YEAR: End of year 6 for Harry; Canon up to 5; written before HBP was published

Summary: End of 6th yr; HP is nervous about V's annual attack; finds out from a very unlikely source that James & Lily aren't his biological parents. Severitus/Sevitus
(Sevitus because it doesn't quite meet all the requirements of the Severitus challenge)

Just another fun little fic.


THE TRUTH IS IN THE BLOOD
CHAPTER 1: IDES OF MARCH

It was a Saturday in the middle of March and Harry Potter, along with the ministry six (his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger; Ginny Weasley, Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood) were about to leave the school to spend the day in Hogsmeade.

"Maybe I shouldn't go. It might be too dangerous. You know, beware the Ides of March, and all." Harry said, as he paused at the front entrance to Hogwart's school of witchcraft and wizadry.

"Ides of what?"

"Did he say Tides of March? Why is he mentioning tides? Hogsmeade isn't close to the ocean."

"Huh?"

Hermione gave an exasperating sigh, as she cleared up her friends' confusion. "He said 'Ides of March'. It means the middle of March. It's from a famous play, Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare. The character Julius Caesar gets a warning from an oracle to 'beware the ides of March.' It turns out that the character ends up being murdered during that time."

"Harry!" Ron exclaimed, "Don't tell me that Trelawney made another prophecy."

"No, no more prophecies, at least that I know of," Harry said.

The raven haired boy grimaced as he imagined telling his friends about another prophecy concerning his life. He was thankful that they took the news so well. Except for the occasional tears from the girls, it hadn't had a noticeable impact on their friendship. Well, Harry thought, it did seem to bring him and Neville closer.

Harry remembered when Neville realized that he could've been the boy in the prophecy. That seemed to be a turning point in his life. The changes in Neville were noticeable. Not only did he study more, but he decided it was time to get in better shape. The night at the Ministry of Magic showed him how important it was to be fit and agile.

"I just don't want to put you or anyone else in danger by going," Harry continued.

"Harry, if Voldemort or his minions were going to attack, they would attack whether you were there or not. The only difference is that you wouldn't be there to help protect everyone. Besides, Professor Dumbledore gave you permission to leave, so obviously he feels that it is safe enough."

"He also thought that Harry would be safe at Hogwarts the last five years," Ron snickered.

Harry ignored Ron's statement as thought about what Hermione said. She had never steered him wrong before. Even last year when he had the vision of Sirius being at the ministry she gave the opinion that it could have been a trap. Without any evidence that Voldemort could plant fake images in his mind, Hermione suspected something. Harry didn't know how she knew, but she did. Since that night, Harry had taken his friends words to heart, and once more, decided to follow her lead. However, before he could answer, his other friends voiced their opinions.

"Hermione's right, though," Ron continued, "Either way, they would attack. You might as well spend the day away from the castle rather than staying here and wondering about what might be happening in town. Plus, you promised to buy me a butterbeer to celebrate my birthday. You can't do that if you're not there."

"It'll be fine. Plus we might be able to practice some of those spells you showed us during Defense Association." Neville stated.

"Merlin knows I hope that Riddle and the Death Eaters don't attack today, but we've talked about the possibility and have come up with worse case scenarios about how we should act. We need you there for our defense to work."

Soon after the school year started Harry had reinstated the Defense Association. It still wasn't an official Hogwarts activity, but it wasn't illegal either. This year the DA had three main goals.

The first and most important one was to get every student able to defend themselves, their friends, and the school.

The second was to develop a 'core' group, mostly consisting of himself, Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Luna, and Neville. This specialized defense team would work together to battle Death Eaters, each using their strengths and talents to the best of their abilities.

The last goal was to get everyone to hear and say 'Voldemort' without flinching. It has now been seven months since school started and all the DA students could hear his name without flinching, but only a little more than half could say it.

Harry was proud to say that all of the ministry six could say it. Ginny, due to the events in the Chamber of Secrets, usually said 'Riddle' instead of Voldemort and some of the younger years followed this example. Harry honestly didn't care as long as they weren't saying 'you-know-who'. He only wished that everyone would stop with his hyphenated title as well. Maybe that would be his next goal, he thought.

"Okay, okay," Harry grumbled in a mock surrender, "I'll go. Ginny has a good point though about the scenarios. Does everyone remember what they should do if Death Eaters are spotted in Hogsmeade?"

Ron, Neville and Ginny rolled their eyes and nodded, Hermione consulted the notebook in her pocket as if cramming for a last minute test, and Luna, well, Luna as usual looked like she hadn't heard a word of the conversation that had taken place around her in the last few minutes.

"He won't attack today," Luna stated dreamily. "It's too early."

After spending the last eight months in communication with Luna, be it by Owl or in person, the five were used to her random insights.

"Too early?" Neville asked

"Yes. Definitely not before Easter at the earliest, and even that is only a slight possibility."

"She might be on to something," Hermione interjected. "Think about it. Every year that something has happened to Harry that Voldemort planned usually happened at the tail end of the year. Voldemort seems like a creature of habit to me, so he probably won't try anything today."

"Unless of course that is what he thinks we think. A good strategist would never be so predictable," Ron speculated.

"Easter, huh?" Harry thought out loud, trusting Luna, "Good, gives us more time to prepare."

"Come on, you guys," Ginny said as she headed out the door. "If we're going to go, we have to leave now."

Quickly the six rushed out the door and met up with the other students leaving for Hogsmeade.


The six friends walked into The Three Broomsticks and sat down at a table in the corner. Soon afterwards, Harry bought butterbeers for everyone.

"Hey!" Ron exclaimed, "This is supposed to be my birthday butterbeer, not theirs."

"Honestly, Ron." Hermione exclaimed as she rolled her eyes and sipped her butterbeer.

"Well, I can't buy butterbeers for Neville and Ginny on their birthday since it is in the summer, and I don't know when Luna's birthday is, so I might as well buy them all now."

"What about Hermione?" Ron asked. "You know her birthday is in September."

"Ron!" Ginny exclaimed. "It would be very rude of Harry to buy everyone a butterbeer except Hermione."

"I guess," Ron sulked.

"Besides," Harry said, "Maybe we'll start a new tradition and for someone's birthday I'll buy everyone a butterbeer."

"Now that I can agree with," Ron exclaimed as he lifted his butterbeer in a toast.

"Happy Birthday, Ron," Neville said as he raised his glass and toasted his red-headed friend. Within seconds this action was echoed by the others at the table.

After the toast, Ron leaned back in his chair, "So, if Voldemort isn't going to be attacking Hogsmeade today, what do you think he is doing?"

The five friends stared at Ron, wondering why he was asking that. Finally, Ginny broke the silence.

"If we're lucky he'll be buying himself a new pet."

Everyone turned their attention from Ron and onto Ginny.

"A pet?"

"How would that be lucky for us?"

"Oh, did I forget to mention that his new pet would be an evil-wizard eating creature," Ginny grinned.

"Oh, like an oofpulc (pronounced oof-pulse)," Luna cried.

"A what?" Hermione asked as all heads turned to Luna.

"An oofpulc, a One-eyed, One-horned, Flying, Purple Lizard Creature," she stated matter-of-factly.

Hermione was going to ask Luna where she heard of this 'creature', but unfortunately, wasn't able to since she was laughing too hard once she recognized the tune that Harry was whistling.

"That wasn't in 'Fantastic beasts and where to find them,' was it?" Ron whispered to Neville.

"I don't think so."

"Thank Merlin," Ron sighed in relief. "Then most likely Hagrid doesn't know about it."

"Muggle thing?" Ginny asked as she, Neville, and Ron looked at Harry whistling and Hermione laughing.

"No," Luna answered, "Muggles can't see oofpulces."

Harry stopped whistling as he joined Hermione in laughter.

Before any one could say another word about oofpulces, Neville stated, "I think he's out working in his garden."

"Let me guess," Ginny said, "There's a lot of man-eating plants in this garden?"

"Of course," Neville said, grinning, "And Devil Snare, wrapping vines, poison poinsettias, and-"

"Okay, mate," Ron interrupted, "I think we get the idea."

"Hey Neville, you could always send him one of those poison blooming plants that you've been working on." Harry suggested, "Just sign the card 'A secret Admirer'. I'm, sure he'll love it."

Ron laughed at the look on Neville's face.

"You know," Ron said, "Voldemort could just be taking a long walk-"

"Off a short pier?" Harry completed.

"Why would he do that?" Ron asked, confused.

"To help us by drowning," Hermione answered, laughing.

"Oh."

"OH!" Ron said again as he finally understood.

Hermione and Harry laughed harder.

"How about you, Hermione?" Ginny asked. "What do you think he's doing today?"

"No idea," Hermione replied as she took a sip of her butterbeer.

"Come on, Hermione, surely you can think of something?"

"Fine. He's in the library doing research. He's trying to find a spell or something that keep his soul from dying."

"Figures, she'll pick a library," Ron whispered to Harry.

"But…" Ginny prodded, motioning with her hands for Hermione to continue.

"But, well, I guess the spell backfires."

"And?" This time it was Neville who encouraged her to continue.

Ginny, Neville, Harry and Ron could see Hermione try to decide on a fitting ending to her scenario. "And his soul is now trapped forever in a child's teddy bear."

"Well," Harry said, laughing, "He'll live forever, just as a stuffed animal."

"The poor kid who has that toy," Neville sympathized.

"Can you imagine a baby drooling all over him?" Ron snickered.

At the image that statement provoked, the table erupted in laughter.

"I think he's practicing Quidditch," Harry suggested.

"Yeah, mate. He probably heard how good you are and decides he needs to improve." Ron laughed. "Hey! Maybe that's the power,"

"Somehow, I don't think so," Hermione stated. "After all, almost anyone can play Quidditch if they practice enough."

"I'll have you-"

"Harry," Neville interrupted, hoping to stop another argument between Ron and Hermione, "What happened to Voldemort while he was practicing Quidditch?"

"Maybe he gets hit by a bludger and falls off his broom," Ginny suggested.

"Or chokes on the snitch. Not everyone is as talented as you and is able to catch it in their mouth." Harry glared at Ron before laughing as he remembered his first match.

"No, no, but those are all good possibilities. He attempts a Wronski feint."

"Attempts?" Neville repeats, shuddering at the thought of being on a broomstick and diving straight towards the ground.

"Yes, attempts. Unfortunately, he doesn't pull out of it in time and crashes to the earth."

"That's it?" Ron asks, "That's all that happens to him?"

"Well, no, I guess not. Naturally, his wand snaps in the crash. We all know how fragile wands can be, don't we, Ron?"

Ron nods as he remembers his wand from second year.

"Well, Voldemort, decides that he is powerful enough that a broken wand won't interfere with his spell casting."

"He always was arrogant," Ginny stated, thinking back to the sixteen year old Tom Riddle she had gotten to know.

"Yeah," Harry agreed. "Anyways, he starts casting spells to heal himself, only to remove all the bones in his leg."

"That sounds familiar," Ron chuckled.

Harry grinned and joked, "Hey, my life is probably stranger than any story ever invented.

"Now back to Voldemort," Harry contined, "When he tries to stand up, he falls, right into a volcano. That's it. No more Voldemort. Gone forever, burning in a volcano."

"And most likely some other place as well," Ron stated.

"A bit of an anticlimactic ending, don't you think?" Hermione asked.

"Maybe, but it would be fine with me if that was how it all ended." Harry calmly stated, before suggesting that they finish their butterbeers and head back to the castle for dinner.

The six continued to laugh and joke as they raced one another back to the castle.

As the reached the door to the great hall, Luna turned to them and said, "He's probably taking the time to do his spring cleaning."

The Gryffindors stared at her as she calmly walked over to the Ravenclaw table and sat down.


That night, Harry lay on his bed, as he thought about his day. He was glad he went it had been fun hanging out with his friends without worrying about the prophecy or Voldemort.

Harry smiled as he remembered some of the comments made during the day. The six of them were all so different. How they ever got together, he'll never know, he thought as he shook his head.

Well, yes, actually, he would, he corrected himself. They came together because of him, to help him 'rescue' his godfather. He wasn't surprised that Hermione and Ron wanted to come with him that night. He could even understand Ginny wanting to come. After all, she probably heard about their 'adventures' before she started Hogwarts. What really surprised him was that Luna and Neville insisting on coming as well.

He had just met Luna at the beginning of his fifth year on the train. Thanks to the DA, he had gotten to know her a little bit, but the two hadn't spent much time together outside of the defense group.

He had known Neville since his first day at Hogwarts. He hadn't realized until last year how much to two of them had in common. He had admired Neville for his talent in Herbology and sympathized with him as a fellow victim of Snape's snarkiness. It was only in the last year that he learned how loyal and protective Neville was of his friends.

Harry was glad they had come that night. He hated that he put them in danger, but he knew that he was much stronger with them by his side. He had been very impressed with the skills they had showed in fighting. Harry had noticed during DA that Neville was more talented than people gave him credit for and Luna, well, Luna he discovered was amazingly resourceful and much more aware of things than she seemed. It shouldn't have been that much of a surprise; after all, she was in Ravenclaw.

He smiled as he thought about Luna. It was good that he trusted in her today. She had been right; apparently it was too early for Voldemort to attack. Either that or he was spring cleaning.


Well, let me know what you think…the beginning might be a bit slow, setting the scene & such…It picks up a bit in a few chapters

I was in a bit of a strange mood but I kinda liked this chapter...really like the story as it unfolds, I hope you all give it a chance. I especially liked the 'what is Voldie doing' game.

Also, if you can think of any other things that Voldemort would be doing instead of attacking Hogwarts they would be appreciated, & might even find themselves worked into another chapter (credit given to you, of course!)

TUNE (that Harry was whistling): One-Eyed, One-horned flying purple people eater (by Wooley Sheb, I believe)…fun song

6/3/2005