Curses and Talks
A/N: Hi guys... Well this chapter will feature a few controverse views... First up there is our dear lovable Draco Malfoy. I often thought in the books, that if Draco have had real true friends he may not have turned out the dubious way he did. Next up are two characters which have not been shown much in the books - Blaise Zabini and Astoria Greengrass - these two have not been shown much to make any opinion in my eyes and I thought that since at east Blaise has been issued in the first version he should be there too. Though in a slightly different version - I look forward to writing that :) I have amusing plans with him... anyways Astoria... well in the books she was refered to as Draco´s wife - two years his junior... I thought about sending her in too - I hope my portayal of her will be satisfactory :) Plus there is one OC so I hope you will grow to like him :) Besides that, well... you get a small insight into the Potter Family and one of the Godfathers... more will come soon - heh... some of my closest friends who are into HP almost crucified me for WHO is Harry´s Godfather but there is a reason for it and you will all find out sooner or later :)HK07
Chapter 2: Curses and Talks
Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic was having a reasonably well morning. Dispite not getting any sleep for two days and sustaining himself on Energy Potions to make up for it, he was in a very good mood. The Repopulation Act was in full swing and letters to students of Hogwarts were already sent. Athena – his head of the Repopulation office has informed him just moments before, that before noon everyone who falls under the Act will have gotten their letters. Just as he relished over the fact his mail – heavily checked – has arrived. Unsurprisingly a great ammount of letters arrived. There were letters of approoval, congratulations and even some offering suggestions for the Act by some of the pure-blood families. There were also letters – and a great LOT of them, which were sent by angry parents of the youngest who were shielded by the Act. Cornelius read one or two of them out of interest and was not surprised. Many people just can´t seem to understand the importaince of this step in these hard times. No... they just couldn´t understand how importaint it is, to preserve their great country´s magical heritage by repopulating and therein undo the damage You-Know-Who and his Death Eaters have done. Why, oh why they couldn´t grasp that if those single people would have been left to choose on their own it would take so long, that the Wizarding community would never repopulate. Well... it fell to him, Cornelius Fudge to do something about it. The Boy-who-lived has already done his bit by riding them of the accursed Dark Lord once and for all and now it was his – the Minister for Magic´s turn to save the future. As for the Boy-who-lived, Fudge supposed he could´ve made an exception for him and not including him into the Act. However in his neverending fairness, he felt that there should be no exceptions to the rule – not even for the saviour of the wizarding world. No, Neville will just have to take part in this just as everyone. He had no idea presently how the boy took this piece of news. Afterall, roughly two years ago he had proven himself to be unstable and prone to throw tantrums. He would have to make a few steps if the boy started to plot some rebellion – some of those who written those letters he now held in his hands would surely follow him and demand the Act to be terminated. He would have to think of a plan to stop any such attempt.
"But not right now."he thought as a mighty yawn escaped his mouth.
The Energy Potion was wearing out and his fatigue was returning worse than before. He swiftly scribbled an office memo to his secretary, saying that he is not to be disturbed for ANY reason and send it. Yawning again he reached for his wand, which he left somewhere on the table. His vision was becoming a bit blurry as sleepiness was starting to take its hold of him, wanting to transfigure his work-desk into a comfortable bed in which he would remain for the rest of the day. Finally taking hold of it he smiled. Vanishing the large pile of his letters with a wave of his wand he suddenly saw, that he missed one. Looking closer, he noticed that it was one of the parent´s angry letters, though this one was a bit sharper and even border-line threatening. Almost laughing at the prospect, Cornelius vanished the letter. It was completly ridiculus. Some foolish woman thought she could discipline HIM – the Minister for Magic. And even if she was not alone in this, well... what on earth were his trusty bodyguards for? After what happened last November he also tightened the security so that his safety would not be endagered again. He even went as far as to take two Aurors as his personal guard. Dawlish and Bletchley would ensure his safety. Before he could transfigure the desk a loud bang rang outside of his office. Shocked for a moment he was absolutely still, his ears strained to distinguish the sounds behind his office door. He recodnized the sounds as those of a wizard´s - duel. A second later his office door flew open and before Fudge could even aim his wand at the intruder, his wand flew out of his hand and a split-second later he found himself hanging upside-down by his anckle in mid-air.
"Good morning, Minister."growled the intruder and Fudge at once recodnized the voice even before the figure stepped into his office.
"SNAPE! WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?! PUT ME DOWN THIS INSTANT!"
However angry Fudge could be, it at once became apparent that it was nothing compared to Severus Snape, who was advancing closer, his wand in his hand. Fudge gulped when he came closer, for Snape looked beyond angry.
"ANSWER ME ONE SINGLE THING – WHY WEASLEY?! WHY AM I ENGAGED TO A BOY TWENTY YEARS YOUNGER THAN MYSELF?! MY OWN STUDENT NO LESS!"
Now all hints of both anger and fatigue forgotten, Fudge started to stammer.
"L...look, Snape... we used a special spell to choose the soul-mate... if it picked a younger boy, then it did so because he has the biggest potentional to form a couple with you."
Severus´ eyes flashed. He was still trying to control himself, but dear sweet Merlin... how MUCH he would like to use the Cruciatus Curse on this babbling bonehead.
"Anull this proposterous engagement. NOW!"
Fudge suddenly looked rebeliously into his black eyes.
"I shall do no such thing! You have been bound together and the Repopulation Act stands! I couldn´t do anything about it, even if I wanted to!"
Severus now shook in absolute rage.
"LIAR! You CAN undo this and you shall!"
Fudge shook his head stubbornly.
"No I won´t! There is nothing you can do to change my mind, Snape! The Repopulation Act stands and there will be NO exceptions!"
That did it... Severus now lost all control. Baring his teeth, he aimed his wand straight at Fudge´s stupid face, a different Unforgivable Curse on his mind.
"Expelliarmus" sounded a voice just behind him and Severus felt his wand fly out of his hand.
"Accio wand" said another voice a split-second later and Severus gasped – he knew both of those voices well enough.
Looking over his shoulder he saw Lily and James Potter in the burst doorway, his wand now safely in Lily´s other hand.
"Severus, that´s enough!"said Lily warningly, her husband nodding.
Severus scrowled, not wanting to let this go, but Lily´s glare was enough to make him stop. Letting out a long breath and shaking his head as if to clear it, he turned his back to Fudge and walked towards them not seeing Fudge´s triumphant smile.
"Let´s go, Sev... I want a word with you."said Lily quietly, gesturing with her head and Severus nodded.
"Lucky we were on our way here ourselfs."thought Lily with a small sigh of relief.
"Not so fast, Snape! You just attacked the Minister for Magic! Potter, arrest him!"called Fudge still in mid-air, pointing at James.
"I will do no such thing... you´ve had something like this coming to you for drafting that idiotic Act."
Fudge looked as though he had been slapped.
"Potter, I ORDER you..."
James snorted again and shook his head.
"Look, let´s just pretend that this didn´t happen. No harm was done and at least you were able to see for yourself how effective your bodyguards were. In fact... I think you should prepare yourself for more visits of this sort."he said in a light voice.
Fudge was opening and closing his mouth in disbelief.
"Do you think that I can just forget about something like this... without any kind of punishment?!"he exclaimed furiously.
James smiled broadly.
"Oh, I think you CAN, Minister... as a special favor to me... let´s not forget, you owe me from November, remember?"
Fudge paled at the mention of it.
During Voldemort´s attack on the Ministry last November, James Potter saved his life from the Dark Lord.
"All right... all right... just... just get out."he said weakly.
James smiled even more broadly.
"Happy to oblige."he said happily before turning to his wife and her best friend.
"Shall we?"he asked nonchalantly.
Lily and Severus shared a look, rolled their eyes and walked out of the office with James at their heels.
"WAIT! GET ME DOWN!"screamed Fudge as James was closing the door.
Stopping momentarily, James looked at him for a second and a cheeky smile grazed his lips.
"Whatever you say, boss..."
With a wave of his wand, the spell holding the Minister in mid-air was lifted and Fudge landed on the floor in a heap as James closed the office door.
Grumbling and moaning Fudge crawled up into his chair. Oh... how he´d love to sack that cheeky, mischievous, good-for-nothing... but with a sigh, he reminded himself that he couldn´t. James Potter was not only an outstanding Auror, but also had the backing of many of his other heads of departments, not to mention the entire Auror office. Furious about the entire ordeal, all thoughts of sleep and rest were instantly forgotten. Suddenly with a wave of inspiration an idea came to his head. He couldn´t get even with Potter... but he CAN get even with Snape for this...
At once he took out another Department Memo for his secretary, telling her to call Rita Skeeter into his office as soon as possible.
"Have I got a story for her."he thought with a devious smile.
Nights in the Slytherin Common Room were always quiet, except when an occasion arose. And today´s occasion was one, that had the Common Room livened up like nothing before. Groups were discussing the Repopulation Act, talking, asking and sharing their thoughts and feelings about the situation or merely speaking about their "lucky" new significant others. Astoria Greengrass noticed, that many of the sixth and seventh years were really tense about the subject. Some didn´t even want to admit to whom they had been engaged. Others were plainly worried, given that they didn´t even know their new fianceés. Astoria smirked. Amidst all this chaos no one could possibly notice her slipping into the boy´s dormitory. Nevertheless... just in case she placed a Disillusionment Charm on herself, inwardly smirking as no one noticed her dissapearing. She took one last look into the Common Room – it seemed that the entire house is there. However she knew four boys, who for sure wouldn´t be... She smiled to herself as she moved towards once certain door, which she knew quite well by now. Peeking into the room she saw a big joint table in the middle of it and four boys sitting behind it.
"I want a nice, clean game boys."said a scrawny black-haired boy, his green eyes twinkling behind his round glasses as he shuffled the cards in his hands.
"That´s bloody likely."snorted a blonde-haired one.
Astoria carefully closed the door, certain the four boys sitting at their joint table haven´t noticed. Moving ever so quietly she wanted to spring at them.
"Good evening, Astoria."said Harry in a bored voice.
Glad they couldn´t see the pout on her face, she recomposed herself and undid the charm.
"How do you do that, Harry?!"asked the tallest, muscular brown-haired boy.
Harry Potter smirked dispite himself.
"I have eyes and ears, Angus."he said as though that explained everything.
A black-skinned tall boy fixed their newcomer a small smile and raised an eyebrow.
"So, what brings our delightfull little poison-ivy into our humble room?"
"Boredom, Blaise... sheer boredom."she answered in the same tone.
Draco Malfoy snorted.
"Curiosity more like."
Astoria rolled her eyes, not wanting to admit the half-truth of it.
"Deal me in please, Harry. What have I missed?"she asked as Blaise waved his wand and counjoured a chair for her.
"Nothing importaint. We barely started. We returned into our room moments ago."explained Harry as he dealt the cards to everyone.
"At least you didn´t have to wait for Nott to clear out."nodded Astoria.
Harry, Draco, Blaise and Angus shared this room with Theodore Nott, who was never a friend of theirs. Since Nott was convicted as one of the Junior Death Eaters and was sentenced to Azkaban along with those who were captured during the attack on the castle, the boys had the room all to themselfs.
"Nothing like a little house-cleaning to clean out the dirt, eh?"noted Harry happily, he always hated that Death Eaters and their kids only worsened the Slytherin house´s already infamous reputation.
Much like his other friends and Slytherins in general, he was happy that the Junior Death Eaters were all chaught and punished. Angus was probably the happiest of them all, having a personal issue with them, since he was a very rare breed of Slytherin indeed – a muggle-born Slytherin.
"Anyway... about this idiotic Act... I didn´t expect it to get passed."murmured Draco, now shuffling the cards.
"No kidding. Talk about overkill."said Harry shaking his head.
"It´s obvious that our dear Minister must´ve suffered some sort of brain-damage during the November attack."said Blase, picking up the cards Draco dealt him.
"So tell me, boys... who are the unfortunate girls that must´ve suffered a heart-attack when they read their letters today?"asked Astoria with a smirk.
Draco instantly shot her a cold glare.
"I feel happy for the boy who didn´t have to read YOUR name on his letter."
Astoria stuck her tongue at him cheekily. She is two years their junior and as such doesn´t fall under the Act.
"Yet."pointed out Blaise.
"Unless that proposterous Act is dismantled, you too will become the victim of it next year."
Astoria took the news rather calmly – she had known this already.
"True... Fudge obviously won´t drop this on his own accord. Though we would need to find out more to see what can be done about it."noted Harry as he put down his cards along with Angus and Draco.
"I had a feeling you wouldn´t leave it at that... but don´t change the subject. Who did you get?"
Draco´s eyes suddenly brightened.
"That reminds me... Dobby!"
With a loud Crack, the tiny personal house-elf of Draco Malfoy apparated and smiled at him as his master shuffled trough his pocket.
"You called, master Draco?"he asked.
Nodding Draco pulled out a letter.
"Deliver this to my father... and run for cover as soon as he starts to read."he said smirking cheekily.
Dobby smiled and nodded. Split-second later he dissapearated with another loud Crack.
"What was that about?"asked Harry with raised eyebrows.
Draco´s cheeky look only doubled.
"A letter informing father of my engagement. It seems I have been engaged with a muggle-born."
Harry, Blaise, Angus and Astoria held their hands to their mouths in an effort not to laugh – failing miserably at it.
"Jeeeeesus, Dray... your Pop will flip."snorted Angus.
"Couldn´t agree more."giggled Astoria.
"I´m afraid your father´s study is in for quite a perdicament."chortled Blaise.
"Forget study... the Malfoy Manor is in danger. What an explosion THAT will cause."chuckled Harry.
"Pity I won´t be there to see it."nodded Draco also laughing.
Only those in this room knew, that Draco was maintaining his father´s "hard-core pure-blood" attitude to make himself "different" in the Slytherin House and as later on came, to gain trust of the Death Eater kids like Crabbe, Goyle, Nott, Avery and other Junior Death Eaters like Pansy Parkinson or Daphne Greengrass. Deep down, Draco wished for a change in the family´s pure-blood obsession – something which had very much to do with having Harry and Angus as friends.
"I think we can safely assume, that our Minister will have one illuminating visit, first thing in the morning."chortled Blaise to general hilarious agreement.
"Added bonus."noted Draco.
"Well, Draco...? Who´s the lucky muggle-born who will have Lucius Malfoy for a loving father-in-law?"
At Astoria´s question Draco looked slightly uncomfortable.
"That´s the down-side of it... its Hermione "Know-it-all" Granger."
Now everyone didn´t bother to hide their astonishment.
"Woa... what a twist."whistled Angus.
"Engaged to an"enemy"."said Astoria making quote-marks in the air.
Over the years, Draco had the most run-ins with Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
"I confess about knowing very little about love... but you two soul-mates...? I´ve read better fairy-tales."said Blaise shaking his head.
They all noticed that Harry was quiet about it and instantly fixed him an inquiring look.
"Most interesting... I am engaged with Ginny Weasley."he said thoughtfully.
Now the astonishment grew even more.
"Talk about twists. Both of them are friends with your sister and Longbottom."breathed Astoria.
Harry nodded, his face adopting a pensieve look. His green eyes fell on Blaise and Angus and they at once understood his unspoken plea.
"I´m paired with Suzan Bones."said Angus.
"My "soul-mate" apparently is Luna Lovegood."said Blaise.
"Loony Lovegood?! Merlin, Blaise... if she is your soul-mate, you´re wierder than I thought."exclaimed Draco in complete bewilderment.
All of them fell silent and for several minutes the room was in such silence, that a Silencing Charm couldn´t do a better job. All of them were thinking, calculating, reaching conclusions.
"I´ll send a letter to Bode. I want to know how the "selection" is done."said Harry, reffering to their older friend and ally-of-sorts who now works at the Ministry - Borderick Bode jr.
September 16, 1997
Secret Passions at Hogwarts, Potions Master, 37 engaged to one of his students, 17
It seems, that Hogwarts holds simply everything and is a place where anything is possible. This stronghold of Magical Knowledge was always known to hold many secrets. It has also been known to hold its stories of Forbidden Love. Thanks to our Repopulation Act one such story has come to light. As the selection of partners is made to search out soul-mates and the best potentional candidates it is not limited in neighter age nor sex. So it happened that Severus Snape, 37, half-blood – long standing Potions Master at Hogwarts has found his soul-mate in the most unexpected way. Our sources report that Severus Snape has been due to the Repopulation Act been engaged to one of his seventh-year students Ronald Weasley, 17, pure-blood.
"The process of selection has clearly chosen. It tappes into the person´s characteristics that define what type of a partner will the person choose – therefore there had to be something there to begin with."informs Athena Kellen, 39 – Head of the Repopulation Act Office.
Though this kind of pairing is clearly unorthodox (some believe it to be unhealthy and inappropriate), under our Minister´s newtime regime "tolerance" is the main word.
"In this post-war time, love is what truly matters. Discrimination has no place here and we must all tolerate our fellows in their love-lives – no matter who they choose."wisely said Cornelius Fudge, Minister for Magic in his office yesterday when informed of this unussual pairing.
"Under the Repopulation Act these two respective fellows have been bound together and I as Minister for Magic wish them all the luck in the world. May they find their true love in eachother."
The front-page article swept trough the school like wild-fire and most of the student body were now practicly dying of laughter. Slytherins were by large shocked at this piece of information and were subjected to much ridicule by the other students no matter how much the Professors tried to calm the situation. Harry went down to breakfast with Angus and Blaise (since Draco had his prefect duties to perform and by the looks of it, had his work cut out for him) and already the trio had to hex a few fourth-years which were too cheeky about the matter – each of them very defencive of their Head of House. Harry was sure his innitial suspitions were correct and resolved to owl Bode ASAP. During breakfast he couldn´t help but gaze at the Gryffindor table where he saw Ginny Weasley and Hermione Granger sitting close together. Ginny appeared to be comforting Hermione, while ignoring stares, pointing and giggling from not just other House tables, but also some from her own. Instantly he felt a pang of unease as he thought about it. Unsurprisingly absent from breakfast was Ron Weasley for obvious reasons. Harry didn´t even have to look at the staff table. He knew that Severus had locked himself in his study and refused to come out or even open the door. Not even for his Godson.
Recodnizing, that his Godfather wishes to simply be alone, Harry only slipped him a note telling to call upon him or his mother should he want to talk to someone. He hated seeing (or rather knowing) his Godfather in such a weakened state. Since he was little he was his role-model of sorts... He also felt a wave of compassion towards Ron Weasley, dispite not really knowing him at all – very few people he knew deserve such humiliation and he had a sneaky feeling, that his potentional brother-in-law was certainly not one of them. Feeling too sickened to digest any food at all, he said as much to Angus and Blaise and left for the owlerly.
Ginny in the meantime was doing all she could to comfort Hermione, though in fact she was having a hard time herself. Ron stayed in his room in the boy´s dormitory and didn´t want to come out, not that any of his friends could blame him. Even Neville managed to be a little supportive for him... but only slightly. Pavarti, Lavender, Seamus, Dean, Colin and Dennis Creevy and a few other Gryffindors stood behind him staunchly, but they were at a serious minority and since being friends with Ron was no secret, became targets as well. Ginny already Bat-Bogied three Ravenclaw girls, who couldn´t resist having a gloat. However she had a feeling, that it was only the begining. But Hermione was taking it especially hard. Poor girl cried several times and came down for breakfast only so that she could take some food up to Ron, who didn´t really feel hungry for the first time in years. Once eating some food herself, she went back into the Gryffindor Tower, accompanied for good measure by Pavarti and Lavender. Then, before the breakfast was over Professor Dumbledore stood up and requested, that students leave this matter lying and also promised, that not respecting this plea would resolve in punishment. Unfortunately Ginny soon found as she went for her first lesson, that this wish was not respected so heartily. A large group of third and fourth-years cut off her way and dispite how many times she told them to drop the matter, the teasing wave endured. Furious now, she once more drew her wand and was prepared to hex them into oblivion. Some of them too drew their wands, ready for a fight but before anyone could do anything a loud bang rang in the corridor and five of the students were hanging by their anckles in mid-air. Everyone turned to see who did it and a collective gasp sounded from everyone in the corridor including Ginny. Standing behind them all, his wand raised and green eyes flashing – Harry Potter walked closer to them.
"You think its funny, do you?"
His voice was quiet and calm, yet so icy that many felt a shiver run down their spine. Some even quickly shook their heads, looking at the Slytherin with terror in their eyes. Ginny stood there holding her breath. Once more she got that little feeling she had around him.
"Which part of "Drop it" did you fail to understand?"the coldness in his voice rising and his eyes fixing them an icy glare, which had the third years shaking in fear.
With a wave of his wand the Levicorpus spell was lifted and those that were hanging in the air fell to the ground painfully.
"Unless you wish to visit the Hospital Wing, get out of my sight... NOW!"
The furious command was met with instant fufillment. The terrified students litterally scrambled past Ginny and out of the corridor, determined to put as much space between them and the furious Slytherin as possible. Ginny now stood in the abandoned corridor, looking at her fianceé, as he took his time measuring her up and down with his brilliant green eyes. Ginny looked into them as though mesmirized. Hermione was right – his eyes were (there was no other word that came to her mind) beautifull.
"Um... thanks..."she whispered as he walked closer to her.
"Anytime. I´m not particuraly fond of them making jokes about something serious such as this."he said calmly, waving his hand neglectily.
Ginny took the oppoturnity to look at him properly – something she never quite was able to. He was indeed handsome, she thought – slightly taller than her, reasonably well built, his jet-black hair scrawny and sticking out in many directions, yet somehow suiting him and of course those eyes behind a pair of round glasses.
"I realize that this is hardly the the time, but I wish to speak to you considering we are engaged. May I meet up with you after dinner before the Great Hall?"
His polite tone in his question left her speechless for a second. Thinking about it, she figured that she would have to talk with him about it eventually and perhaps it was better sooner rather than later.
"Okay."she said quietly with a nod.
She was still unsure how to feel about it and was surprised when Harry returned the nod and gave her a small smile. It was the most she ever got from this intimidating Slytherin.
Suddenly the corridor rang with sounds of hurrying steps and a moment later Draco Malfoy ran into the corridor, his prefect´s badge gleaming on his uniform.
"I saw a group of third and fourth years running out of here for their lives. What happened?"he asked looking at both Ginny and Harry.
Ginny looked from one to the other and was surprised once more – Harry´s green eyes twinkled in amusement.
"Nothing."he told his best friend nonchalantly and Draco´s eyes also twinkled, a "Yeah, right" look crossing his face.
Harry kept his face neutral before once more turning to Ginny.
"Well... I´d better be going. I have a letter to send. See you tonight, Ms Weasley."he said quietly before he walked past her and along with his best friend, who was chuckling left the corridor.
Ginny stood in the abandoned corridor, her mind spinning. Just who WAS this boy she was engaged to? Whatever she expected him to be like was completly different from what she had seen just now. He defended her, wanted to talk with her and even gave her a tiny smile. Thinking about it, she would have to find out more about him before their meeting tonight.