Chapter 23 : Then There Were Three
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Thanks to all those of you who have bben reading and reviewing so kindly. Thanks for being patient with me and I hope you all enjoy this one. Kyle : D
Chapter 23: Then There Were Three
Harry watched in utter surprise as Lily rushed the rest of the way to the staff table and reached over to hug her older sister. If he was feeling shocked, and he was, he hoped it was not showing the way it was on Petunia’s face.
The dark-haired woman not only looked completely out of place in witch’s attire but was now half sitting and half standing in an obviously awkward hug from a sister whom she believed to be dead until not two minutes ago. The word uncomfortable did not seem the word to describe the situation; it was far worse than that.
Lily finally let go of her sister and all of the heads in the Great Hall once again followed the red-haired girl back to her place next to the boy-who-lived. Harry would have felt slightly red around the collar at the extra attention, however at the moment he was finding himself slightly distracted by the presence of his Muggle aunt once again sitting at the professor’s table. It took him several moments, but he finally managed to speak.
‘Aunt Petunia?’ he started slowly. ‘What are you doing at Hogwarts?’
It was a very simple question with a very obvious answer, but Harry wanted to know why she was really there. There was no way she could even begin to convince him that she was there of her own volition or that Dumbledore could not find another candidate anywhere on the free earth. Why of all people was Petunia Dursley consorting with his so-called kind?
‘I do believe the Headmaster has explained to you the situation with my predecessor. A school cannot function properly without proper staff.’
She said this in her regular condescending voice, her chin pointed upward and a look of superiority on her face. Harry suddenly felt as though he were back at the Dursley’s rather than in the Great Hall at Hogwarts.
‘And I really don’t believe I need to explain myself to you Mister Potter,’ she said now, her voice more condescending than he had ever heard before. She was really going to love being a professor apparently.
‘From now on you will be referring to her as Professor Dursley, Potter,’ Snape’s voice suddenly sounded from the other end of the table and Harry narrowed his eyes at the man when he saw the smug look on his aunt’s face.
At this point Harry did not know what to do. He felt overloaded with new information and revelations that he simply could not handle. Luckily his father and Sirius both distracted the rest of the students by suddenly noticing the owner of the last voice.
‘Snivellus?’ they both shouted with a mixture of amusement and disgust as they stared up at Snape.
Harry had never seen so much colour enter the Potion Master’s face. Red blotches began to appear as he tried to control his anger and very obviously failed. For an instant Harry thought there would be a confrontation as he spotted Snape’s hand dip under the table for his wand.
‘Misters Potter and Black,’ Dumbledore’s voice interrupted what would have been a disaster. ‘You will refer to our Potion’s Master as Professor Snape and I expect you to treat him with as much respect as you would any other professor in the castle. I am certain that he will do the same in return,’ he added with a glance at Snape who looked as though he was fighting hard to bite his tongue.
‘I’m sure he will,’ Sirius said under his breath and then quickly apologised at the look on the Headmaster’s face.
Every student sat quietly now, watching these odd interactions and still having trouble believing what they had witnessed in the first half hour of their morning. Dumbledore quickly announced that the three guests would only be staying until the end of term and that since they had all been Gryffindors in their time, they would remain Gryffindors in this one.
As soon as Dumbledore began to take his seat, Harry rushed toward the Gryffindor table with the newcomers and they took their seats in the nearest vacant spots along the bench next to Ron.
‘How are you mate?’ Ron immediately said, and reached forward for a one armed hug, only to be thrown off his seat as Hermione lunged in front of him and clung to Harry.
‘I’m so sorry Harry!’ she was crying and Harry could feel the tears through the thick strands of hair obscuring his view. ‘I was so worried about you, and I thought I’d never see you again,’ she continued to wail. ‘After the last thing I said to you I nearly passed out when Ron told me you had disappeared. Oh I’m so glad you’re safe.’
Harry smiled. He did not want Hermione to cry but he was extremely relieved that they would be friends again. That was at least one thing that could be removed from his list of terrible, he thought as he patted her back consolingly.
‘It’s alright Hermione. I’m safe and I actually had a really great time. Think of it as a holiday if that helps,’ he suggested.
At this she stepped back and unexpectedly punched him in the arm. He winced and threw a hand up to rub his arm; she had a surprisingly strong hook.
‘A holiday?’ she shouted now, any signs of sadness or worry completely gone. ‘Do you know how much trouble you could have been in? How many times have I warned you about time travel Harry? How many? I cannot believe that after everything we’ve been through, you would still do something as idiotic as that for a holiday.’
‘Hermione?’ Harry said loudly. ‘Lower your voice, we have company.’
The bushy-haired girl stopped speaking at once and turned slightly red as she looked up into the faces of Lily, James and Sirius. Each of them was watching this interaction with expressions of amusement and bewilderment.
‘Hermione Granger,’ Hermione said politely and held out her hand for each of them to shake in turn. Sirius considered it for a moment before shaking her hand and Harry laughed at his comment about her quick change of emotions, and how he worried she might hit him as well.
‘Lily Evans,’ Lily said as she shook Hermione’s hand. ‘I think we’ll get along just fine.’ Harry and James rolled their eyes.
Ron stood up to introduce himself as well and James was first to recognize his last name.
‘You’re not Arthur’s son are you?’ he asked. ‘He went to Hogwarts several years ahead of me but I remember the name.’
They all took their seats again as Ginny and Neville began to introduce themselves, but Harry was unable to stay put as he was suddenly pulled back out of his seat and pulled into a tight embrace. His vision was once again obscured by hair, only this time it was not bushy and brown but silky and blonde. Fleur held him tightly for a moment before kissing him on the cheek and stepping back.
Harry went red again at having everyone see her kiss him. The looks Sirius and James gave him certainly did not help the situation either.
‘‘ow are you ‘arry? I was so worried. Dumbledore told me you were safe but I deed not know how long you would be gone and I deed not know what to do,’ she said and then gave him another hug.
Harry hugged her back warmly and felt all his worries slip away. He did not notice the grimace from Snape or the glare from Professor Black, and he made a point not to even notice Professor Dursley. They broke apart again and then Harry sat back down on the bench and scooted over enough to make room for Fleur, who gladly joined him.
‘Sirius, James, Lily. This is Fleur Delacour. Fleur, meet my parents and my Godfather.’
For a moment there was silence and then the entire table broke out into laughter. Of all the things that he had ever said, Harry decided that that was probably one of the most unusual. But then again Hogwarts really was an unusual place.
A half hour later, Harry was beginning to feel as though things were back to normal, except of course for Petunia being at Hogwarts. The presence of his parents and Godfather did not seem the least bit odd, and truthfully he would have felt worse had they not been there. After a month and a half in the past, Harry had already become accustomed to seeing them everyday and would miss them sorely once they left. The only thing missing now was Remus.
He had found it odd that the cleverest Marauder would not have turned up yet to see his old friends and to see that Harry and Marc were alright, but he understood completely when Ron explained that he had been off doing work for the Order for nearly two weeks now. It would surely be a surprise to him when he got back to the castle.
Harry told Marc that they would go for a walk later that evening after dinner before the boy left for classes with Ginny and he said goodbye to Fleur. She asked him to meet her outside the entrance to her quarters during the next break and he agreed before kissing her on the cheek and heading to Transfiguration with his increasingly large group of friends.
The group of Gryffindors walked along the second floor corridor until they were met by Parvati, Lavender, Dean and Seamus, also on their way to class. It appeared that McGonagall could still feel pride in knowing that every sixth year Gryffindor in the castle was in her advanced class. Parvati ran up and gave Ron a quick peck on the lips before stringing her arm through his and chatting excitedly about their last Quidditch match.
The instant the words Quidditch left her lips James and Sirius perked up dramatically and went off telling the story of how Harry and Marc had played their positions and won one of the most exciting games in years. Ron was hanging on every word and looked as though Christmas had come early for him, but Lily and Hermione both remained at the back of the pack, making clucking noises with their tongues and Hermione giving Harry a very disapproving look. Harry was already beginning to regret letting the two girls meet.
The eleven eager Gryffindors entered the Transfiguration classroom moments later and laughed at the surprised looks on the other students’ faces at seeing them all come to class together. Even McGonagall smiled slightly at seeing their high spirits when facing an hour and a half of class.
It took a moment for the students to sort themselves into pairs, as Harry had instinctively headed for the front seat to sit with Lily as he had done for the past month or so, and Ron immediately sat with Parvati as he had apparently grown accustomed to doing. Neville was now partnered with Lavender and James and Sirius were obviously partners just as Dean and Seamus were. This seemed to leave Hermione without a partner but she quickly asked Susan Bones to work with her and the lesson was soon underway.
Today’s lesson was already getting into the Metamorphmagi training manual. One student from each pair was to read the directions from the appropriate section in Mrs. Tonks’ text about the mind clearing exercises and the other was to follow them. Harry had already covered this material long before the term had begun so he let Lily practice for the entire period rather than switch halfway through.
Nearly half an hour into the lesson, Professor McGonagall was making her rounds and commenting on the level of participation and progress of the students when something unpredictable happened.
‘Very nice work Mister Thomas,’ she said and gave Seamus a wary look before moving on. ‘You must keep your eyes closed Mister Weasley, else it will not work.’ Parvati giggled at this and McGonagall rolled her eyes before moving on.
‘Very good Miss Granger. You and Miss Bones make quite the team,’ she said with the faintest of smiles.
‘Bones?’ Lily said and her eyes flew open to land on Susan. ‘Your last name is Bones?’
Harry realised too late where she was going with her line of questioning and the inevitable shock that followed could only be described as unfortunate.
‘Yes, that’s right. Susan Bones. Why do you ask,’ Susan asked curiously and seemed reluctant to speak to this girl who had apparently appeared from the past.
‘You wouldn’t be Helena and Edgar Bones’ daughter would you?’ she asked and did not register the look of shock on Susan’s face as she nodded.
‘This is incredible,’ Lily said excitedly and turned to see the amused looks on James and Sirius’ faces as well. ‘How is Helena? She and I are the greatest of friends in my time. I would very much like to see how she turned out. Do you think she would agree to visit if I sent an owl?’
In her excitement of meeting one of her best friends’ daughters, Lily did not notice many of the students around her lifting their hands to their mouths and the teary expression on Susan’s face. Hermione quickly chose to difuse the situation by asking professor McGonagall if they could be excused and the stern woman nodded quickly and gave Susan a sympathetic look before turning back to Lily and Harry and asking them to join her in the corridor.
Lily followed them into the hallway completely confused as to what was happening and stared expectantly at the older version of McGonagall.
‘What did I do professor? Did I offend her in some way?’
McGonagall gave her a weary look before telling her that she and Harry should speak about it and getting a confirmation from Harry. She suggested they speak in the common room and that they need not worry about the lesson today. Still confused as ever, Lily nodded and followed her raven-haired son back to the third floor and into their common room.
‘Are you going to tell me what’s going on Harry, or am I going to have to hurt you?’ Lily finally asked in a half joking tone.
Once they were comfortably seated, Harry reached into his robes pocket where the photograph Dumbledore had given him the night before remained.
‘Dumbledore said that I probably shouldn’t show this to you but I figure it’s too late now,’ he said as he handed it over to her.
She grabbed it quickly and the look of confusion on her face melted away to one of surprise and then happiness. She stared at the photograph with a soft smile for the longest while before speaking.
‘It looks perfect,’ she said quietly.
‘It was,’ Harry replied with a soft smile. ‘I was there. That’s how I ended up in your time. I wanted nothing more than to see the happiest day of your lives, and instead I got more than I bargained for. That was taken on Halloween after your seventh year.’
‘This is really special. We always said that we would be together forever. The four Miss’. Evans, Chastings, Tryndel and Snarkett. It’s good to see we’re all still friends here. I can’t believe Hyacinth came too. Mind you, she’s a traitor.’
‘What?’ Harry said, suddenly caught off guard by Lily’s accusatory words.
‘She’s a traitor. She got married to that brother of Black’s. I always assumed Helena would be the first to marry but it looks like Hyacinth and I both beat her to it.’ She laughed.
Harry let out a sigh of relief. He had to explain to Lily that of the five women in the picture, the only one of them left alive is the one that she had so accurately painted as a traitor. He decided he would explain the deaths to her, but he could not find it in him to tell her that her remaining close friend was a Death Eater.
Lily watched as he shifted uncomfortably in his armchair and opened his mouth several times in an attempt to speak without success.
‘What is it Harry?’ she asked with a small chuckle. ‘Go on. You can tell me,’ she prompted. ‘I mean, last night you told me I was your mother and that I’m dead; I think I can handle it.’
At these words her eyes widened in realisation and she began to shake her head.
‘No. No it’s not true. Helena’s just fine,’ she said loudly. ‘I’ll prove it. I’ll send her an owl.’
Harry watched with tears in his eyes as Lily got to her feet and went to the nearest supplies lying on the table under the window. She grabbed the nearest quill and started to scribble on a bit of scrap parchment/
‘I’m so sorry Lily,’ Harry said getting to his feet and walking over to where she was crouched over the table. ‘I’m sorry, but she can’t answer you. And neither can Gwen or Sophie,’ he added quietly.
Lily stopped scribbling and stared up at him in disbelief. His last words had hit her hard and she nearly fell to the ground. Harry caught her swiftly and steered her to the nearest armchair where she immediately sunk into its cushions. Harry sat back in the chair across from her and the pair sat quietly for the next little while before Lily finally spoke. She was staring hard at the picture in her hands and Harry tried hard to keep on a brave face while he watched tears run freely down his mother’s face.
‘When and how?’ was all she asked.
‘Are you sure you want to know?’ Harry asked cautiously, careful to not make the delicate situation worse than it already was.
‘Just tell me please.’
‘Sophie was first. She was killed two months after that photograph was taken,’ he said and watched the horrified expression on Lily’s face.
‘No! She was so young,’ Lily sobbed and looked back up at Harry so that he might deliver the rest.
‘Helena died three years later. She and Edgar were killed with nearly their entire family by Death Eaters. Amelia and Helena’s daughter Susan are the only Bones’ left.’
‘The poor girl,’ Lily said. ‘I can’t believe I brought Helena up in the middle of class. She must hate me. I should have thought before speaking. How was I to know what had happened,’ she started to rant.
‘You couldn’t have known. It’s not your fault,’ Harry said. ‘Now why don’t you go up to your dormitory and get some rest. You’ll feel better after a nap. Or maybe I could bring you to see Madam Pomfrey?’
‘What of Gwen?’ she asked now, and Harry sighed. He did not know what had happened; only that she had died.
‘I’m sorry, but I don’t know. Dumbledore told me that it wasn’t his place to tell me and I had to respect that.’
‘Then whose place is it?’ Lily nearly shouted. ‘She was my absolute best friend in this world Harry, and I deserve to know!’
‘I wouldn’t recommend it,’ he started slowly, ‘but if you’re dead set on knowing then you should talk to her husband. I would have but we really can’t stand one another.’
‘You don’t mean Severus?’ she asked, her eyes suddenly widening.
Harry nodded and then looked on in surprise as his mother jumped up out of her seat and rushed toward the porthole.
‘Thanks Harry. I’ll talk to you later,’ she called over her shoulder, and before he could even consider stopping her, she was long gone.
Harry spent the next period in Charms class barely paying attention and thinking of nothing but how hurt Lily must be feeling. He hated that he had to be the one to tell her about her friends’ death and he felt terrible that the only person who could help her with her problem was Severus Snape.
He ran idea after idea on how to cheer her up through his head, pointedly ignoring Hermione’s constant nagging to pay attention, until he was forced to attention when a curse shot past his face. After a moment’s confusion, Harry looked around the classroom and began to laugh with the rest of the students at what had happened.
James and Sirius had decided to try and catch tiny professor Flitwick off guard once more, even after the wizard had had nearly twenty years of tranquility. Luckily, the old man did not need to be prepared as Hermione was far quicker with a wand than both James and Sirius, and quickly placed a shield charm around the Charms professor and his pile of books. The curse that shot past Harry’s head had been her punishment for the boys in the form of ‘Petrificus Totalus.’
Now both James and Sirius lay prone on the floor, rigid as a board, with the entire class and their main target laughing at them. Harry let out a sigh of relief; some days really were alright.
When the end of lesson bell rang, Harry explained to the rest of the group that he had promised to meet Fleur for lunch and that he would meet them in Potions later. Hermione told him to have a nice time and Harry thanked her before rolling his eyes at the wagging eyebrows he got from Sirius.
When he arrived outside the large immobile portrait of the founders, Harry only had to wait another minute or so before it creaked open and Fleur led him in and to her quarters. Looking around Harry found that little had changed and that everything looked as glamorous as it had the first time he had seen it.
‘Zank you for meeting me ‘arry,’ Fleur said as she led him to a seat near the fire grate in what was presumably her living area.
‘No problem,’ he answered her normally. ‘Are the house-elves sending up food?’
‘Yes. Ze little one, uh Dobby? He said ‘e would bring eet,’ she said with a small smile.
Harry smiled back but then stopped smiling when he noticed that for the first time since they had met, Fleur looked nervous. He was not sure what the problem was and after dealing with Lily he was not sure he could handle another problem concerning the comforting of a girl. He had after all done marvelously with both Cho and Ginny.
‘What’s the problem Fleur? Is everything alright?’ he asked, deciding that she was his girlfriend and whatever it was it could not be as bad as having three of your friends die overnight.
The blonde girl eyed him warmly for a moment before deflating greatly and exchanging her welcoming features with those of guilt and apology.
‘I am very sorry ‘arry, but I do not zink we can stay togezer,’ she said quickly and then grimaced at the surprised look on Harry’s face. ‘I know you just got home, and I am very ‘appy zat you are safe, but I cannot stay wiz you.’
‘What?’ was all Harry could say.
He had just arrived in his own time not even twenty four hours ago and Fleur was telling him that should break up? How could this be happening? What had he done wrong?
‘I’m sorry if I did something Fleur,’ he started slowly, still unsure of what to do, but was immediately cut off by a hand over his mouth.
‘No Harry, eet eez not you. You deed not do anyzing wrong. I really ‘ad fun wiz you and you are a really nice boy, but I am een love wiz someone else.’
Just when Harry thought his head had taken in all it could, she threw that at him. She was in love with someone else. He knew he should not have tried to go into the past; because he had left Fleur had found somebody new to replace him. Suddenly he was beginning to feel a little angry and started to stand, wanting nothing to do with the part Veela sitting in front of him. Was he really that easy to get over?
‘Fine Fleur, I understand,’ he began hotly. ‘Just one question then and I’ll stay out of your way. Who is it? What student was so great that you decided to just fall in love with him while I was missing?’
Harry’s anger rose further as Fleur brought a hand to her mouth to suppress a laugh, and she got to her feet as well.
‘Eet eez not like zat at all ‘arry.’
‘Really,’ he shouted back. ‘Then please Fleur, explain it to me. I disappeared for a month and a half and when I get home you break up with me and tell me you’re in love with someone else. I think I understand quite well actually. I just want to know who swept you off your feet while I was gone. I don’t think it’s too much to ask.’
‘Beell Weeslee,’ she said and then gave another small laugh as Harry’s eyes widened.
Harry sat back down slowly and simply stared at his new former girlfriend. ‘You’re in love with Bill? But Ron told me that you broke things off with him. I don’t understand.’
‘I deed, but when you disappeared I was very upset and I spent much time alone here. I found all of ze old letters he sent me and zen when he came to help Dumbledore and ze ozers to help find you I realized I steel love heem.’
‘Oh,’ Harry said dumbly.
‘Please do not be angry wiz me Harry. I deed not choose for zis, but eet happened. Do not tell anyone, but ze reason I am no longer wiz Beell eez because he asked me to be ‘is wife. I deed not know what to do, and I had to stay wiz Gabrielle so I left.’
‘And now you’ve changed your mind?’ Harry asked, unsure of where Fleur was going with this.
‘Yes, but ‘e does not know yet. I know zis will sound terrible but do you zink you could do me a favor?’
Harry nearly said no, but as she stared at him with large pleading eyes he nodded and leaned forward to hear what she had in mind.
The walk to the dungeons that day was particularly foreboding as Harry trudged through the shadows of the Slytherin domain to a classroom he knew he would surely be tormented in. Today would be the first time he saw Snape free of all other professors since his time travelling, and it did nothing to reassure him knowing that the last time he had seen the greasy man, they had shaken hands.
He entered the cold dungeon classroom and found that he was one of the last to arrive as he made his way to his usual place in the front. Surprisingly, Sirius was sitting next to Neville and James was in Neville’s regular seat awaiting Harry’s arrival. Harry sat down quickly and asked what he was doing.
‘Hey Harry, Sirius and I decided to split up now so that ol’ Snivellus can’t get the satisfaction of separating us. Not a bad idea don’t you think. I refuse to let him get to me today.’
Harry tried to smile and nod reassuringly, but he was smacking James mentally for his stupid decision. If James was trying to stay clear of Snape’s taunts and to deny him satisfaction, then the last thing he should have done was to choose him as a partner. Now they were the perfect target, and this was reaffirmed for Harry when he saw the sympathetic look Hermione was sending him.
Moments later the start of lesson bell rang and Snape’s office door flew open to emit a smiling Lily and professor Snape. Harry nearly choked on the air he was breathing as he watched Snape smoothly reset his stony features and walk to the front of the room as though nothing out of the ordinary had just occurred. He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed, but found that no one had, or that they were clever enough to keep their mouths shut about it.
‘Today we will be working on a specialized form of the Polyjuice potion, and I expect everyone to have a sample ready to be set aside by the end of lesson. When the brews have had sufficient time to prepare, we will test the effect on the class and find out what grades you will receive. Partner off and follow the directions on the board,’ he said and flicked his wand so that they scrawled themselves neatly behind him.
‘Shall I work alone then professor,’ Lily asked now. ‘Everyone seems to have found partners but there’s one too many of us.’
‘Yes. Set up your cauldron and ingredients at this front station here, and should the need arise I would be more than prepared to assist you,’ he replied.
At this many of the students stopped moving and looked up at him. If they had let the first odd occurrence go, they had clearly decided that professor Snape offering to aid a student from Gryffindor was far too difficult not to acknowledge. Sensing this, Snape looked over to Harry and James and smirked.
‘After all Miss Evans, chances are you’ll need to help these Gryffindors with their work. You see, their looks and low capacity for intelligence are directly related, so they truly are as dumb as they look.’
Harry looked up at him without any reaction and James was clearly seething in his seat, but the rest of the class seemed to have accepted Snape’s regularly placed insult of Harry and continued with their work as usual. It took Harry several moments to calm his father down, but they finally got to work after he reminded James not to let Snape get to him. James reluctantly agreed and soon they were creating a rather decent Polyjuice potion.
This potion however, was different from the original in that it lasted only ten minutes at a time; one of the more useful inventions created for the Auror division at the Ministry. It was significantly more difficult to brew than the one he had brewed with Ron and Hermione, and James was not exactly the most adept at Potion-brewing, making the task that much more difficult as he tried to keep Snape from seeing them fail.
Neville and Sirius were doing surprisingly well, with Snape having only sullied their Potion once and even then it was Neville’s cauldron that he spoke ill of. Halfway through class things had been going quite well, something Harry did not understand but did not question, when Malfoy took the time to welcome him back.
‘Hey Potter,’ he hissed from his station three rows back. ‘Have a good time in the past?’
Harry was certain that Snape had heard him but chose to ignore him, so Harry followed his example and did the same.
‘What? Was everything so hard to handle that you had to go crying to your dead mum and dad?’ he called again.
Harry could feel his temper rising quicker than ever before as his hand reached into his robes for his wand. Unfortunately he was too late as James had already trained his wand on the blonde boy and hit him hard with the expelliarmus charm, sending the unarmed Slytherin sailing backward.
‘Potter!’ Snape shouted furiously, and both boys at the front station turned to face him. ‘Twenty points from Gryffindor and detention tonight at eight o’clock. Harming another student is inexcusable.’
Harry said nothing as he knew there was no use, but James did nothing of the sort.
‘I don’t think so Snivellus,’ he shouted back at him, his face beet red and shaking. ‘ Did you hear what that little rat said? I know it’s beneath you to hear what a Gryffindor says, but I would have thought you could hear clearly when a Slytherin insults someone’s dead parents. Especially one this excuse for a wizard,’ he pointed to where Malfoy was picking himself of the ground. ‘No doubt a Death Eater in training, just like his father.’
Snape began to shake in anger as well, and Harry was not sure what to do. For a moment, he honestly believed that either James or Snape would kill the other.
‘How dare you talk to me like that you arrogant-’ Snape began but was cut off by James as he collected his things.
‘Oh stuff it Snivellus! And don’t expect me to show up for detention. It’ll never happen. You might be a professor here, but Merlin knows I’ll never take orders from you!’
‘Expelled! The Headmaster will have you out of here when he hears of this!’ Snape roared, but James simply laughed at him.
‘Expelled? I’m not even enrolled, or did you not hear the slimy git on the floor. I’m dead,’ he shouted just as loudly as Snape, causing the entire class to wince and even Snape looked slightly taken aback.
This said, he grabbed his things and headed for the door with everyone watching his progress. At the door he turned back to the class for one thing he’d forgotten. ‘You coming, Padfoot?’
The end of lesson bell had not come yet, but Snape had quickly dismissed the class after James’ show of rebellion and now Harry found himself standing alone outside Snape’s closed office door. He knew that now was probably not the opportune time to speak with the Potion Master, and he was extremely upset with Snape for not doing anything about Malfoy, but he still felt he should say something.
He looked around the empty dungeon one last time in case he never saw it again, and knocked loudly on the door. For a long moment nothing happened and then he heard Snape’s voice call for him to enter; it was not a very happy sounding voice, but then again when was it ever. Harry took a deep breath and then pushed the door open and strode into what he figured would be his resting place.
He was unsurprised to find Snape sitting behind his heavy wooden desk with the little light that regularly lit the room even dimmer than usual. The fire in the grate was nearly burned out and Snape was facing it, leaving his back turned to Harry.
‘Sir?’ Harry asked quietly not wanting to startle the sleeping snake.
Snape quickly spun around and fixed a glare on Harry; the kind that had always been reserved specially for him. Harry was surprised to find a goblet in his hand, and he could smell the distinct odor of Fire whiskey.
‘Potter?’ he snarled. ‘What are you doing in here? I thought I’d made myself perfectly clear the last time we spoke, that you would come and speak to me at the price of a detention.’
‘Yes sir, but I just wanted to come and make sure that everything was alright,’ Harry said through a clenched jaw, trying his best to keep his tone civil.
‘What are you on about?’ Snape hissed. ‘You’ve obviously come for something. Perhaps you think you can get your precious father out of trouble? Get out!’
‘I know that Lily came to talk to you about Gwe-’ he started to say but changed his wording at the malicious look in Snape’s eyes, ‘-something. I told her she should speak to you sir.’
‘Oh did you? How very thoughtful of you. Saint Potter, always the perfect hero to save the day.’
Knowing that there was little point in reasoning with him, Harry simply smiled and nodded, eliciting an odd reaction from the Potion’s Master. Snape simply stopped talking and stared at his student who simply smiled while being patronized.
‘I know there’s nothing I can say that will make it better professor, but for what it’s worth, I truly am sorry for your loss. She was a really great person and I miss her too.’
Snape opened his mouth to say something but closed it quickly and remained silent while eyeing Harry with confusion. As far as he Snape knew, the students would have no way of knowing about his passed wife. Harry knew that he had more than over-stayed his tolerated visit time and made for the door. Just as he made to leave, he turned back to Snape with a wide grin for one last comment to help explain himself..
‘Oh, and professor? I don’t care what Sharpbane said. That was a damn near-perfect growth potion we made. We deserved better than an Acceptable.’
For the second time in his life, Harry saw a shocked look on Severus Snape’s face as he closed the office door and headed to his last lesson of the day.
Defense class had been far less painful than Harry had originally thought it might be. He had thankfully partnered with his mother and that alone appeared to have saved him from much of Professor Black’s regular scorn. James and Sirius had partnered together as was usual, and though Harry did not get punished, all four houses did lose a significant amount of house points for every student that asked James if he really had told professor Snape off.
Professor Black taught the class about several rather potent curses taught at Durmstrang and then of course the counter curses that the pairs practiced on one another. It took two trips to the hospital wing before the Slytherins finally adhered to her rule of only practicing the counter curse and not the curse itself. Luckily it had only been Pansy and Goyle to go to go see Madam Pomfrey.
By the end of lesson, Harry decided that it had truly been the most enjoyable lesson of term. Not only had he been spared the ridicule and extra workload regularly donated by Professor Black, but he had also learned some useful curses and seen two Slytherins injured. The class was dismissed for the end of the day and they all started to leave, but then James, Lily and Sirius were asked to stay back momentarily.
Harry gave the professor a wary look but the three students remaining behind did not seem the least bit quelled by it. They told him that they would meet up with him later in the common room and the rest of the Gryffindors headed back to their common room, eager to speculate about what Black could possibly want.
Once comfortably seated in front of the Gryffindor fire, ideas began to be exchanged about what sort of work they were being assigned, or perhaps what punishment they would receive. Seamus figured that professor Black would be giving them all detention for James’ insult to her close friend Snape.
They all laughed at this, but stopped when Harry asked them to give it a rest.
‘I know it’s all in good fun, but when my mum, I mean Lily gets back could you please stop? Professor Black was one of her closest friends in a group of five girls, and just earlier today I had to explain to her that they’re all dead except for her.’
‘Oh, I didn’t know Harry,’ Parvati said, lifting a hand to her mouth. ‘I promise I won’t say anything again.’
‘Yeah, me neither Harry,’ Lavender said with a sad expression.
‘I’ll stay quiet about it,’ Seamus said, ‘but I still hate the woman.’
Everyone, including Harry laughed at this. The group continued to talk and laugh for a while until finally the porthole swung open to admit Marc and Ginny, who gladly dropped their things and joined them all by the fire.
‘Did you still want to take that walk Harry?’ he asked and waited for Harry to nod before standing again. ‘Alright, well just let me get changed and drop my things off. It might take a few minutes,’ he added and rolled his eyes.
‘What do you mean?’ Harry asked with a laugh.
‘What do I mean? Oh that’s right. You haven’t seen the dormitory yet. You’ll remember how I was placed with you lot because there were already six four-posters in the fifth-years room. Well, with James and Sirius, there are eight of us in there now, and for some reason they’ve chosen not to enlarge the room.’
‘It’s cruelty really,’ Dean said. ‘You can hardly pass wind without someone feeling it.’ All the boys began to laugh, but the girls made gagging noises and Hermione reached across to punch Dean on the arm.
‘Don’t be so crude,’ she admonished, while he rubbed his arm and laughed.
Harry told him to hurry and Marc took off up the stairs to change. While Harry waited the porthole opened yet again and in strode Collin Creevey and his brother Dennis, both of whom looked more than excited when they saw him.
‘Harry!’ Collin shouted and both boys rushed toward him. ‘Are you alright?’
‘What happened to you?’
‘Was it fun?’
‘Did you snap any photos?’
‘Slow down,’ Harry laughed as the easily excitable boys jumped up and down around him. They appeared to be even more raving then when he had first met each of them. ‘I’m just fine, I traveled into the past by accident, it was quite fun, and no I’m sorry, I did not snap any photo’s Dennis.’
The brothers looked disappointed for a split second before jumping into their next bout of questions and leaving Harry to quickly answer them best he could. Harry glared hard at Ron who was laughing hysterically in his seat with Parvati. Hermione even seemed to be slightly amused by the comical scene.
Luckily, Marc came down the stairs before then boys could start their next onslaught of questions and Harry politely excused himself, telling them that they could talk later, perhaps tomorrow. The Creeveys nodded exuberantly and waved him off as he and Marc made a quick dash for the porthole.
‘That looked like a good time,’ Marc said cheekily as the pair walked down the corridor. ‘I could have rescheduled you know.’
‘Very funny,’ Harry answered with a smirk. ‘So, where to?’
‘Does it matter?’ Marc said and got a shrug from Harry.
‘How are you Marc? Is everything going alright now that we’re back? I haven’t really had a chance to talk to you since Dumbledore’s office,’ Harry started.
‘I’m alright. Things are going back to normal now, and classes have been a breeze. I feel like I haven’t missed a beat if you know what I mean.’
‘I do,’ Harry answered heavily. ‘It’s as though nothing has changed. Technically we were still at school, just not in this time. I’m even really comfortable having my parents and Sirius here.’
‘I know, it’s as though we’re getting the best of both worlds. You know they have to go back don’t you,’ Marc added.
‘I know, but until they do, I don’t want to think about it.’ Marc nodded.
‘I know this is going to sound mad, but I actually wish we had gotten in more trouble than we did,’ Marc said and ran a hand through his dark curls as he sighed.
‘What? Why?’ Harry asked in surprise.
‘Well, I don’t actually want to be punished, but the way Dumbledore dealt with it makes it seem like it’s alright. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think it’s even close to alright. We could’ve changed history Harry, and all we get is seventy points taken away. All of the professors are acting as though nothing happened and I can’t stand it. It’s like it didn’t even matter that we were gone. I didn’t expect the world to stop, but I thought that someone might be worried you know?’
Harry eyed his friend for a moment. He had been so busy catching up with all that he had missed, that he had not thought to worry about Marc. The dark-haired boy had transferred from a school hundreds of miles away and he didn’t have any relatives nearby to speak to. In Harry’s case he had ended up gaining relatives through the ordeal, but Marc was left all alone.
‘Did you contact your parents at least?’ Harry asked him.
‘Yeah, I contacted my mum. She was relieved I’m back, but she was more angry than anything. She told me I could stay here for Christmas this year, and that there was no way that I should go home.’
‘I’m really sorry Marc,’ he said and actually felt bad for him.
Harry knew what it felt like to have family and have them be angry with you. It was a feeling he would not wish on anyone; not even Malfoy.
‘It’s not that bad really. Tons of students have to stay over the holidays right. Besides, you won’t be going to the Dursley’s will you? I figured I could stay here with you, your parents and Sirius.’
Harry smiled at his friend’s optimism and wished that he could be like that whenever something terrible happened to him.
‘We’ll all be going to Christmas dinner with the Weasleys, but I don’t see why you can’t come. Mrs. Weasley would be glad to have you I’m sure. She’s really great and I’m certain you’ll like her.’
‘You don’t think Ron will mind do you?’ Marc asked as they took a corner on the fifth floor.
‘Not at all. But if he does, you could always threaten to quit the Quidditch team,’ he added with a grin.
Both boys continued to talk about all that had happened since their return as they made their way down to the Great Hall for dinner. Harry hoped that by the time they got there, his parents and Sirius would have been released from Professor Black’s clutches.
Unfortunately, when they took their seats at the Gryffindor table, only James and Sirius were seated with the others. Looking up to the staff table, Harry found professor Black’s seat empty, as well as Snape’s, McGonagall’s, Dumbledore’s, and aunt Petunia’s. Where had they all gone?
Fleur was in attendance however, and she gave him a small smile and a wink before turning back to her meal. Sirius of course noticed this and had to comment.
‘So what is it with this part-Veela girl you’re dating Harry? Is she really the one you told us about; the one from the Tri-Wizard tournament?’
Harry nodded, and pretended to be embarrassed so that no one would suspect that he and Fleur were no longer seeing one another. Sirius’ catcalls and slaps on the back continued for the next few moments until the door behind the staff table opened and all of the missing professors walked through, followed closely by Lily. She gave them all a smile and a wave and made her way to the Gryffindor table.
Harry watched curiously as the professors took their seats and he could not help but notice the glare that Petunia was shooting at Professor Black. He was torn between possibly liking his aunt slightly for finally having something in common with hi other than blood, and hating her for the years of torment and neglect. His hatred for Professor Black helped to tip the scale in his aunt’s favor and soon he found himself smiling up at her. This soon ended when she noticed him looking at her and glared back venomously.
Harry simply turned back to his friends, but not until he gave a small laugh; he was never going to get used to seeing her in witch’s robes. He turned back just in time to hear Lily’s explanation to Hermione of why she had been in the antechamber with all those professors.
‘They just wanted to make certain it was alright with me if we stayed until the end of holidays. The headmaster believes it will be simpler to send us back then but he wanted to be certain I had no objection to missing my regular classes. I also had to decide whether or not I was to stay in Snape’s class or not.’
‘Why didn’t they ask us?’ Sirius asked, looking seriously offended at being left out of the decision.
Everyone gave him a look that he should have been used to by now.
‘Well, it would have been nice to be asked is all,’ he commented before going back to his meal with a pout.
Nothing of great importance occurred after that, until halfway through dinner when the evening post was delivered. There were always far fewer deliveries at dinner and Harry was surprised when the large horned eagle owl he had seen before leaving swept down through the rafters. Just as t had done last time when delivering packages to Cho and Crabbe, the owl simply dropped letters in front Roger Davies, Blaise Zabini, a seventh year Hufflepuff girl, and then finally Hermione. Harry was stumped; what could it be that this owl was delivering to such dissimilar students?
Everyone watched as Hermione opened the plain white envelope and removed a thick black notice that looked like an invitation. Harry watched as she scanned the contents and never showed any sign of excitement or even interest. Then when she was done, she held it up and several people jumped as it burst into flames and disappeared. Bright flames from the table two over, signalled that Roger had just done the same. Two more bursts signalled the Hufflepuff and Slytherin burnings and all four deliveries.
Hermione turned back to her meal after that and started to eat. It was another minute until Ron finally flicked her on the arm and asked her what in the world had just happened. She laughed and waited to finish what was in her mouth before answering him.
‘Oh that? It was nothing, just a reminder from the Ministry of Magic that N.E.W.T’s are coming up next year, and that I best study if I want that position I applied for.’
‘You applied for a job at the Ministry?’ Ron nearly shouted. ‘When?’
‘At the beginning of term. I sent application letters all over the place. I wanted to make certain I had options once I’ve graduated,’ she answered as though it were the simplest thing in the world.
‘Actually, I applied as well,’ Lily said then, and Ron stared at her like she had two heads.
‘Are you mad? We still have nearly two years until we have to decide. How can you choose so quickly?’
‘Well it’s simple really. I’ve wanted to be an Auror ever since my first year at Hogwarts, The way our Defense professor talks about it, I can’t wait.’
‘Harry wants to be an Auror as well,’ Ron started to tell her, but was shushed by Parvati.
‘You mean you’ve had the same Defense professor for six years?’ Parvati asked suddenly, looking completely shocked by the idea.
‘Of course. Why wouldn’t we?’
‘We’ve had six different professors. The position is cursed these days,’ Ron explained. ‘One’s dead, one’s lost his memory, two have been sacked, and the other had his soul sucked out by a Dementor. There’s really no telling what’ll happen to Professor Black. Personally, I hope she just gets sacked. Ow!’ he shouted as Harry kicked him under the table and gave him a warning look.
‘I’m sure she’ll be fine,’ Hermione said to Lily, who looked more than slightly disturbed at the prospect of losing her last living girlfriend.
Harry nodded in agreement with her, but he was still unsure of the Defense professor’s safety. He did not like her by any means, but at the same time he did not want anyone to get hurt; even if they were a Death Eater.
The rest of dinner went well, everyone discussing Quidditch and trying to get Harry and Marc up to speed on what they had missed. Harry listened to all his friends said, but he could not help but notice the looks Hermione had been exchanging with Roger and the fact that Dumbledore was watching her very closely. He was beginning to feel that perhaps what she had told them was not true after all.
His doubts were pushed away immediately as the Headmaster’s stare fell onto him. Dumbledore’s knowing stare penetrated the thickest of exteriors and Harry knew that that the old Wizard was wise to some secret he was keeping. Deciding that it was probably best to share what he knew with the old man, he waited until Dumbledore rose from the table and quietly excused himself as well.
‘Where are you going?’ Ron asked, not quite through telling him about their next practice.
‘I’ve a meeting with Dumbledore. I’ll find you later though.’
‘But Dumbledore’s still eating,’ he said, and turned to find the Headmaster’s place empty. ‘How does he do that?’
Everyone laughed at Gryffindor Quidditch captain and then Lily excused herself as well, telling them all that she had an appointment with Professor Dursley. They all agreed to meet in the common room later that evening and then Harry and Lily left the Hall together.
‘Where are you really going?’ she asked Harry as soon as they exited the hall. Harry laughed.
‘To see Dumbledore actually. I have yet to tell him everything about my little holiday.’
‘Ahh! I see. Well good luck with that. I’m off to meet my niece and nephew.’
‘What? They’re not here are they?’ Harry asked, dumbfounded by the thought of Dudley being at Hogwarts and not telling him.
‘Don’t be ridiculous,’ Lily said, ‘Petunia’s in enough of a tiff being here herself. She wouldn’t dream of bringing the family too. She goes home every evening after dinner. It’s the only way she would agree to it. Dumbledore’s hooked their fire to the Floo network for now.’
‘Oh. Well say hello to Dudley for me. I haven’t heard from him in ages.’
‘I’ll be sure to. Have fun.’
‘Good luck!’ Harry warned her and the pair went off in different directions; Harry up to the Headmaster’s office, and Lily toward Petunia’s on the fourth floor.
Once seated in the familiar round room, Harry was unsure of what to say to the man who had always thought so fondly of him. He wanted to tell him what he had learned in the past, but he was worried that the Headmaster would be disappointed upon learning he was an heir of Slytherin; moreover, The heir of Slytherin.
‘What is the problem Harry?’ Dumbledore asked in that darned calm voice he always used.
Harry tried to stall for time but glancing around the room. He found Fawkes resting comfortably on his perch and the many trinkets Dumbledore had accumulated over the years, strewn about the tabletops and shelves. Dolores Umbridge was still not in her frame, he noticed, and his spirits were lifted momentarily. He turned back to face the Headmaster and found that he was still simply gazing at him in waiting. Patience was after all something Dumbledore had exhibited in great amounts over the years.
‘There’s actually something I’ve been meaning to tell you sir. I know I should have told you the night we returned, but what with Fudge and my parents, it must have slipped my mind,’ he tried to explain.
‘There is no need to worry as of yet. I will assess the damage or the lack there of once you have told me whatever it is you have learned,’ Dumbledore replied with a smile. ‘Lemon drop?’ he offered, and then popped a small yellow sweet into his own mouth.
Harry shook his head and continued.
‘Well sir, while I was in the past, I discovered a secret room that I believe to have belonged to the Founders.’
He paused and watched as Dumbledore shifted his weight in his seat and watched Harry more thoughtfully now.
‘On the walls behind each of four desks was one of their portraits. Between Gryffindor’s and Slytherin’s portraits were their family lineages. I saw who their heirs were sir.’
Dumbledore gave a small nod and leaned back in his seat.
‘I’ve always known there were countless rooms in this castle that I had yet to find. I expect I will never find that particular room. How do you feel about what you saw, Harry?’ he asked then with a small smile on his lips.
‘I’m still unsure sir, but I do know that I want to tell the other heir. I think it’s only right. Could we bring him here to tell him?’
Dumbledore narrowed his eyes at Harry now. Harry could not tell exactly what he was thinking and it was starting to bother him. He wanted to tell the other heir, and it appeared as though Dumbledore was about to object.
‘Now I understand that it may be overwhelming at first Harry. But being the heir of Gryffindor is quite an honour. Inviting Tom Riddle into Hogwarts castle does not seem the appropriate action. Besides, I’m quite certain he’ll already know that you’re Godric’s heir. It only makes sense that the two of you are destined to fight. The Sorting Hat is rarely wrong as you may have noticed.’
‘But sir, I’m not Godric’s heir. Neville is.’
The blank look on Dumbledore’s face was one that Harry would never forget. It lasted only a fraction of a second and was soon replaced by a calculating glance at the wall in which the Headmaster’s brow became extremely furrowed. Harry had never yet seen Dumbledore’s reaction at being wrong, but then again, he had never been wrong before.
‘Harry, I saw with my own eyes in the records at the Ministry that you are Godric’s youngest heir. You are nearly two weeks younger than Neville. That can’t be right. If it were Neville, he would have been marked by Tom, not you.’
‘I’m sorry sir, but Tom is not Slytherin’s heir. My great-grandmother eight times ancient was Gryffindor’s granddaughter, but she married Slytherin’s grandson, making me his youngest living heir, not Tom. The Potters were a second generation Slytherin Bloodline until Jonathan married Gryffindor’s granddaughter.
‘This is remarkable Harry,’ Dumbledore said now with a wide smile and more optimism than Harry felt was warranted. ‘You could not be in a better place. I know it must seem difficult to understand, but if what you have just told me is true, then you certainly have a power that the Dark Lord knows not. He thinks himself to be the heir of Slytherin, and that he will be fighting his greatest enemy, the heir of Gryffindor.’
Harry’s eyes widened at this as he understood what it meant for the prophecy.
‘Being the heir of such powerful wizards can only be good Harry. You are not Godric and you are not Salazar so do not become worried about such things. Concentrate on knowing that you have robbed Tom of the one thing he holds dear. He had always loved knowing that he was the heir of Slytherin, but you have held it for the last sixteen years. It also helps to explain your abilities with a wand Harry. Your father as well. I had always assumed it was Godric who guided him to do so well, but now I know that it has been Salazar.’
‘Do you know what this means sir?’ Harry asked, just realising something else. ‘If Neville is the heir of Gryffindor, that adds another powerful wizard to our side.’
‘Exactly,’ Dumbledore said, ‘Now I believe we should inform him before you enlist him in a battle in which he may not wish to take part.’
‘Of course,’ Harry said seriously, and watched as Dumbledore began writing on two separate pieces of parchment.
The notes were soon attached to Fawkes’ leg and he disappeared in a burst of flame.
‘I do have a question though sir,’ Harry asked while they waited for Neville. ‘If I am younger than Neville, why was he made Gryffindor’s heir in my place?’
Dumbledore smiled at this and seemed to be enjoying a joke of sorts. Harry did not find any of this particularly amusing. For once, he wished things would simply be normal and follow the rules for him.
‘You see Harry, it’s really a very simple charm that Godric and Salazar must have used. I find it intriguing that such a small charm has made such a large difference so many years later. If the Ministry had been aware of the charm, I would have known that Neville was the heir, and not believed for so long that Tom was Salazar’s.’
Harry gave him an impatient look that stopped his rambling and had him get to the point.
‘You see Harry, when two wizards do not particularly like one another, such as Godric and Salazar, they can place a charm on their bloodline to ensure an even splitting of heirs if their bloodlines were ever to cross. Apparently the two saw this as a possibility and neither wanted to end up with a shared heir. Thus, every one of the Potters would have gone to Slytherin’s side since he had so few heirs and Gryffindor had so many. I’ll have to assume that your father was also Slytherin’s heir, despite his being several years younger than Frank Longbottom.’
Harry nodded, and was glad that he at least understood why he had been chosen for the green side.
‘It’s nothing to be worried about Harry. My own uncle’s used the charm to ensure their names be carried on down the line.’
They were then interrupted by a knock on the door. Dumbledore beckoned they enter and Harry watched as Neville walked in, closely followed by Luna Lovegood.
‘Uh, professor?’ Harry said awkwardly, not wanting to insult Luna by asking why she had come as well.
‘Do not worry Harry. I called for her as well. Please inform Mister Longbottom of why he is here, and I will explain the rest in a moment.’
The two new arrivals sat in a pair of armchairs the Headmaster conjured and stared expectantly at Harry. Neville stared right at him, but Luna seemed to be staring off over his shoulder. Harry felt like wringing Dumbledore’s neck for putting him in such an awkward position.
‘Well Firstly, I think you should know about the prophecy we ended up breaking last summer,’ he started and received a nod of approval from Dumbledore. ‘It was actually a prophecy about me and Voldemort.’
Luna’s attention suddenly focused on Harry but Neville seemed completely undisturbed. It said that I would be marked as his equal, which explains my scar, but it also says that I will be the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord,’ he stopped and waited for their reactions.
Luna continued to watch him with interest, but Neville looked confused.
‘It also said that either you would have to kill him or he would have to kill you, didn’t it?’ the blonde boy asked.
Harry simply stared at him for a moment in wonder, and then he remembered the day in their dormitory, when Neville had quoted a line form his prophecy.
‘I heard it when it smashed,’ Neville said quietly and looked to the floor in embarrassment. ‘I’m sorry I didn’t say anything but I figured you might be better off not knowing.’
Harry looked to the Headmaster for anything, and found that he was smiling at Neville knowingly. Harry considered yelling at Neville for keeping such a large secret from him, but then realised that he had been keeping one from him as well. He took a deep breath and continued.
‘That’s right Neville. And I know you think you’re clear of all things prophecy, but I found something while I was in the past.’
‘Alright,’ Neville said slowly and eyed Harry suspiciously. ‘What is it? Just tell me.’
‘You’re the heir to Godric Gryffindor.’
Neville sat staring blankly at Harry, much in the way Dumbledore had stared at him at hearing the news, only for longer. Luna said congratulations and gave his arm a pat before scanning the room for anything interesting.
‘That’s not possible,’ Neville finally said. ‘Everyone knows that you’re Gryffindor’s heir. It’s so obvious. How else could you have pulled his sword out of his hat?’ Neville tried to rationalize.
‘Neville, I am one of Gryffindor’s heirs, but you are The heir. The one through which his power is channelled. I’m an heir too, just not his,’ he added awkwardly.
‘Then whose?’ he asked, but stopped and stared at Harry with wide eyes. ‘No! You don’t mean?’
‘Yup. You’re looking at Slytherin’s heir,’ he said flatly. Luna leaned forward and patted him on the arm now with her offering of congratulations.
‘Well,’ Neville said, suddenly looking thoughtful, ‘it could have been worse right? At least it’s not Malfoy.’
They all started to laugh at this, and even Dumbledore had a smile on his face as they laughed in the midst of such a serious affair.
‘Alright professor,’ Harry decided to ask finally. ‘I know why I’m here, and I know why Neville’s here, but what is Luna doing here? No offense to you Luna.’
‘Oh, not at all,’ she said with a smile and turned to hear the Headmaster’s response while fingering her bottle cap necklace.
‘I decided that if we were going to hold a meeting for the heirs in this school, that it would only be fair to invite all of them,’ he said plainly.
‘I don’t understand sir,’ Neville said to this answer. ‘The sorting hat only spoke of two heirs at Hogwarts.’
‘That is true, however, it only mentioned the two relevant to its tale. The other two founders did however have heirs, and if I’m correct in my assumption, and I’ve been proven wrong as Harry just learned, then Miss Lovegood here is none other then heir to Rowena Ravenclaw.’
‘How could you know that sir?’ Harry asked now, stunned that Luna Lovegood could be an heir. ‘You just told me that the records at the Ministry were not entirely accurate.’
‘In the case of Godric and Salazar perhaps, but as for Rowena, I have it on good authority that her last heir was none other than Miss Lovegood’s mother. Her affinity for the sight only further proved it. I believe you met her once. Lovely girl Violet Divine, and her sisters of course.’
Harry stared at Luna with a disbelieving expression and as he focused on the wand behind her ear, he remembered distinctly seeing Violet keep hers the same way. Luna was smiling sadly now.
‘They were very pretty weren’t they sir?’ she asked Dumbledore, who nodded.
‘Yes, they were. And extremely talented. They did some incredible things for the Ministry, and I was very sad to see them leave us.’ Luna nodded again.
‘But you see, if I am correct in my assumption, Miss Lovegood could very likely have inherited her Mother’s talents,’ he said and lowered his half-moons to stare at Luna expectantly.
She watched him oddly for a moment and then nodded. ‘I’ve been getting them since I was eight years old sir, but the same one has been playing every night in my head for nearly a month.’
‘Would you mind my dear?’ he asked politely and smiled when she nodded.
As if on cue, her body became rigid and her large eyes glazed over. The next second she began to speak and Harry felt a chill traverse his spine as he recognized the rasping voice from the last prophecy he heard professor Trelawney tell.
‘With the power of a flower’s magic, the chosen one shall be marked and the Dark Lord shall fall. At the hand of the protected child, and with aid from the flower’s equal, the Dark Lord shall be crippled once more. When the power of love stands no more as a barrier, it will take not flowers, but the power of three to vanquish the darkness forever.’
That being said, Luna blinked several times, gave a rasping cough and reached for a lemon drop off of Dumbledore’s desk.
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