During dinner, the couple was asked how they became a couple so they had to share with David and Alison about what happened after they literally ran into each other. After dinner they all retired back to the lounge.
“Okay, let’s get this out of the way. I want to hear what my darling daughter had to go through. I know she’s okay now, but as a father I have to know what happened to her.”
“I need to know too, sweetheart,” Alison said rubbing her daughter’s arm.
“Alright, I’ll share my experience with you.”
Mandy then told the complete story from her perspective.
However, when she started and told how Pansy and Millicent grabbed her, then took her wand and threw it away from them, she stopped.
“Harry, they threw my wand away from me in the loo. I bet it’s still there somewhere.”
“Don’t worry. I’ll have Dobby or Winky go get it tonight when we get back. If they stole it or if it’s damaged and can’t be repaired, then I’ll buy you a new one.”
She frowned. “I hope not,” she said worrying about it.
“I know how important your first wand is to you. Most people go their whole lives using one wand that they bought at the age of eleven. I still have the same wand and it would pain me greatly if anything ever happened to it. Given the situations I find myself in though, I wouldn’t be surprised if something doesn’t happen to it at some point. I hope not, but it’s possible, even likely.”
“My wand is ash with a unicorn hair core. I’m very, very attached to it, Harry.”
“I bet you are. I’m attached to mine as well. It’s holly with a phoenix feather core. That reminds me. Remember Fawkes?”
“Yes, Dumbledore’s phoenix.”
“The feather that’s in my wand came from him.”
“That’s amazing, and Dumbledore said how much Fawkes likes you. He also believes Fawkes will seek Harry out for companionship once he’s gone,” she told her parents.
“Perhaps, but I don’t think it has anything to do with my wand containing one of his feathers. When I bought my wand, Ollivander told me that Fawkes only gave one other feather. That feather is in Voldemort’s wand. Our wands are brother wands and it makes it difficult to fight each other with them. Also, I’m positive Fawkes would never choose Voldemort. Phoenixes are of the light, after all.”
“They are also attracted to powerful magic users,” said Alison.
“I read that as well,” agreed Mandy.
Harry thought that over. He had not heard that before.
“Harry, there’s no need for you to spend your money if my daughter needs a new wand. As her father I would happily pay for a new one.”
“I apologize, sir. I did not intend it that way. You see, it’s my fault she was kidnapped in the first place so I felt it right that I replace her wand if necessary.”
David started to reply but his daughter cut him off.
“Hang on a second Dad. Excuse me, Harry, but how in Merlin’s name is it your fault I was kidnapped?”
“You know that Voldemort issued an order to have me killed on sight and as soon as possible.” Mandy nodded. “You also know that the only reason they want you is to get to me. Correct?” Mandy nodded again. “So that’s why I’m to blame. All they want in life is to kill me and you are just a weapon to them, so they can draw me out and succeed.”
“No, Harry. You’re wrong. This in no way is your fault. It’s not your fault Voldemort has issued an order to his Death Eaters to kill you. It’s not your fault that they go after people you care about so you’ll come after them. It’s not your fault I refused when you told me to get as far away from you as I could. That was my decision. Not yours. You tried to convince me even when we were only friends that I would be safer not hanging around you, not being your friend. When you did that and showed me that you truly cared for me even as a friend, there was no way I was going to abandon you just to feel safe. It’s. not. your. fault.”
“Well, since you put it that way….” he said with a smile.
After Mandy completed the story she asked Harry a question.
“Harry, do you want to know when I feel the safest?”
“When I’m with you, especially when I’m in your arms. I feel like no one can get to me as long as you are there beside me. When they had me in that cell and even when Lucius Malfoy was torturing me, I refused to cry. I wasn’t about to let them see me weak. But after you killed him and showed up in the door of that cell, I looked up at you and just started bawling. I felt safe and just let it all out.”
They were holding hands so Harry pulled her hand up to his lips and kissed it. Mandy smiled at him.
After all that information was shared, Alison was crying and David was fuming over Lucius Malfoy torturing his daughter.
“If Lucius wasn’t dead already, I’d kill him myself,” David said.
“I’m sorry, sir, that I had to kill him before you had a chance,” offered Harry.
“No, son. Don’t apologize. I’m glad you were there and were able to kill that maniac then get my baby to safety.”
They asked so Harry briefly told what he did.
“Harry, how many Death Eaters did you kill when you rescued Mandy?” asked Alison.
“I wasn’t counting, ma’am. I just killed them if they were between me and getting to Mandy.”
“Have you seen the paper from this morning?” asked David.
Mandy and Harry shook their heads no.
“It reported seventeen Death Eaters killed, not counting Lucius Malfoy.”
“Then that was the count,” Harry said.
The parents just shook their heads. It was unbelievable that this young man could do that all by himself. Of course, he did take out twenty in Diagon Alley during August, they remembered.
“Harry, I want you to let me buy my daughter a new wand if it’s necessary,” said David. “I don’t want you spending your money on that. You should save what you have for living after school, and for marriage and kids and stuff.”
Harry looked over at him with a smile.
“I’m not sure if you’ve heard yet, but I’m the head of two prominent family houses. I’m the last of the Potter’s. That’s why I was emancipated on my sixteenth birthday. I also inherited the Black family head of house from my godfather. Both of those families were very well off. I have more money than I could ever spend.”
All three Brocklehursts were quiet after that. Then Alison leaned over toward her daughter, grabbed Mandy’s knee, and said something softly but so that they all could hear.
“If you don’t marry him, then I will.”
Mandy turned to Harry.
“Have I told you how much I love you, Harry?”
“I’m not falling for that Mandy,” he said chuckling. “I know you loved me before you knew I was rich.”
“You’re right, Harry. I don’t care about the money. I just want you.”
“Assuming I survive this war, you can have me. The money, of course, will come with me.”
“Harry, I don’t see how you can lose, given everything you’ve been able to do so far,” said Alison.
“There’s a reason why the Death Eaters are so afraid of Voldemort. I’m powerful but no more so than him. Actually, I’m pretty sure he’s more powerful. Plus, he has fifty years of experience that I don’t have.”
“What about Professor Dumbledore?” asked David.
“Professor Dumbledore is great and an amazing duelist but he’s too old now. Besides, there’s a prophecy that states Voldemort and I will have to face each other in the end. One of us will not make it. I just hope I’m good enough.”
“A prophecy?” asked Mandy.
“I can’t tell you the exact words of the prophecy. Only Dumbledore and myself know it fully. Voldemort only knows the first part and we don’t want him knowing any more. It keeps him guessing. Sharing it with you would put you in even more danger since Voldemort wants to know it all. Don’t even mention that you know there’s a prophecy. It will be safer for you that way.”
They all three nodded in agreement and pondered the new information.
Dobby took Winky with him to the loo where Mandy was attacked and they managed to find her wand. Winky made sure the bathroom was empty before calling in Dobby to help look. Winky went back to Grimmauld Place after they found it. Then Dobby cleaned it up and polished it for her before presenting it back to Mandy. Mandy was very happy to get her wand back.
The weekend was filled with homework, pizza, personal study, training, and lots of experimentation. The couple was anxious to discover what else they could do for each other while in bed together. They decided to find some good books on the subject and see what they were missing. Mandy was a Ravenclaw after all and Harry’s quest for knowledge was amazing once he got going.
On Monday, the couple showed back up to the Great Hall for breakfast. They decided to eat with Harry’s friends that morning.
“Harry, did you see the paper on Friday?” asked Hermione. “I saved it for you.”
“No, but we were told about the story.”
“Who told you? I thought you guys stayed at your place all weekend,” said Ron.
“We paid my parents a visit Friday night. We knew they would be worried,” answered Mandy.
“How are you feeling, Mandy?” asked Ginny who was sitting next to Dean. They had started dating recently.
“I’m fine. All better. Harry took very good care of me. Turns out he knows exactly how to treat Cruciatus victims.”
“He would,” said Ron. “Madam Pomfrey has treated him enough for it.”
“That really bothers me to know that about you Harry,” said Mandy. “I hope I never have to go through that again.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s not likely to ever happen again if I have my way,” he told her.
“It better not,” she said squeezing his hand.
“Oh, you guys missed Pizza!” said Dean excitedly. “They served pizza Friday night and salad. I couldn’t believe it.! It was great. I love pizza!”
“I noticed Ron and Ginny cottoned onto it fairly quickly,” said Hermione with a smile. “I can’t say the same for the other purebloods. They were finally convinced to try it by some of the others and then I doubt there was any left in the Hall that didn’t enjoy it. I think Tracey Davis and Daphne Greengrass, along with her sister Astoria, had to convince most of the other Slytherins to at least try it. They were hooked once they did.”
“They did it and we missed it, Harry!” said Mandy.
“I’m glad. I finally remembered to talk to Dumbledore about it.”
“Wait a second. You had something to do with this, Harry?” asked Hermione.
“It was Harry’s idea,” Mandy answered for him.
“Thanks, mate!” said Ron and Dean at the same time.
“I wonder where they learned how to make pizza?” asked Hermione. “It was as good as any pizza restaurant you go to.”
“Dobby taught them,” answered Harry.
“Yeah, Dobby made us pizza on Saturday so we really didn’t miss out,” added Mandy.
“Dobby? But, where did he learn?” asked Ron.
“I took him with me several times to a pizza joint this summer and he absolutely loved it.”
“You took a house elf to a muggle restaurant?” Hermione asked incredulously.
“Dobby was invisible while we were there,” he explained patiently. “He then spent some time observing the cooks make the pizza. That’s how he learned. Then he taught the other elves. Turns out, they all like pizza.”
’That’s great!” said Ron. “I really liked it! They had all different kinds too. I hope they make it again soon.”
“I’m sure they will,” said Harry. “Come on, we’d better get to class everyone.”
Harry wasn’t paying much attention to anyone else but his friends while they ate breakfast, but when they left to go to class, the amount of stares and finger pointing was quite obvious. Some Slytherins were even looking apprehensive whenever he had to walk by them.
Harry chalked it up to the rampant gossip that always blew things out of proportion.
Things were eerily quiet as the rest of the semester played out. At the Order meetings everyone was commenting on exactly how quiet it was. Some put forth the idea that perhaps Voldemort was planning something big to surprise everyone with. It was also reported that no one knew for sure where Voldemort was staying. They were all somewhat surprised that he wasn’t at Malfoy Manor when Harry tore through the place to rescue his girlfriend.
Dumbledore postulated that Voldemort may be laying low because he lost so many Death Eaters recently, since August anyway. If you take into account the twenty Harry took out, plus the eighteen more when he went to Malfoy manor, then how many Death Eaters could he have, given the defeats he’s suffered.
Granted, Voldemort likely recruited the whole year Fudge refused to believe he was alive, but how many did he actually get is the question. As far as the one spy in the Order could tell, not that many. Evidently, there was a problem believing he was actually alive given that he was in hiding and only his old followers were there at his rebirth.
While there was apparently a slight upswing in recruits after Voldemort’s coming out party in the Ministry in June, it was short-lived. When it was fully reported about the thumping a dozen of his best fighters received by six Hogwarts students on that same night, it put a damper on recruitment. Mainly due to all his recruiters being in Askaban. Even though they were all broken out later, the routing by Harry in August of most of his new recruits in Diagon Alley was devastating. Add to that the slaughter at Malfoy manor, which also took out several of his inner circle, and you can see where he would have trouble building ranks.
Dumbledore also believed that the students who were after Harry and Mandy were now suitably cowed. This was due to Harry’s response to being attacked, the speech he gave about their attempts, plus his visit to Malfoy manor, where he killed a few of their fathers without getting as much as a scratch on him. Dumbledore said he would wager that those formerly eager students were now less willing to put their necks on the line against Harry.
Word was spreading of Harry’s success and Voldemort’s failure, but Dumbledore warned of believing Voldemort was done or worried about his chances. They had to keep their eyes open for any evidence of activity.
The final day of the semester was upon them and most were planning to go home for Christmas. Mandy always went home for Christmas so invited Harry to go with her. Harry gladly accepted but warned that it would be safer to stay in the chamber.
“Harry, if my parent’s house gets attacked then I want to be there to help them and I want you there as well. They’ll need our help.”
“I suppose you’re right. I’ll tell your dad that I need to strengthen your wards against Death Eaters, then make a few changes.”
“We’ve always had very strong wards. If they do attack then it will take a while to break through them.”
“I can use Parselmagic wards to specifically keep Voldemort out, along with his Death Eaters. Once I get done, they won’t be able to get in at all.”
“You can do that?”
“Sure. I actually found runes and wards kind of easy, well Parseltongue wards. I haven’t studied any other. Plus, the books I have take you through them quite nicely and make it easy to follow. It’s the Parseltongue that makes it powerful.”
“But if Voldemort can speak Parseltongue then can’t he break them?”
“Not if I lock him out like I do here.”
“Ah, I see.”
After breakfast, everyone leaving had to make sure they had everything they wanted to take with them before boarding the train in Hogsmeade. Harry and Mandy decided to just fade instead of riding the train. Harry thought that would be safer.
While visiting with David and Alison over dinner that night, Harry mentioned that he would like to strengthen their wards so Mandy would be better protected in case the Death Eaters came calling. David was not real keen on the idea. He was proud of the strong wards they had and had a hard time believing a sixteen year old could improve them, Harry Potter or not.
Of course, Harry wouldn’t tell them it was Parseltongue wards he would be putting up. He didn’t want to reveal that secret. Mandy tried to help but would only tell her father that Harry was very good at wards. She also said that he had put up his own wards where they’ve been staying and no one could ever get to them there because of those wards.
Her father was still not convinced. Since he wasn’t told they were Parseltongue wards, then he had no reason to believe what Harry could do would be any better than what he had already. Plus, in the back of his mind Harry was still just a sixth year at Hogwarts and what if he messed up the current ones.
Harry decided to wait until everyone was asleep before doing it anyway. His plan was to put up separate wards and not disturb the existing ones. Around midnight when all of the Brocklehurst family were asleep in their beds, Harry rose, turned invisible, and faded out to the ward line. He had to walk it to know what he was dealing with so he cast silencing charms on himself and set out on his walk.
He was over halfway around the property and at the back behind the mansion when he had a flash which came true a few seconds later when he found two individuals at the ward line. There were trees and bushes back there so it was easier for someone to hide. Harry stopped and just watched them for a little bit. He was trying to figure out what they were doing.
It didn’t take him long to notice they were attempting to break down the wards. He also noticed that they were Death Eaters.
Harry stunned them both, took their wands and portkeys, then tied them up. Then he removed his invisibility and enervated them.
They saw it was Harry Potter standing over them so they both blanched.
“So,” Harry said nonchalantly, “you just can’t leave well enough alone, can you?”
They both swallowed hard.
“I can’t believe how stupid you must be to come after my girl again.” Harry shook his head at them. “Well, actually that’s not true. Why else would I be missing sleep and be out here looking for you idiots?” he asked. “I was counting on you being this stupid. I mean, it’s already been done. You took her once and I took her back after killing every Death Eater in my way. Why would you want to put yourselves in that situation again?”
“The Dark Lord ordered us to do this,” one of them answered.
“Then I suppose you were to let him know when you had the wards ready to come down?” asked Harry.
They both nodded.
“Was he planning on coming himself?”
They both nodded again.
“Perhaps you idiots are listening to the wrong person.” said Harry. “Not only is he a half-blood who lies about his blood status, but he’s also a bleeding lunatic!”
“What are you going to do with us?” the other one asked worriedly.
“Oh, I’m not going to kill you if that’s got you worried.”
The two Death Eaters looked at each other and blew out a big breath of relief.
“Although by the time I’m done with you, just so you’ll be a good example to the others you understand, then you’ll likely be wishing I’d just killed you out right,” he said as his face took on a hard look.
Their faces went ashen and their eyes bugged out at the scary wizard standing before them.
Harry cast a silencing spell on them next. They tried to beg for mercy but no sound came out of their mouths. Harry then started casting spells and watched as the two wizards yelled and screamed in pain, silently of course, until they finally passed out.
Harry left them trussed up there for now while he went about putting up his Parseltongue wards just outside the current wards. This took him about three hours to complete. He was even able to use the Dark Mark on the left arms of his captives to add a piece that prevents anyone with it to not be able to enter the property just like no Parseltongue speaker could either.
Of course, Harry excluded himself.
When he was done with the wards, he grabbed the two Death Eaters by the collars and faded to in front of Madam Bones office in the DMLE. He left them there before fading back to his room down the hall from Mandy. She wasn’t sure how her parents would feel about them sleeping together.
Harry took a quick shower to clean up, dried off and put on some clean boxer shorts, before climbing back into bed. To his surprise, he found Mandy waiting for him but she was asleep. He must not have noticed her in his bed when he faded into the room before. Harry wrapped his arms around the girl he loved and dozed off.
Madam Bones usually came in earlier than everyone else so was surprised when she went to her office and found her present in front of her door. She stared at the two Death Eaters whose Dark Mark was exposed on their left arms, since their sleeves were removed completely. They were laying at odd angles too. Both were tied up and there was a large envelope hanging on the doorknob to her office.
She cast a spell to check for any curses then removed it and looked at its contents. The envelope contained two wands and two portkeys, identified by another spell she cast. She also found a note inside. She read it carefully.
These two Death Eaters were found at the back edge of the wards at the Brocklehurst mansion. They were attempting to break down the wards when they were caught in the act. They said they were under orders from their Dark Lord and were to contact him when they were ready to bring down the wards completely.
I started to kill them since we both know they were after the Brocklehurst heir, but instead I chose to use them as an example of what happens to someone who attempts to attack the Brocklehurst home. I hope the message is clear.
Please find enclosed two wands and two portkeys that were relieved from their persons.
Curious, she waved her wand over the body of one of the Death Eaters and was shocked at what she found. She used an Auror trained medical diagnostic spell that told her quickly the types of injuries the victim had sustained. What was surprising was the amount of broken bones she encountered. Arms and legs had three each, including elbows and kneecaps. Most of the bones in their feet were broken. Their jaws were broken and all their ribs were broken. She lost count of the amount of broken bones.
Going over to the floo, she called St. Mungos to send over a healer right away. She then went to her office and started filing a report on the incident. Whenever Kingsley came in she would take him over with her to visit with the Brocklehursts. She was assuming Harry was visiting with them.
The healer showed up and tended to the two Death Eaters. Most of the aurors were curious about them until Madam Bones informed everyone of the situation. She went over the report she started with Kingsley and allowed him to read the letter. They discussed it then decided to pay the Brocklehursts a visit. They had to wait until the healer had the two Death Eaters situated and potions given, but they finally used the floo to contact the Brocklehursts.
“Yes, Amelia?” asked Alison.
“Hi, Alison. Do you mind if Auror Shacklebolt and I come through? We have some questions,” she said from the floo.
“Not at all. Come on through,” she said waving her wand at the floo.
After the two aurors were in the house and seated, Libby popped in with tea and the fixings.
“Thank you, Libby,” Alison said as the elf popped away. “Now, what can I do for you, Amelia? This is quite a surprise.”
“Well, I received quite a surprise myself this morning when I got to my office.” She started to say more but Mandy walked in.
“Mum, I heard voices. Do we have visitors?” she asked as she entered. She stopped when she saw them. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt.”
“That’s okay, Miss Brocklehurst. Come in and join us. Perhaps you can help answer some questions for us as well,” said Kingsley.
“Sure, I’d be glad to help if I can,” she came in a sat down next to her mum.
“First,” said Amelia, “is Harry Potter here by any chance?”
“Yes, he’s staying with us for the holidays,” said Alison.
“And, is David here as well?” she asked.
“No, he had to go into the office for a little bit. He should be back by this afternoon,” answered Alison.
“And, do you know where Mr. Potter is right now?” Amelia asked.
“The last time I saw him he was still sleeping which is very odd. Harry is a very early riser. I’m never up before him. Why don’t I go check on him? Something must be wrong. He really should be up by now,” she said worriedly.
“Oh, I wouldn’t worry, Miss Brocklehurst,” said Kingsley. “I think Harry just had a late night and missed too much sleep.”
“But how would you know?” she asked.
“That happens to be why we are here,” said Amelia. “Could you check and see if he’s up yet?”
“Sure, I’ll be right back.”
As she left to go check on Harry, she heard her mother speak.
“What’s going on Amelia?”
“It would be best to wait on Mr. Potter, Alison. So tell me, how’s life been treating you? We haven’t shared tea in ages!”
When Mandy made it to Harry’s room, he was no longer in his bed. She followed the sound of running water and found him taking a shower.
“Harry?” she said over the sound of the shower.
Harry opened the shower door and stepped out, grabbing his towel.
“Yes, my dear?” he asked then gave her a wet kiss on the lips.
She giggled and used the other end of his towel to dry her lips. “Madam Bones and Auror Shacklebolt are here and wish to talk to you.”
“Ah, I was half-expecting them to call.”
“What have you been up to, Harry?” she asked admiring his body as he hung up his towel and simply waved his hand to completely dry himself.
“Oh, you’ll find out soon enough. No need spoiling all the fun,” he said as he walked out of the bathroom and over to the chest of drawers and pulled out some boxers to wear, then put them on to Mandy’s displeasure. She had followed him into the room.
“So you were up to something last night?” she asked as he walked over to the closet and found some jeans to wear, then put them on, again to her displeasure.
“Oh, yes,” he said as he picked out a shirt. “I was definitely up to something, but I best hurry so I don’t keep them waiting,” he said pulling a t-shirt over his head. The t-shirt was red and said ‘Retired Superstar’ with a picture of trainers hanging on a hook.
Mandy went over and grabbed some socks out of the drawer then met him with them as he picked up his trainers.
“Thank you, my dear.”
“No problem, my love.”
“By the way, I thought you were worried about your parents so we had to sleep in separate rooms?” he asked putting on his socks and shoes.
“I got lonely and couldn’t sleep. I guess I’m used to cuddling up with you.”
“Me too,” he replied finishing up.
After he was done, they walked to the lounge hand in hand.