SORRY I TOOK SO LONG TO POST... I'VE BEEN DOING A MILLION THINGS!!!!!!!!!!!
Everyone rested well on Sunday and on Monday all the alumni were ready and eager to start the first day of classes. Well, at least Hermione was.
“Charms and then Potions. We’ll be together all morning! All of us!!!” She said during breakfast.
“Brilliant!” said George. He meant it. He wanted Anna to become closer to the rest of his friends.
“I hate potions… I hate Slughorn… And we have one period with him every day!” Ron was looking down. “Charms is OK, though... ”
“What do we have after lunch?” George asked.
“Yes, Ron. This year we’ll be brewing very intricate potions, so they need watching very often. Oh… there must be a mistake… I have both Transfiguration and DATDA! I should go talk to the Headmistress.”
“I have that, too...” Ann said. “Should we go together?”
Under any other circumstances, Ginny wouldn’t have liked how friendly Ann was being to Hermione. But right now, she was seated on Harry’s lap and he was spoon-feeding her milk and cereals. They had been giggling since their first encounter at the Prefects bathroom on Saturday. There had been two more on Sunday, too.
The Headmistress had stepped up to her podium and was pointing her wand to her throat.
“Attention, please.” She said with her particular tone of voice. Then she cleared her voice.
“Ron, listen!” Hermione woke him up. He had snoozed off for a second.
“I hope everyone has had a good first week. The results of your final exams, OWLS and NEWTS will be delivered to you at lunch. However, those who have made it to the sixth and seventh year will have a clue of how they did in a few moments, when I announce Head Boys and Girls, and Prefects for each House. For Hufflepuff...”
“I’m so excited!” Said Ann and Hermione at unison.
Ginny was no longer on Harry’s lap, but they were holding hands and feeding each other grapes, Ginny’s favourites. Ron looked at them and whisper to Hermione.
“What’s gotten into these two?”
“Love, Ron. You could show it once in a while.” Hermione said that exacerbating her posh accent, as to imitate herself a few years ago.
Ron laughed and kissed her.
“And for the Gryffindor House...”
“Stop it, Ron, that’s us!” Hermione said as she pulled away.
Ron was tickling her.
“Come on!” she said giggling.
“The prefects would be: Mr Harry Potter...”
“Ms Ginevra Weasley”
Everyone kept cheering.
“Mr. Neville Longbottom”
There, it became an ovation. Everyone was in love with Neville, he was the clumsy toad that became a prince when he helped defeating Voldemort.
“And Ms Ann McGonagall.”
Everyone kept clapping, just not as much as before.
“Now for Head Boy of the Gryffindor House...Mr Ronald Weasely and Ms Hermione Granger.”
“What?!” Ron said half a second before Hermione kissed him and hugged him.
Everyone was coming down to that section of the table to congratulate the Prefects and Head Boy and Girl.
“We have to owl mum. She won’t believe it!” Ginny said half-proud and half-mocking Ron.
“Ronnie is a Head Boy!!!! Mum can die in peace now... She’s had three Head Boys for sons... Three out of six... that’s not a bad number...” Just then George’s face seemed to get a little sad. So did the faces of the two other gingers seated at the Gryffindor table. They were all thinking of Fred.
“I bet he would be planning how to jinx your badge...” Ginny said in a nostalgic tone.
“Actually... I’d be the one planning that. He’ll be the one planning to jinx yours... Little Miss Prefect. And Hermione’s too... probably.” George said smiling.
“Why not the other way around?” Ann asked him.
“Well... because I wouldn’t dare do that to the girls, so I would have traded.”
“Because you’re such a gentleman?” Ron said in a girl’s voice. He batted his eyes.
“No... Because I’ve been hit by Ginny’s Bat-Bogey Hexes and everyone knows that there’s no spell that our Hermione can’t do.”
Everyone laughed and finished their breakfasts. Hermione and Ann left to speak with the Headmistress about their clashing timetables.
They all reunited in the Charms classroom. Professor Flitwick had decided that this class was going to be all about written theory because most of his student’s hadn’t had any formal instruction the year before and needed to be reminded of the theory before starting with the intricate curriculum of their last year. Of course, Hermione thought it was an excellent idea and so did Ann. Ginny and Harry didn’t really mind, as all they did while their Professor was talking was holding hands and writing little messages on each other’s books and non-existing notes. The other two redheads might as well had been tortured for an hour and twenty minutes.
When the class was over they headed down to the dungeons for Potions. Slughorn was at the door greeting his students in the manner you do when you have some one over at your house for tea. He made a comment to each student he remembered knowing –that meant each student who had a famous relative.
“Look who’s here!” he said when he saw Ron entering the room with George.
“Well, Mr Ronald Weasley, don’t be so modest. You were one of the destroyers of the Seven Horcruxes. Thank you for saving all of our lives.”
Ron unwillingly showed a smile.
“Well... don’t mention it.” He said trying to sound chill.
“And Ms Granger. My pleasure to have you in my class.”
Hermione blushed and nodded. Then found a seat besides Ron.
Slughorn kept greeting everyone and he made remarks when the boy who lived and twice got in and when Neville entered. He also welcomed with emphasis both Ginny and Ann.
“Well, now that we are all here, let me talk a little bit about seventh year. Well, seventh year is very complicated because, wel..., you need to take your NEWTs at the end. Well, the NEWTs are very difficult, indeed. So... today we’re going to start with one very difficult potion. It is very difficult, so each House, Gryffindor and Slytherin, will make a team and work as one. The poly-juice potion. Who can tell me what is it used for and how long will it take us to make it?”
The rest of the class went pretty well for all the Gryffindors. Hermione was actually not making it, but walking every Gryffindor through it. She was an amazing teacher.
It was lunchtime, so everyone went to the Great Hall, and as they sat they watched how the school owls entered the room and dropped letters on the table. Lots of letters, almost one for each student. It was their test results.
“Hey!!! I passed six year!” said George opening his letter. “I can officially attend seven year’s subjects!” he was very proud of himself. “How did you do, Ann?”
She looked very pleased with her results as she folded her letter again and put it in the envelope.
“I got 12 OWLS, passed sixth year and got Os in all the NEWTS I took. We should go celebrate.” She told George with a wink. He got up and took her by the hand without hesitation.
“Oh... The Headmistress niece got excellent grades. And she’s a Prefect. Who would have thought that.” Ginny said while examining her grades.
“Well, you’re not her niece but you’re Prefect, too. And...” Hermione was peeping Ginny’s letter. “...you seem to have done amazingly well on your sixth year’s finals, too. Congratulations!!!”
“Congratulations to you, too!” said Ron with Hermione’s letter on his hands.
“Ron!!!” Hermione complaint.
“What! We’re together now. That means that we share everything.”
She smiled at him.
“Yes, but I haven’t even seen it!!!”
“Well, you got all Outsandings... as usual”
“What?! Even in Divination? I made up everything I said!!!”
“Well, it seems to have worked. I don’t know about you, but I’m gonna try that making up thing, mate!” Ron said that with a wink to Harry, who laughed.
“And in History of the Magic, too?” Hermione said disbelieving. “This school’s standard is just...”
“Come on!” Ginny told her. You only forgot to write that the Vikings ships did not need to be sailed by men. That’s not at all important... not when you wrote a 40 cms quill in your ultra-tiny handwriting!” Ginny said.
Hermione smiled. And then her expression changed.
“I almost forgot!!!!!!!” She screamed and continued in a whisper. “I have to tell you something, but we need to be alone, just the four of us.”
They found an empty classroom in no time.
“Today, when I went to see Professor McGonagall with Ann, she was talking to Dumbledore’s portrait. The door was half open when we got there, as Ann knew the password... And I heard just a few words because then Ann started talking to me about classes...”
“She’s always speaking at inappropriate times...” Ginny said.
“And what did you hear that you couldn’t tell us there, where food is?” Asked Ron rather annoyed.
“Well... they were talking about a big secret... concerning... Harry’s family.” She said that doubtfully.
“What was it?” Harry asked.
“I don’t know. I just heard her saying ‘the Potter’s secret can’t come out now’ and Dumbledore answering ‘It still isn’t safe for her’ but then Ann...”
“Are you sure it’s about Harry’s family... There could be other Potters.”
“I thought about that, Ginny... But then I though... How much do you know about the Potter side of your family, Harry?”
“Well...” Harry knew nothing. He had always asked about his parents and it had never occurred to him to ask about anything else. “I know my dad was pureblood...”
“Exactly. Why is it that you have never met anyone of your relatives? We know that there aren’t many pureblood families, and that they are all related to each other... that’s why both of the Weasley’s parents were related to Bellatrix and Narcisa. Them and Mrs Weasley were sort of cousins with Serius. Why hasn’t anyone ever told you they are related to you? What like what happened to your Grandparents and the rest of the Potters?”
“Well... I... I always assumed that my grandparents were dead and my dad was an only child.”
“OK. That is possible, but if your father was in his thirties when he died, then both your grandparents must have died before their sixties... It’s weird. And... I’m sorry Harry that I tell you this...” Hermione thought he wasn’t handling the issue quite well. She was being too mathematical and logic and it was a sensitive topic.
“It’s OK. I never knew them and I just... never thought of this, is good that you do. Go on.”
The gingers were looking perplexed. They had never thought of any of that either.
“Well... Let’s say your father was an only child and that your grandparents passed away young. What are the chances that both of your grandparents were also only children...? Which would explain why you’ve never met any great aunt or uncle...”
“Well, maybe they were much older than Harry’s grandparents... like Bill or Charlie and me... They might be dead before I have any grandchildren...” Ginny said. And got sad to think of another dead sibling.
“That is a possibility. Let’s say it was like that. Didn’t they have children? Didn’t your father have any cousin that would want to contact you once you started Hogwarts? Or when you enter the Triwizard Tournment, or made the papers, or defeated Voldemort? And why is it that in seven years we have never heard the last name? Let’s say they are all women and that’s why there’s no Potter third-cousin-of-yours walking round the school... Why don’t we hear that these Potter witches are working for the Ministry, or are Healers at St Mungos, or fighting on our side, or fighting against us?”
“It’s odd.” Ron said. “You have to admit it’s odd, mate.”
“I know.” He said in a low voice.
“You know what this means, right?” said Hermione.
“Not, really.” Everyone said.
“The Potters have been hiding, and we’re going to find them.”
“Well.. I’ll think of something.”
It turned out that their knew DATDA teacher was Shacklebolt Kingsley. Yes, the Minister of Magic himself.
The seventh year Gryffindors were the first ones to arrive. Kingsley hugged Harry, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Neville and George. That last one for an extra few seconds.
When the rest of the students were there (apparently the four Houses were going to be sharing the class), Kingsley asked them to sit down and wrote his name on the board with his wand.
“Mr Minister, sir... If I may ask...” Ann started. She waited for him to give her permission, which he did with a nod.
“I can’t help but wondering why do we have you as a teacher- I mean,” she added quickly “it is a great honour, but...it has never happened before.”
“That is an excellent question Ms McGonagall.”
“How do you know...?” Ann was surprised.
“I’m an auror, remember?” they both smiled.
“After last year events... I, and many friends, realized that this generation had had very little formal training in the Defence Against The Dark Arts, but they have succeeded, somehow, in acquiring quite a lot of skills. Which means that we encounter ourselves with very young wizards who are powerful, very powerful, but may not have the theory or emotional skills to control their power. We all know where too much power and an unbalanced psyche can take you.”
And they, all, did know.
“So, you are going to be like our shrink?” said Seamus seriously.
“No, Mr Finnigan. But, then again, maybe yes. I will be teaching only the seventh years and we will all be sharing a single class. Here, House points don’t matter, and I will ask you to come without any House symbol such as ties, scarves or the vests and sweaters. You might wear any clothes that don’t link you to a House.”
Everyone looked very surprised. The Slytherins, specially Malfoy, looked relieved. It hadn’t been easy for anyone wearing the Green and Silver uniform to be around the school grounds.
“Harry, can I talk to you for a minute?” the minister had said once the class was over.
“Sure, ehh... Mr Minister.”
“You can still call me Sacklebolt, you know? And just Professor Shacklebolt in class.”
“OK...” Harry smiled and his new teacher smiled back.
“There are other reasons why I’m here, Harry. Not the one I told your... classmate.”
“Oh...” Harry looked surprised. His answer had been enough for him.
“There are two main ones. The first one, is that I want to offer you and a couple of your friends an auror position at the ministry next year.”
“Wow.. that’s...” Harry was perplexed. He hadn’t seen that one coming. He was honoured, but he was also tired of fighting, he might just want to take a break to be with Ginny for once.
“I’m not saying you have to accept now, Harry. We have the whole year to train. You are an amazing wizard because you have instincts which cannot be taught. And you have brains. But there’s lots that you can learn, too.”
Harry nodded. He knew what he meant.
“And the second one is not as happy as the other. It seems that there still is people after you. On your birthday you got a few presents that... well... could have killed you if we hadn’t taken precautions.”
“Oh...” Harry thought things like that were bound to happen, but as they hadn’t... He had got used to the idea of actually being safe.
“So, I’m here to protect you myself. I had my office moved here and yours is the only class I’ll be giving to keep up with the Ministry work. But you are the priority. You may go tell this to Ron and Hermione. But I’ll be talking to each one of them, too. That Nevill boy... I might be recruiting him, too. And the youngest Weasley, the girl.”
“She’s quite famous for her charms, and she has a history of facing evil at quite a young age, too... right?”
Harry blushed, though he didn’t know why.
“Right. I see.” Kingsley said smiling and winked jokingly to Harry before he left.