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

Suspicions, Preparations, and Complications

by zugrian 0 reviews

In the lead up to the first task, Harry & Pansy try to figure out who is out to get them that year, what they can do to prepare and who they might be able to use as allies.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: R - Genres: Drama,Romance - Characters: Dobby,Harry,Luna,Pansy - Warnings: [!!!] - Published: 2019-10-03 - 7096 words

Disclaimer: No one owning Harry Potter would ever have anything to do with this story.


It was very late, but neither of them had been able to fall asleep yet. Not even sex had helped.

Pansy rolled over onto her back and sighed.

"Do you want to go over it again?" she heard him ask.

"Might as well. I just can't get to sleep."

Harry turned onto his side, and she saw him look down at her breasts. She reached over to bring his gaze up to her face and noticed his sleepy smile.

"If you want my brain to engage, pull the blanket up."

Pansy rolled her eyes but covered herself. He could be so single-minded at times.

"Alright," she began, "Moody's primary suspect seems to be Karkaroff."

"Former Death Eater turned headmaster. With how Dumbledore had let Snape get away with murder for so long, one has to wonder at how many dark wizards or witches work at Beauxbatons," Harry said in a droll tone.

"We could do a bit of research, although it might be hard to get to the truth. I wouldn't mind wearing that uniform, though- I've always liked silk."

"Now that's an idea I can get behind." Harry smiled at her. "You would look hot in that outfit."

"You think I look hot in a lot of outfits."

"I know. I'm lucky to have you."

"And you're lucky I put up with you," she smirked.

"Isn't that the same thing I said?"

"Back on topic, Harry."

"If you insist."

"I tried to check the reactions of as many of the older students as I could. There were a lot of unhappy faces, but that can be explained by those wanting to have been picked instead of you. No one stood out as looking satisfied that your name had come out. Not even from the Slytherins, and I made sure to get a look at as many of them as I could see clearly from where I sat."

"I heard Dumbledore ask Moody to check on the goblet, to see if he could figure out what happened."

"We'll have to ask him then."

"Yeah. Too bad we don't have Defense tomorrow."

"Ugh," Pansy groaned. "We've got to get up and go out to the greenhouses first thing. I hate Mondays."

"I know. At least Sprout hasn't ever been a pain."

"No, she hasn't." Pansy thought about that fact for a moment before turning to look Harry right in the eye. "Actually, I think I might have made a mistake with her."

"What do you mean?"

"Well, if you haven't noticed, professor Sprout has always been rather accommodating towards us. Even when you cover for me when I'm not feeling well, or when I have to poke you to keep you awake. It was the same last year too."


"And, I think she suspects there is more to our relationship than we've publicly admitted."

"Oh." She could see Harry thinking it over for a minute and she waited for a response. "I don't think that's such a big deal."

"Why not?"

"She's a teacher instead of a student, so it could be a lot worse. Plus, do you remember when your uncle Malcolm first got in touch with us?" She nodded, so he continued. "He told me that he had a contact at the school that he had asked about how I treated you. I think he might have meant Sprout. I did a little bit of research, and they were in school here at the same time.

"Besides, there has been plenty of gossip about us. A few teachers discussing us behind closed doors too just doesn't seem like a big deal to me. No one has ever said anything directly to me about it."

"Okay," Pansy exhaled. "Let's try not to worry about that then."

"Right, back to tomorrow. We don't have any free periods, so we'll have to go by Moody's office before dinner. I just hope he'll know something."

"I think he will."

"Fingers crossed," Harry agreed with half a grin.

"Oh, that reminds me." Pansy sat up with a start, and Harry's gaze was once again drawn downwards. She couldn't contain a snort. "One of these days, you won't be so distracted by my boobs."

"Perish the thought!"

"Focus, Harry," she said as she pulled the covers up. "We need to investigate Mr. Crouch too. He looked bizarrely bored by the entire event, and as one of the main planners of this 'prestigious event' he really should have been much more excited, or at least interested."

"Yeah. We already knew something was off because of him firing his elf who was caught at the World Cup underneath the Dark Mark. That can't all be coincidence. Last I checked, Dobby hadn't been able to get Winky to tell him anything. She's supposedly wasting away, drinking herself sick."

"An alcoholic house-elf," Pansy shook her head. She paused for a moment.

"Maybe we shouldn't bother with the elf," Pansy continued. "If Dobby was her friend, then maybe he visited the Crouch home, right? So therefore he might be able to sneak back there to see if he could find out anything."

"That could work," Harry agreed. "Dobby does like being sneaky. We should watch a spy movie with him some time."

They both giggled at that, before Harry started to yawn. Pansy soon followed.

"Maybe that's a sign," he suggested.

"That we can finally get some sleep?"

"It would be nice."

"Then curl up behind me, Harry."

"Okay," he said as she felt him snuggle in and wrap an arm around her. Harry inhaled as he buried his nose in her hair.

"You always smell so good," he murmured, but Pansy was already drifting off.


They ignored the muttering voices when they finally staggered into the Great Hall the next morning. It had been hard to force themselves to get up and face the day, so they now had less than half an hour before their first lesson began.

One person chose to ignore the sleepy scowls on their faces though, and before he could find a place to sit down, Harry felt a girl glomp onto him.

"You looked like you could use a hug," Luna beamed as Harry chuckled and patted her back.

"What about Pansy? Doesn't she need a hug too?" he asked as his girlfriend just glared at him.

"Probably, but I didn't want to impose," Luna agreed. "She's more intimidating than you are."

Harry laughed as he started filling a plate quickly, the two girls sitting on either side of him.

"Thank you for your restraint Luna. I do have a reputation to protect," Pansy replied.

"Of course," the little blonde agreed, putting up a terrible attempt at looking serious and haughty. "So, how is my favorite Hogwarts champion going to deal with all this?"

"I'll think of something." Harry could barely contain a sigh. "Too bad I don't have history today to ponder over things. Lessons with Sprout and Hagrid are almost always too hands on, and Vector's class is small enough that she would notice if I wasn't focused on my work."

"Poor Harry. I'll have to brainstorm for you then- I have Binns this afternoon."

"Thanks, Luna. I actually have an idea that I might want to use your help with later on."

"Okay. I'll see you both later."

Harry and Pansy just nodded as she left, eating as fast as they could before they had to head out to the greenhouses.


Later that day...

Pansy rejoined Harry outside the Defense class once he finished discussing things with the former auror.

"I checked with McGonagall and she will authorize an unused room after dinner for us to use for training, spell practice, and whatnot."

"We could use that one room up on the seventh floor, you know," Harry said as they went to dinner.

"No one else knows about that room, and I want to keep it that way. Especially if we are going to be spending a lot of time this year, and with your other friends as well, it would be more likely that someone would notice what was going on."

"Alright," Harry acquiesced. "It's a good idea. Sometimes you're even more paranoid than I am."

"I consider it being cautious," Pansy contended.

"So do I. Other people just don't understand."

"Are you inviting Granger too?"

"Yes, her and Luna at least. I might have invited Ron at one point, but especially with how he acted today, I just can't waste any more time on him. I can't believe he still thinks I'm 'holding out on him,' like this is all just some big joke."

"He's a jealous wanker, Harry. I thought you at least had seen enough to realize that by now."

"I know, I'm just... I don't know, surprised at how little he seems to understand things about me, I guess."

"Try to relax. We both need to get plenty to eat if we're going to be working this evening."


She kept an eye on him as they ate that night. Harry was clearly still stressed, but having the beginnings of a plan to work with had helped some to improve his demeanor. Soon enough, the meal was over and professor McGonagall led them to a mostly empty room two flights down from Gryffindor tower. When the teacher left them to their devices, Harry stepped into the center and turned to face the girls.

"Thank you all for helping me. We don't know what I'll have to deal with yet in the Triwizard Tournament, so for now I'd like to just keep practicing some of the things that Moody has been going over with me."

"Like what?" Granger asked.

"Magical combat, basically. The tournament usually involves dangerous tasks, so learning to fight will still be valuable, even if it is dealing with magical creatures or obstacles instead of dark wizards trying to kill me. So, to start, I'm going to spread the tables and chairs around the room somewhat randomly-"

"Are we all going to do this at once, Harry?" Pansy asked.

"You shouldn't get worn out so fast this way," he answered with a smirk.

"What do you mean?" Granger gave her a curious look after noticing Harry's response.

"Moody has had us do some of this the few times he has helped on the weekends, and Pansy ends up physically worn out afterwards."

"Exercise never has been something I enjoy. But at least this is for a good cause."

"Hermione, Luna, do both of you know the stunning spell?"

Pansy wasn't surprised that Granger knew it, so they waited for a moment as Harry taught the spell to Luna, then the various obstacles were placed. Using available cover was an idea that Moody had drilled into them.

Within moments, mayhem broke out as all three girls began trying to stun Harry who was dodging the spellfire, briefly taking cover but mostly staying on the move and casting his own stunners back at them when the opportunity arose.

Pansy had gotten better at this from the few times she had practiced with Harry, but she wasn't in his league yet in either speed or instincts. Her aim was fairly precise though, and he had to work at dodging her spells more than the others.

Granger was the first to go down to one of his stunners. She wasn't nearly as fast or aggressive as Harry, and her lack of physical endurance made her quickly winded.

Luna, on the other hand, was fairly swift, both in movement and spellcasting. Aim was her weak point, only a few of her spells really made Harry work at avoidance. She fell to a stunner a few moments later.

Pansy realized her mistake almost immediately. She had been paying too much attention to analyzing the other girls instead of focusing her attack on Harry. A brief moment of surprise as he dashed towards her out of cover was enough for him to nail her with a disarming spell. He caught her wand as he leapt over to her and wrapped his arms around her.

"I win." He dramatically dipped her back and claimed a victory kiss.

"You didn't stun me, though," she argued once he was finished.

"I know you got grumpy from the bruise on your knee last time. Besides, you know I love your legs and I don't want you getting banged around anymore than absolutely necessary."

"Dobby did get us that bruise paste."

"And we'll go through it faster with the extra help. The point of this is to make me work anyway."

"Fine, you get Granger and I'll get Luna."

Once they were both awakened, they repeated the process three more times. Harry won the first two, but even he started to tire by the end, and a lucky hit from Luna downed him before he could take out any of the girls on the final go round.

They only had half an hour till curfew once Harry was awakened, so they called it a night.

Pansy waited until she and Harry were back in the privacy of their quarters before bringing the earlier question up.

"Did professor Moody tell you anything?"

"Oh yes," Harry said with a grin. "I considered telling you earlier, but I didn't want to go into any of it with Hermione and Luna, at least not yet. He found out exactly how my name was chosen."


"Apparently, someone cast a proximity charm around the goblet- specifically, it was cast right next to Dumbledore's age line. Any piece of parchment with a name and Hogwarts written on it would be changed to my name. According to him, it was a complex piece of work. Almost certainly not something a student would be able to manage without a lot of practice and forethought."

"Was it Karkaroff?"

"That's what Moody thinks. The fact that the spell was so close to the age line suggests that it likely would have been someone who wanted the magic to be overlooked by the more obvious glowing charm of the age line. Unfortunately, not everyone agrees with him."

"Meaning what?"

"Meaning dear old Albus Dumbledore waved away his suspicion as Moody being overly harsh with an old foe. The headmaster argued that there was no proof that the Death Eater was necessarily the one to blame."

"Who did he think did it?"

"He wouldn't say, or at least that's what Moody told me."

"We were going to keep a close eye on Karkaroff anyway."


Pansy thought that over for a moment. Durmstrang's headmaster was the most likely foe they had currently, but she still had some suspicions about Mr. Crouch as well.

"So, now the question is what we do about it," Harry added.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, as Moody pointed out, currently the only people that know about how and why my name came out of that damn goblet are the one who did it, Moody, Dumbledore, and now you and me. If we go public with this, it would probably make whoever is responsible that much more cautious in the future, which could be a lot worse for us in the long run. Someone who thinks they got away with it could be more careless and let their guard down.

"So, it comes down to which matters more, caring about my reputation or making sure my enemies fail."

"And I know which you would lean more towards," Pansy conceded.

"I'm sure you do."

"Let's not rush into anything just yet, Harry. We should think it through carefully. Even if we do have this revealed, we could wait till the weekend or so. Professor Moody did say it was a complex bit of magic, right? Therefore, it could take him a few days to investigate to figure out what it was."

"Not that it did, but that is plausible I suppose."

"Right, which means we would have a few days to decide. Do you think the professor would accept that?"

"He did say he would leave it up to me to choose what to do about this. Moody seems to think I deserve some say in what is going on in my life. Such a nice change, really," he snorted.

"Alright, then let's head to bed. My body still wants to catch up from the sleep we missed last night."

"Good idea."


The week flew by as Harry became so focused on his work that he was completely unfazed by the stares and whispers. It seemed that the entire seventh year resented him for being chosen over people much older than him- the fact that Harry had mastered a beyond NEWT level spell like the Patronus a year previous was something they all chose to conveniently ignore.

However, it wasn't so much his school work that held his attention but what he started calling 'life work.' As in those things that would hopefully guarantee that he could actually stay alive long enough to enjoy himself once he was clear of all the danger that the magical world constantly threw his way.

Pansy had at first been more than a little miffed with him, especially as his work in several classes became even more pitiful. Once he explained that he was excused from the end of year exams due to his champion status, she relented. Surviving the tournament and whatever else came their way over the rest of the year was definitely more important than any essay.

In fact, once she really thought it over, she went so far as to learn a charm that could mimic a person's handwriting. She could just as easily write one of his half-arsed papers. As long as Harry would pay enough attention in class to be able to understand whatever they were working on, Pansy decided she could free up more of his time by helping him in this way. She knew he was looking forward to dropping half his schedule as soon as the OWLs were finished anyway. In fact, if she had known this was going to happen, Pansy would have pulled them both out of Arithmancy before the start of the year.

However, they had a second Slug Club meeting the next weekend, and it was possibly going to be too useful to skip.

Harry had received a letter from Sirius Black, who had apparently been working with Madam Bones on the problem of the Death Eaters for the last couple of months. While she did what she could from within the government, despite some pushback, Sirius had no qualms about getting his hands dirty and was therefore acting off the books to do what Amelia legally couldn't. Being the victim of a corrupt and incompetent legal system hadn't left him caring too much about following the law.

Pansy needed to try to form some sort of bond with Flora and Hestia Carrow, and as the orphaned daughter of a Death Eater, she hoped that fact would be an inroad that could get things started. She didn't know them very well, but from their behavior they were obviously defensive and protective of one another. It was a far cry from the way the boys of her year that were proud of their bigoted parents acted, which suggested they might not have a happy home life just as she hadn't.

It was rather sickening that she had to hope their parents were bastards so that they might be willing to help her, as she and Harry needed to take all of the Death Eaters out of play sooner rather than later. Those crazy dreams of the Dark Lord's spirit were too worrisome for Pansy to do anything less.

As for Harry's part, he was going to have to initiate a conversation with Susan Bones, who was too convenient of a messenger with her aunt for them not to make use of. Neither of them really thought that the girl would be privy to anything too secretive, but they had read of Madam Bones' recent actions in the paper. She was working on a more thorough investigation after the captured Death Eaters had both been sentenced to Azkaban. An unnamed auror had also been suspended- Pansy had her fingers crossed that Yaxley was going to be dealt with as harshly as possible. Getting traitors out of the ministry was urgent.

Of particular note though, the two captured Death Eaters had finally been named once their trials came about. One of them was Goyle's father, and while Harry hadn't caught it, Pansy had seen that he was even quieter than usual and not as confident as he had been in years past. He still stuck by Crabbe though, and if they were bullying people out of her sight, there would have been less chance than in years past that she would have heard about it.

Maybe the Carrow girls could help with that too?


Pansy actually felt more nervous than she had in a long time as she and Harry headed to the Slug Club that Saturday afternoon. She wasn't sure what she might need to reveal to try to get the daughters of a Death Eater to somehow open up to her. Most of the families like that she had experience with were far too reserved to let outsiders know anything. She had never told anyone other than Harry how awful her father had been, and she really didn't want to start unless it was absolutely necessary.

Harry was uncomfortable as well. His job for the day was dealing with Susan Bones, and he was not looking forward to it. The redheaded Hufflepuff had been looking much more closely at Harry, or at least Harry and Pansy had started to notice it for the first time. He had moaned once again that they should stop hiding the fact that they were together so that other girls would stop being interested in him. Pansy had snorted at that suggestion of Harry's. As if something so small as another girl would stop those who wanted to get their claws in the boy-who-lived.

She certainly wasn't jealous of a silly girl like Susan Bones, no matter how huge her knockers were. The evil slut. If she thought some cleavage was enough to steal Harry away, Pansy would just have to teach her the meaning of pain. Harry wasn't the only one learning to fight.

(Okay, maybe she was just a teeny bit jealous.)

He opened the door for her and they made their way inside. Today's little get together was less formal than the first, and sure enough, they had been right that Belby wasn't invited this time around.

Granger was keeping Longbottom company off to one side, and Pansy held back a smirk. Even after all the work she and the girls put in on him, he was still such a wuss. At least his presence could keep Granger out of the way for awhile.

Harry briefly touched her arm and gave Pansy a very quick look before walking over to talk to Bones. Damn her, she was wearing something that highlighted her boobs. Of course she was. Oh yes, fold your arms 'nonchalantly' you bitch, as if you weren't completely aware of how that was intended to draw Harry's attention downwards.

Pansy forced herself to stop glaring and crossed the room to Greengrass and the Carrow girls, speaking quietly in their own little grouping. It was a bit amusing to see how even in such a small party there were still smaller factions forming.

"Ladies, lovely to see you all again."

"Pansy," Daphne greeted her with a very small nod.

"Daphne. How go things down in the dungeons?"

"Certainly quieter with Malfoy no longer strutting about."

"I can only imagine."

"Yes, and I'm sure you couldn't be more satisfied," Daphne replied, noting the obvious smirk. It made Pansy grin, Daphne was more interesting company than a lot of people she had been around lately. Most of Harry's friends were so lame, like the two mousy little Gryffindors off in the corner.

"I doubt you would have enjoyed whenever his father started deciding who might be worthy of joining that family either."

"Definitely not. They might have picked me just for my hair color."

"Or even your sister," Pansy teased. "Draco was such a weakling that he would have needed a younger woman that wouldn't have stared him down the way we all used to. That reminds me, how is Millie?"

"Still frightening anyone that looks at her wrong. One of the quidditch players jokingly suggested that she should try out for next year's team; now that Flint was gone, they had room for a new part troll. He was still looking for one of his teeth last I heard."

"I always did like that girl," Pansy chortled with delight.

"Me too," Flora agreed. While she still had no idea how to tell the Weasley twins apart, the Carrow girls had an obvious difference- Hestia's heterochromatic eyes.

"That it was Warrington made it that much better," Hestia added. "He's always seemed like such a creep."

"He also thought he was going to be the new quidditch captain, but after dear Millie's little display, most of the house laughs behind his back now," Daphne said.

"The arrogant bastard got what he deserved," Flora continued. "He tried to chat us up one night, claiming that he was more than man enough to handle two girls at once."

"I take it that didn't go well?" Pansy asked, hoping to hear about something painful happening to him.

"He was both close enough and stupid enough to get a knee to the bullocks," Flora answered with an evil grin. "Then I demonstrated just how good I was with a severing charm on his robes and told him that next time he wouldn't be a man at all if he ever came near us again."

"Your sister is awesome, you know?" Pansy said as she leaned into Hestia who was beaming with pride.

"I do."

"So, how are things as the shadow of the illustrious Lord Potter?" Daphne gave her a look that was ever-so-slightly smug, thinking about how Pansy's change in social status made her lower than she used to be. If only Daphne knew the truth, it might wipe that expression off her face for good.

"And Hogwarts champion as well now," Pansy added. "He casts a large shadow over us all."

"Yes, but you're closer to him than the rest of us," Daphne continued probing.

"That I am."

"Only a couple more weeks till the first task," Hestia interjected, either not noticing or not caring about the little power struggle the two older girls had going. "How is he preparing?"

"I cannot say."

"Cannot, or will not?" Flora wondered.

"Both, I suppose."

"Well, I hope Harry wins," Hestia said. "Krum seems like a sleaze, and he stares at us."

"Us?" Pansy asked.

"Several of the younger years," Daphne replied. "A few of the sixth and seventh year girls have tried flirting with him to no avail. I swear, if I ever catch him looking at Astoria, I'll cut his balls off. Consequences be damned. He's a fucking pervert."

"Now that's interesting news." Pansy thought about it for a moment. "Might want to keep that opinion to yourself around the professor though. I have a feeling he will try to get to know him. World famous quidditch star, that's the right type."

"Yes, I could just see old Sluggy inviting the other champions to one of these parties," Flora said with disgust. "The Beauxbatons champion is awful too. So pretty, and perfect, and bitchy, and so... so-"

"So French?" Daphne suggested.


"My mother's family is French," Pansy said.

"Is that where you get it from?" Daphne asked with a smirk.

"Don't hate me because I'm fabulous," Pansy retorted. "It was certainly the better side of my family."

"I think we can all agree on that," Flora replied.

"Death Eaters don't make good fathers in my experience," Pansy acknowledged. It was a bit heavy handed, but only if the girls knew that she knew about their parents. From the small flinch that Hestia gave off and the stormy look in Flora's eyes, she knew that she had hit pay dirt.


That was all that Flora said, while Hestia merely looked off to the side uncomfortably. It was more than enough.


Harry was irritable that evening during dinner. Pansy hadn't gotten a chance to talk to him yet, but she could tell that he wasn't happy with whatever had happened with Susan Bones.

At least the attitudes of the older students had somewhat subsided. Harry still got a few people glaring at him every now and then, but it was nothing that bothered him. In the end, Pansy had to agree with Harry that any minor social benefits of how he hadn't entered himself were outweighed by the prospect of lulling the culprit into a false sense of security. They were most likely dealing with a Death Eater who had already wriggled his way out of justice and somehow conned enough fools into becoming a headmaster of one of the largest magical schools in the world. Scheming to take out an individual like that was much more important than being concerned over the hurt feelings of some teenagers.

Weasley hadn't made anything easier, as he was still acting like a jealous little brat. His previous attempts to get Harry to 'let him in on the secret' of how his name was chosen had quickly become replaced by complaining about how Harry was acting differently. Harry worrying about his survival and refusing to goof off with a moron was somehow the equivalent of being arrogant, at least to the ginger twat.

If not for it worsening his mood at times, Pansy would be thrilled by this actually. Harry's most annoying friend had pretty much completely ruined what was left of that friendship. She hadn't needed to do anything to get rid of him after all.

Unfortunately, there were several assignments for Pansy to catch up on, and Luna and Granger needed to do the same. They were all hoping to meet Sunday afternoon for another round of training, but that still left her needing to think of something to help improve Harry's mood, and preferably without taking up all of her time too.

Thankfully, Luna was sitting on Harry's other side working on cheering him up by trying to come up with her own version of the best combination of sweets available that evening. Her idea of a tart sandwich had at least gotten him to laugh, even if Harry did argue that treacle tart would be wasted in such a creation. It wasn't enough to dissuade Luna though, and her plate was soon filled with her brand new creation- custard tart on the bottom, treacle on top, and Eton mess as the smushy center.

The girl was lucky that she didn't make herself sick with some of the things Pansy had seen her eat.

However, this did give Pansy enough time to think of a project to keep Harry busy instead of stressing out while she got her schoolwork done.


"Alright Harry, want to tell me about it?"

He let out a frustrated sigh as he sagged back onto the couch.

"I guess."

"It couldn't have been that bad."

"No, it wasn't really." Harry took a moment to collect his thoughts. "Susan didn't have anything of import to tell me, but she did say that her aunt would like to have another meeting as soon as possible. With the tournament going on, it will probably have to wait until the holiday break."

"That sounds alright. I would like to know just how much Madam Bones was able to get out of the two Death Eaters. I remember Goyle's father, who was the other one again?"

"His name was Avery... William Avery, I believe."

"Right, so did she have any other news?"

"Not really. Most of the time we talked was just getting to know each other, which wouldn't have been so bad if not for you."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Pansy gave him a glare; even though his tone had remained weary, that wasn't what she expected Harry to say.

"You're the one who taught me all about body language. If not for that, I would have just been a clueless guy who might not have even noticed all the little things she was doing to express her interest. Girls are a lot more subtle when they flirt than guys."


"Yes, oh. I had trouble not letting it show that it was bothering me. At least Susan wasn't too blatant about anything. She was rather nice, otherwise."

"Nice?" she asked with an imperiously raised eyebrow and scowl.

"Come on, you know better than to look at me like that. I'm not available, and one of these days I'll actually be able to tell people that."

"I know, Harry." Pansy scooted over closer to him. "Want some good news then?"


"Things went well with Flora and Hestia."


"Don't sound so surprised."

"Sorry, I've just been so damn frustrated lately. I knew you could do it."

"I didn't get anything concrete out of them yet, but I got confirmation that they aren't happy with their own Death Eater father."

"That is good news."

"It might take awhile to get close enough to them, but it was a good start definitely. You having taken me away from my father is helpful too. I saw both girls, especially Hestia, peaking over at you occasionally while we talked."

"That's good?"

"It is if they start thinking about getting away from their own family for similar reasons to mine."

"Except for the fact that I can't rescue them the same way."

"Well, technically you could. They were at the quidditch match after all. But yes, I do realize that could cause us problems, even if we could trust them. Don't worry though, I strongly doubt there will be any rush as far as the Carrow girls are concerned. Unless something big happens, I don't think they would approach you until next summer at the earliest. Besides, I can't say for certain just how bad they might have it."

"That's not a happy thought," Harry mused. "I hope not too bad, for their sakes, but at the same time-"

"At the same time, we could really use their help. Anything they could learn via their parents could be key to getting rid of more of the Dark Lord's supporters. We've just got to hope that we have enough time for me to win them over to our cause."

"I know you can do it. I just hope we don't have to be rushed by anything."

"Well, now that the wrap up from the party is over, I need to get to work."

"Do I need to do anything?"

"No, I already wrote up something for McGonagall to cover for you."


"No problem, Harry. My grades will probably get even better. I can treat your work like a rough draft."

"Well, I'm glad to know I'm being useful even when I'm actually wasting your time.

"But have you ever wondered why there are so many different spells in Transfiguration? I mean, so many of them seem pointless. Plus, isn't turning some small animal into something inanimate or vice versa kind of dumb? Why would I ever need or want to turn a teacup into a gerbil? And why would there need to be a specific different spell to do that compared to turning a rat into a water goblet?"

"I have no idea," Pansy admitted. "I'm just making sure we both pass the class; you can focus on figuring out what we really need to know. And on that topic, I have something for you to do during the time when I need to catch up on homework. Other than just distracting me, that is."

"Alright, I'm intrigued," Harry replied. "Not as intrigued as I would be if you were telling me this while naked, but-"

"Enough of that later. Come into the bedroom." Pansy stood and Harry was quick to follow her.

"Now you're just getting my hopes up. You are a cruel, cruel woman."

"The other bedroom, Harry." She walked into what was supposed to be her room, although it got very little use. Still, Pansy kept her trunk in there, which was where she led him. She opened it to the third compartment, which was entirely filled with books. Harry sat down in front of it next to her and started to look the contents of the trunk over.

"This is what we looted from my father's library. I haven't had a chance to go through most of these books, which is something that I think you should do. You're the practical one, so I'm sure you can figure out what might be worth it for us to learn from them."

Harry chuckled.

"I'm on research. Now that's different. Maybe you should call me Hermione until I get used to it."

"Granger is too narrow-minded to be allowed to know what we might have in those volumes. So, don't even think of getting her involved."

"Don't worry, it was just a joke. I'll start on this while you do your essay."

"If you'll continue being such a good boy, I'm sure you'll get a reward later."

"You do have me trained, don't you?"

Pansy leaned over and kissed the back of his neck.

"Yes, I do."


The next few days went rather well. Pansy made sure to keep Harry from getting too stressed at night, and the rest of the time he was busy enough that they were actually being very productive.

Luna and Hermione helped Harry train when they could, and although it quickly became obvious that while the three girls were all getting better, it was best for Harry if they all attacked him at once. They all agreed to make it a point to coordinate a night when they would all be free to work together.

The only concern was what happened one Friday during Potions. Harry was called out of the class to go to a ceremony having to do with the tournament.

Pansy tried to focus on the class, but she mostly ended up wondering what might be going on with Harry at the time.

She realized her work wasn't up to her usual standards by the time the class was coming to an end, but there was no time left to fix her work. That day's potion and grade would just have to be written off.

There was plenty of time before dinner, so she headed back to their quarters, hoping he would be back by then.

It was only a few minutes later that Harry stepped inside and sat down by her, and he then surprised her by stretching out and laying his head in her lap.

"I hate people sometimes."


"Yeah. On one hand we've got the snobby French girl who seems to think she can stare me into submission because apparently she's used to men falling all over themselves to kiss her pretty little arse, and on the other, we've got the grunting Neanderthal who does occasionally break his quiet scowl just to remind me that Delacour isn't the only rude bitch in the room.

"And as if that wasn't bad enough, the Daily Prophet sent Rita Skeeter to cover the event."

"The gossip columnist?"

"Precisely. Thank God for Sam. She tried to prod me a bit for a quote but I told her that I wasn't giving any interviews without my lawyer present, and that shut her up."

"No one wants to be dragged into a courtroom. I wonder if many other people have thought of doing something like that with her?"

"I would guess some have, but I think I should send Sam a quick warning just in case she tries to cause problems."

"Good idea. That is all she lives to do."

"Yeah, but this is one time where my fame might really come in handy. Even if she doesn't care about how some people might hate her for going after 'the boy who lived,' her bosses at the paper probably don't want to get on my bad side. It could cost them in the long run."

"That assumes that the people in charge are using their brains though. I thought you knew better than that?" Pansy teased.

Harry laughed in response.

"I really should by now."


A week later, they both found out just how true that thought was. It was another weekend in Hogsmeade, but this one Pansy enjoyed more than many, as Weasley was not on speaking terms with Harry anymore.

The annoying bastard's jealousy had him convinced that Harry was being arrogant, getting into the Triwizard Tournament because he craved more fame. What an idiot! As if anyone who knew Harry, even just in passing, would have come up with that conclusion. He was clearly delusional.

Still, the day was mostly a nice way to relax before the upcoming task.

Hagrid had to ruin that though.

First, he 'surreptitiously' asked Harry to meet him later that night with his invisibility cloak. In the middle of the crowded Three Broomsticks. Even whispering, Hagrid's booming voice tended to carry. Pansy saw first hand how hilariously awful the giant man was with secrecy.

She of course made sure that Dobby would follow along in order to keep an eye on Harry. There was no way she would trust a man who thought creating something like the blast-ended skrewt was a good idea. Not only was it ridiculously illegal, but the ill-tempered beasts served no obvious purpose other than to endanger the students forced to interact with them.

It was just the type of horrifying negligence that she was coming to expect from Hogwarts.

But the night ended with even more bad news.

Thankfully it was the weekend, so they would be able to sleep in tomorrow, but Pansy was still worried when Harry didn't return until almost eleven.

The look on his face made it much worse. She couldn't remember ever seeing him this rattled before.

And then he spoke a single word that explained it.

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