Chapter Six: Light Divided
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or affiliated characters, places, and things. They all belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliated companies. This particular plot is mine however. And to make it seem more cohesive to the original stories I am using some of the lines from them, but they are not my material. They came for the excellent mind of their owner.
A/N: Keep the reviews coming! Letters, or a person’s thoughts, or a god/goddess’ thoughts, or their thoughts projected into a mortal mind.
Harry was sitting there waiting for Hermione while Neville talked to Hanna and Susan. Neville had told him that he was given only two people to bring into their little circle of friends that would know about what was going on. It was a unique bonus to have these people around them that knew what was going on. It would have been hard for him to not tell people like Hermione what was going had she not been in the know. The two Hufflepuffs had sat there dumbfounded when they had been brought into the compartment. Now they were sitting there eating lunch and talking about what had happened in the other world.
Harry and Neville had told them what had gone on during their last time through Hogwarts. They were speechless when they learned what had happened to Cedric. Harry had reassured them that he wouldn’t let this happen again. Susan and Hanna had been confused as to why they couldn’t warn Cedric about this threat to his life, and were further terrified about the impending return of Voldemort at the end of the school year. Harry could see the fear within their eyes. He felt bad about telling them everything that waited within the next three years of schooling. Yet this was something he felt obligated to do so.
There was knock on the door, and what little conversation came to a halt. People looked to on another, and the only one who did not look surprised was Daphne. She walked to the door and opened it. All Harry could see at the moment was long sandy blonde hair. When Daphne moved girl wearing Slytherin robes was revealed. She was a couple of inches taller than Harry, and her dark green eyes looked a little worried. Harry was trying to remember a name, but he was coming up short. He knew Daphne sat with her during potions, but that was about it.
“Everyone this is my cousin and best friend Tracey Davis. Tracey I think you know everyone here, at least by name, and I told you in the letter I sent you last night.” Daphne looked to Harry. “No I wasn’t given a list of people who I could tell; because there is only one person I would need to tell, and she’s that person.”
“So you wouldn’t have told us?” Susan asked.
“No I would, and here’s why.” Everyone just looked around the room at one another. This was going to be interesting to hear. “Susan you’re the niece of the head of the DMLE, and that can be used to cripple the Death Eaters before they become a threat. Hana your mum works for the Daily Prophet and that can be used to get the news out there that Voldemort is back. Neville your grandmother is on the Wizengamot voting in your stead, so the political power helps garner the political support we will need to get a few laws revoked, and laws that have long since need passing passed. Harry you would be told because your life would be the one that is threated the most by his return, and Hermione you would be told because I would need your help when I am work on advanced Arithmancy and other spell research. As for the twins you would be need because of your inventiveness. You would be able to create things that the rest of us just don’t see. Luna I would lean on you to be our eyes and ears throughout the school seeing as most people just ignore you. I know that sounds men, but I mean no disrespect by it.”
Harry just stood there dumbstruck. Ever since he came back in time Harry had been thinking about what he was going to do when things started to happen, but here Daphne had thought up a plan on what she was going to do if she was the only one that knew what was to come. Harry knew Hermione had been making plans when they weren’t cuddling, eating, or doing naughty things. She had been writing things down on a piece of parchment. He had assumed they were plans on what she or they should do during the years ahead of them.
Harry looked out the window to the countryside that rushed past them. These plans were all well and good, but there were new variables in all of this. First Ron and Percy were now in Slytherin house, and complete arse holes. Second there was Rose to now consider. Her existence up to this point in time had been horrible. He knew that Marge was going to be put on trial because of what she had done to Rose, but thanks to Dumbledore’s magic Vernon would not be touched. He knew that the wards that protect that house were down now, but he figured that Dumbledore would get them up and running again before the end of the month, and have him returning to that house at the end of the year. Along with Rose, and Harry would not stand for that. Hermione said that the best thing to do was fix up Grimmauld Place and move into there, but that place had some bad memories for Sirius. So where could they stay that wasn’t filled with horrible memories for all of them?
“Harry, are you listening?” Hanna asked.
“I’m sorry no I haven’t been. What’s going on?” Harry frowned just a little. His mind had run away with him again.
“Well we were asking Daphne how long she had been thinking on these plans of hers, and it has only been since about nine o’clock last night.” Susan said with a stunned look still on her face. “And to be honest that is a great idea. I mean we could do that couldn’t we?”
“Yes we could, but we need to keep this knowledge to ourselves. Dumbledore would erase our memories if he knew what was going on. He would also freak out because of the things that the four of us know.” Hermione gestured to herself, Harry, Neville, and Daphne. “It is quite scary to be honest. Knowing what we do, and what awaits us if we fail. If Voldemort or Dumbledore finds out about this we are in for a harder fight than needs be.”
“That’s your inner Slytherin Granger you should listen to it more often.” Tracey said with a smile.
“Maybe I will.” Hermione said as she leaned into Harry. “The gods know Harry will need it.”
“Hey!” Harry said trying to hold back his own laughter as the rest of the cabin did so.
The rest of the trip was filled with light conversation. Harry told Neville of his plan to reform the Marauders, and Neville jumped on board with the idea. He said it would provide cover for what they were going to be doing. The primary targets for the pranks were going to be Malfoy and his hangers-on. Tracey over heard the conversation and said she would let them into the Snakes pit at night should they need to do so. Hanna wondered if they would be protecting Luna as well with the pranks, and Harry agreed to it quickly. Daphne, Hermione, and Susan were talking about Daphne’s plan. It appeared that they were planning out when to do what. It amazed him how those three were working together almost seamlessly. It was kind of frightening to be honest. Luna had started reading the Quibbler once the group started breaking into separate conversation. She would chime into varying conversation every once in a while.
Harry excused himself from the group so he could go check on Rose. He went down towards the back of the train more out of instinct than anything else. He did see the two girls head down that way, but had no way of knowing if they had found seats down that way. He finally found them in the last compartment with a very familiar traveling companion aside from some of Ginny’s friends. The girls seemed to be laughing quietly about something. One of the girls looked out the window at him and seemed to be star struck. Harry just sighed before opening the door.
“Hi ladies, how are things going Rose?” Harry asked lightly.
Rose whispered “Fine Harry, thank you for introducing me to your friend.”
“Well your welcome.” Harry looked to Remus. “So who is the gentleman?”
“The name on his luggage is R. J. Lupin. We think he is the new DADA professor.” A short thickly built girl wearing Ravenclaw robes said.
“Lupin?” asked Harry. The girls nodded. Before he could ask further questions the train came to a stop. Harry had to fight the urge to pull out his wand and cast the Patronus charm. Sure he knew what was coming, but if they were going to succeed with all those things that he and his friends had talked about he needed to play the role of a thirteen year-old boy. He looked around the hall way. And when one of the girls yelped because of the cold on the window Harry pulled out his wand and stood in front of the door.
“Harry what are you doing?” asked Ginny.
“Given my luck I am just getting ready. There is no way we are at Hogwarts now, and Pettigrew is still out there somewhere.”
“Could it be Pettigrew?” asked one of the girls in a shrill voice.
“No, but who knows I just have real bad luck when things like this happen.” Harry chuckled a little bit. “Last year I had a beater chase me around the quidditch pitch.” Rose looked at him a little confused. “It was cursed ball. And it was cursed by an overly concerned add weirdly protective house elf.”
“Quiet down.” groaned Remus.
Harry looked at the man and smiled. He couldn’t remember how long it took the Dementor to get to the compartment, but having Remus up to help him would make things easier. “Sorry Moony, I didn’t mean to wake you.”
The man’s eyes shot open instantly. His gaze scanned the compartment, and when they landed on Harry he seemed to relax. Before he could say anything the temperature dropped a few degrees. The girls looked scared. Remus asked Harry to step into the compartment. As he did so ice started to form around the door frame. He looked down the hall and saw the dementor was two compartments away from him. He could feel the fear creeping into his mind. He backed further into the compartment urging Rose to do the same, but as she did the Dementor appeared in the door. It looked between Rose and Harry. This was the first time he was glad he had lived through the war with Voldemort, and had seen things that still sent chills up and down his spine. He looked at Rose and saw a puddle forming at her feet. Harry’s reaction was instant. He raised wand and focused on the kiss he shared with Hermione in the tent in the Forest of Dean. “Expecto Patronum!”
The stag leapt from his wand sending the Dementor backwards. The Dementor screeched and retreated from the train. Harry pointed towards the front of the train and the stag ran towards the front other segments of the train. Harry looked back to his cousin and saw her weeping on the floor. He flicked his wrist cleaning the mess on the floor, and the cleaning her clothes. He then knelt beside her. “It is ok Rose no one is going to hurt you.” Rose looked up at him with tears in her eyes. “Those were just memories, and no matter how bad they were that is all they were memories. That thing was a dementor and they force you to relive your darkest and most terrifying of memories.”
“How do you know that?” Rose asked.
Harry looked around the room to find everyone staring at him. Remus was just standing there blinking down at him. He looked like a fish freshly plucked from the stream. He had to tell her something, but should he tell her the truth or lie to her. He knew that Vernon lied to them both about a lot of things. If she ever found out the truth and he had lied to her once she might not ever trust him again. He looked back at Remus and almost as if the man knew what he was thinking he nodded his head. Harry took a breath and let it out slowly.
“Because one of them attacked me, and forced me to watch the memory of my mother’s murder by Voldemort. The memory was stored in my subconscious.” Those in the compartment who knew of the man flinched. “Up until then I had only had nightmares of the event, and now the visual memory is permanent burned into my mind. I know this is a different kind of memory, but I can tell it was as genuine to you as mine was to me. You’re just lucky that you didn’t pass out from the whole thing.”
“How were you not killed by it Harry?” Remus asked without even missing beat.
“I am afraid that I am under an oath to tell no one but a select few people, and most of the people gathered here are not on that list I’m afraid.” Harry flinched a little bit. The tone he was using showed his true age a little. “I will have to talk to you about that later Professor.” Ginny looked like she wanted to ask some question, but Harry just shook his head in the negative. “I’m sorry Ginny, but you are not on that list, and should that change about any of you,” he looked around the compartment. “You will be the first to know.”
“So it’s just your cousin that gets to learn this secret?” asked a dark skinned girl wearing Gryffindor robes.
“No, I’m sad to say.” He looked to her, and Rose looked heart broken. “Don’t worry Rose it is not that I do not trust you, it’s just that I was given a specific list of people and those were the only people I could tell about what has transpired. I will try and see how much of what is going on I can tell you.”
“Harry if Professor Dumbledore has asked you not to tell people about what happened then you shouldn’t, and I am glad that you have been listening to you tutors that he has hired to teach you magic.” Professor Lupin said quietly. He reached into his suit case and pulled out some chocolate. He unwrapped the chocolate and broke it into pieces, and started handing out the pieces. “Now Harry if you have truly been learning about dementors: why is it that chocolate is needed?”
“It counter acts the fear and depression the dementors cause.” Harry handed Rose the chocolate. “Though the why I really don’t know.”
“Eating chocolate makes you feel happy, and that is what the effects caused by dementors are suppress.” Remus looked around the compartment. “Now you will all have to excuse me because I have to go check in with the conductor.”
Harry looked back to Rose. “Now Rose don’t worry about what happened here. These damned things should have never been let near children. They’ve made men twice your age have that kind of accident.” Harry whispered. Rose smiled just a little. “Well I’m going to go back to my friends. Stay safe, and don’t worry about the really tall fellow who will be taking you to Hogwarts castle. His name is Hagrid and he is really tall.”
“Well you seem to be setting your standards pretty low Potter.” A familiar voice rang out from behind him.
All Harry could do was groan. He looked over his shoulder at the blonde ponce that now blocked his exit. “Malfoy this is my cousin, and unlike you I do not view inbreeding as a thing that I need to do in order to be a man.” He paused to enjoy the anger that crossed Malfoy's face. “What is your mother’s relation to your father anyway? Are they double first cousin or something?”
“How dare you Potter you’re a filthy half-blood, and the thing in front of you is mudblood trash.”
Harry had his wand pointed at Malfoy’s throat before Crabbe and Goyle could do anything. “You watch your mouth Malfoy.” Harry growled. “She is still my cousin, and I am Harry Potter, Head of the Ancient and Noble house of Potter. I have yet to go to the College of Arms, but I plan on making the trip during the upcoming weekend. At which point the only way you can say my name is if put the word ‘Lord’ in front of it. And you better get used to saying Lady Granger because I think you will be saying it a lot. Now get out of my sight you slag, and take your boy toys with you.” The look on Malfoy's pale face was priceless.
“How dare you Potter! Wait till my father hears about this!” Malfoy growled.
“Go ahead, run to your father it will not help you. Hermione has already been to the College’s Ministry office, and all she needs to do is take the Confirmatory test at the College, but it will take the Judges at least a couple of weeks to confirm her lineage. Isn’t it funny Draco? You’ve insulted her for the last two years about her lineage, and now she is an heiress of the Dagworth-Granger family. Although I think she is going to prefer to be called Lady Granger. Now off with you Malfoy before you bring further disgrace to your family.”
At this point there were a few heads sticking out of other compartments staring at them. Draco’s sneer grew when he noticed this. Malfoy walked away in frustration. Harry could see Daphne and Hermione rushing down the train towards him. They ran past Malfoy and all he could do was stare at them as they went past him. Harry felt rage creeping into his system, but he held his hand at his side he didn’t want to get detention before school even started… again.
“Are you ok Harry?” Hermione asked once she got up to him.
“Yes darling, but just talking to him reminded me that we need to get to the College of Arms if we want to activate those titles. I know you don’t want Professor Dumbledore handling my affairs, and we don’t want Malfoy snatching your seat and title out from underneath you.”
“No we don’t, but why did you send your Patronus down the train?” Daphne asked tersely.
“Well I didn’t want any other Dementors trying to feed on me or anyone else for that matter.” Harry said looking down at Rose. “Are you alright now Rose?”
“Yes, thank you Harry for chasing that monster away.” Rose said this while looking at the ground. “Did you really save Ginny from a Basilisk last year Harry?”
Harry looked to the only person who could have told her this to find Ginny blushing. Harry chuckled a little bit. “Yes Rose I did defeat a basilisk a few months back now. But don’t take that as the normal occurrence at Hogwarts because it is not.” Harry took this time to tell Rose about some of the things that she would be hearing about him. He told her that he did not fight and kill a dragon at age three. Nor had he taken on a giant when he was ten. He told her that he had knocked out a troll when he was eleven with the help of his friends, and that he had taken on a possessed professor at the end of his first year.
After he was done telling the story Hermione reminded Harry he still needed to get into his school robes. Harry bid Rose goodbye, and the trio started walking to their compartment. The girls asked about what had transpired, and Harry told them all about what happened. Hermione said that telling them even that much was too risky. Harry did agree with them to a point, but in the end he did not feel bad about doing what he did. If this got him in trouble with the gods then he would take the consequences when they came to him. Harry tried to steer the conversation to lighter topics to make sure no one over heard them and thought they had gone completely mental. As they drew upon the compartment Harry saw Collin Creeve. Collin waved at Harry, and Harry just nodded back at him. As Harry walked in to the compartment he could help but sigh, and given the look on everyone’s face he must have looked as bad as he felt.
“Harry what’s wrong?” asked Susan.
“Nothing it is just going to take time to get used to seeing people who to me have been dead for the last five years.” Harry sighed. “It’s good that they are alive and all, but I cannot guarantee that I can save them all.”
Neville stood up at this point and walked up to him. “Harry trust me I know how your feeling. It really sucks knowing that Lavender got scratched by Fenrir Greyback. Thankfully she lived but it messed up her life. I am looking forward to ending that bastard’s life.”
“Neville!” shirked Hanna.
“Hanna Neville is right. That man gets broken out in nineteen ninety five, and then goes on a killing spree that includes the rape of forty three children. I will not hesitate when it to comes to killing that monster.” Susan and Hanna looked to one another at this point. Harry sighed. “I know this makes me sound, and I probably look like a monster myself right now, but I will bare that burden on my back to save as many lives as I can. If you girls don’t want to be a part of what we will be doing I understand. I am willing to remove the memories if you’d like so you can go on none the wiser.”
The girls looked to each other and seemed to be having an unspoken conversation with one another. They nodded as one and Hanna spoke.
“No Harry we want to help. We may not have the memories you four have, but just knowing what little that I do makes me want to help you. I cannot sit here doing nothing while people are getting hurt in horrible ways. Am I uncomfortable with the fact that I may have to kill people? Of course I am.” She looked to Neville. “But if you and Neville took the challenge of coming back in time to change things knowing that you would be reliving some of the worst years of your life. Then I can at least stomach having to do some of these horrible things myself.”
Susan put her two pence in on the matter. “I would help you even if I didn’t know what was going on Harry and you know it. I joined the DA in the other timeline didn’t I?” Harry nodded. “Then why wouldn’t I help you now? I know fully well that sometimes Aurors have to kill someone. Do they like it? No, but sometimes they have no choice in the matter.” Susan seemed to cast a glance to Tracey. “And sometimes there are people you would harm others so that they were safe. I just hope we don’t have to do that often.”
Tracey chimed in next. “The gods let you tell us for a reason. We all have our part to play, and I will gladly play a part in this tragedy.”
“Tracey that sounds morbid.” Susan said with a slight frown.
“Sorry.” Tracey said with a sheepish smile.
“So, on a brighter note Professor Lupin is teaching at Hogwarts again.” Harry attempted to change the topic.
“Yes he is mate, and speaking of school you really need to get dressed I figure we have an hour and half at best before we reach Hogsmeade Station.” Neville said with a smile.
Harry nodded, and grabbed his robes out of his trunk, and walked in to a water closet to change. Once in his school uniform he took his clothes and placed them in his trunk. He took a seat next to Hermione and wrapped an arm around her shoulders. She leaned into his shoulder. Daphne took the seat to his left, and leaned against him. He looked over at her, and she just smiled at him. When he looked to Hermione to see her reaction she just smiled up at him. Aside from an awkward feeling the rest of the ride was done in relative silence. Neville and Hanna were trying to be like Harry and his love, but the awkward look on their faces was priceless. He knew it would take them time to get used to one another. Neville was physically thirteen, but he had the mind of a twenty-two year old. Harry felt sorry for his friend. He didn’t want to think of how weird it would feel to be near someone he loved so deeply, and yet be so far away. The more he thought about it the harder the task before them seemed to be. He now had a cousin that he had to take care of. This was not a mandate of the divine, but a mandate of his own conscience.
Harry looked out the window at the encroaching darkness. He wondered, how many things he could really change without becoming a monster himself.
Dumbledore was pacing in front of his desk. This had been a weird time over last few weeks for him. First Harry ran away from the Dursleys. Then Sirius’ innocence is proven by one his most trusted allies, and then the marriage he worked so hard to set up with Ginevra Weasley was torn to shreds ten hours ago. What had caused this he had no idea, but he was certain that it had something to do with whatever removed the fragment of Voldemort’s soul from Harry’s scar. These two things had to be interlinked somehow. Over ten years of planning was now down the loo. How could this have happened?
Dumbledore walked over to the myriad of devices he had set up to monitor Harry’s wellbeing. They all seemed to be working well. Harry was doing well physically. His magic was doing exceptionally well. He seemed to be in a chipper mood, and his thoughts were untroubled. There were only two devices that were giving him problems. The first one was monitoring the scar. It had stopped working three days ago. So whatever happened to him couldn’t predate that day. It was irritating to be clueless as to what was going on with the boy. Sure he had known what was happening in the school in his first two years, but this year was not shaping up to be something he could control. And the second device was only proof of that. It was an orb that contained a small amount of Harry’s blood. It told him how the wards were doing at number four Privet Drive. It showed how many people were related to Harry, and how many living relatives the lad actually had. Up until two days ago the number of living relatives Harry had had been three, but now that number had increased by one. When he had woken up this morning he noticed this change, and had panicked for about twenty minutes. He checked and rechecked the glass orb. He left to check the residence itself. Once he was there he hid under the disillusionment charm, and watched the house for an hour. All that he could see was Petunia Dursley walking around the living room yelling into a phone. He watched this for about thirty minutes before walking up the door and dispelling the charm. He knocked on the door. He could hear Petunia screaming about someone named Rose. When the door opened the woman looked livid.
“Rose Petunia Dursley how dare you…” Petunia’s voice tapered off once she noticed who was at the door. After a moment of silence her face turned into a mask of rage. “So now you show yourself you freakish old man! Where is my daughter?!”
Albus was taken aback by this question. Daughter, he thought the Dursleys only had one child, and that was boy a few months older than Harry. “I am sorry Mrs. Dursley what are you talking about?”
“Don’t give me that nonsense old man! You know that we have a daughter, and that she is one of you freaks. I am telling you right now we will not be paying for her second year at your school!”
“I am still at a loss Mrs. Dursley, who are you talking about?”
“MY DAUGHTER ROSE PETUNIA DURSLEY! Marge got a letter a few days before she left and threw it away. Then the family who said they’d watch over her got the second letter, and just our luck that our daughter was a witch!”
“Well I can assure you Mrs. Dursley that no daughter of yours is enrolled in our school.” Albus said calmly.
“You liar!” she stormed off leaving the door open. Albus followed her into the house and closed the door behind him. He waited there in the entrance staring at the stairs which beneath laid Harry’s old bedroom. Looking around revealed a quaint home with pictures of the Dursleys son, but none of Harry or this daughter they were supposed to have. Before he could go in any further Petunia showed up with a letter in her hand. She thrust it in his face. “You sent this you freak, and don’t you dare tell me you didn’t.”
Albus took the letter. It was the acceptance letter from Hogwarts to a girl named Rose Dursley. Albus took out his wand cast a spell on the letter. It was not a forgery in anyway. He didn’t remember signing the letter at all, but there was his signature at the bottom. He tried to remember doing this, but he was drawing a blank. Who was this girl? When had they discovered her magic? When was she born? Last he checked this person did not exist. He bid Mrs. Dursley goodbye much to her displeasure he did not answer her questions.
He apparated back to Hogwarts, and on the slow walk back to his office he turned over what was going on in his mind. There was a Dursley going to be attending Hogwarts, and Harry’s safe house was now public knowledge. All any of the Death Eaters had to do was connect the dots between the two of them to find where he spent his summers. He was going to spend this Saturday reworking the wards that had protected Harry over the last twelve years. He now had to work Ms. Dursley into the wards for her own safety.
The hardest part of placing the girl in that house was her father. Albus had Obliviated at least twelve girls to prevent the man from being dragged off to prison. This was not counting the police officers and other people associated with the cases that were affected. He felt bad about doing this but sometimes some sacrifices were needed for the Greater Goods ultimate success. Albus just worried what he must have done to this girl if she was indeed his daughter.
He looked back at the letter. The girl was staying at the house on the peripheries of Ash Vale. This had to be the address of Vernon’s sister. Albus looked through all of the positive replies until he found the agreement letter from Rose. After checking the date and address she had been staying with Ms. Clearwater at the time. It seemed that the Dursleys desired to keep her and Harry apart. This amount of hatred was ungodly. What kind of parent would distance themselves from their own child?
A knock on his door tore him from his thoughts. Minerva walked through the door. “Albus, where have you been? The students are almost here, and you have been gone for a while. Is something wrong already?”
“Not really Minerva, but it seems one of Harry’s cousins is coming to school here.” Albus said as calmly as he could.
“I know this Albus we discussed this several months ago. You said the girl would be a great addition to the school, and a great way for Harry to become less rebellious. Do you not remember this discussion?”
Albus tried to remember this conversation, but alas he remembered nothing. He just nodded his head in agreement, and started walking toward the door. This was a problem. If he had a conversation with Minerva and the other heads about this and did not remember it someone must have erased his memory. But why on Earth would someone do something like this? It was bad enough that he had to placate Lucius Malfoy today, but now he had to deal with this? Fate was a fickle thing, but this was a bit bizarre. Had his meddling done something so drastic that it altered the course of destiny this much? No that’s impossible.
“I’m sorry Minerva I do not recall the discussion, and I hope this is the only laps in memory I have.” He gave his grandfatherly smile. “If it gets worse Minerva please let me know.”
“I will Albus.” Minerva said as they left the room.
Hecate sat in the rafters of Hogwarts Great Hall. Watching as the students filed into the room. She watched some students take their seats with a wicked smile on her face. Ronald Malfoy was walking with exaggerated arrogance. The only one doing it better was Draco Malfoy his new brother. The other Slytherins seemed more interested in who Daphne Greengrass was talking to then the antics of their self-professed prince. In fact everyone that could see the young woman was equally transfixed on her actions. She was standing there talking with Harry Potter and his friends. This was something that was not the normal thing the school was used to seeing. They were used to Gryffindors and Slytherins hating one another, and most were just speechless about the whole affair. And when the young woman kissed him lightly on the cheek, and then did the same to Hermione Granger the level of volume in the room went up a couple of degrees.
Hecate herself found this intriguing. She knew that Hermes had passed some information onto one of his champion, but Hecate did not know which one until now. Honestly this was a good addition to the group. This would make things go smoother down the road, and perhaps the extra chess pieces on the board would cause Dumbledore to stumble just a little bit more. The old man deserved it to be honest.
The gods had visited him in disguise more than once over the years, and every time he stuck his nose up at them. Hermes had tried to apply as a student who was part vampire, but the man rejected him as his ‘dietary needs were too dangerous’. That was the summer of nineteen seventy six. Two years later Aphrodite tried to apply as a half veela, and she too was turned away because it would endanger her and other students. Sure he let Remus attend Hogwarts as a child, and now let him teach, but that was a power play on his part. There were more, but those were the ones that mattered to her. If the man would let a werewolf attend the school he should have done the same to other hybrids, and not just the ones that benefited his agenda.
Hecate turned her gaze to the man in question, and found him staring directly at the trio. He was carrying on a side conversation with professor Flitwick, but he only seemed to be paying the minimal amount of attention to the conversation. Hecate took this time to pry into the man’s mind.
’What is that boy doing with her? I thought that he was with Ms. Granger? Oh, it seems that they are all together. This is bad, really bad actually. If the Potters form an alliance with the Greengrass family that will give the boy more chances to be corrupted, and we cannot have that. I will need to get Severus to brew a mild rage potion to give the girl and make her hate the boy.’
Hecate scoffed at this. ‘Albus dear boy, you do not know with whom you fuck. That girl will tear you a new one, and I want front row seats to that event.’ Hecate noticed the man start looking around. ‘Oh did you hear that? I’m sorry.’ With a flick of her wrist Hecate wiped Dumbledore’s mind of her comment.
‘That’s funny I thought someone say something. Never mind. I wonder what actually happened over the summer while Harry stayed at the Leaky Cauldron. Did the three run into each other and things developed from there, or has this been going on under my nose? I read that boys mind every day how did I not notice this?’
Hecate stopped reading his mind at this point if the man was so dead set on regaining ‘control’ of Harry then he would have done nothing about what was going to happen after the Sorting ceremony. The man was clearly OCD about what was ‘supposed’ to happen in Harry Potter’s life. Right up to the way he was supposed to die. In fact the one thing he could not control was who Harry became friends with aside from Ronald Weasley. Well that and the boys innate knack at flying and the game of quidditch.
Hecate shook her head to clear her thoughts, and focused once more on the room before her. Everyone was now sitting still, and there gaze cast at the giant doors that lead out of the room. When the doors opened McGonagall lead the new students into the room. Each and every one of their young faces was held in awe at what lay before them. As she looked at them images of the lives they have lead thus far flashed before her eyes in seconds. Some were happy lives, other kind of ‘meh’, and yet some were filled with nothing but concealed misery. She would love nothing more than to save each and every one of them, but that was part of life. Bad things happened to good people, and if they did not suffer the bad how could they appreciate the good things that happened to them? She knew this didn’t always work out for the best. After directly intervening for the first four hundred years of human existence she learned that if you do all the work they just lie around and wait for you to solve the problem, and not try to fix it themselves.
This of course brought to mind the one young girl who up until twenty-four hours ago didn’t exist. For Rose Dursley it had been eleven years of living Hell. Being touched, poked, and prodded by her father and anyone of his sick friends. Marge Dursley was less tolerable than her brother. She was to her what Petunia and Vernon were to Harry only more derogatory. She knew the girl was being raped, but did nothing about it. It took Hecate ‘convincing’ the Clearwaters to move onto her street to give the girl any kind of safe place to stay.
Of all these new students it was Rose who was the only one who would not get the protection the other abused muggleborns would now receive. They would get to stay at Hogwarts, and their parents memories would be modified so they didn’t know they had children. That was option one. The other one entailed their respective heads of house going and checking on them weekly, and if things did not improved the first option would be forced on the parents. That was for ‘mild’ cases of abuse. If the abuse was severe (like Rose’s) there wouldn’t be a second option really. But ‘Good’ old Dumbledore hid the abuse of Harry under countless compulsion charms, and memory wipes. He would more than likely do the same to Rose as that would affect his plans for Harry.
The sudden applause snapped her out of her thoughts. Looking down once more she saw a young girl run off to the Ravenclaw table and take a seat near Penelope Clearwater. The next child up was a Stephen Bridgewater. He went onto Slytherin. Hecate decides to check the list now to make sure Rose’s name was still on it. She floated down behind McGonagall and looked at the list. There just below Karen Carter was Rose’s name. She then checked the mental status of McGonagall. She didn’t want to take any chances at Rose’s name not being read. McGonagall’s mental health was fine. Harry’s test was to defend her. How could that happen if she wasn’t here? Satisfied with everything Hecate floated back up to the rafter she had been sitting on. Casting her gaze down at the doors once more she used her divine providence to gaze through the door, and there waiting for the sorting to be done was Lucius Malfoy along with two members of the College of Arms, and a goblin. The men from the College of Arms and the goblin held two sets of parchment each.
‘Lucius you are playing with fire.’ Hecate smiled. ‘And I like fire.’
Rose Dursley was nervous. She had just met her cousin Harry today for the first time in four years, and was surprised that he did not run away from her. Her father had told her that Harry blamed her for being sent to St. Brutus’ Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys. She had wept for days after that. But seeing Harry today made her realize this was another one of her father’s lies that he used to control her. Looking back on it all she should have known that Harry didn’t hate her. During the few times he was brought over during one of her father’s ‘special visits’ he seemed happy to see her.
The two had been close when they were little. Well what little time they lived in the same house anyway. When she was five her mom was trying to rip an apple out of Harry’s hand. Just by thinking about giving the apple to Harry the fruit flew from her mother’s hand and into her own.
This was not the first time something like this had happened, and it wasn’t the last. That same year just before they shipped her off to Aunt Marge’s house she and Harry were cleaning the dishes while everyone else was watching the telly. Rose was supposed to be up in her room doing her homework, but she had snuck down to help Harry. When her mother went to get her out of her room she found her helping Harry, and ran into the kitchen grabbed a plate out of Rose’s hands, and started screaming at her. Her mother started waving that pate around, and the next thing she knew that plat blasted into tiny little piece before her mother could do anything with it. This got her sent to her room, and Harry locked in his cupboard. The next day she was told to pack her things, and once that was done she was driven to Aunt Marge’s.
Once she was there things just got worse for her. She had been told to go to the guest room while her father and Aunt Marge talked about something. She did as she was told, and waited there for two hours. During this time she heard Aunt Marge scream about something, but she couldn't hear what exactly, and then everything got quiet for another five minutes. After that she heard someone walking up the stairs. She grabbed one of her books and opened so it looked like she was studying. When the door opened her father was standing there with a camera in his left hand.
She shuddered at the thought of his camera. That day was the first of many where he took filthy photos of her. By the time she was nine those photos had turned into something disgusting and shameful. She wanted to vomit just thinking about it. Of how he would touch her, and make her touch him. He never did any of this when her mother was around, and this is the only reason she loved it when her mum paid her a visit. Harry had come over a total of five times, and that was to help clean out the kennels, and it was just him and her father.
“Dursley, Rose.” The sound of her own name was the only thing that snapped her out of the dark and lonely thoughts. Rose walked up to the stool, and like so many before her took the hat before taking a seat and placing it on her head.
‘Well, well, well what a troubled mind for one so young Ms. Dursley.’ The sound of a soft male voice in her ear made her jump a little. ‘Now you have nothing to fear about me young lady. I am just a hat, and what I see in your mind stays with me. Because it seems you have resolved the issue of your father, but that is not why we are here is it?’
‘No.’ Rose thought.
Before she could say anything the voice responded. ‘Exactly, now I see that you are loyal to those you call friends. Of which you have very few. This can be changed with the entrance into the den of badgers, but there is more to you than Hufflepuff’s endearing traits isn’t there.’ Rose nodded her head. ‘It took great courage to tell Officer Clearwater what had been happening to you. It also took courage to even talk to your cousin after so long apart. So perhaps Gryffindor is where your future lies?’
‘Will he hurt me?’ was the thought that crossed her mind before she could crush it.
‘No, I know that boy’s thoughts better than he does, and there is not a vile thought in his empty mind at all.’
‘Hey! Harry’s mind isn’t empty he smarter than Dudley!’ Rose snapped. ‘I just hope I can be as brave as him… please place in Gryffindor.’
‘Well if you’re sure,’ Rose nodded her head. ‘It is decided then…’ the voice fell silent for a second then with a shout announced its decision “GRYFFINDOR!”
The Gryffindor table erupted into applause. Rose took off the hat, and placed it onto the chair once more. She ran to the table and took a seat. The other students were welcoming her with smiles, and happy hellos. She looked down the table and saw Harry and his friend smiling at her. She waved down the table at him. He returned the gesture, and went back to talking to his girlfriend. Rose looked further down the table and saw Ginny talking with one of her friends, and when the hat shouted out Gryffindor once more the table erupted in a new set of applause. This was a new start to life, and hopefully the Hat was right. The problems with her father were truly resolved.
Harry was talking with Hermione not caring about the song the hat was singing this year. He was more interested in his cousin’s wellbeing. She seemed cheerful, and up beat on the surface, but there were these small little reactions to things around her that hinted to the trouble she was having. The fact that she flinched when he touched her, or the way she hesitated to take the offered chocolate from Remus. His new memories had hinted to much worse than beatings and emotional torment from her father. If that fear was proven true there was not a safe place on this word or in the next that Vernon Dursley could go to escape Harry’s wrath. He also wondered how big of a role Marge played in the young girls torment. He knew how abrasive she was to him, and figured she was no different to Rose. Had the bint been told about magic, and Vernon’s solution for its ‘unnaturalness’? Harry would have to ask her later.
What had Dudley been told about his sister? Harry had no memory of such a conversation, and from what he could ‘remember’ Dudley didn’t seem to care about losing his little sister. It was as if he had no memory of having a little sister at all. Was this the work of some divine force? Was this a new test? All these questions had been asked before, but Harry’s mind kept mulling them over. He was trying to rationalize all of this, and coming up short.
As she was called up to be sorted Harry hoped the Hat didn’t put her in the Snakes Pit for her own safety. Daphne might look out for her should she be sorted into that pit of despair, and keep Malfoy's hands off of her. Harry cast a glance to the Slytherin table, and saw Daphne chatting with Tracey. The two seemed engrossed in whatever it was they were talking about. Daphne looked over to the Gryffindor table, and caught his eyes, and cast him a slight smile. Harry returned the gesture, and resumed his watch over his cousin.
After about four minutes the Sorting Hat sealed her fate with a shout of “GRYFFINDOR!”
Harry along with the rest of the table erupted into applause. Harry stood up and started clapping loudly. Harry could feel the corners of his mouth turned upwards in a smile. He looked to his girlfriend, and she smiled at him. He turned back to the part of table Rose was sitting and found her looking at him. He smiled at the girl. She waved down the table to him, and he waved back at her. He then turned to Hermione.
“Darling I think we need to talk about my cousin.” Hermione raised an eyebrow to him. “I know I mentioned this earlier, but I think my Uncle has done some horrible things with her.” Harry said this in a low whisper so only his friends could hear.
“What are talking about Harry?” Neville’s question seemed weighted with fear.
Harry leaned up closer to his friend. “I suspect my uncle sexually assaulted his own daughter, and I know Dumbledore well enough to guess his reaction to such information. We both know the Hat will inform the Headmaster if a child is being abused by their muggle relatives correct.” Harry looked between Hermione and Neville. They both nodded. “If the Hat tells him it is safe to say that since it will affect me as well that Dumbledore will do nothing. Now we can also say that it is safe to assume that she has a divine patron.”
“Then why didn’t they stop the abuse she suffered?” Neville asked.
“They didn’t stop mine, and I think it has to do with free will. I mean if they wanted to treat us like dolls then why wouldn’t they just live in the mortal world and treat us like dolls?” Harry asked.
“You have a point. I mean that is a common thing in most religion.” Hermione said. “And given we now know for a fact that the Hellenistic Pantheon is real we can assume the ‘free will’ part of human existence is true as well, and that they practice it.” Hermione looked around and frowned. “We also need to stop talking about this here. We may need to continue this conversation later perhaps in the Room of Requirement.”
“Great idea,” Harry said as he applauded Nathen Thompson’s arrival into Gryffindor. “People are looking at us funny.”
“Well yeah, we have been whispering to each other for like fifteen minutes.” Neville said jovially. “Now I wonder how they will react to you, Hermione, and Daphne being in a three way relationship?”
“Quiet you.” Hermione said while slapping Neville on the arm as he laughed.
Harry looked back to the professors table as Jamie Winthrop was placed in Ravenclaw. As Dumbledore was about to stand and give his yearly speech the doors to the Great Hall swung open letting Lucius Malfoy, two other men, and a goblin enter the room. Malfoy strutted up to the professors table as if he owned the place. With a flurry of his hands he began speaking.
“It is an honour to be back at Hogwarts after so long away Headmaster Dumbledore.” Lucius turned to the Gryffindor table and started looking up and down, and when his gaze fell on Hermione the man smiled. “Ah, Miss Granger it is an honour to meet you again. I am just here with the Confirmatory Comity earlier than you were expecting. This is of course to confirm that you are ended the descendant of Hector Dagworth-Granger.”
Harry stood up immediately. “I object Malfoy you tried to forge your way into control of her ancestral seat through forgery, and I as the Head of the Ancient and Noble House of Potter object to this test.”
Neville stood up as well. “I Neville Longbottom heir to the Ancient and Noble house of Longbottom second this objection. You attempted lineage theft yesterday, and thus cannot be trusted.”
Lucius sneered, but before he could say anything Hermione stood up. “I Hermione Jean Granger, heiress to the Dagworth-Granger line, and champion of Aphrodite accept this test, and upon my magic and life I swear both these things are true.” Hermione drew her wand. “EXPECTO PATRONUM!” and with that her otter leapt from the end of her wand, and took one lap around the Great Hall.
Both men that had accompanied Lucius Malfoy were standing there astounded. Lucius was opening and closing his mouth like a fish out of water. Harry himself was equally stunned at this. He knew Hermione didn’t want anyone to know they were champions of any of the Greek gods and goddesses, but given the situation he know why she made this proclamation. There were three reasons really. Number one Lucius would not be able to claim this test as valid if the test came up contrary to what she just proclaimed. Two it would equally force her to repeat this under the Unbreakable Vow to these two gentlemen that everything she just said was true. Along with how she found out she was the ‘champion’ of any divine being. Harry looked to his girlfriend, and found that she was blushing a deep a deep crimson colour, and he couldn’t help but smile. Harry looked at Neville to find his friend snickering.
“Lies Ms. Granger there is no such goddess. You have been fooled by a powerful demon, and if it really was a ‘goddess’ then you wouldn’t mind telling us when and where you met her.” One of the gentlemen standing beside Lucius said with a sneer. “And you will do it under the Unbreakable Vow.”
Hermione huffed, and walked up to the man. “Fine, but you are only going to ask me two questions, and they have to be specific.” She offered her hand to Lucius Malfoy. Harry and Neville followed Hermione up to the professors table. “And then I will ask Lord Malfoy here ONE question, and he must be honest with me about it.”
“That is uncalled for!” Lucius spat out.
“Mr. Malfoy I understand that no matter what I would be put under the Unbreakable Vow and asked if I altered my blood in any way to attain this title. I am willing to do so publicly. About the champion bit it is another bit of security on my part. Proving this will keep unwanted advances off of me for sure. I am in love with Harry, and one other person who at the time shall remain nameless.” There was a gasp throughout the Great Hall. “No, I have not been cheating on Harry he knows who this person is, and she definitely knows of him. That is all I am going to say about that.”
“You have got to be kidding Granger this is madness.” Snape spat out.
“No, I am not crazy, and if this gentleman would hurry up you would know for certain what I am saying is true.” She was looking at the gentleman carry the briefcase.
“Ms. Granger there is no need for you to do this.” Professor Dumbledore said in his grandfatherly tone of voice.
“Actually I do Professor. It is a matter of family honour, and my duty to my patron.” Hermione said sternly.
“Madam if what you are saying is true, shouldn’t it be kept in confidence between you and the divine being that gave you its blessing?” One of the gentlemen said as he drew his wand.
“Perhaps, but considering that bit of information was not what I was told to hold in confidence I am in no immediate danger.” Hermione said calmly.
“What if Lord Malfoy asked you about the information?” The man asked with a smile.
“I would tell him that I cannot convey that information due to me being bound by oath not to.” Hermione said pointedly. “Now are we doing this or are you a coward?”
“No, I am not a coward.” Lucius said this as he grabbed Hermione’s wrist. “I am ready.”
One of the men started waving his wand over their wrists. “Do you Hermione Jean Granger swear to answer the next two questions honestly, and that you will not withhold information that you are at liberty to give?”
“Yes I do, SO long as Lucius Malfoy answers the question I have to ask him afterwards honestly.”
“Do you agree to this mister Malfoy?”
The room was deathly quiet. Harry looked around the room. Everyone was staring at them. Draco was smiling slyly, and Ronald was doing his best to look spiteful at the moment, but failing horribly. Most of those at Slytherin though looked intrigued at this challenge Malfoy senior was bringing to Hermione, and no doubt her response to it. Those in Ravenclaw were leaning forward some looking perplexed at what was going on. They probably thought Hermione had gone mental. Those in Hufflepuff were chatting amongst themselves. Harry didn’t even want to guess what was going on at that table. If anything most people would have thought Hermione’s patron deity would be a god or goddess of intelligence not one love and lust.
“I do.” With those words there was a white flash signifying the oaths sealing. “Now Ms. Granger I’ll ask you first: Are you really the champion of the ‘goddess’ Aphrodite?” Mr. Malfoy asked with a sneer on his face.
“I am a champion of Aphrodite yes.” Hermione paused letting the magic flare violet showing she was being honest. “I met her three days ago, and I was informed of my duties as her champion, and about other information that I am not at liberty to discuss with anyone saved for Harry Potter, and a select group of people. You Mr. Malfoy are not a member of this small group of people that are allowed to know. You next question Mr. Malfoy?”
Everyone within the room was deathly quiet. Lucius Malfoy looked perplexed. It seems he was hoping that Hermione had been lying about being the champion of Aphrodite. Harry wondered what Lucius would think of himself being the champion of Hecate. If that became public knowledge his life would become a nightmare. Being the boy-who-lived and the champion of Hecate would make his fame even worse, and Harry hated his fame as it was. One pleading look to Hermione seemed to send her that message loud and clear as she nodded. Thankfully for Harry the goblin standing next to him stuck to the topic at hand.
“We at Gringotts can confirm this, as during our lineage test it was revealed that she indeed is a champion of Aphrodite, and I have brought the paperwork to confirm this.” The goblin reached into his pocket and pulled out the long sheet of parchment that contained Hermione’s lineage test. “Please do note that this is not something we would have revealed had Lady Granger not done it herself.”
The two gentlemen from the College at Arms looked at the parchment. After studding it for a while they started whispering to one another. Then the taller of the two gentlemen asked “Mr. Malfoy if you will ask your next question please we will need to take some time to discuss how this affects her standing as a noble house. If it is confirmed that she did not cheat that is.”
“Of course Judge Roberson.” said Lucius barely able to vail his contempt for the situation. “Now Madam Granger did you forge in anyway this linage test taken at the ministry, and Gringotts?”
“No.” Hermione said with a smile.
“But did your patron?” Lucius asked.
“I don’t have to answer that as it would violate my oath to Lady Aphrodite and it is the third question you’ve asked Mr. Malfoy.” Hermione said calmly. “Now I believe it is my turn to ask a single question?”
“Yes it is Lady Granger.” said the short stout fellow from the College at Arms.
“Did you willingly serve the Dark Lord Voldemort?” There was a sharp gasp from around the room. There was a sly smile on Hermione’s at that moment.
Harry wanted to congratulate Hermione properly later for this simple act. To the best of his knowledge no one in twelve years had thought to do this to any of these bastards. Malfoy was staring at Hermione slack jawed for what seemed like hours before he closed his mouth into a sneer.
“How dare you…” Malfoy drew his wand. “Yes I willing served my Lord, and you will never live to see you first vote! Avada…”
Before he could finish the incantation the trio had scattered, and Hermione cast a silent Stunning Curse. As Lucius fell to the ground Hermione started to cast three more spells. Weaving the three together wrapped Malfoy in irons, gagged him with a piece of metal wrapped around his mouth, and his wand flew into her hand. The look on Hermione’s face was one of pure glee. Harry understood why. Malfoy had gotten away with being a follower of Voldemort not once, but twice.
The two officials from the College at Arms were standing there with stunned looks on their faces, and it took them a while before they started apologizing to Hermione. One of them said that her family would be restored to its rightful place as soon as possible.
“In addition to that Lady Granger we would like to address the uniqueness you seem to fall under.” Judge Roberson said calmly. “We understand that you are the… champion of an Olympian Goddess, but we have no standards for such a thing ma’am, and I am not about to violate my own faith to give you special treatment. Furthermore even if I were to change my faith there is no precedent for a lower house to be up lifted to higher status due to divine favor. At least to the best of my knowledge, so as it stands your family will stay Noble for the time being. Within time it may be uplifted to an Ancient and Noble House.”
“That is understandable sir, and I respect your decision.” Hermione turned to Professor Dumbledore. “I am so sorry for this interruption Headmaster, but Mr. Malfoy pressed an issue I had considered resolved since yesterday. Is there anything you need of me?”
“No Lady Granger there isn’t, you and your seconds my take your seats. Gentlemen since the issue is resolved I must ask that you leave Mr. Malfoy in the adjoin room.” Dumbledore gestured to the room where the school champions waited after being selected by the Goblet of Fire. “I will ask that you leave as well.” Dumbledore gestured to the goblin. “I believe that there are more important matters for one of your standing to be concerned with than a matter of wizarding linage.
“Of course Professor Dumbledore.” both gentlemen from the College of Arms said. Judge Roberson levitated Mr. Malfoy out of the room and into the adjoining room.
The goblin bowed and left through the front door. Once he left the room became a lit with conversation as Harry, Neville, and Hermione walked to their seats. Before she sat down Hermione smile grew bigger. Before Harry could ask what she was smiling about she said “By the way Headmaster I am also a descendant of Salazar Slytherin. So anyone wanting to know anything about how messed up blood supremacy actually is may ask whenever they’d like.” Harry looked at Hermione with a raised eyebrow. “I was going to have to go public with this in due time. You know our ‘friend’ Rita will get wind of this, and go crazy if she is left out of the loop. So if I don’t cut her off things are going to get really unpleasant really quickly.”
This of course threw the Great Hall into an even bigger ruckus. Most talking about what had just transpired. Most of the people at the Slytherin table were staring at Hermione in amazement. Those that weren’t doing this were sneering in disbelief. After a few words from Dumbledore saying he would be looking into this matter the volume dimmed just a little bit. What Harry didn’t understand was the old man’s desire to run his (meaning Harry’s) life. His last time through he never realized how much the old man controlled his action. Now looking back on it all he could see almost everything in his life as a manipulation of Dumbledore’s. He was going to have none of that this go around. He would let the old man think he was in control mostly, but he was not going to let him dictate who he was going to become. That was Harry’s decision to make, and he would make that fact loud and clear to Dumbledore.
“Well that was entertaining to say the least,” Dumbledore said as he stood up, “…but there are more pressing matters at hand. Some of you may know that a man by the name of Sirius Black was considered an escaped murder, but that has changed over the last few days. It turns out one of his supposed victims was actually staying in this school as someone’s pet rat.” Harry saw the twins sneer at the mentioning of this. They appeared to be grumbling about being deceived by the rat. “This man’s name is Peter Pettigrew. If any of you see a rat with a balding patch on its right side and a missing toe on its right front paw you are asked to keep your distance from it. This man is guilty of horrific crimes, and it was only his fear of being discovered that kept him staying in his rat form, but now that is no longer an option for him.”
“Thank the gods!” Harry said out loud.
There was a small murmur around him. Harry took a look at Hermione to see that she was shaking her head in either disapproval or humor. Harry opted for ‘humor’ until she was on him about this action. Harry cracked a smile at that thought. Hermione being ‘On his case’ somehow brought perverse thoughts to mind. His mind could get pretty nasty if he let it. Shaking his head he turned back to Dumbledore’s ramblings.
“Yes Mr. Potter, thank the gods as it were. Well at least in Ms. Granger’s case. Unless there is something you would like to add to this Mr. Potter?”
Dumbledore seemed agitated about something. Could it have been Harry’s outburst, or the fact that one of his ‘toys’ was not really under his control? Nah. He was just upset that he was not a player in the ‘game’ the gods were playing with his life. A rather loud crack of thunder reminded Harry that he was definitely being watched at the moment. Harry pushed aside these thoughts, and decided to channel his inner Slytherin to answer Dumbledore’s question.
“No sir, but I would like to say that was a nice job of doing nothing while Malfoy tried to steal things from a minor house, and it would behoove you to never let that happen again.” Harry said smoothly.
“Mr. Potter now is not the time for politics…”
“It seems to be Headmaster. Being as you let Malfoy’s father into these hallowed halls to pull that stunt, and you probably had full knowledge that he was going to do it hours ago. I would recommend that anything you do regarding me or my beloved from here on out is done with our Magical Guardian present, and that person is my godfather Sirius Black sir, not you. Please move on to other things Headmaster, as I, and the other people gathered here, are quiet hungry.”
Again there was almost hushed whisper going around the Great Hall at the moment. The murmur ended when Dumbledore spoke again. “Yes LORD Potter, my apologies. Anyway as I was saying you should all be distrustful of rat’s that are not owned by students that you know, and please don’t go killing any that you don’t know. We are trying to capture the man, and bring him on trial before a jury of his peers.”
“Yeah, give him the trial you denied Sirius all those years ago you prick.” Harry whispered.
“Harry!” Hermione snapped. “We have caused enough problems for one day.” She huffed.
“I don’t know I can think of a few more problems we could cause.” Harry raised his eyebrows twice at this. He also had a sideways grin on his face to further drive the suggestion. Hermione glared at him. “It is only a suggestion love. If you don’t want that big of a problem…”
“Enough Harry people are staring.” Hermione said sternly. Doing her best to hid the blush that was crawling across her face.
“Of course love.” Harry leaned in for a kiss, but he was swatted away. “Come on Hermione you know I jest.”
“I know, but now is not the time, or place for that kind of joking Harry James Potter.” Hermione pointed down the table. Harry looked down the table and saw Rose looking down at them. He knew she couldn’t hear them right now, but she was going to be staying with him, and he would have to watch what he said around her. “Now if you’re done being roguish Harry you can start eating.”
Harry looked down at the table, and his moth started to water. Even though he had been eating well over the last few days it was still something to see this much food after having very little to eat during his brief stent in Azkaban. Harry started gathering food on his plate. All conversation between him and his two friends died down as they ate. Neville was chatting with Blaise about where the Quidditch World Cup might be held. They also discussed what teams might go, and of them which ones might win. Harry wondered how different this World Cup would be. If things didn’t change too much Bulgaria would play Ireland in the World cup. Of course Blaise was hoping that England would make it into the World Cup. This of course upset a few Wales and Irish supporters. All this talk of the World Cup brought to mind all the madness that followed it. Harry did his best not to show the concern on his fact about that event. With Malfoy gone this event might not even take place. With that thought Harry returned his concentration onto his food.
After Harry finished his piece of lamb the desert showed up. Harry decided to try something other than treacle tarts this go around. Sure he loved the desert, but it really weren’t his favorite desert. You really could not say that unless you tried some other deserts and come to the conclusion that: yes treacle tarts were your favorite deserts. It was time to find out.
“Harry what are you doing?” Hermione asked sharply.
“Trying out different deserts, I know in my first year I did the same thing, but that was more because I was excited to be having desert. So now I am trying out everything to see which my favorite is.”
Hermione just rolled her eyes while Neville extend his hand for a high five. After he had high-fived Neville Harry started eating some blackcurrant ice cream. After this Harry tried some mixed ice cream (half vanilla and half chocolate). By the end of it all Harry felt like his stomach was about to burst open. Hermione looked him with a wicked grin on her face. Before he could say anything a note appeared in front of him where his empty plate used to be. The writing on it looked like it came from Dumbledore. Harry looked at Hermione with a raised eyebrow. She shrugged. Harry took the piece of parchment and began to read it.
We need to talk about what has happened here tonight. It is in regards to your ‘girlfriend’ Ms. Granger. I do not wish to discuss what this is about in a letter in case she can read your mind, but I must confess my concern for your safety. Please come to my office after dinner is over.
Harry just shook his head. It was one thing for the old man to worry about what he was doing over the summer, but this was too much. He looked over to Hermione. She was looking at the note as well. Trying to read it upside down. The look on her face showed that the note was enchanted somehow. “What does it say Hermione?” asked Harry.
“’Congratulation Ms. Granger I didn’t believe anyone would stop Lord Malfoy.’” She looked at Harry. “I take it that is not the real message.”
“No.” Harry sighed. He looked up at the ceiling trying to think of a way to stop the old man from ruining the best thing that happened in his life. “Professor Dumbledore if you are concerned about my relationship with Hermione you should just say it right now in front of everyone. Do not ask me to come to your office, and then tell me that Hermione is in league with an evil witch or a demon, because I know otherwise. I am overjoyed at my relationship with her. One that she did not beguile me into if you recall, and in fact I think you liked the idea when it started a few months back.”
“Harry this is not the place for this. I think…” Harry didn’t let Dumbledore finish.
“You think I am being manipulated by dark forces, and that Hermione is one of them. You also think even if Hermione is not evil that her being the champion of Aphrodite will take me off the path of your ‘Greater Good’ which to the best of my knowledge does not exist.” There was a gasp throughout the room. Harry looked to Hagrid the oldest friend he had, and the man looked devastated. He knew the man adored Dumbledore, but Harry was done being manipulated. “I am sorry professor that I do not follow you ‘Greater Good’ idea anymore. It’s just that I don’t think you get the idea of what that is supposed to be. If you tell me to go do something for your ‘Greater Good’ without telling me why it is for the ‘Greater Good’ of everyone in the Magical World you can shove off. I do not believe there is a ‘Greater Good’ to be had with you, but I do believe that there is a greater goodness that can be done.”
“What do you mean by that Harry?” demand Dumbledore hotly.
“I believe that people like Lucius Malfoy should have been imprisoned years ago because of the countless rapes, murders, and other horrible crimes they committed. Not set free based on the assumption that they were Imperioused. I fail to see where giving someone infinite so called ‘Second Chance’ helps them. There needs to be some form of punishment shouldn’t there? I mean that is what a ’Second Chance is right?” Harry said hotly.
“Harry a second chance is given to someone because we have forgiven them…”
“Yes that is true, but in the case of criminals like Malfoy senior it is because they have been punished for their crimes, and then released back into society based on the believe that they have learned their lesson and will not commit the crime again.”
“Mr. Potter perhaps you and the headmaster can debate this latter the rest of us would like to hear the announcement.” Professor McGonagall said sternly.
“Of course Professor McGonagall, please forgive my interruption.” As Harry took his seat he could hear people talking all around him.