Author's note: I'm excited for this chapter. Are you excited? I'll bet we're excited for different reasons. Let's find out. -grin-


Chapter 30



"I still don't understand why you're so concerned." Wednesday commented, as she proofread her essay for ancient runes.

Draco glanced around the library to make sure nobody was in earshot. "Because when he figures out that I'm not going to even try to do it, he'll kill us all. Not just you and me, but our families too."

Harry shook his head. "I thought he'd moved on from that. It's kinda sad that he can't handle a simple no."

"You said he gave you until the school year ends, so just wait until then." Wednesday paused. With an odd look on her usually passive face, she rolled up her essay, and patted her husband's shoulder. "I think it's time, come on."

Draco watched the pair leave the library hand in hand. Annoyed, he muttered under his breath while packing up his own homework. "Bloody Voldemort will want to kill us all personally, and they act like it's just another day." He paused, and sighed as he processed his own words. "I guess it really is just another day. Bollocks."

Deep in the stacks, Pansy Parkinson held her hand over her mouth in shock. As her extrasensory spell faded, she headed to the owlery.


Turning a corner, Draco was annoyed to find his way blocked. "What do you want now Parkinson?"

"We need to talk... privately." Pansy grinned deviously.

"This is as private as I'm willing to be with you." Draco moved to push past her. "You can say what you want as I walk, or you can bugger off. I don't care."

Her grin never fading, she moved to walk alongside him. "I overheard your interesting conversation in the library, and sent a letter to my father. He'll be sure to let interesting people know about your interesting conversation."

Draco froze mid-step, and lowered his voice to a soft growl. "You have three seconds to get to your point Parkinson. You will not like how I'm willing to respond to threats these days."

"I can send another letter just as easily, talking about how I've convinced you to do whatever it is you're supposed to be doing."

He turned slowly to look her in the eyes, noting that as he did so, she flinched and her grin faltered. "Are you seriously using this to try and blackmail me into being your boyfriend? You stupid bint. It doesn't matter what you do at this point. If you seriously sent your interesting fucking letter, you have signed my death warrant, full stop."

"N-no." Pansy stuttered, suddenly terrified of how dangerous Draco seemed.

Reaching around Pansy, Draco grabbed a fistful of her hair, and leaned in close to whisper directly in her ear. "If Voldemort knows I'm not following his orders, he'll be coming here himself. He knows how to get in undetected. He just hasn't had a reason to until now. Thanks to you, he will kill me."

Draco gave a sharp yank, and let go, sending Pansy awkwardly into the wall.

"Sleep well Parkinson. Hogwarts is about to get very interesting." Draco narrowed his gaze, and his lip curled into a sneer. "You need to be concerned about how interesting your life is going to become."


Yaxley knelt before Voldemort, smirking proudly as he reported his progress. "There are only a handful left in the ministry that are likely to resist my lord. I plan to stage a training accident for the more problematic aurors."

Smiling as a plan took shape in his mind, Voldemort unconsciously stroked his ring. "There are only a few loose ends left then. The more experienced aurors will be suspicious of training, but by all means, cull the younger ones as you see fit. For the others, have our esteemed minister authorize a strike force to attack the growing death eater menace. The giants are growing restless, lets send them the finest of your troublesome aurors to play with. I will have Macnair inform the gurg to make sure they will be prepared for guests."

"And then I will have Thicknesse push through our new laws."

"Gradually Yaxley, gradually. There is no rush. Give the people time to adjust to each change." Voldemort looked thoughtful. "With the ministry ours, there are only two remaining threats, Dumbledore and Black."

"My lord?" Yaxley looked up, confusion evident on his face. "I had thought the boy was no longer a problem."

"He isn't. All the more reason to kill him now, before he has a chance to change once more." Voldemort stood, and gestured for his follower to rise. "Gather anyone you need to ensure the ministry is truly ours. If there is unexpected resistance, I will..."

The two men turned to face the door, hearing whispered arguing from the other side. Voldemort swung the door open with a casual wave of his hand. Three young death eaters abandoned their argument to face their master. With a rough shove, two of them forced the third to stumble into the room.

Fear evident in his words, the death eater held out a parchment while falling to his knees. "M-master. Parkinson said you would want to read this letter his daughter wrote him. I, I didn't want to disturb you. F-forgive me master, they..."

Voldemort grabbed the letter, and scanned it quickly. He narrowed his eyes, and handed the letter to Yaxley. "They? You are a death eater are you not? One of my chosen followers."

Confused, the young wizard looked up to see a yellow light emerge from his master's wand.

"Crucio." Voldemort snarled, and watched the man writhe and scream before him. "Take responsibility for your interruption. Yaxley!"

Nodding, Yaxley dragged the sobbing man, and threw him out of the room. He then addressed the others. "See to it we aren't disturbed again. The Dark Lord doesn't appreciate his good mood being ruined."

Yaxley closed the door once more, and turned to see how, if at all, his master's plans had changed. "My lord? What does this mean?"

Deep in thought, Voldemort pondered for nearly a minute before answering. "It means now I will eliminate him personally, and at the same time draw out Dumbledore. The old fool has been too quiet. I don't want to give him time to pose a real threat."

"Shall I wait before..."

"No. First you and your team finish with the ministry. That very night I will lead my army to assault Hogwarts." Voldemort nodded to himself, adjusting his plans as he spoke. "You can then prevent any auror response, and Dumbledore will be forced to try and protect the school with whatever followers he has left."

Yaxley opened his mouth, then closed it, struggling with whether or not he should raise his concern.

Voldemort smiled an icy grin. "You think such an attack will turn more people against us? A fair concern, but you should have more faith in your master."

"I would never doubt you my lord." The death eater groveled, bracing for the cruciatus.

"Why do you think I chose to ally with vermin like werewolves and vampires? Petty thugs like Scabior and his ilk?" The Dark Lord chuckled and sneered while shaking his head. "They will be what the public sees, the threat that needs to be stopped. Dumbledore will thin their ranks before I kill him, saving us the trouble. Undesirables fighting undesirables. While the fodder distract at the gates, I will enter the castle. After I deal with Black and the traitor, I will join the battle, eliminating Dumbledore and his order for good."


Madam Pomfrey looked up to see two students that she was honestly expecting to see much earlier. "Well now, Mr. Black, Mrs. Black, Considering I don't see any injuries I trust you are here for marital reasons?"

"Yes." Wednesday nodded. "I'm having a baby."

"If you'll just sit over there, I'll grab a few things so that I can explain the most effective contraceptive potions..." Wednesday's words registered in Pomfrey's mind, and she halted. "Pardon me, what did you say?"

"I'm having a baby." Wednesday repeated calmly.

The school nurse sighed deeply. This is why she wanted to talk to them as soon as their engagement was announced. After the wedding was almost certain to be too late. She muttered under her breath as she shook her head. "Albus would never have allowed it, but perhaps this will convince Solomon that I should be teaching a sexual education course to the older students."

"Alright young lady, take a seat, and we'll see just how far along you are." Pomfrey motioned to the empty bed next to her, and readied her wand.

"About seven or eight moons." Wednesday explained while she sat next to the nurse. "It's a bit early, but there's no stopping her now."

Brows furrowing in concern and confusion, Pomfrey began casting spells. "You mean you are literally giving birth as we speak." She looked up to see Harry grinning madly with anticipation.

"Right." Pomfrey shook her head as she pointed her wand at the nearby privacy screens, which rolled over to Wednesday's bed. "If you want your husband here, say so now, otherwise Mr. Black should wait in the hallway."

Wednesday reached her hand out to her husband, who grabbed it with both of his.


"Honestly Miss Brown." McGonagall chastised the teenage girl who was wincing with every step. "Testing out cosmetic charms from Witch Weekly is one thing, but what possessed you to modify the charm?"

"I didn't think it would be that hard professor, I mean... hair is hair right?" Lavender hoped the infirmary was empty, she really didn't want to explain her situation with any other students in earshot.

The hallway was suddenly filled with a gut-wrenching shriek, that emanated from the infirmary. Leaving Lavender to limp on her own, McGonagall broke into a run.

Swinging the doors open, with her wand drawn, the transfiguration professor was shocked to see Harry stepping out from behind blood stained curtains with a smile of pure joy. He was holding a small bundle of cloth tightly to his chest. "Hello Professor. Would you like to meet my daughter?"


"Is that you Minerva? Please keep anyone else from coming in." Pomfrey's voice came from behind the curtains entirely too calm for the amount of blood on the curtains and floor. "I need a few more... Damn it not again. Drink this dear, and try to hold still."

After several more frustrated bouts of swearing, Pomfrey stepped out from behind the curtains herself, nearly drenched in red she looked as though she'd been hit by a blood filled water balloon. "Harry, you should bring her back over now. Wednesday needs to hold her baby."

Breathing deeply, the nurse noticed the look of horror on McGonagall's face. "We've had this discussion Minerva. Mrs. Black will be fine. Let's just not traumatize any of the other students, yes? If you would just give me a hand cleaning up though, I would greatly appreciate it."


"Alright then Miss Brown." Madam Pomfrey said, after making sure Wednesday was feeding her child properly, and wouldn't be bleeding anymore for the time being. "What brings you to my infirmary?"

Still processing the shock of seeing a girl her age with a newborn, Lavender took a moment to respond. Blushing, she whispered. "Um, well... It's a feminine issue..."

Sighing, Pomfrey doubled down on her resolve to introduce Hogwarts to basic sex ed, regardless of what Miss Brown's problem was. "Mr. Black, why don't you go inform Professor Frump of the birth of her great grandchild. Your wife will be fine without you for a few minutes."

Once Harry left, Lavender explained her embarrassing mistake to the nurse, who merely shook her head and walked off to her storage room to find the necessary balm.

"So... how much does it hurt?" Lavender asked, not able to help her curiosity. She couldn't believe how exhausted Wednesday looked, nor that she seemed somehow even paler than usual. "We heard you scream a few minutes ago."

Wednesday turned to face Lavender. "It was the second most painful experience of my life... so far."

"Second?" Lavender paled. Internally vowing to practice the contraceptive charm more. "What was the first?"

Wednesday smiled, amused at the fear in the Blond girl's eyes. "The conception."


Through the veil of the great beyond, Lily Potter felt her soul being pulled. First gently, then with some force, an unseen power seemed to be trying to summon her. She had felt this pull before, but then it had been much stronger. This time Lily felt that if she wanted to, she could resist entirely. Then she heard the soft whisper of a voice, a girl, no a woman's voice. The same woman who had called her before. Allowing herself to hope, Lily surrendered to the force, and felt the haze of the living world cloud her mind once more.

Darkness, then three pinpricks of light guided Lily. The haze of returning to the living world was dense, but through it she held one hope tightly. She could see her baby again.

"Harry?" Lily looked around, recognizing the Hogwarts classroom where she had been summoned once prior. The same elderly witch was channeling the power that summoned her from the beyond, but the circle was different. There were only two students holding hands around a smaller table. Malfoy's son seemed familiar, but the other was a Hufflepuff she didn't recognize.

"Over here mom" Harry stepped out of the shadows with Wednesday at his side. "Wednesday felt it was important to introduce you to your granddaughter."

"I'm quite upset at your husband still." Wednesday explained as she gently unwrapped the bundle in her arms. "So we decided to only summon you back. Shall I call you mother, or would you prefer Lily?"

Just like last time Lily had been floating in front of her son, she was overwhelmed with how much she had missed of her son's life. Much like before, she glossed over details that didn't feel important. Harry's new scars were noticed and dismissed, as she floated over as far as she could to look at the child in Wednesday's arms.

"I'm a grandmother already?" Lily looked into Wednesday's eyes, her son's wife. "You can call me whatever you want. What's her name?"

Wednesday shifted the premature infant to give Lily a better view of her sleeping face. "We wanted to give her a traditional name, something that spoke to both halves of her family."

"Ophiuchus." Harry said proudly. "Ophiuchus Atropa Black."


Morticia glided through the halls of Saint Mungo's, noting that even in the magic world, hospitals felt so clean and sterile. Nearly moving past her destination, she stopped and smiled at the palpable suffering coming from the terrified parents inside.

"Mr. and Mrs. Granger? We weren't formally introduced, but I do remember you both from my Wednesday's wedding." Morticia stepped into the room, and closed the door behind her.

Fighting back tears, Emma Granger turned to face the intruder on their grief. "Please go away. Unless you know something the doctors here don't, just leave us alone."

"That's exactly why I'm here." Morticia moved to the foot of Hermione's bed, admiring her nearly corpse-like palor. "My son-in-law wrote to let me know I'm a grandmother already. He also wanted me to pass on some information regarding your daughter. Apparently Hermione here did something quite foolish earlier in the year."

"You know what's wrong with Hermione?" Dan Granger focused intently on the dark woman. "We need to get the doctors back in here, so they can know what they need to do."

Morticia shook her head, and looked disdainfully around the room. "There's nothing they can do. Allow me to explain. As I was saying, your daughter did something foolish that should have killed her. My daughter saved her life, but in doing so introduced Hermione to our family's magic, which has a danger all its own. Wednesday mistakenly thought Harry would explain the danger to his best friend, and Harry foolishly didn't realize he needed to."

Emma picked up one of Morticia's hands in her own, and stared into the other mother's eyes as she begged. "There's something you can do though, right? That's why you're here, to heal my baby."

"No." Morticia cupped Emma's cheek with her free hand. "There is nothing I can do either, but I will explain what you can do, and what Hermione needs to do once she's strong enough."


Never in his life had Reg felt so nervous. As he walked through the ministry atrium, he could hardly believe that no one could hear his heart trying to pound its way out of his chest. Looking down at his watch, he tried to look calm as he walked. How in the world did Arthur talk him into this?

"Reginald!" An annoyed voice halted Reg in his tracks. Too scared to speak, he merely turned to face his doom.

The violently pink form of Dolores Umbridge marched straight to Reg, and looked up while seeming to glare down at him. "That dungbomb someone set off outside my office is still lingering. Get rid of the smell. I don't care what you have to do, just do it. A lady shouldn't have to deal with such an offensive stench."

Reg felt himself slowly start to breathe as he watched the 'lady' stomp off to go make someone else's life miserable, then nearly had a heart attack when a hand clamped down on his shoulder.

"Sorry about that Reg, that one's my fault. I should have known she'd pick on you instead of make a general maintenance request." Fellow maintenance worker Callum McClintock apologized. "Not the dungbomb of course, but I might have tweaked the air freshening charms a wee bit. I'll go reset them proper."

"Uh, thanks... I mean, no. No, um, don't worry about it. I'll take care of it." Reg stammered, glancing at his watch, wondering if Callum could see him sweating.

"You sure? It is my fault after all. Shouldn't take long to undo."

"No, no really. I'll take care of it. Umbridge would probably have my pay docked if she found out you fixed it instead of me."

"Okay Reg. Again, sorry about that."

After the terrifying hiccough in the atrium, the rest of Reginald's journey through the ministry was uneventful. He checked his watch, and knelt by the enchantment array that worked to keep the ministry filled with clean, fresh air. It didn't take him long to find Callum's adjustment, and even less time to correct it. Looking over his shoulder in paranoia, he pulled out the small, seemingly empty, glass phial that Arthur had given him. Barely remembering to breath, he watched the hands of his watch slowly move into position. Carefully, he wove a new charm to add whatever was in the phial into the air cycle.

Standing up, he breathed a deep sigh of relief. Fixing Callum's enchantment gave him an excuse to have come here. Now all he had to do is head back to the maintenance department, and continue the day like normal.

Reg took a step toward the door, and felt off. His head began to swim, and the floor rushed up to smack him in the face. He tried to move, but he found he couldn't even blink. What had he done? What did Arthur make him do?


Keeping an eye on his watch, Percy wheeled his father into an elevator. Before the gate shut, a witch squeezed herself in.

"Almost didn't make it." Mafalda Hopkirk said slightly out of breath. "I'm supposed to meet up with Dolores in five minutes. You know how she is normally, I really don't want to keep her waiting when... What are you doing Arthur?"

"Stupify. Sorry Mafalda. Can't have you interfering." Arthur Apologized, then cast the bubble-head charm on himself.

"Was that really necessary dad?" Percy caught Mafalda and lowered her gently to the floor, then cast his own bubble-head charm. "I really don't think she's a death eater, or imperiused."

"I doubt it too." Arthur agreed. "But only because she's incapable of thinking for herself. They wouldn't need to control her, she's always followed orders even when they don't make sense. It's best to stun anyone who isn't knocked out by the boy's gas. We won't get a second chance if we make any mistakes."


Two fireplaces flared to life in the Ministry atrium. Mad-Eye Moody stepped out of the flames first, wand drawn, his bubble-head charm shimmering as his magical eye spun wildly. A teenage boy followed shortly after, wearing a 1940's era gas mask, and carrying a large trunk.

"Atrium's clear." Mad-Eye grunted as he began moving toward the elevators, stepping over and around a few immobilized ministry employees. "Stay here and follow the plan."


Gathering up a stack of papers, Shacklebolt checked the time once more before making his way to Tonks' cubicle.

"I've got those files you wanted to look at." Shacklebolt said aloud, then dropped the papers onto Tonks' desk.

Tonks stared at Shacklebolt, slightly annoyed. She glanced at the time, and cast her bubble-head charm while he cast his.

After an awkward few minutes, they began to hear witches and wizards collapse all around them.

"Was the bad acting really needed Shack?" Tonks asked while she stood up. "Come on, let's get to work."

"I thought it would help, if I had a reason to come over here." Shacklebolt frowned, his acting wasn't that bad right?

"Avada Kedavra!"

Instinctively, both aurors ducked. A jet of sickly green light passed through the air where Kingsley's head had just been.

"Perhaps you have a point." Shacklebolt acknowledged before rushing out of the cubicle and casting a string of hexes toward where the unforgivable had come from.

Three more jets of light. One was caught on the end of Shacklebolt's wand and reflected back. One impacted a cubicle wall, spraying debris into the air, and forcing him to flinch. The third struck Kingsley squarely in the face.

"Shit." Tonks muttered as her partner slumped to the ground.

Gauging where the attackers must be based on the spells cast, Tonks sent a curse of her own into the ceiling. Angling out over her cubicle wall, the pink streak of light impacted the ceiling, and solidified into a gelatinous blob which fell with a splash.

By the time Tonks heard swearing from her first spells success, she had already blown down the walls leading away from the enemy.

Keeping her head low, Tonks cast severing charms backward as she retreated. Seeing another auror passed out near the exit, she banished them through the door, and slammed it shut with a quick summoning charm. As quiet as she could manage, she ducked behind an overturned desk, and waited.


minutes earlier


Thicknesse paused on his way to gather aurors likely to resist his master. Auror Shacklebolt was acting strangely, and could be heard casting the bubble-head charm for some reason. It seemed important enough to report to master Yaxley.

"What are those blood traitors up to?" Wondered Yaxley out loud. "Just in case, bubble-head charms now."

The half dozen Death Eaters who had come to help Yaxley with his 'training' exercise, surrounded their heads with shimmering magic spheres.

"That includes you minister." Yaxley ordered, wondering if he needed to refresh his imperius curse.

Thicknesse raised his wand, opened his mouth, and began to wobble. As the compromised minister collapsed, the Death Eaters all looked to Yaxley for direction.

Kneeling, Yaxley checked Thicknesse's pulse, and noted he was still alive. He cast the bubble-head and revival charms, followed by the imperius for insurance. "What happened Thicknesse?"

"I couldn't move. I could see and hear, but couldn't move."

Yaxley smiled darkly. "Well, whatever they're up to, they've made our job easier. Come on boys, let's just kill a couple blood traitors, then we can clean up at our leisure."


"She's running! Thicknesse, stay here and free Rosier. The rest of you follow me." Yaxley nearly tore the door off it's hinges as he rushed after auror Tonks.

Five men followed Yaxley out of the room, leaving Thicknesse to puzzle over the strange pink gelatin that nearly covered Rosier head to toe.

A red spell impacted Thicknesse, causing him to once more fall, as if boneless, to the ground.

"Auror Tonks is it?" Rosier laughed, then wheezed as his slime prison constricted, pushing the air out of his lungs.

Not bothering with words, Tonks double checked that Thicknesse was alive, and stuffed him out of view behind a filing cabinet. Noting that Rosier could still breath, barely, she went to check on her partner.

The gaping hole where Kingsley's left eye once was, steeled her resolve. She turned back to face Rosier, still trapped in her conjured gelatin.

"It won't be long before they figure out you never left the room." Rosier gasped, fighting against his prison. "Let me out, and we'll let you live."

Expressionless, Tonks raised her wand, and fired a piercing hex right between his eyes.


On the one hand, Yaxley thought as he vanished the ropes snaking up to bind him, It was nice that the blood traitors were true to form with their non-lethal attacks. On the other hand, he ducked to avoid a series of banished tiles, running into Mad Eye of all people was less than ideal.

Splitting up to chase that girl was probably a mistake. Hoping the others would hear the spellfire and come help him wasn't good enough. He needed reinforcement.

Yaxley hoped his master would be understanding as he pressed his wand into his dark mark.


Author's note: Chapter five... I've been waiting since chapter five for little Ophiuchus to join us. Some of you guessed early on that Wednesday was pregnant, but I did my best to not confirm your suspicions.

Whew, okay, now let's see if I can get chapter 31 out in a reasonable amount of time.