Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby

The Prisoner of Azkaban

by Meteoricshipyards 10 reviews

The summer before Harry and Luna's second year brings fun, a vacation, and the beginnnig of their next adventure.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure, Romance - Characters: Harry, Luna - Warnings: [!!!] [?] - Published: 2006-10-16 - Updated: 2006-10-16 - 4569 words - Complete

Chapter 11 The Prisoner of Azkaban

At some level was the knowledge that the prisoner was asleep, but that state of affairs wouldn't last. The cold crept into the prisoner's awareness and the dream of being outside was torn away, leaving the image of the Master.

"/Crucio/!" The memory of being subjected to the pain curse permeated the prisoners' mind.

"Remember the price of failure! /Crucio/!"

"But I haven't failed you Master. Why do you punish me?"

"You question ME? /Crucio/! Learn your place."

"Yes, Master."

"/Crucio/!" This time it wasn't the Dark Lord's voice. And the child who received the curse screamed as all who are subject to it scream. This one was too young to understand, but that didn't matter.

"/Crucio/!" There were multiple voices casting it this time, as memories merged. The high pitched voice of the Dark Lord, and the long unheard voice of the prisoner. The cries, too, were merged, the child's screams, and the prisoner's own when experiencing the Cruciatus.

"/Crucio/!" This time there was just one voice. The same voice casting and screaming. Giving and receiving what some have described as the worst pain the human body can experience. Caster and target. Perpetrator and victim. Again and again and again.

The image faded. The Dementor was moving away from the cell.

- - -

It was the first week of summer vacation. Selene had bought a small chest with a magic lock. That was where the kids' wands were kept when they weren't using them for supervised work. Harry and Luna did not let her parents know how frustrated they felt about that, but had to admit that Selene was pretty smart.

The days fell into a routine: breakfast (Harry had gotten out of the habit of making it, but soon was helping most mornings), yard work, school work (Selene still made them work on their penmanship, geography, mathematics, and reading, and even though they would have done that on their own, she also required that they learn the classics.) Around the house they also practiced the languages that they had magically learned; magic had helped teach them, but would not help them retain the knowledge, so they practiced both reading and speaking French, German, Greek, Latin, and Spanish.

Harry, with some suggestions from Mike Daly (who he owled), finally started reading the Bible, beginning with the Septuagint. Thus he merged his classics reading with reinforcing his Greek. He bounced around in the various books and found some of the stories in Genesis interesting, but others strange. Why did Jacob have to steal his father's blessing? And why did he eventually profit from it, if stealing was wrong? The names in the books of Kings were too many to keep track of. The story of Tobias was interesting, but Harry didn't think the spell given would really drive away demons. He felt the book of Tobias would have made a more exciting story if it had been written a bit different. Maybe it was the ancient Greek. And why did people talk about the patience of Job? He spent most of his book complaining. The book of Wisdom did have a lot of wisdom in it, he thought. He also read parts of the Canticle of Canticles to Luna. She seemed to have a different perspective on it than Harry, and thought having her eye compared with doves was sweet. Harry couldn't think of why comparing her hair with a flock of goats was romantic, but Luna seemed to. She did sadly look at her chest, and apologize that her breasts weren't like fawns of a gazelle. That was another analogy that didn't resonate with Harry, but he reassured her that he was sure they would grow, but didn't think they'd resemble a gazelle fawn.

During their second week home, Selene showed them an article in the /Daily Prophet/. The paper was holding an essay contest for school children. Selene insisted that they enter. The subject was the importance of the History of the Magical World. Harry groaned. Couldn't they have picked an interesting topic? Harry's essay reflected his lack of interest in the subject. Luna's was less formal, and touched on many very obscure bits of history, some of which Harry couldn't find in their History of Magic books and wasn't totally sure happened.

The parents organized the first play party on the third Saturday after school ended. At Harry's request, Mike Daly was included, and at Luna's request Elisabeth Ericson came with her parents. It was held at the Lovegoods'. The Daly and Ericson parents, like Hermione's the year before, finally got a chance to see what the wizarding world was like, Mike's more than Liz'. He lived in London, and brought his parent by floo from the Leaky Cauldron. Liz lived less than thirty km south in Sidmouth, so they drove. The Weasleys, Grangers, Longbottoms, and Malfoys (at least the social ones) were also there. The parents sat around talking parent things while the children played Quiff or just ran around.

Selene had to give an explanation of her children "blowing up" the Great Hall. She explained that finding dark objects in Hogwarts was not a normal occurrence, and her children's actions, while noble, were inappropriate for children. She reassured the other parents that they would get adult involvement if anything like that happened again.

The children were even allowed to show off their broom skill, using Luna's and Harry's training brooms. When she saw the children flying, Mrs. Granger was both frightened for them, and unsympathetic to Hermione's fear of heights. The other parents looked at each other behind her back, and those that knew Hermione deduced that part of her drive to excel was to gain her mother's approval.

The children went to bed tired that evening.

- - -

July was fairly uneventful for the first half. All across the group of friends people were preparing or going on vacations. In the Lovegood residence, they got ready for their summer get away to the New World. There was a big to-do when the Weasleys won the Daily Prophet Galleon Drawing and they started to make plans to go to Egypt. Hermione's family went to France shortly after the Lovegood's party, and Draco and his mother went to a family property on the North Sea. Neville wrote Harry that he was visiting some relatives, but not for any overnight trips. He expressed some jealousy about all the places his friends were going. He did talk happily about the extra responsibility he was given in the manor's greenhouse.

The weekend before they left for the New World, Mike held a birthday party. He invited the entire first year class. About half were able to make it. Unlike the other parties, this one was held in a Muggle neighborhood. His mother, a witch, had the house connected up to the floo network for the day. The wizarding children ate food cooked over a charcoal bar-b-queue, were introduced to computers, and watched a movie. Harry got a special tour of the kitchen, where he found out about a number of household appliances that the Dursleys never had (and the wizarding world didn't have, either.)

After the party, Harry brought up the idea of a big birthday party for him. Since his "official" birthday was just after school started, he thought he could get a party shortly before school started. Selene said she'd talk it over with Larry and let him know. A few days later they talked with Harry about the party. They agreed, but didn't think they could hold it at their place -- the yard was too small to hold thirty kids, never mind the house should it rain that day. Right before they left on their trip Larry informed Harry and Luna that they had made an arrangement with Neville's grandmother to hold the party at the Longbottom Manor.

- - -

"Hello, Mum."

"Hello, Leo. It was nice getting your invitation to lunch."

"I know that during the school year you usually can't get away. With school out, I figured we could spend more time together. "

"Thank you, that would be nice. How's Ophelia?"

"She's working. I'm trying to spend less time at work, but I think she's spending more time at her job in revenge."

". Is there anything I can do?"

"Unfortunately, not. We just have to work this out between ourselves. How have you been?"

"Busy. It seems sometimes that the title "deputy" should be dropped from 'Deputy-Headmistress.' With the Headmaster gone so much of the summer, I don't get much of a break."

"Is that normal?"

"No. Just the last few years. He's searching for Harry Potter. This summer he's in Japan. What?"


"Leonidas Lambert McGonagall! You tell me what you're smiling about!"

"I'm sorry, I can't. Doctor/patient privacy and all that."

Minerva McGonagall clenched her teeth. "Well, what can you tell me?"

"Harry Potter's physically healthy, at least when I saw him. He's magically powerful. And the people raising him know that certain people are still after him."

"You mean the headmaster?"

"No, the followers of You-Know-Who."

Minerva shuddered.

"So they're keeping him safe. . . . And he's your patient?"

"Not really. I've only seen him once for magical exhaustion. . . ."

"Magical exhaustion! How can a twelve year old become magically exhausted?"

"He was only nine, and he cast a very powerful spell to save his guardian. Quite the feat! But his guardians want his location kept secret, so I will. Sorry, Mum."

"Well, if there are certain people after him, I think that's a very wise thing to do. Well, thank you for that information. It's been a mystery that's been driving Albus crazy."

"I hope in a few years they can drop the disguise and he can become himself again, but in the meantime he can grow up in blissful anonymity."

"Well, that's certainly news. What else? When can I expect grandchildren?"

"Mum!. . . ."

- - -

Vacation time came swiftly. The Lovegoods took an international portkey to Washington, D.C. for the "Muggle" portion of their trip. They visited the Smithsonian Institution for two whole days. The old cars exhibit was interesting. They found a middle aged Muggle whose grandfather had told him personal stories about the cars in the exhibit.

"Somewhere here is a car here that drove my grandfather off the road. I was too young when he told me about it to remember the type. He did tell about a steam car similar to one here that a neighbor of his had when he was a boy. They lived near a hill, and his father always had to go to a lower gear to get up the hill, but the steam car just chugged up it seemingly without caring. Now-a-days, I bet you don't even have a manual transmission -- most cars don't.

"But do you realize the changes that have occurred in the last hundred years? When my great grandfather was born there were no cars. When my grandfather was born, there were no airplanes. When my father was born there were no jet planes or rockets bigger than fireworks. When I was born no man had gone into space. What will the world be like when your children are born?"

Mr. Lovegood laughed. "In our part of England things are pretty much as they've been for a long time. Seems like very little changes there. If our children stay in the area it will be very similar to how our parents lived."

"Well, that's amazing," the American answered. "There's a lot to be said for a simpler lifestyle. But your trip here wouldn't have been possible without the technology built over the last hundred years. Unless you came by ship?"

Mr. Lovegood shook his head. "No, not by ship," he said.

"So how did you like the flight over?" he asked the children. The adult Lovegoods looked at the children with a "you know what's expected" look.

"I love to fly," Harry answered.

"I think it's alright," Luna said.

The Muggle smiled at Harry, "I've flown probably a dozen times. First time was around your age. I still find it exciting to fly. Well, enjoy your visit! Have a good flight home."

Later the parents congratulated the kids for their answers.

"Uncle Larry? It seems sad that he can't really fly."

"Yes, Harry, it does. It's just one of those unanswered mysteries of the world: why do some people have magic, and others don't?" They went into a display where a simulator let you attempt to land a plane on an aircraft carrier. "And why do they come up with so many strange ideas?" he said, gazing at the computer generated image of the aircraft carrier as a Muggle child crashed the plane into the stern of the ship.

They were totally confused by the computer exhibit. The gems and stones held an unexpected surprise, though. While looking at the Hope Diamond, Luna commented that it had a dark aura. The sign next to the display mentioned the curse, and when no one was looking Larry cast some detection spells.

"Yes, you're right. There is a curse on that stone. Subtle. Causes loss of trust and argumentative behavior, probably leading to violence or stress problems in the family. I suppose now that the government owns it, it should be alright, don't you think?"

Not being citizens, the government buildings held very little interest beyond architecturally. They took a train to Boston to visit the wizarding government of the New World. They found the train very different from the Hogwarts' Express.

The New World was a colony of the British Ministry of Magic until 1867. When the Muggle Government decided Canada was to become independent, the wizarding government scrambled to unite the various groups into a cohesive nation. The French wizards in Quebec and Louisiana, the Spanish wizards in Florida and California, and the many native groups came together with the English wizards into a single entity now known as the New World. Stretching from the Inuit shaman in the north to the boarders of the Aztec nation in the south, the New World had the only all-wizard city in the world (New Goetry, in the Canadian Rockies). They were a more democratic and less class bound society, than the old world magical governments.

Once, the entire government was in the magical section of Boston. But with a population that increases by immigration from around the world as well as mixed marriages (over three quarters of the magic users in the New World are married to Normals, their word for Muggles, as opposed to less than a quarter in Great Britain), the population required more room for a bigger government. The legislative branch (the Caucus) remained in Boston, while the executive branch moved to a new Unplottable location in northern Ontario. Of course, with magical travel, the distance between them was negligible.

With such a large magical population, the wizarding society could support more than one daily newspaper. Mr. Lovegood was fascinated by all the information available. He talked about competition to Harry and Luna. Luna had trouble with the idea of newspapers competing. After all, the truth was the truth; to claim that you report the news better than another paper is to claim that they aren't telling the truth.

They visited the village of North Salem, the town that grew up around the Salem Institute in New England. They visited the campus of the famous (now co-ed) magical school. With it being summer, very few people were around.

They saw the giant crib that was used by the Muggles that raised the half- Giant Paul Bunyan. It was part of a small museum that also held his axe (bigger than Mr. Lovegood) and the rope of the Texas wizard Pecos Bill who had created a spell that let him ride a tornado. He never shared the spell, though, and no other wizard has re-created it. The other major wizard showcased in the museum was the Native wizard Gluscabi who had captured the Wind Eagle, one of the rarest magical creatures in the world.

As they left Harry remarked how he would like History of Magic better if it was as interesting as it was presented in the museum.

While they were visiting Boston, Massachusetts, (not to be confused with the Boston, Lincolnshire, where Remus Lupin lived), Harry had his "real" 13th birthday. He received whispered, "Happy birthdays" and two kisses from Luna. He had grown used to kissing her. They could be considered chaste kisses, although neither of them knew of any other way to kiss.

The final location they visited in New England was Miskatonic University. Selene wanted to visit some colleagues she had met the last time she was there. However, during a trip to the Library, Luna came into the same room as certain books, and was violently ill. The librarian said that that happened to certain sensitive people, and the best cure was to get far away. They left soon after that.

That night, Harry sat beside Luna as she dozed and was awakened by nightmares. After the second or third time, she insisted that he get in bed with her as he was dozing sitting in a chair. He didn't sleep well, but it was less because of Luna rolling on him, or pushing him in her sleep than it was Luna shifting and waking him with her movement, or holding her after a bad dream and waking later to find the circulation cut off in his arm. They made it through the night, though, and left the east coast of the New World the next day.

They wrapped up their vacation in New Goetry. The city had a larger population than all of Wizarding Britain. They took the magic trolleys around town; visited a dragon farm not far from the city; ate in numerous wizarding restaurants; watched a professional Quidditch game (they were lucky -- it's much easier to catch a Quodpot game as there are so many more of them); and generally enjoyed a completely wizarding urban lifestyle for several days.

They came home to a town without Weasleys. The family was away for a month in Egypt. Selene had to make alternative arrangements for the Fridays when they would usually go to the Weasleys. They spent one with Remus (which extended to the whole weekend). Several were spent with Sirius. They also spent one Friday with Neville at his place.

While they had fun at all three places, Harry greatly enjoyed Sirius's stories about his parents when they were in Hogwarts. He even had pictures of their wedding, and when Harry was a baby. He felt resentful, though, when Sirius reminded him that he couldn't tell anyone outside the family about his parents. Sirius, realizing Harry was upset, changed the subject and talked about becoming an Animagus. Harry appeared to get over his mood.

- - -

"How's this one?"

"Never talks, Minister. Screams sometimes when the Dementors are around or while sleeping. Otherwise, basically doesn't get out of bed."

The Minister of Magic tried to get the prisoner's attention, but wasn't able to. He looked at what he was holding, and grabbed the outer sheet of the /Daily Prophet/, crumpled it up into a ball, and noticed that the little observation window was too small. He unbolted the door, opened it enough to throw it at the prisoner, and still received no reaction.

"Catatonia, most likely. Hunger gets through, and the Dementors, but we don't think any outside stimulus is really getting into that head. We might as well move on."

"Very well. Couldn't have happened to a more vicious person." He closed the door, and followed the guards. It was the yearly inspection of Azkaban prison. He liked taunting the prisoners, but that last one didn't react and that took the fun out of it.

Nobody noticed that Minister Fudge forgot to slide the bolt back locking the door. Nobody except the prisoner, who felt the missing sound as more a lack of something, and spent the next hour trying to figure out what that meant. Eventually, the prisoner sat up, and picked up the crinkled newspaper. There was a picture of a family in Egypt on the front page. On the second page was an article about the winning entry of the Prophet's essay contest. Along with a picture of the winner and the winning essay was a strongly worded editorial about the poor teaching of history that the children are subjected to at Hogwarts. The prisoner looked over the paper and began to really think for the first time in years. Some time after that the prisoner got up, went to the door, and pushed it open.

- - -

Albus Dumbledore, Supreme Mugwump, etc, and Headmaster of Hogwarts, was not having a good day. The many letters (and howlers) he had received from parents could probably have been ignored. But the letters from the Board of Governors could not. He sighed. There was no use in putting it off, it had to be done. He summoned the professor.

A few minutes later a ghost floated into the Headmaster's office.

"Ah, Headmaster Dribble. To what do I owe this meeting?"

Dumbledore rolled his eyes. He had been headmaster for over twenty years, and the ghost still referred to him with the name he called called the previous headmaster. And even that was wrong, as previous owner of this office was Headmaster Drippet. Yes, this little chore was overdue.

"Professor Binns, I'm afraid that I have been ordered to replace you."

"Nonsense, my boy! I'm sure there's been some misunderstanding. I've been teaching here for longer than you've been alive. Never had a complaint yet."

"Professor, you've been teaching here longer than you've been alive. And I think that's part of the problem. You haven't changed since you've been dead. The parents feel that you've been killing the love of magical history before it has a chance to grow. I will be looking for a replacement for this next term. You have the option of continuing to haunt Hogwarts, or moving on to the next great adventure."

"I've never been sacked before!"

"And they say you don't experience anything new once you're a ghost. Thank you for your service, Professor."

The ghost drifted through a wall, a shocked expression on his semi-transparent face.

Dumbledore grumbled to himself. Now he would have to get a replacement. And it was all because Neville Longbottom's family filled him with stories of his family history. It was his essay, and the accompanying editorial that had energised the parents.

Dumbledore grabbed the "Who's Who in the Wizarding World" (1959 edition) from a shelf and started paging through it.

- - -

"What happened!"

"Who's there?"


"You! How did you get out there?"

"Who are you?"

"I'm Peter Pettigrew."

"You were Black's friend. What are you doing here?"

"It was a terrible misunderstanding. I shouldn't be here. Let me out, please."

"Someone said you were a rat. . . ."

"Yes, I'm an Animagus."

"If you change into your animal, it doesn't hurt so bad when the Dementors come by."

"I can't change. They've warded this cell against me changing."

"That explains it."

"Don't go! You didn't open the door."

"I was supposed to open the door?"

"Yes! Of course you were supposed to open the door."

"Sorry. It's very hard to think in here. I've spent so much time hiding from the Dementors, and I can't seem to remember much. There's a boy. I've got to get the boy. . . ."

"Yes, open the door. I can help! That's it, push back the bolt. That's right. Come on."

"That way?"

"Yes. I still remember how they brought me in."

"I don't."

"Then follow me. Huh? You're an Animagus, too? Well, follow me, I'll change too. Maybe that will get us past any guards. You're rather big. I hope this works."

- - -

"It's an island. How do we get off? There's no boat. And even if we waited for it, the Aurors would stop us."

"We'll have to swim. The anti-Apparition ward can't extend too far."

"I can't swim."

"Switch to your animal form. It knows how to swim. After we've swum a ways, we can revert and try to Apparate."

"But even if I could swim, once I'm back in this form, I'd drown."

"Then you'll have to swim all the way back to the mainland. See you!"

"You dirty rat! Someday, you'll pay for that!"

The prisoner changed into an animal and jumped into the water. The rat was out of sight, hidden by the darkness and the waves. The animal did instinctively know how to swim.

- - -

"Hurry up with breakfast, kids! We have to go over to Neville's soon."

"But the party isn't for hours!"

"But we have to set up. We're bringing the Quiff set and will need to set that up. We'll have to get tables and chairs set up, and just lots of things," Larry answered.

"And don't forget to congratulate Neville on winning the essay contest."

"Yes, Aunt Selene."

"Yes, Mum."

- - -

The Lovegoods floo-ed to the Longbottoms' manor on a beautiful August morning and worked to set up for the party. The entire class was invited (but only about half had RSVP-ed and were showing up). Hermione, Draco, and of course Neville from the next class up were also invited (as was Ron, but he couldn't make it, what with being in Egypt and all). His "not real uncles" Remus, Sirius, and Algie were there, as was Narcissa and her sister Andromeda and her family. Sirius surprised the people who knew him by showing up with a young woman who he introduced as a new Auror, Hestia Jones. Harry overheard Remus and Selene saying that that was proof that Sirius was recovering from his time in Azkaban.

They played Quiff and tag, flew on the training brooms (under supervision and restrictions on height, speed, and distance), and generally had a good time. Kreacher and Dobby (lent by Narcissa and Sirius) set up a buffet for lunch, and served the cake later. There were no gifts (that was one of the conditions for letting Harry have the party; it was more an excuse to get a lot of friends together rather than to get a lot of presents), and Harry didn't miss them. As the end time of three in the afternoon approached, several Aurors appeared. They spoke to Mrs. Longbottom. She immediately called Neville, and sent him into the house. She spoke to a gathering of adults, while Sirius and Hestia spoke with the Aurors. The parents started collecting their children, and leaving. Harry got busy with the job he had been briefed on as his duty as host: he said goodbye and thanked everyone for coming.

Soon, though, too many people were leaving at the same time, and Harry could do no more than yell "thank you, and goodbye" to some he couldn't reach.

Harry was confused. None of their other parties had ended like this one. As the last guests used the Longbottoms' fireplace to floo away, he turned to Selene.

"What happened? Why'd everyone leave so fast."

"There was an escape from Azkaban prison. Two of Voldemort's supporters got away, somehow. And they think one of them is coming here."

"Here? To Neville's? How come?"

"Her name is Bellatrix Lestrange, and she hurt Neville's parents, and the Aurors think she's after Neville."
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