As Evan awoke and began his morning rituals, his mind began to question last night.

What had he been thinking? There was too much going on already.

He had the whole Master of Death thing to figure out. Horcruxes to find and destroy. Another run at the blasted tournament. Friends to reconnect with and Harry to connect with. Dating…it hadn't even been a consideration.

But as Evan's thoughts replayed their snog, he couldn't keep the goofy grin off his face.

Victoria wasn't Ginny. The home grown, little firecracker, best mate's little sister that had always had a crush on him. No…Victoria was something else. Something else entirely. A one of one.

As he thought about what else he had to do today, his thoughts ventured to Helena. The ghost was going to be insufferably smug. She'd pushed him toward her. Had she known Victoria liked him?

Evan shook his head. It didn't matter.

He'd snogged Viktor Krum's counterpart. Shouldn't it be weird? Shouldn't he feel icky and grossed out or something?

Yet as his thoughts drifted to Victoria, it didn't matter. She was so unlike anyone else. The only real bother he had with it was why was she even with him?

He was homeless. Adrift. And not as great of a quidditch player as he thought, it turns out. He and Harry weren't even that well off.

Sure he was a Triwizard Champion again but what else? He wasn't even the real Boy-Who-Lived here.

Evan stared down at his feet as he descended down the last set of stairs. It was a useless mental path to tread. Either Victoria would be waiting for him in the Entrance Hall or she wouldn't be.

As he entered, Evan saw her off to the side, half hidden behind an alcove.

"Hey," he said, with a quick greeting. "Did we want to let everyone know or just sit together? Though if we sit together people will probably guess. We could just sit opposite of each other or–"

"That works," she said, looking down at their conjoined hands as she pulled him towards the Great Hall with a tug.

They walked through the entry doors and all heads turned toward them immediately. People stopped their conversations and pointed them out to their friends and housemates.

Victoria glanced toward the Slytherin table but Harry led her to the Gryffindors. They sat down across from Harry, Hermione and Ron.

"Morning," Evan said, as the three kept looking between them, speechless.

"Err, morning. Are you two together?" Harry asked.

Victoria's eyebrows furrowed as she began putting food on her plate.

"Yeah," Evan answered. "We are."

"Bloody hell," Ron said, enunciating the words as slowly as a train comes to a sudden stop.

"Were you together before?" Hermione asked, her eyes laser focused on Evan.

A guffaw escaped him.

"No," Evan said, after he'd gotten a semblance of composure back. "You were, actually. It didn't turn into anything serious but you two went on a rather public date."

Hermione's jaw lowered. "But– I– What?!"

The last word came out as a bewildered half-screech. She looked at Harry. "I don't like girls!"

Harry had been looking between them and Ron was choking on his food.

Reaching over, Evan gave him a hearty thump on the back, which allowed him to swallow.

"Doesn't this bother you?" Hermione asked Victoria.

She shrugged, and stayed quiet until her mouth was empty. "Why would it?"

"Because you fancy Evan and I fancy–" Hermione clasped a hand over her mouth. "I fancy boys– males."

"I'm not her," Victoria said before turning back to her food.

"Which is good," Evan said. "Because you wouldn't be a her. You'd be a him– a Viktor Krum."

Victoria looked up at him. She bit her bottom lip for a moment. "You didn't know who I was then?"

Evan shook his head. By the intensity that she was staring at him, he felt this should have been broached in private.

"Does that matter?" She lowered her head slightly as she waited for an answer and a lock of hair fell down her face.

His fingers ran along her face and he brushed the hair behind her ear. "Not in the least."

She held his gaze for a moment and then nodded. "Good."

Evan let out a breath as whatever that had been between them dissipated. She went back to eating and he decided to do the same.

"I still don't get how this happened," Harry said, putting his fork down.

"Well, when a boy and girl like each other they–"

"No," Harry said with a groan. "I mean you two. You just got here and.."

Harry ran his hand through his messy hair.

Placing a hand on his, Hermione spoke. "What he means is, why did Victoria agree to date you."

The question hit him like a bludger. He'd already been wondering that himself but to hear his own younger pseudo self ask it hit different.

He gave his head a quick shake. "Why not ask why I'd date her?"

"Why? I can tell you why," Ron said, lowering his fork full of food. "She's Vic-tor-ree-ah Krum. K-R-U-M Krum!"

"Not only is she famous, she's widely considered the most eligible witch in the wizarding world. There's a new article every week in Teen Witch Weekly," Hermione said, her voice soft. "We think she's lucky to be with you and what we're wondering is why does she think you are too?"

"So why are you dating Evan?" Harry said, his green eyes piercing.

Victoria had just cleaned her plate and she looked between them scowling.

With his hand under the table, he deftly slipped his hand into hers.

Her eyes met his and then she turned to face them. "He can handle himself."

Actions yes, words no.

Evan supposed he'd have to get used to that. Her answer was hardly verbose.

"That doesn't explain anything," Harry said.

"It does," Victoria replied. "He can handle himself on a broom, with the fame and attention, and magically, or the Goblet wouldn't have chosen him."

"But you could say that about Malfoy," Harry said, saying his blonde classmates' name with clear disdain. "He's fine on a broom, he knows how to act in public and his family has wealth and political power."

Victoria looked around at them. "Who?"

The comment made Evan, Ron and Harry chortle.

"The blonde boy you sat beside regularly," Hermione said.

"He sat beside me," she said, her nose wrinkling. "He is a boy…a boy full of words with no actions."

"He is," Hermione said, agreeing right away, "but you've only said things about Evan. Nothing about who he is or what he's like as a person."

She dipped her chin, then looked back up. "Your Ravenclaw ghost said all I needed to know about his character," she said.

Evan had to suppress the will to facepalm. If Helena ever heard that, she would be even more impossible to be around.

"And I've liked our evenings together," Victoria added.

"As have I," Evan said, thinking of last night's snog. "Plus, I've learned more about flying with her than in all my years playing at Hogwarts and I've been so thoroughly outclassed."

He smiled at her and squeezed her hand. "She's incredible."

"Wait," Ron said. "She's teaching you?"


"Wicked," Harry said, looking off in the distance. Abruptly he turned to Evan. "As your younger sibling, I expect lessons from you."

"Hey," Ron said. "I want some, too!"

Victoria interrupted. "The Headmaster is expecting me. I have to go."

She stood and Evan left the last few bites on his plate. "I'll walk you there."

Victoria looked at him for a moment before nodding her agreement.

Holding hands again, the two began to walk out and they had just made it to the end of the Gryffindor table when they heard a loud voice.

"We generally save the announcements for the evening meal but there is evidence of remarkable magic happening this morning that cannot be ignored," Dumbledore said, smiling congenially.

Evan and VIctoria stopped to hear the Headmaster's announcement.

No remarkable magic happened in his fourth year. The only thing that came to mind was Helena. Had she done something else?

"When the Triwizard Tournament first began, it was an attempt to bring the three European Schools of Magic closer together. To create friendships and find lasting ways to partner closer together," he said before a look of profound disappointment overtook him.

"Now that it has been brought back, it was our great hope that this goal would be fulfilled."

Like the cold hitting you as you swim in the Black Lake in February, realisation crashed into Evan all at once. He pulled Victoria toward the exit but it was too late.

"Two of our Triwizard Champions have taken it upon themselves to lead by example," he said, with a grand gesture towards them. "Let us give them a round of applause."

The whole Hall gave a half-hearted applause.

"There are many fields of magic but there is one that has confounded the wise and bamboozled the Department of Mysteries. It is the magic that brought about the defeat of Voldemort," he said, many around the hall shuddering at the name. "I am speaking of love, of course. The greatest magic of all. More powerful than even a Killing Curse."

Though that was also about him, Evan felt worse for Harry than himself. There was already going to be a ton of attention on him. Let him be the focus and allow Harry the quiet year he'd never had.

"For exemplary leadership and his newfound love with a Durmstrang student, I award the elder Harry Potter fifty points to Gryffindor!"

Polite, if muted, applause broke out across the hall from the non-Gryffindors while the house of Red and Gold cheered loudly.

"I go by Evan now, sir," he called out when things were just quieting down.

"Yes, yes, Harry," Dumbledore said, his eyes twinkling merrily. "A wonderful self sacrificing decision. One born from love. And for selflessly giving up his name, I award Evan Potter Fifty points to Gryffindor," he said, raising his goblet in toast.

Evan almost groaned aloud and he looked around the room for McGonagall. Why couldn't she be here to corral the headmaster?

"And to Miss Krum: Sadly, I cannot award you House Points. Instead, Fawkes will heed your call once, during your time here."

The hall was quiet and nobody knew how to take that. How would that even work?

"For the rest of you, take heed of your Champions' actions. Befriend those from the other schools and love each other."

Letting out a sigh, Evan looked to Victoria but she was stoic and unreadable, simply scowling at those around them.

"As I've been the headmaster here for decades, allow me to provide some tips," Dumbledore said, continuing on, when everyone had thought his speech completed. "There is a large vase halfway down the fourth floor corridor. Opposite it, there is a painting that will move and permit entry if you tickle them in just the right spot. It is a private place for young lovers that I haven't seen used since young Mister Malfoy's mother was caught with a young muggleborn Ravenclaw."

It took a second for everyone to process that information.

"My mother would never!" Malfoy said, standing and yelling at the headmaster.

"She most certainly did," Dumbledore said. "Mister Lewis was your mother's favourite study partner. It's too bad he moved to the colonies... A bright student... Many witches were charmed by his wonderful wand work."

Evan had no idea if he meant that as a double entendre but he chose to believe the wiley headmaster did.

"Andromeda was most disappointed when her sister didn't marry a muggleborn too," he said, stroking his beard. "But where was I?"

He took a sip from his goblet and then continued. "Ah yes, the many great places Hogwarts has to offer young couples. The third floor has a wonderful room that locks from the interior and the second floor broom closets are quite popular for good reason. The Astronomy Tower is a classic but there are some wonderful views just off the Owlery if you don't mind the odd owl watching."

Looking around, Evan saw most everyone was like him; having no idea how to take the sudden change in topic. The comment on Malfoy's mother had many in hysterics but having Albus Dumbledore suggest snogging places was…well, unbelievable.

Dumbledore scratched at his beard. "The fifth floor is of little use but the sixth floor," he let out a merry chuckle. "Misters Weasley have made great use of it."

Evan saw that Weasley twins were grinning while Angelina and Alicia were blushing and ducking their heads.

"Twenty-five points to each of them for curiosity and perseverance in finding one of the castle's many secrets," he said, before he cast his gaze across the Hall to the Slytherin table. "While we are on the subject of points, fifty points from Slytherin for Mister Malfoy's outburst and a further Fifty points for Slytherin failing to advance interschool cooperation, like young Mister Potter."

There was a raucous applause from the Gryffindor table but Evan couldn't turn his attention away from Malfoy. He was doing his best impression of the Hogwarts Express: he was bright red and Evan could well imagine steam coming out from his ears.

When the hall finally quieted, Dumbledore peered over at the Ravenclaw table. "Have any Ravenclaws made a French connection?"

The hall was quiet as everyone watched the blue and bronze clad students.

"Disappointing," Dumbledore said, letting out a troubled sigh. "Five points from every fourth year and higher student. If this continues for another week, it will be fifty! Love is more important than academics."

It was official. This new world was mad. Utterly and undeniably mad.

Before Dumbledore could round on the Hufflepuffs, a loud bang interrupted from the entry.

"Albus Dumbedore," Professor McGonagall said in a heavily Scottish lilt. "What is Hogwarts policy on making impromptu announcements at meal times?"

"To make them as needed at the Headmaster's sole discretion," Dumbledore said, taking a slight step back.

"No," McGongall said, briskly striding through the middle of the Great Hall. "It's only permitted if explicitly approved at the Senior Faculty Meeting."

"Ah yes," Dumbledore said.

He started moving to his left and McGonagall turned to cut him off at the end of the Head Table. The aged headmaster tried the other way but he was not fleet of foot.

Realisation dawned on him and he tapped his throat with his wand. "Remember, find love, awaken it, foster it, and above all protect it. For in doing so you arouse a primordial magic. All magic leaves a mark, none more so than love."

The Deputy Headmistress was now rounding the table and the look in her eye promised a stern lecture was incoming.

Dumbledore smiled serenely. "Remember, Miss Krum. One use of Fawkes."

Reaching his hands up as his phoenix flashed into the room. Just before McGonagall reached him, he clapped his hands together and was gone.

"Brilliant," Evan said.

"Is this normal?"

Evan shook his head. "Not where I'm from," he said with a shrug. "But this world? It's both barmy and beautiful."

When he'd said the last word, Evan had deliberately made eye contact with his girlfriend.

She ducked her chin and tucked her hair behind her ear.


"So how was your night?" Helena asked, her eyebrows waggling. "Get to know Victoria a little more? Personally?"

Evan rolled his eyes. "Isn't that what you wanted?"

"Aren't you going to thank me?"


"For making you go out and fly with her."

"Thank you," Evan said, with an exaggerated bow. "Without those evening flights, I wouldn't be with Victoria."

She floated down. "Just remember that Auntie Helena knows best," she said, tapping his cheek with her ghostly fingers. "Remember that and you won't go wrong."

Ducking away, Evan threw himself down on the couch. Soft enough to sink in but hard enough to not get lost in: the perfect couch.

The Room of Requirement was amazing.

"What did you think of the speech?"

Evan bit his bottom lip and stayed silent for a moment.

"It's a lot like what Dumbledore and The Sorting Hat pushed for, once Voldemort had returned," he said, thinking back to the discussion on unity and coming together in dark times. "But the cultural divide was a chasm too great to bridge by then."

He scratched the top of his head. "The, uh, founders bit was…interesting. I've never heard anything like that. You should teach it. I'd come to your lectures."

"Funny you should mention that," Helena said, a coy grin on her face. "McGonagall was just asking me to do that."

"Are you?"

Helena tapped her chin. "Time will tell."

"Oh come on," Evan said, dropping his head back. "Don't do this."

She smiled sweetly.

"Fine," Evan said, throwing up his hands. "If you're going to be like that then I'm changing the topic. How are you going to teach me to be a thief? I need to break into Gringotts before the Third Task."

"Sure, sure," Helena chuckled. "Then I'll teach you how to have a staring contest with a basilisk, wrestle a chimaera, and ride a dragon."

"Err," Evan said. "That's actually how I escaped Gringotts."


"Hermione, Ron and I rode out on the back of a dragon. It flew us out and we eventually jumped off into a lake."

Helena narrowed her eyes.

"What?" Evan said. "It's true."

She held his gaze for a moment and then she threw her head back. Helena laughed.

And laughed.

Then laughed some more.

"You– a dragon–" she kept on laughing. "Right out of Gringotts…"

"Hey! It was our only option. We had to do it to win the war. With the goblins coming for us, it was either the dragon or capture," he said, his arms crossed.

After she'd calmed, she looked at him with great affection. "You are precious and my favourite person to walk these halls with since Helga. Godric would have adored you and Salazar would have fashioned you into greatness."

"Because I was sorted into Gryffindor and am a parselmouth?" Evan shook his head in disappointment. People were always after him for what he could do, what he could be for them.

"No," the Grey Lady said, her voice quiet as she floated over to him. "Because of what's in here," she tapped his left breast, "and here," she touched his head.

"You face trials undaunted and use your head to find solutions," she said before grinning. "You're like a flawless Akoya Pearl stuck on the seafloor. Now that you've been found, we just need to dig you up, pry you open, and polish you up a bit."

Evan took a quick step back. "I don't like the sound of prying me open…and the polishing sounds a bit dodgy as well."

"Many of the best things come after you deal with discomfort," she said. "Think of all of the wonderful things you can get up to with Victoria once you get past all the awkwardness of establishing a foundation for your relationship."

His thoughts flittered back to his time under the quidditch stands. And that was just kissing. Could things, would things, go further?

If they were together long enough, surely they would.

"It gladdens me so to see you so lost in thoughts of your inamorata," Helena said.

Evan felt his face heat up.

"Let's get back to Gringotts," Evan said, shifting in his seat. "Can you help me or?"

A chair appeared across from him, white and ethereal. A large upholstered backing with ornate details that Evan had a hard time focusing on. It was as if the whole chair was being blown in a gentle breeze.

Helena sat in it, crossed her legs and placed her arms on the arm rests.

"I can help you but I will need to assess where you are at to provide you a general idea of the timeline," she said. "How well did you do in Arithmancy and Ancient Runes?"

Rubbing the back of his neck, Evan shifted in his seat. "I didn't get to take them."

"That's alright," Helena said. "What were your OWL scores?"

He grimaced. "I didn't take those classes," he said.

"Did anyone ever educate you on the career path to be a Wardcrafter or Cursebreaker?"

"My best mate's older brother was one," Evan said. "Worked for Gringotts. Bill Weasley."

Helena sat back in her chair and tapped her fingers on the arm rest. "Ah yes," she said after a moment of thought. "William Weasley. Head Boy. Hogwarts graduate with a distinguished scholastic career. If I remember the gossip of the time, it was rumoured he turned down an apprenticeship with the Ancient Runes professor to work for Gringotts."

Squirming in his seat once more, Evan nodded.

"Did he tell you how many years it took him to be certified as a Cursebreaker?"

He shook his head.

"Four years," she said as if she was answering a basic Maths question anyone could answer with a glance. "Three years for those that have exceptional talent and dedication."

She placed her hands on her hips. "Given the time, I can teach you to be a once in a few century wizard. You could obtain multiple masteries and become a magnificent thief," Helena said before leaning forward. "But that takes time. Time that you don't have."

"There has to be a way!" Evan said, bounding up from his chair. "I didn't go through everything I did to defeat Riddle, just to get tossed into another dimension and get screwed like this!"

Standing, Helena floated in front of Evan. "There will be a way for you to accomplish your purpose here," she said. "Come sit. Let's use our minds and words to figure this out."

Helena gazed purposefully at the wand sparking in his hand.

"You can make things go boom later," she teased.

Sighing out his frustration, Evan nodded and returned to his seat. "If you can't teach quickly enough, could we use a time turner?"

"We're talking about 5 years of curriculum followed by three to four years of intensive study," Helena said. "You have what, eight, nine months?"

He nodded.

"You can't go back further than a day," she said softly.

Evan clenched his hands together. "What about magic that Godric, Helga, Rowena, or Salazar knew? Something old and lost to time?"

She smiled indulgently at him.

"Is there something like Parselmagic? Did Salazar leave something in his chamber that you know of?"

He wouldn't like using it but if that's what it took…

"Parseltongue is just another language," Helena said. "It adds a different…flavour to the magic but it's the same."

Despair and disappointment were trying to flood his senses but Evan wouldn't have it. There had to be something.

"Magic has remained the same since the Roman Empire extinguished all of the other magical systems.."

As she'd said the sentence, her words slowed successively with each syllable.

"Helena?" Evan said after she'd spent a minute in a daze.

She lowered her head and though her eyes were on him, Evan felt she wasn't focused on him.

"Do you know of something that could help me?"

"I–" she looked around, left and right, as if she was lost, unsure of where or who she was.

"Helena," Evan said again, his voice sharp.


"Do you know of something?"

She didn't answer right away and this time Evan waited patiently.

"I wanted to prove her wrong. I wanted to do something that everyone would think of Helena, not Rowena, whenever Ravenclaw was mentioned," she said, her voice distant as her unfocused eyes wandered around the room, seeing nothing while looking at everything.

"I wanted to make Helga proud and be more than my mother's daughter."

Evan wondered at the sudden change. Helena had been elusive, shy and reticent to engage any students. Then she'd changed. A fire had awoken within her and she had become so confident and forward.

But now she was like a lost child, in need of a parent to come get them and set their world right.

"I was so close. But then the Bloody Baron came," she said, snarling her killer's name. "I was there. I almost had it."

She suddenly floated up, fury alight in her eyes.

"All my research, all those efforts… Wasted. Lost. Because he wouldn't listen!" She said, working herself into a frenzy.

Just as Evan was beginning to worry, her eyes snapped to him, a gleam in her eye that he couldn't decipher.

"I didn't run away to hide the diadem," Helena said. "Not truly. I left, travelling, searching to find something."

She came to stand in front of him, looking like the Helena that loved to tease him about Victoria.

"There is nothing I can teach you to accomplish your goals in time but there might be something we can discover and explore together."

Hope blossomed within him but his earlier wariness had yet to ebb away. "What were you trying to find?"

She smiled at him. "How do you feel about a trip to Albania?"

Evan took a half step back. "For what purpose?"

Helena closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "You need a short history lesson," she said, gesturing for them to sit again. "The Roman Empire wasn't purely built on the backs of the mundane armies. It was their magical might that created a behemoth that spread across the world."

Lowering his jaw, Evan went to say something but Helena pressed on.

"And they purged every, single, other magical system they could find," she said, with dismay. "They killed the masters, burned the books and destroyed every record so their might would never be challenged."

"Was their magical system that much stronger?" Evan asked, quite sceptical that would be the case.

"No," Helena replied right away. "Their strength was found in their numbers. They took from their enemies and created the way we still use and teach magic. Hogwarts, your wand, and the seven years of schooling traces back to the Romans."

She stared off for a moment and then dropped her head. "They churned out hundreds of adequately trained magicals that overwhelmed their enemies. Think of it this way, how many Hogwarts graduates could Albus Dumbledore in his prime hold off?"

Evan shrugged. It wasn't really a question he'd ever considered.

"Ten? Sure. Twenty? I'd say so. But what about one hundred? Two hundred? Three hundred? Five hundred?"

He'd seen Dumbledore fight in the MInistry and he'd witnessed the Battle of Hogwarts. Even Voldemort had to bring his whole forces to bear to tackle what was a rag tag of a force opposing him.

"And what if it was five-hundred or a thousand, year after year? How long could they withstand that kind of assault?"

"Not long," Evan said.

Helena hummed her agreement. "Every modern magical school uses the Roman's magical system. They may use other languages but they use the same type of magic, the same type of wands, the same runic systems."

"Okay…." Evan said. "But what does that have to do with Albania?"

She took a deep breath. "There were rumours, myths, legends, that Rome's greatest enemy had hidden a cache that would allow another to learn their form of magic. And I hoped that I could rediscover it."

"Wow," he said, breathlessly. "But how did it work, how was it different and who was their greatest enemy?"

"That's just it. Nobody knows. There are no known records that even give a description of it." Helena caught his eye. "As for who, well, he was a well known statesman, a military genius, and Carthage's last great magical practitioner: Hannibal."


AN: Thanks to Taliesin19 & Petrificus Somewhatus for the beta help. Always appreciated.

Back to a chapter in a week. Perhaps if things stay slow, I'll be able to grind out some more. This was a fun one.