Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby

Horcrux Summer

by Meteoricshipyards 3 reviews

Summer before third year; vacations, ward breaking, and other fun stuff.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: G - Genres: Fantasy - Characters: Harry,Luna,Sibyll Trelawney - Published: 2007-08-23 - Updated: 2007-08-23 - 16594 words - Complete

Disclaimer: Harry Potter, his friends, enemies, and world, are not mine, and I make no claim to them.

Chapter 15

Horcrux Summer

Kingsley Shacklebolt stood on Platform Nine and Three Quarters, and surveyed the crowd. The scene before him was like the reverse of the end of summer where the children met their friends; this was when the adults visited with people they hadn't seen in a while. He was anxious, but not as bad as he had been after Lestrange's visit with Mrs. Malfoy. At that time he would have said that there was a greater than fifty percent chance that Lestrange would attack the Hogwarts families here.

But she had accomplished her purpose on May 25th, and no one had seen her since. He still couldn't believe that she would choose to live among the Muggles, but he had to admit that there was no clue as to her whereabouts. He kept a wary eye out anyway since Lestrange wasn't the only person who might wish misfortune on the assembled families.

Pettigrew was a good example of one of those with malicious intent. There were rumors of him in the independent, lawless areas of the Carpathian Mountains. Shacklebolt thought that if he were on the run, that would be where he would head. It had been months since the last report. Was he still alive? Had he joined someone or some group there? Was he coming back? Shacklebolt had to admit he didn't know.

He had recommended that his special task force, created to capture the two escaped criminals, be returned to regular duty after today. He did recommend increased patrols of Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley, something that he hoped the Minister would implement, this time. The Aurors had been understaffed for a long time, and patrols had been cut steadily over the years. The Minister was being penny wise and pound foolish in not keeping the Aurors fully staffed. Kingsley thought that was why he had called the Dementors in to guard Hogwarts -- he didn't want to pay Aurors to do it. There were times he really hated Fudge.

He noticed a couple talking quietly amid the noise and chaos, as the train pulled in. The woman was tall and dressed in expensive robes, with a hood up, hiding her face. He recognized the man from his early years as an Auror. He moved over to them.

"Larry? Larry Lovegood? Is that you?" he asked.

The man looked up. "Yes. And you are?"

"Kingsley Shacklebolt, sir. We were together on the Hildago Trading Company warehouse raid during the war."

"Shacklebolt? Oh, yes! I remember now. That was a bad bit of business."

"Yes, sir." He got a look at Mr. Lovegood's hooded companion, and recognized Mrs. Malfoy.

"Ma'am," he said, nodding his head.

"Hello, officer. Are you picking up a child?"

"No ma'am. I'm here for security. Though I have a feeling that I won't be needed." He scanned the crowd, which had become even more chaotic with the surge of school children.

"You're not checking up on me?" she asked, with an amused smile.

"No, ma'am. You convinced me that you had no information on your sister's location."

Draco appeared from the throng carrying his trunk. Mother and son hugged and immediately began talking about the year. Kingsley nodded to the two adults, and moved into the crowd.

A few minutes later Harry and Luna joined the group.

Luna said to Draco, "I think Hermione needs help getting her trunk off the train."

Draco looked at her quizzically, then turned to Narcissa. "Mum, do you mind if I help her?"

"Go ahead, Draco."

"Sorry to abandon you, Narcissa," Larry said, "but we have a very busy day ahead of us."

"Really? The day's almost over."

"Yes, well we leave on vacation tomorrow."

The two children squealed in delight.

"We'll talk to you later in the summer, Narcissa!" Larry called back to her as the trio pushed their way through the crowd.

"Have a good trip, Larry, children!"

Draco met Hermione in the corridor, dragging her trunk towards the exit and looking rather upset.

"Let me give you a hand, there," he said, getting the handle on the other side of the steamer trunk. "Ugg! What do you have in here? Bricks?"

"Books!" she said, sharply.


"No, I'm sorry. I'm just. . . I don't know."

"Want to talk about it?" Draco asked, concerned.

"No. At least not yet. I have to think about it."

"If you need to talk, I'm here."

"Thanks, Draco."

- - -

"Alright kids, get your trunks unpacked. Follow the instructions on your beds, and then we have to go." Larry helped the children out of the fireplace in their home. They had floo-ed directly from Platform Nine and Three Quarters. He was now directing them up the stairs.

"Why so sudden?" Harry wanted to know.

"Two reasons. I was able to get away to cover a symposium in New Goetry. The QJJS is getting the lead researchers in the field together, and I get to be in the audience."

"The Queue Jay what?" Harry asked.

"The Quarterly Journal of Jackalope Studies," Luna answered.

"Hurry up now!" Larry yelled.

"Where's Mum?" Luna asked.

"She's waiting for us at the airport."


"Yes, we're travelling like Muggles this time."

The two children found a detailed list of things to take, as well as a pile of clothes already set out for them to pack. They loaded one trunk with their stuff and made sure they each had a book to read, as per instructions. After Larry checked to make sure they had everything, they stood beside the road, and he raised his wand. With a bang, the large, purple Knight Bus appeared. The ride made up for being uncomfortable by being quick and they got out at Heathrow Airport. Over a half hour later they found the restaurant where they were to meet Aunt Selene. To Harry and Luna's surprise, Aunt Sibyll was there, too. She was without most of her beads and chains, only had one shawl, but otherwise looked mostly the same.

"Aunt Sibyll? What are you doing here?" Harry asked.

"She's coming with us." Luna answered.

Harry looked at her. "When did you find out?" he asked, slightly annoyed at being left out of the loop.

"I didn't. I just figured it out."

"That's my girl. We'll make an investigative journalist out of you, yet. Yes, Harry, Aunt Sibyll is coming with us on this vacation. Both because I haven't seen my sister in ten years, and I think a certain someone who locked her in a tower for the last ten years might be looking for her. So, we take Muggle travel, at least until we've left England, and at least for a few weeks we ignore the jailer of young, pretty women."

Luna and Harry watched Aunt Sibyll blush and Luna's mother laugh. They were taking the "red eye" flight and there was still plenty of time before the plane left, so they sat around talking after dinner. Then they checked their bags, and slowly made their way through the airport to the gate, observing how the Muggles lived.

"I could do with a bit of Sherry," Aunt Sibyll said.

"Sorry dear. Remember what we said, we want you clear headed," Selene said.

"But still," she whined.

"There, there, Sibyll, we're here to help you," Larry said.

"Thank you, brother."

"This may not be a fun vacation," Luna spoke quietly to Harry.

"Why do you say that?"

"Do you remember when you first came to the house? Daddy had a problem with drinking too much. Mum had to lock up all the liquor, remember?" Harry nodded. "Do you remember the bad days?"

"A little."

"I think it's going to be like that with Aunt Sibyll. She's been drinking too long, and we're going to be around when she stops."

"That doesn't sound like fun. Why now?"

"She can't do it alone. She's been alone for many years. Now that she's with us, we have to help her. There's no one else."

"We rescued her once. This can't be any worse."

"Yes it can, but we'll have Mum's and Dad's help."

- - -

The trip on the plane was, in turn, exciting as they boarded and waited for it to go, fascinating (or frightening) as they took off, then boring as they flew for hours, and finally uncomfortable as they found that sitting in a seat for seven hours was close to painful. After they disembarked at Kennedy Airport in the New World and claimed their luggage, they crashed at a hotel. They got two rooms with two queen sized beds. Luna and Aunt Sybill shared one room; Harry had one bed and Selene and Larry another in the other room.

The next morning they made their way to the wizarding section of New York and took a public Portkey to New Goetry.

While they were getting their tickets, the worker remarked while looking at Larry's passport, "Came by Muggle plane from England, huh? Why's that?"

"I wanted to experience it at least once. And this seemed like the right time to do it."

"And what did you think of the experience?"

"Once was enough. Or maybe once was one too many. Next time, it's portkeys for me."

Harry, listening to this exchange, whispered to Luna, "It may have been long, boring, and uncomfortable, but I didn't feel dizzy, nauseous, or falling down afterward. Boy, I hope that Apparation is better than floo or portkey travel."

"Don't count on it. I heard it's like being squeezed through a rubber hose."

"Great! Another magical method of travel designed to be unpleasant."

- - -

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts, made his way up to the Divination Tower.

It was time for Sibyll's annual appreciation dinner and Diagon Alley shopping trip. It was also time to reinforce the spells that kept her safely in the tower. He looked at the mantle and noticed the vase was missing. With a feeling of dread, he raced into the living quarters and found that his Divination Professor was missing, too. He searched her rooms -- most of her stuff was still there, but it did look like she packed before going. He walked back to the classroom.

How could someone get past his spells? He had to admit that he was quite powerful magically. Even after a year, no one should have been able to notice the vase. But what if someone had accidentally knocked it over? He went to examine the area around the fireplace. That's when he found the letter.

There was no name on the outside. He opened the envelope, and removed a parchment. It was printed rather than written. That might be a clue, as the Muggles had machines that you could fit in your home that would print like this. Or it could have been a printing press. He read the short note, and felt his stomach do little nervous flip flops when he was finished.

Dear Headmaster,

There are terms for people who lock young women up in towers. One common term would be ten to twenty years in Azkaban. Leave Sybill Tralawney alone, or we'll find out what kind of term you get.

The note was unsigned. He cast a few detection spells, but nothing showed up. There was no magic involved in this note.

He had to make sure she was safe! What to do? What to do?

- - -

In New Goetry they rented a furnished apartment for two weeks. Selene got Harry enrolled in an advanced flying camp. He was placed with students his own age at first, but then moved up to a higher age group when they saw him fly. Several hours every day he learned about broom capabilities, and got a chance to fly on numerous current model broom types; he learned Seeker tips from a professional Seeker; he learned Chaser tactics (but wasn't very good at implementing them), which also were used in Quadpot.

He also played Quadpot. For most of the students, that was the highlight of the day. He had fun playing the game that can be described as a combination of keep away and hot potato. You had basically nine or ten (depending on the formation) Chasers from each side trying to get the Quaffle-like ball into the goal basket while an equal number of the other team were trying to stop you and steal the ball. And to make it more interesting, the longer the ball was not in the basket filled with calming potion, the more likely the ball was to get explosively upset. And if you were holding it (or the last one holding it, should it be in mid-air when it blew up), you were out of the game, and your team was down a player.

There were strategies involved in knowing when not to steal, or when to give up the ball in the hope that it would explode while the other team was holding it. During one of their games, everyone was sure the ball was about to explode, so each person who got it would pass it to one of the players on the other team. It went back and fourth four times before it did explode.

- - -

While Harry played, Selene, Luna, and Sybill did a lot of shopping.

A few days after settling into the apartment, Harry and Luna were sitting in the living room enjoying the cool, mountain breeze that came through the windows. They cuddled, using the breeze as an excuse.

"Harry, I don't think Aunt Sibyll is coming back with us."

"Why do you say that?"

"We were looking at furniture today. And Mum said they'd look at apartments tomorrow. I think Aunt Sibyll will be staying here."

"Will she be alright living here alone?"

"Mum's been introducing her to people like crazy. I think she and Daddy are also trying to get her a job."

"Wow, that's got to be a big step for her. Locked up for years, and then suddenly she gets her own place and a new job, and new friends. I hope she gets new friends?"

"Me too. After being alone so long, I think she'll have problems with that. But Mum's trying."

"Can you see if she'll be alright?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean sometimes you know things. It's like what Aunt Sybill called her inner eye. You knew Neville would meet Lestrange."

"I don't know how that happens. Sometimes I know things because I keep my eyes and ears open, unlike certain people sitting here that I could name. And sometimes I just know. But I can't make it happen. And I don't know what will happen with Aunt Sybill. I just hope that she'll be fine."

"Me, too."

- - -

The Hogwarts Express had taken them from the school on Friday. On Monday, Harry started Flying Camp, and the Jakalope conference started on Thursday. On Thursday morning, at breakfast, an owl delivered a letter addressed to The Lovegoods.

Frank, Alice, Neville, and Augusta Longbottom

Invite you to an open house celebrating Frank and Alice's recent recovery

And thanking our friends and family for caring for our family when we were unable to.

Please visit with us between Noon and Seven P.M. on Saturday, July 3rd

At Longbottom Manor

There was a PS written in Neville's hand.

PS. Uncle Algie says you're on vacation. Sorry you won't be here, but I want to thank you for being my first friends. Neville.

They were disappointed, but knew there was no way they could get to the party. They sent back a note thanking Neville for the invitation and wishing his parents good health.

- - -

Luna went to the Jakalope conference with her father. In the evenings she told Harry about meeting Professor Gharlane of Endore School of Magic, one the leading authorities on Jakalopes and Baluit Crest Cats. The second day she and Larry had lunch with Mr. Hummel of Boston (the American one, not the one on the North Sea where Remus lived) who had presented his research on the lavender Jakalopes. Their color had been found to be caused by their fur having a vanadium-oxide doped corundum that made them virtually bullet and magic proof. And the final day she just bubbled at the key note address given by Professor Elmer Fudd, the acknowledged expert in the field of Jakalope studies. He had Muggle movies of the strange, dangerous creatures, and Luna's description and enthusiasm made Harry truly sorry he didn't go.

- - -

On the Saturday, before Luna went to the conference, due to time zones, the party was going full tilt at the Longbottom Manor. Neville had invited his entire year at Hogwarts, as well as a various other people, like the entire Weasley family. Narcissa and Draco came early and spent almost the entire day. Hermione and her parents arrived in the middle of the afternoon. Shortly after she joined the festivities, the three soon to be fourth year students were gathered with Frank and Alice and had to recount the Troll incident. Neville's parents were impressed by their courage and loyalty, and secretly shocked that a Hufflepuff and a Slytherin would be friends. After the meeting, Hermione pulled Draco away from the crowd.

"So, what's up?" he asked.

"If you knew something about someone, what would you do?"

"Nothing like being vague, huh? It depends on what it is. And I suppose it depends on your house. A Slytherin would keep the information for blackmail or to use as a weapon at some point. A Hufflepuff would figure out who would it help and use it that way. A Gryffindor couldn't keep his mouth closed, and would just disclose it, and a Ravenclaw would just warm themselves on the knowledge that they know something that others don't. Oh, and write a book about it."


"Hey, you're the one who started talking in generalities. I mean, what information? A crime? An embarrassing little secret? Someone cheated on a test? I don't have much to go on."

"Sorry. I don't think I want to give it away, so unless I tell you more, I can't expect a better answer. Sorry about that."

"Hey, no problem. You asked, I answered the best I can. You know I can keep my mouth shut."

"I know, but I don't want to say. It's not my secret."

"Fair enough. I don't want you breaking any promises."

"But that's the thing. I didn't promise anybody. I just found out."

"Would this secret hurt or help someone if it were known? Or both?"

"They say it would hurt. But I don't know."

"Oh, so you talked to the, er -- secretees?"

"I don't think that's a real word, and yes. They weren't happy that I knew and were pretty upset that I would tell."

"Would it help anyone to know?"

"I don't know."

"But they, whoever they are, don't want it known."


"Do you like them?"

"I did. They were pretty mad when I found out."

"Then keep it to yourself. As you said, it's not your secret, and if you're a friend, respect their wishes."

"Thanks, Draco."

"Any time!"

- - -

"Hi, Neville." Hermione found Neville off by himself near a flower bed. Actually, she had been watching him for ten minutes wondering if she could get him alone.

"Hi, Hermione. Enjoying the party?"

"Yes, it's very nice. I like you parents. They're fun."

"That's something I didn't expect. My Dad said that they're a lot younger mentally than they are physically."

"Can I ask you a question?"


"If Harry Potter were to come to Hogwarts this year, how would people react to him?"

"Besides swarming him and asking questions, I think there'd be a lot of hero worship."

"Well, he did defeat You-Know-Who. He is a hero."

"Yeah, but he was just a baby. I know I couldn't remember my parents being tortured until the Dementors forced me to remember. . . ."

Hermione suddenly blurted out, "The Dementors!" Realizing that she had interrupted Neville, she said, "Sorry, just thought of something. Go on, please."

"Uh, anyway, I would guess they would expect him to be some great and powerful wizard, all for something that he doesn't even remember. You know how tired Draco got last year of people asking about his aunt? It would be at least as bad as that."

"A lot of people didn't get the hint. . . ."

"And they wouldn't get the hint from Harry Potter, either. Then there's the escaped and free Death Eaters who might want to get revenge."

"Are there many?"

"A number of people who were commonly believed to be followers of You-Know-Who did get off. Some claimed to be doing it because their families were threatened, some claimed the Imperious curse was cast on them, and some named names and got off with shorter prison time."

"But everyone thought that Lestrange was after you for revenge, and that was wrong."

"She was crazy, Hermione. I don't think even she knew why she came after me. But the ones who never went to Azkaban wouldn't have that problem. I think disappearing was the best thing that could have happened to Harry Potter. What?"

"What 'what'?"

"You have a strange look on your face. I was wondering what you're thinking."

"I'm thinking I never thought about it that way. Thanks, Neville."

"Uh, any time, Hermione."

- - -

"Hi, Ginny!"

"Hi, Hermione."

"Can I ask you a question, Ginny."


"What do you think would happen if Harry Potter came to Hogwarts this year?"

"That would be so cool! Of course he'd be a Gryffindor, and I bet you'd be so sorry you transferred out."

"Why would it be 'so cool'?"

"To go to school with the Boy-Who-Lived! There wouldn't be anything cooler than that!"

"But what if he didn't like the attention?"

"He wouldn't get that much attention. I'm sure it would be a big thing when he came, but after a while most people would forget about it. But I'm sure he'd be on the Quidditch team. His father was captain, you know; and Chaser. And I'm sure he'd be a prefect and Head Boy. I wonder which girl he would bump off the team?"

"What if he went out for Seeker and bumped you?"

"Don't be silly, Hermione! He'd go for Chaser, like his father."

"I see," said Hermione very slowly. "And you'd like to be on the team with him? It wouldn't bother you that he got all the attention?"

"Well, he'd get a lot of the attention, I'd suppose. But I'd be on the team with him, and we'd have to spend a lot of time together. You know, at practices."

"And you'd like that?"

"Of course, he'd have to marry someone. And being on the team with him. . . ."

"And you want to be that someone?"

"I don't know, but wouldn't it just be so great to be married to the Boy-Who-Lived?"

"I don't know. I don't think I've ever met him."

"Yeah, well, he's not at Hogwarts, so I guess I'll probably never meet him. But sometimes I daydream, you know?"

"Yes, we all daydream about our Prince Charming, don't we?"

- - -

"Good party, Neville."

"Thanks for coming Draco. Sorry we didn't get a chance to fly."

"Next party."

"Speaking of flying, Harry's going to a flying camp in the New World. Harry. . . ."


"Oh, something Hermione said. She was asking me about Harry Potter."

"Wonder why?"

"Don't know."

"Anyway, Mother's probably waiting at the fireplace. Thanks again."

As he made his way to the fireplace, Draco wondered if Hermione's secret had anything to do with Harry Potter. But then, she had said 'they.' Who would 'they' be with a secret about Harry Potter?

- - -

Their second week in the New World was spent shopping and setting up an apartment for Aunt Sibyll. Larry had gotten her a job doing the Horoscope for the New Goetry Gazzette. It wasn't a full time job, but she would supplement her income answering letters to the Advice Column of the Quibbler and perhaps doing some freelance work. She was also free to get any job she could in New Goetry, even teaching. She was pretty sure she didn't want to do that both because it might draw attention from back home, and she wanted to put that life behind her. She was going to be using the Lovegood name, and that was a fairly thin disguise.

Harry missed most of the shopping and arranging of the apartment, because he was still at flying camp. They did have dinner as a family in the evening, and even took in a show one night. Luna and Selene got away for some mother-daughter quality time a few times, too.

A few of the evenings were hard, when Aunt Sibyll really wanted a drink, or didn't think she could make it on her own. They did their best to comfort her, or ignore her yelling. They got her into an Alcoholics Anonymous program. Harry overheard Uncle Larry telling Aunt Selene that he felt better leaving her here after she joined.

Saturday, the day before they were going to return to Britain, Harry got a letter. The post owl few off after Harry took the envelope from its leg.

"Who's it from, Harry," Selene asked.

"I don't know. I don't recognize the handwriting." He opened it, and glanced at the signature. He paled a little.

"What's the matter?" Selene asked. Luna looked up from the magazine that she had been reading.

"It's from Hermione," Harry said.

"Is that a problem?" Selene asked.

"She's a very smart witch," Luna answered, walking behind the chair Harry was sitting on to look at the letter over his shoulder.

Dear Harry,

I asked some people about the other Harry, the one you were probably named after. I admit I was wrong. Where ever he is, he's probably better off than here. I don't know what else I can say than sorry. I would like to continue being your friend.

Hoping I see you this summer,

Hermione Granger

"That's a strange letter," Selene said, having also moved behind Harry.

Harry looked around. Larry and Sibyll were out, spending some time together, and getting a few more things for her apartment.

"Hermione figured out who I really am," he said with a sigh.

"It sounds like you persuaded her to keep it quiet."

"Yes, but I don't know if she can be trusted."

"Harry, the truth always comes out eventually. Someday, someone will figure it out. It will happen. It may not be for years. Or it may happen before we get back home. If Hermione can figure it out, then someone else will figure it out, too. Don't worry about it."

"I'd rather no one know it at all."

"It doesn't matter Harry," Luna said, hugging him from the side of the chair. "We can at least trust Hermione."

"What makes you say that?" Harry asked. "Is this another something you 'just know'?"

"No, this is something where you're not observing and deducting. If she was going to give you away, it isn't very likely that she'd send this note saying she wasn't going to, would she? She knows that no note would make us stay her friends if she gave us away."

"I guess you're right."

"Of course I am. Let's go get dressed. We're going somewhere nice to eat tonight."

"And how do you know that?" Selene asked.

"Observation and deduction. This is the last night we have to spend with Aunt Sibyll, so we have to go somewhere nice to make it as memorable as possible."

"Fine! Go get ready!"

- - -

Albus Dumbledore, the Supreme Mugwump, Headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and bearer of many other titles, struggled to pay attention. Barty Crouch was going over various points in excruciating detail while Dumbledore and a dozen other people from various Ministry departments were finalizing their plans for the next year. He had had to postpone the Headmaster's annual (drinking) retreat. , and all this was delaying his searches for his Divination instructor and Harry Potter.

It was strange seeing last years Head Boy sitting at the table with the heads of the various departments involved in planning the event. He certainly seemed cut out for government work -- he was polite, officious, boring, and nit-picky.

Oh, no! Someone objected to the wording in the current document again. Add another twenty minutes, at least! Everything was supposed to be finished last Friday. Here it was mid-afternoon Sunday! He glanced at his watch -- it was almost 4:00.

He had decided to try to find Miss Trelawney and give her a semi-true explanation, and apology. At the same time, he also wanted to make sure that she was as secured as possible. There wasn't much else he could do. Whoever had helped her escape certainly had a big club to hold over him. He wondered if he had gone too far. He didn't think so, but others might not see it the same way.

Looking over the list of actions that would have to be done once this meeting was over -- meet the other headmasters, co-ordinate with the relevant Ministries of France and the German States, come up with the individual tasks, get them set up. . . . He didn't think he would have any time to hunt for Harry Potter this summer.

He had the strangest feeling that Harry Potter and Sibyll Trelawney were in the same place. But that was certainly ridiculous. . . wasn't it? He glanced at his watch. Still almost 4:00.

- - -

"Good bye Aunt Sibyll!"

"Good bye, Harry!"

The former Divination instructor and former second year student hugged, the last of the family hugs before most of them took a portkey to London.

They staggered out of the travel agency where the portkey had deposited them. Harry still felt queasy after losing his breakfast. They started down Diagon Alley while Big Ben ran out the time.

"Hey! It's four! We finished breakfast a few minutes ago!" Harry exclaimed.

"Remember, Harry? Different time zones? The Rocky Mountains are seven time zones different from London time. Seven hours earlier," Uncle Larry said.

"Oh, right. This could get confusing."

Larry chuckled and added "Back before the wizards were driven out, the old Rus Empire had seven time zones. You had to be careful when you fire-called someone. Especially someone important who could have you executed."

- - -

Peter Pettigrew wasn't having a good year. He had almost been caught. Again.

He had barely slipped out of Athens. Bucharest's underworld decided the reward for him was enough to make it worth their while to hunt him down. Budapest had been unpleasant. Prague was too close for comfort, and had forced him to change plans. He headed south. Vienna -- well, he didn't want to think about Vienna. Milan was painful. Naples was where he thought his luck had changed. He tried sneaking on board a ship headed to England. The stowing away part worked, but it was the wrong ship. In Algiers he had insulted the wrong people. He was almost killed there, but it was somewhat refreshing that it has nothing to do with his status as a wanted escapee. He took off cross country, and eventually crawled on to a bus heading west. He was now in a city on the Atlantic outside a place called Rick's without any money. He could probably rob a local, but that's what started the trouble in Algiers.

He made his way behind the building and searched for the garbage. It was a good thing he was a rat. Had he been a lion animagus like he had hoped, none of this would have been possible. He still needed to get to England.

- - -

The next two days were what Selene called "the vacation to recover from the vacation." They unpacked, cleaned, did a little school work, but overall, nothing strenuous, or for any length of time. They were told that no plans were being made, because of something coming up.

Larry went into the Quibbler office everyday and Selene worked on paperwork at home. She would disappear for an hour or two a day, going to her office. Harry and Luna were responsible enough not to make a mess that couldn't be cleaned up quickly.

This only lasted two days, though. Wednesday morning started as usual with Harry and Selene up early making breakfast but before it was done he was sent to get Luna up and dressed and get dressed himself. Luna wasn't a morning person, and was slowly getting ready when her mother called them down for breakfast. Harry got to the kitchen to find they had a guest, Algie Croaker. Luna, after several more calls, finally joined them.

They ate, talking about their recent trip, and Larry left to go to the Quibbler offices. Harry and Luna cleared the table, and were told to sit down.

"Children, Mr. Croaker helped me destroy the two dark objects you found. He's going to help us get to the others. Would you please tell me how you followed the black lines?"

"Daddy told us how. He said that if you follow the line from two different places, where the lines meet is where the target is."

"Daddy knew about this?"

"No. I just asked him how to find something if you only knew the direction to it. But when we're close enough, we just follow the line."

"Very clever," Algie nodded. "We want to see if we can find the other two.

Harry spoke up, "They're in Little Hangle? No, that's not right."

"Little Hangleton," Luna said.

Selene gave them a "what have you been up to" look. "And how do you know that?"

"A few years ago you went away to a conference, and Daddy took us to the Lake District. We followed the line to an area warded against wizards and Muggles. I remembered the town's name."

Algie looked at Selene and said, "That makes it simpler. And then we'll have to hire these two. They're too dangerous to leave around."

"I think they should finish school first."

"You sure?"

"Pretty sure."

"Alright. You two, do well in school, and there's probably a job waiting in the Department of Mysteries for you. Of course, to work there, you have to be able to keep your mouths closed; that's why we're called Unspeakables. So you can't tell anyone about this. It will be your first test."

"We can keep things quiet. We kept the cup and locket quiet for years."

"Yes, well. Why don't you get ready, we'll take a little trip to the Lake District."

- - -

After some discussion they packed for several days. They portkeyed to Lancaster, rented a car, and headed north. In Greater Hangleton they checked into an inn then made their way to the nearby town where they found that neither child remembered the roads. With Luna's gift, though, they made their way to the spot where they had been several years before. Walking through the wild fields they passed the Muggle repellent ward, and came upon the anti-Witch and Wizard one.

"Couldn't you Apparate through it?" asked Luna.

"If we were sure that there was no anti-Apparation ward on the other side, we could. But if there is, then we'd be splinched all over the place, including on the other side of the wards. We might not find all our parts, and I don't relish that possibility," Algie answered.

"So how do we get past?" Harry wanted to know.

Selene answered, as they started walking through the fields, following the ward around whatever it was guarding. "There are several ways to get past a ward. None of them quick, easy, or undetectable, which is what you want if you're the one putting up the wards. We could drain the magic off it, but with a powerful ward like this, it probably has a number of power runes. So we'd have to drain it faster than it can regenerate itself.

"Another way would be to find the runes that anchor the ward. Destroy them, if possible, and the ward falls. They may be hidden under the ground, beneath the ward, so we wouldn't be able to get them unless we get past the ward, in which case it doesn't matter.

"Or we could do like you did with the book; counter the ward. You had to learn a lot of fire spells in order to get the right counter, though. There aren't any wizard attraction spells, really, so it wouldn't quite work.

"It's looking like we have to drain it."

Algie nodded, "Unfortunately, I agree."

Harry plucked off some burrs from his pants, walked around a bush, and asked, "But how would whoever put up the ward get past it?"

"They leave conditional openings in it. For example, your home wards stop anyone from Apparating into the house unless the person is known to the ward. It's like having a specific shaped hole in the wards, and if you're not the right shape, you don't fit. Your home wards probably allow your mom and dad in, but I doubt many others."

"Actually, they don't. When we first set up the house, we didn't have the money to plug ourselves into the wards, so it's just a general purpose anti-Apparition ward. Although it's not designed to splinch you if you accidentally try to cross the ward."

Luna asked, "So could we make ourselves fit through the opening?"

"Not unless we knew the conditions, and even then, it might be impossible. For example, if the ward only allowed Tom Riddle though, there's very little chance you could change yourself to be Tom Riddle."

"But could you change the shape of the hole to make it fit you?" Luna asked, squinting at the hillside next to them. Harry knew she was examining the magic closely.

Selene said, "There's no real way to do that."

"Why not do it like with the anti-fire ward? We basically changed the ward. I don't think we did it permanently; it would have eventually gone back to the original magic, I think. But it wasn't so much the fire spells we researched that we used to change the ward, but the knowledge about fire spells."


Harry tried to explain, "It wasn't any of the fire spells themselves. It was the experience with all of them that allowed us to affect the fire ward. But theoretically, we could do something similar here."

Algie glanced at Selene and asked, "So, what you're saying is that using your technique, you can get past any ward?"

Luna thought for a moment and nodded. "I think so. Which suddenly renders wards a lot less useful, don't you think?"

"Don't ever tell the goblins about this. They'd probably kill you just to keep you quiet." Algie shuddered at the thought of the Goblins finding out that their magic wasn't as useful as they thought.

It had taken over two hours, but they circumnavigated the wards without finding any source for it, which is what they expected.

Algie said, "Well, that's it. We'll have to set up the power drains and see if we can't get rid of it that way."

"Can we try?" Luna asked.

"Try what, dear?"

"Try to shape the ward so we can get past it."

Algie and Selene looked at each other and said, "Go ahead. I'd love to see how this is done."

"We'll need to use our wands," she said, looking at Selene for permission. They had been allowed to have them during this outing, "just in case." Just in case of what, wasn't specified.

Harry cast the Mage-sight spell on himself and stood next to Luna. He hated that spell. It inevitably led to a headache. He had, at Luna's urging, tried it in the Great Hall of Hogwarts; that had been a mistake. The headache was instantaneous that time as he was almost blinded by the colors of magic that flowed through the castle but especially powered the magical ceiling.

Now, he could see the wards both the anti-Muggle one behind them and the anti-Witch and Wizard one in front.

"See the mind magic, Harry? It's throughout the whole thing. To change that would be like re-writing a book. I'm hoping that we can just rewrite that part, see the green-gray squiggle with the bits of pink and red?"

"Squiggle?" asked Selene, casting the spell on herself.

"It's a technical term," Luna answered.

"I see the green-gray, but not the other colors," Selene said.

"I don't either, but the spell isn't as good as Luna's sight," Harry explained.

"Now watch this," Luna said. She pointed her wand at the wall of color and a green-gray beam of magic came from it and struck the ward. None of the others could see any change.

"OK, Harry, you try."

Harry had long ago come to the conclusion that Luna just did magic differently. To the other students wand movement and incantation were tools for bringing the mind and will to the proper place to make the magic do what they intended. Luna had begun that way, too. But as her gift grew over they years, she came to the place where she just recreated the shape and color of the spell. Harry had spent numerous evenings his first year at Hogwarts under the Mage-sight spell and Luna's tutelage trying to do the same thing. He had been partially successful, but still found it easier (and less painful) to cast spells the regular way.

He pointed his wand at the ward and released his magic. His initial attempt was too blue. He relaxed his mind and modified the magic and it changed to more green. He smiled to himself. This happened often when they tried this. The link between him and Luna was blue and he thought that his feelings for her were what caused his magic to shift blue. He concentrated more and the color slowly became the same as Luna's.

Luna then started waving her wand in little patterns. Selene and Algie could see a lot of little colors in her magic beam. The colors became more regular, and actually fewer in number, as she got into some sort of rhythm.

"Push, Harry!"

Selene and Algie were surprised as the magic coming out of Harry's wand changed from a stream to a river. They could see Luna's magic increase, too, but no where near as strong as Harry's.

Selene suddenly figured it out. "He's powering the spell, and you're making it do what you want!"

"Yes, but we're not strong enough! This ward is too big."

Suddenly, Harry's magic disappeared. He sat down, panting.

"That's not going to work," he gasped.

"No," said Alie, "but it was a good effort. We'll get the ward drainers set up, and come back and try again."

"Oh, my head!"

Selene said, "Let's get you back to the inn." Later, Selene and Algie got a chance to speak alone.

"You realize what we saw today?" Algie asked. "We saw a lot. What in particular are you talking about?"

"Wards. With someone like Luna, any ward that has an exception is open to her if she has enough power. And it seems that she's trained Harry to supply the power that she needs."

"You make her sound -- conniving?"

"Sorry, that's not what I was getting at. With her gift, I don't think she has a choice as to how she looks at magic, and Harry's just being the normal, sweet, helpful person we know him to be. And it did take training. I couldn't just send magical power of a certain type. But what I was thinking was that wards, the area affect magic we use to protect ourselves, might not be as protective as we want."

"But it's her gift, more powerful than anyone I've ever heard of, that lets her do that. Even the mage sight spell doesn't give us enough information, and I'm a fully trained witch and you're theoretically a fully trained wizard."

"Thank you for that vote of confidence, youngster."

"Any time."

"Yes, at the moment, she's the only one we know who has this power. But that doesn't mean others don't. And even if no one else has it, it doesn't mean that no one else ever will. I would guess that they'll have children."

"I try not to think about that. I'm too young to have grandchildren."

"I would guess just a few more years, so get used to it, Mrs. Fully Trained Witch."

"I suppose we'll have to propose a research project into better wards."

"Eventually. Lets break this one, first."

- - -

That evening Harry went to bed early in the room he was sharing with Algie, while the other three travelers were checking out the Muggle television. Harry's head was still pounding, and he couldn't take the flickering light from the TV. In the middle of some show with Geofrey Palmer, Luna went to Harry's room to talk.

He was lying in the dark, all ready for bed. She took off her shoes and slid in next to him.


"Hi, Luna. Sorry I didn't do your hair tonight."

"That's OK, Harry. There's something I didn't tell Mum and Uncle Algie. Actually, I was a little scared to tell them."

"What's that?"

"The other line, the one that moves? It isn't with the object in the middle of that ward. It's somewhere else. Probably nearby, but not there."

"Why does that bother you?"

"I think that black line is attached to someone. It's just always been different. And I don't know that I want Mum and Algie to find it. It may be too dangerous."

"That means we have to leave the connection for a bunch more years until we can go after him."


"If it's attached to someone, and these hor-things are anchoring that person to the world, then the only person it could be is Voldemort."

Luna sighed, "Yes. And some day we'll have to go after him. It's the only way to keep them safe."

"Will we be safe? I don't want anything happening to you. And you know all those stories about how powerful Voldemort was."

"I know. But we're Ravenclaws. We'll arm ourselves with knowledge, make a plan, and get rid of him once and for all."

"You're very confident."

"I'm very confident of you. Good night, husband."

"Good night, wife."

They shared a special kiss, and Luna went back to the other room.

The next day, they returned to the Meadow.

- - -

They were allowed to visit with the Weasleys for a while on Friday, but were told to make no plans for Saturday. Saturday, after breakfast, Selene and the children floo-ed to the Ministry of Magic. Harry and Luna trotted over to the Fountain of Magical Brethren.

"Dobby may be crazy, but he never looked like that," Harry said.

"I don't think a goblin could look like that. And certainly not when looking at a wizard," Luna replied.

"Come along children," Selene said, giving the fountain a look of disapproval.

They went to the security guard, and checked their wands. The guard was a little surprised when Harry and Luna presented their wands.

"You do know the laws against the use of magic by students, right?" he asked.

"Of course," Luna answered.

Harry looked at Selene, and grumbled, "As if she'd let us forget."

Selene told the guard, "But I want to impress on them that a witch or wizard is never without his or her wand."

The guard handed the wands back. The Lovegoods made their way to an elevator and rode it down, arriving at the Department Of Mysteries. She led them to a black circular room. Once in, the room spun around them.

"I'm glad it's the room and not us that spins," Harry muttered.

"Offices," Selene said once the room stopped spinning.

A door opened, and led to a long room with desks on one side. She led them most of the way down the room, and pointed to a desk that seemed indistinguishable from the others.

"That one's mine. We're not allowed to leave anything out when we're not at our desks. We can't even have pictures out. Not as interesting as your father's office, is it Luna? Come on."

She led them to the other end of the room, through a door, and into a smaller hall with a number of doors leading off it. She knocked on one of the doors. It was opened by Algie Croaker.

"Good, good. You're here. We don't have much time. Are you sure you want both of them to hear it? It may not be good news."

"They'll tell each other anyway, but they'll never tell anyone outside the family. We've had years of practice at that, haven't we, kids?"

"Yes, Mum."

"Yes, Aunt Selene."

"Then let's go. I think we're going to find out why Aunt Sibyll was locked up."

As she was talking, she led them through various doors, halls, and into a strange room filled with racks of hourglasses. There was a giant hourglass with an egg that hatched and grew into a bird, then regressed into a chick, and back into the egg. Luna wispered to Harry, "This room is full of time magic."

They came to a room full of rows of shelves, each shelf full of little glass spheres. They walked through the giant room and turned down one aisle that looked no different from any of the others, except for the number on the end. They walked between shelves 97 and 98 and most of the long way down they stopped. Algie nodded at a sphere, and Harry saw the sign beneath it:

S.P.T. to A.P.W.B.D

Dark Lord and (?)Harry Potter

"What is it?"

"It's a prophecy, Harry. S.P.T. is Aunt Sibyll. This is the only prophesy she's made that's stored here. And A.P.W.B.D. is Albus Dumbledore. She made a prophesy, he made a recording of the memory of it, and the Department of Mysteries stored it here. Only you and the Dark Lord can move it, Harry, because it was about you and him. Take it down, please, dear. Let's hear what cost Sibyll her freedom for so long."

Harry lifted the sphere without any problem.

"Now, touch it with your wand."

He did so, and a ghostly image of Aunt Sibyll appeared. They listened to the prophesy, given in a voice not her own and as the image faded they looked at each other pensively.

Uncle Algie told Harry to put the sphere back, and they made their way out of the room, out of the Department of Mysteries, and out of the building. They floo-ed back to the Meadow from the lobby, and sat around the kitchen table.

"Why don't you two go out to play. We'll talk about this later, all right?" Selene asked the children. They nodded, and went. Selene called Larry and told him to sit.

"Larry, we were searching for a reason why Dumbledore kept Sibyll locked up? We think we found it."

"And the reason is?"

"She made a prophesy and he heard it. It concerns the Dark Lord and the person who will vanquish him."

Algie interrupted, "Could."

"And who is this, er, vanquisher?"


Algie stroked his chin, and remarked, "This explains the rumors of Dumbledore spending his summers searching for Harry Potter. If he thinks that Harry's the only one who can kill Voldemort. . . ."

Larry shuddered, and Selene said, "Vanquish."

"Ok, vanquish Voldemort, then it sort of makes sense for him to try to find him. It doesn't make sense to lock up Sibyll."

Larry suggested, "If it was known that she gave a prophesy, it might make her a target of You-Know-Who."

Selene wondered, "Can they get a prophesy out of a seer if she's in a trance?"

"I don't know. I'm sure someone has tried before, so I'll look into it. Meanwhile, what about the specifics of the prophesy. What is the power 'the Dark Lord knows not?' "

Meanwhile, two children were in the backyard talking about the mysterious power, too.

"What do you think? What power do I have that Voldemort doesn't know?"

"I don't know. Animagus?"

"Hardly. And I still can't transform my right arm. And I haven't even tried my head. I did get the tail the last time I changed my butt."

They sat for a while, thinking, talking, suggesting things, but rejecting them.


"Hello, Willow. How are you today?"

"Very fine, thank you, Harry. You seem puzzled."

"We are," Luna answered. "We heard that Harry has a power the Dark Lord doesn't know about, and we're trying to figure it out."

"He can talk to snakes."

"Yes, but so can Voldemort."

"But does he know that you can?"

"I don't know. Probably not."

Luna looked skeptical. "So, virtually anything you can do could conceivably be the power 'he knows not.' Aren't prophecies wonderful? Anything you do that overcomes the Dark Lord fits the prophecy as long as he doesn't know it. And they wonder why Ravenclaws don't take divination."

"Well, if that's the case then it's worthless trying to figure it out," Harry concluded.

They spent some time visiting with Willow and getting all the news about the plants and animals in that part of the woods. They went back inside and informed the adults that the prophecy was useless. None of the adults at the table could fault their reasoning.

After the children left, Selene let out a soft moan. Larry immediately went over to her and put an arm around her.

"Why? Why does it have to be him? Why Harry?"

"I don't know. I don't know."

"You know, there was another child born at the same time," Algie said. "My great grand nephew, Neville, was born in the last minutes of July 30th. He too falls under the prophecy. And given that Voldemort isn't going away because of these Horcruxes, I don't think it would be beyond reason to get him and Harry some training."

"What about the laws against under aged magic use?"

"What pure-blood family follows those?"

"The Weasleys." Selene answered.

"Yes, well, there's always one, isn't there? Of course, with seven kids it may be self preservations. But that's neither here nor there.

"We'll get a licensed tutor, and get by the law that way. I'll talk with Frank and Alice, and see what we can set up. It won't be intense. But it should be worthwhile. I'll get back with you."

- - -

"Alice, Frank, how are you doing."

Algie was shown into the parlor of Longbottom Manor by Neville. The boy then left.

"Just fine, Uncle Algie. But I must say, your note was a little," Frank paused, looking for the right word, "mysterious?"

"I just wanted to make sure you were available. I recently discovered something, and I think you have the right to know."

Algie gave them the wording of the prophecy. When he was finished, Frank and Alice looked at each other.

"So that's what it was all about," Frank said.


"That October, 1981, Dumbledore told us that he had learned something that he couldn't tell us, but that it put our, and Neville's, lives in danger, and wanted us to go to a Fidelius protected house. He never told us what, though. I take it the Dark Lord knew?"

"I have no idea. We recently discovered the prophecy in the Hall of Prophecies, and know nothing of it's history, who was there, or who else knows."

Alice said, "Thank you for letting us know. At least now we understand. But it's all water under the bridge."

"No, I'm afraid it isn't," Algie said, gravely.

"What do you mean? He's gone, isn't he?"

"He is, but he will probably be back."

Alice's eyes widened in fear. "How?" she whispered.

"Sorry, my oath prevents me from telling you. We have a small team working on it, but I figure that anything we can do to prepare will help."

Frank asked, "Have you spoken to the headmaster about this? He was in the forefront of the fight last time."

"We don't quite trust the headmaster."

Alice looked shocked, and said, "What? Not trust Dumbledore? Are you daft! The man would never work for the Dark side."

"Sorry, you misunderstand. It's not that we don't trust which side he's on; we don't trust his judgment. For example, he didn't tell you the prophecy. There were some other very bad decisions that he made immediately after the war. Let me ask you this, has he ever spoken about giving Neville extra lessons, or special training?"

Frank and Alice looked at each other, and she answered, "We're not sure."

"Not sure?"

"No. On Christmas during his first year in Hogwarts, he received an invisibility cloak. The note that came with it was unsigned, but I recognized Dumbledore's handwriting. I wonder if he was trying to get Neville to use it for something specific?"

"Did he ever use it?"

Frank answered, "A few times, to get snacks from the kitchen after hours. But you're saying that the headmaster should have taken some action because of the prophecy?"

"I think so, yes. I bet that he, like a number of people in the Department, fear that Voldemort will return one day."

Alice thought for a moment and said, "Why? I know you can't tell us what you know, but why do so many other people think that You-Know-Who will return?"

"They call it the Law of the Unknown Cause. If they don't know what caused something to happen, there's no way to tell if it will unhappen, or if in the same situation the same thing will cause the same outcome. Basically, they don't know why Voldemort was seemingly destroyed, so they don't know how good a job Harry Potter did."

"But you know something else," she said, in a matter of fact way.


"But I also wanted to talk about something related, sort of. You know the Lovegoods?"

They nodded. Frank said, "He used to be an Auror."

"And she works with me. She wants to get some extra tutoring for her children, and I was wondering if you want in on it?"

"What sort of tutoring?"

"At this point spell accuracy, speed casting, and maybe some silent casting. We'll see how it goes. We're not talking Auror boot camp here. It'd probably be once a week for the rest of the summer."

Frank and Alice had one of those unspoken conversations that married people can have, and said, "If you add in basic review, sure. Neville has a new wand, and it's much more compatible with him than my old one, but his spells, the few he's tried, are more powerful and a bit uncontrolled."

"Who is the tutor?" Alice asked.

Algie told them.

- - -

The kids reverted to a more regular summer schedule: most days at home, Fridays at the Weasleys, but Monday they went to the Swamp and had spell tutoring. The first Monday they got there Uncle Algie introduced them to their tutor. His face was scarred, and he had a wooden leg with the foot carved like a bird claw. He also had a magical eye colored electric blue that spun in its socket.

"Hello. I'm Alastor Moody, and I'll be teaching you some Auror tricks of spell casting."

- - -

The day before Harry's real birthday, he, Luna, Selene, and Algie took a portkey to Little Hangleton, ending up next to the ward.

"If this were a real ward breaking, we'd let the drainers run for a few more weeks. Or, if we were in a hurry, we would have inundated the area with them."

He pointed at a white, stone cube that was sitting in the middle of the ward. There were runes engraved in it on each side. Algie continued, "Then, after the ward was effectively dispelled, we would search for the power runes, and destroy them. However, we don't have the resources to do that, without being detected by the bean counters and bringing our little activities to the attention of the Ministry. So, baring that, we hope that the ward is weak enough for you to get us through."

What he didn't tell Selene or the kids is that he wanted to see Luna and Harry working together to get through the ward. They spoke briefly, Harry cast mage sight on himself, Luna cast the first spell, giving Harry the information he needed to power it, and Luna began to shape the ward. Algie had already cast his own mage sight spell, and watched in fascination as Luna modified the ward.

"It should let us through now," she said, as she and Harry stopped their magic.

The group walked through the ward and came to the other side.

"Uh oh," Luna said. "Another ward."

"Yes, but this one I recognize. This is the anti-magical transport ward. An anti-Apparation, anti-portkey, anti-broom ward. It shouldn't affect us."

They walked through it without noticing. They crested a hill and were presented with the sight of a run down cottage surrounded by hills. The ground on all the hills glowed.

"Some sort of trigger?" Harry asked.

"Yes, but I don't see what it triggers. Let's go over there." Luna pointed about a third of the way around the surrounding hills. She continued, "The front door's over there, and that looks like it may have been a path at some point."

The group made its way towards the dip in the hills. When they reached it they found no relief from the magical trigger. Luna squatted down near the magical field with a quick "be careful" from her mother, and Algie and Selene started casting detection spells. Harry noticed a snake approaching the magic field.

"Hello, Miss Snake," Harry greeted her in Parseltongue. Neither he nor Luna had been able to figure out how he knew a boy snake from a girl snake, but he was always right.

"Greetings, Speaker. There hasn't been a Speaker around here for generations. You're not going to hurt us, are you? Legends say the old Speakers would hurt us."

"I'd never hurt you. But I was wondering if you know that you are about to enter a magical area?"

"Oh, yes. Inside is our place. The magic keeps all others away."

"How does it do that?"

"If food were to walk into the magic, it burns it. Then we go get a well done meal. It's usually a mouse, but sometimes there's a rabbit or squirrel. Now and then a hedgehog. I can't eat a rabbit, but a cooked mouse or small hedgehog is a nice change. Not as tasty, of course, but on those cool spring or fall days when you just can't get up the energy to stalk something, it's nice."

"So the magic doesn't harm you."

"Not if you say the magic words."

"May I know the magic words?"

"Of course, Speaker." She slithered up to the edge of the magic, and said, "Let me pass." She slithered into the magical field, and all around her, the field could be seen greatly dimmed.

"Harry, dear? What did the snake say?" Selene asked.

Harry informed them of all he heard. Luna and Harry helped them say the Reptile speech spell, and then they all asked the magic to "let them pass." They walked through the field without trouble and reached the house. The magic stopped a few feet away from the house. The door, besides being old, stained, and weathered, was spelled in some way.

"More trigger spells," Luna said.

"Yes, dear, I see them. Algie? What do you think?"

"If all that black is any indication, it's a very nasty and potentially deadly spell that would be triggered if you open that door. Step over there a moment."

"Algie! You're not going to open the door!"

"No, of course not. Oh, Harry? Can you make sure I get the pronunciation right?" He stepped to the magic field, and asked to pass in Parseltongue again. After getting a nod from Harry, he stepped down the path a little ways. He pointed at the house with his wand and cast a blasting curse. The curse hit the wall next to the door, and a hole was blown through the side of the house.

"Reducto," Harry whispered to Luna. "We'll have to remember that one."

The aftermath of the spell continued longer than what was expected. The interior was filled with strange sounds -- something like a buzzing of a bee and a whip crack, and a flash of light associated with each noise. Smoke began to come from the inside.

"Is the house on fire?" Harry asked.

Algie answered, as he carefully approached the hole. The flashing lights and strange sounds had subsided. "Wouldn't think so. Most wizarding houses are spelled to not catch on fire. Pretty standard. But let's see."

He looked in, and signalled the others to approach. They did so, but he wouldn't let them in the room. There was a faint glow across the floor -- another trigger. All around the room glowed brighter spots, in the walls, ceiling, furniture, other items lying about.

Near the floor were burning or smoking pieces of wood from the hole they were using.

Algie looked confused. "Weather magic? Why are all those spots glowing with weather magic?"

Selene shuddered and answered, "Lightning. Those are similar to the spell I was using on that security system that almost killed me. I bet anything that strikes the floor will get a bolt of electricity through it."

"Shall we try?" asked Algie.

Selene nodded and conjured a rock, which she tossed in. As it hit the floor, there was a flash and the noise they had heard before, and the rock shattered.

The room itself took up most of the house. It was a combination kitchen and sitting room. There was a fireplace, stove and a sink, a table with some wooden chairs, and a couch and a stuffed chair. There were also two doors leading to the left, but they were closed.

"I don't think we should assume that the let me pass password applies here. It's just too risky," Selene said. "However, lightning takes a long time to regenerate the runes, even assuming that each one has a power rune. We could try to force it to use up the power."

Algie agreed to try. He cast an Avis spell, and a half dozen birds appeared from his wand. They flew inside the house and landed on the floor. They were blown apart by the lightning bolt. Luna looked away. "I'm sorry, Luna. I should have used something else."

"No, that's alright. I know it has to be done. And it's not like they were real birds."

"That's true. But maybe something else. . . ."

"No, you can do six birds at a time. Go on."

Selene joined Algie in filling the room full of feathers and burnt birds. Selene also taught the children the Bubble-Head charm to hide the smell of burnt bird. Harry also picked up the Avis charm, and was soon sending his own flocks of birds to their doom. Finally, they reached a point where the birds were landing on the floor but nothing happened. Algie carefully stepped into the room.

"He may have outfoxed himself," Selene said, following Algie into the room.

"What do you mean?"

"He put all those lightning bolt charms on things in the room, sort of as a worst cast scenario. They were set to go off sequentially. But you can't do that with the power up runes. They're all trying to use the ambient magic to recharge the charm. One rune might take hours to recharge a lightning bolt. Those things took power! But with all of them trying to drain the local magic? It could take days or weeks. I think were safe from those. Luna? Where is the line going?"

It was pointing at the mantle above the fireplace. On it sat an unadorned wooden box.

"Lord, save me from plain wooden boxes," Selene said. The mantle and everything around it was also covered in magic.

The adults started casting their detection spells as Algie asked, "So what do we have?"

Luna had moved to the wall and squinting at the box as Harry answered, "A headache."

Selene snorted. She pointed at the base of the fireplace and said, "The flagstone moves if we touch the box."

Algie added, "But not right away there's a delay."

Harry said, "That wood is filled with fire magic. Is it supposed to burn us if we move the box?"

"Yes," Luna stated. "A bit of fire will fall from the flue and light it. Then, after we're burned the bottom opens and something comes out to finish us."

"Traps within traps," Selene sighed.

Harry looked puzzled and asked, "Why ignite the wood by dropping fire on to it? He could have just lit it directly."

Luna answered. "To cause fear? You get a moment to see your doom before the logs burst into flame, probably fill most of the room with fire. Then, whatever is held below comes up and takes care of you if you survived the flames."

Algie nodded, "He tried to think of everything. Any magic used against the box causes the rest to happen. Touch the wood, and the same thing. How to get around this?"

"If we could move the firewood, could we put a big rock or something over the base so it wouldn't open? Or if it did, it would be blocked?" Luna asked.

"Probably, but we'd have to move the firewood first."

Harry seemed to be looking at something in the kitchen, as he said, "Then Aunt Selene, you banish the wood, Uncle Algie, you create the cover, and Luna and I will stop the wood from igniting."

"How are you going to do that? If you cast anything on the wood, it will start the whole process."

Harry walked to the kitchen, grabbed a big pot, and put water in the bottom. He carried it back to the fireplace, and said, "Like this. Wingardium Leviosa!" He levitated the pot of water, and said, "Help me position it, Luna."

"Right in the middle, Harry." He floated it into the fireplace. Luna told Selene that it was in position, and she banished the wood through the hole in the wall. The moment she did that, a ball of fire fell from the top of the fireplace into the pot, and hissed as it hit the water. Algie was filling the base of the fireplace up with sand, then transformed it into stone. A moment later, a grinding sound was heard from beneath the new stone. It rocked as something below it tried to get out. That happened again and again until they were out of the house.

"Excellent work, everybody!" Algie exclaimed. He cast another spell over the box, grabbed it, and said, "Let's go!"

They got out of the house, crossed the fire field, and examined the anti-wizard ward. It had repaired itself enough that they couldn't get through it without adjusting it again, but since at that point they were outside the anti-portkey ward, they just portkeyed back to the Swamp.

Harry went to lie down, while the other three looked over the box. If you could get this far, there seemed to be no further traps, so they opened the box and found a thick ring with a black stone. There was a coat of arms engraved on the stone, which none of them could recognize.

Algie cast a spell, and said, "This is another Horcrux. But what about the other line? I thought you said they were together."

Luna looked down, guiltily, and said, "They are together, if you look from here. In Little Hangleton, though, they're at two different places."

"And you didn't think to tell us while we were there, young lady?" Selene asked, with that voice parents use to express anger and disappointment without actually shouting.

Harry's voice came from the doorway, "We decided it would be too dangerous. Especially after the prophecy."

"What do you mean?" Selene asked.

Luna answered, "The last one -- we think it's Voldemort. And if it's only Harry who has the power to vanquish him, then you shouldn't, and he can't, because he doesn't know how to do it. So no one goes until Harry's ready."

Harry walked to Luna's chair and put his hands on her shoulders. Selene saw the determination in his eyes and Luna's calm demeanor as she placed one of her hands on Harry's and she knew that nothing she could say would budge them.

She signed, and said, "Very well. But you are not to go after Voldemort without telling us."

"As long as we're in school," Luna answered, modifying the agreement.

"Very well. But I hope even after, if you have to go after him, that you would include us in your plans." Harry and Luna nodded. Algie took the ring to the Department of Mysteries, while the Lovegoods floo-ed home.

- - -

Harry's real birthday came with a few whispered "happy birthdays" and a special kiss from Luna. She was in his thoughts more often these days, and not just as a friend.

The summer settled down to a routine after that. Mondays, they were at Uncle Algie's with Neville and Mr. Moody. Tuesday and Thursday, Uncle Larry was home, and Harry and Luna were mostly on their own, although they had to show their lessons to Selene when she got home from work in the afternoon. Wednesdays were with Selene as Larry went to work. And Fridays were with the Weasleys while both of Luna's parents were at work.

Harry spent several weekend days with Uncle Ollie learning various aspects of wand making; shaping the wand on the lathe, drilling the core, learning the runes, and preparing the cores. Harry learned he needed a lot more practice with the runes before he could engrave them on the outside of the wand, let alone learn the secret method that Olivanders had used for generations to engrave the runes on the wand core area. Harry worked hard and had a great time.

Luna spent those times either with her mother for some quality mother-daughter time or with other friends. She visited Liz Ericson one Saturday and Hermione Granger another.

They also spent an afternoon at Remus' place in Boston and went to a beach on the North Sea. While there Harry succeeded in transforming his right arm into the front leg of his animagus form. He was extremely nervous about doing the head transformation, and put off trying that. Remus said that eighty percent of the wizards who tried to become animagus were never able to transform their heads.

- - -

Half way through August they received an owl from Aunt Sibyll. There were two letters. One was to the family as a whole, updating them on her new life and thanking them again for rescuing her. Larry had been in contact with her both personally and professionally, and knew that she was doing well. But it was nice to hear from her. The other letter was addressed to Larry. He read it over and handed it to Selene. She read it and got the children's attention. "This letter was addressed to your father, but we think you should hear it.

"Dearest Larry,

"To reiterate my other letter, I cannot thank you and your family enough for all you have done for me. As you know, we are the great-great-grandchildren of Casandra Trelawney, who was a gifted seer. I had always wanted to be a seer, and tried to force it. But, alas, I fear that that is not my gift.

"Yet our ancestor's gift still flows through our veins. Just recently I discovered that I am an Oracle. I may have been one for years! But being locked away no one would have heard any of my pronouncements, and who knows what prophecies I may have issued that were never heard and recorded!

"But I now have an official prophecy stored in the Department of Prophecies in Montreal. Unlike visions given to a seer, I have no idea who this is for, or even what it means. "

Here is my first oracular pronouncement:

The rescuers will have their fun

This will lead to anger and pain

The anger to distrust

The distrust may lead to failure but the Dark Lord shall arise

The rescuers will have their fun

"If you have any insight into this, I would appreciate it.

"With all my love, your excited (and bewildered) sister


"That sounds ominous," said Harry.

Selene looked at the teenagers and asked, "Anyone want to speculate on the meaning? Are you two planning to do something fun?"

"Oh, Mum! You always said that marriage was supposed to be fun. I don't know that we could stop having fun if we tried."

"You know what I mean."

Harry said, "And we agreed not to do certain things until after the marriage ceremony. But getting back to what Luna said, we have fun when we study. We have fun when we go for walks. We have fun at our tutoring sessions."

Luna jumped in, "And who would have thought that crusty old Auror would make learning so much fun!"

Harry nodded. "I think that we have another instance of a prophecy that will only become apparent after the fact. We'll do something fun, and what? Someone will get hurt? Anger and pain? Distrust? And while this may lead to failure, it seems the Dark Lord is going to arise if we fail or if we succeed. I guess I don't understand the purpose of these things."

Larry shook his head. "Put that way, I don't either. Even being a seer didn't make Cassandra's life a good one. She couldn't change anything she saw, and she was forced to tell the truth. Eventually, I think she was killed by a German prince who didn't like her prediction. I never knew what Sibyll saw in that gift."

"Be that as it may, I want you two to be very careful. I'm not telling you to stop having fun. Just be very careful."

"Yes, Aunt Selene."

"Yes, Mum."

After they left Harry asked, "How can we be very careful about having fun?" "I haven't the foggiest, Harry."

- - -

The weeks passed away. Harry visited Mike Daly's house one day, and Mike returned the favor. Luna visited Liz a few more times. The hysteria over Bellatrix Lestrange's escape (which the students had missed by being in school for most of it) finished disappearing as the Minister of Magic reassigned the members of the task force charged with hunting the escapees down. Bellatrix hadn't been seen since her appearance in Hogwarts, and Peter Pettigrew was almost captured in Cassablanca.

Besides, the public had more important things to worry about -- getting tickets to the Quidditch World Cup which was being held in England that year. Harry was interested, but didn't say anything after he saw how Luna reacted whenever Ron started going on and on about it. Besides, watching didn't compare with playing it.

After the Weasleys learned that their father acquired tickets through his work in the Ministry, there was no stopping Ron nor Ginny who talked about nothing else when they were with the Lovegoods. Charlie and Bill would be home, and there were two extra tickets. Mr. Weasley offered to take Harry and Luna, but they declined politely. In the end, Mrs. Weasley also decided not to go, and Angelina Johnson, Katie Bell, and Penelope Clearwater went as dates for Fred, George, and Percy, respectively.

- - -

A week before the World Cup, and two weeks before the Hogwarts express was taking them back to school, Harry and Luna had their last tutoring session with Neville and Mr. Moody. The parents were there, as was Uncle Algie, to see their children's progress. They did some warm ups and then each had a duel with Mad Eye. Harry used a lot of dodging to avoid the attacking spells, and attacked with a lot of quick, rapidly fired spells that overwhelmed Moody's shield with their sheer number. Neville relied more on his shield, but also kept moving, while relying mostly on accurate stunning spells quickly cast. He wasn't as fast as Harry, but the stunners also eventually broke through Moody's shield. Luna did the least movement, but used a number of spells that didn't seem to belong in a duel - she cast fireworks, charmed a rock to blare music, cast a spell that caused the air between the two duelists to glitter as if it were filled with tiny bits of tinsel. She won when the singing rock paused in its concert, and she quietly banished it behind Moody. When it started singing again, he reacted by moving out behind his shield, which was where Luna's disarming spell caught him.

After the duels, they had a little party.

"You've got some good kids here," Moody said. "They're respectful, bright, sharp, and willing to work."

As they were chatting, Frank Longbottom said, "You went easy on them. I remember dueling you in Auror school, and none of them would have beaten you. I don't think you've slowed down as much as you showed."

"Of course I went easy on them. They're children. If I stunned them in the first few seconds, they wouldn't have had a chance to show you what they learned. And if I did that during class, they wouldn't have a chance to practice. This isn't Auror training. However, that little lady certainly kept me on my toes. She didn't use the same technique twice. Always coming up with something new. Her beloved would pick up her ideas after seeing them, too, but I asked him not to use them today. He's fast, both on his feet and with a wand. And your son is accurate, too, maybe even better than Harry. He isn't quite as versatile with his spells, though. He knows them, but doesn't have many he's practiced as well as the Stupify, so I suggested he stick with what he knows best. More practice, and he'll be Auror material, you mark my words."

Alice Longbottom asked, "What did you mean, beloved?"

"Oh, sorry," Moody said.

Selene sighed. "When Harry came to live with us, he and Luna swore a marriage vow. Very few people know, and we want to keep it that way."

The children were running around playing wand tag, taking advantage of the tutoring exception of the restriction on underage magic law. Frank was half listening to Moody's explanation of how his eye saw the bond between the two, but something was nagging at him. He felt that he should remember something, but it just wasn't coming. He said goodbye and thanks to Moody as the old Auror floo-ed away. The adults returned to the yard and he watched Harry dive out of the way of a spell. The boy leaped up, brushed some dirt out of his short hair with a laugh, and took off in another direction to avoid another spell. That was when it hit him. It wasn't exact, but it was close enough to trigger the memory -- the hand in the hair and the laugh!

"Jim. Harry sounds just like. . . ." He turned all his attention on Selene and Larry. "You're raising Harry Potter!" he whispered. "That's why you wanted him to get extra tutoring. If You-Know-Who returns, he and Neville are likely to be attacked again!"

"Please!" Selene begged. "This is even more important to keep secret than their bond. As you said, if You-Know-Who or any of his followers found out, Harry would be targeted."

The children continued playing, oblivious to the fact that the adults were talking about Harry's condition when he arrived at the Lovegoods, the Horcruxes, the prophecy, and their need to eventually hunt down the remaining part of Voldemort. The Longbottoms agreed to keep the information to themselves but insisted that they be kept informed of Voldemort's activities, or as much as the Lovegoods found out. Larry and Selene agreed.

- - -

On the night of the Quidditch World Cup, half the Lovegoods sat in the parlor listening to the game on the Wizards Wireless Network while the other half sat in the parlor reading. Harry had his eyes closed for most of the game, imagining the plays described by the excited announcer. He sat on the love seat with Luna, his arm around her shoulders. Every now and then she would touch his hand or rub his leg and whisper for him to calm down as he tensed up with excitement. The game finally ended, and they went to bed.

- - -

Peter Pettigrew took a big breath of the sea air, before being sick over the side of the boat. The hold of the cargo ship he was on did not have good ventilation, and the oily bilge gave it a disgusting smell. It was the high surf, though, that caused his stomach to reject what little was in it. He looked greatfully at the lights on shore, though. This part of his trip was over. There was a pop as he Disapparated. He appeared in the city he saw from the boat, Liverpool. He would be at Riddle Manor shortly. He threw up again.

- - -

The Daily Prophet the next morning was filled with stories of the Death Eater attack on the World Cup camp ground. This necessitated an explanation from Larry and Selene about the Death Eaters and how they carried out Voldemort's orders. A quick fire-call to Molly Weasley and the children were off to her house. Both Larry and Selene had to be at work today. The Weasleys had come back early from the Quidditch cup. Harry and Selene got first hand accounts of what happened.

- - -

"Hold your hippogriffs! I'm coming!" Sirius almost fell down the stairs. It was too early to be up. Dobby had waken him up, telling him someone was knocking at the door. He had stumbled out of bed and pulled on a robe.

They had had a little party last night, Remus, Hestia, Tonks, and him. They had listened to the Quidditch match and drank wine. Or it had started with wine. Then Remus and he had taken shots each time a goal was made. Then the game was over, and they sat around with the girls talking and doing a lot of laughing, he recalled. Later Hestia and Tonks had left, and he and Remus had toasted -- well, just about everything. He didn't even recall going to bed.

He rubbed his eyes again, and opened the door.

"Cissy?" he gasped.

"Sirius, do you remember that offer you made after you were released? I've left Lucius, and need a place to stay."

"Yes, of course. Come on in. Welcome, Draco. Stay as long as you like. Dobby! Get the bags. Make up a couple of guest rooms. Narcissa and Draco will be staying for a while."

"Probably a week for me," Draco said.


"September 1st. The Hogwarts express?"

"Oh, yes. How time flies. Have you eaten yet? Then Dobby will make us all some breakfast. Draco, why don't you go wash up for breakfast.

"So, Cissy. What happened?"

"Did you hear about what happened last night?"

"Just that the Irish won, but Krum caught the snitch."

"No, afterward. Some," she paused, "people decided to dress in black robes, put on white masks, and harass the Muggles. I can't prove that Lucius was one of them, but I can't disprove it, either. Of course he won't say.

"Siri, we're not children any more. I have a child of my own. I don't want him part of that, whether You-Know-Who comes back or not. You know he likes that Muggleborn Ravenclaw you have at your Boxing Day parties. I'd rather he marry in his own circles, but I'm not going to stand in the way of his happiness.

"And can you imagine the world that they would make if they won? A world of cruelty, and slavery, and torture, and death. And if He came back and won? Not even his own followers would avoid being on the receiving end of the Cruciatus.

"Oh, Sirius, there are so many reasons!"

"I know. Relax. You and Draco are welcome here, and you can stay as long as you like."

"Thanks, Siri."

"There is one condition. You don't use my nickname ever again."

- - -

"Master! Master! I made it! I'm here!"

"Good. Get in here, and start stirring."

"You! You're dead!"

"And you were one of the Gryffindor clique. If the Master hadn't told me to expect you, I would have killed you on the spot. I bet you don't even have the mark."

"I do. At first the Master thought it would be better if I wasn't marked, but he marked me right before, er, the Godric's Hollow thing. But how did you survive? I thought you died years ago in Azkaban?"

"Yes. My dear, deluded parents helped me escape. Watch out, I have to add the Mandrake now. Keep stirring. I've been doing it for hours. I'm going to take a nap. Don't stop stirring!"

"What about that?"

"Just some Muggle. You knew you had to make the master a homoculus. Didn't you check the instructions? It works best when done under a gallows. Not having a gallows, we made one. Now stop bothering me, and keep stirring! I'll be back for the next step in an hour."

"Yes, Barty."

"That's Mr. Crouch to you, Pettigrew!"

- - -

"Welcome! Welcome!"

"Hello, Sirius," Selene said, stepping out of the fireplace, following Harry and Luna. Luna helped Harry off the floor. Larry appeared in the fireplace a moment later.

"Thank you for the invitation. It was rather sudden, wasn't it?" Larry asked.

Sirius smiled, and said, "I just wanted to keep a bit of a party atmosphere around the old place. Come on in and say hello to my other guests."

"Other guests?"

"Draco!" Harry exclaimed.

"Hello, Narcissa," Selene said.

"Please, you can call me Cissy."

After dinner, Draco, Luna, and Harry went to the first floor sitting room, while the adults were in the main floor parlor.

"They'll talk for a while, but I don't know how long," Draco said.

"What are they talking about?" Harry asked.

"I don't know what they'll talk about with your parents, but we've had guests almost every night since we've been here. Pansy Parkinson and her family one night. Blaise Zabini and his mother another. Daphne Greengrass and family last night. It's a regular Slytherin meeting hall."

"Why?" Luna asked.

"Mother and Uncle Sirius are sounding them out. They think that You-Know-Who was behind the attack at the World Cup. Mother doesn't want to be associated with the Death Eaters any more, and wants to see what allies she can make among the other Slytherin families. But, of course, they aren't learning too much."

"Why 'of course'?" Harry asked.

Draco smiled. "They're Slytherin. They don't want to give away their position in case Mother is really working for You-Know-Who or the Ministry. Either way, they don't want to expose themselves."

Harry mused, "That must be a pain, not being able to say what you want."

"That's why Slytherins do so well in politics."

Later, Sirius took Harry to one of the unused bedrooms. "Harry, have you done any more practicing on your transformation?"

"Yes, watch!" He changed his right arm into a large, whitish-gray, rhinoceros leg and foot. He changed it back.

"Oh! That feels so weird when only part of your body is changed. But that's almost it. I've changed everything except my head, and Remus told me not to try that unless someone was around."

"Want to try? I can turn you back if you succeed and have trouble." Harry concentrated, went through the animagus meditations, and tried to change his head into a rhino's. It didn't work. After ten minutes of trying they gave up.

"I'll visit you at Hogwarts. We can keep trying."

"How will you get in?"

"I know a few secret entrances. I'll owl you before I show up."

"Alright, but don't get in trouble. We can always try over the holidays." "Don't worry about me."

- - -

"Do you have any phrases that you regularly use when speaking to Dumbledore that he would notice if you didn't use?"

"Constant Vigilance."

"How do you say it?"


"Do you ever say it without shouting."

"During conversations. If it seems appropriate, I'll shout it at the end of the conversation."

"How's he doing? Do you need more truth potion yet?"

"Shut up, Wormtail, he's still good for another half hour.

"Is there anyone else you would recognize at the castle?"

The two Lovegood children and Neville Longbottom."

"And why would you know them?"

"I tutored them over the summer."

"Describe what you taught them."

"I concentrated on defensive spells, some dueling, and dodging. And general review for Neville since he had a new wand that was more compatible."

"Specifically, which spells did you teach them."

The interrogation of Alastar Moody went on, hour after hour, day after day.

- - -

"Good morning Harry. Ready to go back to school?"

"'Morning, Aunt Selene. Yes, I think so."

"Is there a problem, dear?"

"Just that my head hurts. And I don't think I slept well last night. I had nightmares."

"I'm sorry to hear that. It wasn't about going to the wrong class, was it? Good morning, Luna."

"Good morning, Mum. What are you talking about?"

"Harry had a nightmare. I remember a number of times I had bad dreams about going to the wrong classes the night before starting a new school year."

"That doesn't sound too bad, Mum."

"These are dreams, remember, so it wasn't just going to the wrong class once. I remember one dream where it was right before final exams and I realized I had been in the wrong class the whole year and there wasn't any time to learn the course work before the test. That sort of thing can happen in a dream, you know. And, of course, the emotion is real."

"OK, Mum. Just don't remember that when I get my grades. I might use it as an excuse."

"I expect good grades from you, little lady. You too, Harry."

"Yes, Aunt Selene." "Harry, your curse damage looks bigger."

"Could that cause my head to hurt?"

Luna looked at her mother. Selene shrugged.

"Ok, I'll just get some aspirin," he said. "No. You two eat. I'll get the aspirin. Then we'll check your trunks, and get you on that train. And where is my husband?" she asked, leaving the kitchen. Luna said,

"I don't like this."

"You don't like this? I'm the one in pain."

"Yes, but it's never hurt you before. I think something has happened."

"But unless we hunt Voldemort down, I'm not sure we can tell."

"We'll see if the aspirin works. If not, we'll think about our next move."

"All right, Luna."

- - -


"Hello, Hermione." She had opened the train compartment door on the Hogwarts Express compartment where Harry was sitting with some friends. She was extremely nervous about this. She had spent most of the train ride screwing up her courage to do this.

"I just wanted to apologize for what happened on the train ride home. I stuck my nose where it didn't belong, and I'm sorry."

"Apology accepted. Thanks."

"See you at the feast!" She felt immensely relieved. The build up was worse than the actual event.

"What was that about?" Mike Daly, who was sharing the compartment with Harry and several other third year boys, asked.

"Just a minor fight. But it's over now, and I'm not going to talk about it."

"But Hermione Granger acknowledging that she made an error! That's got to be a first!"

"Drop it," Harry said sternly. "It took a lot of courage for her to do that, so let it drop."

"Yes, sir! So, this year we won't have to teach basic wand movements to the first years, right? It will be the second years' job, correct?"

"Exactly. And while they're doing that the first week, before the study group gets really started, we'll be outside playing spell tag."


- - -

After the food disappeared from the Welcoming Feast, Dumbledore got up to speak. He gave the usual warnings about casting spells in the halls, items that can't be used on the school grounds ("I don't even know what a Fanged Frisbee is," Harry whispered to Mike), and how the Forbidden Forest is still forbidden. "

And as those of you who were in Divination know from your Class List letter, Professor Trelawney has left to pursue other opportunities, and we will not be teaching Divination."

Then he dropped the bomb.

"And it is my sad duty to inform you that there will be no Quidditch House Cup this year." There were groans, exclamations of disbelief, and shocked looks, like the one on Harry's face. Dumbledore went on to announce the Triwizard Tournament. He did not go into much detail, and was interrupted when the doors of the Great Hall crashed open.

"Ah," he said, looking at the black cloaked figure in the doorway, "Our new Defense against the Dark Arts instructor has arrived!" Every eye was fixed on the figure that walked into the Great Hall leaning on a staff and giving a dull clunk with ever other step. Halfway into the hall, he threw back his hood.

Dumbledore announced, "May I present Professor Moody!"

Luna looked puzzled, and whispered to Harry, "That's not Mad-Eye."

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

AN: Note on chapter 15. For more information on Jakalopes, see the thread on the Usenet group starting with message id: 38AE708A dot 4b25addf at excite dot com.

Convert the dots to real periods, and the at to a real at sign when searching.

Also, I was using the calendar for sixth year given at the hp-lexicon site. It was only as I reached the end of the Summer that I realized that it was based on the JKR "September 1st is a Monday every year" theory of time. At which point I decided not to go back and try and fix it.

I want to thank my beta-readers swordchucks and Wombat. Thank them for a much better story.
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