A/N: I'm so sorry its taken this long, first I had writers block, now I'm in college and can't seem to find time to write much. Its really quite frustrating. Hopefully the next chapter won't take nearly as long. I sincerely hope this was worth the wait. Once again I apologize for the waiting, and will get to work on the next part as soon as possible. (I have a laptop now so it shouldn't be as hard). Thank you for your patience and your reviews. Keep reviewing, it makes me want to write quicker.
Chapter 40: Planning for the End (of Voldemort, not the story)
"Er...Ron," Harry shifted nervously, ready to run for the exit at a moments notice.
Ron glanced at his sister then back to Harry before adopting a confused look. "You can't have been making a move on my sister, because quite honestly, I've never seen you make a move on any girl. It's beginning to worry me in fact mate. Even I, the slow-witted one as Hermione often tells me, made a move before you."
"Er..yeah. Well, Ron I must admit-" Harry tried to think of a way to not get himself jinxed.
"Just leave us alone, Ron. You really can't say much about making a move on Hermione, because we had to trick you into doing that. If I want to date Harry, I can, and there is nothing you and the other prats I call brothers can do about it, so just leave it and us alone." Ginny interrupted Harry's attempt to explain.
Ron looked like he was about to burst. "So you are dating now?" he asked watching as Harry again shifted nervously.
"Yeah, I guess so." Harry replied, his voice shaky. Ginny may not have been afraid of her brothers, but he certainly was. When people like Fred and George could be after you, it was normal to be a little frightened.
"Its about bloody time!" Ron exclaimed smiling at the shock on their faces.
"Wha-how?" Harry stuttered his confused mind unable to phrase a question.
"My sister has been after you since our second year and I'm not blind. I've noticed how close you've got to my sister. Not to mention the fact that Hermione has noticed it. Mum will be happy." With that Ron began to move towards the portrait hole before stopping once more. "You coming to breakfast?"
Ginny stared at her brother then looked over at Harry's slack-jawed expression. "Close your mouth Harry." She giggled. "Come on boys, I'm hungry." Ginny proceeded to pass both boys before they even knew what had happened.
Ron shrugged and waited for Harry to catch up before heading out of the common room. "I'm happy that you two finally hooked up. I was beginning to worry about you, mate. Maybe Ginny can get you to relax a bit more and tell her things that you won't even tell Hermione and me. Hopefully she can help you carry that weight you think you have to carry."
Harry smiled before running to catch up to Ginny. Ginny rolled her eyes at her new boyfriend and took his hand as they entered the Great Hall. Very few people were at breakfast yet and they took the time to enjoy the quiet. It wasn't often you got such a thing at a school like Hogwarts.
Just as the Hall started to fill up, Draco and Hermione showed up at the table. Harry took this opportunity to tease Hermione about sleeping in. "Come on Mione, Ron of all people was up before you. Draco has never been an early riser, but Mione I'm ashamed of you. Sleeping in when there is still homework to be done." Harry smiled teasingly at her.
Draco, always perceptive, noticed how close Ginny and Harry were sitting on the bench. He raised a questioning eyebrow at his brother. "And what have you been up to so early in the morning?" he asked looking pointedly at Ginny.
"What? Oh yeah. Ginny and I are dating now. Oh by the way we got a letter from Dudley. After you read it I'm going to give it to Dumbledore. I'm worried about it." Harry told his brother as he handed him the letter from Dudley. Hermione was surprised that Ron hadn't been angry at Harry's declaration of his dating Ginny. She looked confusedly between them.
Ron noticed this (Harry was watching Draco read the letter) and explained. "I actually think its great that they are dating like this. It saves us the energy of trying to get him to open up to all of us when Ginny can now get close to him in a way that we never can. It should help him loosen up a bit as well. Don't get me wrong though, if he hurts her he will feel the full wrath of the Weasley clan but until then…"
Harry was watching Draco carefully to see what his reaction was to the letter. "This is strange Harry. If it wasn't against the rules, I would want to go get him out of there myself. Only we have a guardian now so we can't exactly do it. Here give it to Dumbledore and maybe he can do something to help Dudley. I mean I'm starting to get attached to the fat bloke."
"You afraid of breaking the rules? What is this world coming to?" Harry faked shock.
"Yeah well I figure we shouldn't outright disobey the rules when our guardian is the HEADMASTER! Our punishments don't just last thorough school now. And honestly I think that leaving campus to go to a school we don't know the location of to rescue our cousin from some unknown danger without using magic in front of muggles is not the brightest idea you've ever had. Not to mention explaining to Dudley's teachers why were not in school."
"Point taken." Harry said and walked up to the head table to give the letter to Dumbledore.
Dumbledore looked up from his meal when Harry approached. "What can I do for you my boy?" he asked cheerfully his eyes twinkling at the site of Harry.
"Sir, we just got this letter from Dudley. From the sound of it, Dudley is in trouble. Draco and I were wondering if maybe you could get him away from that school and better hidden or bring him here or ensure his safety somehow. We really don't want anything to happen to him." He explained as he handed the old man the letter.
Dumbledore glanced at the letter and frowned. "I am beginning to think that you are right. I was sure this would blow over if I sent an order member out there but it seems to have returned. I think that the only place your cousin would be safe at the moment is with you and your brother. I shall send Tonks to retrieve him this afternoon. I wish for you and your brother to come to my office before dinner tonight. We will have to discuss a few things." Dumbledore looked at Harry sternly. "Now I must warn you that you will be seeing many reporters around here. Fudge has determined that it would be a great boost for moral if parents knew what was going on here all the time. I personally think that he is just trying to keep tabs on the school and myself but that was the official reason he gave. With these reporters around we will have to keep your lessons a secret and I expect you and your brother to keep from getting caught in trouble. Times are going to be tense this year and I will need you to listen to my instructions at all times. Do you understand?"
"Yes Sir." Harry replied taking the letter back.
"I'll see you before dinner." Harry left to relay what Dumbledore said to the group.
"The press is going to be staying around here? Bloody hell, we're bound to go insane." Draco moaned. One night in the company of such people as Rita Skeeter brought him to hate being referred to as "the lost twin" "The other potter" and other such titles that came along with appearing out of no where and claiming to be a Potter.
"Don't swear Draco." Hermione automatically stated as she read the newly arrived paper.
Ron leaned over her shoulder trying to get a look at the article about last night.
At a ball hosted at Hogwarts to celebrate the safe return of students to the school despite the attack at the station, it was announced that Harry Potter was not as we believed an only child. Apparently Potter was one of two children born that night and he has now been reunited with his twin brother. Draco Potter, the twin, is said to be a Gryffindor Student recently sorted under his real identity instead of under the persona he had assumed.
This announcement comes as a shock to the wizarding world as He who must not be named rises to power. Will You know who take vengeance on the two boys for their deception or is this just a ploy to throw You know who off?
"You know somehow I would think they would grow bored of reporting on you Harry." Hermione said as she read the article.
"I don't think so Hermione." Ginny said suddenly. "I think the reason they do it is because the wizarding world needs a hero and who better to make a hero than the one person who survived being on Voldemort's hit list. I mean would you prefer the news to be about how great Fudge is as minister or how the aurors are failing to catch the Death Eaters or even how the ministry is corrupt beyond repair? People think that Harry is a hero and so they write more about him than what is going on in the world. His life is more interesting to people than their own lives."
Everyone thought about this for a while. "That is true, Gin, but that doesn't mean they have to know every detail of everything I do. I swear, half of the stuff Rita Skeeter wants to know is just so she can make me look ridiculous."
"Harry, remember, she's still under blackmail so you can use her to your advantage." Hermione tried to reassure him.
"Blackmail?" Draco asked confused.
"Hermione found out something about our dear Ms. Skeeter that would get her into a lot of trouble." Harry explained. Then turned to Hermione, "How do you suggest that I do that Hermione? I mean what can I do to get an advantage. Draco and I will still be in the news, we cant prevent that."
"True enough, but if you only give exclusives to Rita, we can control what is written about you that isn't public knowledge and can lure Voldemort out easier than if we tried to control more than one writer." Hermione quickly supplied an idea.
"That's bloody brilliant Mione." Ron exclaimed before receiving a smack for cursing.
"So what should we let her know?" Draco asked the group. They began to form a plan to draw Voldemort from the safety of his hideout. It was time to end the game.