sent out to inform all parties of such details,” came a haughty voice from near the minister.

“Madam Umbridge,” Sirius said, almost glaring at the woman, “I was in the atrium early this morning, it would not have taken long to reach me, may I ask when this change took place?”

“It was this morning,” Madam Bones said before anyone else could answer, “The notice should have gone out to all parties over four hours ago,” she said, glancing towards Umbridge and Fudge, a look of suspicion well hidden in her gaze.

“Then it was pure luck that I was here early,” he smirked, “Now, why a full trail?” he then asked, “As far as I know all uses of underage magic in muggle areas are first shown to Madam Bones and the Educational Board, not a trial run by the Minister himself and the Wizengamot,” he added glancing towards the others in the room.

“I feel that it is necessary and Mr Potter violated some of our most sacred laws,” Fudge blustered, “We need to make sure such acts stop. Since he has already done something similar a couple of years ago when he blew up his Muggle Aunt. And the year before that with a hovering charm.”

Harry went to talk but was stopped when Sirius took hold of his shoulder and squeezed, “Best not to bother answering on that for now. You can clear that up later,” he smiled down at him. Harry nodded.

“Now, Mr Potter, please sit,” Fudge demanded with a gleam in his eyes.

Harry looked at the chair and went towards it, but was stopped by Sirius, “What?” he asked of him.

“I refuse to let my godson sit in a chair where Death Eaters were restrained. I refuse to let my godson be restrained,” he said, his voice a low hiss, “We will remain standing.”

“How dare you-”

“That will be fine, I can understand,” Madam Bones said, glancing towards Madam Umbridge, “Dolores, you must remember who we are dealing with,” she reminded the woman.

“A liar and rule-breaker is who we are dealing with,” she huffed, turning back around in her seat.

“Very well,” Fudge sighed heavily, “On the night of 3rd August, at 6:12 pm you cast the Patronus charm?” he asked.

“Yes there we-”

“You see, he confesses to violating our rules, no magic outside of school. And he did so in a muggle area,” Fudge said, interrupting the child before he could finish.

“Bu-”

“Be quiet,” Madam Unbeidge ordered, “You have violated our rules, did you cast magic?” she asked him.

“Well yes, bu-”

“There is no need to drag this out, he has confessed,” she smiled, interrupting him once more.

“I suggest that you both stop trying to corral the child into giving one-word answers and listen. This is why we have a meeting first to hear what has happened. There is always a story behind any use of magic, and I for one, wish to listen to it,” Madam Bones said, glaring at the two. “Mr Potter, please explain why you used magic?” she asked the teenager.

“I was out on a date with Draco Malfoy. We decided to go to one in the Muggle World, a movie and dinner,” he said as he started to explain what happened. “We were heading to the restaurant when we started to feel cold. We tried to get away from them at first. But we couldn’t. Since I’m the only one that knows the charm, I used it to drive two dementors-” he was cut off once again, causing the teenager to growl.

“That can not be the case, he must be lying. There are no dementors except those in Ministry custody,” Unbrudge said loudly, “therefore I suggest that he was just showing off!”

“There were dementors, why else would I use that charm. Draco has already seen it.”

“Yeah,” Draco snorted, “Knocked down by it too,” remembering when he had tried to scare Harry during a match and ended up with a blast of silvery light knocking him off his feet.

Harry smirked at him,” you asked for that,” he said as he then turned back to the pink witch, “Two dementors attacked myself and Draco Malfoy while we were out in a muggle area. There were no muggles around.”

“Lies!” Madam Umbridge said once again.

Harry looked to Sirius, “Veritaserum,” he suggested, “Maybe even a memory view?” he asked since he had heard Sirius talk about doing that when it had come to his trial.

He nodded in agreement, “Do so,” he said, feeling proud of the young man that his godson was becoming.

Harry turned to them, “Madam Bones, I know you to be a fair and just woman. I am asking for the use of Veritasium and for my memory of that night to be viewed,” he suggested to the woman.

“I forbid it, we all know you are a liar, first You-Know-Who and now this!” Fudge banged on the bench in front of him.

“It is up to the accused if they should be used,” Madam Bones pointed out, “I will have another chair brought in for you to sit in while we do this,” she said as he sent off a message for things to be brought in.

It didn’t take long for another chair to be set in the room. Harry went over and sat down, a tall bald man stood there, a smile on his face as he then administered the serum.

“Name?”

“Harry James Potter,” he answered, his voice monotone.

“It’s working,” the man said as he took a step back to let a young witch take over. Her wand was at Harry’s head and a projection appeared at the back wall behind him.

“What happened on 3rd August that caused the use of the Patronus charm?” Madam Bones asked of him.

Harry explained as behind him the scene played out. The wizards and witches of the Wizangamot watched. The door to the courtroom opened and Albus Dumbledore walked in. He looked around seeing the projecting and nodded approvingly.

“His used of the Patronus charm is verified,” Madam Bones said with a nod, “Y-”

“And what of the lies he has been spreading. That you know who is back,” someone questioned from the back.

“Very well, if you give permission?” she then asked Sirius as Umbridge and Fudge tried to protest.

“I do,” he nodded.

“Thank you,” she smiled and looked back at Harry, who was still under the effects of the potion. “Harry Potter what happened on the night of the third task?” he asked.

“We were taken to a graveyard,” Harry began as behind him the night of the third task appeared. There were many gasps as they saw Rockwood, an order for his arrest was quickly made. Along with a few members of the Wizengamot before they could escape.

“Please administer the antidote,” Madam Bones said, her voice was strong and steady, though only those that knew her well could see that she had been shaken by the revelation that it really was true and that there were any that were in her own department that were siding with him.

“Harry,” Sirius called softly as the teenager came out from the trance that the potion put people in so they would answer honestly.

“Siri,” he gave a weak smile, shaking his head at the last of the effects. He stood up and went back over to his godfather and boyfriend, feeling the two of them holding him tightly as soon as he reached them. He didn’t even see them move at all.

“You okay?” Draco asked him gently.

Harry nodded, leaning against him a little more, “I’m fine, glad it’s over, it felt so weird. Like I was there, but I wasn’t,” he said, trying to explain what the potion was like.

“Hmm,” Sirius nodded, “Things are weird under it,” he snorted, “It left me feeling really sick,” he admitted, “So do you feel sick at all?”

Harry shook his head, “I don’t think so,” he answered.

“Okay, just take it easy for the rest of the day. It can sometimes take a few minutes for that to hit,” he advised him as he then let go, leaving the two teenagers. “Wizened wizards and witches of the Wizengamot,” he called out their attention as he saw them talking with each other.

“Lord Black,” Madam Bones greeted him, as everyone quieted down. There were almost ten wizards and witches missing from the benches now, having been arrested, with more being held within the ministry itself.

“I ask that an investigation as to why two dementors have gone rogue and to make sure that they will not be able to do so at Azkaban. With him back it will be an easy target,” Sirius advised them.

“We will be doing so, I apologise for the distress that this had caused, we will also be looking into why the Minister called for a full trial for such a trivial matter that could have been dealt with without wasting everyone’s time,” she added, giving the Minister a look.

“I did so out of concern,” he told her, head held high, “and I believe that those memories can not be trusted,” he added, standing up, “I call the trail of Harry James Potter over, all those in favour of a guilty verdict raise your hands?” he asked.

Only two did so, himself and Madam Umbridge. A glare on everyone else’s faces. “All those in favour of a not guilty verdict?” he asked, as everyone else’s hands went up, “Mr Potter,” he sneered at the teenager as he moved away from Draco for a moment, “You are free to go.”

“Thank you,” Harry said, inclining his head politely to the man, though he would be glad when he could leave.

“Come on,” Sirius said, “We’ll go home, your parents can get you there,” he said to Draco as he guided the two teens out, “Albus, you joining us,” he asked.

“No, I’ll be making sure Harry’s good name is cleared fully, as well as my own and the other champions,” he said, “I may do so later,” he added.

“All right, see you,” he nodded, heading out to the ministry.

Chapter Sixty

Harry looked at the paper that had been delivered with breakfast. He sighed as he picked it up, expecting it to once again be full of lies about himself, the champions and the Headmaster. But this time there was nothing of the sort. Instead, there was a full account of what happened during his trial. He smiled as he read through it, seeing that this time, everything was reported clearly. At the bottom of the page, there was a very small, almost minuscule notice. An apology to the five people that had been maligned by the paper over the last month and a half.

“Finally some truth,” he muttered, shaking his head.

“Albus stayed out late making sure that the truth would be the only thing printed this time,” Sirius said as he walked up behind him.

“Yeah, I’ll have to thank him,” he smiled, “When is he arriving?” he then asked, knowing that the headmaster was going to be stopping over for a few minutes before he headed back to the school to carry on the preparations for the next school year.

“Should be here soon,” Sirius told him, “Remus is waiting for him,” he added.

Harry nodded, folding the paper, “So… what’s going to happen now?”

“Not sure, we’re going to be carrying on trying to prepare people, as we’ve already been doing. Making sure that the MLE is revamped a little. I’m going to be training you and the others as well,” he said, going through a list in his head of all that he needed to do.

“We still haven’t gone shopping for my school things,” he added, “I’ve had the letter for ages,” he pointed out to him.

“I know, things have been a little… busy,” he said softly, “I’ve been doing a few things with Albus as has Remus, it’s why we’re not around as much as we wanted to be,” he told him, hugging him tightly.

Harry struggled out of his grasp, “It’s fine, I know with Voldemort being back, people are busy making sure that he’s taken down,” he said slowly, knowing that part of that would be on him as well.

“Yeah,” Sirius said as the door opened and Albus walked in with Remus. “Good to see you,” he smiled at him.

“And you,” Albus said, “Thank you, Remus, please join us,” he said before the werewolf could leave.

“Of course” he smiled, joining the three and sitting down.

“As you know the papers are reporting the truth now. And they have asked that those responsible for the flyers come forward so they could ask for them to be sent off with the papers from now on for the next week,” Albus said looking at Harry.

“The others all agree with me that they need to be sent out to every home that has a magical person within it, in the Muggle World or not,” Harry told him.

“Then I’ll make sure that happens,” Albus smiled at him, “Now, the other thing I’ve come for is about the Prefect Badge for this year. It is between you and Ron for the boys,” he said.

“I don’t want it, I think Ron should have it,” he said quickly, remembering the mirror and what Ron had seen, “He… he is better for it, the other students go to him a lot, especially the younger years,” he told him, “So give it to Ron.”

“Very well, Minerva was unsure which of the two of you should have it, as you are both doing very well,” he smiled.

“What about the girl’s badge?” he asked, already knowing who it was most likely going to be.

“Miss Granger is the only one in the running for it,” Albus answered him, seeing the grimace on Harry’s face.

Harry shook his head, “none of the others?” he asked.

“No, the other Gryffindor girls are not qualified to take the badge, they need certain grades for Potions, Transfiguration, Charms and DADA to be able to have the badge. With the last year, only Miss Granger has those. Out of the boys, all of you do,” he told him.

“Right,” he nodded, he didn’t know that they had to have certain grades for the Potions.

“I believe that we must at least give her a chance to show us that she can change there will be conditions. Mr Wealsey and Miss Granger must keep up their grades throughout the year, not just at the end of it. And they must have good behaviour,” he added.

“Give her a chance,” he nodded, “But I don’t think she’ll change. She believes she’s right and that the rest of us are wrong. I don’t care what she believes, but she is forcing that on others and that is wrong,” he told him.

Albus nodded, “We have the freedom of choice,” he agreed.

“Yeah,” he smiled.

“I need to speak with Remus and Sirius for a moment, then will you come and join us at Grimmauld Place for a moment. Ron will be receiving the letter for the badge while Minerva will be visiting Miss Granger,” he told him.

Harry nodded and got up, leaving the three alone for a moment, he smiled at the fact that Ron was going to be getting the perfect badge. There was too much on his mind to want it, but he didn’t mind helping out a bit, he could still do that if he was free.

“Let us go,” Albus said as he exited the room, Sirius and Remus deep in thought as they walked out as well.

“You coming with us?” Harry asked the two, looking worriedly at the two.

Remus shook his head, “no, I’ve got someone to go and see, thank you though,” he smiled, reassuring Harry that things were just fine.

“I’ll come by later, stay there until I do, or until Remus does,” he told him, hugging him tightly as the two walked off

Harry looked puzzled, but he knew that they worked for Dumbledore at times and he couldn’t know everything that was going on, no matter how much he wished to. The two walked through the floo and came out at Grimmauld Place. He greeted Ron with a smile as the floo flared one more behind them and Professor McGonagall walked out.

“Boys,” she nodded to the two. Looking at Albus, she moved over to him, quietly talking before she nodded.

“Go and get Miss Granger,” Albus said.

Harry grinned, knowing what this was about. “I’ll gather everyone instead,” he said as he then went through the house telling some of them to join them in the dining room.

“Mr Weasley,” Professor McGonagall began as she looked at the teenager and handed over a letter. “Congratulations.” She smiled, “I’m very proud of how far you have come in the past year. You went from almost the bottom of the school to the top, do keep it up.”

Ron went red in embarrassment as he opened the letter and saw the badge inside of it, “Prefect,” he mumbled, looking surprised, “But I thought,” he said, glancing at Harry.

Harry shook his head, “You deserve this, I think I’ve broken way too many rules,” he grinned, laughing lightly as Ron gave him a look.

“I believe you both have,” the deputy headmistress said, “But Harry was the second choice if you choose not to take the position,” she told the redhead.

“I do, thank you,” he said grinning, looking at Harry, “Still help out though?”

Of course,” Harry grinned back.

“Where is my badge?” Hermione demanded to know, “I know I’m the only Gryffindor that is available for the position. None of the others can keep their grades up,” she said, standing up straighter and with an expectant smile on her face.

“This is where it becomes difficult to let you, Miss Granger,” Professor Mcgongals voice went cold as she looked to the witch, “Unlike Mr Weasley, you are on probation from the start. There are a number of rules that you will have to follow to be able to keep the badge, and if you go against them, then it will be taken from you,” she told her handing over the letter. It was thicker than Ron’s, with the rules that she would have to obey.

Hermione almost snatched it from the teacher’s hand, excitement on her face until she opened it and then began to read the rules that came with it. “What?” she said looking up, “Do I really have to follow such things. It means that I can’t promote SPEW or even-”

“You can not promote something that you have not properly researched and to do so, I require a 50-inch essay on all that you have learned. I will then copy it and send it off for verification that you have a true understanding of such things,” she told her, “So far you have shown a lack of understanding in any topic that you have taken up arms against. Be that House Elves or the traditions of our World.”

Hermine looked a little subdued, not happy about the restrictions she was going to be facing, “Okay, I will obey them,” she agreed, though, for some of those in the room, it didn’t sound quite right.

Ron smiled at Harry, “Thanks, I know you had something to do with this.”

“They did ask me who it should be out of the two of us. I just said it should be you. I know you’ll do great, we’re always helping the first years and anyone that comes to us. So I think you’ll do best with it, I’ve got a lot on my mind,” he answered the unasked question.

“Thanks,” Ron nodded “come on, let’s get out of here,” he said as he heard his mother trying to plan a party and then wincing when she said that it was now all her boys that had been prefects, “I swear she forgets how many children she actually has,” he muttered, shaking his head as he could hear the true hurt in his brother’s voices as they protested the statement.

“So, how did the date go yesterday?” Harry asked.

“Well it would have been great, but dad couldn’t chaperone so he got the twins to do it instead,” he answered.

“Oh boy,” Harry laughed, grinning as Ron glared at him, “I take it, it didn’t go well?” he smirked as Ron sighed.

“Harry,” he muttered, “they pulled him aside and talked to him for ages. Any time I tried to get near them I was pushed back. When he finally was able to come back I could have sworn he had just gone through hell and back,” he told him, “he was shaking like a leaf!”

“Who wouldn’t with the twins and their protective nature of the two of you. You do know that they would do anything to keep you and Ginny safe. And if that means making sure that the one you’re courting is truly serious. They would do what they can to make sure he feels a terror never known to wizard kind before,” he rolled his eyes.

“I know,” Ron sighed, “but they could have waited until another time, it was the first time I’d been able to see him in almost two weeks,” he pouted.

Harry couldn’t help it as he burst out laughing, “I’m sorry,” he said as Ron punched him on the arm.

“You will be,” he muttered, glaring at his friend.

Harry snorted as he tried to calm himself down, “Going to have to learn what they actually did.”

“Vik won’t tell me,” he told him, “And neither will the twins,” he added as he saw the look on Harry’s face.

“I’ll find out,” he nodded, sure of himself as they headed to Ron’s room so they could talk properly with each other.

“Let’s hope that Hermione listens,” Ron added as he heard the girl ranting a little as she walked up the stairs to her own room.

“I doubt it, but… we can hope the quiet will last a bit,” and with that the two went into Ron’s room before the witch could see them, closing the door so they could talk.

 


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One Comment:

  1. You have managed to write a Ron that I actually LIKE and a Hermione that I despise. >:-o

    Well done you!!! Ron is one of my least favorite characters, you’ve written him in a way that I actually want him to be happy! And I want to drag Hermione to Gringotts so she can be checked for invading spirits. Good GAWD! I want to shake her silly!

    Right… nuff of this! Must go read!!!

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