Disclaimer – Harry Potter and its affiliates are the sole property of JK Rowling.
Disclaimer – Merlin and Morgan Le Fey are characters in History and Myth. They do not belong to me either.
Disclaimer – Sun Runner abilities are the property of Melanie Rawn.
Note – Thanks for the feedback on the chapters. It means a lot to me that you all are enjoying the story. In this chapter I will bring back some forgotten people. Many were surprised by the death of Ginny. She was just on my nerves due to the fact that I could not find anything to do with her.
Chapter 11 – Rat Race
The time went on in the castle. The occupants were saddened by the loss of one that they loved dearly. A presence could be felt in the nursery. Many who visited the children knew in the backs of their minds that Ginny was there and was keeping an eye on the babies. Many a day would see Remus and Tonks at the castle. The five children could be seen being played with by many. Molly was moving about the castle. She seemed happier each day. Of her seven children only four were left. She made it a point to spend as much time with the grandchildren as she could. Even James called Molly grandma. It was a delight that he started talking. Baby babble could be heard as he started to speak more and then the castle championed together when he took his first steps. Destiny was a quiet and thoughtful child. She would watch James and try to imitate him. She rarely spoke, but when she wanted something everyone knew it at once. At 18 months James was growing more and more like Tonks every day. Destiny at a year old was the spitting image of Hermione. There could be no doubt that Alexander was Harry's child. Those beautiful green eyes were the image of Harry and Lily. Octavia took after Draco. She had his blonde hair and Ginny's eyes. Arthur was a look spitting image of his grandfather and namesake. What made him stand out so much was that he had Ginny's red hair. He also had on green eye and one gray one. There were blond highlights and dark streaks in the red hair. One day the hair would look dark and on another it would look light. There could be no doubt that when Ginny performed the incantation that made sure of Arthur's existence, that there was a bit of all three of them in him.
Harry was sitting in the nursery one day feeding the children. They were getting big. Harry caught a glimpse of Ginny out of the corner of his eye and raised his hand to his lips and kissed his fingers. This was a gesture that many did when they felt her presence. Harry often wondered about his own mother. Had she done the same as Ginny and kept watch over her son? Harry let his mind wander. He remembered when he found out that Peter Pettigrew had betrayed his parents and then framed his godfather. The anger that he felt for the Animagus known as Wormtail was astounding to many. Peter had been the secret keeper for the fidelius charm. Not long after the charm was performed to keep Harry and his parents safe, Peter went to Voldemort and told him exactly where to find the Potters. James Potter died first trying to protect his wife and son. Lily stood in front of Voldemort pleading for her son's life. In the end, she died trying to save him. The killing curse that was meant for Harry rebounded and hit Voldemort sending him into a version of hell. With no body and barely able to stay alive, Voldemort searched for years to find a way to regenerate a body for himself. Finally in Harry's fourth year, Voldemort returned and the hunt for Harry's life continued. It was when Harry had become Head Master of the school that the final battle between the two took place. The spirits of the four founders formed a protective barrier around the two and stopped anyone from interfering with the final showdown. In the end, it was not magic that took Tom Riddle's life. Harry swore he would have Riddle's head and with the sword of Godric Gryffindor, he beheaded the most feared Dark wizard in history. These days Harry had to worry about the heir of Morgan Le Fey and the Dark Runners. Ginny had sacrificed herself in order to protect the children from the Dark Runners. In a way, she had done the same thing for her children that Harry's own mother had done for him. With her death, she formed a magical protection that would keep the children safe from the running abilities of their enemies. Harry watched as the image of Ginny leaned over and soothed Octavia. Ginny never spoke. Harry was not sure why. For some reason it was as if she could not. Harry handed Alexander to Molly and went back to his office. As much as he enjoyed being around the children, he had about 650 other children that he needed to work with as well. Being the Head Master of the school, he had to make sure the students were safe from the forces of evil. This was a job that Harry took seriously.
It was on this day that Harry made his way up to his office. He went to sit at his desk when he saw an owl sitting on the back of his chair. It had a piece of parchment with the seal of the Ministry of Magic tied to its leg. Harry quickly rounded his desk and untied the letter from the owl. He fed it an owl treat from the bowl that was on his desk for these occasions. He sat down and with a small murmur muttered the incantation to release the magical seal on it. His eyes got wide as he read the letter.
Dear Head Master Potter,
We are deeply troubled as we tell you that the Animagus known as Peter Pettigrew aka Wormtail has escaped. It would appear that when his door was opened to feed him, he attacked the Mister of Magic and fled. As it stands, it looks bad for Madam Bones. We do not expect her to make it through the night. It is with regret that we ask that you and Albus Dumbledore come to the Ministry of Magic immediately.
Thank you in advance for your prompt action,
Assistant to the Minister
Harry read the letter a second time to make sure he was reading it properly. When he was done, he opened a drawer for a piece of parchment and wrote a reply.
Let me get things in order here and Albus and I will be there shortly. We will be there soon.
Harry quickly acted. This was his style. He never made drawn out decisions. He acted promptly and quickly. He raced from his office. The first place he stopped was the nursery. Molly, Remus, and Tonks all looked at him alarmed.
"Something has happened at the Ministry," said Harry. "Molly, please do not leave the children alone for a minute. Remus, I need you and Tonks to patrol the corridors of the school. Wormtail has escaped and has seriously hurt Amelia. She is not expected to live through the night. I have to go."
"We will take care of it," said Remus. "Hurry and let us know if there is anything else we can do to help."
"The children will be fine," said Molly. "We will take it from here. Go
Harry, they need you."
Harry turned on the spot and apparated to the classroom that Severus used to teach DADA.
"Severus, there is an emergency at the Ministry of Magic that requires me and Albus immediately," he gushed. "Please take care of the castle and students."
Severus recovered from the apparition into his classroom quickly.
"I'll keep an eye on everything," said Severus. "Do you want me to inform the rest of the staff for you?"
"Yes please," said Harry. "I'll explain everything to you when I get back."
"Go Harry," said Severus. "I will take care of everything on this end. Just be careful."
Harry nodded and turned on the spot and apparated to the charms classroom. Albus looked at him a little surprised. Harry rushed over to him and handed him the letter. Albus did the same thing as Harry. He read the letter twice and immediately went into action.
"Class is dismissed," he said. "Please return to your dormitories immediately. Miss Lucette, please place a notice on the door on your way out to inform the rest of my classes that class is cancelled for today."
Gina Lucette nodded to Albus and quickly did as he asked. Harry meanwhile grabbed the hands of Albus and with a quick turn, apparated them to the Ministry of Magic. The appearance of Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore in the midst of the Ministry of Magic did not really surprise anyone. Albus was a former Minster and Head Master and Harry Potter was the current Head Master and he was well, just Harry Potter. Any rules that were made for much of anything were overlooked with regard to these two men. The impact that they made on the magical world was so great that they were allowed in more places than anyone else in the country. Together the two men headed for the office of the Minister. When they arrived, they were greeted by Katie Bell and shown in. Moody, Blaise and a few other officials were in the office. They were discussing a few other things.
"AH Harry," said Moody. "Thank you so much for your prompt action."
"The letter Katie sent me said that Wormtail escaped," said Harry. "I thought he was a special case prisoner and that escape was impossible."
"He was," said Moody. "Apparently we had our information wrong."
"What do you mean Alastor?" asked Albus. "What information did you get wrong?"
"Well for what ever reason, Amelia decided that she was going to visit Peter and feed him while she was there," he replied. "When she opened her cage, she was hit with a stunning spell and injected with Basilisk venom. We have been unable to counter the effects. We have tried everything that we know. St. Mungo's is working around the clock with her as we speak. Nothing they have tried has worked either. Even phoenix tears are not helping. Unless they can find a way to counteract the poison, she will die by morning."
"What do you need us to do?" asked Albus quietly.
"We need you to step back in as Minister of Magic Albus," said Moody. "We can't think of anyone else. I certainly don't want the job."
"Go ahead Albus," said Harry quietly. "We have weakened the Dark Runners significantly. Also we can find a way to stop Lilith and Terry soon enough. You are needed here. We can always use that door between the Ministry and the castle so that we can get you to the castle if you need to get there in a hurry."
"Are you sure Harry?" asked Albus quietly. "If it will cause any troubles, I will decline."
"I am sure Albus," said Harry. "You are needed here. I can rearrange the staff a bit so that your classes are covered."
"Very well then," said the old mage. "I'll once again take on the job of Minister of Magic."
Harry smiled at his friend and mentor. He knew that Albus preferred to be at the school. He also knew that Albus was the only possible candidate for the post of Minister of Magic. No one else was as qualified as he was.
"There is one other possibility," said Moody thoughtfully.
"What would that be?" asked Albus.
"Well there is always Harry," he said.
"For what?" asked Harry confused.
"For the post of Minister of Magic," said Moody bluntly. "You are just as qualified as Albus is."
"NO WAY," said Harry. "It was bad enough that I became Head Master at 17. There is no way that I am going to become Minister of Magic at 18. NO. NO. NO."
"Relax Harry," said Albus. "No one will force you to do anything that you do not want to do."
"That is good," said Harry. "Now if you gentlemen and ladies will excuse me I have a school to run and a rat to catch."
"I will let you know what is going on Harry," promised Albus. "Just remember all you have to do is ask and I will be there in a flash to assist you."
"Thanks Albus," said Harry. "I am going to go to St. Mungo's and check on the status of Amelia. Do you want to go with me?"
"I think I will," said Albus.
Harry grabbed his arm and with a small twitch apparated them to the lobby of the hospital.
"We are here to see the Minister of Magic," said Harry.
"Right this way Head Master," said the medi nurse. "I must warn you that she is not doing well. We do not expect her to be with us for very much longer."
Harry sighed as he followed her to the room that held Amelia. A doctor walked over and spoke with Harry for a few moments. Harry leaned over and placed his hands on Amelia. He tried several incantations. The doctor listened intently to the spells that he tried to remove the venom. Finally Harry removed his hands and sat back with a sad look.
"Her organs are starting to petrify," he said. "Have you tried a drought of mandrake root?"
"Yes Head Master," said the doctor. "We have tried everything we can think of. Nothing seems to be working. I can't even get her to wake up long enough to talk to her."
"In that aspect I can help you," said Harry sadly. "Albus please run on the light with me. I want you to keep a part of yourself free to repeat what she says to the doctor."
"Of course Harry," said Albus. "Doctor, we need you to respect the wishes of Amelia. It may sound bad, but I think that it would be best to honor her request what ever it may be."
"Of course Dumbledore," said the doctor. "What ever she wishes shall be done."
Harry went and opened the curtain. He pulled in a thread of sunlight. Albus opened himself up to Harry. At the last moment, he divided his pattern so that he could continue to talk with the doctor as needed. Harry entered Amelia's mind and color pattern. Her colors were dim and weak.
"Harry," she said weakly. "I will not make it and the pain is starting to get unbearable. Help me please."
"That is why I am here Amelia," he said. "What would you like me to do for you?"
"Is it painful to be shadow lost?" she asked. "Will it be easier for me rather than face the pain that the venom is doing to my body?"
"It is not painful for you to be shadow lost," said Harry. "It will be like you are going to sleep and will never wake up."
Albus meanwhile was relaying the conversation. The doctor was sitting there with a sad look on his face.
"Will you help me Harry?" she asked. "Will you pull me into the shadows and let me die without all the pain?"
"If that is what you wish Amelia," he said. "I will make it quick for you. Do you have final requests before I send you to your next life journey?"
"Make sure that Susan is taken care of," she said. "Make sure that everything I own goes to her."
Albus continued to translate for the doctor. The doctor just nodded his head. A nurse was summoned to record everything that was being said.
"I promise to see that she is looked after," said Harry. "She will be watched out for. Albus will resume the seat of Minister of Magic for you."
"Thank you Harry," she said weakly. "I am fixing to get hit with another wave of pain. Please end this for me now. My soul will be forever thankful to you for letting me die in comfort. Just make sure that you get the people that are responsible for this."
"I promise Amelia," he said. "Take my hand and close your eyes."
She placed her hand in his with a smile and then closed her eyes. Harry moved with rapid speed and she became shadow lost. He followed the colors that made up Albus' pattern and came to with a start. He started crying. As he looked down at Amelia, there was a smile on her face. She was free of the pain and the worry. In her dying moment, she knew that Harry would keep his promise to her. The doctor and the nurse sat there not saying anything. Albus wrapped his arms around Harry and just sat there holding him as he cried.
"I know this is painful for you Harry," said Albus quietly. "You saved her from a great deal of pain. There was no hope for her. She went quickly and quietly just as you promised her she would. Her spirit will honor you for that."
Harry didn't say anything. He just sat there sniffing. The doctor and the nurse stood up to leave. As they passed by, they both gave Harry a pat on the arm and condolences for the pain he was feeling.
"Harry," said Albus. "Why don't you go back to the school and sit with the children for awhile. You will feel better soon."
Harry nodded. He gave one last painful sniff and stood. He turned on the spot and apparated directly to the nursery. Molly jumped up and went to his side immediately.
"Are you ok Harry?" she asked. "What happened?"
"Not now mom," he said. "Albus will be here later and he will tell everyone everything. Can I be alone with the babies for right now? I think I need some alone time."
She kissed him on the head. She walked over and lifted Alexander and placed him in Harry's arms. From there she handed him Octavia. Harry sat next to the crib that held Arthur. Destiny and James were in their own beds taking a nap. As Molly left she looked one last time at the young man that was dear to her crying as he held his children and left quietly shutting the door behind her. She was met in the hall by Draco, Severus, and Remus. When they went to enter the nursery, she stopped them and told them that Harry was in there crying and that he asked to be left alone for a little while.
"Why is he crying?" asked Draco looking sick. "What happened?"
"He didn't say," she responded. "He said Albus would tell us later what happened and then he asked for some alone time with the children. I will ask you all to honor that request."
The three men looked at each other and nodded. An hour later, Draco and Severus approached the door. Molly was standing guard in front of it. She put her finger to her lips and quietly opened the door. Harry was sitting in the chair sound asleep with a baby in each arm and his head leaning into the crib of the third child. Draco and Severus entered the room quietly and each grabbed a baby gently from Harry and placed them in their cribs. Severus then picked up Harry and walked him back to his rooms. Draco and Severus quietly got him dressed in something comfortable and let him sleep. They made their way down to the office below. Draco glanced at the marauder's map and motioned to Severus. The dot labeled Albus Dumbledore was now on the grounds. Severus quickly grabbed a bit of light a summoned the rest of the runners in the castle. Classes were over with for the day, so the teachers would all be free. They gave their affirmations on the light and Severus withdrew. It took about twenty minutes to get everyone seated comfortably in the office that Draco shared with Harry. Albus made his way to the desk that he had sat behind for so many years.
"I am sorry that I took so long to come back," he said. "Where and how is Harry?"
"He is sleeping upstairs," said Draco.
"He came back in tears Albus," said Molly quietly. "What is going on? What happened?"
"Madam Bones has died," said Albus gently. "She was feeding Peter Pettigrew when someone attacked her from behind and injected her with Basilisk Venom."
There were gasps around the room. Poppy and Minerva both had their hands covering their mouths in horror. Molly looked towards the stairs that lead to where Harry was sleeping.
"No wonder he looked so sad," she said. "That doesn't explain what is going on though."
"Patience Molly," said Albus. "Peter has escaped. Therefore we are on the lookout again for him. Harry went to see Amelia before he came back here to the castle. He tried everything in his power to heal her. He could not. Finally he went on the light to her and talked to her. She knew she was dying. She asked Harry to save her from the pain."
"Oh no," said Hermione starting to cry.
"What is it?" asked Ron.
"She asked me to make her shadow lost," said Harry crying from the stairs. "She asked me to help her pass away pain free. She did not want to die from the venom."
"Oh Harry," said Minerva rushing over to him. "I am so sorry that you had to go through that."
"I don't understand," said Ron.
"Don't be stupid Ronald," snapped Hermione still crying. "Harry honored her request."
"OH," said Ron with a horrified look on his face.
Each person got up and went to Harry. They gave him a hug and their condolences on his pain. Harry nodded to everyone and went sit on the sofa. Draco and Severus went to sit next to him.
"Today we lose one of our teachers as well," said Harry.
"What do you mean?" asked Pomona.
"I will be taking over as Minister of Magic again," said Albus.
"Hermione," said Harry. "Starting tomorrow I want you to resume your spot as Charms Professor."
"Who will take over as Runes Professor?" she asked.
"Remus I seem to remember that you scored high on your N.E.W.T. in that subject," said Albus. "Would you consent to teach the subject?"
"Sure," said Remus. "I'll do what I can to help."
"That is settled then," said Albus with a smile.
"What are we going to do about Peter?" asked Minerva. "He has to be caught. Plus we have to find out who did this to Amelia as well."
"Ah," said Albus. "As to that, I know who did that to Amelia. He was the one person that we did not catch for some time. Now he is using everything he can to aid Lilith and Terry Boot."
"Rookwood," snarled Severus. "He was always trying to get the better of me in potions. It would appear that he found the Dark Lord's stash of venoms."
"Exactly," said Albus. "The former spy has now turned into murderer. I have Moody and Blaise searching for him as we speak. As to Peter, I do not know how we will find him again."
"I think I can fix that," said Harry.
"How so?" asked Albus.
"What is the hardest thing for a man to resist?" he asked. "Notice I said man."
"Power?" guessed Ron.
"No you dolt," snapped Hermione. "A man can not resist a Veela."
"Exactly," said Harry. "It just so happens that we have two veela sisters who would do anything for the Weasley- Potter family."
"What an excellent idea Harry," said Albus with a delighted smile. "Would you like me to contact them for you?"
"Absolutely," said Harry. "The sooner, the better. Nothing will get past those two. They will be on him faster than an owl in the night."
The rest of the group all laughed at Harry's remark. Even Harry smiled at that.
"By the way Harry," said Severus with a wicked smile. "I thought you might like to have a copy of this picture."
"What is it?" asked Harry taking the photo.
He dropped it in surprise. In a flash he had Severus hanging upside down by his ankle.
"I am going to make you sorry for that one," said Harry.
Albus picked up the picture and started chuckling. He quickly passed it to everyone else who started laughing at the picture. It was earlier when Harry was asleep with the children. He had a child in each arm and he was snoring and drooling on Arthur at the same time.
"Oh I think I would like to swap my picture for that one," said Phineas laughing.
Albus obliged him by placing the photo in his frame. Harry meanwhile had released Severus and was chasing him down the stairs shooting mild curses at him all the way down and through the castle. The students were laughing at the sight. They of course knew what was going on as an enlarged copy of the picture large enough to cover the entire wall hung behind the staff table. When Harry saw that, he renewed his chase of the DADA Professor. Severus had to run to the boundary and apparate away for a few minutes until he was sure Harry was not going to murder him. The rest of the faculty had a laugh. Albus even made a copy of the picture to hang in his office. The picture had the desired affect that Molly wanted. Harry was not gloomy anymore about what happened with Amelia. She thought it was funny for Severus to take the blame for her dirty work. Of course she would have to make amends with Severus later. Albus made Harry promise not to seriously hurt Severus and then left to go back to the Ministry. Minerva meanwhile sent two house elves up to pack Albus' things for him. When she got back to her office, she set a copy of the same picture on her desk with a laugh. An hour later, Severus snuck back into the castle. He was still confused at why Harry was blaming him for all of this. He wondered briefly at who actually too the picture. Then he realized with a startled oath who was the culprit. The castle had gotten quiet when Severus' voice rang magically loud through the castle corridors.
"I'll get you for that Molly Weasley," he said.
Wiping tears of mirth from her eyes, Molly tucked James into his crib and retired to her room to rest for a bit. The rest of the staff heard Severus and started laughing as well. Harry realizing who the real culprit was decided that Severus could live to see the next day.
Author's Note – I had to split the group up. With it being such a large group, I am having trouble working with the plot. I also wanted to have a bit of sadness and laughter in this chapter. I hope that you will enjoy the next chapter when I set Fleur and Gabrielle on Wormtail. Please continue to send me those wonderful reviews.