Hello to all my wonderful readers and thank you for being so patient. I know it has been a long time since I added a new chapter to this story but real life has taken up my time over the past few months and reading the Half Blood Prince. My grandson who will be 1 next month (god where did the time go) has kept me real busy (he's not even walking yet and he is into every thing); I watch him while my daughter works. He is awake most of the day so it does not give me much time to work on my two stories; I will do my best from now on to try and at least get out short chapters so that this story can be completed. I want to thank all of you who have read my story, read and reviewed (good or bad) my story for being there for me and giving me the support you have given.
I have had to make a trip to Indiana for my cousin's funeral; he was only 50 years young. He was one of my favorite cousin's; his parents were married first and then introduced my parents to each other. My Uncle Tom (his father) was my dad's brother and My Aunt Mary (his mother) is my mom's sister. We grew up together so it was like losing one of my brothers. We were there for 10 days and I was reunited with a lot of family I had not seen in years (some as long as 30 years); I think most family reunions happen when someone passes away.
It is rumored that we can no longer answer our reviews with in our stories; until I find out for sure I won't chance getting booted from this site but I will say thank you to all of you who reviewed GiGiFanFic(never stop showing me my mistakes), harryp123, Ren, Lourdes, Joou Himeko Dah, harry&me, dnd4ever, Mrs.Poynter and Mrs.Judd, Jayweasly-tonks, Randy Simpson, gryfindorseeker452, rickstuart1, Star-Eva01, ameristrat and to all the others who have read but not reviewed. So all my readers know I will finish this story; that is one thing I hate is for someone to start a story and never finish it. That is one reason I adopted Over the Summer; the young lady that started it has lost her sight from a car accident and I wanted to see her work finished. Thanks again to all of you who read this story; until next chapter.
Can Love Find Me Now
Preparing for the Equinox
At six-thirty the next morning Harry and Ginny were released from the hospital wing by madam Pomfrey with reluctance; they headed straight for Gryffindor tower as fast as they could before she changed her mind. With a kiss on the cheek, Ginny headed up to her dorm for a shower, and get her things ready for another day of classes. Harry made his way to the boy's dorm to get ready for classes; Ron was still asleep but Neville was already up and getting ready for the day. Thirty minutes later, a fight with Ron to get out of bed, Harry, Neville, and Ron were ready to head down to the common room. Hermione and Mark were there waiting on them and informed the group that Ginny would be down in five minutes. With Ginny finally arriving, they all headed down to the great hall for breakfast; the four other first years decided to join them this morning.
Luna stood, in the same spot she stood in every morning and was waiting for the group; Neville gave her a shy smile as she took his arm and they walked into the great hall. Ginny was the first to notice the difference between Neville and Luna; not sure what was going on she decided to talk to Hermione about it later on in the day. Once inside the great hall, Luna made her way over to the Ravenclaw table and took a seat with the other fifth years and to the surprise of the Gryffindor's some of them struck up a conversation with her. Once everyone had taken a seat, Ginny asked Neville if everything was ok with Luna. Neville blushed but told her everything was fine and not to worry too much. Ginny not wanting to be to nosey, (as if that would stop her) decided to let it go but had decided to talk to Luna during their break that day; their actions were just too strange to let it go.
The conversation during breakfast was kept light, except when Hermione reminded them that they had twenty-six days until the Equinox and had a lot to do. Professor McGonagall stopped by their table to let Harry know he was to meet the headmaster in his office before lunch; she handed him a piece of parchment to excuse him from class fifteen minutes early, which happened to be Care of Magical Creatures. Harry knew Hagrid wouldn't mind him leaving his class early; he still felt guilty about it but knew it had to be done. All of his classes were important; this new one even more important and he needed to learn everything about magic that he could. Making sure, that he learned how to control his new power was the most important task for him to keep everyone safe, including him.
To Harry's surprise Hagrid had known that he would need to leave early; as he left he told Ron, Hermione and Neville that he would see them at lunch, and then made his way back to the castle. When he arrived in the headmaster's office Remus Lupin sat in one of the big squishy chairs and to his surprise Alastor Moody sat in another one. Dumbledore motioned for Harry to take the empty chair between the two men; once Harry had taken his seat, Dumbledore offered them all a lemon drop.
"Thank you for being so prompt Harry; just so you know Remus, Alastor, and I will be helping you in learning to harness your new powers and teach you some techniques that will help you channel your emotions. I know that this will be a long and hard process for you but I have faith you will do your best. Do you have any questions for me?"
"Will I be able to do any of this during the summer; I know after my birthday I'll have no problems but before that sir?"
"Potter, the getting your emotions under control is something you can even work on in your sleep boy; all you have to do is stop blaming yourself for every death that happens because of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. If you can put the blame where it belongs then you can control most of your emotions; I know it won't be easy for you but it is the key to surviving what he throws at you," Moody said with a hint of a smile on his gnarled face.
"And Harry, just remember you are not in this alone; all of us are here to help you in any way we can. You have the Weasley's that love you like a son, Hermione loves you, and believe it or not, I love you. You have the support of the Order behind you, most of the staff here at Hogwarts and most of the wizarding world; never forget that," Remus said as he squeezed Harry's shoulder.
"I know I have so many people that want to help me but I don't want anyone else to die because of me sir," Harry said in a whisper.
"Harry, no one has died because of you or will they ever; they have died because of Voldemort and his followers. You need to stop blaming yourself for his actions. I know that you may think I do not know how you feel and to a point, I do not but I understand how it feels to lose people that you love. I was a lot older then you when I had to fight and defeat Grindelwald but I know how one can make the guilt eat away at ones mind. For years I too felt it was my fault that so many had died and were going to die; it took a lot of soul searching and reminding myself that it was Grindelwald who had killed so many or had ordered so many to be killed. It was not until I myself learned to control my emotions and some extensive training before I was ready and able to defeat him. For you to be ready Harry you must find it in your heart to do the same as I had to do and learn how to control your emotions and then you will be able to understand why you must, in the end take another human life. Taking another human life is not an easy task for anyone Harry; it was not easy for me. But for you, for all of us here and the rest of the wizarding world to live a peaceful life it must be done; just as I had to do with my fight against Grindelwald," Dumbledore looked so old right at that moment to Harry and he wondered not for the first time if his mentor and headmaster would survive this war.
"Yes sir, I keep forgetting that you had to defeat Grindelwald. You're right, I guess that you know a bit of how I feel; I promise sir that I will do my best to learn what all of you are going to teach me but will I be able to do the other training during the summer until I am of age?"
"If it is with in my power Harry, you will be able to train with the use of your magic during the few weeks of summer before your seventeenth birthday. This goes no further then here (he winked at Harry) for the time being but in the next few weeks many people will be calling for a "View of Conduct" against Minister Fudge. If all goes well we will have a new Minister of Magic that will help us to make sure that you are ready for the fight that is coming. For now, just concentrate on your training, classes, or any other activities that you may be working on with your friends (the twinkle went brighter as he said this). Know that I am always here if you have any questions or just want to talk about Voldemort and what is coming," as Dumbledore spook these words a single tear rolled down his cheek and Harry felt the faith radiating off of him and moving through his body.
"Thank you sir"
"Remus, Alastor, and I will meet you on the third floor; you will be using the third floor corridor on the right-hand side for your training. You will meet us there every Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at two O'clock and work until four-thirty and yes Harry, you will be using the room where Fluffy called home during your first year here. Remus, just make sure I have a list of what will be required and it will be ready for use by Saturday."
"Albus, I have already compiled a short list of what we will need; Alastor has looked it over and he agrees that it is all we will need; that is with your approval," Remus said as he pulled out the piece of parchment and handed it to Dumbledore.
Professor Dumbledore took the parchment and looked it over; with a curt smile, he laid the parchment on his desk and turned his attention back to the three people in front of him. He discussed a few more things with Harry before he was dismissed to head for lunch. Harry said his good-byes and headed out of the office; he knew he would get to the great hall before his friends since classes had another twenty minutes left before the lunch bell. Harry decided to go to the Gryffindor tower and switch out his books; he figured that by the time he went down students would be entering the great hall.
When the others arrived in the great hall, Harry could tell by the look on Ron's face that Hagrid must have brought out a creature that was in Hagrid's opinion a beautiful creature but to his classes it was a dangerous creature. Ron looked like he had seen a ghost, skin white, pasty and he looked as if he would barf at any moment. Hermione explained to Harry, once she and Ron took a seat at the Gryffindor table that Hagrid had made a joke about bringing back the blast-ended-skrewt and documenting their mating habits. Harry understood how Ron must have felt but laughed at Ron's reaction.
Ginny joined the three ten minutes after lunch had started and took a seat next to Harry, and started putting food on her plate. Ginny explained that during Herbology, Colin had an accident with the Bubotubers (book four HPPA) and had been covered with the pus; the pus had gotten only on his face but he had to be taken to the hospital wing. While they ate, Harry explained that on Mondays, Wednesday, Saturdays and Sundays until the end of term; he also explained that he would be having classes with Remus, Dumbledore, and Moody from two to four-thirty and promised Ginny that they would still continue with their Animagus training and go to the room of requirements.
The rest of the week went by slow in Harry's opinion; which suited him just fine. He and Ginny were able to meet in the room of requirements and practice their Animagus training; while they practiced, the others were working on their homework or on the plan that they had worked out to try to defeat Voldemort. Tuesday found the group in the room of requirements; planning the next DA meeting and working on the plan; an hour after arriving Harry and Ginny decided it was time to do some Animagus training. The two were getting closer but something was holding them back from transforming and neither knew what it was. On Wednesday, they had received an owl from Mrs. Weasley; she informed them that her and Mr. Weasley had arrived safe and unseen in Hogsmeade and would see them on the weekend. On Thursday, Ron and Hermione had prefect rounds again so it would be only Harry and Ginny that would retreat to the room of requirements for training. For an hour, Harry helped Ginny with studying for her Owl's and then started practicing their transformation. Ginny was getting closer but Harry was still having trouble holding his transformation of his body parts that he could get to change.
Friday morning Harry was in a weird mood; he had gotten very little sleep the night before because of the dreams he was having. For once, he was having normal teenage dreams, which consisted of Quidditch matches, classes and one certain female. These days, (well ever since Luna had made her prophecy) he kept having dreams of him and Ginny getting closer and in some of them even being married to her and having children, (he kept seeing seven children and not the twelve that Trelawney had said he would have but prayed that he would live to at least have some but maybe not seven or even the twelve). Most of the time that bothered him but it also made him smile. It made him smile to think that one day he would finally have a family of his own and be able to share all the love he had with in his heart. After waking his friends and getting ready for the day, they all headed down to the common room to meet the others.
Ginny noticing Harry's demeanor she walked over to him and gave him a hug. As soon as her arms were around him he felt the stress from the lack of sleep leave his body; it amazed him how a hug from her could do such a thing; even though he still felt tired and blushed because his dreams about her had been very intense. With a silly grin plastered on his face he grabbed her up into his arms and returned the hug and planted a kiss right on her lips; Harry heard Ron grown as soon as his lips meet Ginny's and had the satisfaction of hearing a moan come from the back of her throat. When he released her; looking down at her face he knew then, that she was indeed his soul mate and that if he survived the battle with Voldemort he would live out his days with her (if she would have him). He would have the time of his life making babies with her, raising them in the magical world and live happily ever after (and he asked the gods above and Merlin to let that happen).
Mark and his friends joined the group and headed down the stairs to meet up with Luna and head into the great hall for breakfast; the students of Hogwarts were now accustom to seeing this large group come in for meals. Luna headed over to her house table; while the Gryffindor's headed to theirs. Plates were fixed, small talk started and owl's started swooping in to deliver their morning mail. Hermione received her daily copy of the Daily Prophet and began to read as she ate; no one paid any attention to her as this was her normal routine; that is until they heard her take in a deep shuddering breath and heard her say "Great Merlin beard".
"Hermione, what's happened," came from Neville.
"Has it been another attack," came from Ginny.
"Come on Mione, just tell us what is in that paper," came from Ron.
Hermione looked up at her friends; Harry was looking at her with fear in his eyes waiting for her to speak and the others had questioning looks on their faces. She leaned in, the others did the same, and she began to read from the paper.
"Before any of you say a word let me read you both the articles; both were done by Rita Skeeter," Hermione said looking at each of them in turn.
The Second War has begun
By: Rita Skeeter/
Independent correspondent for the Daily Prophet
Over the past month, there have been numerous sightings of deatheater activity around Great Britain and Scotland; this after our Minister denied the return of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. As reported to the Wizarding world after the incident in the Department of Mysteries last June; He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and many of his deatheater's were seen or caught with in the building. We also know that during the Christmas holidays there were many attacks on muggle neighborhoods and many innocent muggles lost their lives. It was also reported in this paper that during the month of February deatheater's tried to release the prisoners of Azkaban prison; which some how had been stopped by the Auror department of the ministry of magic.
This past month, with the hundreds of reports of deatheater activity to the Minister of Magic; why to this date has he has not reported it to the general public. Old pureblood family homes have been attacked and ransacked to the horror of their owners. The question this reporter wants to know, and I am sure most of the wizarding community wants to know is why are old pureblood family homes being attacked, searched, and ransacked. What is it that, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named is looking for and why is our Minister not doing anything to stop this act of violence?
We, as a community of wizards and witches everywhere need to come together or we are all doomed. Alone and afraid we will suffer at the hands of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named and his deatheater's; coming together, standing united and fighting as a whole we have a better chance to win and survive this war. If we are to have a chance, we must get our Minster to be a leader not a coward. We must make him do his job or find a new Minister that will do the job and be the leader we need. We as a community must as concerned wizards and witches contact the Wizengamot by owl and voice what we want; if you feel we need a new Minister tell them, if you want Minister Fudge to take a more public and active roll tell them, and let them know you will not stand for any more secrets.
From a reliable source, I have received information, there are many Wizards and Witches whom have already sent in requests to the Wizengamot; they are calling for a "View of Conduct," into the actions of Minister Fudge as our Minister of Magic and asking for him to be removed from office. We as a community must choose what is right and not what is easy in this matter. As this reporter receives reliable information, as I have promised in the past, I will make it public knowledge. See page two for a list of new Minister Prospects.
Rumors flying; who will take over as Minister?
By: Rita Skeeter/
Independent correspondent for the Daily Prophet
Listed below are Wizards or Witches, whose names have been submitted as candidates to take over the roll of Minister of Magic. We at the Daily Prophet wish the nine candidates the best of luck and any others whom are nominated.
As in past elections Albus Percival Wulfric Brain Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry, on many occasions has been offered the job as Minister of Magic and has always declined the offer. Most of the wizarding community has hope that he will accept this time; only time will tell and I am sure he will send an owl to accept or decline the offer soon.
Amelia Susan Bones the Head of Magical Law Enforcement is a great candidate and has much to offer to the wizarding world. Ms. Bones has run the office of Magical Law Enforcement for the past ten years.
Kingsley Shackelbolt the Head of the Auror for the office of Magical Law Enforcement; entered the field of Auror right out of school. Mr. Shackelbolt a twenty-year veteran; head Auror for the past five years.
Arthur Weasley is the Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts off at the Ministry of Magic. Mr. Weasley has worked for the Ministry for over twenty years. Mr. Weasley is a father of seven children and has supported Albus Dumbledore and Harry Potter in their fight against He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named.
Charles Ignatius Cornwall the Undersecretary of Magical Law Enforcement has held this office for the past two years.
Archibald Demetrius Abernathy worked as an unspeakable for eighteen years; retired after a freak accident that took his left hand.
Cassandra Elizabeth Abigail Dippet is the grand daughter of Retired Headmaster Dippet of Hogwarts school of Witchcraft and Wizardry and a member of one of the oldest Pureblood families in Britain
Emily Ann Hitchmough has been a Member of the Wizengamot for the past two years.
Brian Keith Dowling has been a Member of the Wizengamot for the past eight years
1) Albus Percival Wulfric Brain Dumbledore- Headmaster of Hogwarts, member of the Wizengamot
2) Amelia Susan Bones- Head of Magical Law Enforcement
3) Kingsley Shackelbolt- Head of the Auror for the office of Magical Law Enforcement
4) Arthur Weasley- Head of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts off at the Ministry of Magic.
5) Charles Ignatius Cornwall- Undersecretary of Magical Law Enforcement
6) Archibald Demetrius Abernathy- Holds no official office, from one of the Oldest Pureblood families in Britain
7) Cassandra Elizabeth Abigail Williams- Holds no official office, from one of the Oldest Pureblood families in Britain
8) Emily Ann Hitchmough-Member of the Wizengamot
9) Brian Keith Dowling- Member of the Wizengamot
"Well it didn't take long for that to get into the paper; Dumbledore hinted about it Monday when I met with him just before lunch. I wonder who Rita Skeeter's source is," Harry said as he looked up at the head table to try to catch the eyes of his headmaster.
"I say it's about time they threw that bumbling fool out on his ear and put somebody in that office that will make a difference," said Neville.
"Do you think Dumbledore will take the job?" ask Mark
"No way Mark, this school is his life and I doubt he will ever retire. Dumbledore will run this school until he dies; which I hope is a long time to come," Ron added when Hermione gave him a look of disgust.
"Yeah, Ron's right; he would never quit his job here; he has his faults but is a great man," added Harry.
"So Hermione, who do you think will be the next Minister of Magic out of the eight they listed?' asked Neville
"Neville, it said that it was a rumored list; we will have to wait and see if Minister Fudge gets the boot first and then see who will officially run. Once that happens, then ask me that question but if I could vote for my choice, I would vote for Ms. Bones or Mr. Shackelbolt; they both have the knowledge and years experience to handle the job.
Harry looked back up at the professors table; Dumbledore caught his eye and gave him a nod and a wink. Right then Harry knew that someone close to Dumbledore (if not Dumbledore himself) had let the story fall right into Rita Skeeter's lap. Harry went back to eating his breakfast; while he ate, he wondered how well things would go in three weeks. On many occasions, Corena Eastbridge had apologized for what she had tried to do, and to everyone's surprise, Vincent Crabbe had made eye contact with Harry a few time (though he never said a word) and would nod his head towards him.
Harry had thought about asking him to stay after a DA meeting but thought it best to leave it for now; maybe after the Equinox he would talk to him. Zacharias Smith acted as he always did; go to classes, showed up for the DA, meals, and would be at Quidditch matches when they were held. He had known since the accident in potions class who the three were and had wondered what had made them choose to follow Voldemort.
Harry had went to the library a few weeks back and taken a seat at the first table he had came to; not really paying attention when he sat down. He had sat down beside Corena Eastbridge but acknowledged her and then set to work on his potions homework. Five minutes later, he had to go searching for a couple of books to help in finishing his essay for Snape; when he returned Corena Eastbridge had left but under his book was a folded up piece of parchment. Harry had looked around to see who might have left it; there was not a person close enough so with caution he opened the parchment.
Hello Harry Potter,
If you are reading this note then the spell has worked; I made it to where you are the only one who can see the words. You may be asking why I did this and who in the name of Merlin are you. Let me introduce myself; I am Corena Eastbridge and I was sorted into Ravenclaw. I won't boar you with to many details about myself; just know that under normal circumstances I would have never tried to hurt you or anyone else in this school. Maybe one day after all this is over we could sit down and I could tell you why I did what I did; I am not trying to make excuses for what I did.
Once again, let me apologies to you for the wrong I tried to do to you; when everything is safe, I will tell you why. I am not sure if you know who the three of us are and I feel you have the right to know. They will have to come to terms with what they did and maybe one day they too will clear the air with you. Zacharias Smith, Vincent Crabbe, and I meet with five deatheater's at the Quidditch pitch; there they gave Zacharias the portkey that was to take you to the Dark Lord. Zacharias is an arrogant sort and acted as a leader with the men that night; I would say that is a big part of why we are all in so much trouble.
All I can tell you now is that professor Dumbledore is trying to keep all three of us safe for now, and when school is out, I am not sure he will be able to do that. To tell you the truth I am scared for my family and what the Dark Lord will do to them. Professor Dumbledore assures me that they are safe and being guarded all the time; I just hope he is right and that in the end they will not be harmed.
Harry, I hope you don't think I am being forward by calling you by your first name but I hope that in time you can find it in your heart to forgive me for turning against you to save my family; I know I should have went to professor Dumbledore when they approached me. I know if I had I would not be involved in this but it hurts my heart to know if it had not been me it would have been another. I am glad that the plan failed and that you are all right. I know there is a lot more I want to say but a note is not the place; yet here I have written a letter not a note. Until the time comes where we can sit and talk face to face; God speed Harry Potter and may Merlin watch over you and keep you safe.
Since that day, Harry would glance at the three many times a day, wondering if the other two knew he knew who they were. Crabbe's involvement had not been a surprise to Harry or his friends, since he was one of Malfoy's goons, but Harry knew looks could be deceiving. Harry had always thought Zacharias Smith was an arrogant sort but had thought he was an ok bloke. Harry decided that after the Equinox he would talk to Dumbledore about the three; he felt the need to talk to each of them face to face. He didn't know if they would talk to him but at least he would give it a try. For some reason he really wanted to know if they had chosen to do this one their own or if they were forced into it. So many people in the last war had claimed to be under the Imperius Curse; weather they were or not was a different story. Harry had decided that until he talked to them he would hold judgment; after that then he would pass judgment on them if he could bring himself to do so.
Harry understood the guilt that Corena must be feeling; he dealt with the feelings of guilt everyday. In the back of his mind, he hoped that both Zacharias and Crabbe were felling the same guilt that Corena was feeling; did that make him a bad person, well he didn't think so. Harry, who had been lost in thought about these three students; didn't notice that the other students were leaving the great hall. Ron had nudged him; which brought him back to reality; Hermione was already at the doors calling back that they were going to be late for class. Harry turned to say good-by to Ginny but she was already gone, he grabbed his backpack and headed out with Ron beside him.
Morning classes went by fast for Harry and the others; all too soon it was time for lunch and then on to charms for an hour and potions for the last two hours of the day. Harry made it to the great hall before Ron and Hermione; he had passed them in one of the halls and they were in the middle of one of their famous arguments. Ginny had just sat down when Harry arrived and he made his way over to her. Ginny informed him that she had received an owl from her mum about Ron's birthday on Monday; she wanted to have a little family party for him on Sunday since they were going to be here for the Order meeting tonight. Ginny explained that since they were now in Hogsmeade and so close to her children, that her mum felt that the family needed to be together. All Harry could do was smile; his life was so much better with the Weasley family. He knew that if his parents had survived that, well he hoped that his mother would be the same way towards him.
Ron and Hermione finally made it to lunch; each giving Harry an apologetic look and went about fixing their plates for lunch. Harry sat there eating a large helping of Shepherds Pie; one of his favorite dishes. They were eating in silence; this always happened when Hermione and Ron would have a row. Just as they were getting up to leave for their first afternoon class, professor Dumbledore made an appearance at Harry's side; this in its self was unusual.
"Good afternoon, I would ask Mr. Potter that your group would arrive at my office tonight at eight O'clock. We will be having a meeting about the progress of your DA club with professor Lupin, professor Snape and a few others. Please be on time so that the professor's that will be present may voice any questions that they may have before they retire for the evening," the headmaster said as he gave Harry a wink.
"Yes sir, we all will be there on time sir," said Ron with a wink of his own.
As Dumbledore walked away, they heard him give a hearty chuckle; Hermione gave Ron a look that said, "You were out of line Ronald Weasley," grabbed her backpack, and headed out of the great hall. Ginny gave Ron the thumbs up, kissed Harry's cheek, and headed out to meet Luna; she would pass on the message to her on the way to class. Harry and Ron made their way to charms class at a leisurely rate; they knew that Hermione would save them a seat. Ginny had caught up with Luna at the front doors to the castle; keeping step with her as they exited the front doors.
"How's it going Luna?"
"Good and you? How are things with you Ginny?"
"I can't complain you know we are planning a birthday party for Ron on Sunday in the room of requirements. Mum sent an owl today and wants us all there; that includes you."
"That's nice; I don't have a gift for him though."
"That's ok, you didn't know it was his birthday and he won't mind as long as there is a lot of food; you know how Ron is with food. It's just mum wants to celebrate it with a nice dinner with everyone and that includes you."
"Sounds nice, are you and Harry going to train tonight?"
"I'm not sure; professor Dumbledore wants the six of us to meet him tonight at eight. He said it was to talk about the DA but I think it has something to do with what is supposed to happen on the twenty-first; you know the Equinox and what is supposed to happen with the deatheater's."
"Ok Ginny, I guess I will eat with you at your table tonight so we can go right from there; I hope no one will mind."
"Luna, you know no one will mind; everyone is used to you joining us from time to time. Is there something going on; something bothering you?"
"Luna, I can tell there is something bothering you; just spill."
"It's nothing really."
"Ginny, how do you know when you are in love and I mean really in love?"
"Well, I'm not an expert or anything but I guess it's when you really care for someone, can't stand being away from them for too long. I know that I do really love Harry, that it's not a crush like before. I want to be with him all the time, share everything with him, protect him, and love him all in the same space; why do you ask?"
"I don't know, I guess I have been wondering about me and Neville. Is what we have love or not; sometimes I want to be with him all the time but then there are times I just want to be alone. I know I like him but I just don't know if it's love or not."
"Have you talked to Neville about this; it does concern him too you know."
"No I haven't, I'm afraid to I guess. What if he loves me and I don't love him or worst yet I love him and he doesn't love me. What will I do then; I don't want to hurt him and I know I don't want my heart broken either. What happens if I hurt him and then you all hate me for it; I don't want to lose you all as my friends either."
Ginny placed her arm around her friend and said, "Luna, I hope that you know that you are stuck with all of us no matter what; it won't matter if you and Neville are a couple or not. Remember what Harry told you when he gave us the coats; he said we were all one of the group and would always be a Marauder and the only way for that to change was for one of us to become a traitor. I know that will never happen so, no worries ok."
"You know how it's been for me here Ginny and I guess I was afraid that everyone would change their mind if Neville and I break up. Before this year you were pretty much my only friend and I don't want to lose that."
"Don't worry too much about it Luna; we all will be your friends forever. Come on we are going to be late for class if we don't run."
"Thanks Ginny, I knew you could help me sort things out; race you to Hagrid's."
Luna took off running as fast as she could; Ginny right on her heals. Both the girls were giggling by the time they reach Care of the Magical Creatures class. Hagrid was just coming out of his cabin when Ginny and Luna arrived. Hagrid motioned for the class to come closer and started telling them about the creature they would be studying that day. He gave a short history about the Thestral's; how one could only see them if they had witnessed someone dieing; what they ate (well that explains that big piece of meat, Ginny whispered to Luna) and that they would be heading into the forest to feed the heard that lives with in the forest. After his twenty-minute explanation the class headed into the forbidden Forrest; Ginny and Luna stayed close to each other remembering that some time this month deatheater's would be some where with in the Forrest.
The class had only been walking for five minutes before Hagrid stopped; he was standing there rubbing his hand over one of the Thestral's; to most of the class he was just running his hand through the air.
"Now, some of ya can't see these here Thestral's but some of ya can. Those of ya that can see um raise your hand please; just three, well that being a good thing. Aye, Luna and who was it you be seeing die?"
"Oh, my mother professor Hagrid; I have been able to see the Thestral's since my first year."
"Mr. Blout isn't it?"
"Um professor…Hagrid, I have been able to see them since first year too; I saw my mum die right after she had my brother."
"Sorry about that Mr. Blout, who else was it that can seem um; Miss. Coffler isn't it?"
"Yes sir professor, I have only been able to see them since my third year and it was my grandmother that I saw pass away."
"Thank ya Miss. Coffler; now class I know it mus' be disturbin to see this meat being torn apart and nothin in ya eye sight. I hope for most of ya, you will never be able to see um; when the day comes for you to see um then you have seen another human bein die. OK class its time to be headen back so you can get up to the castle for your next class. Next class we will talk more about the Thestral's fact and myth; have a great day and see ya next time."
Ginny and Luna headed back up to the castle; it was time for Luna to head to divination class and Ginny would head to muggle studies. To Luna it seemed like the afternoon went by faster then the morning, she would have two hours to get some of her work done after her last class and then she would meet Ginny and the others for dinner.
Harry, Hermione, Neville, and Ron meet Ginny in the Gryffindor common room and they all worked on different things until it was time for dinner. At six-thirty the group headed down to the great hall and meet Luna for dinner; no one said a word while they ate their dinner and decided to just sit in the great hall until it was time to head out to Dumbledore's office. When they arrived at Dumbledore's office, Harry said his name and they all climbed onto the staircase and rode up to the entrance to Dumbledore's office. Knocking on the door and hearing the headmaster call "come in Mr. Potter"; Harry opened the door and one by one, they entered the office.
Waiting inside were Mr. and Mrs. Weasley, Remus Lupin, professor Flitwick, professor McGonagall, professor Snape and many of the order members; which surprised the six students. Professor Dumbledore sat at his desk; the others were sitting on two couches that were on each side of his office, in many chairs and along the walls. With a wave of his wand, six chairs appeared and they all took a seat. Dumbledore did ask professor Snape and Lupin how the DA was doing; each relaying that all students were working hard and learning a lot from Harry. Fifteen minutes later, Dumbledore brought up the subject of the Equinox and how they were going to keep the nine students safe as well as the whole school; Dumbledore brought out one of the boxes that Fred and George had given him during the meeting not to long ago.
"As most of you know, Fred and George Weasley delivered some of their most recent work to me some time ago. I believe that a few of the items will benefit the six of you to help keep you out of harms way during the coming weeks. I have taken the liberty of arranging a safe location for you to be taken to if the need arises; for security reasons, there are only five people who know of this location. I myself know of the safe location as well as Molly Weasley, Remus Lupin, Minerva McGonagall, and Kingsley Shackelbolt; the least amount of people that know the location the better. Each of these rings are set and all you have to do is say activate; as long as the person trying to take you has no contact with the ring, you will be the only one transported. Do any of you have any questions thus far," Dumbledore said with his ever-evident twinkle in his eyes.
"Sir, not to be rude but Mark should have one too; if Voldemort is going after anyone that is associated with me then he is a target too," Harry said with panic in his voice.
"You are not being rude my boy, I anticipated that you would feel that way; I have one arranged for him as well. I will speak to the other three later on this evening, making them an offer of the use of one of the portkey's for their safety."
"So the only one's that know we have the portkey's are the people in this room professor Dumbledore?"
"Yes Mr. Longbottom, if by chance any of you have to use the portkey's then one of the five will notify the Order; some will attend to the person or person's that are in the safe place and the rest will come to Hogwarts and help defend the school and the other students."
"Is this why you asked us here headmaster and if so are we finished; I do have OWL'S to study for sir," Luna replied with her mystic voice.
"Luna, don't be rude," chastised Hermione.
"It is quite alright Miss. Granger; Miss. Lovegood has a point about her studies. To answer your question Miss. Lovegood, yes that is why I asked you all here and yes we are finished for tonight. I would ask that the six of you arrive here again tomorrow night for a brief meeting; I have a few things I would like to discuss but it must wait until then. You may all return to what ever plans you have for the evening, but do not worry your selves to much about things," Dumbledore said with a smile on his face and the twinkle evident in his eyes.
Standing and walking around his desk, Dumbledore handed them each a ring on a leather cord and instructed them to wear them under their clothes or that they could wear them on a finger. He handed Harry two, asked him to explain to Mark how it was to be used and bid them all a goodnight. It didn't take them long to escort Luna to the hall with the entrance to Ravenclaw; Harry and Ginny headed straight for Gryffindor tower so Harry could give Mark his portkey. Harry took the young boy up to the sixth year dorm so that he could explain it all in private; to the dismay of Mark, Harry had explained it to him as if he were a five year old. After the fifth time, Mark getting annoyed at his friends stood and started yelling at Harry.
"Harry, you are always going off at people for treating you like a kid and here you are treating me like a five year old"
"No Harry, I got it the first time; I'm to wear this all the time and if by chance someone grabs me I just say activate and it will take me some where safe, right."
"So why are you treating me like a five year old?"
"Because, I couldn't stand it if they got you that's why; I have already lost too many people that meant the world to me and I can't stand the thought of losing you too. I'm sorry for treating you that way."
"I'm sorry for yelling at you Harry but you were being a big prat," Mark said in a whisper.
"And I'm sorry for yelling at you too, and for treating you like a five year old. You have every right to be mad at me for it but I promise that I will try not to do it again."
"Thanks Harry and I promise to try and not yell at you when you are being a big prat," Mark said with a smile on his face.
"Thanks Mark and I will try and keep my prat mode down to a minimum," Harry said with a smile on his face too.
"Harry, do you really think that the deatheater's will try and take me?" Mark said in such a whisper that Harry almost didn't hear him.
"I'm sorry about all this Mark, but they will do whatever it takes to get to me and if that means to use one of my friends here at school they will. Voldemort wants me brought to him so he can either convince me to join him or kill me; I would never join him so he would have to kill me. He is desperate and has been for a very long time; for a person to go after a baby because he felt that baby was a threat to him is sick. You have to understand that as long as I am alive I am a great threat to him; in the end it has to be either him or I that die at the hands of the other. Promise me you will be careful and stay with your friends or in the castle during the weeks before the Equinox," Harry said to him with pleading eyes.
"I promise Harry," Mark said with a slight grin on his face.
After giving Mark the ring and finishing their talk; Harry and Mark made their way down to the common room. Once they both got back down to the common room, Mark joined his friends; Ginny was sitting with Hermione working on revisions for her OWL's. Harry knew she needed to get her work finished and if Hermione had her way Ginny would be working until she sat for her OWL's. Harry noticed Ron sitting on one of the couches reading one of the old books Hermione had been looking; all he could think about was how Hermione was rubbing off on him. Harry took the seat next to his friend and watched him for a bit. It was strange to see Ron so engrossed in a book that wasn't about Quidditch and really reading it; not just looking at it, as if to make Hermione think he was reading but for once he was truly reading.
For some reason Harry just sat there and watched Ron read; getting comfortable on the couch and lying his head back to rest on the back of the couch. He really didn't know how long he sat there but eventually he fell into a restful sleep. At one point he thought he felt his feet being pulled up and then placed down again and his upper body being placed down even with the rest his legs. His neck hurt but he didn't care he was having a wonderful dream and he would let nothing stop it. He felt himself snuggle into the place he lay and returned to his dream; he was playing in a Quidditch game against the Irish team. He didn't know who was in the lead but just being up in the air was the best feeling ever and he was going to enjoy it. As he was about to wrap his hand around the golden snitch he heard giggling; he couldn't figure out where it was coming from but knew it was close. As he wrapped his hand around the golden snitch he heard the giggling again but knew there was no way someone could be in the air close to him that could be giggling. As he turned his Firebolt to scan for the person giggling he felt a jolt with in his body and the next thing he knew he was lying on the hard floor. As he opened his eyes to gage where he was a pain shot through his hip; everything was a blur so all he could do was feel around to see what was causing him the pain.
In his hand was his glasses, they were bent and the lenses were broken; he could still hear the giggling and it sounded like there were about six or seven different voices. With a shaky hand Harry preformed the repairing spell on his glasses and was thankful that it worked; putting his glasses back on and turning his head towards the giggling girls. To his udder shock there were seven (two first years, three third years and two seventh years) girls standing at the far end of the couch he had been lying on and they were still giggling. Ginny and Hermione sat at the table with huge smiles on their faces (doing their best not to giggle themselves); that was until they saw the scrawl that he wore. Hermione jumped up and shooed the girls away while Ginny went to Harry to calm him down.
Ginny looked at Harry with mirth in her eyes as she asked, "Harry are you ok?"
"Don't be mad at them Harry, they were just fascinated at seeing the famous Harry Potter asleep on the common room couch, thrashing about and calling out "I've got to find the snitch"."
"Bloody hell, just what I always wanted; a bunch of awe struck girls giggling in my ear. Not to mention that they woke me from a great dream I was having for once."
"Oh Harry, can you blame them, and the drool that was dripping down your face was just priceless. I'm glad you were having a good dream for once; how often does that happen any way?"
"Ginny, bloody hell why does everyone have to gawk at me; I know, I know don't say it. I'm just so tired of people looking at me like I'm a god or something or evil because I can talk to snakes."
"Don't worry to much about them gawking at you; you know its going to happen until you are old and ugly," Ginny said with mirth gleaming in her eyes.
"Old and ugly, well Miss. Weasley I just hope you can stand to look at me then; I plan on staying close to you so you can suffer from my old ugly face," Harry said as he laughed at her.
"Is that so Mr. Potter, well I guess I will just have to cast glamour charms on you so I can stand to look at your ugly mug," Ginny said as she out right giggled at Harry's shocked face.
Ginny stood up and pulled Harry with her; she was tired but still had the essay to write for charms class. She kissed Harry quickly on the lips and sent him up to his dorm with the promise that they would work on their Animagus training over the weekend. Harry pouted and gave her his best puppy-dog eyes trying to pull Ginny back to the couch; with everything that was going on they didn't have much time together these days. To Harry's horror Ginny morphed into boss mode (which reminded him of her mother), and ranted about getting his rest and her need to finish her OWL revisions and her essay.
Reluctantly Harry headed up to the boys dorm and got ready for bed. Harry noticed that no one else was in the room, which made him wonder where everyone was. He knew Ron and Neville were in the common room but had no idea where Seamus or Dean were and with the rumors; well they could be in any broom cupboard with many different girls. Harry pulled out his things for his shower and headed to the loo. While he was in the shower he let his mind wonder about the classes he would start with Remus, Moody and professor Dumbledore; could he really learn everything in time to end this war.
Not for the first time did he doubt that he could win against Voldemort; could their plan work and make it where it would end in his favor. Would he live or would he die at the hands of the evil man that Tom Riddle had become. It was getting harder and harder for him not to think about what would happen in the end. Harry knew with out a doubt that he did want to live, have a life after school and be with his friends and family.
While the hot water ran down his head and body, Harry made a promise to himself that he would work harder and longer in his training with the three men who would be working with him and in his Animagus training; he had to be ready for Voldemort and being able to turn into his Animagus form would be a big plus. Ron coming in and calling his name brought him back to his shower and made him wonder just how long he had been in there. Harry took the time to acknowledge his friends calls, turned off the shower and proceeded to dry off and dress for bed. He began clearing his mind like Dumbledore taught him; he wanted to have another nice dream like he had in the common room. Ron came in and called good-night to him as his eyes started to close.
Harry awoke the next morning refreshed from a night of peaceful sleep and good dreams; he liked this feeling and hoped he would be able to have more mornings like this in the future. It was now the first of March and a second meeting was being held in the room of requirements today; Hermione would be reading from a piece of parchment that had every thing outlined. The information they had decided to give the adults was simple but enough so that they knew some of what was planned. "The Dragon of Ananta Boga" would be passed on the week of the Equinox to a unknown person (other then the six friends) and the group was told that a new version of the spell and potion was complete and would be passed on to a known child of a deatheater sometime in April. As Hermione read from the parchment there were abjections made by some of the adults (mainly Mrs. Weasley and professor McGonagall) about how these children should not be involved so deeply with the planning of something of such importance; professor Dumbledore waited until Hermione was through reading before he addressed the group before him. He stood and walked to the center of the room so that everyone could see him; he knew what had to be said and done and would make sure that the plan was carried out.
With reluctance he addressed a seething Molly Weasley and Minerva McGonagall, "Thank you Miss. Granger for the enlightenment you have given to us today; now Minerva and Molly I know you feel they are too young to be involved (holding up his hand to stop them from responding) in this but you must accept it. As you know after Harry's birthday, when he enlightened us all with the prophecy, that he is the one that has to carry out the down fall of Voldemort (it's just a name for Merlin's sake Ron, came from Hermione). I am most pleased to see that young Harry here and his friends have taken this roll so well and have worked out a wonderful plan. I see no reason why we should exclude them from this fight as it is theirs to fight and as Miss. Granger has pointed out we all must stop fearing Voldemort's name; as it is just a name he gave himself."
"But Albus, by allowing these children to become involved will be putting them in more danger; which I for one will not allow with my children and Harry," came from Molly Weasley.
"Molly, I do not mean to over step my bounds as I am not any of their parents or guardians but just their headmaster but I must say that Ronald is of age today (Molly blanched at this statement) and you would be hard pressed to stop him, Miss. Granger turned seventeen on September first of last year and you are not her guardian and Harry will be seventeen in July this year and once again you are not his legal (again Molly blanched at the statement) guardian. Mr. Lovegood has already given his permission for his daughter to be involved as Harry sees fit and Mrs. Longbottom has given her permission for Neville to be involved. In the manner of wizarding law Remus and Harry (once Harry turns seventeen) are and will be Mark Evans guardian and it is up to the two of them to decide how involved this young man will be. We also know that your daughter Ginevra will only be sixteen by her birthday this year but I hope that you will take into account what support she gives her friends and Mr. Potter; as we have found over this year she is a large help to him in time of need."
" I know that you Molly as a mother do not want to see any of them hurt and neither do I or any of their professors here but this is a war and there will be many hurt and many that will die. Adults as well as children will be causalities in this war and any others that will come after this one; you know this from the past war we fought with Voldemort where you lost your brothers to the evil that surrounded us. Please Molly for the sake of your well being and the well being of all of these fine young people do not try to control them. In the end it will only do harm and make them do this behind your back; at this point and time you at least know what they are doing and most importantly you know what the plans are."
"I do not like this either Molly but Albus is right and we have to let them try this for all of our sakes," Remus said with pleading eyes.
Arthur Weasley looked at his wife with sad eyes and a pleading look as he said, "Molly dear, you know he's right, we have to let them grow up for this is their war just as much as it is ours. If you try to stop any of them from doing what must be done and they go behind our backs someone could be hurt of killed. Their futures depend on the end of He-Who…of Vol…of Voldemort and his deatheater's; we have to try this dear. Once it is all over you can mother them and smother them with your love until you decided other wise."
With tears flowing down her face Molly Weasley could only shake her head; it was breaking her heart to try and agree to what she knew deep down in her heart was true but for a mother to just give up on her children and let them walk into a fight that she knew would end badly was insane. The few words that had escaped her mouth were in one or two word sentences; "NO…can't…die…won't let…young…only daughter…kill me," all came spluttering out as she clutched her chest and buried her head into her husband's chest. The whole group looked on and was fearful that she was going to have a heart attack from the shock of everyone trying to convince her to let them be involved; Ginny moved over to her father and mother to help calm her down.
"Mum please you have to calm down; I know you are scared for us and I promise you that we will stay safe. It's not like we are going off to fight today; we are only implementing a plan to help Harry defeat Voldemort (Molly's shoulder's shudder at the mention of the name) so that we all cane live in peace."
"I…know…dear, but…I…can't…stand…the…thought…you…all…dieing. It is my worst fear to lose each and everyone of you; for me to live through this and all of my children die at the hands of such a mad man."
"I know mum and I don't want to see you suffer like this but we all have to help Harry so that he can defeat him in the end and you know that for a fact. You know how Harry is mum; if you don't calm down he will just do all this on his own and then disappear to go after Voldemort alone and you know what will happen if he goes at this alone," Ginny said to her mother with pleading eyes; she knew if Harry went on his own he would not come home alive.
Molly looked at her daughter and said, "Yes dear, I do know that he would go off on his own all alone and might not come back to us but you are my baby, my youngest and only girl and I do not want to lose you or any of your brothers."
"I know mum"
Molly looked up with a look of horror; after reality hit and what would happen if the boy she loved as her own were to disappear and go after that mad man. It would not only hurt herself and her husband, her sons, her daughter but it would affect Remus Lupin and so many others. She held her daughter close to her and tried to compose herself enough to speak to everyone there; it was something she HAD to do, it was not something she wanted to do. It took another twenty minutes for Molly Weasley to swallow her pride, shove aside her motherly instincts, shove down that gut feeling of dread and most of all shove her will power to control these young people before her (and the one child Mark Evans) aside to help Harry (her seventh son) to have a normal life after the war was over. Once she had every emotion under some control she tried to addressed them individually but ended up addressing them as a group; she apologized for her out burst and lack of control and informed them all she did not agreed completely with them being involved but would not interfere with what had to be done.
She promised not only Harry Potter but the Order and her children that she would do anything she could to help them achieve their goal. She voiced her ideas on how she could help and to her surprise the first idea was accepted; she would embark on this task the following weekend and promised them it would be completed before the sixteenth of March. With the plan in place and agreements made on how everything was to be carried out the meeting came to an end.
Molly and Arthur Weasley said good-by and returned to Andromeda Estates with the promise of seeing everyone the following day; professor Dumbledore and professor McGonagall left the room of requirements and went back to the things they had to do for the day. Remus stayed for a little while longer and talked privately with Harry about some of the things he wanted to sell and destroy that had been left to them from Sirius; Harry listened to the suggestions and agreed with Remus on the things to destroy (which were pure evil and never should have been made) and the things to sale to help support the houses that would take care of so many children that had lost parents or guardians from the last war and so many that would lose parents or guardians during this war.
Remus had estimated the worth of the things to sell from each estate on a piece of parchment; the total shocked Harry. The estimated value between the three estates came close to seven-hundred and fifty-thousand Galleons'; seeing this on parchment made Harry happy. At least in the long run they would be able to take care of thousands of children; which Harry hoped would not be that high of a number but would have enough if that was the case.
Remus also had the ruff plans on how to alter the large houses to be able to hold as many as children as they could; in two of the houses they had the upper floors as suites to hold the older children that would not be of age to take care of them selves. Since all three estates had wings at each end of the home; boys would be at one side and the girls at the other. Each suite had five rooms and a lounging area for the young adults; Harry was glad to see that Remus had taken in account the different ages that they would be dealing with. The different floors were setup for children from infants to teenagers; nursery's, play areas, study rooms and even areas where muggle born as well as wizard born children could enjoy the wonders of television, computers and video games.
It made Harry's heart feel great to know that these children would be brought up knowing both worlds but would also be shown caring and love while they stayed in one of the homes. He knew that his parents and Sirius would be proud of what they were doing and would be doing for the children affected by this war; both past and present. Harry caught the others watching them from the corner of his eye; he would tell them all about it later on because he felt that they did have a right to know. Remus promised that he would see them all the next day for Ron's birthday party; there were still a few things he had to take care of to get the sell of the items started and the arrangements for the destruction of the rest of the items.
A group of seven students spent the rest of their day in the room of requirements working on many things; Ginny and Harry worked hard on their Animagus training. Hermione, Ron, Luna, Mark, and Neville had just sat and talked about the details of the plan, homework, classes and helping Mark start to learn about the theory of Animagus transformation. By the time the evening hours approached Harry and Ginny were both closer to changing into their forms; Ginny had even held her form for a second or two. Mark had watched the two practicing for a long time before he fell asleep on one of the couches in the room; he couldn't wait for them to give him the potion to see if he would have a form or not.
Thirty minutes before curfew the seven head out of the room of requirements and back towards the staircases; they all accompanied Luna back down stairs to the entrance to Ravenclaw. Since Harry's accident in potions class the group would walk Luna back to her common room; it was their way to make sure she was safe and that if trouble started then all of them would be there to help. By the time the six Gryffindor's arrived in front of the portrait it was two minutes past curfew; Hermione gave the password quickly and they all entered. Everyone was so tired that they all decided to just head straight to bed; tomorrow was going to be a long day and they all wanted to be well rested. Harry's job was to keep Ron busy while everyone else got the room of requirements ready for his birthday party; Quidditch practice was the one thing that Ron would not argue about doing. It didn't take the three long to get showered and ready for bed and as Harry laid his head down on his pillow he began to wonder if by this time next year he would still be alive to celebrate Ron's eighteenth birthday.