Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Moments in Love

The Summer of Love and Discontent

by Gandalfs_Beard 0 reviews

The students remaining at Hogwarts for the summer make the best of things, balancing study and fun. Meanwhile, Voldemort responds violently to the Ministry's propaganda campaign... Suggestive themes.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Hermione - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2017-11-25 - 9012 words

Head Auror Rufus Scrimgeour frowned in perplex, wondering at the Minister’s request for a meeting as he knocked on the open door of her office. Surely his assistant could have brought the files she needed. Minister Umbridge looked up from her desk and beamed.

“Ah, Rufus, splendid. Do come in won’t you.”

“Of course Madam Minister - I have the files you require. How else may I be of service this morning?”

“Some very disturbing information has come to my attention, and I would like you to look into it at once...” The Minister handed the Head Auror several files as she took the ones that he had brought her. “It would appear to indicate that the Daily Prophet’s recent inquiry regarding corruption in the Wizengamot was remarkably prescient...

“If you would please peruse these, I believe you will find enough actionable evidence to follow through and make an arrest.”

Scrimgeour raised his bushy eyebrows at the heading on one of the documents. He regarded the Minister shrewdly for a moment, then flicked through the files.

“Pembroke Chamberlain?” Scrimgeour pursed his lips and furrowed his brows in consternation. “Are you certain of this information Minister? He is highly regarded by many, despite being somewhat... indecisive.”

“Oh, most certain indeed Rufus,” the Minister replied, her voice dripping with honey. “After the Prophet’s article, I put the Unspeakable Office on the case, as it required a sensitive undercover operation. And indeed the investigation yielded these startling details of Mr Chamberlain’s dangerous associations.”

Scrimgeour considered that for a moment. It wasn’t uncommon for the Unspeakable Office to conduct undercover investigations. But the case file still struck Rufus as odd.

“His past associations with Voldemort were determined to have been due to the Imperius curse Madam Minister...”

“Oh, no Rufus...” the Minister interjected, “it is Mr Chamberlain’s current associations with which we are most concerned. The man has been consorting with criminals who are known to have connections to Albus Dumbledore - Mundungus Fletcher is quite an unsavory character, I can assure you.”

“Yes! I am well aware of Mr Fletcher’s record...” The Head Auror nodded. “But most of his criminal activities in the past have been rather petty. These new accusations, if true, are quite disturbing. Trafficking in enslaved muggles is a serious offence - I shall conduct an investigation into Chamberlain and Fletcher immediately to confirm the Unspeakable Office report.”

“Thank you Rufus! I knew I could count on you.” Minister Umbridge smiled appreciatively. She watched the Head Auror depart in satisfaction, knowing that he would find plenty of evidence to arrest and convict Pembroke Chamberlain - thus stripping him of his seat on the Wizengamot. Rookwood had made certain that there would be lots of evidence to find.

The Minister peered in her own copies of the files and scribbled a note, pleased at how swimmingly her Senior Undersecretary was acclimating to his role. He had been slightly reticent to support the Unspeakable Office’s involvement at first, but Percy Weasley had quickly seen the political value of framing a Potter Appeaser like Chamberlain and a criminal associate of Dumbledore such as Mundungus Fletcher.

Dolores could scratch yet another Undesirable from her list of the “wobblies” who had supported the Potters during their trial.

Minister Umbridge opened the file which Scrimgeour had brought her regarding more muggle disappearances. She sighed heavily, certain that Voldemort was behind them. As much as Dolores eventually wanted Voldemort dead and gone, he was far too useful alive for the time being - providing a distraction for Dumbledore and his people. Not to mention that as long as wizards were afraid, they would willingly accept her authoritative leadership.

A sinister smile played across Dolore’s features. Another plan began to form as she perused the file of missing muggles. Yes indeed - this fit rather nicely with her own plans. Now Dolores could also link the crimes of Voldemort with the crimes for which she and Rookwood had framed Chamberlain and Fletcher.


The Dark Lord was perplexed by the article in the Daily Prophet. Did not the imbeciles who ran the newspaper realise that He, Voldemort, was the one to be most feared? Why on earth would they be hinting that the Old Fool who ran Hogwarts was linked to the muggle disappearances?

“Wormtail, who is this... this miscreant - this associate of Dumbledore - Mundungus Fletcher?”

“My Lord?”

“The muggle disappearances,” Lord Voldemort hissed, “They are being attributed by and large to this Mr Fletcher. He is apparently engaged in selling enslaved muggles to wizards of means, and the Prophet strongly implies that Dumbledore may have operational knowledge of his activities.” Voldemort snorted in derision at the ludicrous notion.

As if Dumbledore had it in him to harm a single hair on a muggle’s head - or anyone else’s head for that matter. The Old Fool couldn’t even bring himself to kill Gellert Grindelwald after defeating him, the most notorious and murderous Dark Wizard in history prior to Lord Voldemort.

“To the best of my knowledge, Mundungus Fletcher is nothing but a petty thief My Lord,” Wormtail replied in bewilderment. “Not even fit to be a Snatcher. He was employed by the Order of the Phoenix during the last war merely as someone with criminal contacts which could be exploited for information - he avoided any of the actual conflicts between the Order and the Death Eaters...”

“Ah... so that is why I do not recollect him. In any case, it would appear that he has moved up in the world to have drawn the attention of the Dark Witch,” Voldemort mused aloud. “I do believe it is time to remind the Dark Witch and my former supporters of whom it is that they truly need to fear. How many Inferi do we have now?”

“Around four hundred so far my Lord!” Wormtail replied, “If we are to raise the numbers you desire to take Hogwarts with, then we should conserve our forces...”

“I concur Wormtail,” the Dark Lord nodded approvingly. “Two simultaneous attacks would strike the right note - but not with the Inferi. I believe the Snatchers and a few Werewolves should pay another visit to London - to Diagon Alley...

“And another attack on a muggle location, this time by Snatchers with a few giants to maximise the damage. Unleashing a regiment of Dementors would not go amiss either... Make it happen Wormtail!”

Bellatrix had been listening to the exchange intently but feigning nonchalance as she filed her fingernails. It occurred to her that more needed to be done - it was not enough that Nott and his son were locked in the dungeon beneath the castle. Lucius had escaped his rightful fate.

His cowardly betrayal of the Dark Lord was a personal affront. Bellatrix would break out her whips just for Lucius and his son, then she would fillet them and turn them into Inferi. But he was completely inaccessible for the time-being. Lucius was likely laying low at the Minister’s home, and her home’s location was utterly unknown. That was a shame. Bellatrix would have enjoyed breaking Lucius - but perhaps she would get another opportunity.

Bellatrix considered some of the others who most deserved to die.

Not the Carrows - Bellatrix hoped to bring them back into the fold. She missed her fun with Alecto. Bellatrix found herself growing misty at the idea of she and Alecto torturing Mudbloods and Muggle-lovers together again - not to mention that she would have a good excuse to wear her black leather.

Then Bellatrix remembered that some of the most Treacherous could likely be found deep in the bowels of the Ministry itself and smiled.

“My Lord,” the Dark Consort said seductively, “I think we should see some of the traitors dead - perhaps Rookwood or Yaxley - they both hold positions at the Ministry. If I crucify them in a public manner - maybe then the Unfaithful will beg to be spared from your righteous retribution.”

Nagini hissed as the Dark Lord absentmindedly stroked her head. He chuckled coldly. Bellatrix was getting bored already. Killing muggles and turning them into Inferi was clearly not enough to satisfy her bloodlust. She wanted some real action.

“Indeed Bellatrix, a public execution would make quite a statement,” the Dark Lord agreed. “Find Yaxley and Rookwood then, and string them up in the Atrium of the Ministry - but take care not to be caught.”

“Thank you my Lord!” the Dark Consort purred. “Wormtail and I will begin to plan the attacks at once.”

An evil smirk tugged at the corner of Wormtail’s lips. This could be the opportunity to find himself another suitable plaything. Perhaps Wormtail would enlist the aid of Lockhart for the muggle operation - Gilderoy seemed to share his taste for the younger females.


As he buckled his belt and tucked in his shirt, Gilderoy Lockhart felt quite pleased with himself. With satisfaction, he regarded the muggle girl asleep in her bed, who was now none the wiser. Having been obliviated, she would never recall her violation at his hands.

Gilderoy’s evening of rest and relaxation was well deserved. He had successfully assisted in the capture of numerous muggles for the Dark Lord’s army of Inferi by planting evidence on, and altering the memories of yet another muggle. Muggle police would simply presume the man was a serial killer, and Gilderoy had earned himself a Dark Mark, placing himself above the lowlife who made up the ranks of the Snatchers.

Gilderoy was more elated than he had thought he would be in the Dark Lord’s service. He felt more alive and much freer as the Dark Lord’s Servant than he had while trying to maintain his image of purity in the House of Dumbledore.


Having just sat down for breakfast, Harry picked up the morning edition of the Daily Prophet, wondering what sort of rubbish it had in store for him today. The paper had been having a go at him and Dumbledore every other day it seemed. He frowned at the headline then glanced at Hermione who had just started eating her porridge.

“Hermione, isn’t Mundungus Fletcher that guy at the Order meeting? ... The one that Mrs Weasley and Madam Bones didn’t like?”

“Oh, you mean the one who was smoking a pipe and chatting to Sirius?”

“Yeah... that’s the one,” said Harry, nodding. “He’s just been arrested for trafficking in muggle slaves - him and one of the Wizengamot members in the middle who supported us - Pembroke Chamberlain.”

“Bloody hell!” Dora swore. “That’s ridiculous! Dung would never... ‘e’s a bit of a reprobate, but ‘e’s alright really...”

“What? Let me see that...” Hermione scanned the article quickly, her eyes widening in shock. “It’s even worse than that - this is awful! The article is implying that Dumbledore must have known what Mundungus and Pembroke Chamberlain were up to...”

Everyone around the Mingling Table looked shocked.

“That’s bloody mad!” Harry gasped. “There’s no way...”

“It’s gotta be a frame-up,” said Dora, scowling. “I mean the muggle disappearances - they’re all on Voldy obviously.”

“Yeah... yeah, of course,” said Harry, nodding. He glanced up at the staff-table to see how the professors were reacting. McGonagall looked livid, but Dumbledore’s features were as calm as ever.

“Per’aps ees best that we forget it for now,” sighed Fleur. “There is nothing we can do at ze moment...”

“Fleur’s right,” said Luna. “Let the Order fuss about it. I’m sure Daddy will be publishing something to counter it tomorrow... We should just try and concentrate on studying and enjoying ourselves as much as possible while we can.”

“You’re both right. There’s not much point in getting all worked up about it,” said Hermione, chucking the paper aside.

“Morning!” said the cheery voice of someone who obviously hadn’t read the paper yet.

Harry was surprised when the new witch with long ebony hair gave him a hug and a peck on the cheek, before also giving the same to Hermione and taking a seat opposite them at the Mingling Table. Hermione beamed, returning Jennifer’s smile.

“Er... what was that for?” Harry asked, flushing slightly.

“That’s for making me feel better, and turning me into a witch,” Jennifer giggled. “I still can’t really believe I have magic now. But I woke up this morning and my wand still works - and I didn’t have a single nightmare last night for the first time in months...”

After breakfast, Jennifer began lessons with the professors and Harry made his breakthrough with quadratic equations. Finally he had the tools to complete his Arithmancy summer assignment. Harry doggedly slaved away in the library with Hermione’s patient assistance, determined to finish the rest of his homework assignments quickly so he could focus on training.

Confident that the books were safe with only the Potters and their friends currently at Hogwarts for the summer, Madam Pince had decided that she could leave the library unattended during open hours and enjoy the holidays as much as possible.

Hermione had already completed all of her assignments and sat on Harry’s lap as he studied, providing equal parts Inspiration to work hard, and Distraction when he needed to rest his brain. Distraction eventually won out when Hermione’s reward-kisses for a job well done inflamed his senses.

A sudden naughty idea crossed Harry’s mind and he considered the possibilities. Neville and Viktor were spending the day in Hogsmeade with Hannah and Lavender. Ginny and Luna, Dora and Fleur had all decided to take the opportunity for a Hogsmeade visit as well. And the professors were all either occupied teaching Jennifer the basics, or lounging about.

Harry and Hermione more or less had the school to themselves.

Feeling assured that they were safe in the library, Harry flicked his wand and silently cast a muffling charm at the entrance while Hermione’s lips were occupied nuzzling his neck. One hand behind his head, the other roaming his chest, Hermione was none the wiser until she heard the click of the library door lock when Harry cast his second spell.

“Harry!” squeaked Hermione; her eyes widened in both trepidation and excitement as he slipped his hand under her skirt. “What are you doing?”

“Studying of course...” Harry replied with a grin.

“But what if someone comes in?” she moaned.

“There’s no-one else here - everyone’s busy or out of the castle... It’s just us,” he whispered.

Harry trapped Hermione’s lips with his own before she could retort again, and his other hand roaming her curves. Hermione’s heart raced and every nerve tingled with elation. She was afraid that they would get caught, but she didn’t want Harry to stop. Hermione gave herself to the moment, melting in the heat of a long, burning kiss.

Still giddy with delight, Hermione slipped from Harry’s thighs and applied herself to Harry's needs. Fingers tangled in Hermione’s tawny curls, a swell of euphoria took him and he burst. The unrelenting tempest of ardour swept them both into a feverish frenzy, and soon Harry and Hermione’s clothes littered the floor of the library. Hermione fell back upon a table gasping, pulling Harry with her.

The intoxicating scent of leather bindings and parchment mingled with heady musk - the delicious friction of passionate abandon - Hermione reached new heights of ecstasy and cried out Harry’s name. Succumbing to the tremors of Hermione’s bliss, Harry lost himself again. Sparks of magic flew - arced like lightning - and in the Restricted Section of the library, a number of books of Dark magic screamed in agony...


For a midsummer day there were an unusual amount of Hogwarts students in Hogsmeade, all there ostensibly on an overnight outing together. Gathered in the Three Broomsticks for lunch, the youths chatted and laughed, nursing their butterbeers as they ate.

Neville glanced at Viktor and Lavender who were snogging at the far end of the table. Turning pink, he tried to focus on his bangers and mash - which was proving difficult as Hannah was whispering and giggling with Luna and Ginny, occasionally peeking at Neville.

When lunch was finished, Hannah grabbed Neville’s hand and dragged him up the stairs to one of the rooms that Dora and Fleur had rented through the following afternoon. Neville peered about nervously, spying Rosmerta at the end of the bar serving another patron.

“Er... aren’t we too young?” Neville anxiously asked, halfway up the stairs.

“Don’t be silly,” said Hannah breezily. “I turned fifteen a few months ago and you’ll be fifteen in a couple of weeks... I know lots of boys and girls who’ve already had sex - well a few anyway - Ginny and Luna for example, and they’re a year younger than us...”

“But are you sure about this Hannah?” moaned Neville. “What if your parents find out?”

“They won’t,” she giggled, “I promise. They think I’m just spending the afternoons with you and having an overnight with Lavender... and Lavender’s parents think the same thing about her and Viktor. Anyway, what does it matter... I love you Neville!”

Neville gulped when they reached the well polished oak door of the room above the pub, resigning himself to his fate...


Harry and Hermione grinned at each other as they dressed, both glad that the rather explosive climax of their escapade in the library hadn’t damaged any of the books. Having worked up an appetite, they made their way to the Great Hall. Following lunch, Professor Dumbledore caught up with the Potters before they exited the Great Hall.

“Please excuse my intrusion, but I was hoping that I might observe your practice in the Room of Requirement this afternoon. I wish to examine your spellwork.”

“Er... of course sir...” said Harry.

“Are we going to do some experiments then?” asked Hermione eagerly, her eyes shining.

“In a manner of speaking,” the headmaster replied. “It is my intention to measure the current output of your spells. I must return to my office briefly to retrieve some of my monitoring equipment, but I can meet you outside the Room of Requirement in ten minutes.”

Ten minutes later, the headmaster and his students were setting up his instruments in the Room of Requirement. As they did so, Dumbledore explained the workings of his devices.

“This one here measures the frequencies, and the other measures the power level of the magic - I have had to repair those several times recently...” Dumbledore chuckled. “Due to the necessity for precise calibration, I cannot place an Unbreakable Charm on them - it would rather defeat their purpose.

“And this one detects the types of spells performed and locates them wherever they are performed on Hogwarts grounds. It is however, only calibrated to react to spells of a certain level of intensity due to the high degree of magic which flows through the castle during school-term. It would be all be ‘noise’ otherwise - a cacophony of signals...”

“Thus, it does not generally register every minor charm or jinx. And of course, it cannot locate magic performed in this room - the Room of Requirement - from the outside, as the room is Unplottable. However, I would like you to begin with something small to establish a baseline for comparison... perhaps a Cheering Charm cast simultaneously, as one.”

“Alright Hermione,” said Harry. “You ready? ...on three.”

Harry counted down; on the count of three he and Hermione silently performed the Charm. Dumbledore peered at his contraptions, looking only mildly surprised. Both Potters felt a bit giggly as they peered expectantly at Dumbledore, waiting for him to inform them of the results.

“Now see this reading here?” the headmaster began. “For an average sized class performing Cheering Charms, it would not register at all, even if I were standing with my instrument right next to them, because it is a rather minor charm, requiring very little magical power - yet I am getting a clear indication that a Cheering Charm has been performed.

“This other reading indicates the power level - and currently it indicates that the power levels of your Cheering Charms far exceed that of ordinary Cheering Charms, even done as regular group practice in class.”

“Would it make a difference if we were both touching - like holding hands - when we perform our spells simultaneously?” asked Hermione “I was just wondering because both times we summoned our Patronuses we were in physical contact.”

“Physical Proximity and Directionality can certainly make a difference between the caster and the subject with certain spells, and it is quite likely that being in physical contact with one another may provide some extra measure of power for some sets of spells as well,” Dumbledore answered. “But the difference will likely be quite insignificant if you are very near to one another.

“However, the extent of your range is something worth discovering during practice. It may vary from spell to spell. I would ask that when you do experiment in that regard, please take notes and relay any pertinent findings to me so that I may observe them for myself in your next proceedings.

“Of course Professor,” Hermione beamed.

“Now, do you have any additional spells which you have practiced together which you would like to perform before I observe your Patronuses?”

“Erm... Maybe,” Harry replied. “What do you think Hermione? Protego Maxima...?”

“Yes,” said Hermione without hesitation. “I think we’ve practiced that the most besides our Patronuses.”

“Right, here goes then...”

The air in the Room of Requirement rippled with magic as the Potters performed the powerful shield spell several times. Dumbledore nodded with satisfaction at the readings, noting that with each casting, the spell’s potency grew.

“Well... it would appear that that the power of the magic behind the spells is still developing. It is quite possible - and I daresay quite likely - that your power levels may eventually reach an equilibrium. However, nothing is certain at this stage...”

After continuing to lecture a bit on Magical Theory, Dumbledore sat in the comfy armchair he had conjured and felt the waves of bliss wash over him when Harry and Hermione simultaneously performed their Patronus Charms. The headmaster quickly took his leave before he was completely overcome with emotion, but not before expressing great pride in the Potters and their accomplishments in a rather hoarse voice.

“D’you think he’s alright Hermione?” asked Harry with a bemused expression. “Dumbledore looked a bit teary.”

“He’ll be okay Harry. He’s just feeling a bit overwhelmed,” Hermione replied giddily, “I think the euphoria created by our Patronuses may have affected him.”


Jennifer was exhausted after her long first day receiving instruction from the professors. After dinner with Harry and Hermione, she retired to the quarters she had shared with Hestia for a few weeks. Settling into bed, she snuggled happily under the covers and quickly fell into a deep slumber.

Hestia was happy to see Jennifer sleeping soundly by the time she had concluded a nightcap with Dumbledore and a few of the professors. It was nice to see the girl not shaking and crying out from nightmares anymore. She wondered if the appearance of her magical abilities had anything to do with it - but for some reason Hestia couldn’t help wondering if the Potters had something to do with it.

She sat for a few moments in the chair at the side of Jennifer’s bed watching her sleep. Hestia gently stroked Jennifer’s long black hair and sighed as a swell of motherly affection filled her. Jennifer looked enough like her, and was still young enough, that Hestia could easily imagine the girl as her own daughter.

“Good night Sweetie,” Hestia whispered, giving Jennifer a kiss on the forehead as she got up to leave.

Jennifer stirred slightly when Hestia reached the doorway.

“Night Mum,” Jennifer murmured in her sleep.

Hestia’s heart skipped a beat and she quickly stifled a sob with her hand as her eyes filled with tears.


Neville woke up the next morning and yawned, wishing that he could hold onto the dream a little longer. It had been the best dream that he could ever remember having, and he felt invigorated. Blinking in the bright sunlight pouring through the window, everything looked strange.

He wasn’t in the Gryffindor dorm at Hogwarts. Neville gasped as everything that had happened the previous night fell into place. He rolled over in his bed and his eyes widened when he saw blonde hair strewn across the pillow next to him and the partially covered nude figure of his girlfriend.

Already properly awake, Hannah snuggled right up against Neville and grinned. Neville’s heart began to race.

“It wasn’t just a dream...” Neville murmured giddily.

“Of course not, silly billy!” chortled Hannah. “But you woke too soon. I was just about to try something to wake you up that Luna said I should try - of course it’ll be a bit different for us than it is for Ginny and Luna, you being a boy...”


Hannah almost lost her nerve seeing Neville peer awkwardly at her, but she and Neville had shagged twice in his bed before passing out last night, giving of themselves to each other for the first time, and she really wanted to try this. Last night had been amazing, and what Luna had told her about sounded like it would be just as much fun.

Heart beating rapidly in trepidation, Hannah fortified her resolve. Before she could talk herself out of it, Hannah tossed the blankets back and leaned over.

Neville was shocked. It had never even occurred to him that anyone would dream of doing that. Embarrassed, Neville almost stopped her, but Hannah’s actions felt too good. Feeling himself beginning to lose it, he tried to get Hannah’s attention.

“Hannah,” he gasped between ragged breaths. “I’m about to... er... you know!”

Hannah just looked back at Neville with a naughty gleam in her eyes and ignored him, continuing her ministrations. Neville couldn’t hold back any longer.

“I... er... I just wanted to see what it would be like,” she said with a nervous giggle when she was finished. “Did you like it then?”

Neville grinned. “Er... I loved it! ... Erm... if you’d like, I could... er... return the favour.”

Hannah hesitated, then beamed at him. “I don’t have to go home till this evening, so we’ve got plenty of time...”


Later that afternoon, after lessons with the professors were completed, Jennifer joined Harry and Hermione as they practiced spells together in the Room of Requirement. She was surprised when Harry had her begin with half an hour of calisthenics.

“Er... It’s good to get in a routine,” Harry told Jennifer. “Being fit helps you stay sharp and quick on your toes.”

“On my toes...?” Jennifer looked puzzled. “I didn’t think wizards needed exercise to do magic.”

“Being strong and fast helps in a fight...” said Hermione.

“...and we’re going to teach you some really basic combat spells today,” Harry added, “because I bet none of the professors have showed you any. Am I right?”

Jennifer nodded.

“Right, thought not...” said Harry. “They don’t really have a class just focused on learning how to fight with magic at Hogwarts. Defence Against the Dark Arts is mostly how to defend against dark magical creatures and some dark spells...”

“...and most of the proper defensive spells aren’t usually taught until fifth and sixth year Charms class,” said Hermione.

“And at some point we’re going to practice a bit of muggle martial arts too,” Harry continued, “but don’t worry about that for now - Dora will train you when we get around to that. We’re just going to practice stunning and shielding spells today, so you can get the hang of it.”

Jennifer swallowed nervously. “Er... alright then,” said Jennifer, nodding again.

Jennifer was a fast learner, quickly picking up the wand movements and the pronunciations of the spell incantations. Hermione rather thought that Jennifer was a bit like Harry, in that she seemed to have a natural instinct for physical activity, and had remarkably good hand-eye coordination.

“Excellent!” Harry grinned at the end of the lesson. “You’ve got great aim. We’ll have you up to speed in no time flat...”


The following day at breakfast, Harry and Hermione were pleased to see Neville and Viktor both looking much cheerier. Everyone decided that it would be nice to spend the morning on the quidditch pitch. While the others tossed a quaffle around, Viktor and Harry chased a snitch. After flying around for a bit, Harry and Viktor decided to take a breather.

“Zat vos amazing catch Harry,” Viktor panted as he dismounted his broom. “You come out of nowhere on that last one.”

Harry grinned, clutching the struggling snitch in his hand as he sat next to Viktor on the field of the Quidditch pitch. Luna, Ginny, Fleur, and Dora continued to fly around and throw the quaffle through the hoops while Neville watched from the stands.

“Thanks Viktor!” said Harry, “I don’t really miss playing Quidditch for Gryffindor when I have someone to fly with. It’ll be fun to have a few more when the Twins and Ron come back... but what about you right now? Will you still be able to fly for the Bulgarian team if you’re staying in Britain?”

“I vant to, but it vill be difficult, so zey are letting me take time off for now to decide vot I want more...” Viktor reddened and trailed off.

Harry had an inkling of what was bothering Viktor.

“Er... So how did your time in Hogsmeade go with Lavender the last couple of days?” asked Harry.

Viktor’s face lit up, but the blush deepened. “Er... ze dates were very good. Thanks to Dora, Ve find nice private place to... I... er... I probably should not speak of it too much though,” Viktor heaved a deep sigh. “I vant to marry Lavender, but I think her parents might not approve while she is still in school - but I wait if I haff to.”

“That’s great,” said Harry. “So did ‘pop the question’ then?” Harry had to ask. It only made sense really, if Viktor was willing to wait until Lavender finished school.

Viktor’s sudden grin and nod was Harry’s confirmation. Harry grinned back. He expected Lavender was excitedly telling Parvati all about it.

Harry looked up when he heard Hermione’s voice and he spotted her entering the Quidditch Pitch carrying the never used Firebolt he’d bought for her on the outing to Diagon Alley the previous summer - the same day he’d bought her wand holster. Jennifer was with her, looking really anxious.

“I think I take my leave,” Krum said to Harry with a smirk. “Zese moments are special for you, no?”

“Er... yeah, I suppose,” Harry replied, turning a bit pink. “But it looks like Hermione brought her own broom today, so maybe she’s finally ready to give it a go...”

“Hello Viktor! Hi Harry, would you mind teaching Jennifer how to fly?” Hermione asked brightly. “She can use my broom, and I’ll ride with you...”

“Vot did I say?” Viktor chuckled quietly, clapping Harry on the shoulder. Then he said a bit louder, “Good Afternoon, Hermione, Jennifer, I vas just leaving. Haff fun flying.” Viktor gave Harry a wink and strode out of the pitch carrying his broom.

“Are you sure you want to try this Jennifer?” Harry asked, eyeing the nervous looking girl. Ginny and Luna swooped down to see what was happening, followed closely by Dora and Fleur.

“Er...” Jennifer glanced at Hermione and gulped. “I do really - it looks like loads of fun. But I’m a bit scared...”

“Hi Jennifer! You can ride with me for a bit at first to get used to it if you’d like,” Luna offered dreamily.

“ you sure Luna? I don’t want to interrupt your game...”

“I don’t mind. I’m not very good at throwing the quaffle anyway, but I love to fly. Come on, get on behind me.” Jennifer clambered onto Luna’s broom behind her and put her arms around Luna’s waist.

“Hold on tight,” Luna giggled as she ascended into the air and Jennifer gave a little shriek. Ginny zoomed up after them, chasing them around the hoops.

“Wotcher Hermione,” greeted the bubblegum pink haired girl. Dora peered admiringly at Hermione’s Firebolt.

“Oh Hi Dora,” Hermione grinned, “You might as well have a go with my broom. It looks like Jennifer won’t be needing it after all right now.”

“Cheers Hermione!” said Dora. “I’ve always wanted a go on one of these...”

“I’m sorry Dora,” said Harry. “I never realised. You could’ve had a go on mine...”

“No worries Harry! I never said anything about it before, and I hadn’t really thought about it until loungin’ around Hogwarts this summer.”

Hermione mounted Harry’s broom behind him and sighed happily. Harry grinned when she wrapped her arms tightly around his waist and snuggled against his back. Moments later they were soaring around the towers of the castle, Hermione’s golden tresses whipping in the wind.

That afternoon in the Room of Requirement, after practicing for several hours, Neville and Viktor both managed a Corporeal Patronus, much to their delight. Neville’s appeared to be a Shire Horse, and Viktor’s a falcon.


Several days later, Hermione was thrilled at how quickly Jennifer was progressing. In just the last few days, Jennifer had managed to learn a lot of the basic First Year spells. But Jennifer sighed at the piles of homework the professors had given her.

“I don’t mind all the reading,” Jennifer told Hermione. “It’s absolutely fascinating and I’m a pretty fast reader. It’s just... there’s so much to learn - I’ll never be able to catch up to fifth year by start of term...”

“Don’t worry, I can tutor you. You’re doing amazingly well already,” Hermione replied encouragingly. “You probably won’t be able to manage any of the elective classes - except for Care of Magical Creatures. But I’m sure you’ll do well enough to at least take the core classes for fifth year.”

“And I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to writing with these antiquated quills and inkpots,” Jennifer sighed in annoyance as a splash of ink stained her Charms essay.

“Don’t worry about splodges, there’s a good spell for cleaning up the ink... Tergeo,” said Hermione, pointing her wand at the page and siphoning up the excess ink.

“Oh, ta Hermione!” Jennifer brightened.

“And actually, Harry can help you with your calligraphy, as well as Defence Against the Dark Arts,” Hermione said glowingly, “He’s better than me in Defence. And either of us can help you with Potions...”

“Urgh! Potions - that teacher is really creepy,” Jennifer shivered. “He looks like a vampire, and he’s awfully strict...”

“He’s alright really,” Hermione said sympathetically. “He was quite horrible to me and Harry - especially to Harry - for much of our first year here. But something about him changed. He’s quite nice to us these days - nicer to everyone really...”

“And you’ll find that a lot of teachers here are very strict... they’re a bit like the old-fashioned teachers in boarding-school stories...”

“YES! That’s exactly what I was going to say,” Jennifer interrupted animatedly, her eyes turning big, “Except for Dumbledore - he’s a real softy - I feel like I’m in one of Enid Blyton's school stories, or those Jennings and Darbishire books...”

“Don’t tell Harry I said this,” Hermione giggled, “but he’s always reminded me a little bit of Jennings... and Professor Snape was Harry’s Mr Wilkins until Snape finally came around.”

Jennifer began giggling too, feeling much better about the piles of homework. “I just realised why I feel like I’m in First Form at St Clare’s... Professor McGonagall is such a Miss Roberts...”

Hermione snorted and both girls fell into a fit of laughter.


When she’d finished cleaning her teeth, Hermione found Harry reading the book she’d come across in the Room of Requirement. She smiled brightly to see him looking so happy.

“This is amazing Hermione,” he said eagerly. “I never realised... I mean... some of this stuff about Chi, even though it's for muggles to do martial arts, it still looks like magic.”

“That’s because ‘Chi’ is just another name for the body’s magical energy field,” Hermione began, having already read the book, “like Dumbledore was talking about when he was explaining why our Patronuses are so powerful...”

“Wait... doesn’t that mean that muggles can do magic then?” Harry frowned, looking puzzled. “I don’t understand... I thought Dumbledore said that people had to have magical genes...”

“Well, they do to be able to manipulate magic and do spells like conjuring and charming, or transfiguring things - obviously muggles can’t do that sort of thing,” Hermione replied, “But everyone has the potential to learn how to feel and control their own energy fields to some extent... It only makes sense if you think about it.”

“Oh!” said Harry, his eyes widening as light dawned. “Yeah... right! Of course... that does make sense.”

“Yes, and there’s some more interesting bits towards the end of the book. It has an addendum to the original muggle text with detailed illustrations and instruction specifically regarding the energy field, and how to use it for meditation and self-healing and other things... It’s not just for fighting.

“Anyway,” Hermione continued, snatching the book from his hands, a golden gleam in her eye, “you can look at that later. I think it’s about time I helped you with something you’ve been dying to practice for a while.”

“Wait,” Harry gaped, feeling a tingle of excitement. “You mean... really?” Harry felt slightly surprised. He hadn’t been certain that Hermione would really want to follow through.

Hermione grinned and nodded.

“You’re sure then Hermione? I mean - I know you’re not into girls...”

“Says who?” Hermione smirked.

“But... really?”

“Honestly Harry! Is that all you’ve got to say?” Hermione rolled her eyes exaggeratedly. “I’m sorry Harry... I didn’t mean to tease you,” she giggled.

“Look, I said I’d help you change into a girl completely Harry, and I meant it. And... and if I’m being totally honest I have to admit that a part of me is really looking forward to this. I wasn’t sure that I would actually like being with a girl in that way - but ever since Fleur kissed us a couple of times, I realised it actually felt quite nice...

“And now... now I really do think it would be fun to... er... do it - but only with you Harry. Though I think it would be more appropriate to call you Harriet when you’re in girl form.”

“Alright then,” said Harry eagerly. “Er... so how should we go about this then?”

“Right, well you should probably morph the rest of you into a girl first,” Hermione replied, “so that you don’t feel awkward when you finally get the last bit done.”

Harry followed Hermione’s instructions while she rummaged through the bookshelf to find her book of female anatomy and took off her nightie. Then she passed him a mirror. Hermione pointed her wand at Harry’s glasses and muttered a magnifying incantation.

An hour and a half later, after numerous tries, Hermione declared that everything looked just right.

“Okay Harriet, it looks smashing!” Hermione giggled. “Now let’s try out the new plumbing to make sure all the sensitive bits are in the right place so that it actually senses everything like it ought to...”

“Perfect, Harriet!” giggled Hermione again when Harriet wriggled and moaned at Hermione's touch...


Broderick Bode sighed. He was working late again, wondering if he should resign from the Department of Mysteries. He missed seeing his family, and he was concerned by the rumours swirling through the sub-departments that Operations had something massive in the works.

In fact, Bode had been concerned for a long time - ever since Chief Umbridge had wormed into a position as Head of the Improper Use of Magic Office - and now she was Minister and ran the entire DMLE as well as the DoM. But there was nothing he could do about it. He was just a lowly technician, and Operations ran everything.

All he could do was keep his head down and follow orders. Bode couldn’t speak of what occurred in the Department of Mysteries without risking arrest himself.

Bode finished cataloguing and storing the latest magical artifact confiscated after being found in Muggle possession when he heard a shout. He looked up to see Yaxley scowling at him from the doorway. Bode sighed; he wasn’t sure who he hated most - Head of DoM Security Yaxley, or Yaxley’s immediate superior, Deputy Head of the Unspeakable Office Rookwood.

“Look alive,” snapped Yaxley. “We have a possible breach in the Atrium...”

“What?” gasped Bode, “But who would be mad enough to break into the Ministry...?”

“That’s what we’re going to find out!” growled Yaxley. “Now shut it and get a move on...”

“Wait...” Bode gulped in trepidation, “I’m just a Magical Artifact Storage tech - I’m not Security...”

“You are now...” Yaxley snarled. “Hurry up or I’ll kill you myself.”


Screams rent the air and the sound of shattering glass and small explosions filled Diagon Alley in the darkening evening as wizards and witches finished shopping for the day and store-keepers began closing procedures. Florean Fortescue shoved the last of his customers through the floo in his office and turned back to face the hooligans rampaging through his Ice Cream shop shooting curses from their wands.

Florean swore when he spotted that he had missed one of his customers lying sprawled on the floor. Dead or alive, he didn’t know. Angrily, Florean fired hexes and curses back at the Snatchers.

He dropped two of them with stunning spells, but when one fired a killing curse and missed, Florean retaliated with a concussive spell that slammed the Snatcher heavily into a brick wall with a sickening crack. The Snatcher screamed in pain and collapsed in a broken heap. Florean magically bound the other two prone Snatchers and stepped over them.

Florean breathed a sigh of relief; he could still feel his customer’s pulse. Steeling himself, Florean carefully peered out of his door to see if there was anyone else he could save. His face fell when he saw through the haze two people lying in the street who were clearly dead.

Further down Diagon Alley, Fenrir Greyback roared in fury. Ollivander’s shop was empty - there were no wands and no wand-dealer to be found. And if the shop had moved, there was no indication of its new location; Ollivander had left no clues.

It was never good to disappoint the Dark Lord - Ollivander must be found. Seething with rage, Greyback set the place ablaze with a Firestorm Spell and disapparated.


Bode’s face went white, but Yaxley was unmoved by the sight of a security guard’s body dangling by the neck in the Atrium of the Ministry as the gore from guard’s disemboweled midsection oozed and dripped to the floor. The sentry had clearly been the victim of an Entrail Expelling Curse.

It was too quiet. Standing by the fountain, Yaxley set his jaw and peered around the Atrium. He heard a sudden noise behind him and whirled around too late as an Incarcerus spell bound him from head to foot. Bode collapsed lifeless to the floor, dropped by a Killing Curse.

Bellatrix cackled as she cast a Petrificus Totalus on Yaxley and the ropes of the Incarcerus vanished.

“Those will just get in the way,” the witch said with a lustful gleam in her eyes. She reached into her cloak and pulled out her ceremonial dagger as she knelt beside Rookwood.

“No curses for you Corban,” purred Bellatrix, drawing a line of red with her dagger across the exposed skin of Yaxley’s forearm, “No, that would be too quick and easy! I think I’ll draw this out slowly - the old-fashioned way...”

Bellatrix giggled madly as she slit another thin red line across Yaxley’s forearm, forming an X through his Dark Mark. If Yaxley could have screamed, he would have as the knife came down again, this time aimed at his gut.


Hundreds of fans watching the football match at the Old Trafford stadium in Manchester were taken aback when all the lights and television-cameras went out, and those with mobile-phones lost their signals. An explosion ripped through the field and a number of muggles fainted as giants tore through the walls and stands.

Snatchers began dropping panicked muggle spectators like flies with curses and stunners, and disapparating with several victims at a time or transporting them via Portkeys. Two dozen Dementors swarmed and began sucking out souls at random.

Lockhart was more careful in choosing his victims, using a discerning eye to locate young muggle girls for himself and Wormtail as he moved through the shrieking and gradually diminishing crowd.

When it was over, nearly a hundred lay strewn in the rubble and many were left behind alive, still screaming amid the smouldering ruins of the stadium. Maximum terror had been inflicted, and numerous muggles had been captured or killed and taken to be turned into the Dark Lord’s Army of the Dead.


By the time the Minister had flooed back to the Ministry from her home, reporters from the Daily Prophet, the Quibbler, and the International Wizard News Agency were already taking pictures from behind the taped perimeter around the dangling mutilated corpses of Yaxley, Bode, and several Security wizards.

The WNN was doing a live radio report, and a glowing green cloud in the shape of a skull and serpent hovered just above the bodies.

There would be no mistaking the hand of Voldemort for the work of a petty thief by the Press this time. Rufus Scrimgeour and numerous Aurors were scouring the area for magical and not so magical evidence, and he gave the Minister the rest of the bad news when she arrived.

“I have fifty Aurors and a Magical Clean-Up squad already in Manchester,” Scrimgeour scowled at the Minister. “We had to move quickly to obliviate the memories of Giant Involvement from the muggle survivors. And I have another dozen Aurors in Diagon Alley. Florean Fortescue rescued a number of people and captured several Snatchers...”

“This is all clearly part of a coordinated assault by Voldemort’s forces!” the Chief Auror concluded.

“Indeed!” the Minister responded darkly. The wheels in Minister Dolores Umbridge’s mind began spinning, seeking ways to turn this disaster to her political advantage.

Fortunately Bode and Yaxley were no huge loss, and Security was expendable. Dolores nearly had the Wizengamot in the palm of her hand. If she had enough Snatchers to punish, and played her cards right, this could be the breakthrough Dolores needed to gain a majority on the Wizengamot.

“Very well Rufus,” Minister Umbridge nodded. “You seem to have everything well in hand, but please inform me once you have finished interrogating the Snatchers under Veritaserum, and then turn them over to the Department of Mysteries for further questioning.

“Excuse me, Minister?”

“People only reveal what they believe to be the truth under Veritaserum, and memories can be tampered with - sometimes we must dig much deeper, Rufus. The DoM has the magical means to go deeper - but it is highly top secret of course...”

The Head Auror regarded the Minister shrewdly for a moment before responding with a nod.

“Yes Madam, I understand!”


“My goodness gracious me!” Garrick Ollivander exclaimed, his features crestfallen as he read the morning edition of the Daily Prophet. “You were absolutely correct Headmaster Dumbledore...”

“Please Garrick, we are all friends here. Call me Albus.”

“, indeed sir; Albus it is then. In any case, I cannot thank you enough Albus! I do not know how you managed to foresee the necessity for my relocation, but you were quite right. It appears that my shop was especially targeted by the Dark Lord’s followers for complete obliteration...”

“And you would no doubt be one of Voldemort's ‘guests’ by now, Garrick,” McGonagall proffered grimly. “Though I am as intrigued as you are by Albus’s remarkable prescience. How did you know Albus?”

“Voldemort will seek every advantage in this fight,” Dumbledore replied. “Like the Minister and ourselves, he faces battle on two fronts. It seemed highly likely to me that he would seek to control Britain’s preeminent supplier of wands...”

“And I confess, I believed that Voldemort would have sought out Garrick’s expertise in wandlore should Tom have run into any issues if he were to face Harry Potter’s wand - their wands each contain the same core: a phoenix feather from Fawkes. I felt preventing him from obtaining that knowledge was of utmost importance.”

“Ah, but of course. That sounds quite... logical!” Ollivander’s gleaming eyes widened. “But not having faced young Mr Potter since his return yet, the Dark Lord still does not know that their wands share a core. So you are suggesting that this was purely a tactical ploy on his part then - quite ingenious of you I must say, Albus.”

Dumbledore took a sip of tea before replying sadly with a shake of his head.

“No, just the terrible Logic of War, Garrick,” the headmaster responded. “He - or she - who controls the supply of weapons in a war has a great advantage - and wands are weapons after all...”

Garrick Ollivander regarded the headmaster of Hogwarts cannily, taking a sip of tea himself.

“Yes - well, regardless, my dear fellow, you undoubtedly saved me from torture and eventual death...”

“Let us hope so,” Dumbledore interjected, “Voldemort’s next target may be Hogwarts itself - but I believe we shall have the advantage should that be the case... no matter what sort of force he manages to muster.

“I must also confess Garrick, that was another reason I had for cajoling you away from your Diagon Alley location. As you had been so kind as to do a ‘House-Call’ for Hogwarts’ newest student, you know that we have remained for the summer to protect Hogwarts from capture, and you know that Mr Potter is among us,”

“It would not have done for Voldemort to have discovered yet that Hogwarts is currently inhabited. The longer I can maintain that element of surprise, the greater advantage we have!” concluded Dumbledore.

“Thank you,” Ollivander said quietly, peering keenly into Dumbledore’s unguarded eyes. “I appreciate your frankness Albus - that makes this decision much easier. I shall do anything which is within my power to do to aid in the protection of Mr Potter. He and his wife must survive - I expect great things to come from the both of them... If I may be so bold, I humbly offer my services to the Order of the Phoenix...”


“That’s the wandmaker,” murmured Jennifer at breakfast. “I wonder what he’s doing here again?”

Hermione shook her head as she chewed a piece of bacon. She had no idea why Ollivander was sitting at the Staff Table with Professor McGonagall and the headmaster. Harry’s brows knitted pensively.

“I dunno... maybe Ollivander is joining the Order. Maybe Dumbledore offered him protection. It’s probably a good idea to keep Britain’s top wandmaker out of enemy hands...” Harry suggested.

“Oh!” gasped Hermione. “Of course Harry. That’s very logical...”

“It does make a load of sense,” responded Dora with a nod before taking a bite of scrambled egg.

Hedwig dropped the Daily Prophet and the Quibbler on the table next to Fleur before settling on Harry’s shoulder and nipping his ear fondly. Harry grinned and reached a hand back to stroke her feathers, passing her a sausage with his other hand.

Fleur’s eyes widened in surprise as she read the headline of the Quibbler.

“Eet is a good thing zat Ollivander ees here,” Fleur gasped. “I think you are correct ‘Arry, look at ze paper...”

Harry was shocked at how close to the mark he had been; he swallowed in trepidation and passed the papers around.

“Looks like Ollivander left in the nick of time,” said Ginny as she read over Luna’s shoulder.

“Right... I suppose this was inevitable,” sighed Harry, “But as horrible as this is, we need to try and not dwell on it. We need to remember why we’re here. That’s what we need to focus on if we hope to have a chance of defeating Voldemort...”
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