As usual, JKR owns Harry Potter, not us although we own all the books, movies and audio-books of the range along with many copies of the computer games!
A/N from zeropolis79: Reviewer Anna Jesse asked where we came up with the name Annabeth for the Weasley baby – that’s a very easy question to answer – it’s my eldest daughter’s real name, well, it’s the name that’s on her birth certificate, school documentation along with her stories on here but like Tonks, she squirms a lot when someone calls her Annabeth.
Also, it has been asked how Sophie Weasley could be preaching in Diagon Alley when Heinzl killed her in Chapter 1. While it is true she was killed, Heinzl later possessed her in order to get her magic and forced her body to give birth – he had no wish to harm the child. He also needed access to her memories. He killed her husband and later left both bodies in their home. The baby is NOT part of Heinzl’s plans. I couldn’t put in about a baby being harmed – I love babies (and kids) too much to do that and it pains me to write scenes where the Dursleys beat Harry.
With thanks to YelloWitchGrl for allowing me the use of Bruce Lanning, who appeared in the same role in her excellent fic Harry Potter and the Power of the Garuda. Also thanks to my niece – 18 year old Emiliana for offering to be the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.
Chapter Four – And So it Begins
Ten days later
Draco Malfoy was lounging around next to a swimming pool at his home at Malfoy Manor. He was pleased that despite the fact his father had been arrested the previous summer as a Death Eater at the Quidditch World Cup, the Ministry allowed him and his mother to keep the Malfoy assets and the family home, although when Amelia Bones took office, she gave the family a hefty fine for Lucius’ Death Eater activities, falsely claiming to be under the influence of the Imperius Curse and corruption via huge bribes to Minister Fudge.
The other day, he had heard his mother telling the elder Malfoys (uncle and a grandfather) that the Ministry might be confiscating the Manor in retaliation for the family’s many crimes. She was now visiting her Head of House, Sirius Black, to buy the Black ancestral home. As a Black by blood, she had funds unconnected to the Malfoy money, which couldn’t be touched by the Ministry, as she had committed no crimes besides being ugly. He was also not in a good mood because he had been passed over for Prefect. The Slytherin fifth year prefect would be Blaise Zabini.
“DIPSY!” Draco shouted. With a pop, a house-elf appeared. “Butterbeer and quick!” The house-elf vanished then reappeared seconds later with a bottle. Draco snatched it from her, and then she vanished. As he began to drink it, he heard screams coming from the house. He thought someone had botched up a potion (his grandfather was a potions brewer) but the screaming didn’t stop. He picked up his wand and walked into the manor.
He opened the main door and walked into the entrance hall. There was no one there; he then turned and walked into the drawing room where he had the shock of his life. His grandfather, Abraxas Malfoy, was lying on the floor, dead. Draco turned the corner and saw two aunts and an uncle, also in the same state as his grandfather. There was someone standing over his uncle with a hand over him.
“Who are you?” Draco asked, trying and failing to act brave. His face was more pale than usual, and he was slightly trembling. The intruder finished what he was doing and then stood up and looked at the young Malfoy.
“I am Heinzl.”
“You’re that mudblood the woman in Diagon Alley spoke of,” he managed to say before Heinzl raised his hand.
“CRUCIO!” Draco fell to the ground as he was subjected to the torture curse.
“I WILL NOT TOLERATE THE USE OF THAT WORD!” Heinzl released Draco from the curse. “Your family are the enemies of Muggle-borns. All enemies of Muggle-borns must die!”
“If you touch me, my father will have the Ministry destroy you!” Draco threatened, while trembling.
“Ha! Your father! Your father is one of the people on my list of targets. When my followers break into Azkaban, your father will be the first to die!”
Draco gulped in fear, but kept facing his attacker, trying not to look scared.
“I won’t kill you, however. I need you to pass on the message to the rest of the Bloodheads that Heinzl will not tolerate your centuries-long prejudiced persecution of the Muggle-borns. And to make sure that you don’t use that term again…” Heinzl raised his hand. A green light surrounded Draco for a few seconds.
“What have you done, you filthy Mudbloo…” Draco began but fell to the ground screaming. “Owwww!”
“I have put a permanent torture curse on you. I created the Cruciatus curse, and I can modify it for any use needed. Everytime you call someone Mudblood, you will suffer a great deal of pain.”
“You can’t do this, Mudbloo…” Draco fell in pain again.
“Remember my words, young Malfoy. You will see me again.” Heinzl vanished.
Narcissa Malfoy was in the kitchen at the Black ancestry home discussing things with Sirius. Although they were never friends, and clearly disagreed on philosophies (especially on Muggles and Muggle-borns but privately, Sirius agreed with her view on the Muggles when it came to the Dursleys), and Sirius had made his opinion of her husband quite plain, they had always been civil to one another. Today was no exception.
“Why don’t want this place, cousin? You are the rightful owner of it,” she asked.
“Because it reminds me too much of my family’s ways. Besides, I prefer living with Harry. I promised his parents I would raise him if anything happened to them, and for the past year, I’ve gotten the chance to. I would prefer not to do it here, though, and since it is of no use to me, I might as well get rid of it. I do think it would be better to keep it in the family, though.”
“And how many millions do you want from the Malfoy vaults for the place?” Narcissa asked.
“I don’t want to dirty my hands with your husband’s blood money. I know you got a sizable inheritance when my mother died. I want 10,000 galleons, and I’ll even throw in Kreacher.”
“Done.” The two shook hands. Sirius put two house-keys on the table while Narcissa swore an oath to deposit the money into Sirius’ vault within 24 hours.
Meanwhile, Ginny’s 14th birthday celebrations had been cut short by a message from the Ministry telling the Weasleys that the hearing into permanent guardianship of baby Annabeth was being held that day in an hour’s time. Molly and Arthur took the baby and apparated to the Ministry.
They were taken to the office of Emiliana DeLuca – the new Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. There, they met Bruce Lanning, the Head of the Department of Families. There were also a few members of the Wizengamot along with Kingsley Shacklebolt, who was present at the raid.
Ten minutes later, the hearing was in process. Mr. Lanning stood up and began.
“Ten days ago, following a raid on a property, Auror Shacklebolt came to me with a baby who was approximately three days old. He told me there was a birth certificate filled out with her name – Annabeth Weasley. Knowing the surname, I contacted Arthur Weasley and informed him of this. He told me that none of his children had become parents, but she might be related to a Squib cousin of his. Tests on the infant showed that she was related to Mr. Weasley, so he offered to take her in, pending a full hearing.”
Madame DeLuca turned to Arthur and Molly, “I have your application here for full guardianship and adoption of little Annabeth.” She looked at the baby. “She is the prettiest thing I ever did see. Mr. Weasley, I understand you work as Head of the Department of Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office and Mrs. Weasley, you work as Editor of The Potter Press?”
“Yes. I’m appointing our star reporter, Anna Jesse, to be assistant editor so I can do most of my work at home, so I can look after Annabeth. I can hold meetings at home if needed and my son, Percy, has offered to babysit when he can,” Molly replied.
“Mr. Lanning, I see here that no one else has applied for guardianship or adoption. Do you have any objections to Arthur and Molly Weasley adopting Annabeth?” Madame DeLuca asked.
“No, I have no objection,” Mr Lanning answered.
“Then, congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. Weasley. Adoption approved.” Madame DeLuca signed the paperwork, followed by Mr. Lanning and then Molly and Arthur.
Crabbe and Goyle were sitting down at the Crabbe household studying. Since Severus Snape had been fired from Hogwarts, their marks had gone downhill. It had been speculated that Snape had altered their marks in order to keep them at Hogwarts. There was also speculation that Lucius Malfoy influenced the exam boards to stop them failing the two so they could continue to go to Hogwarts with Draco. But most people dismissed that idea, because if Lucius Malfoy did that, he would have gotten them to fail Harry and all the Muggle-borns at Hogwarts.
Sirius had looked at their work throughout the entire year, along with the rest of the Slytherins. In general, their work was good. He had found out that Draco Malfoy’s Potions grades were over inflated, as he had proven many times in class. He discovered at the end of the current school year that Crabbe and Goyle had the worst marks of anyone to attend Hogwarts. In a meeting with Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall, he recommended that they be held back a few years. They would start the next term as second years.
Dumbledore was open to the idea while McGonagall was suggesting expelling them. A compromise was reached. They would repeat the second year, and if they didn’t improve by the Christmas holidays, they would be expelled. Both Dumbledore and McGonagall agreed with this. In the same meeting, Sirius also recommended that Draco Malfoy and Pansy Parkinson should not be considered for Prefect. They would abuse their position and try to force their anti-Muggle-born views on everyone. This was also agreed upon. Blaise Zabini and Daphne Greengrass were named Slytherin fifth-year Prefects.
At the start of the holidays, Sirius told both Crabbe and Goyle’s mothers about their sons having to repeat the second year and suggested that they hire a tutor to educate them during the holidays. Both were reluctant to do so until Sirius told them that if they didn’t improve, they would be expelled from Hogwarts and if that happened, it would not look good on a reference should they try to apply to another magical school.
So, since the holidays began, Crabbe and Goyle were spending eight hours a day being tutored by someone recommended by Sirius. Their marks were still as bad as ever, but the tutor told Sirius that they were slowly improving. He said that if they avoided getting into trouble at school, they might get better.
Today, they were in the dining room at Goyle’s home writing a Charms essay under their tutor’s supervision. Suddenly, screams could be heard. The tutor got his wand out and ran out of the room. Then, they heard him screaming.
With caution, Crabbe and Goyle left the room. With shock, they saw the bodies of their mothers, along with the tutor, with Heinzl kneeling over his body, with his hand over it.
The ghost sensed the presence of the two friends and stood up.
“Draco Malfoy’s bodyguards! You keep preaching anti-Muggle-born views at Hogwarts, but it will stop!” He raised his hand and cast a spell on the two. “Now you will be unable to call anyone Mudblood without suffering a great deal of pain.”
Both Crabbe and Goyle looked at Heinzl if they had no idea what he was talking about.
“Be careful about what you say and do,” he continued. “I will be watching you.”
Heinzl disappeared. The two idiots looked shocked at the sight of their mothers. But they had no idea on what to do next.
“Welcome to our family, Annabeth!” Mr. Weasley said, raising a glass of butterbeer in a toast. The rest of the Weasleys did the same. Ginny then began cooing over Annabeth.
“I always wanted a little sister,” she said. The infant began crying. Mrs. Weasley picked her up and started to feed her from a bottle.
“Sorry for ruining your birthday like this,” she said to Ginny.
“That’s alright, Mum. This is more important,” Ginny replied.
“Aren’t you going to open your presents?” Fred asked.
Harry, Hermione and Neville were standing in the kitchen of the Burrow with the Weasleys. They had offered to leave when Molly and Arthur came back with the baby, but they wouldn’t have any of it. Their chain of thought was interrupted when two owls flew in and dropped a package in front of Ginny before flying away. She took the card from it and read it out loud:
To Ginny, Have a very happy birthday, and we hope this will help you in your Quidditch dreams. Love from Harry and Hermione.
She opened the parcel to reveal a brand new Cleansweep Eleven broom. Ron looked at Harry and Hermione, then Ginny and the broom with rage in his eyes.
“HOW DARE YOU BUY SOMETHING EXPENSIVE FOR GINNY!” he shouted. Annabeth, startled by Ron’s voice, started crying. Arthur took her out of the room to calm her down.
“Ron, for the sake of mine and Hermione’s future relations with your family, DO NOT continue,” warned Harry.
“We will buy our friends what we want.” Hermione stepped in, “It’s not our fault you delight in being such a complete idiot.”
“We don’t need your charity! It must be nice to have so much money you can buy friends with expensive gifts,” Ron continued.
“For your information, Ronald,” Hermione said coldly. “We don’t need to buy our friends. We don’t flaunt our wealth about. Harry and I decided to buy Ginny a new broom because like me, she wants to try out for Chaser on the Quidditch team and you can’t do well on an old Shooting Star!”
“What has she promised you, Potter, when you give her a place on your Potter fan club team? Is she going to let you shag her?” Ron had gone too far. Harry walked over and punched him full in the face. Neville followed suit, and then Ginny punched Ron in the nose. Molly then slapped him in the face. He now had two black eyes, a bloody nose, and a red handprint on his cheek.
“What is your problem, Ronald?” Molly asked, “It’s as if you are determined to ruin people’s birthdays if you can’t get your own way. You ruined Harry and Neville’s birthdays and now you are trying to ruin your sister’s!”
“It’s Potter buying affection from our family!”
“Harry has never bought any affection from our family and he has never tried!” Molly shouted. “You may not know this, but before he bought the paper and gave me the top job, he offered to give us over half the money in his vault because he felt we were more entitled to it than he was!”
Ron was getting in even more of a rage. “I hate you, Potter, and this is what I think of your attempts to buy your way into Ginny’s knickers!” He went over to the table and grabbed Ginny’s broom. Ginny and Neville began to move but Harry held them back. Ron then made an attempt to break the broom in two. But as he did so, a shock went through his body and sent him flying into the wall.
“What did you do?” Hermione whispered to Harry.
“I paid for all the options on the broom. It’s practically impossible to break. I actually did it so the Slytherins couldn’t mess with it. I never thought that git would try to break it. I’d love to see him try Diffindo on it, though,” replied Harry.
Ron got his wand out and pointed it at the broom and said, “Diffindo!” The hex hit the broom and then bounced back and hit Ron. Seconds later, his clothing was shred to pieces and they fell onto the floor, leaving Ron in a pair of bright orange Chudley Canons boxer shorts. Everyone started laughing. Red faced, Ron ran out of the room as Arthur came back in with Annabeth.
“Just so you know, Ginny,” Harry said. “That’s your birthday and Christmas presents for the next five years.” As Ginny opened the rest of her presents, Fred and George walked over to Harry.
“That was a good prank, Harry. Was that a Marauder-in-origin prank?” George asked.
“That’s for me to know and you to find out someday,” replied Harry.
Ginny had gotten to a present in a large box from Fred and George. She opened it up to find that it was empty, with the exception of a small envelope. She opened the envelope to find a folded piece of parchment that said:
This certificate entitles the bearer to one magic wand from
Ollivanders: Makers of Fine Wands since 382 B.C.
Mr. Ollivander’s signature was on the bottom. It was a good job Ron wasn’t in the kitchen at the time; otherwise he’d get into another fit of rage. There was a huge box from Sirius. It contained a laptop charmed by Hermione to work at Hogwarts. It was also charmed to be waterproof and damage-proof. Hermione had also installed access to the Potter library on it. Sirius had bought one for Neville for his birthday, and what made him very happy with it was the fact he could access all sorts of rare books on Herbology that neither he nor the Hogwarts library had heard of. Neville got Ginny a bunch of roses that he had created which were charmed to never die and to have an everlasting scent.
Later on, while Neville and Ginny were giving each other a very non-verbal goodbye (in other words, snogging each other’s brains out), Molly took Harry and Hermione aside.
“Don’t let Ronald’s behaviour put you down. He’s earned himself a grounding for the entire summer so he won’t be able to cause anymore trouble.” But as she was saying this, Ron ran through the door to the back garden carrying something. Molly and the others went after him, expecting trouble. They found him in the garden holding one of the twin’s Beater bats and a small something in his other hand. To Harry’s sharp eyes, it looked like something furry and familiar.
He raised his wand at Ron and said, “Accio.” To Ron’s surprise, the thing he had in his hand shot out of it and flew to Harry’s hand. Harry and Hermione looked at it and to their shock, they found out it was Ginny’s owl, Pigwidgeon. The poor thing looked like he had been punched. Molly watched in fury. She grabbed Ron and dragged him back into the kitchen. She forced him into a chair and used a binding charm to tie him to it. Harry and Hermione walked in carrying the owl. Molly walked to the fire.
“Headmaster’s Office, Hogwarts,” she shouted, throwing some powder into it. Dumbledore’s head soon appeared.
“Good evening, Molly. What can I do for you?” he asked. Molly explained what had just happened and asked if he could take Ginny’s owl to Hagrid so he could help Pigwidgeon. Dumbledore said he would, so Harry passed him to the Headmaster, who then vanished. Molly and Arthur turned to Ron with fury in their faces. Ginny was more upset than angry. Harry, Hermione and Neville decided to make themselves scarce. Fred and George were given Annabeth (Arthur cast a silencing charm around her) and they went outside. They theorised that Dumbledore would have heard Molly and Arthur yelling at Ron all the way in Hogwarts.
Half-an-hour later, back at Potter Manor, Harry had just asked Julius’ portrait to block Ron’s access to the house. Harry began to leave the room in order to go to the kitchen when the floo activated. Moments later, Neville fell out of the fireplace. There were tears in his eyes.
“Sorry to drop by uninvited Harry, but my grandmother, Great-Uncle Algie, my family, they’re dead!” screamed Neville.
Please review. Thank you to those who have.
A/N from witowsmp: You may recall that Ginny – not Ron – was given Pigwidgeon in ‘More Important Than Any Broomstick’ chapter 23.