If At First

Dementors and Butterflies

Chapter Four: Dementors and Butterflies

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! Ron's fate is decided read on to find out! This means "someone talking",'thoughts' or dreams, means –parselmouth, and this means the words of the Grim Reaper. Rule Line means scene break. All the chapters have been updated, and beta read by HP-DG-HG-SB to whom I owe a big thanks. Cheers!

Harry was walking beside Neville and Hermione on their way to potions with the snakes. The three were talking about what Harry was going to do tonight. He was to start teaching Daphne the Patronus charm. Ron was walking a good four meters behind them, and just glancing over his should told Harry that the red head was beyond mad. Potions was no longer a nightmare for him seeing as Snape had 'chosen' to humiliating Ron instead of Harry. Harry figured that this was Dumbledore's doing, and he would lay a bet with Fate itself that the old man wanted to rekindle their friendship. A lifetime ago Harry would have felt bad for Ron, but he was not going to be Dumbledore's puppet again.

As they entered the Potions lab Harry saw Tracey point at him, and doing the 'come hither' motion beckoned him further into the lab. As he walked towards her, the sandy blond had this mischievous grin on her face.

"Do you always come when someone fingers you Harry?" Tracey's lewd commentary had become common place in the absence of Hermione. The slack jawed look on Daphne was priceless.

"Not necessarily, but on occasion yes." Harry smiled at the shocked look on Daphne's face.

"Getting better Potter, so are you really going to teach Daphne that spell we were talking about?" Harry could see this devilish smile on her face.

Before he could respond the familiar oily voice he so loved responded for him. "What could Potty be teaching her that I couldn't?" Draco had his familiar sneer plastered on his face.

"Draco if you have to go the loo that's your business the rest of us don't need to know." A few people just started laughing.

"Potter I am warning you right now if you do anything I will tell…"

"Your father, and then he will tell the other governors some horror story thus getting me kicked out of school. Did I leave anything out?" While he was saying this Harry was waving his right hand in the air in dramatic fashion. He looked over at Daphne who was doing her damnedest to keep her Ice Queen mask on.

"Why you self-righteous little BASTARD I challenge you…" before he could finish the door slammed shut.

"Mr. Malfoy, do I have to take away points from Slytherin house again because of your actions?" The callous voice of Snape filled the room. "That will be twenty points from Gryffindor for you being out of your seat Mr. Potter."

"Okay thank you professor." Harry looked back at Daphne. "I will see you later then." After a simple nod the raven haired boy took his customary seat.

As Harry sat down he couldn't help but smile at the look on Hermione's face. He knew he was going to get an ear full at dinner, but at the moment that was still a few hours away. The class proceeded as normal with Hermione helping Neville, and Ron glaring at everyone. Harry was certain he was looking at Daphne, but he was more concerned about his Death-cap draught than the pretentious attitude of the youngest Weasley boy. The only problem with the entire situation was that Harry's station was right next to Ron's and when the oblivious fool's potion started to boil over it started to bellow out a noxious cloud that cleared the classroom. Snape managed to clean the air, and allowed them to finish their work, but Ron had to go to the wing of doom because of his boils. Unfortunately for the red head no one wished to accompany him to the Hospital Wing. The only ones not holding back their laughter were the snakes. Harry chanced a glance over to Daphne to see a rare smile across her face.

Daphne had this wicked grin on her face as Weasley limped out of the classroom. She decided to take a fleeting look over in Potter's direction. He was looking right at her, and she was fighting with every fibre of her being not to blush. The soft giggles of her best friend caused her to turn her head.

"He caught you looking at him." Tracey silken voice was holding more than its fair share of mirth.

"No he did not." She glanced over at Crabbe and Goyle. She continued in a whisper. "Besides don't say anything while we are within earshot to twiddle-dumb and twiddle-stupid."

"I have never figured out which one is which though." Tracey said as she looked over at Crabbe. "I'd say that one is stupid."

"No he is dumb. Stupid is Goyle because he knows better but does Draco's bidding anyway. Now come on let's bottle these potions before time is out." Daphne grabbed one of the empty vials, and preceded to poor her potion into it.

The rest of the days classes passed without incident. At the moment he, Hermione, and Neville were on their way to dinner.

His thoughts were on what today was other than it being Friday. It was the first day he would be teaching Daphne the Patronus charm. She had insisted that at least one professor be there, and when he suggested Professor Lupin she balked at the idea saying that it would be two men. At that point he said that she could pick an additional professor if she'd like, and at she suggested Madam Pomfrey. Harry internally flinched at the name. He had a feeling she was choosing the nurse to see if Harry was joking, but a promise is a promise so he told her that would be okay. He had also earlier in the week talked to Professor Lupin to see if he could get a boggart. He would have to convince her to focus on the fear the dementor caused her, and not whatever the dementor was forcing her to relive. A thousand thoughts ran threw his head as to what could have happened in her life to draw not one but two dementors in her direction. He knocked a few ideas out of the running because just thinking about them made his blood boil. He also doubted Draco would do something incredibly stupid, but with that fool anything was possible.

Harry was pulled out of his thoughts by the sound of someone yelling down the corridor. Looking down the hallway Harry could see a blonde girl about his age being harassed by trolls one and two. He started running in their direction, and when he heard the girl's voice he knew instantly who it was. Luna. Harry drew his wand and cast a silent casting two stunning charms at Crabbe and Goyle. Once the two idiots hit the ground he walked up to Luna. "Are you okay?"

"You're Harry Potter." Lune said in typical far off voice.

"Yes I am, I have heard a lot about you Luna, but don't worry I don't believe it." Harry chuckled at her unique way of addressing the obvious. "Are you all right?"

"I am fine Harry. Are you going to be okay I feel death about you?" Harry was dumfounded for a minute then he started looking around. He saw John standing in the right hand corner of the hall.

"Yes I am fine Luna. Hey Neville can you help Luna to the Great Hall?" He waited to for the other boy to acquiesce to the statement. "Hermione there is someone you need to meet. Don't worry Neville you will meet them later… I hope."

"Oh don't worry Harry I don't think he is here to hurt you." Luna said with a smile on her face.

Harry saw that Hermione was about to say something, and decided to cut her off. "Thanks Luna and I will see you both at the Great Hall." Harry watched them leave and waited about five minutes before turning to one of his oldest friends. "Hermione there is someone you need to meet."

"This better be good Harry. That girl is a more just a 'little off'. If you know what I mean."

It was Harry's turn to be cut off. "That she maybe Miss Granger, but no greater confidant will you find." When Hermione turned around Harry thought she had dropped a few shades in skin color. John just grinned, and extended his hand. "Hi my name is John Jackson and I am Harry's Grim Reaper."

Hermione fainted. After catching her, and a quick enervate spell restored the girl to consciousness. "Harry what happened?"

"You fainted," Harry said with an ear to ear grin on his face. After a stern look from the bushy haired brunette he continued. "…after meeting my grim reaper."

"Harry I have told you…" Yet again John cut in.

"He did die, you did pass out, and I am a grim reaper." Hermione's head snapped in his direction. "At any rate Harry it's time for your monthly check up, and to expand the list of people you can tell." John reached in to the side pocket of his cloak, and retrieved a small piece of parchment. "It is not a big expansion, but it is substantial in scope."

"What are you talking about?" Hermione asked.

"The list of people I can tell Hermione." Harry took the list and read the two names: Tracey Davis and Susan Bones. "Why these two John, I mean Susan is a great person and all but why?"

"All I can tell you is that you will understand in time. I am not being Dumbledore here Harry, but you will literally have to wait and see. And no the rest of the DA must remain in the dark. Aside from the names that are on the list, also you can go ahead with that little plan you were discussing with me. It shouldn't mess up the time stream it has always been an option for you." Harry nodded at this little bit of news. "And about tonight Harry don't push it. Even though she can know we have a strong feeling that Dumbles will be listening in, and we can't have that."

Hermione made her voice heard. "By her you mean Daphne, and by Dumbles I assume you mean Dumbledore?" With a quick nod from John she continued. "Why can't Dumbledore know he would be a great help in this fight?"

"Sadly Ms. Granger you are wrong." He waited for Hermione to say anything when she did not he continued. "Had things gone the way Fate wanted it to yes he would have been but he, meaning Dumbledore, put his faith in the least trustworthy of people. Ronald Weasley has managed to get on the shit-list of more than one goddess." To Harry's amazement Hermione was giving Death a death glare. "What is it Ms. Granger?"

"Are you the reason Harry turned on Ron?" Hermione said with more than a hint of ice in her voice.

"No Hermione, may I call you Hermione?" John asked, and when given the affirmative he continued. "Well Hermione he had killed Harry twice. Once in first year, and once when it what would have been your seventh year of school. All of this is in addition to him physically accosting Daphne in order to keep her away from Harry." At this Hermione's jaw fell. "His petty jealousy stopped a very good thing from happening with Harry, and he helped aid his sister in a self destructive behaviour." He held up his hand to stop her. "Talk to Harry about it, because as it stands I have overstayed my time limit."

And with that John faded back to the realm of the dead. With that Harry turned back to Crabbe and Goyle. He set his bag down and pulled out his quill, ink, parchment, and his wand. He crafted an illusion on Crabbe's clothing that said 'I am with stupid' with an arrow pointing to Goyle, and on Goyle a sign reading 'He is stupider' pointing to Crabbe. He then jotted down a note on parchment that read: Courtesy of the No Ho Body. After he made his hand writing resemble news print Harry turned Goyle over and stuck the note to the back of his cloak. Finally he jinxed their cloaks so they could not be removed for a couple of hours. He also cast a quick light spell to clear his wand, and then proceeded to put his things away. Harry looked over his shoulder at Hermione who was giving him a judgmental look.

"What?"

"This is wrong Harry." Hermione said sternly.

"In a way it is, but honestly Hermione, someone has to do something or they will just keep doing this and getting away with it. And you know it."

"But they could have woken up at any moment Harry. That was very risky." Hermione said crossing her arms.

"Not really Hermione we have only been talking with John for about twenty seconds as far as everyone else is concerned."

"What? That conversation lasted a good ten to fifteen minutes!" Hermione screamed.

"Come on I will explain as we walk."

As they walked Harry told Hermione how John affected time around a person, and that the first time he had discovered this was when John showed up in the middle of Potions class; which while slightly scary had been a welcome reprieve from the lurking glare of Severus Snape. He also took the time to inform her as to how Ron had killed him in there first year, something he had not done previously. This seemed to upset her, but she decided to change the subject back to the hiccup in time. As usual Hermione wanted to know every detail, and came up with a thousand different things that could explain their current bout of time displacement. The simplest of which was they were hovering in that moment between life and death for the recent time 'hiccup', and literal time travel for his deaths. At this point Harry was opening the doors to the Great Hall.

As they entered the Great Hall Harry saw Neville sitting next Tracy and Daphne at the Gryffindor table. The two sat down across from two snakes. Hermione started a small conversation with Neville on Herbology. Both conversations were stopped however by the sudden screaming of Ronald Weasley. Looking down the table he saw Ron backing away from what appeared to be a giant tarantula, and then said tarantula jumped in his direction. This caused the redhead to run towards the exit of the Great Hall. The entire time the spider was chasing Ron out the door, and at that very moment Crabbe and Goyle walked into the room. The laughter that was going throughout the room just exploded as the two walked to their self appointed leader. Harry half wanted to pat himself on the bright colors he had chosen to use for the messages (bright pink for Crabbe and neon green for Goyle). It was only when they passed Draco that the note was revealed. Draco ripped it off, and after reading it looked right at Fred and George.

"Which one of you is No-Ho-Body?" He was pointing at the twins.

Tori responded before the twins "What are you talking about?"

"One of you is No-ho-Body, and when I tell my father…" He didn't get to finish.

"We aren't 'nobody' Malfoy," Fred said.

"…we are somebody!" George finished. At that the entire student body stated laughing.

"What it is true they have names." Tori said only making some students laugh louder.

Crabbe and Goyle started yelling at the twins. They were doing everything short of cursing and damning the twins to Hell.

"That is enough gentlemen. You and Mr. Malfoy will follow me please. Will you accompany us Professor Snape?" Professor Dumbledore said with a slight smile on his face.

The greasy haired git didn't say anything he just stood up and followed Dumbledore and the Slytherin trio out of the double doors. As the laughter died down Harry looked once more to Fred and George, and gave them a simple nod. The grins that he received in return made him worried. Given what he assumes Astoria just did to Ron Harry was certain that if he was not careful he would start a yearlong prank war with at least her 'teachers'. And that was a scary thought.

A slight coughing sound brought his attention back to his friends sitting next to him. Hermione was glaring at him. "Odysseus you are not."

"So, like they will ever figure it out." He said before taking bite out of his chicken leg.

All three of his female friends said as one "Boys."

Tracey turned to Harry and asked "So are you really going to teach her the Patronus charm tonight?"

"Yes I am, and as I said Daphne you can bring whoever you want so long as it makes you feel safe." Harry said resolutely.

"Even Madam Pomfrey?" the raven haired girl had a rare smile on her face, and Harry could not help but internally sigh at the name.

"Yes even Madam Pomfrey." He said with a faux smile on his face.

"Good because I am bring Professor Burbage." At that Harry sighed with relief. "Come eat up hero your teaching me before curfew."

Harry stood up and saluted her with a smile on his face. "Yes ma'am."

Harry was walking with Professor Burbage and Daphne towards the Defence against the Dark Arts classroom, and the awaiting Bogart. Daphne was still a little annoyed with his little saluting stunt during dinner. While Neville seemed to have smiled at it and Tracey shot pumpkin juice out of her nose. Hermione and Daphne did not seem to like the joke. She was walking beside him with arms folded across her chest in absolute defiance of his attempts to apologize. Here he was walking down a darkened hallway with a teacher and one of the most beautiful girls in the school, and he was trying to soothe the whims of the younger female.

Professor Burbage throughout this whole ordeal was trying her damnedest to keep a smile off her face. As they neared the door to the Defence classroom the trio could here two people yelling. As Daphne opened the door the voice of Albus Dumbledore could be heard quite clearly, and by what Harry could see of Remus the werewolf was not happy with the headmaster. Professor Burbage said they should go, but knowing the two the way he did Harry said they would be done shortly. When they could finally see Dumbledore he was red faced with anger, but the moment he saw Harry his face morphed into the grandfather façade once again. After a few more words with Remus farewell and left the room, but Professor Lupin still looked agitated with the old man.

"I am sorry you had to see that." Remus said with a sigh. "I truly believe this job is jinxed."

"You weren't fired were you professor?" Daphne asked with a look of genuine concern on her face. Remus simply shook his head no. "Then why do you say that?"

"Because by the end of next term I am out of a job," Remus laughed. "…but that is not why you are here is it. Come on let's get started." Professor Lupin walked over to the same trunk Harry remembered from when he was learning the Patronus charm. "Now before Harry starts to instruct you I must ask you: what is it you fear the most right now?"

"At the moment sir the dementors on the school grounds," Daphne said this looking at the ground.

"And what is it normally Ms. Greengrass?" Professor Burbage asked.

"That is personal professor. I will only say I hate drunks." With that both professors gave her a concerned look, but said nothing.

Professor Lupin cleared his throat. "Okay Harry you can take over from here." With that the professors got behind the chest. "Okay Harry it's your class from here."

Harry cleared his throat. "Okay Daphne I want you to think of a happy memory; a very happy one." He gave her a moment to find a memory. "Do you have one?" She gave a single nod. "The incantation is expecto patronum. Just let us know when you're ready."

Daphne closed her eyes and seemed to focus on something that brought a beautiful smile to her face. Harry was barely paying attention when she nodded had it not been for Professor Lupin he would have missed her nodding. Harry got behind the chest and opened the lid. They all felt the familiar chill of a dementor as the Bogart exited the chest. Daphne tried to cast the charm four times before she passed out. Professor Burbage went over and checked on Daphne and to give her a piece of chocolate as Remus put the creature back in the chest. Harry at that moment was kicking himself for wanting to rush over there and act like the two were dating. He thought that would make him look like Draco, and that was the last thing he wanted. Once she regained consciousness he went to her side.

"You okay Daphne?" Harry asked.

"I peachy Harry, -bloody Gryffindor.-" Harry was stunned at the Parseltongue. "What is it now Harry, I said I am fine."

-Oh nothing, I am just wondering what memory you chose is all.- The look of stunned amazement that graced her face was priceless even though it last for the briefest of moments. -What is it?-

"You can speak the language of snakes?" Daphne asked this as if she had missed the duelling club events last year. Harry just nodded causing the raven haired girl to huff in exasperation. -So what I heard last year was?-

"It was a basilisk." Harry deadpanned this little bit of information. Daphne face became a mix of fear and joy. -So what did you use as a memory?-

-The moment I was sorted into Slytherin house,- Harry winced. -Is there a problem with that Potter?-

-Nope, it is just not a strong enough memory. You will have to find one stronger than that, preferably a memory that is the happiest you have ever felt.- Harry looked over at Remus and Burbage. Both of them looked completely lost.

"I think I am ready to try again." Daphne tried to hide a smile that was crossing her face, but she was cursing herself for failing miserably.

Daphne watched as Harry nodded, and once again walked behind the chest. Once he was behind the Daphne focused on the Christmas before she started Hogwarts, and how it made her feel to have her whole family together in one place. It was one of the happiest times in her life, if not the happiest. With a simple nod she informed Harry that she was ready. As the faux dementor left the box Daphne cast the charm she felt this swarm of energy around the tip of her wand. Silver light erupted from the wand and something darted end of her wand.

Harry watched in stunned amazement as Daphne's Patronus chased the dementor into the chest. When it darted back to Daphne he could see it clearly for the first time. It was a butterfly, and the raven haired teen looked ecstatic just to have cast the spell. Harry and the other congratulated her on doing it on her second try. Harry asked her to try it again without the Bogart this time, and yet again she preformed the charm flawlessly. They did this three more times before the session was called to an end by the professors. The two parted ways with Daphne promising to see Harry in the morning. Professor Burbage escorted Daphne back to the Slytherin dorms, and against his protest Harry was escorted back to Gryffindor tower. Once back in his dorm Harry noticed an unfamiliar owl sitting on his bed, but the package it was protecting was very familiar to him: the two-way mirror.

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