Disclaimer: I do Not Own Harry Potter
Picnic By The Lake
Harry carefully made his way out of the Room of Requirement and headed down to breakfast. He needed to be careful not to be spotted coming and going in the early hours of the morning and the late hours of night; he was getting tired but he knew it was for a just cause. After taking Dumbledore's advice to heart, Harry had started to think on how he could go about telling Ginny his secrets. The problem was that it was very hard to relive the memories out loud, but the only other way would be to use a Pensieve. After much thought and guidance from Dumbledore, Harry had started to extract memories from his mind and put them inside a Pensieve that the Room of Requirement had given him, locked in the room behind spells of concealment that only himself or Dumbledore could get past. This was a benefit to Harry twofold. Whilst it allowed Harry a way of showing Ginny his memories when the time came to tell Ginny the truth, it also removed the memory from his mind and stopped the Dementors from forcing him to relive the encounters. It was a brilliant flash of inspiration from Dumbledore, a week after their discussion in the Headmaster's office. Whilst Harry could recall what happened, the exact details were now fuzzy in his mind; therefore, because he couldn't recall the exact action of what happened, just the knowledge that it did, the Dementors couldn't force him to relive his most terrifying memories.
Of course this was only a temporary fix until he told Ginny the truth. He still needed to be able to cast a Patronus Charm if needed and therefore still needed to explain things to Ginny. Also, it would be far too dangerous to keep his memories in the Room of Requirement for too long, even if it were behind concealments and enchantments. But it would take a while. Harry could only relive so many memories at a time, and there were so many to show Ginny, that it would take some time before he could put every memory inside the Pensieve. So the moment to tell Ginny the truth wasn't as close as he first anticipated when they came up with the idea, but at least they were working on the problem. And the moment when Harry finally manage to relive all his worst nightmares and had them all in the Pensieve, would be the time to show Ginny the true terrors that were plaguing Harry.
Harry turned the corner and headed towards the Great Hall, as he was meeting Ginny and the others at breakfast every morning like he had done since he began extracting his memories of the future. The others were curious about what Harry was doing late at evening and early morning but after several days of question that went unanswered they had slowly given up. Harry knew Ginny was anxious, as he knew that Ginny was afraid that he was becoming even more private and not letting her in as much as he used to, but he knew in the end Ginny would understand. When the time came to explain things Ginny would understand why, or at least, Harry hoped she would.
After walking along the corridor deep in thought the noise of scuffling and a sneering laugh brought him out of his musings and Harry browed his head in thought. He knew that sneer and that voice, although it hadn't bothered him as much this year than in previous years since he had sent him to the hospital wing, humiliated in front of the whole school for bullying Ginny.
Harry's intuitive mind was correct as he rounded the corner to see Malfoy and his goons crowded around a short little girl with blond hair and a cork bottle necklace that would normally be around her neck, lying on the floor broken. There was a sudden flash of memory: Harry saw her, Neville, and Ron standing the opposite himself and Ginny with the iron gate of Hogwarts and a magical barrier separating the five of them. Rage came over Harry and he whipped his wand towards Malfoy, causing the blond-haired boy to fall over as Harry's Full Body Bind hit his target. The Slytherin cronies eyed Harry advancing on them and slowly started to withdraw from the blond girl. When Harry reached them he looked down at Malfoy on the floor before sighing and casting the counter-curse.
"Malfoy," Harry said exasperated. "How many times do I have to warn you, even your father would have gotten the hint by now."
"Don't you dare talk about my father," Malfoy hissed as he scrambled to his feet.
Harry looked at his watch before looking between Malfoy and his Slytherin friends. He didn't really have time to have a fight with Malfoy. He was hungry and breakfast would soon be over. Waiting for lunch would be a nightmare, although he supposed the kitchens wouldn't be so bad; he would get to see Dobby.
"Fine," Harry said, smiling, "Walk away and we'll forget this ever happened. Just remember, stay away from my friends."
"I wasn't anywhere near your pesky friends," Malfoy spat. "What are you now? The bully police?"
"Well, thank you for admitting you are a bully," Harry said joyfully before turning towards the blond-haired girl. "But I've known Luna here for quite a while. How are you?"
"I'm fine, Harry," Luna said smiling. "I was just trying to explain to Malfoy here that he mustn't use so much hair dye."
"I don't use hair dye, you blonde bimbo!" Malfoy said in exasperation.
"You mean your hair is always that bleached…" Luna said seriously. "My, no wonder there're so many wrackspurts floating around your head, you should do something with your hair, it would help you out in class, help concentrate and clear your head. Maybe you would stop doing so many stupid things like dressing up in dresses. Wrackspurts are attracted to sleek bright hair, and the dungeons are full of them. I think it's why Professor Snape keeps his hair all greasy."
"I do not dress up in dresses," Malfoy shouted at Luna.
"Okay," Luna said shrugging, "Just that a couple of my dorm mates were discussing the last Quidditch match and they said something along the lines of you and your friends sporting a rather fetching black dress."
"Shut up," Malfoy hissed at her
"Great comeback, Malfoy, now piss off," Harry said.
"You have some weird friends, Potter," Malfoy spat before turning and walking off along the corridor.
It was only then did Harry notice that there was a couple of Ravenclaws in the crowd. Anger shot through him, as there were people in Luna's house that sat by and idly watched as Luna was picked on. Harry turned back to Luna, who was bent down fixing her necklace of butterbeer caps back around her neck.
"Does he bully you often?" Harry asked Luna.
"A little, but not as much," Luna said as she stood and shrugged. "It's not really his fault, and those wrackspurts can do a real number on you."
"Sure," Harry said smiling. "Why did no one from your own house help out?"
"Well I don't have any friends in Ravenclaw," Luna said bluntly. "People are afraid of stuff they don't understand; it's not too much of a bother."
"You don't have one friend?" Harry asked shocked. Harry knew previously that Luna had a troubled time making friends in Ravenclaw, but surely she must have had one friend.
"I have a couple of third years who are happy to help me with my homework if I don't understand something," Luna explained.
"But I'm talking about real friends," Harry said gently, "Who want to hang out with you because of you."
"Well, no," Luna said shrugging. "It would be nice to have some of those I suppose, but I'm used to it now. Everyone in Ravenclaw was rather put out when I started to explain about how Crumple-horned snorkacks lived in Sweden and that one day me and my dad were going over there to find them."
"Then why don't you come and sit with me and Ginny at the Gryffindor table," Harry said, "And if you want to, you can always come to us for help on homework."
"That's very considerate of you, Harry," Luna said, "but I wouldn't want to impose."
"You won't be," Harry told her.
"That's nice," Luna said smiling.
Harry lead Luna down the corridor and then down the grand staircase that lead to the entrance hall. As Harry entered the Great Hall there was a murmur of interest that Luna was walking with Harry but it died down quickly. Harry and Luna walked towards Ginny and the others who sat eating breakfast. Ginny looked up and smiled at Harry before looking interestedly at Luna.
"Hello, Luna," Ginny said.
"Hello, Ginny," Luna said, sitting down opposite her. Harry slid into the empty seat next to Ginny.
"How are you?" Ginny asked her.
"Very well," Luna said.
"Aren't you a Ravenclaw?" Ron said, squinting at her. "Why are you sitting here?"
"Because I invited her to, Ron," Harry said coldly. "She's allowed to sit with friends."
"Oh, we are friends?" Luna said looking up at Harry, "That's nice. It's nice finally having friends here at school."
"You've always been our friend, Luna," Ginny told her. "I'm sorry we've been ignoring you."
"Oh, it's been okay," Luna explained. "I've been very busy recently preparing an article for the Quibbler."
"The Quibbler?" Hermione said, frowning, "I've seen old copies of that in the library, pure nonsense."
"My dad is the editor, thank you," Luna said kindly. "And it's not nonsense; me and daddy are talking about going hiking this summer in Wales to look for Dabberblimps. They are very rare. But Daddy said I could write the article this summer about them and our journey if we find them. It takes a lot of work; I need to know where about in Wales they are most likely to live, so I need to do a lot of research."
Hermione looked at Harry helplessly but Harry just smiled back. Harry missed Luna and was now very happy that she was hanging around. Harry hoped that Luna would continue to do so from now on.
Five minutes later the morning mail arrived and Harry looked up to see the snowy form of Hedwig gliding his way towards him with a note attached to her leg. Hedwig gracefully glided down towards Harry and landed in front of him.
"That's a beautiful owl, Harry." Luna said thoughtfully.
"Thank you, Luna," Harry said as he removed the letter from his familiar's leg and gave her a bit of bacon as a thank you.
"It's from Hagrid," Harry said as he read the letter allowed.
Dear Harry, Ginny, Ron, Neville and Hermione.
How about having tea with me this evening around six? I'll come and collect you, do not go out on the grounds by yourselves. You're not allowed out on your own!
"Oh, that's great," Hermione beamed. "I managed to do a lot of research for Buckbeak's case last night; I can go over it with Hagrid this evening. He can then send it to his lawyer."
As Harry promised when they first found out that Lucius Malfoy had reported the hippogriff to the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, Harry had written to Sirius demanding him to hire a lawyer to help Hagrid fight his case. Sirius of course responded immediately and hired the best lawyer on magical creatures and, together with Hagrid, the lawyer had been trying to come up with the best defence possible. The fact that Harry would willingly take the stand and speak on the behalf of Hagrid and Buckbeak, was a crucial part of their defence and might just help to persuade the Committee to pardon the hippogriff. But Harry was still nervous.
"Who's Buckbeak?" Luna asked and Ginny swiftly told her about the situation regarding Hagrid and his hippogriff. "Oh that's terrible; everyone knows the Committee is secretly the Minister's own hunters of magical creatures. They go around killing all magical creatures that threaten becoming England's next national mascot. The hippogriff isn't high on the list yet but daddy just thinks that's because they haven't had much exposure as a mascot yet."
"That's absurd," Hermione said.
"It is, isn't it," Luna agreed, misjudging Hermione's comment, "but not very many people feel that they can go up against Minister Fudge."
Hermione looked like she was going to respond but then seemed to not know what to say, so she kept quiet. Luna once again joined them for lunch and the discussion of various creatures kept them amused and Hermione annoyed throughout the meal. Harry didn't care; he knew that Hermione would come round eventually. They were finally all together.
That evening the five of them headed down to Hagrid's hut. They had invited Luna but she said she needed to do some more research for her article and left to go to Ravenclaw Tower. They met Hagrid just before six and he walked the five of them down to his hut by the forest.
Once they arrived Hagrid ushered them in as they grabbed chairs and sat themselves down around the fire. The table was full of parchment that the five of them had written, containing notes from various cases to help Hagrid when the time came to speak in front of the committee.
"Now, we can't be too long," Hagrid said, "but I wanted to invite you down here to say thank you. Especially you, Harry. I want you to pass on my thanks to Sirius for hiring Daniel. I feel that Buckbeak has a real shot of winning."
"Well, I hope so," Harry said, "Buckbeak isn't at fault, Malfoy is."
"Yeh, I just 'ope the committee will see it that way," Hagrid said.
"Daniel will make them see it that way," Harry said, "He's very good."
"Yeh, I can't believe yeh hired him for me," Hagrid said. "I think I would be all over the place if it weren't for Daniel. And you lot. Daniel said all that research did help."
Harry wasn't quite so sure; all the research they managed to find was of countless hearings where hippogriffs and other animals were constantly sentenced to death. In all of the hearings where the creature got off, it was because the animal was too dangerous for even the committee to go near. Harry also wanted to go to the hearing as a witness for Buckbeak and Daniel was all for it, having the Boy Who Lived vouch for the hippogriff in front of the committee would help their cause greatly. But the committee denied Harry as a witness, saying they couldn't allow Harry to miss any school to come to the hearing. Daniel had been fighting tooth and nail to get Harry to the hearing but everywhere he turned he was blocked and in the end they realised that there was no chance they could get Harry there. All too soon the five of them left Hagrid and headed back up towards the castle.
Once they got to the common room they saw on the notice board that there was another Hogsmeade weekend coming up. Harry turned to Ginny, who looked at Harry expectantly.
"What do you want to do?" Harry asked her. "It's the weekend before Valentine's Day."
"Oh yeah," Ginny said smiling. "I didn't notice. Does that mean I'm coming along again?"
"Well," Harry said as they walked over to their usual seats by the fire, "if you want to, but we would mostly have to stay hidden. This isn't like Christmas with a massive snow storm. It's going to be clear and you're going to be easily visible, and everyone knows that it's Valentine's Day the Monday after. They know we're going to want to spend it together. If they see me down in Hogsmeade they are going to start asking questions. I think it's better if we just spend it together here. There will be fewer people around because of the visit, and we wouldn't have to hide. If the weather is nice we could walk around the grounds."
"Agreed," Ginny said smiling and snuggling close to Harry. "Romantic picnic by the lake it is."
"Picnic?" Harry asked.
"Damn straight, Potter," Ginny said giggling as she snuggled closer to Harry.
Saturday morning came slowly for Harry. The week had been a struggle with memories to sort out and most importantly a picnic to think about. Harry never really celebrated a Valentine's Day before, unless you counted his future self spending the day with Cho Chang in Madam Pudifoot's. Which Harry didn't, because he didn't really feel that the date had gone well enough to call it a success. His future self never really spent a date with Ginny once they had gotten together. Sure, they spent time together and walked around the lake together but they never went to Hogsmeade together and they never had a romantic picnic. And all too soon they were off fighting the war and from then on they never had time to do something special.
Once Harry was awake he quickly got dressed and headed towards the kitchens. Dobby had been rather ecstatic when Harry went down to the kitchens and told him that he and Ginny were planning a romantic day together and needed a picnic. Dobby fumbled about getting food and a basket for Harry and then a blanket so that they wouldn't get too dirty. Harry told Dobby where to place the picnic and then strolled off to the Great Hall for some breakfast.
Harry smiled at Ginny who was sitting at the Gryffindor table next to Neville and Luna. Luna had started to join them rather regularly over the past week and it was soon something the rest of the Gryffindor table grew to expect. The rumour that Luna Lovegood had joined Harry's group of friends spread through Hogwarts and Luna had found herself less picked on, something Harry was very happy about.
After breakfast Harry and Ginny bade farewell to the others, as they were heading to Hogsmeade, or in Luna's case, going to the Owlery to send a letter to her father. They left hand in hand and started to stroll out of the oak front doors of the castle and down the smooth lawns towards the lake. As always with the month of February, you could never tell whether you would get cold damp weather or a warm dry day hinting that spring was in the air. Luckily for Harry and Ginny, they day turned out to be the latter, and the ground underneath them was dry and the air around them not too cold.
They soon reached the lake and Harry grabbed Ginny's hand as he led her around the water front. After ten minutes they came to an interesting stone archway hidden by plants and trees looking over the stillness of the lake. Inside the archway was a stone bench. The sun filtered through the leaves of the trees shading the area and the peacefulness of the archway meant for a private setting. A picnic basket and a picnic cloth sat on the ground in front of it.
"Oh, this is beautiful," Ginny said as she went and sat on the bench. "Where and when did you find this place?"
Truth to be told, Harry found this place when Ginny brought him here, the afternoon after their future selves kissed for the first time in the common room in front of everyone. That would be explained to Ginny soon, but in the meantime Harry just said he came across it one afternoon when walking around thinking.
The first hour or so Harry and Ginny just sat together loving the view and each other's company, enjoying small talk and occasional quick kisses with one another. The topics of conversation was never anything serious, but were interesting none the less. The talk included many topics, whether the Chudley Cannons stood any chance of finishing anything other than bottom of the league and whether the Holyhead Harpies were going to win the league. They had added a new Chaser and Beater to the team this season and were currently only two points behind the leaders, Appleby Arrows. Whether Fred and George would get the five O.W.L.s each their mother had demanded of them this summer, which Harry knew was never going to happen, even without his future knowledge. Whether Snape would wash his hair at any point in the next four to five years in which Harry and Ginny would be at Hogwarts. Ginny quickly dismissed that one too.
It was soon after a topic on Fred and George's homemade potions, in which Harry confided in Ginny that he thought that their plans were to start creating a joke business of their own sometime soon, which Ginny was very interested in and excited about, that Ginny turned the conversation rather serious.
"Harry," Ginny said slowly, "I want to talk to you but I'm not quite sure where to exactly start. It's difficult because we don't normally talk about this but I must admit I'm getting rather frustrated."
"You can talk to me and ask me anything, Ginny," Harry said, smiling at her, "You know that."
"I know," Ginny said quietly, "But this never comes up."
Harry looked at her interestedly before speaking.
"Ask," Harry said to Ginny, taking her hand.
"I know you're a secretive person, Harry," Ginny began. "And I know that I am probably the person who knows most of your secrets. So please don't think I'm ungrateful. And I don't want to turn into Hermione, trying to figure you out as a puzzle or demanding to know every single little thing there is to know about you. In fact, the slight air of mystery is kind of intriguing and attractive. But it also has some downsides."
Harry watched Ginny interestedly and indicated to her to go on.
"I thought about this a lot over the recent weeks since Pettigrew's attack on you," Ginny continued. "Sitting there watching you suffer, not being able to help. Watching the boy I love be haunted by things that cause him to come a shadow of himself. But also knowing that I can't help! Do you know what it feels like? What it felt like, sitting in that hospital wing watching you relive memory after memory, seeing how upset you were after reliving those memories, but not being able to support you? Not knowing what it is that is truly bothering you. And I know about the Dursleys, but there are other things as well. I can tell that. But you won't tell me. In fact, you're pulling away from me. Ever since that day you have been more secretive, going off on your own, avoiding me. It hurts, Harry, because I love you with everything I have. I don't care if it is not normal for a twelve year old to feel this way. I don't care. Because all I know is that I love you. All I want to do is to help you. And I know the only way I can do that is for you to let me in fully. When are you going to let me in?"
He watched Ginny intently for a couple of seconds before standing up and pulling her up with him. Ginny eyed him curiously as he started to head towards the castle leading her along by his side.
"Where are we going?" Ginny asked Harry.
"Headmaster's office," Harry answered. Harry led along the corridors of their magical school and up to the seventh floor corridor. They reached the gargoyle and Harry politely asked for it to move aside. Once they got up the revolving staircase Harry quickly knocked on the door wand waited for an answer. Once Dumbledore called them in they opened the door and stepped through into the office.
"Mr. Potter, Ms. Weasley," Dumbledore said, addressing them, "What can I do for you today?"
"I would like access to your private library for a couple of minutes, Headmaster," Harry told him, "if that is alright with you."
Dumbledore looked between the two before nodding his head and indicating the stairs behind his desk.
"We're pulling a prank?" Ginny asked as they started to climb the stairs.
"No," Harry started to explain. "There's more to the library of books here than just pranking material."
Harry led Ginny along the corridor that the stairs gave them access to, past the room full of books on pranks that the ghosts had finally finished organised late autumn and into another room. This one, like the room the ghosts had organised, had the walls full of book cases. Harry started to look along them as Ginny waited patiently. Two minutes later Harry handed her a book. Ginny looked at the front cover and read the title, 'Occlumency: Shield Your Mind.'
"Occlumency…" Ginny ready carefully. "You want me to learn this?"
"I want to tell you all my secrets, Ginny," Harry said gently, "Every single one of them. You ask what I've been doing the past few weeks. I have not being pulling away from you, I've been preparing to let you fully in. Every now and then I go to the Room of Requirement and prepare to let you in on all my secrets. It's taking some time, longer than I originally thought, but that doesn't matter greatly when you don't know how to shield the secrets. I know you already know some of them, but if they ever got out it wouldn't be the end of the world, the rest of my secrets however… Only Dumbledore and Sirius are aware of them. The only other person who I want to know about them is you. But in order to be able to tell you, you need to be able to protect them."
"So I need to learn this?" Ginny asked him. "In order to know everything I need to learn this."
"Yes," Harry said. "I don't know how long it will take you, whether you will learn it by the end of the year or not, but you need to learn it; my secrets need protecting. I want to let you in, I want to tell you everything."
"I get it," Ginny said quietly, then quickly stepped closer to Harry and gave him a loving kiss. "I know you want to, I can see that, and I think I'm ready to know. I promise Harry, I will read this book and practise Occlumency as much as I can."
"It's going to be hard," Harry told her. "I had a lot of trouble learning it myself."
"I understand," Ginny said taking a hold of his hand. "I'm not going to learn this overnight, or over the next week or so, and I know you can't let me fully in until I learn it. I understand that. I know there will still be secrets for a while longer, I'm okay with that. This was never about that fact that you had secrets; I know you've had secrets for years. It was whether you were ever willing to let me in fully. Learning this, you teaching me Occlumency, it shows that you are willing, that you want to tell me, but you can't just yet. I understand, and will try everything I can to learn the best I can, no matter how long it takes. I love you, and want to protect your secrets just as much. Thank you, for doing this, for showing that you truly are ready to trust me fully. I just need to learn this. It's going to be a couple of months isn't it?"
"Who knows," Harry said gently to her, "But I will help you in any way I can."
"Then that is all that matters to me," Ginny said smiling. "I love you, Harry."
"I love you, too," Harry replied and kissed Ginny again.
Harry pulled gently on Ginny's hand and led her back out of the room and down the corridor to the stairs leading down to Dumbledore's office. They saw Professor McGonagall standing in front of the desk with Dumbledore himself pacing behind it.
"Ah, Mr. Potter, Ms. Weasley," McGonagall said gently. "I'm so glad you are safe."
"Safe?" Harry asked her, "What happened?"
"There was another attack from Peter Pettigrew this afternoon," Dumbledore explained.
Harry and Ginny looked at one another before looking back at the two professors.
"It's your brother, Percy," Dumbledore started to explain.
Harry sat next to Ginny in the hospital wing, silently regarding the fact that they were spending too much time in the wing. Percy lay unconscious on the bed, his brothers surrounding him, paying close attention. Percy's injuries weren't too serious. He had a couple cuts from a knife and he had banged his head but other than these minor injuries he was doing okay.
It appeared that Percy had been walking near Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop when he was attacked from behind by a masked stranger. No one truly knew what happened, just that someone had found Percy in the alleyway by the shop, and had alerted a nearby prefect. That prefect had managed to send her friend off to Professor McGonagall whilst the prefect and her friends looked after Percy.
McGonagall had quickly brought him up to the hospital wing once she had all the details from the prefect. The prefect, Penelope Clearwater, had decided to stay with him and sat with his brothers, waiting.
"Does anybody know why he was attacked?" Penelope asked. "Or by whom?"
"Who isn't really a question, is it?" Fred said darkly, "We all know who is lurking around Hogwarts and Hogsmeade. Why there are Dementors around the school. But he's meant to be after Harry, not Percy, why attack Percy?"
"Pettigrew?" Penelope said, "Peter Pettigrew after Harry? What has Harry got to do with him?"
"It's complicated," Harry answered. "But again, why attack Percy?"
"Maybe he recognised him," Ginny pondered, "After all Pettigrew hid as Percy's pet. If anyone would recognise him it would be Percy."
There was a taping on the window then and Harry saw that a brown owl carrying a letter was asking to come in. Ron stood up and quickly opened the window and let the owl in. It flew graciously over to Hermione, who sat in the seat next to Fred. Hermione quickly took the letter and opened it.
"Oh no," Hermione said tearfully, "It's from Hagrid, he lost his case, Buckbeak is set to be executed."
"What!" Harry said outraged, "Why? I sent off a witness statement. We hired the best lawyer!"
"It's what Hagrid wrote," Hermione said passing the letter over to him. Harry read the letter and then screwed it up in a ball and threw it to the other side of the room. What a wonderful Valentine's Day this was turning out to be.
"The committee is in Lucius Malfoy's pocket," Ron said, "We never stood a chance!"
"Bloody Mcnair," Harry muttered, "he's on the committee, and old friends with the Malfoys. He'll probably be the one that will do the execution."
"There's always the appeal!" Hermione reminded them.
"Oh, come on, Hermione," Ron said. "We gave Buckbeak every chance he could take; they still sentenced Buckbeak to death. We've got no chance of winning the appeal, only if there's new evidence would the committee even listen. We gave them all the evidence we have at the trial yesterday."
"Ron is right," Harry said sulkily, "Whatever chance we had was lost yesterday."
"Is there nothing we can do?" Ginny asked quietly.
"No," Harry told her, "There will be an appeal, of course, but it's only procedure, nothing will come of it."
"The Ministry is probably one of the most corrupt industries in the world at the moment," Penelope mentioned. "It's no surprise that your friend lost his trial."
Everyone around Percy's bed looked at her in shock.
"You are Percy's girlfriend?" George asked her, "He isn't paying you to pretend or anything, right?"
"What! Of course not!" Penelope snapped.
"I take it you haven't mentioned your view on the Ministry when Percy is awake then?" Harry said smiling.
"Do you think I want to lose my boyfriend?" Penelope asked, her eyebrow raising, crossing her arms.
"When it's Percy we do kind of have to question what you see in him," Fred said jokingly.
"I'll have you know that Percy is very passionate about the things he cares about," Penelope said.
"Yeah, rules," Ron muttered. Penelope sighed.
"I know he doesn't get along too well with many of you," Penelope said gently. "I know he loves rules and I know the rest of you love to break them."
"We don't love to break them!" Ginny started.
"Speak for yourself," George joked.
"It's just that we like to have fun," Ginny said, "And some rules just aren't necessary. We only ignore the ones that don't make sense."
"All of them make sense," Penelope said to her firmly.
"Yeah, you're perfect for Percy," Fred told her.
"All of them make sense," Penelope repeated, "But I won't deny that there are some circumstances that rules need to be ignored. I'm trying to teach Percy some of those circumstances; it is going very slowly."
"You know he wants to become Minister of Magic someday," George told her.
"Good for him," Hermione said, "It's good that he know what he wants to do in life."
"I just hope he learns the lesson Penelope is trying to teach him before he becomes minister," Harry said.
There was movement from the bed and everybody looked to see Percy slowly awakening.
"Percy," Penelope said gently as she leaned forward to take his hand. "How are you feeling?"
"Like a madman attacked me," Percy said sleepily.
"Now why would you feel like that?" Harry said jokingly.
"Harry," Percy said looking over to him, "Shut up."
"You are asking Harry to shut up?" Ginny asked. "Like would that ever happen."
"I'd better go get Madam Pomfrey," Hermione said as she got out of her seat and started walking to the office.
"So what happened?" Harry asked Percy.
"I was doing a little window shopping, I needed some new quills, the ones I got aren't just up to scratch on how I would prefer mine, they make such a mess on the parchment and I can't have handed in messy homework to my professors. What would they think!" Percy started as he said the last bit to Penelope.
"Anyway, as I was eyeing this rather adequate blue quill I heard rustling in the alleyway next to the shop, so naturally as Head Boy I went to see which student was making such a racket. Making such a commotion where they really shouldn't have been. I mean talk about breaking school rules. So as my duty as Head Boy I went over to them to tell them off and give them detention. And then, would you believe, they started to attack me! I couldn't tell who it was, but the skill they had was unnerving."
"We believe it was Peter Pettigrew," Harry said.
"Certainly didn't look like it," Percy said, "But I suppose Polyjuice Potion would be useful for him."
"But where would he get it, unless he made it himself?" Ron asked.
"Out of the way, out of the way," Madam Pomfrey's commanding voice came to them as she bustled towards the bed. She handed a potion to Percy, who drank it immediately.
"You know, I'm taking too much pleasure in the fact that it's someone else in the hospital rather than me, I think," Harry said smiling.
"The things you do for family," Percy drawled sarcastically as he finished the potion and handed the goblet back to the nurse. "I expect payment, mind."
"You are joking," George said, "Saint Percy making a joke."
"Don't call him Saint," Harry said hurriedly, horrified, "he would get us to worship him next. Think of all the rules he would force us to follow!"
"Ah, I can think of them now," Percy said, playing along, causing his brothers and sister to look at him horrified.
"No, no," Ginny said swiftly. "You've just been attacked, no need to get stressed thinking about rules we need to follow."
"Not like you lot would follow them anyway," Percy sighed.
"Only the ones that make sense," Fred said, winking at Ginny.
"I figured," Percy responded.
"I'm glad you're feeling okay," Harry said. "When we heard what Pettigrew had done we were worried, we hoped that you would be okay. I guess you are made of firmer stuff. So Pettigrew just attacked? He didn't say one thing? Do anything suspicious?"
"No," Percy said, shaking his head, "he was wearing a cloak and a mask, and had both hands in gloves, probably to hide his right hand; everyone knows Pettigrew had lost a finger after he cut it off."
"Mr. Weasley needs rest," Madam Pomfrey announced then. "Everyone out."
"But he just woke up!" Ginny exclaimed.
"And he needs rest, Ms. Weasley," Madam Pomfrey, "now everyone leave, they will be serving dinner soon down in the Great Hall."
"Get better, Percy," Harry said, "I'm sorry this happened."
"It's not your fault, brother," Percy said, waving his hand. "But the Dementors will catch him soon I'm sure; they've got the backing of the Ministry of Magic."
"The same Ministry of Magic that let Pettigrew escape in the first place," Ron muttered as they left the Hospital Wing and headed along the corridor to the main staircase. Penelope had headed back to the Ravenclaw tower. "Surely Percy isn't so blind in his faith in the Ministry to see that this is their fault to begin with."
"They should have had better security!" Ginny argued.
"No one had broken out of Azkaban before Pettigrew," Neville pointed out, "how much more secure can you get?"
"They're still partly to blame," Ginny said huffing.
"Agreed," Harry said.
"I'm glad Percy is okay though," Ginny said as she gently put her hand into Harry's. "And it's not your fault, Harry."
"Never said it was," Harry said looking at her.
"I know," Ginny replied, "But I also know you, so I thought I'd nip any thinking like that in the bud right away." Harry chuckled as they continued walking towards the Great Hall.
AN: Hello and welcome back to another Chapter. Next chapter is Easter Break and it's going to be quite a big chapter, so be warned it will take some time to write. I've got about 14,000 words so far. Who knows how many when I finished, my record is 16,300 which was 'Getting the Diary' but this one will be bigger. (Funny enough the actual Title is called 'Easter Break'.) Also, just realised that this story, is the ninth most followed story in the HG section of and 11th on Siye! Thank you ever so much. EDIT: i've only had 4 reviews so far to this chapter :( i like recieving reviews :P