Notes: Woppie! New story! This is Harry's first year of ministry school. In case you don't know, this story is a sequel to my other story Loss of Innocence. I would suggest reading it first, but you don't have to. Basically Harry killed Voldemort – for more detail read the story yourself.
And now – Onward! A nice long one to start out with.
Beep, beep, beep, beep…
Harry swatted at the alarm, eventually knocking it to the ground. He moaned and rolled over. Ginny looked at him with half open eyes. "Sorry."
"It's alright. I have to get up anyway." Harry rolled over again, falling onto the floor and then getting up. Ginny got up as well. They both stretched. Harry picked up the clock.
"Remind me again why I signed up for a class at eight AM."
"Because it was the only one left."
"Damn my perpetual laziness." He put on his robe and stretched again.
"It happens to the best of us. Come on. You should eat something before you go." She pulled him downstairs to the kitchen. After he was done he went back upstairs, slowly.
"I – hate – stairs," he mumbled. His body wasn't fully awake yet, and his left knee didn't help any. He had nearly broken off the lower half of his left leg when he fought Voldemort for the last time, and now he was paying for it.
He was dressing when Ginny entered. "You're going like that?" she asked.
"Yeah. Why? Something wrong with it?"
"Just because there aren't uniforms doesn't mean you can dress like a homeless person."
"I'm going to wear a robe over it. No one will see it."
Harry went over to her and put his hands on her shoulders. "Calm down. It's not the end of the world."
"Fine, fine. It's your body. Dress it however you want."
"I will." He looked at the clock. "Ah, I better get going." He grabbed his books and his robe.
"Hopefully. When is your class?"
"Nine to noon. You're till eleven, right?" He nodded and headed downstairs. "Harry?" He stopped and looked to her. "Try to be nice for once. Make a friend."
"I'm always nice."
"Sorry that I don't like everyone."
"Okay, whatever. Get going." He kissed her and then went out the door, walking down the street. He had to go to the end of the street to apparate in the daylight, or else the muggles on the street might suspect something.
There was a small patch of trees on the corner. Harry went in it and put on his robe. Then, picking back up his books, he popped away.
The ministry's Auror Academy was like a small prison. Found somewhere in northern England, it was only two floors high and made of steel. Classrooms were small. The building itself was a giant square circle. The bit in the center was for any outside classes or demonstrations. A dormitory building rose behind the school. The entire complex was closed in by a twelve foot high fence and enough magical protection to stop a charging flobberworm.
Harry entered the gates. It was extremely less inviting than Hogwarts had ever been, but he was stuck there. Other students filled in as well. Most of them were silent, looking as lost as Harry was.
Room 213, Harry thought. It would be on the second floor, assuming that the first floor is one hundreds and the second is two hundreds. He walked slowly, looking at the paper in his hand, when he ran straight into a girl.
"Sorry," he mumbled.
"It's okay. I wasn't paying attention. Do you know where room 213 is?"
"No. Actually, I was looking for it myself."
"Really? Then we can find it together. History of protective magic class?"
"Which type of auror are you going for?" she asked as they searched.
Recently Harry had discovered that there was more than one kind of auror. They specialized in different areas, which meant they took different classes. Ginny, for instance, was specializing in poisons and other kinds of medicine. Ron was working in dangerous animal control, and Hermione was doing a general study of everything, like she usually did.
"Umm… spells and jinxes and such. How about you?"
"Old magic. Oh, I lost my manners. I'm Mandi."
"Nice to meet you, Harry." He found it odd that she did not flick her eyes up to his forehead or even acknowledge that she knew which Harry he was. They found 213. She sat next to him, in the back of the room. Harry looked around the room. The professor was not there yet, and students were still arriving.
"Fancy meeting you here," he heard from behind him. Harry turned around. Draco Malfoy had just sat down behind him.
"How did you get in here?"
"Same way everyone else does, Harry."
"Is this a friend of yours, Harry?" Mandi asked.
Draco stood up a bit and extended his hand to her. "Mark Lucas." Mandi introduced herself as well. "Harry and I went to school together. We were good buddies, right Harry?"
"Sure," Harry mumbled. If you think wanting someone dead means being their friend… He was about to turn and ask Draco what the name change was about, but the professor entered. He was a small Spanish man.
"Quiet," the professor said. "I am Professor Pico, history of protective magic, because one must understand where magic came from in order to use it. Any questions? No? Good. Open your books to page three and we will begin."
The class was not much more exciting than the history of magic class had been at Hogwarts. Because the class was four hours long, they got a break half way through. This was Harry's chance to talk with 'Mark'.
Draco was talking with Mandi when they left the room. "Hey, umm, Mark?" Harry said. "Could I have a word?" He pulled him to the side. "Who's 'Mark'?"
"Not as I recall."
"Then you must be mistaking me for someone else."
"I know it's you Malfoy." Draco pulled him away from everyone else.
"Alright, it's me. I changed my name. How else would I get into a place like this with my record?"
"How did you change it? Don't you have to go to the ministry for that anyway?"
Draco came closer to him. "Draco Malfoy is dead. He jumped off a building and died. I am Mark Lucas, no relation. Got it?"
"If you're dead then how are you here?"
"I polyjuiced a homeless person to look like me."
"That's your favorite potion, isn't it?"
"Yes, it is. Ask anyone and they'll tell you I'm dead. As far as the ministry knows I'm a boy from America with English parents who wanted to send me back for a good education."
"That was very clever of you."
"Slytherins are supposed to be clever. I never let my house down. I did a favor for you now you should do one for me. You won't say anything, will you?"
"Say anything about what?" Harry put his arm around Draco's shoulders. "There's nothing to say, Mark, old buddy."
"You're enjoying this, aren't you?"
Harry walked back into Grimmauld Place. Hermione and Ron were in the living room with books and parchment spread everywhere. Harry let them use the house whenever they wanted. Hermione had a key, as Ron would probably end up loosing it. "How'd it go?" Ron asked.
"More exciting than watching the grass grow, but slightly less thrilling than watching paint dry."
"Then I can't wait for three o'clock." They had the same class in the afternoon. Unlike Harry, they had actually scheduled in advance.
"Oh, come on. I'm sure it will be more interesting than the class we had in Hogwarts," Hermione said.
"Only a tad," Harry said, sitting next to Ron. "What are you working on? You haven't had any classes yet."
"Yes, but you know the world might stop if Hermione Granger isn't ahead of schedule," Ron said. Hermione glared at him.
"Was there an assignment?" Hermione asked.
"Yeah. The first six chapters are due in two weeks."
"Good. I've already started on them." Ron rolled his eyes. "At least I'm not like some people, who haven't even bought the book yet."
"Why do I need it when we have the same class?" Ron asked. "I'll be copying out of yours and Harry's anyway."
Harry looked up at the clock. Ginny wouldn't be home for another twenty minutes. "Do you want to go to lunch, after Ginny comes home?" Hermione asked.
"If you're paying." Ron mumbled.
"I don't have any wizard money. I live with muggles most of my time, remember?"
"I'll pay," Harry said, staring at the clock. "I always end up paying anyway." They sat there, watching Hermione do whatever it was that she was doing, until Ginny came home. She burst through the door with a large stack of books in her hands. Harry got up to help her.
"Ginny?" Hermione said. "We were going to go to lunch, if you want to come along."
"Sure," she replied. "Just let me go set these upstairs." Harry followed her with part of her stack.
They set them on her desk. She turned around and kissed him. "I missed you."
"It was less than five hours."
"So?" She kissed him again. "How was it?"
"Thrilled me to tears. But I found a friend."
"Some girl. Her name is Mandi."
"A girl, hmm? A pretty girl?"
Harry sighed. "Don't start."
"I was only kidding." She put her arm through his. "Lunch?"