Chapter 1 : What comes after the Blues (Part 1)
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"C'mon Harry, we have to go!" Hermione said impatiently.
It was late in the afternoon and Harry Potter was still going through his report about his latest mission in his office. It was a job he had never appreciated its merits, but it had to be done, so he fixed his partner with a stern gaze.
"You know if someone had told me years ago that you'd be the one encouraging me not to finish my work I’d have called them crazy".
"Yes, but the kids are arriving any minute now!"
"The kids are arriving in two hours", Harry sighed still not moving from his chair.
He knew that once his kids and nephews and nieces were back for the summer he wouldn't be able to get any work done and he wanted to finish everything he had left so no one from the office would come bothering him during the summer break. He had promised his kids that this summer they could all go away together and he didn't want to let them down, especially Lily, the one who was most excited of the whole idea.
"Harry, you do know that there are other aurors except you and me to take care of stuff, right?" Hermione persisted.
"And how much unfinished work have you left? None. It's easy for you to be like this. You've had all the week to get your work done, I came back from Mexico yesterday", he said but stood up. "I hate this job!" he complained.
"No, you don't", Hermione replied, shaking her head. "You love it! Come on we have to pick up my lovely sister in law!"
"What about Ron?"
"He and George are waiting for a new order today, so he'll meet us there".
"So I cannot be late but he can?"
"Yes because when my husband says he'll meet us there he means he'll meet us there" she said walking towards the elevator. "When you say something like that you never..." she cut her sentence short as the doors of the elevator opened and their supervisor burst in.
"Good, you two are still here" said the old wrinkled man, upon seeing them.
He was wearing his ordinary, long, black cloak, with the badge of the auror office pinched on it. He was also wearing a very worried expression, that made his wrinkled face seemed even older than it was, even if his black and white beard was covering half of it. He was about seventy years old. Too old to be Head of the department, but it was a common secret that they'll make him retire soon.
"Actually we were just leaving" Hermione rushed to say.
She knew that it was easy for him to cancel their days off so she wanted to leave as soon as possible. She just wished that Harry wouldn't...
"What's going on?" asked Harry and Hermione sighed.
As Matthias Barge, their supervisor, walked towards the nearest desk she mouthed to Harry:"Ginny is going to kill you!"
"There's something I have neglected to inform you about", said the man turning to face them.
The wrinkles on his forehead deepened, as his eyebrows came closer to each other. He was worried. More worried than any of them had ever seen him be. Hermione walked towards him, forgetting about her rush.
"Are you going to tell us what that thing I collected in Mexico was?" Harry said full of curiosity.
"No", he said, disappointing Harry. "There were some murders that used to concern me. They all seemed to have a connection, a rather disturbing connection".
"Okay, wait a minute. Why are you talking to us about common homicides? I thought that new recruited aurors were dealing with such simple issues. Or are we the only ones still in the building?" Hermione said giving Harry an angry look.
"This was never a simple issue, but as you said it wasn't your area of expertise so I haven't told you anything, although now I think I should have".
"Fine then" Hermione gave in, while Harry was sitting on his desk.
When she sat next to him the old man continued.
"I believe you remember the murder of your friend Dean Thomas six months ago?"
"Of course, how could we forget?" Harry said sadly.
"Well it appears that his death is linked with nine others".
"Nine?" Hermione said in disbelief.
"You've got any lead on the killer?" asked Harry. "How is it linked?"
"Well, all of the victims or someone related to them seemed to be involved in..."Matthias hesitated.
"In what?" Harry asked with a bad feeling growing inside him.
"In Voldemort's fall".
"What?!" Harry exclaimed. "And you're telling me this now?" he went on outraged as Hermione was bringing her hand on her mouth.
"It was just an assumption until a couple of hours ago".
"You still ought to tell me!"
"What do you mean 'a couple of hours ago?" Hermione asked, though she was not so sure she wanted to hear the answer.
"A new group of Death Eaters took the entire blame for the ten deaths", Matthias gave the answer.
"What?" Hermione whispered, all the colour draining from her face, but Harry snorted.
"Death Eaters? Death Eaters are gone Matthias. I locked them up in Azkaban myself".
"Yes, we, we...the two of us captured the last escaping Death Eaters almost seven years ago" Hermione said perfectly convinced this was a mistake.
"That's why I said they were a new group".
"But Voldemort is dead", insisted the woman.
"They have a new leader. We do not know his real name but he calls himself...'Apostollo'" explained Matthias.
"Come on, Matthias, we shouldn't be worried right? I mean, it's only shocking because they call themselves that. And they only did it in order to envoke that exact feeling in us. We have faced a team of murderers before".
"Yes Harry but in his letter that 'Apostollo' said that they came out in open just because they've gotten strong now. He said they are to continue their work until they take full revenge".
Silence fell among them. Hermione was still shocked and Harry still dubious. He couldn't believe that after all of those years the past would come back to haunt them. Death Eater back? They had killed Dean and nine others. And who the hell that 'Apostollo' was? They wanted revenge. All three of them knew exactly where they'd come looking for it. Surely he was the first person they would seek it from. So that was how Dean's mysterious death was explained.
Harry felt his heart pounding hard against his chest, as he thought of the similarities with the past. Mysterious deaths...that was how it had started the last time. There was no Voldemort now though. Death Eaters were nothing without their Dark Lord. Yet nine people were dead and one of them was their friend. All the victims or someone related to them was involved in Voldemort's fall. Someone related. Related...
"Matthias, whoever this person is, he could be coming for..."
"The kids!" Hermione exclaimed jumping up.
Lily Potter was staring out of her window. She loved Hogwarts, but she had to admit that when she was crying to let her go earlier, three years ago, she hadn't thought about her parents and how much she would miss them. So she was kind of sad that school was over but couldn't help but wish the train could go faster. Her dad had promised in one of his letters that they could all go away on holiday. She wondered where they'd go.
"Hey Lil, why are you on your own?"
She raised her red head to see her cousin, Hugo, walking in and sitting next to her. Lily and Hugo were both twelve, going on thirteen. They were cousins, but they were so much alike, that if everybody didn't know who their parents were, they'd think they were siblings. They both had red, straight hair, freckles and pale blue eyes. The Weasley genes ran strong, their grandmother always said. She wasn't wrong, Lily often thought, as most of her cousins had red hair, even if both of her older brothers hadn't.
"Oh, I just wanted it to be quiet so I can imagine the place we'll go for holiday".
"Well, I wouldn't get that excited if I were you", her cousin pointed out, as he fell into a seat.
"Why shouldn't I?"
"For one thing I'm not so sure that mom and Uncle Harry..."
"Oh, c'mon Hugo! They said they wouldn't work, don't ruin it for me!" Lily pleaded.
"Okay let's say they don't. What about my dad? What if Uncle George can't handle the shop by his own? I mean isn't that why dad left the auror office in the first place, to help him out?"
Lily didn't know what to respond to all of this so she turned to her window again. Those Weasleys always had a way to irritate her. Whatever Hugo said though, she was certain they would go...her dad had promished.
Meanwhile the door of an empty compartment, not so far away from the one Lily and Hugo were in, burst open by James Potter. He stepped in swearing under his breath holding the right side of his face with his hand. God, those Slytherins were so stupid! Why did that prat had to punch him? Why couldn't he hex him just like James did?
He sat next to the window, took his hand off his face and looked at his reflection. The fifteen year old boy that stared back at him had dark brown hair and hazel eyes, just a tone lighter than his mother's, however James was certain that his mother's right eye wasn't red and swollen like his was at that moment.
"Mom is going to kill me!" he muttered to himself.
"Well, that's for certain", said a voice from the door.
James rolled his eyes and turned to see his brother, standing there, with a mirth upon his face that irritated him.
"Are you okay? I saw what happened".
"Oh, did you really? I thought your Slytherin friends told you about it".
To James' great outrage, his brother had the audacity to hang with some of them, even if they had repeatingly argued about it. James just couldn't understand what his brother could possibly be thinking. Albus was the one, than he had dreaded that the Sorting Hat might place him in Slytherin and when it placed him in Gryffindor, along with the rest of his family, he went and made friends with the lot of them.
"There we go again!" sighed Albus. "Why can't you deal with the fact that I'm friends with Scorpius?"
"You know what, I'm not going to argue with you again...just get out...leave me alone!"
"Fine! All I wanted was to see if you were okay".
"Oh, believe you me;I can take care of myself".
"That's what worries me", the boy sighed again.
"Me being able to take care of myself?" James asked taken aback.
"No, you believing you don't need any one of us", said Albus and with these turned around and left.
James fell back in his seat, fuming. Like it wasn't enough that his brother was the exact replica of their father in appearance, he had to go and sound just like him as well.
Harry was waiting at the train station along with Ron for their kids to arrive. He and Hermione had passed the news to Ginny,Ron and Mr. Weasley. He glanced at his brother-in-law. He knew that Ron was just as upset as he was but he was trying to hold his fear back. Harry wasn't so sure how bad things were. Maybe they were overreacting and his original thought was right...would they be so worried if that group wasn't called Death Eaters? Then again Dean was dead and so were nine more people.
"Harry", Ron said hesitantly.
"Is it bad?"
"Don't know", Harry responded looking at him. "I sure hope it's not"
"Do you think that we should take Matthias' advice?"
Harry hesitated. He had thought at first that his supervisor had told them everything so they would stay for the summer and work, but he was wrong. Matthias wanted them to go into hiding. Harry didn't know what to do. He could ignore his supervisor and not take this whole situation seriously; risking his kids' welfare or they could all go into hiding. But how could he do that to his kids? How could he force them to hide? To change their lives? He thought of Ginny. She was back at their house with Hermione, since they consider it to be the most protected one. She didn't seem to know how to react just like he didn't. Harry closed his eyes. Why did this have to happen?
"I think they're here mate", Ron said and Harry opened his eyes.
He looked at the gap between platforms nine and ten. Strange kids were emerging from nowhere carrying huge trunks and owls, looking and pointing at Harry as they went by. Yep, Hogwarts Express had arrived. As they were waiting for the children Harry got a glimpse of Draco Malfoy and his son leaving the station. Harry wondered if Malfoy knew about this whole thing, about 'Apostollo'. He exhaled frustrated. He had already gotten tired of calling that mysterious man like this, he wanted to know his real name, and he wanted to know who he was up against.
The red headed girl that just emerged from what appeared to be a wall, abandoned her trunk and ran towards her father, her arms outstretched. Harry couldn't help it, but push 'Apostollo' in the back of his head and smile broadly as his daughter hugged him tightly from the waist. Harry kissed her forehead and looked at her. She had gotten tall.
Ron shook his head grinning and went next to his son helping him drug both his and Lily's trunk, while Rose, Ron's older child, and Albus joined them. Rose also had the Weasley hair, but they were just as frizzy as her mother's once had been, even though now Hermione's hair, seemed to have calmed down a bit. She smiled and hugged her father and Ron noted that she almost reached his shoulder in height now.
Albus passed the Weasleys, smiled and hugged his father but no for long since Lily was claiming him exclusively for now.
"Seriously, you guys keep getting bigger and bigger" Ron said looking at them, as his daughter got out of his hug.
"Or maybe you just getting smaller and smaller, dad!" Hugo said smiling.
"So, where's James?" Harry asked as he took Lily's trunk from Ron's grip since he already had Rose's to carry.
"He was behind us", Rose said looking in the crowd for her older cousin.
"He was talking to his friends from the band", Albus explained.
"Band? What band?"
"Oh, come on Ron! How can you not remember that my son is an artist?" smiled Harry.
"Yeah, especially since he was all about it during Christmas", Albus said shaking his head but receiving a warning look from his father.
Harry turned to see his older son drugging his trunk towards them. His hair was ruffled that way that the right side of his face was almost covered. Albus forced himself to suppress a grin.
"Hey", Harry greeted him when he was next to him, hugging his shoulders. "What's with the hair?"
"Nothing I just..." James mumbled while he tried to pull away from his father but it was too late.
Harry pushed James' hair back and saw his swollen eye.
"JAMES SIRIUS POTTER!" Harry yelled angrily. "What on earth happened to your eye?"
Ginny placed the plates on the table for dinner thinking of the news Harry and Hermione brought. Talk of bad news. Death Eaters were on the loose again? She always thought that her children would be saved from all these. She just hoped that it wouldn't get as bad as Harry's supervisor was predicting. She just couldn't imagine the possibility of losing someone of her family...again.
Hermione entered the room carrying the casserole just when loud voices came from the garden.
"They're here! They're okay!" Hermione screamed and dropping the casserole on Ginny's hands, she stormed out of the room, reaching then door just when Hugo opened it.
"Mom!" was all Hugo managed to say before his mother took him into her hug and held him tightly.
"Oh, Hermione that is so dramatic!" Ginny said sarcastically as she hugged Albus.
Over his shoulder she saw that her other son and her husband were having some kind of an argument as they moved closer to the doorstep.
"What's wrong with you two?" she asked after hugging Lily too and kissing James' cheek.
"Nothing", they both said at the same time.
Ginny raised her eyebrows looking at them. Then she shrugged and walked inside clutching Lily's hand.
James sighed relieved. His face had been restored to its normal condition with a simple wave of his father's wand. The boy looked at his father and grinned.
"Thanks dad", he said.
Harry gave his son an stern look that wiped the grin from his face.
"It's only because I don't want your mother to get more upset!" he said as they walked down the hall.
"Why is she upset?" asked James, but he didn't get an answer since they've reached the dining room where everybody was gathered.
They didn't say anything to their kids that night. They were all so happy that they were back again that their parents decided not to ruin it. So the Weasleys left for their home when the dinner ended.
They would have stayed up longer, but Lily fell asleep on the couch and Harry carried her upstairs and everybody else followed after that. Lily must have woken up somewhere on the way though, because as Ginny passed her daughter's room, going to her bedroom, she heard her talking with her father. Ginny knew that Harry could stay and talk with his daughter for hours, so she went to bed. Her sleep was disturbed, however. She kept changing sides when at three in the morning she sat up on her bed. She couldn't remember the nightmare she saw but it had frightened her. She looked at her left for her husband, craving for his warm hug to take her fear away but he wasn't there. She got out of bed concerned.
She searched the entire house to find him sitting in the kitchen table in the dark. He had placed his head in his hands and he didn't notice her as she walked close to him.
"Honey?" she whispered making him jump.
"Oh, hey Gin", he whispered back looking up.
"Lumos!" she said and a small light emerged from her wand. "What on Merlin's name are you doing here all alone?"
"I couldn't sleep", he admitted as she sat on his lap and he put his arms around her waist.
"Are you concerned about what Matthias told you guys?"
"That plus you kept kicking like a horse!" he grinned.
"Shut up, I was having a nightmare!" she said pinching his arm.
"Ouch!" he complained. "What was it about?"
"Can't remember", she shrugged.
"What do you think about all of these?" he asked her quietly.
"Well, it sure does sound disturbing, doesn't it?" she said looking at him and when he didn't respond she continued. "Well, I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I just wish that whatever this is it won't hurt our children".
"Don't worry", Harry smiled reassuringly. "I won't let anything happen to them".
"I know...but I have to worry, right? I'm the mom".
They laughed and then he stared into her beautiful face. It was amazing how just a look at her could provide him so much comfort. What was also amazing was that as the years went by she was becoming more and more beautiful if possible, though she still stayed the same Ginny he had fallen in love with. Sometimes he couldn't believe how he had gotten so lucky to have her in his life.
"I love you", he said and she smiled at the serious face he took.
"Well, of course you do! I'm adorable!" she stated kissing his cheek.
"That you are babe", he smiled back.
She looked at his emerald eyes and as he pulled her into a deep, loving kiss, his strong arms holding her tight, all the fear and distress that nightmare had caused her was long gone. That made her think of something she had thought many times before: how lucky she was to have him.
Hermione had gotten up early this morning. Because of the demands her job had, the chance to cook didn't come very often, though she considered herself to be a decent cook and Ron's mom ended up cooking most of their food. She was determined to make a really nice breakfast for her kids today however, even if she knew that most of it would end up in her husband's stomach. She had just finished that thought when Ron came into the kitchen.
"What smells so good?" he asked and she rolled her eyes.
"Hands off Ronald! It's for the kids!" she said and Ron laughed.
"Honey, have you counted our kids lately? They're two not a dozen!" he said gesturing to all the food on the table.
Hermione only managed a grunt at her husband before all hell broke loose. With a bang and a flash of green light the window blew up.
"What the..." Ron said before Hermione drugged him down behind the bench, just as another loud bang was heard and glass flew everywhere.
"Ron, we're under attack!"