Categories > Books > Harry Potter > We're In This Together

Lessons and History

by zugrian 0 reviews

Harry and Pansy meet the new professors, Moody and Slughorn, and they make plans for the new school year.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Harry,Moody,Pansy - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2019-10-03 - 6815 words

Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter.


The next week of classes began with a crankier than usual Pansy. Waking up with cramps would do that.

It was made even worse by the fact that they had a morning Herbology class. Harry partnered with her out in the greenhouse in an attempt to cover for her, allowing Pansy to not have to do very much. She quietly thanked him for his efforts.

Working next to them, Hermione of course saw what was going on. This led to questions, but at least they were quiet questions. Pansy admitted why she wasn't feeling well, and thus why Harry was doing her work for her, which got Hermione to seemingly back off on her curiosity.

Neither of them noticed, but Hermione started keeping a closer eye on the duo.

Otherwise, the school year got off to a fairly quiet start. People were almost universally enjoying the two new teachers, although there were more than a few people who found Moody to be upsetting. The former auror did not believe in coddling children. He was not a cruel man though, and for the most part, the students got used to his demeanor. Even the first years quickly understood why the Defense professor was so paranoid, what with the obvious signs of damage he had occurred over the years.

One of his early lessons that the fourth years got to experience on a Thursday afternoon would really push Harry and Pansy even closer to the grizzled old professor.

Moody was going to place the class under the Imperius curse to give them a very hands on, practical lesson. He wanted to see what they could be up against and see if anyone had any ability to resist the spell.

Harry gave Pansy a satisfied grin while the rest of the students were shocked into silence, which was finally broken by Hermione's exclamation that it was illegal.

"Miss Granger, do you think any of the Death Eaters cared that it was illegal? Do you think someone like that would listen to your protest and just let you go on your merry little way? If any of you would rather find out the hard way what being under this spell is like, then you are excused from today's class. Take your things and go. But do so now. I'm not going to have you line up or do this alphabetically. Part of the lesson is that you would not just know that this curse would be coming, so your will to fight it off would have to always be strong and not just when you are prepared to defend yourself."

Moody stalked around the front of the room for a moment, looking over the Gryffindors and Slytherins as a few people looked around nervously, but no one got up to leave.

"Humph," he snorted. "Glad to see none of you are complete cowards. I have a good feeling about this class. I think at least one of you will be able to fight off the curse."

After saying that, everyone looked around wondering who Moody might have confidence in, and more than a few eyes landed on Harry.

"I see several of you thinking our illustrious Mr. Potter is who I might be referencing. And you would be wrong!" he suddenly roared, putting everyone on their toes again. "No offense, Potter, but I had someone else in mind.

"Imperio!" Without a second more warning, Nott was in his total control as he went to the floor and began doing press-ups. It happened too fast for anyone to laugh, but after a dozen, Moody cancelled the spell and the Slytherin boy stopped and shuffled back into his seat with a sour look on his face.

"No such luck yet, though. Shall we try someone from Gryffindor instead? Brown!"

Lavender looked up in fright at the teacher, having been caught whispering to Parvati, but it was her friend who quickly stood and began skipping around the room as Moody placed her under the curse, seemingly without any challenge.

"I do expect you to pay attention, especially in such an important class," he said as Lavender was now even more worried about when her turn would come. Parvati finished her lap and settled down into her seat again with a flushed face.


Again and again the professor cast the spell, and even as the surprise wore off, no one was able to muster up a defense, although Harry thought that Hermione might have delayed the effect for a couple of seconds at least. But the next victim was Pansy, and Harry felt something strange, a sharp pain in his chest. It passed after a second though, and then the oddest thing happened...


Pansy had always struggled with defending against the spell when Harry had cast it on her the previous year when they were trying to learn this very thing. But now, against Moody, she didn't even flinch.

"Well done, Pansy! Ten points to Slytherin. I knew one of you could do it."

She gave him a nod with a pleased smile on her face. But Moody wasn't done, and before anyone could register their shock at who had brushed the powerful curse aside, Ron was now kneeling before Milicent Bulstrode, proclaiming his undying love for her. A few nervous giggles broke out.

"There'll be no fraternization in my class, laddie," Moody snorted as Ron grimaced and blushed as he nearly ran back across the room to his seat. "I'll excuse it this time though, Mr. Weasley. And take a point for being willing to cross that oldest of house rivalries. We don't see that enough these days."

Harry thought that the professor's gaze lingered briefly on him and Pansy.

"Now then, who's next?"

A few more minutes passed as the class began to laugh at some of the more ridiculous things that Moody forced people to do. Daphne Greengrass was forced to sing the national anthem as she stood and hopped. She sat back down with a scowl, but Harry didn't think that was so bad. At least she had a decent voice. Poor Neville was next, as he did gymnastics around the room. Harry didn't think he could have been so flexible, and his shy classmate hid his head in his hands as he went back to his seat in embarrassment.

Crabbe and Goyle got off even worse though, as Moody had them stand and do a waltz together. The brutish boys were obviously angered by the mortifying act, especially as it drew laughs from the entire class, but Moody gave them two points for good teamwork.

Harry had a second to think that the professor had also given out points to the other couple of people who had seemed the most humiliated by what he made them do.


He didn't really hear the spell or his teacher's voice, but he felt a presence sliding over his mind, telling him to jump up onto the desk. There was a brief feeling of acceptance that he immediately slammed back at with all his willpower. Harry felt himself straining against this pressure and then there was something else helping him, reinforcing his will to shake off the voice that was trying to control him.

It seemed like several minutes had passed before Moody lifted the spell and Harry leaned back in his chair exhausted.

"Well done, Potter!" the professor barked out. "It seems some of your peers were right in their assessment. Ten points to Gryffindor."

With that said, Moody went back around the room and the few people he hadn't gotten to yet all took their turns trying, and failing, to throw off the Imperius curse. No one else managed to put up a noticeable defense.

"Alright, Potter, feel up for a little display?" Moody asked once the period was nearing its end.

"Sure professor."

"Come on up to the front then."

Harry soon stood by the professor's side as Moody had him face the class.

"I'm going to cast the spell on Potter again and I want all of you to pay close attention, especially to his eyes. You will see in them his mind working to fight off the spell.


Once again, Harry had a fresh, calm feeling descend upon him as what he now recognized as Moody's presence pushing onto his mind the idea that he should do a headstand. This second time it was even easier to fight off as Harry better understood what was going on as well as not being caught off guard. Whatever he felt helping him was also there again, pushing him to resist that much more.

Moody was pleased as Harry threw off the curse entirely, and he gave him a moment to rest before repeating the process three more times. Harry managed to fight it off almost instantly the final time, even after having his will battered over and over again.

The professor gave him another five points for the demonstration.

He then was told to stay behind for a moment as the rest of the class gathered their things and headed for the door.

"I must say I'm pleased by today's performance, Potter."

"Thanks, professor."

"You too, miss. Although, I knew you would have no problem with today's lesson."

"Really?" Pansy was surprised by that. "Why not?"

"Your relationship with him. Or more specifically, how you are bound to Potter. Magic is not something to be underestimated, which I think you youngsters just might have done. Haven't you noticed unusual effects from casting spells on each other before?"

Pansy looked over to Harry, and they both reluctantly nodded.

"I thought as much. From what I've been told, you used a life debt to escape your Death Eater father with Mr. Potter's help. But now you should also realize that by using such old magic to bind yourselves together would have long-lasting effects. I'll wish you good luck in getting along, as this is not something that you can turn off when it gets complicated.

"However, for the Imperius curse, this can be a blessing," Moody continued with a look at Pansy. "Your magic is already bound to Mr. Potter's will, so someone else trying to gain control over you would have to overcome not only your own willpower but that bond as well. Old magic is powerful- in a lot of ways, more powerful than almost any spell you could cast with a wand. But it can also be dangerous, so I suggest you both be very careful whenever you cast any spells upon each other. Understood?"

"Yes, sir."

"Yes, professor."

"Good. Now then Potter, I have something else that you might like to try. You did well in resisting the curse, but I think you might like another lesson to make sure this is really drilled home. You up for that?"


"Alright, take off your ring."

Harry slipped the Potter ring off his finger and handed it to Pansy.

"Did you feel anything from the ring when I cast the curse on you earlier?" Moody asked.

"Maybe. I felt like there was something helping me to resist, especially at first. Was that the ring?"

"Probably. There are all sorts of tales of old family rings with a wide variety of magical powers. Abilities to protect the mind, neutralize poisons, turn invisible, and who knows what all else. Now, many of those stories are probably nonsense, but family rings often do possess some sort of magic, especially the older they are. The theory is that a family's magic will imbue itself into the ring, passing down a bit of power to protect its bloodline. The older the ring and the bloodline, the more magic it should have absorbed.

"It's not as popular as it used to be, but there are still some that believe that magic is alive. Maybe even sentient. And a family ring's magic is a hint of that. There have even been legends of rings that could talk to their wearer, although that's an old myth that hasn't had any evidence for centuries. But I read the report from when the younger Malfoy tried to attack you last spring. Your ring was glowing- everyone in that hallway saw it. Obviously the old Potter family magic was looking out for you.

"And it would similarly do so to help reinforce your will against something like the Imperius."

"So it would be a good idea to practice fighting the curse off without having my ring on," Harry responded.

"Precisely. Are you up for the challenge?"

"Absolutely. Thank you, professor Moody."

"Don't thank me yet," the teacher said with a wicked look.


They were late to dinner that night, as Harry found that throwing off the Imperius curse was much harder without the Potter family ring to help him. But Harry persevered, and Moody kept pushing him as he cast the spell over & over again for almost another hour before Harry was able to fight it off just as well as he had eventually been during the class while he was still wearing his ring.

Harry had a new favorite teacher. He hoped that Moody would be willing to make him work just as hard in the future.

To most people, that would have been a strange thought, but Harry knew that taking it easy was not something he could afford to do. Who knew how long it would be before the Death Eaters or the Riddle spirit-thing would make the next attempt on his life?

He tried to think positive though, as Pansy would suggest that they both take a cue from Luna to keep their moods up. And it was the middle of the month already, so maybe this September could turn out to be a peaceful one at Hogwarts. That would be nice, especially since he was already dreading Halloween.


"Harry! Pansy! Welcome, do come in," Slughorn said as he answered the door one Sunday afternoon. "The tea should just about be ready."

"Thank you professor."

It was the last Sunday of September and Harry's luck was still holding strong. It had been nothing but classes, hanging out with his friends, and spending plenty of time with Pansy of course. Without Malfoy there to run his mouth, none of the other students had even been mildly annoying. That could be because many of them were still intimidated by Harry, but it was a nice change regardless of the reason.

"I'm glad you could come. I've always thought that teaching the young never stopped once they stepped out of my class room. There is so much more to learn as you grow up." Slughorn was his normal happy, congenial self. He led them inside and sat down in a very cushy looking chair, while Harry and Pansy sat across from him on a couch. They both were liking the new professor. In fact, Potions was now a class Harry actually enjoyed, and that was an amazing turn of events.

"Ah, Lily Evans and Dahlia Monroe," he continued with a fond smile. "It would be hard to find two witches with less in common, you know. Dahlia was a pureblood, rather spoiled, but also friendly and outgoing, whereas Lily was from a working class muggle background, and like many muggleborn she was rather star struck by the magical world at first. I don't know that they ever interacted- Dahlia was three years older, and in a different house of course- but I think both of the girls I taught so many years ago would be pleased to see their children as friends. Dahlia's group of best friends included a Hufflepuff and two Ravenclaws, after all. Let me see, what were their names...

"Oh yes of course, miss Lucy King. How could I have forgotten her? Lovely girl, and they bonded over their similar backgrounds. She was a half-blood, with a muggle father who had been a soldier back in the forties. An American at that! Her parents met during the war, and he had a rather rude awakening to the world of magic. One of those German bombings was going on and miss King's mother Mary protected herself and a group of her friends from an explosion with a well-timed shield spell. And that spell just so happened to also save a young muggle man who was passing them on the street. Now, as you can probably imagine, in such a chaotic time, there weren't nearly enough Obliviators to deal with every thing like that, so she and her Yank soldier got to know each other before he crossed over to the continent. They wrote each other during his service, and after the war was over, well...

"Anyway, I assume you know that your grandparents also met during the war."


"Right, so of course, Dahlia and Lucy were fast friends. Magical society was fairly open then, with everyone trying to come together after all the destruction had ended. I believe they had met a year or two before they started here. Lucy had three older brothers, and they sort of looked after both girls while they were still at school. The other members of their little clique were the Moody sisters, Ann and Lizzie."

"As in professor Moody?"

"Yes, his nieces. Lovely girls, quite bright obviously, being Ravenclaws, but not the introverted sort. Now, Ann was in the same year as Dahlia and Lucy, and Lizzie was a year behind, although she was almost two years younger than her sister. That little foursome was very close right through their OWLs. But things were getting worse and worse back in the seventies.

"It was the summer after your grandfather was killed. Stephen Monroe. He was a damn fine man. We went to school together, you know? He was a Gryffindor, a couple of years younger than me. Very skilled with a beater's bat too. Not surprising that he would become such a fighter.

"Sadly, Dahlia was never quite the same after his death. It was a dark time, and I saw more and more children burdened with such pain back then. Things got even worse the next year. There was an attack on the Moodys. Ann spent a month at St. Mungo's, but little Lizzie was killed. Poor girl. Alastor was so much more driven afterwards, and he was already the most skilled auror we had, mind you. But losing his niece made him that much more cynical. Not that I can blame him."

"What happened to the rest of his family?" Harry asked.

"Well, once Ann was well enough to travel, they left. Her parents moved to the States. Never came back either. Too many memories, I suppose.

"Dahlia was even more withdrawn for the end of her time here at Hogwarts. Lucy never did manage to draw her out of her shell. About a year after she graduated, she married Edmund Parkinson. Such a shame, that. Not that I'm not glad you're here, Pansy my dear. But Edmund Parkinson always had something dark about him."

Slughorn trailed off again, this time with a much more speculative expression, his friendly aura faltering for once. He poured them all some tea as he got himself composed and shifted topics.

"Yes, now then, Lily on the other hand was friends with Severus for the first few years of their time here, and that was one of the oddest of pairs. He was a rather introverted boy, and the few friends he had were all other Slytherin boys. All but Lily, who was such an extroverted girl. Friends across the houses, and with many different years as well. She was a prefect, and she was the type to always be looking out for the younger students, even if they weren't Gryffindors like her.

"Of course, in her later years, she became friends with your father and his gang. I would assume Sirius Black has told you some of the things they got up to back in the day. I was so disappointed that he was the one member of the Black family that didn't end up in my house, although I suppose that might have saved me a lot of trouble in the long run. He and your father were never very fond of the rules," he chuckled for a moment. "I remember Minerva complaining about the two of them making her tear her hair out.

"Still, I think their shenanigans did more good than harm. It was a dark time outside these walls, and Albus did everything he could to keep those problems from infesting the school. He always did want the students to be able to be children and not have to worry about the rest of the world while they were here to learn. I'm not sure how successful that was, but we never had any of you-know-who's followers attack here."

He might not have meant for the point to get across, but to Harry it sounded like Dumbledore had always been foolishly patronizing and optimistic. What good would protecting their innocence at Hogwarts do if they were murdered when they were away from school, like Pansy's uncle that she never met, or Moody's niece? Neither of them even got a chance to grow up- could they have been better prepared if they were taught to fight?

Moody's call for constant vigilance was an idea that resonated with Harry much more than Dumbledore's kindly grandfather shtick, seemingly wanting them kept ignorant of the cruelty in the real world.

Harry was brought back from his train of thought when Slughorn mentioned his mother again.

"Now on the other hand, Lily was a model student. She was much beloved by all the teachers, not just me. I've heard that you're particularly interested in Runic magic, Harry. Professor Babbling speaks most highly of you. You'd probably be pleased to know that was Lily's favorite of the electives as well. It was one of the classes she took through the NEWTs. Professor Lynch, Bathsheba's predecessor, always had good things to say about her. Despite Runes being by their very nature ancient, she still thought there was more to explore in the field of Runic magic."

"I can believe that," Harry interjected. "In fact, I've wondered if she might have done something, possibly with Runes if not some obscure charm, that Halloween. Professor Dumbledore thinks it was her sacrificing herself to save me, but I can't believe that was the first time someone ever stood in front of a loved one to protect them from a curse."

"No, certainly not. Lily was brilliant enough that I could believe she had found some sort of forgotten magic or if not that she had invented something of her own to protect you. Alas, we may never know..."


An hour later, Pansy was positive that she had never met anyone who liked the sound of their own voice as much as Horace Slughorn. It had been fascinating at times, but it was much more of a monologue than an actual conversation. Still, she and Harry had heard some interesting stories about their mothers, when he didn't follow a tangent off to ramble about all sorts of other things and the various people he had known over the years.

Harry had to bring things to an end with the excuse that they needed to get some assignments done, which was actually true. But she knew that he needed a break from the gregarious and long-winded Potions teacher.

She waited until they got back to their quarters.

"So, what did you think of all that?"

"I still like him, but damn could he go on and on."

"True enough. But I meant more about his idea."

"This Slug Club of his?"

"Yes. He brought it up clearly to see if you would be interested. Are you? I could tell you were just deflecting when you said you would have to think about it."

"I can't say that it's something that would be at the top of my things to do list, but I probably should participate to some extent. I'm sure you're going to advise me to do just that."

"It could be pretty useful."

"I know," Harry sighed. "I'm just not particularly comfortable mingling with strangers like that, but I suppose I could manage it every now and then. I'm not too enthused about giving up so much of our free time for it though."

"I do think you should go to the first one at least."

"You mean, we should go," Harry replied. "He did say you were welcome to come too, and I'm not going to suffer alone."

"Don't be such a baby, Harry. There are much worse things in life than being sociable every now and then."


"Don't be grumpy, or we won't be doing anything fun after dinner."

"You wouldn't dare!" he mocked.

"I know you haven't even started McGonagall's recent assignment yet."

"Which isn't due for several days."

"Which I won't make you start on tonight if you behave yourself," Pansy teased.

Harry pulled her close and slid his thumb along the waist of her skirt. He leaned in and whispered to her.

"Does this count as behaving myself?"


Another week passed by and Harry had succeeded in having a nice, easy month at Hogwarts. They celebrated after midnight, once their Astronomy class had ended, and both of them ended up sleeping very late the next day.

But as Harry would say, 'it was so worth it.'

When they headed down to the Great Hall on Saturday, the second of October, he was looking forward to an extra lesson with Moody, who had finally cleared some time. The old auror had grumbled about how long he had to spend going over papers. He had jokingly indicated that they would have less written assignments for the rest of the year as he hated grading the damn things.

Harry was thrilled by this of course, as he much more of a hands-on learner, and even Pansy had to agree that for many classes like Defense it seemed to be the better method for learning the subject.

"Hey Harry," Ron said as he waved him over to sit down. "The twins said that they were going to get a pick up quidditch match going this afternoon. I'm going to be one of the keepers. Are you in?"

"What time?"

"Right after lunch."

"I can't."

"Why not?" Ron complained.

"I've got a meeting with professor Moody."

"Will it last long?"

"I hope so."

"But don't you want to play quidditch with us? I thought you said that you would prefer that over the Triwizard Tournament."

"Sure, but this is important," Harry replied.

"What are you doing with him?" Ron looked offended that anything could be more important than quidditch. "You can already throw off the Imperius curse. Fred and George said Moody's been bragging about having fourth years that are better at it than anyone in their year. I can't imagine you need any extra credit, you're already top of the class."

"It's not about extra credit. I want to talk to him about fighting Death Eaters."

That made several people turn their heads. Hermione gave Harry a look of great concern.


Pansy snorted as Harry stared at his friend in disbelief. Ron really just didn't get it.

"Several reasons. We know they're active again since they pulled out their masks at the Quidditch World Cup. I'm not going to bury my head in the sand and just hope that they aren't going to do anything else." Harry pointed to his scar and continued, "I've got a target on my head. If they are going to attack anyone, I'm going to be at the top of their list. Not to mention what happened last year with Malfoy and Snape.

"Moody's fought them before. If anyone can help me prepare for when they come after me, it's him."

"Can I do anything to help, Harry?" Hermione asked.

"Thanks, but not right now," Harry answered with a smile. "I'll let you know if that changes."


"Seriously, Harry?" Ron looked perturbed. "I think Mad-Eye's paranoia is wearing off on you, mate."

"There were roughly two dozen Death Eaters at the World Cup, Ron. That's a lot of people that would do me harm whenever they get the chance. And knowing my luck, I'll run into most of them sooner or later."

"I guess that makes sense."

"Sorry. If I have time later, I'll come by the pitch and see if you guys are still flying."

"Sure, Harry."

They both went back to eating. Harry knew that it was just that much more distance separating him from his oldest friend. But this was too important, and Harry couldn't worry about playing quidditch with Ron when he needed to make sure he could stay alive.


"Come in, Potter!"

The former auror's voice boomed out before Harry had even knocked at the door. That magical eye could come in very handy for someone like Moody. Harry still preferred keeping both of his eyes intact though.

He opened the door and held it for Pansy as they stepped inside. The desks were off to the sides, leaving a wide open area in the middle of the room.

"So, what's this book you mentioned the other day?"

"It was 'War and Surviving It' by Nicolas Lancaster," Harry answered.

"Ah, good old Nicky," Moody grunted.

"You knew him, sir?"

"Aye. He was one of the people who trained me. Good auror too. What did you think of his book?"

"Honestly, sir, I was a bit disappointed."

"Why? And Potter, you can lay off the sir business when we're not in class. I already feel old enough around all you kids without being reminded of it every time one of you says something."

"Right, well I think I was just hoping for more about actually learning how to fight. It seemed like Lancaster was mostly writing about the mental aspects of fighting for your life, dealing with taking someone else's life, that sort of thing."

"That's important too, lad. There have been plenty of aurors and hit wizards I've known who went looking for other careers after they had a brush with death like that."

"That makes sense, but it just isn't very useful to me. I've had more than my share of brushes with death already- I need to know more about how to make sure that it's the other guy whose luck runs out before mine does."

"That's understandable, especially with what I've heard of some of your adventures so far. Albus tells me you're a magnet for trouble."

"Yeah, it seems like to me too."

"So, you want to learn how to fight then?"


"What about you missy?" Moody asked as he turned to Pansy.

"Honestly, I'm not looking forward to this the way Harry is, but I need to learn to protect myself. If nothing else, just to be ready for when I inevitably get caught in the crossfire by Harry's misadventures."

"Better to know how and not need it than the other way around then."

"That's how I see it too, professor," she replied.

"Well, anything in particular you want to start with, Potter?"

"Yes, the lesson where you cast the Imperius on us so we could learn what it was like gave me an idea. I'd like you to cast the Cruciatus on me."

Pansy gasped behind him while Moody whistled and shook his head.

"That's not going to happen, Potter. For one thing, Albus would never give me clearance for it, but for another, why would you even want to experience that? You can't fight the spell off the way you can the Imperius. If someone casts it at you, you better either dodge or find cover. I'd say summon or conjure something too, but that's probably beyond you now, at least in the heat of the moment."

"I want to know what it's like so that I'll know if I might be able to get back up and keep fighting if I get hit with it. Also, to know how bad it is in case I'm ever captured."

"You're saying you want me to teach you how to withstand torture." Moody gave him a strange look and Harry wasn't sure if he was impressed or just surprised. "Lad, are you sure you're only fourteen?"

"I've had a lot of things happen to me in those fourteen years," Harry said with a shrug.

"I might need to borrow Albus' pensieve then. See what you're already capable of. Let's start with some simpler things. Do you know the shield charm yet?"

"Yes. I know the summoning charm too."

"Really? I'd heard that wasn't something you'd be learning till later this month."

"I learned it a year ago. It seemed incredibly useful, especially if you lost your wand in a fight."

"Can you do it wandlessly then?"


"Good thinking. I always suggest that as the first spell that any auror work on trying to learn wandlessly for exactly that reason. Not that enough of them listen to me, especially in these recent peaceful years. Bunch of lazy arses. That's a big part of why I retired. Too many young fools who think it would be a 'cool job.' Idiots.

"What about you, miss?"

"I know them both too. The summoning charm is the only spell I've been able to get down without a wand so far. Harry gives good advice some times."

"Good. You're both ahead of a lot of people your age. Not too surprising with Potter pulling off a Patronus as a third year. Did you learn that with him too?"

"Yes, Harry helped me. I got a corporeal Patronus only recently."

"I knew I liked you two. Alright, here's what we'll start with. Show me your repertoires. I want to know what all you can do and we'll see where we can go from there."


Pansy held her anger until they were back in the privacy of her quarters, but she could wait no longer than that.

"What the hell was that, Harry? The Cruciatus curse- how could you ask him to do that? How could you expect me to just stand there and watch that happen to you?"

She wanted to slap him, but she was able to control herself. It was a close call though.

"I'm sorry if that upset you, but I need to know. The Death Eaters won't have any reservations about using that spell on me, especially if something terrible happens. I need to know what my limits are. And then I need to move past those limits, as far as I can. I don't really have any other choice.

"Besides, I..."

"You what?"

Harry wilted under her stare and sat down on the couch. He took a deep breath before he said anything more.

"I need to know. To really understand. How he hurt you. Sometimes I still think about that night, about failing you. I can't let that happen again. Never, not under any circumstances.

"Whenever I think about your father, about forcing him to slit his own throat, I don't feel satisfied. I feel like I should have done more, made him really suffer. Like I could never do enough to make that up to you. I'm sorry, Pansy. I'm so, so sorry..."

She sat down beside him and leaned against him, allowing Harry to wrap an arm around her.

"It's alright. All of that is in the past now. I understand, I think, your reasoning. It's rather sweet, in a twisted sort of way."

Harry let out a snort, and she cuddled in closer.

"But I don't want- no, I can't watch that. If you do somehow talk Moody into it, I'm not willing to go that far. I'll train with you, learn any new spells he wants, but I draw the line at seeing you get tortured. Even if it is just practicing to resist torture, you crazy man.

"I love you, Harry, just don't ask me to do that."

"I won't," he answered quietly. "Besides, it looks like Moody draws the line there too."

"Yes, but I know how stubborn you can be. If anyone can talk him into it, it's you.

"Now then, a second matter," she continued. "Are you going to bring anyone else in on your insane need to learn to fight? I assume Granger will be joining us, at least to some extent. She's as stubborn as you are, and I'm sure that she'll want in on a chance to learn something new. I don't know if this would be Luna's cup of tea, though. I have a hard time trying to imagine her fighting off Death Eaters."

"Yeah, I can't really see that either. But if she wants to join us, I won't stop her. Hermione will almost definitely want to know what we did today. And it's like you said, she's been caught up in plenty of my misadventures too, so she probably needs to learn how to fight about as much as you do."

"Weasley won't be joining us though."

"No, I can't see Ron wanting any part of this."

"That wasn't a question, Harry. I'm not willing to put up with that lazy moron anymore."

"Is this because of him bitching about Potions the other day?" Harry asked with a slight grin.

"That Potion wasn't hard, and even you got an Outstanding on the essay. Slughorn is the best teacher in the school, but Weasley still complains about him favoring Slytherin just because three of the four best students in the class are from my house."

"Yeah, that's Ron for you. Extra work isn't something he's ever been inclined to do anyway. Not to mention he just doesn't see the Death Eaters as something that he might have to deal with. I think it's his mother's fault. She's incredibly overbearing, so the idea that she would 'coddle her babies' and try to keep them from knowing what the world is really like, well, I mean...

"Did you know that his brother Percy moved out? He just graduated last spring and has already found a flat of his own."

"You're suggesting that even a stick in the mud like Percy Weasley couldn't stand living with her any longer than necessary," Pansy giggled. "I love this mean, gossipy side of you, Harry."

"Thanks," he snorted. "But it wasn't just Percy. Ron's brother Charlie works at a dragon reserve in Romania, and he moved there pretty much right out of Hogwarts too. His oldest brother Bill went all the way to Egypt to work as a curse breaker for Gringotts."

"He had to go to a whole other continent?" Pansy cackled with glee. "Oh, that is hilarious. Does Weasley actually understand this about his family?"

"I don't think so. I'm pretty sure the twins do, as I've heard them talking about trying to open their own joke shop. I can just see them living in a flat above the store."

"Rules breakers like those two, hmm. Do you think they act like they do just to rebel against a domineering mother?"

"It would make sense," Harry agreed. "It was nice enough for me those couple of weeks that I spent with them, but considering I had been locked up and starved before hand, pretty much anything would have been a step up. Even then, Molly Weasley was just too smothering."

"Alright enough talk, we both need showers after what Moody put us through. I noticed you didn't show him everything you had already learned."

"You never know when having an extra trick up your sleeve might come in handy. And I only trust you and Dobby with all of my secrets."

"Fair enough, Harry," Pansy said as she stood up. "Before you even ask, we're taking separate showers. I need to soak in the hot water for awhile if you want me to feel up to having fun later."

"You do know may so well, my love. Don't take too long though. Dinner starts in half an hour and I'm starving."

"I won't. I'm pretty hungry too. But Moody doesn't believe in doing anything by half. I'm sore in places that I didn't even realize I had muscles."

"I can always give you a nice, sensuous massage later." Harry was already getting excited just thinking about it.

"I'll take you up on that."

"Yes!" Harry raised a fist in triumph as Pansy laughed at him all the way to the bathroom. Harry had missed out on quidditch that afternoon, but everything else made it worth it. And the night was looking to cap everything off just perfectly.
Sign up to rate and review this story