The Son of Sparda
A/N – Hey people! IM BACK! First off, sorry for the huge delay, I fell terribly ill and have been in and out of hospital for the last year or so and would not have got through it without the support of my brilliant friends, so I would like to say a big thank you to them. To make up for the delay this chapter is a lot longer than any other. So some low down on what happens – Harry returns to school after pleasant summer at Grimmauld Place, encountering some awkward situations with his new popularity. New characters in bound in this chappie, two new major characters introduced one who is my OC the other is not. Again sorry for the delay, hope you enjoy the chapter and remember to READ AND REVIEW PLEASE :D
Disclaimer – I do not own Harry Potter, or DMC, just the idea in the story
Chapter 6 – Back to Hogwarts
Sirius' grand bedroom was illuminated momentarily as Harry orbed in and the red flames died around him. He lifted Rebellion off his back with a click and laid it gently on the bed before moving to the huge closet and hanging up the red battle robe. Harry glanced at the magical clock on the bedside table and was surprised to see that it was already quarter past four in the morning. Time seemed to stand still in 'Temin-ne-gru' or the Devil's Tower in the common tongue. Harry picked up Rebellion once more and marvelled at the fact it wasn't scarred at all despite the beating it had gone through today and still shined as beautifully as ever. He gently placed it under the bed to avoid any prying eyes and slumped on the soft mattress without bothering to get changed. Harry removed the Amulet of Sparda from the folds of his t-shirt and gazed into the gorgeous depths of the red ruby as he remembered the events of the past few hours. The sheer power he wielded when he was in his devil form scared him slightly. He instantly dismissed it though for it is how you wield your power that matters, not what that power is, as both Sparda and Voldemort had shown. Power without moral direction was one of the most dangerous forces in the world.
In his devil form he was unbelievably strong and moved with great speed that still retained an element of grace. He couldn't stay in his devil form forever and as soon as he had defeated Nelo he shifted back to a human state due to a lack of energy. Nelo had said that with training he would be able to extend this time limit. Without much effort on his part, Harry found himself slowly drifting off to sleep.
When he woke up it was already past ten in the morning. It looked like the other occupants of the house had decided to let him sleep in after the emotional rollercoaster that was Sirius' will. Harry groggily made his way down the flights of stairs to the kitchen after washing up and getting changed. As he was rubbing the sleep from his eyes he was slightly shocked to hear the Headmasters voice in the kitchen. "I'm afraid I have some bad news-"
"What is it? What's wrong?" asked Harry bursting through the door, the Headmaster looked like he had just arrived, travelling cloak still on hanging on his shoulders. Everyone was already in the kitchen apart from Fleur, who was moving in today. The rest of the Order had gone home or to wherever they were staying. The only people living in the house at the present time were all the Weasleys, minus Charlie and Percy, the Grangers, Remus and Tonks. "Hello to you too, Harry" greeted Professor Dumbledore smiling.
"Oh, sorry Professor, but what's happened?"
Dumbledore sighed heavily before continuing "I am afraid that Azkaban was attacked last night." Gasps filled the kitchen.
"Um…what's Azkaban" asked Dan confused. Hermione spared her father a look before answering "It's the wizard prison, dad, remember? I told you and mum, that's the place that Sirius escaped from." Dan thought for a second before his memory returned to him "Oh, you mean the place guarded by those Dementors?" his daughter nodded in confirmation.
"So what's the damage, Albus?" pushed Remus, trying to get more information. Dumbledore looked down at the floor before replying. "The Auror guard stationed there, though reinforced, didn't stand a chance. As soon as the Death Eaters arrived the Dementors turned on the Aurors, they were totally surrounded without hope of escape. All the prisoners were gone when a squad arrived after the attack had finished..." Dumbledore paused before continuing "…there were no survivors." Silence filled the room as the occupants contemplated the brutality of the Death Eaters and the revolt of the Dementors. However, they did not expect the arrival of more bad news. "I am afraid there is more…" everybody looked up at the professor "…there was evidence that the Death Eaters were not alone when they attacked."
"Who else?" asked Tonks.
"Many of the bodies were drained of large amounts of blood and others were ravaged by bite marks-"
"Vampires and Lycans" finished Harry.
"Lycans?" questioned Ron. Hermione jumped in "Another name for Werewolves." Remus thumped the kitchen table in frustration, and Tonks put a comforting arm on his shoulder. Harry knew that he must be taking it hard; to see some of his own kind pledge themselves to Lord Voldemort must be disheartening. The room once more fell into silence before Harry asked "How many prisoners were in Azkaban, Professor?"
"At least three hundred."
"So that's another three hundred more to Voldemorts army." The others looked questioningly at Harry while Dumbledore merely nodded. "Promise the scum of this world power, wealth and women and who would say no?"
"I must get to the office, Molly" said Mr. Weasley standing up swiftly.
"But Arthur, you're on holiday for the week!"
"I know dear, but they'll need all the help they can get." Mrs Weasley tried to argue with her husband but he was adamant and he went upstairs to get changed followed by Tonks who, as an Auror, felt it was her duty to go. Breakfast was a solemn affair that morning as everybody knew that the war had just taken a turn for the worse. Hermione, Emma and Ginny helped Mrs Weasley cook a standard breakfast of bacon, eggs and chips while Mr. Weasley and Tonks were changing. Remus, Bill and Professor Dumbledore were talking about the repercussions of the attack on Azkaban. Harry and the others just waited for their breakfast silently.
As soon as Mr. Weasley and Tonks came back downstairs breakfast was served and Harry quickly ate what was given to him and refused the huge amount of extras Mrs Weasley was about to dump on his plate in order to 'fill him up to a proper size'. Ron, on the other hand, never missed a chance to grab extra food and 'offered' to take Harry's ("Give us it"), and proceeded to spray Fred with bits of eggs as he scoffed it down. Hermione sent a glare in his direction but as usual it was ignored. As soon as Mr Weasley and Tonks had finished they stood up to leave. Harry wanted to tell Professor Dumbledore about his 'visit' to the Devil's Tower yesterday, and left his seat. Tonks said a long goodbye to Remus and just waved to the others, which Harry found odd. After saying goodbye to his family Arthur joined Tonks and Dumbledore who were about to leave. "Professor? Can I have a word?"
"Of course Harry," he turned to the other two "You go ahead I'll meet you at the Ministry" They nodded and walked out of the house. The old wizard led Harry out of the kitchen and into the empty living room. "What is it Harry?"
"I found them Professor." Harry replied simply.
"Sparda's followers." As soon as he said this Dumbledore's eyes grew wide, and Harry went on to recite the entire tale of his visit to the Devil's Tower, including the fight and his new devil form. "I can promise you one hundred devils to fight when the time arises." Dumbledore nodded and smiled at his student happily, proud of him beyond words.
"This gives us hope, Harry."
"I just hope it's enough…" said Harry uncertainly, keeping in mind the new additions under the Dark Mark. Professor Dumbledore placed a comforting arm on his pupil's shoulder.
"Never lose hope Harry. We guard against injustice. We stand between glory of the light and the shadow of the dark. If we do not believe then who else will?" Harry took his Headmaster's words to heart and nodded in agreement. "Good. I will see you soon Harry, but as you can imagine, there is an awful lot of work to do." He saw his Headmaster to the door before heading back up to his room.
A few hours later when Harry, Ron, Hermione and Ginny were sitting in the living room discussing the new school year, a knock on the door hushed the group. Mrs. Weasley answered the door and Harry heard a familiar voice asking for him.
"Fleur!" at the sound of her name Hermione and Ginny groaned and stayed seated, Harry rolled his eyes and he and Ron went to greet her. Fleur thanked Harry for having her and kissed him on the cheek as thanks. Harry blushed and assured her it was no trouble at all. Ron wasted no time at all in helping Fleur carry all her bags to her room, insisting that he could manage the heavy load alone. Of course, he only succeeded in making a fool of himself as he nearly fell down the stairs while trying to balance Fleur's bags. After holding in his laughter, Harry helped the now bright red-cheeked Ron carry the load to one of the spare rooms. Fleur on the other hand thought it was sweet of Ron and gave him a kiss on the cheek, which caused the young red head to go even redder (if that was at all possible).
The summer holidays passed without much event in the household though word did reach them of further vampire and lycan raids on wizard and muggle estates. The muggles had blamed the raids on a fanatical cult and insane serial killers to try and explain the severe loss of blood in some victims or the horrendous scarring left on others, though they failed to notice the total disappearance of body parts during the recent full moon. Remus had found out through his links in the neutral werewolf clans that the Lycan Lord Lucian and his clan along with some smaller werewolf groups had joined forces with Voldemort.
They were promised revenge for the suffering and the persecution that they received at the hands of wizards over the course of time. However, the leader of the Vampire faction was still unknown. Harry found it hard to hate the rebel werewolves for what they were doing, it was true that they had faced terrible persecution for simply being different, generations of wizards had hated them for what they were and the Lycans had simply had enough of it, the same was true for the vampires. Professor Dumbledore had told him that a great number of vampire and werewolf clans had remained neutral, joining neither side, but a few still secretly fought against Voldemort to protect their own well-being, for if the Light fell they would not be far away. But for Harry his time at 12 Grimmauld Place was enjoyable, while news reached them of the attacks, this was the closest thing to normal that he had experienced. He wished thing could stay like this forever, but knew better as school was only a week away.
Harry visited Devil's Tower most nights to browse in the 'Divine Library' or take endurance tests in the 'Endless Infernum' as well as practicing weapons with Nelo. He could not visit during the day as this would alert the others to the fact he was disappearing for hours on end. As they were not allowed out of the house due to the danger, they busied themselves by talking about old times and adventures. They had a lot of fun filling in Ginny on all the adventures they had been in, though most of them were greatly exaggerated by Ron. Fred and George visited as often as they could but were busy readying the new branch in Hogsmeade in time for the first student visit. To his own surprise, Harry found himself spending a lot of time in the Black family library, which in turn meant spending a lot of time with Hermione. She was brilliant company, she would sometimes force conversations about Sirius upon Harry, which caused him to get agitated at times, but he soon found out that he felt much better after talking about it, and was now able to have a conversation about Sirius without bringing a tear to his eye or feeling crushed by the overwhelming sense of guilt. Harry would never ever forgive himself for what he had done, but resolved to atone for his mistakes by helping people who couldn't fight against Voldemort's forces.
Being with Hermione made him realise how different she was to other girls, most of them saw Harry as 'The Boy Who Lived' or the 'Chosen One', whereas she saw just Harry, the young man behind the mask the media had erected around him. For that he would be forever grateful. He loved to see Hermione concentrating; she would immerse herself completely in a book and not realising what was going on around her, and she looked so cute as she re-read a sentence in agitation that she did not understand. Allowing Harry to have a few laughs pulling faces at her, only for her to look up and be faced with a Harry reading a book, he had such fun with this side of Hermione.
They had grown apart last year, something that he regretted deeply, he had always regarded her as his best friend even if Ron was more of a laugh, though he did not tell either of them that. He was determined that they would grow back to the 'Golden Trio' they were before. Due to this attitude, it was possible that the two teens were growing closer than they had ever been before.
Fleur was out most of the day due to her Healer course at St. Mungos. This delighted Hermione, Ginny and Mrs. Weasley to no end as they found her company frustrating, though personally Harry couldn't see what the problem was, and found her to be pleasant company. 'Girls…' thought Harry as he collapsed on his bed at 3am in the morning. He had just come back from another tour of the Devil's Tower; he had now met every devil currently staying there, which was just over one hundred. They all treated him with such respect that it slightly unnerved him, having being feared and practically hated the previous year. One memory that stood out was meeting the vampire-like Nevan. One of the leaders among the rebel devil force, Nevan, had had a great respect for Sparda and now in turn Harry. He just wished Nelo had warned him that she didn't cover herself up all the time. Harry had received the greatest shock when he had first met her, she had encased the lower half of her body in shadow magic, and only her hair covered her breasts, causing Harry to stutter some of his words.
Something that had plagued Harry's mind a lot over the last few weeks was meeting Cho again. Even though he had resolved to patch things up with her, the prospect of making her cry was not appealing. 'What's the use worrying. Worry never helped anyone.' He promptly fell asleep, which was good as it was time to go back to school tomorrow, and Mrs. Weasley would have his head if he didn't get up on time…and he didn't.
"Harry! Harry wake up!"
"Wha-What?" Harry grudgingly opened his eyes to see a blurry Hermione clouding his vision, and trying desperately to wake up her best friend. "Harry, it's nearly ten in the morning, the train leaves at eleven! Mrs. Weasley's already having a fit, get up!" she shouted and left the room to get her own things ready. Harry scrambled out of bed so fast that he smacked his foot on the bed's leg, hopping and cursing he threw some clothes on as fast as possible.
He reached under the stairs grabbed Rebellion, made it shimmer away before stuffing his red battle robes in his trunk and hauling it along with Hedwig's cage down the stairs.
As soon as he opened the door he could hear Mrs. Weasley's screams of frustration and Ron, who had apparently again not packed all of his things the previous night. When he reached the bottom of the stairs he dumped his trunk along with his friend's trunks (minus Ron's) and made his way down the hallway, passed Ron and Mrs. Weasley ("breakfast is on the table, dear,") to the hustle and bustle in the kitchen. Hermione and Ginny were practically stuffing their food down their mouths, but both managed to give Harry exasperated glances for being late. Fleur was up as well, but eating her breakfast at a leisurely pace. Mr. Weasley had apparently already finished and hurried past Harry to get ready. Between mouthfuls Hermione pointed to a plate of bread, bacon and fried eggs. Harry sat down, pulled his breakfast closer to him, and proceeded to take 'Ron sized mouthfuls'. The four of them cringed as Mrs. Weasley yelled at them to hurry up. "You're coming too Fleur?" asked Harry.
"Yes, just to see you off" she smiled at him, Hermione and Ginny frowned. Emma and Dan had gone home the previous week, much to Hermione's disappointment. However, they could not keep the dental practice closed forever. They had given their daughter spending money to buy herself something nice for her birthday which would be coming along shortly. Harry had grown to like Emma and Dan very much; Hermione had the exact same personality as Emma, while Dan was rather like Harry in some ways. Both had given Harry huge hugs before they had left and thanked him for saving their daughter's life numerous times. Mr and Mrs Weasley had grown quite fond of Hermione's parents, and the same was said for the other side too. They had both loved to be a part of their daughter's world even for a short time and were sad to go.
"Hurry up you three!" they all jumped and Harry shoved the remainder of his food down before following Hermione and Ginny outside. "How are we getting to Kings Cross dad?" asked Ginny.
"Well, Professor Dumbledore has decided that the safest way for Harry to get anywhere is by Portkey. Minimizes the chance that he could get attacked on the journey." Harry sighed, he wish people would just let him get on with life. Hermione noticed this and scolded him, "Harry, people just care about you, is that so bad?"
"No, but it doesn't mean I have to like it." She gave his arm a squeeze in sympathy and dragged her trunk to the foyer of the house. Harry followed her and grabbed his trunk. They were all ready, except for Ron and Mrs. Weasley, she was still shouting at her son upstairs. A few minutes later Remus and Tonks came down the stairs and joined them.
"Oh no, why the hell do I need a guard? We're going by portkey!" exclaimed Harry.
"I can't come to see my godson off?" said Remus, sounding hurt.
"Oh…that's fine then" smiled Harry trying to hide his embarrassment. Remus smiled back and took a place beside Harry.
"Um…Arthur?" started Tonks "We're going by portkey, so why's Molly stressing?" Mr. Weasley looked at Tonks about to reply, then he stopped and said: "Haven't a clue." They all burst out laughing just as a bright red Ron and Mrs. Weasley came down the stairs. Mrs. Weasley still looked stressed but she urged Mr Weasley to hurry, and he pulled out a DVD case. "Oohh, what's that Arthur?" asked Tonks.
"A DVD case," answered Harry, "you can hold DVDs and CDs in them."
"Yes quite right Harry, simply fascinating! The discs are-"
"Hem-hem" coughed Mrs Weasley.
"Oh, right, well everyone grab on now, three…two…one" Harry felt a familiar tug behind his navel as the portkey carried them off.
He landed with a thump on the stone floor of Platform 9 ¾, just as he was about to get up Hermione came crashing in to him. Both were winded but they found themselves in an uncomfortable position. Hermione's face was inches from Harry's, creating and awkward silence between the two. At any time before now Harry would have just helped Hermione up and thought nothing of it, but over the last month the two had grown very close, and this seemed to make this…well…weird. Hermione broke the silence first, "Sorry Harry, still haven't mastered the landing yet…"
"Ha, neither have I." Hermione pushed herself up slightly, denying her craving impulse to kiss him ravenously. The two disentangled and stood up. Harry looked around to the familiar sight around him.
The grand Hogwarts steam-engine train looked as amazing as ever and parents waved farewell to their children who they would not see for quite sometime. I'm going home. Fleur engulfed Harry in a hug and told him to keep out of trouble this year, and added with a sly smile " …or i'll have to come and give you a good telling off". Harry being Harry didn't catch the hint in her voice, but Hermione on the other hand felt like slapping Fleur. The last bell rang out and Mrs. Weasley ushered them towards the train. Before Harry could board Remus pulled him aside and looked at him seriously.
"Harry, promise me something…"
"If I can I will," he spoke honestly. In the background Tonks, Mrs Weasley and the others were shouting at Remus to let him go, the train was moving. "We all know that something is going to happen this year-" Harry nodded in response. "-promise me you will stay safe and keep away from the fighting."
"Remus you know I can't promise that, if the Death Eaters come, I will fight them." He looked at his godfather straight in the eye so that he would know he wasn't joking. Now it wasn't just the Weasley's and Tonks shouting at them, but the students on the train too, Harry could vaguely make out Hermione's voice, but he ignored them all, all that mattered was his godfather who cared so much about him.
"Harry I lost your father, your mother, and now Sirius. I can't loose you too, I just can't." Harry looked at Remus seriously, but kindly and said, "You won't." He said it with such conviction that Remus admired the young man standing in front of him. Lupin nodded and then the reality of the world came crashing down on both of them. The train was picking up speed and slowly pulling away, faster and faster. "Go!" Remus yelled. Harry spun around and ran, spotting Hermione and Ron yelling at him from the nearest entry. He concentrated and sped up soon running as fast as the train itself, he jumped and Hermione and Ron pulled him on. They both looked at him shocked that he had run so fast, Harry panted and faked being totally out of breath, even though the sprint had hardly made him break a sweat. This seemed to douse their questions. "Damn" Harry had forgotten his trunk in the excitement. "Don't worry mate, its here, bought it on board when I saw you talking."
"Well shall we find a compartment?" Harry suggested.
Hermione sighed and threw him a glare, "Aren't you forgetting something?" Harry racked his brain, what could he have possibly have forgotten this time? "Oh yeah!" He delved into his jeans pocket and pulled out his Head Boy badge and pinned it to his t-shirt smugly. "Looks good on you, mate" Ron laughed.
"Come on Harry, the Head's compartment is this way. We can find Neville or someone and give them our trunks, Crookshanks and Hedwig." Hermione's cat purred in response and the three made there way down the hallway. As they checked compartments for signs of their friends, most people pointed out Harry in awe and all the girls they passed, poked their head's out and giggled and swooned. Harry quickly found this very irritating and was grateful when they found Neville, Luna, Ginny, Seamus, and Dean. "Hey, Harry! How was your summer?" asked his Irish roommate Seamus Finnigan. He obviously did not know about Sirius, so Harry settled for "Pleasant, yours?"
Seamus sighed, "As well as can be in these times I guess" Neville and Luna both nodded their heads. Hermione broke the gloomy mood that had descended upon the compartment, "Well can you guys look after our things we have to get to the Head's compartment, and we got to show Harry the way too."
"Why?" asked Luna.
"Harry's Head Boy!" said Ginny happily. The others looked shocked and turned to face him.
"Wicked!" exclaimed Neville. "Congratz, Harry! It's about time we had a decent Gryffindor head."
"Yeah and you can only be better than Percy" said Ron jokingly, they all laughed at this before Hermione ushered the two boys outside. Harry came to a dead stop however as he was surrounded by Fifth year girls, giggling like mad. "You talk to him, go on!" said on of them.
"Fine I'll talk to him!" One of the pretty girls in the middle stepped forward, she had long black hair and if Harry's memory served him right, was a Gryffindor.
"Hello, Harry," she started but then stopped and swooned on the spot, all the girls giggled again. Harry was dumbfounded by the situation and Ron had gone all googly eyed, Hermione on the other hand was positively fuming. The compartment door was open and so Harry's friends could hear and see the situation too. "As I was saying," continued the girl "I'm Romilda Vane, and I just wanted to let you know that you can come and sit with us. I know you're just sitting with these losers because you are so nice. But really Harry they aren't worth your time. Trust me I can find some much more…entertaining ways to spend your time" she started swooning and giggling again the same went for her friends. Hermione had had enough, fucking slut, she moved in front of her best friend"Harry will not be going with you, he's staying with us," she stated trying to keep her voice calm and cool.
"Fuck off Granger, I wasn't talking to you, I was talking to lovely Harry here," she adopted her sweet smile again.
Harry was utterly confused, here was a couple of girls fighting over him, him! Ron kept quite, leaving this one to Hermione. Ginny too had got up and took her place beside Hermione. "Watch your language Vane! You may be a Gryffindor but that doesn't mean I won't give you a detention!" yelled Hermione.
"Oooohhhh," Romilda proceeded to fake being frightened and turned to her friends "she's gonna give me a detention, I'm so scared." The rest of her friends laughed and Romilda took a serious tone again. "Your pathetic Granger, always hanging around Harry hoping he'll go mad and shag you, that's the only way your every gonna get anything." Her friends laughed again.
Ginny came to her friends defence "Bog off Vane, your such a slut"
"Was I talking to you? Fuck off Weaslet, and go get some new robes." Her entourage of friends burst out laughing again. Ron had had enough now, someone making fun of his little sister was too much, and the word Weasel also seemed had a profound effect on him. "Oi, you not welcome here Vane, so go away, and don't you dare insult my sister again."
"You really are pathetic Weaslet, need your brother to help you. What's wrong? You like Granger too, want a good shag from Harry? Don't worry I'll tell you two what it was like when we arrive at school." She grinned wickedly. Hermione and Ginny made furious moves towards Romilda, but Harry grabbed Hermione and Ron held onto Ginny. Probably the only time that it was this way around, Harry thought. "Fuck off, Vane!" yelled Ginny.
"Sigh, such uncivilised words, well where was I? Ah yes, so Harry, my compartments ten to the left from this one. Come there when you want some half decent company." She smiled sweetly at Harry, and her and her friends went back to their compartment.
As soon as they had left both girls turned on Harry, "Why the hell didn't you say anything!?" they both shouted. Harry was taken back slightly, and started to stutter.
"I well…er…what did you want me to say?"
"Oh don't give us that rubbish, Harry!" started Ginny, but she was cut off by Ron who came to his best friend's aid. "Oh come on guys, she…well…threw us of a bit…."
Hermione huffed and said, "Come on we're going to be late." The four of them set off for the Head's compartment, Ginny too as she had been made a prefect also.
Ron decided to break the ice, "So who the hell was that anyway?"
"Romilda Vane" spat Ginny venomously.
Hermione decided to elaborate:" She's a Gryffindor unlike the rest, she's in the same year as Ginny, we have always been at loggerheads with her. She's a right bitch."
Harry was shocked at looked at Hermione amazed, "What?"
"You swore…" She smiled, then remembered that she was angry at him, and frowned and huffed again. "Guess this proves that being a Gryffindor doesn't mean that your one of us, huh?"
"She will never be one of us" spat Ginny. Harry sighed inwardly, the 'House lines' as they were called were false. Just being a Gryffindor did not guarantee that you were going to be a decent person. While the encounter with Romilda Vane had been flattering, Harry was disgusted at the advances and accusations she was making. When do 'it' with someone, it will be someone I love, he told himself. Then again, Harry had not been very lucky in romance the previous year. Harry's stomach suddenly did a back-flip, he was about to meet Cho! The conversation with Remus and the earlier encounter with Romilda had thrown it completely out of his head.
"Here we are, Harry" said Hermione, as they approached the very front of the train. The last compartment was immense compared to the others, he could tell this from the size of the door. "Oh, by the way Harry, whose-"Hermione was cut off the sight of the person who had just slid the compartment door open and stepped out. "Cho!" cried Hermione and Ginny. Cho looked slightly shocked at their incredulous expressions but if she was at all hurt by there surprise she hid it.
"Hello Hermione, Ginny. Have a nice summer?" Cho was gorgeous, thought Harry, she was achingly stunning in school wear, but in casual clothes she was even more beautiful, if that was at all possible. She wore a simple t-shirt and a denim jacket and skirt, with little or no make-up on, letting her natural beauty shine.
There was something different about her however Harry noted, she looked happier. Harry recalled that last year she had been crying a lot and was all in all very miserable, to an extent where she was nearly kicked out of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. Harry was happy to see her, if truth be told he was nervous as hell. "Um…hi Cho" Harry said slightly nervously. A gorgeous smile erupted onto Cho's face and she blushed before replying "Hey Harry, good to see you!" But there was an obvious tension between them.
"Good to see you too. You're looking great" though Harry immediately regretted the comment. She blushed once more and muttered "thanks" before turning to Ron and greeting him. Hermione and Ginny still seemed to disapprove of her presence but they said nothing.
Cho adopted a more business like tone before talking to Harry again "Harry we have to brief the other prefects on the new procedure this year, Mcgonagal sent me the details" she handed Harry a sheet of parchment with the Gryffindor head's unmistakable handwriting. Harry needed to resolve the awkwardness and he was about to, however - "Wait…'we'…you mean you're Head Girl?" asked Hermione flabbergasted. Cho now looked openly hurt at Hermione's rude tone, which she didn't seem to mind using,
Ginny now spoke out and turned to Harry "Did you know about this?" she asked angry.
"Yes" he said simply, a bit surprised at the sharpness in her voice.
"And you didn't think to tell us?" said Hermione who looked twice as agitated as Ginny. "Well, I didn't think it was big deal."
"Well he told me" piped up Ron. Harry threw him a glare and Ron looked at him and shrugged, both girls now looking close to slapping Harry.
Honestly, Harry hadn't thought it a big deal to anyone else and only mentioned it to Ron in passing. Cho seemed slightly confused at the exchange but brushed it aside. "Well we better get a move on" she motion the four of them into the Head's Compartment. The attitudes of Harry's best friends had done nothing to ease the stiffness that he felt with Cho, and Harry decided that if he was going to spend the entire year dealing with her then he had to resolve this - and now. As Hermione, Ginny and Ron made their way into the compartment (both girls still simmering, obviously the incident with Romilda had made their tempers foul) Harry whispered to Cho "Before we start…um…can I have a word…in private?" Cho turned her head to meet Harry's eye and nodded. She poked her head into the now noisy compartment, "Be back in a mo" she slid the door shut and led Harry to the front of the train where they were less likely to be over heard.
Harry was about to start to apologize for his behaviour last year when Cho raised a hand to silence him. "Before you say anything Harry, I have to apologize."
"For what?" In truth Harry had only said this out of politeness; Cho hadn't exactly made it 'easy' for him last year. "For…everything" she laughed lamely before continuing "for crying all the time, for bringing up Cedric during our date, for throwing tantrums, for ruining our relationship, for not appreciating the fact that his death affected you as much as it did me, maybe even more," she bowed her head now, not meeting his gaze "but most of all for ruining the chance we had to be together." Harry was surprised to see her beating herself up like this, but he had to acknowledge that he too had been insensitive.
"No Cho, it wasn't all you fault. I tried to forget about Cedric's death, so when you bought it up that day it bought back something I was trying to bury," now Harry laughed too "but the fact is I can't, that moment still haunts me, and always will," he looked back at her, to find the Ravenclaw beauty listening intently to him "I didn't realise that you needed to hear how he died so that you could move on, I didn't understand, and I'm sorry. If you want to hear how, then I will tell you, you have that right." Her expression turned stony as if she was preparing herself for it. "I would like that Harry, I need to hear it to finally put it behind me." Harry nodded and opened his mouth, but before he could utter anything Cho's finger touched his lips and silenced him. "But first Harry I think we need to sort out everything with the prefects first," she pointed at the noisy compartment "after all we don't want them to revolt on our first day as Head's, that wouldn't be the best start would it?" they both laughed at this "No it wouldn't" replied Harry. However the couple hadn't moved, "You're looking so much better Cho, happier" noted Harry.
"That's because I am" she smiled.
"So," Harry said awkwardly, "I guess we better go"
"Guess so." His stomach did multiple back-flips as Cho took his hand and pulled and lead him to the Head's Compartment. She slid open the door and pulled Harry in after her. 'The Head's Compartment', as it was called, was elegantly furnished and was at least three or four times the size of a regular compartment. Leather seating lined three of the walls with all the house emblems inlaid into them. The prefects of the houses were seated on only two of the three seating lines, the one under the window Harry presumed was for the Head's as a golden-leafed Hogwarts emblem was placed above the window, watching over all the seated.
"Potter?!" yelled a stunned and furious voice. Harry searched the faces of the seated for the voice, and smirked as he found Malfoy's stunned, Pansy Parkinson sat next to him looking equally annoyed and surprised. "Hello Malfoy, good summer?" Harry greeted in as fake a voice as he could. Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Colin Creevy burst out laughing. It seems that Colin was made the next Gryffindor prefect along with Ginny. Cho and the other prefects grinned. "Hey Harry! This is great!" said Colin excitedly.
"Thanks Colin" said Harry slightly embarrassed. Harry and Cho took their seats at the top of the compartment; Cho nodded at Harry and stood up to commence the meeting while Harry took time to read McGonagall's instructions. "Well…er…thanks for coming," she started nervously but her confidence built as she continued "With the official return of He Who Must Not Be Named, Professors Dumbledore and McGonagall have decided to up the security at Hogwarts. From now on there will be a rotating Auror guard stationed at the school encase of a direct assault on the castle." Whispers burst out at Cho's statement.
"Do they really expect an attack on the castle?" asked Ernie McMillan, a Hufflepuff prefect in the same year as Harry. "They wouldn't try that would they?" pushed a pretty fifth year Ravenclaw.
"I don't know Rachel, but we have to take every measure that we can to secure the safety of the students" said Cho in a soothing voice.
Hermione spoke out now "Even if they did attack Hogwarts the castle is so well defended, there are spells, enchantments," she looked to Harry for reassurance "they wouldn't stand a chance…would they Harry?"
Harry looked up from reading to find all the eyes in the room staring at him, he noticed Malfoy grinning slightly at the uneasiness among his fellow prefects. Harry sighed before answering "I really don't know what he is capable of anymore, Hermione. I think Professor Dumbledore just wants to prepare for the worse, no harm in being careful, this is Voldemort we are talking about." Ron and many of the other Prefects shuddered at Harry's casual use of the dreaded name even Malfoy, to his surprise Cho looked unfazed. However Harry's reasoning seemed to calm those around him, Hermione smiled at him and Cho mouthed a thank you. Cho continued to outline to the prefects the steps they were to take, and handed out leaflets on the action they should take in case of an emergency.
"Well guys, thanks for listening you may go now and remember to patrol the corridor every fifteen minutes." They all nodded and stood up, Malfoy gave Harry a scathing look before he and Pansy were the first to leave the compartment, he dared not say anything, for once, with his father a named Death Eater and Harry Head Boy, he was in a more powerful position than Draco. The other Prefects, new and old came to Harry to congratulate him on his position and he was very grateful for their comments.
Harry purposefully lagged behind as his friends turned to leave, however Hermione wasn't going to let him spend time with Cho. "Coming Harry?" she asked.
"Um…yeah soon, I just need to have a private word with Cho, I' won't be long, Hermione." She, however, turned to Cho with a dark look as did Ginny, which Cho returned. Ron quickly intervened and grabbed Hermione and Ginny's arms "Sure mate, we'll see you later" he pulled both young Gryffindors out the door and down the corridor. Harry silently thanked Ron and turned back to Cho, who had an odd look on her face. "They really don't like me do they?"
Harry brushed her comment aside "Sure they do" but with little conviction. She gave Harry an 'I-know-the-truth-look'. Harry sighed and said "I don't know why."
"I do" Harry looked up "They hate me for hurting you last year."
"Don't be stupid-"
"They do, Harry" she said. Harry had to agree that this was the most plausible explanation. "Well I don't care about it anymore, its forgotten. We both were wrong last year, not just you." She smiled, thanked him and motioned for Harry to sit next to her, he obliged.
"So…" she said
"So…" replied Harry "Well I guess I better start from the beginning, that's the only way all this crap is gonna make any sense." And that's exactly what he did, starting with his horrible childhood to every year at Hogwarts. But he wasn't telling her just the story, he was telling her his feelings too, he wanted her to understand why he made the choices he did. Cho found herself recalling many moments that Harry described, like the panic during her third year when rumours spread that the Chamber of Secrets had been opened, and the horror and security when Sirius Black had escaped the next. Cho was shocked to hear that Sirius had turned out to be Harry's godfather, but was elated for him that he had some family.
Then Harry began to talk about his fourth year and Cho's fifth, the year where everything changed, for both of them. He left out no fact, his growing feelings for her, his disbelief at the appearance of his name shooting out of the Goblet of Fire, his hurt that so many people refused to believe him, even Ron, and how he owed Hermione Granger so much for never leaving his side.
Cho remembered the time well, there seemed to be anti-Harry Potter feeling everywhere, she herself had never hated Harry, or believed that he had put his name in the Goblet, Dumbledore believed him, she had thought, and that was good enough for me. Harry talked about feeling so out of his depth with so many of the tasks, and how hurtful it was for him to see Cho with Cedric at the Yule Ball, but the relief at having Ron back as a friend. Harry looked at the floor most of the time while he was telling his life story but he felt that he had to be honest with Cho, and in truth he trusted her.
Then he finally came to the moment where he and Cedric touched the cup, how Cedric had been so honest and noble, saying that he would share the glory with Harry. Tears came to her eyes at this but she held them back, that was Cedric. How the Triwizard Cup had been a Portkey and taken them to a run down graveyard. "I knew immediately that something was wrong, that graveyard, Cho," explained Harry "so dark and cold, I had been there before, in my nightmares, so many times that year. Anyway," Harry had to clear his throat, this was the part he was dreading, and he was choking up.
Cho's soft hand took Harry's in hers for support, he looked up at her face whose eyes were shining with tears and continued "I read the names on the main gravestone…I read it and I knew that it was a trap. Tom Riddle. That was the name on the gravestone Cho, do you know who Tom Riddle is?" She shook her head. "Well his son is Tom Marvolo Riddle, and he goes by many names, the most famous of which is…Lord Voldemort". Cho gasped.
"Well I yelled to Cedric to get back to the cup, we had to get back," Harry's voice was getting quicker and quicker as the memory replayed in his head "but he was too slow, he didn't understand, didn't know what I knew," tears were openly pouring down Cho's face now, and Harry was choking up, he never thought he would have to tell this tale again. "I kept yelling at him and he came rushing over, but then….then he came…in his arms. A hooded figure came out of the darkness and then his voice said: Kill the spare, all I heard after that was 'Avada Kedavra' there was a flash of green light and…and that was it" Harry was shaken out of his reverie by a sobbing Cho, he put his arms around her and held her close, whispering comforting words in her ear. Cho sobbed her heart out, she had never called her feelings for Cedric 'love' but he had bought her so much happiness and joy that when he died it left a gaping hole that no one could fill…except maybe…
It took several minutes for Cho to recompose herself and pull herself out of Harry's caring embrace, her hands in his "Sorry Harry, go on." Most boys saw Cho as an item something to show off, it was so rare to find one that genuinely cared about what she wanted and what she was. Harry took a deep breath and continued. He told her how Voldemort had been resurrected and how he had summoned the Death Eaters and how the Dark Lord had tortured him. As he told his tale, Cho found herself admiring him, he had been through so much, and she doubted many people had gone through any of this in a lifetime let alone a few years. When Harry told her about Cedric's ghost reappearing she gasped, "He told me to bring his body back to his parents. Then my parents came a while later." Cho was horrified at this, and Harry proceeded to tell her how he had escaped, touched the portkey and came back to Hogwarts. She remembered that, how they had all cheered when they saw Harry and Cedric with the cup amongst them, how none of them had realised that Harry was crying and clinging onto his body, how people had suddenly cried out that Cedric was dead, how she had felt.
Harry was on a roll now and he continued to tell her the events of last year, and summarising the battle at the end, the battle that had taken his godfather from him. This time Harry was close to tears, and when they spilled forth Cho wiped them away. He thanked her and said "Well that's it, the story of my life." he laughed "pathetic."
"No Harry, its not, you are so brave, you've lost everything and still you remain strong, I don't know how you do it."
"Neither do I" he muttered softly. The emotionally drained teenagers sat there for a few more minutes recuperating. Harry had not told her about the prophesy yet, a story for another time perhaps. He decided to break the ice between them "Are you ok?"
"I'll be fine," she sighed "I've wanted to know how Cedric died for just over a year now, and now that I know, I feel…better." She looked at Harry happily "I think now I can finally move on, thank you."
He smiled at her "Anytime." They both laughed at this before Cho took a serious tone again. "Harry…um…I've been thinking," she broke off not sure what to say next.
"Go on" Harry urged her. She took a deep breath and said:
"I want to give 'us' another try." Harry stiffened, shocked at her proposal. Cho looked at his face trying to read his emotions. He racked his brains and heart searching for an answer. Did he still like Cho? Yes well maybe, now that he had come to terms with Sirius' death his 'normal' feelings had returned.
"But you don't feel the same way, do you?" asked Cho in a crushed voice.
"No," Harry replied suddenly, looking her in the eye "That's not it at all Cho," he took a moment to choose his words and elaborated "Cho the last couple of months have been hell for me, I lost the only person that was anything close to a parent, and I blamed myself, I still blame myself. Even after coming to terms with his death, when I search my feelings I still don't know what I want, everything still seems, I don't know, 'foggy'." Cho nodded, she had felt the same way when Cedric had died, and nothing seemed to matter when you lost someone so close to you.
"Saying that," he looked her in the eye now "I know I still feel for you," he was happy to see a gorgeous smile appear on her face "but its still messed up, and I care about you and don't want to say yes when I may not be able to be a boyfriend you deserve right now."
"So…you're saying no?" she said disappointed.
"Well no, I'm just saying give me some time, you know, to get back into things, especially with everything going on and all this hype about me, I need to get used to it." finished Harry honestly. Cho contemplated Harry's words and nodded in understanding.
He muttered a thank you, before pulling the Ravenclaw beauty to her feet. She smiled and gave him a hug before they left the compartment.
They said nothing to each other as they walked down the corridor as girls constantly appeared in the windows to stare at Harry. He dropped Cho back at her compartment and then made his way back to his friends.
Hermione paced up and down in the compartment in frustration, "Where is he?" Seeing Cho trying to make an obvious move on Harry had made the green eyed monster inside of her rear its ugly head. She hated Cho, hated her. She hated the fact that she had got a chance to be with Harry, blown it, and was now trying for another. She just wanted Harry as a trophy, she didn't really care about him, not the way Hermione did.
"Hermione he'll be here when he's finished, OK?" exclaimed Ron, tired with her constant whingeing.
"Ron!" she yelled back "You know how much Cho hurt Harry last year! Are you telling me that you seriously don't care that she might seduce Harry and hurt him again?" There were four of them in the compartment, herself, Ron, Ginny and Neville. Ever since they had got back from the meeting, she and Ginny had been constantly slagging off Cho, and it was getting on Ron's nerves. Ron's face turned red at the accusation "Of course I care, I just don't think that Cho would do that. And after all Harry had been through I think he deserves a chance to be happy. And if he trusts Cho, that should be good enough for us! Right Neville?"
Neville Longbottom jumped in his seat, a little surprised at being asked his opinion, but he composed himself "I agree, if Harry does trust her, then what's the problem?"
"I'll tell you what the problem is!" shouted Ginny, jumping at Neville, who immediately regretted saying anything at all. "She's been out with half the guys in the school, she's just a slut."
"That's a bit harsh, Gin" said Ron, trying to stay loyal to his friend.
"Is it Ron?" snapped Hermione, annoyed that someone was standing up for Cho, "you just like her, that's why."
"I do not!" yelled Ron, going red again and standing up.
"What's going on here?" The compartment door slid open and Harry walked in, a concerned look on his face. While it wasn't unusual to see his two best friends arguing, this particular topic seemed to have got Neville and Ginny involved. "Nothing," they both said, and sat down. Harry turned to Ginny next, but she just buried herself in a book.
"They were arguing about Cho," came Neville's quiet voice. The other three threw furious glances at him, and Neville, for the second time that day regretted opening his mouth.
"About Cho?" asked Harry, confused.
"Oh Harry can't you see she's going to hurt you?" said Ginny.
"What?" he replied, shocked that he was even having this conversation.
Hermione spoke up now, "After the way she treated you last year, you shouldn't even be talking to her". Harry was utterly stunned now, stunned that his friends would scorn Cho this way, he shook his head and made his way to sit by the window and whispered "Drop it" loud enough for them all to hear.
"But Harry," pushed Hermione "We're worried about you, I don't want to see you get hurt again."
"Hermione, he said drop it!" whispered Ron harshly, he was not eager to see Harry shout again. However, she didn't drop it, she grew angry at Harry's refusal to acknowledge their concerns.
"She's bad news Harry, she's gone out with so many guys its sluttish-"
"Just drop it!" he hissed, making them all wince. He pulled a copy of the Daily Prophet towards him and started reading, ignoring the others. He didn't want to shout at them, and concentrated on the words and moving pictures to calm himself down. It especially hurt to see Hermione saying those things about Cho, he thought she would just accept it.
Silence filled the compartment after that, no one daring to talk. Hermione continued to throw glances at Harry trying to catch his eye, but they were focused on the pages in front of him. She hadn't meant to make him angry or upset him at all; perhaps her jealousy had got the better of her.
They remained in silence until Seamus and Dean returned, oblivious of the situation they started talking and laughing again, something which the rest of them were glad to catch on to, and soon there was several games of Exploding Snap taking place. Harry however, continued reading the paper, but not really caring about what he was reading.
More their friends dropped by during the course of the journey, members of the DA and the like, and soon the incident was drowned out by all the chatter. Hermione, noticing that everyone was occupied with eating, talking or playing took this chance to speak to Harry quietly, who had not joined in. She sat next to him and gently put a hand on his, the two had gotten close over the summer, and she felt that Harry should hear her concerns, even if he didn't like it. Harry hadn't looked up but warned "If you've come to slag off people, Hermione, I don't want to hear it."
"No I haven't, I'm sorry for being a…bit…harsh-"
"A 'bit'?" he said, turning to face her.
She sighed, "Harry, I'm just worried about you," Harry looked at her, and saw nothing but caring and worry for him in her eyes.
"Hermione," he started, taking her hand in his "I know what I'm doing, and believe me I don't want to get hurt anymore either, just trust me, please?"
"I do, but I can't help worrying."
"I wouldn't have it any other way, but trust me to make my decisions. And just so you know, me and Cho aren't back together." Her face immediately lit up, and she smiled at him.
"Well…that's ok then." He smiled despite himself, and she reclined her head on his shoulder. Now those things were resolved and his temper in a better state, Harry happily joined in the fun with his friends, all problems forgotten for a few short hours. Soon they all split up to get changed into their school robes as the train would soon pull into Hogsmeade.
The sun had already fallen from its place in the sky, covering Hogsmeade in darkness, and with a final turn of wheels the gleaming Hogwarts Express pulled into the station, and students spilled out of the doors eager to get to the much awaited start-of-term feast. "This way please First Years! Come on this way now!" Harry quickly turned to the source of the booming voice, and happily beheld the looming figure of Hagrid as he beckoned the frightened first years to him.
"Hey Hagrid!" he greeted.
"'Lo 'Arry! Good ta' see ya'!" came the happy reply over the head's of the students. "Can't talk right now 'Arry, see ya later!" Harry nodded, and Ron, Hermione, Ginny and Neville all waved goodbye to Hagrid as he lead the first years for their trip across the lake. As Harry pulled his trunk and Hedwig's cage from the train he caught sight of Cho doing the same, she caught his eye and waved in his direction before she was pulled away by her friends. He left his trunk with the others and helped Hermione do the same before they left to get a carriage to Hogwarts, Hedwig and Crookshanks in tow. They pushed through the crowd trying to spot a free one when they heard Neville's voice beckoning them over, Ron and Ginny next to him. They made their way over and Harry gave Hedwig to Ginny who jumped into the carriage, Harry was about to do the same but he froze as he caught site of the Thestral that was at the front. He went to pat the creature, remembering how he could see them, two now, not one. The Thestral neighed in appreciation at his petting but Harry was awoken out of his reverie by Hermione's comforting hand slipping into his and squeezing. He turned and smiled at her before joining the others, and making their way to the magnificent castle.
Hogwarts came into view a few short minutes later and Harry was hit by a wave of comfort as the carriage rolled along the path. I'm home. They all smiled at the sight of Hogwarts, the scene of the castle in a star filled sky was enough to brighten up anyone's mood. The students jumped out of their carriages and slowly made their way to Hogwart's great oak doors, slowing down to greet friends and chatter.
The Great Hall was decorated as it always was, flaming candles floated in the air and the enchanted ceiling mirrored the night sky perfectly. As Harry took his seat he noticed that Professor Cravant wasn't at the teacher's table, and a gorgeous lady was there instead. Her long dark hair fell in loose cascades around her, over the skin of her exposed shoulders. It rippled slightly, as though caught in a breeze from another realm. She was wrapped in an elegant, pitch-black cloak, fastened by a silver clasp, shaped in a graceful 'I', just below her neck. The cloaks delicate fabric seemed to shift like the air itself, caressing the immaculate skin that was concealed beneath it. The lady watched the Great Hall fill with students quietly; not talking to her colleagues, her glittering green eyes flicked and tracked the movements in the hall, but her body remained absolutely motionless. Snape was giving the new professor jealous glances from the other side of the table. Dumbledore was in conversation with Professor McGonagall, but he looked up and gave Harry a smile, which he returned.
The Great Hall slowly filled with students and the noise of the chattering rose and rose, until Professor McGonagall marched into the Great Hall with the First Years following behind her, looking scared and slightly overwhelmed as the older students inspected the new recruits. One girl instantly stood out to Harry, she had gorgeous blue eyes and hair the deepest shade of black. She too looked absolutely terrified, he didn't know why she stood out, she just did. McGonagall assembled the First Years at the front of the hall, where the Sorting Hat had already been placed and everyone waited for its annual song.
The fold in the hat widened and it spoke "What to say? What to say?" it repeated "In these dark times, all you have is each other", this was no rhyme, Harry thought, it was a strait forward statement "Know this!" it suddenly shouted "Your Lord is here!" Harry's mouth fell agape, how could it know? He looked at Dumbledore, but the old wizard just concentrated on the Hat. Everyone in the hall was looking at each other, confused, Hermione and Ron too exchanged weird glances. "Remember!" the Sorting Hat started, and everyone's eyes returned to the black hat "United you Stand, Divided you Fall" with that it stopped, leaving the students and teachers to contemplate its words.
After a few moments of uncomfortable silence, the Sorting began. The new first years seemed evenly divided among the four houses this year, and each house clapped excitedly for each new housemate. Before long the girl Harry had noticed was at the front of the queue, "Rose Malfoy!" rang Professor McGonagall's call. Instantly the whole hall fell silent. Harry was shocked, she looks nothing like Malfoy! The terrified girl slowly approached the stool and the hat was placed on her head. After another uncomfortable silence the brim in the Sorting Hat widened and yelled: "Ravenclaw!" Gasps filled the hall, Hermione's especially loud. The Malfoy's had been Slytherins for centuries and now here was their youngest member in Ravenclaw! The three of them glanced at Draco who looked absolutely livid, his face had gone red.
Quiet tears fell down Rose's face as she made her way to the Ravenclaw table, and sat down with her fellow housemates. The other first years moved the chairs a bit to get away from her. "Poor girl…" whispered Hermione. Harry nodded, her family were not going to be pleased, and with her father a named Death Eater she was not going to be a popular person despite her pretty looks. The Sorting continued until all the first years had been sorted, and then the stool and the hat were dragged away by, as always, and agitated Argus Flich.
Professor Dumbledore stood up and silence immediately followed. "I have very important things that I have to say to you all, but before all that I have only two words – 'tuck in'" And with that the golden plates in front of them filled with all manner of delicious food. Treacle Tart, chicken, pork, ham, you name it and it was there. Hermione gave a disapproving look to all the food before tucking in herself, and Harry was sure he saw her mouth 'slave labour'. Ron on the other hand, had no complaints and proceeded to shove as much food down his throat, much to Hermione's exasperation. Smiled filled all their faces and it seemed to Harry that everyone had forgotten the darkness surrounding their future, even if was only for half and hour or so, enjoy it while it lasts, he thought. Harry enjoyed the feast, as always, and hungrily ate the delicious main course, desert and Pumpkin juice. Soon, after they had wiped their plates clean of all the tasty specs of food, Professor Dumbledore stood and silence fell over the noisy students.
"As you all know, Lord Voldemort has returned-"gasps and yelps broke out among the students at the sound of the name, Hermione frowned and Dumbledore ignored it
"This is a time where extreme caution must be taken, while I can ensure you that while you are in the castle you are very safe, we are taking extra precautions. There will be a constant Auror guard stationed at Hogwarts, twenty strong-"Dumbledore now pointed at the back of the hall, all the students turned and Harry saw a group of men and women standing near the doors. One of them waved at Harry and he noticed that it was Tonks, and there was Kingsley Shacklebolt standing next to her. "However, as always the depths of the Forbidden Forest are strictly out of bounds. There are dark creatures lurking in there that will draw power from these sinister times. Remember," Dumbledore continued "we are now in a state of open warfare, with those under the Dark Mark, wizards, witches, demons, devils, vampires and werewolves and so many more fill the Dark Lord's ranks. Be vigilant against the shadow, remember what the Sorting Hat said, United we Stand, Divided we Fall."
The Headmaster stopped now, letting his words sink in, his serious expression changed however, into a smile, "Enough of this sadness, do not let fear rule you, be yourself, and now for the school announcements. Due to the somewhat…poor…Defence Against the Dark Arts teaching last year," the Great Hall erupted into laughter and many of the teachers joined in, including Hagrid, "The curriculum has been revised, and so Sixth and Seventh Years will take Defence Against the Dark Arts together, with our new teacher Professor Eva Celestine…welcome Professor." Professor Celestine stood up to the applause of the students.
"Harry, I thought you said…" started Hermione.
"I know, must have been a change of plan with Cravant."
"Well…she's bloody hot…" said Ron, they all laughed at this and clapped along with the rest of the students.
"Many of you would have heard rumours last year of an…illegal…student founded club known as the DA. Run by Harry Potter this was a club for people who wanted to learn practical and duelling aspects of Defence Against the Dark Arts." Harry lowered his head to his empty plate, as heads in the Hall turned to face him, his Gryffindor friends, however, just sniggered. "I am proud to announce that, with Harry's permission, the DA or 'Defence Association'," Dumbledore had insisted that they changed the name of the club when he had asked Harry earlier in the holiday to reopen the DA. "is now legally an official, after school club."
The hall burst into excited muttering among the seated at the prospect of learning at the hands of the Boy Who Lived. Dumbledore raised his hands to quell the noise.
"The DA will meet twice a week, on Wednesday and Saturday nights at 7pm, here in the Great Hall. All those who wish to join please approach Mr. Potter, or Hermione Granger and let them take your names down." Hermione looked slightly shocked at being given such an important role in the DA, Harry smiled at her, who better to be an administrator than the person who thought of the DA? As Harry looked up to the teachers table, he was met with the piercing gaze of Professor Celestine. Her emerald green eyes, so similar to Harry's, just seemed to go right through him. After a few moments locked in her stare, she smiled at Harry who smiled back.
"Well you all must be tired by now, so off to bed with you." The hall once again filled with noise as conversation started and the benches were pushed back with a screech. Ron and Hermione went to lead the new students to the Gryffindor Common room; this thankfully was not one of Harry's tasks as Head Boy. Both said good night too him before they left, Hermione giving him a welcome kiss on the cheek. Harry made his way through the crowd as fast as possible to by pass any unwanted attention he was bound to receive. He stopped in front of the Fat Lady ten minutes or so later who looked expectantly at him.
"Oh yeah, its here somewhere…" his hands dove into his robes as he fished out the Head Boy letter he received a month earlier. Casting his eyes to the bottom of the parchment and smiling he said "Fawkes"
The Fat Lady smiled and swung open to reveal the passage to the Common Room. Thankfully no one else had yet arrived, most people still catching up with friends they had not seen in months. Again Harry re-read the instructions Professor Mcgonagal had sent him, instructions on how to reach the Head's bedroom. Harry had never seen anything of the sort but apparently it was hidden. Harry turned directly left and walked to the wall as the letter instructed. "…and pull" Harry whispered. What the hell was that supposed to mean? The only thing around to pull was the…
He reached out and grabbed the candle holder in the wall and it immediately moved at his touch like a lever. Silently the small section of the wall detached it self from the rest and turned a full 180 degrees, revealing to him a well lit passage way. The Son of Sparda quickly darted through as the wall almost immediately started to swing close. When he reached the end of the short corridor Harry's breath caught in his throat, on the wall in front of him was an amazing portrait of a majestic lion. The artist – whoever it was - had lost no detail on it. Every flick of the brush was one of thousands of finely placed hairs on the great creature, its mane waved in the imaginary wind within the portrait. The lion itself was asleep; it sat on a piece of jaded rock like a king on a throne.
As Harry approached its eyes snapped open and it sprung to attention, its great yellow eyes fixed on Harry, tail flicking this way and that. He felt like he was paralysed but try as he mite he could not break the lion's gaze; it was as if he was in a momentary dream, and all that existed was him and this lion. After what seemed like an age, the lion's mouth parted:
"Well met, Harry Potter, I've been expecting you," came its voice, deep and majestic, just like a King from a child's fable. Harry did not know what to say to this so he just nodded. He didn't know why he was so transfixed by the lion. Perhaps it was how life like it looked. The portrait spanned nearly the entire length of the wall in front of him. The frame was gold, gleaming as the torch light hit it, and intricate carving adorned it too. But the eyes, the lion's eyes were the only sign of age on the entire piece of art. Endless depths of knowledge untainted by any other. This has got to be as old as the school itself. The lion's voice woke Harry from his reverie "You will need to set a password, Harry Potter, so that no one may disturb you or enter without your permission."
"Um…right…" Harry racked his brain for a word that no one would think of, something different. "Rebellion" he said finally. The lion smiled, and all knowing smile and said:
"As you wish" and with that it started to swing open.
"Wait!" The lion stopped and looked at Harry. "I want to know more about you, like do you have a name and…and who painted you?" The lion continued to simply stare at him until he could feel his eyes boring through. But instead of an answer the lion simply settled itself down to go back to sleep.
"That, Harry Potter is a story for another time," it said, as if that ended the matter. It swung open fully and revealed to Harry his grand bedroom…
'I hate the sewers' thought Selene as she ran through the dank, dark and slimy tunnel as fast as she could. She had been tracking this Lycan for three days now, he was a one of Lucian's cronies, and her father had sent her on this mission to stop the spy before he leaked any information about the neutral clans to his master. He had only offered them two choices: fight for him against the forces of Light, or, die. Her father, Victor, had refused the offer and maintained their race's honour by not joining the Ministry. For too long wizards and witches had persecuted vampires and other creatures for being different, and now they had the gall to ask for their help! Selene's blood boiled at the thought of it. True some vampire clans killed humans every time they needed to feed, but many clans including her own never killed humans to satiate their hunger. They had contacts within many morgues, which gave them fresh blood off people who had recently died. They had even developed a way to bioengineer blood. While others enjoyed the taste, in her opinion feeding was the down side of being a vampire.
With super-natural speed she sped through the sewers, chasing after her prey. A flicker of movement in the dark up ahead…Bang…her gun exploded sending her bullet racing into the tunnel. A scream of agony told her that she had found her mark, she sped up, pushing her muscles as far as they would go, and soon blood trailed behind her. She could now hear the Lycan's heavy breath as he panted trying to resist the pain. Selene had him in her sights now, but as she raised her pistol to fire the Lycan took a sharp right and sprinted up the stairs in front of him. She rushed after him, and ran up the winding stairs. 'I have to end this before he gets out into the open', stopping, she lifted her twin pistols and took aim at the figure hobbling up the winding metal staircase, then let loose a barrage of deadly bullets. Unfortunately the staircase proved too much to bypass and her shots deflected off the railing and imbedded themselves in the stone walls harmlessly. Rather than waste time trying again, Selene rushed forward. A few moments later she heard a door close and then all was silent apart from her thumping footsteps on the metal stairs. When she did reach the top, she found herself faced with two doors; one to her left the other to her right. She quickly glanced at the floor; the blood trail seemed to have swollen at this point, leaving more blood than usual, as if the Lycan too had contemplated which door to take. Bloody marks of the handle of the right door, gave the injured werewolf away.
Selene kicked down the old door and it gave way easily on its rusty hinges. Another old staircase faced her, this one going directly up, it too had a blood trail, and the vampire could hear the echo of the Lycan's footsteps at the top. Selene knew the werewolf had made a fatal error, she guessed that this set of stairs led directly to the roof of the building…she had him trapped. A few moments later Selene had reached the top and another bloody marked door, she could hear the howling winds and the pouring rain outside. She brushed a strand of wet hair from her vision then grasped her twin pistols, took a deep breath and burst through. Shots rang out through the night as the Lycan tried to bring down his pursuer. Selene's vampiric senses made her duck quickly and the enemy's shots smashed into the stone behind her. Without a second thought Selene let loose her retribution, over and over again, bringing the Lycan to the ground as her bullets tore through his chest. He screamed and writhed in agony, but Selene was indifferent, she stood and reloaded both guns but stowed one away. She walked up to the defeated werewolf and put one foot on his chest to keep him in place. The vampire was surprised to see a defiant smirk behind the obvious pain.
"The…Dark…Lord…" stuttered the Lycan. Selene frowned, but the Lycan only laughed. "The Dark Lord will conquer you all…" he coughed up blood before continuing "he will unlocked more power than you can possibly imagine…" Selene had heard enough of this crap, with her pistol she fired into his chest again and again and again, until her gun's magazine was empty, her chocolate brown eyes turned into a striking shade of blue…and then there was only silence. Selene slowly moved away from the Lycan's lifeless body, her head whirling with questions. What did the Lycan mean? More power than he already had? Was he just making things up? She sighed as she stowed away her reloaded gun and moved toward the edge of the fifty foot high building, so many questions, and even fewer answers… With one final glance at her fallen prey, Selene dropped off the edge of the building, her cloak swirling around her thin body suit, and landed gracefully on the concrete pavement and then walked away…
A/N – I hoped I captured the feel of Hogwarts, any tips on how to do this better are most welcome. Also quite proud on my description of Eva and Selene's intro at the end. Yes she is based on Selene from the Underworld movie. I don't intend to make her as brooding as Kate Beckinsale's character. You probably wondering why I changed the DADA teacher, well I was quite keen to make the new teacher a woman, as all previous (good) teachers have been men. Artos Cravant will still be present in the story but in a different role of course. He and Eva are part of the same organisation 'Demon Hunters'. Next chappie is going to be on a similar setting as this, namely the first few weeks of school, Harry and Hermione stuff INBOUND :D also more details on the Demon Hunters, and of course in depth first lessons on Harry's subjects. Oh, and for action there's going to be some Demon Hunter on Vampire/Lycan action (of the violent kind lol) More info on Rose Malfoy too.
Next Chapter – Heartache
P.S – to all my returning readers a big thanks for sticking with me after the long delay, I appreciate it (100+ reviews is truly awesome)