Author's Note: Okay everyone, this is a prequel of sorts to A Woman's Work. I know that you are all very anxious for the sequel, but I've had this plot in my head for a while. First I was just going to have it be an OotP missing moment, but with a bit of tweaking, it works great for this universe.

Just to let you know, I have at least two sequels planned, but it will probably take a while to write them. School started a few weeks ago, and my beta's still working on my first story. As a hint though, "The Dragon and the Phoenix" will be a sixth year fic, basically, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince through Ginny's eyes. After that I have "Independence Day" planned, which probably won't be much longer than A Woman's Work. It primarily deals with... but that would be telling. ;-)

I may do a seventh year fic after that, but other than the final scene I have nothing planned. By that time I figure I'll be going through The Dragon and the Phoenix again to make it coincide with the newly released Half Blood Prince.

Thank you to all my reviewers, and now, On with the show!

Disclaimer: I own approximately nada.

Harry stared at Dumbledore, the man who had caused so much pain, who had saved so many lives. The man who had been held as the greatest wizard in the world for decades. The man his own best friend worshiped. The man i he /i had worshiped, in a sense. This great man was crying. And it was because of him. The weapon.

The door behind him clicked and swung open. Dumbledore sighed, "Now, I leave the choice to you. You may attack me, continue raging, or simply leave. I will not stop you."

Harry stood up, paused a moment, debating, staring into the eyes that had seen so much, spun around and strode out of the trashed room. Behind him, he heard Dumbledore begin to straighten the wreckage amid the babbling voices of the paintings. At the bottom of the staircase Madame Hooch stood, backing away the moment she looked in his eyes. He briefly wondered why the stern Quidditch Referee would be scared of him, but dismissed it. He was a weapon after all. Who wouldn't be afraid of a weapon?

He walked towards the Hospital wing, images of the nights events burning inside him. As he passed the Great Hall he cast a side glance at the students pouring out of breakfast. When they saw him they froze, fear taking over these people he had known for years, people he trusted, people he had taught, and he found that he didn't care. He didn't care if he frightened them. He was bruised, bloody, dirty, and more angry than he had been in his entire life. All he wanted to do was to know that his friends were safe, that they wouldn't be taken away. Taken away.... a whisper of fabric seemed to swirl around him, moving like the dance of the seven veils. Veils covering anything, from a face to a window to a doorway- he stopped that train of thought.

Walking through the castle it seemed to have lost all it's magic. His footsteps, instead of echoing eerily, simply resounded duly around him. The stone corridors were hard and cold, the wood of the doors was rough, and the sun streaming in was harsh. The paintings were unwelcome presences, and the ghosts seemed as if they were haunting of the past.

He pondered the stairs as he climbed them . The echoed his life, ever changing, inconsistent, and often dangerous, but trapped within the great stone walls and protective wards of the castle. They would never escape, caught forever in their prison of a home, merely tools for the more powerful.

When he arrived at the Hospital wing he threw the wide doors open, demanding entrance.

Silencing Madame Pomfrey's undignified screech with a glare that froze her mid sentence, he walked straight in and sat down in a chair beside Neville's bed. Ignoring her as she hastily, and fearfully, left the room, he instead began to study the sleeping boy. Pale and shivering, tears were streaming down his face as he gripped the bed sheets, muttering to whomever was haunting his dreams.

Next Harry caught sight of Hermione, also asleep, but with a tight face, and disheveled hair, as if she had been tossing and turning. A movement caught his eye and drew his gaze to Ron, who really was tossing and turning, his bandaged arms thrashing. The memory of the brains was swiftly banished from Harry's thoughts when he caught site of Ginny.

She was the only one awake; Harry noticed a goblet beside her of what he expected was full of a sleeping potion. Wondering why she hadn't taken it he studied her. Her eyes were fixed on her hands, brow's furrowed, as if trying to figure out a puzzle. He wondered how her ankle was, the worst of her injuries. Thinking back to his first encounter with Death Eater's he decided that it wasn't as easy as people seemed to think. He wondered it she wished she hadn't gone. She had handled herself magnificently, Harry mused, for someone who had never before gone against death eaters. They all had, he decided. He couldn't have asked for any more effort on their parts.

On the part's of the adults however... that was definitely wanting he thought, glaring at the floor. Snape had never cared about Sirius, it was obvious that he had deliberately stalled before getting a hold of Dumbledore. That hesitation had cost him his godfather. And Harry never would forgive him for Sirius' death.

A startled gasp brought Harry's attention back to Ginny, who who went from staring at Hermione, to staring at him. Her eyes were focused on his, wide and frightened, as if she had just figured out something that would have been easier to ignore. As they stared at each other, something inside him seemed to give a satisfied click, and he felt something move between them. She looked back down at her hands, turned, reached over, and drank her potion before sinking into her pillow's, back towards him.

He wondered for a moment what revelation could have shocked her so, what could have caused that feeling between them, and resolved to ask her about it. As he stared at her fiery waterfall of hair, some part of him realized that he was desperately thinking about anything, rather than Sirius, or the prophesy, or any other pain. But he ignored that part, deciding he didn't care, and concentrated on her delicate build, frosty coloring, and tense shoulders.

He thought back to the incident in the department of mysteries, when the death eater's had threatened her life, and knew that he would do anything to keep her safe. Stepping in front of her was all to easy, and he vowed then and there to keep everyone, including Bellatrix, away from her; to keep them from harming her. Thoughts of Bella brought more painful memories to mind, memories that he would really rather forget. So he looked around at his friends.

He knew, sitting there, that they would follow him to hell and back again. They had shown him that time and time again. No matter what, they insisted on putting themselves in danger with him. He wished that they wouldn't, but it seemed like all he could do was keep himself out of trouble, so that they would be safe as well. Grimly he smiled, him? Stay out of trouble? Those were chances even Ludo Bagman wouldn't bet on. Still, he had to do something. Something to keep them safe. He would do anything in his power, and more, to protect them. He would not lose them. Not like he lost-.... he would keep them safe.

And all day the weapon, the fifteen year old man, watched them, keeping guard on the fragile quiet of their not-so-peace full-sleep.

center i I paid my dues

time after time

I've done my sentence

but committed no crime.

As for mistakes

I've made a few

I've had my share of kicks in my face

but I've come through

We are the champions

my friends

and we'll keep on fighting

till the end

we are the champions,

we are the champions,

no time for losers,

cause we are the champions

of the world. /center /i

Author's note: Well, there it is. Later on after the death sinks in Harry becomes the lovable angsty hero we all know and love. But I thought that it would be nice to let him have a few moments of peace and quiet reflection. Until next time friends.