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 – I am not sure what happened, but half of my chapters from Guardian got swapped with chapters from Head Master. I have fixed the problem and it is all in order now. Thanks for the heads up. I know you are all relieved about the rescue of Blaise. For some reason the Slytherin is a favorite. Who am I to take away your favorite? It is time to pick on another former death eater/dark runner. We now return to our regularly scheduled story.
Chapter 16 – Getting Even
Time heals all wounds. At least that was the saying Harry remembered from his days at the muggle school. The summer arrived and with it a sense of relief. The Light Runners had managed to recover Blaise Zabini and take down yet one more Dark Runner. Ronan appeared on the grounds with one of Aragog's children to inform Harry that they had finally cleared the forest of all the Minotaurs. Harry was delighted by this. He was tired of always having Lilith and Terry Boot bring all manner of dark creatures onto his property. Harry was sitting at his desk reviewing a piece of parchment when Draco came into the office.
"What are you doing?" he asked Harry.
"I am reviewing the list of known Dark Runners," he replied. "There are so many issues for so few runners."
"How many known Dark Runners do we have left?" asked Draco looking over Harry's shoulder. "Five? Is that all that is left out of that faction?"
"It appears so," said Harry. "That is still too many for us to sleep well at night."
"That's true," echoed Draco. "You tossed and turned so bad in your sleep last night that I had to get Madam Pomfrey to fix a black eye for me."
"Oh no!" exclaimed Harry. "Dragon I am so sorry for that."
"Its ok Harry," said Draco with a laugh. "I just call it one of the hazards of sleeping in the same bed as you."
Harry laughed with Draco.
"What are some of the other hazards?" he asked.
"Well getting awakened by the dreadful screams that stand my hair up on my head is at the top of the list," said Draco. "You not breathing at some points and turning blue is another. The crying would be third on the list."
"Why would me crying make it a hazard?" asked Harry confused.
"Because when you cry you bring everyone else within ten feet of you to the point of depression," said Draco. "Apparently you invoke your gifts while crying and it affects the rest of us if we are near you."
"Oh my goodness," said Harry. "Maybe it would be healthier for you if you got your own room."
"If I do that," said Draco. "Who will be there to help you through it all? It is not like you are able to wake up and fix the problem Harry."
"I know," said Harry. "But if I am hurting you, then it would be better to let me deal with it than you get hurt."
"No dice Harry," said Draco. "It is scary to see you turning blue because you can't breathe. I am staying in the same bed because it keeps you alive. Now stop beating yourself up over it. Nothing will ever be the same for you. I know what I am doing."
"Thanks Dragon," said Harry. "You have no idea what it is like to relive all those horrible memories night after night. I still fee guilty about robbing you of having a normal life with a wife and other children."
"Stop right there Harry," said Draco coming round and grabbing Harry by the chin. "I will not have you beating yourself up like this. When I am in need of female companionship I go and get it. I am not lacking in that department in the slightest. What I do for you, I do because I love you and it makes me feel good to know that you know that you can depend on me. I would not change what we have in any way, shape, or form. For the record, you are not robbing me of anything. Like you, I am not interested in settling down. We already have three children that we love dearly and two more that we call our own. So I HAVE other children. The two of us combined have more money than anyone deserves to have. We are generous with our money and we make people happy. We take care of our family and friends. So I will ask you to do me one huge favor. Don't do it for me because you feel guilty. Do it for me because you love me and you know that I am telling you're the truth."
"What would that be?" Harry asked.
"Lighten up," stated Draco plainly. "Relax and enjoy the life that was handed to us. Look at Mother Molly and the rest. They worry about you like each woman there is your mother. Every man in our family thinks of you as their son or brother. Many of the others that are from our year think of you as their brother. They are with you because they love you Harry. They are willing to die for you if that will keep you from being hurt."
"I would also like for you to lighten up," said Severus entering the room. "Draco you need to take your own advice as well. The women and men you were just referring to see you in the same light as they see Harry."
"That's right," said Minerva entering the room. "We are a family. The two of you take far too much on your shoulders."
"The reason we became your family is so that we could work with you," said Hermione coming in holding two struggling children.
"We know what we are doing and what we are getting ourselves into," said Ron holding two more children.
"Therefore it is not necessary for you to do it all on your own," said Pomona coming into the room holding James.
Harry and Draco each grabbed a child from Ron and Hermione. The rest of the staff came into the room. Each one offered their own words of advice, love, or just to hear themselves talk to feel important. Last but not least, Molly entered the room. With her were the three Dursleys leading the children.
"We are your family Harry," said Molly. "We care about you and what happens to you."
"We love you for you Harry," said Petunia. "Not just for what you do."
"We may not always understand what you are doing or why," echoed Vernon. "But we can sympathize with you on the emotional aspect of things."
"Face it Harry," said Dudley. "You are stuck with us."
The rest of the group all laughed at this. Harry sat back with Octavia in his lap and smiled. He looked at each face assembled before him. In each pair of eyes, or in each smile of their lips, Harry saw the love and respect that each held.
"Draco," said Molly. "We all feel the same way about you as well. Don't think that we don't see a lot of the things that you do. We see you working just as hard as Harry to keep things from falling for us to do. So like Severus said, we too think it best for you to listen to you own words."
"Harry is not the only one that suffers when he sleeps," said Severus.
"What do you mean?" asked Draco.
"Many a night, Dobby or Winky will come and get one of us because you are in just as bad a shape as Harry is," said Severus. "You have to understand that by taking on so many of the problems onto yourselves that you are making yourselves sick. WE are here for both of you. You two are like the sons that I have never had."
"I feel the same way," said Minerva. "We love both of you very much."
"This is why we are all here right now," said Poppy. "We are here to plead with you to allow us to do more than you are letting us do."
Vernon walked over to Harry and sat on the edge of the desk. He put an arm on Harry's shoulder and looked him straight in the eye.
"Son, I think you are fighting a lost cause here," said Vernon. "I think that you should listen to each and every person here for a change. Your life has been a VERY difficult one. I am part of the reason for that. However, the people assembled in this room are here to make your life easier. That does include me."
Harry sat there stunned. Vernon called him Son. Harry was even more astounded when Vernon stood and approached Draco.
"Son," he said to the blond while he took Arthur from him to hold. "You are now a part of my family as well. It doesn't do you any good either to work so hard and not enjoy the life that you have. Here in my arms, I am holding proof that you need to relax and enjoy yourself more. If you and Harry continue on the path that you are on, you will miss the joys that Arthur, Alexander, and Octavia will bring to your lives."
"Do not forget that you also have the full might of the Ministry of Magic on your side as well," said Albus coming into the room. "Why you two feel that you have to do everything is beyond us. You ALL are the children and grandchildren I never had. Molly treats each and every one of you like her children. Listen to what we all have to say."
"You know Phoenix," said Draco. "I don't think we are going to win this one."
"It is kind of scary having them all team up on is this way isn't it?" asked Harry.
The room broke out into laughter. Each person walked up to both Harry and Draco and gave each man a hug and a kiss on the forehead or cheek. In the end, both Draco and Harry knew that they were right. It was time to let the others do their part.
"So now that you have all ganged up on us," said Harry. "We need to discuss how we are going to get Rookwood, Dolohov, Lilith, Terry, and Viktor. They appear to be the last of our greatest threat."
"Ah we are so glad that you asked," said Albus smiling. "We think we know where Rookwood is. However he seems to be very good at evading the Aurors. We don't think that he will be able to get past us for long however. He knows that you are looking for him for having to aid Amelia in passing. He also knows that the Ministry of Magic is looking for him for multiple crimes. He knows that I am after him for what he did to Amelia Bones."
"Yes we need to catch him before he hurts someone else," said Petunia taking Alexander from Ron and holding him."
"Aunt Petunia," said Draco. "You are starting to sound like a witch every day. How can you help us catch a dark wizard like this?"
"That is easy," said Vernon bouncing Arthur and making him laugh. "What you need is someone to act as bait."
"Uncle Vernon you are a genius," said Harry. "What better way to get a man that loves to kill people from behind than to give him an important figure as bait?"
"Who would you use?" asked Dudley. "It would have to be someone very important. However I don't think you should use yourself."
"Well there are a few people that Rookwood would love to get his hands on," said Hermione handing Destiny to Ron. "Of course Harry is at the top of the list. Albus would be on that list as would Severus and Draco."
"Why Draco and Severus?" asked Petunia a bit confused. "I can understand Harry because he is the most powerful of you all. I can understand Albus as he is the Minister of Magic. Part of me understands Draco as he is so close to Harry, but why Severus."
"Well you are right about Harry and Albus," said Pomona.
"Draco is a target because his father used to be the top servant of Voldemort," said Albus to the Dursleys. "Harry removed his dark mark thus robbing Voldemort of yet one more servant."
"That is good," said Vernon. "Isn't he responsible for the death of Harry's parents?"
"Yes he is," said Draco quietly grabbing Harry's hand.
"So why Severus?" asked Dudley.
"I used to be a spy," said Severus. "I was the one that heard the first part of the prophecy that spoke of Harry. I told the Dark Lord what I heard. When I realized that he meant Lily, I went to Albus. Albus heard my plea and I became a spy for the Order of the Phoenix. It was my job to bring back as much information as I could on the Dark Lord and the Death Eaters. So therefore there is a bull's eye on my back."
"So let me get this right," said Vernon. "Harry is the prime target because of who he is and what he can do. Albus is next because of his position and the problems he caused the Dark Lord. Draco is up there in this list because of his close relationship to Harry as well as the position his parents held. Severus is next because of the job he used to perform. Does that about summarize it?"
"That is about as perfect of a summarization as any of us could have provided," said Albus with a kind smile. "There are of course three others in this room that could be used, but it is out of the question and not an option."
"Who would they be?" asked Petunia hugging Alexander to her chest.
"You, Uncle Vernon, and I are holding them," said Harry quietly.
"The children?" said Vernon outraged. "NO WAY. I will not allow it."
"Calm down Uncle Vernon," said Ron. "We aren't allowing it either. You might want to take it easy before Madam Pomfrey gives you a foul tasting potion that will make you calm down."
Vernon looked alarmed at this statement. The rest of the group all laughed at the look on his face. When Vernon realized that Ron was teasing him, he too started to laugh.
"Seriously though," said Harry. "We will not be putting the children in that kind of danger. Besides, Ginny won't let us."
The rest of the group understood what Harry meant. They all placed their fingers to their lips in salute. It was a gesture that all felt comfortable with.
"So who will we use as bait?" asked Minerva.
"Me," said Severus. "Allow me to be the bait. We can have Harry and Draco under a disillusionment charm while in their Animagus forms. That way they won't be seen. I can be in an area where the Dark Runners and former Death Eaters are famous for going."
"That sounds like a great idea," said Neville. "Where is the most popular spot for Dark Wizards?"
"Knockturn Alley," said Harry and Draco in unison.
"Do we even want to know?" asked Petunia.
"Some things are better left alone," said Harry. "To summarize though, it is known for selling illegal and dark items."
"Say no more," said Vernon. "Just whatever you all decide to do please be careful. I don't want to see anyone from my new family getting hurt or worse."
"Not to worry Uncle Vernon," said Luna. "We will be very careful."
"It is so different," said Harry suddenly.
"What is?" asked Albus in mild surprise.
"Him," said Harry pointing at Vernon. "He is not the same man that I grew up with. He never liked me to call him anything. Now he smiles when one of you calls him Uncle Vernon."
"I enjoy being part of the family," said Vernon. "I enjoy being asked my opinion. I enjoy the feeling I get and the looks I receive from these children that are in our care. I also love to see the love in your smile and in your eyes when you talk to me now, Harry. My two years in prison was the best thing that ever happened to me."
"Well said," replied Albus with a smile on his face. "We all enjoy the new you. We would not think of leaving you and Petunia out of the loop. You three Dursleys are as much a part of this family as anyone else here is."
"We are happy to be a part of that family," said Petunia wiping a tear from her eye. "We are also glad to be of assistance to the wonderful men and women we see here in front of us. Plus we enjoy playing with the babies."
Everyone laughed at that.
"I see how it is," said Harry with his eyes full of laughter. "It isn't about me and Draco at all. It's about the babies."
Petunia slapped Harry behind the back of his head causing the whole room to break out into another round of laughter.
"It is only because you were such an ugly little scrawny git," she said sniffing at him.
No one laughed harder or louder at that statement than Harry. He was totally at ease with the playful banter with his relatives. Harry quietly looked around at the assembled people. He looked over at Draco and received a nod of agreement. It was nice having all of these people worry about them for a change.
The group broke up and went about their various tasks. Some of the professor had trips planned and vacations they wanted to take. With so few Dark Runners to worry about, they felt comfortable taking a few days or a few weeks to enjoy themselves before the new school year started in September. Harry left Severus and Ron to work out the strategy on the capture of Rookwood. They would inform him of his part when the time was ready. Harry and Draco with Hermione's help formed a pattern that would help Dudley with his lessons.
Within a month, Dudley had progressed so well, that they moved on to third year lessons with him. Whenever he had a little trouble with something, they would work at it until he was able to get through things. Each person was patient with him and worked with him until he felt comfortable with what he was doing. Harry sent progress reports to Petunia and Vernon often.
July thirty first rolled around. Harry would be turning nineteen. He thought back to the last three years. Everything changed so much. He went from a very deprived and abused child to one of the most prominent figures on the European continent. Other schools begged Harry to come out and do guest lectures for them. Harry obliged each and every one. He would never stay longer than a day or two at most, but wherever he went, he left an impact on the students of that particular school. His birthday was something he no longer feared. His family no longer let him forget it was his birthday. There was always a party with lots of gifts and festivities. Harry no longer dreaded turning a year older. The others always enjoyed gifting Harry wonderful things for his birthday. They treated him so well because for their own birthdays, Harry would always buy them something wonderful. Each teacher, student, or family member always received something from Draco and Harry. Harry and Draco sold every house that they owned with the exception of the founder's ancestral homes. With each sale, millions of galleons flowed into their account. Griphook had a few goblins working for him to keep up with the work and the accounts that Harry had at the bank. Harry had the account that he shared with Draco, Merlin's account, the accounts of the four founders was still making money for some reason, there were the accounts of Remus, Ron, Hermione, the five children, the orphanage, the school, and Harry bought into and became half owner of Weasleys' Wizarding Wheezes. He still got paid for being Head Master and recently he was asked to be spokes person for different products that made him money as well. He bought the Daily Prophet and as the owner, he prevented a lot of smut from being printed. Harry was now a respected Member on the Wizengamot. With Draco as a business partner, they increased their yearly money intake by triple. When Harry and Draco left this world, their heirs would be very rich indeed.
Finally came the time when Ron and Severus felt that they had ironed out each and every kink in the plan to capture Rookwood. The date of the sting operation would fall on August 15th. Harry and Draco sat in on the last few meetings. Albus and the rest of the people from the Ministry of Magic that held the power of the laws had already given permission to administer whatever punishment was necessary.
The morning of the operation arrived. Harry and Draco had transformed and Albus personally performed the disillusionment charm on both of them. When he was done, both flew to Diagon alley. From there they made their way to Knockturn Alley and posted position at either end of the alley to wait for their foe. Severus popped in a few moments later and started his walk. For the first few hours, he wandered from store to store buying things for his lessons. The more dark objects he bought, the less there were on the street and the better benefit the students would have at recognizing them. Harry had already given him a load of money to pay for everything. Every purchase Severus made was tended carefully and shipped to the castle. At the castle, Albus and a group of Aurors documented the object, and then marked where Severus had purchased it. When the sting operation was done, they would be visiting these shops on raids. Much money would come from the heavy fines that would be charged. For certain other shop owners, they would be shut down.
Finally about one in the afternoon, the much awaited event happened. Harry was sitting on a street lamp when Severus passed by. Severus knew that Harry was there, but he did not show it. For once in a long time, Harry had his shields down and Severus was able to access his mind. It was safer than running on the light. Harry flew swiftly to the ground and transformed into his human self. Rookwood did not see this as he was intent on the object of his hate. Augustus Rookwood passed a lot of information to the Dark Lord during the reign of Voldemort. Now he wanted revenge on one who had turned on the Dark Lord and caused Rookwood to have to live the way he did. He would kill this one traitor and be done with it. Harry watched as Rookwood pulled a syringe out of his pocket. He briefly wondered where Rookwood was getting the basilisk venom from in the first place. He decided to use a little bit of Legilimency on Rookwood. Soon enough he had his answer. He knew where he was getting the venom. There was a leak somewhere in the Ministry of Magic. Rookwood finally managed to get within a couple of feet of Severus when Harry canceled the charm and grabbed him. After a brief struggle, Rookwood was in custody. Severus quickly conjured manacles and bound him with anti apparating charms. Harry quickly clamped down on his mind and shredded Rookwood's colors before he could summon help. When everything was ready, Severus sent word to Draco who appeared in a moment's time. Harry quickly grabbed hold and apparated the group the Ministry of Magic's Auror Department. He grabbed hold of Alastor and then apparated them to courtroom ten.
When they arrived in the courtroom, Albus was already seated in his spot. Harry quickly walked over and sat down immediately to his right. Harry was after all second in command. The trial commenced. It did not take long for the entire jury to pronounce him guilty of the charge of being a spy, attempted murder, actual murder, theft, being a former Death Eater, being a former Dark Runner, and a few other charges. Harry informed Albus that there was a leak somewhere in the Ministry and that Rookwood was getting his basilisk venom from Daisy.
Together, Minister of Magic, and Head Master of Hogwarts went down to visit the serpent. When they got there, they found the bodies of a couple of Ministry officials as well as a severely injured serpent. Albus noticed that Giovanni was missing and sent word to find him. With Harry's help, Albus found out what was wrong with Daisy. From there new officials were brought in to tend to the serpent. Harry and Albus knew that she would heal fast. Harry assured her that these people would take better care of her. She thanked him and then coiled up to sleep. Hours later, Giovanni was brought in and questioned. Sure enough, he was being paid as the informant. He was arrested and sent to Azkaban. Both he and Rookwood would be placed under heavy guard with instructions to the Dementors to feed on them regularly.
Albus returned to Hogwarts with Draco and Harry. From there the trio described what had happened in court to the eager audience. So far they had only heard of the success from Severus. When they heard the final outcome, everyone got up and danced and laughed. They were delighted to know that one more Dark Runner was now gone.
For the first time, Harry did not feel as bad about shredding the colors of Rookwood. He was still not ok with what he did, but he knew that everyone was telling him the truth. It must be done. Severus was safe, and there was one less person to threaten his children. Satisfied with the day's events, Harry had Dobby and Wonky prepare a special meal for him and Draco in the privacy of their room. Both young men were extremely fatigued. When Dobby placed pie in front of each young man, they finally succumbed to their exhaustion. Both nodded off and went to sleep. The next morning, Ron and Hermione quietly summoned the rest of the group. It was rare to catch Harry in an uncompromising position. Camera flashes were going a mile a minute. Both Harry and Draco were using their slice of pie as a pillow. Severus cleared his throat and both young men sat up. When they realized what was going on, they looked at the assembled party. Surprise turned into amusement. Amusement turned into plots for revenge. When Severus saw the look pass between Draco and Harry, he ran as fast as he could. Once again he was being blamed for something that he had no part of. Hermione was hiding behind Ron as she did not want Harry or Draco to catch her laughing. After all, it was she who found them and it was her idea to take pictures in the first place. With a quickly muttered cleansing charm, Harry and Draco were clean. They went out in hot pursuit of Severus intent on making him pay for this. They caught up with him an hour later. When the rest of the teachers still on premises found him, he was hanging upside down totally naked with a gag in his mouth. The rest of the group laughed at him. Severus finally found the one he wanted and glared at her. Pomona took pity on Severus and let him down. He quickly conjured robes for himself. By this time the rest of the group left. They could hear his magically magnified voice through the castle.
"HERMIONE GRANGER WEASLEY," he thundered. "YOU ARE IN EXTREME TROUBLE FOR THIS."
Author's note – I decided to end the chapter in a bit of humor. I hope you all like it. Also I want to remind you all that I fixed the problem I was having with my other stories. Somehow my chapters got swapped and reversed and in and all over the place. Please keep sending those wonderful reviews.