Categories > Books > Harry Potter > To Rewrite History

Summer of Fourth Year Part V: World Cups and Weasleys

by jeansvenus 16 reviews

Harry talks to Draco, Lucius talks to Arthur, they all enjoy a rousing Quidditch match. Harry sleeps and sees Voldemort, and Messrs. Diggory and Crouch get angry.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Drama, Romance - Characters: Arthur Weasley, Bill Weasley, Crabbe, Draco, Fred, Fudge, George, Ginny, Goyle, Harry, Hermione, Lucius, Narcissa, Percy, Peter, Ron, Theodore Nott, Voldemort, Other - Warnings: [!] - Published: 2007-02-14 - Updated: 2007-02-14 - 6395 words

After Harry and Draco had helped set up the tents and reversed the charms on Harry's trunk, the two of them went exploring the campgrounds with the blessings of the elder Malfoys and the admonishment to "Be back here at least half an hour before the game, boys."

"Where do you suppose Millie and Ted are camped?" Harry asked.

"Oh, down a few rows, I expect. Why? You want to go exploring with them too? Or just for reference?"

Harry shrugged. "If they want to come, they can. I was thinking it'd be ideal if we just invite them back to our campsite after the game's over."

Draco grinned. "I always knew there were some good ideas in that Gryffindor head of yours." He ducked, snickering, as Harry reached out and cuffed the back of his head lightly.

"Watch who you're mocking. I was almost sorted into Slytherin, if you must know. Ravenclaw was considered, too."

Draco stared. "So why the hell are you in bloody 'fools-rush-in' Gryffindor?"

Harry shook his head and beckoned to Draco. Harry started explaining as they walked on. "This is the first summer I've gotten along with my muggle relatives. They used to treat me worse than a house elf. Then I met Hagrid, who rescued me from them. He was, and is, my first true friend."

"I can see where you're going with this," Draco said with a grimace.

Harry nodded. "He was a bit odd, rather simple, but very nice to a confused and somewhat frightened young boy." He paused. "I met you next. You intimidated the piss out of me, you know. You knew so much about the world I was supposed to have grown up in-and then you made that offhand comment about Hagrid...."

"I was a pretentious little shit, wasn't I?"

"Mm. Very much so. Let's see...I met the Weasleys next, you know. They helped me get on the platform and load my trunk onto the train. Ron was immature, but he was friendly, and that meant a lot."

"And then I show up with Crabbe and Goyle. I expect I'd've been nicer in my introduction if Weasley hadn't laughed at my name."

"Was rude of him, wasn't it? Still. You both made pretty lasting impressions on me."

Draco put a hand on Harry's shoulder and halted him. "Well, thanks for getting over my abysmal eleven-year-old self. I'm far too proud to apologize unprompted, so you ought to know...." He took a bracing breath and met Harry's eyes. "I'm sorry I was such an ass when I was younger. You're a better person than me, I figure."

Harry grinned down at him and clapped him on the shoulder. "Forgiven and forgotten in my case. Hermione says she'll give you a second chance, too, if you want it."

Draco smiled. "I can see it now," he said dreamily, "All my grades up at least three percent." He blinked in mock-surprise and added, "What do you know? It really is who you know, not what you know."

Harry poked him in the side. "Prat. Oh, hey, let's play a game!"

"A game?" Draco raised an eyebrow skeptically. "Convince me."

"We're surrounded by wizards and witches who don't give a toss about the Statute of Secrecy, right?"


"Let's see how many wizards around here are doing something Obliviation-worthy."

"Potter," Draco pronounced, "You're a genius."

They strolled through the campgrounds, pointing things out and laughing.

"Peacocks in front of the tent? What's that man thinking?"

"Merlin, training brooms? Where's those girls' mother?"

"Oh Lord. Man in a nightgown."

"Thanks, Potter. I didn't need that."

"We could always Obliviate you."

They circled through the campgrounds at a leisurely pace, trading a few boxes of chocolate frogs with some American witches in exchange for a bag of marshmallows, calling out greetings to friends and classmates, and placing bets with each other about potential Hogwarts Triwizard Champions for the coming year.

"I swear it'll be Higgs, Potter. Ten galleons on it."

Harry laughed. "I'll take that. Ten on Diggory. He's practically walking about with a flashing sign over his head that says 'I am the nicest, smartest, prettiest wizard in Hogwarts, and I'm down-to-Earth, too!'"

"Yes, but Higgs is /cunning/. He's got the guile to get through things sideways instead of straight-blazing-forwards."

"I'm not sure guile's what's needed."

They were still bickering amiably as they walked into their campsite.

"Excellent timing, boys," Mrs. Malfoy said briskly. "Have your souvenir money? Fantastic."

Mr. Malfoy handed Harry and Draco two thin belts with a small loop a quarter of the way around. "In this crowd, careless handling of your wand could get it stolen," he said seriously. "Once you put this on, and put your wand through the wand holster, you're the only person who can remove your wand."

"Thanks, father," Draco said as he threaded the belt through his trousers.

"Yes, thank you, Mr. Malfoy," Harry added.

"Keep them," Mr. Malfoy advised. "Consider them back to school gifts, both of you."

The boys nodded and followed Draco's parents into the crowd that was starting to make its way toward the stadium.


Armed with Omnioculars and bright green knit scarves to support the Irish National team, Harry and his hosts met up with Fudge just outside the top box.

"We all here then? So we are!" Fudge rubbed his hands together and smiled conspiratorially at Harry and Draco. "You're in for a treat, boys. Bulgaria's playing young Viktor Krum this game, and Ludo Bagman's announcing."

Draco's eyes lit up, but before Harry could ask questions, Fudge led them into the top box. Harry looked around and noted the people there- the Bulgarian Minister of Magic, Ludo Bagman, and the Weasleys and Hermione. He was startled to see Mr. Crouch's little house elf sitting alone, an empty seat next to her.

"Arthur, Weasley family, a pleasure," Fudge said with a perfunctory greeting. Harry beamed at the Weasleys. Thanks to Hermione's forewarning two weeks ago, they were all able to smile back at him.

"Harry!" Hermione exclaimed, and jumped up off her seat to hug him. He laughed and swung her about in a huge hug.

"It's good to see you, too, Hermione," he chuckled. He nodded to the elder Malfoys and said "Mr. Malfoy, Mrs. Malfoy, this is Hermione Granger, one of my best friends."

Hermione smiled nervously, and Mrs. Malfoy shook her hand warmly. "It's a pleasure to meet one of Harry's friends."

"Granger," Mr. Malfoy said thoughtfully. He smiled politely at her. "You must be the young muggleborn witch I hear so much about from the board of governors-the one at the top of all her classes?"

"I do my best," she said confidently.

He smiled wryly. "You are a credit to your teachers, Miss Granger. If only every student had the dedication you do."

She blushed with pleasure at the compliment. "Thank you, Mister Malfoy," she mumbled as she gave Harry another quick hug and went back to her seat.

"Arthur," Mr. Malfoy said with a bland social smile.

"Lucius," Mr. Weasley said evenly. "How are things?"

The Malfoys and Harry all settled into seats behind the Weasleys, and Mr. Malfoy responded, "They're as well as they can be, with all the Ministry's pet projects. Cornelius wants my advice on everything, and I'm this close to hexing him into his office chair until he does all the work that's piled up on his desk."

"It always appears that you thrive on it," Mr. Weasley observed. "In fact, I'd almost say you were more relaxed now than you were last year."

Mr. Malfoy shook his head slightly and said, "Consider it a thirteen-year weight off my back, Arthur." Mr. Weasley looked at Harry and Harry grinned back. "It isn't forgiven, and it's not forgotten, not by many. But young Mr. Potter has extended me that courtesy."

Mr. Weasley stared wide-eyed at Harry, who shrugged and smiled. "If anyone had a right to a grudge that long," Harry pointed out, "I figure I did. But I gave up my grudge rights. It's quite refreshing."

Arthur Weasley blinked and smiled ruefully. "I expect he has a point, Lucius. Dolohov's paying for Molly's brothers. You ought'n't suffer by proxy. Pax?" He stuck his hand out.

Mr. Malfoy smiled back and shook his hand firmly. "Pax then."

Satisfied, Harry turned away to see six Weasley boys and one Weasley girl staring at him in a mix of awe, amusement, and shock.

"Harry, me old lad," Fred said bracingly.

"Is this what you meant by Hogwarts being different this year?" George finished with a pained grimace.

"I'm so glad I don't have to tell you the whole long story, as you're so clever," Harry retorted. "And yes, this is part of it."

Ron gave Harry a weak smile. "Don't mind me, mate," he said, "I'm still sitting in the Burrow hearing who you're going to the Cup with. It'll catch up with me later."

Harry snickered. "Ron, best friend mine, you have all month for it to catch up-and for you to yell at me for it. Don't forget I'm staying with you for the rest of the summer."

The tallest of the group, a lanky fellow with a ponytail and a dragon fang earring, laughed and told Harry, "I've been hearing all summer about what a regular bloke you were. And now, first time I meet you, you go and do the impossible." He grinned, flashing white teeth. "Bill. It's nice to meet you."

"Likewise," Harry responded. He looked at the other unknown Weasley man, a shorter, muscular fellow with burn-scars on his forearms. Harry sat up in interest. "You must be Charlie, then!"

The man laughed and nodded.

"Are you staying the rest of the summer? I wanted to talk to you about dragons, if you don't mind."

"Don't mind at all," Charlie said amiably. "It'll be nice to have someone new to natter at about my favorite animals."

Harry turned to Percy and asked, "So what're you up to, now that you've left Hogwarts?"

The twins snickered and coughed something sounding suspiciously like "Weatherby!" under their breaths.

Percy glared at them, a dull flush rising up the back of his neck. "I applied to the Ministry for an administrative position, and I'm now Bartemius Crouch's assistant."

"Really?" Harry asked. "I met him, he doesn't seem like someone it'd be rewarding to work for. Percy, you were Head Boy. What're you doing in a thankless job?"

"Working my way up, I guess," was the gloomy response. "Hard to see what depositions on cauldron-bottom thickness will do for my advancement up the Ministry ladder, though."

Harry looked at him calculatingly. "If it's too hard to find the dividends in something, it usually means it's not there, Perce."

Percy shrugged. "What would you suggest? Besides teasing me about it," he added bitterly.

Harry glared at the twins. Fred and George were listening attentively now, and seemed vaguely ashamed. "I'd suggest an apprenticeship with a law-wizard, actually. Maybe spend some time learning about a specific subset of laws. You've such an analytical mind and knack for details, I bet you'd be brilliant at Gringotts-related laws."

Percy smiled faintly. "Thanks, Harry. That's good of you to say. I'll make some inquiries."

Harry nodded and turned to Ginny, who blushed faintly. "I've heard some stories about how outgoing you are when I'm not around," Harry said teasingly.

She blushed harder, then looked up and shot back, "Yes, and Mum's butter dish thanks you for it."

Harry laughed. "My point is, elbows in butter dishes aside"-Ginny laughed slightly-"I want to throw together some reserve players for our Quidditch team. I'm willing to bet you'd be a great chaser."

Ginny leaned forward and whispered to him, "Every night before I started Hogwarts, and every night during the summer, I nick Fred's broom and practice flying. They still don't know!"

He gave her a hug around the shoulders in excitement. "That, Ginny, is absolutely brilliant. I promise not to tell!" They shared a conspiratorial smirk as Ludo Bagman stood up and the top box was illuminated.

As Bagman made his pre-game announcements, Harry gave Ginny a standing offer of using his Omnioculars during the game. She winked and plucked them out of his hands.

"What on Earth are you up to, Potter?" Draco whispered in his ear.

Harry kept his eyes on the crowd and replied, voice low, "You've a betrothal contract already signed, according to Millie. I may be muggle-raised, but I'm the only son of the Potters, and I'll do right by my family. The Weasleys may not be much to you, but when everyone in their family's finished Hogwarts and has jobs, they'll be very influential in Wizarding Britain. Marrying Ginny would give them another leg up-not to mention the fact that she's the only girl I could probably stand being married to." Harry looked sideways at Draco to see him frowning thoughtfully. "As it is, she hasn't been comfortable around me. I'm trying to fix that before I have your father approach hers to draw up anything."

Draco shook his head and said as the Bulgarian mascots walked out onto the field, "You should've been a Slytherin, Harry. You have the mind for it."

Mr. Malfoy leaned over and said softly to the two of them, "Veela, boys. They'll entrance you if you don't plug your ears."

They sat in the second row of seats, fingers jammed in their ears, and enjoyed the sight of the twenty-odd veela enchanting all the men in the stadium. Harry traded amused glances with Bill, Charlie, Percy, and Mr. Weasley, who were laughing at the younger boys. Fred was unbuttoning his shirt without taking his eyes off the dancing veela, and Ron was shredding his shamrock boutonniere and walking, eyes glazed, to the edge of the top box. George stared at the two of them and laughed helplessly.

"Ron! Fred!" Hermione snapped. "Just what do you think you're doing?"

Ron paused, foot on the railing, and blushed a brick red. Fred stopped trying to undo his belt-buckle and sat down, snorting with laughter.

"Is this one of your 'learn by experience' moments, Dad?" Fred asked as he did up his shirt again.

"How'd you guess, Fred?" Bill snickered.

Charlie stretched in his seat and gently smacked the back of Ron's head. "Cheer up, little brother. It's a rare man that's unaffected by a veela." Harry saw him and Bill trade glances as George shrugged, and Charlie added, "Besides, it's Ireland's turn for the mascots now. You won't fall in love with them."

A resounding cheer punctuated his statement as a group of leprechauns zoomed by, flashing green and gold. They put on a beautiful show for the audience, ending with an exploding shamrock that rained galleons down on the audience.

Mr. Malfoy leaned forward in his seat to catch Ron's attention as he started out of his seat for the gold coins.

"A word of advice, young Weasley," he said evenly, "If you are want money that will stay, you'll be disappointed with the coins you pick up. Leprechaun gold disappears within a few hours."

Ron looked disgruntled as he turned back to face the stadium, but he soon perked up as the teams entered the stadium on Firebolts, the green of the Irish team contrasting with the maroon of the Bulgarian team.

"Harry look!"

"It's Krum!"

Draco and Ron traded long looks, perturbed that they might share a common obsession.

"Who's Viktor Krum, anyway?" Harry asked them both. "I never got a chance to ask."

They were properly appalled.

"You were the youngest player on a house team at Hogwarts in a century," Draco started, "and you win all your matches-the one the dementors came to doesn't count."

Ron broke in, "It's like that, Harry, but on a professional Quidditch level. He's going to be a legend someday."

Draco added, "He still has a year to go at Durmstrang."

As Connelly shot a neat goal to the cheers of the crowd, Harry poked Ron's shoulder and said, "There's going to be a bunch of us back at our campsite after the game for food and talking. Bring Ginny and Hermione, will you?"

Ron looked unsure. Harry nudged Draco. "What? Oh, you'd be welcome, Weasley. Girl Weasley and Granger, too." He thought a bit and added cheerfully, "We have marshmallows, if that'll tempt you."

The redhead snorted at the nicknames but accepted the invitation. "I'll bring them by. I figure it'll be easy to find you-you'll be the group of loud bookworms from Slytherin."

Harry grinned. "That's about right." He winced as Lynch ploughed into the ground and Krum pulled out. "Ouch! Nice Wronski Feint, though."

Draco pounded his shoulder in enthusiasm. "See that, Harry? He's absolutely mad! Krum belongs on a broom."

Ron yelled back over the cheers of the Irish crowd as Lynch ascended again, teammates scoring during the distraction, "Krum's a brilliant seeker, but Bulgaria's leaning too heavily on him to play for the whole team. It won't matter who catches the snitch at this point-Ireland's bound to win."

"Krum can end it on his own terms," Ginny interjected. "If he catches it, he's letting his team lose by a smaller margin."

"Which," Draco summarized, "Is the way to do things properly."

The four of them watched with rapt attention as Krum, apparently tired of losing so badly, went into another steep dive and pulled up holding the snitch.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE IT! KRUM GOT THE SNITCH BUT IRELAND WON! I DON'T THINK ANY OF US WERE EXPECTING THAT!" Ludo Bagman's incredulous tones bounced around the stadium as the majority of the crowd went insane.

"So, boys," Bagman said cheerfully to Fred and George, who were holding out their hands with huge grins. "How much do I owe you?"

Ron gaped in disbelief at the gold coins in Bagman's fist, and said indignantly, "Just what do you think you're doing, paying my brothers off with leprechaun gold?"


Harry and Draco sat outside their tent drinking cold butterbeer and nodding hello to the various adults who were dropping by the campsite with increasing frequency.

After Macnair dropped by with a grin on his face, the two boys couldn't help but listen in.

"Come on, Lucius, it's just a bit of sport."

"Next you'll be telling me it's 'for old times' sake.'"

"Muggles, Lucius. It's not like we'd be recognized."

"And if you're caught, Walden, what do you want me to tell your daughter when she's old enough to understand? 'I'm sorry your father could only be around the first six years of your life, but he decided it was more important to terrorize muggles at a family event'?"

"...Damn it, Lucius. Does this have anything to do with the Potter kid sitting out there?"

"It has a lot to do with him, but not everything. For fuck's sake, Walden, your child should come first, not your love of 'playing' with muggles. You have a good life now that He's gone. Enjoy it."

A long silence filled Mr. and Mrs. Malfoy's tent, and Macnair strode out followed closely by Mr. Malfoy. The Ministry's Dangerous Creature Executioner eyed the boys and took a seat next to them.

"Any more butterbeer in the cooler, lads?" he asked with a rakish grin. Draco tossed him a bottle, and Harry passed over the lid opener.

Macnair held his wrist as he accepted the bottle opener, forcing Harry to meet his eyes. "I'll admit to being surprised by this, little Potter," Macnair said in a soft voice. "But we tend to look to Lucius for advice these days. If he's convinced neutrality is best, well." Macnair released his wrist and flipped the lid off his butterbeer bottle. "Guess I'll have to get used to it, then."

Harry smiled and ignored his pounding heart. "I guess you will, at that," he agreed civilly.

Macnair drained the bottle leaped to his feet, smiling public mask on again. "Thanks for the butterbeer, lads. Draco, good seeing you. Potter, take care." The man strolled out of their campsite whistling, hands in pockets.

"He's nice enough, I suppose," Draco said eventually. "He really scares me sometimes, though."

Mr. Malfoy laughed and took the newly vacated seat. "Walden's always been a hothead. Still, he'll pass word around not to torment the muggles tonight."

Harry handed him a butterbeer. "Forget your mad house elves, Mr. Malfoy," he joked, pleased that his voice didn't quiver. "Your old colleagues are a bit worse."

"He chose the Ministry job he has for a reason," Mr. Malfoy told him. "All of us have something of a violent streak. Walden's violent streak is more like bloodlust. Taking a job as a Ministry-sanctioned executioner keeps that vicious nature of his quiet, and keeps his kills legal."

Harry shuddered, and Mr. Malfoy tactfully changed the subject.

People drifted into their campsite as the light grew dimmer, and Draco broke out their acquired bag of marshmallows. Hermione and Millie sat in the entrance to the boys' tent and talked animatedly about the coming school year. Ginny and Pansy were giggling and passing a quill and parchment back and forth. Ted arrived with his father and Blaise in tow, and the four boys rehashed the Quidditch match with toasted marshmallows filling in for players. Crabbe and Goyle got Ron to warm up to the company and soon had him laughing at the various betting pools they ran at school.

In front of the other tent, the Malfoys sat and talked in low, hushed voices to Vince, Greg, and Ted's fathers, as well as to an excitable looking man called Avery, and a plump brother and sister duo that had introduced themselves as Amycus and Alecto Carrows. The short twins slipped Draco a bottle of firewhiskey while Mrs. Malfoy's head was turned.

Macnair wandered back over to their campsite, holding the hand of a little black-haired girl who blushed and hid her face in his shirt. The openly fond look on Macnair's face as he looked at his daughter went a ways in dispelling the fright the man had given Harry earlier.

"I never pictured this happening, you know," Draco murmured to Harry as they observed the adults' intense discussion. He took a furtive sip of the firewhiskey and pressed the bottle into Harry's hand.

"What about this, exactly?" Harry was pleasantly relaxed, warmed by the fire and stuffed with marshmallows and shortbread. "There's a lot of 'this-es' happening right here." He knocked back a slug of the firewhiskey, coughing at the burn in his throat.

Draco snagged the bottle back and grinned at Harry. "All the 'this-es,' you prat. Your Gryffindor friends playing nice with us Slytherin fellows, Father getting along with Weasley /Père/, Father keeping his 'old friends' on the Ministry side of the law..."

"Me camping with you instead of with the Weasleys?"

"That's one of the big ones."

Ginny wandered over and sat between the two of them, laughing breathlessly. "Mr. Macnair's little girl is /so sweet/! You should see the drawings she's doing on Pansy's notebook."

"Dare we ask?" Harry queried, watching a little smile slip over Draco's face.

Ginny poked Draco's thigh and said, "Pass that bottle here, you pale menace." Draco gave her a dirty look and handed over the rest of the firewhiskey. She took a sip and answered Harry. "Cassie-Cassiopeia-is drawing pictures of her 'boyfriend Draco' flying on a broom and fighting dragons."

"Aww, Draco," Harry teased, "You're not going to have a loveless marriage, that's for sure."

Draco blushed. "Shut it, scarhead. She's a sweet girl." He looked over at her and Pansy affectionately. "She's grown up knowing she's going to be Mrs. Malfoy when she finishes Hogwarts. Better that she likes the idea than feels trapped."

"I think arranged marriages are rather romantic, actually," Ginny said. "The Weasleys are so separate from pureblood culture that I can only observe, but it seems that when the children are involved, and it's not just between the fathers of infants, it can be quite a love match."

"Like my parents, I suppose," Draco pointed out. "Grandfather Abraxas was in negotiations with Grandfather Black, and since Father was twelve he was old enough to make the decision between Mother and Aunt Bellatrix. Aunt Bellatrix married the older Lestrange brother instead."

Ginny sighed and rested her head against Harry's knee. "This is fun. I know you're coming home with us tomorrow, but can't we bring everyone else, too?"

Harry chuckled and ruffled her bright hair. "Would be nice, wouldn't it?" he said lazily. "Tents all over the back yard of the Burrow, Ron talking betting strategy with Vince and Greg"-

"Gred and Forge spiking everyone's food with their new charmed sweets," she interjected.

"-Pickup games with garden gnomes for quaffles-"

"Absolutely no sleep at all, and lots of those marshmallows."

The two of them laughed under their breath, and Draco eyed them wistfully. "I wish I could go with you. Still, I can stand four weeks until school starts."

"There's always owl post," Harry offered. "Besides, August will end before you know it, and we'll have the whole school year soon after."

Draco gave him a half smile. "I suppose so." He thought a moment. "So should I drag Greg and Vince around the train to look for you as usual?"

Harry snorted. "If only to make sure they write down our bet, Draco. When it's Diggory I want it on paper that I was right." He ducked a playful swat at his head and snickered.

"What about Diggory?" Ginny asked.

"Found something out from Father," Draco answered. "And no, we'll not tell you. Your Quidditch season isn't being ruined."

She raised an eyebrow at Harry, who aimed the same look back at her. "Just enjoy the surprise," he said. "You can still make bets on it when school starts."

She huffed and laughed. "If you say so. Merlin, it's getting late. Do you plan on sitting out here all night, or are you kicking us out at some point?"

"Good point," Harry said. He looked across the campsite and called out to Ron. "Oi, Ron!"

"Yeah, mate?" his gangly friend shouted back.

"I'm tired! When are you going to let us go to sleep?"

"After Greg here finishes explaining the betting system on Neville's exploding cauldrons, sleeping beauty," was the cheerful retort.

"Mmm, five sickles on the first day of potions, after half an hour and before an hour," he said, and watched Greg nod to Vince to write it down.

Harry closed his eyes and leaned back in his chair, listening to the laughter and talking around him. He drifted off into a light doze, lulled by the low voices of the Malfoys' friends to his right and the quiet conversation of Ginny and Draco to his left....

A large room wavered into shape around him in muted tones. He knew this room. Voldemort had killed the muggle groundskeeper here. Harry shivered as he saw the high-backed chair that this incarnation of the Dark Lord was resting in.

"Wormtail!" A high, cold voice.

The plump animagus came forward, cringing and bowing. "Master, I have your food ready, if you want to eat now...." The man trailed off and ducked his head in fear of a blow that wasn't coming.

"Milk Nagini, Wormtail," the voice ordered. "I'll eat when I call for you again. My most faithful is at the World Cup. When he casts my Mark in the sky, we shall see who rallies to it."

Apparently Voldemort could see the petulant frown on Wormtail's face as well as Harry could, for he laughed and said mockingly, "Oh, my little plump rat. You are faithful-but you are cowardly and weak. No," he said, "Barty will do his job well this year. It is good to have two faithful servants, even if one's only fit to be a nursemaid."

Wormtail bowed, a disgruntled look on his face, and left the parlor.

Harry walked around to face the chair. The footfalls of his dream self were completely silent.

"So," he said with a small grimace of revulsion, "Pettigrew betrayed his oldest friends...just to be your whipping boy while he keeps you alive?"

The creature in the chair bore no resemblance to Tom Riddle, or to the serpentine face that had protruded out of Quirrell's skull his first year of Hogwarts.
This was the great and terrible Lord Voldemort- a sickly being the size of an infant, with scabrous red skin and angry, snake like eyes.

Voldemort glared up at the ghostly dream-Harry. "
Potter!" he spat in fury. "What are you doing in my home!?"

Harry shrugged and frowned. "Sleeping, actually." He grinned. "Surrounded by Malfoys, Weasleys, and other fascinating people."

"I don't believe you," was Voldemort's vehement rejoinder. "Lucius will forever be loyal to me."

Harry shrugged again and sat on the ottoman. "Believe what you will. You always have." He pretended to examine his fingernails with a bored expression.

The Dark Lord stirred fitfully. "I can always get new followers when I'm reborn," he hissed viciously. "With
your blood, Potter."

"Have you thought about the repercussions of resurrecting someone not actually dead?" Harry asked. "I doubt it'll do anything good."

Voldemort narrowed his eyes and opened his mouth to answer, but froze, as if listening to something in the air.

"He's sent off the Mark," he whispered. "It begins."

Harry looked down at his ghostly hands and watched them start to fade.

"I'm waking up, Voldemort. I'll see you again, no doubt."

...A hand shook him roughly awake. "Potter! Harry! Get up! Something's going on!"

Harry jolted up in his cozy seat by the fire and glanced up at Draco. Around him, his friends were standing, tense, staring at a sickly green light hovering above the trees.

"/Morsmordre/," Ted Nott's father breathed uneasily. Everyone clenched their wands reflexively.

"What do you want to bet the Cup officials come here looking for a scapegoat, Lucius?" Macnair said with black humor.

Avery let out a short bark of laughter in response as several Ministry officials and Aurors stalked angrily into the campsite.

"Which one of you did it?" a familiar grim-faced man demanded. "Who set off the Dark Mark?"

Harry peered past the group and saw Cedric Diggory standing away from the posturing Ministry men, an embarrassed flush on his cheeks. Ah, Harry thought. That must be Diggory's father doing the yelling.

"We've all been here at the campsite, Amos," Mr. Malfoy said with forced civility. "If you don't wish to take my word for it, there are Weasley children here who can attest to it. I'm sure you'll believe /them/."

Diggory looked at Ginny for confirmation, and she nodded firmly.

"Amos, perhaps you could go check the woods for a culprit?" Arthur suggested. "You lot fired over twenty stunners into those trees."

Harry added sleepily, yawning, "Sounds more efficient than castigating pe-pe-people for decades-old sins, at least." He leaned, tired, against Draco for support.

Diggory flushed, and walked out of the camp purposefully. The Aurors that came with him to the campsite retreated to the edges, and Cedric came forward.

"I apologize for my father's anger," he said to Mr. Malfoy, flushing with shame. "He...well, he lost a lot of people in the last war, you know? He's not likely to forgive that easily."

Mr. Malfoy nodded his thanks. "It was hard on everyone, Mr. Diggory," he said simply, "no matter the side. Some take longer to recover than others. I'll not hold a schoolboy responsible for his father's words."

"Thank you," Cedric said in a low voice as his father came back into the camp, carrying a familiar house elf and two wands.

The group from the Ministry came back to the center of the campsite, where Diggory set the elf down on the grass next to the wand. In the crowd, Mr. Crouch looked down at the house elf grimly.

"Amos, I am most curious to hear how you came to find my house elf in the forest," the man said evenly.

"I am as well," Diggory replied. He pointed his wand at the house elf. "Ennervate!"

The little elf stirred and opened her eyes. She promptly shut them again at the sight of so many unfamiliar wizards, all looking tense and angry.

"Elf!" Diggory said sharply. "What were you doing with the wand?"

"Winky is not using the wand," she said squeakily, trembling in fear. "Winky is trying to stay at Master's tent, but...but Winky had to leave!"

Diggory held up the wand in question, and Ron cried out in outrage, "Oi! That's my wand!"

Cedric's father rounded on Ron and demanded, "Did you cast the Dark Mark?"

Mrs. Malfoy said sharply, "I'm sure I'm hearing things. You couldn't have just accused /Arthur Weasley's son/, of all people, of being able to conjure the Dark Mark. It's obvious his wand was stolen from him."

"That leaves you, then, elf," Diggory said to the quivering Winky. "Where'd you learn how to conjure the Mark?"

"Are you suggesting, Amos," Mr. Crouch said chillingly, "That I routinely teach my servants how to cast the Dark Mark?"

Diggory shook his head. "Of course not, Barty, it's just"-

"Are there any other unlikely candidates for being Death Eaters that you'd like to name now?" Mr. Crouch said over him. "Harry Potter's standing just there. Feel like throwing wild accusations at him as well?"

Diggory scowled, his face red with humiliation.

"Give the boy his back his wand," he ordered. He looked down at little Winky. "As Winky is my servant, and she disobeyed me, I shall deal with her personally."

Ron took his wand from Diggory and put a restraining hand on Hermione's shoulder as Winky begged in a high voice, "Master! Winky tried! Please no!"

"You disobeyed a direct order, and your disobedience led to my embarrassment in front of everyone present, Winky," Crouch said evenly, his face gaunt in the light of the fire pit. "This calls for clothes."

Winky shrieked, heartbroken. "No Master! Not clothes, please not clothes!" She shuddered away from the conjured dress and hat that Crouch handed her, her eyes leaking large tears.

"That's enough," Mr. Malfoy snapped. "All of you have intruded on our hospitality long enough. Get out. The boys are dead on their feet. Arthur, we'll see you tomorrow morning." As everyone drifted away from the campsite, Mrs. Malfoy knelt down next to the weeping elf.

"You are welcome to stay the night, Winky," she said gently. "You can figure out your life tomorrow. Now you ought to sleep."

Winky sniffled and nodded, clutching the little dress and matching hat.

"I'll hire you," Harry said suddenly. "I'm not of age, so I'm afraid I can't bond you for a few years, but I can hire you properly, and you can work at Hogwarts while I'm at school."

The little elf looked up, hope and tears in her big eyes. "Truly? Winky would serve sir and sir promises to be Winky's Master when he's grown?"

"I promise," he said gravely, and yawned. "I know you won't want to be paid, but I'll put five sickles a week in a little account for you, and you can spend it however you like."

Winky made a moue of distaste, but agreed. "Sir, Winky would like to sleep now. Sir has room in the tent?"

Mr. Malfoy interrupted. "I'll conjure a truckle bed for you, Winky, to go next to Harry's bed."

Harry yawned. "Less talk about beds, more being in them!"

Draco smiled and slung a supporting arm around Harry's waist. "Come on then, sleeping beauty. Beds it is."

As they lay in their beds side by side, Harry looked up at the dark ceiling of the tent and listened to Winky's whistling snore and Draco's soft, even breaths.

/All in all/, the boy thought to himself with wry humor, /It was quite a normal day/.


Author's Notes! I'm going to answer some of the questions posed, but firstly...facepalm...thank you to Banner for keeping me humble and pointing out my first unintentional canon mistake. Yes, in HBP, Fudge says THREE dragons, not four. An additional thanks to Banner for providing me with a lovely excuse for that mistake: "I guess they originally planned to have one as a backup in case one dragon was injured or sick." Yes, yes...the fourth dragon is for, um, spare parts! Like the extra wheel in the back of the car. snickers

For Dragen: No, I'm not going to have Harry shag his schoolmate's married mother. That's really not anywhere on the road I'm taking this fic.

For both the people who love the concept and the people who're stuck on "damn, but that's OOC!": Of course it's out of character. Harry hasn't had the other parts of his personality that the Sorting Hat noted (brains and ambition) magically excised by being sorted into Gryffindor. As 31415 said, I set out to write a Harry that doesn't say, "lets do the stupidest thing we can think of."

Harry's knowledge of the Wizarding World and its customs stem from his third-year friendship with Millie and Ted. Thusly, his views on arranged marriages and house elves are much different than they would be if he were still completely ignorant.

To answer some questions about chapter three:

The Dursleys exchanged the money, as they've finally taken it upon themselves to pay for Harry's belongings.

Harry and Dumbledore will have a unique and trusting relationship, but Harry's fourteen. He's not going to force/convince Dumbledore to do anything he doesn't want to do.

Back to chapters one and two: The Dursleys are narrow-minded, prejudiced people, but Harry deals with that every day in potions class. They love Dudley, so they aren't heartless. He just guilted them into jumpstarting the familial affection for him instead of sticking with the status quo.

Harry doesn't have anything against Lucius for second year, really. The man started it as a way to discredit Arthur Weasley. I think (in my fic) that if he knew what exactly he was going to unleash on the school his own son was at, he would've thought twice about dropping that diary in Ginny's cauldron.

Hokay! Happy reading, my crunchy little toaster pastries!
Sign up to rate and review this story