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Harry looked at the clock - it was just over a minute until he was seventeen - a

t last! In just over a minute, he would no longer be an underage wizard. In just


over a minute, he would be able to use magic whenever he wanted to. A minute to
go. He wondered briefly what he'd do about the Dursleys - should he tell them t
hat he could use magic? Should he just ignore them totally? Thirty seconds. He m
ight even be able to leave this infernal place forever. Ten seconds. Nine. Eight
. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three. Two. One. Ha, he thought. Despite Voldemort's w
ishes, he had finally reached his seventeenth birthday. He was of age.
Harry hadn't stopped grinning when there was a small bang and a flash of light.
As he looked around, he spotted Fawkes, the headmaster's phoenix, standing near
the foot of his bed - he had apparently brought some sort of basket. Harry walke
d over, peering into the basket and almost fell over in shock. There, peering ba
ck at him, were three pairs of identical bright green eyes.
"Ok - what's going on?" Harry whispered as Fawkes held out a letter.
"Thanks Fawkes. This ought to be interesting." Harry unfolded the letter, recogn
ising the writing of Albus Dumbledore.
"Dear Harry," He read, "I realise this may be a little bit of a shock for you, b
ut I would appreciate if you could take care of these three little ones for the
rest of the summer - I'll explain everything when you come back to school. They
are five weeks old. It is up to you to name them. Take good care of them, Harry.
If you have any questions, send them with Fawkes. Also, I have put you on the f
loo network - you can contact me that way too. There is a container of floo powd
er in the bag, along with a list of things you need to take care of them - all y
ou have to do is tap the item with your wand and it will be delivered immediatel
y. The money will come from my account. Good luck." Harry looked back at the thr
ee babies uncertainly.
"Look after you? Me? This has got to be a joke." He murmured.
"Right, I have a question - why me?" He quickly wrote this on a scrap of parchme
nt before handing it to Fawkes.
"Off you go then." He said.
Almost as soon as Fawkes had left, one of the babies began to cry. Harry looked
around uncertainly before resigning himself to the fact that he would have to lo
ok after them - at least until the morning. He carefully lifted the tiny child a
nd cradled it gently in his arms. It was a little girl. "Hmm - a name for you. W
hat shall we call you?" He murmured. The baby had stopped crying, and was watchi
ng him with sleepy eyes. "How about¡Elizabeth? No - I don't think so. Sophie? N
o. Oh - Eleanor. How about that? Yeah, you look like an Eleanor. Little Leah. Pe
rfect." Harry looked down to see that baby Leah was now fast asleep, lulled by h
is talking. He put her gently back into the basket before picking up another of
the triplets. This one was a little boy. "Hey there. I think we should call you
Andrew." Harry walked over to his window, watching the darkened street. No one w
as awake, except from him, it seemed. He looked back at Andrew, who was silently
sleeping in his arms. Questions suddenly came to mind - where were their parent
s? Who were their parents and why hadn't they named them themselves? He couldn't
imagine giving up a child, and wondered why anyone would. Then again, maybe the
y were dead. Harry shivered, hoping that they weren't. He knew all too well how
horrible it was to grow up without parents, and he wouldn't wish it on anyone. H
e placed Andrew back in the basket and watched all three babies sleep peacefully
- he didn't have the heart to wake the last one up to name him, for it was anot
her little boy. This one would be called Samuel.
Harry woke in the morning to the sound of three screaming babies. He scrambled o
ut of bed and hurried to the basket. "Hey, shush. Please, right, erm¡..food? Ar
e you hungry?" He picked up Sam and suddenly realised that food wasn't what they
were crying for - they all needed changing. "Oh. Ugh. Right. Shall we bath you
all while we're at it? Yeah - so, where's this list? Shush, I know, I'm working
on it." Harry cast a fearful look at the door, before casting a silencing charm
on it. He didn't want the Dursleys finding out about the kids. That was all he n
eeded. He pulled a list from the bag that Dumbledore had sent, and ran his wand
down it. "Right, we need a baby bath, some nappies, a changing mat, erm - what e
lse? Towels, soap¡.." Harry ordered what he needed and it appeared immediately,
as promised.
Bath time with triplets proved to be quite an experience - they were definitely
a handful. Harry privately thought that the headmaster was insane to trust him w
ith something as precious as three little lives. Still, he managed to bath all t
hree children without major incidents, unless you counted getting absolutely soa
ked. He dried them carefully and redressed them. Then the owls came flying in. I
t seemed that the owls fascinated Leah, especially Hedwig, while the boys weren'
t too sure about them. Harry laughed as one-month-old Leah tried to reach for th
em. "Hey Hedwig. I am so glad you're here. Can you believe this? We have housegu
ests. Three tiny ones." Hedwig examined the contents of the basket, before turni
ng to Harry and hooting in a reassuring sort of way. "Thanks girl. What have you
got for me?" Hedwig held out her leg, which had a rather large parcel attached.
It turned out to be from Hermione. Unsurprisingly, it was yet another book - on
e about old wizarding families. Harry eagerly flicked through it for a moment be
fore taking the letter from the wrapping. Next was Ron's present - a packet of s
ugarquills and a photo of the three of them sitting in the common room, laughing
and smiling. There was a note attached to that too. The next parcel came from M
olly Weasley and contained a delicious-looking birthday cake and a box of fudge.
A small, neatly wrapped box fell from the package and turned out to be a small
silver box, engraved with his name and the Gryffindor crest. Inside were Ginny's
note and five miniature sugarquills. From Hagrid he received a small dagger, wh
ich looked disconcertingly sharp, and from Dumbledore he received a chunk of som
e kind of crystal, which supposedly warned him when danger was coming. His last
present came from Remus Lupin, and was a photo of Sirius, Harry's late godfather
, with Harry's parents, Lily and James. They all looked so happy in the photo -
so alive. Now all three of them were dead. Also in the package was a beautiful l
eather wand holder, so that Harry's wand didn't blow off his backside, he suppos
ed. He set both photos on his desk before reading the letters that had come with
the presents.
After putting his presents away, Harry went to check on the babies, and found, m
uch to his shock, that Pig had settled down in the basket beside Leah, who was s
nuggling up to the tiny owl. Harry searched around for one of Dudley's cameras a
nd immediately found one, albeit a rather bashed and broken one.
"Reparo." He muttered, before conjuring a film. He took the picture just as Leah
began to wake. She watched Harry with sleepy eyes as he pulled out his cauldron
to make the developing solution. He remembered Colin telling him all about how
to develop photos, and for once was glad that the younger boy had been so enthus
iastic about photography. All he needed was the basic potions ingredients and hi
s wand. He quickly made the potion, setting it aside to simmer for the hour that
it needed. Leah had gone back to sleep, but now Sam was wide awake and looked a
s if he were about to start wailing. Harry picked him up and spoke quietly to hi
m. Sam blinked and looked around, his eyes lighting up as he saw the books piled
up on the desk. "You're a book worm, huh? I don't think you'll find anything of
interest there - they're all schoolbooks. Very boring. How about we look at the
family book, huh?" Sam just looked at Harry, who took that as a yes. He sat dow
n in a freshly conjured armchair and opened the book.
Harry had been reading to Sam for almost fifteen minutes when Dudley came chargi
ng into the room. Harry mentally cursed himself for not putting a lock on the do
or.
"What are you doing? Mum wants¡.." Dudley trailed off as he looked at Harry.
"What does your mother want?" Harry asked.
"You're holding a baby!" Dudley exclaimed stupidly.
"No! Really? I hadn't noticed!" Harry replied sarcastically as Sam began to howl
.
"Well done Dudders." He said sharply, rocking Sam slightly and calming him befor
e putting him back in the basket. Now Leah and Andy were awake too. "Great." He
muttered, picking the other two up to calm them as well. Dudley stared.
"There are three of them? Who did you knock up? One of your freak friends?"
"Dudley, do you know what date it is today?" Harry said quietly.
"The thirty-first of July. Why?"
"Any significance to that date that you can think of?"
"No." Harry rolled his eyes. Trust the Dursleys not to remember his birthday.
"It's my birthday - my seventeenth. I'm of age in the wizarding world." He said.
His words hit Dudley Dursley like a freight train -
"You mean you can use¡..m¡..m¡..ma¡.."
"Magic, yes I can. Therefore, I would advise you not to insult my friends or me.
And no - I didn't 'knock up' anyone, as you so delightfully put it. I'm looking
after them for the headmaster - you know, at Hogwarts. Now, what did you want?"
"Mum wants you to go to the shops."
"Typical. Tell her I'll be down in a moment." Dudley left in a hurry, thudding d
own the stairs and making the house quiver.
Harry slipped his wand into the holder and tied it around his waist, hidden by h
is well-fitting T-shirt (he had finally transfigured the old baggy clothes into
clothes that actually fitted). He also slipped the crystal into his pocket. He h
oped that the children would be ok alone for a few minutes - he reckoned that if
he apparated, then it shouldn't take longer than five minutes. He ran down the
stairs, and into the kitchen, where Petunia was waiting, her eyes narrowed. "Is
it true?" She demanded.
"Is what true?"
"You've got triplets in your room."
"Yeah, it's true. I'm looking after them for the headmaster - if you have any co
mplaints, I suggest you present them to him."
"Well you'd best hurry then - you can't leave them for long, and go expecting us
to help you."
"Wouldn't dream of it." Harry whispered waspishly. He took the money that his Au
nt held out for him before walking back into the hall and apparating behind the
shop. The shopping took three minutes exactly, and he apparating back to Privet
Drive before four minutes had passed. Dropping the shopping bags in the kitchen,
he bolted up the stairs to check the children.
When he walked into his room, Harry found that Petunia was sitting beside the ba
sket, watching the sleeping infants. They had the same eyes as Lily - the eyes t
hat had caused her to be unable to turn Harry away all those years ago. "Aunt Pe
tunia?" Harry said quietly. She looked up into those startlingly green eyes, dee
p and troubled.
"They were crying." She lied, turning away from those eyes.
"They were?" Harry asked - he knew she was lying. The babies were sleeping peace
fully, and she wouldn't have been able to hear them had they cried - not with th
e silencing charm on the door.
"If you wanted to see them, all you had to do was ask." His voice was soft and q
uiet.
"What are their names?"
"This is Leah, short for Eleanor, that is Andrew and that is Samuel."
"Is that a stuffed toy that Leah's hugging?"
"No, that's my friend's owl."
"Is that¡..sanitary?"
"Yeah, don't worry."
"So whose children are they if they aren't yours?"
"I have no idea, actually." Harry said, a small frown creeping across his face.
There was a pop as Fawkes appeared beside Harry.
"Argh - what on Earth is that?" Petunia squealed.
"Shush. It's a Phoenix. Hey Fawkes, what have you got?" Harry said. The phoenix
held out his leg so that Harry could untie the note. "Harry," He read aloud, "Yo
ur question is a good one - I asked you to look after the children because I fel
t that you were the best person for the job. Before you ask, I must tell you tha
t I cannot answer any questions about the parents. I assume that you have named
the triplets already. Please meet me at the fireplace at seven o'clock tonight,
and have a very happy birthday."
"You named them?"
"Yeah - I wonder why he won't tell me about the parents."
"I have to go - I shouldn't be in here. Get this room tidied." Harry watched as
his Aunt transformed from someone who had been almost nice, to someone who had a
heart of stone. Her eyes flashed as she left the room. Harry shook his head and
wrote a hasty reply to the headmaster, telling him that he would be there.
After feeding the babies, Harry had a little while to himself, and decided to tr
y and make this monitor. He didn't think there was anything like it in the wizar
ding world; at least there wasn't one on the list of supplies, so he decided tha
t making one was the best idea. It needed to be small enough to be portable, and
inconspicuous enough not to arouse the suspicion of Muggles. It also needed to
be effective at letting him know when the babies needed his attention. Eventuall
y, he decided on making it look like a bracelet - that way, it was both portable
and unobtrusive. It also meant that through skin contact, it would easily alert
him without alerting half the world at the same time. He had the idea; all he n
eeded now were the right charms.
Two hours later, Harry observed his invention. It had taken him a while to get t
he right spells, and when he had, he discovered that all of them were quite comp
licated, with the last charm taking an hour to incant. By the time he was finish
ed, he was absolutely shattered, but the babies were waking up again. His new wr
istband began to pulse as they woke up and started to cry. "Ok, I'm coming." Har
ry said wearily. At this rate, he'd need a holiday after the holidays.
Harry fell asleep after seeing to the babies, and consequently missed dinner. Ap
parently, no one had told Vernon about the triplets, and he made snide remarks a
bout Harry being lazy while Petunia bustled around the kitchen, cleaning up afte
r dinner. Seven o'clock was nearing, and Harry knew that he needed to keep on th
e Dursleys' good side so that they didn't have a flaky when the headmaster's hea
d appeared in the fireplace. So he didn't argue when Petunia ordered him to help
clear up.
"How are the babies?" She whispered as Harry dried the dishes.
"They're sleeping." Harry replied.
"How do you know - I can check."
"It's ok, Aunt Petunia. I have a monitor."
"If Vernon hears it he'll¡"
"It's silent - look." Harry showed her the wristband. "It vibrates when they nee
d attention." He explained.
"Oh. Is it¡..you know what?"
"Yes. I turned seventeen today, so I can use¡..you know what."
"Don't let Vernon know. He'll chuck you out. That's all those poor children need
."
"Right. Erm¡..can I ask a favour please?" Harry asked. His Aunt's eyes narrowed
dangerously, but she didn't say anything. "The headmaster is going to speak to
me through the fireplace tonight - I was wondering if you could make sure that U
ncle Vernon didn't walk in."
"Oh very well - but I'm not doing this for you, ok? This is strictly because I d
on't want Vernon upset, all right?"
"Ok. Fine." Harry shrugged. "Thanks."
"You had best hurry up - it's almost seven."
Harry waited impatiently in the living room - it was five to seven, and he was a
lone - it seemed that Petunia had persuaded Vernon to take Dudley out for a driv
ing lesson, and so it was just the two of them in the house - along with the tri
plets, who he had carefully brought down the stairs - just to prove that they we
re happy and healthy. Petunia kept flitting in and out of the room, looking as i
f she wanted to be a part of the conversation. In the end, Harry gave in and ask
ed if she would like to sit down - she had agreed, saying that she just wanted t
o make sure that nothing happened to her living room.
At two minutes to seven, Albus Dumbledore's head appeared in the fireplace, maki
ng Petunia shriek in fright. "Hello Professor." Harry said.
"Hello Harry, Petunia. How are you?"
"I'm fine Sir, tired, but fine."
"Ah, quite understandable. And how are the Little One's?"
"They're fine." Harry showed the Professor that the children were fast asleep in
their basket.
"Ah, Harry, I think you doubt yourself more than everyone else does. Though I ad
mit, I was a little nervous at first. Fawkes relayed your thoughts on my sanity,
and I must say, I think you underestimate yourself." Harry blushed beetroot and
stammered an apology.
"Ah, not at all Harry - I am sure that I must be at least a little batty - it co
mes with the job."
"Er..¡right." Harry said. He wasn't too sure how he was supposed to reply to th
at, so he just agreed.
"So, what have you named them?"
"Eleanor, Andrew and Samuel."
"Ah, very appropriate." The headmaster said. "Now, do you have any questions for
me?"
"Erm¡..you said that they're staying with me until the start of term, right?"
"Yes, that's right."
"So - are they coming on the Hogwarts Express?"
"Yes, they will travel with you and your friends - but your compartment will be
locked to anyone but those you wish to enter."
"You can do that? And we've been putting up with Malfoy for six years? Thanks fo
r that." Harry grinned. Petunia gasped at his audacity, but the headmaster chuck
led.
"Yes, quite. I imagine Mr Malfoy will be quite indignant that he can't get in to
annoy you. Also, I have arranged that a teacher travel with you."
"Who?" Harry asked, dreading that the headmaster should say Snape.
"Well, I considered Professor Snape¡.." Harry shuddered in horror, "But, as you
are aware, he hates you almost as much as¡..Voldemort, I suppose. So, I decide
d against that."
"Thank Merlin." Harry muttered. Once again, the headmaster laughed.
"Yes, so I've arranged for the new Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor to ri
de with you."
"You've got one then? Who is it?"
"Ah, you'll see. I've spent the last year trying to persuade him. Finally he agr
eed. Anyway, that's what will happen with the train - he'll meet you at the barr
ier and you will follow him. I daresay you'll recognise him. Any other questions
?"
"I don't think so."
"Oh! I almost forgot, the Weasley's have requested that you move back to the Bur
row in a week." Harry stared at the headmaster, caught by surprise.
"But what about the children? How will he take them?" It was Petunia who said it
, and Harry wondered the same, though he was loath to say it.
"Oh, it won't be a problem. I informed Molly of the circumstances when she reque
sted it. I believe that Arthur is bringing a car over. A certain Miss Weasley ma
y be thinking of joining him as well."
"Ginny? Is Hermione going to be there?"
"Not in the car, I believe she is already at the Burrow. You will meet her and R
on there, I suspect."
"Ah - so that's why Ron isn't coming."
"I cannot comment, but off the record, I'd say so."
"Me too. Sir..¡what about Voldemort?"
"What about him?"
"What's he doing?" Petunia shuffled closer to the fire, looking apprehensive whi
le Harry looked deadly serious. The headmaster looked from one to the other, dec
iding that it was horrific that Harry looked wiser, and more accepting, than his
Aunt. No young boy should have seen what Harry had seen. That couldn't be ignor
ed.
"To be truthful, Harry, we're not too sure. As far as we know, he's killing as m
any families as he can. Now that everyone knows he's back, there's not much poin
t in being secretive. Already there have been mass Muggle killings - and almost
as many wizarding deaths. And it's only the beginning."
"Anyone we know?"
"I'm afraid so - Ernie Macmillan and his family were killed at the beginning of
the summer - also Lee Jordan was killed while he and his family were on holiday,
Katie Bell was killed while working, Zacharias Smith and his family were killed
, and also Susan Bones."
"Hold on!" Harry cried angrily, "You might as well have been reading a list of D
A members!" He was livid, and the headmaster knew it - he was well acquainted wi
th his temper, and was right to be wary of it.
"Indeed." He said sadly. There was nothing else he could say. It was probably lu
cky that Andrew chose that minute to wake up and begin crying. Dumbledore watche
d as Harry lifted the tiny child out of the basket and quietened him. It was a f
ew minutes before Harry looked back up at the headmaster, his eyes burning brigh
t with hatred, anger, sorrow and determination. It was the determination that sc
ared the headmaster more than anything.
"We should have some sort of a memorial service." He said quietly.
"That's a good idea. The DA has lost members - the rest of you need to carry on.
Do you still want to be the leader?" Harry gave Dumbledore a sharp look.
"Directly oppose Voldemort? Are you kidding?" Petunia looked terrified at the th
ought, while Harry looked¡like Harry.
"Of course I'll still be the leader. Voldemort will learn eventually that not ev
eryone will roll over for him." His eyes flared with anger again, and Petunia ey
ed him with a mixture of apprehension and admiration. Harry didn't see it though
. He was busy rocking Andrew gently, talking quietly to him. It was amazing to s
ee a seventeen year old look so at home with a child in his arms.
"I have to go now Harry - I trust you will be in touch if you need anything?"
"Of course Sir."
"Goodnight Harry. Don't dwell on Voldemort - you can't save the world - yet." Th
e last word was whispered, but it rang around the living room of Number Four, Pr
ivet Drive as if it had been bellowed.
"Yet." Harry repeated.
"Harry - what did Professor Dumbledore mean? What's the DA?"
"The DA stands for Dumbledore's Army. It's basically like a voluntary Defence cl
ass. My friends and I founded it in fifth year."
"And you're the leader?"
"Yeah."
"Why?"
"Why? Well, I'm Harry Potter, I've survived Voldemort more times than any other
living person and my friends are stubborn."
"But what about this saving the world business? What's this 'not yet'?"
"I'd rather not talk about it. It's a prophecy."
"A prophecy? What did it say?"
"It doesn't matter. I'm going to bed."
"Those people that died - the members of this DA - were they friends of yours?"
"Yes they were." With that, Harry left his Aunt sitting in the living room, shiv
ering with fear. She had never really thought about it before now, but every yea
r seemed to get worse for her nephew, and she had never appreciated how¡..speci
al he was. Lily would never forgive her.
Even if Harry hadn't learned of Voldemort's activities, he wouldn't have got a w
ink of sleep that night. As it was, he was kept awake both by the triplets, who
now seemed wide awake, and by the thoughts that chased around his tired brain. H
e told the babies stories of a world where nothing would harm them, all the time
thinking of Voldemort. Was Voldemort killing? Torturing? Who was next on his li
st?
Harry spent the next day in the garden, running up to his room every time he fel
t the slightest twinge from his wrist. He knew that his Aunt was watching him, a
nd wondered about her sudden interest - he hadn't thought about whether or not s
he felt lonely. He only knew that it was disconcerting that the woman that had p
reviously hated him was now watching him like he was a soap opera or another suc
h television programme. He couldn't help but stare at her when in the afternoon
she brought him a glass of lemonade and a chocolate biscuit. He felt quite sorry
for her really - she had no one to talk to. Vernon worked all day, and came hom
e expecting peace and quiet while he ate and then watched television. Dudley was
always out with his gang, and Harry..¡well, he was Harry.
Harry was taking a well-earned break when his Aunt knocked quietly on the door.
"Harry? Can I come in?" Harry walked across and opened the door for her, knowing
that she couldn't open it herself.
"Yeah." He said, closing the door behind her. She made her way across to the cri
b that stood beside Harry's bed, which he had ordered it the night before, decid
ing that they shouldn't sleep in a basket all summer long.
"Hello there." She cooed. "Have they been ok?"
"They've been fine - are all babies this well-behaved?"
"Goodness no." Aunt Petunia laughed. It was an alien sound to Harry. "You were a
quiet baby - I remember your mother saying that you were a little angel. I reme
mber I was jealous because Dudley was such a loud baby - there was always someth
ing he wanted. Of course, Vernon didn't know that I met up with Lily - he hated
magic. I did too, I suppose, but she was still my sister, and she didn't use any
magic in front of me. I met with her in London, until you were nearly nine mont
hs old. Then Lily told me that she and your father were taking you and going int
o hiding - she mentioned a prophecy then. I didn't hear from her again." Harry l
istened carefully as his Aunt talked of his mother. "When I read the letter that
Professor Dumbledore had written, I thought that maybe Lily had died for a reas
on - maybe her death had done some good. But now he's back. And you've seen him.
"
"Several times." Harry muttered.
"What's he like? This You-Know-Who person."
"Voldemort. His name is Voldemort - you're not the only person that is scared of
his name though. He's like something from your worst nightmare - only a million
times worse. He is the heir of Slytherin - you know that Hogwarts had four foun
ders, right? Did mum tell you about them? Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and
Slytherin?"
"Oh yes - your mother was a Gryffindor, yes? So was your father. What are you?"
"A Gryffindor. Anyway, Slytherin house is famous for churning out dark witches a
nd wizards - not every Slytherin is bad, but a lot of them are. Anyway, Voldemor
t is the heir of Salazar Slytherin - which means that he is really quite powerfu
l¡..he's actually part Muggle. His father was a Muggle. Ironic, really, when yo
u think that Slytherin didn't want Muggle-borns taught at Hogwarts. He grew up i
n an orphanage because his father didn't want to know about magic - any of this
sound familiar at all?" Harry saw his Aunt shift nervously under his piercing ga
ze. "Basically, now he has a major grudge against anyone of Muggle of origin, as
well as those that stand in his way - namely me."
"What happened to his father?"
"Voldemort killed him when he got out of Hogwarts." Harry saw his Aunt pale cons
iderably, and felt a little bad for her. "Voldemort doesn't care who he kills -
the more the better, as far as he's concerned. He's evil."
"What about you?"
"I'm at the top of his hit-list. It's very damaging to his ego, me still being a
round. I mean, I've survived him six times already. The prophecy says that I'm t
he only one who can get rid of Voldemort for good."
"Have you heard this prophecy?"
"Yes."
"Word for word?"
"Yes."
"Will you tell me it? I want to know why my sister was killed." Harry thought fo
r a moment - the words of the prophecy were inscribed in his mind, but he hadn't
spoken of it to anyone. He didn't want to think of it. Yet here was his Aunt, a
sking to know the reason behind her sister's death.
"I'll have to use magic." He warned.
"Why?"
"Because there are only a few people in the world who know the full prophecy - a
nd Voldemort isn't one of them. I smashed the prophecy in fifth year, before he
could get it. He only knows part of it. If anyone is eavesdropping¡.."
"All right." Petunia whispered. She waited as he murmured a spell, closing the w
indow and the blinds, plunging them into darkness. He pointed his wand at the li
ght switch and an orangey, artificial light filled the room. Harry stayed by the
window, facing away from her. When he spoke, his voice was heavy with emotion.
"The prophecy was made shortly before I was born - it wasn't certain that it app
lied to me - one of the boys in my classes could have been the One. Still¡.." H
arry trailed off and sat down beside his Aunt, his eyes fixed on the cradle. "Th
e one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches¡..born to those who h
ave thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies¡..and the Dark Lord will
mark him as his equal, but he will have power that the Dark Lord knows not¡..an
d either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other
survives¡..the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the
seventh month dies." Harry recited from memory, the words burning his throat. "
That's the prophecy. Voldemort only knows of the first part - he did not know th
at trying to kill me would backfire. He thought he was fulfilling the prophecy,
but he was just setting the terms¡..he chose me. He thought I was dangerous." H
arry glanced at his Aunt to see a tear trickling from her eye. He didn't quite k
now what to do - faced with a crying baby, he knew just what to do, but a crying
woman? Not a clue.
"I'm sorry. I just never¡..what does it mean?"
"Basically, I'm the only one who can kill Voldemort - and in the end, it's eithe
r me or him. Murder or be murdered."
"It must be horrible - knowing that."
"I should be terrified. I should probably be dreading it¡but I'm not. After eve
rything, it'll be over. I know what I have to do. Just one more expectation."
"What's it like? Being you? I mean you're supposed to be famous."
"I am - to tell you the truth, it's awful. When Voldemort came back, no one beli
eved me. I went from being a hero to being an attention-seeking brat. Friends th
at had known me since first year began to think I was mentally unstable. Then wh
en everyone realised that I had been telling the truth all along, I was back to
being hero. Everyone expects me to save the world - even those that don't know o
f the prophecy. I'm Harry Potter, I've done it once, and I'll do it again - prop
erly this time. Won't they get a shock if I don't win?" Harry gave a small, bitt
er laugh, his eyes hard with scorn. "Basically, it sucks. But it's life, and I w
on't let Voldemort ruin it." Harry was shocked when his Aunt wrapped her arms ar
ound him and pulled him into a hug - for the first time in his memory she was be
ing affectionate.
"I have to go. There's dinner to cook - Vernon will be home soon." She sniffed.
"Are you all right?" Harry asked.
"I'll be fine."
"Do you want me to do the dinner? Magic would make it so much quicker - I promis
e not to poison Dudley or Uncle Vernon."
"I¡ok. Just make sure that you don't."
"Right. Aunt Petunia?"
"Yes?"
"What was mum like?"
"She was¡..the best sister anyone could have. Even if she was a witch. I never
hated her, you know. I couldn't. She was too nice. She'd have loved to see you g
row up - she'd be so proud of you."
"Thanks." Harry said quietly.
"Petunia, this is delicious." Vernon commented that night. Harry smirked as he a
te his helping of shepherd's pie. He had learnt from Molly how to cook using mag
ic, and was glad of it. Now he could cook both the magic way and the Muggle way
- though there was no doubt as to which he preferred. "Thank you." Petunia said,
winking at Harry when Vernon and Dudley weren't looking. Harry was still having
trouble adjusting to this new Aunt Petunia, the one that was his Aunt rather th
an his prison warden.
"Potter! Help your Aunt with the dishes, you ungrateful little runt!" His Uncle
bellowed. Harry rolled his eyes and forced a smile.
"Yes Uncle Vernon." He said through gritted teeth.
"Sorry." Petunia whispered as he got up and began drying dishes.
"It's ok." Harry mumbled. "It's not as if you said it."
"I'll have a word with him¡.."
"Nah, he'll just shout at you. It's not worth it - I'll be gone in a few days."
"Do you hate us?" Petunia asked. Harry thought for a moment before answering.
"Hate's a little too strong a word - well, no. Yes, I hate Vernon. No, I don't h
ate you because for all that you went along with him, you are my mother's sister
, and you took me in. Vernon has made me feel worthless all my life. Dudley¡is
pampered beyond all belief. He honestly has no idea¡but that's not really his f
ault. He's scared of me, for goodness sake. He'd likely have heart failure if ev
en one Deatheater showed up, let alone Voldemort."
"Aren't you scared of all these people that hate you?"
"Why should I be? Voldemort's like¡I don't know, more powerful than all of them
put together, and I'm too used to being his target to spend all my time worryin
g about it. All I can do is learn as many spells as I can." Harry said. His Uncl
e and cousin had left the kitchen, and Petunia was staring at him with an odd ex
pression on her face.
"You're not the typical seventeen year old, you know." She said eventually. Harr
y snorted in laughter.
"I know it." He assured her. His easy acceptance disturbed Petunia - shouldn't h
e want to be normal? Shouldn't he be a little more¡scared by what he was facing
? She made up her mind quickly to owl Professor Dumbledore - she would need an o
wl though¡..
"Harry, can I borrow your owl, please?"
"Er¡..ok then." Harry said, looking at her strangely. She guessed he was a litt
le shocked by the fact she was writing to someone in the wizarding world.
She sat down at Harry's desk later that night, a piece of paper in front of her.
Harry was lying on his bed, reading a huge book. Every now and then he would ta
ke down some notes on parchment with a long feather quill. "What are you doing?"
She asked. Harry looked up from the parchment and frowned a little.
"I'm taking notes on what spells I have to learn. I learn them and then teach th
em to others. It's a bit bizarre really, especially with some of the people I wa
s teaching were older than me."
"Do you like teaching?"
"I've never really thought about it - yeah, I suppose I do. It's funny though, I
thought I'd hate teaching at first, when Hermione suggested it, but yeah¡..I l
ike it."
"Do you think that's what you'll do when you leave Hogwarts?"
"No. I want to be an Auror."
"What's that?"
"It's someone that fights the Dark Arts. A bit like the police, I suppose. Only
a bit more dangerous."
"Oh. Why?"
"Why do I want to be an Auror? Well, I've had a lot of practice already..¡I gue
ss that if I'm already doing it, I might as well make a career out of it. That's
if I actually manage to pass the Potions final."
"Potions?"
"Yeah, it's one of the subjects I need. Unfortunately, it's one of my worst subj
ects. Not that Snape helps."
"Snape?"
"My teacher. He hated my dad and now he hates me. The feeling is entirely mutual
."
"Oh. What's your favourite subject?"
"Favourite? Defence Against the Dark Arts - at least it is when Remus is teachin
g. Hey! That's it! Remus! That's the new Defence Teacher! Thank goodness."
"Remus? That name sounds familiar."
"He was one of Mum and Dad's friends. He sent me that photo." Harry pointed to t
he photo where Petunia saw Lily and James standing with a dark-haired man. She l
ooked closer and uttered a gasp of shock.
"That man - he's the escaped convict that was on TV!" She exclaimed. Shutters fe
ll across Harry's eyes and he suddenly looked older.
"Sirius." He nodded. "He was my godfather - remember I told you about him?"
"Oh yes. I never thought¡what was he in prison for?"
"Murder - he was wrongly accused." Harry said bitterly. "He was supposed to be m
y parents' secret keeper¡.." Harry retold the story of Sirius' innocence, leavi
ng his Aunt gaping at him.
"What happened to him?"
"He was murdered by his cousin. A deatheater." Harry said. Petunia gulped - yet
another person that Harry had lost. How was he still sane?
Petunia let Harry tie the letter to his owl's leg. "I might be at the Weasley's
when you get back - just go straight there if I'm not here when you bring the re
ply back, ok? And drop the reply up here? Good girl. I'll see you soon, ok? Take
care of yourself." He said to the owl. Amazingly, the owl nodded in understandi
ng and nipped his finger before flying off. The triplets began to cry for their
food then, and Harry was distracted. Petunia looked at the contents of his desk
- it was piled high with books, and there were a few photos too. There was one o
f Leah, hugging that owl, which moved every so often as the baby stirred and beg
an to wake. Another was of Harry and another two people of his age - one boy and
one girl. The boy looked vaguely familiar, and Petunia remembered him as one of
the redheaded family that always met Harry from the train - the same family tha
t took him almost every summer. He looked very happy in the photo. She looked ov
er at him as he attended to the babies - he looked different now¡almost as if h
is mask had slipped away, unchecked for a moment. Her eyes went back to the phot
o of Lily, James and Sirius - even then, though they were smiling, if you looked
hard enough, you could see in their eyes that they were scared - something dark
was coming, and the future was uncertain. Looking into Lily's eyes, she saw the
same expression in them as she had seen on her nephew's face whenever he though
t no one was watching - whenever the mask slipped.
Harry finished feeding each of the babies, and had rocked them to sleep. Petunia
was still in his room, sitting at his desk very quietly and looking around at h
is scant number of possessions. The few photographs he had, and the books, most
of them Defence books. She would never really understand him, he knew, but she w
as trying to. He sat down on his bed, his mind in a whirl. Why did she care all
of a sudden? Why did she suddenly want to be part of his life?
The next few days passed quietly, with Harry doing his chores and spending time
with not only the children, but with his Aunt Petunia, who often came into his r
oom after dinner to talk to him. For the first time in his life, Harry thought t
hat he would actually miss his Aunt when he left - she was, after all, one of hi
s few connections to his parents. He was staring out of the window, deep in thou
ght when he saw something that made his heart stop. There was a wizard in Privet
Drive. Unless he was very much mistaken, it was a dark-robed, hooded wizard. Ha
rry squinted for a closer look - yes, it was definitely a Deatheater. He swore u
nder his breath, unconsciously running through his options in his mind. He neede
d to get out of there as quickly and as quietly as possibly - using the least po
ssible amount of magic. There would be no heroics tonight. He shut the blinds to
his room, his mind working overtime - he needed to hurry. But how much magic co
uld he use without alerting the deatheater? He cautiously threw his possessions
into his trunk manually, locking it with a small, simple spell. Next, he packed
up the babies' things and shrunk them so that they could fit into a small backpa
ck. He shrunk his trunk and slipped it into his pocket - peeking from the blinds
, he saw the Deatheater looking around the street carefully, almost calculating¡
..
Harry thundered down the stairs to living room, carrying the backpack and the ba
bies' basket awkwardly. He gently lowered the children to the floor, before look
ing up at the Dursleys, who all looked alarmed. "We have to go." He announced, h
is voice quiet and calm.
"What are you talking about now, Potter?" Vernon bellowed. "We're going nowhere.
" The triplets began to cry, and Harry itched to pull out his wand and curse Ver
non. He kept his cool and stared at his Aunt.
"There's a Deatheater outside. I suggest we go now before he finds me." His Aunt
had paled, while Dudley looked scornful.
"A Deatheater, what's that? Coming to get you? Why would anyone want to do that?
" Harry did pull his wand this time, though he didn't lose his temper.
"A Deatheater is a fully trained, evil wizard, and yes, he is coming for me. Aun
t Petunia, we have to go NOW."
"Where? What do we do?" Harry had never seen his Aunt look quite so helpless, bu
t he took over without another thought.
"We're going to have to Floo to Hogwarts, it's safe there." He told her while he
rummaged for the Floo powder.
"We will not go ANYWHERE! Do you expect us to be scared of these Dead-people?"
"Deatheaters. If you had any sense, you would be."
"Nonsense." Vernon roared.
"You aren't scared of them." Dudley pointed out. Harry was quickly losing patien
ce.
"No one ever said I was sensible - not where Voldemort is concerned."
"We will not go ANYWHERE!" Vernon repeated.
"Silencio!" Harry whispered, his voice as cold as ice and as sharp as a sword. V
ernon fell silent and Dudley whimpered. Harry saw the Deatheater approaching.
"We don't have much time. Take the triplets. Unless you want to die, I suggest y
ou listen to me."
"What about you?"
"I'll follow you - Professor Dumbledore's office." Harry threw a pinch of Floo p
owder into the flames, and put his head into the flames. "Professor Dumbledore?
We're coming for an unscheduled visit." Harry said. He handed the triplets, in t
heir basket, to Petunia. "Go." He gently pushed her into the flames, watching as
she disappeared.
"You next." He told Dudley. He too, disappeared. "And you - or would you rather
I left you here to die, because if we stay here, they will kill you." Vernon gru
dgingly stepped into the fire and promptly disappeared. Harry waved his wand and
sealed the house off, hearing the Deatheater tugging at the door. He had reveal
ed himself, but didn't care as he too disappeared in the flames.
Harry was coughing as he stepped out into Professor Dumbledore's office. He had
swallowed some ash as he travelled. Professor Dumbledore welcomed him and immedi
ately asked what had happened. The triplets were screaming at this point, and Pe
tunia was too shaken to even think about comforting them. Harry's wrist was almo
st jumping with the signals that the monitor was giving out.
"There was a Deatheater in Privet Drive." He said as he picked up Leah and hande
d her to the headmaster. Then he picked up Andrew and Sam, quickly hushing them
with a few whispered words and his comforting presence. Leah was still whimperin
g though, and after Harry put the other two back into their basket, he retrieved
the baby girl from the old man's arms. It took a few minutes, but Leah settled
down in Harry's arms and went to sleep.
"I thought it was best not to take any chances. No heroics."
"Ah, that's not strictly true, Harry. After all, you did bring you're - ah - rel
atives with you, did you not?"
"Hmm. Anyway, how did they find me - I thought we were supposed to be safe."
"Ah, you were. Until, that is, you turned 17. As you are no longer a child in th
e eyes of the ministry, the protection is no longer active."
"I see. Well, what's going to happen now? I daresay it won't take long for the D
eatheater to break through the ward I put on the door."
"I don't know - I think perhaps you underestimate yourself - or overestimate the
abilities of Voldemort's servants."
"Right. Well, what do we do in the meantime?"
"I don't think it would be wise to return to Privet Drive tonight. You will stay
in Gryffindor Tower tonight - Poppy can look after the children. You will stay
in your dorm, and I will have Dobby show your relatives where to stay." It was a
t this point that Harry remembered that he'd silenced his Uncle, and swiftly rem
oved the charm.
"BOY! You will pay for this!" His Uncle raged. Harry simply looked up at him cal
mly and smiled.
"You're welcome, Uncle Vernon." He said politely, exchanging looks with the Head
master. "Shall I take the babies down to the hospital wing, then?"
"Yes, you do that Harry - then you may head up to the Tower. The password is her
oics."
"How appropriate." Harry muttered dryly. The headmaster chuckled and summoned Do
bby as Harry left.
"Ah, Mr Potter - the headmaster told me to expect you. I must say, this is very
sudden though - are you having trouble looking after the babies?"
"No - a Deatheater turned up. My relatives and I are staying here overnight."
"I see." Madam Pomfrey said, her lips pursed. Harry heard her muttering about ho
w the headmaster never should have put the babies in the care of such a young pe
rson - not to mention one that drew trouble like no one else she had ever met. H
arry felt a surge of indignation as he unpacked the backpack. He carefully place
d the triplets into their cot, tucking blankets in around them as Madam Pomfrey
bustled back in. She watched him critically.
"Is this the first time you have ever looked after a baby, Mr Potter?" She asked
.
"Yes." Harry replied truthfully.
"I see - have they been behaving?"
"Yeah - they do have a tendency to wake up at three in the morning, but apart fr
om that." Harry watched Leah fret in the cot, and reached down to reassure her.
He was aware of the fact that the nurse's eyes followed his every move, but care
fully ignored her - he had been ok with the babies for five days, looking after
all three of them single handedly - he wasn't about to stop just because the nur
se judged him by his age and reputation.
"You should go up and get some sleep - I see enough of you during term-time." Ma
dam Pomfrey said. She could see that the boy cared deeply for the babies, but re
ally, he looked as if he hadn't slept in weeks. Suddenly, she thought that he mi
ght not have. "Harry - have you been sleeping all right?" She asked softly.
"Yeah. I've been sleeping fine." The boy replied, though he didn't quite meet he
r eyes as he said this. "It's nothing." He promised. Poppy shook her head - he a
lways had been stubborn.
"Go on - get some sleep." She said, practically shoving him from the infirmary.
Harry found Dobby a short distance from the hospital wing - he was snoozing when
Harry passed, but quickly woke up. "Harry Potter Sir!" The small elf squealed.
"Hello Dobby." Harry grinned. The elf had been coming to visit Harry all through
his sixth year, and Harry wondered whether he was beginning to think that Harry
was his master. The elf was certainly very loyal to Harry, and always seemed wi
lling to help in any way he could - he even willingly took orders from Harry. It
would be interesting to see what he did when Harry left Hogwarts, he decided.
"Why was Harry potter Sir in the Hospital Wing?" Dobby asked, his eyes round wit
h concern.
"I was just delivering three little ones - Madam Pomfrey is going to look after
them."
"Three little ones?"
"Three babies - triplets. I've been looking after them since my birthday."
"Oh yes, there has been talk in the kitchen of babies here at Hogwarts - Dobby t
hought it was just rumours."
"Yeah. It's not though."
"Why has Harry Potter Sir been looking after them?"
"I'm not sure, Dobby. Professor Dumbledore said he thought I was the best person
for the job."
"Oh. Dobby agrees Sir, Harry Potter is a noble wizard and the babies will be mos
t safe with him!" Dobby exclaimed, nodding fervently.
"Thanks Dobby - I just wish everyone had as much faith in me."
"Has anyone been troubling Harry Potter, Sir?"
"No, Dobby, it's all right, really. I just don't think that Madame Pomfrey was v
ery pleased that I was looking after them." Harry sighed before changing the sub
ject - the truth was, he couldn't blame the nurse for feeling that way, after al
l, he had felt the same way when he first took on the role of babysitter.
"So, what have you been up to, Dobby?"
"Dobby has been helping to fix up a room in Gryffindor Tower." Dobby said proudl
y.
"Oh?"
"Yes, Harry Potter Sir, we have been very busy over the summer, getting everythi
ng ready¡"
"Ready for what?"
"Dobby cannot say, Harry Potter Sir. It is most secret."
"I see. Never mind. How's it coming along?"
"Oh very well, Sir. Very well indeed."
"Good." Harry glanced back at the infirmary as he heard a small wail, accompanie
d by a small twinge from the monitor. It stopped moments later, and Harry slowly
headed up to Gryffindor Tower.
"Heroics." Harry said dully. The Fat Lady beamed at him.
"Yes indeed! I hear you've had your share of those tonight."
"Yeah." Harry agreed, having not really listened to the question. He climbed int
o the common room, expecting peace and quiet. What he got was the Dursleys sitti
ng on one of the sofas, as Dudley had a tantrum.
"Great Merlin." Harry sighed in exasperation.
"Boy! This is all your fault!" Vernon hollered, turning on him.
"Hardly." Harry replied. He didn't want to argue with anyone - not tonight. He w
anted to know why there had only been one Deatheater¡..
"Are you listening boy?" Harry turned to his Uncle, who had apparently been spea
king to him.
"What? No, I was imaging how lost you might get on the way to breakfast in the m
orning." Harry said dreamily. Uncle Vernon's eyes bugged out of his head as he s
tared.
"Lost? Of course we won't get lost - you know your way around, we'll just follow
you."
"Then I suggest," Harry replied coolly, "That you don't annoy me." With that, he
turned and headed up to his dorm.
Harry woke up in the middle of the night, trying to figure what was wrong - ever
ything seemed so quiet, no owls, no Dursleys, and no babies - that was it! Harry
sat bolt upright, his eyes searching the dark room. Then he relaxed, rememberin
g where he was. The babies would be fine - they were with the Nurse. She would l
ook after them. Still¡Harry found himself absently rubbing his wrist - the moni
tor was beginning to get painful¡maybe he would just go down and check¡No one
would know if he sneaked down under his invisibility cloak, he reasoned.
Five minutes later, he was creeping down the hallway and heading for the hospita
l wing. As he got closer, he became aware of a steady screaming coming from up a
head - clearly, one of the triplets wasn't happy. He sped up without a second th
ought, horrible possibilities running through his mind as he went. When he reach
ed the hospital wing, he found Madam Pomfrey walking up and down the hospital wi
ng, trying to calm an inconsolable baby. She looked extremely harassed, but Harr
y imagined that she would be, getting up at three o'clock when she obviously was
n't used to it. Creeping forward, Harry saw that it was Andrew who was bawling,
though the other two didn't look far from it. Sure enough, as if on cue, Sam sta
rted to cry too, steadily gaining volume. It wasn't long before Leah followed su
it. Harry abandoned his plan to stay hidden, and took off the cloak to calm the
babies. He didn't even see the Nurse stare indignantly at him. "Mr Potter!"
"Yes, Madam Pomfrey?" Harry said, picking up the other two and gently rocking th
em.
"Hey, shush, it's ok." He whispered.
"You are supposed to be back in Gryffindor Tower asleep!"
"Yeah, I know. I was awake though, so I just thought I'd come down."
"Do you believe I cannot look after three infants better than you can?" The nurs
e roared.
"I never said that. I just¡missed them. Besides, I have managed for the past fi
ve days."
"I appreciate that, Mr Potter, and I know that it is more than most young boys c
ould, but you need your sleep too!"
"I know. But I wasn't going to get any before I came down." Harry confessed, he
sensed rather than saw the older woman softening, particularly as he was ticklin
g Sam to get him to calm down. His cries had become less deafening, and eventual
ly subsided. Leah took a little more convincing, but she was soon reassured, tho
ugh she threatened to start again when Harry was about to put her back into the
cot. Sam, who had fallen straight back to sleep, didn't object to being back in
his bed, leaving Harry a free hand to receive Andrew from Madam Pomfrey, who had
all but given up to get him to cease crying. "Aren't you the noisy little one?"
Harry said. Andrew's eyes, which had been screwed up, popped open and watched t
he green eyes hovering above him. His screams turned to cries, which deflated to
sniffles before stopping altogether. "There, see that wasn't so hard, was it?"
Harry sat down on a bed as both Leah and Andrew began to slip into sleep once mo
re.
Madam Pomfrey had watched the whole thing with mixed emotions - the boy obviousl
y cared greatly for the three babies, but he was still a child himself - well, i
f not in the eyes of the ministry, then in her own eyes. She once again pondered
the headmaster's decision to put them into the care of Harry Potter. She had ar
gued against it then, but her sole argument had been based upon his complete lac
k of experience. Now she was more worried that he was going to be heartbroken wh
en the babies were returned to wherever they had come from. She decided to take
it up with the headmaster in the morning - for now, she would allow him to stay
with the babies. Heavens knew she would get no peace until he did.
Harry fell asleep with Leah and Andrew still cradled in his arms. When Sam start
ed crying, Madam Pomfrey decided to put him next to his brother and sister, both
of whom were snuggled against the young boy's chest. Despite herself, Poppy sna
pped a picture of this endearing scene, before heading back to her bed.
Thanks to Athenakitty and Persephone106 for reviewing. Kirsteen, you are complet
ely weird. Just thought I'd tell you so. And hurry up with that story!
Athenakitty, I may get round to answering your questions, I can't say too much t
hough. You'll find out soon enough. Oh, and do you actually like the story? Snif
f you haven't said yes or no.
It was almost eight o'clock when Professor's McGonagall and Dumbledore arrived i
n the hospital wing, and Harry was still asleep, the babies still curled into hi
m. Professor McGonagall gasped in shock, while the headmaster smiled and sighed
a tiny sigh of nostalgia. The three green-eyed infants, currently fast asleep, l
ooked perfectly happy.
"Albus - look at them." Minerva whispered.
"I believe I did say that Harry would take to this job admirably."
"Yes, you did, but surely you must have been able to see our point of view - Pot
ter is only seventeen and does have a knack of attracting trouble."
"I am aware of this, but I must say, the risk has paid off." They were silent fo
r a moment before Poppy came out of her office, smiling, if looking slightly tir
ed.
"Ah, headmaster. You've seen Mr Potter, then?" Her smile widened ever so slightl
y.
"Indeed, Poppy. When did he come down?"
"Three o'clock, headmaster."
"What was he doing awake at that hour?" Minerva asked.
"Said he couldn't sleep - it's a good job too. Andrew refused to stop crying for
me, but within five minutes of handing him to Potter, he was calm and quiet." A
lbus noticed a smile tugging at the corners of Harry's mouth and decided to watc
h what he was saying - it was something he had learnt in his time at Hogwarts -
never trust that a student is asleep. He nodded in agreement.
"Yes, something similar happened in my office yesterday evening."
"What are they called?" Minerva asked, watching the babies still. It was unnervi
ng how well such a young boy could adjust to looking after three babies.
"Leah - short for Eleanor, Samuel and Andrew."
"It might be just as well that you decided against letting Potter choose the nam
es - Leah would almost certainly be called Cho, or something. Whoever his latest
crush is." Professor McGonagall said. She had looked away, and therefore hadn't
seen Harry's eyes open.
"Actually, I didn't change my mind at all." Professor Dumbledore said mildly.
"No - I named them. And I don't actually know anyone called Eleanor, so your the
ory is wrong." Harry said, looking slightly insulted. Minerva looked slightly em
barrassed, and apologised. Harry shrugged, looking down as the bracelet he wore
gave a twinge. Leah was waking, and sniffling for her bottle. Harry, recognising
that she was about to start wailing, quickly summoned a bottle.
"Hey, Little One. Shush now, you'll wake your brothers." Harry completely forgot
about his audience as he fed Leah. It wasn't too long before the boys had woken
up too, and all his attention was focussed on successfully tended to all three
at once - it was an art he had developed quickly in the past few days, especiall
y as there was only one of him and three of them.
Albus gently motioned for the two women to follow him into the Nurse's office -
Harry was obviously very busy, and he didn't need them staring at him. Minerva s
eemed especially reluctant to leave, but she did as he bid - he was her boss aft
er all. "Well, the boy seems to be handling his responsibility well." Poppy said
as they shut the door to her office.
"Indeed, but there's something worrying you?"
"Yes. He seems awfully attached to them - you saw him, he's going to be heartbro
ken when they go¡.."
"Go? Where are they to go?" Albus asked. Poppy stared at him as if he had just a
nnounced that he was going to adopt the children personally.
"Back to their parents!" She spluttered.
"Poppy, my dear, you have no reason to worry."
"But the boy has had enough upset! He's already attached to them!"
"Poppy, listen to me. Harry is attached to them - I'm rather fond of them myself
, but you need to stop worrying so much. When the times comes, you can worry."
"Are you implying that this is a long-term arrangement?"
"Why yes, I suppose I am."
"Albus! The boy is sitting his NEWT's! You've made him head boy too - do you thi
nk that putting him under all of this pressure is wise?"
"Minerva, surely you of all people know that Harry is one of the few people who
does exceedingly well under pressure, but that's not the reason. He is probably
the best person to look after them - you've both seen him with them, and Harry k
nows that his school work is important."
"But how will he look after them during the day? He can't take them to class."
"No, indeed he can't. I have decided that the job will fall to Dobby, should Har
ry agree."
"The house-elf? The mad one?"
"Dobby isn't mad as such - he's simply eccentric. A little like me, I think. Bes
ides, it is Harry who will have the final decision."
"Albus he's still a boy!"
"He may be a boy, but he's one of the most mature you'll meet."
"What about¡..well, you know?"
"Voldemort? He doesn't have a clue about the triplets. It won't stay that way fo
r long, but Harry will keep them safe."
"How, Albus?"
"That will be a matter of choice for Harry."
"Albus! Are you leaving everything up to him?"
"Yes, I think so. I have found, in my many years of experience, that young peopl
e like Harry will do what is for the best if the guiding hand is gentle, rather
than forceful. There is nothing for you to worry about."
"Oh very well! He has been one of the better students over the past year, though
, and if his performance drops at all, you will hear about it - make no mistake.
"
"Of course, Minerva. I shall inform the staff in a few weeks. I imagine that thi
s will not be taken easily by some."
"Rather you than me, Albus, Severus is going to throw a fit. You know what he's
like where the boy's concerned."
"I do." Albus sighed. "No matter, he'll get over it eventually."
"I wish I was as confident." Minerva muttered.
"Now, if you ladies will excuse me, I have a meeting with young Mr Potter's Aunt
."
"His Aunt? The awful Muggles are here?"
"Yes, they are currently residing in Gryffindor Tower."
"The Tower? Oh, I'll have to have the house-elves clean it thoroughly if that be
ast of a boy has been in there - oh Albus, did it have to be Gryffindor Tower?"
"I'm afraid so - they were rather unpleased about it too. At least the males wer
e - I believe Petunia was quite looking forward to it. She has been taking an in
terest in Harry this summer, odd as it may seem."
"You had better go then - good luck."
"Thank you Minerva. Would you please take Mr Potter down for some breakfast when
he has finished dealing with the triplets?"
"Of course."
"I shall go then, thank you Poppy, I shall call in later."
"Very well headmaster."
Harry was rather startled when Professor Dumbledore appeared from the other side
of the hospital wing, followed by Professor McGonagall and finally Madam Pomfre
y. He had assumed that they had left already. "Ah, Harry. If you could come up t
o my office later - let's say around midday - I was hoping to have a word with y
ou."
"Ok." Harry said, looking mildly suspicious.
"In the meantime, Professor McGonagall will go down to the Great Hall with you f
or some breakfast."
"Erm¡..I don't mean to be rude, but I know where the Great Hall is." Harry said
.
"Of course you do - but would you go of your own inclination?" Harry smiled shee
pishly and shook his head. The headmaster nodded.
"I didn't think so." With that, he swept from the room.
"Come along then, Potter." Professor McGonagall said sternly. Harry obediently f
ollowed, glancing backwards to see Madam Pomfrey watching the babies sleep.
The sleep didn't seem to last long. Harry and McGonagall hadn't even reached the
Great Hall before Harry's wristband was off again. Harry rubbed his wrist, stil
l getting used to the bizarre feeling. "What are you doing, Potter?"
"Erm¡..nothing, Professor."
"Nice bracelet - where did you get it?"
"Erm¡..I can't remember." Harry lied.
"Then perhaps someone should check it - it's covered with magic. In fact, it's a
lmost as if it was made completely with magic."
"I know."
"You do? Then what does it do?"
"It's¡..umm¡..a baby monitor."
"A what?"
"A baby monitor - I needed it at the Dursleys."
"I see - and what does a baby monitor do, exactly?"
"It tells me when the triplets need attention - when they're crying, anything li
ke that."
"I see. And you don't remember where you got it?"
"Erm¡..well, I kind of..¡erm¡..made it."
"You made it? How?"
"Well, I was doing chores for the Dursleys, so I had to leave the babies - so I
figured that Muggles used baby monitors when they were out of the room - I tried
a magical version."
"Really? It works?"
"Yeah." Harry said.
"What spells did you use? How did you go about it?" Harry began explaining how h
e had spent ages searching for spells to combine to make the monitor, and how it
worked.
"That table will need to be scoured." Professor McGonagall said with distaste. D
udley and Vernon were sitting at the Gryffindor table, stuffing their faces with
as much food as they could get their hands on. It made both Harry and Minerva w
ant to vomit.
"Several times - the tower too." Harry agreed. His eyes scanned the top table an
d fell on Snape, who looked both sour and revolted. "Ugh - I hate to say this, b
ut I agree with Professor Snape on something." He said.
"Oh?"
"Yeah - he's disgusted by my 'family' as well."
"Harry, I think everyone is disgusted by your so called family - frankly, I'm am
azed that you turned out all right."
"Thanks Professor." Harry said, shaking his head in silent laughter. "It must be
killing them - in a castle with all of us 'freaks'."
"Yes, well, they would do well not to mention their views to anyone around here
- although I must admit that it would be amusing to see Professor Snape hex them
into next week."
"Wouldn't it? Then I'd know I was dreaming. Ah, I can live in hope." Harry sighe
d before saying goodbye to his teacher and sat as far away from Dudley and Verno
n as he could, while still being on the Gryffindor table. Even the empty Slyther
in table was beginning to look tempting to Harry, if only because it was the far
thest possible table from where his Uncle and cousin seemed to have grown rooted
to. Harry privately vowed never to sit in those seats ever again.
"Boy! Have you asked that freak of a headmaster when we get to go home?" Vernon
roared. He didn't seem to remember that there were two fully trained wizards in
the room.
"Professor Dumbledore?" Harry said, his voice ringing clearly in the silence. "I
would suggest that you don't call him a freak - have you forgotten that I can u
se magic now? Oh, and by the way, did I mention that professor Dumbledore is pro
bably the most powerful wizard in the world?" Harry asked, gazing placidly at hi
s Uncle.
"Most¡powerful?"
"Oh yeah - remember Voldemort? Kinda evil guy, seems to want me dead, killed mum
and dad? Yeah, know who I mean? Well professor Dumbledore is the only person he
's afraid of. Maybe you should be too." Dudley looked vaguely green at this - he
had heard Harry speak of Voldemort, and even an intellectually challenged Muggl
e like him had gathered that Voldemort was someone to fear.
"Dudley, close your mouth." Harry said in disgust. He glanced up at Snape and Mc
Gonagall to see Snape looking torn between disgust and savage amusement. "Oh, an
d you might want to meet two of my Professors - Professor Snape, who teaches Pot
ions, and Professor McGonagall, who teaches Transfiguration. You'd enjoy that cl
ass Dudley - it's where you change things into other things - like, boys into pi
gs, for instance. Of course, when it goes wrong, you can get some pretty nasty r
esults - like partial transformation." Harry grinned as Dudley glowed crimson, c
racking his knuckles ominously. Vernon swelled with rage.
"How DARE you! I'll have you for this you¡you¡ingrate!"
"Oh, I'm an ingrate now? Hmm. Well, at least I'm an ingrate that can use magic -
you know, I've had six years training? Hagrid only had three."
"Hagrid?"
"Remember the rather large man who gave me my letter? I was thinking about visit
ing him later - fancy coming along, Dudley?"
"Potter!" Vernon yelled. Harry was having fun now, and was getting his own back
for all the times he had wanted to yell back at his Uncle. They were in his worl
d now, and they wouldn't make him feel like an outcast here. His green eyes narr
owed dangerously, daring his Uncle to say something that would merit a hex, but
his Uncle quailed under his glare, and moments later, he left the table. Dudley
shoved as much food in his mouth as he could before waddling after his father.
Severus had never liked the Potter boy - no, he had loathed him with a passion f
or most of the six years he had attended Hogwarts, but at that moment, he felt l
ike awarding Gryffindor a hundred points just for getting rid of those¡..disgus
ting creatures. He shot a sideways glance at Minerva and saw that she was lookin
g both shocked and proud. Severus had thought that at home, Potter would be trea
ted like the over inflated celebrity that he seemed to be in the wizarding world
. He had not expected him to live with such awful bigoted Muggles. Had he not ha
ted the boy, he might have felt slightly sorry for him.
Harry slowly ate his breakfast. After a little while, McGonagall left, leaving o
nly Harry and Snape - that was, until Vernon appeared back, almost purple with r
age. Snape was watching carefully, but Vernon didn't notice him. He was too inte
nt on Harry. Or rather, he was too intent on smashing the life out of Harry. He
towered above the seated boy, who turned around. The almost bored look on his fa
ce incensed Vernon even more. He was ready to kill the boy once and for all. He
lifted his fist, ready to pound it into his face. Harry stood up rapidly, not so
short anymore, he looked Vernon in the eye. His wand had appeared in his hand,
and he stared at Vernon. "If you so much as lay a finger on me, Vernon, I swear
to Merlin that you'll regret it. I'm not too bad with curses, as it goes, and if
you so much as touch me, I will hex you so badly that you won't know what's hit
you. I'm not a kid anymore, you can't beat me into submission." Harry said furi
ously.
"I can and I will. Only this time I won't stop until you're dead!" Vernon said,
taking no notice of the wand that was creeping upwards. He raised his fist and g
round it into Harry's nose, feeling intense satisfaction as the crack of a bone
echoed through the hall.
"Bad move, Vernon." Harry said. He muttered a spell beneath his breath, followed
by a few others. Vernon was thrown into the air, landing with a sickening thud
twenty feet away. Harry pressed a hand gingerly to his nose, wiping away some of
the blood flow. "Oh for Merlin's sake." He muttered as Vernon attempted to get
up. He called out another spell, watching as his Uncle was knocked out.
"What was all that about, Potter?" Snape demanded, suddenly beside Harry.
"Nothing." Harry murmured. Blood was splashed down the front of his robes, and h
e mentally cursed Vernon - stupid idiot that he was.
"You had better get to the Hospital Wing. He broke your nose."
"Really?" Harry said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"What are you going to do with your Uncle?"
"Leave him there to rot, for all I care. He'll be out for a couple of hours at l
east." With that, Harry left, carefully standing on Vernon as he went. "Fair war
ning, you great bullying idiot." He muttered as he passed.
Severus pulled his own wand and floated the body of Vernon Dursley up to the hea
dmaster's office. He knocked at the door, waiting for it to open. "Severus! Oh m
y - what happened?" The headmaster said, as Vernon Dursley floated past him.
"Potter happened - with good excuse, though it pains me to say it." Severus repl
ied, eyeing up the thin wiry woman - so that was Lily Evans' sister. They looked
nothing alike.
"What happened?" The older man repeated, his eyes glittering dangerously.
"He broke Potter's nose." Anger flared the old man's eyes, so forcefully that it
was all Severus could do not to step back from him.
"He attacked Harry?"
"Yes - he walked into the Great Hall, looking fit to kill. I imagine the thought
went through his head. Anyway, Potter stood up and said something like he could
n't be pushed around anymore. He gave the idiot fair warning, but he punched him
anyway - Potter cursed him several times before going to the Hospital Wing."
"Petunia." Albus snapped. The woman cowered away from him. "Did your husband eve
r lift a hand to Harry before this?"
"Yes." She whispered.
"When?"
"Before he came to Hogwarts - I guess Vernon thought he could crush the magic ou
t of Harry."
"How old was Harry?"
"He started when Harry was three - when he started showing the signs." She whimp
ered. Even Severus got angry at this - it was beyond comprehension how anyone co
uld be so horrible - except maybe Voldemort - even if it was toward Potter.
"Three years old?" The headmaster repeated.
"Yes."
"How often?"
"Every week or so - if Harry spoke out of turn, even if he did the slightest thi
ng wrong."
"Every week until he was eleven?" Severus asked, looking mildly horrified.
"Until the letters started coming." By the look on Albus' face, it was probably
a good job that Vernon was unconscious.
"Severus, please ask Minerva to come up. Take Vernon down to the hospital wing a
nd tell Harry that he is to come up as soon as he's been fixed up."
"Yes headmaster."
"And you - you are going to tell me everything about these beatings."
"I don't really know much - I was never there. Vernon would beat him while I was
away, or in another room. I only knew because of the bruises - and occasionally
blood." Severus left at this point, not wanting to be Petunia.
Thank you to Wadeki and BferBear for reviewing - I'm really glad that you're enj
oying my story. Wadeki, you may or may not be right - you'll have to wait and se
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ou, persephone106) have made my day (and month, probably). Thank you thank you t
hank you!!!! ;-D
"Minerva, Professor Dumbledore would like to see you in his office - it's about
Potter."
"Harry did that?" Minerva asked in dismay, pointing to Vernon.
"He did - but there's more to it than that." Severus said.
"How do you mean?"
"I mean that Potter is currently in the hospital wing with a broken nose after h
is Uncle punched him. The boy had good reason to hex him - it seems that we have
found the Muggle equivalent of Voldemort - at least where Potter's concerned."
"Oh my." Minerva gasped. "Thank you Severus, I shall go right up."
"Very well."
Harry was so angry that he hardly felt the pain of his broken nose. He was aware
of the pouring blood, but paid little attention to it. It wasn't as bad as when
he was younger - the beatings would last longer then, but now Harry could use m
agic, and how dare he even try to make him feel useless in Hogwarts! He pushed o
pen the door to the Hospital wing and walked in, accompanied by a steady drip-dr
ip of his blood on the linoleum floor. "Madam Pomfrey?" He called through a stre
am of blood.
"Oh my goodness! What happened to you?" The nurse asked, staring at him in shock
.
"Broken nose." Harry mumbled.
"I'd gathered that much - sit down. Try not to get blood all over the bed. What
happened?"
"I was punched." Harry replied.
"By whom? That awful cousin of yours? The boy is a brute, I swear."
"It wasn't Dudley." Harry said, his voice carefully kept even.
"Then who? He's the only¡..no! Your Uncle did this?"
"Yup." Harry replied, feeling a hot surge of anger again. Madam Pomfrey had gone
as white as a sheet, and looked positively ill.
"Let's get you fixed up, then we're going to the headmaster - this is an outrage
!"
"The headmaster knows." Snape had entered, and was floating Vernon in front of h
im. He was still unconscious.
"Let me guess - you had to retaliate?" The nurse said, though she didn't look qu
ite as disapproving as her tone suggested.
"Too damn right." Harry muttered.
"The headmaster wishes to see you in your office when you're finished here, Pott
er."
"Fine." Harry said.
"I will escort you - will this take very long Poppy?"
"A few minutes." The nurse replied. "Really, that man should be¡..put down! Has
he done this before?"
"Erm¡..yeah." Harry said, his voice hardly above a whisper. "Not for a while th
ough."
"Severus, can't you poison him?"
"I would love too, but I have nothing that would have an awful enough effect."
"Pity - still, it seems that Potter is more than capable of seeking revenge."
"Thanks. Just practicing for the next run in with Malfoy." He said, Professor Sn
ape looked sour, and Harry smiled sweetly. "Just kidding - possibly."
"Mr Potter, you need to stay still." Harry flinched in pain as the nurse mended
his nose, but didn't cry out. Moments later, the pain subsided, and the blood ha
d stopped. Harry looked down at his blood soaked robes in disgust. He muttered a
spell to make them as good as new, before hopping from the bed and heading towa
rds the cot that lay in the corner of the room. He picked up Andrew as he was ju
st waking.
"Hey there." He murmured. He was calming down rapidly, and no longer felt the ne
ed to punch something very hard. After a few minutes, Snape grew impatient.
"Hurry up Potter, the headmaster is waiting." He snapped.
"Yes Professor." Harry said through gritted teeth. He placed Andrew back into th
e cot, tucking the blankets around him.
The journey up to the headmaster's office was quiet and tense. Harry looked at h
is feet, his mind running through what to say when the headmaster asked him abou
t the beatings - he supposed he should tell the truth, but¡..it was embarrassin
g and horrible. He shuddered involuntarily. "Three?" Snape mused aloud.
"What?"
"Your Uncle started abusing you when you were three?" Harry gulped. How had he k
nown?
"Yeah." He muttered. "How did you know?"
"Your Aunt told Professor Dumbledore."
"What else did she say?" Harry asked, stopping dead in the hall. Snape looked at
him, trying to understand why there seemed to be a hint of panic in the boy's v
oice.
"That your Uncle would beat you if you did anything wrong - that he beat you fre
quently."
"Right." Harry said, walking again, his eyes down as he silently relived every b
eating he had ever taken. He didn't even realise that they had arrived until he
heard Snape give the password - his voice seemed to be very far away. Shaking hi
s head, Harry pulled himself back into the present with another shudder. Would h
e have to tell the headmaster everything? It took Harry a moment, and a strange
look from Snape, to realise that he was shaking slightly.
"Ah, Harry. All fixed up? Very good. Now, if you would take a seat." Harry obedi
ently sat down, looking at his hands. "Harry? Would you tell me about these beat
ings?"
"I¡..is it necessary?"
"I believe so, yes." The headmaster said, trying to ignore the pleading look in
Harry's eyes. "If you'd rather, you could use the pensieve." Harry shuddered for
cefully, his shaking getting worse. It wasn't much of a choice, between telling
about the nightmares of his time at the Dursleys, and putting the memory into th
e pensieve. After a few minutes, he decided that the pensieve idea was better -
after all, he wasn't sure he had the words to describe what had gone on.
"The pensieve." He croaked. The headmaster nodded understandingly.
"What you have to do is think of the¡..events, and concentrate on them. Then yo
u put your wand to your temple and draw the thought out. After this, I suggest y
ou keep the pensieve - the memory will stay in there, rather than cluttering up
your mind. Perhaps it is not such a bad idea for you to own a pensieve anyway."
Harry nodded, before looking away from the headmaster again. He thought back, re
membering the first time his Uncle raised his fist¡..and the second¡..the thir
d. Harry bit his lip to stop his cry of anguish escaping. He could feel each fis
t as it landed, every kick and every belt. He shakily drew the thoughts away wit
h his wand, breathing shallowly. He transferred the thought into the small bowl,
looking up at the headmaster again. He was peering into the bowl as colours swi
rled around.
"I'm afraid I have to ask you to come with us, Harry."
"But¡.." Harry's eyes were wild, and he had the look of a frightened animal, bu
t he nodded anyway. Severus stepped forward, looking at the headmaster. There wa
s a slight frown on his face.
"Harry, is there anyone present who you would not wish to be present?"
"Umm¡..I guess not." Harry said, his voice rough and quiet.
"All right. Are you ready?" Harry didn't answer, but put a trembling finger into
the silvery substance. The headmaster followed immediately, before Minerva, Pet
unia and finally Severus.
The room was dark - it was very small too. The seventeen-year-old Harry had froz
en where he appeared. Three-year-old Harry was laying on the small bed, watching
a small spider scuttle across the floor. There was an ear-splitting roar of fur
y from somewhere, and the small boy's head snapped up, his eyes wide with fear.
"POTTER!" The voice of Vernon Dursley was unmistakeable, and the young Harry fli
nched. The older Harry looked a bit green, and was focussing his gaze on the spi
der still. It was scuttling faster, and disappeared into a small crack in the fl
oorboards. The headmaster put an arm around the boy's shoulders, feeling him sha
ke. Moments later, the door to the cupboard burst open, and a very angry looking
Vernon filled the doorway. "Get out here boy!" He yelled. Little Harry slithere
d from the bed, shaking almost as much as his older self. Not quite, though. The
group followed the child and his Uncle into the living room. They had just arri
ved when it began - Vernon punched the small child and sent him sprawling to the
ground, his eyes wide with terror and filled with tears. Harry turned away, fee
ling sick. He could remember it all in vivid detail - even all these years later
, and he could almost feel the pain. Behind him, the small child instinctively c
urled into a ball and sobbed as he was kicked and punched. The scene changed, an
d Harry knew that it was a few days later. Dudley was careering around the livin
g room, and ran full on into Harry, who cried out in pain. His chest and body wa
s black and blue from his beating. Uncle Vernon came in, looking furious. Little
Harry shied away in fright,
"Sorry Uncle Vernon, I." His apologies were cut off by a hard punch to the ribs,
followed by another and another. It only stopped when the boy fell unconscious.
"Come on, son, we'll take you to MacDonald's." Vernon said, slightly out of brea
th. The young Dudley nodded eagerly, and they left.
***
It was several beatings later before Vernon slipped up and punched Harry's face.
He had snarled and told him that he wasn't to tell anyone - he warned that no o
ne would believe him, and that he would be taken away and put in prison with all
the bad people. The young Harry had been reduced to tears yet again, before bei
ng led to his cupboard and locked in.
***
Harry gulped as he saw Uncle Vernon sitting in his favourite chair - he knew all
too well what was coming. Little Harry had been hovering behind the doorframe,
petrified to make a sound. He crept into the living room, his heavily bruised fa
ce illuminated by the harsh orange light of the electric fire. His green eyes we
re wide and fearful, as he tried to pass Vernon without causing any disturbance.
Unfortunately, he tripped over one of Dudley's toys, and fell flat on his face,
with a small yelp of pain. Vernon was suddenly towering above him, looking livi
d. The young Harry met his eyes, and shrunk as small as he could, knowing what w
as coming. After a moment without any punches or kicks, he sneaked a look at Ver
non to see a long leather belt in his hand. He cracked it menacingly, before bri
nging it down on the back of Harry, who screamed in agony. He brought it down ag
ain and again, until the flesh of Harry's back was red, swollen and bleeding. Th
en he moved onto the boy's legs, the buckle of the belt cutting into the skin. I
t seemed to last a lifetime for both Harry's, as well as every other adult in th
e room, except Vernon, who seemed to think it was all over far too soon. Minerva
, unable to watch, squeezed her eyes shut as tears fell down her face. Three-yea
r-old Harry was crawling from the room, his overly large shirt spotted with bloo
d.
***
They all watched as Harry grew slowly, becoming painfully thin and withdrawn. A
few months before he was due to start school, another beating came; only this on
e caused a broken rib. The older Harry had ceased to watch, and was sitting in t
he corner of the room, his head resting on his knees. Petunia and Minerva were c
rying openly, and tears slipped down the face of the headmaster while Severus lo
oked highly discomfited.
Eventually, they were all pulled back to the present, and Harry was sitting in t
he chair across from the headmaster once more. He looked decidedly worse for the
wear, and Albus regretted having to put him through that. He couldn't get the i
mage of those wide, terrified green eyes out of his mind. All because of one man
. He noticed that Poppy was at the door, looking rather confused. He looked arou
nd, and could easily see why. Both Petunia and Minerva had tear-stained faces, S
everus was looking uncharacteristically pitying, and Albus imagined that he must
have looked quite a sight himself. Only Harry seemed to be almost normal, thoug
h he was still shaking ever so slightly, and his eyes were still slightly wild.
"Professor Dumbledore - can I borrow Harry for a moment?" She asked. Harry's hea
d snapped up and he rubbed his wrist absently.
"I'll go." Harry said, getting up and leaving without another word.
"The triplets?" Minerva asked, seeing this small movement.
"Yes, how did he.?"
"The bracelet he's wearing is a baby monitor - it lets him know when they need h
is attention. He made it himself while he was at the Dursleys."
"A baby monitor? Like the Muggle ones?"
"Yes, I believe so."
"Incredible. Absolutely ingenious."
"Quite." Minerva said, wiping her eyes.
"Professors, what happened.I mean.?"
"We visited a few of Harry's memories." Albus said. "They ."
"The ones of his Uncle beating him?"
"Yes - a three year old boy, Poppy. That's how old Harry was when this mess star
ted - it carried on frequently until he got his Hogwarts letter. I was obviously
wrong to believe that he would be safe with his relatives."
"Three years old? Please tell me you're kidding? Did him badly?"
"One time, he punched and kicked him until he blacked out, another, he lashed hi
m with a leather belt, and another time he broke a rib."
"Oh my." Poppy said, her eyes large with horror. "Is right?"
"I'm not sure Poppy. I think it may be best if he's left alone for a little whil
e. I need to contact the Weasleys - Harry will not be staying in Privet Drive an
y more." He threw a pinch of Floo powder into the fire and called the Burrow.
***
"Hello, Molly? I was wondering if it would be much hassle to change the plans fo
r Harry's arrival."
"Why, Professor?" Molly asked, "Has something happen? Is Harry ok?"
"Harry will be fine - I suggest you ask him what happened. I no longer feel that
he should stay at Privet Drive."
"Of course, we'd be delighted to have him. When do you want us to pick him up?"
"Would tonight be all right? I really don't want him to stay there any longer th
an is necessary - someone shall be with him."
"Professor? What happened?"
"You will have to ask Harry - it really isn't up to me to tell you. I'm sorry."
"That's all right. I'll ask Harry when he gets here."
"Right. Well, he'll be at Privet Drive tonight. I apologise for the short notice
, , it can't be helped."
"That's ok Professor. I take it he'll still be accompanied?"
"Oh yes - he has everything handled very nicely, I must say. Well, I have to go.
I still need to speak to Harry. I shall call in at some point, to see how he is
. If you have no objections, that is."
"No not at all! Well, goodbye."
"Bye, Molly."
***
"I will accompany Harry to Privet Drive, if you wish." Minerva said.
"Thank you, Minerva." Albus said. "Now, Poppy, if I could go to your hospital wi
ng alone? I need to talk to Harry."
"Yes headmaster. I will stay out of the way."
"Thank you Poppy." The headmaster said. He sighed again, lifting the pensieve fr
om the desk and walking from the office.
***
"I think I need a cup of tea." Minerva said. She clicked her fingers and Dobby a
ppeared from nowhere.
"Professor McGonagall. You has been crying, Professor, what's wrong?"
"I've just had a bit of a shock, that's all Dobby. Would you mind terribly fetch
ing some tea and biscuits for us please?"
"Of course, Professor. Dobby is pleased to serve such noble witches as you, and
you Madam Pomfrey. And noble wizards, too." He added, seeing Severus. His eyes s
wung from Severus to Petunia, looking less than pleased. "Is the Professor's wis
hing Dobby to serve Harry Potter's Aunt? She is a bad, bad Muggle, who treats Ha
rry Potter badly, and Dobby wishes not to serve such a woman."
"Dobby, please just get the tea?"
"Very well Professor." Dobby disappeared, only to reappear moments later with a
large tray, upon which sat a large teapot, four cups and a large plate of biscui
ts. He handed a cup to each of them, before filling it them with tea. "Is there
anything else Dobby can help with?"
"No Dobby, that will be all. Thank you."
Albus paused at the door to the Hospital Wing. Harry was sitting on the bed, hol
ding one of the triplets and whispering something. As he stepped closer, he iden
tified the triplet as Leah, though he still couldn't hear what he was saying. He
was almost beside him when he realised that Harry was whispering a lullaby as h
e held Leah close to his chest. "Your mother would be proud of you - your father
too." He said quietly. Harry didn't look up, but his lullaby trailed off.
"I've arranged for you to go to the Burrow tonight - you will not be staying in
Privet drive any longer."
"What, not ever?"
"Not ever." Albus said, glancing over at the hulking lump that was Vernon Dursle
y.
"Nor would you have stayed there as long as you have had I known that you were b
eing abused." The headmaster paused for a moment, debating his next words. "You
know if Sirius was still alive, I believe Vernon wouldn't be half as well off as
he is."
"I know - he'd be lucky if he was alive, let alone anything else."
"If only things could've been different...you might have been living with Sirius
by now."
"But they aren't, so I'm not. So what's the plan for going to the Burrow? Floo?"
"No - Professor McGonagall will accompany you to Privet drive later, and Mr Weas
ley will pick you up, as planned, only tonight, rather than the day after tomorr
ow."
"Right. Wouldn't it be easier to Floo?"
"Easier, yes, but not as safe. You've already used the Floo network once - besid
es, any travelling via Floo can be easily traced."
"Oh. Right." Harry said.
"I wanted to talk to you earlier, before all of this...I have decided that you w
ould make a most excellent head boy."
"Head boy? Me? Why?"
"Well, you are by far one of the most mature students in the school. I believe y
ou will do Hogwarts proud."
"Er...well...if you're sure."
"I am. Well, there are other matters to discuss, but we shall leave them until t
he beginning of term, ok?"
"Yes Sir."
"Oh, there is one thing - Professor McGonagall said that you had made a monitor
for the babies?"
"Yeah."
"I have always been intrigued by those Muggle devices - has it been successful?"
"Yeah, very. It's not exactly like the Muggle ones, but it is the same idea - I
needed it to be discreet, so I made it into something that would easily be overl
ooked by Muggles and Wizards - plus, it couldn't be noisy, so I made it to fit w
hat it was needed for."
"Amazing. I can't believe that no one has ever thought of it before. How did you
link it to the triplets?"
"One of the spells I used - it was a bit tricky, not knowing their full names, b
ut it worked."
"Indeed. Maybe you could market this - I'm sure many parents would love it."
"I don't know - it's not as if I need the money. Maybe."
"Think about it - there's no rush."
"Ok. I'll think about it." Harry promised.
"Good. Well, I shall be going - why don't you go and visit Hagrid while you're h
ere? I know he'd love to see you."
"Yeah, I was going to...before..."
"Well, I'll see you later - you and your so called family will be leaving shortl
y after dinner."
"Thank you Sir."
Harry wandered out into the grounds shortly after, heading towards Hagrid's cabi
n. He was just about to knock when the door opened and Fang leapt onto him. "Hul
lo Fang." Harry said, trying to push the dog off of him.
"Harry! I saw yeh coming! What are yeh doin' here?"
"A deatheater came to pay us a visit in Privet Drive - I'm leaving later on, but
I thought I'd come and visit. Funnily enough, Dudley didn't seem to want to vis
it. In fact he seemed positively horrified by the idea."
"Aye, so he should be!" Hagrid boomed. "Still a porker?"
"Yep."
***
Harry spent over an hour at Hagrid's, politely refusing anything to eat. Then th
ey headed up to the castle for dinner. Harry immediately saw that Vernon was sea
ted at the Slytherin table, with heavy weights on his ankles. Hagrid seemed rath
er surprised at this. "Harry? Why's yer Uncle at the Slytherin table, and why do
es he have weights holding him there?"
"Well, if he comes any where near me, I'm going to hex him into next week - he b
roke my nose earlier." Hagrid let out an angry shriek and shot Vernon a murderou
s look.
"Hagrid, it's ok. It was nothing, honestly."
"It wasn't nothing." Hagrid said angrily.
"Oh believe me, compared to everything else, it was."
"What d'yeh mean?"
"Why don't you ask Professor Dumbledore - I have to go and eat. If I don't see y
ou before, I'll see you at the start of term, ok?"
"O'course." Hagrid said, making his way to the staff table. Harry made his way t
o Gryffindor table, where his Aunt and cousin sat, both looking quite scared. "W
hy is dad over there?" Dudley moaned.
"Because he upset a lot of people today." Petunia said simply. She almost looked
relieved when Harry sat down beside her. "How are you?" She asked, her voice ba
rely audible.
"Fine. Vernon better watch out though." Harry nodded to the staff table, where e
very single member of staff that was there was glaring at him. Hagrid looked abo
ut ready to pull out his pink umbrella, at least until Dumbledore said something
to him. Harry was quite amazed to see that Snape was glaring every bit as force
fully as the others. Professor's Dumbledore, McGonagall, Snape, Flitwick and Spr
out, as well as Madam Pomfrey, Hagrid and Remus were all looking at Vernon as if
he were a pile of dragon dung. Harry's eyes drifted over all of them, before do
ing a double take - Remus? From the Staff table, Remus nodded to him. Harry grin
ned back.
***
"Remus! How are you?" He asked eagerly.
"Just fine Harry. Though I was rather...annoyed to hear what had happened."
"Erm...yeah."
"I hope you don't mind - you left the pensieve in the Hospital Wing, and I..."
"It's ok. So have you seen the triplets?"
"I have."
"And what did you think?"
"Well, they look almost exactly like you did when you were their age. They're ad
orable."
"Right. So, what are you doing here? You're a bit early for the start of term, a
ren't you?"
"How do you know? Oh, never mind, you're the second generation of Marauder - I s
hould know better than to think that you wouldn't know. Actually, I am coming wi
th you to the Burrow."
"You are? Why?"
"Well...sort of..."
"A guard?"
"Something like that." Remus replied sheepishly. "Sirius would never forgive me
if you got hurt."
"No."
"It's a very good job that I have an even temper - otherwise your Uncle would ha
ve been rather more...subdued."
"Oh - he was pretty subdued earlier. I cannot believe the idiot lifted his hand
to me at Hogwarts - and after I'd warned him!"
"What did you do? Tell me everything." Remus said, looking young and mischievous
again. Harry began to explain what curses he used and how he knew they weren't
supposed to be mixed.
Sure enough, as soon as they had landed in Privet Drive, Vernon lunged towards H
arry with the bread knife in hand. Petunia screamed and Remus plunged a hand int
o his robes for his wand. Harry's own wand was extended, and he froze Vernon in
place, plucking the knife from his grip. "Very unwise." He said coldly, putting
the tip of the knife to Vernon's throat. "You should know better. You are lucky
that I'm nothing like you, otherwise you'd be dead by now." Harry murmured somet
hing, and the knife disintegrated. He unfroze Vernon, still holding his wand. "Y
ou chose the wrong person, Vernon." He said, murmuring a spell. There was a pop
and Vernon's hand began to bleed. Suddenly it healed again, and in its place was
a scar in the shape of a large sword. Vernon lunged towards Harry, before roari
ng in pain and falling back. "Hurts, does it? You have no idea." Harry hissed. H
e swept up the stairs to his room, followed by Remus and Minerva.
"What was that?" Remus asked.
"A restraining spell - and I saw him pick up the knife."
"You did?"
"He's not a seeker for nothing - that was pretty impressive. Now, what do you ne
ed to pack?"
"Pack? Nothing. I packed it all when I left for Hogwarts - it's not as if there
was much to pack." Harry said. He walked over to his desk, stopping dead as he s
aw a small pile of photos on the desk. The Deatheater had been in his room. Harr
y's heart stopped as he saw something vaguely recognisable - the mangled body of
Katie Bell. "Oh god." He choked out, waving his wand to move it out of the way.
The next was of Lee, and then Susan, then Ernie and finally Zacharias. Harry gu
lped, as did Remus and Minerva.
"Harry."
"They're targeting the members of the DA." Harry said quietly. He waved his wand
and the photos burst into flame, before he turned around. Remus immediately saw
the flame in his eyes and was forcefully reminded of Lily - she had that look w
hen she was angry. Only Harry looked so much more than angry. He was furious. Th
ere was a dangerous spark in his eyes that Minerva hadn't seen before, and she w
as wary of it - he had not looked this angry in her presence before - not even i
n his fifth year when Delores Umbridge had called him a liar.
"Harry?" Remus said softly. Harry looked the other man in the eye, and he had to
remind himself that this wasn't James.
"He won't get away with this." He said quietly. "No way." Once again, determinat
ion flashed in his eyes, and it was unnerving.
***
Harry had seemed to calm down slightly by the time Mr Weasley and Ginny arrived.
He smiled and did an admirable job of pretending that everything was fine, alth
ough it most definitely wasn't. When he put the triplets in the car, Ginny stare
d at him. ".did this happen?" She asked in a slightly choked voice. Harry looked
up in surprise - he had thought that everyone would know.
"I'm looking after them for Professor Dumbledore - didn't you know?"
"No." Ginny asked. "Dad, did you?"
"Yes honey. Your mother is delighted that they'll be babies in the house again."
He said.
"Er...do Ron and Hermione know?"
"No. We weren't sure whether to tell them or not."
"Right." Harry said, rolling his eyes at Ginny, who giggled.
"Hermione is going to be so jealous." She said.
"Why? Does she want to look after three six-week-old babies?"
"No, don't be ridiculous, but she does love children."
"Oh no. My best friend is going to get broody. Lovely." Harry said.
"You've done it now, Harry. Ron will be after your blood." Remus laughed.
"Yeah, he'll have to join the queue." Harry replied jokingly. The atmosphere sud
denly became tense, and Remus' face contorted with anger. "Remus, calm down. I w
as joking." Harry said, strapping the babies into the car between him and Ginny.
"Not funny, Harry." Remus replied curtly.
"What's going on?" Arthur asked, looking nervously between Harry and Remus.
"Nothing. I just overreacted slightly." Remus said softly, looking at Harry. Har
ry nodded a little, turning his attention to Sam, who had started to cry.
"Hey, look, we're leaving this horrible place." Harry said softly. "And we're ne
ver coming back. You should be happy, Little One." He said, tickling the baby's
stomach. He stopped crying abruptly, and gave a weak smile. "There's a clever bo
y." Harry grinned.
"Ready to go, Harry?"
"Just a second - there's something I have to do." Harry said, walking towards th
e house.
"Harry! You are not going in there alone."
"Remus, please. This won't take long." Harry said, fingering his wand. Remus got
the message and stayed behind - Harry could look after himself.
To everyone who has reviewed, thank you. I love reading what you think. Hope you
like the next chapter.
"Aunt Petunia?" Harry whispered. His Aunt hurried over to him, looking anxious.
"Harry. I wanted to say before you left - I never knew he was that bad. I swear¡
.."
"I know. Just do me a favour, yeah?"
"I¡..what is it?"
"Make sure that Dudley doesn't turn into another Vernon."
"Ok. Harry, what did you do to Vernon earlier?"
"It's a restraining spell - he can't hurt anyone anymore." He said. His Aunt's e
yes widened and she automatically put her hand over her cheek. Then she threw he
r arms around Harry and hugged him.
"Thank you." She whispered, tears in her eyes.
"No problem - I've left something for you in my room. I have to go now. If you n
eed anything¡.."
"Look after yourself. And those babies too." His Aunt said.
"I will. I'll come and visit if I fulfil the prophecy, ok?"
"You do that. Goodbye, Harry."
"Bye Aunt Petunia." Harry kissed her cheek lightly - the cheek that he had seen
the bruise on, underneath all the makeup.
His Aunt Petunia walked Harry to the front door, tears falling down her face. Sh
e would miss her nephew, even if she hadn't been a very good Aunt to him. He gav
e her a hug before walking over to the car. He felt a little sorry that he was l
eaving her there, but at least he had made sure that he could no longer hurt her
. Remus gave him a questioning look as they all piled into the car. Harry waved
to his Aunt as they pulled away. "Harry, it wasn't just you, was it?" Remus aske
d quietly.
"No." Harry replied with a sigh. "But luckily he had a little more mercy with he
r."
"That man has no mercy." Remus replied angrily.
"No. He doesn't. But the spell will work for her too."
"Dudley?"
"Oh, he wouldn't dream of it." Harry laughed mirthlessly. Remus' eyes were sad a
nd full of regret.
"Still, it's best you're away from it." He sighed.
"Yeah." Harry agreed, watching as his Aunt went back indoors.
Petunia was shaking when she went back into the house - she was alone now, with
only Dudley and Vernon. One of who was a monster, and one of whom was quickly tu
rning into his father's creation. She quickly and silently went up to her nephew
's room, and found a neatly wrapped present on the desk. She opened it to find t
wo pictures - one of Lily at her graduation, and one of Harry with the triplets.
She also found a note from Harry, explaining that the spell would stop his Uncl
e touching her when he wished her harm. She cried in gratitude, watching the pic
tures as they moved. She stood them on the desk, before leaving. She would have
to see to Vernon.
Harry and Ginny talked most of the way to the Burrow, talking about the DA among
st other things. Ginny wondered what seemed different about Harry - had he chang
ed his hair? No, that was the same. His glasses? No, they were the same too. The
y had just pulled up to the Burrow, and Harry was looking out of the window, whe
n she realised what was different - it was his nose! It looked...flatter than it
had before the summer, she decided. "Harry, what happened to your nose?" She as
ked.
"We're here." Remus interrupted. "Harry, I'll take your luggage so that you can
take the triplets, ok?"
"Sure." Harry replied. He began to take the triplets from the car and put them i
nto the basket, with the help of Ginny.
***
"Harry!" Hermione was flying towards him, and Harry looked nervously at the bask
et between him and Hermione.
"Uh, Hermione, whoa. Stop!" He cried, holding out his free hand. Hermione stoppe
d, looking mildly hurt.
"No need to look so upset." Harry laughed, putting his arm around her shoulder.
"I was just worried that you'd end up crashing into the triplets." Hermione look
ed into the basket, her mouth falling open in shock.
"Harry...what...?" She attempted.
"I'll explain later, c'mon, let's go inside, yeah?"
"Uh huh. Oh Harry, they are so cute! How old are they?"
"Six weeks old." Harry said. "They're called Leah, Sam and Andy."
"Aww." Hermione said, Harry groaned inwardly, the same words running around his
head at a mile a minute: broody best friend.
"Harry! How are you?" Ron asked. "Whoa - when did this happen? I mean, when did
you become a father without telling your best friends?" Ron asked, his eyes narr
owed. Harry's eyes widened in shock - they thought...? He was about to reply whe
n Molly came over, her eyes shining.
"Oh, there they are. Aren't they just adorable?" She cooed. Harry noticed that R
on looked ready to explode.
"Mum knows?" He asked dangerously. Harry quickly excused himself from Molly, and
beckoned for Ron to follow him. He went up to the room that Molly had said he c
ould use, and began to unpack the babies things.
"Well? You told mum but you didn't tell us?" He asked.
"Ron, I don't know what made you think that, but I'm not their father. Good god,
I mean when would I have...and with who?" Harry said. Ron flushed crimson in em
barrassment.
"You mean you aren't...they aren't yours?"
"No. They aren't. Believe me, you would've known if I'd gotten anyone pregnant.
I would have been on the verge of a nervous breakdown." Harry laughed. "I'm look
ing after them for Dumbledore for the summer. He put the triplets into the cot,
handing Leah a small fluffy owl that he had conjured. He figured that it was bet
ter than a real owl, especially as Leah seemed to love it so much.
"You look different." Hermione said, frowning at him.
"It's his nose." Ginny said, walking in. She looked quite annoyed.
"It is! You're right - what have you done to it?" Hermione asked.
"It wasn't exactly me...Vernon decided to remodel it for me."
"What?" Ron asked, looking confused. Hermione and Ginny looked absolutely horrif
ied.
"That was what you and Remus were talking about in the car!" Ginny said.
"Yeah - Vernon punched me and broke my nose. That's why I'm here early. We were
at Hogwarts and."
"You were at Hogwarts? Why?" Ron asked.
"Oh, I forgot. A deatheater came to pay us a visit. I had to 'persuade' the Mugg
les to floo to Hogwarts. We stayed there overnight. Vernon punched me at breakfa
st - I had been 'reminding' Dudley about the time he met Hagrid, and came out of
it with a pig's tail. Anyway, Vernon got a little...angry, and broke my nose. I
n front of Snape as well."
"What did you do?"
"Cursed him several times." Harry shrugged.
"Harry that is awful! At least you could defend yourself. It's not like when you
hear about a little kid getting beaten." Harry cringed, wondering if he needed
to tell his friends the whole story.
***
"Harry? Molly would like a word." Remus said, looking into the room. He saw the
look of disgust on Ginny's face and knew that Harry had told them something, he
just didn't know how much.
"How much did you tell them?" He asked as Harry closed the door.
"Just that he broke my nose. They don't need to know anything else." Harry said.
"Well, it's your choice." Remus said.
"D'you think I should tell them?"
"I don't know, Harry. I've never been through anything like this. All I know is
that your friends might find out anyway."
"I suppose..." Harry sighed. He still wasn't sure whether he wanted to tell his
friends or not.
"Harry, I should warn you. Molly wants to know why it was so important that you
came here tonight. Professor Dumbledore wouldn't tell her."
"Great. Can I get away with just telling her that he broke my nose and nothing e
lse?"
"I don't think so."
"Damn." Harry muttered. He just wanted it all to disappear - was that so wrong?
"Harry dear, sit down." Molly said, looking serious. Harry sat down, feeling una
ccountably nervous. Remus sat down next to him, something that Harry was gratefu
l for.
"Harry, why was Professor Dumbledore so anxious that you come early? Not that we
don't want you here, but¡..well¡..he looked very upset." Harry cupped his chi
n in his hand and looked down at the immaculate table.
"That's because he found out that I had been abused by Vernon." He said very qui
etly.
"In what way?" Molly asked sharply.
"He was beaten." Remus said. Molly's eyes filled with tears and she stood up abr
uptly. The next moment, she had Harry in a tight hug.
"When was this?" She asked.
"It started when he was three." Remus said. He didn't think Harry was capable of
answering. Remus caught a flash of red in his peripheral vision, and sighed.
"How often?"
"Every few days until I was eleven." Harry mumbled.
"Good gracious." Molly breathed.
"Harry, why don't you go up to your room and get some sleep?" Remus suggested. H
arry nodded and gently withdrew himself from Molly.
"I'll see you in the morning. Thanks Remus." He said quietly. Remus felt his eye
s well up with tears - Harry didn't deserve any of this.
"This is awful." Molly said.
"Not as awful as seeing it." Remus muttered - nothing would ever be able to wipe
those memories from his mind.
"What do you mean?"
"Harry put his memories of the beatings into a pensieve." Remus said.
"Where's the pensieve?"
"Harry has it. Molly, I don't think he'd appreciate you going in without asking
him first." Remus doubted that Harry wanted anyone to go into the pensieve.
"I'll ask him." Molly said.
Molly was bustling about the kitchen when Ginny came in. Remus was still seated
at the table, and Ginny sat down next to him.
"You heard then." He said, searching her face. Ginny nodded.
"Did you tell Ron and Hermione?" She nodded again.
"Hermione said when Harry told us that at least he could defend himself. She sai
d something about little kids getting abused¡no wonder Harry shuddered."
"Did you hear everything?"
"Uh huh." Ginny said.
"I don't want you to ask Harry about it - he didn't want you three to know."
"I won't talk about it. Was it really terrible?"
"Yes."
The next morning, Molly pulled Harry aside after breakfast and asked him about t
he pensieve.
"No." Harry said resolutely.
"But Harry¡.."
"No. There's no need." Harry said. Molly looked taken aback by his flat refusal.
"Well¡..if you're sure." Molly said uncertainly - she wanted to see just how ba
dly Harry had been treated. She began to wonder if he would know if she went int
o the pensieve anyway.
"Arthur, come with me." Molly said quietly, later that day.
"Where are we going?" Arthur said, following her.
"To Harry's room." Molly said, feeling a twinge of guilt.
"Molly, the boy has a right to his privacy." Arthur said.
"I know he does, but he's wrong. Besides, he won't find out, will he?"
"Not from me." Arthur sighed. They opened the door to Harry's room to find Ginny
, Hermione and Ron standing over the pensieve already.
"What do you three think you are doing?" Molly asked.
"The same as you mum." Ginny said.
"Absolutely not. I forbid it." Molly said.
"Mum, we're going to go whether we go now or later - you can't forbid us." Ron s
aid.
"Arthur¡.."
"No, Molly. The children are right. They will go with us, or they will go later.
We might as well all go together."
"Fine." Molly sighed. She didn't want her children to see their friend being abu
sed, but they did have a point - she wasn't supposed to be here either.
The five of them saw everything, from when Harry was three, to the incident with
the knife. Ginny had wanted to reach out to the tiny Harry and tell him that ev
erything was going to be ok. But it wasn't. None of them had had any idea what h
is life had been like before Hogwarts. None of them had imagined that any Muggle
could be so cruel to a three year old. Molly had wept on Arthur's shoulder, whi
le holding Ginny close. Ron had his arm around Hermione, who was crying too. The
memories seemed to last forever, and by the time they found themselves back in
Harry's room, all of them wished they hadn't gone in the first place.
Harry sat on his bed, watching the pensieve. He had seen the others slip up and
into his room, and had watched them all disappear. Now, he was waiting for them
to return. He couldn't remember feeling more betrayed - he had specifically aske
d Molly not to go into the pensieve, and she had gone anyway. He was still stari
ng at the pensieve when all five of them returned. He cleared his throat loudly,
and they all turned around, looking guilty through their tears and horror. Moll
y rushed forward to envelope him in a hug, but he stepped away from her.
"I asked you not to go in there." He said quietly. Molly was shocked at the look
of betrayal in his eyes - she hadn't thought about the reasons behind his wanti
ng her to stay out of the pensieve. Harry stared at her as if she was a stranger
, and she suddenly felt incredibly guilty.
"I'd like to be left alone." He said, his voice quiet and trembling. "Harry¡.."
Hermione began. One of the triplets began to cry, and Hermione went to see what
was wrong. Harry was behind her when she picked up Andrew. The baby kept crying
.
"Give him to me." Harry said. Hermione handed the baby over, watching as he calm
ed down almost immediately. Harry held him close, ignoring the others for a mome
nt. After a few minutes, Arthur guided Molly from the room. Ginny and Hermione f
ollowed. Ron stayed.
"Mate, look¡.."
"I'd like to be left alone." Harry repeated.
"Well I don't want to leave." Ron replied stubbornly.
"Leave me alone, Ron."
"No - you need to talk about this."
"I need to talk about this?" Harry repeated. "And since when have you been an ex
pert? Have you ever been beaten? Kicked until you were unconscious? Lashed with
a belt until you bled? I don't think so." Harry said coldly. Andrew was whimperi
ng, and Harry's voice dropped down a few notches.
"What gives you the right to tell me what I need to talk about and what I don't?
You don't know what it's like, and I hope to god you never do, because I wouldn
't wish it on Malfoy." Harry said furiously. "Now leave me alone." Ron left as H
arry began soothing Andrew again. Ron went to find his mother, feeling in need o
f reassurance.
"Mum?" Ron said, seeing his mother in the kitchen. Molly turned and walked over
to him, hugging him tightly. She held him while he cried for Harry and everythin
g he had been through, and while he cried in relief that he had his family, and
that they loved him.
"What happened?"
"I told Harry that he should talk about it - he said that I had no right to say
that, and that I didn't know what it was like. That he hoped I never would."
"Well, honey, he is right - you don't know what he feels like, and you never wil
l because we love you so much, you know that, don't you? Still..¡he'll come aro
und when he's ready. It can't have been easy for him..¡after all these years."
"No. I wish I hadn't seen it. Harry was right - we shouldn't have gone."
"No, we shouldn't have. But we wanted to know. There wasn't much chance that he
was going to tell us. He'll come around. Next time though, we have to consider w
hy he didn't want us to do something in the first place."
From outside the kitchen door, tears slipped down Harry's face as he held Andrew
close to him. The baby gazed up at him, and Harry gazed back. They were so perf
ect - so uncorrupted by the world. So innocent. They deserved the best, and if t
heir parents weren't going to give them it, then he would do his very best to. H
e crept back to his room, and cried. For every time he had been beaten, he cried
. For every time he had been made to feel useless and insignificant, he cried. F
or every time he had not valued his friends, he cried. For his Aunt, who was sti
ll living with that brute, he cried. Then he dried his eyes, putting the past be
hind him. He had a future - he was going to be head boy. He was going to do his
very best in every single subject - even potions, and he was going to prove his
Uncle wrong - Harry Potter wasn't useless and insignificant. He swore it to hims
elf over and over again, until he finally fell asleep.
In the morning, breakfast was a tense affair. Harry was almost glad when his wri
st gave a twinge, and he had to ask to be excused to see to the triplets. He kne
w he ought to do something about the situation, he just didn't know what. As he
fed and bathed the triplets, he decided that he'd speak to Molly first, and then
the others. Just as soon as he'd finished seeing to the babies. He was just lul
ling Sam to sleep when Remus knocked lightly on the door.
"Harry? Can I come in?"
"Sure." Harry said. He smiled as Remus walked in, looking slightly wary.
"I wanted to say that I'm sorry - I shouldn't have mentioned the pensieve." He s
aid.
"It's ok. Really, it is. You weren't to know. Besides, maybe if I'd have been a
little more willing to talk about it, they wouldn't have had to use it." He smil
ed again, a little sadly this time. It made Remus' heart break. The boy had a ri
ght to be shouting at all of them, but he wasn't. He had grown up.
"You have every right to be angry." He said softly.
"What good would it do? You and the Weasleys are the closest thing I have to a r
eal family - there's not much point in losing that just because they did somethi
ng that I'd rather they hadn't." Harry replied.
"I hear you and Ron had words?" Harry laughed at this.
"Is that the diplomatic way of saying I bit his head off? Yeah, I guess I was a
little harsh."
"What did he say?"
"That I should talk about it. I guess I told him what I thought about that - and
it wasn't good."
"I'll bet."
"Then he went to see Molly - they talked, and it just made me realise that it's
all pointless - being angry at them."
"Did they know you were there?" A small sly grin flickered across Harry's face.
"No." He said.
"I won't tell if you won't." Remus said. Harry grew serious again as he placed S
am back into his cot.
"Thanks for everything Remus." He said quietly. Remus put his arms around him.
"Anytime. I'm here if you need to talk - about anything, ok?"
"Yeah - thanks." Harry straightened to his full height - a head taller than Remu
s, and sighed.
"Well I have to go and speak to Molly. Wish me luck."
"Good luck." Remus said.
"I'll see you later." Harry left the room while Remus stayed. He crossed over to
the cot and sat down beside it. All three babies were fast asleep and looked pe
aceful. Briefly, Remus wondered how it was possible for three babies to look so
much like Harry when they weren't related to him - at least he didn't think they
were related to them, and from the conversations he had heard Harry having with
his friends, he didn't think they were related to him either.
Harry walked silently into the kitchen. It was empty now, with the exception of
Molly. Through the window, he could see the other three sitting outside by the l
ake in the sunshine. Hermione was leaning against Ron, and Ginny was dangling he
r feet in the water. There was just one problem with the scene - they all looked
miserable.
"Mrs Weasley?" Harry said quietly. Molly turned to him, her expression blank. Ha
rry was sure she was trying to keep a look of pity from her face, and he was gla
d of it.
"I wanted to say sorry - I shouldn't have did what I did last night. I should ha
ve told you what happened, rather than leave you to find out by the pensieve."
"Oh, Harry, we were just worried about you. If I'd have known¡.."
"I know. It was pretty awful."
"Pretty awful? Pretty awful? It was downright horrifying!" Molly said loudly.
"Yeah, that too. That's why I didn't want you to see it. Anyway, it's in the pas
t now. Finished with. Vernon can't hurt anyone else."
"Why?"
"I put a restraining spell on him - he can't go within two feet of anyone he int
ends to harm."
"That's what you did when he tried to stab you? The sword on his hand?"
"Yeah. It'll stop him hitting Aunt Petunia too - I wasn't his only punch bag, th
ough I was his favourite."
"Why doesn't your Aunt leave him?" Molly asked, thoroughly shocked.
"She says she loves him and he loves her. I don't know." Harry said sadly. He fe
lt bad that his Aunt was still living there, but he didn't have the power to cha
nge her mind. She was her own person, and could live wherever she wanted to.
Harry wandered outside, having made his peace with Molly; he wanted to clear the
air with everyone else. He walked over to where Ron, Hermione and Ginny sat. Gi
nny looked up first.
"Can I sit down?" He asked, making Ron and Hermione look up.
"Uh huh." Ginny replied.
"Thanks. Look, I'm sorry about last night - I shouldn't have reacted the way I d
id."
"We only wanted to see what had happened - we only knew that this wasn't a once
off because Ginny overheard you telling mum - how d'you think that makes us feel
?"
"I didn't tell you because I wanted to forget it. I didn't want you to look at m
e and see a three year old boy getting kicked in by his so-called Uncle." Harry
said quietly.
"But we were worried about you!" Hermione protested.
"I know, but it's over now. Finished. And it's time to move on."
"What about your Aunt? You told Remus that your Uncle hit her too?" Ginny asked
"Yeah. But he can't hit anyone anymore - I can't make her change her mind about
Vernon."
"She shouldn't have let him get away with it." Hermione said angrily.
"With all due respect, 'Mione, it's easier said than done. It always is." Harry
shuddered, remembering the time he had found his Aunt in the bathroom, crying he
r heart out.
"He made her have a miscarriage once, you know. She was pregnant and she lost th
e baby because he beat her. I was six at the time. That was one of the few times
he hurt her badly. I found her in the bathroom, sobbing. I never understood why
she put up with it - she was so much bigger than I was, she could stand up for
herself. It was only when I got old enough to stand up for myself that I realise
d the beatings got worse if you opened your mouth."
"I'm sorry, but I don't see why you are so forgiving. She knew better than anyon
e what you were going through, and she should've done something." Ron said
"Maybe, maybe not. It's in the past now, though."
"You can just move on, as simple as that? Forget everything that he did to you?"
"I'll never forget what he did to me, but yes, I can move on - it's not particul
arly easy, but it's what I have to do. I've been through hell and come out the o
ther side."
"Well, if you can put it behind you, we can put it behind us, can't we?" Ginny s
aid, elbowing Ron.
"Yeah, I guess so. Just one thing - you talk to us in the future, ok? Don't keep
us out." Harry's smile froze in place.
"Erm¡..there is something else, but we'll limit it to one bombshell per week, r
ight?"
"Is it bad?" Hermione asked.
"Depends on your point of view, I suppose." Harry shrugged.
"Am I going to be included in this?" Ginny asked.
"If you want to be." Harry shrugged. An insistent pulsing in his wrist told him
that there was something wrong with the babies. "'Scuse me." He said, pulling hi
s wand and apparating into his room.
When he reached his room, Harry found Leah screaming as loud as her little lungs
could manage. Harry immediately picked her up and proceeded to try and calm her
. For the next five minutes, Harry gently rocked her and spoke to her until her
sobbing subsided into sniffles.
"There now, it's ok. I'm here. Sshh. What's wrong, Little One? Bad dream?" Leah'
s sniffles died down as she began to fall asleep again. Harry sat down in the ch
air beside the cradle with Leah in his arms. She snuggled closer to him, giving
a small sigh. Harry smiled down at her, wondering why anyone would give up such
precious things. Again, he wondered about their parents. Why had everyone though
t that they were his? He looked carefully at the sleeping child - he knew their
eyes were the same colour, and now he came to think of it, she had the same blac
k tufty hair as he had - all of them did -
"How odd. Very curious." He muttered.
"What's curious?" Ginny asked from the door.
"How much Leah looks like me." Harry said. "I can sort of see why everyone thoug
ht I was their father."
"Do you know anything about their parents?"
"Not a thing. I wondered, but Professor Dumbledore wouldn't tell me."
"Weird. You're sure that you didn't get anyone pregnant?"
"Well unless someone completely wiped my memory of the entire thing, then yeah,
I'm sure that I didn't."
"It could happen you know - obliviate and everything." Ginny suggested.
"Gin, you're scaring me now. Can we please change the subject? Unless you know s
omething that I don't?"
"I know lots of things that you don't, but not about these three. Sorry."
"Hmm."
"So, what did Dumbledore say to you while you were at Hogwarts?"
"Erm...well, I'm head boy."
"You are? That's wonderful! Just one thing though - don't do a Percy."
"I won't." Harry laughed. "He also asked about the monitor I made for the triple
ts."
"Monitor?"
"Yeah, it tells me when they need something - if they're crying or anything." Ha
rry said, fingering the wristband.
"That's a great idea - when did you come up with it?"
"At the Dursleys - Muggles have versions of them, only they're usually like smal
l radios. This had to be small enough to carry around, and silent, so that it di
dn't disturb anyone."
"So you made it?"
"Yeah - Dumbledore reckons I should market them, but I'm not so sure - I mean, i
t's not as if I need the money."
"No, but a lot of people could do with those." Ginny reasoned.
"Yeah, I suppose."
"You should think about it."
"That's what Dumbledore said." Harry replied.
"Well there you go then." Ginny laughed. "You have no idea how weird it is to se
e you holding her and looking so...at home."
"Actually I think I do - it was weird seeing the picture of me with the triplets
that Madam Pomfrey took."
"Can I see?"
"Sure. It's in that drawer." Harry said, nodding to the drawer beside his bed. G
inny opened it to find a few photos. She took them all out. First was the one th
at Ron had sent him for his birthday, then the one that Remus gave him, the pict
ure of Leah hugging Pig ("Aww - that's adorable!" Ginny cried), one of the tripl
ets in their cradle, snuggled together, and finally the one that Madam Pomfrey h
ad taken while he was asleep. Ginny stared at it for a long moment before turnin
g to Harry.
"I want a copy of this. Mum will too." She said. Harry raised an eyebrow but shr
ugged.
"Ok." He pulled out his wand and muttered an incantation. A second and third cop
y appeared beside the original, and Ginny picked them up.
"Thank you." She grinned. "C'mon, we'll go and give this to mum. No - don't put
her down, she looks so peaceful." Harry began to laugh quietly.
"What?" Ginny demanded, her hands on her hips.
"You - when did you get so bossy?" He asked, his mouth quirking into the grin th
at Ginny hadn't seen in so long.
"I've always been bossy - you try living with six brothers and not being bossy!"
She said indignantly. Harry was still laughing, and he had accidentally woken L
eah up. She looked up at him, her green eyes wide. It crossed Ginny's mind that
perhaps Leah hadn't seen Harry laughing before. She began to sniffle.
"Hey, it's ok. Auntie Ginny's just being funny." Harry said, his grin widening.
Ginny couldn't help but smile as Leah gurgled, her tiny fingers reaching for Har
ry's face. Harry bent down and blew across her face, making her gurgle even more
.
"C'mon, you. Let's go." Ginny said, pulling Harry's arm. As they started to leav
e the room, Leah cried out, looking slightly annoyed. Harry doubled back for a m
oment and came back with not only Leah, but her small fluffy owl as well. Leah w
as now apparently quite content.
"How did you know that she wanted the owl?" Ginny asked in surprise.
"I . Instinct." Harry said, smiling widely. There was no trace of the downtrodde
n three-year-old in that smile, just a content seventeen- year-old, who was frea
kishly at ease with children.
"Right." Ginny said, smiling back. Harry was right - it was in the past.
***
Molly was more than a little shocked to see Harry and Ginny come down the stairs
, laughing and joking with each other. Harry was cradling one of the triplets in
his arms, along with something - fluffy?
"Hello you two." She said. Harry looked up at her, his green eyes sparkling.
"Hi. Ginny wanted to give you something."
"You did too." Ginny said.
"Since when did I have a choice in the matter?" Harry asked. Leah joined in, bab
bling loudly.
"See, Leah agrees with me - Auntie Ginny's awfully bossy, isn't she sweetie?" Ha
rry said, grinning at Ginny, who rolled her eyes.
"She's not old enough to understand you yet - she's just babbling because you're
making her hyper."
"Huh! You hear that, Leah? Not old enough, huh? We'll show her, won't we?" Harry
said. He moved closer to Ginny and whispered something to the child. She reache
d up and caught a piece of Ginny's bright red hair.
"Harry!" Ginny scolded, wincing as Leah tugged.
"What?" Harry asked innocently.
"You're corrupting an innocent child!"
"I'm corrupting her?" Harry laughed. "You're just grumpy because we proved you w
rong."
"Ugh - I give up. Fine, she can understand you. Here you go mum." Ginny handed h
er mother the photo, and Molly found that it was a picture of Harry sleeping, wi
th the triplets huddled around him. They all looked so peaceful.
"Harry, you look lovely with them." She said proudly, making Harry blush. She pu
t the picture on the mantle piece, brushing a tear from her eye.
"Thanks." Harry said. Leah had stopped burbling and was drifting off to sleep ag
ain. Harry sat down on the couch, obviously wrapped up with Leah. Ginny stood be
side her mother, watching him.
"It's bizarre, isn't it?" She whispered.
"He looks like he was born to be a father." Molly said with a sigh.
"Hmm." Ginny agreed. She watched as Harry's eyes drifted closed, lulled by Leah'
s soft rhythmic breathing. Hermione and Ron came in moments later. Hermione, who
had been in the middle of an argument, stopped suddenly, melting as she saw Har
ry sleeping on the couch. Ron watched in amusement as the notoriously stubborn g
irl completely forgot about their argument, and whispered something to Ginny, wh
o nodded to the mantelpiece. Ron followed their gaze and saw the picture. Even h
e had to admit that it was cute - he had never seen Harry look so peaceful.
***
"I have to get a copy of that." Hermione said. Molly took the photo and whispere
d the same spell that Harry had. She handed the copy to Hermione.
"Thank you." Hermione whispered. She tugged Ginny's arm and they walked up the s
tairs, talking quietly. Ron went to sit down, wondering when Harry would wake up
- no sooner had the thought passed through his mind before Harry was blinking.
"Ron, do me a favour and hold her for a minute? One of the other two is awake."
Before Ron could reply, Harry had placed the tiny baby in his arms, making sure
that Ron was holding her properly before jogging up the stairs. He had only been
gone for a moment when Leah seemed to realise that Harry was no longer cuddling
her. Ron marvelled at how such a small person could make such a loud noise - or
he would have done, had he not been panicking.
***
"Mum! What's wrong with her? Help?" He said, haphazardly rocking her. She squeal
ed louder, protesting loudly. Molly clucked a little and removed the child from
his arms, trying to calm her. Leah was for none of it. She just wouldn't stop cr
ying. Harry came down minutes later, heading straight over to Molly.
"She won't stop crying - are you sure she's all right?" She asked worriedly.
"She's fine, just a little temperamental." Harry said, scooping up Leah. He held
her for a moment before beginning to speak.
"You can't keep this up, young lady." He said. "What happens after the summer? Y
ou going to cry non-stop because I'm not there?" He murmured. Leah had stopped c
rying, and was hiccoughing.
"Now be a good girl and let Ronniekins hold you." He passed the child to Ron, wh
o looked terrified. Leah immediately began to sniffle.
"Hey baby, I'm still here." Harry reassured her. Ron awkwardly held her for a fe
w minutes before Harry took her back.
"Well done, see - he's not all bad, is he?" Leah babbled in agreement. "She does
n't bite, y'know? She doesn't have teeth yet." Harry said to Ron. Ron would've r
etorted, but seeing how comfortable Harry was with the child, he couldn't quite
bring himself to.
Ginny and Hermione had heard Leah's cries, and came down the stairs to see what
was wrong. Harry had returned a few minutes before, and had obviously calmed her
down. Ron was looking sheepish, while Molly looked rather surprised, and a litt
le worried.
"What did we miss?" Hermione asked.
"Apparently Leah doesn't like anyone else holding her except Harry." Ron said.
"She's just not used to you - remember I've been looking after them for a while
now."
"Yeah, but did they scream the house down when they first came to you?" Ron aske
d. Harry looked thoughtful for a moment before shrugging.
"No, but we don't know what happened to their parents - maybe they weren't used
to being looked after by the one person before me."
"Right. Maybe I'm just not cut out to look after kids." Ron said. Harry laughed
at this, looking sympathetic at the same time.
"You get used to it, believe me. I nearly died when Fawkes turned up with these
three on my birthday - besides, you're only seventeen. It's not as if you have t
o worry about it just yet."
"No, not unless Dumbledore has some other surprises up his sleeve." Ron said.
"I doubt it - at least no surprises like this. Unless Hogwarts is gonna turn int
o a nursery."
"I hope not." Ron said.
"Aww, it would be nice - babies are sweet." Hermione disagreed
"Only when they aren't screaming." Ron replied.
"I'm going to put Leah to bed - she's exhausted." Harry announced. Ginny immedia
tely got up.
"I'm coming." She said.
Harry sat down on his bed while Ginny watched the triplets sleep. He put the pho
tos back in the drawer and pulled out a box of sugarquills. "Want a sugarquill?"
He asked. Ginny turned to him, nodding. He held the box out and she chose a lil
ac-coloured quill. Harry picked out a yellow one and put the box away. Walking o
ver to the cradle, he saw that Sam and Andrew were waking again. Harry looked at
his quill for a moment before cracking off a small piece. Ginny giggled as Harr
y put a small piece of spun sugar into each boy's mouth, watching as delight spr
ead over their little faces. Sensing that she was missing something, Leah woke u
p too, and Harry popped a little of the sugarquill into her mouth.
"C'mon, let's leave them to sleep." Harry said. The triplets were already drifti
ng back to sleep, little grins still plastered on their faces.
Harry and Ginny went down to the living room, where Ron and Hermione were finish
ing their heated argument from earlier. They didn't even notice when Harry and G
inny walked in, although Molly did.
"What are they arguing about now?" Harry asked.
"Whether Malfoy will be head boy." Molly sighed. "Ron thinks that Snape will som
ehow convince the headmaster to pick him, and Hermione says that there is no way
that he'd be head boy." Ginny grinned at Harry.
"Aren't you going to solve their problem?" She asked sweetly.
"Are you kidding? They enjoy arguing. Leave them to it." Harry said.
"Do you know who is the head boy?" Molly asked.
"Er¡..yeah. It's me."
"Oh Harry dear, that's wonderful!"
"Thanks Mrs Weasley."
"Oh, hush with that Mrs Weasley nonsense - call me Molly."
"Uh, ok." Harry said.
"Do they ever stop bickering?" Ginny asked, still watching Ron and Hermione.
"Nope." Harry grinned, "That's their way of flirting."
"They're both completely hopeless."
"Hey, don't tell me! You're preaching to the converted."
"Oh, I forgot. You've been putting up with this since first year."
"Yeah, and after a while you learn to tune it out."
"Why don't we go for a walk and leave them to it?" Ginny suggested.
"Ok then - I'll race you to the tree." Harry grinned cheekily and took off. Ginn
y immediately ran after him.
"Don't you dare apparate!" She yelled, running as fast as she could.
Harry skidded to a halt beside the tree, turning back to see Ginny hurtling towa
rds him. She made no move to stop, and careered into him forcefully, throwing hi
m back and winding him. "Oops." She said, extending a hand to help him up.
"Oops nothing!" Harry said, pulling her down.
"Hey - that wasn't fair." Ginny said.
"You live with six brothers and you still expect fair?" Harry laughed.
"From you I did. Ah well." Ginny gave a huge sigh and sat back against the tree.
"It's going to rain soon." She said, looking up at the sky, which had clouded o
ver considerably.
"Very likely." Harry agreed.
Harry and Ginny sat outside talking for almost an hour and a half before the fir
st raindrop fell. Soon, it was pouring, and they ran back to the house before th
ey got soaked - it was an exercise in futility, as they were both drenched throu
gh by the time they reached the Burrow. Molly met them at the door, clucking abo
ut how they'd catch cold. Harry assured her that they'd both be fine, and dashed
up to change. Ginny heard him humming as she passed on her way to her room.
"Harry? What are you doing?" Hermione asked. She looked in and saw Harry feeding
one of the triplets. He put a finger to his lips to shush her. She crept forwar
d, gazing down at the two bright green eyes that belonged to the small child who
guzzled milk greedily from the bottle that Harry held. Harry gently teased the
bottle away for a moment, handing it to Hermione as he tenderly burped the baby.
"Where did you learn all this stuff?" She asked in surprise - she had seen paren
ts doing this, but would never have known had she not.
"I guess I picked most of it up. Besides, Aunt Petunia watched all these baby pr
ograms on the telly."
"Oh."
"Ok, spit it out. What's bothering you?"
"I just...well..." Hermione trailed off, sitting down beside Harry.
"What?" Harry asked softly, nudging her gently with his foot. Hermione looked do
wn, her eyes filling with tears.
"I'm scared." She admitted quietly. Harry put the baby back into the cradle befo
re putting his arm around her.
"It's ok to be scared, you know."
"Are you?" She challenged. Harry thought for a moment.
"Yeah. I'm scared that you or Ron, or any of the other Weasleys are going to get
hurt through association with me. I'm scared that more people will die because
Voldemort is turning on the DA, and I'm scared that Voldemort's wrecking more li
ves, innocent lives."
"I'm scared of everything - Voldemort, school, even Malfoy, for goodness sake! I
mean, what if Ron's right? What if Dumbledore has made Malfoy head boy?"
"Well that's one thing you don't need to worry about - Malfoy isn't going to be
head boy."
"He isn't? Oh, that's good." Hermione said, looking incredibly relieved.
"No, he isn't. I am, though."
"You are? Oh Harry, that is wonderful! I'm so happy for you!"
"You want to know one more thing that I'm scared of?"
"What?"
"That Dumbledore's giving me all of these opportunities to prove myself so that
I don't go to face Voldemort."
"Harry, mate, you want to know what I'm scared of?" Ron asked, walking in.
"Go on then." Harry said, as Hermione stared at him in horror - obviously she di
dn't want him to face Voldemort either.
"I'm scared that you'll go off without thinking and get yourself killed. I know
you hate it, but you are pretty damn important."
"I think I should tell you something." Harry said quietly. He wanted to solve Ro
n's fear right away, even if it did create a new one.
"Is this what you were talking about earlier?"
"Yeah. Actually, can you go and get Ginny?"
"I'm here." Came a small voice. Harry smiled and shook his head as Ginny came ar
ound the door.
"Well, you might want to make yourself comfortable." He said. Ginny sat down bes
ide Hermione, looking mildly curious. "
Oh, wait a minute - Ginny's fear first." Ron said. Ginny shot him a deathly glar
e before looking into her lap.
"My fear...my fear sounds really, really selfish. I just...I'm scared that...tha
t Voldemort's going to use me again." She finished quietly. She looked up to see
understanding in Harry's eyes. He gave her hand a reassuring squeeze before sta
nding up.
"Well, I know why Voldemort wants me so badly." He murmured.
"You do? Since when?"
"The end of fifth year - the night Sirius died. Dumbledore told me."
"And all this time, you didn't think to tell us?"
"No. It wasn't exactly easy for me to accept. I had to think it through before t
elling anyone."
"But you're going to tell us now?" Hermione asked, following him with her eyes a
s he paced the room.
"Yeah."
"Well?" Ron demanded. Harry sat back down, tapping his foot restlessly.
"Trelawny made a prediction - remember in third year she predicted that Pettigre
w would escape and Voldemort would rise again?"
"Yeah, I thought you were crazy for believing her." Ron nodded. "Where is this..
.?"
"Dumbledore told me that that was the second real prediction she had made - the
first one was also to do with Voldemort."
"And you." Ginny stated.
"Yeah. It's the reason Sirius died. More or less, anyway."
"Are you gonna tell us what the prophecy says or not?"
"The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord..." Harry continued reciting t
he prophecy, watching as his friends stared at him in horror. "It was made a whi
le before I was born." He said, turning his attention to the sleeping babies. He
rmione was gripping the half-empty bottle as if her life depended on it.
"But...you can't have been the only baby born at the end of July. And it didn't
specify the year." She argued. Harry shook his head sadly.
"Hermione, it's me. It has to be. No one was sure at first - but Voldemort chose
me. He chose me when he tried to kill me. He chose me when he gave me this scar
- he marked me as his equal."
"But if they weren't sure..."
"Hermione, listen to me. The prophecy was about me. I'm not pleased about that,
but it's fact. I can't change it and neither can you, no matter how hard you try
and rationalise it. So there you go Ron, at least you know that when the time c
omes, and I go to face Voldemort, you can rest assured that I will have thought
about it - I've hardly thought about anything lese for an entire year."
"That isn't exactly comforting, Harry." Ron muttered.
"No. I don't suppose it is."
"Are you scared about this?" Ginny asked. She hadn't heard him say anything abou
t him being scared that Voldemort would kill or hurt him...
"You want the truth? No lies?" Harry asked. Ginny nodded a little hesitantly. "N
o. Voldemort can do what he likes to me. This is what I was born for - the entir
e purpose of my life."
"So what, are you saying that there's no point in living if Voldemort's not aliv
e?"
"No, I didn't say that - I'm just saying that Voldemort can't hurt me. Not unles
s he hurts you guys."
"And he knows it." Ginny murmured.
"Yeah. He knows exactly how to get to me. And has proved it." Harry shuddered, r
emembering the pictures that the deatheater had left for him.
"What do you mean?"
"The deatheater that came to Privet drive - they left pictures."
"Who?" Ron asked in a trembling voice.
"Katie, Lee, Susan, Ernie and Zacharias." Harry muttered. "Every member of the D
A that they've killed so far."
"Was it awful?"
"Awful isn't quite the word I'd use, but yeah, they were."
"Are you ok?"
"Yeah, I was thinking that we should have a memorial for them. The DA."
"That's a good idea." Ginny said. She bit her lip, thinking of all the members o
f the DA that could be next - she knew the same thought was going through Harry'
s mind.
"Yeah. We're still carrying on, aren't we?"
"The DA will still be there for anyone who wishes to attend." Harry shrugged. Gi
nny thought that sounded a very Dumbledore-ish thing to say.
"Good - it makes it feel as if we're doing something useful." Hermione said. Har
ry nodded in agreement, still looking slightly preoccupied. She followed his gaz
e to the cradle and felt her heart lurch - unwittingly, the headmaster had given
Harry even more motivation to face Voldemort.
"I have to go - there's something I need to do." She mumbled, her throat obscure
d by fear.
"Ginny, I would appreciate if you didn't tell anyone about this." Harry said, hi
s green eyes snapping onto her as she left the room.
"I won't. I promise." Ginny mumbled, fleeing from his gaze.
Back in her room, Ginny curled up on her bed, clinging to the last of her childh
ood as it slipped through her fingers. She wanted to turn back time and be a chi
ld again - things so much easier when she was five. But it was impossible. She w
as sixteen, and she would have to face the music - just like everyone else. She
sobbed silently, tears streaming down her face as she looked around her room. It
was a pale lilac, and was filled with odds and ends that she had collected sinc
e she was a child: her favourite teddy bear, a small ornament that her father ha
d bought her when she started primary school, her books, her photos. She pulled
the picture of Harry and the triplets from her drawer and stared at it. Yes, the
headmaster had unwittingly given Harry the most perfect reason to stand up and
fight, whether he was ready or not. On impulse, she pulled a spare piece of parc
hment from her stationary supplies, and began to write.
Dear Professor Dumbledore.
I'm sorry to bother you in the summer holidays and everything, but I really need
ed to talk to you. I can't say much in this, but I'm worried. Why Harry? He now
has the perfect reason to go off, do you realise that? Was that the intention? I
f so, it was really cruel. If not, then¡I don't know. I don't mean to be cheeky
, or impertinent, but I'm scared for my friend.
Best regards,
Ginny Weasley.
Before she could reconsider, Ginny attached the letter to Pig's leg and watched
him fly away into the evening. Hermione walked in moments later, watching as Gin
ny stared out of the window, her face streaked with tears.
"Why were you crying?" She asked. "Was it what Harry said?"
"Partly." Ginny mumbled. She turned to face her friend. "Did you see the look on
his face?" She shuddered, remembering how his eyes were alight with hatred for
Voldemort and determination to finish it once and for all. Hermione sat beside G
inny, tears forming in her eyes.
"Yeah. He's going to fight him. Not just because Voldemort's trapped him this ti
me."
"He wants it over. He has to kill him Hermione - he has to, before Voldemort kil
ls him. And if Voldemort kills him..¡" Ginny trailed off, the consequences of H
arry's death were too horrible to think of. "I wrote to Professor Dumbledore." S
he said, changing the subject abruptly.
"Why?"
"I wanted to know..¡don't you think that Harry would protect the triplets with
his life?"
"Yeah, I know he would, but I don't see..¡"
"They're innocent, Hermione. They're just more motivation for him - he sees them
and wants them to be able to grow up safely."
"They're like a catalyst." Hermione muttered, her eyes wide and full of tears.
"Exactly. I wanted to know whether that was the purpose."
"No, Dumbledore wouldn't. He cares for Harry too much. They're quite close."
"Yeah, but still..¡I wanted to make sure."
"Maybe Harry was right - all of these things might be geared towards keeping him
away from Voldemort."
"That's a possibility. But I can't see Harry staying at Hogwarts when the time c
omes, no matter what Dumbledore tries."
"No, neither can I. And he's going alone."
"It's better that way - he wouldn't want you there. Believe me. At best, you'd h
ave to see him go through hell and murder someone - even if he is evil, and at w
orst, you get tortured and have to watch him die."
"I..¡we used to do everything together - the Philosopher's Stone, the Chamber o
f Secrets, finding out about Sirius, even in fourth and fifth year. Last year he
was sort of distant. No wonder, really, but still, we did things together. Now¡
he's going to go alone, no matter what Ron and I say. This is his destiny, and
he'll be alone to face it. It's horrible." Hermione said, the tears now coursing
down her face.
"I know." Ginny said, hugging the older girl. "Let's wait and see what Dumbledor
e has to say."
The next few days passed quietly for everyone - there was an unspoken agreement
between the four that meant no one mentioned the prophecy. They spent their time
between Harry's room and the garden, and even took the triplets out into the ga
rden on one particularly nice day. There had been no reply from Dumbledore, and
Ginny was starting to get slightly anxious. It was four days after she sent the
letter then she finally got her reply.
Dear Miss Weasley,
I was rather shocked when I received your letter concerning your friend. I hadn'
t looked at it from that point of view, and was rather hoping that it would have
the opposite effect. Still, perhaps it will cause your friend to stop and think
before rushing into anything. I will be visiting in a few days to speak with al
l of you. I hope we can talk more about it then.
Best regards,
Albus Dumbledore.
Ginny frowned as she read the letter again - he had hoped that it would have the
opposite effect? Harry had been right. The headmaster was trying to keep him in
the castle. She shook her head, knowing that either way, Harry would be facing
the Dark Lord at some point in the future, and one of them would die. She just h
oped that it was Voldemort. Hermione read the letter too, and looked slightly co
ncerned.
"Don't you think that the more Dumbledore tries to hold him in, the more he'll w
ant to get out?" She suggested.
"Probably. But as Dumbledore said, maybe he'll think about it before rushing int
o it - maybe he'll think about the triplets."
"Maybe, but they won't be there after the summer, he won't be looking after them
. You know, I was sort of pleased when I thought that they were Harry's children
."
"Why?"
"I thought that maybe if he was a dad, he'd not be so quick to want to be the he
ro."
"Harry never wanted to be the hero in the first place." Ginny replied. She wonde
red secretly if the headmaster had thought along the same lines as Hermione. "An
yway, it doesn't make any difference - he'd just be more determined than he is n
ow - if that's possible. I don't know."
"I suppose. You know, I still wonder why they look so much like Harry."
"Maybe we can ask the headmaster when he gets here." Ginny suggested half-hearte
dly. She didn't really care about the babies looking like Harry - they had much
bigger problems to face, as far as she was concerned, still, maybe something tri
vial like that was exactly what everyone needed.
Albus Dumbledore arrived at the Burrow a few days later, and immediately sought
out Remus. Ginny was a little disappointed, but reminded herself that he was an
important man, and had many demands on his time - she was the least of his probl
ems. When Remus and Professor Dumbledore returned from their walk in the garden,
the latter made his way towards Ginny.
"May I have a word?" He asked. Ginny nodded silently, seeing that only Remus was
in the room. "I'll cast a privacy spell - that way, anyone who might be listeni
ng will hear nothing."
"Thank you." Ginny muttered.
"I assume you don't mind Remus listening?"
"No." Ginny said. She liked Remus; he had always been nice to her when he taught
at Hogwarts. She knew that he was close to Harry too. "Professor - this know he
's going, don't you?"
"Yes my dear, I'm afraid I know Harry too well to assume that anything would kee
p him from going."
"The prophecy?" Remus asked. "The one that Voldemort was after? The one that Har
ry smashed?"
"Yes. Has Harry not told you?"
"No." Remus said, frowning a little. Ginny thought she knew why.
"I don't think he wants many people to know - he only told Ron, Hermione and me
because we were talking about fears."
"What does the prophecy say?"
"Harry is the one who has to kill Voldemort - either he or Voldemort must die, a
nd if it is Voldemort, I'm afraid it is Harry who must kill him."
"Did James and Lily."
"They did, yes. I don't believe they told anyone - not even Sirius knew. Voldemo
rt doesn't know even half of the prophecy. All he knows is that Harry has the po
wer to kill him."
"Merlin. He never mentioned it. What was his fear?"
"Well he's not afraid that Voldemort will kill him. He doesn't care. He's scared
that other people will get hurt because of him, he's scared that all the chance
s that he's been given are all to keep him in the school." She paused to look at
Dumbledore, who looked slightly sheepish. "Is that all this is? Head boy, the t
riplets, it's all to keep him from going after Voldemort?"
"Not entirely, although the thought had crossed my mind." Dumbledore admitted.
"Don't you think that the harder you push him to stay, the more determined he's
going to be to leave?" Ginny asked. She glanced from Remus, who looked pale and
worried, to Dumbledore.
"I believe Harry will do what he needs to do - and I admit that the triplets mig
ht have made him see what he needs to protect. Yet I still maintain that he's th
e best person to look after them."
"While we're talking about the triplets, Hermione wants to know why they look so
much like Harry - both her and Ron assumed that they were his."
"Did you?" The headmaster asked.
"Yes, but you're avoiding the question." Ginny said, she noticed that the sparkl
e had returned in the headmaster's eye, and he looked amused.
"Yes, I am, aren't I?"
"You know, Professor, that's not a bad question - they look almost exactly like
Harry did when he was a baby." Remus agreed. Professor Dumbledore looked around
the room thoughtfully, resting on the picture of Harry with the triplets, asleep
in the hospital wing.
"Ah, it is a lovely picture, isn't it? Madam Pomfrey was kind enough to make me
a copy of it too."
"Harry could sell copies of that." Ginny murmured.
"Yes, it is important to remember that even in war there are peaceful moments."
He picked up the picture, scrutinising it.
"You're still avoiding the question."
"Yes, well, the truth is that I can't really tell you."
"Why ever not?" Remus asked in surprise.
"It's complicated." The older man replied with a sigh as he replaced the photo.
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go and speak with the young man himself." H
e left the room, and Ginny sank down onto the sofa, feeling incredibly frustrate
d. Remus sat next to her, watching her silently.
"You really like him, don't you?"
"In what way?" Ginny asked guardedly.
"In whatever way you want." Remus shrugged.
"Yeah. I do."
"I'm glad. He needs friends that look past the name."
"I just...wish I could do something!" Ginny burst out furiously. "Everything he'
s been through and this too! Its you know what I mean?"
"Yes I do. That is a remarkable picture - I don't think I've ever seen Harry so
at ease."
"I don't think Harry's ever been so at ease." Ginny countered. "He'll be heartbr
oken when the triplets go back to wherever they came from."
"I'll tell you a secret Ginny, as long as you tell no one."
"Go on."
"The triplets aren't going anywhere. Professor Dumbledore wants to ask Harry to
look after them during the year as well."
"He does? What about...well, sleeping arrangements? The other boys won't like ha
ving screaming kids in their dorm."
"Harry will have his own room as head boy. Very secure, and Dobby will look afte
r the children while he's in class."
"Wow. When will Harry find out?"
"On the first day back - you, Harry, Ron and Hermione have a private compartment
on the train. Harry is excused from head boy duties on the train, and Ron and H
ermione will come back to the compartment when they've finished their prefect du
ties."
"Right. Ok. So the triplets will be travelling with us?"
"Yes, and I will be there too. Although maybe not for the whole journey."
"Why not?"
"Well, we feel it...necessary to keep a member of staff on patrol duty on the tr
ain. After the last few train rides, well...if Malfoy can't get to his favourite
people to torment, he might decide to pick on other students."
"Maybe he'll pick a DA student." A cloud of sadness passed over Remus' face, and
Ginny frowned.
"Did you see the pictures too?"
"I was there when he found them - he was beyond furious. I've never seen him lik
e that - the only time I saw James like that was when he saw the deatheaters kil
l a family. A two-month-old baby. I had to remind myself that this was Harry and
not James. They're so alike, although Harry is more down to earth."
"You mean a lot to him, you know. You're the closest thing to a parent that he's
got."
"Yeah. I'm sort of his unofficial godfather, although he doesn't know that."
"Why not?" Ginny asked.
"Because it never came up until Sirius died. After that...Sirius was Harry's god
father, not me."
"You're both special. Sirius was mischief and you were reason - most of the time
."
"Yeah. Now the mischief's gone."
"Are we talking about Sirius or Harry?"
"Both."
"Hmm. I don't know. It reappears now and again - mostly when he's with the tripl
ets. Do you know that he feeds them sugarquills?"
"Ugh - James did that, despite my protests. Harry loved them."
"So do the triplets. I think Harry would do anything to keep them happy, even if
they weren't his children."
"Yeah, he would." Remus said. "I guess he wants to give them everything that he
never had at the Dursleys."
"I tell you, if I could get my hands on that Vernon..."
"You're going to have to join the queue for that, I'm afraid. Nearly every teach
er at Hogwarts wants a piece of him - including Snape, who it seems is actually
capable of human emotion. Ok, I shouldn't say that about my fellow Professors."
"Yeah, not to mention mum, dad, you, Ron, Harry, Hermione and everyone else who
knows."
"Oh yes, and madam Pomfrey."
"Now her revenge could be quite sweet." Ginny said thoughtfully.
"Oh, and Professor Dumbledore is on the war path. Over all, if Vernon Dursley ev
er steps a toe out of line, he'll be in so much trouble that he won't know what
to do."
"If Bill knew, he'd probably send an Egyptian curse via owl. Hey, I wonder if I
could get him to."
"As good as that idea sounds, I must ask you not to - I think Harry will want th
e first shot, and he'll get that as soon as Voldemort's out of the way. I guess
now I know why Harry always felt the need to prove himself."
"Prove himself?"
"Yeah. From day one at Hogwarts he felt like he needed to prove himself - to jus
tify his being there, or something. Plus his fame didn't help. He is always thin
king of how to prove that he's not useless."
"How do you know this?"
"I was a marauder too, you know. It wasn't just Sirius and James."
"You spied on him?"
"Something like that."
"How?" Ginny asked.
"Now that would be telling." Remus said.
"Well that's mean." Ginny pouted.
"Oh good god - not another one! Lily used to use 'the pout' every time she wante
d something - she'd usually get it too. Especially from James."
"Lily?" Ginny murmured. He had compared her to Lily.
"Yeah, she would've liked you." Remus commented.
"What are you getting at?" Ginny asked suspiciously.
"Nothing at all. Did you know that James' mum had red hair?"
"And what does that have to do with...Remus!"
"What?" He asked, giving her a wide-eyed innocent look.
"You think I'm going to fall for that? I've got six brothers, you know. Not to m
ention the fact that it wasn't just James and Sirius in the marauders!"
"I have no idea what you're talking about." Remus tried.
"Doesn't work either."
"Fine. I give up."
"So, what were you trying to do?"
"Help you get what you want." Remus grinned.
"What I want?" Ginny spluttered, turning pink. How did he...? Never mind, the fa
ct was that he was wrong - she didn't, she was over him...she was.
"Yeah." Remus grinned. "What you want."
"You know that I got over Harry ages ago?"
"Oh yes, I know."
"What? You do? Then...why?"
"I have my reasons."
"Remus, please, just leave it."
"Why? Is there someone else you'd prefer?"
"Why are you so interested in my love life anyway?" Ginny asked curiously.
"No reason. You're avoiding the question."
"I'm...no, there's no one that I'd 'prefer'. But I don't fancy Harry anymore - h
e's my friend."
"But..."
"Remus, please, let it lie."
"You are entirely too stubborn." Remus said. "Redheads." He muttered under his b
reath.
"Hey, I heard that." Ginny said.
"I'm sure you did. Perfectly true though. You are stubborn, Lily was stubborn, a
nd every redhead I have ever met is stubborn - well, except maybe your father."
"He's stubborn in his own way - mostly about his obsessions." Ginny informed him
.
"Well there you go then. Redheads are stubborn."
"You know, black-haired people are stubborn too." Hermione said, coming into the
room.
"No - all Potters are stubborn. It has nothing to do with hair colour. His fathe
r was the same. Once his mind was made up, there was no changing it."
"Have you told Harry all this stuff? He hardly knows anything about his family -
except for what's in the book I found him for his birthday."
"What book?" Remus asked.
"A wizarding family book. It has details on some major wizarding families, inclu
ding the Malfoys and the Potters. Did you know that they only printed one copy f
or each family?"
"Yes I did. Where did you find it?"
"In a bookshop in America - mum and dad took me over there for a couple of weeks
. It was amazing."
"Wizarding America?"
"Yeah. It's funny, the book was in perfect condition, but no else seemed at all
interested in it. I read a bit and I thought it was fascinating. There was even
handwriting on the inside cover - no signature though."
"I wonder where James' copy of that book went." Remus mused.
"James had a copy?"
"Yeah, I suppose it got destroyed when Voldemort killed them - the house was des
troyed, I don't see what hope a book had. I wonder which family willingly gave u
p their book - they were very prestigious. I wonder if Harry would mind my looki
ng at it."
"I don't think he would." Hermione said. "I mean, I suppose that to him, it's ju
st another book."
"Well, I'm going to go and see." Remus said, curiosity building inside him. Ginn
y and Hermione went too.
"Harry? Is Professor Dumbledore gone?"
"Yeah. He went about five minutes ago." Harry replied, he was sitting on his bed
, looking mildly confused.
"Are you alright?" Remus asked in concern.
"What? Yes, I'm fine." Harry said.
"Would you mind if I had a look at one of your books?"
"No, go ahead." Harry shrugged. He seemed to snap out of his preoccupation and w
atched in interest as Remus pulled out the family book.
"Oh yeah, I meant to thank you for that, Hermione. It's really good."
"You're welcome. I thought you might like some information on your family." Remu
s meanwhile, had blanched.
"What's wrong? Remus?"
"Great Merlin." Remus muttered. "You found this in America?"
"Yeah."
"Hermione, you have managed to find the Potter copy. By all rights, this was Har
ry's to begin with. This writing. I remember, James wrote it in seventh year, ju
st before graduation." Harry's eyes had gone very large.
"What do you mean, the Potter copy?"
"Well, each one of these families had one copy of this book. There were no other
copies. James wrote a note in the cover of his. Other families would never drea
m of doing such a thing, but the Potters didn't mind - they weren't as stuffy as
the others. Having pure blood was, for them, of little importance. They didn't
care what type of blood a person had, just as long as they were good people."
" dad wrote in the book?"
"Yes. Sirius couldn't believe it. He said that if he'd written in his families b
ook, they would've chopped his hands off."
"Nice." Harry muttered. "So what happened to the Black copy of the book?" "Siriu
s burnt it after getting out of Azkaban. He despised it. His was full of bad mem
ories. Your father treasured his copy. He would be glad that you have it."
"Thanks." Harry murmured. He looked at the book as if it were made of gold - but
then, Harry had plenty of gold, and this would mean much, much more than any am
ount of gold.
***
Harry had memorised the inscription before he had known that his father wrote it
. He had read the book several times before, but he read it again, drinking in t
he information that it gave - he had noticed that the book did go into slightly
more information on the Potters, but he had overlooked it. Now he knew the reaso
n why - this book had belonged to the Potters. His father had written in it. He
read aloud to Sam, having the little boy's undivided attention.
***
Having finished the book, Harry put it into his bedside table, beside the dagger
and the crystal, as well as all of his other birthday presents and the things t
hat he considered to be precious. His fingers brushed the hilt of the dagger, an
d he lifted it to inspect it. It had an intricately carved handle, made of pewte
r, he thought, or perhaps silver. The blade was about fifteen centimetres long,
and very sharp. He put it down as he put Sam back into the cot, before picking i
t up again. He held it in his hand. It was quite heavy, but not excessively so.
When he was putting it back into the drawer, he spotted something. The book was
glowing ever so slightly. Harry flicked through the pages thoughtfully - there w
as nothing new. In the next moment, he was sweeping the dagger across the pages,
reading the green writing that was neatly written over the printed words. The h
andwriting was different to his fathers, but was similar.
***
"Hermione!" Harry cried, his eyes wide with excitement. Hermione looked slightly
worried, but followed him back to his room.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"Nothing, I've just found something in that book."
"What?"
"Writing - over the pages. Handwriting."
"What are you talking about?"
"I'll show you, come and look." Harry sat down on his bed, picking up the dagger
and the book. Hermione had paled at the sight of the dagger, her eyes wide and
fearful.
"Harry - where did you get that knife?" She asked.
"It's a dagger. Hagrid gave me it for my birthday. Look." Harry ran the dagger o
ver the page, making the writing appear again.
"Oh my word - that's not a dagger, that's an athame. It's a ceremonial dagger. T
hey're very sacred. They can be used to reveal hidden things - especially writin
g. This is a Book of Shadows - look, it's like a diary. I've heard of these, but
have never seen one." Hermione was in heaven - she had never dreamed that she w
ould get to read a Potter Book of Shadows.
"Have you read this?" She asked, her eyes scanning the page. It was signed at th
e end by Orion Potter.
"Yeah - that's my great-great-great-great granddad." Harry said.
"Oh. Where did all of these pages come from? There weren't this many before."
"I know. They just sort . Anyway, this book does span over five generations. Eac
h generation wrote at least once a week for their lifetimes - that's gonna take
a lot of space, don't you think?"
"Yeah - this is amazing. You could learn so much! Can you imagine?"
"This was an amazing birthday present, thank you." Harry said. He looked Hermion
e straight in the eye, his eyes bright with happiness. Hermione gave him a hug,
feeling glad that she had given him what he had never had - knowledge of his fam
ily.
"You're welcome. Are you going to add your story to the end?"
"I might. I'm not sure."
"You should you know, save it for your kids. Keep it going."
"Hmm."
"Don't even think that you might not have kids - you're going to beat him, you k
now. Then you'll be free to do whatever you want to do." Hermione said. Harry lo
oked at the book in her hands. He wanted to believe her so much that it hurt, wa
sn't black and white anymore. Everything rested on two people - him and Voldemor
t.
"Yeah, maybe." Harry muttered. "We'll see."
"Harry - are you absolutely sure that the triplets aren't yours? I mean - they l
ook like you, and there is a history of triplets in your family - your grandfath
er was a triplet."
"We've been through this before - several times. The only way I'm their father,
is if someone used a memory charm on me. I'm pretty sure that my memory hasn't b
een altered in the past year or so."
" don't know. There is a way to test, you know. A simple charm to run through th
e spells put on you in the past year or so."
"I take it you want to do the honours." Harry muttered. Hermione nodded, pulling
her wand.
The next few minutes was spent in silence, with Hermione running through spells
that had been cast by and on Harry. She winced as she felt the pain of the nurse
healing his nose. She went back further, remembering when each spell was cast,
all except for one. She gasped in horror, finishing the spell abruptly.
"What is it?" Harry asked, looking slightly concerned.
"Who visited you in the hospital wing last year? Remember, after Malfoy cursed y
ou behind your back?"
"Who visited me? , Ron, Ginny, Professor Dumbledore, a few other Gryffindors. Wh
y?"
"I have to go and speak to professor Dumbledore - I'll speak to you later."
"Hermione, what's going on?"
"I'm not sure." Hermione said, rushing from the room. She collided with Ginny on
the staircase.
"What's wrong?" Ginny asked.
"I have to speak to professor Dumbledore. Quite urgently." Hermione said. Her su
rprise was melting away and anger began to take its place. The headmaster knew a
nd he hadn't told anyone! Not even Harry!
"I'm coming too." Ginny said. You look as if you'd fall into the wrong grate." S
he and Hermione ran down to the kitchen fireplace and threw in a pinch of floo p
owder.
"We'll go together." Ginny instructed. "One, two, three, Headmaster's office, Ho
gwarts." They disappeared in a roar of flames, just as Harry entered the room. H
e sat down on the sofa and waited for them to return, his mind running over horr
ible possibilities.
***
"How could you!?" Hermione yelled at the headmaster - she was angrier than she h
ad been when she had slapped Malfoy.
"My dear, please sit down."
"No! I want to know! How could you do that to him - without even consulting him!
"
"It wasn't an easy decision." The headmaster sighed, "But it was necessary."
"Necessary? And tell me, just who made you God?"
"Miss Granger, please."
"No - did you even think about Harry in all of this? Before you decided to go an
d make some carbon copies of him?"
"What?" Ginny asked.
"The triplets are Harry's. But Harry has no idea because they took his DNA while
he was unconscious."
"Professor Dumbledore?"
"I am afraid Miss Granger is right - the Ministry thought .to lay the worlds hop
es on Harry alone, thinking that if Harry died, his children would have the powe
r to end Voldemort as well."
"Do they?"
"No. But the ministry didn't know that."
"Do they have a mother, or are they just...clones of Harry?"
"They do have a mother."
"Who?"
"I cannot tell you."
"Did she carry them? Or did you just steal her DNA as well?" Hermione screamed.
"Miss Granger, please. Shouting at me will do no good. What is done is done, and
cannot be undone. I have no power to overturn the decisions of the Ministry."
"No, but you could have had the common decency to at least inform Harry of what
was happening, instead of just dumping them on him for the summer. And what happ
ens after the summer? You take his children back off of him again?"
"Hermione, Harry's going to look after them here too. He's head boy, and has his
own room. They'll still be in his care." Ginny murmured. She was in shock - Har
ry was a father and he didn't even know it.
"What? How do you know?" Hermione asked, visibly deflating as she looked at her
friends' downcast expression.
"Remus told me. I wasn't supposed to tell anyone, , doesn't seem so important an
ymore, does it?"
"No." Hermione agreed. "So, Professor Dumbledore, are you going to tell Harry?"
"I wasn't planning to."
"Well if you don't, I will." Ginny said. "Harry deserves to know. He's had enoug
h lies."
"Very well, I will escort you back to the Burrow. We will tell Harry together."
"Thank you." Hermione said, her voice still slightly icy. "Oh, and who else know
s about this?"
"No one. The minister for magic, and us."
"That's it? How did you manage to keep it quiet? Hold on - you never mentioned t
he mother."
"No, she doesn't know either."
"Unbelievable." Ginny muttered. "So why didn't you send them to their mother to
look after? Is she still at school too? A little too immature?"
"I can't answer any of your questions, I'm afraid." The headmaster answered. "Th
e truth is, I'm not even sure myself. As far as I know, someone did a test to se
e whom Harry was well matched to, and they took it from there. I really have no
idea."
"Right."
Harry was surprised to see Hermione, Ginny and Professor Dumbledore all come bac
k through the fireplace a few moments later. Hermione and Ginny looked slightly
angry, while Professor Dumbledore looked upset.
"Would someone mind telling me what's going on?" He asked, his voice calm and qu
iet. Losing his temper would achieve nothing, he knew.
"Professor Dumbledore needs to tell you something." Hermione said. "He'll explai
n what I found when I looked for the spells cast in the last year."
"Well?" Harry asked, looking up at Professor Dumbledore as Hermione stormed up t
he stairs. Ginny sat down next to him, pulling her knees up to her chin.
"While you were in the hospital wing, the minister for magic came to see me. The
y had decided that resting the world's hopes on you was too much of a gamble, so
they had the idea of having a back up. They thought that your children would ha
ve the same ability to get rid of Voldemort. They took some DNA while you were u
nconscious."
"The triplets?" Harry asked.
"Yes."
"This was all some Ministry plan?" Harry asked, in a forced calm voice.
"I'm afraid so. They were delighted when it turned out that you had produced tri
plets. But the triplets don't have the ability. Their plan went down the drain."
"Let me get this right, they took a part of me, presumably some from someone els
e as well, and created children - just so that they had a back up in case I fail
ed?"
"Yes."
"And what? Their sole purpose would have been to get rid of Voldemort?"
"Something like that."
"They didn't think for a moment that they were creating lives - real people - ju
st to achieve what they wanted? Without a second thought for either my children
or me? What about their mother? Does she know?" Harry was on his feet, glaring a
ngrily at the headmaster. How could he have let something like this happen?
"No - I don't even know who she is."
"Then how in the world¡¡?"
"Tonks carried them."
"TONKS?!" Harry and Ginny chorused.
"Indeed."
"But the children aren't¡.¡she's not their mother?"
"No. She volunteered to carry them though."
"This is mad." Harry muttered. "Completely unbelievable. Do I have any right to
know who their mother is? Come to think of it, was anyone going to tell me?"
"Yes, eventually you would have been told, but I hadn't planned on you finding o
ut quite so soon."
"Why not? It would be one more reason for me to stay rather than go chasing Vold
emort." Harry had given up all pretence of being calm now, and was yelling. Hear
ing the noise, Ron, Molly and Remus had come in, and were all staring at the hea
dmaster.
"Harry¡"
"Can I find out who their mother is? Doesn't she have the right to know?"
"I¡¡I shall make enquiries for you, but I can't promise anything." Harry nodde
d sharply, hearing the triplets crying.
"If you'll excuse me, I have to go and see to my children." With that, he left t
he room.
In his room, Harry found Hermione lying on his bed asleep, looking as if she'd b
een crying. Harry quickly tended to the triplets before they woke her, still sho
cked at the revelation.
"I'm your daddy." He murmured. Hermione opened her eyes, sitting up quickly. "Ar
e you all right?" Harry asked in concern.
"I'm fine - just a little shocked. You?"
"Honestly? I have no idea how I'm supposed to feel - I mean, I love them, but I
know nothing about being a father. I have no idea who their mother is, although
I do know that Tonks carried them."
"Do you want to know who their mother is?"
"Yeah - I mean, surely she has as much right as I do to know that she has childr
en. I'll tell you one thing though - I'm never going to work for the Ministry. H
ow could anyone be so inhuman? And they're supposed to be the good guys."
"Do you resent them?"
"The Ministry? Yeah. It's not the babies fault that they're all idiots."
"Mr Weasley works for the Ministry."
"Yeah, but he's not at the top - he had nothing to do with this. I'll bet it was
all Cornelius Fudge's idea - we can't trust Harry Potter, but we'll give him ch
ildren so that there's a back up, and to hell with the consequences."
"Do you mind being a father?"
"It wasn't exactly how I imagined, you know. Three kids just popping out of nowh
ere. I thought that kids would come way into the future - with someone that I kn
ow. Not like this."
"Maybe you do know the mother - we can find out. Professor Dumbledore said that
the Ministry did a test to see whom you were compatible with. They chose her to
be the mother. The only thing is that we don't know whether she's still at schoo
l."
"Can we try? I mean, it's got to be worth a try. I can't see any resemblance to
anyone but me in them, can you?"
"Well, we'll figure that out when we've got a list of potential mothers, ok?"
"Yeah, ok then." Harry said. He turned his attention back to his children. He fe
lt a rush of love for them immediately - he had been afraid to name that emotion
before now, not knowing what was happening after the summer, but now he knew. T
hey were his children and there was no way that anyone would take them off him.
"I'll leave you to it." Hermione said understandingly.
"Harry's a father? At seventeen?" Remus asked. He, like everyone else, was shock
ed. The Ministry had a lot to answer for. "And you have absolutely no idea who t
he mother is?"
"No."
"So that's where Tonks went for all that time - she was carrying Harry's childre
n."
"Yes. She was in Hogsmeade, where we could make sure everything was all right wi
th the children." Hermione came into the room.
"We're going to have to find out who their mother is." She said.
"How's Harry taking it?" Molly asked.
"He's head over heels in love with his children, but he can't understand the mot
ivations of the Ministry." Hermione said.
"No, I don't think any of us understand the reasoning behind this."
"I still can't believe my best friend's a dad already." Ron muttered.
"It's a good job it was Harry, and not anyone else. I think anyone else would ha
ve flipped out a lot worse than he did." Ginny said quietly. She still looked ki
nd of shell-shocked. "So, how are you going to find their mother?"
"Test Harry's compatibility to every girl at Hogwarts, if nothing turns up there
, then I don't know. There might be test that you can do - the Muggle have them,
only they're used to find out the father of a child, and plus for that to work
there has to be a few candidates."
"Maybe St Mungo's has a test. We can look into it." Molly said, warming to her s
ubject.
"There isn't a test." Dumbledore said quietly. "The only way to find out for sur
e is to ask the Ministry, and I don't think they'll be too happy to give out tha
t information."
"Why not? It's not as if it makes any difference to them."
"No, but Cornelius is stubborn. He'll refuse to give it out simply because he ha
s a grudge against Harry."
"What about files? Surely they have all the information there?"
"They would have destroyed the file. It's common practice with sensitive informa
tion."
"So there's only one person that knows who the mother is? And that's Fudge?"
"I'm afraid so. I believe he deliberately kept it from me." Dumbledore said sadl
y.
"That man has an awful lot to pay for." Hermione muttered angrily.
That night, Harry decided that he needed to speak to Tonks - she had carried his
children for nine months, and he had to thank her for that. He wondered where s
he was. "Hey Hedwig?" He called, waking up the owl. "Could you find Tonks for me
?" Hedwig blinked at him, and Harry took that as a yes. He scrawled a quick note
to her, asking her to meet him at Florean Fortescue's in three days. He wondere
d if Molly would mind babysitting. He would ask her in the morning.
The next morning, Molly readily accepted to baby-sit, looking delighted that Har
ry wanted to thank Tonks for what she had done. "It's nice to see that you've ac
cepted it." She said, giving him a motherly look of pride. Harry shrugged, the t
ruth was that he had been very attached to the triplets since they had arrived,
but until then, he hadn't really thought much about it. Hedwig returned after br
eakfast, and Tonks said that she'd be delighted to meet up with Harry. Hermione
looked a little less than pleased that Harry was going to Diagon Alley on his ow
n.
"Look, Death Eaters tried to attack me in Privet Drive - if I stopped doing thin
gs just because there was a little risk involved, I'd be dead." He pointed out.
"I mean, nowhere is completely safe, but I promise that I will be incredibly car
eful - and no heroics."
"Good, because you have children now."
"Yes, Hermione, I'm aware of that." Harry said evenly, his smile widening slight
ly.
Harry sat at a table outside Florean Fortescue's, tapping his foot impatiently a
s he waited for Tonks to arrive. He was waiting for almost ten minutes before sh
e did arrive, looking just as happy and carefree as he remembered. She did a com
ical double take as she spotted him. After having not seen him for almost a year
and a half, he supposed he did look different.
"Harry! How are you! How are¡things?"
"I'm fine and things couldn't be better." He grinned.
"What did you name them?" Tonks whispered. Harry cast a look around them - peopl
e were milling about, almost completely unaware of them.
"Eleanor, Samuel and Andrew." Harry replied.
"Aww. And they're ok? Not causing you too much trouble?"
"Are you kidding? They're little angels. Not too happy on letting other people h
old them though."
"Partial to their daddy then, are they?" Harry grinned goofily and nodded.
"I wanted to thank you - it can't have been much good for you."
"Well labour was hell, I can now understand why I'm an only child, but apart fro
m that, it was rather enjoyable." She grinned as well.
"Well thanks anyway. We're just trying to find out who the mother is now. Appare
ntly Fudge didn't tell anyone. I can't believe the Ministry, I really can't. It'
s just¡beyond low." Harry said, his green eyes flashing. "Anyway, do you want t
o come and see them?"
"Can I? I didn't get to see them much¡what with them being premature¡"
"They were premature?"
"Yeah. They were due on the fourteenth of July, but they were born on the twenty
-sixth of June. They had to spend a while in the hospital, just to make sure tha
t they were all healthy. Then they came to you on your seventeenth birthday - af
ter the Ministry had decided that they were useless." Harry felt a surge of indi
gnation on behalf of his children, and couldn't believe that anyone could be so
heartless.
"No child is useless." He said forcefully, remembering every time his Uncle had
yelled that he was useless as the punches rained down¡¡
"Harry?"
"Sorry, I sort of zoned out there."
"I was just agreeing with you - no child is useless." She had an odd, confused l
ook on her face, and Harry forced a smile, pretending that everything was fine.
He hated the word 'useless' with a passion.
Harry and Tonks were chatting jovially when they returned to the Burrow. Molly s
miled as they came in.
"They've all been perfect. Sleeping like logs." She said. As soon as the words w
ere out of her mouth, Harry felt a twinge at his wrist.
"Not for long." He murmured, looking upwards expectantly. Sure enough, the waili
ng began seconds later.
"Back in a minute." Harry said, jogging up the stairs.
"He's such a wonderful father." Molly sighed, her eyes drifting towards the phot
o on the mantelpiece. Tonks walked over to it, her eyes misting over.
"This makes it all worth it." She muttered, before walking up to see them.
She stood in the doorway as he played with them. He seemed to know exactly what
to do to make each child smile.
"It was worth it you know." She said. "All of it - just to see you doing that."
"Doing what?" Harry asked
"That - looking after them. You look as if you've been doing it all your life."
"It feels like it too." Harry laughed as he handed Leah her little stuffed owl.
"Why an owl?" Tonks queried. Harry laughed.
"On my birthday, when my presents arrived, she was cuddling Pig - there's a phot
o of it. Here." He pulled the photo from the drawer and handed it to Tonks.
"Aww. This is so adorable. I love the picture down on the mantelpiece though."
"You and everyone else too." Ginny grinned. "Harry'll make you a copy, won't you
?" She said, grinning at Harry.
"Fine. I don't suppose I have much choice in the matter." Harry said, handing Le
ah to Tonks, who looked a little scared.
"I never really got to hold them much¡I don't know how." She protested. Ginny h
astily took the child out of her arms. Leah blinked and yawned widely, frowning
slightly.
"Huh! You are stealing my baby girl." Harry said, "You realise that you're the o
nly other person she doesn't mind holding her?"
"I wouldn't say she's too pleased about it, but she's not screaming." Ginny said
, looking pleased.
"Come to daddy, baby. You're a daddies girl, aren't you?" Harry said. He took he
r from Ginny and she gurgled happily at him.
"It's enough to make you want to puke, isn't it?" Ginny asked. "It's not fair -
he's just too good with them." She said. Tonks laughed as Harry placed Leah back
in her cot, blushing.
"Thanks. I think." He muttered.
"Yeah, well, I think they're incredibly lucky." Tonks grinned. "Just never let A
untie Tonks baby-sit."
"Right." Harry said.
"Yeah, I mean, with your role model¡well, you're brilliant with them."
"Role model? Oh, you mean 'whatever Vernon did, do the opposite?'"
"Yeah, that about sums it up." Ginny muttered, looking angry all over again.
"What?"
"My uncle Vernon - I was his private punch bag." Harry explained. Tonks' eyes wi
dened in horror.
"You're kidding?" She exclaimed.
"If only." Harry replied. "That's why I was rather¡umm¡forceful this afternoon
when you said that the Ministry said that they were useless - I'm still trying
to get rid of that particular label." Harry said. He looked down at the children
- his children - and felt a surge of pride. They were anything but useless.
Tonks spent the day at the Burrow, watching Harry carefully. He had mentioned th
e mother of his children on more than one occasion, clearly frustrated that his
children had a nameless mother. She could stop that, she knew. She had specifica
lly asked for the identities of both parents before agreeing to carry the child
- or children, as it had turned out - and Fudge had reluctantly agreed. She had
been eager to help after finding out whose children she would be carrying - afte
r all, she had felt extremely fond of the ragged young boy that she had first me
t in that horrible house in Muggle-land. Now he wasn't a boy, and certainly wasn
't ragged. He had grown a great deal, and looked much more grown up. Any traces
of the young boy were gone now, leaving a confident man in his place. The differ
ence in him was astonishing. She was also fond of their mother, believing that t
he triplets couldn't ask for better parents. But no one except her seemed to kno
w who their mother was.
"Hey Harry?" Tonks said, feeling slightly uncomfortable.
"Yeah?"
"Can I have a word with you - in private?"
"Uh, sure." Harry shrugged. They walked into the garden, and sat down by the lak
e.
"What's up?"
"What do you mean?"
"You've been acting strangely all day - what's wrong?"
"It's¡¡well, before I agreed to carrying your children, I specifically asked w
ho both parents were - the Ministry wanted it top secret, and this was before I
knew it was yours¡¡well, I insisted that I wasn't going to carry the child wit
hout knowing whose child it was."
"Did they tell you? You know who their mother is?"
"Yeah. Fudge gave me strict instructions not to tell Dumbledore, so I couldn't,
but he didn't say anything about telling you."
"Is it going to get you into trouble if you tell me?"
"Probably, but I've been thinking - it's better if you, and her, know."
"Who is it?" Harry's green eyes bored into hers, and Tonks realised that he real
ly wanted to know who it was. Not just because she deserved to know, but also be
cause he had known very little about his parents. He didn't want that for his ch
ildren.
"It's¡¡Hermione." Tonks said.
"It's¡..Hermione." Tonks said.
"Are you sure?"
"Well, that's what Fudge told me."
"He could have been lying."
"I know, but would he? What's the point?"
"It can't be Hermione." Harry muttered.
"Why not?"
"I don't know, but it's just..¡a feeling¡.."
"Fatherly intuition?"
"Something like that. Fudge lied to you."
"I guess I maybe shouldn't have taken his word for it, but I guess I thought he
wasn't mean enough to lie."
"This is Fudge we're talking about. Damn him. I don't suppose you know any way o
f finding out who really is the mother?"
"Not really. Do you know how they picked her? I mean, was it random?"
"No. Apparently they looked for someone who I was compatible with. Hermione's sa
ying that we should test my compatibility to every girl in Hogwarts - well, mayb
e not every girl, but you know¡¡"
"I'll try and get some answers. But first we have to rule out Hermione. Maybe we
should do that compatibility test straight away." Harry nodded.
"Shall we go now? This might take a little explaining."
"Yeah."
When Harry explained to Hermione about what Fudge had said, she looked incredibl
y shocked. He hurried on to explain that he thought that fudge had lied, but eit
her way, they needed to be sure. "Will you do the test?" He asked.
"Of course - I mean¡don't take this the wrong way, but I'm really not ready to
be a mum."
"I know. Right - what do we need to do?"
"Well, I'm not really sure. Tonks, any idea?"
"Not really. I was a tomboy at school - would Ginny know?"
"Maybe - I'll go and ask her."
"Right."
Ginny was recruited into helping test Harry and Hermione's compatibility. Harry
was almost certain that they weren't very compatible at all, but they were just
making sure. Ginny had brought through a pile of girly magazines, and her, Hermi
one and Tonks were looking through those as Harry searched through spell books.
It was Harry who found a likely looking spell first - anyone could cast it, as l
ong as they had the full names and the dates of birth of each person.
"They must have spent ages working this out." Harry said with a frown. "There mu
st be a quicker way."
"It doesn't matter, we only need it once right at this moment." Hermione said, l
ooking half scared and half relieved. "What do we do?"
"Someone has to do the spell, then write our names and dates of births on a piec
e of paper. Tap the paper three times, repeat the spell and a percentage should
appear. Who wants to do the honours?"
"You can." Hermione said, her hands were shaking so much that she didn't think s
he could hold a quill, let alone write with one.
"Fine." Harry said. He followed the instructions in the book and waited for a mo
ment. "Fourteen percent compatibility." Harry grinned, looking incredibly happy.
It wasn't that he didn't like Hermione, but he certainly didn't like her in tha
t way.
"Oh thank goodness!" Hermione said, throwing her arms around his neck. "Not that
I have anything against you or anything¡¡" She began.
"No, I understand, believe me I do. You're one of my best friends, but there is
no way¡¡you're like my little sister." Harry shuddered horribly and everyone l
aughed.
"I'm sorry I wasn't of much help." Tonks said, as she got ready to leave.
"That's ok. It's not your fault that Fudge is a lying¡¡anyway, it's not your f
ault."
"No, well I'll try and get some answers for you. In the meantime, perhaps you co
uld think about who the Ministry might have tested first."
"Ok then. Thanks for everything. I mean it."
"I've told you, it was all worth it. And thank you for my photo - it will take p
ride of place in Grimmauld Place, I assure you."
"Right." Harry said, wondering briefly what Sirius would have thought of the who
le affair. "I'll see you soon, ok?"
"You bet - I might come and see you off to school. Anyway, I have to go - lots o
f work to do, you know."
"Yeah, I guess you have. Bye."
"Bye Harry."
Tonks knew exactly what she was going to do - she was on shift at the Ministry t
hat night, and therefore had access to the file room. She would look through the
'recent births' file and see if there was any information on them in there. If
she had no luck, she would have to pay Cornelius Fudge a little visit.
Hermione suggested that they try Cho's compatibility with Harry, as she was a li
kely choice, being his ex. Harry reluctantly agreed, hoping with all his heart t
hat it wasn't Cho. Hermione did the test this time, and took a few minutes befor
e saying anything. The look of disappointment on her face made Harry's heart sin
k to his shoes. Was it really possible that he and Cho were well suited? He doub
ted it, but then again¡
"Two percent compatibility." Hermione said. Harry let out a deep breath and laug
hed.
"What a relief."
"I thought you'd be glad if it was Cho." Hermione frowned.
"Why?"
"Well, you did go out with her¡¡you must have liked her."
"Yeah, I did at one point. Now¡¡I can't say that I'd be devastated if she hate
d my guts. Not that I'd really blame her, but anyway¡¡"
"Why would she hate you? I thought she was always kind of hung up on you - like
when you went out with Hannah for that while - she was really jealous."
"Nah, I think she was just a little surprised that I was over her." Harry said.
He liked Cho, really he did, but she had grown accustomed to having boys drop at
her feet, especially after Cedric's death. She had been a little shocked to fin
d that she got no reaction at all from Harry when she starting dating a Slytheri
n boy in her year.
"You know her better than I do, but¡¡I don't know. Maybe she was just shocked
that you didn't like her anymore."
"Anyway, now that that terrifying idea is out of the way, what do we do now? Tes
t my compatibility to Hannah?"
"I suppose."
"I wish I could do the spell - I hate being the youngest." Ginny pouted. Harry g
rinned at her.
"You're not the youngest - the triplets are. Though they have a year or two befo
re they can do any magic at all." He said reasonably.
"Yeah, but I was talking about Weasleys." Ginny muttered.
"Ah, fair enough. You never know, maybe Bill or Charlie will have kids soon."
"Or Fred or George." Hermione said.
"Oh, you have to pity the women that get Fred and George." Ginny laughed.
"Anyway, maybe we should test you two." Hermione suggested. Harry looked between
the two of them - Ginny was looking murderous.
"Umm¡I guess." Harry said. "But I thought we were testing Hannah first?"
"Oh yeah, so we were." Ginny said, looking mildly relieved.
"Can we come in?" Remus and Ron asked from the door.
"Sure. We're just testing my compatibility to half the world." Harry murmured. "
Do you know that Fudge told Tonks that Hermione was the mother?" Ron paled and s
tared between them.
"Uhh¡that's great." He said, looking as if the words were painful.
"It is." Harry said. "Oh, stop looking at me like that - Fudge was lying, you id
iot." Harry said with a grin. Ron hit him over the head, looking immensely relie
ved.
"That really is great." He said.
"Yeah, but it still means that we have no idea who their mother is - we did find
out that Harry and Cho are not compatible. No wonder that didn't last." Hermion
e said.
"It was the black hair." Remus said with certainty.
"Oh, don't start that again." Ginny moaned, putting her head in her hands.
"Don't start what again?" Harry asked.
"You want to test some redheads - Potters generally have a thing with redheads."
"Well Hannah had reddish-brown hair." Harry said. He knew exactly where Remus wa
s going, and was doing his best to get him right off of that track.
"Reddish-brown?"
"Well that makes sense - Cho has black hair, so she's very incompatible with you
. Hermione has brown hair, so she's incompatible - have you tested Ginny yet?" R
on said. It was Harry's turn to groan.
"No. We haven't tried Hannah yet. Besides, maybe if we started with my ex-girlfr
iends. That's probably where the Ministry started." Harry said.
"Don't you want to do the test with me?" Ginny asked, her voice carrying a sligh
t warning tone. Harry stared at her for a moment, lost for words.
"I never said that - besides, it was you that looked as if you didn't want to ta
ke the test."
"So you don't want to take the test?"
"Hold on - I still never said that. I can't win here, can I?"
"No, you can't." Ron said. "So, what is this test all about?"
"As long as you have the name and dates of birth of two people, you can see how
compatible they are."
"Oh yes - I remember James and Lily taking that test. Or rather, Sirius took it
for them." Remus said. "I believe they got two hundred and three percent."
"Wow, a whole two hundred and one percent more than me and Cho." Harry grinned.
"Two percent? You have a two percent compatibility with your ex girlfriend?"
"Yeah - I guess that's why she's my ex." Harry grinned. "Anyway, Hannah's next."
"Thirty-one percent." Hermione said.
"Getting better."
"She's the one with the reddish-brown hair?"
"Yeah. Oh, maybe you should try Carmen."
"Carmen Yates? The Ravenclaw?" Ron asked in surprise.
"Yeah." Harry muttered, glowing red.
"What colour of hair does she have?" Remus asked.
"Blonde." Ron said. "You never mentioned that you went out with her."
"I didn't¡¡not really anyway."
"What is that supposed to mean?"
"It means that they kissed a few times, but it never really went anywhere." Herm
ione translated.
"How do you know?" Ron spluttered.
"Because I know you and Harry." Hermione replied smugly.
"Ok, enough about Carmen." Harry said loudly. "Eighteen percent."
"Don't you have a girlfriend just now?" Ginny asked suddenly.
"Oh - you mean Sally. No, we broke up just before the summer." Harry said, "And
before you ask, she did have red hair."
"When is her birthday again?"
"Eighteenth of December." Harry said.
"Oh - forty percent. That's quite good, I suppose."
"Hermione, that's rubbish and you know it."
"Ooh, I know - Parvati." Ginny said happily.
"Six percent."
"Thank goodness."
"Lavender!"
"Three percent."
"Pansy Parkinson."
"Negative sixty percent."
"Now that's a relief." Ron said to Harry.
"Erm¡¡oh, how about Ellie - Ellen Borwen?"
"Hmm - what's her date of birth again?"
"The twenty-third of October."
"Twenty-eight percent."
"Maybe you should think in terms of redheads. They seemed to be doing quite well
." Remus suggested.
"Yeah, it must be Ginny's turn by now." Before anyone could protest, or accuse h
im of anything, Harry did the spell. Then he did it again, just to make sure. He
rmione also did it.
"Well?" Ginny asked impatiently. Harry met Hermione's eyes and handed Ginny the
piece of parchment.
"Great Merlin." Ginny muttered weakly. Harry thought that was a slight understat
ement.
"Well?" Ron wanted to know.
"Harry Potter and Ginny Weasley - three hundred and twenty percent." Hermione re
ad.
"Redheads." Remus muttered. Harry stared between the cradle and Ginny.
"How likely is it that there's someone else that I'm as compatible with?" He ask
ed in a shaky voice.
"Next to nil." Hermione replied.
"Oh hell." Ron muttered. "I might be an Uncle."
"Thanks for that Ron!" Ginny snapped, getting up and leaving the room. Hermione
got up to follow her.
"Just leave her - she needs some time to think about this alone." Harry said.
"How do you know?" Ron asked peevishly.
"Because I've been there. Finding out that there's a strong possibility that you
've got children is a little bit of a shock."
"Right."
"I told you - redheads." Remus said.
"Yeah, I know already!" Harry muttered. He went over the crib and picked up one
Andrew.
"Ron, Hermione, why don't we go down and see if Molly needs any help with the di
nner."
"But..."
"Yes, that's a good idea." Hermione said, overriding Ron's protests. They left H
arry alone to mull over the fact that he and Ginny Weasley were more compatible
than his own parents.
***
"Can I come in?" Ginny asked. Harry turned around in surprise.
"Sure." He said. He was standing beside the cot, and Ginny came to stand at his
side.
"What do you think? Am I a suitable mother?"
"They could have a lot worse." Harry said.
"You mean they could have a Slytherin mother." Ginny said, her voice sharp.
"No, I didn't mean that. Please don't yell at me. I just meant that you're one o
f my best friends - at least we get along pretty well together."
"Yeah, but what happens from here?"
"I have no idea. You might not be their mother - I mean, the Ministry might not
have thought about testing our compatibility. But we need to be sure."
"Yeah. Now that we have a candidate, maybe there's a test at St Mungo's."
"We can check it out. Do you want to be their mother?"
"I...well, they're certainly sweet. I just don't know whether I'm ready to be a
mother."
"No. Well, whatever happens, they can stay in my dorm at Hogwarts - is that ok?"
"Yeah. It makes sense. Although if I am their mother, I can come and visit, righ
t?"
"Of course. I might even let you steal my baby girl."
"Oh, what a mess." Ginny said, tears falling from her eyes.
"Hey, it's ok. Please don't cry. I can't deal with crying females that are older
than Leah." Harry said, putting his arms around her. Ginny put her head on his
shoulder.
"You're doing an ok job." She sniffed.
"Thanks. Now please cheer up."
"Ok. Yeah, you're right. It is a right royal mess though, isn't it?"
"Oh yeah."
"If anyone could have been the mother, who would you have wanted it to be?"
"I honestly don't know. But I am pretty pleased that it's you. We should tell To
nks you know."
"Yeah, it would be a good idea." Ginny agreed, looking into the cot. "They're so
adorable." She murmured. "Can I hold one of them?"
"Don't be ridiculous - you don't have to ask. Even if you aren't their mother."
"Oh. Ok." Ginny picked up Sam, who looked at her for a moment before starting to
whimper.
"Hey, hush little man. This might be your mummy. We're working on it." Harry whi
spered, looking over Ginny's shoulder at the young boy.
"If I am their mother, do I qualify for a monitor?"
"If you want one." Harry shrugged. Sam had stopped whimpering, and was getting u
sed to this strange person that was holding him. "There you go." Harry said, gri
nning at Ginny.
"This is incredible."
"Yup."
"Ok, you can go and see your brother and sister. Your daddy and I need to talk."
Ginny told Sam as she placed him back into the cot. Harry tucked the covers bac
k around them before sitting down on his bed and searching through the bedside d
rawer. He pulled out his family book as Ginny sat down next to him.
"What are you doing?"
"I wanted to see if any of my family knew anything about spells to find out for
sure if you're their mother."
"What do you mean?"
"This is the Potter Book of Shadows." Harry said, running the athame over the pa
ge. Ginny stared as writing appeared all over the page.
"This is so amazing!" She said in awe. "Can I read some?"
"Sure." Harry said. They started at the beginning of the book, reading the first
entry, which was by Leah Potter.
"Hey, you named Leah after someone - did you know?"
"Not until now." Harry said. They read in silence for a few minutes, reading abo
ut the life of one of Harry's family. She spoke about Hogwarts, saying that she
was a Gryffindor. Both Harry and Ginny drank in the information, and had read th
rough almost all of Leah's life before looking up.
"Does your entire family have a problem with Dark Wizards?" Ginny asked.
"Apparently." Harry replied - it seemed that Leah's father, Garrett, was away fi
ghting some Dark Wizard - Leah never mentioned who. They read on until the writi
ng changed - this time it was Orion Potter, Leah's eldest son, who was writing.
"Harry! Ginny! Come and get some dinner!" Molly yelled up the stairs. Ginny's ey
es snapped up, looking slightly worried.
"Harry! We never told mum!" She said.
"Ah. Maybe we should do that."
"It might be a good idea, considering she is my mother. Possibly a grandmother."
"Umm...any idea how we're going to tell her?"
"Nope."
"Oh. Well we'll figure something out." Harry assured her, squeezing her hand rea
ssuringly.
Molly wondered what was going on - Harry and Ginny kept glancing at each other,
while Ron and Hermione avoided their gazes, and Remus smiled down into his plate
.
"Mum, we think we might have found the triplets mum." Ginny said at last.
"Oh, that's fantastic? Who is it?"
"Umm..well, we think it might be Ginny." Harry said quietly.
"Ginny? Why do you think it might be Ginny?"
"They had a compatibility of three hundred and twenty percent." Hermione said. "
That's what the Ministry based it on. I doubt they'd find anyone more suited to
Harry than Ginny."
"So - what are you going to do?"
"We don't know for sure, mum. We're trying to find a way to find out for sure. W
hen we find one, we'll tell you."
"Ok, but what about you two?"
"Mum, one thing at a time. Nothing has really changed between me and Harry - has
it Harry?"
"Erm..whatever you say." Harry said. He got the feeling that if he didn't agree
with whatever Ginny said, she'd give him an earful.
"You don't sound too sure, Harry dear." Molly said.
"Yeah. Nothing has changed." He said. Molly clucked her tongue, and sat down bes
ide Ginny.
"We'll go down to St Mungo's tomorrow - maybe they'll be able to confirm it."
"Yeah, ok. But I don't think Harry should come - sorry Harry, but you'll attract
far too much attention."
"Yeah, I know. Are you taking all three of them?"
"No, I don't think so. We only really need to take one, don't we mum?"
"I would imagine so, dear."
"Maybe you should take Sam - he seems to like you. Andy isn't really used to you
, and Leah is temperamental."
"Yeah, ok. Sam it is. Unless of course we find something between now and then wh
ich means that we don't need to go after all."
"What do you mean?"
"We're reading Harry's book to see if there's anything in there."
"Which book?"
"The Potter Book of Shadows - Remus, did you know that that book was a Book of S
hadows too?"
"No. James never mentioned it." Remus said, frowning a little. "How did you find
out?"
"Hagrid sent me an athame for my birthday - it was sitting beside the book." Har
ry said. Remus looked a little shocked.
"An athame? Hagrid sent you a magical dagger?"
"Yeah."
"Really! I would have thought he would have had more sense!" Molly tutted.
"Anyway, we have a lot to read, so we have to go now." Ginny said, practically d
ragging Harry from the room.
***
"Has nothing changed?" Harry asked her later that night. Ginny looked up at him
curiously.
"No. Nothing has changed. I mean, it's not as if we made them conventionally, is
it?" She said, blushing slightly.
"No, I would be dead if they had been made the conventional way." Harry said. He
looked sideways at Ginny and saw a smile tugging at her mouth.
"So - come on, we have a lot to read." Ginny said. They read through another few
generations before they got anything interesting.
"Hey, Harry, look at this." Ginny said, pointing to a point on the page. "She's
a mid-witch." Harry scoured the page, reading about how his great- great-grandmo
ther had helped to deliver babies in St. Mungo's.
"There!" He said, pointing to a spot on the page that detailed a test that could
be performed to determine if a person was the mother or father of a baby. "It's
usually used to make sure that parents go home with the right baby." He murmure
d. "It's perfect, and quite easy to do. Shall we do it now?"
"Does she say exactly what to do?"
"Yeah - look, it's all here."
"Ok - let's do it." Ginny said, looking nervous. Harry stepped over to the cot,
looking at his children. They might know for sure who their mother was in just a
few minutes. Ginny sat on the bed, watching anxiously as Harry lifted Andy.
"Right. Here we go." He breathed. He sat on the bed next to Ginny and murmured t
he spell, holding his wand to the baby's soft stomach. The light from his wand t
urned blue as he said Ginny's name.
"What does that mean?"
"It means that you're a mummy." Harry said softly. Ginny didn't quite know wheth
er to laugh or cry. She was only sixteen. "Oh. Right." She said numbly.
"Are you all right?"
"Yeah, just a bit..you know."
"Shocked?"
"Yeah."
"It'll be ok."
"How can you say that? We have children. Me and you - and you're going to head o
ff to fight Voldemort. What then? I'll stay at Hogwarts like some dutiful little
wife?"
"Look, me going to face Voldemort has nothing to do with you or the kids. I'm so
rry, but I'm going. I have to. Do you really want our children to grow up with V
oldemort still around?"
"No, but I also want our children to have their dad!" Ginny retorted.
"Look, I have no intention of dying, believe me. But I have to do this - if I do
n't I'll always be sitting around, waiting for the next attack, and wondering wh
o's next to be killed. I can't sit back and wait for Voldemort to take everythin
g that's precious to me. And do you really think that he'll leave them alone? Th
ey're my children - Voldemort would kill them just for that."
"We can protect them - like your mother protected you."
"What do you want me to say, Ginny?" Harry said heatedly.
"That you won't do anything stupid!" Ginny said loudly. She was crying now, and
Harry sighed.
"I was never going to do anything stupid - I have a family now. I have something
to live for. I'm not going to do anything stupid."
"I know getting rid of Voldemort means a lot to you, but remember that we're her
e. I need you to live. To show me how to look after our children."
"Our children. Sounds bizarre, doesn't it?"
"Yeah. I never would've thought that I'd have triplets with Harry Potter."
"Hey, at least you didn't have to go through labour."
"No. I didn't." Ginny said. "So - what does happen now?"
"Something's definitely changed." Harry said.
"Really?"
"Yeah. Did you expect it to stay the same?"
"I'd hoped it would."
"Why?"
"Because I like being your friend."
"You're not ready for this, are you?"
"No." Ginny replied truthfully.
"That's ok."
"I want to be ready. I do, but..I'm not."
"It's ok, really. I understand."
"Really?"
"Yeah." Harry said. Ginny gave him a hug, tears still running down her face. "Do
you want to go and tell your mum?"
"Will you come too?"
"Of course I will. If you want me to."
"Please."
Molly was surprised when Ginny and Harry came down late that night. Ginny's face
was streaked with tears.
"We found out." She said quietly.
"What is it? Are you their mum?" Molly asked, not quite sure whether her tears w
ere a good sign or not.
"Yeah, she is." Harry murmured as Ginny cried on his shoulder.
"Oh honey, what's the matter?"
"I'm not ready for this. I'm a mother to triplets at sixteen. I can't handle thi
s. Not to mention that their father's ready to go and face Voldemort - alone." G
inny said, slightly hysterically.
"What?" Molly asked, her eyes searching Harry's face. Arthur looked thoroughly s
hocked.
"Don't ask - not tonight." Harry said, trying to calm Ginny, who was shaking.
"Look, you don't need to worry about anything. No one has to know. We can just..
.I don't know, but you don't have to feel forced into this." He said.
"I want to be there, I really do, but I'm not sure I can be." Ginny replied.
"Well take your time to decide." Harry said. His wrist gave a painful twinge, an
d he looked up in the direction of the stairs.
"I have to go - they need something." He said quietly.
"Harry - thanks." Ginny said as Harry walked to the stairs.
"No problem." Harry said.
***
Molly watched as Harry walked up the stairs - he was really part of the family n
ow. Him and Ginny had children together.
"Honey? Do you want to talk?" She asked, her voice soft and calming.
"Uh huh." Ginny said. She sat on the sofa between her mother and father, wonderi
ng if Leah would ever do the same thing.
***
Harry walked back down the stairs to see Ginny sitting between Arthur and Molly,
looking young and scared. He quietly retreated, feeling as if he was intruding
on something. When he got back to his room, he found Remus waiting for him. "Hel
lo. Are you ok?" He asked.
"Yeah, I'm fine. Ginny's upset and terrified, but I'm fine." Harry answered mono
tonously.
"What are you thinking?"
"Just that my life is like a Muggle soap opera. Or more weird, actually."
"It certainly seems so, doesn't it?" Remus chuckled. Harry smiled slightly, his
attention not really on the conversation.
"Yep."
"So, what's happening with you and Ginny?"
"She's not ready to have kids." Harry shrugged. Remus wasn't about to give up th
at easily though.
"But what about you and Ginny?" He persisted.
"We're friends."
"And is that enough?"
"I don't know. One thing at a time, eh Remus?" Harry answered wearily.
"Yes, I suppose. Still, it must be pretty hard for you. Finding their mother and
then finding out that she's not ready to be a part of the triplets' lives."
"Not really. At least we know who their mother is. It doesn't really matter that
she's not ready. It'll just be the four of us for a while." Remus frowned sligh
tly at the light tone of his voice, but let it pass.
"Three hundred and twenty percent." Remus muttered.
"Don't. Just leave it, ok?"
"Hmm." Remus said. He watched as Harry sat down on the bed, leaning back against
the wall and closing his eyes.
"I'll go then. We can speak more tomorrow." Remus said.
"Thanks Remus. I think I need some sleep - I only have two hours until the tripl
ets are awake again."
"Oh right. Well, goodnight."
"Goodnight." Harry said. But he didn't really have any intention of sleeping - h
is mind was too full. He would never get to sleep even if he did try. Eventually
ten minutes later, he slipped out of the room under his invisibility cloak and
went for a walk out by the lake.
***
Harry stared at his reflection in the glassy surface of the lake. He stared into
his own eyes, thinking hard. It had been one of the most emotionally draining d
ays he could remember having. He had three children - three beautiful, perfect,
innocent, children - and their mother was Ginny Weasley. He pondered their earli
er exchange about his going off to face Voldemort. She had mentioned protection
- yes, he needed to sort that out as soon as possible.
"Accio Potter Book." He murmured. The book flew out of the open window of his ro
om, landing with a soft thump into Harry's lap. "Accio athame." The small dagger
followed immediately.
His two hours were almost up, he thought to himself. The triplets would be wakin
g up any time now. He decided to stay just a little longer - it was so peaceful,
in the cool night. He couldn't remember the last time he had just sat and thoug
ht. Alone. He loved his children dearly, but he was still seventeen, had a rathe
r large mound of problems, and needed some time to think on his own, without hav
ing to explain to anyone. His head snapped up suddenly, feeling someone elses pr
esence. "Hello?" He asked, gripping the athame very tightly.
"It's me." Ginny choked out, gazing anxiously at the dagger. Harry dropped his h
and to his side.
"You sure? No Polyjuice potion or anything?"
"No. Just me." Ginny said sitting next to him. "What are you up to?"
"Not a lot - thinking." Harry said. Ginny met his gaze and stared into his green
eyes. They looked scarily deep and full of so many different emotions.
"About what?"
"Everything." Harry said. "Voldemort, the kids, you, me, Hermione, Ron, the DA,
school, Tonks, Remus, Sirius." He stopped at his godfather, pausing to think abo
ut him for a moment. He missed him so much it was like a constant ache. "My pare
nts. Katie, Lee, Ernie, Susan, Zacharias."
"Stop. Think about the good things - think of the people who haven't died. Think
of the people you've saved."
"Me?" Harry scoffed.
"Yes, you. I know how much you hate it, but it is true - only you can't see it.
I'm alive because you saved my life."
"Wormtail's alive because I saved him." Harry countered. "And he went straight o
ff to Voldemort to bring him back to his body again."
"You couldn't have done anything to change that." Ginny murmured.
"I know. I know all this, but..it's not enough."
"Why?"
"Because all of those people that died had family - and it hurts to lose family.
It hurts more than anything else in the world." Harry said. His gaze returned t
o the water, to his own eyes, now sparkling with tears. "I have to go - the kids
are awake."
"D'you want a hand?"
"Nah, you get some sleep." Harry said. He wanted to be alone again - he needed t
o be alone to keep what little sanity he had. "Goodnight." With that, he disappa
rated up to his room, and Ginny saw the light click on. She watched as Harry pic
ked up one of the triplets. Ginny couldn't make out his expression in the distan
ce, but she knew that he wouldn't be in the best of moods at that moment.
***
That night, as he lay awake, Harry made a list of the dead. He found that it hel
ped release some of the anger and hurt that he had been feeling, and it cleared
his head. Most disturbingly, it took almost an entire hour to write all the name
s. There were too many. Far too many. As he wrote, he mourned their loss and pau
sed to think of their families. At the very top of the list, he added one word.
Remember. He would always remember. The victory that he had been searching for w
asn't just his - it would belong to every person murdered by Voldemort, not to m
ention those scarred for life because of him. This victory would belong to every
one - everyone that had fought. Everyone that had risked something for the sake
of good. As he sat at his desk, he memorised the list he had made. He wasn't na?
ve enough not to leave extra space for those others who would surely die between
now and the end. Until then, he would wait, and he would plan, and he would see
this thing through. He would win. He would win because there was no other way.
No other option.
Sneaking up to Harry's room at five in the morning hadn't been one of Ginny's be
st ideas, but she wanted to see whether he was awake. She needed to talk to him.
Creeping into the darkened room, she saw Harry was curled up on his bed, fast a
sleep. It looked like he was exhausted. She walked over to the desk, seeing an i
nky quill resting on its surface. There was no sign of the parchment though. She
quietly knelt beside his bed and opened the drawer - sure enough, there was a p
iece of parchment folded into a small square and pushed into a corner. She took
it out and unfolded it, wondering what it could be. She gaped as she read it - a
list. A list of the dead. "Ginny?" Harry's voice was thick with sleep, and she
turned to see Harry watching her.
"I..I didn't mean to.."
"It's ok. It's not as if it's private or anything."
"Why would you want to make a list?"
"It's the only way I'm going to stay sane - I write them down so that I know I'l
l never forget them. It's sort of my way of grieving for them. Write their names
on paper, think about them for a bit, and then move on. Voldemort has a lot to
pay for." Ginny stared. Until now, she had never really understood how Harry had
felt. She turned her attention the one word printed at the top of the parchment
. Remember.
"D'you want to talk about it?"
"Nah, it's ok. Honestly. There's nothing I can do for them now." Harry said. 'Ap
art from getting rid of Voldemort' he added silently.
"Right." Ginny looked at Harry for a long moment, trying to put her finger on ju
st what seemed different. It was something in his manner - maybe his attitude. S
he couldn't figure it out.
"I should get back to bed." She mumbled.
"Yeah - have you slept at all tonight?"
"Yeah - a little bit." Ginny said, slightly defensively.
"Ok. You need more though."
"Harry," Ginny said seriously, "You are way too good at this fatherhood thing."
"Thanks." Harry said, smiling a little as he sank his head back into the pillows
.
***
Ron watched Harry and Ginny carefully at breakfast the next morning - both seeme
d different. Ginny kept glancing at Harry, looking slightly puzzled, while Harry
sat picking listlessly at his breakfast. His mind was clearly elsewhere.
"Are you going to St. Mungo's today?" He asked quietly. Ginny and Harry's heads
snapped up, and they glanced at each other.
"D'you want to tell them or will I?" Harry mumbled.
"You can." Ginny said, biting her lip.
"Well, you're an Uncle." Harry said bluntly. Ron stared at him for a moment befo
re grinning widely.
"Wait until Bill and Charlie hear about this - and the Twins!" He said, his eyes
alight with eagerness.
"I'm an Uncle!"
"Hey, wait a minute - you do know that you can't owl anyone and tell them about
this?"
"Why not?"
"Ron, what do you think Voldemort would do if he knew I had kids?"
"Oh. But we can't just..not tell them. Mum?"
"Well, I'm not sure. Harry's right about the threat to them. Maybe we could invi
te everyone over for dinner. What do you think, Harry?" Harry looked towards Gin
ny, who looked as if she was trying desperately to disappear.
"Gin? Are you ok?" He asked quietly. She met his eyes and bit her lip.
"I'm...." She trailed off, looking away from the concern in his eyes.
"Ginny dear, what's wrong?" Molly asked.
"Hey Gin, aren't you happy?" Ron asked. Ginny pushed her chair back from the tab
le and left without another word.
"What's wrong with her?" Ron asked stupidly.
"She's not ready for all this." Harry said. "Can I go, please?" He asked Molly.
"But you've hardly eaten anything!" Molly protested.
"I'm not really very hungry." Harry said. Molly sighed and then nodded.
"Where are you going?" Hermione asked as he made his way back to the back door.
"I'm going to talk to Ginny."
"I'll come." Hermione volunteered.
"Umm..would you mind if I went alone?" Harry said.
"Why?" Ron looked slightly suspicious, and Harry rolled his eyes.
"Because if you went, you'd make things worse. Besides, I have some idea of what
she's feeling."
"Off you go, dear." Molly said. As Harry walked out into the garden, he heard Mo
lly and Ron quarrelling.
***
Ginny froze as Harry sat down next to her. He didn't look at her though. He star
ed out across the lake.
"Want to talk about it?" He murmured.
"Not really." Ginny replied, tracing his profile with her eyes.
"Ok." Harry said. His easy acceptance surprised her - he had obviously come out
here to talk to her, but he wasn't talking, and she didn't want to. She had been
staring at Harry for a while, and turned away quickly, trying to force back the
flush that crept into her cheeks. Harry didn't move a muscle. His eyes were sti
ll focussed on the other side of the lake.
"I don't know how to deal with this." Ginny murmured. Harry still didn't move.
"What do you want?" He asked.
"I don't know. I want to be there for them..I want to be their mother, but..I ca
n't. Not yet. I'm sixteen. I can't even use magic out of school yet."
"Is that what's bothering you? Your age?"
"I guess so."
"I'm only seventeen." Harry said. Ginny was getting slightly irritated by the fa
ct that he seemed determined not to look at her.
"You aren't even willing to look at me anymore? I told you - I just wanted thing
s to stay the same. But you can't even look at me now." Ginny said angrily. Harr
y turned to look at her and she immediately looked away.
"Things have changed." He murmured. "But that doesn't mean that we aren't friend
s." He put his arm around her shoulder and she gave up trying to be strong. She
wept onto his shoulder for a while, thinking about everything.
"You don't have to do anything that you don't want to, you know." He murmured.
"I know, but..I just don't know what I want." Ginny sobbed onto his shoulder.
"It's been a lot to take in, hasn't it?"
"Uh huh." Her tears were subsiding now, but she didn't want to move. She felt sa
fe there, next to Harry. She looked up into his eyes and tried to sort out the t
angle of emotion in their depths. She had realised what had changed in his manne
r - he looked peaceful.
"What's changed?" She asked.
"What do you mean?"
"Something about you has changed."
"Oh that. It's called acceptance. I've accepted that I'm a father, that I have t
o face Voldemort, and that I have to win."
"Acceptance. That's what I need. How did you accept it all?"
"You ask a lot of difficult questions, you know. How did I learn to accept every
thing? Well, you helped."
"I did?"
"Yeah. I don't know. I had all of this stuff piling up on top of me, all of whic
h I was trying to fight. You have to let it all go - stop trying to fight what y
ou can't change." Ginny looked up at Harry and saw that he was frowning slightly
. "You have to stop thinking about the negative and focus on the positive."
"What's the positive in going off to fight Voldemort?"
"It'll be over. For good." Harry said, his voice very low. Ginny nodded. He was
right. Think of the positive.
"What happens if you don't win?" She mumbled. Harry looked straight into her eye
s.
"I'm not going to lose." He said, his voice filled with a quiet confidence that
she hadn't heard before. "I won't lose because there's no alternative. I can't l
ose. We can't lose."
"Oh." Ginny murmured, returning her head to his shoulder.
"It helps to talk about it." Harry said.
"Does it?"
"Yeah. I know how it feels, remember?"
"You do? But..you seem so..sure of yourself."
"Yeah, now I am. I'd been looking after the kids for a while before I found out
that they were my - our - children."
"Oh. Ok."
Ginny and Harry stayed out by the lake talking for a long while, and Ron was get
ting thoroughly impatient.
"What's taking so long?" He demanded.
"I don't know, do I?" Hermione replied shortly.
"No. Sorry. I just..what are they doing?"
"They have a lot to talk about, don't you think?"
"Yeah, I suppose. C'mon, let's go and see my nephews and niece." Ron grinned, an
d Hermione plastered a grin to her face - now she really was the outsider.
"Yeah." She said, half-heartedly.
***
Ron saw Ginny and Harry from the window of Harry's room - they were hugging.
"'Mione, come and look at this." He said. Hermione's mouth curved into a smile a
s she watched them.
"That's so sweet." She mumbled.
"What's he doing?"
"They're talking." Hermione said. She watched as Ginny looked up into Harry's ey
es, smiling a little. "She's not upset anymore."
"Well that's a good thing. I honestly don't know what I said to upset her so muc
h. Honestly!"
"You expected her to be all happy and excited - she was scared." Hermione said.
"Harry took it all right though. He was happy."
"Harry had time to get used to the idea - he had been looking after them beforeh
and. Ginny hadn't been."
"I wonder what's going to happen now."
"I don't know."
***
Harry glanced up at the window and saw Ron and Hermione watching them. He bent h
is head to murmur in her ear. "We're being watched."
"By who?" Ginny asked, looking around.
"Ron and Hermione." Harry said, grinning. "Ron's probably checking that I'm not
snogging you senseless or something."
"Oh, honestly. We have children together - you'd think he'd leave us alone."
"Yup. So, what do you want to do now then?"
"Go and see our children?"
"Sounds good to me."
"You never answered mum's question earlier - do you want to invite my brothers r
ound to meet their nephews and niece?"
"Only if you want to - oh, yeah, and as long as you can guarantee that I'll stil
l be in one piece when they leave."
"Well, seeing as neither of us had much to do with their making, I'd say you're
pretty safe."
"Yeah. Ok then. Do you want to?"
"Yeah." Ginny said decisively. Harry grinned at her. "You do realise that you're
stuck with us now? The Weasley's, I mean. You'll never get rid of us now."
"Wouldn't dream of it." Harry said, his eyes were dancing happily, and Ginny cou
ldn't help but mirror his grin and wave up to Ron and Hermione.
***
Molly was still in the kitchen when Harry and Ginny walked in, laughing at somet
hing. "Their faces." Harry choked out. Ginny giggled.
"I thought Ron was about to explode!"
"Just as long as he explodes without too much mess." Harry replied. Molly cleare
d her throat, and both blushed slightly.
"Why did your brother look as if he was going to explode?"
"Because he was seen. He was spying on us, and we saw him." Ginny explained.
"By the way, mum, we've decided that it's a good idea to invite everyone over. W
e have some new members of the family to introduce."
"Oh darling." Molly said, pulling her into a large hug. "Are you sure you're rea
dy for this?" She looked between Harry, who was smiling just a little, and Ginny
, who was grinning.
"Yeah. I am." She said decisively. Molly nodded before walking away, sniffing lo
udly. "Are you all right mum?"
"All of my babies are all grown up." Molly said, pulling both Ginny and Harry in
to a hug.
The rest of the day was spent between the Burrow and Diagon Alley, with Harry an
d Ginny going out to buy some things for the dinner. Molly had insisted that the
family should get together straight away, as they had had precious little to ce
lebrate in a long while. Harry had pulled out the list and ordered some new clot
hes for the babies. He would need to see about paying Dumbledore at some point,
he decided. While they were in town, they met up with Bill.
"What are you doing here?" Ginny almost squealed.
"I'm going up to the Burrow - just doing a little shopping first. Why?"
"You're too early! Mum will have a flaky! How long will your shopping take?"
"About half an hour - I thought it would be nice to be a little early, and have
a chat with mum before the others arrive."
"Absolutely not - Harry, why don't you talk to Bill, I'll go and get the stuff t
hat mum wants." Harry raised an eyebrow, but she shrugged and waltzed off.
"What on Earth was that all about?" Bill asked.
"No idea." Harry replied. "She's lost it."
"So, d'you want to get a butterbeer while we're waiting for my incredibly strang
e little sister? What's all this about not being early, anyway?"
"Umm..I'm not sure." Harry lied.
"You've grown a lot." Bill said, suddenly realising that Harry wasn't craning hi
s neck to look up at him.
"Yeah, I guess I have." Harry laughed.
" Have you been taking growth spurt potion, or what?"
"Me? Take a potion willingly? Are you out of your mind? I get enough of the foul
things at school, thanks."
"Snape still forcing things down your throat then?"
"Yep." Harry said woefully.
"Never mind - only a year to go and then you'll be out of there. What are you go
ing to do?"
"After Hogwarts? Not much of a choice really."
"Auror, then?"
"Yeah." Harry said. Bill noticed that there was something distinctly different a
bout Harry now - and it wasn't just his height.
"So, have you got a girlfriend?"
"No, not just now. Got a few..erm..other things on my mind at the moment."
"You-Know-Who?"
"Not really - well yeah, but that's not what I meant."
"Ooh, sounds intriguing. Care to share?"
"Nope." Harry said, taking a gulp of butterbeer. He shuddered as he remembered t
he last time he had been out drinking with Ron - that had ended up with him havi
ng very little recollection of that night, though Ron wasn't much better. It had
been a miracle that both of them arrived back at Hogwarts in one piece, althoug
h they did sleep in the kitchens that night.
"Harry? You there?" Bill was waving a hand in front of Harry's face.
"Yeah, sorry. Drifted off for a bit there." Harry said.
"You're telling me - oh, look, there's Ginny."
"Oh yeah." Harry was relieved that she was back, as his wrist was beginning to t
hrob, and he guessed that Molly must have been having trouble with the triplets.
"Hey Harry, I'm going to take these back to the house. I'll tell mum that you an
d Bill are here."
"No, I'll go." Harry said immediately.
"Why? I'm fine, I can go."
"There are things I need to take care of." Harry said, his wrist brushed hers an
d she felt the bracelet lurch. Harry grimaced.
"Ok, tell mum that me and Bill will be up in a while."
"Right. See you both later." Harry said, disapparating on the spot.
"What's up with Harry?" Bill asked.
"He's got a few things to sort out." Ginny said.
"You sure he doesn't have a girlfriend?"
"No, it's not a girlfriend that's keeping him busy." Ginny said, smiling mysteri
ously.
"Come on, let's have a bit of a look around the shops, while we're here." Ginny
said, dragging him from the pub.
"All right, all right." Bill said as she grinned up at him.
***
Harry reappeared about twenty minutes later beside Ginny.
"Hey, what are you doing back?" Ginny asked suddenly.
"Molly told me, in no uncertain terms that I was getting in the way." Harry said
sheepishly.
"Was that before or after you saw to what you had to?"
"After. Umm..things were a little..hectic when I got there."
"So you had to save the day?"
"Naturally." Harry grinned. Bill, who was standing on the other side of Ginny, f
rowned.
"What are you two talking about?"
"Harry's problems." Ginny grinned.
"Hey! They're not problems!" Harry replied, a twinge of a recollection coming ba
ck before he shook it away.
"I was joking." Ginny said softly, having seen the flash of pain in his eyes.
"I know. Sorry."
"It's ok. I should think before opening my mouth."
"Ginny Weasley, thinking? Now there's a terrifying thought!" Harry said cheekily
. Ginny's mouth dropped open in surprise - how could he just change emotion so q
uickly?
"You will pay for that Harry Po." Ginny trailed off as she saw Harry wasn't list
ening. His eyes had drifted to a nearby shop window. Inside were thousands of ti
ny baby outfits, and a couple were shopping inside, proudly pushing a pram. Ginn
y dragged him and Bill over for a closer look.
"Aww - look at that!" She said, pointing to a tiny little dress. A small flicker
of anger appeared in Harry's eyes, but it was gone as soon it had come, and Gin
ny wasn't sure it had been there at all.
"Oh no. My baby sister's broody!" Bill said, with the air of one that was doomed
. Ginny caught Harry's eye and they both began to laugh.
"You know, it's amazing - you're sixteen, but you're still a baby." Harry commen
ted. Bill watched them both closely - they seemed awfully close all of a sudden.
"I'm sure Leah will always be a baby to her brothers." Ginny said. Harry grinned
at her.
"I'm sure she will."
"Hey, who's Leah? Your girlfriend?"
"Yes." Ginny giggled. "She's Harry's girlfriend."
"But you said you didn't have a girlfriend." Bill said, looking closely at Harry
, who was glaring at Ginny. He shrugged casually, and moved away from the clothe
s shop. Next was Quality Quidditch Supplies, which all three of them wanted to g
o into. Harry dragged Ginny across to a small display at the back of the shop wh
ile Bill looked at something else.
"Look over there." He said, looking towards a display of the smallest broomstick
s Ginny had ever seen.
"No WAY!" She said, shaking her head firmly. Harry looked slightly downcast, and
gave her the 'pleading puppy-dog' look. "Harry, you can't! Mum would have an ab
solute fit!" She protested. His expression didn't change.
"Would you?" He asked hopefully. Ginny suddenly felt a surge of sympathy for Lil
y - at least she only had Harry pleading - Lily would have had James and Sirius,
possibly even Remus pleading.
"You are insane!" Ginny said, biting her lip - she couldn't refuse him when he w
as looking at her like that.
"Please?"
"On your head be it when Mum finds out." Ginny sighed. "But if I see them in use
before they are six months old, you will be in deep, deep trouble." Harry grinn
ed at her, pecking her cheek.
"You're the best!" He said. Ginny frowned.
"I get the feeling I'm going to regret this." She watched as Harry almost danced
away, picking up an order form as he walked out of the door.
Hello again, and thank you to everyone who reviewed! Once again, I had great fun
reading them. I hope you like this chapter - I had great fun writing this bit.
Anyway, on with the story...
It seemed like forever before they headed back to the Burrow, and they were the
first to arrive. Harry dashed up the stairs immediately, and Ginny followed him
a moment later. Bill sat in the kitchen, watching as his mother bustled about th
e kitchen. At one point, he thought he heard a baby crying, but it stopped a sec
ond later, and he was sure he was imagining it. He sat with his mother for a whi
le before the others started to arrive, his father first.
"Ah, Molly. Ginny agreed then, did she?"
"Yes. Harry convinced her, I think. Anyway, I think everything's ok."
"Good. So, what time are we expecting the others?"
"Any time now." Molly replied, just as there was a pop. Charlie had appeared. Fr
ed and George were next, before finally a harassed looking Percy turned up. "Ron
, dear, would you be a dear and tell Harry and Ginny that everyone's here?"
"Wouldn't it be easier for all of us to go up there?" Ron asked.
"Yes, yes, you may be right. Well, you go up and tell them that we'll be up in a
moment." Ron obediently disappeared.
"Mother, is this really necessary? I'm needed at the Ministry." Percy said.
"It most certainly is necessary." Molly said, looking slightly dangerous. Percy
knew better than to argue. "Right, let's go on up." She said, leading the way to
the stairs. Bill and Charlie exchanged looks before following.
***
"You ready?" Harry asked Ginny, as Ron came up the stairs, telling them that it
was time. Ginny looked up at him and smiled.
"As I'll ever be." She said. Harry grinned back before turning back to the crib.
"You're going to meet all your Uncles soon." He murmured. Leah screwed her face
up, and Harry laughed. "Yeah, just you wait, honey." He said.
***
Molly and Arthur were the first to enter the room, and saw that both Harry and G
inny were standing beside the cot. Bill and Charlie and the others came in too,
and stopped dead.
"What's going on?" Charlie asked in a strangely choked voice.
"Meet your two nephews and your niece." Molly said proudly.
"Two nephews and a niece? Gin?"
"Yeah, Eleanor, Samuel and Andrew - otherwise known as Leah, Sam and Andy."
"Leah?" Bill asked.
"Yeah. Not my girlfriend - my daughter."
"Your daughter? Yours and Ginny's?"
"Yes."
"Mum?"
"What dear?"
"Aren't you the slightest bit annoyed? If I'd have gotten one of my girlfriends
pregnant at seventeen, I'd have gotten a right earful about my behaviour!" Charl
ie looked as if he was ready to take out the Boy-Who- Lived with his bare hands.
"I didn't exactly get Ginny pregnant." Harry murmured in protest.
"What is that supposed to mean?" Bill asked.
"Hey, you might want to listen to him before acting like a prat." Ron advised.
"Thanks mate." Harry said gratefully. "Neither me nor Ginny had any idea about t
his - it was the Ministry's idea."
"What?" Percy was swelling indignantly, and Harry bit back a smile as Ginny roll
ed her eyes.
"Yes, the Ministry. They seemed to think that it was - unrealistic - to pin Vold
emort all on me, so they decided to take some of my DNA - without my permission
- and create children. They got a little more than they expected, and after all
that, they found out that my children aren't any more use to the war than anyone
else is."
"What?"
"I'm the only one who can get rid of Voldemort - the Ministry thought it had som
ething to do with the bloodline or something, so they gave me children. Tonks ca
rried them."
"Tonks? So how does Ginny fit into this?"
"They tested for compatibility. Apparently we're pretty well suited. So they sto
le some of my DNA too."
"How well suited?"
"Well enough." Molly said, cutting in.
"This is madness." Charlie muttered.
"You're telling me." Harry said, at exactly the same time as Ginny. Leah began t
o cry then, and Harry picked her up to hush her. She looked at the others with s
tartling green eyes, and no one seemed totally dry-eyed.
***
Ginny smiled at Harry, and immediately saw that he wasn't paying attention - his
eyes were on Hermione, and he followed her relentlessly with his eyes.
"I'll be back in a minute." He said to her, heading towards Hermione. Ginny watc
hed as he said something to her, and they walked out of the room into the hall.
"Hey, Ginny, what's going to happen when you and Harry are back at Hogwarts?"
"Harry's head boy - they'll stay with him." Ginny said.
"What about you?"
"What about me?" "Well you're their mother - shouldn't they stay with you?"
"No - Harry's amazing with them, besides, I don't think the girls in my dorm wou
ld be too pleased with three kids screaming in the middle of the night."
"Hey! I heard that, and would like to defend them by saying that they only screa
m at three in the morning!" Harry called from outside. Everyone laughed.
"So you aren't going to be living in Harry's room?"
"I don't think the headmaster or Professor McGonagall would be too pleased if I
did, but no, I'll just visit them."
"I could look after them here." Molly suggested. Ginny shook her head vehemently
. That would kill Harry. "No, Harry's capable of looking after them - he has bee
n since his birthday. I don't think he'd know what to do if he didn't have the k
ids to look after."
"Besides, they aren't used to their huge extended family yet." Harry said, "They
'd scream the house down."
"Aww, I don't know about that." Fred said, heading towards Leah, who yelled in p
rotest.
"Oh yeah - there's a new condition on that money I gave you." Harry said.
"You're going to take our offer?" George asked excitedly.
"No - no tricks are played on my children until they are - a year old at least."
"Aww, he's such a spoilsport." Fred sighed.
"So, when are they getting their first broomsticks?" Charlie asked. Harry glance
d guiltily from Ginny to Molly.
"Erm.I have them already." Harry admitted.
"That's what you two were doing in Quality Quidditch Supplies earlier!" Bill sai
d.
"Yeah."
"Let's see them then." Harry went over to his trunk and pulled out the three ide
ntical, tiny broomsticks.
"These are amazing." Ron said, picking them up. "Must have cost a packet." There
was an awkward silence, before Molly snatched up the broomstick from his hands.
"Are you sure these are safe?"
"Yeah. Besides, I'm banned from letting them ride them until they're six months
old." Harry said miserably.
"Says who?" Ron demanded.
"Ginny."
"Oh. Well..we'll find a way around that."
"I don't doubt it." Ginny said, looking from Harry's mischievous expression to R
on's.
"I already know a way around it." Harry said very quietly.
"Just you be careful with my grandchildren, Harry." Arthur said, before Molly co
uld protest.
"I will be." Harry promised.
***
Hermione was smiling when she had returned from the hall - Ginny wondered what H
arry had said.
"I asked her to be their godmother - you don't mind, do you?" Harry said, as if
he had been reading her mind.
"No, I couldn't think of anyone better. You want to ask Ron to be godfather?"
"Yeah - about Remus? I mean, I know he's a werewolf, but."
"I think Remus is perfect for the job." Ginny said. "I'll ask Ron if you ask Rem
us - speaking of Remus, where is he?"
"I think he went out for a bit. I'll go and see if he's back yet."
Harry spotted Remus sitting out in the garden, under the tree. He seemed to be a
sleep, but as Harry sat down next to him, his eyes opened.
"Shouldn't you be up with the Weasley's?" He asked.
"I came to ask you something." Harry said.
"Go on then."
"Ginny and I would like you to be godfather to the triplets - at least one of th
e godfathers."
"Harry, I.."
"If you're about to argue because you're a werewolf, you needn't bother. We're n
ot taking no for an answer here."
"God, you are so like Lily and James. Yes, ok, I'll be godfather."
"Thanks Remus." Harry said. His eyes were glittering, and he smiled widely.
"So, have you got their first broomsticks yet?"
"Yeah, I got them earlier. Ginny refuses to let them be used until they're six m
onths old, though."
"Ah, yes, I believe Lily tried that."
"Let me guess - dad took me out on his broom?"
"Yeah. Lily nearly hexed him out of his wits - she might have if you hadn't gigg
led and clapped your hands. Sirius was elated. James couldn't stop laughing."
"Well that's what I was thinking of doing with the triplets - Ginny only said th
at they couldn't go on their own brooms. She didn't mention mine."
"One day someone will learn." Remus said, shaking his head. "So, I thought Ginny
wasn't ready for this?"
"Don't ask me, I'm just mediator. I think she's accepted it though."
"Good. That's good. So, are you looking forward to going back to school?"
"Not really." Harry said, taking Remus aback. "I mean, Hogwarts is my home, but
when I go back, it's not going to be the just that, but no doubt everyone will f
ind out about the kids within - oh, five seconds or so."
"Have you thought about protecting them?"
"Yeah, I've been looking through a few books, and there are a few things.."
"You want to know what spell your mother used, don't you?"
"Yeah. I mean, that's absolutely last resort, but..well, it worked before."
"Yes, but your mother wasn't one of the worlds only hopes."
"Maybe not, but they're my children, and I'll do what I have to to protect them.
"
"Fair enough. Have you checked your dad's Book of Shadows?"
"Not yet - I'm working my way through, in case there's something else in there."
"Right. Perhaps we should head back into the house." Remus suggested, looking up
at the darkening sky.
"Yeah. Molly will be wondering where we've got to."
It seemed like no time at all before they were all due to head back to Hogwarts.
Harry wasn't sure whether to look forward to it or not. He and Ginny had spent
the rest of their summer with their children, and getting to know each other bet
ter. Both Ron and Hermione were delighted to be godparents, although they were g
lad to know that Remus was also a godparent. Harry, true to his word, had taken
each of the triplets out on his broom, while Ginny screamed at him from the grou
nd. To his amusement, all three of the triplets had loved flying. And although G
inny hadn't spoken to him for a full day, he had caught her telling the triplets
that they were lucky he was being so careful with them. After that, Harry, Ron
and occasionally Ginny would take them flying with them. It had been one of the
best summers he had had, Harry thought. His very first as a parent.
"Hey, what are you thinking about?" Ginny asked as they boarded the train.
"Where on Earth Remus has got to. Or Professor Lupin, rather."
"Relax, he'll be here." Ginny said soothingly.
"Yeah, I know. I was thinking about the summer too."
"Maybe next summer you can take them up on their own brooms." Ginny said, earnin
g a grin from Harry.
"Yeah. Now that's going to be interesting."
"Ugh. Why do I have a bad feeling about this?"
"No idea." Harry grinned. "Don't you trust me?"
"Absolutely not." Ginny said. Harry laughed loudly, and teased her about soundin
g like Molly.
***
Remus was already sitting on the train when they arrived. They knocked the door
impatiently, and he opened it a second later. Both immediately walked over to th
e pram.
"They've been fine." Remus assured them.
"Thanks Re - Professor Lupin."
"Just stick to calling me Remus - Professor Lupin is strictly reserved for class
."
"Ok." Harry said. He sat down, looking out of the window. "So what exactly am I
supposed to tell people?"
"Whatever you want to. I understand that you want to keep them safe, but...wheth
er they're your children or not, Voldemort is going to find out about them and h
e'll want them regardless."
"Yeah. I can't be bothered lying. Besides, they're nothing if not well- protecte
d."
"That's true. I wish you had found that spell that your mother did though."
"It doesn't matter, honestly. Between the two of us, they have more protection t
han Hogwarts itself."
"How's that?"
"Well, each of them has at least five protection spells from each of us." Harry
said.
"I see." Remus said. He didn't ask for details.
***
Rumours were spreading like wildfire around the Hogwarts Express. It seemed that
a few people had seen Professor Lupin walking in with a pram, and everyone thou
ght that he had had children. People were taking bets on who the mother was. Her
mione and Ron exchanged amused glances as they made their way to the private car
riage. They had almost made it when Sally appeared in front of them.
"Do either of you know where Harry is?" She asked.
"Yes, we do. Why?" Ron asked.
"I need to talk to him."
"Why?"
"It's about the DA."
"Follow us." Hermione said, rolling her eyes.
***
"Hey Harry, Sally wants a word."
"Just let her in - people are going to find out anyway." Came Harry's voice. Ron
shrugged and pushed open the door. Sally went pale.
"Are you coming in or not?" Ginny asked, rolling her eyes. The three came in and
shut the door behind them.
"Hey Sally." Harry said, smiling as he rocked Andrew. Sally stared at him.
"Aren't they your children, Professor Lupin?" She managed to croak.
"Mine? Goodness no!" Remus laughed.
"The whole train is sure that you're the dad - they saw you coming in with them
and just assumed..."
"This is going to make things a little interesting." Harry grinned. Andrew opene
d his eyes and began crying again. "Hey, you're showing yourself up." Harry said
, soothing him once again. Sally's mouth had dropped open - the children belonge
d to Harry!
"Uh...have I missed something?" She asked, looking into the pram - there were tw
o more babies in there. Both looked like Harry.
"These are my children - this is Andrew, and Samuel and Eleanor are in the pram.
" Harry said. Sally gulped.
"How old are they?"
"Two months and a couple of days." Harry said.
"Triplets?"
"Yeah." Sally looked around the carriage. Everyone was watching her closely.
"Umm...congratulations." She said, wanting to get out of there as quickly as she
could.
"I should go...my friends will be wondering where I am." She said, heading towar
ds the door.
***
"She said she wanted to talk to you about the DA." Ron said after she had left.
Harry frowned a little, and shook his head. He would never understand women.
"You do realise that she'll think you cheated on...was it Hannah you were going
out with eleven months ago?"
"Umm...eleven months...that would make it October...yeah, I think so. I might ha
ve just split up with her." Harry said.
"How come I didn't hear about any of these girlfriends?" Remus asked.
"I didn't realise you were interested. Besides, we all had other things on our m
ind."
"I suppose. Well, you'll have to keep me up to date this year - after all, it's
my business now."
"How do you figure?" Harry asked, rolling his eyes.
"I'm your children's godfather. Therefore, you have to tell me anything that mig
ht affect them."
"And I see that you're pestering Ginny about her love life." Harry said.
"Ah, very good point Ginny. Do you have a boyfriend just now?"
"Actually I don't. It's a good job really, isn't it?"
"Harry, what are you going to say when people ask who their mother is?" Hermione
asked.
"Umm...Ginny?"
"Is it optional? I'd rather not be hated by all of your admirers if it's at all
possible." Ginny said wryly.
"Uh, whatever you say. So...just say that it's no one's business?"
"Well...you could, but..."
"But?"
"It would mean that you'd get so much hassle. You would probably be linked with
every girl in the school, not to mention those that aren't...how about you just
say that you're not sure. It would fit with the story."
"If people listen to the story." Harry murmured. But he found that he didn't rea
lly care anymore. His family, friends and children were all that mattered.
***
Neville, Seamus and Dean appeared at the door a while before they reached Hogwar
ts. The news that Harry Potter was the father of the children seen being brought
in by Professor Lupin had travelled around the train at immense speed, and the
boys had come to see if the stories were true. They were let in, and immediately
sat down to hear exactly what was going on.
"That's just wrong!" Neville said as Harry explained that he had had very little
to do with the triplets' existence until they arrived on his birthday.
"Some birthday present." Seamus had muttered as he gaped into the pram.
"Made a change, I suppose." Harry grinned.
"Wait, you're pleased about this? You're seventeen!" Dean said loudly. Leah imme
diately let out an angry squeal, and Harry pulled her from the pram.
"Yeah, I'm pleased." Harry said. "They're my children, I'm hardly about to chuck
them into an orphanage, am I?"
"Ah." Everyone immediately saw why Harry was so protective of his children - he
was an orphan, he knew exactly what it was like.
***
Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Remus and the triplets shared a carriage up to Hogw
arts. Harry transfigured the pram into a basket, as it seemed less of an impossi
ble task than pushing a pram through the hoards of students.
"I'm heading straight up to Gryffindor Tower - I got to make up the password." H
e said, looking pleased.
"What is it?" Hermione asked.
"Don't you know?" Harry frowned - as head girl, he would have thought she would
be the first to know it.
"Yeah, but Ron and Ginny don't."
"Fine - it's arachnid." He said with a grin.
"Arachnid as in...spider?" Ron asked.
"That's the one - thought you might remember that one. I thought 'Voldemort' mig
ht cause a few people problems."
"Yeah, but it's not such a bad idea - I already know what my first password is g
oing to be."
"You two take it in turns?"
"Yeah. Well, we take it in turns to make suggestions. I think the Fat Lady accep
ted arachnid."
"Great." Ron said, throwing Harry a dirty look.
"Anyway, I'll see you guys in a few minutes - save me a seat, ok?"
"Right." Hermione said, craning her neck to watch him hurry away through the mas
ses of people
Harry had managed to make his way to and from the Gryffindor Tower in record tim
e, sprinting back down to the Great Hall so that he wasn't late. He sank down in
to a seat between Ron and Ginny, slightly out of breath.
"Harry, is it true?" Parvati hissed down the table.
"Is what true?" Harry asked patiently.
"That you're a father. Triplets, someone said!"
"Yeah, it's true." Harry said. Parvati's expression went from curious to shocked
to delight in a matter of seconds. It looked ominous to Harry.
"Good luck - you're in for a nightmare of a year." Ginny whispered.
"Thanks for your support." Harry replied sarcastically. Ginny just smiled at him
.
***
When all the announcements were over, they ate. Harry kept expecting to feel his
wrist give a jump, but the triplets slept the entire way through the feast. Har
ry was impatient to get back to them, but knew that by leaving early, he would o
nly draw attention to himself. He, like the rest of the school, waited for a few
last-minute notices before they would be dismissed. They were not disappointed.
"As most of you have undoubtedly heard by now, we have three guests at Hogwarts
this year. These guests will not affect the majority of you, but in order to dis
pel any...rumours...it has been decided that their sudden appearance should be e
xplained. They are indeed Mr Potter's children, but the Ministry created them fo
r their own purposes, believing them to be of help in the war against Voldemort.
They have been returned to Mr Potter's safe care, and will remain there. Should
anyone have a problem with this, they may see me whenever they feel is convenie
nt. Unless that is the case, I will ask you not to pester Mr Potter about his ch
ildren." There was a great deal of murmuring in the Hall, most people being utte
rly shocked that the Ministry would do such a thing. Harry doubted that it would
be long before the Daily Prophet would get hold of the story, and then Voldemor
t would know.
"Well that was...weird." Ginny muttered.
"We didn't tell Dumbledore, did we?" Harry remembered suddenly. Comprehension da
wned on Ginny's face and she grimaced. "Oops."
"Oh well." Harry shrugged, completely unconcerned. "At least you won't be hated
by all of my admirers." He said in an undertone. Ginny rolled her eyes and elbow
ed him.
"What?" Harry asked innocently.
Harry wasn't woken at all in the night - the triplets had discovered that they c
ould sleep all night, much to Harry's relief. It was the morning before they wok
e up, a little earlier than usual, and started crying for attention. That was th
e reason Harry was a little late into breakfast.
"Hey, we have a new class." Ron told him, pointing to the new spot on their time
table.
"Family classes." Harry read, a feeling of deep dread in his stomach - it sounde
d something like they would be learning all about how families were made.
"I've got it at the same time - looks like we'll be in the same class." Ginny sa
id, looking at her own timetable.
"Great - this all seems very...well timed."
"Yeah, they've decided that since the Ministry could make any of us parents at a
ny time, they'd better teach us how to look after kids." Ron laughed.
"Well, it'll be different, I suppose." Hermione said. "And quite useful, with us
being godparents."
"Oh no - this means that she actually expects me to do well!" Ron moaned.
"Ron, of course you have to do well - you have a responsibility now!"
"Harry mate, please, never die?"
"Well, I can't promise never, but I don't really plan on dying anytime soon. I w
onder who's teaching these 'family classes'?"
"It doesn't say. Well, we'll find out. We have our first one this morning."
"Harry Potter Sir!" Dobby cried, appearing from nowhere.
"Hi Dobby, what's up?"
"Professor Dumbledore is wishing to speak to you, Sir."
"Great. Tell Remus I'll be in class when I'm done, will you?" Harry said to Ron
and Hermione.
"Sure."
***
Harry came out of the headmaster's office fifteen minutes later, grinning like a
Cheshire cat. He knocked on the classroom door and slipped into a seat between
Ron and Hermione.
"What was that all about?" Ron asked.
"Later." Harry murmured.
"Ah, Harry. You'll only need your wand this lesson." Professor Lupin said.
***
"Well?" Ron demanded.
"That was just Dumbledore telling me that my resident babysitter is Dobby. Appar
ently he's going to look after the triplets while I'm in class." Harry said at l
unchtime.
"Dobby? You sure? He seems a .unbalanced." Ron pointed out.
"He's just a little unusual. Besides, I trust him."
"He did break your arm in second year - and use magic to try and get you kicked
out of school." Hermione said dubiously.
"Look, I know you're the godparents and everything, but you're gonna have to tru
st me on this one. Dobby's perfectly capable."
"If you say so, mate." Ron shrugged.
"Did I hear right?" Lavender asked.
"It depends on what you heard." Harry said.
"That Ron and Hermione are the godparents?"
"Yeah, you heard right." Ron said proudly. Lavender and Parvati began to giggle.
"Just ignore them - they haven't talked about anything except the triplets in ab
out nineteen hours." Hermione said. Harry rolled his eyes as his wrist twitched.
"Speaking of, I have to go and see what they want."
"I thought Dobby could do that."
"He can, but I want to. Either of you coming?"
"Nah - just be quick, ok? We don't have too long until class." Ron said. Harry's
eyebrows rose.
"You're turning into Hermione." He smirked before walking out.
"Mental." Ron muttered shaking his head while Hermione bit back a laugh.
***
Family classes were more than a little bizarre, they found out. Harry watched as
his friends tried to look after screaming plastic babies.
"Your assignments for the next week will be to look after these newborns - Mr Po
tter, you are obviously excused, having three of your own to look after." Madam
Pomfrey, who was teaching the class, said.
"Ah, we do seem to be one baby short. Mr Potter, Miss Patil will be helping you
with the triplets." Harry groaned silently. That was all he needed. He sneaked a
look at Ginny to find her staring down at her plastic doll in dismay.
"This week is going to be hell." He muttered to her. "Can't you give Parvati you
r doll?"
"No. I can't. She wouldn't take it if I offered." Ginny replied.
"It was worth a try." Harry sighed.
"Madam Pomfrey?" Hermione asked, looking down at her baby sceptically.
"Yes Miss Granger?"
"What do we do with them during class?"
"Take them with you of course. Mr Potter, you will be expected to take one of yo
ur children to class, Miss Patil can take another."
"Oh no." Hermione muttered. "Leah will not like that."
"You're telling me." Harry muttered. Ginny was laughing now, looking over at Par
vati, who was giggling excitedly.
"Your babies will be activated after school today. Mr Malfoy, do you have a prob
lem?"
"No, Madam Pomfrey." Malfoy replied sourly, looking as if he was being forced to
eat hippogriff dung.
"You will be required to take them to dinner - there will be suitable carrying c
ots made available.
***
Hermione looked quite ill by the end of the class, and Harry couldn't help but l
augh a little.
"Sorry 'Mione, but I don't envy you."
"Why? It can't be that hard - you've managed three on your own for over a month.
" Ron replied.
"I wouldn't bet on it, if I were you. At least the triplets sleep through the ni
ghts now."
"It'll be fine." Ron assured Hermione confidently.
"You may go, and remember - take good care of your new children."
"Hey Harry!" Parvati said, bouncing over to them. Now it was Ginny who looked ra
ther ill.
"Hi Parvati." Harry said, trying not to grimace.
"So, what are we going to do about the triplets?"
"What do you mean?" Harry asked through gritted teeth.
"Well, I have to look after them too, so what's going to happen with the sleepin
g arrangements. Maybe they could stay in my dorm?"
"No." Harry said resolutely. He knew that in the girls dorm, he wouldn't be able
to get to them, and that would cause uproar when they started screaming.
"Why not?" Parvati asked, pouting.
"Because they don't know you. They'd scream the place down."
"They are going to get used to me though, aren't they?"
"I'm sure." Harry said dryly.
Harry wasn't looking forward to that night - he had a feeling that Parvati would
be insufferable, and with everyone looking after his or her own babies, there w
ould be no one to back him up. Sure enough, Parvati came bouncing up the stairs
as soon as the other babies were activated.
"Harry? Can I come in?" She asked, knocking at the door loudly. Harry sighed as
the triplets began to howl.
"I suppose." Harry said, rolling his eyes. Parvati's face was shining with enthu
siasm, and she went immediately over to the cradle.
"It's ok. Don't cry." She said, picking up Leah, who promptly screamed even loud
er. Harry scooped up the other two and calmed them quickly. Parvati stared at hi
m and tried to copy what he was doing, only she looked incredibly uncomfortable.
"Here, give her to me." Harry said eventually. Parvati handed her to him, lookin
g upset.
"Hey Leah, there now. Hush." He murmured, kissing the top of her head. Leah snif
fed and hiccoughed.
"There's a good girl." Harry said, sitting down and summoning her owl. Leah gurg
led happily, and Harry looked up to see Parvati looking shocked.
"How do you do that?"
"Practice." Harry said as he put Leah into the cot once again.
"Harry!" Ron said, hurrying in looking panicky. "Help me!" He moaned. Harry laug
hed as he took the doll from him.
"You have to make them feel safe. You can't hold them at arms length and expect
them to stop crying." Harry said, the doll was miraculously realistic, Harry tho
ught.
"Oh. Can I stay up here, please? It's mad in the common room - only Ginny's mana
ged to get her baby to shut up. She went to hide in the dorms so that people wou
ld stop annoying her."
"How's Hermione doing?" Harry asked.
"She's on the verge of a nervous breakdown already - even though she's been livi
ng in the same house as triplets for the last month almost!"
"Yeah, but neither of you have really dealt with them - remember what happened w
hen you held Leah for a few minutes?"
"Oh yeah. That was horrible - not even mum could get her stop crying."
"She's a daddies girl." Harry laughed. Parvati looked relieved, but also determi
ned.
"So, tomorrow, can I take Leah to class?"
"I'm not sure..." Harry began. Then he ran through the classes he had with Parva
ti the next day - all of them except one. "Fine. But we'll have to take the thre
e of them - we can't leave one alone with Dobby. It's not fair. You can take Lea
h to class when we're not in your class."
"Can you imagine Snape's face? No only a class full of students, but a class ful
l of students with screaming kids!" Ron said gleefully. Harry groaned. He didn't
want Snape within twenty foot of his children.
***
That night, it took Harry an hour to convince Parvati to leave his room and go u
p to her own dorm. It took him even longer to convince Ron to leave.
"You'll be fine - just imagine that it's one of the triplets."
"Why? I'm useless with them too."
"No you're not." Harry said, "You just need a little...practice." "Whatever you
say." Ron replied.
***
In the morning, Harry put all three of the triplets into their carrycot. He trie
d to go down to breakfast without Parvati spotting him, but he failed miserably,
and she walked down with him, Ginny, Ron and Hermione. All of them looked tired
, but Ginny looked more angry and annoyed than tired.
"Hey babies, did you miss me?" Parvati crooned. Harry closed his eyes, willing h
er to disappear. At breakfast, Sally came up to him again, once again staring in
to the cot.
"Can I have a word?" She asked. Harry glanced from Parvati to the babies.
"Make sure that Parvati goes nowhere." He told Ginny before standing up. "Back i
n a minute."
"Umm...I wanted to know...I still really like you...."
"You do?"
"Yeah. D'you want to get back together?"
"Back together? Er...I don't know....give me a little time to think about it, ok
?"
"Sure." Sally said, smiling at him.
***
"What did she want?" Ron grunted.
"To get back together." Harry replied. Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Parvati stared a
t him. It was Ginny who spoke first.
"Have you?"
"Not yet - I said I'd think about it." Harry replied, breaking up a sugarquill f
or the triplets.
"You can't give them that!" Parvati said, looking scandalised. Harry looked up,
his eyebrows raised.
"Why not?"
"It's bad for their teeth!"
"They don't have teeth."
"No, but you shouldn't give them too much sugar!"
"Excuse me, but as their father, I think it's up to me to decide." Harry said in
a frosty tone.
"And I'm playing their mother - shouldn't I have a right to an opinion?" Now eve
ryone on the table was staring between Harry and Parvati. Ginny made a small cho
ked noise in her throat, looking as if she was about to slap Parvati.
"Playing their mother?" Harry asked, his eyes flicking towards Ginny.
"Yeah." Parvati replied, apparently missing Harry's dangerous look.
"Look, I really couldn't care less what you think is appropriate and inappropria
te for my children. You have no right at all to tell me what to do."
"Oh don't I?" Parvati asked, her eyes glinting dangerously. She stormed out of t
he hall to find Madam Pomfrey. Harry groaned. This was all he needed.
"Who in Merlin's name does she think she is?" Ginny fumed.
"What are you going to do?" Hermione asked worriedly.
"Let Leah take care of her." Harry said, smiling. Ginny frowned at him.
"You're putting her in charge of your only daughter?" She asked, raising an eyeb
row.
"Yeah. Don't look at me like that - Leah likes making a lot of noise. Besides, s
he has a time limit of fifteen minutes before I go and get her. Then it might be
me going to Madam Pomfrey." Ginny's face lit up with mischief.
"That sounds like a good idea - she doesn't know that you have the monitor, does
she?"
"Nope." Harry grinned.
"Well this is going to be interesting." Ginny said. "I expect a full report of t
his."
"You'll get one." Harry promised.
***
Parvati stormed away from the hospital wing, almost in tears. Madam Pomfrey had
scolded her for being childish and silly - of course Potter knows how to look af
ter his own children! She had said to her before ushering her out. "A little sug
ar will do them no harm."
"But shouldn't I have an equal say in this? I am supposed to be looking after th
em too!"
"These aren't dolls we're talking about, young lady, these are children! You wil
l do as Harry says, because he knows what they need better than you do. Now get
back and apologise." Parvati slunk back into the hall, searching the table for H
arry's distinctive mop of jet-black hair. He was nowhere to be seen.
"Hey, Ginny, have you seen Harry?"
"They've gone to Potions already." Ginny muttered.
"Oh. Thanks." Parvati said, hurrying off to the dungeons herself.
Harry watched as Parvati ran into the queue outside the Potions' lab. Everyone w
as cringing as Millicent Bulstrode tried to calm her doll.
"Harry, can't you do something?" Ron asked, covering his ears and wincing.
"Hardly - they're Slytherin. They don't need help from Gryffindors." He replied,
making sure that the wails didn't disturb the triplets, because he knew better
than anyone else that they could make ten times as much noise as any doll.
"Will someone shut up that infernal racket?" Snape roared as the door to the dun
geon was flung open.
"It won't stop crying, Sir." Millicent said.
"I'll try." Pansy said, her voice dripping with sweetness. It made every single
Gryffindor want to retch.
"Very well, just shut the miserable thing up!" Snape growled. They all trooped i
nto the dungeon, with Pansy trying to stop the wailing doll, and to no avail. Ha
rry could easily see why - every baby would scream if they were being held the w
ay that Pansy was holding them.
"Professor Snape, why doesn't Harry do it - he knows best." Lavender simpered. S
nape glared at her for a minute before turning to Harry with a sneer.
"Very well Potter, shut it up. If you can." He said. Harry rolled his eyes and s
tood up, walking between the desks and reaching for the doll.
"Have you fed him?" He asked Millicent after a moment. The Slytherin looked rath
er blank.
"Fed it?" She echoed.
"Yes, have you fed him?"
"I never knew that we had to feed them too." She grumbled.
"He won't stop crying if you don't feed him." Harry explained.
"Out - get out of my classroom! Get that thing out of my sight!" Snape roared an
grily at the Slytherin. Harry walked back to his seat, feeling slightly freaked
out that he had managed to escape some sort of snide remark.
***
"I wanted to apologise for earlier." Parvati said after Potions, as they made th
eir way to Divination.
"It's ok." Harry shrugged. "But you aren't their mother."
"I know, but aren't I supposed to be for just this week?"
"No. Just...lay off a bit, ok?"
"Ok." Parvati agreed. "So, can I still take Leah to class?"
"Sure, but I'll warn you now that she's temperamental."
"That's ok. We'll be fine, won't we Leah?" They had arrived at the Tower, and Ha
rry carefully floated the basket into the room before climbing the ladder. Parva
ti followed at his heels.
***
Professor Trelawny was much happier about the children in the class than Snape h
ad been, not that that was difficult.
"Oh, they're adorable! I see great things in store for these children!" She anno
unced loudly as she walked by Harry, Parvati and the triplets.
"You couldn't do a reading to see who their mother is, could you?" Parvati asked
hopefully. Harry and Ron exchanged amused glances - this ought to be fairly amu
sing, although Harry pitied the girl that she decided was the mother.
"I'm sorry, my dear, but it is quite impossible to divine a child's parents. Now
their fate is a different thing altogether." Harry listened without interest as
she began a speech all about how his children were sure to face great hardships
through their life, which they would eventually overcome, and live happy, fulfi
lled and successful lives.
"No kidding - I wonder if one of those hardships would be my death?" Harry mutte
red sardonically to Ron, who sniggered appreciatively.
"Probably - then Merlin help them if they come to live at the Burrow."
"They'd be spoilt rotten within two days." Harry said with a grin.
"They already are - you do a good enough job of that."
"They're not that bad. They're too little to be spoilt yet."
"I guess. I can't wait until Leah gets her first boyfriend - she'll have a lot o
f opposition to that idea."
"What, her godfather, and her brothers? You went mad when Ginny went out with th
at Michael bloke."
"Are you trying to say that you won't be screening every bloke that she speaks t
o?"
"Leah? No bloke will ever be good enough for her, but I'm slightly biased. That
doesn't mean that she can't date when she's old enough."
"Right. She'll still have to do battle with her brothers."
"I'm sure she will. If you have anything to do with it, they'll watch her like a
hawk."
"Too right - big brothers are there to look out for their little sisters."
"If Ginny heard you say that, I'd bet she'd kick and hex you from here to London
." Harry grinned.
"No doubt." Ron agreed. He glanced at Parvati, who seemed to be engrossed in her
tarot cards.
"So, are you gonna go out with Sally again?" He asked. "I'm not sure." Harry sai
d. "Basically, the triplets come first. If she's ok with that, then I guess I mi
ght." He shrugged.
"But what about...you know?"
"No idea mate. Nothing's changed as far as I can tell."
"You are kidding?"
"No - I'm not. Look, it doesn't matter much anyway. Not yet. What matters is tha
t the triplets are happy."
"Fair enough. Don't you matter anymore?"
"Me? Umm...I guess I figure in somewhere."
"You're mental." Ron shrugged. Harry watched the triplets sleep peacefully for a
moment before looking at Ron again.
"You thinking about...that thing?"
"The thing from fifth year? Yes. Again."
"You shouldn't dwell on it." Ron said, "It can't be healthy."
"Says he that was worried I wasn't thinking enough about it." Harry replied with
a smirk. "It's not as if I'm about to run off right now. But I do have a lot to
plan. This is kind of important."
"I suppose." Andrew woke up then, and whimpered a little. Harry automatically re
ached for him and pulled him close, breathing in the clean baby smell.
"I still can't get used to this." Ron said as Harry began to do his work while s
till cradling the baby.
Double Transfiguration was punctuated with shrill cries from several dolls, and
Professor McGonagall was beginning to get exasperated.
"This is nonsense. There is no way anyone can concentrate with this racket going
on. We'll take a five minute break so that everyone can see to their doll." She
said irritably. There was a flurry of movement as everyone calmed the dolls, tr
ying desperately to get them to sleep. Harry grinned as the triplets looked arou
nd them, wide-eyed and interested.
"You want a look?" He murmured, lifting Sam up for a better view of the classroo
m. He put the baby back before lifting each of the other two. All three were gur
gling happily, which drew Professor McGonagall over to him.
"Ah, Potter. How have they been behaving?"
"Very well." Harry said.
"They've grown a lot since the last time I saw them."
"Yeah." Harry agreed.
"How are you?"
"Fine." Harry said with a smile, knowing that she was talking about.
"When did you see the triplets?" Parvati asked.
"I...spent a night here during the holidays." Harry said.
"Why?"
"Family problems." Harry said. Professor McGonagall's eyes flashed angrily, and
she sniffed disparagingly.
"I'll say." She said very quietly.
***
Sally approached him again at lunch, and Harry promised that they would talk lat
er that night. He didn't have a lot of time at that moment as all three children
were screaming for a bottle, and Parvati was panicking. Harry picked up Sam fir
st and put the bottle in his mouth before giving the other two their bottles. Th
e entire Gryffindor table, and most of the hall seemed to stare as he managed to
deal with the three of them alone.
"And we can't even deal with one." Dean sighed. "I don't suppose you're up for b
abysitting, are you?" Seamus asked.
"No way. Three is plenty, believe me." Harry said with a grin.
***
"Ginny, what is wrong with you today?" Reilly asked as they walked from the Grea
t Hall. Ginny was scowling as Parvati simpered over the triplets.
"Me? Nothing." Ginny said.
"Are you sure? You looked as if you were ready to scratch Parvati's eyes out. I
thought you were over Harry?"
"It's not that. Can I tell you something? A secret?"
"Yeah, I swear I won't tell anyone, living or dead, or any creature."
"Thanks. We know who the triplets' mother is." She murmured, making sure that no
one was within earshot.
"You do? How come Harry hasn't said anything? Do you know her?"
"Yeah. It's me."
"You have got to be kidding!" Reilly asked.
"Nope. The Ministry did a compatibility test to choose the mother, and me and Ha
rry are pretty compatible."
"How do you know?"
"We did the test."
"And?"
"Three hundred and twenty percent - Harry's parents only got two hundred and thr
ee percent!"
"Oh Ginny, this is...umm..."
"Weird?"
"Yeah, it's definitely weird. No wonder you were glaring at Parvati! Who else kn
ows about this?"
"My family, Hermione, Harry. You. I think that's it."
"Wow. So how come you don't practically live in Harry's room?"
"Well, I don't really want everyone to know. Can you imagine?"
"Ugh - yeah. You'd be lynched or something." Reilly shuddered. "So what does Har
ry think?"
"Well, he's dealing with it a lot better than I did - I was really scared at fir
st, but I talked to Harry about it and...well, it's not all bad. They're so cute
. Oh, you should have seen my brothers' faces when they found out!" Ginny laughe
d, remembering how Bill and Charlie looked as if they were about to castrate Har
ry there and then.
"Let me guess, Harry was about to die?"
"Oh yeah. Bill and Charlie thought that they had been made the conventional way
- the triplets, I mean."
"Oh, such a pity." Reilly grinned. "A pity that they weren't."
"REILLY!"
"What? You can't tell me that the thought didn't cross your mind - you're eyes a
re giving it all away."
"Giving what away?"
"If you're over Harry, then I am Merlin himself!"
"You are?"
"Ginny, come on, I've known you for almost eleven years. I know when you're lyin
g to me."
"Fine. Ok, whatever."
"So, now you have to tell me everything about your summer."
Harry reluctantly handed Leah to Parvati, who beamed at him.
"I'll take good care of her, I promise!" She said with a grin. Harry gulped.
"She should sleep through, but if she doesn't, she'll just want a little attenti
on." He said.
"Ok, we'll be fine, won't we Leah? Yes we will." Harry took a deep breath before
slowly walking to Care of Magical Creatures, which Parvati had dropped.
"Ah, Harry. I was wonderin' when you'd come and see me. Funny, I thought you had
three kids."
"I do - Parvati Patil is looking after Leah for the period."
"Ah. Well, we'll be having a nice easy lesson today. A few o' the Professors hav
e already said that you lot get distracted by those dolls you've been given."
***
The lesson was hardly a lesson at all - they spent the period talking amongst th
emselves while Hagrid wandered around and pointed out that really, the children
they were looking after would count as magical creatures, unless of course they
were squibs.
"Have you checked whether your three are magical?" Hagrid asked Harry.
"Umm...no. How do you?"
"Well usually they show signs of magic pretty early." Hagrid said.
"I was three before I did any magic." Harry said with a frown.
"No yeh weren't! Yeh summoned a stuffed toy that yer dad and Sirius were tryin'
to transfigure." Hagrid said, beaming proudly. "Yeh must have been 'bout ten mon
ths old, I guess."
"Oh. Well, no. The triplets haven't used magic yet. They're only two months old
though."
"Why don't yeh check the quill?"
"The quill?"
"The Hogwarts Registry Quill - how d'yeh think we know the Muggle-borns?"
"Oh. So there's a quill that writes the name of every magical child born?"
"That's right. I'd reckon Dumbledore would tell you if you asked him."
"Right."
"I'd say they're magical all right." Ron said. "I mean, they must be."
"Yeh never know - especially if yeh don't know whether the mother is Muggle or W
itch."
"Ok, thanks Hagrid." Harry said, steering the conversation away from the identit
y of the mother.
"Uh oh. Leah's awake and she is not happy." Harry said, gritting his teeth again
st the pain in his wrist.
"Fifteen minutes starting now." Ron said.
"If she doesn't calm down, my wrist will be destroyed in two." Harry said.
"That bad, huh?"
"Oh yeah." Harry said.
***
Parvati was trying everything. She just couldn't get Leah to stop screaming. Pro
fessor Vector was looking quite worried.
"My dear, are you sure she's ok? Maybe you should take her to the hospital wing?
"
"No, she's fine, I think. She just won't stop crying. Come on Leah, please don't
cry."
"Maybe you should take her out to Harry?" Another Gryffindor suggested timidly.
"No. He's trusting me to look after her. Maybe she needs fed." Leah wouldn't tak
e her bottle, and she didn't need changing either. Eventually Professor Vector w
as caught up in trying to get her to stop crying, but no one seemed to be able t
o calm her.
***
"I'm going - she's getting more and more worked up. Keep an eye on these two for
me?"
"Sure." Ron answered. Harry privately thought that he rather enjoyed being an Un
cle, now that he had stopped being afraid of breaking them. He sprinted to Parva
ti's class and knocked on the door.
"Potter!" Professor Vector said, looking mildly surprised to see him.
"Can I speak to Parvati please?" Harry asked.
"Parvati, Mr Potter is here."
"Harry! Erm...what are you doing here?"
"I have a monitor - I know when Leah's upset, and there was no way she was settl
ing down, so I came." Harry said. Parvati handed Leah to him sheepishly, and Har
ry began to calm her almost immediately.
"Hey baby, it's all right. There now, that's a good girl." Harry said. "Shall we
go and see your brothers?" Leah had stopped crying and was hiccoughing now, her
face still damp with tears.
"You're going to take her then?"
"Yeah, I think it might be a good idea." Harry said, massaging his wrist.
"Ok." Parvati said. Harry tickled Leah, and made her gurgle happily.
"There, that's better. Come on sweetie, let's go and see Hagrid. I'll see you la
ter, Parvati." Harry said, as he walked away. He was part of the way along the c
orridor when he almost bumped into Madam Pomfrey.
"Potter? Why are you out of class?"
"I...er...had to come and get Leah." Harry said as Leah gurgled happily.
"Why?"
"Parvati, erm, had the same problem that you had."
"They're too attached to you."
"Yeah, I guess so." Harry said.
"Oh, don't look at me like that! I'm not saying that that's a bad thing. Far fro
m it. It's nice to see a father so attached to his children."
"Thanks. I have to get back - Ron's looking after the other two."
"Very well. Off you go."
***
"Aww, and this'll be yer little girl, then?"
"Yeah, this is Leah." Harry said proudly.
"She's gonna be a heartbreaker all right." Hagrid said. Ron raised an eyebrow at
Harry, who grinned back.
"Must get that off her daddy, eh?" Hagrid teased. Harry groaned, wishing that he
could retort, but he couldn't. Not without letting on that he knew who their mo
ther was. "You four make a right nice family."
"Thanks Hagrid." Harry said, making his way across to Ron.
"A heartbreaker, huh?" Ron teased.
"I reckon she probably gets that more from her mother." Harry teased back. Ron l
ooked like he didn't know whether to punch Harry or vomit over him.
"That's just...sick." He mumbled eventually.
"She's doomed - she got it from both of them." Hermione said.
"How d'you know?" Ron demanded.
"Well, you'd have to be blind not to see Harry's little gang of devotees, and th
eir mother...that you'll have to figure out for yourself." Harry laughed at the
look on Ron's face.
"I think I'm gonna puke." He grumbled
Ginny and Reilly crept up to Harry's room later that night, after most of Gryffi
ndor Tower was asleep. Ginny wanted to see her children, and decided that she wa
nted Reilly there too. When she knocked on Harry's door, he didn't answer. Well,
he didn't open the door, though Ginny heard him saying that they could go in. S
he opened the door to find Harry sitting on the windowsill, looking down onto th
e Quidditch Pitch.
"What on Earth are you doing?" She asked. Harry turned around and grinned at her
.
"Deciding whether to jump or not." He said. It took Ginny a moment to realise th
at he was joking.
"Go for it. See if you land on your feet." She said. Reilly made a small sound i
n her throat as Harry laughed.
"We're only joking." Ginny said, "If Harry even thought about it, he'd be dead.
The rest of the world would then go deaf due to Leah's refusal to stop crying fo
r anyone but her daddy." Ginny said, going over to the cot.
"You heard then?" Harry asked.
"Of course I heard, you idiot. Did you think I wouldn't?"
"Are you kidding? You can't even sneeze in this place without everyone knowing i
t."
"That's just you." Ginny assured him. "So, do you think Parvati will be asking t
o take Leah to class anymore?"
"She can try, but there is no way that she's going to." Harry said, putting a ha
nd to his wrist.
"What's wrong with your wrist?"
"Baby monitor needs a little adjusting." Harry said.
"Let me see." Ginny sighed. Harry held out his wrist and Ginny saw that the skin
was almost rubbed away.
"A little adjusting?" Ginny asked as Harry withdrew his wrist again, hissing in
pain as she brushed the injury.
"You're going to need to bandage this, or it'll get infected." She said, frownin
g.
"I know." Harry said, summoning a small bag from his trunk. Ginny watched critic
ally as he pulled out some bandages and a tube of something.
"What's that?" She asked.
"This? Muggle antiseptic cream." Harry said.
"Why do you have it?"
"Habit I guess. With Vernon and everything..."
"Oh. So I don't suppose it's any use me offering to do it?"
"I think I can manage, thanks all the same." Harry said, grinning as he quickly
bandaged the wrist.
"So, have you fixed up the bracelet then?"
"Yup." Harry said, pulling up his sleeve and showing her that it was fastened on
his other wrist.
"So it's no longer going to do that?"
"Nope."
"Can I have one then?"
"Yeah, here." Harry summoned another thing from his trunk - a small cloth bag, a
nd handed it to Ginny.
"Oh wow. You made this?" She breathed, taking out the bracelet from the bag.
"Yeah. I figured that it might as well look good." He shrugged. Ginny grinned an
d pecked his cheek.
"Thank you. That was really sweet. Have you thought about marketing them?"
"Yeah. I have. I guess it is a good idea."
"It is." Ginny said. "Oh, by the way, this is Reilly - she's the only one who kn
ows."
"Oh, hi." Harry said, looking at Reilly, who blushed slightly.
"What's that?" She asked, signalling to the bracelet that Ginny was putting on.
"It's a baby monitor." Harry said.
"A what?"
"You're not Muggle born then?"
"No - wizarding born, why?"
"Muggles have things like radios to tell them when their babies are awake, so I
figured that I'd try and make a magical one."
"And succeeded." Ginny put in.
"Yeah, although it wasn't quite right at first." Harry said, absently putting a
hand to his wrist.
"But it's fixed now?"
"Yeah." Harry nodded. Reilly looked at the bracelet and let out a low whistle.
"You made this from scratch?"
"Yeah."
"That is amazing. You really should market them - my mum would probably buy one.
We've got a new baby at home."
"You have?"
"Yeah, a little brother. Alex, his name is."
"Hey Harry, could you make Reilly one?"
"Ginny! I...umm...you don't have to."
"No, it's ok. If I do plan on marketing them, I might as well start making some
more - what's your mum's favourite colour?"
"Blue." Reilly answered.
"Right. It might take a while." Harry said.
"It's ok. Really, Mum will be delighted. I'm going to write to her now." Reilly
dashed off a moment later after thanking Harry again. Ginny grinned.
"So, why are you really sitting on the edge of the window?" She asked.
"Slytherin are practising." Harry said. "And I was thinking."
"Dangerous. What about?"
"Nothing at all. Well, just silly little things."
"Like?"
"Oh, just thinking about where we're going to live when I leave here. What I'm g
oing to do...planning the future for once."
"Is there room for me?"
"What?"
"On the windowsill."
"Oh, yeah." Harry moved up, and Ginny climbed up next to him.
"So what's going to happen in the future?"
"Well, we're going to live in a little house - well, maybe not so little - and w
e'll have a Quidditch pitch in the back garden, and everything's going to be per
fect."
"Sounds pretty good. You didn't mention any wife or girlfriend or anything."
"I hadn't gotten that far yet." Harry grinned, looking sideways at her.
"So are you going back out with Sally?"
"Yeah. She says that she's fine about the kids."
"That's good." Ginny said hollowly, looking down at the Quidditch pitch.
"What's wrong?" Harry asked.
"Nothing, I'm fine." Ginny said, giving a large, fake grin. Harry raised an eyeb
row.
"Like hell you are - what's wrong?"
"I just...well, I'm just worried that the triplets won't know who I am." Ginny l
ied. She felt a little bad, but it was half-true - she didn't want Harry's girlf
riend playing mummy to her children.
"Hey - no one's going to take your place, you know that, don't you?" Harry asked
, putting an arm around her shoulder. Ginny shrugged.
"Oh of course no one's going to take your place - no one could."
"Thanks." Ginny mumbled, putting her head on Harry's shoulder. Harry sighed and
closed his eyes.
"So - how are you getting on with your kid?"
"Oh, fine. They're ok, I suppose. Not much compared to the real thing, but I'm a
little biased."
"Me too." Harry grinned. "So, where is it?"
"I asked Hermione to look after it - said the practice would do her good." Harry
laughed and Ginny smiled. It was good to hear him laughing.
"So, you promised me a full report."
"So I did." Harry said.
Harry and Sally met after breakfast the next day, kissing and cuddling in the En
trance Hall. Ginny felt a surge of irrational jealousy as she and Reilly passed
unnoticed. Her hand went to the bracelet he had made for her, as if assuring her
self that it was real.
"Hey, come on, don't get hung up on it." Reilly whispered.
"Easy for you to say." Ginny muttered.
"Just forget about her - Harry's too nice a bloke to fall for the wicked hag of
the hills."
"They're forty percent compatible."
"Is that it? You said...three hundred and twenty was it?"
"Yeah." Ginny said, feeling a rush of warmth to her cheeks.
"Well then. You have nothing to worry about." Ginny smiled reluctantly, and they
both headed off towards class.
***
"I have to go." Harry said.
"Why?"
"I have to go and get the kids before class."
"Is that Parvati still trying to help you look after them?"
"Yeah - she's doing her best, but Leah's just...a little temperamental with stra
ngers."
"Still, I can't believe that they did that - I mean, just assume that you'd not
mind someone helping look after them."
"Well...I don't know. It wasn't as if they did it on purpose." Harry shrugged.
"Right. Well, I'll see you after classes then?"
"Yeah, ok." Harry said, kissing her again before running back up to the Tower, w
here the triplets were sleeping peacefully, watched over by Dobby.
The next few days were quiet, and spent between classes, the Tower and with Sall
y and the kids. Harry hardly had time to think about the bracelet monitor for Re
illy's mother, let alone make it. He wanted to, but each time he sat down to get
started, something seemed to come up. Eventually he decided that he needed to m
ake a start, and sat down to begin planning. He sat there for half an hour, draw
ing the design for the bracelet. He was about to get started when the triplets b
egan to cry.
"I'm coming, I'm coming." Harry said, just as Ginny burst through the door.
"Er...hello." Harry said, looking mildly bewildered.
"I felt the monitor go." Ginny explained. "I thought you might be out with Sally
."
"No, I'm trying to get a start made on this bracelet." Harry said, frowning. "Yo
u're welcome to take over if you want."
"Sure, can I watch?"
"If you want to. It's not anything spectacular."
"That's ok, I just want to see how you do it." Harry shrugged and sat back down
at his desk. He looked carefully from the design to a small piece of string that
was lying in front of him. He raised his wand and began to work, his hands work
ing the magic, moulding it deftly into the string. Ginny watched, transfixed, as
he did it. He was completely concentrating on the task at hand, and Ginny didn'
t think she had ever seen anything more breathtaking. The power that he was usin
g seemed incredible. She watched as he created a smooth blue bracelet, intricate
ly weaved with runes and Celtic symbols. It glowed slightly as he poured more po
wer into it, making the bracelet change to soft, expensive looking leather.
"That is amazing." She breathed.
"Thanks. All that they need to do is tune it to the baby - I should probably wri
te some instructions for that." Harry pulled out a sheet of parchment and neatly
printed out a few instructions. Then he wrapped the bracelet in a piece of clea
n, white cloth and folded the instructions, tucking them inside the bundle, whic
h he tied with string before putting it into a small box.
"One monitor bracelet." He mumbled.
"You look tired." Ginny commented. Harry nodded, looking out towards the grounds
. Ginny said goodnight and slipped from the room
***.
Harry caught up with Reilly the next day at breakfast, handing her the small box
and grinning before sitting down next to Ginny. Reilly took the bracelet from i
t's wrapping and gasped.
"Oh Harry, thank you! Mum will be so pleased. It's beautiful!" She exclaimed, pl
anting a kiss on his cheek. Harry blushed as she rushed off, and he looked over
to see Sally looking murderous. She came over a moment later, her eyes sparkling
suspiciously.
"Can I talk to you please?"
"Ok." Harry said, standing immediately. He had a feeling that nothing good was c
oming.
***
"What was all that about?" Sally demanded angrily. Tears were springing into her
eyes, and Harry sighed in frustration - there was no way this was ever going to
work.
"Look, I'm sorry. It's not as if I snogged her."
"How am I supposed to compete with every girl in Hogwarts and those damned kids?
" Sally wept. Harry's eyes blazed.
"I didn't ask you to compete with anyone. I'm sorry, but my kids will always com
e first, no matter what. If you can't accept that, then I guess we're not going
anywhere." Harry said calmly. Sally's weeping got louder, and she looked up at H
arry, her eyes swimming with tears.
"Are you breaking up with me?" She asked, her lip trembling.
"I'm sorry, really I am, but we aren't going anywhere, and right now, I need to
focus on my kids. So yeah, I am breaking up with you."
"Fine. Good riddance." Sally cried as she walked away. Harry sighed again, befor
e heading up to the dorms. What a fiasco.
The memorial service that Harry had suggested was to take place on the first Sat
urday in October. Harry had spent a lot of time making sure that it would be per
fect. He had put his heart and soul into it, and it broke Ginny's heart to see h
im on that morning, looking pale and withdrawn. The deaths of his friends would
always hit him hard, and she knew that no matter what happened, the dead would a
lways occupy a small corner of his mind. The thought was oddly comforting, for w
hile he remembered, he no longer dwelled upon them, and that, Ginny was sure, ha
d to be a good thing.
***
Every member of the DA, past and present, as well as most of the staff attended
the memorial service that night. A few people made speeches, including Harry. Gi
nny sat next to her brothers, Hermione, and Harry. Beside Harry were the triplet
s, who never made a sound throughout the entire thing. Harry's speech was the fi
rst, and probably the most poignant, Ginny thought. Many other people seemed to
think so too, and there was more than a few tears in the room of requirement. At
the end of the ceremony, Ginny noticed that a small brass plaque had appeared a
t the head of the room - on it were the names and dates of each person that Vold
emort had taken from the DA, along with a picture of each, smiling happily. That
was when Ginny began to cry, feeling suddenly very helpless. Harry put an arm a
round her shoulders and spoken to her quietly, letting her cry to her hearts con
tent - he knew that he would never cry until it was all over. He was frozen unti
l then.
***
"Are you all right Harry?" Several people asked.
"I'm fine." Harry said each time, always unconvincing, but always trying just th
e same. Cho came over to him as people began filing out, asking him to wait and
speak to her. Harry agreed, albeit reluctantly. He really just wanted to go and
hide in his room, away from everyone. This day had been one of the hardest in hi
s life, with the exception of Sirius' funeral, perhaps.
***
"Harry, how are you?"
"Pretty well." Harry murmured as he tucked the blankets in around the triplets.
A fire flickered to life in the fireplace as he glared at it.
"No you're not. What's the deal with the kids?"
"Haven't you heard? They're my children."
"Yours? You're their father? Uh...wow. Who's the mother? That Hannah girl?"
"No. I don't know who their mother is."
"How is that possible?"
"Long story." Harry muttered. "I'm surprised the Prophet hasn't reported it yet.
"
"I haven't been getting the Prophet - oh!" Cho just realised what her mother had
been talking about a few weeks earlier.
"They have run the story - I remember that Mum was telling me something about it
. So, it must be pretty hard, looking after triplets on your own?"
"Not really. I'm used to it." Harry shrugged, picking up Andy as he woke up.
"You look really well. Being a dad suits you." Cho said with a smile.
"Thanks."
"So, I heard you were going out with Sally?"
"No - we split up a while ago. Why?"
"Oh, I'm just interested." Cho said, with a hint of a blush. Harry smiled a litt
le, wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible.
"So, are you going out with anyone just now?"
"No."
"Oh. Well...d'you...I mean, I still really like you. Will you go out with me?"
"Cho, I'm still at Hogwarts, and you're not...I don't think so. I'm sorry."
"Oh. No problem." Cho said, smiling brightly. "Maybe when you graduate." She lef
t then, leaving Harry staring after her, hoping that she was joking.
***
Ginny was waiting in his room when he got there, tears still running down her pa
le cheeks. Harry silently put the kids into their crib before heading over towar
ds the window, where she stood. He wrapped his arms around her, feeling her rela
x slightly, though she was still sobbing into his chest.
"Your speech was really...nice." She sniffed.
"Thanks." Harry murmured.
"What did Cho want?"
"She asked me to go out with her again."
"What did you say?"
"No. I mean, with a compatibility of two percent, it's going nowhere, is it?"
"I suppose not." Ginny replied. Her tears had eased now, but she made no attempt
to leave his safe hug.
"Reilly's mum loved her bracelet, you know." She said quietly.
"Yeah, she sent me a letter to say thanks. Did I tell you that I've patented the
m?"
"No, you didn't."
"Yeah - they're patented under the name of Evan James."
"Ah, so that's why the Prophet hasn't reported it."
"Yeah. I've sent a letter to a shop in Diagon Alley - I'm waiting for the reply.
"
"Will the owls know how to get to Evan James?"
"Yeah." Harry said. "I thought of that too - just before I sent them off."
"That's good. Have you made any more?"
"No, but I've designed a few." Harry said.
"Can I see them?"
"Sure." Harry went to his desk and pulled out a few sheets of parchment. There w
ere designs all over them.
"Designed a few?" Ginny asked, taking the parchment from him.
"Yeah, maybe more than a few, but there you go."
"Which one's your favourite?"
"I'm not sure - it's a very close run thing between yours and mine, but they won
't be replicated."
"Why not?"
"Just because." Harry shrugged. "I was thinking of making a few tonight."
"Why tonight?"
"Because the only way I'll sleep is if I'm exhausted, and I don't think anyone w
ould be too pleased if I went out to the Quidditch Pitch this late."
"No. Can I watch?"
"Sure." Harry said, sitting at his desk. He picked out a design and began to wor
k.
***
Four hours, and a few bracelets later, Harry was feeling slightly worn out. He k
new that he would be able to sleep now, if only because he had used up almost ev
ery last bit of energy in his body. Ginny had fallen asleep almost as soon as he
started to work, but he didn't want to wake her. He sat down on the bed beside
her, and was asleep before he knew it, his last thought being I really hope that
Ron doesn't come here first thing in the morning.
***
Harry woke up to find someone towering over him. "Morning Ron." He said, squinti
ng at the bright light.
"Would you care to explain yourself before or after I disembowel you?"
"Oh grow up Ron, what's the problem? We're both fully clothed." Harry said, stre
tching.
"You...er...so you are." Ron said, flushing.
"So I am." Harry said with a smirk.
"What's going on?" Ginny asked, pulling the cover over her eyes.
"Ron was a little surprised to see you in my bed." Harry laughed. Ginny's eyes a
ppeared over the covers and she looked around in shock.
"Oh no. Oops. Sorry Harry."
"No problem. You sleep ok?"
"Yeah - when did you stop making those bracelets?"
"Erm...around two, I'd say." Harry said.
"Bracelets?"
"The monitors. I was trying to wear myself out so that I'd sleep - worked pretty
well, I think."
"At least you two got some sleep - I don't think anyone in our dorm did." Ron mu
ttered.
"Which is exactly why I was making monitors."
"What about you?" Ron asked Ginny.
"Dunno - I was tired from crying, I suppose, but...I don't know. Harry, you can
move into my dorm. I want this bed."
"I'm sure that would go down well." Harry grinned. "But I'm rather fond of my be
d myself. So I don't think so, somehow."
"Huh! I'll just have to live up here then, won't I?"
"No - you steal all of the covers!"
"You two sound like a married couple." Ron said. Both Harry and Ginny burst out
laughing.
"Right, well I'm going in the shower. Feel free to hog the bed all you want. Ron
, is there Quidditch practice today?"
"No, but when has that ever stopped us?"
"Fair enough. Gin, are you up for a bit of babysitting? Unless Dobby turns up an
ytime soon."
"Sure. I'd have thought you'd want to take the kids with you."
"That's an idea." Harry said. "Let me guess - we need mummies supervision?"
"Oh of course you do! My kids aren't going out on the Quidditch pitch with only
you and Ron! But you'll have to wait for a bit - I need to shower and change too
."
"Ok. Actually, here's Dobby now, you can meet us out there, ok?"
"Yeah, fine." Ginny said. "I'll bring Reilly too."
"Uh huh."
Dobby, Harry, Ron and Hermione made their way out to the Quidditch pitch, shortl
y followed by Ginny and Reilly. Harry had tried to smuggle the three mini brooms
out, but was caught by Ginny, who confiscated them. So Harry took them up on hi
s broom one at a time, making sure that they were securely strapped to the broom
, and that they wouldn't fall. Each of the triplets loved it, and giggled gleefu
lly as Harry dipped the nose of the broom slightly as they descended. Ginny roll
ed her eyes, wishing that he would keep them out of the air until they were at l
east six months old. No such luck, though. Besides, the triplets loved it, and s
he couldn't help but grin as they came back down gurgling and smiling.
Harry had just finished flying with the triplets when someone else arrived, even
from his position fifty feet in the air, there was no mistaking who it was - Ch
o Chang. Again. Harry rolled his eyes as she waved to him, and landed slowly, ta
king as long as he could.
"Harry, there you are! I've been looking for you. You weren't in the Great Hall.
"
"No - I haven't been for breakfast yet." Harry said. "What are you doing here?"
"I stayed the night. I'm heading home after lunch."
"Oh. That's nice." Harry said, looking to Ginny, Reilly and Hermione to help.
"Umm...can you come for a walk?"
"I don't know..."
"Go on Harry, I'm sure that between the five of us, we can look after the triple
ts." Ginny said. Harry shot her a venomous look before handing her his Firebolt.
"I won't be long." He said, walking away with Cho.
***
"What on Earth did you do that for?" Reilly and Hermione exclaimed at once as th
ey watched Cho take hold of Harry's hand.
"She looked desperate." Ginny shrugged, grinning.
"So? Do you know that she asked him out again last night?"
"Yeah, he told me that. How did you know?"
"Oh, I...umm..."
"You were spying on them." Ginny said accusingly.
"Yeah, and I bet you wish you had done too." Hermione retorted. "Anyway, he came
up with this really lame excuse, and she said that maybe they should get togeth
er when he leaves."
"She said that?"
"Yeah, she did."
"What did Harry say?"
"Nothing, be he looked as if he didn't know whether to laugh or vomit."
"I thought he liked Cho - they went out for a while, didn't they?"
"Yeah, but I guess he got over her. Not a surprise, really." Ginny said, remembe
ring the two percent compatibility.
"Oh no - she's kissing him!" Hermione said, looking at Ginny for her reaction.
"Uh...well, I never saw that coming." Ginny said, her eyes narrowed as she stare
d at them.
"No, me neither." Reilly said, looking shocked.
"Go Harry!" Ron called from his broom.
***
Harry had never wanted to vanish quite as much as he did at that moment - he did
n't want to kiss Cho, but he didn't want to hurt her feelings either. He pulled
away from her gently, watching as she frowned.
"What's wrong?"
"I don't like you in that way." Harry said.
"You don't?" Harry sighed as Cho's eyes welled up with tears.
"No, I don't. I'm sorry, but I don't."
"You used to."
"Yeah, I used to. That was then. This is now."
"I still like you in that way." Cho said, as the tears escaped her eyes.
"I'm sorry." Harry shrugged. He didn't know what else to say to her.
"Well...I guess I should go."
"Hmm." Harry said.
"Goodbye."
"Bye." Harry stuck his hands in his pockets as she left, shaking his head in con
fusion.
***
Ginny, Reilly and Hermione watched as Cho walked to the gates, her shoulders sha
king slightly. Ginny felt slightly sorry for her, but then remembered that she h
ad just snogged Harry. She watched as Harry made his way back, summoning his bro
om from her hands and jumping on it as it flew towards him.
"That can't be safe." Hermione muttered as Harry soared up into the air. When he
plummeted the next moment, Hermione and Reilly squealed. Harry looked as if he
was going to fly right into the ground. Not only was he dropping like a stone, h
e was dropping quickly. He rolled suddenly, pulling the broom up again. Hermione
shook her head, looking faintly green.
"I'm never going to get used to that."
"He's really good - I wonder if any of the triplets have his flying skills?"
"Probably - his dad was supposedly quite good too. Seeker as well."
"Cool." Reilly said. "I'm hopeless at flying - mum says that girls aren't suppos
ed to be on brooms anyway."
"I prefer having both feet on the ground, myself." Hermione said. Ginny shook he
r head, watching Harry as he flew a few tight loops.
"Nah - flying is brilliant." She said.
"You're just biased, Miss Top-Gryffindor-Chaser!"
"I suppose."
"What are you going to do when Harry leaves?" Reilly asked. Ginny thought for a
moment - Reilly meant when he graduated, of course, but she couldn't help but wo
nder what she'd do when he went to face Voldemort.
"Dunno." Ginny said, her eyes following Harry.
"Does he still want to be an Auror?"
"Yeah." Ginny murmured.
"God, I hope he's careful." Reilly shuddered. Ginny gulped, knowing that Harry w
ould meet with Voldemort sooner or later, and one of them would die...
"Hey, Ginny, I didn't mean to upset you. I'm sorry." Reilly said, as a tear slip
ped down Ginny's face.
"No, it's ok. I'm just...scared." Ginny said.
"Me too - but Harry knows what he has to do." Hermione said, putting her arm aro
und Ginny's shoulders.
"That's what's scaring me." Ginny muttered, looking at her three perfect childre
n.
***
Harry and the others trooped back to the common room after a little while, talki
ng excitedly about the upcoming Gryffindor-Slytherin match. Harry was saying to
Ron that Malfoy, as captain of his team, would likely make it the dirtiest game
ever seen at Hogwarts. Ginny replied that she hoped not, for all of their sakes.
The next morning, Hermione gasped in horror as she received her copy of the Dail
y Prophet.
"Harry, Ginny, you might want to look at this." She said, looking pale and ill.
Harry took the paper from Hermione and Ginny read over his shoulder. It seemed t
hat the Prophet had somehow found out about the triplets' mother being Ginny. Ha
rry took a look at Ginny and saw her biting her lip.
"This isn't good, is it?" She said.
"Not particularly." Harry murmured, looking up to find everyone staring at them,
including most of the staff.
"Well, this is...an interesting twist." Parvati said, raising an eyebrow.
"Harry, I think we need to talk." Sally said, appearing behind him.
"Why?" Harry asked.
"Is this why you broke up with me? Because you found out that she was the mother
?"
"I've known for months." Harry said, after a glance at Ginny.
"Then why didn't you say anything?"
"Because I didn't think it was any of your business, now if you'll excuse me." H
arry stood up abruptly, rolling the newspaper into a ball and throwing it into t
he nearest bin. He walked past Sally, who looked slightly shocked, and disappear
ed from the Great Hall. Ginny stood up a moment later and followed.
***
"Maybe this is for the best." Ginny suggested timidly, later that night. Harry s
eemed to be in a rotten mood.
"Maybe, I just can't believe how everyone believes that it is their god- given r
ight to know about every little detail of my life!"
"It's not my fault."
"I know. Sorry, I didn't mean to snap."
"This is just...brilliant." Ginny said, scuffing her foot along the floor. "Stil
l, at least now I have a right to yell at any of your girlfriends that seem to t
hink that they're going to play mummy." Ginny grinned. Harry chuckled despite hi
mself as Fawkes came through the window.
"Ah, this will be my summons." Harry said, "Are you coming?"
"Sure." Ginny shrugged.
"Dobby, can you look after the triplets for a while please? I'll be in the headm
aster's office if you need me, ok?"
"Yes Harry Potter, Sir, Dobby is most honoured to look after the little Potters.
"
"Thanks Dobby, we shouldn't be long."
***
Harry and Ginny attracted a lot of stares and whispers as they walked up to the
headmaster's office - Harry rolled his eyes in boredom while Ginny giggled.
"I don't think they're too pleased." She told him.
"Who?"
"Your admirers of course." Ginny said.
"Oh. Right. Well there's not much they can do about it, is there?"
"Nope." Ginny said.
"We're here - umm...oh yeah, chocolate frogs."
"Chocolate frogs?" Ginny asked, her eyebrows raised in surprise.
"The headmaster's password. Always some sort of sweet. One time I came it was co
ckroach cluster."
"That's weird."
"This is Dumbledore - I think that's the reason he does it. Just to be weird."
"I prefer eccentric, myself, but I suppose weird is another term that could be a
pplied." The headmaster said thoughtfully.
"Not batty then?" Harry asked innocently. The headmaster chuckled as they walked
into the office.
"That too - very good memory. I had forgotten about that."
"Forgotten about what?"
"When Fawkes arrived with the triplets on my birthday, I...umm...questioned Prof
essor Dumbledore's sanity. Fawkes kindly told him what I had thought, and he inf
ormed me that to be headmaster, you have to be a little 'batty'." Harry explaine
d.
"Oh. Right." Ginny said.
"So, is it true?"
"Yeah." Harry said. "We found out pretty quickly."
"May I ask how?" Harry began to explain about how they had gone about searching
for the triplets' mum. He seemed quite astounded to hear that Harry and Ginny we
re three hundred and twenty percent compatible, but his shock didn't last long.
"How did your family take it, my dear?" He asked Ginny.
"Well, Mum and dad were secretly thrilled - Ron is over the moon, and my other b
rothers were all about to kill Harry for getting me pregnant. Until they heard t
he story, of course."
"I see. So they all knew? Good."
"Yeah, now Gred and Forge are going to do their best to try out at least a few t
ricks on them. Well, they were, until I put a condition on the money I gave them
."
"Which was?"
"Not to use any joke product on our children."
"Ah, good thinking."
"They'd know better anyway. They've lived with me for too long to even consider
trying my temper." Ginny grinned. "It's good being the youngest and only girl."
"I'm sure." Harry replied wryly.
"So, what are we to do with this revelation then?"
"What do you mean, sir?" Harry asked, looking faintly puzzled.
"Well, Miss Weasley will want to see her children, I'm sure."
"Yeah, but I can just go to Harry's room for that." Ginny said.
"Yeah, and steal my bed." Harry muttered. Ginny blushed and elbowed him.
"Harry!"
"What? He probably knew anyway, didn't you Sir?"
"Umm...well..."
"How do you do that?" Harry asked, looking intensely curious. Ginny was staring
between the pair of them - they were like family, she decided, the way they bick
ered.
"You may find out one day, if you keep asking." The headmaster replied with a wi
nk.
"Thanks." Harry said, a smile tugging at the corners of his mouth. "Professor Du
mbledore always seems to know everything the moment it happens." Harry explained
, seeing Ginny's rather confused look.
"In fact, you were quite slow to find out that Ginny was the triplets' mum."
"Well, I...had my suspicions."
"I knew it." Harry said, shaking his head.
"Why didn't you say anything?" Ginny asked.
"They were only suspicions. Though when you were glaring daggers at miss Patil,
I thought that it was likely that I was right. I was waiting for confirmation."
He shot a look at Harry, who shrugged.
"We forgot. Anyway, Remus could've told you."
"He did, but that is quite beside the point." Dumbledore said with a smile.
"Did he tell you that he's going to be godfather? Well, one of them?"
"Naturally. He was really quite chuffed about it."
"Good. Well is there anything else?" Harry asked. Ginny thought that he sounded
quite rude, but the headmaster seemed well acquainted with Harry's rather abrupt
manner.
"Oh, and Harry? The memorial was very touching, I thought."
"Thanks. Let's just hope we don't need many more of them."
"Indeed." Dumbledore said.
***
Albus watched as Harry and Ginny walked out in the middle of a lively discussion
. He sighed, looking at the picture of Harry with the triplets that the Nurse ha
d given him. He could easily remember when Harry was that size, and James and Li
ly came into Hogwarts to show their perfect child off. Albus had thought he woul
d never be more proud than he had been that day - it seemed that Harry had been
proving his wrong ever since. No longer a child, Harry had grown into his powers
, and was living up to his hero status. Now he had children of his own, and desp
ite everything, seemed quite content. Albus smiled, wondering how long it would
be before Harry started to wonder just why his headmaster seemed to follow his e
very single move. Maybe he already had, but he had never asked about it, or even
hinted that he knew. Albus knew that he would need to tell him soon, but he was
slightly wary of the young man's reaction to the bombshell that he could drop.
***
"I never knew that you and Professor Dumbledore were that close." Ginny remarked
as they walked back to the dorms.
"I guess I never really noticed - he's like...I don't know, he's always been the
re, y'know?"
"I guess. You know that you're probably the only one who bickers with him."
"God, how boring that must be." Harry grinned. "Only kidding - no, he's just...I
don't really know, he's always been the one that listened to everything that I
said, been there when I had a problem - well, except fifth year, but that was...
well, justifiable."
"Oh."
"I bet I'm one of the few who have ever had the nerve to trash his office, as we
ll."
"You didn't?"
"Oh I did, it was quite annoying really, all he did was watch me. The man is imp
ossible to rile."
"Maybe you just can't rile him - why were you destroying his office in the first
place?"
"Well, Sirius had just died, and I really wasn't in the best of moods." Harry sa
id with a small smile.
"I needed to lash out at something. I was so angry. I guess it was a good thing
that I destroyed Professor Dumbledore's office, because if I hadn't, I would've
destroyed Malfoy's face or something the next time I saw him."
"Oh."
"It hurt so much." Harry said, almost dreamily. "I wanted to shut everything out
, to close myself off. Dumbledore said that this was my greatest strength, and I
just lost it. As far as I was concerned, if part of being human was dealing wit
h that horrific pain, then I didn't want to be human." Harry had stopped talking
abruptly, staring down at the floor. "That's the one time in my life that I was
seriously considering just...giving up and dying."
"What made you decide not to?"
"Dumbledore." Harry said, "He told me about the prophecy."
"Right. Well that's...strange."
"I suppose." Harry shrugged. He looked at Ginny peculiarly for a moment before s
haking his head.
"C'mon, let's go and see how our children are."
"Sounds like a good idea." Ginny said.
***
Over the next few days, Harry became more and more aware of the headmaster watch
ing him closely. He had noticed before that the headmaster had always paid atten
tion to him perhaps more than he did to, say, Neville. Now it seemed that the he
admaster was watching his every smallest move. It was a little unnerving, especi
ally as Harry couldn't think of any reason for the extra interest.
Time was passing scarily fast, Ginny decided. It wouldn't be long until Christma
s, and after Christmas, it would be even less time until Harry went to face Vold
emort. He would want it over and done with once and for all. As time rushed by,
the triplets grew and grew, getting cuter every day. They all had Harry's eyes a
nd hair, but the freckles dotted across their nose had come from her. She could
see herself in them sometimes, when she really looked for any resemblance. It wa
s the way that Leah pouted when Harry wasn't there, and the way Andy and Sam wri
ggled in their sleep. Ginny couldn't imagine why she had been scared to be their
mother at first, and was grateful that Harry had helped her see sense. Harry hi
mself was always busy - he had received a reply from the shop in Diagon Alley, a
sking for a sample to be sent. Harry had obliged and the shop had been most eage
r to stock his invention. Now his time was split between his head boy duties, th
e Quidditch team, making more of his monitors, and of course the triplets. It wa
sn't difficult to see how much Harry loved his children, and Ginny wondered if h
is being an orphan had made him a much better father. Maybe he was just a natura
lly good parent, family or no. Either way, Ginny had begun to spend almost every
spare minute in Harry's room, doing her homework beside the babies' cribs. She
and Harry grew closer due to the amount of time they spent together, though Harr
y was usually too busy to hold a proper conversation. When they did talk properl
y, it usually ended in some friendly bickering and teasing. Occasionally Harry w
ould be writing something in a small book when she came in, but it always seemed
to go missing when she looked again, and she never once found it lying about.
***
As Christmas approached, Harry found himself buried under a mountain of work tha
t needed to be done. The pressure was mounting, and he needed to keep up with ev
erything. With the DA, schoolwork and everything else, he was finding very littl
e time to even think, let alone plan for Voldemort. Eventually, he sat down in h
is room and didn't get up until he had finished his homework for that week. Then
he put aside his plans for the monitors and started to write about what the mee
ting with Voldemort, planning for every scenario, every problem that he may come
across, and every eventuality. Through everything, he knew he was being watched
by not only his friends, but by the headmaster too. It had grown to be slightly
infuriating, being watched for no reason, as though he was suspected of somethi
ng. In his overcrowded mind, it was one more thing that caused stress. One that
he could eliminate fairly easily, he thought.
***
So a few days before Christmas, Harry went quietly up to the headmaster's office
, hoping that by the time he came out again, there would be one less thing stres
sing him. He didn't know that one stress might be completely replaced by another
.
***
"Harry? Is something wrong?"
"Why are you watching me like a hawk?" Harry asked immediately. The headmaster s
eemed taken aback for a minute.
"Would you take a seat please, Harry?" Harry sat down in a chair opposite the he
admaster.
"Why have you been watching me so closely, Sir?" He repeated.
"I suppose there are a few reasons." Dumbledore said, hoping to buy some time.
"First of all, you've been through a lot of changes recently, and I want to make
sure that you're coping ok."
"I am. I'm under some pressure, but it's ok." Harry shrugged. Dumbledore nodded.
"Yes. You are coping." He said.
"What's the other reason?" Harry asked. His eyebrows were a fraction higher than
normal, and it was easy to see that the first reason given hadn't satisfied his
curiosity.
"The other reason is more complicated." He said, looking intently at Harry, as i
f he was hoping to see into the back of Harry's mind. He saw only confusion and
curiosity, with a little suspicion and trepidation.
"Go on."
"This isn't easy...I...you might not want to hear it." Now Harry was frowning, c
learly wondering what the headmaster was talking about.
"I'm your great grandfather." He said quietly. Harry's eyes widened, and it migh
t have been comical had there not been a spark of anger lit within them.
"I see. And...why didn't you tell me this before?"
"I wanted to. I really did."
"Then why didn't you?" Harry asked, in a voice of controlled calm.
"I suppose I was scared of your reaction. I was going to tell you in fifth year,
but...after Sirius' death, I thought it was an inappropriate time. After that,
I began to wonder what you would do when you found out."
"All of these years I put up with the Dursleys - and I'm not just talking about
the abuse. Have you ever felt completely alone, grandfather?" Harry said, his vo
ice flat.
"Harry, listen to me..."
"No, it's my turn. I've put up with hell from the Dursleys, believing that they
were my only relatives - now you're telling me that they aren't? How do you thin
k that feels?"
"I don't know. I never will. I'm sorry." Harry stared at the headmaster through
narrowed eyes - the familiar lined face looked older now, and more tired than ev
er.
"Why didn't you tell me before? I mean before Sirius died. You've had plenty of
opportunities."
"I wasn't sure how you would react, not to mention the threat of Voldemort."
"Rubbish." Harry muttered. "Voldemort was never a problem - it's not as if it ma
ttered to him who I was related to - I had survived, so he wanted to kill me. Th
at's all. You being my grandfather had nothing to do with it." Harry said. A tea
r fell down the headmaster's face and Harry sighed in frustration - what was he
supposed to do?
***
Ginny rubbed the bracelet, trying to understand why it was sending signals that
the babies were upset when all three of them were fast asleep. Eventually, she w
ent up to the headmaster's office to tell Harry about it. She knocked before wal
king in to find Harry leaning against a wall, staring at the headmaster.
"What's going on?" She asked.
"The headmaster had an...interesting...revelation." Harry said, his voice free o
f any emotion.
"Umm...can you tell me?" Ginny asked, remembering the last revelation from the h
eadmaster.
"Yeah." Harry said, "Let's tell Ginny." He looked pointedly at the headmaster, w
ho sighed wearily.
"I'm Harry's great grandfather." He said. Ginny's mouth fell open in surprise.
"And you never told him before now?" Ginny asked, raising an eyebrow.
"No." "Are you ok, Harry?" Ginny asked, turning her back on the headmaster.
"I'm fine. How are the triplets?"
"They're asleep - and don't tell me that you're fine. I wondered why my monitor
was going off when the triplets were fine."
"I'm fine." Harry replied stubbornly. He looked from Ginny to Dumbledore and wal
ked out of the room, slamming the door.
***
When Hermione and Ron heard, they seemed quite outraged as well. Harry had never
seen Hermione quite so ready to go and yell at any teacher, but he saw it then,
as she stomped from the common room, anger etched in her eyes. Ron sighed and s
at with him in silence until Hermione and Ginny returned. That was around when H
arry had enough and went to his room.
***
It was a surprise to Harry that sleep came easily that night. He had expected to
be lying awake for hours, pondering the new information he had been given, but
instead, he had slipped quickly into a deep sleep, not waking when Ginny crept i
n.
***
Ginny watched Harry sleeping for what seemed like an age. He didn't stir once, h
is breathing deep and steady, though he still looked a little annoyed. There was
a tiny crease between his eyebrows, the only sign of the day's events. Ginny sa
t on the edge of the bed, feeling incredibly numb. She knew that Harry would be
angry, and she could understand why, but that didn't mean he had to be rude to h
er. By the time she left, the numbness was gone, leaving in its place cold anger
.
***
Harry awoke the next morning in a slightly better mood - he knew that the only w
ay to sort things out with the headmaster was to talk to him - he wanted to unde
rstand why, to know the reasons behind the choices that he had made. He walked d
own to the common room to find Ginny sitting in one of the armchairs. She didn't
acknowledge him as he sat down beside her, and made no move to show that she ev
en knew he was there.
"Gin?" He asked.
"What is it?" Ginny asked, her voice cold and stiffly polite. Harry was taken ab
ack for a moment, wondering what he had done. He remembered how he had snapped a
t her the previous night, and then walked out almost as soon as she walked into
the common room.
"Look, I'm sorry for being rude to you last night, but I was slightly shocked."
"And that makes it ok, does it?" Ginny hissed, turning to look at him. "You real
ly are quite a self-centred person aren't you? Does the world always have to rev
olve around you? Oh famous Harry Potter, he's had such a bad life, and now when
something good happens, he can't take it. Oh no. So he lashes out at everyone ju
st because he feels like it!" Harry stared at her, a cold feeling creeping into
his stomach.
"I'm sorry you feel like that." He said, his voice was strangled as he fought to
keep it under control. Then he left for breakfast without another word, or anot
her look, in Ginny's direction.
Hermione tried to get Ginny and Harry to speak to one another, and they did. But
it was only to exchange information about the triplets, or about Quidditch, and
even then they were polite and formal towards each other. Eventually Hermione g
ave up, and Ginny's visits to the triplets usually happened while Harry was away
for one reason or another. Harry avoided Ginny like the plague, still hurt from
her words. He wouldn't dream of stopping her seeing the triplets, but he tried
to stay away when she was there. He spent increasing amounts of time working on
his plans for the final battle, his many chess games with Ron finally paying off
in that he was getting better with strategy. He was under increasing amounts of
pressure, and began to snap at every little thing, until it was so bad that he
started staying away from Ron and Hermione. They were fed up of his whining, he
was sure, and besides, they would want some time alone now that they were a coup
le. So Harry grew more and more isolated, putting his all into everything else,
rather than trying to work things out between himself and his friends. He had a
feeling that he would regret it, but while he was so busy, it didn't seem quite
so important.
***
Christmas crept up on everyone silently, and Harry hadn't even considered gifts
for anyone. He supposed that he might as well get gifts for everyone, and went t
o Hogsmeade with everyone else in order to buy them. He went without Ron and Her
mione, and he was sure that Ginny was with the triplets, and so, alone, he trudg
ed around the village in the snow, searching for presents.
***
Almost three hours later, and freezing cold, Harry walked back into his room at
Hogwarts, dropping his purchases on the floor. He sighed heavily, lying back on
his bed and sighing. In the corner, Ginny watched unnoticed as a single tear rol
led down his cheek as he fell asleep. She peeked into the bag to see wrapped par
cels, each with a name on. Amongst them, she could see one addressed to her. She
bit her lip and slipped from the room, wondering what had upset Harry so much.
She had never seen him crying before, and assumed that it must be something pret
ty big that was bothering him.
***
On Christmas morning, everyone that had stayed at Hogwarts woke up to snow cover
ing the ground outside. Harry smiled at this, deciding to take the triplets out
for their first taste of snow. He crept outside silently, making sure not to wak
e the others. The common room was completely empty, but then again, it was half
past five in the morning. Soon he and the triplets were outside, bundled up agai
nst the bitter cold. All three triplets were wide-awake now, and staring into th
e snow as it fell on their little pink noses. Harry had always loved the snow, e
specially since his time at Hogwarts. It seemed something so perfect. So pure an
d white, yet freezing and deadly at the same time. The triplets loved the snow a
s much as he did, and gurgled happily as Harry twirled them around in it.
"Merry Christmas. Your first." Harry said quietly. "We have presents to open - m
aybe we'll go in in a few minutes." The triplets gurgled their agreement and cla
pped their chubby little hands as the snow continued to fall.
***
Ginny watched from her room as Harry took the triplets to see their first snow.
He looked happy again, grinning as the triplets smiled and laughed. He spoke to
them quietly, and Ginny longed to hear what he was saying. He put the triplets b
ack into their carrycot after twirling each of them around and giving them a lit
tle hug. A smile spread across her face as she watched them. They looked so perf
ect together.
***
When Harry returned to the common room, he was smiling widely. He didn't even se
e Ginny waiting for him as he sat down on one of the large couches, beside the t
riplets. He was humming a Christmas carol of some sort, but Ginny supposed it wa
s a Muggle one, as she didn't recognise it.
"Shall we go and wake Uncle Ron up? Shall we?" He said, a wicked grin coming ove
r his face. Ginny couldn't help but grin as Harry stole up the stairs with the t
riplets, heading to Ron's room.
***
"ARGH!" The entire seventh year boys dorm was awake now, and the triplets were g
iggling as all of them groaned and mumbled something.
"Get up!" Harry said between laughs. "It's Christmas!"
"What time is it?" Ron moaned gruffly.
"Ten to six." Harry said innocently.
"WHAT! Harry you are an idiot, insufferable..."
"Why thank you - I thought you might want to watch your niece and nephews' first
Christmas."
"Oh. Right. Have you woken Ginny up?"
"How can I? Remember the fact that we can't go up the stairs to the girls dorms?
"
"Oh yeah. Give me a minute."
"We'll wait down in the common room."
***
By the time Harry returned from the boys' dorms, he had noticed that Ginny was a
wake too, and wondered how long she had been sitting there.
"Merry Christmas." He said softly, making her head snap around.
"Merry Christmas. How did Ron take to being woken up so early?"
"Not as badly as I'd hoped." Harry confessed.
"You mean he didn't blow a fuse?"
"Nope. But then again, I did mention that the longer he slept, the more he was m
issing of the triplets' first Christmas."
"Ah, so that's how you escaped bodily injury." Ginny nodded. "How are the triple
ts?"
"They're fine - they like the snow." Harry replied.
"Yeah, I saw that."
"Were you spying on me?" Harry asked jokingly, raising an eyebrow.
"Of course." Ginny replied innocently. Harry shook his head and laughed, his eye
s bright and sparkling.
"I'm sorry about that thing with Granddad." He said after a moment.
"I was a bit...umm...harsh about that. I didn't mean it."
"No, you got it pretty much spot on. Anyway, we sorted things out."
"Is that where you and the triplets disappear to every Saturday after dinner?"
"Yeah. Sort of a family day thing...pretty bizarre, but there you go."
"Are you happy?"
"Yeah, I am." Harry said after a pause, in which he considered telling her the t
ruth. Then he decided against it - it was Christmas, after all. He smiled at her
before looking towards the stairs, where Ron was grinning like a cat that had j
ust caught the canary.
"What's with you?" He asked suspiciously.
"You've two have made up then?"
"Yeah." Harry said, still suspicious.
"That's good. In that case, you might want to look up." Harry groaned, knowing e
xactly what was coming next. He and Ginny looked up to see a small bunch of mist
letoe hanging above them. Rolling his eyes, Harry pecked Ginny on the cheek.
"Happy now?" He asked Ron.
"I suppose it'll have to do." Ron sighed, as if it pained him to say it.
"Hey Gin, maybe we should move over and make room for when Hermione arrives - ma
ybe we should just give them their own private little corner. First we'll have t
o wake Hermione though." Harry said, his voice just audible. Ginny grinned at hi
m and kissed his cheek before running up to wake up the other girl.
***
"What were you two whispering about?" Ron asked curiously.
"When?" Harry asked.
"A second ago." "Not much. So, when do we get to open presents?"
"When Hermione wakes up, I reckon." Ron shrugged.
"Right - by the way, it's the triplet's six-month birthday tomorrow."
"Eh?" "The broomsticks!" Harry said with a grin. Ron's eyes lit up and he grinne
d as well.
"Wicked! Finally." He said.
"What are you two talking about?" Hermione asked, as she and Ginny returned.
"Oh nothing." Harry said, nudging Ron to play along.
"We were just wondering when we'd get to open presents." Ron said.
"Right. Well, I suppose..." Ginny trailed off as several letters appeared in mid
-air, one addressed to each of them. They all plucked them from the air and open
ed them simultaneously.
"Harry, did you know about this?" Hermione asked. "Well...granddad may have ment
ioned it...once...or twice...several...hundred...times?" Harry said.
"You didn't think to tell us?"
"Nah. I thought it would be a nice surprise."
"I can't believe it - everyone's going to be there?"
"Well, all of the Weasley's, Remus, Tonks, Granddad, Hagrid, us four...erm, I th
ink that might be it - oh, no, wait. Aunt Petunia's coming too."
"That will cause a riot." Ginny murmured.
"Actually, I've explained everything to everyone - well, everyone that knows. Au
nt Petunia's left Vernon."
"She has?" Hermione asked, her eyes wide.
"Yeah. Dudley's at school, so he won't be coming. Vernon's still paying for him
to go to Smeltings."
"Right. Well...umm...this is definitely...sudden. When did it happen?"
"A few weeks ago - I went to visit Aunt Petunia to see how she was, and...well,
things were pretty bad when I got there. Needless to say, they got worse when I
arrived."
"Oh dear."
"Yeah. Vernon nearly ripped himself in half trying to kill me - again."
"You don't mean literally?"
"No - well, sort of. The spell will cause damage if he tries to deliberately hur
t me or anyone else - when he fights it, it gets worse, and when he knowingly tr
ies to do serious harm, it could cause pretty bad damage."
"Well, I can't say I'd be sorry." Hermione said shrilly, Ginny nodded her agreem
ent and Harry smiled.
"Well, he's fine now. Living with his sister Marge and her horrible beasts. I da
resay they'll be wanting to start a 'we all hate Harry Potter' club."
"Makes a change from 'we all love Harry Potter' club." Ginny grinned.
"Yeah, weren't you a co-founder of that?" Ron asked teasingly.
"Co-founder? No - I was the only founder!" Ginny said with no hint of embarrassm
ent. Harry laughed and asked who else was in this club of hers. Ginny refused to
give any details, but she did hint about Lavender and Parvati.
Harry and the others didn't get to open their presents until later that day, whe
n everyone was assembled in a large room that only Harry and Dumbledore had ever
seen before - it was large and grand and full to the brim with presents for eve
ryone, under an incredibly tall and beautifully decorated tree. Everyone arrived
by midday, and it was time for the celebrations to get underway.
It was unanimously decided that they should open the presents before eating. The
y each took it in turns to unwrap a present. They each had their own pile, and H
arry knew his had never been half as big before this - maybe the triplets' prese
nts were in with his own. Then he disregarded that, because the triplets had the
ir own pile, which was even larger than his own. Ginny shook her head slightly,
both in amusement and amazement. She couldn't quite believe that all this was ha
ppening, it all seemed so surreal. She looked over at Harry and saw him smiling
at his granddad, nodding slightly. Are they communicating without words? She won
dered. It certainly seemed so. Harry was the first to open a present, and found
that it was from Molly. His new Weasley Jumper. In the triplet's pile, he saw th
ree similar lumpy packages and silently laughed.
"Thanks Molly." Harry said, re-folding the navy-blue jumper neatly and putting i
t beside him.
"Who's next?"
"That would be Ginny, I reckon." Bill said.
"Ok." Ginny picked out one of the parcels, unwrapping it to reveal a small statu
e of a unicorn. It was from Bill. "Thanks Bill!" She said, giving him a tight hu
g.
"No problem." Bill replied warmly.
"Ron?"
"Oh yeah." Ron picked out a parcel and tore open the paper.
***
Aunt Petunia had watched as Harry and the other opened their presents, preferrin
g to stay in the background. She was glad that Harry seemed so happy, and wonder
ed for a moment why he was still looking after the triplets. Looking around, she
saw people that seemed vaguely familiar - some were more familiar than others.
There was the man that had gone with Harry to the Burrow, and that young woman..
.the one she remembered from the end of Harry's fifth year - only she had had pi
nk hair then, rather than the festive red and green hair that she had now. Then
there was that giant of a man that had first told Harry about his parents. Hagri
d. Not to mention the large group of red-haired people that Harry obviously knew
every one of. Some she knew and some she didn't. After a while, Harry came to s
it beside her, his smile dimming a bit.
"Are you all right?" He asked.
"I'm fine - thank you for inviting me."
"You're a part of my family." Harry shrugged.
"The odd one out - the only blood relative and the only Muggle and the only one
that never used to care."
"Used to doesn't matter." Harry said. "And you're not my only blood relative - p
rofessor Dumbledore's my great-grandfather and the triplets are my children..."
"Yours? Since when?"
"I found out while I was staying at the Burrow. Long story."
"And the Weasley's are your surrogate family?"
"Something like that. They're also the triplet's family - Ginny's their mother."
"She's pretty."
"Yeah." Harry said.
"How are things coming with the prophecy?"
"Fine. Nothing's happened yet, but...well, that won't last long."
"Right."
"D'you want your present?" Harry asked.
"You got me a present?"
"Yeah. You didn't think I'd leave you out? Besides, it's not as if I'm poor."
"Oh. Thank you." Petunia said, her eyes welling up with tears. "You didn't have
to."
"I know. I wanted to. Open it." Petunia opened it to find a small cage.
"What's this for?"
"It's for this." Harry said, presenting her with the smallest bird she had ever
seen. "It can carry your mail, very discreetly, and they're incredibly intellige
nt. Let you know when danger's coming so that you can get out quickly. It can al
so take you to a safe place if you need it to - just say where you want to go wh
ile holding on to it - I'd recommend that you come here, but you can go anywhere
. Just don't use it too often - using a lot of magic drains them. She will be ab
le to carry messages every day without getting tired, though." Harry said, putti
ng the small violet bird in the cage.
"Have you named her?"
"No, I thought I'd leave that to you." Harry said.
"Everybody, dinner is ready!" Professor Dumbledore said. He was wearing the hat
that Harry had gotten him, and looked happier than anyone could really remember.
"Hey granddad, can you pass the potatoes please?" Harry asked, making everyone s
tare.
"Certainly Harry." The headmaster replied, passing the dish before looking up at
everyone.
"Granddad?" Fred and George chorused. Everyone, with the exception of Ron, Hermi
one, Ginny and Petunia was staring between them in shock.
"That's right. Harry is my great-grandson." Dumbledore said, his mouth twitching
into a grin.
"Then why...?" Molly began.
"Molly, please, not on Christmas day?" Harry asked, his eyes pleading with her s
ilently.
"All right dear." Molly sighed, looking slightly unhappy.
"Wow, that is cool! We have the headmaster of Hogwarts in our family!" Fred and
George said happily. Harry sniggered quietly, imaging the mayhem that the twins
could create for his grandfather. "You're not going to put more restrictions on
that present, are you?" George asked.
"Wouldn't dream of it." Harry grinned. "I look forward to seeing what you two ha
ve been up to recently."
"Great!" Fred beamed. "Harry, you are the best brother we have!"
"Umm...thanks. I think." Harry said suspiciously. The other Weasley's laughed at
the exchange.
"Good luck, Harry." Bill said.
"You'll need it." Charlie said.
"Rather you than me." Ron told him.
"Gee, thanks." Harry said dryly. "So, who's going to stay overnight?"
"Well...we could..."
"Yeah, only it's the triplet's six month birthday tomorrow." Harry grinned. Ginn
y groaned and put her head in her hands. "Which means that they get their first
broom ride on their own brooms!"
"I should've said a year." Ginny said as all of her brothers started talking exc
itedly.
"Never mind putting an age limit on it, you might have been better to stop him b
uying them in the first place!" Molly said, looking apprehensive.
"Yeah, but he had that look on his face - and I've never seen you refuse him a t
hing yet."
"I suppose you're right." Molly sighed.
"I promise that I'll take care of them." Harry said, apparently hearing their co
nversation. The tone of his voice was placating, and both Ginny and Molly gave u
p on what they knew was a lost cause.
"We'll all stay, well, except Perce." Charlie said. "And while we're at it, we c
an have a Quidditch match, all right Harry?"
"Perfect." Harry grinned, a maniacal gleam in his eye. "I haven't had decent opp
osition in a while."
"Uh oh. Charlie's toast." Ron and Ginny said, looking slightly gleeful.
"We'll see." Charlie said, looking as if he doubted it. "I know he's a good flie
r, but I can't say I've seen you do anything spectacular."
"No? And you get eggs from underneath mad female dragons?" Harry asked, raising
an eyebrow while grinning.
"Well, that's all very well, but we're not talking dragons. We're talking Quiddi
tch." Charlie replied.
"Well, we'll see tomorrow." Harry said.
Everyone, including Aunt Petunia and excluding Percy, stayed at Hogwarts that ni
ght, and the triplets were cooed over by everyone. Petunia sat in a corner, away
from everyone else, feeling as if she was the odd one out. Eventually Ginny cam
e to sit next to her, watching everything that was going on.
"How are you?" She asked, trying to be civil to the woman that she had never tho
ught of as being worthy of living. At least, not until Harry had begun to explai
n why she was the way she was.
"I'm fine, thank you. You must be Ginny."
"Yeah, I am." Ginny replied, looking at the Muggle - she looked far from happy.
"I wouldn't have blamed Harry for hating me, you know." Petunia murmured, almost
to herself. "I just...he reminds me so much of Lily...and Vernon, he...he hated
magic, and..." The woman was sniffling now, and Ginny looked around for help. H
arry was making his way over, thankfully.
"Aunt Petunia? Are you all right?" He asked, putting a hand on her shoulder.
"I'm so sorry!" Petunia sobbed as she threw her arms around him.
"What for?" Harry asked.
"For being so awful to you - I should have said something, made him stop."
"Aunt Petunia, there was nothing you could do. If you'd have said anything, he w
ould have done the same to you, and then come back for me." Harry was uncomforta
bly aware of the Weasley's watching everything closely. Bill, Charlie and the Tw
ins weren't a hundred percent sure about what the woman was talking about, but t
hey could each hazard a pretty accurate guess.
"But he hurt you so badly. I washed the blood out of your clothes almost every o
ther day and didn't do a thing." Petunia sobbed. Harry let out a deep breath. No
w everyone knew.
"Look, I don't hold it against you - you were scared too. You have to stop blami
ng yourself for things that happened a long time ago."
"But..."
"No. Listen to me. Yes, you could have stopped it. You could have left, you coul
d have kicked him out, you could have told someone, but you didn't. But that was
a long time ago. I've gotten over it, you have to get over it too." Harry said
as he showed her to a spare room in the Gryffindor Tower. Silence fell over the
rest of them as they digested what they had just heard.
"Harry was abused by that Uncle of his?" Fred and George asked, their eyes wide
with disbelief and horror.
"Yeah." Ginny replied very quietly.
The Weasley family, and every Gryffindor that had stayed over the holidays, was
congregated around the Quidditch Pitch by eleven a.m. the next day. The two team
s were made up of the Weasleys, Harry and a few other Gryffindors while Professo
r McGonagall was the referee. Harry was the captain of his team and Charlie was
the captain of the other. They shook hands briefly at the start of the match bef
ore beginning their search for the Snitch.
Harry freely admitted that Charlie was an amazing Seeker, but he also knew that
he was pretty good himself when he had to be. They vied for the title of 'best s
eeker in Gryffindor's history', each showing off what they could do. It was a lo
ng and tiring game, with each team battling like they were in the finals of the
World Cup. Later on, Professor McGonagall would pronounce that it had been the b
est match she had ever seen. Petunia had watched with extreme interest as her ne
phew flew around quickly and skilfully, looking as if he had been doing so all h
is life. Meanwhile, Molly Weasley was telling her that Harry had been the younge
st seeker in a century, and that he had only lost one match that he had played i
n. Eventually the game ended, with Harry spectacularly snatching the Snitch from
right under Charlie's nose.
The triplet's first broomstick ride was possibly the sweetest thing Ginny had ev
er seen - Harry had charmed the broomsticks to follow his Firebolt, and they did
, following along in a little line. Molly had smiled as Harry did a few slow lap
s of the pitch, staying close to the ground with his wand at the ready. Petunia
had smiled and said that they looked like a family of ducks - the little one's t
railing after a parent. Dumbledore had laughed quietly at this, his eyes followi
ng his great grandson and his children, and it was hard to miss the distinct pri
de that shone from them.
When Harry and the others returned to Gryffindor Tower later that night, they we
re all smiling and laughing. Harry smiled, feeling very much a part of the Weasl
ey family, more so than he had ever done before. Maybe it was the time of year,
or maybe it was the influence of the triplets, or possibly a mixture of a lot of
reasons. He couldn't remember ever feeling more at home anywhere than he did at
that moment.
"Harry? Are you ok?" Ginny asked, touching his arm and watching him in concern.
Harry smiled and nodded.
"I'm fine, honestly."
"What were you thinking about?"
"Just how weird it feels to be a part of a family." Harry murmured. Ginny looked
up at him before flinging her arms around him.
"You were always a part of our family, you idiot." She laughed.
"Thanks." Harry said. "But it never really felt...I dunno, real, until now."
"Sentimental fool." Ginny murmured.
"That's just lovely!" Harry said, pretending to be insulted. Ginny pinched him,
rather harder than she meant to, and he yelped.
"Oh, you big baby." Ginny said, rolling her eyes as he clutched his arm.
"You're mean!" Harry pouted.
"Oh dear god, why do I feel like a mother to four children instead of three?"
"Because...umm...you can't count?" Harry suggested cheekily. Ginny hit him again
, softer this time.
"You've done it now!" Harry said, launching himself at her and tickling her merc
ilessly.
"Harry!" Ginny gasped between laughs. "Harry, stop it now!"
"Or what?"
"Or you are so dead!"
"Is that so? Hmm...I don't think my kids would be too happy with that idea, but
hey, if you're willing to put up with Leah's bawling, then go ahead."
"Fine, I'll torture you then!"
"You'll have to stop laughing first!" Harry said wickedly, continuing his assaul
t.
"Not fair!" Ginny screamed, her arms flailing wildly and her legs kicking out.
"Ow, that hurt." Harry said, as she caught his arm.
"Harry you're going to suffocate me!" Ginny gasped, a bright shade of crimson.
"Hmm. Maybe I'll have to resuscitate you the Muggle way." Harry murmured in her
ear. She went even redder, having taken Muggle studies.
"Almost worth dying to see if you would." She bit back. Harry didn't even go sli
ghtly pink. Very annoying.
"I would." Harry promised, his eyes glittering with happiness. He seemed to reme
mber where they were then, and his head snapped up. Every Weasley male was looki
ng at him with a mixture of shock and suspicion on their face, except Mr Weasley
, who looked nothing short of delighted.
"We'll just be heading home, then." Molly said, trying, and failing, to hide a s
mile.
"Harry get off!" Ginny giggled, going a fetching shade of magenta as she realise
d that Harry was pinning her to the floor. Harry obediently stood up, looking li
ke the cat that got the cream.
"Bye Mum, you should come and visit more often - I'm sure the headmaster wouldn'
t mind." She said, hugging her mum.
"We'll see, dear, we'll see." Molly said. She gave Harry a hug too, and whispere
d something in his ear. He grinned at her and nodded his agreement. "Well, it wa
s lovely to see you all. Come on, boys, if we get back soon, I'll make some refr
eshments before bed." She said. Every Weasley male that wasn't still at school h
urried to stand, and within moments, they were leaving.
"See you soon." Ginny called after them.
After the Weasley's had left, Harry went up to his room. Ginny stared after him,
wondering what on Earth was going on ¨C he had just been flirting with her and
now he was disappearing? She looked down at her bracelet as it gave a small jolt
.
"I'm going to see if the triplet's are ok." She said to Ron and Hermione before
going to Harry's room.
"Hey Harry, can I come in?" Ginny asked at the door.
"Sure. You don't usually ask."
"Oh shut it you." Ginny said, sticking her tongue out at him. He was still grinn
ing as he saw to the triplets. "Are you feeling all right?" She asked suspicious
ly.
"Me? I feel fine ¨C stop looking at me like that, I haven't had anything alcohol
ic tonight at all ¨C I checked everything prior to consumption." Harry said as G
inny began to think that his good mood was helped by alcohol. Perhaps not.
"So, why are you so happy then?"
"Is it a crime? Honestly, I'm just happy. It's Christmas." Harry said.
"If you say so." Ginny shrugged.
"Anyway, I don't believe we finished our battle."
"Our battle?"
"Yes, I believe we were in the middle of something?"
"You mean you hadn't finished tickling me?"
"That's exactly what I mean." Harry said, reaching out to tickle her. She jumped
out of his reach, looking for an escape route. Finding none, she settled on a c
ounter attack, pressing her lips against his. She saw Harry's eyes go wide befor
e closing. He was kissing her.
"Can I tickle you now?" He asked innocently as they broke apart.
"Huh?"
"Earth to Ginny!" Harry laughed, waving a hand in front of her face. She blinked
a few times, looking up at him in surprise.
"What just happened?" She squeaked.
"We kissed." Harry said nonchalantly.
"I know that." Ginny replied, her cheeks turning pink rapidly. "But what¡what h
appened?"
"Well, I was going to tickle you, and then you ran away, before you came flying
towards me. Then we kissed."
"Oh." Harry took advantage of her shocked state and began to tickle her. She imm
ediately snapped out of it, and began laughing and yelling at him.
"Harry! Stop it!" She screamed, wriggling and trying to get away from him. Harry
was grinning absurdly, and seemed to be enjoying himself. He leaned forward and
pressed his lips against hers briefly, before tickling her again. Ginny stared
at him, hardly aware of the tickling. She looked into his eyes, wondering what w
as going on behind them.
Ron wandered up the stairs to see what was going on. Ginny had been gone an awfu
lly long time, and Hermione seemed reluctant to tell him what Muggle resuscitati
on involved, though she was smiling happily. He knocked lightly on the door, lis
tening for an answer. Hearing nothing, he opened the door quietly. He was not pr
epared for what he saw. Harry and Ginny were standing in the middle of the room
snogging. He closed the door lightly, his eyes wide with surprise. His best frie
nd was snogging his little sister. In his room. He gulped and left them alone. H
arry knew better than to hurt Ginny.
"Well?" Hermione asked impatiently.
"Well, if Ginny wasn't breathing before, she will be when Harry's finished." Ron
said smugly. He did know something about Muggles after all.
"Excuse me?" Hermione spluttered.
"They're snogging." Ron said simply.
"And you don't care?"
"Of course I care, but it's Harry. It's not as if he's going to be daft enough t
o hurt her, is it?"
"No. Good, I thought that you might decide to do something stupid."
"Never, 'Mione." Ron grinned. "Now, we're being outdone by my little sister and
my best friend."
"Hey Harry?"
"Yeah?"
"What stone is in this bracelet?" Ginny asked, looking closely at her monitor.
"Emerald." Harry replied.
"Why Emerald?"
"Well..¡it has good properties. Besides, it's green. I thought you liked the co
lour of my eyes?"
"I do, but..¡what are the properties of Emerald then?" Harry grinned at her, hi
s eyes twinkling, exactly the way Dumbledore's did.
"I'm not going to tell you." He said.
"Why not?"
"I don't feel like it ¨C anyway, the crystal is what focuses the power."
"What crystal do you have in yours then?" Ginny asked, holding his wrist so that
she could look closely at his monitor.
"I have a few. First of all, Agate." Harry said, pointing to the first gem inlai
d into the bracelet. "Then there's Emerald, Obsidian and finally Smoky Quartz."
"You lied then." Ginny murmured, watching Harry's face.
"About what?"
"Making the bracelets from scratch."
"No I didn't. I made the stones too."
"How is that possible?"
"I'm not too sure, actually. I've never read anything about people being able to
create gemstones, but I can. I found that out by accident when I was making my
monitor."
"You make the stones too? What do yours stand for?"
"Well, the Agate is for courage, it helps to discover the truth and accept fate.
It also helps to strengthen the body and mind. Emerald, I'm still not going to
tell you. Obsidian keeps energy well grounded, clears sub-conscious blocks and b
rings an experience and understanding of silence, detachment, wisdom and love. S
moky Quartz releases negativity, is mildly sedative and relaxing. It also enhanc
es dream and channelling abilities."
"Wow. That's..¡umm..¡god, you sound like a textbook."
"Oh no!" Harry said in mock distress, before grinning at her. "Well I had to fin
d out what gems had which properties so that I knew which to put in the bracelet
s and which to steer clear of."
"I see. What did you put in Reilly's one?"
"Just ordinary Quartz. It's pretty much an all-round thing."
"Will that go in all of the ones to be sold?"
"No, I don't think so. Basically, people can make their own choices about which
gem they want according to the properties. I can make a selection."
"Right. Did you make that gem?" She asked, putting a hand to his neck, where a s
mall crystal was strung on a cord.
"Yeah." Harry said.
"What's that one?"
"Well..¡it's sort of..¡my gem." He shifted a little, looking slightly uncomfor
table.
"Your gem?"
"Yeah. I created a new one with all the properties that I wanted."
"Which were?"
"Strength, courage, acceptance, truth, love and balance." Harry said. "There are
two pieces of this gem in the entire world."
"Where's the other one?"
"In that box you gave me for my birthday." Harry said.
"Oh. I can't believe that you can do that ¨C show me!"
"Ok. What gem do you want me to make?"
"Rose Quartz." Ginny said decisively. Harry raised an eyebrow.
"Any particular reason?"
"It's pretty. Mum's got a bit. She's had it since her and dad got married."
"Figures." Harry said in a very quiet voice. "Do you know the properties?"
"No."
"Well, it helps you to let go of anger, resentment, guilt, fear and jealousy. It
eases emotional imbalances. It also increases fertility." Harry said. Ginny cri
nged and blushed.
"O-k." She said. Harry sat cross-legged on his bed and pulled his wand. He went
silent for over five minutes with his eyes closed, and his wand pointed out in f
ront of his before anything happened. It was very subtle at first ¨C just a smal
l pinprick of light that grew brighter and larger with every passing moment. Har
ry's lips moved steadily, silently incanting something that looked like old Lati
n, or something equally as complicated. Before long, the light took on a pale pi
nk colour and began to solidify. It was half an hour later before the crystal wa
s complete ¨C a perfect, smooth piece of Rose Quartz with a few beautiful veins
trapped within. Harry opened his eyes and picked it up, blowing on it to cool it
before placing his wand to it. He muttered something quickly and quietly, befor
e reaching for something from his trunk. He pulled out a long gold chain and pla
ced it next to the crystal. Then he proceeded to attach the chain to the crystal
, looking at it critically.
"There you go. One Rose Quartz pendant."
"Thanks Harry ¨C did you make everyone's Christmas presents?" Ginny asked, remem
bering how everyone seemed to get something made out of crystal ¨C Ron got a sma
ll carved lion, while Hermione got a little unicorn, similar to the one Bill had
given Ginny, while she herself had received a beautiful owl, carved from lavend
er jade.
"Yeah ¨C well, I made the crystal. I sent it to a jeweller to get it carved." Ha
rry shrugged.
"You didn't need to get us another present as well, you know."
"Why not? I like buying people presents ¨C something useful to spend my money on
. It's not as if I haven't got enough of it." Harry said lightly. Ginny had seen
his vault and Gringotts, as well as some of the articles in Witch Weekly, and k
new that Harry had more money than he would ever likely need. Apparently he was
one of the richest wizards in the world, after inheriting a fortune from his par
ents, most of which had only appeared after his sixteenth birthday. Not to menti
on the money left to him by Sirius, a house in Hogsmeade that was apparently lef
t to Sirius by some distant relative, and the money that the Ministry had given
Harry as compensation not only for Sirius' imprisonment, but also for the lies t
hey had printed in the newspapers about him. Ginny smiled and shook her head ¨C
Harry would always go overboard on everything for his friends and family because
he loved and valued them all so much. He didn't care about money, and probably
never would.
The Christmas holidays passed much too quickly for anyone's liking, and the NEWT
's were growing closer and closer. All of the seventh years seemed to spend most
of their time either doing homework or studying, and Harry was no exception. Gi
nny would often go up to his room to find him at his desk, scribbling away at so
mething, with Leah cradled in one arm. She watched for a few minutes, smiling at
how only Harry would be able to make such a scene look cute. Then she crept awa
y, not wanting to disturb him.
Harry himself was starting to feel the pressure of all the work, but he knew tha
t it would be over soon, and that thought kept him going through everything that
the teachers threw at them, including the mountains of homework. Not only that,
but as head boy, people came to him to help with their problems ¨C not that he
minded, but he did have rather a lot of problems himself. Andy fell ill half way
through January, and Harry spent a few sleepless nights down in the hospital wi
ng, taking it in turns with Ginny to sit with him. A few others visited too, inc
luding Remus, who seemed very happy to see Harry and Ginny's joined hands. So be
tween Andy getting ill, the homework that was mounting up, revision for the NEWT
's and the growing demand for the bracelets, January passed in a flash.
It was mid-way through February before Harry felt something that made his blood
run cold ¨C his scar prickled painfully. Harry cursed softly under his breath, h
ating Voldemort with all his being. He looked out of the window, emptying his mi
nd of everything that Voldemort may use against him, leaving only a few harmless
thoughts ¨C mostly of the ghastly amount of work that they were doing. He could
feel Voldemort rifling through what was left, and quietly did what Voldemort wo
uld least expect ¨C turn the spell around on him. Voldemort wouldn't notice, bei
ng so intent on finding something useful. Harry felt a surge of hatred in his sc
ar, not sure whether it belonged to him or to Voldemort ¨C either way, he didn't
have much time. He drew away five minutes later, clutching his scar, which was
now so sore that he could hardly see past the pain.
"Harry, are you ok?" Ginny asked from behind him. His vision cleared and he saw
her pale, scared face.
"Fine ¨C well, Voldemort's just tried to flush out my brain, with little success
."
"Oh."
"Don't worry about it ¨C the only thing he found out was that the NEWT year is a
killer. But he'll probably have known that anyway." Harry shrugged.
"Doesn't that mean that he'll know when to attack you?"
"Yeah. Well, he'll know that I've been incredibly busy with work, so he'll assum
e that I haven't thought much about him. He likes to assume things, Voldemort, a
nd it's been his downfall once. It will be his downfall again."
"Why?"
"It just will be ¨C I know when he's going to attack. I've known for a while now
¨C but Voldemort still believes that I'm stupid enough not to plan."
"You have planned?"
"Of course I've planned." Harry said with a smile. "Now, let's get off of this h
orrible topic and onto something happier."
"What would you suggest, Mr Potter?" Ginny asked, only too happy to get off of t
he subject of Voldemort.
Snape sneered over at Potter ¨C perfect Potter. It made him want to gag. All eve
ryone ever talked about these days was Potter and his snotty little children. Li
ttle clones of him. It was bad enough teaching one generation of Potters, he tho
ught to himself, a second would seriously damage his health ¨C not to mention th
e fact that they were half-Weasley, and that could only mean more trouble. He sa
w Harry murmur something from the corner of his mouth, a grin tugging at his mou
th.
"Potter! I thought you would have realised by now that I do not appreciate you t
alking in my class!" He roared. Harry looked up at him, with barely masked hate.
"Sorry Sir." He said, looking about as sorry as Snape felt.
"I would have thought that you of all people would have learnt not to talk back
¨C didn't your Uncle teach you that?" There was a soft gasp from Granger, who wa
s sitting between Potter and Weasley. She had gone pale, while Potter looked as
if he was ready to pull his wand. Surprised muttering filled the room, and Snape
smirked.
"Oh, you didn't tell anyone? You mean that you didn't want to brag about how you
lived through eight years of beatings from your Muggle Uncle?" He sneered. Ever
yone in the class felt the tension in the room as Harry rose to his feet.
"Funnily enough, I didn't feel it was something to brag about, Sir." He spat, hi
s face white with rage.
"His Uncle beat him?" Several Gryffindors murmured, looking shocked. Harry was s
haking now, and was ready to hex Snape into the next universe.
"Was it worth it? Did you get your little buzz? Let's see how we can make a fool
of Potter today?" Harry was right in front of Snape now, looking down at him. "
You know nothing about it." He hissed, before storming out, taking the door off
its hinges as he did so. Frantic whispers filled the dungeon for a moment, as Sn
ape stood immobile, knowing that he had gone too far.
"SILENCE!" He yelled. "Granger, tell Mr Potter that he will have detention tomor
row night." The girl's eyes were full of tears and rage, and he suspected that G
ryffindor Tower would be buzzing with hatred for him that night.
"Tell him yourself." She spat angrily. "I hope he draws his wand when you do, yo
u foul, pathetic excuse for a human being. You had no right to do that." She sai
d, following Potter's route from the classroom. Everyone, including Snape, was s
tunned. No one had expected the know-it-all swot to come out with an outburst li
ke that.
The school buzzed with the news of Harry's being beaten, but no one, except the
Slytherins, seemed to enjoy the news. Harry tried to stay out of the way, with t
he exception of Quidditch matches, where he felt an increased need to prove hims
elf ¨C he had always been the Boy Who Lived ¨C now he was the Boy Who Lived and
Was Beaten By His Uncle. It was the last thing he needed, and told his grandfath
er so. He returned to Potions the next day, sitting in his usual seat and glarin
g at Snape, daring him to say something¡anything. He didn't say a word unless i
t was to tell Harry that he was doing something wrong.
Apart from the incident in Potions, things passed relatively quietly at Hogwarts
. February slipped into March, and the weather took a turn for the worse ¨C the
rain never seemed to stop. Being unable to go outside, many of the fifth and sev
enth years took their opportunity to study for their NEWT's. Much to Hermione's
disapproval, Harry wasn't one of them ¨C at least, not to her knowledge. What sh
e didn't know, however, was that Harry was studying very hard ¨C just not while
everyone else was. He spent as much time as he could with his children, abandoni
ng everything the moment they awoke, only to go back to it when they fell asleep
again. Every now and again he would feel his scar prickle with pain. The pains
were getting steadily more frequent ¨C not that anyone but Harry knew that.
After Ginny's reaction to the pain in his scar the first time, Harry had been ca
reful not to mention to anyone that it had been more than just a once off. He, h
owever, knew better ¨C the pains grew more and more frequent as the time drew ne
arer ¨C soon it would be time to face Voldemort for the last time. Until then, h
e had NEWT's to sit, and children to look after.
Everyday, Harry saw something new in each of the triplet's ¨C he had never imagi
ned that he would love anything so much as he loved the triplets. His world revo
lved around them, and everyone in Hogwarts knew that. Most thought it was sweet,
while a few were disgusted.
"It's just repulsive." Malfoy sneered, walking past Harry and the triplets. "You
do have to feel sorry for them though ¨C Potty for a dad and Weaselette for a m
other ¨C they're going to be lucky to see their first birthday!" Harry's eyes na
rrowed and he turned to the other boy, who hadn't noticed him.
"You, Malfoy, would do well to remember that your daddy isn't here. Insult my ch
ildren again and you'll regret it." He warned in a low and dangerous voice.
"Harry!" Hermione hissed, not wanting him to get into trouble.
"Twenty points from Slytherin for those remarks ¨C and a further ten for being c
heeky to the head boy." Harry said, watching as Malfoy's eyes narrowed and he st
alked off.
The NEWT's began on the first of May, and went on for four weeks. Their first NE
WT was the charms theory, held on the second. Harry was quite confident that thi
s wouldn't be too much of a problem ¨C not after all of the research that he had
done in the past year. He wasn't overly confident, but confident enough to keep
his head and not panic, like Neville was doing.
The theory test lasted for three hours, and definitely lived up to the name of '
Nastily Exhausting'. Harry had been right to think that it wasn't incredibly dif
ficult, but it wasn't easy either. After three hours, they all walked out of the
Great Hall, where the tests were being held, and collapsed down in the common r
oom. "That was awful!" Ron groaned.
"Well you might have studied a little more." Hermione scolded her boyfriend. She
did tend to agree with him, though she would never admit it. Harry shrugged, le
aning back on the sofa and closing his eyes. Moments later, however, he opened t
hem again and went to see the triplets. Hermione and Ron watched him go silently
.
"He seems¡..different." Hermione mused with a frown.
"I know ¨C it's almost as if¡..well, he doesn't want to know anymore."
"Hmm. I wonder what's going on. Something's definitely odd."
"You don't think that¡..well¡..we haven't done anything to upset him, have we?
"
"Not as far as I'm aware, Ron. I think he's distancing himself."
"But why?"
"Because he wants to protect us." Hermione muttered, looking up at the staircase
, where he had disappeared.
"That's stupid." Ron said softly, though he knew that Hermione was telling the t
ruth.
"I know." Hermione sighed.
Harry lay down on his bed, all three of the triplets beside him. He hadn't told
anyone, but he had had a dream the previous night ¨C only this time, it wasn't b
ecause of his link with Voldemort ¨C no, this one had not caused him any pain wh
atsoever, just a cold, detached feeling. The war would be over within the next m
onth. Harry sighed deeply and closed his eyes, allowing himself to forget ¨C to
disappear into a world where only he and his children existed. Just for a little
while. Once again, he knew the feeling of sheer determination ¨C his children,
little Eleanor, Samuel and Andrew, deserved a happy life, without the threat of
Voldemort. But after Voldemort, surely another would come ¨C another one hungry
for power and willing to do anything to get it. Still, no matter what, he would
fight. He would fight for the peace that he had never known, and which he wanted
to wrap his children up in ¨C peace. "I love you all so much." He murmured to t
he sleeping children, marvelling at how much they had grown and how much they lo
oked like him. Andy yawned, his little pink tongue sticking out of his mouth, an
d Harry smiled. Nothing could take away his memories of them. And he would have
many more ¨C he would see this through and come out of it alive. He had to. Harr
y closed his eyes once again and drifted to sleep.
After the theory part of charms came the practical test. Then they had a few day
s to recover before their next NEWT ¨C Potions. Harry knew that this was one tha
t he needed to pass. Especially if he wanted to join the Aurors. He had spent a
lot of time revising and was fairly confident, despite that fact that Snape kept
sneering at him as if to say that he was sure to fail. Harry simply ignored the
Potions master, concentrating on the task ahead. A few days later it was the Ca
re of Magical Creatures exam, then Divination, Transfiguration and finally Defen
ce Against The Dark Arts. That was one exam that Harry had no problem in ¨C much
to the surprise of Ron and Hermione, he had won his duel against Professor Lupi
n with no problem at all, despite the fact that he never seemed to practice. Har
ry, seeing their shocked and confused looks, smiled ruefully ¨C he had been trai
ning for what seemed like forever without anyone else knowing ¨C not Ron, not He
rmione, not Lupin and not even Dumbledore.
"Harry? Are you all right?" Albus Dumbledore asked mildly, watching his great-gr
andson with concern all over his face. Harry looked at him, returning the x-ray
gaze that he seemed to have inherited.
"I'm fine." He said, knowing it not to be a total lie. "Was there something you
wanted to talk to me about?"
"As a matter of fact¡..Remus tells me that you beat him quite spectacularly in
your duel earlier." Harry shrugged casually, knowing that it would scare his gra
ndfather if he knew that Harry had barely scraped the surface of his memory to w
in that duel with relative ease.
"I suppose I did."
"Harry, he also mentioned that you used some quite obscure and powerful spells."
Once again, Harry shrugged nonchalantly.
"I suppose I did."
"Harry, is there anything you'd like to tell me about?"
"You want to know where I learned those spells." Harry stated.
"Well yes, I do."
"I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to tell you. I will tell you this though ¨C you'd
be surprised how much people can learn without attracting anyone's notice when t
hey need to." Harry smiled briefly before getting up and leaving without another
word, leaving behind a very stunned and slightly fearful headmaster.
"I'm sorry, but I'm not ready to tell you. I will tell you this though ¨C you'd
be surprised how much people can learn without attracting anyone's notice when t
hey need to." Harry smiled briefly before getting up and leaving without another
word, leaving behind a very stunned and slightly fearful headmaster.
The end of the NEWT's came as a relief to every seventh year at Hogwarts ¨C ever
yone except Harry Potter, that was. Harry knew that every day that passed brough
t him closer to the eventual battle that would take place between him and Voldem
ort, one of the most feared Dark Wizard of all time. He also knew that either hi
m or Voldemort wouldn't survive this last battle. So he wasn't particularly plea
sed that the summer holidays were approaching at a great speed, and even less pl
eased that he was almost continually bothered by his scar.
Harry sat on his bed, watching Ginny playing with the triplets. She was grinning
as they burbled at her, little grins lighting their faces. He turned away to lo
ok out of the window as his scar seared with pain, and he fought to keep the gri
mace of pain from his face. He seemed to succeed, and closed his eyes as Voldemo
rt tried to violate his mind. He felt the other wizard rifling through his memor
ies, and slowly slipped into the dark abyss that was Voldemort's mind. The other
wizard, too foolish to presume that his own weapon may be used against him, lef
t his mind open to Harry. In Voldemort's mind, Harry shuddered forcefully, feeli
ng Voldemort's vicious pleasure when he killed yet another innocent. Anger pulse
d through Harry like a poison, and Harry knew that he had just surprised Voldemo
rt by seemingly getting angry over something and nothing. Harry received many th
oughts that rushed through Voldemort's mind, including several about his sanity.
As he pulled himself from the grungy depths of the evil mind, he allowed himsel
f one thought that Voldemort would soon know ¨C by the time all of this was over
, Voldemort would wish that Harry was insane.
That night seemed never ending to Harry, as he lay in his bed, wide-awake. He ra
n through everything he had learned that day ¨C he had two days. Voldemort would
attack Hogsmeade in just two days. Soon, it would be all over. He eventually ga
ve up on any hope of sleep, and cast a spell to give his mind and body the rest
it would need. He sat down between the window and the cradles of the triplets, w
ho were sleeping peacefully. The crescent moon hung low in the sky, tinged at th
e edges with red. "Blood on the moon." He murmured aloud. "Yep, it's happening a
ll right." The moon lit the grounds of the school with an eerie, pale light that
made everything seem to glow. Nothing moved out in the grounds, though the sile
nce was broken by the occasional hoot of an owl, or the rustling of the trees in
the slight warm breeze. Harry opened the window wide and sat on the ledge, brea
thing deeply. He never noticed Ginny standing at the door of his room, having cr
ept up silently. She knew that she was lucky to be trusted by Harry ¨C if he had
n't trusted her, there would be no way that she could creep up on him, no matter
how silent she had been. She watched as he stared out into the night, his face
devoid of any emotion or expression. After a while she crept out again, closing
the door behind her. Harry sat on the windowsill oblivious, his mind working ove
rtime.
When he climbed back into his room, Harry cast a silencing spell around the slee
ping children, not wanting to disturb them as he trained. He shrank every bit of
furniture in the room and created a large and empty space. He trained himself l
onger and harder than he had done before, still at it as the sun rose behind him
. As he trained with his wand and his athame, he felt an immense sense of peace.
This came naturally to him ¨C as if he was born to be a warrior. Then he remind
ed himself that he was. At least he was if the prophecy was to be believed, whic
h he was inclined to think that it was. He had just stopped training when Ron an
d Hermione walked in, taking in his rather ruffled appearance and the empty room
. "What have you been doing?" Hermione asked, looking shocked.
"Training." Harry replied simply. "Now, if you don't mind, I need to shower."
"Is that a semi-polite way of saying 'get out'?" Hermione asked.
"Not at all. Stay, by all means, but I'm off." Harry, true to his word, disappea
red into the adjoining bathroom, leaving Ron and Hermione rather shocked.
"What do you reckon he means by 'training'?" Ron asked, somewhat nervously.
"No idea." Hermione confessed. "But it probably has something to do with Voldemo
rt."
"Probably." Ron echoed, looking at his nephews and niece, who were all, miraculo
usly, still fast asleep.
Two days later, at breakfast, the headmaster stood up and looked at the students
sitting at their tables, having breakfast and eating happily. The chatter died
down as people watched him with interest. "I am afraid that this morning somethi
ng very grave has happened." Professor Dumbledore said seriously, watching as Ro
n and Hermione shared a fearful look with Ginny. "I regret to have to inform you
that Voldemort and his forces have attacked Hogsmeade."
Ok, I'm sorry about the wait for this chapter ¨C homework again. Had lots to do,
especially as I won't be here to do it over the weekend ¨C I'm going down to Sh
effield tomorrow for the BBL trophy semi-finals! [Basketball, for those of you w
ho haven't read my bio]. So I'm in a very good mood! LET'S GO ROCKS!!
"I am afraid that this morning something very grave has happened." Professor Dum
bledore said seriously, watching as Ron and Hermione shared a fearful look with
Ginny. "I regret to have to inform you that Voldemort and his forces have attack
ed Hogsmeade."
Ron sprinted into Harry's room, hoping to find his friend tending to his childre
n. He quickly gave the password to the door and hurried in to find the room empt
y of any sign of Harry. On the large bed, he found something that made his heart
drop to his feet. A single scrap of parchment containing only two words: 'It's
time.'
Ron stared at the parchment in horror ¨C it was definitely Harry's handwriting,
and it looked as if he had been remarkably calm while writing it. "DOBBY!" He ye
lled, hoping that the elf was nearby.
"Mr Wheezy." Dobby came in, his face wet with tears.
"He's gone?" Ron whispered in disbelief ¨C he had at least expected Harry to tel
l them face-to-face before leaving.
"Harry Potter Sir wished Dobby to give his Wheezy this." Dobby sobbed, handing R
on a letter.
***Dear Ron,
I know that when you read this, I'll be gone. I know that I should've said somet
hing, rather than just leaving, but I really hate goodbyes. It's going to be so
hard to leave. My entire life has been in the castle, with you guys. Now I have
to leave all of you, and my home. I hate the thought, but it's something I have
to do. I can't fail this time, Ron. It's him, or me and if he wins, there will b
e the world to pay. I have too much of a conscience to let that happen. I'm comi
ng back, because I have a life to lead now, and Voldemort won't ruin that for me
. Still, I have a will if anything does happen ¨C rather weird, isn't it? A seve
nteen year-old having a will. I've had it for a year or two now, although the mi
nistry revelation kinda changed things a bit. I hope to god, Merlin, or whoever,
that you don't need it, but even I'm not fool enough to assume that Voldemort w
ill work to my plans. Yes, Ron, plans. See, I am capable of strategy, even if yo
u do beat me at chess every single damn time. I can imagine you looking terrifie
d now. The fate of the world resting on Harry's strategy. Well, I have plan A, a
backup plan, another few backup plans, and ¨C oh yeah ¨C another backup plan. I
've been planning this for over a year. I don't think our chess games have ever
lasted an hour, let alone a year. Anyway, back to the point, I cannot play chess
to save myself, but planning to duel Voldemort comes very easily to me. I've go
t to go now, Ron. We'll play another game when I get back ¨C maybe I can keep yo
u playing for a while before you trash me ¨C again. See you in a while,
Harry.***
Ron was crying, he knew he was, but he couldn't do anything about it ¨C this was
all so unfair! Harry shouldn't have to be the one to fight Voldemort, not at se
venteen. He folded the letter and put it in his pocket, standing beside the cots
. "You all don't know how lucky you are to have your daddy." He murmured. "Maybe
one day he'll tell you all about our adventures." Ron sniffed, looking out of t
he window and wondering where his best friend was.
Ginny sat bolt upright in the Great Hall, her eyes wide with terror as she reali
sed that someone was missing from the breakfast table. "Harry!" She scampered fr
om the room, and ran up to Harry's, barely aware that Hermione was following her
. When she got there, she did not like what she saw. Ron was standing by the cot
s, tears streaming silently down his face. "He's gone, hasn't he?" She asked, ma
king him turn to her. He nodded, apparently unable to speak. "How long ago?"
"I don't know ¨C I've been up here for about ten minutes." Ron shrugged, his voi
ce gruff.
"Was there a note or anything? Maybe he's just gone for a fly or something¡?" H
ermione tried. Ron handed her the parchment that he had found on Harry's bed, an
d Hermione gave a dry sob. "He didn't even say goodbye." She murmured.
"Harry Potter sir wrote you all letters. He is asking Dobby to give them to you.
" The house-elf said. Ginny took her letter and opened it immediately, as did He
rmione.
There was no doubt about it ¨C Harry had left. Hermione and Ron sat on Harry's b
ed, silently watching as Ginny stood by her children ¨C hers and Harry's. She ha
dn't said anything about the letter that Harry had written to her, but Ron notic
ed that hers seemed to be longer than both his and Hermione's.
"Hermione." She said suddenly, looking at the older girl with a strange expressi
on on her face. "What are the properties of Emerald?"
"Emerald?" Hermione asked, looking confused, "Er¡what is it again? Oh yes, it's
known as the 'Unconditional Love' stone. It assists in deeper spiritual insight
, and inspires love, prosperity, kindness, tranquillity, balance, patience and t
he power to heal. Why?" Ginny was staring at her, her eyes swimming with tears a
s she touched the bracelet that she wore.
"No reason." She murmured, turning away as her tears came. Harry had put a stone
of unconditional love in her bracelet. He had also just run off to face Voldemo
rt. Leah, Sam and Andy, sensing that something wasn't right, began to cry. "Hush
, little ones." Ginny murmured. "Daddy will be back soon." She wasn't sure that
she believed her own words, but she whispered them over and over again as she so
othed them. Ron and Hermione listened carefully, hoping that she was right.
The entire Gryffindor common room was silent ¨C each knew in their hearts that H
arry was gone, and he might not come back. While everyone was hopeful, they coul
dn't deny the very real possibility that they may lose one of their best friends
. Everyone sat in small huddled groups, thinking about their friend. They all fe
lt the absence of the boy that always seemed to be involved in something ¨C he h
ad become a friend to almost everyone in Hogwarts ¨C at least, everyone that was
n't in Slytherin. Colin and Dennis Creevey were desolate without their hero. No
one seemed to know quite what to do.
Albus Dumbledore knew that his Grandson had finally gone to meet his destiny ¨C
he had been one of the only people to see the young man slip from the castle bef
ore dawn that morning. He would never forget the look on his face ¨C sheer deter
mination and a force of will stronger than any magic. He had felt a few tears sl
ip from his eyes before gaining control of himself again ¨C he would not grieve
his Grandson before there was no hope left of him coming back. Harry would do ev
erything in his power to return to Hogwarts. He sighed and headed down to dinner
¨C the rest of the school would expect him to be there.
The din in the Great Hall subsided as the headmaster walked in. Gryffindor table
was silent and subdued, and it seemed that the news of Harry's leaving had spre
ad rapidly. Albus felt his anger flare as several Slytherins smirked at each oth
er. He stood up, sighing heavily. "As many of you are already aware, Harry Potte
r is absent from the Gryffindor table. He has gone to help in Hogsmeade, with th
e battle against Voldemort." There were more fierce whispers, and Dumbledore wai
ted for them to subside before speaking again. "No other student will leave the
grounds, or the castle. All fireplaces will be blocked, and owls will only be se
nt when absolutely necessary. Until the threat is over, we will all stay here."
The murmurs were now slightly angry ¨C many found it hard to believe that the he
admaster would allow Harry to leave, and many were downright outraged that it se
emed as if they were abandoning him. He noticed Ginny and Ron Weasley, as well a
s Hermione Granger, staring at him with rage written all over their faces. The r
est of the Gryffindor table looked almost as mutinous.
"Excuse me, headmaster, but shouldn't we be helping Harry?" Someone from the Huf
flepuff table asked loudly.
"That is not what Harry would wish." The headmaster said softly. "Besides, there
is nothing more we can do."
"But he's out there facing god-knows-how-many Death Eaters as well as Voldemort
¨C how many Aurors have been sent?" Someone demanded angrily.
"I believe that the ministry has sent around thirty Aurors to deal with the situ
ation."
"And how many Death Eaters are there?" Ginny burst out angrily.
"We believe that there is a team of around a hundred Deatheaters ¨C possibly mor
e." The headmaster said. "But I will not be sending any students into the battle
field. A few of the teachers may be leaving, however." For the first time, Dumbl
edore scanned the teacher's table, spotting an ashen looking Professor Lupin sta
ring back at him.
Remus, along with Professors Snape, Flitwick, Sinistra and Sprout, waited for Du
mbledore in the Entrance Hall. Each was silent, wondering what was going on behi
nd the secure gates of Hogwarts. The headmaster approached, looking old, straine
d. Without the customary twinkle his eyes looked dull and deadened. "Albus?" Pro
fessor Flitwick asked, sounding nervous.
"I take it you five wish to go and fight?"
"We do." They answered in unison.
"Very well. I will accompany you."
"NO!" All five declared at once.
"I will not abandon my grandson now. If he wishes me to leave when we get there,
I will, however until that time, I will be accompanying you."
"Grandson?"
"Indeed. Harry is my great-grandson."
"Does he know?"
"He does."
"That's all we need ¨C Potter's ego getting bigger." Snape sneered.
"Severus! You would do well to see Harry, not James." Albus said. "Right now, Ha
rry is out there risking his life to fulfil a prophecy that he had no control ov
er."
"A prophecy?"
"Later, we need to go." Lupin said anxiously. He didn't want to lose Harry the w
ay he had lost James, Lily and Sirius. He didn't want another generation of Pott
ers to grow up without a father.
"Indeed." The headmaster agreed. Remus studied the older man for a moment before
uttering a soft gasp of horror ¨C the headmasters face was a picture of helples
sness.
"Later, we need to go." Lupin said anxiously. He didn't want to lose Harry the w
ay he had lost James, Lily and Sirius. He didn't want another generation of Pott
ers to grow up without a father.
"Indeed." The headmaster agreed. Remus studied the older man for a moment before
uttering a soft gasp of horror ¨C the headmasters face was a picture of helples
sness.
In Hogsmeade, people were terrified. Deatheaters were everywhere, and they outnu
mbered the Aurors by a huge amount. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, was current
ly the Boy Who Was In Charge because no one else seemed capable of rational thou
ght. He hurried around getting people to safety before leading a group of people
over to where a large group of Deatheaters were standing, apparently torturing
a few people for information of some sort. "Where's Harry Potter?" Came Lucius M
alfoy's voice.
"Right behind you." Harry whispered in the Deatheaters ear, his wand trained on
his back.
"Ah, if it isn't Potter. Get him!" He yelled to his fellow Deatheaters. Harry wa
tched them calmly, his fingers curling into a fist one by one. As soon as the la
st finger curled around the rest, he nodded sharply, and curses were shouted by
everyone behind him. The Deatheaters fell back, astonished and frozen.
"A few people need to stay ¨C make sure they stay bound and frozen, ok?" Three p
eople volunteered to stay back with the Deatheaters, while Harry knelt beside th
e injured couple. "Are you all right?" He asked.
"We're fine, thank you for helping us." The man said.
"No problem. And you are hurt. Here, let me help, for goodness sake."
"We're fine, really." The couple insisted. "But we have to find our little girl.
"
"Little girl?" Harry asked, his thoughts snapping on to the triplets, safely tuc
ked up in Hogwarts.
"Yes, she's about this high, with dark blonde hair and olive eyes. Her name's Sh
annon." The woman said, gesturing with her hands. Harry nodded, quickly taking i
n the surrounding area.
"We'll find her, don't worry. But let me patch you up first." He said, knowing t
hat the parents would be little use to their daughter if they passed out from bl
ood loss, or worse. His tone brooked no contradiction, and he quickly healed the
cuts and injuries that they had. When he was satisfied, he helped each of them
up, his hair falling away from his scar as he did so.
"Harry Potter." The woman breathed. Harry fought the urge to roll his eyes.
"Yeah. Now, you two head towards the Three Broomsticks ¨C you'll be safe there."
"What about Shannon?"
"She'll either be there already or will be brought in very soon." Harry said soo
thingly. He glanced around again, knowing that they didn't have much time before
more Deatheaters arrived.
"I want to help in the fight." The man said resolutely. Harry gave him a long ha
rd look.
"It's dangerous." He said seriously.
"I know. I don't expect you to understand this, but when you have children, you'
ll do anything to make sure that the world they grow up in is a safe one." The m
an said soberly. Harry blew out a deep breath, once more thinking about the trip
lets.
"Oh I understand. Only too well." Harry murmured. Everyone within a few metres l
ooked slightly wary of the intense fire that burned in his green eyes.
"You do?" The man looked slightly surprised. The man that stood before him was o
nly seventeen years old, and yet seemed very much mature beyond his years. Then
again, he was Harry Potter.
"Don't you read the papers?" Harry asked, his eyebrows slightly raised as they b
egan walking. The woman headed towards the Three Broomsticks while Harry and the
others continued on.
"Not really." The man admitted. "Oh, by the way, I'm Tristan Korea."
"Right." Harry nodded. "You obviously know who I am. If you had read the Daily P
rophet over the last few months, you'd know that I have kids of my own. So, how
old is your little girl?"
"Well, she's not really that little¡she's ten. Goes to Hogwarts next year. Can'
t wait. How old is your child?"
"Triplets, actually. They'll be a year old at the end of June." Harry smiled a l
ittle.
"Oh yes, I remember something of the rumours now." Tristan nodded.
Harry stopped suddenly, throwing out an arm to stop the others. Everyone hushed
immediately as he looked around, listening and watching intently.
"Wait here. I mean it ¨C do not go anywhere." He said sternly. He was by far the
youngest of the group, and by far the most authoritative. No one dared disagree
with him. He sprinted off silently, making no noise on the ground as he trod so
ftly. Everyone watched him go, looking at each other uneasily. They were totally
lost without their leader. Fortunately, Harry returned just over ten minutes la
ter, carrying someone. Tristan ran forward, recognising his daughter.
"Shannon!" He called.
"Daddy!" The little girl moaned softly. She was dirty and dishevelled, and had a
few injuries.
"Tristan, take her back to the Three Broomsticks, tell the nurse there that she
was caught by a group of three Deatheaters. She doesn't seem too badly injured,
just shocked and slightly bruised."
"But Mr Potter¡"
"Go." Harry urged quietly. "I know where I would be, given the choice."
"Thank you, Mr Potter." The man replied, taking his daughter from his arms.
"No problem. Right, let's go."
"What did you do with the Deatheaters?"
"Right now they're out cold and rather badly hexed. The Aurors can clean up the
mess." Harry said. "Now, not too far ahead, there is going to be a large group o
f Deatheaters with their wands at the ready. They're waiting for us. We need to
be ready for their attacks. I'm guessing they'll mainly use Imperious and Crucia
tus. They'll want to cause us to turn on each other, and to cause a lot of pain.
" Harry said.
"Won't they use Avada Kedavra?" One man wanted to ask.
"No ¨C Deatheaters play with people before killing them." Harry said, careful no
t to use the word 'victim'. "Besides, I'm far too important to Voldemort to be k
illed by any of his cronies. He wants that job for himself." Harry smiled grimly
. "I suggest we use small hexes like jelly-legs and such. They'll expect stunner
s, and will be waiting to block them. Small curses can be just as effective ¨C h
ave any of you ever tried to concentrate while being tickled, or while wobbling
about uncontrollably?" At their agreement, they moved forward, each holding thei
r wands ahead of them. "Oh, and don't forget Expelliarmus ¨C Deatheaters tend to
overlook the obvious." Harry reminded them.
Harry's estimation had been very nearly spot on. Up ahead was a group of fifty D
eatheaters. Harry estimated the number of people following him to be perhaps thi
rty. A year ago, he might have been nervous about being the leader. Now, he felt
cold indifference and quiet confidence. He was probably the most experienced pe
rson for the job. He led the way into the beginning of heated battle between goo
d and evil, light and dark. He, Harry Potter, was finally fighting back.
Harry estimated the number of people following him to be perhaps thirty. A year
ago, he might have been nervous about being the leader. Now, he felt cold indiff
erence and quiet confidence. He was probably the most experienced person for the
job. He led the way into the beginning of heated battle between good and evil,
light and dark. He, Harry Potter, was finally fighting back.
Ginny, Ron, Hermione and the other members of Dumbledore's Army met in the Room
of Requirement. Each of them was silently fuming that they wouldn't be allowed t
o fight alongside their leader. Ginny had taken the triplets down too, unwilling
to be parted from them if it was unnecessary. Everyone sat in tense and nervous
silence. 'What we need is a means of seeing what is going on in Hogsmeade.' Gin
ny thought. Moments later, there was a large pop and several screens appeared ar
ound the walls ¨C apparently she had not been the only one to think that thought
.
Ginny had never seen Harry look so¡in charge before. It was slightly disconcert
ing at how natural it seemed to him. No one disputed any orders he gave, and no
one dared defy him. Instead, he gave people a confidence that they would rarely
have in such situations. He had the ability to lead, and to give hope and assura
nce. The man on the screen was a far cry from the child that had been so badly a
bused by his so called Uncle, and Ginny knew that his hellish childhood would on
ly increase his survival instincts.
Hermione and Ron could only watch as their closest friend led the people of Hogs
meade towards battle. They had never seen him look so mature or so commanding as
he did then. The other people reacted in a variety of ways, with everything fro
m surprise, to awe, to relief that someone knew what had to be done, and trust i
n his orders. It didn't seem to occur to anyone to dispute his orders. For once,
it seemed that his fame was a blessing.
Many people in the DA were awed by what they saw on the screen ¨C few of them ha
d seen Harry leading others such as he was doing at that moment. His lead was us
ually subtle. But subtle wasn't any use in battle, and Harry was apparently a ve
ry natural leader in such situations. It frightened the majority to know that th
e man on the screen, taking responsibility for everyone following him, was only
seventeen. He had matured beyond his years, and was a stranger to most of them.
They had never seen Harry fight before, except for the scuffles with Malfoy, whi
ch could hardly be called fighting, and it was all very new and strange. To Ron
and Hermione, it was torture, having to watch their best friend fight without th
em.
Ginny turned from the screen, her anger at the headmaster rising. How could he m
ake them stay when their friend was out there, fighting a battle with strangers?
How could he not let them help his own Grandson? What had the DA been all about
? Was it just a way of keeping them all busy while Dumbledore went about his own
business? Icy cold anger seeped through her, and she finally knew how Harry had
felt for so long ¨C the helplessness was like poison. They were imprisoned in H
ogwarts, useless and upset.
"This is ridiculous!" Someone burst out angrily. "We should be out there with hi
m ¨C that's the purpose of the DA, is it not?"
"How can he say that Harry wouldn't want us out there fighting? How does he know
?" Another person added. Ginny sighed. Unfortunately, she couldn't disagree with
the headmaster on that point ¨C if it was up to Harry, he would face everyone a
nd everything alone.
"Of course he wouldn't want us out there. But that doesn't necessarily mean that
he wouldn't have let us go." Hermione said, her cheeks flushed with anger and f
rustration.
"Harry wouldn't want anyone out there." Ron clarified. "But he knows that people
will fight alongside him, no matter what."
"I just wish we could be there. It's horrible being shut in here, not being able
to do anything." Sally sniffed.
"Maybe there is a way¡" Hermione muttered, remembering the passageway that Harr
y had used in third year. Maybe that would work. "Ron, come with me for a moment
." They both left the Room of Requirement, talking in murmurs about the likeliho
od of the passageway being left open.
"I should hope not ¨C if it is, then Deatheaters could use it ¨C we know that Wo
rmtail knew about it, there's no reason for us to believe that he won't have tol
d Voldemort. But still, it's worth a try." Hermione reasoned.
"Yeah. Worth a try. What do we do if it is still open?"
"I'm not sure ¨C gather the DA together, I suppose."
"I think we should make a plan before rushing into anything." Ron said, his mind
already on strategy. Hermione nodded resolutely as they came to a halt beside t
he one-eyed witch. "Dissendium." Hermione muttered, tapping it with her wand. A
slip of parchment appeared, taped to the statue. It was Harry's handwriting.
"Sorry Hermione, not today. The passage is locked up, as are all the other's lea
ding to Hogsmeade. I decided, in a moment of either genius or sheer stupidity (y
ou can choose which) that if people couldn't leave through the tunnel, then peop
le couldn't use the tunnel to get in. Don't worry about me ¨C I know you are. Ju
st do me a favour and keep an eye on the triplets."
Hermione and Ron read the note in utter amazement ¨C how had he done that? Event
ually they headed back to the Room or Requirement, where everyone seemed to be w
aiting anxiously, and making a lot of noise while doing so.
"Sorry. Harry blocked the passage." Hermione said quietly.
"He blocked the passage? To stop us leaving?" Neville squeaked in surprise.
"No, he blocked it to stop the Deatheaters getting in, more likely. We know that
at least one Deatheater knows about that tunnel, so Voldemort will know."
"Not necessarily." Hannah argued.
"Believe me, this Deatheater would have told Voldemort. Rat through and through.
" Ron snarled.
"You know him then?"
"Yeah." Ron said shortly. "Anyway, the tunnel is blocked, so unless we can break
through, we're not leaving through it."
"How likely is that? Breaking through whatever seal Harry's put on it?" Michael
Corner asked, looking interested.
"Next to no chance at all." Ginny murmured. "Harry doesn't take chances with thi
ngs like this."
"Yeah, but there's bound to be a flaw somewhere. I know he's Harry Potter, the B
oy Who Lived and everything, but he's not perfect."
"No, he's not. But he wouldn't risk the lives of the students. He'll have sealed
that passage with so many charms and enchantments that it would probably take D
umbledore days to dismantle." Ginny replied heatedly.
"You don't know that. There'll be flaws. I reckon a few of us should go and chec
k it out."
"Oh for goodness sake! Fine, waste your time. Ginny, you go with him. Ron and I
can look after the triplets ¨C just be careful. Hannah, you and Sally go too. An
d any others who don't trust us and Harry." Hermione said snappishly. Very few p
eople left, and Ginny looked very unhappy about it.
Ginny, being the only one of the group who knew where the tunnel was, led the ot
hers to it quickly. She stood back and watched as Michael drew his wand, mutteri
ng a revealing spell. Everyone gasped as a blue-white light spread over the enti
re statue. "Wow." Ginny mumbled. She recognised that it was Harry's magical sign
ature, though how, she couldn't really explain.
"Ah, see, I was right." Michael said with a smirk. "There are hundreds of flaws
in this. It isn't even a real spell."
"Why don't you break it already, then?" Ginny asked, getting very agitated with
her ex.
"I will, don't worry." He replied cockily. He lapsed into silence once again, se
tting to work. Ginny studied the structure of the spell. She too could see the f
laws, but unlike Michael, she was sure that they were purposeful. She just wasn'
t sure what that purpose was. She took in every detail of the one-eyed witch, no
matter how small, and began to notice that something was distinctly odd. As Mic
hael had said, the spell wasn't really a spell. More like a concentrating of ene
rgy, woven together. Almost like¡
"Of course!" She said aloud, running a hand over the stone statue. Harry had sea
led it with crystal ¨C the flaws were natural, and just made it stronger. The cr
ystal blocked the entrance and held it shut. Michael had very little chance of b
reaking through it.
"What?" Michael asked, now looking slightly aggravated.
"You'll never break through it." Ginny said, knowing that it would be impossible
to break for anyone but Harry.
"Why not?" Michael huffed.
"Because it isn't a spell. Really quite smart of him. No one can break this but
Harry ¨C Voldemort himself could try and not succeed."
"What are you talking about?"
"Well, as you said, it isn't a spell."
"What is it then?"
"Power and energy." Ginny said simply. No one seemed to understand what she mean
t.
"That's impossible. The only way for power to be held here is if it's in a conta
iner of some sort." Michael argued.
"What do you mean, power and energy? Is Harry less powerful now?" Hannah asked.
"No, I didn't mean that. And power does not need a container. It contains itself
, if the circumstances are right."
"There is no way¡"
"Look, see this crystal? If you smashed this stone to pieces, you'd be left with
a solid chunk of crystal about three feet thick and six foot tall. The flaws ar
e there to give it strength, not to make it weaker."
"That makes no sense." Sally frowned.
"It makes perfect sense ¨C if you're Harry." Ginny grinned. She put a hand to th
e piece of rose quartz that hung from her neck and shook her head. "Only if you
think like Harry." She murmured.
"Do you mean to say that Harry can make crystal?"
"That's impossible." Michael snorted. "Only really powerful gem makers can make
pure crystal, and something this big would require masses of energy. It's not po
ssible."
"This is Harry, since when do the rules of the magical world relate to him ¨C ac
cording to wizarding rules, Avada Kedavra is unstoppable." Ginny said. "Besides,
he can make crystal ¨C I've watched him."
"He never said anything to me about it." Sally said, looking slightly miffed.
"And you expect him to tell you everything about his life?" Ginny asked, raising
an eyebrow sceptically.
"No, but surely he'd mention something this¡big."
"Maybe that's why he didn't tell you. Anyway, lets get back to the Room. Unless
you want to waste more time trying to do the impossible."
"Fine. Ok, you're right. Golden boy has done it again." Michael said resentfully
.
"Oh get over it already. It's not like he asked for all this." Sally snapped. Gi
nny smiled at her, for the first time in what seemed like ages. Sally had just g
one up in her book.
"Well?" Ron asked as they came back.
"Harry doesn't do things by halves ¨C he blocked the tunnel with more crystal th
an you'd find in the Earth's crust."
"Great. Now we'll never get through."
"No, but on the positive side, they'll never get through either." Ginny said.
"You know, Harry never said that he blocked the passages ¨C just that they were
locked." Hermione said. "There must be something that would mean that we could u
se the tunnel but they couldn't."
"Maybe, but then again, maybe he just thought it better if we all just stayed he
re." Ron said.
"No. Harry knows that he can't do everything on his own." Ginny said, wondering
if Hermione might be right.
"So what are you thinking?" Ron asked Hermione.
"Remember first year? In the room with all the bird-things?"
"Keys. Disguised keys. Great, that is all we need. A quest to find keys."
"Just like Harry though ¨C nothing can ever be easy." Ginny snorted.
"No. But¡where would he hide them?"
"Where's the last place most people would look?"
"Out in the open." Neville piped up. Hermione grinned at him.
"Of course. Under our noses."
"Try the dorms?" Ginny suggested.
"Yeah. Ron, come on, you check your dorm and Harry's dorm ¨C Neville, you go wit
h him. I'll go and check my room."
"Check mine while you're at it, please?" Ginny asked, knowing that she would be
staying with the triplets.
"Sure."
Hermione ran up to her room while Ron headed to Harry's. Neither was entirely su
re what they were looking for, which didn't make things any easier. Hermione tur
ned her room upside down, looking for something that Harry could have enchanted
to be a key. He would needed to have had it for a while, and it would have been
fairly recently. Something that was completely unbelievable.
It took almost twenty minutes for Hermione to sit down on her bed, looking aroun
d her in sheer desperation. She just couldn't think. Her eyes fell on her dressi
ng table ¨C her hair was in a frightful state. Then her eyes travelled down on t
o the surface of the dressing table, where a perfect statue of a little unicorn,
carved from moonstone. The Christmas present from Harry. She grabbed it and ran
down the stairs as fast as she could.
"RON! I'VE GOT IT!" She yelled from the common room, before hurtling up the boys
stairs. "It's the presents from Harry ¨C Ginny's owl, your lion and my unicorn.
" Hermione explained breathlessly.
"Hermione, you're a genius! Of course!" Ron said, grabbing his tiger's eye lion.
"Are there only three keys?"
"Yes. We need to leave one here, with Ginny. She can't come." Hermione said, loo
king as if the words were painful.
"Yeah ¨C she's going to go mental. But she needs to stay with the triplets. If m
e and you are going, and Remus too ¨C that's all of the godparents." Ron said, w
orriedly.
"Don't even think that ¨C Harry would throw a fit if he knew you'd been thinking
that. Besides, I think there is more to these than meets the eye."
"Of course there is ¨C they're keys."
"No, I think they're protective as well." Hermione said. "Just a hunch, but it w
ould make sense. Come on, lets go." Hermione said.
"Wait, let's take Harry's cloak ¨C someone will need to check that there's no on
e waiting at the other end." Ron said, rummaging through Harry's trunk.
"Good idea. Got it? Come on then?" They ran all the way to the Room of Requireme
nt, where they found everyone looking nervous.
"Got them." Hermione gasped. "They're the presents from Harry. Lion, unicorn and
owl." She tossed Ginny the small figurine, before sitting down in a chair.
"Right, now we need to think of a plan. Only a few of us can go ¨C I guess that
there's an evacuation point in the Three Broomsticks. They'll need people to hel
p here. Ginny¡I know you want to come, but¡the triplets need someone familiar.
"
"I know." Ginny sighed. "What do I do with this then?" She held up the owl.
"Keep it. We might need it. It's best to have all options covered." Hermione sai
d, in her bossiest voice. Not that anyone minded her taking over. "Right, I sugg
est a group of ten of us going."
"Yeah, the tunnel's not that big, but if we're going to be of any use, we'll nee
d to have a decent number. Now, I've been thinking. Here's what we do¡"
Dumbledore, Lupin, Snape, Flitwick, Sinistra and Sprout arrived in Hogsmeade to
find large-scale destruction. There was no sign of anyone ¨C not even a Deatheat
er. They walked cautiously further into the village, appalled to see just how ba
dly damaged the town was. The first people they came across were unconscious Dea
theaters, guarded by a few of Hogsmeade's residents. "Have you seen Harry Potter
?" The headmaster asked.
"Oh yes sir ¨C he went that way." One of them said, pointing forward.
"Thank you."
"I don't suppose you'll know when the Aurors are due to arrive? Only I can't say
I'm too keen to be standing here all day guarding these twits."
"The Aurors aren't here yet?" Remus asked in horror.
"Nope. At the moment it's just that Harry Potter and some of the village folk th
at are fighting."
"What's taking them so long?" Snape snapped angrily. Remus' fury was beyond word
s ¨C the Ministry of Magic was leaving the fighting to a seventeen-year-old boy
and a group of untrained, inexperienced village inhabitants.
"I wish I knew, Severus. I can only imagine that they're hoping Harry will take
care of it himself." Albus said, his blue eyes glittering dangerously.
"Come on, at least we can help." Professor Sprout said soothingly, inwardly curs
ing the Minister of Magic. They all walked on, their pace increasing slightly wi
th urgency. None of them knew just how well Harry knew how to battle.
Harry spotted the six Professors heading towards the battle and nodded to them.
They all looked extremely surprised, to say the least, that he wasn't having any
major problems with the Deatheaters. They came to stop behind him, all of them
shooting different spells at the Deatheater that Harry had been fighting.
"Go over there on the left." Harry said, pointing to a group of people that seem
ed to be having a few problems, namely that the Deatheaters were winning their l
ittle battle.
"Would it not be better to spread out?" Professor Sinistra asked.
"No, because I'm doing fine and the people over to the right are doing fine. The
people on the left are about to get killed if they're not careful. Now go."
"And who put you in charge?" Snape sneered half-heartedly.
"Any better ideas, Professor? I'm willing to hear them, but until then, I'm in c
harge."
"Perhaps Albus should be in charge." Professor Sprout suggested timidly.
"Granddad? It's up to you." Harry said, throwing a stunner over his shoulder to
stop a Deatheater that was approaching. He held a sword out to Dumbledore, who w
as busy studying his grandson's determined face.
"No." He said softly. "Come on, you heard the man." He and the others went over
to help the others while Harry continued to battle any Deatheaters that were foo
lish enough to take him on personally. They didn't succeed in overpowering him i
n groups either. Equipped with a wand in one hand, and Gryffindor's sword in the
other, Harry was a formidable opponent, and after a while, the Deatheaters drew
the conclusion that there was no way that even in small groups they could overc
ome him. So they joined together a group of around thirty Deatheaters, keeping t
he others busy while they were at it. Harry smirked at them.
"All this trouble for little old me. My, don't I feel privileged." He mocked.
"Don't get above yourself, Potty, this will be the last night of your life."
"I wouldn't bet on it. And name calling? How juvenile of you." The Deatheaters,
as a group, moved forward, murmuring angrily. Harry stood his ground, watching t
hem with an amused expression on his face, on eyebrow raised. "Hmm. Now this is
going to be fun." He murmured, his eyes glittering dangerously. The Deatheaters
looked at each other nervously ¨C they had never seen Harry so confident before,
and it unnerved them. He was supposed to be scared. He wasn't supposed to be th
e leader of the group.
"Only for us, Potter, only for us." One of them answered. Harry just smiled.
"Let the games begin then." He replied, pointing both his wand and his sword.
"Avada Kedavra!" Someone yelled. There was a lot of angry hissing, leading Harry
to believe that Voldemort wanted him alive. He brought the blade of the sword u
p and deflected the green light. It hit one of the Deatheaters at the front.
"Tut tut. Trying to kill me before Voldemort has a go." Harry said, his heart tu
rning to stone. There was no room for a conscience now. Conscience would come la
ter, but the Deatheater was dead from the hand of his own side. That would be on
e death that didn't weigh on his mind. "Any one else want a free shot? You have
five¡four¡three¡two¡"
"Cruciatus!"
"One." Harry said, dodging the curse. "No one then? Oh well, game time." Without
another word, Harry began flicking curses everywhere, using a bizarre combinati
on that kept each of his opponents guessing. He wouldn't kill any of them ¨C not
unless he really had to ¨C but that didn't mean that he wasn't going to give th
em hell.
The other Deatheaters weren't getting on terribly well either. Still, they manag
ed to kill two of the villagers that had followed Harry, and had begun to fling
around the killing curse. Harry was getting more and more annoyed as the time pa
ssed. It certainly seemed like Voldemort was playing with him, and Harry didn't
like the game. He called over to the others to come over.
"Right. Let's change the game plan, shall we?" Harry announced quietly.
"Right. Let's change the game plan, shall we?" Harry announced quietly.
The tunnel had never seemed longer to Ron and Hermione. They both remembered the
times that they had used it before ¨C always when Harry was with them. It didn'
t seem quite right when Harry was absent. They walked along in silence, leading
the group of DA members that included Neville, Sally, Parvati, Lavender, Dean an
d Seamus. Everyone was nervous, but they all knew that the light side would need
as much help as possible.
"So, what do you reckon is going on then?" Seamus asked.
"Deatheaters en masse, maybe Dementors, maybe giants. Who knows?" Hermione said.
"Could be just about anything."
"What about You-Know-Who?"
"Oh, I daresay he'll only show up at the end. We won't be going anywhere near hi
m. That is Harry's job."
"Harry's job?" Sally squeaked.
"Yeah ¨C he wouldn't let anyone else fight his battles would he? And he sees Vol
demort as his problem."
"I'll never understand what goes on in his mind." Dean said, shaking his head.
"I don't think any of us would want to. Knowing Harry, it wouldn't be pretty." R
on said. He knew better than most that Harry kept everything tucked away in his
mind, no matter how small.
"So, just to make sure we've got this clear, what are we doing?" Parvati asked.
"Well, first of all, we need to check that there's no one at the other end of th
e tunnel ¨C I'll do that. If everything's clear, we'll go up through Honeydukes
quietly, and from there, we find Harry and the others. He'll tell us what to do.
If we come across any Deatheaters on the way, stun them, or hex them. Just do t
he first thing that comes to mind."
"What if we can't find Harry?"
"We'll be able to find him ¨C Voldemort is going to want this fight out in the o
pen ¨C he's very optimistic."
"What about Harry?"
"He's been planning this for ages. He's determined to finish this. Plus, he has
everything to fight for."
"How long exactly has he been planning this? I mean, he's not exactly the best a
t chess, is he?" Lavender pointed out nervously. Ron's laugh broke the tension i
n the room.
"He said a similar thing in his letter ¨C but as he put it, duelling Voldemort a
nd other assorted evils comes naturally to him. If chess is my natural talent, H
arry's is kicking evil ass."
"I can't really see Harry fighting, myself." Sally said. "I mean, on those scree
ns¡it all seemed so unreal."
"You can't imagine Harry fighting? Where have you been for the last seven years?
After everything with Malfoy?"
"That's not real fighting though ¨C that's squabbling."
"I suppose. I've seen it though ¨C it's damn scary. Guy has a wicked temper on h
im."
"Not to mention incredible amounts of power and determination, etcetera, etceter
a." Hermione rolled off, sounding bored.
"Yeah ¨C we can do this. If Harry can do away with Voldemort, the least we can d
o is put a few Deatheaters out of commission." Neville said, looking determined.
"Well said, Neville." Hermione beamed.
They found that Honeydukes was completely abandoned, as was the majority of Hogs
meade. Things weren't looking too good, particularly as there were bodies scatte
red around, bloody and dead. Everyone gulped in unison, averting his or her eyes
and focussing on finding Harry ¨C alive.
It didn't take long to find Harry and the others ¨C they were right at the edge
of Hogsmeade. Hermione gaped as one of her best friends sent out vast numbers of
spells, entwining them together for greater effect. Others did the same, though
admittedly on a smaller scale. Everyone noticed that fact that at Harry's side
were Dumbledore and Snape, both looking slightly awed. "Ron, Hermione, what took
you so long?" Harry asked without turning around.
"Well if you hadn't made us go hunting." Ron said, looking slightly incredulous.
"What? If I hadn't, anyone could have found their way here. You did lock up afte
r yourselves, didn't you?"
"Yeah, we're not stupid." Hermione said.
"Wouldn't dream of saying you were." Harry grinned. He looked back and saw the g
roup. "Hey Granddad, take over for a minute, ok?"
"Indeed." Dumbledore nodded, while most of the DA simply stared.
"Dumbledore's your Grandfather?" Someone asked.
"Yeah. Well, Great-Grandfather. Anyway, here's what we're doing, and here's what
you need to do¡" Harry began to explain, authority radiating from him. There w
as no doubt as to whom was in charge.
The Deatheaters had no choice but to retreat a little ¨C the army that Harry had
built was effectively running them out of Hogsmeade. More than a little panicke
d, a few messengers apparated to the spot where Voldemort was waiting.
"My Lord, he is strong! Our forces are being made to retreat. If the army was wi
thout their leader, they would crumble."
"Who is the leader?" Voldemort bellowed, his red eyes flashing angrily in the da
rk room.
"Harry Potter, Sir." The Messenger all but whimpered. The Dark Lord's eyes widen
ed a little, before he stood abruptly.
"Why was I not informed of this before?" Voldemort barked.
"We¡we are sorry, my Lord, but we tried to capture him, but it was no use. He's
more powerful than originally thought."
"Are you trying to imply that I will not be able to defeat him?" The Dark Lord's
wand appeared in his long, bony fingers, and the Messenger eyed it with sheer t
error.
"NO my Lord, never would I suggest such a thing!" He protested vehemently.
"Very good. Well, you have served your purpose, Eldrin, I thank you." Voldemort
said, his mouth twisting into a cruel imitation of a smile. "Avada Kedavra." He
said, shooting a jet of green light at his servant, and watching in satisfaction
as he fell, clearly dead, to the ground.
Harry's head snapped up, his eyes narrowing as he stunned yet another Deatheater
. He held up a hand and silence reigned. No one dared argue with Harry Potter wh
en he was in battle mode ¨C at least, no one that had any sense at all. Everythi
ng paused in that moment ¨C time itself seemed to halt at the will of one young
man. No one dared move or speak. Only Harry moved, his head tilting up and looki
ng out into the distance. A small smile curved his lips as everyone watched incr
edulously ¨C what on Earth was happening that would make someone ¨C anyone ¨C wa
nt to smile in the middle of a battle? The smile grew as Harry's eyebrows rose j
ust a little. Those who knew Harry well gulped. They knew the look in his eyes w
as dangerous ¨C at least, to whomever had displeased. Right now, the whole of th
e Dark Side looked as if they should be shaking in terror. Never mind You-Know-W
ho, their biggest fear should be Harry Potter.
Harry looked around at the assembled group, his smile still playing at his lips.
"Well it seems as if Voldemort has finally decided to come and join the occasio
n." He said, his voice ringing clearly in the silence. Everyone else, Light and
Dark, gulped. Each knowing that at the end of this, there would be one person le
ft standing. It would be over once and for all.
I know, I know. Sorry for the loooong wait for this chapter, but school work and
exams and such got in the way. The good news is that this story is now official
ly complete at seventy-six chapters long. So hopefully the last few chapters wil
l follow shortly. Well, enjoy¡
Harry looked around at the assembled group, his smile still playing at his lips.
"Well it seems as if Voldemort has finally decided to come and join the occasio
n." He said, his voice ringing clearly in the silence. Everyone else, Light and
Dark, gulped. Each knowing that at the end of this, there would be one person le
ft standing. It would be over once and for all.
Ginny and the few who had elected to stay behind at Hogwarts, watched the entire
thing unfold. By this point, Leah and her brothers had figured out that somethi
ng was definitely wrong, and were restless. Leah was the worst of the three, bei
ng a daddy's girl, and stubbornly refused to do anything but whimper. "Can't you
shut her up?" Someone asked despairingly.
"Oh yes, because it's that easy." Ginny replied. "She missed her daddy. He's nev
er left them for this long before."
"Is there nothing we can do?"
"At the moment, all we can do is try a tranquillising charm ¨C just a mild one,
mind."
"Are you sure it won't harm her?"
"No, mum used to use them on Fred and George all the time when they were babies.
Anyway, it's for her own good. If she doesn't stop, she's going to exhaust hers
elf and end up getting ill."
"Right."
In the moments after Harry's announcement, there was utter silence. No one moved
, no one spoke, no one dared to breath too loudly, lest something happen right t
hen and there. It was during this silence that Harry's head snapped up once agai
n. No one knew what he was listening for. Not even the Deatheaters knew what kin
d of a plan their master had up his sleeve. "What's happening, Harry?" Ron asked
quietly. Harry remained silent for a moment before nodding sharply.
"Get ready to face hell on Earth, guys. The Dementors are coming ¨C en masse." H
arry said calmly. Even the deatheaters gulped ¨C no sane human would welcome a D
ementor.
"How far away?" The headmaster asked, wondering why Harry knew of the impending
attack without anyone else being able to feel the presence.
"Five, possibly ten minutes away." Harry replied after a moment of thought.
"How do you know?" Parvati asked curiously.
"You know Harry, that's a fair question." Hermione said.
"It's amazing what you can learn without anyone knowing about it." Harry replied
with a smirk. "And it's quite amazing how easy it is to hide certain¡abilities
, even from your closest friends, especially when your life may depend on it."
"I'm not sure I like the sound of that." Snape said sourly. Harry ignored him co
mpletely, concentrating again.
"They're approximately twenty miles from here. They're going to get here quickly
. Do try and stay calm. You all know how to create a Patronus, but I meant what
I said in fifth year ¨C there's a world of difference between casting a Patronus
in a nice cosy classroom and when you're facing a group of around seventy Demen
tors. Just concentrate on happy thoughts." Harry said.
"Seventy Dementors twenty miles away. Right. Well, this just got a whole lot mor
e interesting." A female Deatheater sneered. Harry turned to her, a small smile
playing across his face.
"Didn't it just. You might want to hope that the Dementors remember who their al
lies are, and not just go on a feeding spree." His words created a few soft gasp
s of terror from within the ranks of the Deatheaters, and Harry could imagine ea
ch one of them paling beneath their masks. "Then again, probably better to suffe
r the Dementors Kiss than face your master's wrath when he finds out that you've
been standing here for ¨C oh, twenty minutes at least ¨C and you haven't manage
d to so much as scratch either me or my friends." The Deatheaters all shuffled n
ervously, and Harry smirked. Where did Voldemort get these idiots, he wondered.
Voldemort let a smile curve at his slit-like mouth. At least, as much of a smile
as he could achieve. Had any of his loyal, or not so loyal, servants been aroun
d, they would be cowering from such a terrible sight. As it was, he was alone. H
e had told no one of his plans, sending every Deatheater to Hogsmeade. It was al
l a hoax. And the Great Harry Potter had fallen for it, leaving his three childr
en and the rest of Hogwarts almost completely unprotected. The fool. He lifted h
is wand and apparated to the edge of the Forbidden Forest.
Harry and the others were casting patroni when he began to feel a sickly apprehe
nsion. He let loose a string of curses that would make Fred and George proud. "C
an we wrap this up, please?" He growled to the rest of his friends and allies.
"Why, what's going on?" Hermione asked in fear.
"You really don't want to know." Harry promised. "I have to go ¨C get back to Ho
gwarts as soon as you can, ok?"
"Sure." Ron nodded. There was the sound of crystal shattering as Harry disappear
ed.
"Come on, let's get this over and done with." Ron said. He noticed that on the g
round, where Harry had disappeared, there was a small patch of blood.
Harry appeared in the Room of Requirement, relieved to see that both Ginny and t
he triplets were fine. The members of the DA who were still there, looked up in
shock. "Is it over?" One person asked.
"Far from it." Harry replied. "Gin, listen to me ¨C you can scream and shout all
you want later, but for now, you have to listen." Ginny nodded hesitantly. "Rig
ht, Voldemort is here ¨C I'll give you three guesses what he's here for."
"Oh no." Ginny said, looking scared. "No. He's supposed to be going to Hogsmeade
¨C that's where all his Deatheaters are ¨C that's where you and Dumbledore were
¡oh." Ginny's eyes widened as she realised that it had all been a hoax.
"Exactly. It was a trick. He's¡in the Forbidden Forest. He doesn't know I'm her
e, so he's in for one hell of a surprise."
"You've got a plan." Ginny said shrewdly. Harry smiled weakly and nodded.
"Time to see just how idiotic Tom is."
"This should be interesting. Where's my part in this?"
"Well, here's what's we're gonna do¡" Harry began explaining the plan in detail
, as Ginny listened, along with the remaining DA members.
The Aurors had arrived just as Harry disappeared, looking rather shocked at the
assortment of people that stood face-to-face with the Deatheaters. Some didn't l
ook much older than sixteen or seventeen. The one person that they had expected
though, was not there. "Who would've thought that Potter would leave it to those
who know better?" One of them drawled.
"Know better? You think you know better?" Hermione asked coolly.
"I would say that years worth of training would qualify us to know more than a k
id."
"A kid? That 'kid' has probably been through more than you will ever have to ¨C
not to mention that he too has had years of training ¨C only his life depended o
n it. Now, are you going to do something useful for once in your lives?"
"How dare you ¨C"
"Hello? Has anyone noticed the rather large semblance of Deatheaters around? Don
't you perhaps think that we should work together to stop them?" As if on cue, s
everal hundred curses were flung from the direction of the Deatheaters. "At leas
t Harry helped get rid of the Dementors before vanishing."
"Ha! What do you think of your precious hero now? He just abandoned you all!" A
Deatheater crowed.
"He's probably off doing the world a favour and getting rid of that monster that
you all bow to." Ron said with a malevolent grin.
"The Dark Lord will wipe the floor with Harry Potter!"
"A Muggle term? My, my, and here I was thinking that you wanted to kill them all
." Hermione said, ducking a curse.
"Hey, anyone miss me?" Harry asked, appearing with a grin.
"Harry! Where did you go? What happened?"
"Voldemort trying to be smart happened. Anyway, I just came here for a few minut
es ¨C he's in the Forbidden Forest, if you were interested."
"He's at Hogwarts?" Dumbledore asked, his eyes wide with horror.
"Yeah ¨C but don't worry, everything's under control." Harry gave his grandfathe
r a cheeky grin. "I promise you that Voldemort won't know what hit him."
"Sorta makes you glad that we're not his enemies, doesn't it?" Ron muttered to R
emus.
"I'll take that as a compliment, Ron." He turned to where the Deatheaters were s
till throwing curses about like there was no tomorrow ¨C then again, for them, t
here might not be. "Are you lot still here? Merlin, apparently Voldemort doesn't
teach you when to give up. Here, let me help you." He lifted a hand and the fro
nt row of Deatheaters stopped in their tracks, looks of pure fear on their faces
. He did the same to the second row, and the third, and the fourth, until every
Deatheater was frozen. Calmly, Harry walked straight to the back of the pack, a
look of pure disgust on his face. "Remus, catch!" He said, tossing a large block
of crystal in the air. Remus frowned, but caught it anyway. He nearly dropped i
t as he saw that it encased a rat ¨C a rat with one silver paw. "Now, don't have
too much fun, will you?" Harry smirked dangerously.
"Wormtail." Remus growled, tossing the crystal into the air and catching it agai
n. "This will be fun." He grinned wolfishly, slipping the crystal into his pocke
t.
"What did you do to them?" One of the Aurors asked fearfully.
"Nothing that they didn't deserve. They're¡how do I put this? In suspended anim
ation."
"They're not dead?"
"Don't be ridiculous. That's Voldemort's style, not mine. Their hearts and major
organs have been encased in crystal ¨C just like dear Wormtail over there." He
spat the name like it was poison, and anyone that knew the story of the betrayal
of his parents knew exactly why.
"Crystal? You conjured crystal?"
"No, I made it ¨C built in inside them."
"Like you did with the tunnel?"
"Yeah ¨C it's slightly more complex in people, but the same sort of idea. Probab
ly excruciatingly painful for them. Well, for a moment at least. No keys this ti
me ¨C I'll take the crystal away when they're in custody." Harry coughed and spa
t some blood out onto the ground. "I'd better go. Oh, and Granddad? Portkey back
to the Great Hall and keep all of the students in there. Lock the doors too. Re
ad this out when everyone's inside. Ginny and I won't be there." He handed the o
lder man a scroll of parchment.
"What's Ginny got to do with this?" Ron asked suddenly.
"Trust me Ron, she'll be fine." Harry told him solemnly before disappearing agai
n, once again leaving a little blood on the ground. As they watched, the blood s
eeped into the ground.
"Er¡I guess we'll be heading back to Hogwarts then." Parvati said, eyeing the D
eatheaters nervously. "Someone remind me never to get on the wrong side of Harry
."
"Tell me about it." Snape muttered, looking horrified.
"Let's go ¨C I trust the Aurors can deal with the rest of this?"
"Yeah."
In the Great Hall, everyone was shifting about nervously. There were more than a
few people missing. There was a scream of terror as a group of people appeared
in the middle of the Great Hall. The people looked like the headmaster and some
of the missing pupils, but each of the students that remained had heard horror s
tories about Polyjuice, and were, perhaps rightly, wary of anyone that had gone
missing for more than a few minutes.
"Minerva, if you would kindly test us for Polyjuice and the Imperious Curse?"
"Very well."
Harry returned to the Room of Requirement to find that Ginny had returned, and w
as now looking nervous. "Are you sure this will work?"
"Almost perfectly sure. Come on, it'll be fine."
"You know, I thought you'd be trying to do this alone."
"I am ¨C well, most of it. But you do have as much right to protect the triplets
as I do."
"Too right. Now, what do we do now?"
"Wait, I guess. Oh, and hope that Voldemort finds his way here all right."
"If he actually falls for this, he's way too stupid."
"Not stupid as such ¨C well, he is stupid, but mostly it's because he's too self
-assured. He believes too much in his own plans, and is too foolish to acknowled
ge his own mistakes."
"I hope you're right." Ginny said. Harry smiled but didn't reply.
Voldemort smiled as he crept, invisible, out of the Forest. He smirked to himsel
f, seeing the lights in the Great Hall bright in the surrounding dusk. So innoce
nt, he thought hungrily. So young and happy. Not for long, he promised himself.
Just as soon as he had killed those Potter brats, he would go and steal the inno
cence from those young and careless faces. They'd soon know the wrath of Lord Vo
ldemort. They would scream for mercy before the night was out.
Satisfied that they were who they said they were, the students relaxed as the he
admaster took charge. "The Deatheaters that attacked Hogsmeade have been¡appreh
ended." There were wild cheers from everyone but a few Gryffindors who, noticing
Harry and Ginny's absence, knew that something wasn't quite right. "Voldemort,
however, is another matter entirely. We have reason to believe that he may be on
the school grounds." As panicked whispers raged around the room, Dumbledore pul
led the scroll of parchment that Harry had given him from his pocket. His eyes g
rew impossibly large as he read it over and read it again, just to make sure tha
t he had read it right in the first place. "Harry Potter, earth elemental, order
s the wards to come into action, via permission from the headmaster, Professor A
lbus Dumbledore." Despite his low volume, the whole hall seemed to have heard hi
s words, and silence reigned as they sunk in. Suddenly the lights plunged out, a
nd there was the sound of grinding from outside the door. Many people screamed i
n terror. Suddenly light flared in the hall, reflecting off large crystal format
ions that covered the windows and filled the cracks between the doors and the wa
lls.
"Wow." Everyone seemed to breath in unison. Hermione and Ron shared a smile ¨C i
t was very plainly Harry's work. Several people left their seats to go and inspe
ct the formations, including the headmaster.
"This is incredible." He said, touching the crystal. Light flared within it, and
Harry's face appeared.
"You did it then." He said, smiling.
"You're an earth elemental?" Dumbledore asked.
"Yeah ¨C I told you granddad, it's amazing what you can hide when needs be."
"What are you planning?"
"Oh, just a little welcoming party. Don't worry, it's all planned out and arrang
ed."
"That's what worries me. Is there anything else you've been hiding from us?"
"Erm¡well, now that you ask¡yes. But we can go into that when there aren't qui
te so many eager listeners around."
"Is Ginny with you?" Ron demanded. Harry rolled his eyes and stepped out of thei
r line of vision. Ginny's face appeared in the crystal, looking mildly peeved.
"Yes Ron? What can I do for you?"
"Harry! What do you think you're doing?! That's my little sister!" Ron bellowed.
Harry came back into view, looking as if he had known this was coming.
"Really, Ron? Can't say I'd noticed. Of course she's your sister! Merlin, do I r
eally look that stupid?" Ron was beet red now, and looked about to explode.
"If you get my sister hurt in absolutely any way, I will kill you."
"Honestly Ron, you're scaring the first years. Ginny will be fine. I'm a little
put out that no one has thought to ask about the kids, but who am I to complain?
" Harry said. Dumbledore looked almost amazed.
"You've really thought this through, haven't you?" Harry snorted at the surprise
in his Grandfather's voice.
"Granddad, you seriously underestimate me sometimes. Of course I've thought this
through. Hence the reason that there were already wards set up around the Great
Hall, and various other places in the school."
"Like the tunnel." Hermione nodded.
"Indeed. There were keys to that ward though ¨C there are no keys to any of the
others. Well, that's a lie, I suppose. There is one other ward that your keys wi
ll open, but as you have no idea where that room is, I don't think it counts. So
basically, you all have to stay in there until I give the word to release the w
ards ¨C which will only happen once Voldemort's gone." Harry paused for a moment
before adding an afterthought. "Oh, if I happen to die, which would be most unf
ortunate, the wards will answer to you, Granddad, but they under no circumstance
s will they release you before such times."
"If you die? If you die?! Harry Potter, if you so much as think about dying at t
he hands of that monster, I will personally throttle you." Came Ginny's voice.
"Ah, damn. Good god, Gin. Get off! Ginny Weasley!" Harry's voice boomed out loud
ly, making a few people snigger and wonder what was going on off screen.
"Damn girl's gonna end up maiming me." He said. He turned to Ron, who looked tor
n between horror and disgust at some of the rumours that were going around the h
all. "And you're worried about her getting hurt? If Voldie had any sense, he'd t
ake one look at her and run away screaming."
"Hey, I resent that comment, Mr Potter." Ginny said.
"Why? It's a compliment. I think. Anyway, it doesn't really matter as Voldie obv
iously doesn't have any sense."
"Harry, where are the children, just out of curiosity?"
"Right here." Harry said. "In a manner of speaking."
"In a manner of speaking?"
"That's what I said. Oww, Gin, be careful. That is bloody painful."
"What is going on in there?" Minerva demanded. Harry grinned, looking not in the
least bit remorseful.
"You really don't want to know, Professor. I don't think I want to know. Ginny!"
"What? If you'd stop wriggling!"
"If you hadn't lost the plot in the first place!"
"That was your fault too."
"I'm sure it was." Harry said dryly. "Ron, your sister is vicious."
"I know." Ron agreed. "What did she do to you?"
"Long story." Harry grimaced. "Ginny, ok. It's fine. Really. Get OFF!!"
"Goodness, you're grumpy today Harry." Hermione grinned. Harry raised an eyebrow
as if to say 'you don't say', but before he could answer, his face grew serious
.
"Our guest is almost here." He said. Immediately, everyone in the room grew quie
t and solemn. "Right, I'm off." He said.
"What? Harry, you can't just cut the connection ¨C how will we know what's going
on?"
"You won't. Come on guys, you really thought I'd be letting you all watch me fig
ht Voldemort? I don't think so, somehow. Oh, and Malfoy ¨C if you try anything a
t all, my wards will not treat you kindly. They don't seem to like Deatheaters."
Harry's face flickered and died, thought the crystal remained glowing softly wh
ite. The hall was silent.
Voldemort snickered as he came across a piece of parchment posted on the notice
board ¨C it was for that ridiculous club that the eldest Potter brat had set up
¨C Dumbledore's Army, he had called it. He tore the notice from the wall, grinni
ng as he saw directions to the room. These idiots were obviously exceedingly car
eless, he thought with a feral grin. Had he been a little less arrogant, he may
have decided that it was a little too careless to be entirely accidental. As it
was, he followed the instructions and came to a small, nondescript door. Raising
a hand, he knocked politely.
I know. I know. I'm sorry ¨C this is getting a bit repetitive, ain't it? Ok, see
ing as how you all love me enough to review (I have over 2000 reviews! Woo hoo!
And seeing as how I know you all hate cliffies (sorry, I couldn't resist), I hav
e decided to post 2 chapters, effectively nullifying the cliffie. Did I mention
that I'm in a good mood? No idea why ¨C rather scary, really¡
Voldemort snickered as he came across a piece of parchment posted on the notice
board - it was for that ridiculous club that the eldest Potter brat had set up -
Dumbledore's Army, he had called it. He tore the notice from the wall, grinning
as he saw directions to the room. These idiots were obviously exceedingly carel
ess, he thought with a feral grin. Had he been a little less arrogant, he may ha
ve decided that it was a little too careless to be entirely accidental. As it wa
s, he followed the instructions and came to a small, nondescript door. Raising a
hand, he knocked politely.
The knock seemed to reverberate around the room. Inside, Harry pulled on his inv
isibility cloak, and murmured something under his breath. Ginny gulped and nodde
d resolutely. Anyone that hadn't known her as well as Harry did would have misse
d the tremor as she lifted her hand to the door, but he caught it and felt his r
esolve stiffen. He was going to kill Voldemort if it was the last thing he did.
He blocked off his mind as Ginny opened the door, and Voldemort strolled in.
"Virginia Weasley. My, my, you have grown into quite the young lady." He said, h
is eyes travelling up and down her body. Harry felt his eyes narrow and his ange
r go through boiling point. He was ready to strangle Voldemort there and then.
"Tom. God, you look rough. Not been sleeping well?" Ginny retorted.
"How dare you, you little bitch. I am Lord Voldemort. Your Tom Riddle doesn't ex
ist."
"Really? Hmm - I could have sworn that your mother named you Tom Marvollo Riddle
." Ginny hissed angrily.
"What you believe is unimportant. Accio invisibility cloak." The cloak flew towa
rds him, and Harry raised his wand, ready to strike when Voldemort saw him. The
only thing was that he was still invisible. Ginny's eyebrows had all but disappe
ared into her hair, but Voldemort didn't seem to notice, and seemed satisfied th
at they were alone.
"So, what brings you here, Tom?"
"Voldemort! My name is Voldemort!"
"We've been through this already." Ginny replied sounding bored, as she lifted a
hand to examine her nails.
"Just hand the little brats over and I might consider letting you live." Once ag
ain, Voldemort's eyes raked over Ginny's body, and she barely repressed a shudde
r.
"And why, Tom, would I want to do that?"
"Because you, unlike Lily Potter, are not stupid. I know that. You forget - I kn
ow you as well as you know yourself. Every secret. 'The sorting hat nearly put m
e into Slytherin, Tom, what would Harry think?'" Ginny gritted her teeth, feelin
g a surge of hatred for this...thing that threatened her everything.
"You underestimate me Tom, and more importantly, you underestimate Harry."
"Oh, you think I will fall for that sacrifice spell twice? Not so, my dear."
"Who said anything about a sacrifice spell?" Ginny asked innocently. "Besides, i
f you knew me at all, you would know that my family is the most important thing
to me."
"Oh I do, my dear Virginia, I do. Which is why you will live to see your childre
n die, and then their uncles, grandparents. But before that, you will tell me wh
ere Potter is hiding. He is no longer in Hogsmeade - I know it."
"Why do you think I'd know anything?"
"Because you, little whore, have the boy wrapped around your little finger. Or r
ather, your link to his children has. Do you seriously think he would consider y
ou otherwise?" Voldemort laughed cruelly as Ginny tried to block his words out,
telling herself that Harry wouldn't do that - Harry wasn't that cruel. Meanwhile
, the triplets began to cry and Voldemort's eyes lit up.
"Go and see your precious children, Virginia. If, indeed, they are yours."
"What?" Ginny spluttered.
"You heard. Do you have any proof - other than Potter's word - that you're their
mother?" Ginny paused for a second.
"He doesn't know about the spell." Harry murmured in her ear. Ginny shivered.
"I believe Harry. Besides, it really is none of your business. I would like you
to leave now, Tom."
"Oh, but Virginia, I haven't gotten what I came for yet - you should know that I
never leave until I get my way."
"In that case, he'll never be leaving here, will he?" Harry muttered dryly.
"You'll be waiting a long time, in that case, Tom." Ginny stepped closer towards
her children, placing her body between the cot and Voldemort.
"Very well, if that's how you want to play the game." Voldemort smirked. "Crucio
!" The curse headed straight for Ginny - this hadn't been part of the job descri
ption, she thought wildly, closing her eyes and waiting for the curse to impact.
Instead, the curse hit her lump of Rose Quartz, making the necklace glow hot an
d a deep crack to appear through the middle. Falling as though the curse had hit
her, Ginny snatched the Portkey that had been conveniently placed within reach.
She promptly disappeared.
"So much for the fabled Gryffindor bravery." Voldemort smirked, striding over to
where the triplets were now wailing. Unnoticed behind him, Harry reappeared, si
lently sealing the room completely. Every ward placed on the room both by himsel
f and others kicked in, with the exception of the alarm system - it was useless
trying to gain the upper hand when you practically hand your enemy the chance to
draw his wand by setting off an alarm. Voldemort picked up Leah in one large, s
pidery hand, and Harry grimaced.
"Such a pity - your mother and father have abandoned you. Such a pretty little t
hing. A little too much like your father though." Voldemort paused for a moment
before smirking. "Potter's daughter - you will be spared." He said, smirking. "Y
our father would like that, I'm sure, his only daughter becoming the daughter of
his worst enemy. As for your brothers, they are too much of a threat. They must
be disposed of." He lifted his wand, shouting the forbidden curse - "Avada Keda
vra." Suddenly, all three babies gurgled and their heads¡fell off? "DOLLS!" Vol
demort screeched in fury.
"Indeed. You didn't seriously think I'd fall for this plan, did you?" Harry said
, from behind Voldemort. The dark wizard spun around, momentarily speechless wit
h rage.
"Perhaps not, but you forget, there are hundreds of innocent children out there
- and some not so innocent - whom you feel duty-bound to protect."
"Perhaps." Harry smiled. "But I very much doubt that much harm can come to them
at this point."
"And why would that be?"
"Well, no one, living or dead can enter or leave this room unless I let down the
wards."
"Fool - you believe that your wards are strong enough to stop Lord Voldemort?"
"Actually, yes, I do."
"Then I shall have to prove you wrong - and a few of your charming, innocent fri
ends will pay for your blunder."
"Idle threats, Tom. Give it your best shot." Voldemort smirked dangerously, murm
uring a spell beneath his breath. Suddenly he was gone, and an ugly black mist h
ung heavily in the air.
"Intriguing, really, but not going to work." The mist spread around the door, tr
ying to penetrate. It was reflected into the opposite wall, where it fell to the
floor with a crash as it morphed back into the recognisable form of Voldemort -
an extremely pissed off Voldemort.
"Not being one to say I told you so, but I did." Harry said. Voldemort raised hi
s wand angrily and screamed the cruciatus curse at the top of his breath. Harry
braced himself as his body crystallised and shattered, re-emerging a short dista
nce away. Harry doubted that Voldemort had ever been so shocked in his entire li
fe.
"Impossible. There are no elementals. They died out."
"Apparently not." Harry grinned. Voldemort went purple with rage, his scarlet ey
es narrowed as he weighed up the situation.
"Join me. Together we could rule the world. No one would be able to defeat us."
"And just how long do you think we would survive each other?" Harry smirked.
"I am a symbol of your weakness, I have damaged your pride too much and you...we
ll, you killed my parents, tried to kill me numerous times, tried to kill my two
sons, tried to take my daughter as your own, tried to kill my girlfriend, tried
to poison her against me. Not forgetting the fact that my Godfather is dead bec
ause of you, and Cedric - need I go on?"
"We could put all of that behind us - start again. Your children could be great
- you and Virginia could be great." Voldemort obviously thought that the smile o
n Harry's face was a sign of his acquiescence. Harry, however, still held to the
knowledge that he and Voldemort could not work together - it was one or the oth
er. More importantly, he would rather die than join Voldemort.
"Close, but no cigar, Tommie boy." Harry said.
"You WILL serve me!" Voldemort screeched, immediately noticing his slip-up.
"Serve you? I think not."
"You WILL serve me! Or I will kill everyone you hold dear! Starting with those w
orthless little runts of yours!" Voldemort had unwittingly said the one thing th
at was guaranteed to get Harry to see red. Without a second thought, Harry conju
red a wicked looking sword made from gold and encrusted with quartz and garnet a
nd held it to Voldemort's throat.
"A sword cannot kill me, you fool. I am on the brink of immortality."
"It's a good job that this is no mere sword then, isn't it?" Voldemort glanced a
round the room, suddenly noticing something that Harry had missed. Harry's emera
ld eyes widened as Dobby flew into Voldemort's hands.
"Your wards have a weakness, Potter. This disgusting creature managed to get thr
ough - get that sword away from me or I'll kill him." Harry grudgingly took the
sword away, looking at Dobby's quivering form.
"Why did you come, Dobby?" He asked softly.
"Dobby is wanting to help, Master Harry." Dobby whimpered. Harry sighed quietly.
"And how long have you been here?"
"Since Miss Wheezy brought the children down."
"Before the wards went up?" Harry asked.
"Yes, Master Harry. No living or dead being can breach Master Harry Potter Sir's
wards." Voldemort growled at the small pitiful creature that he still grasped.
Potter's house-elf. At the moment, his only weapon. He hated feeling weak.
"Put him down, Tom. Or it is I who will drive this sword through your chest."
"Ah, ah, ah. Temper, temper, Potter. You are a fool - you wear your heart on you
r sleeve and are proud to be so utterly transparent. Elementals have weaknesses,
Potter, and unluckily for you, I know exactly how to exploit those weaknesses."
Harry thought quickly - his weakness as an earth elemental was water. Smirking
widely, Voldemort flooded the room with water. 'Just perfect', Harry thought sar
castically, building a delicate crystal cage. Voldemort and Dobby had cast bubbl
ehead charms on themselves, but Harry knew that prolonged exposure to so much wa
ter would weaken his magic. The cage, while it kept the water out, had one minor
disadvantage: sooner or later, he'd run out of air. Meanwhile, however, he had
a chance to rest and plan his next move. Voldemort had the same chance, but Harr
y hoped that he was too arrogant to take it. Harry quickly looked at his options
- he was in a crystal cage, which was surrounded by water. Both his enemy and h
is friend were in the water, ruling out doing anything that would prove harmful.
Thinking quickly, he ran through every type of elemental magic that he could th
ink of.
"Harry?" Harry spun around, hearing the headmaster's voice.
"Grandad." Harry replied. "Perfect timing, as per usual."
In the Great Hall, everyone hushed and turned their attention to the crystal scr
een.
"How are you doing, Harry?"
"I'm in a god-damned cage. Surrounded by water. How do you think I'm doing?" Har
ry growled. "I hate cages." He muttered.
"Why are you in a cage? Where's Voldemort?"
"Look." Harry said, pointing out the water.
"Oh! Of course!" Hermione said. Harry smirked.
"I might have guessed that you'd know all about Earth elementals."
"Not all about them - not too much is known about them."
"Which is why I have an advantage, just as soon as I get out of this damn cage."
"Boil the water." Hermione said logically.
"Can't. It seems that Dobby was so eager to help that he followed the DA into th
e Room and stayed here. He's in the water too."
"Can't you send him away?" One Ravenclaw asked.
"Not unless I lower my wards, which is too risky. Right, I have to go. Herm, if
you have any ideas, the link will still be there."
"Right." Hermione said resolutely. Everyone began muttering again as Harry disap
peared. Ron was staring at the crystal in dismay.
"And I still don't know what he's done with my sister!" He said almost hysterica
lly.
"And Remus and I don't know what he's done with our Godchildren - your nephews a
nd niece. Or had you forgotten that?" Hermione hissed angrily.
"All four of them are perfectly safe - and no, Ron, I won't tell you what I did
with them - not yet." Harry replied testily, through the link. "Now can you plea
se shut up?"
"Sorry Harry." Ron muttered sheepishly.
Harry surveyed his situation once again. He could venture into the water for a s
hort time without too much of a detrimental effect on his magic, but if Voldemor
t managed to keep him in the water for longer than a few minutes, he would start
to weaken. As he surveyed, he came up with a plan - but it would mean that he w
ould only have a limited time to carry out his plan, and it wasn't without it's
risks. Deciding that it was a good enough plan, Harry pressed his hands flat aga
inst the crystal, concentrating hard. He heard the dull murmurs of conversation
from within the Great Hall and felt his energy return ten-fold. Adrenaline, he s
upposed, and he was grateful for it. He winked slightly at Dobby, hoping that th
e little elf would trust him. Slowly, he concentrated on the water around him, e
nergy pulsing through his hands and into the crystal. The crystal cage, he disco
vered, was actually a blessing - not only did it act as an insulator, but it als
o magnified and concentrated his powers. In a flash, every drop of water in the
room had frozen solid. Several cracks were appearing in it. Harry kept applying
his magic, hoping that the ice would react in the way that he thought it would -
sure enough, the ice shattered moments later, leaving one perfect block of ice
surrounding Voldemort. The small shards of ice disappeared as if they had never
been there in the first place, and Harry stepped out of the cage.
"Damn that feels good." He muttered. Now that he was out of the crystal, the lin
k with the Great Hall was cut - now he would focus on Lord Voldemort.
Dobby, sensing the fact that his 'master' was in a very bad mood, wisely went to
stand in a corner, just in case he was needed. Harry watched as Voldemort worke
d to free himself from his ice prison - it wouldn't be long now until he broke f
ree, and until then, Harry was preparing himself. He would have to end this quic
kly - long duels did not bode well for anyone - at least, not after everything h
e had dealt with in Hogsmeade.
There was an almighty crash as Voldemort reduced the block of ice to rubble, and
came to stand in front of Harry, a self-satisfied smirk crossing his face.
"Is that all? This is what the Great Harry Potter has to offer - a few magic tri
cks and a fairly weak freezing spell?"
"Actually no, but I'm not in the practice of telling my opponents what I'm going
to do." Harry replied, making it sound as if it were a petty duel in Defence or
something.
"Really? And here I was thinking that you were stupid - maybe you're just not...
sane."
"Oh, but Tommie boy, I never promised to be sane." Harry replied with a manic gr
in that made him look more than a little insane. Voldemort's smirk faltered, bot
h because of the name and because of Harry's admission - dueling insane people w
as not his favourite pass-time, mainly because insane people tended to be very h
ard to predict.
"What's wrong, Tommie boy? Having second thoughts?" Harry grinned, goading Volde
mort. He decided that his sanity had gone on holiday - it was rather fun being i
nsane.
The duel began - a furious clashing of curses, swords and words. Had anyone been
watching, they would have been astounded by the spectacle. Harry and Voldemort
were both completely focused - both were more than well aware of what hung on th
is duel - both knew that one, or possibly both, of them would not be walking awa
y from this. Voldemort knew that if he lost, he wouldn't achieve the world domin
ation that he had dreamed of since he was a child. Harry knew that if he lost, h
e wouldn't see his children grow up - he would leave another generation of Potte
r's with less than a whole family. Both wanted this win more than anything.
Harry was tiring - both he and Voldemort knew it. While Voldemort's plan to keep
him in Hogsmeade hadn't quite worked, it had used up some of his energy, leavin
g him more vulnerable than he would have been under normal circumstances.
"It would be such a pity to kill you, Harry - are you sure you won't reconsider
my offer?"
"Never." Harry spat, breathing hard. "And never assume that you've won - not unt
il I'm dead." He said.
"Very well. Avada Kedavra." Harry, much to Voldemort and Dobby's shock, didn't e
ven bother to move out of the path of the curse. The green light plunged into hi
s chest making his green eyes glow eerily. Voldemort decided that he had just ma
de a very, very big mistake.
"Hmm - why thank you. You know, the last time you cast that curse on me, you pas
sed some powers on to me and forged a link between us - did you really think tha
t you could kill me that way?" Voldemort said nothing, just staring in shock and
growing anger - why wouldn't this stupid little kid die already? He always seem
ed to have one trick or another up his sleeve, and Voldemort was beginning to wo
nder if his arch-nemesis was actually immortal - now that was a truly disturbing
thought, Voldemort decided.
Harry felt renewed energy coursing through his veins - he knew that he would reg
ret it afterwards, but for now, he welcomed it. He needed it; he needed to be st
rong and not tired if he was to beat Voldemort once and for all. He slowly began
to wind his magic around the other wizard - subtly so that he wouldn't notice,
but strong enough that by the time he was finished, Voldemort would have no chan
ce of escape. He wound some of Voldemort's own energy with the threads of his ow
n power, weaving an intricate web that only he could see.
Voldemort could feel himself growing weaker, though he didn't know why. The Pott
er brat was concentrating on something, but he couldn't see anything out of the
ordinary. On sudden inspiration, he whipped his wand towards the house-elf.
'Pick up his sword.' He instructed maliciously, the house-elf thoroughly ensnare
d by the Imperius Curse.
'Stab him with it - cause him pain!' The little elf struggled to hold the sword,
but managed to swing it wildly - Voldemort watched as the sword sunk into the b
ack of his enemy, spilling his blood onto the floor. Unfortunately, Potter didn'
t seem to notice, as he continued whatever he was doing. Within a matter of mome
nts, Voldemort was brought to his knees.
Contrary to what Voldemort believed, Harry had felt the sword slicing through hi
s back, and the immense pain that came with it. However, he also knew that this
was his one chance to finish this, and pain was nothing new to him. He worked th
rough it, ignoring the gaping wound on his back as the web approached completion
. As soon as he was finished, Voldemort fell to his knees, scarlet eyes wide wit
h something akin to terror. It seemed that he was very much afraid of dying. The
web of power appeared around him, making his wide eyes grow wider. Fear was som
ething Voldemort was unaccustomed to. Harry knew exactly what he had to do - he
had been planning it for months on end now. He slowly shrunk the web around Vold
emort, slowly extracting his life force. Voldemort closed his eyes, and Harry wa
s grateful that he didn't scream. He closed his eyes and continued to kill the m
onster that had cursed his life and killed his parents. With one last tug, Volde
mort slumped dead - the web caught his life force and shrunk around it. Harry mu
rmured a spell to purify it before sinking it into the ground - it would help pr
otect Hogwarts forever. With one last glance at the shrivelled body of Voldemort
, he fell to the ground.
With one last glance at the shrivelled body of Voldemort, he fell to the ground.
Albus Dumbledore and the rest of the adults at Hogwarts were getting nervous - t
here had been no word from Harry for over two hours, and everyone was more than
a little worried.
Dobby watched as his master fell - he had no idea what to do. He remembered how
his master had talked to the Great Hall while he was in the crystal cage, and wo
ndered if he could do the same.
"Dobby!" Hermione was the first to spot the house-elf in the crystal.
"Professor Dumbl-y-dore!" He house-elf said, on the verge of crying.
"What is it Dobby? What's happened?"
"Master is collapsed!" Dobby wept. "He is bleeding from where bad Dobby stabbed
him." Now he was sobbing, looking incredibly guilty.
"Dobby, listen to me. What happened to Voldemort? Is he still there?"
"The bad man is dead - Master has killed him." Dobby said.
"Dead? Voldemort's dead? You're sure, Dobby."
"Yes, Dobby is sure! You must come and help Master! Dobby is not knowing what to
do!"
The Great Hall was filled with murmurs - no one was sure how to react. Voldemort
was dead at last, but no one knew what had happened to Harry - they wouldn't ce
lebrate until they knew.
"I, Professor Albus Dumbledore, ask that the wards surrounding the castle are re
leased." There was a grinding sound as some of the crystal melted away. Many beg
an to fear the worst, remembering that Harry had said that the wards would only
answer to Dumbledore if Harry had died. Albus Dumbledore looked older than anyon
e could remember as he spoke quietly to his staff.
"We're coming too." Ron and Hermione said, half-expecting the headmaster to disa
gree. As it was, he merely nodded.
"You are all to stay here and remain calm - you will be informed of the situatio
n the moment we know what has happened."
"Albus," Minerva McGonagall said, somewhat nervously, "What happens if...the wor
st has happened?"
"I do not believe that my grandson is dead." Dumbledore replied firmly. Ron and
Hermione brightened a little.
"I am, however, concerned that he may be if we do not find him soon." Almost unc
onsciously, the group sped up. They headed for the Room of Requirement, guessing
that this would be the place that Harry would choose to battle Voldemort. At th
e door, the headmaster paused. He had never seen such an intricate and unyieldin
g mix of wards.
"Open." He said softly, pushing lightly on the door.
The sight that met them was most unexpected - Voldemort lay crumpled and dead in
a corner, while Harry lay a short distance away, his chest rising and falling s
hallowly, bleeding profusely from the back. Hermione gave a short scream, runnin
g to his side. Ron stood, shocked, at the door, his mouth hanging open in horror
.
"Albus." Minerva breathed, a tear leaking from her eye.
"We'll need to stem the blood flow." Albus replied authoritively. He, Minerva an
d Hermione knelt beside the still body of Harry - the boy that had defeated Vold
emort.
"Harry? C'mon Harry, wake up. Don't you dare die on us." Hermione said desperate
ly.
"Wha - Who said anything about dying?" Harry groaned, his eyes opening a little.
"HARRY!" Hermione yelled, making Harry wince.
"Not so loud, Mione, please. And why is my back so sore?"
"That would be because Voldemort put Dobby under Imperius and made him stab you
in the back."
"Please tell me that you mean figuratively?" Harry groaned.
"Sorry - I mean literally. You're bleeding quite heavily."
"Ah. Do me a favour, Mione, will you?"
"Uh...what kind of favour?"
"Help me sit up?" Albus immediately began to object, but Harry hushed him with a
look.
"Grandad, I am losing more blood than I can afford to, the quickest way to stop
that is for me to be able to heal myself - for which, I need to be sitting up."
Harry explained patiently. He hated being weakened and vulnerable, but he knew t
hat in the circumstances, it really couldn't be helped. As Hermione gently propp
ed him up, Harry caught sight of Voldemort. Albus, seeing what Harry was looking
at, smiled.
"You did it Harry - it's over." He said.
"Yeah - it's over." Harry murmured, looking relieved. He had succeeded.
The students of Hogwarts, as well as the remaining members of the faculty waited
impatiently for news on Harry Potter - every house except Slytherin tended to t
hink of Harry as someone to be respected and loved - he was their hero. Harry wa
s the one everyone could count on to be there if they were in trouble - they wou
ld follow him wherever he went, would do whatever he asked of them. Many of the
younger students had grown up within Hogwarts hearing of the great and friendly
Harry Potter. Now, they were terrified that they may have lost their role model
- it would be a very sad loss for the entire wizarding world if he was indeed de
ad.
"Professor Dumbledore! Look!" Several voices cried, with fingers pointing at the
crystal formations that remained glittering around the hall. Everyone turned to
see the smiling face of Albus Dumbledore.
"I am delighted to announce that Mr. Potter is indeed alive and - almost - well.
I can also confirm the death of one Tom Marvollo Riddle, a.k.a Lord Voldemort."
Loud shouts and cheers filled the room, with even most Slytherin's looking plea
sed with the news - predominantly the younger ones.
"What do you mean 'almost well'?" Hannah Abbot asked, looking worried still.
"Mr. Potter has received some rather extensive injuries, and is really rather ex
hausted. Other than that, he's just fine."
"OH DAMN!" Harry cried in the background, sounding utterly dismayed.
"Why do I get the feeling that Gin is going to hang, draw and quarter me?" He gr
oaned. Those who were familiar with the Muggle saying chuckled, while those who
didn't just looked lost. Some explained, while others decided not to.
"Where is Ginny? And the triplets?" Ron asked, coming out of his stupor.
"They took a Portkey out of here." Harry said, murmuring a spell under his breat
h and sealing the wound on his back - it would leave a scar, but that was a mino
r price to pay when it so easily could have been his life.
"You know how to make Portkey's, Potter?" Professor McGonagall said, looking dis
believing. Harry nodded, looking around the room.
"Hey Ron, can you pass me that piece of crystal, please?" Harry asked, pointing
to a piece of crystal that had been broken from the cage during the ordeal.
"Here you go." Ron said, handing him the inch-long point of crystal and watching
as he began the process to turn it into a Portkey.
"This will take you to them - tell Gin that you've all to stay where you are for
now."
"Why?"
"Just trust me, please." Harry said. Ron nodded, taking the crystal from his fri
end. "It's a one-way Portkey, but you can use it to contact me if you need to."
Ron nodded, disappearing moments later.
"Come on, let's get you fixed up, Harry." Albus said softly.
"Yeah - after all, I have rather a lot of things to do within the next few days.
"
"Oh? I can't see Madam Pomfrey letting you out of her sight for the best part of
a week at least."
"Well then you'll have to wait for story-time then, won't you? I will not tell y
ou what happened until I'm free of the hospital wing."
"Very well. I will inform Poppy that you are to be released from the Hospital Wi
ng the moment you are well enough."
"Thank you. Shall we go then?"
"Splendid idea - I think you should reseal this room when we leave, though. Just
as a precautionary measure, you understand."
"Of course." Harry agreed as the four of them began to make their way out of the
room.
Harry grinned as the doors of the Great Hall swung open to admit them - it looke
d as if everyone was having a great time. Everyone stood as he walked in, clappi
ng and cheering wildly, with the exception of four or five Slytherins and two Ra
venclaws, who were in the confines of crystal cages - obviously they were Deathe
aters. Harry felt the blood rush to his face as they gave him a standing ovation
- he hated being in the limelight, but at least this time, he had done somethin
g to deserve it.
"Don't be so surprised, Harry. I believe you will get a lot of this from now on.
" Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling madly.
"Fantastic. As if I wasn't famous enough already." Harry muttered. Madam Pomfrey
hurried towards him, looking anxious and angry.
"Must you always put yourself in danger?" She clucked.
"It would certainly seem so." Harry laughed.
"Yes, well, off the hospital wing right now young man, and don't even think abou
t asking to leave - you will spend at least a week resting, then we shall see ab
out releasing you!" Harry raised an eyebrow - he was the worst patient in the wo
rld, and she was telling him that the minimum amount of time he would be spendin
g in that god-awful Hospital Wing was a week?
"Poppy, I'm afraid that Harry cannot stay in the Hospital Wing for a week - he h
as told us that we will only be informed of what transpired tonight after he has
been released from the Hospital Wing."
"Preposterous!" Madam Pomfrey cried. "Albus, this boy needs his rest! Merlin onl
y knows what he's been through in the past few hours!"
"Please, Madam Pomfrey?" Harry asked, pouting slightly. His fan club sighed - if
he had fixed them with such a look, they would have given him anything he asked
of them, and it seemed that the Nurse wasn't entirely immune to his charm eithe
r.
"Oh very well!" She cried - she had a soft spot for Harry, and he had just defea
ted one of the most notorious Dark Lords of all time, at age seventeen after all
. Harry shot her a grin and walked out, heading straight for the Hospital Wing.
Ginny paced the floor as she waited for news on Harry. The triplets had long gro
wn silent, though they didn't sleep.
"How are you doing up here?" Molly asked kindly, watching her daughter pace rest
lessly.
"What's taking so long?" Ginny demanded, on the verge of tears. "Surely somethin
g must have happened by now!"
"I..." Molly trailed off as something thumped downstairs. "Wait here." She said,
looking worried.
"Mum..."
"Wait here - don't move." Molly repeated. Ginny nodded nervously, not particular
ly wanting her mother to go anywhere either.
"MUM!" Ron called, recognising the kitchen of the Burrow immediately. He had lan
ded rather hard, and knew that his mother might hex him if she didn't know that
it was him.
"Ron!" Molly gasped as she reached the door. Ginny went tearing past her, desper
ate to hear news of Harry.
"Ron! What's happened? Is Harry ok?" She asked, skidding into the kitchen and na
rrowly missing Ron.
"He's fine! It's over!" Ron grinned. Ginny gave a short squeal of relief as she
threw her arms around Ron, sobbing with relief.
"How is he? Is he really ok?"
"Well...he got a little banged up, but he's alive and joking about - he reckons
that you're going to hang draw and quarter him." Ron said, looking mildly confus
ed. Ginny, having taken Muggle Studies, and having listened to Hermione talk abo
ut Muggle history, giggled.
"That's not a bad idea." She murmured, grinning through her tears.
"Ron? What's happened?" Molly asked, entering the kitchen to see her daughter so
bbing in her youngest son's arms. She felt tears of her own threatening.
"He's fine, mum. He's done it. Voldemort's gone." Ginny said, turning her tear-s
tained and smiling face to her mother.
"Oh! When are we going to see him?"
"Well...he said that we had to wait here." Ron said, watching his sister nervous
ly - she didn't like being told what to do.
"Oh." Molly said. Ginny said nothing, too happy to mind very much - at least at
the moment, anyway.
"So, you said that he was injured a little?" She asked.
"Yeah - Dobby stabbed him while Voldemort had him under Imperious. I think he ha
d just healed that when I left. He gave us all a right scare though - collapsed
as soon as Voldemort died. Totally exhausted. No wonder, really, but there you g
o." Ron shrugged.
"I can't believe it - everything's really going to be ok. Maybe I can talk Harry
out of being an Auror." Ginny murmured, more to herself than anyone else. "He's
paid his debt." She smiled.
Harry had only been in the Hospital Wing for an hour and a half - an hour and a
quarter of that had been spent sleeping, while the other fifteen minutes had con
sisted of a thorough medical examination. Madam Pomfrey's eyes had almost popped
out when she found traces of the killing curse in his blood - he had apparently
lived through yet another attempt with the unblockable Avada Kedavra. Other tha
n that, she had found little else wrong with him, with the exception of his exha
ustion and the large scar running along the base of his back. So he had slept, a
s ordered. Now he was wide-awake and feeling perfectly fine. He was more energet
ic than he had been in months, and just wanted to be up and about - he wanted to
go and see his children and his girlfriend. He toyed with the crystal around hi
s neck, debating whether or not to contact Ron. Eventually his boredom won, and
he brought the crystal to his lips.
"Ron? You there, mate?" He asked, keeping his voice quiet so that the Nurse didn
't overhear and force a sleeping potion down his throat.
Ron almost dropped the crystal when he heard Harry's voice coming from it. Then
he remembered that Harry had told him that it could be used to contact him.
"I'm here, mate, what's up?" Ron yelled into the crystal.
"Ron! Don't shout - I'm stuck in the hospital wing going crazy - if you start sc
reaming into the crystal, you're sure to bring her running."
"Sorry. How's your back?"
"Perfectly fine - I have a nice new scar right along the base of my back - it's
a good job that Dobby couldn't wield my sword very well, otherwise he might have
damaged my spinal cord."
"Oh. Do you want to speak to Ginny?"
"Is she there?"
"Yeah - I'll just get her."
"Thanks Ron."
Harry glanced around the Hospital Wing, checking that Madam Pomfrey hadn't heard
Ron yell.
"Harry?" Ginny's voice was quiet and uncertain.
"Hey Gin." Harry said, smiling happily.
"How are you? Ron said that you were injured?"
"Yeah - I'm fine."
"Is he really gone?"
"Yeah - he's gone." Harry replied. "So how are the kids?"
"Remarkably well behaved - mum's busy spoiling them. They miss you though."
"I miss them too - and you."
"Yeah, when can we come back?"
"Just as soon as I get out of here."
"Let me guess, the nightmare Hospital Wing?" Ginny giggled. Harry smiled, feelin
g incredibly satisfied with his life.
"Got it in one. Madam Pomfrey was going to keep me in here for a week..."
"WHAT?" Ginny asked loudly.
"She WAS going to - but Grandad and I changed her mind. She's agreed to let me o
ut tonight."
"What time?"
"As soon as she thinks I've had enough rest."
"And when will that be?"
"No idea - she doesn't know that I'm awake now and if she did, she'd likely forc
e a potion down my throat to put me back to sleep."
"Sounds like fun."
"Hmm only for those with a very warped sense of fun." Harry replied dryly, knowi
ng that if Ginny were in his place, she'd be clawing at the doors to get out too
.
"Oh - sorry Gin, I have to go. Madam Pomfrey is coming. I'll contact you as soon
as I get the chance. Love you." Harry froze as he said the words that both of t
hem had skirted for months. He could just imagine the look of disbelief on Ginny
's face at that moment.
"Love you too." Ginny replied without hesitation. "Hurry up and get out of there
so that we can come and see you."
"I will do everything in my power to get out of here quickly - I assure you of t
hat. Speak to you later."
"You'd better, Mr. Potter." Ginny said.
Madam Pomfrey fussed over her patient, making sure that he was warm enough and t
hat he wasn't thirsty. Of course, the effect of this was somewhat diminished by
her sharp orders that he was going nowhere for at least another hour or two. Har
ry smiled, knowing that this was the matron's way of showing affection - he was
best qualified to know, he thought as he lay in the bed that had been reserved f
or him in second year, when it appeared that he was going to be a regular visito
r. Before he went back to sleep, however, he was allowed one small concession. H
e whistled quietly for his Aunt's messenger, and within moments, the small creat
ure had appeared from nowhere. Smiling slightly, Harry wrote just seven words on
the piece of parchment:
It's over, see you later.
Love, Harry.
The small bird chirped happily as it flew away immediately.
"Sleep for another two hours and then you can go. You are extremely lucky, young
man. Only you could have gotten out of an encounter with the Dark Lord with jus
t another scar to add to the collection."
"I know." Harry said, trying to keep the exasperation from his voice.
"Very well - now get to sleep!"
"Yes ma'am." Harry muttered, feeling a strong urge to salute the nurse. He settl
ed for grinning as he closed his eyes once again and fell asleep.
"Harry? Harry? Are you awake?" Harry heard the voice, but his eyes refused to op
en. Everything was fuzzy and out-of-focus.
"'Mione?" He asked.
"You are awake. Madam Pomfrey says that you are free to leave as soon as you wan
t to."
"Ugh - give me a second, 'Mione." Harry groaned, feeling as if his body were mad
e of lead.
"What's wrong?" Hermione asked, her voice betraying her worry.
"Just a little...sore." Harry groaned, opening his eyes a little. Behind Hermion
e stood Professors Dumbledore and Lupin.
"Here, drink this, it'll help." Professor Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling ma
dly as he held a goblet of acid green coloured substance that could only be desc
ribed as sludge.
"Er...great. Now you're trying to feed me radioactive waste. Charming." Harry sa
id, wrinkling his nose in disgust. Hermione giggled while the older wizards look
ed rather lost.
"Radioactive waste?" His grandfather queried.
"Never mind." Harry replied, shaking his head ruefully. Hermione grinned.
"So, I can leave here, then? Now?" Harry asked hopefully.
"Yes, of course you may, Harry. As soon as you feel well enough - and as soon as
you drink this." He offered the goblet once more, and Harry took it, albeit rel
uctantly.
"What's it for?"
"It will ease your pain and will show any...lasting curses."
"You mean that it will check the amount of damage done by the killing curse." Ha
rry smirked, inspecting the green monstrosity. It smelt awful.
"Something along those lines."
"Do I want to know what's in it?"
"No. Definitely not." Dumbledore said, grimacing slightly.
"Right." Harry closed his eyes and downed the concoction in one gulp, gagging at
the awful taste.
"Argh. That. Is. Disgusting." He said, trying desperately not to throw the potio
n back up - it was a very close-run thing.
"Good. That means it's working. I'm afraid that there's nothing we can do about
the taste." Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling madly.
"Torturer." Harry muttered jokingly under his breath.
"Ah. Harry, whose was the killing curse?"
"Oh that. I had forgotten about that. Seems as if I've built up quite some resis
tance against it. It was Voldemort's." Harry said, as if it were a perfectly nor
mal thing to say. Hermione paled, while Albus put a hand to his temple and rubbe
d it slowly. Remus' shoulders were shaking with laughter both due to the relief
of Harry being alive and well, and the priceless expression on Harry's face.
"Shall we take this discussion elsewhere? The hospital wing's probably not the b
est place to talk." Remus suggested after he had recovered.
"Yeah - but I suggest that everyone who needs informed of the events be gathered
just now - I'd really rather not have to repeat it several hundred times, if it
's all the same to you."
"You want me to inform Fudge?"
Yeah - I believe that the Minister and I have some rather important matters to d
iscuss." Harry said coldly.
"Indeed. In the mean time, will you be retrieving Miss Weasley and the others?"
"Yeah - I guess that every Weasley will be wanting to come too. Is that all righ
t?"
"Of course! The more the merrier! For tonight we will celebrate!"
"Right - by the way, what time is it?"
"Eight a.m." Remus chipped in.
"Right - I'll be back in a couple of hours. As there isn't any rush..."
"Very well, Harry. We will begin gathering people - there will also be a press c
onference later on today."
"Better change before I go anywhere." Harry muttered. Hermione handed him a set
of robes.
"Thanks."
Harry took a Portkey to the Burrow first, landing silently. He saw that everyone
was still asleep, except for Ginny, who was cradling Sam, whispering something
to him. Leah and Andy were in a cot beside her, both fast asleep and content.
"Gin?" Harry whispered, touching her shoulder gently.
"Harry!" Ginny said, immediately turning to kiss him. "I missed you so much." Sh
e said, resting her head against his shoulder. Sam was quite content to lie wher
e he was, being cuddled by both Harry and Ginny.
"I missed you too." Harry said honestly, sitting down on the sofa. Ginny sat nex
t to him after putting Sam back in his cradle, putting her arms around him and h
ugging him.
Molly smiled as she walked into the living room - Harry and Ginny were curled up
together on the sofa, both sleeping soundly. The triplets were fast asleep too.
Ron walked in as well, smiling and shaking his head at his best friend and his
little sister. It seemed all too soon before Harry stirred, waking Ginny along w
ith him.
"Good morning, you two. Sleep well?" Molly said, a little teasing in her voice.
Harry just smiled as he replied.
"Perfectly, thank you."
"What's for breakfast mum? I'm starving." Ginny yawned.
"It'll be ready in a few minutes - would you like some breakfast, Harry dear?"
"Yes please, Molly." Harry said. The peace was broken by Leah's piercing wails a
s she woke up.
"Hey baby girl." Harry crooned as he picked her up. Her cries lessened as Harry
spoke softly to her, hugging her to him. He had missed them all so much. As she
drifted back to sleep, he placed her back in her crib and soothed the other two,
who had taken their cue to wake up and start wailing, though nowhere near as lo
udly as their sister.
Everything was back to normal - at least for the moment.
After breakfast, Harry Portkeyed to his Aunt's house in Privet Drive. He was met
by a huge hug and a weeping Aunt Petunia.
"I'm so proud of you!" She sobbed into his arms.
"Thanks Aunt Petunia."
"Oh, come in, come in."
"Thanks." Harry followed her into the house that had been a nightmare for him. W
ithout the presence of Vernon Dudley, it was much more welcoming. He found that
the house had been redecorated and that there were pictures on display - wizardi
ng pictures. He smiled as he saw the pictures of him and the triplets.
"Your girlfriend sent me those - I didn't have very many, and well..."
"Trust Ginny." Harry smiled, spotting the picture of him asleep, surrounded by h
is children.
"How are they?"
"They're fine. They're crawling everywhere now, and getting big."
"I would love to see them."
"Why...d'you want to come back to Hogwarts? I think there's going to be a very b
ig party tonight - then there's the press conference taking place today as well.
That guarantees to be very interesting."
"Why?"
"Because the Minister for Magic is an incompetent fool - and he is showing up to
day. Needless to say, I have a bit of a bone to pick with him."
"Why?"
"He's the one that decided to give me children."
"Oh."
"Hmm. Do you want to come? You're more than welcome to - Dudley as well, if he w
ants to."
"Yes, yes, we'd like that. Thank you. When do we leave?"
"Well, we'll be going to the Burrow first to pick up the Weasleys and the triple
ts. Then we'll be heading up to Hogwarts - I said that I'd be back in an hour or
two - that was two and a half hours ago, so we'd better go as soon as possible.
"
"Right - I'll be ready in five minutes. DUDLEY! We're going to Hogwarts, darling
, get ready. And wear something nice!"
"Yes mum." Dudley replied. Harry wandered around the living room while he waited
, wondering what the future held. He knew that he would be welcomed with open ar
ms by the Ministry should he become an Auror, but that was appealing less and le
ss to him - he wasn't sure that he wanted to work for a Ministry that had wanted
to exploit him for both good and bad. Besides, he didn't want to be chasing Dar
k Wizards for the rest of his life.
By the time Harry, Aunt Petunia and Dudley arrived at the Burrow, all the Weasle
ys and the triplets were ready to head to Hogwarts - it had been arranged that t
here would be three Portkeys to take them straight to the headmaster's room.
"Ah, Harry. There you are. There has been a most impressive turnout for the pres
s conference."
"Joy. How impressive?"
"Well...impressive enough for it to be a blessing that you are not as shy as you
once were."
"Hmm." Harry said, not looking convinced.
"Why don't you go down to the Great Hall?" Professor Dumbledore suggested to eve
ryone but Harry. They all agreed, and left moments after.
"I'll see you down there." Ginny promised, kissing him softly.
"Yeah."
"I love you."
"I love you too - now go before grandad resorts to throwing you out." Ginny gigg
led at the thought, and went after Molly and Aunt Petunia, who were both cooing
over the triplets.
"Harry, I want to give you something. It's been in the family for generations. I
t is a sign of adulthood, responsibility and honour. It was traditionally given
on graduation from Hogwarts. However, I feel that you have earned yours several
times over." The headmaster handed over a slightly worn velvet box, which Harry
opened silently. His jaw dropped as he surveyed the contents of that small tatte
red box. Carefully, he lifted the pin from the box - it was stunning. The sword
crossed with a wand and wreathed in ivy shone bright gold.
"Incredible." He muttered quietly.
"It is rather beautiful, isn't it?" Harry nodded, still shocked.
"You should probably go and get ready, Harry. The press conference will begin sh
ortly."
"Right." Harry said, snapping out of his stupor.
The entire crowd fell silent as Harry and Dumbledore walked in. As soon as they
were seated at the head table, however, the place erupted with cheers and shouts
. It was so loud that Harry had to suppress the urge to clamp his hands over his
ears. Instead, his eyes sought Ginny, who was frantically trying to calm the tr
iplets. 'Owl' he mouthed to her. She nodded and handed them the small fluffy owl
. She smiled gratefully as they calmed down, helped by the fact that Harry had h
eld his hand up to quiet the audience.
"Thank you." He said, his quiet voice carrying easily through the silence.
"Well, I expect by now that you've all heard that Voldemort is dead." Dumbledore
said, smiling at his great-grandson.
The press conference lasted for longer than Harry had imagined. He was glad that
he had had the sense to buy comfortable dress robes. Most of the questions were
directed at him, with a few for Dumbledore and absolutely none for Fudge, who h
ad taken the seat next to Harry. No matter how much he tried, Fudge just couldn'
t steal the limelight from Harry. He also failed miserably to take some of the c
redit for the destruction of Voldemort. Needless to say, by the end of it, Harry
was wishing that the Minister would just disappear - preferably for ever. Inste
ad, the idiot stuck close to Harry, making a show of it for the reporters.
The last straw was when he followed Harry to where the Weasleys, his Aunt, cousi
n and the triplets were.
"Minister Fudge." He said, still smiling, though his voice was less than warm.
"Yes, Harry?" The Minister's sickly sweet smile was enough to make Harry want to
retch.
"May I speak to you - outside?"
"I see no reason for us to take this outside - there's nothing wrong with where
we are."
"Whatever you wish." Harry shrugged. "It really makes no difference to me." The
Minister had apparently begun to notice that Harry wasn't in the best of moods,
and was looking decidedly nervous.
"Can it wait?" He asked somewhat squeakily.
"No, I believe it has waited quite long enough." Harry replied coldly.
"Perhaps outside is best."
"I think so."
Outside, it was blissfully warm and sunny, but Fudge was too worried to pay much
attention. Harry, despite being only seventeen, was extremely powerful, he knew
. He had just killed one of the most powerful dark wizards ever seen, and was pe
rfectly fine.
"Harry?"
"Tell me, Minister, who gave you the right to play God?"
"Er...play...God?"
"My children." Harry hissed, his green eyes alight with anger - he had waited to
o long for this. Under his breath, he muttered a recording incantation.
"Ah, about that. It was...well...impractical to put all of the responsibility of
winning this war on your shoulders alone."
"Impractical? Impractical? Let me tell you about impractical, Minister. Impracti
cal is playing God and creating children without prior knowledge or consent from
either parent. Impractical is expecting those children to grow up as Ministry p
awns with the weight of the world on their shoulders. Impractical is testing tho
se three children for signs of them being useful to you. And pushing them aside
when you decided they weren't? That was the biggest mistake of your career. What
did those three babies do to you?"
"We didn't mean for there to be three of them - that was nature's input."
"And that is supposed to make it better? So if it had been up to you, there woul
d have been one child with the weight of the world on their shoulders? Did you r
eally distrust me that much? Besides, the Prophecy was pretty specific that it w
as up to me, whether you wanted it to be or not."
"Prophecy?"
"Oh! You haven't heard it?" Harry mocked. "Then what, praytell, made you believe
that my children would be any more likely to kill Voldemort than anyone else's?
" Fudge now looked worried and wary.
"What good will it do, Harry? What's done cannot be undone."
"Oh no - you don't get out of it that easily." Harry warned.
"I...well...I may have known about your...ah, status." Fudge confessed. One blac
k eyebrow rose gracefully as the young man watched the Minister of Magic squirm.
"You may have known? Either you did or you didn't, Cornelius - and I suggest you
tell the truth."
"I...well, when you were born, the hospital was subject to a number of strange o
ccurences. The Ministry hushed it up and carried out several tests. It was suspe
cted that you were an Elemental. I obliviated those who had known - I didn't wan
t Voldemort knowing that an Elemental had been born. I was sure of it. But last
year...when you were supposed to come into your powers more fully...I...did some
other tests. They showed nothing unusual about you. I simply put the events of
the past down as flukes."
"Then it is a very good thing that I concealed my gifts as soon as I learned of
them, isn't it Minister?" Harry was inwardly seething, despite his cool and coll
ected exterior.
"You...concealed them?"
"Of course I did - why take the chance of Voldemort finding out? Did it never oc
cur to you that the information you held was vital? You were sure that I was an
Elemental, so why not train me to use my powers?" The gravity of the Minister's
failure dawned on Harry at that moment, and all pretences of calmness vanished.
"Lives could have been saved." He hissed.
"I did the right thing." He said stubbornly.
"No - you did what happened to be in your own best interests." Harry said, loosi
ng his rage as his fist connected to the Minister for Magic's jaw so hard that h
e fell backwards, clutching his jaw and whimpering.
"Arrest him!" He screeched. A couple of Aurors, who had been standing at the ent
rance, walked over. They looked to be suppressing smirks.
"Sorry Mr Potter, but we are obligated to arrest you." One said, looking distinc
tly uncomfortable.
"Sure. It's been a while since I saw the Wizengamont anyway." Harry said, a smal
l smile playing over his face. "If you'd be so kind as to give me a few minutes
to tell my family where I'm going."
"Of course, Mr Potter, we'll have to escort you, though."
"Naturally." Harry said, strolling away from the fallen Minister. The two Aurors
followed, not caring that their boss was lying on the ground, wincing in pain.
They knew as well as Harry did that it was the very least of what the Minister d
eserved.
Ginny watched as Harry came in, smiling despite the fact that he was being shado
wed by two Aurors.
"Harry? What's going on?" She asked.
"Oh, I've just been arrested." Harry said casually.
"What?"
"I'm just going to make the announcement to the press."
"Harry..." But Harry was already walking away, striding purposefully towards the
Head Table. His smile never faltered, despite the fact that he hated being in t
he spotlight.
"Ladies and Gentlemen, I would like to thank you for coming today, however, I am
afraid that I must be going now."
"Where are you going, Mr Potter?"
"Ministry holding cells, I imagine." Harry replied, perfectly straight-faced. Th
ere were gasps and shouts of outrage.
"You got yourself arrested?" Hermione asked in horror.
"Actually, I believe Minister Fudge was the one who ordered my arrest." Harry sm
irked. Fudge would rue the day he messed with Harry Potter.
"What happened, Mr Potter?"
"I guess he didn't appreciate being punched." Harry said innocently. Ron whooped
loudly.
"Good for you, mate. It's about time someone did."
"Thank you, Ron."
"Why did you punch the Minister, Mr Potter?"
"Cornelius Fudge has always been a fool - he has proved this several times - fir
st of all when he denied Voldemort's return, then again and again ever since. As
all of you no doubt know, last year he came up with the idiotic idea of creatin
g children to fight Voldemort. Then when he decided that my power had not been p
assed on to my children, he cast them aside. It had been his plan to raise them
as some sort of specially designed soldiers, their one and only purpose being to
destroy Voldemort. As it turns out, he is so inept that when doing this in hope
s of one child, he got three. When I found out that I was a father, I assumed th
at Fudge had thought that my children would be more suited to this task because
of a certain Prophecy made, but it turns out that this was not the case. It turn
s out that Fudge has known, more or less since my birth, that I am an Elemental.
Rather than have me trained in my powers, he chose to keep me in the dark. That
choice very well may have cost lives."
"He's lying!" Fudge squealed, stumbling through the door.
"And just why would I do that?" Harry asked, his voice icy cold.
"You're in league with You-Know-Who! You're after my position! You want power!"
Harry let out a bark of laughter, his eyes dark with fury.
"Tell me, Cornelius, how you came to the assumption that I am in league with a..
.thing that died by my own hand?"
"We have no proof that he is indeed dead." Harry looked astounded, and shook his
head in exasperation.
"I don't have time for this, I have an appointment with the Wizengamont. Grandad
, would you please take Cornelius to the Room of Requirement for his proof - and
take one reporter from the Daily Prophet - after they have been searched for ca
meras. Someone trustworthy." Dumbledore nodded his agreement as Harry made his w
ay back to where Ginny was standing.
"Harry," She said, in a long-suffering voice, "Did you have to get yourself arre
sted?"
"If Fudge wasn't such a git then no, I wouldn't have had to. Don't worry, how ba
d can it be?"
"Knowing Fudge, a term in Azkaban." Ginny muttered darkly.
"Not going to happen - Fudge would be committing political suicide. People are a
lready displeased with him."
"You mean you actually thought this through?"
"You sound surprised, sweetie." Harry pouted.
"I'm proud of you." She said softly.
"Thanks. He's gone at last, now all we need is a decent Minister and life will b
e perfect." Harry grinned, lifting Ginny up and hugging her tightly. She giggled
and kissed him, unaware of the flashbulbs popping behind them.
"Dada!" Andy said, making Harry's grin grow even wider.
"He said dada!" He told Ginny, looking astounded.
"You'd better teach him to say mama then, hadn't you?" Ginny replied as Harry sc
ooped up his son and held him close to his chest. He hugged his other two childr
en before turning back to Ginny.
"I'll see you soon." He promised.
"Dada!" Andy repeated as Harry gave Ginny another hug.
"We're never going to get any peace, now." Ginny groaned.
"And we did before?"
"Good point." Harry grinned before sighing softly.
"Guess I'd better go. Love you."
"Love you too. And try not to be too long."
Harry stood before the assembled Wizengamont, his head held high. Dumbledore arr
ived part-way through, along with a pale Minister Fudge.
"I...I would like to drop the charges." He stuttered, looking small and scared.
"Unfortunately, Cornelius, you cannot withdraw a charge as is done in Muggle law
- Mister Potter will be tried."
"But...but I am the Minister for Magic!"
"Be that as it may, the law cannot be changed in the blink of an eye. Either we
try Mr. Potter now, or he is kept in a Ministry holding cell until you change th
e law, which could take months." Harry was beginning to like Madam Bones very mu
ch at this point, especially when she rolled her eyes as soon as his back was tu
rned.
"Very well." Fudge muttered, taking his seat. Everyone turned to watch as Harry'
s charges were read out.
"Harry James Potter, you are charged with assaulting the Minister for Magic and
with resisting all attempts to restrain and arrest you. How do you plead?"
"Guilty to the first charge, but not guilty to 'resisting all attempts to restra
in and arrest' me."
"Very well. Do you call any witnesses?"
"Yes, I would like to call the two Aurors who brought me in."
"Aurors are not permitted to stand witness in trials such as this, Mr Potter."
"Very well, I call Albus Dumbledore."
"Preposterous!" Fudge blustered, having decided that if he couldn't take back hi
s decision to press charges, he may as well make sure Harry was convicted.
"What is preposterous, Cornelius?" Madam Bones asked wearily.
"Dumbledore is his Grandfather - of course he'll back him up."
"Oh for goodness sake." Harry muttered. "There is a Hall full of witnesses, Mini
ster, would you kindly tell me who I am allowed to call as a witness?"
"You may call anyone you feel you can prove will give a free and unbiased accoun
t of what happened." Harry thought for a moment, before smiling slightly.
"Then I would like to call Hermione Granger."
"Someone owl the girl and quickly. Is there anyone else, Mr Potter?"
"Professor Severus Snape." Harry said, getting many gasps. He could see that eve
n his grandfather was shocked.
"Indeed." Madam Bones nodded and smiled.
It was only a matter of moments before Hermione and Snape arrived, both looking
somewhat bemused.
"You have both been called as witnesses for Mr Potter. Miss Granger, if you coul
d take the stand." Hermione nodded somewhat nervously, shooting a glance at Harr
y, who smile
at her.
"Miss Granger, what did you see tonight with regards to Mr Potter's assault on t
he Minister of Magic?"
"Well...I didn't see him punch him, but all night, Minister Fudge was following
him around all night."
"I was not!"
"Cornelius, let the girl speak." Madam Bones said.
"Thank you Madam Bones. As I was saying, the Minister was following Harry wherev
er he went. It's no secret that they do not exactly like each other." There were
a few titters from the members of the Wizengamont as she said this.
"Harry was getting annoyed at being trailed - when the Minister wouldn't leave h
im alone, I believe Harry asked to talk to him outside. When Harry returned, he
was escorted by two Aurors, and the Minister was nowhere to be seen. Harry made
the announcement that he had been arrested and that he would be leaving. He said
that Fudge had known all along that he was an Elemental and that he hadn't told
Harry, nor trained him in his abilities. Instead, he left everything to Harry.
He seems to do a lot of that."
"Was that everything, Miss Granger?"
"No - when Harry told everyone that, Fudge accused him of lying. He accused him
of being a Deatheater." There were cries of outrage at this, and Harry smiled gr
imly to himself. Cornelius might as well have dug his own grave.
"Is that everything Miss Granger?"
"Yes - after having shooting down the Minister's accusation, he came here."
"Very well. Professor Snape, is there anything you disagree with in Miss Granger
's testimony? Do you have anything to add?"
"No Madam Bones, Miss Granger's account is accurate to my knowledge. I have noth
ing to add." Snape said, looking as if it pained him to agree with a Gryffindor.
"Mr Potter, do you have anything to add?"
"Yes. I recorded my conversation outside with the Minister, as well as my announ
cement to the press." Harry produced his wand, laying it on the table in front o
f him and muttering the spell to play back the recording. The court listen in sh
ock and horror to the conversation between the Minister and Harry. When it had e
nded, silence descended over the entire room.
"Cornelius, do you have any doubts as to the authenticity of this recording?" Th
e Minister for Magic, once so proud, shook his head and looked down at his shoes
. Whispers errupted around the court.
"Silence. Cornelius, did you receive proof of You-Know-Who's destruction?" The e
ntire court seemed to hold their breath in anticipation as they awaited the answ
er.
"Yes." Everyone cheered in unison, though Harry couldn't be sure that all of the
m meant it.
"Then I believe, taking into account the extenuating circumstances of the assaul
t, that I speak for everyone in this courtroom when I say that Mr Potter is to b
e cleared of all charges." Hermione let out a sigh of relief, while Harry smiled
softly.
"I'll see you back at Hogwarts." He told Hermione softly, as his Grandad made hi
s way over.
"Well done, Harry. You handled that well."
"Thank you. I was just telling Hermione that I have a few things to do before I
go back to Hogwarts."
"Ah yes. I believe that you have a few Deatheaters to reanimate."
"Yeah - oh, I forgot to get the Rat from Moony."
"Here you go." Dumbledore said, producing said Rat.
"Thanks Grandad. I'll see you all later - please try and persuade Ginny not to k
ill me when I do get back?"
"I can try, but I promise nothing." Hermione said.
"Hmm. Better than nothing, I guess."
It only took Harry five minutes to reanimate the Deatheaters, watching as they s
creamed silently in pain.
"Thank you, Mr Potter. I do believe that the Auror's can take it from here." Mad
am Bones said kindly. Harry looked over to see Alicia and Oliver making their wa
y over to him. Acia immediately swept a rather bemused Harry into a bearhug.
"I knew you'd do it!" She said, smiling brilliantly at him.
"Thanks. Oliver, when did you become an Auror?"
"At the end of last year - what with the situation with You-Know-Who, I decided
that Quidditch could wait. Besides, couldn't let the side down, could I? From wh
at I hear, I missed some pretty great Defence lessons."
"Er...thanks."
"Mr Potter, would you come with me, please?" Madam Bones asked kindly. Harry nod
ded and said bye to Oliver and Alicia before following the woman.
"As I understand it, Mr Potter, you've had rather a lousy time with the Ministry
."
"Well...it's never been my favourite institution, no."
"I understand completely, Mr Potter."
"Please call me Harry, all this 'Mr Potter' stuff is making my head spin."
"Very well Harry, I must confess that Cornelius is very worried about his positi
on now - this is strictly off the record, you understand - he has given me permi
ssion to grant you compensation for previous...grievances."
"I don't need more money." Harry said with a slight frown.
"I know, but you have to understand that Cornelius is desperate. He believes tha
t in paying you off, he will regain public support again."
"It'll take more than that." Harry said.
"I know - and it is much more likely to have the opposite effect - that people s
ee it as an admission of Fudge's failures."
"So why didn't you tell him this?" Harry asked.
"Because I dislike him as much as the next person - he is a fool and a poor lead
er. If we want to keep the peace that you have restored for us, we need to have
a strong leader - someone like your grandfather."
"He won't take it. He loves Hogwarts too much." Harry said.
"I know. How about you?"
"Me?"
"Yes, you've already proved that you're a very capable leader, and with everythi
ng you've already done..."
"Madam Bones, I'm seventeen. I may have fought Voldemort time and again, but I h
ave virtually no experience of living a life in the wizarding world outside of H
ogwarts. Believe me when I say that I would not make a good Minister - yet, at a
ny rate."
"Very well. Is there anyone you feel would be good for the position?" Harry smil
ed after a moment of thought and nodded.
"I know just the person." He said.
"Who?"
"You'll find out. So if I accept this money as compensation, what happens afterw
ards?"
"I expect that there will be call for him to step down as Minister. After that,
there will be a time for those people who are interested in the position to camp
aign. There will be a vote after one month."
"Right. Ok, I'll take the compensation."
"Very well - in that case, I believe you are now the richest man in Europe - Mug
gle or Wizard."
"How much compensation are you giving me, exactly?"
"Well, a million galleons for the incident with the Triplets, a million for defa
mation of character, I believe the compensation for Sirius Black's wrongful arre
st - two million galleons - goes to you as well. Ten million galleons as a rewar
d for capturing the Deatheaters and for destroying You-Know-Who."
"Ok, can you do me a favour?"
"What is it, Harry?"
"Stop it with this You-Know-Who rubbish. He's dead - his name won't hurt anyone.
"
"Very well - Voldemort."
"Thank you."
"Yes, then there is the five hundred thousand galleon reward that goes with the
Order of Merlin, First Class, and finally, five hundred thousand galleons as an
apology for the fact that Minister Fudge kept your abilities from you."
"Fifteen million galleons." Harry whistled. "You certainly don't do anything by
halves, do you?"
"Certainly not, Harry. The Wizarding world is safe now - something that is worth
every galleon and more - but I have a feeling that if I tried giving you any mo
re money, you might protest."
"More? No way - fifteen million is too much as it is."
"Nonsense - we shall have to agree to disagree, I'm afraid."
"Hmm." Harry said.
"Shouldn't you be getting back to Hogwarts?"
"Yeah. Thanks for everything, Madam Bones."
"No problem - thank you."
"I did it as much for me and my family as much as anyone else." Harry admitted w
ith a shrug.
"You'd better go - I'm sure that there will be several hundred reporters at the
front doors."
"Oh joy - I don't suppose I could use the Floo system?"
"Sure."
"Thanks."
Harry stepped out of the fireplace in the headmaster's office, smiling as he saw
that everyone was already there. After brushing the soot from his robes, he mad
e a beeline for Ginny and the Triplets. He kissed Ginny soundly, despite the fac
t that her parents were in the room. When he pulled back, Ginny slapped him hard
.
"Ow!"
"That was for getting arrested - I don't care if you had a good reason. You'd be
tter be glad that they let you off." Harry blinked at her before bursting out la
ughing.
"What?" Ginny demanded, putting her hands on her hips. Harry risked a glance at
Arthur and Ron, who were currently shaking in silent mirth. Molly watched them s
ternly, her hands also on her hips.
"Oh god." Harry gasped, holding his ribs. He didn't think he'd laughed that much
for years.
"Sorry love, you just do such a good sabre-toothed tiger impression." Ginny's fa
ce reluctantly broke into a grin.
"The next time you do that to me, Potter, you better hope that they do lock you
up." She said before kissing him.
"Dada!" Andy squawked. Harry and Ginny stopped as they heard a crack - Leah was
hovering one of Albus' whirring contraptions above her head, and was currently t
rying to bat it with her pudgy hands.
"Same one her daddy loved." Albus grinned.
"Huh?"
"You used to do the same thing. Only you used to catch it and throw it, rather t
han having it hover."
"She's definitely going to be a daddies girl." Ginny smiled.
"Just like you then." Molly grinned. Harry smiled as he watched and listened to
his family chatting happily. Life was perfect. He wrapped his arms around Ginny'
s waist, sighing contentedly. This was what it felt like when things went right
- even if it only lasted a few years, he would treasure that time when he had a
'normal' life. As normal as it got with almost year-old triplets at age seventee
n.
"Happy?" Ginny queried. Harry gave her a dazzling smile.
"Couldn't be happier." He assured her, kissing her softly.
"Good."
The end.