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Chapter 1: Letters

Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no


money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry was lying in his bed at #4 Privet Drive. It was past midnight, and The-Boy
-Who-Lived couldn t sleep. The death of Sirius was still raw in Harry s heart. He wa
s still blaming himself and Dumbledore about it. But whenever he got too upset,
Luna s words rang in his head:
And anyway, it s not as though I ll never see Mum again, is it? she had asked. Her wor
ds calmed him down enough that he had found someone else to blame, Voldemort. Lo
ony Luna people called her. Harry smiled.

Maybe she wasn t so loony after all, he thought. He found himself hoping she wasn t.
Get up and quit feeling sorry for yourself! Harry jumped; it was the second time S
irius s voice had popped into his head this summer. The first time was about two m
inutes after he had ripped up a letter from Ron on his second day home.
Harry had set himself against responding. Everyone he was close to got hurt. So
he was going to push them away. The voice had been brutal that time.

***

I didn t die so you could live in a hole. You think you re the only one to make mista
kes? Look what I did to your parents! Sirius s voice bellowed at him.

***

Harry smiled sadly at the memory. It had taken him an hour to tape the letter ba
ck together. Harry sat up in bed.
It s no use, he said to himself. I might as well write to the Order.
Harry had been writing to the Order every three days. There was no sense in havi
ng them show up to torment the Dursleys. His aunt, uncle and cousin may have bee
n miserable people, but Harry was past wanting to see them squirm. He would just
as soon let them be and be left alone by them.
I wouldn t mind being left alone by Voldemort either, he thought. Harry focused hi
s mind on the Dark Lord, opening a small crack in the conduit that seemed to con
nect them.
What do you say? You leave me alone, I ll leave you alone. Harry felt a surge of pai
n in his scar.
Yeah, that s what I thought too, he mumbled, as he closed the conduit between himsel
f and Voldemort again.
Ever since that night in the Ministry of Magic when Voldemort had possessed Harr
y s body, he had been able to open and shut the conduit with relative ease. Most d
ays it didn t even prickle. Once in a while a big surge would come through, but Ha
rry could shut it out within a second or two.
It had taken Harry a week to bring himself to write to Dumbledore about it. Dumb
ledore had theorized that in possessing Harry s body, Voldemort had again inadvert
ently transferred some of his abilities to Harry. Harry was sure of it. He had e
ven gone so far as to open a crack in the conduit and voice the thought to Volde
mort; the response was not what Harry had expected.
In rapid succession Harry felt a surge of surprise from the Dark Lord at his inv
asion. This had been followed by realization from Voldemort of the truth in Harr
y s question. And then, just as quickly, fear. After recovering from the shock tha
t he could scare Voldemort, Harry had pushed another thought to him.
Good, you should be afraid, because I will beat you." He had then closed the conn
ection.
Harry knew he had touched a nerve, because even though he had been concentrating
on keeping the conduit closed, his scar had prickled at him most of the night.
He was quite glad that he had not been one of Voldemort s followers that night.
Harry looked over to the photos of his family and friends. There was a few of di
fferent members of the Order, and one chocolate frog card of Albus Dumbledore. T
he picture of the Hogwarts Headmaster winked at him.
I know. I shouldn t have done it. But there has to be some good that can come from
him knowing I m still here and not afraid, Harry said to the picture. He watched as
Dumbledore moved out of the frame leaving an empty card for him to look at.
Harry wasn t sure, but a comment made last summer by Bill Weasley had fixed in his
mind, the third day of the summer holiday, almost two weeks ago now. At the tim
e, Dumbledore had been trying to spread the word that Voldemort had returned.
Cornelius Fudge, the head of the Ministry of Magic, had refused to believe the t
ruth and had begun a campaign to discredit Dumbledore. The Ministry had removed
Dumbledore from committees and taken away titles he had earned, claiming he was
old and somewhat senile in an attempt to turn the public against him.
Bill had said Dumbledore s response was:
He didn t care what they did as long as they didn t take him off the chocolate frog c
ards. That comment, and the realization that Dumbledore had numerous photos in hi
s office, that would run off to other photos of themselves, see something and co
me back to report to Dumbledore had clicked in Harry s head.
Harry guessed that Dumbledore was using the chocolate frog cards to spy on peopl
e. It made sense. What else could explain, no matter how trivial it was or how r
emote the location the information came from, how Dumbledore always seemed to kn
ow what was going on? His card was certainly the most plentiful; probably every
child in the magic world had one.
Brilliant really, Harry thought. He gets in every house and picks up every bit o
f gossip. Harry had set up the card on his desk so Dumbledore could keep an eye
on him. He also carried one in his pocket at all times. And even though he had n
ot told them why, he had sent letters to all his friends with a card of Dumbledo
re, making them promise to also carry one at all times. Harry reached for a piec
e of parchment and a quill.

*****

Headquarters:
Just checking in, things here are dull, but at least I know why I am here now.
Tell Mad-Eye that it will be at least another three days before he can come torm
ent Uncle Vernon.
Harry.

*****

It wasn t much, but would serve its purpose. Harry knew there was no sense asking
what was going on in the battle against Voldemort. He knew no answer would come
by Owl Post.
Harry looked at the stack of letters from his friends. He sighed, thinking back
to the summer after his first year at Hogwarts. Dobby had been intercepting the
letters being sent to him. He could remember what it felt like, thinking that Ro
n and Hermione had forgotten about him. But then Dobby had appeared, accidentall
y spilled his secret, gotten Harry caged in his room and then Ron had shown up w
ith his brothers Fred and George and the flying Ford Anglia to rescue him from t
he Durselys.
Harry grinned again and started writing another letter, this time to Fred and Ge
orge. Letters from Ron, Hermione, Luna, Neville, and now a first, a letter from
Ginny Weasley, waited to be answered. He would be up all night writing back, but
it felt a lot better to have friends than it did when you had none. That was a
feeling Harry would never forget. He had spent eleven years without any.

********************

Ron was at his desk writing in his diary again. He paused for a moment, thinking
that he would rather be downstairs listening to the conversation between his pa
rents and Professor Dumbledore. Ron sighed, and turned back to the diary. He had
been at it every spare moment so far this summer. At least he had when he wasn t
trying to figure out new spells to put on it so others couldn t read it. Ron was p
roud of what he had come up with and was sure it was safe from just about everyo
ne.
Everyone but Hermione, the voice in his head spoke up.
Bloody Hell! She drives me nuts, Ron answered.
That s because you re too chicken to tell her you love her you idiot, the voice shot
back at him. Ron sighed again.
I know, but what can I do, when she s fawning over Krum? I can t compete with that.
Besides, if it s not Krum then it s Harry. The voice didn t answer. Ron let out a groa
n. He could deal with it if Hermione and Harry were to become a couple, just so
she didn t pick Krum. At least that s what he told himself.
Ron looked at the diary again. It had turned into a chronicle of what he, Harry,
and Hermione had gone thru since starting at Hogwarts. A history of their battl
e against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, it had been easy to write, the story flowing
from his brain, to his hand, to the parchment quickly. It was an honest account
, with no embellishment of his deeds as sometimes happens when a person sets out
to do this kind of thing.
His last entry had taken more effort. Putting down on paper how he felt about hi
s place in respect to Harry and Hermione had not been easy. It was fairly short,
but it told clearly what he felt.
Ron knew he didn t have the power Harry did. Oh they could both do the same spells
. But in a fight, if he could ring your bell, Harry could use the same spell and
knock you into next week.
Hermione on the other hand was not as powerful as Harry or Ron. There was howeve
r, no doubt she was the brains. She could master a spell quicker, in minutes som
etimes, that might take Harry or himself days to figure out. Hermione, despite t
he disaster at the Ministry, was also the one to slow both of them down long eno
ugh to use their heads instead of force.
Even though he had been chosen as Prefect and Harry wasn t, Ron was sure Dumbledor
e had screwed up. He would take it though, even if he didn t think it rightfully h
is. He only hoped that one day, just once, he would be first and truly believe i
n his heart that it didn t really belong to someone else.
All that said, Harry and Hermione were an incomplete wheel without him. He was t
he third spoke that to this day allowed the wheel to go round.
He was the one who in the first year had played the chess game as they tried to
save the Sorcerer s Stone from the Dark Lord. That was the one thing neither of th
em could have done.
No, he thought to himself as he read what he had written. I really don t mind bein
g second or third to either of them.
Ron sat there; he was stuck now with only one thing left to write about. The rea
l reason he had bought the diary in the first place. And even though he was desp
erate to put the words on parchment, he still couldn t do it.
Ron knew that the second he wrote down (Ron loves Hermione) in that bloody book,
he would have to guard it with his life. He knew that if Hermione wanted to, sh
e could break his spells and read everything he had written. That scared him mor
e than facing You-Know-Who. So he sat there, with open book, quill and ink not w
riting for the third night in a row.
A knock on his door caused Ron to jump so much that he toppled backwards in his
chair crashing to floor.
Ronald he heard his mother ask, are you still awake? Ron shoved the diary under his p
illow.
Yeah Mum, he replied.
There is someone here who would like to see you. May we come in? Ron scrambled to
his feet.
It s 2:00 am, who wants to see me? he muttered to himself.
Yeah sure, Mum, come in, Ron called towards the closed door. The door opened and h
is mother walked in followed by Professor Dumbledore. Ron was flabbergasted.
What could the Headmaster want to see me about? Maybe they weren t talking about O
rder business. Bugger, I must have really screwed up on the O.W.L. s or something,
he thought. Professor Dumbledore smiled at him.
Ronald, Mrs. Weasley started, Professor Dumbledore just wanted to say, he knows how
miserable it has been for Harry to stay with the Dursleys. But up until know, b
ecause of the protections his mother put in place when she was killed by He-Who .
Voldemort, Professor Dumbledore interrupted her, and then fell silent again. Ron f
elt a cold sensation go up his spine at the sound of the Dark Lord s name and he c
ould see his mother shudder.
Yes well, she continued, flustered. Harry has had to stay with them because it was
the safest place for him After Hogwarts of course, she added, with a smile at Dumb
ledore. He was studying his fingernails.
Well, your professor says he has figured out now how to protect Harry here at the
Burrow. So he just wanted to tell you that it would be ok for you to write Harr
y and ask him to stay till school starts again. Ron s eyes widened, he turned to lo
ok at Dumbledore, forgetting his troubles with the diary.
You mean it sir? He ll be thrilled. I ll write to him right now. Sir, what did you do
? Ron spit this all out very quickly. Dumbledore seemed not to have heard him. He
was eating a chocolate frog and had been turning over the card of himself that
had come with it in his hands. He set the card on his Ron s desk.
I was really hoping for Parko Molo. I don t really need a card to remind me what I ve
done. Ron and his mother stared at Dumbledore both waiting for the answer to Ron s
question. Dumbledore looked at them.
What?... Oh yes well I m afraid I can t answer that, as it is something entirely new
and giving you the answer would make it easier for the protections to be broken.
You see the truth of it is, I have always known that Harry had it rough with hi
s aunt and uncle. I have been looking for a way to safely remove Harry from thei
r house since I brought him there as an infant. And while I would have insisted
that Harry stay with them till starting his first year at Hogwarts, if it had be
en in my power to protect him he would not have returned to his aunt and uncle a
fter his first year Sadly, Harry has had to return there because I did not feel i
t safe for him to be anywhere else. Ron felt disappointed that he would not learn
what Dumbledore had done, but it was diminished by the thought of Harry staying
for the rest of the summer.
I will tell you this, Professor Dumbledore continued. It is not the Burrow or some
place that makes Harry safe. It depends on the people he is with. I have come up
with a spell and placed it on all members of your family, Miss Hermione Granger
, Miss Luna Lovegood, and Mr. Neville Longbottom. I am happy to say that with th
is spell, a step that Harry has taken to protect himself, and others I might add
, along with Harry s own growth as a wizard, that he no longer must stay with the
Dursleys. Harry is free to go anywhere he chooses so long as he is with one or m
ore of the people I named before. As always, a person should choose wisely where
they go, Dumbledore fell silent again, his eyes twinkling.
Well, if that s about it then, Mrs. Weasley said, standing up. Ronald we will be leav
ing now, why don t you get that letter written to Harry, and perhaps, we should as
k Hermione to come also. I think Harry would like that, she added. Just as Dumble
dore was about to walk out of his room, Ron had an idea.
Professor Dumbledore sir, could I ask you a question in private? Dumbledore stoppe
d, looked at Molly and then back to Ron.
I ll wait for you in the kitchen, Albus, she said. I trust you can find your way to i
t, she teased. Professor Dumbledore stepped back into Ron s room, chuckling to hims
elf at Molly s joke.
How may I be of assistance to you, Ronald? he asked, closing the door. Ron hesitat
ed, wondering how good of an idea it was to ask the Headmaster for help protecti
ng a diary, but gathered his courage and pulled it out from under his pillow.
Sir, I ve searched and studied and put every anti-snooping and secrecy spell on thi
s that I can find. But it s not enough; I need a spell, a spell that a certain wit
ch can t break. I thought if you could protect Harry from He-Who .
Voldemort, Dumbledore interrupted him. That is his name, Ronald, go on and try it.
You will not be struck dead. Ron felt the cold shiver go up his spine for the sec
ond time that night at the Dark Lord s name.
Hesitating, struggling with his fear, but realizing that if he wanted Dumbledore s
help he would have to say the name. Ron screwed up his courage for the second t
ime that night.
Ok, if you can protect Harry from, he took a deep breath, Voldemort, Ron said, his v
oice cracking as the name came out. Can you help me with a spell to protect my di
ary? Dumbledore looked at Ron with a gleam in his eye and a small flutter in his
heart.
The boy may finally be ready to take the step I know he must, Dumbledore thought
to himself. Dumbledore held his hand out to Ron.
May I see it please? Ron handed the diary over. Dumbledore examined the diary for
a few minutes. Opening it, only to see empty pages where Ron had written long en
tries.
Ah yes. He took out his wand, held it over the diary and with a flick of his wrist
all the spells placed to protect it were gone. Ron was frustrated, but not real
ly surprised to see Dumbledore break his spells with so little effort. After all
, he was the most powerful wizard on the planet.
All very good spells, Ronald, worked with skill and precision. I think that it wo
uld have taken Professors McGonagall and Professors Snape many hours, perhaps ev
en a day or two before they defeated them all. Any normal student at Hogwarts wo
uld have been stumped for years. I believe that your friend Mr. Potter could not
at this time in his training work out the solution, though maybe in a year or s
o his voice trailed off before continuing. Were school in session I would feel comp
elled to award some points for your efforts. Ron felt his ears turning red as he
basked in the glow of Dumbledore s praise.
However, Dumbledore said, Miss Hermione Granger. It is she who I assume you want to
keep out of this little book? Dumbledore asked a twinkle in his eye. Ron just no
dded his head. Dumbledore smiled kindly at him.
I am afraid that she is a witch like the world has not seen in many years. Perhap
s since Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw themselves walked the halls of Hog
warts. I think if she wanted to, it would only have taken her a few hours or so
longer than it took me to get past your spells.
That s kind of what I thought myself, sir, Ron said gloomily. Please Professor, will
you help me? Professor Dumbledore stood up looking into Ron s eyes. What he saw was
not someone pleading for help with a diary. He saw what he had been waiting fiv
e years for.
At last he is ready, Dumbledore said to himself.
But tonight, is not the night, a voice in Dumbledore s head spoke up.
Ronald, you will come to my office the first Friday of the new term. I will take
this with me to ponder a solution to your problem, Dumbledore said, holding up th
e diary. You have my word that I will not read what you have written.
Ron really didn t want to let the diary go, but figured it was as safe with Dumble
dore as it would be anywhere else on the planet, so he just nodded his head in a
greement. Dumbledore smiled at him again.
Goodnight, Ronald, enjoy the rest of the summer holidays with your friends. I wil
l see you the first Friday of term after class 7:00 pm. Do not be late, he said.
Ron gulped, wondering what he had gotten himself into. Dumbledore smiled again,
and with a loud pop he disapperated, leaving Ron in his room alone. Ron shook of
f the warning the Headmaster had given him and smiled to himself.
Well Hermione, I think I may finally outsmart you for once, he said quietly into t
he night. Of course I had to enlist the help of probably the greatest wizard of t
he last thousand years or more, he added a moment later.
Ron replayed Dumbledore s words in his mind. A witch like the world has not seen in
many years, probably since Helga Hufflepuff and Rowena Ravenclaw.
You re telling me, he snorted out loud. And I m not even talking about her abilities, h
added.
Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw. Dumbledore, Ron hoped, was better than either, because
otherwise Hermione would defeat whatever spells he thought of.
Oh well, I could always try to write it, then burn it, he thought. Ron sat down
at his desk again and started writing his letters, first to Hermione, and then t
o Harry.
What had Harry done to protect himself and others anyways? Ron mused as he watch
ed professor Dumbledore slide out of the chocolate frog card. He turned his atte
ntion to Hermione s letter.
This is going to have to be good, said the voice in his head.

*********************

Hermione tossed fitfully in her sleep. She was in the stands for a Quidditch mat
ch, England versus Bulgaria. She had left Hogwarts along with Ron and Harry a ye
ar ago now. They were both playing for England. Victor Krum was still the Seeker
for Bulgaria. These three men were everywhere in her life. They filled her drea
ms at night and her eyes during the day.
Hermione enjoyed watching them fly. Flying was the one thing she was not good at
. Oh, she knew how. But to move with grace, speed and free of fear. She couldn t d
o it. So she watched them.
Harry and Victor were unrivaled by any other in the world. It seemed that their
brooms would respond to their thoughts. Changing direction to chase after the Sn
itch before other players even realized the Snitch had been there and gone again
.
It was amazing at this level. The Snitch was much faster than it had ever been i
n a match between houses at Hogwarts. She, along with most everyone else in the
world, could not even follow it without her omnioculars set for slow motion; eve
n then it was still a blur.
Not that it mattered at this point in the match, as neither Harry nor Victor had
found it. Both had tried a few tricks against the other. They had both realized
that they were just wasting their energy. So now the two of them circled high a
bove the field searching.
She shifted the omnioculars to the England goal to watch Ron. At this level play
ers didn t have to supply their own broom and were given an equal broom. Ron was a
s good as any Keeper in the world. Maybe the best, some were starting to say.
If Hermione enjoyed watching Harry and Victor fly, she loved to watch Ron. It fa
scinated her how he anticipated where to be to intercept a shot. He seemed to al
ways move to block the shot a split second before it was taken. She watched him
darting from goal hoop to goal hoop, her heart swelling with pride with each sav
e he made.
Hermione didn t notice the crowd gasp as the Seekers spotted the snitch and blazed
after it. Didn t even realize the game was over, until she saw Ron leave his spot
guarding the posts and head for the ground.
What s he doing? she asked, turning to Ron s sister Ginny.
The game is over. Victor got the Snitch, Ginny replied. Were you watching Ron in go
al again? she asked, in exasperation.
Hermione looked at the crowd. All of the England fans seemed to be in a daze, wh
ile the Bulgaria fans celebrated raucously around them. With a sinking feeling i
n her stomach, she quickly dialed the slow motion replay of Harry and Victor as
they chased after the Snitch.
The Snitch flew across the field; Harry spotting it first but Victor in a better
position to chase after it had the early lead. As they dove for the ground to f
ollow the Snitch Harry had pulled along side, and then ahead of Victor. She saw
the Snitch stop and reverse course. Both Harry and Victor instantly looped their
brooms over backwards to follow it. And then it happened.
A Bludger, hit by one of England s own players, smashed into Harry knocking him in
to two complete barrel rolls. Harry had managed to keep on track, following the
Snitch the whole way, but it was all Victor needed. He closed his hand around th
e Snitch an instant before Harry closed his hand around Victor s.
Hermione sat down hard in the stands. She felt cold when she should have been el
ated. Victor was her fiancé. She was to marry him in two weeks, but all she felt w
as sick, sick for Ron and Harry.
Hermione woke with a start, covered in a thin sheen of sweat, breathing hard, he
r heart racing. She shook her head trying to clear her mind.
It was only a dream, she said out loud, while getting up to walk around her room s
o she could think.
I don t get it. Why? That s the third time this week and the tenth or eleventh in th
e two and a half weeks I ve been home from Hogwarts, she thought to herself. Hermi
one sat down at her desk and picked up a letter from Victor. He had asked her to
come visit him again. She wasn t sure what to do. She thought she wanted to go. S
he liked Victor, even if Ron didn t. Not that that mattered to her.
I ll make up make up my own mind about whom I date regardless of what he or anyone
else thinks, she snapped into the night. Victor was the only boy who had ever ask
ed her out. Well there was Neville, but she had known Neville was not the one fo
r her, so she had told him no. It had certainly been easier telling him no when
Victor had already asked her and she had said yes.
Ron, she thought. He asked too.
But it had been out of desperation - he didn t have a date for the ball yet and di
dn t want to go alone. Then there was his comment to Harry.
We had better hurry and get dates or we ll end up with a couple of hags, he had said
. She had told him off for that. And her anger at being asked as a last resort,
it had made telling him no easy.
Hermione felt her anger starting to rise again now as she thought about it. The
fight she and Ron had on the night of the ball was one for ages. The way he had
asked her out had been a horrible blow to her. And when Ron had seen who her dat
e was, his attacks were too much to take, accusing her of fraternizing with the
enemy. She had not helped Victor once in the Goblet of Fire Tournament - Not One
Single Thing. She had lashed out at Ron that night. Leaving him standing in the
common room speechless.
You also cried yourself to sleep that night, said the voice inside her head. Why
? Hermione knew the answer to that one; she had loved him, well it was a crush a
nyways.
Crush my foot, the voice snapped.
Fine! Hermione snapped back. I loved him and I wanted desperately to go to the d
ance with him. It was the only reason it could have hurt that much. She was cryi
ng again, a year and a half later just remembering it.
Well, not anymore, she said firmly. He is still one of my best friends but I don t lo
ve him anymore. Hermione was almost surprised that the voice remained quiet.
Hermione put down Victor s letter and picked up the one from Harry. It had been a
little odd. He had sent it with about ten chocolate frog cards of Professor Dumb
ledore, telling her that Hedwig was going to peck her hands until she agreed to
place them around the house and in her parent s yard.
Spell them so they re hidden and won t blow away or be damaged by the rain. Most impo
rtant carry one with you at all times. Harry had refused to say why he wanted her
to do this.
She had been inclined to refuse but Hedwig had only hooted at her once, to get h
er to rethink that decision. It wasn t really a bother and was not worth getting y
our hand pecked. She had agreed and sent a letter back to Harry to say so.
What was odd was that Hedwig would show up at any hour, sometimes with no letter
from Harry, sometimes with a letter for someone else to check that she still ha
d the card. Pecking at her hand till Hermione would pull the picture out of her
pocket and show the silly bird. Hedwig would hoot softly at her, nuzzle her heck
and then fly off.
Harry, the third man in her life, still more of a boy than a man, she thought.
And you are still more girl than grown woman, piped up the voice in her head aga
in.
Back again? Hermione snapped.
Harry. Despite his temper last year, the only one who had never really hurt her,
and had always been there when Ron was being truly awful to her.
Except for when I told Professor McGonagall about the Firebolt and she took it aw
ay, Hermione said.
Can you really blame him for that? the voice piped up again.
I did the right thing and only because I wanted to protect him, she answered.
Yes, you did but can you blame him? Hermione considered for a moment.
Well I can t be mad at him for it anymore. The voice was silent again.
Harry was like a brother. No, even that was confused now. Hermione wasn t stupid,
and towards the end of last year - well, whenever she had been alone with him sh
e felt nervous in her stomach. He was certainly attractive.
More so than Ron? she asked herself. No, just different. Is it any wonder I don t
have any girlfriends at school? My two best friends are easily the cutest boys i
n my year. And Harry is The-Boy-Who-Lived. The boy, who to-date had faced Voldem
ort five times and escaped or been outright victorious each time. Once was more
than any one else alive today. Save Dumbledore and Ginny Weasley could say.
Why not? she thought looking at her reflection in the window. Just see what it s
ounds like.
Hermione Potter, she said out loud. It sounded nice to her, even caused a small fl
utter in her chest.
I could certainly see myself with him, she said. But then the voice in her head po
pped up.
Well it may sound nice and he loves you I have no doubt, but like you said befor
e, brother and sister.
Well luckily, Hermione snapped back. We re not. So maybe more is possible. Again t
he voice was quiet.
Hermione heard a tapping on the windowpane. Startled she looked out to see Pig,
the tiny owl Ron had received from Sirius Black. Hermione opened the window and
the owl flew in hooting happily and rushing around the room.
Argh, you re just like Ron, come here so I can get that letter off your leg. Pig fle
w down and sat in her hand while she pulled off the letter.
There you go. Now go sit with Crookshanks. I may need you to take a letter back t
o whoever this is from. Pig flew off and settled on the back of Hermione s large or
ange cat. She watched for a moment as the cat rolled over and batted at the tiny
owl like a ball of yarn. The bird flittered in and out of reach of the cat hoot
ing in joy at the game.
Crazy animals, Hermione said, shaking her head. Hermione sat down and started to r
ead the letter. It was from Ron and she felt her stomach lurch.
I thought as much, remarked the voice in her head.
Shut it you, Hermione snapped.

*****

Dear Hermione:
Mum has said that I could ask a friend or two to stay; she says you are welcome
for the rest of the summer and will be glad to help with getting you off to scho
ol and such. I realize you might want to spend some time with your parents, and
that you might have an offer to go visit someone else.
Maybe you could come for just week or a few days. You could stay in with Ginny.
She mentioned that she missed talking to you. Well I did too, even if I m usually
getting yelled at. Sorry, please don t take that the wrong way.
Anyways, I was really hoping you would come, maybe you could help me try to get
an early start on our summer homework. Keep Pig with you until you send back an
answer. Crazy bird was driving me daft anyways.
With Love,
Ronald

P.S. Harry is likely to be here, Dumbledore came up with some new protection so
he does not need to stay with his aunt and uncle anymore. I am writing to ask hi
m after this and will use Errol to deliver the letter. I hope he doesn t die on th
e way there.

*****

Hermione blinked twice as she read the letter through three times. This was unli
ke any letter she had ever received from Ron. He wanted her to come stay. And ev
en though he brought it up, he had not attacked her about Viktor. And he had sig
ned his name Ronald. Hermione knew he hated his full name. Only a few people cou
ld get away with it.
It s just my imagination, she said to herself. And he has asked me to come before,
and Harry is going to be there too.
Oh come on, the voice in the back of her head popped up yet once again. Read bet
ween the lines girl, what would you tell Harry if he got that letter from Cho Ch
ang? This time it was Hermione who had no answer. She sat contemplating for a mi
nute.
Harry will be there too, the voice urged. Hermione picked up a quill and started
writing.
*****

Ronald:
I ll come stay, not sure when or for how long till after I talk to my parents.
Send Pig back so I can tell you when I ll be there. I don t mind him being a pain, I m
used to it after putting up with you and Harry. See you soon.
With Love
Hermione

*****

Pig come here, I need you to take this back to Ron, Hermione called to the owl. Sh
e tied the letter to the owl s leg and sent it out the window. An hour later a sec
ond owl left her room headed in the other direction.
Well, Hermione said quietly, that narrows it down to two. The hard part will be dec
iding which one and telling him.
It always is, the voice replied.
Hermione was startled to see it was light out now; she could hear her mother and
father downstairs getting breakfast ready. She entered the kitchen a few moment
s later and sat down at the table.
Mum, Dad, I need to ask you something. Her parents turned to look at her.
What is it dear? her mother asked.
I know you will be disappointed, that we had plans to go to the coast, but I woul
d like to go stay at the Burrow with Ronald s family. Her parents were definitely s
hocked by her request.
But you only just got home for the summer, they both stammered together.
I know, Hermione answered, not meeting her parent s eyes.
When and for how long do you want to go? Mr. Granger asked.
As soon as possible and for as long as you will let me stay, Hermione replied.
Why? asked her mother in a hushed voice. Hermione looked up. Her mother had tears
in her eyes. This caused her to start crying also. She took a deep breath before
answering.
Because there are two boys there I really like. Ginny is there, she is the best f
riend I have in the whole world. I miss the magic world, Mum. I don t feel right a
way from it. I can visit the non-magic world for periods of time and enjoy it, b
ut it is not where I belong. Hermione s father broke the silence that followed.
Hermione, you have always been older than your age. Your mother and I however, ar
e not ready to let you go entirely. We still need to have time with you. If ther
e is a place we can stay near the Burrow with you, you may go tomorrow. We will
cancel plans for the coast and stay the summer there instead. If we cannot stay
there with you, you may go when we return from the coast in three weeks. Hermione
wiped her cheeks.
Thank you, she answered, smiling weakly at them. Her mother and father returned he
r smile.
Go fix your daughter her breakfast, Mrs. Granger said to her father. He shook his
head and returned to the stove.
Now, tell me about these two boys, she whispered across the table to Hermione. Her
mione felt her face flush.
Well, she said...
Hermione went back to her room and fell onto her bed. She was exhausted and when
she woke again it was to the sound of Pig banging on the window to be let in. S
he quickly dashed off a letter to Ron, telling him if there was a place her pare
nts could come and stay too, she could be there tomorrow. If not, that she would
be there in three weeks.

*******************

Harry reread the letter from Ron. He started to write back, but looking at Errol
lying on his bed unconscious, he simply started packing. Hedwig was out deliver
ing his mail so he put the exhausted Errol in Hedwig s cage and walked down the st
airs to the Dursley s living room.
I m leaving, he announced. I have been asked to stay by the Weasleys for the rest of
the summer. I doubt that I will need to bother you again. But I will write if yo
u would like. His aunt, uncle and cousin just stared at him in stunned silence.
I thought as much, Harry mumbled to himself, surprised at the disappointment he fe
lt.
Harry turned to go, and was halfway out the door when his Aunt stopped him.
I would not object to a letter. Harry turned, he was unsure of what to make of thi
s change in his aunt. He put his things down walked back and hugged her.
Thank you, Aunt Petunia, he whispered to her. Harry turned again lugged his trunk
down to the curb and held out his wand.

********************

Albus Dumbledore sat at his desk stroking the feathers of Fawkes s tail. Staring a
t the words of the prophecy written in front of him, he shook his head in disgus
t.
Why must I fight a war with children? I could easily enough hit Tom with the dea
th curse again. Banish him for a period of time, so that they are older when the
fight must occur, he thought.
And he could just as easily kill you, a voice responded.
You have no clue what will happen if you hit Tom with the death curse. What if i
t reflects back at you? They will have no one to guide them. Even if you did ban
ish him for a time, we grow old. Is it better for them to fight as children with
your help, or as adults without us? another voice added.
You are right, the time grows near when the battle will occur, better they do it
with me than without, Dumbledore replied. The question is can I teach him? The
stretches of ability from repeating what others before you have done to stepping
out and doing what no one else has. That is the real trick. Am I up to it? he a
sked himself silently.
You must be, came the reply.
If the student is capable then you can teach him. You have never failed before.
You will not now, said a third voice.
Besides, said a fourth. We have the lesson plan ready and the first Friday of te
rm will come no matter what we do. Dumbledore just smiled sadly as the discussio
n went on in his head. He was quite used to it now.
Everyone has one voice that lives in their head. It usually talks to us at the m
ost inopportune of times. And it is not uncommon for people to develop more than
one voice in their head. It happens in the Muggle world all the time. Those peo
ple go crazy, unable to harness or quiet the voices.
In the magic world, if a second voice popped up in a witch or wizards head, it w
as simply ignored and the voice died. On rare occasions though, a sorcerer was b
orn with the ability to harness the voice. Turn it into a gift. It was almost as
uncommon as being able to speak parseltongue. There were currently two wizards
alive who could do that. There were currently three wizards, and two witches ali
ve who had the gift of more than one voice in their head.
Dumbledore thought of the voices as his other selves. He often referred to them
simply as one, two, three, or four. Combined with his always conscious self he w
as essentially five wizards.
Each self had all his knowledge and ability. He could allow them to function aut
onomously as they were now. In a battle, if he chose to, he could fight as five
different wizards, letting each self take care of him as it saw fit. If that did
n t suit him, he could be a general, assigning two and three to maintaining a shie
ld spell while attacking with one and four.
If a task required only thought, Dumbledore could assign one self to figure it o
ut. It would come back to him a week later with the answer, and he might have fo
rgotten that he assigned the task to begin with.
Dumbledore knew it wasn t just his immense power that had made him a great wizard.
It was these other selves, multiplying his ability that had made him what many
considered the greatest wizard of modern times.
Dumbledore didn t know for sure, but suspected that all of the truly great sorcere
rs in history had developed this gift. In fact, there were usually two or three
alive at one time. Four of them living in the same age had come together briefly
to found Hogwarts. Merlin, the greatest wizard in all of history, the wizard wh
o had served in King Arthur s court, he had developed six selves to go with his co
nscious self. Grindelwald, a great, but evil wizard who Dumbledore himself had d
efeated, had developed three.
Dumbledore looked back to the prophecy, a prophecy that he had managed to keep f
rom Voldemort. The roles were being claimed. Soon he would have to reveal the pr
ophecy to those people. For now, he had to wait.
Author's note:
I can't remember if I thought of the chocolate frog cards or read about them on
the web. I know that it has been in my mind a long time. However, since I can't
recall for sure I will give credit to wherever it was that I saw it on the web.
I think it was mugglenet.com.
The idea for the voices, though she has not developed it to this extent yet is f
rom J.K. Rowling herself. I won't tell you where quite yet, but it is in book fo
ur and is only one line. Good luck finding it.
I hope you like the start. Please if you read, review. I have over 500 reads on
my last story and only about 20 reviews. Reviews are what keep people writing. S
o, if you want more, please let me know it.

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 2: Surprise Party


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Hermione sat on the blanket watching Ron, Harry and the others chase around the
field on their brooms playing Quidditch. She and Harry had been at the Burrow fo
r almost five weeks now. Harry was staying in with Ron, while she and her parent
s were staying in one of the tents from the trip to the Quidditch World Cup two
years ago. The twins, Fred and George were home, along with Charlie and Bill. Th
e four of them were playing as Chasers, two to a side. Ginny and Harry were Seek
ers with Ron playing goal for one side and their friend Neville playing goal for
the other. Neither team was using Beaters as there were not enough players.
Hermione watched Ginny tear off after the Snitch. She was giving Harry all he co
uld handle. Of course Harry had let her use his Firebolt, while he was flying on
e of the old school brooms that Madam Hootch had sent by owl post for them to us
e over the summer.
Fred and George had played as Beaters their whole lives, and were no match for B
ill and Charlie. But they had Ron to play goal behind them, where Bill and Charl
ie had to suffer with Neville. All in all the teams were evenly matched and had
been playing for hours. Neither team was able to get ahead on goals, while every
time Harry looked like he was going to beat Ginny to the Snitch she had been ab
le to knock him off course.
Hermione thought back to her arrival that summer. Dumbledore had sent her an owl
with instructions for a spell to use on her parents. It had allowed them to tra
vel by floo powder from their home to the Weasleys'. Her parents had arrived in
two different mind sets. Her mother had been absolutely thrilled with the ride.
While her father had threatened to disown her if she ever made him do that again
. She had been surprised to see that Harry had beaten her there, and very angry
when she heard the story of his arrival.
He had not told anyone what he was doing. He had just hopped on the Knight bus a
nd taken it to the Burrow. He had arrived there about three hours after Ron had
sent Errol with the invitation.
Mrs. Weasley had been furious with Harry for not waiting for her husband to arra
nge safe transport for him. It had earned him his first and what he sincerely ho
ped would be the only tongue lashing he ever got from Ron s mother.
Ron had told the story, laughing at Harry, and wouldn t stop teasing him that he l
ooked worse after his mother got done with him than he ever had after an encount
er with You-Know-Who. Harry had smiled weakly at Ron s telling of the tale.
Hermione had told him off too, saying he deserved what he got, and while telling
him what happened to Sirius was not his fault. She couldn t stop herself from ask
ing him if he had learned anything from his experience at the Ministry. She had
been afraid he would explode. She prepared for it, could see it happening in his
eyes, but then it passed. Harry had simply apologized to her and promised to do
better next time.
Hermione had quickly adjusted, saying she was glad to see him. She gave him a qu
ick kiss on the cheek and then told him to bugger off for a while because she ne
eded to talk to Ron.
Ron had jumped at the idea of a surprise birthday party for Harry. In fact, ever
yone had. Invitations had been sent and tomorrow she was supposed to take Harry
to Diagon Alley to shop for his birthday present. It was really just a ploy, so
the others could decorate and guests could be snuck in.
Hermione looked back up at the game. She really did love to watch others fly. Th
en she saw a flash followed by Harry spinning after the Snitch. Ginny responded
to Harry s movement - she was behind but making up ground fast because of the Fire
bolt.
Ginny had the Snitch itself in sight and was not responding to Harry. She was hi
s equal, and she was brutal too, slamming into Harry to prevent him from closing
his fingers around the Snitch. The others had stopped to watch and cheer them o
n. Hermione could hear Ron yelling.
Come on Ginny, you can beat him! Wait a minute - he s on my team! Get her Harry, ge
t her!
What a clown, Hermione snorted.
Ginny bashed into Harry again. His concentration was amazing; any of the others
would have been knocked out of the sky. Harry just looped away from her. Going a
round down and up on her other side, he was back in a position of advantage. Gin
ny tracked back, continuing to force him off, but never getting a chance to grab
the Snitch herself.
Harry seemed unwilling to use the same tactics on Ginny and was paying for it. T
he Snitch backtracked on them - Harry turned first but the advantage was lost be
cause of Ginny s better broom. She pulled down on Harry again sending him off cour
se towards a tree, which he had to avoid. This time the Snitch moved to her adva
ntage.
Harry wrenched his broom around, reaching to close his hand around Ginny s, just a
fter her fingers plucked the Snitch from the air. The game was over. Ginny, Bill
, Charlie and Neville had won. They all flew over and collapsed to the ground ne
xt to Hermione.
Come on Ginny, you can beat him, Harry mocked Ron. Whose side are you on anyways? he
demanded. Ron grinned stupidly.
Sorry, Mate, but she is my sister, and sometimes it s good to see you knocked down
a notch or two, Ron replied jokingly.
And you, Harry said, turning on Ginny, are a dirty player, and are lucky I m too much
of a gentleman to knock the heck out of my best mate s sister.
You re just mad I won. Besides, you should always play to win. Nothing I did was ou
t of the rules and you know it, and I can take anything you can dish out, Ginny f
ired back at him. Harry looked a little shocked, but recovered quickly.
You re right, he said. You deserved it. He leaned over to give her a congratulatory hu
g.
Thanks, Ginny said, with a big smile, and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. Harr
y turned a deep red. Ginny, suddenly realizing what she had just done, tried to
apologize. Sorry, Harry, I was just excited.
It s ok, Harry stammered. What are friends for, if not to embarrass you?
That was really fun guys, but I m starved. Let s go see if Mum and Mrs. Granger have
dinner ready, Bill said.
Yeah, and we better go rescue Hermione s father from dad, Charlie added. You know, he s
in heaven getting to talk to your dad about all that Muggle stuff, Hermione.
That s ok; my dad is just as happy finding out about all that wizard and witch stuf
f so it works out for the best, Hermione answered.
Trudging back towards the house however, Fred and George were not about to drop
the subject of Ginny and Harry. They were marching at the front of the group sin
ging happily.
Ginny and Harry sitting in a tree
K-I-S-S-I-N-G
Harry and Ginny pulled out their wands, hitting them both with silencing spells.
The Ministry had little time for enforcing the abuse of underage magic decree t
hese days. Besides that, the Burrow and about one half square mile of surroundin
g area were unmappable which made it out of bounds from the decree. Hermione was
glad for the silence. She had not been too happy about Ginny s kiss. And was now
not too happy about the way Ginny and Harry were laughing and replaying their ch
ase for the Snitch. Neville had caught up with Bill and Charlie. Hermione could
hear him asking them about their work with dragons and the wizarding bank Gringo
tts.
Its ok, she thought. I get to spend all day with him tomorrow. Ron had fallen in
next to her.
Alright, Hermione? he asked.
Oh .yes, she answered a little too quickly. Ron didn t catch it though.
Good, he said. I was hoping you could help me with my Potions essay for Snape after
dinner tonight. Hermione looked at him in surprise.
Sure, Ron, right after dinner, she replied.
Thanks, Hermione.
Hey, Ron .I ll race you to the house. She turned to him smiling.
You re a Nutter, you can t beat me there and you know it.
You have to give me a head start, she said with a not so innocent grin. Ron s guard
went up.
How much of a .
This much. Hermione stuck the broom she was carrying between his legs tripping him
, and then took off running towards the house. Ron untangled himself from the br
oom and jumped to his feet there was no way he could catch her.
Unless . he thought. Ron tore off after her on the broom. He flew to the house and
hid by the gate to the yard. He could hear Hermione running down the path. He s
tepped into her way just as she got to the gate. She crashed into him and they b
oth fell to the ground a tangle of arms and legs. She ended up sitting on top of
him pointing her wand at his chest.
You cheated!
Ron grabbed her wrist and rolled. She wasn t ready for it, and had no idea that he
was so much stronger than she was. He sat on top of her pinning both her arms o
ver her head with one hand and pointing his wand at her with the other.
So did you.
Hermione squirmed trying to get away. About all she could do was move her wrist.
She aimed her wand at him.
Wingardium Leviosa! Ron floated into the air.
I was just giving myself an even chance, she said, smiling up at him while twirlin
g him slowly around. Ron struggled to stay upright. He knew he could hit her wit
h a spell to get down, but also knew he never would.
All right, all right, you win, Hermione. Now will you put me down please? Hermione
lowered her wand setting him back down. Ron eyed her warily.
I always knew having you mad enough to cast spells at me would be bad, he said, wi
th a small smile.
Come on. Hermione hooked her arm in his. Noticing the others were coming into sigh
t; she could see the twins were still unable to speak. Hermione raised her wand.
Sonorus! Accio Wands! she said. Harry and Ginny s wands flew towards them. Ron reach
ed out and caught them. Then Hermione turned Ron around and started skipping to
the house forcing him to skip with her.
She could hear the twins start up again.
K-I-S-S-I-N-G.
First comes love
Then comes marriage
Then comes Harry with a baby carriage!
Hermione and Ron stood on the steps waiting for every one to catch up. Ginny and
Harry were a little red in the ears.
Has everyone had enough fun now? Ginny grumped.
Well now that you ask, Fred started.
We could go on, George finished. However, they backed down in a hurry noticing tha
t Ginny was again brandishing her wand at them.

********************

Ron and Hermione sat at the table late into the night working on his essay for P
rofessor Snape. What Ron had to begin with had not been badly written. Hermione
just helped him to flesh it out.
Ron had hoped, it being summer and all, that Hermione would just give him the in
formation. But true to form, she made him look everything up, only telling him t
hat he had gotten this part wrong and needed to look in this other book, or that
he had done a good job on this other part. It had gone on for what at times, Ro
n thought, felt like forever.
When they first sat down, Hermione had not even started her essay. But by the ti
me Ron had finished his, she had been standing behind him for an hour. She had h
er hand on his shoulder, reading the words as he put them to the parchment. When
he had gotten stuck she would direct him to the right book.
This was when time flew. He had her undivided attention and she was touching him
. Ron could have sat there forever and been happy. He had even pretended to be s
tuck when he knew the answer just to drag out a few more minutes.
Hermione was proud of Ron. He was finally acting responsibly. The paper was exce
llent, probably his best ever. He really was capable when he wanted to be.
I think that will be more than good enough for our favorite professor, she finally
said from behind him. Hermione cleaned up her stuff. And then she leaned over t
o whisper in his ear.
I need to get to bed Ronald. I have to keep Harry busy all day tomorrow. She kisse
d him on the cheek and then walked out to the tent. Ron sat there; he could feel
the wetness from her lips on his cheek, and the tingle that was still coursing
through him. If he closed his eyes and breathed in deep he could still smell the
perfume she wore. If he paid attention to that kind of thing, he would have not
iced it was the scent he gave her for Christmas a few years ago.
Harry watched Ron from the corner. He knew his friend had fallen for Hermione, h
ad known for a long time. As smart as she was, he couldn t believe she had been un
able to figure it out. The problem was Ron was too scared to tell her. Not that
he blamed him, the few experiences he had had with girls left him in an utter st
ate of confusion.
Harry suspected that Hermione liked Ron too. But again his ability to understand
women was not much to be proud of. In fact, he would rather face Voldemort than
have to come up with the correct answer to Hermione s feelings for Ron.
It was getting more difficult, but Harry had managed to master himself and stay
out of the way tonight. He had already written his essay and Hermione had looked
at it while they were playing Quidditch earlier that day. He planned to make th
e corrections needed when he got back from Diagon Alley tomorrow. Harry could se
e that Ron was trying to tell Hermione that he loved her. But it looked like she
was going to have to read a little deeper into his actions. He only hoped he co
uld keep his own feelings in check.
Come on, Mate, let s get to bed. Tomorrow s my birthday, and I want to play some Quid
ditch after Hermione and I get back from shopping.

********************

Hermione sat down on her bed with her head in her hands. She heard her mother co
me into the room and felt her sit down on the bed next to her.
A difficult choice. I can see it s tearing you up .You know you must choose the one t
o make you happy, not the one you think you will hurt the least, her mother said.
Hermione sighed.
I know. Right now my problem is, I think, well, I know I could love them both, Her
mione answered. Today I thought I would explode from jealousy when Ginny kissed H
arry s cheek and she meant nothing by it. Then I was so filled with joy from Ron s a
ttention that I completely forgot Harry was even alive. Not to mention that neit
her one has expressed interest in me yet. Hermione s mother shook her head.
Sometimes, Hermione .you are not nearly as smart as the rest of the world thinks yo
u are. Hermione didn t answer. She was confused by her mother's reply. So she sat l
etting her mother hold her for quite some time.
You know, Arthur and Molly have filled in many blanks for your father and me. Qui
te honestly, we re not sure we can go back to the Muggle world as we have known it
to be. We have been told, even though we are not magical; it is possible for us
to live in the world that you will be staying in. Hermione looked up at her moth
er incredulously.
"We also know about the war with this .Voldemort .That there have been battles. That
you yourself have been a part of .Why have you never told us about these things H
ermione? Hermione looked away from her mother.
Because you could not have been any help. You could only be hurt.
Hermione, from this day forward, you must promise me you will include your father
and I. Hermione turned back to her mother an expression of pleading desperation
on her face.
Mum, you cannot even begin to understand what Voldemort can do. You have no defen
se, and I am barely capable of defending myself. I can t help you and I can t stand
to lose you or dad.
Your father and I have no desire to be protected by you, Hermione. Our only desir
e is to protect you, and that is something that we can do .Even from this Voldemor
t. Your Headmaster told us this himself. Hermione looked at her mother, tears rol
ling down her cheeks.
How are you to stay? she whispered.
I m not sure, but your Headmaster has said he will make the arrangements. Hermione s m
other pulled her into her arms and held her tightly. Hermione snuggled in and fe
ll asleep with her mother running her fingers through her tangled brown hair. Sh
e may have been older than her age, but sometimes it felt good to be a little gi
rl again.

********************

July 31st Harry s 16th Birthday.

Harry woke with a start. Hermione was banging on the door.


Get up Harry, come on, she hollered from the hall. Ron rolled over, mumbling.
Five more minutes, Mum. Harry laughed at him and got out of bed. He dressed quickl
y. And started to leave, but couldn t resist taking out his wand and levitating th
e water from the pitcher on the night stand over Ron s sleeping body. Harry left t
he room, keeping the connection of the spell in tact. Hermione was already eatin
g when he entered the kitchen.
Ready? he asked.
Aren t you going to eat? Harry grabbed a piece of toast, shoved it in his mouth and
washed it down with a glass of pumpkin juice.
Ok, let s go. Hermione stared at him, as did the others at the table.
What s the rush? she asked.
I ll tell you after we get to Diagon Alley. I just want to get out of here before R
on gets up, Harry replied, as he started dragging her to the fire place.
Ok, Ok, I m coming. Harry stepped into the fire and pulled Hermione with him.
Wait till I say, he whispered to her. Harry released his connection to the water t
hat was floating over Ron. A second later he heard a scream, followed by Ron cha
rging down the stairs.
Harry, if you re not gone when I get there you ll be belching slugs for a week! Ron be
llowed.
Now! Harry said, just as a soaking wet Ron came into sight.
Diagon Alley! Hermione hollered. Throwing the floo powder and with a quick wave, H
arry disappeared right after her. Ron s slug spell blasted into the back of the fi
replace.
Argh, the git! he yelled, as slugs started to ooze out of the mortar. Ron pointed
his wand at the fireplace again. Repairo! A few seconds later the slugs stopped. T
rumping back up the stairs he passed Ginny.
What happened to you?
Harry. was all she got for a reply.

Harry slid out of the floo network next to Hermione onto the floor of the Leaky
Caldron. This surprised no one, as Harry and Hermione had to jump out of the way
of fellow travelers who came out behind them. Harry found himself facing the bu
siness end of Hermione s wand.
That wasn t very nice, she said, her face and voice very stern. Harry didn t dare move
. He knew that unless he was willing to really fight, Hermione would tie him up
in knots for a week.
But, it wouldn t be right to hex you on your birthday. Harry smiled at her.
And, it was really funny, she snorted, breaking into laughter. Come on, we need to
find you the right gift.
Harry had been looking forward to this since she first mentioned it. Birthdays f
or Harry had not been the best of days in the past. His first ten for that matte
r were entirely forgettable, as that was just what the Dursleys had done.
His 11th birthday had been pretty good. That was the day he found out he was a w
izard. Thanks to Hagrid, it was also the first time he had ever had a birthday c
ake. The next four he had at least received gifts from his friends. But Harry wa
s sixteen today and had never even had a birthday party, so when Hermione said s
he was taking him to Diagon Alley and buying him what ever he wanted, within rea
son, he had jumped, before he looked, at the chance.
He had also been dreading it. Sometime before the battle at the Ministry, Harry
had started to see Hermione differently. He had been fighting desperately agains
t it, because he knew Ron s feelings even if Ron didn t. Harry did not want to betra
y Ron. He had lost too much in his life to risk losing a friend because he fanci
ed the same girl as Ron did.
Until last night, as long as Ron was around, Harry had had little trouble hiding
what he himself was starting to feel towards Hermione. But when he was alone wi
th her, it was then he found himself watching her.
Hermione, while not the most beautiful girl in the world, was very pretty. And H
arry was not blinded by looks. He could see into her eyes. And there, he found s
he had an endless ability to give. That was what he was having more and more tro
uble resisting.
They spent the day walking and looking at the shops, exploring new ones, finding
new things in old ones. They stopped in at Weasleys Wizard Wheezes, forgetting t
hat the twins were at the Burrow. They ate lunch together, talking quietly in th
e booth, sharing the same bench seat instead of sitting opposite each other. Har
ry was in heaven. It was easily his best birthday ever. After lunch when they wa
lked to Quality Quidditch Supplies she held his arm and Harry thought his heart
would burst.
Hermione was enjoying the day as much as Harry. They still had not found the rig
ht gift for her to buy, but she was sure he would find what he wanted in the Qui
dditch shop. She only hoped she could afford it. Hermione trailed along behind H
arry. Watching him, his messy black hair that resisted every attempt he made to
bring it under control. His emerald green eyes that she thought she could get lo
st in forever.
What she liked most though, was Harry was kind to everyone. He didn t pick on peop
le who were different, and he judged everyone the same until their actions said
otherwise.
Harry was fawned over by everyone wherever he went. She could feel it now when p
eople looked at the two of them together. She knew what they were thinking.
It s him, Harry Potter, The-Boy-Who-Lived. Who is that ugly girl with him? Why woul
d he pick her when he could have anyone? But Harry would have none of it. When he
looked at her, she felt like the one who mattered, who was famous, the one who
was beautiful beyond words.
Harry looked up from the book he was examining and caught her staring at him. He
stared back, a silly half grin on his face. Hermione blushed, and then like a l
ight going on in his head his eyes lit up.
Come on, I need to buy something here, but I figured out what I want for my birth
day.
Hermione heard him ask the shopkeeper how much the Firebolt broom cost. She gasp
ed when she heard the price. He calmly told the shop keeper to package up two of
them, and gave him an account number at Gringotts to charge the sale to. The sh
opkeeper hurried away to get the brooms packaged. Harry had just made a good mon
th into the best month of the year for the owner and he was already trying to fi
gure out what to do with the windfall.
Harry, what do you need two Firebolts for? You already have one, and how can you
afford it? Hermione asked. Harry turned to Hermione.
Ginny and Ron are going to be on the house team this year and I want them to be o
n the best broom possible. That s why. And how, is Sirius. Hermione, my parents le
ft me more money than I can use and now Sirius has left me ten times that at lea
st. I can t get Sirius back, but I can spend the money in a manner he would have, h
e answered. Hermione felt a lurch in her stomach.
I know you miss him, and I think he would have been proud of the way you were spe
nding the money, she replied, hugging him. The shopkeeper returned.
Ahem--your packages, sir. Hermione pulled away from Harry reaching up to wipe a te
ar from his cheek.
Thank you, sir. I ll carry them, she said. Come on what was that birthday present you
wanted? she asked, hooking her arm in his again and pulling him into the street.
Harry led her down the street to a photographers shop.
I don t have one single picture of you, he said. That s what I want for my birthday.
Oh, Harry, I m not dressed for pictures. And my hair is horrible. Let me come back
another day and get one for you, she protested. Harry just shook his head and gav
e her one of those half smiles.
No, this has been the best birthday of my life, and I want to remember exactly ho
w the person who gave it to me looked, he insisted. Hermione melted - he had done
it again, choosing a birthday present that made her feel like a queen. They end
ed up getting two taken, one of her alone and one together with him in front and
her standing on tiptoes with her chin on his shoulder her arms wrapped around h
im. Harry had insisted that they be developed in the Muggle fashion.
Two friends frozen in time, he said. She bought Harry one of each for his birthday
and one of the two of them together for herself. They left the shop loaded with
packages. Hermione was sure that everything would be in place for the surprise
party by now. It had been easy to keep Harry busy all day. She felt she could ha
ve stayed there in Diagon Alley for weeks with him and not gotten bored. As they
walked to the fireplace in the Leaky Cauldron, Hermione turned to Harry.
You better let me go first. Ron is probably waiting to hex you when you re-appear
.
Good idea, here you take the pictures let me take the brooms, he replied.
Give me about thirty seconds or so, she said, stepping into the fire. The Burrow, sh
e cried, releasing the floo powder. Harry followed her about a minute later, sur
e that he would never experience another day like this again.

*******************

It was dark when Harry stepped out of the fire place at the Burrow. Hermione had
disappeared. He was just starting to have bad thoughts when he was blinded by o
ne of Fred and Georges fireworks.
SURPRISE!
Happy Birthday, Harry!
A flash went off as someone took his picture. Harry starred around openmouthed.
The Weasleys kitchen table was piled high with food. There was a giant birthday c
ake in the middle. There were banners, streamers, and noisemakers everywhere. We
asleys Wizard Wheezes fireworks were going off at random intervals spelling out '
Happy Birthday!' in the room. And his friends, all of his friends were here.
Ron and all the rest of the Weasleys, Hermione along with her parents, Luna, Nev
ille and his grandmother, members of the Order - there was Tonks and Mad Eye. Ov
er in the corner were the rest of the 6th year Gryffindor boys along with the Qu
idditch team. Off to the other side were Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall and R
emus Lupin his former Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, and there, sitting
on Hagrid s shoulder, beaming at him and waving timidly was Dobby. Everyone starte
d singing Happy Birthday to him. Ron came up and pulled him into the room.
Well come on, Mate, open your presents, he said.
Harry didn t know where to begin. He opened gifts, to the cheers of his friends, t
eachers and family (Were they family?) for what to him seemed like forever.
Yes this is my family, he thought to himself. The party lasted long into the nig
ht with more food and butterbeer consumed than would be good for anyone. Finally
around 1:00 am people started to go. It was down to Ron, Ginny, their parents,
Hermione and her parents and Professors Dumbledore, McGonagall and Lupin.
Well Harry I m afraid I really must be going. I have to work tomorrow you know, said
Lupin getting up to leave. Harry went outside with him to say thanks. They stoo
d outside looking at the stars together. Remus put his arm around Harry s shoulder
.
You know that Sirius left me the house and half of the family fortune.
Yes, I do, Harry replied.
I miss him terribly, Harry, Remus said quietly. Harry didn t answer. Harry, he also l
eft me custody of you. Harry looked at Remus. They both had tears in their eyes.
They had both lost an important part of themselves when Sirius had died.
I think for now I will stay here, if that is ok with you? Harry replied quietly.
Visit me soon, Harry?
Professor Lupin?
Yes, Harry?
I called Sirius by his first name?
I would like that, Harry, Remus answered giving his shoulder a squeeze.
Goodnight, Remus.
Goodnight, Harry, Remus replied, and with a loud pop he was gone.
Harry ran into Professors McGonagall and Dumbledore on his way back into the hou
se.
We must be off too, Harry, said Dumbledore.
Thank you for coming Professors, Harry replied.
Oh .one other thing, Harry .All those ridiculous educational decrees from last year a
re no longer in place. You are reinstated, along with Fred and George to the Qui
dditch team .Though I doubt they will be leaving their joke shop to come back to s
chool. Harry beamed at the news.
Thank you, sir, that may be the best gift I have received today.
Goodnight and happy birthday, Harry, they both replied, and with two loud pops the
y were gone.
Harry went back inside; the others were busy trying to clean up. Suddenly Ron st
ood up over by the fireplace.
Hey, Harry, what should I do with these packages of yours? he asked.
Give one to Ginny so she can open it. The other is for you, Harry replied. Ron and
Ginny looked at him.
Don t argue with me. It s my birthday remember. Ron walked over to Ginny.
Which one do you want?
It doesn t matter, they re both the same, Harry said standing next to them. Hermione c
ame up and stood beaming at his side. Ron and Ginny opened the packages together
; they looked at each other, their parents, Hermione and last Harry.
Like them? Harry asked grinning broadly.
Harry we can t take these, Ginny whispered while longingly looking at the broom.
Yes you can. You and your family and Hermione are the only family I have ever kno
wn.
They re too much," Ron tried to join Ginny s argument.
I can spend my money any way I want to. I gave your brothers the money to start t
heir shop and I am giving these to you. Besides, I was getting tired of Ginny be
ating me to the Snitch on that old school broom. Now we ll see how good she really
is. Oh yeah, we ll also need them to win the Quidditch title this year. And .I will
be highly offended if you refuse them, Harry finished his speech.
You re back on the team? Ginny asked quietly. Harry nodded his head.
Dumbledore just told me. Ron set his broom down and grabbed Harry in bear hug.
Happy Birthday, Harry.
Thanks, Ron.
Ginny set down her broom down and wrapping her arms around his neck she kissed h
im on the cheek for the second time in as many days.
Happy Birthday, Big Brother.
You re both welcome.

*******************

Harry could not fall asleep. They had thrown a surprise birthday party for him.
And the day with Hermione, he was ready to burst.
Hermione, he thought, sobering slightly. I m going to have to be careful not to be
alone with her very much.
Harry . Ron said. I never saw what Hermione gave you? Harry flinched but didn t see any
way out of showing Ron the pictures. He sat up and pulled the package out from u
nder his bed and handed it to Ron.
Go ahead you can open it, he said, when Ron looked at him. Harry waited nervously,
hoping that Ron would not guess, and if he did that he wouldn t throw him out of
his room.
This is what you asked her for? Ron asked, looking back up at Harry. Harry nodded.
I didn t have one of her. Ron looked at the picture for a while again. He traced his
finger on the glass.
They don t move, he said. It was more of a question.
No, I wanted them like that, Harry replied. Ron was quiet for a while.
I like them this way too. He handed the pictures back to Harry. Harry started to w
rap them up to put under the bed again.
No, keep them out, Harry. Harry looked over at Ron who nodded at him.
On the table, he indicated. She didn t buy them for you to hide. Harry set the picture
s up and sat on his bed looking at them. He was sure Ron knew. Ron may be dumb a
s far as girls went, but he knew Harry very well. The two of them were almost as
close as Fred and George. Harry watched Ron lay back down on his bed.
I don t have a chance do I? Harry I can live with, just not Krum, Ron thought to h
imself.
Can you? asked the voice. Ron thought for a while about that.
Yeah I can if I at least try, he replied. If I at least try and she says no then
I can live with it.
Well you better hurry up and tell her then, the voice prodded him.
I know, Ron replied. The voice was quiet again.
Harry, you still awake?
Yeah, Ron.
I know it s your birthday present, but if she will let me have one would that be ok
with you?
Sure thing, Mate, I know she ll say yes, I ll even buy it for you.
No, I want to buy it myself, Harry. I ll sell my broom if I have to, both of them,
to afford it. Harry laughed.
It wasn t that expensive, Mate.
No, but it would be worth it, Ron replied. Things were quiet for a while again.
Harry?
Yeah, Ron?
Promise me that you ll give me a chance .If you tell her .Don t let her answer you until
I tell her too. Harry breathed a sigh of relief in his bed.
Thanks, Ron.
I m not exactly happy about it, Harry.
I m sorry, Ron, I tried to stop it.
Do you love her, Harry?
If you mean forever like a wife, I don t know yet, Ron.
I do, Harry.
I m sorry, Ron.
Just make sure you keep your promise, Harry, Ron said, and then he rolled over to
go to sleep.
Ron?
What?
Will you give me a chance too?
I guess I have to, don t I? Harry closed his eyes and sighed.
At least he didn t kill us, the voice said to him.
Be quiet, Harry snapped at it. It was a long time before he fell asleep.

Authors note:
A love triangle, don't you hate it?

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 3: A New Family


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry and Ron woke up to the smell of bacon wafting up from the kitchen.
Come on Harry, I m hungry. They got dressed in silence and headed for the door. Harr
y hesitated.
You sure you're OK, Ron? Ron scowled and thought for a moment before replying.
After the Ministry this spring, I know what is important. I don t want to fight wit
h you about this. If we do, neither of us has a shot at her. We agreed to give e
ach other a chance. That means it s up to her, which it was anyways.
I guess it is, isn t it, Harry answered looking at the floor.
I m hungry Harry, let s go, Ron said, heading out the door. Harry and Ron headed down
the stairs running into Ginny on the way.
Morning, she said brightly.
Good morning, Ginny, Harry replied. Ron just grunted at her, she stuck her tongue
out at him. The three of them stopped on the landing looking out over a spotless
living room and kitchen.
Wow! exclaimed Ron. What happened? Harry and Ginny looked out over the house in shoc
k. The Weasley house had always had the appearance of barely contained chaos, bu
t now it looked like an advertisement for Witch Weekly s house-keeping ideas colum
n.
Mum, how long have you been up? Ginny asked.
Only just got up dear, are you the ones responsible for this? she asked, waving he
r hand at the spotless house. The three of them shook their heads.
Oh, well in that case sit down, breakfast is almost ready. Mrs. Weasley turned bac
k to the cooking and seemed to be unconcerned about what could be responsible fo
r the state of her house. Ginny and Ron walked over to the table, Harry stood on
the landing a second or two and headed back up the stairs to Ron s room.
I ll be right back, he yelled over his shoulder. Harry burst through the door to Ron s
bedroom. Looking around he could see that everything had been picked up and cle
aned here too. The floors were actually shining. Harry walked down the stairs ba
ck to the kitchen, pausing to look into Ginny s room.
Ginny had always kept her room tidy, but now even her standards had been exceede
d. Walking back into the kitchen, Harry had smirk on his face that Mrs. Weasley
saw in a second.
And what are you smiling at this morning? she asked. Harry looked at her and aroun
d the table; everyone was there - all the Weasleys, the Grangers and himself. Ev
eryone seemed to be trying to figure out who had cleaned the house. But no one w
as stepping forward to take the credit.
Because I know who did it, he said, waving his arm around indicating what he meant
. They all stopped to look at him waiting for him to clue them in.
Well? Hermione asked impatiently.
Dobby, I know you re here. Come out here, Harry called out. There was a loud pop beh
ind him and as Harry turned around he heard Dobby s familiar squeaky voice.
Sir wanted to see Dobby?
Dobby, what are you doing here?
Dobby reminds sir that he is a free elf and can be where he wants, Dobby replied,
more timidly than normal with down cast eyes and drooping ears.
I know that, Dobby. But I thought yesterday was your day off and that you had to
be at Hogwarts today.
Ah .Harry Potter sir, Dobby said brightening a little. Dobby is seeing the mess every
one makes at sir s party last night and is seeing that the Lady Weezey and, Dobby p
ointed at Hermione s mother, Dobby is not knowing her sir?
That is Hermione s mum, Dobby, you remember Hermione? Harry asked, as he pointed her
out. Dobby s eyes grew wide even for a house elf. He pulled Harry down to whisper
in his ear.
She is the one Sir and his Weezey is talking about last night? Harry tensed.
And she had better not find out, Dobby, he hissed back. Dobby backed away from Har
ry.
Yes Sir, Harry Potter, sir. Dobby is seeing the work for the Lady Weezey and youn
g miss s mother and is thinking they need help sir. They need Dobby s help. He looked
around smiling triumphantly at everyone.
So, Dobby is asking the Headmaster if he might have an extra day off this week to
help, and the Headmaster is saying yes to Dobby. Dobby is not making Harry or t
he Lady Weezey upset sir? Dobby can put everything back if sir wants.
You will do no such thing, Mrs. Weasley snapped from the kitchen. The elf shrank b
ehind Harry s legs, afraid that he was in trouble for something else now. Mrs. Wea
sley could see that she had scared him.
Dobby, thank you very much for all of this, I like it very much, she said in a gen
tle voice. Dobby relaxed again and came out from behind Harry s legs.
Come sit down and eat with us, Dobby, Mr. Weasley said, conjuring up another chair
for the elf. Dobby recoiled in fear at this.
Oh no, Sir. Dobby could never do that, Sir. Dobby is still having work to do. The
others tried to convince the elf that he was welcome. Dobby would have none of i
t. Finally putting his fingers in his ears and repeating loudly, No, No, No. until
Harry finally managed to shush them. He pulled the elf s fingers from his ears an
d was about to go eat when Dobby tugged on his pants again.
Yes Dobby, what is it?
Sir is remembering that Dobby is free elf, he is free to leave Hogwarts to find e
mployment elsewhere, Sir. Dobby is wondering if he might work for Harry Potter,
Sir? Dobby is willing to work for free if Harry Potter cannot pay him. The elf st
ood trembling in front of Harry. Harry didn t know what to say, though it seemed t
hat Hermione did.
You will do no such thing, Dobby. If Harry wants you to work he will pay you, she
said in an angry voice. Dobby snapped back at her.
Dobby is a free elf and will conduct his own negotiations for employment, and wil
l ask Miss to mind her own business. The elf shrank as he realized what he had sa
id. Harry was more than a little shocked too. Hermione flapped her mouth a momen
t and sat back down, it was one of the few times Harry had seen her without a re
sponse. Ron, however, piped up.
Couldn t have said it better myself, Dobby. The elf seemed to relax again. Hermione
turned to glare at Ron.
Sorry, he mumbled, but he was right.
Harry turned back to Dobby, ignoring Hermione s glare at Ron, unable to deal with
a possible row between the two of them right now. He was glad for the distractio
n though because it had given him time to come up with a possible solution.
He had looked at Mr. and Mrs. Weasley and circled his finger around the room, as
king them with his eyes if Dobby would be welcome to work at the Burrow. They ha
d turned to each other, shrugged, then looked back to Harry and nodded. Mr. Weas
ley had also pulled out his pockets to indicate that while the elf was welcome,
they had no way of paying for his services. Harry made up his mind.
Dobby, I would be honored to employ you but I really have no home for you to work
at. I m not sure there would be enough for you to do if you worked for me.
Harry Potter Sir, this is your home, your family, Sir. Dobby will serve Harry Pot
ter, his Weezey s and, he turned to Hermione, young Miss's family, he finished.
Harry smiled. Dobby was smart, figuring out in a day or two what Harry had only
gotten last night - that this house and these people were his family and home, i
f they would have him.
Will you take ten galleons and two days off a week, Dobby?
Sir insults Dobby. Dobby will work for no more than five knuts and half a day off
a week.
Five galleons and one day off a week, Dobby, Harry countered.
One galleon and one day off a week, and that is my final offer sir. The elf crosse
d his arms and glared at Harry. Harry suppressed a smile.
Done, he said, offering his hand to the elf. When can you start? Beaming happily, Do
bby shook Harry s hand.
Dobby must go tell the Headmaster that he is resigning from Hogwarts and will be
back this afternoon.
Ok, see you later today, then, Harry said.
Yes, Sir, Harry Potter sir, Dobby answered bowing at him then turning to bow at th
e others. Good bye.
Dobby .hurry home, Mrs. Weasley said. Dobby grinned at her.
Yes Lady Weezey, Dobby will be quick. He raised his hand preparing to Disapparate.
Dobby, one other thing, Harry said, stopping him.
Sir?
Why did you not want to serve the Malfoys? Dobby cringed at the name, and turned h
is head side to side looking for the world like he expected Lucius Malfoy to bur
st in any second.
Because Sir, they was bad wizards, Sir. They did not deserve Dobby s trust.
Remember that when you work for this family Dobby. Make sure we always deserve yo
ur trust.
Dobby will not forget sir. He snapped his fingers and was gone.
Well things certainly are interesting around here this summer, Mrs. Weasley said,
to no one in particular. Harry, you and I and Arthur will need to talk later. In
the mean time, she continued, I can t find where anything is in this kitchen now. Co
me see if you can find where that crazy elf put my other fry pan.
Yes, Mrs. Weasley, Harry replied walking into the kitchen.
Harry sat at the table eating breakfast, talking with Ron, Hemione and Ginny. Th
ings between he and Ron seemed to be ok, but Hermione was very quiet.
What s wrong Hermione? he asked.
That s not very much money for a lot of work Harry, and not much time off either.
Come on, Hermione, Ron said, defending him. Harry offered more, Dobby wouldn t take i
t. You can t be mad at Harry for that. I know you want to free all of them. But Do
bby is free and you have to let him define what he wants, not what you want for
him. Harry stared at Ron in surprise. His response had sounded a lot like somethi
ng Dumbledore would have said. Hermione and Ginny were looking at him kind of fu
nny too. Ron looked back at them.
What? I can t come up with something profound once in a while too? he asked.
No, of course not, Hermione said. Ron, I m sorry, she added a moment later.
It s OK, Hermione, he replied. Hermione leaned over and kissed Ron s cheek.
Thanks, she said. Ron s face turned about five shades of red darker than his hair an
d he quickly stuffed a sausage into his mouth. Harry however could see the glow
in his eyes. He felt himself wishing that he had been the one to come up with Ro
n s little bit of wisdom.
This is getting difficult, said the voice in his head.
I know, Harry answered.
Hermione, Harry showed me your birthday gift last night. We . Erm, well I was wonde
ring if you would go back today? So we could get one of the three of us. And I w
as wondering if I could get one of you also? Ron asked timidly.
Hey, what about me? Ginny asked, kicking Ron under the table.
Ouch!
Aren t I part of this group too? she demanded.
Of course you are, Ginny, Harry said to her. Come on Hermione, it ll be fun, what do
you say? he added, hoping to help keep things between he and Ron smooth.
Come on, Hermione, Ginny pleaded with her. Though I can t figure out why you would gi
ve one to this Git, she pointed at Ron. Ron ignored his sister and just looked ho
pefully at Hermione.
Hermione had been taken aback by Ron s request. She was glad to see that he wasn t m
ad about Harry s picture, but then quickly asked herself why he would be mad in th
e first place.
Because he likes you, said the voice.
Wishful thinking! Hermione snapped back.
Ok, let s go. But at least let me go try and look a little better than I did for Ha
rry s.
NO! both Harry and Ron said at once. You re going just like that, Ron finished.
Yeah, what he said, Harry added, agreeing with Ron. Hermione sighed in defeat.
Fine, let s get going, I need to go to Gringotts if we re going to do this.

********************

Ron had ridden with Hermione to her vault; Ginny had come with Harry to his. Har
ry let out a whoop as they headed down a hill and around the corner.
This is great, I bet this is what a roller coaster is like, he yelled to Ginny.
What s a roller coaster? Ginny screamed back, as the cart screeched to a halt in fro
nt of Harry s vault.
This is. Muggles build things like this and ride them for fun. Harry indicated tow
ards the cart and tracks.
Really?....That is so odd .It is a lot of fun though, isn t it? Will you take me some
time, Harry?
Sure Ginny, Harry replied, laughing at her. Ginny looked at Harry - her ears were
turning red.
Harry, I need to ask you something.
Uh-oh, the voice in Harry s head popped up. He braced himself for what he thought
was coming.
Harry I know you just bought me that broom, and it cost a ton of money, and I kno
w Ron says you have tons, but anyways there is something I need to buy, and I ju
st don t have the money and neither do mum and dad, and I was wondering if I could
borrow a few galleons from you? Ginny s words had spilled out in a rush and her fa
ce was now burning red. Harry felt himself relax; he reached out and put his arm
around her shoulder.
Am I really your big brother? he asked.
Yes.
Then don t be afraid to ask me again if you need more. She smiled at him gratefully.
Harry turned to look at his vault, handing the key to the Goblin who had accomp
anied them.
This isn t the same vault I ve been to before, Harry said to him.
Yes, well with the inheritance you received this spring we required a larger vaul
t, replied the Goblin.
Harry had not expected this. The old vault, while it had had large stacks of gal
leons, sickles, and knuts in it was far from full and now with the money Sirius
had left him, it was too small?
Wait here, Ginny. I ll get what I need. Then you can get what you need. Harry didn t w
ant to see the look on Ginny s face when she saw what was in his vault and thought
it might be better to see it alone for the first time himself anyways.
His jaw dropped when he entered the vault. It was as big as the whole of the Dur
sley s house. There were stacks of gold and silver more than halfway to the ceilin
g. A huge mound of bronze knuts and piles of gems were strewn about. Harry shook
his head to clear it and stuffed a handful of gold galleons into his bag. He wa
lked out of the vault past Ginny.
Go ahead, he said, and sat back down on the cart to wait for her. Thoughts of his
parents and Sirius filled his head.
Ginny walked into Harry s vault and tripped over a large pile of silver sickles sc
attering them about. She had never even imagined that this much money and riches
existed. That it all belonged to Harry was beyond comprehension.
It s none of my business, she mumbled to herself. She quickly counted out fifteen ga
lleons and put them in her bag.
That should be enough, she thought. Ginny walked out of the vault thanking the G
oblin on the way and sat down next to Harry. He was silent. The Goblin came back
from locking the vault, ready to bring them back up to the lobby.
Can you wait a minute before we leave? she asked. The goblin bowed to her and back
ed away. Ginny turned to Harry touching his hand.
I had no idea Harry. Harry turned to her, tears streaked his face.
I would trade it all if I could have just one day with them.
I know you would, Harry. Ginny pulled Harry close to her and held him while he cri
ed on her shoulder. It was a long time before the Goblin interrupted, asking if
they were ready to leave.
We can go now, Ginny said to him.

What took you so long? Ron asked when they finally showed up in the lobby.
The cart broke, Ginny told him. I really don t like this place much, she remarked, as
she looked around. Come on, let s go have some fun. Ginny led the way out the door.
Harry walked next to her, Ron and Hermione trailing behind. Harry liked thinking
of Ginny as his little sister. And last night she had called him her big brothe
r. He started to smile again.
Come on, I ll race you to the picture shop, he said, taking off with the others chas
ing after him. Ginny beat them all.
I had no idea you were so fast Ginny, Ron said, gasping for air.
There are a lot of things you don t know about me, she commented. Harry smiled at ho
w right she was.
It was hours later that they left the shop, each carrying packages of pictures.
Ron had even had a few taken by himself to give to his parents for Christmas. Th
ey headed back to the Leaky Cauldron and then on to the Burrow. Harry and Ginny
went upstairs to put away their packages. Ron turned to Hermione.
Thank you, he said to her. Hermione blushed slightly.
You re welcome, Ronald. Ron hated his full name. His mother, Ginny and Hermione were
the only ones who could use it and get away with it. If his mother or Ginny wer
e using it, he was usually in trouble. But Hermione could use it when she was an
gry or when she was happy with him and it didn t bother him. In fact, he liked it.
Especially if he knew she was pleased with him for something.
Well I suppose I ll go put these away. See you at supper?
Yeah, see you at supper, Ronald, Hermione replied. Ron started up the stairs, and
Hermione started for the door.
Hermione . She stopped. I was going to go flying for awhile, if you were interested.
Yes! she heard herself saying.
Oh, I hate flying,the voice whined.
So do I, Hermione replied.
Great, I ll go ask Harry if I can borrow his broom, Ron said, the excitement in his
voice evident to everyone but Hermione.
Ronald, you have two brooms.
No, I sold the Comet to Bill to pay for pictures today.
Oh .ok, well meet me in the garden in ten minutes then. Ron nodded his head and as s
oon as he was around the corner, he raced upstairs with his things. Harry was in
his room. No, their room, Ron corrected himself.
Hey, Harry.
Hey, get what you wanted, Ron?
Yeah I did. Thanks, Harry. Ron set the pictures carefully up on his dresser, pausi
ng to look at the picture of just Hermione for a moment before picking up his ne
w Firebolt.
Going flying? Sounds like fun, I ll come too, Harry said grabbing his broom. Ron win
ced, the easy feeling of a moment ago gone in a flash.
Actually Harry, I asked Hermione to go and was wondering if I could borrow your b
room?
Oh . Harry said looking at Ron.
Maybe, I should ask Ginny, Ron mumbled heading for the door. Harry stopped him.
Sure thing Ron, not a problem, Harry handed his broom over.
Thanks Harry, I appreciate it, Ron said quietly before heading for the door again.
Ron, make sure you give me a chance too, Harry called after him.
I know Harry. I promise - just flying, OK? he said looking back at Harry.
See you at dinner, Mate, Harry said. Ron turned to go again.
Hey, Ron.
Yeah, Harry?
If she falls and breaks her neck, I ll break yours. Ron smirked to himself.
Won t have to Harry, I ll do it for you. See you later. Ron headed out the door to the
garden.

*******************

Harry headed to the bathroom. It looked like Dobby had been there today too. He
thought about going to see what Ginny was up to but could see her buried in a sp
ell book in her room. It looked like she was doing one of the essays she had bee
n assigned over the summer. He remembered how difficult his O.W.L. year had been
and decided he better let her work.
I m hungry, he said to himself and turned towards the kitchen. When he got there he
found Mr. and Mrs. Weasley.
Hello Harry, hungry? she asked.
Yeah I am. Harry sat down and picked up an apple to snack on.
Harry, began Mr. Weasley. Molly and I wanted to talk to you about a few things.
Oh Arthur, get to the point, Mrs. Weasley interrupted him. Harry, if you want to hi
re Dobby, that is your business. That he cleans and works here, we allow for his
sake more than yours. But we cannot allow you to spend all of the money your pa
rents left you buying such expensive gifts for our children. Giving Fred and Geo
rge the money to start their business, this family, while not rich, can live wit
hout such charity. There are others in much greater need than us. Harry had been
expecting this, but he still didn t know what to say. He thought for a long time b
efore answering.
You know, I ve lived almost my whole life without a family, he started. I have never
had a home to go to, a place to live yes, but never a home.
My aunt and uncle, they never gave me enough of anything that I had any to share.
I can remember the first day Ron and I met. I bought a ton of candy on the trai
n to share with him. It was the best day of my life. Harry kept going.
I m tired of not having a family or home, so I m going to make my own. I have a new G
odparent now .His name is Remus Lupin. I have a sister, her name is Ginny Weasley.
I have brothers, Ron, Fred, George, Bill and Charlie. What I m missing is a home .a
nd someone I could consider parents, Harry finished his speech. He sat at the tab
le holding the forgotten apple in his hand. He was scared; the Weasleys could al
ways refuse him. Ron s father got up and walked over to Harry s side of the table he
sat down on the bench facing Harry.
Harry you can always call this house your home. And I would be honored if you wou
ld call me dad. I think, however, you should reserve that for your father. I wou
ld suggest Arthur. Harry looked at Ron s mum. She had tears in her eyes.
And you, Mrs. Weasley? he asked.
My children call me Mum. For you Harry, I will allow Molly, she answered crushing
him in one of her famous hugs. Harry looked at his adoptive parents, a sense of
relief washed over him. He put the key to his vault at Gringotts on the table.
I don t want to offer you charity. But what is mine belongs to my family. Please le
t me share it, he said quietly. Mr. Weasley regarded him for a moment.
Son, you will find that this family does not need much. No matter how much money
we have, we will still buy used school books and such.
If they were good enough for my brothers and sister then they are good enough for
me .Just please buy us new dress robes, those ones you bought Ron were a little s
cary. Molly laughed at him.
Well what are you two doing just sitting there? We need to get dinner ready, she s
aid. Harry, you can peel potatoes. Harry stood at the sink peeling potatoes. Molly
had taught him the correct spell and the pile of finished ones was growing in t
he pot on the fire. Harry thought back to all the times he had peeled potatoes f
or his Aunt Petunia and how he hated it. Now he was happy to do it, and even enj
oyed it.
Dinner that night was fairly subdued compared to the party of the night before.
And with everyone still tired from that and shopping that day, bedtime was quite
welcome.

********************

Hermione was lying awake daydreaming about Ron and flying with him that afternoo
n. She had been terrified the whole time. Not been able to get more than a few f
eet in the air without the broom tipping over and dropping her in a heap on the
ground. Ron had taken to standing with his wand under her, levitating her each t
ime she fell so she wouldn t get hurt.
His patience had been neverending, not snapping at her once, no matter that he h
ad repeated the same instructions to her over and over.
He has been perfect all summer. You haven t been able to pick a fight with him onc
e, the voice offered. Hermione couldn t dispute that, it was nice to not be fighti
ng with him all the time. She had finally sat down heavily on the ground in fron
t of him.
I can t do this, Ronald, she had said. He had sat down next to her not saying anythi
ng. Then she had asked him if two people could ride one broom. He had jumped up,
zipped off to the house carrying one broom riding the other and returned a few
minutes later with just his broom.
Hermione had climbed on back and held on to him for dear life. She had opened he
r eyes once, and immediately closed them again. It was as scary as the ride on t
he thestrals last spring, scary but exhilarating. Ron was in complete control of
the broom. She could feel it respond to the inputs he made, and had been truly
sorry when he landed.
Hermione knew she was in trouble. She wasn t afraid of picking the wrong one anymo
re. She was scared because she loved both, was pretty sure she wanted both and w
ould only be able to have one.

*******************

Ginny got up from her desk and let the delivery owl in the window.
Finally! she exclaimed to herself. She paid the owl and went back to her desk, pul
ling the wrapping off the package from the photo shop. She had just mastered the
spells she needed and there was a lot to do before she headed back to school.

Authors note:
Ok, I'll address it now. My friend who reviewed this for me thought the one thin
g I might have done was mature the characters too quickly. i.e - Ron and Harry b
eing so civil to each other. Perhaps she was right, but I decided to go with it.
I think that after the Ministry a lot of things could go a lot of ways. I decid
ed that while they were still kids, they were going to grow up emotionally a lot
. After all, how many times can you ask a kid to deal with adult issues and not
expect them to grow up some?

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 4: DA Reformed
Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry woke up early the day after he, Ron, Hermione and Ginny had gone to Diagon
Alley to get their pictures taken. His scar was pricking lightly. Harry could a
lready tell that Voldemort was happy about something. He was tempted to open the
conduit a little to see what was causing such strong emotions in Voldemort, but
decided against finding out. It was likely to be bad news for everyone else, an
d Harry just didn t want to know. Instead, he concentrated on closing it tight. It
took about twenty minutes for the pricking to finally stop.
The words of the prophecy played in Harry s mind:
"THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES .BORN TO THOSE WHO HA
VE THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK H
IM AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT AND EITHER MUST D
IE 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 .
He didn t like them very much. He had spent hours looking for a way out of it, and
many more trying to decide if he should tell his friends.
Harry had learned to accept all of the things that had happened to him because o
f Voldemort. Some, because they were more recent, were just closer to the surfac
e. He had even found one good thing the Dark Lord had caused to happen in his li
fe. Hermione.
Before Professor Quirll let the troll in the school his first year, she had been
horrible to be around. But he and Ron had gone to find Hermione. They had saved
her life, and she had saved them from Professor McGonagall. Hermione had turned
into one of his two - three now - best friends.
What Harry couldn t adjust too was that either he or Voldemort would have to die b
y the other's hand in order to live. Harry knew Voldemort was more than willing
to kill him. Harry however, didn t think he could kill Voldemort. Not because he d
idn t have the ability, but because he didn t want to murder anyone. Even if they ha
d killed his parents, or were trying to kill him.
I wonder what would happen if I just tried to hide? he asked himself silently.
Voldemort will hunt you, and anyone close to you until either you or he is dead,
the voice in his head spoke up. We cannot hide.
Harry didn t answer. He knew the voice was right. Harry made his decision; he was
going to tell the others about the prophecy.
They deserve the chance to run while they can, he thought.
You severely underestimate them, said the voice.
Harry dressed and headed downstairs. No one else was up yet. He sat down at the
table with a quill and parchment and began to write, tucking the parchment into
his pocket when he had finished. He wasn t sure when, but sometime today he would
show it to Ron and Hermione. Harry looked up at a noise in the kitchen.
Good morning, Dobby, he said.
Sir is up early today. Dobby is sorry not to have breakfast ready, the elf apologi
zed.
It s ok, Dobby. Can I help you? Dobby was taken aback.
Help Dobby, sir? Dobby is paid to help Harry Potter, not have his work done for h
im.
Dobby, sometimes everyone needs help, even a house elf, Harry said with a sigh. Do
bby s eyes brimmed with tears.
Dobby is honored by sir s kind words. Dobby is truly blessed to serve such a great
wizard .Sir, Dobby senses that Harry Potter is troubled. Perhaps Dobby can help, he
added brightening a little. Harry looked at the elf. Dobby looked back at him w
ith his huge eyes.
Please sir, Dobby knows many things. The elf stepped timidly towards Harry. Harry
regarded him a moment and pulled the parchment out of his pocket.
Dobby, you are a free elf, so I cannot stop you from doing anything you want to d
o. But if you want to see this, you must promise that you will not scream, or ru
n around breaking things over your head. And you must promise that you will not
go off to fight Voldemort for me.
Dobby had cowered down at the sound of the Dark Lord s name. He looked around fear
fully.
Dobby? he squeaked. Why would Dobby want to fight the Dark Lord? Harry set the parch
ment on the table.
Promise?
The elf climbed onto the bench next to him, he nodded at Harry. Harry slid the p
archment to Dobby, watching closely to see what reaction the elf would have.
Dobby turned his head back to Harry after he finished reading the prophecy. He w
as trembling. Harry couldn t tell if the elf was scared, mad or both. He was clear
ly struggling to maintain control of himself.
Remember, you promised, Dobby.
Harry Potter must destroy the Dark Lord if he is to live, sir? the elf squeaked in
a voice softer than any Harry had heard from Dobby before.
Professor Dumbledore interprets the prophecy that way. I can t find any other meani
ng either, Harry replied. "Dobby, I can t kill anyone, not even Voldemort. Dobby, I
don t want to commit murder. Harry couldn t believe he had said it. He felt a huge s
ense of relief just telling someone, anyone.
Harry Potter is a great wizard. He will find the strength to do what he must, the
elf said firmly.
You don t understand, Dobby. I m not like Voldemort. I can t kill him just to save myse
lf, Harry answered, his anger rising.
If sir cannot destroy the Dark Lord for himself, then he must do it for his Weeze
y, for young Miss, for Dobby, because if he does not then the Dark Lord will rul
e . Dobby replied, his own anger rising. Harry was caught off guard. He had been so
focused on the part of the prophecy that said if he wanted to live, he would ha
ve to kill Voldemort that he had forgotten he was the only one who could.
If I don t, Voldemort will hunt down and kill everyone I care about. All my friend
s, Molly, Arthur, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, he said to himself.
I won t let him hurt them! I don t care what it does to us, the voice spat vehementl
y at him.
Dobby understands the great burden sir must carry. But sir is a great wizard, and
all great wizards must do things they would rather not. It is what makes them g
reat.
Harry looked at Dobby with a newfound respect. He didn t understand the magic that
bound house elves to their families. He had no idea what it had cost Dobby to b
etray the Malfoys during his second year at Hogwarts. He only knew that Dobby wa
s ostracized by other house elves, and for that matter by most of the magical wo
rld. Dobby was as alone in the world as Harry had been growing up with the Dursl
eys, all because he had helped Harry.
You sound a lot like Dumbledore, Dobby. Thank you, Harry said.
Harry Potter tells Dobby, that sometimes even house elves need help, sir. Sometim
es sir, so does great wizards.
Dobby, if I am a great wizard .Then you must be the greatest of house elves. Harry s
miled at him. Dobby beamed at him his great orb like eyes shining brightly.
Now will you let me help with breakfast?
Sir may set the table, answered the elf.

********************

Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny were lying on their backs under the large oak tre
e watching the clouds float by. Harry was trying to decide if he was going to te
ll Ginny about the prophecy. She was his friend, but she was also his little sis
ter now. For some reason, he felt more need to protect her than he did with Ron
and Hermione, and he knew that by telling others he placed them and himself at g
reater risk.
She is our friend, close enough to know the whole truth, we betray her if we don t
tell her too, the voice said.
Argh! Why are you always right? Harry asked. The voice didn t answer. Harry sat up
, reaching into his pocket for the parchment with the prophecy.
Have any of you ever wondered why Voldemort wants to kill me?....Why he killed my
parents when I was a baby?....Why he tried to kill me too?....Why he lured me t
o the Ministry last spring? he asked quietly. The others were startled out of the
ir daydreams.
Bloody Hell, Harry! You could at least give a little warning before dropping a qu
estion like that, Ron said after coughing up the candy he had been sucking on. He
rmione smacked his arm.
Grow up, Ronald. It s just a name. Ginny just glared at Ron.
Of course we have, Harry. Why are you asking? Hermione reached out to touch his ar
m. Harry stood up and held the parchment out to her.
After the fight at the Ministry, Dumbledore sent me to his office to wait for him
. We talked for a long time. I was mad at him, at myself. I destroyed a lot of h
is things that night while he tried to help me. Finally, he calmed me down enoug
h to apologize to me. He said he had failed me by trying to protect me from the
truth. This is what he wanted to protect me from, Harry finished. Hermione reache
d up slowly to take the parchment.
You won t like what it says, Harry said holding on to it.
I want to know. I don t care what it says, Hermione replied, and with a slight tug p
ulled the parchment away from him. Harry turned and started to wander away.
Where are you going? Ginny asked.
Nowhere, I just thought I would let you read it, Harry called back over his should
er.
Give me that, Ginny said, snatching the parchment out of Hermione s hand.
Hey! Ginny ignored her. Ron and Hermione moved to either side of her reading over
her shoulder.
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 W
ITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD WILL BE BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES .
Hermione finished reading. She turned to look for Harry.
He s over there, by the big boulder, the voice said.
Is this what I think it is? Ron asked.
It s a prophecy, Ronald, Hermione answered. And Dumbledore must think it s a real proph
ecy, or he wouldn t have given it to Harry, she added, seeing the incredulous look
on his face.
Ginny? Ron looked at his sister. She had wandered away, and turned to look at him
when he said her name. Ron was startled; her eyes seemed to be on fire, she was
frightening to look at.
We better go find him. He probably thinks we won t want to be his friends after we
see this, she said storming off in the direction Harry had gone. Ron and Hermione
hurried to catch up. Harry looked up at what he hoped were still his friends.
Anyone in their right mind would get as far away from me as they could, he said qu
ietly into the emptiness that surrounded him.
I already told you, you severely underestimate them, the voice said to him.
It s time to start the DA again, Ginny said, sinking down on her knees in front of h
im. If you have to fight Tom, then I m going to make sure you re ready. Harry looked a
t Ron and Hermione. They were as shocked as he was.
Tom? Ron asked.
Tom Marvolo Riddle, Ginny hissed, the name rolling off her tongue venomously, Volde
mort, that is his real name. If Harry has to fight that bastard, then I am going
to make sure he is ready. You two can either help me, or Get Out Of My Way!
Whoa Ginny, calm down, Ron snapped at her.
Ronald and I have been helping Harry fight against Voldemort since our first year
. Of course we're going to help you, Hermione retorted, her temper rising with Gi
nny s. Ron pulled Harry to his feet, lifting him off the ground in a bear hug.
I always thought something like this was the deal between you two. He s got a lot t
o worry about Harry, because you re going to be the greatest wizard in the world,
better even than Dumbledore, he said as he let Harry go.
We'll always be your friends, Harry, Ginny and Hermione added, hugging him at the
same time.
I told you, you underestimated them, the voice said.
Thanks guys, Harry answered, relief washing over him. So when do you want to start?
he asked after a moment.
Start what Harry? Hermione and Ron asked together.
The DA.
Now, Harry, Ginny said firmly, her eyes still flaming. We start now.

********************

They were in Ron and Harry s room. It had taken two days to find Remus Lupin. He h
ad listened quietly to what they were planning and agreed that if they hoped to
defend themselves against it, they needed to practice. Finally they managed to c
onvince him to teach them how to perform the Imperius Curse.
You re sure about this, Harry? Hermione asked nervously. Harry nodded his head.
Voldemort uses it all the time. We need to be able to fight it. Hermione raised he
r wand at him.
Imperio!
Harry hadn t felt it since the imposter Mad-Eye had demonstrated it on all the stu
dents in his 4th year Defense Against the Dark Arts class. The floating sensatio
n came back, every thought and worry wiped out of his head. He was just relaxed
and happy.
Jump on the bed Harry . the voice said, a voice that was not his own.
Why? another voice said to him. It was Harry s own voice. He recognized it, but it
was different than the one that normally talked to him.
Jump on the bed Harry .
I don t want to. Tell her to jump on the bed herself, the voice said to him.
I SAID JUMP ON THE BED HARRY!
NO! the voice thundered in his mind. Harry felt his senses rush back in on him.
He blinked his eyes and looked around.
Where did you go? Harry asked the voice in his head silently.
I m right here, just like always, answered the first voice, the one that was alway
s with him.
No. Not you, the other voice, the one who told me not to jump on the bed? Harry
thought.
That would be me, the second voice said.
Where did he come from? asked the first voice.
He s been there ever since 4th year when the imposter Mad-Eye demonstrated the Impe
rious Curse on us, Harry answered. Why haven t you showed up since then?
Wasn t needed, said the second voice.
Well from now on you speak up whether I need you or not, Harry said.
You re the boss. You want me to stick around, I ll stick around.
Harry, you ok? Hermione asked. He looked very confused to her.
What?...Oh yeah, hey I did it. You wanted me to jump on the bed, but I didn t, Harry
replied. It wasn t very hard to beat, were you putting much into the curse, Hermio
ne?
No, we agreed to start low and build as we got better at fighting it. I probably
should have put more into it with you. You fought it better than anyone when tha
t imposter did it to us.
I want to try next, we never did it at school. I guess they must have thought it
was too much for students below 4th year, Ginny interjected.
Ok then, Hermione raised her wand towards Ginny, ready? Ginny nodded her head.
Imperio!
Ginny felt happiness wash over her. It felt the same as it did her first year, w
hen Voldemort had used the diary of Tom Riddle, his sixteen year old self to pos
sess her. He had used her to open the Chamber of Secrets. To release the basilis
k, hurt all those students. Ginny had fought him, been more of a challenge for h
im to control than any other person he had tried to possess. She was eleven at t
he time.
Ginny had developed two new selves to help her fight. Combined with her first vo
ice and conscious self the four of them had won. Ginny had thrown the diary away
, saved herself. But then Harry had found the diary. Ginny was to weak to fight
anymore when she tried to save him by stealing it back. Tom Riddle had finally b
een able to take full control of her.
Ginny had not let the voices fade after Harry rescued her. She had developed her
gift, used her ability daily.
Jump on the bed Ginny .
And they remembered what happened the last time.
Jump on the bed Ginny .
The voices flew to her aid now.
NO GINNY! the first voice thundered in her head, breaking Hermione s spell.
PROTEGO!....PERTRIFICUS TOTALUS! two different voices roared in her mind a milli
second later. Hermione was hit with the second spell, her wand pointed at Ginny,
her mouth open in surprise, she was frozen solid.
Ginny! Harry yelled, jumping between her and Hermione. Ron grabbed his sister in a
bear hug wrestling her onto the bed with Harry s help.
Get off me! Ginny screamed, fighting them wildly. Harry grabbed her head.
Look at me! Ginny s eyes darted to Harry. It s ok, Ginny! A flicker of recognition flas
ed in her mind and her struggles slowed enough for Ron to wretch her wand away b
ut she was still fighting them firecly.
Ginny! Ginny! Look at me! Harry yelled, holding her face so she had to look at him
. Harry could see her eyes blazing with fear .and power! The fury subsided slightl
y as she focused on Harry.
Ginny, it s me, Ron. Her eyes darted to Ron. It s ok Ginny, calm down. You're ok, no on
e is going to hurt you. The fire continued to decrease in her eyes and Harry coul
d feel her relax - she wasn t fighting any more. He let his grip loosen.
You re ok Ginny, no one is going to hurt you ok? Ron asked. Ginny nodded her head at
him. Harry and Ron let her go. Helping her sit up, she started to shake violentl
y. Ron sat on the edge of the bed, wrapping his arms around her.
It s ok Ginny .just relax. I ve got you now .I won t let any one hurt you, he said rockin
er back and forth. Harry I ve got her, why don t you help Hermione. Harry nodded his h
ead at him and got up off the bed, walking to Hermione.
It s ok Ginny .just calm down.
Finite! Harry waved his wand at Hermione. He caught her as she fell forward.
Harry? Hermione looked at him confused and then at Ron rocking Ginny in his arms o
n the bed. She could hear him whispering at her, telling her to calm down. Every
few seconds, a shudder would rip through her body.
What happened? Did I hurt her?
No, you didn t hurt her. Are you ok, Hermione? She didn t hit you with anything else?
No, I m fine, tell me what happened, Harry.
In a minute, first let Ginny know you re ok, Harry told her. Hermione looked at Harr
y quizzically.
I have an idea, but it will be better for Ginny if she tells us. Let her know you r
e ok. Hermione nodded at him and crossed to the bed, kneeling down in front of Gi
nny, she reached up to take her hand.
Ginny Ginny looked down, startled to see her.
It s ok, Ginny, I m not hurt. I promise Ginny sank down on the floor hugging Hermione c
lose to her.
I m sorry, Hermione. I didn t mean to hurt you, she was crying in big sobs. It was just
so much like before .like when he possessed me .I just lashed out. I m sorry.
Hermione let Ginny hold her, letting her cry until she began to calm down again.
When she had, Hermione pushed Ginny away putting her hands on Ginny s shoulders.
Look at me, Ginny. Ginny hesitated, afraid to look in Hermione s eyes. Look at me! Her
mione demanded. She lifted Ginny s head with her hand. I m ok. I m not hurt. Ginny nodde
d. I m not hurt, and I m not mad at you .ok? Ginny nodded again. What happened when Vold
mort did this to you is why we are practicing how to fight against it. Do you un
derstand me? Ginny nodded her head again. No, answer me Ginny.
I understand, Hermione, I ll be ok now, Ginny said quietly while wiping her face.
Good. Come on now, stand up. Hermione stood up pulling Ginny with her she hugged h
er again. Now, I didn t hurt you, did I?
No, it was just Tom, Ginny said, shaking her head on Hermione s shoulder. It was just
Tom.
Ginny .Why don t you sit down and tell us exactly what happened to you, when You-Know
-Who possessed you. Tell us how it compared with the Imperious Curse, Ron said. H
e sat down on the bed, pulling Ginny up next to him so she could lay her head on
his lap. Hermione sat on the floor reaching up to hold her hand, while Harry sa
t down behind her resting his hand on her shoulder.
Tell us, Ginny, Ron said.
They listened quietly. Harry had been briefly possessed by Voldemort too, but no
t like Ginny had. He understood only vaguely how much Voldemort had hurt her. By
the time she had finished, he understood that she had lost more to Voldemort th
an he had. He also found it was becoming much easier to think about killing the
Dark Lord.
They sat there for a long time after Ginny had finished. Hermione and Ron both l
ooked a little pale to Harry. Ginny however, had seemed to grow stronger as she
talked, finally she sat up. Harry could see a flicker of flame in her eyes again
. He understood what it was that made her so volatile. He understood that Ginny
was probably the most prepared of any of them to fight again if she had to.
I m ready to try again, Ginny said firmly. I think this time you better take away my
wand, she added holding it out to Hermione. Ron and Hermione tried to protest.
Ginny, not today, we .
Yes today! Tom could come for us tomorrow, Ginny hissed, her anger flaring again.
Ok, Ginny, you want to keep going, fine but wait your turn. I want to try next, Her
mione snapped, matching Ginny s anger. She stood up and tossed her wand to Ron.
Ok Ginny, I m ready. She nodded at her. Ginny raised her wand at Hermione.
Imperio!

Authors note:
Ok, so the voices come from GoF. Look up where Mad-Eye has Harry under the imper
ious curse, and he starts to fight it off. I took it as a voice different than t
he one that normally talks to Harry, a second voice. From there I figured if you
could have two, you could have more and it might make sense that Dumbledore has
a bunch. I mean he seems distracted half the time someone talks to him, yet sti
ll comes back with the right response, it is just a little slow. If he was havin
g an internal discussion with four different voices, that might explain why. Oh
and how did you like Ginny here? I m sure some people wondered where she had defie
d Voldemort, not only did she defy him, she beat him. Not bad for an eleven year
old girl, wouldn t you say? Oh and would she call him Tom? This was an issue for
my Beta reader. She felt it was too familiar, like a friend, and there was no wa
y Ginny would use it. I say she would, it is an act of defiance. Tom Riddle want
s to be known as Voldemort, and even then he punishes you for saying the name. G
inny is some kind of mad at the Dark Lord, and if he wants people to forget abou
t Tom Riddle, well, she is going to remind him and everyone of the truth.

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

Back to index
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 5: Year Six Begins


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione were eating ice creams and enjoying the last day
of summer holiday at Diagon Alley. O.W.L. s had come earlier that summer - Hermio
ne had received one in each of her subjects except for Astronomy. That exam had
been thrown out. Students would be sitting it again the third week of the fall t
erm. Ron and Harry had been surprised to find they had either O's or E's in all
their subjects except for Divination. The good news was they could still be Auro
rs. The bad news, they all had to continue with Snape in Potions.
Ron and Hermione were the Gryffindor Prefects again for sixth year students whil
e Ginny, along with Colin Creevey, had been selected as Prefects for fifth years
. Ginny was thrilled. She had been convinced that the trouble she caused in her
first year with Tom Riddle s diary would be held against her. Her parents per fami
ly tradition had bought her a gift, a beautiful Eagle Owl; she had named it Putn
ey.
Harry had taken Ginny shopping too, waiting patiently while she searched for hou
rs in Flourish and Blotts book store. She had finally picked an old musty volume
which had no title. The book was bound in faded red leather and was very heavy.
The shopkeeper had seemed surprised when Ginny placed it on the counter, like h
e didn t know it was in the shop in the first place. Harry had shrugged it off, fi
guring some of the books in there had been on the shelves longer than the shopke
eper had been alive.
Ginny had also helped Harry purchase a simple necklace. It had a clear silky str
and made of dragon heartstring and a single translucent purple stone set in a si
lver backed pendant. Harry had refused to tell her who it was for, and after spe
nding the morning trying to get it out of him she gave up. Harry hadn t picked up
that she quit trying as soon as they had joined up with Ron and Hermione.
Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had decided to try staying at the Leaky Cauldron again this
year, with hopes of getting to King s Cross Station early for once. Harry doubted
very much that this would happen, but didn t say anything to Molly about it. All
said it had been a great day and despite still being angry about Sirius, an even
better summer.
It s getting late, we should head back to the Leaky Cauldron, Mum and Dad wanted to
have dinner, Ron said.
Ugh, like I ll be able to eat after this. Hermione indicated to the empty dish in fr
ont of her.
Speak for yourself, Harry replied, patting his stomach. I m just getting warmed up.
Me too, Ron added. Hermione looked disbelievingly at the two of them muttering und
er her breath. Ginny rolled her eyes at them.
Well come on then. Let s take these two pigs to the trough, she shot at them. Hermio
ne let loose a short snort of laughter at Ginny s comment.
They were walking down the street when Hermione stumbled into Harry and fell to
the ground landing awkwardly on her arm. She cried out as the others heard a lou
d snap.
Hermione! Are you ok? Ginny yelped as she and the others bent down to help her. He
rmione was holding her arm gingerly and crying.
Stupid Mudblood, why don t you watch where you re going? The voice registered instantl
y in Harry s brain.
Malfoy.
Help Hermione, Ginny said to him. She and Ron spun to face Malfoy. He was flanked
by his bodyguards; Crabbe and Goyle.
That s it Potter, stay there and hide behind the Weasels, Malfoy snarled at him. Har
ry ignored him.
Hermione?
It s broken, Harry.
Can you get up? he asked.
Not yet, she replied shaking her head. And then nodding to where it had fallen she
added, Just hand me my wand.
Ron had grown a lot over the summer; Crabbe and Goyle didn t seem as big as they h
ad been last year. With the rage he was in, it wouldn t have mattered if they were
full-grown lions. He started forward, forgetting his wand in his pocket. Crabbe
and Goyle moved to meet him.
Wingardium Leviosa! Ginny cast her spell picking the two boys up and tossing them
into the middle of the square. They landed in a heap, and then scrambled to thei
r feet trying to get away from her. Ginny sent another spell at them, tying them
tightly together.
The sneer on Malfoy s face disappeared. The shield spells that he had cast on Crab
be and Goyle before he tripped Hermione had been simply overwhelmed when Ginny s s
pell hit them. He tried to back away from Ron, but the crowd gathering to see wh
at the commotion was all about blocked his escape. Malfoy brought his wand up.
Petrificus Totalus! he screamed.
Protego! Ron yelled. Malfoy s spell deflected off Ron s shield spell, petrifying a nea
rby tree. Ron reached Malfoy, picked him up, and threw him against a nearby wall
. He advanced on Malfoy again in a blind rage.
Malfoy was trying desperately to get away. Ginny, sensing that Ron was beyond re
ason ran up and grabbed him around his waist attempting to hold him back.
Hermione waved her wand over her wrist, speaking a spell. She gasped in pain as
the broken bone in her arm healed.
Help me up, Harry, she whispered, gritting her teeth against the pain in her arm.
Harry pulled her to her feet. They turned together to see what was happening bet
ween Ron, Ginny and Malfoy s gang.
Ron had stopped trying to drag Ginny with him and instead reached his hand towar
ds Malfoy. When he lifted his arm, Malfoy rose into the air. Harry could see Ron
beginning to clench his hand into a fist. Malfoy screamed. Ron was crushing him
.
We have to stop him, Hermione yelled.
How!? Harry yelled back.
Ginny had given up trying to hold Ron back, and was now hitting him with every c
urse she knew. Her spells were simply bouncing off the shield spell Ron had cast
when the fight first began. Hermione ran over and stepped in front of Ron. She
pulled his face around forcing him to look at her.
Put him down, Ronald! As soon as Ron focused on Hermione, Malfoy fell in a heap to
the ground.
Hermione, what?....Are you ok? Ron asked, looking surprised to see her.
Yes I m fine, she answered. Ron looked at Malfoy staggering to his feet. He was hold
ing his side, Crabbe and Goyle were still hopelessly trussed together.
What happened to them? he asked, confused by all the people gathered round them. T
he whole incident had lasted maybe a minute. Ministry officials were beginning t
o rush in now.
What s going on here? one demanded.
They attacked me and my friends, Malfoy jumped in, indicating towards Harry, still
holding his side. See look at them, he added, pointing to Crabbe and Goyle. The o
fficial turned to Harry and the others.
That s a lie, sir. I saw the whole thing. Those two with the red hair only defended
their friend after he, the man pointed at Malfoy, tripped that girl there, the on
e with the brown hair. That other boy, he pointed to Harry. Blimey its .well, he did
n t do anything but hand the girl her wand back after she had fallen. Harry had no
idea who this person was. But he was glad to have him speak up.
I saw it too, sir, happened just like the man said. That one, he pointed at Malfoy
, even called one of them a Mudblood. The official looked around at the crowd.
You two, he pointed at a two of his junior assistants, round up those three. Take t
heir wands. He indicated towards Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, and then spotting thr
ee more of his assistants, as they appeared, snapped instructions at them too.
You three round up any witness who wants to make a statement. The three officials
turned to follow his instructions. The Senior Ministry Official then turned to H
arry and his friends.
You four come with me. He motioned them to a table and sat down. Now which one of y
ou wants to tell me what happened? Ginny started talking, taking the official thr
ough the whole incident.
All right, he said when she had finished. Anyone else want to add anything? They all
shook their heads. You must be Arthur Weasley s kids, he remarked, looking at Ron a
nd Ginny. They nodded in reply. Where are your parents today?
They're waiting for us at the Leaky Cauldron, we re staying there tonight before he
ading to school tomorrow. We were on our way to meet them when Malfoy attacked u
s, Ron answered.
Well go on then. I know where to find you if I need to. And don t worry about this.
I don t think you will be in any trouble over it. Those other three though, he sho
ok his head. They won t be so lucky.

*******************

You re late! I ve been worried sick about you. No message .Nothing to let me know where
you were! Harry, Ron, Ginny, and Hermione blanched. Mrs. Weasley was in full son
g and could deliver a tongue lashing that even Dumbledore preferred to avoid. Th
e four of them looked at each other. Well! Mrs. Weasley demanded.
We would have been here . Harry started, but was interrupted when a Ministry owl sho
t out of the fire place, sailed across the room and dropped a sealed official Mi
nistry envelope in Mrs. Weasley s hair. She took one look at it, and glared at the
m again.
Don t you lot go anywhere. I m not done with you yet!
What do you suppose that is? Harry whispered at Ron.
Hopefully a letter telling her I was switched at birth and my real Mum wants me b
ack. It might keep her from killing me.
You dopes, Hermione cut in. It s probably a letter telling them about what happened w
ith Malfoy. Ginny looked paralyzed at the idea.
I think I would have preferred it if the Ministry guy had just given me to the de
mentors, Ron said morosely.
Arthur! Mrs. Weasley shrieked. All four of them jumped. Come here look at this! She
waved the letter at him. He hurried over to take it from her. They all held thei
r breath as Mrs. Weasley rounded on them.
Hermione, are you ok? At the sound of her name Hermione had tried to duck behind H
arry. Harry felt Hermione s grip relax on his arm, as she realized she was safe. Co
me here let me see that arm. Mrs. Weasley drug Hermione off to a chair. Oh my good
ness dear, healing it yourself, let me check it. Six boys goodness knows I ve fixe
d more than a few broken bones.
It s ok, Mrs. Weasley. Really, it s just sore now. Ginny said that that was normal. T
hat her ankle hurt a little for a day or so after it was healed this spring, Herm
ione tried to reassure Mrs. Weasley.
Mrs. Weasley however, simply ignored her, running her wand over Hermione s arm to
make sure it had healed properly.
Well it seems to be in good order. What spell did you use?
Harry didn't hear Hermione's reply, but saw her wincing as her arm was prodded s
ome more. Mrs. Weasley however, blanched.
Well of course it hurts, that is not a healing spell. It will work, but won t take
away any of the pain .Honestly, you four, always having to do things yourself, not
asking for help . Mrs. Weasley was rambling now, not really talking to anyone in p
articular. Now let me see if I can t make it a little better ..There that should do i
t. Hermione felt the throbbing pain subside to a minor ache.
Thank you. Oh, that s much better. You ll have to teach me that, she said gratefully.
Harry could see the stress leave her face as the pain subsided.
The others had felt safe enough to move, and had joined the two of them at the t
able. Mr. Weasley was rereading the letter for the third time. Mrs. Weasley look
ed up at the others.
Was any one else hurt?
Just Malfoy, Crabbe, and Goyle, Harry answered.
Perhaps one of you could fill in the gaps for us, Mr. Weasley broke in, looking at
Ron.
Ginny, you better tell them. After Hermione fell and I heard Malfoy s voice, I real
ly don t remember anything, Ron replied.
After Ginny finished relating what had happened her parents just looked at her,
and then they turned to Ron. In fact everyone was looking at Ron now. They had b
een joined by a number of other people around the room who, on overhearing bits
of the story, had found it too interesting to prevent them from minding their ow
n business.
I don t believe it, Ginny. You must have just missed seeing it in my hand. I can t do
magic without my wand, Ron said. Most of the others around the circle murmured i
n agreement.
Takes a really powerful wizard to do magic like that without his wand, I d wager on
ly Dumbledore, and You-Know-Who can do it, one old wizard commented. The others n
odded their heads in agreement and started to filter away again.
Excellent tale either way, gave those three a whipping too. All sons of Death Eat
ers, more than deserved what they got, the old wizard said as he wandered back to
the bar for another mug of firewhisky.
I don t care what anyone says, Ginny fumed. I know what I saw. Your wand was not in y
our hand.
I agree with Ginny, mate. I didn t see your wand either, Harry added. Ron looked aro
und; his mother and father had a look of surprise and pride on their faces. He t
urned to Hermione.
What did you see? he asked.
I had to stand right in front of you to get you to drop Malfoy. You were not usin
g a wand, Ronald, Hermione answered softly.
Who would have thought, our little Ronnikins, Fred poked at him.
Knocking the puss out of Malfoy without a wand, George finished, and then belted R
on on the arm.
Ouch, what was that for? Ron snapped at him.
Just making sure, George said.
That you remember not to try it on us. Or we ll turn you into a pretzel, said Fred s
miling at him.
Dinner that night was quite a celebration. Ron spent the night listening to Harr
y, Ginny and Hermione as they were forced to retell different parts of the story
again and again.
Maybe I really didn t use my wand, he thought to himself.
Well I certainly don t recall pulling it out, the voice in his head spoke up.
Well since you don t, he doesn t, and I don t either, I guess that makes three of us,
a second voice remarked. Ron s face took on a puzzled expression, that no one else
around the table noticed.
Well since you two can t, and I don t remember any of it, I guess I ll just have to ta
ke their word for it, Ron answered.
Hey, you think we ll make the paper tomorrow? the second voice asked.
For what? the first responded.
Will you guys both shut it, Ron said to them.

********************

Hermione was just sitting down to eat breakfast when Mrs. Weasley came running d
own the stairs.
Oh no you don t, she snapped at her. You finish eating right now. Just once, I m going
to get you kids to the station on time. And put that paper away, you can read it
on the train. Hermione stuffed the paper in her bag, and started eating quickly.

Ronald, Harry! Get up now! she shrieked up the stairs. Hermione started gulping do
wn her breakfast washing the last bite down with a large swig of pumpkin juice.
Oh .that s a good girl. Now go get your trunk and tell Ginny if she s not down here, re
ady to go in ten minutes, I ll arrange for her to be in detention for the next wee
k when she gets to Hogwarts.

********************

Harry couldn t believe it. All their trunks had been loaded into the luggage compa
rtment. He was sitting in a compartment with Ron, Ginny, and Hermione and the cl
ock had just chimed nine bells. They were two hours early.
After the frenzied rush of barley making it to the train the previous five years
it felt anticlimactic. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley had already said their goodbyes, an
d now the four of them were just sitting, waiting for the rest of the students t
o show up and the train to leave.
Aren t you going to go look for Dean? Ron asked Ginny, hostility evident in his voic
e.
No, he didn t write me this summer, so I broke up with him about a week ago, Ginny r
eplied without looking up from the book Harry had bought her. Harry watched Ron s
face go from grumpy to cheerful in the span of about two seconds.
I told you he could be a git, Ron replied happily.
You, are a git Ronald Weasley. But I love you anyways. Ron opened his mouth to ret
ort, but stopped when the door to the compartment opened, it was Luna and Nevill
e. Harry moved over to make room for them.
Ron! Neville exclaimed. Knocking Malfoy around like that, wish I could have seen it
. Luna sat down next to Harry.
Hello, she said dreamily.
Hello Luna, Harry replied.
Who told you about that? Hermione asked. Neville looked at her and then the others
.
It s in the paper. Didn t you see? You made the front page Ron, Neville answered. This
proclamation was enough to get Ginny to lift her head from her book. She joined
Harry, Ron and Hermione as they stared at Neville in bewilderment. Hermione gas
ped, she had completely forgotten about the paper. She reached into her bag and
pulled it out.
See, I told you. Neville pointed to the front page.
The entire front page of the Daily Prophet was covered with a picture of Ron, hi
s arm out stretched. Malfoy was floating in the air struggling, and appeared to
be screaming in pain. Ginny was in the picture casting spells at Ron that were b
ouncing off of him. And then Hermione would run up in front of Ron. The scene ke
pt repeating itself over and over. Harry took note that Ron s wand was still in hi
s pocket in the picture. He shifted his eyes to the headline.

*****

FIGHT BETWEEN HOGWARTS STUDENTS INJURES TWO AT DIAGON ALLEY.


What s the rest of it say, Hermione? Harry asked. Hermione looked at the page and st
arted to read the article out loud.
Diagon Alley:
Two were injured in an incident yesterday between students of Hogwarts School of
Witchcraft and Wizardry. The incident began when Draco Malfoy, son of Lucious M
alfoy, a know Death Eater who recently escaped from prison to rejoin You-Know-Wh
o, brutally attacked fellow student Hermione Granger.
Miss Granger you may recall has been linked romantically with Harry Potter, thou
gh young Harry has denied the claim. Miss Granger suffered a broken arm when she
fell after being tripped by Draco Malfoy. One witness described the scene after
the attack. The Prophet has taken the liberty of filling in the names for our w
itness.
Well after the Malfoy boy tripped that poor girl, her friends went to help her. I
t was obvious she had been hurt. I could hear the bone snap in her arm and I was
twenty feet away. She healed it herself you know. Anyways, then that brat, Malf
oy called her a Mudblood. That s when two of her friends, later identified as Ronal
d and Ginny Weasley, confronted him.
Ronald and Ginny are both the children of Arthur Weasley, who works for the Mini
stry of Magic, in the Miss-Use of Muggle Artifacts Division.
The boy (Ron) started towards Draco, when his two friends, Crabbe and Goyle, also
sons of know Death Eaters, moved to protect him. The girl (Ginny), she hit them w
ith a levitation spell and tossed them about twenty feet across the square. She
then tied them up with a binding spell. Pretty good display of magical skill too
. Took them Ministry Officials an hour to get them loose, had to call in an Auro
r.
Well anyways, then it gets real interesting see. Because the other one, Ron. Well
, he s still going after that Draco boy, when Draco hits him with a petrifying spe
ll. Only Ron blocks it with a shield spell. But he s not using a wand! I tell you
he blocked that spell and his wand was still in his pocket. So then Ron picks up
Draco and just physically throws him against that wall there, no magic or nothi
ng.
"Now Draco is looking scared. His friends can t help him and the other boy is stil
l coming after him. So now Ginny, she must get scared that her brother is going
to kill the Malfoy boy. Would serve him right in my opinion - Death Eater, or so
n of a Death Eater, can t be any better than his father. Oh yeah, so she grabs a h
old of her brother trying to stop him. He can t drag her forward but that doesn t st
op him. He just reaches out his hand at Draco and picks him up with magic. No wa
nd again!
His sister is really scared now. She stops trying to hold him back, starts to let
loose every spell in the book at him. But the shield he put up when the fight s
tarted is still protecting him. So spells are deflecting everywhere. My wife had
jiggly legs till an hour ago, it s been five hours since she got hit. So then Ron
starts to close his hand into a fist like he is trying to crush the Malfoy boy.
I think he might have done it too cause Draco is screaming like he is in pain n
ow.
That s when the Granger girl, she just walks up to Ron grabs his face so he has to
look at her and yells at him to put the boy down. Soon as Ron sees her face, the
Malfoy boy just falls to the ground in a heap.
Now mind you, I ve never seen a really powerful wizard like Albus Dumbledore in a b
attle or anything. But what that Weasley boy did and without a wand, that was th
e most impressive display of magic I have ever seen. Several other witnesses to t
he altercation were able to corroborate this account of the incident for the Pro
phet.
I tell you what, one lady said. I m glad I wasn t the one what tripped that girl. This
eemed to be the sentiment of everyone who had witnessed the altercation.
Narcissa Malfoy, Draco s mother was later reported to have demanded charges be bro
ught against Ronald and Ginny Weasley. She claimed that her son had suffered sev
eral broken ribs, and would be late arriving at Hogwarts for the start of term b
ecause of it. When questioned, Ministry officials informed the Daily Prophet tha
t Mrs. Malfoy had been told no action would be taken against the Weasley childre
n as it was her son who had started the whole thing. In fact Draco and both his
friends Crabbe and Goyle were being cited for inciting a near riot and fined fif
ty galleons each.
The Daily Prophet was unable to contact Miss Granger or the Weasley children for
comment on the incident. I can only add that we should all be so lucky as to ha
ve such a Knight in Shining Armor come to our rescue as Ronald Weasley.
Rita Seeker: Reporting.

*****
Well, glad to see she is reporting the facts for a change, Hermione said looking a
round at the others. Ron had turned a slight shade of pink. Harry watched as a s
inful grin come over Hermione s face. He nodded at her.
Oh Ron! she exclaimed throwing herself on the floor in front of him wrapping her a
rms around his legs. You really are my Knight in Shining Armor. The others burst o
ut laughing as Ron s face turned crimson.
Get off of me! He tried pushing her away. Hermione wouldn t let up though, smotherin
g him with hugs and trying to kiss him.
My hero, oh my brave hero, she kept teasing him. Ginny and Luna joined in grabbing
him around the legs.
Oh protect us too Ron, save us from Malfoy please Ron.
Harry and Neville were laughing so hard they had fallen off their seats and were
sitting on the floor holding their sides. Ron finally extracted himself from th
e girls, and stood on the seat, brandishing his wand at them.
Stay away from me, you nutcases.
Oh our hero doesn t like our attention, Ginny said pretending to be hurt.
Ron, please don t leave us, Luna added batting her eyelashes at him. Ginny and Hermi
one joined her.
You three are insane, Ron fumed at them, but then burst into laughter at himself a
nd their ridiculous performance. Harry and Neville managed to climb back onto th
e bench, still hiccupping from laughing so hard. Harry wiped a tear from his eye
.
Oh boy, this is great. You ll never hear the end of that one, Ron. It s not going to
be any better for you either Hermione, he added laughing at both of them now.
I can hear it now. Look there she is, Harry said, mimicking some unknown student. S
hush, we don t want her Knight in Shining Armor to come after us. He burst out laug
hing again; Neville, Ginny and Luna all joined him. The four of them were fallin
g over each other again when they realized that Ron and Hermione were standing o
ver them with their wands pointing down. They tried to stop.
Oh come on you two, we're only teasing, Ginny said getting control of herself. She
might have saved them until she caught Harry s eye.
Oh Ronnie save me, she snickered. The others couldn t take it and joined in again.
Petrify? Ron asked looking at Hermione.
I think that will do nicely, make it weak though, Hermione replied. Harry was tryi
ng to stop. He held his hand up towards them.
No wait.
Petrificus! Hermione said.
Totalus! Ron finished.
Well that s better, they make a nice statute don t you think? Ron asked.
I think we should set it up in your mother s garden, Hermione replied. She took his
arm, Come on Hero, we better go to the Prefects meeting.
What about Ginny, she needs to go too? Ron asked.
Oh she ll be along in about five minutes; we can stall till she gets there. Hermione
drug Ron out of the compartment and headed towards the front of the train.
Ron . Hermione said as they walked forward.
Yeah?
Thank you for protecting me yesterday.
We were all doing something to help you. Not just me, Ron answered quietly.
The mark of a true hero giving credit to others when you should, Hermione told him
.
Well I learned from Harry. They had reached the front of the train and Ron paused
for a moment.
Hermione, Ron said, she looked up at him, You re welcome, he finished, and then went t
hrough the door.
Well, Ron said, sitting back down next to Harry after the Prefects meeting, the pape
r was right. Malfoy isn t on the train, neither are Crabbe and Goyle.
Good riddance, Ginny commented. It will be a nice ride for once then. Unless, she sa
id turning to Harry, the hero and damsel in distress petrify us again. Harry had t
o try very hard not to snort the pumpkin juice he was drinking through his nose.
The ride to the school was quiet, though Harry noticed a lot of students seemed
to be walking by their compartment on the train more than once. Some were even p
ointing at Ron and Hermione. Ron didn t notice at all, but he could see Hermione g
row uncomfortable under the stares. He couldn t help feeling bad for them. He knew
what was coming, having been through it many times before. The train pulled int
o the station and they piled out, looking for a carriage to take them up to the
school.
Firs years, over here, come on now firs yers. Harry smiled at the comforting sound
of Hagrid s voice as he rounded up the first year students for the boat ride acro
ss the lake.
Hi ya Harry, Hagrid called out with a wave. And there s our new hero," he shot at Ron
. Ron and Hermione both scowled at him and ducked into the carriage before too m
any people started to stare.
See ya later, Hagrid, Harry called with a wave.
The students filed into the Great Hall, Luna broke away from them headed for the
Ravenclaw table. Harry sat down between Hermione and Ginny, looking up at the h
ead table. All of the teachers from last year were back except for Madam Umbridg
e. He saw Remus Lupin and there next to him was Tonks. Harry scanned further dow
n the table and stopped. Next to Madam Hootch, the flying instructor, was Viktor
Krum. Krum noticed Harry staring and nodded at him. Harry nodded back.
What s he doing here? he asked himself. The same question must have gone through R
on s head because he had turned to Hermione and asked her.
He who? she replied.
Him, Ron said, pointing to Krum. Hermione looked up and gasped.
I .I have no idea, she stammered. Ron and Harry stared at her incredulously.
Oh, like I m supposed to believe you didn t know he was going to be here, Ron replied
accusingly. Harry felt the same way, but didn t say anything. He was more worried
about the fight that was brewing. It had been a great summer without Ron and Her
mione at each other s throats. Knowing Ron s feelings for Hermione, it looked like t
hings were about to change for the worse.
Ronald, I m telling you the truth, I haven t heard from him since he asked me to come
see him at the beginning of the summer. Hermione looked at Ron and Harry, she se
emed to be pleading with them, with Ron to believe her.
He wanted you to come see him, Ron asked quietly. What did you tell him?
Well considering where I spent the whole holiday, I would think the answer was ob
vious, Hermione replied, her voice filled with hurt. Ron looked down; Hermione s ob
vious pain at his lack of trust was too much for even him to miss.
I m sorry, Hermione. I should know you well enough to trust you by now, Ron mumbled
unable to meet her eyes.
You re forgiven, Ronald, Hemione replied quietly. Harry looked at Ginny.
Whew, she mouthed to him. He nodded back.
So, what is he doing here then? Ginny asked.
I guess we ll find out soon enough, Harry answered. Hey look, the Sorting is about to
begin. Hermione missed the Sorting, or at least didn t pay any attention to it.
What is he doing here? she wondered to herself.
I don t have a clue, about it either, the voice in her head answered.
Arrrghh, did it ever occur to either of you that he might have job here? the sec
ond voice that existed in Hermione s head screamed at them.
Hermione had first developed her second voice in her third year when she was usi
ng the Time Turner to get to all her classes. It was what had enabled her to get
all the work done that had gone with it. She hadn t spoken to Hermione much since
that year had finished.
I see you re still in a crabby mood, Hermione replied.
If you had been doing all that homework, you would have been in a bad mood too,
the voice shot back.
We haven t heard from you in a while, how come? the first voice asked.
Didn t have anything to say, came the reply.
So Viktor showing up is occasion enough for you to bless us with you opinion aga
in then? Hermione asked.
Well .yeah, that would be the short of it, the voice answered.
And your opinion is? the first voice asked.
Already told you, the second voice answered.
As helpful as always, said the first in disgust.
The both of you be quiet, I m trying to think, Hermione snapped at them.
Oh, and we're not? both voices shot back at her.
If either of you has an idea of what I should do about this, I m listening then.
I was beginning to wonder if you would ever ask, the second voice replied.
I m waiting, Hermione responded.
We are not going to do anything. We told Viktor what kind of relationship we wer
e interested in. If he has some other agenda here with us besides some new job,
then that is too bad. Hermione sat quietly, digesting the conversation that had
gone on in her head.
Are you always so straight to the point? she asked the second voice.
That s me. I make you look positively subtle. Hermione cut herself short of retort
ing.
I heard that you know. I m me, but I m you too, the voice said.
Then how come I don t hear from you all of the time? Hermione asked.
If I have anything to say, you ll hear it, if not, well then you won t, the voice an
swered.
What if I ask you a question?
I m here whenever you call me. If you don t use me, then eventually I ll just disappea
r, the voice said matter of factly.
Are there more of you living in my head? Hermione asked.
I haven t a clue, the second voice answered.
Well don t ask me, I didn t know she was there until she first showed up three years
ago, the first voice said.
Oh, look the Sorting must be over, it looks like Dumbledore is getting ready to
speak, the second voice said. Hermione looked up at the Headmaster.
Instead of speaking, he motioned to a group of three older students who had been
standing off to the side. As they came forward, Hermione could see one boy who
looked to be of Chinese descent and two girls, who from their appearance, did no
t give her any clues as to guessing where they might be from. One thing that lef
t no doubts in her mind, as evidenced by the stares of the boy s all around her, t
hey were both stunning. Hermione looked at Neville, his mouth was hanging open.
Typical, she snorted to herself. She turned, looking at some of the others, most
of who were in the same state. Hermione turned to Ron and Harry with growing an
ger. Harry and Ron were both looking at the new group of students too. They star
ed for a second or two, and then turned to each other.
Who do you suppose they are? Harry asked. Ron shrugged.
Hey, do you think Krum might be here to help with the Quidditch teams?
If so, it can t hurt can it? Harry asked. Hermione felt her anger subside.
Maybe Ron s growing up, the second voice said.
What about Harry, looks like both of them are to me, the first voice added.
We have three new students all in their fifth year of magical training, Professor
McGonagall was saying. They come to us from Beauxbaton s school in France. They mus
t now be sorted into their proper house. Please make sure that you all welcome t
hem into the Hogwart s family, no matter which house they are sorted into. She peer
ed over her glasses at the rest of the students. Lee Xia. The Chinese boy came for
ward to put on the sorting hat.
To Harry, the hat seemed to think for some time before placing the boy in Huffle
puff. The hat took an equally long time before placing Maggie Antionette in Huff
elpuff also.
Bridgette Weasley, Professor McGonagall called out the last girl s name. All around
the Gryffindor table heads turned to look at Ron and Ginny, who looked at each o
ther and then back up at the girl who was now sitting under the Sorting Hat.
Another Weasley! the hat said speaking inside her head.
That s me, Bridgette thought back to the hat, though you wouldn t know it having blond
hair and all. Don t suppose you want to tell me what house my cousins are in?
You would like to join them then? the hat seized on her question.
No, just wondering.
Ah! The ability to think for yourself, good. Gryffindor by the way, the hat said.
The house of bravery, not sure I m up to that, Bridgette answered.
Bravery is not what you are born with. It is a matter of choice. But if you feel
that way perhaps somewhere else, you have talent I see; we could use that in Sly
therin? The hat seemed to be asking her.
I thought you decided, Bridgette responded.
Not always, others have told me where they wanted to go before.
Then not Slytherin.
That leaves us two to choose from,
I think, I would choose, Bridgette told the hat.
You have chosen well
RAVENCLAW! the hat yelled into the hall.
Thank you, Bridgette thought to the hat as she took it off.
Wow that took a long time, Harry said.
Is she related to you? Hermione asked, looking at Ron and Ginny.
Yeah, she is, Ginny spoke up. Her family used to live by us, but they moved when I
was four or five. I think I m about three weeks older than her."
Yeah, I can remember all of us playing in the garden when we were little, Ron adde
d. But we haven t seen them since they moved. I know Mum and Dad keep in touch with
her parents. Wonder why they didn t tell us she was going to be here? Ron looked o
ver to the Ravenclaw table. His cousin was sitting next to Luna. He turned back
around.
Imagine that, a blond Weasley, he commented. Looks like Dumbledore s about to start,
hope he hurries, I m starved.
Welcome, Dumbledore began, to another year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wiz
ardry. I think .that it is time to eat. He clapped his hands together and as usual
the tables filled with food.
Looks like Dumbledore is still the same, Ginny remarked before digging in. I swear
Tom Riddle could walk up there, sit under the Sorting Hat and he wouldn t even bli
nk.
That s because, Harry replied, you didn t see the two of them fighting at the Ministry
last year.
The students gradually began to drift into conversation, getting re-acquainted w
ith friends who they had not seen since last spring. Eating, drinking, and getti
ng sleepy as the piles of food began to disappear. Dumbledore was standing again
. The hall grew quiet waiting for the usual start of term announcements.
Well now that we have all eaten. And, he paused, looking at Ron and then Hermione,
our heroes and their maidens in distress have returned to us, he said with a smil
e of pride. The hall erupted in laughter while Ron and Hermione tried to sink ou
t of sight.
What, you re not going to try and petrify him? Harry laughed at them. Dumbledore rai
sed his hand to regain the attention of his students.
Yes, well, a good laugh at the expense of what was truly a noble act on Mr. Weasl
eys part. I do hope you will forgive me? He looked to Ron. Ron nodded back.
Miss Granger? his gaze shifted.
Of course, Headmaster, she said loudly.
Let the rest of us not forget that Mr. Weasley had the help of his sister. And th
at Miss Granger maintained a cool head, while in great distress. Remember, now t
hat Voldemort has returned, in the trying times ahead, that great acts of braver
y in defense of others, while maintaining a cool head may be the difference betw
een life .and death.
Harry looked around the hall. There were many students who looked to be terrifie
d. You couldn t see it, but Harry was one of them. Unlike most of them, Harry was
not afraid that he might be killed. He was scared because if he could not defeat
Voldemort all these people would suffer. The weight of the prophecy suddenly fe
lt very heavy.
And no one can help me either, he thought to himself. Harry shook his head.
We are not alone. We might be the ones who can deliver the final blow to Voldemo
rt, but Ron may deliver the blow that makes ours possible, the voices said. Just
then he felt Hermione and Ginny squeeze his legs under the table.
Thanks, he whispered quietly to them, definitely glad to remember that his friends
would not leave him to fight alone. Harry looked up, Dumbledore was speaking ag
ain.
Now on a lighter note, I am pleased to announce that Professor Remus Lupin has re
turned to us as our Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher. Some of you may have
concerns that Professor Lupin happens to be a werewolf .You may take your choice .Yo
u can receive instruction from the best teacher possible to arm you against Vold
emort or you can find yourself lacking when he or his Death Eaters come for you.
When making your decision, I urge you to consider that all of your parents have
been informed of this appointment and have still sent you to be taught by him.
Furthermore, as a bow to the concern for your safety, we have added to our staff
Nymphandora Tonks. Professor Tonks is a fully trained Auror. She has been taske
d with assisting Professor Lupin in the classroom and with controlling him durin
g the full moon. I assure you, she is more than capable.
Harry looked at his friends. They all stared at each other and back towards him.
It looks like Dumbledore has had enough Ministry interference at Hogwarts, Ron sai
d with a smile. The others nodded their agreement.
I am also pleased to announce that Professor Grubbyplank will be our full time Ca
re of Magical Creatures Instructor-- Harry looked to where Hagrid was sitting, he
was beaming.
Why s he so happy? he asked himself silently.
--This has been done, Dumbledore continued, because the Ministry has seen fit to fi
nally clear Hagrid of the crimes for which he was accused. These wrongful accusa
tions led to Hagrid being expelled from Hogwarts in his third year. I am pleased
to inform you that Hagrid will resume his training as a wizard, joining the res
t of this years fourth year students. He will continue in his duties as game kee
per, but alas, will not have time to act as your teacher anymore. Dumbledore fini
shed this announcement with a huge smile on his face.
The Great Hall exploded in cheers. Most of the students loved Hagrid, and were t
hrilled to hear he would resume his training as a wizard. The announcement had t
he added bonus of relieving them of Hagrid s classes, which usually stood a good c
hance of seriously injuring, if not killing someone. Dumbledore had his hand up
once again asking for silence.
I am sure that many of our students being Quidditch players will be able to tell
you that qualifying tournaments for the next World Cup have begun. This brings u
s to Madam Hootch, who in addition to her duties as our flying instructor and Qu
idditch coach, has been asked to referee for some qualifying matches. In order t
o facilitate this, we have added another assistant to our staff, Mr. Victor Krum
, whom many of you will recognize from his time as the Bulgarian National side s S
eeker. Mr. Krum also competed in the Triwizard Cup which was held at Hogwarts tw
o years ago."
Well that answers that question, was heard inside four different heads at the sa
me time.
This brings me to the last announcement of this long winded speech before sending
you off to bed, Dumbledore said with a smile at his students. We will be having a
Valentines Day Ball this year. It will be open to all students fourth year and
up. As always if you wish to bring a student from first through third year you m
ay. Thank you for your attention and have a good year. Dumbledore sat down.

********************

Harry, Ron and Hermione were in the back of Snape s classroom, discussing the even
ts of the welcoming dinner from the night before. Professor Snape stormed in, sl
amming the door shut behind him. It was reminiscent of the first time Harry had
been in the room.
I see, he said icily glaring in Harry s direction, that the sweet day of our parting
has been delayed. Snape moved his gaze around the rest of the room. Harry knew be
tter than to bite. He was determined to spend the year learning what he could in
Potions while attracting as little attention to himself as possible. Snape s focu
s turned to Ron and Hermione.
It would also appear that three of our more gifted students find themselves .indisp
osed. The Slytherin students in the class looked threateningly in their direction
.
Directions are on the board. Snape waved his wand at it. A sample on my desk by the
end of class Friday, as it will take the week. Please Mr. Weasley do not squeez
e the bubotubers too hard he said, in an obvious reference to Ron attempting to c
rush Draco two days before. The stink it makes is only slightly less appealing th
an the site of you three in my classroom again. Ron and Hermione were fuming as t
hey left the dungeon.
The git, Ron stormed. I have half a mind to reach my hand out and crush his chest.
I wouldn t stop you this time, Hermione snapped. The three of them had spent half th
e class casting shield spells around their cauldrons so the Slytherin students sp
ells wouldn t knock them over. Harry had found his own resolve to behave sorely te
sted, it looked to be a long year.
You think we had it rough, Ron said, what about Ginny? She s in there alone. Harry sto
pped. They all looked at each other concern on their faces.
Wait a second, she ll be ok, I saw her schedule. She has Potions with the rest of t
he fifth year Gryffindors and Ravenclaw, Hermione said, relief evident in her voi
ce.
Well let s see if we can find her to warn her about what to expect from Snape, Harry
replied. They didn t meet up with Ginny till dinner that night.
You re right, Snape was awful to me, she told them. But I got even. The three of them
stared at her.
What did you do? Ron asked afraid of the answer, figuring somehow his mother would
blame him for not keeping an eye on his sister.
Well I have transfiguration with the Slytherins. And they were trying to shoot sp
ells at me, so I set a shield around myself. They were so busy trying to get pas
t it, they didn t notice me sneak their summer essay for Professor McGonagll out o
f their bags using the summoning charm. Professor McGonagall was so mad when the
y didn t have it she gave them all detention for tomorrow night, Ginny answered. Ha
rry was impressed. Hermione was speechless.
Bloody Hell, Ginny, the whole lot of them in detention, brilliant, Ron said.
Thank you. I was rather pleased with myself, Ginny replied.
Ginny, Hermione asked, how did you keep the shield spell going while you used the s
ummoning charm? Ginny frowned.
I m not real sure. I guess I just used part of my brain to work on that while the r
est of my brain worked on getting to their homework.
Well duh, the second voice in Hermione s head popped off, how do you think we got
through third year? I did the homework, you two did other things.
Do you mean to tell us, that you could have simply held the shield spell during
Potions, instead of making us recast it all day? the first voice asked.
Sure.
Now she tells us, the first voice cried in exasperation.
Well no one asked me, the second voice said defensively.
I think from now on, that you should speak up more often, Hermione said, to the
second voice.
Harry what do you think about getting everyone going with the DA again instead of
just the four of us? Ginny asked him.
I m not sure; Dumbledore hasn t said whether we could.
Well Umbridge told us we couldn t last year, and we did anyways, Ron remarked. I say
we just do it and see what happens. Harry looked around at the other three.
I agree with Ron, Hermione added.
Me too, Ginny said. Harry pulled the galleon he used to set meetings with out of h
is pocket.
How about next Friday? he asked. The others nodded at him. Harry dialed in the set
tings and slipped the coin back into his pocket. He looked around at his friends
' smiling faces and grinned back.
Well, here we go again, he remarked.

Authors note:
I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev
iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

Back to index
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 6: The First Friday


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Ms. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Ron stood in front of the stone gargoyles that guarded the staircase to Professo
r Dumbledore s office. Again he found himself wondering about the wisdom of asking
for Dumbledore s help. Why he should take the time to help a student protect a di
ary seemed to be lost on Ron now. He felt foolish for wasting the headmaster s tim
e. Ron had considered not going at all. But the warning about being late that Du
mbledore had given him had convinced Ron that that would be a poor choice to mak
e.
Well this is just great, he thought to himself. How do I get in when he didn t giv
e me the password?
Hello? he asked. The gargoyle on the left stirred.
What do you want Weasley?
Professor Dumbledore was going to help me with a problem, Ron answered. He told me
to come to his office to discuss it, but forgot to give me the password.
No password, no entrance, said the gargoyle.
Is there some way you could tell him I m here or something? Ron asked in exasperatio
n. At this, the gargoyle on the right opened its eyes.
Does it look like we get to move around much to you? We are made of stone if you
hadn t noticed, it snarled at Ron.
Sorry, I m not trying to be a git or anything, Ron apologized, surprised that he cou
ld offend a block of rock.
I thought I only had that kind of effect on Hermione, he said silently to himsel
f. Figuring that Dumbledore had forgotten about the appointment Ron turned to go
, and was blinded by a flash of light. Fawkes, Dumbledore s phoenix appeared befor
e him and dropped a letter into his hands. Ron opened the letter, there were two
words written on it, along with Professor Dumbledore s signature.
Rock Candy? Ron said out loud. What the heck does that mean? No sooner had the words
left his lips than the parchment burst into flames in his hands. Ron dropped th
e parchment in surprise.
Bloody Hell! he yelped, and then turned as he heard the familiar sound of the ston
e steps turning their way up to Professor Dumbledore s office.
Rock Candy, that s the password? Ron shook his head as he went up the stairs. He kno
cked on the door to Dumbledore s office.
Come in, Mr. Weasley, Dumbledore said from inside. Ron entered the office. Come, si
t down while we figure out how to protect this diary of yours Ronald." Ron walke
d over and sat down on the couch.
Though I do believe, continued Dumbledore, that you could have protected it from sn
oops without my help. I did not make you a Prefect for nothing last year you kno
w, Dumbledore finished, looking at Ron over his glasses.
I know I could have protected it myself, from most people, but I also know that H
ermione could get past anything I did. I was hoping you could help me come up wi
th something even she could not beat, Ron replied. Sir, I really feel kind of dumb
asking you for help with this. I know you have more important things to do. So
if you want to cancel this whole thing, I would understand, he added.
Ah .yes, Miss Granger .quite a girl would you not agree? Dumbledore said with a twinkl
e in his eyes. He seemed, to not have heard the second part of Ron s response. Ron
looked at him for a second and then just nodded his head.
Yes, well to your problem, Dumbledore commented, breaking the silence. I had this s
ame issue when I wanted to write in a diary. They are over there, he waved at a p
ile of five or six books, and I defy you to figure out how to get at what is in t
hem. I think we shall do the same to yours. I ll give you a clue as to what I did.
I found the secret lay in the diary recognizing that its owner was holding it.
So .I created a spell to protect it. Does that help you? Ron thought for a while. I
t looked like this lesson was going to happen no matter what he said.
Nothing s ever easy with Dumbledore is it? the first voice commented.
If it was easy, then we wouldn t need his help, now shut it. I m hoping to learn som
ething here tonight, the second voice was back again.
That s twice now. Who the heck is that? Ron demanded silently.
I m me, and you, same as the other guy, the second voice replied.
Who s the other guy? Ron asked.
That would be me, the first voice answered.
Now, I m really confused. Both of you, whoever you are, shut it for a while, Ron s
aid to the voices.
If you say so, but don t forget, your wand recognizes you, and other sorcerers wand
s recognize them, the second voice offered before falling silent.
Dumbledore watched Ron carefully. He thought he recognized what was happening in
Ron s head from the expression on his face. It never occurred to him to help Ron
out though. Like speaking Parsletongue, the gift either existed or it did not.
Ron mulled the thought about his wand over in his mind for a long time. Dumbledo
re, it appeared, was in no hurry, calmly letting him think for as long as it wou
ld take. Ron wandered around the office as he turned the problem over in his min
d, stopping at a table with a chessboard on it. It looked like white was winning
with five more pieces on the board than black. But that didn t tell the whole pic
ture; black was the side on the attack while white was scrambling to defend its
king.
Who s playing? Ron asked, after a moment. Dumbledore studied him over his glasses.
I am playing an old friend. He sends me an owl with his move, Dumbledore replied.
Which side is he?
Black, Dumbledore answered. Ron looked up in surprise.
He is perhaps the greatest player in the world, Dumbledore remarked. If he were not
a Muggle, it would have been his knowledge on the chessboard protecting the sto
ne your first year, not mine. Ron shook his head at the thought, refocusing on hi
s problem with the diary.
Well I know that my wand knows me and that if I use another wizard or witch s wand
I don t get as good a result as with mine.
Why don t you try my wand? Dumbledore said holding it out for Ron to take. Go ahead,
one you are really good at.
Ron hesitated a second. To be offered a chance with another wizard s wand was not
something that happened very often. He thought it more likely Hermione would qui
t nagging him about homework.
Yeah, he smiled, that would never happen. Ron snapped out of his reverie.
Go on, said Dumbledore.
Ron closed his hand around Dumbledore s wand; none of the familiar warmth was ther
e like when he held his own. Ron concentrated hard and with a swish and flick he
called out.
Wingardium Leviosa! Ron aimed the wand at the sorting hat on the shelf behind Dumb
ledore. Nothing happened.
Didn t even tickle, the hat chuckled at him.
Surprised, Ron tried again, five times in all and nothing. Dumbledore smiled ser
enely at him. Ron pulled out his own wand, warmth flowing into his hand.
Wingardium Leviosa!
Wheee! the hat screeched, as Ron zoomed it around the room.
My wand will not work for you at all, nor any other witch or wizard. I placed a s
pell on it so it would only recognize me. I did not wish to lose it in battle an
d have it turned against me, Dumbledore commented.
Ron looked thoughtfully at Dumbledore for a minute; he then walked over to the s
tack of diaries. Dumbledore just watched him. Picking one up Ron opened it to th
e middle, nothing, he flipped through the book it was empty. He picked up anothe
r and got the same result.
I assure you that they are filled with the details of my life.
You used the same spell on the book as you did on your wand, Ron said.
Even better .Think, replied Dumbledore. Ron sat for quite some time, with the voices
in his head jabbering back and forth at him. Ron just let them go this time. Fi
nally they came back with an idea he liked. A smile spread across his face.
I ve got it. You spelled your wand to recognize only you. You used the same spell o
n the diary so it will only show you what is written, or whoever you want to see
it, Ron added. Dumbledore smiled. And you caused the book to only recognize your
wand. So that no other wand could erase your protections, Ron said in a rush. Dum
bledore s eyes radiated with pride.
Now can you create the spell? he asked. Ron s spirit fell as quickly as it had risen
.
Create a spell? he thought. Who does he think I am? It s not like I m as powerful as
he is, or Vold.. You-Know-Who, Ron caught himself. I m not even as powerful as Ha
rry or as smart as Hermione for that matter. Both of who have not managed to cre
ate a new spell. Come to think of it, Dumbledore is the only one I know who has.
Dumbledore interrupted his train of thought.
Mr. Weasley, it is late. Ron hadn t noticed that it was dark out now.
You and I are heading in a direction that I dare say could teach you more in one
night than you have learned in the five years and one week you have spent in thi
s school. I am willing to lose a night of sleep if you are. Ron could not believe
his ears. Harry was always the one who got time with Dumbledore.
We re not going anywhere, the voices yelled in unison at him. Ron nodded.
Go ahead Professor.
Take out your wand, Ronald. Ron pulled out his wand, holding it in his hand; it se
emed to be warmer than he remembered it ever being. Tell me, what is it you are h
olding, Ronald?
It s a magic wand, Ron replied slightly puzzled.
In a way you are right .and wrong, Ronald. Truly, without you or some other wizard
or witch it is just a stick with some magic object in it. Be it; dragon heart st
ring, vella hair, tail hair of a unicorn, or any number of other objects with ma
gical properties. The secret of it is, and no one knows why, the magic object re
cognizes the magic in you. That is the warmth you feel in your hand. The wand is
really just a tool to amplify and direct the magic that has been placed within
you. You however, in light of recent events, should be quite aware of the fact t
hat a really powerful wizard or witch does not need a wand to perform magic.
Professor Dumbledore said all of this in steady even voice, that seemed to be ch
allenging Ron to find something within himself. Ron sat quietly thinking about w
hat Dumbledore had told him. The voices were both quiet. Somehow though, Ron kne
w they were thinking about what Dumbledore had said too. If they came up with an
idea, they would let him know.
Tell me Ronald, how does your wand know that it should levitate the hat instead o
f open the lock on the door?
I tell it to, Ron answered.
Exactly! Dumbledore replied triumphantly. So you see, any magic person can create a
spell, if they can find the magic that has been placed in them. All the magic y
ou can do now, no matter how difficult the spell, is easy because you see it don
e, believe it can be done. You stand on the shoulders of genius. That is how pro
gress is made. It is in creating a new spell that advances can be made. The tric
k is, finding it within yourself to make the advance. Mind you, that is not easy
. I myself, and for that matter Voldemort have only come up with a handful or tw
o of new things between us. Usually an advance arises out of a perceived great n
eed. Ron shivered at the Dark Lord s name, but forced himself to focus on Dumbledor
e s words.
What was always amazing to me, Dumbledore said quietly, was that after I came up wi
th the solution, how simple the problem really was. Think back on your diary and
see if you can t come up with the answer. You know it can be done, even if I have
n t showed you how.
Ron sat for some time staring at his reflection in the mirror. He wasn t aware of
the conversation the two voices were having in his head, focused instead only on
his own voice.
How can I spell my wand to recognize only me? Then use it to spell the diary so
that it will only recognize me or spells from my wand and only my wand? Bloody h
ell! How do I even point my wand at itself to spell it? he asked as he stared at
his reflection.
Use the mirror you idiot, the first voice said to him. A smile spread across his
face at his own stupidity.
You don t have to be mean about it you know, Ron said to the voice. Ron stood up a
nd walked to Dumbledore s desk picking up the mirror.
The words don t really matter, do they? The second voice supplied the words he voice
d to Dumbledore, though they were more of a statement than a question. They reall
y just help to focus the mind, so the wand knows what to amplify, Ron added looki
ng at Dumbledore.
Dumbledore s eyes were dancing with pride. It felt really good to see that smile a
nd pride on Dumbledore s face. Ron had earned that look himself, no help from Herm
ione or Harry, or anyone else.
I really don t mind them getting more attention than I do, Ron thought to himself.
But it sure feels good to be first once, the second voice said.
Well after some of the attention we got this week, I m inclined to let Harry have
it, the first voice answered.
Ron took a deep breath, pointed his wand directly at the mirror, closed his eyes
and focused his mind on the idea of his wand only recognizing his hand, that no
other hand could wield it to perform magic.
Recognition! he said firmly. Ron did not see the blue light, stream from his wand,
hit the mirror and reflect back. But he did feel it. His wand, if it had seemed
warmer to him before, now grew hot. Not enough to burn, but enough that if it s
tayed that way, he would never need to wear a glove on his wand hand again, no m
atter how cold it became. Ron opened his eyes, and looked at Professor Dumbledor
e.
I think it worked.
Give me your wand, and tell me what you felt, Professor Dumbledore replied.
Ron handed over his wand and explained what he had felt after casting the spell.
Dumbledore listened while walking around the office. He held both his own and R
on s wand in the same hand. Occasionally he would try to cast different spells, ea
sy spells, spells first year students would master in a week. None of them worke
d, at least not from Ron s wand. From Dumbledore s own wand all of the spells worked
perfectly.
Care to try the diary? asked Dumbledore. Ron picked up the diary, holding it to hi
s chest. Ron pointed his wand at the diary and himself by default, cleared his m
ind and concentrated on imprinting himself and his wand on the diary.
Recognition! he said. This time Ron saw the blue light leave his wand, hit the dia
ry spread to himself and back to his wand. Again he felt heat, this time encompa
ssing his wand the diary and himself. Ron looked at Dumbledore.
It worked, he said. I don t even need you to verify it. I just know.
Dumbledore was positively beaming. Suddenly there was clapping all around. Ron h
ad not realized it but all the pictures of Hogwart s former headmasters had been p
aying close attention to the lesson he was getting and now they were cheering fo
r him. One photo made itself heard above the others, the one of Sirius Black s gre
at-great-grandfather.
Bravo Dumbledore, bravo, I think I have not seen such a performance in a very lon
g time. Points, points must be awarded. Dumbledore raised his eyes over his glass
es looking at the photo of Phineas Nigellus.
Indeed, said Dumbledore, this is high praise coming from you. Is it not? The photo b
ecame quiet as it realized what it had said. This student was from a family of B
lood Traitors and indeed was a Blood Traitor himself. Ron had never said it out
loud, but every being in the school whether it was a ghost, person, or photo kne
w that Ron was in love with Hermione Granger. A Mudblood, with not one, but two
Muggle parents, the only one who didn t seem to have a clue was Hermione herself.
Perhaps it is high praise from me. Well earned praise regardless. And perhaps I h
ave learned some things myself in the time I have hung on the walls of your offi
ce, Dumbledore, replied the photo.
Perhaps .you are correct, Dumbledore replied. One hundred one points to Gryffindor, t
he highest number of points I have ever awarded, he added.
Ron stood in shock in the middle of the Dumbledore s office. It took weeks, someti
mes months for the whole of a house to earn a hundred points. Now with school in
term for only a week Gryffindor was up one hundred points on the other houses b
ecause of him.
Sit down Ron, we still have a few hours left till breakfast. Now tell me. This sp
ell you created, with some guidance, can it be broken? Dumbledore asked.
Yes, though I m not sure how yet. Someone could break it as easily as we created it
, Ron replied.
Before you leave, give me one way in which a person could get past our spell.
Ron sat down again. Thinking, first that it was strange to have Dumbledore call
him Ron, treat him like an equal, second, that he liked it, and third, about how
to break the new spell. That bothered him.
I don t want it broken, the first voice said.
Didn t we just spend the whole night figuring out how to keep people out of our di
ary? Now Dumbledore wants us to break in to it. What was the point of all this?
the second voice asked.
The point, Ron said to both of them, was to teach us that we could create a new
spell. Dumbledore never really cared about keeping people out of the diary. He u
sed it as an excuse. He took what we perceived as a great need and helped us fin
d the solution. The real question isn t how to get in the diary.
The question is why did he teach this to us, both voices said together. Ron look
ed at Dumbeldore, watched him stroking Fawke s tail feathers.
Ron, for every spell .except Avada Kedavra, there is a counter spell. And even for
the death spell, there is a defense. A great wizard knows and recognizes this, Du
mbeldore remarked, without looking in his direction. With a sigh, Ron replied.
I m beginning to understand that. At the moment I can t come up with a counter spell
to Recognition. But I suppose, you would first have to comprehend what the spell
I cast was doing. How it worked. Then you could go about trying to remove it or
to trick it. One way to trick it might be Polyjuice Potion.
Five more points to Gryffindor, said Professor Dumbledore, he continued. I think th
at for anyone other than Voldemort, myself, and now yourself it would take a ver
y long time to figure out some other way around the spell. Most of the professor
s here, at Hogwarts, would not find the answer. And for Miss Granger .as I told yo
u this summer, she is a witch like the world has not seen in many years. I would
advise you to simply trust her. Has she not earned it? Ron sat quietly staring a
t the floor.
Ask him, the first voice said.
Ask him what? Ron demanded.
Why he really agreed to help us with the diary, the second voice answered.
Sir .I asked for help with the diary, and you gave it to me. But that s not why I m rea
lly here tonight, is it? Ron s question was more of a statement. Why did you show me
this path to new magic? Ron asked quietly. Dumbledore was silent, as he consider
ed the question.
He is finally ready, Dumbledore said to himself.
We told you he was capable, the third voice responded.
Yes, yes you did. Now, can he teach?
He must, said the first voice.
Ronald, I have a confession to make. There are two reasons you are a Prefect. One
, Harry had more than enough responsibility to be going on with, to carry the bu
rden. Ron felt the words slapping his face. Confirmation of what he had felt all
along hurt terribly.
And the second sir? he asked quietly.
You did not have enough. You needed to grow, because you have a role to play if H
arry is to defeat Voldemort. Ron looked back up at Professor Dumbledore. Dumbledo
re nodded at him. Ron gulped, suddenly very scared.
What am I supposed to do? he managed to choke out.
Your diary, please? Dumbledore held his hand out asking Ron for it. Ron handed it
to him. Dumbledore opened it to a page near the back, pointed his wand at the pa
ge and flicked his wrist. Ron could see the page fill with script. Dumbledore pl
aced the diary on his desk and pushed it towards him.
Harry has told you of the prophecy that was destroyed during the battle at the Mi
nistry last spring? Ron looked down and read the page.
THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES .BORN TO THOSE WHO HAV
E THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HI
M AS HIS EQUAL, BUT HE WILL HAVE POWER THE DARK LORD KNOWS NOT AND EITHER MUST DI
E 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 .
When he finished reading, he looked up at Professor Dumbledore.
Harry told us about this earlier this summer.
And you understand what it means?
Yes sir, I do. We all do, Ron answered.
Dumbledore took the diary again, turned to a new page and again pointed his wand
at it. This page also began to fill with text. As he was doing this he spoke.
For better, or worse, you and your friends destroyed many other prophecies that n
ight. I am able to give you this one .Because, I made the prophecy. This prophecy
concerns Voldemort, Harry, and you, Ronald. Dumbledore handed the diary back to R
on. Ron was shaken.
A prophecy about me? he thought.
Us, don t you mean? the first voice said.
I don t really like the one about Harry. I m not too sure I want to see this, the se
cond voice said.
I agree with him, the first voice added.
I agree with both of you, Ron said.
You cannot escape it by not reading it Ron. You have claimed your role. It is tim
e you knew what it is, Dumbledore said quietly to him.
How does he do that? both voices asked in exasperation. Ron took a deep breath a
nd looked at the page.
THE ONE MARKED BY THE DARK LORD . MARKED AS EQUAL BY HIM .OTHERS WILL COME IF HIS HE
ART IS TRUE .HE NEED NOT FIGHT ALONE .
ONE OF RED HAIR WILL RISE .POWER APPROACHING THAT OF THE DARK LORD .IN 11 YEARS THE
FIRST TO OFFER FRIENDSHIP, IT WILL BE TESTED IMMEDIATELY .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND
HE WILL BE YOUR GENERAL, PLANNING YOUR VICTORY .HE CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY TO NEW MAG
IC .HIS HEART WILL WAVER ONCE, BUT RETURN TO STAND WITH YOU AND FACE HIS GREATEST
FEARS .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND TWO OTHERS WILL FOLLOW .
The weight of the prophecy hit Ron hard.
Me, I m supposed to teach this to Harry? he thought. How?
The same way Dumbledore taught us, a third voice said.
Bloody Hell! How many of you are there in my head? Ron shouted silently. The new
voice ignored him.
The prophecy says we have to teach Harry. So, Dumbledore taught us. We just need
to follow the process. Show him it is possible to create new magic. Show him a
great need, and the rest is up to Harry.
You sound a lot like Hermione, you know, Ron told the voice.
Seeing as how smart she is, I ll take that as a compliment, the voice responded.
Hey, you three, there is more to this prophecy you know. It says Harry will have
two others, the first voice pointed out to them.
Professor Dumbledore, who are the other two? Ron asked.
I am afraid that I can not reveal that information to you at this time. It could
interfere with the prophecy being fulfilled. If that were to happen .it could lead
to Harry failing to defeat Voldemort, Dumbledore answered him.
Does that mean Harry will defeat him if the prophecy is fulfilled? Ron asked. Dumb
ledore sighed deeply and shook his head.
No, he could still fail, even if everything in the prophecy comes true. Ron looked
at his Headmaster. Something welled within him that had not existed before.
Harry won t fail. I won t let him, Ron said firmly, surprised at his own resolve. Dumb
ledore, it appeared to Ron, was radiating energy.
Ron, my boy, I think unless you have other questions, you should go get some brea
kfast. Ron looked out the window, they had worked through the night.
Professor, you said there was no counter spell or blocking spell for Avada Kedavr
a, but there was a defense. What is it?
Put a solid object between you and the curse. The energy of the curse will be spe
nt on the object. It will be blown apart but it can be pulled back together agai
n and again .If, you are fast enough, replied Dumbledore.
Thank you, Professor.
Ron, that does not mean you cannot come up with the correct counter spell, Dumbled
ore said to him. Eventually someone will, you know. The problem is, you only get
one chance at it. I found it much wiser to put objects in front of me than to ta
ke a chance that I was wrong. Dumbledore smiled at him again.
I think I would tend to agree with you on that, sir, Ron replied as he got up to l
eave.
I m going to trust her, sir. Dumbledore looked at him puzzled. Ron held up the diary
. That she will not read it, at least until I tell her she can.
That is a wise decision, Ronald, Dumbledore replied.
Sir, move your queen s bishop. Take the black knight, Ron said and he left before Pr
ofessor Dumbledore could say anything more.
Dumbledore sat in his office exhausted, staring at the chessboard, playing out t
he scenario Ron had given him. A smile crept on his face. His partner always lef
t him an avenue, trying to help Dumbledore improve at the game. He had been stud
ying his next move for two days now. Ron had found it in a few hours.
Quite possibly, he thought, I have never given a lesson as important as that one
. Good luck my boy, we are all depending on you.
You do realize, teaching is the easy part of his task? the first voice asked.
Yes, Dumbledore replied.
Five points to Gryffindor, he said, before heading to his bedroom. He earned them.

********************

Ron raced to the Great Hall. He was too excited to sleep, that would have to wai
t until he had talked to Harry and Hermione. Skidding through the doors he looke
d around.
Not here, where are they? Blimey, only five minutes left for breakfast, he mumbled
to himself.
Ron grabbed some toast and pumpkin juice, wolfed them down and tore out of the h
all heading to the Gryffindor common room. Passing the giant hourglass house poi
nt counters, he saw a huge crowd gathered round, still no Harry or Hermione thou
gh. Ron smiled at the totals. Gryffindor had 151 points, next highest was Ravenc
law with 45, then Slytherin with 40 and Hullelpuff was last with 39. As he raced
by Ron could hear the students trying to figure out what had happened. No house
had ever totaled more than 50 points in the first week. Neville spotted him as
he started up the steps.
Ron, Ron did you see? he yelled.
Yeah, I ll tell you about it later, where are Harry and Hermione? Ron hollered back.
Not sure, Neville yelled, as Ron headed around the corner coming to a stop in fron
t of the fat lady.
Pumpernickel, he gasped out of breath. The portrait swung open. Harry and Hermione
were not in the common room either.
Bugger, where are they? I ve got to find them. How? How? How? The Marauders Map! h
e thought. Ron sprinted up to the dorm room and dashing to Harry s trunk, he hesit
ated.
Come on, he ll understand, the three voices yelled at him.
There it is, he said to quietly. Ron pulled out his wand, I solemnly swear that I a
m up to no good.
Names, everywhere how do I find them in this mess, he asked. Ron stopped and calme
d himself. The map had never before been used like this. Concentrating deeply, h
e placed his wand over the map.
Show, Harry and Hermione!
Hey, Ron, here we are, over here. Ron opened his eyes, following the sound of thei
r voices coming from the map. He found them in the corner on the rock by the lak
e. Ginny was there too.
Cool .twice in one day, though I suppose the first doesn t really count as Dumbledore
did it before me, Ron said out loud. Mischief managed! he said waving his wand ove
r the map. He then stuffed it in his pocket with the diary.
Wait, we're not ready for her to see that yet, the voices yelled in a panic. Ron
pulled the diary out again and ripped out the page with the second prophecy on
it. He ran back down the stairs, headed for the lake.
The three of them looked at Ron as he lay on his back on the rock trying to catc
h his breath.
Where the bloody hell have you been? Harry asked. Ginny glared at Harry for his fo
ul language.
"Sorry," he mumbled.
We waited up for you till midnight, Hermione said. Then just figured we would see y
ou in the morning, but you were still gone when we headed to breakfast. Ron sat u
p.
I was with Dumbledore all night. The others looked at him.
All night, what did you do to get in that much trouble? Ginny asked.
I wasn t in trouble, Ron snapped in reply. I told you, I asked him for help with some
thing. He spent last night teaching me what I asked for help with. The others loo
ked more confused than ever.
Look, Ron began, the night Dumbledore told me I could invite Harry to stay for the
summer, I asked him for help with a problem. He told me to come to his office th
e first Friday of term and he would help me. Well, it was just a ploy, last nigh
t I found out what he really wanted from me, he continued, as he pulled the page
he had torn out of the diary from his pocket and handed it to Harry.
The night the prophecy was destroyed, the one about Harry and Voldemort, Ron said.
The others gaped up at him in surprise. Harry and Hermione had been using the n
ame Voldemort without fear for a long time. Ginny, always called the Dark Lord,
Tom. But Ron, until now, had always referred to him as You-Know-Who. Ron ignored
their stares.
Well there was another prophecy that was destroyed too. It is on that sheet of pa
rchment. Hermione snatched the parchment from Harry and read it out loud.
THE ONE MARKED BY THE DARK LORD . MARKED AS EQUAL BY HIM .OTHERS WILL COME IF HIS HE
ART IS TRUE .HE NEED NOT FIGHT ALONE .
ONE OF RED HAIR WILL RISE .POWER APPROACHING THAT OF THE DARK LORD .IN 11 YEARS THE
FIRST TO OFFER FRIENDSHIP, IT WILL BE TESTED IMMEDIATELY .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND
HE WILL BE YOUR GENERAL, PLANNING YOUR VICTORY .HE CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY TO NEW MAG
IC .HIS HEART WILL WAVER ONCE, BUT RETURN TO STAND WITH YOU AND FACE HIS GREATEST
FEARS .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND TWO OTHERS WILL FOLLOW .
Harry looked at Ron.
It s about you, he said.
Actually, it s about both of you, and two others, Hermione interjected.
What s the rest of the prophecy, Ron? Ginny asked.
Dumbledore wouldn t give it to me, Ron answered. He said it could adversely affect th
e prophecy if the wrong people knew about it, that it might not come true.
How are you supposed to do this Ronald? Hermione asked. If you fail, Harry might di
e, others will die. She sounded terrified. Ginny, though she appeared to be very
angry, also looked to be near tears.
He showed you how, didn t he? Dumbledore taught you so you could teach me. Harry smi
led at his best friend, his brother. You have to teach me what I need to know so
others can at least defend themselves against Voldemort. Ron nodded at him.
How? Harry asked.
By showing you that it can be done, that you can find the new magic you need in y
ourself, if the need is great enough, Ron answered.
It took the whole day, but by the time they went to bed that night, Hermione was
able to perform the Recognition charm, and the Show charm Ron had used on the M
arauder s Map. Harry and Ginny were close also. What was more important was Ron ha
d been able to make Harry understand what it would take.
He had actually been able to teach Hermione and Ginny too. None of them had crea
ted a new spell, but Ron realized that he wouldn t have to work alone with Harry.
Hermione and Ginny could help him.
That must have been another lesson we got last night. No one really accomplishes
anything by themselves, do they? the first voice said to Ron.
No, Ron answered, it will take all of us helping Harry, to defeat Voldemort.

Authors note:
Let me address the issue of the Recognition charm, not much of a name for a spel
l, is it? I thought so too for a long time, until I examined my own writing.
The words don t really matter, do they? The second voice supplied the words he voice
d to Dumbledore, though they were more of a statement than a question. They reall
y just help to focus the mind, so the wand knows what to amplify.
Any number of times, we see wizards and witches perform a spell without saying a
nything. This comes after much practice and training. If Ron is going to create
a new spell and needs to focus his mind to do it, I believe, he is going to thin
k in the language that is most natural to him, not Latin or some Old English Dia
lect. I think anyone who has learned a second language will understand what I me
an. How long did it take you to think in the new language and stop translating e
verything back to your first language?

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 7: The First Meeting
Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Ms. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Harry sat waiting with Ron and Hermione in the Room of Requirement. They had arr
ived early to discuss what the DA should work on this year. Hermione and Ron tho
ught they should expand practicing against the Imperius curse to the rest of the
DA. Harry agreed, but was unsure of how to approach it with the others. It was
after all one of the Unforgivable Curses. The other question was would they tell
everyone about the two prophecies.
I think we should, Harry. The more people we let know, especially about the secon
d one, the more we can have helping me work with you to create new spells, Ron sa
id.
I don t know, Ron, Hermione answered. There was a reason that Dumbledore and the rest
of the Order worked so hard to make sure Voldemort didn t find out what the first
prophecy says. There is a reference to a power the Dark Lord knows not. If that
gets back to him, it could help him defeat Harry. I think we should give them s
ome of the first prophecy but not all of it. Harry found himself agreeing with he
r.
I think I will keep part of it back from them, as much to protect them as me. I w
orry about the second prophecy though. Letting that out could really put you in
a lot of danger Ron. I guess it is up to you what you want to tell them though. R
on thought for a while.
We could make people sign a sheet like last year again. Everyone knows about the
hex you put on Marrietta for ratting us out. I heard they only just figured out
the counter jinx to it the week before school started, Ron said. Brilliant that wa
s.
Hermione blushed.
I m going to tell them. Considering, Voldemort must know how close I am to Harry al
ready. I want the help more than the safety of not telling the DA members.
I can t tell you two what to do. But let s be done by 9:00; don t forget you both have
Quidditch tryouts tomorrow. Can you believe Professor McGonagall is making every
position open? Hermione asked, trying to change the subject. Two of the three pe
ople she loved most in the world were playing with their lives and she didn t want
to think about it any more than she had to. Harry and Ron both sensed her uneas
e and let her steer them into a short discussion of the tryouts before she inter
rupted them again.
Look, here they come, Hermione said quietly. Wonder how many will come back?
I know Fred and George will be here. They owled me the other day, said they would
sneak into the school. They were going to bring Angelina, Alicia, and Lee with
them, Ron commented. Harry grinned while Hermione just shook her head in exaspera
tion.
Only those two would leave in the manner they did and then sneak their way back i
n, she replied.
People started to file in, slowly filling in around the three of them. It looked
to Harry like everyone was back, including .
Cho! Harry s first voice said.
What s she doing here? Ron hissed.
Looks like her friend decided not to come with her this time, Hermione observed.
That s not all, look, Harry said, with a nod at the door.
Bloody Hell! Ron exclaimed, as Ginny came in the room followed by the huge form of
Hagrid.
Hi ya Harry, he said, sitting down with the rest of the DA members. Harry smiled a
t him. Now he was really getting nervous. Luna sat down next to him a moment lat
er.
Hello Harry, she said in her normal dreamy tone. Ron, Ginny, I think you know Bridg
ette. Bridgette, this is Harry Potter, and Hermione Granger, she added a moment l
ater
Harry looked past her at Ron and Ginny s cousin. She looked a lot like Ginny, exce
pt with her blue eyes and blond hair, she seemed to radiate light. Harry noticed
the other boys in the room openly staring at her.
Hello, nice to meet you, he said.
Luna s told me a lot about you. All of you, she replied, looking around at Ron, Ginn
y and Hermione. "I hope it s ok that I came tonight, she added nervously.
Of course it's ok, Bridgette, Ginny said. I was going to ask you myself, but Luna t
old me she already had.
I wish she had asked us if it was ok, the first voice said to Hermione.
I wish she had too, Hermione replied.
My, aren t we jealous. She doesn t have the right to protect herself from Voldemort
just because we think she might horn in on Harry? her second voice asked.
You are blunt. Aren t you? Hermione retorted. The voice didn t respond.
Why don t we get started Harry, I ve got the member sheet hexed now, Hermione told him
.
What did you do to it? Ron asked.
Let s just say, if you tell something you shouldn t, you ll wish you were Marrietta, Her
mione replied.
Good, Harry said with a grin at her, as he stood up. I think we can get started now
. The noise died down as the DA focused their attention on Harry. I guess maybe, I
should tell all of you that we don t officially have permission to reform the DA.
Harry s announcement didn t have the effect he was expecting. There was no murmur of
dissent or uncomfortable shifting around in their seats by the group.
I m not interested in permission. I m interested in being able to fight, Harry. It was
Cho who spoke up.
Yeah Harry, we know all about what happened at the Ministry last spring. You guys
would all be dead if you hadn t been practicing, training all of last year, Ernie
Mcmillion added. His statement was greeted with several shouts of agreement from
the other members.
We wouldn t have been there to begin with if we hadn t let Voldemort trick us into g
oing in the first place, Harry s first voice said to him.
Forget about getting upset from that. We need to learn from it and teach them no
t to make the same mistake too. It s the only thing we can do to honor Sirius, the
second voice replied. Harry sighed, and taking a deep breath started again.
I think that maybe I ll fill in some of the blanks that might be in the story for y
ou. After that if you want to stay, Hermione has a sign up sheet. And in case yo
u re wondering it is jinxed again, he added noticing a few nervous glances in her d
irection.
You all remember what happened to the person who ratted us out last year, he said,
glaring at Cho. She stared back refusing to break eye contact with him. The curs
e this time around is much worse. For those of you who don t feel that s fair. You c
an take your chances with Voldemort, because mine and now Ron s life depends on yo
u keeping your word to honor the group, he paused to let his comments sink in.
Harry then proceeded to tell the whole story of the battle at the Ministry that
past spring. How they had gone to save Sirius Black, his godfather, who was not
a Death Eater. How they had been trapped. How they had fought and lost, only to
be saved by the Order of The Phoenix. How Sirius had died in the fight. How Vold
emort had invaded his mind to trick him into coming, and how it was his fault, b
ecause he acted without thinking, leading them all into a trap. How his mistake
had almost cost all five of his friends their lives.
I m telling you all of this because we all need to learn from the mistakes I made,
not just me .Hermione, you can pass around the signup sheet now. If you want to le
ave, you should go now, Harry finished.
Hermione didn t move for a minute or two. No one did, they were all in shock at ho
w honestly Harry had torn apart his roll in the attack at the Ministry.
Hermione--
She jumped, Ginny was talking to her.
--pass me the sheet, she indicated.
What? Oh yes, the sheet. Hermione quickly signed her name to the parchment and han
ded it to Ginny. It was passed around the room and everyone signed without hesit
ating, Hagrid and Bridgette were the lone newcomers. Harry stood up again.
Were going to continue with the stuff we were doing last year, and add some new s
tuff to. But before we do that, you all should know why Voldemort wanted me to g
et the prophecy for him last year. And why he tried to kill me when I was a baby
. This is a big deal, and is your last chance to leave. Harry waited a moment and
when no one moved, he turned and raised his wand. Then like Tom Riddle had done
in the Chamber of Secrets he started to write out the prophecy. Flaming letters
were left floating ominously as his wand traced the words in the air.

*****

THE ONE WITH THE POWER TO VANQUISH THE DARK LORD APPROACHES .BORN TO THOSE WHO HAV
E THRICE DEFIED HIM, BORN AS THE SEVENTH MONTH DIES AND THE DARK LORD WILL MARK HI
M AS HIS EQUAL .

*****

The group read the words quietly as they floated portentously in the air. Faces
began to turn to him. He kept quiet letting them think about what they had read.
A few of them started talking quietly between themselves.
Dumbledore gave me this prophecy after the battle last year at the Ministry. This
is what Voldemort wanted me to get for him. It was made sixteen years ago by Pr
ofessor Trelawney. Harry noticed the looks of shock on people s faces.
To Professor Dumbledore when he interviewed her for the job of Divination Instruc
tor. Dumbledore believes it to be a true prophecy, not the blarmy she spouts in
class all the time---
The others looked around at each other again. Harry could tell almost everyone w
as having a hard time believing that Professor Trelawney was anything but a frau
d.
---So does Voldemort. There is more to the prophecy than what you see. I am givin
g you one line more than Voldemort knows. It s not that I don t trust you, but if yo
u know the whole prophecy, you would be a bigger target than me. At least until
Voldemort had finished torturing you to get it. Harry stopped to let his words si
nk in.
The first part, where it says that the Dark Lord s equal was approaching, that he o
r she would be born as the seventh month dies to parents who had thrice defied h
im .Was overheard by a Death Eater, who warned Voldemort .Voldemort chose on that li
mited knowledge To kill the child. Again Harry let the words sink in before continu
ing.
My parents defied Voldemort three times. I was born July 31st. Voldemort tried to
kill me when I was a baby. I think you can figure the rest out for yourselves, H
arry said, as he lifted the hair covering his scar. There were looks of astonish
ment and understanding all around the room.
Blimey! Hagrid said in a loud whisper. Finally the silence was broken with the que
stion Harry was expecting.
Harry, my parents defied him three times too, and I was born on July 31st also, Ne
ville said quietly. Harry turned and smiled at his friend.
I know Neville, and if Voldemort had tried to kill you that night. Well then you
would likely be standing here, and I would be sitting where you are, Harry replie
d. They looked at each other for a long time before Neville broke the silence ag
ain.
He may not have killed my parent s but they re in St. Mungos because of him. I ll help
you in anyway I can, Harry.
Thanks Neville, Harry answered. They looked at each other for a few moments, each
considering how their lives could be different, before Harry spoke again.
I think that maybe Ron should tell the next part. Because it concerns him as much
as me, and it will be what we work on the rest of the night, Harry said turning
back to the group. Ron looked taken aback.
Me? he asked, as Hermione pushed him to his feet.
Just tell them why Gryffindor got all those points last Friday night. Then we ll sh
ow them that prophecy too, Harry said, helping Hermione by pulling Ron up. Ron lo
oked around apprehensively.
Ok, he began .
You created a new spell? George asked when he finished
Technically no, Dumbledore had already done it. But he didn t show me the magic. He
pointed me in the direction I need to go, made me find the answer, Ron replied q
uietly.
Technically nothing, I couldn t have done that, none of us here could, Fred replied.
Actually, the point is that you can. Ron turned and repeated the process Harry had
of writing in the air with his wand.

*****

THE ONE MARKED BY THE DARK LORD . MARKED AS EQUAL BY HIM .OTHERS WILL COME IF HIS HE
ART IS TRUE .HE NEED NOT FIGHT ALONE .
ONE OF RED HAIR WILL RISE .POWER APPROACHING THAT OF THE DARK LORD .IN 11 YEARS THE
FIRST TO OFFER FRIENDSHIP, IT WILL BE TESTED IMMEDIATELY .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND
HE WILL BE YOUR GENERAL, PLANNING YOUR VICTORY .HE CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY TO NEW MAG
IC .HIS HEART WILL WAVER ONCE, BUT RETURN TO STAND WITH YOU AND FACE HIS GREATEST
FEARS .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND TWO OTHERS WILL FOLLOW .

*****

This is the whole reason Dumbledore taught me what he did, a second prophecy. I n
eeded to show Harry that it can be done. So that he can do it too. We all can. W
e re not going to get too far into it tonight, but I ll show you how, the rest will
be up to you. The rest of the DA just looked at Ron and Harry.
The prophecy says there will be three Ron, who are the other two? Bridgette asked
softly.
I don t know, Dumbledore won t tell me. He says that until they claim their roll in t
he prophecy. That those lines must be kept secret, or it could cause the prophec
y to not come true. If that happens, then Harry will most likely fail to defeat
Voldemort, Ron replied loudly so everyone could hear. It was a while before anyon
e else spoke again.
Are their any other bomb s you two would like to drop on us tonight? Katie Bell aske
d.
Well actually there is. I want you all too work on getting over your fear of Vold
emort s name. It is time to stop this You-Know-Who garbage, Hermione said as heads
snapped in her direction. Hermione paid no attention to the incredulous looks sh
e was getting.
And you all have heard, she continued, Harry tell you how Voldemort invaded his min
d last spring. We also all know about how he possessed Ginny to open the Chamber
of Secrets. We need to protect ourselves against that.
So, Ron, Harry, Ginny and I have been training all summer against the Imperius cu
rse. Fred, George come here, stand over by Ginny. The rest of you move away. Fred
and George looked at each other alarm on their faces.
I promise I won t hurt you, I just want to prove that I can perform the curse, Hermi
one said to them
What curse? they asked together.
The Imperius curse. I m going to do it on Ginny too. But she can beat it pretty eas
ily now. So, I want to put it on you two to prove to the others that I can do th
e curse correctly. The rest of the DA looked on in alarm. Harry could sense it.
Look it doesn t hurt. And most of us have had it placed on us by that imposter Mad-
Eye. The thing is Voldemort uses it all the time. And you can fight it if you pr
actice, he said to the group.
Ready? Hermione asked, as she raised her wand at the three of them. Fred and Georg
e looked at each other, then turned to her and nodded slowly.
Go ahead, Hermione, Ginny said. Harry could already see her eyes starting to glow.
Imperio! Hermione cast the spell using her conscious self and both voices. She had
all three of them, going easy on Fred and George, but putting everything she ha
d into Ginny. Harry and Ron stood ready, mindful of the first time that summer w
hen Ginny had been placed under the curse.
A few seconds later, Fred and George were hanging from the chandelier acting lik
e monkeys. Ginny however had taken a few steps with them and stopped. The others
could see her fighting.
Ginny, I said act like a monkey! Hermione demanded. Climb up on the light, Ginny!
Ginny looked up at the light. Harry saw a flash in her eyes. And the spell broke
.
Wanted me to join them did you? she asked, pointing at her brothers.
Good job, Ginny.
Thanks, Harry.
Hermione released the spell on Fred and George. They stopped screeching and look
ed at each other.
Whatcha doing up here? they asked together.
You two can come down now, Hermione yelled up at them.
The rest of the DA gathered in around them.
Did she do it? Fred asked
Yeah she hit all three of you, Lee Jordan said, told you all to act like monkeys. Y
ou two started running around screeching like a couple of Nutters. Then you both
climbed up on the chandelier and started swinging from it.
What about Ginny? George asked.
Well she started like she was going to, then she stopped. Hermione told her to jo
in you again, but she just kind of shook her head and you could tell she was not
under the spell anymore, Lee replied.
You four have been doing this all summer? Neville asked. Can you all beat it?
Well Ginny is the best at it. She can fight off Harry and Ron together. The rest
of us can do it some times. Other times we don t do so well. But we re all getting b
etter at it. It just takes a lot of practice, Hermione said. The DA looked at Gin
ny.
Both of em? Hagrid asked.
Yeah, we have to take her wand away because she fights back so hard. She ended u
p petrifying Hermione the first time. Ron and I had to wrestle her to the ground
, Harry said.
Fred .remind me to never make Ginny mad will you, George said with a trace of awe in
his voice.
Between her and Ron knocking the puss out of Malfoy without his wand this summer,
I m not feeling to safe around either of them, Fred replied with and impressed loo
k at his younger brother and sister.
Ahem .I was wondering if I might have a word? The group spun to see who was talking.
Professor Lupin! Hermione gasped. How did you get in? I locked that door, she asked
in exasperation. The rest of the people looked at him sure they were in a lot of
trouble.
I am the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher am I not? he asked with a smile. Ha
rry could see that Professor Tonks was back in the corner also.
How long do you think they ve been here? the first voice asked.
An interesting club you have here. I must say that I am impressed with your desir
e to arm yourselves to fight against the Dark .Voldemort, Professor Lupin changed h
is words. He smiled at Hermione before continuing. And his Death Eaters. And this
room you have found is amazing. I think I may have hid in here once during my s
chool days. It was smaller though, more of a closet. Ginny that was an impressiv
e performance defeating the Imperius curse.
Thank you, Professor, Ginny replied blushing slightly.
Is there something you wanted, Professor? Harry asked. Am I in trouble for reformin
g the DA?
This is your member list? he asked indicating towards it. Harry nodded. Professor
Lupin took out a quill and put his name on it, he then handed it to Tonks. She s
igned it and gave it back to Hermione.
From time to time we will be checking in on you during the year. You will also be
conducting future meetings in the apperation training room, it will give you mo
re space. Fred and George, as you have your license; it will be your responsibil
ity to train the others, all of them regardless of age. Those of you who are 6th
year and above will need to show the younger members where the room is, Professo
r Lupin finished.
We re supposed to teach the others how to apperate? Fred asked.
That is the price you two will pay for sneaking into Professor Dumbledore s school,
Professor Lupin replied. Fred and George grinned at each other.
How did he know about us meeting? Lee Jordan asked.
I know, Harry s second voice said.
Dumbledore knows a lot more about what goes on around here than you might think, H
arry said. Anyways it doesn t matter, because we have permission to meet now.
Professor Tonks and I will be leaving now, Professor Lupin said, as he headed for
the door with Tonks trailing along behind him.
Should we get started teaching the rest of you the Recognition charm? Hermione ask
ed. The group nodded in agreement. Ok then Lee, Fred, George, Luna, Neville, Cho,
and .Bridgette you re with me. Lets get to work.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Authors note:
I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev
iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 8: Harry's Confession


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Ms. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.
Harry walked slowly up the stairs headed towards the Gryffindors dormitory. After
giving the password to the fat lady, he stepped through the passageway into the
common room looking around to find Ron, Hermione and Ginny. Spotting them in th
e corner, he headed over to join them, sitting down heavily in the one chair lef
t at the table.
Harry was tired; it had been a long day. Double potions with Snape - somehow Har
ry had made it into Snape s NEWT level class, Ron had too. Neither had been thrill
ed, but they were both still thinking about being Aurors, so they had little cho
ice but to continue with the class.
That had been followed by the first meeting of the DA for the year. And then Cho
, Harry had been more than a little surprised to see her show up in the first pl
ace. And she had wanted to talk after the DA meeting. The conversation with Cho
had created a new problem for him. All told it felt like more than his emotions
could take. And on top of it all the Quidditch tryouts were tomorrow. Harry lean
ed forward resting his head on the table.
What s up mate, you ok? Ron asked.
Was it Cho, Harry? Hermione prodded. She had not been happy when Cho had cornered
him after the DA meeting.
Yes, he sighed.
Oh she makes me so mad, Ginny said, angrily slamming her book closed, first she bri
ngs that sneak friend of hers to the meetings. Then she mopes about expecting ev
eryone to forget about it. She s got a lot of nerve showing up tonight. If she doe
sn t stop being such a pain, I m going to turn her hair green.
The three of them looked at Ginny in surprise. Since the battle at the Ministry,
Ginny had found her place in what had always been a group of three, enlarging i
t by one. The group was really six now when you counted Neville and Luna. Harry
thought it was just like his first year. He and Ron had saved Hermione from the
Mountain Troll, and she had saved them the wrath of Professor McGonagall. It had
bonded the three of them together, and now the same thing had happened making t
he six of them almost one.
The rest of the students at the school found out real quick that messing with on
e got you in trouble with the other five. None of them went looking for trouble;
they had more than enough with Voldemort to think about. But trouble seemed to
find them anyways.
Luna seemed to have benefited the most from this. No one was calling her Loony L
una anymore. No one dared after Hermione had cursed the offending girls mouth sh
ut. Hermione had refused to tell Madam Pomfrey how to correct the curse, which h
ad infuriated Professor McGonagall. She had threatened Hermione with the loss of
her status as a Prefect and detention until a counter curse was found. Harry re
played the incident in his mind.

***

I don t suppose it occurred to you that she can t eat, Professor McGonagall had storme
d at Hermione. Hermione had simply changed the curse. The girl could now open he
r mouth to eat but couldn t talk.
Is that acceptable, Professor? she had retorted. Fury had lined Professor McGonaga
ll s face.
Fifty points and a week s detention, now get out! she had hissed at her. The profess
ors never did figure out what to do for the girl, and it had been just that morn
ing before Hermione relented and gave the girl her voice back.

***

You can do that? Ron asked his sister. Harry snapped out of his thoughts.
Of course I can, it s very easy, Ginny replied flatly.
Well don t, we can t afford another fifty points, he told her. Ouch, that hurt, Hermion
e. She had kicked Ron under the table.
Good, she grumped back at him.
I didn t say I didn t agree with what you did to that girl, Hermione, just that we ca
n t afford to lose anymore points, he snapped hotly at her.
Loyalty and friendship are more important than points and that silly house cup, R
onald. Ron sighed.
You re right. Make sure it sticks if you do it, Ginny. This seemed to dampen Hermion
e s temper, as she remained quiet. Harry broke in, really just wanting things to c
alm down so he could think.
It s ok Ginny, really, we just talked. Mostly she wanted to know about Cedric. She
never really heard what the truth was. In fact we re friends again now, he added. G
inny looked at him for a few moments.
Well, if you change your mind, just let me know, she replied lightly, and went bac
k to the book she had been studying before Harry had sat down. The other three l
ooked at each other.
Remind me not to make her mad at me, will you? Ron commented to the others.
Yeah, me too, Harry added.
Honestly, you two need to read more, Hermione quipped, rolling her eyes at them.
Whatcha got there, Ron? Harry asked, catching site of the book Ron had been writin
g in when he sat down.
Nothing important, Ron replied, shoving the book into his bag. Harry looked at him
. Ron s ears had turned red.
Oh, that s just his diary. He s been writing in it since last Friday, Hermione answere
d the question for him.
What .how did you know? You haven t looked at it have you? Ron stammered, starting to
panic.
Of course not Ronald, you should trust me a little more than that. Harry had tense
d along with Ron. He had a pretty good idea of what Ron might put in there and d
idn t want Hermione to read it either. Ron could very easily spill the secret for
both of them.
Then how do you know it is a diary? Ron asked.
Just a guess from the way you hide it whenever you write in it, Hermione replied.
Harry started to relax again. He believed Hermione when she said she hadn t looked
at it.
Actually, said Ginny without looking up from her book, he was writing in it at the
start of summer. But I haven t seen it for a while till now.
Why you little
Careful Ron, Ginny interrupted, waving her wand at him, you wouldn t want to have gre
en hair all year. Harry and Hermione burst out laughing; she had baited him so ea
sily.
Fine .I hope you all are enjoying yourselves, Ron said sulkily.
Ron, I hope you have that thing protected, Harry said. Ron smiled.
Yeah, actually I had a little help with that. I don t think too many people will be
able to get through it.
Who helped you?
Professor Dumbledore, Ron said smugly.
Really? Hermione s interest level in the diary suddenly changed. Harry looked from R
on to her.
Uh-oh, he said to himself. Hermione had a gleam in her eye. The one she got afte
r just solving a difficult puzzle or when she was thinking about one.
May I see it, Ronald? Ron looked at her, considering. I promise I won t read it, I ju
st want to see if I can figure out what Professor Dumbledore did.
Actually, I came up with it myself. Dumbledore just set me on the path, Ron said t
o her.
May I? Hermione persisted.
Ron, I don t think that s such a good idea, Harry interjected.
I gave him my word, Harry. I should think after everything we have been through t
ogether that would mean something. Harry could hear the hurt in her voice and fel
t his heart sink.
I m sorry, Hermione, he said quietly. Hermione gave him a thin smile in return.
Trust her. Dumbledore s voice rang in Ron s head. Ron reached into his bag pulling o
ut the diary. He slid it across the table towards Hermione.
I m going up to bed. I plan to be on the Quidditch team after tryouts tomorrow and
want to make sure I m on top of my game. He then picked up the rest of his stuff an
d headed up the stairs to the room he shared with the other Gryffindor sixth yea
rs.
Wait up, Ron, Harry called after him. I m coming too. Harry followed him out of the co
mmon room.
They re handling it remarkably well, don t you think? Ginny asked after they had left.
What do you mean? Hermione replied.
You silly, they re fighting over you, with out fighting each other. Actually, Harry
is not so surprising. But with the way Ron handled you dating Viktor, I m really
quite proud of him.
Them, fighting over me, I have no idea what you are talking about, Ginny. Hermione
was truly surprised at what Ginny had said. Ginny was picking up her stuff now
also.
If you say so, Hermione, she remarked, as she headed to the girl s dorm rooms. Hermi
one shook her head and reached for the diary.
Hermione, Ginny called over her shoulder, make sure you don t read that, green hair w
ould be the least of your problems. Ginny disappeared around the corner.
Hermione sat at the table turning Ron s diary over in her hands. Figuring out the
secret to its protections didn t seem quite as thrilling as it had a few minutes a
go. First Harry, then Ginny had questioned her integrity. Harry had apologized a
nd she believed that he truly was sorry, but Ginny?
Maybe she was just trying to protect Ron, the first voice said to her.
I would never do anything to intentional hurt Ron, Hermione snapped back.
You have before, the second voice said.
I went to the dance with Viktor because he asked me to and no one else had, and
he was nice. Hermione was really angry now.
And you were hoping to make Ron jealous. Hermione wanted to argue but couldn t.
Maybe Ginny was protecting us as much as Ron. Reading this without permission co
uld cost us our friendship with all three of them, the first voice said.
I hadn t thought of that, Hermione replied, feeling a little better. She opened th
e diary to see nothing but blank pages.
What do you suppose he and Dumbledore did to this thing? she quietly asked the voi
ces.
I don t know, but it s going to be fun figuring it out, said the second voice excite
dly.

Harry followed Ron into their dorm room.


Ron, I need to talk to you.
She won t read it, Harry. Even if she does, she won t find out about you, Ron replied
quietly. Harry stopped.
I know she won t.
You really hurt her you know.
I said I was sorry and I meant it, Ron. Why did you need Dumbledore s help to begin
with, to keep Hermione out? Ron looked down at the floor catching the implicatio
n in Harry s question.
Yeah, you re right .So what did Cho want anyways? he asked, changing the subject. Ron
had secretly been hoping that Harry would come back to the dorm tonight and tell
everyone that he and Cho were back together again. He had not thought it very l
ikely.
Not here, somewhere we won t be bothered, Harry replied.
Well the common room is full, and it s after hours, we d have to sneak out, but we co
uld go to the prefect s bathroom, Ron said.
That should work, come on let s go, Harry answered grabbing his invisibility cloak.
A few minutes later, with people everywhere, Ron and Harry found themselves havi
ng trouble getting through the common room unnoticed under the invisibility cloa
k. Harry nudged Ron and pointed over to Hermione. She was waving her wand slowly
back and forth over the diary.
Bet you a galleon it takes her a week, he whispered. Ron shook his head.
Naw two days tops, says she figures out a way in. Harry looked at Ron, surprise on
his face
I thought you said Dumbledore helped with it.
He did, it s the same spell he used for his own diary. He thought it would take her
an hour or two.
Bets off, Harry said. Ron gave him a shove. The portrait door had opened, it took
them ten minutes of carefully sneaking through the halls to get to the Prefects b
athroom. Once inside, Ron locked the door, modifying the diary spell to work on
it.
That should keep people out, he said to himself before heading for the pool.
A couple of hours, it can t be too complicated then, Harry remarked.
Well it s not, the trick is that no one knows what it is. Look, I already showed yo
u the Recognition charm right? Harry nodded. Ron went on, The diary only recognize
s me too. It also only recognizes spells from my wand, which no one else can use
. It s not difficult but you have to realize how the magic that protects it works
before you can break it.
Polyjuice potion? Harry asked.
It s not a counter spell, even Dumbledore hasn t figured that out yet, but that is on
e way you might trick it. I m sure there are others. Dumbledore said he or Voldemo
rt would recognize it right away, but that most people would work on it for year
s. I asked him to help me, and he taught me the best he had come up with in his
life. I was feeling pretty good about it, thinking I might finally be able to us
e the diary to write out what I feel, cause Hermione would never see it. Ron shoo
k his head.
Then he tells me. Hermione is not most people and would figure it out in an hour
or two. That girl has been a pain from the first time I saw her, he finished, smi
ling in exasperation at Harry. Harry had been filling the swimming pool sized tu
b while he listened to Ron s explanation of the diary protections.
She s really that good? Harry asked, shaking his head. And I m the one who has to defea
t Voldemort he mumbled.
They both sat there for a while soaking in the tub. Harry pulled himself over to
the edge hanging onto the side with his chin and arms up on the ledge. Ron join
ed him.
So what s the big deal Harry, what did you want to talk about? Harry took a deep bre
ath and staring straight ahead proceeded to relate what had happened with Cho ea
rlier that night. He told Ron about Cho asking about Cedric and how he died, and
some other questions about the night at the Ministry. She had asked him if ther
e was a chance that they could try to date again.
I told her no, that there was someone else. She sat there a minute, and then she
said, It s Hermione, isn t it? Ron, I was too tired to deny it so I said yes, Harry sai
d with a sigh. Ron had also been staring at the wall while he listened to Harry,
and after a minute he asked.
So Cho knows you are in love with Hermione now?
Yeah she does .Ron, I knew I could trust you not to say anything. I made her promis
e to be quiet, but it could be around the school by tomorrow. Heck the whole of
Ravenclaw could know by now. I can t take the chance that she finds out from someo
ne else. I have to tell her myself. I ve figured out what I m going to say, I m going
to tell her tonight. I won t let her give me an answer till next Friday. So if you
are going to try, you have until at least then. Ron was quiet for a minute befor
e he responded.
Do you love her, Harry? This is not some crush?
No, Ron. It s not a crush. Ron was quiet again.
You re not mad, Ron? Harry asked.
No .scared, scared more than when I played chess first year, to get you to the ston
e. More scared than last year at the Ministry and more than during second year i
n Aragog s lair. Harry she scares me as much as when Ginny was taken into the Cham
ber of Secrets.
I know Ron; I ve had my heart ripped out before. I don t want it to happen again.
And if she picks me? Ron asked.
Then you re still my brother and my best friend, Harry answered, pausing before addi
ng, but I might have Ginny turn your hair green.
Ron jumped him dunking Harry into the pool, and dragging him under the cold wate
r spout. Harry fought back; getting hold of his wand he created a whirlpool arou
nd Ron that spun him in circles so fast it spit him onto the deck of the pool. R
on grabbed his own wand pointing it at Harry.
Wands are cheating. On the deck with it or you ll be swimming in a pool of troll bo
ggies. Harry tossed his wand on the deck. Ron dropped his and jumped back into th
e pool. They continued to horse around in the pool until both were too tired to
fight anymore.
Come on Harry, it s late, and you re going to have to sneak into the girls dorm if He
rmione has gone to bed already.
Harry and Ron snuck back to the Gryffindor Dorms to find the common area empty.
Suppose she when to bed or snuck out? Harry asked.
Don t know, check the Marauder s Map, Ron replied. They went up to the dormitory and R
on watched as Harry rummaged around in his trunk, pulling out the package he had
bought with help from Ginny. He checked the map and could see Hermione in her d
orm room.
Harry, Ron called, as he headed for the door, you ll understand if I don t wish you goo
d luck. Harry looked down at the floor, and then back up to Ron.
See you in the morning, Ron, he said before he left.

********************

Harry made his way to the foot of the steps to the girls dorm. How to get up ther
e was the question. If he climbed the stairs he would set off the alarms. Harry
was stumped.
Hedwig! he thought, and he headed for the portrait hole again.

Tick, Tick, Tick. Hermione rolled over at the noise. Tick, Tick, Tick.
What, she thought sitting up, is that? Tick, Tick, Tick. Hermione looked over to
the window, Hedwig was sitting on the sill pecking at the glass. She walked ove
r to let her in.
Hedwig, what are you doing here?
What s the matter Hermione? asked Lavender.
Nothing, it s just Hedwig, go back to sleep. Hedwig nipped at her ear and held her l
eg out. Hermione took the note and Hedwig flew out the window.
What in the world? she asked herself.

***

Hermione:
I need to talk to you; can you please come to the common room?
Harry.
P.S. Dress warm.

***

What could he want? It s almost midnight, she asked herself.


Only one way to find out, the voices popped up.

Harry stumbled back into the Dormitory, pulled a chair over to the stairs so he
could see her coming and sat down to wait. It didn t take long and he was glad to
see she had dressed like he told her.
Harry? What s going on, did something happen? Hermione asked, alarmed at being pulle
d out of bed.
It s nothing bad, come with me, Harry said leading her to the portrait hole. Using t
he Marauder s Map and the invisibility cloak he led her out of the school and down
to the Quidditch field.
Up here, he said, taking her to the stairway to the top box as he pulled the cloak
off of them.
Harry, what s going on?
Up, he said pointing up the stairs. Hermione shook her head and started climbing.
A minute later they stood in the box leaning on the rail looking out over the fi
eld. Through the darkness Harry could just make out the giant goals at each end.
Harry what are we doing here? Hermione asked him softly.
I love it out here on the field, Harry said, It has always been my favorite spot. N
o homework, no Snape, no Voldemort, just me and the snitch and can I catch it. A
nd if I don t, the world doesn t end .I love it out here, he said again after a short p
ause. Hermione watched him curiously while he talked, when he finished he turned
to her and took a deep breath.
Hermione, I promised myself that I wouldn t and I ve tried desperately to stop it, bu
t I can t anymore. I failed to keep that promise and because of that I made anothe
r one. One I could keep, one that I will keep.
Harry, what are you talking about? Hermione was very confused. You re not making any
sense.
Whatever you do, don t answer me tonight, Hermione. But I love you. Harry saw her ey
es open wide. Hermione felt her heart ballooning inside her chest.
He didn t just say that, she thought to herself. No, I just didn t hear him correctl
y.
Well I know I did, the first voice said in elation. She looked up at him, into t
hose green eyes.
What did you say? she whispered.
Hermione, I am in love with you, he replied calmly.
That settles it, the second voice remarked to her. Hermione opened her mouth to
reply.
I . Harry put his hand over her mouth.
You can t answer, he said. That s the second promise I made, at least not yet.
Hermione tried again.
No. Hermione, I failed once tonight. I won t again.
Why is he doing this to us? both voices cried together.
I love you, Hermione. But you can t answer me tonight.
I don t care about his silly promise, Hermione thought. She tried again.
Harry .
No. If you answer tonight you might cost me more than I can stand to lose. Hermion
e stopped; she could see how tense he was. Harry had lost more than anyone she h
ad ever known; his parents gone, murdered trying to protect him, his godfather g
one, because Harry had made a terrible mistake.
I won t take the chance of hurting him like that, the second voice said to her. Sh
e nodded her head, and saw him relax.
When? she asked softly.
You ll know. Trust me, it won t be long. Hermione nodded at him.
So, she said looking around, what now? Harry sank to the floor, leaning back against
the wall, he looked up at her.
Just sit with me for a while, let me pretend you said yes. Hermione sat next to hi
m with his arm wrapped around her, her head leaning on his shoulder. She could f
eel him breathing and his heart beating in his chest. His fingers were running t
hrough her hair, and the feeling in her own heart was different than anything sh
e had ever known.
Well, we certainly chose well telling Viktor no, the voices remarked. Hermione s
miled. She didn t remember falling asleep next to him.
Harry sat with his eyes closed, though he wasn t sleeping. Tryouts tomorrow were g
oing to be difficult but he didn t care. Sleeping now, with her next to him was no
t possible. Harry felt sure she would choose Ron, but for tonight she was his, a
nd he wasn t going to waste a second of it sleeping. He didn t notice a lone figure
shift in the shadows of the box, silently watching over the two of them, magical
ly heating the area so they wouldn t be cold.
Harry could tell the sun was coming up even with his eyes closed.
Not yet, please not yet. Don t let it be morning, he silently pleaded. It continue
d to get brighter, and when the first rays of sunlight hit his face he opened hi
s eyes. He jumped slightly, there was someone sitting on the bench at the other
end of the box. Harry s hand moved to his wand, the figure turned and he recognize
d it.
Dobby, what are you doing here? Harry asked in a loud whisper. He could feel his h
eart pounding in his chest from the rush of adrenaline. Hermione was beginning t
o stir.
Dobby is making sure Harry Potter and Miss is safe sir, Dobby is keeping you warm
in the night. Dobby is doing what he is paid to do sir, the elf said as quietly
as his squeaky voice would allow. Harry smiled.
Thank you Dobby, I think we will be ok now, why don t you go home. Dobby bowed to Ha
rry, and raised his hand to snap his fingers.
Not here Dobby, don t wake her. Dobby bowed again and ran off down the steps.
Hermione stirred again waking up, she blinked her eyes in the bright light of th
e morning. Looking around she sat up straight, what had happened last night floo
ded back into her brain.
We fell asleep, she gasped, horrified.
Actually you fell asleep, I was up all night.
Harry, you have tryouts today, you re going to fly into a tree or something, she sai
d frantically.
I think I m a little better than that. In fact, I think everyone here is going to s
ee me flying like they never have before, Harry replied. Hermione smiled at him.
Well come on, you better at least get something to eat. Hermione led the way back
down the stairs, and stopped at the base of the tower before going out into the
open. She turned to face Harry. Harry stiffened.
Hermione you . She placed her finger on his lips.
Shhh, not an answer, she said with a smile. Placing her hand on the side of his fa
ce she moved close to him. Standing on her toes, her lips pressed to his giving
him a soft lingering kiss.
Thank you for loving me, Harry, she said and turned into the field heading to the
school. Harry was rooted to the floor, she may as well have petrified him, for a
s well as his legs would work.
Come on! she yelled over her shoulder breaking into a run. I ll race you. Harry bolted
out after her, finally catching up at the front doors. It was still too early f
or breakfast so they headed up to the dormitory. When they entered the common ro
om, Hermione turned to him.
So, I m supposed to behave like last night never happened? she asked quietly.
For now, yes, Harry answered. Hermione took a deep breath.
I need to clean up before breakfast, she said. See you guys down there? Harry reache
d into his pocket and handed her the box with the necklace that Ginny had helped
him purchase. She reached to take it from him, a quizzical look on her face.
You ll know, when the time is right. I ll see you at breakfast, Hermione. Harry turned
and headed up the stairs to his dorm.

Authors note:

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 9: Tryouts
Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Hermione sat on her bed holding Ron s diary, and thinking about what had happened
with Harry.
What are we going to do about Ron? asked the voices.
Ron hasn t expressed an interest. There s nothing to do about him, Hermione replied.
What if he does?
You already know the answer if he does.
What if he doesn t? the voices asked quietly.
Ingenious, Hermione commented aloud, He modified the Recognition charm he taught us
for our wands to work for the diary. It only recognizes him and spells from his
wand.
Polyjuice Potion? asked the first voice.
That s one way, Hermione replied.
Other ideas? the second voice asked
Not yet but I m working on it, the first answered.

********************

Harry entered the dorm, put his things away and headed for the showers. Ron was
already there.
How did it go? he asked.
Well I didn t let her answer, but I told her.
Scared?
Yes.
Well at least you ve got the hard part done, Ron said, shutting off the water. You we
re gone when I got up, get any sleep?
No, Harry replied, starting to towel off.
Tryouts are going to be rough; Ginny said if she gets a break from Chaser tryouts
, she s going to fly in the Seeker tryouts just to give you a hard time, Ron told h
im.
Good, someone to make me work will be fun.
Glad to hear it mate, glad to hear it. Come on I m starving.

********************

Ron and Harry were already eating by the time Ginny and Hermione joined them. Ne
ville sat down a few minutes later followed by Luna. The talk of the whole schoo
l was the Gryffindor tryouts. After the turmoil of last year, Professor McGonaga
ll had wiped the slate clean. All positions were open. And she would be selectin
g all the players to the team herself. Most people were expecting the returning
players, except for the Beaters, to reclaim their spots. Harry was counting on b
eing Seeker again, with Ginny claiming one and Katie Bell claiming the second of
the three Chaser spots. In his mind, the only real question marks were the Beat
ers. If they could find good ones the team would be strong.
Hey what s that noise? Ron asked. Everyone stopped to listen, not quite able to make
it out. The door to the hall opened and Harry thought he heard the words of a s
ong the lyrics sounded like they involved Harry and Hermione. Ron s face turned scar
let.
She didn t, that little snot! First her friend rats us out to Umbridge, then she pr
omises not to say anything, and now this. Ron was seething.
Calm down Ron, what are you talking about? asked Ginny.
I m talking about Cho telling Harry s secret after she said she wouldn t last night.
What secret? asked Neville. Harry looked at Hermione. She had turned white with ra
ge. She knew what the secret was.
She guessed last night when we were talking after the DA meeting. I wasn t ready to
tell you, but was afraid she would let it out. I wanted you to hear it from me
first, Harry said desperately to Hermione.
I m not mad at you, Harry.
Will someone please tell me what you re talking about? Neville asked again.
The doors to the Great Hall opened - it was Cho. She looked frantically around f
or Harry. Harry heard it more clearly this time.

Did you hear? Harry Potter loves Hermione .

It was Peeves, singing some crazy song announcing to the whole school what Harry
had told Cho.
Cho raced over to Harry, but before she could get there, both Hermione and Ginny
had hit her with curses. Cho fell to the floor her black hair now green. She lo
oked up at Harry with pleading eyes, unable to open her mouth.
And you can starve for all I care, Hermione snarled venomously at her. Harry looke
d at Cho. She was crying and shaking her head at him, asking him with her eyes f
or a chance.
Voldemort is skilled at sewing discourse and dividing us. Dumbledore s words rang
in his head.
Hermione, Harry said quietly to her, let her talk.
What! Everyone yelled at him.
Harry, she deserves it! Ron continued to rant at him.
I will do no such thing, Harry, Hermione added vehemently. Harry turned to her.
This is exactly one of the things that I love about you. Now please, let her talk
. Hermione melted, pointed her wand at Cho and released the hold on her.
Harry, you have to believe me. I don t know how they found out, but I didn t tell any
one, Cho pleaded with him.
Who are they? Harry asked.
I am, Malfoy s voice snapped from behind Cho. He was flanked by his cronies Crabbe a
nd Goyle; Millicent Bulstrode was behind him sneering also. Ron stood up, he had
grown a lot over the summer - filled out some too - and after the incident in D
iagon Alley, Crabbe and Goyle didn t intimidate him any more.
Ronald, no, Hermione snapped at him. He stopped.
That s right Weasel, better listen to her. You could get hurt.
Kind of like when you got hurt this summer at Diagon Alley you mean? asked Ron. Ma
lfoy paled. Recovering quickly he turned to Harry.
So, Saint Potter is in love with the Mudblood. How quaint, he snarled. Ron lunged
for him but was stopped by about six Gryffindors.
Like the song? You ought to be careful where you talk Potter, the walls have ears
you know.
Actually, it s a pretty good song, Harry replied. Malfoy s mouth dropped open. What do
you think, Hermione? Harry asked.
It has a nice ring to it. Though Peeves could use some voice lessons, Hermione sai
d, a sickeningly sweet smile on her face directed at Malfoy. Without taking his
eyes off Malfoy, Harry helped Cho to her feet.
Ginny, he said, lifting Cho s braid. Ginny waved her wand, turning Cho s hair back to
its natural glossy black.
So tell me, Malfoy, has Voldemort busted your dad out of jail yet? People all arou
nd them shrank back at the name. Malfoy, Crabbe, Goyle and Millicent looked arou
nd fearfully, their faces having drained of color.
The next time you see your father tell him to say hi to Voldemort for me. I haven t
seen him since that time in the Ministry last spring. Harry turned and sat back
down, pulling Cho with him, he wrapped his arm protectively around her shoulder.
The doors to the Great Hall burst open again. Peeves was still singing and he fl
oated into the hall. Professor McGonagall and Professor Snape scanned the Great
Hall looking for signs of trouble. The crowd that had gathered began to quickly
disperse. Professor McGonagall stormed over to them, parting students in her way
like a wave destroying a sand castle.
I hear, Miss Granger, that you are again sealing peoples mouths shut. And that you
are turning peoples hair green, she said glaring at Ginny. They both returned her
look without so much as a blink.
I haven t seen any green hair, Professor, Neville offered. Has anyone else? he asked,
looking around the table. Everyone shook their heads. Professor McGonagall purse
d her lips together as she scanned the table
And you Miss Chang? Or has the proverbial cat got your tongue? Professor McGonagal
l asked icily. Cho turned to look at her.
No professor, I m fine, she answered, her voice and face an unreadable mask.
I see, she replied. Snape however, was not ready to give up.
Peeves, who taught you that ridiculous song? he snapped at the poltergeist. Peeves
blew a raspberry at him.
Peeves, I know you like nothing better than to see students in trouble. It would
cost five house points and detention each for the name or names of the students
responsible, he commented fixing his eyes on Cho. Peeves stopped singing and floa
ted down in front of him.
That would be those four, Master Snape sir, the poltergeist said, indicating towar
ds the four Slitherin housemates. Peeves laughed insanely and then flew away cac
kling about foolish professors. Harry had watched Professor McGonagall out of th
e corner of his eye, and he was sure she had suppressed a smile when Peeves had
ratted out Malfoy and his gang.
Well then, I think that I have the perfect detention for them. Tonight, in my off
ice, all of you, Professor McGonagall snarled at them. Now get out of my sight. Cra
bbe, Goyle and Millicent quickly moved to escape any more of Professor McGonagal
l s wrath. Malfoy however, fixed her with any evil glare before slowly turning and
walking away.
Excuse me Professor McGonagall, but I believe that I assigned those students dete
ntion with me, said Professor Snape.
No, Professor you did not, Professor McGonagall replied in her normal curt tone. Yo
u said that the responsible students would be assigned a detention; you did not
specify that it was with you. It is therefore my prerogative as the Deputy Headm
istress to decide where and what they will be doing. She turned and walked away.
Snape stood there glaring at Harry, trembling with rage. Harry met his eyes defi
antly.
Severus, we were on our way to the Headmasters office, he will wonder why we are
late. Snape spun around following Professor McGonagall to the door.
Excellent! Ron exclaimed, as he sat back down. Neville turned to Cho.
Are you ok? he asked.
Yeah I m fine. Harry, I really didn t tell, she said turning to him.
I know you didn t, he replied giving her a squeeze before taking his arm off her sho
ulder.
Cho, we re sorry about cursing you, Ginny and Hermione said together. Cho wiped a te
ar from her eye and smiled at them.
I forgive you, but I better get going. I want to get a good seat for the tryouts.
I need to scout you guys for this year. I m captain for Ravenclaw you know. Cho st
ood up and headed out the doors.
Hey Cho, wait up, I ll come with you, Neville called after her. She stopped to wait
for him.
See ya later guys, he said and hurried after her.
Do ya think? Ron asked turning back to the others. Naw can t be.
What? they asked.
Neville and Cho, you know, getting together. He looked around at the others. They
were all grinning.
Bloody Hell! Look at the time, we re going to be late for tryouts, Ron said jumping
up from the table.
Relax, Ginny and I ll go get the brooms and meet you at the field, Harry said as he
stood up. He and Ginny hurried up to the dormitory.
I m heading down to the field too, see you there, Luna said dreamily then headed out
the door.
Does anything ever bother her? Ron asked, looking at Hermione. She shrugged her sh
oulders.
All I know is I can count on her.
Are you going to come and watch? Ron asked. He sounded hopeful to her. Hermione ha
dn t known what to expect out of Ron. He had not been nice to her about Viktor. Th
e fact that Harry loved her and the whole school knew didn t seem to bother him. S
trangely, it bothered her.
Yes, I am.
I wouldn t miss it, she thought, remembering Harry s words about flying that morning
.

*******************

Walking to the field, she reached into her bag and pulled out Ron s diary.
Figure it out yet? he asked seeing it in her hand.
Yes, but I don t have a month to make polyjuice potion, and I thought you might lik
e to add to it. They really are quite good spells, Ronald. She handed it to him.
Dumbledore said most people at this school would work on it for years to figure i
t out, much less a way in. Even the other Professors he guessed would take weeks
. Ron paused to glance over at her. She was watching him a confused look on her f
ace.
He also said you would figure out a way in a couple of hours, Hermione. Hermione s
topped walking.
He said that about me? Ron stopped and turned to her.
I asked him for help to keep you out of it. He taught me this, said it is the bes
t he ever came up with, used it on his own diary even. Then he told me if you wa
nted to get in you would. Said I would simply have to trust you. You really are
brilliant, Hermione. Ron turned and continued walking towards the stadium. Hermio
ne hurried to catch up.
Ron, she said, touching his arm, why did you need to keep me out? Ron stopped, they
had reached the stadium and he had to go join the others trying out for the team
.
You really don t know, do you? he asked. She looked at him puzzled, shaking her head
slightly. Ron took out his wand and waved it over the diary, his name appeared
on the cover.
The important part is the last entry. You can read it all if you want too though.
Actually, I hope that you will read it all, some of it is pretty good, he said h
olding it out to her. She reached out her hand.
You want me to read this?
It s not a spell book or anything, but yes, I do. Hermione took the diary from him.
Ron stared at her, and then knowing there was nothing to lose anymore, he reache
d out his hand and pulled her by the back of her head to him. He touched his lip
s to her forehead and kissed her gently.
I ve got to go, he whispered, and then walked around the corner to join the other pl
ayers trying out. Hermione watched him go, the diary hanging limply in her hand.
Her forehead felt as if it was on fire where his lips had touched her.
This can t be happening, she thought to herself as she looked at the diary.
Well we can t read it now, they re both expecting us to be in there watching, the fi
rst voice said.
You better make sure no one else can read that thing if you lose it, said the se
cond voice.
You re right let s see, Hermione answered, taking out her wand. When she put the diary
into her bag, it would only recognize her and spells from her wand. Hermione wa
lked into the stadium, still in a daze from Ron s actions. Professor McGonagall sa
w her and headed her way.
I m glad you re here Miss Granger, come with me. Hermione followed her to where the st
udents had gathered to watch.
I see that a number of you have taken an interest in the proceedings today. I am
quite glad to see it. In these times of strife, only by coming together can we h
ope to ultimately win over the evil we face. The crowd was quiet at her words.
That said, I am sure most of you are here to support your fellow classmates and p
erhaps give a few of them a good natured ribbing. I warn you now though, that if
I should deem your comments out of line, you will find yourself unable to open
your mouth for anything more than eating for as long as it takes to figure out h
ow to reverse Miss. Granger s hex. Isn t that right Miss Granger? Hermione was startl
ed out of her thoughts of Ron s kiss by the question.
Say yes, the second voice said to her.
What? Hermione replied.
Yes, Professor McGonagall. She is waiting for an answer, the second voice snappe
d at her.
Yes, Professor McGonagall. Hermione replied, still not sure what she was agreeing
to. A number of students she noticed, most of them from Slitherin, were shifting
in their seats and eyeing her warily.
Honestly, the second voice commented, you d think he really planted one on her.
I might add that the staff is no closer to solving this little puzzle now than we
were at the time Miss Granger took pity on her last victim, Professor McGonagall
added, as she surveyed the students over her glasses after concluding her speec
h.
Hermione saw Malfoy and a number of other students get up and make their way out
of the stadium. Professor McGonagall turned and walked back to the players. Her
mione overheard her talking to herself as she left.
I thought so.
The tryouts would begin with the Chasers and the Keepers going first. Players wo
uld be rotated in to see how they worked together, and if they could score on th
e different Keepers. Professor McGonagall, Madam Hooch, the flying instructor, a
nd her new assistant Viktor Krum would be observing. Ginny, Katie Bell and a sec
ond year boy David Roberts established themselves quickly as the best combinatio
n of Chasers.
It was Ron who wowed the crowd though. He didn t let in one goal. No matter who ha
d been flying against him. He had flashed from one hoop to the other blocking sh
ot after shot. At one point Katie had pulled out three other Chasers and a secon
d Quaffel. Six Chasers and two Quaffels against one Keeper, it couldn t be fair. B
ut Ron had held them off for five minutes to the cheers of the watching students
before he had signaled that he needed to rest.
Hermione watched intently. She was thrilled to see that it looked like both Ron
and Ginny were going to make the team again. Only one other position mattered to
her now, Seeker. Madam Hooch blew her whistle signaling the players in.
We will conduct Seeker tryouts next, all players interested should follow me. She
marched off, trailed by the hopefuls.
Ron walked to the side and collapsed to the ground closing his eyes against the
sun, he was exhausted. It had taken every bit of his ability and the speed of hi
s new Firebolt to take on the six Chasers. He was still breathing hard five minu
tes later, when he felt someone sit down next to him.
Dat vas som of ze best flying I ave seen, it was Viktor. Ron opened his eyes.
Thanks.
I tink vith you ve may ave beaten England at ze last Vorld Cup. Ron didn t know what
to say. He had never been nice to Viktor. He also knew that Hermione had told h
im about the problems he gave her. That Viktor seemed to be offering friendship
to him after all that confused him. Seeing that Ron wasn t going to answer, Viktor
continued.
She told me no. I am not ere to chase er. I needed a job, less dangerous dan Seek
er, I vas alvays urt. I vas alvays appy ere dat year even before er and I ver fr
iends. So ven Dumbledore offered me da Assistant Flying Coach Position, I took i
t. Ron looked at him, meeting his eyes for maybe the second time in his life.
I can t say I m sorry she told you no, but I am sorry that I was not nice to you, he s
aid. Viktor just nodded his head. Madam Hooch blew her whistle again.
Vell it looks like I better go to vork. Maybe, I vill come get your autograph som
e time, he said, as he walked away.
Seeker tryouts will be conducted in phases, Madam Hooch was saying. Now, as there a
re six of you trying out. She scanned her list, stopping and then looking up when
she came to Ginny s name.
Miss Weasley, I should think you have secured a position as a Chaser.
Well, I wanted to try for a back up position, Ginny answered. Besides, I ve been beat
ing Harry all summer and wanted to make him work a little. Harry stared at her. G
inny smiled innocently back at him.
Is that a fact? Professor McGonagall asked with a raised eyebrow.
Why don t you ask her what broom she was using while I rode that old school Comet, H
arry said to Professor McGonagall.
Ginny? Professor McGonagall looked at her over her glasses.
I was using Harry s Firebolt, Ginny sighed. Please Professor, what can it hurt?
Oh very well Ginny, stick it to him if you can, Professor McGonagall said in exasp
eration.
Harry shot a dirty look at Ginny. She stuck her tongue out at him. Harry couldn t
help laughing at her.
If I might continue? Madam Hooch started in again. As there are six of you I will b
e releasing twelve snitches. They are set to fly for five minutes then return to
my hand. You will all attempt to catch as many as you can, at the end of five r
ounds we will count the totals. The Seeker with the highest total will win the p
osition. They all nodded at her to indicate they understood.
In the event of a tie we will have a fly off involving one snitch; the Seeker to
catch it will be the Gryffindor Seeker. Are there any questions? There were none.
Good then mount your brooms, on my mark, six players mounted their brooms. Madam
Hooch released the bag of snitches.
Now!
Harry was gone. He dove for the ground following the snitch as it skimmed along
an inch above the grass. It changed directions going straight up Harry followed
it up, skidding past due to his larger mass, but still gaining on it. He closed
on it, plucking it out of the air when it attempted a sudden stop. Harry stuffed
the snitch into his pocket, turning to survey the field.
Don t waste time, bring it at the end, the second voice told him.
There! His brain registered a glint of color next to Krum s ear. Harry turned and
dove.
Ginny circled above; one snitch in her pocket already. She knew in this setting
not to challenge Harry directly. Figuring he could not possibly get all twelve,
if she could snap up the leftovers, she might be able to force a fly off. Then,
with just one snitch in the air, she might get lucky and beat him. Ginny reached
out her hand and grabbed the snitch that had been driven straight to her by ano
ther player.
A little luck always helps, she said to herself diving for a third flash of gold
. She heard a whistle blowing and looked down to see six golden flashes race tow
ards Madam Hooch. She settled to the ground next to Professor McGonagall.
Six of twelve were caught, I got two. That means the most Harry can have is four,
she said under her breath. Harry handed over his catch he had three. Kelly Marks
on, a third year, had one. Ginny handed over her two.
Ok, ready again, said Madam Hooch. Kelly, don t waste time bringing them to me in the
middle of the cycle ok?
Kelly nodded.
Ready .go. They were off again.
By the end of the third cycle Harry was leading with ten catches. Ginny had eigh
t. Kelly was in third with five. Each of the other three contenders had one catc
h each. Madam Hooch called a short break. Ginny grabbed the other four players p
ulling them away from Harry.
Look, she said, none of us can compete with Harry. Kelly, regardless of where I fin
ish, you will be Harry s backup because I am going to play Chaser. I just want to
make Harry work for it. So .if you three harass him, maybe Kelly or I can catch en
ough to push him into the fly off. What do you think? The others looked at each o
ther, shrugged and nodded to her.
Ok let s do it, they agreed
Seekers ready, Madam Hooch called out. The six Seekers mounted their brooms again.
And .go.
Ginny and Kelly speed off in opposite directions. Harry was a blur going straigh
t up followed closely by the other three. He was just reaching for his first sni
tch when he was bumped from behind by two others. He lost track of the snitch, a
nd circled above the field. He could see Ginny and Kelly darting all over the pl
ace along with about ten golden flashes but the other three Seekers were just ta
iling him.
So that s her game, he said to himself, the little devil. Harry searched the field
speeding up and slowing down, darting up and down and to both sides making the
others work to stay with him. He spotted a snitch ahead of him, low to the groun
d and coming straight towards him. Harry accelerated to top speed but headed up.
He glanced back, the others were chasing him, he let them catch up slowly. Taki
ng a chance to look down, he could see the snitch was still there. In an instant
Harry snapped his broom over backwards and down to the ground. He was now behin
d the snitch, gaining on it and clear of the others, who had been unable to foll
ow his change of direction. Harry closed his fingers around the snitch just befo
re the whistle blew. He landed next to Madam Hooch and handed over the snitch. G
inny came in with three, Kelly had come up with five.
The scores stood
Harry Potter 11
Ginny Weasley 11
Kelly Markson 10
Brian McBride 1
Tim Gellers 1
Stephanie Donner 1

You re cheating, Harry hissed at Ginny.

Says who?
I do.
Come now, Big Brother, Ginny goaded him. You were the youngest house player in a ce
ntury and you re the best Seeker I have ever seen including, Ginny said nodding at
him, Viktor. Now why don t you prove it? Harry glared at Ginny. Viktor however start
ed laughing at him.
She s right you know. You flew much better against dat dragon. Hee Hee she is your
sister? Vell better you den me.
Seekers ready! Madam Hooch called. Harry was seething.
Go!
Harry was gone and back again. Viktor dove out of the way to avoid being hit by
the three shadows that followed Harry. Harry took them straight up letting them
gain on him and then he dove straight down. There was no snitch but he stretched
out his hand pretending there was. The others were coming. At the last instant
Harry pulled out of the dive. Screams came from the stands, he was sure it looke
d like he would plow into the ground. The others behind him tried to pull up; th
ey had more time than Harry but lacked the skill. Harry heard three loud thuds b
ehind him.
There! Gold flashed into view. Harry wretched his broom around. He needed to hur
ry. He was free now, but had lost time. His fist closed around the snitch. Harry
zoomed up scanning the field.
There! Sitting between Madam Hooch s legs Harry dove again skimming the ground. He
could see Madam Hooch follow him, turning around to face him as he leveled off
coming straight for her. He could see the look of surprise on her face, turn to
awareness of what was happening when she looked down and then back up at his on
rushing form. He was going to slam into her. At the last second she jumped strai
ght up straddling her legs to the side. Harry flew under her, snagging the snitc
h out of the air. He pulled up again, looking around.
Where! Where! There Ginny and Kelly chasing! Harry flashed after them. The snitc
h reversed coming back to him.
Kelly and Ginny followed, Ginny was now in front heading directly for Harry, rea
ching out for the snitch.
We re going to hit! the first voice screamed at him. Harry rolled his broom - he w
as now hanging underneath it stretching out with his hand. His fingers closed on
the snitch.
Kelly had pulled up to avoid the collision she thought was coming. Ginny zoomed
over him with less than an inch to spare. She had not altered an inch to avoid h
im. The whistle blew.
Harry landed next to Madam Hooch and handed over his catch he had three. Ginny h
ad got three also, Kelly had four. It was tied
Harry 14
Ginny 14
Kelly 14
You may take a short break, while we give instructions to the Beaters. We will st
art the fly off in fifteen minutes, Professor McGonagall said as she walked away.
Harry looked around at Ginny.
You were lucky. I m bigger than you, if we had hit I could have killed you, he said
angrily.
If I had given way, I had no chance to get the snitch. I will never give ground t
o you, Harry. I ll make you earn everything you get out here today, she snapped at
him.
Ginny, why are you pushing so hard? Harry asked in frustration.
Because, that day in the chamber, when you saved me from Tom Riddle I ve seen you at
your best, and I want to see it again. Live up to my expectations, Harry James.
She turned and stalked over towards Viktor.
It looked like she was asking him for advice, because he started to explain with
exaggerated hand motions what he was talking about. Harry shook his head, turne
d around and ran smack into Kelly.
That was a good catch Harry, I thought Ginny had you beat, I thought you would br
eak off to avoid hitting her. I would never have thought to roll under her like
that. Harry smiled at her.
That s a Nimbus 2000 isn t it? He pointed at her broom. She nodded.
I had one, the Whopping Willow got a hold of it my third year.
I remember. I saw Dumbledore catch you before you hit the ground. You have a Fire
bolt now. She indicated with a nod. Is it that much better?
Harry reached out taking her broom in his hands. It felt good, comfortable, the
Firebolt was better. He could feel raw power when he held it. But this felt more
refined, smoother.
Why don t you tell me, he said handing over his broom, after the next round. Kelly s ey
s grew wide.
Harry, I can t, I could beat you with this, she protested.
You could, but you won t, Harry said, walking away with her broom before she could p
rotest anymore.
I won t hold back, she called out to warn him. I want to play, not be a backup.
I didn t expect you would, he yelled back.
Ron had joined Ginny and Viktor.
Well, things have heated up a little. The first three rounds were pretty dull. I
saw him pick it up in round four when those three ganged up on him. Ron said, mot
ioning towards Brian, Tim and Stephanie. They were being attended to by Madam Po
mfrey, a little bruised but none the worse for wear.
Then round five, wow! Ron shook his head. I saw you arguing with him, what did you
say Ginny?
Hee Hee, She . Viktor was laughing again, pointing at Ginny. Hee Hee, She says to im
basically dat he vos flying like a Ninny and dat she expected more from er Big B
rother. Ha Ha. Ron looked at Ginny.
You didn t? he snapped, his eyes growing wide.
What if I did? Ginny replied, her eyes flaming at the challenge.
But I am confused, I tought you ver er brother? Viktor pointed at Ron.
I am, but my family has pretty much adopted Harry now. He even calls our parents
by their first names. Ginny calls him Big Brother when she is happy with him or
when she wants to pick on him, Ron explained. Viktor shook his head.
He chooses to ave er as a sister? I am beginning to tink all dose times last year
ven da paper vos saying he vos a Nutter .Maybe dey ver right, he said with a smile
at Ginny.
I ll agree with that, Ron replied, laughing along with him.
Careful Ron, green hair, Ginny mumbled to him. Ron stopped laughing quickly, nervo
usly looking to see if her wand was out.
Seekers, gather round, it was Madam Hooch again. Now as you all know snitch balls c
ome in levels one through ten. Ten being the most difficult to catch, it is the
ball used at the World Cup level, she said with a nod towards Viktor. Harry, Ginn
y and Kelly all turned to look at him.
We have been using up to this point, she went on, level four and five snitches, nee
ding to build a base line for your skills. Their attention focused back on her. In
matches here at the school we generally will use a six or seven depending on th
e skill of the Seekers playing in the match.
As this is a school first, she said with a nod of her head to Professor McGonagall
, you would agree that we cannot have matches going on for weeks at a time. Mr. K
rum and I have decided that you three will be chasing an eight for the final tri
al. I dare say it has been a long time, certainly since before I arrived, that w
e have pulled this ball out of storage. I am sure that you lot will find it more
difficult to catch than anything you have chased before. You will begin, on my
mark.
Harry mounted Kelly s Nimbus 2000. Ginny looked over at it then at him.
Nice broom Harry, think you can handle it?
I beat Malfoy using one when he was on a 2001.
I know you did, but I m better than he is. So is she, Ginny nodded towards Kelly, and
this, is a Firebolt. Harry scowled at her, not noticing the professors watching
the exchange.
I hope you like losing, Ginevra, Harry replied. Ginny's face turned scarlet at the
use of her full name.
And . Madam Hooch released the snitch giving it a large head start, Now!
Hermione lost the snitch in a blink and focused in on the Seekers instead. Harry
moved first but was somehow still behind both Ginny and Kelly.
Things were much closer than she had expected them to be. She would have agreed
with Ron about the first three rounds being dull, thinking Harry was feeling not
having slept the night before. She hoped he would be ok.
It had taken her about two seconds of the fourth round to figure out why Ginny h
ad huddled the others around. The fifth round she had watched in amazement.
What was it called? The Waronkie Flent or something, she asked herself. Harry ha
d shaken all three of his shadows with one move. And then the last snitch, she h
ad been sure he and Ginny would hit. Covered her eyes to miss it, then not heari
ng a crash she looked up to see that somehow Harry had caught the snitch. She re
played it on her omnioculars in slow motion, three times, hardly believing what
she saw, as much in awe of Ginny as Harry.
How can she be so fearless? she wondered.
Ginny and Kelly were both good, but she had been sure that in the final round Ha
rry would easily out class them. It looked to her that all three of her friends
would make the team, and all would be right with her world.
Well for a few hours anyways, the voices interjected. There s still Harry, and now
Ron s diary.
But now it looked like Harry was in trouble. He would react to any change in the
snitch s direction before the others. She could see him follow it with his eyes.
He was always first, but he couldn t seem to make his broom do what Ginny and Kell
y could.
She saw it when he turned, a flash of gold on his broom handle. Hermione stopped
the play in her omnioculars and hit the rewind. There, marked clearly on the ha
ndle of the broom, she could see the words Nimbus 2000. Hermione looked back at
Ginny and Kelly, they were both riding Firebolts. She looked at Kelly again.
That s Harry s broom, she said out loud.
What did you say? Hermione turned, it was Cho.
Kelly is using Harry s broom. He s on a Nimbus 2000. He must have switched brooms wit
h her. Cho looked at her incredulously.
Let me see those, she said grabbing the omnioculars from Hermione. He can t be, why w
ould he do that, he d have to be nuts, she was mumbling to herself. You re right! she e
xclaimed, dropping the omnioculars from her eyes so she could take in the whole
scene.
Look, he s looped back again. Hermione pointed. But Harry had lost his advantage alr
eady.
Harry looped back as the snitch reversed course.
She s a lot better than Malfoy, the first voice said.
They both are. Kelly almost had it there until Ginny knocked her off, the second
said.
The snitch shot off towards the hoops at the far end of the field jumping up and
down trying to escape.
Hooch was right, he thought to himself. That thing is way faster than any other
I ve seen. It s almost like it can think and sense when someone is close to it.
The snitch dove to the ground, Harry broke after it, but Ginny and Kelly were al
ready making up ground on him. The snitch stopped and came straight up. Harry sk
idded to a stop, reversed and followed. He could see the others overshoot furthe
r than he had.
Speed isn t everything, Little Sister, the second voice laughed as he pulled furth
er away. He could almost reach it stretching out his hand, the wings of the snit
ch fluttering at his finger tips.
WHAM!
They were back slamming into him from both sides. The snitch broke away, barrel
rolling in a giant corkscrew-like motion. Harry followed it, rolling to his left
, pushing Ginny around the loop as he went, giving her the advantage, Kelly foll
owed on his right. They appeared to be glued together to the people watching fro
m the ground.
I can t let them get ahead of me, Harry thought desperately.
Ron and Viktor stood together watching the battle above them.
Look at that, Ron exclaimed to Viktor.
Harry had hooked his legs onto the girls. One on each side, they tried to break
away but were only carrying him with them. The snitch moved left heading towards
where the students had gathered to watch, causing them to scatter as it whipped
by, followed by the three Seekers.
Harry felt Ginny grab hold of him, digging her nails into his leg as hard as she
could, trying to get him to release her. He ignored the pain in his leg, reache
d over to Kelly s broom and shoved the handle away from him while letting go of th
e hold he had on her leg at the same time. The unexpected input from Harry shot
her around in a circle to the right.
Ginny saw what happened, stopped pinching him and immediately tried to override
Harry s control of his broom.
Harry saw the snitch sitting on the right side of the giant pole to the goal hoo
p in front of them. With Ginny on his left, she would have a better shot at it a
s they went by.
Ginny saw it too, she stopped trying to get away from him, instead trying to for
ce him to his right so she could snag it with her left hand and take away any ho
pe of him being able to get it.
Hermione could see the snitch just sitting there, Harry was in the wrong positio
n. He was trying to force Ginny back to the left, playing defense, but it wasn t w
orking.
Fearless and strong, the voices commented to her.
Harry was faking, letting Ginny get the upper hand, feel like she had him beat.
He looked around for Kelly.
There! She was coming but wasn t going to make it.
Now! Harry broke down and to his right. Ginny wasn t prepared for him to go where
she wanted him to. As he rolled down Harry pulled Ginny over with him so that th
ey were both upside down. She was now out of position with Harry seconds away fr
om grabbing the snitch.
Keep rolling! the voices screamed at her. Ginny tried to drag Harry the rest of
the way through the roll, trying to come upright again with him on her right so
she would be in position to make the grab.
Almost there! they screamed at her. With her right arm, Ginny had pulled Harry t
hree quarters of the way through the roll now. She was reaching around with her
left hand trying to grab the snitch behind her back. Like Harry, holding on to h
er broom using only her legs.
Ha! Got you! Harry yelled as he closed his fingers around the snitch. Harry heard
Madam Hooch blowing her whistle. He released Ginny and headed for the ground. Ke
lly beat him there.
Nice job, Harry. She handed him back his broom. I couldn t have kept up on mine, she a
dded taking hers back.
You really fly well Kelly, if I can t fly in a match, you will do great, Harry said.
Kelly beamed at him.
Thanks, Harry.
Beaters, over here, Professor McGonagall was yelling.
Gotta go Harry, I m trying out for Beater too. Harry turned as she walked away.
Hi, Harry, Ginny said, grinning at him. Harry tried to stay mad at her but found h
e couldn t while she looked so pleased.
Does that meet with your approval, Ginny? Harry was grinning back. Ginny wrapped h
er arms around his neck standing on her toes to give him a big hug.
For today, Harry. She released him, holding one hand to the side of his face, and
looking into his eyes. For today. Ginny started walking towards Madam Hooch, Harry
followed a little bewildered.
What s gotten into her anyways? he wondered to himself.
That was impressive Mr. Potter, even better to see that Gryffindor will have a ca
pable Seeker or two after you have departed.
Thank you, Madam Hooch, Harry replied.
Now I suggest that two you get out of here before the bludgers start coming this
way. Positions will be posted tomorrow in your common room for you.
I think I ll go shower before watching the Beater tryouts. See you in a bit, Ginny?
Yeah, Harry sounds good. Harry jogged off towards the changing rooms. Hermione and
Ron came running up to Ginny.
Hey, where s he going? Ron asked.
He wanted to shower before watching the Beaters, Ginny replied
Oh .ok, I guess I can tell him later then, how amazing that was to watch.
He was pretty good, wasn t he? And against better brooms, Ginny said. Ron looked at
her.
What do you mean? He has the best broom there is.
He wasn t using it, Hermione answered.
He switched brooms with Kelly, Ginny finished. Ron looked at the two of them.
I wondered why you two were able to always get ahead of him even though he would
react to the snitch before you.
Ginny, Hermione asked, why did he switch brooms?
Because, Ron said, remembering the conversation with Krum and Ginny earlier, Ginny
told him he was flying like a ninny and he needed to get his act together. He di
d it to prove a point, Ron added with evident amazement.
And what was that whole hug; hand on his face thing about over there, Ginny? Ron a
sked suddenly.
He asked me if he had performed up to the standard I wanted him to. I was telling
him yes, Ginny replied bluntly.
It looked like there was more to it than that to me, Ginny, Hermione said softly. I
t looked to me like you were in love with him.
Ron could hear the warning sirens going off in his head. It had looked pretty mu
ch to him the way Hermione said it had, but with Harry having confessed his love
to Hermione, he couldn t tell if Hermione was jealous or not. And Ginny had had a
crush on Harry years ago. He started to slowly back up, trying to get out of th
e way of any spells that might deflect his direction if they brandished their wa
nds. He saw a flash in Ginny s eyes and she suddenly seemed to be radiating energy
.
In case either of you has forgotten, I might remind you of the prophecy, the one
that Harry will either kill Tom Riddle or be killed by him. I demanded his best
today and he gave it to me. He asked if it was good enough. I told him, for toda
y Harry, for today. She was crying now, trembling with rage; the air around her w
as resonating.
But I know who he is fighting - I tried to fight him once too and Harry saved me.
I know Harry will win, but I m afraid it will kill him. And I know that I can t hel
p him. I love him, like I love Ron, Mum and Dad, and you, Hermione, he is my bro
ther, you are my sister. All I want is for Tom to be dead and Harry to be happy.
Ginny seemed to be deflating.
One other thing, Hermione, in case you forgot. Harry is in love with you. She sank
to her knees.
Ron blinked; the blood had drained from Hermione s face. Cho, who had been walking
towards them, had stopped about fifty feet away, scared at the change she could
see in Ginny. She looked at Ron; he shook his head trying to tell her to leave.
He had not forgotten the prophecy and despite his best efforts could not forget
the day that Ginny had been taken into the Chamber of Secrets. What he was stil
l coming to terms with was the depth to which Ginny had been affected. It dawned
on him why she was so driven, why she liked to chide Harry, why she seemed unaf
raid of anything. Ginny was only scared of one thing, and the only way to fight
it was to push Harry. And she was afraid that it would not be enough. Hermione s
ank down taking Ginny in her arms.
I m sorry, Ginny; I wasn t trying to say you couldn t love him.
I know Hermione; I am just tired of seeing him in pain. What if he dies? We ll all
lose him, she said in a whisper.
Ron dropped down on his knees in front of her, putting his hands on her shoulder
s. She looked up into his eyes.
You listen to me, Ginny. Don t you ever doubt Harry; he has strength beyond what we
have ever seen. I promise you Harry will find a way, because I m going to help hi
m. Ginny, I promise you Harry will not die in this fight. Now get up and come wa
tch the Beater tryouts with me. Ginny smiled weakly at him and he pulled her to h
er feet.
Coming Hermione? he asked.
No Ron, I think I have had enough for today. I m going to do some reading. Hermione
started towards the stadium entrance with Ron and Ginny trailing behind on their
way to the stands. Thinking back on Ginny s rage of a few minutes ago Hermione wa
s glad only words had been directed at her.
Not that I wouldn t have deserved it, she thought to herself.
Hermione, make sure you don t read that diary. Green hair would be the least of yo
ur problems. Ginny s words to her from the night before rang in her ears. Hermione
knew she was smart, that she could come up with a spell for most anything in a
book somewhere, but the thought of Ginny raining spells down on her was frighten
ing.
There are times she s exhibiting raw power. More even than Harry, the second voice
spoke up. It s a wise person who fears having Ginny mad at them. Hermione reached
into her bag, pulling out the diary she turned around.
Ron, you re sure you want me to read this? She held up the diary so he and Ginny cou
ld see it.
Every word, Hermione, he replied.
Ok, see you later then.
Dinner? he asked.
Depends on how far I get, she called back over her shoulder. Ron sat down in the s
tands holding Ginny around the shoulder. From time to time he could still feel h
er shaking.
Hey guys, where s Hermione? Harry asked, flopping down a row in front of them.
Reading, Ginny said.
You ok Ginny? You look pale. Ginny straightened up a little, color coming back int
o her face.
I m good enough to take you on again. You just worry about yourself, she fired at hi
m.
The last thing we re going to do is burden him with our worries, she told the voic
es. Harry shook his head at her.
What s she reading? I thought she had all her homework done. Neither Ron nor Ginny a
nswered. Harry looked at Ron.
Your diary? Ron nodded once. He looked to be uncomfortable, Ginny just looked sad
again. Harry sighed.
It s ok guys, I want her happy. If it s not with me, then you would be my choice for
her Ron. Besides, I ve lost before; I ll get over it again if I have too, he said tur
ning to watch the Beaters.
Kelly s a pretty good Beater, he said to the voices. Neither he nor they noticed G
inny s tears falling on Ron s shoulder.

Authors note:

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 10: Ron's Diary


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Hermione sat; with the curtains pulled so she wouldn t be bothered, reading in her
bed. She had started from the beginning, wanting to read it as Ron had written
it. He had started it this past spring, with the first entry dated at June 1st.
The diary had been nothing more than a chronicle of the adventures the three of
them had had while at school. Right up to this last entry.

***

June 12th
I have two best friends, Harry Potter and Hermione Granger. Everyone knows Harry
. He s The-Boy-Who-Lived, defeated You-Know-Who fifteen, almost sixteen years ago
now. Hermione, you might not know yet. But you will. She is smart. Probably smar
ter than most of the teachers at Hogwarts, and if we all don t end up dead now tha
t You-Know-Who is back, well, watch out for her.
Harry is great at everything, Seeker in his first year, the youngest player in a
century at Hogwarts. You should have seen the way he fought in the Ministry aga
inst the Death Eaters. Everything he did was to protect the rest of us from gett
ing hurt. Some of us did, and it was looking like we would all be killed until t
he Order showed up. Harry never stopped fighting though.
I made the Gryffindor Quidditch team this year. I was terrible the first few gam
es. Harry saved me though, catching the snitch to end the game and put us in the
lead for the win. He never got mad, only encouraged me, even though he must hav
e been upset about always bailing me out. Then he got kicked off the team. I tho
ught we were doomed. Then I figured out that I really could play, and I was good
. I was the hero in the last game of the year. Harry and Hermione missed it. The
y were off helping Hagrid with his brother Grawp. I think it s the only time I ve ev
er been disappointed with them. But I understand now why they had to leave.
I still can t figure out why Professor Dumbledore made me a Prefect. I m not sure an
yone else can figure it out either. Even Mum and Dad couldn t hide that they expec
ted it to be Harry. Heck, even I think it should have been.
Hermione is the other Gryffindor Prefect. That had to be the biggest no brainer
decision Dumbledore has ever made. She is brilliant, as smart as Harry is powerf
ul. I m glad to be a Prefect. I just wish I deserved it.
I used to get jealous of them sometimes. Especially Harry, he always got the bri
ght light and recognition. And everyone knows Hermione is the smartest witch or
our age, even Snape, who hates her. He doesn t even realize that when he calls her
an insufferable know it all, that he is at least half complementing her.
I don t anymore though. I m used to being third of three. They always give me credit
too. That s what I like about them. Even so, I hope the day comes that they need
me as much as I need them. Just once, I want to have the spotlight on me. Just o
nce, I hope that I am someone s first choice, and that I know it in my heart.

***

Hermione was crying freely, her tears falling on the open diary.
If he had just asked me, she said to herself. I would have told him. She turned
the page.

***

September 5th
I finally got this thing back from Dumbledore. He took it with him when I asked
for help protecting it. Fat lot of good it was in the end. She would still get i
n he told me. That s not the big news though, this is.
THE ONE MARKED BY THE DARK LORD . MARKED AS EQUAL BY HIM .OTHERS WILL COME IF HIS HE
ART IS TRUE .HE NEED NOT FIGHT ALONE .
ONE OF RED HAIR WILL RISE .POWER APPROACHING THAT OF THE DARK LORD .IN 11 YEARS THE
FIRST TO OFFER FRIENDSHIP, IT WILL BE TESTED IMMEDIATELY .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND
HE WILL BE YOUR GENERAL, PLANNING YOUR VICTORY .HE CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY TO NEW MAG
IC .HIS HEART WILL WAVER ONCE, BUT RETURN TO STAND WITH YOU AND FACE HIS GREATEST
FEARS .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND TWO OTHERS WILL FOLLOW .
It s a prophecy, about me and Harry. In case you can t figure it out; I m the one with
red hair. It is tied to the other prophecy about Harry being equal to Voldemort
. Not scared of the name anymore. Dumbledore told me how to fight him. I couldn t
win, but I could prevent him from killing me now. Anyways, Harry is the only one
who can beat Voldemort. One has to die for the other to live. And I m the one who
is supposed to teach Harry how to create new magic. Show him that he can save h
is friends and maybe himself from being killed by Voldemort. Haven t quite worked
out how I m going to do it yet, but I ll get it. I promise, Harry. Because if I don t,
you will die and I think I might die from a broken heart if that happened.
Dumbledore taught me how create new magic last night, stuff that no one has ever
seen before. I did it too. It s more of a belief and need based thing than a proc
ess. Hard to explain but I can do it. One hundred six points I earned Gryffindor
last night, from Dumbledore himself no less. You should have seen the school to
day trying to figure out how we got so many.
Dumbledore told me he made me a Prefect because of the Prophecy. Harry already h
ad too much responsibility, and he needed me to grow to fulfill it. I always wan
ted to be first once. Now I m on equal footing with Harry. He might have to fight.
But without me, he won t know how. I m not sure I like it.

***

Hermione read the entry again. She knew all about the night Ron had spent in Dum
bledore s office. She also knew about the prophecy. She had realized what it meant
. But seeing it written in Ron s words was horrifying. It had been bad enough to l
earn that Harry would have to kill, or be killed by Voldemort. Now it looked lik
e Ron had been given the burden of teaching Harry how.
It just isn t fair, she said to herself, as she rocked back and forth on the bed.
How can this have happened to us, to them? She turned the page.

***

September 6th
Hermione: you are finally here.
Even to this day, it was my finest hour. I knew Harry would go forward, and that
you would try to follow. I was the only one who could get you both across safe.
Harry could have got there by himself. But if you tried to follow without havin
g played, the chess pieces would have struck you down - maybe even killed you.
So I played. I knew I would win from the first move. Chess is like that; you map
out a plan and make the other player react to you. I knew from the first move t
hat only two of us would get to the other side. I would have to sacrifice one of
us.
Strange, five years before we knew of the prophecy, I knew Harry had to make it,
to be the one to go on. And I couldn t live with you being hurt. So I sacrificed
myself from the start. Things were going perfectly.
Then it happened, it always does, if the opponent is good. The other side made a
brilliant play. I had to counter with either you or Harry. Whichever one I chos
e would be at risk. It would have been suicide for the other side to take my off
er. The game would have been over in two plays. I know it was stupid. Voldemort
would have been back years ago if I had been wrong. But I gambled anyways, that
after such a bold play, the other side wouldn t make such a huge blunder. I risked
Harry.
For a long time I wanted to be first, just once to be the savior of the day, to
not be shunted to the side.
Now I realize. That what I wanted was you, Hermione. I wanted to be your first c
hoice.
I love you Hermione, I always have.
Ronald.

***

Finally! Hermione yelped out loud.


Harry, I m so sorry, but I have loved him for so long. I have to try with him first
, she whispered into the night.

********************

The next morning found Hermione awake very early. She was sitting on the couch i
n the common room with Crookshanks, her large orange cat, on her lap.
Arrgh, I can t wait for him to come down anymore, she said out loud. He ll sleep all mo
rning if he gets the chance. Crookshanks shifted, irritated at being disturbed. H
ermione stroked the cat s head. I m sorry Crookshanks, she cooed, trying to placate th
e cat. He started to purr again.
Crookshanks, she asked, will you go get him for me? The cat opened its eyes to look
at her.
Ronald .will you go wake him up? Crookshanks sprang over her head bolting up the sta
irs to the boys dorm rooms.

Ron was dreaming. The Merpeople had him again, only this time Harry wasn t coming.
The water was pressing in on his chest, he couldn t breathe, and he was drowning.
Gahhh . Ron gasped waking up. Crookshanks was sitting on his chest staring at him. R
on took a swipe at the cat.
Get off, you Bloody Menace! Crookshanks jumped out of the way hissing back at him.
Ron rolled over trying to go back to sleep.
Bloody cat, still can t figure out why she won t lock you up, he grumbled. The cat jum
ped back on the bed swatting at Ron s nose.
Arrrrgggh---get off! Ron s yelling woke up Neville.
Shut it Ron, I m trying to sleep.
Oh-bugger off, like I want to be up either, Ron snapped at him. Neville was alread
y snoring again. The cat sat on the end of Ron s bed swatting at his feet under th
e blankets.
Fine, you want to go for a walk or something. I ll take you. Just let me shower fir
st. Crookshanks headed for the door, stopping to see that Ron was really getting
up. Ron threw a pair of socks at the cat, missing to the right.
I m coming!

Crookshanks jumped back up on Hermione s lap.


Did you get him? she asked, stroking his head again. The cat started purring again
, looking into her eyes.
Thank you Crookshanks. His eyes closed as he settled onto her lap. A short while l
ater, Hermione heard a door open down the hallway. She picked the cat up placing
him on his favorite chair by the fireplace, and turned around so she could see
Ron enter the room.
Where are you, you crazy .Hermione, he stopped. Crookshanks lazily opened one eye to
look at him. You re .What are you doing up so early?
I m sorry about sending Crookshanks in to get you, she said. Hermione was walking to
wards him. Ron looked at her, very confused.
You sent him in to wake me up, what for?
Poor boy, she teased, it really is too early for you, isn t it? She was standing right
in front of him now, too close. Ron was unsure of what to say. Hermione had bee
n this close to him before, but she was behaving differently than she ever had w
hen she was near him. That and it was getting very warm in the room.
You really don t know, do you? she asked. Teasing him with his own words from the da
y before as she closed the last step between them. She was staring into his eyes
. Ron was having trouble breathing again.
God, why does this happen to me when she is around? he asked himself.
It s you, Ronald. It has always been you. Harry is my second choice, she whispered. Y
ou were always my first choice. Ron was drowning again, only this time he couldn t
save himself. He didn t even want to try. She was moving closer, pressing against
him now. He felt her lips gently touch his. He was too bewildered to respond to
her. Hermione pulled back to look at him again.
She loves us, the voices gasped in comprehension. She chose us. Hermione was mov
ing to kiss him again. Her lips pressed to his more forcefully than before and a
fter moment he responded to her. It was a slow gentle kiss that Hermione pulled
away from for a fraction of a second before Ron s hand on the back of her head bro
ught her back to him.
This third kiss encompassed the passion of all the fights from the past five yea
rs. It was everything and more than either had dreamed it to be. Hermione finall
y broke from him, her face flushed and heart racing in her chest.
Promise me, Ronald . she said softly to him, promise me I ll never be without your love
again. Ron pulled her tight to him again and buried his face in her hair, still
unable to believe that he had won.
Never Hermione, I will never let you go. He leaned back against the wall pulling h
er with him. They stayed there for a long time, both alive with the comfort of n
ot hiding from each other anymore. Crookshanks, purring contentedly, watched the
m closely.
Are you hungry? Hermione asked.
If it means letting go of you, no, he answered. Hermione started laughing, a laugh
that Ron had never heard from her before. It was the sweetest sound he had ever
heard in his life.
Come on you big prat, let s go eat. She pushed away from him taking his hand to pull
him through the portrait hole. As they walked hand in hand down the stairs towa
rds the Great Hall, Ron marveled at how perfectly her hand fit into his. Only on
e thing could bring him down now - Harry.
Hermione, we have to tell Harry soon. Hermione sighed.
I have to tell him Ronald, not you. For right now, just let me be happy. I ll have
to deal with the pain of breaking his heart again soon enough.
I m sorry we made you choose, Hermione.
There really was no choice, Ronald. I was an idiot not to have realized you were
always first. If I would have shown the courage you two did, this would not have
happened. I am not the one for Harry. She is still out there, somewhere, lookin
g for him. I just hope she will love him as much as Harry will love her.
Hermione .does this mean you will go to the Valentines Day Ball with me? Ron asked,
trying to change the subject. She kissed him on the cheek.
I thought you would never ask.
The Great Hall was empty and by the time they finished, only a few other student
s had wandered in to eat. Hermione sat watching Ron; all she wanted to do was fi
nd some excuse to hold him tight in her arms. She reached, out taking his hand.
Ronald, will you take me flying today? He was surprised, she had said yes both tim
es he had asked her to go over the summer, but had never asked him to take her.
Are you sure that s what you want to do today? he replied. She nodded at him; her sm
ile was unlike any he had ever seen. Ron stood up, gulping down the rest of his
pumpkin juice.
I ll be right back, he said, leaving to get his broom.
Don t be long, Ronald, she called after him. As she watched him go, Hermione didn t no
tice Luna approach.
When are you going to tell Harry? she asked, taking a seat next to Hermione.
She is always right to the point, Hermione thought to herself.
And so little tact, the first voice offered.
But somehow, she seems to be able to reach Harry. And at this point, I m more than
glad to have her around, Hermione answered.
She was also the only one besides Harry to survive the Ministry last spring with
out getting injured, the second voice added.
Yes she was, wasn t she? Hermione finished her internal discussion.
How did you know? Hermione asked. I wasn t aware that we had told anyone yet, she adde
d.
Oh, I knew you would pick Ron, the second I heard Malfoy s song yesterday.
Hermione was exasperated.
How could you know that? I didn t know about Ron till last night.
Oh, I knew he would. He was building up to it all summer, Luna replied indifferent
ly. I think he was ready to tell you before Harry was. But Harry felt forced to w
hen Cho guessed the other night after the DA meeting. Cho asked Harry if there m
ight be another chance for them you know. He turned her down, said there was ano
ther. She told me about it during the tryouts yesterday. Hermione felt her heart
sink.
Cho still liked Harry; had asked him out. But Harry turned her down for me, and
now I am going to say no to him, she felt sick to her stomach as she turned the
thought over in her head. Luna was gazing off into space again. She seemed not t
o care that Harry was just getting over losing Sirius; was trying to deal with t
he thought of being murdered or murdering another and was now going to have Herm
ione tear his heart out.
Ron always loved you, Luna said, blinking when the sun came in the window hitting
her eyes, and I could see Harry fighting it. He thought he was betraying Ron by f
alling in love with you. Hermione just stared at Luna, her mouth hanging open.
I m pretty sure Ron guessed what Harry was feeling some time this summer. So, I thi
nk they promised each other a chance, willing to let you go, if it meant that yo
u would be happy. I don t know why, but I understand Harry. You watch, this will b
e painful for him, but he will only love both of you more, Luna finished. She sto
od up and began to wander away. As she did, she called over her shoulder.
See you at the DA meeting this week. Hermione didn t know what to think. She wasn t ha
ppy, sad or upset by the conversation with Luna.
She really is Loony, Hermione thought shaking her head.
Be careful what you say. Cursing your own mouth shut might not be very fun, the
second voice responded.

*******************

Ron was skimming across the lake; his and Hermione s toes were just touching the s
urface, kicking up spray behind them. He pulled the broom straight up and over i
nto a giant loop. Hermione was screaming with fear and joy at the same time. At
the top of the loop when they were upside down, Ron rolled the broom upright whi
le pushing into a dive back down to the lake. The giant squid was there, just un
der the surface, already racing them back to the other side. Even though she was
terrified, Hermione loved every second. Her arms were wrapped tightly around Ro
n s waist, her face pressed firmly into his back. She wanted to go on forever, but
her arms were getting tired.
I need to rest for awhile, Ronald. Let s land on that beach over there, she yelled,
over the rush of the air. Ron brought his broom around, taking it through two gi
ant looping barrel rolls on the way down. He felt her clutch tighter to him as t
hey wound down and around, the ground spiraling up towards them.
How can she scream and laugh at the same time? he wondered to himself, as he bro
ught the broom gently to the ground.
As soon as his feet had touched the ground Hermione grabbed hold of him by the s
houlders, spinning him around. Her foot shot behind his legs and she pushed hard
against him, tripping him. Ron fell on his back, Hermione landed on top of him
and pinned his arms to the ground under her legs. She pounded her fist on his ch
est just hard enough that it was uncomfortable.
You were trying to scare me, she snapped, pretending to be mad at him.
I was not, Ron tried to protest, but couldn t keep the smile off of his face.
Liar! You were trying to scare me so I would hold on to you tighter. Ron lifted he
r up spilling her to the side. Scrambling to his feet, he pulled her up by her w
rist with him. Hermione yelped as she tumbled over, and gasped in surprise when
he pulled her up. She stood in front of him, a defiant flash in her eyes that da
red him to manhandle her anymore.
Well it worked, didn t it? he asked with an impish grin. She melted an instant later
.
Yes, it did. Hermione stepped forward pressing her lips to his again. Ron took her
hand leading her along the beach. They walked to the end without talking.
I guess we missed lunch, he commented.
Yes, I think so. We should probably head back, Hermione answered. Ron sighed.
We have to tell him tonight. Ron saw Hermione s eyes cloud over.
No Ronald, I have to tell him. Hermione answered softly.
I love you Hermione, always will. Ron watched with his heart in his throat as the
shine came back into her eyes.
I love you Ronald, I always have.
********************

Harry, Neville, Ginny and Cho were down at the Quidditch field again. They had c
limbed to the top box and spent the morning replaying different scenes from the
tryouts of the day before. The positions had been posted on the Gryffindor bulle
tin board that morning. David Roberts, Katie Bell and Ginny were the Chasers. Ro
n had made Keeper. Harry was Seeker. The new Beaters were Kelly Markson, the 4th
year who had flown against Harry and Ginny during Seeker tryouts, and a second
year boy named David McBride. Both of them were good. Kelly was maybe even bette
r at the Beater position than she was at Seeker. Harry had decided he would brin
g David and Kelly to the next DA meeting. They were the only members of the Gryf
findor team who were not already part of it.
Did you see Ron playing keeper against six chasers, and two quaffels? Cho asked. I ve
never seen a Keeper move so quick. I was talking with Viktor about it after the
tryouts, he was really impressed.
Yeah Harry, I was there with her. Viktor said that if Bulgaria had had Ron for ke
eper at the last World Cup, they might have won, Neville added.
The discussion had gone on for hours. Everyone seemed to think that Gryffindor w
ould be the class of the house teams this year. Even Cho, who was Seeker and Cap
tain for Ravenclaw, seemed to think her team would have trouble with the Gryffin
dors. Harry listened quietly as the discussion turned to the Seeker tryout. He h
ated to talk about himself. He always felt like he was bragging.
Harry had been accused of looking for the headlines that always came his way, an
d quite frankly, was tired of it. Once in a great while, he even wished he could
return to the days before he turned eleven, when he was stuck at his aunt and u
ncle s house in the cupboard under the stairs. Then he would think about Ron or He
rmione, or any one of the other Weasleys. His new family made it all worth while
.
Harry had reconciled with the death of his Godfather, coming to the overused but
true cliché that to have known him and then lost him was better than never knowin
g Sirius in the first place. The only thing he was still having trouble with was
having caused Sirius death.
Ginny had sat down next to him when they first got there in the late morning. Sh
e had leaned up against him with her head on his shoulder.
Hey, Harry, was all she said. Sometimes during the day, when she got really animat
ed in the conversation, she would sit up to talk. Using her hands to show how di
fferent maneuvers had been performed by the players at the tryouts. Each time sh
e had settled back down with her head on his shoulder. She was sleeping now.
Ginny, more so than any of the other people that Harry counted as his family, ma
de him believe it. Even Ron couldn t give him the comfort that his little sister c
ould. With her there next to him, he felt at peace. Secure that he would always
have the love of at least one person in the world.
Harry was only just starting to understand why she seemed to needle him. She con
stantly called him on it if he didn t meet her expectations. And her expectations
seemed to be getting higher. He wasn t sure why, but it scared him that some day,
he might not reach the heights she asked for.
Harry came back from his thoughts. The conversation seemed to be winding down, p
eople just sitting quietly in the sun soaking up some of the last warm rays of t
he year.
Anyone else hungry? Neville asked. I think I ll head up to lunch.
Yeah I am too. You guys coming? Cho asked. Ginny stirred, sitting up she stretched
her arms out and smiled at Harry.
I m going up too, Harry. I want to go to the library for a while. Are you coming? Ha
rry contemplated for a moment.
No, I think I ll stay here a while longer.
Thank you for letting me use you as a pillow.
Anytime, Gin.
See you later then, she said, hugging him goodbye.
Harry stood, leaning on the edge of the box looking out over the field. He watch
ed Ginny, Cho and Neville walk up the slope to the school and disappear inside.

********************

Ron and Hermione ran into Ginny as she was leaving the Great Hall. They had just
missed lunch. Ginny looked at the two of them.
You finished reading Ron s diary? she asked quietly, while looking at Hermione. Herm
ione was scared, she remembered only too well Ginny s towering rage yesterday. She
nodded in response.
I thought so. It has been hard to watch, you know. They re both my brothers. They b
oth picked my sister. Hermione stared; she had grown close to Ginny, hoped that s
he thought of her like a sister. This was the second time Ginny had indicated th
at she did. Ginny looked at Ron.
You and Harry made me so proud. You both love her, but refused to fight each othe
r for her. Ginny wiped a tear off her cheek. I know if she had picked Harry that y
ou would have been happy for him. Harry will be hurt, but he will be happy for b
oth of you. She pulled them both into a hug. I m done being sad about this now. I m ha
ppy for both of you. Ron was speechless.
How does she know Hermione picked me when we haven t told anyone yet? he asked him
self. The same thought was in Hermione s head only she voiced the question.
Ginny .why is it that both you and Luna seemed to know I would pick Ron before I di
d?
Because only you two idiots haven t been able to see that you were in love with eac
h other from the beginning, she said with a smile. I think even Harry knows he los
t. I think he always knew that he would.
When you think about it, we really have been pretty stupid, Ron said with a dumb g
rin on his face.
Speak for yourself Ronald, because the only stupid thing I have done in my life w
as to fall in love with you, Hermione snapped at him. But her smile gave away her
true feelings. Ron could finally see them. He pretended to pout.
You keep that up and Harry can have you.
Stop it, both of you. You re starting to make me sick, Ginny said in exasperation. H
ermione sighed.
Do you know where Harry is, Ginny?
He s at the Quidditch field, Hermione.
Thank you.

********************

Harry was sitting on the bleachers resting his chin in his hands. He had his eye
s closed letting the sun warm his face. Hermione knelt on the floor in front of
him, she reached up taking his hands in hers. His eyes opened to look at her.
I heard someone coming up the steps. I figured it was you. How s Ron? Harry asked wi
th a smile and light dancing in his eyes.
Very happy .and very sad, and you? she replied.
The same, Harry answered. They were quiet for a long time.
Harry, I m so sorry. I know I sent signals to you. I was confused. If you had let m
e, I would have told you yes and most likely never looked back. But then Ron tol
d me too. I have always loved him. I realized he was always first after I recove
red from the shock of your confession. I never wanted to hurt you. I just wanted
to be loved. I should have realized after Viktor that you need to return the lo
ve you receive. I m so sorry that I ve hurt you. Harry was still smiling. He reached
out with one hand to wipe away the tears from her eyes.
I tried so hard not to love you Hermione. I have known since the fight you and Ro
n had after the ball in our fourth year that you would end up together. When I f
irst started to notice you, I felt like I was betraying Ron. As long as he was a
round I could control it. But if it was just me and you, I was drowning.
Then Sirius died. I swore I would never let anyone in that close again; it hurt t
oo much to lose him. It didn t take long for me to realize that even though it hur
t. It was better to have loved Sirius than to have never known him. I decided th
at I was going to love as many people as I could.
I made a family for myself. Molly, and Arthur, are like parents now. Charlie, Bil
l, Fred, George, and Ron are my brothers. Ginny is my sister. I tried to do the
same with you. I thought I was doing well keeping you at arms length. But then y
ou took me shopping for my birthday, and I wanted pictures of you.
I tried not to let Ron see them. But he asked what you gave me. When he saw them,
he guessed. I thought he would be mad, throw me out of his room. I thought I wo
uld lose my brother, and the first friend I had ever had.
I underestimated him. Ron was mad, but he has changed ever since the Ministry. He
simply asked me for a chance. So we promised each other that if one of us was g
oing to tell you, they had to let the other know. That s why you couldn t answer me
the other night. Ron still had to tell you. I know better than most the price yo
u pay to love someone. I tried not to love you Hermione. But I couldn t, Harry fini
shed. Even with the tears in his eyes, he was still smiling at her.
You do know, that I do love you, don t you, Harry?
Yes, Hermione, I do. It s the same as Ginny and yet different. And it means as much
to me as the love you would have given to me if you had told me yes. Hermione op
ened his hand placing the necklace he had given her in it.
This does not belong to me, she said. Harry looked at the necklace in his hand. He
stood up pulling her with him.
Turn around, Hermione. Hermione turned around and Harry reached around her neck pu
tting the necklace on her. Lift your hair up for me, so I can do the clasp. She he
sitated a second before doing as he asked. Harry hooked the necklace and let it
settle on her neck. Hermione dropped her hair back down. Wrapping his arms aroun
d her from behind, Harry hugged her close.
Yes it does, Hermione. She held her arms against his. They stayed there for a long
time before he spoke.
You ready for dinner?
No, let s stay just a little longer.
Harry stood there holding Hermione; once again his heart had been broken. This p
ain felt both better and worse than the pain of losing Sirius. Hermione was stil
l here in this world to share her love with him, but she had chosen to give it d
ifferently than he had hoped for. The pain of that rejection was more than the p
ain of losing his Godfather s love by his death. But the joy of the love she would
share was better than never having taken the chance.
Harry was tired of the pain he felt from loving people. However, he was beginnin
g to accept that in this world you had to take the bad with the good. What he di
dn t have to take anymore was Voldemort taking people from him, from others. He ha
d one sister now, Hermione, he was sure would some day be his sister-in-law. Vol
demort, he resolved, would not deny him the joy of seeing it.
Harry had been very careful since early that summer to keep tight control of the
conduit between himself and the Dark Lord. Now he let it open wide. He could fe
el the pain in his scar building, but refused to let it affect him.
I m coming for you Voldemort, Harry said out loud. You are finished hurting the peopl
e I care about. Somehow, someway, I will beat you.
Hermione jumped, turning around to look at him, at his first words. His green ey
es were blazing and if Ginny had seemed scary yesterday, Harry was terrifying. N
ot to her, but she actually felt like Voldemort should be scared.
Harry, what are you doing? she hissed at him.
Just letting an old friend know that his days are numbered, Harry said. He felt Vo
ldemort s anger at the intrusion instantly. He began to slowly close down the conn
ection making sure that the message had been delivered. Harry wanted to make sur
e Voldemort knew that he could keep him out of his mind. He also wanted Voldemor
t to know that he was perfectly capable of entering his mind whenever he chose t
o.
Come on Harry, I think we had better go have dinner. Hermione took his hand pullin
g him to the stairs.
Yeah, that sounds good, let s go. He followed her willingly.
Walking to the school, the voices in Hermione s head piped up.
We may want to talk to him about that little episode some more. We may need to t
alk to Dumbledore about it if he won t listen.
I know, but not tonight. There have been too many highs and lows this weekend. A
ll I want is dinner and bed, Hermione told them.
And a good night kiss from Ron, they shouted at her.
Yeah, that too, she answered smiling to herself.

********************

Professor Dumbledore sat at his desk listening to the report from the picture on
his right. The report was a little over a week old, and Dumbledore was kicking
himself for being lazy. With his students here at school, he tended to put off h
earing these things. Of course he knew which choice Hermione had made. It was im
possible not to have seen it. Besides, he had had to discreetly extract himself
from a private moment between the two a day or so ago. It was the second part of
the report, the part about Harry letting Voldemort know he was coming for him t
hat had escaped him till now.
Come now, Dumbledore. You can t say this was unexpected can you? Phineas Nigellus as
ked from his picture frame.
If, Phineas, you are referring to Miss Granger and Mr. Weasley you would be corre
ct. However, Harry s response, if a bit rash, shows that Miss Granger is already f
ulfilling part of her purpose in his training, Dumbledore replied.
Is it time then, to make her aware of the prophecy? the picture asked.
Yes, she has claimed her role. Now she needs to know what she must do. Dumbledore
waved his wand in the air releasing the Recognition charm he had placed on one p
age in Ron s diary.
Phineas was laughing to himself.
Perhaps you might share what is so funny to you, Phineas. I could use a chuckle m
yself, Dumbledore remarked to the photo.
Well Headmaster, I was just thinking that I might have liked to see the look on V
oldemort s face when Harry sent his message. Like I once said of you: I might not
like Harry s politics, but I do like his style. Dumbledore s eyes twinkled with amus
ement.
I think that I would agree with you, Phineas.

********************

Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, Neville, Luna, and Cho were standing with their bac
ks to each other. The other members of the DA, with wands drawn, were facing the
m in a much larger circle. They had spent the whole of the first two meetings pr
eparing to run this trial.
Hermione and Ginny had been able to modify Ron s Recognition charm. They could now
make another persons wand, as long as it was unprotected by the Recognition cha
rm, unresponsive to its owner, if for only a short while.
After Ron had explained that the words to a spell were not what made it work, th
at they only served to focus the mind so it could tell the wand what to do, Luna
had asked if they might be able to cast the spell without speaking at all. When
Harry had asked what for, it was Neville who had supplied the answer. A sneak a
ttack, done in plain sight, if you could pull it off without saying anything and
without causing your wand to shoot out a bolt of blue light, you might be able
to disarm your opponent without having a spell cast against you.
'Accio Wand! and the fights over, Neville had said. Someone else pointed out that o
nly a few wizards alive had the ability to do magic without a wand. So it had be
en decided that the theory would be put to the test.
One member of the DA stood to the side to serve as an official. Their job was to
give the seven members of the inner circle a random amount of time, to try and
cast the Recognition charm against one or more of the outer circle members wands
without speaking. When time was up the official would yell go.
The seven members of the inner circle were supposed to retrieve the wands of the
people in the outer circle. As long as the curse would wear off in a few minute
s, the people making up the outer circle were free to send whatever curses they
could come up with at the inner circle. This was the second time through, and th
e inner circle had not fared so well the first time.
GO!
Accio Wands! seven voices rang out.
Protégo! members of the outer circle yelled, followed by curse after curse. Three wa
nds flew out of their owner hands towards the inner circle.
Protégo! the members of the inner group yelled, trying to defend themselves.
Stop! yelled the referee.
Harry and Ron were on the floor, hit with a Jiggly Legs curse. Cho was bald, tho
ugh her hair was quickly growing back. Neville now had donkey ears and Hermione,
who had been hit with a Pertrificus Totallus curse, was laying flat on her back
. Ginny however, had been unharmed and was holding four wands. Only one was hers
.
Nice job Ginny, it was her brother Fred.
Yeah, I felt my wand go cold pretty quick. Knew I was toast, George added.
Yeah, me too, Lee Jordan, their friend, added. He held his hand out to Ginny. May I
have my wand back now? Working would be preferable. Ginny waved her wand over th
e other three.
Release! She tossed them back to their owners. Neville stood over Hermione.
Serves you right you know. I should leave you like this for hitting me in first y
ear, he said to her frozen form.
Neville, you better unpetrify her, or I ll give you a tail for those ears, Ron calle
d from the floor.
You know I m only joking. Enervate! he called out pointing his wand at Hermione. But
I think I ll leave you Ron, he said with a laugh. Hermione sat up.
Ok, everyone come in. Let s figure out what happened. Finete! she said, waving her w
and at Harry and Ron to release the Jiggly Legs curse. She then turned to Nevill
e and put his ears back.
Ok, besides Fred, George, and Lee did anyone else lose control of their wand? Harr
y asked. Dean Thomas and Seamus Finigan raised their hands.
I just held on really tight when I felt it go cold, because I knew what was comin
g, Seamus said.
Me too, added Dean.
So, five out twelve were effectively disarmed, Ron said. Question is, which of us s
even did it. I know I didn t, I was working on Justin and Colin.
So raise your hand if you worked on one of the five people who were disarmed, Ginn
y said. Hermione, Cho, Luna, and me then, could have been any of us four that man
aged it, she remarked, shaking her head. I think we should try again, but assign t
argets this time.
Let s pull one person out of the inner circle - that leaves twelve in the outer, tw
o targets for each of the people in the middle. We ll have two referees. We can st
art to rotate people to different areas, Hermione offered.
Are we going to have specific targets for the outer circle too? Dean asked.
No, Harry said, it s good training for the people in the middle to have to defend the
mselves from all sides. Let s get set up. I ll referee this one. My legs are still t
witching .Anyone want to take credit for it? It was quiet. Harry looked around.
Come on, I didn t do it to myself. Ginny was glaring at him. You .you re on my side! he
apped at her.
Defend yourself from all angles, Big Brother, she said indifferently. Harry glared
at her, but found himself shaking his head and smiling.
Not up to standard?
No, Harry James. She was definitely angry. Both thinking back to the Quidditch try
outs, Hermione and Ron looked at each other.
Let s take a five minute break. Then go once more tonight, Ron said. Everyone agreed
and broke apart for a few minutes. Ron was talking with Neville when George cam
e up.
Oy, Ron what s with Ginny and Harry?
Yeah, what s she going on about? Fred asked.
Long story, Ron replied, have to tell you some other time. Looks like Harry s ready t
o go again. He pointed. Ask me again though, you should know about it.
Aiiiieee!
Everyone in the room spun to look in the direction from where the scream had com
e from. Wands were drawn, and more than a few shield spells were cast. It was Ch
o, a pile of books was on the floor at her feet. Lying open in the middle with a
pillar of light spilling from it was Ron s Diary.
Get back! Harry yelled, but the light began to fade out then disappeared altogethe
r.
What are you doing with that? Ginny shouted. Her eyes were blazing.
Uh-oh, Ron said to himself, moving to get between his sister and Cho.
I tripped over the bag last session. I just picked it up to move it out of the wa
y for the next time. It ripped, and then the book, she said pointing at it. Well y
ou all saw it, she finished looking around at the group and then back at Ginny.
Cho shrank back with her wand raised. She had seen Ginny s temper at the tryouts.
It was scary fifty feet away and now it was directed at her. Ron moved between t
hem. Fred and George touched Ginny s shoulder.
Gin, its ok, Fred said. Ginny began to deflate. Looking nervously around at each o
ther, the DA members relaxed a little.
Hermione and Neville moved to Cho to see if she was okay. Ron looked around, Fre
d and George had Ginny pulled to the side and were trying to joke with her. He l
ooked back to the diary.
Hello, what s that? he asked himself. I never wrote anything that far in. Maybe He
rmione made an entry.
Ron walked over to the diary. Everyone else seemed to have forgotten about it in
the aftermath of Ginny s display. They were starting to gather in small groups to
talk about it. Ron nudged the diary with his toe. Nothing happened. He squatted
down so he could read it without having to pick it up.
After Tom Riddle s old diary had almost been responsible for killing Ginny in his
second year, he didn t need to be reminded of what could happen with diaries that
were exhibiting strange magic. Ron could just make out the words. His stomach lu
rched; he shook his head and reread the entry.
Bloody Hell! he said loudly.
The room went quiet. He looked up; everyone was looking at him. Ron looked down
at the diary again then back up to Harry and then to Hermione and then he reache
d to pick the diary up.
Ronald, no! Hermione screamed. Both her and Harry started towards him. His hand cl
osed on it and he stood up holding the diary in front of him. With another look
at Hermione he started to read.
THE ONE MARKED BY THE DARK LORD . MARKED AS EQUAL BY HIM .OTHERS WILL COME IF HIS HE
ART IS TRUE .HE NEED NOT FIGHT ALONE .
ONE OF RED HAIR WILL RISE .POWER APPROACHING THAT OF THE DARK LORD .IN 11 YEARS THE
FIRST TO OFFER FRIENDSHIP, IT WILL BE TESTED IMMEDIATELY .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND
HE WILL BE YOUR GENERAL PLANNING YOUR VICTORY .HE CAN SHOW YOU THE WAY TO NEW MAGI
C .HIS HEART WILL WAVER ONCE, BUT RETURN TO STAND WITH YOU AND FACE HIS GREATEST F
EARS .CHOOSE WISELY EQUAL AND TWO OTHERS WILL FOLLOW .
SHE OF BROWN HAIR .ONE FROM NONE .THE SECOND FRIEND IN 11 YEARS .POWERFUL HERSELF BUT
UNCARING OF IT OR THE POWER THE FIRST TWO POSSESS .DRAWN TO THEM BY THEIR HEARTS,
SHE WILL BE OFFERED THE HEART OF EACH .SHE WILL LOVE BOTH BUT WILL ONLY WANT ONE..
..TEMPERED BY HER GENTLE HAND THEY WILL LOSE THEIR HEADSTRONG WAYS, SHE WILL TEA
CH THEM RESTRAINT .SHE WILL GIVE BOTH STRENGTH, FOR EVEN THE ONE SHE FORESAKES WIL
L FIGHT FOR HER BEFORE HIMSELF .
Ron looked up when he finished. Harry stared at him. Hermione sat down heavily o
n the floor. Everyone in the DA knew part of the first prophecy about Harry. The
y also knew of the first two parts to this second one. Now they had the third.
Dumbledore told me there were four parts to the prophecy. He gave me the first tw
o, the night he taught me how to create the Recognize charm that we have been us
ing and modifying, Ron said, his gaze shifting over the whole of the DA.
Dumbledore said it would be dangerous to reveal any part of the prophecy before t
he person who would fill the roll identified themselves. He must have placed thi
s in the diary before he gave it back to me. People shifted nervously, even Fred
and George were quiet.
Hermione, Dumbledore said that you could figure out what was protecting the diary
in a few hours, and you did. He said I would figure it out easy because I creat
ed it to begin with. How come we didn t find this before? Ron asked.
Because, Ronald, we didn t look for it, she answered.
We know about the first two parts, what exactly is the third part getting at? Lee
Jordan asked.
It means, answered Hermione, that I am the second. She stood up again.
One of brown hair, she indicated to her head.
One from none, my parents are both non-magic .Muggles.
She will be the second friend in eleven years. Hermione looked at Harry; the other
s followed her gaze. He nodded to her.
Why is he smiling? the voices asked her.
I don t care that I am exhibiting the power I do. Nor have I ever cared about the p
ower both Harry and Ron exhibit.
She will be offered the heart of both, love both, but only want one. Hermione fini
shed by walking to Harry, she touched his face then turned to Ron and settled in
to his arms. The others in the room watched her and Ron.
So, the rumors about Harry telling you he was in love with you were true? Lee Jord
an asked. Hermione nodded at him.
Oy, wait a second, Fred said.
You left out two lines, Hermione, George picked up. The others looked at her expec
tantly.
The other two lines are my task. Somehow, I am supposed to give both Ron and Harr
y strength. And I m supposed to teach them both restraint, she said with a sigh. Ev
eryone was quiet again, thinking to themselves. It was Cho who broke the silence
.
Whatever it is that you and Ron have to do to help Harry defeat .Voldemort, you coul
d barely hear the name come off of her lips, I will do everything in my power to
help. Even if I have to step in front of the death curse for one of you, she said
with growing conviction.
Thank you, Cho, Hermione said softly.
Harry was elated. He was having trouble with what Ron was supposed to teach him,
he and Ron spent time on it every day.
The problem is that even Ron, who has done it twice - ok, technically once - has
not been able to do it again, the voices spoke up.
Yeah, well at least this one. I think I ve already got figured out, Harry answered
. Harry could tell Hermione was at a loss for how she was going to fulfill the p
rophecy. But he knew that she already had.
I ll tell her, Ron, and Ginny about it in private, he said to himself. The others
don t really need to know anyways.
You know what guys; I think we have done enough for tonight, Harry addressed the g
roup. I ll let you know about the next meeting, maybe even this week yet. Anyone be
sides Cho ready to say his name? he asked. It was becoming a standard question he
ended meetings with. He didn t have many takers yet. And no one stepped forward n
ow, but they were all getting to the point that they could at least hear him say
Voldemort and not suffer fits. It was progress.
You know, he added after a second, we don t have to wait to practice this stuff. I ll b
e trying to make your wands go dead whenever I get the chance. Just try not to l
and yourself in detention. And if you re in Gryffindor, don t cost us any points. If
you re not in my house, I don t care how many points you cost your house, he said, d
ucking to miss the pillow Luna sent his way. Oh yeah, anyone who kills Snape s wand
, can prove you did it, and gets away with it, gets a five galleon trip to Weasl
ey s Wizard Wheezes on me, he added.
Hey no fair, George said.
Yeah, when are we going to see Snape? Fred added.
What are you complaining about? You get the Galleons either way, Lee shot at them.
Oy, Fred said.
Guess you re right, George finished with a smile.

Authors note:

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

You didn't really think Hermione would pick Harry did you?

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 11: Carrying Forward


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry walked into the potions classroom and took a seat with Ron and Hermione.
Hi, he said. Glad to see that with the general murmur of students conversing about
the assignment for the day that they would be able to talk without too much fea
r of Snape harassing them.
So what did you think of the DA meeting last night? Hermione asked. Harry started
to smile.
I think Ron did a really good job throwing of Ginny s Imperious curse, he replied. E
ver since Ron and Hermione had gotten together three weeks ago, he was getting r
eally good at it. He was the only one who could shake himself free from Ginny in
less than a minute. Harry and Hermione could beat her too, but it still took th
em longer than Ron.
What do you think makes her so good at it? Ron asked. No one else in the DA can bea
t her but us three.
Well, we have been practicing much longer than the rest of them, Hermione responde
d. Harry thought for a while.
Last year in the Ministry, when I chased after Bellatrix Lestrange, I hit her wit
h the Cruciatus curse. Ron and Hermione gaped at him. I couldn t maintain it though.
She started teasing me after that, saying in order to properly use an Unforgiva
ble Curse you had to mean it, to truly want to cause pain. I think Ginny is able
to do that where we can t. Ron and Hermione just stared at him.
You think Ginny wants to hurt us? Ron asked incredulously. He was starting to get
angry.
No, she doesn t want to hurt us. But she is willing to do it if it helps us train b
etter, Harry replied. Ginny is definitely on our side, but she has a lot of Slythe
rin in her. She is trying to prepare us, me to be precise and she is willing to
do what she has to in order to accomplish her goal. Ron didn t say anything, but Ha
rry could tell he was mad at what he had said.
Look, we ve all crossed a line just by performing the curse on each other. All I m sa
ying is Ginny is stepping further over it than we are, Harry said, trying to moll
ify him.
Harry, how much harder is it going to be to beat the curse when it is Voldemort o
r one of his Death Eaters? Hermione asked timidly. It had dawned on her that the
more pain someone was willing to cause, the harder it would be to break free fro
m the curse.
I don t know. That s why next week, Ron has to start going against both Ginny and me.
And when he can beat both of us then we re going to make him fight all three of u
s; you, me, and Ginny. Just like Ginny demands more from me every day, I m going t
o demand more from the rest of you.
Hermione looked at him. Harry thought he could almost see the thoughts flying ba
ck and forth in her head through her eyes. Ron broke the silence.
We ll I guess we re just going to have to work harder then, he remarked, glaring back
at Harry. By the way, Hermione and I are going to collect on the trip to my broth
ers shop today, he added curtly.
Come on Ron, all I did was tell you the truth about why Ginny can perform the cur
se so well, Harry pleaded with him.
I know Harry. I m sorry; I just really didn t like what you had to say. I don t want to
hear that my little sister is anything like that git, Percy.
Ronald, she is not like that at all. What Percy did was for himself. What Ginny i
s doing is for us, for Harry, Hermione broke in, reaching to touch his hand.
How are you going to prove it s dead? Harry asked, trying to move the subject furthe
r away from Ginny.
Watch and see .I ll let you know when, Hermione .ok? Ron said. Harry saw him discreetly
point his wand at Snape. Hermione had her wand out too and had also taken over w
atching Ron s cauldron for him.
Ok, Hermione that should do it.
Harry watched as she pointed her wand at the flame under Malfoy s cauldron. The st
eam coming from it started to increase by a fraction. Malfoy didn t notice. He lea
ned over it, looking to see if the potion was the right color yet. All of the su
dden a giant gas bubble exploded, throwing the contents of the cauldron into the
air. Most of it landed on Malfoy s face.
He screamed in pain as large boils began to form on his face. They began to pop
and puss began to ooze out of them a moment later. Snape looked up in fury at th
e noise. Harry saw horror spread on Snape s face as he saw what was happening, he
grabbed his wand and tried to send a cleansing spell at Malfoy. It didn t work. Ma
lfoy s cauldron had cracked, spilling the rest of its contents to the floor. Ron g
rabbed Harry.
Quick, drink this. He shoved a vial of clear liquid into Harry s hand. Harry looked
at him, confused.
Drink it, I ll explain later. Harry gulped down the contents of the vial. Ron grabbe
d the vial back, dropped it to the floor and stepped on it.
The class was out of control as students climbed up on chairs and desks trying n
ot to let the potion touch them. It seemed to spread over a much greater area th
an should have been possible. Snape was staring at his wand in bewilderment. Har
ry had seen him use the same spell countless times to clean up spilled potions b
efore.
Scourgify! Hermione said, waving her wand at the mess. It was gone in an instant.
Finite! She sent another spell at Malfoy and the boils ceased to form. However his
face was covered in angry red splotches. Malfoy continued to whimper in pain at
the burning. A second later Harry saw him calm considerably as Hermione sent th
e pain relieving spell at him that she had learned from Mrs. Weasley. Snape seem
ed to have recovered.
Take him to the hospital wing, he barked at Crabbe and Goyle. The rest of you, clas
s is over for the day. Harry, Ron and Hermione quickly grabbed their things and m
oved to the door, hoping to get out of the dungeon before Snape changed his mind
. Harry looked back at the last second to see Professor Snape, a very confused e
xpression on his face, shaking his wand. He turned and ran up the stairs with Ro
n and Hermione. They didn t stop until they reached the Great Hall and sat down fo
r lunch.
So do we get the five galleons? Ron asked when they sat down. He was out of breath
, but smiling broadly at Harry.
Yeah I think you do, Harry replied. What was that stuff you made me drink?
That was the antidote to veritaserum. We will be taking it once a month along wit
h the rest of the DA before going to potions for a while now, Hermione answered w
ith a smile that looked harmless. But if you knew her well enough, you could see
in her eyes that it was more than a little mischievous.
She has been spending too much time with Ginny, the voices said inside Harry s hea
d.
Yeah, I m kind of glad she is Ron s problem right now, Harry replied. I don t think I
can handle two of Ginny.
So when are we going to Diagon Alley? Ron asked.
Why don t you just send Fred and George an owl with what you want. They know my acc
ount number, Harry answered. By the way you two, that was great.

********************

Harry was under the invisibility cloak trying to follow Ron, Hermione, and Ginny
. Because they could just pretend to be performing their duties as prefects, the
three of them didn t need to sneak out at night. Harry on the other hand, he coul
d get in a lot of trouble. Hence the presence of the Marauder s Map
I can t believe I m letting you talk me into sneaking into the boy Prefects bathroom, H
ermione hissed at Harry.
Shut it will you? I m not supposed to be here. That s the whole point of the cloak yo
u know. They finally reached the bathroom and after Ron made sure it was empty, h
e motioned them all in. He then locked it behind them setting every spell he cou
ld think of on it, including the Recognition charm.
She s right you know, Harry. McGonagall will skin us alive if we get caught in here
with them, Ron commented as he moved to the pool sized tub.
Look, it s the only place I could think of to go besides Moaning Myrtles bathroom.
Plus it s nicer in here, Harry replied, as he finished filling the pool.
Let s just hope she doesn t decide to pay a visit, the voices commented in Harry s hea
d.
Besides, all we re doing is swimming, Harry added. He was already in the water.
Yes, but we re in the boys bathroom, Hermione replied in exasperation.
Harry having had enough of her complaints, raised his wand and directed a stream
of water at her face. The next thing he knew, Ginny, Ron and Hermione had him c
ornered and were taking turns spinning him in whirlpools. Then Ron turned on Her
mione and Ginny created a tidal wave to throw them to the other end of the pool.
The battle raged for quite some time, but eventually ended with Harry and Ron h
anging upside down in the air while Ginny and Hermione dunked them in and out of
the pool.
Ok, Ok! You win. We surrender, Ron sputtered. Ginny looked at Hermione and with a
wicked smile, she floated Ron up to the ceiling.
You wouldn t, Hermione? Harry gasped, his eyes caught between horror and pleading. S
he twitched her wand and he was up next to Ron in a blink.
This is bad, Harry, Ron said to him.
Yeah, I don t think I m going to like this a whole lot, Harry agreed. Ron smiled at hi
m and shot a look at Hermione.
To think, I m in love with that wicked brown haired girl. Hermione gasped, her mouth
pursed in the manner of Professor McGonagall.
Ready Ginny? she asked, in a sickeningly sweet voice.
Oh yes, I m tired, don t think I can hold them up there any longer. Ginny replied, fei
gning weakness. Now? she asked.
Now, Hermione agreed.
Or that I willingly call Ginny my sister.
Arghhh! Harry and Ron hit the water with a tremendous splash. They came up sputter
ing, and laughing. The girls had their wands up to defend against any attack tha
t might come.
I think we re done, Harry said, looking at Ron and putting his hands up.
Yeah, next time let s bring Seamus and Dean. At least they fight fair.
You two are a real pain you know, Hermione said, with a sigh and smile. Really Ron,
how am I supposed to teach Harry restraint, when all you do is encourage him? I
still can t believe I m in here. With all the noise we ve been making half the school
must know we re here. Ginny swam over to look at the Marauders Map.
Well, no one is headed this way yet. So we re still ok, she said. The Prefect bathroo
m for the girls is bigger you know, she added, looking around. Harry had climbed
out of the pool and was toweling off.
Actually Hermione, I drug you down here so we could all talk about the prophecy, h
e said, taking a seat on the pool deck. The others joined him.
Harry, I just don t see how I m supposed to accomplish what the prophecy says, Hermion
e replied.
Yeah mate, we ve talked between the two of us and I can t come up with any ideas to h
elp her, Ron said quietly. He didn t like seeing Hermione struggle. It was even wor
se when he couldn t help. Ginny just sat quietly, leaning against Harry with her e
yes closed. Harry was smiling.
Well I do. In fact, I think she has already fulfilled the prophecy. I think she d
oes every day. Ron and Hermione looked at him urging him to go on with their eyes
.
Look, we all agree about the brown hair, one from none, second friend and love of
one right? he asked. They both nodded. Hermione, you have been teaching me restra
int, well both me and Ron really, since you met me. It was you who always tried
to get me to think before I acted. If I would have listened to you last spring.
I might have gone to Snape for help, instead of running off to the Ministry to s
ave Sirius. That is a mistake that I will never repeat, he said angrily. Hermione
reached to touch his hand.
Harry, you can t blame yourself for Sirius.
I can, and I do, Harry replied firmly. But I am done kicking myself for it. Accepti
ng it and learning from it is the only thing I can do to honor Sirius now.
But even more than losing Sirius, I learned restraint when I fell in love with yo
u. I could have just told you. I could have betrayed Ron. But I knew if I did th
at I could lose you both. So I did my best to hide it until Ron guessed. We agre
ed to fight for you without fighting each other. Ultimately I knew the choice wa
s yours to make. And that if you chose Ron, I would have to love you by letting
you go. Now matter how much it would hurt, and still does, he added softly.
Ron was staring at the floor. Harry had done a remarkable job of being happy for
him and Hermione. So good in fact, that Ron sometimes forgot what Harry must be
feeling when he saw him with Hermione.
Harry I m sorry, Hermione said gently.
Don t be, Hermione you have nothing to be sorry for.
Harry, you re my best friend, and my brother. So don t lie to me and tell me this isn t
killing you, Ron said to him.
I m not Ron, it hurts. But it gets a little better each day. It wasn t, but Harry lied
anyways.
Then how on earth can she be giving you strength? Ron asked in frustration.
Because I love her Ron, I will not allow anything to happen that will hurt her. O
r for that matter any of the people I love ever again. Hermione, do you remember
the night you told me you picked Ron? Harry asked. You remember what I said?
She nodded her head. It would have been impossible to forget.
Even though you picked Ron, that was the night you gave me the strength to fight
him. I am coming for Voldemort. I wanted him to know that he should fear me. So
I let down the barrier between us and I told him .Hermione, you have already fulfi
lled your part of the prophecy, Harry finished his explanation. Hermione and Ron
looked at Harry and then at each other.
You really are a great wizard, Harry, Hermione said looking back at him.
If I am, it s only because I have the help of my brother who is also a great wizard
, and my sisters who are even greater witches, Harry answered.
I think we should head back to the common room for the night, Ginny broke into the
conversation. I want to sit by the fire for a while, she added without lifting he
r head from Harry s shoulder.
A short while later they walked back into the empty Gryffindor common room, ever
yone else already having gone to bed.
I think I m done for the night, Ron said. See you in the morning Hermione? She kissed
his cheek goodnight before responding.
I m going up too.
Ginny sat down on the couch in front of the fire. Harry joined her. She moved ov
er to lean against him again, her head resting on his shoulder once more.
You don t mind do you?
No I don t, Gin. They sat quietly for a few minutes.
Ginny .did I live up to your expectations?
For tonight Harry, for tonight, she replied.
Good, Harry answered.

Ron walked into the 6th years dorm room to find Seamus, Neville, Dean and his two
brothers, Fred and George. He was greeted with a barrage of pillows.
Protégo! he yelped, waving his wand. The pillows never got there.
Oy, not bad ickle Ronnie, George commented, laughing at him.
What are you guys doing here? Ron asked, surprised to see them.
Better yet, Fred started.
Where have you been? George finished the question.
Off snogging with Hermione, I d say, Neville tossed in. The others started laughing
again. Ron felt his ears turning red.
Watch it, or I ll knock points off on you, he growled at Neville.
Only if you want to end up locked in your trunk, Dean replied, smirking at him.
Seriously though, little bro, Fred started.
We re here so you can tell us what the deal is between our little sister, George pic
ked up.
And Harry, Fred finished. Ron looked at them.
Yeah, I suppose you should know. He sat down and began to relate what had happened
on the day of the Quidditch tryouts.
To borrow a phrase from you Ronald, it was Fred talking.
Bloody Hell! George said when Ron had finished the story. So what do we do about it
? he asked.
Not much we can do, Ron replied.
Or should do for that matter, Fred added.
Well I know what I m going to do, Dean spoke up. The others looked at him. Be glad it
is Harry she goes after and make sure I don t make her mad.
You got that right mate, Seamus remarked. The others nodded in agreement.

George punched Fred in the arm as they made their way to the portrait hole.
What was that for?
Look. George pointed. Harry and Ginny had fallen asleep on the couch.
Should we? Fred asked. George considered.
No, let them be. Harry s got more than enough to deal with, without our harassment.
You disappoint me, Fred responded.
Well you go ahead then. But I m not walking around with a pumpkin for a head for th
e next month because I twisted Ginny's knickers in a knot, George commented. Fred
paused.
Yeah, you re right. Surprise like that she might kill us before she calmed down. The
y turned to go.
Say George, you don t suppose Ginny and Harry have a Hermione and Ron thing going o
n do you? Fred considered the question.
No, she sleeps like that all the time at home with us. Or whoever is closest when
we re gathered around the fire at night talking. Come on, we still have some new
products to get on the shelves for Halloween tomorrow, Fred said, heading down th
e hallway.

********************

Harry knocked on the door to Professor Lupin and Professor Tonks s office.
Come in. Harry entered; it appeared that only Professor Lupin was there. Hello Mr.
Potter, his Professor said as Harry closed the door.
Hello Remus, Harry replied. Professor Lupin brightened.
Good, I was hoping this was not official business. How have you been Harry? I hav
e managed to keep tabs on you pretty well this year. Being your teacher helps in
that manner. Quite a performance you and your teammates put on against Slytheri
n; 210-20. I thought Ron would shut them out there for a while, but he seemed to
lose concentration when you and Mr. Malfoy went after the snitch. They got thos
e two in before he recovered, brilliant save on the third one though. He smiled a
t Harry.
Harry recalled the match fondly. It was the worst defeat Slytherin had suffered
in a long time. What made it even better was Malfoy was their team captain.
The other match between Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw was pretty good too, Harry commen
ted. It was real competitive except for Cho being a much better Seeker. The match
was even otherwise.
I think both those teams will give Gryffindor a good run this year, Remus replied.
Though I think the match of the year will be Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw. Harry s
hook his head with a rueful smile.
I just hope Cho doesn t knock me off my broom. They sat watching each other for a mo
ment before Remus spoke again.
So did you just come to say hi today Harry, or is there something I might help yo
u with? Harry smirked.
Saw right through me didn t you, Remus?
Well, I thought there might be something. You suffered the loss of Sirius less th
an six months ago Harry. You re only just recovering from it. And now rumor has it
that you gave your heart to someone, and she didn t want it. Am I right? Harry did
n t answer. Remus sighed heavily.
I thought as much, he commented. It s a different kind of pain, isn t it? She s still he
e, while Sirius is gone to you .to us forever.
There are times I think it s worse, Harry said softly.
I would agree Harry, Sirius being gone makes it easier to adjust.
Will it get better Remus, because it s been six weeks and it hasn t yet, Harry asked i
n a whisper.
That Harry, I m glad to say is a question I can answer from experience. It will, ev
entually, you just have to be patient. Harry looked at Remus; he was smiling kind
ly back at him.
Who was she, Remus? Remus considered for a moment.
And that Harry, is a question that I will never answer. Remus stood up and walked
around the desk putting his arm around Harry s shoulders.
Harry, I promise you that some day a girl will come along, who will make you forg
et that you ever loved Hermione in the way you do now.
I will . Harry started to protest. Remus interrupted.
I didn t say you wouldn t still love her. Only that it will change. Someone else will
take her place. Harry was quiet again.
How about some lunch Harry, it would be good to eat early today. Let the hunger b
uild for the Halloween feast tonight.
Yeah, I think you re right. They headed out of the room and down the hall. Know anyth
ing about the entertainment for tonight? Harry asked.
Oh I do, but the Headmaster will be most displeased with me if I let his secret out
, Remus replied, as they turned the corner.

Author's note:
I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev
iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 12: Ginny


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Two, wake up, I need you, Ginny silently told the voice in her head.
It took a second for the voice to respond. Ginny waited, the familiar feeling of
the voice waking washed over her.
Ginny, I m tired; we need to rest, all of us. You haven t let us all sleep the whole
night since the day before Halloween, that was almost four weeks ago.
Ginny never slept when she was alone anymore, not since her first year. The nigh
tmares from Tom Riddle possessing her were too much. She had learned to use the
different voices to rest her brain and body without actually sleeping. If she le
t them shut down and simply lay in bed for seven or eight hours it was almost th
e same. She had learned to adjust to the difference.
The only time she actually allowed herself to truly sleep was when she was next
to one of her brothers or Hermione. That was why, during the day, she was foreve
r leaning on one of them. Sleeping for ten minutes here, fifteen minutes there,
the nightmares didn t come then. She would sleep free of dreams good and bad. For
almost five years it had been enough.
Hush, I m tired too. At least you re getting to sleep some.
But you re not even resting anymore. Always up; only letting two of us sleep at a
time. We re going to miss something because we're too tired.
We haven t missed anything yet have we? Ginny asked the voice.
No, we haven t. But we will sooner or later, you know that. Ginny didn t answer. The
voice sighed deeply.
What did you need me to do?
I ve found a book that may have a clue in it. I need you to help me with the invis
ibility spell until we get back to the dorm room.
You re not going to make us go through it tonight are you?
No, I ll let you all sleep when we get back, Ginny replied.
And you are you going to rest too? Or look at it without us? the voice demanded.
Will you quit harping if I rest too? Ginny asked, exasperated that she was getti
ng such a hassle. The voice, sensing weakness ceased on it.
Ginny, we could just tell Hermione, ask her to sit with us. We could all sleep t
hen, it pressed hopefully.
Ginny didn t answer as she stepped through the portrait hole and dropped the invis
ibility spell. She quickly walked across the common room and up the stairs to he
r dorm, carefully opening the door of her dorm a crack. Ginny cast a sleeping sp
ell into the room so she could get to her bed without waking the others.
I really should see if what I need is in that book, she thought while lying ther
e.
Ginny please, you need to rest, the voice pleaded with her.
Ok, I promise I ll rest for the night now. You can go to sleep if you want to, Gin
ny said giving in.
You won t go to Hermione?
No, Ginny replied. The voice sighed.
Ok then, goodnight.
Goodnight, Ginny answered. After a few minutes, she felt her brain shut down, an
d her body relax. A tear rolled down her cheek, but she really didn t notice.

********************

Ginny stood outside the door to Hermione s dorm room. She was exhausted, Ron and K
atie had drilled them so hard at Quidditch practice. Their match against Hufflep
uff was the first week back after the Christmas Holidays and they both kept forg
etting that Hufflepuff would have two weeks without practice also.
It had been two weeks now since that night in the library. And the voices in her
head had been begging her to go Hermione so she could sleep the whole night eve
r since. Instead she had been staying up, making one of them stay up with her.
She had found it, but it wouldn t work. Ginny was devastated. As low as the day sh
e realized Harry had found Tom Riddle s diary after she had thrown it away. All of
it had been a waste.
Please Ginny, the voices prodded her.
Ginny opened the door to the sixth year's dorm; she was so tired that she forgot
to cast her sleeping spell before walking to Hermione s bed. She hesitated, Hermi
one was sleeping - she looked so happy. Ever since she and Ron had started datin
g, Ginny thought that Hermione looked like she was glowing.
I would give everything that is mine to feel like she looks right now, she thoug
ht.
Ginny, the voices prodded again. Ginny tentatively reached out her hand to touch
Hermione s arm.
Hermione? she whispered quietly into the night. Hermione woke with a start.
Ginny .What s wrong, why are you crying? She sat up taking Ginny s hand.
Hermione .can I .can I sit with you? Ginny asked timidly. Hermione pulled Ginny onto t
he bed next to her. Ginny lay down with her head on Hermione s lap.
Ginny tell me what s wrong? Hermione asked softly. She reached for her wand and cast
a ward spell on her four-poster bed, sealing them in so no one could hear or se
e what happened inside the closed curtains. Ginny was quiet for a minute or two,
too scared to answer.
I m your sister. Tell me what s wrong, Hermione said softly, as she brushed Ginny s hair
back away from her face.
Promise me you won t tell anyone, not Harry, not even Ron? Hermione hesitated.
I promise to help you in anyway I can Ginny. If I have to tell them I will. Ginny
closed her eyes.
They ll be so mad at me. What if they won t forgive me? she asked the voices.
Please Ginny, we need help, they responded.
We can t fight Tom like this anymore, the third voice added softly.
Ginny took a deep breath.
Hermione, I have more than one voice in my head. With that statement, for the firs
t time in history, a sorcerer revealed the secret that had followed all the grea
test witches and wizards.
Ginny proceeded to tell Hermione everything about the voices, how they helped he
r to fight Tom Riddle during her first year. How they enabled her to attack and
defend at the same time. How she used them to do things for her. How she allowed
them to sleep without falling asleep herself.
Hermione, the only time I myself sleep is when I m touching you, Harry, or one of m
y other brothers. I m so tired Hermione .please will you just hold me tonight so I c
an sleep? I just need one night, and I ll be ok again. Hermione was horrified; she
had a million questions to ask Ginny.
Not tonight Hermione, her first voice spoke up.
Go to sleep Ginny, she whispered softly, and pulled the covers up over her.
You won t leave me, Hermione? I don t want Tom in my head again. Ginny had reached up
to take Hermione s hand in hers. Hermione could hear the terror in her voice.
I promise I will stay here until you wake up, Ginny. Hermione felt Ginny relax and
knew she was asleep before she even finished her sentence.
What are we going to do about this? the voices asked.
I think we need to tell Ron and Harry, the second added.
Just let her sleep for now. We ll talk to her about it in the morning, Hermione to
ld them both.
We should stay up to watch her tonight, the first voice said.
What for? You two sleep. I ll watch over us, the second voice replied.
Hermione settled down on the bed and drifted into a light slumber, the kind wher
e you are not really asleep, but not awake either. She was only vaguely aware as
the light from the morning sun filled the room hours later.
Hey you two wake up, Hermione heard the second voice talking in her head. She op
ened her eyes. Ginny was still asleep, it looked like she hadn t moved all night.
How is she? Hermione asked the voice.
She s fine; I would have waked you if there was a problem, the voice replied.
Why don t you get some sleep for awhile? I think One and I can handle it now, Herm
ione told the second voice. A few moments later, Hermione shuddered as she felt
part of her brain shut down.
One, are you still with me? she asked.
Still here, kind of a strange feeling to be awake and have her asleep isn t it? he
r first responded.
Yes, I kind of always thought when you two weren t talking to me that you were asl
eep then .But I guess not .I feel like I m missing part of myself, Hermione told the v
oice. Hermione sat quietly on the bed holding Ginny in her lap. She showed no si
gns of stirring.
I think tonight, I want to have both of you sleep while I stay awake, Hermione t
old the voice. I want to get some idea of what she has been going through.
I think this is much more difficult than Ginny made it out to be. I could feel h
ow tired our second was when she woke us this morning, the first voice said.
I could too, Hermione replied, while combing Ginny s hair with her fingers. I thin
k we should wake her. We need to talk to her about this. The voice didn t respond
and Hermione took its silence as agreement. She gently placed her hand on Ginny'
s shoulder and shook her lightly.
Ginny .Ginny.
Wha .
Hey there, it s time to get up, Hermione said quietly to Ginny
Hermione? Ginny was very confused. You let me sleep all night? she asked, when she r
ealized where she was.
And tonight and any night that you need too, Hermione replied.
Thank you Hermione, Ginny whispered, casting her eyes down on the bed so she did n
ot have to look at her.
I have voices in my head too Ginny .Two of them. I tried it last night you know, on
ly letting part of me sleep. I can feel it after just one night. You have no ide
a how tired you are Ginny.
Ginny didn t answer her. She just sat on the bed huddled in a ball, trying to make
herself as small as possible.
Did you let the voices sleep last night Ginny? Ginny nodded her head.
Yes.
And when was the last time you let all of yourself sleep at the same time? Hermion
e demanded.
Yesterday, next to Ron, when we were waiting for the DA meeting to start.
That was only about ten minutes! the first voice screamed at Hermione.
No Ginny, the whole night. Ginny wouldn t answer. Hermione decided to push her.
You need to tell me the truth Ginny. I ll use veritaserum on you if I think you re ly
ing to me. Ginny was rocking back and forth on the bed - she wanted to fight. But
even after sleeping the whole night she didn t have the energy.
Tell me Ginny.
The night before Halloween, when Harry and I fell asleep on the couch in the comm
on room, she replied. Her response was barely audible.
That was six weeks ago, the first voice offered quietly to Hermione.
And before that Ginny?
When you stayed in my room at the Burrow, Harry had the only cot, so we had to sh
are my bed, Ginny replied. I was so happy when you were coming this summer because
I thought . Ginny s voice trailed off. But then you and your family stayed in the ten
t. Hermione was calculating back.
That was over two years ago, Ginny, she gasped in horror. You haven t slept in more t
han two years? Ginny nodded her head; she was biting her lip, rocking back and fo
rth on the bed again.
Just the one time with Harry, she whispered. Ginny finally broke down; all the str
ain of what she had been doing came pouring out of her. Hermione pulled Ginny in
to her arms.
It s ok, Ginny. I ll help you. She sat holding her while Ginny regained control of her
self. It was a few minutes before Ginny spoke.
Are you going to tell Ron and Harry? she whispered.
Yes, we can take turns sitting with you.
They re going to be mad at me, Ginny said quietly.
I m mad at you Ginny. You should have trusted us, we would have helped you.
I m sorry Hermione.
I know Ginny, Hermione replied, but Ginny was sleeping again.

********************

Harry and Hermione sat at the foot of the large bed they had found in the Room o
f Requirement. Ron was leaning on the headboard facing them. Ginny was lying nex
t to him with her head on his lap. She had fallen asleep again almost before Her
mione had even started talking. Harry and Ron were both struggling to comprehend
what Hermione had told them.
I have the voices too, she told them, two of them. I tried it last night after she
explained it to me. My second voice stayed up all night. It s sleeping now, I feel
like part of me is dead. I don t know how she has been able to do it. It s not the
same as really sleeping.
You have the voices too? Ron asked curiously. Hermione nodded at him. He turned to
Harry. How about you? Harry nodded.
Yeah, I have two of them also, he replied. Ron smiled.
What are you smiling about? Hermione asked.
Because I have them too, three of them, he replied.
Hermione, have you ever read anything about this? Harry asked
No I haven t. I don t think it s something that happens very often though.
I get that feeling too, Harry said.
Do you think it s like parseltongue? Ron asked. Harry and Hermione looked at him cur
iously.
What do you mean? Hermione asked
Well you can t teach parseltongue. You are either born with the gift or you re not. I
can do all kinds of things I couldn t before the voices developed, he added. Hermi
one caught where he was going.
If it could be taught, it would be part of our lessons. You re right Ron. I think i
t s a gift. I wonder how many people have it?
You said you have never read anything about it? Harry asked again. Hermione shook
her head. I think that s pretty strange. I would have thought it would be mentioned
somewhere, Harry added shaking his head too.
I don t think it s all that strange, Harry, Hermione replied after a few minutes.
Why not? Harry and Ron asked together, both confused.
Well, I have had the voices in my head ever since third year with the time turner
. I never even thought about mentioning it to someone, she answered.
She s right you know. I only developed my second and third in the first week of sch
ool this year. But it never crossed my mind to mention it to you guys, Ron commen
ted. How long have you had them Harry?
Ever since fourth year when that imposter Mad-Eye demonstrated the Imperious curs
e on us, Harry replied.
And Ginny has had them since her first year, but never said a word about it. I th
ink she only told me because she was so tired and couldn t think of any other way
to explain what she had been doing. I think Ron is right. I think it might be pr
etty rare. I think because I haven t read about it, we might even be the first sor
cerers to confide in someone else about it, Hermione finished confidently.
I would be inclined to agree with you, Miss Granger.
Bloody Hell! Ron yelped. Harry and Hermione spun around on the bed, their wands ou
t.
Protego! they both cried together. Ginny bolted awake.
Wha . Ron grabbed her.
It s ok Ginny. Dumbledore was standing in the entry to the Room of Requirement.
So this is what happened to that bathroom I found so many years ago, he said looki
ng around. His gaze returned to the four of them, settling on Ginny he smiled at
her.
You may go back to sleep if you would like, Miss Weasley.
Harry and Hermione had lowered their wands after realizing who had walked in on
them. Ginny leaned up against Ron again, but instead of sleeping, kept one voice
awake so she would know everything that happened with Professor Dumbledore.
I m sorry to have eavesdropped on you. I needed to speak with Harry, and fancied a
walk. So I thought I might go look for him. Somehow I ended up coming here. When
I opened the door I became intrigued at your discussion. He smiled kindly his ey
es twinkling. Harry grinned at what he was sure was a lie.
Somehow I doubt that he ended up here by accident, he said to himself.
You said you agreed with me Headmaster? Hermione asked
Yes, I would, Miss Granger.
Professor Dumbledore then proceeded to explain his theories on the voices to the
m.
I would venture that we five could be the only sorcerers alive with this particul
ar gift, he finished.
No sir, there is at least one other wizard who has the voices too, Harry broke in,
looking at his friends and Professor Dumbledore. Voldemort has the gift too. I k
now from all the times we have been in each others minds. Professor Dumbledore no
dded in recognition of what Harry said.
Headmaster . Hermione started, Dumbledore turned to look at her. Is this something we
shouldn t have told each other about? Dumbledore was quiet for some time, as the v
oices in his head debated the question.
I cannot really give you an answer to your question. What I can do is give you so
me insight that comes with age. The ability to embrace a new voice is the gift.
It is not something you will ever be able to help another person with. Miss Gran
ger, you have two voices you said? Hermione nodded in response to Professor Dumbl
edore s question. Professor Dumbledore continued.
Ronald will never help you develop a third. A third voice may simply not exist wi
thin you. It may be possible that your gift has reached its limit in maintaining
the two voices you do have. What I have learned tonight that I did not know, is
that we can teach each other what we are capable of doing with the voices.
Ginny told Hermione how she used the voices to shut down her brain and rest her b
ody without sleeping. Hermione was able to apply that knowledge and use it herse
lf. The rest of us should be able to do so also. Knowledge shared for good is ne
ver a bad thing.
Like all of you, it never occurred to me to talk to anyone about the voices in my
head. Now that I have, I find the reason I didn t is because I believe all the gr
eatest sorcerers in history had this gift. It is what makes the greatest differe
nce, multiplying your abilities by however many voices live in you. The problem
occurs when you realize that some of the greatest sorcerers were evil .I would adv
ise you to be very careful whom you share your new knowledge with. In fact, it w
ould not be entirely bad if we all took this to our graves. Professor Dumbledore
finished his lesson.
Harry could not see any of the familiar twinkle in Dumbledore s eyes that made him
seem so friendly most of the time. It was quiet for a long time before he spoke
again.
Harry, I would see you in the hallway for a moment.
"Yes sir, Professor Dumbledore, he responded quietly.
Hermione, I will make arrangements for you and Ginny to be moved into a room of y
our own. Harry and Ronald, you will be able to access it without setting off ala
rms. Do not betray my trust, he warned before walking out of the room. Harry foll
owed him.
Harry, we both know that I have already talked with you about what I needed too, P
rofessor Dumbledore said. Harry could see the twinkle had returned to his eyes a
gain. Harry grinned at him.
Yes sir, some secrets need to be maintained.
Have a good day, Harry. See that you all help Ginny. It will be hard on all of yo
u.
Yes sir, Harry replied, and then walked back into the Room of Requirement. Recogniz
e! He locked the door behind him.
Ginny and Hermione were both sleeping on either side of Ron. Harry sat down on t
he bed which grew wider to accommodate him.
Here, let me have Ginny, he said pulling her onto his lap. Neither her, nor Hermio
ne even noticed.

Author's note:
I know some of you don't like the voices as much as others. Sorry for them being
so heavy this chapter. Maybe not my best chapter, but it sets up quite a few sm
all things for the rest of year six and seven

Wow, in all the reviews and e-mails so far, no one has asked what the heck it is
that Ginny found, but won't work. Not that I'm going to tell you....Yet.

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 13: The Animagi
Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry lay in his bed; the first prophecy was weighing heavily on him. Harry knew
that he wasn t ready to fight Voldemort that almost everything all of the people
around him did was an attempt to train him, give him some new skill so that he c
ould fight and win. He was doing everything he could to make sure that he took i
t all in. He just hoped that not too many people were being hurt by Voldemort wh
ile he was being trained.
He also knew he was being protected from what was going on in the war against Vo
ldemort. He was protecting himself too, purposely avoiding any news of attacks o
r killings that might have occurred; he couldn t take the guilt that he felt when
he heard about them. It was impossible not to hear some things but he was determ
ined not to run off to save the world only to end up condemning it by getting hi
mself killed. Hermione had taught him well.
Harry shook his head clearing, his mind of bad thoughts. He looked over to see i
f Ron had come back from sitting with Ginny. He was still gone. Dumbledore had m
ade arrangements for all of the prefects from each house to have their own rooms
, leaving it up to them to decide if they wanted to move out of the dorm room th
ey were in currently. Ron was one of the few who had stayed in his old room.
It had been a week since Hermione had told Harry and Ron Ginny s secret. Harry had
yet to sit with her at night. He and Ginny might think of themselves as brother
and sister, but he wasn t sure Dumbledore would agree. So he sat with her during
the day, after the nights when she refused to let Ron or Hermione sit with her.
Harry had noticed a remarkable improvement in Ginny almost immediately. The firs
t DA meeting after Hermione had sat with her, Ginny had throw off the Imperious
Curse from himself, Ron, Hermione, Luna and Neville at the same time.
He wasn t sure all of the improvement was going to be for the better though. It ha
d been awhile since the last time Ginny had gone off on him, but at Quidditch pr
actice last night she had reached a new level again. Ron and Katie had wanted so
meone to fly against Harry while he chased the snitch, Ginny had volunteered. Du
ring the second run she had beaten him. It had infuriated her.
He s not done with practice until I say so! she had stormed at Ron when he tried to
end practice after that.
Harry recalled the next five runs vividly. He had won each time, but Ginny pushe
d him harder than ever.
Viktor Krum, who had been helping at the practice, had left the field shaking hi
s head, mumbling something about being glad that he was retired and didn t have an
insane little sister. Ginny had refused to talk to Harry the rest of the night.
He was still stinging from her rebukes.
Along with Ginny s improvement he had also noticed that both Ron and Hermione were
not themselves. They were tired; Hermione had almost made a mistake in potions
before she caught it. Ron had regressed in his ability against the Imperious cur
se, only able to fight off three people when he had been fighting five for weeks
.
I think we should sit with her tonight .If she s talking to us today, the voices sai
d.
We ll have to sit on the couch in the common area. I m not comfortable in hers and H
ermione s room for the whole night, Harry replied.
We aren t either, but we need to help Ron and Hermione. It is going to take a whil
e for the three of us to adjust to this.
Well it will be a good night to do it. It s the first day of the Christmas Holiday
. I think the four of us are the only ones in the school for the next two weeks,
Harry told the voices. And then, deciding it was late enough to wake the others
he rolled out of bed.

********************

Harry walked into Hermione and Ginny s new room. Hermione was awake, sitting on he
r bed, already dressed. Ginny s bed was empty, but she and Ron were on the couch s
till sound asleep.
Good morning Harry, how did you sleep? Hermione asked.
Better than them, he replied with a nod at Ron and Ginny.
I heard about Quidditch yesterday. Viktor told me about it while I was waiting fo
r Ron to come out of the locker rooms. Harry looked at Hermione in alarm.
Please tell me Ron knows you still talk to him.
Yes he does, he doesn t like it a whole lot but he trusts me. I think he trusts Vik
tor too. He has really helped Ron and Katie with captain duties for the team thi
s year. It helps that Viktor has a girlfriend too, Hermione replied. Harry relaxe
d.
Sorry Hermione, I just know how he reacted before. And I really prefer to be arou
nd you two when you re not fighting with each other.
That s ok, Harry. I am well aware of how much we hurt each other in the past. We re b
oth different people now .I realize now that most of what I did with Viktor was to
get Ron s attention. I should have just asked Ron out myself .But I was more scared
than he was, she said sadly, shaking her head.
I always thought you were so smart. I m not sure what gave me that impression, Harry
remarked, taking a verbal swipe at Hermione, before sitting down on the bed nex
t to her. Hermione smacked him on the arm.
Be careful, I might have to put a hex on you, Harry, she said, smiling back at him
. Harry ignored her threat. He pointed at the book.
What do you have there?
You two aren t going to stop talking about me are you? Ron asked from across the roo
m.
You were listening! Hermione hissed, and threw a pillow at him. You truly are a git
, Ronald Weasley. Ron returned her insult with a dopy grin.
Do you still love me? Hermione glared at him.
Yes, I still love you Ronald, even if you are a git.
Good, because I couldn t stand it if you didn t, Ron replied, still with his stupid gr
in.
Puhlezze, you two are going to make Harry and I sick if you keep it up, Ginny, wit
hout lifting her head from Ron s lap, interjected herself into the conversation.
Good morning Big Brother, she added a moment later.
You re talking to me again now? Harry asked. He had intended it to sound angry, but
it came out sounding more hopeful.
It s a new day, Harry. Harry felt his heart rise. He didn t understand why, but not me
eting Ginny s expectations hurt him deeply.
Don t let me down today, Harry James, Ginny added curtly, still lying with her head
on Ron s lap; she hadn t even opened her eyes. Harry, Ron and Hermione exchanged loo
ks before shaking their heads.
You know, Gin, you can be very scary at times, Ron remarked quietly to her.
Good, Ginny replied. The room was quiet for a minute before Ginny spoke again.
So, you were going to tell us what was in your book, Hermione? Harry shook his hea
d; she still hadn t even opened her eyes, but her perception of the room was dead
on. Hermione, with one last shake of her head, started in.
Who wants an early Christmas present? she asked, looking around and grinning brigh
tly at each of them in turn.
I never complain about getting gifts, Harry replied.
Yeah Mione, what have you got for us? Ron added. Ginny sat up and looked at Hermion
e expectantly. Hermione, seeing that she had their attention continued.
Well, I m not really sure how much use it will be. But I thought it would be fun if
the four of us learned the Animagus Transformation. So, I figured out how to do
it. Ginny darted to Hermione s bed, leaving Ron sitting with a surprised look on h
is face.
Mental, he mumbled walking over to join them.
I ve been looking for that for ages, where did you find it? Ginny demanded.
I snuck it out of the restricted section last year. I have been studying it ever
since, Hermione replied. Harry and Ron looked at each other incredulously. Hermio
ne s affinity for breaking school rules was growing by the day. Ginny however, was
simply impressed.
Good for you Hermione, I m proud of you.
Thank you, Ginny.
You know, you two are starting to make Harry and I look like saints, Ron said. The
worst thing we ve done this year is sneaking you two into the boy s bathroom. And he
re you are stealing books from the restricted section and now you re going to want
Harry and I to become animagi. I assume we are not going to register? he finishe
d glaring at Hermione. She pouted back at him. Ron melted a second later.
Sounds like fun, how do we do it? he asked.
Yeah Hermione, how do we do it? Harry pushed.
Well it is basically just transfiguration, but it is really difficult. You have t
o make sure you don t lose your concentration, because if you get stuck in the mid
dle, they sometimes can t fix you.
Maybe this isn t going to be as much fun as I thought, Ron said gloomily. I can just
see spending the rest of my life with an orangutan s head. Harry laughed at him.
Come on Ron, if my dad and Sirius can teach that traitor how to do it, Hermione s
hould be able to teach us.
Be quiet, both of you, Ginny snarled at them. She then turned back to Hermione. How
do we do it Hermione? Hermione looked at the book again.
Well once you get good at it, it is just a matter of thinking about your animal f
orm. You basically decide to just change. When you are transformed, even though
you still know everything about who you were, the only wizarding skill you retai
n is the ability to change back to human form. The problem in learning is that y
ou don t know what shape to take.
So how do you do it the first few times? Harry asked. Hermione smiled.
Come with me, she said, as she led them into the bathroom she and Ginny shared.
With this, Hermione said, pointing to a potion brewing in a small solid gold cauld
ron.
It s called the Animagi Potion. I have been brewing it for six months now. I had it
in Moaning Myrtles bathroom, but was able to move it here last week, she said, w
hile setting up three other small golden cauldrons and dividing the potion into
them.
Hermione, you could have told me. I would have paid for those cauldrons. They mus
t have cost a fortune, Harry stammered at her.
I told you. This is what I m giving you for Christmas. You might as well be happy w
ith it, because it s all you and Ginny are getting. I might have something else fo
r you though, Ronald, she said, smiling at him. Ron scowled.
I can t get you anything like this, he mumbled softly to her.
I already have what I want from you, Ronald. Ron looked at Hermione, confusion on
his face. Hermione drifted up to him. She kissed her finger and reached up to to
uch his lips.
Your heart Ronald, you gave it to me. That is all I want from you, Hermione whispe
red to him. Harry got the feeling that neither Ron nor Hermione remembered that
he and Ginny were still standing there. He turned around, trying to give them a
little privacy. Ginny was staring at the floor.
Erm .Hermione you were telling us about the Animagi Potion, Ginny interrupted after
a few seconds.
What .Oh yes, well anyways it s ready now. There is a cauldron for each of us. All we
have to do is add two of our own hairs to the potion. We only need to put a sin
gle drop in our mouths. The animal you are supposed to be will come into your he
ad. The potion will help you focus on your animal form. You then have to decide
to take that form. I brewed enough potion for each of us so we will have plenty
to practice with until we don t need help anymore, Hermione explained.
I want to go first, Ginny said excitedly. Ron groaned.
Mum s going to kill me, he mumbled. Ginny ignored him. Taking one of the cauldrons o
ver to the sink she pulled out her wand and inscribed a large (G) on the outside
of it.
Just two hairs Hermione? she asked. Hermione nodded.
Hermione, you re sure you brewed the potion correctly, Harry asked cautiously as he
watched Ginny pluck two hairs from her head and drop them into her cauldron. It
began to steam and hiss a second later. Hermione had walked over next to Ginny a
nd was peering into the cauldron. The potion had turned flaming red in color.
It s correct. It is supposed to match colors with the hair that is placed in it. It
will only turn the correct color if it was brewed properly, Hermione replied.
Ginny put the tip of her finger in the cauldron and placed the drop on her tongu
e. Harry felt Ron cringe beside him. He wasn t feeling particularly well himself.
Oh .Wow, the voices in Ginny s gushed as the image leapt into her mind.
Hush, concentrate on changing now, she told them.
Harry, Ron and Hermione watched in stunned silence. Ginny was gone, in her place
was brilliant red phoenix.
Her eyes are amazing, Hermione said. Harry was focused on the eyes too. They were
the richest, deepest, chocolate brown he had ever seen. What was most amazing th
ough was the way the color seemed to swirl in them. Tumbling and churning like a
muddy river, swollen from a recent rainfall.
Ginny, you re beautiful, Ron whispered in awe.
Ginny leapt into the air, flying to Ron s shoulder, she nuzzled his cheek. Feeling
his body grow light, Ron reached up and took hold of her tail feathers.
Ginny, can you lift me? he asked. The next thing Harry and Hermione knew, Ron was
floating near the ceiling while Ginny s wings beat slowly in the air. Ron laughed
then dropped to the floor.
I don t believe it. Do you think she has all the powers of a real Phoenix? he asked.
Harry reached into his pocket searching for the knife that Sirius had given him
. Pulling it out, he opened the blade.
Harry what are you doing? Hermione hissed at him, as he drew the blade along his a
rm cutting a large gash into it.
Phoenix tears have healing powers, he said, gritting his teeth against the pain, w
hile holding his arm out. Ginny settled on his hand. Her head turned and tears d
ropped from her eye onto Harry s cut arm. The bleeding stopped and the cut began t
o heal over, leaving a thin white scar on Harry s arm. Ginny was singing, though i
t was a little softer, it was the same haunting song that Fawkes sang.
I want to try, Ron whispered. Unless someone else wants to go first, he added, looki
ng at Harry and Hermione. Ginny changed back to her human form.
Let Hermione go first Ron, she made the potion, Ginny said.
Go ahead Hermione, Harry and Ron urged her.
Use the voices, Hermione. They can help you focus your mind, Ginny added, as Hermi
one marked the first caldron with a large (HG) then placed two hairs in the poti
on and waited for it to turn brown. She placed a drop on her tongue, and focused
her mind on the image that sprang into her head.
Harry and Ginny leapt back, forgetting that the large golden lioness with dark b
rown whiskers snarling in front of them was Hermione. Ron however, knelt down on
the floor to look in her eyes. They were black as the night; and Harry could se
e a perfect image of Ron reflected in them.
Hermione padded over to Ron and nuzzled his face. She opened her mouth wide arou
nd his neck and gently pressed her fangs on his flesh. Harry and Ginny stood sto
ck still not daring to breathe.
I love you too, Mione, Ron said quietly. Harry could hear a low rumble coming from
the giant cat. Hermione let go of Ron s neck and nuzzled his face again before pa
dding over to Harry and Ginny. She began to lean on their legs rubbing against t
hem like Crookshanks did when he wanted attention. Harry and Ginny sank down to
stroke her head.
She s purring, Harry laughed when he realized what the rumble coming from the giant
cat s throat was.
Hello, Hermione, Ginny whispered, I always knew, even though you were beautiful, th
at you could be terrifying. Hermione pawed at Harry and Ginny s hands pushing them
together.
You want us to hold hands? Harry asked. The rumbling noise increased, so he took G
inny s hand in his, holding it in front of Hermione. She opened her mouth and clos
ed her fangs down on their hands gently. She held them there, signaling that the
y could command her, but demanding something in return.
We love you too, Hermione, Harry and Ginny said together, as they wrapped their ar
ms around her neck. Hermione released her grip on them and backed away a step. S
uddenly, she spun around snarling as she leapt across the room in one bound at R
on. He didn t flinch as the charging lioness descended on him. Hermione transforme
d to human form in mid leap, landing with her arms around his neck, she kissed h
im.
I didn t scare you at all, did I? she asked him.
No Hermione, there is only one thing I m scared of anymore, he replied. Hermione kis
sed him again.
Your turn, love, she said to him breathlessly. Harry and Ginny again found themsel
ves feeling like intruders.
You two really are sick you know, Ginny remarked, from the other side of the room.
She was beaming at them when she said it though.
Sorry, Hermione and Ron mumbled sheepishly at her, both turning red.
It s ok, Harry replied. It reminds me what I am fighting for. He smiled at the two of
them. Ginny grabbed Harry around the neck, planting a big kiss on his cheek.
You really are the most amazing person I know, Harry James Potter, she said. Harry
turned red from her praise.
Get off of me, Ginny, he yelped trying to extract himself from her embrace. You rea
lly can be a nutter some times, you know? Hermione and Ron were laughing at him.
Oh .Is my big strong brother embarrassed by his little sister? Ginny teased not lett
ing him get away. Harry couldn t believe how strong she was, finally resorting to
tickling her to get away.
You re mental, Ginny, he said smiling at her. Ginny stuck her tongue out in reply.
Are you two finished? I want to see what Ron s animagus is, Hermione interrupted.
Go ahead. She pushed him towards one of the two remaining cauldrons. Ginny stuck h
er finger in her throat pretending to gag. Harry just laughed at her. Ron marked
his cauldron with a large (R) then added two of his hairs. The potion turned th
e same brilliant red as Ginny s had.
Remember to use the voices, Ronald, Hermione said nervously, as he placed a drop o
f the potion on his tongue. The image of his animagus flooded into his mind.
Cool . Harry heard him say just before Ron turned into a giant male lion with a huge
shaggy red mane. The lion let out a terrific roar that caused both Harry and Gi
nny to jump even after going through the same shock with Hermione s transformation
.
Harry watched as the Ron padded over to him. He could see the muscle rippling un
der his skin. There was nothing hiding the raw power that existed there. Harry t
ook Ginny s hand in his again and offered them to Ron in the same manner they had
with Hermione. Ron placed his fangs around their hands and pressed down hard eno
ugh to leave marks then released them.
We love you too Ron, Ginny said.
Yeah mate, Harry added softly.
Suddenly Ron was attacked by Hermione, she had transformed back into her lion fo
rm again. Harry watched, fascinated as the two snarling forms fought back and fo
rth. If he hadn t known better he would have thought they were really fighting. Af
ter about thirty seconds Ron overpowered Hermione, slamming her on her back on t
he hard floor with his jaws firmly clamped around her neck. Hermione transformed
back into her human form and wrapped her arms around the great shaggy neck.
I love you, Ronald, she said softly. Ron released her and changed back to his huma
n form. He stood up and pulled Hermione up with him. Harry could see both of the
ir eyes alive with fire.
I guess you two must have been born to be together, he said shaking his head. Remin
d me to carry a raw steak or two from now on will you, Ginny? I really don t want
to be around them when they get hungry the next time. Ginny snorted.
Your turn, Harry, she said giving him a shove. Harry took the last cauldron, marke
d it with a large (HP) then added two of his hairs. He placed a drop on his tong
ue.
We need more room, the voices said in awe. Harry ran into the bedroom.
This should be enough, he said to them.
Where s he going? Ron shouted, tearing after Harry. Ginny and Hermione followed clos
e behind. Ron was greeted at the door by a wall of fire.
Ronald! Hermione screamed.
PROTEGO! he roared, throwing up a shield without thinking. It wasn t necessary as th
e flames never quiet reached the doorway. Ron poked his head cautiously into the
bedroom, maintaining the shield spell protecting himself, while using another t
o keep Hermione and Ginny behind him.
Bloody Hell! he gasped in amazement.
Harry? he asked. A short blast of flame came in response.
Ron, get out of the way before I hurt you, Ginny demanded from behind him. Ron tur
ned around to face them.
Sorry .but you re not going to believe this, he said, stepping out of the way. Ginny m
oved quickly past him. Hermione looked at Ron questioningly. He nodded at her.
Go ahead, its ok. Hermione walked into the bedroom followed by Ron.
Oh my . she said in understatement.
Harry s animagus form was a Hungarian Hortail. He had shiny black scales that refl
ected like mirrors except on his left front leg, where she could see the scars t
hat had been left in his arm from the Basalisk Fang and the cut he had made in h
is arm that morning. There was also a white scar on his head marking the spot wh
ere Voldemort s curse had hit him sixteen years ago. He was about twenty feet long
with four very large spikes on his tail. His glistening translucent black wings
were folded along his sides and his eyes instead of yellow were, if possible, a
n even more brilliant emerald green than in his human form. Short flames shot ou
t of his nose with each breath. Ginny had climbed up on his back and was sitting
with her arms wrapped around his neck.
Isn t he beautiful? she asked. Harry turned his head on his long neck to face her, s
hooting flames to within an inch of her skin. Ginny didn t even blink.
Don t you dare threaten me. Ginny laughed at him.
Harry sent another short blast of flames at her. Ginny just laughed again.
Come on you two. There is room enough for all of us. Hermione grabbed Ron s hand and
climbed up on Harry s back behind Ginny. Ron settled in behind her.
Harry, this is amazing. Both you and Ginny have animagi that are magical creature
s. I don t know if this has ever happened before. Certainly not on the registry li
sts that I have seen, Hermione gushed.
Harry, you have to take us flying. All of us, Ginny said excitedly.
We can t do that, Ginny, Hermione said sharply. This is supposed to be secret. It s not
like we can hide under the invisibility cloak. Ginny smiled at her and Ron. Ron
caught the gleam in her eyes.
Uh-oh, the voices said at once in his head.
Ginny, haven t we done enough that we re not supposed to today? he asked, knowing that
it was useless.

*******************

Invisible to everyone but each other; Ginny, Hermione and Ron clung to Harry s bac
k as he blazed across the sky. Ginny had managed to extend her invisibility spel
l to encompass all of them including Harry in his dragon form. Harry couldn t beli
eve how fast he was. Just slower by a tick than his Firebolt, he thought. Maybe
faster if he wasn t carrying his three friends. Harry spiraled to the ground chang
ing to his human shape as he landed. The four of them crashed into a pile in the
snow, staying there tangled together until it got to cold to sit anymore.
I m starving, Ron said. We missed breakfast and lunch you know. Harry was startled. Th
ey had been so involved in what went on that day that they forgot to eat.
Come on Ronald. I ll race you to the hall, Hermione challenged him placing a drop of
the animagi potion on her tongue from the vial in her pocket. She changed into
her lion form and swatted at him playfully. Ron changed forms and Hermione took
off with him chasing her.
I think we can beat them both, Ginny said taking out her vial of the potion and sm
iling at Harry.
We re supposed to keep this a secret you know, Harry reminded her.
Oh come on, Harry. There is no one here. She waved her arm around. Besides if anyon
e sees us they ll just think I m Fawkes. It s up to you though. Walk or fly, Harry. And
she transformed before his eyes. Harry took hold of her tail and they were gone
. By the time Ron and Hermione walked into the Great Hall, Harry and Ginny were
already eating.

********************

Dumbledore stood looking out the window of his office, shaking his head.
Fawkes, he spoke softly to the phoenix on his shoulder, will you please ask Hagrid
and Professor Grubby Plank to my office. They will need to know that there are t
wo fully grown, but harmless lions living in the forest.
Hermione was correct you know. There are no records of an animagus that took the
form of a magical creature, the voices spoke up. Dumbledore just smiled.

********************

Harry sat with Ginny on the couch in the common room, her head resting in his la
p.
Do you think Ron and Hermione are happy with their animagus? Ginny asked. Harry wa
s quiet for a while before responding.
The form of your animagus is supposed to reflect your personality. I think both o
f them fit really well. Ron is a lion, one of the most feared non-magical beasts
in the world. It is well know for fearing nothing. He shows that every day by s
taying true to me when it would be easier to run and hide.
Hermione is a lioness, a creature that above all else nurtures her family. Hermio
ne acts a lot like your mum. She is the one you went to for help Ginny; because
you instinctively knew Hermione would help you. She is just like the lioness in
that she rarely will fight to defend herself, yet becomes more ferocious than th
e male lion when defending her cubs. Kind of like this summer during the fight w
ith Draco. She was injured, but stopped the fight because none of her family was
in danger. But then some girl calls Luna Lovegood a name and Hermione curses he
r for two weeks.
You sound like Dumbledore, Harry, Ginny replied. And are you happy with you animagu
s Harry? she asked a few moments later. Harry sighed.
It suits me. Dragons have long been associated with strength and the warrior. I a
m beginning to accept that I was put here to fight. I was born to be a warrior.
Though, I think I might have preferred to be a dolphin, flipping carefree throug
h the air after jumping out of the water, he added
Dolphins travel in packs. They will attack and kill a shark that threatens one of
their family, Harry, Ginny replied softly. Harry was quiet for a long time.
How is it that both of my sisters are so much smarter than I am? he asked her, bru
shing a strand of hair from her face.
Because we re girls, Harry. We re supposed to be smarter than you are, Ginny replied.
Harry laughed
And you, Ginny, are you happy with your animagus? Ginny, like Harry sighed deeply
at the question.
It suits me, Harry. The phoenix rises from the ashes of its own death. I was as c
lose to death in the Chamber with Tom as any person alive today. Thanks to you I
rose from the ashes. The calm coldness in Ginny s voice was startling.
Ginny, I never .
Through my own weakness, I lured you and Ron into a trap that could have easily k
illed both of you, Ginny interrupted him. It took a long time for me to forgive my
self, Harry. You were tricked too. I know Sirius died, so there is a difference
between what happened to you and me. But you have to forgive yourself to, Harry.
In the end the only one to blame is Tom. Harry was speechless. His tears rolled
down his face and dripped on Ginny. Harry wiped his face and dried the spot on h
er cheek.
Thank you, Ginny, he whispered. Her only reply was to take his hand in hers. Harry
looked up at a noise that came from the corner. In the doorway he could see Her
mione watching them.
Sorry Harry, I got lonely and was coming out to sit with you two. I didn t mean to
eavesdrop on you. Harry smiled.
You better go get Ron if you re going to sleep out here with us. He ll be mad if he g
ets left out.
He s already here, she replied, pointing as Ron padded around the back of the couch
in his animagus. Ron grabbed Harry s leg in his mouth and pulled him to the floor.
Ginny had no choice but to come with him.
Watch it you mangy flea bag, she snarled at him. Ron lay down on his side on the r
ug.
What, we re supposed to use you as a pillow? Harry asked in surprise. Ron swatted at
him. Hermione changed forms and padded over and lay down next to him. Ginny shr
ugged at Harry.
I guess we re all sleeping out here tonight, she said pushing Harry up against Hermi
one so she could put her head in his lap again. Goodnight you three, she said, as
she wrapped her hand around Harry s wrist.
I hope Dumbledore doesn t kill us, the voices whispered in Harry s head.
Let him, I would die happy, Harry replied before falling asleep.

Author's note:

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 14: Christmas Surprise


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry woke up Christmas morning on the floor of the common room with fur in his
mouth. He reached up to shove Hermione s paw off his face and then looked down to
see Ginny, still peacefully sleeping next to him. She had her hand wrapped aroun
d his wrist tight enough that his hand was asleep.
She hardly moves, does she? the voices asked. Harry gave her a gentle nudge.
Hey Gin, wake up, Harry said. Ginny sat up smiling.
Hey, Harry, Happy Christmas, she replied, as she reached out to give him a Christm
as hug. The two of them looked at Ron and Hermione. Ginny grinned mischievously.
Listen to them. They make a lot of noise don t they, she whispered, before she start
ed to giggle. Harry snorted. The sound of Ron and Hermione s purring reverberated
in the common room.
I don t know. I think Ron may be a little quieter this way than when he is snoring,
Harry replied. Hermione on the other hand, she is louder than the Hogwarts Expres
s. That last comment was more than either could take and they both fell to the fl
oor in peels of laughter.
However, a second later Harry was pinned under Hermione s snarling form, with her
jaws clamped firmly around his neck.
Arrggh, I m only joking. Get off of me you giant flee bag, Harry screamed laughing.
Hermione snarled at him again. Ginny joined the fray a second later, tackling He
rmione from the side. Hermione brushed her away with a swat of her paw. Harry to
ok advantage of the distraction and rolled out from under her and scrambled to h
is feet. He and Hermione eyed each other warily, with Ginny circling around behi
nd. Hermione let out a terrific roar.
I know you can tear us both apart like that, Mione, Harry called to her. But it s stil
l fun to wrestle with you. Hermione leapt at him. Harry ducked under her, but she
had landed, turned in one motion and swatted at him knocking him into Ginny bef
ore he could turn to face her.
Harry and Ginny managed to untangle themselves from each other and turned togeth
er to confront her. Harry darted his eyes to Ron, who had put his paws over his
head trying to sleep through the ruckus, and back to Hermione. She let out anoth
er roar and the three of them pounced on Ron. The whole fight lasted less than a
minute, ending with Ron pinning all of them under his massive body.
Urrghh get off Ron. We can t breathe, Ginny gasped at him. Ron and Hermione transfor
med to their human form.
Quit crying, you three started it, Ron answered, grinning at them from the top of
the pile.
Who s crying? I could breathe just fine, Hermione said, wrapping her arms around his
neck.
Yeah, well you re just a little bit bigger than us, aren t you? Harry chided her. Herm
ione ignored him.
Good morning, Love, she said with a smile and gave Ron a quick kiss. Harry and Gin
ny scrambled out from the pile.
You two could at least let us get out of the way before you start snogging with e
ach other, Ginny yelped at them.
Yeah, I m happy for both of you, but I don t need to be that close, Harry added, while
putting his foot on Ron and giving him a shove. Ron toppled over onto the floor
.
Watch it, I don t need the potion anymore to transform back, he snarled at Harry and
then started laughing.
If that is the way you want it, neither do I, Harry replied, with a friendly glare
while holding his hands out to Ron and Hermione. They took his hands and he hel
ped them up from the floor.
Look, presents, Ginny squealed.
Harry sat on the floor with crumpled up wrapping paper surrounding him. Ron was
sitting with his back against the couch leaning against it and Hermione s leg. He
looked to be sleeping. Harry watched quietly as Hermione fingered the bracelet t
hat Ron had given her. He had also given her a picture of himself from the trip
the four of them had made to Diagon Alley that summer.
They really were meant for each other, weren t they? the voices said to him. Harry
gave a small sad smile.
Yeah, well, I guess I knew that from the start, Harry replied. Do you think we c
ould not talk about this? I don t want to be depressed today. The voices were sile
nt. He looked down at Ginny lying in his lap, she smiled up at him.
You ok Big Brother? she asked.
Yeah, I was just thinking it s going to be a bummer when everyone returns from holi
day. Harry knew that was not what Ginny had meant, and that she knew he was telli
ng the truth and lying at the same time. She gave him a gentle squeeze.
Thanks for the runestone book and the bracelet, Harry.
You re welcome Ginny, Harry replied. Thanks for the ring. She had given him a ring tha
t had been inscribed with the words (Little Sister) on the inside.
You don t have to wear it you know, Ginny told him. Harry looked down at the ring on
the pinky of his right hand.
I don t think I can get it off, Gin. It went on pretty tight. He smiled down at her.
She stuck her tongue out at him. Harry shook his head laughing at her.
Viktor s right, I am a Nutter. Ginny sat up and gave him a shove.
You re my favorite brother. Don t make me change my mind Harry James Potter. She gave
him a glare that Harry couldn t quite read until she started to smile again. Ginny
stood up, walked over and kicked Ron in the leg on the way to her room.
Ouch.
Come on, let s clean up and go down to breakfast, she said disappearing from view. H
arry stood up and headed for the boy s showers. He could hear Ron mumbling behind
him about liking Ginny more when she had not been capable of tying him up in kno
ts.

********************

So what do think is the big deal about the dinner tonight that we have to go in d
ress robes? Harry asked, as he pulled them out of his trunk. They were a dark gre
en color; if they had been new would have matched his eyes. He looked over to Ro
n; his were black with a deep maroon stripe down the back. They were not new eit
her.
Got me, mate, Ron shrugged in reply. Wow, these look pretty good, he added a moment
later. Harry was a little surprised by Ron s comment. He did not like the color ma
roon.
Wonder how Mum and Dad could afford them? Ron asked more to himself than anyone el
se. Harry debated whether to tell Ron, then figured he should. Ron looked at him
in disbelief when he had finished.
Are you telling me that you gave my parents all of your money? he stammered.
Well it s really still all in my name. I gave them my account number and told them
to use what they needed, Harry replied, looking at the floor. It s nothing compared
to what they have given me .What you have given me, he mumbled. Ron walked over to
Harry and picked him up in a huge hug. A second later he dropped Harry back onto
his feet.
Harry, from the first day on the train when you picked my friendship over Malfoy s,
I have been amazed at you. You really are the most amazing person I know .Next to
Hermione that is.
Next to Hermione? Harry shot him a look.
Well, she is a girl, you know.
Yeah, I understand what you mean about that. I guess we may as well go and see if
she and Ginny are ready, Harry added.

Harry walked down the stairs following Ron and Hermione. Ginny held his arm tigh
tly on his right. She didn t wear heels very often, and had almost tumbled down th
e stairs in the Gryffindor tower once already. She had a long gown on that match
ed her hair. It seemed to reflect in the light the same way her hair did with ev
ery strand a different shade of red that was continually changing.
Ron had been truly amazed at her appearance telling her she was almost as pretty
in the dress as she was in her phoenix form. Ginny had actually blushed. Harry
had been a little surprised also. He knew Ginny was pretty, and had caught more
than one of his fellow students looking twice at her. Lately, he found himself w
ondering if he or Ron would be more likely to kill her next boyfriend. He knew o
ne thing. If someone dared to hurt her, there wouldn t be enough of them left for
her other brothers to fight over if he got to the bloke first.
Harry had then watched Ron as Hermione had come down the stairs from the girl s do
rm into the common room. She had asked Ron what he thought. Ron could only stare
, with his mouth open. It had taken him more than a minute to come up with anyth
ing at all, finally telling her that he couldn t even describe how beautiful she w
as. Harry had resolved to remember that line when he saw the smile she flashed a
t Ron.
Harry was a little mad at himself for being jealous of not having that smile fla
shed at him. It had been more than three months now since his two best friends h
ad started to date. He wasn t so much jealous that Ron had Hermione anymore, but o
f what they had together.
Harry wasn t sure if he would ever find that, and found himself thinking that he w
asn t sure he wanted to find it anyways. It had been one thing to take a chance on
Hermione. She was too close to begin with. It didn t matter if she was his or Ron s
. It was going to hurt the same if something happened to her. But to chance some
one new, it was too much to think about most of the time. He honestly hadn t even
noticed a single girl since telling Hermione he loved her.
The four of them walked into the Great Hall to find Ron and Ginny s parents along
with Fred, George, Bill, Charlie, and Mr. and Mrs. Granger. He, Ron and Ginny we
re engulfed in Mrs. Weasley s arms a second later, while Hermione s parents did the
same to her.
Mum, Dad what are you doing here? Ginny stammered. I thought you were all busy with
stuff for the Order?
Well now, you see that was a convenient cover story for keeping the four of you h
ere at school, Professor Dumbledore answered from behind them. They all turned ar
ound quickly to look at him, their curiosity spiked.
Not that you four haven t been having a good time. I trust everyone is sleeping wel
l? he added with a wink. Harry saw his friends faces turn very red, and could fee
l the heat of his own face flushing also.
Harry, you re not having nightmares again? Mrs. Weasley asked, in alarm.
No Molly, it s nothing like that, I m just making sure that my students are comfortab
le, Professor Dumbledore assured her.
Wait a minute, Ron said, turning around to look at Charlie and hoping to change th
e subject. Why are you wearing a wedding robe? Ginny squealed and despite her heel
s, managed to run over to hug him, leaping into his arms. Charlie caught her bef
ore her feet hit the floor.
Who is she, why didn t you tell us, you prat? Ginny demanded. Charlie set her down a
second later.
Well, we thought we wanted to surprise you four. Help take your mind off of thing
s, he replied, smiling at her.
Well are you going to keep us in suspense all night .Who is she? Ron demanded. Harry
hadn t noticed that Bill was holding on to something behind Charlie. He pulled wh
atever it was out into the open. Harry saw an invisibility cloak fall away to re
veal a lady wearing a shimmering white strapless dress that trailed just at the
floor.
Professor Tonks? Harry, Ron, Ginny and Hermione stammered together.
Wotcher, Harry, she replied quietly. Then with a brilliant smile she added, I think
for tonight I would like you to call me Nymphadora. Hermione was the first to re
cover her voice, though not her brain.
Yes, Professor To I mean Nymphadora, she stumbled.
Shall we proceed? Professor Dumbledore asked. Charlie took Nymphadora s hand and wal
ked her to the front of the hall. Bill took up station on Charlie s right as best
man. It looked like Professor Dumbledore was going to officiate.
Harry found himself looking around the hall in fascination. It was filled with m
any of the same people who had attended his birthday party. There were also a lo
t of people he did not know. Harry figured they must have been people Arthur wor
ked with at the Ministry. He jumped slightly when Ron gave him a nudge and point
ed to the corner.
Look who else is here, he said. Harry looked in the direction Ron indicated to see
Bridgette Weasley along with who Harry guessed were her parents. Her father was
a tall man with the standard Weasley red hair. The lady holding his arm Harry a
ssumed was his wife. Bridgette was wearing a shimmering golden dress that accent
ed her long blond hair.
Well I guess we know where she gets her blond hair from, he whispered to Ron, whil
e returning the wave Bridgette was giving them.
Yeah, I guess so, Ron replied. I think I prefer brown though, he added after a momen
t. Ginny snorted, but Harry saw Hermione beam and move closer to Ron, taking hol
d of his hand.
Ginny?... Nymphadora asked. Ginny and the others turned to look at her. I don t have
anyone to stand as my Maid of Honor. I had hoped that you would. Harry turned to
look at Ginny, who he could tell was more than surprised.
Go on, Gin, Ron prodded her.
Please, Gin? Charlie asked quietly. Ginny stood up and walked to the front.
What do I do? she asked shyly.
Basically just stand next to me, Ginny, Nymphadra replied. By accepting, you are gi
ving Charlie and I your blessing. He tells me that you and he have been close. I
t would mean a lot to me if you thought I was worthy of your brother.
Ginny smiled at Nymphadora and turned her gaze to Charlie. Harry saw the shyness
dissolve in an instant.
If he ever treats you poorly Nymphadora, he will answer to me, Ginny replied firml
y. Dumbledore chuckled,
Nymphadora looked taken aback Charlie however, laughed. It was all Harry could d
o not to laugh too.
I warned you, Nymphadora, Charlie remarked.
Glad to see I m not the only one she goes after, Harry said, under his breath to Ron
.
Don t breathe too easy, mate. She has always been that way with all of us. But she
reserves something special for you, Ron replied.
Glad I m the lucky one, Harry remarked, sarcasm dripping in his voice.
Better you than me, mate. Harry jabbed him in the side.
Thanks a lot Ron.

Harry sat along the side of the hall watching the reception. Hermione had drug a
very reluctant Ron onto the dance floor. He watched for a while as they held ea
ch other close then turned to Ginny.
I ve never been to any wedding before, Muggle or magical. Tell me about the incanta
tions Professor Dumbledore was doing.
Well, Ginny replied, the bright light you saw at the beginning was part of the betr
othment ceremony. The brighter the light the better, it is supposed to be an ind
ication of compatibility between the people being married. The second one, where
you saw the smoke, that is supposed to be an indication of how strong the marri
age will be. The smoke is supposed to form a ring. The more perfect the circle,
the stronger the marriage is supposed to be. If the smoke forms into the symbol
for eternity, then it means that the souls of the couple were meant to be togeth
er. It is believed that they will reunite after death.
Did you see what shape the smoke took? Harry asked.
It formed an almost perfect circle, Ginny replied, smiling brightly. Mum and Dad ha
d a perfect circle. They re pretty happy with what happened for Charlie and Nympha
dora, she added. Hermione dropped down in the seat next to them.
What happened to Ron? Ginny asked. It looked like he was actually having a good tim
e out there.
He had to go to the bathroom, but then he stopped to talk to Professor Dumbledore
about something, Hermione replied, with a wave of her hand. She then indicated t
o a glass. Is this yours, Harry? May I have a drink?
Actually those are for you and Ron. I thought you might be getting warm.
Thanks, Harry. They all turned when Professor Lupin sat down next to Ginny.
So what do you think of the wizard wedding ceremony? And please call me Remus for
tonight.
I ve never been to any wedding ceremony before, but it was really neat to see, Harry
replied.
Did you see Remus? Their smoke ring was almost perfect, Ginny asked excitedly.
Yes, it was quite impressive, Remus replied softly, while looking at Harry. Harry
was quiet for moment or two before he asked the question that had come to his, G
inny s and Hermione s minds.
Remus, what shape did the smoke take for my parents?
Remus smiled, and then reaching behind his neck he undid the clasp of the chain
he always wore. As he pulled it off, Harry saw that there were was a ring on it.
I think that it is time for you to have this, Harry. I searched the rubble for da
ys to find it. It was the band your father gave to your mother. Harry took the ch
ain and held it in front of him. The ring dangled from it. It was made of gold w
ith one small diamond set into it. The inside of the band had one word inscribed
on it (LOVE).
The smoke formed into the symbol for eternity for your parents, Harry. Harry just
stared at the ring before turning to look at his friends. Hermione and Ginny wer
e both crying.
Here, Harry let me help you with that. I seem to remember someone did this for me
once, Hermione said, taking the chain from him. She walked around behind him, th
en reached around him to slip the chain around his neck.
There, she said, fixing the clasp and hugging him from behind, Happy Christmas, Har
ry. Ginny leaned over to hug him at the same time.
Happy Chirstmas, Harry, she added, Harry broke out of their grasp and stood up to
meet Remus.
Thank you Remus, he whispered, as he hugged him.
You re welcome, Harry.
Thanks, all of you, Harry said with a smile. Hermione and Ginny beamed at him.
Come on Harry, if Ron won t dance with me, then it is your responsibility as his be
st friend to do so, Hermione said grabbing his hand and dragging him to the dance
floor. Harry tried to protest, but Hermione wouldn t let him go. She forced him t
hrough two songs, before he managed to untangle himself from her. He was on his
way back to the table when Nymphadora caught him for a song.
It s bad form to refuse the bride on her wedding day, Harry, she told him when he tr
ied to avoid her.
Harry seemed to be getting passed around the floor by all the women in attendanc
e. He danced with Mrs. Weasley, then Mrs. Granger, and a number of ladies he did
n t know before he made it back to the table. He had no sooner sat down, when he h
eard a voice behind him.
Erm .Harry. Harry turned around. It was Bridgette. I was wondering if you would dance
with me? she asked shyly.
Harry, caught off guard, didn t answer. A few moments later Ginny answered for him
.
Men. Of course he will. Ginny kicked him. Just make sure I get one dance with him b
efore the night is over, will you Bridgette? she said.
Ginny stood up and whispered in Bridgette s ear before she walked over and grabbed
Charlie pulling him to the floor. Bridgette watched her go and saw Ginny flash
a smile at her before disappearing into the crowd. Harry stood up.
Well are you coming? Harry asked, holding his hand out to her. I ve learned that I sh
ould just do what Ginny tells me too, or she gets very angry, he said, smiling at
Bridgette. Bridgette seemed to snap back out of a trance.
Are you ok? What did she say to you anyways?
Oh um she told me that if I hurt you, she would turn my hair green for the rest of my
life, Bridgette replied, still trying to follow Ginny with her eyes.
Great, how am I every going to find a girl if my little sister threatens everyone
who even asks me to dance? Harry glared into the crowd trying to find Ginny.
She sounded like she meant it, Harry.
She did, Harry said angrily. Don t worry; I ll make her promise to leave you alone. We r
just dancing anyways right? Harry asked seeing the alarmed look on Bridgette s fac
e.
Usually if a girl asks you to dance, she at least likes you a little bit Harry, Br
idgette replied quietly. Harry looked at her in surprise.
Bridgette, I m not sure I m ready for a girlfriend, Harry replied. Now it was Bridgett
e who was taken aback.
I didn t say I wanted a boyfriend Harry, I would just like to get to know you a lit
tle better.
Oh .look, I m sorry. I m terrible with girls, Harry said sheepishly. Bridgette smiled ba
ck at him.
Yeah, Luna told me that. Harry shook his head.
It seems that a lot of people know me better than I know myself, he mumbled.
So are you going to dance with me or not? Bridgette asked, blushing again. Harry h
eld his hand out to her.
Yeah, I am. Bridgette took his hand and stepped onto the dance floor with him.
You re supposed to lead you know, she said after a minute, smiling shyly up at him.
I don t know how.
Here, let me show you, Bridgette replied.

Ron sat down next to Hermione. She smiled at him.


Hi, Love, where have you been?
Hi, Mione, I was just talking to some people I haven t seen in a while out in the ha
llway, Ron replied
About what? she asked taking his hand.
Oh, nothing much. Hermione thought he sounded uncomfortable with the conversation.
Looks like Harry is having a good time, Ron commented, changing the subject while
pulling Hermione onto his lap.
Yes, he has been getting passed around most of the night now, she replied. They sa
t together watching quietly for a while.
Looks like Ginny is going to cut in on them. She is so protective of him. I hope
she doesn t scare Bridgette off, Hermione said. Has Harry ever expressed an interest
in her? she asked a second later.
Not a word. I think I would know too. I figured out he liked you pretty easy, Ron
replied.
Don t remind me, I hate remembering that I hurt him, Hermione said quietly.
Me too, Mione, Ron sighed. They sat quietly again for a moment before a concerned l
ook came over Hermione s face.
What? Ron asked.
Ron, there is someone hiding over there, she said quietly.

May I cut in? Ginny asked, tapping Bridgette on the shoulder.


Oh .sure, Ginny, Bridgette replied cautiously. She started to pull away from Harry,
but he held her hand a second.
I ll take care of it, ok? he asked her. Bridgette nodded in reply.
I think my parents want to get going anyways, Harry. I ll see you when term starts
again?
Sure, Harry replied.
Thanks for dancing with me, Harry, she said, flashing him a smile before she walke
d off. Ginny stepped into Harry s arms a moment later. She smiled up at him.
You looked like you had fun, she commented. Harry smiled back.
Yeah, it was nice to dance with her.
She taught you how to lead I see, Ginny remarked a minute later.
You scared her Ginny. That wasn t very nice, Harry said firmly.
That was the general idea, Ginny replied curtly.
I have no idea if I even like her, but I want you to promise me you will not turn
her hair green, or curse her in any way. Ginny scowled at him. Harry glared back
at her.
And you will apologize to her. Ginny s eyes flashed dangerously at him.
I m not letting you go until you promise, he growled at her when she tried to get aw
ay from him. It works both ways, Ginny. Live up to my expectations. Ginny gave jus
t a little in his arms.
Fine, I promise I won t turn her hair green or curse her in any way she replied sulk
ing.
And?
And I will apologize to her when term starts, she sighed in defeat. Harry smiled a
t her again.
Now, am I still your favorite brother? he asked.
No you re not, Ginny grumbled, but moved in close enough to rest her head on his sho
ulder. They moved together comfortably for quite some time before Ginny spoke ag
ain.
Will you sit with me again tonight, Harry?
Yeah, Gin, we better take advantage of the common room while we can. After term s
tarts, it is going to be mostly up to Ron and Hermione, Harry replied.

Hermione slipped around the corner, with Ron close behind her. She could just ma
ke out two figures hiding in the shadows.
Shhh, they re right there, Hermione hissed at him
What are they saying? Ron asked. They both listened quietly. It appeared that the
two figures were arguing, and it was starting to get heated.
Your brother invited you. You may never get another chance. Now get out there, a f
emale voice growled in the dark.
I can t do it. Not after what I said to them, Penelope. I was such a prat. I couldn t
even go see my father in the hospital when he was bit by that snake.
I ll kill him, Ron growled moving forwards. Hermione grabbed at him.
Ronald, wait.
Let me go, Hermione, he hissed at her
I will not, and don t you dare take that tone with me, Ronald Weasley, Ron stopped d
ead. Hermione touched her hand to the side of his face.
Just wait Love, I know what you want to do, but you ll get your chance, she whispere
d. Ron relaxed again at her touch and let her take the lead.
Percy, I stood by you when you walked away from them because you thought you were
right. We both know we were blinded by ambition. Now prove to me that you are b
rave enough to do the right thing.
Follow me Ronald, Hermione said, as she grabbed his hand and pulled him into the e
ntry.
She s right Percy, you may never get another chance, Hermione said curtly. Percy and
Penelope spun to face them.
Hermione Ronald how how very good to see you, Percy stammered.
The feeling is not mutual, Ron snarled back at him. And my name is Ron, not Ronald.
Percy stared at the floor.
Well are you going to leave like a coward or go in? I suggest you choose, Ron snap
ped at him.
You re not going to throw me out? Percy asked quietly.
I don t have the right, Charlie invited you, if you want to go in you can, Ron said
dangerously. Percy managed to look up and meet Ron s eyes.
If it was your choice you would throw me out? Ron felt Hermione squeezing his hand
as hard as she could.
I would at least listen to your apology. Remember that letter Percy, when you sai
d you would graciously accept Mum and Dad s apology? I think I want to hear yours
before I decide if I m going to kill you. Now go in or leave, Ron demanded, before
he drug Hermione past Percy and back into the Great Hall.

Harry held onto Ginny while the song finished. Ginny, with her head on his chest
and her eyes closed, hadn t noticed that a few of the women in attendance had sta
rted towards the two of them, intending to cut in on her. Harry had been keeping
an eye out for them though.
He had started to notice that while all the men in attendance wanted to dance wi
th the bride, there seemed to be two men of honor, who the women wanted to dance
with. Charlie and him. They seemed unwilling to cut in when he had danced with
Bridgette and Hermione. He was tired of getting passed around, and was more than
willing to let them think he and Ginny were an item.
Apparently it was too much of a social gaff for a grown woman to cut in on a you
ng girl and her apparent date. A simple shake of his head at any who did approac
h, and he was safe from eyes trying to get an up close glimpse of his scar. Brid
gette had been one of the few who had not even looked at it.
Oh my God, he gasped, as Ron drug Hermione back into the hall followed a second la
ter by Percy. Penelope was close behind him.
What s the matter Harry? Ginny asked turning to see what was wrong. And then she scr
eamed.
The music screeched to a halt, with everyone stopping to stare at Ginny. They th
en followed her gaze and saw Percy. Harry heard a crash and saw that Mrs. Weasle
y had dropped her glass in shock. Mr. Weasley was a shade of purple that Harry h
ad never seen before.
How dare you come here! Ginny screamed, advancing on Percy. Percy turned white. Ha
rry having been the subject of her wrath a number of times grabbed hold of her,
picking her up so she couldn t pull him forward.
Put Me Down, Harry James Potter! she yelled. Harry held firm. Others were rushing
to help him restrain her, Ron and Hermione got there first followed by Charlie.
Charlie grabbed hold of her face, turning it so she had to look at him.
Ginny calm down, he said. She stopped her violent struggles enough that Harry was
able to hold her without fearing she would break loose.
What is he doing here? Ginny hissed dangerously at Charlie.
I invited him.
Why? she screamed at him.
So he could apologize, Ginny. You don t have to forgive him, but if he is here you
do need to listen, Charlie told her quietly. The two of them stared at each other
for a moment before Charlie straightened up again.
You can handle her now, Harry? he asked. Harry nodded at him setting her back down
, but not letting go. She was still trembling with anger.
It s ok, Gin. You ll get your chance. You just don t want to do something you ll regret a
nd be standing in his shoes, Harry whispered. He looked up to see Dumbledore smil
ing at him.
Fire in that girl, isn t there? a thought came into his head. It sounded like Dumble
dore s voice.
Dumbledore is a Legilimens, the voices reminded him.
If you only knew, Harry replied silently. He could see Dumbledore chuckling at his
response. Charlie had walked over in front of Percy. Nymphadora joined him.
I invited you because you are my brother. I wanted to give you a chance to apolog
ize and for the others to forgive you. That you came is enough of an apology for
me. Though it will be a long time before I trust you again, you have my forgive
ness. Charlie gave Percy a hug, then hugged Penelope also.
Thank you, Charlie, Percy replied softly. Nymphadora approached next and gave them
both a hug also.
Thank you for coming. May I get you anything? she asked. Percy shook his head.
I think you should say what you came for now, Percy, Charlie prodded. Mum and Dad a
re over there. Everyone else who needs to hear it is here also. Percy looked arou
nd and then back at the ground.
I wanted to say I was sorry. I put my career ahead of my family .I chose to follow
a path to money because I was tired of not having any .I think I always knew you w
ere telling the truth .But I was blind, and when it was proved that the He-Who-"
Voldemort, Percy, Dumbledore had interrupted him. You show great courage to come to
night, do not fear something as simple as a name.
Percy tried to continue.
Yes well, when it was proved that .
Say it, Dumbledore demanded. You want my forgiveness - that is the price. Harry watc
hed the exchange in awe. Percy stared back at Dumbledore ashen faced.
When it was proved that Voldemort, Percy managed to squeak out, had indeed returned
, I should have returned to you then .But I was too ashamed at what I had done .How
could I ask forgiveness when I sent back your Christmas gifts, mother? When I co
uldn t visit my father in the hospital? When I turned my back on all of you and ur
ged Ron to turn his back on Harry? When I called Professor Dumbledore a senile o
ld fool?
And when I didn t come that first day, it became harder each day that followed. I a
m sorry. And I hope that some day you will find it in your hearts to forgive me .
And maybe trust me again, Percy finished speaking and looked back down at the flo
or. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley approached Percy.
Charlie I would like to thank you for having the courage to invite your brother t
oday. It is late, and I think your mother and I will be heading home now. You ha
ve a beautiful bride; cherish her with all your heart. He said all of this while
staring stonily at Percy.
As for you, you have been an arrogant pigheaded prat much of your life. Harry coul
d see Percy flinch with his fathers words as if he had been hit and that he was
near tears.
You will come home tonight and we will discuss things further, Mr. Weasley said to
him.
Yes, father, Percy replied. Mr. Weasley led his wife past them. She stopped to loo
k at Penelope.
Thank you for finally talking some sense into him, Penelope. She then touched Perc
y s cheek and allowed her husband to lead her away. Bill approached next, along wi
th the twins, who still wouldn t look at Percy.
Bill, Fred, George, Percy said quietly.
You re lucky it was Charlie who got married Percy. I would not have invited you, Bil
l said. Percy started to look down.
Don t look away from me. I m trying to see into your eyes, Bill snapped at him. I thoug
ht you might actually have been on Voldemort s side you know.
Harry saw Bill look down a Percy s arms. He was glad to see that Percy had short s
leeves on his shirt, and no discernable mark that could have indicated he served
the Dark Lord. Though that didn t necessarily mean anything, Voldemort would hard
ly mark a spy in such an obvious manner.
What were you thinking? Fred asked quietly.
I wasn t thinking, Percy replied.
We know you weren t Percy, George snapped.
I m sorry. I can t do any more than tell you that.
Your apology is accepted Percy, but it s going to take a long time before we trust
you.
I understand, Percy replied, as they moved away. Ginny shrugged Harry off and walk
ed over to Percy. Harry followed, resting his hand on her back to lend her comfo
rt. She stood in front of Percy with her arms crossed glaring at him. Percy swal
lowed deeply. When Ginny spoke the calmness of her voice sent a chill up Harry s s
pine.
You didn t believe Harry when he told you Tom was back? Percy looked confused.
Tom? he asked hesitantly.
Tom Marvolo Riddle, Harry supplied quietly. That was Voldemort s given name.
Oh . Percy said, flinching visibly at the sound of Voldemort s name.
You didn t believe him, Percy? Ginny asked again.
No, Ginny I m sorry, I wanted to believe Fudge, because he was going to help my car
eer, Percy replied.
Did you forget what happened to me my first year in the chamber, or did you just
choose to ignore that too, Percy?....Because I would like to forget .If you can sh
ow me how to forget how much it hurt to be violated like that. To be . Ginny strugg
led to find the words she wanted. To have my soul raped, because that is what Tom
did to me. Then I would like you to show me how to forget that it happened too,
Percy.
Percy looked stricken. Harry himself had gone white. He could feel absolute rage
emanating from Ginny into his hand where he was touching her.
Ginny, I Percy started to move towards her in an attempt to hug her. Harry even wit
h his Seeker reflexes couldn t have stopped the lightning response of Ginny s hand s
lapping across Percy s face.
Don t you dare touch me, Percy Weasley. It s taken me years to accept what Tom did to
me. It might take me longer to forgive you. she hissed at him before storming of
f. Percy held his hand on his face in shock. He looked at Harry. Harry followed
Ginny with his eyes while addressing Percy.
Like Charlie said to you before, it will be a long time before I trust you, but I
forgive you too. Right now, I need to go after Ginny, he said. Harry started to
move away and then paused a moment, his eyes boring in on Percy he allowed the p
ower of his magical aura to surface. Percy watched in fascinated horror, realizi
ng that the power Harry possessed was at least at the level of Dumbledore and th
at Harry was more than just a little angry with him. Don t, hurt her again, he said
before running off after her. Percy stood there shaken by both Ginny having stru
ck him and Harry s brief display. He slowly turned and found himself facing Ron an
d Hermione.
Well I guess I m the only one left now .You re lucky Ginny already hit you. Because if
I did it, you would be in St. Mungo s for a week, Ron said.
Ronald, Hermione said softly, I think the others have punished him enough. Ron strug
gled to maintain control of himself. He didn t think he could do it without Hermio
ne next to him.
You better go see Mum and Dad, Percy. I m going to go help Harry with Ginny. He star
ted to move past Percy and Penelope.
Ron, Percy stopped him, are you and Hermione a couple now?
Yes we are.
And is there something with Ginny and Harry?
No Percy, there isn t. Harry has basically been adopted, he calls our parents Molly
and Arthur, and they call him son. Ginny and Harry, they re kind of like the twin
s only closer, Ron replied. I would advise you not to cause any harm to Harry, Gin
ny would kill you in a second. They looked at each other for a moment.
No, I m not joking, Ron added. Percy swallowed hard.
Thanks Ron.
Go home Percy, Ron said, and pushed past him with Hermione in tow.

********************

Harry caught up with Ginny as she was going into the Gryffindor common room. She
stood in the middle of the floor, her arms wrapped around herself. Ginny looked
up at him as he walked in. Harry paused a few steps from her.
Hold me? she pleaded in a whisper. Harry closed the last few steps between them an
d wrapped her in his arms. She broke down the second he touched her. Harry pulle
d her down on the floor with him, placing her head in his lap.
Come on, Gin. I think you need to sleep again tonight. A few minutes later, Ron an
d Hermione joined them.
You ok, Gin? Ron asked. Ginny just nodded her head and took Harry s hand in hers.
Harry, do I still have to apologize to Bridgette? Ginny asked a few moments later.
Yes, Ginny, you do, he replied. Ginny sighed.
How about for slapping Percy?
No, Ginny, I think you can let that go.
Good, because he deserved it.
Go to sleep, Ginny, Harry said quietly, as he brushed her hair from her face.

Author's note:
First of all, it is not my fault. Remember it was Ginny who pushed him into danc
ing with Bridgette. That is what she wanted me to do. Who am I to ignore the wis
hes of the characters? Besides, I didn't really feel like ending up on the wrong
side of the bat boggie hex.
Second, I need to thank Ashwinder for giving me permision to borrow her ideas. T
he concept of the smoke rings, and the light ceremony used in the wedding come f
rom her story, The Long Road Home. If you have not read her stuff yet, it is exc
ellent. Make sure you read, Ginny's Gift first as it is the prequel to The Long
Road Home.

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 15: Bridgette


isclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Ms. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.
Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry trudged slowly up the steps headed for the Gryffindor common room. He coul
d hardly believe that the Christmas holidays had ended two weeks ago already. He
had more homework to do than he wanted to think about. There was a DA meeting s
cheduled for tonight, and he and Ron had not had much chance to work on creating
new spells. Harry knew what he wanted to come up with, but he just couldn t seem
to find a way to do it. And last of all there was Snape, who seemed to have reac
hed a new level of vindictiveness.
Ever since the incident where Ron and Hermione had managed to kill his wand, Sna
pe had been as close to evil as Harry thought possible. The three of them had ye
t to get through a class without having points taken off. That was actually a go
od day now, because most days they were simply getting thrown out of class for n
o reason at all. Even Hermione had given up hope of getting a decent grade.
The three of them had simply taken to repeating lessons by themselves in Hermion
e and Ginny s bathroom in hopes that they might pass their N.E.W.T. s next year. The
y were relying on Ginny using her invisibility spell to nip ingredients from Sna
pe s office for them. Harry shuddered to think what would happen to her if she got
caught.
What choice do we have? the voices asked. None of the rest of us can perform the
invisibility charm yet, not even Hermione. Harry had to smile in spite of himse
lf. Hermione was taking it as a personal affront that she had not mastered the s
pell yet. She had managed to make small objects invisible but not anything as la
rge or complicated as a person.
Ginny did say it took her a year of practicing to master the spell, Harry told t
he voices.
Makes you wonder what else she has been working on that we don t know about doesn t
it? they replied.
Well if she doesn t want to tell us, we ll never get it out of her, will we? Harry a
sked. The voices didn t have an answer for him.

********************

Bridgette sat down, sighing to herself, on the bench in the Apparation training
room as the rest of the DA members filed out. She had talked to Harry only one t
ime outside of DA meetings in the two weeks since returning to school. Luna had
told her it would be difficult to get close to Harry, that he was insulating him
self from pain by not letting new people into his life.
How is it that Loony Luna sees so easily what people are feeling? she asked hers
elf silently. She and Luna were close, and she actually called her Loony once in
a while. She had almost gotten herself hexed before Hermione had realized it wa
s a term of affection from Bridgette.
It s her greatest gift, the voice responded. She reads people, and simply tells th
e truth with no malice or contempt in her heart. Harry also gives her access to
his feelings because she is not trying to get close to him. She helps him deal w
ith his feelings, and he feels like he can protect her.
So what can I do? I already told him I would just like to get to know him better
. If there is supposed to be more between us that can come later, Bridgette repl
ied.
If you want anything with him at all, you re going to have to be the one to push.
You know he likes you, he is just afraid to let anyone else get too close to him
, the voice said quietly.
He was willing to try with Hermione.
Luna told you he only took that chance because she was too close to begin with.
Hermione was close to him before he knew the danger it would put her in. If you
and her were switched, he probably would have asked you out and be keeping Hermi
one at arms length now.
What about Ginny? She scares me.
If Harry told her to leave you alone, she will, the voice responded.
Do you think there is something more between them other than this whole brother
sister thing? Bridgette asked. The voice was quiet for a moment before respondin
g.
I don t believe that there is, but you would have to ask Ginny to know the truth o
f what her relationship with him is. Bridgette shuddered at the thought.
That is not something I want to ask Ginny, Bridgette replied.
Bridgette? Bridgette looked up to see Ginny; she looked like she was uncomfortable
and slightly angry.
Oh .hi, Ginny, she replied, cautiously looking around to see if anyone else was near
in case Ginny got really mad. Her heart shuddered when she realized they were a
lone. Bridgette had seen Ginny direct her anger at Cho over Ron s diary; Cho had b
een ready to defend herself. Bridgette however, didn t believe for a second that G
inny wouldn t have simply overwhelmed Cho if it had come to it. And then there wer
e all the times she got angry with Harry when he didn t meet some expectation that
only she and he seemed to understand. Bridgette felt justified in being afraid
of her cousin.
May I sit down? Ginny asked curtly.
We both know I can t stop you from doing anything you want to, Ginny, Bridgette repl
ied softly. Ginny smiled slightly and then sat down. She didn t say anything for a
moment or two then she took a deep breath.
I m sorry I scared you at my brothers wedding, she said. Her tone much softer than B
ridgette was used too. I promised Harry that I would not do anything to harm you.
I will keep that promise .Unless you turn him over to Tom, she added a second late
r.
Tom? Bridgette asked confused. Ginny shook her head, sighing again.
Voldemort, Bridgette, Tom Riddle is his given name. I call him Tom, because he do
esn t want me too. Bridgette blinked.
Oh .You and the others are very brave to say his name, she replied quietly. After li
stening to Harry, Ron, and Hermione say it all year, along with a few others in
the DA who were starting to say the name, Bridgette was just getting to the poin
t where she could hear it and not shudder.
It is only a name, Bridgette. You come to the DA meetings saying you want to figh
t him, how will you stand in front of Tom and fight if you can t even say his name
?
Bridgette stared at Ginny, and then turned away under the intensity of her gaze.
If you want to be close to Harry you will have to be much stronger than you are B
ridgette. Bridgette turned back to Ginny.
Ginny, I don t have your abilities or powers. I am plenty smart, but your ability t
o fight does not exist in me, she retorted angrily.
I m not talking about you being as powerful as me or Hermione, or Ron. Tom can kill
any of us at his choosing. I m talking about being willing to fight for yourself.
You say you are, but I don t see it. If you want Harry, it is not me you have to
fear, it is Tom.
He is hunting Harry, stalking him like a snake in the grass hunting some poor hel
pless rat. He will use anything, anyone who is close to Harry to get him. If you
want Harry, you risk yourself, your mother, your father; no one you know is saf
e. So you must be willing to fight, to push yourself beyond whatever limits you
thought you had. And you must be willing to deal with the pain if you lose one o
f them.
You will also have to fight Harry because he is tired of being hurt. He lost his
parents to Tom and his Godfather to him last spring in the fight at the Ministry
of Magic. Harry knows all too well what it means if he lets you in. He is not l
etting new people get close to him because he can t handle the pain that might com
e from having them hurt. Or the pain they may feel if someone they care about is
hurt because they decided they wanted to be his friend.
Luna told me something similar. Is it really true that his Godfather was Sirius B
lack, that he was innocent? Bridgette asked.
Yes and yes, Ginny replied. You ve heard this before, but Harry thought Sirius had be
en taken by Tom last spring. He ran off trying to rescue him. A bunch of us went
with him. It was a trap. Sirius and some other members of the Order had to come
rescue us. Sirius was killed by Bellatrix Lestrange. The rest of us were lucky
to make it out alive. Harry blames himself for what happened. You re going to have
to get through all of that for him to let you in. I don t know if you can, I don t
know if anyone can, Ginny finished, shaking her head sadly.
What about you, Ginny, he lets you in? Bridgette replied. Ginny smiled and shook h
er head again.
A long time ago, I might have tried. But Harry has never thought of me as anythin
g other than Ron s little sister, and now I m Harry s little sister. I love Harry with
all my heart. I m closer to him than any of my other brothers or even my parents,
but I m past wanting anything more than that from him. They both sat quietly for a
while before Bridgette spoke again.
Why do you push him so hard Ginny? Ginny didn t answer right away, but Bridgette saw
her shiver. She appeared to be gathering her courage before responding to the q
uestion.
Has anyone told you the stories of what happened at Hogwarts five years ago, the
ones about the Chamber of Secrets? Ginny asked.
I ve heard some things about Harry killing a basilisk, Bridgette replied quietly. Gi
nny took a deep breath.
It was my first year here. I found a diary that I started to write in. The diary
had belonged to Tom Riddle when he was sixteen and went to school here .He was evi
l already, even at that young age. He had constructed the diary as a means of co
ming back to life should he die at some later time. All his memories were there,
all he needed was a soul.
Bridgette watched Ginny carefully as she told the story. Ginny s body was tremblin
g. She was staring straight ahead not looking at anything but the wall. It appea
red that she was in a trance.
As I wrote in the diary, Tom began to take over my mind. I was the one who opened
the chamber and let the basilisk into the school. I fought him every day. I kno
w I was harder for him to control than anyone else ever has been. But I lost. I
was taken into the chamber. My soul was to become a new one for Tom, all he need
ed was Harry to come rescue me and die in the attempt. If that had happened, Tom
would have risen four years ago. Harry would be dead. And I, at least my soul,
would have become Voldemort.
Ginny stopped; Bridgette could feel energy radiating from her. She could see tha
t even with Ginny right next to her, she wasn t really there. She seemed to be fig
hting the battle all over again as she talked about it. A moment later, Ginny se
emed to deflate, a smile came over her face and she picked up her story again.
But Harry stopped him. He killed the basilisk, and then by stabbing the diary wit
h the fang from the basilisk that was embedded in his arm he was able to poison
Tom and prevent him from taking me. I woke in time to see Fawkes, Professor Dumb
ledore s phoenix land next to Harry and drip tears into the wound on his arm. The
tears stopped the poison from killing Harry and healed the bite. Look at his arm
, there is a scar where the fang pierced him. Every day I look at that scar and
see my failure.
I have accepted what Tom did to me, but that does not change the fact that he mus
t die for the rest of us to live. When Tom came back at the end of my third year
, I swore that I would kill him for what he did to me, to Harry, so he couldn t do
it to anyone else, and as a way to thank Harry for saving my life. Ginny stopped
and looked at Bridgette. She may have deflated a little, but her eyes were stil
l burning, alive with power.
There are only five people in the world who know what you ask. I won t tell you the
exact wording because it could tell Tom how to defeat Harry .But you will pledge
your life and accept that if you revel even this little bit that I will hunt you
Bridgette .You will never be safe from me .I will kill you in the slowest, most pai
nful manner you could possibly imagine. I will do it with no remorse or pity in
my heart .If you want to know why I push Harry, you must decide now how strong you
are Bridgette. You must decide if you have the strength to truly fight Tom. Not
play at, as you have been for the past four months.
Bridgette stared at Ginny. All color had drained from her face at Ginny s threat.
Ginny glared back at her, as she waited for a response. How brown eyes could be
colder than ice Bridgette couldn t fathom.
Tom will come for all of us at some time, Bridgette. You could stand on the side
if you would like. I will let you. Harry would let you, he would prefer it, but
Tom will not. He will come some day and offer you the choice I am now. If you re
fuse him, he will take your mind as he did to me and force you to do his bidding
. You would kill your own parents. You would torture your own infant child to de
ath if he told you to .Or, he will simply kill you. Pray that is what he decides t
o do with you when you refuse him .If you want to know more, come to me when you a
re ready to fight, Bridgette. Ginny stood up and walked away. Bridgette watched h
er disappear through the door.
The issue right now isn t what might or might not happen between us and Harry, the
voice said silently in her head. Ginny has shown you what the future is. She is
giving you the chance to decide what your path in life will be. If you are goin
g to fight Voldemort then do it. If not, go find a hole to hide in and pray he d
oesn t find you.
Bridgette jumped up from the bench and ran after Ginny, catching her just before
she gave the password to the Fat Lady. She grabbed Ginny by the arm and turned
her around.
Tell me why you push him, Bridgette demanded. Ginny studied her, looked into her e
yes, searching to see if Bridgette was truly ready to fight. There was a fire in
them that had not been there before. She recognized it because she saw it in th
e mirror every day. Ginny reached into her bag and pulled out the Marauders Map.
Harry had given it to her to make it easier for her to steal potions ingredient
s from Snape.
What s that? Bridgette asked.
Just watch, you ll figure it out. And no, you cannot borrow it, so don t ask, Ginny re
plied, as she looked for somewhere she could take Bridgette where they would not
be overheard.
Looks like we re going back to the Room of Requirement, she sighed leading the way.
Ginny locked the door, casting every secrecy and anti snooping spell she could t
hink of before she turned to Bridgette.
Who are you fighting against, Bridgette? she demanded. Bridgette knew she was bein
g tested.
I am fighting against Voldemort, she responded firmly, surprising herself with how
strong her voice was.
Why?
Because I believe in what you fight for, Ginny. I believe that Voldemort is the g
reatest evil to ever walk on this planet. If giving my life is necessary to stop
him, then I will.
I will hold you to that, Bridgette. This is your last chance to walk away. I mean
t what I said. I will hunt you down and kill you if you betray me, Ginny replied,
in a deathly calm voice.
I know you did, Ginny. I have made my choice - I want to fight Voldemort, Bridgett
e replied flatly. Ginny took a deep breath.
The first prophecy, the one about Harry and Tom, Harry mentioned there is more to
it than what you know, Ginny stopped and her eyes pierced into Bridgette again.
Go on, Ginny, Bridgette said firmly.
The prophecy goes on to say that Harry cannot continue to live while Tom is still
alive. Also that Tom cannot live if Harry does. Bridgette gasped.
It also says that only they are capable of defeating each other. I swore I would
kill Tom so he could not hurt anyone else the way he hurt me. But I can t.
I push Harry because he is the only one who can. I ve seen him do it before, and I
know he is capable. But Harry sometimes forgets what he is fighting. I make sure
he remembers. I understand more than anyone alive, more even than Harry, what i
t will take to defeat Tom. I fought him for almost a year before falling. I coul
d fight him longer now, but I would still fall.
I love Harry with all my heart. I know what Tom could do to him. The only way I c
an protect him is to train him. So, I set impossible standards for him, and when
he reaches them, I raise them higher. Harry knows I m using him and he still love
s me, treats me better than any of my brothers ever have. He doesn t fight for him
self. He fights for me.
I hurt him every day when I tell him he fell short of what I wanted. That is why
at Charlie s wedding I told you I would curse you if you hurt him. I will not let
anyone hurt him more than I do.
But then Harry finds out and tells me I m wrong, that I must apologize to you. He t
urns the love we have around and tells me to live up to his standards. He won t le
t me protect him. I refuse to fail him, so I apologized to you. By the time Ginny
finished, tears of frustration and anger were in her eyes.
Is there more to the prophecy, Ginny?
Yes there is, but I won t tell you. Tom knows about the first couple of lines. That
someone would be born at the end of July to parents who had defied him three ti
mes. This child would have the power to defeat the Dark Lord. That is all he kno
ws, and is why he tried to kill Harry as a baby.
You know a little more, but not the exact wording. It is too dangerous if it fall
s into Tom s hands. Only Harry has the right to reveal any more to you. Exhausted,
Ginny sat down heavily on the floor. Bridgette walked over and put her arm aroun
d her.
I will help you train him, Ginny. Ginny sighed deeply.
Thank you Bridgette, but I m not sure you can.
Then I will train myself. So that I can defend him until you have him ready to fi
ght Voldemort. Ginny didn t say anything, but just sat there letting Bridgette hold
her.
I never thought I would need to give you strength, Ginny, Bridgette said quietly.
I m not afraid for myself, Bridgette. I have been dead before, only what might happ
en to Harry scares me, Ginny said quietly.
Ginny, I would like to try and make something happen with Harry. Maybe I can get
in, and maybe I can t. I might even get past the walls he has up and decide he is
not the one for me, but I am going to find out. Harry will hold you to your prom
ise not to harm me. Ginny nodded her head in reply. Bridgette stood up and looked
around the room.
Is there any chance you re going to let me out of here? she asked. Ginny waved her w
and haphazardly in the air.
The door is open.
Thank you, Ginny. Bridgette started to leave.
Bridgette, Ginny called to her. Bridgette stopped and turned around again. My frien
ds call me Gin. Bridgette smiled and turned to go again.
Good luck Bridgette, Ginny called over her shoulder.
Thanks, Gin, Bridgette replied softly, as she walked out the door. Ginny stood up
and looked around the room she wiped the tears from her eyes and picked up her b
ag.
Let her in, Harry, she whispered as she left the room.

********************

Harry knocked on the door of Hermione and Ginny s room before entering. Ron looked
up at him.
Alright Harry? he asked, turning back to the chess board he was studying.
I thought you were staying up in the dorm last night?
I did, I only came down here an hour or so ago. Ginny must have come in pretty la
te last night for them to still be sleeping, Ron indicated towards the bed where
Hermione and his sister were lying.
It wipes us out to sit with her Harry. I don t know what it gives her, but she must
drain something from us. I m starting to figure out how to deal with it though, he
added.
I noticed you did a lot better in the DA last night than you have recently, Harry
commented. He then nodded at the chessboard.
Who are you playing anyways? Ron moved a piece before looking up again.
The voices, I figured out that I could shut them out, divide myself into two play
ers. I have no idea what they are going to do, they don t have a clue what my plan
is. Harry looked down at the board, there were a lot more black than white piece
s left.
What side are you?
I m white, they re killing me. This is the second time I ve played this morning, they c
heckmated me in eleven moves the first game .I m not doing much better this time, Ron
added, shaking his head in disgust.
Harry was surprised. He had given up playing against Ron for the most part, it w
as no fun to play him when the game was over in five minutes. He easily beat Har
ry, Ginny and Hermione together when they did play. He seemed to have an endless
supply of counter moves planned, never taking more than a few seconds to respon
d to a move that the three of them had debated for half an hour or more. Harry l
ooked on as Ron moved one of the black pieces.
Damn, got me again, Ron said, shaking his head. Checkmate in five more plays. I gav
e it a little better go that time. I m going to go shower. Meet you in the common
room in half before we go to breakfast?
Sure Ron, you want me to pick this up for you? Harry asked.
No, mate I want to study it before I take it down, Ron replied. You should take a l
ook at it too. See if you can figure it out, he added on his way out the door.
Hey you two, Harry said, shaking the bed. Ron and I are going to breakfast in half
if you want to come.
Leave us alone, or we ll turn you into bubotuber puss, Ginny moaned.
Fine, I just thought I would ask, Harry said quietly, as he sat down at the table
to study the chess board.
Oh, Harry we re not trying to be mean, Hermione apologized, groaning as she sat up. C
ome on, Gin. I have too much to do today to sleep all morning.
Ok, ok, I m coming, Ginny said, following Hermione into the bathroom and closing the
door behind them.

********************

I m surprised you re having so much trouble with the chess game, Ron, Harry remarked a
s he bit into a piece of toast.
Why, I m playing against three players who are as good as I am at the same time, Ron
replied. I wish I had figured out how to do this first year. I would have been a
ble to get all of us across that chess board without having to sacrifice myself.
Hermione dropped her fork and stared at him. Harry recovering from his own shock
at Ron s pronouncement managed to close his mouth in time for Hermione s response.
You ve improved that much? she asked.
Yeah, I have. I learned more in those two games this morning than I have in the p
ast year playing against you guys. Harry s mouth dropped open again.
Sorry, I didn t mean to say you guys aren t any good. You three are probably the top
three players in the school after me, Ron said softly, trying to apologize for th
e insult he felt he had thrown at his friends.
It s ok, Ronald we re not mad at you. You re allowed to be the best at something, Hermio
ne replied taking his hand.
Yeah, Ron, I know you re good at it, I just didn t realize how good, Harry added.
Well obviously, he can be better if someone is beating him can t he? Ginny said even
ly. Harry turned to glare at her.
Do you even know what he is doing? he asked angrily. Ginny shook her head unconcer
nedly.
Nope.
He is playing the voices, three against one, Harry hissed under his breath at her
so no one else could hear.
Good for you, Ron. Let me know when you beat them, Ginny replied lightly. Ron and
Hermione looked at Ginny with their mouths flapping.
Honestly, Gin you re impossible, Harry said shaking his head.
I see you ve added Ron to your target list now too, Ginny. Harry looked up to see Br
idgette had joined them along with Luna.
Hi Bridge, how are you doing this morning? Ginny replied kindly, but Harry could s
ee something in her eyes that worried him.
Be nice, Ginny, Harry growled at her.
It s ok, Harry. Ginny and I talked for a long time last night. I think we understan
d each other just fine now, Bridgette said returning Ginny s look.
You apologized to her then? Harry asked Ginny.
Maybe I did. Maybe I didn t, what are you going to do about it, Harry? Ginny snapped
at him, but her eyes had changed again.
Thank you, Ginny. She stuck her tongue out at him and then took a bite out of her
toast smiling broadly.
Harry, Bridgette started. Harry turned to look at her again. I was wondering if you
would go for a walk with me later, down by the lake maybe? Harry was amazed at h
ow confidently she managed to ask him that in front of all the people around the
m. He was sure he couldn t have done the same.
Erm
Ouch! Ginny and Hermione had kicked him under the table.
Yeah .ok, when did you want to go? Harry asked, rubbing his leg.
How about we meet at the front door, after lunch today? Say about 1:00?
Ok, I guess that will work, Harry replied
Good I ll see you then, Harry, Bridgette replied, she flashed him a smile before she
walked off followed by Luna. Harry sat there, shaken for a second by her boldne
ss, snapping out of it when he realized his leg was still throbbing.
Which one of you kicked me? he asked angrily, as he turned back to the table. Ginn
y and Hermione both raised their hands smiling brightly at him.
What for? That hurt!
Honestly, Harry you re almost as bad as Ron, Hermione replied. She shook her head an
d went back to reading the paper.
Really, Harry if you were going to say no, why did I have to apologize to her? Gin
ny asked.
What did you do to her, Ginny? Ron asked cautiously. Ginny ignored him.
Harry, if you still need a date for the Valentines Day dance, you shouldn t wait fo
r her to ask you, Ginny commented, her eyes dancing brilliantly as she teased him
.
We re just going for a walk, Ginny, Harry stammered.
If you say so, Harry, she replied lightly.
Will someone please explain to me what s going on? Ron asked in exasperation. Hermio
ne reached across the table and put her hand on his.
Later, Love.
You re all insane, and I have potions homework to do before I go for a walk with Br
idgette, Harry said glaring at Ginny. Hermione, is there any chance you could give
me a hand?
Sure, Harry I ll meet you in mine and Ginny s room ok?
Thank you, Hermione, Harry replied, before getting up and leaving.
See you later, Big Brother, Ginny called after him. Harry just kept walking shakin
g his head on his way out the door.
Well Gin, this has been a pleasant morning, Ron snapped at her. I don t know what you
did to Bridgette, but I can t for the life of me figure out why Harry puts up wit
h you.
Come on Ronald, Hermione said, as she stood up, I know you still have the potions e
ssay to do too. I ll explain it to you on the way up. See you later, Ginny, she add
ed dragging Ron along behind her.

********************

Harry walked through the snow with Bridgette next to him as they headed for the
lake. He was struggling for something to talk about with her. Anything at all wo
uld have been good.
Is there anyone over there? Bridgette asked quietly, waving a hand in front of his
face.
Oh .yeah, I m sorry, I m not trying to ignore you, Bridgette, Harry replied. They had re
ached a small clearing in the woods near the lake. Harry stopped and watched the
giant squid swimming in the shallows under the ice. They stood there for a whil
e before either one of them said anything.
I spent an hour underwater in there my fourth year and never even saw that thing
once, Harry commented.
Oh, goodness You can talk then, Bridgette teased giving him a shove. Harry smiled ba
ck at her then looked at the ground again.
Tell me about it, Harry.
It s all in the school records, he replied, closing down again.
I would really kind of like to hear it from you, Harry. Harry looked at Bridgette
again then turned back to the lake.
You really don t like to talk about yourself do you? she asked. Harry sighed.
No, I don t. My whole life, from the day I came to Hogwarts, has been one newspaper
headline after another.
You don t always get the truth in the newspapers, Harry. Harry turned and smiled at
her.
So you don t think I m a nutter then? Bridgette returned his smile. She waited a momen
t before replying.
I do know quite a few things about you that are true. Harry looked down again.
I know that you are brave, that you are intensely loyal to your friends. I know t
hat Ron, Hermione, and Ginny would carry the burden of the first prophecy for yo
u if they could. Do you have any idea why they would do that for you? she asked s
oftly. Harry scowled at her.
What did Ginny tell you last night, Bridgette? he asked coldly. She was supposed to
apologize to you, not terrify you.
She only told me a little more than you told the rest of the people in the DA. Sh
e wouldn t even tell me the exact wording, she said it was to protect me .and you. Ha
rry closed his eyes.
At least she has some sense, he said under his breath, but not quiet enough that B
ridgette didn t hear it. What do you know, Bridgette? he continued.
I know that you and Voldemort Harry s eyes snapped open as she said the name.
Yes, I am not afraid of his name anymore, Harry. Harry nodded his head. I know that
the prophecy says it is impossible for you to both live at the same time, that
one of you will kill the other. And that you are the only one capable of killing
him and that only he is capable of killing you.
She told you too much .Do you know how much danger that puts you in? Harry asked ang
rily, he was close to exploding.
Ginny is very frightening, but she has a way of making a person see the truth. I
am hardly in more danger now than I was before. Voldemort will come for all of u
s some day if you fail to defeat him, Harry.
Yes, but now he has a reason to seek you out, Harry snapped, kicking the rocks in
front of him. This is exactly why I don t want to be here with you.
And I have a reason to fight, Harry, Bridgette said firmly, trying to match his an
ger but keep him from storming off at the same time.
Last night Ginny told me I was too weak to be close to you. She wanted to know, w
hen Voldemort was standing in front of me, how I intended to fight if I was too
scared to even say his name. She said I had been playing for the last four month
s in the DA meetings.
Ginny is very hard to please, Harry replied more calmly, his anger only just reced
ing.
She was right, Harry. I was just playing, it was great fun. Whoo hoo, look at all
the stuff I can do now, she paused. Too bad I wasn t prepared to use it, she added a
ngrily.
Ginny did apologize to me. Then I asked her why she pushed you so hard. I got a l
ot more than I bargained for in her answer. Do you even know why she pushes you
so much, Harry?
I know exactly what she is doing, Harry replied quietly.
Tell me, Harry because I want to make sure I have it right. Harry glared at Bridge
tte. This was not what he had expected when she asked him to go for a walk today
. Though he didn t really know what he had expected in the first place.
Ginny is the only person to have faced Voldemort besides myself and Dumbldore, wh
o has defied him and is still alive or not completely insane. What he did to her
is burned into her soul. Voldemort has possessed me for brief instances, but I
don t really know what she felt. Ginny is the one person who truly knows the evil
that I have to destroy. She doesn t care about what will happen to her. She is ter
rified about what could happen to me if I fail, so she has taken it upon herself
to make sure I will be ready when the time comes .I don t even care what happens to
me. I only want her to be safe. I want all the people I care about to be safe.
That is exactly why your friends would take your place if they could. Because you
won t let them, Harry. I would take you place if I could, Bridgette said.
You re all insane to even be seen with me, Harry said quietly, he was deflating, una
ble to stay angry.
No we re not. Ginny explained my options in this war. I can wait on the side for Vo
ldemort to come if you happen to lose. When he finds me, I will either join him
willingly, be possessed by him as Ginny was, or I will die. Ginny told me that I
should pray he just kills me if I refuse him. My last option is to fight for my
self with you. I choose like them to fight with you. After talking to Ginny last
night, I would choose to fight him without you, because it is what I believe in
.
That doesn t change that it rests on me. There are lots of people fighting Voldemor
t for the same reasons you are. There might even be one dying right now. The onl
y thing that keeps me sane is that I don t know them. I don t even let myself read t
he paper because of the guilt it causes.
I know what you want from me Bridgette. I like you. You are one of the most beaut
iful girls I have ever seen. It would be easy for me to make the attempt you wan
t if things were different. I want you to know that I would trade my life to sav
e yours if I had too. I care about you that much.
But? Bridgette asked
But as cold as it sounds, the truth is I could stand the guilt if something were
to happen to you right now. I m sorry if that hurts you, Bridgette, Harry said quie
tly and started to walk away. Bridgette grabbed his arm.
I m not done yet, Harry. Harry stopped and looked at her.
You re right, that is very cold. But the truth is I feel the same way. I could live
with my failure if something were to happen to you right now. Harry started to m
ove away again, but she held his arm firmly.
I would like the chance to change that Harry. I m even willing to go beyond halfway
if you will give me an honest effort. Harry sighed. He stood there with his eyes
closed, her hand on his arm, near tears.
Why are women so strong? the voices asked him.
It was the second task in the Tri Wizard Tournament during my fourth year, Harry b
egan.

********************

That was a long walk, Ginny said to him when Harry walked into hers and Hermione s r
oom. Ron was playing chess again while Hermione looked to be writing a letter. H
arry dropped heavily onto the couch.
What did you do? she asked.
We talked, Harry replied looking at the floor. I m not very happy with you, Ginny. I m
not sure you should talk to me right now. Ron and Hermione looked up at him.
I m sorry, Harry, Ginny said softly, her lip beginning to tremble. I thought giving y
ou a push to start living again was the right thing to do.
That s not what I m talking about.
Then why are you mad at me? Harry looked at her; he could tell that she didn t under
stand why he was mad.
Because you pushed her into thinking she needs to pick up the torch and run off i
nto the war against Voldemort. She thinks she needs to be willing to sacrifice h
erself for me. Why did you tell her about kill or be killed, about only the two
of us being able to kill each other? Harry asked quietly, he was too drained to r
aise his voice.
Because she asked, Harry I didn t tell her any of that until after she had already
decided to fight, Ginny s answer was given in a calm even tone.
She didn t need to make that choice yet, Ginny.
Harry, what is the point of the DA meetings then? Hermione asked. Harry looked at
her and then Ron.
Help me out here, Ron? he asked. Ron shook his head.
I m sorry Harry, but Ginny has told us exactly what she said to Bridgette last nigh
t. And she was right. The four of us go in there and teach the others. Granted y
ou do most of it, but how can they expect to fight if they are afraid to say Vol
demort s name?
We re playing with their lives, Harry whispered, tears forming in his eyes. Hermione
stood up and walked over to him.
You know that s not true, Harry. We tell them the truth, and offer them the best we
can to defend themselves. What they do with that is their choice.
Harry, the war is not like a chess game where you take the king, and the other si
de simply stops fighting. There are hundreds of Death Eaters that will try to ca
rry on without Voldemort once you have defeated him. We all train so that we can
take them down after he falls, Ron said, walking over to join Hermione in front
of him
And you re all so sure that I am going to win? Harry asked quietly.
I seem to remember standing outside one night this fall, safely wrapped in your a
rms, Harry. I seem to remember that you forced your way into Voldemort s mind and
told him you were coming for him, Hermione said angrily. You tell me, Harry. Are y
ou going to defeat him? Harry looked at Ron and Hermione. They could both see the
fire well up in his eyes.
The strength of both, Harry said firmly. Hermione and Ron both reached out and pul
led Harry into their arms.
Thanks, both of you. Harry pulled away from them. He walked over to Ginny who was
still sitting on the bed. She wouldn t look at him.
You were right to challenge her, Ginny. I m shouldn t be mad at you for making her st
and on her own feet. I should thank you. I m sorry for being weak. Will you forgiv
e me? Ginny looked up at him her arms crossed in defiance.
Please, Ginny?
Only if you sit with me tonight, she replied curtly.
Hermione and I could both use a break, Harry, Ron urged him.
You know I m not comfortable in here, Harry replied, looking at him, desperately ple
ading for help.
So go in the common room, take a book or two. Make it look like you just happened
to fall asleep on the couch. That s what happened the day before Halloween. No on
e said anything then, Ron replied.
Please, Harry I could really use a good nights sleep. Dumbledore did say that it
was going to take all three of us to help her, Hermione added. Harry looked aroun
d the room at them.
Where is my transfiguration book? I ve got like ten chapters to read in it before M
onday. I guess you better go see if the couch is available, Ginny. Ginny jumped u
p and ran out of the room.
Thanks Harry, Ron said. Harry smiled at him.
You had definitely better sleep upstairs tonight. I know Dumbledore will not appr
eciate you staying in here while Ginny is not in the room, Harry said, giving Ron
a shove towards the door.
Hey don t I even get to give him a good night kiss? Hermione yelped from behind Harr
y. Harry picked up his book and Ginny s charms book on his way out the door.
If I don t see Ron head upstairs in five minutes, I ll make him belch slugs for a wee
k. Kissing him will be the last thing you want to do, Hermione.
Harry walked into the common room and dropped Ginny s book on the couch before sit
ting down next to her.
At least make it look good, he hissed under his breath while opening his book and
starting to read. Ginny read for a while next to him before leaning up against h
im.
Are you going to see her again, Harry? she whispered.
We re going for a walk again tomorrow.
I know why you were able to ask Hermione. And why it is hard for you to let someo
ne new get close. But you need to live life, Harry.
I m trying, Ginny. Please don t push me on this.
I won t promise, but I ll try not to push too hard. Harry didn t answer. He watched Ron
leave Hermione s room, and then began to slowly read through the chapters of his b
ook, the common room emptying as he turned the pages. He heard Ginny s book fall t
o the floor, and an hour later when he fell asleep, the common room was empty.

Author's note:
I told you last chapter, it is not my fault. It is not Bridgette's fault either.
It is all Ginny's fault.

I received an e-mail from a dedicated reader with a question on the multiple voi
ces concept in my story. She had become confused as to who had them and who did
not. Apparently, I have become to accustomed as the writer to functioning in tha
t manner, and with my writing style had confused her into thinking Bridgette has
multiple voices in the chapter titled Bridgette.
To clarify: In chapter one, I state that there are three wizards and two witches
with multiple voices. They are.
Dumbledore: Developed who knows when and used extensively.
Voldemort: Developed who knows when and used extensively. We find out about Vold
emort having the voices from Harry in the chapter titled, Ginny.
Harry: First developed forth year while the imposter Mad-Eye has him under the i
mperious curse. The voice lies dormant until chapter four of this story.
Hermione: First developed, third year while using the time turner. The voice wen
t dormant during her fourth and fifth years and resurfaced in chapter five of th
is story.
Ginny: First developed her first year while fighting against Tom Riddle s diary. S
he has used her ability and developed it ever since.
At the time the voices are introduced in chapter one, the three wizards and two
witches statement is true. Ron first develops his ability with multiple voices i
n chapter five, of this story. He becomes the fourth wizard with the ability ali
ve in the world today.
These six sorcerers will be the only ones to have the multiple voices in this st
ory, and in my version of year seven. At times, there will be other witches or w
izards who have a conversation between themselves, and the one voice that lives
in their mind like Bridgette does in chapter fifteen. You can tell the differenc
e in the speaker tags. Bridgette s conversation with the voice will look like this
.
What can I do? Bridgette silently asked the voice.
Luna told you what to do, the voice responded.
For Harry or any of the others with multiple voices, the conversation would look
like this.
What can I do? Harry silently asked the voice.
Luna told you what to do, the voices responded. Or
Luna told you what to do, the second voice responded.
I hope this clarifies things for people.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 16: The Ball


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry and Bridgette were sitting in the clearing by the lake, Harry was trying t
o help her with her potions essay.
Erm .Harry? Ron interrupted. Harry turned around to see that Ron and Hermione had ma
naged to sneak up on him and Bridgette.
How did you find Harry trailed off as he looked at the ground and saw two sets of m
uddy paw prints on the rock behind Ron and Hermione. He shook his head at them.
Having fun then, are we? he asked as he watched Hermione subtly send a cleaning ch
arm at the paw prints.
Um .yeah, Ron replied, his ears turning slightly red.
I tried to get him to leave you alone, Harry, Hermione said. Sorry, Bridgette, some
times my boyfriend is a little insensitive, she added. Ron ignored Hermione s comme
nt.
It s ok, Hermione. Harry and I were just about to head in anyways, Bridgette replied
.
Good, you and Hermione can head up. We ll catch you up in bit, Ron interjected. Herm
ione looked at him, puzzled by his statement. Sorry, Mione, I wanted to talk to H
arry alone for a minute .If you don t mind? he added a second later.
Hermione looked at Harry to see if he had any idea what Ron was going on about.
Harry shrugged.
Sure, Love, Hermione said giving Ron a quick kiss on the cheek. Come on, Bridge. Le
t s leave the boys to their little talk.
Come find me later, Harry? I wanted to ask you something too, Bridgette called to
him as she walked off with Hermione.
Sure, Bridgette, I needed too talk with you too, Harry replied. Ron waited until t
hey were out of earshot before turning back to Harry.
Good, she ll have to get rid of Bridgette if she wants to change into a lion and sn
eak back here.
What s the big secret, Ron? Harry asked. His curiosity was getting the better of him
. Ron pulled his hand out of his pocket and held it out to Harry.
This, he replied. Harry blinked in surprise. It took him a full minute to recover.
Well say something, Harry, Ron pleaded with him.
You re kidding, right? Harry asked.
No, I ve never been more serious in my life, Ron answered. Harry looked up his best
friend.
You are serious, he said still shocked. How, you re under age?
Hermione isn t and I turn seventeen pretty quick. It doesn t matter anyways. I asked
Dumbledore about it. If you have your parent s permission you can get married when
you re fifteen.
I asked him at Charlie s wedding. I also talked to my parents and Hermione s mother a
nd father, Ron added when he noticed Harry s confusion.
That s why you disappeared for so long that night, Harry remarked quietly, comprehen
sion dawning on him.
Yeah, Ron replied. And then, suddenly turning red again dropped his eyes to stare
at the ground.
I guess everyone must have said yes then? Harry asked. Ron nodded.
Have you asked Hermione yet?
I m going to at the ball next week, Ron replied. He looked like he was going to be s
ick.
Why now, Ron? Harry asked waving his hand around. With all of this.
Because of this, Harry, Ron replied angrily, and then continued more calmly. Hermio
ne is the one, Harry. We could all be killed tomorrow. If I lose her, I want to
have been married to her, even if it is for just one day. Ron s voice trailed off a
s he finished.
But you re so young, we re all just kids.
Come on, Harry. You, me, Hermione, some of our friends, we re only young on the cal
endar. Blimey, the three of us were forced to grow up during our first year. I m m
ore than old enough to make this decision, Ron said in exasperation. Harry looked
at Ron, considering what he had said.
You must have used this same argument with Molly and Arthur. How did Hermione s mum
and dad react when you asked?
Actually they were easier to convince than our parents. They actually told me the
y had been expecting it, Ron replied, shaking his head.
I was too, Ron. Just not quite so soon, I guess, Harry commented. So why are you te
lling me all of this? he asked a moment later.
Because, regardless of how you feel about Hermione now, I know how you did feel.
It is important to me that I have your blessing. And if she says yes, it will be
important to her too." Ron watched Harry nervously, the only thing he thought h
e had done more difficult than this was to tell Hermione he loved her in the fir
st place.
I guess that depends, Harry replied evenly.
Depends on what? Ron was confused now.
On whom your best man is you git, Harry said grabbing hold of Ron and lifting him
off the ground in a giant bear hug.
Well, I was planning to ask Neville, but if you insist, Ron said laughing.
I accept, Harry replied dropping Ron in a heap. Of course if she says no, I m going t
o steal her from you, he added, giving Ron a shove.
Ron had changed to his animagus and was on top of Harry in and instant, standing
on his chest.
Gerroff, you flea bag, I m only joking. Of course she s going to say yes. Ron changed
back and helped Harry to his feet.
Thanks for the vote of confidence, Harry.
Just so you know, Ron, I really don t think of Hermione like that anymore, Harry sai
d as they stood there looking at each other. Ron nodded at him.
So is there anyone who I can talk about this with yet, or is it top secret? Harry
asked, as he headed for the trail to the school.
It s top secret still, Ron replied falling in next to him. They walked in silence fo
r a short ways before Ron spoke again.
So how are things with you and Bridgette? Harry smiled, and walked in silence for
a moment longer before replying.
Well, you guys wanted me to let her in .I wanted to let her in, and I have. She is
too close now. We don t have the bond that you, Hermione, Ginny and I do. But she
is closer than I wanted her to be .I m not sure if much else will come of it or not,
he replied.
You two have seen each other every spare moment for the last four weeks, have you
done anything besides go for walks and talk? Not that it s any of my business, Ron
added hastily. Harry laughed.
We ve held hands once or twice. That s about it. They walked together in silence for a
while.
Harry, I m not saying she s not. But you know she doesn t have to be the one. There is
someone out there for you, Ron offered quietly. Harry regarded Ron for a moment.
You ve changed a lot in the last year, Ron.
Yeah .well, that s what happens when Dumbledore tells you there is a prophecy about y
ou, Ron replied, without looking at Harry.
I wish he hadn t done that to you, Ron.
I wish there wasn t one about you and Voldemort too, Harry. That s the way it is. It
won t do us any good to cry about it, Ron answered.
We ll find a way, Ron. Together you and I can do it.
Yeah, Harry, I reckon that Voldemort has no idea what he created when he marked y
ou. And I don t care what the first prophecy says. Because the second one says I c
an fight him to a stand still. I will beat him to the ground myself so you can d
eliver the final blow. But he will not harm Hermione, Ron finished vehemently. Ha
rry had stopped walking and was just watching Ron walk away from him now. Ron st
opped and turned around when he realized Harry was no longer next to him. He see
med to realize that their conversation was going in places neither wanted to dis
cuss right then.
So are you going to ask Bridgette to the ball? Ron asked changing the subject. Har
ry sighed.
Yeah, I owe it to myself to keep trying. There will be life after Voldemort, Harry
replied.
Good choice Harry.

********************

Hi, Mione, Ron said dropping down in the seat next to Hermione.
Hi, Love .Harry, she added a second later.
Hey, Harry replied smirking at her.
What? Hermione asked.
Nothing, where s Bridgette? Harry asked trying to avoid looking at Ron.
She went to the library.
Thanks, Harry said walking away.
What did you two talk about, Ronald? Hermione asked turning to him.
Guy stuff, you and I have been spending so much time together, that I hardly get
to see Harry anymore, Ron lied.
I m sorry, Ronald, Hermione said softly her gaze shifting from his face to the plate
of food in front of her. She began to pick at it, but her appetite seemed to be
gone. Ron realized he had made a mistake.
Mione, I m sorry, he said reaching for her face and turning her so she had to look a
t him. That came out wrong, I wouldn t trade a second of your attention. It s just ha
rd. It was always the three of us, and now with you and me, it kind of leaves Ha
rry out in the cold. I just wanted him to know that he is still my friend, that
I still need him. Hermione s eyes brimmed with tears as she wrapped her arms around
Ron s neck.
He knows he is your best friend, Ronald.
No, Hermione, I might still be Harry s best friend. Though I think it may be Ginny
right now .Unless Bridgette takes her place. But I m in love with my best friend, Ron
replied. Hermione let him go. His words had truly surprised her.
You really mean that don t you? she asked her eyes dancing brightly.
Yes I do, Ron replied gazing into her eyes. He found himself drowning in their dep
ths.
God how could it have taken me so long to really see her? he asked himself silen
tly.
Puhleezze, will you two go find a closet or something, Ginny said, sitting down ac
ross from them. Ron and Hermione jumped
Ginny, you can be a real pain sometimes, and others, well you re just over the line
, Ron snapped at her. Hermione was trying to stop from blushing. Ginny s eyes grew
wide. She realized she had crossed a line with her brother.
I m sorry, Ron. Look I ll make it up to you. I ll go study in the library, you and Herm
ione will have the room to yourselves all afternoon, she said trying to placate h
im. Ron glared at her. He wasn t about to let her off the hook yet.
Just don t bug Harry and Bridgette while you re in there. I think he is going to ask
her to the ball, he said evenly.
Oh .mm..maybe I ll go in the common room then, Ginny replied quietly before looking do
wn at her plate. Now she seemed to be the one who had lost her appetite.
Ginny, are you sure you re ok with Harry seeing Bridgette? Hermione asked cautiously
.
Of course I am, I pushed him into it remember, Ginny said lightly. It just gets har
d to find some place to go around here sometimes. All my friends are dating some
one. I feel like I m intruding all the time. Besides that, I worry about Harry.
Gin, isn t it enough that you are trying to save him from Voldemort? Hermione asked.
I guess it has to be. He won t let me protect him from anyone else.
Gin, if you keep storming around threatening every girl who looks at him. You re th
e one who is hurting him, Hermione replied. Ginny scowled at her plate.
I only did that once, and I apologized, she said quietly.
Look, Ginny, threaten him in the DA if you want too. Challenge him to do better o
n his homework. Throw tantrums at him if he fails you. I don t know why, but he re
sponds to you. But leave Harry s love life alone, Ron said forcefully.
Ok, Ron. I m sorry, Ginny said in defeat. They sat in silence for minute or two.
Ron, I know this is a lot to ask. But at the ball next week, will you two hang ou
t with me a little bit? There isn t anyone I want to ask, and I don t want to spend
the whole night standing in a corner by myself, Ginny asked quietly.
I think Ron and I can manage that. Can t we, Ronald? Hermione replied for him diggin
g her nails into his leg under the table.
Sure, Gin, I might even dance with you once, Ron added. He noticed Ginny visibly r
elax.
Thanks you two. I ll guess go study now. Ginny smiled gratefully at them before leav
ing.
She s lying, isn t she? Ron asked, as he watched her go.
About what? Hermione asked.
Harry and Bridgette not bothering her.
Just like you think no one will ever be good enough for Ginny, she will never bel
ieve that someone is good enough for Harry. She is actually worse than you ever
were, Hermione replied.
Thanks a lot Hermione.

********************

Harry stood off to the side of the dress shop with Bridgette. They were trying n
ot to laugh at Ron. He was sitting with his head in his hands groaning to himsel
f about how many dresses Hermione had tried on.
Why do you need a new dress anyways, Mione?
Because you have already seen the one I have, Ronald. This argument was completely
lost on Ron, and for that matter Harry too. Harry however knew better than to s
ay anything, apparently Ron didn t.
That doesn t make any sense. I m wearing the same used robe that I wore to Charlie s we
dding. Why can t you wear the same dress?
Because women are different, Ronald, Hermione said patiently from the dressing roo
m.
You! the lady who was helping Hermione snapped at Harry.
Me, what did I do? Harry asked defensively.
Nothing, but he! Is driving me nuts, she said, pointing at Ron. Take him out of her
e. Go to the Three Broom Sticks, or Zonkos. I don t care but don t come back for at
least two hours, she growled at Harry.
The ball starts at 6:00 you know, Harry replied tugging on Ron s arm. Eyeing the sho
p lady warily, he didn t want to make her any madder than she already was.
Exactly, that will leave her four hours to get back to the school and get ready.
Now get him out of here before he wastes any more of my time. Harry pushed Ron ou
t the door, Bridgette started to follow them.
Oh no you don t young lady. Bridgette froze in her tracks. You come back here and hel
p me with your friend. Honestly, buying a new dress on the day of the ball. Harry
turned around and shrugged his shoulders at Bridgette.
I guess I ll see you in a couple hours, he said to her.
I didn t have a choice on when I could come buy the dress. This is the first Hogsme
ade trip of the year. I can t help that the Headmaster schedu . Harry heard Hermione
protesting before her voice was cut off when the shop lady pulled Bridgette back
in and closed the door in Harry s face.
Women! Ron huffed, when Harry turned around.
Zonkos or butterbeer mate? Harry asked clapping his hand on Ron s shoulder.
Butterbeer I guess, Ron replied as they turned and walked down the street.
And to think, you re going to ask one of them women to marry you tonight, Harry teas
ed.
Shut it Harry, Ron snarled, elbowing him in the side rather hard.

Think it s safe to head back now? Ron asked, polishing off his third butterbeer. Har
ry checked his watch.
Its only been a little over an hour, he replied doubtfully.
Come on lets just go look in the window, Harry.
If you wanted to watch her try on dresses, what did you get us kicked out for?
Are you coming or not? Ron asked standing up.
Hold up, you better let me look first. That shop lady will have you belching slug
s if she sees you. That will make your proposal really beautiful tonight, Harry s
aid, grabbing Ron s arm.
Yeah you re right, Harry. Look I m sorry, but I m scared, Ron said quietly.
It s ok, Ron, she s going to say yes, Harry replied. Come on let s go get them.
Harry looked around the corner of the building peering into the dress shop.
Do you see them? Ron asked.
Give me a minute will ya. Harry turned back to the shop again.
Wow! Harry gushed softly. If there was ever a moment Harry was going to be jealous
of Ron, this was it. He was glad to find he wasn t.
I guess she found a dress for the ball, the first voice offered to him.
Looks like she found another dress she likes too, the second voice put in.
Hermione was twirling in front of the window. She was wearing a long white dress
with a strap over only one shoulder. It clung tightly to her chest and stomach
and then fell loosely around her legs from the waist down. Her brown skin contra
sted with it perfectly. She was, Harry thought, the most beautiful thing he had
ever seen. He could see her laughing with Bridgette and the shop lady.
Looks like she found a wedding dress to me, Ron is going to die when he sees her
in it, Harry told both of them silently.
Ron can t see her. He ll think we told her, the voices panicked in his head.
What? Let me see, Ron said, trying to push Harry aside. Harry snapped out of his t
houghts.
No wait, Ron, she saw me. Quick run, Harry yelped forcing Ron back.
I want to see, Harry! Ron snarled, as he struggled against him
Remember the slugs, Ron. Bugger, here she comes. Ron came to his senses and let Ha
rry lead him to Zonkos.
What did you see? Ron demanded, after they ducked into the shop.
Let s just say you ll be very happy tonight, Harry replied.
Harry, tell me what you saw.
No, you ll just have to wait, Ron.
How come you get to know what she is wearing and I don t?
Because she is not my girlfriend, Ron, that s the way it works. Ron glared at him bu
t didn t put up any more of a fight.

********************

Harry walked along with Bridgette, trailing behind Ron and Hermione on their way
back to the school.
Will you just tell me what color the dress is, Mione? Ron pleaded with her. Hermio
ne was having fun goading him. She sighed. Harry could just imagine her rolling
her eyes before she answered. He was having a hard time keeping a straight face
himself. Bridgette wasn t faring much better.
It s green, Love, Hermione teased.
Oh. Ron replied, surprised.
That won t match his robes, Harry said under his breath to Bridgette.
Wait for it, Harry, she replied, hooking her arm in his.
Um .Mione, you do remember my robes have a maroon stripe .Don t you? Ron asked nervously
. Hermione stopped and turned to face him. Harry almost plowed into them before
he could stop too.
Well actually, Ron. Bridgette confessed to me that she really loves you and not H
arry. And I ve decided that I really do want to go out with Harry anyways now. So,
since her dress is maroon, you and she will match really well tonight. I bought
a green dress so I could go with Harry. Hermione said all of this while sliding
up to Harry and taking his hand in hers. Bridgette had done the same to Ron.
Hi, Love, Hermione said brightly and kissed Harry on the cheek.
Bridgette did the same thing to Ron but winked at Harry, just before she kissed R
on s cheek.
Hi, Mione, Harry said brightly and kissed her on the top of the head. Ron s mouth hu
ng open.
I m go .You re Harry .She s my ., Ron stammered falling hook line and sinker for the joke
mione handed her dress box to Harry and grabbed hold of Ron kissing him deeply o
n the mouth. Ron managed to push her away after a second while Harry and Bridget
te howled with laughter.
Next time you go to the dress shop with me, behave yourself, Ronald Weasley. Hermi
one whispered to him. Ron still could not get over the shock.
I .That wasn t very nice, Hermione, he whispered. Hermione slid up close to him again.
Forgive me? she purred at him. Harry was bent over double laughing at how easily H
ermione wrapped Ron around her finger.
Shut it you, Ron snapped quite angrily at Harry. Harry stood up trying to wipe the
smile off his face. He sensed something had gone wrong with their practical jok
e.
You picked up really quickly, Harry. I though Ron was the master chess player, ab
le to pick out a bluff a mile away, Bridgette said teasing Ron some more. Harry t
ugged on her arm and shook his head at her when she looked at him.
Love? Ron turned back to Hermione. Forgive me? she asked again more seriously this ti
me. She sensed that she might have gone too far too. Ron gave just a little.
Don t ever do that to me again, Mione, he said to her.
I do love you, Ronald.
I almost thought you didn t, Hermione, Ron answered quietly. Harry and Bridgette bot
h felt their stomachs turn at Ron s words. Hermione was positively stricken. She s
ank to her knees in front of Ron wrapping her arms around his legs, she looked u
p to his face.
Ronald, I m so sorry. I just wanted to teach you a lesson for the way you were beha
ving in the dress shop. I really had no idea that this would hurt you so much. I
f I had thought it would hurt you at all, I never would have done it. Please for
give me.
Hermione wasn t trying to wrap Ron around her finger anymore. Her voice was trembl
ing with fear and she had tears beginning to form in her eyes. She looked terrif
ied that Ron would turn away from her. Harry had never seen Hermione look so vul
nerable. Ron pulled her to her feet.
I promise, Hermione, to never complain no matter how long it takes you to find a
dress ever again. I told you once there was only one thing I was scared of anymo
re. Please don t do that to me again. Hermione nodded her head at him. She was biti
ng her lip to keep it from trembling. Ron pulled her into his arms.
Ron, we re sorry, Harry said quietly.
Yeah, Ron, I m sorry too, Bridgette added softly.
It s ok guys. It would have been a funny joke if you could have just been a little
less serious. You all just acted your part a little too well for me, Ron replied.
They stood there for a moment or two before Harry broke the silence.
Ron, please don t let this stop you from going ahead tonight, Harry said quietly.
Don t worry, Harry, Ron replied. He then turned Hermione back towards the castle. Th
at Harry had just said something to Ron didn t even register in Hermione s mind.
Harry and Bridgette let Ron and Hermione get ahead of them a ways before setting
off to the school themselves. They didn t say much until they got to the doors of
the castle.
Her dress really is green, Harry. We decided that you and Ron would just switch r
obes.
I ll tell him when I get up there, Harry replied. I guess I ll have to deliver this to
her. Harry still had Hermione s dress box.
I saw the white dress, Bridgette, Harry said a moment later. Bridgette looked shoc
ked.
We came back early. I scoped the place out and saw Hermione in a wedding dress. I
managed to keep Ron from seeing it. He thinks I saw this dress, Harry indicated
to box he was holding. Did she like it?
We got done early, Harry. We were on our way out the door when Hermione saw the d
ress. She fell in love with it instantly. I managed to get her to try it on. But
it was really expensive - she said that she and Ron would never be able to affo
rd it even if they combined their money, that and the fact that they re not engage
d yet. Harry smiled.
Thanks, Bridgette, I better get going. I need to send an owl quick. Meet you back
here at six?
Wait a second, Harry, what did you mean when you told Ron not to let our joke mes
s up his plan for tonight? Harry tried to look away from her, playing for time to
find a way out of giving her an answer.
You re going to send an owl to the dress shop aren t you? He s going to ask her tonight
and you know it. You re going to buy her that dress, Harry. I know you are, Bridge
tte said, her excitement building. Harry groaned.
Keep your voice down, I ve already done enough damage to my friendship with Ron tod
ay. He ll kill me if it gets out before he asks her.
Harry, that dress was really expensive, Bridgette whispered.
I don t think it will be a problem, Bridgette, Harry replied casting his eyes to the
floor.
Harry, I m not kidding.
Bridgette, my Godfather was Sirius Black. He was the last in a long line of wizar
ds, who believed in the pureblood creed, Harry said looking up at her again. I ll le
t you put the rest together. He then turned to walk away. Bridgette caught up to
him a moment later.
Here take this, she said grabbing his hand. It is all I have right now. Harry didn t l
ook at how much she had given him.
You don t have to help me.
I want to help. Regardless of where you and I end up, they re my friends too, Bridge
tte replied. Harry smiled at her.
Thanks, Bridgette, I ll see you tonight, he said and then he walked off.

********************

Harry danced slowly with Bridgette in his arms. It was nice to hold her there an
d feel her warmth. He played his fingers through her hair a few times to see wha
t it felt like.
I like that, Harry, she murmured softly to him. You don t have to stop you know.
I m trying, Bridgette, Harry whispered back to her.
I know you are, Harry. I am too you know.
It had been a long process for either of them to open up very much. Bridgette ha
d been protecting herself as much as Harry had, not wanting to fall for him befo
re he would let her in. Harry played his fingers through her hair again.
Were Ron and Hermione ok when you got up there earlier, Harry?
I m pretty sure Ron is fine. Hermione is still pretty upset with herself. She was h
aving a hard time looking him in the eye. I think she would have skipped the bal
l if he hadn t told her he was going without her. Bridgette s eyes opened wide.
You re kidding me, right?
No, he took a page out of Ginny s book. Told her that he had accepted her apology,
and she should quit acting like a baby and go get dressed. That if she wouldn t da
nce with him, he would spend the night dancing with Ginny. I could see her start
to argue. I thought they were going to have a huge row, but she shut her mouth
and did what he told her to. I think Ron was as shocked as I was. You don t know a
bout it because this is your first year at Hogwarts. They have a history like yo
u wouldn t believe. They used to fight just for fun.
It looks like she is still pretty upset, Harry. Do you think we should go say hi?
Harry looked over at Ron and Hermione, thinking about it for a moment. Hermione
appeared to be sulking.
Yeah, if we go over and cut in on them, maybe pick on Hermione a little we might
help her realize she is being silly.
I don t know, Harry, that didn t go over to well this afternoon, Bridgette answered ca
utiously.
Trust me; Ron said we were just too serious about it. Come on follow my lead, Harr
y said dragging her off.

Harry tapped Ron on the shoulder.


Excuse me dear fellow, he said, adopting the best imitation of Percy that he could
. Ron turned to look at him. Harry jumped back
Good God you are hideous, aren t you. Ron blinked, Hermione s mouth dropped open.
Too right you are, Harry continued, and then abruptly turned to Hermione. He swept
her hand in his and while gazing intently into her eyes, held it delicately in
front of him.
My dear lady, I cannot have helped but notice that the most beautiful woman of th
is whole evening, Harry said while sweeping his free hand around in an arc, has sp
ent the entire night dancing with this .this hideous creature. Harry had turned to
Ron again. Looking him up and down with what he hoped was a look of contempt. He
turned back to Hermione again.
While I, the most handsome and eligible bachelor here, Harry bowed slightly to Her
mione locking his eyes on hers again. Have spent a horrendous evening with this m
iserable old hag, he said, while disdainfully waving his free hand in Bridgette s g
eneral direction.
Please, allow me to rescue you. He finished with a flourish by raising Hermione s ha
nd to his mouth and kissing it, while giving her the most genuine smile he could
manage.
Harry was surprised to see Hermione actually blushing, but then realized his per
formance had caught the attention of a few nearby people. And possibly, he found
out a second later, raised the ire of Bridgette, who grabbed him by the shoulde
r and spun him around.
Miserable old hag am I? she screeched and slapped him across the face, rather hard
er than necessary Harry thought too.
Why you contemptuous, arrogant, headline seeking prat, I wouldn t dance with you ag
ain if you paid me. She grabbed Ron by the back of his head kissed him full on th
e mouth and dragged him off behind her.
Come, Ronald, she said loudly as she led him out the door. I could use the attentio
ns of a real man tonight.
Harry stood there with his hand on his face where Bridgette had slapped him. Her
mione stood behind him looking around self-consciously at everyone staring at he
r and Harry. Harry turned around and smiled at her.
She rather gets into her role, doesn t she? he commented, rubbing his cheek where Br
idgette had slapped him.
Bravo! Bravo! Mr. Potter. I did not know, that there was theater on the agenda fo
r the evening, Professor Dumbledore was standing up at the head table clapping.
Harry looked up to realize that most of the people in attendance had caught the
end of Bridgette s performance. Harry figured there was nothing for it, so he bowe
d graciously towards the head table before turning back to Hermione, who appeare
d to want nothing more than to disappear from sight.
How about it, Mione, may I have this dance. Hermione glanced nervously around at t
he people standing near them.
Mione? Harry asked again holding his hand out to her. Hermione stepped close enoug
h to take his hand but kept a little distance between them.
What was that all about? she hissed at him, making sure not to make eye contact wi
th any of the people around them who happened to still be staring.
We were just trying to help you see how silly it was to keep beating yourself up
for today. You, me, Bridgette we all made a mistake today. Ron loves you Hermion
e. I don t think you even realize how much, and he has forgiven you. You should fo
rgive yourself too. Hermione moved in closer to Harry letting her head rest on hi
s chest.
Thank you, Harry.
You re welcome Mione.
You know, Harry. I know you just made all of that up as you went along. But Bridg
ette is going to make you pay for that miserable old hag remark.
If it patches things up for you and Ron, then it will be worth it, Harry replied. C
ome on let s go make sure the two of them are not off snogging somewhere. She real
ly laid it on him if you didn t notice.

What are you insane? We have to go to classes with these people next week - I can
already hear Malfoy, Ron ranted at Harry and Bridgette.
As if on cue Harry heard the familiar drawl of Draco coming from behind him.
Nice one, Weasley. Next time you hit him, close your hand into a fist. Maybe you
can give him a matching scar above his other eye. He bumped into Harry as he walk
ed by.
Shut it, Malfoy, Bridgette snapped at him as he headed down the hall. Malfoy stopp
ed. He turned around, Crabbe and Goyle flanking him, their dates standing beside
them. He started to open his mouth but Ron simply reached his hand out towards
Malfoy. Harry watched in astonishment as Ron just twitched his fingers slightly.
Can you feel it, Malfoy? Ron asked dangerously. Malfoy blanched. How about you, Cra
bbe? Ron s gaze shifted and his hand rose slightly. Harry watched Crabbe lift up on
to his toes before Ron dropped his hand.
Bridgette told you to shut it. I m telling you to keep walking, Ron snarled at them.
Crabbe and Goyle took off along with the three girls as fast as they could run.
Malfoy, trying to maintain an air of nonchalance, turned and walked slowly away
.
Well that should keep them shut up for a while anyways, Harry remarked dryly. Ron
rounded on Harry again.
They re nothing; Snape is going to have a heyday with this. What were you two think
ing? Harry blinked.
Really, Ron, you need to make up your mind. Our acting this afternoon is too real
istic for you and now we re too over the top, he replied grinning at him.
I just made out with my cousin. She tried to slip me the tongue, Ron stammered. Ha
rry laughed; he could feel Hermione next to him trying very hard not too. Bridge
tte smacked Ron.
I most certainly did not, she said in indignation. Then, leering at him lecherousl
y she added, It might be fun though; Hermione sure has you trained well. Ron s eyes
bugged out of his head. Bridgette tried to grab him.
Here let me try again.
Oh no you don t, Hermione snapped, stepping in her way. You want to kiss someone, her
e you go. She grabbed Harry and shoved him into Bridgette s arms. No one is going to
be giving Ron kissing lessons but me. She turned around and shoved Ron up agains
t the wall, Harry heard his head smack into it.
I ll bet that hurt, the voices commented to Harry.
Ouch, Hermmmuph. Now it was Harry s turn to have his eyes bug out of his head
Haven t seen that from them before, Bridgette remarked. Thanks to Hermione shoving h
im into Bridgette she was only inches away now.
Yeah, Harry replied quietly. He was feeling slightly warm.
So are you two going to complete the show tonight? Ginny asked from the doorway.
What do you mean, Gin? Harry replied. Bridgette pulled away from him a little bit.
You know, oh for goodness sakes, Ginny said rolling her eyes. She quickly looked a
round to see if anyone was watching before casting her invisibility spell over R
on and Hermione. There, that is much better.
Mmuph, Thanks, Gin, Harry heard Ron say.
Shut up and kiss me, Ronald! Hermione snapped at him.
Merlin s Beard! Do I have to give you a silencing spell too? Ginny asked in exaspera
tion. Harry couldn t help laughing.
Gin, how did you do that spell? Bridgette asked in awe.
I worked at out, Bridgette. It took me a year to master it.
A year?
You could do it too. I ll teach you if you want, but you better keep your mouth shu
t about it. It s really advanced; I could get in a lot of trouble for it.
Good night all. Harry jumped. Somehow Professor Dumbledore had snuck up on them.
Goodnight, Professor Dumbledore, he replied hoping that their conversation had not
been over heard.
Ronald, Hermione, Professor Dumbledore said, as he walked by the place where Harry
knew they were standing. Harry felt his heart beginning to beat much too quickl
y.
Impressive spell Miss. Weasley, see that you do not abuse it .Five points to Gryffi
ndor, he said clearly, as he turned the corner. Harry let his breath out in a rus
h.
Do you think he saw you cast it or could he see right through it? Harry asked.
Where did he come from? Ginny hissed. I know there was no one here when I cast the
spell.
He told me once that he didn t need an invisibility cloak to move around unseen, Har
ry answered.
Maybe he was bluffing, Bridgette offered. He knows that where ever Harry is, Ron an
d Hermione are not far away.
He wouldn t have given Ginny points if he was bluffing, Hermione remarked.
Right, forgot about that, Bridgette replied.
Do you think he saw the whole thing with Malfoy? Ron asked.
Gin, will you drop the spell. It s kind of weird talking to them when I can t see the
m. Harry commented. Ginny raised her wand.
Wait a second! Hermione shrieked. Harry could hear her and Ron shuffling about. Ok,
Ginny, Hermione said. Ginny looked around, more carefully this time, and waved h
er wand. Ron and Hermione appeared holding hands with red faces, and not so inno
cent looks.
Whatever Dumbledore saw, it doesn t look like we are in trouble for it, or that he
is even mad. I suggest we call it a night. Ron, good luck, I ll be waiting for you
in the common room, Harry said taking Bridgette s hand in his and heading for the
stairs.
Right, Harry, I shouldn t be to long. Come on, Mione. Ron led her out the front door
s.
Harry?
Yeah, Gin, what is it?
If it s ok with Bridgette, I was wondering if you would dance with me once tonight.
Sure, Gin, you can have him. Harry, I ll see you tomorrow?
Actually, Bridge, would you wait for me?
I won t keep him, Bridgette, Ginny urged.
Well hurry back then, Bridgette said, sitting down on the stairs.

Did you have a nice night, Ginny?


It was ok. You and Bridgette spiced it up a bit. I m glad I m not one of you four. Yo
u re going to take a lot of grief over it.
It will be worth it if things go well for Ron tonight.
What s he up to, Harry? It looked to me like things were going pretty well for him
out in the hallway already. Harry broke away from her as the song ended, holding
her hand as they walked to the door.
If you wait up for me when you get upstairs, Gin, I ll tell you then. I have to go
catch up Bridgette. I won t be long ok?
Sure, Harry. Good luck.
Harry walked out the door shaking his head.

********************

Harry sat down on the couch next to Ginny.


So? she asked.
What? Harry replied innocently. Ginny smacked him on the arm.
Did you kiss her you prat? Harry grinned.
And?
And what? Harry asked, knowing he was pushing Ginny s buttons. Ginny glared at him.
I have veritaserum hidden in my room, Harry. I ll get it out of you one way or anot
her.
You re bluffing, Harry replied. Ginny folded her arms across her chest.
You re not bluffing. Ginny just smiled at him.
It was nice, Gin.
Nice .Nice is not what a girl wants to hear you saying about kissing her, Harry.
I don t know what else to say, Ginny, it was nice. You know how hard this is for me
, Harry said in exasperation. Ginny softened.
Did she like it?
I don t know. I couldn t tell if she was happy or confused when we said goodnight. The
y sat quietly together for a minute.
Will you sit with me tonight, Harry?
We ll see, you may have to settle for Hermione tonight, Gin. Harry saw the disappoin
tment on her face. I didn t say no, Gin. But if I don t there is a good reason. You ll
find out soon enough. If you want to lean up against me until Ron and Hermione g
et here you can. Ginny moved up against him. Harry could tell she was still pouti
ng.
Why don t you just tell me what he is up to?
I promised Ron I wouldn t say a word, Gin.
I ll
Don t threaten me the veritaserum, Ginny. I will keep my promise to Ron. You don t wa
nt to make me fight you on this, you won t win.
You don t scare me, Harry James, she said firmly.
Now I know you re bluffing, Ginny.
Shut it, Harry.
Whatever you say, Ginny.
Wake me when they get here ok?
Sure, Gin.

********************

Ron kicked Harry in the leg. Harry s eyes bolted open.


What?
You fell asleep mate, Ron said cheerfully. Harry shook his head trying to clear th
e cobwebs.
What time is it? You said you weren t going to be long. Arrgh it s 2:00 am, Harry grum
bled looking at his watch.
Harry . Hermione squealed. She was bouncing up and down on her toes. Harry looked fr
om her face to her hand.
I guess this means I m going to have to buy some new dress robes, he said grinning f
rom ear to ear at her.
You re happy for us then? Hermione gushed.
Happiest day of my life, better than going birthday shopping, Hermione, I would g
et up and hug you but, Harry indicated towards Ginny with a nod of his head.
Well wake her up already, Ron demanded.
Put your silencing charm on her first, Hermione. McGonagall will kill us if she s
tarts screaming. Hermione waved her wand at Ginny.
Ok, Harry.
Gin, Harry shook her. Ginny blinked her eyes open confusion on her face. She start
ed to ask what was going on and then realizing something was wrong, sat up in al
arm fright evident in her eyes.
Gin, look at me, Harry said quickly. Ginny s eyes focused on his face. It s ok, Gin. Yo
u have to stay quiet. We put a silencing charm on you ok? Harry saw the fear fade
from her face. He felt horrid about having caused it.
"You re ok, Gin. She nodded at him. Ron and Hermione finally came back. Remember I t
old you they had a surprise for you? Ginny nodded again. Harry moved to the side
so she had a clear view of Hermione.
Look at her hand, Gin, Harry whispered into her ear. Ginny s eyes opened wide she le
apt off the couch and grabbed Hermione in her arms.
Glad we put that spell on her. The whole dorm would be awake without it, Ron said
dryly. He was tackled by Ginny a second later. Harry couldn t believe how strong s
he was because she took him down to the floor and planted a huge kiss on his che
ek.
"Geeroff, Ginny, Ron said as loudly as he dared. Ginny finally let him go and wav
ed her wand at her mouth.
I think I can keep it down now.
I didn t teach you the counter spell to that curse, Ginny, Hermione stammered.
You re not the only one who sneaks into the restricted section, Hermione. Come on. S
he grabbed Hermione s hand and dragged her into their shared bedroom. Tell me all a
bout how he did it. Hermione closed the door behind them.
She didn t even say goodnight to me, Ron said in stunned voice.
I told Ginny she was going to have to settle for Hermione tonight, Harry replied s
haking his head again. Nutters, both of them, he added. Harry started to push him
to the stairs.
Quick we ve got to get out of here, Ron.
Why? Ron asked, reluctantly moving up the stairs.
Because I think it is about to get very loud down here and I would like to be abl
e to tell McGonagall I had nothing to do with it.
Do with what?
Can t tell you, mate, you ll have to wait for your wedding.
Harry.
Sorry Ron, it s bad luck if you know. Harry shoved Ron through the door to the dorm
and then closed and locked it behind him.
"Recognition!
That should keep them out even if Ginny has polyjuice potion hidden down there so
mewhere. She would still need my wand right? he mumbled to himself.
Whooo
Go ahead, Hedwig, Harry said. The owl hooted again and flew out the window.
Harry what the heck are you doing, what was that package?
I m not going to tell you, Ron. Now you can either shut up and listen to see if the
y get in trouble, or have me try a memory charm on you. Ron sat down on his bed.
I ll get it out of them tomorrow anyways, he grumbled.
I doubt it, Harry replied.

********************

Hermione had no more than sat down on her bed with Ginny, when Hedwig swooped in
to the room and dropped a package between them on the bed.
Arrghhh, Hedwig, you scared us, Ginny and Hermione snapped together.
Whoo Hedwig gave a short hoot and clicked her beak at them.
Oh come here you silly bird, Ginny called. Hedwig turned her head the other way.
I m sorry I yelled at you. I ll scratch you in that spot you have trouble reaching, Gi
nny cooed, trying to entice the owl down. Hedwig floated down on her shoulder. G
inny reached up and found the right spot on the birds back.
Honestly, you re almost as stubborn as Harry.
Whooooo.
Well go on, Hermione. It has your name on it. Though I don t see how your day can g
et any better than it already is. Hermione untied the string and lifted the top o
f the box. There was a card on top of the tissue paper.
All it says is. Ron doesn t know. Love Harry and Bridgette. Hermione handed it to Gi
nny.
Well see what it is, Hermione, Ginny said getting up on her knees so she could see
better.
Sorry, Hedwig, Ginny said as the bird floated back up on her dresser.
Hermione began to unfold the tissue paper. She let out a small yelp and clasped
her hand over her mouth. Her other hand started to beat against her chest as she
bounced up and down on the bed. Her eyes welled with tears as she looked at Gin
ny.
What is it, Hermione? What did they do?
He must have seen me, or Bridgette told him about it. I don t know. I tried it on t
oday at the dress shop. I had no idea that Ron was going to propose to me tonigh
t, Ginny. It was beautiful, but it was just a whim. And it was so expensive Ron
and I could never afford it. Harry must have known that Ron was going to propose
and Bridgette must have helped him.
Hermione was rambling on and on. Ginny couldn t make sense of what she was saying,
so she pulled the box away from Hermione and looked for herself
Oh my . Ginny reached into the box and lifted the dress standing on the bed so she c
ould see the entire length of it. She stared at it for a moment and then looked
at Hermione. Hermione s eyes were glazing over with longing as she looked at the d
ress
Put it on Hermione! Ginny said, shoving it at her. Hermione shook her head.
I can t, she squeaked.
You will not insult him by taking this back, Hermione, Ginny growled at her.
Ginny, you have no idea how much this cost. I was there when he bought those broo
ms for you and Ron. This is ten Firebolts, Hermione pleaded with her.
Harry doesn t care about money. He cares about you, Hermione. I know you want to. N
ow try it on. Hermione shook her head again. Ginny glared at her.
Fine, if you won t, then I will, Ginny said dropping the dress on the bed and pullin
g off the gown she had worn to the ball. Hermione gapped at her, clearly struggl
ing with herself and Ginny s boldness.
No, Gin, Hermione stopped her as she started to lift the dress over her head. Only
the bride should wear her wedding gown. Hermione stood on the bed and pulled off
her dress.
Thank God, Ginny gasped. I thought you were going to make me put it on, Hermione. H
ere let me help you, she said, as she pulled the dress down around Hermione s waist
, smoothing it out for her.
Turn around so I can get the zipper for you. Hermione turned her back to Ginny.
There, now let me see you. Ginny jumped down on the floor, leaving Hermione standi
ng radiantly on the bed.
Turn around for me Hermione. Hermione spun around in a circle on the bed, a Queen
on her pedestal.
It s perfect, Hermione. You were born to wear that dress. Ron is going to die when
he sees you in it. Hermione blushed furiously red at Ginny s praise. She jumped of
fthe bed and stood in front of the mirror. Ginny came up behind her and hugged h
er tight.
You really will be my sister now won t you? Ginny whispered
Oh my, aren t we beautiful, the mirror commented at Hermione.
We ll have to hide it because he can t see it until our wedding day, Hermione gushed,
as she turned to Ginny.
Why not? Ginny asked puzzled. Hermione stared at her.
Right, you wouldn t know. It s considered bad luck in the non-magic world for the gro
om to see the wedding dress before the wedding, Ginny.
Really? That is so odd. She grinned mischievously. It is going to be so much fun te
asing Ron about it. Hermione sank to her knees in front of Ginny holding her hand
s in hers and looking up at her.
Ron is my best friend in the whole world. I am going to marry him. You and Harry
share the same place in my heart. Harry has already agreed to be our Best Man. H
e is the brother I never had; you are the sister I never had. Will you be my Mai
d of Honor Ginny? Ginny sank down on the floor with Hermione and pulled her into
her arms. She was happily crying
I thought you would never ask Hermione.
********************

Harry was starting to wonder what had happened.


Looks like whatever you did, didn t upset them too much, Ron grumped at Harry from h
is bed.
Yeah .I guess, Harry replied eyeing the door warily. Hedwig floated back into the ro
om dropped a note in Ron s hands and settled in her cage.
Hedwig, did you deliver the package to Hermione? Harry asked.
Whoooo.
Bloody Hell! That s twice now, Ron yelped. Harry turned back to see the last of the
parchment in Ron s hands go up in flames.
I ve got to be nut s asking one of them, any of them, to marry me, Ron mumbled before
lying down on his bed.
What was in the note, Ron?
Sorry, Harry, can t tell you. Ginny said if I opened my mouth she would force feed
me polyjuice potion with essence of Millicent Bulstrode.
Oh . Harry sat back down on his bed feeling very nervous.
Maybe we should just go get it over with? the voices asked. tentatively .No on sec
ond thought that might be a bad idea, they decided.
Harry groaned out loud.
Harry?
Yeah, Ron?
Hermione says thank you.
Oh .good, Harry said relief flooding over him.
But that you re still in trouble for spying on her, Ron added.
I .But it was your idea, Harry stammered.
Sorry Harry, she s a girl. I have no idea how they think .Better you than me though.
Thanks a lot, Ron, Harry snapped. Ron didn t reply and a few minutes later Harry hea
rd him start to snore.
Bugger, now I ll never get to sleep, Harry sighed to himself as he fell back on his
pillow.

Author's note:

I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev


iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.
I thought I would address this now, as some people may not like the idea of Brid
gette kissing Ron. So you know, Ron was overreacting, she did not try to french
kiss him, and Bridgette only teased him about doing it again because she knew he
would freak out. The concept in JKR's world that Ron and Bridgette could actual
ly have been placed together, should not be a shock. Look at the scene with the
Black Familly tapistry. I think it is in Order of the Phoenix. The concept of ma
rried cousins is alive and well. I think the quote is from Sirius. "The purebloo
ds would have died out if they did not intermarry." Something to that affect. Fo
r those of you who are angry about this, I am sorry, but I am working in the wor
ld JKR created.
One last thing, everyone seems to be catching that Ginny, with a few choice word
s, can send Harry soaring or plummeting. He has the same power over her, only he
exercises it less. Notice how quickly she caved to his demand that she appologi
ze to Bridgette. Also look at her initial reaction to these words from chapter 1
5.
I m not very happy with you, Ginny. I m not sure you should talk to me right now.
I just wanted to point out that it it is not a one way street in their relations
hip.
I received an e-mail from a dedicated reader with a question on the multiple voi
ces concept in my story. She had become confused as to who had them and who did
not. Apparently, I have become to accustomed as the writer to functioning in tha
t manner, and with my writing style had confused her into thinking Bridgette has
multiple voices in the chapter titled Bridgette.
To clarify: In chapter one, I state that there are three wizards and two witches
with multiple voices. They are.
Dumbledore: Developed who knows when and used extensively.
Voldemort: Developed who knows when and used extensively. We find out about Vold
emort having the voices from Harry in the chapter titled, Ginny.
Harry: First developed forth year while the imposter Mad-Eye has him under the i
mperious curse. The voice lies dormant until chapter four of this story.
Hermione: First developed, third year while using the time turner. The voice wen
t dormant during her fourth and fifth years and resurfaced in chapter five of th
is story.
Ginny: First developed her first year while fighting against Tom Riddle s diary. S
he has used her ability and developed it ever since.
At the time the voices are introduced in chapter one, the three wizards and two
witches statement is true. Ron first develops his ability with multiple voices i
n chapter five, of this story. He becomes the fourth wizard with the ability ali
ve in the world today.
These six sorcerers will be the only ones to have the multiple voices in this st
ory, and in my version of year seven. At times, there will be other witches or w
izards who have a conversation between themselves, and the one voice that lives
in their mind like Bridgette does in chapter fifteen. You can tell the differenc
e in the speaker tags. Bridgette s conversation with the voice will look like this
.
What can I do? Bridgette silently asked the voice.
Luna told you what to do, the voice responded.
For Harry or any of the others with multiple voices, the conversation would look
like this.
What can I do? Harry silently asked the voice.
Luna told you what to do, the voices responded. Or
Luna told you what to do, the second voice responded.
I hope this clarifies things for people.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 17: My Life for Yours


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry woke up the Monday after the ball and resolved that he was going to get at
least one of his girl problems figured out. Except for the one time he saw her
duck into an empty room when she caught sight of him, he had been unable to find
Bridgette. Harry found it funny that she seemed to be pulling back from him, wh
en she had started the whole thing. He couldn t find any other reason for why she
was avoiding him.
Hermione on the other hand, he had a pretty good idea what she was up too. Harry
had spent Saturday walking around on edge waiting for something to happen. By S
unday night when nothing had, he had grabbed his invisibility cloak and snuck in
to the restricted section of the library. It had taken most of the night, but in
the end, he finally found the spell he was looking for. Oddly, it had been easy
to master.
Harry knocked on the door before poking his head into Hermione and Ginny s room.
Morning guys, he said looking around. Seen Hermione?
Morning, Harry, Ginny replied brightly. Ron looked up from the chessboard.
She was gone when I got here this morning, he said grumpily.
Oh . Harry replied.
I think we found her, the voices said together inside his head.
Harry had spent all of Friday and Saturday night, trying to think of how, after
the ball, Dumbledore had known Ron and Hermione were hiding behind an invisibili
ty spell. On Sunday night he had found the book that Ginny had used to learn the
spell. Buried in the middle of it was a reference to a proximity detection spel
l.
It had taken a further three hours to find the book that was referenced, but it
seemed to have been time well spent now. Harry couldn t be sure, but he thought Br
idgette might have been partially right about Dumbledore bluffing when he had sa
id good night to Ron and Hermione.
Yeah, I can feel something on the chair next to Ron. I can t tell who though. I wo
nder if you can start to identify people with this after you get better at it? H
arry replied silently.
I guess in the meantime we bluff, the voices said.
Well, when you see her, because I m sure I won t .Ginny .Tell her that I m getting a littl
tired of this game, and I ll be glad to return the dress if she wants. Ron and Gin
ny both snapped their heads in his direction when he said Ginny s name.
What dress? Ron asked.
See you later, Ron. Harry closed the door and headed for the lake.

What dress, Ginny? Ron snapped at her. And take that invisibility spell off of Herm
ione. Ginny waved her wand at the chair next to Ron.
Never you mind what dress, Ronald, Ginny replied without looking up.
Hermione, Ron growled at her. Hermione sighed.
Last Friday at the shop, after you two left, things went pretty fast. We were hea
ding out the door when I saw a dress that was beautiful.
Hermione, you said he s not supposed to know, Ginny hissed. Let me just wipe his memo
ry quick. Ginny raised her wand at her brother. Ron threw up a shield spell.
You wouldn t, he said turning white.
I said he can t see it, Ginny. It s ok for him to know I have it. Remember, you wante
d to tease him about it, Hermione replied calmly. Ginny dropped her wand again.
Oh right, forgot about that I guess. Ron stared at his sister for a moment longer
before turning back to Hermione. He decided to keep his shield up for a while.
It s beautiful, Ronald. You re going to love it. I can hardly wait for you to see it,
Hermione gushed at him.
Erm .I m still a little lost here, Ron replied.
My wedding dress, Love, Bridgette talked me in to trying it on. Harry must have s
een me or got it out of her some how, they bought it for me. Hermione had moved o
nto Ron s lap. Her arms were wrapped around his neck and she was gazing expectantl
y into his eyes.
Gezz, Hermione, you re glowing, Ginny said quietly, from across the room.
You .You knew I was going to ask you? Ron stammered. Who told you?
Ronald, I swear I had no clue you were going to propose to me. It was just a whim
that I tried it on. Really, Love, no one gave your surprise away, Hermione whisp
ered to him.
You had no clue? Ron asked again. Hermione shook her head, a huge smile on her fac
e.
Let me see it! Ron demanded.
Nope, Hermione said brightly, before bouncing up and twirling around the room with
her arms out. You ll just have to wait, Love, she teased. Ginny jumped off the couc
h and grabbed a hold of Hermione s hands. They twirled around the room together la
ughing gaily.
What do you mean no? Ron asked the surprise evident on his face.
It s considered bad luck if you see my dress before the wedding, Love, Hermione repl
ied, pushing his buttons. Ron s mouth flapped.
It s a Muggle tradition, Ron. Hermione told me about it Friday night, Ginny teased a
s she and Hermione tumbled to the floor.
Oh, I don t feel so good, Hermione groaned from the floor before she and Ginny start
ed laughing again.
A Muggle tradition, but Hermione, you re a witch, Ron stammered
Yes, but I was raised by Muggles. And you should be careful, Muggle women conside
r it an insult to be called a witch, Hermione teased him. Ron flapped his mouth a
gain. Ginny was doing everything she could not to laugh at him.
You re not going to show me, are you? Ron asked still surprised.
Nope .Oh, let s see what else is there .I want to do the betrothement ceremony and the
smoke rings. You know about those having been raised in the magic world, but we re
not using those canned vows that sorcerers do. You ll have to write your own, Ron
ald, like the Muggles do, Hermione said sweetly, while flashing the smile Ron lov
ed at him.
Write my own vows? What does that mean? Ron asked cautiously, his mind going a mil
lion miles and hour.
You know the vows, Ronald. Where you pledge your undying love to me, that I am wh
at completes you, all that kind of stuff, Hermione replied, smiling at him.
Yeah, there are standard lines we re supposed to say, Ron answered, not liking where
this conversation was going.
Well Muggles don t have standard lines .Actually sometimes they do but usually they w
rite their own. I want something original. So, you re going to have to write your
own, Hermione finished, her eyes dancing brilliantly.
You re nuts, Ron gasped. Ginny had watched the whole exchange, thinking it was very
funny, until she realized what the implications were all about.
I think I agree with him, Hermione. He s liable to compare kissing you to belching
slugs or something, Ginny said evenly.
Nope, I ve dreamed about this for years. He ll have to write his own, Hermione replied
seriously. I m going to write mine, she added.
But you re a girl. It ll take you five minutes, Ron protested. Hermione stood up, cros
sed the room and kissed Ron on the top of the head before heading towards the ba
throom.
Sorry, Love, but this is non-negotiable, she called back to him before she closed
the door. Ron stared after her for a minute.
Hey, Hermione, he hollered at the closed door, Harry told me to tell you he was loo
king for you .Take your dress with you and when you find him .Tell him I said he cou
ld have you.
I love you too, Ronald Weasley, Hermione yelled back through the door. Ron turned
back to the chessboard again and moved one of the black pieces. Ginny watched hi
m closely.
I must have been mental, he mumbled.
You re white again? she asked quietly.
Mmmup, he grunted studying the board.
Damn, Ron slammed his fist on the table, upsetting some of the pieces. The black k
ing turned towards him.
Do you yield then? Good sir.
Yes, I yield .Set it up again, Ron snarled at the board. The pieces began to take up
their places for a new game. A number of the white pieces that had been taken e
arlier in the game were grumbling about their heads hurting.
Shut it, and get in place, Ron snapped at them.
Ron, I know I m not that good, but I thought I saw at least one decent play availab
le, Ginny said quietly.
I had three good plays, Gin, and five bad ones. The longest scenario had me losin
g in twenty plays. The worst, I was done in three .And you re not a bad player .What m
ove did you see, Gin? Ron asked a second later hoping it was something he missed.
"Your queen s bishop, taking the black king s knight, Ginny replied. Ron smiled ruefu
lly.
Not many people would see that, Gin. It was the second best play I could make. Gi
ving me a momentary advantage that would be lost two plays later. The whole scen
ario plays out in thirteen moves.
You can keep all of that in your head? Ginny asked in awe. Ron nodded at her.
Pawn to E4, he said to the board.
What about the other plays you mentioned? Did you have all of that in your head t
oo?
Yeah I did.
And you calculated that all out, in the short amount of time between moving the b
lack piece and conceding the game?
No, I anticipated the move the voices made about three plays before that. I had e
liminated six of my possible responses to the move, as being dead, before the pl
ay was even made. I didn t finish calculating out the other two until after the mo
ve was made.
How are you able to keep all that in you re mind, Ron?
I don t know, Gin, I just can.
Then why are you doing it? Ron shrugged, he seemed confused at the thought himself
. Ron smiled at his sister.
Don t know, to see if I can. It s only a game. I guess I m pushing myself just like you
push Harry.
Keep trying, Ron, You ll get it, Ginny said, leaning down to give him a hug.
Any chance you ll let me sneak a look at that dress?
Nope, Ginny replied sweetly. You re going to love it though .I ll probably have to give
ou an anti-drooling spell now that I think about it, she added almost to herself.
Gin, I m going to need help with my vows and something tells me Hermione is not the
person to ask. Ginny sat down and pushed the board out of the way.
This might take a while, she said. Lets get started. Hermione came out of the bathroo
m a short while later. Ron hastily shoved his parchment into his bag.
What was that? she asked.
Nothing, Ginny replied curtly. Hermione eyed them warily.
Working on your vows, I guess you don t really want me to tell Harry he can have me
then, she teased, kissing Ron on the top of his head.
Any idea where he went? she asked.
Nope, Ron replied brightly, mimicking her display from earlier.
None, Ginny added sincerely. Hermione sighed and picked up her bag.
I better go find him then. I guess it is about time to let him off the hook. See
you in potions.
I might as well meet you here. Snape is just going to kick us out again, Ron grumb
led to her.
I know, but we have to at least show up, Hermione said, closing the door behind he
r.

********************

Harry sat on the rock, studying his potions notes for class later that day. He c
ast the proximity detection spell around himself and waited, it was a better spe
ll to use than a shield for this. He wanted to catch Hermione before she got clo
se. With a shield he wouldn t know she was there until he got hit. This way he cou
ld sense about twenty feet into the woods, which started about fifteen feet behi
nd him. Plus it was easy to maintain, taking almost no energy. Harry recast his
warming spell. It was cold and he had been there for almost an hour.
We re going to have to teach this spell to the others after this whole fiasco, the
voices said to him.
I know, Harry replied.

Hermione walked slowly down the path. When she had exited the school, she had se
en what she thought was Harry s black hair poking up over the hill. Now, a hundred
feet or so away, she peered around the last bend in the path.
That s him; we d recognize that messy black hair anywhere, the voices said together.
...He is cute, isn t he? they added a moment later.
We have made our choice, Hermione snapped silently at them, a little shocked too
.
Well yes, but that doesn t mean we have to shut our eyes you know, the first voice
replied.
I agree with her, the second voice added. Life could get dull if we can t at least
notice someone is cute.
Honestly, what am I going to do with you two? Hermione asked.
He is cute, isn t he? she added a second later.
Ha, I told you, the first voice said. This means you have to stay up with Ginny
next time.
Whatever, the second voice replied disgustedly.
You two bet on me? Hermione gasped, aghast at the idea. What else are you up to
that I don t know about?
Not a thing. Examine us; we can t hide anything you don t want to know, the voices r
eplied together.
How did you hide this? Hermione asked, as she mentally probed her mind.
We weren t, you just weren t paying attention, they replied. Hermione finished searc
hing her mind.
It is a little odd getting used to you two sometimes. You know that, Herimone sa
id to them. The voices didn t answer.
Are you both clear on what we re doing? she asked them.
Yep, he knows something is coming. He hasn t seen us in over two days so he is pro
bably pretty wound up. This is going to be fun, the voices replied.
Ok then, here we go, Hermione said quietly, as she double-checked the area to see
if anyone else was in sight before assuming her animagus and moving off the path
.
*

Harry looked up and out over the lake. After testing his spell in the room that
morning, he knew that what he had been feeling moving around behind him, were th
e different birds and small animals that lived in the forest. He had even felt a
large presence approach him from the water. It had unnerved him enough that he
had scrambled to his feet and drawn his wand before realizing that it was the gi
ant squid that lived in the lake. Now he felt something larger coming from behin
d him.
It certainly doesn t feel like Hermione. But then we wouldn t have been able to tell
the difference between Ron and Ginny if we hadn t been able to see them, the voic
es said.
Whatever it was stopped moving when we looked up, Harry replied.

Hermione padded slowly through the woods. She could just see Harry through the b
rush and his head had just come up. Hermione stopped; her right front paw, not q
uite touching the ground when she saw him move, frozen in place. Her long powerf
ul body sunk down closer to the ground.
Her senses alive in ways that could not be imagined, she caught his scent blown
to her from the wind. Breathing it in deeply she could tell he was tense. Hermio
ne rotated her ears, listening to see if there was something or someone around t
hat might have disturbed him. Harry s head dropped down again. One paw at a time,
slowly, cautiously stalking her prey, she began to creep forward.

It s moving again. Barely though, the voices said to Harry.


I know. I can t figure what it is. I think it s an animal though. Ron and Ginny both
felt different than this, Harry replied. He waited another moment or two before
lifting his head and turning to look over his shoulder into the woods.

Hermione froze; her eyes narrowed to slits, as their bright shine was all that c
ould give away the camouflage of her dark brown streaked coat. She sniffed in th
e air again, the sweat smell of his perspiration wafting to her. Her tail twitch
ed slightly behind her.
He knows something is behind him, she thought to herself. Harry turned around to
face the lake again. Hermione crouched down lower, her belly scraping the groun
d; she began to angle off to her left.

*
Getting closer again, the voices said to him. Harry turned his whole body around
so he was facing the woods now, but continued to read his notes.

Hermione stopped again and lay flat on the ground not even her head was raised.
How does he know we re here? she thought, every nerve in her body tingling in exci
tement. I have to show this to Ron. I wonder if there is a way Ginny and Harry c
ould transform into lions also. They would be amazed at what this feels like.
We could transfigure them, the voices offered.
Maybe Hermione replied thoughtfully. She then moved forward another foot.

I m not sure I like this, the voices said to Harry. He was scanning the edge of th
e woods now.
I don t think that s Hermione .I think were being hunted, they added a second later.
Quiet, we have no hope of getting out of here. We need to find whatever it is, H
arry snarled, as he removed his wand from his pocket and set it on the rock next
to him.

Hermione had inched forward to within a foot of the edge of the woods. She saw H
arry place something on the rock next to him. Breathing in his scent again, she
noticed it had changed. Something was different; there was still the sense of ca
ution. He definitely knew something was in the woods near him. She racked her br
ain trying to remember when she had smelt it before.
Last year in the Ministry, when the Death Eaters surrounded us! the voices screa
med at her. She recognized it now. Fear turned to determination. He was preparin
g to fight.
That was his wand he placed on the ground next to him, Hermione thought to herse
lf.
This may not be such a good idea, Hermione. He could hurt us if we try to pounce
on him, the voices said nervously. Hermione didn t reply.

It has to be there! the voices said in a panic, as Harry stared directly at Herm
ione. Stun it already!
Quiet! I don t want to hurt Hermione if she is using the invisibility spell, Harry
snapped, but moved his hand over his wand anyways. He could feel the warmth rad
iating up from it.
Two, can you bring up a shield without me picking up my wand? Harry asked the vo
ice.
I m trying, move just a little closer to it. Harry moved his hand a fraction of an
inch lower, and felt the shield go up around him.
Hermione let out an ear splitting roar while standing up and slowly padding into
the open.
ARRRGGGHHH! Harry screamed clenching his hand around his wand and jumping to his f
eet before he recognized it was Hermione padding slowly to him.
You scared the he well you scared me have to death! he yelled at her, as he stuffed
his wand back in his pocket. Hermione continued to pad over to him. She brushed
up forcefully against his legs purring loudly.
Don t try and make up with me, Harry snapped, stumbling back. Hermione s purring chang
e to a small growl.
And don t threaten me either, he snapped again, crashing to the ground as she bumped
into his legs more forcefully. Hermione flopped down on the ground, her head cr
ashed down on Harry s chest forcing him on to his back. Harry tried to push her of
f but she was much too heavy.
I buy you that beautiful dress, you see fit to punish me for two days for it and
now you want to make up? Harry said angrily. But he was now stroking her back. He
rmione began to purr again. She stood up put her front paws on his chest, looked
around the area and then down at him. Harry wasn t sure how he knew, but he answe
red anyways.
No, I m positive there is no one else around, he told her. You re awful heavy you know,
I can hardly breathe, Mione. She had lowered her head to within and inch of his
face. Horror spread in his eyes.
Don t you dare kiss me like that I don t care if you are a lion. I ll tell Ron you trie
d to slip me the tongue, he yelped while struggling furiously to get away from he
r. Hermione transformed before his eyes and kissed his forehead.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Harry James Potter, Hermione squealed before lyin
g down on his chest again.
You re welcome, Mione.
Harry, have I mentioned lately that I love you?
I love you too, Mione.
I didn t know friends like you and Ginny existed in the world, Harry, Hermione said
softly.
Me either, Mione, Harry replied. They sat there a while resting together before Ha
rry spoke again.
Um, Mione this is really nice and all, but someone could see us you know. I can o
nly tell what is going on about forty feet out or so.
Let them see. You know I don t care what people think.
Well there is the little matter of your fiancé, Harry answered.
Oh, ok, Hermione replied sitting up. We need to get to potions anyways. That took a
lot longer than I thought it would. Besides after the episode last Friday, I to
ld Ron I was giving you a big thank you for something and he might either see or
hear about me giving you a kiss on the cheek or forehead. Harry watched her clos
ely for a second.
Is that a fact? He knew you were planning something. Remind me I owe him one then
, Harry said picking up his bag and heading up the path. Hermione hurried to catc
h up and hooked her arm in his.
Harry, how did you know I was there?
I ll teach you and Ron later today. When Snape throws us out of class .Make sure you
thank Bridgette, Hermione. She helped pay for the dress too. Though I m not sure s
he will appreciate you kissing her, he added giving her an elbow in the side.

********************

His hand on her elbow, Harry marched Hermione up to Ron.


Here mate, I brought you re fiancé back, he said letting her go and continuing to walk
past him.
Erm .Thanks, Ron replied. He was still having trouble getting over the shock that sh
e had actually said yes. Hearing someone call Hermione his fiancé outloud still su
rprised him. Harry stopped and turned around. He made sure Ron caught him wink a
t Hermione and clapped his hand on his shoulder.
Bit of advice. When you make out, use lip balm, it keeps your lips softer. Girls
like that .Oh, and open your mouth just a little wider. She said she likes that. He
rmione s eyes bugged out of her head. Ron s mouth flapped in the air. Harry clapped
his hand on Ron s shoulder twice more then turned and walked into the potions dung
eon.
He s joking right? Tell me he s joking. Hermione was still too stunned to say anything
.
Of course I m kidding you stupid git, Harry yelled back over his shoulder. Are you tw
o coming or not? he asked holding the door for them.
That was not funny, Harry, Ron snarled, glaring at him as he got close then burst
out laughing. Harry joined him.
Lip balm, I ll have to try that, Ron commented, laughing as he took a seat next to H
arry with Hermione huffing in indignation across from them.
Men, she grumped quietly.
Harry and Ron managed to wipe the smiles off their faces just as Snape walked in
the room. A second later when all three of them looked at each other they lost
it again.
Twenty points from Gryffindor! Snape screamed at the top of his lungs. Out, just ge
t out! He spat at them a second later.
Well, I think that has to be a new record, Hermione said lightly, as they trudged
up the stairs a minute later.

********************

So tell me about the spell? Hermione asked, as she added bubotuber puss to her cau
ldron. Ron was busy chopping moleskin and Harry was stirring the cauldron once e
very twenty seconds.
It s a proximity detection spell. I guess the best way to describe it is like when
you get the feeling someone or something is behind you. You know, when the hair
stands up on the back of you neck. The spell just kind of extends the range of y
our senses, Harry replied. I had you, Hermione. The voices wanted me to stun you, h
e added. Ron looked up at him.
You were going to stun her? he asked incredulously.
I couldn t tell what was in the woods, Ron, Harry said defensively. She stalked me fo
r almost fifteen minutes. I had tried it on you and Ginny this morning. I couldn t
tell who you were without seeing you. But I also felt a third person sitting on
the chair next to you this morning. I figured it was Mione and this didn t feel l
ike that. I forgot about her animagus .It would have been her own fault you know, h
e added quietly.
Ron, Harry didn t stun me, Hermione came to his defense. He could have. But he warned
me a number of times that he knew I was there.
It was really kind of disappointing not to be able to leap out at him, she added a
moment later, frustration on her face.
Yeah, that would have been great, giving me a heart attack. Heck, my heart was po
unding so hard you might have anyways, Harry replied sarcastically.
I know I did, that was the idea, Hermione replied. So what s going on with you and Br
idgette? she asked, changing the subject. Harry sighed.
I don t really know. I haven t seen her since the dance.
Oh .sorry, Harry.
It s ok, Mione. I think something is wrong .Maybe for both of us.
Harry, remember what I said the other day? Ron asked quietly.
No, Ron, I don t, Harry replied, shaking his head a moment later.
It doesn t have to be Bridgette, Harry. If it s not, then at least you have come out
of your shell some. Harry sat for a while, quietly stirring the cauldron.
That s just it, Ron. I m not sure I have. I feel really close to Bridgette. We ve talke
d a lot about what our hopes and dreams might be. But I m stuck in this mess. I do
n t know. I think I want to let her in. I don t know if I can though.
Harry Hermione started
Look, Harry interrupted her, I don t know what I would do without you two. I apprecia
te what you re both trying to do. Maybe Ron s right, maybe someone else can get in.
But Bridgette and I need to talk about this. Not us three. Harry looked at his tw
o friends desperately hoping they would let the subject drop.
Maybe we could talk about you re wedding plans? he prodded after a few minutes of si
lence. I haven t even heard about a date yet. Ron looked at Hermione she shrugged ne
rvously.
What? Harry asked.
We just got permission from Dumbledore, to use the Great Hall, the day after term
, Ron answered. Harry looked shocked. It hadn t really registered with him that Ron
and Hermione were going to be married during their last year of school.
Erm .are you two going to be living together next year? he asked a moment later. Ron
and Hermione looked very nervous now.
Dumbledore is going to make arrangements for us to have a small flat somewhere in
the castle .He hasn t told us where yet, Ron answered again.
Oh, Harry said quietly.
Harry, Hermione said, reaching for his hand, you re welcome to stay anytime.
Thanks, Mione, he mumbled quietly.
Harry, this is really hard for both of us. I don t know how to make you understand
this. But Hermione and I, well we both don t feel right if we don t see you during t
he day. Hermione isn t telling you to come see us for you. She is telling you that
for us. Harry looked at what had always been his two best friends. Hermione was
crying, Ron s eyes were shining and he himself was having trouble holding back his
own tears. Harry couldn t help starting to laugh.
What s so funny? Hermione demanded.
Us. You, me, Ron, Harry replied. This is all your guys fault that we re standing here
blubbering like idiots.
Our fault? Ron asked in indignation. Why is it our fault?
Because you weren t happy fighting like an old married couple. No, not you two, you
had to go and fall in love with each other, when things were perfectly fine the
way they were.
Well if you would like, we could add the fighting back into our relationship, Herm
ione teased him.
No, I think I prefer it this way, Harry replied. They finished up with the potions
in silence, and started to pick things up for the day.
I think I m going to go look for Bridgette. If you see her please tell her I would
like to talk with her. Harry headed for the door.
Sure thing, Harry, Ron replied. Harry turned around.
Ron, Hermione .
Yeah, Harry? they asked together.
Make sure Dumbledore gets you a big couch, Harry replied with a smile.
Sure, Harry, Hermione answered. They stood there for a while looking at each other
. You want to say something else, don t you? she prodded him.
Erm .Look please don t take this the wrong way .I just know that weddings are expensive
and neither one of you have jobs .I just want you to know that I ll pay for anythin
g you want. All you have to do is ask. Harry quickly walked out of the room befor
e they could say anything else.

********************

It was another three days before Harry found Bridgette. Actually, she found him,
because he had given up.
Harry? Harry looked up from his book he was back down at the lake again. It was be
coming his new favorite place, cast a warming spell and even the cold was held a
t bay.
I felt someone coming down the path, Harry replied without turning around. I didn t e
xpect it to be you.
You felt me coming? Harry turned around to look at her.
Yes, I learned a proximity detection spell. I can t identify who someone is with it
. I can tell you that there is no other person within forty to fifty feet of her
e. There is a fairly large animal about thirty-five feet away in that direction.
Harry pointed. Probably one of Hagrid s threstrals, I saw him moving them into that
area the other day. I think there is a chance you were right, when you wondered
if Dumbledore was bluffing when he said goodnight to Ron and Hermione after the
ball. Harry smiled at her. Bridgette looked at Harry surprise on her face.
You ve been avoiding me, do I kiss that badly? he asked.
What? No, it was nice. Bridgette was flustered by the sudden change of topics. Har
ry smiled and shook his head.
I told Ginny the same thing when she asked me if I had kissed you. She told me a
girl doesn t want to hear that kissing her was nice. Bridgette sat down next to him
.
I guess that leaves us in the same place then, doesn t it? she asked. Harry didn t rep
ly. Bridgette sighed deeply.
I was trying to figure out what went wrong, Harry. I was sure I wanted a relation
ship with you. That maybe it could lead to what Ron and Hermione have. I asked y
ou to open up and you did. I thought things were going so well .And then we kissed
each other.
And you ve been trying to figure out why you felt nothing, Harry finished for her.
Yes, she answered softly.
Me too, Harry replied. I didn t expect the earth to move. People are always saying th
ings like that. But I thought there would be something. I don t know if it s you, or
if I just can t do what you are asking me too. They sat quietly for a few minutes.
So what do we do now? Harry asked softly.
I think that maybe we quit trying so hard. And maybe come back to it if we feel s
omething change, Bridgette replied.
And if we don t?
We move on, Harry. They sat facing each other for a while, not looking at each oth
er, just letting the other think.
Harry, you ve given me something that almost every girl in this school wants from y
ou. You gave me a chance and I love you for that, because I understand how hard
it was for you to even try. I told you I could live with the guilt if something
were to happen to you. The fact is that we would still both have to go on. But i
f you die in this war, part of me will die with you. Harry smiled at her.
You re right, Bridgette, we have no choice but to go on. I m not good with words like
you. My feelings are usually in my actions. I have something I want you to have
. Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out a chocolate frog card of Albus Dum
bledore. Bridgette took the card from him.
A chocolate frog card?
Other than following you everywhere you go, it is the best protection I can give
you. Put it in your pocket and never take it out.
Harry, I don t understand, how can this protect me?
I make Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville, Luna and Cho carry them everywhere they go
too. I carry one also. They think I m nuts, but they do it to humor me. I haven t ev
en told them as much as I ve told you. Just carry the card, Bridgette, Harry replie
d smiling at her. Bridgette turned the card over in her hand a number of times.
Harry, does he? Bridgette asked her eyes growing wide.
Just carry the card, Bridgette. And don t even think about what you were going to a
sk. Erase it from your mind. Remember, we are at war. Bridgette tucked the card i
n the pocket of her robes.
Thank you, Harry.
I m getting cold. Are you coming in? Harry asked standing up and offering her his ha
nd. Bridgette let him help her up, and they started up the path.
Are you coming to the DA meeting tomorrow?
Do you still want me there? Bridgette replied.
Yes, Bridgette I do.
I ll be there then, Harry.

********************

Harry and Ron sat staring at Ginny and the book, listening to Hermione s explanati
on in disbelief.
This is what pushed Ginny over the edge last year. She found it. But when she rea
d that you had to share the same blood, it was too much for her to take, Hermione
said quietly. That s when she came to me that first night. She told me about this
a few days later. Ever since, whenever you two were working on trying to make ne
w spells, we have been looking for a way around it.
Harry looked at the book he had bought Ginny for being named a Prefect. This was
the secret that his mother found. It was an ancient text. Buried in it were clu
es that she had followed to other books. Hundreds of clues, that sometimes had l
ead his mother and now Ginny to just one word in the instructions for the potion
that his mother had administered to him and drank herself.
Because of her love, it had allowed the life in her death to pass from her body
and form a protection around Harry. It was possible that the protection existed
to this day. The stronger the love of the person who made the sacrifice the long
er the protection would last.
It caused a reflection of the death curse that was supposed to have killed the p
erson who cast the curse at Harry. Unfortunately, the precautions Voldemort had
taken against death had saved him. He had been condemned to fourteen years witho
ut a body. Harry, obviously, had lived also. The price however, was the connecti
on that now existed between himself and Voldemort.
The book had protections built into it that erased the memory of how to make the
potion from the person, or persons who did. It would disappear once the potion
was consumed by the maker, lost to the world again until it sensed another looki
ng for it, whose love was strong enough that the spell could work. The last prot
ection it had was that even though Ginny had found it once, she would never find
it again. Harry snapped out of his thoughts. Hermione was talking again.
I think this other spell, this Blood Oath, may allow the potion to work for Ginny
. Either way, it can t hurt to try. We have the potion brewed in the bathroom alre
ady. It was unbelievably complicated. But we did it, and I m sure it is right.
So you think that if we take this Blood Oath we can all take this potion and give
each other the same protection that Harry s mum gave him? Ron asked in a bewildere
d voice.
Not quiet, Ronald, it will only work for Ginny. She found the book; only she can
give the protection to others. We cannot give it to her. She can give the potion
to a maximum of three people. Harry looked at Ron and Hermione and then turned t
o Ginny. She had not said a word yet.
There are two requirements to who I share the potion with; one is shared blood, t
he other is they have to be the people I love the most. I can give the potion to
you, Ron, and it will work. But I can t give it to any of the other people in our
family who I share blood with. I have to give it to Harry and Hermione, even if
it is a waste, she said quietly, avoiding his eyes. Ron reached across the table
and put his hand on Ginny s.
I would have to make the same choice, Gin, he told her firmly. Ginny smiled weakly
at him.
Thanks, Ron.
Ginny, why did you do this? Harry asked.
Well, the book found me, as much as I found it. But once I had it, and knew what
it was, it was like I was driven to figure it out. I did it hoping I could help
everyone I care about. This book is a blessing and a curse. Help people, but onl
y three. And then only if you love them the most and share the same blood as the
y do.
That must be why my mum didn t share it with my father, Harry remarked quietly.
We don t know that for sure. Though you are probably right, Hermione replied. Harry,
from what I know of your parents murder, and what Ginny did to herself to figure
this out. I would bet that your mother had just finished brewing the potion when
Voldemort showed up. She had known for a year that Voldemort was after you. And
if she didn t have the voices like us, then it would have taken her two to three
times as long to decipher this. I don t think she had time to look for a way aroun
d it. Even if she did, she and your father were only concerned with you at that
point. I think your father probably went to fight Voldemort so your mother had e
nough time to give you the potion and drink it herself. Harry contemplated this f
or a long time before he said anything.
I see a problem that I m not sure there is a way around, he said quietly, his eyes b
oring in on Ginny. If we allow you to do this, I see you being reckless, needless
ly sacrificing yourself so the protection is in place for us three. I m not sure I
can do that.
I told you, Ginny, Hermione said quietly. Harry watched Ron considering this new t
hought carefully. He could almost see him decide there was no way on earth he co
uld be forced to drink that potion. Ginny had obviously given it a great deal of
thought too.
There is nothing I can do to convince you, that that is not a possibility. I have
the opportunity to give this to you if you want it. If you don t, then because I
have already brewed the potion, it is too late for me to hold onto the book and
see if my feelings change enabling me to give the potion to someone else.
If the potion is not consumed by midnight, the book along with mine and Hermione s
knowledge of how to brew the potion will be gone. If you refuse to drink the pot
ion, you will forfeit your right to find the book in the future also. You don t ha
ve to feel bad if you don t want to take it. I would not accept it from any of you
for the same reason. I m sorry to possibly take away your chance to share this wi
th someone. I wanted the book gone. This is the only way to banish it. Ginny cast
her eyes to the floor again.
Harry, you will not damage the protection your mother gave you when she administe
red the potion to you as a baby if you refuse to drink it now, Hermione added. I h
ave already decided I will not drink the potion. Regardless, I think I would lik
e to perform the Blood Oath. It is supposed to weaken the effects of dark magic
because of the love shared by the people who take the oath. The stronger your lo
ve for the person you take the oath with, the more protection it is supposed to
give.
How come everyone doesn t perform the oath? Harry asked.
Well, it is supposed to be nearly unbearable to perform. Also the scar from a suc
cessful bond can tingle slightly from time to time for the rest of your life. It
is not supposed to be painful, just serve as a reminder so to speak. Last, if w
hen you perform the oath the magic senses weakness in your pledge, the cut can t
ake a long time to heal. Some sorcerers have had to take blood replenishing poti
ons for years because of a failed bond. Hermione replied. Ron looked at Harry and
shrugged.
I don t think that should be a problem, he said.
Harry and Ron grasped their hands tightly together with a six-inch knife blade h
eld between them. They both wrapped their other hand around the handle of the kn
ife.
Ready? Ron asked, looking in Harry s eyes. Harry nodded his head. They pulled the bl
ade together from between their hands. Both their eyes grew wide as the cut was
made and the blood began to flow. They dropped the knife to the floor and began
to speak together.
With my blood accept brotherhood
I pledge my life to defend yours
I have no right to demand the same of you
This is my gift for you to accept
Harry felt a hot burning sensation begin in his hand it traveled up his arm and
spread through his body. He and Ron both clenched their hands involuntarily tigh
ter together. They were driven to their knees gasping in agony before the pain f
aded slightly from their bodies and focused its intensity on their joined hands.
It felt as if their hands had been shut in a blast furnace, finally it began to
fade entirely.
Harry let go of Ron s hand and looked at his palm. There was a long thin white sca
r where the cut had been made. It continued to tingle slightly as his body relax
ed now that it had been released from the magic of the Blood Oath.
I can see why not many people do this, Harry said quietly. Ron nodded his head in
agreement. Harry then turned to watch as Hermione and Ginny repeated the same pr
ocess, inserting the word sisterhood for brotherhood into the incantation.
An hour later Harry looked at the three scars on his palm. Each scar continued t
o tingle slightly. They had each repeated the blood oath three times that night.
Even Ron and Ginny, who were already blood relatives, decided to perform the oa
th together because it would strengthen each other s defensive abilities. Harry wr
apped his arm around Ginny as they sat on the floor watching the book and potion
. And then, both the book and potion were gone.
Thank you for offering that to us, Ginny, Hermione said softly.
Do you regret not drinking it? Ginny asked.
No, Ron, Hermione and Harry replied together. None of them said anything for quite
some time.
Harry? Ginny asked.
Yeah, Gin.
Does this mean you re going to buy me a different present for making Prefect? Harry
started laughing at her.
Anything you want, as long as it s not another book, Gin.

Author's note:
I am getting a little dissapointed in the number of reads I have compared to rev
iews. Come on people, reviews are what keep people writing. I don't care if they
are bad or good as long as the attack is not personal. So, if you want more, pl
ease let me know it. If this is your first time through the story, please give m
e a little something on each chapter.

I have seen one other story with a blood bonding like this, and the author was b
erated for it, because of things like aids and hepititis. Please understand I do
not condone or encourage something like this blood bonding for anyone.
That said, with the importance of blood in the world JKR has created, the concep
t that something like this would not exist, and be used by wizards and witches,
in my mind is just silly. Remember, before you lamblast me that this is a world
of fantasy and people need to use their heads when translating these ideas to th
e real world.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 18: Discovery


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry lay awake late into the night.


Why can t I find it? he screamed in his head. After the revelation three weeks ago
of what Ginny had found and gone through for him, Ron and Hermione; Harry was d
esperate. He and Ron had just spent another night, fruitlessly searching, wracki
ng their brains for the answer to the death curse. Harry didn t know how, but he k
new that this was the spell he was supposed to develop.
It wasn t the spell he would need to defeat Voldemort. But, while he figured out h
ow he was going to kill Voldemort, it would give the world, his friends and his
family a true chance to defend themselves.
The current defense was poor at best. Hide behind an object, or if you were brav
e enough, you could stand out in the open fighting, while throwing objects betwe
en you and the death curse, often enough the deflected spell hit your friend sta
nding next to you.
Harry needed something simpler. Something that would seek out the death curse as
it came at you. Seek it out and absorb it. He knew it would be difficult magic
for people to learn. But if he could find the spell, he might buy his friends ju
st one day. With Ron and Hermione getting married now, he was despairing over gi
ving them as much time together as possible.
What s the use? the voices screamed in frustration back at him.
The death curse has been around since Morgana LeFay. Hundreds of sorcerers smart
er and more powerful than us couldn t find the answer. Merlin himself couldn t find
the answer. Why should we be able to do it? they continued to rage at him.
BECAUSE MY NEED IS GREATER! Harry thundered back at them. Slamming his fist agai
nst the hard stone wall, not even registering the pain it caused him. Almost lik
e they were afraid to upset him more, the voices fell silent.
Rather quietly, considering his mood. Harry grabbed his invisibility cloak and l
eft the dorm room. He had no clue where he was going as exited the portrait hole
and began to wander aimlessly about the halls, but he needed to walk. As he did
, his mind began to drift.

***

Harry found himself floating, looking down on the scene below him. Two people; o
ne looking more like a dead body, lay on the ground. Harry watched curiously as
the smaller person tried to lift the body of his fallen friend. The struggle was
ended a moment later when they were surrounded by dementors.
Harry watched intently as the young boy, he wasn t much smaller than Harry was now
, tried to fend them off. His Patronus charm held for a moment before he was ove
rwhelmed by the shear number of dementors surrounding him. There must have been
two dozen or more. The dementors began to circle in closer sucking the memories
out of the two fallen bodies.
Harry was screaming at them to get up and fight. Willing them to move, it could
be done. Harry himself had done it. But it was too late. The soul of the larger
person began to lift out of its body. And then the dementors began to flee.
Harry s eyes snapped to see what had happened. Charging across the lake from the o
pposite shore, a glowing white stag appeared. Chasing the dementors into the sha
dows it stopped near the bodies of the two fallen people. Harry felt himself glo
wing.

***

Harry shook his head trying to clear it.


Prongs, he whispered under his breath. He looked around and then focused on the lo
cked door he had been trying to get through.
What did we think of that for? the second voice asked.
Where are we anyways? the first asked a moment later.
We haven t been here since first year, the second voice said as Harry got his bear
ings.
We saved Sirius that night, even though we had never done it before, because we
saw ourselves do it. It didn t make sense then either. But it worked, the second v
oice told him excitedly.
All we need is a clue, Harry replied cautiously. Do you think it would work?
Do you think he left it there? the voices asked together.
Alohamora! Harry said quietly, and pulled the door open.
Harry walked cautiously up the steps. He could see the bottles strewn about on t
he floor. Fluffy had been gone, but the Devils Snare was still at the bottom of
the trap door. The winged keys, no movement to be discerned from them, had been
lying on the floor of the next chamber. As he warily walked across the board, th
e chessmen had only watched him. The troll, except for what looked like a giant
dried pile of boogies, that stank so bad Harry was concerned he might pass out,
was gone. This, the ring of fire was the last obstacle. He wouldn t know if the sp
ell was still in place until he stepped onto the landing. Harry already knew the
re were no potions left to take.
We can always summon our broom to get out of here if we need to, the voices said
. Harry took a deep breath and stepped onto the landing. He walked quickly acros
s and descended down the stairs on the other side. It was still there.
Please let this work, he pleaded softly. Fully expecting to see his parents again
or maybe Sirius, he stepped in front of the mirror. Instead, he saw Fawkes. Harr
y walked closer to the mirror. As he had once done with the image of his mother s
hand, he reached for the image of Fawkes.
The image changed. Voldemort was standing over the fallen bodies of Ginny, Hermi
one and Ron. He was laughing, raising his wand. A green light leapt from it towa
rds Hermione.
Nooo! Harry screamed stumbling back, his heart in his throat. Ron s head was rising.
His arm came up and a flame leapt from his wand. A mouth appeared in the flame,
opening wide it closed on the green bolt of the death curse, swallowing it. The
red flame extinguished, turned to black smoke and then almost instantly, burst
into flame again in the form of a phoenix. The image shifted back to Fawkes agai
n. The whole scene began to repeat itself. Harry s heart was pounding.
She s not dead. The mirror wouldn t show me that, he whispered willing himself to beli
eve his words. Harry felt his heart start to beat again. Swallowing deeply, as h
e watched the scene replay again and again, his throat unclenched.
How? he asked, almost inaudibly.
Fawkes, will you come to me? Harry whispered a moment later. Harry turned at the s
ound of Fawkes s song. The brilliant red bird flew into the chamber. It landed acr
oss from him, turning its head slightly as if to ask Harry what he needed, the b
ird stood there a few feet away from him.
Harry stepped tentatively forward and sank to his knees in front of the bird. Fa
wkes hopped towards him as Harry held his hand out.
What do you do, Fawkes? Harry asked softly as he stroked the length of the birds b
ack. The bird tilted its head further to the side.
May I just rest my hand on you? Harry asked. Fawkes let out one loud piercing note
. Then before closing his eyes, the bird settled down on the floor next to Harry
. Harry closed his eyes, and then clearing his mind, he took his wand out, holdi
ng it lightly in his fingers. Harry had no idea how long he sat there. It could
have been seconds our hours, even days.
You find life from death don t you Fawkes .The death of all creatures leads to life f
or another .But you hold the life in your death and start over young again .Your lov
e of life is that strong. I can feel it, Fawkes, Harry spoke the words calmly, qu
ietly, searching his mind for an answer. The image of the green bolt of light th
at comes with the death curse flamed in his mind.
It s there, Fawkes! Harry whispered urgently.
Phoenix! Harry said firmly, his mind focused intently on an infinitesimally small
spark of white within the green bolt of the death curse. He felt his wand grow h
ot, followed by the familiar force of a spell erupting from the end of it. Harry
opened his eyes. He could see the back of a flaming bird in front of him. It wa
s searching, looking for the death it expected. Finding none, it sat waiting a m
oment and then faded. Harry scrambled to his feet.
Phoenix! he said pointing his wand at the top of the steps. The spell erupted from
his wand again and settled on the top of the landing. It started to fade a few
moments later.
Maintain it, Harry snapped at the voices.
We re trying, it s hard to keep our focus that tightly.
Don t give me that. Ginny won t take it and neither will I, Harry snarled out loud. Th
e spell faded slightly again and the began to flame brighter.
It doesn t take much power, Harry said lowering his wand, though he could feel the v
oices in his head focusing intently. They seemed to be helping each other.
Two, stop helping him, Harry told the voice. He saw the spell begin to fade again,
then grow stronger.
That s it, we re learning, Harry said quietly.
Divide it now, One. Make two of them. Harry watched as the flaming shape of the ph
oenix grew larger and then separated into two.
Switch, Two, you maintain it. One, don t help him. Harry felt the second voice take
control of the spell.
And both of you drop it. Harry took over control of the spell himself, maintaining
it for a full two minutes before letting it go.
So will it really work, or is it just pretty? the voices asked.
We ll have to test it, Harry replied calmly. Dumbledore will know a way, he added
before they could ask how.
Fawkes, will you tell him I m coming? Harry asked a moment later. The bird let out a
piercing note and bounded into the air heading for the trap door. Harry looked
around the chamber, his eyes falling on the mirror again.
What could it hurt to see them again? he asked.
We know we re strong enough to walk away. Let s look, just for a minute, the voices
said. Harry stepped in front of the mirror. His heart leapt the same way it had
the very first time he looked into it. His body trembling, he reached his hand o
ut to the surface again. It was as cold and disappointing as he remembered it to
be.
Times up, the second voice said firmly. Harry dropped his hand and backed away f
rom the mirror. He turned his body and began to walk. As he reached the top of t
he steps, he turned his head once more. He could just see the image in the mirro
r.
Let s go. Bury it. It s just mirror, the voices said firmly. Remember the spell. Har
ry turned his head again. He started to walk faster, and then he was running.

********************
Fawkes apparated into Dumbledore s office, an explosion of light accompanying him.
Yes, I know he is coming. He is exhausted and will only be able to duplicate the
spell if he truly feels threatened. Quickly, above the door, you must take the b
last if the spell fails. Fawkes let out another piercing call and flew up above t
he door. He floated there, gently flapping his wings, until he was needed.
You all may want to take cover, Dumbledore said in a grave voice to the pictures s
urrounding him. I do believe my office is about to be destroyed in a manner that
makes last spring look like a gentle storm.
The people in the different pictures began to scramble out of their frames crowd
ing into one large picture above the door to Dumbledore s office. Self-preservatio
n was one thing. To see this however, they were not going anywhere far.
Harry sprinted towards the stone gargoyles, which upon seeing him coming leapt o
ut of the way. The spiral stone staircase began to move, Harry took the steps tw
o at a time and burst through the door into Professor Dumbledore s office.
SIR! his eyes grew wide.
RUN! screamed the first voice. Harry spun reaching for the door that was slammin
g shut behind him.
FIGHT! roared the second voice. Harry continued spinning, reaching for his wand,
and ducking down at the same time.
AVADA KADAVERA! Harry heard Voldemort s voice yelling.
PHOENIX! Harry roared. His wand then flicked at the desk throwing it between himse
lf and Voldemort. His second voice then began raining stunning blasts down on hi
s nemesis.
Harry had dove to the side when he sent his first spell. He was still in the air
when the second, third and forth were sent. He saw Fawkes swoop down in front o
f him ready to take the death curse that had been sent at him.
It never got to Fawkes. Swallowed up instead by Harry s spell, which flamed out in
to smoke then burned again into life. It sat, waiting for the next curse to cons
ume. The desk flew across the room between Harry and Voldemort. Un-hit by the de
ath curse it slammed with a tremendous crash into the wall. Glass broke into hun
dreds of pieces as picture frames fell shattering everywhere. A trail of debris
from the objects that had been on top of the desk scattered across the room, the
desk crashed to the floor a second later.
Coming up with his wand ready, his shield up, the phoenix spell holding and then
dividing into four surrounding him, Harry rolled to face Voldemort. He saw his
first stunning spell deflect into a cabinet, lifting it into the air while blast
ing the contents of it into the room. In slow motion, it began to topple to the
floor. He continued to send stunning blasts at him.
Dumbledore? the voices asked in confusion. He wasn t fighting back. The force from
Harry s spells was pounding against him. Bolts of red light as big around as Harr
y s arm were staggering him against the wall. Dumbledore continued to defend himse
lf. Other than that, he just stood there; taking everything Harry could give him
.
Everything going to defense, Harry stopped attacking. His last crushing spell ri
cocheted off of Dumbledore s shield into the desk. Splitting it in two and leaving
a pock mark in the stone wall where it expended the last of its energy.
Harry extended his proximity detection spell into the room. Searching, he could
feel two presences in the room. One where Dumbledore was standing and one, Harry
quickly glanced down at Fawkes, keeping his wand trained on Dumbledore the whol
e time, and back up again. Fawkes flew to Dumbledore s shoulder.
Harry watched intently for some trick. Dumbledore s eyes and body were alive with
power. Unlike the Ministry last year he did not seem angry. Dumbledore reached u
p and put his hand on Fawkes s head.
Keeping eye contact with Harry he moved his wand hand slightly.
Don t! Harry yelled, but then watched as Dumbledore dropped his wand to the ground.
Accio Wand! The wand flew into Harry s hand. He caught it and slowly lowered his own
wand.
Good lord what a mess. Harry spun around to locate the source of the voice, his wa
nd coming up again.
Lookout! dozens of voices screeched from the picture frames. Harry turned back aro
und to face Dumbledore.
We needed a test, I guess that should suffice, the voices said in quiet awe to H
arry.
Sir? Harry asked.
Yes it is me, Harry, Dumbledore replied kindly. Harry just stared at him blindly.
He let his defensive spells down and sank to his knees.
I am sorry, Harry, Dumbledore said quietly. Not getting a response he added. I thou
ght it best to see if the spell really works. Dumbledore s eyes surveyed the damage
to his office.
Quite the impressive display, the voices remarked in Dumbledore s head. Dumbledore s
mouth twitched ever so slightly into a smile.
Yes, sir, Harry replied weakly.
Do you have the strength to explain how it works, Harry, or do we need to wait fo
r later? Again, Harry didn t respond right away.
Harry? Dumbledore prodded quietly, he had not moved from where he had been standin
g.
Wha .Oh sorry sir. Harry s head cleared slightly. Fawkes sir, he takes life from death.
It is a natural cycle. Death brings new life. There has to be life in magic, ev
en the death curse, for it to exist. The phoenix spell takes your love of life a
nd finds the life in the death curse .It doesn t block the death curse. It uses the
life in the curse to extinguish it. The death curse is born of anger and hatred
sir. The phoenix spell is born of love and compassion, both stronger emotions th
an the others, Harry finished.
The door to the office burst open. Harry spun again, he was still much to keyed
up. His wand leveled on Professors McGonagall and Professors Snape.
Oh my, Professor McGonagall gasped, clutching at her chest. And then she noticed H
arry s wand trained on her. She stopped dead in her tracks. Albus, what happened? sh
e asked, glancing back and forth between Harry and Professor Dumbledore. Harry d
ropped his wand again.
Sorry, Professor Snape sir, Professor McGonagall, I am a little tired of surprise
s for today, Harry replied sincerely. Snape eyed him warily. Harry was much to dr
ained to care.
Headmaster? Snape asked carefully.
A test Severus, Minerva, a wonderfully successful test, Professor Dumbledore said
happily. The two of them looked between Professor Dumbledore and Harry, who was
rapidly loosing all ability to function properly.
Minerva, will you escort Mr. Potter to Hermione and Ginny s room. See that they, al
ong with Ronald stay with him all day. Lock them in if you must. Oh and class is
canceled for the day, he added a moment later. Severus, come we have things to di
scuss.
Yes, Albus, Professor McGonagall replied. Shall I return when I ve finished?
Yes, Minerva, we will have to come up with some good reason for lessons to be can
celed today.
Harry, I am afraid I can give you only five points for this. If I were to award y
ou what you truly deserve the chase for the house cup would be over for the year
. I must keep things on a level where all the houses have hope. Harry looked up,
confused.
I only care about my friends. Not some silly house cup, he replied.
Yes, Harry, I understand that .That is why you have accomplished something that the
magic world has been waiting for, for more than a thousand years. Set a meeting
for your DA tonight. I will be there.
Yes sir, Harry replied as Professor McGonagall led him out of the office. He didn t
even notice Snape staring at him, completely confused.

********************

Professor McGonagall escorted Harry into the common room. There was no one up ye
t as it was still early. She steered Harry into Hermione and Ginny s room. Hermion
e was sleeping, but Ginny was up studying Ron s chessboard. She looked up and saw
Harry s white face.
Harry! she shrieked rushing over to him.
What happened! she demanded as she caught him in her arms. Ginny s eyes were burning
and it caused Professor McGonagall to suck her breath in. Hermione woke up in a
flash of movement, and rushed over to help Ginny.
Oh my, what happened to him?
I don t rightly know. I believe that he is merely tired, Professor McGonagall replie
d kindly. Hermione put him on the couch. Ginny, go get Ronald .quietly, she added. G
inny didn t move fast enough for Professor McGonagall.
Now, young lady, she snapped at her. Ginny glared back, but hurried out of the roo
m.
That girl, is sometimes frightening, Professor McGonagall, mumbled as she helped H
ermione get Harry on the couch.
You have no idea professor, Hermione replied.
Harry, have you set the meeting for tonight? Professor McGonagall asked firmly try
ing to get his attention.
Wha .Here, Mione, you do it, Harry said fishing his galleon out of his pocket and ha
nding it over to her as he lay down on the couch.
Ron and Ginny came crashing into the room.
What happened? Ron demanded. Ginny simply rushed back to Harry, sat on her knees o
n the floor in front of him and began to stroke her hand on his forehead. Harry
reached up and took her hand.
It s ok, Gin. I m just tired. Need to sleep, he whispered to her.
You three will stay with him the rest of the day, Professor McGonagall said. Class
has been canceled for the entire school, she added noticing the look on Hermione s
face.
I do not know what happened. I suspect you will find out when he wakes. Whatever
he tells you is to be kept secret .Hermione, set the meeting for 7:00 pm tonight. H
ermione nodded her head.
They all jumped a moment later when Fawkes apparated into the Room. Professor Mc
Gonagall read the note, then cursed under her breath when it burst into flames o
n her.
I do wish. He wouldn t do that. It was all Ron could do not to laugh.
Harry? Professor McGonagall snapped. Harry s eyes flew open again.
Wha
The Headmaster would like to know if he can have his wand back? Ron, Hermione, and
Ginny gasped at the question. Harry looked at his left hand he still had both w
ands. He took Dumbledore s in his right and held it out to Professor McGonagall. W
hen she reached to take it Harry held it firm.
Only if he promises never to do that again, Harry said quietly but forcefully. Pro
fessor McGonagall furrowed her brow at him.
I will deliver the message, Mr. Potter, she replied curtly. Harry let go of the wa
nd and was asleep before his arm hit the couch. Professor McGonagall waved her w
and at the table. A large plate of food and drinks appeared.
I will be seeing you this evening. See that at least two of you are with him at a
ll times, she said before heading out the door.
Ginny stood up she walked over to get a blanket off her bed and spread it over H
arry.
Engorgio! she snapped, widening the couch and then climbed over the back of it so
she could lie down next to Harry. She wrapped her arm up over him, pulling him i
n tight to her. Ron watched her, not sure what to think.
Gin, Harry is not exactly comfortable with that in here .And usually he is sitting
up with your head in his lap, he said cautiously. He knew his sister had gone int
o full protection mode. He didn t want to anger her right now, but he felt sure Ha
rry would object if he wasn t dead to the world at the moment.
Come off it, Ron, McGonagall just ordered us to stay in here with him. We re both f
ully clothed with a blanket between us. You, Hermione, and Harry sit with me all
the time. Ron opened his mouth to point out that she wasn t exactly sitting. He th
ought better of it when he saw the dangerous flash in Ginny s eyes.
Ginny, Hermione said softly, I know you just want to help Harry but .well, Hermione se
emed to be searching very carefully for the right words.
Spit it out, Hermione, Ginny snapped at her.
Well Harry is wiped out. And, well it takes a lot out of Ron and I when we sit wi
th you, she said in a rush. Ginny s eyes seemed cloud over.
I know that. Why do you think I only let you each once a week? she said in a defea
ted voice. I m not going to sleep. I just wanted to hold him so he might feel like
he was safe. Like you three do with me. I wanted to return the favor. Ginny s eyes
were beginning to well with tears.
Ron and Hermione had gotten to see a side of Ginny, ever since her confession la
st November, most didn t. Ginny was tough. Right up to the point where she failed
to protect the people she cared about. And then, she was a mess. It was plainly
evident that she hated asking them for help, when she knew it hurt them. It caus
ed her anguish each time she asked one of them. They found it worked much better
when they simply told her they were going to sit with her. Now, watching her st
ruggle, they were both at a loss for words to comfort her.
It s ok, Mione, doesn t hurt me like you and Ron when I sit with her. Harry mumbled fr
om the couch. If you just sat up here though, so I can put my head in your lap, I
would feel better Gin, Harry added to her.
Harry, Ginny gasped as Ron and Hermione quickly rushed over to them sinking down o
n the floor in front of them. Ginny moved up on the couch near Harry s head lettin
g him use her lap for a pillow.
Harry, what happened? Ron demanded. Harry looked down at his friend. He reached ou
t his hand and clasped it around Ron s.
Ron and Harry had discussed, back at the beginning of the year, what they wanted
to do. It seemed ludicrous to even think about. But Ron had surmised from Dumbl
edore s comments about the death curse, when he was teaching Ron how to create the
Recognition charm that this was what they were supposed to try and work on. Say
ing that if he was going to find the answer to an impossible task, he didn t want
to waste it on a spell that could make his hair behave, Harry had agreed.
I did it, Ron. I beat the death curse, Harry said in a calm quiet voice. Ron blink
ed. Harry s words couldn t have been what he had just heard. They had just been work
ing on that last night, and every night for the last three weeks, failing misera
bly to even get their wands to emit so much as a spark. Ron and had given up in
frustration and gone to bed, he thought Harry had too.
You did what? Ron asked in disbelief. How? But Harry had fallen asleep again.
Did he just say what I think he did? Ron asked looking at Hermione and Ginny. The
expression on both their faces was all the answer he needed.
********************

Dumbledore furtively watched Professor Snape as he helped him try to right the d
isaster that was his office. It didn t appear that much of anything had escaped da
mage. Besides throwing the desk across the room, Harry had unleashed six stunnin
g spells and one crushing spell that had been deflected in what seemed every dir
ection possible.
Dumbledore gazed towards his private quarters and was glad he had decided to put
a shield on the door. There was a three inch deep six inch diameter gouge in th
e solid stone wall next to it. He didn t want to think about what might have happe
ned if his pensive had been destroyed.
Such power, he is truly starting to rival Tom, the voices commented.
The only thing he is lacking at the moment is knowledge, Dumbledore replied sile
ntly to them. We just need more time to arm him and his friends, and then he may
be able to do what he needs to.
Perhaps this will help give him the time he needs, the first voice said hopefull
y. It will make it much easier to push back the Death Eaters. Tom will be reluct
ant to come to their aid if he knows the death curse is so easily defeated.
It s not as easy as you might think. We have been trying to duplicate the spell fo
r an hour now, without much luck, the other voices commented dryly.
Phoenix! Dumbledore muttered pointing his wand at the desk again. Dumbledore felt
his wand grow hot and then watched as a weak red flame shot out of it. It disapp
eared without forming into a phoenix.
That s better, he muttered under his breath. Harry did sit there with Fawkes for over
five hours before he cast the spell.
His self control is fairly remarkable. He must be going batty wanting to know wh
at happened in here, the second voice remarked, as Dumbledore watched Professor
Snape wave his wand and set the desk back in its rightful place. Broken trinkets
began to fly off the floor and reassemble themselves. Those that were damaged b
eyond repair went into the garbage.
Yours would be too if you had seen the horrors that Severus has, Professor Dumbl
edore remarked dryly.
Fawkes, take this to the Ministry. I think the best course of action would be for
this discovery to look like it came from the department of mysteries. We do not
want Tom knowing that Harry is developing spells of this nature. Fawkes took the
note in his claw and was gone in a blinding flash.
Professor McGonagall walked back into the office.
Albus, are you going to explain what happened here? Why Mr. Potter leveled his wa
nd at myself and Professor Snape? Why he had this? she asked in her normal curt v
oice, while holding his wand out to him.
Ah yes, thank you, Minerva, Dumbledore said taking the wand and tucking it into hi
s pocket. When he didn t go on, Professor McGonagall prodded him.
Albus?
********************

Well I was really angry last night after we finished, Ron. The voices in my head
were screaming back and forth. It was kind of like one of the fights you and Her
mione used to get in, Harry started. Hermione and Ron glared at him.
Ok, sorry. So I grabbed my cloak, and went wandering the hall. I m not sure why, bu
t I started thinking about the night I fended off all the dementors from myself
and Sirius down by the lake. You know, Hermione, when we watched them to attack
me and Sirius.
Wait a second. I never knew Hermione was there for that, Ron broke in.
I couldn t tell you, Love, Hermione said and launched into a long explanation of the
time turner and how she and Harry had saved both Sirius and Buckbeak.
So even though you had never done the spell correctly, you knew you could, becaus
e you had seen yourself do it? Ginny and Ron asked together.
I know. It didn t make any sense then either. But it worked, Harry replied. The point
is, I kind of came out of a trance in front of the door where Hagrid kept Fluff
y during first year and I remembered the Mirror of Erised. It is supposed to sho
w you your heart s greatest desire. First year it showed me how to get the Sorcere
r s Stone. So, I figured maybe, it might give me a clue to stopping the death curs
e.
I didn t know if Dumbledore had left it down there or not. But I knew I could get b
y everything except the potions if I had too. I know, Hermione. There weren t any
potions left to take if I got trapped, he added noticing the look on her face. I w
ould have turned back if anything but the Devils Snare had still been functionin
g, but none of it was.
The whole point is, that the mirror showed me the key to beating the death curse.
I looked into it and the first thing I saw was Fawkes. Then the scene shifted t
o a field with you, Ron, along with Ginny and Hermione lying on the ground. Vold
emort was standing over all of you. He sent the Death Curse at you three. Ron ten
sed at this news. Harry gave him a second to recover.
But before the curse hit any of you, you had lifted your arm and a bolt of red fl
ame leapt out of your wand. A mouth formed which swallowed the death curse. The
red flame extinguished into smoke. It then reignited into the flaming form of a
phoenix. You saved them Ron. The death curse never reached either of them. Ron s ea
rs turned bright red.
But how, Harry? Hermione asked.
Look, life and death are a natural cycle. Death in one place leads to new life so
mewhere else. The phoenix takes the life in its death and is reborn again. Magic
is the same way. In order for it to exist, even the death curse, there must be
life in it, Harry finished triumphantly. His friends all had blank looks on their
faces.
Come on, don t you see? he asked excitedly. Here, let me show you.
Phoenix! Harry pointed his wand at the bed behind him. The spell erupted from his
wand and then spread, surrounding them with ten of the flaming phoenix forms.
Wow, Ron said quietly, turning around in the center of the circle.
Come on Hermione. I know you can figure it out, Harry said needling her. Harry watc
hed her. Hermione s brow was furrowed in that way she always got when she was conc
entrating very hard. He could almost see the wheels turning in her head. Her fac
e began to brighten, followed by a smile.
The spell must find the life in the death curse and block it some how, Hermione sa
id, almost as excited as Harry.
Close, it extinguishes it. No deflected blast to kill your friend. The spell is j
ust gone, Harry corrected her. Remember I told you, the unforgivable curses are bo
rn of anger and hatred, that you have to want to cause pain for them to really b
e effective, not so much with the death curse as the other two, but it still has
its roots in those emotions. This spell is born of love and compassion. It is i
mportant to remember that when you try and cast the spell. It doesn t take much po
wer but you really have to concentrate until you learn how to focus on the tinie
st spark of life that is in the death curse. Harry looked around and smiled at hi
s friends, his green eyes dancing brilliantly. They still seemed skeptical.
Harry, how do you know the spell works? Hermione asked tentatively. Not wanting to
bring him crashing to the ground. Harry smiled; walked over to the table, grabb
ed a sandwich and took a bite out of it. He turned around to look at them again.
Oh this is going to be good, Ginny will go nuts, the voices said to him. Harry s
miled again. His friends looked at him, waiting to see if he was going to answer
.
Because Dumbledore tried to kill me with the death curse this morning, he said as
calmly as possible.
WHAT! Ginny roared. And you gave him his wand back? Are you insane? What if he come
s in here? she continued to rage at him. Harry smiled at her and took another bit
e of his sandwich. Ron and Hermione were staring at him.
If their eyes get much bigger they re going to look like house elfs, he thought to
himself.
That s not funny, Harry, Hermione said quietly.
No, but it s true .At least partially anyways, Harry replied calmly.
You better explain what you re talking about, Harry James. And it better be good, b
ecause if it s not, I am going to kill you, Ginny snarled at him.
Oh, I think you ll like this part of the story, Harry replied. And then launched int
o a long-winded explanation of the battle he had with Dumbledore that morning.
He could have killed you! Ginny was still fuming twenty minutes after Harry finish
ed telling them about what had happened. Her attitude towards Harry wasn t much be
tter.
I babied you all day. Brushed the hair off your face, got you blankets. And you p
lay a mean joke like that on me, she huffed with her back turned to him, her arms
crossed over her chest. Every time Harry tried to walk around in front of her s
he turned away from him. If he tried to touch her arm she would shrug him off.
Come on, Ginny. I said I was sorry. I only did it to get a rise out of you. Help
me out here will you, Ron? Ron opened his mouth but shut it quickly when Hermione
stepped on his foot.
I think that we all need to stop with the practical jokes. They are hitting a lit
tle close to home lately, Hermione said softly. I scare the heck out of Ron on Val
entines day. My little joke on you for buying me a wedding dress has you ready t
o fight for your life. And with a less levelheaded person than you, could have g
otten me killed. And now, you scare Ginny half to death. I think we all mean a l
ittle more to each other than this. I m not saying we can t joke with each other. Bu
t the reason Fred and George are so good at it, is because no one ever really ge
ts hurt.
Thank you, Hermione, Ginny sniffed quietly. Harry stared at the floor. Ginny turne
d around and wrapped her arms around him.
You all think I m so tuff, but I m not. Oh, I could fight Tom and an army of his Deat
h Eaters and never show fear .Until it was over and I had won, but looked around t
o see even one of you dead. It would take every fiber of my being to not walk th
rough the veil to find you again. Ron and Hermione joined the two of them.
I m sorry, Ginny. Hermione s right, that went too far. I promise not to do that to yo
u again, any of you, Harry said quietly. Ginny crushed Harry in her arms. Harry d
idn t care that he couldn t breath; he had her forgiveness, what were a few broken r
ibs.
Harry, does the spell really work? Hermione asked breathlessly.
Yeah, Mione, it does. Dumbledore is going to be at the DA meeting tonight. Hopefu
lly he has some sort of demonstration set up. One a little less stressful than th
is morning, I ve never expended energy like that before.
But you fought this time, Harry. Last year in the Ministry, Dumbledore had to sav
e you. This time you saved yourself. I m proud of you, Harry James. She smiled up a
t him, her brown eyes dancing with the light.
Thanks, Gin, Harry whispered to her.

********************

Mr. Potter, I should tell you that there will be a few more people at the meeting
tonight than you are accustomed to seeing, important people, Professor McGonagal
l said to him as he was about to walk into the room.
Erm .thanks for the warning, Professor, Harry replied, wondering just who she could
be talking about.
I assume you have told your friends? she asked eyeing him warily.
Yes, I have.
I understand that Mr. Weasley has been helping you with this?
Yes, he has. So have Hermione and Ginny. Actually the whole of the DA has.
Gracious in victory as always, Professor McGonagall replied, her eyebrows arched a
t him. Five points to Mr. Weasley for setting you on the path.
I m not much concerned with points either anymore, Professor McGonagall, Ron replied
. But thank you anyways.
You four have been through a lot. You re much older than your age. A bit of advice,
small things, like winning the house cup or beating your older brother to the s
nitch, are just as important as what was achieved last night. Do you understand
what I am saying?
I think we do, Professor, Ron replied.
Good, I think you should get in there then. I m not sure I will believe it until I
see it, she said, smiling kindly at them. Harry was surprised he had only seen he
r like that once or twice in the past six years. He started into the room again.

One more thing, Mr. Potter, Professor McGonagall stopped him. Harry turned around
to look at her.
Please, the next time you come in my office .Leave your wand outside. Harry smiled a
nd walked into the room followed by his friends.
He was glad he had been warned, because otherwise he might have turned and walke
d out. Every member of the DA was there. Along with; Snape, Professors Lupin, an
d Tonks, Mad-Eye Moody along with what Harry had to assume were a number of othe
r Aurors. Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Bill, Charlie and the new Minister of Magic Amel
ia Bones, who was flanked by three people Harry didn t know. In all there was prob
able close to seventy-five people in the room.
You really know how to pack them in, Harry, Ron remarked, as he clapped him on the
shoulder. I hope this works, he mumbled to himself. Ginny shoved him forward.
Don t disappoint me, Harry James, she said sharply. Harry smiled and started forward
again. A few steps later his path was blocked by Professors Lupin and Tonks.
Wothcer, Potter.
I don t know what you did, Harry. But, Remus looked around the room, all I can say is
wow.
Stick around Professor Lupin. I think you ll be even more impressed, Harry replied c
almly. Harry and Ron were enveloped a moment later by Mrs. Weasley. She grabbed
Hermione and Ginny too.
Thank God you re all ok. When we got the message to come to the school for somethin
g that involved all of you .Well, you all just seem to attract more trouble .And not
like the twins. I mean real trouble.
Geroff, Mum, Ron and Ginny managed to extract themselves, along with Harry and Her
mione from Mrs. Wesley s embrace.
Well then, Harry, Ronald, shall we begin? Professor Dumbledore asked from behind t
hem. Harry jumped.
How does he do that? the voices yelped at him.
Me? Ron yelped, I can t perform the spell yet. Dumbledore leaned over and whispered in
Ron s ear.
You are his General, come up with a demonstration. Dumbledore stood back up. The l
ook in his eyes seemed to be daring Ron to fail. Harry looked at Ron, who went f
rom shock to resolve in a blink.
Come on, Harry, Ron said stalking away. Harry hurried to catch up.
Stupid, whining about whether it works or not, could have used my head and found
out an hour ago, Ron was muttering to himself.
Ron, what are you talking about? Harry shot at him.
Just shut up and help me find a couple of spiders will you? Bloody hell, they re al
l over the school when I don t want to see them, now I can t find one. Ron yanked ope
n a closet and went digging into the back of it.
Here, immobilize it will you? he asked, tossing a spider that was as big as the pa
lm of Harry s hand, over his shoulder.
Imobulus! Harry hit the spider with his spell. It stopped dead in its tracks. Ron,
holding a second, slightly larger spider by one leg, crawled out of the closet.
Imobulus! Ron tossed the spider on the floor with the other.
Engorgio! he said, pointing his wand at the two spiders, which grew in size to tha
t of the acromantualls that had roamed the maze in the third task of the Tri Wiz
ard Tournament. Harry watched all of this in shock. Barely noticing that a numbe
r of the people in his DA club were uncomfortably shifting in their seats or had
just decided to get up and move away from the spiders.
Ugly things, aren t they, Ron said to him, giving an involuntary shudder. Harry rega
rded him carefully.
I give you my word, Ron; I will fight to my death for the two of you.
Just make sure you save her first, Harry. And don t feel guilty about doing it eith
er. She might be able to live with you if I was gone. I can t live without her. Ron
scowled at the thought.
I told you I don t think of her like that anymore, Ron, Harry replied quietly.
No, but without me maybe you could, just save her first, Harry,
That s what you would want, Ron?
If that s what it comes too, then yes. The two of them regarded each other for a mom
ent.
Looks like Dumbledore is going to get started, Ron said with a nod.
Good, I didn t want to have to give you a hug in front of all these people, Harry re
plied, Ron smirked. Looks like we re front and center, as those are the only two ch
airs left, he added.
To bad they are not a little further away from the spiders, Ron remarked as he and
Harry took seats near Amelia Bones, and her three bodyguards, who, Harry notice
d, were eyeing he and Ron with great interest.
So, you are all here now, Dumbledore began. Some of you already know what you are a
bout to see. My little speech is for the rest of you. What you are about to witn
ess, is one of the greatest achievements in the last thousand years or more of m
agical history. The rest of the world will believe that it was developed by the
Department of Mysteries, specifically by the Unspeakables. The reason for this i
s we do not wish Lord Voldemort----
Taking great pride in the fact that not one of the DA members flinched at the na
me, Harry watched the room closely. He hadn t had many takers on people willing to
say the name for a long time. And then Ginny had lit into Bridgette, who had th
en lit into the rest of the DA. Within two weeks everyone was using Voldemort s na
me without fear.
----to know the true source of this development. You few, I believe have earned t
he right to know the truth. Ron nudged Harry and nodded at the Minister.
Doesn t look like she is too happy about Dumbledore s last comment, he hissed under hi
s breath.
It was not easy to convince the Minister to allow me to tell some of you, specifi
cally those of you in the DA----
At this, Harry fixed his eyes on Amelia Bones. Challenging her to stop him, he l
eaned towards Ron.
Bet she s really unhappy that you knew before her. Harry felt Ron smirk and noticed
a small smile play across the Minister s mouth.
----For that reason this information is being placed in the trust of a secret kee
per. When you leave the room tonight, you will find yourselves knowing the truth
, but unable to tell anyone what it really is, without the permission of the sec
ret keeper. You will however, once the Ministry makes its announcement. Be able
to talk freely about this wonderful new development from the Unspeakables. How e
lse, will be able to learn to perform the counter charm to, Avada Kadavera? Dumbl
edore s words were greeted with absolute silence.
Harry scanned the room. He could easily pick out the people who knew beforehand
what the announcement would be. They were the ones who were looking at him and R
on already. Well, mostly him. Others, who were looking around the room in shock,
began to follow their gaze and focus on the two of them.
Harry, I don t deserve any credit for this, Ron whispered urgently.
I couldn t have got there without you Ron. Don t bail out on me now, Harry hissed back
.
Most of you know that Ronald Weasley, with my guidance, a few months ago develope
d a new charm, Recognition. That spell is now being used by ministry Aurors, mem
bers of the DA and the Order.----
Oh bugger, Ron groaned.
What? That s great, look how much good will come from that spell, Harry replied.
Snape, look at him. He knows it was us now, Ron hissed. Harry felt his insides chu
rning as he looked at his potions instructor. He forced himself to return the ev
il glare coming from Snape.
I m just not even going anymore. Seamus and Dean can tell us the lessons and we ll do
them with Hermione by ourselves, Ron said firmly. Harry looked at Hermione. He c
ould tell she was thinking the same thing. Harry tuned back into Dumbledore.
----Ronald, was able to take the knowledge gained, and following the same process
, his instruction has led Harry Potter to develop a spell he calls Phoenix. Harr
y, the floor is yours, Professor Dumbledore said turning to him. Harry stood up f
eeling very nervous. Professor Dumbledore leaned down and whispered in his ear.
You are just teaching a few more people Harry. Tell them how the spell works. Wha
t they need to do to perform it. And demonstrate it for them. Ronald has provide
d you with two targets; one that can be killed if necessary and one that you can
save with the spell. Do not tell them you used the Mirror of Erised. Harry nodde
d his head and plunged in. He wasn t nervous anymore. He had been teaching for ove
r a year. And he was good at it.
Phoenix! Harry said pointing his wand towards the two overgrown spiders. The spell
erupted from his wand. The now familiar bolt of red flame that turned into a fl
aming phoenix bird settled near the spiders and waited.
The idea came to me when I remembered the battle in the Ministry last year betwee
n Professor Dumbledore and Voldemort, Harry started. He noticed many of the adult
s in the room, including Amelia Bones, the Minister of Magic, shift nervously at
the name. He smiled; apparently it was one thing when Dumbledore said it and an
other when a child did. He was sure that some of the people in the room thought
of him that way. Harry let the spell drop.
Don t like that do you? he asked looking around the room. He noticed Dumbledore whis
pering to Ron.
George, who are you fighting against? Harry asked loudly.
Voldemort, came the reply. Harry heard Mrs. Weasley gasp.
Bridgette?
Voldemort!
Katie?
Voldemort! Harry turned to look at the Minister.
Susan?
VOLDEMORT! the Minister s niece yelled from the back of the room. Harry watched her
aunt, the Minister of Magic, jump in surprise.
Any one else want to tell me who you fight against?
VOLDEMORT! the DA roared back at him. Harry turned back to the crowd and continued
talking.
I don t generally like to criticize or embarrass people. I think if you ask most ev
eryone here who knows me, they would agree with that statement. And that is not
what I am trying to do to any of you. For what the opinion of a sixteen-year-old
boy and his friends is worth to you. We have great respect for anyone who will
stand up and fight against the Dark Lord. But a wise man once told me. Fear of a
name only increases fear of the thing itself. Harry turned to face the minister
again at this point.
So I along with the rest of the people in the DA ask the rest of you, what we hav
e all asked ourselves. How do you intend to stand and fight when he comes for yo
u if you are afraid to even say his name?
I warned you Minister, Dumbledore said quietly. Harry gazed intently at the Minist
er for a moment.
You tolerate this from your students? the Minister asked evenly, without breaking
eye contact with Harry.
Actually, this particular bit of insolence, I encourage. Professor Dumbledore repl
ied casually.
You don t have to decide now. It took some of us a lot longer than others to decide
we were done being afraid of the name, Harry said firmly never moving his eyes f
rom hers.
I fight Voldemort, Harry, she said smiling back at him. Harry turned back to the r
est of the crowd.
As I was saying, the idea came to me when I remembered that Fawkes, Professor Dum
bledore s phoenix, swallowed the death curse that Voldemort sent at him. He burst
into flame and died, yet rose again as baby, alive and well.
Life and death are a cycle. The death of one thing provides the life of another.
Magic, all magic is the same way. For any spell to exist, even the death curse,
it has to have life in it. The Phoenix! spell, Harry said recasting it, finds the
life in the death curse. It extinguishes the death curse, dies itself and is bor
n again. Just like the real phoenix.
The spell doesn t require a lot of power to be effective like a stunning spell does
. But it is hard to find the focus in your mind on the tiny little spark of life
that exists in the death curse. It might be necessary to have actually seen the
death curse in order to perform the spell. I don t know how else you will be able
to recognize the spark of life that exists in it.
Something to keep in mind while you are trying to perform the spell, the unforgiv
able curses are born of anger and hatred. In order for them to be really effecti
ve, you need to want to cause pain, to like causing it. That applies to Crucio a
nd Impervius more than Avada Kadavra. Dead is dead. The Phoenix spell is born of
love and compassion. They are both much stronger emotions than the others.
Ron, are you ready to give me a hand here? Harry asked turning to him.
Actually, Harry, I think it might be better if one of the Unspeakables performs t
he death curse. People might wonder if I am helping you out by somehow sabotagin
g my own death curse.
So that s what Dumbledore was telling him, the voices said to Harry.
I think I might appreciate that, Professor Snape said, icily from the corner. Harr
y considered for a moment, but figured he couldn t possible be in any more trouble
with Snape than he already was.
You should be happy Professor. One of the greatest headlines of the last thousand
years or more, even Professor Dumbledore says so. And the golden trio, as you l
ike to call us, won t get the credit, Harry said calmly. Snape glared at him.
Get on with it, Potter, he said in a slightly less hostile voice. Harry turned aro
und again to the Minister. He noticed that Professor Dumbledore was looking at t
he ceiling and appeared to be trying not to laugh.
I assume that these three with you are the Unspeakables? Harry asked.
Yes, we are the smallest of them replied. The other two just nodded.
So is there a volunteer then? Harry asked.
To do what, exactly? the same man asked
To kill the spiders of course, I have already had the killing curse sent at me on
ce today. I would prefer not to have you aim it at me again. But if you insist,
I am more than capable of defending myself, Harry said lightly while playing with
his wand. Harry heard Mrs. Weasley gasp and a general mummer of concern ripple
through the crowd of people. Ginny and Hermione were out of their seats in an in
stant.
Oh no you don t! they both screamed together. Only Hermione was yelling at him, whil
e Ginny went after the Unspeakables.
There is such a thing as bravery. And then there is stupidity, Harry James Potter
! Hermione screamed an inch from his face. Harry paled in the face of her anger.
If you three, so much as even think, I ll let you point your wand at him I ll kill yo
u all myself, Ginny hissed, her wand pointing at the three Unspeakables.
Ron had jumped up to stop both of them but now found himself dealing with two ve
ry irate young women. As she had gone into a towering rage that actually had the
Minister and the three Unspeakables showing concern. He decided it best to deal
with Ginny.
Ginerva Molly Weasley, Mrs. Weasley growled at her daughter. Ginny ignored her.
I think it will be more than sufficient if Harry s spell saves the lives of the spi
ders, Professor Dumbledore said forcefully enough that he got both Ginny and Herm
ione to stop for a moment.
Yes, that would be enough of a demonstration for us, the smallest of the three Uns
peakables said calmly.
I think it would be more than enough for all of us, Mad-Eye growled from the back.
Hermione glared at Harry again, stuck her nose up in the air and sat down in he
r chair, still obviously put out with him. Ginny wasn t quite finished yet; she sh
rugged Ron s hand off her shoulder and rounded on Harry.
Just had to go and pop your mouth of again, didn t you? she snapped at him. Then jab
bing him in the chest with her finger she added, Just so you know, you can bet yo
ur sorry arse, whatever punishment my mother comes up with for me over this you
will be doing it with me. If Harry had paled at Hermione s words, he had now gone w
hite.
Sorry, he said meekly.
"Not even an hour for that promise, Harry James," she said to him the hurt plain
ly evident in her voice. Harry gulped visibly under her continued glared. Finall
y, satisfied with his response, Ginny sat back down but continued to alternately
glare daggers at Harry and the Unspeakables. As Harry recovered and turned his
attention back to the Unspeakable, he could hear Ginny continuing to mutter unde
r her breath.
And you Headmaster, are also lucky you didn t hurt him today. Harry could see that D
umbledore had heard her, but chose to ignore the remark. The Unspeakable who had
done all of the talking so far watched Ginny sit down, turned to the other two
and raised an eyebrow at them. They both smirked at him and nodded their heads o
nce. The man then turned to Harry.
I ll send the killing curse first. How do you want to do this? he asked Harry, while
standing up and taking out his wand.
Well, I can stand behind you and cast my spell first. Or, I ll have to stand off to
the side and slightly in front of you if you want me to intercept it.
I m not taking any chances with your life, or mine for that matter. We ll start with
you behind me. Go ahead and cast your spell.
Phoenix! Harry said firmly, while pointing his wand at a point between the Unspeak
able and the spiders. The spell leapt out of Harry s wand and a second later the f
laming bird was waiting for the death spell.
Shouldn t it be facing this way? the Unspeakable asked. Harry could tell he was bein
g tested.
It faces out because it is protecting me. I don t think it will matter if you hit i
t in the back. The man glared at Harry. Harry returned his stare for a moment.
Give me a second, Harry said. He closed his eyes, and in his mind, mentally turned
the bird to face where the death curse would come from.
There, that should work, Harry said. He opened his eyes again to see the bird had
turned as he wanted it to. The Unspeakable looked at Harry, fascination on his f
ace. Harry could hear the crowd murmuring with excitement and could feel the ten
sion in the room growing.
You realize if your spell fails and I miss that spider, the spell will hit the wa
ll and could blast anywhere in the room. Harry closed his eyes again.
Okay, divide it like before. Defend the people in the room, Harry told the voice
s. He opened his eyes again and watched as the phoenix swelled and divided again
and again. A wall of ten phoenixes, protecting all of the people in the room bu
t himself and the one Unspeakable, now arrayed themselves behind Harry.
That s about the best I can do right now. I suggest you make sure you are going to
hit the spiders. Not that it matters the spell won t fail, Harry replied.
Cast you re spell, Unspeakable, Dumbledore said quietly. Harry did not lie when he sa
id he faced the death curse earlier today. It was I who sent it at him. His spel
l will not fail.
AVADA KADAVRA! roared the Unspeakeable as he spun to face the spiders, his wand ri
sing to aim at them. Harry heard several people scream from behind him. And then
he watched, as the bolt of green light erupted from the man s wand, fly towards t
he spiders and be meet by the streaking phoenix. There was a flash of black smok
e and then the phoenix was flaming again.
AVADA KADAVARA! The process was repeated.
AVADA KADAVARA! Again. Harry dropped the array of defensive birds behind him and s
pread the one defending the spiders into three. The two other Unspeakables jumpe
d to their feet drawing their wands as they did.
AVADA KADAVRA! the three Unspeakables roared together. All three of their death cu
rses were consumed by the three defensive phoenixes.
AVADA KADAVRA! they roared again only to fail once more. In an instant Harry dropp
ed his spell and attacked with both voices and his conscious self.
EXPELIARMUS! he roared hitting all three Unspeakables within the blink of an eye.
The three Unspeakables were knocked off of their feet, their wands sent flying.
Accio Wands! Harry said firmly. The three wands flew into Harry s out stretched hand
. People around the room looked on in stunned silence.
Sorry, Harry said, reaching out his hand to help the first man up.
Not at all, suppose we deserved that, he replied, shaking his head. A wizard should
never challenge someone and then be unprepared to defend himself, now should he
? Harry handed the man his wand back.
That s what Ginny says too. She hit me once and she was on my own side. I had a hea
d ache for a week.
Who is Ginny? Is she here right now?
She s the one who threatened to kill you, if you even thought about raising your wa
nd at me.
That was Arthur Weasley s daughter, the one who had you shaking in your shoes? Harry
felt his face heating up as he turned red.
Yeah well, Harry is pretty much adopted, Ron said as he joined them. Ginny and Her
mione arrived a second later. Ginny pretty much does that to Harry once a week, he
added with a laugh.
You choose to have this girl as family? the man asked in a shocked, teasing voice.
Those articles in the paper last year were right about you being a Nutter. Ginny
whirled on the man, but before she could get a word out Harry grabbed her in his
arms.
I may be. But I wouldn t trade Ginny, for anything, Harry replied. He then leaned do
wn and whispered in her ear.
Did I live up to expectations today, Gin?
For today, Harry James, Ginny replied softly as she settled into his arms with her
back against his chest.
By the way, I have been trying to get her to say the name since she became Minist
er, the Unspeakable remarked looking at the four of them with respect. I am always
looking for good sorcerers in my department. You will be hearing from me when y
ou finish school. All of you.
Thank you sir, Ron replied for all of them.
Harry didn t really get much of a chance to speak with many of the DA members that
night. He spent the next couple of hours being grilled by the Aurors and the th
ree Unspeakables, about every little detail he could think of that he went throu
gh to perform the spell.
Dumbledore had hung around him the whole time. Not letting anyone push Ron, Herm
ione or Ginny to the side. He seemed to want to make sure that they got every bi
t of information about the spell they could. The one thing he did remember vivid
ly was Dumbledore saying it had taken him two hours of trying, to perform the sp
ell for the first time.
Harry had thought that that was pretty good. He knew the spell was difficult. If
Dumbledore could master it in a few hours it shouldn t be too bad for the others.
But then one of the Aurors had sighed deeply. Saying that if it took Dumbledore
hours to master, it was going to take him weeks. And he didn t appear to be jokin
g. Harry was starting to wonder just how good Dumbledore really was.
Aurors were supposed to be some of the best. Dumbledore had had no concerns abou
t taking on all of them last year at the Ministry. Well, a lot of them anyways w
hen it looked like Fudge might give the order for them to take him. Harry had th
e feeling they were lucky they hadn t tried.
The four of them had finally made it back to the common room, where Harry had be
en assailed by the Gryffindor DA members. He finally convinced them to leave him
alone for the night by agreeing to set a DA meeting for the next day. Now he sa
t on the couch with Ginny leaning on him. Hermione was on the floor in front of
him, leaning back against the couch and his legs, with Ron s head in her lap. As t
he fire burned down lower and faded to embers, it didn t look like any of them wer
e going to make it to their beds.
I m getting used to sleeping sitting up anyways, Harry thought to himself.
Says the guy who doesn t have to deal with the pain from the crick in his neck, th
e second voice groaned.
What are you talking about? I feel that too, Harry replied
I know. I just felt like complaining, the voice replied.
Well shut it and go to sleep will you? We ve got quidditch practice tomorrow morni
ng, Harry told the voice. And then he too drifted off to sleep.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 19: Ravenclaw


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry sat in the locker room with the rest of the Gryffindor quidditch team. The
y had an hour left before the match, and already he could hear students starting
to fill the stands. He looked down at Ginny, resting next to him, her head on h
is shoulder.
Hey, Harry, she said with a smile. Harry smiled back. She seemed to be calming him
as much as he was calming her.
Nervous? he asked.
It s only a game, she replied. And then added, Only the biggest game of the year.
Yeah, Harry agreed, only the biggest game of the year. Against the best team I ve eve
r played against.
Be good enough for today, Harry James, Ginny said softly.
It had come down to this final game for the Quidditch Cup. And for the first tim
e in Harry s six years on the team, it wasn t Slytherin that would win the title if
Gryffindor lost. Today it was Ravenclaw. Both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw had smash
ed Slytherin. Building huge leads before, Harry and Cho had beaten Malfoy to the
Snitch. Harry almost felt sorry for the Slytherins, almost - but not quite.
The two teams had defeated Hufflepuff in close matches. Gryffindor was up only 1
0-0 two hours into the match when Harry caught the snitch. Ravenclaw had managed
after three hours to build a 30-10 lead before Cho beat the Hufflepuff Seeker t
o the snitch. And now, just last week, Hufflepuff had built a lead of 190-30 ove
r Slytherin. So even when Malfoy caught the snitch, Slytherin had lost 190-180.
Harry couldn t help but stifle a laugh. Slytherin had not won a single match all y
ear. If Harry had thought about it, he might have noticed that the rise in power
of Voldemort seemed to be causing a fall in the power of his former house.
The standings were:
Ravenclaw 2-0
Gryffindor 2-0
Huffelpuff 1-2
Slytherin 0-3
Ravenclaw was ahead on overall points scored, but it would come down to whicheve
r team won this game to determine who would win the Cup.
Harry looked over at Ron, on the floor in the corner. His head rested back again
st the wall, lost in whatever world it was that all Keepers lived in, but no oth
er player understood. Gryffindor had the advantage here. Ron was better than the
Ravenclaw Keeper. He would have to be, because the Gryffindor Chasers were just
a little bit behind their Ravenclaw counterparts.
Harry s eyes shifted to Katie over by her Beaters. She and Ron had shared the capt
ain s duties this year. And while Ron zoned out on game days, Katie was the cheerl
eader. She appeared to be trying to give her Beaters a pep talk. As far as Harry
had been able to determine, the two sides were even in this area. If Ravenclaw
had the experience edge, overall talent was on Gryffindor s side.
Harry took a deep breath. Unless the players from one side or the other were abl
e to elevate their play for the match, it looked like it was going to come down
to the Seekers. Cho Chang, captain for Ravenclaw, his good friend now after a ro
ugh start was the Seeker for Ravenclaw. Harry smiled ruefully, remembering his f
irst real kiss. They had both moved past that now. It had not been easy for eith
er of them, but now he and Cho, thanks to the fact that she was dating Neville,
were close also.
They had played against each other once. Harry had beaten her to the snitch. But
he had also been on a better broom at the time. That wasn t the case today. Cho h
ad bought a Firebolt at the beginning of the school year. Harry remembered her w
ords when she showed it to him.
If you beat me, Potter, it s not going to be because you were on a better broom.
Harry found out later, from Neville, that Cho had also enlisted Victor Krum, the
ir assistant flying coach and ex Bulgarian National Team s Seeker, to give her one
on one coaching sessions. She had been going to them all year. Harry had not be
en able to do the same until about a month ago.
We re going to have to fly like never before to beat her this time, the second voi
ce said to him.
Either that, or tie a boulder to her broom, Harry replied.
That might not be a bad idea, the first voice said in agreement.
To bad we d never get away with it, it was the second voice again.
That just leaves beating her straight up then, doesn t it? Harry replied.
That, or facing Ginny s wrath, the voices said together. Harry groaned at the thou
ght. Ginny sat up, breaking him out of his reverie.
Let s get moving you guys, Katie said. She was pulling the team out of their thought
s, into the present of having to go play. Everyone ready? she asked. The team nodd
ed to her in response. Ok then, it s time.
The players made their way up the stairs to the field. Harry looked around at th
e stands, full of cheering students, teachers and parents. Smiling to himself, h
e mounted his broom and followed Ginny around the stadium for some warm up laps.
Harry saw Cho fly up next to Katie. They shook hands and separated. Cho didn t lo
ok his way. Ron came up alongside him.
Don t give her anything, Harry. It s you or her that will win this today. Ron smacked
Harry s shoulder and flew down for the start of the match. Ginny slowed and he pul
led alongside her, when she looked over at him he recognized the glint in her ey
es.
I know, Gin, Harry said. Be good enough for today. She smiled at him.
Ginny! he hollered as she flew off, You too! Ginny looped back around next to him.
I ll be as good as you, Harry James. Harry leaned over and gave her a quick one-arme
d hug, which she returned with an arm around his waist.
Let s go get them then, he said, breaking away from her and leading the way to the s
tarting circle.
I want a nice clean game, Madam Hootch said, giving out her instructions. In case a
nyone is wondering, the snitch is a nine. Cho and Harry looked at each other tryi
ng to see the other s reaction to Madam Hootch s announcement. Harry, trying to get
under her skin a little, winked at her. Unwilling to be flustered by his actions
, Cho upped him by blowing a kiss his direction and waggling her eyebrow at him.
After the match? Harry remarked.
I ll be with Neville, Cho replied, as she delivered the winning barb in their verbal
battle. Celebrating a Ravenclaw win, she added for good measure. Ron, tired of th
eir banter smacked Harry on the back of the head.
Game first, girls second you wanker, he grumbled at him.
Really Harry, you should know you're not going to win a battle of wits with a gir
l, Ginny remarked. All of the players, except for Harry, snorted in laughter at G
inny s comment. He glared at Ginny a second, she just smiled innocently back at hi
m, causing Harry to break into a smile before turning his attention to Madam Hoo
tch.
Just start the game, he said, his voice losing the playfulness of the last few mom
ents. Madam Hootch nodded, and silently thanked her lucky stars that it was not
Gryffindor and Slytherin playing today. The teams actually seemed friendly, and
it might be a somewhat clean match. Hopefully they would get through the day wit
hout any injuries.
On my go then, she said, and released the snitch. Harry tried to track it. He didn t
see her kick loose the bludgers, which shot straight up and rocketed back down
towards him.
GO!
Harry shot off in the direction the snitch had gone. The bludgers hurtled past w
here he had been, and were promptly smacked towards the Ravenclaw Chasers by the
Gryffindor Beaters.
And .They re off! Lee Jordan was announcing, Dumbledore had allowed him as a favor so
he could practice for upcoming world cup matches.
Ginny Weasley with the quaffle diving under the Ravenclaw Chasers - what a move!
It s a race to the goal with the Ravenclaw Keeper. He was a little slow out of the
blocks. She might beat him there. And .She Scores! That s a quick ten points to Gry
ffindor. What a play by Weasley. Look out, there goes a bludger!
Ginny rolled around the bludger that had been sent her way. Speeding off to catc
h up with the Ravenclaw Chasers, she just caught site of the quaffle as it was b
eing passed ahead towards the Gryffindor goal posts.
We ll never get there in time to block the shot, the voices screamed at her.
Ron s got it. Let s get the rebound! Ginny yelled back at them.
Ron moved out to cut off the Ravenclaw Chaser. Yelling for his Beatters to send
the bludgers at her, he caught site of a second Ravenclaw Chaser moving in from
his right, getting ready to receive a last second pass and shoot on an open goal
. Ron darted down to be in position.
And there s a shot from Ravenclaw, Lee Jordan hollered. It s blocked by Weasley. And it
Weasley with the rebound. She s off the other way. Over to Bell, back to Weasley,
over to Roberts, a shot, SAVEEEE by Ravenclaw.
Quaffle over to Ravenclaw now, moving up the field. And a wicked bludger by one
of the Gryffindor Beater s, think it was Markson, knocks the quaffle loose. Ginny
Weasley scoops it up. Another shot .SAVED again. Score remains 10-0 Gryffindor.
Harry and Cho circled the field together. Occasionally moving ahead of and then
behind the other. They had both lost the snitch soon after it was released and a
ll they could do know was watch and search. The match below them was moving at a
furious pace. The Ravenclaw Chasers, as a whole, were indeed better than their
Gryffindor counter parts. But it looked like Gryffindor s Beaters were getting the
better of that part of the game. Combined with Ron s goal keeping Gryffindor was
holding.
Ginny was everywhere. She seemed to be getting to every loose quaffle and interc
epting many of the Ravenclaw Chassers passes. A brilliant last second pass from h
er to Katie Bell had resulted in a second goal for Gryffindor and a 20-0 lead.
Cho bolted for the ground. Harry followed, straining to catch her.
Where is it? he demanded to himself.
She s faking, slow down, the second voice said. Harry slowed. Cho pulled out of he
r dive, and circled back up next to him and they continued to search for the sni
tch.
There go the Seekers! Lee called out. Looks like Chang with a slight edge over Pott
er .Wait, Potter s slowing down. Chang pulls back around next to him. Looks like she
was trying to use the Wronski Fient on him .There s another save by Weasley. And hi
s sister is off again the other direction. Looks like she might have a shot .No, a
nother brilliant pass this time to Roberts. Ravenclaw s keeper is out of position
and its 30-0 Gryffindor!
Harry heard a whistle; he looked around to see Cho had called time. He could see
his teammates gather, on one end of the field and Ravenclaw on the other. Harry
kept circling.
I can t catch it right now but that doesn t mean I can t look for it, he said to himse
lf.
Hurry up, Cho yelled at her keeper, the whole time I m down here, Potter is up there
looking for the snitch. Weasley is killing us, she snarled.
Which one? her chasers asked.
Look, Cho interrupted, Ginny is forcing you three to pass the quaffle to the player
Ron wants to have take the shot. They re setting you up. That s why he s saving every
thing. I want you two, she pointed at her Beaters, to focus all your attention on
her. They will either have to defend her. Or let her fend for herself. Either wa
y, she has to adjust. Until she does, we can take advantage of it. Ok? Her team n
odded. Let s go then.
Looks like the team meeting is over, Lee announced to the crowd, And .here we go. It s
easley with the quaffle. Look out two bludgers headed her way. Weasley looses th
e quaffle. Ravenclaw heads the other way with it.
Harry watched from above. Ravenclaw moved down preparing for the shot. Ginny mov
ed in to block it and was forced of by a well placed bludger from one of the Rav
enclaw Beaters. As he waited for the pass Ron was forced to hold his ground long
er than he wanted too. The pass came and he darted to block the coming shot, not
getting it cleanly he was only able to deflect it. The shot hit the edge of the
giant goal ring and bounced in.
That s ten to Ravenclaw, only down twenty now! Lee roared to the crowd.
Harry could see the game changing. Ravenclaw was forcing Ginny out, creating the
space their Chasers needed. Ron was still blocking shots but his saves were not
as clean. Another shot by Ravenclaw and it was 30-20 Gryffindor. Harry circled
lower towards Ginny.
Leave me, he heard her yelling at the Gryffindor beaters. Pick their best chaser an
d do what they re doing. I can take care of myself.
The bludgers flew into Harry s view and were whacked by the Gryffindors towards on
e of the Ravenclaw Chasers. She rolled, missing one, but flew right into the sec
ond. Ginny pounced on the loose quaffle and was gone the other direction in a se
cond. She passed to Katie who moved in to shoot. It was going to be an easy save
. Ginny dove into Harry s view right next to the Ravenclaw Keeper, and then revers
ed her direction. The Ravenclaw Keeper held his ground to block the shot from Ka
tie.
Wham!
The tail of his broom was caught by a bludger meant for Ginny. She had drawn it
to him with her fake. He was knocked out of position and it was 40-20 Gryffindor
.
THERE! the voices in his head screamed together. Harry was gone. The snitch was
sitting in the top box right behind Professor McGonagall s head. As soon as Harry
moved, so did the snitch. Coming straight at him, Harry reached out to catch it.
At the last instant it jumped up out of his reach.
Harry snapped over and reversed his direction to follow it. Cho almost slammed i
nto him as she did the same. She was now ahead of him, Harry moved underneath he
r, pulling even. The snitch snapped to his right and down. Cho and Harry followe
d. The snitch kept moving right and Cho gained inside position on him. It then c
ame back to the left, hurtling towards the Gryffindor goal posts, coming to a st
op on the left side of the far right post. Pushing her out of position so he cou
ld make a left handed grab, Harry forced Cho to her right.
Cho had seen this before, only it was Harry and Ginny who had been chasing the s
nitch. She was in the same position as Harry had been. She grabbed Harry with he
r left hand and rolled to her right, trying to flip him over like he had done to
Ginny.
Harry was ready for it. He kept the roll going trying to come back up around Cho
. He wasn t going to make it. At the last second, Harry stopped fighting against C
ho and went where she wanted him to. The sudden change was enough to cause Cho t
o miss grabbing the snitch by less than an inch.
They broke apart, circling in opposite directions as they headed back around tow
ards the snitch. The snitch rocketed off away from them again. Harry came out of
the turn ahead, reaching out with his hand towards the snitch, by about a foot.
Cho, getting closer just above and behind him, was on his shoulder.
Harry saw Ginny flash into view from his right, accelerating to catch a pass fro
m Katie. She hadn t seen Harry or Cho speeding towards her. They were all going to
collide.
Pushing his broom down and rolling over onto his back trying to pass under her,
Harry abandoned the snitch. He was flying under Ginny, looking up as she and Cho
flew above him. Cho couldn t stop either, and being higher than Harry she tried t
o go up and over Ginny.
Ginny caught the pass from Katie and just caught sight of Cho out of the corner
of her eye. Harry saw her flatten down on her broom. Cho was passing over Ginny
with just inches between them. The snitch had jumped up to go over Ginny and was
right in Cho s path. Harry saw her reaching for it, knowing it would be too late,
he pushed up on his broom. Cho s fingers began to close. She had it. And then blo
od was spraying everywhere as Cho s foot, slammed into the side of Ginny s head.
Ginny! Harry screamed.
Nooo!! the two voices in his head screamed at him.
Ginny was falling, knocked completely off her broom.
CATCH HER!!! a new, third voice boomed in his head. Harry reached his hand out t
o Ginny s falling body.
WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA! his voice thundered into the air. Ginny stopped plummeting tow
ards the ground. Harry flew to the ground while holding her in the air.
ACCIO! he thundered for the second time while running towards her. Ginny floated d
own to him and he caught her in his arms. Harry sank to his knees holding her li
mp body. She was bleeding heavily on the side of her head, and her breathing was
coming in short gasps.
Ginny please, no. Come on Ginny, wake up, open your eyes Gin, Harry pleaded with h
er. Cho reached them first, running up and crashing to her knees next to them.
Ginny! Harry, is she ok? Cho was crying, near hysterics. Ginny, I m sorry. I tried, H
arry. I tried to go over her. I couldn t have gotten any higher even if I had let
the snitch go. Harry couldn t comfort her even though he wanted too. His voice was
gone. Ron stumbled down next to him.
Oh God, Ginny, not again, don t do this to me again. Harry, we have to stop the ble
eding, Ron pleaded with him.
Give her to me, Harry! Harry looked up to see Dumbledore. He managed to find his v
oice.
No, I ll carry her, he said getting to his feet.
Quickly then, to the hospital wing, Dumbledore commanded.

********************

Harry placed Ginny s limp body softly on the bed.


Now, you and everyone else, wait outside, Dumbledore said forcefully. Harry, Ron a
nd the rest of the players from both sides hesitated.
GO! Dumbledore bellowed. You are in the way. You must let Madam Pomfrey and myself
work. The players began to back slowly away. Hermione grabbed both Ron and Harry,
dragging them into the hall and closing the door behind them.
Harry looked around, at the others, at Ron, he didn t know where to turn. Ron wasn t
any better. Hermione didn t know what to do either; she couldn t help both of them
at the same time. One had to be first. She scanned the crowd searching for help.
The other teachers must have been keeping the rest of the students away. The on
ly ones she could see were the players from both teams.
Where is Cho?asked herself.
Over there in the corner with Neville, second voice offered. Hermione turned to
look at them. Cho was crying on Neville s shoulder.
Hermione turned again. Harry had sunk to the floor. Ron was still standing in th
e middle of the hall next to him. Even though Harry and Bridgette had broken up,
they remained close. Hermione needed her, or Luna, and neither had managed to g
et past the other teachers yet.
We already made this choice, first voice said gently. Hermione walked over to Ro
n and held him.
Harry knelt in the middle of the floor next to Hermione and Ron, staring into no
thing. Not even when he realized that Sirius was really gone, had he felt this a
lone. Ron separated himself from Hermione.
Harry? he asked looking down. Harry looked up at them. Hermione held her hand out
to him. As the tears began to slide down his checks Harry reached up and took it
. She pulled him to his feet, and three of them held on to each other, all afrai
d that they would have to let go and painfully aware that the fourth part of wha
t made them whole was missing, fighting for her life,and there was nothing they
could do to help her. A minute or two later Bridgette tentatively placed her han
d on Harry s back. Harry pulled away from Ron and Hermione slightly and turned to
look at her.
Is she ok, Harry? Harry blinked at her question, he opened his mouth to reply but
no words would come.
We don t know, Bridgette, Hermione answered for him.
She s strong, Harry. She ll be ok, Bridgette whispered. All Harry could do was nod at
her. Hermione pulled Harry back into hers and Ron s arms, Ron reached out and pull
ed Bridgette into the embrace also.
How did you get past the professors? he asked.
Luna, Bridgette replied. They all fell silent quietly clinging to each other while
the waited.
They were still standing there when Harry felt a hand on his shoulder. He looked
up to see Professor Lupin behind him. Mr. Weasley was behind Ron, and Mrs. Weas
ley was behind Hermione. Mrs. Weasley pulled them all to her.
Oh my goodness, Harry, you re covered in blood, she said looking at him. You all are,
she gasped at them.
It s just rubbed off of Harry on to us Mum, Ron told her, trying to put on a brave f
ace.
You re not hurt then? she asked him. Ron shook his head. And you, Harry, please tell
me I only have one injured child tonight.
No, Molly, I m not hurt either, Harry answered.
Then this is all from . She couldn t bring herself to finish the question. Harry cast
his eyes down, it hurt too much to see the tears in her eyes.
Remus, Mr. Weasley said, looking at him and nodding to his wife. Remus pulled her
over to the chairs to sit down, holding an arm around her shoulder.
Has Dumbledore been out here yet? Mr. Weasley asked. Hermione shook her head. He s
ighed deeply.
Ok then. Let s get you four cleaned up. And then we can come back to sit with the o
thers. Tonks, will you take care of Hermione and Bridgette? Harry looked up again
he hadn t even seen Professor Tonks standing there.

************

Cho was sitting in the corner, leaning back against the wall with her eyes close
d. Neville was sitting with her holding her hand. The Weasleys approached her pa
rents, who had come up when they heard about the accident and were watching over
her.
May we speak with her? We want to make sure she understands that it s not her fault
, Mr. Weasley asked. Cho s father looked at his wife, and then nodded to the Weasle
ys. He walked over to his daughter and gently touched her arm. Cho started.
What? she asked, looking around confused. Honey, Ginny s parents wanted to see you, he
r father told her.
Cho scrambled to her feet. Looking past her father, she knew it must be them, th
e red hair was impossible to mistake. Cho looked back to her father and nodded t
o him. The Weasleys walked towards her, Mrs. Weasley simply pulled her into her
arms when they got close.
It s not your fault dear, she said gently. Cho broke down on her shoulder.
I tried, I tried, she said between sobs. I tried.
That s a girl. Just let it all out. It s not your fault. Accidents happen there is no
thing anyone can do to prevent them, Mrs. Weasley said, trying to calm her. Mr. W
easley placed his hand on Cho s back, and when she calmed a little, he gently pull
ed her away from his wife and guided her back to her father. He led Cho back to
the bench with Neville, and then turned back to the Weasleys.
Thank you both for showing such concern for my daughter, when it is yours who clin
gs to life, Mr. Chang said to them.
The doors to the hospital opened. Dumbledore was standing in the entry. People s
crambled to their feet, the whole room held its breath, as they waited for him t
o speak.
Ginny is alive, though she remains unconscious, he said. Harry waited for the rest
. I regret to say that we could still lose her. I am afraid that Ginny s recovery i
s entirely up to her, and I have no timeframe for it. Harry felt what little stre
ngth he had slipping away. The only thing we can do is let her rest. I can permit
two minutes for her parents, Ronald, Harry, Hermione, and Cho to look in on her
.
Sir, somebody needs to stay with her, Hermione whispered urgently to Professor Dum
bledore as she watched Ginny sleeping.
I am afraid not, Hermione. She needs those memories to help her wake, Dumbledore r
eplied quietly. Harry and Ron just caught the conversation between Dumbledore an
d Hermione.
I am sorry, he said softly before pulling them out of the room.

********************

Ginny woke up unsure of where she was. It was quiet, peaceful.


Is anyone here? she asked. No answer came. Ginny looked around.
Where am I? she thought to herself. She could see that she was sitting on the fl
oor of a large chamber. Ginny stood up and looked around some more, there appear
ed to be seats all around her, like a stadium.
I recognize this place, I was here last spring, she whispered. Ginny turned around
. There in the middle of the chamber, was the dais with the crumbling stone arch
way. She started to walk slowly towards it, swiping at the air in front of her f
ace. It felt like she was walking through spider webs.

*
Harry reached out with his free hand and brushed a strand of hair that had falle
n, away from Ginny s face. It had been two days since the accident and he and Cho
were standing next to Ginny s bed. They had both rushed through dinner so they cou
ld get to the hospital wing as early as possible. If possible, Cho looked almost
as bad as Ginny. Her face was red and blotchy and she had her arms crossed in f
ront of her trying to hold herself. She leaned heavily against Harry while he pu
t his arm around her shoulders.
Why won t she wake up, Harry? Cho asked her voice cracking. Harry was sure if she ha
d any tears left she would be crying again.
I don t know. Dumbledore says her spirit has shut down while her body heals.
What if her spirit doesn t wake up again? Harry could barely hear Cho ask the questi
on. He didn t answer; he didn t want to think about that.

Ginny stopped when she got to the arch. She turned around, looking behind her.
Hello? Is someone there? she called out. There was no answer. Ginny turned back ar
ound to look at the arch. She sat down in front of it and reached her hand towar
ds veil. She could feel a prickling sensation in her palm as her hand skimmed ju
st over the barrier. She pulled her hand back to brush another cobweb away from
her face, but her hand came up empty again. Her hand moved to the side of her he
ad.
Ouch! she gasped. Exhausted, she lay down on the ground and fell asleep again.

Percy stood up and brushed the lock of hair from Ginny s face as Mr. and Mrs. Weas
ley came in followed by Fred and George.
Nothing, he said quietly when they looked at him.
Go on then, Penelope is at the Burrow waiting for you, Mr. Weasley said. Percy hug
ged his mother and father then turned to the twins and nodded at them before hea
ding for the door.
Percy, Fred called to him. Percy stopped and turned around to look at his brother.
The second flour canister, George said quietly.
Yes? Percy asked.
Be careful when you open it, Fred remarked with a grin at his brother. Percy looke
d at the two of them and grinned slightly at them.
Thanks, he said and turned for the door again. The twins pulled up chairs next to
Ginny s bed and sat down across from their parents.
She s been like this a week now, Fred said.
She looks like she could wake up any second, George added.
She s fighting Mum, you ll see, they said together.
Dumbledore says her physical injuries have almost healed now, Molly. She could wa
ke up any time, Mr. Weasley said to his wife she didn t reply, instead busying hers
elf with fixing Ginny s blankets.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione walked into the hospital wing, followed by most of the
DA group. Hermione had bullied Harry and Ron into holding a meeting. It had not
been their most successful, but she had managed to get Harry, Ron and Cho to sto
p worrying about Ginny for just a few minutes. Hermione thought back to the day
last fall at the Gryffindor quidditch tryouts. The image of Ginny s rage at her th
at day was burned into her mind.
If we thought she was angry then, wait till she wakes up and finds out Harry and
Ron have been mopping about her, and not preparing to fight Voldemort, the seco
nd voice said.
She ll blame us you know. Say we are the practical one, and that we should have ma
de them move forward, the first voice added.
I know. Next meeting, if they aren t up to task, I ll let them have it, Hermione ans
wered.
Are we really going to do that? the voices asked together. Hermione didn't reply
, instead she just watched Ron and Harry move towards Ginny. Ron brushed the hai
r from her face again. Harry leaned down close to her ear. She could see his lip
s move, but couldn t make out the words.
Be strong enough for today, Ginny, Harry whispered to her.

Ginny sat up and looked back behind her shoulder, she thought she heard voices a
gain. Finding nothing, she closed her eyes and concentrated on listening.
Harry? Ginny asked softly, as she brushed at the spider webs, she opened her eyes
to find him. Though the voices were still there, she was still in the chamber. G
inny closed her eyes and concentrated on listening again. The voices came back l
ouder.
Ouch! Her hand shot up and touched the side of her head where Cho s foot had hit her
. The voices faded again, and she fell back to sleep.

********************

Harry and Ron sank to their knees screaming in agony. The DA group watched in sh
aken horror. It was third time she had overcome their shield spells that night.
Only this time, she didn t hit them with stunning spells. She had hit them with Cr
utacious curse. The same spell that had put Neville s parents in St. Mungos, she h
ad released them almost instantly. But the shock of it on the group was intense.
And now what they witnessed was terrifying. Harry and Ron had recovered quickly.
They were standing again with wands drawn. Their eyes were blazing and the air
around them seemed to glow as they radiated power. The stun spell that Harry sen
t at Hermione blew a hole through the foot thick stone wall as it deflected off
her shield spell. Hermione had staggered back, almost falling to the floor, even
as her spell held. Her hair floated around her head, as if blown by the wind, b
ut there was no air moving in the room. Her intensity exceeded that of Ron and H
arry.
Three of the most powerful sorcerers in the world faced off in front of the DA.
Hermione returned fire with a stun spell of her own. It took the combined streng
th of Ron and Harry s shield spell to deflect it. Bridgette was the first to reali
ze what Hermione was doing.
Hit them! she screamed adding their own stunning spells to Hermione s. Neville follo
wed her, along with Cho, and then the whole of the DA group attacked.
Ron and Harry stood back-to-back fending off spells. The different voices in the
ir heads took over. One each maintaining shield spells, while the others directe
d where to counter attack. It was over in minutes.
Members of the DA group lay strewn about on the floor. A pile of wands that Harr
y and Ron had taken from their fallen friends, and in some cases ripped from the
ir hands by the strength of the summoning spells from the two of them, lay at th
eir feet. Only Hermione was still standing when they turned to face her, wands a
t the ready. Hermione dropped her shield spell and tossed her wand to Ron.
Accio! he called and it flew to his hand.
What s the matter with you? Have you gone insane? he yelled across the room at her.
Hermione, while unarmed, was still radiating energy.
No, I m not insane! she screamed back at him. I love you! Both of you!
You ve got a funny way of showing it, Harry shot back at her.
Why, because I forced you two to wake up? she screamed back at him. Ron started to
respond her, but she cut him off.
Because I did what Ginny has been doing for the last year? Demanding that you pre
pare to fight Voldemort by not accepting less than your best? What do you think
she would do to the two of you if she saw how you were crying over her the past
two weeks? Hermione was crying now. Realization of what had happened dawned on Ha
rry and Ron. Ron walked over to Hermione pulling her into his arms.
I won t lose you to him because you were crying over Ginny, she said, her voice trem
bling. She pulled away from Ron and walked over to Harry crushing him in her arm
s.
Either of you, she said to him, as she let him go.
Harry looked around the room. It was a mess, to say nothing of the rest of the D
A members. Hagrid was just sitting up; even with his giant s blood Ron had knocked
him out cold.
Blimey! he remarked, looking around at the mess. Com on. Help me get the others up. E
rmione ya think the next time ya want ter ring those two s bell ya could come up w
ith sumat else? he asked, shaking his head while walking over to retrieve his wan
d. Hermione began to move around the room casting spells to revive members of th
e DA who had not recovered yet.
Oy, my head s killing me, George said, sitting up slowly.
Yours, Fred spoke up next to him, feel this welt on mine. Harry could see him ginger
ly rubbing a giant welt. Think I might need to reconsider, he continued.
Whether I want to keep those three as family, George finished.
Is everyone ok? Harry asked the assembled group.
Depends on how you define ok, Lee Jordan said. I knew we would pay for it when Brid
gette told us to hit you. But, he shook his head, that s the last time I listen to h
er, he finished with a rueful smile.
I think we should pack it in for tonight, Bridgette spoke up. Maybe next time you t
hree, she nodded at Harry, Ron, and Hermione, don t get to use stunning spells.
Sounds like a pretty good idea to me, Neville agreed with her.
I ll let you know then, Harry said. Sorry, Bridgette, he added quietly to her. Bridget
te just smiled at him and turned to Hermione.
Nice one, she said to her. I think you got their attention.
They better hope so, Hermione replied.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione sat down next to Ginny s bed. Ron held her hand.
You know Ron . Harry said, smiling at Hermione, I just want you to know. That I m reall
y not upset about losing Hermione to you. Hermione gave him a feeble smile in ret
urn.
The thing is, Harry, Ron replied. I was thinking of letting you have her. We ve got r
ings, the wedding is almost planned, all you have to do is step in. Harry and Ron
smiled at each other. Hermione huffed and glared at them.
Oh come on, Hermione, you know were only joking, Harry said.
C mon, Hermione, forgive us, Ron teased. Hermione flashed a smile at them.
I know you were. I just wanted to hear you apologize.
Thank you, Hermione. For helping us, you re right about Ginny killing us when she w
akes up, Harry said quietly.

Ginny sat up; she had been lying on the ground looking at the stone archway. She
picked her hand up and looked at it. It felt warm, even though the rest of her
was cool from lying on the stone floor. She could hear voices again. They seemed
a little closer.
Hello? Is anybody there? Again no answer came. Ginny closed her eyes again, and st
rained her ears. It sounded like Ron and Hermione.
*

See you in the morning, mate? Ron asked, standing to leave. Hermione stood with hi
m.
Goodnight, Harry, Hermione said, as she brushed Ginny s hair from her face again. Goo
dnight, Ginny, she added quietly.
Harry sat gently stroking Ginny s hair. He could see the bruise on the side of her
head was almost gone. He leaned close to her ear.
Be strong today, Ginny.

Ginny brushed at the spider webs. Again her hand came back empty.
Harry! I know you re there. I can hear you, Ginny called out. It was quiet all aroun
d her. Ginny strained to listen. There was another voice.

Harry, what are you still doing here this late, son? Harry jumped. He had fallen a
sleep in the chair with his head resting on the bed by Ginny s shoulder.
Oh .Hi, Arthur .Molly, he answered. I just wanted to stay here with her.

Dad?...Mum?.... Ginny called out. Silence surrounded her.


Why won t anybody answer me? she asked softly. Ginny tried to focus on the voices. S
he stood up and walked to the steps that lead to the seats surrounding the stone
archway, looking, searching.
Where are you?

Come with me son. It s late. Harry let Arthur lead him back to the Gryffindor tower.
Mrs. Weasley brushed the hair from her daughters face again. Sitting down, she h
eld her hand.

Ginny swiped at the spider webs again, looking around in confusion as to why the
re was nothing there. She looked at her hand, it was warm again. Hearing whisper
s from behind it, she started back to the stone archway. Ginny walked all around
the archway and then stood in front of it. She stepped closer.
Is someone there? she asked. The whispers were louder now. There seemed to be a fo
g in the arch. Swirling, blowing .a shape. Ginny stepped closer again. There was a
woman there .No .More like an image, or a ghost she thought.
Do I know you? Ginny asked. The mist shifted, growing more defined. Ginny started
to move towards the arch again. The mist began to dissipate. She stopped; lay do
wn in front of the arch and fell asleep again.

Author s note:
The unforgivables, I have seen all different takes on these curses, from the fac
t that they are pure evil, to the concept that they are not evil, only your inte
nt as you cast them makes them good or evil.
I believe that it is intent that makes them evil. I actually believe each curse
can be used for good. Using the Killing Curse to rid the world of Voldemort woul
d have to be classified as good. I believe using the impervious curse on someone
to get them to jump out of a burning building into the waiting fireman s net, whe
n that person would otherwise have stayed in the burning building and perished,
would be classified as good.
The most difficult is the curtacious curse. Everything in JKR s writing indicates
that the curse does not cause any physical damage to the body. There is nothing
physically wrong with the Longbottoms, Harry was physically unharmed when the cu
rse was cast at him, and Bellatix Lestrange was unharmed when the curse was cast
at her. The curse, as I understand it affects the mind and makes it believe you
are in pain.
The damage comes when the mind cannot accept the sensation anymore and breaks do
wn. That said, pain is all relative to the person experiencing it. The Longbotto
ms may have been under the curse for hours before their minds broke, someone els
e might only be able to take a few minutes. I believe it is possible to train yo
ur mind against the pain of the curse, and in that manner, the person casting th
e curse at you is doing good for you.
I don t buy that Harry could not maintain the curtacious curse, only that he did n
ot continue to hold the curse on Bellatrix Lestrange. Read the passage, he stick
s his hand out, shouts out the curse, and ducks back down, thereby breaking his
hold on her. I do buy, that the more pain you are willing to cause, the more pai
nful you can make the curse for someone to be under the affects of. I would much
rather have Harry use the curse on me than Bellatrix.
I have also seen some people put forth the theory that you have to want to kill,
for the sake of killing, in order to use the death curse. I don t buy that either
. The reason I don t is that the fake Mad-Eye cast the curse at that spider in the
DA lesson during Harry s fourth year.
I know, this man was in truth a Death Eater, and did like killing just to kill.
The problem with the, killing just because I like too, theory, is that the real
Mad-Eye would not have been able to cast the curse. During the aftermath of Vold
emort s fall from power after casting the killing curse at Harry, we find out that
the Ministry authorized the use of deadly force to bring in left over DE s. It is
stated in cannon that some Aurors used this as a first option, but that Mad-Eye
was not one of those. He always tried to bring them in alive. This is not a man
who could kill someone just because he liked killing.
Dumbledore knew the students were being shown the unforgivable curses, cannon sa
ys it is his idea to do so. If you need to want to kill someone or something jus
t because you can, in order to cast the curse, then the fake Mad-Eye s ability to
cast the Death curse would have given him away as an imposter.
These are my thoughts on the unforgivables. I know some people will disagree wit
h me, and others will simply not believe that Hermione would cast the curse at R
on and Harry. I believe she would if she needed to get their attention, which sh
e did. She caused them no real harm, just like Bellatrix was not truly harmed by
Harry. Personally, I can t think of a better way to get someone s attention. You ac
tually have the ability to hit them over the head with a bat, but none of the ac
tual dangers of doing so.

Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 20: Debt of Blood


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione were in the hospital wing again, about ready to leave.
Give me a minute, and I ll catch up, Harry said to Ron and Hermione.
Ok then, we ll wait outside for you, they replied together.

Ginny was awake again and had stepped close to the archway.
One more step and I ll be through, she thought to herself. Ginny moved forward ano
ther half a step. The mist swirled in front of her again, glowing, shimmering. G
inny stepped back. The image intensified.
I want to come with you, Ginny said softly. The mist blew away. Ginny sat down cry
ing. I m lonely, she whispered desperately.
*

Harry placed his hand on the side of Ginny s face and leaned down close to her ear
again. Come back, be strong today Ginny, he whispered to her.

Ginny s head jerked up.


Harry?...where are you? she yelled. Her words echoed back to her. How do I get out
of here? Harry .Ron .anyone? her voice faded to a whisper.
ANSWER ME! Ginny screamed, and then collapsed to the floor when no response came. A
nswer me. Her voice became lost as tears ran down her face and she drifted into s
leep.

********************

Harry was surrounded by members of the DA. The trial was to get past their shiel
d spells and silently kill their wands before the referee allowed them to attack
. He had succeeded the last time. But this trial, he was not going to get as muc
h time. Some of them were also trying to kill his wand.
It had been two weeks since Hermione had hit both he and Ron with the Crutacious
curse. The battle that had followed had taught the three of them to truly fight
while listening and tasking the different voices in their heads with different
objectives.
All three of them were capable of defending against as many as ten to twelve mem
bers of the DA at the same time. Right now, Harry had set up two defenses. He ha
d his third voice maintaining a shield spell. His second was continually recasti
ng the Recognize charm on his wand. No one had yet found a spell to counter it,
but if enough people worked on it at the same time, they might get through. Harr
y knew, because his wand was still warm in his hand, that he was ok.
The first voice and Harry himself were probing the others, looking for weaknesse
s. He was nervous, last time through, knowing he was not being attacked, he had
been able to concentrate all of his efforts to his own attack. This time, he had
to spend half his energies on defense before the battle even began. Harry had a
plan to adjust for this.
After moving from the Room of Requirement to the Apparation training room, Appar
ation training had become one of the main focuses for the DA that year. This roo
m was used to train students for their Apparation liscense. You could not Appara
te into, or out of it. But inside it you could practice for your test. The Weasl
ey twins, along with the few 7th years in the DA, had been trying to teach the y
ounger DA members all year. Harry, along with his fellow 6th years had also been
getting instruction in Apparating during their regular school classes. Harry ha
d seen both Dumbledore and Voldemort use the ability during their fight at the M
inistry last year. He was going to try it now too.
Go! yelled the referee.
Bang!
Harry was gone. Ten stunning spells hit where he had been.
He Apparated, Ron yelled, to the group. Move, so were not in the same spot when he
reappears.
Bang!
Bang!
Ron heard the two bangs of Fred and George Dissapparating behind him.
Us too! the voices yelled at him.
Bang! Ron was gone.
Harry reappeared behind a suit of armor. It wasn t so much that he had to tell the
voices what their job was. Each was part of him and just reacted. Doing what on
e of the others wasn t. He hit the twins with binding spells. Ever since Hermione
had hit Harry and Ron with the Crutacious curse. The three of them were banned f
rom using stunning spells unless it was at each other, or Hagrid.
Accio! Harry got Fred s wand but not George s.
The rules they had set up said once you lost your wand you were out of the fight
.
Where are Ron and Hermione? Harry demanded silently.
Bang!
Bang!
Protégo! Harry yelled. He staggered under the blow of the two stunning spells that h
it him. His shield spell held and Harry fired back with stunning blasts of his o
wn. Not waiting to see if he hit Ron or Hermione, he Disapparated again.
Ron had Apparated behind Lee Jordan and Cho. He grabbed them.
With me, when Harry leaves where he is now. We Apparate to that spot, he said. The
y nodded at him.
Hermione, stay there, don t Apparate again, Ron yelled to her.
Ok!
Ron was playing Chess. He didn t know where Harry would go, but when he reappeared
, he knew the first three targets Harry would look for would be himself, Hermion
e, and Hagrid. He was leaving Hermione where Harry knew she had been. Then movin
g to the place Harry left with three strong pieces. He hoped to hit Harry with t
hree blasts at once. Four if Harry made the mistake of just assuming Hermione wo
uld move again. Ron looked around at the people involved in the battle.
Bloody Hell! Looks like Harry got Hagrid before we started, he thought.
There, Harry just disaparated again, the second voice said.
Now! Ron commanded to Lee and Cho. The three of them disappeared in a loud success
ion of pops and reappeared where Harry had been.
Harry reappeared. The first voice, before they could react, found and hit the Cr
eevey brother s. He then summoned their wands.
Three down, seven left, the third voice said. George had almost freed himself fr
om the binding spell. Harry hit him with the binding spell again.
Accio! Still, he couldn t get the wand. Harry continued looking for Hermione and Ron
.
Protégo! His shield spell was barley up when the blast came from Hermione, knocking
him forward.
Didn t expect her to still be there, he thought returning the spell. But she had d
issaparated again. Harry was hit again, this time by Luna and Bridgette. His shi
eld was up completely and being maintained none-stop. He returned fire at them o
verwhelming their shields.
Accio! Two wands flew out of their hands.
Wham!
Harry was hit by Ron, Lee, and Cho. It took the combined efforts of all three vo
ices to maintain his shield. He had to move again.
Bang!
Hermione reappeared just in time to see Harry dissaparate again. She shot a rele
asing spell at George.
Thanks! he yelled and then ran to the other side of the room. Hermione saw Ron, Le
e, and Cho behind the suit of armor. They were down to five.
Time to try something different, she thought to herself. Hermione used the secon
d voice to levitate Ron, Lee and Cho high into the air in the middle of the room
. The first voice cast her shield spell and then she waited. She had herself lef
t to stun Harry, if she could maintain it.
What?.... Ron yelped as he was lifted into the air.
Yes, aerial bombardment! Lee yelled. Get ready.
Harry reappeared in the middle of the room. His shield spell was up. And the fir
st person he saw was Hermione. Her stunning spell was already coming. He returne
d fire, getting knocked back a step by her blast. And then he was hit with three
blasts from above, and one from behind.
ACCIO WAND! Ron roared from above. Harry s shield had weakened from the simultaneous
blasts. And the power of Ron s summoning charm overwhelmed him before he could re
group. His wand was ripped from his hand, an instant later he was knocked out by
another stun spell from George.
Harry sat up and gingerly rubbed his forehead. He hadn t managed to fall on a pill
ow and had hit his head rather hard.
Sorry about that little bro, George said. I had already sent the spell when you los
t your wand.
Oy come of it George. You re not sorry about it at all, Fred ribbed him. George smil
ed.
Well not really, But I figured I would at least pretend.
Thanks a lot, Harry said. Between you and Hermione, I m beginning to think I should l
ook for a different family, he added with a smile.
That was really good you guys, Hermione broke in.
Yeah, why don t we quit with the battle practice for tonight and spend some time wi
th the Phoenix charm, Harry said. Only six of you have mastered it, and it may be
the most important spell for you to know. If you can t do it here, it will be very
difficult to do it when your life depends on it. Don t forget you can also throw
an object into the path of the curse to deflect it. Either way you won t get a sec
ond chance. The others nodded in agreement.
One other thing before we split apart here. George what did you do so I couldn t ge
t your wand? Harry asked. I should have had it twice easy.
Semi permanent sticking charm, George replied. Here go ahead and try again. He held
out his wand in his hand, but didn t close his fingers around it.
Accio Wand! Harry pointed his wand at George s hand. The wand didn t budge.
Only way to get it off is to release the spell. Got the idea from the picture of
Sirius s mum, George said.
At least the old bat was good for something, Ron said.

********************

Harry Ron and Hermione were in the hospital again. Tomorrow would be four weeks
to the day from the accident. Cho had been in a little earlier to see Ginny, but
had left when they showed up.
I m worried about her, Hermione said.
She seems to be doing ok to me, Ron answered.
Neville told me she is still crying everyday. She swears she is never going to pl
ay quidditch again, Hermione replied. Ron was shocked.
It wasn t her fault. No one blames her. She knows that, Harry said.
She knows that. But she is still blaming herself. She figures if she never plays
again, she won t accidentally injure someone again, Hermione told them.

He s back. They re back. Ginny looked up. It was her voice. Not one of the voices that
lived in her head, but her voice nonetheless calling to her. It sounded like it
was coming from outside the chamber.
Wake up Ginny, she could hear her voice coming from somewhere outside of the chamb
er.
Wake up Ginny.
I m trying. Help me! Ginny yelled into the darkness. She brushed away another spider
web. Ugh what is that? she snarled.
Wake up Ginny, her voice called again.

Wait for me outside? Harry asked. Ron and Hermione nodded.


Harry bent down and brushed the hair from her face again. It just wouldn t stay.
I miss you, Gin. Come back, be strong today, he whispered into her ear and then ki
ssed her forehead before hurrying to catch up with Ron and Hermione.

********************

As the three of them walked back to the Gryffindor tower Harry felt the pain sur
ge in his scar.
Arrrggh!! Harry dropped to his knees, as his hand shot to his forehead.
CLOSE IT! the voices thundered at him. Harry forced the conduit shut. His stomac
h retched, and he had to force himself not to throw up.
Harry! Ron and Hermione dropped down to help him. Harry held on to Ron s arm to stea
dy himself.
Was it Voldemort? Hermione asked.
Yes.
But I thought you were able to keep him out of your head, Ron said.
I can, I was able to throw him out after a few seconds.
Harry, we should tell Dumbledore, Hermione said.
Don t need to. He already knows about it, Harry mumbled, shaking his head.
How can he know? It just happened, Hermione hissed at him.
Trust me Hermione. I won t tell you how. But Dumbledore knows. Hermione bit her lip
in frustration.
Why is he so stubborn? she asked herself. How can Dumbledore .
THE CHOCOLATE FROG CARDS! the second voice exploded in her head in excitement.
Can you get up, Harry? Ron asked.
Yeah, I think so. Give me a hand. Ron and Hermione pulled Harry to his feet.
Harry, what if he tries again? Ron asked, concern etched on his face.
He won t, Harry answered. That hurt him as much as it did me. I could feel it.
Why did he do it then? Hermione asked.
He wanted to get my attention, Hermione. He s waiting for something, and wants me t
o know.
You re sure we don t need to talk to Dumbledore? Ron asked.
It s ok Ronald, he already knows, Hermione answered. Ron just looked at her for a se
cond before giving the password to the fat lady and helping Harry into the commo
n room.
I ll take him up to our room. Wait up for me? Ron asked Hermione.
I ll be here, Ronald.

Harry fell into his bed fully clothed. Ron pulled the covers over him and closed
the curtains. He then walked over to Neville s bed.
Get up, Neville, Ron shook him.
What?...Ron, cripes you scared me.
I need you to stay up and watch Harry. He s sleeping now, so just make sure nothing
happens to him. I ll explain when I get back. I won t be gone long, Ron said walking
to the door. And wake the other guys up too.

Is he ok? Hermione asked when Ron came back.


He s sleeping now. Barley hit the bed and was out. Neville is keeping an eye on him
. I still have to go tell him why. Are you sure we don t need to talk to Dumbledor
e? Hermione reached into Ron s shirt pocket and pulled out the chocolate frog card
of Albus Dumbledore.
You mean? Hermione put her hand over Ron s mouth.
I just figured it out. Don t tell anyone. Ron nodded his head
This can t be good Hermione. It s been too quiet all year. Yeah there have been loads
of attacks, but he has left Harry alone too long, something bad is going to hap
pen .Soon. Hermione looked at Ron her lip beginning to tremble.
I can t lose him. Not on top of Ginny, she whispered.
You won t, Mione, Ron replied stepping close to her.
Just hold me, Ronald. Ron put his arms around Hermione and held her tightly agains
t his chest.
I never want to be without you, Ronald, Hermione said, into his chest. If you go in
this battle I m going with you.
Be quiet, Hermione. No one is going anywhere because Harry will win.

Ron walked into the dorm and pulled a chair over to Neville s bed. After explainin
g, what had happened to his roommates, he and the others decided to watch Harry
in shifts. Ron drew the second. Hoping to get a little sleep before he had to ge
t up again, he crashed down onto his bed. Lying on his bed, Ron pulled the card
with Dumbledore s picture on it out of his pocket.
You might be watching him already. But that doesn t mean I can t too, he said to under
his breath.

********************

Harry woke the next morning to find Neville sitting up in his bed studying.
Hey Neville, kind of early on a Sunday for that, isn t it?
Couldn t sleep, so I figured I might as well get it done. I ll have the rest of the d
ay free now. Hungry, Harry?
Yeah let s clean up and go eat. Neville waited until Harry had gone to shower, and t
hen kicked Ron s bed.
What? Neville? Ron sat up quickly, and looked over to Harry s bed. Where is he?
In the shower, we re going to breakfast. Thought you would want to come, Neville rep
lied.
Yeah, I ll be in, in a minute.
Harry, Ron, and Neville sat down at the table in the great hall. Hermione was al
ready there. She looked questioningly at Ron. He shook his head.
Later, he whispered. They were just finishing eating when they were joined by Luna
, and Cho.
So what should we do today? Cho asked, while taking a seat next Neville.
How about taking our books and going down to the lake for the morning before we g
o see Ginny? Hermione asked looking around at the group. The others nodded in agr
eement. Just then the post arrived. The owls dropped their letters, mail, and He
rmione s copy of the Daily Prophet on the table.
Read it at the lake Hermione, Ron said, as she picked it up. Hermione stuffed the
paper in her bag and hurried to catch up with the others.
Hermione sat down and pulled the paper out of her bag. The people who knew about
last night were avoiding talking to Harry about it. Dreading what she might fin
d Hermione started to read.
MINISTRY CAPTURES DEATH EATER IN BATTLE AT MUGGLE HOUSE.
Last night in a battle at #4 Privet Drive, the Ministry of Magic made a stunning
capture of one Death Eater (Peter Pettigrew) as he attempted to escape with oth
er comrades after blowing up the Muggle House of a Mr. Vernon and Petunia Dursle
y.
The capture of Pettigrew is noteworthy because he was believed to have been kill
ed by Sirius Black sixteen years ago. Black, was imprisoned for the supposed mur
der and for having given the location of James and Lilly Potter, the parents of
Harry Potter, to You-Know-Who.
In a stunning development, Black s claim of innocence has been revealed to be true
. It was instead, Pettigrew, who had been entrusted as the Potter s secret keeper,
and gave their location to You-Know-Who. He later faked his death in a battle w
ith Sirius Black, biting off his own finger to leave behind as evidence that he
was dead. In fact, Pettigrew, who is an unregistered animagus had turned himself
into a rat to make his escape from Black.
The battle last night began when Ministry officials received a tip that an attac
k on the Dursley s was being planed. Officials arrived to find the house on fire,
and Death Eaters leaving the scene. Pettigrew was captured in the ensuing battle
. No evidence could be found as to what became of the Dursley s, who have a teenag
e Muggle son. When questioned, neighbors said they thought that the family had g
one on holiday and were not home when the attack began. Muggle papers are report
ing that the home was destroyed in a gas explosion after officials from the Mini
stry of Magic spent the night modifying the memories of Muggle witnesses.
A second development from the attack last night brings great hope to the Wizardi
ng community. Ministry officials are claiming to have developed a counter spell
to Avada Kadavera, and will begin sending Aurors and Unspeakables to teaching se
minars
Hermione stopped reading she didn t need to know anymore. Chewing her lip, she wat
ched Harry as he skipped stones across the lake for the giant squid to chase. Ro
n was sitting with Cho, he had her under the Imperius Curse. Cho had progressed
to the point that it took Ron, Ginny, Harry, or herself to control her. It didn t
look like she was having much luck against Ron today, as he had her doing jumpin
g jacks. Hermione got up and walked over to them.
Let her go, Ronald. Ron looked up. Hermione held the paper out to him. Read it. She
pointed to the article. Ron released Cho and took the paper.
Did I do it? Oh .sorry .what s going on? Cho asked noticing Hermione, then walked over a
nd read the article over Ron s shoulder.
Dumbledore has to already have put last night, and this, Ron said indicating the p
aper, together.
I agree, Hermione replied.
I don t get it? I mean .yes .the attacks a big deal, and it s good to see them finally an
nounce the Phoenix charm. But why are you two so upset? Cho asked.
Because, the Dursley s are the family that raised Harry and last night, Voldemort s
ent Harry a message, Ron answered.
A message? Cho asked.
Yeah, through his scar, the whole connected thing. Look, the point is, the Dursle
y s are not on vacation. I think Voldemort has them, and he let Harry know it last
night.
So .Harry already knows that Voldemort has them? Cho was still confused.
No Cho, Voldemort wanted to let Harry know he was planning something. He did it,
so when Harry saw the paper, he would know that the Dursley s were not on vacation
, Hermione said.
It s a set up! Cho said in realization. Voldemort wants Harry to come after them. Herm
ione nodded at her.
We can t not tell him, but I don t think he is ready to fight Voldemort yet. He is ge
tting closer. But . Ron said, watching Harry nervously.
No, but I can make him react with restraint. It s the prophecy Ronald. We have to m
ake him think about how to help them. Not just run off without a plan.
If he decides to run off after them like he did Sirius last year. I m not letting h
im go alone, Cho said defiantly. I swore I would fight with him and I m going too.
You two tell Neville and Luna, I ll tell Harry. Hermione walked away headed towards
Harry.
Come on, Cho, Ron said.
Harry s eyes clouded in anger.
Why didn t I think to protect them? he asked himself.
We have to go help them, the first voice said.
They may be rotten, but they don t deserve this, the third voice added.
I m starting to get real tired of this. Weather it s someone we know or not. I think
it s about time we lived out the prophecy, him or us, the second said. Harry list
ened to the debate, it all occurred in seconds.
We ll go find them. If we can get them out of there without fighting Voldemort we
will. If not, then it is time to see if we are ready, Harry finished the discuss
ion. Harry looked up. The others were gathered, watching him.
Where are they, Harry? How do we find them? Ron asked.
We know you re going. But we won t let you go alone, Hermione said. Harry had had this
argument before and lost.
Just because you re the one that the prophecy says is equal to Voldemort, doesn t mea
n that we can t take out a Death Eater or two, Neville said. I have as much right to
be there as you do Harry, he added.
Harry remembered the day he first found out about Neville s parents. The look on N
eville s face then, compared to now.
He s not even the same person we saw in the hospital that day anymore, the first v
oice said.
Ok. I won t stop any of you from coming.
That just leaves where, and how, Ron said to him. Harry closed his eyes, and focus
ed his mind. And then, he let the conduit between himself and Voldemort open wid
e. The pain surged in his scar, worse than the night before. He could feel Volde
mort trying to throw him out, becoming ill himself at Harry s invasion.
"You have to show me where they are if you want me to come get them," Harry thou
ght. Harry's vision cleared and he could see a graveyard. It was familiar to him
.
This is where Cedric died, he thought to himself. And there tied to a tombstone
were his aunt, uncle and cousin. Nagini, Voldemort s snake lay coiled in the grass
in front of them. Harry kept the conduit open longer. Looking round, he saw a l
arge manor house. And there down in the back, the caretaker s quarters. There was
light coming from the manor. Slowly, as Harry fought to keep the conduit open, V
oldemort forced it shut. As it closed, Harry s stomach retched. This time he could
not stop himself from Vomiting. His friends jumped to help him as he sank to hi
s knees.
I m ok. He pushed them away and wiped his mouth. He s holding them at the Riddle House,
the place he killed Cedric. Harry saw Cho clench her wand, fire danced in her ey
es.
How do we get there? Ron asked. He knows were coming. He might even expect to see D
umbledore show up.
The real question is, how does he expect Harry to get there? We need to get there
in a way he doesn t expect, Hermione said.
Harry, what can you tell me about the area around the graveyard? Ron asked.
There s a big manor house, up on a small hill, about two hundred meters from the gr
aveyard. There was light coming from it. And there is a small caretaker s house do
wn the hill about halfway between the graveyard and the manor.
Why is he using this place again? Neville asked. I would think after killing Cedric
there that it would not be secret enough for his headquarters.
He s not using it for his base. He just needed to use someplace Harry knows, otherw
ise Harry couldn t get there, Luna answered simply. The plan in Ron s head was coming
into focus.
Do you think, after the Ministry figured out Harry was telling the truth about Vo
ldemort being back and how Cedric died, that they may have gone to the place to
look for some kind of clues? The others looked at him.
Why do you want to know that, Ronald? Hermione asked
Well, loads of people would have needed to get there. And not all of them would h
ave their Apparation license. So, they would have gone by portkey .
Or floo powder, Harry finished.
Do you think the Ministry might have left it connected to the floo network? Ron as
ked.
Even if they did, we can t slide out into the middle of the manor living room. It w
ill be crawling with Death Eaters, Harry replied.
Not the manor fireplace, Harry. The caretaker s house, Ron said. Was there any light
coming from there?
No .It could be a trap though, Harry replied.
Look, he knows we can t Apparate from the school. And even if we left the grounds,
none of us has tried it over that distance. We haven t learned the Portkey spell y
et. We should have been doing it in the DA meetings. That was dumb on our part.
That leaves us with the floo network. Voldemort probably assumes the place was on
the network. He would expect the Ministry to have disconnected it if they were
not going to use it right then. It would actually be a mistake by the Ministry i
f it still were connected, but considering that Fudge was still in charge until
mid summer, it might have been over looked. I don t think he expects you to use th
e floo network though. I think he expects you to fly. Like you did to the Minist
ry last year, Ron finished. Harry and the others looked at him skeptically.
It s the best option we have. And we can check it first, Ron said.
How? Harry asked.
Just like when you talked to Sirius in the fire last year. That will tell us if i
t s connected., and if there is anyone in the caretaker s house.
So all we need now is a fireplace on our end, Harry said.
It will need to be somewhere private. We could try to sneak into one of the Profe
ssors offices, Neville offered.
Or . Hermione said, we could use Hagrid s. We ll have to tell him everything, and he ll
t to come with.

********************

His head in the fireplace, Hagrid knelt on the floor in his hut. It had taken a
lot, but they finally convinced him that if Voldemort saw anyone but Harry. He w
ould kill the Dursley s right away. Harry had also told him by the time he got to
Dumbledore and back that they would be gone, so he might as well help them. Hagr
id had relented. However, he insisted he would be the one to check the floo netw
ork connection and if the caretaker s house was empty.
Hagrid looked into the dark kitchen of the caretaker s house. He fully expected to
have his head chopped off or something worse. He looked for a long time; waitin
g making sure it was deserted.
Well? Harry asked when Hagrid pulled his head out of the fireplace.
Ron s right, it s empty, Hagrid said.
All right, this is our plan then, Ron started. When we all get there, we re going to
follow Harry. Remember the snake might be there. If it is, Me, Hermione, and Har
ry will kill it with the death curse. Then Harry and I will get them untied. Her
mione, before you help us with that, I want you to use the spell Dumbledore gave
you that lets Muggles travel by floo powder. The rest of you stand guard with y
our backs to us. As soon as we have them loose, Harry will call for Hagrid.
Hagrid, I want you to carry them back to the caretaker s house and bring them back
here. They might try to fight or run, you can t let them. Get them to the fireplac
e and tell them if you want to live, to yell, Hagrid s Hut, and then throw the flo
o powder. The rest of us will guard your back, Ron finished.
And if they catch us? Cho asked.
Then we fight, Harry replied, just like we have trained to all year. They will taun
t and tease us about falling into their trap. Ignore it. It will give us time to
kill their wands. Wait for mine or Ron s signal to take their wands and hit them
with stunning spells. When you get a wand, break it. I know this will work on al
l of them except Voldemort.
If Voldemort is there, then we do the best we can. I promise you, I won t leave any
one behind. If one of you is hit, I ll fight until we can get you out, Harry said.
They looked at each other. Ron walked over to the fireplace, took a hand full of
floo powder and stepped into the fire.
Last chance to stay behind, he said. And then he called out, the Riddle House, Care
taker s Quarters. He threw the floo powder into the fire and was gone. One by one t
hey followed him.

********************

Harry peered out the window looking for Death Eaters. He then tried to verify th
at the Dursleys were in fact in the graveyard. And, that he had not been tricked
by Voldemort again. It was too far for the proximity detection spell, but he wa
s able to verify that no one was within the caretaker s house except for him and h
is friends.
If we can t see them, were getting everyone out of here, the first voice said.
I see them. That fat lump has to be Duddly, said the second voice.
I just saw someone move on the roof of the manor, the third voice said. Harry sm
iled.
Ok, Harry whispered to the others, I see them; they re tied to the largest headstone.
I can t tell if the snake is down there. It looks like Ron was right about them e
xpecting us to fly, because someone is on the roof of the manor. So, we sneak al
ong the trees to the graveyard, and then go straight to them. Everyone knows wha
t to do? Harry asked. They all nodded. Let s go then. He started to move.
Wait . Hermione grabbed him. She then knocked him on the head with her wand. Harry f
elt himself diffuse. It was the same spell the Order used on him, when they flew
him from his aunt and uncle s to Sirius s house before the start of 5th year.
Tonks taught it to me. Not as good as being invisible, but it can t hurt, Hermione s
aid.
Good idea. Get the others, and yourself, Harry told her. He waited for her to fini
sh, watching as his friends went fuzzy. He could still see them, but instead off
being solid forms, they appeared to be almost see through.
Ok Harry lets go, Hermione whispered.
Heading down along the tree line, trying to keep as far from the manor as he cou
ld, Harry led the way. When they got close to the graveyard he whispered for Her
mione and Ron to come up next to him.
Hermione, do you think you can do your silencing spell without talking? I don t wan
t them to scream when we show up. It was quiet for a few minutes.
Done, Hermione said.
Are you sure it worked? Harry asked.
No, Hermione replied. Harry saw the shape that was Ron bend down and pick up a sma
ll rock. He threw it at the tied up forms of Harry s aunt, uncle and cousin. Harry
saw it smack Duddly in the arm.
Well, if I was tied up like that, possibly with a giant snake at my feet, I would
have yelped if I got hit in the arm out of nowhere. I d say it worked. Brilliant,
Hermione, Ron said to her.
Thanks, Ronald .Any sign of the snake? she asked.
No. When we get close Hermione, I ll tell you to take the spell off so they can see
us three and Hagrid. Let s go. Harry led off.
They crept silently forward. Harry kept his eyes on the ground looking for Nagin
i. About thirty feet away from his relatives, he stopped. Nagini was coiled on t
he ground at their feet, her head had just come up and she was looking in their
direction. Nagini s head moved back and forth searching for what it sensed was app
roaching, but was unable to see. Her tongue flicked in and out tasting the air a
s she tried to find what she felt was near her.
Killing it will give us away, Ron whispered.
We ll have to move fast once we do. Try to gently test the ropes from here, see if
we can figure out how to release them, Harry said.
I can do it. It shouldn t be too hard, Hermione whispered at them. Harry kept his ey
es locked on the snake.
I think I got them loose, Harry, Hermione whispered a few minutes later.
Ok, when I say go we kill the snake. Hermione, you drop the diffuser on us and Ha
grid. Hagrid, you be ready to grab them and run as soon as we get them loose. He
rmione, when I tell you, you will have to let them talk again, Harry whispered th
e last second instructions.
Ready? he hissed loud enough for everyone to hear.
Do it, Harry, Neville whispered back.
Wands up. On three, one .two three! Harry hissed.
Avada Kadvera! three voices whispered forcefully into the quiet that surrounded th
em. Three bolts of green light jumped from their wands. Nagini s head dropped to t
he ground, dead. Hermione revealed herself, Harry, Ron, and Hagrid. She then tra
ined her wand on the ropes holding Harry s relatives to the headstone.
Harry, Ron, and Hagrid ran forward to work on the loosening bonds with their han
ds. Harry could see the terror on the Dursley s faces turn to recognition, and a f
licker of hope came into their eyes. They were trying to talk.
You can t talk we put a spell on you so you wouldn t scream, Harry said, working on th
e ropes. The Dursley s ignored him and continued to try and speak.
Look at me! Harry snapped at them. Harry s aunt, uncle, and cousin turned their eyes
on him. If you want to live, you have to promise me that you won t talk until Hag
rid tells you to. Harry s aunt looked into his eyes. He could see she was terrified
, but she shook her head yes, his uncle and cousin followed her lead.
Hermione, you can release them now, Harry told her, as she ran up. Take them Hagrid
we ll be right behind you. They had only taken a few steps before it started to fa
ll apart.
Bang!
Harry heard the unmistakable sound of numerous people Apparating around them.
Hagrid! Keep going, get them out of here. Everyone else cover them! Harry roared.
He hadn t even spoken the words before the rest of the DA members formed up on him
with their backs to each other. They had been caught in the open and had instin
ctively moved into the defensive position they had been training on all year.
Hagrid, able to cover ground much faster, had gotten ahead of them. He turned ar
ound at the door of the small house.
Harry and his friends had been surrounded.
Harry looked to see if Hagrid had gotten away.
GO! He thundered. Hagrid didn t dare stay Harry looked the way he did when Hermione
had used the Crutacious curse on him and Ron. Ron and Hermione were in close to
the same state.

Hagrid pulled the Dursleys to the fire place.


Grab a handful, he said shoving the floo powder at them. Mr. Dursley started to sa
y something. If ya want ter live, step in the fire, yell Hagrids Hut, and throw t
he powder inter the fire! Hagrid roared at him
But! Mr. Dursley protested.
Live or die Dursley! Hagrid growled, as he shoved Dudley into the fireplace. Dudle
y looked at his mother.
Do what he says! she commanded.
Hagrids Hut! Dudley threw the powder and in a flash was gone. His mother followed.
After you Dursley, Hagrid said pointing. Harry s uncle stepped into the fire and was
gone, an instant later Hagrid followed him.

Let them go Bella! Lucius Malfoy roared. The Master only cares about Potter. I have
no desire to anger him.
It seems you are trapped once again Potter, Lucius sneered at him. Harry counted.
Thirteen against six hardly seems fair, does it? the third voice said.
There is only one I m worried about, the second said.
Quit talking and fight, two and three shield us all just in case. One help me wi
th their wands, Harry growled.
Ron and Hermione had gone through the same process as Harry, dividing their diff
erent selves between defense and attack. Luna, Neville, and Cho, not having the
gift, had simply started their silent attack the second they had formed into a d
efensive circle. By the time Harry responded to Lucius, three Death Eaters hadn t
noticed their wands go cold in their hands.
The last time I was trapped, you and your friends ended up in jail, Harry retorted
.
Dumbledore will not be coming to save you this time, Bella snarled at him.
I wouldn t be so sure of that. Hagrid is probably talking to him right now. Harry sa
w the Death Eaters shift uncomfortably at his words. Either way, we won t need him
to come save us. It has been a year since we last met. I think you ll find were a
little more formidable than last time, Harry taunted her. It surprised him that L
ucius seemed to enjoy the needling that Harry directed at Bella.
I will not stand here and be insulted by these insects! she screeched.
Just a little more time and we should have them all, Harry s first said.
By the way Bella .did you ever ask Voldemort about his parents? Harry continued to t
aunt her. Bella raised her wand at Harry. She had not noticed it had gone cold.
Bella he must be alive! Lucius roared. The master will punish us all.
He dares to use the Master s name! she shrieked, her eyes wild with rage.
The Master will see that he pays for his insolence. He may even allow you the ple
asure of the final blow, Lucius said forcefully.
I don t know about the rest of you. But I m getting a little bored with this whole th
ing, Ron broke into the discussion.
I would agree .Harry? Hermione asked, as she raised her wand. The other DA members f
ollowed suit. The Death Eaters started to laugh.
Now! Harry commanded.
ACCIO WANDS! seven voices roared into the dim light. Thirteen voices tried to resp
ond with shield spells.
Protégo! Not one shield was erected. Thirteen wands flew into the hands of the seven
DA members. A moment later all the Death Eaters were unconscious on the ground.
Break their wands! Harry ordered, and then with the full force of their ability, h
e and Ron quickly stunned each Death Eater a second time. Harry felt the pain in
his scar surging.
MOVE! he roared. He s coming!
With Harry in the lead, the DA members ran towards the caretaker s house. Ron and
Hermione brought up the rear.
Almost there! Harry s second yelled.
Protégo! Just as Voldemort materialized in front of them, his first and third brough
t up Harry s shield. The other DA members were only just able to stop before runni
ng into him. Cho and Luna screamed in terror at the appearance of the Dark Lord,
his snakelike face and blood red eyes.
Leaving already? Voldemort laughed at them.
It s me you want. Let my friends go, Harry replied, grimacing at the pain in his hea
d from being so close to the Dark Lord.
Certainly, I ll only hunt them down one by one after I kill you, Harry, Voldemort sa
id with an evil hiss. Again, Harry was reminded that he even sounded like a snak
e.
Not a chance Harry. If you die here tonight, then I m going with you, Ron snarled at
him. The other members of the DA stepped closer to him.
Your friends lack common sense, Harry. If they wish to die tonight, I will be hap
py to grant that wish.
Unlike yours, my friends happen to still be standing, Harry shot back at him. Harr
y had managed to close out the pain he felt from being so close to Voldemort.
Voldemort looked curiously at his wand.
ACCIO WAND! Ron roared.
Protégo! Still staring at his wand, Voldemort blocked Ron s spell. I see now, how you w
ere so easily able to defeat my Death Eaters. I however, you will find do not ne
ed this to perform magic. Perhaps since I cannot use it, I will make you do it f
or me.
Imperio! Ron felt the familiar sensation of joy that went with the curse, wash ove
r him.
Come to me my servant, Voldemort commanded. Ron walked towards the Dark Lord.
Ronald! Hermione screamed lunging at him. Harry grabbed her around the waist and h
eld her. Voldemort held his wand out to Ron.
You will kill them all, he hissed at him. Ron took the wand, turned on his friends
and walked straight to Harry and Hermione. Harry forced Hermione to his side an
d stood there in front of Ron as he leveled Voldemort s wand at his chest. Hermion
e raised her wand and pointed it at Ron, ready to defend Harry. The other DA mem
bers all followed her lead, all of them except Harry.
Maybe your friends minds are not as worthless as yours. You will not defend yourse
lf in the face of death, Harry? Voldemort laughed insanely at him. Harry watched
Ron s face contorting as he struggled to fight against the curse. He could feel He
rmione crying next to him.
I m so sorry Ronald. I love you, she said softly. Ron blinked and smiled at Harry an
d the others.
Ready? he mouthed.
NOW! Hermione yelled, her voice thundering into the still air, as Ron snapped Vold
emort s wand in half. Six stunning blasts ripped into the growing darkness towards
Voldemort. The Dark Lord was knocked backwards by the combined force of the bol
ts of red light as they ricocheted off his shield into the dark.
Insolent fools, you dare to attack me. Enough of this game, Avada Kadavra! Voldemo
rt screamed into the night as he threw his hand towards Harry and his friends. C
ho, at the first utterance of the death curse, jumped in front of Harry, screami
ng the counter spell he had created.
Phoenix! five other voices joined hers. The spell erupted from their wands meeting
the green bolt that flew from Voldemort s hand and absorbed it. Three flaming pho
enix birds remained burning in the air between Cho and Voldemort. Harry expanded
the spell to six, one for each of the DA, using his third self to do it.
IMPOSSIBLE! Voldemort screeched in anger.
And then, he was nowhere .and everywhere.
Harry got his shield up in time to protect himself and the others from the first
stunning blasts and then the battle raged.
Harry found himself detached, almost watching himself and the others fight the D
ark Lord. He began to adjust to the speed and the power of the spells he was fig
hting against. Growing during the fight, adapting to the dark curses coming at h
im.
Ron caught on quickly, it was just like chess. In the Muggle world he would be t
he equivalent of a Grand Master. He was catching Voldemort, hitting his shield o
n a regular basis, but unable to break past it.
Voldemort was strained. Without a wand, he was unable to use complex spells agai
nst the six DA members. Instead he was forced to use simple yet brutal tactics,
and with the growth in power of Harry, Ron and Hermione over the last year, he h
ad to reach to the depths of his own power to fight the battle.
Those three, Harry, the redheaded boy, and the girl with the brown hair, fight t
hem last, a voice said to the others.
Harry saw Luna fall, her shield overcome by the power of Voldemort s stunning spel
l. Voldemort tried to kill her but the phoenix Harry was maintaing in front of h
er streaked to intercept the curse flamed out into smoke and burst into fire aga
in. Voldmort sent a second stunning spell at her making sure she was out of the
battle.
We can kill her after they are all unconscious, a second said.
Accio Luna! Harry pulled Luna close enough that his shield would protect her from
more hits. Trusting that he could protect himself and Luna with one, now that sh
e was so close, his third voice let one of the flaming phoenixes it was holding
go.
Ron and Neville hit Voldemort with stunning spells at the same time. It was enou
gh for Hermione to get through his shield, sealing his mouth shut, further weake
ning his spells. Trying to break through the shield once more, Ron and Harry hit
him at the same time again.
Despite having put all of his selves into his shield, Voldemort was dazed by the
combined power of the spells from Harry and Ron. Recklessly dropping his defens
e entirely, he lashed out with his hand at Neville and Cho. Their shields took m
ost of the spell, but the power behind it still knocked them backwards into a gr
avestone, both of their heads hitting it with a sickeningly dull thud.
Harry tried to pull them into the protection of his shield before Voldemort coul
d hit them again. He was to slow, both of them getting hit as they flew through
the air towards him. Voldemort dissaparated again, Ron spun anticipating the nex
t move in the chess game.
50/50 chance, his second said. He was wrong. His shield spell saved him from the
full force of the blast. But unprepared for it, he was thrown forward. Ron hit
the ground and rolled left. This time he guessed correctly, the follow up spell
hitting to his right.
Enough standing in one place, Ron s third said. We can Apparate too. Ron disappear
ed, a second later he reappeared high in the tree behind Voldemort. His spells f
ound their mark, but couldn t get through.
We can t maintain the shield and phoenix if we want to hurt him. If we want to do
that, we re all going to have to focus on attacking, the voices said to him.
Not yet, we can at least hold our own for now, he told them. Just as the tree he
was in began to crash to the ground, Ron dissaparated again.
Harry was worried. Voldemort had taken out the three weakest of the DA. It looke
d like they might be able to fight to a stand still with the current odds, but i
f one of the Death Eaters woke up, he Ron, and Hermione would be in trouble.
The girl next, she is the most clever of the three, but the weakest. And the oth
er two might make a mistake if they try to protect her too much, the voices snar
led in Voldemorts head.
Hermione found the attack intensifying. She didn t know who was maintaining it, ha
ving devoted both the voices in her head to her shield and attacking with the se
lf that was always conscious, but there was a phoenix always with her.
How is he able to generate so much power without a wand or his voice, she silent
ly screamed at the voices.
Who cares? Figure out something else. We can t keep this up much longer, the voice
s yelled back at her.
Hermione took aim again, levitating the water from the ditch behind Voldemort, e
ncasing him in it and putting a shield around it to hold him in. Voldemort was s
truggling to throw off, Hermione s attack. Without his wand, unable to speak, it w
as much more difficult than when Dumbledore had done it to him. Finally he Disap
parated, and the water crashed to the ground. Hermione waited.
Is he gone? the voices asked.
Harry had seen this before. How she came up with it he didn t know. He saw Hermion
e begin to relax just a little.
HERMIONE! he yelled.
Voldemort reappeared behind Hermione, his stun spell slamming into her overcomin
g her shield. She collapsed to the ground an instant later.
ACCIO HERMIONE! Ron thundered, pulling her to him.
NO! Harry screamed.
Ron dropped his entire defense and began pouring everything he had into Voldemor
t, driving him back, the blasts from his wand like bolts of lightning.
Harry saw Ron throwing spells at Voldemort, the power behind them more than anyt
hing seen that night. His own rage equaled Ron s and he added his spells to those
that Ron sent over and over at Voldemort. They were wining.
Voldemort was frightened; throwing off Hermione s attack had taken a lot of magica
l energy. And hurting the girl had enraged both Harry and the other boy. He coul
dn t stand and take the combined power of their spells, but diverting his attentio
n from defense for an instant to dissApparate would weaken his shield to the poi
nt that the next hit would break it.
Banging into a headstone, as he staggered back, he quickly ducked behind it. The
headstone, disintegrated after the first hit, but it gave him the time to dissA
pparate again. He reappeared almost immediately to Ron s right, levitating another
headstone and throwing it at his head.
Ron didn t see it coming. He was struck on the temple and fell to the ground in a
heap.
Accio Wand! Voldemort thought. Ron s wand flew to his hand.
Harry was devastated. A second ago they had Voldemort down, they were going to w
in. Now, as he looked around, all he could see were his fallen friends. And Vold
emort had a wand now; Harry forgot that it would be useless to him with the Reco
gnize charm on it.
We couldn t beat him when we had help. How can we beat him now? the second voice c
ried in despair.
We have to keep fighting, Hagrid will bring help, the first screamed back.
We have to fight differently! the third demanded.
Voldemort looked at the wand in his hand. It didn t work. He had forgotten about t
he protection spell, not thinking that they would have used it to protect their
wands from falling into the wrong hands.
They think, and fight like Dumbledore, a voice remarked.
It is no matter. It is just the Potter boy left. Knock him out so we can finish
this, the other voices snarled back at it.
Harry closed his eyes, focusing his mind on the love he had for his friends, Nev
ille, Cho, Luna, his parents, Sirius, Ron, and Hermione. Ron and Hermione, he lo
ved them the most. The conduit opened. Voldemort raised his hand towards Harry.
Why are his eyes closed? .Why is he smiling? Voldemort asked himself. An instant l
ater he crashed to his knees in agony. Every ounce of the love Harry had for his
friends, especially Hermione and Ron was flowing into his hate filled body. Vol
demort screamed in anguish, trying to fight, find some weakness in this new atta
ck.
A bolt of red light streamed from Harry to Voldemort. Harry concentrated, thinki
ng desperately of his friends. It didn t matter, that she had told him no. He woul
d fight to his death for her to live and be happy with Ron. Voledmort caught it.
"She didn t love you. You should hate her. You should hate both of them, he forced
the thought back to Harry. A green bolt of light started to force its way back a
gainst the red light from Harry.
The thought from Voldemort hit Harry harder than any spell that night. More pain
ful than when Hermione used the Cruciatus curse on him, as painful as the brief
moment last year when Voldemort had possessed him.
She does love me. She is my sister. I love Ron. They love me, Harry focused on sen
ding the thought back to Voldemort. Voldemort was feeding off every doubt that H
arry ever had about his friends.
Where are they now, your friends? All hurt, unable to help you, and when I kill y
ou, I ll kill them too. There is no one who loves you, no one who loves me. There
is only yourself.
I just have to hold you. Others will come to help us, Harry shot back. But he was
weakening. The green light from Voldemort was more than halfway to him. Harry, w
as not yet, Voldemort s equal.
Where are Hagrid, and Dumbledore? Why aren t they here yet? Harry was fighting him
self now too.
They will come! the voices screamed at him.
Harry was able to slow the progress of the light coming from Voldemort. But it w
as slowly, steadily eating its way towards him.

********************

Ginny stood at the stone archway. The mist was swirling again and she could see
the woman take shape. There was the slightest hint of green around her eyes.
It s you, isn t it, Lily? Ginny asked. The green around the eyes flared briefly. Ginny
looked up. She heard her voice coming from outside the chamber again.
Ginny, you must wake up. Tom has them Ginny. They re hurt, all of them; Luna, Nevil
le, Cho, Hermione, Ron. Harry is the only one left Ginny. He is in trouble. Plea
se Ginny, you must wake up. Tom has them, Ginny s voice was pleading, begging her t
o wake up.
Ginny was frantic.
I have to get out of here! she screamed, tears rolling down her face. Someone help
me! she yelled as she looked around desperately. Ginny stopped and turned to the
archway. He needs me Lily, help me, she pleaded with the woman in the mist.
The green flared in the woman s eyes. A shaft of light fell on the floor at Ginny s
feet. She turned, at the top of the chamber, a door was open wide but slowly clo
sing. Ginny ran, faster than she had ever run before, across the floor and up th
e stairs. She wasn t going to make it. Ginny shoved her hand into the crack as the
door slamed closed crushing her hand instead. ignoring the pain, she yanked the
door back open, and as she did her eyes opened.
She sat up in her bed and looked around the room.
We re in the hospital wing, her first said.
Ginny, Tom has them, Ginny s head snapped around to the voice. She grabbed the choco
late frog card of Dumbledore off the stand next to her bed and turned it over. H
er wand was there too.
Reveal! she barked, waving her wand over the card. The picture of herself that she
had stuck on the back of the card appeared.
Where are they? she demanded.
Tom Riddle s parents house, the place he killed Cedric, her photo answered.
The door to the hospital wing flew open. Dumbledore stormed in, followed by Hagr
id, a man, woman, and boy she did not know.
You are ready? Dumbledore asked Ginny. Madam Pomphrey burst out of her office.
What is going on here? Oh my goodness, Ginny, she shrieked upon seeing her standin
g. What are you doing, get back in bed! Ginny ignored her.
WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? she stormed at Dumbledore, already she was in a rage, be
yond any she had been in, in her life. Madam Pomphrey shrank away from her.
Albus you must . Madam Pomphrey began to protest.
Help these people if they need it and are not too foolish to let you, Poppy, Dumbl
edore interrupted her. Prepare your beds. I will be returning with more injured s
tudents. NOW! he commanded when she hesitated. Dumbledore grabbed a water pitcher
.
Portus! he said pointing his wand at it. Dumbledore held the portkey out.
Hagrid, Ginny, he said. They touched it and were gone.
They appeared in front of the caretaker s house a moment later.
Go Ginny! help him, Dumbeldore said. Ginny, still in her hospital gown and barefoo
ted, flew to Harry. Hagrid started to move forward.
Wait, Hagrid! Professor Dumbledore said.
But Professor, sir! Hagrid stammered, pointing at Voldemort, looking very confused
.
I will save them, if I must. For now we wait.
Voldemort had managed to get to his feet. He was winning, only a few moments mor
e and he would finally be able to kill Harry. Harry had sunk to his hands and kn
ees; his eyes were closed as he strained to hold on for just a little longer. Vo
ldemort saw the girl running to Harry.
What are you doing!?....Get away from him girl! he screamed at her. The distractio
n was enough for Harry to push back a little. He opened his eyes, as Ginny fell
to her knees in front of him.
Ginny! Harry gasped. Get the others! Leave, I can hold him for a little longer. The
light between Harry and Voldemort stabilized again.
Forget about the girl, the third snarled at the others. Voldemort refocused his
hatred. Slower, but still moving, he began to force his green light towards Harr
y again.
Hurry Ginny! I can t fight much longer, Harry gasped, as Voldemort s hatred hit him wi
th renewed strength. Ginny reached out to lift Harry s chin.
Please Ginny, Harry pleaded looking into her eyes. She smiled at him.
Be strong enough for today, Harry James.
Ron slowly lifted his head. Shaking it to clear the cobwebs; he pushed himself t
o his knees.
Where s my wand? he said to himself. As he looked around for it, his eyes fell on Ha
rry and
Ginny! the voices screamed. And then he saw the red and green stream of light be
tween Harry and Voldemort.
Voldemort s winning! I have to help! he thought desperately. Ron raised his hand,
trying to send a spell, any spell without his wand. His head was still too confu
sed from being hit by the headstone to focus enough to do it. Ron looked back to
Harry and Ginny, the green light was almost touching Harry now. He staggered to
his feet and started running, launching his body into the air, intending to thr
ow himself between Harry and Voldemort.
Just as he was about to break the beam of light between Harry and Voldemort, a b
linding white light flashed all around him. As he crashed to the ground, Ron saw
the trees around the graveyard bend violently away from him, many of them were
ripped, roots and all, from the ground. Strangely, he felt nothing and then it w
as silent.
Terrified at what he would find, Ron turned to see what had happened. He could s
ee what he thought was Voldemort s body. It looked like the blast had tossed him a
gainst a tree, knocking him unconscious or perhaps better. Ginny, was kneeling,
unharmed it appeared, over Harry s fallen body.
Hagrid, gather the students who are unconscious by the portkey, Dumbledore command
ed. He then moved quickly, between Harry, Ginny and Voldemort.
Ginny s fingers tentatively touched Harry s face, she couldn t tell if he was breathin
g or not and there was no response from her trembling touch.
No, she breathed. Ron stumbled next to Professor Dumbledore, carrying Hermione wit
h him.
Is he ok, sir?
Harry is not dead yet, Ronald. Weather he lives or not, is up to him.
Give her ter me, Ron, Hagrid said, attempting to take Hermione from him. Ron tried
to fight him.
She will be ok Ronald, let Hagrid have her, Dumbledore said quietly when he resist
ed.
NO! Ginny screamed. The agony in her voice was enough to break through Ron s protest
s and let Hagrid take Hermione from him. He walked over to Ginny and dropped dow
n next to her, reaching to put his arm around her, to comfort her.
The simple act of touching Ginny caused a release of energy that threw Ron ten f
eet through the air.
NOOO! I WON T LET HIM BE DEAD! she thundered, her voice echoing into the night, as s
he scrambled to her feet. Searching the area, Ginny found what she was seeking,
Voldemort s body lying next to the tree. She raised her wand.
Ron groaned as he pushed himself to his knees, he had seen Ginny like this befor
e. It had been terrifying; it paled in comparison to what he saw now. The air ar
ound them was rushing towards her, as if she was sucking the energy out of every
thing around them. Lightning flashed in the sky striking the ground all around h
er, thunder ripped through the air, the concussion pummeling his body painfully.
Dumbledore stood in her way power radiating off of him in waves, a wall of flam
ing phoenixes leaping into existence between himself and Ginny.
You cannot kill him, Ginevra.
HE KILLED HARRY! she thundered. I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT TO HIM!
Only Harry is capable of killing him, Ginevra. The bolt of red light shot from her
wand. Dumbledore deflected the spell with his shield. The blast ricocheted off
to a huge oak tree, splitting the trunk clean through, carrying past it and smas
hing a hole through the stone wall of the caretaker s caretaker s house large enough
to walk through.
Ron watched in awe, unable to react as the tree began to fall to the ground. Dum
bledore was forced to catch it with a levitation spell and throw it across the c
emetery so it did not land on Hagrid and the others.
A second crushing spell, this one less powerful than the first, erupted from Gin
ny s wand hit Dumbledore s shield and deflected into a headstone disintegrating it.
A third spell left her wand, was deflected by Dumbledore and barely scathed the
headstone it hit.
Ginny screamed again. The sound, like some unearthly demon was literally tearing
her heart out of her chest. Tears streaming down her face, her wand fell from h
er hand as she turned back to Harry. She sank down next to him taking his hand.
Her rage not spent; she began to vent it at him.
I CAME BACK FOR YOU! she screamed slamming her fist to his chest. Ron moved to sto
p her. Dumbledore sent a binding spell at him.
Let her go, Ronald, he said. Ron continued to fight, but Dumbledore wouldn t release
the spell. Ginny, having nearly exhausted her magical reserves with the power o
f the first two spells she unleashed, could only sustain her rage for so long. S
he finally collapsed on top of Harry.
I came back for you, Harry, she sobbed. I came back for you. Her voice faded to a wh
isper, growing weaker with each passing moment.
Back to index

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter 21: Marked by the Dark Lord


Disclaimer: As always, I own none of this. I am making no
money from it, so please Mrs. Rowling if you read this
don t sue me. A comment or two would be welcome
though.

Please, if you read, take two minutes to review.

Note: When chapter 20 first posted, the last few paragraphs of it were cut off.
You may want to go back and see if you missed anything. The last sentence of cha
pter 20 should be.
Her voice faded to a whisper, growing weaker with each passing moment.
Now, on to the final chapter of Blood Traitor.

Harry stood at the base of the stone archway. A shaft of light fell at his feet
from an open door at the top of the chamber. He could hear the whispers coming f
rom the archway. He stepped closer.
There was a mist blowing in the arch, swirling, taking the shapes of two men and
a woman. He could just see green in her eyes.
Mum? Her eyes flared brightly and faded again.
Dad? One of the shadows moved forward. Harry smiled.
Sirius.
Am I supposed to come through? The shadows moved back, the green faded from his mo
ther s eyes.
Go back. A voice whispered around him. Harry stepped back from the archway. Listen
ing, he heard another voice, more distinct, coming from behind him, he turned to
look at the open door. It was slowly closing, the voice sounded like .
Ginny! Oh God .Voldemort! Harry yelled, sprinting for the door.

********************

Harry opened his eyes. He could tell he was still in the graveyard, but it was q
uiet now. He started trying to take inventory of his body. His head hurt terribl
y, and he ached everywhere. Harry tried to move his arms.
Well they still work anyways, he thought to himself. He realized a moment later
that there was something heavy on his chest. Harry looked down to see Ginny, her
eyes closed, and her face streaked with tears. She was whispering softly into h
is chest. He could just make out her words coming from her mouth.
I came back for you.
Harry struggled to make his mouth work. It hurt even to move his jaw. His hand w
ent up and rested on her back.
I m here, Gin, he whispered to her. Ginny gasped and sat up in disbelief, hardly com
prehending what was happening as Harry struggled to raise himself. As he finishe
d lifting himself to a sitting position, Harry s head started spinning; he turned
to the side quickly and threw up, every muscle in his body protesting against th
e movement.
Harry! Ginny threw herself on top of him almost before his stomach stopped retchin
g, causing him to crash back on the ground. I thought you were dead, she sobbed, b
urying her face in his neck.

Ron began to relax, stopping his struggle to break free from Dumbledore when he
saw Harry moving.
Where s Hermione? he panicked, forgetting that he had let Hagrid take her.
Hagrid has her over by the gate. Come, we will revive your friends, Dumbledore sai
d to him.
Where is my wand? Ron asked, frantically feeling his pocket.
It is over by Voldemort. He was unable to use it thanks to your spell, Dumbledore
replied, smiling kindly at him. Ron looked to where his wand lay, unwilling to w
alk near Voldemort to get it.
I don t want it if he touched it, Ron spat the words out venomously.
It is a good wand, Ron. Only a tool, but it compliments you well, Dumbledore said
softly. Ron looked at his wand lying on the ground again.
Accio Wand! he said, holding out his hand. The wand flew to him, its familiar warm
th spreading into his hand.
Let s get the others and go home sir, Ron said, walking over to Hagrid.

No, I m not dead, Gin, just very tired, Harry said quietly. Ginny clutched him tight
er in her arms.
Don t you ever do that to me again, Harry James. Harry gently ran his hand up and do
wn Ginny s back, letting her hold him for a minute, before trying to pry himself o
ut of her arms.
Help me get up, Gin. We need to get out of here in case he wakes up. I don t have t
he strength to fight anymore, he said urgently.

Ronald? .What happened?...You re ok? Hermione asked, after he had revived her.
Yeah, I m ok, Mione.
What happened to your head? Hermione gasped, reaching up to touch him. You re still b
leeding, she whispered.
Voldemort hit me with a headstone. It s ok, Mione, I m going to live. Hermione closed
her eyes, relieved yet terrified at the same time.
Where is Harry, Ronald? she asked softly, dreading what she thought the answer had
to be.
He s over there with Ginny. Ron pointed. Hermione s eyes flew open and followed his ha
nd to where Harry and Ginny were. Ginny was helping Harry to his feet, he didn t l
ook very steady, but he was standing. Hermione grabbed hold of Ron in a fierce h
ug breaking down in tears.
How did she get here? she gasped.
I have no idea, Love, Ron replied, as he picked her up in his arms. Neither of the
m saw Harry collapse again.

*******************
Dumbledore sat on a chair he had conjured in the graveyard, waiting patiently fo
r the fallen form to wake up. Harry, even if he had not passed out again, had no
t yet discovered how to kill Voldemort. Dumbledore s gamble had failed. That left
him no choice but to let Voldemort go. The Ministry would never be able to hold
him; he was actually less dangerous on the loose than in custody for even a day.
The thirteen fallen Death Eaters on the other hand, were in the hands of Ministr
y Officials. Dumbledore could have killed them where they had fallen, but like H
arry, chose not to. He was sure he would live to regret it, but the Ministry had
not authorized the death penalty for any of them yet.
That is going to have to change. We are at war, the voices told him.
Dumbledore had delivered his students to Madam Pomfrey, harmed but alive. Luna,
with a broken leg, Cho, and Neville, along with the nasty gashes on their heads
had broken arms. Ronald had escaped with only cuts. Hermione, other than being k
nocked out, had been uninjured. Harry was simply exhausted.
And Ginny Weasley, who had insisted on being the one to support Harry s unconsciou
s body, she was tired, but would finally recover from her collision on the Quidd
itch field with Cho. They would all be in the hospital a day or so, Harry maybe
a week.
The Dursley s were not going home. They would have to be hidden. Dumbledore himsel
f was to be their secret keeper. They would have a lot to adjust too. Dumbledore
felt badly for them. They only wanted to be left alone, and now their lives wer
e being changed on them.
Another family damaged by Voldemort, he sighed to himself.
At least Petunia seems to be forgiving herself for not being born magical. Such
anger she harbored to her sister, his second said.
I m just glad Ginny was not at full power. A few more blasts like the first and we
would have been done for, the third remarked.
Not even Tom has hit us that hard before, the fourth put in. Could she be more p
owerful than him or Harry?
No, Dumbledore answered. Ginny unleashed everything she had in those two spells.
Tom and Harry, if they ever figure out how to put that much into one spell woul
d be able sustain it. Perhaps for hours.
Dumbledore snapped from his thoughts. Voldemort had started to move again. His s
econd, third, and forth selves immediately went on the defensive.
Voldemort climbed unsteadily to his feet. His red snake-like eyes, searching the
area, fell on Dumbledore.
You cannot win, Tom, Dumbledore said in a perfectly friendly tone. Voldemort laugh
ed hideously at him.
Here to finish me off, Dumbledore? You should have done it while I was defenseles
s.
We both know that in your present form, the death curse will not kill you.
The fact that I am here at all should tell you that, Voldemort hissed at him.
As I told you the last time, Tom, there are fates worse than death.
You are a fool, Dumbledore.
Perhaps, that does not change the fact that you cannot win. Only a year ago, Harr
y cowered at fighting you. Today he nearly destroyed you. He only grows stronger
, Tom. The next time you face him he will rip you from the shell you have become
.
Never! Will that insignificant boy defeat me! I will send my Death Eaters after h
im relentlessly, till the day he dies, Voldemort spat the words out at Dumbledore
.
You fail to recognize what you have created, Tom. In attempting to kill Harry, yo
u have brought about the creation of four sorcerers whose ability and power will
be greater than the founders of Hogwart s themselves, Dumbledore replied evenly. Al
l four were greater wizards than myself, who you hide from, like a snake in the
grass.
Then destroy me if you can, Dumbledore! Voldemort screamed.
Oh, I am Tom, Dumbledore replied. Gone was the friendly tone that his voice had ca
rried during the rest of the conversation.
But alas, he continued, I see that you are beyond reason. You always have been, pre
ferring to hide in your hatred. I will be leaving now. I m afraid you will find yo
u are quite alone. Your Death Eaters are in Ministry custody. So you need not bo
ther looking for them. Goodbye Tom Riddle. I fear the next time we meet, shall b
e your last day on this earth. With that, Dumbledore picked up the water pitcher
on the ground next to him and was gone. Voldemort starred at the empty chair whe
re Albus Dumbledore had been sitting.
MY NAME IS LORD VOLDEMORT! he thundered into the night. Silence answered him, not
even an echo.

********************

Harry truly woke for the first time on his fourth day in the hospital. He had aw
akened briefly over the previous three days only long enough to roll over and fa
ll back asleep. Today he lay in bed listening quietly as his friends and Dumbled
ore sat talking around him.
Ron was telling everyone how he had recovered to see Harry, with Ginny next to h
im. It had looked like Harry was only seconds away from falling to Voldemort. Ro
n had tried to jump between Harry and Voldemort, but something had happened befo
re his body reached the beams of light streaming from each of them.
When I dove to break the connection between them, there was a blinding white flas
h, followed by what had to be a shock wave, because the trees all around bent aw
ay from Harry. Some of them were ripped out of the ground .But I felt nothing. Whe
n I turned around again, I could see that Voldemort had been thrown against a tr
ee and knocked unconscious. But Ginny, who was right next to Harry was not hurt
at all, he finished.
Professor Dumbledore, what happened? Why did the blast affect Voldemort, but not
the rest of us? Ron asked.
It is my theory that what radiated from Harry was pure love. Love for his friends
and adoptive family. Anyone who loved Harry was unharmed. But Voldemort, who ha
s nothing but hatred for Harry, was hit almost as hard as if the death curse had
been sent at him. He smiled at the group. They remained quiet for some time.
I have a question, Harry said quietly.
And what would it be, Harry? Dumbledore asked. Harry looked down at Ginny. She was
sitting on a chair by his shoulder. Her head rested on his bed and she was hold
ing his hand tightly in hers, almost like she was afraid that if she let go he w
ould disappear. She was the only one besides Harry not to have been released by
Madam Pomphrey yet. Today was her last day; Harry was to get out tomorrow.
Did you tell Ginny where we were, or did she find us on her own? Ginny sat up look
ing at Dumbledore questioningly. She didn t know if he wanted the secret of the ch
ocolate frog cards to be reveled.
I think, Ginny, that you may tell this group, though I urge you all to forget wha
t you hear, Dumbledore said quietly. Ginny picked up the chocolate frog card of D
umbledore that she had placed on Harry s bed stand.
Revel! She waved her wand. The Headmaster uses the cards to keep track of things. I
figured it out when Harry made us start carrying them around. I figured out how
to make my picture report back to me. Then I stuck my picture to the back of th
e cards you were all carrying, she said. The others stared at her incredulously.
You ve been using those all year to keep track of me? Ron asked. Ginny nodded. I took
that thing in the shower! he stammered. Dumbledore burst into laughter. The othe
rs joined in a few seconds later. Ron turned a few shades of red darker than his
hair before laughing at himself.
I think that perhaps we should let Harry sleep for a while, Dumbledore said, notic
ing that Harry had his eyes closed again. Harry listened to them filing out. Her
mione, Bridgette, Cho and Luna all giving him a kiss on the cheek or forehead be
fore they left. Harry heard the door close behind them.
I can still feel you standing there, Harry said, his eyes remained closed.
I can leave if you want me to, Ginny replied softly.
No, Gin. You can stay. Ginny climbed onto the bed next to him sliding her hand int
o his again.
You saved me, Ginny. I would have failed if you hadn t shown up. You saved all of u
s, Harry said, opening his eyes to look at her.
I couldn t let my Big Brother die on me, she replied with a smile that didn t reach he
r eyes. Her smile faltered and she looked away from him. Harry didn t reply and th
ey sat together quietly for a few minutes.
You haven t called me that for a long time, Harry finally said. Ginny looked back to
him. She shifted to her knees by his side and the fingers of her left hand lace
d themselves into his. Her right hand brushed his face as she leaned over him. H
arry felt his heart in his throat.
And you don t call me Little Sister anymore. Harry flinched. He hadn t been able to fo
r some time now. He had hoped she didn t notice.
Ginny, you re too close to me already. Voldemort will come for you.
He is already coming for me, Harry, Ginny whispered.
Ginny, please; I can t take the pain of losing you if I let you in more than you ar
e.
Why not, Harry? Why could you try with Hermione and not me? she asked softly. Harr
y scowled.
Because I m different, Harry, because I will say yes? Ginny answered the question fo
r him. Harry tried to look away from her, she knew him so well to have guessed t
hat, but she held his gaze with her hand on his face.
And what about me, Harry? You don t think I won t feel the pain of losing you? What o
f the pain I have watching you every day, but not having you? I hid because I wa
s afraid you would say no. I made you my brother because it is what you would gi
ve. I couldn t live with the rejection that might come from asking for more. I con
vinced myself it was enough. Then I thought you were dead, and the pain of never
trying was worse than I could ever have imagined.
I followed you the night you went to the Mirror of Erised. Do you know what I saw
when I looked into the mirror, Harry? Harry didn t respond.
Tell me what you saw, Harry?... Ginny whispered. Tell me what you saw when you look
ed in the mirror the second time? Harry closed his eyes tightly.
I m not moving, Harry. I will sit here until you answer me. Tell me no if you must,
if you don t love me, if I am nothing more than your sister. But my heart is bare
before you. It is yours, if you will only take it.
Don t be a fool, Harry, Sirius whispered in his head.
Harry opened his eyes. Ginny was leaning over him less than a foot away, her eye
s closed, the color drained from her face. Not even when she was lying on the gr
ound in the Chamber of Secrets had she appeared so vulnerable.
Harry slowly slid his left hand to her right hand and then up her arm. Ginny beg
an to tremble at his touch. As his hand reached her face and his thumb played ac
ross her cheek her breath sucked in, in a gasp. Harry moved his hand to the back
of her neck, his fingers becoming entwined in her hair and she let the out tinn
iest of whimpers. He began to pull her face closer to his, lifting himself to me
et her halfway.
I saw you, Ginevra, he whispered just before her lips met his.
The explosion of sensations that washed over him were unlike any Harry had ever
felt before. Her lips were like fire and ice all at once. She was fragile, yet t
he strongest person he knew. Ginny melted into him filling every dark crevice wi
th light and Harry knew he was lost. With one kiss, she had claimed him as hers,
taken his soul, and still he wanted to give her more.
Ginny sank into Harry letting her weight press down on his chest. Electricity su
rged from her lips to the back of her head all the way down her arms and legs in
to the tips of her toes and fingers. She had dreamed of this, but it didn t compar
e. She felt something cold leave her body and be replaced with warmth she did no
t know, but knew she could never be without again. Harry had finally accepted he
r love and given his in return. For the first time in her life, even from before
meeting him, she was complete.
Ginny finally broke the kiss, buy settling into his arms with her head on his ch
est. They lay there for a long time before either of them spoke.
How long are you going to make me wait, Potter, or do I have to ask that too?
Harry wasn t sure how he knew what she meant but he did.
I don t have a ring, Gin, he said softly, not lifting his lips from the top of her h
ead. Ginny sat up on her knees again. She locked her eyes with his and reached f
or his face with her right hand, trailing it down his neck to find the chain he
had worn every day since Charlie s wedding. Her fingers pulled the chain out from
under his shirt and slid down it wrapping around the ring that it was threaded t
hrough. Holding it, she sat looking into his eyes.
If you want it, he whispered. Ginny began to pull the ring. Harry felt the chain b
egin to cut into the back of his neck and then break as the strain became too mu
ch for it. Ginny turned her hand over palm up and opened it, the ring resting th
ere for him to take. Harry reached for her hand taking the ring from her. He tur
ned it over in his fingers before taking her hand and sliding it onto her finger
.
Will you marry me, Ginny, he asked. Strangely, Harry felt very nervous. That there
was a chance she might say no.
Yes, Harry James Potter. Yes, Yes, Yes. I will marry you, Ginny whispered in delig
ht before wrapping her arms around him and kissing his lips deeply again. She se
ttled down next to him on the bed her back pressed into his stomach, sighing pea
cefully. Harry watched over her shoulder as she played with the ring on her fing
er.
When, Harry? she asked softly.
"As soon as your parents will let us, he whispered, but as far as I m concerned we a
re married now.
I love you, Potter, Ginny whispered before she fell asleep.

********************

Harry woke up the next morning thinking it was all a dream. Ginny was gone and n
o one else was around. He felt for the chain around his neck. It was gone, and h
e could feel rawness on the back of his neck where it should have been. Like som
eone had ripped it off of him. Harry looked to his bedside table and saw the bro
ken chain lying there. The ring was missing.
It wasn t a dream. Was it? he asked himself. Not getting an answer he got up and h
eaded for the bathroom to clean up. He was just finishing getting dressed when h
e heard someone walk into the hospital and stop outside of the privacy curtain a
round his bed.
Are you decent, Potter? He heard Ginny s voice ask him. Harry felt his heart poundin
g in his throat.
She called us that last night in the dream, the voices remarked timidly. Harry w
as scared, terrified might better describe what he was feeling
Ginny .Last night something happened to me. Something that was so amazing it had to
be a dream and I don t want it to be a dream. You would know the truth, Gin, did
it really happen? Harry asked barley above a whisper.
He s scared, the voices said quietly to her
Funny, I had a dream last night too, Potter. Then this morning, I look down at my
hand and I m wearing you re mother s wedding ring, Ginny replied softly. Harry stepped
out from behind the curtains.
Did you really say yes, Gin?
When are you going to talk to my parents, Potter? It is no fun walking around wit
h an invisibility spell on my engagement ring, Ginny said, while glaring at him.
But this was different than anything he had ever seen before. Ginny s eyes were da
ncing in the light, for him, he realized.
Are they here? Harry asked nervously.
Yes they are, Potter. Finalizing plans with Ron and Hermione for next Saturday, Gi
nny replied, stepping close to him. You know, Potter, I ve been here for quite some
time and you haven t kissed me good morning yet. I ll be really disappointed to fin
d out Ron is more attentive to Hermione than you are to me. Harry stepped close t
o her and gave her a quick peck on the forehead.
How s that? he asked backing away from her.
Not even close, Ginny replied grabbing him. I guess you need lessons. She then yanke
d him by the back of the head and pressed her lips to his. Harry felt his knees
going weak. He couldn t breath, but didn t care. Finally, leaving him with his head
spinning, Ginny broke away from him.
That. Is what I expect from you every day for the rest of my life, she teased him.
Harry stepped closer again.
Let me see if I ve got it right, Gin. He kissed her again, this time he felt Ginny s
ink into him. He slowly pulled away from her looking down into her brown eyes.
Better? he asked.
Mmmm, Ginny replied, closing her eyes, as she laid her head on his chest.
Erm .We re not interrupting anything? Are we?
Harry turned around quickly, to see Ron and Hermione standing in the doorway to
the hospital. He felt his face flush. Ginny stepped beside him taking Harry s hand
in hers.
Not really. I was just kissing my fiancé, she replied evenly.
I told you. Who else could it have been? Hermione said excitedly from behind Ron.
Ron gapped at them.
How .how long have you two been keeping things a secret? he stammered.
Yes, how long? Hermione snapped. Ginny only just woke up the day you came in here.
So it had to be sometime before her accident with Cho. This was not the reaction
Harry had expected from Ron. He had thought, based on how he reacted to Ginny s pr
evious boyfriends, Ron was going to kill him.
Well actually, we started dating last night about fifteen minutes after you guys
left. We were engaged about five minutes after that, Ginny answered. Ron and Herm
ione were both shocked into silence.
I guess that explains why this showed up last night then, Ron replied a few moment
s later. He held his diary out to Harry. Harry took it from him, looking at it w
arily.
Go ahead; it s not bad, at least not any worse than the rest of it, Hermione said. Re
ally, she urged when Harry looked up at her. Harry opened the diary to the marked
page and began to read. Ginny looked on over his shoulder.
THE ONE MARKED BY THE DARK LORD . MARKED AS EQUAL BY HIM .OTHERS WILL COME IF HIS HE
ART IS TRUE .HE NEED NOT FIGHT ALONE .
ONE OF RED HAIR WILL RISE .POWER APPROACHING THAT OF THE DARK LORD .IN 11 YEARS THE
FIRST TO OFFER FRIENDSHIP, IT WILL BE TESTED IM