Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter
Chapter 15: Reunions, Revelations, and Returning Home
There were very few things in the world that Albus Dumbledore was afraid of.
An angry Daphne Dressler was one of them.
Currently, the aforementioned Auror was standing in Albus's office, her arms crossed across her chest, her posture straight and upright. She was also fixing him with a vicious glare.
"I'm waiting, Albus. I'm waiting to find out why you let this happen. I'm waiting to find out why you have allowed my son to be ostracized, harassed by his fellow students and a certain potions master, and verbally and mentally abused by the aforementioned potions master. I know the laws, Albus. And I know that using Legillimacy on students is borderline at best, illegal at worst. He was invading my son's privacy, and Thank Merlin that Harry actually included that he was getting headaches around that mind rapist, or I never would have known." She said this slowly, with a deadly calm that terrified all but the bravest. And even for them, it made them uneasy. The fire blazing in Daphne's eyes was frightening in and of itself.
"I must apologize Daphne, for I erred greatly. I should not have allowed it to get to this level, but I don't want to be viewed as playing favorites-"
"Albus, if it weren't for the prophecy, Harry would have been transferred into the Magical Academy of Ottawa with his friends. But just because he stands for it doesn't mean I will. Harry hasn't said it out loud, because he didn't want me to do just this. As for Severus, you might be inclined to speak with the little Death Eater. As is, I'm starting to think about teaching Harry Occlumency."
"Daphne, please. You know that he is too young. His mind is not developed enough." She sighed, defeated on that point, but didn't relent.
"Albus, give me a reason outside the Prophecy that I should allow Harry to return to Hogwarts. And once you've done that, explain why exactly despite my best efforts, a pair of eleven year olds were able to access the Philosopher's Stone, and nearly die because of it. Hermione would have bled out, and Harry's magical core is dangerously depleted. I don't even want to know what happened there."
"I made a grave error, Daphne. One that I will do my utmost to correct. The Wizarding World makes the mistake of painting me as infallible. I assure you I am not."
"No, you aren't. At least you can admit that much. I don't want to do this, Albus. But I love Harry to death, and I won't let him be abused like this. I never could have imagined this. And don't think I've forgotten about the Mirror. What in Merlin's name were you thinking, putting that where a student could access it? Especially a student dealing with as much as Harry?"
When Daphne had arrived on the Hogwarts Grounds, she had been sought out by an almost inconsolable Minerva McGonagall. The resulting conversation had been both enlightening and alarming in what it revealed. Harry had been hiding quite a bit from her. She wasn't sure if she wanted to confront him or not.
"Don't let it happen again, Albus," she warned."And I want you to have a long discussion with Severus Snape. I'll challenge the bastard to a duel if I have to, and you know there won't be much left of him."
"Severus is a talented duelist, but alas, I fear he would be no match for you. The only two, besides myself and Lord Voldemort that can are in Azkaban."
"I'm going to see my son now, Albus. I expect you to act on what you have learned. And to not be as complacent next time. We cannot take that risk. The Prophecy doesn't make Harry immortal, indeed, I take it to mean that 'by the hand' can mean servants, creatures, anything that answers to Lord Voldemort."
"I agree with you, Daphne. That is why you cannot remove Harry from Hogwarts. It isn't the safest environment, but nonetheless, he can only learn what he needs to learn here. He has dealt with much, and emerged better from it."
"Perhaps," she said coldly, "but if I hear that Snape doesn't improve next year, I will not hesistate to come up here and deal with him. I've already considered moving into Dressler Manor, simply to be closer to him."
"I know that, Daphne. And I understand. Severus was out of line."
"To say the least. Fine. I've said my say. We will not mention this in front of Harry, he's got enough to deal with right now."
"Agreed. I am sorry, Daphne," he said softly. Daphne didn't need to use Legillimacy to tell he really meant it.
"I'm sorry too, Albus," she said over her shoulder.
When Harry awoke, the world was fuzzy. He quickly realized he wasn't wearing his glasses. He reached for them, feeling unusually weak. He felt the glasses being placed onto his face, and looked up to see the tear-streaked face of Daphne staring down at him. Harry reached out his arms, but couldn't move them.
"Hello, Harry," Daphne said quietly.
"Shhh. It's alright, Harry, I'm here now. I'm so glad you're alright," she said softly, tears streaking down her face. She ran a hand through his hair and bent down to kiss his forehead. Her eyes were filled with pride and relief.
"Hermione…?" Harry asked desperately. The last sight he remembered was of his best friend bleeding on the chamber floor.
Daphne gestured to his right, and Harry saw his best friend sleeping silently in her own bed. His face broke into a smile at the sight. "She's fine, Harry. I've actually talked to her a few times already. This is the first time you've woken up."
"How long has it been?" Harry asked.
"Four days. I nearly had a heart attack when Dumbledore contacted me, and I demanded to come here immediately."
Harry felt his exhaustion creeping up on him. "Daphne…"
She placed a finger to her lips. "Shhh. You're tired, Harry. Get some rest; I'll stay here as long as I have to."
Harry smiled weakly and closed his eyes, falling back into the darkness.
Harry opened bleary eyes and blinked. The world was fuzzy again. Groping around for his glasses, he found this on the bedside table and put them on. He tried to sit up but found he didn't have the energy. He turned his head to Hermione's bed, and saw her sitting up reading their Transfiguration textbook, an inkwell on the nightstand, a quill in her hands, and a piece of parchment over one side of the book. Harry chuckled weakly.
"Do you ever stop studying?"
Hermione jumped, and then squealed, "Harry! You're awake!"
"Go to see you to, 'Mione. How long have you been up?" Harry asked tiredly.
"About four hours. And Harry?"
"Don't call me 'Mione. I'm really not that fond of that nickname. Don't ask why, it's just annoying," she said matter-of-factly. Harry shrugged.
"Whatever you say…Has Dumbledore been around yet? And where's Daphne?" Harry asked, surprised that his aunt wasn't around.
As Hermione opened her mouth to speak, the sound of loud arguing came from outside the closed Hospital Wing doors. It sounded like Daphne and Snape.
"…I don't care if he stopped the Dark Lord or not! He deserves to be expelled!"
"…Don't give me that, Snape," Daphne snapped. "You owe him more than anyone. Or have you forgotten about your previous occupation."
"Don't you dare-"
"SILENCE!" Dumbledore cried. "Enough, both of you. Severus, I will not expel Harry or Hermione, and that is final. They have suffered more than enough for their rule breaking…"
The sounds of the argument grew fainter as the participants walked away. Harry tried to sit up, and managed to at least lean back against his pillows. The doors of the Hospital Wing opened, admitting a subdued-looking Minerva McGonagall. Hermione sat up straighter.
"Professor?" she asked.
"Hello Miss Granger, Mister Potter. How are you two feeling?"
"Very tired," Harry responded, "and still pretty sore…" he trailed off as he was assaulted by the images of his ordeal. He shivered at the memory of the Cruciatus.
"Are you all right, Mister Potter?" McGonagall asked, concerned.
"Just…remembering," he said quietly. Hermione made a motion to get out of bed, but found herself unable to, and settled for giving him a sympathetic look.
"I understand. I'm here because I'd like to apologize to you two. I should have taken your concerns seriously. I simply found the entire scenario so absurd…"
"It's alright, Professor," Hermione interrupted her. "Believe me; I'm not sure I would have behaved any differently."
"Be that as it may, Miss Granger, the two of you were nearly killed because I was too complacent. I believed that the defenses surrounding the Stone were impenetrable. The very fact that a pair of first years, no matter how accomplished you two may be, were able to break through them, proves that my faith was misplaced."
Harry and Hermione really didn't have an answer for that. "Well, we forgive you, Professor," Harry said lamely.
"Thank you, Mr. Potter. But I must say I cannot understand what possessed you two to take such risks. Nonetheless, you two have done a great service to the wizarding world and to this school. Professor Dumbledore has informed me that he would like to get a full account of what happened from you two. He'll be back within the hour, if that's alright with you."
"It's fine, Professor," Harry said. "Can you get Daphne to be there?"
"Of course, Mr. Potter. Good day."
No sooner had McGonagall left than the noise started up again. This time, Severus Snape burst through the doors. He was livid. "POTTER! WHAT IN MERLIN'S NAME DO YOU THINK YOU WERE DOING? HAS YOUR HEAD SWELLED SO MUCH THAT YOU BELIEVE YOURSELF CAPABLE OF FIGHTING THE DARK LORD? DO YOU REALIZE YOU ARE ALIVE BECAUSE OF SHEER CHANCE? YOU ARE A GLORY-SEEKING, ARROGANT-"
"STUFF IT, SNIVELLUS!" Daphne yelled, crashing through the doors behind him. "You are alive because Harry and Hermione were brave enough to oppose him. Had they not intervened, risking their lives in the process, you would have been Voldemort's first victim. And you know what he does to traitors! Personally, I would have just let him kill you, you damned mind raper."
"You dare to assume that I-"
"SILENCE! BOTH OF YOU!" Dumbledore bellowed.
"I concur!" Madam Pomfrey yelled. "GET OUT! BOTH OF YOU! MY PATIENTS NEED REST, NOT A SHOUTING MATCH!"
Snape stormed out of the room, Daphne hot on his heels. Dumbledore sighed and gave them a look saying clearly, 'I'll be back later.'
Daphne sat on the chair at Harry's beside, holding her adoptive son's hand. She ran a hand through her hair and crossed her legs, before glancing supportively at Harry. Hermione's bed was now right beside his, so that they could offer support to each other.
Standing in front of both of them was Albus Dumbledore, his expression grave and his bright blue eyes filled with sadness. "Perhaps it would be best if you began from the beginning, Harry."
And so Harry and Hermione began their narrative of solving the mystery of the Philosopher's Stone. They began with Harry's visit to Gringotts, and Hagrid's suspicious package. He detailed their discussions with Hagrid, and his revelation about Flamel. Harry discussed his research at Dressler Manor, and the discovery that the object in question was the Philosopher's Stone.
Next, they discussed their realization that one of their Professors was after the Stone. They discussed their thoughts about the coincidences on Halloween of the troll and Snape's injury, and finally the conversation that Harry had overhead on his broom after the Quidditch match. Next, Harry detailed his scar pains and feelings that something was going to happen soon.
Next, they began their account of breaking through the Stone's defenses. They discussed using Hagrid's flute to put Fluffy to sleep, and stopping the Devil's Snare. They talked about their desperate charge to the trapdoor against the Venomous Tentaculas, and Harry's injuries from the thorned vines. Daphne was alarmed by the latest revelation, but Dumbledore assured her that Harry's wounds were healed. Next, they discussed the key room and Hermione's shoulder injury. Dumbledore was impressed by Harry's flying ability.
They detailed their useless attempts to beat the chess set, and their pitched battle against the Transfigured Chessmen. Hermione was shivering as she recalled her near-death. Daphne was scared for her adoptive son, but proud of his ability. Dumbledore also conveyed his admiration of their efforts.
When they talked about Harry's accidental poisoning, Daphne grabbed Harry's hand with alarm while giving a horrified glance at Hermione. The girl went quiet and began sobbing. Daphne, feeling guilty for upsetting her, went over and gave the girl a firm hug. Sniffling, she resumed her narrative, and Daphne complimented her on her ability to figure out such a difficult riddle without the complete text.
Harry took over from there. Hermione was horrified with Harry's description of her being hurled into the wall. In a dead-sounding voice, he detailed his confrontation with Quirrell. When he mentioned being tortured with the Cruciatus Curse, Daphne started with alarm.
"WHAT?" she cried. "Oh Merlin, Harry. I can't believe this!"
"Don't, Harry. It's over and done with. You have no idea how awful I feel about you having to go though that at such a young age." Harry was speechless, and for a moment, Hermione's soft sobs were all that broke the silence.
After Harry had recovered his composure he discussed the rest. Daphne was clinging to him like a lifeline as he described his battle with Voldemort. Dumbledore looked shocked to discover that he had failed to detect his nemesis operating in Hogwarts. When Harry talked about how he got the Stone, the old man allowed himself a small smile, then gestured for Harry to continue.
Harry completely froze up when he tried to describe what Voldemort did to Hermione. When he finally choked it out, Hermione burst into tears and Daphne reassured him the best she could. But if that was difficult, it was nothing compared to describing what happened next.
When Harry said that Voldemort had used the Killing Curse on him, Hermione screamed, Daphne swore and started crying, and Dumbledore looked grim, though there was a flash of recognition in his eyes. Harry fought through his tears as he described the scenes he saw after the green light hit the Stone. He finally stopped, and as best as he could, lunged into Daphne's arms. She held him firmly and tenderly as he cried.
Wiping tears from his eyes, he turned to Dumbledore. "Sir, I have a question."
"Why does Voldemort want to kill me? Why did he go after me in the first place? What's so special about Harry Potter?"
The result of asking this question was remarkable. Daphne froze, her face a mask of anguish, while Dumbledore sighed sadly. "Alas, Harry, the first question you ask me is the one I cannot answer." He gave a meaningful look at Daphne, who nodded, and ran a hand through Harry's hair.
"Daphne…?" Harry asked uncertainly.
"I'm sorry, Harry, but I can't. You'll find out when you are older. Forget about it for now, thanks to your efforts, it won't be important for a while." Harry nodded.
"Alright," he said quietly.
"I'll leave you now," Dumbledore said, clearing his throat. And he left the three. He needed to make a Floo call to a very old friend regarding his most valuable possession.
Harry, Hermione, and Daphne had one more conversation with Dumbledore before the two were finally released from the Hogwarts Hospital Wing. Dumbledore told them about how Nicholas had taken the news of the destruction of the Stone quite well, and how he and Pernelle had been considering ending their very long lives for quite some time. It seemed to put the eleven year olds at ease. Dumbledore also described what had happened in the Chamber. He and Daphne explained that Lily's sacrifice had given him protection against the Darkest of wizards in his very blood, and that Harry's own considerable power was magnified.
In the Forest, Voldemort had been present in the form of his half-life, fully possessing the body of Quirrell. The pure evil of the man had meant that it had activated Lily's blood protection, and used Harry's natural power to repulse the Dark Lord. In the chamber, the Killing Curse had struck the Philosopher's Stone dead on, and the immensely powerful magical object had magnified the blood magic to monstrous levels. The pure White magic had provided comfort and protection for Harry and Hermione, while it eradicated the pure Dark magic in the body of Quirrell, forcing Voldemort's spirit to flee. The Dark Lord was no doubt back in hiding, far too weak to be of any threat for quite some time.
The return to school life was something that neither eleven-year old was ready for. While the Gryffindors were likely to treat Hermione as a hero, Harry had no idea what his reception would be like back with the Slytherins. Daphne had offered to stay, but Harry had sent her home, saying he needed to get through it on his own. The day they returned was the night of the Leaving Feast. Harry and Hermione entered at dinner side by side, and the Great Hall immediately quieted. Hermione still had a bandage across her stomach that showed through her robes. Due to the delay in treating the major injury, it was going to leave a wicked scar.
As they stepped over the threshold, Terry Boot, Lisa Turpin, and Mandy Brocklehurst rose to their feet and began applauding. Slowly, but steadily, more and more students rose to their feet. Even the Weasleys applauded raucously. With one final glance, Harry and Hermione broke apart and approached their respective tables. Harry watched as Hermione walked into the throng of Gryffindors, who patted her on the back and congratulated her. She turned back to look at Harry, beaming happily. She sat down next to the other Gryffindor First Years who began grilling her about her experiences.
Harry approached the Slytherins slowly and confidently, showing no fear of rejection in his expression. Most of the Slytherins were politely applauding, though a few harder than others. This included Theodore Nott, Daphne Greengrass, Pansy Parkinson, and Millicent Bulstrode. Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle sat there glaring angrily at him. Harry sat down next to Theodore.
"You know, I said it once, I'll say it again. You really do know how to make an impression, Potter."
"Thanks Nott…I guess."
"Well, it seems you've accomplished quite a bit this year, Potter," Greengrass said. "I hope you don't intend to lose quite so many House points next year." Harry flinched.
"I don't intend to," he said weakly. Daphne gave him a strange smile, before turning to face the front of the Great Hall. Currently, the celebration had already begun at the Ravenclaw table, which had a sizable lead over the others in House points. Harry wasn't sure if people were going to forget losing 120 points, no matter what he did.
Dumbledore stood up, and waved his hand. The Great Hall quieted, so quickly that Harry briefly wondered if Dumbledore's presence was somehow magically enhanced. "Ah, another year is at an end. Where does time go?" he asked rhetorically. "I believe that the House Cup needs awarding. As the points now stand, Hufflepuff is in 4th place with 352 points, Slytherin is in third place with 375 points, Gryffindor is in 2nd place with 385 points, and finally, Ravenclaw is in 1st place with 438 points." Dumbledore's last few words were lost in the explosion of cheering from the blue and bronze tables. Professor Flitwick appeared to be floating on air.
"Yes, yes, well done Ravenclaw! However, due to recent events, there are some last minute points to be handed out." The Great Hall quieted, and the Ravenclaws stared intently at their Headmaster, some with expressions of confusion, others with expressions of betrayal.
"First, to Miss Hermione Granger of Gryffindor. For cool logic in the face of fire, superb spellwork, and outstanding bravery, I award Gryffindor 60 points!"
The Ravenclaws stared in disbelief, while the Gryffindor table exploded. Hermione was nearly trampled by the horde of raucous students. Harry sat up expectantly. If he was right, they wouldn't be celebrating for much longer. The Hall quieted as Dumbledore remained standing.
"Second, to Mister Harry Potter. For extrodinary leadership ability, outstanding knowledge and use of advanced magic, remarkable bravery, excellent cunning, and finally, exceptional loyalty to his friends and to this school, I award Slytherin 70 points!"
The reaction to this was interesting. Most of the students immediately added the point totals up in their heads, and realized that they were tied. The Gryffindors and Slytherins glared at each other, as if shocked by the gall of the other House to dare be tied with them. Unfortunately for those in green and silver, Dumbledore wasn't done.
"To Mister Ronald Weasley (Harry felt the sudden urge to deprive said red-head of his ability to pass on his genes). As much courage as it take to stand up to your enemies, it takes just as much to stand up to your friends (Since when are Ron and Hermione friends?). I award Gryffindor 10 points."
The scarlet and gold table cheered so loudly that Harry sworn a bomb had gone off. Inside, he was seething. Weasley had not been bravely standing up to his friend, he had been stupidly and pettily interfering based not on a desire to prevent Gryffindor from losing points, but to get Harry, a Slytherin, into trouble. Weasley was accepting wild congratulations from his Housemates, while the Slytherins shot him death-glares. Harry looked up and Dumbledore and put all of the anger and frustration of the year into a withering glare at the Headmaster. The old man seemed to flinch for a moment, giving Harry a small satisfaction. Harry turned his attention back to the Gryffindor table and the urge to hex Weasley returned. Hermione, unlike the rest of her Housemates, was sitting on the table, staring straight ahead. Weasley was standing over her shoulder, yelling at her.
He apparently said too much, because Hermione turned red, and slapped Ron hard across the face before she got up and stormed from the room. Harry was right behind her.
He finally found her on the entrance to the school. She was sitting on the stairs, crying. Harry came up behind her, and sat down next to her. "What in Merlin's name does Dumbledore think he's doing?" Harry asked.
"The…bloody prat said…he said…" Hermione sniffled. "…he said that I should be happy for him, and that it…it was too bad I had to bring you back with me."
Harry had had enough. "REDUCTO!" a massive burst of white light shot from the end of his wand and connected with a hill, sending a massive plume of soil into the air with a loud BANG.
"That…bloody…bastard…" Harry ground out, his wand still extended, the arm holding it shaking.
"I…he thinks that he should have stopped me. He says I should be thankful to him that he didn't report me for Stunning him." Harry wrapped an arm around his best friend's shoulders.
"Let him bask in his idiocy, Hermione. If he's going to be that way, he doesn't deserve to know the truth. Let him figure it out on his own. The students whose opinions are worth caring about will realize when they hear it how undeserved it was."
"You're right, Harry…you're always right that way…"
"Bollocks, Hermione. We've both made mistakes. But I don't need to put Weasley down to know that I'm better than him, and it's got nothing to do with wealth or status. I don't want his respect, because it isn't worth anything."
"You know," she said, sniffling and wiping her eyes, "I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Neither do I," Harry admitted. "You know, one thing I think I might try to do next year is get to know some of my own Housemates. Why don't you give it a try, too?"
"I suppose. Ronald's going to be insufferable next year."
"Who cares? Let him be as pompous as he wants. When push comes to shove, let's see him earn it next time."
After another minute, Harry and Hermione walked back into the Great Hall. A few heads turned their way, and Ron was purple-faced with fury. Harry grinned evilly at him and patted his wrist holster. The change in the boy's color was remarkable. Harry decided to take Hermione over to the Slytherin table. A few of his Housemates gave him a questioning look, but probably figured that Hermione had been wronged as much as they had.
To Harry surprise, Draco Malfoy tapped him on the shoulder, with an apologetic look on his face. "Potter," he addressed him, "I must admit I was much mistaken in my analysis of you, and Granger," he ground out, obviously fighting the urge to say 'the mudblood.' "I doubt you care to be my friend, but I'd like to at least apologize for some of my behavior this year that didn't befit my status."
Harry nodded. "Very well. I'm not Weasley, Malfoy. I'm not going to judge you based on your heritage. I made that mistake earlier. I'm willing to at least be civil with you." He extended his hand, and Harry shook it, maintaining eye contact the entire time.
When Draco left, Nott gave him an appraising look, and Hermione tapped him on the shoulder. "What was that about?"
"It means that for now, I've got one less enemy inside my own House. His father may have been a Death Eater, but Draco's at the stage where he isn't capable of independent thought. He may yet take a different direction. Besides, seeing as Lucius Malfoy abandoned his master, I'm guessing that he's somewhat grateful to me. Like I said before, whynot possibly eliminate anadversary? I don't have to like him.I mean, I wouldn't be shocked if he forgot we ever had this discussion. Actually, I'd be surprised did remember it. Either way, Malfoy's got power and influence. I hate the git, but you can't just cast them aside. I've just got to be wary. Never trust a Slytherin farther than you can throw him"
"That includes you, right?" Hermione asked smartly.
Harry got a small measure of amusement when word came down the next day that the Weasley twins had been caught smuggling firewhiskey into the dorms for a victory celebration. Hermione had apparently taken Harry's later advice and went straight to her room, closed the curtains, cast a few Silencing Charm, and opened a good book. Lavender Brown, one of her roommates, had been quite amused by Ron yelling at her to come out when she couldn't actually hear him.
At the present time, Harry was waiting in the shadows in the corridor leading the Great Hall, waiting to pass a certain message. Ron Weasley came strutting through, his crowd of admirers well behind him. Without warning, Harry grabbed the Gryffindor by the wrist and yanked him into the shadows, pulling him into a disused room. Weasley started when he saw the wand pointed at his face, and the evil grin of the wizard holding it.
"Enjoying your undeserved fame, Weasley?" Harry said icily.
"Potter...you've got…" he swallowed nervously, his eyes focused on Harry's wand. "..you've got some nerve…"
"But not as much as you. I'm impressed Weasley. I didn't think you had the gall to tell the best friend of the most powerful first year in Hogwarts, a student who already dislikes you, that it's too bad that I didn't die. I didn't think you had the idiocy to believe that you did anything worthy of note. Because the three of us all know something rather important. You stood up to Hermione, a girl who is most definitely not your friend, because you thought that if you stopped her, I would get caught, and maybe expelled. As it was, I might have been killed. You know, ask her to show you her stomach sometime. There's a little reminder there of how infinitesimal what you did was compared to what we survived."
Harry paused. "You know, I'll be perfectly honest, Ron. The two of us survived because of good fortune only. So I'm not going to take credit for stopping Voldemort. That credit belongs to my mother for sacrificing her life and to Fate for putting the Stone in the way of the Killing Curse. But I will comfortably say this: I deserve far more credit than you do. Think about that, and watch the behavior of the person who actually earned something. Because when I'm not flaunting it, and you are, well…I'd say that makes you look quite foolish, doesn't it?"
The throng of Gryffindors was approaching. Harry listened intently, then slugged Ron in the jaw. He fell to the ground. "That was not for me. That was for Hermione."
He turned to go. "And if you so much as threaten her next year, I'll show the whole school what a coward you are. Care to duel me, Weasley?"
Ron shook his head violently.
"That's what I thought."
And with that, he left the speechless Gryffindor on the floor, and entered the Great Hall in search of better companionship.
Harry helped Hermione pull her things of the train at Platform 9 3/4, and was immediately pulled into a fierce embrace by a formerly unseen Daphne. Harry returned the embrace as best he could, but when Daphne finally released him, he had to breath heavily. When he looked around, he saw Mr. and Mrs. Granger, who greeted him much more warmly than last time around. Harry and Hermione said their goodbyes, and after a long hug, went their separate ways.
Daphne and Harry left King's Cross and walked over to a run-down looking building a few blocks away. "It's an Apparition station. I've managed to fix the Apparition wards of Dressler Manor to allow us and any other approved guests to Apparate onto the property."
They greeted an elderly wizard and paid him the fee for using the Apparition point. Harry grabbed Daphne's hand and his trunk firmly, and with the feeling of being squeezed through a tube, they vanished from Muggle London.
The old man smiled as he filed some more papers. He'd actually have a story to tell the boys down at the pub. After all, it wasn't everyday that you saw Harry Potter.
A/N: So, how'd I do for my first fic? I know it wasn't perfect and had its issues, but what I'm trying to write is different than anything I've ever read before.
ANNOUNCEMENT TO H/HR SHIPPERS COMING AFTER ME WITH PITCHFORKS. SEE MY PROFILE. (It's good news.
Well, this was quite a bit of fun writing. As you might have guessed, it was completed before I started posting, so that's how I seemingly created a fifteen chapter story in less than a week. Grey Maiden II: Slytherin's Heir, is up to Chapter 3. I'll start posting it tommorow.
However, as you might have guessed, I can't keep up the pace of two updates a day forever. When I finally do catch up with my writing, I do my best to get an update out at least once every week.
As for Reviews, I'd like to know what you think of certain things:
1) Daphne's past
2) The Potential Darkness within Harry (I've made references to it a number of times)
3) Where the hell this series is going
4) Am I really screwed up in the head
I can promise that, despite what you might think, Harry's social life improves next year. That might seem impossible, but I'm not bound by canon.
Afterall, who says Ginny gets the diary...?
As for posting it elsewhere, I really can't until I figure out what ship I'm using. When I do that, it'll go to either SIYE or As for the rating, what I'm really scared of is losing potential readers. I do realize chapter 14 is pretty violent, and I stuck a warning in about that. But I'm not going to be making anything M until at least Book 4, and then, it will only be for violence, I'm no Abraxan folks.